Recent Belize News
5/21/2014 to 5/31/2014
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

May 31, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

SPJSC takes top three at the Placencia Sailing Regatta
The San Pedro Junior Sailing Club (SPJSC) has dominated in the past three regattas of the sailing season, and the fourth was no different as the sailors took the top three prizes. The Placencia Youth Sailing Regatta was held on Saturday, May 24th and Sunday, May 25th at the Placencia Peninsula and saw the participation of 48 sailors from across the country. At the end of the two day regatta, SPJSC returned home victorious, with Jerdon Anderson taking first place, Christian Trejo taking second place and Faith Noel taking third place. The regatta consisted of six races, and throughout each, sailors aimed to score the least amount of points as to rank on top. At the end of the competition Jerdon Anderson of SPJSC placed first in the optimist class, closely followed by Christian Trejo and Faith Noel, both also from SPJSC. Top finishers in the optimist class included: Antonio Ricardez Jr. (BCSC) in 4th, Samantha Vasquez (SPJSC) on 5th, Blanca Vasquez (SPJSC) in 6th, Trent Hardwick (Sea Scouts) in 7th, Davin Puc (SPJSC) in 8th, Christopher Young (CBSC) in 9th and Nashira Ricardez (BCSC) in 10th.

SPHS holds Grand Raffle
On Wednesday, May 28th, San Pedro High School (SPHS) held their grand fundraising raffle, the proceeds of which were used for the sports and drama exchange programs. Drawing the winners of the raffle was Afrie Black, member of the SPHS basketball team. First prize was a round trip ticket to Miami, Florida US and the very lucky winner was Juan Carlos Perez. Other winners: 2nd- a roundtrip ticket to Chetumal and one night stay at Los Cocos Hotel – Noemi Juarez 3rd- HTC smart phone – Renison Crawford 4th-

Get to know the Miss SPHS Contestants before the big night on May 31st!
On Saturday May 31st the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium will be the place to be as the Miss San Pedro High Pageant takes place. The show kicks off at 7PM and tickets will be on sale at the gate. Tickets can be purchased in advance at $7 for General Admission and $10 for Reserved Seating, and they can be bought from students, teachers and board members of SPHS. We got to know a bit more about the four lovely contestants, and here’s what they have to share: Erica Bodden, Ezra Jailene Jacobs, Sheila Chi, Marisha Jamel Thomspon.

Industria del Amor to headline Costa Maya Festival 2014!
The Costa Maya Committee has been working behind the scenes to bring entertainment and fun to the island once again, and headlining the three-night event scheduled for August is the romantic group Industria del Amor. Originating from California, USA, Industria del Amor began in the 1980’s, and scored minor hits in Mexico before hitting their stride in the 90’s. The mid-level soft-rock musical group is comprised of vocalist Roberto Verduzco and musicians Tony Avalos, Alex Solis, Salvador Chava Vasquez, Bobby Verduzco and Francisco Javier Solis. The prolific group has put out a veritable number of albums, the majority of them chart-toppers. With such favorites as Amor, Amor, Rosas Rojas, Tu Amante Escondido, Tunaciste para mi, Dos Enamorados, and many more. Industria del Amor is sure to bring the romance and memories for the night of August 9th.

Ambergris Today

Problems of Living in Belize – Coconut Roadblock
You are driving along the beach, gazing at the clear blue sea, bright beach and beautiful scenery when suddenly find yourself making an abrupt stop. There is bunch of coconuts blocking your way. What do you do? Well when live gives you lemons, you naturally make lemonade. So when life gives you coconuts, get some coconut water and refresh yourself. So finding a bunch of coconuts blocking your way might seem to be a problem of living in Belize, but like most of us residents do – stop and purchase some fresh coconut water and meat. You can also have the ‘Coconut Lady’ slice open one coconut and have yourself one serving of coconut water (milk); she carries straws with her too!!!!

Rowan Garel Keeps Working Hard for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired
Climb Victoria Peak – Done Walk Across Belize – Done Dive the Blue Hole – Done Everyone has been asking the question, “What will Rowan do this year to raise fund for children like him, children who are blind?” The Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) is proud to announce that Rowan Garel has officially been named Belize’s Youth Ambassador for the Commonwealth Games in Scotland this summer. In addition, Rowan will also be working as an assistant instructor at BCVI’s Summer Camp in July teaching other children in the Rehabilitation and Education Program. Since 1981, BCVI has been working to not only prevent and reduce blindness, but also to provide blind children and adults with educational support and skills needed to live independent and fulfilling lives. Every year, the BCVI faces the challenge of raising fund for their Rehabilitation Program, the area that provides training and equipment for people who are irreversibly blind or visually impaired. The BCVI’s annual summer camps are the highlight of the children and provide not only entertainment and field trips, but the crucial skills needed to meet their milestones and educational targets.

Town Council Hires New Town Foreman
The Town Council is always looking for ways to meet the needs of the island and has hired another foreman to share the work with the present foreman. Mr. Abel Guerrero Jr., now joins Mr. Freddie Gonzalez in taking care of our island needs. Freddie Gonzalez was hired in June 2012 and joined Mr. Samuel Gonzalez as the second town foreman. With Mr. Abel Guerrero joining the team, Freddie Gonzalez has been assigned as General Town Foreman and Mr. Abel Guerrero will be in charge of the southern end of the island. Mr. Samuel Gonzalez has now been assigned to be in charge of Waste Management for the island. Mr. Abel Guerrero has great managerial expertise which he will put into great use and will ensure that workers are organized and that our town is maintained clean and well-kept. Mr. Guerrero brings with him more than 35 years of experience in supervision as he was previously the manager at Krystal Shipping and prior to that, the co-manager at The Victoria House. He is a very hard working man with nothing but the town's best interest at heart.

Celebrate Customer Appreciation Day with Santiago Castillo Ltd
Celebrate Customer Appreciation Day with Santiago Castillo Ltd. Saturday, May 31, 2014 with special guest Chef Sean Kuylen

Misc Belizean Sources

Workshops for the National Song Competition 2014 begins this weekend
The National Song Competition sets the tone for the celebration atmosphere each year for the annual September celebrations. This year for the first time, the competition will be branching out to the districts offering both workshops and stage performances to the artists and song writers in the four regions of the country. In lieu of this the National Celebrations Commission in association with Atlantic International Bank presents artist workshops to kick off this year’s National Song Competition season. Facilitating the workshop will be some of the leading musicians currently in Belize and topics to be covered include: Lyrical Content; Song Writing; Stage Performance among many others.

3rd annual Men at Work Art Exhibit
The Corozal House of Culture (NICH) is pleased to present the 3rd annual Men at Work Art Exhibit. The majority of time, men are occupied producing their work in order to provide for their families. Our male artists rarely take time to simply showcase their art and be recognized for their cultural achievements. Please join us Saturday June 7th, at 7 p.m. as we proudly give recognition to the talented men of Corozal. Truly some of the finest in the country.

Belize Economic Statistics Q1-2014
The Statistical Institute of Belize has released the numbers for the 1st quarter of 2014. There's been a double digit growth in eco-tourism...and mass tourism, and also shrimp farming. "IMPORTS: Imports increased 3.8 percent to $602 million between January and April 2014. Increased spending on all major categories of goods except free zone purchases, which has fallen by $18 million. In absolute terms, largest increase was in purchases from Mexico and Central America."

From Poland to US to Belize: Engineer travels globe
Starting at a young age, a strong work ethic was instilled in Piotr Wilk. Born in Poland, he moved with his family to Brooklyn, New York, at 6 years old. For the 13 years before he joined the U.S. Air Force, he worked construction with his father. "A strong work ethic - that's been driven into me quite a few times by the old man," said Wilk of laboring alongside his father. "It was a lot of manual labor, and I learned a lot of lessons in those few years, particularly, that it could always be worse." Self-described as "Cutthroat. Quick to it. Definitely not reserved. Passionate. Strong," Wilk said. "That's the way I was brought up - to be hard-working." As a technical sergeant in the service, Wilk has applied that ethic to his current position as the project manager at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf, where he and a team of multi-service engineers are nearing completion on building additions for the school as part of New Horizons Belize 2014. New Horizons is a multifaceted exercise that incorporates mutual training opportunities for Belize Defence Force, Canadian and U.S. military members in the engineering and medical fields.

Placencia Mangrove Planting Project Organized in Memory of Environmentalist Adrian Vernon
Over 350 baby mangroves planted at the old Crimson development site (next to the airstrip) in memory of a great conservationist and a pioneer of mangrove restoration in Placencia and throughout the country. This morning more than forty volunteers gathered in the Crimson Development community area of Placencia Village to participate in a mangrove planting activity organized in memory of environmentalist Adrian Vernon. Approximately four hundred seedlings were planted by members of the Vernon family, the World Wildlife Fund, the Southern Environmental Association, Oceana, the Placencia Village Council, Placencia Citizens for Sustainable Development, the Placencia Fishermen’s Cooperative, Friends of the Placencia Lagoon and the Coco Plum Resort and Residential Development. The mangroves now line the canal adjacent to the Placencia airstrip and will serve as a buffer for the residential plots of the Crimson Development community area. Adrian Vernon, a staunch advocate for the protection of the Placencia lagoon as well as national mangrove restoration initiatives, passed away in February 2014. Vernon’s commitment to the environment was recognized in 2012 when the Belize Audubon Society presented him with the prestigious James A. Waight award. During the planting exercise, SEA announced that other initiatives, including a scholarship will be named in honor of Adrian Vernon and a Mangrove Restoration Guide.

Best mural painting competition
Congratulations are in order for, Leeworth Robateau, a 2nd form student of the Belmopan Comprehensive High School for winning the best mural painting competition. His submission will be painted on the newly renovated Civic Center very soon. The Belmopan City Council wants to thank all the other students that submitted their paintings, we wish them all the best and hope to have more competitions like this one in the every near future.

Lemon Meringue Cake
Preheat oven to 350F degrees; grease and flour a 9 inch round cake pan. For CAKE cream butter gradually adding the sugar. Add egg yolks and 1 egg to creamed mixture beating well. Combine 1 cup of flour and baking powder and sift. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternating with milk mixing after each addition. Pour batter into prepared cake pan; bake about 25 to 30 minutes or until pick comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely. For FILLING combine egg yolks and water; set aside. Combine ¾ cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour in a heavy saucepan; add egg yolk mixture and lemon rind.

The U.S. Embassy Belmopan has vacancies for two Project Assistant positions with the International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office and an IT Multimedia Technician.
The successful candidates will be required to obtain a security clearance and undergo a medical examination. More info. here: SUBMIT APPLICATION TO: [email protected] All applications must be signed and scanned. ONLY electronic applications will be accepted. To view the DS 174-Universal Application for Employment form (UAE) and application instructions, please click on Your e-mail must state the vacancy title and vacancy announcement number in the subject line, Example: INL Project Assistant, vacancy announcement No. 2014-08. E-mails received without the appropriate subject line will not be considered. The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, June 13, 2014. Applications will not be accepted after June 13, 2014.

Channel 7

Finally, Coyes Get Their Millions
Finally, after almost 5 years of fighting the money laundering case, a huge part of the Coye estate has been handed back to Melonie Coye and her mother Marlene. That decision came this morning out of the court room of Justice Sonya Young. Almost 2 months ago, Melonie Coye, and her late father, Michael Coye, were fully exonerated by the Court of Appeal of the charge of money laundering. The court ordered that their money, 1.557 million dollars, needed to be handed back to them. A month later, the Supreme Court unfroze their bank accounts, but the Panamanian Company, Internet Experts SA managed to get an interim injunction in the Supreme Court which blocked them. So, for that entire time, all the money which should have been returned, was once again locked up. That's because Internet Experts SA is claiming that the Coyes owe them 4.8 million US dollars, and they brought a private lawsuit against the family in 2010. So, when their attorney, Lisa Shoman, heard that the court was releasing everything back to them, she got an interim injunction granted.

Accident Victim Says Dump Truck To Blame
Yesterday we told you about the accident that killed well-known Customs Guard Frank "Mango" Robinson. As we told you, Robinson was driving an Isuzu D-Max pickup at the end of Lord's Ridge Cemetery when he made a sudden left turn. The 10 wheel dump-truck that was coming behind him, was driven by 48 year old Martin Burke -and he has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Burke says there's nothing he could do because Robinson turned suddenly, and he couldn't pull to the shoulder because pedestrians were standing there. Robinson suffered major injuries, and was crushed inside the truck. He died shortly after rescue teams managed to remove him, which took about half an hour. But, while a major part of the narrative has been that Robinson was distracted or was on the phone when he made an unexpected turn, his passenger in the back seat had a completely different perspective. He explains how he saw the accident:..

His Mother Perished In A Fire; Gabourel Says It Wasnt Him
The biggest story of last week was the tragic death of Erceline Gabourel, the 82 year old who perished when her wooden home burned down. But, the house didn't just "burn down" - it was burnt down - and neighbors we spoke to point their finger at her son, Dennis "Desho" Gabourel. They say he had long been a neglectful and disrespectful son - and, in saying that, they indirectly blame him for somehow being responsible for the arson. Now, that's so evil that it seems unthinkable, but Gabourel today acknowledged that those accusations are out there. He says he knows he can't do anything about what people say - but he also has a business and a reputation to protect. Gabourel is the owner of a Horse and Carriage Company, and he's also a licensed tour guide. So, today he came to our newsroom to clear his name as best he can. He told us what it was like when he reached the scene:... Jules Vasquez "What was your reaction when you saw that your mother had perished in the fire when you finally got up to the house and saw that she had perished in the fire?"

Shanicka Won A Gold But Lost Her Health
Last weekend, a delegation of 19 juniour athletes went to Nicaragua to participate in the 2014 CADICA Jr A and JR B Tournament. They did modestly well, earning ten medals, most of them bronze. Acting President of the Belize Amateur Athletic Association Jaheed Smith gave us a rundown:…

Less Than A Handful Of Protesters Against Shyne
This afternoon, there was a protest held in Battlefield Park organized to allow local artists to vent their frustration with the situation in the music Industry. The two main issues they had to discuss was the immediate removal of Moses “Shyne” Levi as the musical ambassador, and Diane Haylock as the President of NICH.

UWI Makes Its Position Clear On Prof. Bain
Tomorrow, Christian Activists, Belize Action & Belize Association of Evangelical Churches will hold another protest in downtown Belize City. This one is named - quite dramatically - "Freedom Under Attack" and it starts at 11:00 am in Battlefield Park. Their well-publicized position is that Professor Bain was fired for simply quoting scientific and statistical fact: that men who have sex with men have a far higher incidence of HIV. The University of the West Indies addressed this and other issues in an internal communiqué sent out on Monday. The statement says, quote, "For more than a year, there has been mounting concern about the incompatibility of Professor Bain's testimony with the programme he was contracted to lead…it was becoming increasingly evident , based on private discussions, that regional and international groups were becoming uncomfortable with Professor Bain's credibility in advocating for the most vulnerable individuals. This lack of credibility, which also led to his resignation from the leadership of PANCAP, has undermined his ability to represent CHART and adequately fulfil the programme's objectives."

Police Say He's A Marijuana Farmer
24 year-old Biscayne Resident Dwayne Bradley is out on bail tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly setting up a marijuana farm. Officers of the Anti-Drug Unit visited area between miles 29 and 30 of the Northern Highway in Biscayne Village yesterday afternoon at around 2:30 p.m. They found 101 marijuana plants being grown in this area, and after investigating, they connected the plants to Bradley. He was then arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana plants and drug trafficking, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart. He tried to plead guilty to the charge saying that indeed he does sell the plants, but Magistrate Stewart entered him into a not-guilty plea because she believed that he didn't understand the nature of the charges.

Prime Minister In Washington DC
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was in the US Capital Washington DC today where he visited the Inter-American Development Bank, or the IDB as it is more commonly known. A release from the IDB says he met with President Luis Alberto Moreno to discuss Belize's relationship with the Bank and priority areas of collaboration. They also spoke about the Bank's recently approved new country strategy with Belize which focuses on public expenditure efficiency and effectiveness and promoting private sector development and sustainable export-led growth, by concentrating on four priority areas: education, tourism, transport and trade and tax policy. The Bank's 2014 lending program with Belize centers on road rehabilitation and education, totaling $30 million US dollars. The Bank's current portfolio in Belize includes five loans for 38 million US dollars, supporting agriculture, citizen security, water and sanitation, solid waste and flood mitigation.

Upgrading Earthen Streets
We know all about those cement streets in Belize City – but with central Government putting in another 10 million dollars for the last tranche of streets, it can’t all go through City Hall, some of those allocations have to go through UDP area representatives – who want to show their constituents that they’re doing something.

An Arresting Look At Powerful Women
Artist Briheda Haylock has opened a very interesting exhibit at the House of Culture. She’s taken photographs of some of the most powerful women in Belizean society, but with a slight twist.

Why GOB Is Claiming Victory In SATIIM Case
We've finally gotten a copy of the perfected order from Justice Michelle Arana in the SATIIM case, and it seems to be official that Government and US Capital Energy got the win, if only by a small margin. As we've told you the perfected order is agreed upon after the attorneys from all parties have carefully read and interpreted the judgment. All interpretations are then taken back before the judge, where the final order is delivered after consultation with everyone. We've since been querying how that final order came about, and we were told that SATIIM and the Buffer Communities wanted the interpretation to be that Government must obtain consent from the Communities before permits or licenses could be granted in line with the UN Convention on Indigenous Rights. Denys Barrow, attorney for the Government, presented his interpretation, to the judge given the entire judgement, and that's when Justice Arana made a modification.

Tonight's I am Belize Teacher Profile focuses on Marie Fernandez a teacher at Santa Elena RC Primary in the Cayo district. Unlike most of our profile subjects, she's not a career teacher - but she came to the profession after a first career in the public service where she rose to the rank of Finance Officer, until a change of personal circumstances pushed her to teaching. She explains in the profile:..

BBQ Fund-raising For Ladyville Police Cadets
Officers from the Ladyville Police Station are hoping that the public will support them tomorrow in a fund raising effort for their cadet program. It's a simple barbeque sale, but according to the community policing commander from Ladyville the funds will go toward buying uniforms and other items for the cadets: The barbeques will cost $6, and Ladyville police are hoping that you will stop by to buy from them.

Channel 5

Vitalino Reyes Jr. clings to life after he is brutally beaten by employees of competition
Tour Operator, Vitalino Reyes Junior of Cavetubing dot bz, is in a coma at the K.H.M.H. tonight, the victim of a brutal beating on Thursday evening. It happened at a [...]

3 Belize City high schools to amalgamate; teachers in fear of losing their jobs
Tonight, there is fear and anxiety among a number of teachers over the proposed amalgamation of three high schools in Belize City. The proposal has been on the drawing board [...]

Family of Frank Robinson believes a third vehicle was involved in fatal accident
On Thursday afternoon, two vehicles collided on the George Price Highway. Customs officer, Frank Robinson perished on impact, while two others traveling with him in the government pickup truck were [...]

Coye family finally gets back frozen assets
On May fifth, the Supreme Court ruled that the assets of the Coye Family, frozen for years by the FIU in a money laundering case, be released. But any jubilation [...]

Attorney says collection attempt in case of Trevor Vernon is intimidation
On Tuesday, Belize Rural North resident, Trevor Vernon paid half his costs to attorney Denys Barrow, in coins…twenty-five hundred dollars worth on behalf of Minister of State Edmond Castro, who [...]

PM meets with President of IDB
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country this past Tuesday. His first stop was in Houston, Texas where he reportedly received medical attention for his back. From Houston the P.M. [...]

A major drug plantation bust in Biscayne
The Police department is recording a huge drug bust in the Biscayne Village. The department says that around two-thirty on Thursday afternoon, a joint patrol between police, the B.D.F. and [...]

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
The 2014 hurricane season is here, and as it does every year, the Met Office is advising Belizeans to be prepared for the worst. Best predictions are that there will [...]

NDACC celebrates World No Tobacco Day
Every year on May thirty-first, the World Health Organization observes World No Tobacco Day. At its offices countrywide, the National Drug Abuse Control Council held activities in celebration of the [...]

5 officers honored for doing the right thing
For the past two years the Belize Police Department has embarked on a citizen awards program for secondary school students.  The initiative known as the Do The Right Thing rewards [...]

4 manatees dead in a week
Since the beginning of the week, four manatees have perished in the waterways surrounding Belize City.  The sea cows, as they are colloquially known, were victims of boating accidents and [...]

Photographic Exhibition launched at the Belize City House of Culture
Twelve women are at the centerpiece of an exhibition that was launched today at the House of Culture by curator Briheda Haylock. The exhibit captures the singular lifetime achievements of [...]

Belizean artists join forces to put country on the international music scene
The Belize Conglomerate Music Group, better known as BCMG… It’s a group of eleven Belizean artists—living in Belize and in the US—that have joined together with a mission….to take their [...]


Men Say They Are Wrongfully Accused of Stealing Log-wood
With its mandate to promote the conservation of the natural heritage of Belize and to promote wise use of its natural resources, the Programme for Belize organization is in the news tonight, but this time by a group of men who are alleging that they were wrongfully accused of stealing logwood from the entrusted lands managed by the organization. According to Manuel Dominguez, one of several men at the time of ranger’s arrival, yesterday around 10am, forest rangers accompanied by soldiers caught up with them on their property which they were clearing for planting corn. Dominguez claims that the rangers confiscated their chain saw and took away two bikes which were those of Mike Novelo, Neri Dominguez and Jose Manuel, alleging that they took logwood from them.

Johnson's Wife Says Free My husband
Viewers may recall the April 11th, shootings of two men at a farm in the outskirts of Carmelita Village which landed its proprietor, Edison Johnson in jail for murder. As we reported, two alleged robbers were met by the property owner while they made away with the zinc of the roof, sheet rock, tore out the electrical wires and had removed other items from the two buildings found on the farm. They had returned to come and carry the last few sheets of zinc that had remained on the farm when Johnson spotted them and shot them as they ran. And while Johnson remains in remand for murder tonight, his family came out to the media to shed some light on Edison’s case which they felt he was ‘wrongfully charged’.

Salomon School Hosts Career Day
It is third term for primary school students and there is much preparation being done for those who will be graduating this year. But today the preparations for the students’ future started even earlier at Solomon’s Seventh Day Adventist School. It was a first time event for the fast growing institution and it was one occasion where our news team was able to take a break. Here’s why. Maria Novelo – Reporting Career Day – the time for these children to hear from the professionals on what it’s like to be a part of the work force and what their prospects are. Booths were set behind the school and these students flocked around every corner. Sheryl Distan is the school principal.

Louisiana Government School Makes Orange Walk Proud
It is a great feat for schools to excel not only in academics but in sports as well. Here in the Orange Walk District there are quite a few schools at the primary and secondary levels that have done great in these areas year after year. One of them is the Louisiana Government School and today they have more good news to share with the public. The teachers and students have been hard at work and for the first time, they will be dividing into three groups to cheer on their candidates who will be taking part in national competitions, get this, on the same date. Here is a look at what they will be up to on June sixth. Dalila Ical – Reporting At eleven thirty this morning students poured out of their classrooms for lunch break, but two groups of students and an individual strong speller were out long before to share with us their exciting trips scheduled for June 6th.

Important Conference On Sugar Industry Takes Place In The North
Day one of a two days conference took place today at the Hibiscus Conference Room at Tony’s Resort INN in Corozal Town, with delegates and stakeholders in the Sugar Industry from across the globe including members from Latin America and the Caribbean. The two day conference is a joint project with Fairtrade and CLAC, (Coordinadora Latino Americana y del Caribe de Pequeños productores de Comercio Justo.) Director and organizer for CLAC, Sonia Murillo, told us more on the two day activity.

Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union Celebrates AGM
With over three decades of service in the northern communities, this past Sunday St. Francis Xavier Credit Union celebrated its 33rd annual general meeting at the CCC auditorium. With over 2000 members present, General Manger Rafael Dominquez claims it was a successful year. According to Dominquez important topics were brought to the members attentions such as the institutions financial report. Rafael Dominquez – General Manager. “Tuvimos los reportes como cada ano que reportamos a la membrecía a lo que transcurrió en los doce meses pasados entonces tuvimos diferentes reportes, tuvimos reporte de cámara de directores, tuvimos reporte de la comitiva de préstamos, el reporte de cámara de educación y el reporte de la cámara de supervisión y por supuesto reporte como gerente general también adonde se le informo a la membrecía de otro un ano exitoso y rentable en ganancias y sobre todo un crecimiento en nuestros activos, la cartera de préstamos, y un crecimiento de membrecía de mil quinientos treinta y ocho.”

P.M Barrow Goes Out Of The Country
The office of the Prime Minister announced today that the leader of the nation, Dean Barrow has departed the country on an 8 day personal/duty leave to Washington DC and Houston, Texas. During his absence, Deputy PM Gaspar Vega will act as PM from May 27th to 31st, and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar will hold over from June 1st to 3rd, the day scheduled for his return.

Custom Guard Dies In Traffic Accident
A Customs Officer is killed in a traffic accident mid-afternoon today. According to reports, the incident took place around 2:30 near Mile two and a quarter on the George Price Highway. Frank Robinson also known as “Mango”, a customs officer originally from Belize City was driving a Gray Isuzu D-Max, property of the Government of Belize. Robinson was hit by a green dump truck which is the property of Imer Hernandez Construction. The driver of the dump truck, whose name was not mentioned told our Colleagues at KREM TV that he and Robinson were headed towards Belize City. Both had just passed one of the recently constructed speeds bumps in that area. He, the driver of the dump truck, says that he was picking up speed when Robinson suddenly made a u turn causing him to collide into Robinson’s side.


Attorney Challenges Markup of Client’s Property
Earlier this week, we reported that court marshals and representatives of Barrow and Company Law Firm visited Trevor Vernon’s home and marked up his appliances. Denys Barrow led the defense of Belize Rural North area representative Edmond Castro suit by Trevor Vernon in which he won a strike-out on...

Belize City Man Shot to the Head Survives
A Belize City man was shot to the head but survived the ordeal. 22-year-old Egbert Bailey, a Belizean Tour Guide of Belize City, reported that he was at his cousin’s home at Antelope Street Extension, Belize about 8:15 p.m. Along with him at the time were three friends watching...

Post Mortem Says Honduran Man Died as a Result of Chop Wounds
Yesterday we told you about the mysterious death of 27 year old Honduran National Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez. Reports had it that he was attacked by another male person on Sunday May 18th at the village of Los Tambos. He was subsequently taken to the Western Regional Hospital in...

Freezing Order Against Coye Family Lifted
Mere hours after one Supreme Court judge lifted a freezing order against the assets of Melonie and Marlene Coye and Money Exchange International Limited (MEIL) on May 5, another replaced it pending arguments in the case of Internet Experts S.A. Vs. Omni Networks Limited and others, those others being...

Cannabis Cultivation and Drug Trafficking Arrest
24-year-old Dwayne Bradley, a Belizean Farmer of Gardenia Village was arrested for drug trafficking yesterday. The arrest came about after a Composite Patrol from the Belize Defense Force and Police conducted an Anti-Drug Operation between miles 29 and 30 on the Phillip Goldson Highway, Biscayne Village. About 1½ miles...

Belmopan Walkway Robbery
Victims of Robbery “A masked man came out and asked her to give him her cell phone, so, he put the machete to her neck and then she gave it away. The mask was like a knit, like a cap I guess, and it was covering all of his...

A Teacher Says she was Detained for Selling Barbeque at her School
An educator in Roaring Creek, Cayo, claims she was detained for selling Barbeque at her school, however she was not charged and no one took her statement. Selmita Russell, who now teaches at Raymond Shepherd Nazarene Primary School, claims she was at home with her three children on Friday...

Winner for the Belmopan Mural Competition is Presented with Cash Prize
Today the Belmopan City Council Announced the winner for the Belmopan Civic Center Mural Competition, which was launched on May 13th. The competition, which was opened to all secondary and tertiary level students, required participants to draw something historical about Belmopan. Eight entries were submitted but in the end...

Police Recognition in Belmopan
On Wednesday Belmopan Police hosted officers from the Belmopan Police station to a luncheon as a means of positive motivation. Officer Commanding the Belmopan Police station also hinted to the reinstatement of the Officer of the month award which has been dormant for some time. Supt. Howell Gillette- Officer...

Nicole C. Mullen Concert in Belmopan
Award winning gospel artist Nicole C. Mullen is back in Belize, and if you haven’t heard yet, she will perform at the Governor General’s field of Belmopan tomorrow, Saturday May 31st where she will grace the stage. Accompanied with her band, the author of the world famous song, “My...


Estranged couple “stab up” each other?
A man and a woman are currently in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a serious stabbing incident that happened on Zericote Street in Belize City early yesterday morning. Although there is little information on what led to the occurrence, police believe that it might have been a case of domestic violence, because the victims are an estranged couple who used to live together until about a year ago. What is known at this time is that Erwin Smith, 50, a resident of Zericote Street, and Jennifer Salam, 33, of a Newtown Barracks address, were both discovered at Smith’s residence early yesterday, Wednesday morning, severely hemorrhaging from multiple knife wounds.

Cayo cop shoots teenager in the back!
The Belize Police Department is currently conducting an internal investigation into a shooting incident which occurred in Unitedville, Cayo, this past Monday, May 26, in which a police officer allegedly shot a teenager in the back, for no apparent reason. Amandala understands that Elston Arnold, 19, and four of his cousins were on their way home from a wake in a nearby village and were riding on bicycles along the George Price Highway sometime after midnight Sunday. When they were about half a mile from their home, a police mobile unit approached the group and proceeded to search them. It was during that search that one of Arnold’s cousins, known only as Calbert, was allegedly assaulted by the four officers, after which Arnold himself was later shot by one of the police constables.

Highway accident claims life of Frank “Mango” Robinson, 51
Amandala and its executive secretary, Odessa Robinson, are mourning the sudden, tragic death of Robinson’s brother, Customs officer Frank Robinson, 51 — the result of a collision between a department vehicle that he was driving, and a sand truck at Mile 2 1/2 on the George Price Highway, near the junction of Krooman Road and the highway at about 2:45 this afternoon. Robinson, also known as “Mango,” suffered massive head and body injuries in the collision between his Isuzu D-Max pickup and the 6-wheel 10-ton sand truck. Police said that in the pickup truck with Robinson were Karima Williams, a fellow Customs officer, and another female, whose name has not been released. The sand truck was driven by Martin Burke, a truck driver of Benque Viejo Del Carmen.

Caledonia villager, 26, chopped to death

Death in Los Tambos
Honduran national Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez, 28, of Los Tambos Village in the Cayo District, who had been attacked and chopped on May 18 in San Ignacio, was found dead in a room in his house in Los Tambos, at about 5:00 yesterday evening. It is believed that he died from the chop wounds. Police said that on Sunday, May 18, Alvarez was attacked by an unknown man in San Ignacio who chopped him four times in the left shoulder area, and twice on the left side of the face, those two being large cut wounds. Alvarez was taken to the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan that Sunday, where he was treated and later released. After he was released, Alvarez moved out of San Ignacio and went to live in Los Tambos.

Industrial action threatened over dispute between pharmacists and Ministry of Health
Union sources told Amandala this week that pharmacists, who are members of the Public Service Union (PSU), have indicated that they are ready for industrial action if Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse does not respond favorably to their letter asking him to urgently address their dispute with the Ministry of Health, principally over the hiring of Danini Contreras as Director of the Drug Inspectorate. “If the Minister’s response is not favorable, members have told us from the inception that they are ready to go to the next level – meaning industrial action,” PSU president Marvin Blades told Amandala today. Blades told us that they had already written Hon. Hulse, on the matter, and they were told that no dispute exists between workers and employers, within the ambit of the law, which could be settled under the Settlement of Disputes in Essential Service Act, Chapter 298 of the Laws of Belize.

Court costs paid with pillowcases full of shillings
While it may have been comical to some, confounding to others and just plain cumbersome for the carriers, Trevor Vernon, an unsuccessful claimant whose lawsuit was thrown out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin last Monday, May 19, yesterday chose to pay the first half of his court costs using a heap of twenty-five cent coins, otherwise known as “shillings”, which were stacked in two old pillowcases. Denys Barrow, SC, the attorney and recipient of the payment, has indicated, however, that when the two bags stuffed with coins were tallied, the total amount paid wasn’t enough. Amandala understands that the sum of money received was $2,489.50, which is $10.50 short of the $2,500 that was due and thus, today, a Supreme Court marshall and a representative from Barrow’s law firm showed up at Vernon’s home in Burrell Boom to demand full payment immediately, based on a writ of execution for payment of costs to Barrow.

Former Toledo West PUP area representative Marcial Mes dies in traffic accident
Marcial Mes, a former two-term People’s United Party (PUP) area representative (1998-2008) for the Toledo West constituency and a former minister of government, died in a traffic accident on Monday, when he lost control of his RAV4 SUV between Miles 7 and 8 on the Southern Highway. Mes, 65, was heading to his home in San Marcos Village, when the tragic accident occurred, police say. A government press release announced that there will be an official memorial service to celebrate the life of Marcial Mes on Friday, May 30, at 10:00 a.m. at the Roman Catholic Church in San Pedro Columbia, Toledo District. Mes and another man, identified as Mario Caal, a resident of San Marcos, were travelling together when the accident occurred. They were rushed to the Punta Gorda Town Hospital, where Mes was pronounced dead on arrival, and Caal was admitted in a stable condition.

Placencia Regatta
With steady breeze and moderately challenging waves, sailors showed off their growing sailing skills with tactical maneuvers at the 2nd Annual Placencia Sailing Regatta 2014, hosted by the Placencia Sailing Club, last Saturday and Sunday, May 24-25. This year saw far fewer capsizes, but last year also experienced 22-knot winds, compared to peak winds of 15 knots this year. Out of 46 competing sailors in the Opti class, San Pedro Junior Sailing Club’s Jerdon Anderson, Christian Trejo and Faith Noel took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, respectively. Trejo and Trent Hardwick of the Belize Sea Scouts led the fleet in 1st and 2nd place standings after the first day of four races, but Faith and Anderson recovered from disappointing finishes in the 2nd and 3rd races and finished on top. Notably, top ranking youth sailor, Antonio Ricardez, Jr. had equipment failure in the 1st race when his hook and block on the sprit halyard broke, and he was unable to recover from this early loss, even though he finished in the top three in four races out of the total 6 races in the regatta.

Introducing “Lily White”
We‘ve been hearing a lot lately about the football promotions being conducted by one “Lily White,” and we got a chance to meet the brother in person this morning when he visited our sports desk to seek some publicity for his upcoming “Happy Father’s Day Football Bash” at the MCC Grounds. Lily White’s official name is Edward Charles Rubio, who returned home a couple years ago from the U.S., and he says since coming back he has been making himself busy holding small football promotions for the youths in Belize City. His most recent event was a “Kids Day” at Holy Redeemer Play Yard at the corner of Hyde’s Lane and North Front Street, which took place on Labor Day, May 1. Edward is “Old School,” and still carries that passion for “peace and love” and the generous spirit typical of his/our generation. He tried to pull me out of retirement, and I promised to start doing some running; but no guarantees yet about the Father’s Day match.

Belize City No Limit
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) playoffs got underway over the weekend with a couple semifinal match-ups. The Tigersharks hosted the Point Bandits on Saturday night, and on Friday, the Belize City No Limit Soldiers journeyed to the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio to face the Cayo Western Ballaz. During the regular season, the Belize City No Limit Soldiers were simply unable to defeat the Cayo Western Ballaz in not one, but two attempts. In the first meeting, it was shaping up to be a blowout in favor of the Ballaz, as the Soldiers were down 22 points at one point in the game. The Belize City squad would storm back in the 2nd half, even taking the lead in the closing minutes, but fell short, losing by just one point, 74-73. In their 2nd meeting, the Western Ballaz were without the services of one of their top players, Richard Troyer, and it seemed that the No Limit Soldiers would have their revenge. But the Belize City squad lost that game by an even larger margin, with a final score of 77 to 63. So, naturally, when the news broke that the No Limit Soldiers would be matched up with the Western Ballaz in the playoffs, some fans were a little bit less than optimistic going into game 1 of this semifinal series.

Amiri and Trevon winners
The Belize Table Tennis Association’s (BTTA) 2014 – 2nd Bi-Annual SMART Junior Ranking Tournament took place on the weekend of May 17-18 at the BES Auditorium, and once again resulted in great competition among players in the 3 junior categories – 12Under, 15Under and 18Under – with Amiri Hoare capturing the top prize in both the 12Under and 15Under categories, while Trevon Brown was victorious in the 18Under class. The tournament got under way on Saturday with the Round-Robin qualifiers in all categories, followed by the Double Elimination FINALS on Sunday. In the 12Under Category, some 16 players started out in 4 Round-Robin groups, with the top two from each group qualifying for the 8-Draw Double Elimination FINALS.

Easy Does It
The village of Lemonal in the Belize District is the home of many well-known cricketers. The name of their team was Surprise, of which many trophies and awards were won. At one time, Lemonal had so many players that there were too many for one team, so some went to play with other teams. You could see players on teams like Sunrise, Berlan, Western Eagles, Wicked 11, etc. This was how Easy Does It was formed. Surprise had older men playing, and the younger men could not play in that league; so in 2009, John Anthony, Ike and Denvo Banner got together and started talking to the rest of the youths, and Easy Does It was born. Ike is now the captain of the team. All these years, this small team struggled with the stronger teams in the area to reach in the top finishers, but luck was not on their side. During these years, Surprise was still playing strong, and sometimes looked down on this small team and wondered if they would go anywhere. But today, with determination and dedication, Easy Does It is now heading for the semifinals.

Editorial: Paul of Belize
American producers and directors no longer make cowboy-and-Indian movies. But in the decades leading into the 1960s, such movies were a staple of the American motion picture industry. These cowboy-and-Indian movies were exported to the rest of the world, including British Honduras, and so it was that several generations of Belizeans grew up here cheering for the romanticized white cowboys fighting bravely to defeat the demonized red Indians. In the revolutionary fervor which swept the world in the 1960s following the successes of the Cuban and Algerian revolutions, and amidst the campaigns of world youth against nuclear proliferation and the imperialist excesses of the American war effort in Vietnam, cowboy-and-Indian movies were exposed as propaganda. The truth was that a terrible genocide had been visited upon the various Native American tribes which had inhabited North America for millennia. The Indians had fought heroically, but had ended up being overwhelmed by wave after wave of European immigrants who believed that it was their “manifest destiny” to civilize the red “savages” and claim North America as their own, in the name of God and white womanhood.

From The Publisher
There has been a lot of negativity in the press reports coming out about Brazil in the weeks and months before the World Cup opens there next month. The negativity has focused on street protests and construction problems in infrastructure. Personally, I am inclined to think the negative press is being orchestrated from Washington, because Brazil has become the second largest economy in the Western Hemisphere, because the Brazilian president is a former left-wing guerrilla – Dilma Rousseff, and because Brazil has supported the democratically-elected Venezuelan governments of the late Hugo Chavez and now Nicolás Maduro. South American Brazil has a larger black population than any African country except Nigeria. They speak Portuguese in Brazil, because when the Pope of Rome divided the “New World” between Spain and Portugal in 1494, Brazil was to the eastern side of the Pope’s imaginary line. Everything west of that line became Spain’s. The indigenous people who lived in these territories did not count as human beings: the Treaty of Tordesillas was European imperialism at its most arrogant.

Czarnecki discusses Lopez letter
In a Letter to the Editor, written by Robert Lopez and published on April 1, 2014, under the heading, “Prevention of Corruption Act deadline for disclosure,” I’m curious as to whether these annual financial disclosures were ever…well, disclosed and made available to the public, and also, who are the members of the “Integrity Commission?” I already know that, “You can run, but you can’t hide!”

Welcome………… but!
America has morphed from super hero of liberation and freedom to colonizing bully. Friday after next, 6th June, will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On 6th June, 1944, youthful Americans stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, to free Europe from the clutches of German Nazi terror and tyranny. Glorious young warriors waded, landed defying death, conquered, rebuilt and then left. I was only 6 years old and could not then comprehend the full meaning of what America was doing and did for humanity. As an adult I have prayed that what America had done would last forever as the most powerful monument of man’s everlasting hunger for freedom. A half decade or so passed, and much of my time was consumed watching cowboy movies. I became enchanted by the unselfish heroism portrayed in such movies as Shane. This is the story of a converted gunfighter who stops by and decides to stay to work on a family farm. Their security is threatened by a big farmer bent on devouring all the small farmers, with the help of bullying gunslingers. Shane changes back to his former ways of settling conflicts by violence to preserve this wholesome family of father, mother, and son. The story ends with him riding off into the sunset after a gunfight in which he dispatches all the gunslingers. But he was wounded, and you don’t know if he will survive.

Belize pressed to excise sodomy laws
In an interesting turn of events this week, a CARICOM organization of which the State of Belize is a member has issued a statement supporting the recent firing of Professor Brendan Bain as head of the Caribbean HIV AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) and making it unequivocally clear that it stands with UNIBAM in its bid to get sodomy laws removed from the nation’s law books. Of note is that the Caribbean Court of Justice, the judicial organ of CARICOM, is at the same time, set to hear a challenge by LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson against immigration laws in Belize and Trinidad, which he claims discriminate against LGBT visitors. On Wednesday, Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) issued a statement via the CARICOM Secretariat, in which it said that Bain’s testimony in the Caleb Orozco (UNIBAM’s Executive Director) v. A.G. Belize (2012) case is not consistent with the stated goals of PANCAP to reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination, and is, furthermore, in dissonance with PANCAP’s ongoing work to remove discriminatory laws and affirm human rights.

Recently I have heard the term “conflict of interest” wielded like an out of control sword and to me it seems that those wielding the sword were doing so with the intent to intimidate, injure, annihilate, behead and kill. If the sword will be used, those wielding it should know what they are talking about. So I was on Open Your Eyes morning show and my eyes were surely opened to how, at all cost, my hosts, William and Marleni, defended the decision of UWI to unlawfully terminate Professor Bain. They couldn’t even hide their bias and came wielding but since I carry the armor of truth, I did not fear. What struck me was their lack of understanding of what is a conflict of interest, the court process, and what are truly human rights. It had me thinking if two intelligent persons have missed the mark, I wonder how many more either out of ignorance or mis-information are unable to see why so many of us support Professor Bain and will stand up to defend his rights! Thus I thought it important this week to share some information, not expert opinion, but hard core facts based on knowledge and black and white.

The drill rig is coming: US Capital
Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay indicated to Amandala today that the court hearing to review a request made by the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and four Maya villages: Conejo, Crique Sarco, Midway, and Graham Creek, for an injunction order to stop US Capital Energy from proceeding with petroleum works inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park will help to resolve the pending issues which lie at the heart of the dispute between the Government of Belize and some Maya communities in Toledo. The Maya communities in question continue to call on the Government of Belize to consult with them before US Capital begins to drill inside the national park. Currently, the project is at a virtual standstill, but Alistair King, the representative of US Capital in Belize, told Amandala today that they intend to press ahead as soon as possible, but works, he said, have been delayed because they are still waiting for the rig to arrive from Mexico—and they hope it will by the end of the month.

Belize stars in dry cleaning services sector
There are some who believe that Belizean enterprises cannot compete on a regional or even international scale, but in the services sector, there are clearly Belizean businesses which stand out for trying to raise the bar, to achieve higher standards of service. Alan Spielvogel, Director of Technical Services for the National Cleaners Association based in New York City, today concluded an in-house, 1-week training for 11 members of staff at Belize Cry Cleaners – an enterprise which he told us is, for the most part, a lot better than similar kinds of establishments in the USA, and which, he said, “can serve as a model for other members.” “It looks like you’re going into a high-end clothing store. We call it a sizzle!” Spielvogel said, lauding the enterprise’s collections of garments, shoes and accessories, rented for occasions such as proms and weddings. The environment is very clean and well-ventilated; the equipment is well-maintained and regularly updated to make the job easier and more efficient, said Spielvogel. He told us that the owners of the business, Lascelle and Dolores Arnold, are long-time members of the association, and they invited him to Belize to upgrade the skills of the staff – one of the paid services the association provides to its members.

Belize protestors call for fund to fight Professor Bain’s case
At the conclusion of a spirited demonstration inside the Battlefield Park in Belize City during Friday’s lunch hour, organizers asked for, and protestors agreed to give, support for an initiative to open a fund so that donations could be lodged towards legal fees for a court challenge of the recent termination of Professor Brendan Bain as head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network at the University of the West Indies (UWI). Pastor Scott Stirm of Belize Action, the lead organizer, told Amandala that, “…this is victimization, it’s bullying at its best and we’re seeing it happen all over the world and here it is: It’s coming to our shores.” Pastor Eugene Crawford, president of the Evangelical Association of Belize, called the termination of Bain “very, very unjust.” Muriel Laing Arthurs, a prominent Belizean who actively promotes the legacy of Belizean icon Simon Lamb, termed it “cowardly” and said that he should be reinstated.

Nicaraguan acquitted of theft charge for Minister’s tractor parts
A Nicaraguan man who was charged with the theft of almost $50,000 worth of tractor parts that were the property of Minister of State Edmund Castro was acquitted of the charge today when Magistrate Dale Cayetano dismissed the case. With the dismissal of the charge against him, Oscar Hernandez, 46, who was unrepresented by an attorney and whose status in Belize was uncertain at the time of his arrest and arraignment, breathed his first air of freedom after being on remand for over a year because his status prevented him from accessing bail. Minister of State Castro, in late December 2012, reported to police that someone had stolen his tractor sometime between October 1, and December 30, 2012, in Bomba, one of the villages in the Belize Rural North constituency, of which Minister Castro is the area representative. But after numerous adjournments, when the case was finally heard in court, Magistrate Cayetano, citing a number of deficiencies in the police’s investigation during the period when Hernandez was arrested and charged, dismissed the case and freed him of the charge.

COLA vs Elvin Penner adjourned to June 26
There appears to be unwillingness on the part of officials to prosecute Hon. Elvin Penner, the disgraced Cayo North East area representative accused of signing a Belize passport and nationality certificate for the unqualified South Korean criminal Kim Won Hong. Despite a Supreme Court writ of mandamus directed to the Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, to conclude the police’s investigation into the matter, according to Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), Whylie has refused to hand over the file to them, saying that the investigation has still not yet been completed. Additionally, in a recent letter to COLA, the Auditor General, Dorothy Bradley, submitted that she could not turn over information she has gathered from an audit of the Immigration Department, saying that the report has to be handed to Cabinet and tabled in the House of Representatives first. And the Ministry of Immigration’s so-called internal investigation led by Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse and his CEO, Candelaria Saldivar, has yielded “nada.”

Mental healthcare providers hold workshop for unemployed mental patients
Persons suffering with mental disabilities often have the most difficulty finding gainful employment; however, the Ministry of Health is attempting to change that harsh reality by hosting a workshop to address the discrimination that such persons face in the workplace and hopefully assist people with mental illness to find work. The two-day workshop, which is being held at the Belize Institute of Management (BIM), is focused on the need for relevant stakeholders to provide employment for persons with mental disabilities as well as to provide coaching and training to potential employers for the inclusion of mentally challenged persons who have generally been left out of the workforce. Eleanor Bennett, who is the Nursing Administrator in the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit, told Amandala that the initiative is long overdue and comprises a three-part project which began by targeting those who work as mental healthcare providers.

American woman overdoses with pills in San Pedro
On Monday, an American, Susan Rose Cop, 47, a medical student, died after overdosing herself with pills in her apartment in San Pedro. Police said that when they went to the apartment, they found a doctor trying to help Cop, and they also saw many bottles of pills near her. She was rushed to the San Pedro Poly Clinic, where doctors worked to save her, but the effort was in vain, as she died shortly after. Police said that the woman had called her father in the United States and informed him that she was going to take the pills. Fearing for life, her father immediately alerted a doctor in San Pedro to check on her, but when he went to her apartment, he saw her on the floor. She had already swallowed a number of pills.

Alex “Cat’ Reid, 34, charged with murder
A Belize City man, Alex “Cat” Reid, 34, who has been in police custody for 7 days while they investigated his connection to a murder that occurred in Santana on Tuesday, May 20, was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this morning. Reid, a laborer and resident of Pine Street, has been in police custody as a person of interest in the police’s investigation into the murder of Santana resident Maurice Dennison Young, 69. Police detained Reid on Wednesday, May 21, the day after Young’s body was found. This morning Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith read the single count of murder to Reid, from whom no plea was required for the indictable offense. He was remanded to prison, from where he will begin the routine shuttling back-and-forth to court for the next few years, until his case comes up in the Supreme Court, if there is enough evidence after a preliminary inquiry is completed at the lower court. He returns to court on July 15.

Hard-pay taxi customer arrested by Neighborhood Watch group in San Pedro
A taxicab passenger who ran away without paying after using a taxi was caught by a Neighborhood Watch group and handed over to police. The man, 22, has since been detained, pending charges. The incident occurred at 12:45 Sunday morning in the Boca Del Rio in San Pedro. Boris Fuentes, a taxi driver of Laguna Drive, Boca Del Rio, San Pedro, told police that he was approached by a man who hired his taxi to take him home to the Airstrip area, from Boca Del Rio. Upon arrival at the passenger’s home, however, the passenger jumped out of the vehicle and ran away without paying Fuentes. The San Pedro Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch Patrol, which was on patrol in the area, sprang into action and found the hard-pay passenger hiding on the beach. The culprit was immediately seized and taken to the San Pedro Police Station by the patrol and handed over to police.

Taxi driver ambushed and murdered
Police told Amandala today that they still have no leads into the shooting death of taxi driver Norman Stanley Thompson, 57, of corner West Street and Kut Avenue, Belize City, who died at about 1:30 Sunday morning, May 25, after he was ambushed and shot by gunmen after dropping off three passengers in the alley between Logwood Street and Banak Street, at the rear of the Habet and Habet compound on Cemetery Road. A woman told Amandala that she heard two gunshots, and then a loud bang, as a car slammed into a chain link fence, breaking it and damaging a cargo container that was parked in the yard next to the fence. When neighbors rushed to the area, Thompson was seen in his car, slumped over his steering wheel, with gunshots in the upper back: he was dead. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at about 3:10 that same Sunday morning.

Belize City man remanded to prison for armed robbery in Ladyville
A Belize City man who has several criminal matters pending in the Magistrate’s Court was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery this morning. He was charged along with a 17-year-old minor, his alleged partner in crime, who is hospitalized and under police guard after sustaining a gunshot wound during the robbery. When Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart asked Mason Patnett, 27, a construction worker of 72 Cemetery Road, if he understood the robbery charge she had read to him, Patnett replied: “I understand the charge, but that charge is bogus, as I neva meh deh in the village when that happen.” Patnett, who had lived in Ladyville for some time, pleaded not guilty to the charges of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. And Magistrate Stewart, after explaining to him that she could not offer him bail because the alleged robbery was committed with a firearm, remanded him into custody until his next court date on June 24, 2014.

Santa Cruz villagers busted with almost 1 pound of weed
Two persons, believed to be a mother and son, were arrested and charged for drug trafficking after police discovered 448.8 grams – or just short of a pound – of suspected cannabis yesterday near their house in Santa Cruz Village at Mile 21 on the Southern Highway. Police said that while searching the residence at around 2:00 p.m., they found a black plastic bag containing 330.5 grams of suspected cannabis about 15 feet away from the house, and later came upon a “Malher” container with another 157.9 grams of suspected cannabis, which together totaled 448.4 grams.

Eloy Perdomo, 18, charged for BWEL’s robbery
Eloy Perdomo, 18, a laborer of Trial Farm, Orange Walk District, who is one of two men who reportedly robbed Belize Western Energy Limited, a butane gas company office, in San Ignacio and held up the manager at gunpoint, stealing $1,915.43 in cash and two Belize Bank cheques totaling $1,874.58, was remanded on Friday to the Belize Central Prison on robbery charges until Thursday, July 10, by the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court. The incident occurred at about 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 8. In the office at the time were supervisor Ernest Hill, 46, his son, 13, and a security guard. Hill told police that around 5:50 p.m., two men ran into the office. They were not wearing masks. One of the men was armed with a handgun, which he held to the neck of the security guard, whom he held in a chokehold. The gunman then ordered their victims not to move, or he would shoot them.

Decomposing body found in Indianville
Less than 24 hours after the decomposing body of Norris Tingling, 57, of Majestic Alley, was recovered from within his house, at about 10:00 Monday morning, the decomposing body of Francisco Reyes, 65, of Indianville, was found in his house. Police who went into the house to recover him reported that there were no signs of foul play on his body, and he was nude. They have declared that he died of natural causes. Neighbors reported that Reyes was last seen on Friday, but throughout the weekend, he was not seen, and they became concerned.

Aaron Elijah Juan, 33, remanded for carnal knowledge
A businessman from the Cayo District – who, according to authorities, had been on the run for over five months – is now on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he turned himself in to San Ignacio police last Tuesday, May 20, at around midday, pending charges of carnal knowledge. Police reported that Aaron Elijah Juan, 33, who lives on Burns Avenue in San Ignacio, surrendered himself to police in that municipality in the company of his attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley. Juan was wanted based on a December 18, 2013 carnal knowledge report involving a 15-year-old female minor who had accused him of engaging in sexual intercourse with her. He appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, where Magistrate Narda Morgan read him the charge; however, no plea was taken, since it is an indictable offense which will be heard at the Supreme Court level.

Hit-and-run in Orange Walk leaves man dead
The family of Santiago Cocom, 68, of Trial Farm, Orange Walk District, is mourning his death after he was killed by a hit-and-run driver at about 10:00 Saturday night on Queen Victoria Avenue in Orange Walk Town. Cocom was declared dead on the spot after suffering massive head and body injuries. Police said that Santiago Cocom was trying to cross to the other side of the road when he was knocked down by a vehicle, which dragged him about 100 feet from where he was hit. The driver, after knowing that he had hit a person, drove away.

Cousins remanded for aggravated assault with a firearm
Nuri Polanco, 27, an unemployed resident of 7005 Antelope Street Extension and his cousin, Kenroy Willoughby, 21, a carpenter of 75 Antelope Street, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this morning and were remanded to prison after she arraigned them on a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm upon Jason Lamb. They pleaded not guilty and were remanded to prison until their next court date on July 14, 2014. The allegation against Polanco and Willoughby is that on Sunday, May 25, they committed an aggravated assault with a firearm upon Lamb, 23, a clerk and resident of 7020 Pelican Street Extension. Lamb reported to police that on Sunday, he was attending a family dinner at an address on Antelope Street Extension when he got into an argument with Kenroy Willoughby.

The Reporter

Belize kickstarts World No Tobacco Day festivities
Over six million people die annually from illnesses caused by tobacco products, and this week the National Drug Abuse Control Council is observing World No Tobacco Day to raise public awareness. The NDACC carried out simultaneous educational fairs at all its district offices, including Belmopan and San Pedro, to engage students and the community about the dangers that tobacco poses to its users and those in their surroundings. Esner Vellos, director of the NDACC, explained that even though the celebration date should be May 31, the council wanted students to take part in the activity. “They can not only come and see what we do in terms of tobacco programs, but also the general work of the national drug council, so they will know what are the other services we provide”, he said.

Argentine Vice President summoned in corruption case
Argentine Vice-President, Amado Boudou must appear in court later this year on a charge of corruption. The allegation is that Mr Boudou used his influence to ensure that a company he allegedly controlled got a contract to print Argentina’s banknotes. The case involving the Ciccone Calcografica printing company has been under investigation for more than three years. He was Argentina’s economy minister at the time. While the country’s opposition has called for his resignation, Mr Boudou has denied the charge. He is scheduled to appear in court on 15 July.

Accused killer recaptured
Edwin Paula, 30, the suspected mastermind behind a series of bold armed hold-ups, including one at the dorms at the University of Belize in 2013, is back in custody after a two-month-long run for freedom. Paula, who escaped while being transported from the prison to […]

Lead investigator in Penner case speaks out
Lead investigator in the Penner case, Assistant Commissioner of Police Russell Blackett, confirmed Thursday that he is in possession of the Penner case file. Blackett said that his office received the file about two weeks ago from the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, with […]

Police under investigation for shooting youth
Police officers from the San Ignacio Police Formation may face criminal charges for allegedly shooting a 19-year-old Unitedville youth with a 12-gauge shotgun to his lower back. Crime Investigation Branch is investigating the four officers who were on duty at the time in that […]

Belize Port planning for bulk-cargo shipping
The Belize Port Authority may soon see increased export activity due to a proposed development by a private company to facilitate bulk-cargo transportation using the facility. Port of Belize’s Arturo Vasquez explained that the Port has been in negotiations with a company called Belize […]

Mayor: Citco still having problems with garbage payments
The Belize City Council continues to have problems keeping up with its sanitation contracts, and is still several weeks in arrears. The Council continues to owe the sanitation company between two and four weeks, which is the limit that the contract allows for arrears, […]

New Auditor General report on the way
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley said that she has finally received the financial statements for the period 2011-2012 and should have her audit of those statements ready within the next three months. Bradley told The Reporter that she received the statements from Accountant General Veronica […]

GDP and exports down in first quarter, says SIB
Belize’s Gross Domestic Product for the first quarter of 2014 declined by 0.4 percent. The decline in GDP follows eight consecutive quarters of positive growth, the Statistical Institute of Belize’s data states. The decline was largely attributed to decreased output in three main sectors: agriculture, […]

Belizeans protest firing of UWI professor
Members of the church and various groups participated in an anti-gay protest last Friday at the Battlefield Park as a way to voice their objection to the recent firing of Professor Brendan Bain from the University of West Indies (UWI). The protesters, who carried […]

One week after the unceremonious sack- ing of Professor Brendan Bain, head of the UWI’s Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART), the Lesbian and Gay Rights Movement in Belize and the Caribbean has claimed another victim, Vice Chancellor E. Nigel Harris. Earlier this week Professor Harris announced that he would […]

Adjourned! COLA has one month to find evidence
COLA has one month to gather enough evidence to save its private prosecution case against former minister of state, Elvin Penner. On Thursday, Belmopan Magistrate Aretha Ford gave COLA (Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action) until June 26 to obtain the relevant substantiations or risk […]

AG wants to audit Central Health Region AGAIN!
The Auditor General’s Office is planning to do another audit of the Central Health Region (CHR) within the next few months to uncover irregularities which may have gone unnoticed in their first audit. Auditor General Dorothy Bradley told The Reporter that given the amount […]

Court costs paid in “shillings”
Attorney Arthur Saldivar and Burrell Boom resident Trevor Vernon used over $4,000 in coins this week to pay court costs from failed litigations. Saldivar used $2000 in coins to make his initial payment towards the $9,500 in legal fee owed to attorney Rodwell Williams. Vernon […]

Patrick Jones

PM Barrow proceeds on personal leave
The Honorable the Prime Minister Mr. Dean Barrow has traveled to the United States on what a statement from his office says is “personal/duty leave.” The official statement says that Mr. Barrow will be in the US until June 3, with scheduled stops in Houston, Texas and Washington, D.C. The Honorable the Deputy Prime Minister Mr. Gaspar Vega is currently acting as Prime Minister and he will hand over those acting duties on Saturday to the Honorable the Minister of National Security Mr. John Saldivar. Hon. Saldivar will then act as PM until Mr. Barrow’s return to the country next week.

Supreme Court lifts freezing order against Coye family
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Young this morning declined to continue a freezing order made against Melonie and Marlene Coye and their company Money Exchange International Limited. The Coye family was being sued along with Omni Networks Limited for monies owed to Panamanian company Internet Experts S.A. also known as Instadollar. In making her ruling Justice Young stated that Instadollar, represented by Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman had not made a good and arguable case for continuing with the order made on May 5, mere hours after fellow judge Shona Griffith had rescinded it. It essentially means that the Coyes can resume access as soon as the order is made available even as the civil matter continues. It all stems from an alleged agreement made between the Panamanian company and Belizean agents and subagents to open a Moneygram money exchange service in Belize.


Ambergris Caye has high population of smart people
For a small Island, I would say Ambergris Caye has a high population of smart people. There are many groups of smart people that meet up weekly with the shared interest of claiming bragging rights and a decent cash prize :) Three times a week they have the opportunity to test their skills with the trivia hosts quizzing local and tourist teams with random interesting questions about the world we live in. Test your knowledge weekly against fellow trivia buffs at the following local Bars: Coco Locos Tuesday night Trivia: The only trivia game north of the bridge. Start time is 7:00pm sharp, there is $5 small buy in, teams can be up to 4 people. Owner Sue walks around to each table and asks teams 18 – 20 questions at the end it is winner take all. Pedro’s Pizza Thursday night trivia: Start time 7:30, 5 people to a team with a $5 buy in. This one is done in rounds and Cindy will call out 5 rounds of 10 questions each with a short break in between each round and a bonus round at the end. Crazy Canucks Friday night Trivia: Start time 7:00 but it is wise to get there early to get a good spot as Think and Drink is a popular night and usually packed. 4 people to a team with a $5 buy in and the last Friday of every month part of the proceeds go to San Pedro Red Cross. Owner Rob does 3 rounds and a bonus speed round at the end. The winning team of each round gets a free shot. If there is a tie, the tiebreaker is usually a beer chug. This of course, helps keep the game at a level playing field.

Carlisle Holdings Limited (Carlisle) – Holding in BTL
Nasdaq: CLHL; London: CLH), a leader in outsourced facilities services and staffing services announced today that their Chairman, Michael A. Ashcroft had recently agreed to purchase 23.5% of Belize Telecommunications Ltd (BTL) previously held by MCI WorldCom, Inc. A twelve month option to purchase this additional BTL stake at cost plus financing was granted to Carlisle by Mr. Ashcroft which would give Carlisle a controlling interest in the company. Notwithstanding Carlisle’s current strategic direction to develop its services businesses in the United States and United Kingdom, the consolidation of BTL would create certain significant advantages which could help to maximize Carlisle’s shareholder value. Background Information Through its OneSource brand, Carlisle Group is a leader in the outsourced facilities services sector in the U.S. and provides janitorial, landscaping, commercial interior painting services, general repair and maintenance and other specialized services for more than 11,000 commercial, institutional and industrial accounts. In the U.K. Carlisle Group is also a leading provider of outsourced facilities services, through LI Group and Capitol Security Services, and has a significant presence in the staffing services sector under a number of leading brands, including Recruit, Indigo Selection and Tate in over 70 locations servicing a diverse base of over 5,000 clients in the following markets: IT, Finance and Banking, Office and Industrial, Education and Care, Retail, Truck Driving, Technical, Legal and Catering.

Scarlet Six Crowdfunding Campaign
The Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team is trying to raise money to help save the Scarlet Macaws in the Chiquibul National Park. Check out their crowdfunding page, and help them if you can. "Scarlet Six Biomonitoring Team is a small but dedicated group of Belizeans working to save the last remaining Scarlet Macaws in the remote Maya Mountains of Belize. Help us raise money for a long-range radio communication system which will enable the team to quickly and effectively communicate in cases of medical emergencies and poacher activity in these remote areas. This radio system will include a base radio, car battery, extendable antenna, programming, and hand held units for the field crew."

Constitutional Rights Seminar
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having a Constitutional Rights seminar at the Cayo Welcome Center, today, Saturday, May 31st, starting at 4:00pm. Learn more about your rights, and make more informed decisions.

International Sources

Six Key Questions for the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season
The 2014 Atlantic hurricane season is officially underway on Sunday, June 1. What will this year's hurricane season bring? My top six questions for the coming season: 1) When will the first "Invest", tropical depression, and named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season form? We have a chance of all three of these events occurring in the Gulf of Mexico during the first week of hurricane season, though the models are currently hazy about this. An area of disturbed weather in the Eastern Pacific located a few hundred miles south of Southeast Mexico is forecast to move slowly northwards towards the Gulf of Mexico Sunday through Tuesday. In their 8 am EDT Friday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave this system a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Wednesday. The 06Z Friday run of the GFS model predicts that this disturbance will make landfall in Southeast Mexico on Tuesday, then spread moisture northwards over the Gulf of Mexico late in the week.

Eastern Pacific May Yield Gulf of Mexico Tropical Concerns
Tropical troubles brewing in the eastern Pacific may lead to concerns in the Gulf and far northwestern Caribbean soon after the official start to the Atlantic hurricane season. meteorologists are monitoring an area south of Mexico, in the eastern Pacific, for a new tropical storm to take shape early next week. It is possible that the system's energy could then slowly fuel tropical development in the Atlantic Basin in the days that follow. Hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin officially commences on June 1.

Man Proposes to Girlfriend With Travel Video Four Years in the Making
Sept. 30, 2010. That’s the day Jack Hyer and his girlfriend Becca went on their first date. Afterward, he wrote this in his travel journal: “I’m going to marry this girl eventually.” And an elaborate idea for a proposal formed in his head. That was four years ago. Hyer, who calls himself a “globetrotter, explorer, budget travel expert” on his Twitter profile, has traveled 100,000 miles through 28 countries and spent four months abroad over the past four years. During that time, he and Becca were mostly apart, he said in his video introduction. So he worked on a proposal video. And, finally, it looks like the future Mr. and Mrs. Hyer will be honeymooning in Belize — for free. The Belize Tourism Board liked the video so much, it offered the couple a free honeymoon via Twitter:

Caribbean countries ended 2013 on a stronger economic footing – CDB
Caribbean countries ended 2013 on a more solid economic footing than it had done since the start of the 2007/2008 global economic recession, according to figures released by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The CDB, which is holding its 44th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors here, said that many of its borrowing member states (BMCs) recorded increases “albeit modest in economic activity”. CDB President Dr. Warren Smith said that “at the regional level, growth and sustainability were recurring themes in discussions about performance”. The CDB said that preliminary estimates indicate that the economic activity in the region grew by an average of 1.5 per cent last year, up slightly from a revised figure of 1.2 per cent for 2012.

Disaster-prone Central America shows it means business on climate legislation
The Montañona reserve is the biggest in the northern department of Chalatenango. Not only does it help keep the air clean and healthy, but the 70 water sources in its river basin supply at least 70,000 families in nearby urban areas. The forest protection scheme is part of the first phase of a national programme to restore ecosystems and natural landscapes, launched by the government in May 2012. Across Central America there are similar initiatives to preserve forests and coastal mangroves, which protect against storms, landslides, rising seas and soil erosion. Central American nations have been hammered by extreme weather and climate change impacts in recent years, including floods from heavy summer rains, strong winds, persistent drought and climate-sensitive plant diseases such as coffee rust. According to Nelson Cuellar, an expert with the Salvadoran Research Program on Development and Environment (PRISMA), this is because governments have differing development visions, with some focusing more on climate mitigation policies and others prioritising adaptation. “(Central America) is divided - each country moves individually in international negotiations,” he said. This remains so despite the launch of a regional climate change strategy in 2010 by the Central American Integration System (SICA), which comprises Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá and Dominican Republic.

Finding Hope in a Degraded Mangrove
“This is the island of Chira, where women work and men cry.” It was the third time the joke was told, and it still caused a good laugh among this group dominated by women from Chira Island, in Costa Rica’s Gulf of Nicoya. I was standing at the beginning of a “human chain” that was moving, one by one, more than 200 mangrove plants through a degraded mangrove forest. With me were CI consultants Maguil, Annette and Alejandro, as well as Ana, our CI marine program manager. This was their fourth day of work that week — my first — and we had all been up since 4:30 a.m., trying to evade the sun and high temperatures. At 8 a.m. it was already very humid and hot in the mangroves in the small community of Montero. But nothing seemed to dampen the spirits of the group — not mosquitoes, thirst, mud or the fact that each bag carrying dirt and a 12-inch mangrove plant weighed over 5 pounds [2.3 kilograms]. Nor the fact that once our chain of hands moved all the plants 100 feet [30 meters] or so, we would have to line up four more times to move the plants further into the more degraded areas of the forest.


Video: Belize Bank Mobile Banking Ad, 1/2min.

Video: BELIZE 2014,8 min.
Croisière en catamaran sur la deuxième plus grande barrière de corail après l'Australie... Survol et plongée dans le Blue Hole, unique au monde... Avant de visionner, n'oubliez pas de mettre la qualité au maximum...

Video: Belize Tripping - Snorkel Short, 11min.

Video: Jaguar, video captured during Lakeland College Belize trip, 10sec.

Video: Puma, video captured during Lakeland College Belize trip, 10sec.

Video: Ambergris Caye Belize 2014, 2min.
Diving with Sea Turtles

Video: Belize, 25min.
Belize Trip. May 4-11 2014. Great video. Zip lining, cave tubing, scuba diving, hanging out in Belize...

Video: Scuba diving in Belize, 2 1/2min.
I recently took a weekend trip to Ambergris Caye, which is an island off the coast of Belize. This video is GoPro footage from scuba diving at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, which is an area just 10 minutes from the beaches of San Pedro town.

Video: BELIZE 2014, 8min.
Croisière en catamaran sur la deuxième plus grande barrière de corail après l'Australie... Survol et plongée dans le BLUE HOLE, site unique au monde... Avant de visionner, n'oubliez pas de mettre la qualité au maximum...

Video: High on Belize in Isla Marisol Resort, 12min.
Located 36 miles off the coast of beautiful Belize, Isla Marisol is a private island resort and one of the last true paradises in the Caribbean. From scuba diving and snorkeling, to deep sea fishing or beachcombing, your stay at Isla Marisol Resort will be nothing short of the experience of a lifetime. The private island resort offers the unique opportunity to enjoy one of the few remaining paradises in the world.

Video: Hol Chan Marine Reserve Snorkeling Tour, 1min.

Video: Rosie and Kyle's Big Trip: Central America, 5min.
The highlights of our amazing two months travelling through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama - such a beautiful part of the world!

May 30, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Public Service Sector celebrates annual Information Day
Public officers on Ambergris Caye celebrated the 2nd annual Belize Public Service Information Day on Wednesday, May 28th. The event was held under the theme “Belize Public Service: Service for You, Service for Me, Serving the Public, Serving Belize,” and is part of country-wide activities ahead of Public Service Day. 23 of the 24 government departments on the island participated in the event, which took place at the San Pedro Central Park. Public Service Day is held celebrated worldwide on June 23rd, and in Belize, the Public Service Day Committee decided to celebrate Public Service Information Day on different dates throughout the various municipalities. This was done to allow more participation from the schools, as well as to capitalize on favorable weather conditions. The main purpose of the event is to give the government departments the opportunity to showcase their work, network with other departments and receive public feedback on ways to further improve service delivery.

PAHO/WHO release new statistics on Dengue in the Americas
The number of dengue cases in the Americas increased five-fold between 2003 and 2013, according to data presented this week at a high-level regional meeting on dengue hosted by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) this week. Between 2009 and 2012, over 1 million cases were reported annually, on average, with more than 33,900 severe cases and 835 deaths. Last year (2013) was one of the worst years for dengue in the hemisphere’s history, with 2.3 million cases, including 37,705 severe cases and 1,289 deaths. By comparison, the number of cases reported regionwide in 2003 was 517,617. Despite countries’ efforts to control the disease, dengue continues to spread due to uncontrolled, unplanned urbanization, lack of basic services in communities, poor environmental management, and climate change, among other reasons. In the Americas, nearly 500 million people are at risk of contracting the disease. “Controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits the disease, is a great regional and global challenge,” said Marcos Espinal, Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis at PAHO/WHO. “All government sectors, communities, and families have to work together to fight the vector and control this disease, which knows no borders, discriminates against no one , and is everyone’s problem, not just the health sector’s.”

It starts with the first step: my journey in Crossfit with CrossfitCFS
I even agreed to share my experiences with readers of The San Pedro Sun! Everyone’s journey is unique. When that desire has built up and you are ready to make a change, nothing can stop you. I hope my experience can help in pushing you the extra step that will land you at the starting gate. If anything, doing something this different is tons of fun! Believe me, I did the jogging along the beach (until I decided that my legs really hated running). I worked out in the privacy of my home off and on for a year, trying to ‘get fit’ before I would work out in public. I didn’t want anyone to think of me as too fat or too out of shape to be in the gym. (Really! What was I thinking?!) Guess what? Those people working out around me? They’re too busy trying to finish their own workout to notice that I’m breathing heavily or that I have to take a rest. They are trying hard to be better versions of themselves too! The mental hurdle is the hardest, and once I crossed that line, I have not looked back!!

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Information Day Opens Minds of Students
Students were invited at Central Park on Wednesday, May 18, to open their minds by participating San Pedro Information Day 2014, put together by the Ministry of Public Service, the San Pedro Sub-Committee and the San Pedro Town Council. After a brief welcome address by San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero and remarks by Hon. Senator Charles Gibson, Minister of Public Service, Elections & Boundaries, students were invited to visit the various booths set up for them to obtain as much information as they desire. Government Departments that had information booths on display included the Labor Department, Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Belize Tourist Board, Border Management Agency, Customs & Excise Department, Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic 2, Education Department, Election & Boundaries, Fire Department, General Sales Tax Department, Human Development, Hol Chan and Fisheries Department, Immigration & Nationality Department, Income Tax Department, Magistrate Court, National Institute of Culture and History, NDACC – Ministry of Health, National Emergency Management Organization, Police Department, San Pedro Post Office, Transport Department San Pedro, Treasury Department and Youth Development.

Tragic Death of Washington University Medical Student in San Pedro
It saddens the administration, instructors, students, and staff of Washington University of Health and Science in announcing the sudden passing and loss of newly accepted medical student Suzanna Kaup on Tuesday. As a new first semester student to the medical university, Ms. Kaup began matriculating within the San Pedro, Ambergris Caye campus on May 12, 2014. The U.S. Information Office of Washington University of Health and Science was contacted early Tuesday afternoon by a family member of Ms. Kaup indicating concern of her well-being, requesting assistance from the university to check-in on her. A medical doctor/instructor along with an administrative assistant of WUHS immediately went to her San Pedro residence where they received no response. Family members provided information which permitted authorities to enter her apartment. Upon entering the apartment, Ms. Kaup was located and immediate medical attention including CPR was administered by the physician in attendance.

Industria del Amor to Highlight Costa Maya Festival 2014
With the success of presenting Los Yonics at last year’s festival, the Costa Maya Festival Committee announces the confirmed concert performance of Industria del Amor during International Night of the festival that will take place on Saturday, August 9, 2014. California’s Industria del Amor began in the late ’80s, scoring several minor hits in Mexico before breaking out in the early ’90s as a sort of mid-level soft-rock Tejano ballad hit machine. The group’s major hit single was “A Capa y Espada” and their albums continued chart throughout the years after. The group’s continuing popularity was confirmed with the release of two greatest-hits packages, 30 Inolvidables and 30 Inolvidables, Vol. 2, both of which were Top 20 Latin chart hits in 2003.

People’s United Party Public Meeting
Belize Rural South members, its advisors and supporters commit to make this campaign season 2014-2015 a clean, respectable and constructive one. We insist that it is extremely necessary to avoid personal attacks for the sole purpose of giving the many issues our community faces the light they deserve. It is our duty and obligation to ensure the election of professional and respectful candidates and will work diligently in keeping this election’s campaign on a professional level. We also acknowledge that it is not necessary to bring down our competitors in order to make us better candidates. We are under greatest confidence that our candidates have and will continue to be outstanding members of this community and that alone will lead this campaign trail to victory. Through this medium we would like to extend an invitation to the general public to attend a meeting to be held Friday, May 30, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. at the Belize Rural South PUP Office, across from the Lion’s Den on Pelican Street. We will be presenting our candidates for the municipal elections, Mayoral Candidate Dr. Giovanni Solorzano, Councilors: Conchita Flota, Omar Guerrero, Marina Kay, Alex Noralez, Mundo Nunez, and Wally Nunez Jr.

Misc Belizean Sources

National Public Service Information Day 2014 (81 photos)
On Thursday, May 28, 2014, the Central Park was setup with various booths where all Public Service Departments had setup their booths with informative posters, pictures, banners and decorations in celebration of National Public Service Information Day 2014. Master of Ceremonies of the event, Mr. Jorge Aldana, welcomed everyone present to the event and invited Mr. Clive Welsh from the Lighthouse Christian Radio to offer the invocation. Sining the National Anthem was pre-schooler Alfredo Gongora, which was quite impressive. Mayor Daniel Guerrero then offered the welcome address and thanked all the people working at the various departments for their hard work. Keynote speaker for the event was Hon. Senator Charles Gibson, Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries. Before officially opening the event the participating departments were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation which was given by Ms. Ninfa Matus, fro the Public Service Day National Committee. The participating departments were: 1. Labour Department 2. Belize Agricultural Health Authority 3. Belize Tourist Board 4. Border Management Agency 5. Customs & Excise Department 6. Dr. Otto Rodriguez Clinic #2 7. Education Department 8. Elections & Boundaries Department 9. Fire Department 10. General Sales Tax Department 11. Hol Chan and Fisheries Department 12. Human Development 13. Immigration & Nationality Department 14. Income Tax Department 15. Magistrate Court 16. National Institute of Culture & History 17. NDACC- Ministry of Health 18. NEMO 19. Police Department 20. San Pedro Post Oce 21. San Pedro Transport Department 22. Treasury Department 23. Youth Department

Mr. Abel Guerrero, our new town foreman
The San Pedro Town Council would like to extend a warm welcome and at the same time introduce you all to Mr. Abel Guerrero, our new town foreman. With his managerial expertise, Mr. Guerrero will ensure that workers are organized and that our town is maintained clean and well-kept. Mr. Guerrero brings with him more than 35 years of experience in supervision as he was previously the manager at Krystal Shipping and prior to that, the co-manager at The Victoria House. He is a very hard working man with nothing but the town's best interest at heart. Welcome Mr. Abel Guerrero!

Full Moon Concert featuring Super Furia Band
Pin your Calendars for the upcoming month of June. The Corozal House of Culture (NICH) has the month of June loaded with various events - June 14th the House of Culture will be hosting another Full Moon Concert featuring Super Furia Band! Come out with the family and Enjoy!

Surgical technician: Helping people is its own reward
For U.S. Staff Sgt. Nicholasa Partida, New Horizons surgical service technician, "helping people, in general, is its own reward," she said. As a surgical service technician, Partida finds herself in operating rooms assisting surgeons and specialists as they perform necessary, and sometimes life-saving, procedures. In Belize, she is doing the same as part of New Horizons Belize 2014, a multi-faceted exercise that provides valuable training experiences for Belizean and U.S. medical providers. "This is my first humanitarian mission, and it's pretty awesome," said Partida, a native of Victoria, Texas. "I'm here helping patients. I'm here helping the urologists. "Back home, everything can seem real routine, but it's not routine here at all," she said of the opportunity to train and learn in her field. "There are a lot of things you would normally not see in the states. Here, we're going back to the basics." The technician has found that flexibility is imperative when conducting operations in an unfamiliar environment.

Mergers and Cutbacks!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Oh you minister in charge of the people’s finances! Please stop enriching your friends and cronies Kindly review the tapes of the Cayo teachers' rally Listen to Don Hector’s suggestions of saving monies He suggested merging ministries and cutting back on ambassadors’ responsibilities How are you so out of touch with your people’s realities? Don Hector suggested mergers and cutbacks To get the country back on track His suggestion was to you despots Who want to take the citizenry for idiots? Belizeans must mount a counterattack We the working poor are enduring the rise in tax There is talk about merging Excelsior, Sadie Vernon and Maud Williams High Teachers are of the opinion that their hands are tied These nonsensical moves must not be allowed to fly What so many people in this ministry so qualified? If this is not planned properly we are sending our children to die More mothers are going to cry

CDB approves loan for highway upgrade, gender capacity building for Belize
The directors of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) have approved a loan of US$29.719 million to the government of Belize that will allow for the rehabilitation of a major highway and the replacement of the Haulover Bridge. The loan will fund upgrade of 9.81 km of the Philip S. W. Goldson Highway, one of three main arterial roads in the country’s road network. This upgrade is expected to reduce congestion as well as improve safety on the highway, which passes through the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. This area is of increasing importance for tourism and trade. The historic Haulover Bridge is a major thoroughfare providing the only access to and from Belize City, and from the airport.

Mrs. Anna Banner Guy, was elected as the new Deputy Mayor of Belmopan
At a meeting of the Belmopan City Council held on Thursday, 22nd May, 2014, Mrs. Anna Banner Guy, was elected as the new Deputy Mayor of Belmopan for 2014-2015. She succeeds Councilor Joel Westby who held the post for period 2013-2014. Mrs. Guy is the only elected female in the Council, she is a successful entrepreneur and youth advocate. She is the founder and President of the Belmopan Active Youth (BAY), a fast growing community youth group with over 500 members, which aims to empower, educate and positively entertain youths of Belmopan. She was recently nominated for the 2014 United States Embassy Woman of the Year award. She also holds the portfolio of Community Resource Development, Seniors, Women, Public Health and Youth. She currently chairs the 2014 Belmopan Celebrations Committee and serves on several boards in relation to her duties as a council member.

Mango Pound Cake
Ingredients 1 stick butter, room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup mango puree (1 fresh mango, peeled and processed in the blender) 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Here’s How: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one loaf pan. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the mango puree and mix until incorporated. Sift the baking soda and flour together. Add to the creamed mixture alternating with eggs, beating in each egg 1 at a time. Add vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Enjoy!

Centennial Park Fajina Project
CACHE is having their Fajina Project this Saturday morning, and they'll be upgrading Centennial Park. It was moved to the 31st from the 26th. Snacks will be provided for volunteers, so lend a hand if you can. "Working towards our community is one CACHE's key roles. Lets all work for our community and build one where everyone can feel proud of what we are and what we make of it. Monday 26th a Fajina Project will be carried out. Be there. Make the difference. Let the community be a part of you, and not you be a part of the community. Snacks and refreshments will be provided."

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 18
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly.

Hon. Dean Barrow Departed the Country on Personal/Duty Leave
Government of Belize Press Office

Ms. Rheisha Shol representing Belize in Houston Caribbean Queen Pageant. Support Belize and Vote for her.
Houston Caribbean Queen Pageant is a cultural, educational, and festive event that seeks to celebrate the talent and intellectual abilities of young Caribbean women. The HCQ pageant will be a distinguished public affair held in Houston, which will showcase feminine charisma, poise, congeniality and positive spirit among contestants. The pageant will present an opportunity of a life-time to aspiring young Caribbean women in Houston and surrounding areas. The pageantry aims to bring out the best qualities such as talent, public speaking skills, commitment to public service, discipline and drive for success from young pageant hopefuls. It will offer the female ambassadors the opportunity for personal enhancement through an educational scholarship, as well as other cash prizes and gifts. The HCQ winner will be a role model and an inspiration to young women both in Houston and the Caribbean. Read her bio here.

Channel 7

Hon. Penner Back To Court On Criminal Charge
For the past 2 months, Elvin Penner has been out on bail from Magistrate's Court after he was criminally charged for 2 immigration offenses. His prosecution was initiated by the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), after the Director of Public Prosecutions stated that she doesn't have enough evidence at her disposal to prosecute him for his role in the Won Hong Kim Passport scandal. But all through that time, COLA and its attorney Kareem Musa have not had any kind of success with the Auditor General, the Ombudsman and the Commissioner of Police to get evidence to substantiate their criminal case against Penner. So, today, they went back to court for the first adjournment of the case, and 7News was there. Here's how it went: Daniel Ortiz reporting Elvin Penner exited the courtroom today stoic and silent, not a hint of concern that he was being criminally prosecuted.He ignored all questions from the press demanding a comment for this scandal, which he has yet to publicly address since his email to 7News. The fact is though, he got one step closer to walking away from this criminal case and walking away unscathed. The private prosecution just barely made it past this adjournment after heated arguments from both sides.

Customs Guard Dies In Traffic Accident
Well-known customs Guard Frank Mango Robinson died in a traffic accident in Belize City this afternoon. It happened this afternoon at around 3:00 pm. Robinson was driving a DMax pickup truck headed towards Belmopan. But, reports say that at the end of the Lord Ridge Cemetery, Robinson took an abrupt turn as if he was about to head back towards the city. But, he didn't pay attention to the ten wheel dump truck behind him and that rammed into the side of the pickup. The impact was massive and Robinson was crushed inside. He had to be extracted by the jaws of life. Regrettably, he died as a result of his injuries. His passenger, a female who works at the Customs Department was seriously injured but is reported in a stable condition. Those on the scene at the time tell us he was using his cellular telephone, and that's why he may not have realized the dump truck was right behind him.

Ecuador Wants Ebanks, but How Will They Get Him?
For weeks, we've been reporting on the Ecuadoran Fugitive, Floyd Wendel Ebanks - who was living in Belize under the name Christian Ebanks. He remains on remand at the Belize Central Prison for firearm possession. The last we heard from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was that the Ecuadorians hadn't made any formal request for him to be handed over. But today, we caught up with the Commander of the Gang Suppression Unit, Superintendent Linden Flowers. He told us that law enforcement from that country has made contact with him, and that they're seeking him for murder: Supt. Linden Flowers, Commander - Gang Suppression Unit "Communications that have been received out of Ecuador is in fact that Mr. Ebanks is a person of interest in Ecuador and I would say that it has to do with a murder that occurred in Ecuador some years ago." Reporter "He is wanted for that murder?" Supt. Linden Flowers "He is wanted as part of that investigation." Reporter "Has the communication led to any diplomatic relationship meaning that they are asking for him to be send to Ecuador?" Supt. Linden Flowers "There is communication in that he would be a person on interest and they would like to have communication with him."

Very Dangerous Prisoner Recaptured
As we told you, Paula, who is charged with a slew of criminal offences including robbery and murder, was being transferred to Belmopan for a court hearing on February 3. He managed to pull a Houdini and escaped from a moving police van when it slowed down at a speed bump in Cotton Tree. Since then, he's been on the run, but that came to an end last night when police got intelligence that he was in the Salvapan area of Belmopan. The Commanding officer from the Belmopan Police station explained his recapture to the media today: Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police "We found that Mr. Edwin Paula was one of the persons who was pending to be recaptured. This morning shortly after 2 based on information we gathered we launched an operation in the Salvapan area where Mr. Edwin Paula, 30 years unemployed of San Martin area was found in a hotel the name I do not care to disclose, and he was in the company of one Martha Vasquez, nineteen-years-old.

Man Found Dead In Cayo District, Murder Suspected
Tonight, San Ignacio police continue to investigate the death of a man who was found yesterday evening in Los Tambos Village in the Cayo District. At this time, they don't know if it is murder, or if the man died of natural causes. 28 year-old Honduran Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez was found dead inside his room on a farm. The problem is that there was no evidence that was found that his death could have been caused by violence. The only signs police found were several chop wounds all over his face and, left shoulder, and what's even more perplexing is that he got those in a fight 10 days ago. He was treated at the Western Regional Hospital, and he was released, so police are trying to determine if those wounds ended up claiming his life after such a long time later. Today, the Deputy Commander of San Ignacio Police told us about what they know so far:

Cops Blocking Investigation Into Shooting
And while we had the Opportunity, we asked the Deputy Commander from San Ignacio Police about that report from 19 year-old Elston Arnold who says that a police shot him in the back in Unitedville on Monday Morning, and left him for dead. As we've reported Arnold has complained to police internal affairs that the officer who shot him with a shotgun did so without any reason because he wasn't resisting arrest or assaulting the officer in any way. Today Inspector Reyes told us that police strongly suspect that one of 4 officers pulled the trigger, but they are using their knowledge as officers of the law to evade prosecution: Inspector Reymundo Reyes - Deputy OC "In respect to that case here a criminal investigation has been launched. Statements from the victim has been recorded as well as his companions who were along with him. Internal affairs has also come in and interviewed officers which we are also doing - statements and reports obtained from them. We are still in the process of doing a re-interview with the officers and then submit all the information that we have to the office of DPP for directives."

Hapless Bank Robber Ready For Charges
And while that shooting could possibly result in criminal charges for one of those 4 officers, the officer who shot Teakettle resident Cannon Obispo will likely get recognized for good police work. As we told you, Obispo went on a robbery spree in Belmopan where he stole from a clothing store and then stole $6,500 from a patron inside the Scotia Bank across the street. He tried to escape, and when the officer responded and cornered him, Obispo pulled out a machete and threatened him with it. The officer was forced to shoot him to subdue and arrested him, after which, $5,500 dollars of the stolen money was recovered. The officer commanding Belmopan Police told us that Obispo continues to recover from his wounds at the KHMH under police guard. As soon as he is released, he will be facing criminal charges, including robbery:

Dr. Barnett Resigns From CDB, Takes Up Chair of BTB
Dr. Carla Barnett has officially resigned from her senior post at the Caribbean Development Bank. Barnett was appointed to the post of Vice President Operations in March of 2012. On Monday the Bank posted a terse release announcing her resignation effective May 23rd, 2014. It quotes President Dr. Warren Smith and says, "We appreciate Dr. Barnett's service and contribution and wish her well in her future endeavors," Those future endeavors bring here right back to Belize where Barnett will take up the post as Chair of the Belize Tourism Board in mid June. Barnett was the Cabinet choice for new Chair of the BTB which has had a recent history of governance issues, resulting in the resignations of two Directors of Tourism and one Board Chairman in two years.

BEL Cashes In On Excess Liquidity
The commercial banks are being stingier than ever with super-low interest rates on savings, and that allowed BEL to cash in big time with its latest debenture offering. The power company opened a $25 million dollar debenture offering on May fifth, and it reports today that as of today, it been fully subscribed. That's 32 days before the advertised closing date - and a sign that there's a lot of money out there looking for a secure, higher interest yield. This series of debentures yield a fixed interest rate of 6.5 per cent and will mature in 16 years on December 31, 2030. The company reports that it had to turn down 20 million dollars in surplus offers for the debentures. So, the offer is now officially closed and BEL says the proceeds will be used to refinance the $24.8 million Series 3 Debentures which carried a 10% interest rate. The company has consistently paid interest on time to Debenture holders.

Four Manatee Deaths In Three Days
Last night at the end of the news - we told you about a manatee corpse that was seen floating in the Belize City Harbor - just behind Brodies Warehouse on Southern Foreshore. Today, manatee expert Jamal Galvez went in to remove the corpse - which had floated over to the vicinity of the Dive Center, which is closer to the swing bridge. Galvez and his assistant had to drag it off to a nearby island off the coast of Belize City. It is alarming news since it is the fourth report made of a dead manatee within the last 3 days - all as a result of watercraft collision. Jamal Galvez- Manatee Conservation Coordinator "Within the last 3 days we've had 4 dead manatees; 3 in the Haulover Creek and one in the Tourist Village area, all as a result f water craft collision mainly from huge boats from big propellers, not small propellers. All of the animals were found along the "No Wake" areas which is quite alarming because that's the last place you would want to see dead manatees in the area that you are supposed to be going slow.

Brothers Charged For Rape
25 year-old Jeffrey Pott and his brother, 27 year-old Roger Pott are out on bail tonight after being accused of attacking 2 sisters, one of whom was allegedly raped. A 16 year-old girl reported to police that on May 2, she woke up and found Jeffrey Pott on top of her 17 year-old sister having intercourse with her against her will because the young woman was drunk and asleep. She told police that when she saw this, she attacked Jeffrey Pott, and that's when his brother Roger intervened and pulled a hammer on her.

Tillett Accused of Thievery
37 year-old Eugene Tillett, a construction worker of Western Avenue, was taken to court today for breaking into a woman's house and cleaning her out of all her belongings. The complainant, Edelma Ruiz, reported to the police that her house, located at 141 Cemetery Road, was burglarized on Tuesday, and several household items including electronics and jewelry were stolen. Quick police work led officers to Tillett that same day. He was caught with a bag which contained all the stolen items, so, he was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of $4,000. His case was adjourned until July 10.

A Plan For The Department of The Environment
The Department of the Environment - known as the D-O-E - is coming up with a new five-year action plan. The last one expired in 2011, and now the World Bank has stepped up to provide funding and technical assistance. Today, the DOE, conducted a National Stakeholder Consultation Workshop for industry, government and civil society stakeholders, as well as interested private individuals. Chief Environmental Officer Martin Allegria told us what it's about: Martin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer "Because with time, things change, new priorities comes in, new issues arises that are of importance that take the headline and so we need to plan and execute actions needed. The paramount in every action plan - the past 4 that we have had since 1992 has always been environmental planning. Physical, environment and social planning - all those are part of and that's why the theme that World Bank set up has a social plan a part of it and we acknowledge it."

Haulover Bridge Will Be Replaced
Last night we told you about the 29 million US Dollar loan that the CDB had approved for roadwork's in Belize. But the release wasn't quite clear about what roads would be repaired. Well, we spoke with the CEO in the Ministry of Works Errol Gentle and he told us that the money will be used to upgrade the Northern Highway from the Burrell Boom junction to the first roundabout entering Belize City. He says the upgrade will include a new bridge to replace the Haulover Bridge. That's right, the decades old Haulover will be replaced by a new two lane bridge. But the old Haulover will be rehabilitated before it is removed, while the new one is being built beside it. The CEO says it can may be moved and used somewhere else after the new one is opened.

UDP Hopeful Speaks About Cayo Convention
At the top of the newscast, we told you about Eduardo Salim Juan, one of the 3 UDP Aspirants for Cayo Northeast who are trying to replace Elvin Penner as Standard Bearer. The other 2 are former 3-term San Ignacio Mayor John August Jr. and Tony McNab. Though they're all newcomers to the Cayo Northeast Constituency. And as we've told you, although Penner is still an elected area representative, the UDP have distanced themselves from him in the wake of the Citizen Kim passport scandal. That's left a political vacuum that needs to be filled, and these men want the job. We asked Juan about his campaign today and how he intends to win the convention: Eduardo Salim Juan - UDP Aspirant, Cayo Northeast "My strategy is to visit every single house. House to house, deal with our people, find out what the problems in our villages are and the problem that we have with the residents."

Chief Environmental Officer Alegria On Azul
Puerto Azul - the proposed mega luxury development has conservationists in an uproar. That's because it's planned for Northern Two Caye on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. It's seen as a delicate environment, and it is an area of high use for many lobster fishermen. Right now, the project is only at the proposal stage, and we asked the Chief Environmental Officer Martin Allegria what he had heard about it:... Martin Allegria, Chief Environmental Officer "What I can tell you is that project has been in the discussion not officially but out there for the past year and a half or so. It has come back, revised and based on conversations we have had with the investment committee and other ministers and so on. But where we are at this stage in terms of the department of the environment I will have to find out and let you know Monday or next week."

Belize's Lady Jaguars Taking Goals But Gaining Experience
Earlier this month, the Belize National Women's Football Team, the Lady Jaguars, went to Guatemala to participate in the UNCAF Female tournament in that country. It's part of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers, but the Lady Jaguars performed in less than spectacular fashion. Today, the President of the Football Federation of Belize told us that though the losses were tough, he's happy that they're getting the experience: Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "Our first game was against Honduras and we lost 8-1 to Honduras and we played our second match against Panama, panama defeat us 13-1. In the third game which was against Guatemala, we lost 5 goals 2-0." Reporter "The goals that were scored, who scored those goals?"

FFB Getting Ready For Champion's League
Since March, the Football Federation of Belize has been doing an extensive renovation of their football field in Belmopan. This upgrade is budgeted at 1.8 million dollars, and it will see the only stadium that was FIFA certified to reach standards seen in other Central American Countries which focus very strongly on the sport. The most exciting thing for the FFB is that Belize will be able to take part in the Champion's League: Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "The work here began in the month of March with the electrical part of it doing the lights, doing the bleachers as well as the locker rooms and the field itself and so we are way ahead. We are a little behind of course with the pitch but we will catch up this week because the people who are working on the pitch are committed to complete all of this work this week. If you notice behind here the trucks are running the dirt and once it's leveled and rolled then the pipes are going to be laid for the drainage as well as the irrigation. And so that is going to be done this weekend."

YES Saying No To Hopelessness
Youth Enhancement Services - better known as Y-E-S - has tapped into the European Union funded Belize Rural Development Programme for a novel programme. They got twenty two thousand dollars approved for a craft center in Lord's Bank LAdyville. That includes equipment, training and the building for the craft center. At the opening today, we found out how it will be pout to use:.. The craft center is located near Ramos Bus in Lord's Bank across from the Youth Enhancement Services Training Centre.

Belmopan Police Building Morale
Superintendent Howell Gillett became the commanding officer of the Belmopan Police Station on April 30, and since then, he's been working out different strategies to improve performance within his jurisdiction. He's been observing the success of precinct policing in Belize City, and after careful planning, Gillett will employ aspects of that model at the Belmopan Police Station. He also says that he's working on building morale in the officers under his command: Gillett tells us that he will reactivate a number of community policing initiatives, to increase the relationship between his officers and the community they serve.

Channel 5

Fatal traffic accident in Belize City claims the life of Customs Officer
A customs officer identified as Frank Robinson, en route to Belize City shortly after three o’clock this afternoon, lost his life in yet another fatal road traffic accident.  The collision [...]

Salvadoran fugitive Edwin Paula recaptured in Belmopan
After four months of being on the run, thirty-year-old Edwin Paula, indicted on charges of robbery and murder, has been recaptured by police during an overnight raid.  After being arraigned [...]

Elvin Penner returns to court; case adjourned
The private prosecution brought by COLA against former Minister of State Elvin Penner came back to the courtroom of Magistrate Aretha Ford in Belmopan this morning. Penner sat through the [...]

Honduran national murdered in Los Tambos
On Wednesday night, we reported that the body of a man had been found in Los Tambos, which is located in the Cayo District. Police have identified the body as [...]

Chief Environmental officer speaks on tourism development projects
The Puerto Azul Project by an Italian development company has been raising the ire of environmentalists. Last week, ministers Manuel Heredia and Erwin Contreras were at the Cannes Film Festival [...]

NCL mega-tourism project in its final stages
Another mega development project that has come under a lot of fire from various quarters is the Norwegian Cruise Line’s multimillion dollar port of call on Harvest Caye. As of [...]

Department of Environment holds workshop to develop 10 year plan
The Department of the Environment is updating its policy framework and action plan. Since its establishment in 1992, D.O.E. has formulated four, five-year plans. Today, key stakeholders, including the private [...]

Woman charged with harm for attacking her stepmother
  A stepdaughter who felt she was being disrespected pleaded guilty to two counts of harm upon her step mother and her sister. Stephanie Flowers was charged after she admitted [...]

Carla Barnett resigns as Vice President of the Caribbean Development Bank
  Doctor Carla Barnett is heading back home to chair the Belize Tourism Board. Back in April, the government announced that Barnett was taking over as Chairperson of the Belize [...]

World Milk Day 2014
World Milk Day was first celebrated in Belize in 2012 but the event has been growing leaps and bounds. This morning, the Santiago Castillo Group of companies staged a fair [...]

Prerogative – a new exhibit opens at the Mexican Institute
Four budding Belizean artists are holding an art exhibition called ‘Prerogative’, the venue is the Mexican Institute. The exhibit includes a wide range of pieces that were completed individually by [...]

Tracking baby turtles; a Wildlife Conservation Society feature
For the past fourteen years, May twenty-third has been celebrated as World Turtle Day.  The event is primarily to build awareness on the plight of the turtles because the shelled [...]

Healthy Living looks at preparations for Cancer Walk 2014
The annual Cancer Awareness Walk from Ladyville to Belize City takes place this Saturday. The event has continued to attract thousands of Belizeans year after year to walk the almost [...]


Fugitive Captured After Three Months
30-year-old prisoner Edwin Paula who had been on the run since February was recaptured earlier today when Police conducted an operation at an apartment complex in the Salvapan area of Belmopan. Paula was found in the company of a 19-year-old woman. Both persons were detained. Paula was charged along with three other men with three counts of robbery and murder in connection with the shooting death of Salvadoran national Isabel Antonio Balona. On February 3, Paula was being transported from Central Prison to the Belmopan Police Station when the van slowed down at a bump in Cotton Tree Village and he managed to escape. Paula was also charged with nine counts of aggravated assault for the robbery of students at the dormitory at the University of Belize last year.

Customs Boatman Perishes in Road Incident
A traffic accident on the George Price Highway proved fatal this evening as an employee of the Customs Department is dead while his passenger is hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. It was just before three o’clock this evening when a Government silver pickup truck assigned to the Customs Department was clipped by a sand truck which sent the vehicle spinning off to the left side of the highway. Upon our arrival at the scene the Customs boatman, 51-year-old, Frank Robinson and 24-year-old, Customs clerk, Camira Brown were already transported to the hospital with Robinson in a critical condition. Both vehicles were headed west from Belize City and according to the sand truck driver, he was heading to mile seven when Robinson made a sudden u-turn and so the impact was unavoidable. Robinson was pronounced dead at 3:50 this evening. The sand truck is the property of Imer Hernandez Development Company Limited from Orange Walk Town. Love will have more on this story in tomorrow’s newscast.

A Case of Rape Goes Complex
Twenty-five year old Jeffrey Pott, an unemployed of Victoria Street, was charged with rape when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Pott was released on a bail of seven thousand dollars. His case was adjourned until July 31. According to the allegation, a 16 year old girl, who is a sister of the alleged rape victim, a 17 year old, reported that at about 4 a.m. on May 2, she awoke to find Pott on top of her sister having sex with her against her will. The 16 year old said her sister was drunk and asleep. As a result of the report, an altercation ensued between the family of the alleged rape victim and the family of the alleged perpetrator.

Caught Red Handed with Stolen Goods But He Pleads Not Guilty
Thirty-seven year old Eugene Tillett, a construction worker of Western Avenue who allegedly broke into a house on Cemetery Road, was charged with burglary and handling stolen goods when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Tillett pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of our thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until July 10. The complainant, Edelma Ruiz, reported to the police that on Tuesday, May 27, her house, located on Cemetery Road, was burglarized and several household items were stolen. The items amounted to just over four thousand dollars in value. The police investigated the matter and later the same day they reported that they found Tillett with a bag that contained all of the stolen items.

Debentures Fully Prescribed Before Deadline
BEL’s 25 million dollar series six debentures have been fully prescribed. According to the company this is thirty two days before the scheduled closing date. The Series 6 Debentures will yield a fixed interest rate of 6.5 per cent and will mature in 16 years on December 31, 2030. The cost of each debenture was one hundred dollars. According to BEL’s Senior Manager Finance & Human Resources they received subscriptions for over 45 million dollars. The proceeds are being utilized in whole or in part to refinance the 24.8 million dollars Series 3 Debentures bearing interest at 10 per cent, and or to redeem existing Debentures held by Debenture holders who chose not to invest in the new offering. According to the BEL official, the Company is in the process of allocating the debentures based on subscriptions received and will advise subscribers of the status of their subscriptions by June 6.


COLA Gets Extension to Collect Elusive Evidence Against Penner
Ex Minister of State and current Area Representative for Cayo North East Hon. Elvin Penner appeared in court today before Magistrate Aretha Ford for the second day for disclosure of evidence for the Prosecution of Elvin Penner. On February 28th, 2014, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA filed a private prosecution against the Area [...]

Police Recapture Murder Suspect in Hotel of Belmopan
Four months on the run, but today, escaped prisoner Edwin Paula was recaptured by police. Paula, who was on remand for murder, escaped on February 3rd while he and other inmates were being transported from the Central Prison in a police van. When the van reached the pedestrian ramp in Cotton Tree Village, Paula somehow [...]

Customs Officer Perishes in Road Traffic Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident this afternoon at mile two on the George Price Highway. The incident happened around 2:30 this afternoon and claimed the life of a customs officer. Frank Robinson aka “Mango” was driving a Gray Isuzu D-Max, property of the Government of Belize and was travelling with two other men when [...]

Cayo Police Investigates the Murder of a Honduran National
The body of a Honduran national identified as 28 year old Oscar Armando Gomez Alvarez was reportedly found in the outskirts of a village in the District of Cayo, called Los Tambos. According to reports, Alvarez has not been in Belize very long. Sources say he arrived in the village of Los Tambos some two [...]

Government Loan for Roads Linked to Gender Capacity Building
The Caribbean Development Bank has approved a 30.1 million dollar loan to Belize for rehabilitation of 9.81 km of the Philip S. W. Goldson Highway and the replacement of the Haulover Bridge. But $110,000 of that loan has to be used to assist in financing consultancy services for gender capacity building within the Ministry of [...]

Teachers to be Dismissed Due to Amalgamation of Southside Schools
The Ministry of Education is planning to merge three Southside Belize City high schools – Maud Williams High School, Sadie Vernon Technical High and Excelsior High School. We understand that this is to be done by August of this year, in time for the new school year. On Wednesday evening, there was a meeting hosted by [...]

Transferred Senior Nurses Have Years of Service in Present Location
Seven senior nurses are being transferred across the country and the Nurses Association has expressed its disapproval and concern. We have reported that the association says that the proposed transfer is being spearheaded by Dr. Peter Allen, CEO in the Ministry of Health and the association “views the management of the entire process by the CEO [...]

The Guardian

Pay Now!
There are two things that are cute in life and Arthur Saldivar is definitely not one of them. If he thought his stunt of bringing coins to pay legal fees of 9 thousand 500 dollars which he owes to Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams was cute, then he is learning the hard way that he needs to forget the small change and bring the big money whine (refer to article: Arthur and Vernon pay up! On page 3). On Tuesday May 27, Arthur, trying to be the clown that he is and probably being the mastermind of a similar stunt with Trevor Vernon, decided to try to make a mockery of a court judgment by paying the legal fees he owes in small change. Well no sooner had his minions arrived at the law offices of S.C. Williams than they and his two cans were sent through the door. The payment of two thousand dollars in small change was not received by the office staff at the law firm. The $2000 dollar payment was not received because under a Central Bank Statute, no debt in excess of fifty dollars can be paid with coins. More than that, for Saldivar to have settled the debt, he would have had to pay the entire amount in full as the court had ordered. Two thousand dollars is hardly settlement.

Melinda Guerra has much to answer to
The Auditor General believes that $85,183.49, was misappropriated from public funds by Melinda Guerra, the Manager of the Central Health Region. As a result, she is now before the Public Service Commission to answer to an inquiry as to why she misrepresented, misled and misused public monies in her capacity of regional manager. Of important note is that Guerra has denied all claims that she acted inappropriately with those funds, and that she is innocent of wrong doing. CEO of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen contacted the Auditor General on August 26, 2013, requesting that she look into the public spending at the Central Health Region for the year of 2012 because he had received credible allegations that public funds were being misused. An audit team was assembled 4 days later, and they started to audit the Central Health Region.What they found was that there were a series of transactions which Melinda Guerra, the Manager, the Former Finance Officer, Judith Swift, and the current Finance Officer, Ena Codrington, were connected to which were dubious in nature. The first 4 transactions involved reimbursements of Melinda Guerra for out-of-pocket expenses which she incurred in her official capacity as Manager. Those came up to a total of $3,407.50, in which she supposedly paid for food and other medical supplies for different workshops which were already covered by the Ministry of Health, but she requested payment misleading the Ministry of Health that she incurred them herself.

Vernon’s Assets Crow footed
Trevor Vernon must have thought himself as cute as Arthr on Tuesday when he made a half payment of a 5 thousand dollar debt which he owed to Senior Counsel Denys Barrow after he was ordered to pay cost in a matter which he initiated against Hon. Edmund Castro but failed. While he made half the payment in shillings, the court had ordered that he pay in full but he did not do so. Since Tuesday, Barrow made an application to the Supreme Court for a writ of execution and it was granted him. On Wednesday a Supreme Court bailiff paid a visit to Vernon’s house where crow foot markings were placed on his belongings to be confiscated if he is unable to make the second payment. With the crow footing, none of those assets marked can be disposed of by Vernon since these will be sold off in the event that he does not pay the full amount.

10,000 Shillings
We confirmed that it was a PUP transaction when the bags of coins that Trevor Vernon used to pay legal fees to S.C. Denys Barrow turned up short. On Tuesday May 28, Vernon assisted by Peter Carter, carried two sacks of coins to Barrow and company where he was given a temporary receipt stating that he had paid half of a $5000 bill which he owed. The bill arose after Vernon, maliciously, frivolously and vexatiously took a matter to the Supreme Court where he claimed that Hon. Edmund Castro abused his authority when he assisted constituents of the Belize Rural North Constituency. But more than it being done simply to put the good minister’s name in disrepute, he retained the services of a poco-tiempo attorney who improperly prepared the documents. After submissions by S.C. Denys Barrow, Vernon and his attorney were sent packing but not before the judge ordered that Vernon pay legal fees. To ensure that the court not be taken lightly again, the court ordered that Vernon pay Hon. Castro’s fees of $5000. Immediately upon hearing the judgment, Vernon jumped on Facebook and began to beg for help and seek sympathy for his misdeed. Needless to say, no one took pity on him as everyone knew that he was just another PUP hack trying to create mischief.

UDP-Now celebrates 25 years
Over 700 women countrywide, members of the United Democratic Party-National Organization of Women (UDP-NOW) are expected to descend on the Belize City House of Culture on Saturday, May 31 at 10:00A.M.for the 25th Anniversary Rally and Re-organization of NOW. Of the 700 plus women, 25 will represent each constituency. The number 25 is symbolic because NOW has been in existence since May 27, 1989, 25 years ago. A highlight of the event is that 38 women from all over the country who are foundation members of NOW will be honoured for their tenacity and vision to have seen the need for such an organization to support and complement the work of the United Democratic Party while advancing the cause of women. UDP-NOW celebrates 25 years Guest Speaker for the occasion is Sen. the Hon. Lisel Alamilla while President, Diane Haylock will present a way forward for the organization.

Protest for Professor Brendan Bain
The terminated Professor from the University of the West Indies, Brendan Bain, continues to be a controversial topic within Belize and Jamaica, which has caused the university to come under sustained criticism and denunciation. On Friday, May 23, the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches along with Belize Action’s Pastor Scott Stirm organized a midday demonstration at the Battlefield Park in front of the Supreme Court. They were protesting against Bain’s termination, calling it a silencing of freedom of speech. Following after the protests being held in Jamaica, majority of the 100 or so participants who showed up donned tapes over their mouths with the slogan, “Freedom Under Attack”. The taping of their mouths represented their sentiments that UWI was used by the LGBT community in the Caribbean to silence Professor Bain for his witness evidence which was taken as being “anti-gay”.

SIF Sponsors Computer Skills Training for San Jose Villagers
On Saturday, May 24, the Social Investment Fund collaborated with the Orange Walk Institute for Technical and Vocational Education & Training (OWITVET) to host a Certification Ceremony for residents of San Jose Village who successfully completed basic computer skills training. The training program was a component of the San Jose Multipurpose Center sub project. The training was implemented by the Social Investment Fund as part of its mandate to work in line with the Government’s poverty alleviation strategy. Twenty trainees attended sessions every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon for six months. The lessons were both theoretical and practical, focusing on an in-depth understanding of Microsoft Suite such as Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Publisher. Trainees received lessons on onscreen components and formatting; browsers, search engines; spreadsheet columns and rows, creating workbooks as well as using formulas to make calculations. Graduates are now competent in using computers as members of water boards, to create flyers/promotional items for their businesses as well as equipped with the relevant computer skills and competencies for the expanding business sector in the northern district of the country, and by extension the wider society of Belize. The program cost $18,770 and was financed by the Government of Belize through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

Sattiim did not win the case
On April 3, Justice Michelle Arana passed judgment on a case in which SATIIM took the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy to court claiming that these two had violated environmental law which protect the Sartsoon Temash National Park as well as they violated the Maya's customary land rights to these lands. At the time both parties claimed that the judgment was in their favor, on one hand the GOB and U.S. Capital explained that the company could drill in the national park since the permits to do so were not struck down and were deemed legal. For its part SATIIM claimed that the judge had told the government that before any exploration is done permission needed to be sought from the Maya people. Well those positions were maintained up until a couple of weeks ago when the order was to have been perfected. In perfecting the order, attorneys generally reach common ground on interpreting the judge's ruling and the order is thereafter perfected. That was not the case on this matter and the Judge, Michelle Arana, perfected the order since consensus could not be reached. The perfection of the order maintained that U.S. Capital was not in breach of any of the laws. She went on to explain that Government now needs to engage in good faith attempts to seek consent from the Mayas. The government has commenced with that exercise and it is being well received.

We have a Stable Economy Says Statistical Institute of Belize
In the first quarter of 2014, the Belizean economy contracted by 0.4 percent; however, the results of a recently conducted Labour Force Survey by the Statistical Institute of Belize will likely show that the country’s unemployment rate has also decreased. From January to March of 2014, crude oil extraction fell by 23 percent (from 221,000 barrels in 2013 to 170,000 barrels) as the Spanish Lookout wells are bottoming out. Production in the agricultural sector fell significantly. Earnings from sugarcane, citrus and banana fell by 30 percent. The Citrus Greening Disease has a lot to do with the strong decline in the industry but disagreements between farmers and the company also played a significant part in low citrus products output. Earnings from exporting sugar decreased by $16 million in the first quarter of this year. Because of disagreements between farmers and the company, the crop season which was scheduled to start in mid November was delayed until January. Banana production fell only slightly because of unfavourable weather conditions at the beginning of the year.

Miss Sadie Vernon is Special Envoy’s Trailblazer of the Week
This week’s trailblazer made waves in one of the most important areas of a nation’s development; education! Ms. Sadie Vernon (1918-2008) No truer words were spoken of Sadie Vernon than a 1983 description of her as an “advocate for the voiceless and the powerless”. Sadie had no idea that the outcome of her 1963 proposal writing efforts would result in a permanent home for twenty-five times as many girls and boys in similar situations to those of the four mothers who first sought her help more than three decades earlier. On September 6th 1999 a ceremony was held to rename the Belize Continuation School as Sadie Vernon High School. Sadie started the institution in 1964 in the borrowed spaces of the YWCA. After they ran out of space at the YWCA they moved first to the Catholic Extension building and then to a leased space on Dean Street in 1994 before a permanent space was secured for the now Sadie Vernon High School at the end of that decade. Almost a quarter century after Sadie had begun the Belize Continuation School she established the high school preparatory institution ‘Friends Boys School’.

Dennis Gabourel Allegedly Beats Up “Interfering” Neighbour
Well known businessman and horse & carriage driver, 58-year-old Dennis Gabourel, is being accused of beating up a woman, Kathleen Grant. Gabourel is the son of recent fire victim, Orseline Wallace Gabourel, who was trapped inside her Cleghorn Street home as the structure was destroyed by fire last week. Grant is the deceased neighbour who called out Gabourel’s relatives for leaving the house unattended an unkept. According to reports, on Thursday, May 22, Grant was on North Front Street when a car pulled up and Dennis Gabourel exited. Gabourel told Grant to “Get out ah meh business” and he slapped her across the right side of the face. The hit caused Grant to fall to the sidewalk and Gabourel kicked her several times to the stomach before he got into the vehicle and sped off.

Three Brothers Arrested for Caledonia Murder
Corozal Police have detained brothers, 31-year-old Elias Rosalez, 34-year-old Perfecto Rosalez Jr. and 27-year-old David Rosalez, all fishermen of Caledonia Village, for their part in the murder of 26-year-old Eder Alcoser. Sometime around 9 p.m. on Sunday, May 25, Eder Alcoser went to a local store where he got into an argument with David Rosalez. The argument became heated and developed into a fist fight. Rosalez’s brothers, Elias and Perfecto Jr., came to their brother’s aid armed with machetes. According to police, at this same time Eder Alcoser’s father, Marcelo Alcoser, arrived and tried to stop the fight. However, the brawl continued and moved from in front of the shop to a nearby area up the street. During the brawl, the Rosalez brothers inflicted major injuries upon Eder and Marcelo Alcoser.

Man in stable condition after being shot in Cayo
A few minutes after midnight on Monday of this week, information was received of a male person being transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital with gunshot wounds. Elson Arnold from Unitedville Village had been shot on the lower left side of his back. Police visited the San Ignacio Town Hospital where Elson Arnold was issued a medical form and he was then transported to the Western Regional Hospital. He was later transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery to retrieve gunshot pellets from his back.

Remanded for pulling gun on Clerk
Two Belize City men, 27-year-old Nuri Polanco, a resident of #7005 Antelope Street extension, along with 21-year-old Kenroy Willoughby, a Carpenter of #75 Antelope Street Extension in Belize City were charged jointly for the Sunday, May 25, aggravated assault with a firearm upon 23-year-old Jason Lamb, a clerk of #7020 Pelican Street Extension, Belize City. In court, both Polanco and Willoughby were unrepresented. They both pleaded not guilty to the charge but due to the nature of the offense, bail was denied and both were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until July 14, 2014. In a report to police, Jason Lamb reported that on Sunday, May 25, 2014, at 5:45 p.m., he was attending a family dinner on Antelope Street Extension when he got into an argument with Kenroy Willoughby who allegedly pulled a black revolver from his pants waist.

Oscar Hernandez Accused of Stealing Parts from Hon. Castro’s Tractor
Nicaraguan national, Oscar Hernandez, is a free man after he was acquitted of a charge of theft by Magistrate Dale Cayetano on Friday, May 23. Allegations made against Hernandez are that sometime between October 1, 2012 and December 30, 2012 in Bomba Village he stole over $49,000 worth of tractor parts belonging to Hon. Edmond Castro. The parts include a cylinder head valued $970.02, a set injectors valued $1,211.94, a sniffler valued $889.48, a hydraulic pump valued $4,589.24, an exhaust valued $9,090.39, an alternator valued $1,986.53 and two jacks valued $11, 305.94. Police investigation led to the arrest and charge of 46-year-old Oscar Hernandez. Hernandez had been incarcerated for more than a year after he was denied bail due to the uncertainty of his immigration status in Belize.

Charles Herrera Charged for Murder of Ezekiel Hernandez
Police have arrested and charged 43-year-old Charles Herrera of #6959 Lavender Street, Belize City for the murder of 25-year-old Dangriga resident Ezekiel Hernandez. According to a police report, police visited the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets at 5:23 a.m. on Monday, May 26, and saw the lifeless body of Hernandez near the river side. Officers observed three stab wounds to the upper right side of his back and transported the body to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it was pronounced dead. Hernandez’s relative says that he is a mechanic and he came to Belize to collect money that was owed to him for services rendered. They say that the person who owed him was not honouring his debt and Hernandez was frustrated. From the location where Hernandez’s body was found, police tracked a trail of blood to a vehicle.

Two motorcycles stolen in one night in San Ignacio Town
Jorje Bradley, a 33 year old Belizean construction worker and employee at the Mystic River Resort on Cristo Rey Road, reports that his motorbike has been stolen. According to Jorje Bradley he had left his 2013 red and black in color Meliun Motorcycle, with markings ML200GY-5A, in front of the Legends Establishment in San Ignacio Town, sometime between 10:30 PM and 11:30 PM on Friday of last week. He reports that on his return from a nights outing, the motorcycle was nowhere to be seen. Jorje Bradley is now offering a reward of $500.00 for the recovery of his motorcycle.

Albert Moody Acquitted of Attempted Murder
Albert Moody of the Jane Usher Boulevard area has been acquitted of the charge of attempted murder upon Kent Moss. Moody was accused of the January 15, 2013 shooting of Moss on Raccoon Street. Moss, a resident of Freedom Street, was conversing with a friend on a verandah on Raccoon Street when a lone gunman came from behind the house and fired several shots in their direction. Moss was hit three times to the body and was rushed by ambulance to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for treatment. Albert Moody was charged later that same month for the shooting. However, a letter dated May 14, 2014 instructed the Magistrates’ Court to withdraw three indictable charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Kent Moss. No reason was given for the withdrawal.

Albert Reid charged for Murder
On Tuesday May 27, 34-year-old Albert Reid was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith where he was charged with a single count of murder. Reid was charged for the death of 69-year-old Santana resident, Maurice Dennison Young. Due to the nature of the offense no plea was taken and Reid was remanded to custody at the Belize Central Prison until July 15. Reid who was detained since Wednesday, May 21, is accused of the Tuesday, May 20, murder of Young. On Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at about 6:10 a.m., Ladyville Police visited Santana Village where they were taken approximately 100 feet into a bushy area behind Young’s home where they found his body lying face up in a state of decomposition. Young had a cut wound to the neck and was dressed in a blue long jeans pants and a pair of shoes.

Belize City Taxi man Murdered
Relatives of Belize City taxi driver Norman Stanley Thompson, 56, believe he was ambushed and killed on Banak Street early Sunday morning, May 25. Police visited Banak Street at 1:46 a.m. on Sunday morning where they saw a green 4 door Geo Prism crashed into a fence. Inside the car was the body of Norman Stanley Thompson of #163 West Street, Belize City. The body had one gunshot wound to the right upper shoulder and one to the right upper back. According to police investigation, Thompson was driving his car in an alley beside La Popular Bakery heading towards Banak Street when he was ambushed by unknown person(s) who fired two gunshots at him which caused the fatal injuries. Two 9mm Aguila Brand expended shells were retrieved from the area and the body was transported to the Belize City Morgue.

Belizean athletes medalled at Central American Junior Championship
The Belize Athletics Association participated in the Central American Junior Athletics Championship that held in Managua, Nicaragua from the 23rd to the 25th May, 2014. Belize had representation in the following events and by the following athletes in the Jr. B Female category: Shanicka Augustine in the 100m, Long Jump and Triple Jump; Ashanti Carr in Shot-put, Long Jump and Triple Jump; Ashonti Carr in 400m, Shot-put, and Long Jump; Deannia Cooke in 100m and 200m; Zhanea Jex in 100m, 200m and 400m; Julia Puerto in the 1500m and 3000m and Catherine Tan in the Shot-put, Discus and Javelin.

Belize City primary schools basketball competition opens
The 2013-2014 Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition opened on Wednesday May 28, 2014, at the Bird’s Isle with five games on the schedule. This school year, there are some ten schools participating in the girls’ competition which includes Wesley Upper School, St. John Vianney, Muslim Community, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Holy Redeemer School, Belize Elementary School, St. John’s Primary, Calvary Temple School, St. Martin De Porres School, and St. Luke Methodist School. Meanwhile, in the boys’ competition, there are nineteen Schools competition in this year’s competition. The schools competing are Wesley Upper School, St. John Vianney, Muslim Community, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Holy Redeemer, Unity Presbyterian School, Trinity Methodist, Belize Elementary School, St. John’s Primary School, Calvary Temple School, St. Martin De Porres, St. Luke Methodist, Salvation Army School, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic, St. Ignatius School, Queen Street Baptist School, Ebenezer Methodist School, Grace Primary School and St. Mary’s Anglican School.

Belize Elementary School girls and boys Belize District Primary Schools Volleyball champions
The 2013-2014 Belize District Primary Schools Volleyball Competition came to an end on Tuesday May 27, 2014, at Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing Belize City defeated Holy Redeemer School also representing Belize City in two sets by the score of 25-12 and 25-10. In the first game in the girls’ competition, Holy Redeemer School defeated Burrell Boom Methodist School in two sets by the score of 25-17 and 25-3. In game two, it was Belize Elementary School winning over The Island Academy from San Pedro in two sets by the score of 25-6 and 25-8. Meanwhile, in the boys’ championship game, Belize Elementary School defeated Crooked Tree Government School by the score of 25-14 and 25-20.

Burrell Boom Methodist girls and Crooked Tree Government School boys are Belize Rural Volleyball champions
The Belize Rural Volleyball Championship was played on Tuesday May 20 2014, out in Ladyville Village. In the girls’ championship game, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated Lucky Strike Government School in three sets by the score of 22-25, 25-17 and 15-7. In the first game of the tourney, St. Agnes Primary School defeated Pancotto Primary School in three sets by the score of 11-25, 25-15 and 15-8. In game two, Belize Rural Primary School defeated Lucky Strike Government School in two sets by the score of 26-24 and 25-18. In round two of the competition, Burrell Boom Methodist School defeated St. Agnes Primary School in three sets by the score of 20-25, 25-1 and 15-13. In the boys’ championship game, Crooked Tree Government School defeated Pancotto Primary School in three sets by the score of 25-23, 20-25and 15-9.

FFB President’s Cup tourney resumes
The FFB President’s Cup Tournament for 2014 resumed on Saturday May 24, with a single game on the schedule. Out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting Progresso FC defeated Roaring Creek United by the score of 3-1. The goals for Progresso FC were scored by Gabriel Perez in the 20th minute of play and Eliazar Itza In the 53rd and 80th minute of play. For Roaring Creek United, the only goal of the game was scored by Ricky Tamai via a penalty kick in the 33rd minute of play. The competition then continued on Sunday May 25, 2014, with three more games on the schedule. Out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, Belize District Stars edged out Pomona United by the score of 3-2. The goals for Belize District Stars were scored by Brian Martinez in the 24th minutes of play, Carlos Lino in the 83rd minutes of play and Dalton Cayetano in the 4th minute of play. For Pomona United, their goals were scored by Jevon Aranda in the 33rd minute of play and Elroy Smith in the 92nd minute of play.

Credit Union holds AGM in San Ignacio Town
The Saint Martin’s Credit Union SMCU held its 65th Annual General Meeting on Friday of this past week in San Ignacio Town. Hundreds of residents turned out to attend the meeting at the Octavia Waight Center Convention Hall; where financial prudence in the credit union movement was a mainstay. Present at the AGM were representatives from the La Immaculada Credit Union of Orange Walk, the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union of Corozal and the Belize Credit Union League. Today the SMCU is a strong financial institution, which was incorporated in 1949 to improve the economic standing of its members. As of March 31, 2014 the SMCU had 7,441 members. In a report to the gathering, President Dr. John Morris reported that SMCU’s assets stood at $17,985,534.00 and had an increase of over a million dollars from last year. According to Dr. John Morris, studies are now showing that there were at least 1000 untapped members for the credit union movement in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Succotz, Arenal and Calla Creek in Western Belize and that the SMCU needed to expand in those areas.

Ariel Rosado Foundation holds bike ride
It was a RIDE for Scholarships… a RIDE for Healthy Living…… a RIDE for fun! Just before 1:00 pm on Saturday May 10th 2014 about 150 cyclists rolled into the Hour Bar and Grill Compound, Newtown Barracks in Belize City. This marked the culmination of a third very successful Ariel Rosado Annual Bike Ride. The ride started at 6:15 a.m. from Galen University in Central Farm and cruised the 75 miles to The Hour Bar & Grill in Belize City at an average speed of 15 miles per hour. There were rest stops at the Galen Campus in Belmopan, Cheers on the George Price Highway and at the CD Gas Station on the Burrell Boom Road. After its Third Year the Ariel Rosado Annual Bike Ride is being described by knowledgeable members of the cycling community as the best organized and managed Bike Ride in Belize. The Board of Directors of the Ariel Rosado Foundation extends a sincere THANK YOU to all RIDERS, WORKERS, SPONSORS and SUPPORTERS whose participation made it possible to keep the mission and vision of the ARIEL ROSADO FOUNDATION alive.

Arthur and Vernon Pay up!
Arthur Saldivar, the failed PUP politician who has sometimes resorted to all kinds of tactics to further his agenda, has to cough up $69,500 to Prime Minister Dean Barrow for defamation of character. That’s what the Supreme Court of Belize says he owes in a record award of damages for a lawsuit of this kind. The defamation attempt by Saldivar took place in 2011, when Saldivar called in on the KREM Wake Up Belize Morning Talkshow. Known as the serial caller, Saldivar is often heard on the radio pushing his different points of view, which tend to have a self-serving motive. On that particular day, he made comments about the Prime Minister and suggested to the public that the Prime Minister was a corrupt politician. In response, Prime Minister Barrow sued him in the Supreme Court, and instead of defending himself against the lawsuit, Saldivar chose to ignore the case. He claims to have not been made aware of it in a timely manner and that’s why he didn’t offer a defence. If you listen to his explanation to the media carefully, you may pick up on the fact that he and his attorneys thought lightly of the lawsuit, that it didn’t have anything of substance that he was liable for.

Ministry of Health Commemorates World No Tobacco Day 2014
The National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) of the Ministry of Health invites the public to join us as we commemorate World No Tobacco Day on May 30th, 2014. This year we will celebrate the day through public awareness activities focusing on the negative effects of tobacco consumption and other ‘No Tobacco’ initiatives to encourage voluntary adoption by communities to live in a smoke free environment. | The theme this year is “Raise taxes on Tobacco”. Under the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO/FCTC), countries are encouraged to implement tax and price policies as a way to reduce tobacco consumption. An increase in excise tax is considered one of the most cost effective tobacco control measures. Activities for World No Tobacco Day will be conducted through NDACC district offices simultaneously on May 30th. Information booths will be in front of office space locations in Belize City, Dangriga Town and Orange Walk Town from 9am to 3pm. San Ignacio and Santa Elena will have a booth at Public Service information Day at the San Ignacio Welcome Center and Belmopan will setup at the market square location.

Facts on Harmonyville Subdivision
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture takes this opportunity to share the following facts on the Harmonyville Subdivision:- 1. In 2010 Cabinet approved the acquisition of 1,327.139 acres of land located between miles 41 and 42 on the George Price Highway- the area now known as Harmonyville 2. Acquisition cost- BZ$1,990,708.50 plus 3% interest. 3. Cabinet subsequently approved the subdivision design for the development that includes over 1000-one acre plots, open areas (parks, cemetery, and school) and the buffer strip (reserve) along the highway. 4. Cabinet further approved for the distribution of lots to be done based on the recommendation of BGYEA. 5. Cabinet also agreed that the purchase price for each one acre plot be at a social rate of $1000/ one acre plot. a. Note- the purchase price for regular a house lot in rural areas is currently $1,500/lot. A one acre plot allows for 4 regular house lots (100ft/100ft). 6. In 2011, the Department of Lands and Surveys facilitated the urgent acceptance and processing of applications from BGYEA members by accommodating for an unusual opening of our offices on three consecutive weekends and also by the deployment of additional staff to further facilitate.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Seeking journalists and reporters
JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: The Caye Caulker Chronicles is actively seeking journalists and reporters. We will pay for articles by the piece, so this can be a side job. We are looking for journalists and reporters with cameras, as submitted articles must be accompanied by photos. If you are interested in becoming a reporter, please email us at [email protected] Going price for a published piece with photo is $10.

Patrick Jones

Youth Enhancement Services opens craft center
Youth Enhancement Services (YES) today opened the new home for their craft center, where young women will work toward becoming self-sufficient with their own handiwork. The students, young women from rural communities such as Ladyville and Lords’ Bank, have been taught how to make paper from discarded objects such as banana leaves and fish scale, which they turned into greeting cards, and jewelry from old seeds and wood. Now, they want to expand their work into a means of making money. The program turned to the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA)’s Expanding Economic Opportunities through Entrepreneurship and Marketing Development Project (EEOEM), a subsidiary of the Belize Rural Development Project (BRDP) funded by the European Union, for assistance. It gave them a $22,000 grant to fund the building of the center and according to its coordinator, Regina Campbell, trained the youth in accounting, bookkeeping and other business-related subjects.

Charges for accused house breaker
A Belize City man has been charged for burglary and handling stolen goods. 37 year old construction worker Eugene Tillett of Western Avenue appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning. He is accused of going into the home of Edelmira Ruiz on Cemetery Road on Tuesday of this week and stealing $4,395 worth of electronic and household goods, all of which police later recovered from him. Tillett told the court that he was handed the bag of goods by a young man who came to him asking him to hold it for him. Tillett said he sent the young man on an errand but police showed up at the same time, searched the bag and found the stolen items inside.

Alleged rape leads to confrontation between families
A 17 year old minor who is alleged to have been raped earlier this month has been charged for a later confrontation with her attacker’s brother. She appeared in the Belize Family Court today on a charge of wounding and will be released on bail of $1,000. Meanwhile, the accused rapist, identified as 25 year old Jeffrey Pott of Victoria Street, was read his charge today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. He is accused of forcing himself on the teenager at her home around 4 in the morning of May 2, 2014. A younger sister of the victim told police that she woke up around that time and saw a man she identified as Pott lying on top of her sister, who was reportedly intoxicated and sleeping. Magistrate Cayetano set bail at $7,000 and Jeffrey Pott will return to court on July 31.

DOE prepares new environmental strategy and action plans
The old maxim goes, “If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail.” When your battle ground is the environment, the results can have lasting consequences. The Department of the Environment’s five-year strategic statement and action plans expired back in 2011 and it is now on the homestretch to create a new plan that will take it through the next decade. Today it hosted the first of a series of consultations with stakeholders in Belize City. We asked Chief Environmental Officer Martin Alegria to grade how well the Department has done in the last five years. He said that they have met most of their targets, including increasing public awareness, but there remain some challenges, including getting financing to address key issues.

Customs Department employee killed in traffic accident
A mid-afternoon traffic accident today on the George Price Highway has claimed the life of one man. The victim has been identified as Frank Robinson, an employee of the Customs Department. The accident happened around 3 pm near mile 2 on the George Price Highway in Belize City. According to reports, Robinson and a female employee of the Customs Department were west-bound in a DMax pickup truck when the incident happened. Reports are that the pickup truck made a U-turn into the path of a dump truck that was following.


Michele Henderson wins CARICOM song competition
Dominican, jazz, fusion singer Michele Henderson is the winner of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) song competition, and her winning entry “Celebrating CARICOM” is now the regional body’s official anthem. Henderson beat out 57 semi-finalists and ten finalists to emerge winner in the competition which was announced last year. She says she screamed in disbelief when she first heard the news, and she is “happy and proud” for the accomplishment. “I want to thank CARICOM for the honour. I want to thank my husband (Roland Delsol Jr.) from the bottom of my heart for believing I could do it and for producing the song; Earlson Mathew for his arrangement; Michael Ferrol for his drumming skills and the St. Alphonsus Choir for their choral input.” According to the competition rules, the song should reflect a strong Caribbean cultural identity, have versatility and lend itself to be played by various instruments, have a strong Caribbean cultural flavour and rhythm and inspire a sense of regional pride and unity.

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, Lamanai, Actun Tunichil Muknal, Xunantunich, Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Maya King of Cahal Pech
Archaeological news of the day, courtesy of Nine Eco Cultural Tours. King Kawil Ka’an Chan Ba’lam was his name. Cahal Pech is still actively being excavated by Dr. Awe and his archaeological students, and they've made some great discoveries. "In the Summer of 2013 Dr. Jaime Awe and archaeologists colleagues did some excavations at the summit of the grand temple in Plaza B of the site... This was a special gift to the King Kawil Ka’an Chan Ba’lam whose remains was embellished with jade jewellery and a corn god relief. His name, most impressively, was on a ring made out of the remains of a deer antler. Awesome! For the first time, since the early 1950s when Linton Satterwaite first excavated Cahal Pech, we are introduced to a name of a King. Sixty four years we waited and with lucky strokes of the pick axe and the faithful trowel and faithful and ambitious archaeologists, a royal tomb, for the world to know that a living god walked here."

National Song Workshops
The National Celebrations Commission, along with Atlantic Bank, are doing song writing workshops around the country in preparation for the National Song Competition. They'll be in Cayo, at the Cayo Welcome Center, on June 27th. All song writers and artists are invited to attend. In related news, the National Theme Competition deadline for submissions has been extended until May 30th.

Pandy Show Celebrates 22 Years
The Pandy Show celebrated its 22nd anniversary on the 27th. The Pandy Show, based in Cayo, is the longest running show in Belize. Thanks for the positive entertainment, and Congratulations, Pandy! Here's to another 44!

Fully Subscribed before Scheduled Closing Date; BEL closes its $25 million Series 6 Debenture Offer
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises that as of today, its $25 million Series 6 Debenture Offer has been fully subscribed, thirty-two days before the scheduled closing date. The Company opened the offer on May 5, 2014 and was scheduled to close on June 30, 2014. With the offer now fully subscribed the Company has closed the offer today, May 29, 2014. The Series 6 Debentures will yield a fixed interest rate of 6.5 per cent and will mature in 16 years on December 31, 2030. The cost of each debenture was $100. "There evidently remains high confidence in the operations of BEL," said BEL's Senior Manager Finance & Human Resources, Ms. Betty Tam. “We received subscriptions for over $45 million and are grateful for the high expression of interest in the offering.”

Day 1: From Belize City to Flores, Guatemala
We arrived in Belize a little early. My friend landed shortly before us. Well, actually three planes landed within minutes of each other creating a bit of a long wait to get through immigration and customs (especially when you really had to pee!). I got stamped and met Lindsay on the other side. We grabbed a taxi to the bus/water taxi station to take the express bus from Belize City to Flores, Guatemala. We ended waiting about an hour or so until the bus showed up. The express bus left around 1:30pm and we got to the station way before either of us had originally thought. We chatted with a Belizean local from the Southern part of the country about Southern Belize and the Belizean culture. Finally the bus arrived. The border crossing was rather simple once we figured what our Spanish-speaking driver told us to do. Get off. Walk through Belize Immigration. Pay $15 USD exit tax (we paid slightly less because we just arrived in Belize that day). Walk to customs and get passport stamp. Walk across river-bridge to Guatemala. Walk up to Guatemala immigrations and customs to pay the $3 entrance fee and get passport stamped. Find bus driver and bus.

Gone sailing: Caye Caulker to Placencia
Snorkelling stops, rum at midday, a deserted island (Goffs Caye), an army sleepover...and that's just the first day. We had booked ourselves onto a $300pp sailing boat tour from Caye Caulker to Placencia with a local boating company called Liberty. Another company called Raggamuffins were much better known (and more expensive) but we couldn't get a space on their party boat, which as things turned out, was a brilliant thing! Not only were we keeping things local but we were about to experience a once in a life time trip with a wonderful captain and his first mate who brought the seas alive for us. The winds were strong today and so both sails were up and we cruised along at a good place. The sun was shining and the rum flowing, so all 8 of us quickly relaxed and got to know each other. Papa Jo was our all knowing, gentle and seriously amazing 72 year old captain and Raul was our quirky, rum drinking and hilarious first mate. Papa Jo is prepping Raul to take over as captain one day so he can finally hang up his sailing shoes and retire, but we reckon he'll stay on the seas until it is time to go...

Life on Caye Caulker
Great set of photos of Caye Caulker….

The stunning island of Caye Caulker, a place of flat sand like lands, skies open wide as the eye can see, the people are a picture of reggae life. If you want the real Caribbean experience this is the place to go. The waters are full of marine life, everywhere you look there are creatures swimming about and exploring. You might even see a Manatee… I saw three.

The King of Cahal Pech: Kawil Ka’an Chan Ba’lam
When you walk into the site of Cahal Pech the buildings that you will see were built somewhere in the middle of the classic period (700-750AD). The ancient Maya organised and managed space extravagantly well. To prove it, Dr. Jaime Awe did an excavation on a small building in the Southeastern corner of the B Plaza and dug as far as 30 feet in depth. This translates to approximately 13 construction phases (note that there were at least 2 more construction phases over this very building discussed here but we lost them due to looting damage). Superimposition is rampant at this site. There are buildings below the plaza floor you will walk on that date from before the birth of Christ. In fact, the age of the site is only challenged by the great City of Lamanai (Submerged Crocodile), of Northern Belize.

A Week to 10 days in Belize – What to Do?
Belize is a perfect destination for North American travelers during the winter months for a ton of reasons: Its warm for starters, just off shore lies the 2nd largest reef system in the world along with a bunch of beautiful islands, on the other side of the country is full of rain forest, and they even speak English! This small country, nestled under Mexico’s famous Yucatan, packs a lot of punch for its size. There is something for everyone beaches, jungle, relaxation, and plenty of adventure. It many only be a few hours away on a plane, but once you are there you will feel worlds away.

International Sources

Caribbean countries ended 2013 on a stronger economic footing says CDB
Caribbean countries ended 2013 on a more solid economic footing than it had done since the start of the 2007/2008 global economic recession, according to figures released by the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The CDB, which is holding its 44th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors here, said that many of its borrowing member states (BMCs) recorded increases “albeit modest in economic activity”. CDB President Dr. Warren Smith said that “at the regional level, growth and sustainability were recurring themes in discussions about performance”. The CDB said that preliminary estimates indicate that the economic activity in the region grew by an average of 1.5 per cent last year, up slightly from a revised figure of 1.2 per cent for 2012. The region’s premier development financial institution noted that higher incomes and employment in advanced economies and renewed flows of foreign direct investment(FDI) contributed to solid growth in construction activity and continued recovery in tourism in most of the BMCs.

Stigma and discrimination driving the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean PANCAP statement
The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) affirms that Professor Brendan Bain’s testimony in the Orozco v. A.G. Belize (2012) case is not consistent with the stated goals of PANCAP to reduce stigma and eliminate discrimination. In fact, it is in dissonance with PANCAP’s ongoing work to remove discriminatory laws and affirm human rights. Although the Partnership is inclusive and members are free to have their individual views and beliefs, PANCAP is of the view that, on principle, Prof Bain’s action was not compatible with his leadership position. In adopting an active position of opposing the decriminalization of anal sex between two consenting male adults in private, Prof. Bain has undermined the public health and human rights goals of PANCAP. This view was communicated to Professor Bain during the Fifteenth Meeting of the Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC), a technical committee of the PANCAP Executive Board, which was held via teleconference on 15 January 2014. Professor Bain subsequently resigned as a member of the PACC on 14 March 2014. PANCAP recognizes Prof. Bain’s significant contribution to the HIV response in the Caribbean including treatment and training and to the work of the Partnership and its governance bodies.


Video: Kids Milking Goats on the Oregon Homestead | Belize Family Living, 4min.
Follow along with the kids as they start their morning chores on the farm. There is always a lot to do on the homestead here in Oregon. Starting out with feeding the animals and milking the goats is their normal routine. Part 1 shows them preparing the goats for milking. Part 2 shows the actual milking. The La Mancha named "Cindie" is a wonderful doe who give a little more than one gallon of raw milk per day. The Nubian, "Brownie" was a good milker also giving between 1/2 - 3/4 gallon per day. Her milk was delicious! The kids have always loved goats milk. Some goats milk is much stronger than others. A lot depends on the breed and also on what the goats eat. Many people say you should pasteurize all milk that doesn't come from a store. We never pasteurized the goats milk. We always drank raw milk. There is little better than cold, sweet goats milk! Unless it is Ice Cream made from fresh goats milk! We used goats milk in a lot of different things such as cheese making, ice cream, cooking and so much more. We miss our goats and our farm! Just a note: Brownie died unexpectedly from an undetermined cause. She was fine one day, a bit listless the next day and pretty much done for by the third day. We believe she died from an ectopic pregnancy as the timing would have been right for that and she did not respond to any treatment at all. In this video you can see that we have Geese, Turkeys, Chickens with their chicks, goats, honeybees and more.

Video: The chicken game in San Pedro, Belize, 2min.

Video: Dev balina ile yakn temas kamerada, 2min.
Divers with whale sharks. Orta Amerika ülkesi Belize açklarnda dal yapan bir grup dalgç, yüzeye çkp tekrar derinlere dalan dev bir balina köpekbalnn esiz anlarna ahit oldu. Orta Amerika ülkesi Belize açklarnda dal yapan bir grup dalgç, yüzeye çkp tekrar derinlere dalan dev bir balina köpekbalnn esiz anlarna ahit oldu. Orta Amerika ülkesi Belize açklarnda dal yapan bir grup dalgç, yüzeye çkp tekrar derinlere dalan dev bir balina köpekbalnn esiz anlarna ahit oldu. Dalgçlarn.

Video: Belize Blue Hole, 3min.
Diving the Blue Hole in Belize

Video: Caye Caulker Belize Trip, 2013, 26min.
Yeah, its long. Yeah, its kinda boring. But you see the stinkin island for crying out loud and the music's good so deal with it. I'll make a better (see also: shorter, with more sea life) one for this year's trip. And it wont take me a year to edit.

Video: Shark Ray Alley, 10min.
Coral reef Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Dünyann Renkleri ile Meksika - Belize - Guatemala 2012-1, 4min.

Video: Tortola Marine Management (TMM), 4min.
TMM Yacht Charters is located at Road Reef Marina - Road Town, Tortola. Top quality service with a wide variety of yachts. Good repeat discounts! Powerboats available. Owner on premise. Other TMM Yacht Charters locations: Grenadines and Belize

May 29, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Tigersharks wins first game in playoffs
With a win in the first of three playoff matches, the San Pedro Tigersharks are eying the big prize. They faced off against the Belmopan Bandits on Saturday May 24th at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium in San Pedro Town. Having won all home games in the season, the Tigersharks were ready to defend their home-court. The San Pedro Tigersharks stepped up on court with starters Michael Adams, Winston Pratt, Tyron Edwards, Darwin Leslie and Ashton Edwards. The Bandits also put out their best, starting with Arnold Li, Carswell Adams, Christian Rodriguez, Stephen Williams and Dorian Jones. But the visiting start-up squad came under sustained attack from the home team as the Tigersharks took control of the game from the onset. A couple of shots by the Edward brothers and Pratt were enough to give the Tigersharks a big lead to end the first quarter with a score of 26-12. But the underdogs were not prepared to give up to the mighty Tigersharks. A change in strategy saw Williams and Jones making an impressive appearance for the Bandits, and the duo slashed the lead and headed to halftime with a score of 39 to 30, still in favor of islanders.

SPRC Honors Moms and Dads
It was a day dedicated to the hard working moms and dads of the island on Friday, May 23rd at the San Pedro Roman Catholic (SPRC) Primary School. The family day entailed activities that incorporated parents and in particular, fostering the union of children and their fathers. On the agenda was a lot of games, dances, musical performance and most importantly, family bonding. According to Vice Principal, Patricia Lopez the family day is an event whereby the students can show appreciation to their parents for the education they are being provided with. “The students look forward to family day because they can show their parents what they have learned in school. The students also get to spend quality time with their parents in a relaxed environment without the stress of ‘home’ or ‘school’,” said Lopez. As part of the activities, students and teachers focused particularly in honoring the fathers, as they are often under underappreciated. “Fathers do play a key role in a child’s education and that’s what we want to show today that all fathers are important.”

Former Minister Marcial Mes dies in traffic accident
A traffic accident claimed the life of a former Belizean parliamentarian over the weekend. He is 65 year old Honorable Marcial Mes, a two term Minister of government. The traffic accident occurred around 1:15 AM on Monday May 26th near the community of Yemeri Grove in Toledo District. According to preliminary reports from the Toledo District, the former People’s United Party (PUP) area representative for Toledo West was driving from Punta Gorda Town to his home in San Marcos Village. Near the village of Yemeri Gove, located some seven miles out of Punta Gorda Town, Mes lost control of his green Rav4 SUV. Inside the vehicle was another man, later identified as Mario Caal, also of San Marcos Village. As a result, the two injured men were transported to the Punta Gorda Town Community Hospital where Hon. Mes was pronounced dead on arrival. Caal is listed in a serious condition and is undergoing treatment. Mes was a successful two-term Parliamentarian who served as a Junior Minister and later as a Minister in the Said Musa administration of 1998 to 2008. He served as Minister of Rural Development and Culture from 1998-2001, Minister of Rural Development 2001-2003, and Minister of Human Development, Local Government, and Labour from 2003 to date 2007. In January of 2007, Mes was briefly suspended from his duties as the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Development, due to a charge of a hit-and-run accident but the case did not go to court and Mes was restored to his post.

Cell Phone found
A cell phone was found on Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street) during lunchtime yesterday. It seems to belong to a visitor on the island. If you or someone you know (perhaps a guest at your hotel) is looking for a phone, this may be the one. Kindly call 226-2070 and describe the phone to claim it.

Ambergris Today

Daredevil Boys Captured on Video Jumping Across San Pedro Rooftops
When you see this video, you will have one reaction and many others will have a different one. “This is pretty cool,” someone might say while others might say, “Oh my God, these children are crazy!” Some might immediately start blaming their parents, while others will praise such daring acts. But there is great concern as these children were seen jumping from rooftop to rooftop from buildings in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. They were tempting fate and putting their lives at risk. There is no doubt that these kids were prompted to do this due to curiosity. Curiosity is the mother of inventions. Curiosity is also what prompts young people to investigate and ask many questions and learn many things. But curiosity also killed the cat. Indeed this kind of curiosity you are witnessing can lead to serious consequences. Kids are known to have caused big fires due to their curiosity in experimenting with matches, lighters, and other such objects.

San Pedro Junior Sailing Team Sweeps Placencia Regatta
According to the sailing kids, the San Pedro Junior Sailing Club has been "rigging hard and sailing hard" and are so happy with their success in the past regattas. Since the beginning of the season they have won the last four regattas in Corozal, Buttonwood Bay, Belize City and now Placencia. Their next regatta will be in their hometown island of Ambergris Caye, followed by one at St. George’s Caye and then they are off to the nationals. The San Pedro Regatta is scheduled for July 5th and 6th. The Sailing Club members and their parents hope to see as many residents possible at the hometown San Pedro Regatta showing their support for the island’s winning team. The children practice very hard and their discipline in the sports is proof of their success.

Teen Talk: The Fear of Rejection and Overcoming It
Having a fear of rejection is a very common thing. Nobody likes being rejected so we tend to try and do fewer things that you think would get us rejected. This is a problem because it stops us from doing certain things we want to do. People can get rejected from many things like a job, asking for help, a date, or the scariest – someone you like. So how do we get over this fear? Well, we must first understand rejection and why it’s so scary. If you think about it, it’s basically just someone telling you,”No.” Nothing too harsh; it’s not like that the word “No” will murder you in your sleep. I have recently stumbled upon a game that is called Rejection Therapy where the point is to try and get rejected once a day. There is a challenge posted on the website for people to try and do this for 100 days; I am taking up these challenges. I highly recommend trying this because it is a good way to get over your fear of rejection. It will also challenge your brain because you will have to think of a new way to get rejected each day.

Misc Belizean Sources

Night of GREAT performances at the George Price Center
No where to go this Thursday?? The Belmopan International Women's Group will be offering a Night of GREAT performances at the George Price Center...starts at 6:30...complimentary snacks!! Drinks will be on sale! Come out and sing, dance, laugh and support the work of the BIWG!!

Tropic Air Increases Flights To Cancun
Tropic Air today announced that it will be adding two additional round-trip flights between Belize International (BZE) and Cancun International (CUN) Airports starting November 1, 2014. These flights will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and will be in addition to the current daily flight. More importantly, these two new frequencies, will allow for the first time, our European visitors to connect southbound (same day) to Belize in Cancun. Passengers will be able to transit in Cancun from Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Paris, Madrid, Munich and Amsterdam and get to Belize without cumbersome overnights. The current daily flight already allows for similar connections to be made northbound without overnighting.

Secret Passages Exhibit at Soul Project
The Secret Passages exhibit will be opening this Friday evening, May 30th, at the Soul Project. DJ Check My Move will be mixing at the event, starting at 8pm. "This new exhibit features works of collage by people from all over the world visiting Belize. Collage is a very interesting medium. In collage, the artist assembles existing print material into a new format, a new picture. The artist creates a new context for the text or images selected, as they appear in the collage in relationship to one another."

Belize Zoo Conservation Camp
The Belize Zoo is gearing up for this year's Conservation Camp. It starts on June 30th. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 can learn all about nature and zoology while having a great time at the Tropical Education Center. Call 822-800, or email [email protected] for more information. "The Zoo is getting ready to host Conservation Camp 2014! Students ages 12-17 are invited to join the Zoo's education team for a week of activities geared toward gaining knowledge and appreciation of our natural world. Night walks, canoeing, wildlife studies, acting, and forest hikes are just some of the many exciting activities planned this year. Camp runs from June 30th to July 4th. Facebook message us, call the Zoo at (501)-822-8000, or email [email protected] for more information. There are only 25 spaces left, so hop to it!"

April 2014 External Trade & Consumer Price Index
Here are S.I.B's latest releases: April 2014 External Trade Bulletin, April 2014 Consumer Price Index, First Quarter 2014 Gross Domestic Product.

Rotary Scholars Graduate
6 of the Rotary Scholars are graduating, and one will be awarded the Paulita Bedran Scholarship. Thanks, Rotary! "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio will celebrate the graduation of 6 of our Rotary Scholars on May 29th. The top scholar over the last 4 years will receive the Paulita Bedran Tertiary Scholarship to help continue their education."

Western Ballaz Fan Video
The Western Ballaz are travelling to Belize City to play the No Limit this Friday, after having lost last week 66 to 52. Adma Chuc from Adma's Photography has complied a fan video, and if you've attended some home games, you might be on it. She has also uploaded pictures of every Western Ballaz player, so if you have a favorite, you can see some quality stills. Go Ballaz. In related news, the Belmopan Bandits host the Tiger Sharks on Friday. Go Ballaz! "This video is dedicated to all Western Ballaz Fans, we made it this far with your support."

Caribbean Export Food Portal
The Caribbean has been a player in the Specialty Food market for more then twenty-five years. The awareness and interest in Caribbean products have been growing internationally especially in major urban market centres in the US (New York City – tri-state Metro market, Boston, Washington, D.C, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago) and in the EU in particular the UK. The presence of Caribbean migrants in these places along with the increasing number of tourist visitors to the region have assisted in the promotion and sale of these products whose appeal is linked in a substantive way to their product development, creativity and exotic nature. Typically, the easiest way to define a specialty product is by knowing what it is not: a basic food staple that the consumer buys for every day eating from a grocery store. That means that specialty foods are a step above what the consumer normally eats as part of the everyday diet. There is a broad umbrella for what can be considered part of the specialty foods market. Typically, specialty foods refer to a type of gourmet food products many of which could be more expensive than what consumers find on grocery store shelves; specialty foods are instead a step above what the consumer normally eats as part of the everyday diet. They should not be confused with ethnic foods, which are generally characterized by low price and high quantity, because specialty foods are generally high price, low quantity food. However, there can be some overlap between both.

Its EXPO season once again!
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) will be holding its renowned EXPO Belize Market Place 2014, at the ITVET Grounds on Freetown Road in Belize City on September 13th and 14th, 2014. You are invited to showcase your products or services at this year’s Expo. The primary contact for your company should have received an email a few minutes ago with username and password that will enable you to log on to identify yourself as member to request your EXPO booth and receive the deep discounts that only members enjoy. Please be reminded that each member is allowed a maximum of 6 booths and these are on a first come first serve basis. There is a new area added to the map referred to as table spaces. These are only for micro businesses.

National Song Competition 2014
Calling all Artists and Song Writers... Please take note!!!

Ministry of Health Commemorates World No Tobacco Day 2014
Government of Belize Press Office

2014 Belize Festival of Arts
Belize Annual Festival of Arts to be held from June 3rd to June 14th. Schedule of activities below.

Channel 7

Denys Barrow Tells Vernon, "Pay Up!"
About an hour or so before news time, a Supreme Court bailiff was at Trevor Vernon's house in Burrell Boom marking his belongings to be confiscated because he didn't pay the entire sum owed to attorney Denys Barrow. Viewers may remember that Barrow successfully defended Edmond Castro against Vernon accusation that Castro violated the Cabinet code of ethics for those well-known Belize Airport Authority cheques. Vernon lost, and had to pay the five thousand dollar cost of Castro's attorney Denys Barrow by yesterday. As we showed you yesterday, Vernon showed up to pay half of the cost in coins. When those money bags stuffed with coins were all counted up, he had paid $2,489.50 – ten dollars and fifty cents short of half of what was due. Well, as was his right because of the short of payment, Denys Barrow applied to the court and got a writ of execution granted against Vernon. The bailiff executed the writ this evening, and went to Vernon's house and started a valuation process on his belongings to ensure that the debt owed can somehow be collected if Vernon is unable to pay the rest of the money.

Man Charged For Murder After Killing Car Thief
Tonight, 43 year-old Charles Herrera, aka Bundy, a taxi driver from Lavender Street, is in jail after he was taken to court for the murder of 25 year-old Ezekiel Hernandez Medina. As we told you, Medina was found early on Monday morning, and his body was already starting to decompose. He was later identified, and after police investigated, Herrera was detained and later arrested and charged with murder after he reportedly confessed to the crime. Herrera was taken to Magistrate's Court today, and before his arraignment, he told court reporters that on the day in question, he caught Medina trying to break into his car. Herrera said that when he confronted Medina about the attempted theft, Medina pulled out a knife and attacked him. He said that in self-defense, he managed to take away the knife and he stabbed Medina 3 times in the upper right side of his back. When they retrieved his body, Police investigators found a screwdriver in Medina's hand and a plastic bag which contained a flash light and a knife.

GDP Sees Negative Growth In First Quarter
The Gross Domestic Product or GDP, it's the total market value of all goods and services produced in a country in a given time period. And, generally, it is the most relied indicator to see how a country's economy is doing. Much political grist was made in February when the Statistical Institute of Belize pegged GDP growth for the 2013 calendar year at less than 1%. Well, there's more to be made now, after the Institute released its initial GDP and inflation figures for the first quarter of 2014 today. Here's what the number say: Jules Vasquez Reporting The GDP experienced negative growth in the first quarter, tumbling to -0.4% - only the second time on record that the first quarter has seen negative growth: Glen Avilez - Director, SIB "We see a slight dip in the economy in the first quarter when compared to the same period of last year of roughly 0.4%." Avilez outlined the three main sectors driving the contraction: Glen Avilez "The central reasons or the main reasons for the contraction in the first quarter is attributed to three sectors, agriculture, mining - that is oil, manufacturing being the result of the poor performance in agriculture."

Dismissing Dr Bain
Since news broke last week about the termination of Professor Brendan Bain from the University of the West Indies, there's been a firestorm of controversy, with organizations in Belize and Jamaica coming out against the decision. Well tonight, we'll tell you a bit about those who support UWI. The first comes from the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP). They maintain that Professor Bain's testimony in the Orozco UNIBAM challenge is not consistent with the goals of PANCAP in trying to reduce stigma and discrimination. They say that quote, "Professor Bain has undermined the public health and human rights goals of PANCAP." Professor Rose Marie Antoine, a Commissioner on the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, says that the reason that it became important for Professor Bain to be terminated is because, quote "it is about a program leader publicly undermining the very program and principles he was mandated to support."

Get An Injunction Against Thy Neighbor
In February, we told you about the dispute where residents of the Palm Grove Estate, at mile 4 on the Northern Highway, were opposed to a contractor building an apartment complex in their neighborhood. As we told you, the small community consider Palm Grove as private property, and they've been trying to fight this development because they're afraid that if they open it up to outsiders, the security of their homes and their families will be put at risk. Well, as we showed you, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley wasn't listening to them, and he ok'd the development. Since then, the residents have kept at it, trying to stop the private company, Keas New Road Limited. Today, that meant turning to the courts for an injunction to block the further construction of the complex. That injunction hearing went before Justice Courtney Abel today for the first time since the Palm Grove residents started to agitate against them, the media got a chance to speak with a representative of the company. Here's what the attorney said:

Police Say Cops Who Shot 19 Year Old Liable To Criminal Charges
There's a 19 year old recovering from a gunshot wound in the Western Regional Hospital and the 6 shotgun pellets that were removed from his back were fired by police. A Cayo patrol shot Elston Arnold in Unitedville on Monday morning and left him for dead. Today the Police Department issued a sheepish press release saying, quote, "Police have launched an investigation into this matter where officers if found guilty will be liable to both criminal and internal charges." End quote. Sources tell us the police department was late in catching up on the shooting because the police left Arnold on the ground where he was shot and did not report it.

Stole A Car But Forgot His Bicycle In The Trunk
39 year-old Jason Jeffries, an unemployed of Lacroix Boulevard, is out on bail tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly trying to steal a man's car. Carlos Aquino, who resides at 2 St. James Street, reported to the police that yesterday at around 12 a.m. he parked his car in front of his house and he forgot to take the key out of the ignition. He said that at about 5 a.m. he was awakened by the sound of his car starting and when he went outside he saw Jeffries behind the steering wheel. He said he pursued Jeffries as he drove off and caught up with him. He yanked Jeffries out of the car and went to make a report. While Aquino was at the police station Jeffries arrived and he was taken into custody and charged. Jeffries said that he went to the station because he had left his bicycle in the trunk of Aquino's car!

New CEO For Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development
At the very end of the news On Friday night, we told you that CEO in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development Wendel Parham had left the ministry – we have since learned that he was terminated. Tonight, we have confirmed that well-known consultant Adele Catzim-Sanchez will replace him. Catzim-Sanchez is seen as a high profile acquisition for the Ministry because of her well rounded background, and solid, independent reputation.

Environmentalist Warns of The Perils of Puerto Azul
Last week Friday, we told you about Ministers Manuel Heredia Jr and Erwin Contreras who travelled to at the French Riviera to represent Belize at the Puerto Azul Experience Party in Cannes. As we've told you, the Italian development company is advertising on their website that the Puerto Azul Development is a large scale, super exclusive resort intended for the Northern 2 Caye at Lighthouse Reef. Supposedly, the resort will be very high end with 350 rooms, a golf course, a 250 boat marina, and its own small airport. But, as we've also told you, conservationists say that this proposed development is an environmental disaster. That was reiterated today by Roberto Pott, a representative of the conservationist organization, Health Reefs for Healthy People Initiative. He told us that the first he heard of the project was in October of last year, and this reincarnation of the project since that time, hardly seems more feasible than last time.

CDB Earmarks Major Loan For Belize
The Caribbean Development Bank today announced the approval of a 29 million US dollar loan to Belize. The press release says the loan will fund the upgrade of 9.81 kilometers – which is about 6 miles - of the Philip Goldson Highway. The release doesn't say where those six miles are but adds, quote, "this upgrade is expected to reduce congestion as well as improve safety on the highway which passes through the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts." It refers also to the Haulover Bridge and says, quote, "A key aspect of the project will be the implementation of climate adaptation features during the upgrade and rehabilitation phases in order to reduce climate change vulnerability of the road and bridge." 111, 000 US Dollars of the loan will be used to get women involved in the road works. The release says the Ministry of Works and Belizean contractors will "address gender equality and social inclusion in current and future construction projects."

Cancer Care Symposium Focuses On Menâ™s Health
This year, the Annual Cancer care Symposium focused on Men's Health, namely cancers affecting men, principally Prostate and colo-rectal cancer. One of the keynote speakers was a prostate cancer survivor – Michael Finnegan and he used his time on the stage not to inspire the audience with his story of survival, but to get everyone's blood flowing: Hon. Michael Finnegan - Cancer Survivor "Cancer likes when it keeps us in a little corner, and we creep up in bed, and we cry, and lash out. It wants us to behave just like how everybody in here looks right now, sad. I would want everybody get up and begin to give hugs to one another before I continue. Shake hands and get to know who you don't know. Let's stand up and hug each other." Dr. Milton Harrison Arthurs - Gastroenterologist "Women outnumber the men by almost 7 to 1, and this is intended to be a presentation focusing on men's health, and in particular, cancer, and we're not seeing the men. I know they're not in jail. They're not out there serving in the army. Where are they?"

Their Prerogative
We're used to seeing all kinds of Mexican art at the institute of Mexico in Belize City. But tomorrow, the Institute is debuting the work of four new Belizean artists. It's their first show and we found three of them getting ready today. We asked them about the pre-show jitters: The show opens tomorrow night.

Quandary Over SATIIM Judgment
Tonight, there's a bit of a quandary that's surrounding the decision from Justice Michelle Arana in the case where SATIIM and the Buffer Communities were trying to stop US Capital Energy from drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. As we told you, both SATIIM and US Capital were claiming victory in that case, and since then, depending on who you ask, the judgment supposedly swings one way or the other. But, now, there is a perfected order from the court, which was recently issued. We've not seen the order ourselves, but those we've spoken to suggests that it shows clearly that the case was decided in US Capital's favour. Now, a perfected order is supposed to be a distillation of the findings of the court, a simplification of how the case was decided, and it's done after attorneys for all parties have had an opportunity to read, digest and interpret it. It is then signed off on by all the attorneys, and then presented back to the court where the judge weighs in and puts the final touches.

Report: Multiple Manatees Killed
A dead Manatee was seen floating in the sea behind Brodies warehouse in the Foreshore area of Belize City today. When we observed it this evening, the sea mammal appeared to have a cut wound – the kind we've seen many times from boat propellers. Now, normally this wouldn't be news, but persons in the area tell us this is the third dead manatee they've seen floating over a short period of time. So we'd caution boats in the very busy harbour to please be mindful of the very docile marine mammals.

The Problems of Touring With a Turtle Shell
And while we may lament the loss of that manatee, the Garifuna Collective finds audiences that aren't cool with their main percussion instrument, the turtle shell. They travelled today and had to get a special permit for the shell., The man who plays it Mohobub Flores told us how it freaked out one Canadian concert goer: The Collective got their turtle shell permit from the Fisheries Department.

Channel 5

Breaking News: Body of a man found in Los Tambos, Cayo
This just in to our newsroom. San Ignacio Police are currently processing a scene in Los Tambos in the outskirts of Spanish Lookout where the body of a man was [...]

4 cops under investigation; one is likely to face criminal charges for shooting of a Unitedville youth
Four police officers are tonight under investigation and it is likely that one will be charged criminally for the shooting of a Unitedville youth. Nineteen year old Elston Arnold was [...]

Domestic violence lands couple in K.H.M.H.
Tonight, there is little information on the motive behind an incident of domestic violence which has left two persons in critical condition at the K.H.M.H.  Fifty year old Erwin Smith, [...]

More on the Central Health Region audit
Last week, News Five took a look at a comprehensive audit of the Central Health Region. The report detailed many cases of apparent financial misappropriation, financial misrepresentation and financial misallocation. [...]

Taxi operator is charged for the murder of a Dangriga resident
  One man was viciously attacked and stabbed to death; the body of twenty-five year old Ezekiel Hernandez was found on Monday morning. This afternoon, forty-three year old taxi operator, [...]

Attorneys hound Trevor Vernon for payment
On Tuesday, Trevor Vernon made a bold statement when he delivered two pillow-cases full of shillings to the law firm of Barrow and Company. The payment, twenty-five hundred dollars, is [...]

SIB reports slight economic dip in first quarter of the year
The latest figures released from the Statistical Institute of Belize indicate that there has been a slight contraction of the economy when compared to last year’s economic performance in the [...]

Ministers Heredia and Contreras at the glamour and glitz of the Cannes Festival
Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, as well as Minister of Economic Development, Erwin Contreras were photographed at the Cannes Film Festival in France last week. They are now back in [...]

Former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding saddened by termination of Professor Bain
The Bain debate continues unabated, with heated arguments for and against the firing of the UWI Professor last week Tuesday. Bain has received tremendous support from many organizations, and today, [...]

UWI Professor says Bain publicly undermined the program he was mandated to support
There is also much support for the decision to terminate Professor Brendan Bain, and not all of it is coming from the gay lobby. One of Bain’s colleagues at UWI, [...]

ITVET Toledo and the Ministry of Education at an impasse over removal of manager
This morning at the Toledo District Education Center, instructors from the local ITVET, as well as Belize National Teachers’ Union President Luke Palacio, along with ITVET’s Board of Governance met [...]

ITVET Toledo manager’s employment is under the Public Service Commission
According to Vernon, following the ministry’s decision they will proceed with the investigation and it is anticipated that Genus’ employment falls under the Public Service Commission’s Handbook.   Via Phone: [...]

8 year old missing; Mother says he was taken by her ex-husband
The mother of an eight year old student of a Presbyterian primary school in Belize City is tonight appealing that her son be returned home. Erica Bardalez today told News [...]

Garifuna Collective goes on tour
Late last year, the Garifuna Collective was on tour in Europe promoting their recent album, Ayo, which pays tribute to musical legend, Andy Palacio. The group made a big splash [...]


Taxi Man Murdered – Motive Unknown
The family of Norman Stanley Thompson are in mourning as they are faced with his murder that occurred on the south side of Belize City in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Thompson, a taxi driver of a West Street address was shot twice to the head whilst he sat in the driver’s seat of his green Geo Prism taxi cab. Love News visited his common-law, Sherette Willoughby, who told us that the last time she saw her was on Friday evening around four o’clock. SHERETTE WILLOUGHBY “I saw Norman about after four in the evening, he had come to bring meat pies and stuff for the baby and then he went to continue work. As for his activities from then up to the point of three o’clock in the morning on the 24th, when the police came and wake me to tell me that they found his body in his car, shot twice in the back and to take them to locate his parents that was as far as I got. The police just said that he had two shots in the back and it seemed to them like a robbery but they have to wait until the investigation is over so that we could get a clear picture on what had happened but so far I have not had that picture as yet. He is a taxi man that works on call. He would not go there naturally without someone calling him; however that would have been a call taxi job but to me I feel like it was a lure, a setup because they only took the phone; the money in the wallet was intact; that’s what the police said. So, they only took the phone.

Killer Bees Uncovered on Mahogany Street
The Belize Police Department, the Belize City Council and residents of Mahogany Street and surrounding areas have joined efforts in carrying out a positive initiative in the vicinity. Several abandoned lots have been identified and all parties are working together to clean the lots. They started with an abandoned lot at the corner of Flamboyant Street and Mahogany Street where they came across a nest of killer bees. Hipolito Novelo has the story. “Today City Council and Mahogany sub-precinct, we have observed a property that has been abandoned for a long while now which is situated on Mahogany Street and Flamboyant Street, this property has housed a lot off illegal drugs and guns and so forth and I was told by a neighborhood watch committee that I have from around here that this area was used where someone had been raped long time ago. So as a result of that we decided to team up and give the property a little clean up and remove the bees. According to the agriculture people there, the experts, they are saying that they had remove the queen and so by removing the queen nothing can happen and I am glad that they have removed it.” Several other lots have been identified in the area and those, we understand, will be cleaned up by next month.

Story of Car Theft Gets Twisted
Thirty-nine year old Jason Jeffries, an unemployed of La Croix Bouevard, was charged with the theft of a red Mazda car when he appeared today before Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Jeffries had pled guilty to the charge but a plea of not guilty was entered because he said that the owner, Carlos Aquino, gave him permission to drive the car. Jeffries was offered a bail of 500 dollars and his case was adjourned until July 22. Aquino, who resides on St. James Street, reported to the police that at around 12 a.m. May 27, he parked his car in front of his residence and he forgot to take the key out of the ignition. He said that at about 5 a.m. he was awakened by the sound of his car starting up. He said that when he ran outside he saw Jeffries behind the steering wheel and as Jeffries drove off he pursued the car and caught up with it. He said he managed to remove Jeffries from the car and while he was at the police station making the report Jeffries arrived and he was taken into custody. Jeffries said that he went to the station to get his bicycle that he had put in the trunk of Aquino’s car. Jeffries said that he saw Aquino in the car and Aquino appeared intoxicated and he decided to offer Aquino assistance by driving him home. According to Jeffries, while he was driving Aquino home Aquino suddenly got mad and grabbed him in his shirt and threw him out of the car.

American National Overdoses in San Pedro
A US national reportedly overdosed on pills yesterday in San Pedro. According to reports 46-year-old Susan Ruth Kaup who was a medical student was found in an apartment on the island. We understand when Police went to the apartment they saw a doctor trying to resuscitate Kaup who had taken a large number of pills. The woman reportedly called her father in the US to tell him what she was about to do. He in turn called a doctor to check on her but when he got to the apartment it was apparently too late. Kaup was taken to the Poly Clinic where efforts continued to revive her however they proved futile as she died shortly after. Police say they do not suspect foul play.

Taxi Driver Arraigned for Ezekiel’s Murder
Forty-three year old Charles Herrera, a.k.a. “Bundy”, a taxi driver of Lavender Street, was charged with the murder of Dangriga resident Ezekiel Medina when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Herrera was remanded into custody until July 31. On Monday, May 26, at about 5:23 a.m., police, acting on information they received, went to the corner of Partridge Street and Lavender Street and saw Medina lying dead on the ground with three stab wounds to the upper right side of his back. Medina had the name, Ezekiel, tattooed on his upper left arm and EH tattooed on his right leg above the knee. He wore a yellow polo shirt and a pair of black and white pants. Herrera said he caught Medina breaking into his car and Medina attacked him with a knife and he took the knife away from Medina and stabbed him with it.

Annual Cancer Symposium Focuses on Men
The cancer society of Belize held its annual symposium today. It is an event held each year in the effort to highlight cancer prevention, care and treatment as well as bringing awareness to the various forms of cancer and their causes. Love News attended a portion of the symposium and had the opportunity to speak with the President of the Belize Cancer Society, Laura Tucker-Longsworth. LAURA TUCKER-LONGSWORTH “Today is our annually cancer care symposium; the Belize Cancer Society has for a number of years now make this a highlight of our cancer awareness month where we target health professionals; we bring them together along with people interesting in the community to review and look at different topics that’s really important in terms of providing services not necessary cancer care services but health care services to those persons who may become impacted by cancer. What we are particularly looking at is how do we engage our health professionals in adopting a different way of health care delivery services that we do not end up with missed opportunities; when somebody enters the door, enter a primary health care setting like Cleopatra White, a clinic in Orange walk or Dangriga, public facility where they treat that person as a whole person. When last have you been screened; whether it’s for a fever or cold; when last have you been screened? Do you have a family history of cancer? How are you doing with your diet and so on and that’s the purpose. We want to really stimulate discussion and interests in really getting all of us engaged in not only wellness check but also in early detection screening.”


Through Jesus Christ, You Can Also Stand Healed
We leave you with some words of inspiration from Acts 4:10-11: “Know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is the rock you builders rejected, which [...]

19 Year Old Shot in the Back by Police
19 year old Elston Arnold resident of Unitedville, Cayo district, is still recovering from a surgery to remove multiple gunshot pellets from his back after being shot by police on Monday morning. The family is saying that the actions of the police are unjustifiable. According to Elston Arnold he and three other friends were coming [...]

A Detective Constable Detained by his Very Own
The Belize Police Department has another case of alleged unlawful behaviour of Police Officers. In the Stann Creek District, Detective Constable Perfecto Tush attached to the Special Branch office at the Intermediate Southern Formation has been detained by his very own after he allegedly pulled his service firearm at civilians in Red Bank over the [...]

Taxi Man Arrested for Murder of Ezekiel Hernandez
25 year old Ezekiel Medina Hernandez was stabbed to death on Monday morning around 5:30 at the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets. But information has emerged which suggests that his presence in the area may not have been entirely benevolent. At the scene police recovered a bag containing a knife and a flashlight as well as a screwdriver, [...]

Puma Gas Station in Havana Robbed
More than a $1,000 was robbed from a Puma Gas station in Havana when a lone gun man, caught on camera, held up the establishment. Our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has more on this report. Harry Arzu- News Correspondent from Dangriga According to reports, this establishment, located on 22 Havana Street here in Dangriga, has been [...]

Apparent Suicide in Belize City
A Belize City man apparently killed himself by hanging over the weekend. Police have released no details but 57 year old Maurice Tingling, a.k.a. “Pappy Bal“, named among to residents of the Majestic/Pinks Alley area, and alarm rose when he was not seen around after Friday night. One person we spoke to off-camera says they [...]

Eight Persons Arrested Over Pen Gun
Eight young men are behind bars after they were caught with a pen gun. At 12:40 on the morning of May 25th, the Orange Walk Police Quick Response Team searched a group of young men gathered under a tree in Yo Creek Village. Authorities did not find anything [...]

Patrick Jones

Belize Media Group pays tribute to Maya Angelou
American author, poet and civil activist, Maya Angelou died this morning in North Carolina at age 86. Maya was known for using her writings to provide eloquent and powerful commentary on race, gender and living life and was an inspiration to millions of people including myself. We are saddened to learn about the death of this wonderful person and on behalf of the Belize Media Group, we send our sincere condolences to her family and friends during this difficult time.

The National Garifuna Council elects new Executive Members
The National Garifuna Council (NGC) held its 30thAnnunal Convention at the Chülühadiwa Garinagu Monument Site from May 23rd to 25th in beautiful Dangriga. The National Garifuna Council is managed by a Board of Directors with representatives from the branches in Dangriga, Hopkins, Belize City, Belmopan, Georgetown, Seine Bight, Punta Gorda, Libertad, and San Pedro Town. The convention is the highest body of the Board. A new executive for the Board of Directors was elected on Sunday: President, Robert Mariano; 1st Vice President, Sandra Miranda; 2nd Vice-President, Francisco Zuniga; Secretary, Gwen Nunez Gonzalez; Asst. Secretary, Orlando Augustine; Treasurer, Marietta Enriquez; Asst. Treasurer, Pamela Zuniga.These members serve a two-year term. The Miss Garifuna Belize Cultural Pageant and the Solidarity Mass for 2014 will be hosted by the Dangriga Branch and next year’s convention will be hosted by San Pedro Branch.

Family appeals for help in locating eight year old boy
A Belize City mother is desperately searching for her 8 year old son. Richard Antonio Chacon was last seen on Tuesday, May 20. That was when the boy’s father, who is estranged from the mother of the child, picked him up from the grandmother’s house in the Racoon Street extension area of Belize City. Richard’s mother had gone to Honduras to seek medical treatment, leaving Chacon in the care of her mother. It was while the boy was with the grandmother that the father, Jose Antonio Chacon, reportedly took Richard and neither of them has been seen or heard from since.

Teachers affected by high school merger meet with BNTU
For the last month or so there have been reports that the Ministry of Education intends to merge three Southside Belize City high schools – Maud Williams High School, Sadie Vernon Technical High and Excelsior High School. But the Ministry has kept quiet thus far and as the school year draws to a close, many questions – including that of the fate of the more than 50 educators affected – remain unanswered. On Wednesday evening there was a meeting hosted by the Belize National Teachers’ Union’s Belize City branch at its headquarters off Mercy Lane. President of the Belize District Branch of the Union, Kathleen Flowers, said that they have begun the process of dialogue with the teachers and the Ministry. The purpose of the meeting, said Flowers, was to find out the facts and what the teachers know, so that the Union can help them achieve due process.

Palm Grove estate residents seek injunction against apartment complex
Residents of the Palm Grove estate, a small development enclave located at Mile 4 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, want a ten-unit apartment complex being built by Keas New Road Limited in the area to be stopped for illegality. The problem is, the developers have largely addressed the concerns the residents raised, and have complied with all legal requirements, including permissions and permits from authorities. But the residents are still adamantly opposed, and so they have followed the advice of Belize City Mayor and attorney Darrell Bradley, and taken the matter to court, seeking an injunction to block the building of the complex. The first hearing took place today in chambers before Justice Courtney Abel. Representative for the residents Stephen Heusner and attorney Senior Counsel Dean Lindo declined an on-the-record interview, saying they preferred to wait until the matter was heard next Friday, June 6.

Police and residents clean up abandoned lot with bees’ nest
Abandoned and overgrown properties in Belize City are everywhere. In addition to being a nuisance for the Belize City Council, they have become handy hiding places for drugs and firearms to be stashed until they are claimed by police as “found property,” and even actual crimes such as rapes and robberies. One such property is located along the major thoroughfare of Mahogany Street at its junction with Flamboyant Street, and the nearby Police Department Precinct 2 Substation, working along with the Council’s employees and neighborhood residents organized into a watch committee, set to work cleaning up the area today. But they ran into an unexpected problem: a hive of bees. Sergeant Brent Hamilton, the Officer in Charge of Precinct 2 Substation says they removed the queen of the hive, causing her subjects to become disoriented. But they planned to clear out the entire area today, including cutting down the overgrown trees in the yard.

Charles Herrera charged for murder
25 year old Ezekiel Medina Hernandez was stabbed to death on Monday morning around 5:30 at the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets. But information has emerged which suggests that his presence in the area may not have been entirely benevolent. At the scene police recovered a bag containing a knife and a flashlight as well as a screwdriver, and observed a trail of Hernandez’s blood leading back to a nearby vehicle. The owner of that vehicle, 43 year old taxi operator Charles Herrera also known as “Bundy,” has claimed that he found a person identified as Hernandez breaking into his vehicle parked in front of his residence.

Two sides to alleged car theft case
There was a strange matter brought to Magistrate’s Court today. 39 year old Jason Jeffries of LaCroix Boulevard is being accused of theft of a vehicle valued at $2,000. According to St. James Street resident Carlos Aquino, he caught Jeffries inside his red Mazda Protégé vehicle around 5:00 a.m. on May 27 after hearing it starting up from inside his house. He had parked the vehicle in front of his residence after coming home around midnight but forgot to retrieve his car keys. Aquino claims that he saw Jeffries in the driver’s seat and as soon as Jeffries saw him he drove off. Aquino set chase and then Jeffries stopped the vehicle allowing Aquino to catch up.

Cancer Care Symposium looks at men’s health
A one-day symposium hosted by the Belize Cancer Society and its partners at the Radisson today took a look at cancers common to men and ways to reach out and address issues related to men’s health and cancer. Prostate and colorectal cancers are especially on the rise among men, particularly, for prostate cancer, in those of African descent, as shown in a recent study where African men in Trinidad and Tobago are three and a half times more likely to catch the disease than those of Indian descent. But with the macho culture prevalent among males preventing serious visits to the clinic, how does the health sector reach that half of the population? President of the Belize Cancer Society, Nurse Laura Longsworth says the health service system basically forgets about males after the vaccination scheme instituted for all children from birth to 5 years. She says there must be means of educating and making services available to men at risk for these cancers.

Economy slowing according to SIB statistics
The monthly review of economic and social statistics from the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) is out and the news is not particularly good. The gross domestic product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2014, January to March, is down by 0.4%, mainly due to decreased output in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. The big three of sugar, citrus and bananas are down as is petroleum, while tourism and smaller productive sectors like construction, shrimp production, beer production and even electricity production are up. The year-over-year inflation rate, known as the Consumer Price Index (CPI), is up 1.4% for the month of April, with increases in prices for some foods, transport, home rentals and butane (LPG). There are some decreases, particularly in diesel fuel and gasoline. Belmopan saw a 1.3% increase, in the middle between Dangriga’s high of 2.5% and Orange Walk’s low of 0.5%.

‘Pen gun” lands men in prison on remand
The Belize Police Department’s Quick Response Team is currently undergoing operations designed to rid streets of Orange Walk Town and surrounding villages of bad elements, firearms, ammunition and drugs. On Monday, May 25, the QRT team searched a group of young men gathered under a tree in Yo Creek Village. Authorities did not find anything incriminating on any of the eight persons but when they search the area, they found a black Pen Gun.


“The Secret Garden ( Sweet Seduction Suite) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I think I may have stirred myself from what has been a fairly dormant spell for me. I haven’t been totally inactive but I think it would be fair to say that I have been lackadaisical. By the way, I just love this word. It conjures up images for me of Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. I know that she never said the word in the film but if she had I’m sure it would have been ‘up there’ with “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (about now you are now switching to Google to find out if I spelt it right!). I mentioned in yesterday’s edition that Rose and I (more Rose than me, I have to acknowledge) have been giving some serious thought as to how we are going to landscape our garden. There are also a number of other things that we are keen to ‘get on the go’ so yesterday morning when out on the veranda with my mug of black coffee and the iPad I curtailed my reading of The Times online and my general daydreaming. Casting the iPad (gently of course) to one side I got myself a pad and pen and did what many of us do when we are planning something. Yes, that’s right, I started a list!

International Sources

Global Tropical Cyclones Shifting Poleward as the Climate Warms
Over the past 30 years, the location where tropical cyclones reach their maximum intensity has been shifting toward the poles in both the northern and southern hemispheres at a rate of about 35 miles (1/2° of latitude) per decade, according to a May 2014 study published in the journal Nature. Tropical cyclones include tropical storms, hurricanes, and typhoons. "Historical intensity estimates can be very inconsistent over time, but the location where a tropical cyclone reaches its maximum intensity is a more reliable value and less likely to be influenced by data discrepancies or uncertainties," said NOAA/University of Wisconsin lead author Jim Kossin in a NOAA press release. The researchers used data only from 1982 - 2012, the era when accurate global satellite data makes a full study of tropical cyclone intensities most feasible. Causes of the poleward shift: The poleward shift in tropical cyclones was likely due to observed changes in vertical wind shear and tropical cyclone potential intensity over the past 30years, which changed the regions most favorable for tropical cyclone development, the researchers said. Wind shear has been decreasing closer to the poles, and the potential intensity has been increasing (the potential intensity of a tropical cyclone depends upon the sea surface temperature underneath the storm and the amount of atmospheric instability, with warm air near the surface and cold air aloft giving higher instability and potential intensity.) Interestingly, these shifts were primarily observed in the Western North Pacific Ocean and the Southern Hemisphere's ocean areas.

Belize oil exploration campaign on deck
Belize authorities have received an EIS for oil exploration in the center of the country, BNamericas has learned. BCH International plans to ...

Why cruise ship activities are a waste of my holiday time
WHEN it comes to cruise ship activities, I’m missing out. Instead of playing $US1500 ($A1622.94) Powerball Bingo, I watched my cabin steward make a frog out of a bath towel. Instead of attending the Sunglow Make-Up seminar, I sat on a balcony and stared down at the waves. I hate to admit it, but I have missed Latin Beats with DJ Sir Charles. I didn’t sing at Superstar Karaoke. I never stayed up for the midnight Texas Hold-’em meet-up at the Jackpot Casino. I skipped Bodacious 80s Fun, Foot Print Analysis and trivia. Mainly, I’ve been wandering around trying to find my room and showing up for dinner. I’ve been sitting in chairs on the deck. I went ashore for part of a day in Belize. That’s pretty much it. After three days, I haven’t yet gone swimming in the pool or down the giant waterslide. Haven’t had a Quartz Lift Facial or gone to Game Show Mania. I’m actually not sure where the days have gone. Cozumel. Belize City. Honduras. It’s a blur. But I am sleeping quite well at night, the soft hum of the cruise ship motor a lullaby. If cruise ships did not have all these things to do, we would certainly complain. What would a cruise ship be if not for Snorkel With Lunch excursions? It has to offer Ionithermie Detox & Inch Loss seminars and the Giant Jenga Challenge or risk the wrath of longtime customers. But maybe cruise ships should also have other classes. The Art of Napping. The Zen of Doing Nothing in Particular. IPhone Detox.

Myrtle Beach area men face charges they stole $6.4 million from Sprint through fraudulent billing Read more here:
Two Horry County men are facing charges in federal court in San Antonio that they stole $6.4 million from the Sprint-Nextel wireless company through a series of fraudulent billings, and then used the proceeds to buy luxury automobiles and a home on an island in Belize. Darrell Doyle, 50, and Jason Boyd, 37, each face five felony charges of wire or mail fraud as well as felony conspiracy and money laundering charges. All told, the charges could put both men in prison for life. The men were arrested last week and released on $50,000 bonds during a detention hearing last week in Florence. In addition to the prison sentences, both men face fines of up to $20 million and the possible forfeiture of their property to pay back the $6.4 million. Among that property, according to court records, is a 2013 Mercedes automobile, a 2008 BMW automobile, the men’s personal residences, an oceanfront condominium in North Myrtle Beach and the home in Belize, located in the La Casa Pura Vida development.

Prof Bain's Endgame?
Having allowed his supporters to peddle the fallacy that his sacking was an attack on academic freedom and free speech, we can now only wonder at the intent of Professor Brendan Bain. For by failing to declare the larger contextual truth, Professor Bain is helping not only to deepen the poles between protagonists in the gay-rights debate but distracting attention from, and potentially weakening, a project to which he has made an invaluable contribution: the delivery of care to people living with HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. Professor Bain is a pioneer in the field. Until his firing a week ago by the University of the West Indies (UWI), he ran Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network, a regional agency that operates under the umbrella of the university, but is funded mostly by foreign donors. Having retired as an academic, his job at CHART, stripped to the core, was essentially as an administrator. There is, however, confusion - deliberately or otherwise - among Professor Bain's supporters.

Jamaica’s ‘unique’ brand of homophobia
Angeline Jackson, executive director of Quality of Citizenship Jamaica, an organization that advocates on behalf of lesbian and bisexual women and transgender Jamaicans, was walking with a friend in a town outside of Kingston, the country’s capital, in 2009 when two men robbed them. Jackson, now 24, said during a Capitol Hill reception on May 21 that U.S. Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) attended, that the two men who were stepbrothers forced her to perform oral sex on them at gunpoint. The two men raped Jackson’s friend before bringing them to one of their mother’s homes two hours later. Two female police officers came to Jackson’s home after she told her mother about the alleged incident. She said one of them told her that she “should leave this lifestyle and go back to church.” “I looked at her,” said Jackson as she spoke during the Capitol Hill reception. “I was like, you mean the same night that this has just happened to me this is the response that you give me as an officer of the law.”


Video: Belize 1, 8min.
Tom Guinan vacation

Video: Belize 2, 6min.
Tom Guinan vacation

Video: Belize 3, 14min.
Tom Guinan vacation

Video: Belize 4, 18min.
Tom Guinan vacation

Video: Belize 5, 16min.
Tom Guinan vacation

Video: Belize april 2014, 5min.
Nice vacation video

Video: Belize Tour Snorkeling whale sharks, 1/4 min.
Snorkeling with Whale Sharks with Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia Belize!

Video: Night dive off Ambergris Caye Belize, 1min.
Took this short video of an octopus while night diving in Ambergris Caye Belize. Amazing how her colors change.

Video: Belize 2014, 4min.
The Grove visited Belize this last week for the fourth year in a row. Here's a short video detailing our experiences and the impact we encountered on this year's trip.

Video: , 5min.
The Beauty of Belize - Real Estate Marketing for The Placencia Resort, Residence, Golf Course and Marina Petit pays d'Amérique centrale, le Belize, ex Honduras britannique, est un paradis tropical, recouvert de forêts luxuriantes donnant sur la mer des Caraïbes. Le Belize est une destination connue pour les amateurs de l'écotourisme. La côte, les îles et les récifs de corail raviront les amateurs de plongée. Il rassemble une mosaïque de cultures fascinantes, populations créole, maya et métis.

Video: Blue Creek Cave, Belize, 3min.
This video is about Blue Creek Cave, Belize- May 23, 2014 Our tour guide was Silvano Sho, a local man who lived by the creek. The Maya name for the Blue Creek is “Hokeb Ha,” or “Where the water enters the earth”. Blue Creek is an extremely large cave that begins near the village of Santa Cruz, where the river rushes under ground, resurfacing five mile later near the village of Blue Creek. The cave is classified as a wet cave with dry routes.

Isidore zaldivar

Video: Tiburones Nodriza, 4min.
Cayo Ambergris, Belize

May 28, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

SFXCU reach out to high school students
The Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union (SFXCU) Limited has been on Ambergris Caye for over 10 years and it is estimated that ¼ of the island’s population is a member of the organization. And now the credit union is reaching out to a new set of member, the students on the island. On Wednesday May 21st, the staff of the SFXCU visited and met with business and general studies students of the San Pedro High School. According to Lina Martinez, SFXCU San Pedro Branch Manager, the purpose of the visit was to encourage students to save. She explained that from the show of hands, the majority of the students have not learned to save and most of the initiative to save has to come from their parents. As part of SFXCU’s education program, they are reaching out to the student population and showing them some of the benefits that come with being a member. “The main purpose is to teach students to save. It is very important for youth to learn to put aside some of the cash they are receiving and even build up a savings and use their money in the future for their own benefit. SFXCU does have a student’s saving program, and some can even benefit of a student grant,” explained Martinez.

Stingrays – worth more alive than dead!
Stingrays are a common sight in the tropical waters off Ambergris Caye, and they are some of the main attractions for visitors, contributing to the millions of tourism generated dollars for the country’s economy. However, all that was not taken into consideration after a Southern Stingray was fished, dragged on shore, then left to die in the Boca del Rio Area. Marine conservationists found the dead animal on Tuesday May 20th and notified authorities about their finding. One person who has been studying sharks and rays in Belize and in the region and who responded to the call was Dr Rachael Graham, Director of MAR Alliance. According to Dr. Graham, they were notified of the dead ray by Marine Biologists at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. “We found the ray on the sand in the general area near the bridge. The ray was recently killed, perhaps in the night or early in the morning and she had a large J-hook lodged in her mouth with large piece of bait on it. Her spine was not broken and it did not appear that she was beaten or hit. She was just dragged ashore and left to die on the sand,” explained Graham.

2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season draws near
The 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season is right around the corner and Drs Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University have predicted a below-average season as compared to activity from 1981 to 2010. The forecast was issued Thursday, April 10th and predicts a relatively quiet hurricane season for the Atlantic Basin. According to information gathered, the El Niño effect will most likely develop through Summer and Fall with a moderate strength. Due to the cooler temperatures in the tropical Atlantic over the past few months it is anticipated that there will be below-average probability for major hurricanes to make landfall along the United Sates coastline and the Caribbean. The forecast predicts that the 2014 hurricane season will only see three hurricanes, nine named storms, 35 named storm days, 12 hurricane days, one major hurricane and two major hurricane days.

Making Bollos (Tamales)!
You can’t possibly come to Belize and not try a bollo! That would be like going to the beach and not getting into the water! Bollos or tamales as it is popularly known are a traditional Mestizo dish, enjoyed and adopted by all cultures in Belize. What is it? A bollo is a meal of seasoned meat (chicken or pork) wrapped in soft homemade corn dough (masa), and then steamed in plantain or banana leaves. Bollos can also be vegetarian by substituting the meat with additional veggies! Yum! Wanna try em? Here is a super yummy, easy to follow recipe provided by: Uj Janal Aj Maya a collection of traditional Maya cuisines by Aurora Garcia Saqui. But first, you’ll need to get two banana leaves! (Most international ethnic stores sell them- and once you wrap the bollo once, foil can seal the deal.)

Rum+ Bean at Mahogany Bay Village
Looking for a quick caffeine fix? Check out Rum+ Bean at Mahogany Bay Village.....good coffee, great ambiance -Trust us, it's worth the drive! (7 photos)

Ambergris Today

Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development Appoints New Chairman
The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development(ACCSD) is proud to announce that they have a newly appointed Co-Chairman for their organization. As of May 13, 2014 Mr. Francis ‘Billy’ Leslie has accepted the post and will be working with the ACCSD in his new position. He has been serving as Director for the past four years and has been very fundamental in the establishing of the organization. The ACCSD is pleased that Mr. Leslie has accepted this appointment and know he will represent the organization well and will contribute much to the community.

Two Golf Carts Donated to Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II San Pedro
On Friday, May 23, 2014, two golf carts were handed over to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II that were donated by Ramon's Village Resort through the San Pedro Town Council. On site for the presentation were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, Councilor Severo Guerrero, Mr. Ramon Nuñez, Dr. Javier Zuniga, Mr. Owen Vellos and Nurse Maria Jeffrey.

Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 4
But this time the unexpected happened. Wilber had just struck a fine 15-pound grouper and was joyfully surfacing with his catch to put it inside his dory with the other 20 groupers he had already speared early that morning. Suddenly the shark was coming directly at him and he only noticed when it was some 15 feet away. Its mouth was already open and instinct told him the animal was hungry and on the attack mood. Of course as an experienced four-year old skin diver, Wilber knew that the shark was after the grouper and not after him. Instinctively, he placed the spear with the grouper directly in front of him to offer it to his new “guest”. At the precise moment the shark ripped off half of the fish and the spear partly entered its mouth but so did the bamboo of the Hawaiian sling, and Wilber’s left hand. Fortunately for Wilber he was able to pull his arm on the split second. The razor sharp teeth of the animal grazed like sharp knives damaging skin, tendons, and blood vessels. As best as he could Wilber surfaced and hollered, “SHARK”. This immediately caught the attention of one of his companions who came to the rescue. The remainder of the story was a fight against time. It took some time for the crew of Edwardo Brown’s boat, La Perdida, to stop the bleeding. It took time to stop the pain in a boat with no first aid kit. It took many hours of sailing in a calm day to reach Belize City and the hospital. And it took close to a month in the hospital for the injuries to heal properly before Wilber was given the green light. And here is the worst part. How much time did Wilber need to recover from this frightening experience to return to skin diving? It did not take much as there was no other choice. Soon he was back at sea to challenge the forces of nature and to brush aside that slight fear of the shark encounter. Fearless “men of the sea” indeed!

Flashbacks: The Famous Fido's in Ambergris Caye
If there is one place that has left a landmark in San Pedro and that has undergone lots of transformation, it has got to be Fido’s. It started as Fido’s Hotel and was part of the chain of Coral Beach Hotels. The Original Fido Nuñez then transformed it to Fido’s Place with restaurant and bar which became a central point for tourists from all over. Fido’s place seen here was an open place with palm trees, sea grape, and even a tall almond. The small palapa in the background was the entertainment area where Wil Nuñez, son of Fido Nuñez, and Chico Flores entertained with guitars, harmonica and maracas. There was a boardwalk, sand and even some patches of grass. This was the beginning of what was to be transformed into the famous Fido’s Courtyard.

The Art of Listening
Mayor of San Pedro Town, His Lordship Mayor Daniel Guerrero, is perhaps the mayor that has communicated the most with the residents. His medium is the Reef TV Good Morning Show where he entertains questions, complaints, suggestions from the public. And very often he comments that he welcomes suggestions because it is the only way that he can know what the people want. Recently, however, it has been suggested to the Mayor to cut down on unnecessary spending so that the council can have money to invest on security/policing so as to lower crime and vandalism. The area that callers have been suggesting is to cut down on fireworks spending which could amount to up to $80,000 per year. This, the Mayor says, will never happen because his people and tourists deserve colorful celebrations.

Misc Belizean Sources

Statement from Bowen and Bowen
On improvements, supply, and quality

Attracting investments and growing the Belizean Economy Part IV
Coming back to the general theme of this article, empirical studies have consistently shown that if developing countries (like Belize) are indeed serious about addressing the problem of job and economic growth, we need to shift our focus on those policy hindrances that have been highlighted time and time again. The policy makers and those who put them there ought to raise the bar on the conversation on this matter FAR beyond the political rhetoric that seems to have trivialized this issue. It’s not rocket science. If decades’ worth of data from a myriad of researchers are pointing out that poor quality institutions (bad governance, corruption, red tape, and poor provision of public goods) and low levels of human capital development (reflected in poor education policies) are at the core growth issues that have been widely talked about, then it is relatively conspicuous what needs to be done in this country to achieve the desired growth levels.

Public Service Information Day
The Ministry of Public Service is having their Public Service Information Day in Belmopan this Thursday, May 29th, starting at 9:30am. It'll be taking place at Sir George Brown Field. Learn more about the Belize Public Service.

The Summer of Gold: How the Yellow Cortez tree can change Belize
Not unlike the Cherry Blossom trees that bloom every April/May in Washington DC, Belizean Richard Harrison is hoping that the Yellow Cortez tree will draw tourists to Central America. The Yellow Cortez tree is native to the dry forests native to Central America, and Belize. Like the Cherry blossoms they bloom with the rainy season between Mid April and Mid May. Harrison is behind the Summer of Gold or Verano de Oro project whose goal is to plant 100,000 Yellow Cortez trees throughout Belize, particularly along highways. Mr. Harrison believes that this will create a spectacularly unique man-made wonder of very high value to Belize utilizing a natural forest species. In addition to adding a beautiful tourism draw, Harrison feels the project can foster participation by Belizeans, which may improve quality of life and contribute to the wealth of the area.

Belize residents threatened with imprisonment over corn planting
The office of the attorney general of Belize has filed an interim injunction that threatens imprisonment and other sanctions against members of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), if they proceed with an initiative to utilize basic agricultural development in their maintenance of the buffer zone of the Harmonyville Farming Community. The buffer zone is the narrow strip of land that separates the highway and the community. According to the 'National Guidelines for Subdivision and Consolidation of Land in Belize 2010', a 20ft buffer is required between the property and the shoulder of the road for all subdivisions next to a main highway to minimize accidents and obstruction of the traffic flow. In the case of the Harmonyville buffer zone, a 50ft wide buffer was mandated. Some 29 acres have been cleared so far for the project in question. The innovative initiative would not only clean and beautify the buffer zone (something the government had previously indicated was BGYEA’s responsibility) but, was also designed to provide for the development of roads for the Harmonyville Community (something for which the government had previously indicated that no help would be forthcoming), all in a manner that in no way precludes future use of the buffer zone for public purposes.

No Show Biz Revolution!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez Everyone is looking for a showbiz revolution When the real revolution is returning to our agricultural orientation Being able to feed ourselves as a nation Poverty is not Belize’s ailment Poverty is not having the confidence To take opportunities for our own development Why are we waiting for a government? Why do the people like to lament? PUDP is not about development The real similitude of this government Is that of tenant paying rent, but we have as a people have become decadent We’ll allowed this government to renege on our arrangement

Using intellectual property to enhance business
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has launched its latest initiative on the subject of intellectual property (IP): a series of private sector IP clinics that will take place across the region. The first of the sessions took place in Belize from April 29-30 and three more sessions are scheduled to follow over the next two months in the region. The clinics are the second phase of a developmental project which was initiated through an intensive workshop entitled “The Use of Intellectual Property as a Tool for Business/Export Enhancement”, which the Agency hosted in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2013 and where participants recommended that engagement take place at the national level to help tease out issues businesses are facing with regards to protecting their intellectual property assets (i.e. trademarks, brands, trade secrets, etc.). These clinics directly correlate to a critical component of the EU 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The intervention also responds to a specific need in the entertainment industry: the need for knowledge and correct observance of intellectual property rights and procedures.

Belmopan Humane Society Clinic
Animal Lovers please make note that the Belmopan Humane Society will be doing a clinic Sunday, June 1 at the BHS property. If you know of anyone that can benefit from the subsidized spay/neuter program please have them contact Lilly Morison at 602-7947 to work out a price and an appointment time.They can only do 10 animals.

Power interruption 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday, June 1: entire San Pedro Town
Power interruption 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday, June 1: entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. This scheduled power interruption is necessary for BEL to replace utility poles and insulators, install voltage regulators and reclosers on the transmission system; and conduct maintenance and upgrades at the San Pedro Substation.

Simm'r a flaverfil soup fer a heertee dinn'r
Soups air always a good meal opshun fer dinn'r. A'followin air a few faves frum T' Amish Cook column ov'r t'yeers. VEGETABLE SOUP 1 pound hamburg'r 1 onion, choppet 2 cups potatoes, dicet 1 cup carrots, dicet 1 pint corn 1 pint peas 1 quart mater juice 1 1 /2 teespoons salt 1 teespoon black pepp'r Direckshuns: Brown hamburg'r an' onion n' a skillet. Put hamburg'r an' onion into a large pot an' add potatoes, carrots, corn peas, mater juice, an' salt an' pepp'r. Cook ov'r medium heat until vegetables air soft. Recipe note: Sumtimes I use a pint o'beef chunks insteed o'hamburg'r. I also leeve t'onion whole an' cook it wit t'res o't' vegetables.

May 18 - May 24 2014 Fishing Report
Ferdy is the only German at the lodge this week. He is a riot. His passion for fly fishing can be described only as bubbling enthusiasm. He said he will let all of Germany know about all the fun here at El Pescador. Walking down the dock, Ferdy told me, “I wear my most lucky shirt today! It is from New Zealand. I always have good luck with this shirt!” When he came back, he had slammed on fly! 500 pictures later and a ton of stories about each day out on the water. We’ll get some of those pictures out soon for everyone to see. For me, I just love it when our anglers come back to fish here. Kevin, George and Bobbi, Dave and Donna, Mark just brought his family and he was here last month… Rob and Donn showed up yesterday well armed… Anyway, our EP family loves it when you return. We like to see you take ownership with your familiar EP life. It makes us feel good!

Channel 7

Man Stabbed To Death In City; Was He Caught Stealing?
The holiday weekend was deadly: one man was shot to death in Belize City, while another was stabbed; and in Caledonia village a teenager was chopped to death. We start in the city where an unidentified man was found dead on the river side in Lake Independence. He had been stabbed to death - but it didn't appear to be the usual type of city based violence - which usually involves guns, gang rivalries or old beefs. None of those seems to have applied here, so why was the mystery man killed. Daniel Ortiz tried to find that out today:... Daniel Ortiz reporting The body of 25 year-old Dangriga resident Ezekiel Hernandez Medina was found on the riverside at the corner of Lavender and Partridge Streets yesterday morning just before 5:30. He was unknown in the area, and not even the police knew who he was. It is believed that he had been killed earlier in the night because his body was already starting to decompose. The police found a tattoo on his arm, and with the help of the media, his family came looking to confirm that it was his body.

Taxi-Man Murder In City
That was the long weekend's second murder; the first happened on Saturday morning around 1:30 when another taxi man was killed. 56 year old Stanley Thompson was ambushed on Logwood Street - which is off Vernon Street. We say "ambush" because as his common law explains, Thompson was at home when he got a call to make a taxi run - presumably a call from someone he knows. His family believes that was a setup for murder:.. Sharette Willoughby, Common-Law Wife of Deceased "The information I have gotten was from the police telling me that he was shot. They didn't say whether or not it was in the car or how it exactly happen. They just said he had two shots to the back and it seem to have been a robbery. However I don't feel that way. I believe that it was an ambush - someone set him up because he only work on calls, he doesn't come out for anybody and he has to scrutinize you thoroughly before he comes out to get you. However they did not take any money, the wallet was intact, but they took only the phone and that was all I got from the police."

Family Dispute Spawns Machete Killing In Caledonia
And to round out the stories of long weekend violence, a 26 year old was chopped to death in Caledonia Village in the Corozal District - and three brothers are in jail for it tonight. On Sunday night at 9:00 Eder Alcoser was attacked as he stood in front of a Chinese store in the village. He was attacked by three of the Rosales brothers, David, Elias and Perfecto Jr. They chopped him numerously and repeatedly - until his family rushed to his defence - and that's when his father in law also got chopped. Eyewitnesses say it was a terrible, bloody scene where onlookers didn't want to help to take the injured to the hospital. Alcoser was still alive, but died on the way to the hospital. All three Rosales brothers were immediately detained and they were charged for murder today.

Marcial Mes Crashes And Dies
Former PUP Minister and two-term PUP Toledo West Area Representative Marcial Mes died yesterday in a traffic accident. It happened at about 1:15 am in Yemeri Grove village, about 7 miles outside of Punta Gorda town. According to Patrick Mes was behind the wheel of his Toyota RAV 4 early on Monday morning when the vehicle ran off the road, plunged into a ditch and crashed into a cement culvert. He died on the spot while his passenger was injured. He was reportedly driving to his home in San Marcos village. The 64 year old Mes has an unfortunate history of traffic accidents. He knocked down two children in Forest Home Village in 2007 - which resulted in criminal charges bring brought while he was a member of the House of Representatives and Cabinet. He would later get off those charges. And in 2008, after he left politics, he was charged for drunk driving when he crashed into the back of a police mobile.

Nickel and Coming A Senior Counsel?
A week ago, we told you about Minister of State Edmond Castro, the Area Rep for Belize Rural North, who had to face a court challenge brought by one of his constituents, Trevor Vernon. He believed that Castro had violated the Cabinet code of conduct. Castro's attorney, Denys Barrow, managed to get the case thrown out on the technicality that Vernon made an error when he started a public law claim instead of going the private law route. Vernon was slapped with a $5,000 cost of court which Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ordered that he pay to Castro for legal fees. That basically meant that Vernon had to pay Denys Barrow for defending Castro. So today, Vernon showed up to Barrow's law office on Coney Drive with two pillow cases filled with what he says is half the money. You might suspect that he was taking this matter "mek papishow" because he was forcing the persons receiving the money to count out $2,500 in small change. He told us today that it was nothing like that; this it was a contribution from people in Belize Rural North who supported that he was challenging Castro's actions as a sitting Minister. Here's how he explained it:

Arthur Tells Rodwell, It's All About Change
Another attorney who got paid today in shillings and dollar coins was Rodwell Williams. As we told you last week Friday, the Supreme Court granted Prime Minister Dean Barrow the biggest award ever for defamation - and the man doing the defaming was attorney Arthur Saldivar. He called in on the WUB in 2011 and wrongfully accused Prime Minister Dean Barrow of being corrupt. He now has to pay $60,000 to the Prime Minister for the defamatory remarks, and an additional $9,500 to his attorney Rodwell Williams for his costs in defending the prime minister. And to hear his story - it's just like Vernon's: he says the people of Belize Rural North chipped in to pay. So, if you follow this fanciful narrative, then you'd have to believe that Saldivar's Rural North supporters were in an especially giving mood this weekend because in addition to the $2,500 they supposedly raised for his committee member Trevor Vernon, they then raised another $2,000 for Saldivar to pay up. Saldivar invited the media to view the two pans of coins before it was delivered to Rodwell William's law office this evening. Here's what he had to say about Rural North's supposed generosity:

Belize Council Of Churches Stands Up For Professor Bain
The public pressure in Jamaica continues to build against the University of the West Indies for its decision to terminate Professor Brendan Bain, for what was taken as an "anti-gay" affidavit in Belize's UNIBAM case. Today, the Belize Council of Churches - for whom he made the affidavit - joined in the condemnation of that decision in a letter to the University of the West Indies. The letter says they wish to quote, "express our disappointment and outrage at the…termination." They characterize it as quote, "an act of extreme cowardice carried out at the behest of an ungrateful and unreasonable minority." The statements concludes angrily, "we and the over two billion Christians in this world will not be silenced by this terrible injustice....carried out at the behest of the LBGT community." And while the council of Churches is producing strident declarations in Belize, the press in Jamaica is reporting that an online petition demanding that Professor E. Nigel Harris, the Vice Chancellor of UWI, must apologize for unjustly terminating Professor Bain, has already gotten over 1,900 votes. A protest was staged yesterday in front of the UWI Mona Campus in Jamaica, and reporters from Jamaica Observer Newspaper, spoke to a few of the demonstrators about its importance. Here's what they had to say:

Police Shot A 19 Year Old
Tonight a 19 year resident of Unitedville is at the KHMH recovering from a surgery to remove multiple gunshot pellets from his back. Early on Monday morning, Elston Arnold was shot in the back by police - and his family says it is for no reason at all. Arnold and two friends were coming from a wake and a church bus had dropped them on the highway about half a mile from their home. A police mobile pulled up and searched them. One of Arnold's cousins had words with the police, and the police started to beat him. Arnold's family says that Elston Arbnold started to leave, when one of the police officers shot him in the back with a pump action shotgun. Worse than that, they say the officers then left him there - and a justice of the peace had to rush him to the Western Regional Hospital. He later had to be transferred to the KHMH - which is where he had surgery today to remove multiple shotgun pellets.

Albert Reid Remanded To Jail
Last week, we told you about 24 year-old Albert "Cat" Reid, who was charged for the murder of 57 year-old Maurice Young. Well tonight he's at the Belize Central Prison. He was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, and due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded to prison until July 15. As we told you, Young was found in a bushy area behind his house in the quiet village along the old Northern Highway. He was chopped to death, and it is suspected that the assailant was trying to rob him.

Cousins To Court On Gun Charge
Cousins 21 year old Kenroy Willoughby and 26 year old Nuri Polanco are at the Belize Central Prison tonight after they were taken to court for threatening a man with a gun. The complainant, 23 year old Jason Lamb, reported to the police that on Sunday evening, he was attending a dinner function on antelope Street Extension when he got into an argument with Willoughby. Lamb said Willoughby pulled out a firearm from the waist of his pants and pointed it at him. Lamb said he tried to move away, but he was blocked by Polanco who approached him. Lamb said he began to fear for his life so he jumped into his car and drove off.

Playing with Fire At Club Elite
Club Elite is the latest incarnation of the Princess Ramada Hotel's clubbing scene inside the hotel, but on last Friday, patrons got a bit more than they bargained for when a pyrotechnic stunt got out of control. Persons who were there told us that one of the bartenders ran liquor along the length of the bar, and lit it on fire. Might sound scary, but they do that all the time when the club is hyped up - and, if you've had a few - it's usually quite a show to see the trail of fire race from one end of the bar to the next. On Friday, however, the bartender reportedly wanted to keep the fire going a little longer than usual and he poured more liquor on the bar. But, the fire spread from the bar to liquor bottle causing it to explode. One of the patrons who was nearby caught the brunt of the explosion and reportedly suffered significant burns because of it. Another nearby patron got a little bit of the rum on fire on his clothes which caught on fire. We're told that in their panic to try to put out the blazing liquid on them, then scared a large number of the club goers who dashed for the exit.

MIT Makes Weed Busts
A joint law enforcement patrol made a good sized marijuana bust yesterday. At 10:00 in the morning, the team comprising the Mobile Interdiction Team, the K9 Unit, the Anti Drug Unit and Customs searched an abandoned lot on George Price Avenue in Santa Elena where k9 TOONJE picked up the scent of illegal narcotics. Well, he smelt right through the ground, because the team had to dig to find a white bucket buried with a large garbage bag inside. It contained 4.9 kilos - or almost 11 pounds of cannabis. No one was in the area and it was Labeled as Found Property. And this morning at 5:00 am, a joint team conducted a Vehicle Check Point in Roaring Creek on the Western Highway in front of West Star Gas station. A search was conducted on a J & J bus was searched and it led to the discovery of a red / black and white bag. That contained 2 small buckets with 3 packages wrapped in gray duct tape containing 2 kilos, or four and a half pounds of cannabis. No one claimed the bag so it was labeled a Found Property.

Central Region Kept Ipad Purchase Secret
The Auditor General's damning report on the Central Health Region. We told you about portions of it last Thursday and Friday, and we continue tonight, as we unearth the full details of those two ipads purchased under dubious circumstances:... Jules Vasquez reporting The auditors found that Regional Manager Melinda Guerra authorized the preparation and approval of twelve (12) payments totaling $16,997.99, which misrepresented the service or item ordered, received and paid for by the CHR. The auditor laments, "We were particularly concerned about the apparent intentional disguising and misrepresentation of key information on official payment documents and records for it creates an environment that is susceptible to fraud, waste and abuse." And that's just what seemed to have happened in the case of three thousand dollars paid for two Ipad minis. These were recorded as "payments for 2 hard drives" - but when the auditors looked into the records, they found that, quote, "the 2 hard drives that were requested via requisition…ordered on purchase orders …was a fiction and were not received. The accounts section was provided with the tax invoice which was also a misrepresentation of what the transaction was about.

KHMH Looking Into Acquisition Of Pair Of Vans
In other news concerning irregularities in the public health sector, two vans acquired by the KHMH are under scrutiny tonight. 7News has obtained a leaked copy of the findings of an internal investigation done into the acquisition of the pair of 2012, twelve passenger vans. It notes that the Certificate of Registration for both vans state that they are 15 seating capacity. But an inspection of the vans shows them both as 12 seating capacity. The report notes that the report from the Hospital's Stores Department does not match with the Bill of Sales from a dealership named Matthew Currie where the vans were finally purchased from. It notes also that the mileage on the Carfax report does not match with the details on the Bill of Sales from the dealership. It notes as well that the wire transfer payment for the vehicle was made to a dealer named OFF LEASE, but it was eventually purchased from another dealer named MATTHEW CURRIE.

The Art of Walking Away From Cyclical Violence
Over our years in news, we can hardly count the number of times we've been called out to Sibun Street to cover crime news. It was the base of Back-A-Town gang, and embedded between two rival factions. So, violence, sustained violence was inevitable - and, to us, it seemed to have culminated in June of 2013, when someone walked into the house and just shot and killed one of the residents. It's the kind of thing that usually spawns a cycle of violence and endless retaliations. But, last week Monica Bodden found out how the gang broke the cycle by just moving away and turning the backs on violence:... Monica Bodden reporting Once known as Becka Town, the family property located on the canal side on Sibun Street was purchased in 1983 by Miss Becka Samuels - where it became the home for her next generation. That name would later change to Back-A-Town - an alleged gang territory for one of Belize's crip gangs. Sitting in an area surrounded by two of their rival gangs - Ghost Town and Raiders, Back-A-Town became a gang war zone. For many years, numerous ongoing shootouts targeted the poverty stricken neighborhood -some of which resulted in murders. Take for example 17 year old Shenelle Reyes - the 4thrd form student of Sadie Vernon High - who resided in one of the housing units. Her life was cut short months before her high school graduation when she was shot in the chest by a sawed off shotgun inside her living quarters that had no electricity at the time.

OW Police Looking For Hit And Run Driver
Orange Walk police are seeking the help of the public to investigate who knocked down and killed 68 year-old Santiago Cocom. ON SATURDAY NIGHT, The trial farm resident was on Queen Victoria Avenue, and was trying to cross the street when a vehicle ran him over and dragged him a few yards away from the point of impact. Instead of stopping and rending aid, the driver of the vehicle sped off, and Cocom was left to die. Police say that they have a description of a vehicle and a license plate that they are currently trying to track down.

G. Collective Headed Out On Major European Tour
The Garifuna Collective is going on a 6 week European Tour. They leave tomorrow for Germany, and then head to France, go back to Germany and then travel to Switzerland, Brussels, and the Netherlands. It's one of their most ambitious tours yet where they'll be playing at festivals on back to back days. Today, they told us they are excited and even a little nervous:.. On the days when they aren't performing, the collective will be collaborating with other artists - and working on a new album.

BES Bests Volleyball
Belize Elementary School boys and girls are the Belize district volleyball champions. The District Finals were held today the Bird's Isle where in the female category championship game, Belize Elementary School defeated Holy Redeemer School. 25-12, 25-10, while in the male section, Belize Elementary School defeated Crooked Tree Gov't School. 25-14, 25-20. For the girls, this is their fourth year winning the district in a row. They will represent the Belize District at the National Primary School Volleyball Championship on Friday 6th June.

Channel 5

56 year old taxi operator executed on Bank Street
Two men lost their lives violently in separate incidents in Belize City over the weekend while a third was viciously chopped to death up north. The bloodshed started in the [...]

Dangriga resident murdered in Belize City; alleged killer detained
Norman Thompson’s execution was followed by the stabbing murder of twenty-five year old Ezekiel Medina in the city. His body was found early on Monday morning and it took hours [...]

Caledonia man is chopped to death
Up north in the village of Caledonia, an ex-boyfriend was viciously chopped to death on the abdomen while at a Chinese store in the village. Three brothers have been charged [...]

Former P.U.P. Minister Marcial Mes killed in traffic accident
In the early hours of Monday morning, former P.U.P. Minister and Toledo West Area Representative sixty-five year old Marcial Mes died in a road traffic accident. Mes was driving his [...]

Francis Fonseca remembers the political life of Marcial Mes
Leader of the People’s United Party Fonseca told us he got the news early Monday morning. Marcial Mes served as the P.U.P. Area Representative for Toledo West from 1998 to [...]

Do you support the termination of Professor Brendan Bain from the CHART?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support the termination of Professor Brendan Bain from the CHART program at UWI? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

Trevor Vernon and his pillowcases filled with shillings
On May nineteenth, a case brought against Minister of State Edmond Castro was thrown out by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The case had been filed by Belize Rural North resident, [...]

PM Barrow cashes out in coins
On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a defamation suit brought against opinionated attorney Arthur Saldivar for disparaging remarks he reportedly made in [...]

Arthur Saldivar explains why he was a no-show in court
The lump sum was to have been settled on Monday; however, Saldivar has indicated that he will appeal the judgment.  When asked why he did not appear in court to [...]

Internal Audit conducted at K.H.M.H. on purchase of 2 vans
News Five has reported extensively on two comprehensive audits which point to large-scale financial irregularities and misuse of public funds – one for the Southern Regional Hospital and the other [...]

P.U.P. Leader does not support reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich
The proposed reappointment of Court of Appeal Justice Samuel Awich by the Prime Minister is facing opposition. The Justice’s contract ended on May fifteenth, and Prime Minister Dean Barrow has [...]

Elvin Penner goes back to court this week, but where is the evidence
Disgraced former Minister of State Elvin Penner will be back in court on Thursday, the defendant in a private prosecution brought by COLA. But Penner’s appearance before Lady Justice may [...]

P.U.P. Leader demanding apology from PM Barrow
Last Thursday, Minister of State Mark King told the media that his government looks after U.D.P. first, Belizeans second and P.U.P. last. While those words are likely true, in this [...]

UWI Vice Chancellor says it’s not about Freedom of Speech
In the aftermath of the termination of Dr. Brendan Bain’s contract, as head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Program at the University of the West Indies, there has been [...]

P.U.P. Leader takes position on ‘homosexuality’ issue
The Bain discussion continues to rage, with almost frenzied submissions from both sides of the argument. Today, P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca told News Five that the ‘homosexuality’ issue, for lack [...]

Audrey Matura-Shepherd fiery comments on Bain’s dismissal
While Fonseca advises respect and rational discussion, activist Audrey Matura-Shepherd is more direct. The outspoken attorney was a guest on OYE this morning and condemned the move to oust Professor [...]

The weekend sporting highlights
Good evening folks, I am Duane Moody and welcome to this episode of Sports Tuesday. James Adderley is taking some time off, so I am sitting in for him.   [...]


Chief Magistrate Remands Duo After Aggravated Assault
Twenty-one year old Kenroy Willoughby, the brother of Julian Willoughby who was shot and killed about three weeks ago, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Willoughby’s uncle, 26 year old Nuri Polanco, was charged jointly with him. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were remanded into custody until July 14. The complainant, 23 year old Jason Lamb, a resident of Pelican Street Extension, reported to the police that he was attending a family dinner on Antelope Street Extension when he and Willoughby got into an argument. Lamb said Willoughby, who was with Polanco, took out a pistol from the waist of his pants and pointed it at him. Lamb said he feared for his life so he got into his car and drove off.

Laborer Faces Murder Charge
Twenty-four year old Albert Reid, a.k.a. “Cat”, a laborer of Pine Street in Belize city, was charged with the murder of 57 year old Maurice Young when he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Reid was remanded into custody until July 15. Around 6:10 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, Ladyville Police, acting on information received, went to Santana Village and visited Young’s residence where they found his body in an advanced state of decomposition in a bushy area about 100 feet from his house. According to reports, there was a chop wound to the back of his neck. The following day, Wednesday, May 21, police detained Reid and charged him.


Dangriga Man Found Stabbed to Death in Belize City
A Dangriga man spent about 24 hours as a “John Doe,” but he has now been identified as 25 year old Ezekiel Hernandez of the Rivas Estate area. Police visited the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets next to the Haulover Creek around 5:23 Monday morning and observed Hernandez’s body...

Taxi Man Ambushed and Killed
The other murder in Belize City over the weekend took place early on Sunday morning. 56 year old Norman Thompson, a taxi operator of West Street, was driving his car in an alley joining Banak Street to Logwood Street next to La Popular Bakery. He was headed toward Banak...

Hit and Run Accident in North Claims one Life
A hit and run incident claimed the life of one man on Saturday night at Orange Walk Town. The victim has since been identified as Santiago Cocom. Initial reports say that the vehicle that hit Cocom dragged him about 100 yards from the point of impact and did not...

Machete Fight in Corozal Leaves One Dead
A machete fight in Caledonia Village, Corozal District has left a young man dead and his father hospitalized while three men are in police custody. According to reports, 26 year old Eder Alcoser, labourer of Caledonia village, visited a local Chinese store at around 9:00 pm on Sunday, May...

Jamaicans Protest Over Professor Bain’s Dismissal
This past Friday, Plus News reported on the protest held at Battlefield Park in Belize City where some 100 Belizeans gathered to condemn the firing of Professor Brendan Bain. The protest saw individuals from a cross-section of the Belizean society standing in solidarity with the Professor who was dismissed as...

Jamaican Bar Association Speaks out Over Bain’s Firing
In related news, The Jamaican Bar Association (Jambar) late Friday called on Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Professor Nigel Harris to give due process to Professor Brendan Bain. In a lengthy press release the group, which is the latest and largest to give its support to Dr...

Man Shot in Belmopan
There was a shooting incident that occurred in Belmopan during the weekend. According to police reports, on Sunday May 25th, at around 8:15 pm Belmopan Police responded to a shooting incident in the area of Las Flores, Belmopan. There in front of the community centre they found 24 year...

Murder Suspect Charged
24 year old Albert “Cat” Reid is remanded after being formally arraigned for the murder of Santana Village resident Maurice Young. Young suffered a chop wound to the back of the neck and his decomposing body was found 100 yards from his house by police from Ladyville around 6:10 in the...

Decomposed Body Found in Indianville, PG
Punta Gorda police have retrieved the decomposed body of a man from the Indianville area of the town. The body was discovered on Monday and according to police reports, they are still trying to identify him. In the meantime, police are awaiting the results of an autopsy to determine...

Three Persons Apprehended Over Spree of Robberies
Corozal Police Formation have apprehended three individuals in connection with a spree of robberies that occurred over the past few weeks. According to Officer Commanding Corozal Police Station ASP Daniel Arzu, the trio was apprehended due to the relentless efforts on the part of Corozal Police. ASP Daniel Arzu- ...

Former Minister Marcial Mess Dies in Traffic Accident
Former PUP Area Representative for Toledo West and Minister Marcial Mes, was killed in an early morning traffic accident in the Toledo District on Sunday. Mes was headed from Punta Gorda Town to his home in San Marcos Village when he crashed into a culvert and died. The accident...

Two Charged for Aggravated Assault with Firearm
A family gathering in Belize City over the holiday weekend threatened to become violent when relatives introduced a firearm into the discussion. 21 year old Kenroy Willoughby and 26 year old Nuri Polanco now have to spend their time behind bars after being charged for aggravated assault with a...

Trevor Vernon Pays Court Cost to Edmund Castro in Shillings
Ever seen $2,500 – in “shillings?” We did today, as former litigant Trevor Vernon went to pay his court costs to his opponent Edmond Castro’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow. Vernon and assistant Peter Carter logged in two large knapsacks containing 5,000 25-cent pieces amounting to $1,250 each for a...

Injunction Sought in Belmopan Wooden Building Case
Abner Valladares and his wife have still not been able to place their wooden building fitted for a boutique on their Belmopan property. We had reported to you that Valladarez went through all the necessary procedures to get approval for the building, or at least he thought so, but...

Patrick Jones

Murder suspect charged
24 year old Albert “Cat” Reid is remanded after being formally arraigned for the murder of Santana Village resident Maurice Young. Young suffered a chop wound to the back of the neck and his decomposing body was found 100 yards from his house by police from Ladyville around 6:10 in the evening of May 20. Police arrested Reid the following day and today he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith who remanded him to prison until his next court appearance on July 29.

Two charged for aggravated assault with firearm
A family gathering in Belize City over the holiday weekend threatened to become violent when relatives introduced a firearm into the discussion. Now carpenter 21 year old Kenroy Willoughby of Antelope Street and 26 year old Nuri Polanco of Antelope Street Extension are behind bars after being charged for aggravated assault with a firearm following an incident on Sunday evening. Around 5:45 p.m., 23 year old Jason Lamb of Pelican Street Extension was attending a family dinner on Antelope Street Extension when he got into an argument with Willoughby, who took out a black pistol he was carrying and pointed it at Lamb. A frightened Lamb retreated to his vehicle but was pursued by Willoughby and Polanco.

Dangriga man found dead in Belize City
A Dangriga man who spent about 24 hours as a “John Doe,” has now been identified as 25 year old Ezekiel Hernandez of the Rivas Estate area. Police visited the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets next to the Haulover Creek around 5:23 am on Monday and observed Hernandez’s body with three stab wounds to the upper right side of the back. A post mortem examination is scheduled as police investigation continues.

City taxi man ambushed, says family
Early on Sunday morning, 56 year old Norman Thompson, a taxi operator of West Street, was driving his car in an alley joining Banak Street to Logwood Street next to La Popular Bakery. He was headed toward Banak Street when unknown gunmen fired twice at him, hitting him to the right upper shoulder and right upper back. As a result his green 4-door Geo Prism, license plates D-7487, crashed into the back fence of Habet and Habet Limited which is on Banak Street. Family say that only a cellular phone was taken from him; his wallet was ignored, which leave them to believe that robbery was not the intended motive. They also believe that he was known to his killer or killers.

Apparent suicide in Belize City
A Belize City man apparently killed himself by hanging over the weekend. Police have released no details but 57 year old Maurice Tingling, aka “Pappy Bal”, was known to residents of the Majestic/Pinks Alley area and alarm rose when he was not seen around after Friday night. One person who spoke on condition of anonymity says they made a shocking discovery on Sunday night after noticing a strange smell in the neighborhood. Police were called in and they found Tingling’s lifeless and decomposing body hanging from a rafter in the run-down concrete house where he resided. The body showed no other signs of violence. Tingling lived alone although he has family members in the U.S., residents were still trying to understand what caused him to take his own life. The body was removed this morning after a weekend-long delay.

Trevor Vernon presses on with court case
Have you ever seen $2,500 – in “shillings?” We did today, as former litigant Trevor Vernon went to pay his court costs to his opponent Edmond Castro’s attorney, Senior Counsel Denys Barrow. Vernon and assistant Peter Carter logged in two large knapsacks containing 5,000 25-cent pieces amounting to $1,250 each for a total of $2,500, half the court costs owed, which is $5,000. Last week we reported on the striking out of an application by Vernon against his area representative whom he wants to answer for the thousands collected on behalf of him and others from the Belize Airports Authority and tried to bring a suit through the Supreme Court alleging violations of the Code of Conduct in the Constitution.

Brothers charged in chopping murder in Corozal
Three men, all brothers, have been charged following a brutal murder in Caledonia village in the Corozal district on Sunday night. 26 year old Eder Alcoser was viciously chopped to death around 9 o’clock on Sunday night as he bought dog food at the Mei Mei store. According to reports, when Alcoser arrived at the store he came face to face with his ex-wife and her companion Elias Rosales who both began attacking him verbally. That verbal attack escalated and when it was all over, Alcoser had been hacked to death. It is a brutal murder that has left Alcoser’s family in shock and demanding justice for their loved one.

Orange Walk man takes his own life
An Orange Walk family is mourning the death of a loved one who is believed to have taken his own life. The body of 32 year old Filberto Lopez was found on Sunday evening in San Estevan village. Lopez was pronounced dead on arrival at the Orange Walk hospital. It is not clear why Lopez may have taken his life and it is believed that he may have ingested a herbicide.

Police officer detained for allegedly pulling gun on civilians
The Belize Police Department has another alleged case of an officer behaving unruly to deal with. Information is still sketchy at this time, but reports are that on Sunday, a police officer attached to the Intermediate Southern Command in Independence village was detained for allegedly pulling a gun on some civilians without justification. The alleged incident is reported to have happened at a football competition sponsored by the Stann Creek West area representative Rodwell Ferguson that was being held on Sunday in the village of Red Bank. The officer, whose name cannot be revealed at this time, is reported to be in detention pending a directive from the office of the Commissioner of Police.

Belize Land Holding and Development
The Belize Police Department has another alleged case of an officer behaving unruly to deal with. Information is still sketchy at this time, but reports are that on Sunday, a police officer attached to the Intermediate Southern Command in Independence village was detained for allegedly pulling a gun on some civilians without justification. The alleged incident is reported to have happened at a football competition sponsored by the Stann Creek West area representative Rodwell Ferguson that was being held on Sunday in the village of Red Bank. The officer, whose name cannot be revealed at this time, is reported to be in detention pending a directive from the office of the Commissioner of Police. Of 841,234 hectares that is privately held…it is estimated that less than 1% of the population (approx. 3,500 persons) own over 80%, in terms of acreage. In many cases, these same persons exercise significant influence over large tracts of the 1,434,119 hectares owned by government, by virtue of their influence over strategic “non-governmental” interests such as Belize Audubon Society- BAS (whose website claims they manage 192,000 acres), Friends for Conservation and Development – FCD (264,000 acres), Programme for Belize – PfB (259,210 acres) among a slew of others like Toledo Institute for Development and Environment – TIDE (145,650 acres), Southern Environmental Association – SEA (74,690 acres), Sarteneja Alliance for Conservation and Development (180,510 acres)…..among many others. They convinced our various governments to assign to their various “non-governmental” enterprises control over these large tracts of land under what are called “co-management agreements”….which they get at practically no cost to them.


Belize Chocolate Festival 2014: The Street Festival’s Food, Culture, Music & More
We headed into town for the start of the street festival and kicked the day off with some chocolate seaweed from a guy on a bicycle cart. A spiced (almost like eggnog with cinnamon and nutmug) drink thickened and healthified with local seaweed. This one was flavored with cocoa powder for the occasion. You want to drink these iced cold and quickly. Delicious. Booths representing many local cultures from East Indian (I had a good amount of curry) to Mestizo, Garifuna to Maya. It’s one of the most amazing things about this part of the country. Beautiful Punta Gorda. I just loved this street fair…simple and beautiful. Not just chocolate but culture and music. All about the diversity of the local people. And the view along the Front Street of Punta Gorda is so stunning. Many parts seem unchanged for decades. Scenes that could be from 100 years ago…

The Magic of Xunantunich Maya City in western Belize
What is it about Xunantunich? Well, lots, actually, but we were still surprised to see our favourite ancient Maya site splashed across North American media from Canada down to sunny California this week in late May. Yes, we stumbled across this wonderful ancient Maya site in the Hamilton Spectator (Ontario, Canada) online edition, and then two days later; there it was again in the Sioux City Journal (Iowa), and again in the Desert Sun (Palm Springs, California). We shouldn’t be surprised, as Xunantunich is such an amazing find anywhere, and even stands out in the Maya heartland of Belize, but three times over the course of a few days? Anyway, seeing it brought back so many memories of great times there that we felt the need to mention it again. Mayan for “Stone maiden” Xunantunich is definitely one of Belize’s prettiest Maya archaeological sites, renowned for exquisite architecture, beautiful frescos and stelae, as well as its park-like atmosphere and stunning views from the top of El Castillo, the iconic pyramid temple.

“White Wedding” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Sitting out in the veranda -the western (lagoon facing) one) last Saturday morning with the obligatory ((obviously it’s not obligatory but if if I didn’t have it I dread (Rose probably more than me) what I would be like for the rest of the day)) mug of black coffee and my iPad searching for a thought that would provide the impetus to write an edition. I sat there marvelling at how powerful a ‘tool’ the brain is ((before anyone feels compelled (and you know who you are) to fire off an email pointing out that I don’t have one) I have to stress that I’m using the word in a generic sense and not about the one that I was ‘given’)). It gives you the ability to go where you want, be who you want to be virtually instantaneously. The only shackle being how vivid your imagination is. Oh, and how much time you have to daydream. Well since retiring and moving to Ambergris Caye I’ve got lots of time. In fact if it were a currency I’d be in the millionaire class. Might even be a billionaire. True, I’ve got stuff I either need or want to do but, within reason, it’s entirely up to me when I do it. And Rose is very good in this respect. She knows that I had a working lifetime of ‘things to be done by a certain time’. So now I ‘go with the flow’. Where (and when) the mood takes me.

12 Reasons Why Belize Is A Great Honeymoon Destination
You might think that Belize is a country made for people who are into diving, caving, hiking, and the like. But aside from the adventurous, Belize is also a great place for honeymooners. You might not know it but it is teeming with romantic places and activities, perfect for couples. Here are 12 reasons why this country is a great place to spend quality time with your partner. 1. Belize travel is easy – Travelling to Belize is a smooth joy. The country has invested thought and effort into its tourist industry. It has clean signs and plenty of travel guidance online. 2. Belizean people are great – Everyone you will interact with is kind, knowledgeable and eager to help. The people in Belize are also fun and friendly; they even greet each other on the street. 3. Belize is quite safe – Among the countries in Latin America, Belize is one of the safest. In Belize, you can really relax, and there are hardly any street vendors or tourist hustlers.

Overlan' Travel – Aucshun Mennonite style n' Belize
Mennonite aucshun ahed! We had heerd tell about un aucshun goin un thishere pas Saturdee un t'Hummingbird highway, mile mark'r 31. We lef Bocawina zipline roun 7 am, nuff o'time ta make t'8:30 am aucshun. As we pullt up, my heert droppet (er my stumick as it may)! T' aucshun wuz n' t'field diereckly beside one o'my favert stops, T' Kuntry Barn ice creem. Wuz thay sellin out an' closin up t'doers too? Nooo! Thar wuz sevrul large tants set up. T' largest coverd minny a items, like han' tools, pow'r tools, an' household goods alike. Thar wuz beds, dressers, tables, chunsaw, refrigeraters, an' eve a pertabull A/C unit. Outside wuz t'larg'r ekwipment, tracters, vehicles, an' a motorsickle. A lil bit o'everthang seemt promisyun' fer a good aucshun find. Anoth'r tent wuz whar t'food wuz bein servet. Cinnamon rolls, whoopee cakes, an' oatmeel creem pies, all made frum skratch, wuz bein offerd wit coffee er orange juice. I settlet un t'juicy cinnamon rolls an' coffee. A'lookin roun, I wuz remindet o't' Amish auctyuns I have attendet n' Michigun. T' menfolk wore thar tradityunal clothyun' wit straw hats, an' t'wimmen long flowyun' dresses. T' youngns run roun playyun' tag, er hangin un thar parnts laigs as thay lookt ov'r t'sale items. I am a self-proclaimet aucshun ‘junkie”, so it wuz quite a treet ta find thishere sale goin un n' Belize.

The Beginning of a Journey
Back in February one of my best friends who lives thousands of miles away in my second favorite state, Montana (Maine is obviously my favorite, duh), posted on Facebook that she just purchased a plane ticket to Belize. I’m not one to believe in fate, but I do believe in serendipity, or perhaps I just like it because it’s my favorite word. Over the next couple of weeks I will be writing about my trip to Belize and Guatemala. So be on the lookout for vacation recaps, travel tips, and a boat load of photos! I was bitten by the travel bug back in my early college days. Unfortunately, like most Americans I thought travel was expensive and non-conducive to my intended life decisions, i.e. medical school. I wasn’t able to study abroad in school because it would have messed up class schedule as a biochemistry major. In retrospect I absolutely could have studied abroad and it is something I regret not experiencing in college. However, I did attend a two-week English course in Italy over winter break one year. Yes, English in Italy is kind of ironic I know.

International Sources

Dr. Oz On What To Keep In Your Fridge -- And What To Toss
Jicama: While this sweet root vegetable isn't a household name yet, it should be. High in potassium, jicama is also a rich source of inulin, which acts as a prebiotic, promoting the growth of good gut bacteria that may help lower your risk of developing colon cancer. With an applelike texture, it adds a nice crunch to any salad, or you can slice it into sticks to use as dippers for hummus.

Adventures on land and sea in Belize
We took a trip to Belize for our honeymoon and it had all of the elements we enjoy, both relaxation, and a good dose of adventure and history. All of this without having to worry about understanding or speaking a foreign language because it's an English speaking country nestled among many other Spanish speaking ones. In addition, it's a small country size wise, so quite easy to visit most of its attractions in a week or two. Belize is located in Central America, just at the southern tip of Mexico. It is part of the ancient Mayan Empire, so it has several Mayan pyramids that are quite impressive. You can walk to the tops of these and enjoy the views above the jungle. We enjoyed the nice cool hike through the jungle to get to it, although where it was cleared - where the buildings stood - it tended to be quite hot.

Agri-tourism eco-lodge in Belize feels like Jurassic Park
Oversized hummingbirds and a pair of toucans flit about a tangle of jungle that is 50 shades of moist green. A hefty iguana flicks his tongue at me as troops of treetop howler monkeys unleash a choir of otherworldly rasps and gasps that sound more like aggravated dinosaurs - I feel like I'm on the set of Jurassic Park and I haven't even got out of the shower yet. Belcampo Belize is an agri-tourism eco-lodge that is all about saturating its guests in locally farmed organic food, Mayan culture and tropical nature and that includes a giant, fullfrontal picture window facing the virgin jungle in every suite's spa-like bathroom. An English-speaking country wedged between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize's sparsely populated southernmost province of Toledo is a remote frontier lucky to have retained about 75 per cent of its rainforest. I fly into Toledo's Caribbean-paced main town of Punta Gorda (pop: 6,000) with its funky mix of dreadlocks, expats and rickety seaside watering holes and am picked up for the 20-minute shuttle to the hilltop perch of Toledo's only luxury lodge overlooking 23,000 acres of largely untrammelled jungle.

The best of Nature's disssssguises you'll ever see: The caterpillar that looks and even acts like a snake to scare off predators
Some predatory spiders pose as ladybirds and even tree stumps to look as unthreatening as possible. But this caterpillar takes the opposite approach by masquerading as a snake in an attempt to scare away predators. The vivid green 'snake caterpillar' creates the illusion of looking like a dangerous reptile by retracting its legs and expanding the end of its body, which have markings that look like eyes. The snake-like caterpillar grows into the moth Hemeroplanes triptolemus. Its chest and wings are covered in scales and the moth feeds on nectar. The sizeable creatures only live for between 10 and 30 days and can be found in Costa Rica, Belize Mexico and Guatemala. In larval form, the species looks like a snake and even mimics its behaviour as it can harmlessly strike at potential predators.

Clarke Wants Regional Consensus On Sugar
Agriculture Minister Roger Clarke says the impending changes in the European Union (EU) sugar regime, which are poised to unfold in 2017, are set to create significant challenges for small sugar-producing states. He is of the view that a regional consensus is crucial for countries like Jamaica. "The changes in the EU sugar regime in two years' time are going to pose tremendous challenges for sugar-producing nations like Jamaica," Clarke told The Gleaner yesterday on Day One of the three-day 45th Council Session of the International Sugar Organization, which is taking place at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay, St James. "As a region, we have agreed that a CARICOM consensus is crucial to confront this new era, and secondly, how we trade among ourselves because we do import a substantial amount of sugar," Clarke added.

HIV in the Caribbean: science, rights and justice
Recently, the discussion on HIV has been a mix of the selective review of scientific evidence, comments on an administrative procedure at the regional university, and perceptions on the existence of agendas that seek either to change or hold back Caribbean societies. Lost in this debate is a Caribbean reality. At the end of 2012, UNAIDS estimated that there were 260,000 people living with HIV in the region. In many countries, approximately one in three new cases is among men who have sex with men. How do we deal with this as we work to end the epidemic in the Caribbean? First we must recognise that HIV is a virus, not a crime. Laws that criminalise being HIV positive, sexual behaviours such as anal sex or sexual orientation, make it difficult to mount an effective HIV response. Persons who know their sexual behaviour or orientations are illegal are less likely either to go to health services or to speak openly about their sexual behaviour while there, thus limiting their treatment options and prevention efforts. A soon-to-be released UNAIDS Internet survey of more than 3,500 men who have sex with men across the Caribbean, the CARIMIS study, shows that about two in three men who got a negative HIV test result from the private or public health sector, did not talk to their doctors about their sex with men. Our laws should help create an environment in which there is no impediment to delivering targeted prevention and treatment services to a population particularly affected by HIV.

Belize ranked 21st in cell phone use in the Caribbean
St. Kitts and Nevis is ranked second in cell phone use among 22 Caribbean nations. According to Caribbean Journal, St. Kitts and Nevis had 157 subscriptions for every 100 people in the federation. Number 1 is the Cayman Islands with 172 mobile subscriptions for every 100 persons. Third was Dominica, 152; fourth, Venezuela, 148; fifth, Antigua and Barbuda, 143; sixth, Trinidad and Tobago, 141; seventh, Aruba, 132; eighth, St. Lucia, 126; 9th, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 124; 10th, Barbados, 123; 11th, Grenada, 121; 12th, Costa Rica, 112; 13th Suriname, 106; 14th Colombia, 103; 15th Jamaica, 96; 16th Dominican Republic, 87; 17th, Puerto Rico; 18th, Bahamas, 81; 19th, Guyana, 69; 20th, Haiti, 60; 21st, Belize, 53 and Cuba in at 22nd with 15. The data did not include Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Curacao, St. Maarten, the United States Virgin Islands and the French departments. The information comes from the most recent edition of the World Bank’s World Development Indicators report, which has data on a number of specific business and economic indicators in the region, including the number of mobile cellular subscriptions per 100 people.


Video: Main Street with Phil Blazer: Consul General of Belize in California, 17min.
This is a link to an interview with the Consul General of Belize, Hon. Roland Yorke. Please enjoy and pass on to your families and friends.

Video: Boost To Belize Shrimp Farms, 4min.
Through its Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund (EICF), Compete Caribbean recently granted a Belize based cluster, the Belize Shrimp Growers' Association, USD500,000 dollars to prepare for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) international certification and to improve its global competitive edge.

Video: Belize it or not - 2014 Vacation Part 4, 6min.
The fam goes to an island off the coast of Belize! Vacation

Video: Chaya Garden Ashram - Nirvikalpa Waterfall Meditation - Yoga in Belize, 5min.
Look into the place of voidness. Locate it and lose yourself in it. Releasing all thoughts, emotions, and feelings, go beyond all that arises within you to locate the powerful darkness, the space in between, the interval. Allow yourself to yield to this precious space.

Video: Jessie Ziplines and screams in Belize, 4min.
Ziplining in Belize at Calico Jack's

Video: Landing in Placencia Village, Belize., 2min.

Video: Fly Fishing in Belize & a Drone, 4min.
Fun in Belize with a drone, a tarpon on a fly and some dolphins. We are slowly learning Final Cut pro. I highly recommend El Pescador on San Pedro Island.

Video: Cutting a New Road in Steep Ground on the Homestead | Belize Family Living, 7min.
We really needed a new road to connect two parts of our property so we could access it with a truck so we rented a Komatsu bulldozer and cut the road in. It was a bit steep, but not nearly so bad as some jobs I have done while building logging roads and helicopter landings in the woods. I had considered whether to use the excavator for the road which was my first choice, but considering the other work that I had to do, I opted for the Komatsu.

Video: 6 Year Old Boy Drives Bulldozer - Komatsu Tractor | Belize Family Living, 4min.
The boy loves to run equipment and drive the tractor. That is - tractors of any kind. He loves to run the excavator when we have one around. In this case he was just driving the Komatsu down the driveway to the main road so the rental company could pick it up. We had rented the dozer to cut in a new road and build the berm of our pond up a bit. The boy is not allowed to run any equipment without papa right there.

Video: Kids Cooking Lunch on Rocket Stove in the Afternoon | Belize Family Living, 8min.
The Belize Family Living kids were cooking lunch on rocket stove in the afternoon today in our outdoor kitchen. It may not have been restaurant quality nor would it win any awards on the food network, but the girls did a great job. As small children, the girls often played cooking games, but now that they are older, they are cooking for real. It is interesting here in Belize: there is a whole different take on fast food. Mostly the fast food here is cooked quickly when you order it - not before. Often it maybe Chinese food which is popular here in Belize also. Well, the stove isn't really a rocket stove - more like an improvised stove. Here in Central America, the quality of almost everything is poor - including cinder block. There is no guarantee of reliable electricity, water nor butane (the common gas available in Belize and most of Central America which most people use to cook with) so whether we want to or not (which we do), it is good practice to cook on improvised stoves of one kind or another. A large number of people here in Belize cook solely on wood fires or a fireplace. Often just an open fire in their kitchen which results in increased soot and carbon in the air they breathe. It is good to try to use some form of high efficiency stove for cooking. There are far more efficient stoves stoves than what we threw together here. One day, we build one. Overall, living here in Belize, Central America is very enjoyable and the people are amazingly friendly in general. Belize has a good coffee growing region also.

May 27, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

RediVolt, Protecting Your Home and Business While Supporting the Community
1456053_1465330953694758_1530877737_nThere is a new business in San Pedro Town that is providing protection to our homes and businesses from one of the most damaging agents, power surges, and that product is called RediVolt. RediVolt is a state-of-the-art power management system that can easily be installed in any business or home. Harmonic electrical imbalances, as well as internal and external power surges can cause thousands of dollars in damage and loss to valuable computers, production machinery and even home appliances. With RediVolt, protection from such power surges using harmonic filtering for electrical equipment is a guarantee for life. Each RediVolt unit comes with a lifetime warranty and a $100,000 connected equipment warranty from the manufacturer. Since 1987, RediVolt has been providing quality surge protection for thousands of customers worldwide. RediVolt has already become a part of the community here in San Pedro, donating to The San Pedro Foundation, which provides scholarships to students in their quest for attaining higher educations, The Sunshine Foundation, and now Bridging Communications.

Billy Leslie is the newly appointed Co-chair for ACCSD
The Ambergris Caye Citizens for Sustainable Development hereby notifies the public that we have a newly appointed Co-chair for our organization. As of May 13, 2014 Mr. Billy Leslie has accepted the post and will be working along with us in his new position. He has been serving as Director for the past 4 years and has been very fundamental in the establishing of the organization. We are pleased that Mr. Leslie has accepted this appointment and know he will represent the organization well and will contribute much to the community.

Tobacco Awareness Campaign visits Primary Schools
National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) representative Kristina Romero, along with the San Pedro Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute (SPADAI) are hosting a two week Tobacco Awareness Campaign leading up to World No Tobacco Day on Saturday, May 31st. The purpose of the campaign is to raise youth awareness regarding the dangers of tobacco. Throughout the campaign, Romero will be visiting the various primary and high schools of both San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker Village to educate the students on the consequences of first, second and third hand smoking. Romero explained to the children the different chemicals found in cigarettes, chemicals that are also found in household poisons and cleaning products. Those chemicals include: carbon monoxide, nicotine, tar, arsenic (found in rat poison), ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, acetone (found in nail polish remover), butane, formaldehyde (used to preserve dead bodies), sulfuric acid, cadmium, Freon, geranic acid, methoprene and maltitol. The students were surprised at the list of these chemicals. “These chemicals are all dangerous and break down cells and body tissues. Each cigarette a person smokes takes away 14 seconds of their life,” said Romero.

Misc Belizean Sources

Chaplain builds relationships, supports New Horizons team
Emotionally stirred by the events of 9/11, a man in seminary graduate school found himself wondering where his calling in life would lead. "I remember where I was," said U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Matt Clouse of his whereabouts on Sept. 11, 2001. He was visiting his mother and heard the news announcement on TV. "Like Pearl Harbor, as a nation people wanted to respond," he said. "There was a response of, 'What can we do' and 'How can we get involved?' For many, the answer was to join the service." For Clouse, it took six months to decide that joining the service was the right path for him. "When I was praying about that, I wrestled with the idea of my calling. I felt called to be a minister; I just didn't know in what way," said Clouse, a native of Muskogee, Okla. "Then six months later, I enrolled in the chaplain candidacy program.

Deployed SNCO watches daughter hear for first time
I'm very thankful for technology," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Emily Smith, New Horizons legal operations superintendent. "Still, my motherly instincts took over, and it brought tears to my eyes not being able to reach out to her." Smith watched via video chat as her 3-year-old daughter, Renee, received her first hearing aids May 9. Smith, the legal operations NCO in charge at the 55th Wing, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., is deployed in support of New Horizons Belize 2014. This is Smith's fifth deployment in 17 years, but it's her first deployment since her children were born. "This deployment has been particularly challenging," said Smith, a mother of two. Smith and her husband, Todge, also have a 20-month-old son, Alan. Renee was born unable to hear at certain pitches, to include high-pitched and conversational-level sounds. "We didn't know before she was born that she was going to have Down syndrome, but we adapted quickly. From the beginning we only wanted the best life we could provide for her," said Smith. "Because we wanted the best life for her, we started baby sign language. It's hard to know what she's hearing and what she's not hearing.

Belmopan Bandits at CONCACAF
Congratulations to the Belmopan Bandits, who are travelling to Miami today to represent Belize at the CONCACAF Champions League. Go, Bandits! In related news, FFB had their Football Association School of Talent in Belmopan today. "A high level delegation from the 2014 back to back Premier League of Belize Champions the Belmopan Bandits FC will leave Belize on Tuesday 27/5/2014 to attend the 2014-2015 Concacaf Champions League draw in Miami. The Belmopan Bandits FC earned the right to represent Belize after being victorious in the opening and closing tournament of the PLB Belikin Cup."

Journey Art Exhibit Launch
The SISE House of Culture is launching Stacy Ann Rogriguez' art exhibit, entitled 'Journey,' this Saturday, May 31st. "'JOURNEY' is a collection of art created during Lent/Easter season this year. It is greatly inspired by The Final Quest by Rick Joyner. The overall concept is Spiritual Blindness (black) and Spiritual Awakening (white)."

The Reporter

Former minister of state dies in traffic accident
Marcial Mes, former minister of state in the Ministry of National Development, died in a traffic accident early Monday morning on the Southern Highway. Reports are that sometime around 1:50 a.m. Mes was driving from Punta Gorda towards San Marcus Village when as he reached Emery Grove area, ten miles out of Punta Gorda, he lost control of the Toyota Rav 4 SUV, ran off the road and careened into a culvert. Mes, died shortly after the incident, but a passenger who was with him is in the Southern Regional Hospital receiving treatment. Mes was accused in 2007 of knocking down two children who were on their way to church in Forest Home Village.

Belize Port planning for bulk-cargo shipping
The Belize Port Authority may soon see increased export activity through a proposed development by a private company to facilitate bulk-cargo transportation using the facility. Arturo Vasquez, receiver, Port of Belize explained that they have been in negotiations with a company called Belize Logistics Terminal discussing the development. According to Vasquez, the development of a bulk-cargo terminal would facilitate agro-productive exportation. Vasquez said that the current terminal is mainly a container-cargo terminal and not suitable for bulk-cargo handling. He added that in some cases, receiving countries cannot accept agro-products in containers, placing limits on the port because it eliminates sales to certain external markets.

Colombian ex-finance minister wins first round of presidential election
Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, Colombian ex-finance minister has won the first round of that country’s presidential election, over incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos. Both men fell far short of the 50 percent plus one needed to avoid a second round and will now face each other again on June 15. The election could decide whether peace talks with Farc rebels will continue. Mr Santos supports them as the best way to end Colombia’s 50-year-long armed conflict, but Mr Zuluaga prefers a tougher approach. With almost all of the votes counted, Mr Zuluaga was ahead with 29.25 percent, followed by Mr Santos with 25.69 percent. The other three candidates trailed at least 10 percentage points behind.

Patrick Jones

Police needs help in identifying “John Doe”
Police in Belize City are asking for the assistance of the general public in finding out the identity of a Belize City man in his late teens or early twenties whose body was discovered near the canal at the corner of Partridge and Lavender Streets in the Lake Independence area early Monday morning. Residents in the area notified authorities around 5:30 a.m. and the body, seen to have multiple stab wounds, was taken to the City Hospital Morgue. The individual is said to be Creole descent, five feet eight inches tall, light brown complexion, sporting two tattoos, one of a name ‘Ezekiel’ on his upper left arm and initials ‘E.H.’ above the right knee. He was dressed in a yellow polo shirt and black pants. If anyone has information that can lead to an identification, they are asked to call Superintendent Alford Grinage, O.C. of Precinct 2 at 610-3459 or Precinct 2 Headquarters at Racoon Street at 207-2222.

OP-ED: The Sky is Falling: A creation of Facts for Bain
The recent protest in Belize about Professor Brendan Bain, was really an opportunity for story- telling and propagandising. As the foremost Caribbean homophobe, Ian Boyne states”.. Professor Bain is a retired professor. He has not been penalised as a professor with Evangelical views… for many years.. pushing traditional Christian family values. He was never victimised by the UWI for that.” Boyne goes on to explain, ”UWI’s values are in the direction of the decriminalisation of homosexuality – on the wrong side of which Professor Bain found himself in that Belize case…the Professor exercised terribly poor strategic judgement … which got him fired. In essence, the professor fell on his own sword. This was not an issue of bigotry. To be clear, Professor Bain spoke no inconvenient truth in his testimony. The fact that men who have sex with men have significantly higher rates of HIV is widely known and acknowledged. Where Professor Bain erred was in linking without evidence those high HIV rates to the removal of laws that criminalise homosexuality in France, the Netherlands and the United States, while ignoring that neither laws nor Jamaica’s notorious hostility to homosexuality have protected us from having one of the highest rates of HIV infection among men who have sex with men in the world.

Former government minister killed in traffic accident
Former two time People’s United Party (PUP) area representative for Toledo West Marcial Mes, 65, died early this morning in a road traffic accident in rural Toledo district. Mes, who served both as a Junior Minister and later as a Minister in the Musa administration, was driving his green Rav4 SUV towards his home in San Marcos village around 1:15 this morning when he crashed into a culvert and died. The accident happened in Yemeri Grove village, which is about 7 miles outside of Punta Gorda town. Residents of the small rural Toledo village of San Marcos were shocked this morning at the news of the death of Mr. Mes. Preliminary information suggests that Mes lost control of his SUV, ran off the road and crashed into a cement culvert.


Basic White Sandwich Loaf
This an easy, tasty loaf that can be used to make sandwiches.

Diving With Sharks and Hungry Eels – The Belize Barrier Reef (With Video)
The rolling wake rippled the otherwise glass-calm waters as our boat cruised between two paradises. Making our way from Caye Caulker to Ambergris Caye was a breeze, and we pulled ashore just as Dariece’s stomach began to churn. We stepped off of the boat with the same, slow saunter that we had acquired from our previous island oasis: Caye Caulker. Our sea-weary feet planted onto the sun-heated dock which seemed to soften our synthetic flip-flops like we were standing on a stove. The sun’s intensity had been increasing ever since we left Mexico, but we weren’t complaining, this is the kind of weather we love. There were two things that I was excited for when we arrived on Ambergris Caye in Belize: to stay at the stunning Victoria House Resort and to dive the Belize Barrier Reef which lies just a few hundred meters offshore!

International Sources

Using intellectual property to enhance business
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has launched its latest initiative on the subject of intellectual property (IP): a series of private sector IP clinics that will take place across the region. The first of the sessions took place in Belize from April 29-30 and three more sessions are scheduled to follow over the next two months in the region. The clinics are the second phase of a developmental project which was initiated through an intensive workshop entitled “The Use of Intellectual Property as a Tool for Business/Export Enhancement”, which the Agency hosted in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in 2013 and where participants recommended that engagement take place at the national level to help tease out issues businesses are facing with regards to protecting their intellectual property assets (i.e. trademarks, brands, trade secrets, etc.). These clinics directly correlate to a critical component of the EU 10th European Development Fund (EDF). The intervention also responds to a specific need in the entertainment industry: the need for knowledge and correct observance of intellectual property rights and procedures.

Loyola Baseball players bring back more than memories from Belize
Over Christmas vacation, five baseball players joined Coach Faust and recent Wolf Pack alumni in traveling on a ten day service trip to the Mayan village of San Jose for the second annual Belize Baseball Camp. The group, led by Fr. Ted Dziak S.J., Loyola’s Vice President for Mission & Ministry and baseball team chaplain, traveled to Belize from December 13th to 23rd to teach baseball as well as academic subjects such as math, English, and arts and crafts to the children. The group included sophomores Joel Buhler and Daniel Pappas, junior Brian Reaney II, and seniors Brandon Snow and Michael Pfister. Head Baseball Coach Doug Faust as well as former baseball players Jeffrey Castille, Dylan Roudolfich, and David McChesney also made the trip. This is the second consecutive year members of the baseball team have taken this trek. Five people in the traveling party returned for a return trip. First baseman Brian Reaney was one of those who returned, “I couldn’t wait to get back and see the same kids I taught last year. Some of them remembered the techniques we coached them on last year. It was extremely rewarding to see that.” Pfister echoed that sentiment by commenting, “It was probably the most amazing thing I have ever experienced. We lived in the villages. We travelled to waterfalls, quarries, jungle, islands, and Mayan ruins. After returning from the trip last year, I had this feeling of doing something amazing. After two months, the feeling wore off. When Fr. Ted asked if I wanted to go again this year as a leader, I was all in!”

Hopkins Village- A Hidden Paradise in Belize
Hopkins Village is a cute and colorful beach front village in southern Belize known for its Garifuna population. A lot of people say that this is the Garifuna cultural center of the country. It is a small, vibrant community of just over one thousand people that dedicates their lives mostly to fishing. It was only until a few years ago that they started developing activities to cater the visitors. The village stretches through five miles of white sanded beach. For those of you who still aren't familiar with the term, the Garifuna are the descendants of Native Caribbean tribes, that mingled with African slaves hundreds of years ago. As the time passed and both cultures mixed, the Garifuna or Black Carib, as they were known before, were born.


Video: Tropical Moisture Likely to Invade W. Caribbean and Eastern Gulf During First Week of June, 6min.
Tropical Tidbit for Monday, May 26th, 2014

Video: Tikal, 2min.
Steadicam Smoothee Test Shots: These shots are some examples of the Steadicam Smoothee in action. It was my first field experience with it and I was instantly able to see improved results in my video steadiness.

Video: Deadly Waters, 1min.
Sharks in Shark Ray Alley at Hol Chan preserve in Belize.

Video: Alex & Lindsey Lazowick's Belize Honeymoon, 21min.
Married 05/03/2014. Honeymoon Video from Belize. Enjoy

Video: Snorkelling in Belize, 4min.

Video: International Day: Belize, 5min.
International Day Music

Video: Jump into a waterfall pond @ Rio Blanco National Park Belize, 1min.
Jump at Rio Blanco National Park in the Toledo district of Belize, Central America

Video: Belize Semana Santa, 5min.

Video: Belize Diving April 2014, 7min.
Diving in Belize with Island Divers, Rudy, Loidy and our boat captain Martin. These guys are the best.

Video: Belize Esmeralda, 9min.
Diving in Belize. June 2013

Video: Belize Dolphins lead boat; part 1, 1min.
1: cool video I took of dolphins in Belize riding the wake in front of our boat.

Video: Sunday Afternoon in Corozal Town, Belize, 5min.

Video: The Split, Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min.
Caye Caulker island is divided into two by The Split that separates the more developed southern portion from the north side that partly because it is a swampy mangrove area, has so far had little development. The Split started off as a channel which was widened by Hurricane Hattie in 1961, and now serves as a central gathering point for locals and visitors to congregate and socialize along the sandy beach lining this natural divide. Locals say that the hurricane created a channel a foot or so deep. The islanders then dug by hand to widen the channel to allow small boats to pass through. Over the years tidal forces took over and created the 20 foot feet channel that is now today's Split.

Video: Belize buddy dive save at 40', 1min.
Divers regulator hose blows out. Swims to other diver. Both swim up. Handled extremely professionally. That's how you do it!

May 26, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Concern grows over trending Puerto Azul Development
Environmentalists are in an uproar at the Cabinet’s approval for the multi-million dollar tourism development within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Puerto Azul Belize Limited is proposing an exclusive resort, hotel, golf course, villas and spa to be built on Northern Two Caye and Sandbore Caye. The island proposed for development are a short distance from the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye Natural Monument, both extensively protected areas for their importance in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The development is expected to consist of over 970 acres of luxury amenities for the world’s elite including shopping centers, restaurants and bars, a golf club house, spa, airstrip, marina, churches, business centers, botanical garden, health care center, not to mention accommodations for approximately 1,000 guests and 2,000 employees. Puerto Azul is expected to be the most luxurious and expensive tourism destination in Belize, offering seven star exclusivity of nature and services.

Doctor Love: Cheater
Dear Doctor Love, Here is the short version of this story. I wanted him forever and finally got him only to find out that he is a cheater. Yet I still think I want him. How can this be? I knew him from high school and loved him from a distance. He was two years […]

Police Report- Found Property
On Saturday, May 17th, Superintendent Luis Castellanos along with other San Pedro Police Officers visited an empty lot located on Sea Grape Drive in the San Telmo Area. A search was conducted on the premises and resulted in the discovery of a black plastic bag hidden within a cluster of plantain trees. The plastic bag contained several parcels of suspected cannabis. A further search of the immediate area was made, which resulted in the discovery of a transparent coffee jar. Inside was a black plastic bag with suspected cocaine, a transparent plastic bag with suspected cocaine, and another plastic bag with a large piece of suspected crack cocaine.

Wolfe’s Woofer- Don’t Forget
“Sherry, your memory is getting worse all of the time,” I said. “You can’t remember where you put the key for the bodega and you’ve been looking for it for two days.” “Don’t talk to me about bad memory,” she said. “Last week you looked for your shades for two hours and found they were […]

Police Report a decrease in crime for the island
The San Pedro Police Department has released the crime statistics for the month of April 2014. The report demonstrates a steady decrease in major crime and stagnation of minor crimes such as burglary and theft for San Pedro Town, while Caye Caulker Village is seeing an exponential increase in crime. For the month of April, the island of Caye Caulker reported 14 cases of crime, a 65% increase from March’s five reported cases. Six of the cases were possession of controlled drugs, seven were petty crimes and one case was an attempted murder. The incident of attempted murder occurred on Tuesday, April 15th when 24-year-old AquilesCanche was stabbed multiple times by 31-year-old James Crawford. Caye Caulker Police have determined that the increase in crime was due to the Easter Holidays as the island saw an influx of people.

Misc Belizean Sources

Peace and Love Concert
The Cayetanos, and Panerrifix both played at the Peace and Love Concert, which was held in Belmpan. "Was quite a lovely day in Belmopan for the Love and Peace concert. Big up the Cayetano Family for putting on a great show for a very worthy cause - youth development. Big up also to Girl POWA, PCD Youths and Belmopan Active Youth Drum Corps."

Marcial Mes passes away
Former government Minister Marcial Mes perished a short while ago in a road traffic accident on the Southern Highway. According to information received, Mr. Mes who is a resident of San Marcos village, died when a vehicle he was traveling in crashed into the highway railing at the side of the road in Emeory Grove village which is a short distance away from his home village. One other person who was in the vehicle sustained injuries which do not appear to be life-threatening at this time. More information on this incident will be posted shortly.

The Reporter

Jambar rejects firing of Professor Bain
The Jamaican Bar Association (Jambar) has become the latest body to reject the firing of Professor Brendan Bain as director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network of the University of the West Indies (UWI). Late Friday Jambar called on Vice Chancellor of UWI, Professor Nigel Harris and the leadership of UWI, “if it has not done so, to give due process” to Professor Brendan Bain. Jambar also said in a statement that it is “very concerned” about the actions at UWI. “The legal profession routinely relies on expert testimony to advance the cases of our clients. As such we are very concerned that the actions of UWI against Bain could adversely impact on the freedom of expression by experts giving testimony in Jamaica,” Jambar said.

BGYEA plans rally for June
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association has planned a rally set for June 8th at the Battlefield Park to raise awareness for the issue in Harmonyville as well as other national issues. Nigel Petillo, BGYEA president told The Reporter that the decision to hold the rally was made at an emergency membership meeting on Sunday in Harmonyville. Petillo explained that the idea behind the “Plant the Corn” rally is to raise awareness about a host of issues including the ongoing immigration scandal and illegal rosewood harvesting as well as other issues. Petillo said that he hopes the rally will gain support from the unions as well as the general public and will empower people to take a stand.

Colombians vote in presidential elections
Colombians are going to the polls in the first round of a presidential election widely thought to be a referendum on whether to continue peace talks with rebels. President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking another four-year term, believes that negotiations with the Farc are the best way to end the country’s civil war. His main rival, Oscar Zuluaga, a former cabinet colleague, says he wants to take a tougher line. Mr Santos and Mr Zuluaga are running in a field of five candidates, but none of the other three has gained more than 10 percent in any opinion poll. In a recent poll, Colombians listed their three main concerns as unemployment, health and security.

Patrick Jones

Photos from the Chocolate Festival
The annual Chocolate Festival culminated on Sunday, May 25 at the Lubaantun Archaeological site near San Pedro Columbia village. It was a beautiful end to the celebration of the cacao farmers of Toledo.

Man dies in hit and run incident in Orange Walk
A man was struck and killed by a vehicle last night in Orange Walk. The victim has been identified as Santiago Cocom. Reports say it was a hit-and-run incident as the vehicle did not stop to render assistance. Initial reports from Orange Walk say that the vehicle that hit Cocom, dragged him about 100 yards from the point of impact. Cocom reportedly died at the scene. An investigation into the incident has started and sources say Cocom may have been unde the influence of alcohol at the time of the incident.

The annual Cacao Festival was held this weekend in Punta Gorda town. Thousands of Belizeans and visitors attended this year’s event which, as in previous years, was split between PG itself and the Lubaantun Archaeological Site near San Pedro Columbia village. Organized by the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) in conjunction with the Toledo chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), the annual Chocolate Festival, now in its seventh year running, is a celebration of the cacao farmers whose hard work and dedication is a major contributor to the local economy in the Toledo district. According to the project coordinator for the Toledo Cacao Growers Association Thomas Tillett, the Association currently has a membership of about 1,100 cacao farmers.


Photos of The Toledo Cacao Festival In Southern Belize
Cacao is native to the Americas, and the Toledo District of southern Belize is recognized for its superior cacao. These cacao beans are a significant export crop and, within country, are transformed into distinctive and high quality chocolate grown by farmer members of the Toledo Cacao. Here are some photos courtesy of the Belize Tourism Board of this year’s Cacao Festival.

The May 25th, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Aaron Juan Remanded On Another Sex Related Charge:
    Having been on the run for over five months, a businessman from San Ignacio Town accompanied by an attorney, today turned himself in to the police to be charged. San Ignacio police reports that around midmorning on Tuesday, May 20, Aaron Elijah Juan, 33, Belizean businessman of a Burns Avenue address in San Ignacio Town, accompanied by Belize City based attorney, Richard “Dickie” Bradley, walked into the police station in effect turning in himself to face a carnal knowledge charge.
  • Five Guatemalans On A Drug Trafficking Charge:
    Five Guatemalans, one of which is a naturalized Belizean, were found in a car on the George Price Highway with 18 pounds of marijuana suspected to be of Guatemalan origin. San Ignacio police reports that the Guatemalans were moving the sack of weed during the wee hours of the morning on Tuesday, May 20. The report indicated that at around 3:00 am, a joint operation mounted by elements of the police Anti Drug Unit (ADU), police Mobile Interdiction Unit (MIT), police K-9 Unit and Customs personnel were manning a checkpoint on the George Price Highway between the western towns of San Ignacio and Benque Viejo, at mile 68, near Rumors Resort, when a green Geo Prism car with San Ignacio/Satna Elena license plates C-01281, pulled up to the check point. The car, with five occupants including the driver, was stopped and searched. Inside the trunk of the car police came upon a white sack and when opened, it was found to contain two black plastic bags with 11 parcels of marijuana.
  • Belize City Man Guilty Of San Ignacio Theft:
    A man who told the police that the lives on Antelope Street in Belize City today pled guilty of a theft charge after he was caught by an alert off duty policemen a few minutes after snatching a lady’s sling bag. The incident occurred at around 6:00 am on Sunday May 18 when a hardworking vegetable vendor from Santa Familia village, Cayo was sitting under the Falcon Field bus stop waiting for the bus to travel on business to Belize City. The lady told the police that after sitting under the bus stop for about 15 minutes a tall male person of fair complexion, wearing a black ¾ Jeans pant, a black “Los Angeles” baseball cap and a black T-Shirt, arrived at the bus stop. She heard when the man said that he had lost his telephone. He walked to the back of the shed as if searching for something and this was when he grabbed the lady’s black sling bag she had on her lap and ran off.
  • Guatemalan Ex-President Alfonso Portillo Jailed In US:
    A court in New York has sentenced former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo to five years and 10 months in jail for taking bribes from Taiwan. Portillo, who was extradited to the United States last year, has also been ordered to pay a $2.5m fine. He pleaded guilty in March to attempting to launder the illegal money through American banks. The judge has not decided whether he will serve the remainder of his sentence in the US or Guatemala. Portillo has already spent a substantial amount of time in jail and has only another 18 months of his sentence to serve. The time in jail was "a big learning experience for me but also great pain for my family", Portillo said in court.
  • Secret Passages-An Art Show Opening At The Soul Project:
    This new exhibit features works of collage by people from all over the world visiting Belize. Collage is a very interesting medium. In collage, the artist assembles existing print material into a new format, a new picture. The artist creates a new context for the text or images selected, as they appear in the collage in relationship to one another. The seeming randomness of the selection and reassembly leaves a lot of room for subconscious free association by the artist, but also by the viewer. Collage invites us to link images together in an instantaneous impression, the first look. Our minds scan for patterns and similarities and differences, in an instant we form an idea about what we see. See Secret Passages for yourself, and let your mind expand...showing until etc date at Soul Project in San Ignacio.
  • Cholesterol:
    To understand high blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), it helps to learn about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat. Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins (lip-o-PRO-teens). These packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside. Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol through -out your body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high- density lipoproteins (HDL). Having healthy levels of both types of lipoproteins is important.
  • What Is Commonwealth Or Sovereign’s Day?:
    Commonwealth or Sovereign’s Day, as it is known to us today, is the annual celebration of the Commonwealth of Nations an inter-governmental organization of 54 independent or sovereign states. The origin of this day came about in 1884 when Lord Rosebery, while visiting Australia (then under British governance), observed the changes in the British Empire. His observation was that some of its colonies were becoming increasingly independent. He was the first to address this issue and the first to refer to the states as the “Commonwealth of Nations” while still under the British rule. His observation lead to the first consultation between Britain and its colonies to address this emerging need for independence. It was not until 1931, however, that the first 5 colonies became recognized as the “British Commonwealth of Nations”. These nations included Canada, the United Kingdom, Irish Free State, Newfoundland, and the Union of South Africa. In 1946, the ‘British’ was dropped from the name and the member states became known officially as the Commonwealth of Nations or simply The Commonwealth. Over the years, members joined, withdrew from, and even rejoined the Commonwealth; but it wasn’t until 1949 that the international organization became the modern Commonwealth we know today. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth took her place as the Head of the Commonwealth of Nations after the death of her father King George IV.
  • Closing Days Of The Embassy of Mexico:
    The Mexican Embassy’s offices in Belmopan, Belize City and Corozal will suspend activities on Monday, 26 May 2014. In case of emergency, Mexican nationals can request consular assistance or protection at the telephone number: + (501) 602- 8677. Belizeans are reminded that they do not require visa to visit Mexico. They only need to present a valid Belizean passport and fill out the immigration form called “Forma Migratoria Múltiple” (FMM). It can be obtained at any Mexican border or at any airport.
  • VA Hospital Officials Shredded Documents To Hide Existence Of Secret Waiting Lists That Killed U.S. Veterans:
    The horrific Veterans Administration scandal, in which scores of patients on a "secret list" reportedly died after spending as long as a year without treatment, has widened. CNN correspondent Jake Tapper recently grilled White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough over President Obama's usual scandal posture: indifference, holding no one accountable and calculated outrage without any real action being taken. As noted by Breitbart News, Obama is currently standing by his secretary of Veterans Affairs, former Army Gen. Eric Shinseki. This is in spite of the fact that, in 2013, Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, sent the president a letter that, Tapper reported, warned "of dramatic problems at the VA, 'a perfect illustration of the management failures, deception, lack of accountability permeating VA's health care system [and] an alarming pattern of serious and significant patient care issues.'" 'But you are not. This letter was sent a year ago.'
  • Impoved Water Services:
    The Belize Water Service Limited is proud to announce the upgrading of water services to customers in the lower section of Santa Elena Town and the entire Esperanza Village. The upgraded service includes the recent replacement of the three inch water line upgraded to a ten inch main which will serve to increase water pressure to customers in the area. The project, implemented over the past three weeks, with a crew under the direction of William Stevens and Operations Supervisor, Ron Cunningham, worked long hours to install, sanitize, pressure test and energize the new 10 inch water main. The works was completed on Tuesday evening and when it was turned on, a major glitch was immediately detected resulting in customers on one side the Highway leading into Esperanza Village being left without water.
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: Drastic Times Calls For Drastic Measures:
    There was a time, in the not so distant past, when gun related murders were spiraling out of control especially on the south side of the old capital, Belize City. After careful study, analysis and consultation, the government of the day, charged with the responsibility for citizens’ security, stepped up to the challenge resulting in the imposition of stiff, some might say draconian, amendments to the firearms act. Coupled with other measures, the nation began recording a decrease in gun related murders, resulting last year in the recording of a drastic reduction in, what many termed as, the senseless loss of life “on the mean streets of the city”.
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

International Sources

Norwegian Cruise Line to further enrich guest experience through fleet enhancement program
Norwegian Cruise Line has announced that it is investing more than $250 million in “Norwegian NEXT,” a program focused on bringing “new enhancements, experiences and transformations” across the fleet. The goal is to elevate the guest experience, building on the success of the line’s two newest ships: Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway. Norwegian NEXT encompasses ship revitalisations, dining enhancements, new experiences in entertainment and guest activities and expanded dining/entertainment reservation periods, along with innovations in technology, new tropical destinations and the line’s continued commitment to the environment. Through to 2015, the company has plans to revitalise a number of vessels, including Norwegian Jewel, that just re-entered service following dry dock, along with Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit, which were recently refurbished.

‘Look through the eyes of another’
Delita Clements and Kayla Smith hope to bring other cultures to their classroom after a trip this summer to Guatemala and Belize — two of the most impoverished countries in the Americas. The fifth-grade teachers at West End Elementary School are two of 20 educators in the United States chosen to participate in the Rural Trust Global Teacher Fellowship to study “Looking Through The Eyes of Another.” It’s an outreach designated for rural areas across the country. West End Elementary near Altoona is in one of the most rural parts of Etowah County. The trip will take the teachers outside their comfort zone. “We don’t speak the language,” Smith said. “It’s two of the poorest rural areas outside our culture.”

Towards an AIDS Free Caribbean
Last week the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) wrote to the administration of the University of the West Indies (UWI) on behalf of over 30 diverse civil society groups across the region, to thank them for preserving the University’s ability to continue to be a leader in the regional response to HIV, by insisting that those who lead its HIV initiatives are accountable to its principles and are advocates of sound public health policy. In a release on Tuesday May 19, 2014, UWI made clear the reason it terminated its contractual arrangement with our colleague retired Prof. Brendan Bain to direct its Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Centre Network (CHART) : “Professor Bain has lost the confidence and support of a significant sector of the community which the CHART programme is expected to reach, including the loss of his leadership status in PANCAP, thereby undermining the ability of this programme to effectively deliver on its mandate”. The University’s communiqué further noted:

20 questions with Stan Marshall
Stan Marshall is retiring as president and CEO of Fortis Inc., with the transition to new leadership to be complete by the end of the year. Stan Marshall has overseen the rise of Fortis into a major international company. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram It will be a landmark change for the company and for Marshall, whose name has become synonymous with Fortis after 35 years of service. He has been at the helm as CEO of the company for nearly 20 years, since 1996. During his tenure, it has grown from a single utility to a powerhouse conglomerate — now reaching across Canada, into the United States and throughout the Caribbean. Fortis utilities, including Newfoundland Power, now serve more than 2.4 million customers, and Fortis employs more than 10,000 people through its power utilities and other lines of business. That business includes Fortis Properties and the management of hotels and commercial real estate across Canada, including prime real estate in downtown St. John’s. Marshall recently sat in a company building, in his corner office on the top floor of the Fortis Building on Water Street in St. John’s, for 20 Questions with The Telegram.


Video: , 1.5min.
The Department of Youth Services had a Leadership Discussion at Mount Carmel last week with the standard 6 students. The made a short video of the event. Thanks, DYS! "Blessed to have facilitated the leadership activities and discussion at Mount Carmel Primary School... On Wednesday, May 21, 2014 the Department of Youth Services in Benque Viejo Del Carmen conducted a leadership discussion through interactive games at Mount Carmel Primary School with the standard six students. Thank you for the warm welcome and full participation of the students throughout the course of the day. It was great spending time with such wonderful students."

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize 2013, 4min.

Video: Altun Ha - Belize, 4min.
Explanation of the Mayans in Belize

Video: Kids Snorkeling the Cayes and Shark, 9min.
The kids had the chance to go out to the cayes (cayes are small islands) off the coast of Belize and do a bit of snorkeling. They had a great time and even got to see a Nurse shark up close. The Nurse shark is a harmless shark so there was no danger. The life on the barrier reef is rich, but even here, one can see the effects of damage to the reef.

Video: Belize Nurse Shark Dive, 3min.
Ambergris Caye, Belize Feeding the nurse shark a lion fish

Video: Caye Caulker, Belize, 5min.
Caye Caulker in Belize, smaller than Ambergris Caye this little gem is laid back and colorful. Restaurants hotels hostels BBQs all filled with friendly people enjoying life and the sun. the island appears to be full of cute and sometimes rustic accommodations. Diving snorkeling fishing simply lying on a beach whatever you want you can get it here might take a little longer than anywhere else though .. go slow is the local motto

Video: SCUBA diving in Belize 2013, 10min.

May 25, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

SPTC Celebrates Teachers and Nurses
On Thursday, May 15th the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) celebrated the teachers and nurses of San Pedro Town for their dedication and commitment in making the community a better place. The night of food, drinks and lots of fun started at 7AM when teachers from the island’s various educational institutions and the nurses from Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II gathered at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The teachers and nurses also participated in fun games for a chance to win great prizes donated by generous sponsors. Games included an oreo cookie eating competition, needle and thread, cracker and whistle, musical chairs, a dance-off and of a course beer drinking competition! The fun night saw teachers and nurses dancing the night away!

Reef Week activities brings community together
As part of Reef Week, celebrated under the theme “Our Reef needs our protections for future generations,” several activities were held from May 11th to the 17th. The events were organized by Hol Chan Marine Reserve and included the participation of several stakeholders, environmental and wildlife organizations during the seven days of activities that were prepared for both residents and students on Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Activities concluded with a beach cleanup of the turtle nesting sites on Saturday May 17th in the Robles and Rocky Point areas just in time for the 2014/2015 turtle nesting season. The cleanup was timely since the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Monitoring Program is reporting that in the first week of the nesting season, they have found two turtles. The staff at Hol Chan Marine Reserve would like to thank all those schools, students, residents, businesses and stakeholders who helped in making Reef Week 2014 a huge success.

Hook Line and Sinker takes the Billfish Fishing Tournament
Fishing team Hook, Line and Sinker has won the 2nd Annual Captain Shark Billfish Fishing Tournament. Organized by the San Pedro Game Fish Association, the event took place on May 17th and 18th and saw 16 vessels set sail on both days in an attempt to land the biggest billfish and take the top prize. Under both rain and sunshine, the competition brought out the best fishing folks from Belize, and after two days of intense fishing, it was Hook Line and Sinker, captained by Josh Reyes, that topped the tournament. Along with his crew members Tommy Burandt, Albi Godoy and Cord Olivia, the team walked home with a 1st place trophy and $5,000. Second place boat was Fu D Road captained by Aldo Urbina of Orange Walk Town. Along with his crew members Rosendo Urbina, John Harris and Clara Urbina, Fu D Road took home the second place trophy and $1,500. Meanwhile Precipice, captained by Horace Bladen, had to settle for third place. Bladen along with his crew Horace Bladen Jr. and Allan DeShield, took home a trophy and $1,000 in cash. Consolation prizes were also distributed to fourth place, Jolly Man, captained by Andrew Roe and his crew of Mike Meighan, Brett Bowen and Denny Feinstein.

Misc Belizean Sources

Urology resident receives valuable training in Belize
In his fourth year of residency, U.S. Air Force Capt. (Dr.) Matthew Stringer has traveled south of his home unit at the San Antonio Military Medical Center in Texas to Belize City in support of New Horizons Belize 2014. The urology resident from Syracuse, New York, is on his first overseas journey, helping people and training to better aspire to his goal of offering superb care for wounded service members. "When I was applying for medical school, I saw a PBS documentary on taking care of wounded Soldiers coming back from Iraq," said Stringer, a graduate of the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "I wanted to take care of them, and that's what inspired me to call the recruiter." Stringer has discovered during his time at SAMMC that working with service members provides much job satisfaction, but he's also found that working with World War II veterans reinvigorates his desire for a military career. "I have the chance to develop relationships with veterans as far back as World War II while we treat more chronic conditions," Stringer said. "Some of the veterans I see are World War II legends - real war heroes. "They are a reminder of why I signed up in the first place," he said.

Anthony Gonzalez Wins Football Awards
Congratulations, Anthony Gonzalez, San Ignacio United forward, for being awarded the Best Forward and Most Goals awards! "Congratulations to San Ignacio United's very own Anthony 'Keish' Gonzalez on winning the 2014 PLB Best Forward Award and Most Goals. 'I am very grateful for the support of the club and the fans, I look forward to score many more goals next season.'"

Chocolate Festival 2014 (12 photos)
Punta Gorda town is buzzing with activity this weekend as the annual Chocolate Festival takes center stage. This annual event is coordinated by the Toledo Chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) and the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA). It is aimed primarily at celebrating Belize's hardworking Cacao farmers. — at Punta Gorda Belize.

The Reporter

PUP condemns statements of Mark King
The People’s United Party (PUP) has condemned what it terms as “ignorant and arrogant comments of Minister of State, Mark King” which were publicized on Thursday evening’s news. King was responding to questions from reporters who asked him about his company seeking a contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The People’s United Party PUP, in a press release, termed the comments as describing “a patronage system of spoils in which the UDP are ranked first, the Belizean people second, and the PUP third.” The PUP feels that the comments are consistent with the mentality of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and it says it recognizes that there must be a new standard that requires that “all Belizeans, regardless of political persuasion, be treated fairly, respectfully, and equitably.” The party also calls on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to apologize to the Nation for his Minister’s callous remarks, join us in condemning those remarks, and to remove this arrogance and ignorance from his Cabinet.

New phase of works to begin says Mayor
Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley confirmed meeting with the Prime Minister this week to discuss the commencement of a new phase of infrastructural work in the City. Bradley told The Reporter that this coming week he will execute contracts to commence works on St. Charles Street, St. Matthew’s Street, George Street, West Street, Castle Street, Lancaster Street and Magazine Road. Bradley explained that after this second wave of streets have been completed, that would bring their total to 34 new streets and said that he expected this project to be completed by September. This is in addition to the over 100 streets that were rebuilt under the municipal bond project. Bradley said of the streets they have been working on 50 percent of those have been completed already and he believes the works are being completed in a timely fashion. He added that the City Council expects to have a significant amount of work done before the rains start.

Dominican Republic records highest percentage regional tourism growth
With a 3.6 percent tourism growth in 2013, the Dominican Republic has outpaced the entire Caribbean region, which recorded an overall one percent increase. Francisco Javier Garcia, that country’s tourism minister called the performance “an extraordinary year”. With 4.7 million tourists visiting its shores last year, the Dominican Republic outshone its clostest rival, Cuba, which had 2.8 million visitors. Jamaica was third with two million tourists. The Spanish-speaking country’s year-round hotel occupancy averaged 87.3 percent, “one of the highest rates in recent years,” according to Garcia. Garcia attributed the high occupancy partly to the recovery of the European economy, particularly the German market, which registered a 16 percent growth in arrivals in 2013. For 2014 the Dominican Republic embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign dubbed “Dominican Republic Has it All”, highlighting the oldest cathedral in the Americas and the only subway system in the Caribbean. In addition, the country boasts seven international airports, awesome scenery, and 1,000 miles of beaches.

Patrick Jones

PUP demand Mark King be ousted from Cabinet
The Belize City press interviewed Minister of State Mark King yesterday where he discussed a meeting held in the South Stann Creek District on Tuesday with supporters of the United Democratic Party and representatives of Norwegian Cruise Line. Asked if it was true that it was intended that the UDP’s supporters in the area should benefit in a greater proportion, King said that while Government is slated to serve the interests of all Belizeans, as a political party it must look after “UDP first, Belizeans second and PUP last,” adding that he had nothing to hide and was being “straight up.” On Friday, the Opposition People’s United Party took exception to King’s statements, calling them “ignorant,” “arrogant” and “callous.” The PUP says that in 2014, the patronage system that King describes must be replaced by a new standard which requires that all Belizeans be treated fairly, respectably and equably.

Belize planners link up with Canadian professionals
A relatively new organization wants Belizeans to take a closer look at the future of the Jewel, especially our major towns and cities. The Belize Association of Planners on Friday welcomed visiting professors of Vancouver Island University in British Columbia, Canada, for a panel discussion on planning practices and approaches compared between Belize and Canada, emphasizing commercial downtown and waterfront development planning and participatory approaches to planning. Dr. David Witty, the provost of the University, who was recently part of a team working on plans to redevelop the waterfront of his native city of Na-nai-mo, told us that engagement with stakeholders is the most important facet of project planning, because they are the ones who will ultimately benefit.

Constable accused of theft out on bail
Police Constable Yannick Wade who is accused of masterminding the theft of eight firearms and 101 rounds of ammunition from the San Pedro Police Station is out on bail after an application in the Supreme Court. Bail was set at $5,000 with one surety and he must surrender his travel documents, report to the San Pedro Police Station every Friday, stay away from witnesses and return to court at his next appearance. The firearms and ammunition, which are property of KBH Security Firm, were stolen from a metal safe inside the San Pedro Police Station sometime between April 30 and May 2. Police say they have since recovered two of the stolen firearms at a location on Cemetery Road. Wade is additionally charged for the crime of possession of firearms and ammunition without a gun license.

The Belize Times

Playing Serious Games! – ComPol refuses to hand over Penner evidence file
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has opted to continue playing a serious game against Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the right-thinking people of Belize. ComPol Whylie is withholding crucial criminal evidence that incriminates UDP area representative Elvin Penner and details his lead role in the provision of Belizean nationality and passport to South Korean jailbird, Kim Won Hong in 2013. This evidence is critical to COLA’s private prosecution which resumes next week Thursday, May 29th in Belmopan. Despite COLA’s repeated requests to the Commissioner of Police, he has refused to budge. In his most recent response to COLA, via a letter dated May 20th, Whylie claimed that the investigation is “ongoing”; therefore, he does not have to provide any information. He defended his position by citing section 24 of the Freedom of Information Act, which he said, exempts ongoing Police investigations from disclosures. COLA has responded strongly. They called the Commissioner a “flip flopper” in a press release issued on Thursday May 22nd.

John Saldivar’s bitter response to PUP’s proposals to end injustice
Minister of National Security John Saldivar has demonstrated how cruel and out of touch the UDP Government is with the pain, suffering and injustice they are causing on Belizeans. The Barrow Administration’s draconian gun laws have been sending many innocent Belizeans to jail. Among them, and most recent, is 48 year old Belizean nurse Bernadette Samuels. She and six young persons were charged after the Police searched a West Street house on April 13th and reportedly found two 9mm rounds. Barrow’s gun law states that everyone in such premises should be charged and remanded to prison without bail for no less than two weeks. Punishment, under the law, is mandatory five years imprisonment. Ms. Samuels, who was caught up in the unfortunate web, is one of dozens of other victims. High school students, young mothers and pregnant women have all been sent to prison by the overreaching laws. In response to the cries of the people, and as a result of the Government’s unwillingness to heed the calls for the laws to be revised immediately, the People’s United Party Legal Team headed by Senator Anthony Sylvestre Jr. did the work of the Government and reached out to various partners to formulate a series of proposals to the law.

Dictating the tone
Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate? That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism. ~ Oscar Wilde A question that is often asked these days is, with all the corruption and wrongdoing that is happening under this administration, why are the people so calm and complacent. There are those who murmur and grumble but nothing like what happened in 2005 when the masses took to the streets. Many believe that what is going on today is much more blatant, malignant and corrupt than anything that happened under the past administration. Some suggest that people are afraid of victimization; government is the biggest employer and Dean Barrow has proven a ruthless paymaster. Some believe that people are afraid of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU), whose reach and powers extend far beyond just the handling of gangs. Then there are those even, who suggest that the people are afraid of the gangs themselves, many of whose members are known to be criminals and who receive regular perks and payoffs from the government. All those things might indeed factor in, but the biggest problem in my opinion, is a media engaged in shameful and outright lapdog journalism. The news media was initially created to serve as a watchdog for the people, but it seems that in Belize, they have strayed far from that original role. The media is now more used to push political propaganda and steer people’s focus away from the corrupt and “distasteful” ways of this administration. The media plays a significant and important role and have created some powerful personalities in our society. People who author Thomas Carlyle suggest have “a tongue which others will listen to”.

Why the Prime Minister wants to derail a trial for Penner
The Prime Minister will soon have to come fully clean about his involvement in the fiasco of his un-constitutionally appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, who was deposed by him because of international pressure. The immigration scam artist and passport fraudster has a long way to travel out of the woods of corruption involving his role in trying to spring a South Korean fugitive from a Taiwanese prison using a fraudulent Belizean passport. Somebody will also soon have to rub his bald head and wipe his now bearded and sweating face in having to explain the partnership, it is alleged, that the Prime Minister has with his former junior Minister for immigration. It is believed that they have a mutual interest for a partnership with a foreign investor who wants to set up a wind farm for the generation of electricity that will be sold to the national grid. Despite every possible attempt by the Prime Minister and his Minister of Immigration to abort justice in this massive immigration scandal involving just about every member of the Cabinet, a citizen’s organization, COLA (Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action) managed to secure the arraignment and criminal charges against the former Immigration Junior Minister for misdeeds that include the issuing of a bogus passport to the South Korean fugitive. This was to be a part of a bigger plan to facilitate his escape from a prison in Taiwan. Despite the massive cover-ups by the government and its lies about “thorough investigations” into the scandal, the criminal charges brought against the former junior minister, is a major victory for COLA. This is after the Prime Minister asserted that his junior Minister of Immigration had done “nothing illegal” and that he was not criminally culpable.

Belmopan Bandits win PLB football champs
The Belmopan Bandits won the 2014 Belikin Cup’s closing season championship, shutting out the No.1 seed Police United 1-0 in Game 2 of the finals held at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night. The Police needed 4 goals for a comeback, but it was not to be. The Bandits brought pressure on the Police defense, which could not stop Elroy Kuylen’s shot in the 78th minute that scored the single winning goal. FFB President Ruperto Vicente presented team trophies and individual medals to the champions and sub-champions. Providing the FFB Stadium is ready on schedule in August, the Bandits will represent Belize in the CONCACAF Champions’ League this year.

Amiri Hoare wins U-13 & U-16 table tennis championships
Amiri Hoare won the U-13 and U-16 championships held by the Belize Table Tennis Association and SMART. The Junior ranking tournament is now in its 3rd year. Amiri Hoare made it to the U-13 finals by defeating Eric Li, Taye Parkinson, and Jaylen Nicholson, while Nicholson also made it to the finals by defeating Sergio Pech and Samron Pott and then losing to Amiri which took him into the losing bracket. He came back by defeating Terry Su to once again meet Amiri in the finals. Amiri won the finals by a score of 3-1 over Nicholson. Corozal Community College’s Joshua Gegg came in as the top seed in the Under-16 category and advanced undefeated to the finals by defeating Maurice Alvarez, Jaylen Nicholson, Trevon Brown and Matthew Usher. Amiri Hoare was on top of his game, also advancing to the finals by defeating Alexis Tun and Luis Bardalez before losing to Matthew Usher. In the losers’ bracket, Amiri fought back by defeating Latrell Solis, Luis Bardalez and Matthew Usher to make it into the finals with Gegg. Since Gegg was undefeated, Amiri had to defeat Gegg twice by a score of 3-1 to win the U-16 Championship.

Shalini wins Women’s Cross Country Cycling Classic
Team Sagitun’s Shalini Zabaneh came six minutes shy of breaking Brenda Aguayo’s 3 hours, 7 minutes record set in 2007 as she won her 5th female Cross Country cycling championship on Sunday. Shalini clocked 3:12:54 on the 70 mile ride from Queen Elizabeth Park in San Ignacio to Leslie’s Imports on the George Price Highway to win two $1,500 prizes. Shalini also won a 6-foot trophy from the family of Kevin & Philip Brannon, a round trip ticket from Maya Island Air, a trophy from Jex & Co. and the winner’s garland of roses from Florasol. Team BECOL’s Patricia Chavarria won a year’s 4G service from Belize Telemedia as Queen of the Hills title and led Team Smart C-ray’s Kaya Cattouse in the chase for 2nd place with a record of 3:14:11. Patricia won the $500 prize and another $300 prize; a return ticket on Maya Island Air, and a trophy from Jex & Co.

Tubal Institute won’t have 2014 graduating class
In the midst of all the positive hoopla about High School Graduation Season, we are being cruelly reminded that at least one non-traditional school has fallen significantly and precipitously from its surprisingly high ‘heights’ it ascended to only one year ago. The Tubal Technical and Vocational Institute (TTVI), based in Ladyville, Belize District, had an impressive (at least for its status as a vocational institution) graduating class in 2013 – 23 out of 40 graduates. But as that old ‘saw’ goes – oh, how the mighty have Fallen. And fallen, they have… with only 3 to 5 students, according to Manager and school Co-founder Mrs. Lavern Bailey, ‘ready’ to graduate from the institution for this year. Without further belabouring the obvious, it is a far cry from 2013 – and a rather steep fall for a private institution recognized as an alternative to the Government-based ITVET (Institute for Technical and Vocational Education Training). In a phone interview with the BELIZE TIMES last week, Mrs. Bailey admitted the students who started out with such high hopes and prospects “were not ready” for that march down the aisle, and attributed that to students having “financial and behavioural problems.” So that begs the obvious question – Will 2015 be the year that Tubal breaks the monotony of this news? The answer Mrs. Bailey gave leans towards a “yes”. Mrs. Bailey told us: “I most definitely believe that there will be a graduating class in 2015.”

Wu-ing Dean Barrow
The Barrow Administration has resorted to begging and collecting alms from pitying “allies” to survive. Strapped for cash, and with an economy on life support and no innovative ideas to get the ship sailing, the Government has turned, with both palms out, to diplomatic friends for financial oxygen. This week $5 million was dished out by Taiwan. That country has supported the Barrow Administration with constant, large financial gifts. Most of these gifts, dedicated to vague purposes such as “the development of Belize”, go unaccounted for and very likely end up being misused for political programs such as the $850,000 spent by the Barrow Administration in a Mother’s Day cheer last week, which saw each UDP political representative get $40,000 to giveaway for their political supporters in their constituencies. Taiwan and the UDP seem to share a very special relationship, even though the UDP always finds ways to drag Taiwan’s name through dirt. Taiwan has been involved in two of the biggest scandals in 2014. The infamous Citizen Kim (Kim Won Hong) was being held in a Taiwan prison when he obtained Belizean citizenship and an official Belize passport in 2013. Taiwan officials, hoping to return Kim to his native country, South Korea, so he could face embezzlement charges, were stunned when they learnt that South Korean Kim had become “Belizean Kim” thanks UDP Representative Elvin Penner.

In today’s world, success is measured by the numbers. The number of zeros trailing the salary. The number of luxury vehicles tucked into the garage. The number of houses. The number of name brand clothes. The list can go on and on. But labeling something a ‘success’ simply because of the numbers is not limited to people outside the church. In the various cathedrals and meeting places around Belize, success is calculated by the amount of pews filled, the number of ‘big time’ members attending each week, and the number of tithes and offerings. What we have all missed, however, is the principle of quality over quantity. And there is no better example of the phrase ‘less is more’ than the one Jesus presents. John 6:25-67 records Jesus during one of His sessions with a crowd of followers. Amazingly, Jesus’ inspiring speech, which probably took less than ten minutes, cuts the size of His entourage so drastically that He is left with just twelve disciples when it’s over. What did He say to tick the people off so quickly? Firstly, the man kept insisting that He was the Bread of Life. In those days, it was a grave sin to align one’s self with God. Any hint of blasphemy was to result in some sort of execution for example, a stoning, where the people would start throwing rocks the size of their fists and ask questions later. By claiming to be the Bread sent by God that would alleviate hunger, Jesus was going against the grain of the Jewish religion. This was the first step in a nervous dance with fan-abandonment.

Inquiring Minds Want to Know!
How much in legal fees was paid to Denys Barrow his legal opinion recently given to the Ministry of Natural Resources in respect to the Mayan Land Rights case? Is Castro paying for his own legal defence or is the Government dishing out another handsome cheque to brother Denys? Is the National Trade Union Congress President truly representing the interest and integrity of the Belizean workers? Or has he been bought ought with the perks that come from sitting on various boards and even the Government’s national bank. With all the issues affecting workers, the NTUCB has nothing to say about it. Could the Minister Know It All explain the reason a personal cheque was paid to another Minister’s sister at Immigration to the sum of $5,000 dollars by a Chinese who she helped to turn into a Belizean? Mr. Mayor, please give the reason for having 24/7 security guards posted at your City Administrator’s house, and does the City Council pay for it?

Double Standard in the Rosewood Trade
I write to condemn the continuous double standard when it comes to enforcing the laws of this country. Government’s approval for the current export of rosewood is a perfect example of that. To protect this precious wood from depletion due to massive export, to places such as China where it’s used to make some of the most expensive furniture, a moratorium was placed on the extraction and sale of the product. This decision was taken by the Barrow Administration after everyone in the trade was given the opportunity to sell all the rosewood they had on the ground. Couple months later some wealthy people in the rosewood trade with good political connection claimed that they had missed the moratorium enforcement date. With the ears of Belmopan they were allowed to export more rosewood to China although the moratorium was already in effect for several months. That should have been the final shipment of the precious commodity until a sustainable method of harvesting was devised by the government. That’s what we all thought. To bolster that misguided belief, the administration confiscated every rosewood log cut by poor people trying to make a few dimes after the moratorium and made sure those seizures hit the evening local news.

Obstacles to the Prevention of Corruption in Belize
Belize, like many of its neighbours, having accepted the need to confront and eliminate corruption in public functions, now faces the daunting challenge of charting an appropriate course to achieving that most elusive objective. The challenge requires that we identify the obstacles to the prevention of corruption in public functions, devise appropriate measures for dealing with them and then take the steps required to implement those measures. While such an approach appears simple enough, the task is indeed a daunting one in Belize because it requires the making of principled decisions which inevitably fly in the face of political self-preservation, and indeed, in the face of what may now well constitute a number of cultural norms in Belizean society. In typical Caribbean fashion, instead of confronting and addressing the issue squarely, the preference is to pay lip service to it, while refusing to create and empower the necessary institutions obviously needed to achieve required changes. This disposition is a significant obstacle to the prevention of corruption in Belize.

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE – Use Only the Word Belizean!!
I have just completed a book that was kindly loaned to me from the library of James and Lydia Waight. Its name is simply “British Honduras,” and it was written by Englishman Algar Robert Gregg and published in 1968 by The Corona Library, a series of volumes “dealing with the United Kingdom’s dependent territories, the way their peoples live, and how they are governed.” It was a fascinating read, at once factual and fanciful. I say this because Mr. Gregg had clearly done his research. He included a Reading List or Bibliography which sets out to his sources for historical information, and as well a list of Official Publications. On the other hand, he had travelled widely in the country, but some of his impressions were somewhat naive and clearly of his time and British predilection. For instance his chapter on Early History makes no mention whatever of the various slave rebellions in eighteenth century Belize, and his references to twentieth century Belize completely ignore the Ex-Servicemen’s Riot and the early Labor movements that preceded the Nationalist era. Of course with source documents such as Sir John Burdon’s Archives and Histories by E.O. Winzerling, Stephen Caiger, Wayne Clegern, W.A. Donohoe and R.A. Humphreys one can easily understand the Euro-centric perspective of his account.

Cane farmers could lose millions of dollars
With fifteen days to go before the end of the dry season and the start of the rainy season, sugar cane farmers still have approximately 450,000 to 500,000 tons of sugar cane to deliver to the mill. The delay was caused by drawn out stalemate earlier this year, between the new private owners of Belize Sugar Industries, American Sugar Refining Inc., and the cane farmers over whether farmers would share profits from the production of electricity with the bagasse derived from sugar cane. The estimated production for the 2014 crop is 1,273,000 tons of cane in the Orange Walk and Corozal districts. Up to date, the mill has received approximately 821,000 tons leaving at least 452,000 tons to be harvested before the heavy rains begin in June. The heavy rains normally begin by mid-June. If this is so, hundreds of farmers will not be able to deliver their sugar cane in time. It is estimated that at least 250,000 tons of sugar cane could be left unharvested, translating to losses as high as 18-20 million dollars. If the heavy rains begin earlier, losses can be as high as 25 million dollars. This comes at a time when cane farmers are receiving marginal profits due to the constant increase in the cost of production. It is also important to note that losses such as these are unbearable to the cane farmer especially when it is expected that the market prices for Belize’s sugar is predicted to reduce by 20- 25 percent in 2017.

Like the Government… the University of Belize is dysfunctional
The red flags at the University of Belize are much more numerous than those warning of an impending hurricane. The green flag, if it ever appears, will not signal an all-clear but rather that the university is taking a collision course with history as it is ill-prepared to take that highway into the future. Neither does it seem to have the credentials to prepare the country’s young talents for the task of nation building. And that is thirty two years after independence! The Ministry of Education appears not to understand the vital function of this institution for higher learning. It has lowered the entrance requirement for UB and rather than help in promoting the quest for excellence it continues, with political dumbness, to encourage mediocrity. It is even easier to earn a degree from UB than to buy one on e-bay. A retired teacher recently commented that a high school diploma earned in Belize in the 70s is now worth more than a degree from this national university today. There are admittedly, a few students who perform with excellence and on their own accord in the miserable environment of a UB campus. It is simply not just for parents to be gambling their children’s future on a dysfunctional institution and the persistent political interference in a university that is supposed to be autonomous and above politics.

Last Sunday Night, May 18th, as Sir George Domingo and I journeyed back from the beautiful village of Bella Vista in the Toledo East Constituency, my thoughts were only of the kind, sincere, humble and hardworking people I had just been privileged to encounter on my visit alongside the good gentlemen of the PUP Southern Caucus, Hon. Deputy Party Leader Mike Espat (Toledo East), Hon. Oscar Requena (Toledo West), Hon. Ivan Ramos (Dangriga) and Hon. Rodwell Ferguson (Stann Creek West). Our worn but reliable blue Landcruiser rolled steadily across the magnificent Southern Highway, and even as midnight approached, a clear moonlit night afforded me the opportunity to take in the breathtaking wonder and beauty that is Belize. The public rally in Bella Vista had brought out some 1500 residents of the surrounding communities. They were filled with energy, excitement and love. They had come out to see, meet, and hear their Leaders and to share with us their concerns and hopes for the future.

Barrow Saves Castro…for now – Who is paying Poor Castro’s expensive lawyer bill?
The brother of Prime Minister Dean Barrow has saved Edmund Castro from facing the music by getting a Court case against the scandal-ridden UDP area representative thrown out on technical arguments. Belize Rural North resident Trevor Vernon and his attorney, Phillip Palacio, sought the Supreme Court’s permission to apply for declaratory relief against Castro. Vernon’s attorney presented to the Court that Castro violated his oath of office when he misused public funds belonging to the Belize Airport Authority. Castro’s bold-faced attorney, Denys Barrow, didn’t argue the merits of the allegations. He submitted to the Court that the matter brought against his client was a charge that could only be filed against bodies and institutions and not private individuals. Barrow’s wily argument was meant to elude a trial that would have taken a close look at the evidence of Castro’s abuse of funds.

Celebrating Our Bright Minds! – High School Graduation Season 2014
There couldn’t possibly be a more wonderful time of the year in Belize than Graduation Season. It’s not Christmas, Easter or even our own Independence Day, but undoubtedly– it’s special. And while there’s the usual fretting over parties, proms and that always-worth-preserving march down the aisle, it always comes to a single, solitary fact – the end of the long grind of high school, and facing a future that will be, one hopes, prosperous and meaningful. And it is with such a future in mind that the BELIZE TIMES begins its look into the High School Graduating Class of 2014. Over the next few weeks, we intend to capture those feelings – of joy and hope, of sadness and fear, and ultimately, of looking forward to becoming part of a working society and in so doing, etch their names into the Belizean ‘Bible’. The first of the schools to be covered in this first article is Edward P. Yorke High School on Princess Margaret Drive. Despite its notable ‘Northside’ locale, it does tend to attract the ‘Southside’ kids – those who, despite poverty yawning and staring them dead in the face, persevere and often triumph no matter the odds stacked up against them. And this year’s graduating class certainly gives proof to that. According to Vice-Principal responsible for Academics, Ms. Josephine Flowers, of 120 4th formers that started the year in 2013, 118 of them will be graduating on Sunday, June 1st at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City at 3:00 p.m. – certainly a cause for much celebration within the school and for its Principal, Mr. Roderick Cardinez.


Day One Of the Belize Chocolate Festival: Arrival in Punta Gorda, The Wine & Chocolate Party and More
After one day and two nights in beautiful Placenca, yesterday morning I hopped on the 9am express bus for the 1.5 hour hop to Punta Gorda. (I don’t why more people don’t do a Placencia/Punta Gorda combination trip…fantastic way to experience Belize is you have just limited time. Beach + fantastic restaurants of Placencia and the wildife + wild beauty + culture + diversity of Punta Gorda? But that’s another blog.) I then went way up in the hills to the tiny village of Columbia, Toledo to visit the largest commercial butterfly farm in the world. YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN SO MANY BUTTERFLIES. Thousands and thousands are shipping out each week…in pupae form. But…I’ll have to tell you more about that too. Here’s a picture of the view… And then chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. The Belize Chocolate Company, Cotton Hill chocolate…there were four different tables with ENDLESS samples. My photos are not so hot. It was dark! And so is chocolate!

International Sources

Heidi Klum shows off her fun side while party hopping at Cannes
Heidi Klum recently flew into Paris, France to attend the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and she showed the world how a superstar entertainment personality can mix business and pleasure and enjoy it all at the same time. The beautiful entertainment personality arrived with her hot younger than her boyfriend, Vito Schnabel, him all of 27 years old compared to her 40 year old stunningly gorgeous self on the Wednesday May 21 wearing stylish jeans and a blouse. Shortly afterwards the television host was on the stage as one of the co-hosts at the Puerto Azul Experience Night dinner looking stunning in a white Grecian inspired gown the was held up by two sets of gold braid straps. The renowned television host looked glamorous and relaxed as she helped the organizer celebrate the plans to open a resort in Belize. This was her first event of the evening but in true Heidi Klum fashion this was just the start of her fun times.


Video: Baking Cashew Apple Crisp, 8min.
Belize Family Living shows how we make Cashew Apple Crisp, Belizean style. The Cashew apple is a delicious tropical fruit with many uses such as baking as we will demonstrate here, stewing into a delicious jam, or just eating fresh from the tree. The Cashew tree is an amazing tree providing both Cashew Fruit ( called simply "Cashew") and the Cashew nut that many people are so fond of. The Cashew nut is very labor intensive to process, so next time you think the price for cashew nuts is high, think of all the work that goes into processing the Cashew Nut! We may try to make a video of processing the Cashew nut in the future.

Video: Belize042014, 7min.

May 24, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Under the Sun and Stars: Bridal Shower & Charitable Donations!
Courtney Bowen reviews possible island bridal gown designs by her friends in preparation for her Belizean wedding in San Pedro. Friends of the bride-to-be, daughter of Lady Dixie Bowen and the late Sir Barry Bowen, gathered upstairs at Fido’s for a surprise pre-nuptial celebration last week. Courtney will reveal the actual design of her Belize bridal gown when she weds Peter Tully, longtime boyfriend from Boston, Massachusetts, USA. She and Peter exchanged formal vows in London, England, on April 4, at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Fisheries Ministers consider Regional Coral Reef Plan of Action Friday
Fisheries ministers from member states of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will meet at Fort Young Hotel, in Roseau, Dominica, on Friday, May 23, 2014, for the Eight Meeting of the CRFM Ministerial Council. According to CRFM’s Executive Director, Milton Haughton, the first sub-regional fisheries management plan (FMP) to facilitate co-operation in the conservation, management and sustainable use of the flying fish resources shared among countries in the Eastern Caribbean, recently endorsed by the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, will be presented to the ministers for their review and endorsement. It is anticipated that the Council will sign an accompanying resolution approving the Plan. The ministerial meeting’s agenda also calls for a look at the sustainable use and management of key fisheries resources in the region, as well as fisheries policy, legislation and institutional development. Ministers will also review current activities being undertaken through the CRFM’s Statistics and Information Programme, as well as human resource development and capacity-building activities. Finally, the Caribbean fisheries ministers will receive an update on projects and activities of strategic partners, as well as the CRFM’s work plan and budget for 2014-2016.

Ambassador to the Past Program takes students into Marco Gonzalez Maya Site
As part of the program, students have been learning about the life of the Maya that once occupied the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site. According to Dr. Simmons, over the past two years, the activities for the Ambassador to the Past Program were held in the classrooms, but this year students were brought to the Maya Site. “What we did this year is some archeological activity on the site. The primary school students got to participate in doing a surface survey. They are learning to observe things just like a scientist would do in the field. The students were asked to take notes based on their observations and they drafted conclusions on what they found when doing the surface survey,” said Simmons. While Marco Gonzalez does not have large structures like those on mainland Belize, Dr Simmons explained that the students are still excited because they get to pick up pieces of stone pieces, pot shards, net sinkers, old fish bones and even obsidian. “Sites like Marco Gonzalez were trading centers that were involved in commercial activities, and the students get to understand how Marco Gonzalez was interconnected with all the big cities along the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and even Honduras. For example, they get to appreciate and understand how sea shells ended up all the way to large Maya cities located in the mainland areas – simply because of the trading activities in sites such as Marco Gonzalez,” detailed Simmons.

Cameramen become the filmed in the “Monster Croc: Search for a Killer” Animal Planet Thriller
James Incledon and Jason Gibirti first came to Belize in February 2012 as the production team for Wild Productions, who produced the long-running UK Discovery Channel “Wildlife SOS” series. At that time Cherie and Vince Rose of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) were filmed for one of the “Wildlife SOS” episodes. When returning to Belize as film makers, Incledon and Gibirti reunited with the ACES team who were instrumental in the crocodile component of the “Monster Croc: Search for a Killer” production. These skills can ultimately be used to capture a problematic animal and relocate it. We are basically using our experience in the field filming wildlife to help solve a specific wildlife problem,” explained Gibirti. These techniques were utilized during the filming of the action packed killer crocodile show.

Sinking your fears at the Black Hole Drop
Two days before, I had gotten an email from Julie at Tropic Air, inviting one of The San Pedro Sun/My Beautiful Belize staff to go on a familiarization (FAM) trip to Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch, and experience the thrilling Black Hole Drop (real name: Actun Loch Tunich). Bucket List item Alert! I may have begged and squirreled my way into being assigned to it (ha) but I certainly wasn’t laughing now. At the time of the email, the one-hour hike through rugged terrain up into a mountain was my biggest fear. I bragged that I wasn’t worried about the drop. Oh no, I was only concerned about the hike, seeing as the last time I hiked UP somewhere longer than five minutes, I just about passed out from exhaustion. Well, it seemed that the hike was a cakewalk compared to getting my feet to move away from the ledge. They were not moving, and every time I tried to look behind and below, all I could see was the dark, unknown territory below.

Ambergris Today

Blue Hole Natural Monument and Half Moon Caye Natural Monument are both located within Lighthouse Reef Atoll and Puerto Azul Exclusive Resorts and Hotel is a proposed development just north of these two sites on Northern Two Caye and Sanbore Caye. Puerto Azul boasts to be a luxurious eco-development that, above all, will be very environmentally conscious, sustainable and pro-active. But like most developments in pristine and reserve areas of Belize, it is receiving quite the negative feedback and causing quite a stir within environmentalists and concerned citizens. Show business talent and product manager Oscar Generale and businessman Domenico Giannini - the president of Puerto Azul Exclusive Resorts & Hotels have just recently hosted a star-studded Puerto Azul Experience at Villa Saint Georges at the Cannes Film Festival to promote the new luxury resort in Belize.

Elsa P The Little Boat With Big History
The Elsa P belonging to Tio Pil (Felipe Paz Sr.) has got to be the cargo/passenger boat with the longest history. Way back in the 1950’s and into the 60’s, the Elsa P was a sailing boat. To make it a motorized boat, Tio Pil removed the mast and built the shade/caseta for the comfort of the passengers and for the captain’s compartment. At this time the Elsa P was a three story vessel with cargo below deck, on the deck and up on the caseta/shade. And just where are the passengers’ seats? Anywhere on the deck where there was a small space with no cargo, or on top of the boxes of merchandise that was part of the cargo. How lucky one was when there was a mattress on board and one got to sit or lie on it first. Otherwise passengers sat on coke crates, milk boxes and even bags of beans and flour. Note that the third floor was reserved for heavy and large cargo-in this case large pieces of Mennonite furniture, and corrugated construction steel rods. Of interest is that small compartment at the stern. You guessed it right- the boat’s restroom. It consisted of a piece of 2 X 4 board on which one person only could sit. Yes, everything went directly into the sea and there was no problem when the boat was travelling. The problem was when it was docked at the main pier in front of Central park, so Tio Pil had the door to the restroom padlocked.

Misc Belizean Sources

Rug Rats Play Club
We have licensed child care now and are ready to take on the little ones en mass. Great for dive family's with one child not of age that needs entertaining while the family dives. Here are the details of our RUGRATS program, our summer program for kids, our Tree Top Studio schedule with includes dance/body work, Pilates, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and soon salsa. While enjoying services at Zen Arcade or other activities in San Pedro leave your child to play, learn and create in our Rug Rats Play Club. Rug Rats Play Club is a safe and fun environment within Zen Arcade where children can express themselves through individual or group play, whether within our self-contained playroom, fenced playground or treetop studio. While in our care your child will have the opportunity to participate in arts and crafts, yoga play and creative-learning play. We recommend reserving a space 24 hours in advance of your child's stay with us.

The Netherlands Authorities in collaboration with the Organization of American States herein offer partial scholarships (30% of tuition costs) for Master of Arts Degrees in subject areas that are indicated in the attached documents. The application deadline has been established at June 15, 2014. The language of instruction will be English. More detailed information including the application process, admission criteria and website is contained in the attached documents. Further questions should be submitted to [email protected]

Saint Martin's AGM
St. Martin's Credit Union is having their annual AGM tonight. It starts at 5:00pm, and will be held at the Octavia Waight auditorium. They have lots of door prizes, and if you get there before 5, there's a cash prize too. If you're not a member, you should go in Tuesday(they are closed Monday), and become one. "YOU ARE INVITED and win great prizes: LAPTOP - CELL PHONE - EARLY BIRD $300 (cash) - STOVE - BICYCLE - FANS - many other CASH PRIZES! We will have snacks, drinks and a CHILDREN's AREA with their own activities, prizes and snacks/drinks! See you there! NO INVITATION REQUIRED - Just be a Member and show up!"

Power outage Orange Walk May 25
Two 30-minute power interruptions scheduled for Orange Walk on Sunday, May 25, from 8:00 am to 8:30 am & 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm: entire Orange Walk District. This scheduled power interruption is necessary for BEL to replace utility poles and insulators & conduct maintenance work on equipment between Buena Vista & Mexican Border.

Power outage Corozal May 25
Two 30- minute power interruptions scheduled for Corozal on Sunday, May 25, from 8:00 am to 8:30 am & 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm: entire Corozal District. This scheduled power interruption is necessary for B.E.L. to replace utility poles and insulators & conduct maintenance work on equipment between Buena Vista & Mexican Border.

School hopes for brighter futures with New Horizons additions
Approximately 3,200 square feet of classrooms at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf built by New Horizons Belize 2014 engineers is scheduled for completion by the first week of June. New Horizons is an annual exercise providing mutual training opportunities for Belize Defence Force and U.S. military civil engineers as they build new facilities at five locations throughout Belize. The addition at Stella Maris features facilities that cater to students with various disabilities. "One building will be for vocational skills - woodworking and sewing skills - that teach life skills through activities that our students are in need of and are interested in," said Maria Newport, acting vice principal at the school. "It has been a dream for our principal to have a room for those skills. It gives us the opportunity to better accomplish the mission and goals of Stella Maris."

PolyClinic receives new golfcarts from Ramon’s Village
On Friday May 23rd, the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic ll received two golfcarts from Ramon’s Village Resort secured via the San Pedro Town Council. The keys were handed over to a very happy Dr. Javier Zuniga and PolyClinic administrator Owen Vellos.

Golf Carts for Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II (6 photos)
On Friday, May 23, The Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II were presented with two golf carts that were donated by Ramon's Village Resort through the San Pedro Town Council. On site for the presenting of the golf carts were Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, Councilor Severo Guerrero, Mr. Ramon Nuñez, Dr. Javier Zuniga, Mr. Owen Vellos and Nurse Maria Jeffrey. Congratulations!

Marie Sharp's Nopal Green Habanero Pepper Sauce
Did you know? That in 2013 Marie Sharp's Nopal Green Habanero Pepper Sauce was the fastest growing pepper sauce in both local and international sales. This cactus based pepper sauce is made from our own Scagineal cactus aka prickly pear, Nopal. Nopal cactus is a native of the Highlands of Mexico where the ancient Aztecs and Mayas consumed on a daily basis and even before going to battle . Scagineal is also very healthy and treats diabetes, lowers blood sugar & cholesterol and is rich with fiber and vital vitamins. You can get all these benefits by eating our Marie sharp's Nopal Green Habanero on your favorite dishes! Sauce goes well with seafood, meats, burgers and even with chips as a dip. If you haven't tried it yet look for it and see why this is a favourite in Japan, Mexico, and USA markets. Available in stores countrywide! All natural straight from the farm to your family table!

Jenkins Benefit Concert
There will be a benefit concert and auction for healer Edward Jenkins at Orange Gallery. Barefoot Skinny will be playing, and there will be a silent auction too. It's time to help heal the healer.

FCD Finishes Chiquibul Phase I
The Friends for Conservation and Development and the Protected Areas Conservation Trust have finished phase 1 of their Chiquibul management project. The goal is to halt the human footprint expansion in the southern Chiquibul Forest Reserve. Ready for phase 2. Thanks, PACT and FCD!

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 17
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly. The Horticulture training at DuPlooy's starts Monday. Read about the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve in this week's issue.

Public Service Information Day
Photos of on-going displays at Public Service Information Day celebration 2014 - Corozal Central Park 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Travel Fundamentals for Belize
Traveling to Belize can be an adventure, but keeping things pleasant and comfortable always makes for the most enjoyable trip. Brushing up on these basic tips below will help you get by better in Belize. Etiquette You'll find that Belizeans are very friendly under almost all circumstances. However, remembering a few rules of etiquette will allow you to discover just how friendly the people of Belize can be. When walking into any kind of building, or just asking someone for directions on the street, it is most polite to greet the person first with a "good morning" or "buenos días." Don't get carried away taking pictures. While photos from inside churches and of indigenous people may look interesting, be sure to avoid snapping pictures during church services, or without asking someone for their permission first. Always remember to thank locals you photograph with a small fee. Remember, even business attire is casual in Belize. There's no need to overdress; men rarely wear suits with ties. Gay travelers are advised to be very discreet in Belize. Homosexuality is still illegal there and has resulted in prison time for natives, though vacationers have not been prosecuted.

Channel 7

A Protest For Professor Bain
Jamaican Professor Brendon Bain is probably the very first CARICOM national to be the subject of virtually simultaneous protests in Belize and Jamaica. That’s because the University of the West Indies Professor – who also headed the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Initiative was sacked for his deposition in the UNIBAM Case in Belize. He provided expert testimony to say that men who have sex with men have a higher rate of HIV Transmission. That stirred outrage from pro gay – and HIV awareness organizations throughout the Caribbean. 32 of them protested to UWI that he had to go – and go he did. Now, his supporters, and others are saying it is unfair – and today in Belize City, that meant a protest, with potent visual imagery. Daniel Ortiz was there:

Harmonyville Halts Plan For Planting Corn On Road Reserve
For the past 2 weeks, Nigel Petillo and the rest of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Organization (B(i)GYEA), have been making the media rounds to complain about their latest dispute with the Lands Department.

Police Say "Cat" Was The Killer In Santana
Police have charged 24 year-old Albert Reid with murder for the death of 57 year-old Maurice Young. Investigators believe that he chopped his fellow Santana Villager sometime over the weekend. Like his fugitive brother, Alex Cat Reid, Albert is also known as "Cat" He was charged this evening and will be arraigned at the earliest convenience. As we told you, Maurice Young's body was found lying in the bushes about 100 feet away from his house on Tuesday evening. An on-site autopsy done by Dr. Mario Estradabran certified that he died from a chop wound to the neck. There is no clear motive but police believe it may have been a robbery.

Bail For Cop Accused Of Gun Theft
3 weeks ago, we told you about Police Constable Yannick Wade who was charged with stealing 8 guns and 100 rounds of ammunition from the San Pedro Police Station. The guns were put there by the KBH Security Company for safe keeping. Well, tonight, Wade is out of bail, and he is with his family.

Serial Caller Slain By Record Defamation Award For PM
On the morning show circuit, Attorney Arthur Saldivar is known as the serial caller. It was meant as an insult by a political opponent – but Saldivar has embraced it, after all, the man loves his call in shows, and apparently has endless credit….and so he calls, and calls…and calls.

Coye Family Money Still On Ice
While he has until Monday to pay up, Saldivar was in Supreme Court today to try to get money for the Coye Family from their frozen bank accounts. The Panamanian company Internet Experts SA says that the Coyes owe them 4.8 million dollars, and that company is seeking to recover via a private claim.

Hon. Heredia & Hon. Contreras Going "Cray-Cray" At Cannes
The Cannes Film Festival on the French Riviera – it’s the biggest, most glamorous film festival on earth – and this year, Belize is being represented by two A list political celebrities, complete with entourage. Tourism Minister Manuel Junior Heredia and Investment Minister Erwin Contreras are seen here hamming it up at a reception in Cannes. But, they weren’t there to see which film would get the prized “Palme d’or,” they were there to profile for investors who want to build a mega resort on Northern 2 Caye, which is in the Lighthouse Caye range in Belize. The Italian development group held a star – studded event in Cannes called the “Puerto Azul Experience Party at Cannes 2014.” Heredia and Contreras were there, apparently as photo-bombing, tuxedo-wearing, government of Belize glitterati .

Nurses Say No To Transfer; CEO Says, "I Don"t Know"
Recently, it seems the Ministry of Health has been lurching from crisis to crisis - and tonight it's the nurses who are complaining about CEO Peter Allen. On May 6th, the Nurses Association of Belize wrote to Chairman of the Public Services Commission Patrick Bernard complaining about the impending transfer of 9 senior nursing staff. The letter says, quote,"the proposed countrywide transfers of seven senior nurse managers and two infection control nurses…is being spearheaded solely by CEO Dr Peter Allen. The nurses are administrators of regional and community hospitals and received "intent to transfer" letters in March. The Association says the way the entire process has been managed by the CEO is a quote, "total disrespect and disregard for nurses and the nursing profession!" That's because they say there were no formal consultations about the proposed transfers with Augustina Elijio the Chief Nurse in the Ministry of Health. The association says the Chief Nurse is the technical expert responsible for advising on all matters related to nurses and nursing.

NHI Used Like Slush Fund For Central Health Region
And staying on the subject of the Ministry of Health, last night we showed you a few salient points from the 37 page Auditor General report on Central Health Region. CEO Dr Peter Allen asked the Auditor General to investigate after conscientious public officers warned him of frequent irregularities in the management of the region’s budget. But nothing prepared the Auditor General’s office for the long list of very unusual money manuevers allegeldy orchestrated by the Regional Manager Melinda Guerra. The auditor found mis-representaitons, mis-allocations, misdirection, and a few misisng purches. Tonight we’ll focus on the alleged mis-use of NHI funds designated for the Matron Roberts Clinic, on a whole bunch of stuff:..

KHMH Investigates Van Acquisition
Carlos Perrera, The Finance Director at the KHMH is under scrutiny tonight, because of two 2012 passenger vans that he bought for the hospital. We’ve been trying to gather information on the story for over a week now, and from what we’ve learned, there are a few issues with the vans. They reportedly cost a combined one hundred thousand dollars but driving up the price a few thousand more was the fact that Perrera and another KHMH staffer had to go all the way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to “inspect” them. But, 6 months after the vans got here, the transmission failed on one of them. The cost of replacing it? Only 16 thousand dollars. And then, the hospital agreed to purchase two 15 passengers vans, but both were only outfitted for 12 passengers. Earlier on we told you about the internal audit at the KHMH into the acquisition of two vans. We said that the Director Of Finance, Carlos Perrera was under scrutiny. Well, before we got to the commercial break, he fired off a call to our newsroom to say he is not under any investigation for anything at the KHMH.

PUP Says Shame On Hon. King; King Says He Noh Shame
Last night you heard Minister of State Mark King's very plain-spoken remarks about a Tuesday meeting with Norwegian Cruise Lines held for the UDP Southern Standard Bearers in Independence Village. Well, apparently, it was too plain spoken for the PUP. The party issued a statement today calling the comments "ignorant and arrogant". The statement calls on PM Barrow to quote, "apologize to the Nation for his Minister's callous remarks." Well, one man who isn't apologizing is Mark King. He put out his own statement on FACEBOOK today FOR, quote, "taking my statement and trying to divide Belizeans into thinking we are only for the UDP." He adds if i choose to help my UDP first, and other Belizeans before any pup then they must live with that. He closes by saying "I continue to stand by my words and it will not be retracted."

Son Of Slain Elderly Woman Assaults Neighbor For Interview
His elderly mother, Erceline Gabourel, perished in a tragic case of arson yesterday, but today, 57 year-old Dennis Gabourel, was taken to court because he allegedly assaulted one of the women who gave an interview to the media about her death. Gabourel was take before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart, where he was arraigned for harm. Gabourel pleaded not guilty to the charge and he was released on a bail of $1,000; His next court date is June 23. The complainant, 22 year old Kathleen Grant, reported to the police that while she was in front of her house on Cleghorn Street she was approached by Gabourel who slapped her on the left side of her face. She said she fell to the pavement and while she was on the ground Gabourel kicked her several times.

He Shot His Accomplice By Accident
On Wednesday, we told you about the 17 year-old man who was hospitalized after his partner allegedly shot him by mistake while they were robbing a man in Ladyville. Well that accomplice was Twenty-seven year old Mason Patnett, and he was arraigned on robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. He pled not guilty to the charges and he was remanded until June 23. It happened on May 20 in Ladyville, the complainant, 18 year old Marvin Martinez, was by a basketball court at the corner of Seagull and Pigeon Streets when he was robbed at gunpoint by two persons. He said they stole $150 and his blue mountain bicycle, valued at $350. Police reports are that during the robbery, Martinez slapped the gun that Patnett had pointed at him. The gun went off and a single shot struck his partner, a 17 year old, in the left side of his chest.

Suspected Arson In Ladyville
There was a fire last night in Ladyville. At five minutes to 9:00 Ladyville Police responded to a report of a house on fire at #10 Edwin Park Avenue Lords Bank Village. At 8:15 reisdent, Evan Lamb Sr. arrived home and left to visit a friend. At about 8:50p.m. the neighbour saw that the house was engulfed in flames. The Fire Department put out the fire, but the four bedrooms white and green in color concrete bungalow house measuring approximately 30ft by 40 ft. was completely destroyed. It was not insured. Police suspect arson.

2 New Coast Guard Seals
In February, we told you about the new batch of Coast Guard Seals. 25 of them entered the programme, and only two made it through. But that was just the initial 5 week phase. They then had to go through five months of training. They made it and graduated today the Belize National Coast Guard Headquarters. 7News was there: The seals were trained in advanced marksmanship, close quarters combat, and other specialized fields.

Gonguez Family Complains About Callous Police Search
Tonight a Jane Usher family is irate after police officers showed up at their residence this morning looking for ammunition. It's a family yard with mostly women and children who claimed the officers had no respect for them and didn't even inform them what the search was about. Here's their side of the story. When the search was over, nothing was found at the Gonguez's home.

Chief Magistrate Did Say Something About Bailiff Casey
An entire month ago, we told you about Gabriel Casey, the bailiff at the Magistrate's Court Department, who has been accused by multiple persons of serial irregularities in the conduct of his duties. At the time, we pressed for comments from the Magistracy Department, and we never got any. Last week Friday, however, out of nowhere the Chief Magistrate issued a press release, the first ever from her desk. The best part is that it wasn't sent to the only media house which ran the story. It was sent to 4 other media houses, none of which picked up the story - so the press release was kind of like a secret, one we just got wind of it yesterday. It says, quote "Bailiff … Casey was taken before the Public Service Commission for breaches of….the Public Service Regulations. The Public Service Commission recommended that Casey be reinstated…."

Dion Leslie To Step Down; Make Space For Mayor Bradley?
City Councillor Dion Leslie is preparing to withdraw his name as a candidate for the UDP's mayoral convention. Leslie confirmed this to us today. It is believed that he is doing so to make way for the resurgent Darrell Bradley, who rumours suggest is back in the race for mayor. Bradley was cagey when we spoke to him earlier this week about his meeting with the Prime Minister. Leslie has told us the conversation has started about him stepping down and he has to go in to the party and formally withdraw his name. Leslie says he was not asked to step down, but he had told Bradley that if he chooses to run for Mayor, he will step aside.

Tonight's I AM Belize PROFILE features Deborah Reneau, a teacher at Santa Elena Roman Catholic Primary School. Her story is that she happened on the profession of teaching because her family decided to stay in Belize and making their life here. Since then, she hasn't regretted her decision in the least.

Dr. Parham No Longer The MFFSD CEO
And finally tonight - a small bit of news from the government bureaucracy. Wendel Parhman, the CEO in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development is no longer in that job. We could not confirm whether the contract officer was terminated or moved to another area, but we have confirmed that he will no longer be CEO. Parham's last day was reported to be today. We are told that his minister Lisel Alamilla had differences with him.

Channel 5

Supporters tape their mouths in protest of UWI Professor’s termination
University of the West Indies Professor, Brendan Bain was terminated on Tuesday of this week in Jamaica under pressure brought on by advocacy groups who claimed they had lost confidence [...]

P.U.P. objects to reappoint of Justice Awich to Court of Appeal
There is a rare development tonight to our story earlier this week on government’s intention to re-appoint Justice Samuel Awich to the Belize Court of Appeal. We say rare because [...]

NHI funds misused to pay Melinda Guerra’s hospital expenses
The audit of the Central Health Region is done, and the thirty-seven page report is out. It’s comprehensive and detailed, and paints a very grim picture of the health personnel [...]

Former Mayor Alfonzo Cruz kept overnight at the Belmopan police station
Former Mayor of San Ignacio Alfonso ‘Ponchis’ Cruz spent Thursday night in lockdown at the Belmopan Police Station. As we told you, he was picked up by San Ignacio Police [...]

Albert Reid charged for murder of Santana man
Police have formally arrested and charged twenty-four year old Albert Reid for the murder of Santana resident, Maurice ‘Tuko’ Young. Reid was detained at two a.m. on Thursday at a [...]

Will the mayor Darrell Bradley be on the City Council ballot?
For months now, the political future of Darrell Bradley has been up in the air, and he’s certainly done nothing to change that. Tonight, there is every indication that Bradley [...]

P.U.P. fires a statement in response to Mark King’s crass remarks
On Tuesday, Minister of State Mark King, in a candid interview with the media, made it abundantly clear that the needs of his political party and those of its supporters [...]

Nurses Association lashes out at Health C.E.O. over transfers
Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Peter Allen, isn’t making many friends in the health sector these days. That much is crystal clear in a release sent out [...]

Yannick Wade, remanded for missing guns in San Pedro, gets bail
Police Constable Yannick Wade is out on bail. Today, his attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd applied for Supreme Court bail for Wade, who has been on remand since May fifth for charges [...]

Mason Patnett is charged for shooting his accomplice during a robbery
  Police have detained and charged twenty-seven year old Mason Patnett, who was on the run after he accidentally shot his accomplice during a robbery on Tuesday. He was picked [...]

Nicaraguan national acquitted of theft
  Minister of State Edmond Castro was back in court today; this time he appeared as a witness in a case of theft. A Nicaraguan national, forty-six year old Oscar [...]

G.O.B. takes out injunction against BGYEA
Tensions are running high tonight between the government and the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association. That’s because government has taken out an injunction to prevent the organization from planting corn [...]

Agricultural project in Harmonyville buffer lands stopped in its tracks
According to BGYEA, the private investor, Samuel Patton, has since backed out of doing business with them, but the issue remains that they have already purchased the corn seeds that [...]

Names announced for 2014 Hurricane Season
The names for the 2014 Hurricane Season have been released. The season is less than a week away and already tropical storm Amanda has formed and Accuweather reports that it [...]

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo guilty of money laundering conspiracy
Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo has been sentenced to roughly six years in a United States prison after being convicted of conspiring with several others to launder millions of dollars [...]

Rural Executive Officer asks for quotations to repair police stations
As we told you on Tuesday, the death of Santana resident Maurice Young highlighted a critical need in the rural communities on the old Northern Road. Crime in those areas [...]


BGYEA Served Injunction to Keep Out of Buffer Zone
Today the Government of Belize, represented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, formally served an injunction on the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), represented by president Nigel Petillo and vice-president David Barnett, stopping them from conducting any activity in the Buffer Zone separating the Harmonyville community...

Auditor General Report on Central Regional Reveals $90,000 Misappropriated
The Public Services Commission is gearing up to hear cases of misappropriation of funds which allegedly occurred at two regional hospitals. This is after the Auditor General reports were released, revealing hundreds of thousands of dollars either allegedly embezzled or misappropriated. The two hospitals in question are the Southern...

17 Year old Stabbed Multiple Times in Ladyville
A 17 year old was stabbed multiple times in Ladyville last night. Ladyville Police visited the home of 17-year-old Zane Pott of Lords Bank. He had been stabbed several times to the left leg, back and hand. Pott told police that he had just arrived home from the shop...

Nurses Association Formally Complains about Countrywide Transfers
Tonight there is mounting discontent at the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health Dr. Peter Allen and this time it has nothing to do with pharmaceuticals. Every so often public servants, like teachers and nurses, are shifted around and transferred to other facilities as deemed necessary by...

Another Act of Arson Strikes Ladyville
Yesterday we reported on an act of arson in Belize City that claimed the life of an elderly woman. There was another case of arson last night, this time in Ladyville. Sometime before 9 pm last night, Ladyville Police responded to a report of a house on fire at...

Son of Arson Victim Charged for Harm
We told you yesterday of the tragic death of 84 year old Isoline Gabourel who burned alive in her Douglas Jones Street home in a pre-dawn fire on Thursday morning. Today her son, 57 year old Dennis Gabourel, the owner of Horse and Carriage Tours, was charged with harm for allegedly attacking a neighbor...

Attempted Murder Charge Withdrawn from Albert Moody
Albert Moody, Jr. had a charge of attempted murder withdrawn against him today. Kent Moss, who accused Moody of shooting him on January 15 of 2013 has told the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that he wants no further court action in the matter. Accordingly the police...

18 Year old Robbed at Gunpoint
An 18 year old of Dollar Bank Road Hattieville reported that he was robbed at gunpoint on Wednesday night. The complainant told police that while he heading home on the Dollar Bank Road he was held up by two male persons wearing cloths over their faces. One pointed a...

Constable Accused of Theft Out on Bail
Yannick Wade was accused of masterminding the theft of eight firearms and 101 rounds of ammunition from the San Pedro Police Station. Today he is out on bail after an application in the Supreme Court. The firearms and ammunition, which are property of KBH Security Firm, were stolen from...

Vehicle Set on Fire; Another Act of Arson
David Locario, a mechanic of Yarborough Road, Belize City visited the Burrell Boom Police Station on Tuesday afternoon and reported that on October, 2013 he parked his 1994 red and white Ford Escort, four door Wagon type car valued at BZ$2,500.00 in his common law partner’s yard in the...

Ladyville Reports Another Armed Robbery
There was an armed robbery in the Ladyville area on Tuesday of this week where two men went to rob a teenager while he was at the Ladyville basketball Court. Well, the armed robbery almost turned fatal for one of the robbers, who we understand may have been shot allegedly by...

PUP Demand that Mark King be Ousted from Cabinet
We showed you portions of an interview with Minister of State Mark King yesterday where he discusses a meeting held in the South Stann Creek District on Tuesday with supporters of the United Democratic Party and representatives of Norwegian Cruise Line. But in the beginning he made a characteristically blunt statement...

Belize Action Protests Ouster of Brendan Bain
This afternoon in Belize City, members of Belize’s Christian community, about a hundred of them, led by Belize Action showed their support for fired UWI professor Dr. Brendan Bain. Bain was released after pressure from LGBT rights organizations for his testimony in the Caleb Orozco Case last May. They...


Murder by fire!
Isolene Gabourel, 84, a resident of a home at the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets, was burnt to death while sleeping in her house, which was completely destroyed by the fire at about 4:00 this morning. Security guards on duty at the JL’s Quick Loan Company, which is located in front of the house, responded to Gabourel’s cry for help, but the fire spread quickly and engulfed the house, which prevented them from going in to save her. Other persons from the neighborhood who tried to go into the house to rescue Gabourel, who lived alone, were also repelled by the flames. They called 911 and the Belize City Fire Service, which responded quickly, but by the time they arrived, the house had been destroyed and Gabourel was already dead.

Groom stood up at the altar
After weeks of preparation for his wedding, on Saturday, a Ladyville man was ready to exchange wedding vows with a woman with whom he has been living for three years. But it never happened, because she left him hanging onto the promise, “I am on the way.” At 4:00 p.m., the hour when the wedding ceremony was supposed to take place at the Ladyville Seventh Day Adventist Church, the anxious groom called his bride-to-be, and she assured him once more, “I’m on the way.” But as the evening wore on, he became more agitated. So he called her once more. “How far away are you,” he asked her. But the click in his ear suggested that she had hung up the phone. In desperation, he called again. “I done tell you a di come,” she replied. “I started to get cold feet, because I done figure she will not come,” the groom told Amandala.

Over $350,000 missing from Southern Regional
Two regional hospitals in Belize are the subject of shocking audit reports which are soon to be the subject of hearings conducted by the Public Services Commission, as they probe allegations of embezzlement and/or misappropriation of huge chunks of money from the nation’s health budget. Health CEO Dr. Peter Allen confirmed to Amandala that he has seen the reports completed by the Office of the Auditor General following allegations of financial wrongdoing at the Southern Regional Hospital and the Central Health Region in Belize City. In the first instance, Nasley Sommerville, the hospital administrator, has been put on suspension, while in the second instance, Melinda Guerra, Central Regional Manager, has been relieved of any role in processing financial transactions, Allen said.

Spineless UWI!
The firing earlier this week of Dr. Brendan Bain, a widely known Jamaican professor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), over his deposition to the Belize Supreme Court in the challenge by Caleb Orozco and UNIBAM to Belize’s sodomy laws, has sent a tsunami of outrage across the Caribbean, and Belize Action is calling Belizeans to converge at Battlefield Park at noon on Friday, May 23, to express their solidarity with Bain, who was terminated as director of the regional coordinating unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) on Tuesday. Pastor Scott Stirm, the lead organizer, told Amandala today that Bain put his whole professional career on the line to testify in the case, and Belize should say, “We stand with Dr. Bain; and this is deplorable how he’s been treated.” Stirm said that Pastor Eugene Crawford, head of the Evangelical Association of Belize, has indicated that they are “fully onboard.” One of Belize’s leading health experts, Dr. Bernard Bulwer, a Harvard-trained cardiologist, wrote us, expressing his views on Bain’s termination.

SJC sixth form students pay tribute to their “angel,” Evan Garnett, Jr.
Fellow students, friends and family members of Evan Garnett, Jr., 19, who was laid to rest at Lord Ridge Cemetery on Monday following a funeral mass at St. Ignatius Church, gathered on St. John’s College Junior College campus Thursday evening to pay tribute to his memory. Present for the ceremony were his mother, Jacinta Hyde; father, Evan Garnett, Sr.; stepfather Bernard Wagner and his younger siblings, as well as several other family members who traveled to Belize for his funeral. Garnett’s young life was cut short in a tragic traffic accident on Saturday, May 10, when he lost control of his car on the Philip Goldson Highway while travelling to his Los Lagos home. But since his death, a full portrait of his personality has emerged in the consciousness of his family and friends, who remember a happy young man, with an incessant, captivating smile, always showing the willingness to go an extra mile for his friends and family.

Jason Lawrence, 39, sentenced to life
A jury of seven women and five men deliberated for a little under four hours before returning to the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez to announce a unanimous guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Bruce Lawrence. Lawrence decided to forgo a mitigation hearing and Justice Gonzalez imposed the mandatory life sentence. Lawrence, 39, was indicted for the December 4, 2009, murder of his common-law wife, Nurse Mercedes Carillo, 40, who died after being stabbed multiple times in the couple’s Burrell Boom home. The stabbing allegedly occurred in front of Carillo’s two teenage children, who reportedly begged Lawrence to take their injured mother to the hospital after he had stabbed her five times in a jealous rage.

LGBT pressure groups force UWI to sack Professor Brendan Bain
The University of the West Indies, the region’s premier tertiary level institution, today issued a statement announcing that it has terminated Dr. Brendan Bain, Professor of Community Health at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Coordinator of the UWI HIV/AIDS Response Programme (UWI HARP), as Director of the regional coordinating unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) at UWI—amid a hailstorm of complaints from the LGBT community who said that his testimony in the Belize case has caused a loss of confidence in him. The well-known Jamaican professor was this month the subject of an unprecedented institutional trial triggered by members of a region-wide LGBT community, which has for months been calling for his appointment to be scrutinized in light of statements he made to the Belize Supreme Court as expert witness in a high profile challenge to the nation’s buggery laws.

Shalini Zabaneh Champion
Nine (9) female cyclists started out from Columbus Park in San Ignacio on Sunday, May 18, shortly after 8:00 a.m. for the 25th running of the Female Cross Country Cycling Classic, which journeyed along the George Price (Western) Highway to Belize City, ending in front of Leslie’s Imports, where cycling fans gathered to greet the gallant ladies on completion of the grueling almost 70-mile ride. The favorite going into Sunday’s race was defending champion Shalini Zabaneh, but there were a few worthy challengers, including 2012 champion Kaya Cattouse, fast improving Patricia Chavarria, always dangerous Alicia Thompson, the Lovell sisters – Gina and Gabrielle, Kerah Eiley, veteran 2-time champion Marinette Flowers, and an unknown factor in first time Mexican entry Laura Rodriguez Canto from Merida, Yucatan. Belize already had a male Mexican Cross Country Champion earlier this year in Juan Pablo Magallanes, so fans were a bit uneasy at the prospect of seeing another Mexican take the Female Cross Country garland.

No Limit Soldiers
The first ever National Elite Basketball League’s (NEBL) regular season came to an end this past weekend. The league was well received in most markets, as fans were able to identify with their local franchises. But after the regular season comes the playoffs, and with only 4 of the 8 NEBL teams advancing to the post season, there was a battle for the final 2 spots between the Belmopan Point Bandits, the Dangriga Warriors, and the Belize City No Limit Soldiers. In this final weekend of regular season play, the Belmopan Point Bandits needed to beat the Western Ballaz in San Ignacio on Thursday, and then needed the Warriors to lose to the Soldiers in Belize City. There were many who had already written off the Point Bandits, saying that there was no way they could go into the loudest building in the league and get a victory; but they did exactly that, defeating the Western Ballaz by a final score of 81 to 78, to keep their playoff hopes alive. Now all they needed was for the Dangriga Warriors, who had just beaten the league leading San Pedro Tigersharks a week earlier, to fall to the Soldiers from Belize City.

From April 8-11, 2014, FIBA Director, Lubomir Kotleba and FIBA Americas Technical Director, Anibal Garcia conducted a clinic in San Ignacio to certify FIBA international referees and FIBA Technical Commissioners. The clinic included four sessions: a written test, a physical test, a practical test and an informative section with questions and answers. Two candidates successfully completed the referees training course — Mr. Melvin Pinelo from Belmopan and Mr. Marlon Castillo from Dangriga. Mr. Pinelo is currently a chemistry teacher at Sacred Heart College. Mr. Castillo currently serves in the Coast Guard. Mr. Pinelo and Mr. Castillo are now eligible to officiate in any FIBA sanctioned game worldwide once called upon by FIBA. Two candidates also successfully completed the Technical Commissioner training – Mr. David Lacey from Belize City and Mr. Karim Juan from San Ignacio. Mr. Lacey is currently a lecturer at St. John’s College Sixth Form, and Mr. Juan is the Vice-Principal at Sacred Heart College.

Bandits rule
As expected, football fans were treated to a high intensity match at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium on Saturday night, May 17, where Game 2 of the Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup 2013-2014 Closing Season Finals featured home squad Police United, sporting a 3-nil deficit from Game 1, going against the Opening Season champion Belmopan Bandits, who were determined not only to win the 2-game series, as they were expected to, but to prove that they were the better team, and deserving of a trip to the CONCACAF Champions League, the major prize in this tournament. From the “opening bell,” Police was on the attack, showing for the first time a 3-forward offense, much like the Bandits had done the previous week, featuring Clifton West, Harrison “Cafu” Roches and an unusual starter, Lennox “Criminal” Castillo, who created a number of scoring opportunities for his teammates. Striker Danny Jimenez started at left midfield, but he was very much a part of the frontline attack. For their part, the Bandits reverted back to the traditional 2-forward set with “twin towers” Elroy “Bibbs” Kuylen and Jerome “Jarro” James, who had both played splendidly in the 3-0 win the previous week.

Mr. Belize
2012/2013 “Mr. Belize” title holder, Rigo Vellos won first place in the Segunda Copa Escarcega 2014 bodybuilding competition, winning the title and top prize on Saturday, May 17. The competition was held in Escarcega, Mexico. Rigo competed against over 15 competitors from all over Mexico, and then 3 finalists in the Overall Category. This win follows previous victories in 3 competitions in Mexico: the Copa Revolucion held at the Yucatan Festival in Xmatkuil, Merida on November 24, 2013; Mr. Temple competition, held in Cancun, Mexico, in December 2013; and the Mr. Cedral Bodybuilding competition, held in Cozumel in April 2014.

Belmopan City Council
The Belmopan Football Association’s (BFA) Belmopan City Council Mundialito Kids, Female & Youth Cup 2014 completed its semifinal games over the past weekend, and this coming weekend will see the third place and championship games in all three categories. Two Youth semifinal games were played on Saturday, May 17. (Youth) YWAM-Netherlands bombed Las Flores-Spain, 6-2, with goals from Naim Wilson (6’), Adrian Waight (7’ & 16’), Mario Valencia (9’), John Banner (35’) and Jalen Myers (70’); while Las Flores-Spain goals were by Jairo Lopez (61’) and Jaime Crespo (80’). YWAM-Netherlands advance to the Youth Finals over Las Flores-Spain with an aggregate score of 10-2, as YWAM had won their first game, 4-0. The other game on Saturday saw (Youth) Central Site-England and Salvapan-Brazil playing to a 0-0 draw. Salvapan-Brazil had won their previous encounter, 2-1, so Salvapan-Brazil advance to the Youth Finals over Central Site-England with an aggregate score of 2-1.

Alliance United
With Game 1 of the best-of-2 games Finals series on April 27 ending 1-nil in favor of San Martin FC over Alliance United, there was a one week break for Agric Show, before the decisive Game 2 for the championship of the Belmopan Football Association (BFA) 1st Division 2014 Tournament this past Sunday, May 11, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. And Alliance United came back strong, registering a 2-nil victory over San Martin FC with goals from Wayne Wiltshire (9’) and Israel Clavel (72’). Alliance United is therefore the Belmopan Football Association 1st Division Champion 2014 with an aggregate score of 2-1 over San Martin FC.

The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) is essentially cruising along, despite the fact that there are at least four critical issues which have organized groups calling for their Cabinet heads. These four critical issues, not in any order of importance or volatility, are: (1) the continued illegal extraction and sale of Toledo rosewood; (2) the dispute in the Sarstoon/Temash between the Kek’chi Maya and U.S. Capital Energy, an oil company; (3) the wrangling between the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and the UDP Ministry of Lands; and (4) the Elvin Penner sale-of-passports scandal, wherein the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) is presently carrying the torch. The rosewood issue is one which has been kept in the public eye by Wil Maheia, the Leader of the Toledo-based People’s National Party (PNP). The opposition to U.S. Capital Energy activities is led by Greg Choc and Cristina Coc of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM). BGYEA is led by Nigel Petillo. COLA is led by Geovannie Brackett.

The scare of Mother’s Day Cheer
Last week, I noted that many of The Publisher’s (Evan X Hyde) past writings on media politics and civil society were reflected in the coverage of the “Mother’s Day cheer.” Politicians and journalists all struggled to define what meanings and values were to be associated with the “cheer.” In so doing, one observes the continued normalization of party politics (PUDP) and the role of the media therein. Several observations are worth recounting here: The first is the question of “objectivity” in the media. It is said that media should be the watchdog of democracy. But who is feeding the dog? (Hon?) Anthony “Boots” Martinez accused Channel 5 of “not [being] objective at all”. Of course, Martinez was merely struggling to articulate a positive image of himself and the UDP.

The NCL “deal” – national collusion and lies?
Could you please publish my letter to the Placencia Village Council members on this very important matter? Dear Placencia Village Council members, I am writing to express my extreme disappointment with the chairlady’s remarks to LOVE FM, May 14, 2014, re: NCL and recent Placencia Village Council (PVC) public meeting votes. I was in attendance at both last week’s (8 May 2104) and last year’s (July 2013) PVC meeting when the NCL topic was broached. My issues with the LOVE FM comments by the Placencia PVC chairlady are thus: She stated last year’s meeting did not have a quorum, yet there were at least three times as many attendees on the basketball court last year as there were last week at the community center. However, since no participant/attendance list was taken, neither her estimate nor mine can be verified;

Dr. Bernard Bulwer discusses Prof. Brendan Bain
I have a lot on my plate, but I feel compelled to press “pause” and issue a brief comment on Professor Brendan Bain and the recent events. There are many things I would like to say, but for now, I will let this editorial below and two additional links speak. I must say a personal word about Professor Bain: Dr. Bain taught me and an entire generation of doctors at UWI. I last met Dr. Bain when he visited Belize a few years ago. He is among the very top in my list of the finest human beings ever to walk on this planet, and one of the most caring, conscientious, and humblest of human beings I have ever met. This is an overused statement, but to me, the label of a person “without an ounce of hate” towards anyone, applies especially to Brendan Bain.

Eulogy for Evan Garnett, Jr.
We gather here in great numbers to celebrate the life of Evan Rasheed Garnett — not because he was some visiting dignitary or big time statesman, but because of the young man he was and the grown man he was bound to be. We weep because we loved this youth – because his soul was pure and his heart was huge. Evan Rasheed Garnett was a child born of love, delivered on a day of love – Valentine’s Day, 1995. He was 7 pounds 4 ounces – a healthy, happy baby. As a child he was a little fellow, scrawny even. But inside that wiry frame was packed a lot of love. He loved his family and his family loved him back. This is a youth who was always infectiously happy – big beautiful grin alongside a radiant personality. Always polite almost to a fault – never one day called me anything other than uncle. He was a real lover – of his parents, of girls, of life, of his siblings and his friends. Some of us might live to see three score and ten but may never quite have the same impact he crammed into his fleeting 19 years.

Do Belizeans consume too much alcohol?
Excessive alcohol consumption amongst the Belizean populace is viewed by some as one of several worrying trends that are affecting our country, and while there may only be a percentage of citizens who actually engage in alcohol abuse, a global survey which was done by the World Health Organization (WHO) and was launched last week in Europe shows that Belizean drinkers regularly consume large volumes of alcohol on average through what is known as “binge drinking.” While total alcohol consumption for Belize is relatively low in comparison to other countries, it is reportedly trending up sharply across the entire population. In the years after 1995, a group of key alcohol experts estimated the unrecorded alcohol consumption in Belize to be 2.0 liters of pure alcohol per capita for members of the population older than 15. By 2008, however, the average consumption for persons 15 and older increased to 5.3 liters of pure alcohol per year, which amounts to about 12 pints.

BIGOTS in our midst
I would not say the word “bigot” is of common use on our society… and I surmise that is because as a society Belize is far more tolerant and passive than many other societies. So for those who do not know what the word means or use it loosely, I have taken time to enlighten myself as to its dictionary definition. big•ot (noun) –1. a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion. Origin: 1590–1600; < Middle French ( Old French: derogatory name applied by the French to the Normans), perhaps < Old English bî God by God. (; 2. Intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself (; 3. a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, especially on religion, politics, or race. (

SATIIM promises to “take action” if litigation proves futile
On Monday, a large gathering of 38 Mayan communities and their leaders and representatives convened at the Machaca Outreach Camp in Toledo, where the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) explained the way forward in their efforts to stall the controversial pre-drilling activities being done by US Capital Energy and discussed the next steps in their ongoing fight against the Government of Belize (GOB) and the oil exploration company. Since the government-sanctioned waiver of the expiration date on the company’s license came into effect, leaders of the Mayan villages buffering the national park have been consulting with their communities and trying to arrive at a consensus position in their struggle against oil exploration in their communal lands. The indigenous advocacy group has faced challenges in its efforts to mobilize all the Mayan communities, and it believes this is the result of US Capital Energy’s use of economic influence to create allies in certain communities where financial opportunities are scarce, in addition to GOB’s full-scale backing of the oil exploration company.

Red Cross hosts regional contingency planning meeting in Belize
With the start of the 2014 Atlantic Basin Hurricane Season fast approaching, forty delegates representing branches of the Red Cross from the Caribbean and Latin America as well as international partner societies in the United States and Europe are currently in Belize for a three-day regional contingency planning meeting which is being held at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel. The regional meeting – which is being hosted by the Belize Red Cross – is held annually prior to the hurricane season to strategically plan and produce a document that can be relayed to respective governments in preparation for hurricanes or natural disasters that may arise, and is also aimed at garnering national and international response and/or support when a disaster strikes. The regional conference is taking place in Belize for the first time in ten years and Jan Gelfand, Deputy Director and Head of Programs and Operations for the America Zone Office of the International Red Cross, expounded on the purpose of the event and its merits.

The drill rig is coming: US Capital
Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay indicated to Amandala today that the court hearing to review a request made by the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and four Maya villages: Conejo, Crique Sarco, Midway, and Graham Creek, for an injunction order to stop US Capital Energy from proceeding with petroleum works inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park will help to resolve the pending issues which lie at the heart of the dispute between the Government of Belize and some Maya communities in Toledo. The Maya communities in question continue to call on the Government of Belize to consult with them before US Capital begins to drill inside the national park. Currently, the project is at a virtual standstill, but Alistair King, the representative of US Capital in Belize, told Amandala today that they intend to press ahead as soon as possible, but works, he said, have been delayed because they are still waiting for the rig to arrive from Mexico—and they hope it will by the end of the month.

Tragedy in Isabella Bank — youth drowns on his birthday
Keron Michael Jeffords, 24, drowned while swimming in the Belize Old River while celebrating his birthday on Sunday at the Owen Hendy Farm in Isabella Bank. Jeffords reportedly went under the water at about 4:00 Sunday afternoon and did not resurface. His body was recovered at about 7:00 this morning, Tuesday, about one mile and a half from the area where he disappeared. When he was found, one of his hands was missing, believed to have been bitten off by crocodiles. A post-mortem was conducted about a mile from where he was found and he was buried at about 5:30 this evening at the Eternal Gardens Cemetery at Mile 13 on the George Price Highway.

Brothers Earl and Joseph Garbutt still missing 4 years after they went to sea and failed to return
The mother of brothers Earl, 27, and Joseph Garbutt, 37, of Zacaranda Street of the Lake I area of Belize City is going through the fourth year without her two sons, who went missing at sea in the Gladden Spit area in the Stann Creek District while travelling to Belize City from Roatan Honduras, on Sunday, Mother’s Day, May 10, 2010. They were seen by fishermen travelling to the Spit from Hunting Caye, after which they disappeared. Joseph and Earl, who worked for the Belize Audubon Society, were reported missing on Wednesday, May 14, by concerned family members after they failed to return from the 24-hour journey.

Regional officials examine Belize’s BOOST program
This week, senior government officials – including Ministers – from 8 eastern Caribbean states are meeting at the Radisson Fort George Hotel as part of a 3-day Horizontal Cooperation Exchange which is being focused on a social protection scheme known as the BOOST program which was initiated by the Government of Belize (GOB) in early 2011. Amandala understands that the main objective is to facilitate social policy dialogue between Caribbean countries, and to enable the officials from the visiting countries to study and understand Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs – primarily the BOOST program, which is aimed at providing financial support to our country’s most impoverished constituents, particularly in Belize City’s southside and in the rural areas and southern districts.

House fire on Lawrence Avenue in Lake I
A house located on Lawrence Avenue in the Lake I area of Belize City, owned by Michael Belisle, has been destroyed by fire. At the time of the fire, no one was at home. The incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. yesterday, Monday. Police said that Belisle left home at about 7:25 a.m., and at about 1:25 p.m. in the afternoon, he was informed that his house was burning. The house and its contents were insured and were valued at about $80,000.

Mother of hit-and-run victims calls on driver to “have a heart” and assist her children
Norma Johnson, the mother of Herman Williams, 7, and his sister, Francine Francis, 12, of Police Street Extension, both students of Lake I Methodist School of Mahogany Street in Belize City, who are at home recovering from injuries they received when they were slammed from behind by a vehicle that did not stop, is calling on the hit-and-run driver to have a heart, and step up and offer financial help to her children. The accident occurred when the children were riding a bicycle, going home after school on Thursday afternoon at about 3:30 in front of Olga’s Roast Chicken on Mahogany Street, which is also in front of the Mahogany Street Tire Shop. Francine suffered three cut wounds above her right eye, a swollen mouth and abrasions on both hands. Herman Williams suffered abrasions on both hands, and a swollen mouth.

New US Ambassador to Belize supports same-sex marriage
Last week, retired US judge Carlos Moreno’s appointment to Belize was finalized, and on Monday, May 19, a video featuring a short statement by the new ambassador that was produced by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs in October 2013 was posted online. In that video, Moreno said that the slogan “Equal Justice for All” serves as a guiding principle for him and for a free democracy. “As a former California Supreme Court justice, I understand and respect the judicial process and will work with the government and people of Belize to uphold the rule of law and protect human rights,” Moreno said in his statement. Moreno is reputed as the judge who in 2009 cast the lone ballot in a 6-1 vote against California’s Proposition 8, a state ballot initiative to overturn same-sex marriage. In the context of the Proposition 8 decision, he expressed the view that “[t]he rule the majority crafts today not only allows same-sex couples to be stripped of the right to marry that this court recognized in the Marriage Cases, it places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities” and “weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority.”

In Southern Session of Supreme Court, 2 Guatemalans acquitted of murder
Two Guatemalan nationals who were indicted for murder and were on trial in the Southern session of the Supreme Court were acquitted when Justice Dennis Hanomansingh upheld no case to answer submissions from the accused men’s attorneys. Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez were accused of the March 2010 murder of Valentin Duarte, who was shot in Cowpen in the Stann Creek District. Duarte was shot on March 19 and succumbed to his injuries five days later, on March 24, while he was undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

OAS Sec Gen discusses Guatemala-Belize problems in advance of Sept. 19 meeting
Guatemala is due to host the Special General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) on September 19, 2014, and OAS Secretary General José Miguel Insulza arrived there on Friday, May 16, to discuss plans for that meeting. On the occasion, Insulza also addressed the ongoing territorial differendum with Belize, as part of an agreement between Belize and Guatemala to hold national referenda so that their electorates could decide whether the dispute should be finally adjudicated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera was also present at the meeting, at which Guatemala media reports said the investigations into the March 2014 shooting death of Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, 26, who was said to be farming corn illegally inside the Chiquibul, were also discussed.

American national dies suddenly in Caye Caulker
Although details have been sketchy so far, Amandala has been able to confirm the sudden passing of a 51-year-old American national who was reportedly wanted in the United States but had recently been residing in the village of Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker police were called to the Maya Island Air Office at around 7:40 this past Monday morning and when they arrived, they reportedly observed a man bleeding through the mouth and nose. The individual – who we understand was waiting to board a flight to Belize City – was not allowed to get on the aircraft due to his condition and was instead transported to the Caye Caulker Health Center, but died shortly after.

Burglaries in Belmopan and Punta Gorda
A bar and a house were burglarized in separate break-ins in Punta Gorda and in Belmopan respectively. Thieves got away with over $2,100 from the bar in Punta Gorda, and from the house in Belmopan, thieves stole over $5,100. Both burglaries occurred on Saturday. Maria Rivera reported to police that at about 2:00 Saturday morning, she locked her bar, Sea Splash, located on Pompano Street in Punta Gorda, and went home.

Punta Gorda man gets 5 years in prison for unlicensed gun
Kenner Gomez Trapp, 20, of Oriole Street, Punta Gorda, has been slammed with a 5-year jail sentence by the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court after having been convicted yesterday of possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition. Police said they conducted an intensive investigation into the murder of Janice Vargas, 28, of West Street in Punta Gorda, which occurred in Jamaica Bar in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 1, and that the investigation led them to Kenner Trapp.

Two men charged in connection with theft of $11,155 worth of jewelry
Two men, a construction worker and a Port of Belize stevedore, were both released on bail after they appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, to be arraigned on charges of burglary and handling stolen goods, in connection with $11,155 worth of jewelry that were stolen from a home in the West Landivar area of Belize City. Police charged Jamil Meighan, 25, a construction worker residing at 8250 Ivor Street, with one count of burglary, and Wilfred Javier Stanley, 30, a stevedore residing at 173B Neal Pen Road, with six counts of handling stolen goods.

Carnal knowledge of 14-year-old reported in Belize City
Police are investigating a case of carnal knowledge which occurred in Belize City in which a 14-year-old female minor reportedly ran away from home to stay with an older boyfriend (age not specified) who resides at a Partridge Street Extension address. The girl’s 49-year-old mother told police that her daughter left home without permission on April 2, 2014, and took all her (the girl’s) personal belongings, after which she (the mother) reported the matter to police.

16-year-old remanded for shooting a mother and her son in San Pedro
A 16-year-old youth of the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town, who police accused of shooting a woman, 45, and her son, 23, has been remanded to the to the Wagner Juvenile Facility of the Belize Central Prison on charges of two counts of grievous harm against Nigel Polanco and Aurora Gonzalez. The youth was also charged with discharging a firearm in public. He was remanded until July 2. The incident occurred at about 11:00 Sunday night, May 18, in front of Nigel Polanco’s yard in the San Pedrito area.

Police bust man with sawed-off shotgun at funeral
A twenty-one-year-old man who went to the funeral of a murdered friend of his with a sawed-off shotgun was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on charges of “kept prohibited firearm and kept unlicensed ammunition.” Wilfred Ramirez, 21, a laborer residing at 56 Antelope Street Extension, pleaded not guilty to the two charges. Police charged Ramirez with one count of kept prohibited firearm, for allegedly having in his possession, one black rusty sawed-off shotgun, an unknown brand which had no serial number. The gun measured 18 inches in length.

Toyota Hilux pickup stolen from Ministry of Health compound
The Ministry of Health has been reeling from allegations of misconduct and mismanagement by some of its senior officials in the past few weeks, but, amidst the successive “black eyes”, the Ministry is also seeking to locate one of its vehicles, which was reported stolen since last Thursday, May 8, from out of the Ministry’s compound. The Ministry has reported to police that a 2005 4-cylinder silver diesel Toyota Hilux pickup truck was stolen from the Ministry’s parking lot in Belmopan in the early hours of Thursday. The truck reportedly has a camper and the word “HECOPAB” is labeled on the two front doors.

Paul Mark to stand trial for bigamy charge
On Monday of this week, Paul Vincent Mark of Hopkins appeared before Magistrate Patricia Arana for a preliminary hearing regarding a charge of bigamy. According to police, Mark was arrested and charged for bigamy sometime last year and posted bail at that time. He was bound over in Magistrate Arana’s court to the Supreme Court for a hearing scheduled for July 7, 2014.

Thieves shoot security officer in the head and rob him
Yesterday evening, a security supervisor who was in the process of transporting a knapsack with assorted checks was attacked by a gunman who not only robbed him of the bag of checks along with a gun and ammunition, but mercilessly shot the 57-year old in the back of the head and left him to die on the street. According to police reports, Belize City resident Levi Brown, 57, a security supervisor of J&B Security Firm, was riding his bicycle on East Collet Canal heading in the direction of King Street at around 6:20 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, May 21, when he was ambushed upon reaching the corner at which Dean Street runs into King Street.

Businessman remanded on firearm charge
A Belize City businessman was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on a firearm offense in the Magistrate’s Court this morning. Christian Ebanks, 39, a resident of 122 Teacher’s Street, pleaded not guilty to one count of “kept firearm without a gun license” when he was arraigned by Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Before his arraignment, however, Ebanks asked the police officer who was escorting him to the courtroom if the court reporters had to be present at his arraignment. He would like to “exclude them,” he told the court orderly, as he headed into the courtroom.

The Reporter

Church leaders protest firing of UWI professor
Church leaders from various religious denominations throughout Belize led their followers and anti-gay activists in a protest at the Battlefield Park at midday on Friday against the firing earlier this week of Professor Brendan Bain from the University of West Indies (UWI). The protesters, who carried placards and wore pieces of tapes marked “Freedom Under Attack” over their mouths, specifically rallied against the “agenda” of gay activists who demanded Dr. Bain’s removal following his expert testimony in the case of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNiBAM) versus the Government of Belize. “Whenever we have someone, especially someone like [Dr. Bain] who is a decorated awardee – has done so much good as a doctor – targeted because he spoke out…and when you keep silent about these matters then they will think that it is okay. It is not okay”, said Pastor Eugene Crawford, president, Belize Association of Evangelical Churches. Pastor Crawford said, however, that he can see the concern that the gay community has raised – that they have lost confidence in Dr. Bain because he gave his testimony using data he compiled based on private information. “But it is convenient to them at this point to cry foul. They are saying that [they] must be treated with special care…the church doesn’t see it that way”, he concluded.

Forum sheds light on City development issues
A forum between the Belize Association of Planners and professors from Vancouver Island University, Canada met on Friday afternoon to discuss planning practices and development planning as it relates to city development. President of the Belize Association of Planners, Carolyn Trench-Sandiford told The Reporter that the purpose of the forum was to bring together stakeholders to dialogue and exchange relevant information about planning. “We thought it timely that the association and the professors meet and have a discussion on planning issues, practices and approaches that are taking place both in Canada and Belize so that we can share knowledge, experiences and lessons learned,” Sandiford said. Sandiford explained that the forum revolved around commercial downtown development and how to make those areas prosperous. She dded that they were also looking at waterfront development planning. Sandiford said that the discussions would compare the activity in Belize to that of Vancouver and said that she hoped the discussion would set the stage for future collaboration between the University of Vancouver and the Belize Association of Planners.

American court sentences former Guatemalan President
Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo is serving to five years and 10 months in an American jail for taking bribes from Taiwan. The court in New York also fined Portillo, who was extradited to the U.S. last year, to pay a fine of $2.5 M. Portillo pleaded guilty two months ago to attempting to launder the illegal money through American banks. Portillo had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to launder money and agreed not to appeal against any prison sentence between four and six years. He admitted to accepting $2.5m in bribes and promised to return the money. Portillo said he took the money in exchange for a promise that his country would continue to recognise Taiwan diplomatically while he was in office, between 2000 and 2004. Portillo, who has already spent time in jail, has only 18 months of his sentence remaining.

Supreme Court strikes out Castro misconduct case
The misconduct case against Hon. Edmond Castro, the minister of state who allegedly violated the law by receiving about $80,000 from the Belize Airport Authority, was struck out on Monday. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin dismissed the matter, saying that it was not reasonably grounded and cannot succeed. Benjamin decided that Trevor Vernon, the Belize Rural North constituent who brought the matter before the court, had given no reasonable cause of action, because the allegations he made are dealt with under the private law provisions of the Civil Procedure Rules of the Supreme Court. Vernon and attorney Philip Palacio had argued that the Minister’s alleged role in directly or indirectly receiving the funds from the BAA was a matter that should be determined by the court through declaratory orders affirming violations of the Code of Conduct, Section 121 of the Belize Constitution Act, and the Prevention of Corruption in Public Life Act.

Government of Belize receives $10 million grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan)
The Government of Belize received a boost to its infrastructure projects on Monday, when His Excellency David Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), presented a $10 million cheque to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. According to a government press release, the cheque is “the grant from the Republic of China to Belize for the year 2014 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between the two countries.” The release further states that the funds will be used to finance portions of key infrastructure projects such as the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase II.

Two charged for attempted murder of mother
Irma Mejia, 17, a mother of a one-month-old baby, underwent major surgery on Monday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after she was shot at her home last Saturday morning. Mejia, who lives in an apartment complex on Marina Drive, told police that she was asleep with her baby when she heard a knock on the door. She got up to open it, thinking it was her common-law husband. Instead she was met by a volley of bullets, two of which hit her. One bullet ripped through her jaw and another struck her abdomen about four inches above her navel. When police found her outside her home she was barely conscious, but identified the two men she saw at her door when she opened it.

Suspected Ecuadoran fugitive arrested in Belize
Christian Jackson Ebanks, a 39-year-old resident of a Teachers Street address in Belize City, was arraigned in court last Thursday and has since been remanded to the Belize Central Prison. So far, no request for his extradition has been made. Ebanks was arrested last Wednesday after a GSU search of his home yielded a chrome 9 millimeter pistol with serial number 508834B and a chrome 9 mm magazine.

Saldivar: I retrieved immigration files from dumpsite
Arthur Saldivar, the attorney who made news when he revealed to the media immigration files that were set aside for destruction in the passport/visa scandal, said that he retrieved the documents from the mile three dumpsite on the George Price Highway. Saldivar explained that he found out about the files from a relative of one of his clients. He said the person told him that there were documents that he believed Saldivar would be interested in that were being destroyed at the dumpsite. “I went there, I found documents in plastic bags.” Saldivar said. “ I retrieved those documents and I perused them. Upon perusing the documents, I realized that these were certainly matters of great national interest.” In addition to that, Saldivar told us that while he has no proof, key people have informed him that it was a prominent member of the Cabinet, a Belize City area representative who made the files available for destruction. “In fact there were people from his constituency who were doing this work”, Saldivar added.

Employment for people with mental illnesses?
The Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit held a workshop this week to discuss the employability of persons with mental illnesses. The workshop was held at the Belize Institute of Management, in collaboration with Disability Aid Abroad, an international organization which looks after the rights of mentally ill persons in many areas. The session brought together stakeholders such as the Labour Department, Social Security Board, and the Human Rights Commission. Participants discussed case studies from other countries with the goal of formulating working modules for employing the mentally ill, which are tailored to the Belizean reality. Carey Ann Clarke, advocate with Disability Aid Abroad, explained that due to the varying degrees of mental illness many patients are employable. However due to societal stigma they are not given the opportunity to enter the work force.

More problems for cane farmers
The approaching rainy season could add to the list of problems that cane farmers are facing, says Alfredo Ortega, deputy chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Ortega told The Reporter on Wednesdays that scattered rains experienced over the weekend have caused some delays in transporting cane to BSI sugar factory. “It has not been much, but if the rains continue a lot of cane could be left in the fields,” Ortega said. He also said that the roads to access the mill have not gotten any repairs, despite numerous requests to the Ministry of Works in Orange Walk. He added that repairs have not been done on any of the roads since February. Another contention exists in the negotiations with BSI over remuneration for bagasse. According to Ortega, since the cane farmers made their counter proposal in April, BSI has neither accepted the proposal nor responded with another offer.

Bain Bells the Cat
When Hitler decided that Jews were less than human and that his Arian race was the superior one, his Scientists who disagreed disappeared. Scientific Data collected through research and experimentation had to be interpreted through his warped social construct or scientists had to face the consequences. Countless research were secretly discarded because they did not fit the new Society Hitler was building. Results were skewed, data re-interpreted to create the desired outcome. His totalitarianism sought to control everything in Germany, but it could never control a clear conscience. Over time, truth won out. HIV and Aids is not acquired through discrimination; it is acquired through risky behaviour. The riskier the behaviour the higher the exposure. That is the science.

Enforcing Contracts…Slowly
Luxembourg, of course, doesn’t have warm tropical weather, the second largest barrier reef in the world, or archaeological wonders representing the ancient Maya civilization. Investors consider many other factors when deciding where they will put their money, so the World Bank’s Doing Business report does not overall rank Luxembourg as the Number One country in which to do business. In fact, between 2013 and 2014 its overall ranking dropped 4 places, from 56 to 60 out of 189 economies. Previously, this column looked at New Zealand as the top country for ease of starting a business. Luxembourg, by contrast, ranks at 103 for that particular category. But before you set out to mock them, remember that we rank overall at 106 to their 60.

Belmopan Bandits win PLB Belikin football championship
The Football championship finals organized by the Premier League of Belize, was played at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night, May 17. Playoff MVP Jerome “Jaro” James and Elroy Kuylen led the Bandits’ offensive supported by Denmark Casey and Norman Anderson on the wings and Brandon Peyrefitte and Erick Rodriguez at midfield. The Police defenders, Trevor “Burger” Lennon, Kishane Pech, Chris Gilharry and Byron Usher tried to contain the Bandits. Bandit attacks on goal won three corner kicks and a free kick, forcing regular season MVP, Keith Allen to come with several saves for the police.

The Lesbian and Gay Rights Movement in Belize is barely three years old, but already it has caused the dismissal of a distinguished educator, Professor Brendan Bain, the man in charge of UWI’s Caribbean HIV/Aids Regional Training Network, (C.H.A.R.T.) The LGBT lobby of Belize, which is insisting on fair play […]

To dig a way out of poverty a number Indian villages in Toledo got together and formed the Toledo Ecotourism Association. They put together an economic plan called the TEA Village Guesthouse & Eco-trail Program. . It is the only one of its kind in all the world. Under the […]

Amiri Hoare & Trevon Brown win Smart BTTA Junior table tennis championships
Amiri Hoare won the Under-13 title and playing one age group above his level, also won the Under-16 Championship, while Trevon Brown emerged as the new National Under-19 Champion when the Belize Table Tennis Association held its second SMART bi-annual National Ranking Tournament for 2014 at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18. The tournament began with some 53 players competing in the three age groups in a round robin format on Saturday, with many players competing in two age categories on Saturday. From these eight under-19 and eight under-13 players advanced on a double elimination knockout format on Sunday, while 16 players advanced to the double eliminations from the under-16 category.

ARSON claims life of 82-year-old woman
An 82-year-old woman died as a result of arson in her home at the corners of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets early Thursday morning. Erceline Gabourel was asleep in her bedroom in the upper flat of the two-story wooden structure when the fire started. Orin Smith, station officer at the National Fire Service, told the media that An 82-year-old woman died as a result of arson in her home at the corners of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets early Thursday morning. Erceline Gabourel was asleep in her bedroom in the upper flat of the two-story wooden structure when the fire started. Orin Smith, station officer at the National Fire Service, told the media that the Fire Department got the call about the fire at approximately 3:44 a.m. and arrived about three-minutes later. According to Smith the fire was contained by 4:00 a.m.

“I serve UDP first, Belizeans second’ – Minister of State, Mark King
“When it comes to serving people, I serve UDP first, Belizeans second, and PUP last,” UDP’s Lake Independence Area Representative Mark King told the media Thursday. King, who is also the Minister of State for in the Ministry of Human Development and Poverty Alleviation, shared his priority list as part of his response to the media’s questions regarding reports of his company seeking a contract with Norwegian Cruise Lines. King, who owns a security company, unabashedly admitted that his company had indeed applied for a contract to provide services to NCL. According to reports reaching this newspaper, King sought to strike the deal at a meeting between the cruise lines and the Cabinet subcommittee overseeing the project. Senator Godwin Hulse, the subcommittee’s chairman, confirmed to The Reporter that King did attend the meeting that was held in southern Belize earlier this week. However, he said that the matter of King’s contract “never came up during the meeting.”

Compol denies COLA evidence
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has denied Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA)’s request for evidence to aid the group’s private prosecution of former Minister of State, Elvin Penner. Whylie, via a succinct, one-paragraph letter to COLA, dated May 20th, wrote: “The Police investigation, which may lead to a public prosecution in respect of allegations made against Mr. Elvin Penner, is still ongoing. “Consequently, the Law by virtue of Section 24 of the Freedom of Information Act…exempts information from being disclosed while an investigation is pending.” The denial of police evidence is sure to have a significant effect on COLA’s case, which is scheduled to resume next week. COLA, responding to Whylie’s letter via press release, pointed out a few inconsistencies between the Commissioner’s most recent position and that which he shared with the media last week.

PUP proposes gun law amendment
The People’s United Party has, from the onset, rejected the revised Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, but now it plans to present a proposal for the law’s amendment at the next sitting of the House of Representatives or the Senate. At a press conference at its party headquarters on Wednesday, Senator Anthony Sylvestre, legal advisor to the PUP, told the media that more than enough time has lapsed since John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security, said that his government would review the law, beginning with national consultations. The PUP wrote Saldivar in February, said Sylvestre, to remind him of his comment, and attached to that letter a copy of the PUP’s proposed draft amendment, prepared by the party’s legal team. Saldivar, however, has not responded. The PUP regards the matter as an urgent, because anyone who is present when a police search reveals an illegal weapon or ammunition will be charged and remanded for a mandatory two weeks. The same fate would befall someone who may have been absent during the time of the search, but happens to live at the address .

Patrick Jones

Son of arson victim charged for harm
We told you yesterday of the tragic death of 84 year old Isoline Gabourel who burned alive in her Douglas Jones Street home in a pre-dawn fire on Thursday morning. Today her son, 57 year old Dennis Gabourel, the owner of Horse and Carriage Tours, was charged with harm for allegedly attacking a neighbor who gave a media interview in which he claims she “disrespected him.” Gabourel pleaded not guilty before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart and is out on bail of $1,000. Kathleen Grant, with whom we spoke yesterday, says that Gabourel approached her in front of her home on Cleghorn Street later in t

BGYEA served with injunction to keep out of buffer zone
Today the Government of Belize, represented by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, formally served an injunction on the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), represented by president Nigel Petillo and vice-president David Barnett, stopping them from conducting any activity in the Buffer Zone separating the Harmonyville community at Mile 41 from the George Price Highway, including a plan to plant corn in conjunction with a foreign investor, Sam Patten. In Belize City this morning, the group’s leaders met with attorneys Kareem Musa and Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who has officially been retained as counsel to get their legal advice. In its wish to remain non-political, Petillo says, they have not retained Musa because of his political connections. Essentially, they have been told that they must and will respect the injunction. We hear more from BGYEA president Petillo, who expressed his frustration with the Government’s apparent micro-managing of their project.

Belize Action protests ouster of Brendan Bain
This afternoon in Belize City, members of Belize’s Christian community led by Belize Action showed their support for fired UWI professor Dr. Brendan Bain, released after pressure from LGBT rights organizations for his testimony in the Caleb Orozco Case last May. They taped their mouths shut, displaying a message stating “freedom under attack” as well as additional slogans on placards. Pastor Richard Smith of Belmopan says it is about family values. While LGBT have their individual rights and freedoms it is felt that they are interfering with Dr. Bain’s right to work and live and have free speech. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd felt the wrath of the LGBT movement when last year she wrote a critical column in the Amandala newspaper that prompted her to leave the vice-presidency of OCEANA in Belize.

Attempted murder charge withdrawn from Albert Moody
Albert Moody, Jr. had a charge of attempted murder withdrawn against him today. Kent Moss, who accused Moody of shooting him on January 15 of 2013 has told the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that he wants no further court action in the matter. Accordingly the police prosecutor, Sergeant Egbert Castillo, applied to withdraw the charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm based on instructions from the DPP and Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart acceded. But the 24 year old is not free to go, at least not fully. He still faces two counts of attempted murder, wounding and use of deadly means of harm in relation to an incident on October 25, 2013, where Elroy Perdomo and Steven Lambey were attacked.

Grupo ADO says Belize route proving successful
The Mexico-based ADO bus company is reporting moderate success of its Belize to Cancun and Belize to Merida routes. Three years into the service, ADO says the occupancy rate is up to 60% on the Belize-Cancun route, indicating that the service is being well received by its customers. In fact, the service numbers are so encouraging that ADO executives are thinking about putting in more routes. But ADO’s manager in Chetumal says it all depends on whether or not the requisite permits are given by the Government of Belize.

Maya Leaders Alliance says Valentin Makin is not being truthful
Earlier this week the ousted Alcalde of Conejo village Valentin Makin lashed out at those he feels are responsible for his removal from office. He charged that due process was not followed and vowed not to hand over the Alcalde’s office to his replacement unless he is advised to do so by the Attorney General. But the Maya Leaders Alliance says that Makin is not being truthful about what led to his removal. Pablo Mis is the coordinator of the Maya Leaders Alliance. The Maya Leaders Alliance has also released the document that they say was key in getting Makin removed as Alcalde.

Man Travels 100,000 Miles and Wins a Free Honeymoon to Belize
This afternoon, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) awarded Jack Benjamin Hyer and his future wife Rebecca Strellnauer a free Belize honeymoon vacation via Twitter. According to Mashable, a popular social media site, Jack traveled more than 28 countries to film an epic proposal video which prefaces the history of his relationship. “He says that he knew she was the girl he would marry — or so he wrote in his travel journal four years ago, on September 30, 2010” states the article on Greece, Tanzania, China, Thailand and Vietnam were some of the countries that Jack visited the past four years all while filming short clips of him lip-syncing the song “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” by The Proclaimers. Apparently the Belize Tourism Board loved the video that they extended a honeymoon invitation to the couple.


It’s Been Too Short Placencia – My Last & Only Full Day Around The Village
Yesterday started as most do…with a bit of blogging and coffee sipping but this time on a breezy veranda on the south side of Placencia Village on the Southern coast of Belize. My spot at Sea Glass Inn, Placencia floating in the treetops. No time for dilly dallying though. Though the village is a very small one, it’s practically busting with charm and quaint beachy-ness, art and jewelry and lots and lots of good food. Like the most beautiful gelato you are going to find in Central America at Tutti Frutti Gelato shop… First stop is always Above Grounds Coffee. Just a lovely treehouse that serves very very good coffee…a comfortable spot to have a bagel, a huge creamy latte and continued internet session.

“What’s a Guy Gotta Do” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Apologies if yesterday’s edition gave you a restless night’s sleep wondering what plants Edward offered for sale. And whether we bought any! Unfair of me? Maybe. But then again milking it this way gave me some subject matter for another edition. I mean what’s a guy gotta do. I’m of course going to let you know what decisions we made but you’ll have to wait a while longer because by popular demand (OK so only a few people asked) I’m first going to give you an update on Ziggy who left us last Sunday to return (temporarily) to his home at Price Barracks, Ladyville. As an honorary member of BATSUB the Arsenal shirt had to be discarded (only for a little while mind) and replaced with his ‘uniform’.

Belize Once Again Ranked Top Honeymoon Destination
The AARP, formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons, is a huge organisation with a lot of clout. With more than 37 million members it is one of the biggest non-government organisations in the USA and has been an important lobbying and information source for people over 50. AARP has branched out since its inception back in 1958, with affiliate AARP Services Inc providing an impressive range of services including insurance, discounts, and well-researched entertainment and travel packages to a more diverse membership. So when the AARP says something, a big audience is listening. And recently the AARP named Belize as one of the top ten honeymoon destinations, sharing honours with Tahiti, the Maldives, Bali and other exotic tropical locations. Yes, tropical seems to be a key element for a happy honeymoon. But of course, it takes more than a warm sunny climate to make the AARP’s top ten. This is a discriminating group looking for the very best for its members, so no wonder Belize got a nod.

Exploring the Jungles of Belize
Mike and I spent the first four nights of our honeymoon on Ambergris Caye in Belize. We rented bikes to explore the small town of San Pedro, enjoyed our idyllic view of the Caribbean Ocean at our boutique hotel and snorkeled Hol Chan. We were in bliss from our recent wedding and the pristine beauty of the island. But, we also wanted to see the other side of Belize – the jungle. We flew out to to and from the mainland via airplane and loved the views of the Caribbean from above. However, our wallet liked the boat ride for this day trip off of the island. We hopped on a speed boat early on rainy morning and headed for the mainland with our guide. Forty-five minutes later we were in a dry van with twelve other travelers and on our way to the first adventure of the day – zip lining!

International Sources

PuertoAzul Belize dubbed Citadel of Luxury; plans for F1 track and amphitheater
As the 2014 Cannes Film Festival is starting to wind down, reports indicate the ultra-posh PuertoAzul Exclusive Resorts party was the place to be this year. Formal invitations to the May 21 bash, called "PuertoAzul Experience," went to noted celebrities like John Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, Andrea Bocelli and a long list of other Hollywood A-List celebrities and global socialites. According to PuertoAzul's now-fully-launched website, the resort will be located on Northern Caye and Sandbore Caye, located within Belize's Lighthouse Reef. It will cater to the most discerning of luxury travelers, with amenities like a private jet, limousine driver, yacht or helicopter that can transport guests to the PuertoAzul Resort and Club House within minutes.

John Travolta gives enthusiastic thumbs up as he and wife Kelly Preston get glammed up to attend the most exclusive party on the Cannes calendar
With guests ranging from supermodels Heidi Klum and Alessandra Ambrosio to British socialites Tamara Ecclestone and Jay Rutland, the event proved to be the hottest ticket in town. Looking for investors? Co-host Domenico Giannini - President of Puerto Azul Exclusive Resorts & Hotels - proudly showed the couple the giant pictures of the construction taking place on his new luxury resort in Belize

Carib choices: Climate change impact or MDGs
Climate change is forcing the nine-member Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) to choose between expending scarce resources to deal with its impact or other pressing development goals. “There is a very thin line between consumption and conservation…progress and protection,” Grenada’s Environment Minister Roland Bhola told IPS. He explained that countries still have to fulfil the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which include reducing poverty and hunger, while dealing with the impacts of climate change. But there is a flicker of hope for these countries. The European Union (EU) has signed a financial agreement for 39.5 million East Caribbean dollars for a project designed to improve the sub-region’s natural resource base and its resilience to impacts of climate change. The OECS consists of the islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts-Nevis, Montserrat, Anguilla and the British Virgin islands.

Ex-Guatemala president gets nearly six years jail
Former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison after admitting to taking $2.5mn in bribes from Taiwan and laundering funds through US banks. The sentence, delivered by US district judge Robert Patterson in New York, ensures the fallen leader will remain incarcerated beyond the more than four years his lawyers said he has already served since his arrest in 2010. Portillo, 62, served as president of Guatemala from 2000 to 2004. He was extradited to the US in May 2013 after a years-long fight and after Guatemalan courts had cleared him on local embezzlement charges. At a hearing in New York that drew a crowd of Portillo’s political supporters and family, Patterson also ordered him to forfeit $2.5mn. Patterson said Portillo had abused his position in committing his crimes. “The case has importance in how we treat violations of laws against corruption,” Patterson said. US authorities initially accused Portillo of laundering tens of millions of dollars embezzled from the Guatemalan government, including $2.5mn provided by Taiwan’s embassy in Guatemala.


Video: May 7th, 2014 - Esmerelda Canyon, Belize (#17), 7min.
Feeding time! We brought some tasty treats for the nurse sharks to enjoy and they followed us around for the whole dive along with a bunch of smaller fish and some groupers.

Video: May 8th, 2014 - Turneffe Elbow, Belize (#18), 4min.
Rough seas, but amazing coral formations. I've never seen gorgonian coral (the tree branch fan coral), but it was everywhere on Turneffe. Very cool! Also, there was a tiny puffer that was very interested in my camera.

Video: Mexique2013 Belize2014, 3min.
excellent dive video, with some cave diving also....

Video: Ocean Academy Caye Caulker Belize, 6min.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Tour Part 1, 18min.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Tour Part 2, 18min.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Tour Part 3, 18min.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Tour Part 4, min.

Video: Segway,Snorkelling and Snuba in Cozumel,Belize,Honduras,Caymen Islands, 40min.
My Carnival Freedom Cruise Vacation, Filmed on Go Pro Hero 3+ black edition

Video: Cave Tubing in Belize!, 3min.
The was on the western side of Belize, we were on a class trip for anthropology, 2013.

Video: The Playground, Belize (#19), 5min.
An excellent mostly shallow dive! It was cool seeing jawfish (they're the ones that hid in their burrows when I got close), lots of small coral formations dotted with small fish. An awesome, colorful dive.

May 23, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Crime and Violence on Ambergris can be deterred by COP program
On Saturday May 17th Retired Police Superintendent and former Officer in Charge of San Pedro Town Rudolph Orio was on the island for a special meeting. Held in collaboration with the San Pedro Police Department, the meeting addressed the issues and possible solutions to the rising crime and violence on Ambergris Caye. Mr. Orio highlighted the fact that combating crime should be a community effort, not just a matter to be left to the police. In addition to strong laws and enforcement, the residents and the business community must work along with the police to succeed in deterring crime. Thus, the COP program seeks to create such a partnership whereby the police and the community work together, assessing the needs of an area and together work on appropriate plans and solutions.

Look out San Pedro, there’s a new Doc in town
The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce the community to the newest doctor on the island, Dr. Renae M. Sersland! As for her short term future plans, Dr. Sersland hopes that she will be able to provide emergency on-call services starting in July. To contact Dr. Sersland or to make and appointment, please do so at 226-2197. We congratulate Dr. Sersland and thank her for persevering and adding to our health-care community.

Tigersharks heads to NEBL playoffs as the number one seed
The 14-week regular season of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) came to an end and the San Pedro Tigersharks lead the league! On Saturday May 17th, the mighty Tigersharks champed on the Orange Walk Running Rebels, holding on to the top spot in the NEBL regular season. They ended their regular season with 12 wins and two losses, having fallen to Dangriga Warriors and Toledo Diplomats, both who are out of the league. Schedule for the playoffs are as follows:

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Visit Belize and Enjoy Glorious Scenery
Francisco Sandoval of the professional aerial video and photography company SkyCam from Guatemala just recently visited Belize with a couple of his remote controlled helicopter drones and compiled this great video of Belize’s natural beauty. In the video you can see amazing images of Goff’s Caye located offshore Belize City, Cayo Espanto in Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and of the Maya Temples at Xunantunich, Cayo, Belize. The video is very professionally done and speaks of the great services of SkyCam Guatemala.

Dr. Renae Sersland is Ambergris Caye’s Newest Doctor
“I never did my residency in the US after I graduated from medical school and I began working on getting my exams and license to become a doctor here in Belize in 2009,” stated Dr. Renae Sersland. After a year and a half of internship at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City, Dr. Sersland finally completed all her exams and is now a registered and licensed doctor in Belize. “I believe it is imperative that San Pedro has good primary care and it is very difficult to have doctors here on the island because the cost of living is very high and since this is my home I would like to serve the community of San Pedro and hopefully can offer my services at the Poly Clinic in the near future,” stated Dr. Sersland, who has submitted her application for a position at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clionic II to the Ministry of Health.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize’s Foreign Direct Investment, net inflows (% of GDP
Belize and the economic Freedom of the World Index – So, if there is this consensus that poor-quality institutions and low levels of human capital, which is directly related to education policies, we have to ask this question: where is Belize in all of this? Well, one quick way to get a general understanding of where Belize is in this regard is to refer to the Economic Freedom of the World Index (EFW). The index, which measures the degree to which policies and institutions of countries are supportive of economic freedom, rates countries annually according to five BROAD categories, that are further broken down into 42 variables: Size of Government Legal System and Property Rights, Sound Money, Freedom to Trade Internationally and regulations. Belize scores such as 6.54 in 2000, 6.96 in 2003 (the highest since the year 2000), 6.93 in 2005 and 6.69 in 2011, falls within the range of countries that have EFW scores above 6 but less than 7.5. Countries within this range have FDI to GDP ratios of less than 20 percent. In a EFW study 64 countries were represented but does the results hold true for Belize?


PRESS RELEASE - Harmonyville Subdivision
Government of Belize Press Office. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture takes this opportunity to share the following facts on the Harmonyville Subdivision:- 1. In 2010 Cabinet approved the acquisition of 1,327.139 acres of land located between miles 41 and 42 on the George Price Highway- the area now known as Harmonyville Subdivision. 2. Acquisition cost- BZ$1,990,708.50 plus 3% interest. 3. Cabinet subsequently approved the subdivision design for the development that includes over 1000 one acre plots, open areas (parks, cemetery, and school) and the buffer strip (reserve) along the highway. 4. Cabinet further approved for the distribution of lots to be done based on the recommendation of BGYEA. 5. Cabinet also agreed that the purchase price for each one acre plot be at a social rate of $1000/ one acre plot.

Belize launches its first Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey
In December 2013, Belize became a member of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), a consortium of academic researchers engaged in the largest ongoing study of entrepreneurial dynamics in the world. It explores the role of entrepreneurship in national economic growth, unveiling detailed national features and characteristics associated with entrepreneurial activities across member countries. It studies at the grassroots level, the behavior of individuals with respect to starting and managing a business.

Yorke school addition in final stages; principal enthusiastic for completion
The Edward P. Yorke school in Belize City, Belize, is receiving a 1,372 square-foot addition for use by senior classes at the school. The school is one of five projects being completed by New Horizons Belize 2014 engineers from the Belize Defence Force, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps. New Horizons is an annual exercise providing mutual training opportunities for civil engineers in each of the military services. For Yorke Principal Rodrick Cardinez the addition to the school is momentous. Cardinez began teaching at the school in 1987, was the vice principal from 1992 to 2001 and has been the principal since 2001. In nearly 30 years, to his recollection, this is the first time the school has received a new building since it became a full-fledged secondary school in 1990. "Definitely, it is a most welcome project," Cardinez said. "We have always wanted a permanent structure to house specifically our senior students. ... Getting these two classrooms means we'll be able to house all seniors in one general area."

TEACHER'S DAY 2014 (103 photos)
On Thursday, May 15, The San Pedro Town Council a long with Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation held their annual Teacher's Day Party. Teachers were treated to gourmet turkey dinner, snacks and dessert. The teachers participated in various games and raffles in which they won great prizes such as catamaran trips, round trip tickets to Belize City, gift certificates, cash prizes and more. Some games included: stacking apples, crackers and whistle, dance competition, musical chairs and more. Teachers had the opportunity to win great prizes. We would like to thank all our sponsors who made this Teacher's Day Party a success! Special thanks to Skynet Soundz for providing musical entertainment for the teachers.

Benque International Museum Day
They celebrated International Museum Day in style at the Benque House of Culture Wednesday. They had archaeological treasures presented by NICH, musical treasures presented by Stonetree Records, and delicious treasures from Che'il Mayan Chocolate.

Cahal Pech History with Dr. Jaime Awe
Archaeological podcast of the week. Dr. Jaime Awe talks about the tombs and burials of Cahal Pech. Learn something new about Cahal Pech. Thanks, Cruz Cambranes, for the audio editing. "This is the audio presentation of Tombs and burials free for you to use in any way. Forgive me but the presentation was recorded in a non controled environment lots of background noise. I have edited it for your listening pleasure. Lots of great info here. "

Cornerstone Annual Fair
The Cornerstone Foundation is having their annual fair fundraiser this Saturday, May 24th, at Falcon Field. There will be tons of food for sale, along with fun and games, like tambola, the greasy pole, and a basketball competition. They'll also have live music. The fun starts at 9:00am.

SI United Win Cruzadero Triangular
Congratulations to the San Ignacio United on their win in Guatemala at the Cruzadero Triangular tournament. Well done! "San Ignacio United FC participated and won the 2014 Cruzadero Triangular Tournament in Guatemala last Sunday. Keep up the good work Guys!!"

Preserving The Rich Gra Gra Lagoon National Park
Gra Gra Lagoon National Park is located near the coast just below the seaside town of Dangriga, the capital of the Stann Creek District. In Belize, national parks are areas designed for the protection and preservation of natural and aesthetic features of national significance for the people. Therefore, these are areas of recreation and tourism, as well as environmental protection. They are administered by the Forest Department and managed through partnership agreements with community-based non-governmental organizations. Gra Gra Lagoon National Park Covers 1,200 Hectares The park was established back in 2002 and covers almost 1,200 hectares. The very shallow brackish lagoon of 300 meters is the centerpiece of the park but the protected area also includes the greater part of the surrounding mangrove system, excepting that on the seaward shore. The mangrove grades into swamp forest and lowland forest on the inland side. These are patches of tall herbaceous swamp behind the beach-crest close and entering the park boundary and large areas of freshwater reed swamps in the forested swamplands.

Southern Belize’s Lubaantun: The Place Of Fallen Stones
The largest Maya site in Southern Belize, Lubaantun is well known for the unusual style of construction. All structures are made of limestone blocks with no visible mortar binding them together. The strength of each structure lies in every hand-cut grime, which was carefully measured and shaped to fit snuggle next to each neighboring block. Lubaantun Has An Unusual Construction Style Lubaantun is a late Classic ceremonial center dated to 700 to 900 AD. Over time, the ground on which it was built started to subsist and the mortarless blocks started to tumble. Thereafter, the site was given the name ‘Lubaantun,’ which means ‘place of the fallen rocks’ in the modern Maya language. Eleven large structures tower above give main plazas and three ball courts. Unlike most of the other Maya ceremonial sites, the existing structures are solid and have no doorways. Another unique feature not found in other sites around the region is the rounded corners on the structures. Because no corbeled arches exist at the top of these structures, it is believed that perishable materials like wood and thatch were used to build superstructures on top of these pyramids. Lubaantun is believed to have been an administrative, religious, political and commercial center, mainly used for occasional festivals, ball games and other sacred ceremonies. Although no stele was found there, the site is popular for its abundance of ceramic whistle figurines. A few burial tombs are also present.

A Star is born
Meet young Corozal student and aspiring artist of Ranchito Corozal, Morelia Pop. The Corozal Daily would like to wish Morelia all the best, not only as she competes on La Voz Karaoke in Orange Walk, but also in her future endeavors. Morelia comes from a very humble family and we regard her as a true star. Keep shining Morelia. Support her by dialing CKTV 2588 and vote #4 on your SMART phones. Don’t miss the semi-finals this Friday. Singer: Morelia Pop Dress: Ja-Da's Boutique Makeup: Flawless by Melanie Hair: Melanie Burgos-Molina Jewelry: Burgos General Store Ltd. Photographer: Hernan Perez

Many families and children enjoyed our last event at Art in the Park
Which featured Jimmy Lenz and his family who entertained the crowd with their performances. Here are some pictures of the Lenz family doing what they do best.... Being clowns! Photos courtesy of Debra Wilkes. More photos at Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Art

6 Things to Do During Your Belize Getaway
Aside from its near-perfect weather and sheer beauty, Belize is blessed with a great diversity of people, landscapes and flora and fauna. With the selection of activities that you can do, it is easy for visitors to get overwhelmed. So if you are planning a Belize getaway anytime soon, here is an exhaustive list of the top things that you can (and should do).

Auditor General’s Report on Investigation into Embezzlement of BZD $366, 468.88 – Mrs, Nasley Sommerville, Administrator Southern Regional Hospital
The following file which we are sharing with you verbatim is an excerpt from recently concluded investigation by the office of the Auditor General of Belize into embezzlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Maternal Child Health Program at the Southern Regional Hospital. Focus of this investigation is the hospital’s administrator, Nasley Sommerville. She remains on suspension and is to appear before the Public Service Commission in the near future. This file was leaked to us. NBZLive thanks and applauds the vanguards who defy the status quo of corruption in government and go the extra mile to keep our people informed! You are truly our heroes!

Editor’s Note: The following is full investigative report by the Auditor General Of Belize into allegations of “misuse” of public funds at the Central Health Region in the Ministry of Health.

Channel 7

Political Directorate Brings NCL to The Table For Lesson in "Realpolitik"
On Tuesday night in Independence Village, the Cabinet Subcommittee on investment organized a meeting with Colin Murphy, Norwegian Cruise Lines. The purpose?: to get the four UDP standard bearers and their stalwarts from the south on the same page as the Cruise Line because they say they've been left out of the loop, both in terms of jobs and information. And while they are out of the loop, they believe that the four PUP area representatives have positioned themselves to get the inside track. The issue was raised at a UDP National Party Council meeting on Saturday - and by Tuesday the meeting was set up. Minister of State Mark King was there and he told us it was to open a channel of communication - and he went on to say it's a channel he has used himself: Hon. Mark King "What I know I was particularly invited in the meeting for was to engage those partners from NCL in terms of alongside BELTRAIDE ministry and the ministry of local government in terms of investment and other factors to see how we can engage them to see what it is their timeframe to roll out and how it is we can engage the elected representatives of the people down there to communicate with them, a communication barrier with them."

Octogenarian Perishes In Fire
An 82 year old woman perished in a fire in Belize City early this morning. As we found out she lived alone and in poverty - and while that's bad enough, what's far worse is that it appears someone ste the fire. Here's the story:.. Jules Vasquez reporting This morning at 3:45, this old wooden house at the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets was engulfed in flames. The fire department is just minutes away, but by the time they reached, it was too late: 82 year old Erceline Gabourel had perished inside: Daniel Ortiz "Was there any means which this woman could have been rescued sir?" Orin Smith, Station Officer - National Fire Service "Unless she had jump from the window. The fire originated from an area which had blocked access to the staircase. 90% of fire victims die of smoke inhalation due to carbon monoxide poisoning. I cannot say which was which. My assumption and this is my opinion: she may have died from smoke inhalation." A terrible death, made even more so by knowledge of the fact that someone set the fire:

Man Survives Shot To The Head, Speaks To 7News
Last night we opened the news with the dramatic footage of Levi Brown unconscious out on the pavement just a few hundred feet from our studio - apparently after he was shot. He did have a head injury, but when he got to the hospital, he was responsive, talking and not looking at all like someone who had been shot in the head. It took a catscan to show that he had a gunshot wound to the back of his head, and the bullet was still lodged in there. But remarkably, he is in a stable condition. Monica Bodden spoke to him on the phone today:.. Monica Bodden reporting 57 year old Levi Brown lay flat on his stomach in a pool of blood - his legs, still tangled in his bicycle frame - Meanwhile crowds of spectators gathered around - many shouting at police officers on the scene- begging them to rush the man to the hospital - but the officers informed the crowd that they are not allowed to move him unless he was dead. So Brown - who had minimal movements at the time- laid there for about 10 minutes - waiting on an ambulance to arrive. When that didn't happen, the officers in the end picked Brown up and put him in the back of a police mobile and quickly bolted off to the KHMH emergency. Levy Brown - Shooting Victim "I was supprised to still be alive."

Confirmed Homicide In Santana Village
Last night, we told you about 57 year-old Maurice Young, the resident of Santana Village on the Old Northern Highway, who was found decomposing in the bushes behind his house. Well, police have confirmed that he was murdered. Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted an on-site autopsy which revealed firstly that he was dead for at as much as 72 hours. That is inconsistent with the interview from his best friend who claims that he was last seen on Monday. Another finding from Dr. Estradabran was that he died from a chop wound to the neck. This confirms the suspicions of the villagers who believed that he was the victim of foul play.

Audit Shows Multiple Cases Of Money Misfeasance In The Central Health Region
For months now, we've been reporting on the audit of the Central Health Region. It was completed from October of 2013, but all this while it has eluded the media. That is until around midday today, when it was mass mailed to the entire press. Make no mistake, the 37 page, 282 point document is loaded(!), and we've been parsing through it for hours. It will take a few days to present it all, but Jules Vasquez has a few highlights tonight. He found that it casts Regional Health Manager Melinda Guerra in a most unfortunate light: Jules Vasquez reporting The audit finds that Central Health Regional Manager Melinda Guerra, appeared to have knowingly submitted, approved and received the proceeds of four (4) reimbursement claims which totaled $3,407.50 for costs she claimed to have incurred in an official capacity. The auditors conclude we did not come across sufficient evidence to satisfy ourselves, that such claims were genuine or appropriate. They add that they were, quote, particularly concerned about the apparent intentional disguising and misrepresentation of key information on official payment documents.

Life In Jail for Killing Wife
37 year-old Jason Bruce Lawrence is spending his first night of a life sentence, after he was convicted of murder in the court room of Justice Troadio Gonzalez. In a jealous rage, he stabbed his common-wife 5 times in front of her 14 year-old son and her 18 year-old daughter. Crown Counsel Leeroy Banner led evidence in the prosecution's case that shortly after midnight on December 4, 2009, 40 year-old Mercedes Carillo, her daughter, her son and Lawrence, were all in the family home In Burrell Boom. Carrillo received a phone call, and that caused the couple to start to argue. Carillo called the police on Lawrence, who fled the house before officers responded. About an hour later, he returned, but Carillo locked him out of the house. He damaged the door to get back in, and he then went after Carillo and started to physically abuse her. He then pulled out a knife and stabbed Carillo several times, and that's when her kids tried to intervene to save her life. Her son struck him across the back with a guitar, while her daughter grabbed another knife and stabbed him. By that time, he had already stabbed Carillo 5 times in the chest and abdomen, and that's when he tried to save her life by rushing her to KHMH. She arrived there, but died shortly after.

16 Year Old Charged For San Pedro Shooting
On Monday, we told you about the 2 separate shootings on San Pedro, which left 2 women with bullet injuries. Police have brought charges for both of them. The first one happened in the San Pablo area on Saturday. At around 3:15 in the morning, 2 men barged into the house of 17 year-old woman who was nursing her 1 month-old baby and they shot her in the jaw and the abdomen. Investigators believed that it was caused by a drug turf war. They've since charged 41 year-old Lincoln Robinson, a resident of Sea Grape Drive, and a minor with attempted murder, and they've been arraigned and remanded. More charges will follow for these men at a later date. Robinson is originally from North Creek in Belize City. The other incident happened in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town at around 11 o'clock on Sunday night. 45 year-old Aurora Gonzalez and her son, 23 year-old Nigel Polanco were socializing in front of their house, when a 17 year-old man pulled out a firearm and shot them. The investigators believed that this was part of a flare up of an old family feud which started to escalate 4 months ago. The young man was detained on Monday afternoon, and he's since been charged with 2 counts of grievous harm and discharging a firearm in public. He was arraigned in San Pedro Magistrate's Court, and he was remanded to prison until July 2.

The Fuss Over Prof Bain
The University of the West Indies is now coming under sustained fire from churches in Belize and Jamaica following their decision to terminate Jamaican Professor Brendon Bain. The University took the decision after the Gay Rights Organizations in the Caribbean complained that his deposition in UNIBAM's challenge to Belize's Sodomy Laws was "anti-gay" and a betrayal of trust. The Jamaican Umbrella Group of Churches released a statement saying quote, "A decision such as this…has served to concretise the view that those with a homosexual agenda are prepared to discriminate against, stigmatise and silence those who do not share their world view." End Quote. Closer to home, the local churches intend to hold a protest tomorrow afternoon to voice their displeasure at UWI. Pastor Scott Stirm, is leading the charge, and he told us this evening why it's important:

Teachers Inappropriately Involved W/ Students At Belmopan Baptist Again
7News has confirmed that 2 teachers from the Belmopan Baptist High School are being investigated because they had inappropriate sexual relationships with their female students. We've also been informed that the school is taking serious measures to make sure the story doesn't get out. It has caught the attention of police and Superintendent Howell Gillett, the commanding officer in Belmopan confirms that his investigators have learned that there was improper behaviour from these teachers. But the police might not be able to take action. That's because the female students that the teachers are being accused of having an affair with are 16 years and older, thus they have passed the age of consent.

COMPOL to COLA: Come Again
The Commissioner of Police has finally answered COLA. The activist group was requesting the Elvin Penner case file to prop up its faltering priavet prosecution. Faltering because they don't have any real evidence to back it up. Well the COMPOL wrote them two days ago saying they can't have a copy of the file. Why? Well, as he explains the Freedom of Information Act cannot be invoked for an investigation that is ongoing. COLA issued a release today saying, quote, "at this point, it is not for the Commissioner to determine what is exempt or not." They urge him to return the file to the DPP so that she can share it with COLA.

UDP Party Council Called For Meeting With NCL
At the top of the news - you saw Minister of State Mark King speaking plainly about the political realities of the meeting that the UDP Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment and its four southern standard bearers had with Norwegian Cruise Lines. It happened on Tuesday night at Independence Village High School - but the plan for the meeting was set in motion at a meeting of the UDP's National Party Council held last week Saturday. That's where the party's southern standard bearers complained that they were being kept in the dark about the details of the project, and being kept out of the loop on the job and contract opportunities for their supporters. So Minister Hulse was tasked to set up a sit down with Norwegian's Vice President of Destination and Strategic Development, Colin Murphy. Today via telephone Hulse told us that indeed there are unavoidable political realities:... Jules Vasquez "Was there any indication to NCL to say that well, here are the UDP caretakers or standard bearers, work with these guys - if you have something to turn on, these are the guys to bring it to - you channel it through these guys." Hon. Godwin Hulse, Chair - Cabinet Subcommittee on Investment "The statement to NCL was very clear, it was as long as its Belizeans get the job first.

Stole A Cycle From A Cop
18 year Delbert Alvarez is out on bail tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly stealing a motorcycle from a police constable. Officer George Ferguson reported to police that on Tuesday, May 20, he parked his red Meilun brand motorcycle in front of his yard, and went inside his house. He came back out 45 minutes later and realized that someone had stolen his motorcycle. Ferguson said that on the following day, he was at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street, when he saw Alvarez on his motorcycle, so he detained the man, and handed him over to other officers. Because of the discovery, he was charged with handling stolen goods, and he was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano today. He pleaded not guilty and was released on bail of $3,000 dollars. He must return to court on July 17.

Woman Dodges Jail For Stealing Electricity
In the poor, undeveloped areas of Belize City, stealing electricity is a way of life. In most cases, it's because there are no lamp-posts in the ground, due to poor or no urban planning. And today, 1 woman almost got sent to jail because she was caught in the act. 61 year-old Honduran Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension was found guilty of stealing electricity in the Magistrate's Court. A technician for the Belize Electricity Limited testified that Nunez had rigged up an illegal connection. He visited her house on May 14 of last year in the company of a police officer and a scenes of crime technician. They found that she installed wires which ran from her connection bypassing the meter, so that there was no way to measure how much electricity she had consumed. Nunez was subsequently criminally charged for stealing electricity, and she was found guilty before Magistrate Dale Cayetano.

Channel 5

Elderly woman dies in fire early this morning
Sometime around three this morning an unknown person or persons deliberately lit the fire which destroyed a wooden house at the corner of Cran and Cleghorn streets in Belize City. [...]

Police confirm that a Santana resident was murdered
While police are investigating the death of Orseline Wallace Gabourel, Ladyville Police have detained one man for the death of Santana Village resident, Maurice Dennison Young. On Tuesday evening, the [...]

Security guard Levi Brown shot and robbed
Fifty-seven year old Levi Brown was shot in the head just before news time Wednesday night. The security supervisor at J and B security was riding on East Collet Canal [...]

Audit of the Central Health Region show gross misuse of public funds
On August twenty-sixth 2013 the Auditor-General of Belize was notified that there were credible reports of misuse of public funds at the Central Health Region. Four days later an audit [...]

Alfonzo Cruz detained in connection with ongoing Penner investigation
There is breaking news, just in to our studios. News Five has been able to confirm that former Mayor of San Ignacio Town, Alfonso ‘Ponchis’ Cruz, was detained by San [...]

Minister Mark King tells the media U.D.P. first, Belizeans second and P.U.P. last
The Harvest Caye Tourism Development Project off the coast of Placencia, a multimillion dollar initiative by Norwegian Cruise Line, is mired in controversy although it already has the full support [...]

Minister of State says he wants his company to provide security to NCL
King is already lobbying for the spoils. As the proprietor of Brinks Security, he has submitted a proposal to Norwegian for a security contract.  When asked if his position as [...]

Jamaica Umbrella Group of Churches dismayed by UWI’s termination of Brendan Bain
On Tuesday, Professor Brendan Bain was sacked from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, following a call by various advocacy groups to have him removed from his post [...]

Belize Action organizes a peaceful demonstration in protest of Bain’s termination
Meanwhile, Belize Action has organized a peaceful demonstration for Friday at midday in protest of Professor Bain’s removal.  According to Pastor Scott Stirm, despite Bain’s stellar career as a renowned [...]

Jason Bruce Lawrence sentenced to life for murder of common-law wife
There is a conviction for murder. After several hours of deliberation by a jury of seven women and five men, the fate of thirty-seven year old Jason Bruce Lawrence was [...]

Woman charged for stealing electricity
A sixty-one year old Honduran national has been sparred jail time for abstracting electricity which is the charge for stealing electricity.  Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension in [...]

The launch of a documentary on the state of affairs of senior citizens
An eighty-three year old woman who lived alone died in an inferno when her house was set on fire. She lived alone and could not get out of harm’s way. [...]

The 2014 Crooked Tree Cashew Festival
The twenty-ninth annual cashew festival was held over the weekend in Crooked Tree under the theme, “Highlight our Magical Fruit, the Cashew.” The village has been pushing to partner with [...]

Meet the new US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno
Retired US Supreme Court Justice, Carlos Moreno, has finally received senatorial approval to proceed on diplomatic mission to Belize as US Ambassador. The Ambassador is expected to arrive in Belize [...]

Healthy Living looks at lupus
May is celebrated as Lupus Awareness month. Lupus is a lesser known disease in Belize but there are a number of persons, predominantly women, who are living with lupus. There [...]


Foot Dragging In Penner's Case
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has received the latest response from Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie with regard to disclosure of information related to the private prosecution of Elvin Penner and the Police Department's investigation of his actions in the Citizen Kim scandal. One thing is for sure, the ‘foot dragging’ continues. CTV3 spoke with COLA’s Attorney, Kareem Musa, who says that this latest move is a cover up from beginning to end. Kareem Musa – Attorney for COLA “So we had received a response from the Auditor General then she cannot give us the information because the material is exempt she has turn it over to the Prime Minister. We did not receive a response from the Commissioner of Police but as you know last week the commissioner went on national television to say that he does not know where the file is when in fact the DPP had turned over everything to him already so I believe what happened to be quite frank with you, I think someone may have called the commissioner and told him you know what you are coming across as very wreck less as our Commissioner of Police to say you don’t know where the file is or somehow make people think that the file has disappeared so what I think the response was I got yesterday and he is now saying that he is in possession of the file all of a sudden but he cannot give us the evidence and he cannot turn over the material to us because he is saying that now like the Auditor General he is saying that material is exempt and the reason that he is giving, he is saying that this might somehow turn into a Public Prosecution which it involves the DPP taking over the case, so far the DPP has not indicated that she will be taking over the case and as a matter of fact just last week I receive a letter from her which she said in very clear terms that she has no problem turning over the files to us that in my mind confirms that there is not intension to have a public prosecution so I don’t know where the commissioner is coming from now saying in fact that there is some public prosecution that is about to be instituted when the DPP herself please turn over the files to COLA so I find it to be just further confirmation not that the Belizean public needed anymore confirmation so it is further confirmation that this is a cover up from the very bottom.”

Family Searches For Missing 46 Year Old
It’s been twenty seven days since 46 year old Guatemalan National, Sonia Abak, was reported missing by her common law husband. The police report states that Abak was last seen leaving her home in Nature Park Street Orange Walk, on Wednesday April 23rd en route to the Adventist School on Palmar/Boundary Road. She has not been seen or heard from since then. Since then, police have come up empty handed and public speculation is growing about her whereabouts. But while many believe that the nude female body found in a pond near Chan Chen village a few weeks ago is that of Abak, the police say that analogy has been ruled out since Jane Doe was found before Abak was reported missing.

Desperate Mother Asks For Financial Assistance
A single mother is reaching out to the public through the media for financial assistance to help get her three year old son some urgent medical attention. Leticia Eck, a resident of Trinidad Village in the Orange Walk District is hoping to get her baby to the doctor as soon as possible to obtain treatment for an infected kidney. Eck says she has been struggling to get all necessary medical attention for her son for the last six month when he was diagnosed. It all started when the baby began looking bluish in color and started vomiting. What she thought was a bad case of the flu turned out to be something far more serious and life threatening for the three year old toddler. Letica Eck “El sufre de esa enfermedad pero cuando el empezó solo tenía piedra en un ruin ion pero ahora lo tiene en los dos y uno no le está funcionando bien porque está reteniendo sangre y pues yo soy mama soltera y no me alcanza para medicarlo y ya hicieron un fundraising en el otro Morning Show y se juntó mil ocho cientos pero lo que yo necesito son tres mil dólares para ir.”

Cattles Stolen By The Banks Of The Rio Hondo
Livestock producers on the banks of the Rio Hondo River in Mexico have reported an increase in cattle rustling. The reports are that up to almost mid-May, over one hundred cattle have been stolen. The press in Quintana Roo is reporting that while authorities deem the matter serious, not much has been done. The situation has seen little attention from authorities after the modifications at the Belize Mexico Border. Commissioner Alex Interián Humberto Muñoz, says that the situation has caused anger and distrust on behalf of the residents in the affected area. One producer in Pucte said that since authorities do not conduct regular patrols in the area, thieves steal cattle at any hour of the day and night. Producers say that the few times any patrols are done, thieves always find a way of transporting the cattle whether dead or alive.

Two Men Charged For Attempted Robbery Of A Taxi Driver
Yesterday we reported on the robbery attempt of Taxi driver Lucio Oliva of Orange Walk Town. Oliva was on duty at the Taxi Association Stand when he was approached by two male persons requesting service to go to Belize City. Upon reaching the outskirt of Carmelita Village one of the male persons told him that he needed to urinate so he pulled the vehicle over to the side of the Phillip Godson Highway and said male person punched him to the right side of his face. Fearing for his life he immediately took out the keys from the ignition and ran out of the vehicle for safety and called the Police.

Lisa's Restaurant Also Robbed In Corozal
But that is not the only robbery that took place in that municipality. On Sunday evening, Lisa’s Restaurant located on 5th Avenue became the target of robbery when two male culprits, one of them armed with what is believed to be a sawed-off shot gun gained entrance to the restaurant and demanded money. Fearing for their life, the owner of the business handed over approximately $1,000 to the robber’s all proceeds from the day’s sale. Not satisfied with the cash, the criminal who was armed with the shotgun proceeded to hit the business owner on the face with the firearm before he and his companion made good their escape. Acting Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Department, Daniel Arzu, believes that both robberies are linked. Police are following several leads as the investigation on both incidences continues.

Thieves Caught On Camera At Broad Day Light Robbery
Yesterday we reported on the rapid growth of sex crimes in the country of Belize, especially in the Corozal District. Well tonight it makes us uneasy to report that robbery is the second most rapid growing crime in that municipality even though business owners are installing surveillance cameras to their establishment. This apparently does not deter criminals and a testament to that is the following robbery story. Victor Castillo – Reporting It was a little after 11:30pm on Wednesday when two masked men barged into Chang Li Bar and Game Room located on 4th Avenue, Corozal Town. The entire incident was caught on tape. As you can observe the first culprit, armed with what is believed to be a sawed off shot gun, ran towards the business owner while the second robber armed with what is believed to be a machete ran behind the counter and cashed out all the money that was in the drawer.


Elderly Woman Dies in Burning House
HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Eighty two year old Erceline Gabourel lived on the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets for most of her life. She lived alone in a two story wooden structure she called home. And sometime in the morning, her home caught on fire. With no way to escape the blaze, Gabourel was trapped inside where she took her lost breath. CATHLEEN GRANT “This morning about three or a little after three, the house caught fire, we don’t know how but I believe someone set it. The lady was bawling and apparently, the two security guards in the area couldn’t leave their job and gave no assistance but the lady was right in her house and died right in there; that is just wrong. If the son was dealing with the lady in the correct way this wouldn’t happen. She is very well known to the police because she was constantly reporting that her gas was being stolen and her money and her chicken.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “According to Officials at the National Fire Services, the fire occurred at 3:44am, they got the call a minute after and by 3:45 they were on the scene. It took firefighters, fifteen minutes to extinguish the flames. The results of the investigation pointed to arson.”

Woman Arraigned for Stealing Electricity
Sixty-one year old Dominga Nunez, a resident of Antelope Street Extension, was fined five hundred dollars today by Magistrate Dale Cayetano after she was found guilty of stealing electricity. She was ordered to pay the fine by August 31. If she defaults on payment she will serve one year. Before he sentenced Nunez, Cayetano told her that the offence is a serious one and the she could have been sentenced to five years imprisonment. He advised her to desist from making illegal electrical connections. Nunez was busted on May 14, 2013, when 51 year old Lionel Canto, a distribution technician for Belize Electricity Limited, went to her house accompanied by a police officer and a scenes of crime technician. Canto explained to Nunez the purpose of his visit and when he did his inspection of the electrical installation he saw that the power was being diverted before the meter and that a connection was made through the wall which led to a switch box. Canto then instructed the scenes of crime technician to take photographs of the hook up. Canto then went to BEL office and made a report. After that he went to the police station and gave the police a statement. Based on the statement he gave, Nunez was arrested and charged with abstracting electricity.

Granted Bail for Driving Cop’s Stolen Cycle
Eighteen year old Delbert Alvarez, who allegedly assisted in the dishonest retention of a Meilun motorcycle belonging to a police officer, was charged with handling stolen goods when he appeared today before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Alvarez pled not guilty to the charge. He was released on a bail of three thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until July 17. Police constable George Ferguson, who resides on Mohammed Ali Street, reported to police that at about 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 20, he parked his red motorcycle in front of his yard and he went inside his house. He said that when he came back out about 45 minutes later, he discovered that his motorcycle was missing. Yesterday around 6:15 p.m. Ferguson was at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Raccoon Street when he saw a young man of dark complexion wearing a white t-shirt and black pants driving a blue motorcycle. Ferguson intercepted the driver and reported that although the color of the motorcycle was blue, he was able to tell that it was his property. He detained the man and called the police. Upon their arrival, the police took the man into custody and charged him. His name was later learnt to be Delbert Alvarez.

Under Influence of Crack, Campari and Weed Led to Murder
A jury of 12 is deliberating in the court of Justice John Gonzalez to see if it can reach a verdict in the trial of 37 year old Jason Bruce Lawrence, charged with the murder of his common-law wife, 40 year old Mercedes Carrillo. Carrillo, a nurse and businesswoman, was fatally stabbed shortly after midnight on December 4, 2009, while she was at her apartment in Burrell Boom. Her daughter, who was 18 at the time and her son, who was 14, testified that their step-father and their mother began arguing after their mother received a phone call and said that she told the man to stop calling her. They said their mother called the police and Lawrence left only to return about an hour later. According to the evidence, the door was locked and Lawrence stoned the door with a concrete block which caused one of the panels to fall out. Lawrence then entered the apartment and he began to curse Carrillo. Lawrence then took out a knife and he began to stab Carrillo. Carrillo’s son intervened and struck Lawrence on his back with a guitar. But that did not stop Lawrence. It was only when Carrillo’s daughter stabbed Lawrence in his back with a knife that he discontinued his assault. By that time Carrillo had already received five stab wounds to her chest and abdomen. Carrillo was taken to the hospital by Lawrence and her children. She died shortly after she arrived. Lawrence gave a statement from the dock in which he admitted that he stabbed Carrillo. He said that his intention was not to kill her and he acted in that manner because he was under the influence of crack, Campari and marijuana. Lawrence is being represented by attorney Oscar Selgado while Crown Counsel Leroy Banner is representing the prosecution.

Security Supervisor Survives Bullet to the Head
57-year-old, Levi Brown is lucky to be alive today after he was shot in the head. It happened yesterday evening, a few minutes past 6 o’clock, while Brown was riding his bicycle on East Collet Canal heading in the direction of King Street in Belize City. Upon reaching the corner of Dean Street, he heard a loud bang and a second later, he fell to the ground unconscious. Brown was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where doctors found a bullet lodge to the back of his head. He is in a stable condition at the hospital. Young, who is a Security Supervisor of J&B Security Firm, was carrying, a blue deposit bag which had in assorted cheques and one .38 pistol with one magazine containing seven .38 live rounds. Those items have been reported missing. Police investigations continue.


Elderly Man Shot and Robbed
Another elderly person was the victim of a crime yesterday. 57-year-old Levi Brown, a Belizean Security Supervisor of J&B Security Firm and a resident of Belize City, was shot to the back of the head yesterday evening at about 6:30. Police reports are that Brown was riding his bicycle...

Guatemalans Busted for Drug Trafficking in Belize
A taxi man was busted with weed on Wednesday, May 20th. Five persons, three men and two women, were inside the taxi at the time of the bust and were arrested and charged for drug trafficking. According to San Ignacio Police, the arrest was as a result of a...

Jason Lawrence Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder
From the very beginning, he has admitted his guilt. But today, a jury of 12 formally found 37 year old Jason Bruce Lawrence, guilty of murder. ‘Justice Troadio Gonzalez duly sentenced him to life in prison. He was charged with the murder of nurse Mercedes Carrillo at their home...

Belize Action Plans Protest in Solidarity with Fired Professor Brendan Bain
Professor Brendan Bain was officially terminated from the University of the West Indies on Tuesday May 20th as a result of LGBT pressures. The backlash has been loud as cries of “foul” have been heard across the Caribbean. Students and other concerned persons, had silently protested in front of...

The Guardian

Cayo North East Convention Set
June 8 has been set as the date during which the United Democratic Party will be holding a convention to identify a new Standard Bearer for the Cayo North East constituency. Party Chairman, Alberto August, says that all preparations are ready for that convention to take place. He explains that there are three candidates who are seeking the position. Those persons are, current mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August; well known UDP stalwarts Eduardo Juan and Anthony McNab. The convention has become necessary after Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in October of 2013 invited Hon. Elvin Penner to resign from the United Democratic Party as he would no longer be able to represent the people of Cayo North East as a member of the U.D.P. Prime Minister Barrow asked for the resignation after irregularities involving Hon. Penner in the immigration department came to his attention. While the opposition PUP is making a whole lot of racket over the Elvin Penner issue using Cola as its main instrument, the United Democratic Party has long moved on. The convention will secure UDP representation in the constituency. Unlike the manner in which the PUP conducts business, the UDP is not afraid to point out wrong doing and in fact takes swift and decisive action whenever these are discovered.

$10 Million from Taiwan to Belize
The Government of the Republic of China-Taiwan is now comfortable when making contributions intended to benefit the people of Belize. On Monday, May 19th, His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, handed over a cheque for US$5 million to the Prime Minister of Belize for support in key infrastructural projects. Ambassador Wu says, “We have seen the apparent progress for your beautiful country in terms of the infrastructure development.” He says that everywhere he travels in the beautiful country of Belize he sees huge progress. Ambassador Wu says he has confidence in this administration and “really admire the capable leadership of the Government”. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, accepted the cheque on behalf of the Government and people of Belize. He says the funds will be used to cover a part of the expenditures on key infrastructure projects. It will be used to partially finance Phase II of the Southside Poverty Alleviation Project in Belize City. A portion of the US$5 million will be used as support finance for the extension of the Southern Highway to Jalacte in the Toledo District. The money will also be spread to the West of the country as a portion will be used on the new crossing of the Macal River in the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena.

Belize Times thief?
Collecting money on behalf of the General Sales Tax department and not paying it into that department is tantamount to theft. That is where the People’s United Party’s Belize Times finds itself these days. On Wednesday, May 14, it was summoned at the Magistrate’s Court to answer to two counts of failure to file GST returns. The summons as we understand it, are fore the months of January and February. When it was originally called up, Marion Marsden was the respondent, however, she did not show up in court. Anthony Sylvester was the one who showed up but no plea could be taken and the matter was adjourned until Thursday May 15. At that time the matter had to once again be adjourned because nobody could come up to represent the Times. Things have gotten so lean on that side that the attorney Kareem Musa claimed that there were only two employees working at the newspaper. He said however that their were directors that could be summoned since Marsden was no longer employed at the newspaper since 2008. By our investigations the Belize Times owes in the region of $4,500 in GST. It means that they have been collecting these monies on behalf of the government and have not been paying it into the department. Seems like theft to us.

Castro challenge crushed
On Monday, May 19, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin struck out the claim brought by Trevor Vernon against Hon. Edmond Castro, the Minister of State with responsibility for Transport, and area representative of Belize Rural North. Vernon was seeking declaratory relief against Castro that his actions while as the Minister responsible for the Belize Airport Authority, was against the code of conduct given to Ministers of Government by the Constitution. On Monday, May 5, Castro’s attorney, Denys Barrow, made an application before Chief Justice Benjamin that Vernon’s claim be struck out of court because the laws that he was asking to be invoked against Castro could not apply. He was trying to move the court using administrative law applications, constitutional relief, and judicial review proceedings. These all come under public law which is only available to be brought against a state or a tribunal, but not against Castro who is a public official, but not a public body.

Lake-I keeps moving
The work of Hon. Mark King in Lake-Independence continues, and as he had promised more streets are being upgraded in the constituency. He had taken the division from one where there was not a single street which did not have pot holes to one where a significant number of streets have been concreted. The work is currently underway where numerous streets are being brought up to just before paved standard. Among the streets that will see upgrades are Alisa, Sunflower, Ordonez and Riverside streets. Included in the works will be culverts and driveways. According to Hon. King, "I will not stop until all is fixed and Lake I people can be proud to have good streets to walk and drive on".

Fourth Former does the right thing at Eden High in Cayo
A young man has been recognized by his peers at a High School in the Cayo District. Juan Gregorio Tuyel was, on Wednesday, officially recognized for ‘doing the right thing’ at the Eden Adventist High School in Santa Elena Town. The young man is a fourth form student and received a certificate and T-Shirt from the Police Department’s “Do the Right Thing Program” as well as a letter from Belize’s Police Commissioner, Alen Whylie Doing the presentation of certificate and giving recognition to the model student, for the month of January 2014, was ranking Police Officer Reymundo Reyes. The “Do the Right Thing Program” is an ongoing program of the Belize Police Department to motivate reformed youths.

Nigel Petillo changing his tune
We at the Guardian were taken aback on Wednesday morning when Nigel Petillo made pleas to government to rethink its position and allow him to lease out or rent out or let out government property for the benefit of a few. Petillo had entered into some arrangement with a private company for it to bulldoze and plow the buffer area of Harmonyville and plant corn thereafter. Petillo had taken on the position that if the government did not allow for the planting to take place, members of BGYEA would themselves do the planting and government would have to burn it down to stop the crop. Well BGYEA or any of its members were not serious about their threat and their confrontational position dwindled to one of begging on Wednesday.

Dumb and Dumber, who is to blame?
Two failed PUP candidates, attorneys both, unsuccessfully tried to discredit Hon. Edmund Castro using the court system. The two attorneys, Arthur Saldivar and Phillip Palacio with the aid of Trevor Vernon sought to have the court declare that Hon. Castro acted inappropriately when he assisted his constituents using resources from the Airports Authority. It seems that their claim ended before it started because of the caliber of attorney which was sought. It seems that the junior is less than a junior and a deserving candidate for the classroom dunce. When the case was brought to the Supreme Court, the learned attorney, Denys Barrow, pointed out that really, the case needed to wheel and come again. Phillip who in the last general election asked the voters of Mesopotamia to give him 'a run' actually could barely make it up the steps of the Supreme Court (we will not say he is obese) with a half baked, half hearted effort to have the Supreme Court deem that Hon. Castro acted inappropriately.

Education Week brings the Maya Forest garden to Santa Familia Students
Principal Donicio Escobar was enthusiastic about the annual Forest Garden presentation bringing the school teachers and students closer to their valuable asset in the school forest garden, making Monday May 12th a special day for all the primary school students from Infant 1 to Std 6. They had a chance to spend a class period with traditional Maya forest gardeners at their school garden Känan K’aax, “well tended garden” in Mayan. Initiated in 2008 with the vision of the late Alcario Cano who cherished the Maya forest garden, the acre plot is in the northeast corner of the school property. Only a short five minute walk from the school classrooms. There, children find a new world of plants useful for food and medicine, providing shade to cool the earth, and resources for the animals. This is their garden, the Känan K’aax.

Nationalization Acts Ruled Constitutional
On Thursday, May 15th, President Manuel Sosa of the Belize Court of Appeals delivered the Court’s judgment on challenges to the nationalizations of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL). In a two to one split decision the Court of Appeals ruled that the nationalization of both BTL and BEL were lawfully done and the Eight Amendment Bill is constitutionally in order. The Court also ruled that compensation for the companies will be set at market value at the time of nationalization. Attorney General, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, says the decision is “a blowout for Government and at this point in time the people of Belize has every right to feel good about this decision.” Eamon Courtenay who argued that the nationalizations were unconstitutional took solace in the fact that one judge ruled in their favour and says the Caribbean Court of Justice will have the final say in the matter.

Professor Bain Booted - Freedom of Expression Dead!
Professor Brendon Bain who is considered a leading medical authority on the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean region has been fired by the University of the West Indies for his expert testimony in the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Government of Belize. Bain was the Director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative when he was called as an expert witness in August of 2012. In his testimony, Bain said that though some public health practitioners and agencies have hypothesized that decriminalizing the practice of anal intercourse among consenting adults would lead to a reduction in the incidence rate of HIV infections among men having sex with men, to date there has been no published data to substantiate that hypothesis. Bain also said that removing the anti-sodomy laws off the books could have a negative effect on the country’s economy.

Inauguration of the Headquarters Building for the Sugar Industry Research And Development Institute
The Government of Belize (GOB), the European Union (EU), the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) and the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute (SIRDI) conducted an “Inauguration Ceremony” for the Building which will serve as the Headquarters for SIRDI on Monday May 19, 2014 at the SIRDI building site located between miles 66 and 67 along the Phillip Goldson Highway, near the village of Buena Vista in the Corozal District. The construction of the building was financed with grant funds contributed by the EU through its Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Program and financial support from the Sugar Industry Control Board (SICB) at an estimated cost of BZ $655,000.00 (six hundred fifty five thousand Belize dollars). The construction was managed by IICA within the framework of the project “Institutional Support for Strengthening of SIRDI” being implemented by IICA through Contribution Agreement #DCI-SUCRE-2011/275984 signed between IICA and the EU in May 2012.

Special Envoy Recognizes Late Great Beverly Smith Lopez
This week’s Trailblazer Tuesday features a woman we all have fond memories of, an icon in Belizean culture! Mrs. Beverly Smith Lopez (1957-2002) At the tender age of nineteen, Beverly Smith Lopez diversified Belize’s artistic scope by becoming the “First lady of Comedy”, the first National Drama Coordinator. In 1957, Beverly was born to Earl and Hazel Smith. She attended Belize Pallotti High School. She later attained a scholarship to Santa Clara University in Northern California and graduated in 1991 with a Bachelors degree in Theatre. Beverly’s acting debut was her performance of her hit monologue – BELIZEAN GOSSIP at the Square Peg Players at Carifesta 1976 in Jamaica, which quickly raised her popularity.

Prison Officer Caught Smuggling Weed inside Central Prison
Prison Officer of the Belize Central Prison, Ajani Smith Sr., was convicted of drug trafficking on Monday May 19th. According to Hattieville police, they received a call from the Belize Central Prison on August 25th, 2013. When they arrived at the prison, was turned over to them by prison officials. They explained that Smith had complained to his superior officer that he was not feeling well and he wanted to visit the medic center on the compound. He was given permission to go ahead and do so. On his way to the medic center, Prison Officer Silvino Cal conducted a search on Smith. During the search, Cal found a black plastic bag strapped to his right leg inside his pants. Inside the black bag were two other bags. Those bags were opened and they contained what proved to be cannabis. The drug was weighed at the police station and amounted to a total of 54.6 grams. Smith was arrested and charged with drug possession and drug trafficking.

Jamil Meighan and Wilfred Stanley Charged for West Landivar Burglary
Jamil Meighan, 25-year-old Construction Worker of Ivory Street in Belize City, and Wilfred Javier Stanley, 30-year-old Stevedore of Neal’s Pen Road, have been arrested and charged in connection with the burglary of Janelle Reyes’ West Landivar home. According to police, Janelle Reyes reported that sometime between the hours of 8:30 p.m., on April 9, 2014 and 10:30 a.m. on April 12, 2014 her home located at #6017 Freshman Lane, West Landivar Area, was burglarized and an assortment of jewelry was stolen. Police in investigation led them to pick up Jamil Meighan for the burglary. While no one linked Meighan to the scene of the burglary, he allegedly confessed to the crime and informed police that he had given the items to his friend, Wilfred Stanley. Stanley was later tracked down and detained.

Two Men Acquitted of Murder in Stann Creek
Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez have been acquitted of the murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred on March 19, 2010 in Cowpen Village, Stann Creek District. Duarte was shot on March 19, 2010, and later succumbed to his injuries on March 24, 2010. Rodriguez and Valdez were later arrested and charged for his murder. In court, Senior Crown Counsel Linbert Willis prosecuted the case before Justice Denis S. Hanonmansingh in a trial by judge without jury. Willis called 8 witnesses to testify in the murder trial. The main testimony in the trial was that of the deceased’s wife, who was the only eye witness to the murder. Duarte’s wife did not give the police a proper description of the men she claimed killed her husband.

Drugs seized in Cayo
On Tuesday of this week a vigilant team of Police Officers, ADU, Canine and Customs netted in a good catch of drugs and traffickers in the Cayo District. At precisely 3:30 am, a search was conducted at mile 68 on the George Price Highway on a Gold colored Geo Prism Taxi car with license plate L/P BVO D 00416, where five persons were observed to be relaxing inside. Also found in the car was a white ‘crocus’ sack containing a black plastic bag with 11 parcels of green leafy substances suspected to be cannabis. Those persons arrested on Tuesday in the Taxi have been identified as Anna Galvez, 23 year old, Guatemalan Domestic of Cotton Tree Village and Francisco Martinez, 35 year old, Guatemalan laborer of Melchor de Mencos. Also arrested were Vicente Rosales, 23 years old, Guatemalan laborer; Maria Trinidad, 61 year old Guatemalan Domestic and Jose Roca, 63 year old, Naturalized Belizean Taxi driver, all who come from Arenal Village.

15-year-old lured to his death
The Connor family continues to grieve the loss of 15 year-old Kevin Connor after he was gunned down and left to die in the secluded area of the abandoned Port Free Zone, which is adjacent to the Jane Usher Boulevard. It is believed that Connor’s death is a form of direct retaliation for the murder of 22 year-old Patrick Bevans. Police from Precinct 2 were on mobile patrol on Monday, May 19, when at around 10:50p.m. they decided to check parts of the abandoned Free Zone known to attract residents, of the Jane Usher Boulevard. About a mile or so into the property, they found Connor’s body in the middle of the road with 2 gunshot wounds to the head: one to the left temple, and one to the left cheek. The body was removed and taken to the KHMH where it awaits a post-mortem examination.

Kevin Alvarez and Minor Convicted of Robbery
Police responded to report of a robbery in progress at the corner of Fairweather and Waight Streets on September 2, 2013. They met 32-year-old librarian, Roderick Matura, who told them he was riding his bicycle when he was approached by two men riding on a single bicycle. The men attacked him and took away his bicycle. Before riding off with his bicycle, they beat him up and took away his wallet which contained personal identification documents and $40 cash. Residents in the area called police immediately as the robbery was taking place. Police took Matura in the mobile and they went looking for the attackers.

Handed himself in for Mother’s Day murder
Kenner Gomez Trapp, the 20 year-old man from Punta Gorda Town who police are looking at as the main suspect in the murder of 26 year-old Janice Vargas, has been criminally charged for the suspected murder weapon. On Friday, 5 days after the 26 year-old Mother was gunned down and killed, police detained Trapp and interrogated him. He eventually led them to a bushy area in the Town’s cemetery where they retrieved a .38 pistol. He told them that he buried it there after he shot Janice Vargas. He was subsequently charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and he was remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Santana Villager may have been killed
The body of Maurice “Tuko” Young, a 57 year-old resident of Santana Village on the Old Northern Highway was found on Tuesday, May 20, in a patch of grass behind his house. There is the strong suspicion that he didn’t die of natural causes; in fact, his family and friends suspect that he was killed. Young was expected to have been on the bus to Maskall on Monday, and when the residents found his bicycle unsecured and his radio inside his house, they suspected that something was wrong. When he was not seen for the entire day on Monday, they began to actively search for him, and that’s when they found Young’s body decomposing the next day.

Shalini Zabaneh captures fifth Cross Country title
The Cycling Federation of Belize sponsored its 25th Annual Female Cross Country Cycling Classic on Sunday May 18, 2014 and the results of the race have now been recorded in the sports pages. The race started from in front of Columbus Park in San Ignacio town and concluded in front of Leslie’s Imports at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway. At the end of some 3:12:54, Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun was the first female rider to cross the finish line to capture her fifth cross country title. Zabaneh received for her prize $1500.00 in cash from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; $1500.00 from the Office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children; 6 ft trophy in memory of Kevin and Phillip Brannon; a round trip ticket to anywhere in Belize courtesy of Maya Island Air and a trophy from Jex Trophy. The second rider to cross the finish line was Patricia Chavarria of Team BECOL and she received for her prizes $500.00 from the Belize City Council; $300.00 in cash from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports; one round trip ticket to anywhere in Belize courtesy of Maya Island Air and a trophy from Jex Trophy.

San Pedro Tigersharks number one seed into basketball playoffs
The 2014 National Elite Basketball Competition is fast winding up with the commencement of the playoffs set for this Friday May 23, 2014. The regular season came to an end over the last weekend with a number of games across the country that was of very high importance as they related to the playoffs picture. On Thursday May 15, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Belmopan Point Bandits defeated the Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 81- 78 to secure its place into the playoff round. The top scorers for the Belmopan Point Bandits were Stephen Williams with 19 points, 5 rebounds, and an assist, Dorian Jones with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Christian Rodriguez with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Cayo Western Ballaz were Johan Bermudez with 21 points, 9 rebounds, Farron Louriano with 15 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Travis Lennan also with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal.

Patrick Jones

Maya communities vow to keep up fight against pre-drilling activities
Maya communities in Toledo district that are fighting to halt pre-drilling activities by US Capital Energy Limited inside of the Sarstoon Temash National Park have been doing consultations of their own. And on Tuesday, they held meeting of leaders of the buffer communities at the Machaca Outreach Center in Jacintoville village. Following that consultation and rally, a press conference was held during which the Executive Director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, Greg Ch’oc told reporters that the resolve of the Maya communities is to stand strong and press on. It is understood that SATIIM and the buffer communities have gone back to the Supreme Court to seek a post judgment injunction to force US Capital Energy to halt its pre-drilling activities.

Woman dies in early morning fire
An elderly woman perished in an early morning fire in Belize City today. 84 year old Isoline Gabourel was trapped in the flames when her house at the corner of Douglas Jones and Cleghorn Streets caught on fire around 3 o’clock this morning. Gabourel, according to her neighbors, lived alone and kept to herself.

Ousted Alcalde says he was wronged
Since his abrupt removal as Alcalde of Conejo village in the Toledo district in April of this year, Valentin Makin has faded from the public spotlight. But that does not mean that he is going quietly into the sunset. Makin says he feels “much disrespected” by the series of events that led to his ouster as Alcalde and furthermore that since the story broke in such dramatic fashion that “my reputation and my honor has been torn up” especially in his community. In a sit-down interview with our Toledo Correspondent Juan Caal, Makin went to great lengths to explain that due process in his removal was not followed. “I was just informed that I was removed,” says Makin.

AARP says Belize is World’s Best Honeymoon Destination for 2014
The travel section of, a popular website on the internet has selected Belize as one of the world’s best honeymoon destination for 2014. The writer, Andrea M Rotondo described Belize as follows: Located in Central America, Belize is an incredibly compelling honeymoon destination for three simple reasons: its close proximity to the United States (a two-hour flight from Miami), its weather (around 84 degrees daily year-round), and the 190-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, which is easily accessible along the coast and a wildly popular spot for snorkeling and scuba trips, fishing excursions and romantic sunset cruises. Belize attracts a variety of honeymooners, from nature lovers, history buffs and diving fanatics to zip-liners, cave (river) tubers and those who simply prefer to sit on the beach at a resort with drink in hand. Belize was the only country in Central America that made it on the list.

Early morning fire kills elderly woman
There was a fire in Belize City this morning at the corner of Cleghorn and Douglas Jones Streets. Fire, while often sudden and destructive, is fairly uncommon these days as the City grows and develops. But what makes this fire different is that it appears to have been deliberately set – and the victim is an 84 year old woman who lived alone and largely kept to herself. Isoline Gabourel was apparently trapped inside her house and possibly succumbed to the smoke, unable to get to either exit. Station Manager for the National Fire Service in Belize City, Orin Smith, told reporters this afternoon that their investigations uncovered no trace of either combustible material or a source of ignition such as gas, electricity or others. The pattern of the fire led to the logical conclusion that it was “incendiary,” that is, deliberately set.

Jason Lawrence guilty of partner’s murder
From the very beginning, he admitted his guilt. But today, a jury of 12 formally found Jason Bruce Lawrence, 37, a truck driver, guilty of murder. Justice Troadio Gonzalez duly sentenced him to life in prison. He was charged with the murder of nurse Mercedes Carrillo at their home in Burrell Boom on December 4, 2009. The couple had argued earlier in the night and Lawrence left the premises around midnight after Carrillo called police. He would return an hour later, break a panel in the front door with a brick, and go up to the apartment where Carrillo lived. In front of their stepchildren, a teenage daughter and a younger son, he began to curse their mother, then produced a knife and stabbed her five times. The children testified that they intervened and the daughter managed to stab Lawrence in his back near the shoulder.

COLA demands Penner file from Police Commissioner
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has written back to president of COLA Giovanni Brackett, regretfully declining his request for disclosure of information gathered by Police during their investigation of former Immigration Minister of State Elvin Penner. COLA is accusing Penner of making false statements that allowed South Korean businessman Won-Hong Kim to falsely secure a Belizean passport and nationality certificate despite never having set foot here. But the organization in a press release claims the Commissioner is “flipping and flopping,” citing his interview last week in which he said the investigation was closed. He was not clear on whether the file was with him or DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, but the DPP has said she sent it to him and expects it back so that she can share it with COLA as part of their bundle of disclosure expected for Penner when he returns to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court next Thursday, May 29.

Man charged for handling policeman’s stolen motorcycle
18 year old Delbert Alvarez has been charged with handling stolen goods after a police constable said he found him with his stolen motorcycle. George Ferguson of Muhammad Ali Street in Port Loyola parked the red Meilun motorcycle in front of his home on Tuesday evening, May 20 but when he went back outside 45 minutes later it was gone. The next day, he saw Alvarez riding a blue motorcycle on Central American Boulevard near Racoon Street and stopped him. Upon checking the vehicle he found that it matched his missing motorcycle except for the differing paint color. P.C. Ferguson called in his fellow officers and made a statement which lead to Alvarez’s arrest.

Woman guilty of “abstracting electricity”
Antelope Street Extension resident Dominga Nunez must pay the courts $500 in fines on a charge of “abstracting electricity.” She is accused of allowing alterations to connections for Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) such that the power company’s distribution technician, Lionel Canto, found on inspection that the BEL meter was not registering power. Instead, it was being diverted into a switchbox inside the residence. The beneficiary of the collection would be paying the flat rate for electricity usage instead of what they really should pay. According to Nunez she just returned home from Honduras and did not know of the illegal collection. But Canto told Magistrate Dale Cayetano that he personally spoke to Nunez in the presence of a police constable and Scenes of Crime Technician at the residence.

Belize Action plans lunch hour demonstration on Friday in Belize City
The group Belize Action, an advocacy group on morality, righteousness and legislation will stage a lunch hour demonstration on Friday afternoon in Belize City. The demonstration according to the invitation sent out via social media and text message, is calling on supporters to “stand in support for Dr. Brendan Bain” who was terminated this week as head of the regional CHART program at the University of the West Indies. Professor Bain provided expert testimony last year in the challenge to Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code, and because of that testimony he was targeted. Thirty five regional advocacy groups, including the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, sent a letter to the University of the West Indies notifying the regional institution that they had lost confidence in Professor Bain as the head of CHART. He was subsequently fired by the UWI.


The Trip From Ambergris Caye To Placencia, Yoli’s Bar and The Lovely Sea Glass Inn
I’ve taken this bus ride quite a few times from North to South (or mid to lower South) in Belize. San Pedro to Belize City via the 7:30am San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. 1.25 hours. $44bzd round-trip IF you have a membership card. 9:15am – Bus from Belize City to Belmopan and then down to Independence (over the Maya Mountains). Here is much of my trip. That which is not shown in photographs was spent sleeping…I could not keep my eyes open on this bus. Each time I was jostled awake, someone new was sitting next to me.

Huge Maya City found near Belize and Mexico border line: Noh Kah
According to Mexican Newspapers the Archaeologists from the National Institue of Anthropology and History (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) (INAH) confirmed today that there is an Ancient Mayan City approximated to be about 84 acres and is located in the jungles around the border line of Quintana Roo and Belize. The Ancient Mayan City was named Noh Kah, meaning Large City, and is believed to have existed more than one thousand five hundred years ago. In a statement released, INAH claim that with the assistance of members of the communities of San Francisco Botes and Rovirosa, specialists were able to perform a topographic survey of the Ancient Mayan City, which is covered by the forest on the bank of the Rio Hondo. Noh Kah is located about 7 miles from the Belize / Mexican Border line and about 37 miles away from the city of Chetumal.

“The Gambler” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With a forty-five thousand gallon rainwater collection tank under our house I really shouldn’t have been concerning myself with thoughts (concerns?) over whether there was enough water to last until the rainy season begins. I think its a general trait though that the older you get the more you think (worry) about whether you have enough of ‘this’ or ‘that’. Whatever ‘this’ or ‘that’ might be. Now when you’re young? Well I don’t know about you but when I was young I rarely expended much more thought or effort thinking about the future than what I was going to do that day or night. Or, if I was really in a forward thinking mood (rare by the way), I might have given some thought to what I could do at the weekend or where I might like to go for my summer holiday. But that was about the full extent of my contemplation.

International Sources

World's Best Honeymoon Destinations for 2014
Located in Central America, Belize is an incredibly compelling honeymoon destination for three simple reasons: its close proximity to the United States (a two-hour flight from Miami), its weather (around 84 degrees daily year-round), and the 190-mile-long Belize Barrier Reef, which is easily accessible along the coast and a wildly popular spot for snorkeling and scuba trips, fishing excursions and romantic sunset cruises. Belize attracts a variety of honeymooners, from nature lovers, history buffs and diving fanatics to zip-liners, cave (river) tubers and those who simply prefer to sit on the beach at a resort with drink in hand.

Snorkeling Just Got A Major Makeover Thanks To The Tribord Easybreath
There's a beautiful world just waiting to be discovered under the sea. There's just one problem: It's under the sea. In lieu of the invention of human gills, Tribord, a water sports company based in France, has designed the Easybreath mask, which claims to make it as easy for people to see and breathe underwater as they would on land. And it might just be the coolest development in snorkel tech since the dolphin jet pack. Judging by the focus group in Tribord's video, it seems the snorkel is the main hurdle in traditional snorkeling. "We naturally disassociate mouth from nose," says Olivier, a diving center manager. "In other words, we breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth, so when we put on a mask, we can only breathe through the mouth." The Easybreath mask allows you to breathe more naturally through your nose and mouth, without fogging up the goggle, while giving you a bonus 180-degree field of vision. They also fitted the pipe above the head with a bright stopper that prohibits water from entering when submerged and is noticeable to other swimmers and boaters.

Gallup: Central America is the world’s happiest region, despite sky-high homicide rates in some countries
Despite high crime, murder rates, persistent poverty and income inequality, Latin America and one of its most troubled regions, Central America, reported the highest levels of satisfaction in the world. The results came in an annual poll of 138 countries published by Gallup on Wednesday. Costa Rica reported the sixth highest level of happiness in the world, with 82 percent of respondents saying they were happy. Paraguay led the world with a score of 87 percent. All surveyed Central American countries ranked in the top 11 worldwide, with Panama being second. Belize was not included in the survey. The overwhelming majority of Latin American and Caribbean countries ranked high, with Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela also in the top 10. The lowest countries in the region were Jamaica and Haiti at 64th and 121st respectively. The United States ranked 24th, with 78 percent saying they were happy.

Consolidated Water Completes Land Purchases for Mexico Project
Consolidated Water Co. (CWCO:US), the Caribbean water provider that’s expanded to Bali, Indonesia, completed the purchase of two parcels of land for its proposed desalination plant in Rosarito Beach, Baja California. The Georgetown, Cayman Islands-based company said today that the 20.1 hectares (50 acres) of property bought for $20 million is needed for the construction and operation of a 100 million gallon a day seawater reverse-osmosis plant. If its NSC Agua SA unit secures water purchase and other required agreements and approvals, the plan is for the plant to purify seawater for drinking and feed it to a pipeline to deliver water to the Mexican system and the U.S. border, said the company whose operations include the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Belize.

Celebrities and Ministers Erwin Contreras and Manuel Heredia show support at the Cannes Film Festival in France for the Puerto Azul Project.
Remove all the mangrove on a caye? On top of the highest density of nesting turtles in Belize AND a large Nassau Grouper spawning aggregation?? And THEN add 3000 people???? After you dredge?????!? You might as well put an oil well and a landfill and a nuclear waste dump on it too. This all sounds too awful to believe.

Rio On Pools on Best Swimming Holes List
Rio On Pools was listed as one of the top 20 Best Natural Swimming Holes in the World on MSN's list. It's number 17 on the list, even though it's number 1. "Whether you're looking to cool off from the summer heat or want to soak up the warmth of mineral hot springs, these natural swimming holes fit the bill. Here are 20 of nature's most inviting places to take a dip."

Unusual Travel: The Great Blue Hole in Belize
Found on both land and in the ocean throughout the Bahamas and the national waters of Belize are deep circular cavities known as Blue Holes which are often the entrances to cave networks, some of them up to 14 kilometres in length. Divers have reported a vast number of aquatic creatures some of which are still new to science. In addition, they’ve recorded chambers filled with stalactites and stalagmites which only form in dry caves. For the explorers this was proof that at one time, nearly 65,000 years ago, when the world was in the grip of the last major ice age, the sea level of the Bahamas was up to 150 metres lower than it is today. Over time the limestone of the islands was eroded by water and vast cave networks created. When sea levels rose again about 10,000 years ago some of these collapsed inwards and the Blue Holes were formed.


Video: Visit Belize v 1.2, 3min.
Spend a few days in Belize, incredible views!!! Made some new friends, (this is to you guys) while working !!!! We will be filming again soon in Belize!!! wait for more amazing videos.. Francisco Sandoval of the professional aerial video and photography company SkyCam from Guatemala just recently visited Belize with a couple of his remote controlled helicopter drones and compiled this great video of Belize’s natural beauty.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 4, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 5, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 6, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: May 7th, 2014 - Mayan Princess Canyon, Belize (#16), 7min.
This dive was all about the nurse sharks. They followed us around the whole dive and really wanted us to give them some food. We saw some groupers, a moray, and some excellent coral formations, but the nurse sharks stole the show.

Video: Belize News 5 Interview with Belize Country Director Antoinette Moore, 1hr2min.
Following the release of ABA ROLI's "Prosecutorial Reform Index" for Belize, Belize News 5 talk show, "Open Your Eyes" interviewed Country Director Antoinette Moore and University of Notre Dame Law Professor Jimmy Gurulé about the publication.

Video: Wildlife of Belize, 4min.
An ETE ambassador talks through the various wildlife that inhabits the rainforests of Belize.

Video: Tombs and burials of Cahal Pech, 1hr1min.
Dr. Jaime Awe talks about the tombs and burials of Cahal Pech. Learn something new about Cahal Pech. Thanks, Cruz Cambranes, for the audio editing. "This is the audio presentation of Tombs and burials free for you to use in any way. Forgive me but the presentation was recorded in a non controled environment lots of background noise. I have edited it for your listening pleasure. Lots of great info here. "

Video: Belize is home to one of the largest limestone cave systems in the world, 2min.
Discovery Channel

Video: Belize Childrens Ministry, 4min.
The Childrens Ministry team shares their memories and thoughts on serving in Belize

Extreme Fishing, Hunting and Adventure at Spiritwind Sportsman International in Belize

Video: Corozal Town Belize, 5min.

Video: Costa "Currents of Belize" Trailer, 3min.

Video: Jeets' & Stache's mildly outrageous Central American adventures, 4min.
May 2014 trip to Central America from our holiday lifestyle in Whistler over dead season

May 22, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Aji Tapas Bar and Restaurant celebrates Grand Re-opening with World Class Champagne
When it comes to an evening of elegance, fine food and wines- Aji Tapas is an excellent choice. Located in northern Ambergris Caye, Aji Tapas provides guests with appetizing cuisine and a fine assortment of beverages, including the latest edition of fine wines and the world class champagne “Armand de Brignac,” presented at the grand re-opening of the establishment on Thursday May 15th. The moonlit evening included several tastings of fruity white and rich-oaky red wines from the King Estate winery of Oregon, USA and The Pendroncelli winery of Sonoma, California USA. These selections delighted guests with their rich flavors, but the highly anticipated star of the night was the champagne making headlines worldwide: “Armand de Brignac.” Popularly known as “Ace of Spades,” it is both produced and bottled by the Cattier family in Chigny les Roses, a village in Champagne, France.

EU Ambassador HE Paola Amadei on working trip to San Pedro
The European Union Ambassador to the Caribbean, Her Excellency (HE) Paola Amadei was on a working visit to Ambergris Caye. Her stop on the island is part of her one week working tour in Belize, where she is visiting dengue and malaria hotspots within the country. During her visit to the island, Amadei met with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and the Administration of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II. “The project will run up until 2015, and it is aimed to increasing resources such as vehicles and foggers, while strengthening the technical staff to better respond to these spontaneous outbreaks. Another aspect is to increase the national campaign to educate people on ways to protect themselves from dengue and malaria, and even now, the chikungunya disease that has been introduced and is present in 15 islands in the Caribbean. It is important for the general citizenry to be a part of the preventative initiative of these water-borne diseases. Simple things can help prevent these diseases, but our citizenry need to be educated in ways they can play a role.”

Ambergris Today

Republic of China (Taiwan) Presents US$5 million Grant to Government of Belize
Today in Belmopan, His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a cheque in the sum of US$5 million to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Belize. The cheque is the grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize for the year 2014 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between the two countries. The purpose of the grant is to help in the development of Belize.

Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet Spotted Filming in Ambergris Caye
Their flags waving onboard the Seaduced by Belize catamaran at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve last week gave them away. Both the Discovery Channel and Animal Plant’s flags were flown onboard the catamaran as they filmed at the marine reserve. As Belize’s popularity keeps growing, we keep on seeing a huge presence of television networks as they film, take pictures and make documentaries in and around the country of Belize. Hollywood celebrities are being spotted on a regular basis and seeing a camera crew on the streets is nothing new anymore. Just this past week the Huff Post Travel section listed Ambergris Caye, Belize as one of the “15 Places To Go Before They Get Famous”. The post mentions that Belize is set to become Central America’s newest hotspot, making Ambergris Caye its crowning destination.

Misc Belizean Sources

The European Union Ambassador to the Caribbean, Her Excellency (HE) Paola Amadei was on a working visit to Ambergris Caye. Her stop on the island is part of her one week working tour in Belize, where she is visiting dengue and malaria hotspots within the country. During her visit to the island, Amadei met with Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and the Administration of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II.

Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia Belize Earns Fodor’s Choice Award
Fodor’s Travel, one of the world’s leading providers of travel information has bestowed the prestigious “Fodor’s Choice Award” for the best hotel in southern Belize to Chabil Mar, the only guest exclusive resort in Placencia Belize. The award recognizes Chabil Mar as a leader in its field for service, quality, and value. Chabil Mar means “beautiful sea” in Ket’chi Maya and is located along the 26-mile-long beautiful Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. The luxury resort sits between an indigenous Garinagu settlement and the former Creole fishing village of Placencia.

Channel 7

Shot Fired, Man Down At Corner Dean
There was a shooting in the city just twenty minutes ago. First off, our footage is just back from the scene, so if you are sensitive to graphic images you might want to change the channel. It happened on at the corner of Dean Street and East Canal, which is just down the street from our Channel 7 studio. 7News got there just minutes after while the man who was riding a bicycle was writhing on the pavement. According to reports he is an elderly man who was carrying bags. A robber or robbers wanted to rob him of those bags, and they shot him in the process. After they took the bags and he fell to the ground they searched him for money – as he lay sprawled on the street. Police rushed him to the hospital ten minutes after the shooting – he was still conscious. We'll have more on this in tomorrow's newscast.

Apparent Murder In Tiny Santana Village, First In Decades
If you're not familiar with the old Northern Highway, then you probably don't know Santana Village. But the community of about 500 is making headlines tonight because of a possible homicide, the first one there in five decades or more. 57 year-old Maurice Dennis Young, better known as "Tuko" was last seen on Monday, and when his body was discovered yesterday, it caused an upheaval in village. Persons who have viewed the body tell us that there are some peculiar signs which suggest violence to them, but the official confirmation on his cause of death is still pending. Our news team was there at the on-site autopsy this morning, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz Reporting Family members and friends of 57 year-old Maurice Young could only look on as police officers and Dr. Mario Estradabran conducted an on-site autopsy of his body. They agonized about the cause of his death for hours. He was last seen by his friends early this week, and when he was discovered yesterday, there were signs that he had been dead for at least 2 days.

Mayor Meets PM to Talk About The Future... of Streets?
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley had a meeting today with Prime Minister Dean Barrow this afternoon at his Coney Drive Office. Reports say that it was to discuss Bradley's political future with the UDP. But Bradley denies that. After the meeting he told us it was all about streets. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "The Prime Minister and I met and we had a discussion, and the primary purpose of the meeting was actually to update him in relation to where we are with the infrastructure project. Of course, we had indicated that the Prime Minister generously gave the city an additional 10 million dollars in relation to continuing the concreting of streets, and I periodically have to update the Prime Minister in exactly where we are with those works. We had originally gotten 3 million dollars, and we had commence works on 8 of those streets including Buttonwood Bay - which is almost finished, Seashore Drive, Independence Drive, Regent Street West - which is fully completed - the continuation of Dean Street, the entire length of Princess Margaret Drive, and Youth for the Future Boulevard. And what we aim to do in the coming future, of course - it's all up to the Prime Minister - is to do a second wave, so that we can continue on an additional amount of streets. He had asked that I put together a second wave, similar to what we did when we launched this first wave of these 8 streets to get together invoices, do the tendering, do the scope of works, and to identify recommended areas to him so that he could make a determination in terms of where we would proceed. We're much more comprehensive in our approach. We're much broaded in our scope of works, and I believe that at the end of this term in office, the City Council will be in a position where it can comfortably manage the infrastructure problems of Belize City. Of course, people will continue to live on streets that have potholes, and continue to live on streets that are flooded, but we believe that within this last 2 and half years, substantial inroads have been made primarily in the area of infrastructure."

DPP Displeased With 3 Months For Attempted Murder
In December of 2001, Wilbert Cuellar was the beneficiary of the rarest thing: a stroke of judicial generosity. He was convicted of the attempted murder of Josue Chay, but trial judge Justice Dennis Hannomansingh said it was unjust. So he invoked what's called "inherent jurisdiction" to set Cuellar free without a day served behind bars. Well, in March the DPP challenged it in the court of appeal where the judges ordered that Hannomansingh pass an appropriate sentence. So today the matter went back to the Northern Session of the Supreme Court, where Hannomansingh passed what he felt was an appropriate sentence: he sentenced Cuellar to three months – which is the time between when the Court of Appeal made the order, and the day on which it went to court. But the DPP says she is compelled to appeal a sentence of 3 months for an attempt to murder. Wilbert Cuellar allegedly picked up a cement brick to knock out Chay so that Darwin Diaz could chop him repeatedly. Diaz was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

More Immigration Fraud From Queen Pin's Lair
Since we reported on 46 year-old nationality documents fixer Marleny Castellanos last week, the Immigration Department has been flooded with persons coming forward to say they got their documents through her thinking they were legit. Today, 7 of them were taken to court. They are Honduran Jenny Arita, Guatemalans Juana Lopez, Rudy Alexander Juarez, Mario Anibal Reymundo, Luis Flores, and Salvadorans Juan Emilio Lobos and Freddy Antonio Lobos were all arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano for using documents they were not entitled to for fraudulent nationality certificates that Marleny Castellanos allegedly arranged for them. All 7, except Juana Lopez, were also arraigned for another count of using documents they were not entitled to because Marleny Castellanos also assisted them in getting fake birth certificates.

Entire Family Arrested, Man Pleads Guilty
33 year-old Keyon Cleland is spending his first night of a 5 year sentence after he pleaded guilty to firearm and drug trafficking charges. The Gang Suppression Unit searched his North Creek Road address this morning and he was present along with 42 year-old Daphne Grant and a 13 year-old minor. Inside the house, they found a 9 millimeter pistol, an extended magazine and 12 grams of cannabis. Due to the illegal items, they were all charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, keep unlicensed ammunition, drug trafficking. They were all arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where Cleland took the blame for the illegal items by pleading guilty. Chief Magistrate Smith sentenced him to 5 years for the firearm, 5 years for the ammunition, and $10,000 dollars for the drug trafficking offence.

Teenager Shot, By His Accomplice?
A 17 year-old from Ladyville was shot yesterday morning – allegedly by his own accomplice in a robbery. Police say that at around 6:30 a.m., the minor was hanging out with his friend on the Ladyville Basketball Court. That's when they decided to rob an 18 year-old male at gunpoint of $150 cash and a mountain bike. They tried to corner him, but the victim slapped the gun away, causing it to go off, shooting the 17 year-old minor. Still, they did manage to get away with the money and the bike, but police tracked them down because they had to go to the KHMH to treat the injury. The Rural Executive Officer in charge of Ladyville Police explained more: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "We did have a report, and we are working on that report. We know tha somebody ended up in the hospital with a possible gunshot injury, and it may have been caused by persons known to him. He is in recovery; we are in the process of locating another person who will assist us with our investigation, and our exhaustive efforts have yielded nothing as yet with regards to the other person being brought into custody, however, it's not a process that we've abandoned."

Malibu Beach Burns In Griga
There was a fire in Dangriga just after midnight on Monday. A popular restaurant and club was completely destroyed. Now, it had a thatch roof, so you can say these things happen. But yesterday in Dangriga the club and property owners told us this was no accident; it was arson. Here's the story:.. The club is valued at eighty thousand dollars and it was not insured. The Fire Department says it is still investigating and has reached no conclusion yet.

PUP Pushes For New Gun Law
In February, Belize's gun laws were all in the news. COLA and the PUP alleged that they were unjust and unevenly applied. The COLA thing has cooled off, but the PUP says it hasn't given up on trying to change the laws. The PUP's legal team wrote to the Minister of National Security with their proposed amendments on February 12th. At the time Minister Saldivar said in the house that government had commenced a review of the laws quote, "to find some fair and less draconian laws." That was February and it sounded good because everyone seemed to be moving in the same direction - towards less stringent gun laws. But the PUP says that they haven't heard back from Government and so now the opposition is going to try and take their own Firearms Amendment Bill to the House of Representatives. The party's legal advisor hosted a press conference today to explain how and why:… Anthony Sylvestre - Legal Advisor, PUP "Given the Government's obvious unwillingness to make the necessary amendments to the Firearms laws, it is the Opposition's imperative to therefore act to have these laws removed to end the pain, suffering, injustice, and hardship caused daily to our people when they are carted off to prison at least 2 weeks for no good reason. Therefore, in furtherance and fulfilment of its duty, the PUP will move in the National Assemble at the next sitting of the House or the Senate a motion for leave to introduce a bill for an act to amend the Firearms Act, and a motion for leave to introduce an Act to amend the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act."

SATIIM Says GOB Sympathetic Sunday Wood Inconsequential
Last night, we told you about the stand SATIIM and the Mayan Buffer Communities are taking on US Capital Energy – the oil company which is in their back yard. It's basically a wait and see approach until they go back to court for an injunction against the oil company next month. But while they are waiting and seeing, they say Government and US Capital are dividing and conquering – or trying to at least. As we've shown you, government has been active in the area – even holding a meeting in Sunday Wood attended by two ministers and top technocrats. Ch'oc commented on it yesterday: Gregory Ch'oc - Executive Director, SATIIM "Since Madam Justice Arana issued her ruling, there's been a flurry of activities, obviously sanctioned by the Government of Belize, US Capital Energy, whose aim is to undermine the Unity in the Maya Community, to pit one group against the other." Alfonso Cal - President, Toledo Alcalde Association "But as we notice today, like our community has been saying, there's been a lot things happening. There are people reaching out to them, sharing their ideas of the way other want the community to live."

The Other Side Of The Kevin Connor Killing
Last night we reported on the murder of 15 year old Kevin Connor – the teenage boy who was found in an area adjoining Jane Usher Boulevard - with two gunshot wounds to the face. There is no latest information on his murder but as we told you last night, Conner was a suspect for the recent murder of Patrick Bevans. Yesterday his family told us his death came as no surprise because he was a target in the streets. But in that interview, Connor's mother made some allegations that have left Bevans's in laws furious. Today they spoke with 7news. Voice of: Aggrieved Family Member "Why we call the media is that we aren't too happy. We aren't too pleased, and we aren't satisfied with Ms. Connor's against our sister. We sympathize with her, but you can't be accusing anybody if you aren't 100% sure. She made a comment on the news last night that the murder of Patrick Bevans is the reasons why they killed her son, and it's because of Patrick Bevan's common-law wife, who is my sister, she say was calling up her son's name, that it was him who killed Mr. Bevans. So, according to her, that's why they killed her son. We are here to tell her that that's not correct, for you to get on TV and say something like that is just wrong.

Apparent Shooting Was Not A Shooting
We have an important update to that apparent shooting we told you about at the top of the news. We say "apparent", because police sources are telling us that doctors at the KHMH as saying that they couldn't find any gunshot injury. We did observe blood on the street and a shot was definitely fired – confirmed by persons in the area and heard 400 feet away at our office. But, while a shot was surely heard, and the man was on the ground bleeding, seems he had a head injury from an assault, not from a gunshot. So we are very relieved to report that the victim, identified as security guard Levi Brown was not shot. He was injured, but is conscious, speaking and in good condition. As we told you, he was riding down Dean Street with a bunch of bags, and at the corner of Dean and East Canal, he was attacked by a gunman, who robbed him of the bags, and then when eh fell to the ground, searched him for money.

"Embarassed" Stephen Okeke Puts TV Ramos Sculpture Up For Sale
2 months ago, we told you about the controversial Stephen Okeke and his artistic project to create a monument for Thomas Vincent Ramos, the cultural icon and founder of Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize. Everything was going according to plan, but as with so many of his works, no one contracted him to create this monument – it's kind of a dead raise: he builds it, and hopes funders will appear. At the time of its launch we publicly speculated that it would go badly – and – though we hate to be right on this one – it has gone awry, one more Okeke project ending in sadness and madness. He told us that the TV Ramos monument was endorsed the Mayor of Dangriga Town to be placed in a public space there for the community to appreciate. But for the past few weeks, it's been sitting in front of his business place on the Northern Highway with a for sale sign. We stopped in and asked him about it, and here's what he said to say: Initially the monument was valued at $40,000, but he told us today that he'll accept all offers from persons interested in purchasing it.

That Heavenly Sound
Celebrated Gospel Singer Nicole Mullen came to Belize one year ago in April of 2013. She returned today for a concert next week Fridayat the Governor General's field in Belmopan. She told us she came early to hold workshops and spread the vibes of her new album, "Call on Jesus":…

Channel 5

Body of Santana man found in bushes behind his house
The body of fifty-seven year old Maurice Dennison Young was found on Tuesday evening; the last time he was seen alive was on Monday night when he told a friend [...]

No officer assigned to Maskall Police Station
While there hasn’t been a murder in Santana for decades, the death of Maurice Young has highlighted what residents call rising crime in other rural communities on the old northern [...]

More charges expected against the mastermind of an immigration scam
Additional charges are expected to be levied against Marleny Castellanos, the alleged master-mind behind an immigration scam involving residents of Caye Caulker and San Pedro. Castellanos is already facing sixteen [...]

ComPol tells COLA he won’t hand over the Penner files
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie will not hand over any evidence in the private action brought by COLA against Elvin Penner. He said so by letter to COLa President Giovannie [...]

MLA charges that DAVCO is dividing the indigenous community
The issue of oil exploration in the south is boiling over, but there is another hot-button matter which is the communities in the south are facing. As we reported on [...]

P.U.P. heading to the House seeking to change the firearms act
In February 2014 the People’s United Party wrote to the Government of Belize, submitting draft amendments to the Firearms Act and the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act. There has [...]

Robber hospitalized after he is shot by his accomplice
A minor is at the K.H.M.H.  recovering from injuries he received during a robbery on Tuesday. But all indications are that the minor, a Ladyville resident, was one of the [...]

UNIBAM speaks on termination of Head of CHART
The University of the West Indies on Tuesday terminated Professor Brendan Bain as Director of Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Programme. Bain offered witness testimony in the case of Caleb Orozco [...]

Religious activist reacts to the termination
But religious activist, Pastor Scott Stirm is strongly opposed to Bain’s termination. Stirm claims that Orozco started the campaign to get rid of the professor from CHART.   Via Phone: [...]

SATIIM rejects G.O.B.’s oil agenda in the south
During a press conference held on Tuesday in the Toledo District, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, as well as the claimant communities who have been party to the [...]

Crooked Tree Fisherman claims he is wrongfully detained
Crooked Tree Fisherman, Kenneth Bruce, was charged on Tuesday for being armed with an offensive weapon. He was offered police bail and today when he appeared before the courts to [...]

The proposed establishment of a logistical terminal near the Port of Belize
A private company is proposing the establishment of a logistical terminal near the Port of Belize. The idea was pitched to both public and private sector agencies during a two-day [...]

Port project seeks partnership of both private and public sector
Once the project comes into fruition, it will be divided into two basic components.  According to Vasquez, there will be an ownership aspect, as well as an operational one in [...]

Toledo ITVET wants its manager removed
Since the beginning of the week, tension has been building up at the Toledo Institute of Technical and Vocational Education Training. On Monday, a group of seven instructors of the [...]


Cane Farmers Fear They Will Not Deliver Their Quota Due To Inclement Weather Conditions
Concern is growing as the rains have begun and there is still a large quantity of sugar cane left in the fields. The close of this year’s crop is fast approaching but may be fast tracked if the weather does not hold up. Farmers are now fearing that a significant amount if not all of their crop will remain in the fields. This then translates to big losses. As all stakeholders keep a close eye on the weather and only hope for the best, we took a field trip yesterday to see firsthand what farmers have started facing as the rains begin. Maria Novelo – Reporting Ellis Cal – Cane Farmer “Las entregas cañaverales ya se están quedando atoradas pues estos días han caído unas aguas y ya se está quedando saturadas y si sigue las lluvias no vamos entregar cana. Ahorita la caña ya estaba en su máxima contenido de la sacarosa y la edad ya tiene más del ano y el contenido de la sacarosa estaba en su peak y ahora que vienen las lluvias se van a ir para abajo y que esa misma sacarosa que tiene la barra de cana ya no rinde la sacarosa de la caña.”

Two Men Charged For Attempt Robbery Of A Taximan
Sadly, stories of taxi men suffering abuse and violence in the course of their daily and nightly work continued to be reported on an all-too-frequent basis throughout last year. As we reflect back on 2013, no issue could be more chilling than the tragic case of murdered Orange Walk taxi driver, 42 year Hugo Moreno who was found stuffed inside his vehicle trunk of his car which had been set on fire. And today, another incident involving a well-known taxi driver has gripped the taxi association but luckily he managed to get away unscathed. Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Selvin Tillett, says the incident occurred around 11:00am today in the outskirts of Carmelita Village. Selvin Tillett – Deputy commanding OW Police “A male creole person approach you and ask what is price to charter a taxi from here to Belize City and he quoted of 150 and apparently the man said ok I want a round trip so that is going to be three hundred dollars according to Mr. Oliva he went to his house to get money to put fuel and oil in his vehicle stop at come and go gas station and on its way out of Carmelita by the curve the male person approached him and asked him to urine. It was two persons in the taxi and he stopped and coming back he approached Mr. Oliva right on his face and they started to fight and he was able to grab his bunch of keys closed the vehicle door and run towards Carmelita village where he got assistance and called police and the quick response of the police lead to the detention of two male persons from Carmelita village and one of them found in the car and the other nearby and so they have been detained and charged for the crime committed attempt robbery.”

Escalating Sex Crime Involves Minors
Reports of Carnal Knowledge, rape and indecent act are made across the country of Belize almost on a daily basis. The situation has raised concern especially in the Department of Human Services but at the end has left more questions than answers as to why there is an increase in cases. What makes matters worse is that some of the cases the victims have ended up with child as a consequence of the abuse. In Corozal alone, a total of 10 cases of carnal knowledge were reported in 2013. At the beginning of this year, the case of 14 year old minor was exposed. She told police that on the 10th of November 2013 she went to the house of a man whom she knows and had sexual intercourse with him and as a result she became pregnant. As mentioned at the top of the story, there are great concerns of the rapid sex crime and the Corozal District is not extinct. Daniel Arzu – Acting. OC “It is first and foremost almost indicate that it is of concern too as the acting commander at this time we have been looking at the statistic regarding the sex crime and indeed it is escalating and we have seen that minors are the victims in these cases as a matter of fact for this month itself we have recorded two sex crime that in itself involves minors, we have arrested two persons, the files itself of the investigation has been submitted with information to the Director of Public Prosecution for the guidance and we are carefully dealing with those cases and we are hoping that we have the requisite evidence and put everything in place that when we proceed to trial that the outcome would favourable but I must say that we are very hard at it, we investigate carefully, we ensure that we do what is right in order to secure conviction later on so that is where we are but to say that the sex crime is occurring I would tell you yes and it is escalating and we are hoping to engage in some form of intervention; programs, educational programs from our legal stand point or our management level to ensure that the community is kept safe.”

Missionaries Building Relationships With Local Students
There have been many missionaries visiting Belize over the last years. Each has had their own objectives and unique experiences. Today we tell you about yet another visiting group who has been sharing memorable moments with student at Bishop Martin High School. They are members of the University of California in Berkley who are spending some quality time with the students. Vice Principal Luisa Gillett tells us about their experience over the last three days. Luisa Gillett – Vice Principal “On their first day the students’ that are part of this mission team met with our students to talk about faith testimony, they talked about requirements to attend their University which is one of the top Universities in the US yesterday we met with the teachers to do a spiritual development and today we are working together as a school community with the mission team in carrying out many schools improvement projects.” Dalila ical – Reporter “How has the interaction been going with the visitors and the school population, the students?” Luisa Gillett – Vice Principal “It’s been going great especially with the different talks where they met with the students and the students have a lot of questions and they opened their eyes to what Universities out there are looking for that it is not only academic but it has to do with a lot of attitude, it has to do a lot with personality and one of the most important things they highlighted to our students is that aspect of giving back to your community that they want to start linkages with our school in the hope that when they receive that education they will come back to Belize and contribute to their country.”

NDACC Conducts Youth Tobacco Survey
The National Drug Abuse Control Council is in its last stages of conducting a Youth Tobacco Survey in Belize. The assessment is primarily targeted at high school youths and in Orange Walk it is no different. They are given a questionnaire where their response varies from student to student and is being spearheaded by PAHO and the Ministry of Health through NDACC. Eldred Neal, District Coordinator for the National Drug Abuse Control Council in Orange Walk, says the survey coincides with World No Tobacco Day scheduled for end of May. Eldred Neal – District Coordinator, NDACC “Parted on Monday and it will run all through the end of the week some 41 school country wide has been selected through a scientific data program and in Orange Walk seven schools particularly ranging from standard six classes to third form classes, we have had four selection of primary schools and three selections of secondary schools and the age group that were selected was 12 year old through 16 and we are looking at prevalence but more so we are looking at policies that exist in the schools.

Corozal Police Department Receives Much Needed Resource
On May 15th, some 38 much needed new vehicles valued at approximately 2.3 million dollars were handed over to the Belize Police Department by Ms. Margaret D. Hawthorne, Charge d' Affairs, from the U.S Embassy. The fully equipped vehicles were handed over at a brief ceremony at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan. Out of the 38 new vehicles, the Corozal Police Department received their fair share to fight crime in the upmost northern part of the country. Daniel Arzu – Acting OC “I will say on behalf of the police formation and in extension the Commissioner of Police and the government of Belize that we are extremely grateful for the US government to have afforded us with those much needed resources, our formation was given to 154 pickup and those vehicle one will be utilized by the community policing unit which is one of the strongest arm of the within our department, the community policing and the other is going to be utilized by the crime investigation branch to be more efficient in the crime fighting efforts , investigative ability.”


Backlash Over Firing of Professor Bain from UWI
Social media is still all abuzz about the firing of Jamaican Professor Brendan as the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative. UNIBAM and 32 other homosexual advocacy groups demanded Bain’s termination from that post because of his expert testimony in the Caleb Orozco vs Government of...

17 Year Old Boy Shot to the Chest
A 17 year old was shot to the chest yesterday in Ladyville allegedly during a botched robbery.Police say early yesterday morning, they visited a home in Ladyville Village where they observed a 17-year-old male with one apparent gunshot wound to the left side of his chest. Initial Investigation reveals...

Teachers Accused of Having Affairs with Students
Reports coming in to Plus News are that there have been allegations of two teachers from the Baptist High School in Belmopan who have been accused of having affairs with female students. Information is still sketchy at this time, but reliable sources tell us that one of those teachers...

Gun Law Reform Revision Still on Hold
Earlier this year the Government of Belize indicated interest in revising the gun laws after a series of controversies, including the release of public officer Reynaldo Verde from a mooted firearm charge and the release of Police Corporal Gino Peck after a little-used section of the law was implemented....

Keyon Cleland Sentenced to Five Years Behind Bars
This afternoon, 33 year old Keion Cleland of North Creek Road began a five-year stretch in the Central Prison after pleading guilty to firearms and drug charges. Cleland will serve three concurrent five-year terms for possession of a firearm without a gun license, possession of ammunition without a gun...

Seven Charged for Illegally Obtained Certificates
The ring of illegal nationality and identification documents uncovered on the island of Caye Caulker has widened as today seven more persons went to court charged with using certificates they were not entitled to use. The seven are 24 year old Salvadoran Freddy Lobos, Salvadoran Juan Castellanos, Honduran 26...

San Ignacio Businessman Faces yet Another Charge for Sexual Crimes
Aaron Juan, the owner of Maya Walk Tours in San Ignacio, Cayo was arrested and charged yesterday with carnal knowledge. However this is not the first time Juan has been arraigned for an act of this nature. In 2005, it was alleged that Aaron Juan, raped two British female...

Two Charged for Shooting of 17 Year old San Pedro Girl
San Pedro police have arrested and charged two persons for the attempted murder of a 17 year old girl which occurred on Saturday. That was the shooting of 17-year-old Irma Mejia, who was shot to the right side of her abdomen, jaw and thumb. Police say that Irma Mejia...

Maya United for Cause According to SATIIM and TAA
The Machaca Outreach Center outside of Punta Gorda Town played host to the Maya communities’ latest rally for their cause to stop US Capital Energy from exploring for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National park. The Mayan communities have been extensively discussing among themselves but say their resolve has...

The Struggles Over Taxi Cooperatives
The City of Belmopan will see its first Taxi Cooperative in the coming months. It’s members are those taxi operators who are already in the official list of the 31 designated to park at the Belmopan Bus Terminal. According to Kevin Jones, Belmopan Traffic Manager, Ever since traffic management...

Taxi Man Defies City Council; Parks at Bus Terminal
Every so often there is some squabble at the Belmopan bus terminal regarding taxi operators and their parking spots. The latest problem has arisen because taxi operators not designated to the terminal feel they are being unnecessarily removed from the parking lot. Emanuel Pech has the story: Emanuel Pech-...

Teenager Murdered in Belize City
Police are investigating the murder of 15 year old Kevin Shaquille Connor which occurred last night in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. According to police a mobile patrol unit found his body sometime around 10:50 p.m. Monday, with gunshot wounds to the left temple and left cheek. Connor was in...

Belize City Man Drowns on his Birthday
24-year-old Keron Michael Jeffords drowned on his birthday. The incident happened on Sunday afternoon at Hendy’s Farm in Isabella Bank Village in the Belize District. Police say that sometime around 3 o’clock on Sunday afternoon, 24-year-old Keron Michael Jeffords of Raccoon Street Extension Belize City arrived at Mr. Hendy’s...

Home Burns in Belize City
There was a fire in Belize City yesterday. The home, located at the corner of Lawrence and Jones Avenue, was totally engulfed in flames. According to police reports, Michael Belisle reported that he left his house at about 7:25a.m. on the same day and about 6 hours later he...

Another Dangriga Fire Destroys Malibu Beach Restaurant
There was also another fire in Punta Gorda last night; the second in two weeks. The owners of the establishment say it was arson. Our Dangriga Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story Correspondent Harry Arzu- Another building was completely destroyed by fire last night in this municipality. This is the...

Professor Fired; Professional Opinion didn’t Line up with UNIBAM’s Agenda
Jamaican Professor Brendan Bain has been fired from his job as the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative. UNIBAM and 32 other homosexual advocacy groups demanded Bain’s termination from that post because of his expert testimony in the Caleb Orozco vs Government of Belize case over...

Second Trial for Murder, but Arturo Eck Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter
A man who was being tried for a second time on murder chose to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the Orange Walk session of the Supreme Court. Arturo Ek was accused and charged for the murder of his uncle, Eugenio Tzul, which occurred in November...

Two Men Acquitted of Murder in the South
Two men, believed to be Guatemalans, are tonight free from the charge of murder. They are Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez. They were both accused of the March 24, 2014 murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred in Cowpen Village, Stann Creek District, Belize. Duarte was shot and...

Taiwan Donates $10 million to Belize
Belize gets a hefty grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan). Yesterday in the Capital City of Belmopan the Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize His Excellency David C. K. Wu, presented a check of US$5 million to Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister, Minister of Finance...

Harvest for Kids Receives Corporate Support; Needs Yours
Harvest for Kids is a unique program that takes Belize City Children and place them in planting fields in rural areas; all to foster a love for agriculture in children who may otherwise not have such an experience. The last harvest the participants did was 20 acres of corn...

Mental health workers train to support job seekers
It’s difficult enough to get a job these days, but if you have physical and especially mental disabilities, it can be even tougher. Persons who have succumbed to depression or suicidal thoughts, or those with more straightforward disorders including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and others may be discarded despite...

Belize Dry Cleaners Employees Receive Training
It’s the only business of its kind in Belize but Belize Dry Cleaners never takes a day off when it comes to the business of making Belizeans look their best. This week, employees of the dry cleaning, washing and rental company were trained by a representative of the U.S. National Cleaners Association (NCA) –...

Fund Raising Banquet for Belize Cancer Patients
Just this past weekend we saw a cancer awareness initiative to raise funds for cancer patients in Belize. Well this coming weekend another such initiative takes place this coming weekend. Mary A. Usher Swales, of Belize Chemotherapy Organization of New York, Inc, came to Belize on the latter part...

Patrick Jones

PUP to introduce amendment bills on firearms
Earlier this year the Government of Belize indicated interest in revising the gun laws after a series of controversies, including the release of public officer Reynaldo Verde from a mooted firearm charge and the release of Police Corporal Gino Peck after a little-used section of the law was implemented. But planned consultations have not taken place and the People’s United Party (PUP) proposed amendments have not been responded to. Today the party said it would initiate debate at the next session of the National Assembly by invoking its powers to present bills of its own. An official statement from the party states that twice, on February 12 and again on March 19, Minister of National Security John Saldivar was written to with regard to the promised review process.

Man pleads guilty to possession of firearm and drugs
Even as the People’s United Party was decrying the injustice of firearms laws in the country, there was an example on display at the Magistrate’s Court. 33 year old Keion Cleland pleaded guilty to possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and drug trafficking after police searched his home on North Creek Road around 4:30 a.m. today. Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit, having obtained a search warrant, retrieved a 9mm pistol and extended magazine along with 12 grams of cannabis. However, they charged him and the other occupants – 42 year old school warden Daphne Grant and a 13 year old minor with the upgraded charge of drug trafficking because the drug was found near a school, Wesley Upper. The trio appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and Cleland chose to plead guilty to the charges, prompting prosecutors to drop the remainder.

Seven charged for illegally obtained certificates
The ring of illegal nationality and identification documents uncovered on the island of Caye Caulker has widened as today seven more persons went to court charged with using certificates they were not entitled to use. The seven are 24 year old Salvadoran Freddy Lobos, Salvadoran Juan Castellanos, Honduran 26 year old Jenny Castellanos Arita and Guatemalans Juana Lopez, 25; Rudy Juarez Reyes, 20; Luis Ramirez, 28; and Mario Reymundo. All pleaded guilty to two counts related to illegal usage of Belizean birth and nationality certificates except for Juana Lopez, who was charged with one count for a nationality certificate. They had turned themselves in to authorities in Caye Caulker. Magistrate Dale Cayetano assessed fines of $1,000 each on all counts, a total of 13, in default six months imprisonment on each count except for Lopez who would serve three months.


Belize’s Chaa Creek receives thumbs up for Excellence
Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek was recently honoured with a Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor, the world’s largest travel site, according to the popular Belizean eco-resort’s owners. “It’s very gratifying to be acknowledged by such a respected travel authority as Trip Advisor, and is something the entire Chaa Creek family takes pride in. The fact that Trip Advisor’s awards are based on customer reviews makes this distinction that much more valuable to us,” co-founding owner and GM Lucy Fleming said. In announcing the award, Trip Advisor wrote, “The accolade, which honours hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveller reviews on TripAdvisor. “When selecting Certificate of Excellence winners, TripAdvisor uses a proprietary algorithm to determine the honorees that takes into account reviews ratings,” the announcement continued.

Chili Cheese Dip
This is an easy dip to throw together for your next party. You can also use to make sloppy Joes or as a topping for chili dogs. This is spicy, but you can tone down the heat by choosing milder peppers and a mild salsa.

Southern Belize Caves For The Adventure Seeker
Belize country is not only for relaxed touring and idyllic Belize beach vacations; it is also a perfect destination for adventure lovers. Their numerous caves offer a great hiking experience that will reward you with stunning sights and wildlife in the end. Here are Belize’s most popular caves. Hokeb Ha Cave One of the most impressive natural sites in Toledo is the Hoken Ha Cave in Blue Creek. The cave is a 20-minute hike from the village. Hike a well-marked path along het creek, until a clearing appears. Pass through the research station in the clearing finding the wide trail on the other side. In a few minutes, a 10-foot waterfall and the main cave entrance appears. Long vines hang from the sheer rock wall above the cave mouth. The huge cave entrance is carved from the summit of a hill where the Blue Creek gurgles up from underground. The creek runs out the entrance of the cave, cascading over limestone boulders. Archeologists have found many Late Classic ceramics and an altar inside the cave, leading them to theorize that the Hokeb Ha Cave was specifically used for ceremonial purposes.

International Sources

Christian Professor hounded for support of Belize anti-sodomy law
A university professor is being hounded by Caribbean homosexual advocacy groups for speaking in support of the Belize anti-sodomy law. Thirty-three ‘gay’ advocacy and civil rights groups want the University of the West Indies (UWI) to fire Professor Brendan Bain from his position as head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative, claiming his expert testimony in Belize represents a conflict of interest. They say his testimony in the case brought by one Caleb Orozco in an attempt to overturn Belize’s anti-sodomy law has ‘destroyed their trust in him’. The sub-text is that they all want Jamaica, Belize and other Caribbean Commonwealth members to legalise sodomy. In his testimony, Professor Bain said that the risk of contracting HIV is significantly higher among men who have sex with men (MSM). He said this was true for Belize, as well as other countries, including those that have repealed the law that criminalises ‘anal sex’.

Mayan glory days at Xunantunich ruins
It's not as famous as Mexico's Chichen Itza. It's not as tall as Guatemala's Tikal. But in western Belize, the Xunantunich Mayan ruins will make your jaw drop. And maybe your palms sweat. Pronounced shoe-NAN-to-nitch (or as some American tourists mangle it, Tuna Sandwich) its name means "stone maiden." The dominant structure, El Castillo, is notable not only for its elegant friezes of hieroglyphs depicting rulers and gods, but for the fact that visitors can still climb to the top of the 40-metre temple, if they dare. Unlike Mexico's Chichen Itza, which was closed to climbers in 2006 after a woman fell to her death, Xunantunich's climb is done in bits and pieces, with plenty of flat places to stop - and even a handrail staircase for the final descent. Still, it's not for everyone. "I'm afraid of heights," one tour guide confessed as he stood in the shade on a plaza halfway up, watching the rest of his group ascend to the very top. "The view is still good from here."

Third generation military member joined for his family, stays for himself
“Proud would be an understatement,” the Airman said about how his family felt about him joining the military. “It was the first time I’d ever seen my step-dad tear up.” He said he felt a little pushed into the military since his grandfather was Air Force, his father was a Marine and his step-father was Navy. But, ultimately it was his decision and he embraced it. That was three years ago. Senior Airman Bryan Smith, a structures engineer with the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Las Vegas, said that he chose the structures career field because he liked being outside, liked carpentry and was interested in making it a hobby. So far, the work aspect of structures is going really well, but the hobby portion needs a little more time to develop. “I tried to make a miniature grandfather clock, which turned into a case to shove all my golf balls in,” he quipped. Joking aside, Smith works hard.

Peterborough's own Indiana Jones receives lifetime achievement award
Dr. Paul Healy is the foremost expert in Maya culture and has made countless discoveries in Central America. Of all the significant discoveries Dr. Paul Healy has unearthed, there is one that stands out in his mind. The archaeologist was on a dig at a Maya site in Belize in the late 1980s. It was there his team found a large, eight-foot limestone monument. Carved onto its surface was an image of a Mayan king, seated with a huge headdress adorning his head. Around it was carved in text the story of the king. The monument was dated to 450 AD. This piece is just one of many Dr. Healy, a Trent University professor, has found while working in the field during his 40-year career. He is considered the foremost expert on the Maya culture and recently received the Lifetime Achievement Award from his peers at the Maya the Lago Conference in North Carolina in April. He joins the ranks of two other Maya archeologists who have received the distinguished award, one a Yale professor and the other an archeologist working for National Geographic.

Just 2 percent of Latin Americans are rated as having free media
Independent journalism in the Americas is backsliding again, Freedom House says. According to Freedom House, last year just four of this region’s nations — Belize, Costa Rica, Guyana and Uruguay — had “free” media. Even with democracy often fragile here, the idea that just 2 percent of the Latin America's population — the share found in those four countries — can access independent local journalism seems shockingly puny. Arguably, that figure doesn’t reflect the vibrancy of the commercial media in much of the Americas, or journalists’ willingness to criticize authorities — including sometimes without getting the facts straight. Meanwhile, Freedom House rated Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela “not free.” The rest, including Argentina, Brazil and Colombia, fell into the broad 'tweener category of “partly free.”

Towards new development in the Caribbean
WITH the untimely passing of Norman Girvan, the last Caribbean political economist of the earlier critical tradition, a major gap in radical ideas needs to be filled. These ideas must come from a new generation of researchers willing to take the lead, and who have the practical problems of the region at the heart of their concerns, drawing on Girvan’s and others’ very rich insights. Indeed, the history of the English-speaking Caribbean has been punctuated by several important opportunities for learning and transformation. One of these most recent experiences should indeed have been the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), yet to be fully implemented in some jurisdictions. The end of preferential access to European markets had several precursors for which it seemed Caribbean policymakers, institutions and the private sector were ill-prepared.

A new report from Gallup shows that nine out of the top 10 countries with the highest percentages of residents experiencing positive emotions are located in Latin America. Paraguay came in No. 1, followed by Panama, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia. Denmark was the only country in the top 10 not located in Latin America. Experiencing positive emotions was defined as smiling or laughing, experiencing enjoyment, being treated with respect, feeling well-rested, and learning or doing something interesting in the previous day. Survey data from about 1,000 residents in each of 138 countries was used for the report.

Colorado man brings botflies back from Belize
Most travelers bring a bottle of One Barrel Rum back from their vacation to Belize, or perhaps some Marie Sharp’s Hot Sauce. Aaron Dallas picked up an infestation of botfly worms under his scalp. As reported in the “weird” news section of a UK newspaper (”Man surprised by face bug infestation“), Dallas first thought the bleeding bumps in his head might have been gnat bites. “A specialist thought it was shingles, though both doctors held out the possibility that it was something far more disturbing. Then the bumps started moving…” Botflies are “large, stout bodied, hairy flies that resemble bumblebees,” whose eggs are sometimes deposited under mammalian skin by mosquitoes. Botflies are usually nothing more than an urban legend among Belize tourists, i.e. everyone knows someone who knows someone who’s been infested, but I’ve never seen one in all my years of traveling to Belize. It usually takes going pretty deep into the jungle to get so lucky. I wonder where Mr. Dallas picked up his hitchhikers—perhaps in the Cockscomb Jaguar Preserve?


Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 1, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 2, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Bus Ride Part 3, 18min.
Tour Guides giving history of Belize.

Video: Belize Trip 2014, 12min.
Family Trip to Belize - May, 2014

Video: Mexico and Belize 2014, 10min.
Our Spring trip to Mexico and Belize

Video: Garifuna drum session in Hopkins, Belize, 5min.

Video: Barrier Reef belize eels, sharks, rays and more., 8min.
Reef filled with all sorts of sea life!

Video: Madonna - The Beautiful Island - Subtitles English, 4min.
"La Isla Bonita" (English: The Beautiful Island) is a song by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released as the fifth and final single from her third studio album, True Blue, on February 25, 1987, by Sire Records. The instrumental version of the song was first offered to Michael Jackson before Madonna both accepted it and wrote the lyrics and melody. "La Isla Bonita" is noted for being the first Madonna song to have a Latino influence in it, with arrangements of Cuban drums and Spanish guitar, maracas, harmonicas and a mix of synthesized and real drumming. The lyrics of the song tell about a beautiful island and was a tribute to the beauty of the Latin people according to Madonna. "La Isla Bonita" was written by Patrick Leonard and Bruce Gaitsch. The song was previously written as a lament for the mythical city of San Pedro in the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize and was offered to Michael Jackson for his Bad album, who, according to Gaitsch, turned it down.

May 21, 2014


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

San Pedro Cancer Society receives donation secured by Elvi’s Kitchen
The San Pedro Cancer Society, in collaboration with Staines Enterprises LTD and Elvi’s Kitchen would like to inform its supporters and customers (respectively) that the first handing over of much needed funds to the society was carried out today. At our last banquet, Elvi’s Kitchen made the great commitment of asking their customers for a minimum of one dollar in Belizean currency. It is with the most heartfelt gratitude that the San Pedro Cancer Society boasts of the first contribution for the month of April, 2014 to mid-May 2014, which allocated to $1366BZ. This first contribution will greatly assist us in furthering the goals of our cancer society and its patients. Cancer has devastated many of our friends and relatives in this small island community, it is so good to know that we have many of these same people fighting back and helping us eradicate cancer. We are glad that Elvi’s Kitchen has become a second home to our group. Thank you Elvi’s! Thank you San Pedro!

Belize observes IDAHOT 2014
On the 17th of May 2014, Belize’s LGBT community celebrated The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) along with the rest of the world. More than one hundred and fifty LGBT individuals and their allies gathered at the House of Culture in Belize City, including Chargé d’Affaires Margaret Hawthorne from the USA embassy and Deputy British High Commissioner, Grace Chun. The event opened with prayers, offered by Rev. Karen Turner, who deputised for Bishop Phillip Wright, in remembrance of those who have been lost in the struggle, either as the victims of violence perpetrated because of their gender or sexual orientation or because of stigma and ignorance of HIV/AIDS.

Ambergris Today

Elvi’s Kitchen & Staines Enterprises Ltd Donate to SP Cancer Society
The San Pedro Cancer Society has received a generous donation from Elvi’s Kitchen and Staines Enterprises Ltd. The San Pedro Cancer Society held its last banquet at Elvi’s Kitchen who in return made a commitment of asking their customers for a minimum of one dollar Belize donation. Chef Jennie Staines and Mrs. Elvia Staines presented to Miguel Perez, Chairman of the San Pedro Cancer Society a check of $1,366.00 on Monday, May 19, 2014. The San Pedro Cancer Society is very grateful to the community and supporters of the Cancer Society and of Elvi’s Kitchen. The monies will be put to great use to assist cancer patients. Kudos to Elvi’s Kitchen and Staines Enterprised for their kind contribution to this hard working group – The San Pedro Cancer Society.

Island Residents Urged to Join Community Policing to Fight Crime
It is very sad to report that crime is still a problem in our lovely island of Ambergris Caye. Criminal violence is escalating right before our eyes and it’s a challenge with the high availability of drugs and firearms out on the streets. The police are doing what they can but if we want to get back our island for it to be the safe haven it once was then we have to work as a community and help the police and help each other to getting back a safe San Pedro. For the Footprint for Peace Anti-Crime Rally the consensus of the people was: "We want to save San Pedro and bring back peace and safety. As long as the guns keep making noise, we will also make more noise until the authorities listen to our cries. We want guns removed from our community.” It is with this in mind that Retired Police Superintendent, Rudolph Orio, held a meeting on community policing in San Pedro on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Fido’s Courtyard.

Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 3
Remember the first article in this series of brave seamen? Well, when Don Francisco “Fashico” Arceo challenged the law officials on their motor boat with his sailing boat and beat them with experience, Ramon “Moncho” Nuñez was on board with Fashico. (Read in our archives) Ramon started working in the sea with his brothers Polo and Wally (R.I.P.). He became a seine expert and all of this took him to Corozal Town where they sold their produce. Even here these men defied the forces of nature travelling in pitch black nights with a sail and avoiding the shoals and rocky spots

Misc Belizean Sources

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia Event at Government House
On the 17th of May 2014, Belize’s LGBT community celebrated The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) along with the rest of the world. More than one hundred and fifty LGBT individuals and their allies gathered at the House of Culture in Belize City, including Chargé d'Affaires Margaret Hawthorne from the USA embassy and Deputy British High Commissioner, Grace Chun . The event opened with prayers, offered by Rev. Karen Turner, who deputised for Bishop Phillip Wright, in remembrance of those who have been lost in the struggle, either as the victims of violence perpetrated because of their gender or sexual orientation or because of stigma and ignorance of HIV/AIDS. Opening the event was a deeply heartfelt video message of support from Kim Simplis, Special Envoy for Women and Children, who, for the second year running has made her views clear about the need to embrace kindness and end bullying and discrimination against the LGBT community in Belize.

Belize Bird Rescue Fundraiser
Our 10th Anniversary Fundraiser is this week Friday at the British High Commission Clubhouse in Belmopan. Advanced ticket sales only, $30 per ticket, from myself or from Corkers Restaurant. Hope some of you can make it! We are also offering one of our most generous donations for auction outside of the fundraiser: it's a 3 night stay for 2 persons in the beautiful tree-houses at Caves Branch, including all meals, tours and 2 trips. It's worth $3000Z!!! Anyone wanting to make a bid, send it to [email protected]

Typical Large Area Weather for Belize
This is a good example of our typical Weather pasterns, particularly at this time of the year. Low level air moves around the North Atlantic in a clockwise direction. . . .Which becomes the Easterly Caribbean wind we usually see at surface level. The higher level air also moves from Africa, along the Equator from the East. . .. But every now and then, it swells up in ITCZ activity Pink areas .. From those, in the Pacific, often just off Panama but also from the Central Pacific. . . .

Belize Celebrates the Noble Cashew
Crooked Tree Village’s annual Cashew festival and Agricultural Show, which took place last weekend (May 16 – 19) reminded us of the long and fruitful (OK, pun intended) relationship between Belize and the cashew. The festival celebrates all things cashew, and featured products such as that delightful cashew wine, as well as cakes, pies, pastries, syrups, vinegar and all sorts of other spinoffs. Belizeans have enjoyed the cashew in its many forms for generations, and probably nowhere as much as Crooked Tree, where the industry is at the heart of the local economy. For those of you who think cashews come in tins or jars, salted as an accompaniment to beer and television viewing, the sight of a cashew tree, Anacardium occidentale, in full bloom would be a revelation, as would the sight of the single curved nut at the bottom of the cashew fruit. Although the nuts are justly valued, it is the fruit that produces the many products such as jams and wine.

The Benque House of Culture is celebrating International Museum Day
The Benque House of Culture is celebrating International Museum Day in style. The 'Golden Treasures of the Past' display will feature a collection of antiques while the 'Cheil Mayan Chocolate' display is all about chocolate, and you can taste Belize chocolate while learning the importance of it in Mayan culture. They'll also have Stone Tree Records there, so be prepared for some great entertainment. The festivities start at 9:00am. "Internation Museum Day at the Benque House of Culture (NICH) featuring the Chocolate Story & indigenous process & tasting with an antique collection " Treasures of the past" highlighting items of cultural value to Benque Viejo. Guest organization will be sharing vital information for an day of cultural learning and interaction."

What is ConnectAmericas?
ConnectAmericas is a platform sponsored by the IDB that will offer SMEs from Latin America and the Caribbean an online ecosystem where they will be able to establish business links with potential clients, suppliers and investors from the rest of the region and the world; access relevant information and training tools ...

Typical Tropical Cyclone Origins and Track By Month
Depending on the time of year, tropical storms and hurricanes develop in different areas of the tropical North Atlantic. In the Atlantic Basin (the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea), hurricane season reaches its peak between mid-August and October.

Electrician from America’s Heartland builds schools in Belize
He grew up in the small town in America’s Heartland, graduated high school and then decided to join the Air Force to “serve his country.” Fast-forward to five years later and he’s on a U.S. Southern Command deployment building a preschool for local children. U.S. Staff Sgt. Kyle Rankin, a native of McCook, Nebraska, is deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in support of a New Horizons mission in Belize. His mother, Opal Feeney, Maxwell, Nebraska, and his father, Dean Rankin, Wichita, Kansas, couldn’t be prouder of their son. “I was pretty much the first member of my family to enlist in the military,” he said. “My parents are very supportive and think that I made a great decision in joining.” Rankin is now on his second deployment, operating as the lead electrician on the Hattieville Government School construction site.

First Lady Of Belize Outraged Over Antigay Violence, Fails To Mention Belize’s Antigay Laws
First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis made headlines by coming out strongly against violence targeted at LGBT people. Speaking via video message at an event at the House of Culture in honor of International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, she offered a moral argument for the safety and protection of all citizens. Except she doesn’t exactly mention that fact that gay sex is currently punishable by ten years in prison in Belize. Standing with an oppressed minority is great and all, but perhaps she could use her passion and influence to gain the ear of the president on changing the country’s laws. Since, you know, he’s her husband and all.

Welfare Poli-tricks
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez Louis Wade’s ‘Two legged Stool’ still has me thinking I went back into my writings and re-read what Sabino and I were discussing I found some things quite interesting That in the following lines I will be sharing If Belizeans are to truly win There is an issue that is a fundamental thing that they should be advocating The prime minister must not be in charge of financing If we think it through as it stands it’s conflicting It sets him up as king and undermines the entire system The George Price era was welfare poli-tricks It was done in the United States If you look at the parallel in the 50s When they work toward the blacks to become citizens Their plan was to re-enslave them by creating a system of dependency They gave them handouts - welfare That is what was promulgated, shipped out to Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad in the 60s

Tapir Day and Fuego’s Fabulous First
The Belize Zoo had a big celebration for Tapir Day, and they celebrated Fuego's first birthday at the event. They wrote an article about the celebration. "National Tapir Day has truly become the greatest event on the Zoo’s calendar. Every April the Zoo crew is in a high energy state preparing to host students, teachers and special friends from different parts of Belize to celebrate our beloved national animal, the 'Mountain Cow.' April 27th is officially Tapir Day worldwide, and, even though festivities were a little late at the Zoo this year, the excitement and fun was greater than ever!"

May 11 - May 17 2014 Fishing Report
Coming home to familiar faces we’ve seen here at El Pescador is a special treat. Really fun to see Barry and Mark, Bill and Julie and all the incredible staff here at El Pescador. Steve and Chris had an amazing time in Holland and shared pictures of them surrounded in tulips! I returned from weeks of chasing steelhead in the Pacific Northwest and felt pretty lucky as I felt the warm saltwater on my bare feet walking to work. No wool here! Our anglers had a tough week of weather. It’s very rare that we would get a cold front from the north this time of year, but it happened. The fish didn’t like it and became scarce. Everyone gets the “good sport” award for heading out on dark days trying to make something happen. And as I write this, it’s a picture perfect morning. Flat seas and sun. While I wish everyone could experience perfect days all the time, it’s not going to happen. Fishing required showing up prepared. It’s what you do with the conditions that makes the memories. It’s great to back home in Belize.

Channel 7

15 Year Old Murdered; Mother's Second Son Lost
Tonight, Police from Precinct 2 in Belize City are investigating the murder of a 15 year-old boy from East Collet Canal. And while his age indicates he was only a boy, Kevin Connor was caught up in a world of violence and retribution far beyond his years. You see, the teenager was a suspect for the recent murder of Patrick Bevans - he was interviewed by police about the killing, and he was a target in the streets. And so late last night when his body was found in an area adjoining Jane Usher Boulevard - which was Bevans's turf - it was the very tragic fulfillment of a death, which to some extent had been foretold. Today, through tears, his mother - who had already lost a son to violence told Daniel Ortiz how she tried to get her young son out of harm's way:... Daniel Ortiz reporting This is the vast expanse of the Port Free Zone, relatively untouched, and mostly neglected after the development prospect which failed here. It's an ideal spot for a body dump or an execution, and that's what police think happened in the case of 15 year-old Kevin Connor. He was found last night at 10 minutes to 11 with a gunshot to left temple and 1 to the left cheek. Not much else is known at this time about his murder, other than its effect on his family who grieve the loss of this minor and his terrible end:

Police Say Patrols Were Active In Area
And while that's the family's theory about how and why he met his end, police investigators from Precinct 2 are following all leads. The spot where Connor's body was discovered is quite secluded, but because of the spike in crime in that general area, patrols were out last night - which is what led police to find the body so quickly. Here's what the lead CIB officer from Precinct 2 told us: Sgt. Novelo, Investigator CIB - Precinct 2 "Monday the 19th May, 2014 around 10:50pm police visited an area in the Port of Belize that would be the proposed free zone in the Port of Belize where they saw a male person identified as Kevin Conner. He is of 15 years old, he was seen with apparent gunshot to the left temple and left cheek. One expended .38 expended shell was found a there and one .38 live round. What I can tell you so far that it appears that an ongoing rivalry within the Jane Usher Boulevard area." Mike Rudon, reporter ch5 "Could you tell us how you all discover that body because that's way to the back of nowhere? How did the police get to find the body?" Sgt. Novelo, Investigator CIB - Precinct 2 "Police are doing routine patrols in the entire Jane Usher Boulevard area and as a result they found the body there. The indication is that he was killed right on the spot that he was found."

SATIIM Says It Will Abide With Court Process Only So Long
Three weeks ago - US Capital Energy rolled over into a new phase of their oil exploration activities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That's when the government-sanctioned waiver of the expiration date on their license came into effect. Since then, leaders of the Mayan villages buffering the national park have been consulting with their communities and trying to arrive at a consensus position. It has been complicated because to a large extent, US Capital Energy has used economic influence to create allies in these communities where opportunities are scarce. And US Capital has been steadily backed up by the Government of Belize - which has thrown its support behind the oil company at the political, policy and personnel level. So where does the balance of power rest now - after US Capital has sniped off key support in buffer communities like Sundaywood? That's what today's press conference outside of Punta Gorda town was supposed to answer. It was held this afternoon - and 7news was there. Greg Ch'oc outlined the consensus position of the communities:... Greg Ch'oc, Executive Director, SATIIM "We therefore declare: we this day reassert our inherent right to self-determination as indigenous people under international law. We will not stop nor be deterred from achieving this objective. We demand an immediate halt to the violation of our internationality and nationally recognize right including the plan destruction of our livelihood which we condemn as a form of cultural genocide. We call on the government of Belize to respect the laws of this country and orders of its court by immediately recognizing, respecting and protecting the ancestral customary rights of our people to their lands, territories and natural resources."

Body Of Drowned Man Retrieved in Isabella
24 year-old Belize City resident Keron Michael Jeffords was laid to rest this evening after his body was retrieved from the Belize River in Isabella Bank. On Sunday afternoon at around 3:00 he went under and didn't resurface. Jeffords was having his birthday party in the village on Owen Hendy's farm, and sometime during the festivities, everyone jumped in the river. They tried to swim across to the other bank, and Jeffords, who was out in front, was swept away by the strong current before he realized that it was too strong for him to safely swim through. Police, Port Authority, BDF and Coast Guard had been searching for his body since Sunday, and at around 7:00 this morning, they finally found him. After he was medically examined, the family, who has ties to Isabella Bank made preparations for his immediate burial.

Cops Catch 18lbs Marijuana
The highways are usually almost empty at 3:30 on a weekday mornings - and the only folks running about are cargo truck drivers, cops and outlaws. And this morning at 3:30 - the cops caught some outlaws who were on a marijuana move. It was a joint operation conducted by the Anti Drug Unit, The Mobile Interdiction Team, The K9 Unit And Customs. They set up a checkpoint at mile 68 on the western Highway in front of Rumors Hotel where they intercepted a gold Geo Prizm with Benque Viejo plates. Inside they found a crocus bag with 11 parcels of marijuana - totaling 18 pounds. Four people were in the car; they are: Maria Trinidad, Jose Roca, Vicente Rosalez, Francisco Martinez and Anna Galvez, all Guatemalan. All were jointly arrested and charged for the offence of Drug trafficking.

Ministry Scolds Instructors At ITVET Toledo
Last night we told you about the blast of hostility from the ITVET in Toledo where the instructors are rebelling against their general manager. They say they had to go to the media because the Ministry of Education wasn't doing anything to help. Well, today the Ministry sent a release, condemning yesterday's release by the instructors because, it, quote, "has now complicated the on-going investigation." It concludes, solemnly, that, quote, "The Ministry views this release as an attempt to undermine this on-going process." End quote. The Ministry says that since April, 2014, after becoming aware of the issues raised by the instructors, the Ministry instructed the board to conduct an investigation. An independent observer was put in place to report back to the Ministry on the fairness of the process. On April 9th., a letter was sent to the Manager of the ITVET directing that certain actions be taken. The Ministry says that the instructors are now bypassing this process, and seeking to be, quote, "accuser, judge and jury."

Reports: Awich Re-appointed to Appeals Court
Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich will be re-appointed to the Court of Appeals. That is the un-official word from reliable sources who say the Prime Minister has written to the leader of the opposition to consult on Awich's re - appointment to the court. Awich's contract ended on May 15th - the same day that he delivered the lead majority decision in the Court of Appeal judgment on the second acquisition of BTL. We understand that the 68 year old will now serve until the age of 75. The Prime Minister did not respond to a request for confirmation of this.

SIRDI As Sweet As Sugar
Yesterday the headquarters for the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute near the village of Buena Vista in the Corozal District was opened. It's called Sirdi and it was financed by the European Union and the Sugar Industry Control Board at a cost of 655 thousand dollars. Located at mile 66, the building Institute will assist farmers with knowledge on best planting practices. Here's how it will work:.. Paola Amadei, European Ambassador "This new location will allow SIRDI to address the technological production and quality requirement of producer, manufacturer and association by promoting and supporting research and development in sugarcane production." Alfredo Ortega, Chairman BSCFA Committee of Management "This SIRDI building will really beneficial for the farmers in regards to technical assistance, technical support to the farmers and also in regards to new varieties which will give that opportunity to farmers to have pure varieties in their cane field."

What Will Tobacco Survey Show?
Belize is doing its first Global Youth Tobacco Survey in 6 years. The last one in 2008 showed that 26% of youths between the ages of 13 and 15 had tried a cigarette, while a third felt that people who smoke have more friends. So what will the 2014 survey say? Well, it started yesterday a few days ago and is being administered by the National Drug Abuse Control Council. The Director told us more:.. Esner Vellos, Director - National Drug Council "In Belize we are looking at surveying approximately 1,600 students from standard 6 to 3rd form from among 40 schools countrywide and this survey would provide us an indication of how the situation of our young people and the information will give us the opportunity to be able to do evidence based programs in terms of reducing tobacco among young people." The survey runs until the 23rd April and almost 1, 700 Standard Six and first, second and third formers at over 40 schools will participate.

Global Survey On Alcohol Consumption Says Belizean Drinkers Binge
Indeed, alcohol is the drug of first choice for most Belizeans. A global survey by the World Health Organization which was launched last week in Europe shows that Belizean drinkers consume large volumes of alcohol. Spread across the entire population, consumption is quite low in comparison to other countries, but it is trending up sharply. From 2003 to 2008, the average consumption for persons 15 and older was 5.3 litres of pure alcohol per year - that's about 12 pints. But for 2008 to 2013, it was up to 6.8 litres, about 14 pints. And while that is the average, the study found that among drinkers, consumption was very high - meaning there's a lot of binge drinking, or what would be called, sprees. Male drinkers 15 and older consumed 67.8 pints of pure alcohol, and females of that same age, about 44 pints. Amongst drinkers that's the highest rate we saw in the Caribbean and Latin America - and it is twice or three times the figure seen in some other countries of the region. We asked Vellos about this worrying outcome today: Esner Vellos, Director - National Drug Council "Whereas a global level Belize is just a small percentage in terms of the overall global consumption of tobacco, but when we zoom it into the consumption trends in Belize, our people consume a lot of alcohol. At the same time when you look at a consumption per capita basis where it is high then that means that as a country we need to do more to be able to educate our people in terms of the risks of consuming alcohol. Another trend that we have also been seen is the increase of fetal alcohol syndrome in the country of Belize and that is very much alarming because we are now seeing that the kids are born with alcohol in their system. It's something that as a country we need to emphasize the need of making the right choices in terms of consumption of alcohol."

Jewelry Thieves Accused of Mass Pawning
25 year-old Jamil Meighan and 31 year-old Wilfred Stanley continue to face criminal charges after they were taken to court for over $10,000 in stolen from a Belize City woman, which they allegedly attempted to fence at pawn shops around the city. 29 year-old Jamil Meighan reported to police that between April 9 and April 12, her house on Freshman Street, West Landivar, was burglarized and stolen were an assortment of jewelry to a total value of $10,390. Police investigate her report for a little over a month, and they managed to recover some of the stolen jewelry from JL's Quick Loan, JEC Company and Fair Brothers Pawn Shop. Evidence given by personnel at these business places suggested that Meighan and Stanley went there with the stolen items and sold it to them.

UWI Professor Sacked Over UNIBAM Case
Public pressure from the 33+ Caribbean Gay rights activist groups has led to Jamaican Professor Brendan Bain being terminated from the University of the West Indies. The organizations contended that his expert evidence in the controversial UNIBAM challenge in the Supreme Court of Belize was "anti-gay". As we told you last night, Bain was the director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Initiative. He was respected as one of the Caribbean's foremost experts in s a pioneer in clinical infectious disease practice in the Caribbean and a leading medical authority on the HIV epidemic in the region. That all came to an end when the gay rights lobby groups found out that in August of 2012 he gave expert evidence in the Caleb Orozco/UNIBAM Challenge to Belize's Criminal Code in trying to get the sodomy laws repealed. In his deposition, he noted that some public health practitioners and agencies have hypothesized that decriminalizing the practice of anal sex among consenting adults would lead a reduction in the incidents of HIV infections among men having sex with men.

Red Cross Contemplating Disaster Contingencies
The Belize Red Cross is hosting what's called a regional contingency meeting at the Ramada Princess Hotel. Forty delegates from throughout the Caribbean and Latin America are here for the meeting which is all about contingency plans, what to do when something, or many things go wrong - as always happens in a disaster. The facilitator explained it's about finding the holes in the system and plugging them: Jan Gelfand, Deputy Director - PGMS and Operations - Red Cross America's "What this meaning doing here is that we are trying to put all those pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together so that everybody knows what they should be doing. We know how we can bring everyone together to really be able to respond in a quick and efficient manner. This is bringing people together in a continuation of a process. These plans are already there, but in the course of the year national societies from throughout the region gain new skills, they have new ways of working, they have new ways of innovation and technology come up, so we try to make sure that we are up to date with how we address. A short example: we now have the ability to do our assessments of needs telephones; on an android base system so that we can put them into a cloud and people have immediately real-time access to what's happening so they know what's happening. Navy has access to that, donors have access to that, so what this means is a continuation of doing better what we've already been doing because we've been working together for years and years."

Belize Vids Star In Regional Competition
CANTO is the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations and every year they host an event to get students to start talking and thinking about telecommunications. It used to be an essay contest, but times have changed, so now they are being asked to submit videos. And this year, A Belizean video won first place - while another won fourth place. The subject is broadband internet and how it affects the lives of individuals and a nation. Here are those prize presentations, first from the first place finisher William Mahler Jr, a UB student who put together something better than most of the ads we see on local TV:.. As the 1st Place winner Mahler gets a trip for 2 plus hotel accommodation to CANTO's 30th Annual Conference and Trade Exhibition in the Bahamas in August , 2014, along with a computer tablet and $1,000 US dollars. The 4th Place finisher gets a smartphone. A Belizean won the essay competition two years ago.

The Idea of A True Belize Channel For "States"
And those videos would probably go well on a venture out of LA called the True Belize Channel. Now, it's only a youtube channel but developer Faron Smith thinks he's unto something. The LA resident hopes to tap into the huge Belizean American community in the states by hosting, producing and developing content just for Belizeans. That includes the movie he's currently working on, called "States". He explains that it exposes the pitfalls of going to America:.. Excerpts of the movie which is still under development - can be found on that True Belizean youtube channel. He explained what that's about in greater detail:..

Mastering A Monopoly
Belize Dry Cleaners has a monopoly on dry cleaning - and owner Lascelle Arnold wants to keep it that way. As we've shown you on this newscast previously, he's invested heavily in state of the art equipment that can do everything from folding shirts to ironing pants. And now to make sure his personnel keep pace with the technology, he brought in a trainer from the National cleaners Association in New York to train them:

Channel 5

Breaking News: Body of man found in Santana Village
There is breaking news tonight, as the body of an unidentified male believed to be in his forties has been found in the village of Santana in the Belize District.  [...]

15 year old executed behind Port of Belize
The youngest murder victim for this year is a fifteen year old Belize City resident. He was executed on Monday, shot twice to the head at close range. Police found [...]

Recently confiscated rosewood sold off at preferential prices to German Vega
Tonight, there is confirmation that an undisclosed, but significant amount of rosewood has disappeared from the Savannah Forest Station. We say disappeared, but there’s no magic involved, just a Cabinet [...]

Medina Bank residents up in arms about rosewood fiasco
While Cabinet’s decision is causing a stink, it has also angered residents of Medina Bank. Viewers may recall that in April, residents of that community acted to seize thirty-one pieces [...]

Do you support oil explorations in Maya communal lands?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support oil explorations in Maya communal lands? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our [...]

SATIIM mobilizes for another round of litigation
There was a large gathering of Maya communities in Punta Gorda today. In fact, leaders and representatives from thirty-eight communities were present for the event in which the Sarstoon Temash [...]

Is DAVCO creating division within the Mayan communities?
There is a serious charge being made tonight that the District Association of Village Councils which convened a meeting in Toledo over the weekend is creating division within the Mayan [...]

Keron Jeffords body recovered from Belize Old River
Twenty-four year old Keron Jeffords was celebrating his birthday along with friends in Isabella Bank when his birthday celebration ended in his death. The Belize City resident went swimming in [...]

2 Guatemalans acquitted of murder in the south
Two men are tonight free from the charge of murder; Adelso Picon Rodriguez and Nilo Morales Valdez who were accused of the March 2010 murder of Valentin Duarte which occurred [...]

Nephew pleads guilty to manslaughter of uncle
A nephew, who was being tried for a second time for the murder of his uncle, chose to plead guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter in the Orange Walk [...]

Justice Samuel Awich’s contract is extended for an additional eight years
In other news from the judiciary, the faces of the current Court of Appeal are expected to remain the same at least for the near future. There is word tonight [...]

2 Belizean students among top four winners in regional competition
World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) is observed annually in the Caribbean on May seventeenth.  It is spearheaded by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and this past Saturday, to [...]

Belize Red Cross hosts regional contingency planning workshop
The Belize Red Cross is hosting a regional contingency planning workshop with representatives from CARICOM nations as well as international partner societies in the US, Norway and France. The two-day [...]

Regional workshop discusses challenges in disaster preparedness
One of the key issues being discussed is the challenge facing the region when it comes to adequate response to natural disasters. Head of Programs and Operations for the International [...]

Belizean American producer in country to promote new film
Another visitor is Belizean-American Artist and Producer, Faron Smith, who is here promoting his new film, “States.” Smith, who is also the producer of the “True Belizean Channel” in the [...]

Ministry of Health hosts mental health workshop
The Ministry of Health today held a mental health workshop. The workshop held at the Belize Institute of Management was focused on the need for stakeholders to provide employment for [...]

Stakeholders get training and coaching in supporting mental health persons
Helping with the workshop is Disability Aid Abroad representative, Carey Ann Clarke. According to Clarke, they are bringing their forty years of experience of supporting and training persons with mental [...]

Harvest for Kids 2014
The Belize Camping Experience is a Belize City based N.G.O. that was established back in 2008 and has been sponsoring summer camps across the city. While the youth organization has [...]


ST. Francis Credit Union To Hold Its AGM
On Sunday, the St. Francis Xavier Credit Union will be hosting its 33rd Annual General Meeting in the Corozal District and making the rounds to inform its membership of the event is General Manager Rafael Dominguez. Dominguez gave us a synopsis of what their membership can expect and a look at the institutions performance this fiscal year. RAFAEL DOMINGUEZ – General Manager, Corozal St. Francis Credit Union “We have concluded another profitable, successful another annual year, and we are proud to say and to mention that we have been able to grow by a thousand five hundred new membership and we also stood with our asset of over 66 million dollars.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “What is it that makes you guys so competitive and makes you stand out from the rest?” RAFAEL DOMINGUEZ – General Manager, Corozal St. Francis Credit Union “I guess that we are growing and making us to be competitive in the market because we have a numerous line of services as well as benefits and this year we have been able to launch our new services like the checking account which in combines with credit line or facilities. Our membership should expect an understandable report that we will be presenting by the different committees including the board of directors and myself and I believe that based on what is our countries economy our membership will be satisfied in receiving back what is a call it dividends.”

Chairman Of San Andres Village Calls On Area Rep. To Fix Main Street
As we approach the 2014 Hurricane season, the northern part of the country is already experiencing isolated showers and as a result concerns by some on road conditions are being voiced. One such complaint is stemming from the Chairman of San Andres Village in the Corozal District. Today, Glenford Melvin, Chairman of San Andres Village visited our news bureau in Corozal Town sharing his concerns. Glenford Melvin – Chairman “Well right now as the chairman as everybody lean at the chairman when something is going on bad and at this moment we have problems with the roads again, the last time the present minister gave a contract to their own people in the village to fix the road good and the road is bad and I could see that problem could come later on and somebody could get knock down and that is why I am coming to address this problem that we have big pot holes and what I am seeing is that the drivers try to save their vehicles so the run out of the road and especially when it is school time they could get knock down. We have one candidate that represent the UDP in our council and I spoke to him and he told me plain that he has the contract to repair the road and he told me he has gotten monies from Mr. Hugo Patt but he didn’t told me how much money he got, and they will fix the road and yes they had some of their colleagues fixing the road now the road is in bad condition again and the holes have gotten bigger.”

Harvest For Kids And Circle R Works Hand In Hand
An innovative, commendable program called Harvest for Kids which was launched by the Belize Camping Experience keeps making raves with the media. The programs purpose is to provide outreach to at risk Belize City Children by giving them an opportunity to get out of their crime-ridden communities and visit farms around Belize. The objective of the intervention is such that they get to see how the farming communities live and how peaceful living outside of the city can be like. But this year, program organizers plan on getting kids from Orange Walk engaged in the program. Josie Gongora, the teams’ new recruit stopped by our studios to share the good news. Josie Gongora– Coordinator, Harvest for kids “Harvest for kids este año 2014 está yendo fuerte también y después de la última cosecha que tuvimos el año pasado este ano estamos trabajando con los niños en Belice y también con los campamento de verano que va hacer algo bien excitante, algo bien alegre para los niños y algo nuevo queremos tener este ano es tener campamento en Orange Walk o sea que no solo en Belice sino queremos tenerlo aquí en Orange Walk.”

Belize Ranks The Highest In Alcohol Consumption
According to a worldwide study on alcohol consumption from the World health Organization, Belize is among the top ten countries that has the highest rate of alcohol dependence in the region. The study measured consumption rates, favorite types of alcohol, and side effects such as addiction, road accidents and liver cirrhosis. Perú reported the highest rate of alcoholism, at 4.9 percent of its population, followed by Colombia and Belize at 4.5 being the highest rank. Costa Rica reported a rate of 3.1 percent, barely edging out 27 other countries in the region who reported rates between 2.9 percent and 2.5 percent. For comparison, the U.S. had a rate of 4.7 percent. Belize also ranked third in the region for alcohol disorders. WHO defines disorders as including “acute intoxication, harmful use, dependence syndrome, withdrawal syndrome, (with and without delirium), psychotic disorders, and amnesic syndrome.”

Early Rainy Season, A Major Risk Factor For Cane Farmer To Deliver Their Cane
The sugar industry has been a major focus over the last months for both positive and not so positive reasons. This year has proven to be one of the most challenging years for the industry stakeholders given the late start in crop, the inconsistent climate among other things. While it was estimated to be one of the most productive year, with an estimated sugar cane production of about 1.2 million tons, the afore mentioned issues may see farmers still facing major losses. We are now past mid-May and the rains have started, placing farmers in a rather critical position. Vice Chair of the Committee of Management of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association says farmers may not be able to deliver all their cane. Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chair, Committee of Management, BSCFA “If the rain starts to fall more heavy then it will be more impossible for farmers to bring out their cane and then the crop would have to come to a stop if we want to maintain the quality which we have strived to maintain at this point in time look at three weeks ago we had 9.25 and we have jumped a one point above so we are at 9.35 that is not beneficial to us but that is very important for us to give that helping hand to the farmers to try to deliver the amount they can because a farmer doesn’t make any money if he don’t deliver his cane to the mill.”

Commisioner Of Lands Will Re-issue Land To Jose Novelo
On April 23rd we broke the story on a land quarrel that had ensued between family members. Jose Emilio Novelo has been working his 54.843 acre farm land located in the Indian Church Area of Orange Walk for well over thirty-five years but for several years since 2007 his payments for his lease on these lands was not accepted at the lands department. This sent up red flags and soon after Novelo learned that the lease was applied for by Everisto Novelo, his brother, in 2010. Since that year, his brother had been making payments for the lease. Novelo says that he was never issued a cancelation letter and after all the hard work put into that land, he was not willing to just let it all go. After complaints were filed at the Lands Department, an investigation was conducted and sure enough that investigation has concluded. We spoke with Commissioner of Lands Wilber Vallejos who says there is enough proof to re-issue the land to Jose Novelo. Wilber Vallejos - Commissioner of Lands “He had a lease and his lease had expired, when he went onto the media and said that the Government of Belize didn’t wanted to accept payment it wasn’t because it was given to someone else because his land expired well before that happened it was because his lease had expired and so the new system now locks the account and prevents but is a good thing that he couldn’t pay because then he was able to know that something was wrong with the land.

Investigations For ESTM Students Remains On-going
On April 8th 2014, we reported on the tragic death of two students who were enrolled at the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico, after a class trip went horribly wrong. 16 year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin Village both drowned. As we’ve reported the students were returning home from a school trip at the Che Chem Ha Caves, when the group made a stop in San Ignacio near the low-lying bridge to wash themselves but both students was carried by the currents causing them to drown. Since then an investigation on behalf of the Ministry of Education along with the Board of Directors of ESTM has been ongoing. Today when we followed up on the investigation we were informed that the investigations is still being carried out and sometime next week the board should have a response for the media.

CCC Celebrated Drug Awareness Week
A health observance week for students at the Corozal Community College with the aim to shatter the myths about drugs and drug abuse was officially launched yesterday during a special assembly at the school’s auditorium. Solangel Sanchez, councilor at CCC told us more on the objective of this year’s observance. Solangel Sanchez – School Councilor “This week as you have rightfully said is drug awareness week at our school and we are celebrating it under the theme,“ A healthy me is drug free” and this goes throughout this week, our goal is to make sure that the children are well informed and to be able to make the right decisions as to live a healthy life, a drug free life so yesterday we began with an assembly by the class of 1L and they did a wonderful presentation on the theme and they also tied it with bullying because that is also one of the things that we looking at our school to decrease bullying, decrease drugs so together we worked with the children and we worked with NDACC and so the director declared the week opened and gave a speech to the students to make sure that they keep on doing the right thing that is to stay drug free, we distribute the ribbons to all the students as a reminder that they are to remain drug free. Class presentation started from NDACC office with the help of them concerning drug awareness and also what we were doing is having the science teachers and the homeroom teachers talk to children about drug awareness.”

SIRDI Strategically Located Will Be The Main Hub Of The Sugar Industry
The sugar industry is a vital component in the economic development of Belize. Therefore its sustainability and competitiveness in the international market is critical for all stakeholders. Therein lies the purpose of the Sugar Industry Research and Development Institute, a technical organization that provides research and extension services to cane farmers to support improved productivity and quality of sugar cane production. Established in 2009, SIRDI has made significant strides in the industry in the last five years but there is much left to be achieved. With a new headquarters building strategically situated at mile 66.5 Phillip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District, the aim is to focus on its key components to push the industry forward. The organization has enjoyed continuous support from the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA and the European Union. Tonight, we take a look at where the collective efforts of these organizations have led the sugar industry. Dalila Ical – Reporting SIRDI was launched as a response by government and stakeholders to the challenges faced in the sugar industry. Ambassador Paola Amadei of the EU says the organization is a “sign of a wave of change” in the lacking sugar sector.

International Museums Day Celebrated In Orange Walk
Every year since 1977 International Museum Day has been observed worldwide. The International Council of Museums, ICOM, established the occasion which is held on or around May 18th and this year marks the 36th annual celebration. It has evolved into a big deal as in 2013 almost thirty-five thousand museums globally hosted events in more than 143 countries. This year, the event is being held under the theme ‘Museum Collections make Connections’ which emphasizes not only the purpose but also the significance of museums which is to help create bonds between people, their cultures and generations. In Orange Walk Town, the Banquitas House of Culture joined in on the celebrations and opened a rather unique exhibit, perhaps the first of its kind in years at the House of Culture. Here is a look at the exhibition. Dalila Ical- Reporting In celebration of International Museum Day, Museums across the world host events and here in Orange Walk, the coordinators at the Banquitas House of Culture opened the “Currencies of the World, Past and Present” exhibit. Cindy Rivero is the Assistant Coordinator. Cindy Rivero – Assistant Coordinator, Banquitas HOC “The purpose of this exhibition is that the public and the students feel connected to the museum so with this exhibition we are trying to have the persons view the exhibition and make them feel a connection especially with our country Belize because the exhibition is about currencies. The exhibition will be here for two days so we are asking the general public to come and to take this opportunity and to see this very impressive collection that we have.”

Shots Fired In San Pedro
A few shooting incidents were recorded on the tourist mecca of San Pedro Town. The first occurred on Saturday around 3:15 in San Pablo Area. Police report that they visited a wooden apartment building where they found seventeen year old Irma Mejia suffering from gunshot wounds to the abdomen, right side of her jaw and her right thumb. Mejia reported that two men fire shots at her front door, gained access to her apartment and fired shots at her. She was rushed to the San Pedro Poly Clinic and then transported to the K.H.M.H via Wings of Hope in a critical but stable condition. Two (2) .38 expended shells was recovered from the scene. Police have since detained two men as investigations continue. Police are seeking two in connection to this incident. A second shooting incident occurred yesterday at around 11pm where police acted on a tip that was given of a shooting in San Pedrito Area of town. 23 year old Nigel Polanco, construction workers was seen with gunshot wounds to his left leg and 45-year-old Aurora Gonzalez of San Pedrito Area with apparent gunshot wounds to her left knee and left middle finger. Initial investigation revealed that while Polanco and Gonzalez were outside their residence on the Street socializing with others when the sound of a gunshot was heard. As a result both persons received injuries. They were then transported to the San Pedro Poly clinic for medical treatment. Police have recovered a live shotgun cartridge from the scene and are looking for one man in regards to this incident.

LICU Holds Annual AGM
It was a full house at the People’s Stadium on Saturday for La Inmaculada Credit Union’s 65th Annual General Meeting. The occasion saw the banking institutions membership, Directors, Officers, Management and staff gathered in mass to commemorate and celebrate sixty five years of unity, savings, benefits, services and much success. LICU’s General Manager, Yolanda Gomez, told CTV3 News the 2013/2014 fiscal year report card was extremely pleasing as the banking institution grew in assets, savings, loans, surplus and members. Yolanda Gomez – General Manager, LICU “That is the only possible through the joint effort and collaboration of every team player; my board, my officers, my staff and the members owners, the most important being the members owners.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “What do you think is contributing to this maybe we have a slack kind of economy?” Yolanda Gomez – General Manager, LICU “Yes, but I will be honest with you the way to grow our economy and our country is through entrepreneurship and micro-entrepreneurship, the population out there who are self-generating income individuals are the majority and we are taking out our services to these individuals, we are promoting entrepreneurship, we are encouraging the productive sector and we are going out to the remote areas, our outreach initiative engulfs all those who had never had a saving account at a formal institution ever, they definitely have a piggy bank and they probably slip still in a little can or under the mattress but when they do that they don’t enjoy all the other benefits they now have access to credit and affordable credit and all the other benefits like protection which is somewhat like the insurance coverage, burial fund, the use of ATM ...

Village Museums Celebrate Their Day
At the top of the segment we showed you how the Banquitas House of Culture celebrated International Museum Day in Orange Walk. Each year, International Museum Day sees additional museums across the globe taking part in the event and this year Belize was added to the list of 143 participating countries. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story from Corozal. Victor Castillo- Reporting “Museum collections make connections” is this year’s theme for International Museums Day, an activity celebrated across the globe by over 35,000 museums from 143 countries in 5 different continents. All these exhibition halls, including those in Belize, organized several activities for today so as to bring awareness on the importance of natural and cultural heritage. Among the many participating museums is the Corozal House of Culture. Debora Wilkes – Coordinator C.H.O.C “This is our second event last year we had an unveiling of Fort Barley a replica. This year we really focused in our village museums since we really took that theme to heart this year and we have brought ought together three village museums, the Malate Museum in Progresso Village, the Garifuna Museum from Libertad Village and we have the East Indian Museum from Ranchito Village. People are not aware of these museums so it was wonderful to discover them and bring them under one roof for the community to see and to be educated.”

SIRDI Inaugurates New Headquarters
The new headquarters for the Sugar Industry Research Development Institute, SIRDI, was officially inaugurated this afternoon. The new address is at mile 66.5 of the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District. The government of Belize, the European Union, the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture and the SIRDI representatives joined by farmers attended the milestone event. The location of the building is strategically centralized between both northern districts to facilitate access to the services by stakeholders in the industry. The institution, SIRDI was introduced, or at least the idea was in the 2001 revised Sugar Act. It was officially launched in 2009 but there was still a need for a proper facility to be effective and to have an immediate impact on sugar production. In November 2013, construction for that much needed facility began and is now fully operational after today. IICA representative for Belize, Jean Lowry and Ambassador Paola Amadei of the EU were present for the occasion.

14 and 11 Year Old Girls Knocked Down In Corozal
Two students from an area known as Skeleton Town in Corozal are tonight lucky to be alive after they were knocked down while double riding over the weekend. On Saturday around 6:30pm, the mother of 14 year old Vianney Pott and 11 year old sister Daniela Pott sent them to the nearby store, a short while after, the girls sister received the bad news that they had been involved in an accident. An accident that was captured by a surveillance camera located in the area. Melissa Pott-Sister “Yo me meti al cuarto cuando mi pone sono y era una de mis compañeras de trabajo. Ella me dijo que acaban de tropear a Vianney por mi casa. Yo sali de mi cuarto y le dije a mi mama. Y todos nos salimos corriendo. Mi mama se fue para el hospital y yo me fui para donde sucedió el accidente. Le pregunte a mi amiga qu paso y ella me dijo que estaba en su casa cuando escucho la bulla fue que ella salió corriendo y vio que era mi hermanita y me llamo a mí. Cuando yo le fue estaban llevando al chofer a la estación y parece que él estaba borracho y su mujer también. Yo le doy gracias a dios que ellas están bien por lo que yo veo en el video podría a ver sido peor.” According to father of the victims, it seems that after going to the store, the girls decided to visit a friend who lives across the Philip Goldson Highway also known as 7th Avenue.

Loaded Towhead Overturns On Philip Goldson Highway
A white towhead truck loaded with cement traveling towards Orange Walk Town overturned on Friday night in the village of Louisville in the Corozal District. Reports indicate that the 18 wheeler, bearing license plate OW A 00400, driven at the time by 25 year old Cesario Che from the village of Cristo Rey, was reaching the village of Louisville in the Corozal District when a bus made a stop in the opposite direction. At that time another vehicle stopped in front of the truck. Reports are that Che hit the brakes but the truck didn’t respond. To avoid crashing behind the vehicle Che swerved off the road causing the tow head to overturn. Che sustained only minor injuries. Police are currently investigating.

Hundreds Take Part In Cancer Walk
Throngs of people showed up on Saturday morning for the annual Cancer Walk – one of many events that help spread awareness about a disease that touches so many around the world including Belize. This year's Cancer Walk touched many as it saw hundreds of participants: survivors, caretakers, and supporters all coming together with the hope of raising awareness about the disease and the importance of early detection. Our news team participated in the event and filed the following report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Not too long ago cancer was only spoken about in hushed tones; but on Saturday, approximately 1,000 participants and supporters proudly sported shades of green, supporting cancer prevention and treatment. Bahdra Coleman of the Cancer Support Group in Orange Walk, says this annual celebration of life, hope and courage was a smashing success. Bahdra Coleman – OW Cancer Support Group “We’re trying to promote awareness and for other to know that there are survivors and with early detection we have a lot of chance of making it.”

16 Year Old Held In Mexican Grounds Is Back In Belize
Mexican newspapers are tonight reporting that the 16 year old Belizean minor who was rescued from the grips of a man who allegedly use to verbally and physically abuse her, hails from the Village of August Pine Ridge in the Orange Walk District. El Diario De Quintana Roo reports that the 16 year old, who was placed under the guard of the Office for the Protection of Children and Families, was handed over to the National Immigration Institute (INM) to be repatriated to her country, Belize. And tonight we can safely say that the 16 year old is on Belizean soil under the protective care of Human Services, this is according to the Director of Human Services, Judith Alpuche. According to Alpuche the department is also working along with the Human Trafficking Unit of the police. Th child will not be handed over to her family until the department can sort out what exactly happened in this case. As previously reported, on May 2nd Mexican authorities were on mobile patrol on 68 Street on Colonia Jesús Martinez in Felipe Carillo Puerto in Quintana Roo when their attention was drawn to a vehicle that was parked in the dark and two persons where inside arguing.


UWI Professor Gets Walking Papers After Statement Rendered in Court
Yesterday we told you about Professor Brendan Bain from the University of the West Indies. The university came under fire by a coalition of 34 LGBT organizations. Those organizations had a problem with the testimony that professor Bain submitted to the Belize Supreme Court. A problem that resulted in us having to inform you that the University of the West Indies has fired Professor Bain. A release from the university states that quote, “While the University recognises the right of Professor Bain to provide expert testimony in the manner he did, it has become increasingly evident that Professor Bain has lost the confidence and support of a significant sector of the community which the CHART programme is expected to reach, including the loss of his leadership status in PANCAP, thereby undermining the ability of this programme to effectively deliver on its mandate. It is for this reason that the University of the West Indies has decided to terminate the contract of Professor Bain as Director of the Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) of the Caribbean HIV/Training (CHART) Network”, end of quote.

Coast Guard Retrieves Body from River
24-year-old, Keron Michael Jeffords was laid to rest at the Eternal Gardens Cemetery a little after five o’clock this evening. Jeffords lost his life after he drowned in Isabella Bank on Sunday. He died on his birthday. The Belize Coast Guard and his family were searching for his body for two straight days and it was until this morning that Jeffords was found. His mother, Ilona Jeffords, told us that they are contented that they were able to put their loved one to rest. ILONA JEFFORDS “The Coast Guard found his body; it took two days to find his body. We were up there by the Isabella Bank River yesterday and today; I am glad we found him so that we can give him a proper burial. He could swim but this happened because he was filled with food and that is what made him drown. People said they heard him calling for help and they saw him go down and they found him in the same position with his hand up. One of his hands was in a bad state, it seems the animals were eating his hand.”

Saldivar Says Kim’s Passport Can Be Used to Boost Prosecution
In addition to speaking on the immigration files in his possession, PUP Standard Bearer for the Belize Rural North division, Arthur Saldivar says the case against Elvin Penner should still be able to be persecuted without the missing files by using Won Hong Kim’s Belizean passport. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “There is a great probability and high possibility that the case can be prosecuted without the documents that are being withheld by the Immigration Department at this time, that which Hulse is more than happy to say, is missing. If you have a passport, it is the fruit of the poisoned tree and so, the passport coming from Taiwan that bears Wong Hong Kim’s name and has the date of issuance will give the prosecution in this case a big boost in proving its case because Penner has gone on national media to say that he did do what he did; you cannot take that away and so, circumstantially, sufficient evidence exist and apart from that, you have the Prime Minister, who at the start of this entire ordeal made known to the nation that he had seen documents and that he is sufficiently satisfied that there were a litany of impropriety sufficient to actuate him, to dismiss Penner from Cabinet and to get rid of him from his party. With all these things, the prosecution has a treasure trove of evidence to be brought before the court and they can do so by use of the subpoena method; have them come to court, have the Prime Minister come; drag his ass there and let’s get this thing underway.”

PUP Standard Bearer Says Immigration Minister is a Liar
Last week Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse commented on the police investigation into the immigration department regarding Won Hong Kim. While he added his criticism of the police department’s lack of carrying out a thorough investigation into the matter he also said he was concerned and is anxious to know how documents from the immigration department ended in the hands of attorney Arthur Saldivar. Hulse said that a proper investigation should shed some light into where are the missing Won Hong Kim nationality files. According to Hulse, Arthur Saldivar claimed to have one hundred and fifty files, five of which were handed over to police along with a couple photocopies of passports. Hulse believes there are 145 missing files that could be in the possession of Saldivar and are essential in the investigation. We asked Arthur Saldivar if he has any more immigration and nationality files that can help in the investigation. ARTHUR SALDIVAR “Let me first address the issue of Hulse; the man is a blowhard, a liar and totally incompetent at what he is doing as the Minister of Immigration and he should resign. At the end of the day, what Godwin Hulse is seeking to do is distract the Belizean public with BS – total nonsense.

Mother Says His Son’s Murder was Retaliation
Investigators of Precinct One of the Belize Police Department are investigating the recent murder of a 15-year-old, Belize City resident. Last night just around eleven o’clock, the authorities were called out to an area on Caesar Ridge Road where they encountered the body of Kevin Shaquille Connor bearing two gunshot wounds to the head. In an interview with the young victim’s mother, Sharon Jorgenson, she expressed her belief on why her son was murdered. SHARON JORGENSON “I saw my son for the last time yesterday around twenty minutes past nine o’clock in the morning when he left from here. He would usually come home around six or seven o’clock at the latest but yesterday when I saw that it was nine o’clock and I was waiting on him to come home and eat, I started to worry but then I thought that since he likes to hang out with his friends, I said maybe he was just hanging out late. In last month, someone had killed a young man, Patrick Bevans by Jane Usher Boulevard and his common-law-wife called my son’s name and said it was my son that killed her man and since then they have targeted my son.

So Far So Good with Sugar
In speaking with Alfredo Ortega, we asked him to update on the negotiations regarding payment for bagasse. ALFREDO ORTEGA “The crop is going quite good at this point in time, we have delivered above eight hundred tons; to be exact, we have delivered 867 thousand tons of cane which has produced 93,071 tons of sugar, which is very good but yet there is an amount as yet for the farmers to deliver. I believe we have about four hundred thousand in field and all will depend on the weather, on how the weather will be from now till the end of June. Hopefully, we have the faith that God will give us the opportunity to deliver as much as we can and we believe that we have in the vicinity of a little bit above one point two million tons of cane for this crop year.” ARTURO CANTUN “This is mid-May and we have started to see a lot of rains starting to come down; are you considering that maybe you won’t be able to take out all of the cane in the fields?”

The Reporter

Big drop in butane prices
The price of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG), both imported and domestic, has declined by more than $10 per 100 lb cylinder, marking its first decrease since 2013. The Belize Bureau of Standards announced a $13 reduction on LPG imported from PEMEX in Mexico and $16 from Central America, effective from May 8th, . Punta Gorda, which has the highest retail price for gas countrywide, benefited most from the price drop, which adjusted the cost from $133 to $120. Belize City and Corozal now enjoy the lowest price for imported gas in the country at $115 per 100 lb cylinder. LPG from Belize Natural Energy is now priced at $108 per 100 lb and this is available in Burrell Boom, San Ignacio, Belmopan, Benque Viejo Del Carmen and Punta Gorda.

Patrick Jones

Teenager is latest casualty of City gang rivalry
Police are investigating the murder of 15 year old Kevin Shaquille Connor which occurred last night in the Port Loyola area of Belize City. According to police, a mobile patrol unit found his body sometime around 10:50 p.m. Monday, with gunshot wounds to the left temple and left cheek in the open area behind Port of Belize Limited on Caesar Ridge Road where the Carnival Cruise Line operation was to have been located. He is the younger brother of 18 year old Christopher Jorgenson, who was shot while on the basketball court on Curl Thompson Street across from his residence and died a few days later.

Belize Red Cross hosts regional strategy meeting
Whenever there is an earthquake, hurricane, a fire or flood, you will find us, we’re the Red Cross, and we do a world of good.” This line from the official Red Cross Society song, composed by Governor General Sir Colville Young, sums up the name and prestige of the organization’s mandate. With the hurricane season less than two weeks away, if any are to hit Belize, the agency expected to respond almost immediately is the Belize Red Cross. Today it hosted a regional meeting of Red Cross Societies focusing on disaster preparedness management. But Jan Gelfand, regional deputy director of operations for the Red Cross Americas Zone told us that attendant social problems in the region such as poverty, migration, urbanization, violence and environmental issues need to be taken into consideration in outlining strategy not only for disasters, but for the everyday humanitarian work of the International Red Cross Movement.

Mental health workers train to support job seekers
It’s difficult enough to get a job these days, but if you have physical and especially mental disabilities, it can be even tougher. Persons who have succumbed to depression or suicidal thoughts, or those with more straightforward disorders including dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and others may be discarded despite their qualifications and experience. The Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Unit aims to change that, beginning with a briefing for persons who work with mental patients to re-integrate them back into society. Nurse Eleanor Bennett of the Mental Health Unit says that having a mental disability should not be a death sentence for a prospective job-seeker who may have unique perspectives to offer.

UWI ends contract with Professor Brendan Bain
The Jamaica Gleaner newspaper is reporting that the University of the West Indies today relieved Professor Brendan Bain of his leadership of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network. According to the Gleaner report, the reason given by the UWI for terminating the contract of Professor Bain is that he had lost the confidence and support of the gay community, a significant sector of the network’s client base. Gay advocacy groups turned on Professor Bain after he gave expert witness testimony last year in the challenge to section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code and they wrote to the Vice Chancellor Professor E. Nigel Harris making thier displeasure with Professor Bain known. Professor Bain’s testimony pointed out that countries which have removed or repealed buggery laws have experienced an increase in the rate of HIV/AIDS infections. In his expert testimony, Professor Bain was also of the opinion that a change of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code could have harmful effects on the nation’s economy.

Body of teenager found in Belize City
A teenage boy was murdered in Belize City last night. The victim has been identified as 15 year old Kevin Shakuile Conner, a resident of East Collet Canal street. Police say that a mobile patrol in the area behind Port of Belize came across Connor’s body with an apparent gunshot to the left temple and one to the left cheek. The body of the teenager now lies at the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. Police investigations continue.


“Teardrops” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On the drive in to ‘Town for breakfast (where else but at Estel’s Dine By the Sea) it was obvious that the locals were feeling the cold with many of them attired in sweat tops and hoodies. Not so cold though that it prevented some of them mounting a charity drive in Pescador Drive for a young child requiring medical treatment. There’s little doubt that the island has its less savoury aspects with fairly frequent (well, one is too frequent) incidents of burglary or, worse still, shootings. But it has its redeeming side too and the manner in which the community rallies together to help the more needy demonstrates very forcibly and tangibly that on Ambergris Caye there is a community with heart and compassion. A sizeable number of people that care and are willing to get up and do something. A facet of human nature that I didn’t experience too often in my previous home of London in the UK. This state of euphoria took on a change for the worse though when I got home and I was reminded of something my Dad very often said to me. “Don’t shit on your own doorstep son” he used to say. He wasn’t a particularly well educated man. He could’nt read or write very well. He didn’t say a lot. But when he did say something it normally made sense and was sound advice.

Beautiful Things on A Beautiful Day: A Walk, Shopping & Lunch in San Pedro
We are inching towards the “hurricane season” in the Tropics – the official start date is June 1st. To get us ready for a bit more rain, we had a pretty full day of it just last weekend when a VERY late season cold front passed through (temperatures dipped into the 70s at night!) But since Saturday, the temperatures have risen and the sky has been a gorgeous deep blue. Yesterday was a perfect example of hot late spring weather. I took a late morning walk to town. Central Park looking lovely. A gorgeous ripe mango bouquet. Present your boyfriend or girlfriend with one of these? Tres romantic.

The Caribbean Paradise of Caye Caulker… Will We Ever Leave?
“Okay, welcome to Caye Caulker. I’m tired so just put yo’ bags in ya’ room and we do da papawork in da mornin.” That was the welcome we received when we arrived at our guest house on Caye Caulker Island in Belize. The sun had set and the cool evening breeze gently swept over the island, rustling the palm trees above us. After our late arrival to the island and dealing with our immigration issues, it was nice to receive this laid-back introduction. We placed our bags in our colourful room and lazily wandered down the sandy lanes to find somewhere to eat. A row of funky beach bars playing Caribbean reggae music lined the entire western end of the island. Men were tending to smoking grills right on the beach, with the surrounding picnic tables holding groups of loudly chatting tourists and Belizeans enjoying freshly grilled chicken. Our movement slowed to the beat of the Rastafarian melodies that echoed across the powdery sands and we soon realized that this was yet another paradise that we were going to enjoy.

International Sources

15 Places To Go Before They Get Famous
It's easy to see why modern travelers feel so burnt out: our globalized world is littered with tourist traps, letdowns, overrated destinations and just plain crowds. But what if you could get out ahead of the curve and visit a place BEFORE it started swarming with other humans? Visit these rising stars now, and one day you'll proudly say, "I knew them when..." Belize is set to become Central America's newest hotspot, and if so, Ambergris Caye will be its crowning destination. TripAdvisor named Ambergris a "Destination on the Rise" last year, probably because tourists are catching on to the immense diving potential of the Great Blue Hole.

Double Act hunts Croczilla for Animal Planet
The Men Who Jump Off Buildings-indie, Double Act has been commissioned by Animal Planet to produce an hour-long documentary about the hunt for a killer crocodile. Monster Croc: Search For A Killer will follow two wildlife cameramen as they travel to Belize in search of the mammoth crocodile, dubbed Croczilla. The duo have made a career out of investigating and solving human and animal conflicts in some of the world’s most remote regions. In the film they will race to capture footage of the crocodile before local poachers can kill it. The documentary is set to air in June on Discovery’s Animal Planet UK. Double Act’s Alastair Cook will exec produce, and Krishna San Nicholas is the producer for Animal Planet. Cook, also the co-founder of Double Act, said the company gained exclusive access to interview the locals who have survived Croczilla attacks.

Find Your Sea Legs with an Affordable Boating Retirement
You’ve just weighed anchor on another night of bliss, lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of your sailboat in the calm sea. Before you is a small cove lined by craggy cliffs. Clear blue waters end at a white-sand beach. You’ve had it all to yourself for the last week. It was supposed to be just an overnight stop. But it was so beautiful, you decided to stick around. After a quick dip, you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and a light breakfast on deck as you contemplate which island paradise you’ll go to next.

Toward A New Trajectory For Caribbean Development
With the untimely passing of Norman Girvan, the last Caribbean political economist of the earlier critical tradition, a major gap in radical ideas needs to be filled. These ideas must come from a new generation of researchers willing to take the lead, and who have practical problems of the region at the heart of their concerns, drawing up Girvan’s and others’ very rich insights. Indeed, the history of the English-speaking Caribbean has been punctuated by several important opportunities for learning and transformation. One of these most recent experiences should indeed have been the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), yet to be fully implemented in some jurisdictions. The end of preferential access to European markets had several precursors, for which it seemed Caribbean policymakers, institutions and the private sector were ill-prepared.

Norwegian to refresh fleet
Norwegian Cruise Line is to invest more than US$250 million in its Norwegian NEXT programme in an effort to enhance the guest experience across its fleet. Building on the success of its recently launched ships Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, the line aims to implement new onboard enhancements, entertainment experiences and eco-friendly technologies across the fleet over the next two years. As part of Norwegian NEXT, the company will refit a number of ships in 2015 including the newly refurbished Norwegian Jewel, as well as Norwegian Pearl, Norwegian Sky and Norwegian Spirit, which were also recently renovated. Enhancements continue on Great Stirrup Cay, the line’s private island in the Bahamas, with the opening of the Bacardi Bar. In addition, the line is developing a new eco-friendly cruise destination, Harvest Caye, in southern Belize. The 75-acre experience is scheduled to open in autumn 2015 and will offer guests the option to take shore excursions on the mainland, or enjoy the shopping village, water sports and beach area on the island.

The Future of U.S.-Mexico Relations
Testimony by William R. Brownfield Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Statement Before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Washington, DC May 20, 2014. Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss our important partnership with the Government of Mexico. Through this unprecedented partnership forged between our two governments over the past seven years, great progress has been made in strengthening the capacity of Mexico’s justice sector to counter organized crime and protect our shared border. And working in partnership with the Peña Nieto administration, we are continuing our strong collaborative efforts with the Government of Mexico to advance our shared citizen security objectives. In 2008, at the start of the Merida Initiative, drug cartel-related violence in Mexico had been increasing dramatically, corruption was a threat to rule of law, and Mexican institutions were not able to deal effectively with the impunity of these powerful criminal networks. The people of Mexico had little confidence in their institutions, and the unmitigated flow of illicit money and narcotics clouded the prospects of Mexico’s licit economy. In 2008, Mexico took the important first step of passing constitutional reforms to overhaul its entire justice sector including the police, judicial system, and corrections at the federal, state and local levels. Mexico’s institutional reforms and its objective of building strong institutions that its citizens can depend on to deliver justice provided a foundation for U.S. cooperation.

Sundance Catalog chooses Ambergris Caye as location for their summer edition!
This season we traveled to the turquoise waters of Belize. In this country of breathtaking scenery, gentle lapping waves and alluring Mayan heritage, we embraced the vibrant colors and dreamy patterns of summer.

BOMB — Artists in Conversation: Zee Edgell
When Zee Edgell was born, in 1940, her country, then British Honduras, was part of the British Empire. Her first novel, Beka Lamb, was published in 1982, a year after her country was born as the newly independent Belize, making it the first novel of the new nation. Beka Lamb also gained the distinction of being Belize’s first novel to reach beyond its borders and gain an international audience, winning Britain’s Fawcett Society Book Prize, a prize awarded annually to a work of fiction that contributes to an understanding of women’s position in society today. In her subsequent novels, In Times Like These (1991), which portrays the turmoil of Belize on the brink of independence, and The Festival of San Joaquin (1997), the story of a woman accused of murdering her husband, and in her short stories, Edgell skillfully explores the layers of Belize’s complicated social and racial stratification through the lens of her female protagonists. From its colonial history to the movement toward independence and right up to the present day, her novels filter the political through the personal with great compassion. Edgell was educated in journalism at the school of modern languages at the Polytechnic of Central London and continued her education at the University of the West Indies. She worked as a journalist for ten years. A true citizen of the world, she has also lived for extended periods in Jamaica, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Somalia, working with development organizations and the Peace Corps. She has been director of the department of women’s affairs and head of the women’s bureau for the government of Belize, and she is currently associate professor in the department of English at Kent State University, Ohio, where she teaches creative writing and literature. Edgell also tours internationally, giving book readings and delivering papers on the history and literature of Belize. She is considered Belize’s principal contemporary writer.


Video: Love Conquers Hate, 5min.
This song and video were created in recognition of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia - Belize - 2014

Video: IN BELIZE I CAN FLY! [Part 2!], 12min.

George Price Highway (Western Highway)






Video: May 6th, 2014 - The Aquarium, Belize (#15) , 5min.
This dive started with a slow trip along a wall and ended with awesome colors and fish in the shallow, sunny area called The Aquarium. We encountered a school of fairly large fish looking for handouts as well as a turtle who seemed completely comfortable having us around.

Video: NEBL Playoffs Video, 2min.
The Western Ballaz, along with the other 3 teams that made the NEBL playoffs, are all shown in this promotional video. The Ballaz host the Belize City No Limit this Friday, then travel to play them the next weekend. The Belmopan Bandits will travel to San Pedro this weekend to play the Tiger Sharks. Go Cayo! Go Ballaz! See you at the game.

Video: Very dangerous! kids jumping from one building to another., 2min.
Que estan haciendo tus hijios ahorita?

Video: Hopkins, Belize 2014, 6min.

Video: Whale Shark at Gladden Spit, Belize May 17, 2014, 2min.
Whale Shark video taken just a few days after the full moon in May 2014 at Gladden Spit, Belize.

Video: Snorkeling Belize 2014, 5min.
Off the Island Ambergris Caye in Belize.

Video: Diving Ambergris Caye In Belize, 4min.
In this video I team up with Belize Pro Dive Center and they show me some amazing dive sites around Ambergris Caye in Belize. I see tons of sharks and a turtle and I almost loose my finger to a hungry eel! Check it out!

Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Search Messages CIG Info

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize