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6/11/2014 to 6/20/2014
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June 20, 2014


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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

Two persons arrested in drug operation in San Pedro Town
Two San Pedro Town residents have been arrested and charged for drug trafficking by the San Pedro Police Department following a drug operation on the island. They have been identified by police as Karim Gonzalez and Reina Galdamez. The couple was at home on Tuesday June 17th when police executed a drug search on their premises. According to police, during the search officers found four parcels of compressed cannabis in a transparent bag, along with several other small transparent Ziploc bags, containing cannabis that all amounted to 16o.9 grams. Police said that the drugs were found concealed inside a locker inside the house.

Injunction served on Tropic Air’s $10 million expansion project; GOB erroneously grants a second title to a portion of Tropic Air land lease
The claim of ownership by Construction Depot Limited is for a quarter of parcel 5621, which is about one-third of the total construction that is in process. The $10 million investment has been in the pipeline for Tropic Air since 2006 and according to Schulte, the maintenance facility is necessary since their company continues to grow annually. Now, not only are over 75 people displaced from their construction job because of the injunction, but the loss to the company and the tourism sector can be in the millions if the construction is stopped completely. If completed the expansion to Tropic Air will create between 50 to 100 new highly skilled jobs for Belizeans. “If somehow our lease is cancelled, we have over $1 million invested already in construction, but the entire project would be in jeopardy because the portion that is in dispute is integral to the company. If our project is cut it would not cater to our expansion needs. With a fleet of 15 airplanes going into the next tourism season, we require the ability to service five airplanes under shelter so that the elements of the weather cannot stop us. The economic impact would add up to the millions in tourism dollars and in revenue lost and so it can seriously hurt Belize. Stopping our project is like putting a cap over tourism in Belize.”

Ambergris Today

Rejuvenating and Staying Healthy at Zen Arcade
At Zen Arcade you can have a good time, rejuvenate in a fun, easy-going, uplifting and professional environment. At the center you can enjoy calming yoga classes, energetic dance classes at their Tree Top Studio, plus get pampered at the Beauty Bar by prettying up from head to toe, enjoying a healing acupuncture session, a relaxing massage by a professional masseuse or get some aesthetic Botox work done. Mothers can rejoice because they even offer child care services! After showing you what the new Chaya Café is all about at Zen Arcade, now Dorian’s Angels recap the wonderful afternoon of pampering and relaxation they were treated with at the center. Vicki Ellias graduated from the Massage Therapy Program at Fox Valley School of Massage in Appleton, WI, USA. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist in the State of Wisconsin, USA. Vicki is a member of Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) and maintains current certification in Community First Aid and CPR. She practices traditional and Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, pre-natal/postpartum massage and the Muscle Release Technique.

Black Orchid Resort Burrell Boom, One Belize Resort to See Everything
Probably the most active location in the small and quaint village of Burrell Boom is at the Black Orchid Resort. It is ideally located in the sleepy village just outside the Belize City limits where you can choose to immerse yourself in as many Belizean adventures of your heart’s desire or simply do nothing at all lounging next to the Belize River. It is not nestled deep in the middle of the jungles of Belize, but Black Orchid Resort’s location provides an ideal access to the jungle, inland attractions and a quick lift to the Caribbean coast without being shuffled around from resort to resort. This makes Black Orchid a very popular location for visitors seeking adventure around the country.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

The Organization of American States in collaboration with the Government of Brazil herein offer Masters and PhD Scholarships, deliverable onsite. The language of instruction will be Portuguese; however proficiency in the said language is not a requirement. The scholarship package includes but is not limited to tuition, subsistence for Masters students and free Portuguese language studies. The application deadline has been established at August 6, 2014. Please feel free to direct further questions to [email protected] and copy to [email protected] .

The Organization of American States in consort with the Rochester Institute of Technology herein offer partial scholarships for Masters Degrees, online with the language of instruction being English. The admission deadline has been established at July 1, 2014, the scholarship deadline being July 25, 2014. Further queries can be directed to [email protected] and copied to [email protected] .

San Antonio Community Animal Clinic
The Institute for Sustainable International Studies is teaming up with Dr. Edwardo Tesecum to bring another free spay and neuter clinic to San Antonio this weekend. Their vet students are getting some great training while in Belize, and the Cayo communities are getting helped at the same time. The clinic will be Saturday morning, starting at 9:00am. Thanks, ISIS! "Spread the word that ISIS and Dr. Tesecum will be offering a free Animal Health Clinic in the village of San Antonio this coming Saturday. Come early if your animal needs a spay or neuter surgery."

BEL to Hold Annual General Meeting of Shareholders Highlighting Successes over the Last Three Years
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) will tonight host its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders for the year ended December 31, 2013. BEL has maintained focus over the past year on fulfilling its Mission “to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize.” “2013 was a high performing year for BEL and we thank our employees for maintaining a high level of commitment to the Company’s focus on “keeping the lights on,” says Senior Manager, Finance & Human Resources, Betty Tam. “This was displayed through achievement of the best system reliability, improved service delivery and increased participation in community involvement initiatives. The Company is also reporting net earnings of $18.7 million or $0.27 per share in 2013 and $5.5 million in dividend payment to shareholders.”

Feed the Children Fundraiser
Cornerstone had their Feed the Children fundraiser earlier this month at Falcon Field. In related news, Falcon Field is getting refurbished.

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 21
This week's Buy and Sell Weekly. Cockcomb Basin is highlighted is this issue.

Channel 7

Businessman/Landlord Charged For Rape, Denies Charges
For the past 2 nights, we've been telling you about the case of the businessman who has been under police scrutiny after a 19 year-old female accused him of abduction and rape. Well, tonight we can reveal that the man she's accusing is 65 year-old Adil Abdullah Bishop, a bail bondsman and landlord from Reggae Street. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, but no plea was taking from him because the offence is indictable. He was released on bail of $7,000, which he was able to meet. After his hearing at the Magistrate's Court, Bishop was trying to avoid encounters with the press, but after he realized that the story of his arraignment would hit the news, he called the court reporters aside and granted a 1 one 1 interview with each of them. For context, we note that because he didn't grant the interview to us directly, there will be a few technical glitches. He told the freelance journalists that this young woman's accusation is nothing more than an attempt at blackmail and defamation: Adil Abdullah Bishop "This young lady text me and threatened me and tell me that if I don't give her $400 she will mess me up with the police. You see her text right there." Roy Davis, reporter "So Abdullah, that is the reason why she made that report that you raped her?" Adil Abdullah Bishop "Yes, that is the reason why she made that report, because I said that I will not give her any $400 to take her out of her man house because she told me that she wanted to move out because her man treats her very bad and she is not messing around with her man."

Man Charged For Raping 12 Year Old
Another man who was taken to court today for rape charges was 25 year-old David Gonzalez. He wasn't so fortunate as Adil Abdullah Bishop because he was denied bail. The complainant, a 12 year old girl, told police that in January 2014 and then on last week Friday, Gonzalez had intercourse with her against her will both times. Police investigated her report and charged him with 2 counts of rape, and he was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable, and Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gonzalez that she cannot offer him bail because of the second count. She remanded him into custody until August 5.

Money and Power Clash In San Pedro Land Dispute
Tropic Air may control the bulk of the local traffic in the skies, but back here on earth, the Lands Department has the control and, tonight, the leading local airline says that Lands is dispossessing them of a prime piece of real estate. The land adjoins the San Pedro runway. Tropic air had hoped to use it to invest substantially to expand their operations since San Pedro is their base. But, then, their lease was cancelled - and it emerged that two private landowners, Breth Feinstein and Marilee Pou had separate titled lands within the leased area - though their titles were also mixed up. Today, Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega told 7News that Tropic Air ended up with the lease as a result of human error - and the Department had to correct the error:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Natural Resources "Yes the lease has been cancelled. It's an error that the ministry made. It's an error coming long before 2008 and instead of rectifying - we try to rectify the problem and another problem gets done. I am going to be honest and say it's a problem created by the ministry. The errors were not calculated, it was just a human error and it has compounded problems."

Belize Public Health On High Alert after Chick-V Detected In Salvador
Tonight, Belizean health officials are on high alert after Chikungunya, the virus called Chik-V has been detected in Salvador. Regional news reports quote Salvadoran Health Minister Violeta Menjivar as saying that her nation has reports of at least 1200 cases of the debilitating virus. Panama has also reported cases and Costa Rica has suspected cases. We stress that test results have not confirmed any of those cases. But, clinical assessments and the proximity to Belize is enough to trigger major concern in Belize since there are close ties between Salvador and Belize - and travel between both countries happens on a daily basis. On Monday, June 16th, the Caribbean Public Health Agency confirmed that to date, cases of Chikungunya have been confirmed in 23 countries or territories. They say that the total number of confirmed/probable cases has reached 4,805.

Man Injured in 2012 Accident Dies
The toll that Rosewood has taken on the environment and social ecology of southern Belize probably won't be known for decades - but tonight Rosewood opponents are saying that it has led to a death, however inadvertent it may have been. In January of 2012, Jacintoville Resident Antonio Edwards and his 3-year-old son were returning home from church when a flatbed pickup truck carrying Rosewood barreled around a corner and a rosewood flitch came flying his way. The flitch struck Edwards on both his legs and shattered several bones in different places. His 3 year-old child who he was carrying was flung off his shoulder, but luckily the toddler escaped unhurt. When we met him in February, he was awaiting a costly surgery.

Scarlet Macaw Being Poached In Chiquibul
Tonight, there are more disturbing reports coming out of the Chiquibul once again - and it involves poaching of the prized scarlet Macaw. This year in April during the bird's breeding period, Friends for Conservation and Development documented high activity by Guatemalan poachers in the nesting area and subsequent loss of macaws. On May 5th., a Guatemalan was intercepted with a a young scarlet macaw chick (less than 7 days old), a rifle and 43 .22 gauge rounds. Unfortunately the chick died and the Guatemalan escaped.

New Rules At BAA, No More Free Paper Cheques
Who can forget the cheque scandal at the Belize airport Authority. In December and January, it rocked the Authority - and the shockwaves reached all the way up to cabinet where Minister of State in the Ministry of Transport Edmund Castro was stripped of his civil aviation portfolio. In total 76 cheques were released to the media and the explanation we got is that only a few of them were directly linked to Castro - in many of them the board claims to have issued social assistance of its own volition. But, while it may have been business as usual for any statutory board - the Prime Minister declared it ill-advised and wrong. And so, he sent the board and the General Manager home. The New board and GM have come up with new rules: A management reporting system, and a strategic plan and tied to a tightly managed budget. The New GM laid out the rules for us today:.. John Waight, General Manager - BAA "The first thing we did, the board and I in light of what has happened in the past we I guess you could say things were not in the best of taste and we felt that this cannot ever occur again and so we did an organizational assessment, look at all our weaknesses and strengths and so on and then we came up with a number of measures. We thought it best that we create administrative policies, even the board of directors has a manual to be guided by."

OW Will Get Refurbished Runway
And while they are saying "no-mas" to the free-paper cheque policy, the airports authority is saying "mas, mas" to upgraded runways. We found Waight and his board in Orange Walk today, at a groundbreaking for the tower hill airstrip in Orange Walk. Now, if you're not familiar with the whole tourism matrix - you might not be able to figure out why an upgraded airstrip in Orange Walk is opportune. We found out why this morning: Jules Vasquez reporting In an area dominated by canfields, the runway at Tower Hill doesn't look like much, just a strip of clear earth in an abundance of green. But today the UDP political brass came out to ground break for a re-fitted air-strip. Leading the way was UDP hopeful for Orange Walk East Elodio Aragon Jr. He's also a member of the newly reconstituted Board of the Airports Authority: Elodio Aragon, Jr. - Standard Bearer OW East "Since the new board has taken over we have done a new strategic plan as to where we want not only in Orange Walk but across this country to say where we are and where we want to go. Orange Walk was a strategic place because that is the next place that needs to develop."

Juniour Herredia Says The Dog Wasn't His
ON MONDAY WE TOLD YOU ABOUT 33 year-old San Pedro resident Byron Evans, REMANDED FOR discharging a firearm in public. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, explained that on June 10, Evans was walking on Tarpon Street in San Pedro going to pick up his wife when he was attacked by Pit Bulls - allegedly owned by Minister and area representative Manuel Heredia. Today Herredia told us the problem dog isn't his: Hon. Manuel Herredia, Minister of Tourism "Well first of all Jules I don't even have a do at home. My yard is well fenced, but I dint even have a dog. The dog in question was my neighbor's dog and indeed the dog has always been out of the yard and so I think If I recall it has bitten about 4-5 persons.

Steeno Appeals Verdict Or Trial Without Jury
In November of last year, 49 year-old Vincent Tillett Sr., aka "Steeno", was convicted of stabbing his ex-common-law wife's new boyfriend, 22 year-old Darwin Phillips. He was sentenced to 12 years for manslaughter after he stood trial without a jury, but today, he appealed that outcome in the Court of Appeal. His attorney, Anthony Sylvestre, pressed the case on his behalf on the ground that Justice Adolph Lucas was presented with evidence from the Crown in which 2 witnesses who gave conflicting accounts. At the adjournment of hearing, Sylvestre explained the importance of this appeal and the effect it could have on future cases which are tried without a jury: Anthony Sylvestre, attorney "Mr. Tillett was tried before a judge alone and at his trial he was convicted based on two statements that were given by two witnesses. At the trial they didn't testify in accordance to that previous thing that they gave but, he is one of the first person to have been tried where statements of a previous inconsistent witness was admitted into evidence. As you may know this is one of the new laws that were passed since this government came to power.

Vega Not "Losing Weight" Over PUP OW North Turnout
On Sunday, PUP in Orange Walk North elected a new standard bearer. He is Ramon Munch Cervantez and he easily beat out Alfredo Ortega for seat. What's interesting is that 1,844 voters came out, and Cervantez got over 1,300. That's considered a high turnout for what should be the UDP's safest seat in the north - the home base of Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega. Today, Vega gave us his impressions of the turnout:.. Jules Vasquez "Is this something that concerns you?" Hon. Gaspar Vega "I don't get involved with the P.U.P. politics. Truthfully I didn't wish either one good or bad. That is not my business. I don't think it was a low turnout. It was a fair turnout. But you have to realize that Orange Walk North is a very active constituency. In other words we have one of the highest turnouts in any election. Last election two years ago we had I think 82% turn-out. Briceño at that time two years ago got two thousand three hundred votes. I got three thousand four hundred plus. So that tells you that…I'm not saying it's a poor turnout, but it's not a turnout that's going to make me lose weight."

Things Sweet In Sugarland
And while he won't lose weight over it - he might gain weight with all the sweet news that's coming out of BSI. After a season that started very late due to weather and labour agitation, the 2014 sugar crop looks like it won't be so bad after all. Vega told us about it today:.. Hon. Gaspar Vega "The quota for the sugar has already been met or just about. So we are going to be able to supersede the quota. We are really having an extremely good crop this year. That is because of the investment that ASR has done in the factory because in such a short time, we have been able to mill an average of twenty percent more than what we used to mill just last year. They have invested something like twenty-five million dollars just in the last year in introducing some evaporators so that the factory doesn't have to close down every two weeks to service and stuff like that and it has really improved the milling capacity. And also the cane farmers, they have improved their fields, they have invested in replanting; they have changed attitudes especially habits in harvesting. They are ensuring that they deliver clean cane; they've been able to create this competitiveness in seeing which branch gets the highest paid for their cane. All of these things have enhanced the crop for this year."

Mexicans On A Mission
Yesterday, a delegation of officials from the MEXICAN Trade and Investment Agency - ProMéxico have been in Belize on a mission to improve trade relations between Belize and Mexico. They're identifying markets in each of the countries so that merchants and service providers can do business with customers across the border. With a wide range of products that the Mexican companies are offering to Belizean customers, the media was invited to a meeting of the officials at the Mexican Embassy today. We stopped by and spoke with the Director of the Trade organization about the importance of this relationship between both countries: Jose Manuel Rodriguez, Director - ProMexico "We started yesterday in Belmopan, we had around 30 different meeting between Mexican and Belizean companies and we are going to finish today here. We expect about 40 meetings because this is a larger city, the base of companies are bigger. We are having also several meetings with customs, with the broker association, we had a meeting with BELTRAIDE which is our counterpart in Belize and we have also a meeting with the chamber of commerce. The goal is to make business links between Mexican and Belizean companies, both sides. We are presenting our products; we also receive feedback with the Belizean companies and what they have to offer, so that an alliance can be established. We have two companies for food products which are based products like mayonnaise, ketchup, sugar, vinegar - we have also sauces and also companies in the timber sector. We have two companies from the software sector IT telecommunications."

Today, the Occupy Belmopan protest continued in Belmopan with 25 participants. They are demanding that government withdraw the gender policy - but, so far, the protest has fallen on deaf ears. But while the police doesn't seem to be going anywhere, its architect and chief proponent is - just for a while, though. Today, the US Embassy announced that Ann-Marie Williams, the Executive Director of the National Women's Commission, has been selected to participate in a prestigious 1-year study program in the US. That program is called the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program, and it's purpose is to bring young and mid-career professionals from around the world to the US for an entire year of non-degree graduate level study. While there, Williams will also get the opportunity to increase her capacity in leadership, and she will collaborate professionally with her US counterparts. She will spend the Academic year of 2014-2015 at an American University to participate in the "Trafficking in Persons, Policy, and Prevention" Humphrey Fellowship. She will start her study in August.

Channel 5

Land dispute in San Pedro – $6 Million project by Tropic Air comes to an abrupt stop
A six million dollar project on the island of San Pedro has come to a complete stop, and Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega says the reason is human error [...]

Minister says San Pedro land dispute due to glitches at Lands
That story was done in San Pedro at around midday today. At almost exactly the same time in Orange Walk, Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega, broke the news that [...]

Bondsman Adil Abdullah charged for the rape of 19 year woman
For days police have been investigating an allegation of rape made by a nineteen year old woman against a well-known bail bondsman. Well tonight, sixty-five year old Adil Abdullah, who [...]

Accused rapist refutes the allegation
While Abdullah is refuting the claim made by the young woman, the police believe they have the evidence. This afternoon, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Christopher Noble, spoke briefly to the [...]

More contracts to Imer Hernandez – D.P.M. says it helps to be his relative
Ground was broken for a new runway at Tower Hill this morning and we’ll have that story coming up. But the contract for the works was awarded to Imer Hernandez, [...]

Minister of Civil Aviation says B.A.A. members had to be U.D.P.s
The names of the members of the new Belize Airports Authority Board were revealed this past Tuesday and by today, the Board along with its new minister, Manuel Heredia Junior, [...]

Elrington’s move to remove mandatory membership in the Bar Association
On Wednesday, Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington was asked his opinion on the reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich. He expounded at length, but he also took the opportunity to vent on the [...]

Minister Gapi Vega says sugar production is on target
Earlier this year, there was a threat that the sugar production target of one point two million tons would not be met because of a dispute between cane farmers and [...]

Tower Hill airstrip to get a facelift
As we told you earlier, work will soon begin on the rehabilitation of an old dirt runway that will become a modern airstrip to accommodate domestic flights to the Orange [...]

P.U.P. Convention in Orange Walk north, DPM says he is not worried
There were all manner of state matter to ask Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about today, and we did. But we also asked him to don his party hat for [...]

Tourism Village vendors prohibited from selling in certain areas
There was commotion at the Tourism Village this afternoon when a man attempting to sell his wares was roughed up by the police and taken in custody. His detention was [...]

Kenrick Major freed of wounding a police officer
A Lord’s Bank man, who was facing prison time for allegedly beating up a man while on a local bus then damaging his shirt, was today reprimand and freed of [...]

Healthy Living looks at burnout and how it severely impacts your life
It’s expected that we will experience stress every day in our lives for many different reasons. But when your responsibilities at work or home, or in some cases both become [...]


All Is Good With Crop Season 2014, Says DPM
Executive Director of the National Women’s Commission, Anne-Marie Williams has been selected to participate in the US Embassy’s 2014-2015 class of Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows Program. The program brings young and mid-career professionals from around the world to the U.S. for a year of non-degree graduate-level study, leadership development, and professional collaboration with U.S. counterparts. Williams will spend the next year at American University beginning in August 2014 to participate in the “Trafficking in Persons, Policy, and Prevention” Humphrey Fellowship. We have been following the progress of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop which has been riddled with challenges. First with a late start following by inconsistent weather patterns, stakeholders have been hoping for the best. This crop, there was an estimate 1.2 million tons of sugar cane to be harvested for delivery but presently, the weather will be a deciding factor as to whether that goal will be met. The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and farmers have been battling with the weather and the fear is that a few hundred thousand tons of cane will remain unharvest. Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture Gaspar Vega however says that things are running rather well.

Mother Reports Her Daughter and Boyfriend For Having Sexual Intercourse
Another report on unlawful sexual intercourse has emerged and this time it involves two teens. According to a 15 year old female student of Corozal Town, she left home on Tuesday around 10:00pm and went with her 16 year old boyfriend where she had sexual intercourse with him on her own free will. A medical examination was conducted on her where it was certified that she was sexually active. The 16 year old male was released into the custody of his parents. The investigation file will be prepared and forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution for directives. The age of consent for a female is 16 years.

Government To Upgrade Airstrips Country Wide
As we mentioned before, the rehabilitation of the airstrip in Orange Walk is part of a larger plan for the country by the Belize Airport Authority. The work says Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, is for increased safety for the travelers. Manuel Heredia – Minister of Tourism “There are plans in the near future for Caye Caulker there is not much deterioration on the surface itself but it has several dents which when the airplanes are landing or taking off it is not so safe so hopefully early in the new year we will be working on that one. There are also plans for the Pine Ridge, we have serious problems in the Caracol archeological site, by road many times they cannot access by road so if we do an airstrip that had been planned before then we believe that a lot of tourist will be going to that area and we have plans already looking already with Cosesna, they are the central regional institutional that where Belize is part and every year we get funding from them for different aspects of the industry so we are looking at them to make sure how we can finance both Caye Caulker and the Pine Ridge one.”

Vega Reacts To PUP Convention In The North Consituency
The People’s United Party held its convention to elect a Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North on June 15th. The turnout of voters was 1,863, which was relatively well. At that convention, Ramon “Munchi” Cervantes was elected as Standard Bearer, completing the slate for Orange Walk by the PUP. At the polls, Cervantes raked in the majority of the votes which was 1,394 to be exact. It was a landslide win and could be interpreted as Cervantes being a favorite of the constituents. However, despite the numbers, Area Representative Gaspar Vega says he is not moved. Gaspar Vega – Minister of Natural Resources “It was a fair tour out but you have to realize that Orange Walk North is a very, very active constituency in other words we had one of the highest turn outs in any elections, last election two years ago we had I think 82% turn out, Briceno at that time two years ago got 2300 votes, I got 3400 plus so that tells you that I am not saying it is a poor turnout but it is not a turn out that it is going to make me lose weight.”

Young Micro-entrepreneur Honored By LICU
Seventeen year old Eider Romero, Eliel Reynoso and Eved Corado were nominated by the La Inmaculada Credit Union for the third annual Citi-CMFA Caribbean Microfinance Awards in three categories, Best Rural Microentreprenuer, Best Young Microentrepreneur and Best Technology Microentrepreneur. The names of the winners were reveled at a ceremony held on June 3rd in Jamaica which the three nominees attended. In total six awards were presented and Belize took three as Eider Romero, Eliel Reynoso, and Eved Corado were each bestowed an award. While the three individuals were awarded in Jamaica, their hard work and great accomplishment was also recognized here at home during a special ceremony held last night in their honor by LICU. Carmelita Perez – Reporting “It feels great to be the boss” those were words used by Eved Corado, one of the three Micro entrepreneurs’ that were nominated and won an award for the third annual Citi-CMFA Caribbean Microfinance Awards. Corado, who is the proud owner of E-Tech Services, won Best Technology Micro entrepreneur in the Caribbean. As for Eliel Reynoso, he won second best young entrepreneur in the Caribbean. As the founder of Hawaianas, his struggles have thought him to appreciate his business even more.

Another Contract Issued To Imer Hernandez
If we take another look at the upgrade of the airstrip project here in the Orange Walk District, we have to note that the contractor for the work at the airstrip is the infamous Imer Hernandez, nephew of Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega. Hernandez was recently announced to have won the contract for the paving of the first mile of road work on the Phillip Goldson Highway that passes within the town; therefore, the question had to be made to the Minister about why Hernandez has once again been awarded another contract within the Orange Walk District. It is hard not to suspect that it is due to his family ties with the contractor. Here is what the Minister responded. Gaspar Vega – Minister of Natural Resources “I think him being my relative most naturally helps but not just because he is my relative he is getting the job, I am certain that he gets the job because he gets the capacity, he has proven to deliver good work, it is as simple as that.” Reporter “But, are the people who issued the contracts compelled to choose him, is there a directive that says that you have to give this job to Imer because he stays in my backyard?”

MOT Speaks About Land Error That Should Have Been Leased To Tropic Air
The Government of the day has constantly been chastised for the land corruption at the lands department. The situation has gotten is so bad that even the Prime Minister of Belize has openly stated that the Ministry of Lands is quote a “hot bed of corruption”. And tonight it’s no different only that this time the Minister of Natural Resources himself is admitting that his department messed up one more time. The most recent case is surrounding a parcel of land adjacent the Tropic Air airstrip in San Pedro. It appears that two leases and one title were issued for the same parcel of land. One of the leases was given to Tropic Air after the company submitted a proposal for the expansion of the airline, a project that would see the investment of millions worth of dollars. There was one problem though. The land they had leased was also being claimed by two other individuals. Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, says he had stepped in to help sort out the mess made by the lands department and he explains how the dispute surfaced. Manuel Heredia – Minister of Tourism: “After they were about to start their project, it was found out that there was not one but two persons that owned land inside of what was supposedly what should have been leased to Tropic Air; one is Bret Finesteins and the other is Marylin Pau. When I learnt about Bret owning over there is because Mrs. Marylie Pau who might know very well and from my constituency and asked me if I can help her to get her title, she has all the receipt where she has paid under the previous administration but didn’t manage to get her title and she said fine I know you well and that is when I found out that Bret owns a particular parcel of land also over there and that by mistake he was given the parcel number that belongs to Mrs. Marylie Pau so I said that she cannot get her title until this is resolve so that was ongoing until around January I understand that Mr. Finestein was given proper title to the proper parcel number that he paid for. An injunction has been put over there which to me injunctions can last up to three years over there in the meantime there will be an eye swore in the airstrip which was what I was trying to avoid and that is the only reason I got involved.”

Circus Ponce Passes Health Inspection
The circus is coming to town! This familiar phrase conjures vivid images of amazing acrobats, capering clowns and exotic animals. Unlike the human performers who choose to work in circuses, however, exotic animals are forced to take part in the show. While many circuses are quick to advertise good old-fashioned family fun, the fine print tells a different story: the needless suffering of animals. With that said, it has been several years since the Circus has made an appearance in Orange Walk Town and the Ponce Hermanos Circus has set up their ‘big top’ tents at the Barracks of Town. As with any ‘foreign’ entities entering our borders, check- ups and inspections are conducted. Today, our news team tagged along with members of the Belize Agriculture health Authority (BAHA), Public Health inspector and officials of the Forestry Department as they conducted their second inspection. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist were on site and filed this following report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Common sense tells us that a 1000 pound Camel or a tiger with 3-inch-long razor-sharp teeth would naturally dominate a human being, and that he could not be forced into doing something he does not want to do. But the circus maxim is "The show must go on," and so it does, whether or not the animals are willing or even able to participate. Today, the final touches of setting up for the weekends biggest spectacle, that will draw throngs of people to the ‘Big Top’, was met with a second inspection conducted by officials of BAHA, Forestry Department and Public Health. Their main goal was to ascertain if the operation is safe from harmful, unsanitary practices and over all well-being. Karel Heredia is the Public Health Inspector in the Ministry of Health.

Zenobia Meggs Helpage Centre Holds Mission Group
A mission group from San Diego, California are visiting with students, community members and the elderly as part of their trip to Belize. Today we caught up with the worship group who were brightening the smiles of the elderly at the Zenobia Meggs Helpage Centre. It was the centres’ monthly game day and the group added an extra loving touch with their guitars, drums and sing along. Worship Director, Dylan Voelker says they are here to serve in any aspect that they can. Dylan Voelker – Worship Director “Right now what we are going to be doing vacation bible school at teacher life changing ministries and we are going to be serving there and leading games and leading the lessons and things like that and we also been doing cleaning at the church and another thing that we are going to be doing is in home ministries where we go inside families homes and we minister and we pray over them, we teach the gospel and any and everything that we can do to serve and love to do. Maybe a couple hours ago, we are happy to do and we just got right over here and so we have an opportunity, I don’t know if you can see the instruments, to play the guitar and sing with them and they make us feel very welcome and we also have a heart towards the elderly and so we also had a lot of fun too.”

Dawson Free From All Charges
Yesterday, 42 year Gerald Dawson, who is originally from Caye Caulker but was residing in Orange Walk Town, was acquitted of indecent assault against a 13 year old school girl. On May 23rd of this year, Dawson was accused of biting a girl’s neck during a sexual encounter at a local basketball court. The case fell part yesterday at trial when the complainant admitted that she lied in her first statement to police. The arresting officer, under cross-examination, told the court that he disbelieved the complainants’ statements. Allegations from the complainant were that the two had conversations over Facebook but no evidence of this was presented in court. Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith upheld the submission of no case to answer by Lewis, ruling that there was “difficulty and inconsistencies” in the prosecution’s case, especially with the complainant, who she said was not credible. Dawson walked out the court free from any charge.

Fourth Estimate Shows An Increase In Value Of Sugar
The fourth estimated average cane price for the 2014 crop has been issued to cane farmers. The estimation stands at $61.06 per ton cane. Today we spoke with Vice Chair of the Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega who told us more about the fourth estimated price. Alfredo Ortega: “Hay un aumento de noventa y tres centavos por tonelada en esta cuarta estimación, la tercera estimación salió a $60.13, esta cuarta estimación salió a un $61.06 pero hay una diferencia también que muestra de que subió punto uno porque el TC/TS que estaban utilizando anterior era de nueve punto cinco y hoy el punto que están usando es de nueve punto cincuenta y uno así es de que subió con un punto y aun así tenemos un alce de noventa y tres centavos en esta cuarta estimación, y es muy importante este precio y también es muy importante de que cuidemos la calidad de cana que estamos entregando el ingenio.” Ortega says that this will positively impact sugar cane farmers especially at a time where their cost of production is heightened. These costs are compounded by the need to hire more hands and machinery to harvest cane in low lying areas that are flooded after the recent rains. And speaking of the rains, Ortega says the quality of the cane is already being affect.


Duo Charged with Drug Trafficking on Ambergris Caye
San Pedro Police have arrested and charged 26-year-old Karim Gonzalez and 25-year-old Reina Galdamez with drug trafficking. Police say on Tuesday they visited a house on Laguna Drive in the Boca del Rio area of San Pedro. A search was conducted which resulted in the discovery of four small compressed parcel wrapped up in transparent plastic which each contained green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis, a transparent zip lock plastic bag with two small transparent zip lock plastic bag each containing green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis and a black and transparent case which contained seven small transparent zip lock plastic bags which each contained green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. Gonzalez and Galdamez were escorted to the station. The suspected drugs were weighed in their presence which amounted to 160 point nine grams.

Gapi Says His Nephew Was Not Contracted Upon His Directive
As we heard, the contractor for the rehabilitation will be done by Imer Hernandez Company Ltd. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was present at the ground breaking and we asked him why another contract to Imer Hernandez Company Ltd., company of his nephew. GASPAR VEGA Deputy Prime Minister “I think him being my relative, most naturally helps but not just because he’s my relative he’s getting the job. I’m certain he’s getting the job because he has the capacity and has proven to be able to deliver good work, it’s as simple as that.” LOCAL REPORTER “But are the people who issue the contract compelled to choose him. Is there a competitive process or is there a directive, you have to give the job to Imer because this is in my back yard?”

Minor Reports Cases of Rape
25-five-year old, David Gonzalez, a messenger employed by Home Protector Insurance Company was charged with 2 counts of rape when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Senior Magistrate Fraser told Gonzalez that she cannot offer him bail because of the second count. She remanded Gonzalez into custody until August 5. The virtual complainant, a 12 year old girl, reported to the police that the first rape occurred sometime in January 2014 and the second rape occurred on June 13, 2014. She said that on both occasions Gonzalez had sex with her against her will.

Bishop Charged With Rape of Young Woman
Earlier this week Love News reported the story of a 19-year-girl who had reported to the authorities that she was raped by a 65-year-old businessman of Belize City. Things seemed to have gotten off to a rocky start in that investigation as the medical authorities had verified that there were no signs of forcible entry on the woman. That report from medical personnel delayed the movements on the case but today, we can tell you that progress has been made and the accused, Adil Abdullah Bishop has been charged with rape. (VO) The resident of a Reggae Street address in Belize City was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser with an adjournment set for August 5, 2014. Bishop was offered and met bail of seven thousand dollars but no plea was taken from him since the matter is an indictable offense. The media spoke to Assistant Superintendent of Police, Christopher Noble to find out how they got to this point in the case. ASP CHRISTOPHER NOBLE “Firstly the female did make a report some days ago. We took her report and we looked into it. Based on the information we gathered we ended up submitting that information for instructions. We got back those instructions and subsequently the gentleman has been charged. He is, to my knowledge, before the courts this morning and that is a matter for the court to decide. The relevant information for that file is being put together so that we can put it forward.

New Board Installed for the Belize Broadcasting Authority
It was a moment for celebration this morning at the ground breaking of the Orange Walk airstrip but at the same moment a time for the Civil Aviation Authority to gain back confidence after the alleged misappropriation of public funds under the former BAA. Recently it was reported in the media that most of the newly appointed members of the Belize Airport Authority are well known UDP supporters. We asked Minister of Tourism, whose ministry is now responsible for civil aviation and overlooks the new BAA, to explain the naming of these members persons to serve on the board. MANUEL HEREDIA Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation “My name speaks for itself you know. I think the whole country knows me very well that I am a person that believes in principles, I live by principles, I will die by principles. I am not the type that I elect a board and I put a General Manager and I will be running this person down. I allowed all my people at the Tourism Board, at NICH, at BMA and BAA to do their job. If you trust someone, allow him to do the job and I am not the type that every minute I will be requesting assistance for my constituents. I don’t believe in that type of thing. I believe that monies that are generated from an industry as much as possible is supposed to go back to that industry. Speaking about cronies, I make no apologies for people that I appoint because when P.U.P. was in power, they used their people. I make sure that it is my people but that they are honest and hardworking people but it has to be UDPs, that’s for sure. It is our government; we have to take care of our people.”

Airstrip In Orange Walk Undergoes Rehabilitation
A little over a year, the Orange Walk airstrip was opened to the public. For the past 12 months the facility has been in demand, but the inadequate landing runway did not allow for much growth. This is set to change in the next four months as work is set to start for the rehabilitation of the runway at the airstrip. Arturo Cantun reports. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTS “Ground was broken this morning to symbolically mark the start of rehabilitation of the Orange Walk air strip near Chan Pine Ridge village. It has only been a year since the facility is being used for commercial purposes but the dirt runway has been of concerned for the safety. Minister of Tourism and in charge of civil aviation Manuel Heredia was present. MANUEL HEREDIA Minister of Tourism “We had decided not long ago to open this airstrip to the public where we envision that tourists will have easier access to the archeological sites and then we have a lot of people particularly living in San Pedro that on weekends want to come visit with their families, this one is much closer than Ranchito. So, hence the reason for that but looking at the serious rains that we had last year, we noticed that the airstrip was not built to that standards that it will be safe enough to be able to accommodate this type of weather because it was done as a provisional airstrip; being a commercial now, as Minister of Tourism and government priority for tourism we decided that we have to look at the safety of our tourists and the safety of the residents of Belize and hence the reason that we had some monies that was accumulated by the riders’ fee that we introduced a few years ago, we have sufficient money to do a first class airstrip.”

Court of Appeal Upholds Manslaughter Conviction
49-year-old, Vincent Tillett was back in court today after he appealed his conviction of manslaughter of 22-year-old, Darwin ‘Darmu’ Phillips, which was handed down to him on November 15, 2013 by Justice Adolph Lucas….but the Court of Appeal decided to uphold Tillett’s conviction and 15-year sentence. Tillett’s plight resulted from an incident in February 2011, just before Valentine’s Day when he went to the home of his former girlfriend, Denise Stuart to drop off their two sons. Reports say that when he got to the house, he encountered Phillips at the home and stabbed him in the left side of his chest. Tillett reportedly then left the house and drove off. According to accounts from witnesses, Stuart was having a celebration at her home when the incident occurred between 7 and 7:30pm. The following day Tillett surrendered by notifying the police that he could be found by the Haulover Bridge. Police collected him and during an interview with the police, he reportedly admitted to stabbing Phillips, saying Phillips had threatened to kill him. Tillett’s attorney, Anthony Sylvestre had appealed on the grounds that the trial judge should not have allowed statements from Angela Hyde and Oran Young to be admitted as evidence. The respondent was represented by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lyn Vidal. Tillett’s trial was one without a jury.

Mother Pleads Guilty For Murder of Her Three Children
23-year-old Felicia Chen who allegedly drowned three of her four children at Belizean beach will have to wait until October of this year for her trial to commence. When the three counts of murder were read to her this morning before Justice Troadio Gonzalez, she pleaded guilty bit Justice Gonzalez rejected her guilty plea and traverse her matter to October 7. The guilty plea was rejected as Chen had no legal representation present today in court. She told Justice Gonzalez that her attorney remains Attorney Antoinette Moore who has now been appointed to be a temporary judge with the Supreme Court and who is now posted at the Southern Regional session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga doing cases in that jurisdiction. But the appointment now of Moore as a judge, could and may cause a conflict of interest so it is yet to be seen if Chen will have to be appointed or retain the service of another attorney to defend her in her murder trial. Judge Gonzalez advised her to retain another attorney. In April, 2013 Chen was charged with three counts of murder. While it was necessary for a psychiatric evaluation to take place, in September she was declared fit to stand trial for murder.

Charged for 93 Grams of Cannabis
31-year-old, Marvin Espinoza has been charged with drug trafficking and possession of controlled drugs. Police say on Monday they were on mobile patrol on Haulze Street when they saw Espinoza putting his hand in a drain and taking out a black plastic bag. They say when he saw them he dropped the bag. He was apprehended and Police retrieved the bag which contained eight grams of suspected cannabis. Police conducted a search in the drain which led to the discovery of a pan which contained 93 grams of suspected cannabis. Espinoza was arrested and charged. Meanwhile Police in San Ignacio conducted a search on an empty lot on George price Avenue in Santa Elena Town on Monday which led to the discovery of black plastic bag containing 87 grams of cannabis. No one was found in the area and the item was deposited as found property.

The Guardian

Luke must pay!
Failed PUP Politician Luke Espat must find 29.4 million dollars to pay to the Belize Bank for debts that he personally guaranteed for his companies which have all gone into receivership. That’s because he’s exhausted all appeal avenues to the Supreme Court decision that he must be held liable for the recouping of that debt. In November of 2013, Justice Courtney Abel ruled against Espat in the case brought by the Belize Bank. He found that Espat unconditionally and irrevocably guaranteed his companies' debts to the bank. The bank claimed that he signed a "Guarantee and Postponement of Claim Agreement" in which he personally guaranteed to pay the debts of those companies if they defaulted. His counter to that claim was that the Bank’s principals induced him into that guarantee by making false representations, and so he appealed the decision to the Court of Appeal. That case was heard on Monday, June 16. His attorney, Said Musa, presented his case, and Godfrey Smith responded on behalf of the bank.

PUP Land Galore in Valley of Peace
Julius Espat has been trying to create mischief with the Valley of Peace farmers who have been farming on land which belongs to Green Tropics Limited. He has been the guiding hand instigating the farmers to take Green Tropics to court for them to not only get compensated for damage which was done to their crops by Green Tropics when they were conducting spraying in their property but to also get the land itself. While it would seem like Espat is doing a hero’s job, what he does not tell people in the community is who the original owner of the land was. By our quick research, the land was purchased by Green Tropics from a company called Cresswell Ventures Ltd (the name does ring as an Aschcroft affiliated company and by extension a Belize Bank affiliated company). Further research has determined that Cresswell Ventures came in possession of the land after it got it from Gulf Atlantic Company Ltd. (the name does ring as a Luke Espat Company) which must have lost it to the Belize Bank. It must be noted that Luke Espat and Julius Espat are related to one another. Now if Julius were so interested in the people of Valley of Peace, he would have instigated for them to move on the land when it was in possession of his family member. But playing a malicious PUP politician, he did not do so. Instead he is instigating people in the village when he and his family member no longer have vested interest in the land.

$20 Million for DFC to Lend
The substantive issues dealt with at the House of Representatives on Friday, June 13, were completely ignored by the local press. Because of that, Belizean business owners may not be aware that the Development Finance Corporation is entering into a loan agreement with the Social Security Board for $20 million. Prime Minister Dean Barrow introduced the Development Finance Corporation Credit Motion, 2014 on Friday to request permission from the National Assembly to enter into the $20 million agreement. The credit will be used by the DFC to lend to various sectors of the economy; specifically, productive, micro, small and medium enterprises. The loan will be repaid in 14 years (including a two year grace period on the principal). Principal and interest will be paid quarterly at a rate of five and a half percent interest on the outstanding principal loan balance.

Unions cream off BTL
The Government of Belize under Prime Minister Dean Barrow has opened the books to the Union negotiating team who have been seeking a salary increase for public officers and teachers. Everything has been afforded them, the Microscope, the tweezers and even the scalpel. And while the Unions have been able to peer into the financial affairs of the government, there are those who wonder, who peers into the financial affairs of the unions. Very little if anything is known about their finances, anyone would be hard pressed to find any financial statements by any of the unions. With the exception of revenues derived from BTL shares, very little is known about how much money the unions have. Well if the BTL revenue is any indication, the unions are quite well off, that is, if the money they collect is available to the membership. The Guardian has been able to secure information as to how much the unions, both the Public Service Union and the Teachers Union have been collecting over the years as dividends from the telecommunications company.

Puerto Azul a Billion Dollar Gem
There is no Puerto Azul project at the moment- there is not even a Puerto Azul proposal. All that exist is a Puerto Azul idea and opponents have already turned up their fourth quarter blitz attack. There was once a time when local environmentalists believed in sustainable development – a time when it was okay to develop as long as the environment would not be injured. They would open a dialogue with aspiring investors to ensure that they are mindful of the environmental risks associated with development in a particular area. Unfortunately, it appears environmentalists have developed a habit of opposing every development without even discussing an environmental compliance plan. Puerto Azul is the latest development idea being rejected and it is being rejected even before it has been proposed. The aspiring developers are now making the rounds to share their idea in an attempt to prevent a D.O.A. Representatives of the local press were invited to the proposed project site, Northern Two Caye, on Saturday, June 14, to see the state of the islands. It is a 25 minute flight from the Belize City Municipal Airport to the island formerly known as Lighthouse Reef Resort. Though it is still surrounded by the most incredible turquoise shaded sea water in the Caribbean, the island is not as beautiful as it once was. The first thing that stands out as the plane approaches are the hundreds of infected coconut trees that have been left untreated. The beach is covered with dead seaweed and garbage that floats in from the Southeast. Garbage that is collected is also torn apart by what is believed to be a very aggressive rodent population. Even in the state it is in now, the obvious potential for greatness is very evident. And with a couple billion dollars at their disposal, the developers will spare no expense to make Northern Two Caye the envy of the world.

First loss for Alvarine Burgess and Channel 5
In November of 2013 Alvarine Burgess came out like a whistleblower on Channel 5 against Hon. Edmund Castro. At the time, she was claiming that she took visa applications for him to give recommendations and in exchange she brought thousands of dollars to the minister. Well she was asked to prove what she was saying but she never did. Despite multiple warnings for her and the TV station who was entertaining her to desist, they continued to impugn on Hon. Edmund Castro. Because of their obstinate stance, they were met with a lawsuit by Hon. Castro; both Burgess and Channel 5 were taken to court. The matter went into case management and on Monday, June 10, Justice Courtenay Abel heard Channel 5 and Burgess’ attorney, Godfrey Smith, as he attempted to have the matter struck out. Godfrey Smith submitted that the news station was insulated from the law suit under the prevention of corruption in public life law; specifically section 35 of the act which gives immunity to anyone who make a complaint to the integrity commission about wrongdoing. While the report was indeed made, attorney for Hon. Edmund Castro, Rodwell Williams, pointed out that the report was made after Burgess and Channel 5 had aired the offending remarks.

Belize Elementary girls and Chan Pine Ridge boys are National Champs
The National Primary Schools Volleyball championship came to an end on Friday, June 6, 2014, at Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing the Belize District defeated Holy Angles Roman Catholic from the Stann Creek Valley by the score of 25-12 and 28-26 to capture its first National Primary Schools Volleyball Title. In the third place game, Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District eliminated Blue Creek representing the Toledo District by the score of 20-25, 25-23 and 15-10 to take the Bronze medal. In the first game in the semi-final round, Belize Elementary School defeated Louisiana Government School in two sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-5. In the second game, Holy Angels defeated Blue Creek in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-11. In the first game of the girls’ championship played earlier in the day, Belize Elementary School defeated Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 25-2and25-4. In the second game, Louisiana Government School defeated Garden City Primary from Belmopan representing the Cayo District by the score of 25-15 and 25-23.

Midmorning murder in front of City Hall
Tulio Caceres, a 30 year-old man from Taylor’s Alley, was killed in broad daylight on Friday, June 13, in front of City Hall, one of the busiest locations in the City. At around 10:30 a.m., Caceres was in the park across the street from City Hall, and he was playing cards with 3 other companions when a gunman came up Majestic Alley (also known as Pinks Alley) and shot him at close-range. Caceres realized that the gunman had come to execute him, and so he tried to flee, and that’s when the gunman set chase. He only managed to escape a short distance away at the corner of Pinks alley and North Front Street. When he collapsed on the ground, the gunman reportedly stood over him and fired several more shots to ensure that Caceres was dead. He was injured more than 4 times in the upper body, and he died on the spot. He was the father of one child, and very recently, he was one of the main organizers of the Days of Healing which took place in Taylor’s Alley. The Days of Healing is a grassroots program done by community activist Perry Smith, to try to curb the violence in the City’s crime hotspots.

First loss for Alvarine Burgess and Channel 5
In November of 2013 Alvarine Burgess came out like a whistleblower on Channel 5 against Hon. Edmund Castro. At the time, she was claiming that she took visa applications for him to give recommendations and in exchange she brought thousands of dollars to the minister. Well she was asked to prove what she was saying but she never did. Despite multiple warnings for her and the TV station who was entertaining her to desist, they continued to impugn on Hon. Edmund Castro. Because of their obstinate stance, they were met with a lawsuit by Hon. Castro; both Burgess and Channel 5 were taken to court. The matter went into case management and on Monday, June 10, Justice Courtenay Abel heard Channel 5 and Burgess’ attorney, Godfrey Smith, as he attempted to have the matter struck out.

Felicia Chen’s Guilty Plea Rejected
Felicia Chen 23, who is accused of drowning 3 of her 4 children at Belizean beach, appeared in Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 18. She appeared before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez where upon hearing her charge of 3 counts of murder, pleaded guilty. She was unrepresented when she appeared in court and Justice Gonzalez did not accept her plea. He instead traversed her case to the next session of the Supreme Court which is set to commence on October 7, 2014. In court, Chen told Justice Traodio Gonzalez that her attorney is attorney Antoinette Moore who has been appointed as a temporary judge with the Supreme Court and who is now posted at the Southern Region of the Supreme Court in Dangriga doing cases in that jurisdiction.

Chrisdale Alexander Courtney on Remand for Robbery
A teenager is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after two sisters claimed he robbed them on Sarstoon Street in Belize City. 21-year-old Samantha Abigail Portillo, a Cosmetologist of Belize City, reported to police that she was walking on Sarstoon Street with her sister, Xenia Garcia, at about 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, June 14, when a dark skin man approached, held her by the neck and demanded that she and her sister hand over their belongings. They complied and handed over their belongings, which include cellphones and cash. The attacker then rode off on a bicycle. The women went to report the matter to police and gave a description of their attacker who was wearing a blue shirt and a blue camouflage hat with the inscription ‘MIAMI’. While the women were at the police station making a report, 18-year-old Chrisdale Alexander Courtney was brought in and both women identified him as their attacker. He was wearing the same clothing described by the women. Courtney was arrested and charged with two counts of robbery.

Teenage Girl lied on Jerod Dawson
On Tuesday June 17, Caye Caulker tattoo artist, Jerod Dawson was acquitted of sexually assaulting a 13 year old girl. Dawson was accused of putting a hickey on the young girl’s neck on May 23, 2014 whilst she was on the island’s basketball court The trial started before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where Dawson was represented by Kathleen Lewis. In the trial the child gave evidence alleging that it was Dawson who placed a hickey on her neck. In cross examination however, Dawson’s attorney managed to extract from the victim, who is now 14, that she had fabricated the entire story. Lewis was able to have the girl admit that when her mother saw the hickey and began to administer a beating on her that she yelled out the name Dawson saying it was he who put the vamp on her. The child’s mother also testified that it was when she was beating her daughter that she said it was Dawson.

Drugs in Cayo to be destroyed by fire
San Ignacio Police was seeking permission from Police Headquarters in Belmopan on Tuesday of this week to destroy a number of drugs in their possession, which had been confiscated by the local Court. A total of 134,136.64 grams of cannabis, 101.80 grams of crack cocaine and 0.5 grams of cocaine are expected to be destroyed by Police at a remote location in the Cayo District by the end of this week.

Siblings Caught Living in Belize Illegally
A brother and sister have been deemed prohibited immigrants and though the brother is out on bail the sister has been kept on remand since she is believed to be a flight risk. 33-year-old Giovanni Gonzalez Franco and 27-year-old Jessica Gonzalez Franco appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, June 13, to face a charge of staying illegally in Belize. Allegations are that Jessica arrived in Belize in November of 2013 and her last extension was up to January, 2014. Giovanni arrived in December of 2013 and was given permission to remain in Belize until May 14, 2014. They were picked up after police responded to a dispute at a Belize City residence. During their investigation into the dispute, police spoke to the siblings and asked for documents which they could not produce. Checks with the Immigration Department proved that they had both overstayed their time. The siblings were arrested and charged after being deemed prohibited immigrants.

Galindo Father and Son Claim Police Brutality but Charged for Assaulting Police
A father and son are claiming that police officers physically abused them on Saturday, June 14, but it was they who appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, June 16, to face charges of assault. Nestor Galindo Sr, 40, and Nestor Galindo Jr, 21, were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser on Monday to answer to numerous charges. Galindo Jr. was charged with one count of assaulting a police officer, one count of using indecent words, one count of harm and one count of resisting arrest. Galindo Sr. was charged with one count of harm and one count of assaulting a police officer. The complainant in all charges is a GSU officer, PC Harold Garbutt.

George Reneau Convicted of Firearm Offense
Plues Street resident, George Reneau, 49, is behind bars after he was convicted of being in possession of a firearm and ammunition without a gun license. According to police, a Chinese man was robbed across from the Beauty Plaza parking lot on Church Street on January 24, 2012. A security guard in the area heard when the victim cried out for help. He went to assist and saw Reneau riding away on a bicycle with a bucket in his hand. When Reneau passed him he saw that Reneau was carrying a firearm in the bucket. The security guard held Reneau until police arrived at the scene. PC Gregory Witty was the first police to respond to the robbery scene. When he got there, the victim pointed out Reneua who was found with a loaded .32 pistol. Reneau was not charged with that robbery but he was later charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition without being granted a gun license by the Commissioner of Police.

Carla Reyes Spared Jail Time after Beating Drunk Woman
Carla Reyes is the beneficiary of a very lenient sentence by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after she pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding upon Melanie Swasey. Swasey was drinking on March 11, 2013 and bumped into Reyes outside of Oasis Bar on Central American Boulevard. Liquor spilled out unto Reyes and for this she placed a beating on Swasey who was too drunk to even defend herself. Swasey admits that she was intoxicated and says she remembers that as she was standing with two friends in front of a hotdog stand where she was attacked by a vendor, later identified as Carla Reyes. Reyes grabbed her by the hair and dragged her to the ground. While on the ground, Reyes punched her repeatedly in the face. Swasey sustained a cut wound to the upper lip, abrasions to the left knee and complained of pain to the head. A medical doctor classified her injuries as wounding.

Shootings continue in Belize City
Three men had to be hospitalized for weekend shootings in Belize City which happened over the weekend from June 13 to June 15. The first one took place at around 9 p.m. on Friday, June 13. 40 year-old Walter Beaton was riding his bicycle on Kraal Road, and he was heading toward Fabers Road. When he arrived at the Ross Penn Road intersection, a gunman approached him from behind and fired several shots at him. Luckily, he was only injured by 2 of the shots in his left hand. He jumped off the bike and ran into the Cumberbatch Field, and the gunman fled the area shortly after. 24 hours later, on Saturday night, 22 year-old Efrain Assi was sitting on the basketball court on Alicia Street with 4 other friends when a gunman arrived and opened fire on the group. Assi was injured multiple times, and he had to be rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment.

Government Guarantees BEL’s Loan Agreement with CDB
The Caribbean Development Bank has agreed to lend the Belize Electricity Limited US$11,231,000. BEL plans to use the credit to upgrade and expand its sub-transmission and distribution systems across the country in order to improve the reliability of the company’s power supply to customers. The loan will be repaid in 48 equal and consecutive quarterly installments. The first payment will be due three years after the agreement date. The interest rate is set at 4.1 percent per annum on the outstanding portion of the loan. In order for BEL to enter into the loan agreement with the Caribbean Development Bank, the loan must be guaranteed by the Government of Belize.

Injunction lifted against BGYEA
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) managed to win a minor victory against the Government of Belize in the push to stop anyone from using the road reserve for corn farming. Nevertheless, the Government believes that their resistance is a reasonable position which serves the public. As has been widely publicized, BGYEA wants to use the road reserve, which was designated as a buffer zone in the Harmonyville land subdivision, to plant corn with their business partner Sam Patton. They’ve opted to change the terms after they initially agreed that the 29 acres of buffer zone was to be left without any kind of development. Government was successful in getting an ex-party injunction issued against BGYEA to ensure that they didn’t trespass into the buffer zone, since all indications were that they intended to ignore the Lands Department’s cease and desist order.

BIL to build two more facilities
The Belize Infrastructure Limited signed two contracts this week to construct sporting facilities in Belize City and in San Pedro. The first contract was signed on Monday, June 16, and it is for the San Pedro Football Field and facilities. The contract signed was for the design of the field which will include the possibility of having a synthetic turf installed for its durability as well as the difficulty to have natural grass grown on the island. The contract was signed with International Environments for $165,000. The second contract signed was for the Belize City Multipurpose Facility which was for the design and feasibility of a fully equipped facility in Belize city. The contract was signed with Anthony Thurton & Associates for $265,000 BZD. It will include a sporting facility to host national, regional and international court sport competitions primarily basket and volleyball as well as hosting of cultural and entertainment events with all supporting amenities.

Minister Elrington Delivers Boxing Equipment from Diaspora
Leopold Smart of Smart Boxing Gym in Belize City and Frank Martinez of Lions Den Boxing Gym in San Ignacio received some much needed equipment on Wednesday, June 18. Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, handed over the equipment to Leonard Yssaguirre of the Belize Boxing Federation at the Samuel Haynes Institute for Excellence. The donation includes eight jump ropes, two speed bags, six guard belts, six red gloves, five black gloves, one brown gloves, one trainer gloves, three packs of elastic hand wrap, five classic hand wraps, one yellow trainer mit, one grey trainer mit, two latex bags, five boxing shoes, six head gears and thirteen mouth guards. The gears were purchased by Belizeans living in California and shipped to Belize by the Consular Representative in California, Mr. Roland Yorke. Minister Elrington says he is glad that the Diaspora continues to pitch in to aid in the development of their home country. He says the Diaspora has assisted in several areas, especially in healthcare. Minister Elrington says this donation provides opportunities for young Belizeans to train and develop their boxing skills because “boxing was once very popular in Belize and can be once again”. The Boxing Federation will share the gears between the two clubs.

Cayo Safety Day held
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association (CNWA) reached out to the community on Saturday of this past weekend at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town in an all out effort to spread some personal safety tips. Coming out to assist the CNWA were San Ignacio Police, the Fire Department, Crime Stoppers Belize and the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). All teams paraded down the George Price Highway in San Ignacio and across the Hawkesworth Bridge to Santa Elena on Saturday, with the local Scouts group at the lead; holding the Belize, Police Force, Scouts and the United States of America Flag. The parade ended at the Cayo Welcome Center where the CNWA’s Cayo Safety Day began in earnest. BERT personnel were on hand to show the public how to administer Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation as well as how to assist a choking victim. The Spanish Lookout Rescue Team shared that for traffic accidents, assistance is provided free of cost. For private transfers, the BERT marked ambulances would charge $275.00. The BERT Ambulances can be reached via BTL at 6000-911 and via SMART at 6770-911. From one of the three of BERT’s ambulances comes the capability of extricating passengers from a crumpled car with the powerful ‘Jaws of Life.’

Graduation Address by UB’s President Alan Slusher
Today is a happy day for a lot of people in Belize, and particularly here in Belmopan. In many cases, however, the happiness is mixed. First, more than 400 former students are in the final stages of saying goodbye, at least for now, to the University of Belize. For some of those graduates the happiness is mixed with relief: the grind is over for the time being; the last assignment has been handed in and graded; and there will be no more late nights wondering whether sleep will come before dawn. Now the wondering is: when am I going to start earning some real money. For others, the happiness is mixed with a bit of sadness and regret: losing contact with mentors and good friends, and wondering when and where they will meet again (I want to tell you that those campus couples who don’t want to risk anything get married very quickly). For parents and guardians, happy that the sons and daughters have finally graduated, the hope is: now that some of the strain has been removed from the household budget, the issue is how to persuade the new graduate, as soon as he or she finds employment, to start making a substantial contribution to the house money before the marriage talk starts.

Clarification on lifted injunction on Harmonyville Subdivision
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is compelled to clarify the outcome of the court hearing in relation to the interim injunction order against the representatives of BGYEA and Mr. Sam Patton. On May 22nd, 2014 the Government of Belize filed for an interim injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves, their servants or agents or whosoever from trespassing, entering and possessing, clearing, planting crops, placing or projecting any object on or over the land, encumbering or dealing with the reserve buffer zone situate at Mile 41 of the George Price Highway in respect of the area known as Harmonyville. This interim injunction expired last Friday June 13th, 2014. The Honourable Court did not continue the injunction; however the Government of Belize is at liberty by law to apply for another injunction. The substantive claim for Trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30th, 2014.

New Building in Belmopan for better mental health
Persons who relapse or become stricken by the sudden onslaught of a mental disorder can now find respite at a newly built specialized facility in Belmopan, built just for that purpose. Belize Ministry of Health Officials, the U.S. Embassy’s Charge’d’ Affairs, Belize Defense Force personnel as well as the U.S Military cut a ribbon for the acute mental health unit at the Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan last Friday. The new mental health facility building was built at a cost of about a million dollars, during a 63 day period. The new unit that will function under the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Program is product of collaboration by Belize Defense Force engineers with the U.S Military New Horizon 2014 members.

Mexican Trade Mission visits Belmopan
The Trade and Investment Mexican Agency (ProMexico) and the Embassy of Mexico played the role as host to their Belizean business counterparts at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan on Wednesday of this week. Leaders of Mexican Companies had an opportunity today to also meet with Government Officials at the Mexican Embassy in an effort to strengthen the commercial ties between the two countries. Joint ventures between businesses from both Belize and Mexico were also being encouraged today. “The purpose is to make a link between Belizean Companies and Mexican Companies in order to increase our bilateral trade, so that means that we are not only interested in selling products, but also in making strategic alliances and joint ventures,” says Jose Manuel Rodriguez, the Director of ProMexico in Merida, Yucatan and who is responsible to the State of Yucatan, in encouraging Mexican Companies to export to different countries and also attract foreign investment. One of those Mexican companies being represented in Belmopan today and with a huge potential for Belize is Blue Ocean Technologies, which produces computer software to enhance transparency in Government at both the Municipal and National Level. Blue Ocean renders information as e-government on a Microsoft based platform that is 100% web based and is achieved with just a few clicks. Mauricio Menendez, Director of business at Blue Ocean told us that his company employs some 60 programmers that build software to make Governments more efficient.

Summer Camp to begin at Belmopan Library
The Belmopan Public Library will be holding its annual summer program starting June 30th to July 4th 2014. For this year the topic for the summer program will be water. Children between the ages of 5 to 12 years old are now being invited to visit the library and register for this program. “We can’t be without water…so there will be lots to discuss,” writes Mary Vivas Palacio, Librarian at the Belmopan Public Library. Some four volunteers will be assisting with the Summer Program to cater for fifty kids, just one week after school closes. The Belmopan Public Library opens 9:00 am until 7:00 pm, Mondays to Fridays and 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on Saturdays.

Queen’s Birthday honors
In a News Release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to the Most Distinguished Order Of Saint Michael And Saint George And The Most Excellent Order British Empire on the occasion of Birthday Honours 2014. Knight Bachelor To be a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George, The Hon. Mr. Justice Manuel Sosa OB, CBE, SC, LLB (Hons), for contribution to the Judiciary. C.B.E. To be an Ordinary Commander of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Dr. Ellsworth R. Grant, for contribution to Medicine. M.B.E. To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the Said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Pat Andrews, for Contribution to the Community and Banking. Stephen A Duncan, for contribution to the Community and Banking. Crystal Yvonne Vernon, for contribution to the Community. Francis Paul Woods, for contribution to the Community and Business. The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.

SATIIM Fails yet again
For the past 2 months, SATIIM made the media rounds claiming that they were adamant to block the Government of Belize and US Capital Energy from continuing oil explorations inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. That attempt came in the form of an injunction application before Justice Michelle Arana on Monday, June 13, and when it was done, it was a major anti-climax. The company is allowed to continue its operation unhindered. Before the application for injunction was heard, Government attorney Denys Barrow applied to have it struck out on the grounds that the court was “functus officio”, meaning that this case was closed before the judge because her decision was handed down and finalized. Barrow reasoned that because of this, the court didn’t have jurisdiction to grant this injunction that SATIIM and the Mayan Communities were requesting. Eamon Courtenay, attorney for the Mayan Communities, rebutted that argument on the grounds that according to the Civil Procedure Rules of the Supreme Court, Justice Arana was allowed to grant this injunction even though the judgement was already handed down.

Preparations for Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium now underway
Experts from the fields of both Archaeology and Anthropology will soon be converging in San Ignacio Town for four consecutive days to discuss cutting edge topics in their fields; to become the 12th Archaeology & Anthropology Symposium. The dates selected for this once a year event are from July the first to the fourth 2014 at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Experts have already been booked to discuss central topics related to the Ancient Maya Domestic Economy as well as Subsistence, Commerce and Industry. In the Anthropology section, presenters will be discussing topics on how to safeguard our cultural heritage, traditional medicine and other emerging issues relating to social and cultural research. It was during a period of ten years that the Belize Symposium centered on Archaeology, but that has changed during the last three years as Anthropology was incorporated into the presentation series. “That has happened because we have given more priority and attention to the institutionalization of the Institute for Social and Cultural Research ISCR,” says Diane Haylock, the current President of the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), one of the partners organizing the National event and whose important task involves providing a window to Belize’s cultural past, present and future.

Valley of Peace Farmers want Green Tropics Land
In March 2014, 30 small farmers from Valley of Peace accused the multinational company Green Tropics of destroying their crops with pesticides. Well months of negotiation has been fruitless, and the farmers have decided that they want their attorney present at all meetings now. The destruction of the crops happened on March 15, in which crop dusters doused an area of their farm with pesticides. The problem is that in the process, there was some drifting of the chemicals, and it was deposited on some 150 to 200 acres of farm lands that these farmers were using. They claimed that they lost a value of over 100 thousand dollars in product. The company countered their dispute claiming they shouldn’t have been there in the first place because these farmers were squatting on Green Tropics land, the land which they used to plant their crops. After weeks of intervention from the Ministry of Agriculture, acting as mediator to try to reach an amicable resolution, no compromise was reached. The company got their attorney, Mikhail Arguelles, to write each and every one of the farmers on June 9, that they needed to vacate the land, or else they risk criminal and civil court proceedings. The farmers got their attorney, Andrew Marshalleck, to write back to the company that they have been farming the land for over 30 years, and so they are not liable for any criminal or civil consequence of squatting on the lands.

GOB and CDB launches Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project
2,000 Belizean Youth between ages 16-29 are expected to benefit from this USD$157,000 the Youth and Road Safety Capacity Building Project jointly funded by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize (GOBZ). The project will be executed by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Road Safety Unit and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The road safety capacity building programme for teens and young adults will be facilitated by Youth For Road Safety , an international youth-led and youth-oriented, not-for-profit, non-governmental organisation focused on youth and road safety. The programme will utilise a train-the-trainer approach, while incorporating peer education and active learning. It is expected that the project will also enhance the benefits to be realised from the ongoing USD8.844 million CDB and GOBZ funded Road Safety Project launched in March 2013. Road traffic injuries are the fourth leading cause of death in Belize. Of these, youth comprise 30% of road crash fatalities, with young males specifically, accounting for approximately 90%. Through this project we aim to increase youth’s understanding of road safety, and create the awareness for young men and women to become advocates and peer-facilitators for road safety. The first phase of the project will commence from June 16-27, 2014 over a two-week period. YOURS will take the selected young leaders through an intensive road safety programme and train them in all aspects of youth and road safety issues as well as key skills on running their own workshops with young people in the country. The training combines theory with practice and will give hands on experience as well as life-long transferrable skills and an unforgettable experience.

Sagitun leads FFB President’s Cup Tournament
The FFB President’s Cup Tournament continued over the last weekend with a number of games across the country. On Sunday June 15, at the Toledo Union Field in Punta Gorda Town, Estrellas FC and Progresso FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for Estrellas was scored by Sony Wade in the 47th minute of play, while the goal for Progresso FC was scored by Aduan Usher in the 70th minute of play. On Saturday June 14, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting San Antonio FC and the host team Roaring Creek United to a 0-0 draw. In the game played out at the Carl Ramos Stadium in Dangriga Town, Benque D.C. United edged out Pomona United by the score of 3-2. The goals for Benque D.C. United were scored by Auner Cariass in the 51st minute of play, Victor Tut in the 87th minute of play and Owen Nunez an own goal in the 69th minute of play. For Pomona United, the goals were scored by Elias Pelayo in the 75th minute of play and Otis Smith in the 77th minute of play.

Primary schools basketball competition enters semi-final round
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball competition entered its semi-final round on Tuesday June 17, at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the first game of the girls’ semi-final round, Holy Redeemer School eliminated St. John’s Primary by the score of 18-7. The top scorers for Holy Redeemer were Zaria Jenkins with 9 points and Leeza Russell with 4 points. For St. John’s Primary, the top scorer was Kelsy Bradley with 5 points. In the second semi-final game in the girls’ competition, Belize Elementary School eliminated Wesley Upper School by the score of 10-5. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Allyana Musa with 9 points, while the top scorer for Wesley Upper School was Keyla Melvin with 4 points.

Wesley Upper School captures Fiona Stevenson Swim Meet
The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) held its 7th Annual Fiona Stevenson Learn to Swim Meet at the WCA Swimming Pool in Belize City. The Swim Meet saw the participation of ten (10) primary schools which included Bethel, Wesley Upper School, Holy Redeemer, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene, Queen Square Anglican School, Central Christian School, Friends Boys School, Ebenezer Methodist School, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist and the Salvation Army School. Two students from the girls and boys category from each school participated in either the Short or Long Distance event. Forty eight medals which were donated by the National Sports Council and they have been doing the donation of medals for the past three meets, were awarded to the top three finishers in each of the respective categories. Five trophies were awarded to the first, second and third place schools, Most Improved Swimmer and the Most Outstanding Swimmer.

San Pedro Tigersharks a win away from capturing national basketball title
The National Elite Basketball League commenced its championship round for the 2014 season on Sunday June 15, at the R Angel Nunez Auditorium in San Pedro Town between the number one seed and the tournament’s favourites the San Pedro Tigersharks and the Cayo Western Ballaz. In the first of the best of three games championship series, the home team the San Pedro Tigersharks edged out the visiting Cayo Western Ballaz by the score of 53-52. The top scorers for the San Pedro Tigersharks were Winston Pratt with 14 points, 10 rebounds and one assist, Jamal Kelly with 10 points, and 3 rebounds and Ashton Edwards with 9 points, 2 rebounds and 2 steals. For the Cayo Western Ballaz, the top scorers were Farron Louriano with 20 points, 8 rebounds, and a steal, Richard Troyer with 12 points, 12 rebounds, 1 assist and a steal, and Travis Lennan with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals. The second game in the series is scheduled for Friday June 20, 2014, at 9:00 pm at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town.

Primary schools basketball regular competition ends
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition is fast winding down at the Bird’s Isle with the last game in the regular season played and the commencement of the semi-final round. In the last game of the regular competition played in the boys’ competition on Tuesday June 17, 2014, St. Martin De Porres defeated St. Luke Methodist School by the score of 26-24. The top scorers for St. Martin De Porres were Ivan Cacho with 12 points and Collet Moter with 5 points, while the top scorers for St. Luke Methodist were Chervin Tench with 13 points and Julian Luna with 7 points. On Monday June 16, in game one of two games in the boys’ competition, Holy Redeemer School defeated Trinity Methodist School by the score of 19-5. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Luciano Novelo with 4 points. In game two, St. John’s Primary defeated Salvation Army School by the score of 43-3. The top scorers for St. John’s Primary were Tyrone Flowers with 16 points, Stephone Tablada with 6 points and Denroy Lopez with 5 points.

Thirty six days before the opening of the XX Commonwealth Games
The citizens of Glasgow, Scotland, await the arrival of the Commonwealth to their city for the XX Commonwealth Games, which is scheduled to commence on July 23, with the Official Opening Ceremony at Celtic Park and the Official Closing Ceremony on August 3, at Hampden Park. Belize will have participation in the games with a contingent of 20 athletes and officials in five disciplines. Belize will participate in Athletics which commences on July 27 and concludes with the traditional Marathon on August 2; Cycling (Road and Individual Time Trial) commences on July 31 and concludes on August 3; Shooting commences on July 25 and concludes on July 29; Table Tennis commences on July 24 and concludes on August 2; and Triathlon which commences on July 24 and concludes on July 24, 2014. Athletics will be held at Hampden Park where the Official Closing Ceremony will be held; Cycling road and Individual Time Trial will be held on Glasgow City roads; Shooting will be held at Barry Buddon Shooting Complex; Table Tennis will be held at Scotstoun Sports Complex and Triathlon at the Strathcylde Auditorium.

Patrick JonesPJ

Felicia Chen appears in Supreme Court accused of killing her children
On Wednesday morning in the Supreme Court, accused killer of her own children 23 year old Felicia Chen attempted to plead guilty to the deaths of her three children. But Justice Troadio Gonzalez declined to accept the plea because Chen was without her lawyer. Attorney Antoinette Moore is […]

Businessman charged for rape of teenager is released on bail
Businessman Adil Abdullah Bishop, 65, was read a single count of rape by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in court today. The Reggae Street businessman met bail of $7,000. According to police, a 19-year-old woman of Belize City reported that Abdullah picked her up on June 13, 2014 around […]

COLA fires back at Ministers Hulse and Elrington
A pair of press releases from Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) lambasted Ministers Godwin Hulse and Wilfred Elrington for separate statements made on Wednesday. COLA, which is leading the private prosecution of ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner, believes the Minister of Immigration contradicted himself when he […]

Man accused of raping pre-teen
A 12 year old girl is accusing a man twice her age of forcing her into sexual intercourse not once, but twice in the last six months. David Gonzalez, 25, a messenger employed by Home Protector Insurance Company, was read his charges before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and […]

Court dismisses appeal of Vincent Tillett
The Court of Appeal has dismissed the appeal of 49 year old Vincent Tillett and upheld his sentence of 15 years in prison for manslaughter. Tillett was accused of the murder of Darwin Philips on February 13, 2011 but was convicted of the lesser charge. Tillet’s attorney, Anthony […]

Tower Hill airstrip to undergo renovations
Ground was broken today marking the start of rehabilitation works on the airstrip located in the Tower Hill Area of Orange Walk town. Belize Airport Authority executives flanked by other government officials announced that the upgrade of the airstrip is part of the larger plan of the […]

Octavia Waight Center gets donation
The Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio town is the recipient of some much needed equipment to help in the care of the elderly in the institution. The Usher family of Santa Elena town recently handed over a set of walkers and a couple of wheelchairs to the […]

San Ignacio Rotary Club undertakes renovation of Santa Elena park
The Rotary Park in Santa Elena town, Cayo is undergoing some major upgrades. The San Ignacio Rotary Club is spearheading a project that will see some significant upgrading of the facilities, including a perimeter fence to make the space more safe for users, installation of a water fountain and other amenities for area’s children and the general public at large. The Rotary Park upgrading has already started, even though full funding for the major part of the work has not yet been secured. Members of the San Ignacio Rotary Club and members of the Rotaract Club turned out last weekend to complete the erection of the chain link fence around three quarters of the perimeter of the park. At the completion of the renovation project, the park, which is located next to the fire station and bordered by the Loma Luz Boulevard, will be an important public space in the area for residents and visitors alike.

Belize City businessman charged for the crime of rape
Belize City police have arrested and charged businessman Adel Abdullah [Bishop], 65, for the crime of rape. The charge against Abdullah arose out of a report made by a 19 year old woman who told police that the alleged rape happened on Friday afternoon, June 13. According to police, the woman says that Abdullah [Bishop], whom she met on Marine Parade Boulevard, was supposed to have taken her to see a house that she was supposed to have rented, which is located at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway. But instead of going to the previously agreed location, the woman said that Abdullah [Bishop] turned off the highway and into a road leading to Homeland Memorial Park. When she questioned where the property was located, the woman said that Abdullah [Bishop] took out a firearm and asked her is she wanted to hold it. Police say at that point, the woman asked to be taken home, but instead, alleges that Abdullah [Bishop] stopped the vehicle and raped her. Police say they have since recovered the firearm which the woman spoke about in her report.


Running Around the Island Plus San Pedro Lobsterfest Gets Chocolatey
I’ve just started putting together a daily schedule for myself the night before and, get this, actually writing it down. This running your own business thing is tricky for me – the die-hard procrastinator and queen of no organization. I figure that something basic like a schedule can’t be THAT difficult to do. Just like throwing dirty laundry in the hamper is just as easy as throwing it on the floor. (Pffft….yeah right.) I give this schedule thing a week but I am sincerely hoping for the best. Yesterday it was pretty full. It is still World Cup mania, we are in the midst of San Pedro Lobsterfest and well….I just had quite a few errands to run. So here are some pictures of some of the things I did yesterday. I have no profound way to present this subject matter so…here it is. After a brutal week back at Crossfit San Pedro (after 3 weeks of gluttonous and slothful vacation), I am seriously hurting and needing some yoga and zen. Best to head to my new “happy place” – the Zen Arcade.

More Belize Birding News
Funded by the IDB and delivered by the Belize Audubon Society, the USD$ 2.6 million project budget will be shared by Belize, Bahamas, Guatemala and Paraguay. Speaking at the project launch at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, Amanda Burgos, Belize Audubon Society’s Executive Director said that the Belizean funds are earmarked for introducing birding as a specialized field of study for tour guides. “We have very good birding tour guides. What this does in their cases is that they will then be certified and for new tour guides it’s an opportunity because there will be a course in essence offered through the BTB to get a specialisation,” Ms Burgos said. Chaa Creek guides have been fortunate that since the Birds Without Borders project we mentioned in the blog, there has been ongoing, specialised support for Chaa Creek guides to increase their knowledge of the almost overwhelming number of resident and migratory birds here.

“Have a Nice Day” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up at 03.50 hours yesterday morning. I do sleep very well – it would probably take a cannon to wake me- but when I wake I just have to get up. Try as I might I find it exceedingly difficult, if not nigh impossible, to go back to sleep again. Some people can, I just cannot. But looking at it on the positive side I get so many more conscious hours than a lot of people. It didn’t take but a few minutes to make my mug of black coffee, unplug the iPad and seat myself comfortably in my chair ((you might be interested to learn that one chair is looking decidedly more used (and worn) than the other three)) on the lagoon facing veranda. I whiled away a few hours catching up on the news via my subscription to The Times online, a bit of time on Facebook and reading and responding to emails by which time it had got light and time for me to get cracking.

Demand Solutions
Do you have a startup that could change the world? Apply to be selected among the most innovative startups in Latin America and the Caribbean! This year the idb will be selecting a group of 15 startups, to participate, from December 1st to the 3rd, 2014, in one of the most innovative events at the IDB in Washington, DC. The goal is to raise awareness and connect innovative solutions, creative ventures from Latin America and the Caribbean to the world.

Ambergris Caye is a beautiful island off the coast of Belize that many expats call home. The San Pedrano people are blessed to have born here on this tiny island and have had the life we all dreamed of one day having. There are beautiful beaches, brilliant snorkeling and amazing diving and fishing. The locals are unforgettable with their helpfulness and smiles. Most everyone speaks English and will help you find your way where you are wanting to go…. no problem. Businesses here, for the most part are hard working honest folks just trying to make their way. There is amazing food, great atmosphere and lots to see and do. San Pedro has been voted the number one island in the world! That alone should tell people something. It has charm and character unlike no other. If you are looking for a place to relocate or just to vacation. Ambergris Caye is the place to be!

International Sourcesizz

Warm Weather and Ocean Views in Belize
Two years ago Duane and Judy Allen moved full-time from Tampa, Florida, to Ambergris Caye, Belize. “I always wanted to live right on the beach, but not in a condo,” says Duane. “I wanted a home, and space around me to roam. For years I scoured Florida’s coasts, looking for an affordable property. But everything was out of reach.”

Just Back: the Crystal Maiden of Belize
The skeleton glistens in the torchlight, years of calcite deposits decorating the skull and cementing the bones to the cave floor. This young man once made the same underground journey we have just completed. But when he got here, he was sacrificed to Chaak and his body left where it still lies. The river that formed Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal cave still flows, pooling as it emerges into the dawn sunlight and necessitating a swim to start our journey into the Mayan underworld. Our guide has insisted on an early start and no one else is around as we take the plunge. The view back from inside is amazing, the rock arch framing a view of water, jungle and sky; the view the other way is black. That river is always with us. The water is strangely warm, sometimes around our ankles, then about our necks, but always pushing against us. Above, bats hang in their holes and tiny seedlings grow from their droppings, atrophying in the dark.

Airman, first-generation American behind the scenes for New Horizons
Growing up, Eric Gazola was encouraged to have an open mind and a worldly view. As a U.S. Air Force first lieutenant he has been able to continue his worldly education working as the New Horizons Tactical Operations Center officer in charge in Belize. "I was born and raised in the U.S., but I was always encouraged to have a global perspective," said Gazola, deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. "My undergraduate degree is in International Relations with a concentration in Middle Eastern Affairs, and my masters degree is in Diplomacy with a concentration in Terrorism Studies. "We may be the greatest country in the world, but there's another side to the story than just the American side," he said, and it's important to learn both.

Drones taking a birds-eye view of our ecosystem
Max Messinger, a biology graduate student at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a group of scientists are using tiny robots to see Earth's landscape like never before. “What we use [the drones] for specifically is to look at forest ecology, so we look at the way forests function,” explained Messinger. The researchers say that the drones can sail over different regions and take hundreds of images from various vantage points. Within minutes, they can capture large areas or zoom in on an individual tree. “The biggest thing that we can get from the drone is a higher level of detail,” said Messinger. Once the drones capture the images, scientists use the pictures to build 3-D models that can be studied in the lab. For example, the images were able to help scientists build a model of a tree plot within a forest in North Carolina.

JCSE embarks on USNS Spearhead for mission supporting USSOUTHCOM area of operations
On May 29, four members of the Joint Enabling Capabilities Command’s Joint Communications Support Element (JCSE) departed Naval Station Mayport, Florida, embarked on the USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) to provide communications expertise during the ship’s maiden voyage to the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) area of responsibility (AOR). JCSE members are participating in a USSOUTHCOM mission, called Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel (SPS-JHSV) 2014, to build partner capacity with nations in the Caribbean and Central and South America. SPS-JHSV 14 will focus on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improving operational readiness for all participating services. In addition, SPS-JHSV 14 will provide the opportunity for U.S. and partner nation forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination and improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility.


Video: Belize, 5min.
10 days spent in Belizean rain forest and coral reefs with Dr. Evans and Jordan Casey.

Video: Manatees mating in Belize, 2min.
Manatees do not form permanent pair bonds like some animal species. During breeding, a single female or cow, will be followed by a group of a dozen or more males or bulls, forming a mating herd. They appear to breed indiscriminately during this time; however, age experience of some males in the herd probably plays a role in breeding success. Although breeding and birth may occur at any time during the year, there appears to be a broad spring-summer calving peak. We are pleading to boaters to please be on the look out for manatee mating herds while on the waters. If seen contact the Coastal Zone Management at 501-223-0719

Video: Nim Li Punit A Glimpse of Southern Belize's Ancient Maya 6-19-2014 Belize, 3min.
Nim Li Punit is one of the smaller Maya sites well known for the large amount of stele found here. The site inherited its name from a carving on the site's 26 stele, showing a figure wearing a large headdress. In the Maya Kekchi language, Nim Li Punit means 'the big hat.' Nim Li Punit lies about 5 kilometers off the Southern Highway, near the villages of Indian Creek and Golden Stream. Access to the site follows a fairly steep, hilly, dirt road bordered by tall cohune palms and towering trees draped with flowing vines.

Video: The Top 5 Bird Watching Hotspots in Belize 6-19-2014 Belize, 3min.
With more than 500 species of birds, this country is a bird-watcher's paradise. There are also numerous animals, which can be observed in wildlife refuges. The extensive limestone system gives rise to really fascinating and unexplored cave systems, often with evidence of use in the dim past by the Mayas.

Video: UWRF Belize Study Adventure 2014, 11min.
This video is from my study abroad class to Belize. I had a blast and would encourage any UWRF student to go if they get the chance.

Video: Altun Ha's Jade Head The Crown Jewel of Belize 6-20-2014 Belize, 3min.
The Maya Sun God. Ever since its discovery, the jade head has been the subject of much controversy among Belizeans. For years most of us have believed that, shortly after its discovery, this unique Maya masterpiece was spirited out of the country and never returned to its rightful home.

Video: a look at Xunantunich, 5min.
A Tour of Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, By Belize True Adventures

Video: Ambergris Caye, Belize 2014, 7min.
Scuba Belize 2014, Hol Chan Park and Tuffy's Reef.

Video: Baby manatee in Belize, 1min.
Baby manatee on searious adventures with Junior as our tour guide in June 2014. Shot with gopro hero 3 black.

Video: HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS May/June 2014 Issue : First Lady Kim Simplis' Belize, 5min.
Take a look Behind- The-Scenes at HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS: KIM SIMPLIS' BELIZE April 2014 Photo shoot produced by Harper's Bazaar International Style Editor LUIGI IRAUZQUI and be part of this breathtaking pictorial adventure: from the tropical Central American jungles to the turquoise waters of the Belizian Caribbean Sea.
A design, architectural and touristic journey of a lifetime hosted by the First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow: from Creole and Victorian Colonial architecture seafront hotels to picturesque thatched Balinese inspired beach Cabanas to uber luxurious private boutique resorts, Belize has it all in terms of luxury, comfort and amenities.
With 175 miles of unbroken barrier reef, Belize is rustic, breathtaking, full of Caribbean flavor and adventure but also sophisticated, exclusive and surprisingly glamorous.

Video: Belize Barrier Reef, 7min.

Video: Wandering, 6min.
Material for this video was taken on during my travels in central america (Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize). Folks from the video are mostly my friends or guys I've met on my way. I've used my apple Ipod touch and GoPro Hero 3 for surfing scenes :)

Video: Choosing a Bonefish Line, 4min.
If you are new to tropical saltwater fly fishing, it can be a bit daunting trying to choose the right fly line for your trip. Filmed in Belize, this short film describes the RIO bonefish fly line options and breaks down the advantages of each one, enabling you to choose the perfect bonefish line for your next trip.

Video: SP and D wedding, 22min.
Wedding ceremony of Shirley Pat and Dwayne on the beach in Belize

Video: The Night Shift, 5min.
What happens at night in the ocean when the lights go out... Shot in San Pedro, Belize June 2014.

Video: Scuba diving & fishing are most famous Things to do in Belize, 6min.
Under the water is truly breathtaking here on Ambergris Caye. This is the diving that brings divers back again and again. So, take pleasure in blue hole diving in Belize at cheap packages offered by Caribbean Villas Hotel.

Video: Sugar Cane Factory Tour, Belize, 11min.
Sugar cane factory tour in Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 14, 2014

June 19, 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

Jeffrey Eiley remembered on his birthday
Family and friends of the late Jeffrey Eiley gathered to celebrate him on what would have been his 31st birthday on June 13th. The gathering took place at El Embarcadero near the San Pedro Lagoon where blue balloons with personal messages were released into the skies in his honor. According to his family and friends, the balloon release took place at sunset, a time that Jeffrey often looked forward to, to be with his friends near the lagoon. Earlier in the morning a well-attended celebratory mass was hosted in his honor at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church. The day continued with a food sale and lots of ‘celebrating’ (Jeffrey-style), much like what he did every year on his big day.

Travel around the world with your DigiCell PrePaid phone for less!
To activate or deactivate this feature just send the message “Roam On” or “Roam Off” to the number 777 before leaving the country and upon reentering. In either case, you will receive a confirmation text and will be prompted to reply with “C” to confirm. Please be reminded that you must be in Belize and still connected to BTL’s Network to activate or deactivate this service. The great news is, the activation and deactivation texts are free of cost and there is no subscription fee. Please note that all charges for both voice calls and text messages initiated while roaming will be deducted from your Prepaid Primary Balance.

A medley of meat and veggies, Salpicon!
Do you love ceviche but prefer something meatier than seafood? Well then a bowl of Salpicon is what you need! This Central American treat is quite similar to the ceviche we all love, but instead of using the bounties of the sea, you use your favorite red or white meat. Whether you prefer pork or beef, both will make a fine Salpicon. Here is an easy to follow Sapicon recipe you can do at home in no time at all! Wash mini steaks, then season with salt, black pepper and garlic powder to taste. Either sear the mini steaks in a skillet then shallow fry, or roast in open grill or oven. Once meat is cooked, let cool then dice. Dice tomatoes and onions. Finely chop cilantro. Mix diced mini steaks, tomatoes, onions and cilantro in a bowl. Season with salt, black pepper and lime juice to taste. To add some heat, finely chop habaneros and add to taste. Enjoy salpicon with fresh fried corn tortilla chips.

New officers join the San Pedro Police Force
The San Pedro Police Department has two new officers on duty. They are Woman Police Constable Reshiela Alvarez and Corporal Royan Timmons. The San Pedro Sun is pleased to introduce the new officers to our community. Originally from Belize City, 27-year-old WPC 398 Reshiela Alvarez was born into the police family. “I have always wanted to be a police officer and follow in the footsteps of my father and uncle, who are dedicated members of the police force,” said Alvarez. Corporal 28 Royan Timmons is originally from Belize City. He has been in the police force for 13 years, and was previously working in the Community Policing Unit. “My goal is to foster a better relationship with the community. I enjoy working along with the youth.

Ambergris Today

Joris Hendricks Represents Belize at Caribbean Fashion Week
Belizean Designer Joris Hendrik Groenendaal applied and was accepted to represent Belize at Caribbean Fashion Week 2014 that was held in Kingston, Jamaica from June 11 to June 15, 2014. Joris was featured in one of the major designer Fashion Showcase on Saturday, June, 14 and Sunday, June 15. Joris attended the Fashion Week last year as a guest and this year he joined the ranks of participating designers! Belizean designer Joris Hendrik joined the ranks of Jahta Xtreme and Rebecca Stirm, other Belizean Designers who have been showcased in Jamaica. He featured his Belizean made designs on an international platform which will no doubt help catapult Belizean fashion to the world.

United Airlines Announces Direct Flight From Belize to Chicago
On Monday, June 16, 2014, United Airlines announced its new non-stop Saturday service between Chicago, Illinois and Belize City, Belize beginning December, 20, 2014. United Airlines plans to have this seasonal service from Chicago O'Hare to Belize City which would begin December 20 and run through early May. Pending government approval, United plans Saturday-only service. The airline already flies to Belize from Houston and Newark Liberty. As of December 2014, Belize will have nonstop service from Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, California, Dallas, Charlotte, Newark, Chicago and San Salvador.

Friends to Call Family Come Together with Lobster
I have always lived by the notion that it is better to have more friends than money, because all the money in the world cannot buy you the love, lifetime experiences and happiness that comes with having amazing friends. Every day I become richer and richer by sharing with my friends. Money cannot buy the happiness that true friendship brings me. A thoughtful gift here and there just shows me how much my friends appreciate me and care for me deeply. And it’s not the gifts that make me happy -- it’s my friends’ support, love and caring actions that bring this happiness, which makes me rich in life. I have so much more in keeping so many friends around me rather than anything money can buy me. As lobster season opened in Belize this past Sunday, I wondered when I would get my hands on a delicious lobster dish. I have never been one to dine out a lot, and eating at restaurants only came when I had to do a review for Ambergris Today or iTravel Belize (believe it or not). Many of my friends can attest at how I am not a big “foodie” and most of the time call it “just food” while others are drooling over gourmet dinners, sweet desserts and pricy meals. To add to that, I was never a lobster lover until recently when I’ve had the privilege of being a judge at past Lobster Festivals.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Happy opening of Lobster Season
Enjoy the trio Lobster Fests in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye - Caye Caulker - Placencia. Safe travels and plenty of fun!!!!

Los Dinamicos
Here is a rare look into the story and sounds of an outstanding band that shook your legs back in the mid-60’s, from the Corozal District. It was a time in 1964 when Belize, then British Honduras, had just attained its right to self-government from England. This meant that Belizeans would then manage all its ministries, except the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence. It would seem then, a time of celebration and rejoice for the Belizean people. Los Dinamicos band from the quaint village of San Joaquin, Corozal District was founded in 1965 by a truly energetic and talented group of young Corozaleños.

Liquor Box -FIFA Special Deals!

2014 Dia de San Pedro Karaoke Competition
Friday June 27th at the old Football Field

Entrepreneurship MOOC Ceremony and Gathering
Last night the Embassy hosted a Course Completion Ceremony and Gathering for the participants in the, "Beyond Silicon Valley: Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies" online course and review sessions. Participants completed the six week course, some with distinction, and collaborated at the review sessions the Embassy facilitated in partnership with the University of Belize. Congratulations to Natasha Balani, Yvette Mazariegos, Ekta Naravi, Namrita Balani, Tina Balani, Mirsy Ponce, Shanice Flowers, Elroy Franco, Sherlet Neal, Gaspari Cordova, Jamira Augustine, and Jeremiah Chiac! Job well done!

Caye Caulker First Ever Color Powder Party
It is here and wear white!!!

BCS Father's Day Gala
The Belize Cancer Society is having their 1st annual Father's Day Gala at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel this Saturday. The Jade Band will be playing at the event. "Support a worthy cause and enjoy yourself at the same time. Purchase your tickets with any of our committee member, visit the Belize Family Life Association of San Ignacio or you can call 628-3392 or 804-4511."

Western Ballaz in San Pedro
Adma Chuc got some great shots of the Western Ballaz as they played the Tiger Sharks in San Pedro. Playoff game 2 is this Friday at the SHC auditorium. Come out and support the Ballaz!

FFB Field Upgrade
The FFB Stadium in Belmopan is getting a little upgrade of its own. They are preparing the field. It gets inspected tomorrow and Friday by CONCACAF. "The preparation of the grass on the FFB field started yesterday the 24/6/2014. Inspection will be done by Concacaf officials on the 19 & 20/6/2014. Bandits FC representatives were on hand to view the works being carried out at the stadium."

Rotary Park Upgrade
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is upgrading Rotary Park in Santa Elena. Thanks, Rotary! "Our Club is upgrading the park for safety and to improve the appearance and activities."

Benque Summer Night Concert
The Benque House of Culture is having another great concert this Saturday. Ready to see the Benque Marimba Academy play in their home town? They will be playing, as will the OAS Culture of Peace Band. The concert will be in Centennial Park, and will start at 7:30pm.

Channel 7

Police Question Big-time Businessman About Rape
Last night, we told you about the allegations that a 19 year-old young woman from Belize City was making against a well-known businessman and landlord, who she says raped her. Well, we have been reliably informed that he was back in the police station today. We can confirm that he hasn't been criminally charged as yet, but police have told the media that he may be officially detained soon. We're told that the landlord and his family were at police station with his lawyer as late as this afternoon for follow-ups with the investigators. As we told you, the young lady alleges that she spoke to him and asked him if he had any available apartments to rent. She says that she gave him her number, and he called heron Friday afternoon claiming that he had rooms to rent at Mile 8 on the Western Highway. When the man picked her up, he told her that he was taking her to see those apartments, but instead he drove her to a secluded area near the Homeland Memorial Park. Once there, he forced her to have intercourse, forced her to take photos, and then showed her his firearm. She escaped from his vehicle when she got to the city.

Another Man Survives A Shot to The Face
Last night, another Belize City man was shot in the face. Around 9:30 last night, 34 year-old Kingsley Ferguson was with his girlfriend in front of her house on Jones Street in the Lake Independence Area when 2 men double-riding on the same bicycle rolled up. The man on the handle took out a handgun and shot him at close range in the right side of his face. The bullet exited the left side of his jaw, and when he collapsed, his attackers rode off. He was rushed to the KHMH, where he received emergency medical treatment. Today, Investigators from Police Precinct 2 told the media that they believe that it was a case of mistaken identity: Sgt. Ismael Westby, NCO-CIB, Precinct 2 "Sometime around 9:20 p.m. police responded to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they met a male person suffering from gunshot injuries to the right side of the face and an apparent suspected wound to the left side of the jaw. Initial investigation in respect to this incident reveals that whilst this guy who was identified as Kingsley Ferguson, thirty-four-years-[old], citizen of Belize City was on Jones Street meeting with his girlfriend at that location and whilst there two male persons riding a bicycle, double-riding came from the direction of Administration Drive and upon passing Ferguson they discharged a firearm on him causing the said injuries."

Hon. Hulse says Ady Pacheco Never Gave Him A Letter
Last week COLA and its attorney Kareem Musa held a press conference to outline what they say are the major findings of the preliminary report from the Auditor General on irregularities in the Immigration Department. One of the most explosive allegations is their claim that Immigration officer Ady Pacheco said that she prepared a letter with a list of all the files that then Minister of State Penner had taken out of the office – and she gave that list to her Minister Godwin Hulse. Hulse says he never saw that in the report, and he got no such letter: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News "But she is saying, as I understand it, that a letter was sent to you - that she sent a letter to you with a list of the files that Elvin Penner took out of the department." Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "Never sent any letter to me...absolutely not...categorically no. So if she says that that is absolutely incorrect." Mike Rudon "Sir but, you have had the file - and I'm assuming you've gone through it thoroughly."

A.G. Calls COLA Private Prosecution "A Charade"
COLA's attorney has conceded that the report still cannot be used as evidence – and they still need the sworn statements which the police investigation has gathered. But one man who remains very skeptical of any prospect of success for their private prosecution is Attorney General Wilfred Elrington. Elrington, who was involved in a failed private prosecution in the killing of Sylvino Riverol in 1981 – says that from his experience, this effort has no chance:… Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Attorney General "I can tell you as a lawyer practicing for over thirty-five years that that whole charade with Mr. Musa and others wanting to take a private matter to the Magistrate Court is a waste of time and a delusion of the Belizean people because as we have said, getting proof to establish it in court is almost impossible because of the legal requirements that are needed to prove cases of that type. It is the responsibility of the D.P.P. to bring actions of that type. She hasn't done so because she knows she will lose. And I think that there are many more important issues rather than harping on a matter like the Penner matter. There is nothing more that we can do it. I am telling you from all the experience that I have Mr. Musa and his crowd are wasting time. I'm telling you that from my experience as a Lawyer. But you're saying that there are those who have information, let them give it up."

Female Manatee Drowned In Mating Frenzy
Last night we had a rare look at a manatee mating herd along the Belize City coastline: about 20 male manatees, relentless in their pursuit of a single female. The mating frenzy wasn't pretty, but that's how it happens in nature. Sadly, this morning we found out that she didn't make it. The female was found dead along the seawall about 150 feet south of where we saw the gathering yesterday. Residents say that the violent thrashing from the males continued until about 6:00 pm, which is when she started to weaken. Shortly after, she showed no signs of life – which didn't immediately stop the males either. We went out there with Jamal Galvez this morning: Jamal Galvez - Sea to Shore Manatee Pgm Coordinator "Yesterday, I left here ecstatic and an excited person, as you saw yesterday with what was happening, to see that there is a possible to see that we'd have manatee back in the population once this process was continued or finished. But, it's the nature of the beast, Jules, it's not something that we can control. That's just a way of life for them, and it's unfortunate because, as you know, their reproduction cycle, and the problem that they already have with their reproduction cycle. That hinders the population with these kind of complications that these animals have to deal with, that adds to it, and adding to it what we as human beings bring on the population, it's sad to actually witness this, or to actually see this, especially after yesterday, but it's out of our control."

Puerto Azul Just Starting Oversight Process
The Puerto Azul project…it's here, there, and everywhere, but really, so far, it's gotten nowhere – other than into a few press releases and plenty of news items. Today the Minister who heads the Cabinet Subcommittee on investment, Godwin Hulse told the media that Puerto Azul is in the very first phase of the five point approval system: Hon - Godwin Hulse - Chairman, Cabinet Sub-committee on Investment "First of all, if you want to make an investment, you make an application through BELTRAIDE to the Ministry of Investment. That preliminary application then goes to Cabinet to see if it would have a green light in the first instance for you to even begin, because there may be some things that the Government says clearly no to. In the case of Puerto Azul that has happened, where government says you can begin to take your look. But there are five criteria that are laid out clearly. Those 5 criteria are analysed by a technical committee, staffed with people from BELTRAIDE, the Department of Environment, Department of Tourism, Department of Investment - they all sit on that, including high technical people, who sit and analyse the finance.

Vital Stats Is Weakest Link In Immigration Security
The Vital Statistics Unit is the weakest link in the immigration system. Now that may sound strange – because the unit is not within the Ministry of Immigration – but you can get a passport with a birth certificate – and as the case of Marleny Castellanos recently demonstrated, getting a birth certificate, (or 17 of them) for dead strangers is not hard at all. So, while the focus has been on tightening up the Immigration Department – what's going to happen with the Vital Statics Unit? That's what we asked the Attorney General today: Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Attorney-General "Those people, apparently, would have wanted to disclose their contact person, but his suggestion was that the police acted too swiftly in charging them. If you charge people who have information to give, many times, they're not prepared to disclose it. But, if you worked out a deal with them, they probably would have been prepared to telly you what the details are. It is something that is very worrying, but I will also tell you, my dear, that that kind of behavior in the Vital Statistics office has been going on from almost time immemorial. I know people who have in fact benefit from it. It's a big racket."

Immig. Dept. Cancelled A US Visa?
And while they're digitizing the vital statistics unit – today we were reminded that there's no way to guard against human error. 7 News has confirmed that a Department of Immigration staffer seriously messed up someone's expiring passport. Here's what happened: the individual took in their Belize passport with a US Visa to be renewed. In cases such as these, the edges of the cover are clipped, and the first five pages can be stamped cancelled. But, after that no other pages should be stamped. Well, in this case, they stamped all the pages, including the one with the valid US Visa! It has caused quite a little stir in the department because that's $320 dollars down the drain. The person has asked the department for compensation, but we are told the Department is only offering a letter which they can give to the US Embassy.

A.G. Bashes Bar Assoc. Resolution
Today we also got Attorney General Elrington to comment on the June third resolution from the Bar Association alleging an appearance of bias on the bench. Now, Elrington is no fan of the Bar Association – in fact, he's on record trying to challenge their monopoly on membership in the legal profession – but he's also the titular Head Of The Bar. And so how did he feel when the Bar took out a resolution against Justice of Appeal Awich? Elrington, who is rarely pleased, was very disappointed – but not surprised: Hon. Wilfred ‘Sedi' Elrington - Attorney-General "You will know that I have had a very poor opinion of the Bar Association. I have complained about the Bar Association ceaselessly, and this particular resolution has only caused them to sink even lower in my estimation. I have had complaints about people who were appointed too, and I tried to stop some appointments. But, once that is done, that is done; the proper thing for me to do is to back off. We have a system that if the judge is incompetent and doesn't give proper judgements, you appeal it to the Caribbean Court of Justice, and that court is going to make that decision. And, if he has any other impairment which prevents him from being able to work or which makes him unsuited or unfit, you can take legal action. We had done that, that had been done in the case of Justice Mirabucks. But it not the place - to my mind - for the Bar Association to be passing resolutions of that nature. I was very disappointed."

Caught In Act With A Television
36 year-old Deon Bainton, a labourer of Frederick Street, is at prison tonight after he was accused of stealing a woman's TV and getting caught in the act. The incident occurred around 3 this morning. According to the allegation, Bainton broke into Alberta Guerra's house, located at mile 2 on Phillip Goildson Highway. Once he got inside, he stole a Samsung television, valued at $1,500 DOLLARs. Police reports are that a neighbor saw Bainton with the television and called the police. When the police arrived at the scene they caught Bainton with the television. He was then charged with burglary and handling stolen goods. When he appeared today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Bainton pled not guilty to the charges. He was offered a bail of $500 and his case was adjourned until August 19. Bainton was unable to meet bail because he owes the court and he was unable to pay, so he was escorted to prison this evening.

Big Tom Charged; Speaks In His Own Defence
On this newscast we've followed some of the life and times of Kenneth "Big Tom" Flowers. He went from a legend on the streets of Belize City – to accused of murder in Salt Lake City Utah, and then back to Belize via deportation. Since then, we've come to know him as a contractor on the paving of Central American Boulevard. But police believe that he still pulls major weight in the underworld, and with the recent spike in gang warfare, a quick response team went to raid his house on Monday afternoon. He says by the time it was finished, he had been properly beaten up – for no good reason:.. Yesterday, Flowers was taken to court and charged for assault and insulting words.

Unfurling The Story Behind The Acquisition Of Cotton Tree Land
The Cotton Tree Village Council is taking the Barrow Administration to court; they say that Government failed to consult – as they were required to do – when they distributed 240 lots in their village. But, government's defense is that the state acquired private property to share up amongst eight Belize City constituencies. The man who initiated it all was Wilfred Elrington. He persuaded one of his former clients, Ramon Tseng to sell some of the vast tracts of land he owns on the Western Highway. Elrington said it was imperative and overdue that he get some land for his PICKSTOCK constituents:… Hon. Wilfred "Sedi" Elrington - Pickstock Area Representative "We have just delivered some forty-nine lots to people in the Pickstock area from the Cotton Tree neighbourhood. And let me explain to you how that came about. I have been an area representative in Pickstock for the past six years. I have always complained bitterly to the Cabinet that the residents of Pickstock don't get lots. I need lots for the residents of Pickstock. That complaint largely fell on deaf ears. So I had a friend - a very dear friend of mine, a Taiwanese client whom I have known for twenty-five, thirty years who owned in excess of two hundred acres of land right across the highway from the village of Cotton Tree. It had nothing to do with Cotton Tree. It was private property, belonging to Ramon Tseng, whom I got the Government to purchase, so that the people in Pickstock could get lots.

Cali Cares About Boxing
And if you are wondering where we bumped into Ministers Elrington and Hulse who gave the media so much news today, well, we found Hulse at the Supreme Court where he is suing the Belize Times. And we caught Elrington at the donation of some boxing equipment. He got it from Belize's Honorary Counsel in Los Angeles, Roland Yorke who gathered it from the community. It was handed over to Smart Gym and Lion's Den Gym today. Leopold Smart says equipment helps, but more is needed:…. Smart's gym is located at the old ITVET on St. Thomas Street.

A Major Break In Court
52 year-old Robert Major, a former football player, got a rare stroke of judicial leniency when he was allowed to walk out of Magistrate's Court a free man after being charged for assaulting a police officer. Police Constable Nolbert Segura reported that around 2:15 p.m. on June 16, he was on board a bus heading to Belize City when Major boarded. The officer said that major was walking down the aisle and threw water in his face. He said that when he identified himself as a police officer, Major punched him in the right eye. That started a fight, during which Segura's civilian shirt was torn. Segura said he called the police and when they arrived they took Major into custody and charged him with wounding and damage to property. Major pleaded guilty to the charges, which would have earned him a sentence. But after he gave his version of events, he was released instead. His explanation for the altercation with the police was that when he boarded the bus he had his water bottle held over his head and some of the water dripped on the face of the officer. He said the officer punched him in his face and he retaliated. He said when the police arrived they beat him.

Occupy Belmopan Sputters, But Still Going
Yesterday, we showed you how it looked at day one of the Occupy Belmopan protest organized by Patrick Menzies. While he was reported to have a few dozen supporters yesterday, reports to our newsroom today are that only a few individual supporters came out – like 5 or 6. Still, he held his ground, sitting with the handful of supporters under a tent at the foot of the stairs leading up to the House and stayed there the entire day. And while the term "occupy" suggests uninterrupted occupation, according to our information – we'll give him a pass, because Menzies left from in front of the House until after 11 o'clock last night. He is demanding that the gender policy be withdrawn.

Channel 5

Maud William high school teachers are first on the chopping block
Maud Williams High school teachers are now on vacation; but while they are attending a school workshop, some were surprised with dismissal letters this afternoon, resulting from the merger of [...]

Godwin Hulse refutes claims that he knew Penner had taken immigration files
The Auditor-General’s report on the Won Hong Kim/Elvin Penner immigration scandal is still not available for public consumption. The result of the investigation was handed over to the Prime Minister [...]

Sedi Elrington says private prosecution of Penner is a waste of time
Belizeans are anxiously awaiting their first look at the comprehensive Auditor-General’s report, whenever it is tabled. We have been told by COLA that it is damning and implicates Elvin Penner [...]

Cotton Tree lots given to Belize City U.D.P. Area Reps – Elrington orchestrated it
Earlier this week the Cotton Tree Village Council took the government of Belize to court over two hundred and fifty four lots. Those lots, allegedly within the community, are part [...]

Felicia Chen pleads guilty to murder, but her case is traversed
  Turning to the courts…today, a well groomed and smiling Felicia Chen arrived at court extremely jovial but left crying after her case for murder was traversed to the next [...]

Attorney General defends the reappointment of Justice Awich
In May 2012, Supreme Court Judge Samuel Lungole Awich was sworn in as a Justice of the Court of Appeal. That appointment was not supported by the Bar Association, and [...]

Attorney General critical of the Bar leadership
The appointment has sparked off a heated, but surgical verbal flurry between Prime Minister Dean Barrow and President of the Bar Eamon Courtenay. Today Attorney-General Wilfred Elrington weighed in, venting [...]

Italian investors to convince officials that Puerto Azul is a good
Last Thursday, a group of conservation N.G.O.s expressed their concern via letter about a proposed mega-tourism project, the Puerto Azul development, within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. That letter was sent [...]

Foreign Affairs Minister speaks on meeting with Guatemala counterparts
In early June, Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington led a delegation to the forty-fourth regular session of the O.A.S. General Assembly held in Paraguay. This wasn’t a scheduled session [...]

Belize City man shot in the face in a case of mistaken identity
Thirty-four year old Kingsley Ferguson is tonight recovering from gunshot wounds following a near brush with death in what Belize City police believe to have been a case of mistaken [...]

Egbert Jones needs assistance following near death experience
During the dismantling of the Belize City Center in mid-September 2013, one of the inner walls of the structure collapsed and fell on Egbert Jones while he was working. The [...]

1 man detained in connection with the murder of Tulio Caceres
At ten this morning, a funeral service for Tulio Caceres was held at the St. Joseph Church before his casket was taken to the entrance of Taylor’s Alley on Orange [...]

16 year old arraigned for 18 pounds of marijuana
In news from the West, a sixteen-year-old male has been remanded to the Hattieville Prison following a major drug bust early this morning. Just after ten a.m. in Santa Elena, [...]

San Ignacio cop wanted for assaulting his wife
San Ignacio Police are also investigating one of its own in connection with reports of a domestic assault in that western town. Police Constable Fermin Choco is wanted by police [...]

New preschool building handed over in Hattieville
New Horizon 2014 moved to Hattieville today where the administration of the government school was officially handed over a new pre-school facility. The building was constructed along with the Belize [...]

Minister speaks on the corruption in the Vital Statistics Department
Marleny Castellanos, a woman accused of being the mastermind in a long-standing and very lucrative hustle, has been slapped with more than twenty charges for immigration offences. It is alleged [...]

High quality boxing gear handed over to Leopold Smart
Boxing is a longstanding sport discipline in Belize, but like with so many other disciplines, it is on life support because of a lack of resources. So a donation handed [...]


Strangers Sharing Candy At School Area Raises Suspicion
In Belize reports of a suspicious vehicle circulating school zones is not often hear of but that does not mean we are free from it. Fortunately the few incidents that have been reported have not escalated to any child being kidnapped which is the worst case scenario in these cases. But as mentioned the incident does occur and tonight we report on one. On Monday, a suspicious vehicle occupied by three individuals was spotted near the San Joaquin R.C School in the Corozal District. The occupants were seen giving away sweets to students during the morning break. And it’s not the first time that the vehicle is seen in the area. What has drawn more suspicion is the fact that whenever a teacher approaches the vehicle, the person behind the wheel drives off. Victor Castillo reports.

Thieves Burglarize Home While Family Sleeps
Home is the one place most people feel safe and free but for one family this privacy was invaded in the wee hours of the morning. The daunting incident occurred between eleven yesterday night and three this morning in the residence of Carlos Umania. Today he told us how the incident played out. Carlos Umania – House burglarized “Mi esposa fue la última que se fue a dormir y como a las tres de la mañana dice ella que se escuchó unas bullas entonces ella comenzó a toser porque sufre una tos entonces se levantó y cuando salió a la sala vio que la puerta de vidrio estaba abierta entonces ella no quiso salir solo vio la puerta y regreso hablarme y me comento, Carlos levántate porque alguien entro a la casa y cuando yo me levante si la puerta estaba abierta entonces comenzamos a chequear que es lo que se había perdido, fue ahí adónde un dinero que había en la meza y otro que había en el TV stand creo como un total de cómo ciento ochenta dólares que se habían llevado junto con mi celular, había más dinero pero no estaba a la vista entonces nosotros sospechamos de que cuando ella tocio creo que la persona tal vez escucho y entonces él se dio de irse porque no registro nada más.”

Performing Animals At The Circus, What Do You think?
By now, you may have heard that the Circus Hermanos Ponce is in Town and for many youngsters it’s a rite of passage. The very word "circus" brings to mind vivid images of amazing acrobats, comedic clowns ... and exotic animals. But unlike the human entertainers, animals do not choose the circus life; they are kept in captivity and forced to take part in the show. Circuses that use animals are aggressively promoted by the circus industry as safe, fun, wholesome family entertainment. This couldn't be farther from the truth. After the circus industry's glitter and glamour has settled, the animals remain involuntary participants in a degrading spectacle, performing not because they want to, but because they are forced to. With this in mind, we posed a question on our social media Facebook page where we asked our followers opinions and their take on the issue. The comments we received were along the same sentiments;

Fourht Estimate Shows An Increase In Value Of Sugar
The fourth estimated average cane price for the 2014 crop has been issued to cane farmers. The estimation stands at $61.06 per ton cane. Today we spoke with Vice Chair of the Committee of Management Alfredo Ortega who told us more about the fourth estimated price. Alfredo Ortega: “Hay un aumento de noventa y tres centavos por tonelada en esta cuarta estimación, la tercera estimación salió a $60.13, esta cuarta estimación salió a un $61.06 pero hay una diferencia también que muestra de que subió punto uno porque el TC/TS que estaban utilizando anterior era de nueve punto cinco y hoy el punto que están usando es de nueve punto cincuenta y uno así es de que subió con un punto y aun así tenemos un alce de noventa y tres centavos en esta cuarta estimación, y es muy importante este precio y también es muy importante de que cuidemos la calidad de cana que estamos entregando el ingenio.” Ortega says that this will positively impact sugar cane farmers especially at a time where their cost of production is heightened. These costs are compounded by the need to hire more hands and machinery to harvest cane in low lying areas that are flooded after the recent rains. And speaking of the rains, Ortega says the quality of the cane is already being affect.

Police Constable Charged For Burglar and Wounding
In mid-April we reported on a Special Constable who got in trouble for assaulting a Chinese store owner and its worker for failing to sell him a beer after hours at their store. Since then, Special Constable Eldo Itza was charged with burglary, wounding, and harm and he pleaded not guilty to all charges, and so, he was released on bail of $500 dollars. His next court date was set for July 1st. Well tonight, Ben Wong, the store owner in San Jose Village, says that the normal ‘cop culture’ to shield a fellow cop once criminally charged is being applied to him. But all indications are that Itza will not appear in court on July 1st because according to what Wong told our colleagues at 7News the case has been thrown out and to add insult to injury they did not even receive a summons to appear in court on July 1st. Wong added that attempts made to check with police on the court proceedings have been met with great apprehension. We understand that apart from Wong, seven other persons have laid charges upon Itza for assault.

Corozal Police Investigates Burglary Incident
Corozal Police are investigating a burglary that has left a Naturalized Belizean out of more than $800.00 worth in items. Thirty eight year old Waseem Khan, the owner of Corocell Repairs and Services located on 5th Avenue, Corozal Town, told authorities that between the hours of 6:30pm on Friday June 13th and 8:35am on Saturday June 14th his business establishment was broken into. Burglars gained access to the building through a hole in the roof and stole one Surround Sound System valued at $650.00, one cell Phone worth $187.00, one phone chip valued at $54.00 and one 4GB SD Card valued at $35.00. No one has been detained for this latest burglary and investigations continue.

O/W Town Council Update On Infrastructure Taking Place And BWS
One of the biggest concerns that each and every Orange Walkeno has griped about is the conditions of the street networks for Orange Walk Town. And we all know that Central Government has neglected the Town, it was only till recently that Government announced that help would be rendered. And while that work is yet to commence since BWS are laying down pipes to accommodate the road repairs, the Town Council is working arduously to address streets under their jurisdiction with the little resources/revenues they have. And if you take a drive around town, you may have spotted ‘men at work’ on several streets and areas that are in dire need of attention. We sat down with Mayor Kevin Bernard who updated us on the remedial works being carried out by the council.

O/W Town Council Awaiting The Completion Of Santa Familia Street
And when it comes to the on-going works of the Social Investment Fund on Santa Familia Street, the work has still not been completed. Bernard says once the street is paved, they will step in and do some additional works to that area. “The council is waiting for the works to be completed on the paving side for us to be able to go in and do the actual vehicle entrances because we have committed to build the ten vehicle entrances, we actually did on recently and then we are going to be working on the others, we’ve gotten the necessary support in terms of personnel that will be able to do that in house and then just take them over to the locations and place them to the area, there was one also issue on that same street that has to do where the shop it where the contractor had to get in and broke the entrance that they had already constructed, we manage to arrange that through the contractor and through SIF now the contractor will now take full responsibility to replace that entrance that was there so I was hoping from what I was told that work should have already been completed, I think they are in the few more days left but I am hoping that it could be solved as quick as possible as it relates to the SIF update from the Municipal Development Project that they are doing there. Santa Familia on the opposite side now, was addressed by the municipality ad we intend to do some further work on Santa Familia street as part of our rehabilitation process because it requires a lot of more materials and we are working on getting that done as soon as we complete a thorough fair within the town that needs to be address but we will be addressing that other portion of Santa Familia Street, I cannot guaranteed to be paved but we want to at least leave the street in a passable condition that people can drive easily through that area.”

Case Against Special Constable Eldo Itza Allegedly Thrown Out
In mid-April we reported on a Special Constable who got in trouble for assaulting a Chinese store owner and its worker for failing to sell him a beer after hours at their store. Since then, Special Constable Eldo Itza was charged with burglary, wounding, and harm and he pleaded not guilty to all charges, and so, he was released on bail of $500 dollars. His next court date was set for July 1st. Well tonight, Ben Wong, the store owner in San Jose Village, says that the normal ‘cop culture’ to shield a fellow cop once criminally charged is being applied to him. But all indications are that Itza will not appear in court on July 1st because according to what Wong told our colleagues at 7News the case has been thrown out and to add insult to injury they did not even receive a summons to appear in court on July 1st. Wong added that attempts made to check with police on the court proceedings have been met with great apprehension. We understand that apart from Wong, seven other persons have laid charges upon Itza for assault.

District Education Manager Speaks On Challenges Faced Which Affects Students
The Primary School Examination results have been issued and we have taken a look at the best performers and even some inconsistencies sighted by one primary institution. We have also reported on the district’s overall performance which has been recorded as the best of all six districts. Year after year, however, there is continuous concern over the performance of the students countrywide. The results have not seen much significant improvement in the recent year and tonight we take a look at some of the challenges faced in schools here in the Orange Walk District and which have been found to affect the students’ performance considerably. According to District Education Manager Carla Alvarez, Orange Walk is the district that submits the highest number of children who need special accommodation for the exams. This year alone, there was an increase of referrals so the Bishop Martin High School building was used as a testing center for these students. The staff there was trained specifically as readers and scribes for the students. But even before these arrangements are made, the Special Education Officer does an assessment to see if the children referred have a learning impediment and the findings are alarming.

MOE Sets Stage To Increase Number Of Qualified Teachers
There is no doubt that the relationship between Minister of Education Patrick Faber and the teachers of Belize is navigating in turbulent waters. Faber is often outspoken when criticizing teachers and holds no remorse to what he says. In fact, he has stated several times that the country needs more qualified teachers in the education system. And apparently Faber plans increase the numbers of qualified teachers in Belize through a Program which is expected to enhance the quality of primary education and the governance of the education system. The program will be funded by a 10 million dollar loan approved by the Inter Development Bank. The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers. The program will also train primary school principals and develop and implement an information system for education management, which will benefit all of the country's primary and secondary schools.

Infrastructure Work Supposed To Have Started In Corozal Town
During his three hour press conference held on June 11th Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed a number of issues including infrastructure. Belize City alone received a whopping 10 million dollars and as for out-districts, the Prime Minister outlined additional spending programs for Dangriga, Punta Gorda and Corozal. As it pertains to the Corozal District, CTV3 News understands that Government has allocated $4.4 million dollars to commence road works and to “concrete” the Philip Goldson Highway from the beginning of the Social Security Building right up to the Santa Rita Hill. Government has also requested that Mayor Hilberto Campos identify additional streets, starting with two that need to be upgraded. The upgrade will be funded by the Government. While it was expected that works should have commenced yesterday we were informed by Mayor Hilberto Campos that discussions are currently under way which streets need urgent attention. So, just as Corozal residents, we will wait patiently for works to commence and keep you informed.

O/W Mayor Congratulates Elected Winner Of O/W North Consituency
Sundays Orange Walk North Convention saw the election of Ramon Monchie Cervantes as the PUP’s new Standard Bearer for Orange Walk. He will go up against Gaspar Vega in the upcoming General Elections. And while all three candidates had their group of supporters and would have represented the PUP well, party supporters of Orange Walk North will now relying on Cervantes to unseat Gaspar Vega. So, does he make a good match up against the now Deputy Prime Minister? We asked Mayor Kevin Bernard for his sentiments. “I did not support any specific candidate for obvious reasons that I have, I believe that all of them had the opportunity and anyone of them would have represented us well, the people spoke in Orange Walk North and I want to congratulate Mr. Cervantes on his victory and I want to only say that what needs to be done is that they need to unite as a team, unite behind Mr. Ortega, unite behind Mr. Castillo and his followers and make sure that we can bring a victory for Orange Walk North, I have all confidence that Mr. Cervantes can do so for the People’s United Party and all would take that they all join forces together because at the end of the day we are not enemies we are one party and we need to ensure that we need to bring down this government and we need to get rid of the person that we know needs to get out of government and that is the only person that we know and that person is Gapi Vega.”


Attorney General Disillusioned by Belize Bar Association
Justice Samuel Lungole Awich has recently been reappointed to the Belize Court of Appeals; a move that has led to the President of the Belize Bar Association, Eamon Courtenay accusing the Prime Minister of lying during a press conference in Belize City on Thursday, June 12 when he spoke of a historical problem between elements of the leadership of the Bar and Justice Awich. The matter has been one that began unfolding after the Prime Minster sent a letter, dated May 19, 2014 to the main Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca informing him, as is obligated, that he proposes to advise the Governor General to re-appoint Justice Awich to the Belize Court of Appeals. A few days later, Fonseca responded to the Prime Minister, saying that after consultations with the Belize Bar Association, his party (People’s United Party) is not in agreement with the re-appointment as the Bar is saying that it is reflecting a bias considering that Awich’s decision on the case regarding Belize Telemedia’s second acquisition was handed down on the day his contract expired……but despite their feedback, Justice Awich was re-appointed to serve until the 67-year-old judge reaches the age of seventy five. Earlier this week, Courtenay spoke with the media and did not mince his words. Courtenay said when the Bar Association passed a resolution against Awich’s reappointment; it was a unanimous vote with the exception of one member who abstained. It is an interesting statement as the Executive of the Bar Association includes the Prime Minister’s brother, Denys Barrow as well as his law partner, Rodwell Williams. Today, the media met up with Attorney General, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington, who says that he is disillusioned with the Belize Bar Association and gave his comments regarding the reappointment of the Justice Samuel Awich.

Puerto Azul Has To Meet Criteria For Approval
Six key players in the Puerto Azul project arrived in the country yesterday and are currently staying on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye for the next ten days to meet with various individuals to discuss the project further. It is an elaborate plan that will cost in the millions to realize and is being promoted as an investment that will boost the country’s economy….but the idea has been meeting much opposition, particularly by some NGOs and environmental agencies, saying that the development poses a risk to Belize’s reef and other natural resources. Last night we reported to you that these agencies teamed up and sent a letter to Minister Godwin Hulse requesting information on the Puerto Azul proposal. We asked Hulse to comment on the Puerto Azul project. HON. GODWIN HULSE “For years when people wanted to make investments in Belize they sought particular ministers, particularly the minister responsible for investments and then their project would be put to Cabinet and there would be a development concession or some sort of thing and Cabinet would discuss it and then a green light would be given and fundamentally I think people expected that if you spoke to the minister before then you would probably have a green light just having that meeting.

Sugar Production A Success
The Sugar Cane Season is in its 21 week and according to the latest number, the factory at BSI has produced over 109 thousand tons of sugar. Statistics released by the factory show that from June 9 to the 15, the factory ground more than forty seven thousand tons of cane producing a little over four thousand tons of sugar. So far for this cane season, the factory has ground 1.04 million tons – one hundred and fifty six thousand tons more than last year during this period. Last year, in its twenty first week, the factory produced ninety five thousand tons of sugar. This year, during the same period, the factory has produced one hundred and nine thousand tons of sugar; fourteen thousands tons more. The ton cane per ton sugar ratio is at a high of 9.57. So far for this year, the factory has proved to be ninety five percent time efficient.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man caught red-handed with stolen TV
36 year old Deon Bainton is accused of stealing a television set from a residence on the Philip Goldson Highway, but he was apparently caught in the act. He pleaded not guilty to charges of burglary and handling stolen goods before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith today and was […]

Ex-footballer discharged after misunderstanding with police officer
An off-duty police officer got into a dispute with a retired footballer aboard a village bus on Monday, but Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith avoided a criminal record for 52 year old Robert “Crane” Major, choosing today to discharge him from charges of wounding and damage to property. Major […]

Minister Hulse offers reassurances on Puerto Azul
Local environmentalists are determined not to be shut out of the consultative process leading to a possible green light for the investors in the proposed Puerto Azul project in the Lighthouse Atoll Range. A group of environmental organizations have written to Senator Godwin Hulse, who chairs the Cabinet’s […]

Minister brings suit agains Belize Times
This morning Senator Godwin Hulse and the editor of the People’s United Party organ the Belize Times were before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin in chambers prior to the intended trial of a suit brought by the Minister. After the discussions the two sides were limited in their comments […]

Chain of custody broke down with Won Hong Kim file
The preliminary report of Auditor General Dorothy Bradley continues to be a talking point for those insisting that the the Ministry of Immigration is actively trying to prevent former Minister of State Elvin Penner from being criminally charged. Concurrent investigations are ongoing by the Police, Financial Intelligence Unit, […]

Trio charged for keeping unlicensed firarm with homemade silencer
Three men from Trinidad Village have been arrested and charged for the crime of keeping a prohibited firearm. They are Julio Rene Amador, 54; Nayef Khodr Agha, 31; and Joel Armando Moh, 31. The firearm, with a homemade silencer made out of an oil filter, was found […]

GREAT program graduates over a hundred students in San Ignacio
The Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program today held graduation for over one hundred boys and girls from the Bishop O.P. Martin Roman Catholic primary school in San Ignacio town. The Standard 3 and Standard 6 students underwent weeks of training on how to say no to gangs and how to protect themselves, including anger management classes. At this morning’s graduation, the deputy commander of the San Ignacio/Santa Elena police Inspector Reymundo Reyes congratulated the boys and girls for completing the training program, and he encouraged them to now use that knowledge to make positive contributions to their community.


Lobsterfest Volunteers wanted
The San Pedro Branch needs 12 volunteers to receive health education training and participate in a core activity the next day at the annual Lobsterfest block party. For all volunteers, food will be taken care of and if necessary travel expenses. If you can help us or know anyone that might be interested, please send a group email right away to Shirlee Arnould [email protected] and Laurie Norton [email protected] The fun begins coming Friday June 20th as volunteers get trained in HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health education. The following afternoon (and early evening) they will go out in groups and provide the information to the public at the big celebration in town. Friday: June 20th Training will be held from 9:00am – 4:00pm at El Divino Restaurant, Banana Beach Resort. Meals provided for volunteers during training include Light breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack.

Summer’s Here in Belize: Lobsterfest, World Cup Action, Flowers and Heat
Despite what many imagine before visiting, there are more than two seasons in Belize. Not just wet and dry. We have summer, we have winter, we have Easter winds, we have Hurricane Season (read all about my read on the distinct seasons here)…summer is HOT. Summer brings tons of fruits and flowering trees. Summer brings rain showers at night and summer brings LOBSTERFEST. Check, check, check, check. Here are some pictures of what is going on around town – summer, the World Cup and Lobsterfest. This is a GOOD time to be in San Pedro. I SO love the flamboyant trees. Nothing summery-er than these jagged worn trees with their neon bursts of color. This gorgeous one is at Banyan Bay.

New Flights to Belize from Chicago!
Yes, United Airlines recently announced that it is expanding its air service from Chicago to Belize with new direct flights opening on December 20 2014. The company said it is adding flights from Chicago’s O Hare airport to Philip Goldson International in Belize City, with a Saturday service scheduled to run through to May 2015, depending on government approval. Great news for visitors from the Windy City, as well as the substantial Belizean diaspora living in the Chicago area. With Delta Airline’s direct Los Angeles to Belize City flights that began last year, and joining American and Continental Airlines as well as USAir ways and TACA servicing Belize from Miami, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, New York and Los Angeles, and given the close proximity of Belize to major North American hubs, paradise keeps getting closer for our American friends.

“The Girl from Ipanema” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Do you ever feel like you’ve died and gone to heaven? Found your nirvana? No? I can understand that. I mean, I’m sure not too many people feel like they have found that magical state. If I’m honest , and there’s no point being otherwise, I never thought that I would. But that’s how I feel now. I’ve had some good times in my life. I had great parents. A happy childhood. Some fantastic teen years. I loved my job and looked forward every day to going to work. In fact many were the days when Rose had to ‘phone me to get me to go home! And, of course, I met, fell in love with, and eventually married Rose. The love of my life AND my best friend ( some of you will now be thinking “How delightful”, others ? Looking for the sick bag!). So with all this why do I suddenly feel like I reached heaven? Well for the first time in my life I’m able to watch every single game in the World Cup. Now the fact that I haven’t watched every game – I’ve missed watching three and a half (only saw one half of the France v Honduras game) up to yesterday- has been my choice. My World Cup viewing has not been dictated by being at work as it has been for previous competitions.

Kaj Expressions Raises Awareness and Hairs at Design Caribbean
Belizean jewellery designer Khadija Assales may have raised a few eyebrows with her collection crafted from the tails of the notoriously ravenous Pterois or Lionfish but she was also successful in raising awareness about the devastating effect that the carnivorous species have been having on the aquatic ecosystems of Belize and the rest of the Caribbean region. Assales launched her line of Lionfish jewellery as part of the Design Caribbean pavilion during the Calabash Literary Festival in Treasure Beach , St. Elizabeth , Jamaica from May 30th to June 1st. The Design Caribbean project was the brainchild of the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in sponsorship of the Calabash Festival. It was conceptualized as a means of showcasing the rich and varied talent which the region has to offer while opening up a new market for the creative entrepreneurs who may not otherwise been able to take advantage of the opportunity which Calabash provides.

International Sourcesizz

Christina Hendricks: A Letter to Men
some good advice here gentlemen…. The star of Mad Men has a few things she'd like to get off her chest.


Video: Caye Caulker-Belize 2014, 4min.

Video: Belize Resort - Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia Belize 2014, 5.5min.
Belize Resort: Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia, Belize is well known for customer service and comfort. Everything you need is just steps from your hammock! 3 restaurants, 3 pools, bakery/deli, marina, PADI 5 Star Dive Center for all your tour needs, the beach, the sea and so much more... Vacation in comfort at Robert's Grove.

Video: Poetry from Chino in Placencia, Belize, 5min.
Francis Eiley, Placencia

Video: Frank Connelly - Sustainability Overview Part 2-Island, 12min.
from Sanctuary Belize

Video: Denise Castillo Watch Ova Wi, 4min.

Video: Welcome to Belize!, 1.5min.
Presenting Sotheby's

Video: Signs on the Ground: Navy EOD in Belize, 1.5min.
Here's a short piece about Navy EOD guys showing the Belize Coast Guard SEALs how to watch the ground for signs of IEDs. I'm sticking with the black and white look for the time being -- no real reason. I'm on a deployment, and I'll be visiting 4 different countries. I'm going to try to develop a distinctive look for each country. We'll see how that goes.

Video: Aaron + Anny: a surprise proposal, 6min.
Video by: Island Films Location: Azul Resort & Rojo Lounge, Ambergris Caye, Belize Photographer: Olivera Rusu

Video: Belize Cancer Walk 2014, 15min.

Video: Pelican Beach Resort, Belize. April 2014, 10min.
South Water Caye, Belize. Pelican Beach resort. Paradise Island.

Video: cave tubing Belize and Belize Zoo, 18min.

Video: Vinny & Moraima Wedding in Belize, 5min.
Vincent Truchsess & Moraima Cordon Wedding.

Video: Belize Adventure aboard Sun Dancer II, 7min.
I just returned from an amazing trip aboard the Sun Dancer II with fleet Chairman and CEO Wayne Brown and his wife Dana on one of their Owner Trip Wine Appreciation weeks.

Video: Stalactite Xylophone in Belize, 1min.

Video: Vu sur Terre Belize, 26min.

June 18, 2014


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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

The McCords renew their vows on La Isla Bonita
After many years of travel to Belize, Joe and Debbie McCord chose to renew their wedding vows on Ambergris Caye on June 10th. Their 20th anniversary was not till June 14th, but when the moment is right, it’s right! The McCords used to visit the Bahamas religiously, but after discovering Belize and Ambergris Caye, they have chosen to come back time and again. They’ve made fast friends here, and one of them, the wonderfully friendly Ana Pereira Ico, was honored to lead the vow renewal ceremony as a Justice of the Peace. Witnessed by their long-time traveling companions Dale and Patty Bastin, the McCords exchanged vows on the TMM Dock over the beautiful waters that keep them coming back every year.

Father’s Day Canoe Challenge
Sunday, June 15th, 2014 was a wonderful day for our Father’s Day Canoe Challenge co-sponsored by Black Orchid Resort and Sea Sure Real Estate. The race was from Flowers Bank Village to Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom. There were seven teams in six categories that participated. The race took off a little after 9 am. First overall and Intramural to complete the route in 3:06:30 was “Turd’z” – Martin Gideon, Elvis Sutherland and Glenford Sutherland – sponsored by Martin Woods. They out paddled “White Feathers” – bothers, Kenrick and Michael Daniels, self-sponsored, of the Juniors Category who finished in 3:11:53. Closely behind them by just over a minute was “Print Belize / Wrobel & Co” – Rudolph Gentle, Kaylon Hyde and Francisco Perez – they finish third overall and first Pleasure. Capturing second Pleasure and fifth overall was the “Original Turd’z” – Raymond Woods, Jarrid Thompson and Derocy Haylock clocking in at 4:01:30.

Tigersharks narrowly defeats Western Ballaz in NEBL
The San Pedro Tigersharks picked up their first win in the finals against Cayo Western Ballaz in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) finals. The encounter between the two basketball powerhouses in the country was well attended, as the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium was packed on Sunday June 15th. Game one saw the mighty Western Ballaz dominating the Tigersharks during most of the game but in the last minute, the home team managed to secure a narrow one-point win. The visiting Ballaz opened the scoreboard with three consecutive two-point shots before the Tigersharks reacted. Cayo’s Farron Louriano and Kurt Burges brought pressure on the home team, forcing the islanders to seek control of their game. When they did, the Tigersharks quickly swiftly took a six-point lead, ending the first quarter 18 – 12. At the start of the second quarter, Tigersharks’ Tyron Edwards and Winston Pratt kept the momentum for the home team. Tensions were high on the court, and spectators were in an uproar when Darwin “Puppy” Leslie was pulled down by the neck by Ivan Flowers of the Ballaz team. The Western Ballaz stuck to their guns and defended their half of the court vigorously, but at the half time the Tigersharks maintained their lead with 29 – 21.

Favorite Belize treats – seafood delights!
Usually, after a heavy breakfast that’s been enjoyed closer to lunchtime than at sunrise, vacationers seek something light to enjoy in the early afternoon hours. This is where ceviche comes into play. Made with fresh conch (seasonal), shrimp, lobster (seasonal: June 15th – February 14th) or octopus, or a combination of all, ceviches give you a wonderful seafood experience without the heavy saucing or buttering. Instead, bite-sized pieces of seafood are marinated in fresh lime juice, accompanied by diced fresh vegetables like tomatoes, onions, a little cucumber for added crunch, cilantro and if desired, finely chopped carrots. This mixture is seasoned with salt and pepper (no heavy seasoning), and served with crispy tortilla chips and some sliced habanero on the side for a bit of heat. Honestly, my mouth’s watering just typing this. Everyone has their own way of making this seafood delight, but the basics are good enough to combine and enjoy as a snack, as a meal, all day, every day. Tons of places offer this dish, and for a truly spectacular experience, Victoria House can’t be beat. Fabulous ambiance and a yummy snack? What are you waiting for?

Ambergris Today

Graduations at San Pedro High School Campus
The theme for the graduates of San Pedro High School 2014 was “Now You Can Write Your Own Story.” This sentiment was expressed by Guest Speaker Miss Vilma Villanueva who challenged the graduates to use their talents, knowledge and wisdom to make the best choices in order to be able to write their masterpiece. The Mistresses of Ceremonies were Miss Alisha Cadle and Miss Vivian Noralez. A very cordial salutatory was delivered by Miss Mahe Pereira while Miss Jasmine Ritchie was honored with the Valedictory address. Every graduation has its “WOW” moment and this year it was certainly the moment that Graduate Gian Rivero received the last award of many. He took several awards to include Honor Roll, Senior of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, and the reputable one, Student of the Year Award.

Miss El Salvador Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Ana Graciela Hasbun Boscaino has been chosen to represent her country as Miss El Salvador Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 18 years of age and standing at 5’ 5” tall, Ana Graciela is a high school graduate. She has brown eyes, light brown hair, and her hobbies include dancing, painting, drama and basketball. Ana Graciela joins Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado and other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the remaining six contestants will be announced in weeks to come, prior to their arrival to San Pedro, La Isla Bonita.

Cost of Living Documented in Old San Pedro Diary
The page below is a photograph of an actual page from a diary in which the Gomez family kept notes of incomes and expenses during the 1940’s. This particular page shows the cost of living and prices of common groceries. 30 pounds flour $2.40 10 pounds sugar $0.90 4 pounds rice $0.44 4 pounds beans $0.72 2 pounds margarine $.50 6 cans condensed milk $0.96 1 can baking soda $0.27 1 can custard $0.45 2 packs tea $0.38 2 bottles kerosene gas $0.16 1 toilet paper $0.19 2 bars sunlight soap $0.55 3 boxes matches $.06 Total $7.98 The same diary indicates that the average earning per week was about $7.00. Therefore this bill represents a one-week earning but the commodities could easily last about three weeks for a family of four or five. Pretty interesting to note that almost the entirety of a family’s shopping list was on food, with exception of kerosene and soap. Beans as you can note was pretty expensive and so was toilet paper, an import product, so I imagine it was purchased only for some members of the family. On any given week the shopping list could include pigtail, salt beef, lard, ten quarts of corn. Corned beef was a luxury and only purchased on a special occasion.

25 Years Ago: Amazing School Days of Early San Pedro
“School days are the best days of your life.” This is what most people say but one does not realize it until he is out of school. Last week I mentioned some interesting facts about old school days in San Pedro, like the hot Johnny cakes for recess break, and the subject called Bible studies, but there is more. Every morning, the public bell located at Central Park was rung three times to warn students to go to school. At 8:30 a.m. with the last bell students made two lines at the foot of the stairs at the main entrance and we sang our National Anthem, “God Save The Queen.” The Principal said a few words and then we all walked very orderly into our classrooms for the commencement of classes.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Uur first Sea Turtle crawl of the year
Happy Monday! We found our first Sea Turtle crawl of the year, right next to our property! Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program has already been alerted. We await their visit to confirm whether the nest has eggs in it or not.

Corozal Police Report
38 year old Waseem Khan, businessman of San Andres Village, Corozal District and owner of Corocell Repairs and Services located on 5th Avenue Corozal Town, reported that between the hours of 6:30 p.m. on the June 13 and 8:35 a.m. on the June 14 his business establishment located at the said address was broken into through a hole in the roof of the building.

JOB OPPORTUNITY - United Nations Young Professionals Programme
Belizeans living abroad can also apply to the programme and will be able to sit exams if they qualify in the nearest examination center to their location. Eligibility: Nationality: must hold nationality of a participating Member State at the time of application Age: 32 years or younger ( Date of Birth on or after 1 January 1982) Education: First level university degree acceptable for each job family Language: Fluency in English or French Experience: No experience required 3. The application process will be open from June 14th - August 27th, 2014. Applications will be accepted at different intervals for different areas of focus: a. June 14th to August 13th- Information Systems and Technology and Political Affairs b. June 21st- August 20th: Economic Affairs and Radio Producer c. 28th June- 27th August; Human Rights, Library Information Management and Photography.

Cayo Safety Day
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association had their Cayo Safety Day on Friday at the Cayo Welcome Center.  There were informational booths, along with some music, and even fun events for the kids, like hoola hoopingPics on fb.  Thanks, CNWA!

The Journey Art Exhibit
The Journey art exhibit, by Stacy Ann Rodriguez, is currently at the SISE House of Culture. She uploaded pictures from the launch party they had a few weeks ago. The exhibit will be up through June. If you see a picture you like, they are for sale, and they are well priced too.

New Sensation Band at Tabu
The New Sensation Band will be playing at Tabu this Friday.  If you haven't seen them yet, you're in for a pleasant surprise.  Tabu has been having some wild bashes since their opening 2 months ago, including their Grads and Dads Bash they had on Saturday.

"On June 20th its all about The New Sensation Band & Exclusive Sounds Entertainment Make sure to get your tickets $20 in advance or $25 at the door!  For VIP bookings link us up at 607-2954 for more details..."

US EOD works with Belizean SEALs
Navy explosive ordnance disposal technicians from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit THREE are in Belize working with the Belize Coast Guard SEALs as part of Southern Partnership Station 2014. One of the first skills the U.S. and Belizean Sailors are working on is “ground signs awareness.” Ground signs awareness is, basically, looking at the ground and being able to spot anything that looks suspicious or out of place. It does not involve any scanners or fancy goggles, but it is an important skill for an operator to have. “The main tool that we’re focusing on with the ground signs awareness and route selection is the eyes,” said Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 2nd Class Josh Lamm, of EODMU 3. “You can be issued everything, you can go to the store and buy whatever you want, but your eyes are your number-one tool.” To practice spotting ground signs and using those signs to choose the best route to take, the EOD techs set up tripwires, buried mock pressure plates, and asked the Belizean SEALs to lead them along the safest route while pointing out, marking, and avoiding all the possible hazards.

Civil Affairs teams ensure local population needs met
Four long-term staff and five rotational teams of civil affairs members traveled the country of Belize to ensure local population needs were considered during New Horizons Belize 2014. New Horizons is a multi-faceted exercise that provides mutual training opportunities for civil engineer and medical entities from Belize, Canada and the U.S. while providing structures and services for the Belizean people. Civil affairs plays an imperative role in the execution of such missions. "Civil affairs is the unit that is specifically trained, organized and equipped to conduct civil military operations. We are tasked with the actions of the commander that establish and maintain relationships with the civilian populations," said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Shaun Thomson, New Horizons Civil Affairs duration staff officer. "We do that by talking to the locals and studying their culture, that way we can further advise and coordinate those civil military operations that are most appropriate for that culture.

Update on Negotiations to Resolve the Dispute Between Valley of Peace Farmers' Association and Green Tropics Limited
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture wishes to provide an update on the current state of negotiations to resolve the dispute between the Valley of Peace Farmers Association and Green Tropics Limited.

Free art programs in Corozal
Summer is just around the corner and the House of Culture will be offering free art programs once again with - Summer Art Wave!! For more information and registration come in and visit us. Courtesy Corozal House of Culture.

Bird Based Tourism Launch
The Belize Audubon Society wants Bird Based Tourism to thrive here, and help with conservation and economic development at the same time.  They had a kick off meeting to discuss the subject.  Belize has close to 600 species of birds, and there are many places around the country, as Chaa Creek recently wrote about, that are known for sightings. "Kickoff meeting Bird based tourism as a conservation and economic development tool. Photography by: Dirk Francisco"

Rotaract Black and Yellow Party
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio is having their Black and Yellow Party at the end of the month. Have a great time while helping them raise funds for their upcoming community service projects. "Black & Yellow Party By: Rotaract Club of San Ignacio. Happening at the Next Lounge, Inside Princess International San Ignacio. Saturday 28th June,2014. Admission: Ladies: $10 Gents: $15 Music BY: DJ JESSE AND DJ JUSTIN of RAS CAS Sounds!! !!DANCE COMPETITION!! !! GIVE AWAYS ALL NIGHT LONG!!"

Channel 7

19 Year Old From Lake I Claims Big-Time Landlord Raped Her
Tonight, a big time landlord and businessman is under scrutiny by police, after a 19 year old woman from Lake Independence alleges that he raped her. Normally, criminal charges would follow such a complaint, but police say a medical examination showed no signs of penetration, so they can't charge the businessman for rape. They are, however, considering charging him for aggravated assault and indecent assault. But, she is not satisfied with that - she says the physical assault and humiliation she was made to endure demands that he be charged for rape. She made her case to the media today, by explaining off camera just what she was made to endure. We cannot disclose the identity of rape victims, and we cannot announce the name of someone who hasn't been charged - so the story is lacking in some critical details - but it is compelling. We warn you that the story does deal with subjects of a mature nature, and is not suitable for minors, so if kids are around, you might want to change the channel or ask them out of the room. She explained that last week, she had a conversation with the man, because she was looking for an apartment. She gave him her number, and he called her on Friday afternoon, claiming to have apartments that she might want to consider. She then explained what happened after she got into his vehicle - Daniel Ortiz narrates: Daniel Ortiz reporting The victim tells us that once she got into the vehicle with him, he drove her up the highway under the pretence of showing her apartments he was renting in the community at 8 Miles on the Western Highway.

Audubon, "A Degree of Comfort" With Puerto Azul As Concept
In the past week, the furor over the Puerto Azul development seems to have been dialed down somewhat - after the Prime Minister made it clear that the project is just a concept, which still has to go through all the stages of regulatory and political approval. And then, on Saturday, the media went to the caye to see that, so far, nothing has happened with Northern 2 or Sandbore Caye. Today Amanda Burgos, of the Belize Audubon Society - which has endorsed letters objecting to the development - told the media that they do take some measure of comfort in the Prime Minister's declaration, yet they still want some involvement in the vetting process:.. Amanda Burgos, Executive Director - Belize Audubon Society "Yes it is a degree of comfort but also we want to be informed in the process and as the steps are taken." Jules Vasquez "Now, a lot of these big companies are opposed to what Mike Singh likes to call a "public negotiation" - if they have a project for whatever confidentiality or reasons, they might not want all the details constantly ventilated in the public."

Stillborn Baby Zayden's Family Still Not Satisfied, But Ministry Of Health Is
On Friday we told you about the disturbing case of baby Zayden. On Saturday June 7th., Doctors at the Western Regional Hospital said he was stillborn and they allowed the family to see the newborn boy - who showed no signs of life. The attendant then wrapped him up, with his hands at his sides, and dispatched his body to the morgue. But on Tuesday when Zayden's grandmother Yolanda Molina went to get the body ready for burial, she found his hand over his eye, and his leg bent. Based on that, she concluded that the child was not really stillborn - and had died in the morgue. Well, the news tonight is that the Ministry of Health has concluded its investigation into the alleged irregularity, and is satisfied that all procedures were followed and the medical information supports the fact that the baby was pronounced stillborn. The ministry says a team has also visited the 17 year old mother, who is their focus at this time. But, the newborn's grandmother, Yolanda Molina - who is the chairlady of Blackman Eddy village - said she is still not satisfied because she has not gotten any answer from the ministry. She remains convinced based on the pictures that her grandson died in the morgue. She said her daughter continues to have a very difficult time with the loss - and that the ministry has only visited once which was yesterday afternoon.

"Occupy Belmopan" Draws 40 On First Day
Lately, you've heard a lot from the R-O-C - the Rod Of Correction, a collective of 11 social partners and activist groups who are fighting government on various fronts. One strident activist who wasn't called to the table is Patrick Menzies of Belize Can. At one time, he was in the activist's circle, but his radical pronouncements, and stern ultimatums have sort of left him on the fringe, with the Belize Evangelical Association most recently saying he was on his own. Still, Menzies retains a cluster of religious pastors in his executive - mostly Spanish speaking evangelical preachers, and he relied on that to launch his latest effort - which is based on the central demand for government to withdraw the gender policy completely. It's called "Occupy Belmopan" - and like the Wall Street movement it borrows its name from, he plans to occupy Independence Plaza at the foot of the National Assembly stairs, starting at 8:00 this morning and continuing until the policy is withdrawn. Here's how day one went: Reporter "What are you really asking for? What are you asking the Prime Minister to do?" Patrick Menzies - Representatives, Spanish Arm of Evangelist Churches "We are asking for a retraction of the gender policy. If they want to work with the church, the Evangelicals and put something together so that they can agree on something that their deal, but we want all the LGBT out.

Boaters Beware! Manatees Mating On City Coast
June is manatee-mating season - and today we saw a herd of male manatees following a single female along the Belize City coastline. We found them thrashing around near Bally Gardens, that's where the female had come right up to the shore - to try and escape her many suitors. That's right, this is nature at its wildest, not a romance novel - and as manatee expert Jamal Galvez explained - during the time when she is in estrous (what we would call "heat,"), life for the female marine mammal is difficult, and physically stressful. In fact, it's perilous for the whole herd following her - and that's why boaters also have to be extra cautious:.. Jamal Galvez, Sea to Shore Manatee Pgm Coordinator "Normally the female when it get estrous "in heat" it draws a lot of males. You could find 20-30 males chasing one female at any point in time and it can go on for a week to two weeks." Jules Vasquez "All this splashing about and turbulence we are seeing here is not courtship, it's actually the males are trying to initiate pretty much by force coitus." Jamal Galvez "Correct, unlike human beings we have the privilege of who we mate or who we date. Manatees'don't get that choice, it's the dominant males, and normally the stronger males is the one that gets there. Sometimes you have more than one dominant male fighting among each other - not necessarily fighting, but trying to get closer to the female. Normally we would see this very close to shore, mainly to aid the female.

IDB Funds Belizean Bird Bonanza For Tour Guides
Belize is big for bird watchers, and now a new programme funded by The Inter-American Development Bank and implemented by the Belize Audubon Society and the BTB hopes to capitalize on that. The 2.6 million US dollar project will be shared between four countries: Belize, Bahamas, Guatemala and Paraguay. In Belize, funds will be used to introduce birding as a specialized field of study for tour guides. The programme was launched today at the Radisson, and Amanda Burgos-Acosta of the Audubon Society explains how it will work:... Amanda Burgos, Executive Director - Belize Audubon Society "We have very good birding tour guides. What this does in their cases is that they will then be certified and for new tour guides it's an opportunity because there will be a course in essence offered through the BTB to get a specialization." John Beavers, Executive Director - Int'l Alliance Programme "What we are trying to do is connect the global birding market to these important conservation areas to begin to drive the economic development of communities there, so there is that overlay of the economics, important areas for biodiversity like here in Cockscomb and Crooked Tree which are the two places that we are initially focusing on."

Education Minister: PSE Score Errors Not Unusual
Last night we told you about the major mix-up in PSE grades at Louisiana government School. Standard six student Jose Arciga was the only student in the country to get perfect score of 50 on the math paper one - but his score was recorded as 20. And so while he should have been in the top five, he wasn't even listed in the top 30. His vice Principal Enrique Ayuso explained how it was resolved:... Enrique Ayuso, Vice Principal - Louisiana Government School "He now has 365 total points and that brings him at the second place of our district ranking when it comes to the PSE and puts him in 5th place in the national 25." Education Minister Patrick Faber says Arciga's grade was a data entry error. Two other students at that same school got negative scores which is impossible. So how far reaching are the errors, and could ti affect your child? Today Minister Faber told us the results are always preliminary and the ministry will make it official when they have given sufficient time for review. He adds that there are normally a number of errors - and the ministry can't certify everything that is in the preliminary release.

Prof. Brendan Bain Will Fight UWI
Jamaican Professor Brendan Bain made headline news all over the Caribbean when he was terminated from his post at the University of the West Indies CHART program. Well, his termination was supposed to have taken effect on Sunday, June 15, but Bain got a last minute reprieve from the Jamaican Supreme Court. On Friday, Bain's lawyer applied for an injunction in the courts, which was granted; it will remain in effect until the outcome of his pending lawsuit to challenge the decision to terminate his service. Bain was issued with a letter from UWI in May after 33 lobby groups and activist organization in the Caribbean complained about his testimony he gave in the UNIBAM challenge in the Belize Supreme Court. They called it "anti-gay", and demanded that he has lost the confidence of the vulnerable groups that the CHART initiative targets in trying to deal with HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Fire In the Lake
There was a fire early this morning at the corner of Mahogany and Jasmine Streets. Nigerian Prince Nyathi reported to police that he closed his business at around 9 last night, and he was then alerted that it was completely on fire at around 3:30 this morning. The area resident who called police to respond to the fire spoke to us about what she observed at the house: Rhonda Gomez - Neighbour "After 3 this morning I heard a noise outside and I got up and I peep through the window, but I didn't see anything. I heard the dog barking and I didn't study it, so I went to lie down. I heard the noise again and my kids father was telling me that big fire over at Prince and when I look I saw the big flame of fire and then I call the fire station and nobody answered and I call the police and so they told me that they will get in touch with the fire station. I came outside and I saw the blazing fire. We couldn't do anything."

UB Graduates 408, Welcomes New President
408 students graduated from the University of Belize in Belmopan on Saturday - which is where the new President of the school Allan Slusher was introduced. Taking over from President Carey Fraser's abbreviated term, he told the gathering he hopes to transform the institution:.. Alan Slusher, President - UB "It is a happy day for me too, as I join with the staff of UB to re-energize this institution to move it towards its ultimate destiny: a first class source of information, knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; an institution of which all Belizeans can be proud. In other words, a first class university. I have a message for the graduates, It may sound trite, but it is what has guided me through many years. And it is this: No matter what your age, you are still educating yourself, because education is a lifelong process that stops only when you cease to be." Darrell Bradley, Mayor - Belize City "Recognizing that you are in permanent makes you appreciate the importance of legacy. It makes you constantly think about how you will be and want to be remembered in this world. It makes you avoid mediocrity and it forces you to spend the limited time that you have only doing big and wonderful things. It makes you avoid the so-called haters whose only objected in life is to rob you from your page in the history books."

Artist Vivar En Vivo A tBze-Mex Institute
The Institute of Mexico in Belize is opening a new art exhibit at this hour. It features the works of self-taught painter and sculptor Carlos Vivar. He's a well established Mexican stylist - and Marcelino Miranda discussed his works:.. Marcelino Miranda, Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "And he is presenting a very interesting work in which he integrates some pre-Hispanic elements of pre-Hispanic codex in his paintings. Some of the colors also are from those that are integrated and its an interesting technique. He is mostly doing oil on canvas."

Peer Education For Young Drivers
2014 has been a terrible year for road traffic fatalities - which in an unfortunate coincidence, is happening at the same time that government is rolling out the Road Safety programme. But adversity presents opportunity, and the road safety unit is reaching out to teens and young adults as peer educators - to teach their contemporaries about the hazards of reckless driving. The first day of the two-week training session facilitated by international experts was held yesterday at the George Price Center in Belmopan. We found out how it works: Crispin Jeffries, Chief Transport Officer "We believe this workshop have selected the young persons we believe that will be able to deliver a road safety training to young persons across the country." Floyd Sutton, Director - YOURS "We are going to train 18 youth leaders from Belize to be youth advocate and to be peer educators. These new trainers they will go out into the schooling systems and community centers to reach in total 2,000 young people to spread the message in a youth friendly way about alcohol during driving and on speeding and distracted driving."

Epic World Cup Match
Channel 7 viewers got to see an awesome world cup matchup this afternoon as Mexico took on host country Brazil in the city of Fortaleza. We may be partial to our northern neighbors, but the game was definitely one of the best of Cup, so far. Mexico's goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was heroic as he made 7 saves, many of them spectacular and at close range, confounding the home crowd who wanted Brazil to win and advance with three points. Instead after 90 minutes, it was a draw, meaning that both teams got one point, leaving Brazil at the top of Group A, and Mexico in second. If you missed the epic match, it repeats tonight at 8:00 right here on Channel 7, the exclusive broadcaster of the FIFA World Cup 2014 sponsored by BTL.

Channel 5

There’s a new board to the Belize Airports Authority
Months after its destitution, the Belize Airports Authority has a newly reconstituted board of directors. The former board was invited to step down in the wake of the Castro Checks [...]

Occupy Belmopan – alliance of church leaders pray plague on Barrow Administration
The Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize, led by Belize Can President Patrick Menzies today initiated the first phase of a move called Occupy Belmopan. The group is calling [...]

From Harmonyville to Holy Emmanuel to Belama Phase Five – squatters to be evicted
From Harmonyville to Holy Emmanuel and now, Belama Phase Five…squatting continues to be a pervasive issue. On April third, a number of families were chaotically evicted from the Holy Emmanuel [...]

Is the judicial system is collapsing?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe the judicial system is collapsing? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on [...]

Audubon Executive speaks on letter sent to Cabinet Subcommittee
The Italian investors of the proposed billion-dollar Puerto Azul mega tourism development project on Northern Caye and Sandbore Caye, within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, arrived in the country this afternoon. [...]

Who holds the title to the proposed site of the Puerto Azul development?
On Saturday, the media was taken on a tour of the proposed site of the Puerto Azul Development. While the images offered a clear view of the pristine state of [...]

3 high schools to merge – some teachers stand to lose their jobs
The academic year 2013 officially came to an end last Friday for high schools across the country.  While most students are currently enjoying the beginning of their summer vacation, teachers [...]

The joint union negotiating team comments on collective bargaining agreement
The joint union negotiating team has signed off on a salary adjustment of six percent, while the increment for those public officers who are eligible will be two and a [...]

2 men acquitted of sexual crimes
A Caye Caulker businessman, who was accused of sexually assaulting a thirteen year-old student on the island more than a year ago, was today freed of the sexual offense of [...]

The story of a stillborn whose grandmother claims he didn’t die at birth
An investigation is now completed at the Western Regional Hospital where a young mother was told her baby was stillborn. Allisha Bell says that before she was wheeled into the [...]

Fire guts a house in the city
A fire gutted a small concrete house at the corner of Mahogany Street Extension and Jasmine Street. Sometime around three-thirty this morning, the fire erupted and minutes later it was [...]

Cargo truck of contraband cigarettes busted by Guatemalan police
A cargo truck carrying more than fifty cartons of contraband cigarettes was busted by Guatemalan police. Today’s edition of Prensa Libre reports that the cargo originated from Belize; the bust [...]

It’s manatee mating season
Sightings of manatees in our coastal waters are no rare occurrence, in fact, the large sea mammals are usually spotted near the mouth of the Belize River.  What is uncommon [...]

Audubon hosts kickoff meeting to develop bird-based tourism
You’ve heard about eco-tourism, sex tourism, cruise tourism, overnight tourism…even medical tourism. What about bird-based tourism? The International Audubon Organization is meeting with both private and public sector partners to [...]

Art exhibit launched at the Mexican Institute
The Mexican Institute today launched an exhibition by prolific artist and sculptor, Carlos Vivar. He has studied and worked all over the world, and his art has been exhibited in [...]


Two Persons Charged For Robbery At Money Gram Agent
Last week Monday we reported on the broad daylight robbery of the Travel Concierge and Money Gram Agent located on Otro Benque Road, where robbers netted over 6 thousand dollars and made good their escape with a third person in the getaway car. But criminal’s freedom was short lived since the police made a breakthrough in the case and the men are tonight behind bars. According to police, the grey in color SUV type vehicle was sighted by police on patrol on Friday about 9:45am leading to the detention of 22 year old Rigoberto Rosado, Belizean laborer of Riverside Street. Upon further investigation, police detained 26 year old Kevin Albert Flowers, Belizean construction worker of Smith Sonia Street, Orange Walk Town.

Police Confiscates Home Made Silencer
On Friday Orange Walk Police managed to get their hands on a firearm not often found in Belize. We are talking about a .22 silencer which was discovered at a home in the Village of Trinidad. The firearm was discovered on Friday morning at around 10:30 when police executed a search at the residence of 54 year old Julio Rene Amador. Present at the time of the search was 31 year-old Nayef Khodr Agha, a Lebanese National of Gentle Avenue Belize City and 31 year old Joel Armando Moh of corner Gentle and Meighan Avenues in Belize City. The .22 silencer was found with its magazine containing (4) .22 rounds. Police also discovered (2) boxes of ammunition containing a total of 59 rounds of .22 ammunition and a vehicle oil filter adapted to be used as a sound suppresser for the firearm.

Ramon Cervantes Elected As Standard Bearer For O/W North Consituency
In the month of March Hon. John Briceño, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai and Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez were endorsed as PUP Standard Bearer’s for Orange Walk Central, Orange Walk South and Orange Walk East respectively. This means they will once again seek office in the next General Elections. And on Sunday the PUP completed the slate for Orange Walk as voters of the north constituency elected their Standard Bearer. Three men threw their hat in the political ring, Alfredo Ortega, Ramon Monchie Cervantes and Jaime Castillo. Reporter Victor Castillo has the story. Victor Castillo - Reporting The doors of the polling station at Trial Farm Gov’t School were open at 8am and slowly PUP party supporters started to show up with flags, banner and T- shirts ready to support their favorite candidate.

SHINE Mission Offers Free Medical Service
A group of over twenty medical professionals are in Belize offering free medical services in Orange Walk Town. They are part of the SHINE mission which stands for Serving Him in Nations Everywhere. The group is primarily from the US and it is there first time in Belize. Ernesto Frausto – Director “Primera vez que venimos aquí a Belice y como le digo hemos estado en diferentes países y creo que vamos a regresar nuevamente porque no han encantado la comida y sobre todo la comunidad en este lugar.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “Entonces que les hizo venir a aquí?” Ernesto Frausto – Director “Bueno normalmente nosotros nos basamos en la que pasa a nivel mundial, nuestra conferencia general en los Estados Unidos evalúa en lugares en que hay más necesidades y ellos decidieron tener la Campania aquí en el país de Belice. Me gustaría que las familias de Belice vinieran para que tuvieran estos servicios completamente gratis y como vuelvo a repetir con todo el amor de nuestros corazones, venimos gente de Canadá, de los Estados Unidos, de México, de Nicaragua y el Salvador, todos de la misma iglesia de Dios del Séptimo Día.”

BelizeCan Calls On Government To Completely Retract Gender Policy
The Alliance of Ministers of Belize led by activist Patrick Menzies is back on the campaign to get government to retract the revised Gender Policy. This time the group has organized and will be staging their discontent with the policy and with government’s reluctance to heed their call, tomorrow at Belmopan. “It’s basically it is humongous like a church service per say where we pray, we sing, we learn about what the bible says about this gender policy, we also care and teach he people where we stand constitutionally in Belize and the fact that Belize is a blessed nation and we have a constitution that actually directs the government to listen to the will of the people and we are pushing the government of Belize to listen to the will of the people of Belize and to retract completely the gender policy, if they want to fix it in the back room later on that is fine but retract because it is already been implemented, the laws passed last December last year were part of the directive that came from that same gender policy.”

Unusual Descrepancy At PSE Results
The PSE results have been issued and the top scorers have been announced but while there are celebrations there are also many concerns, at least for a select few students and their teachers. That is where the administration at Louisiana Government School is after they sighted inconsistencies in the results of at least four students. One of these results is of primary concern as the adjustments propel one student into the top five best performers in the country. He is Jose Arciga whose math grades were not consistent to his performance in school. This sent red flags way up for his teachers who made inquiries and discovered that indeed the young man is among the top performers for this year. Enrique Ayuso – Vice Principal “One grade, which is the math paper one. He got a hundred percent pass in the problem solving which is 50/50 and his paper one showed that he only got 20/50 which is 40%, so we query that and we got a respond from Friday saying that the error was corrected and in fact he did get a hundred percent pass in math paper one. Hi name is Jose Aresiga and he now has 365 total points and that bring him as the second on our district ranking when it comes to the PSE and that puts him in fifth place in the national 25.”

MOE Has Been Vocal On Performance Of Students In The PSE
Queries and changes aside, the question is where do the results place the Orange Walk District compared to the other districts? The Ministry of Education has been vocal about the overall performance of student in the PSE as not being too good. In fact, Ministry officials have been open about the need to implement strategies for improved performance. In the case of Orange Walk, this year the performance was satisfactory but there are areas where there is a clear need for improvement. Carla Alvarez – District Education Manager “The initial result shows that Orange Walk continues to perform the best in terms of country wide and this has been a pattern at least for the five years that I have been here, we have been doing well but, a closer analysis will be able to distinguish where exactly we need to improve in and for us is basically the problem solving, comprehension but I haven’t as yet analyzed it for this year but that has been the trend for the last couple of years.”


Mexican Artist Showcases Works in Belize
As part of a Central American Tour, 50-year-old, Carlos Vivar has brought his art canvases and sculptures to the Mexican Institute where his exhibition entitled, Contemporary Mexico will be unveiled tonight at seven o’clock. The Public Relations Officer for the Mexican Institute in Belize City, Marcelino Miranda spoke to the media to tell us what can be expected. MARCELINO MIRANDA “The Mexican Embassy is very proud to present this exhibition by a Mexican artist, who has a long career in Mexico and internationally. We are going to have an opportunity to look at his most recent works and he’s presented different images of contemporary Mexico that is the title of the exhibition, Contemporary Mexico. So, the public will have this chance to look at images from the countryside, from more urban images and he’s using specifically oil on canvas and he’s having these big floor mats for his paintings and his style is figurative and abstract mainly. This exhibition has started in Mexico and it is now being presented in Belize then it will we presented in the rest of Central America. We are inviting the general public; I think it’s going to be a very good opportunity especially for young artists and for children as well. A part of his work, he’s inspired by pre-Hispanic or pre-Columbian codecs from central Mexico and at the same time, people will identify certain images of Mexico. For example, the Agave plant where the tequila comes from and also other images of Mexico like churches but especially more images about the urban areas of Mexico. People will see the reference also to schools that are incorporated into Mexican culture specifically at the time of the day of the dead.”

Belize CAN Adopts The Occupy Movement
Occupy Belmopan started today with more than a hundred and fifty persons. The protest-like initiative is being led by Patrick Menzies of Belize Can with demands to the Government revolving around five key requests, most of which relate to the Revised Gender Policy 2013. Menzies explained: PATRICK MENZIES “Our main focus is the gender policy that it be retracted and once they retract it they can take off all the LGBT agenda and just leave it as a woman’s agenda; we support the women’s agenda. We are also asking (2) that gender be declared officially as either male or female because the gender policy has it as the role played by male or female which can be played by a transgender or anybody else; (3) we are asking for an end to victimization to a policy or law like a whistleblower’s law; (4) we are asking that the preamble of the constitution be protected so that they don’t change preamble to add the LGBT to the agenda or anything else; (5) we are asking that Section 60 of the Criminal Code that was changed in December that makes it illegal to spank your child or you go to jail if the child is below the age of 12; you go to jail for 15 years minimum, maximum to life and UNICEF says that if you spank your child that is called child abuse and if the child is between 12 and 17, you go to child for ten to fifteen years. We want that law clarified; what does ill treatment mean? So, that it is not a broad net to catch me when I spank my child or anybody else and the funny thing is that Patrick Faber was the very same one that told us that he would never allowed corporal punishment to come out of the home and he is the same that was the Chair that approved that mess and so we are fighting against it.”

Man Stabbed Whilst Walking Home in Belize City
Fifty year old Wayne “Bomb” Jones is recuperating at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City after being stabbed last week. According to Jones, he was going home in the wee hours of Friday morning when a man came out of nowhere and attacked him on Lancaster Street in Belize City. According to Jones he was stabbed on his back with a butcher knife and left for dead. WAYNE JONES “I was going home on Thursday night about after twelve and a man just approached me out of the blue and asked me what I was doing around here. The man got off his bicycle and stabbed me in my back with a butcher knife then he got back on his bicycle and left me there bleeding. This happened after twelve last Thursday night; I was going home and he just came out of nowhere and stabbed me. I fell to the ground and I yelped out because I felt like the knife bucked but no one came out to help and I started walking to the hospital and I was yelling for help but no one helped me. I managed to walk to the stop light by Cinderella Plaza but then I passed out.”

Mother of Two Cries Rape
A 19-year-old girl is alleging that she was raped at gunpoint on Friday, June 13 in Belize City. The young mother of two reported to police that her rapist was a 65-year-old man known to her family. She says that on Friday, sometime after 3 o’clock, the man picked her up as he had promised to show her some apartments that were up for rent around miles 8 on the George Price Highway. They set out on the highway and drove for a bit when the man reportedly made a left turn into Homeland Memorial Park. With a gut feeling that something was about to go wrong, the young mother reported that she asked the man where they were going and his only response was that they were going to his property. They continued down a dirt road for about five minutes when the man then made a left turn and headed to a secluded area underneath a tree where he parked his pickup truck. It was at that point the woman’s nightmare began as she said the man pulled out his licensed revolver and demanded that she take off her clothes. Fearing for her life, she did as she was told and with a gun pointed at her face, the girl was forced to have sexual intercourse with the man. According to the woman, it didn’t end there as the man then forced her pose nude while he took photos of her. As what can only be summed up as an act of intimidation, the man then reportedly fired a warning shot in the air. Police took a statement from the woman on the following day. The accused is yet to be apprehended as police says the investigation is ongoing.

Traffic Accident in Western Belize Leaves Child Hospitalized
A child remains hospitalized following a traffic incident on Monday in the Cayo District. We hear more in this report from correspondent Fem Cruz. FEM CRUZ “A road traffic accident yesterday evening on the George Price Highway has left 7-year-old student, Rory Datson hospitalized. According to 32-year-old, Delmar Herrera, a resident of Benque Viejo Road, on Monday, June 16 just after five o’clock, he was driving his blue Hyundai Santa Fe from the village of Camalote enroute to San Ignacio Town. Upon reaching the village of Teakettle between miles 52 and 53, a child on bicycle suddenly rode across the highway in front of him and in order to avoid hitting the child, Herrera swerved left but the child was still clipped by the vehicle. The vehicle then crashed into a culvert as it came to a stop in a nearby drain. The child was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital suffering from a large cut wound to the forehead and the back of the head along with abrasions to the left hand and foot. He remains hospitalized and is stable. A notice of intended prosecution has been served to Herrera by the Police Department.”

Belize and Mexico Work on Trade Mission
Pro-Mexico and the Mexican Embassy in Belize are inviting local entrepreneurs to participate in another Mexican Trade Mission scheduled for this week. The first session will be held on Wednesday at the Mexican Embassy and on Thursday June 19, another session will be held at the Mexican Institute in Belize City. Javier Aguilar is in charge of trade affairs and tourism at the Mexican Embassy and explained the objective is to strengthen the trade relations between Mexico and Belize. JAVIER AGUILAR “On Wednesday it is going to be at the Mexican Embassy in Belmopan and on the 19th it is going to be at the Institute of Mexico in Belize. It consists of a group of companies that are coming from Mexico to offer their wide variety of products and services and also for potential partners to invest here in Belize or also find providers that might be of their interest and get imported from Mexico. There are different kinds of products; some of them are related to the food industry like jams, concentrates, drinks, wines, liquors, salsa, vinegar, vanilla and other things like that and there are certain companies that are related more to power industry like industrial solvents, chemical products, water proof coatings and there are a couple companies that are specifically related to software development like products for solutions for E-Government, CRM software and GPS. Also there is a company that specializes on chemical products for the water treatment particularly for the tourist industry for swimming pools; we are also going to be bringing water pumps and environmental sanitizers.”

Fire Destroys Home In Lake Independence
Officials are investigating the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed a building in Belize City. 48-year-old businessman Bokang Nyathi told police he left his business place at the corner of Mahogany Street Extension and Jasmine Street properly secured and when he made checks just before four o’clock this morning he saw it was destroyed by fire. He said the building did not have electricity nor was it insured. One of the neighbors, Rhonda Gomez, told us that the incident might have been arson. RHONDA GOMEZ “About after three this morning I heard a noise outside and so, I got up and I peeped through the window but I didn’t see anything and I heard the dogs barking but I paid it no mind and I went back to bed. Then the father of my children told me that there was a big fire over at Prince and when I looked outside I saw the big blaze and so, I called the fire station but no one answered and so, I called the police and they told me they would get in touch with the fire department. When I went over there I saw the big blaze but we couldn’t do anything. My husband got on his bike and went by his house at the burying ground and he told him that his house was on fire. I believe it is arson because I heard a man who is always in the neighborhood say he would burn down his house because they had a quarrel over mango. The fire trucks came long after but it didn’t take them long to put it out because when they came it was almost burnt out.”

Farmers Say No To Negotiations with Green Tropics
On Thursday, June 12 we told you about the thirty plus farmers and their families from Valley of Peace who had received a letter from the attorney of Green Tropics giving them notice to remove themselves from the land. Love News has been reporting that the crops that the farmers planted were damaged by aerial spraying done by Green Tropics some months back and as a result the farmers demanded that they be compensated and after meeting with representatives from Green Tropics….but right after that things started to take a twist as it was found out that the land on which the farmers planted their vegetables belonged to Green Tropics and now, based on this letter that the farmers received, they are officially being evicted with a deadline of July 15 at 3pm. Well, that was the story up to last Thursday….now today, based on a release issued by the Ministry of Natural Resources, an attempt was made to bring both parties to the negotiating table with an objective of settling the matter outside of the legal purview. That attempt to resolve the matter between the Valley of Peace Farmers Association and Green Tropics Limited led to an initial meeting held last Thursday where some progress was made as there were several points of agreement that were identified and only three points pending further negotiations.


His Powerful Love for you, Endures Forever
The verse of this week is taken from Psalm 100: 5  “For the Lord is sweet, his mercy endures for ever, and his truth to generation and generation”.

Environmentalists Ask to be Consulted on Puerto Azul
The proposed project at Northern 2 Caye in the Lighthouse Atoll known as Puerto Azul has caught the attention of environmentalists who have raised alarm bells about both the ecological and economic implications of a project on a scale that is as grand as proposed. Prime Minister Dean Barrow...

Caye Caulker Man Freed of Sex Charge
Today 42 year old tattoo shop operator Gerald Dawson, originally of Caye Caulker but now residing in Orange Walk Town, was acquitted of indecent assault against a 13 year old girl. On May 23, 2013 he was accused of biting the girl’s neck during a sexual encounter. The owner...

FFB Stadium Renovations Could Hinder Belize’s Participation in 2014 CONCACAF Champions League
The 2014 CONCACAF Champions League tournament is slated to start on the 5th of August.  Belize, represented by the Belmopan Bandits in this tournament, is matched up with Metapan from El Salvador, and Leon, the National Champions of Mexico. While our own national champions are undergoing serious training, the...

Boaters, Beware! Manatee Mating Season is Underway!
Every year around this time, the gentle manatees get a little aggressive – or at least the males do, as they chase down their favorite female partner to mate. It’s going on right now at the mouth of the Belize River, and we had a front row seat today....

Belize Can “Occupies Belmopan” in Protest of Gender Policy
Belizean activist Patrick Menzies is known for his very direct approach to the Government as it pertains to the Gender Policy. His latest attempt to get the Government’s attention  is not a one day event, however, it is for, and we quote ” as long as it takes”.  This...

Ministry of Natural Resources Mediates on the Valley of Peace Farmers Issue
We’ve heard from both sides of the ongoing dispute between the Valley of Peace Farmers Association and Green Tropics Limited. Today the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture, who has since been acting as a mediator between the two parties, sent out a press release to update on the...


Wayne “Bomb” Jones stabbed and left for dead
A former footballer who was recognized as one of Belize’s best goalkeepers two and a half decades ago almost lost his life in a tragic stabbing incident that took place while he was making his way home early last Friday morning on Lancaster Street near Freetown Road on Belize City’s northside. While the incident is yet to be reported by police, Amandala today visited Wayne “Bomb” Jones, 50, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he is presently recuperating from his injury. He told us that it was a completely senseless incident in which he was targeted by an apparently idle-minded assailant, for no known reason. Still obviously shaken and traumatized, Jones said, “I was going home Friday morning about after 12:00 midnight and a man came out of the blue and asked me what I was doing around there, after which he jumped off his bike, stabbed me in my back with a butcher knife, jumped back on his bike, gone and left me right there to bleed out.” Jones told us that when he suffered the wound, he fell to the ground and shrieked in pain, and he felt that he was going to die there and then.

Court will hear Castro’s defamation claim
At the height of the Penner passport scandal that has rocked the Dean Barrow administration, a whistleblower, Alverine Burgess, came forward with allegations that she has paid Minister of State Edmund Castro for up to 200 visas for foreign nationals. But Castro has vehemently denied the allegation and has taken out a lawsuit for defamation against Great Belize Production, the parent company of Channel 5, which aired the story, and Burgess, the whistleblower. The parties were in court today. An in-chamber hearing was held this afternoon in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel, who is preparing the way with the parties to hear the defamation claim filed by Minister of State Edmund Castro. At the last hearing, the attorney for Channel 5, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, had submitted an application that under the provisions of Section 35 of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the case should be struck out, because the necessary complaint was made to the Integrity Commission.

Luke must pay Belize Bank $29.4 mil!
Submissions were made this morning in the Court of Appeal in an application by businessman Luke Espat to appeal the Supreme Court decision of last November, when Justice Courtenay Abel ruled that Espat owes the Belize Bank $29.4 million for loans that he had personally guaranteed for his companies that have subsequently gone into receivership. When the court delivered its ruling in the afternoon session, the three Appeal Justices denied Espat’s application for leave to appeal the lower court’s decision. The refusal of the Court of Appeal to hear an appeal from Espat effectively leaves him on the hook for $29.4 million to the Belize Bank. On October 18, 2013, the Supreme Court handed down a 25-page judgment in respect of Espat’s companies. The companies for which he had signed a personal loan guarantee are Indeco Enterprises for $12,166,995.48 and 1,028,347.21 million; Belize Crocodile and Reptile Breeders for $11,540,988.32 million; and Belize Ready Mix Concrete for $4,696,291.32 million.

Pregnant Alley gang member executed
At about 10:30 Friday, June 13, morning, the gun violence that has been plaguing the city claimed yet another life, this time that of Taylor Alley gang member Tulio “Pinelo” Caseres, 30, a resident of Taylor Alley, better known as “Pregnant Alley,” who is a building inspector employed at the Housing and Planning Department, located on North Front Street in Belize City. Caseres was killed by a determined gunman who chased him and shot him at the junction of Majestic Alley and North Front Street, almost in front of City Hall. Caseres collapsed and died almost instantly from the many gunshots he suffered. His family members, who went to the scene shortly after he was killed, saw him sprawled on the road, and burst out crying. Superintendent Gualberto Garcia, Commander of Precinct 3 Police, which is located at the nearby Queen Street Police Station, told the media in a press brief held at about 2:30 Friday afternoon at the Queen Street Police Station, that Caseres was socializing in the park in Majestic Alley, in front of City Hall, under a plum tree with some men, who were sitting around a picnic table, when he was attacked.

Jasmine Street youth, 17, survives murder attempt
A 17-year-old young man from the St. Martin De Porres area of Belize City came face to face with death after being ambushed near his home sometime after 10:00 last night. According to police, Clinton Pou was coming from Tibruce Street, heading towards his home at #179 Jasmine Street. While walking on Poinsetta Street (which connects the two streets), a dark-complexioned man approached Pou from behind, pointed a handgun in his direction, and fired a shot which caught Pou in the right cheek and exited through the left side of his neck. Fortunately, the shooting victim was not seriously injured, and today, Amandala spoke to his mother, Dorla Foreman, who told us that when she heard the shot, her son – who went looking for his girlfriend – immediately came to mind, for some reason. Foreman said that she left Pou at home and she would normally be at church at that time, but had instead gone to make an unusual visit to the house of one of her neighbors for leisure purposes. While there, she said, she was beset by a dreadful, uncomfortable feeling.

New UB prez appointed
Former advisor to the Prime Minister, Alan Slusher, has been formally appointed president to the University of Belize (UB) with effect from June 1, 2014. In his role as president, Slusher will head the university’s senior management team, currently comprising an Interim Provost, Director of Finance, and Director of Human Resources. Slusher is the sixth president to be named head of UB since 2000, and replaces Dr. Carey Fraser, who left UB abruptly. It is known that Fraser did not see eye-to-eye with the UB Board of Trustees and the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. While Slusher’s appointment is with effect from June 1, he was holding the post as interim president since April. Slusher was first appointed in the public sector as Governor of the Central Bank of Belize in 1985.

EDITORIAL: A bad state of affairs
We say that we have strong governments in Belize under the Ministerial constitution which came into effect with the general election of March 1961. We describe the various governments since then as “strong,” because, no matter how narrow their election victory or how violent the protests sparked by specific crises, all our governments finish their five-year term of office, unless they themselves choose, for whatever the reason(s), as in June of 1993 and March of 2012, to seek an early renewal of mandate. The violent crises which have occurred in Belize, such as the Heads of Agreement in March of 1981 and the union-led protests of January/February 2005, do not take place along ethnic, religious, or geographical (District) lines. Our crises have a national characteristic and generally take place along party political lines. In early 2003, the United States, planet earth’s only superpower, invaded a nation-state in the Middle East known as Iraq. Iraq was being ruled at the time by a strong arm dictator named Saddam Hussein. Hussein had come to power by force of arms, supported by a minority Sunni Muslim political party. In neighboring Iran, which is basically a Shiite Muslim state, forces loyal to the Ayatollah Khomeini, a religious leader, in 1979 had overthrown a monarchical dictatorship run by the Shah of Iran, a leader who had been supported by successive United States governments. The United States then supported Iraq’s Saddam Hussein in a war he waged from 1980 to 1988 against Khomeini’s Iran.

From The Publisher
Our overall management system at Kremandala is relatively loose. In a sense, it’s as if everyone is his or her own boss. The system works well for some individuals, who flourish in the atmosphere of freedom. Every now and then, however, there emerges an individual who is afflicted with tunnel vision, which is to say, that individual only sees what he or she wishes to see, ignoring the peripheral side of things. Such an individual can get out of control when management allows too much individual initiative. At the newspaper, individual freedom is automatically regulated by the assembly line reality. What I mean is that most workers must complete their specific assignment in order for another worker to begin work on the unfinished product which will become the newspaper you read. For example, the journalist has to research and write/type his or her story before the copy editor and the proofreaders can go over the material. That material, after editing and proofreading, then goes on to the pagemaker people, who use computers to set up the page dummy. This is proofread again, following which it is photographed by the lithographer in the darkroom, developed on film which is prepared on a light table by a technician before burning on a metal plate by the printers. After the printers roll the press, the pages go to the folding room for packaging by the collators. The newspapers are picked up before dawn on Tuesdays and Fridays for delivery to the main distribution depot, where independent vendors purchase at a wholesale price and then hit the streets to sell you at a retail price.

Bain sues UWI, secures injunction against termination
Amandala has confirmed from legal sources in Jamaica that Professor Brendan Bain — the head of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network whose termination was announced after a lobby by the LGBT community and their supporters, calling for his removal by the University of the West Indies (UWI) — can continue to serve as head of the regional HIV body after the Jamaica Supreme Court ruled Friday, June 13, in his favor. The court issued an injunction to halt his termination pending the outcome of a lawsuit Bain has filed against UWI. In that suit, Bain is challenging the constitutionality of his termination, which was to take effect Sunday; he is also claiming damages. Today, CHART still lists Bain as CHART RCU Director — Professor of Community Health; Infectious Disease Specialist; Lead Coordinator of the University of the West Indies HIV/AIDS Response Programme (UWI-HARP); and Principal Investigator and Project Director — Caribbean Health Leadership Institute (CHLI).

Not so fast, Agriculture Ministry tells BGYEA
In spite of being the victors in a Supreme Court ruling which went in their favor last Friday, June 13, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) still find themselves in a position in which they are prohibited from carrying out a proposed corn-planting project in the Harmonyville Buffer Zone at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway. In a press release sent from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture today, the Government of Belize (GOB) indicated that it wanted to “clarify” the outcome of the court hearing involving the injunction order which was recently levied against the representatives of BGYEA and their investor, Sam Patton. After reiterating the complete scope of the interim injunction which was filed by GOB on May 22, the Ministry maintained that although the injunction expired last Friday, GOB is “at liberty by law to apply for another injunction,” since the “substantive claim for trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30, 2014.”

Solicitor General’s error leads judge to lift injunction against BGYEA
Less than 48 hours after Prime Minister Dean Barrow adamantly stated at his press conference that the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) would not be allowed to plant corn in the so-called buffer zone at Harmonyville, the administration suffered a legal setback today when Supreme Court Justice, Courtney Abel, lifted the ex-parte injunction against BGYEA. Late last month, the Harmonyville community halted its plans to plant corn in an area of land that the Government, through the Lands Department, has designated as a road reserve in their settlement between Miles 41 and 42 on the George Price Highway. The roughly twenty-five acres of land that lies between the highway and the 1,325 acres which make up the Harmonyville community became a flashpoint issue between BGYEA and the government, when the latter obtained a Supreme Court injunction to prevent the planting of corn in the buffer area. But today, when the matter was scheduled to be argued in court, the submissions were never made when both parties met in the Chambers of Justice Abel. After the almost one-hour meeting, BGYEA’s attorney, Audrey Matura Shepherd, emerged to brief the media on the outcome of the case.

Arana orders GOB and Maya to court-connected mediation
The four Maya communities—Conejo, Midway, Crique Sarco and Graham Creek—which have been battling the Government of Belize over the manner in which it wants to proceed with drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park (STNP) in Toledo did not get the court injunction they had applied for, but shortly after 3:00 this evening, Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana handed down a decision ordering the parties to “court-connected mediation.” Prime Minister Dean Barrow had said in his press conference last week that his administration would not hold discussions with the Sarstoon Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), led by Maya leader and activist Greg Ch’oc, SATIIM’s executive director, on this matter, but today’s ruling means that Government is expected to engage SATIIM and the four claimant communities, who had chosen Ch’oc as their representative. “The communities are extremely upset and angry at what continues to transpire. A day will come when I cease to ask them to restrain themselves and when that day comes I am hoping that we are able to contain the anger of the community. For now, my duty is to try to channel that energy in using the courts as the medium through which we find a resolution,” Ch’oc told Amandala.

House in Santa Elena partially destroyed by fire
The house of Olga August, 56, of Cemetery Road, Santa Elena, has been partially destroyed by fire. Two of the four bedrooms were completely destroyed, including all its contents, but the remainder of the two rooms just suffered heat and smoke damage. The incident occurred at about 8:20 yesterday morning, on Cemetery Road in Santa Elena, Cayo. Santa Elena fire officials, in an interview with Amandala, said that they received the fire call at about 8:20 yesterday morning, and they quickly went to the area and began fighting the fire. The fire was completely out within 20 minutes, they said. The cause of the fire is not yet known, said the fire official, and an investigation is being carried out by the Santa Elena Fire Department and the police.

IDB announces US$10 mil education loan for Belize
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced today that it has approved a US$10 million loan “designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system.” The loan is for 25 years, with a grace period of 5 years. The interest rate is pegged to the LIBOR, meaning London Interbank Offered Rate – a variable London-based benchmark which represents lending rates between leading global banks. According to the IDB, the initiative is a part of a program to enhance the quality of primary education and governance of education system. “The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers,” the bank said.

GSU beat down father and son, then charged them for harm
A father and son who say they were both badly beaten by police over the weekend appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court this morning along with their attorney to answer to a number of charges [...]

Theft reported in Belize City and San Pedro
Boat and golf cart stolen Police report that a boat valued at $55,000 has been stolen from the Conch Shell Bay area of the city, and a golf cart valued at $16,000 has been stolen from [...]

Jealous park ranger shoots at his co-worker for talking to his girlfriend
Park ranger Oscar Gordon, 30, of Caves Branch Outpost, is unhurt after his co-worker and fellow park ranger fired a shotgun at him, but missed, due to the distance between them. The park ranger was about [...]

Walter Beaton, 40, shot twice near Cumberbatch Field
Bullets were flying once again over this past weekend in Belize City as a number of shooting incidents have been reported in which there were at least three shooting victims; however, none of those incidents proved [...]

Corozal conman impersonated CIB detective
Sayyed Jaffer Koya, 46, a businessman of 6th Avenue, Corozal Town, and owner of City Light Guest House at the same address in Corozal Town, was conned out of three days’ rent money and a bicycle [...]

Attempted robbery of store on George Price Highway
The owner fired at the thieves; police later nabbed one Trevor Guy, 20, a Belize City resident who is one of three persons accused by police of attempting to rob Delcid Store at Mile 8 on [...]

Burglary in Corozal Town — over $800 in goods stolen
Corozal Police are seeking the thief or thieves who burglarized Corocell Repairs and Services on 5th Avenue, Corozal Town, between the hours of 6:30 p.m. on Friday 8:30 a.m. on Saturday. Waseem Khan, 38, a naturalized [...]

Arson in San Pedro
Four San Pedro men were released on bail of $6,000 each and ordered to return to court on July 24 after they were charged with arson and damage to property. Police say that at about 1:30 [...]

Dangriga woman chopped up
A Dangriga woman’s neighbour entered her house at about 3:00 o’clock yesterday morning and inflicted several chop wounds to her for reasons that are not yet clear to police. Lanesha Balthazar, 19, of the Wagierale area, [...]

4 shots fired at 2 men on Antelope Street
A 17-year-old young man of an Antelope Street address reported to police that a man whom he knows only as “Froggie” fired about four shots at him while he was walking along with a friend on [...]

“Man of the Match”
Mariano “Man of the Match” in debut with Houston Hurricanes Belize national team player Evan Mariano, who signed a contract on June 5 with the Houston Hurricanes Football Club of the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL), [...]

Tigersharks win
Tigersharks win nailbiter over Western Ballaz in Game 1 of NEBL Finals series The inaugural National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) tournament began its championship Finals with a thrilling Game 1 yesterday at the Roman Catholic School [...]

TIDE Junior
TIDE Junior FWC Semifinals today, Finals on Friday The TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2014 football tournament has reached the playoff stage, and the semifinals for primary school female and male teams were played today at [...]

CYDP Peace Cup
CYDP Peace Cup games results for Sunday, June 15 The CYDP Peace Cup tournament had 3 games yesterday, Sunday, at the Racoon Street Field in Week 2 of the competition. In game 1, Complex Admiral dropped [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

CAPPS Elects New Executive
The Cayo Association of Principals of Primary Schools elected new executive members during their final General Assembly for this school year , Thursday, June 12th, 2014. They will serve a two-year term. President – Alfred Serano;Vice- President – Pauline Gilharry; Secretary – Ingrid Cunil; Assistant Secretary – […]

Belizean youth get training in road safety
A two weeks training project targeting youth and road safety started on Monday in Belmopan. Young men and women from all over the country are taking part in the training which is being held at the George Price Center in the nation’s capital. Facilitators of the training are […]

Caye Caulker man freed of sexual assault charge
Today 42 year old tattoo shop operator Gerald Dawson, originally of Caye Caulker but now residing in Orange Walk Town, was acquitted of indecent assault against a 13 year old girl. On May 23, 2013 he was accused of biting the girl’s neck during a sexual encounter at […]

Greg Choc says Prime Minister has a problem with him
On Monday following the unsuccessful application for a post-judgment injunction by Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya communities it represents against the Government of Belize and U.S. Capital Energy, executive director Gregory Ch’oc responded publicly to comments made last week by Prime Minister […]

IDB grants funds for bird tourism
Belize is a popular site for bird-watching, but the Belize Audubon Society and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) believe it can become another product in the Belizean tourism package. The bank has granted the National Audubon Society, based in the United States, a total of $2.6 million from […]

Boaters asked to beware mating manatees
Manatees are known for the gentleness and the hard luck associated with being run over by boat propellers from time to time. But when it is time to mate, they get a little aggressive – or at least the males do, as they chase down a heated female […]

Environmentalists want consultation on Puerto Azul
The proposed project at Northern 2 Caye in the Lighthouse Atoll known as Puerto Azul has caught the attention of environmentalists who have raised alarm bells about both the ecological and economic implications of a project on a scale that is as grand as proposed. Prime Minister Dean […]

Cotton Tree Village Council takes Government to court
The first hearing of a claim by the Village Council of Cotton Tree against the Ministry of Natural Resources took place before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Monday morning in the Supreme Court. The village complains that its consent was not obtained before a parcel was blocked out […]

Valley of Peace farmers need assistance says area representative
We have been following the efforts of the farmers of Valley of Peace, Cayo, to seek a negotiated solution with Green Tropics Limited over destruction of valuable crops by herbicide spraying which occurred some months ago. Recently the attorney for Green Tropics appeared to slam the door on […]

Fight over Harmonyville land continues
A statement issued on Monday by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture attempts to, in its words, “clarify” Friday’s judgment of Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel in favour of the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA). While acknowledging that the court declined to continue the interim […]


Birding in Belize – Six of the Best Spots
Belize sits within the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, which stretches from Mexico through Central America and is home to a diverse range of birds and wildlife, helping to make the little country a birders’ paradise, with some 618 resident species and visiting migrants sharing the rich biodiversity of Belize. At Chaa Creek alone, the Birds without Borders project, conducted in conjunction with the Zoological Society of Milwaukee and Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, recorded 308 different species within the eco-resort’s 365-acre private nature reserve. Since that ambitious project, Chaa Creek has supported naturalist guides who are interested in broadening their knowledge of birds, so that there are now dedicated birding guides to share their experience and lead birdwatching expeditions. We’re finding that, in addition to the people who come here specifically to enjoy this richly rewarding pastime, some guests have developed a passion for birding after getting their first taste of it at Chaa Creek.

San Pedro Lobster Festival in full swing
While some people are sadly experiencing June snow as you can see from the picture below, those in Belize are hot hot hot and enjoying San Pedro Lobster Festival in full swing. If you are wondering just how hot is it? San Pedro is a balmy 29C today but it feels like it could be 37c or higher and definitely multiple rinse downs throughout the day weather. Sunday night was the special vip dinner at Pirates Treasure restaurant just across the bridge, Monday Hol Chan Marine office and museum was the place to get stamped. Monday night Crazy Canucks was the hot spot for more lobster and live music. Today you can drop by Sunrise Realty on Front Street to get your passport stamped and a lobsterfest pin if there are any left. Tonight the feasting continues with Lobster Fest ’74 Grill Night at Pineapples Restaurant located at Ramon’s Village Resort.

International Sourcesizz

This Is What Your Flight Used To Look Like (And It's Actually Crazy)
great article, lots of fun links off the article also with additional information and photos….. Air travel has come a long way since the 1950s, this we know. We're deep into our bizarre affection for SkyMall, personal TV screens and in-flight WiFi (not to mention WiFi in general). But in the 50s, flying was something different. It was something magical and marvelous. Air travel exploded into its Golden Age, and airplane trips weren't just a means of getting to your vacation -- they were a vacation in themselves. Passengers dressed in their finest to fly. They lined up for group photos before boarding. Riding an airplane made them feel like a movie star because it pretty much took the salary of a movie star to do so. But not everything was so rosy. If you took a flight in the 1950s...

4 Countries That Welcome American Retirees
Belize. Just over a decade ago the government of Belize enacted legislation to allow qualified retired persons to obtain permanent residency in their country. This is a quick and efficient program. As a QRP you could become a full-time resident of the country, but you can also enjoy the benefits if you spend as little as one month a year in Belize. Belize’s QRP residency program isn’t only for senior citizens. It’s available to anyone age 45 or older, and it grants a host of incentives designed to encourage foreigners to come and bring their money. These incentives include a permanent exemption from Belizean taxes, including income tax, capital gains tax, estate tax and import tax on household goods, automobiles, boats and even airplanes. The only requirements to qualify for Belize’s QRP program are that you be 45 or older, consider yourself to be retired and have at least $2,000 a month in guaranteed income to support yourself in Belize. While pension income can be shown to meet the last requirement, the easiest way to prove financial means is simply to deposit a minimum of $24,000 per year into a Belizean bank account. In practical terms, the "consider yourself to be retired" requirement means that, as a QRP, you can't apply for a work visa. This is not to say that you can't do international, Internet or even local Belize business as an entrepreneur. You just can't take a job working as an employee of someone else in Belize.

Invest in Belize: Retirement Paradise or Real Estate Scam?
He began to build a condo, but the labor cost was high His partner stole his money, that left him high and dry His land is still a mudhole, where you sink up to your knees And he’s just another gringo in Belize —Lyrics to Jerry Jeff Walker’s Gringo in Belize. The “gringo in Latin America” has a certain image: A ne’er-do-well in a panama hat and a guayabera with a terrible command of the local language and money from questionable sources — a walking caricature of a Jimmy Buffett song. But Latin America — and particularly Belize — has also long been a popular retirement destination for Americans, Canadians and Europeans looking to enjoy great weather and a fantastic lifestyle for considerably less than what they might pay in West Palm Beach, Fla., or Scottsdale, Ariz. Belize also has no taxes on income or property, making it an ideal escape — for those who want to live in or just invest in Belize — in an era of bankrupt government and creeping taxation. With the baby boomers now starting to retire en masse, the Central American retirement industry is booming — but unfortunately, so is the industry of scamming unwitting gringo retirees out of their nest eggs.

From Mine Excavations to ESPN, Arch Aerial Drones Fit Any Scenario
Why pilot a drone manually when it can pilot itself? That’s exactly what Ryan Baker, founder of Arch Aerial, was thinking when he designed a multi-rotor drone to take to an archaeological dig in Belize. The terrain is harsh where he was headed, so he needed something that can loiter, hover, or auto-pilot a flight path outlined on Google Maps. And when all else failed, Baker wanted a drone that still had the option to be piloted manually. What started as tool for archaeologists has morphed into something free from the strictures of definition. That is, the use case for the Arch Aerial drone isn’t relegated simply to excavation sites. Vineyards can use them to check their sprawling land for irrigation leaks. Small businesses can use them to promote their company at an event like CES or SXSW. But one of the most interesting applications is football: ESPN agrees with that. So, we sat down with Baker to hear more about the drones and how they ended up on an Outside the Lines (OTL) segment on May 25.

A Boy and a Jaguar’ gives voice to those with speech issues
“A Boy and a Jaguar” is the true story of Alan Rabinowitz who struggled with stuttering as a boy. The book’s beautiful illustrations, rendered in acrylic and charcoal, were done by painter Catia Chien....


Video: The Ron & Fez Show 06/16/2014 - Ron's Belize Fantasy, 5min.
Caller talks about pizza in Belize, Ron fantasizes about dropping out.

Video: Cave Tubing Belize May 2014, 7min.

Video: Belize Dive, 4min.

Video: Footage : Tour of Belize, 9min.
Tour of Belize from a horse-driven carriage super educational! most interesting: almond nuts are the seed from a fruit.

Video: Ocelot at The Belize Zoo, 2min.

Video: Collared Aracari at The Belize Zoo, 1min.

June 17, 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 Celebrates High School Graduation Ceremonies
It was a weekend of caps, gowns and diplomas, as the two secondary institutions on the island celebrated their High School Commencement Exercises. The 2014 San Pedro High School (SPHS) graduation ceremony was held on Saturday, June 14th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium starting at 4PM. Mistresses of Ceremonies, and fellow graduates, Alisha Cadle and […]

Ambergris Caye residents help build our blood supply
Submitted by The San Pedro Red Cross Have you considered that your blood donation can one day save a life? Many Ambergris Caye residents are regularly attending San Pedro Red Cross blood drives and helping save lives by building a supply for Ambergris Caye. San Pedro Red Cross currently holds quarterly blood drives, and the […]

Presenting Miss El Salvador for Reina de la Costa Maya!
The Costa Maya Festival adds Miss El Salvador Ana Graciela Hasbun Boscaino to the roster of beauties vying for the title of Reina de la Costa Maya 2014-15.

Belize to improve education with $10 million loan from the IDB
News Releases- The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $10 million loan designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system. The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s […]

Ambergris Today

Islanders Enjoy First Batch of Lobsters of the Season
Sunday, June 15, 2014, marked the first day of Lobster Season in Belize and the images from lobster fishermen and those enjoying lobster dishes just a few hours into the season started appearing across the various social media platforms. Those along the cayes of Belize are the first to enjoy the succulent and sweet spiny lobster on the very first day of the season. Many cannot wait any longer to dig into their favorite lobster dish. Even San Pedro’s Lobster Festival kicked off a day before the season opened with a ceremony and dinner specials at El Divino restaurant; but unfortunately no lobster on the menu.

DigiCell Launches PrePaid Voice Roaming Service!
As of Friday, June 13, 2014, DigiCell PrePaid customers can enjoy the freedom of using DigiCell’s Voice Roaming service in over 30 countries around the world. We are also thrilled to introduce lowered voice roaming rates which will be enjoyed by both postpaid and prepaid customers. So talk it up when you travel and stay in touch! International Roaming lets you stay in touch with friends, family and business associates when traveling abroad using your DigiCell phone. Our PostPaid customers have been enjoying this service since 2003 to over 200 countries worldwide. Prepaid customers can now join the roaming family by being able to make and receive calls and text messages in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe to name a few, at the lowest roaming rates. Expansion to other parts of the world will be rolled out soon.

Pic of the Week" View of La Isla Bonita, Ambergris Caye at 35,000 Feet
Here is a picture taken by Belize designer Joris Hendrik on board American Airlines as it ascended to its 35,000 cruising altitude. He had this great opportunity to snap a quick picture of La Isla Bonita, San Pedro, Ambergris Caye as the jet took off from Belize. Joris was on his way last week to represent Belize at Caribbean Fashion week held in Jamaica. Even thousands of feet above you can still appreciate the cristal clear waters surrounding the island and even see the Great Barrier Reef of Belize just offshore the island.

Lobsters Beware!
Wednesday June 15, 2011, the opening of Lobster Season; this is the date that many fishermen in San Pedro wake up early to and dedicate their day and time in checking their shades/trampas. They are catching as many lobsters to sell to restaurants on La Isla Bonita for our lovely tourists and locals to enjoy. Many tourists plan their trip to San Pedro just in time for Lobsterfest; just in time to enjoy everything lobster in a block party/ festival where many restaurants display their best dishes, desserts & drinks. Only in San Pedro! This year I got the opportunity to experience lobster fishing first hand. I woke up at 6a.m. (way too early) and met up with my two colleagues; Perlita and Delsie at Mario Graniel’s dock (Delsie’s Cool Daddy). I hopped on the boat and headed to the south of the island, where we reached the first lobster shade. I will be honest, I had no idea what I was doing out there and I confess it was my first time lobster fishing (the shame). When I was growing up I remember going to my dad’s dock and I would wait for him and my uncles to come in with massive amounts of lobsters, then they would quickly clean them and go sell them. I would never ask my dad to take me with him to get the full experience, so when I heard that lobster season was coming I was up for the challenge.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Harmonyville Subdivision
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture is compelled to clarify the outcome of the court hearing in relation to the interim injunction order against the representatives of BGYEA and Mr. Sam Patton. On May 22nd, 2014 the Government of Belize filed for an interim injunction restraining the Respondents by themselves, their servants or agents or whosoever from trespassing, entering and possessing, clearing, planting crops, placing or projecting any object on or over the land, encumbering or dealing with the reserve buffer zone situate at Mile 41 of the George Price Highway in respect of the area known as Harmonyville. This interim injunction expired last Friday June 13th, 2014. The Honourable Court did not continue the injunction; however the Government of Belize is at liberty by law to apply for another injunction. The substantive claim for Trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30th, 2014. In late April 2014, at the request of BGYEA, the Department of Lands and Surveys issued eviction notices to all squatters illegally occupying the buffer zone. The Ministry reaffirms its position and continues to pursue the removal of illegal occupants within the buffer zone.

In a News Release from the Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General Announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to the MOST DISTINGUISHED ORDER OF SAINT MICHAEL AND SAINT GEORGE AND THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of BIRTHDAY HONOURS 2014. KNIGHT BACHELOR To be a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George: Hon Mr Justice Manuel Sosa OB, CBE, SC, LLB (Hons), for contribution to the Judiciary C.B.E. To be an Ordinary Commander of the Civil Division of the said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Dr Ellsworth R Grant, for contribution to Medicine M.B.E. To be Ordinary Members of the Civil Division of the Said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire: Pat Andrews, for Contribution to the Community and Banking, Stephen A Duncan, for contribution to the Community and Banking, Crystal Yvonne Vernon, for contribution to the Community and Francis Paul Woods, for contribution to the Community and Business The Date for the presentation of awards will be announced later.

Belmopan Cleanup Campaign
Saturday June 21st starting at 7am til midday

E-course Announcement from the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development

Baffu Magazine - Issue 1 (Google Docs)
What is Baffu? Among other things, it's an e-magazine that focuses on art from Belizeans. It features art of many forms. There are poems in it, and there are drawing and paintings too. Scores of Belizeans contributed to it. There are works from Stacy Ann Rodriguez, Valerie Penner, and Kate Usher, just to name a few. You can download the first issue on Media Fire (PDF). It's free, and it's interesting. Check it out - the cover is not representative of the interior - and you might like it. Its very cool....

Mexican Trade Mission 2014
The Mexican Trade Mission will be happening at the Embassy of Mexico in Belmopan this Wednesday, June 18th, and in Belize City on the 19th, ProMéxico, the Mexican Trade and Investment agency, is having this to strengthen the trade relations between Mexical and Belize. One of the goals is to identify vendors and buyers of many localized products, like jams and jellies, pepper sauces, wines, and liquors. They'll also focus on software, and industrial compounds. Sounds like a great idea. Call 822-0210 for more information. "The Embassy of Mexico invites Belizean entrepreneurs to participate in the Mexican Trade Mission 2014 to introduce and interact with Mexican counterparts."

FISHING REPORT: Week of June 7th – June 14th, 2014
So, let’s talk about the weather. While we would love to see perfect sunny skies and an East 5 – 10 wind for all of anglers, it just doesn’t happen. We have had some big wind for a few weeks now, so yes, we are talking about the weather. After long discussions, we have come up with the fact that challenging conditions in the end do make you a better angler. Sad, but true. All of your fishing experiences make you a better angler. You take that collective story and apply it to your next adventure. And then, one day, you are able to tell the story of your great fish, and how it all happened. Thank you to all of our friends who return here to El Pescador to make your fishing dreams continue. We love to be part of that story.

$2.6 Million Birding Ecotourism Partnership Launches In Belize City to Create Local Jobs in the Americas, Preserve Biodiversity
In an unprecedented gathering, leaders of tourism, development and sustainability agencies from the governments of Belize, Guatemala, Paraguay and the Bahamas along with local and regional conservation nonprofit organizations, and for-profit tourism companies meet today with the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and The National Audubon Society to launch a $2.6 million birding ecotourism partnership. The more than fifty attendees from government agencies, nonprofits, private companies, the National Audubon Society and IDB’s fund have congregated in Belize City to implement the $2.6 million investment in in niche, high-value birding ecotourism, creating sustainable jobs in local communities while simultaneously protecting biodiversity and natural resources. Notable participants at the three-day launch include: - Director of Sustainable tourism and Development of Bahamas, Mrs. Jacqueline Ramsey - Division Director of Natural Patrimony of Guatemalan Tourism Institute INGUAT, Mr. Jorge Mario Samayoa - Mrs. Grace Chun, Deputy High Commissioner for the UK - Mr. Thompson President of the Belize Hotel Association - Mr. Herbert Haylock, President of the Belize Tourism Industry Association - Mr. Earl Green, President of Belize Audubon Society Project participants will be oriented to the major technical components of the project, operational and financial aspects, communication and coordination. Bird guide training, including curriculum development, will be initiated, and project teams will investigate what makes a world class birding experience – sites, routes and attractions – and best ways to market. “The IDB bird-based tourism project is an opportunity to form stronger linkages between protected areas system and the tourism sector” says Amanda Acosta, the Executive Director for Belize Audubon Society. “This project will demonstrate the economic value of our protected areas to local communities through job creation and other economic enterprises associated with an improved tourism product”.

US Air Force surgeon seeks to improve quality of life
For many in the business of helping others, if just one life is made better by their service, then all the effort is well worth it. U.S. Air Force Maj. (Dr.) Jason Massengill, a urogynecologist who volunteered to deploy in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, had the opportunity to better many lives. New Horizons provides valuable training opportunities for Belizean, Canadian and U.S. medical providers as they work together to provide health care options for the Belizean people. With 15 years in the Air Force and starting in obstetrics and gynecology, Massengill decided to take a different path in the medical field that ultimately led to him being in Belize performing surgeries for patients in the local area. "I really enjoyed the surgery aspect much more, and I always have," Massengill said of his transition to urogynecology. "There are a lot of quality of life improving surgeries in the field."

Baby updates! from Belize Bird Rescue
Almost everyone is out in the big, wide world (well, a big, wide aviary...) 14 photos.

Consumer Watch Newsletter
The Belize Bureau of Standards invites you to download and read the Volume 6 Issue 1 of our Consumer Watch Newsletter.

"Contemporary Mexico" Exhibition
The Embassy of Mexico cordially invites you to the opening of the art exhibition “Contemporary Mexico” at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City on Tuesday, June 17th, 2014. The exhibition includes a series of paintings and sculptures by the self-taught Mexican painter and sculptor Carlos Vivar. Vivar was born in Mexico City in 1964; he began the graphic design career in 1981 at Universidad Anahuac, withdrawing in 1985 to move to London. Two years later, in 1987, he moved to Milan, where he studied terracotta sculpting and computer graphics.

UB Wins Belize Hackathon
Beltraide had the first Belize Hackathon over the weekend, and the team from the University of Belize won with their 'Transport Belize' app idea. Congratulations, UB students!

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks - Game 1
The Western Ballaz went to San Pedro to play the 1st game of the playoffs against the Tiger Sharks yesterday. They did great, and pretty much had the game, until a bad call in the last minute. The final score was 52 - 53. They host the next game this Friday. Pictures on fb. Go Ballaz! "The Western Ballaz visited San Pedro to play game one against the Tiger Sharks. It was a great, even game. The Ballaz had it, and then in the last seconds, a bad call from a ref costs them the game by 1 point. It was 52 - 53."

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks - Playoff Game 1
PHOTOS: The Western Ballaz visited San Pedro to play game one against the Tiger Sharks. It was a great, even game. The Ballaz had it, and then in the last seconds, a bad call from a ref costs them the game by 1 point. It was 52 - 53.

Howler Monkey Release - Day 1
Four of the monkeys from Wildtracks are getting ready to be released back into the jungle. There will be more to come this week. Thanks, Wildtracks! "Sultan, Livvy, Kofi and Paz, four endangered Yucatan black howler monkeys, are making the move down to the Fireburn release site in preparation for their release back into the wild..."

Chuck Braindead Experience
The Chuck Braindead Experience was held at the Soul Project Friday night, and the music was different. 'Experimental' is right. There was a jam session in the middle of the concert too.

Channel 7

Mayans Disappointed By Injunction Hearing Back At Court
3 months ago, SATIIM Southern Mayan Communities announced that they were going to court to get an injunction to block the Government from extending US Capital Energy's permit. With all the "hype" behind it, the much anticipated hearing ended in an anti-climax today. Justice Michelle Arana heard the application today and didn't give a clear ruling in favour of either of the parties: neither did she grant nor dismiss the application. Instead, she ordered that both sides must participate in mediation. That came after she heard from Government Attorney Denys Barrow who submitted that the injunction application should be struck out. The ground that he did so was that Justice Arana had already heard the entire case and she fully pronounced her judgement. Barrow says that having fully completed her duties as judge in this case, she didn't have jurisdiction to grant the injunction that the Mayans wanted. Eamon Courtenay, attorney for the Mayan Communities, responded that according to the Civil Procedure Rules of the Supreme Court, she was allowed to grant this injunction even though the judgment was already handed down.

Cotton Tree Sues GOB Over Land
Last month, we told you about the controversy between the Barrow Administration and the Cotton Tree Village council because Government acquired private property to create 254 lots in that village - with the lots to be shared up among 8 UDP constituencies in Belize City. Cotton Tree's village council filed a case in court to fight that subdivision on what they say is their village's land. The case started before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today. The Government of Belize has yet to file their defense, and so, without a case from the other side, Chief Justice Benjamin could only adjourn the hearing. Outside of court, we spoke with the attorney for the Cotton Tree Village Council, who explained how they intend to challenge the Government: Andrew Marshalleck - Attorney for Cotton Tree Village Council "We are challenging two things in the main; the manner of creation of the subdivision and also the manner of distribution of the lots created by the subdivision. With regard to the former the manner of creation of the subdivision, we have 3 problems with it. First and foremost there was no consultation with the village council and the law requires that they be such consultation. Second and third is that there is no compliance with the statutory requirements for the requirements for subdivisions. This I suspect will be a little controversial in that the fundamental position we have taken is that the provisions of the land utilization act and the environmental protection act apply equally to government as it does to private citizens. Historically it's been that government behaves and act as if these things don't apply to them, so they never take any steps whatsoever to comply."

3 Men Injured By Weekend Shootings
But the first shooting which happened on Friday night on Kraal Road in the Yabra area appears to have been a domestic, not a gang dispute. At 8:45 on Friday night, 40-year-old Walter BEATON, was in a dispute with a female near the corner with Ceasar Ridge and Kraal Road. He was riding away when a man on a bicycle shot him. Beaton was only hit in his left hand, but he jumped off his bicycle into a drain adjoining the Wilt Cummerbatch Field - where he laid low until police arrived. He was treated and released. But Saturday night's shooting was more serious. At 9:20p.m., 22-year-old Efrain Assi and four other men were sitting on the bleachers at the Complex basketball court when a gunman crept up behind the bleachers and fired six shots at them. Only Assi was hit and he got it multiple times. He is in a stable condition at the KHMH. And then there was another shooting on Sunday night - this time a 17-year-old minor was almost killed. At 9:25, Clinton Pou was walking on Poinsetta Street, when three men on bicycles and one man on foot pulled up on Pou. The man on foot, shot him once in the face. The bullet entered through his left cheek, and exited through his neck. Miraculously, he is also in a stable condition - and today his mother told us how he made it:...

Farmers Sue Green Tropics For Damage Crops
"I'll see you in court!" - That's basically what the Valley of Peace farmers had to say to Green Tropics today. The two sides were supposed to have a site visit mediated by the Ministry of Agriculture. But when the farmers representatives showed up - they told both the Ministry and the Green Tropics representatives that they rather all discussions be held with their attorneys. On Thursday, the Ministry had gotten both sides to agree to re-commence negotiations towards resolving three key points. But now it's left up to the lawyers, which most likely means a protracted back and forth in court. And court is where we met Julius Espat, the PUP Area Rep. from Cayo South. He was there for another village matter and today he told us why he believes it is a "David vs. Goliath" battle: Hon. Julius Espat - Area Rep. Cayo South "I am fundamentally opposed by the comments made by government ministers and government representatives when it pertains to leaving it to court. You see for too long the impoverish people of Belize are not treated and fairly and I'll explain to you: You have a large conglomerate that have access to money, access to attorneys going to court against a farmer that doesn't understand the system - has no money to take an attorney to court and I believe that it is the representative responsibility - all of us, the 31 of us in the house to be there to protect our people.

Bar President and Prime Minister's War Of Words
2 weeks ago, we showed you the stern resolution from the Bar Association opposing the re-appointment of the Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich. In a statement following that resolution, the Bar bashed Government saying that the sequence of events leading to Justice Awich's appointment would result in a "real likelihood of an appearance of bias". The current President of the Bar Association is Eamon Courtenay, who is also one of the attorneys working for the Ashcroft Alliance which demanded that Awich recuse himself because of an alleged appearance of bias in the second BTL reacquisition case in October 2012. In the House meeting on Friday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow reasoned that Courtenay is simply continuing the agenda as an agent of the Ashcroft Alliance with this latest outcry from the Bar. Here's how he explained it: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The president of the bar who is a (I don't say this in any bad way) well-known long standing member, activist, minister of the People's United Party - found reason as an advocate and because of a certain case that was before the Supreme Court to complain about that appointment and asking that the judge recuse himself from the matter because his appointment was faulty and there was bias. The court of appeal refused and they went to the CCJ and the CCJ scolded them and sent them packing."

Appeal Court Tells Luke To Pay that $29.4 Mil
In November of last year, Justice Courtney Abel found that Luke Espat and was personally liable for 29.4 million dollars in debts to the Belize Bank. Today - after Justice Abel refused him leave to appeal - he asked the Court of Appeal to allow him an appeal of the judgment. After the attorneys from both sides argued - the court rejected his request after 2 hours of consideration. That leaves Espat with just about nowhere else to go to challenge this judgement. But Espat's attorney, Said Musa, is keeping up the fight; he told the media why they maintain Justice Abel made an error when he ruled against Espat: Hon. Said Musa - Attorney for Luke Espat "My client Mr. Luke Espat liable personally for the debts of his companies to the Belize Bank because of certain guarantees that they are saying he signed. What Mr. Espat has been saying all along is that he signed these guarantees long after the loans were incurred by the companies that he has a group of companies that he was in partnership with principals of the Belize Bank with the Port and that the Port was part of the main company in fact involved in this matter and that the misrepresentation came about when the president of the bank made certain promises to him that - sign these guarantees - it's just to satisfy the Central Bank - we won't hold you personally liable - that basically what the background is all about. But yet the court to this point has held him liable and that's what we are appealing."

Hon. Castro, Channel 5, And The Corruption In Public Life Law
Another major case which went back to court today was the lawsuit for defamation which Belize Rural North Area Rep Edmond Castro brought against Channel 5 and Immigration Agent turned whistle-blower Alvorine Burgess. Viewers may know that Burgess gave an interview to that news station alleging that Castro was selling scores of visa recommendations for hundreds of thousands of dollars. The attorney for Channel 5 wanted Justice Courtney Abel to strike the case out because they are supposedly insulated from a defamation law suit under the prevention of corruption in public life law. It was a closed in-chambers session, and so outside of court, we asked the attorneys for both sides how the hearing went: Godfrey Smith - Attorney for Channel 5/Great Belize Productions "Essentially the judge decided this was an application where we were saying that the claim against Channel Five/Great Belize Productions should be struck out because of the immunity from suit provided by section thirty-five of the prevention of corruption act. The judge came to the view that he preferred that this matter be dealt with at the trial of the matter as a preliminary point so he did not allow us to proceed with that. So he says we are not dealing with it today, you are free - nothing bars you - from bringing this precise point when we're dealing with the whole matter and I will rule on it then no order as to cost."

How the Proposed Puerto Azul Location Really Looks
Puerto Azul - it's one of the most discussed non-projects in the history of Belizean investment. Really, Puerto Azul is just a concept - and the developers don't even own the caye - even though they have put down a substantial deposit on it. But, while the project concept hovers in the ether, on the ground, the backlash has been deadly; conservation groups have rejected the project as potentially damaging, while government officials have called it "fantastical" - and overly-ambitious. And the things that caused that public conflagration are, first, those now immortal pictures of a ministerial junket to Cannes France, and second, the promotional material on the Puerto Azul website. It really does make it look like the project is a done deal; in fact, it makes it look like it's already been built. But that's just Hollywood type hype; there's nothing on Northern Two and Sandbore Cayes. How do we know? Well, the developers' local representative invited the media out there on Saturday. Here's what we saw:..

Fiesta Chicken Was Robbed of Over $7k
Fiesta Chicken at the Corner of Vernon and Sarstoon Streets was burglarized between Thursday and Friday. Sometime between closing time on Thursday and opening on Friday, someone broke in and stole the entire Iron Safe. It contained a total of $7389.00 Belize dollars and 97 dollars US.

GOB Clarifies The Loss To BGYEA
On Friday, we told you about the decision of the Supreme Court to discharge the injunction against BGYEA, which blocked them from legally planting corn in the Harmonyville Buffer Zone area set aside as road reserve. Today, the government fired off a release setting out its side of the story: it says the injunction expired and the court did not extend it, but the Government can apply for another injunction. Government says it, quote, "continues to pursue the removal of illegal occupants within the buffer zone." Today, we ran into BGYEA's attorney at the courthouse and she gave us a reaction to Government's statement: Audrey Matura-Shepherd - Attorney for BGYEA "It's just a nice, diplomatic way of admitting that they lost - because they cannot refute the fact that the interim injunction was removed. And that's a given. I can even recap why it was removed if you want - but most importantly the Judge even said clearly that if there is any other application for any other injunction it will not be ex-parte.

Gun With Crafty Silencer Found
Today two men were taken to Orange Walk Magistrate's Court - after they were found in Trinidad village with an exotic firearm, a .22 pistol with a silencer. A silencer is considered rare and expensive, but this one isn't; its improvised. Get this, they used an oil filter from a car to make the silencer. Yup, that's what these pictures show: a threaded extension on the barrel adapted to screw into an oil filter. No word on whether it has to be changed every three thousand shots, but the men, Joel Moh from Orange Walk and Nayef Agha from Belize City were today taken to court, charged for possession of an illegal firearm and remanded to prison.

Jailed For Shooting At Tourism Minister's Dogs
He allegedly shot at the Tourism Minister's dogs, and tonight, 33 year-old Byron Evans is at prison for it. Evans was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate on the charge of discharging a firearm in public. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, explained that he shouldn't have been charged for this offence. Selgado explained that on June 10, Evans was walking on Tarpon Street in San Pedro going to pick up his wife when he was attacked by the Pit Bulls and he drew his licensed .38 revolver and fired shots at the dogs to avoid being bitten. Selgado said that a section of Firearms Act provides for the holder of a licensed firearm to use it to defend himself against attacks. Selgado also said that had the police looked at the entire circumstances and used their discretion they would not have charged his client. Still, Chief Magistrate Anne Smith remanded Evans into custody until tomorrow.

The Galindos Accused of Assaulting GSU Officers
48 year-old Nestor Galindo Sr and his son, 21 year-old Nestor Jr, told Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser that they were beaten on their backs with their own machete by members of the GSU on Sunday when the GSU went TO their home, located at 86 M and M Street. This was after Senior Magistrate Fraser arraigned them today on charges of assaulting a police officer, harm, using insulting words and resisting arrest, to which they pled not guilty. Their attorney, Bryan Neal, drew to the attention of the court that his clients had visible signs of assault. Senior Magistrate Fraser allowed them to lift their shirts. After carefully observing their wounds, she offered each of them a bail of $2,000, which they met.

Distinguished Belizeans Honoured
President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Manuel Sosa will be a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George - KNOWN AS A CMG. Other honors go to Dr Ellsworth R Grant of the Dangriga Cancer Treatment Center, he will be a C-B-E, or Commander of the British Empire. Receiving O-B-E honours are Pat Andrews and Stephen A Duncan, for Contribution to the Community and Banking, Crystal Yvonne Vernon, for contribution to the Community Francis Woods, for contribution to the Community and Business.

When BPO Becomes Knowledge Outsourcing
We all know about business process outsourcing, or BPO - which basically refers to the call centers that you can find all over Belize these days. Well, now, BELTRAIDE wants to take it to the other level: knowledge outsourcing. That would have Belizean software developers writing programming code for international companies. Today, Beltraide and BTL staged an effort to recruit some of the best young developers. They were given a problem to solve on Friday afternoon at 2:00 - and they had until this morning to present it. We found out more about the problem that was posed to them:.. Hero Balani, BPO Development Officer "The nature of the problem that these students were looking at solving this weekend is transport. When a tourist comes to Belize they are often not familiar with our transport system, so what we are doing is trying to find a mobile application solution to help male their lives a little bit easier."

OW Student Should Have Been In Top 5
A standard 6 student from Louisiana Government school in Orange Walk got jilted by the ministry of education testing unit. Jose ARCIGA should have come in fifth overall on the PSE after being the only student to get a perfect score in math. He got 365 points, an "A", but he wasn't even in the top 30! Today his principal explained the mix-up that affected him and two other students who somehow got a negative score - which is impossible:.. Principal - Louisiana Government School "He got 100% pass in the problem solving which is 50 out of 50 and his paper one shows that he only got 20 out of 50 which is 40%. So we queried that and we got a response on Friday saying that the error was corrected that in fact he did get 100% pass in Math paper one. So we realize that there were some children who were present at the exam, but it's being recorded as them being absent. Also there is one particular child who got two negative scores and that is statistically impossible. The lowest score you can get on an exam is zero or absent or inadequate but no negatives are supposed to be given, so we are querying that and awaiting the response." The mixed up score reportedly factored into other considerations made by the school in their assessment of the top student in their graduating class.

Channel 5

Court orders Luke Espat to pay $29 Million to the Belize Bank
Businessman Luke Espat is personally liable to the Belize Bank to the tune of twenty-nine point four million dollars. That’s the ruling which was handed down this afternoon by the [...]

President of the Bar has choice words for the PM
At his press conference last week, Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that the contract of Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich has been renewed and extended until he is seventy-five. The [...]

Eamon Courtenay calls PM Penner loving and Castro hugging
And then Courtenay really got doing, calling Prime Minister Dean Barrow a liar…not only that…but a Penner-loving, Castro-hugging liar.   Eamon Courtenay, President, Bar Association “So for the Prime Minister [...]

Attorney not surprised that G.O.B. would seek other injunctions against BGYEA
On Friday, the Supreme Court did away with G.O.B.’s injunction against BGYEA prohibiting that association from planting corn on sixty acres of land in Harmonyville which they say is a [...]

SATIIM et al files injunction against G.O.B. and US Capital Energy
Today, the Supreme Court heard an application from SATIIM et al for an injunction against the government of Belize and US Capital Energy. It’s was actually a post-judgment injunction, since [...]

Courtenay says PM is a very special type of individual
The case against US Capital and the Government of Belize, at its inception, was brought by SATIIM and five buffer communities. Still, at his press conference on Wednesday Prime Minister [...]

SATIIM’s Executive Director openly critical of the Prime Minister
Executive Director of SATIIM, Greg Ch’oc, also pulled no punches when he spoke to the media today. He was openly critical of the Prime Minister for the decision to bar [...]

Greg Ch’oc says issue is personal
Ch’oc finished his commentary on government and the Prime Minister by claiming that none of this is about SATIIM. He says it’s the action of a vindictive PM who has [...]

Cotton Tree Village Council sues the government
The Ministry of Natural Resources has also been taken to court over the acquisition and distribution of two hundred and fifty-four lots in Cotton Tree. The allegation is that those [...]

Valley of Peace Farmers versus Green Tropics
C.E.O. in the Ministry of Agriculture Jose Alpuche has scheduled a meeting today with representatives of Green Tropics and the Valley of Peace Farmers Association. The meeting became necessary after [...]

Media gets a first-hand view of proposed Puerto Azul development
There are still more questions than answers in the Puerto Azul mega development planned for Sandbore and Northern Cayes. Last Friday, the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia finally spoke on [...]

Application heard in case of Edmond Castro against Great Belize Production
It was a busy day at court today, complete with an appearance by Minister of State Edmond Castro. Castro was accused of facilitating visas for Chinese nations and filed suit [...]

A brewing land dispute in Belama Phase 4
There is a land dispute brewing tonight in Belama Phase Four, as a number of squatters who have been occupying property in that area are under threat from a landowner [...]

Professor Brendan Bain granted injunction barring his dismissal from UWI
In the Jamaican Supreme Court, an order has been granted preventing the dismissal of Professor Brendan Bain as Director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Training Network. That is, until a lawsuit [...]

Gang related violence over the weekend in the City
There was more gang related violence over the weekend in the City. On Saturday night, twenty-two year-old Efrain Assi of Miller Street was rushed to the hospital after he was [...]

17 year old is shot in the face
There was another shooting in the Old Capital in which seventeen year old Clinton Pou of Jasmine Street was shot and wounded on the cheek and neck. The incident also [...]

Father and son claim they were brutalized by GSU
A father and his son are alleging police brutality after police stormed their residence on Mahogany Street Extension and reportedly beat them up for no reason.  The home of Nestor [...]

San Pedro man fires shot at 2 dogs and ends up in court
A San Pedro resident is tonight in police custody for discharging a firearm in public… on two pit bulls.  Thirty-three-year-old Byron Ashford Evans was today before the court to answer [...]

Sporting highlights with Kaya Cattouse
Good evening, I’m Kaya Cattouse and this is Sports Monday.   In the National Elite Basketball League, Game 1 of the finals took action on the Tigersharks home court in [...]


Hon. John Briceno Speaks On Road Infrastructure Of O/W Town
But that is not all that occurred inside the House today. Some issues hit home one of them being the topic of streets. There is no doubt that the Government of the day has been receiving much scrutiny on the blatant neglect of the roads infrastructure of Orange Walk Town since they have refused to assist the PUP Town Council and today Briceno highlighted that issue as he asked Central Government for support in a 5 million dollar project proposal for infrastructural works for Orange walk Town. “We are asking a number of things from the Prime Minister, the first one is if the Prime Minister can speak to the with the people from BWSL to see if they can lay the water pipes a bit quicker and I know it is necessary I am not arguing against that but we want to see if it can go a bit quicker because they are saying it can take like six months and we really need to see if that can get done shorter so whent ehy finish with that they can pave the highway. Secondly Mr. Speaker we are asking that whenever the Town Council finishes studying the proposal to raise five million dollars to fix the infrastructure in Orange Walk Town, it is not going to be enough but this is going to be used to pave some of the main arteries around the town and of course the three of us on this side and we are going to ask the DPM to oin us because he is the representative of Orange Walk North and lives in Orange Walk to join us in asking the P.M for his support as the Minister of Finance to carry out the project.

Works At The Phillip Goldson Highway In Orange Walk Town To Comence
Yesterday the government launched the work on the Philip Goldson Highway which has been in dire need of repairs for many months now. In a short ceremony, the works were kicked off. We must note though, that not a single PUP Area Rep was invited to the ceremony much less the Mayor of Orange Walk and from what we have been told that did not sit too well with certain organizations. So, who managed to make it on the list of invitees? Well, wanna be political figures seeking office under the UDP umbrella. Back to the upgrade of the road, why did it take so long for works to get started? According to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, there was a need to wait as assessments were a vital part of the entire process. Gaspar Vega – Deputy Prime Minister “We have made our studies, different contractor brought in their different bids, but we ensured that along the construction or the upliftment of the street we would have done proper drainage because we are convinced that if we do not have proper drainage it would be a street for much less time that what it could probably serve if it is done with the best planning and for you to do that it takes time, they had to do a topographic study to ensure where the water is going to be drained out to because we don’t want a drain on the street that will accumulate water and keep the water there, it has to be drained out.”

Northern Districts Shows An Increase In 2014 PSE
The results of this year’s PSE have surely shown an increase of passes compared to last year. But there is no shying away from the fact that more works need to be done in all districts including Orange Walk and Corozal. “As northern Districts when we look at the performance of the district in general, Corozal and Orange Walk continue to top, it means then that collectively as a district overall that we are doing well, our performance here in the district and what I want to say is that last year we flagged a number of schools in terms of their performance, we targeted those school in terms of providing, doing supervision trying to get to the bottom of what were some of the challenges and we are happy to report that a couple of the schools that we supervised we’ve seen improvements, unfortunately there are couple schools that are still at the bottom, but what we have in terms of the results we are certainly concerned about three schools that are showing inadequate performance overall as a school; one is Chunox SDA and they were in a better position last year, the other one is Ranchito government and they have been flagged last year in terms of not performing well so it is a government school so certainly we have to dig deeper to find out what is going wrong and the other one is Sarteneja La Inmaculada which is also a school that didn’t do well last year and they failed to meet the requisite GPA and so we have those schools that are repeating in terms of not meeting the minimum pass.”

Onion Farmers Shows an Increase In Production This Year
In the month of January we reported on the assistance rendered by the Ministry of Agriculture to local and small farmers in the north and across the country. The assistance came after the weather conditions damaged most if not all of the famer’s crop. Farmers dedicated to the production of onion were practically the most affected hence a program was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture to assist them in order to avoid a shortage of the product. We spoke to Barry Palacio from the Ministry of Agriculture for an update on the onion production. “Right now as we speak we are on the last stages of the Onion crop, basically through the intervention of the ministry when we issued seed earlier in the month of January farmers were able to bounce back from that adverse weather situation from last year in which they basically lost their crop, with the assistance of the ministry they were able to rebound and I am estimating that through this intervention, there is an estimated 2 million pounds of Onion being produced for this year Onion crop, and it is something that I think is a major accomplishment and allowing the farmers to get back on their feet and be able to generate some income in that and I must say that we have partnered with the Belize Marketing Develop Corporation and there has not been any importation of Onions whilst the local production is happening so that with a close collaboration with the farmers we have been able to basically allow the farmers to sale their product without any alteration or any competition from the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation which I think is good for our local industry.”

No Electrification Yet To Villages In The Toledo District
And moving on to the bigger matters in the house, Prime Minister Barrow brought into force a convention to which the GOB has already signed unto and has been operating under provisions; this is the Caribbean Development Bank Sixth Power Project to grant Belize Electricity Limited a loan of over 11 Million US dollars to assist and expand its sub-transmission and distribution systems across the country. This motion was met by the Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, with much fervour since residents down South have not been entitled to power in that area. It was a fiery exchange between both leaders, here is how that went. Honourable Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition “In Toledo for example in the villages of Sunday wood nothing has happened because not one single village has been electrified in the last six years in Toledo, it is disgraceful; Sunday wood, Mahbil Ha, Dolores, Otto Sha, Corazon, San Lucas, Santa Teresa, Cricket Zarco, Conejo Creek, San Vicente, Jalacte, Santa Elena, Santa Cruz, Medina Bank, Golden Stream, Indian Creek and my colleagues can tell me if I have left out any these communities, all of these communities we have visited many times and the people need our help that is why people feel so frustrated that when they see all the money government spending in particular parts of the country, in particular constituencies they are angry and frustrated, we need greater equity in the use of resources of government.”

COLA's Attorney Speaks On Information About The Investigation Done By Auditors General
Yesterday Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, made a striking revelation into the investigations done by the office of the Auditor General into the immigration scandal starring disgraced former Minister Elvin Penner. COLA officials say that the report further incriminates Penner and other high ranking officials in the Immigration Department. The information found in the report also helps the NGO in their case against Penner which goes back to court on June 26th. But despite all the evidence and some being obvious, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow has said repeatedly that Penner has committed no criminal act stressing that there is a difference between, what he calls legal, and factual guilt. The PM again referred to this in his press conference held Wednesday of this week. COLA’s Attorney, Kareem Musa however feels otherwise. S “How else can you establish legal guilt without the facts, you need a factual matrix and it is called evidence Mr. Prime Minister, that evidence which your functionaries and I am naming the Commissioner of Police, I am naming the Auditor General because this was leaked this did not come from her, I am naming the Ombusbudman who backed up that auditor General in saying that they will not disclose the true facts to the private Prosecutors in this case, so I want to tell the Prime Minister that there is not difference between legal guilt and factual guilt in order to get the legal guilt you have to get the facts and that is what is missing and that is what your government is covering up.”

Results For PSE 2014 Are Out
The Primary School Examinations preliminary results were released yesterday. Topping the examinations is Ashton Tillett of Crooked Tree Government School. That is pretty close to home and, tonight we also present the students who also made it on the top list. The first student is twelve year old Alessa Castillo from La Inmaculada Primary School. Castillo is the fourth best performer countrywide. We had interviewed Alessa when she walked out of class after completing her exams and she expressed confidence back then. Today, she told us more about receiving the good news. Alessa Castillo – 4th place, PSE “I felt really good because I wasn’t expecting to do so high but when I found out that I did very well I was really excited.” Dalila Ical – Reporter “What is your grade?” Alessa Castillo – 4th place, PSE “My grade is a 91.75 so now I am getting ready for graduation.”

New Controlled Price For Butane Gas
On May 9th the price for a hundred pound cylinder of Liquid Petroleum imported from Pemex Mexico saw a reduction of $13.00 while the LPG imported from Central America saw a $16.00 decrease. Tonight the good news is that the price for a hundred pound cylinder of butane has experienced drop. The new controlled price per 100lb cylinder of butane imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company Limited from Pemex in Mexico, which saw a reduction of $1.00, is as follows: Belize City $114.00, Belmopan and San Ignacio $116.00, Benque Viejo Del Carmen $117.00, Orange Walk $115.00, Corozal $114.00, Dangriga $118.00 and Punta Gorda $119.00.

MOE Calls On Parents To Do Their Part In The House Of Representative
Today, members of the House of Representatives converged at the National Assembling Building in Belmopan for another round of discussion on national issues. And of note is that the disgraced Minister of State, Elvin Penner made an appearance. But, kicking things off on a stern note was Minister of Education Patrick Faber who reflected on the Primary School Examination results which were disclosed yesterday. And while the performance was anything short of impressive, the results says Faber is a reflection of what is being thought at home, in this case, lack thereof. Faber says the only realistic solution to perform better is to make it everyone’s business to fix what is wrong with the education system; this will require a strong foundation for the onset of a child’s life.


Three Separate Shooting Incidents Reported in the City
Three persons were shot over the weekend, luckily no one died. The first incident occurred on Friday night and the victim was 40-year-old Walter Beaton. Police say that Beaton, a construction worker, was riding his bicycle on Kraal Road when someone approached him from behind and pointed a black in color firearm in his direction and fired several shots injuring him on the left hand. The second incident occurred on Saturday night, and this time the victim was 22 year old Efrain Assi. Assi was with four other persons sitting on the bleachers at a basketball court on Alicia Street when short dark complexion male person, dressed in red T-shirt, long black pant, with a black cap on his head, stood behind the bleacher and fired six gunshots in their direction. Assi was shot twice to his back. The third victim was shot last night and he is 17 year old Clinton Pou. Pou was shot once to the neck while he was walking on Poinsetta Street heading towards Jasmine Street. His mother, Dorla Foreman, spoke to the media.

One Month in Prison for Attacking Estranged Spouse
Twenty-eight year old Kearney Thompson, who was remanded to prison last week after he pled guilty to theft and harm, was sentenced to one month for each offence today by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Thompson will only serve one month because the sentences are to run concurrently. The charges arose from an incident that occurred on June 1 in which Thompson attacked his ex-common-law wife, while she was walking on Antelope Street and beat her and stole her purse containing her cell phone.

GSU vs Galindos
Forty-eight year old Nestor Galindo Sr and his son, 21 year old Nestor Galindo Jr, who were charged with assaulting a member of the GSU, said they were the ones who were assaulted by the GSU. The father and son said that on Saturday night, June 14, members of the GSU came to their house, located at 86 M and M Street and beat them on their backs with their own machete for no reason. When they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser they lifted their shirts and showed the welts which they said were caused by the beatings. Their attorney, Bryan Neal, said that he was told by his client that an officer even fired a shot. Nevertheless, the father was charged with assaulting a police officer and harm. The son was charged with assaulting a police officer, harm, using insulting words and resisting arrest. They pled not guilty to the charges and were released on bails of two thousand dollars each. Their next court date is August 6.

Magistrate Sends Security Guard to Prison
Eighteen year old Chrisdale Courtenay, a KBH security guard residing on Sibun Street, became an inmate of Belize Central Prison today when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was charged with two counts of robbery. Courtenay pled not guilty to the charges. Although the offences were not committed with a firearm he was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until July 14. The incident occurred around 1:15 p.m. on June 14. Two women were walking on Sarstoon Street when they were approached by a young man riding a bicycle. One of the women reported to the police that the man held her around her neck and demanded that they hand over their belongings. She said she gave the man her LG cell phone, valued at 125 dollars plus 90 dollars while the other woman handed over her I Pro cell phone, valued at 200 dollars. They said the man then rode away.

Students Design Phone App on Transport in Belize
Four tertiary institutions competed in a coding competition as part of an event dubbed, Belize Hackathon 2014: Unlocking ICT Innovation. It may sound a bit complicated for the not so technologically savvy but what it simply means is that students from the University of Belize, Galen University, Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College and St. John’s College Junior College were tasked to develop an phone application, particularly for tourists, that will provide them with the schedule of the various modes of transportation available in Belize. Hero Balani of Belize Telemedia Limited laid it out for us this morning when Love News visited the ITVET for today’s program. HERO BALANI “The nature of the problem that these kids were looking at solving this weekend is transport. When a tourist comes to Belize they’re often not familiar with our transport system, so what we’re doing is trying to find a mobile application solution to help make their lives a bit easier. We as Belizeans, we know where to get the water taxi; we know where to go to get the local flights, international flights and also the bus system but we want to help make those frequently asked questions for a tourist more easier. So we gave the students that problem and today we’ll see what they came up with. The theme this year for the Belize Hackathon is, “Mobile Application Design and Development” and again as you saw in that presentation from our US consultant from Wal-Mart and Proctor and Gamble, it is moving the world and the way technology is going in the world, everyone has a smart phone; you saw it in the photo right? Everyone pulls out their smartphone, even in Belize, it’s a necessity now.

BGYEA Gets Green Light From Court
Last Friday Justice Courtenay Abel lifted an injunction that had been brought by the Government against the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association to prevent the group from working in the buffer zone at Harmonyville. This action came after BYGEA indicated they would be parking corn in the buffer zone. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture says while the court did not continue the injunction; however the Government is at liberty by law to apply for another injunction. The substantive claim for Trespass by way of Fixed Date Claim is scheduled to be heard on June 30.The Ministry reaffirms its position and continues to pursue the removal of illegal occupants within the buffer zone. Attorney for BGYEA, Audrey Matura-Shepherd responded to the government release. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “It was just a nice, diplomatic way they were admitting that they lost because they cannot refute the fact that the interim injunction was removed and that’s a given. I can even recap why it was removed if you want but most importantly, the judge even said clearly that if there is any other application for any injunction it would not be exparte; that means that it will not be in the absence of Petillo or anybody they want to injunct; it has to be that we get notice before. Of course, we expect the government to be malicious and seek anything possible, as many injunctions as they want but no matter how many injunctions they seek, at the end of the day, the law will prevail, the court will be utilized to deal with this matter civilly and I just ask that they stop harassing my client because no matter what you do, Government, the fact is that you cannot have this exparte injunction, you lost it, you disobeyed your own court order. I wish the media would have been allowed in chambers to hear when the judge said that the Government needs to learn to act lawful not unlawful. By their own policy, that could never be a buffer zone, a buffer zone along any roadside can only be twenty feet that is an open communal space.

Island Man Fires Shots at Minister’s Dogs
Thirty-three year old Byron Evans, a cabinet maker of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye who allegedly fired shots at two Pit Bulls belonging to the Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia, was charged with discharging a firearm within 40 yards of a public road when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Evans pled not guilty to the charge. His attorney, Oscar Selgado, told Chief Magistrate Smith that he is awaiting a response form the DPP because Evans used his licensed .38 revolver to fire shots at two dogs that attacked him as he was walking on Tarpon to go to pick up his wife. Selgado said that section 40 1 A of the Firearms Act provides for a person with a licensed firearm to fire shots at the dogs if the dogs were attacking that person. He also said that if the police had looked at the entire set of circumstances and used their discretion they would not have charged Evans. Chief Magistrate Smith remanded Evans into custody until tomorrow, June 17. The incident occurred on June 10 and Evans was charged two days later. Selgado said that it was an abuse of process that his client was not brought before the court until today. He said that on Friday, June 13, there was no magistrate at San Pedro, so Evans was not arraigned and he had to spend the weekend at the police station before he could be brought to court.


Police Looking for BGYEA President?
On Friday evening the interim injunction ordered against BGYEA executives and Sam Patton to legally refrain them from planting corn on the buffer zone of Harmonyville was lifted based on a technicality. The interim injunction, expired on Friday, June 13th and the Senior Crown Council Nigel Hawk, who represents...

Man Survives Shooting
Police are investigating three shooting incidents in Belize City over the weekend. The first took place around 9:12 p.m. on Friday when construction worker 40 year old Walter Beaton, was riding on Kraal Road headed toward Fabers Road. At the corner with Ross Pen Road, he was approached from...

Shooting at Basketball Court
On Saturday night in Belize City, another youth was targeted by shooting. 22 year old Efrain Assi was with four men at the bleachers on the basketball court on Alicia Street when a dark-skinned man shot at them six times from behind the structure, hitting Assi several times. Police...

Fiesta Chicken Burglarized
A productive business place was broken into, sometime between Thursday night and Friday morning in Belize City. The branch supervisor for Fiesta Chicken at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon Streets reported that an iron safe was taken between 5:10 in the evening and 6:18 in the morning, which...

Minor is Shot by Stalking Group
The last shooting took place on Sunday night around 10:00 p.m. 17 year old Clinton Pou of Jasmine Street was shot to the left cheek and showed an exit wound to the left side of the neck. He was walking along Poinsettia Street when three unknown men passed him...

Terrible Accident in San Ignacio
Sometime about 4:00 p.m. on Sunday June 14th, 30 year old Eli Eleazar Obando, Belizean employee of BTL, reported to police that he was driving his Honda SUV on the Benque Viejo Road, San Ignacio. According to reports, upon reaching Chuc’s Gas Station, Obando’s vehicle overturned. Acting Officer in...

Another Accident in Cayo
There is another minor accident to report on. According to information received at around 8:00 pm somewhere along the Humming Bird Highway a resident of mile 25 on the Hummingbird Highway was coming back from Dangriga. The vehicle was heading in a northerly direction when it slammed against the...

Cotton Tree Village Council Challenges Government on Subdivision
The first hearing of a claim by the Village Council of Cotton Tree against the Ministry of Natural Resources took place before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning in the Supreme Court. The village complains that its consent was not obtained before a parcel was blocked out for potential...

Valley of Peace Farmers to Get Legal Assistance
We have been following the efforts of the farmers of Valley of Peace, Cayo, to seek a negotiated solution with Green Tropics Limited over destruction of valuable crops by herbicide spraying which occurred some months ago. Recently the attorney for Green Tropics appeared to slam the door on negotiations...

Government Issues Permit Extension as Parties are Ordered to Mediate
The Supreme Court of Belize was set to hear an application for a post-judgment injunction this afternoon filed by Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya communities of Graham Creek, Conejo, Crique Sarco and Midway against the Government parties managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park...

Future of Information Technology Displayed at Belize Hackathon 2014
Information technology affects our lives on a daily basis, whether to make our lives easier or occasionally more difficult. Belize has already been rapped for a low concentration of access to the Internet which ranges between 15 and 25 percent of the population, meaning that few have access to...

Activist Menzies Continues Pressure on Government over Gender Policy Reform
Belizean activist Patrick Menzies is known for his very direct approach to the Government as it pertains to the gender policy. His latest attempt to get the Government’s attention  is not a one day event, however, it is for, and we quote ” as long as it takes”. This...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

5 ladies vie for Miss Lobster Fest 2014
Five beautiful young ladies will be vying for the coveted title of Miss Lobster Fest 2014. They are Miss Britany Ysaguirre, Miss Gleselie Chan, Miss Jessica Tzalam, Miss Jolene Williams, and Miss Veida Gomez. Click on a photo to see a larger version of the image. Who is your favorite? Comment below with your responses.

Patrick JonesPJ

Luke Espat on hook for bank guarantees on Port
Today in the Court of Appeal, Justices Samuel Awich, Dennis Morrison and Minnet Hafiz-Bertram refused the application of businessman Luke Espat to have the court hear his case on a summary judgment issued against him last October. Espat continues to fight the takeover of the Port of Belize […]

Supreme Court oders mediation for GOB and SATIIM over oil exploration
The Supreme Court of Belize was set to hear an application for a post-judgment injunction this afternoon filed by Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and the four Maya buffer communities against the Government parties managing the Sarstoon Temash National Park and U.S. Capital Energy. The buffer […]

Man charged with shooting at Minister’s pitbulls
A San Pedro man appeared in Belize City Magistrate’s Court charged with discharging a firearm within 40 yards of a public road. But he claims that he was doing it to protect himself from two pitbulls who came after him. The man is 33 year old cabinetmaker Byron […]

Security guard charged with robbery of women
A security guard working for a prestigious firm finds himself accused of robbing two women. 18 year old Chrisdale Courtenay of Sibun Street in Belize City was remanded without bail at the order of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer when he appeared in court today, charged with two counts […]

Father and son charged over fight with police
Forty-eight year old Nestor Galindo and his son, 21 year old Nestor Galindo Jr, pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting a police officer, harm, resisting arrest and using insulting words respectively today in court. On June 14 at their residence on M&M Street they were visited by […]

Edmond Castro strike-out attempt put off
Justice Courtney Abel today presided over case management in the matter of Minister of State Edmond Castro versus Alvarene Burgess, who gave Great Belize Television (Channel 5) a series of interviews alleging the involvement of the Minister in visa procurement. Castro sued for defamation of character but attorney […]

Eamon Countenay calls out the PM regarding Justice Awich appointment
Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow responded to the furore over his reappointment of Court of Appeal Justice Samuel Awich for seven years until the age of 75. He essentially suggested that the jurist’s opponents are being personal because they have found no way around him at the […]

Thirty days in jail for domestic beating
Twenty-eight year old Kearney Thompson, remanded to prison last week after he pleaded guilty to charges of theft and harm, will serve thirty days in jail for the offences. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today handed down sentences of one month on each charge but ordered them to […]

Police nab trio in connection with Orange Walk robbery
Police in Orange Walk town have moved quickly to apprehend three men believed to have been involved in the robbery of the Travel Concierge and MoneyGram Agent located on Otro Benque Road last week Monday. Formal charges have been laid against 22 year old Martin Rogoberto Rosado, 26 […]

Six Belizeans named on the Queen’s Birthday Honors list
Six Belizeans have been included on Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honors list for 2014. According to a communique from Belize House in Belmopan, Justice Manuel Sosa was awarded a knighthood and made “a Knight Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.” The […]

Crime and Violence: three more shooting victims in Belize City
There was no shortage of criminal activities involving firearms over the weekend. Between Friday night and Sunday night three men were shot in Belize City. The first gunshot victim of the weekend was 40 year old Walter Beaton. He was shot twice to the left hand. Police […]

Mexican painter to mount exhibition in Belize
The Embassy of Mexico in Belize today announced the mounting of an exhibition by self-taught Mexican painter and sculptor Carlos Vivar. The exhibition will open officially on Tuesday night at the Institute of Mexico in Belize situated at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street. The […]

Rainy weather at the start of the work week
It is a wet start to the work week, and indications are that it will be a rainy week for the most part. The 24-hour forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for sunny skies with cloudy spells today. Showers or thunderstorms will be generally isolated. […]

Car crashes on the Hummingbird Highway
There was a traffic accident early this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. Reports are that it happened sometime after 8 o’clock this morning and involved a resident of Mile 25 on the Hummingbird Highway. The small blue car was extensively damaged as it appears to have crashed […]

PUP chooses candidate for Orange Walk North division
The People’s United Party (PUP) today held a convention to choose a standard bearer for the Orange Walk North constituency. Three candidates, namely Alfredo Ortega, Ramon Cervantes and Jaime Castillo contested the convention. The results, which were released late this evening showed that Ramon Cevantes bested the other […]

Police believe Friday morning murder is gang-related
Police have launched an intensive investigation into Friday morning’s murder of 30 year old Tulio Caceres, a building inspector and resident of Taylor’s Alley in Belize City. Taylor’s Alley and Majestic Alley are believed to be the bases of warring rival gangs. But both also recently hosted editions […]

Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association holds information fair
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association held a mini-fair on Saturday at the Welcome Centre in San Ignacio Town. Various Neighborhood Watch groups from the district came together to share information with the general public about what they do and to encourage people to join in the effort. Among […]


SO I Was Thinking…Maybe Belize Electricity Should Turn Off Power Every Sunday
Yesterday there was a long inconvenient but announced power (or current – as it’s called here in Belize) outage. 6am to 3pm for the entire island. BEL would be replacing poles and things, maintaining radiators and things. Who knows. But in the heat of early summer that is a very very long time. Minutes without your fan seem to double…maybe triple. Hours? An eternity! The US government website says that food is safe for up to 4 hours in your fridge when power is out. Questionable but not good. But REALLY not good? Yesterday was Fathers’ Day. Yesterday was the first official day of San Pedro’s 2014 Lobsterfest and maybe most importantly to the local population? Yesterday was day 3 of the WORLD CUP. Disaster I thought. But as I often am, I was totally wrong. Yesterday was a beautiful day with a stiff breeze. A few generators were running for the die hard football fans but most people just went OUTSIDE. Fancy that. Outside on the beach on a gorgeous gorgeous day. HERE is what I saw around town…

“Turning Japanese” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I’ve had a busy -well by my standards- few days since the last edition. Not so busy though that I haven’t started the day out on the veranda – the first floor, western one for those of you that are interested- with the ‘must have’ mug of black coffee and my iPad. In between what I needed to do I’ve done my utmost to catch as many of the World Cup games as possible. Last Thursday afternoon I got a telephone call from Louis Gillett, the engineer we’d chosen to make our ‘sick’ engine ‘healthy’. When I heard his voice I thought he was going to give me bad news. But no. He’d finished his work, the boat was ready to collect. Feeling pretty elated I told him I’d be down the next day to pay him and collect the boat. Knowing that I needed someone conversant with the waterways from Louis’ boatyard in Boca Del Rio to our house I then ‘phoned the multi-talented, ever dependable Lloyd. He told me he had some work to do up near Journey’s End but would come and collect me around noon.

Celebrating the start of Lobster season in Belize
I did my first two lobster fest events this past weekend and ate to my hearts content. In fact I am still doing so I just polished off a delicious piece of key lime pie for breakfast from the Saturday night party. Opening night of Lobsterfest at El Divino is always fun and this year was no exception. I hung out with the Grand Caribe party posse. There are lots of Montana peeps in town – of course that led to many crazy stories and lots laughter all night long. Since Lobster season in Belize officially starts on June 15th, this years special menu was crab & fish cakes, Surf & Turf and key lime pie for dessert. Soon as the food showed up our table grew very quiet – everyone was busy salivating over their shrimp and steak. After dinner the party got lively and people started dancing, Banana Beach did a really good Rock and Roll song request list for DJ Tracks and he threw down a great mix. My Montana weatherman emailed Cowboy and I this morning to see how we were enjoying our annual lobster festival - Brent the pictures below are a good indication of our satisfied souls – especially the food ones :)

Crooked Tree Village Tops The Primary School Examination - Belize
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results were announced this week and the Crooked Tree Village School top the nation with the highest score. A total of 19 students sat the exams and all of them were successful. Twelve year old Ashton Tillett was the top scorer for Crooked Tree School with a score of 381 of 400. The top 5 for Crooked Tree School are Ashton Tillett, Damion Tillett, Raheema Sealy, Gabriel Crawford and Elias Flowers. According to a release from the Belize Ministry of Education, across Belize, seven thousand two hundred and forty five students sat the exams. As has been for the past several years, the results show major weaknesses in Maths, English and Social Studies. In Maths forty seven percent of the students scored below the fifty percent of the passing grade; in English the grades improved slightly, and fifty-eight percent of the students performed at satisfactory levels in Social Sciences, which is below the level from last year.

How safe is Belize?
I am regularly asked the question: Is Belize safe or is it a dangerous country to travel? And my general answer is yes… Overall, Belize is one of the safest places to visit. However, it is not all fine and dandy throughout the entire country. I always advise travellers to be weary of when WALKING in certain areas of Belize City. Due to it being the old capital, it has the largest populace in Belize and high unemployment has made poverty a major issue. Catch a cab when getting from point A to B! To be honest, I get a lot of shit from many Belizeans for being blunt about Belize City. Still, I stand by my word. If I’m a local and I personally don’t feel safe walking in certain areas, it will be much worst for a tourist. I remember as a teen I would go buy my New Era hats in the city and in more than one occasion I would end up running from guys who wanted to rob me. Friends even joke around and say stuff like, what do you call a guy on a bike in Belize City? A thief. It was a funny thing to say among friends when I was growing up but digging deeper, it is very sad. I hope things change in the future. But to be clear, not all of Belize City is sketchy. In fact, the country’s wealthiest people live there and the tourism police also heavily patrol some areas to ensure safety – for example, the tourism village, the various tourist attractions and downtown Albert street.

International Sourcesizz

United Adding New Service to Belize
United Airlines is expanding its service to Latin America and the Caribbean, the carrier announced Monday. The company has announced a pair of new flights, each of which will begin on Dec. 20. The first is service from Houston to Punta Cana, including year-round service on Saturdays and Sunday service during “periods of expected higher demand.” The company will also be adding flights from Chicago to Belize City, with Saturday service through early May 2015. The latter is subject to government approval, the carrier said. Additionally. United said it would be expanding its Houston Aruba service, resuming Saturday service on Dec. 20 that will last through early May 2015, along with Sunday service during periods of higher demand. United is the largest carrier in Houston.

The Last Resort: A $20 Million Deal
Belizean conservation organizations and Wake Forest University biology professors and students all share one commonality—they might be the only things standing between a group of Italian developers and the destruction of important ecological habitats in Belize. PuertoAzul Belize Limited—a branch of the international PuertoAzul Exclusive Resorts franchise—might be the most alluring and expensive new tourist destination in Belize in coming years. It would come equipped with 200-300 luxurious rooms to accommodate thousands of well-endowed guests, a golf course, villas, spas, a Formula 1 race track, a health center and much more. Developers intend to construct all of these amenities atop Northern Caye and Sandbore Caye, collectively referred to as the northern two cayes, both of which are dangerously close to two marine protected areas (MPAs) at the Lighthouse Reef (LHR) Atoll.

Caricom: A Light Not Yet Fully Turned On
DR Franklin Johnston, a strategist, project manager and advisor to the Jamaica Minister of Education, wrote a column in the Jamaica Observer of May 30 in which he basically contended that the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) are the constructs of “Anglophone black people” and not in the interest of Jamaica. #Rooting his contentions in anti-colonialist sentiment, he stated without evidence that CSME is a “clever fiction inspired by the Brits, aided by Cabinets, and sustained by well-paid, unaccountable regional civil servants”. He sets-up both CARICOM and CSME as hostile to the economic well-being of Jamaica. Further, he claims that “CSME zealots” all come to live in Jamaica; “we (Jamaica) are the big name brand”; “CSME disrespects us” (Jamaicans); and “we (Jamaicans) are small with a big brand and balls to match and need no union to prosper, but CSME controls us by making the arcane and distant familiar; ‘the phrase English-speaking Caribbean means zilch as CSME does not work”; and “Jamaica is the largest nation in CSME, so we are its backbone – finance, market, innovation, brand value, yet we are the poorest member”.

Belize, Guatemala and Mexico on a College Budget
My boyfriend and I love to travel, but we’re both in college so we don’t have a large budget. Belize has been on my bucket list for a long time, but has always felt financially out of reach until I started travel hacking. I started collecting miles and points about a year ago, and I finally cashed them in for my dream vacation. Our itinerary was HNL-BZE, over land to Cancun, then CUN-HNL. We both applied for the Citi AAdvantage card (30,000 points each), which took care of both of our tickets to Belize (15,000 miles each during off-peak), and his return ticket from Mexico. My 40,000 United miles (from the 30,000 mile sign-up bonus plus a few domestic trips) got me home from Mexico. What would have cost us over $2,000 wound up costing us less than $100 in fees. We also both applied for the Barclay Arrival card, which covered our tour to the Tikal ruins in Guatemala, a snorkeling tour to the Hol Chan Marine reserve in Belize, and a snorkeling tour in Mexico where we swam with whale sharks. During the snorkeling tour in Belize, we saw sting-rays, nurse sharks, eels, and even manatees! Each tour was over $100 per person, but we paid absolutely nothing for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.


Video: Sharks of Belize, 2.5min.
Nurse sharks were plentiful during every dive in Belize. They were very relaxed and curious. Please excuse the shaky camera work, but it took me a while to get comfortable with these "close encounters!"

Video: Does It Ever Rain in Belize? | Homestead Kids, 4min.
Definitely YES. During the monsoon season (the wet season), it rains hard for an hour or so every afternoon. The kids love playing in the showers. Sometimes it rains hard, sometimes t has torrential downpours. The harder it rains, the more the kids love the shower. The rainy season is super beneficial for plant life and so much more there.
The rain coming out of the sky is often caught by the villagers for drinking water, wash water and so much more. The rain water is amazingly soft water. It cannot of course have mineral in it that would make it hard water - it is more like distilled water.

Video: 2 Sharks & a ray on the wall in Belize, 1.5min.
Reef Shark and a Bull Shark I shot on the wall at Half Moon Caye in Belize in May 2014.. with a photobomb by a Spotted Eagle Ray!

Video: 2014 Howler Monkey Release Day 1, 2min.
Sultan, Livvy, Kofi and Paz, four endangered Yucatan black howler monkeys, are making the move down to the Fireburn release site in preparation for their release back into the wild...

Video: Snorkel in Belize March, 2014, 6min.

Video: Tubing through St. Herman's Cave - Belize, 2min.
We took a guided tour through St Herman's Cave in Belize.

June 16, 2014


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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

Lobster season is officially open!
For many Belizeans and visitors, especially in coastal fishing communities, grilled lobster, lobster kebabs, lobster dip or a lobster ceviche is something they look forward to from June 15th to February 14th. There is no need to punish those taste buds any longer, as the Fisheries Department has officially declared the 2014/2015 Lobster Season open today Sunday June 15th. Scientifically known as Panulirus Argus, the Caribbean Spiny Lobster is the only lobster that is regulated in Belize. Calman Hall, Fishery Officer at the Belize Fisheries Department said that the closed season of the Caribbean Spiny Lobster season runs from February 15th to June 14th inclusive of any year. “The season officially opens on the 15th of June and runs until February 14th. Because lobster, like conch, is considered commercial species, a fisherman’s license is needed to engaging in the catching of Caribbean Spiny Lobster.”

Doctor Love: Friends and Self Injury
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, Three years ago I was working at this place and I met a girl who worked there. We became good friends and I […]

Oceana wavemakers celebrate “World Ocean’s Day 2014” at Halfmoon Caye
In commemoration of World Ocean’s Day 2014 (June 8), thirty Oceana Wavemakers and staff traveled Halfmoon Caye on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. Belize is home to three of the Western Hemisphere’s four atolls. As Belize’s eastern most point, (55 miles east of Belize City) the number of Belizeans who are able to visit the idyllic location every year is minimal. Halfmoon Caye has enjoyed some form of protection since 1982 and is home to one of the region’s healthiest populations of the red-footed booby birds and protects the healthiest grouper spawning aggregation sites in the country. While on the caye, the Oceana delegation also observed the turtle nesting grounds of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle.

Eulogy for Dalinda Guerrero Salazar
Written by Marisa Salazar, granddaughter Hoy, Yo estoy aquí, frente a ustedes para decir algunas palabras acerca de Mama Dal. Soy consciente de que nos faltan palabras para expresar perfectamente lo que significaba mi abuela a cada uno de nosotros, porque PALABRAS SIMPLEMENTE NO PUEDE CAPTURAR AMOR. Para nosotros fue una bendicion haberla conocido, haberla amado. las únicas cosas que realmente captan quién era ella, son los buenos recuerdos que cada uno de nosotros guardamos en nuestros corazones. Nuestra abuela, Dalinda Guerrero, nació y se crió en San Pedro el 30 de marzo del 1923. A los veinte años de edad, unio su vida a la de Marciano Salazar. Juntos se enfrentaron a las luchas de la vida. Papa Chel y Mama Dal nunca vivieron un estilo de vida lujoso, ni les importaba. Lo único que parecía importarle era FAMILIA, unión, la risa y el amor. Papa Chel y Mama Dal tuvieron una vida maravillosa creciendo a sus hijos Pedro, Eiden, Julie, Roque y Mash. Mientras amaba a todos sus hijos por igual, todos sabemos que la relacion con su hija Julie era una relacion de madre a hija muy especial. Mi abuela fue muchas cosas para muchas personas, entre ellos, fue una hija cariñosa, una hermana sincera, una esposo abnegada, una madre ejemplar y una Catolica devota. Ella era la costurera de su familia, la estilista de sus amigas, decoradora de los pastes de sus familiares, talvez por el talento artistico que caracterisa a los Guerrero’s y su cuidado a los detailles, Cualquier cosa menos que perfecto no era lo suficientemente bueno. Sus críticos más severos eran sus hermanas.

Wolfe’s Woofer: Drunk Test
“Albert, are you sure you can drive?” “I’m sure,” he said. Albert had stopped to give me a ride home. I had just started to notice that he had been way over-served at whichever bar he was coming from. “Be careful,” I told him. “The traffic department has breathalyzer machines now and they can measure […]

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Plant the corn, Mista Man!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez Instructions from the Master Teacher Will the prime minister honour the court order? Will he make good on his good measure speech to the media? Or will he be sour after the courts lifted the injunction? Perhaps he will subject this decision to yet another interpretation Since this seems to be his new modus of operation Be mindful he will try to pull a fast one We get that you had to reassure your power brokers That you are still in command And that there is not going to be an insurrection I call on the Rod of Correction to pay close attention Just plant the corn, Mista Man! BGYEA congratulation! On the lifting of the injunction Just for your information here is a little reflection Beltrade has a corn agreement with the Caribbean My master teacher says to the tune of millions Belize is not tapping into this option So let’s plant the corn, Mista Man Time to form a corporation amongst the owners of the land Plant the 1,300 acres instead of one One that could yield over 1.8 million immediately With three harvests of corn yearly At eighteen hundred dollars an acre approximately Plant the corn, Mista Man!

San Pedro Tigersharks take the first game of the playoffs
San Pedro Tigersharks take the first game of the playoffs in an absolute squeaker (go defense!!!): 53-52 over Cayo Western Ballaz!! Go Tigersharks!!

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Atlantic Bank sponsors art competition
"My Happy Childhood in Belize"

The Reporter

BGYEA beats GOB in court
The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favor of BGYEA, the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, to remove the injunction placed on them by the Government of Belize. Justice Courtney Abel decided to discharge the injunction after the Office of the Solicitor General made several procedural errors in the ex-parte injunction brought against BGYEA, to stop them from planting corn in the buffer zone of the Harmonyville community. The Court also awarded BGYEA cost of the proceedings and ordered GOB to compensate them for the seeds and other materials they purchased to plant with. Attorney for BGYEA, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, explained that the Solicitor General’s office failed to serve BGYEA President, Nigel Petillo, with the required documents after they sought the injunction without him being in court to defend himself.

Colombia re-elects Santos as President
Colombia has re-elected Juan Manuel Santos as their president, with nearly 51percent of the votes cast over his right-wing challenger, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, who received 45 percent. Santos, 62, will be inaugurated in August for a new four-year term. “This is the generation of peace. Millions of Colombians have chosen hope over fear,” he said in an address to supporters at his headquarters. Santos vowed to continue his fight to “defend the life and the liberty” of all Colombians. Zuluaga, who had won the first round of vote in May by a narrow margin, accepted defeat in a speech to supporters.

PM pledges to support $5 million OW Town Council bond
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at Friday’s House Meeting, pledged to support a five million-dollar bond being proposed by the Orange Walk Town Council in an effort to upgrade that municipality’s infrastructure. “Without a doubt, whatever permission or approval is required from the Ministry of Finance for the town council to float its five million dollar bond, they will have it, no questions asked,” Barrow pledged. Barrow added that once the council is able to secure the bond he doesn’t “think it would be difficult to try to find some additional resources to give to them.” John Briceno, the PUP’s area representative for Orange Walk Central introduced the plan to the PM. Barrow commended the Council for following the lead of Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley who introduced a municipal bond to facilitate the concreting of streets.

The Belize Times

Penner Stole the File! – COLA says Barrow & Hulse cover up stinks to high heaven
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Godwin Hulse’s cover up of the Elvin Penner immigration scandal has evolved into an absolute national disgrace. COLA revealed today that the immigration files that supposedly went “missing” from the Immigration Department in Belmopan were actually stolen by the man at the center of the scandal: Elvin Penner. COLA, who has obtained a leaked copy of the Auditor General Dorothy Bradley’s investigation into the immigration scandal, held a press conference this morning to disclose some of the shocking findings. The most scandalous of these findings is that the very same files which Godwin Hulse repeatedly claimed to have gone missing and which have supposedly created “difficulty” for the Commissioner of Police’s investigations to continue were taken out of the Immigration Department without authorisation by Elvin Penner. Additionally, the Auditor General’s report reveals that Hulse was made aware of the files being in Penner’s possession through a letter reportedly written to him by Immigration Supervisor Ady Pacheco. In that letter, according to COLA, Pacheco claimed that around the same time the scandal broke, in September 2013, Penner strode into Immigration Department, demanded and collected a bunch of immigration files including the Won Hong Kim file, and left. This revelation is shocking. Hulse has repeatedly claimed “we still don’t have the Won Hong Kim file”. He has said that it is “missing”, that it “disappeared”, but has never reported to the nation that he is aware that Penner took the important files.

Here comes MORE STRESS!!
Darrel Bradley has brought nothing but a pile of stress to Belize City. The conference or media dance held on Wednesday afternoon by the UDP to announce that he would run again for Mayor was like warning of the resurgence of a deadly plague. Bradley has turned the city upside down with his chaotic street works, turning the city into dustville and causing many people to get sick. Bradley has made life harder with increased taxes. He introduced an inspection fee and hiked the cost of driver’s license to $60.00. He increased trade license fees and threatened to impose a garbage tax. He has denied basic services to city residents if they cannot afford to pay up.

GOB Lashed by the Rod of Correction
Prime Minister Dean Barrow entered rough waters when he opted to disrespect the newly formed Rod of Correction (ROC) at a press conference held on Wednesday in Belize City, in response to the fiery protest rally held against his administration on Saturday. When the Prime Minister brought up the topic of the ROC, the UDP officials in attendance were heard snickering and sneering in the background. Barrow then began entertaining his set of hyenas, dissing the new movement and calling the leaders all sorts of names. He said that the rally held on Saturday which was supported by over a dozen organisations and saw the participation of over 300 persons was not “tactually successful”. He accused the organisers of creating “a crisis that isn’t there” and that the organisations were merely seeking “opportunism”.

Think About It
It’s that time of year again. Graduation! Proud parents, proud teachers and proud students. Congratulations are in order. It is an achievement, to pass through four years of High School, or two years of Sixth Form, or three years of University. Everyone has a right to be proud. Except the government. They have nothing to offer the graduates of Belize. The economy is in shambles with zero growth, no investments, no new industries, no jobs. Bad business. The southside of Belize City can be considered the home of the creoles. The southside of Belize City is represented by six UDP area representatives who are all Ministers of Government. These include the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance who has been in Queen’s Square for many years. Also the Minister of Housing who is in Mesopotamia for over three terms. The Minister of Education in Collet for three terms and new comer in Lake Independence for his first term, Minister of local work and Poverty in the Port Loyola area. The southside Colleges are collapsing in front of the eyes of these selfish so-called representatives, who seem to be representing themselves, their families and their cronies to the detriment of the young people and the country. Maud Williams High School, situated in Queen’s Square and Mesopotamia has seen its enrollment fall by a disturbing 23 percent. Excelsior High School in Port Loyola has seen its enrollment plummet by a huge 34 percent. Sadie Vernon in Lake I has gone to the ground with almost a whopping fifty percent fall in enrollment.

The concentration of wealth in a society’s elite has been the legacy of slavery and colonialism throughout history. When the nationalist movement led by the People’s United Party began in 1950, 90% of the land in Belize was owned by less than 5% of the population. It was British companies like the Belize Estate& Produce Company that was given title by the colonial government to thousands of acres of forest and agricultural land. One of the many accomplishments of successive PUP administrations was to vest ownership and control of land in the hands of thousands of Belizean farmers, homesteaders, villagers and town dwellers. In the late 1960s after hurricane Hattie had devastated Belize City and coastal communities in the south, all the land around what is now the nation’s capital Belmopan was owned by one family – the Melhado’s. It was through the ingenuity and savvy negotiating skills of Premier George Price that this land was transferred to the government. And today we not only have the seat of government in the “new” capital but burgeoning communities of small farmers around Belmopan. Fast forward to 2014. There is a kind of dissonance coming out of that area of Cotton Tree and a budding new community that is called Harmonyville.

Jury acquits man of rape charge
A jury of 6 men and 3 women deliberated for about 2 hours and 15 minutes yesterday in the court of Justice Herbert Lord before it found Brian Smith, 35, not guilty of rape. The jury’s verdict was not unanimous. It was in the proportion of 7 to 2. The incident occurred during the day at Smith’s residence, located on Berry Street. The complainant, who was a 17 year old high school student at the time, testified that Smith, a close friend of her father, gave her 50 cent to buy noodles while at her father’s house. She said that upon returning from the shop where she bought the noodles, Smith who was in his yard told her he wanted to talk to her and he invited her into his apartment. She testified that Smith closed the door when she went into his apartment. She sat on his bed and he began to make sexual advances at her. When she repelled his advances Smith, she said, pushed her on her back and held her hands with one of his hands and tried to take off her ¾ pants. She struggled with him but he was too strong for her and he succeeded in pulling down her pants and underwear, she said.

22 yr. old walks from Murder charge for second time
On Friday evening, May 11, 22 year old John Chessman, beat a second murder rap when a jury of 8 women and 4 men found him not guilty of the murders of Karen Crawford, 19 and Maurice Cadle, 44 in the Court of Justice Adolph Lucas. The jury deliberated for about 4 hours before it arrived at its verdict. Crawford and Cadle were shot and killed around 8p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2008 in Bermudian Landing. The prosecution had alleged that Chessman and others went to the residence of Emmerson Wade where Crawford, Wade’s common-law wife, resided with Cadle. Their motive was, reportedly, to steal drugs and money but other sources say they went to the house carry out a “hit” on Wade. Robert Panting, a witness for the prosecution, testified that he stopped at Wade’s residence on his way home and while he was there a man dressed in a camouflage jacket and armed with a pistol came from the back of the house and pointed the pistol at the deceased and Owen Hendy who were on the verandah. Panting said the gunman asked for Wade then he began to fire shots at the trio on the verandah. Wade was not at home.

Belmopan Tennis Club wins Billy Musa Shield
The inter-club tennis tournament for the prestigious “Billy Musa Shield” took place over the weekends of May 31st and June 7th at the Pickwick Tennis court. Belize Pickwick Tennis Club went in as the defending champs having won the shield for 5 years straight from the inception of this tournament so they got a bye leaving St. Mary’s Tennis Club to take on Belmopan Tennis Club on May 31st. Belmopan Tennis Club defeated the St. Mary’s Tennis Club by winning 6 of the 7 matches slated for this tournament (in Men’s B doubles, Belmopan’s Mike Sosa & Robert Lee overcame St. Mary’s Peter Quan & Ellison Flowers 6-2, 6-2; in the women’s doubles Belmopan’s Lauren Mena Sosa and Jessie Clark defeated Judith Brooks and Judith Swift 6-1, 6-4; in the men’s A singles Belmopan’s Dr. Mitra Meenaveli defeated Peter Quan 6-3, 6-3 and in the lady’s singles Belmopan’s Jessie Clark took out St. Mary’s Karen Pike 6-1, 6-0. St. Mary’s forfeited the men’s A doubles and men’s B singles and Belmopan forfeited the men’s C doubles.)

BES & Holy Redeemer boys lead basketball competition
Kristian Swasey scored 11 points, Edwin Quan had 8 points and Willie Chi had 5 points for Belize Elementary’s 3rd win over St. John’s Anglican boys on Monday. John Kelly scored 15 points for St. John’s while Malcolm Waight added 8pts. BES also won over Calvary Temple boys 31-11 last Wednesday and 22-19 over the St. Luke’s Methodist School boys last Monday. James Saunders scored 11 points while Luciano Novelo had 9 points and Shakur Swift 5 points in Holy Redeemer’s 3rd win 31-4 over the Muslim Community boys on Monday.

Western Ballaz takes on Tigersharks in finals
The Cayo Western Ballaz are preparing for the rough seas as they take on the San Pedro Tigersharks in Game 1 of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) championship finals at the Angel Nunez Auditorium at 1:30pm Sunday, June 15th. The Western Ballaz advanced to the finals in grand fashion when they defeated the Smart No Limits team 75-57 in a heated match played at the Sacred Heart College auditorium last Friday night. The Western Ballaz’ power-forward Farron Louriano had a blast jamming 4 alley-hoop dunks to emphatically punctuate the highest individual score in an NEBL game, in double-double style, with 34 points and 12 rebounds.

A Sad State of Affairs
Dear Editor, Allow me space to express some serious concerns. If we adopt the theory of Minister of State Mark King that offices, contracts and employment are to be given as rewards for services and membership in the U.D.P. we will see that these rewards will become the prey and spoil of frustration which will be the booty of victory of factions in the U.D.P. It will become like a virus in the flesh of the UDP Government, if it is not already. Our nation is already showing signs of fast becoming a mass of corruption. It is like a living carcass rotting with cancer under the UDP. King’s unsound theory represents the body politic of the UDP Government. This habit of electioneering and begging for political sweets has ended in bribery and corruption in offices of Government. Kindly note that offices of all kinds are now cooked up to give rewards to party hacks. The offices then become less practical. Seventeen tyrants are seventeen times worse than one tyrant. Note that the food pantry system of the UDP prepares and makes many recipients to be slaves of their whims and fancy, a sad state for our sisters and brothers.

Who Sold Prize Land in San Ignacio?
It is rumoured that a well-known UDP individual in San Ignacio sold this historic, prime piece of Downtown land in San Ignacio to a Chinese businessman. The land is situated just beside the San Ignacio/Santa Elena market on Savannah Street. The land was filled up by the PUP town council in 2001 along with the land where the market now sits. This parcel of land was designated for a public parking facility. The village buses used it for parking since the year 2000. The people of San Ignacio are concerned that this prime parcel of land has been sold and that there was no consideration for the village bus owners or taxi operators who badly need a public parking facility.

City resident accuses Lands official of sabotage – “Hotbed of corruption” continues unabated
In October last year while in the hot seat at a meeting with the Belize diaspora in Los Angeles, Prime Minister Dean Barrow called Gaspar Vega’s Ministry of Natural Resources a “hotbed of corruption”. The PM’s serious indictment of his Deputy was followed by the embarrassing words of Commissioner of Lands Wilbert Vallejos in March this year when he said that it was impossible for corruption to be uprooted from the Ministry of Lands under the Barrow Administration. He said “only God can” eliminate the corruption. Vallejos’ statement came as no surprise as there are thousands of cases of hustling, under the table land deals, political land grabs, disappearing of files and manipulation of the national lands systems under the watch of Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega. We at the BELIZE TIMES have shed light to hundreds of fishy land business but the new case of Raymond Williams, a resident of Belize City, and his frustrations with “Lands” is pretty unique, because Williams has identified the problem and made high officials at the Ministry aware of what’s going on, yet nothing has changed for him.

Celebrating Our Bright Minds!! – Featuring: Wesley College, Belize Adventist College, Corozal Community College, Orange Walk Technical High, Muffles College, Belmopan Comprehensive School and Delille Academy
The final article in our series on the 2014 High School Graduation Season will be an up-and-down, cross-country journey through our beautiful country. We kick things off with Wesley College on Yarborough Road. The venerable Methodist high school has weathered through a transition in leadership – long-time Principal Mrs. Brenda Armstrong was recently succeeded by her long-time second-in-command, Mrs. Joan Tillett. But it hasn’t stopped the school from cultivating and producing premium graduate material. The school marched up 111 graduates of 130 students on Wednesday, June 11th, 2014 at the Ramada Princess Hotel in Belize City. According to Vice-Principal Edgar Pacheco, the top students are Class 4Green’s Keeron R. Young (Valedictorian, studying Science, with a GPA of 3.57), Shenelle A. Williams (Salutatorian, studying Business, with a GPA of 3.07) and Chyanne Whylie (3rd Place, studying Science, with a GPA of 3.01).

Belizean receives award at US Medical School graduation
Belizean Giselle Habet Basdeo was awarded the Dr. Charles H. Pegellow Award for Compassion, Dedication and Excellence in recognition for her commitment to the care of children at a graduation at the University of Miami. Mrs. Habet Basdeo has completed her studies at the Jackson Memorial Childrens Hospital where she studied specialization in Pediatrics. Four years ago Mrs. Habet Basdeo graduated from the UWI medical school in Trinidad where she was the Valedictorian. Belize is very proud.

Chinese shakedown underway
The BELIZE TIMES has been reliably informed that a secret meeting between high officials of the Police Department and members of a so called Chinese mafia was held over the weekend. The purpose of the meeting was to organise a campaign to squeeze Chinese businessmen who are not willing to support UDP politicians financially. The Chinese mafia who has very close ties and interests in the UDP have ordered their Police allies to get tough on any business that does not cooperate with them. The scheme is blatant UDP extortion. Chinese businessmen who resist will be persecuted by City Council special constables, GST harassment and even special GSU visits if necessary. Among those who attended Saturday’s clandestine meeting at an undisclosed location on St. Thomas Street were two nefarious UDPs – one from a “Palace” and the other who is front and center of the Penner immigration scandal.

New PUP Corozal Bay Executive Sworn In
On Friday June 6, 2014 a new PUP Corozal Bay Executive Committee was sworn in. The Party Chairman Henry Usher travelled to Corozal Town and conducted the swearing in ceremony at the Corozal Bay PUP Office. Present at the ceremony was Deputy Party Leader Hon Florencio Marin, Past Party Leader Hon. John Briceno, Hon. Ramiro Ramirez, PUP Standard Bearer for Corozal Bay Gregorio Papas Garcia and PUP Standard Bearer for Corozal North David Castillo. The Executive Committee that was sworn in consists of the following: Thea Garcia, Chairperson; Cornelio Acosta, Deputy Chairman; Roy Smith, Secretary; Alberto Dominguez, Logistics; Vildo Marin, Campaign Manager; Jose Chan, Deputy Campaign Manager; Santiago Vasquez, Treasurer; George Escalante, Deputy Treasurer; Nikita Riverol, U.W.G. Representative; Josue Perez, B.Y.M. Representative; Mark Cuellar, Marshall; Canaima Dominguez , Fundraisor and Special Events; Angie Villanueva, P.R./Communications and members Kenny Gladden, Miguel Cawich, Shamir Alpuche, Eddie Palma, Fernando Montero, Elizardo Vasquez, Eder Riveroll, Ivor Nicholson, Alex Ewens, Carmela Hadad and Froila Tzul.

WOMAN IN THE HOUSE: A Focus on Conduct
A few months ago the Prime Minister of our sister Caricom country, Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad Bissessar took swift and decisive action following reports of the misbehavior of two of her Cabinet colleagues. She fired them from the Cabinet forthwith, not waiting for court action or the judicial pronouncement of innocence or guilt. I think that Prime Minister Persad Bissessar acted correctly in sending a strong signal that bad conduct would not be tolerated from anyone in her Cabinet. After all, a higher standard of behavior should be adhered to by members of the Cabinet in any country. As an aside I note that the women political leaders in Trinidad and Tobago are making strides and asserting themselves fully in the political life of their country. Carolyn Seepersad Bachan has made a bid for the leadership of her party, the Congress of the People, which holds six seats in the Trinidadian National Assembly. Penelope Beckles Robinson, an old classmate of mine, recently launched a challenge for the leadership of the opposition People’s National Movement. She was not successful this time, but I strongly feel that she will one day be the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE: A Message to the Voters of Cayo Northeast
This past Sunday, the UDP held a convention in the electoral division of Cayo North East (CNE) to elect a new Standard Bearer to represent their Party in the next general Elections. Three persons stood for election and Mr. John August, the current Mayor of San Ignacio Town, emerged victorious. The UDP want the voters of CNE to view this as a new beginning for their Party and are desperately seeking to put as much space and time between themselves and the current UDP Representative Elvin Penner. The voters of CNE must therefore be reminded that it is this same UDP Government and Party that continues to protect and cover-up the wrongdoings of Elvin Penner and others who are allegedly deeply involved in the passport and visa “hustle” which continues to cheapen and bastardize our Belizean nationality. It is this UDP which gave us Penner and which allowed him to act unchecked leading to this national and international embarrassment. It is this UDP which has refused to investigate the immigration crimes and which has sent its Solicitor General and Commissioner of Police to the Supreme Court of Belize to defend that refusal.

Despite “millions and millions”…UDP Convention flops Elvin Penner still protected in Cayo North East
The United Democratic Party has sealed their demise in the Cayo North East constituency with their antics leading up to the weekend’s failed convention. The UDP demonstrated that they will continue to protect disgraced and corrupt UDP area representative Elvin Penner when they rejected all the persons who had signed the 2013 anti-Penner Recall petition. The petition attracted 2002 signatures, endorsed by nationalist Belizeans and who are PUP and UDP supporters, but the UDP considered them traitors and disallowed their participation in Sunday’s convention. Many die-hard UDPs were turned back. They left the convention area cursing out the UDP and promising to vote for Landy Habet who is by far the better man to represent Cayo North East.

Time for true Servants of the People
Editor Sir, I write to advocate for unity in Belize and an end to the politics of victimization, division and hate. When Minister of State Mark King said publicly that as a member of the government he serves UDPs first, Belizeans second and PUPs last that was totally wrong and distasteful. King’s remarks however reflect the view of the entire administration. That is exactly why they have been assisting only a selected few for the past six years. Can you imagine that not a single Minister has publicly condemned King’s outrageous remarks? This administration needs to remember two very important things. First they need to realize that the huge bucks they are spending include millions of dollars in taxes that are paid by all Belizeans: UDPs, PUPs, and independent voters (no Ps) to the national treasury. All the citizens of this country therefore have a right to benefit from the use of such funds. Second, this administration needs to realize that they were elected to office with the support of thousands of independent thinking Belizeans or swing voters and not only with the vote of their hard core party supporters. The government therefore has a duty to serve all the citizens of this country.

Patrick JonesPJ

Car crashes on the Hummingbird Highway
There was a traffic accident early this morning on the Hummingbird Highway. Reports are that it happened sometime after 8 o’clock this morning and involved a resident of Mile 25 on the Hummingbird Highway. The small blue car was extensively damaged as it appears to have crashed […]

PUP chooses candidate for Orange Walk North division
The People’s United Party (PUP) today held a convention to choose a standard bearer for the Orange Walk North constituency. Three candidates, namely Alfredo Ortega, Ramon Cervantes and Jaime Castillo contested the convention. The results, which were released late this evening showed that Ramon Cevantes bested the other […]

Police believe Friday morning murder is gang-related
Police have launched an intensive investigation into Friday morning’s murder of 30 year old Tulio Caceres, a building inspector and resident of Taylor’s Alley in Belize City. Taylor’s Alley and Majestic Alley are believed to be the bases of warring rival gangs. But both also recently hosted editions […]

Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association holds information fair
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association held a mini-fair on Saturday at the Welcome Centre in San Ignacio Town. Various Neighborhood Watch groups from the district came together to share information with the general public about what they do and to encourage people to join in the effort. Among […]

The June 15th, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Mother And Sons Arrested For Drugs:
    Monday, June 9, 2014: The sharp nose of a police dog picked up the scent of marijuana through a floor covering, a wooden floor, a plastic bag and a covered plastic container , and it landed a mother and her two sons in problems with the law. It was shortly after 12 noon on Thursday, June 5 when a team of four policemen along with Tungee, said to be one of the sharpest police dogs in the Canine Unit, descended upon an upstairs wooden house on 5th Street in San Ignacio Town to conduct a search for drugs. Within minutes of entering the house, Tungee alerted its handler of the presence of drugs by sitting on a spot in the living room. When the marley floor covering was lifted, police found an unfastened board covering a cavity in the floor from which the police retrieved a black plastic bag with two covered plastic containers both loaded with marijuana. Present at the time of the search was a 78 year old grandmother, in the company of Martha Alicia Ralda, 46, and her two sons, William Ralda, 22 and his 17 year old brother.
  • Policeman Charged For Attempt Murder:
    Three policemen and a special constable driver, members of San Ignacio Police Quick Response Team (QRT) all facing criminal charges, are on interdiction from active duty. The lives of Corporal #443 Ricky Valencia, Constables #1330 Maxwell Valerio and #1010 Jesus Marroquin along with Special Constable, driver, Ernesto Budna began changing at the break of the new day on Monday, May 26, 2014. Patrolling the George Price Highway the team drove up to Blackman Eddy Village and turned at the junction with the road into Spanish Lookout at the Iguana Creek. On the way back to base they came upon a group of four men in Unitedville on their way home from a wake in the village.
  • Editorial: Life Is Dynamic:
    Life is in constant evolution. Nothing lasts forever, this is the nature of the phenomenon we call life. This week former educator/ politician, Mr. Eulogio Cano tell us that Sacred Heart Roman Catholic High School started 54 years ago in a room downstairs the Stork Club, the busiest and most popular bar in San Ignacio Town in that era. Today, it is not permissible to open and operate a bar anywhere near a school much less a high school where students are more mature. Our gun laws were once slack until the senseless spate of gun violence showed its ugly head especially on the south side streets of the old capital. This development necessitated the passage of stringent, some might say, draconian gun laws. Today, the gun violence has somewhat abated. Some among us are now calling for the slacking of the gun laws. We change with the current time fit prevailing circumstances and conditions. Such is life.
  • Ashton Tillett Is This Year’s Top PSE Performer:
    The results of this year’s Primary School Examinations are out recording Ashton Tillett from Crooked Tree Government School, in the Belize District, as this year’s top performer. Today’s announcement sparked an outburst of joy, first on the school compound in Crooked Tree and later thoughtout the entire Village. We join in congratulating Ashton on this great achievement and wish him all the best as he proceeds on to the high school of his choice which we understand is Edward P. Yorke. Ashton Tillett The
  • Three Men Injured In Bar Brawl:
    A brawl in a western village bar has left two men wounded and with criminal counter charges again each other. The report of a stabbing incident in Billy White Village Cayo was received by San Ignacio police at around 5:00 am on Saturday, June 7. A team of policemen, under the command of Sgt 651 S Bowden, rushed to the village and first to the home of Gumercindo Pop where they found Pop, visibly drunk, with stab wounds to the head, chest, shoulder and back. Pop told the police that he was at a bar in the village earlier that morning when and argument erupting resulting in him being attacked by brothers Santos and Roberto Chacon and a 15 year old boy.
  • World Cup 2014 Kicks Off With Colourful Ceremony:
    The 2014 Fifa World Cup officially got under way on Thursday with a colourful opening ceremony before hosts Brazil beat Croatia 3-1 in the first match. A cast of 660 dancers paid tribute to the country's nature, people and football with a show around a "living" ball on the Arena de Sao Paulo pitch. The final act saw a performance of official World Cup song "We Are One" by Jennifer Lopez and rapper Pitbull. The month-long tournament sees 32 nations compete in 64 games. Many fans took to the streets to sing and chant their support for Brazil as excitement built in the hours before the tournament began.
  • Father's Day Canoe Race:
    The Father's Day Canoe Race co-sponsored by the Black Orchid Resort and SeaSure Real Estate is set for Sunday, June 15th, 2014. The race will start in Flowers Bank Village at 9:00am and will end at the Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom. The first canoes should be arriving around midday. This race will have all categories, Male, Female, Mixed, Masters, Juniors, Pleasure and Intramural, it’s opened for anyone to participate. Registration can be done the morning before the race starting at 8:00am, however, early registration is accepted. The registration form is available on our website at Race Registration fee is $50.
  • Malaria:
    Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by parasitic protozoans (a type of unicellular microorganism) of the genus Plasmodium. Commonly, the disease is transmitted by a bite from an infected female Anopheles mosquito, which introduces the organisms from its saliva into a person's circulatory system. In the blood, the parasites travel to the liver to mature and reproduce. Malaria causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, which in severe cases can progress to coma or death. The signs and symptoms of malaria typically begin 8–25 days following infection; however, symptoms may occur later in those who have taken antimalarial medications as prevention. Initial manifestations of the disease—common to all malaria species—are similar to flu-like symptoms, and can resemble other conditions such as septicemia, gastroenteritis, and viral diseases. The presentation may include headache, fever, shivering, joint pain, vomiting, hemolytic anemia, jaundice, hemoglobin in the urine, retinal damage, and convulsions.
  • Sacred Heart College – 50 Successful Years:
    Sacred Heart College will be holding graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2014 on Saturday, June 14 in the auditorium on the school compound. This is a significant year in the history of Sacred Heart College as it will simultaneously celebrate the golden anniversary of the first graduating class, the class of 1964. Invited to deliver an address in celebration of this historic occasion is Mr. Eulogio Cano from the Class of 1964. We had a chance to speak with Mr. Cano earlier this week and what he told us was quite interesting. He told us that Sacred Heart Roman Catholic College began in 1960 through the efforts of Fr. Osmond Peter Martin (retired Bishop) and Fr. Facundo Castillo. It started with an enrollment of 31 students of which 19 graduated in 1964. The first classroom was housed downstairs of the Stork Club on Hudson Street, in front of Blue Angels Night Club where it remained for an entire year. In the second year however, with the addition of a second batch of students starting first form, the school moved across the street to more spacious accommodations in a building where the Hudson Chinese stores is currently located. It later moved to the Sacred Heart Primary School compound where they remained until graduation.
  • Brazil World Cup: Clashes At Sao Paulo and Rio Protests:
    Police clashed with protesters in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other host cities on Thursday as the World Cup got under way in Brazil. Officers used tear gas on crowds in Sao Paulo hours before Brazil's team beat Croatia 3-1 in the opening match. Several people were also injured after scuffles broke out in Rio de Janeiro. Protesters are angry at how much the government has spent on preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics, which Rio will host in 2016. There were violent clashes in the city of Belo Horizonte, where England will play Costa Rica Earlier, striking airport workers in Rio de Janeiro blocked a road outside the airport, demanding a wage increase and a World Cup bonus. The strike was to have lasted for 24 hours but union leaders called it off early for legal reasons.
  • World Cup Schedule:
    Full schedule of group games (until the knockout round starts).
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices


Get Zen and A WHOLE Lot More at San Pedro’s Zen Arcade
Maybe about a year ago, I heard a new business idea for San Pedro. Noele and Tara, two very popular people and yoga instructors in San Pedro, were taking over a large cement building just south of town. They were going to make it an oasis of serenity, yoga, health & fitness, massage, therapy, community and perhaps even some botox and a mani/pedi. They planned on an modern and affordable cafe with delicious healthy foods managed by one of the most popular and acclaimed chefs on the caye. The proposed name was The Zen Arcade and frankly, being a bit of a spirituality-and-yoga-cretin, I could not picture it at all. But I was super curious… So a few months ago, just as some parts of the business were opening, I stopped in to take a look around to see what a “wellness center” really is. AND…I loved it. About a week later, I was invited in to get a massage sample from Vicki (you can read about the Zen team here), a talented and professional US trained massage therapist. Let’s just say that it was VERY enjoyable.

International Sourcesizz

The World’s Ball
Great NYT visual guide to the evolution of the ball used in the World Cup. That 1970 ball is the best — so iconic. I had no idea that it was designed to look better on black and white TVs. AN IMPERFECT BALL. Early soccer balls were hand-sewn and made of leather. They were never perfectly round, and inflating them required some skill. The laces had to be undone before an interior air bladder was filled and tied with a thread; then the laces were retied. Team captains chose a ball before each match, and every team had a preferred design, according to Peter Pesti, a collector and expert on World Cup balls. In the first World Cup, in 1930, Uruguay and Argentina could not agree on which ball to use. The first half of the match was played with a model favored by Argentina. The second half was played with Uruguay’s preferred design, the T-Model. Argentina led, 2-1, after the first half, but Uruguay recovered in the second and won, 4-2.

Ship of exploration
The Exploration Vessel Nautilus will cruise to the western Caribbean to explore the Mesoamerican Reef. Mr Godson has followed Titanic discoverer Dr Robert Ballard's ocean explorations for the past two decades and now he is among 22 educators to take part in the Nautilus Education Program aboard Dr Ballard's ship of exploration. As a science communication fellow, Mr Godson will join the exploration vessel as it explores the Mesoamerican Reef off the coast of Belize and Honduras in July and August. "It is a dream come true to be finally doing what I love doing but in a lot more organised formal capacity," he said. Mr Godson has spent one month living underwater, propelled himself through the Greek islands in a human-powered submarine and holds the Guinness World Record for the most electricity generated by pedalling underwater.


Video: Our Trip to Belize, by Rolling Rock, 12min.

Video: Xunantunich Mayan Ruins Belize, 4min.
6/10/14, shore excursion from Carnival Sunshine.

Video: Belize Night Frogs, 1/2min.
Frog frenzy.

Video: Caracol - Changing Lives Transforming Communities, 5min.
A short clip about the youth development work of Caracol - Youth Community Development in the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone

Video: Belize Diving Video, 9min.
43 min of gopro video condensed down to 8 min and 51 seconds. Sure hope you can see it in HD. Scuba diving off Ambergris Caye.

Video: Loose Monkey at the Belize Zoo, 2min.

Video: Diving in Belize, Turneffe North: Black Coral Wall & Amber Head, 25min.
The Best diving at Belize Turneffe North.

June 15, 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

Rod of Correction forms to add pressure on the current administration
The unions, activists and other social partners that have been agitating and championing Belize’s social issues have formed an alliance called the Rod of Correction (ROC). The coming together of the various organizations and agitators of social issues under one umbrella is meant to add pressure on the Dean Barrow administration in light of many burning issues affecting the country. The merger took place on June 5th at a meeting that lasted almost three hours and was hosted at the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) headquarters in Belize City. resent at the historic gathering were representatives and leaders from civil and church organizations. They included Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), the Belize Pharmacists Association, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), the Public Service Union (PSU), the Belize Energy Workers Union, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), BNTU, The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), the Nurses Association, members of the Belize Council of Churches, the Belize Evangelical Association and radio personality Mose Hyde and DJ Keegan Lord.

Israeli Ambassador visits AC during end-of-duty tour to Belize
The Ambassador of the State of Israel to Belize, His Excellency Shmulik Arie Bass and his wife Mrs. Meirav Peleg-Bass made an official courtesy call to the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez. Bass’ visit to Ambergris Caye was part of his end-of-duty tour to Belize as the Ambassador of Israel to El Salvador and Belize. When speaking with The San Pedro Sun, Israeli Ambassador Bass said that Israel and Belize have enjoyed and cultivated a fruitful relationship which he hopes can be further strengthened in the future. “This is my second time to Ambergris Caye, and unfortunately, this visit concludes my role as Ambassador of Israel to Belize. I conclude my duty in August and since the Mayor of San Pedro has been friendly since my first visit, it was fitting to end my duty tour to Belize at this municipality,” said Ambassador Bass, a career diplomat. He added that “Many Israeli visit Belize, especially San Pedro. The island is famous, even amongst our young population. They would come through Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala and the interest is growing both with investors and tourists.”

Three San Pedranos to represent Belize at the Caribbean and Americas Cup Dart Tournament
Belize is sending a delegation of 15 dart players to the 20th Caribbean Cup and 7th Americas Cup Dart Tournament. The tournament is being held at Mainsail Hotel in Tampa, Florida, USA from July 12th to 20th. The goal of the tournament is to promote the sport of professional darts, create a memorable experience for the participants and attendees, engage in the culture of the host country, and support local charities. The tournament sees participation of several countries from the Caribbean, North America and South America including the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands and the United States of America. Belize has been taking part in the biennial tournament since 1981, even hosting the tournament at the Biltmore Plaza Belize City in 2012. “Participating in this tournament is very important for Belize. It exposes our players to the international standards of darts. It also helps to expose Belize among our neighboring countries,” said Belize Darts Federation President Jose Mora.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belizean Potato Salad
Here's written direction, from my notes as i made it. Pardon the exacting measurements, but thats how i work! Feel free to round off! Take 2 pounds 13 ounces potatoes. not the monster big ones. I used russets. boil whole in a pot, until you can push a large fork of skewer into them easily but the potato doesn't crumble. If its crumbly, thats too done. Mine took 20 minutes. Chill fast. Drop into large bowl or bucket of cold water. keep the water cold (run fresh cold water through them now and then, or change the water in the bucket to fresh cold... They chill in 20 minutes or so... hard boil 6 eggs and chill the same way. Mix in bowl the items below:

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at Western Regional Hospital
Yesterday morning the U.S. Embassy's Charge attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Belize. The new building was built by the U.S. New Horizons Military Team who have working VERY hard conducting humanitrian outreach across the country. The new hospital wing will provide space for much needed mental health services in Belize. Photo: This morning the U.S. Embassy's Charge attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Western Regional Hospital in Belmopan, Belize. The new building was built by the U.S. New Horizons Military Team who have working VERY hard conducting humanitrian outreach across the country. The new hospital wing will provide space for much needed mental health services in Belize.

University of Belize Nineteenth Commencement Exercises
The University of Belize will honour 449 Graduands during this Nineteenth Commencement Exercises. For this June Commencement Season, 408 students will be graduating in Belmopan on Saturday, 14 June, 10 a.m., while 41 students will be graduating in Punta Gorda on Sunday, 22, June at 2 p.m. Special features for the June Commencement Season include the introduction of the new President, Mr. Alan Slusher, by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Harrison Pilgrim, and the delivery of the keynote address by the Mayor of Belize City, Attorney Darrel Bradley. Since UB’s inception in 2000, this is the first graduating class with Master students from the University of Belize Graduate School (UBGS); 2 students will be awarded MSc. Degrees in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Sustainable Development in the Caribbean.

The Reporter

2014 Grill Masters showdown held
The third annual Grill Masters Challenge was held on Saturday by Benny’s and the grand prize winner walked away with a chest freezer fully stocked with prime cut meats from Running W as well as gift baskets from Grace and Bowen & Bowen. Calbert Santiago, a chef at the Jaguar Paw outpost restaurant, edged out two former champions in the competition to claim the title of Grand Grill Master 2014. Second place went to John “Trey” Roberson, the competition’s first ever winner and third place to last year’s winner Ernest Bradley. The “grill-off” featured six participants, some of whom have made careers out of cooking and others who cook only occasionally. The grillers were given select cuts of meat to prepare, including lamb ribs, pork chops and beef picanha. Contestants infused a range of ingredients, including a barbeque sauce made with mango and a beef prepared in chocolate stout.

Minister Heredia says environment comes first
Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia, has said that he would oppose any project which would be harmful to Belize’s reef including Puerto Azul if the project proves to be non-feasible. The tourism minister told reporters following Friday’s House Sitting that “When it comes we will look at the evidence, if I see that it something that will be harmful what is my job? To make sure that if it will harm I will oppose it.” Heredia added that he would support the project if it is in the best interest of the country. “I love the environment, I believe in conservation and I believe in sustainable development,” Heredia said. The parliamentarian also explained that he was invited to Cannes France by the developers to view a model concept but it doesn’t mean that his support has been bought. He added that the government has a responsibility to entertain any potential investor.

Opposition Leader and PM argue AG Immigration report
Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca and Prime Minister Dean Barrow traded jabs at Friday’s House Sitting over the Auditor General report, which COLA, the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action exposed this week. The document reveals gross abuse of power in government. “The obstruction and cover-up by the state has become just as bad as what many view as the original crime,” Fonseca criticized, citing portions of the preliminary report. “Every step of the way this Prime Minister and this government has done everything possible to protect members of their party to cover up the mass corruption that this passport and visa hustle truly is,” Fonseca condemned. Fonseca said that COLA’s presentation made it very clear that the report declared obstruction as “the order of the day” as the AG’s office tried to access files for their investigation. Fonseca also said that they were made aware that certain files were hidden from the audit team and that Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse was in possession of some of those files.

Brazilian president debunks crude chants during World Cup
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said that she will not allow “verbal aggression” to intimidate the flow of the World Cup. On Thursday she was the target of crude chants from part of the crowd who attended the opening game between Brazil and Croatia. Rousseff, who is seeking re-election in October, said that the chants were nothing compared to what she had to endure in jail during military rule. Hundreds of thousands of people have protested across the country to protest against perceived overspending and corruption in preparations for the World Cup and the Olympics, scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Faber calls out teachers for PSE results
Minister of Education, Patrick Faber has blamed inadequate teachers for disappointing Primary School Examination (PSE) results which were released on Thursday. “If you look at the entire situation, we need to be equipping our children with the best teachers, and those teachers need to get aboard in terms of the training, so yes a good deal of the blame at the end of the day has to be placed on the shoulders of teachers,” Faber said. Faber said that we would not see results in the classroom as long as there are teachers who are not passionate about teaching and don’t possess all the proper qualifications. “The children don’t know how to do math because the teachers don’t know how to do math,” Faber criticized, citing consistently poor PSE math scores. Faber also called out teachers who have refused to do additional training to improve in their profession because the government has provided them with the opportunity, he said. He added that many teachers end up qualified for pensions without ever having been properly trained.

Patrick JonesPJ

Man gunned down in Belize City; police look for shooter
On Friday morning around 10:30 a.m., gunshots rang out not far from the downtown area on North Front Street, near its intersection with Pinks Alley. When all had settled, one man lay dead at the North Front Street and Pinks Alley junction. All around him lay expended shells, as many as eight. From the police has been able to put together, 30 year old Tulio Caceres, also known as “Pinelo,” and a resident of West Street in Belize City, had been socializing in a park at the corner of North Front Street and Pinks Alley, when a single armed man on bicycle rode up to him and opened fire. Even for a neighborhood inured to violence, residents who stood around the police barricade appeared dazed by the audacity and ruthless efficiency of the killing. The shooting happened a half a block east of the Queen Street Police Station, and police responded almost immediately, but Caceres had already died on the spot.

BGYEA injunction lifted by court
After arguments in chambers, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel on Friday afternoon removed the injunction placed on the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), ruling that the Government had not complied with the related terms of the injunction. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd represented BGYEA and its president, Nigel Petillo. She says that Government’s representative Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke applied to have the injunction extended but failed to serve her client with the requisite papers for the hearing, nor did they file their claim on the time specified. BGYEA is not incorporated so Petillo could not be sued on their behalf, and in any event they were not doing anything illegal to begin with. And Matura-Shepherd says the Government is practicing discrimination against her clients by arbitrarily extending the length of the road reserve in the area – from the usual 20 feet to as much as 174 feet away from the edge of the road – which she says is much greater than any other village on the George Price Highway.

Belizeans represent the nation abroad in fashion and dance
This week four Belizeans are leaving the Jewel for the United States and Kingston, Jamaica to participate in various training activities in the arts. Fashion designer Joris Hendrik left on Tuesday to participate in the annual Caribbean Fashion Week which is ongoing. He will be exhibiting in the weekend Fashion Showcase on June 14 and 15. Hendrik’s designs are a mix of high fashion and casual, but is more famous for the couture designs worn by the likes of Special Envoy Kim Simplis Barrow. He was accompanied by NICH President Diane Haylock and one of its creative development officers as a sign of their support for all artists. Meanwhile, today, a trio of dancers from Corozal and Belize are leaving for a summer intensive workshop sponsored by the PGK Dance Project in San Diego, California. Shadi Gillett and Victor Cassanova of Latino Dance Mix and Sheldon Bodden of New Generation Dance Group of Belize City will be learning ballet and contemporary dance techniques. They were specially selected by the project’s director who visited during last year’s Dance X event.


Full moon beach party
One of the fringe benefits of about living on an island is getting invited to a private full moon beach party and it only takes you 10 minutes to get there from home :) The party started around dusk and everyone rolled in fairly quickly, not wanting to miss possibility of seeing the big round moon make its out of the Caribbean sea and over the white sand beach. Unfortunately due to cloud cover we did not catch the moon till it was well up in the sky. Soon as it came in sight, we all headed out to the dock to enjoy the view. Then it was back to the lovely beach front condo to enjoy food, music and laid-back conversation.

The World’s Largest Commercial Butterfly Farm: Just Another Reason Love Hickatee Cottages & Southern Belize
So that’s Wednesday night. But then, if you are at HIckatee on Friday afternoon, you have the chance to visit the largest commercial butterfly farm in the world! Ian, the owner of Hickatee with his wife Kate, also happens to manage a butterfly farm, the employees about 20 full time workers who tend to all aspects of butterfly farming (I’ll get to some of that in the post) and ships out about 5000 butterflies a week. Were you recently in a natural history museum in Moscow where you saw a live butterfly display? You probably saw some these very butterflies. Friday, late morning, I headed out to the farm. It’s not open to the public and Friday’s are the day that the shipment is made. We went to pick up THE BOX. Thousands of green chrysalis so carefully packed. Tropic Air whisks then to Cancun and then they are off to the UK. The farm is on the grounds of what used to be a lodge in Colombia village (home of Lubaantun & the very cool Belize EarthShip home). It’s on a beautiful hilltop surrounded by fruit trees and flowers and lush greenery – much that is grown to feed the butterflies.

International Sourcesizz

Have You Hugged a Concrete Pillar Today?
by Bill Gates. China used more cement in the last three years than the USA did the entire 20th century. He argues that the most important man-made material is concrete, both in terms of the amount we produce each year and the total mass we’ve laid down. Concrete is the foundation (literally) for the massive expansion of urban areas of the past several decades, which has been a big factor in cutting the rate of extreme poverty in half since 1990. In 1950, the world made roughly as much steel as cement (a key ingredient in concrete); by 2010, steel production had grown by a factor of 8, but cement had gone up by a factor of 25. This animated GIF shows the dramatic transformation of Shanghai since 1987. Most of what you’re seeing in that picture is concrete, steel, and glass.

26 Years of Growth: Shanghai Then and Now
Reuters photographer Carlos Barria recently spent time in Shanghai, China, the fastest-growing city in the world. A week ago, he took this amazing shot, recreating the same framing and perspective as a photograph taken in 1987, showing what a difference 26 years can make. The setting is Shanghai's financial district of Pudong, dominated by the Oriental Pearl Tower at left, and the new 125-story Shanghai Tower, China's tallest building and the world's second tallest skyscraper, at 632 meters (2,073 ft) high, scheduled to finish by the end of 2014. Shanghai, the largest city by population in the world, has been growing at a rate of about 10 percent a year the past 20 years, and now is home to 23.5 million people -- nearly double what it was back in 1987. This entry is focused on this single photo pairing, with several ways to compare the two. [3 photo pairs]

Sweating it out in a Mayan Temazcal steam bath
Aarti Aziz and her husband Moosa are locked inside a pitch-black concrete dugout in Mexico, sweating in unbearable heat. With them is a shaman who has been chanting ceaselessly for the past two hours as strange vapors swirl around them. It may sound like a harrowing ordeal, but it's one the couple volunteered for. This is the world of Temazcal, a practice dating back centuries to when Mexico's Mayan Riviera was wilderness and the Mayan civilization was at the height of its power. Temazcal entails entering a stone igloo with little or no clothing on and sweating it out to the sound of chanting and the fragrance of herbs. Typically carried out for small groups by a shaman who's usually a member of one of the Mayan communities in the surrounding area, the process lasts two hours. It can be a tough experience.

Belize to improve education with $10 million loan from IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a $10 million loan designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system. The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers. The program will also train primary school principals and develop and implement an information system for education management, which will benefit all of the country's primary and secondary schools. In recent years the IDB has increasingly supported efforts to improve education and quality of teaching in Belize, and education is one of four priority areas in the Bank's current country strategy with Belize.

Remains of the kingdom in Belize
It’s not as famous as Mexico’s Chichen Itza. It’s not as tall as Guatemala’s Tikal. But here 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 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 130-foot temple, if they dare. Unlike at 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.

Stop cursing Caricom as darkness; it is a light not yet fully turned on
Dr Franklin Johnston, a strategist, project manager and advisor to Jamaica's minister of education, wrote a column in the Jamaica Observer of May 30 in which he basically contended that the Caribbean Common Market and Community (Caricom) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) are the constructs of "Anglophone black people" and not in the interest of Jamaica. Rooting his contentions in anti-colonialist sentiment, he stated without evidence that CSME is a "clever fiction inspired by the Brits, aided by cabinets, and sustained by well-paid, unaccountable regional civil servants". He sets up both Caricom and CSME as hostile to the economic well-being of Jamaica. Further, he claims that "CSME zealots" all come to live in Jamaica; "we (Jamaica) are the big name brand"; "CSME disrespects us" (Jamaicans); and "we (Jamaicans) are small with a big brand and balls to match and need no union to prosper, but CSME controls us by making the arcane and distant familiar; "the phrase English-speaking Caribbean means zilch as CSME does not work"; and "Jamaica is the largest nation in CSME, so we are its backbone -- finance, market, innovation, brand value -- yet we are the poorest member".


Video: Belizean Coast to Guatemalan Lakes, 5min.
A fraction of my experience traveling a month in Belize and Guatemala. My first atempt at videography, shot with a GoPro HERO2 and edited in GoPro Studio. Song is One Nice Thing Once a Day by UltraCat.

Video: The Phoenix Resort in Belize - Summer 2014, 2min.
A terrific video put together by recent guest 15 year old Christian Daehler of The Phoenix Resort in Belize showing their fishing, snorkeling, private beach bbq, and mainland adventures during their summer 2014 stay.

Video: Small Boy Sailing in the Caribbean | Belize Family Living, 4min.
Join the boy while sailing an International 420 planing dinghy in the Caribbean. Belize is in the Caribbean even though part of Central America. A rarity!

Video: Belize Trip 2014 Part 2, Kyle Liaw, 9min.

Video: Belize by Mike Carroll, 9min.

Video: 1962 After Hurricane Hattie Belize, 2min.

Video: Blue Hole reserve, Belize, 3min.
Blue Hole reserve, Belize is awesome. The water colour is amazing and so many birds around.

Video: Huge barracuda off the coast of Belize, 1min.
May 22, 2014. Off the coast of Belize doing some fishing on a Raggamuffin catamaran tour. Caught this huge barracuda! What an awesome experience.

June 14, 2014


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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

The #1 island in the world is entitled to better emergency medical services
Tourism in Belize has grown considerably over the recent years, and it is now the second largest industry (agriculture being #1) in the nation, contributing to over 35% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Belize’s prime tourism destination, Ambergris Caye, annually contributes over $500 million (or 54%) of all tourism generated dollars, which is estimated at over $975 million. Despite such a significant contribution to the country’s economy, and recognized as the TripAdvisor #1 Island in the World for two consecutive years, Ambergris Caye is one of the few communities in the country that lacks a proper 24-hour emergency medical facility. As one of the fastest growing municipalities in the country, Ambergris Caye does not have a 24-hour medical facility. The lack of a fully functional public medical facility leaves all 13, 381 permanent presidents, over 10,000 temporary residents (including the islands working force) and most importantly, our visitors, vulnerable when the need arises for emergency medical care. When compared to municipalities in other parts of Belize, San Pedro Town is far behind in providing the 24-hour medical services its taxpayers are entitled to.

Glitz and glamour at SPHS Prom 2014!!
On Thursday June 12th, the students of San Pedro High School (SPHS) celebrated their 2014 Prom under the theme “The Roaring 20’s,” inspired by the 1925 American novel turned hit box office movie, The Great Gatsby. The grand event was held at the gorgeously decorated Holiday Hotel, which was dazzling with the colors of the night: black and gold. Smiling couples walked the black carpet as family and friends cheered them on to their memorable night. The beautiful young ladies wore elegant ensembles ranging in color from classic black and rich reds to glamorous sequins and everything in between, while the handsome young men were quite dapper in their tailored suits.

Official Party Spots for 2014 Lobster Fest Announced
The anticipation is over as lobster season is scheduled to open on Sunday, June 15th,and with it the commencement of the 2014 San Pedro Lobster Festival. As previously announced, this year’s Lobster Fest will be bigger and better than before. The San Pedro Lobster Festival Committee invites everyone to take part in the Lobster Craw and get your Lobster Fest Passport stamped; each stamp gives you a chance to win the Grand Raffle Prize. The winner of the raffle will receive the ultimate vacation package for two for the 2015 Lobster Fest, which includes tours from Seaduced by Belize and Searious Adventures, a drinks basket from Picasso Spirits, room reservations at Banana Beach Resort, The Villas at Banyan Bay and Ramon’s Village Resort, golf cart rentals, bar tabs, and lunch and dinner reservations, among many other prizes. Passports can be stamped at each venue included on the Lobster Crawl:

Family and friends of Jeffrey Eiley gathered to celebrate him on what would have been his 31st birthday
Family and friends of Jeffrey Eiley gathered to celebrate him on what would have been his 31st birthday today, June 13th. Balloons were released in his honor after a long day that began with a celebratory mass, followed by a food sale and lots of 'celebrating' (Jeffrey-style), much like what he did every year on his big day. Rest in Peace Jeffrito. (4 photos)

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High School Prom Goes Back in Time
Under the theme “The Great Gatsby – The Roaring 20’s” the graduating class of San Pedro High School 2014 held its elegant Prom Night celebrations last night, Thursday, June 12, 2014, at Caprice Restaurant located inside the Holiday Hotel. A glamorous and highly anticipated event that high school prom is every year in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, the event proved to be a stunning occasion. The street section was closed to traffic and onlookers gawked at the stunning dresses and suits worn by the graduates and their dates. Prom King and Queen 2014 were awarded to Ansley Castillo and Emilse Marin

Garifuna Collective To Perform at the International Costa Maya
The International Costa Maya Festival is almost here and the list of performers keeps growing. Adding to the lineup to this year’s Costa Maya Festival is the world renowned Garifuna Collective who will be performing on Friday, August 8, 2014. The Garifuna Collective is Belize’s Pride and true cultural ambassadors. They group consists of the best musicians in the fertile Garifuna music scene. It has been six years since Andy Palacio & The Garifuna Collective released Wátina, an album that received unanimous acclaim and elevated the international profile of the music and culture of Central America’s Afro-Amerindian Garifuna community. On the cusp of tremendous fame, Palacio passed away suddenly at the age of 47 not long after Wátina was released, leaving many to wonder who would continue bringing the voice of his people to the world.

Red Cross Blood Drive at Washington University a Success
On Saturday, June 7, 2014, The San Pedro Red Cross, Washington University and Belize Blood bank teamed up to hold a blood drive. A total 19 pints were collected thanks to everyone who spread the word or came out and donated. Added to the previous reserve, this gives Ambergris Caye a total of 91 pints in our island blood supply. Donating blood is relatively quick, taking about 20 minutes and it could help save a life. Belize Blood Bank follows procedures to ensure that safety for both the donor and the recipient. All blood gets tested by the Blood bank for the following things: Malaria, Hepatitis B and C, Chagas, HIV and syphilis. Any blood collected in San Pedro is not sold or transferred to other communities inside or outside the country of Belize. The blood collected in San Pedro is stored at the Belize Blood Bank specifically for the Ambergris Caye Community. This past weekend, a local resident contacted the San Pedro Red Cross Chairman Eiden Salazar, stating there was need for O- blood. Following specific procedures put in place by the Blood Bank, Eiden was happy to accommodate their request. If you are an island resident or visitor in need of blood, simply contact Eiden Salazar at [email protected] or Anthony Anderson, [email protected], and they will be happy to assist.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro outage Sunday
Please note change of time: Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Areas to be affected: entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye.

The Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville N. Young appointed Mr. Alan Slusher as President of the University of Belize with effect June 1, 2014. This appointment conforms with section 26 (1) of the University of Belize Act under which the Governor General appoints a President on the advice of the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. In his role as President, Mr. Slusher will head the senior management team currently comprising an Interim Provost, Director of Finance, and Director of Human Resources. Alan Slusher first came to prominence in Belize’s public sector when he was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Belize in 1985. His distinguished service in that capacity ended in 2001 when he resigned to take a position with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).

WHAT'S HAPPENING in Corozal this weekend
Grand Inauguration of recently renovated A & R Corozal Store - This Saturday June 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 10% discount all day on most purchases (some restrictions apply). Drop by and say hello to Manager, Margarita Acosta and for every $20.00 purchase get your Free Orange Walk Tacos and drinks!! Don't miss this GRAND COROZAL OPENING the Saturday!!!

Last week for the circus performances in Corozal. “Circo Hermanos Ponce” will perform its last week ending this Sunday June 15th at the Civic Auditorium grounds. Bring out the entire family and enjoy. Adults are $15.00 and children $10.00.

Super Furia Band in Corozal
Many events are happening in Corozal this weekend and certainly action packed. Come on out tomorrow Saturday night June 14 and enjoy the dynamic musical entertainment of Super Furia Band. We know Jose and Irma will be there!!! The Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. beside the House of Culture!

Reasons to Retire In Corozal
Belize has an interesting and diverse vegetation profile. With over 4,000 flowering plants, some 250 species of orchids, and 700 or so different trees, Belize is an exciting country for anyone interested in the “Plant Kingdom”. What follows this Introduction is just a mere sampling of one of our local vegetation. The following species we see blooming currently in the months of May-June. You will see them all when driving down the way to Orange Walk, Belmopan, San Ignacio, Placencia, Punta Gorda from Corozal or walking through the Guanacaste Park and Belize Zoo; these plants we see in most rural villages and coastal areas of Belize. It is interesting to learn the vegetation found in Belize, from A to Z. This knowledge should add to the spirit of why you should retire and boast about living in Corozal and Belize.

BMA at Strings and Chords Concert
The Benque Marimba Academy represented Cayo at the Strings and Chords Concert at the National Festival of Arts, which was held at the Bliss(more pictures). Don't you think it's time for them to have a European tour like the Garifuna Collective? Keep up the great music! "National Festival of Arts, Strings & Cords Concert, featuring our heartstring the Benque Marimba Youth Academy (los hijos del maiz)... Immensely grateful to all who made this a reality from ground zero, today we thank your for all our achievements, the Youths are a proud reflection of our beloved Del Carmen. "

Belize Gets $10 Million IDB Loan For Education System
Belize will soon be the recipient of a $10 million loan from the Inter-American Development Bank. The latest loan approved by the IDB this week is designed to support Belize’s efforts to improve its primary education and the overall governance of its education system. “The programme aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers,” the IDB said in a statement. “The programme will also train primary school principals and develop and implement an information system for education management, which will benefit all of the country’s primary and secondary schools.”

Ribbon-cuttings mark construction completion, two sites remain
Three of the five New Horizons Belize 2014 construction crews have turned over the keys to facilities as of June 13, while two remaining construction sites are putting the final touches on building additions. The Hattieville Government School pre-school addition is scheduled to be turned over 10 a.m. June 18, and the Sadie Vernon Technical High School is scheduled to be turned over 10 a.m. June 19. During the ribbon-cutting ceremonies, the Belize Defence Force lead engineer and the U.S. Air Force project manager at each site stood alongside their commanders as each building's eventual owner cut the ribbon to their new facility.

CNWA Safety Day
The Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association is having their Cayo Safety Day today at the Cayo Welcome Center. They'll have music, dancing, and plenty of information about safety. The fun actually begins at 9:00am with a parade that will start at the police station.. "CAYO SAFETY DAY FREE, ALL WELCOME: MUSIC, FUN, DANCING, KARATE DEMO, SAFETY VENDORS, SAFETY TIPS AND MORE! When: 10:00am – 2:00pm, Saturday, June 14th Where: Cayo Welcome Center, San Ignacio SPONSORED BY CAYO NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH ASSOCIATION"

Happy Father's Day Weekend
It's Father's Day this Sunday, and St. Martin's Credit Union is celebrating dads tomorrow morning.  They'll have snacks and drinks, and some musical entertainment too.  Many places around town are having dinner specials to honor dads, including the San Ignacio Resort Hotel and Maya Mountain Lodge.

Tomorrow night, Tabu is having a Grads and Dads bash.  Sunday, Pandy is having a Father's Day Bash at the Cayo Welcome Center at 7:00pm.  Next week, the Belize Cancer Society is having a bash at the Bedran Hall for the occasion, and the Jade Band will be playing.

Channel 7

Street Slaying In Broad Daylight
A man was murdered in cold blood in downtown Belize City this morning - and it is believed to be gang related - part of the escalating warfare that has gripped the city. This morning at 10:30, 30 year-old Tulio Pinelo Caceres, who usually hangs out in Taylors Alley was in the small park in front of City Hall with friends socializing. That's where an unknown gunman ambushed him and opened fire shooting him several times. That man then chased him down and shot him several more times to ensure that Caceres died. By all accounts, the area was very crowded when the attack was conducted, and 7News arrived on the scene minutes later. Here's what we found: Daniel Ortiz reporting 15 bullet markers were laid out at the corner of Pinks Alley and North Front Street, a clear sign that the shooter was determined. That gives a very striking picture of what happened because for 1, it was just an hour before midday in broad daylight, and 2, it happened in front of City Hall.

Injunction Lifted: Major Win for BGYEA In Court
At his press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow flatly stated that Government will not allow BGYEA to plant corn in the road reserve.

Heredia Says He's Not Swayed By Puerto Azul Party
Tourism Minister Manuel Junior Heredia is a has become more famous for his recent facebook photos than for his work as a government minister. And why not? He and his wife are seen posing off with celebrities, and looking like celebrities themselves, he in a dashing tuxedo and she in an elegant gown.

PUP Stands With Farmers Against Investor
And that was just about the hottest thing coming out of today’s House Meeting – which was mostly for legislative housekeeping – mainly the passage of a mutual assistance tax agreement with the European that Belize has to pass before a mid month deadline.

Family Claims Newborn Was Left To Die In Morgue
Our next story is a tough one – and it’s the kind we wish we didn’t have to report on. We warn you that if you’re squeamish – you might want to change the channel – because the story pivots on photos of a dead newborn in the hospital. But, we have to include those pictures because that’s what a family from Blackman Eddie says convinced them that their newborn baby Jayden died in the hospital. He was born on Saturday – but the medical staff at Western Regional told the mother who is 17 – that the child was stillborn. They showed her and the baby’s father the baby, and then wrapped him up, and took him away to the morgue. But when the grandmother – who is the chairlady of Blackman Eddy Village - went back to the morgue – what they saw shocked them. We’ll let her explain:….

Kirk Smith's Killing May Have Been caused By "Friendly Fire" But Police Still Say Murder
On Tuesday, we told you about Kirk Smith Jr., one of the 5 injured persons from the mass shooting at Sunday’s graduation party. His family told us he was brain dead. Well, he passed away last night at around 7:00 at the KHMH.

Fonseca to GOB: Come Clean On Immigration
Today in the House of Representatives, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca followed up on COLA’s lead and demanded that government come clean on all matters relating to the investigations into affairs at the Immigration Department. Fonseca pushed Prime Minister Dean Barrow to make a statement – but to our surprise Barrow said don’t expect to see the full report brought to the House while the world cup is on! Here’s the exchange:…

A Finance Fair to Dispel Fear Of Finance
For the past 5 years, primary school children from around the country have been participating in financial literacy workshops organized by international accounting firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers and nonprofit Peacework.

LPG Prices Inch Down For Summer
Prices for Liquid Petroleum Gas - or what is commonly called butane is going down - but by just a dollar. The new price structure was released today and it is now governed by three regimes: PEMEX butane from Mexico sold by Belize Gas and Western Gas, Butane from Central America, sold by Belize western Energy, Southern Choice, Zeta Gas and Gas Tomza and butane from BNE. Prices are mostly stable and low at this time of year because in the summer months the colder countries in the north do not have much need for butane.

Pharmacists Assoc. Still Vexed
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister declared his support for the embattled Director of the Drug Inspectorate, Danini Contreras, daughter of Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras. Well, today the Pharmacists Association today sent out a release again going over their objections to her appointment. They also condemn the hiring or the signing of a contract for a new drug inspector which they say happened on Monday. They say that the Ministry of Health has again skirted the proper process. They say that this new person does not have the training, skill, or experience to be a drug inspector, and with the novice director, Danini Contreras, as boss, the new drug inspector will not perform the job adequately.

Top PSE Performers
Last night, we showed you 2 of the top five performers in this year's Primary School Examinations. Today, we spoke a few more of those students about their excellent performance, and they told us how hard work pays off: Tradition is for the Ministry to hold an award ceremony to honor all the top performers from around the country. At that time, we'll try to catch up with the others from the top 25.

Discipline For Troubled Youths
Today, the National Youth Cadet Services celebrated the graduation of 25 young men from the program. Now, these aren't kids who you'd see in our last story, topping the PSE - these are at risk young men who've had behavioural problems. But that doesn't mean they are dead-enders, not at all. After 10 months, these 25 graduates have been taught to be the disciplined in the areas of responsibility, respect, anger management, and confidence as potentially productive citizens. We stopped in at the graduation spoke with the manager of the cadet services and a few of the graduates. Here's what they told us about the tough program to shape up troubled young men:

Evan's Got A Ticket To Fly
One role model those youths can look up to is Evan Mariano. As we told you earlier this week, he has been signed by the Houston Hurricanes FC, a club that plays in the National Premier Soccer League, which is the fourth tier league in the US.

Give Blood
Today is World Blood Donors day, and to note its importance the Ministry of health held a blood drive in which the Chief Executive Officers and the Senior Managers all donated blood on Tuesday. The country's blood bank is always in need of more donors, and at that blood drive, the organizers explained why the senior staff volunteered to donate: This year, the theme is "Safe Blood for Saving Mothers" The focus is on pregnancy and child birth and the need for blood during these phases of the mothers' life.

Channel 5

Taylor’s Alley man, Tulio Caceres, murdered on Majestic Alley
Gun violence has claimed the life of two men in fifteen hours; both murders are gang related as the city is gripped by a resurgence of gang warfare. At around [...]

Kirk Smith Jr. succumbs after being shot at a graduation party
The other victim of gun violence is twenty-two-year-old Kirk ‘Lenny’ Smith Junior who succumbed to gunshot injuries he received during an armed assault at a graduation party just after midnight [...]

Opposition Leader calls out the PM on the passport scandal
The House of Representatives met this morning in the Capital. The sitting concluded shortly after two this afternoon. On adjournment, members from across the aisle on the Opposition side brought [...]

Said Musa express discontent with reappointment of Justice Awich
The reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich to the bench of the Court of Appeal has been opposed by the Opposition and by the Bar Association which passed a resolution by [...]

Minister of Tourism finally speaks on Puerto Azul Development
The Puerto Azul development, the citadel of luxury in Belize…will it happen or not? Investors say it will, and they launched the project a couple weeks ago in Cannes. The [...]

BGYEA scores victory against G.O.B. in court
The feisty Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, held a small, but significant rally last Saturday called Plant the Corn Rally. Today, it scored a first victory in the Supreme [...]

Will BGYEA members plant di corn?
While the executive of BGYEA is preparing to go back to its membership with good news, President Nigel Petillo was quite circumspect, avoiding the most pertinent question in the wake [...]

Meet top scorers of the 2014 P.S.E.
The government school in Crooked Tree had an impromptu celebration on Thursday when they learnt from News Five that one of their own, Ashton Tillett had placed first in the [...]

Prices for butane gas go down by a dollar
Prices for butane gas have gone down by a dollar for the one hundred pound cylinder countrywide. We note that the domestic price of LPG distributed by Belize Natural Energy [...]

PM says Orange Walk Streets to be upgraded
Back to the House Meeting…Much has been said about the state of streets in Orange Walk Town. Last week the Orange Walk chapter of the B.T.I.A. wrote a letter to [...]

UB appoints Alan Slusher as president
  Former advisor to the Prime Minister, Alan Slusher has been formally appointed as President to the University of Belize. Slusher is the sixth president to be named head of [...]

Andrew Lopez, the new president of SJC
Here in the city, at Saint John’s High School and Junior College, a new president has also been named. The Board of Trustees is appointing Andrew Lopez as new president to [...]

Western Regional Hospital gets a new psychiatric ward
New Horizon is back in Belize; a collaboration between local and US military forces. This year the focus is on health, and today the Western Regional Hospital, thanks to New [...]

Young Belizean artists team up for BAFFU
A team of talented, young Belizean artists, expressive in both spoken word poetry and the visual medium, has launched an art exhibition at the Image Factory.  They are an eccentric [...]

A boxing match in Belize
Fans of boxing are in for a treat this weekend as amateur pugilists from Belize and Guatemala will do battle inside the squared circle at the ITVET Compound on Saturday [...]


MOE To Release PSE Results For 2014
The Ministry of Education promised to release the results of this year’s primary School Examination on June 12th and that is one promise they kept as late this afternoon the results were made available to the media. This year a total of 7,551 students registered for the PSE. Out of that amount 7,245 students sat all or part of the exam this year. The report shows that approximately half or (51%) of the students scored a satisfactory level of performance or better. This is up from the 47% in 2013 who scored a satisfactory level of performance or better. As in 2013, the mean score is in the adequate range at 58.4 which is slightly higher than 2013 when it was 57.8.

BSI/ASR Sends Press Release In Terms Of Its Negotiations With BSCFA
When you hear the names BSI/ASR and the BSCFA the first thing that comes to mind is the revenue negations for bagasse which is currently at a stalemate. On one side of the negotiating table you have the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association requesting a $10.00 payment per ton of bagasse. On the other side of the table you have BSI/ASR offering 51 cents per ton of bagasse. The BSCFA has indicated time and time again that they will not accept that offer, hence why the negotiations are at a standstill since BSI/ASR is sticking to its guns also. The last time both stakeholders met around the negotiating table was on June 6th but nothing came out of that meeting. And while we heard from the BSCFA, not much was said by BSI/ASR.

Brazil 2014 Kicks Off With A Bang
The World Cup waiting is over as today marked the kickoff of the greatest football tournament, the World Cup 2014 in Brazil. Similar to the rest of the world, here in Belize all eyes were glued to the television sets to witness the World Cups opening game between the host nation, Brazil and Croatia. But first football fans played witness to what has been deemed as a spectacular opening ceremony costing some $9 million. The ceremony was brought o to a closure by a performance from Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Brazilian singer Claudia Leitte with a rendition of the official World Cup song "We Are One." And then it was game time and of course, by now you already know, that Brazil won the opening game three to one. The first two goals for Brazil and for the world cup games were scored by Neymar Jr. at minute 29 and 70 minutes into the game respectively. The third goal for Brazil game from Oscar at minute 91. And the goal of Croatia was an autogoal kicked by Marcelo at minute 11 of the first half. Tomorrow the World Cup Games continue with Mexico versus Cameron at 10:00am, Espana versus Netherlands at 1:00pm and Australia versus Chile at 3:00pm.

Calcutta Resident Charged For Robbery
Last night we told you about the 17 year old minor and 18 year old Alexander Sutherland of Calcutta Village who were arrested and charged for robbery and harm for attacking a villager of San Joaquin. Tonight new information has revealed that Sutherland was fined $2,000 for the robbery and $200.00 for harm. As for the 1 7 year old minor we understand that his sentencing has been adjourned to the 25th of June in order for the Human Development Office to submit their report. As reported last night, both individuals are accused of attacking Delwyn Tun while on his way home from a bar.


University of Belize Has New President
It’s official: Allan Slusher is the new President of the University of Belize with effect June 1st. In his role as President, Slusher will head the senior management team currently comprising an Interim Provost, Director of Finance, and Director of Human Resources. Alan Slusher first came to prominence in Belize’s public sector when he was appointed Governor of the Central Bank of Belize in 1985. His distinguished service in that capacity ended in 2001 when he resigned to take a position with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). During his tenure at CDB, Slusher served as Country Economist/Chief Country Economist, Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank; Director Economics. A release from the University says that the Chairman of UB Board of Trustees, Harry Pilgrim, hails the appointment as a signal move that should serve as a catalyst for genuine transformation in the way the national university delivers on the high quality service that it stakeholders pay for and expect.

Slight Decline in Butane Prices
The price of a one hundred pound cylinder of butane has shown a slight decrease. Effective today the price decreased by a dollar across the board. The new price for butane imported by Belize Gas Limited and Western Gas Company now sells for 114 dollars in Belize City and Corozal, 115 dollars in Orange Walk, 116 dollars in Belmopan and San Ignacio, 117 dollars in Benque Viejo del Carmen, 118 dollars in Dangriga and 119 dollars in Punta Gorda. For LPG imported from Central America the nee price is 111 dollars in Belize City and Corozal, 112 dollars in Orange Walk, 113 dollars in Belmopan and San Ignacio, 114 dollars in Benque Viejo del Carmen, 115 dollars in Dangriga and 116 dollars in Punta Gorda. Domestic price for LPG distributed bt Belize Natural Energy Limited is 108 dollars.


Kirk Smith Jr. Dies from Sunday Bullet Spree
Kirk Smith Jr. on Thursday succumbed to his injuries from Sunday night’s wild spray of bullets at a graduation party at the Brown Sugar Marketplace, one of three shooting incidents over the weekend. This week there have been as many as six shooting incidents, including one this morning in...

Tulio Caceres Murdered in Belize City
This morning around 10:30 a.m., gunshots rang out, not far from the downtown area on North Front Street, near its intersection with Pinks Alley. When all had settled, one man lay dead at the North Front and Pinks Alley junction. All around him lay expended shells, a total of...

Dr. Brendan Bain Sues the University of the West Indies
This afternoon, Professor Brendan Bain filed a suit in the Supreme Court of Jamaica challenging the termination of his contract as director of CHART. Professor Bain is claiming In his suit, that the action of the University of the West Indies breached his constitutional rights of freedom of expression...

Minister of Tourism Speaks about Puerto Azul Project
In the latter part of May, Minister of Tourism, Manuel Heredia Jr. and Minister of Economic Development Erwin Contreras were photographed at Cannes Film Festival in France. There they attended an exclusive party hosted by the Italian investors of the Puerto Azul Project, which, according to international media, signaled...

Valle De Paz Farmers will not Move!
Green tropics, also registered in Belize as Santander Sugar and Santander Farms wants the Farmers of Valle de Paz to evacuate the property by the end of the week. To be more specific, by 3:00 p. m. on Sunday, June 15th, they sent an official letter to the members...

University of Belize Appoints New President
Alan Slusher  is the new President of the University of Belize with effect June 1, 2014.  This appointment conforms with section 26 (1) of the University of Belize Act under which the Governor General appoints a President on the advice of the Prime Minister, after consultation with the Leader...

Belizeans Represent the Nation Abroad in Fashion and Dance
This week, four Belizeans are leaving the Jewel for the United States and Kingston, Jamaica to participate in various training activities in the arts. We begin with fashion designer Joris Hendrik, who will be participating in the annual Caribbean Fashion Week which is ongoing. We hear more from NICH...

New Mental Health Unit Inaugurated at WRH
The acute mental health unit in Belmopan this morning was inaugurated at a ribbon cutting ceremony.  The new hospital wing was built by the U.S. New Horizons Military Team which has been working across the country doing humanitarian work. The mental health unit will serve those patients with mental...


Leaked Auditor General’s Report brings new heat for GoB!
The community activist group Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) held a press conference today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel, at which they confirmed that the preliminary Auditor General’s Report on the Immigration Department which was leaked to them mentions at least five unqualified persons who were granted Belizean nationality through the former Minister of State for Immigration, Elvin Penner. COLA is pursuing a private prosecution of Hon. Penner, the Cayo North East area representative who was booted out of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s Cabinet last September when the immigration scandal broke and the country discovered that Penner had approved a Belize passport and Belize nationality papers for Won Hong Kim, a South Korean criminal who was in a Taiwanese prison when he was granted Belize nationality.

241 new HIV cases; male population dying more
Sixty percent of the 241 new HIV cases reported in 2013 were males, according to information Amandala has received from the Ministry of Health. There were also 25 HIV patients who were also diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) during the same year. In several instances the TB led to the patient’s death. Specifically, there were 89 HIV-related deaths and 18 deaths due to TB, including 7 HIV patients. Health statistics indicate that HIV-related deaths rank in the top ten causes of death, along with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. “The male population is also dying more as a result of HIV and unless specific programs are established, tailored towards engaging males earlier in the health system and in the overall national response, it is unlikely that the goals as set out in the National Strategic Plan will be met,” said the Ministry in a report titled, “National TB, HIV/AIDS & other STIs Programme”, published by the Epidemiology Unit.

It’s final – 6% salary adjustment!
Just before the close of the working day today, Thursday, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and Budget Director Artemio Osorio concluded meetings at the headquarters of the Belize National Teachers’ Union in Belize City, with union officials having reached a consensus—after months of tense negotiations—that teachers and public officers will be paid a 6% salary adjustment effective the end of July but retroactive to the start of the budget year, April 1, 2014. Dylan Reneau, president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, told Amandala this evening that the adjustment would be applied to an estimated 12,000 teachers and public officers, including military officers and police. Waight told Amandala that this will mean an additional $22 million in budgetary outlays over the next year, which reflects 50% of additional recurrent revenue which the Government received during the financial year (2013-2014) from sources such as the shipping and international business corporation registries over which the Government assumed full control in 2013 after rescinding its contractual agreement with the private parties which were managing them on the Government’s behalf.

Legendary activist, Ismail Omar Shabazz, passes at 76
Amandala regrets to announce the passing of Muslim leader, renowned activist, and one of the earliest writers and publishers of the Amandala newspaper, Ismail Omar Shabazz, 76, which occurred at his home in Belize City this morning around 10:00 a.m.. Shabazz (formerly George Tucker) – who is described as a devoted Belizean nationalist and man of faith – is accredited as one of the country’s best historians and revolutionary philosophers who avidly campaigned for various causes for over the past 50 years as an advocate for both meaningful change in the society, and for the overall liberation of black people in Belize. The passing of the iconic figure constitutes a significant loss for the country, and an even greater loss to his family, with whom he had been staying in Belize City since returning from the United States, where he had been seeking medical treatment up until January of this year.

Kirk Smith, Jr., succumbs to gunshot injuries
Amandala understands that one of five persons who suffered gunshot wounds at a graduation party this past Sunday night has died today. Kirk Smith, Jr., 22, who investigators believe was actually one of the shooters, was later shot in the head and back, and had since remained in a very critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) until late this evening, when he succumbed after fighting for his life for the past four days. Smith was suspected to be one of five armed persons from a rival gang who went to the graduation party, which was being held at the Brown Sugar Marketplace on North Front Street, and indiscriminately opened fire on the crowd at the height of the celebration. When the gunshots subsided, Smith – an alleged affiliate of the George Street Gang – was discovered bleeding profusely from his injuries outside the building.

Barrow says “definitely no!” to BGYEA
A previously rejected agricultural proposal put together by the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), which eventually sparked a spirited citizen’s rally in Belize City’s Battlefield Park last Saturday, is not going to be revisited anytime soon – Prime Minister Dean Barrow has again given the “thumbs down” on the grassroots project. BGYEA wants to plant corn along 29 acres of the Harmonyville’s Buffer Zone at Mile 41 on the George Price Highway; however, at his Prime Ministerial press conference today, PM Barrow confirmed that he and the Government of Belize (GOB) are sticking to their guns and certainly do not intend to entertain any sort of agricultural activity on the road reserve. After censuring the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) for taking the issue out of context, Barrow maintained that by no means will any permission be granted for BGYEA to plant corn in the buffer.

Cross-dresser robbed in Belmopan; robber shot by police
A man who police said robbed a male cross-dresser is recovering in the Belmopan Hospital from a gunshot wound to the hand after he was shot by police in the process of arresting him. “Vanessa Champagne,” [...]

Alfredo Ortega, PUP Orange Walk North aspirant, detained by police
Vice chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA)’s Committee of Management and the lead negotiator in the current bagasse faceoff, Alfredo Ortega, was detained for outstanding child maintenance debts by Orange Walk police yesterday in the heat of his campaign for the post of PUP Orange Walk North standard-bearer. Ortega was picked up from his Trial Farm home about 2:00 p.m. yesterday on the strength of a Committal Warrant based on an estimated $11,000 fine which was levied on him in connection with arrears he supposedly owed to his ex-common-law wife, Alba Luz Galeano, for child support.

Editorial: Power speaks to the people
The sense of urgency in UDP Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s voice when he spoke to the people of Belize in a Wednesday afternoon press conference had to do, we think, with his needing to assure/reassure the oligarchy of Belize that he has matters well in control on their plantation. Formation of the umbrella group “Rod of Correction” (ROC) last week Thursday would have created unease amongst Belize’s shadowy socio-economic power structure. It would have raised concerns with respect to the Prime Minister’s street dominance. The concerns would have arisen in the ranks of those who put him in office, those who live well and are happy with the status quo. The relatively sudden arising of the Rod of Correction sounded some alarm bells; it hearkened back to the street instability which doomed the Said Musa PUP government in 2005. The most powerful grouping within the Rod of Correction was clearly the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), whose president, Dylan Reneau, was chosen as the ROC’s spokesman when the new organization met the media immediately after their constituent parts had agreed to work together. Representing all the trade unions of Belize, the NTUCB theoretically has the power to shut down Belize’s economy, so that the NTUCB president is someone, even in his mere NTUCB capacity, who is not to be taken lightly.

From The Publisher
Ismail Omar Shabazz passed quietly at his daughter’s home on Mahogany Street Tuesday morning. He had been suffering from diabetes complications. A strong and steady man, Shabazz was the glue who held the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) together from its foundation in February of 1969 until he resigned UBAD in November of 1972 to work full time in Nuri Muhammad’s revived Nation of Islam. Within a couple months after Shabazz’s resignation from UBAD, the organization began to fuss and feud and divide. During his years in UBAD, Ismail was the secretary/treasurer. Sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, Ismail spent some years in Los Angeles, where he worked with Nuri Akbar and Bilal Morris, younger Belizeans living in L.A., to establish BREDAA. Shabazz also re-connected with the late Edgar X Richardson, a UBAD officer who had left Belize around September of 1969 to live in Los Angeles. I don’t know much about Ismail’s time in L.A., except that he did important work with BREDAA and young Belizean Muslims. I’m sure Nuri Akbar will be telling us about this segment of Shabazz’s life.
Barrette Woodye of the Belize Elections and Boundaries Department is in Antigua and Barbuda where she is with a CARICOM Electoral Observer Mission which will observe and report on tomorrow’s election in that country. A statement from the CARICOM Secretariat said that the mission, headed by Orrette Fisher, Director of the Electoral Office of Jamaica, follows an invitation from the Government of Antigua and Barbuda. The mission is made up of 11 representatives from the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Trinidad and Tobago, 2 members of staff of the CARICOM Secretariat.

Alleged mastermind behind immigration documents ring facing 20 more charges
A Guatemalan woman, who Immigration officers believe is the mastermind behind a ring which has fraudulently issued Belize nationality documents to at least 30 persons who were not entitled to them, was brought to court today [...]

Cashier charged with theft of $5
A woman who was employed as a cashier at a local business in the Fort Street Tourism Village is accused of stealing $5 from her boss. The theft was allegedly caught on a video surveillance camera. [...]

Southside father, 41, charged with sexually assaulting daughter, 8
A father from the southside of Belize City was released on bail after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith on a charge of “sexual assault” on his 8-year-old daughter on May 25, 2014, [...]

Shaquille Meighan, 18, arraigned for shooting incident on Victoria Street
Police have charged Shaquille Meighan, 18, a former Wesley College student, with a shooting that occurred on Victoria Street on Tuesday, June 10. This morning, Meighan was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on a single [...]

“Battered Woman Syndrome” in Lavern Longsworth’s life sentence appeal
It may be the first time in Belize, maybe even in the Caribbean, that Battered Woman Syndrome will form a part of criminal proceedings The Court of Appeal heard submissions today and new, expert evidence was [...]

Fired destroys $17,000 vehicle – arson suspected
A vehicle valued at $17,000, a Mazda Tribute SUV, was completely destroyed by fire while it was parked in front of the house of the owner on Blue Marlin Boulevard in the city. Police suspect arson. [...]

3 thieves on robbery spree in Orange Walk
Less than three days after three robbers held up and robbed the Money Gram Store on Otro Benque Road, in Orange Walk on Monday evening and got away over $6,000 cash, another store was held up, [...]

Alexander Sutherland, 18, fined $2,200 for robbery and harm
Alexander Sutherland, 18, who was arrested and charged with robbery and harm for beating and robbing Delwyn Tun, 43, of San Joaquin, Corozal District, was yesterday fined $2,000 for the robbery and $200 for the charge [...]

Kenrick Williams’ murder conviction and life sentence affirmed
Williams, 36, was found guilty of murdering a 16-year-old student, after raping her Kenrick Williams, 36, a convicted murderer whose first trial ended in a hung jury, but who was nonetheless convicted after a second trial [...]

San Ignacio cops criminally charged
3 were granted bail, while 1 was remanded to prison A group of four police officers who are all attached to the San Ignacio Police Formation faced criminal charges today in that municipality after having been [...]

TIDE Junior
TIDE Junior FWC reg. season ends, semifinals Monday TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup (FWC) games continued on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 10-11, to complete the regular season and set the stage for playoffs, which begin next week. [...]

Don’t cry
Don’t cry for me, Argentina This was an old song composed after a football game when Brazil lost to Argentina. That was a tearful game. The heading of this essay could well fit in as the [...]

Newcomer Blazers
Newcomer Blazers defeat defending champions BTL in opener of Belize City Female Softball Competition On Wednesday, June 11, the 2014 Belize City Female Softball Competition kicked off at Rogers Stadium with the first game of the [...]

FIFA World Cup
Group stage games of 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group stage Thursday 12 June Group A – Brazil vs Croatia – 14:00 Friday 13 June Group A – Mexico vs Cameroon – 10:00 Group B – [...]

No Limit’s 2014
No Limit’s 2014 playoff run comes to an end The Belize City No Limit Soldiers’ run in the 2014 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) playoffs came to an end last week Friday night in the third [...]

Green Tropics evicts farmers
The company says it will not compensate nearly 30 farmers for crop destruction Green Tropics, a member of the Santander Group of companies from Spain, with an arm in neighboring Guatemala, is again at the center [...]

ROC wants to “provoke the kind of crisis that we saw in 2005” under PUP
PM says NTUCB’s “creation” of ROC was a “matter of self-interest” Prime Minister Dean Barrow called an afternoon press conference today at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City to announce the government’s position on [...]

Of vices and victors
“There is a code of complacency in our country and we must not fall into it and there is an air of invasion over us and we must repel it and be the victors over the [...]

In L.A., BREDAA mourns its founder – Ismail Omar Shabazz
June 12, 2014 The Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA) issues the following official statement on the passing of BREDAA’s founder, Brother Ismail Omar Shabazz. The Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through [...]

2014 PSE out – Math continues to bedevil students
The 2014 results for the annual Primary School Examination (PSE) are out, and while they show a slight increase in student performance on English papers, the results also indicate further slippage in Math performance – the [...]

Father of 4 shot on Vernon Street
The Mayflower Street resident is in a critical condition Rafael Cruz, 30, a father of four children of a Mayflower Street address, who lives in the area known as Ghost Town, is in a critical condition [...]

Illegal loggers arrested in the Orange Walk District
Police and officers of the Forestry Department on operation in the Orange Walk District seeking illegal timber cutting in the area of the New River Pine Ridge, about six miles away from Crooked Tree, which stretches [...]

Headaches for a landlord in Otro Benque
He tried to collect $800 back-rent, and the tenants sued him for $6,500 Benjamin Popper, a landlord of Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk Town, who took a couple who are his tenants to court to [...]

The Reporter

Building inspector shot dead near city hall
Tulio Caceres, 30, a building inspector of Taylor’s Alley, was shot and killed at around 10:30 a.m. on Friday at the corner of North Front Street and Pinks Alley in Belize City. Caceres was sitting along with two other men when his killer, a youth on a bicycle, emerged from through Pinks Alley and shot him. Though struck, Caceres was able to get up and run, but he collapsed just outside the park on the pavement where the shooter caught up with him and shot him multiple times at close range. Caceres suffered seven bullet wounds to his upper body, including one that ripped through the centre of his back and another that penetrated the right portion of his chest. The choice of weapon was a nine millimeter gun. According to Officer Commanding the Precinct III substation, Superintendent Gualberto Garcia police are following a couple leads and are looking for two men, but they also appeal to eyewitnesses who were in the busy area to come forth with information. Garcia says that informants can use the 922 hotline number to impart anonymous details.

Dominica battles Chikungunya disease
Dominican health officials are faced with what is described as a major battle in the fight against Chikungunya because of the reluctance of Dominicans to accept that the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Dr. Candia Jacob, the district medical officer has said that “one of the major barriers is that people are reluctant to believe that the mosquito is involved. If they are not convinced, they are not going to do much.” She said that the matter has gotten so bad that environmental health officers have resorted to threatening people with the law if they don’t get rid of containers that breed mosquitoes. “We have the environmental health officers actually having to go to homes and overturn the drums and threaten people that they are going to put them in jail”, Jacob said.

Jamaica considers drug law reform
Jamaica is considering to reform its drug laws. That country’s Justice Minister, Mark Golding, has said that the cabinet supports a proposal that allows for the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana. Golding also said that marijuana would be decriminalized for religious, […]

PM and opposition leader argue over AG’s report on Penner scandal – story coming

Murder near Majestic Alley…details coming shortly

Public service CBA negotiations deadlocked
The three major public service unions are to meet jointly and with their membership after failing to get the Government to agree to several key proposals that they want to form part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which has […]

By Louis Wade BGYEA and the Harmonyville movement is NOT a Civil unrest movement. It is a People’s movement, and one based on a genuine Belizean need; Housing and shelter… and if the movement fails, we all fail. Lest anyone forgets, the group has been agitating for land since march […]

Belize City gets ready for hurricane season Belize City gets ready for hurricane season
The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) this week publicized its efforts to get Belize City residents prepared for the oncoming hurricane season. CEMO has prepared detailed plans to address key concerns from shelter management to mandatory evacuations. Mayor of […]

Municipalities present development plans
Representatives of seven municipalities across the country of Belize met in Belmopan on Wednesday to present their development plans on how to modernize and improve their respective communities. The presentations were made at a National Workshop at the George Price Center. The workshop, which lasted […]

VIP: Government will never appoint Integrity Commission
This current government will never appoint an Integrity Commission to scrutinize their actions, Vision Inspired Thursday. “I don’t see it happening under this United Democratic Party government,” Rogers opined. He added that even if […]

Supreme court upholds Magistrate’s decision on extradition hearing
Deon Bruce, 28, lost another round in his fight against extradition when the Supreme Court upheld a decision of Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, who has granted the American authorities’ extradition request for Bruce. Justice Courtney Abel ruled that there was no merit to the allegations […]

Battered women’s syndrome introduced as appeal defense for Antichrist
Convicted killer, Lavern Longsworth, who is serving a life sentence for the murder of her common-law partner, David White, may receive a reduced sentence, because new evidence brought before the Belize Court of Appeals on Tuesday seeks to show […]

Man shot Tuesday on life support
A Belize City man is on life support after he was shot multiple times early Tuesday morning at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard. Thirty-year-old Rafael “Jaggy” Cruz was shot four times and received wounds to the stomach, chest, back and […]

Vector Control Unit short of ULV spraying trucks,Dengue cases in Belize City still down
The Central Health Region’s Vector Control Unit, responsible for spraying Ultra Low Volume (ULV) insecticide to control the population of the Aedes aegypti mosquito which causes dengue, has only one working spraying truck, but dengue cases are still lower when compared to the same […]

Ten-year-old wins 20th national Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Ten-year-old Shanalee Gayap, a Standard IV student at Solid Rock Academy in the Stann Creek District, became one of the youngest winners of the annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee when she edged out 11 older contestants from across the country on Friday, June 6. All 12 participants survived the first […]

PAC debate continues
The Auditor General will soon be submitting new reports for the Public Accounts Committee to review but PAC still isn’t functioning efficiently, according to AG Dorothy Bradley. Bradley told The Reporter that she is also still waiting to meet with Pro-tem Chairman John Saldivar […]

The decision last week by the Ministry of Health to deny entry of the Chief Pharmacist to a technical meeting which was called to deal with matters related to the importation of pharmaceutical supplies was unfortunate and ill advised. This was a bigotted and small-minded decision, and it resonated in […]

Cola: AG’s damning report finds Penner prosecutable many times over!
Elvin Penner, former minister of state in the Ministry of Immigration, is prosecutable many times over, according to the preliminary Auditor General’s Report on the passport scandal. The document, according to Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, contains damning evidence that links Penner directly to […]

Police intensifies efforts to quell escalating gang violence Police intensifies efforts to quell escalating gang violence
Police say they have intensified their crime-fighting efforts in Belize City in an attempt to suppress the recent spike in gang-related-violence. According to Miguel Segura, O.C. Eastern Division, the department has been making every effort to control the situation since the first incident on […]

PSE Results – Performance still unacceptable
Ashton Tillett, a student of Crooked Tree Government School, is the highest scorer on this year’s Primary School Exams, with an overall 371 out of 400 points. Andres Hung of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Kenyah Hyde of Bernice Yorke ranked second with 369 points. […]

Prime Minister to Rod of Correction: “I will not be moved!”
Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow held a press conference this week to address a host of national issues, many of which the newly formed, syndicated pressure group Rod of Correction has raised. Barrow spoke on the ROC movement as a whole, but also dealt with […]

GOB says DAVCO supports oil exploration in southern Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow met on Friday with the executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) to discuss oil exploration in the south. The government’s press office issued a press release which stated that the association has put full support behind […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Murder in Belize City
A Belize City man was gunned down this morning. Tulio Caceres was shot and killed at the corner of North Front Street and Pink’s Alley. According to reports, Caceres was walking through Majestic Alley and upon reaching at the junction with North Front Street, he was accosted by […]

Traffic accident near San Marcos village, Toledo
No one was seriously injured when a minivan was rear-ended on the Southern Highway last night. According to reports, around 9:30 pm on Thursday, Rafael Chuc was about to make a turn off the Southern Highway into the road to San Marcos village when a Toyota Hilux pickup […]

A Tale of Two Young Ladies
Yesterday I saw two young ladies that I have not seen in a long time. One was well dressed and groomed, looking upbeat and smiling, with a bible under her arm, obviously going to a church or prayer group meeting. I first met her when I used to go to dispose garbage at the garbage […]


San Pedro’s LobsterFest 2014: The Official Schedule
It IS official because I saw Belikin posters in town…and well…the festival starts TOMORROW so here is the full schedule. I’ve added a few “unofficial” events you want might want to attend…have fun! And businesses, please email me any changes/additional information so I can update this. If I’m going to call it official, then the information should be accurate…it’s the least I can but always remember to…

BELIZE HACKATON 2014 – Unlocking ICT Innovation
A national competition bringing in the greatest minds in IT at the tertiary level....

UB E-Bulletin

Tips for Surviving low season on Ambergris Caye
Unfortunately when there is economic hardship anywhere in the world there is a higher potential for crime. Low season on Ambergris Caye is no exception. Although for many, low is now as slow as it has been in the past, there is still a decrease in cash flow on the island and sadly this can result in more petty crime. This post is a reminder to both locals and tourists to be smart. Tips for Surviving low season on Ambergris Caye For those on vacation, do not bother with flashy jewelery, after all you are on a beach vacation and it is nice to go simple once in a while. At night do not bring out more than you need cash wise and do not flash a large wad around – I have seen people do it. Do not walk the beach at night. [We do the odd time but only on special occasions and in a larger group] For new businesses, during high season try to put your business a few months in advance cash flow wise this way if things get a little tight during low season you will be able to handle it easily. Not the best idea to double your drink prices at the start of low season. For those of us that live here, it is important pay attention and be vigilant. When you notice things in your neighborhood do not just keep it to yourself, tell your neighbors and neighborhood watch group. Take pictures if you see something not quite right, if that includes a person in the picture be cautious and put your safety first. For anyone anywhere separate your cash when going out at night and find yourself in a situation where someone wants your money, you can pull $20 out and say you were going to the store for eggs and bread and that is all you have – or what ever is appropriate to say depending on where you are.

“No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
With my selections for the World Cup taken care (dreaming of getting my hands on the prize money already!) of I was free yesterday morning to revert to my usual routine. You know, out on the veranda early (yesterday it was around 04.30 hours) with the mug of black coffee and my iPad. Intuitively feeling that it won’t be long before we get the call from Louis to let us know that he has fixed the engine of the boat we have bought I started to give thought to what we need to buy for the boat and drew up a short list for the shopping trip I was going to make later. With the list ‘out of the way’ I turned my attention to The Times online where I found at article about a Swedish ecommerce start-up that has introduced a number of employee perks. One of which made me think of Ambergris Caye. Apparently Tictail, that’s the name of the company, offers it staff “mindfulness breaks” (“set times in the day during which employees use no tech, have good food, take exercise”) and flat hierarchies (“using first names for senior positions”). It’s now introduced shoelessness or, as the company email describes it, “shoes at the door, everyone barefoot to keep the space pleasant”. Ambergris Caye , although behind the times in many things, saw the merit of this approach years ago with its ” No shoes, no shirts, no problems” slogan.

Caye Caulker Sailing Club: Our Second Fundraiser – The Split Challenge
Our first Split Caye Caulker Challenge, combined with our BBQ fundraiser was held this past weekend (June 7th 2014) at the Split with enormous success! The kids were all out from early – ready to get into one of the 9 sail boats. Those with and those without experience combined together to form ‘teams/ pairs’. Various race challenges from relays to races including picking up coconuts to even dancing in their boats in the split were created by the imaginative Commodore Jimmy Jones and his partners in crime Trenton Miller and Steve Gangware. The Split Challenge was set up to the more recreational side of the sailing whilst ensuring that the sailors skills are tested at the same time. The idea of this event will be to hold this bi-monthly for Caye Caulker residents to witness the skills of the youths in the club and for all to be involved in the fun of the sport.

International Sourcesizz

Bogus GFS Model Forecasts of Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Genesis
There are no tropical cyclone threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss today, and none of the reliable models for forecasting tropical cyclone genesis is predicting development over the coming five days. However, the 00Z Friday run of the GFS model predicts that a low pressure area will develop over the Western Caribbean by Wednesday, and push northwards into the Gulf of Mexico and become a tropical storm late in the week. The GFS has been fixated on variations of this idea in all of its runs for the past five days--though the timing of when the predicted storm will form has bounced around from 5 - 11 days into the future. Should we be concerned? A 2013 study by a group of scientists led by Florida State's Daniel Halperin found that we have three models that can make decent forecasts of the genesis of new tropical cyclones in the Atlantic: the GFS, European (ECMWF), and UKMET models. The study only evaluated the model skill for forecasts out to four days in the future, and the forecast skill declined markedly for three- and four-day forecasts.

Under the Sea: Vanessa Treviño
Vanessa Treviño, 21, a senior biology major at the University of Texas at Brownsville, does not know how to swim. But she did not let it deter her from taking a class and a trip she learned about seeing informational flyers in the Life and Health Sciences Building. “Fortunately, I was able to take a short lesson and become a certified scuba diver so that made my decision that much simpler,” said Treviño, a 2011 graduate of La Joya High School. “I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to see if marine biology could be a step in the right direction.” UTB’s Department of Biological Sciences recently conducted its first research trip to Belize for students taking Coral Reef Ecology during Maymester. Dr. David Hicks, associate professor and department chair, led a group of students for a week at the Calabash Caye Field Station managed by the University of Belize’s Environmental Research Institute in Belomopan, Belize. The facility is Belize’s first nationally owned and managed marine research facility. “The reef environments we visited were pristine, and some, particularly the Blue Hole, were truly unique,” Hicks said. “I am already planning for next year.”


Video: Fairtrade in Belize, 4min.
In the cane fields and social projects in the villages. Interviews with Alfredo Ortega, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Mauricio Mejia, WWF Agriculture Programme Officer, and cane farmers. Technical assistance for cane farmers, better pest control. Learning to work a different way.

Video: San Ignacio Resort Hotel, 2min.
Belize's Hotel of the Year, The San Ignacio Resort Hotel is a premier full-service Belize resort, located in the Cayo district.

Video: I Belize in a thing called love, 2min.
from Alex Coates, Shark Ray Alley

Video: , 8min.
Diving with dolphin and sharks in Belize with Scuba School Belize.

Video: Belize Dive Trip 2014 - GoPro Hero3+ Black, 5min.
It was quite an amazing experience to explore some of the best Belize has to offer. After 7 days of endless scuba diving and adventures with incredible friends, it was a trip for the books....

June 13, 2014


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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

Mundialito Football Tournament kicks off in San Pedro
With the 2014 FIFA World Cup right around the corner, the San Pedro Sports Committee hosted one of their own with the 2014 Mundialito Football Tournament. The tournament took place on Sunday, June 8th and had children between the ages of 5 to 14 forming teams under the names of national football selections from across the world. Six teams proudly participated in the tournament, each member sporting the jersey of their favorite football nation. Participating teams included Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina and Italy. The event commenced with a short parade through town core to the Honorable Luis Sylvester Arena, after which it was time for the real fun as the first match started. The first matches of the day were between the teams in the 5 to 10 age range. Kicking off the tournament was Mexico and Brazil. Although young, these children surely knew their sport, playing like veteran footballers. In the end it was Mexico who took the win in a 1-0 point game. Up next was Spain versus Germany. Unable to score within the allotted game time, the match was forced to go into penalty shots. In was a tight game as both teams kept scoring goal after goal. But after a single miss from Germany, Spain took the match in a 7-6 game.

Mexicans dominate Belizeans in Mahahual fishing tournament
Thirty two vessels set out to fish as part of the 6th Annual International Dorado Sports Fishing Tournament in Mahahual Mexico. Held on the 7th and 8th of June, the tournament has garnered interest from fishing aficionados of Belize. After two days of intense fishing, it was the crew onboard “Irma” from Punta Allen, Quintana Roo, Mexico that took home the “2014 Dorado de Plata” title. In the wee hours of the first day, the 32 vessels set sail and amongst them were the Amigos del Mar team onboard their vessel “Another Princess” captained by Shadani Bradley, and team Elodia on board “Elodia” captained by Michael Hancock. After being all day at sea, only 15 vessels returned with a Dorado catch, including the crew on board “Irma” led by Guadalupe “Lupe” Guzman. They brought in a Dorado weighing 43.9 pounds which was enough for the Mexican team to jump in first place, ahead of the other teams. The two Belizean teams, Elodia and Amigos del Mar, were behind in sixth and seventh place having caught 30.10 pounds and 27.16 pounds respectively on day one.

Four men charged for arson

San Pedro Red Cross comes to the aid of mother and newborn
A very thankful mother and her newborn were the recipients of a much needed donation of clothing and other baby items. The donation was made on Wednesday June 11th by Laurie Norton, Coordinator of the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross through the assistance of Dr Javier Zuniga of the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II. The recipients of the donation were Dinora Hargeta Enriquez and her baby girl. According to Dr. Zuniga, the mother lost her job due to pregnancy. She had also been abandoned by her partner, which added to her financial distress. Dr. Zuniga attended the mother throughout her pregnancy, and after learning of her struggles, he contacted Norton to see if the Red Cross could assist the needy mom-to-be. Norton explained to The San Pedro Sun that after she shared Enriquez’ story on the Moms of Ambergris Caye Facebook Group Page, one mother in particular was so moved by the story that she contacted Norton and offered her assistance.

Shanelle Palma and Kylie Alamilla of SPRC are among the country’s top PSE scorers
Ashton Tillett of Crooked Tree Government School in the Belize District captured 371 out of a possible 400 points and was the top student countrywide. There was a tie for second place as Andres Hung of Our Lady of Guadalupe School in the Cayo District and Kenyah Hyde of Bernice York in Belize City both captured 369 out of 400 points. With a score of 363 of a possible 400 points, Shanelle Palma received an average of 90.8%. She tied for 9th place countrywide along with Larry Palma of Holy Angels School in the Stann Creek District and Jonathan Alpuche of Holy Redeemer School in Belize City. Approximately half (51%) of the students countrywide scored a Satisfactory Level of Performance or better (grade C or better). This is up from the 47% in 2013 that scored a Satisfactory Level of Performance or better. As in 2013, the mean score is in the adequate range at 58.4 which is slightly higher than 2013 when it was 57.8. The Mode Grade of C indicates that most students (27%) scored between 60-69, a Satisfactory Level of Performance, and this is one grade higher than last year when the Mode Grade was D. The median score is 60. This is slightly higher than last year when it was 58. Congratulations to all the students of Ambergris Caye who sat the PSE and passed their exam.

Favorite Belize treats – Delicious salbutes
But for those seeking something a little different, we have items that draw from our Yucatec roots. You know our country was once populated by Mayas right? One of their staple foods was corn, and so of course corn-based meals are predominant around our little jewel. One of the best ways to eat this is in tortilla form – but of course, being the kind of inventive and daring people we are, we had to go and deep fry the corn dough. It’s not just any kind of dough – it’s the kind that has been given an almost reddish hue from a good dousing of recado (an annatto-based spice that gives meats both color and flavor, and without which ‘proper’ stewed chicken cannot be created). The fried corn dough disc is the base on which a superb Mestizo dish is created: salbutes! Topped with chicken, cabbage or lettuce, tomato and jalapeño, a few of these chased down with an ice-cold Belikin can lead to a wonderful snooze on the beach after. Prefer the tortillas without all the frying? Try some tacos. Orange Walk District in the north is famous for them, and they are not the kind of tacos you’re thinking. Nope, these are shredded stewed chicken meat in a delicious gravy that is slathered on thin corn tortillas, topped with superfine chopped cabbage (pepper optional), rolled up and sold at three for a dollar. Neri’s tacos stand is one of the most popular on the island, and this author’s favorite – especially since they take my order via phone (yes, I’m special). A $2 order can be filling, especially if washed down with a glass of cold watermelon juice or any of their varieties available that day. The tacos are a breakfast special, but in the evenings, you can get your fill of salbutes from them as well.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Red Cross Helps Single Mother with Baby Items
On Wednesday, June 11, 2014, members of the San Pedro Red Cross delivered a kind donation of baby items to a single mother and her baby at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic. A baby is always a blessing and this is exactly what Baby Enriquez is - a true blessing to her mom! Dinora Enriquez was an expecting single mother-to-be when her husband left her and is currently jobless and living with a friend. She was a high risk patient at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic II so the staff and doctors managed to get donations for her to travel to the city for medical attention. The San Pedro Red Cross learnt about Dinora’s case and, wanting to help the mother and child, they put out a call for help and it was when the group Mother's of Ambergris Caye came forth with a donation.

Miss Honduras Contestant Announced for Costa Maya Festival
Miss World Honduras 2014, Maria Jose Alvarado, has been confirmed to represent her country as Miss Honduras Costa Maya at the Reina de la Costa Maya Pageant that will be taking place at the International Costa Maya Festival in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize on Thursday, August 7, 2014. At 18 years of age and standing at 5’ 8” tall, Maria Jose is currently a model and studying international relationships. She has brown eyes, light brown hair, and her hobbies include playing volleyball. Maria Jose will proudly represent her country at this year’s Costa Maya Festival as well as in the Miss World 2014 in London. Maria Jose Alvarado has been highlighted as a super model in the TV program X-0 da Dinero and models for boutiques. In 2012 she participated in the Miss Teen Honduras, where he was the first runner up. All seven other Mundo Maya countries and Central American region have confirmed their participation at the pageant and the remaining contestants will be announced in weeks to come, prior to their arrival to San Pedro, La Isla Bonita.

Elina Palma Celebrates Quinceaños in Disney Grand Style
In Disney grand style, Elina Palma celebrated her Quinceaños (15th birthday) under the theme of Cindarella this past Saturday, June 7, 2014. She donned her Cindarella fantasy dress and was transported to the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church in her carriage followed behind by her parents, family and god parents. After the mass celebration and blessing, Elina and her invited guests moved to the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium where here family put on a spectacular party in celebration of presenting Elina to society as a young lady. Congratulations Elina and Happy Birthday!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Srta. Flor de le Feria Presentation
The Seniorita Flor de la Fiesta pageant is having its first official candidate presentation this Saturday, June 14th. See the 8 ladies vying for the crown at the Cancha Marshalleck, starting at 9:00pm. There will be a dance afterwards. Read all about the contestants on their page. "Tickets for our first dance Presentation now available! txt or call our pageant director, Oscar at 607-5923 for orders or more information!"

San Pedro power outage June 15
Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 15, 2014. Areas to be affected: entire San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused but this scheduled power interruption is necessary for the Company to replace poles and insulators on the transmission line, replace radiators on the San Pedro Substation transformer and conduct maintenance works on several sections of the island’s power distribution system. Previous postponements of these scheduled works, were due to weather conditions, which impact the Company’s ability to carry out these works. Works scheduled for this weekend may also be subject to change depending on weather conditions.

"RETSI" a magnificent senior dog
"Retsi" a real survivor. Born December, 2004 on the mean streets of Belize City and rescued along with siblings by the Belize City Humane Society, she was found cringing at the back of a dark and dingy makeshift pen at the Central Prison. What crime had she committed? None! there was a new program allowing inmates to care for strays. It was a win/win situation but extremely frightening for a young puppy taken from her mum too soon. The lucky day arrived when she was adopted and taken to Belmopan. A frightened little thing, afraid of her own shadow. Anyone able to open their heart and home to a grand senior dog please call 602 7947. She really needs to be rehomed by the middle of June!!! I know you cant take her but may you know someone who can. Please share this posting and help "Retsie" find her fur ever home.

Central American Volleyball Championship
The Belize Volleyball Association U23 Female National Team will be participating in the Central American Championship in Costa Rica July 31 to August 10th, 2014. The team will start having tryouts and practices this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, June 17th & 18th) at BES Gym at 7 pm. Players must be born 1993 and after. The senior female national team will be participating in the senior Central American Championship in October. Interested players for that team are also to attend these practices. All interested players are to arrive at the gym before 7 pm. The coaching staff is led by Mr. Jack Reyes. The Cuban coaches will assist Mr. Reyes and the other coaches.

National Ranger Training
The Environmental Research Institute at the University of Belize and PACT have some learning opportunities coming up. They have a series of classes for National Ranger Training in July. They also have a Conservation Finance class starting on the 30th of June. They also have a couple of student internships over the Summer. Check out their website for more information.

Cayo Classifieds - Issue 20
This week's issue of Buy and Sell Weekly. "Don't pawn it!... sell it fast with our Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds."

Chuck Braindead at Soul Project
The Soul Project is having Chuck Braindead tonight, playing some experimental psychedelic music. You can make art at the same time, and add to the collage exhibit that they have set up. Sounds like a great lead into the EDM Invasion at Meluchi's. Between sets, they'll have their Open Mic hight going.

Channel 7

COLA Goes Public With auditor General's Findings
Two days ago, COLA sent out a press release saying it had acquired a leaked copy of the Auditor General's report on the Citizen Kim debacle and other irregularities at the Immigration Department. The activist group which launched a private prosecution against Elvin Penner had put out a reward of five hundred dollars for any useful information. They say their source didn't even take the money - they just wanted to share the information. And it's information COLA desperately needs because it's been trying in vain to gather evidence for its private prosecution. And they say this provides a wealth of information, which indicts Penner, but doesn't meaningfully give them more evidence. Why is that? They explained at a Press conference at the Radisson this morning:.. Geovanni Brackett - President - COLA "This is actual corruption to the highest level." Jules Vasquez reporting It was a part press conference, part rally complete with placards, military type "combat" suits, politicians - and lots of voices raised in outrage: Geovanni Brackett - President - COLA "When you are dealing with something as serious as this it's not about media frenzy."

COLA Attorney Musa Fires Charges At Hon. Hulse
As you saw in that story, the report said the Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse was uncooperative. Yesterday, he told us it was because the requests for information did not come through the proper channels. Today Musa challenged those comments. For context, we reprise Hulse's remarks:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "There is a protocol in Government for communications, man. It's called memorandum. The Auditor General, when her officer reported that to her, should have written to the Director formally to request - or written to the Ministry. Now, I understand from the Director that there was no such correspondence written to her to request any documentation. I understand that from her. I can categorically say that there was none written to the Ministry, as there was no correspondence to me saying, 'We needed documents A,B and C, which we understand are in your custody, or the custody of the CEO'. There was no such correspondence. When the Auditor General did write to me, of course, I immediately responded and say, 'Oh no, we'll give you maximum cooperation, and if there is an issue with getting documentation, please forward that to the CEO, who will facilitate forthwith.' That was done." Kareem Musa, PUP Candidate "Well I want Mr. Hulse to now tell the nation because on the 21st March, 2014 the auditor general sent him the report and she sent it in a memorandum form, the very same format that he wanted to be requested. The question is since March of 2014 have you delivered up those records sir?"

PSE Results Released; Year's Best Is From A Village School
The PSE results were released today as promised - and this year, it's only an 11 page press release; usually, it's over 20! To cut right to the chase we can tell you that this year, for the first time in a while the first place finisher is from a village government school - specifically, Crooked Tree Government School. We can't tell you how rare that is: that a government school has the top finisher and that it's also a village school. So how did he do it? Today we went to crooked Tree to find out directly from __ year old Ashton Tillett:... Ashton Tillett, 1st Place - PSE 2014 "I feel totally satisfied. I feel joyful. Its hard to explain my feelings, its just good feelings." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about getting to this point. Is it something that you worked very hard for?" Ashton Tillett "Yes sir, this is something that I had studied for, I had tried hard for - this accomplishment is truly amazing."

Valley Of Peace Farmers Get Eviction Notice
On Saturday, the farmers from Valley of Peace attended BGYEA's "Plant Di Corn" Rally, and one of the spokespersons told us that they intended to defy Green Tropics by not moving off the land. Well, the multinational company is not taking that lightly, and if they farmers don't vacate soon, the company will sue them because they are squatting. On Monday, their attorney, Mikhail Argalles wrote a letter of notice to the vegetable farmers giving them notice vacate the land before July 15th at 3:00 pm. If they don't, Arguelles's instructions are to press the matter with both a criminal complaint and a civil suit. That's a very strong demand, but last week, the CEO the Ministry of Agriculture told us that both sides were negotiating to come to an amicable resolution. Well, with this letter, it suggests those negotiations have broken down. Today, we spoke with Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega about the change in direction: Daniel Ortiz "How is it that we are here at this point where the threat of lawsuit is at this point right now?"

30% Of City Streets Will Be Paved
As we told you last night, the top item on the agenda at yesterday's three hour Prime Ministerial Press conference was the announcement that Darrell Bradley will run for mayor again. And a large part of that is government's unprecedented spending commitment to City Hall. In February Government committed 10 million dollars to city infrastructure, and yesterday the Prime Minister announced how the second tranche of that would be spent:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The streets that government is now going to pay for in the city during phase two are: St. Charles Street at a cost of $202,154.00; St. Matthew Street - $218,000 plus $43,555 for sidewalks; Magazine Road at $119,175; Castle Street at $145,218; Lancaster Street at $45,334; Amara Avenue from Orange to Allenby Streets at a cost of $395,467; George Street at a cost of $450,134; West Street at a cost of $299,378 and the continuation of Princess Margaret Drive at a cost of $1,900,000."

Finally, Some Relief For Orange Walk's Road
Orange Walk is one of those towns getting an upgrade. It's been a long time coming with endless frustration along the way - but finally today, there was a ground breaking ceremony for paving of the section of the Northern Highway which runs all the way through the Town. That's 4.5 miles of badly needed repairs to the road, and it was a major political event - with all the UDP Standard Bearers attending. Their political boss, Gaspar Vega was also there and he spoke about how the project will look: Elodio Aragon, UDP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer "This ground breaking is divided into 3 phases; the first phase that of starting from the Come and Go gas station up to the stop light and from the stop light down Queen Victoria Avenue and then up to Otro Benque down to the gas station on the highway. These 3 phases is 4.5 miles, nearly 5 miles of road that will be hot mix - very expensive. Not only will the road be hot mixed but also we are looking building drains to ensure we have a proper road built here in Orange Walk Town." Denny Grijalva "Mr. Imer Hernandez is a company that is known to built good roads. I know Imer for many years and I am glad that you got the contract Imer because I know its going to be build the right way and its going to be hot mix which is something that will last not 5 years, not 10 years but many, many years."

PM Says SATIIM Not A Factor In GOB's Negotiation With Mayan Communities
For the past few weeks we've been hearing a lot from SATIIM - as that organization has taken the lead in advocating for the rights of the buffer communities in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. But yesterday at his press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that SATIIM is not even on government's radar as he reinforced support for the oil company:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We absolutely support the drilling for oil in the national park which drilling has in principle been green lighted by the courts so that hopefully oil might be found to benefit the entire Toledo District and indeed the larger country of Belize. IF the Alcaldes Association - I have met with some of the villagers. If the Toledo Alcalde Association recognize by law which appears to be a part of Ms. Coc's Maya Leaders Alliance, but if they wish to speak to me - in fact I have sent a message saying I would wish to meet with them - we are perfectly happy to sit down and talk about this thing, but don't tell me that we must engage with SATIIM when SATIIM is an NGO and can have no proper standing."

PM Says Hon. King's Candor Real But Not Right
Yesterday, the Prime Minister also commented on those now immortal remarks by Lake I Representative and Minister of State Mark King. Two weeks ago, speaking in reference to a job opportunities at Norwegian Cruise Lines, he told 7News that he would wish it to be UDP first, Belizeans second and PUP last. Now - as they say - that is how it's set up, from the days of Price to Barrow. But, still, it's not a politically prudent remark, and the PM said yesterday, it's no way to govern:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "That is not the official policy of this government. The official policy of this government is to treat Belizeans as equally as possible and to try to be a government for all - that in the details, in the operation of the system we will not reach nirvana is a given, life is real. But there is a difference between making errors in that regard and actually saying that it is a policy to discriminate. Such a policy cannot and will not be the policy of the United Democratic Party government." In that plain spoken interview, King also spoke candidly about his security firm, "Brints" - and how he hopes the company does secure a contract with Norwegian Cruise lines. The Prime Minister didn't back pedal on that one; he said King has all rights to protect and advance his business interests:

PM: Stake Bank Needs Assent Of FSTV to Proceed
Stake Bank is the other cruise terminal in development - and King probably won't be in line to get that job because developer Mike Feinstein already has his own security company. But, like NCL - work on the Stake Bank project hasn't started yet. Feinstein says he has financing in place, and both houses passed the Stake Banks Cruise Docking Facility Development Bill with bi-partisan support. So what's the delay? Well…it's complicated. The Prime Minister explained:... Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Our advice is that the agreement the last government with Fort Street Tourism Village means that they would have to agree to the designation of Stake Bank as a port in the Belize District. Stake Bank's attorneys say that's not their read of the situation, but we have to go by our advice and so we are saying to Stake Bank well either get Fort Street Tourism Village to say they have no objection or give the government of Belize an indemnity so that once we proceed to green light you, if there are any lawsuits brought against us by Fort Street and there is any liability for against the government, you Stake Bank will have to absorb it." Jules Vasquez "I thought that the parliament was supreme. I though the bill declared it a port."

PM Says Shyne Staying Put
And while that matter is staying put for the time being - so is Musical Ambassador Shyne. A tiny protest was held against him 12 days ago - and yesterday the Prime Minister said there's no reason to strip him of his title:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The goodwill musical ambassador - it's just that you know. He doesn't get paid. He doesn't get a stipend. He doesn't get an allowance. He doesn't get any assistance to take trips to promote Belizean music. The goodwill musical ambassador man - look, that man spent 8 years in jail, no doubt, but Lord man given as I said what he has done before and what I hope as a father and as a human being he can again. Man you will quarrel over calling a little title that have no practical meaning, but hopefully helps him in terms of trying to get his equilibrium back together. If you want to grudge me - I will take my lick, but I am not moved." Later on we'll have just a little more from the Press Conference when the Prime Minister talks about his defamation suit against Arthur Saldivar.

Channel 7 Is Exclusive Broadcaster for World Cup 2014
The FIFA World Cup 2014 started today in Sao Paolo, Brazil - and wherever you were in Belize, you saw it courtesy of Channel 7, the exclusive rights holder in Belize. Through a sub-licensing agreement that this station has worked out with the Cable Television Operators Association, you'll also be able to see it on cable. The World Cup 2014 on Channel 7 is sponsored by BTL and it continues tomorrow morning at 10:00 with Mexico versus Cameroon. Weekday matches are aired at 10:00 am, 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm - and you can see all of them plus daily pre game shows with international commentary right here on Channel 7.

Lopez Replaces Espat As SJC President
Earlier in the week we told you that the President of SJC Jorge Espat was stepping down. Today, his replacement was named. He is veteran teacher and former SJC headmaster, Andrew Lopez. Lopez is an SJC alumnus and a release says, quote, "For almost his entire adult life, Andrew has maintained a professional association with St. John's College, fulfilling alternating roles as administrator, member of the Faculty, and Coordinator of the Belizean Studies Resource Center..." Lopez currently teaches in the Social Sciences Department of SJC sixth Form.

Alleged Immigration Queenpin Marleny Castellanos Back To Court
The alleged arranger bogus immigration documents, 46 year old Marleny Castellanos, went back to court today on those additional charges for all those people who handed themselves into the Immigration Department, claiming she swindled them. She was arraigned for 20 counts of aiding a person to use a document that he or she is not entitled to use. She pleaded not guilty, but she wasn't eligible for bail; Magistrate Dale Cayetano remanded her to prison until until July 17. The Immigration Department also escorted Forty year old Guatemalan national Reina Ariano to court today for bogus documents. Ariano, a resident of Caye Caulker, was charged with 2 counts of using a document she is not entitled to use when she appear before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. She pled guilty to the charges and she was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 for each count forthwith.

Mayor Gets Defensive Against Press
After three and a half months of flip flopping, yesterday - Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley made the big announcement: he's coming back for a second term as mayor. But in those months of flip flopping, we interviewed him like 6 times about his decision, or, as the case may be, indecision. And, doing the political math now, he probably lost political capital for every time he said no, or I don't know. And that may have been why Bradley - who has been known to have a short fuse - showed the media his sharp tongue yesterday. It was a rare display of what you could call caged heat - but he did it on a big stage - which is what made us go back for a second look:.. Bernard Pitts, Deputy Mayor (won't run for mayor) "Like a bad nightmare with Freddy Krueger in and out of our dreams. We are now awakened and we have discussed our plan forward." Jules Vasquez reporting And the mayor himself was Kruger-esque yesterday snapping at the press defensively after three months of playing quite the political diva: Mayor Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor "This is something that I think media people do and I do appreciate and I will say this honestly and with respect to you as a journalist that in this case I think that you always ask the wrong questions."

Mayor Endorses Chang, Big Time
And we know for sure one councilor he could put on the case is councilor Eric Chang, In September of last year at the height of the Citizen Kim scandal, the mayor stripped Chang of his portfolio - after he stayed in Taiwan for months. But since then Chang has restored himself as a steady presence in the council - and one gets the sense that he may go for another run as councilor. And indeed he could, after all - while his name has been called - the Citizen Kim case has no known fingerprints on it from Eric Chang. One man who would enthusiastically vouch for him is Mayor Darrell Bradley. He did so at the press conference yesterday. Mayor Darrell Bradley - Belize City Mayor "The Eric Chang that I know and I have dealt with over two years and four months is a worker. Be careful when you use language like what you have used against a person who my experience has been, is a tireless public servant and a person who has been a councillor and in my view has served the city well. The person who makes the ultimate decision whether or not Eric Chang is worthy to serve the people of Belize is not Darrell Bradley, its not the Prime Minister, it will be you. The electorate in this city will make a decision."

More GREAT Graduates
After three and a half months of flip flopping, yesterday - Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley made the big announcement: he's coming back for a second term as mayor. But in those months of flip flopping, we interviewed him like 6 times about his decision, or, as the case may be, indecision. And, doing the political math now, he probably lost political capital for every time he said no, or I don't know. And that may have been why Bradley - who has been known to have a short fuse - showed the media his sharp tongue yesterday. It was a rare display of what you could call caged heat - but he did it on a big stage - which is what made us go back for a second look:.. And, yes, indeed, in August of 2012, the City Council did paint Channel 7 - as it did many other residences and businesses in the downtown area of Belize City - particularly Albert and Orange Streets. It was part of a public campaign to spruce up the city for the September celebrations - where the paint was donated. But, since it seems to give our Dear Darrell so much pleasure to brag about it…memo to Mayor: we could use a touch up - because they never did finish the back of the building.

Art To "Brainwash"
Last night, the exhibition called "Brainwash" was launched at the Bliss Center. It features the work of 13 young artists who aren't afraid to challenge conventions. Curator, Briheda Haylock told us more about the thought provoking pieces.... The exhibit is now open to the public.

PM Says He Wants His Defamation Money From Saldivar
The Supreme Court says Attorney and politician Arthur Saldivar has to pay Prime Minister Dean Barrow sixty thousand dollars for defaming him. That's the largest defamation award on record and Saldivar has said he will appeal. But, the order of the court is that Saldivar must pay up by the end of July. Now, it's tricky because sixty thousand dollars is a whole lot of dough, and for Saldivar - who likes to pay in change - well he'd need an armoured tuck to do it. The PM said yesterday, don't bother, bring cash:.. Jules Vasquez "Are you able to speak on the defamation award that you won from Arthur Saldivar?" Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I am not taking my money in coins and I want my money." Jules Vasquez "Sir, I know that you are defamed I would imagine on a quite regular basis."

Hon. Vega On Sugar Stalemate
Viewers may know very well that because of a breakdown of industrial relations between the cane farmers and Belize Sugar Industries, and its principal shareholder American Sugar Refining, there was a late start to the sugar crop, which both sides are trying to make up for. The cane farmers held the industry hostage by refusing to deliver their cane because BSI refused to agree to pay them for bagasse. That protest only ended after both sides agreed that they would work on a resolution for a bagasse payment before the end of this cane delivery season. Well, it's almost here, and even after months of negotiating, the cane farmers and the factory owners still cannot agree to a compromise on the bagasse issue. Following a media appearance by one of the representatives of the cane farmers, BSI released a statement saying that the cane farmers association has yet to put forward a proposal for bagasse payment that is reasonable and takes into consideration the risk and investment from the factory owners.

Channel 5

Crooked Tree student, Ashton Tillett, tops the 2014 P.S.E
The anticipated results of the Primary School Exams were released this afternoon. Seven thousand two hundred and forty five candidates sat the exams and as has been the trend in [...]

The leaked Auditor General Report – Ady Pacheco says Elvin Penner took immigration files
According to Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, the Auditor-General’s report recommends that Elvin Penner, Director of Immigration Maria Marin and others be charged criminally for their roles in [...]

Auditor General’s Report says there was lack of cooperation during investigation
The Auditor General’s report also makes pointed reference to challenges regarding the lack of cooperation during their investigation. In fact, Director of Immigration Maria Marin is named with great prominence [...]

COLA cries there’s cover up in the Penner immigration scandal
So while Minister Hulse says maximum cooperation, the Auditor-General’s team is saying they received anything but that. That’s actually par for the course where COLA is concerned. They were encouraged [...]

Green Tropics issues eviction notice to Valley of Peace farmers
There is tension tonight among the farming community of the Valley of Peace. As you know by now, the farmers lost their vegetables when the herbicide Roundup was used in [...]

G.O.B. meets with the Unions to finalize salary adjustments
The Joint Unions Negotiating Team, comprised of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union, as well as the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, met with the Ministry [...]

PM says there will be no discussions where SATIIM is concerned
Wednesday’s press briefing, hosted by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, lasted three hours and covered much ground. One of the issues which came up is the controversy surrounding SATIIM, drilling by [...]

Mayor Darrell Bradley lashes out at media to protect Eric Chang
On Wednesday, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley announced that he would be running for a second term of municipal office. He took time to laud the team he’s worked with [...]

PM says ministers’ trip to Cannes is not illegal or unethical
Who can ever forget the pictures of Minister of Investment Erwin Contreras and Minister of Tourism Manuel Heredia hobnobbing with the rich and famous in Cannes? They were the guests [...]

Environmentalists want feasibility study on proposed Puerto Azul project
In the wake of the prime minister’s pronouncement on the proposed Puerto Azul development project, the coalition of environmental organizations, including Oceana, APAMO and the Belize Audubon Society, has written [...]

Although economy contracted, Barrow says he’s looking at the bigger picture
At the end of May, the Statistical Institute of Belize reported that the economy contracted in the first quarter of 2014. It wasn’t a huge contraction – just zero point [...]

Red Cross Volunteer makes international headlines for traveling the world over
Red Cross Volunteer, Torbjorn Pedersen, who also goes by the name Thor, has been making the headlines in many countries for his mission to travel the world. The thirty-five-year-old resident [...]

PM Barrow on Belize’s Music Ambassador, Shyne
The Prime Minister’s son, Shyne, is Belize’s music ambassador, and has been since April 2010. It was officially announced in a ceremony where Shyne was placed as head of the [...]

Marleny Castellanos slapped with additional immigration offenses
This morning, the alleged mastermind in an immigration scam, Marleny Castellanos, was slapped with twenty more charges for illegally aiding at least thirty persons to obtain Belizean nationality documents. Castellanos [...]

18 year old charged for Tuesday’s shooting on Victoria Street
We have reported on a rash of shootings, all gang related, in which nine persons were injured.  It all happened in Belize City between Saturday and Tuesday. As investigations continue, [...]

More primary school students complete the GREAT Program
An award ceremony was held today for two hundred and ten students who were successful in the popular GREAT program of the Police Department. It was a happy occasion for [...]

Healthy Living looks at MG, a rare autoimmune disease
This June is a special awareness month for a disease you’ve probably never heard about. It’s called Myasthenia Gravis (MG), a very rare auto-immune disease causing muscle weakness which affects [...]


COLA Gathers Additional Information On Evidence Against Elvin Penner
Names were not the only important pieces of evidence revealed by COLA today in the ongoing immigration scandal. According to the organization, there is additional information that can serve to help their case against Penner. COLA says the report indicated that in an interview with Immigration Officer Adi Pacheco, she says she engaged in certain actions because she was intimidated by Elvin Penner and feared being transferred to another department. But that’s not all, Pacheco further added that Penner retrieved important files such as documents that of the Kim Hon Wong application from the immigration office. COLA’s Attorney, Kareem Musa, believes this is theft and that Penner has tampered with a key piece of evidence that can help them in the prosecution against him. It doesn’t end there however, Pacheco said that she sent a letter with a list of the files Penner retrieved from the department and forwarded that list to Godwin Hulse, which COLA says remains in Hulse’s possession.

Orange Walk North Constituency To Elect Standard Bearer
A convention to elect a Standard Bearer in the Orange Walk North constituency for the People’s United Party will be held this coming Sunday and aspiring candidates have been churning their campaign wheels to visit with the electorate. Our news team took the time to catch up with the candidates as they pounded the streets for support. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Editor Fernandez Sanchez have the story in this report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Leader of the BSI Negotiations for Baggasse, now political aspirant Alfredo Ortega, will be going up against Ramon ‘Munchie’ Cervantes and Jaime Castillo for a seat in the upcoming general elections. With only a few days left for the big day, these aspiring candidates have been putting in the ground work.

MET Holds Forum On Climate Outlook
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. Climate change is caused by factors such as biotic processes, variations and solar radiation received by Earth. Without a doubt it is an important topic and with that in mind, today the Belize National Meteorological Service, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organization and Environment Canada, hosted the first National Climate Outlook Forum at the ITVET conference room in Corozal Town. Reporter Victor Castillo was among the approximate 40 stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture, BTB and Belize Water Service who took part in the forum.

Corozal To Celebrates Global Blood Donor Day
Global Blood Donor Day, established in 2004, is observed every year on June 14th, around the world including Belize. The aim of the event is to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their voluntary life-saving gifts of blood. The focus of this year's World Blood Donor Day campaign is "Safe blood for saving mothers". Every day, about 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth-related complications. Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential for all countries as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

COLA Get Its Hands On Auditors General Report
Disgraced Former Minister Elvin Penner was in court on May 29th after Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, brought on a private prosecution against him after government and authorities failed to start a criminal investigations into his involvement in the issuance of illegal passports to a number of individuals, one of which is the infamous Kin Won Hong. Two weeks from today, on June 26th, the case returns to court and from the looks of things, COLA may have gotten their hands on some evidence that can help in their prosecution. In a press conference held today, COLA executives and its attorney Kareem Musa, shared information leaked to them about three days ago. And COLA apparently shed some five hundred dollars for that information as it came after they announced monetary reward for any information that could help their case against Penner.

Vice Chairman Of BSCFA Hauled Into Court For Backed Up Maintenance Payment
This afternoon word spread like wildfire when BSCFA’s Vice Chairman of the Committee of Management and the lead negotiator in the bagasse issue, Alfredo Ortega, was detained at the Orange Walk Police Station. This time around, he wasn’t dealing with business matters of the BSCFA, but battling personal ones. We were made to understand that a committal warrant was issued for his arrest due to back payments on child support. Ortega visited our studious to clear his name since he felt the move was one that he called ‘political mischief” since he is contesting this Sunday’s convention for PUP Standard Bearer for Orange Walk North. While visibly embarrassed, he says he has nothing to hide and wanted to settle any rumours the public may have heard of his detention.

Mercedez Benz Goes In Flames, Fire Department Says It's Electrical Failure
On Monday we reported on the fire incident in the village of Libertad in the Corozal District which saw a 2008 Mercedes Benz Car going up in flames. WPC Rosario Romero reported to police that around 3:30 Saturday morning she woke up only to find her vehicle, which was parked in the yard, on fire. Romero immediately opened her door and saw that the car and the electricity wire running to her house were engulfed in flames. The Corozal Fire Department managed to extinguish the fire and luckily no one was hurt. But the family believes that the vehicle was set on fire. So was it? That is what we found out today. Victor Castillo – Reporting This is what’s left of a 2008 Mercedes Benz B200 belonging to WPC Rosario Romero who is attached to the Corozal Police Department. Romero lives in the Village of Libertad and in the wee hours of Saturday morning she woke up only to find her car engulfed in flames. On an off camera interview with Romero’s common law husband, Paul Haberling, he told us he parked the vehicle in his yard around 10:00am on Friday and that’s where it remained parked. For Haberling it’s impossible for a vehicle that is parked for more than 12 hours to set itself on fire especially due to electrical problems.

Presbyterian School Celebrates Its Six Years Of Existence
Today marks six years that the New Life Primary School has been in existence and to celebrate the occasion, a small expo was held where the students showcased their work throughout the years. Principal of new Life, Ruth Ku shared with us how the school has evolved throughout the years. Ruth Ku – Principal, New Life Primary “We’re celebrating six years as a Presbyterian School, our kids have worked very hard and everything that is in the booth they have done, they have games and it is to show how we integrate learning in the classroom so everything is kids work and they have games and you play and win they will teach you, it is exposing everything they have been doing in the classroom.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “I saw the sugar industry, the endocrine system, the respiratory system and these are all in their curriculum?” Ruth Ku – Principal, New Life Primary “Everything that is in their curriculum today they are exposing from Pre-school up to standard six.”

Central Park To Be Renovated By SIF And The Town Council
At the top of the newscast we told about the upgrading of streets currently carried out by the Orange Walk Town. But the council’s work does not end there, Deputy Mayor Ian Cal also elaborated more on the proposal for the renovation of the Orange Walk Central Park which according to him is scheduled to start soon. Cal says that contractors have entered their bids for the renovation of the park and a decision has been made. Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor “A brand new park is being built, some of the structure that is there will be upgrade and it won’t be destroyed but the Park itself will be uplifted to ground levels, as you know the Park level is below street level, so it is going to be uplifted, the Gazebo and the BTIA building will be upgraded as well so you will see an entire upgrade of the Central Park and right after that you will see the upgrading of the street surrounding the Park which it will be made up of I think brick materials so it will be like a beautiful walking zone area in the Central Park, the way it works is that this is funded by the World Bank, it is a loan through the World Bank and it is channeled through the Social Investment Fund which has partnered with the municipalities to ensure that these types of project get carried through but one thing I must say is that money doesn’t come just like that, a council has to qualify, a council has to meet certain qualifications and standards to ensure that certain monies comes to the community and one is by being transparent holding public meetings and two is by paying three percent of the cost.”

Taking A Look At Suicide In Belize
Did you know that suicide is one of the leading causes of death worldwide? The good news though is that data shows that in Belize the suicide rate is relatively low in comparison to other countries. However, one suicide is one too many and the more we increase our knowledge of suicide, the stigma, which is a major barrier to suicide prevention will hopefully gradually disappear. For this week alone, two persons, one male and one female, have taken their lives and no one seems to know why. Rosalia Juchim, Psychiatric Nurse at the Corozal Community Hospital for the past nine years, has been working hand in hand with students and teachers in order to bring awareness about the topic. According to Juchim, in the Corozal District she has seen an increase in suicide cases. Rosalia Juchim - Psychiatric Nurse “Recent figures show that yes we have approximately 5 to 6 people attempting for this year 2014 but also for the people who completed we have children of school age and we do have a program that we try to carry on especially in schools, suicide prevention and we do the talk for teacher and session for students also but what we have not target would be like parents, they are always buys with work or not presenting themselves at school when teacher sends for them and even sometimes they do visit the schools they won’t really solve whatever issue the teacher might have mentioned for us psychiatric nurses have tried last month and early this month to have a meeting with the councilors from each high school, secondary and tertiary so that we can have some suicide prevention programs in school.”

Figures For Week 20 Of Crop Season
There are more stories ahead but first let’s take a look at the weekly crop review. Carmelita Perez - Reporter June 8th 2014 marked the end of week 20 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 20 the factory milled thirty eight thousand eight hundred and ninety six tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of nine hundred and ninety eight thousand three hundred and fifty two tons of cane. Last year the factory milled eight hundred and thirty six thousand four hundred and eighty eight tons cane during the same time frame. Taking a look at sugar production, three thousand three hundred and ninety tons of the sweetener was produced for week 20. An overall of one hundred and five thousand one hundred and thirty six tons of the product have been produced so far. Last year, the factory produced eighty eight thousand six hundred and ninety six tons of sugar during the 20 weeks of crop.

Ruthless Criminals Attack Another Chinese In Orange Walk Town
On June 9th it was Money Gram here in Orange Walk that fell victim to a broad daylight robbery and today it was a Chinese store that was raided by ruthless criminals. With that there seems to be an increase of robberies in Orange Walk Town as several businesses have been targeted in just one week. This afternoon, three masked men rushed into the Sun Luck Store located on Zericote Street and help up its shop keeper. And while no one was hurt, police are looking for several suspects in this latest daylight robbery. Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding, OW Police “A 23 year Chinese business woman owner or Sun Luck store located at Zericote Street, Orange Walk Town, visited the Orange Walk Police Station reported today while in her business place three masked men, two armed and one with a knife entered the store and demanded money from her she then handed to the assailant the cash box containing approximately one thousand dollars, the three masked men made good their escape on their vehicle, police continue on their investigation.” Meanwhile, police are looking into all possible leads including the angle that the perpetrators could be the same ones that targeted Money Gram on Monday.

Resident Of Otro Benque Concerned About Overgrown Lot
Crime keeps plaguing communities across the country, be it anywhere from murders to breaking and entering. One resident in an area on the Otro Benque Road in Orange Walk Town has decided to go public with one of her concerns. That problem is getting an overgrown lot adjacent her lawn cleaned. Thelma Carballo contributes the situation to the growing crime in her neighborhood and says it needs to be cleaned. Telma Carballo – Concerned Resident “Pone en peligro no solo a mi sino a todos los vecinos como ya han visto han visto varios asaltos y a mí me han asaltado dos veces y tenemos a la señora que le han asaltado también y ahora aquí enfrente que es el Money gram y en este terreno vacío y el monte alto se esconden los ladrones y allí pasan la gente que trabaja y es peligroso. Constante de noche oyes gritos, ahora hay una mata de mango allí que allí que suben a fumar mariguana, la policía pasa y pasa y como sordo mudos y si entonces hay que ponerle interés a nuestro país.” Carballo says she is afraid that the crime situation only worsens and therefore has turned to the media as a last resort in getting one problem addressed.

O/W Town Council Continues To Work On Street Infrastructure Even With Lack Of Resources
It is hardly a tired song as the concern over the deplorable state of the streets in Orange Walk Town continues to be echoed by pretty much everyone. Over the past months, the Orange Walk Town Council has been doing some work on the most affected areas but the work seems indefinite. Today, Deputy Mayor Ian Cal says the council has shifted its strategy on some of the most affected areas in Town. Ian Cal – Deputy Mayor “What the council has decided is to divert some of that attention that we were giving outside and bring it in town now, so what we plan to do now is that we are upgrading these streets and yesterday we started with Trinidad Street, which is at this point upgrade and today we are here at Liberty Avenue and today what we are doing is ripping, compacting and putting in some new material and right after that we will see the paving of Liberty Avenue and from here we are moving on to Guadalupe and Sapodilla which has been pending for some few months now and the reason we hadn’t touched those street yet is because BWS just finished working on that street and that is the way we are coordinating with BWS , they go in first and then we afterwards because we don’t want the same thing that happened before you just finished working on a street and they come back and rip it.”


PSE Results Are Out
Standard six students countrywide are mandated to sit the Primary School examination each year which seeks to measure how much of the curriculum content has been grasped on the primary level. While it has been noted that the results were a bit delayed this year, today, hundreds of students were given their scores for the four areas tested; namely, Mathematics, English, Social Studies and Science. With those results in from the Ministry of Education, we can tell you that for 2014, the Crooked Tree Government School has come out on top with its student, Ashton Tillett scoring 371 points out of 400. 13-year-old, Ashton says he only sent out one high school application and that was to EP Yorke High School in Belize City. An overview of the results shows that in the English area, 51% of those who sat the exam performed at a satisfactory level meaning that they got anywhere above a 60% mark. According to the ministry, the scores in this subject show a slight improvement from last year. Meanwhile, in the Mathematics area, there was no marked improvement…..rather, for 2014 only 36% of the students managed to get a grade of 60% or more. In the subject of Social Studies, 58% made it above a 60% grade and in Science 77% scored above the satisfactory grade of 60%. Seven thousand two hundred and forty five students took this year’s PSE.

PM Barrow Comments on Oil Drilling in Southern Belize
Another issue Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed is the perfected order handed down by Justice Michelle Arana in relation to the drilling operations inside the SarstoonTemash National Park. In her April 3rd judgment, Justice Arana ruled that GOB obtain free, prior and informed consent from the Mayan Villagers. But the May 9th perfected judgment, says that Government should “seek” and make good faith attempt to obtain consent from the villagers. Executive Director, SATIIM, has been at the forefront of the issue. However, PM Barrow, told the media yesterday, that SATIIM has no role to play in the negotiations between, the Government of Belize and the Mayan Communities. Barrow explained why that is so.

Oil Production At Stand Still in Northern Belize
While SATIIM has and is putting a challenge for GOB to go ahead and drill oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park, GOB is also facing problems in extracting oil in the Orange Walk District. Last year it was announced that Maranco Energy Limited had struck black gold in the Orange Walk South area. The oil company found an encouraging oil show in Gallon Jug but Maranco ran into some problems after the acid they injected into the ground to destroy the mud, turned the oil into tar. Two months ago, Barrow told the media that he had sent a request to the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago asking for technical assistance. However, that request has not been answered. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Prime Minister Persaad has not responded and has not sent the mission that we asked for. There is going to be a CARICOM Summit early next month, the 1st to the 4th July and we will renew the request but ultimately it’s a matter that we rely on our resources; with a short answer to your question, nothing has happened.” The oil show was found at the South Canal Bank #1 exploration well in Maranco’s Concession area.

Decline in Oil Production Blamed for Drop in GDP
Last month the Statistical Institute of Belize, released Belize’s first quarter Estimates for Gross Domestic Product and the statistics for Consumer Price Index and External Trade. Statistics show that Belize’s GDP declined marginally by 0.4%. the decline was attributed to the decrease output in agriculture, mining and manufacturing. A decline was also seen in sugar, citrus, bananas and petroleum. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, spoke of the SIB report. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Very many of the key areas are doing extremely well; tourism, construction, government spending…while agriculture is not in that happy category. The fact is that, ultimately, the responsibility for the position is principally as a consequence of the decline in oil production and that is not anything we can do about.” It is expected the Statistic Institute of Belize will release its preliminary results of April 2014 Labour Force Survey this month.

Prime Minister Explains His Non-Response to COLA
The passport scandal which broke last year resulted in Prime Minister Dean Barrow firing former Minister of State, Elvin Penner for signing, the now infamous, Won Hong Kim nationality certificate. The scandal has rocked the current UDP Administration and Elvin Penner has disappeared from the cameras, except on courts dates which is when he presents himself to put up a defense against the private prosecution brought by Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA. COLA says their private prosecution has been stonewalled and they were unable to obtain needed documentary evidence to successfully prosecute Elvin Penner. Having seen this, COLA, asked the Prime Minister to intervene but did not get any response to the letter sent. However, COLA, got a big break on Tuesday as they announced that had received the Auditor General’s preliminary report in the Elvin Penner passport scandal through an anonymous source. At his press conference yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke about the issue. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Cola wrote to me to ask for that. They’re now upset because they said I didn’t even reply. It’s as with today, I’m not going to reply to you to tell you no and provoke this exchange of correspondence because you wrote to me as a political stunt or maybe not a political stunt but to try and get mileage.


Orange Walk Complaints About Streets Soon to be Answered
On Wednesday, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter issued an open letter to the Prime Minister in which they stated their utmost displeasure with the deplorable conditions of the roads in Orange Walk. This includes primarily the Phillip Goldson Highway, which consists of Belize-Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue, and Otro Benque...

The Guardian

Another term for Mayor Bradley
Ending months of speculation and rumors, on Wednesday, June 11, Prime Minister and Leader of the United Democratic Party, Hon. Dean Barrow officially announced that Mayor Darrell Bradley will be running as the mayoral candidate for the UDP. PM Barrow explained that an understanding has been reached with councilors Bernard Pitts and Dion Leslie which allows for Mayor Darrell Bradley to go up as the UDP candidate. The two councilors had expressed interest in running as mayoral candidates in the upcoming UDP convention. They have now withdrawn their applications and Mayor Bradley will go uncontested. In addressing the press conference, Prime Minister Barrow described Mayor Bradley’s accomplishments as phenomenal and his decision to run for the UDP as a boon for the party and residents of Belize City. Also addressing the gathering was councilor Pitts who stated that he supported the mayor heart and soul. He noted that there is no one that can say that the Belize City Council has not delivered on 90% of its manifesto promises and added that the ship has been sailing sternly.

PM addresses Rod of Correction
The grouping of activist groups calling themselves the Rod of Correction were addressed by the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, at a press conference held on Wednesday, June 11. Just about every member of the grouping was taken to task by the PM. He noted that what the ROC is trying to create is an impression as if the country is being plagued by large scale crises such as what the PUP administration was being plagued by in 2005. At that time the government was cutting deals, signing illegal contracts and concealing it from the people. With all that, the principal player of the entire debacle the PM singled out as Ralph Fonseca, and even in the midst of all of the shenanigans Said Musa pledged his love for the man. Penner The UDP’s tenure is in stark contrast cited the PM. As it relates to the Penner issue, it was he who brought it forward to the people when it could have been covered up. “That is not my style!” he said. “We have accepted responsibility, and we have acted to correct the situation,” added PM Barrow. It is now up to the DPP to determine if there is enough evidence to prosecute him. NTUCB Demands He then addressed the issue of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize which he had earlier on described as disrespectful, confrontational and rude in recent press releases that it has issued. Nonetheless the PM explained that, “it takes two to quarrel. I am not going to be responding in kind.” What he did do was to go over what is causing the NTUCB’s consternation. “The prime motivation of the NTUCB is self interest,” he said. They are looking to continue negotiations with government over issues that simply cannot be addressed.

Cayo North East moves forward
While the PUP are fixated on Elvin Penner, the United Democratic Party has driven past that hurdle. On Sunday June 8, the constituents of the Cayo North East constituency successfully selected a new standard bearer to represent the UDP in the next General Elections. Polling started at 10a.m. on Sunday, June 8, and closed at 5p.m., by the time the ballots were counted current mayor of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August, had emerged victorious. There were a total of 1,454 ballots cast. August received 975 votes, Eduardo Juan received 398 and Anthony McNab received 72 while 9 ballots were rejected. After the final tally, UDP party chairman, Alberto August made the formal announcement and swore in John August as the Standard Bearer. Shortly thereafter McNab addressed the gathering thanking those who supported him in his bid and pledging to stand alongside August to ensure a UDP victory in the next General Elections. For his part, August also thanked his supporters and pledged to continue to work arduously to improve the division. He also explained that the enemy are not those who contested the convention, rather, the enemy was the People’s United Party.

PG Town Council in shambles
Minister of Local government, Hon. Godwin Hulse, has confirmed to the Guardian Newspaper that the PG Town Board is in bad financial shape. The situation at that municipality has gone from bad to worse as the PUP mayor, Anthony Fuentes, has simply been unable to manage the affairs, the financial affairs in particular, of that municipality. "They have reached the point where we don't think they can continue to manage the finances of the town in an appropriate way," stated Hon. Hulse. Because of that inability to continue to manage the financial affairs, a financial controller will be appointed to do so. Hon. Hulse says that appointment will become effective within a week. While Hulse would not disclose how bad it is at the council, we do know that for weeks the council has been unable to meet simple financial commitments such as paying employees. Even the collection of garbage has been absent in that town. The town board is in this shape despite the fact that under the Municipal Development Project officers of the council have been trained to do proper management and that has been unsuccessful. This is the kind of thing that happens under PUP stewardship. While this is just one case that has come to the fore, similar complaints are being levied against the PUP controlled councils in Dangriga and Orange Walk. It would be a good exercise for investigations to also be carried out in these municipalities where like the PG town board have been unable to carry out every day operations.

UDP rehabilitates road leading Punta Gorda dump site
To the rescue once again, UDP councilor Fern Guttierez and UDP Standard Bearer Peter Eden Martinez have lobbied the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, to clean the access road leading to the garbage dump site and the dump site proper. The road to the site is filled with mounds of garbage all along the side of the road leading to the dump site. The problem was out of hand with the access road to the dump site being impassable due to the fact that garbage was piled five feet high in front of the access road. The smell was unbearable from any part of the surrounding area. The Punta Gorda Town Council, that owns and operates the dump site, has failed miserably. Mayor Anthony Fuentes has failed to properly dispose of garbage from the town. In Punta Gorda Town, it seems that we do not have a garbage site, just a place where they dump the garbage, which is on the side of the road. The mayor neglects his duties and responsibilities to the voters of PG Town. Thanks to Ms. Fern and Mr. Eden who have come to the rescue. The works started on June 10, 2014. One mile of road, where the garbage has been accumulating, is now being cleared. This is Phase I of the rehabilitation of the access road and Dump Site.

Ambassadors Present Credentials to the Governor General of Belize
Ambassador of Switzerland H.E. Louis-Jose Touron and H.E. Patricia Vaca Narvaja, ambassador of Argentina, both presented their credentials to the Governor General of Belize H.E. Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in the City of Belmopan. Both ambassadors conveyed their best wishes to Her Majesty the Queen and expressed their mission to sustain and continue to develop strong relations between their respective countries and Belize.

World Blood Donors Day 2014
Belmopan. June 11th, 2014. Every year, on June 14, Belize joins the global community in celebrating World Blood Donor’s day by honoring its voluntary blood donors. The event raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. This year, the theme is “Safe Blood for Saving Mothers”. This theme is relevant for Belize since pregnancy and childbirth services have received much priority by the Ministry of Health. Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. The goal of the global campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

CEMO: “We Are Prepared for a Disaster”
The Belize City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) held a press briefing on Monday, June 9, to assure residents that the city is “prepared for a disaster”. Mayor Darrel Bradley says CEMO is more prepared than ever and “we have a plan in place to ensure the safety of all residents of the city”. Shortly after the close of last year’s hurricane season the organization looked at some of its weaknesses. Mayor Bradley says the main weakness identified was rescue workers inability to effectively care for people with special needs. That prompted the Council to sign up over a dozen staffers for sign language classes. Mayor Bradley says, “There will now be someone trained to communicate using sign language in every evacuation mission.” Another weakness is one that has been identified since the Hurricane Mitch experience in 1998; which is the inexistence of a true evacuation route. Councilor Phillip Willoughby says the Council has been talking about it for years and now there is an established evacuation route and plan. Willoughby says immediately after the Mayor issues an evacuation order traffic personnel will be out to direct the flow of motor vehicles on a particular route. These routes can be seen on huge billboards across the city. In order to prevent traffic congestion by those heavy machine vehicles, companies have been instructed to move those vehicles out of the city two days early.

Central Government takes care of PG
It is quite a pity that the UDP Central Government simply just can’t take over the affairs of the Punta Gorda town board, after all they were elected by the people. We say its a pity because that municipal body has been doing a terrible job of administering the affairs of the town. Were it not for the infusion of capital and investment by the central government, nothing would happen in PG. Nonetheless, there are things which the UDP Central Government is doing for the people of Punta Gorda. We can cite that concrete streets are currently under construction thanks to financing by the UDP government. The second phase of the concreting of West Street in the town has commenced and is funded by the UDP central government. The first phase of the project cost $352,000 the second phase will cost $500,000. More than providing better road conditions, the project is seeing the employment of hundreds of workers from the town. Along with the concreting of streets, the ministry of National Security is refurbishing the police station which was in great need of repairs. The ministry will be investing in excess of $100,000 dollars in this project and at the end of it the police station will be brought up to standard with a new roof and redesigned interior.

Corn can’t grow on Battlefield
The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) managed to bring out less than 200 citizens to support their “Plant Di Corn” Rally. That was a very feeble showing given they had the support of 10 other pressure groups who’ve decided to form a coalition. With this coalition, which has some of the most powerful unionizing machinery capable of mobilizing tens of thousands, the rally didn’t even bring enough people to match the 1040 lease applicants from the Harmonyville community. BGYEA is now a part of the so called Rod of Correction, a new movement in which they are joined by the Belize National Teacher’s Union; the National Trade Union Congress of Belize; the Citizens Organized For Liberty through Action; the Belize Pharmacists Association; the Association of Public Service Senior Managers; SATIIM; the Public Service Union; the Belize Energy Workers Union;the Nurses Association, the Belize Evangelical Association of churches; and DJ Keegan Lord from Vibes Radio, who organized a failed protest against Shyne and NICH President Diane Haylock.

Courtenay tries to Muscle the Judiciary
In what can only be described as an effort to muscle his way against the Judiciary, Eamon Courtenay, President of the Bar Association is using his position in that organization in the hopes that Justice Samuel Awich not be reappointed as a Justice of the Court of Appeals. Speaking on the matter on Wednesday, Prime Minister, Dean Barrow indicated that Justice Awich’s appointment will be going ahead. He noted that he received objection to the appointment by the Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca; however, Fonseca’s only reason was that the Bar association was objecting to the appointment. PM Barrow noted that in following up the Bar Association’s objection Fonseca was not living up to his constitutional duty. For context we note that Justice Awich recently ruled against Courtenay, who is the president of the Bar Association, in the nationalization of BTL and BEL. Awich ruled that the nationalization was properly done. Apparently holding a grudge, Courtenay using his position at the Bar is giving off the impression that attorneys are against the appointment. The reality of the matter is that at every meeting of the Bar association, less than 20 percent of the membership shows up and this small grouping makes decisions for the entire association.

Garbage Crisis in PG!
Residents of Punta Gorda Town have had enough of Mayor Anthony Fuentes and PUP Area Representative Mike Espat’s incompetence and ineptitude. For months now they have been unable or unwilling to properly carry out the simple taskes that they are mandated to do by the good people of Punta Gorda. Anthony Fuentes’ incompetence in managing the finances of the town has now created among other things a serious garbage crisis in the Town. He has demonstrated for all to see his inability to do simple tasks required of the town board such as cleaning drains and fixing streets for some time now, but this time he has gone too far. For weeks now, there has been no garbage collection in the town, so much so that everywhere you turn in that municipality there are heaps upon heaps of garbage. The garbage which has accumulated is not only and eye sore and a blemish to the beautiful town but also a serious and very real health hazzard to its residents. What is worse is that residents actually pay for garbage collection in that town. Calls to the town board about when the collection of garbage will be done go unanswered. Although it is no surprise to anyone that Fuentes’ ineptitude to clean up the town is apparent, what really surprises people is the fact that he is even incapable of clearing the garbage that is infront of the Municipality’s Town Hall. Imagine…he cannot even clean the garbage that he generates; can we really expect him to pick up the garbage others generate?

Students in Cayo receive certificates from GREAT Program
Some 64 students from the Saint Vincent Palloti Roman Catholic Primary School in Unitedville Village in Cayo received certificates on Wednesday, June 4, marking the completion of instructions under the Gang Resistance Education and Training Program GREAT. Instructions under GREAT began at the Unitedville School in September of last year and ended in March of this year. Instructor Ciriaco Medina, who is Police Constable 1121 and member of the Community Policing Unit at the San Ignacio Police Formation, gave out the certificates this evening, telling students, “I expect good things from you guys, don’t let me down.” Jason Jones, along with Roland Augustine from the Community Policing Program at the San Ignacio Police Formation also joined in the evening to encourage students to continue being good citizens.

New Health and Safety Standards for Archaeological Reserves and Parks
It was just thirteen months after the Belize Bureau of Standards was contacted, but when the Health and Safety Standards were completed it has ended up as a well rounded plan to safeguard both Belizeans and tourists, who regularly visit Belize’s archaeological sites. Jose Trejo, the Director of the Belize Bureau of Standards, signed the Health and Safety Standards Statutory Instrument on Thursday of last week at the Xunantunich Archaeological Site, thus activating a set of compulsory guidelines that satisfy both National and International life saving standards. Putting these standards together by getting expert inputs from both Belize and abroad was Armeid Thompson, Chairperson of the Tourism Technical Committee, and who is also Director of the Quality Assurance Department at the Belize Tourism Board. “No progress is made in isolation, but requires the collective wisdom and collaboration of dedicated teams whose sole purpose is to be catalysts for change”, said Armeid Thompson last at a brief ceremony at Xunantunich and added, “…but however time is exactly what this Project did not have…”

Ignore the Laws and Plant Corn on the Buffer
Since Nigel Petillo is so adamant about planting corn in the buffer of Harmonyville between miles 41 and 42 on the Western Highway, I have suddenly come up with the idea of doing the same on the buffer between miles 6 and 8 on the George Price highway at Western Paradise Village. I will go about this by simply looking for an investor, of whom I will require a cash deposit for them to use the stretch of land that is the buffer in front of the village. Since Petillo got an investor to come in to the Harmonyville buffer without first seeking permission from the Government of Belize, that will be my modus as well. If after the work commences on the buffer to plant corn there, the Government reacts by placing an injunction against the investor and myself, I will simply call on the Rod of Correction to come to my aid. Hopefully they will be able to gather the same 150 people to come to my rescue and to rally for my cause. If I have failed to mention it, when the investor comes to plant corn at the Western Paradise Village buffer, monetary compensation will be asked of that individual. That money, lets say, will be used to, hmmm.... ohhhh, dig drains in the village. :-)

Mexican Trade Mission To Belize
ProMéxico (the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency) and the Embassy of Mexico are organizing a trade mission on June 18th at the Embassy in Belmopan and on June 19th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The objective of the mission is to strengthen trade relations between Mexico and Belize, identifying potential buyers and suppliers of a variety of products and/or services, as well as to find investment opportunities. Products include: chilli pepper sauces, achiote marinade, ketchup, vinegars, vanilla, jam concentrates, sausages, wines, liquors, chemical products for water treatment, water pumps and environmental sanitizers, paints, waterproofing pastes, protective coatings (paint, lumber and metals), industrial solvents, demoisturizing compounds, cleaning & drain openers, stainless steel polish & cleaner, non-chlorinated degreasers, CRM Software and GPS. Services include software development technology focused on e-government and companies, development of CRM software, as well as consulting services on water treatment.

Ministry of Agriculture assists Farmers adapt to Climate Change
The Ministry of Agriculture through the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union handed over Forage Chopping Machines to 25 farmers in the Belize River Valley Area. The event took place on Tuesday June 10 at the Sandhill Community Center. The Machines will be used by farmers to prepare during climate change events. In the past cattle farmers in the River Valley Area have been affected by severe weather events including droughts and flooding. With the machines, which will form a part of a pilot project, the cattle farmers can prepare feed for their animals before they are affected by either drought or floods. According to Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Hugo Patt, "What in essence we are doing is providing food materials so that the farmers can be ready in times of drought and rains."

Belize attends 44th regular session of the general assembly of the OAS
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, the Hon. Wilfred Elrington, headed Belize’s delegation to the 44th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States held in Asuncion, Paraguay on June 3rd - 5th under the theme “Development with Social Inclusion”. In the Declaration of Asuncion hemispheric leaders undertook, “To commit their efforts to eradicating hunger and poverty, in particular extreme poverty, combating inequity, inequality, discrimination, and social exclusion, and increasing equitable access to health services, as well as to quality and inclusive education; priority objectives which should inform actions of the inter-American system.” Minister Elrington, in the same vein, spoke of Belize’s efforts towards social inclusion and stated that “Development with social justice is a concept that has, for the most part, been alien to our hemisphere for upwards of five hundred years.” He said “that in Belize we appreciate that creating economic opportunities for the most vulnerable, reducing poverty, and increasing social inclusion are outcomes that will not spontaneously result from economic growth alone nor from the normal interaction of societal and interest groups.” He continued therefore that in Belize “our government has been assiduous in initiating measures to provide social safety nets with programs including conditional cash transfers, a food pantry, and a program to provide monetary support to elder citizens over the age of sixty-five.”

Toledo DAVCO Pledges Support to Government of Belize
On Friday June 6, Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow met with the Executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) to discuss oil exploration in the south. The association expressed their full support for the endeavor, citing its benefits to education, health and infrastructure in the Toledo District. Furthermore, all parties agreed that moving forward, communities will be engaged in a series of consultations to inform community residents and garner support. Also, present for the meeting were Minister and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities Senator Hon. Joy Grant and Dr. Colin Young; and Minister in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Senator Hon. Lisel Alamilla.

Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is Special Envoy’s Trailblazer of the Week
Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you another great Belizean woman who has contributed significantly to the country’s education system. Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is an accomplished and dedicated educator. She worked for 18 years in tertiary education as a Teacher Educator at the University of Belize and at Galen University and is now President and Principal of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. Dr. Aird has served as Chair of the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB) for 3 terms, and Co-Chair of the Consortium on Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC), a group of Belizean and US universities and community colleges working for the improvement of education in Belize.

Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is Special Envoy’s Trailblazer of the Week
Trailblazer Tuesdays brings you another great Belizean woman who has contributed significantly to the country’s education system. Dr. Cynthia Eve Aird is an accomplished and dedicated educator. She worked for 18 years in tertiary education as a Teacher Educator at the University of Belize and at Galen University and is now President and Principal of Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. Dr. Aird has served as Chair of the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB) for 3 terms, and Co-Chair of the Consortium on Belize Education Cooperation (COBEC), a group of Belizean and US universities and community colleges working for the improvement of education in Belize.

Gang violence erupts in Belize City again
kirk smith.jpg - 18.65 KbEight people ended up in the hospital over the weekend of June 7 and 8, in 3 separate shootings all believed to be gang related, and connected to a rivalry between the Ghost Town Crips and the George Street Bloods, which escalated. The first shooting took place on Saturday, June 7, at around 10 p.m. 28 year-old Sigmond Trapp and 25 year-old Anthony Scott were walking on Kut Avenue, and when they arrived at the Amara Avenue Intersection, a black Ford Escort with dark tinted windows drove past. When the vehicle got close enough, someone from inside, lowered a window and fired shots at them before driving off. Trapp was injured in the right hand and right leg, while Scott took bullets to his right hand and upper back. They were both rushed to the KHMH for treatment. The next shooting incident happened 5 hours later, in which 16 year-old Corine Cory White, a third form student at the Anglican Cathedral College was shot. White was leaving the Princess Casino with 2 other men, one of whom is her boyfriend, and is believed to have a George Street connection. They were in his car in front of the parking lot, and that’s when a gunman ran out and opened fire on the vehicle. White was struck by a bullet in her right ear which travelled down her jaw and ended up lodged in her chest. It was fortunate that the bullet didn’t penetrate her brain, and she remains at the KHMH for treatment.

Cashier is accused of stealing $5.00
A cashier who is employed at a store inside the Tourism Village is being accused of stealing $5.00 from her boss. 21-year-old, Erica Valerio, appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to a single charge of theft. She appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano where she initially pleaded guilty to the charge of theft. Allegations are that on May 28, 2014, she stole $5.00, 2-$1.00 US currency and one $1.00 coin Belize currency from her employer, Jason Almendolia, the proprietor of Belize Yogurt located at 8th Street at the Tourism Village in Belize City. In court Valerio pleaded guilty to theft.

Confrontation in Cayo
Several persons have been injured in the Cayo District as a result of altercations. A 27 years old male from Billywhite Village, Gubercindo Pop, received several chop and stab wounds on Saturday of this past weekend and had to be taken to the San Ignacio Town Hospital for medical treatment. An investigation into the incident reveals that Gubercindo Pop was involved in a confrontation with Santos Chacon, Roberto Chacon Senior and Roberto Chacon Junior, where he attempted to defend himself and in doing so caused injuries to both Santos Chacon and Roberto Chacon. Police are yet to locate Roberto Chacon Senior and have him be escorted to the Magistrate Court.

DPP appeals acquittal of lawmen accused of landing drug plane
On Wednesday, June 11, police officers who were accused of assisting to land a drug plane in the Bladen reserved area on November 13, 2010 in the South of Belize remain without reinstatement to their jobs even after they were acquitted of criminal charges. The men linked to the million dollar drug plane were cops, Renel Grant, Lawrence Humes, Jacinto Roches, Mark Middleton, former Customs Officer, Harold Usher and Mango Creek resident, Victor Logan. They were all accused of drug trafficking of one of the largest cocaine busts in Belize. Their criminal case for the importation of drugs into Belize was called up in the Court of appeal, after their acquittal on December 4, 2012 by the Director of Public Prosecutions. The matter could not get started as attorney Simeon Sampson who represents Victor Logan asked the court for an adjournment on two reasons. Attorney for Jacinto Roches, Renal grant and Mark Middleton is Dickie Bradley who was not present due to other matters he had before another court.

Father Accused of Sexually Assaulting 8-year-old Daughter
A 41-year-old father is being accused of sexually assaulting his 8-year-old daughter. Allegations are that on May 25 while the child was in bed with one of her brothers the father came into the bed and laid between the two of them. While her brother slept on the other side, he placed his hands into her underwear and fondled her inappropriately. The child later complained of pain and was taken to be examined by a doctor. The father appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith On Tuesday, June 10, where he pleaded not guilty to a charge of sexual assault. There was no objection to bail but the Chief Magistrate set conditions. He is to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Thursdays of the week until his case is concluded. He must also stay away from his daughter until the case is disposed of. Chief Magistrate Smith offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount and his next court date is set for July 31, 2014.

Ex-employee of Feinstein Group Charged with 85 counts of theft
Marcia Marie Gillett, ex-employee of the Feinstein Group of Companies, is facing 85 counts of theft after she was accused of dishonestly appropriating thousands of dollars from her ex-boss. Gillet appeared in the Magistrate Court to face the charges on Friday, June 5, where it took Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart one hour and a half to read the 85 charges. No plea was taken since the matter will be dealt with on indictment. There was no objection to bail but prosecutor Hector Rodriguez asked that the court set conditions to bail. Magistrate Stewart granted Gillett bail in the sum of $9,000 plus one surety of the same amount. She was ordered to surrender all her travelling documents to the clerk of court; she must not interfere with any of the witnesses in the case and she was also ordered to report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. until the case is disposed of. Marcia Marie Gillett’s next court date is set for August 1, 2014.

Trevor Guy Charged for Attempted Robbery of Mile 8 Store
One of three men who attempted a broad daylight robbery at Mile 8 Store on the George Price Highway on June 4 has been captured by police and charged. Trevor Guy appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Monday, June 9, and pleaded not guilty to attempted robbery and aggravated assault with a firearm. Allegations are that Guy and two others attempted to rob Delcid Store, located at Mile 8 on the George Price Highway. According to police, on June 4, three men, one armed with a firearm, visited Delcid Store at around 1:30 p.m. and held up Julio Delcid at gun point. According to the owner, when the men arrived at his store they pointed a gun at him and tried to rob him. That was when he pulled out his license firearm and fired shots at the men who fled the scene. Police quick response led to the three men who were seen hiding in the cemetery area, but police only managed to capture one as the other two managed to make good their escape. Guy appeared unrepresented in court and due to the fact that the offense was committed using a firearm bail was denied. He is remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court appearance on July 30. The other two men remain at large as police investigation continues.

Five Employees of Yhony Rosado Charged with Dangerous Harm
Five more men who are believed to have been involved in the beating of Vitalino Reyes Jr. on Thursday, May 29, at Long Island Bar have been charged with dangerous means of harm. Reyes Jr., who is the son of the owner of, was socializing with his friend Yhony Vega at Long Island Bar. Yhony Rosado, owner of, was socializing with some of his workers in the same bar at the same time. It is alleged that as Reyes and his friend were leaving, some of Rosado’s employees blocked the door and attacked Reyes and his friend. The beating on Reyes was so severe that he ended up in a coma. Yhony Rosado says that neither he nor his employees touched Reyes and his friend. He says there were other people in the bar and they may have been the ones to get into the fight. On Tuesday, June 3, Leon Gentle was charged with Dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm upon Reyes Jr. Rosado says that Gentle was not even at the bar with him at the time of the incident. Three days after Gentle was charged, five other employees of Rosado were charged. Jimmy Cortez, John Frazer, Christopher Williams, Evan Williams and Keith Vairez were arraigned before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart on Friday, June 6, and jointly charged with dangerous harm upon Vitalino Reyes Jr. and one count of harm upon Yhony Vega. No plea was taken and there was no objection to bail which was offered at $7,000 each plus two sureties of $3,500. Their case was adjourned for July 24, 2014.

Murderer’s conviction affirmed by Court of Appeals
On Wednesday June 11, Kenrick Williams who killed a 16 year old high school girl, Elia Gonzalez, had his murder conviction affirmed by the Justices of the Court of Appeals. Williams was accused of the March 23, 2004 murder of Elia Gonzalez who was strangled to death by Williams in a bushy area in a road in Concepcion village in the Corozal district. Williams who is serving a life sentence took his case to the Appeals Court through his attorney Phillip Palacio. He argued that the trial judge failed to give adequate directions to the jury on arriving at their verdict. His arguments were not accepted and the conviction was affirmed. In the 2012 trial, a caution statement given by Williams was admitted as evidence. In the statement he told Corozal police that he waited for his secret girlfriend whose name he said was Liz, referring to the deceased, Elia Gonzalez, at the Concepcion/Libertad road, near the water tank. When he saw her coming, after exiting a bus, he threw his bicycle into a nearby bush.

Belize Elementary girls and Chan Pine Ridge boys are National Primary Schools Volleyball champions
The National Primary Schools Volleyball championship came to an end on Friday, June 6, 2014, at Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School representing the Belize District defeated Holy Angles Roman Catholic from the Stann Creek Valley by the score of 25-12 and 28-26 to capture its first National Primary Schools Volleyball Title. In the third place game, Louisiana Government School representing the Orange Walk District eliminated Blue Creek representing the Toledo District by the score of 20-25, 25-23 and 15-10 to take the Bronze medal. In the first game in the semi-final round, Belize Elementary School defeated Louisiana Government School in two sets by the score of 25-10 and 25-5. In the second game, Holy Angels defeated Blue Creek in two sets by the score of 25-18 and 25-11. In the first game of the girls’ championship played earlier in the day, Belize Elementary School defeated Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School representing the Corozal District by the score of 25-2and25-4. In the second game, Louisiana Government School defeated Garden City Primary from Belmopan representing the Cayo District by the score of 25-15 and 25-23. all the student-athletes that participated in the championship.

Caye Caulker Roman Catholic wins in primary schools basketball competition
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition continued on Tuesday, June 10, with three games at the Bird’s Isle. In the girls’ competition played, St. John Vianney defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 7-4. The top scorer for St. John Vianney was Jasmine Sanchez with 7 points. In the first of three games in the boys’ competition, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School defeated Queen Street Baptist School by the score of 22-14. The top scorers for Caye Caulker Roman Catholic were Jaden Williams with 8 points and Harrison Cadle with 5 points. For Queen Street Baptist School, the top scorers were Glenford Gillett with 5 points and Dennis Aranda with 4 points. In game two, St. John Vianney School defeated Buttonwood Bay Nazarene by the score of 30-28. The top scorers for St. John Vianney were Faheem Elijio with 10 points and Jerric Jones with 8 points. Meanwhile, the top scorers for Buttonwood Bay Nazarene were Lawrence Sanchez and Edmond Flowers with 10 points each and Mark Estell with 6 points.

Cayo Western Ballaz vs San Pedro Tigersharks for Basketball Supremacy
The National Elite Basketball League 2014 season is fast coming to an end. The League will commence its championship round on , June 15, out at the R. Angel Nunez Auditorium in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. In the first game scheduled for 1:30 pm the host team San Pedro Tigersharks will entertain the Cayo Western Ballaz. The semi-final round came to an end on Friday, June 6, at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium in San Ignacio Town, when the home team the Cayo Western Ballaz in the third and final game of the series eliminated the Belize City based Smart No Limit Team by the score of 75-57 to advance to the championship round. The top scorer for the Cayo Western Ballaz was Farron Louriano with 34 points, 18 rebounds, and an assist. He was assisted by Richard Troyer who contributed 17 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Travis Lennan who scored 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists in helping his team to the victory. For the Smart No Limit Team, the top scorers were Elsworth Itza with 8 points, 12 rebounds, and a steal, Gregory Rudon also with 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, and Matthew Young with 8 points and 5 rebounds.

FFB President’s Cup tournament continues
The FFB President’s Cup Tournament for 2014 continued over the last weekend with a number of games on the schedule. On Sunday June 8 out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan, the visiting Belize District Stars and the Roaring Creek United played to a 2-2 draw. The goal scorers for the Belize District Stars were Brian Martinez who scored in the 49th minutes of play and Dalton Cayetano who scored in the 70th minute of play. For Roaring Creek United, the goals were scored by Alden Coleman in the 72nd minute of play and Limbert Coleman in the 87th minute of play. At the Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town, the host team San Antonio defeated Pomona United by the score of 4-1. The goals for San Antonio were scored by Christian Perez in the 23rd minutes of play, Ian Daniels in the 55th and 87th minutes of play, and Darnell Mossiah in the 75th minute of play. The only goal of the game was scored by Jevon Arana in the 32nd minutes of play.

Football Federation calls U-20 footballers to camp
The Football Federation of Belize held tryout for U-20 males this past Saturday. One Hundred Twenty (120) players attended the tryout, and the following players have been selected to camp. They are to be at the FFB Headquarters on Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm. Training will be from Thursday to Sunday June 15th. Norman Anderson Edmond Pandy Darren Myers Randy Duke Dorrell Lambey Collin Westby Eduardo Gongora Sanjay Casey Kambrel Blease Dillon Lopez Ajani Banner Naim Wilson Trevaun Rhaburn Dmitri Fabro Dorwin Logan Roji Solorzano Eredito Guillen Ardel Avila Rui West Marcus Lewis Shaheed Mai Brian Barrera Orelle Castillo Kendis Hernandez Clinton Dawson Devaun Zuniga Geon Makin Gemmi Reyes Jerry Trejo Glenford King Javier Martinez Tremaine Harris Elston Flowers Eugene Martinez Jamil Cano Jordi Polanco Jose Chimal

World Softball Day 2014
World Softball Day is being celebrated on Friday, June 13, 2014. To help boost awareness, the Belize Softball Federation encourages supporters and friends of softball to come out and show your support at the Senior Female Competition and Interoffice Game scheduled for June 13 at Rogers Stadium, the Home of Softball in Belize.

Evan Mariano goes pro…
Belize’s Evan Mariano, one of the high-level football players who represented the nation in the Copa Centroamericana and the first ever appearance in the Gold Cup, has been invited to play professional football in America. He was officially signed to the Houston Hurricanes Football Club on Thursday June 5. He joins his colleague, Deon McCauley, who was recruited to the Atlanta Silverbacks. Head coach for the Hurricanes, Brendan Keyes told the press in Houston that the Hurricanes is excited that Mariano will be able to play with them in the Texas Premier Soccer League, which began last year. Keyes said that Mariano’s recruitments was made in consideration of improvement for the Hurricanes, which will be assisted with the acquisition of 3 or 4 other “quality players”.

Belizean Rudolph Bent vs Jimmy Ellis, Sugar Ray Robinson, George Benton, and Lee George Myvett
Having read about the passing of one time Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the world Jimmy Ellis, I recalled reading of Belizean Middleweight boxer Rudolph Bent, fighting Ellis. In my research I discovered that Bent not only fought Jimmy Ellis on June 7th 1962 at Freedom Hall State Fairground in Louisville, Kentucky, he also went on to fight several world ranked contenders in various divisions. For example, after fighting high ranking George Benton in April 1962, he fought Curtis Cokes a month later in Dallas, Texas. Cokes went on to hold the Welterweight Belt for many years. It was less than a month after losing to Cokes that he fought Ellis. We can all recall his fight against Gomeo Brennan in Belize in April of 1965. From Brennan to Robinson in October of 1965; you are correct in assuming world renowned Sugar Ray Robinson. It took place at Community Arena in Steubenville Ohio.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Chelsea Rodriguez is PSE High Scorer for Caye Caulker
Chelsea Rodriguez is the PSE high scorer for Caye Caulker with an average of 82.8. She is also placed first in her primary school graduating class. If you will recall, Chelsea was also a school finalist in the Coca Cola spelling bee in 2012. She was also a winner in this year’s Reef Week trivia competition held in San Pedro earlier this year. We wish Chelsea Rodriguez every success in her future endeavours. You are so you, and yet your accomplishments are so many. Congratulations!

Patrick JonesPJ

More immigration charges for Marleny Castellanos and customer
The woman accused of masterminding a ring of illegally obtained Belizean documents on Caye Caulker was back in court today, charged with 20 counts of aiding a person to use a document to which they are not entitled. 46 year old Marleny Castellanos already faces multiple counts of […]

COLA demands evidence from Government for private prosecution
Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday tried his best to downplay the significance and importance of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) receiving a leaked copy of the Preliminary Report of the Auditor General into the Immigration and Nationality Department. But irrepressibly, COLA stepped forward and proceeded to […]

PSE results are released
The results for the Primary School Examination 2014 are out and the top performer was Crooked Tree Government School’s Ashton Tillett with 371 points out of 400. Tied for second was Belize City’s Kenyah Hyde of Bernice Yorke Academy and Belmopan’s Andres Hung of Our Lady of Guadalupe […]

Kenrick Williams murder appeal dismissed
On Wednesday the Belize Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal of Kenrick Williams, who is serving a life term for the murder of 16 year old Elia Gonzalez in 2004 and affirmed his conviction and sentence. Gonzalez was strangled to death shortly after 3 p.m. on March 23, […]

Teenager charged in shooting incident
There was a shooting incident on Monday in Belize City and a teenager was brought to court for it today. 18 year old Shaquille Meighan of Banak Street is accused of shooting at 24 year old Maurice Middleton on Victoria Street around 3:00 Monday afternoon. Middleton was walking […]

BTIA complains about bad streets in Orange Walk
On Tuesday, the Orange Walk chapter of the Belize Tourism Industry Association sent out a press release expressing ‘discontentment’ and ‘frustration’ over street conditions in that minicipality. The Association says the it is a disgrace to see what our streets have become particularly the Government responsible road networks such as Philip SW Goldson Highway, Belize Corozal Road and Otro Benque and Queen Victoria Avenue. The local BTIA chapter says that as a result, commuters passing through Orange Walk town now take the bypass/roundabout on their way to Corozal/Chetumal having a negative financial impact on several businesses including supermarkets, local vegetable stalls, fruit vendors and local restaurants.

Customer service training underway in Punta Gorda town
A two-day training course in customer service started today in Punta Gorda town. Representatives of various sectors including the women’s department, the media, education department and the PG hospital are attending. Topics being covered during the training course include customer satisfaction in health care services; 10 ways to find true love with customers , acquiring knowledge and skills in customer/public relations. Chairperson of the Toledo AIDS Committee Joan Palma says that the training will “improve the knowledge and skills of committee members and service providers in dealing with people living with HIV.”


Life in a Gay!
Unfortunately, it seems that Belize or rather, some of my fellow Belizeans do not see me as apart of the economic machinery of this country and of course sees me less than human. I got on the Ladyville bus from the PUMA gas station with my two apprentices, found our seats and sat down. And the jeers and mockery begins, ”who you think da d lady?” ”Da one have bigga titty!” ”3 UNIBAM de pahn D BUS!” one of them belted and alerted! Of course, I am one who simply does not care what comes out of my my mouth and I responded with the same tone, ”and so fucking what?!” The bus grew quiet and serious, no one said a word. We continued our journey from where we picked up to the Belize City Pound Yard area, with the continuous taunts, and announcements of “Orozcos” on the bus. All I did was grew more and more angry and hoped to the divine that I did not react in a violent way. We got off and while the back seat hate mongers, who I might add were 4th form Ladyville Tech students, passed remarks to have us continue off the bus, so as to avoid any conflict at that point, while all the while, all I did was remained quiet after my burst of profanity on the initial start of the journey.

Making My Way Back Home from the US to Cancun to Belize: Let’s Add in a Good Night’s Sleep
Just about 2 weeks ago I made the trip up to Cancun for a flight from Cancun International Airport to Rhode Island. I flew from Cancun rather than Belize City to save $400US – tickets are generally SO much cheaper. I endured 29 hours of generally sleepless travel (so sleepless that I left my Kindle on the Cancun bus) and serious McDonald’s gorging to save a buck. Or four hundred. You can read all about it here. Really. It’s not as bad as it seems. But on the way back, I wanted a good night’s rest. It would cost me less than a new Kindle for sure and would make me a much happier camper. I found a place online and…well…here is my trip. Providence Airport to San Pedro, Belize in a few steps. Trip hours: First Day – 15 hours Second Day – 3 hours McDonald’s Calories consumed: 0 (Burger King: 1,430) Large Coffees drunk: 2 Hours of Sleep: Lots Approximate US$ saved on total trip: $400US minus (I subtracted the $99US for the Kindle ordered) Perceived pounds gained due to sharp increase in humidity from Rhode Island to Cancun: Ten, 4 in my hot dog fingers

What I wear to work in Belize
Life is different in the tropics right down to what people wear to work in Belize. While some have uniforms, many of us are lucky enough to get away with dressing casual. Even though you may be on an island, it’s still important to not be too casual depending on what you do. Remember not only are you representing the company you work for you are also representing yourself, and believe me people do notice. A few days after a meeting, I was once told that sometimes covering up my tattoos was a smart choice. I am glad the person told me and I respect the person that said it, so now I use my discretion in that area. Thankfully I work a lot from home and my dress code is wide open. I consider myself very lucky that most days I get to wear my bikini to work. Loving the new pink ruffled one I bought at Old Navy and wishing I had bought more suits there when we were in Canada.

“The Game of Love” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Yesterday morning out on the veranda -yes with the mug of black coffee and my iPad- my thoughts were not as they have been in recent weeks (it seems like months though) on what is the next job to do/get done. Oh no. They were focused entirely on what is the most important thing in the world for me right now. I honestly do want to get the garden clean up finished so that Rose and I (more her than me) can start deciding what we want to plant where (soil condition permitting of course). I want the dock to be finished. Of course I do. And obviously I want the sick engine on our boat brought back to full health. But for the next five weeks the most important thing in my world is the 2014 World Cup. Now I know that football (and for non UK readers you call it soccer) is not for everyone but I am from the Bill Shankly ‘school’ where football is concerned and totally ‘buy in to’ his view, and I quote:

Second Visit to Tom Owen’s Caye
Dan Stone, from the San Francisco Bay Area, received his PADI Rescue Diver certification when he came to Belize in March 2013. During his second trip to Tom Owen’s this month he brought along his GoPro camera and compiled this short montage of footage from the dives he made during his stay. Dan trained for and participated in three conservation studies this year including lobster, reef, and conch surveys.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek offers 23 thatch roofed villas tastefully decorated with local Belizean and Guatemalan furnishings. TVs are noticeably absent from all rooms but with Mayan ruins to explore and the jungle at your fingertips who would want one? My villa was spacious and airy with handwoven Guatemalan textiles gracing my bed. The thatched roof allowed for a nice breeze through the room but be aware you may end up with an occasional reptilian or insect guest. I’m a sucker for a great bathroom and this is definitely one of my favorites. French doors lead to a double vanity which barely conceals one of the largest showers I’ve ever seen, a sumptuously tiled space with a double shower and enough room for you and 10 of your closest friends. By far the best part of the bathroom for me was the secluded outdoor shower which allows you to get squeaky clean while soaking in the natural beauty of the jungle (and maybe get in a bit of birding too!).

Interview with Belmopan Mayoral Candidate Khalid Belisle

The Mishandling of Jasmine Lowe’s Investigation by: Aria Lightfoot
Today I am overwhelmed with so many emotions. I spoke to someone last night on the condition of anonymity (have not slept since then) who revealed some information about the investigation of Jasmine Lowe that causes me to believe that Belize is heading down a very dire path. I trust this source, so I am going out on a ledge with my rant. When a state can no longer protect its citizens, people will become dangerous citizens of the state. I was told that the forensic expert could not make a determination as to the cause of death just two days later. He did not extract any fluids from the child to conduct a DNA analysis. No fingernail analysis, no rape kit…nada. I really cannot believe that “Mr. Death by asphyxiation” did not make at least that determination. In fact…

International Sourcesizz

Documenting the illegal trade in exotic pets
Study of market for wild species uncovers disturbing incidents of capture, smuggling and auction His name is Stevie. An orphan who is a long way from home, he has already been through a lot. So why would Rosemary Collard spray him in the face with water? Stevie is a juvenile spider monkey living at Asociación de Rescate y Conservación de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS), a wildlife rehabilitation centre in northern Guatemala where Collard, a graduate student in UBC’s Dept. of Geography, conducted some of the fieldwork for her doctoral degree. Part of her job at ARCAS involved spraying animals with water to sever their bonds to humans, giving them their best chance to re-enter their natural habitat. It’s a difficult task for an animal lover like Collard, but one that is necessary to reverse the damage caused by the illegal trade of exotic animals.

CARIBBEAN VIEW: Stop Cursing CARICOM as Darkness; It Is a Light Not Yet Fully Turned-on
Dr Franklin Johnston, a strategist, project manager and advisor to the Jamaica Minister of Education, wrote a column in the Jamaica Observer of May 30, 2014 in which he basically contended that the Caribbean Common Market and Community (CARICOM) and the Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) are the constructs of “Anglophone black people” and not in the interest of Jamaica. Rooting his contentions in anti-colonialist sentiment, he stated without evidence that CSME is a “clever fiction inspired by the Brits, aided by Cabinets, and sustained by well-paid, unaccountable regional civil servants”. He sets-up both CARICOM and CSME as hostile to the economic well-being of Jamaica. Further, he claims that “CSME zealots” all come to live in Jamaica; “we (Jamaica) are the big name brand”; “CSME disrespects us” (Jamaicans); and “we (Jamaicans) are small with a big brand and balls to match and need no union to prosper, but CSME controls us by making the arcane and distant familiar; “the phrase English-speaking Caribbean means zilch as CSME does not work”; and “Jamaica is the largest nation in CSME, so we are its backbone -- finance, market, innovation, brand value, yet we are the poorest member”. Dr Franklin is a welcome voice to the discussion of CARICOM and CSME – the exchange of views is imperative as all sections of the Caribbean Community work to improve and enhance the benefits of CARICOM for the people of all member-states. But, welcome should not be misconstrued as acceptance of the legitimacy of the arguments.


Video: Lumberjacks from Belize during WWII, 2min.
Belize Abroad and Belize (British Honduras)

Video: Hurricane Hattie Belize 1961, 1min.
Hurricane Hattie in Belize (British Honduras)

Video: 1931 Hurricane Belize (British Honduras), 9min.

Video: Belize Dive Trip 2014 - GoPro Hero3+ Black, 5min.
It was quite an amazing experience to explore some of the best Belize has to offer. After 7 days of endless scuba diving and adventures with incredible friends, it was a trip for the books. Ambergris Caye San Pedro Caye Chapel

Video: Ann Kuffner Belize, 33min.
International Living

Video: Diving, Belize, San Pedro Area, Tackle Box, Tres Cocos, 6min.

Video: Alan, 7min.
Carnival Conquest Cozumel, Belize , Roatan

Video: Belize It!, 15min.
Our 1st Scuba Diving trip in Central America. Our primary mission at hand was to swim with some Whale Sharks but we left with much unfinished business and therefore we will be back next year....

Video: BELIZE CAYO BUS, 14min.

Video: UF in Belize: Marine Ecology, 6min.
A week in Belize on the 2nd largest barrier reef studying Marine Ecology and Conservation with the University of Florida. Enjoy!

Video: Princess Margaret in Belize 1958, 1.5min.

Video: The MOVESLIKEJONNY Experience in Belize at Ian Anderson Caves Branch, 3min.
Enjoy this fun video created by Jonny Percy of his experience in Belize at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge.

June 12, 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

“Our World” brings plays to SPHS
Out of the estimated 7.055 billion people worldwide, almost half, an estimated 3.523 billion are women. But do all women have equal rights as men? That was the central theme for one of two plays presented at the San Pedro High School (SPHS) as part of the “Our World” project. The project, a brain child of Larry and Debbie Heimgartner, seeks to highlight social issues through plays in various parts of the world, including Ambergris Caye, Belize. Over the past week, the Heimgartners presented the two plays to the students at the high school on various days. The selected plays included a musical conducted by Jenny Morrison, a ballet dancer from the London Ballet Company, in which she highlighted the source of inspiration that led to her dancing career. The second play was performed by Sara MacKenzie, an actress and presenter from Glasgow, Scotland. It brought to light the role of women in society, and their struggle for equal rights.

Get ready for the Caye Caulker 2014 Miss Lobster Fest Pageant!
On Friday June 27th five young ladies will vie for the title of Miss Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2014-2015. Over the years, the pageant has become one of the highlights of the Caye Caulker lobster festival, drawing quite the crowd who come to see the ladies compete in the traditional event. Let us introduce this year’s contestants: Britany Ysagurirre, Jessica Tzalam, Jolene Williams, Veida Gomez and Gleselie Chan.

Garifuna Collective to bring culture onstage!
Also adding to the exciting Costa Maya lineup this year is the highly anticipated performance by Belize’s pride: The Garifuna Collective! The Collective will be bringing wonderful Garifuna drumming, lilting vocals and mesmerizing performances onstage for cultural night on Friday, August 8th. The evening is being planned to showcase an eclectic mix of performances, but surely the highlight will be the vibrant sounds of the Garifuna Collective. The committee extends a big ‘thank you’ to the sponsors who have lined up to promote and support this annual event. Those sponsors include Tropic Air, Matachica Resort, Victoria House, Heineken, Minister of Tourism, Cultural & Civil Aviation, Ramon’s Village Resort, Flowers Salazar & Associates, The San Pedro Sun, Ambergris Today, Fido’s, Jose Luis Photography/Designing Solutions, Reef Radio, Radio Love, Love FM/Estereo Amor, Great Belize Productions/Channel 5, San Pedro Belize Express, and The San Pedro Town Council.The committee would also like to take this opportunity to remind the general public that the International Costa Maya Festival® is a registered entity, and as such, asks businesses to refrain from using the name for their own purposes and promotions. To obtain permission to use the Costa Maya® name, kindly contact the festival committee at [email protected]

Ambergris Today

Mexican Trade Mission To Belize
ProMéxico (the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency) and the Embassy of Mexico are organizing a trade mission on June 18th at the Embassy in Belmopan and on June 19th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The objective of the mission is to strengthen trade relations between Mexico and Belize, identifying potential buyers and suppliers of a variety of products and/or services, as well as to find investment opportunities. Products include: chilli pepper sauces, achiote marinade, ketchup, vinegars, vanilla, jam concentrates, sausages, wines, liquors, chemical products for water treatment, water pumps and environmental sanitizers, paints, waterproofing pastes, protective coatings (paint, lumber and metals), industrial solvents, demoisturizing compounds, cleaning & drain openers, stainless steel polish & cleaner, non-chlorinated degreasers, CRM Software and GPS.

New Sport To Offer New Hope For Youth
The disconnect between youth and society at large is a real problem throughout Belize, particularly in densely populated areas where there is little opportunity for employment, and community facilities and services are stretched to breaking point. With unused reserves of energy and a need to be doing something, many young people end up taking the wrong path contributing to high rates of street and gang crime. But a new sports project aims to change all that. *The fastest growing sport in the world today is coming to Belize – Rugby Union is making its first appearance with the Hattieville United Youth Sports Club *Belize is the last in the region to join the worldwide rugby family, as plans revealed to launch the sport nationwide under the Belize Rugby Board

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Mexican Trade Mission To Belize
ProMéxico (the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency) and the Embassy of Mexico are organizing a trade mission on June 18th at the Embassy in Belmopan and on June 19th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The objective of the mission is to strengthen trade relations between Mexico and Belize, identifying potential buyers and suppliers of a variety of products and/or services, as well as to find investment opportunities. Products include: chilli pepper sauces, achiote marinade, ketchup, vinegars, vanilla, jam concentrates, sausages, wines, liquors, chemical products for water treatment, water pumps and environmental sanitizers, paints, waterproofing pastes, protective coatings (paint, lumber and metals), industrial solvents, demoisturizing compounds, cleaning & drain openers, stainless steel polish & cleaner, non-chlorinated degreasers, CRM Software and GPS.

New Sport To Offer New Hope For Youth
The disconnect between youth and society at large is a real problem throughout Belize, particularly in densely populated areas where there is little opportunity for employment, and community facilities and services are stretched to breaking point. With unused reserves of energy and a need to be doing something, many young people end up taking the wrong path contributing to high rates of street and gang crime. But a new sports project aims to change all that. *The fastest growing sport in the world today is coming to Belize – Rugby Union is making its first appearance with the Hattieville United Youth Sports Club *Belize is the last in the region to join the worldwide rugby family, as plans revealed to launch the sport nationwide under the Belize Rugby Board *Campaign to sign up players for Belize’s first national rugby union and rugby sevens teams – looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics and 2018 Commonwealth Games Under the catchy logo of ‘Community & Country’, Rugby Belize, a community-based sports project is being launched nationwide this summer aimed at offering rugby union as an alternative sport for energetic youth looking for something a little more challenging than soccer and basketball.

Signing of the Health and Safety Standards for Archaeological Reserves and Parks
The Bureau of Standards, with responsibility to engage relevant stakeholders to develop standards and technical regulations, established a Technical Committee (TC) for Tourism Services to develop prioritized standards in Belize’s tourism sector. The process for standards development must be demand driven to address a particular issue with respect to quality, safety, environment, health or any other legitimate objective. Therefore, the Tourism Services TC gave priority to the development of a standard for health and safety of archaeological parks and reserves as part of a project being executed by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the National Institute of Culture and History’s (NICH) “Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS)”. The project seeks to achieve the integration of rural communities into the tourism sector through improved infrastructure, improved health and safety standards at the archaeological reserves and parks with improved products and services being offered, particularly targeting products and services being offered by residents of communities.

CARSI-funded Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program
On Monday over 140 volunteers from the U.S. Embassy, the Dangriga Town Council, Dangriga Community Police, TIDE, students from QSI, Belmopan Community Police, Youth Cadets, and students enrolled in the CARSI-funded Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) program joined forces at Y-Not Island, Dangriga, Belize to clean up the beach in honor or World Oceans Day. Volunteers collected rubbish and separated plastics for recycling. A TIDE representative provided a presentation on the importance of preserving coral reefs and recycling.

National Police Training Academy to administer recruit entrance exam
The Police Department is changing the way it accepts new members to the rank and file. Starting with the next set of recruits intake, the entrance exam will be changed in order to evaluate the potential recruit’s “knowledge, skills and abilities.” The police recruit intake exam will now be administered in four areas: Math, Reading and Comprehension, Language and Writing skills. "In order to identify the best applicants who demonstrate that they have what it takes to become an effective police officer capable of policing a modern society, the National Police Training Academy will now prepare and administer the recruit entrance exam, designed to evaluate the applicant’s knowledge, skills and abilities to be a successful Police Officer. For example applicants must be able to read and comprehend material relating to policing and its procedure. Therefore, part of the written exam will contains a section on reading comprehension similar to what the applicants will read on the job. In other words the entrance exam will be relevant to skills, knowledge and ability that are needed to be an effective police officer, no prior law enforcement experience required. In light of the above in order to assist applicants in preparing for the upcoming police entrance exam, which is tentatively set for 26th July 2014, the Academy will now issue applicants with a study guide with sample questions and will be offering tutorial starting this Saturday 14th June 2014 to explain to the applicants what will be tested on the exam."

Corozal Police Report
ROBBERY and HARM: Delwyn Tun of San Joaquin Village, Corozal District, reported that on Saturday June 7th, 2014 about 10:00 p.m, he went to a bar situated behind the BTL tower in San Joaquin Village where he drank three beers before it closed at mid-night. About 12:30 a.m. on June 8th, 2014 after the bar had closed, he jumped on his bike and was riding home and going towards the BTL tower towards the Philip Goldson Highway and upon reaching by the corner of the BTL compound, he was attacked by two young men who were inside the same bar drinking previously. He recognized one of them to be a 17 year old minor and the other one, known to him as Alex Sutherland.

EXERCISE CAUTION on 7th Avenue, Corozal
The Corozal Daily warns commuters and pedestrians traveling on 7th Avenue (Philip Goldson Highway) especially approaching the entrance to Corozal from the Orange Walk side that sections of 7th Avenue have been converted to one lane. Kindly exercise extreme caution since the Belize Water Services Ltd (BWSL) and its workmen are carrying out special works in this area and deep drains have been dug in the area.

Macho Burger Challenge
Elvi's Kitchen - Who can finish this Macho Burger Challenge? It's coming back in September!!!! Contestants Get Ready!!

Seaborne debris in PG
Seaborne debris have started to wash up on the coastline of Punta Gorda town.

One step closer to drilling oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park
US Capital Energy Belize is one step closer to drilling oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park in Toledo. The company has confirmed completion of the drill pad and now awaits the arrival and installation of the rig that will drill for oil. All this while SATIIM and the Maya buffer communities continue to oppose the exercise because they say proper consultation was not carried out. SATIIM has vowed to block the rig from reaching the drill pad.

Travel around the world with your DigiCell PrePaid phone for less!
As of Friday, June 13, 2014, DigiCell PrePaid customers can enjoy the freedom of using DigiCell’s Voice Roaming service in over 30 countries around the world. BTL is thrilled to introduce lowered voice roaming rates which will be enjoyed by both postpaid and prepaid customers. So talk it up when you travel and stay in touch! International Roaming lets you stay in touch with friends, family and business associates when traveling abroad using your DigiCell phone. Our PostPaid customers have been enjoying this service since 2003 to over 200 countries worldwide. Prepaid customers can now join the roaming family by being able to make and receive calls and text messages in North America, Central America, the Caribbean and Europe to name a few, at the lowest roaming rates. Expansion to other parts of the world will be rolled out soon.

World Blood Donors Day 2014
Every year, on June 14, Belize joins the global community in celebrating World Blood Donor’s day by honoring its voluntary blood donors. The event raises awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. This year, the theme is "Safe Blood for Saving Mothers". This theme is relevant for Belize since pregnancy and childbirth services have received much priority by the Ministry of Health. Severe bleeding during delivery and after childbirth is a major cause of mortality, morbidity and long-term disability. The goal of the global campaign is to increase awareness about why timely access to safe blood and blood products is essential as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent maternal deaths.

$4.4 million for Corozal roads
Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow announces in his ongoing press conference this afternoon in Belize City, that the Government of Belize has allocated $4.4 million dollars to commence road works on the Philip Goldson Highway from the beginning of Social Security Building in Corozal Town right up to the Santa Rita Hill being "concreted". In addition, Prime Minister Barrow stated that he has asked the Mayor of Corozal Town to identify additional streets, starting with two that government will also pay for. PM Barrow further stated that this is on top of the five (5) streets that the Mayor already contracted with Imer Hernadez to do, two (2) of which have been completed which the government has paid for. PM Barrow announced that work in Corozal will begin on Monday.

Western Ballaz Heading to Finals
The Western Ballaz defeated the No Limit last Friday 75 - 57. They are heading to San Pedro to play the Tiger Sharks this Sunday in the 1st game of the NEBL finals. The game starts at 1:30pm. The Ballaz will host the 2nd game next Friday, June 20th. Thanks, Adma Chuc, for the great pictures of the fans, and the Ballaz. Go Ballaz!

Cayo West Art's Collection Call
The Benque House of Culture will be having a local art exhibit this Summer, and they are asking all local artists to submit their art. It can be in any media. If you are an artist, and would like to be in the exhibit, contact them at [email protected], or stop by the Benque HoC. The deadline for submission of works is June 26th. "Inviting artists to make their submissions for the Cayo West Art's Collection coming this Summer 2014"

We Will Rise - Giselle O'Brien
Cayo's Giselle O'Brien submitted 'We Will Rise' for this year's Commonwealth Music Competition. It's a beautiful song, and you can tell she put her heart and soul into it. She garnered 2400 votes before the competition closed. Great medley, wonderful lyrics, and a positive message. Go, Giselle! 'We will rise, we will stand, hand in hand!"

Channel 7

PM Says The Rod Of Correction Movement Can't Stir Unrest Against His Gov't
The social partners launched the Rod of Correction movement last week – presumably to lash government on a number of issues from Harmonyville to Penner to Danini Contreras. This afternoon in a three hour press conference – that went from 2:15 to 5:15 pm, the Prime Minister took on all their issues – and said he's happy they didn't get a crowd out on Saturday- but that's because they can't - not against his government: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I found the rhetoric emerging from the interviews that the principals gave in particular, the President of the NTUCB, to be disrespectful, to be entirely confrontational, and to be - in a word - rude. But, let me make clear; it takes 2 to quarrel. I am not going to respond in kind. I do want to make clear though, that I see the rhetoric as out of all proportion to the issues raised. There is no doubt that a number of things have bubbled recently, and that there is a degree of disquiet on the part of several sectors of the society, pertaining to some of the issues raised. But, having conceded that, having granted that, I have to say that the position adopted, the effort made to suggest that the sky is falling down, is absolutely unsustainable when you look at the facts.

PM Says Teachers, Public Officers Will Get 6% Raise
And, teachers and public officers were surely missing from Saturday's protest – and that may be because their raise is working out to more than the 5% first promised. The Prime Minister discussed the final figure today: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "It turns out that they're getting 6%. When you add that with the annual 3% increment, you're talking about a global figure of 9%. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm making the case to you, to the public, this afternoon, that while I can understand the public officers and the teachers want even more, certainly, Government has done, as I said, extremely handsomely by them, and we cannot do more without then passing on the additional portion of a new bill that will become due to the taxpayers. The public officers and the teachers are a critically important and valuable element of our society, but they're not the whole society."

Unions Upset About Being Dismissed by PM
But while the PM says government has gone as far as it can with the salary adjustment – when the government wrote to the unions to say it wanted to formally close the collective bargaining negotiation on June 19th, it upset the unions. They explained what was in the letter that angered them: Luke Palacio - President, BNTU "The Prime Minister has written saying that those proposals will not be discussed further. They're not supported, and therefore, that is the end of the process. We do not agree because that is not how negotiations work." Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer - Acting President, APSSM "Stated in that letter, I know what upset me, personally was the fact that in there, the Prime Minister suggested our so-called outstanding proposal. Those proposals are very important to us and our members, so that in fact, the word. I don't know what was in his mind, when in fact that was put there, but I do know that it is subject to a number of interpretations, including a very dismissive interpretation. The 5 outstanding proposals, we were not ever given an opportunity to put forward our case. From the very beginning, when the CBA was gotten back, those had not supported, not supported. So, at no point in time, there were any meaningful and serious discussion, except with the health insurance. And, to be dismissed just like that, I think that is why we're not - we're not happy." The union says it is consulting with its membership and joint councils of management about what it should do about that proposed June 19th signing date. One of the outstanding proposals that it says is being pushed off the table without consideration is health insurance for public officers and teachers.

PM To Unions: I'm Sorry You're Sorry, But...

This afternoon, the Prime Minister discussed their hurt feelings – and said he's sorry, but he can't do anymore:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I am sorry, the Collective Bargaining Process has to come to an end. You haven't gotten everything that you've asked for, but by God, you've gotten 90%, in a real world, with a government having a responsibility to an entire country, with finances being what they are. For God sake, man, understand that we can do no more."

PM: Heck No to Harmonyville's Plant Di Corn Initiative
And one more issue of burning public interest that the Prime Minister weighed in one today is Harmonyville and their desire to "plant di corn" on the 29 acres of road reserve between their community and the highway. He held the government's position that it will strictly not be permitted: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "You can't plant corn on the road reserve, for 2 obvious reasons. The road reserves are there for a purpose, and road reserves belong to the Government and people. Well, ladies and gentlemen, our position is quite straight-forward. We're not going to countenance illegality, lawless behaviour. It is simply not going to happen. If the members of the Harmonyville community really want to plant corn on any portion the 1,300 acres that they own, Government will - by way of the Department of Agriculture - make seeds available, make extension services available - may even be prepared to use bulldozers to assist the individual owners in in fact planting corn. It is just that, Mr. Harmonyville, you will not plant corn on the road reserve." As we said it was a three hour press conference today – and so far, we've only excerpted about seven and a half minutes. We'll have a few more choice cuts form the PM's press conference later on – including today's big reveal: the formal announcement that Darrell Bradley will run for mayor in a second term.

Police On City-Wide Crackdown
For the past 2 days, we've been reporting the 4 shootings in Belize City, which are all believed to be connected to a flare-up between Ghost Town and George Street. It has resulted in 8 people getting shot, one of whom is in a critical condition, and another being brain dead. Well, police are taking action to prevent further retaliation. The police high command has since given the order that they will be stricter when it comes to enforcing the law, and they will be prosecuting offences, no matter how petty they may be. It started yesterday and today with check points at the Belcan Bridge, the Bel China Bridge, and the Pound Yard Bridge. Today, Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura hosted a press briefing at the corner of Vernon and Mayflower Street, the location where Rafael Cruz was shot yesterday. He explained that what investigators have found out is that these shootings started with misunderstandings between members of the two gangs, which transferred over to the gangs causing an escalation: ACP Miguel Segura - OC, Eastern Division "The analysis of this case, as I mentioned, is that they started on a personal note in the night club, and this could have been dealt with on a person to person. That issue should have been resolved, but it has escalated now that it has now gotten to the point that it is between a gang to another gang. That's why we saw the other incidents. Our police response, and all actions, we started in meeting the key players, to try to see and hear why it started, to resolve these issues.

Cane Farming Executive, PUP Political Aspirant Alfred Ortega Almost Committed To Jail
Viewers may know Alfredo Ortega. He is the vice-chairman of the committee of management for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, and he has been one of the mediators for the cane farmers whenever there is a breakdown in industrial relations with BSI/ASR. Well he dodged being sent to prison today after he managed to make a partial payment to Family court for arrears he owed to his ex-common-law wife. In February 2004, the Family Court issued a ruling that Ortega should pay Alba Luz Galeano $30 every week for spousal maintenance. The family Court records say that he paid all the way up to November 2006, and for the next 8 years he let the arrears grow. The last check was February 14 of this year, and by their calculations, he owed $11,460 in maintenance. That's when the court decided that a bailiff had to mark his belongings to be sold off as chattel to cover the debt, but it was discovered that he didn't have enough to cover the amount. That's when the sitting Magistrate issued a warrant for his committal in distress since February of this year. It was finally executed against Ortega, who told our colleagues from CTV3 News that he made a substantial payment toward the amount so that the warrant wasn't executed. He claims that he will make arrangements to cover the rest of the debt owed to this ex-common-law.

After Three Months Of Flip-Flopping: Mayor Bradley Will Run Again
Today's marathon prime ministerial press conference was overtaken by national issues: but the first item on the agenda was a local one: the announcement that Mayor Darrell Bradley will offer himself for a second term. In a sense that brings us right back to where we started: February 27, 2014 – an afternoon press conference with the prime minister in that very same Caracol Rook on the fifth floor of the Radisson. That's when the mayor said he would run again – and then immediately changed his mind. He's been flip flopping like that in the three and a half months since. But today, he announced that he will run: Mayor Darrell Bradley - Will Run For Re-Election to Office "Prime Minister, you have 100% committed mayor. It is something I regret in terms of my lack of certainty, and when one aspires to any office, one needs know that they're 100% committed to that office. That is why it has been difficult for me. But now, standing before you, I can say to the Prime Minister and to members of the public, that I am 100% committed to doing far more than we have done in this first year, and I know that it can be done with this team, with this City Council, and under the leadership of the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow.

PM On Justice Of Appeal Awich
Today the Prime Minister also fielded questions of Justice of Appeal Awich. The Bar Association came out strong with a resolution saying that the timing of Awich's re-appointment raises the issue of an appearance of bias. They are referring to the fact that Awich's lead decision in the case of the BTL;'s 2nd acquisition was presented on the same day his contract expired. Barrow told the press he had no choices with the timing: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "It is well-known that there has been a historical problem between certain members of the Bar - I am not sure who all attended the meeting - certain elements of the leadership of the Bar, and Mr. Justice Awich. One of the complaints or one of the things flagged by the Bar Association's resolution was the fact that we were proposing to renew the appointment after the last court judgement, in which the leading decision was given by Mr. Justice Awich, and the Government won. Well, suppose we had given the extension of the contract before the decision came down, you'd have heard that we did it as an inducement. We said we would wait. Let the judgement be over and done with, and then we can proceed. They turn around they still complained about that."

PM Doesn't Exactly Open Door For Puerto Azul
And the Prime Minister was also asked to address the Puerto Azul Project that's been generating so much controversy in the conservation community. He said there is no project, only a concept: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister Dean Barrow "Government's position, we have detailed a set of criteria. I believe there are 5 points that constitute a litmus test. Mr. Proposer, when you get your act together, when you come to the final concept that represents an articulated proposal, we will examine your 'project' to see whether it passes the tests laid down in the 5 criteria. If it fails to meet even 1 of the tests, it's no-go. So, not a problem that the environmentalists and other people are already getting excited, vigilance, even if perhaps a little premature, is welcomed. But, please, let us, again, deal with the facts and the reality of this thing not having gone anywhere. Let me assure all concerned that no kind of approval will be given except all the processes required by law, by public policy, and by good governance have been gone through." And so what about those pictures his ministers of tourism and investment took in Cannes at the gala event launching the project – and who paid for them to go there? The Prime Minister said it was paid for by the sponsors:

Props For Peter: PM Stands Up for Much Maligned CEO Peter Allen
And moving to the subject of another embattled public official: the Prime Minister gave a staunch defence of embattled Chief Executive Officer Peter Allen. Allen has been called out by the auditor general for not putting measures in place at the Southern Regional Hospital where 366 thousand dollars was siphoned out of an account that no one was checking. Still, the Pm said Allen is a good guy in a tough situation…. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "I have to go by what I know - and I am conceding that that was - Lord - a misstep. But, examining this thing as closely as I can, I do not feel that again, the bill of indictment that the public, the media have presented against Peter Allen, reaches the point where I, as the person ultimately responsible for CEO's, can say that Peter Allen ought to go. He knows because it's a fact that's ventilated over and over. He knows that there is tightening up that has to be done because he is on the 'back foot' where the media and the public are concerned. I believe him well capable of taking the remedial steps that may be necessary, and as I say, I certainly am utterly convinced that capacity-wise, this guy has it, and can do a job as CEO in the Ministry."

Kenrick Still Serving Life
And taking a quick break from all the political news, convicted murderer Kenrick Williams had his life sentence affirmed today after the Court of Appeal dismissed his case. Williams was convicted in the Supreme Court of strangling 16 year-old Elia Gonzalez after having sexual intercourse with her. The incident happened on March 23, 2004. The second form student didn't make it home that evening at around 3 because Williams abducted her and dragged her into the bushes, tied her up with her shoelaces, and he then forced himself. While in the act, he was choking her, and when he was finished, he realized that he had suffocated her. He was tried and convicted in December 2009, but a mistrial was declared. He was tried again in July 2012, where he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Municipalities Do Stock Taking
In September 2010, the World Bank approved 30 million dollars to be disbursed to the 7 municipalities of Corozal, Orange Walk, Santa Elena/San Ignacio, Benque Viejo, Dangriga, Punta Gorda and Towns, and Belmopan City as part of the Municipal Development Project. Since then, the project has been in its first phase, and these 7 municipalities have benefited from the project in the form of major infrastructure upgrading works. Today, all 7 of the local government leaders were invited to a work shop hosted by the Social Investment Fund today in Belmopan, and 7News stopped in. This project was an incentive by the World Bank to that these leaders improve their management capacities, and 4 out of 7 mayors describe how their respective towns would benefit from the second phase: Gilbert Swazo - Mayor, Dangriga Town "Within that plan is - it includes our strategy in relation to whatever development we want to do with our beach front, with a view then to establish a kind of tourism - cultural tourism among others, so that we have a viable industry within Dangriga. It will also minimize the kind of transit tourism that we're seeing, because don't have infrastructure."

PG Mayor Says His Town Coming Around
And while we had the opportunity, we asked Mayor Anthony Fuentes from the Punta Gorda Town Council about the situation which became so dire that the Ministry of Local Government had to intervene 2 months ago. Fuentes told us today that the problem is caused by a lack of employment in PG, which then transfers over to non-payment of taxes, which then causes a loss in the council's revenue stream: Anthony Fuentes - Mayor, PG Town "The Punta Gorda Town Council, like any other council, has its challenge, especially with finances. So, in other to alleviate problems like these, jobs need to be created. If you don't have a job, you can't pay your property tax, and if you can't pay your property tax, then the council will not be able to provide certain services. So, it's only fair that jobs are being created for the People of Punta Gorda Town, so that they can pay their property taxes. What we have been doing is to work closely with the Ministry of Local Government, so see how we can improve in providing a better service for the people of Punta Gorda Town. It's very challenging at times, and so, from time we'll have the Director, and of course, individuals from SIF going down to assist us greatly. Over the year, we've had with problems or difficulties with a finance officer. That, of course, is one of the criteria in order to access funding under the Belize Municipal Development Project. That is one of the criteria set out by World Bank, and so, we've had difficulty getting a finance officer. When I got elected as mayor, we had a finance officer. She had a tonsil problem, and so, she resigned. We got another one; she was qualified. She got a better paying job, and she left, and so, we got someone else, and this person has resigned as well. So, we're working closely to advertise the position, so that we could get a finance officer for Punta Gorda Town. That has been one of the major challenges, but apart from that, we've tried our best to deliver a lot of the services to the people of Punta Gorda Town.

Social Security Says Your Card Is Ready
Last night we told you about the three month delay for new social security cards at the Social Security Board. As we reported, it was caused by a shortage of the protective plastic that goes over the card, a very basic item. Well, the Social Security announced today that those of you who have been patiently – or impatiently – waiting on your new cards, you can come in to check for them. SSB says that the cards have been available since June 2, and they also apologize for inconveniences caused. A few persons we know who've been waiting told us they called after the second, and were told their cards were still not ready...

PSE Results Coming June 12th.
Tonight may teachers, parents and school administrators are anxiously awaiting the release of the PSE results. And right that they should. Last year, the PSE results were released on June 7th, and in 2012 it was issued on June 12th. Well, today is June 11th…so when is it coming out? That's what we asked the education CEO today: Jules Vasquez "What is the final verdict on PSE results? We know that last year, it was out June 7." David Leacock - CEO, Ministry of Education "And in 2012, you told me it was in June 12, which would be tomorrow right? Right now, we're in the process of printing the results that will go out to the schools, so by tomorrow morning, all that should be completed, and we then ship that out to the various districts to get to the schools. So, by tomorrow, there will be a release." So tune in tomorrow night for those results...

Hon. Dean Defending Danini
Earlier you heard the Prime Minister defend the CEO in the Minsitry of Health. Well, today at his press conference, the Prime Minister also defended another controversial employee in the Ministry of Health Danini Contreras. The Belize Pharmacist Association has objected ot her being hired as the director of the drug inspectorate because she has no experience. The PM clearly thinks experience is over-rated: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "Other issues having to do with the Belize Pharmacist Association, again, I will not make light of their concerns. I believe that Ms. Contreras, who is Minister Contreras' daughter, has a degree, is qualified. They say that she doesn't have experience. Well, I don't know how you get experience, except by in fact working. What qualifies you to work is the acquisition of these degrees, these papers, these certifications. I understand that I will never get the Pharmacists Association to agree with us. I am afraid, respectfully, then, we will have to continue with the difference of opinion there."

Hulse on Auditor General's Report
And today in our very last item from the prime ministerial press conference, we asked Immigration Minister Hulse about the auditor general's report. COLA issued a release yesterday saying that it indicts senior officials in the Department, especially Director of Immigration, Maria Marin for showing blatant disrespect to the office of the Auditor General. It adds that the Report indicates that according to the Director, much, if not all of the pertinent information requested by the Audit Department is with Godwin Hulse. We asked Hulse about that today:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse - Minister of Immigration "The only issue, I will say, with respect to that is that indeed, she alleges that there was non-cooperation on the part of the Director. That is absolutely inaccurate, and I will say that, because as I understand it, officers who were doing the audit kept asking officers in Immigration for documentation, and their response was, it is with the Director, or is it with the Minister. There is a protocol in Government for communications, man. It's called memorandum. The Auditor General, when her officer reported that to her, should have written to the Director formally to request - or written to the Ministry. Now, I understand from the Director that there was no such correspondence written to her to request any documentation. I understand that from her. I can categorically say that there was none written to the Ministry, as there was no correspondence to me saying, 'We needed documents A,B and C, which we understand are in your custody, or the custody of the CEO'. There was no such correspondence. When the Auditor General did write to me, of course, I immediately responded and say, 'Oh no, we'll give you maximum cooperation, and if there is an issue with getting documentation, please forward that to the CEO, who will facilitate forthwith.' That, was done."

Channel 5

Rod of Correction is an attempt to recreate the unrest of 2005
Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted a press conference this afternoon, his first in at least six months. So you can understand that there were many questions. In fact, the session [...]

Unions to get 6% salary adjustment
While the PM took his initial jab at ROC, he pulled no punches when it comes to the unions who are behind ROC, and claims that the agitation of the [...]

PM says Union demands are irrational and will not be countenanced
PM Barrow says that the IMF is actually telling the government to retrench public officers, as is being done all over the region. And it’s more than that. Teachers and [...]

BYGEA will not plant corn in the buffer area of Harmonyville says PM
Then the PM turned from the unions to the group which organized the rally on Saturday. BGYEA wants to plant corn on about sixty acres of buffer zone at Harmonyville [...]

Barrow speaks on the Auditor General’s report on the passport scandal
The Auditor-General’s report on corruption in Immigration surrounding the Won Hong Kim/Elvin Penner passport scandal was handed over on March twenty-first to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Immigration. [...]

Barrow maintains there is factual guilty, but not legal guilt in respect of Elvin Penner
And that brings us to the man at the centre of the scandal, former Minister of State Elvin Penner. According to PM Barrow, any suggestion that there is a cover-up [...]

Brass of police says that recent spate of shootings is gang related
Gang rivalry was at the root of a spate of shootings that started over the weekend and continued through Tuesday. As many as nine persons were shot and injured including [...]

BSCFA’s Alfredo Ortega is arrested
Alfredo Ortega has been the face of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association for years. First as Chairman and now as Vice Chairman, he has been at the fore of [...]

Valley of Peace man stabbed to chest by drunk farmer
A Valley of Peace resident is tonight admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Western Regional Hospital following a stabbing incident on Tuesday afternoon. Sometime around two p.m., forty-three [...]

PM reacts to Mark King’s scandalous comments
Minister of State Mark King came under fire recently for comments he made, claiming that they represented the policy of his government. King claimed that the government looks after, “U.D.P.s [...]

PM says NCL is fair game to getting contracts
In the same interview in which those comments were aired, Minister of State Mark King stated that he is lobbying Norwegian Cruise Lines on behalf of a security company he [...]

Is Peter Allen on his way out?
Ministry of Health C.E.O. Peter Allen has come under serious and sustained fire recently. There have been public allegations made against him by parties in the Ministry of Health who [...]

PM on comprehensive audits at health institutions
You heard earlier about Prime Minister Barrow’s comments on Health C.E.O. Peter Allen. He also touched on the comprehensive audits at the Southern Regional Hospital and the Central Region. But [...]

PM confirms reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich
The reappointment of Justice Samuel Awich has been opposed by the Opposition and the Bar Association which went as far as to issue a resolution saying it did not support [...]

Darrell Bradley will seek re-election as Belize City Mayor
Today’s press conference started with a focus on Belize City Council matters, and the matter on the top of that list is the political future of Mayor Darrell Bradley. Earlier [...]

PM says despite existing plan, there is not yet a Puerto Azul project
Since its grand introduction on the French Riviera a few weeks ago, to coincide with the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, the Puerto Azul development project, a proposed multimillion dollar tourism [...]

Town councils gear up for the thirty million-dollar Belize Municipal Development Project
The thirty million dollar Belize Municipal Development Project was the focus of a workshop in Belmopan today. The BMDP was rolled out a year ago, and so far there have [...]

Mayor Kevin Bernard says Orange Walk streets in bad shape
The Belize Tourism Industry Association, Orange Walk Chapter, on Tuesday in a release complained about the bad state of streets in Orange Walk Town. While works are currently underway on [...]

Court of Appeal upholds life sentence conviction of Kenrick Williams
Kenrick Williams, sentenced to life in prison for the murder of a minor in 2004, will remain incarcerated at the Belize Central Prison after a panel of judges at the [...]


MOH Holds Workshop In The Quality And Care For Patients
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with Mental Health Associations across the country, hosted a workshop at the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino conference room over the weekend for countrywide stakeholders in the quality and care for patients program. In attendance were 18 nurses from across the country including a social worker. Corozal Psychiatric Nurse Rosalia Juchim told us more. Rosalia Juchim - Psychiatric Nurse “It’s main focus is management on drug and alcohol, addiction disorder and participants including mental health personnel, the psychiatrist nurse practitioners from across the country and the only social worker in Belize. Our objective is combating and preventing drug substance abuse in the country and some of our topics include introduction to substance use disorder, screening with use of screening tools, evaluation and treatment so we had different groups where we did the interviewing and the role play of the sessions so we had data gathering with the use of screening tools, treatment planning and some brief interventions also.”

Tenant Sues Land-Lord For More Monies Invested In Property
Today a fifty nine year old Orange Walk resident visited our studios in what he calls a last effort to finding some help in his current situation. Benjamin Popper, a resident of Otro Benque Street in Orange Walk says that he has been having some trouble with two tenants who have been renting his house on the same address since 2012. The tenants, Popper says have not been paying their full rent but it was ok with him; that is, until he decided to collect a lump sum of eight hundred dollars that had been accumulating over the course of the months. They refused to pay up and so Popper said he sued the couple. But they turned around and sued him for over six thousand dollars which they are claiming is money they invested in Poppers property. Popper told us more about the situation. Benjamin Popper – Complainant “The guy want to get aggressive all of them want to get involve to coming to court, so right owe why I am here is because I summons them for a money that they owe me a little by little about $800.00 they owe me and I carry check and we went to court they summons me for six thousand four hundred and odd dollars. I summons them for eight hundred and now they summons me for six thousand four hundred dollars; three thousand it for the material and two thousand and odds dollars is for labor but let’s go say that I agree that they invest, they never invest it for me I am not winning nothing out of that they invest it in themselves so now should I have to pay them and the law give benefit as the rights and they have receipts for everything and the judge is with them and I can’t defend myself.”

Isabelle Swasey Winner Of Spelling Bee Competition
Yesterday we told you about the winners of the 20th National Spelling Bee Competition that saw Orange Walk district place runner up in the competition. After 3 hours of competition and reaching up to round 7, 3 students emerged as the best of the 12 finalists including Louisiana Gov’t School finalist, Isabelle Swasey. We got her reaction to the competition today while attending school. Isabelle Swasey “I am very trilled at this moment. Some parts were easy and some parts were hard.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Tell us more about it, the words that you were given was it foreign to you, did you know them?” Isabelle Swasey “Well, it is the training that I got, had seven coaches but they are very good coaches. Some word had silent letters and some randomly they put in the reserve.”

Louisiana Primary School Wins Coca Cola Banner Competition
And while the Louisiana Primary school boasted the second best speller, history shows that the schools performance in competitions of art and sports is another strong hold. This weekend, they snagged first place in the Coca Cola Banner competition which is held simultaneously with the Spelling Bee competition. Teacher Alginold Bennett says it was a collective effort between teacher and students. Alginold Benett “Two years we won it with a banner that it was the first time not a rectangular shape and this year we were actually competing not against the other districts but we were competing against ourselves basically. Next year we have some talented speller inline to take over from Isabelle and we will be there again at Spanish Lookout getting that first price again in the banner competition and this time also in the Spelling Bee, I would like to mention the name of the teachers who worked hard on that banner because without their hard work we wouldn’t get that first place every year; we have of course Miss Rosy who you have spoken to already, we have Miss Cruz, Miss Sharon, we had Miss Lily who had that wonderful idea of using an umbrella to create that bag, we had that strong support of the administration, Miss Debbie and Miss Perla and Mr. Rick and we had other teachers like Miss Zenaida and Mr. Jose and some students, Noel and Naizer, and Loaney whose input was instrumental in getting that banner the way it was and we even had my art students , it is a really nice idea that when put together created a beautiful blend when all the banners were up there on display the judges had no option except to award Louisiana once more the first place.”

US National Suffers Seizure Attack And Collides Into Truck
A US national residing in the Corozal District is tonight hospitalized at the Corozal Community Hospital after being involved in a traffic accident this afternoon. Paramedics were called to Fifth Avenue around 1:30 this afternoon and observed a red Dodge 1500 pickup truck bearing license plate C17407 with extended damages to its front portion. CTV3 News understands that the diver of the truck, US national Nancy Neftchi, had a seizure attack while driving the vehicle which caused her to lose control and ran into a parked freightliner cargo truck belonging to ServiTech, which was parked in front of courts.

Road Conditions Causing Financial Loss Across The Board
Whether you ask a vendor, the layman, businesspersons or any individual residing in Orange Walk Town their sentiments towards the towns road infrastructure will be the same. Since the incumbent town council took office, the pleas and cries from residents to Central Government have gone on deaf ears. It was one of their biggest promises made to Orange Walkenos in their manifesto and today the dilapidated streets is at its worse condition despite the councils efforts to maintain them. But if we talk about streets, it is not only those that fall under the council’s jurisdiction that are in deplorable conditions. So is the pot hole ridden Philip Goldson Highway, especially the portion that runs through Orange Walk Town. But the effect goes beyond mounting mechanic bills because according to the Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter, the bad condition of the highway is causing a trickling financial loss across the board. In that light, the association lashed out at the Government in the form of the press release on urgent repairs to the Towns roads. Lourdes Saldivar, interim Vice President of the Association expressed much discontentment and frustration in relation of the streets of Orange Walk Town.

Hawaiians Product Took Second Place In Caribbean Micro financing Award
In last night’s newscast we presented to you the success story of seventeen year old Eider Romero founder of ER’s Icy Treats who won Best young entrepreneur in the Caribbean in the third annual Citi-CMFA Caribbean Microfinance Awards. Tonight, we feature the success of twenty-five year old Eliel Reynoso owner of Hawaianas who won second best young entrepreneur in the Caribbean and took one thousand five hundred US dollars as his prize. Here is his story. Dalila Ical – Reporting On a hot day like today one of these shaved ice is refreshing and somewhat heaven sent. But, this is no ordinary “ice”. This product has a unique zest that has propelled its inventor to success. He is twenty-five year old Eliel Reinoso who has been self-employed for the last three years. Eliel Reynoso – Micro-Entrepreneur “The first mixture that I did was the Hawaiian; I put some lime, salt and pepper and pine apple so it is mixed so that whenever I mixed it up in the cup it stays like sweet and sour right, it doesn’t stay that sour and that sweet and then I have the fruit cocktail which is the milk syrup pineapple and papaya and then I have this one which is the chocolate cocktail still milk syrup, pineapple and papaya and then I add the chocolate Hershey’s on top and then I have the tam bran and the chamois too I have basically seven product.”


Corruption Exists In Civil Service
The Central Health Regional and the Southern Regional Hospital Audits were leaked to the media and it pointed out to gross misused of funds by its administrators. During his press conference, PM Barrow, described is as plain stealing. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister “Well I will point to the fact that the audits are commissioned by the ministry, by the Government, precisely because if there wasn’t a suspicion that all was not well, there was recognition that there was a need to find out. So, in a sense we are being hoist on our own petard; you commission audit and no one will give you any credit for that by way of saying that you are trying to get to whatever is wrong; what they do is give you a stick licking when the audits disclose that in fact, public officers and again, when they talk about ministerial corruption – fine…let us have no argument with that but please recognize that there is a great deal of civil service corruption and that Auditor General’s report fingers a ring of public officers…..but let us hope that what the audit discloses will mean that every effort will be taken to try and better police the system in order to avoid the kinds of irregularities and out right stealing that has clearly been taking place.”

Barrow Says, “There Is No Puerto Azul Project.”
Puerto Azul- it’s the multi million dollars project designed to be built in Northern 2 Caye of Lighthouse Reef. It’s described as a mega project for the mega rich and fabulous. The environmental community has announced its utmost concern of the project. Prime Minister addressed the matter. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “There is no Puerto Azul Project; there is this proposal; there is this concept and indeed Government has engaged the potential developers about their ideas but it has not gone beyond that. I know for a fact that, Lighthouse Reef, that the Puerto Azul people are not the owners of that property. They have, as I understand it, made some sort of an escrow deposit as part of their efforts to try and acquire ownership and by the way, the ownership which is in private hands has nothing to do with this Government; so, let us be absolutely clear about that. But they come with a concept, we want foreign investment, we want an investment in tourism and as a Government we are obliged to give them a listen. Certainly, when I first met them, they had called on me some months ago; a lot of what they were describing struck me as absolutely unrealistic and complete wishful thinking and I think I told them that. So, even from then they were sent to scale down their concept.”

Bar Association Application Denied Ref. Justice Awich
Last week it was reported that the Bar Association was not pleased with the re-appointed of Justice Awich to the Court of Appeal. A resolution passed by the Bar Association says that the Bar condemns the appointment of Court of Appeal judges on short term contracts….and calls on the Government to discontinue the private negotiation of the terms and conditions of service for Court of Appeal judges. Prime Minister Dean Barrow responded to the Bar Association. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “We had no obligation to consult the Bar Association; we had an obligation to consult the Leader of the Opposition, who then in-turn consulted the Bar Association setting in motion the process that saw them actually issue a resolution then the Leader of the Opposition writes me and says, ‘this is the Bar Association’s position and therefore I don’t concur. It strikes me that he is not discharging his constitutional duty. If he says, ‘look, here is what the Bar Association says and here is what I say as Leader of the Opposition and let me show you the extent to which my position is informed by the position of the Bar’…but simply to tell me what the Bar’s position is, he is failing in his constitutional responsibilities.

PM Says Danini Stays
Prime Minister Dean Barrow also spoke of the appointment of Danini Contreras as the Director of the Drug Inspectorate Unit- something the Pharmacist’s association was against. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “Miss Contreras, who is Minister Contreras’ daughter has a degree, is qualified; they say she doesn’t have experience; well, I don’t know how you get experience except by in fact, working and what qualifies you to work is the acquisition of these degrees, these certifications. I understand that I will never get the Pharmacy Association to agree with us and I am afraid that respectfully then, we will have to continue with the difference of opinion there.”

PM Tells BGYEA to Plant Corn on Their Lands
The Big Grass Youth Empowerment Association, BGYEA, forms part of the Rod of Correction, and BGYEA wants to plant corn in the buffer zone of Harmonyville on the George Price Highway. During his Press Conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow firstly criticized the NTUCB for taking BGYEA’s side and said that there will be no planting of corn. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW Prime Minister of Belize “I don’t understand how the NTUCB can say this is about planting corn and an uncaring, cruel, mean Government wanting to stop the people from planting corn. That is not the issue at all; all we are saying is that you can’t plant corn on the road reserve for two obvious reasons: the road reserves are there for a purpose and the road reserves belong to the Government and people. Why on earth is there no reference to the fact that it is one thousand three hundred and twenty seven point one three nine acres (1327.139) that exist at Harmonyville; one thousand and about forty leases have been issued by this Government to the Harmonyville collective. Everything has been given out to them; Government facilitated this by having the Lands Department meet on Saturdays and all this was done on the backs of an acquisition of the property of which Government and tax payers had to pay one million nine hundred and ninety thousand seven hundred and eight dollars and fifty cents ($1,990,708.50) for; we did all that.

Family Members Speak Out on Cob’s Incident
When we spoke with Corozal Police yesterday they told us they were not cetain whether the injuries suffered by Leocadio Cob of Xaibe Village were as a result of an assault or a hit and run incident. Today Love News spoke with Cob’s nephew, Stephen Martinez who said Cob was the victim of a traffic incident. STEPHEN MARTINEZ “I see when he got thrown out there and then people came and the ambulance was called but they came half an hour later and the police came and they picked him up. When they picked him his head was bloody and his eye was coming out. If they had beaten him his eye wouldn’t have come out; that was a knock down incident. When we came back, I saw my uncle right there on the side. We saw a white vehicle that allegedly knocked down my uncle. The vehicle was there parked but no one came out. The tire tracks are still there where he parked. After that I saw him leave and he never came back. The police still hadn’t gotten here when the vehicle left.”

Aspiring Politician Detained For Outstanding Child Support Payments
He has been in the news more often times than not and it is usually for the lobbying efforts for the Belize sugar cane farmers….but tonight we tell you of the Vice President of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Alfred Ortega’s plight as he was arrested and detained at the Orange Walk Police Station for an estimated two hours due to an outstanding debt of an estimated eleven thousand dollars for child maintenance. Reports to Love News are that he was picked up by police from his home in Trial Farm Village at around two o’clock this afternoon on the strength of a committal warrant. He was released about two hours later but Love News has been unable to confirm whether Ortega paid the outstanding amount in full or if he had made some payment arrangements at the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court. Ortega has submitted his name in the Orange Walk North Standard Bearer convention under the umbrella of the People’s United PArty.

Court of Appeals Dismisses Case of Convicted Murderer
An appeal by Kenrick Williams, who was convicted of the murder of 16 year old Elia Gonzalez and sentenced to life imprisonment, was dismissed today by Belize Court of Appeal. Williams’ conviction and sentence were affirmed. The incident occurred shortly after 3 p.m. on March 23, 2004 0n the Conception\Libertad Road in the bushes near to a water tank. According to the evidence, Williams met Gonzalez on the Conception\Libertad Road and took her into the bushes and had sex with her. He was squeezing her throat while he was having sex with her and when he was finished he observed that she was not moving. Williams’ attorney, Phillip Palacio, had appealed on the main ground that the learned trial judge failed to give to the jury the Mushtaq direction which means that the judge should have told the jury that if it found that the caution statement given by Williams was obtained under duress it should disregard the statement. The response by the Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryl-Lyn Vidal was that even if the Jury was not given the Mushtaq direction there was sufficient circumstantial evidence for the jury to convict the appellant. Williams was convicted of murder on July 4, 2012. He was sentenced to life 14 days later. The trial was his second. The jury was unable to reach a verdict at the first trial.


BNTU Waits on Final Assessment of Merger
As we have been reporting three Belize City high schools on the South-side have planned to engage each other’s resources to provide the best education to their students. Some 500 students, not including new entrants, will benefit from this first-of-its-kind program administered by the Secondary School Management Unit of...

Candidate for PUP Standard Bearer Arrested Before Convention
Alfredo Ortega, a candidate running for PUP Standard bearer Orange Walk North Constituency, was arrested today in the peak of Candidacy. According to reports at about 2 o’clock this after, Orange Walk police went to detain Ortega at his home in Trial Farm over a Committal Warrant. Ortega was...

Prime Minister Speaks on Rod of Correction
The Prime Minister of Belize hosted a press conference this afternoon in Belize City. With numerous social issues raised recently and the formation of an amalgamation of unions, social and activist organizations, the Prime Minister spent a great deal of the press conference addressing not only the formation of...

Darrell Bradley Will Run for Belize City Mayor Again
It’s now official: Mayor Darrell Bradley will run for that post again under the aegis of the United Democratic Party (UDP). This afternoon  UDP leader Dean Barrow announced that an understanding had been reached between the Mayor and the two men waiting in the wings to potentially replace him,...

Unions Scrap for Greater Salary Adjustment
The Government of Belize has estimated that teachers and public officers, based on a special formula of 50% of gross revenue, will receive some $22 million more in salary, not including increments, for the next three years. It is the biggest of 23 proposals under discussion for the past...

Unions Not Ready to Sign Collective Bargaining Agreement
As previously noted, the salary adjustment issue is the biggest one, but only one of the 23 proposals on the table for the collective bargaining agreement since 2008. The unions have been given a deadline of June 19 to agree to the entire agreement, even as Prime Minister Dean...

Man Stabbed to the Chest for No Apparent Reason
A man was stabbed to the chest and he says it was for no apparent reason. Yesterday afternoon, 43-year-old Luis Guevara, a Belizean labourer of Valley of Peace, Cayo District, was at home at Santos Amaya’s farm located 4 miles north of Valley of Peace. That is when he...

Teenagers Charged for Robbery
Delwyn Tun, a Belizean of San Joaquin Village, Corozal District, reported that on Saturday the 7th June 2014 about 10:00pm, he had a few drinks at a bar and at about midnight, he headed home on his bicycle. When he reached near the BTL tower towards the Phillip Goldson...

Dangriga Market Back on the Way
The 2013 Dangriga Market Controversy placed a black eye on the once good name of The Social Investment Fund known as SIF and as such, the organization was compelled to let go its former Executive Director among others. Earlier this year, the organization announced its new executive director and...

Eric Chang has Mayor’s Approval
Late last year he was in hot water with his boss and the people of Belize but Councilor Eric Chang appears to be back in the good graces of the former, if not the latter. He was suspected, but never proven, to be the courier of the Won Hong...

Penner has Been Punished; Auditor General’s Report is Nothing New
The Prime Minister then turned to the issue of Elvin Penner, who has been kicked out of Cabinet and hung out to dry by his own colleagues in relation to his procuring a passport and nationality certificate for South Korean Won-hong Kim. PM Barrow maintains that he has done...

Ministers’ Fraternizing with Potential Investors ; Questionable but not Illegal
Ministers receiving gifts from potential investors in Belize, or trips to exotic parties in Cannes France to meet with potential investors is not illegal in Belize. While much has been said about the fact that two of Belize’s ministers were seen fraternizing at the Cannes Film Festival with  investors...

Patrick JonesPJ

PM says Penner has been punished; Auditor General’s Report is nothing new
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today addressed the long-running issue of former junior minister of Immigration Elvin Penner, and his role in the Kim Wong Hong passport scandal. Penner was kicked out of Cabinet and hung out to dry by his own colleagues in relation to his procuring a […]

Unions want further negotiations on collective bargaining agreement
More than five years ago, a specially-constituted negotiating team of senior Government officials, later including a three-man select committee consisting of Ministers Patrick Faber, Senator Charles Gibson and Senator Godwin Hulse, and at times Prime Minister Dean Barrow, and that of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), Public […]

COLA hints at contents of Auditor General’s Preliminary Report
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) says it has been given a copy of the 25-page preliminary report of the Audit Department with findings in its long-running investigation of the work of the Immigration and Nationality Department under ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner. COLA says it is […]

Historian and Muslim leader Ismail Shabazz dies
76 year old Ismail Omar Shabazz, a leading Muslim thinker and historian and founding member of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) and later the Belize Rural Economic Development Agricultural Alliance (BREDAA) died on Tuesday after a long battle with illness. Shabazz was one of the first […]

Police Department streamlines recruitment exam
The Belize Police Department is changing the way recruits are taken into the Police Academy for training to become police officers. According to a press release issued by the Police Press Officer, the entrance exam, which will now be prepared and administered by the National Police Training […]

Stabbing in Valley of Peace leaves man hospitalized
A man from Valley of Peace village, Cayo district is hospitalized in stable condition at the Western Regional, following a stabbing incident on Tuesday afternoon. 42 year old Luis Guevara was stabbed in the chest. Police say that around 2 pm on Tuesday, Guevara was at home […]

US Capital Energy completes drill pad in Toledo
US Capital Energy is finalizing pre-drilling exercises at its exploration site inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, despite ongoing opposition from certain Maya buffer communities. This week, officials of US Capital Energy confirmed that the company has completed construction of the drilling pad, bringing it one step closer […]

How Poverty is Changing Rice and Beans in Belize
“Rice and beans” is as Belizean as you will get….and traditionally, this generously served dish included rice swollen in coconut-milk-flavored whole beans soup, choice of meat with gravy, fried plantain, stuffing and potato salad. The original recipe for potato salad included diced broiled potato, onion, carrots, green peas, eggs seasoned with salad cream and a […]


The Belize Mango
What are those kids doing up in trees? Why are people walking around smiling and sticky with stains down the front of their shirts? What are all those big flat seeds suddenly appearing on the ground? And what is that lovely smell emanating from all those houses? It’s June and mango season is in full swing in Belize. Yes, it’s that time of year again when mango famine had turned to mango feast and everyone gets into the act, eating this delicious fruit raw, juiced, in baked goods or put up as jams and preserves while debating passionately on which of the many species is the best. Mango trees have been in Belize as long as anyone can remember, and long before commercial cultivation they were seen in many a yard and scattered along roadsides, often growing as a result of someone tossing away a seed after a snack. Villagers along the coast in areas such as Gales Point Manatee would load up dories (dugout canoes) and make the long haul up to Belize City to sell them in the markets. Mangos are now commercially grown, but the backyard variety is still the mainstay of local consumption, with reputations made or broken on the strength of one’s mangos. The mango, or Mangifera indica for the botanically inclined, is indigenous to south and southeast Asia, has been a big part of India’s culture and cuisine for thousands of years and is one of the most widely cultivated tropical fruits in the world. The mango is a hearty and long lived tree, with some still bearing fruit after 300 years. The long taproot can travel 6 m or 20 feet below ground to, along with feeder and anchor roots, support trees up to 40 m (131 ft) tall with evergreen leaves and small flowers giving off a sweet aroma.

EDM Insanity at Meluchi's
Meluchi's is the place to go Friday if you want to hear some great trance. The EDM vs. Dancehall Invasion has a great line up of DJ's, including Xavier, DJ Mesmerize, DJ RM, DJ Blue, and DJ Kid. The music starts at 9:00, and there won't be any talk. Adma Chuc will be there taking pictures, and they request you wear white or black for the - here's something different - spray on tickets.

The GREAT Program in Cayo
64 students in Unitedville got their GREAT certificates. GREAT, implemented around 4 years ago, stands for Gang Resistance Education and Training Program, and the program teaches students to be better citizens. Thaks, and keep up the excellent work, PC's! "Instructions under GREAT began at the Unitedville School in September of last year and ended in March of this year. Instructor Ciriaco Medina, who is Police Constable 1121 and member of the Community Policing Unit at the San Ignacio Police Formation, gave out the certificates this evening, telling students, 'I expect good things from you guys, don’t let me down.' Jason Jones, along with Roland Augustine from the Community Policing Program at the San Ignacio Police Formation also joined in this evening to encourage students to continue being good citizens. 'For every action there are consequences…the great program has rules, do not steal and fight,” reminded Roland Augustine.'"

BR>Power interruption 8:30am to 1:00pm, Saturday, June 14, Placencia Peninsula< Maya Lagoon, Plantation and Belize Lands Development. Two 10-minute power interruptions from 8:30 to 8:40am and 12:50 to 1:00pm will affect Coco Plum, Maya Beach, Poinciana Drive, Coconut Walk and Forest Lagoon Estate. BEL to facilitate development and repair damaged transformer in area.

“Morning Has Broken” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up around 04.15 hours yesterday. A bit earlier than usual I think because in my sleep my subconscious thought was reminding me that this was going to be a BIG day. The day that our boat was going to be towed from Captain Shark’s Boatyard in the DFC area to Louis Gillett’s workshop in Boca Del Rio. Louis is the engineer who we hope will make our sick engine well. It didn’t too long to make my mug of black coffee (it never does, that’s why it’s called instant!), pick up the iPad and be out on the veranda. In the dark. I took the camera out there as well just so you get an appreciation of just how dark it is. There’s very little that can be seen at that time of the morning but there are plenty of sounds. The breeze rustling through the trees. And now that we have a palapa either side of us I can hear it rustling through them too. There’s the sound of fish (I’m told its snappers) launching themselves from the lagoon and then the splashing sound as they re-enter the water. I’m also convinced that I hear the sound of crocodiles as they swish their tails to propel themselves though the water.

In Belize, there is an "open season" during which lobster -- the "gold" of the Belize sea -- can be harvested legally. The season starts on June 15th and ends on Feb 14th of the following year. This mechanism set in place to protect the sustainability of the industry. Long before the tourist destinations of Ambergris Caye, Placencia, and Caye Caulker became tourist hubs, they were fishing villages. In fact, many of today's local entrepreneurs and the educated elite of these destinations have the lobster industry to thank for their current successes. It was the success of the fishing industry which paid for their studies and subsequent business investments.

Lobsterfest celebrates the crusty crustacean's impact on the local economies. It is usually a time for fun, merrymaking, good eating, dancing, laughter, and great family time in the sun. The national beer of Belize, Belikin, has launched an ad for Lobster Fest. It features tantalizing scenes of revelers enjoying Lobster Fests all over the country. The first scene features tourists in colorful beachwear strolling down crowded, white, sandy, festival streets, possibly in Caye Caulker or Placencia.

The Calabash fruit (gourd) is found in a few environments of Belize. For the most part it can be found in the low-lying pine and palmetto savanna system in the flatland closer to Belize City. It is a rustic crooked tree that seems to have painstakingly grown from arthritic roots. This fruit has served as great utility and is also deeply rooted in ancient Maya mythology. Forest workers, like ancient Maya before them, used the dried and gutted calabash fruit as a water-carrying capsule where they would plug the hole used to “disembowel” the inside of the fruit. Once dried, it makes a wonderful water carrying device which they would plug with dried corncob. Its a pretty unique innovation with organic materials. Again, the jungle provides. The more mesmerising story of the calabash tree and fruit is found in the deepest and darkest mythological corner of the ancient Maya belief system. In summary, the story goes that the original first twins in history were brought up without the knowledge of the ancient Maya sacred ball game. The story continues that a rat, their friend, suggested to them that if they would give him extra food he would show them a secret their father hid from them. They were obliged and fed the rat and the rat in turn went into the rafters of the house and presented them with a solid rubber ball, elbow and knee pads, and a pair of rubber and stone yokes designed to protect the waist. Wow! Imagine 2 young boys with gear to play a game. The game was on!

When the first twins were set up to play the ball game and they lost and were beheaded, one of their skulls were buried in the centre of the ball court the others skull was thrown into the forest where it stuck on a tree that bore no fruit until that moment. A lord of the underworld, known as Xibalba announced to all that no one should ever eat from that fruit (sounds a little biblical doesn’t it?). Days passed and everyone obeyed the command of the great lord. Everyone, except his daughter, sixteen year old Little Blood or “Ixquic” (we think you will remember Little Blood best!) The skull on the tree befriended her and they entered into continuous conversations. The myth continues with the skull spitting into her hand as a gift it promised her. It was a poignant moment of the myth. Through that act, Little blood was pregnant. With twins! Myths were how ancient civilisations explained or gave meaning to phenomena. This was not the first or the last virgin impregnation in mythology. This was how the Maya expressed the next chapter of their civilisation. Little Blood was found out and her father summoned the guardian owls to take her into the forest and commanded that they bring him her heart! To many, this may sound familiar (Snow White?). The owls could not do it so, they slaughtered a peccary (wild boar) and took its heart to the Underworld lord and commanded Little Blood to go through the cave and find the grandmother of her twins. She did as she was told.

If you take some time to at least attempt to imagine short bursts of migrations from Eurasia via the Bering Straits on that sheet of ice that once linked Eurasia and America, one will start to realise how incredible that journey was and certainly, how the descendants of these people created the greatest civilisation in America, the Maya. These people were hunters and gatherers all the way from 40,000BC to about 2,000BC. They never farmed. At least there is no evidence of farming then. What we do know is that the descendants of the Paleo-Indians who were the Archaic people gave way to their descendants the Proto-Maya and later the Maya people. Another important piece of information we know is that corn was” invented” in Central Mexico around 3,500BC. This one innovation changed everything over on this side of the planet as it did in the Sahel region of Africa and also as it did in the Fertile Crescent which is in the country of Iraq today. It allowed people to create civilisations which changed the world. The more mesmerising story of the calabash tree and fruit is found in the deepest and darkest mythological corner of the ancient Maya belief system. In summary, the story goes that the original first twins in history were brought up without the knowledge of the ancient Maya sacred ball game. The story continues that a rat, their friend, suggested to them that if they would give him extra food he would show them a secret their father hid from them. They were obliged and fed the rat and the rat in turn went into the rafters of the house and presented them with a solid rubber ball, elbow and knee pads, and a pair of rubber and stone yokes designed to protect the waist. Wow! Imagine 2 young boys with gear to play a game. The game was on!

Caye Caulker, Belize – How (not) to go to jail?
Once upon a time, on Caye Caulker island in Belize, I experienced how it feels like to be arrested. For nothing. I was sitting on a terrace of my hostel and chatting online with a friend that shared a terrible story with me. She was almost raped in Guatemala city that day. Terrible! She ran away, but she was in shock so she wanted to talk about it. I was totally immersed in the conversation and tried to calm her down. In the meantime, some guys from my hostel sat around me and they were in a great mood. One of them sat on a fence of the hostel’s terrace and started rolling a joint. I didn’t pay attention to what was going on around me and I didn’t really care about what they were doing. Suddenly the guy who was rolling the joint was gone. I looked up and I saw a policeman looking at me. “Lady, is this yours?” “No.” I replied and continued chatting with my friend. Her story was much more important than someone’s ganja. “Lady, who is the owner of this here?” “I don’t know.” I didn’t even know the guys name, and I felt like I had nothing to do with it, so I didn’t want to be bothered. “You have to go with me. You are the closest to this marihuana here, so until we find the person who was here before, I can’t let you go,” said the policeman. “What? I have no idea who was that guy. I’m just on my computer here, I have nothing to do with it.” “Until we’ll find the person, you have to stay with me lady. Let’s go to the police station.” At this point I was still reluctant to go, but on the other hand I knew that I had nothing to hide and I didn’t want to get into a conflict because of someone else’s stupidity. I asked the girls that were around me to witness that it was not my marihuana and they did so. It didn’t help and the policeman told them that they should be quite, because he will arrest them for disrespect. I “love” policeman like that.

International Sourcesizz

Mayan Pyramids, Crystal Caves and Cracking Coconuts in Belize
Native culture thrives in Belize, a small Central American country bordering Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south. Although smaller than the state of Massachusetts, Belize boasts a population of more than 300,000 people and eight distinct racial groups. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or already acquainted with Belize, here are eight ways to encounter Native culture while you’re there: Experience the simple life on one of the many islands—or cayes—off the east coast of Belize. Opportunities abound to learn how early residents of these islands lived and explored the Caribbean coast. Book a stay at International Zoological Expeditions on South Water Caye, and learn from Mayan guides how to crack open coconuts, identify native birds and wildlife and dive near the coral reefs. Get to know the unique Garifuna culture through dance in the coastal town of Dangriga. The Garifuna are descendants from renegade African slaves who were shipwrecked in 1675 on the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. Lirahunu Satuye is a group of female dancers who tell stories about life and culture through movement, song, humor and audience participation.

Belizean conch fritters at South LA’s Joan and Sisters Restaurant
At Joan and Sisters Restaurant in South L.A.’s unofficial “Little Belize” neighborhood, cooks serve up conch fritters, rice and beans — all typical foods of Belize that represent the Central American country’s wide-ranging ethnic influences. Belizeans can be Black Creoles of slave descent, Hispanic Mestizos of Mayan and native descent, or Garifuna, a group whose ancestors are a mix of Carib Indians and West Africans arrived from wrecked Spanish slave ships in 1635. East Indians, Middle Easterners and East Asians have also made their way to country on the coast of the Caribbean. Jerome Straughan, a Black Creole from Belize, moved to the U.S. in 1980. In his Ph.D. dissertation about Belizeans in Los Angeles, he wrote that Belizeans can more easily interact with other ethnic groups in L.A. than in other places, because the city is so diverse.

Nitsche youngest to three bracelets
Final tables of $1,000 events at the World Series of Poker typically feature eight players who have yet to leave their mark on the industry and one player who has some recognition. That final table composition couldn't have been further from what was seen in Event 21, where Dominik Nitsche became the youngest three-time WSOP champion in history. Earning this victory required defeating a 292-hand final table that included 2011 November Niner Bob Bounahra, Thayer Rasmussen, Jeff Gross and Dave D'Alesandro. Rasmussen, better known online as "THAY3R", began the final table with the lead, but it was Gross who moved first, eliminating David Burt in ninth. Next, Billy Horan and Eric Milas followed him out the door at the hands of D'Alesandro. With six remaining, and five poker-household names in the mix, it was Belize's Bounahra in command, and the chips continued fly. Nitsche made his move at this point, knocking out Gross (Q-Q over A-K) in sixth, Rasmussen (10-10 over A-K) in fifth, and 2009 Aussie Million main event final tablist Zachary Gruneberg in fourth. D'Alesandro knocked out Bounahra in third (Q-Q over 7-7) and earned a 2.5-to-1 chip lead entering heads-up play.

35 Fun Gifts for Dads Who Travel
I'm a dad. I travel. Sometimes I'm bumbling through airport security with three daughters, diapers and pacifiers flying in all directions; sometimes I'm flying luxuriously solo, rocking my wireless office through Denver International Airport, en route to a new adventure in Nicaragua, Mexico, or Belize. Both of these types of Dad-travel require different levels of preparedness and equipment. Since half the battle of fatherhood is having the right tool for the job, I thought I'd offer this travel-themed Father's Day gift list. Note: The Nicaragua connection to many of these gifts is not accidental. I've been traveling there since 1998 and wanted to share some of my discoveries and connections with you -- and your traveling Dad. Before he goes anywhere, Dad needs to relax and plan his route. Get him a double-sized, triple-stitched parachute nylon hammock by Grand Trunk ($65). It's easy to hang, lightweight, quick-drying, and very packable. It's also wide enough to snuggle with the kids (or with Mom)--or to sprawl out with maps and guidebooks. Add an ultra-light Dragonfly Insect Net ($75), designed specifically to fit around a slung hammock, to keep out creatures as small as no-see-ums. This set-up would work equally well in the rainforest of Central America and the backyards of Long Island.


Video: Las Terrazas Belize: Full Guest Experience, 7min.

Video: You've got to see it to BELIZE it!, 5min.
Belize City, Belize San Ignacio, Belize Tikal, Guatemala Ambergris Caye, Belize Caye Caulker, Belize

Video: BelizeHoneymoons2, 2min.
Whale sharks and much more!

Video: Belize - Blue Hole, 16min.
At 140 ft

Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Hand Planting Sugar Cane, Part I, 1min.
Thanks to Gabriella Locke who took the video on June 11, 2013.

Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Hand Planting Sugar Cane, Part II, 1min.

Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Preparing Sugar Cane to Eat, 1min.

Video: Yo Creek (Belize) Machete Sharpening, 1min.

Video: Bridge to Belize Video, 7min.
A Photo Montage of our trip to Belize

Video: Having fun swimming in Corozal Bay, Corozal, Belize, 1min.
Enjoying the beautiful day swimming in Corozal Bay, Caribbean, Corozal, Belize. Just look at that smile.

Video: Black Pot Friday Punta Gorda, Belize, C.A. (05.09.2014), 8min.
Drums Not Guns Belize City teams up with Emmeth Young & The Talla Walla Vibrations & Fernando Landero for an epic Black Pot Friday in Punta Gorda, Belize. Creole & African Drumming alive in Belize!!!

Video: Belize 2013, 8min.
On November 2, 2013, with God's grace, a group of 21 individuals traveled down to Belize for a week to spread the Word of God. Some made this trip once before, while others were complete stangers. While in Belize, we worked as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ by ensuring God's greatest gifts were given to the people of Belize that were provided by our God and Galilee Baptist Church.

Video: Coral Gardens, Caye Caulker, Belize, Night Dive HD 19.5.2014, 9min.
Night Dive Coral Gardens

Video: Turtles of Belize, 3min.
It's always fun to see these guys!

Video: Belize - Blue Hole descent, 2min.

Video: Belikin - LOBSTER FEST 2014, 1/2min.
o matter where you go for Lobster Fest, Make it a party with Belikin Beer, the beer of Belize!

Video: Love TV Morning Show with Student Dream Flag Guests, 7min.
May 28, 2014 clips from 16-minute segment on Love TV Morning Show in Belize City with three student guests from The Agnes Irwin School who were part of a 19-student Dream Flag themed cultural connection trip to longtime Dream Flag School Burrell Boom Methodist.

Video: Harvesting Sugarcane, Orange Walk, Belize, 1min.
Farmers harvesting sugarcane north of Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 8, 2014

Video: Crab Loading Sugarcane on Truck, Orange Walk, Belize, 3min.
Students aboard a crab loading sugarcane on a truck north of Orange Walk Town, Belize, on June 8, 2014

Video: Blackbird Caye Resort | Belize, 3min.

Video: Belize Aggressor III, 6min.
Belize Aggressor III 6min video highlights of SCUBA diving from live-aboard Belize Aggressor III, 3-10 August 2013

Video: Belize June 2014 - Trent catching a Barracuda, 5min.

Video: Main Street, Orange Walk Town, Belize, 10min.
Main Street (Orange Walk Town, Belize) from the second floor of Hotel de la Fuente on June 6, 2014

Video: Belize Health And Healing Center, 12min.

Video: Belize Large, 57min.

June 11, 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

Mexican Trade Mission to Belize
ProMéxico (the Trade and Investment Mexican Agency) and the Embassy of Mexico are organizing a trade mission on June 18th at the Embassy in Belmopan and on June 19th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. The objective of the mission is to strengthen trade relations between Mexico and Belize, identifying potential buyers and suppliers of a variety of products and/or services, as well as to find investment opportunities. Products include: chilli pepper sauces, achiote marinade, ketchup, vinegars, vanilla, jam concentrates, sausages, wines, liquors, chemical products for water treatment, water pumps and environmental sanitizers, paints, waterproofing pastes, protective coatings (paint, lumber and metals), industrial solvents, demoisturizing compounds, cleaning & drain openers, stainless steel polish & cleaner, non-chlorinated degreasers, CRM Software and GPS. Services include software development technology focused on e-government and companies, development of CRM software, as well as consulting services on water treatment.

Little Angel’s Preschool students shine in talent show
The young students at Little Angel’s Preschool on Ambergris Caye stole the night away on Thursday June 5th when they hosted a talent show at the San Pedro Lions Den. Under the guidance of their teachers, they young children entertained their parents and members of the public with dances, skits and a few favorite nursery rhymes. The purpose of the show is basically to showcase their talent to the parents. From Humpty Dumpty and Hey Diddle, Diddle, the Cat and Fiddle, to Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears, and even Mestizo dances, the students displayed their talent to the best of their ability.

Ambergris Today

Oceana Wavemakers Celebrate World Ocean’s Day 2014 at Halfmoon Caye
In commemoration of World Ocean’s Day 2014 (June 8), thirty Oceana Wavemakers and staff travelled Halmoom Caye on the Lighthouse Reed Atoll. Belize is home to three of the Western Hemisphere’s four atolls. As Belize’s eastern most point, (55 miles east of Belize City) the number of Belizeans who are able to visit the idyllic location every year is minimal. Halfmoon Caye has enjoyed some form of protection since 1982 and is home to one of the region’s healthiest populations of the red-footed booby birds and protects the healthiest grouper spawning aggregation sites in the country. While on the caye, the Ocean delegation also observed the turtle nesting grounds of the critically endangered hawksbill turtle. Another highlight of the day included a visit to the world famous Great Blue Hole to snorkel among snappers, chub, Nassau groupers and reef sharks. The Blue Hole has the healthiest and most diverse population of sharks in Belize swimming among the stalagmites and stalactites of the underwater sinkhole.

San Pedro High School Student Exchange Program with L.A. Harbor College
Seven students, (Giselly Rodriguez, Ilynn Camal, ( First formers) Brittany Cornejo, Shanilly Arceo, Mark Flowers, (Second formers) Neslen Rivero and Chelsea Munoz (Third formers), along with the vice principal (Mrs. Conchita Flota) and the school counselor (Ms. Alexis Guerrero) from San Pedro High School were invited to participate in a one week exchange program with Los Angeles Harbor College (LAHC). The students and staff members were officially invited by Professor Juan Baez, present Chairman of the Theatre Department at LAHC and were in Los Angeles, California from Saturday, May 24, 2014 to Saturday, May 31, 2014. This contact was established through now retired Professor, Larry Heimgartner and his wife, Debbie Heimgartner (current costume designer for the Theatre Department at LAHC) both of whom have been dear friends of San Pedro High School for over a decade now.

Gotta love a happy ending!
This is Monkey, formerly known as Lexi loo. She now lives in Whistler Bc Canada and she is adjusting great. She loves running along the bike trails and playing with dogs at the dog park. Just wanted to say thank you saga humane society for all of your hard work and thanks for giving us our best friend.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Community supports San Pedro Red Cross blood drive
Recognizing a need to build a blood supply for Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Red Cross (SPBRC) currently holds 4 blood drives annually. Your blood donation can one day save a life by helping ensure that blood is available when members of community require serious medical attention. The SPBRC would like to inform the community, that the Blood collected at San Pedro Red Cross sponsored Blood Drives, is not sold or transferred to other communities inside or outside the country of Belize. The Blood is held in Trust at Belize Blood Bank on the mainland for utilization by the San Pedro Community. As was the case this weekend, a local resident contacted our Chairman Eiden Salazar, they needed O- blood and he was happy to accommodate their request. If you are a San Pedro resident or visitor in need of blood, simply contact Eiden Salazar at [email protected] or Anthony Anderson, [email protected], and one of them will be happy to assist.

Power outage on Ambergris Caye
Belize Electricity Limited advises its customers in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye that the supply of electricity will be temporarily interrupted from 9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Areas to be affected: Barrier Reef Drive, Pescador Drive and the entire area north of Boca del Rio. BEL apologizes for the inconvenience caused but this scheduled power interruption is necessary for the Company to energize a newly installed transformer at the San Pedro Substation.

First Belizean Garifuna drafted to play professional soccer in the US
We the Garifuna and Belizean people should be proud of Evan Mariano, one of our Belizean national team football players, who was drafted by the soccer team Hurricanes from Houston, Texas. We all wish him well and he is following in the footsteps of one of Belize's best strikers ever, Deon McCauley, who became the first Belizean to be drafted to play football in the United States with the Atlanta Silverbacks soccer team. These players will hopefully pave the way for other Belizeans to get more opportunities to be drafted and play in the United States. My hope is that a Belizean gets drafted to play in Europe, where the best players in the world play.

Ambassador of Israel to Belize Visits San Pedro
Ambassador of Israel to Belize, His Excellency Shmulik Bass and his wife Mrs. Meirav Peleg-Bass make an official visit to Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez.

Channel 7

Another Gang Related Shooting
Gang warfare continued in the city today. After a weekend of violence believed to be retaliations between George Street and Ghost Town, there was another shooting this morning. It happened near Mayflower Street - which is the base of the Ghost Town gang. The victim is 27 year-old Rafael Cruz who has been living in the heart of Mayflower for years. This morning at around 8:00, he went out on an errand to the store for his family. While on his way, he was ambushed at the corner of Vernon Street intersection by 2 gunmen who opened fire on him and sped off. 7News arrived on the scene shortly after: Daniel Ortiz reporting 10 bullet markers were laid down at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets where this morning's shooting happened. The chipping of concrete, spots of blood, and bullet indentations into nearby fences were all signs that the investigators looked for to tell the narrative of the attack. The victim, 27 year-old Raphael Cruz, was already at the KHMH at that time, receiving treatment.

Roger Anthony Says He Won't Retaliate
One of the persons who has a privileged insight into all these shootings is Roger Anthony. He's the reputed leader of the Ghost Town gang. He's also one of the supervisors working on the Chetumal Street Bridge, as part of the outreach efforts between Government and Cisco Construction to keep embattled neighbourhoods busy. The idea is to provide them with an outlet and an opportunity so that they won't focus gang-related activities. The brazen shooting at the Graduation party, which was thrown for his daughter who recently graduated, also injured one of Anthony's relatives. It is believed that the party was targeted because of the Ghost Town connection. Now with the shooting of Rafael Cruz right at the base of Ghost Town, it would seem that the rivalry is escalating. But, today Anthony told Monica Bodden, he has no intentions of retaliating. He asked to appear off camera - we're using a still form an interview he gave us last week: Voice of: Roger Anthony "I don't really know what transpired with the shooting that happened on Saturday. My daughter graduate and I had a party for her and two gunman came and open fire on the party. I dont really know."

Alleged Shooter Kirk Smith Critical
Today's shooting was the 4th incident of what is believed to be gang related crime in 36 hours. As we told you last night, the third incident happened at the Brown Sugar Marketplace, which is also the headquarters of the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. 5 people were shot at a graduation party being thrown by the Diaz family on Sunday night. As we reported 2 gunmen opened fire at about 100 or so guests, most of whom were high schoolers, and when the ordeal was over, 19 year-old Windell Neal, 22 year-old Triston Gordon,26 year Daniel Cain, 21 year-old Adelyn Vernon, and 22 year-old Kirk Smith Jr. were all injured. Police suspect that of the 5, Kirk Smith Jr. was not a legitimate party-goer, in fact, they intend to investigate him as being one of the 2 shooters who first opened fire on the crowd. But, while he continues to recover at the hospital, his family wants to set the record straight. They spoke with Monica Bodden off camera today to give their version of events:

COLA Gets A Leak Of The Auditor General's Report
For weeks, COLA has been exhausting all official means to get their hands on the Auditor General's report. They say that they need it for their private prosecution against Elvin Penner for the Citizen Kim scandal. The met nothing but refusals and closed doors, but the activist group announced today that they've finally gotten a copy; though this one was leaked to them. A statement released from COLA, says, "The Report establishes that Penner did not act alone, that there was a ring of selected Immigration officials and trusted private citizens who engineered the systemic abuse of the process to manufacture Belizean passport and nationality certificates for several undeserving, unqualified individuals, including Won-Hong Kim." End quote. More dramatic than that, COLA continues by saying that the Auditor General's report also found that Won Hong Kim was but one of the many clients who were facilitated to get fraudulent documents from the Immigration Department. They say, quote,

Laverne "Antichrist" Longsworth May Get Life In Prison Sentenced Reduced
In November 2012, 38 year-old Lavern Longsworth, better known as "Antichrist", became the first accused person to be convicted of murder after the prosecution used interviews she gave to the media against her. Well, she's trying to appeal that conviction. Her case came up today before Appeal Justices Dennis Morrison, Minnet Hafiz-Bertram, Samuel Awich. Her attorney, Godfrey Smith, tried to get her sentence reduced from murder to manslaughter by making an application to the court to accept new evidence. What Smith wanted the court to accept was a report done on Longsworth by British Forensic Psychiatrist, Dr. Gillian Mezey. In that report, the doctor found she wasn't in the right state of mind when she lit her common-law husband, David White, on fire. The Doctor believes that Longsworth was suffering from battered woman's syndrome. That's because White, who has had a few brushes with the law for violent criminal offences, was allegedly a drug addict who habitually inflicted physical abuse on Longsworth for years before she took action against him. The Appeal Court accepted this report into evidence today, and outside of court we asked Smith to explain the significance to us:

Vitalino Jr Still In Coma; Sr. Bitter
13 days after he was beaten up inside a Belize City club Vitalino Reyes Jr remains in a coma at the KHMH. His family says he is showing modest signs of recovery - but still cannot speak. They believe he can hear them - and add that he has been taken off the ventilator, so they are encouraged. But he is not out of the woods, far form it. Six men have been charged for inflicting the wounds that resulted in his coma, but today his father told us why he is still very bitter: Vitalino Reyes Sr. "No satisfaction because my son is still in there. They could eat, they could laugh, they drinking, they shouting, they are doing everything getting the same air that God provide us, but my son is not doing that. Just that God is so good to us that he is making a miracle. I feel sad. I have never ever cry so much like this time in my life." Jules Vasquez "There must be some satisfaction to know that it's not just you against him that the police have agreed with you." Vitalino Reyes Sr. "I don't know if the police agree with me. They did it, it's not that they agree with me. It's just that they investigate it and they found out that they are, but I mean how satisfied can I be? They just were arrested two hours and then released."

Social Security Still No Cards?
Last month we told you about the waiting list for Social Security Cards at the Social Security Board. Those waiting for new cards have been on a list for months, and up to today a few folks we checked with still haven't gotten a call to come in. What's the hold-up? Well, according to Social Security, they are out of overlays. That's the protective plastic that goes over the card - a very basic item. It was ordered in January - and was expected to arrive in the third week of May- presumably by pony express. So has it arrived as scheduled? And if so, why are those on the waiting list still not getting their cards? That;s what we tried to ask the public relations officer at Social security this afternoon - only to find out, from other sources that she's no longer the PR officer - and - no new one is in place yet. It seems that Social Security is in the middle a major re-organization - with major transfers at every level - and even a new organogram. This change-up we gather is not being met by widespread acclaim or adulation within SSB - where there are grumblings of discontent with the process and the personnel decisions.

KHMH Director Of Finance On the Out
There's also change afoot at the KHMH. 7News has been reliably informed that Director of Finance Carlos Perrera has been given his walking papers. Sources tell us that the board met last week and decided to terminate him, but Perrera - we are told - has been trying to work out a compromise where he would be given some time to resign and leave in a more orderly fashion. Up to today, he was still at work.

Preparing Cattle Farmers For Climate Change
The torrential rains in the latter part of 2012 set all kinds of records - and while you might be able to dismiss that as just a very wet year, think back to 2011 when there was a severe drought in the Belize district. In both extreme weather events, there was a significant loss of livestock - dozens of heads of cattle lost. The experts say its climate change - and now they have to prepare farmers for it. That's where the United Nations Development Programme and the European Union come in. They're implementing and funding the Global Climate Change Alliance - which has targeted the Belize River Valley with a pilot project. But it's not some abstract scientific jaunt; they've come upon a very concrete programme that can be implemented immediately and the benefit will be felt in the short term. It's in the form of what are called Forage Chopping Machines which were handed over to 25 famers at the Sandhill Community center this afternoon. We visited and found out more:.. Ricardo Thompson, Principal Agricultural Officer "It a pilot that is actually being tested in the district because we see that the district is the lower reaches of the Belize River where rains that usually falls in the upper reaches in the country of that particular water shed actually finds its way to the lower reaches."

OW BTIA Say Bad Roads Cause Bad Business
Government has boasted about having millions of dollars to spend on infrastructure, but the Orange walk Chapter of the BTIA says it can't wait. They wrote a letter to the Prime Minister today expressing, quote, "disappointment and frustration in relation to the deplorable conditions of the streets in Orange Walk Town." They refer particularly to the Phillip Goldson Highway, known as the Belize-Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue, and Otro Benque Road. The letter says that people are avoiding passing through Orange Walk and it has affected several businesses. The letter closes by saying that they implore the Government of Belize to address this urgent matter immediately. Well, that was this morning; this afternoon, we got a call from UDP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Elodio Aragon who told us that work on the highway will commence on Thursday morning.

Teenager's Suicide
Corozal Police are investigating the death of a 14 year-old girl from Corozal who may have taken her own life. 47 year-old Donaldo Vasquez told police that he came home at 3:45 on Sunday evening, and when he asked his son where his daughter, Vianney Vasquez, was, he said that he hadn't seen her. The child told his father that she was missing for about 3 hours. Donaldo Vasquez looked around and found her in an abandoned house in their yard. She apparently hung herself.

British Running For Belize
According to a UK website, 23 year-old British Citizen Katy Sealy, who has Belizean parentage, will represent Belize in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland, 3 weeks from now. Sealy lives in Eastern England, and she has been training for years as a heptathlete. 4 years ago, however, she suffered a major injury. She's now back, and she's told the press in England, that though she didn't make that country's national team, she won't pass up an opportunity to be part of the Belize Contingent. Sealy's father, David, is Belizean-born.

Channel 5

Gang warfare continues unabated; a construction worker clings to life after being shot
Full scale gang warfare continues unabated in Belize City; nine persons have been shot in three days. The latest casualty is twenty-seven year old Rafael Cruz. He was shot four [...]

Street Figure, Roger Anthony, denies knowledge of rivalry with George Street
As we said, on Sunday night, a pair of gunmen stormed a graduation party at the Brown Sugar Mall and indiscriminately let loose a volley of shots at a number [...]

Roger Anthony says safety of his workmen threatened by the series of events
The shooting incident this morning involving Cruz, an associate of Roger Anthony, is believed to have been retaliatory.  When we posed that question to him, Anthony said he cannot ascertain [...]

Broad daylight shooting on Victoria Street
The other shooting in the city today happened less than seven hours after the near-fatal attack on twenty-seven-year-old Rafael Cruz gunshots rang out near a residence on Victoria Street.  Shortly [...]

Auditor General’s report is leaked; it says Elvin Penner did not act alone
The Auditor-General’s report on corruption in immigration is out…well technically it’s been out since March twenty-first, almost three months ago…sent to the PM and to the Ministry of Immigration. But [...]

Christian Ebanks…is he also wanted by the U.S.?
On Monday night, we showed you part one of an exclusive interview with Christian Ebanks. Ebanks, who also goes by the name Floyd Ebanks Jurado, is wanted in Ecuador for [...]

Vitalino Reyes Junior still critical at the K.H.M.H.
On May twenty-ninth, manager of Vitalino Reyes Junior was badly beaten at the Long Island Bar in Belize City. Six employees of Yhony Rosado’s, a competitor, have since [...]

Was Lavern ‘Antichrist’ Longsworth suffering from Battered Women Syndrome?
Lavern ‘Antichrist’ Longsworth appeared in the Court of Appeal this morning along with her attorney Godfrey Smith.  Longsworth was previously convicted for the murder of her common-law-husband, David White, after [...]

Father charged for sexually assault his daughter
Earlier today, a father was before the court to answer to a single count of sexual offense, referred to as a sexual assault, upon his eight year old daughter. According [...]

B.T.I.A. tells PM to fix up Orange Walk Streets
In November, near the end of an unusually prolonged and intense rainy season, Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented what he called a muscular plan, a plan on steroids. It was [...]

Ladyville Tech student wins National Bank of Belize logo competition
The National Bank of Belize, a state-owned lending institution in the country, has a new logo.  The design is the brainchild of a first form student at Ladyville Technical High [...]

Supreme Court rules in dispute within the executive of Belize Ex-Services League
A decision by the Supreme Court in a longstanding dispute within the executive of the Belize Ex-Services League has been handed down by Justice Courtney Abel.  The administration, led by [...]

Still no resolution to the bagasse issue between B.S.I. and farmers
The 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season was two months delayed due to a bagasse impasse. Both B.S.I. and the B.S.C.F.A., representing cane-farmers, agreed to start the crop in good faith, [...]

A symposium and expo on the impact of climate change
An important symposium is ongoing at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City about an issue that has significant impact on many sectors. It is about climate change and it is [...]

Bob Bou Nahra at the poker table of the WSOP’S Final
Turning to some sporting news, Belizeans got a crash course on poker when business man Bob Badih Bou Nahra made it to the World Series of Poker’s November Nine Final [...]


National Bank Announces Winner of Logo Competition
A first form student of Ladyville Technical High School in the Belize District was presented with a cheque for a thousand dollars along with a plaque after being one out of a dozen students who submitted logo designs for the National Bank of Belize (NBB). The submissions came as the result of a logo competition that was launched in January by the NBB for high schools across the country. The presentation was done this morning on the schools compound in Ladyville Village, Belize District. At the today’s brief ceremony, Love News spoke with Katrina Young, Risk Manager at the National Bank of Belize, who says that one of the objectives of the competition was to foster an appreciation for Belize’s only local bank. KATRINA YOUNG Risk Manager National Bank of Belize “The logo competition started between the span of January to March 2014. The aim of the competition was to stimulate enthusiasm for the country’s only national bank. At the same time we wanted to be able to foster teams for it as well as school spirit while strengthening the artistic creativity amongst high schools.

Police Investigates Incident that Left Villager Injured on Roadside
Police in Corozal are still trying to determine how a man ended up on the road side with head trauma. Police responded and travelled to Xaibe Village, located in that district, where they found Leocadio Cob. For the details and the progress of the investigation, Love News spoke to the deputy officer in charge of the Corozal Police station, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Daniel Arzu. ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT OF BELIZE “Sometime around 8:40 last night Corozal Police received information of a person seen lying on the Xaibe Road. We responded and conducted an investigation. The male person who was lying on the road was taken to the Corozal Community Hospital where he was given medical attention. He was subsequently transferred to KHMH where he is currently listed in a critical condition. Police are investigating the circumstances and we are unable to establish how he sustained such injuries.”

Gang Warfare?!! Gang Boss Says He Knows Nothing
The gang warfare continued this morning as one person thought to be associated with Ghost Town gang was shot four times. It happened at about 8 o’clock this morning when twenty seven year old Rafael Cruz was walking on Vernon Street on his way to buy dog food at a nearby store. Cruz is currently at the KHMH in a critical condition. His family believes that the shooting was retaliation by members of the George Street Gang. However, Ghost Town Gang Boss, Roger Anthony told Love News, they have no part in any gang war. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Police were quickly called to Vernon Street, where the shooting of 27 year old Rafael Cruz happened about 8 o’clock. Cruz was on his way to a store to buy food for a puppy he got that very same morning. Unknown to him, two men on motorcycle were a mission: a mission to kill someone from Ghost Town.

BTIA Writes Letter to PM on Deterioration of Thoroughfares
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter has sent an open letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. In the letter, the tourism stakeholders of the Orange Walk district express their disappointment and frustration in relation to the deplorable conditions of the streets of the town. We spoke with BTIA Orange Walk President Osmany Salas. OSMANY SALAS President (Orange Walk Chapter) Belize Tourism Industry Association “The whole purpose of the open letter to the Prime Minister was to draw to his attention of the streets and roads in town. I know this is a problem all over the country but we represent interest in Orange Walk. For several of our last meetings, the conditions of our streets and roads in and around town have been a topic. Our members, we currently number about eighteen; they are quite frustrated and quite disappointed that we are not seeing any improvements at all in particular with the section of Philip Goldson Highway that goes through Orange Walk Town, I’m referring to the Belize Corozal Road, Queen Victoria Avenue and Otro Benque Road; that section is in a deplorable condition. I think that all Orange Walkenos would agree that we can’t remember when it was in such a bad state. We also referring to the Yo Creek/San Antonio Road that goes through town; so in this context, we also draw the whole situation of the streets to the Town Council as well.”

AntiChrist Awaits Decision From Court of Appeals
The Belize Court of Appeals has set June 20, 2014 as the date where it will give its ruling as to whether it will substitute manslaughter for murder for 40-year-old, Lavern Longsworth, who was convicted of the murder of her common-law husband, David White and sentenced to life imprisonment. If manslaughter is substituted for murder the court will also decide on the appropriate sentence. At her appeal hearing today, Longsworth’s attorney, Godfrey Smith, made an application to adduce fresh evidence to show that Longsworth was a victim of domestic abuse. He cited the evidence of forensic psychiatrist Dr. Gillian Mezey, who evaluated Longsworth, saying that the evidence is corroborated by a statement by the former Chief Magistrate, Margaret Mckenzie. The Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl- Lyn Vidal, who represented the respondent, did not object to the application and it was granted by Belize Court of Appeals. On July 15, 2010, White, 32, was doused with kerosene and set on fire. He succumbed to his injuries 17 days later. Longsworth was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in November 2012.

COLA Gets Copy of Auditor General’s Report on the Immigration Department
Citizens organized for liberty through action, COLA will host a press conference later this week to discuss the Auditor General’s preliminary report in the irregularities at the Immigration Department. COLA had made a formal request to the Prime Minister for the report and other information he had in his possession, a request that went unanswered. COLA says they now have in their possession a copy of the report which shows a number of irregularities. According to COLA the report is a scathing indictment of the behavior of senior officials in the Department, especially the Director of Immigration. It also shows that Elvin Penner did not act alone and that there was a ring of selected Immigration officials and private citizens who were involved. COLA says the report shows that there were numerous instances where several undeserving, unqualified individuals received Belizean nationality.


Early Morning Shooting Rocks Mayflower Area
The Mayflower Street neighborhood is, unfortunately, known as a crime-ridden area and the base for one of the City’s toughest gangs. As such, its residents are used to the threat of death even when not imminent. Around 8 this morning, 27 year old Rafael Cruz had just left home...

Hit and Run in Xaibe?
A man from the district of Corozal is today hospitalized at the KHMH in a critical condition following what is suspected to be a hit and run incident. According to Corozal Police, on Monday June 9th, at about 8:38 pm Corozal Police visited the entrance of Xaibe Village, Corozal...

Auditor General’s Report on Penner Case Leaked to COLA
COLA has been getting the run around as it tries to collect information and documentation that may help in the prosecution of Ex- Minister of State Elvin Penner. The grass roots organization has formally requested of Prime Minister Dean Barrow that he disclose the Auditor General’s Preliminary Report as...

BTIA is not Happy About Roads in Orange Walk
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter is not happy about the roads in Orange Walk and today they made their point very clear in an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister of Belize. In their letter they expressed their utmost disappointment and frustration in relation to...

Forestry Department Confiscates 32 Pieces of Pine Lumber
Three men from Carmelita Village, Orange Walk, were arraigned yesterday at the Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk Town for illegal logging and unlawful wild life possession. The three men in question are Wayne Adolfus, Herbert Reynolds and Anthony Rayburn, all residents of Carmelita Village. According to reports the men...

BRC Printers May be in Trouble
Most primary schools across the nation of Belize have been using BRC Reading Books for many years. In fact, many readers today can boast growing up on these stories which have been in circulation for the past thirty –five years. The western community of Benque Viejo has been the...

Ismail Omar Shabazz Dies
One of Belize’s best historians and thinkers, the legendary Ismail Omar Shabazz, passed away earlier today. Shabaz, born on December 8th, 1937, was one of the earliest writers and publishers of the Amandala Newspaper. He is one of the founders of the United Black Association for Development- UBAD as well...

CEMO Symposium and Expo Addresses Climate Change
As we told you yesterday, the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), as part of its preparations for the hurricane season and continuing education about the threat of natural disasters to the City, began a two day symposium today in Belize City. City Councilor with responsibility for emergency management, Philip...

World Oceans Day Celebrated
Monday, June 8 was World Oceans Day, a celebration of the oceans that cover more than half of the planet Earth and spawn many forms of aquatic and marine life. Here in Belize the main celebration was led by the local office of OCEANA which visited the Lighthouse Reef...

MET Service Warns Against Hurricane Complacency
Belizeans are used to the threat of hurricanes from June to November yearly. In fact, some wait until the very last minute to make their preparations. Those individuals may be heartened to hear that after some years of heavy activity, this season will be average as far as hurricane...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Congratulations to the graduates!
Congratulations are in order to our football star, Sofia Diego, who graduated from Saint Catherine Academy this week, for a job well done. Congratulations are also in order to our future rocket scientist, Ilya Rosado, who graduated from Saint John’s Junior College with honors. Congratulation, as well, to Giselle de la Fuente for graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Management Systems, and on being accepted to the Masters Degree program at Vienna University of Economics and Business in Austria. Congratulations are also in order to all of the graduates of Ocean Academy, as well as the Standard 6 school leavers at CCRCS.

Atlantic Hurricane Season Began June 1, 2014
The Atlantic Hurricane season began without fanfare on June 1, 2014, and will run until November 30, 2014. The last few years, hurricanes have shown mercy on little Belize, although Tropical Storm Barry last year drenched the Corozal District with a surplus of rainfall. Caye Caulker and it’s sister island, Ambergris Caye, are never far away from the danger posed by these storms. It is always with hesitation and many prayers that we move into the season. There were no major hurricanes during the 2013 season. This is practically unheard of. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this feat will repeat itself, or at the worst, we are well prepared for any adverse weather. Below is the list of hurricane names for the 2014 season.

Lobster Fest Set To Begin On June 27


Court of Appeal overturns Krismar Espinosa murder acquittal; orders new trial
Krismar Espinosa, 25, who was accused of the 2009 Christmas Eve murder of fellow prison inmate Keon Kyle Swasey, but was acquitted of it in December 2012, when Supreme Court Justice John Gonzalez upheld a no-case-to-answer submission from his attorney and directed the jury to return a not guilty verdict, had his acquittal overturned by the Court of Appeal today. The Court of Appeal heard arguments from Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who had appealed Espinosa’s acquittal. Espinosa was represented by attorney Hubert Elrington, S.C. The appeal was argued before a panel of three Appeal Court Justices, the Honorable Manuel Sosa, the court’s president and Appeal Justices Minet Haffiz and Samuel Awich. At the conclusion of the hearing, President Sosa announced that the court had allowed the appeal.

2 shot on Kut Avenue
This past weekend, there were three separate shootings in Belize City in which a teenage girl, a 21-year-old woman and at least six young men were all injured by gunfire. However, it all started on Saturday night sometime after 9:00 p.m., when two men were shot just a block away from the Precinct 1 Police Station at the corner of Kut and Amara Avenues. According to police, Sigmond Trapp, 28, and Anthony Scott, 25, were walking on Kut Avenue heading towards Euphrates Avenue when a gunman who was travelling in an SUV with dark-tinted windows which came from the direction of Euphrates Avenue, fired several shots at them.

5 shot, 1 critical
The bliss that normally accompanies graduation, and the festivities thereafter, was summarily cut short sometime last night when an unidentified gun-wielding man opened fire on a crowd of celebrating students at the Brown Sugar Market Terminal near the Tourist Village in Belize City, injuring four of the partygoers and an unknown man who was shot in the head. Police reported that upon visiting the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 12:30 in the early hours of this morning, Monday, five persons – several of them students – were observed with gunshot injuries. Willodel Neal, 19, was shot in the abdomen and left leg; Triston Gordon, 22, was shot in the back; Daniel Cain, 26, was shot in the right leg; female student Adelyn Vernon, 21, was shot in the left inner thigh; and a man who at first was unidentified, was shot in the head and back, and is listed in a critical condition.

GOB unpopularity fuels support for BGYEA rally
Friends, supporters and concerned citizens from all walks of life and all corners of the country came out and gathered at the historic Battlefield Park today to show support for the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and take a stand against an array of perceived corrupt practices being perpetrated by the present UDP administration. Included among them were supporters of the umbrella organization ROC, the “Rod of Correction” – a new entity formed to “lash” Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s uncaring administration. Revolutionary messages, which carried themes of solidarity and persistence, echoed from the rostrum as several invited guest speakers, including union leaders and activists, stressed the need for good governance, equality and a desperate need for the abolishment of corruption by the country’s political officials.

Girl, 16, shot; bullet lodged in chest
Cory White, 16, a student of the Police Street area, is recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she was shot behind the jaw, and the slug lodged in her chest. Doctors said that she must now live with the bullet in her chest, said her mother, Prudence Wade. Cory and her boyfriend, a reputed member of the Gaza gang, and others, were walking home from the BTL Park at about 2:00 Sunday morning at the time of the shooting. After they passed a car that was parked in the area near the seafront, on Newtown Barracks, on the curve going towards the Town Clock on Barrack Road, an unknown gunman began shooting at them, hitting White.

DAVCO pledges support for oil exploration in the south
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and other government representatives met with the executive of the Toledo District Association of Village Councils (DAVCO) at the Cabinet room in Belmopan today to discuss the prospects of oil exploration in southern Belize, and according to the Government of Belize (GOB), the association expressed their full support for the endeavor, citing its benefits to education, health and infrastructure in the district. The meeting was apparently set up in order for GOB to move forward on its consultations on US Capital’s oil exploration activities with villagers who stand to be affected in the south, as ordered by Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana in her judgment, which was issued in April of this year on the heels of what has been described as a long, drawn-out court battle between the GOB and the leaders of the Mayan communities buffering the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, where the pre-drilling activities are currently taking place.

Editorial: The BGYEA rally
This is our third consecutive editorial on the Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) and their fight to plant corn in the buffer zone between their Harmonyville community and Mile 41 on the George Price Highway. Clearly, the newspaper considers the matter an important one, both in symbol and in substance. 44 years ago, the People’s United Party (PUP) government of Rt. Hon. George C. Price packed up most of their government’s offices and moved them to Belmopan, officially opening the new capital on August 1, 1970. The decision to build the new capital had been made following the devastation of Belize City (and Stann Creek Town) by Hurricane Hattie on October 31, 1961.

From The Publisher
When I was growing up in “Belize, British Honduras” in the 1950s and early 1960s, the magic of “America” came home to my family through the letters and boxes sent by my grandaunt, Gladys Lindo Ysaguirre, from Brooklyn, one of the boroughs of the fabulous New York City. The magic of America also came home to us through the short wave radio transmissions of United States Armed Forces Radio, which brought live baseball, basketball, and American football games to us. The magic of America also came to us through the records (45, 78, and 33 rpm long-playing albums) the odd Belizean would bring home now and then. We learned about the music of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Brook Benton, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, some Satchmo and some Ella. The government monopoly radio station played a lot of American country-and-western – Jim Reeves and Marty Robbins and Patti Page and Patsy Cline. After a while more and more of our canned goods and our clothes, our motors and our machines, were marked “Made in U.S.A.” Belizeans were in love with America. This was especially so in the case of Belizean Roman Catholics, because the nuns and priests who taught us in school, were all Americans, of mostly Irish and German immigrant descent. We were in love with the idea and the image of America which reached British Honduras fifty and sixty years ago.

Stop the cheap sale of rosewood!
Belizean rosewood, Dalbergia stevensonii, is probably the most elite of our precious hard woods. For centuries it has been used to produce the highest quality and most sought-after furniture. In addition to its ability to produce a rich, lustrous finish, its high density (more than twice that of mahogany) gives it a unique resonance when used in musical instruments. The “heaviness” of this wood results in part from its slow growth rate. Depending on the soil conditions, it may take 80 years or more for a rosewood tree to reach maturity. Even if the logger is conscientious and plants a seedling to replace the felled tree, several generations of people must protect that tree before it will be ready for harvesting. The stump may produce new shoots, but it is unlikely that any will give the quality wood of the original. At the moment flitches may sell for $4 per board foot and that price appears attractive. But consider this: that board foot of lumber could be sawn into 100 letter openers (thin wooden knives) and each would bring $5 on the tourist market.

US$11 mil loan motion for BEL goes to House Friday
The House of Representatives is due to meet this Friday, June 13, in the National Assembly Chambers of Belmopan. At that sitting, a motion for a US$11 million loan from the Caribbean Development Bank to the government-owned utility, the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), will be tabled. Amendments to Belize’s insurance and trust acts will also be tabled, as a part of an ongoing lobby by the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) to get member jurisdictions such as Belize and Guyana – threatened with sanctions – to implement anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism measures. Amandala understands that no amendments to the firearms act will be tabled at this sitting. Also, the proposed Occupational Safety and Health Bill, tabled in January, is not quite ready to be returned to Parliament.

Drones introduced in Belize for fisheries surveillance
Last September, we reported to you that Belize was considering whether it would introduce drones to police its maritime space for illegal fishing. In February this year, we told you of the decision by local fisheries authorities to introduce them in 2014; and this week, the Belize Fisheries Department made it official when they proceeded to test-launch two drones provided by Conservation Drones at the conclusion of training for staff of its Conservation Compliance Unit. This makes Belize the first country in the Caribbean to introduce the technology. Reports to our newspaper indicate that Jamaica is also considering introducing the same technology. Michael Sabal, chief coxswain at the Belize Fisheries Department, told Amandala today that the drones will significantly cut down on the cost of patrolling Belize’s coastal waters, and it will save them the embarrassment of running out on prank calls, which they do get from time to time.

Penner out, John August in for Cayo North East race
Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley is not the only municipal government official who has been trying to make his foray into national politics. The current mayor of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, John August, Jr., has also been pursuing a seat in Parliament. If August is successful in the 2017 general elections or an earlier by-election that could be forced by a criminal conviction against Elvin Penner, he could replace Penner as the current United Democratic Party area representative for Cayo North East. However, his political opponent, Orlando “Landy” Habet of the Opposition People’s United Party, says that win is unlikely, because August is “not a real threat”—although Habet acknowledged that August has strong backing from the ruling United Democratic Party.

Kareem Musa endorsed for Caribbean Shores
Attorney Kareem Musa, a son of former two-term Prime Minister Said Wilbert Musa and his wife Joan Musa, on Sunday afternoon was endorsed to run for the People’s United Party in Caribbean Shores at Lopez Mateos Park under threatening skies. Speakers at the PUP convention were Dr. Francis Smith; attorney Bryan Neal; Yolanda Shackron, the PUP Women’s Group president; attorney Dickie Bradley; former Lake I representative Cordel Hyde; Belize Rural Central area representative Dolores Balderamos-Garcia; and former PUP leader and area representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceño. After Kareem Musa was sworn in by the PUP Secretary General Myrtle Palacio, he had this to say:

Suicide in Ranchito
At about 3:45 yesterday afternoon, a 14-year-old girl was found dead with a rope tied around her neck, hanging from the beam of a house under construction in the yard next to the property of her family in Ranchito, Corozal. The terrible discovery was made by the girl’s father and brother. Donaldo Vasquez, 47, a laborer of Ranchito, told police that when he arrived home from work yesterday afternoon, his daughter, Vianny, was not at home. He and his son, 13, began a search for her in the neighborhood, and when he went into an unfinished house adjacent to his yard, he found his daughter hanging by the neck, suspended off the floor with a yellow rope tied across the beam of the house. A stool, which had fallen, was under her.

Belize attends 44th OAS General Assembly meeting
The 44th Regular Session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) was held from June 3rd to the 5th, and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Attorney General of Belize, Wilfred Elrington, headed Belize’s delegation to the high level meeting, which was held in Asuncion, Paraguay. According to a Government of Belize (GOB) press release issued today, the session was conducted mainly for hemispheric leaders to “commit their efforts to eradicating hunger and poverty, in particular extreme poverty, combating inequity, discrimination, and social exclusion; and increasing equitable access to health services as well as to quality and inclusive education – priority objectives which should inform actions of the inter-American system.” Minister Elrington, in the release, spoke of Belize’s efforts towards social inclusion and highlighted government’s pro-poor policies such as the conditional cash transfers, the food pantry, and a program to provide monetary support to elderly citizens over the age of 65.

Supreme Court upholds Chief Magistrate’s ruling to extradite Deon Bruce
After almost two full days of arguments in a judicial review and a writ of habeas corpus application that were unprecedentedly joined together in the Deon Bruce extradition matter, Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel denied the writ of habeas corpus, which would have resulted in Bruce’s freedom, and he upheld Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith’s decision to extradite Bruce to the U.S. Relying on the extradition treaty signed between the Government of Belize and the Government of the United States of America in 2000, the U.S. has made an extradition request for Belizean Deon Bruce, 28, who has been indicted by a U.S. grand jury for murder, attempted murder and firearm-related charges in Chicago. In mid-January, Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that Bruce should be extradited to stand trial in the U.S.

Mayhem in Billy White
Two brothers of Billy White have been arrested and charged with wounding, and will be taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, Tuesday. Police said that Gumercindo Pop, a resident of the village, was stabbed [...]

Robbery in the city
The Image store on Albert Store was robbed by two armed robbers at about 1:30 yesterday afternoon and thieves got away with about $1,500 in cash and valuables. The store supervisor, an Indian national, told police [...]

15-year-old 8 months, 3 weeks pregnant for father
The father is now on the run A 15-year-old girl of Aguacate, Toledo District, is 8 months pregnant after she was raped repeatedly by her father. The father has since abandoned the family, and has run [...]

$40,000 car destroyed by fire
A Mercedez Benz car valued at $40,000 – the property of Rosaria Romero – Woman Police Constable of Libertad, Corozal District, was completely destroyed by a fire. Arson is not suspected. In an interview with Amandala, [...]

TIDE Junior
TIDE Junior FWC game results & plans One game was played today at the Toledo Union Field in the TIDE Junior Freshwater Cup (FWC) 2014 tournament. Normalee Sarita Gomez scored the only goal of the game, [...]

Smart 13
Smart 13 & Under Week 5 results There are 10 teams participating in the 3rd Annual Smart 13 & Under Football Tournament, and already 5 weeks of games have been completed, with 4 weeks of games [...]

No Limit
That’s it for No Limit; Western Ballaz to meet Tigersharks in NEBL Finals In the decisive semifinal Game 3 between Belize City (SMART) No Limit and Cayo Western Ballaz at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San [...]

Glass Shop U-12
Renan Celiz Progess Street Glass Shop U-12 and Caribbean Rum 5-A-Side in O.W. The Renan Celiz U-12 Finals took place at the Barracks on Saturday, June 7. In the third place game, Elite Promos defeated Barcelona [...]

Patrick JonesPJ

Shooting on Mayflower/Vernon Streets injures one
27 year old Rafael Cruz is hospitalized following a shooting incident in Belize City this morning, the fourth such incident in three days. It happened in a neighborhood known for crime and as the base of one of the City’s toughest gangs. Even for residents used to the […]

Effects of climate change discussed at symposium
What do polar ice caps melting, higher temperatures, heavier rainfalls and all-around wild weather have to do with ordinary Belizeans? As it turns out, a lot. The City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO), as part of its preparations for the hurricane season and continuing education about the threat of […]

Belize joins in celebrating World Oceans Day
Monday, June 8 was World Oceans Day, a celebration of the oceans that cover more than half of the planet Earth and spawn many forms of aquatic and marine life. Here in Belize the main celebration was led by the local office of OCEANA which visited the Lighthouse […]

Laverne “Anti Christ” Longsworth appeals murder conviction
The Court of Appeal is considering the appeal of convicted murderess Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, serving a life term for the death of her common-law partner David White. In November of 2012 Longsworth was found guilty by a jury of seven women and five men despite claiming that she […]

Chief Meteorologist warns against hurricane complacency
Belizeans are used to the threat of hurricanes from June to November yearly. In fact, some wait until the very last minute to make their preparations. Those individuals may be heartened to hear that after some years of heavy activity, this season will be average as far as […]

Hit-and-run incident leaves Xiabe man in ciritcal condition
Another hit-and-run driver is on the loose in northern Belize. Last night, a man was knocked down by an as-yet unidentified vehicle in Xiabe village, Corozal. The victim of the hit-and-run incident has been identified as Leocadio Cob. He is listed in critical condition at the KHMH. Police […]


Before donating blood think RED
It’s important to the San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) that our blood donors have a pleasant and easy experience. Our recommendation to help you pass the screening and have a good experience, before donating blood think RED: Rest, get a good night’s sleep the night before the drive. Eat a healthy meal before you donate, eating iron-rich foods helps strengthen iron levels for safe and successful blood donation. This includes leafy green vegetables, tuna, red meat and iron fortified cereals. When a person’s body is low in iron, their blood cells decrease, and it can prevent them from donating. Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages such as water or fresh juice. The blood donation process is simple, Central Blood Bank in Belize City follows procedures to ensure that personal information is confidential and that each donation is safe for the donor and the recipient. The entire process only takes about 20 minutes, but the reward lasts a lifetime.

Bats of Belize
They are the most populous mammals on the planet and one of nature’s greatest success stories, and depending on your perspective are either cute vegetarian flying foxes or scary Bela Lugosi vampires. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, bats are here to stay and, once you get to know them, you’ll be glad. There are more than 1100 different kinds of bats sharing the planet with us, from the tiny Kitti’s hog-nosed, or bumblebee bat of Thailand and Burma – the world’s smallest mammal, up to flying foxes with six foot (two metre) wing spans. Making up a quarter of all mammals alive today, bats are found all over the world. In Belize, some 75 species of bats account for about 58% of the mammal population, thriving on the many types of fruits, flowers, insects and other food sources to be found throughout the country. And, fitting right in with Belize’s biodiversity and multicultural human population, the variety of bat species is impressive, with Argentine Brown Bats, Southern Yellow Bats, Northern Yellow Bats, Little Yellow-shouldered Bats, and Red Bats as well as Great, Pygmy and Toltec Fruit Eating bats, Hairy Big Eyed Bats, Lesser and Greater Doglike Bats, and fifty shades of Naked Back and Big Naked Back Bats, to name just a very few.

Want to know more about Belize?
It’s no secret that Belize is widely regarded as a haven for both tourists and foreign investors alike, although for seemingly contrasting reasons. As a country with so much to offer, it is our responsibility to aggressively market ourselves in such a way that we attract those who are willing and able to explore the many facets of Belize. It is through promotional tools, such as magazines, international trade shows, and an online presence, that we project ourselves to garner attention. This attention, whether it’s for our barrier reef system or for our o shore banks, is what turns into foreign investment and revenue, which in turn significantly boosts our economy. McNab Publishing has an extensive track record for producing effective publications catering to an audience interested in Belize. Now, as we team up with BELTRAIDE for the third volume of the Invest Belize magazine, we are excited to produce a publication catering to those interested in Belize as a business and investment destination. We invite you to come on board and showcase your business on an international platform.

Maya mythology celebrates the sun. In fact, they deified it in the name of K’inich Ahau (The lord of the day). It rises in the East making its way through a watery, test-ridden and trick-filled place they call Xibalba or in some regions, Metnal (both meaning the underworld, the place of fright, the creation place). The sun does its 12 hour movement through the sky (in the Maya area), dominating all aspects of our lives and dominating everything beneath its glare. It was a god for the ancient Maya. Homage was important. In fact, the sun deity was so important it was imperative that it was represented in the night time as it was the time maker for a middle world that wanted nothing more but for the sun to bless them and their fields and gardens with its life-giving rays. But why represent the sun at night by a jaguar? The answer is a little simpler than we would want to think. First, the jaguar is the most powerful feline in the forests of Central America. Secondly, its a nocturnal creature who hunts at night with a stealth unmatched by any of its contemporary carnivores. And third, if you’ve ever had the chance to see one, its regal, perfect design would make you too think its more than a cat.

Healthy Active Life 5K Run
The Healthy Active Life 5K that took place in Belmopan this weekend had almost 200 runners.  They have tons of pictures from the event(album 1, 2, 3).  Congratulations to everyone that finished, and to the male and female winners.  Stay healthy!

"WOW!  So many people came out to run and/or walk the 5K race!  Thank you Belmopan for supporting a healthy active lifestyle, helping to raise much needed funds for Marla's House of Hope & making this 5K race a success.  Congratulations to everyone for crossing the finish line before 60 minutes and CONGRATULATIONS to the top winners.  We will be posting their names & all the official times soon.
This month's Screen on the Green is Thursday, June 12th, and they'll be showing the Blindside, with Sandra Bullock, and for which she won an Oscar. A big thanks to the U.S. Embassy for the great movies. "Belize Screen on the Green is back this Thursday, June 12, and will screen the movie, 'The Blind Side.' Join us from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at GG Field in Belmopan. As always - free popcorn and drinks will be served - but bring a chair and a snack to improve your viewing. Also this week we will have a few prizes for the first people to arrive...."

The Treatery Coffee Shop
The Treatery is now open. It's more than just a coffee shop, it's the total coffee experience. They have a huge selection of coffee styles, and also have more pastries than you can try in a week, and they are all top notch. It's in the Cayo Welcome Center, right next to Fuego Bar and Grill. Album on fb. "There's a new coffee shop in town, and it's called The Treatery. It's right next to Fuego's at the Cayo Welcome Center. They have great coffees and wonderful treats. Try it once, and you'll go back."

Garifuna Collective Tour Europe
The Garifuna Collective are having fun wowing Europe on their European Tour. They played at the Afro Pflingsten Festival in Switzerland on Sunday. Have fun guys! In related news, the World Culture Band, without Sam Harris while he's in Europe, still plays most Sundays at Eva's(Eva's is Eva's again).

Computer Courses at the GPC
If you want to learn about MS Project or Quickbooks, then you might want to check out the computer classes they'll be having at the George Price Centre this month. Project classes are Friday and Saturday, with more next week. Quickbooks starts on Monday the 23rd.

International Sourcesizz

EU efforts to promote sustainable fishing struggle to catch illegal imports
In March, the EU took unprecedented steps in its fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Using its common fisheries policy, the union blacklisted Belize, Cambodia and Guinea-Conakry for not being tough enough on this issue. Fisheries and vessels carrying flags from these countries can no longer export their fish to the EU. "Europe is the largest importer of fish in the world and currently IUU fishing amounts to at least 15% of fish caught globally," says European commissioner for maritime affairs Maria Damanaki. "We will no longer tolerate it." Her argument is persuasive: the estimated cost of IUU seafood in the EU is €10bn a year. IUU fishing has a negative impact on the world's fisheries, over half of which are nearing capacity, according to WWF. As such the EU must act beyond its borders – but therein lies the problem. "There are many ways around such bans," says Cheryl Dahle, co-founder of American seafood consultancy Future of Fish. "Vessels can transfer IUU fishing shipments in international waters, or even sail under a flag that they've bought from another country. However the main problem is that IUU fishing is still being handled as a compliance issue rather than a business challenge."

A hot tropical destination hits the global real estate market thanks to this UH power couple
The luxury real estate business in Belize is officially global now that Belize Sotheby’s International Realty recently unveiled an office there — thanks in part to two Houstonians. Belize Sotheby's International Realty recently closed the deal with McCann & Fisher Ltd. Houston natives Shane and Brittany McCann of the firm will operate the brokerage in that Central America country. Their partner is Curt Fisher. The husband and wife team, who studied marketing at the University of Houston, live in Belize where they already work in property management and the vacation rental business, the Houston Business Journal notes. The Belize Sotheby's offices opened June 5 on Barrier Reef Drive in San Pedro Town on the island of Ambergris Caye. "Ambergris Caye is considered one of the most desirable islands in the world," Philip White, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Affiliates LLC, said in a statement. "The lifestyle offered there is coveted by people everywhere.

The People of Honduras’ Mesoamerican Reef
This spring I traveled to the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras for the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP) and their partners, Centro de Estudios Marinos Honduras (CEM). The region is part of the Mesoamerican Reef, a marine region extending along the Caribbean coast of Honduras, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico. Pressures including population, overfishing, pollution and climate change have affected the reef. These pressures have stressed fishing communities all along the coast of these Central American countries. Fishermen have to stay out longer and travel farther to match the number of fish caught in previous years. Many conservation organizations focus on the reef system but a few groups like iLCP and CEMS support projects that investigate the connections between the health of the seas and the health of the communities living along the coast.


Video: Endangered Antillean manatee in Turneffe Atoll, Belize, 1/2min.
This Antillean manatee was found just a short distance from the Oceanic Society Field Station at Blackbird Caye, Turneffe Atoll, Belize. The Antillean manatee is an Endangered subspecies of West Indian manatee found in the Caribbean Sea. Less than 2,500 adult Antillean manatees are thought to remain, and Belize is home to the largest population.

Video: Bats in Belize - Part 1, 10min.
BFREE Staff Biologist Dan Dourson nets bats and discusses their natural history.

Video: Bats in Belize - Part 2, 10min.
BFREE Staff Biologist Dan Dourson nets bats and discusses their natural history.

Video: Bats in Belize - Part 3, 10min.
BFREE Staff Biologist Dan Dourson nets bats and discusses their natural history.

Video: Ian Anderson's Cave's Branch Jungle Adventure, 6min.
Adventures in Belize welcomes you to the unforgettable world of the Belize jungle and the adventure of a lifetime. If you are looking for a complete Caves Branch experience, look no further. We have designed several all inclusive vacation packages that should give you all the excitement you can handle at this unique Belize destination.

Video: Guatemala Belize Mexico Trip, 8min.

Video: GoPro: Ambergris Caye, Belize | The Phoenix Resort, 2min.
This is a video of our stay at The Phoenix Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize. All events in this video were, at The Phoenix Resort, or booked through The Phoenix Resort.

Video: Belize diving, 8min.
Diving with sharks and dolphin.

Video: Trash pick up Belize Display, 1min.

Video: Belize City, 17min.
The ride through Belize city narrated by woman who has lived in Belize for years.

Video: Belize Jungle Zipline (TREE SMACKER!!!), 5.5min.
You can watch it all or go to 4:20 to see her kiss the tree!!!!

Video: Adventures in Belize Grand Slam Fishing Package, 5min.
Whether you're dreaming of the angler's Grand Slam, diving in and around our famous Barrier Reef or just relaxing in a tropical paradise.

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