Recent Belize News
3/11/2012 to 3/20/2012
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Today's Belize News

March 20, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to South-easterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad West Atlantic High pressure system and a frontal low over northern Mexico and Texas. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into the weekend, resulting in a weak pressure gradient, conducive to lighter easterly winds and warmer daytime temperatures.

We can therefore expect seasonally fair and sunny weather to continue through this week, with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central coastal areas during the morning hours, and over inland regions during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and drier as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during this week will be minimal, ranging from 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch, especially over central regions and the hills. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days. The best chance for showers in the interior will be on Wednesday and Sunday.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Government of Belize Initiates External Public Sector Debt Review
Following the appointment of the new Cabinet last week, the Government of Belize announces the commencement of a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. To conduct the urgent review, the Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development, the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow has appointed a Debt Review Team led by Mr. Mark Espat. The other members of the team include Minister of Government Hon. Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Central Bank Deputy Governor Christine Vellos, and Advisor in the Ministry of Finance Alan Slusher.

Rosewood Moratorium
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development hereby informs the public that a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood (Dalbergia stevensonii) is being declared with immediate effect until further notice. Rosewood harvesting in southern Belize has increased exponentially over the past two years in direct response to a growing demand for raw rosewood timber from the Asian markets. The increased rosewood logging has led to a near depletion of the specie in national lands. Private lands and protected areas are now being targeted to meet this insatiable demand.

SPHS Male Softball Team are National Champions
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team on Saturday March 17th, were named, 2012s National High School Softball Competition champions. It’s a historic win for the SPHS, who for the first time ever, have won a national championship in any sporting discipline. The team won its qualifying game on Friday March 16th, which allotted them a spot in the championship game the following day. On Saturday afternoon, the boys managed to win and bring the coveted title to the island. The SPHS Male Softball Team represented the north of the country having won the Northern Regional competition earlier this year. According to the Coach of the team Marion Mejia, when the team arrived at the May Garden Field in Belmopan, all eyes were fixed on the trophy. “Our team went up first against the Western Regional Champions – The Belmopan Baptist High School; and that was a blow out game,” said Mejia. The blow out game ended in a score of 13 to 1 runs with the star pitcher being Charles Richards from the SPHS.

Ambergris Today

FLASHBACK: The Ole Ambergris Lodge
You are looking in the forefront at the once famous Ambergris Lodge, one of the pioneer hotels in San Pedro when it was still a village. Founded in the late 1960’s, The Ambergris Lodge played a vital role in the early development of tourism when Maya Island Air was operating three daily flights from Belize City with connections to the International Airport. The Ambergris Lodge offered fine accommodation right on the beach, with full time service of a restaurant and bar. It was founded by Mr. George Stefanco who had made San Pedro his new home along with other family members.

25 Years Ago: The Very First in San Pedro
First Airstrip, First Airplane, First Doctor, First Cinema or Movie Theatre.

San Pedro Sailing Club Takes All Medals at Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta
On Sunday, March 11, 2012, the San Pedro Sailing Club set off in the early morning to Belize City to take part in the Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta. The team was confident that it would bring home some medals, but with an impressive run in the regatta the Club managed to sweep all of them, making San Pedro a proud winner at the annual event. Sixteen of San Pedro's finest sailors were entered into the four Optimist heats. Each heat had a maximum of 12 boats where SPSC had four of the boats available. The top three from each heat would go through to the finals race.

Teens Belize Hosts Miss Top Celebrity Pageant 2012
Teens Belize is humbled to present the 5th Annual Miss Top Celebrity Pageant from March 13-27th, 2012. And vying for this title is no stranger to pageantry and our very own Sanpedrana, Miss Christine Syme, Miss San Pedro 2011-2012, 1st runner up. The candidates participate in four segments: Application Form, Preliminary with the Judges, FB Dialogue and Internet Voting. Percentages of each segment are tallied to select a new winner. The winner and runner-ups receives numerous prizes donated by generous sponsors from across Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

World Water Day Fair at the Princess Hotel, March 22
Invitation to the World Water Day Fair at the Princess Hotel, Belize City on Thursday, March 22, 2012!!! World Water Day Water and Food Security

Three videos of the GHI episode Sacrificed Mayan Spirtis filmed at Cahal Pech
I was not familiar with the show and was not sure what to expect. The bloodletting scene was just a little bit funky.

Belize Government Appoints External Debt Review Team
Following the appointment of the new Cabinet last week, the Government of Belize has today announced the commencement of a review of its external public sector debt and related liabilities. To conduct the urgent review, Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a Debt Review Team led by former People’s United Party politician Mark Espat. The other members of the team include Minister of Government Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Central Bank Deputy Governor Christine Vellos, and Advisor in the Ministry of Finance Alan Slusher. A government press release says that the Belize government has retained external advisors to “ the process of preparing comprehensive fiscal and macro projections, and identifying debt management alternatives.”

VIDEO: Mexico Rocks Snorkeling
Mexico Rocks a great snorkel trip, then we head north past Tranqulity Bay to a secluded beach for BBQ. This day trip is referred to as Robles, Snorkel and Beach BBQ. Thanks to Sylvan for a great day...awesome cook and the civiche was primo!

Environmental Poster Competition
The FCCA is having an Environmental Poster Competition! Students that are 16 and younger can submit a poster. The Belize Tourism Board is helping to promote the competition. GUIDELINES: • Must promote environmental awareness depicted in at least three (3) ways • Must accompany a summary description along with a title of the poster: • Posters size should be 22” x 28” • Entries will be judged on the following criteria: Creativity, relevance to the theme, content, layout/design • Entries must be accompanied by: Country, Name of Student, Date of Birth, Address, Telephone, School, School Address, Principal, School Telephone number Categories: Junior Division- 12 and under (contestant may not have passed his/her 13th birthday by March 12th, 2012) Senior Division- 13-16 yrs (contestants may not have passed his/her 17th birthday by March 12, 2012) 1st prize US $3,000 2nd prize US $1,500 3rd prize US $ 1,000

Channel 7

There are three murders to report tonight - one in the City, on in Roaring Creek and one in Corozal. We start in the city, where there was another Sunday killing - this one about a half mile from the murder of 21 year old David Hernandez last Sunday night. This time, the victim is 26 year old Jovanni Saldano - a working man - who was preparing for Sunday Dinner with his mother at their West Street home. But, just as he was going into the family yard, a gunman pounced and he left no doubt about his mission: he shot Saldano a dozen times. We went looking for answers today and Monica Bodden has this report:.. Monica Bodden reporting 26 year old Jovanni Saldano, was killed in his family yard on West Street at a few minutes to one on Sunday.

And while that killing on a second consecutive Sunday in the City is worrying, there is a far more monstrous act of murder and mayhem to report tonight. It happened - also on Sunday - in Roaring Creek Village where a man was burnt to death inside his house after unknown culprits set it on fire. Monica Bodden reporting This is what is left of the 8 by 8 wooden and zinc structure bungalow house. Its owner, 32 year old Dean Bennett was tortured inside as he was burnt to death beyond recognition. The incident happened on Sunday morning around 2am in the village of Roaring Creek.

And Sunday's third murder was in Corozal - where a man was killed in the town cemetery. 35 year old Guatemalan, Jose Manuel Caal, a construction worker of Corozal Town, was found dead yesterday at around 6:30 p.m., in the Mount Calvary Cemetery near the Finca Solana area. Caal's family became concerned when he didn't come home on Saturday night. According to Corozal police, it was a phone call at 6:30 on Sunday morning that alerted them to the body that was later identified by the family. Police says he was found face down in a ditch between two tombs, with injuries to the face and right side of head. Reportedly, Caal was last seen leaving La Reina Del Norte bar at around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, in the company of a Hispanic man, with the last name Castellanos. No arrests have been made.

Sometime last night a group of 8 tourists comprising family and friends were ambushed in the waters of Southern Belize by 4 armed pirates. Police have refused to give us any details about the incident, however they have confirmed that it did occur. According to the few facts that we've been able to put together, the group of tourists chartered a boat from the Mooring charter company and anchored in the Tobacco Caye Area - presumably in a vessel similar to this one - which we got from The Moorings website. The tourists had been anchored at sea since Saturday march 17th. But last night, the four men came up from nowhere, robbed them, and reportedly stabbed two of the men on board. Unconfirmed reports suggest that they assaulted one of the women on board. Police have not detained anyone in connection with this incident. According to sources, none of the tourists were seriously injured and they remain tonight at a resort in Southern Belize.

Our next story is about a cancer awareness effort that started in the classroom - but that doesn't mean it came out of any textbook. Well-known UB lecturer Dr. Sylvana Udz was teaching her Communication Skills class about getting their message across when she came upon a most effective form of non-verbal communication, one which said more than words ever could. It was Kim Barrow's bald head - a fearless statement about living with, and through cancer. It was a lesson not only in communication, but in humanity - and one not only to learn by, but to emulate. And so, Dr. Udz decided to enlist classmates and members of the public and get them to shave their heads - in solidarity with breast cancer victims and survivor. IT came off as a dramatic public awareness statement - and we witnessed it today at the UB Faculty of Education where the classroom was turned into a real life laboratory of human behavior.

Two men were shot in Belize City last night: one was a target, the other wrong place, wrong time. Police say the target was 19 year old Shakeem Humes who was riding on Euphrates Avenue at 7:00 pm. A man with a warm cap pulled over his face was following him and fired at him as he turned into Kut Avenue. Humes got off his bike and started to run for cover - and he dashed right into the yard of 53 year old George Slusher who was sitting on a tree stump, holding a small child on his lap. He told us he heard seven gunshots ring out - and he saw Humes bolt into his yard - with the gunman pursuing. When he got over the chock of that he realized he had been hit by one of the bullets in his foot. Fortunately, neither he nor Humes were seriously injured and both have been discharged from the hospital.

On Thursday, we told you about the armed kidnapping of Mexican Diplomat, Domingo Rodriguez, Mexico's cultural attaché to Belize. Today in Magistrate's court, 5 men were charged for it. They are 18 year-old Delton Jeffords, 25 year-old Noel Alamilla, 24 year-old Roque Middleton, 23 year-old Derrick Sanchez, and 34 year-old Ralph Middleton. Jeffords, Alamilla, and Roque Middleton, were all charged with kidnapping, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and robbery. Alamilla, Sanchez and Ralph Middleton were also charged with handling stolen goods for having items that were taken during the kidnapping. No plea was taken from any of the men, and prosecutor objected to bail on several grounds.

Ming Pei Chen, a prominent businessman, who owns a chain of businesses in Ladyville is in big trouble after he was caught with having more rounds of ammunition than his license allows for. Chen, the 28 year-old owner of Honey's Supermarket in Ladyville, was arraigned in Magistrate's Court for quote, "having a greater number of rounds of ammunition than is specified in his gun license." End quote. Chen pleaded not guilty to the charge, but because of the seriousness of the offence under the amended Firearms Act, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith was forced to remand him into custody April 23.

On Friday, the new Minister of Forestry declared a moratorium on all Rosewood harvesting and extraction. And since then, the praise has been rolling in for Minister Lisel Alamilla. The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) says it applauds and supports her decision as, quote, "the first positive and assertive step in mitigating the environmental crisis caused by the unregulated harvesting of rosewood in Toledo." APAMO, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, also sent out a press release applauding the Government. The World Wildlife Fund also sent a release saying it is in full support of the decision. And the BTIA says it is also in full support of the moratorium. And while that's the cheering section, we note that there's also a booing section. We heard the PUP's new Toledo East Representative Mike Espat on LOVE FM today protesting that the moratorium would disenfranchise many communities because it is their only means of generating income.

And while that Ministry lost one title, another is looking to lose its CEO. Multiple reports from senior sources say that CEO in the Ministry of Tourism Lindsey Garbutt has decided to move on. The circumstances of his departure are not known - but sources tell us the new Government gave him an offer he could refuse - which is a six month appointment. And he did refuse it. Garbutt had been CEO since 2010. Who will replace him? Well reports suggest that former BTB Director Tracy Taegar Panton - now at the BNE Trust - may get the nod. She is out of the country and we could not reach her for comment.

And while the all-important tourism portfolio is in transition, today the City Council announced the assignment of their significantly less hefty portfolios. Notable assignments include, Mayor Darrell Bradley who is in charge of Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource, and Councilor Dion Leslie who is Deputy Mayor and in charge of Sanitation. Mayor Darrell Bradley - Finance, Revenue, Human Resource Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde - Public Relations, Court, Special Events and Culture Councilor Dion Leslie - Sanitation and Sister City Relations Councilor Eric Chang - Works (North side), Zoning & Planning Councilor Phillip Willoughby - Security and CEMO Councilor Dean Samuels - Works (South side) Councilor Kevin Singh - Market, Public Spaces and Beautification Councilor Bernard Pitts Jr. - MIS, Youths and Sports Councilor Alain Gonzalez - Public Health and After School Programs Councilor Roger Espejo - Economic Development, Investment, Tourism and Small Business Initiative Councilor Michael Theus - Traffic

Today folks were lined up in front of Stella Maris School with the hopes of receiving a pair of tennis shoes. This is part of the One World Running initiative which brings awareness for Special Olympics. 1000 pairs of tennis shoes were donated by runners and brought down to Belize where they were distributed. All the students in Stella Maris received a pair of shoes, and the rest are being distributed throughout the country. Michael Sandrock, an American journalist and founder of the initiative told us more about the project. Michael Sandrock "This is our annual "One World Running Special Olympics Belize Run." What we did was brought all these shoes down with students from Ohio State University and you can see them over here. They are on their spring break."

The Garifuna Collective travelled for the first time as a group to Costa Rica today. The band which once backed Andy Palacio will be performing in the International Festival of Arts in Costa Rica. This is their first time travelling for this year, and we managed to catch up with them before they left. Ivan Duran, director of Stone Tree records told us more about what the band will be doing in Costa Rica. Ivan Duran, Director of Stone Tree Records "We are doing 2 performances, 2 concerts and the second concert is part of a showcase; part of a Central American music market, which for the first time, have been created in Costa Rica. Groups from all the Central American countries come and perform. I'm part of the organizing committee and we have invited promoters and agents from Europe and North America to come in and see the bands and hopefully get them booked for festivals in their countries later on in the year."

Channel 5

Jiovanni “Sally” Saldano murdered on West Street

Turning to the weekend murders; in the old capital, a hail of bullets was unleashed on Jovanni “Sally” Saldano causing his immediate death early Sunday afternoon. Saldano attempted unsuccessfully to dodge the gunman but was executed as he entered a yard on West Street in close proximity of the Mesopotamia police substation. There are signs ...

Murdered by Arson in Roaring Creek

Earlier on Sunday in the west, a Roaring Creek man was killed and his house was set on fire. Dean Bennett was asleep in his house when someone doused a corner of the building with fuel and set it ablaze. But the family believes that he may have been injured prior to the fire. Reports ...

Beaten to Death by Corozal Tomb

The third murder victim was viciously beaten to death in Corozal Town over the weekend. Jose Caal’s body was found dumped early Sunday morning in a cemetery and the injuries on his face were clear signs of a homicide. While it is not yet known why Caal met his death and in such a cruel ...

Belizean Murdered in Melchor, Guatemala

A fourth persons has also been murdered, but across the border. He is twenty-five year old Jesias Aaron Samos. A family member has confirmed that Samos was hit in the head with a blunt object and that he was shot three times; one to the foot, chest and elsewhere. The incident happened at about twelve-thirty ...

New C.E.O. Appointments for Ministries

Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced a list of fifteen CEOs to the different government ministries. That list is quickly changing and here is how. We begin with the change the Ministry of Tourism where Lindsay Garbutt had been retained as Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Tourism and to Minister Manuel Heredia ...

New Senators being appointed

There are other appointments today. At this hour, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Belize Business Bureau is voting on who will be the senator for the private sector. We’ll have that as soon as the results are in. But it is not yet official, but the opposition People’s United Party, is in ...

2 persons shot in Belize City

In addition to three murders, two persons were shot in the Old Capital. And luckily for the two men involved, their injuries weren’t serious. According to the police, on Sunday night two persons were shot in their legs when a wild gunman started shooting at the corner of Kut Avenue and Euphrates Avenue. Public Relations ...

Guatemalan National raped by Sarawee Villager

Dangriga police are also investigating the sexual assault of a forty-five year old woman in the Stann Creek District. The woman, a Guatemalan national, was out socializing with a group of men at Barhona’s Bar in Hope Creek Village on Sunday at midnight when she was invited to another establishment. Upon arriving at White Swan ...

Men charged for Overnight Kidnapping of Mexican Diplomat

A Mexican Diplomat was the victim of a horrific kidnapping and robbery last week. Today, five men were taken before the courts on numerous charges in connection with the abduction of fifty year old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena. Three of them; eighteen year old Delton Jeffords, twenty-five year old Noel Alamina and twenty-four year old Roque ...

Moratorium on Rosewood blocks serious loggers

Last Friday, the Ministry of Forest, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, which we note did not include Indigenous People, announced that a moratorium had been declared with immediate effect on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood. The decision to put the brakes on licenses was because a review of the Ministry’s inventory reportedly showed that more ...

Debt Review Team Meets

Last week Friday, the news broke that former Albert area rep and deputy P.U.P. leader, Mark Espat had been called to lead the negotiations on the Superbond. The government announced in a release today, that Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, chaired the inaugural meeting of the Debt Review team, which ...

Belize City Councilors get Assignments

On Friday, the newly elected 2012-2015 Belize City Council was sworn in. The councilors’ respective portfolios were announced today as follows: Mayor Darrell Bradley has responsibility of Finance, Revenue, and Human Resource. Councilor Dion Leslie will serve as Deputy Mayor for one year and is responsible for Sanitation and Sister City Relations. Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde ...

Going Bald in Support of Cancer Survivors

Baldmiration, you won’t find that word in the dictionary; it has been coined by the University of Belize as the name of an initiative to go bald in support of cancer victims inspired by Kim Simpliss, the most high profile cancer victim in Belize. This morning a number of UB students and others shaved off ...

James Adderley Buzzer Beating Statistics

Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. Week 6 in the PLB brought a struggle to the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk as Juventus looked to rebound off that 2-zip loss to FC Belize against the undefeated San Felipe Barcelona. Folks we’re only 5 mins into the ballgame when Oscar Acevedo is ...


Cancer has affected hundreds of Belizeans and next week a group of courageous women and their supporters will make a bold statement to draw more attention to the deadly disease. A group of students and a lecturer from the Univ...

The Football Federation of Belize has a new president. In an election on Thursday night, Ruperto Vicente unseated long-standing president, Dr. Bertie Chimilio. Vicente said that officials from FIFA and UNCAF, who supervised the elections,...

21-year-old Lincoln Hemsley, a resident of Kut Avenue, who allegedly shot and killed 21-year-old David Hernandez, was charged with murder when he appeared in court today. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith did not take a plea because the offence is...

The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. A release from the Ministry states that Rosewood harvesting in southern Beli...


Greg Ch’oc comments on rosewood moratorium
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM issued a press release today in which the organization welcomes the Rosewood Moratorium. Executive Director for SATIIM, Gregory Ch’oc told us more via phone this afternoon. And about what Area Representative Mike Espat mentioned when he said he believed the Moratorium should have been placed after all ...

Mike Espat comments on rosewood moratorium
Last week the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has declared a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. The decision by Minister Lisell Alamilla is not being applauded in all circles. Love News spoke with Area Representative for Toledo East, Michael Espat. Espat emphasized that all that has to ...

Murder-Arson in Roaring Creek
Police in Belmopan are looking for answers following an apparent murder and arson in Roaring Creek Village. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details.

Corozal man murdered in the cemetery
The body of a man was discovered in a cemetery in Corozal Town. Manuela Ayuso Cantun has the details.

Belize City man gunned down
A Belize City family is reeling after the brutal murder of their loved one on Sunday. Reporter Marion Ali has the story.

Government appoints team to review Belize’s external debt
The Government of Belize has begun a comprehensive review of external public sector debt and contingent liabilities. Prime Minister Dean Barrow has appointed a debt review team led by former Government Minister and Albert area representative Mark Espat. The other members of the team include Minister Godwin Hulse, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight, Central Bank Governor ...

Anglican Bishop reads to preschool children
March is Child Stimulation Month and today the little ones at the Anglican Diocesan Pre School on the Saint Mary’s compound had a special guest to read to them. Anglican Bishop, Philip Wright, stopped in with the children and he told Love News that he promotes reading even among Belize’s littlest readers.

Portfolio assignments announced in San Pedro town
The newly elected San Pedro Town councillors have been their respective portfolios. Our island based reporter Maria Novelo has the details.

New San Ignacio town council sworn in
Swearing in ceremonies were also held for the newly elected council in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.


Roaring Creek man murdered then house set on fire
A Roaring Creek man is dead after he perished in a house fire. Belmopan police are investigation the case as arson ...

Bald, Bold and Beautiful for cancer awareness
Some men and women have gone bald in support of cancer awareness. “Baldmiration” is a cancer awareness message from...

Plans to dissolve Belmopan's RECONDEV still in Place?
In his address at this afternoon’s swearing in, Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez raised the concern of RECONDEV. The Rec...

Police seek suspect in fatal shooting
There is also a murder to report on in Belize City. Yesterday at about 12:45pm, Police visited #61 West Street, whe...

Man leaves suicide note before hanging himself
A suicide was reported in the City of Belmopan over the weekend. Yesterday evening around 10:40pm, Police visited a...

Mark Espat joins team to re-negotiate superbond
Mark Espat, the now declared Persona non grata for the PUP, has been appointed by the Prime Minister as Leader for ...

Plane accident claims the life of 22 year old
On Sunday March 11th a tragic plane accident claimed the life of 22 year old Christopher Reimer, a rice farmer of B...

Dangriga authorities investigating rape of 45 year old woman
Dangriga Police are investigating a report of rape. A 45 year old Guatemalan woman of Pomona reported that sometime...

Body of Corozal resident found dumped in cemetery
A man was apparently killed and his body dumped in a ditch in a cemetery. Corozal Police visited Mount Calvary Ceme...

Henry Lima charged for the death of cab driver
In February of this year Plus news reported on the murde

Two men shot by masked man in Belize City
Belize City Police are also investigating a shooting incident. In that incident, George Slusher was shot to his rig...

Three arrested on kidnapping and robbery charges
On Thursday March 15th, we reported on the kidnapping of fifty year old Domingo Rodriguez, Mexican Diplomat to Beli...

Teen charged in the stabbing death of Orange Walk man
Today 19 year old Trinidad Pineda was charged by Orange Walk Police for the murder of 24 year old Cristobal Santos


The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Quince, Part 5...
She was in the plastic pan, half crouched, with towels spread all around the floor to absorb the splashing water. Vilma poured lukewarm water over her daughter’s head, scrubbing soap and letting the suds run down her back. While she poured, she spoke softly to her daughter. There were reminders of how to behave, now that she was fifteen, and of age to be courted.

Caracol full day trip
Here is part 2 of a 4 part series by Zac who recently traveled to Cayo area with his friend Terri who us on an extended visit from Canada.. Rio Frio Cave and Pools on Rio to follow. You can see his first post Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Cayo Belize.

High Winds this Morning and Some Random Stuff...
I took a walk to town this morning to pay my electric bill. Usually a relatively painless process, today the line was over 20 people long. And I am not good at waiting. The wind is whipping, the sea churned up and a few dark clouds menace. Most of the time, the clouds burn off and it's a beautiful day. Searious Adventures was loading a few boats up for day trips. Some newer banners are flying about town replacing the old "vote for me" ones. Self congratulations for winning the elections on March 7th. A new shop called the Sandwich Box has an interesting new painting on the outside. A chef holding a steamy pot painted with grapefruit slices? Is he holding it? Is that a hand? Very avant garde.

Photo Essay: La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2012
La Ruta Maya River Challenge is an annual four day canoe race that starts under the historic Hawskworth Bridge in San Ignacio, Cayo and finishes at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City. This event is takes local and international participants on an adventure down the 175 miles of the Belize Old River which empties out to the Caribbean Sea. Every day there is an overnight stop which allows participants and fans to enjoy the evening at each destination – the first stop is at Banana Bank, then Bermudian Landing and lastly, Burrell Boom. The competition occurs during the Baron Bliss Day ( March 9th) celebrations and promotes environmental conservation by bringing awareness to keep Belize’s waterways clean and preserving the surrounding natural beauty. Here are images of La Ruta Maya River Challenge 2012

Belize 2012 – Day Five: Never Going to Leave
Have you ever found yourself somewhere so wonderful, so beautiful, so unique that you felt completely immersed in the culture with zero effort? When we took the water taxi back to Belize City from San Pedro last year, I got very emotional. I did not want to leave. There was so much more to see, to experience, to soak up with every fibre of my being that I felt almost cheated. What a tease to only have been there for a short 30 hours! This time around, we were determined to see and eat more. We arrived at Ambergris Caye (San Pedro is the town making up most of the caye) around 12:15. As I got off the water taxi, I inhaled deeply and smiled ear to ear at the scene in front of me: kids playing, little restaurants lining the beach, people moving at about half the speed of Toronto. We sauntered down the beach to our lovely B&B at which we stayed last year, Changes in Latitudes. We were a little early for check-in, but co-owner Renita said it would be no problem to leave our stuff with her and to grab some lunch. Done. Back down the beach we went to our fave beach-lunch spot in San Pedro: Wild Mango’s. Right on the beach, this is a very popular spot and for good reason: the portions are huge, the food comes quickly but you never feel rushed and, of course, it’s damn delicious. Each table comes with three condiments: two spicy fruit salsas and an onion and carrot mix that adds great crunch to your meal:

International Sources

Airborne lasers discover undocumented deforestation in Caracol Archaeological Reserve
A NASA funded expedition using airborne lasers to study ancient Mayan ruins has also documented widespread illegal deforestation in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve. The lasers found that forest disturbance was actually 58 percent greater than recent satellite surveys showed, according new study in's open access journal Tropical Conservation Society (TCS). Such deforestation not only imperils biodiversity, carbon storage, and migration routes for Central American species, but could also lead to plundering of the Maya site of Caracol. The NASA research employed a system known as LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) to discover unfound archeological sites in the jungle, once home to one of the Maya's greatest cities. But the expedition also provided greater insight into deforestation in the 10,340-hectare Caracol Archaeological Reserve, due to the sensitivity of the lasers even over satellite imagery. The new data shows that in all 11 percent of the reserve has been disturbed by illegal deforestation.

Rocket Plunge to Deep End of the Planet
For centuries, the daredevils known as submariners have slipped beneath the waves in vehicles made for horizontal travel. Their craft are basically underwater ships. Even submersibles, small vessels that dive unusually deep, follow the horizontal plan. Until now. In a stroke, James Cameron has upended the field — literally and figuratively. A man known for imaginative films (“Titanic,” “Avatar”), he has reinvented the way that people explore the deep ocean. This month, Mr. Cameron unveiled his unique submersible and announced plans to ride it solo into the planet’s deepest recess, the Challenger Deep in the western Pacific, nearly seven miles down. He calls it a vertical torpedo. The axis of his 24-foot-long craft is upright rather than horizontal, speeding the plunge. His goal is to fall and rise as quickly as possible so he can maximize his time investigating the dark seabed. He wants to prowl the bottom for six hours.

Mayan ruins in Belize: Treasures more undiscovered than in more famous sites
“Just look!” says the woman beside me, and I do. The view is simply amazing: lush, green jungle as far as the eye can see. We are standing atop the High Temple at Lamanai on the Yucatan peninsula in northern Belize, part of a stunning collection of ancient stone structures with even more ancient secrets. Like Belize as a whole, Lamanai is growing in popularity as a tourist destination. With air and hotel packages available, Belize is an attractive alternative for Canadian travellers seeking a change from the vacation experience in Mexico just to the north. Travelling here is relatively easy. English is the official language of Belize, which is part of the Commonwealth, and the terrain and climate are the same as elsewhere on the Yucatan.

March 19, 2012

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Marco Gonzalez Maya Site receives grant
The Marco Gonzalez Maya Site AC Ltd, on March 3rd, received grant monies to the tune of US $7,000 from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. The funds were secured by Mr. Matt Fowler, formerly of Mr. Joe’s Grocery who is a member of the Board of Directors for both the MGMSACL and the Upton Foundation.According to Jan Brown, Chairman of the Board of the Marco Project, “This time, the grant money was also earmarked to help two other local organizations. On Monday, March 12th, funds were distributed to the South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch to allow us to become a member and receive the continued security they have been providing for the past 2 years. Money also went to the SAGA Society, which will provide volunteers for much needed grounds maintenance at the site.”

The Reporter

Cabinet named
Four newly appointed Senators are among the 15 Cabinet Ministers whom Prime Minister Dean Barrow named when he announced his new Cabinet at a press conference at the NEMO Conference Room in Belmopan last Tuesday, March 13. The former Executive Director of the Ya’axché Conservation Trust, Senator Liselle Alamilla, will head the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous people.

Another financial scandal at City Hall
There are reports of another financial scandal at the Belize City Council. But this time, it does not involve any of the elected City Councillors. Prior to the March 7 Municipal Elections, The Reporter learned that there were some serious concerns at City Hall involving a money scam in the Council’s payroll department. But no one at City Hall would go on record to confirm that there is another problem with the management of City Council funds. On Thursday, March 15, the City Administrator, Candice Burk confirmed to The Reporter that the Council’s payroll clerk, Sherlene Sabal has been suspended and placed on half pay.

First trial without jury ends in guilty verdict
Akeem Thurton, the first accused person to stand trail without a jury was found guilty of attempted murder in the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin on Thursday morning, March 15. Thurton was tried for the attempted murder of attorney Rodwell Williams, S.C., the law partner of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who was shot as he left his law office on Albert Street on May 31, 2010. CJ Benjamin, after more than one hour of summarizing the evidence that was presented during the trial, declared: “I do not believe the statement by the accused that he did not shoot Mr, Williams.” He added, “the Crown has proven its case against the accused beyond a reasonable doubt.” Thurton will be sentenced on March 30, and the court will do an investigation of his character to determine his sentence.

Machete fighters get bail while gunman goes to jail!
Three residents of the eight mile community of Sunset Park, on the Western Highway involved in a fight were brought to court charged with causing harm to one another. Zuner Hernandez, 33, a Nicaraguan immigrant, was accused of using deadly harm and attempted murder against Angel Dorado. He was remanded into custody until his next court appearance on April 24. Angel Dorado, who was hospitalized with chop wounds to his head and hands, was charged with grievous harm to Roger Hernandez.

Chris Reimer, 23, dies in ultra-light crash
The Mennonite community of Blue Creek in the Orange Walk district is mourning the tragic loss of Christopher Reimer, 23, who died when his ultra-light aircraft crashed near the Blue Creek airstrip around 8:00 Sunday morning, March 11. Two of his friends on the ground said they witnessed how the wing of his aircraft collapsed in mid-air 100 feet up, and he plummeted to the ground. He suffered severe body injuries and did not survive, even though he was rushed to hospital. His ultra-light aircraft was of the type that rather resembled a hang-glider with an engine suspended beneath the wing, which turned a pusher propeller behind the pilot’s seat.

Belize tops among best Beaches
Three of Belize’s best known beach locations in San Pedro, Placencia and Caye Caulker have been rated the 7th, 8th and 9th best beaches in Central America, the Belize Tourism Board announced on Tuesday, March 13. Visitors loving their experiences in Belize wrote enthusiastic reviews online and shared them with the world. One of the reviews on San Pedro’s beaches read: “I loved everything about San Pedro, especially its beaches. The clarity of the water and the water’s temperature made my vacation extra special.” A plus is that the barrier reef keeps the ocean waters calm. It was perfect!” Trip Advisor grades countries based on the reviews their receive from satisfied tourists.

Radio host riding for the Kids
Wave Radio host, Alfrain Supal is training to ride his first ever Holy Saturday cross-country cycling classic to raise funds for the Dorothy Menzies Children’s Home and the Stella Maris School for special needs children. Supal admits that he has never ridden in a competition before, but has been training since November, when he got his new racer bike, for the gruelling 144-mile ride from Belize City to San Ignacio and back.

Maya leaders unhappy over new Ministry. “Disrespectful and disappointing!” they say
The Maya Leaders Alliance of Toledo and the Toledo Alcaldes Association have reacted with resentment to Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s appointment of Senator Liselle Alamilla as Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples, on Tuesday, March 13. This was despite Alamilla’s advocacy on many issues affecting indigenous peoples when she headed the Ya’axche Conservation Trust. The statement expressed “surprise and consternation” that “the new ministry was created without any consultation with any Indigenous peoples”. “Neither the National Garifuna Council nor the Maya people of southern Belize through theToledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance was advised or consulted,” the Maya leaders complained.

Belize is drug transit route – reports U.S. State Dept.
Belize is a transshipment point for marijuana, cocaine, and precursor chemicals for methamphetamines. This was the verdict of the U.S. State Department’s International Narcotics Control Strategy Report released this month. The report recognizes that Belizean financial institutions do not engage in currency transactions involving large amounts of United States’ currency related to the international drug trade, illegal sales or which in other way would significantly affect the U.S., but it indicates that Belize’s offshore financial activities are vulnerable to money laundering.

Ladyville Tech girls win Belize City softball championships
The girls of Ladyville Technical High School upset the defending national softball champions, the girls of Nazarene High School, 9-8 to win the championship finals of the Belize City high schools softball competition at the Roger’s Stadium on Monday evening, March 13. Kristen Fuentes and Sherrie Gillett had scored for Ladyville in the top of the first inning, but the Nazarene girls soon opened up a 6-2 lead when Elma Wade, Ashley Rudon, pitcher Ashley Lucas, Tromeisha Tillett, Elisa Thompson and catcher Georgia Williams scored in the bottom of the first. The Ladyville girls recovered to tie the score at 6-6 when Fuentes, Gillett, Rebecca and Mardy Nicholson scored in the top of the third, only to see the Nazarene girls extend their lead to 8-6 when Tromeisha and Elusa Thompson scored in the bottom of the third.

SJC boys win Belize City softball championships
The defending city softball champions, the boys of St John’s College, won the championship finals of the Belize City high schools softball competition, posting their eighth victory by mercy rule: 17-3 over the boys of Gwen Lizarraga High School at the Roger’s Stadium on Monday evening, March 13. The St John’s boys seized an overwhelming 9-1 lead when only Gwen Liz shortstop Shaquille Moody scored in the top of the first inning, while Kenton Young, Nick Chang and Harold Nava each rounded the bases twice, while first base Taryn Thompson, pitcher Myric Marin and third base Javier Williams each scored in the first inning. Myric Marin allowed the Gwen Liz boys no runs in the top of the second inning, and the St John’s lead ballooned to 17-1 when Young, Chang, Thompson, Marin, Philip Codd and Kristian Majarrez scored in the bottom of the second.

Belize Bank wins 15th Ruta Maya River Challenge
Defending Ruta Maya champions Jerry Rhaburn, Efrain and Felix Crux of the Ziprider team, sponsored by Discovery Expeditions, won the third and fourth stages of the 15th annual Ruta Maya River Challenge, even though they capsized at the finish in front of the Bel-Can Bridge in Belize City on Monday, March 12. Their arch-rivals, Belize Bank Bulldogs, comprising Ervin, Amado and Daniel Cruz, bumped into their canoe causing them to capsize. The Ziprider canoe won the fourth stage in two hours 33 minutes and 29 seconds, but the Belize Bank team, running a close second, set a new record with the best overall time of 16 hours 36 minutes and three seconds to win the $2,000 grand prize and the Kinich Ahau jade head trophy for the fifth time.


Hand Wash Hand: Fundraiser for Rob & Dana
the honeymoon couple who were injured after being hit by a local water taxi.

Birding, brunch, a goodbye, and good food
We started this morning as we usually do on Sunday, with a bird walk. We saw many of the usual suspects, but we did manage to add a new hummingbird to our life lists -- a female Green-Breasted Mango. The distinctive stripe down her throat, breast, and belly made her easy to identify with the help of our Birds of Belize book. We also caught sight of this Snowy Egret and a Greater Yellowlegs hunting for breakfast in a swampy area near the roadside. After birding, we strolled down to Ak'Bol for breakfast. Unfortunately, it seemed like just about every tourist staying north of the bridge had the same idea, so we had a long wait for our food, and our breakfast turned into brunch.

THE HOTEL on Ambergris Caye: I am Seriously Impressed
I'll admit. I was skeptical (I usually am). A New York style deli? An Irish pub? In Belize? I visited The Hotel yesterday for a St. Patrick's Day bash and honestly? I could not have been more impressed. So much more than I thought it would be. I am going to try to temper the gushing. As usual, let's back up a bit. San Pedro was decked out in green for the holiday. And lots of bars were having specials and hosting parties. In fact, revellers were cruising through town on golf carts, dressed in green and pub hopping. But Molly Malone's at the new hotel just north of the bridge was the place to be. Perfect time to see it. The hotel part of The Hotel (I'm still struggling with the name) is still in the process of opening...they are estimating another 6-8 weeks. But on the first floor, the New York style deli, the wine bar and the Irish pub are up and going. The lobby for the Hotel is gorgeous. And a wine bar (that I think opens in the evenings) is tucked in the corner. The rooms are looking amazing too. This is the first one done.

Actun Tunichil Muknal, Belize
Our guide, Gonzo, drives us deep into the tropical forest. At the end of the road he parks his 4 x 4, grabs his massive flashlight and tells us from here we have to hike. We, my husband Rob and two daughters 10 and 12, are in Belize and dressed in our worse clothes for a three-hour tour of the famous Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave located in the Tapir Mountain Nature Reserve close to San Ignacio. It’s famous for it’s Mayan sacrificial chambers. Rob and I know we are about to see broken pottery and some human remains deep in the cave and that we have to swim to enter the cave but know nothing else and we have kept it a surprise from the children. All they know at this point is that they are hiking into the tropical forest.

PHOTOS: West Cayo Chess Club in Action
BNYCF has been having chess at Hode's on Saturdays. Great way to learn strategy and sportsmanship.

Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy La Ruta Maya pictures
There were some cool signs there. Well done. No Litta di Riva! Protect it!

Sunday Slideshow: Best Bird Photos From Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge
Those are some beautiful shots that they've gotten at Lower Dover.

PHOTOS: Flying over Cayo
Some great pictures of Cayo from above. Succotz, Maya Flats, Bullet Tree Falls.

Belizean Chicken Escabeche
Escabeche is a type of chicken soup made with onions as the main part of the body. The one ingredient that makes this soup so special is distilled white vinegar added to the soup to make it tart. Allowing the onions to steep for just the right amount of time gives the soup a sweet and sour taste.

International Sources

U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE ANNOUNCES 2011 BIRD CONSERVATION AWARDS The 2011 Partners in Flight Award recipients are: Award for Investigations Belize Foundation for Research and Environmental Education (BFREE) Avian Monitoring Program in southern Belize. In 2006, BFREE and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington established an avian monitoring program onsite at BFREE in Belize. Now in its sixth year of a planned ten-year monitoring program, it is the first long-term bird study conducted in Belize. The program goals are to create and enhance links between protected areas and surrounding communities, provide baseline data on Neotropical migrant and resident birds, and determine the status of wild harpy eagles in the Bladen Nature Reserve and the greater Maya Mountains Massif. In November of 2011, BFREE technicians further identified the first known active harpy nest ever found in Belize.

March 18, 2012

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

Misc Belizean Sources

Ancient Maya Craft Revived at Chaa Creek
The Maya, one of the world’s first literate people, created vast libraries and archives during the millennia-long span of their civilisation, most of which were destroyed by Spanish conquistadors in their zeal to remove “pagan” elements from their empire. Stone monuments known as stelae erected in cities and around temples were impervious enough to survive and have provided important clues from which historians have pieced together a picture of ancient Maya civilisation. Now, in what Ms Fleming said is a respectful acknowledgement of the Maya civilisation, The Lodge at Chaa Creek is having Maya artisans carve a 2012 Winter Solstice stela using traditional tools and methods. The inscriptions will use Maya glyphs, the hieroglyph symbols used by the Maya. Ms Fleming said a Maya family has been contacted and is currently finding a suitable stone. The meticulous carving will then begin so that the finished stela will be in place for a dedication to take place just before the huge December 21 celebrations. While there will be celebrations nationwide, Chaa Creek will be hosting observances within its own 365 acre nature reserve, with a candlelit procession from the Lodge to Tunichilen, an ancient temple located on the property.

Belizean Cookbook: Beans & Rice & Jesus Christ
This cookbook is library quality It includes color photos, and is spiral bound. There are tips and tricks clearly listed. You'll learn how to cook Belizean dishes with ease and very little ingredients. You'll learn how to get rid of acid reflux by using one little magic food we all have in our pantries. There are fun, heartwarming stories that link to the recipes.

Belize Recipes – Breakfast Quesadillas
Grill the breakfast sausage and slice them in ½ inch slices. Sprinkle the dish with the chopped cilantro and serve immediately Sauté the sweet pepper and onions in a skillet till for 3 to 4 minutes, add the tomato wedges and hot sauce and finish it with salt & pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm. Melt 1 oz of the butter in a Teflon sauté pan and scramble the eggs over low heat, just before the eggs start drying, add the rest of the butter and melt it with the eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The Community Baboon Sanctuary gets a shout out
Some good pictures of the Community Baboon Sanctuary can be seen here. You can find out more about the CBS at "The sanctuary was founded in 1985 by an American Primatologist, Dr Robert Horwich, and a Belizean landowner in Bermudian Landing, Fallet Young. From its beginnings with 12 landowners it has grown to have the support of over 200 private landowners. CBS focuses on four main goals-- Conservation, Education, Research and Tourism. And not only does it provide protection for the estimated 2000 Black Howler Monkeys in the area it also serves to protect the flora and fauna as well."

Belizean Coconut Tart
Coconut flourishes in tropical regions like Belize, so it only makes sense to use them to create wonderful desserts. Coconut Tarts are usually made in a special tart pan with a beautiful design by the dozen, however it can also be made as a whole pie like in this video. Sweetened condensed milk and the water from the coconut are the two ingredients that makes this pie so delicious.

Bare Pantry Crunchy Tortilla Stuff
This meal is a variation of a taco and garnaches and salbutes mixed. It's what I do when I have chicken left over and no one wants to eat it again. This meal can be made with any form of meat and can also be made with soft corn tortilla. It's truly a meal for when the pantry is bare. My kids call it Crunchy Tortilla Stuff.

Belizean Garnaches
Garnaches in another of Belize's comfort foods. It uses re-fried beans and cheese on top of fried corn tortilla. Although this meal in similar to a taco, what makes this different is the Dutch or Edam Cheese.

Belizean Garnaches Sauce
Belizean Garnaches Sauce is only slightly different than Enchilades Sauce in that I use no cheese. This sauce can be used as a topping for other Spanish foods like tacos, burritos, and gacho. It may also be used as dip.


Saying Good-bye to Caye Caulker
We have been in Caye Caulker for 2 weeks and are leaving tomorrow for San Ignacio in the interior of Belize. It is a little strange to say goodbye to our first destination, and I think it’s really finally hitting us that this trip continues – we’re not going home after a 2 week vacation. This was the perfect first stop – we have eased our way into our journey by relaxing on a safe, English-speaking, easy to get around island. Certainly we may have been spoiled by this first stop – good food, cheap but great accommodations (thanks to Maurice and Monique at Wish Willy’s), and awesome new friends (shout out to Rob, Lynn, Andrew, Steve, Michelle, and Tina). We have scuba-dived, snorkeled, wind-surfed, swam, ran, yoga-ed on a hotel rooftop at sunset, read, slept, ate, played games, watched a few movies in an outdoor cinema, and enjoyed spending time together. The only thing I’ve found to be annoying on this island are the sand flies that will not stop biting me. I learned the “trick” from another itchy tourist late last week – apparently if you lather yourself in baby oil, the sand flies won’t bite you. Why this works, I have no idea, but rest assured my skin has been encased in a layer of a mix of sweat, sunscreen, bugspray, and baby oil. I also have a new appreciation for geckos and other lizard creatures – they sit on my porch and eat the bugs that would otherwise bite me. Much love, lizards, even though you also make bizarre sounds in the middle of the night that, when reflected off our tin roof, sound like giant prehistoric reptilians have invaded. Possibly the most important thing I learned in my time here is that my most happy place is in a hammock – either right next to the ocean under a shade or on a covered porch during a cooling rain shower.

International Sources

In pursuit of an encounter with whale sharks
I saw my first whale shark off Isla Holbox, Mexico, near Cancun, where the Caribbean Sea meets the Gulf of Mexico. Allotted two minutes in the water, I kicked alongside a wide, bus-sized figure covered in rows of white spots, which the locals call dominos. Massive summer plankton blooms attract the tiny-toothed, filter-feeding sharks here, where the Mexican government created a sanctuary that allows only licensed guides to bring the tourist hordes. I’m intrigued by the mystery of these animals — no one really knows where they go before or after their summer stint in Cancun — and spending even a short time in the wide-open ocean next to something so massive left a huge impression. I decided to travel to Belize to learn more. First, I make the quick hop from Belize City to San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye, and book a dive trip to Lighthouse Reef and the Blue Hole, a well-known spot that brings many tourists to Belize. A round, near-black circle of water a couple of football fields across, like some giant eye in the sea, Blue Hole is actually a collapsed cave. Its main attraction, ancient stalactites, lie more than 100 feet deep, so it’s a short dive with a long safety stop, but often, divers see more well-known species of sharks, such as reef and nurse sharks. On our other dives, Half Moon Wall and the Aquarium, we also see sharks, as well as rays and a plethora of wildly colored fish, coral and sponges. Very nice, but I’m ready for the main attraction, those whale sharks.

Casa Ventanas is an intimate holiday villa in Belize, with a simple, organic exterior, yet with the highest degree of comfort. This romantic over-the-water bungalow is surrounded by the turquoise Caribbean Sea and is separated from the luxurious world-class private island of Cayo Espanto by a scenic deck. With such a unique surrounding landscape, a single bedroom home is enough for couples looking for an exotic escape. This is probably why Casa Ventanas is one of the most sought after rental villas in the area. The interior of the crib is defined by wood. One of the most spectacular features of the bungalow is a see-through window on the floor. Resting on cozy armchairs, visitors can enjoy the underwater spectacle from the comfort of their holiday home.

March 17, 2012

Valid: Friday - Monday, March 16 - 19, 2012

An easterly to east-northeasterly airflow will prevail over the NW Caribbean on Friday and Saturday under the influence of a persistent ridge of high pressure from the western Atlantic. The high pressure ridge will weaken by Sunday. Lows will develop over the Texas Gulf coast and north-eastern Mexico, favouring a drier south-easterly airflow pattern to develop across the NW Caribbean and Belize during Sunday.

We can therefore expect fair and sunny weather to persist this weekend with only brief, isolated showers developing mostly along the coast in the morning, and inland during the afternoon hours.

Daily rainfall totals will be minimal, ranging from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Friday and Saturday, but diminishing on Sunday and Monday, when daily accumulations will be in the range of 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch. The 2012 Dry Season is here but is being tempered or moderated by brief showers developing in the conditionally unstable ENE’ly airstream across the NW Caribbean region, which has been persisting for the last couple of days. The major heat lows are yet to begin develop over Mexico and across Central America. Let’s wait and see how this unfolds!

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Newly elected Mayor to manage SPTC “differently”
There is a newly elected town council in San Pedro and according to Mayor Daniel “Danny” Guerrero there will be a “different” way of running the affairs of the council. Mayor Guerrero made this bold statement as Mayor on Wednesday March 14th after meeting individually with several journalists on the island. Not only will there be a different approach to the management of the Town’s affairs but Mayor Guerrero explained that his council will be an “opened door” council. Guerrero’s new management style is something that many would say was lacking under the latter part of the past town council under the leadership of former mayor Elsa Paz. According to Mayor Guerrero the first order of business will be to restructure the staff at the administrative level of the council. “We promised the people open administration and that’s what we are moving forward with so there will be restructuring,” said Mayor Guerrero. The first major project the council will be engaged in upon assuming full duties on Monday March 19th will be to address the issue over the saturation of cemetery space. According to Mayor Guerrero, the new cemetery space will be identified by the end of March since it is an urgent matter that needs addressing at the earliest.

SPRCS moving ahead with Quality Child Friendly School Initiative Pilot Program
The San Pedro Roman Catholic School is moving ahead with the Quality Child Friendly School Initiative (QCFSI) pilot project that was adopted earlier during the start of the school year. The initiative is geared towards encouraging the community, and most importantly the parents, to attend school sessions with their children. Such activities give parents an appreciation for their children’s work as well as the learning institution. As such, the school held their second session on Wednesday, March 14th where the upper division students invited their parents to participate in one of their class lessons. The standard six students were involved in two separate class lessons. One group focused on healthy living, with a hands-on approach geared towards the students learning about the basic food groups, their nutritional values and the components of a food pyramid. The students worked along with their parents to create examples of a balanced breakfast, lunch, dinner and even healthy drinks.

San Pedro Sailing Club dominates at Barron Bliss Harbor Regatta 2012
The Baron Bliss Harbor Regatta (BBHR) 2012 was held on Sunday March 11th and San Pedro Sailing Club dominated, bringing home the top three places. Held annually in respect of the traditional 9th of March Baron Bliss Day holiday, the BBHR commemorates Belize’s greatest benefactors. San Pedro’s sailors commenced their journey leaving the island around 7AM for competition at 10AM. Some 35 participants, ages 8 to 14 competed in four heats of sailing at Belize City in the area of the BTL Park to the Baron Bliss Harbor, leading to the final heat. San Pedro sailors competed in four heats, winning the top three spots in each. Members of the San Pedro Sailing Club competed against other participants from Sea Scouts based in Belize City, Liberty Home Foundation in Ladyville and a wider selection of other individual teams based in Belize City. In the final heat, all competitors were from the San Pedro Sailing Club. In the end, third place went to 13 year old David Puc, second went to 13 year old Jorge Olivarez and 10 year old Kevin Velasquez took the coveted first place trophy. 2011s BBHR champion, Alexander Rhaburn took fourth place.

Noche de Estrellas 2012 – don’t miss it!!
The San Pedro HIV/AIDS Commission has confirmed the date for its 2012 “Noche de Estrellas”, one of the Commission’s biggest yearly fundraiser. The Gala event is scheduled for April 7th at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium to commence at 9PM. Doors will open at 8PM. Providing intermission entertainment will be San Pedro’s Rompe Raja. This year, the commission has added a second act to the night, with their spin off of one of Mexico’s very popular TV series “Mujeres Asesinas”, “Travestis Asesinas”. This second act is expected to provide a comedic addition to the many performances and is guaranteed to keep everyone at the edge of their seats. There will be a full bar and food available throughout the night. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door, and will be on sale by March 23rd with all members of the Commission as well as at JoSe’s Salon, office located on Ambergris St. For further information, contact President, Felix Ayuso at 663-9922.

Emergency First Responders starting up in San Pedro
With the ever growing population of Ambergris Caye and the reported continuous increase in tourist arrivals, NFAT (National First Aid Team) is a welcoming addition to the Ambergris Caye Community. The team, in its organizational phase, is looking to the community for membership as well as assistance to be able to effectively bring this very much needed service to the island. NFAT was established on September 16, 2006 and has branches in various locations within the country. The concept emerged as a result of an incident resulting in a student’s injury that occurred during a high school after class activity in which N.F.A.T. founder and director, Darwin Slusher saw the need for better trained students, initially, to respond to emergencies. Services offered by NFAT include water rescue, 24 hour on call medics, first aid training, stand-bys at public events, stand-bys at sport events, on call for school events and even home health care services.

The March 15th, 2012 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • New Cabinet Named, Putting the Nation above the Party
  • Bertie Chimilio Gone! Ruperto Vicente Takes Charge of FFB
  • PHOTOS: Swearing In of the New Cabinet
  • Hello Golfers: This Saturday is our 3rd monthly tournament
  • La Ruta Maya 2012: Belize Bank Wins - Another Exciting Finish
  • Belmopan City Council Kids Cup (First Round of the Playoff Games)
  • PHOTOS: La Ruta Maya 2012 The Award Ceremony for all Categories
  • From the Desk of the Chairman: Results, Questions and Answers
  • Faith Lift: Let Belize’s Landmarks Stand!

Misc Belizean Sources

Green is not always good... Chlorophyll A levels: Sea Surface Temperature & Chlorophyll
While the Chicago River may be turning green today (Saturday, March 17th) at 10:45am, our Belize River and coastal zone have remained green with morass for the past 4 years. NASA supported testing have shown from satellite imagery that Belize has chlorophyll A levels that are abnormally high. Lets hope we can get the cruise ships and others to stop dumping raw sewerage and other waste into our beautiful Caribbean Sea on this blessed St Patrick's Day.

Channel 7

Mark Espat will head government's Superbond Renegotiation Team. That's the news coming out of a meeting held this morning in Belize City. It had been rumoured for a few days - and this morning the Amandala reported that Espat had been asked to serve as a key finance advisor for the Government of Belize, to help renegotiate the billion-dollar super bond. The Amandala reported that Espat and the Prime Minister would meet today to discuss the proposal - and so we went to wait outside that meeting at the Prime Minister's Belize City Office on Coney Drive. Here's what we saw:..

The six suspect containers imported by Vernon Cuthkelvin remain in customs tonight. That's because according to our sources - the tests taken by the Forensic Department show that the sacks do not contain AMMONIUM SULFATE - which are the declared contents. According to our information, they have tested positive for trace quantities of ephedrine - which is a chemical precursor used to make meta-amphetamines, known as Meth. Now we stress, this is information we have received, because the importer, Vernon Cuthkelvin, owner of Belize Garden Consortium today told us that the tests are not finished - and that next week - he will conduct his own tests - which he is confident will vindicate him. Cuthkelvin has not been detained - as the containers remain under suspicion but nothing has been confirmed at this time. We note that the DEA has taken an active interest in the case along with the Customs and Police Department.

Minister with responsibility for the Forestry Department, Lisel Alamilla has already made her first bold move: she's declared a moratorium on the Rosewood trade in Belize. A release from the government this afternoon says that quote, "a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood is being declared with immediate effect until further notice." The release notes that "increased rosewood logging has led to a near depletion of the specie in national lands (and that) private lands and protected areas are now being targeted to meet this insatiable demand." Well, no more and the Ministry will now carry out quote, "an orderly assessment of the situation on the ground to institute a rigorous regulatory framework throughout the country."

On Tuesday, we told you about the Sunday night slaying of 21 year-old David Hernandez, who was shot to death near to his Berkeley Street home. Today, his alleged assailant, 21 year-old Lincoln Hemsley, was arraigned for his murder and remanded to Belize Central Prison. Because of the nature of the offense, Hemsley could not give a plea, and neither could he be offered bail. After Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith informed him of this, he told the court that the police did not conduct a proper identification parade. He said that the witness was given photographs of him before actually putting him in the identification line-up.

For much of last year, there was an epic power struggle between the Ministry of Sports on one side and the Football Federation of Belize on the other. The Ministry played hardball with the unflappable FFB President Bertie Chimilio - at one point threatening to decertify the most powerful Federation in the land, even saying that it could not outfit a legitimate National Football Selection. It got so bad that a World Cup Qualifier on Belizean soil had to be cancelled - after the visiting team had already arrived - because the government would not allow the police to be used for security. That caused an international incident - which is just what the Ministry wanted - to get the attention of the FIFA Bosses in Switzerland. And they did, with FIFA agreeing to a new election and laying out a precise road map which would certify a legitimate, democratic election. And after many months of jostling, the big event was held last night: Elections for the Executive Committee of the Football Federation of Belize at an Ordinary Congress - all strictly supervised by FIFA officials - and the most important element being that district delegates got to vote by secret ballot. Our news team went to Belmopan to chronicle this event; yes they were made to wait outside until midnight - and yes, they didn't get back to the City until 1:30 am - but to be near to history, it was all worth it.

And while the FFB has a new executive, the City Council has a new mayor for the first time in 6 years. Darrell Bradley and his team of councilors were sworn in at ceremonies this afternoon. And while it is one UDP council replacing another, the tone today was very different. Here's what Bradley had to say for his term as mayor:.. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I Darell Silvian Bradley duly elected as a member of the Belize City Council." Jules Vasquez reporting It was a familiar scene - the swearing of a UDP City Council - it's the third in six years - but the new Mayor Darrell Bradley was determined to change the tone of governance for his administration: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I also propose putting in place legislation and we intend to work with the Ministry of Local Government, for there to be a recall mechanism for Mayor and for City Councilors and for enshrining in the law tough penalties for those who misuse any public funds.

Last week, we told you about the home invasion at Driftwood Bay, the small community at mile 4 and a half on the Northern Highway. 20 year-old Chris Reyes, who was shot by police while he was fleeing from the home invasion, was arraigned and remanded yesterday. Reyes, a resident of King Street, was discharged from the KHMH on Wednesday and handed into police custody where he was charged with 1 count of aggravated burglary. In court, Reyes pleaded not guilty to the charge, and he wa

One of the first things Darrell Bradley had to do when he became mayor was suspend pay mistress Shirlene Sabal. You'll may remember her; she made the news in late 2010 when the owner of First Stop Pawn Stop alleged that she had been shorting his company of thousands of dollars. At the time she defended herself and so did the council, but right now - she stands alone, accused of engineering a daring scheme that cost the council tens of thousands of dollars in bogus overtime payments. We can only give the outline of the scheme at this time sicne it is under investigation, but it is a priority for new Mayor Darrell Bradley - who spoke to us about it today:.. Darrell Bradley, Mayor "Immediately as I got into office I was told about what had transpired, and first thing we took a decision to send her on suspension and we are conducting an investigation. We think that, that investigation would be finish by next week Friday and base on that investigation, we are going to take a tough decision in terms of her and also putting in place mechanisms. This is why we need the auditing team right now and we are also looking at putting in place financial provisions in the finance department to ensure that things like this don't happen."

In November of last year, Godfrey Smith launched his authorized biography of National Hero George Price. Now, Smith's book has been shortlisted as 1 of 3 books eligible for the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize which is sponsored One Caribbean Media, the largest media house in Trinidad and Tobago. "George Price, A Life Revealed" has won first place in its own respective category in the competition, and Smith's book is now competing against "Is Just a Movie" by Earl Lovelace, a Trinidadian Writing Titan, who has been publishing since the 1960's. The third book shortlisted for the overall winner is The Twelve-Foot Neon Woman, Loretta Collins Klobah, a Puerto Rican writer and professor. If Smith's book is chosen as the overall winner for the 12 OCM Bocas Prize, he will be awarded with $10,000 US in cash. All proceeds from sales of the Books have gone to the George Price Center.

Channel 5

Mark Espat to renegotiate Superbond
Speculation was aplenty before the March seventh elections that former Area Representative, Mark Espat, was involved with the U.D.P. campaign and in the Albert Division U.D.P. machinery. The reports suggested that if the governing party was re-elected he would have been given a senior appointment in the Barrow Administration. This morning another media house reported ...

Football Federation elects New Executive
There is a wind of change at the field of the Football Federation of Belize. On Thursday night Dr. Bertie Chimilio said he was blown by that wind of change. The fourteen-year president of the F.F.B. lost his bid for number fifteen. He went up against Gerald Henry Senior and Ruperto Vicente; Vicente won. Chimilio’s ...

14 career years of football with Dr. Bertie Chimilio
Chimilio’s fourteen years came at a price. In his late night interview, he told News Five that he dedicated his life to the game at the expense of his family. His accolades were also lauded by the outgoing Sports Administrator Miley Garcia. And for those who criticized him over the years, Chimilio brushed them off ...

New Minister’s swift Rosewood Moratorium
Environmentalists and villagers of Mayan communities in southern Belize affected by the extraction of Rosewood can breathe easier tonight. The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has placed a moratorium on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood with immediate effect. The swift action by this new ministry in less than a week after its ...

New Belize City Council Sworn in Office
The U.D.P. won all seats in the Belize City Council by a big margin last week. Mayor Darrell Bradley and the ten councilors were sworn in today in a public ceremony in front of City Hall. Mayor Bradley has vowed that his approach will be inclusive of all city residents. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports. ...

George Price Biography shortlisted for Award
It was announced a month ago that the book “George Price: A Life Revealed” had made it onto the long-list of ten titles in the region being considered for the prestigious 2012 One Caribbean Media Bocas Prize. Well, there’s good news tonight for Godfrey Smith, who authored the autobiography on the father of the nation. ...

Friday afternoon bank bomb threat
For the second time in two weeks CIBC First Caribbean International Bank has been the target of criminals. This afternoon shortly after two o’clock employees of the local office at the San Cas Plaza spilled out to the parking lot when a call was received that a bomb had been planted inside the building. Not ...

Suspect charged for Murder of David Hernandez
The most recent murder in Belize City occurred on Sunday night when twenty year old David Hernandez was gunned down on Racecourse Street. Less than a week later, police believe they’ve captured the killer. The suspect is twenty-one year old Lincoln Hemsley, who lives on Kut Avenue, just around the lane from where Hernandez was ...

B.D.F. soldier jailed for Threatening Jurors
Thirty-eight year old Glenston Bermudez, a career Belize Defense Force officer, is tonight serving a three-month sentence at the Hattieville Prison after pleading guilty to two counts of threat of death and one count of common assault. In April 2011, Bermudez was initially sentenced to six months in jail for threatening two jurors who found ...

Win Belize Community Service Expo
An assortment of items, including handicrafts and artwork were displayed today at the YWCA basketball court. The expo was organized by the Women’s Issues Network Belize to promote the work of its member agencies and to promote the empowerment of women. Also on hand were a number of government agencies involved in the advancement of ...

Let’s hear it for the YWCA at 56
Women’s Month is not the only celebration taking place; the Young Women’s Christian Association turns fifty-six on Saturday and the festivities kick off early in the morning. But it’s no one-day birthday bash; an entire week of activities is planned to include both young and older members as well as the general public in the ...

Musician’s New Album, ‘2 Sides of Positive Vibz’
A Belizean artist has released a brand new album with sixteen tracks. Twenty-five year old, Positive Vibz says that his latest work, “Two sides of Positive Vibz” is his masterpiece and has been in the making for the last four years. The album, which is a mixture of Punta Rock and Reggae, and features big ...


19 Year Old Charged For The Murder Of Cristobal Santos
Today 19 year old Trinidad Pineda was charged by Orange Walk Police for the murder of 24 year old Cristobal Santos. Pineda is accused of stabbing Santos on the abdomen and right arm during a fight on Friday night. According to witnesses both men were under the influence of alcohol when they started arguing with each other right in front of Santos’ house located on San Antonio Road. The argument soon turned into a brawl which ended with Santos being stabbed with a knife and Pineda making good his escape. Santos was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital and later transferred to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injuries on Monday morning. That same morning Pineda visited the police station where he handed himself over to authorities. Pineda is expected to appear before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court tomorrow.

Orange Walk Resident Charged For Attempted Murder
It went under the radar and tonight details are still sketchy but CTV3 News understands that there was another stabbing incident here in Orange Walk over the weekend. Thirty six year old Wilfredo Jimenez of Palm Street in the Village of Trail Farm reported to police that on Saturday March 10th, he was attacked and stabbed five times by 22 year old Enrique Rodriquez of a San Francisco Street. Jimenez, who also received minor cuts and bruises, was stabbed on the shoulder, chest and other parts of his body. We understand he was taken to the NRH where he was treated for his injuries and later released. Today when we visited Jimenez at his home he declined an interview. As for Rodriguez, we understand he was detained by police and charged for attempted murder. Rodriguez appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court on March 13th and was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until his next court date scheduled for 12th April 2012.

Recognizing The Women Of Our Community
Women’s month is celebrated every year in the month of March and is dedicated to women all over the world giving them recognition for their contribution to the community. This year Women’s Month is geared towards young women and is being celebrated under the theme “Connecting girls, inspiring futures”. With all the activities geared towards the empowerment of women CTV3 News decided to honor the month by recognizing women from the Orange Walk community who have actively participated in the development of the town and livelihood of others. One of those women is Guadalupe Ack affectionately known as Nurse Lupe. Guadalupe Ack, Nurse “I started in 1981 at San Narciso health center and in 1983 I went to nursing school and in 1997 I did the earth program and I have been at the hospital in the operating theatre up to 2009 when I went off medically unfit with heart problems and since then I have been doing voluntary work at the hospital and I coordinate the visiting groups that come into the hospital and we do also the villages. It is something that has I always like and admired when I use to go to the hospital, people showing that love to the people in caring and that is how I started and I got to like it and I stayed there.”

Pre-Schoolers Take Part In Festival Of Arts
Child stimulation month is celebrated every year in the month of March and is aimed at promoting early education in young children. The entire month is celebrated with activities that cater to the development and improvement of preschooler’s countrywide. As part of the celebrations, today preschoolers of the Corozal District held their Preschool Festival of Arts. The annual Preschool Festival of Arts was held at the Corozal Civic Center in honor of Child Stimulation Month. This year the Festival of arts was celebrated under the theme “Art is Expression; Art is Education, Let’s Keep It Alive”. There were a total of seventeen captivating presentations displayed by fourteen of the 34 preschools in the Corozal District. The preschoolers expressed art in the form of dance, music and drama while joyfully displaying their beautifully colorful outfits.

Corozal House Of Culture Honors Women
In early February Corozal Town witnessed the inauguration of their very own House of Culture which was opened to display historical and modern pieces of art. The House of Culture paves the way for local artists to demonstrate their personal forms of art and expression. And tomorrow night ten female artists from the Corozal District will be showcasing their artwork at the house of culture in honor of Women’s Month. Debra Wilkes Gray, Visual Arts Coordinator Corozal “This is our second annual Art and we started it last year and we wanted to showcase more or women in Arts tends to lean towards men so we wanted an opportunity to showcase the women and this year we have some new comers, we are very excited with the, I guess the depths of the art here we have textiles, we have jewelry, we have wood work, photography, sculpture and paintings. These women actually most of them are held at Art in the Park which is a monthly event here and so through that we are able to pull artist to put together this exhibit.”

MLA Not In Agreement With Government's New Ministry Of Indigenous Peoples
Tonight all indications are that the newly elected Dean Barrow Administration is in the hot seat just days after being sworn into office. On Tuesday the Prime Minister announced his new cabinet along with 15 Ministries. Several newly hatched portfolios where among the ministries, one of them being the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples. The Prime Minister however, upon forming his new Ministry, did not have in mind the Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcalde Association who today fired off a press release expressing their dissatisfaction at the Ministry which is overseen by Minister Liselle Alamilla. In the press release the Maya Leaders Alliance expresses their disappointment that the Government made no effort to consult with them or the National Garifuna Council before forming the new portfolio. The Alliance clearly states that under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Belize voted to adopt in the United Nations, requires government to consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous Peoples concerns through their own representative institutions before adopting and implementing administrative measures that may affect them.

BHOC To Hold Eco-Friendly Workshop
You've probably noticed that green is everywhere these days--in the news, politics, fashion, and even technology and you can hardly escape it on the Internet. As globalization makes the world become smaller, it becomes increasingly easy to see how the lives of people, plants, animals and ecosystems everywhere are closely synced up with one another. But embracing a greener lifestyle isn't just about helping to preserve equatorial rain forests, it can also mean improving your health, padding your bank account, and, ultimately, improving your overall quality of life. In celebration of Women’s Month the Baquitas House of Culture here in Orange Walk will be hosting a two hour Eco-friendly candle making workshop tomorrow afternoon. The event is in collaboration with JICA, the Japanese International Corporation Agency. Even though the workshop is being held in honor of women, Coordinator of the Banquitas House of Culture, Yvette Torres, says anyone can take part in the eco-friendly workshop.

Polaris Ultralight Aircraft Suffered Mechanical Failure Says Civil Aviation
On Sunday March 11th a tragic plane accident claimed the life of 22 year old Christopher Reimer, a rice farmer of Blue Creek. As a result of the mishap, the Civil Aviation Department launched an investigation into the incident and has released their findings. The small aircraft that Reimer was flying was a Polaris Ultralight which according to international reports is not up to par for air worthiness. The Civil Aviation Department, we understand, knew of the aircraft’s presence in Belize but no official document was received on their end. The department understood however, that the small aircraft was used for recreational purposes only. So what caused the aircraft to malfunction? According the Civil Aviation it was a mechanical failure- not concerning the engine, but with the wing structure itself. The wings collapsed and the aircraft plummeted to the ground ending the life of the 22 year old. CTV3 understands that Reimer was flying about 500 feet from the ground. Christopher Reimer was laid to rest yesterday.

FFB To Hold Elections For New Executive
As we speak a FIFA Representative and the National Sports Council is overseeing the elections for the new Executive of the Football Federation of Belize which is taking place at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. With the all district executives set in place the elections for programmed for today with three candidates vying for the post of President- Incumbent Doctor Bertie Chimillio who despite a number of controversies has been at the helm of the FFB for more than 10 years, Gerald Henry Sr. and Ruperto Vicente. The candidates for the post of Senior Vice President are Bernaldino Pech, Daniel Fabro and Sergio Chuc while Rowell Pelayo, John Moody and Darlene Padron are running for Vice President. Two persons will be elected as members of the executive. Contesting those two seats are Michael Peyrefitte, Alejandro Alex Palacio, Marlon Kuylen, Chris Gamez, David Jones and Hilberto Muschamp. A total of 20 votes will be casted. Two from each of the seven district executives and six votes will be casted by the Premier League of Belize.


Child stimulation month activities continue in Education
Activities in connection with child stimulation month continue across the country. Earlier this week we shared with you activities in Punta Gorda, today reporter Maria Novelo takes a look at activities on La Isla Bonita.

Women to shave their head for cancer awareness
Cancer has impacted thousands of Belizeans and agencies involved in the fight against the disease have emphasized the importance of early detection. One group of University students have taken a bold new approach to bring awareness to the deadly disease. Reporter Natalie Novelo has the details.

New Belize City Council sworn in
The newly elected Belize City Council was sworn in this afternoon at a ceremony at City Hall. Reporter Marion Ali and videographer Myles Gillette were a part of the gathering and filed this report.

New boss at Football Federation of Belize
Over the years, critics of Bertie Chimilio, President of the Football Federation of Belize have been many and numerous attempts have been made to unseat him and on Thursday night it was accomplished. The Football Federation of Belize held its election and a new president emerged. Fresh off his win against Chimilio, new president Ruperto Vicente sat down with Love FM’s sportscaster Ruben Morales Iglesias this morning. Vicente said that officials from FIFA and UNCAF, who supervised the elections, met with him after the elections and extended an invitation to the FFB for training for administrators, referees, coaches and physiotherapists. The first training coming up in April is for coaches. But aside from training, Vicente said that FIFA also supports the promotion of female football in Belize.


Chairman of Teakettle says Area Representative is fuelling political hostility
In yesterday's newscast we told you about a Bus Stop project in Arizona which is located in the Village of Teakettl...

FFB has a new mandate and a new leader
It’s a new day for football in Belize. The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) has elected as the new man at the he...

Residents of Cayo municipality protest against the closing of stores on Sundays
Residents are upset in the municipality of San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Over the long holiday weekend shops were closed...

Phone clienteles line up for mandatory registration of SIM cards
Long lines could be seen at BTL and Smart offices across the country yesterday. Word was out that the deadline for ...

Suspect containers raised red flags at the customs dock
Police, Customs Enforcement and DEA officials were present as six forty foot containers were emptied, inspected and...

Woman walks away unharmed from brush with gunman
Avril Bennet of a Belize City address reported to police that on Thursday, 15th March about 6am she was at the Yabr...

Maya Leaders Alliance outraged by ministerial portfolio of 'Indigenous People'
The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) are saying they are surprised and dismaye...

Police make arrest in weekend murder of David Alberto
At the start of the week we had reported on the shooting death of 21 year old David Alberto Hernandez on Racecourse...

Moratorium issued on the harvesting of Rosewood
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has announced a moratorium on the harvesting and ex...

PNP congratulates the UDP on winning General Elections
The People's National Party headed by Wil Maheia sent out a press release yesterday congratulating Prime Minister B...

Thieves burglarize car on West Collet canal
A Belize City Salesman looses documents and dollars from his vehicle. Osvaldo Antonio Zetina reported that on Thurs...

Father accused of raping daughter twice
A minor along with her sister and a Social Worker, made a report to the police on Thursday March 15. She reported t...


Barrow offers Mark Espat super bond job
PUP cut off Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde – for life! The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement on Tuesday, March 13, declaring that Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde, who stepped down as standard bearers in Albert and Lake I, respectively—two of the key divisions lost by the PUP in last week’s general elections -- have effectively resigned from the party, for life!

Peter “Ducho” Thomas dies at 85
Peter “Ducho” Thomas, 85, well-known boxing coach and a People’s United Party loyalist, is dead. He died in his home on Partridge Street Extension in Belize City around 8:00 a.m. today, Thursday, March 15.

Customs, on suspicion, seize 7 containers
Businessman Vernon Cuthkelvin rages: “This is costing me my energy, my time, my money; it is not fair and it is not right…” Late this evening Amandala learned that the Customs and Excise Department continues to hold a total of seven “suspicious” imported containers while it checks samples taken today to determine if the chemicals the containers are said to hold are in fact what they are said to be.

Akeem Thurton guilty in first trial without jury!
Chief Justice convicts 20-year-old of attempting to murder Rodwell Williams; sentencing March 30... Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin today concluded the first criminal trial without jury in Belize’s legal history with the conviction of Akeem Thurton, 20, for the attempted murder of Rodwell Williams, Senior Counsel, 54, on May 31, 2010.

Barrow grabs Godwin, Lisel, Joy and Charles
At the National Emergency Management Organization’s conference room on Tuesday afternoon, two-time Prime Minister Dean Barrow entered the room to a loud applause from party supporters and friends in the public service, shortly after the 2:30 p.m. time scheduled for the grand announcement of who his new Cabinet members would be.

FFB apologizes for late Electoral Committee press release
Elections for the Executive Committee of the Football Federation of Belize will be held at the Ordinary Congress which has been convened for Thursday, March 15, at 6:00 p.m. at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan.

Premier League 1st round ends, 2nd round begins
There were no major surprises or upsets in Week 5 of Premier League tournament games played over the weekend to end the 1st round of competition. The 2nd round begins this weekend, at the end of which the top 2 teams from each zone go on to the playoffs.

A chat with veteran footballer Gerald “Speedy” Henry – Part 7
We no have nobody who sits down and, like we deh da school… and we look pahn wahn blackboard, and we say, “Bwai, dis da di way how tings when show… if you see wahn opening, yo wahn push it through; rather than give yo partner wahn direct pass, yo wahn push it through, and hihn know dat hihn fi move…

Free at last!! Bertie gone! Ruperto new FFB president!
Reliable reports just received from our contacts at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan, where elections were held earlier tonight for the FFB executive, are that the incumbents, led by Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who has been president since 1998, have all been voted out.

$227,000 in arrears to Toledo rice farmers paid; $250,000 pending
Manager cites cash flow problems, but optimistic about improvement in sales due to lower prices... Gerald Bardalez, manager of the Toledo arm of the Belize Marketing and Development Corporation (BMDC), informed Amandala today that they have finally completed payment of $227,000 to 48 of 69 mechanized rice farmers, but a partial payment of $250,000 is still due to 21 more mechanized rice farmers.

OAS highlights Belize election concerns: Barrow responds
“They want to tell us to desist from our time-honored tradition of people campaigning vigorously...when the voters are approaching the polling station? Man, that’s a pipe dream. That’s a pipe dream.”

All 17 UDP House members get ministerial portfolios
Barrow says this is “an effort to harness all of the skills available to the UDP in order to produce the best government possible”... Elvin Penner gets demotion from Minister to Minister of State

Ray Davis to replace Paul Perriott as NTUCB Senator
Chamber yet to decide on Godwin Hulse replacement... The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has yet to decide who will be their new Senate representative, to replace Senator Godwin Hulse—the former private sector senator who will now sit in the Senate as a UDP appointee and more than that, the Leader of Government Business in the Senate.

Ideas and Opinions - A New Order
Have you observed the House of Representatives in session? This is where the Honorable men and women sit, chosen by the people to consider and debate proposals for action to be taken by Parliament in the service of the nation. The title of “Honorable” is conferred on them, because the nature of the mission on which they are engaged is such that they should be referred to and treated with civility and respect. Would you agree with me that the behavior of our representatives does not always measure up to our expectations?

“Even among colonial horror stories, the atrocities of King Leopold II’s rule in the Congo stand out. Studies like Adam Hochschild’s ‘King Leopold’s Ghost’ (1999) have shown in vivid detail the venal cruelty that rendered life for the Congolese so wretched that they might have envied the Africans sold into overseas slavery in previous centuries.

From The Publisher
I need to congratulate the Prime Minister on his United Democratic Party’s second consecutive general election victory. I think it’s been a rough ride for Mr. Barrow, having to fight the likes of the billionaire Lord Ashcroft and Fortis’ Stan Marshall, and so on and so forth. The now Right Honorable Dean Barrow has handled the heat with a certain amount of aplomb, in my opinion, although now and then he makes bombastic remarks which are propaganda fodder for his critics/opponents.


Belize Trivia...It's Back
I had quite a run of trivia last fall and thought I ran out of material. Not much more nitpicking to do. See how high you can score with these random questions.

My 2 favorite seamstresses
My 2 favorite seamstresses in town Sew What – they do fantastic custom work and cushion covers. Our pool side lounge chair cushions and couch seat both came from there and I know many resorts use Kate for her high quality durable products. Recently I took my float belt and Mexican bulsa bag to Kate. She did a new strap for the belt and new handles on my bag, keeping it out of the dump and making it useful to me once again for a pool bag. She did such a great job I am taking my Guadalupe bulsa [souvenir from Mexico] in today to get it re-handled as well. Elsa – I have been getting clothing altered by her got 6 years now, ever since she lived beside us in our first apartment in town. She has changed locations a few times and has now come full circle and ended up in our old apartment.

St. Patrick's Day in San Pedro
San Pedro embraces all holidays whole heartedly. Particularly the ones that involve parties and Guinness. If you are looking to go out this weekend, here are some of the festivities on the island. Friday Night: Pedro's Inn 8th Annual St Patrick's Day Party. Gino and the Shackshakers performing. Black Velvets (Guinness and Champagne) being served. Good knows what kind of swill champagne that will be. Saturday Day & Night: Kama Lounge Beach Party. Picture lots of this... Stunning that sort of costume even exists. It's titled "Luscious Leprachaun Adult". Saturday Night: Molly Malone's at The Hotel. 1/2 mile north of the bridge. The only Guinness on the island on tap. And that's all I know off...please send me an email with the parties that I am missing. And may the luck of the Irish be with you.

Belize Vision
iPhone Imagery from Belize

10 Reasons the Belize Zoo is a Must Do
Yes! The animals make the zoo what it is, and they are in their natural habitat. The best article ever about the Belize Zoo. This is a must read. Long live TBZ! "The Zoo has a Tropical Education Center (TEC) that has dorms, cabins and pond houses. The different style lodging is connected together with trails and we felt like we were camping. We stayed in a pond house, a fully screened-in, raised cabin situated in a private setting among beautiful pine and palm trees. Our cabin had 2 queen beds, a little kitchenette and a bathroom with hot and cold water. It also had a huge screened in deck that wrapped around 2 sides of the house. The cost of staying here ($60-80 US for 2 people) includes a delicious dinner and breakfast, so you don’t have to worry about leaving this forest paradise. It is about a 3 minute ride to the zoo which they will provide."

Cayo's Event Calendar for St. Patrick's Day
Happy early St. Patrick's Day! There are a ton of things on the Cayo Event Calendar for tomorrow! Rotary is doing their Spaghetti day at the market, along with a rummage sale. The ATLIB football regionals will be at Broaster and SHC. Paint Up A Storm will be at Columbus Park. Tonight, Mr. Greedy's is doing their 3rd annual St. Patrick's Day party. They'll have cash prizes for the best green costumes. Meluchi's and Club Next will also be having parties.

VIDEO: Prince Harry with former British Soldiers in Belize
Former British soldiers were present during Prince Harry's arrival at BATSUB.

VIDEO: TAS Belize's Tell A Story Thursday
Interview with Mr. Adrian Perez of Casa Pan Dulce

Women in Art Exhbition at the Benque House of Culture
The Benque House of Culture is uploading pictures from the Women in Art Exhibit last night. Looks like they were packed! And they gave out edible gifts to everyone too. Perfect. The exhibit is highly recommended.

VIDEO: Ashanti 'Airbender' Garcia at Chaya Garden Ashram 'Yoga-A-Thon'
Ashanti 'Airbender' Garcia at Chaya Garden Ashram 'Yoga-A-Thon' March 11th 2012.

PHOTOS: Hope Preschool visits San Ignacio Public Library
The San Ignacio Public Library is getting the word out that reading is fun. They hosted Hope preschool for Children's month.

VIDEO: Belizean Stewed Beef & Okra/Okro
Beef and okra tastes good on a cold day. The okra or okro as we know in Belize is nutritious, but also tasty, soft and slippery. It is a wonderful compliment to the beef. Dish entree goes well over white rice.

International Sources

Photos from the Ghost Hunters International Cahal Pech episode
Link to photos from the GHI Cahal Pech episode. The video isn't up yet.

Caribbean Mobilises Funds for Ten-Year Climate Plan
Failure to adapt to climate change will derail the development aspirations of the 15-member Caribbean Community (Caricom), researchers warn, siphoning off an average of five percent of 2004 gross domestic product regionwide by 2025.The predicted costs could rise to as much as 75 percent by 2100 for smaller nations, says the Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). Meeting in Suriname last week, Caricom leaders acknowledged the severity of the threat, adopting a common strategy dubbed the "Implementation Plan for the Regional Framework for Achieving Development Resilient to Climate Change". The problem now is how to pay for it.

Earthwatch: Shark Conservation in Belize
Shark populations worldwide are collapsing. But now you can help establish protected areas for sharks along Belize's magnificent Mesoamerican Reef. "...Though the Caribbean nation of Belize was once a haven for sharks because its Mesoamerican Reef barrier reef, the second largest on earth, and a network of marine reserves provide the ideal shark habitat, an increase in shark fishing means that population collapses may occur even here..."

Rising ocean temperatures harm protected coral reefs
Special conservation zones known as marine protected areas provide many direct benefits to fisheries and coral reefs. However, such zones appear to offer limited help to corals in their battle against global warming, according to a new study done in Belize. To protect coral reefs from climate change, marine protected areas need to be complemented with policies that can meaningfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said. The new study, published online recently in the journal Global Change Biology, was conducted by scientists from Conservation International, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. To determine whether coral deaths caused by ocean warming were lower inside marine protected areas, researchers combined more than 8,000 coral reef surveys performed by divers with satellite measurements of ocean surface temperatures. "Although marine protected areas could help coral populations recover from temperature-induced mortality in particular situations, this does not appear to be an effective general solution," said study author John Bruno, Ph.D., associate professor of biology in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences. Elizabeth Selig, Ph.D., conservation scientist with Conservation International and the study's lead author, said corals living in marine protected areas can be just as susceptible to ocean warming as their unprotected neighbors.

Ghost Hunters International Recap Episode 3.10: Sacrificed Mayan Spirits
CASE #1: Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins, San Ignacio. Belize. We are shown violent blood rituals and human sacrifices via wall animation. THE SLAUGHTER is rocking the matching purple shirt and eye shadow. The purpose of the car segment is to give the team the question of whether or not the spirits are attached to the temple or the dude who called them in. And to get shots of THE SLAUGHTER and Kris, because sex sells -- and there has to be a certain amount of the audience that has car seat fetishes.

March 16, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Shooting incident in San Juan Area leaves 1 injured
Some time around 3:45PM on Wednesday March 14, 2012, 21-year-old Simon Velasquez of a Boca del Rio address was shot by police in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town. According to Police, Velasquez was involved in a series of fights since 1PM of the same date. According to SP Police, they received multiple complaints and responded on several occasions, but Velasquez was never around until they responded to a 3:30PM report. Police state that they saw Velasquez, and upon his seeing the officers, he allegedly ran away, with the police setting chase. Velasquez apparently jumped two fences and made his way to an overgrown empty lot in the San Juan Area along the lagoon. Two officers pursued him on foot and found him hiding. According to Police, when the officers came near, Velasquez pulled out a stick and charged at one of the officers.

Ambergris Today

Tropic Air's Scenic Direct Flight to Honduras
On Monday, March 12, the airline introduced its direct flight from Belize to San Pedro Sula, Honduras and offering an introductory rate of $99US (one way) for the month of March. It’s an hour-long flight that departs from the Phillip Goldson International Airport three times a week, and by 9a.m. you can find yourself in beautiful Honduras. If the length of the flight scares you a bit, there is no need to fret. Before I could complete two three levels on Angry Birds, I was already there. Then again, the flight is one of the most amazing and picturesque there are and I was totally distracted and blown away with the view outside my window. The flight is over water 90% of the time as it skims the entire coast of Belize. You get to take in the beautiful coastline and admire in awe the fringe reefs and barrier islands that line the coast; it’s simply mind-blowing. As you reach the Honduran coast, you get to see the industrial bay, the mountains, crop fields and hill-top homes before you land at the San Pedro Sula International Airport.

Seventeen Year Old Sets Goal to Swim from San Pedro to Belize City
Eric Donis is a proud 17-year-old Sanpedrano who has set a challenge for his birthday – to swim from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Belize City with the goal to promote Healthy Reefs and Healthy People. Eric Donis is a young Belizean swimmer and triathlete who aspires to represent Belize one day at international triathlon events around the world including the Olympics and maybe one day in the famous Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. Donis came up with an idea to swim from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to Belize City in just three days. His purpose is to raise awareness of the delicate nature of our Barrier Reef at a time when there was much talk about the dangers of offshore drilling for oil in such pristine habitat.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize Oil Wells Seismic Surveys Map and contract holders 2010
Looking for black gold in Belize?

Art exhibition to be opened today in Belize City by the Mexican Embassy
The Mexican Embassy invites the public to the opening of the painting exhibition “Punto y Croma” by nine Mexican artists, which will be held today, March 15th at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. “Punto y Croma” is the name of a group of artists from Quintana Roo, Mexico, who regard plastic arts, and painting as the means to learn, live, experiment and to show their creative force. Most of the members of the group have presented their works in individual and collective exhibitions, invited by state institutions and NGOs. Founded 6 years ago, “Punto y Croma” presents in Belize more than 20 oil paintings of figurative art. By mastering colors and shapes, the artists feature different subjects such as still life, animals, country side and marine landscapes, portraits and everyday life. The opening ceremony will be held today, March 15th, at 6:30 pm at the Institute of Mexico, located at the corner of Newtown Barracks and Wilson Street, in Belize City. Entrance is free and open to the general public. The presentation is sponsored by the Mexican Embassy and the Department of Culture of Quintana Roo. The exhibition will remain open until March 30th, 2012.

PHOTOS: School Program in Belize
By The Tomistoma Fund. I have been very busy with our schools programs over the last few days and really enjoying every little bit of it. That is something I wanted to thank you for your support, it has been really made all of our presentations possible. Here is a link to a facebook album that has most of the photos from the last week or so in schools. There are more photos that I will be uploading the next few days of the kids and their books, so keep an eye out for them since we finally have our internet back and working. We have been able to get into Holycross, St. Peters, Isla Bonita, Island Academy, R.C., and will be in the high school next week.

Maya Leaders React To New Ministerial Post
And they aren't too thrilled.... STATEMENT TO THE NATION On the occasion of the appointment of a Minister for Indigenous Peoples. The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) and the Toledo Alcaldes Association (TAA) note with surprise and consternation that the new government has appointed a ministerial portfolio of “Indigenous Peoples”, within the new Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples. To the best of our knowledge, this new Ministry was created without any consultation with any Indigenous Peoples. Neither the National Garifuna Council nor the Maya people of southern Belize through the Toledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance, was advised nor consulted. This is particularly disrespectful and disappointing since the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples – which Belize voted to adopt at the United Nations - requires governments to “consult and cooperate in good faith with the Indigenous Peoples concerned through their own representative institutions before adopting and implementing administrative measures that may affect them.”

BELIZE OIL AND MINERAL REPORT 1952-1997 (With Serial num and ref)

Women in Art Exhibit at Benque House of Culture
The Women in Arts exhibit at the Benque House of Culture is a must see! The art there is incredible. Pictures don't do it justice. The grand launch is tonight at 6:30. See this great culture for free. This would be great for students too. There is art from Daisy Romero, Dora Luz Hob, Flori Lopez Galves, Gayle Grant, Ivonne Dignard, Jaime Sanchez, Matea Duval, Miriam Antoinette, Nan Lopez, Nehanda Siginio, Samantha Ke, Veronica Romero, and Zinnia Longsworth. Don't forget that on the 24th of March, they'll be having a Women in Arts fair.

Mountain Pine Ridge and the Belize Zoo get a fantastic review
It's good to see Mountain Pine Ridge getting such a great review. It really is a magical place. Some great pictures are posted there too. "After about 2 hours of driving and a 20 minute hike we made it to “Big Rock Falls”. A beautiful place we had all to ourselves. We dived from the rocks into the refreshing pools below and took a shower under the power of the falls... Standing at the gaping mouth of the Rio Frio cave. A river runs through this cave and collapsed it from the inside. Creating a gaping cathedral inside full of huge stalactites and a sandy beach next to the river. Some scale to the cave opening. Outside of the cave is thick jungle."

Mariposa has started an Orchid Garden
The Black Orchid is Belize's national flower. Mariposa Jungle Lodge has pictures up of their new orchid garden. There are some beautiful orchids there.

Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge
There's a new lodge in Cayo named after the Sleeping Giant. Obviously, they are located on the Hummingbird Highway. Their picture gallery has some beautiful shots in it. "Nestled into the foothills of the Sibun National Forest Reserve in Central Belize, Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge is surrounded by over a hundred thousand acres of untouched wilderness. It is an ideal retreat for nature lovers wishing to experience the sounds and sights of a tropical rainforest in a tranquil, undisturbed atmosphere."

Belize listed on Fodor's "5 Spring Break Getaways for Grown-ups"
Belize made the list due to Cayo's adventure excursions. ATM, Caracol, and Xunantunich are all mentioned. Ka'ana is mentioned as their choice of lodging! "With all the hoopla over the Mayan calendar ending on December 21, 2012 (and the resulting speculation about whether that spells doom for modern civilization), it’s the perfect time to check out the lore and legends of the Mayans. There’s no better place to dig into ancient prophecies than this English-speaking country located just south of Riviera Maya, Mexico, where the jungles of Belize's Cayo District hide mysterious caves (especially Actun Tunichil Muknal, home to the crystallized skeleton of a sacrificed Mayan maiden) and the world’s second largest barrier reef is a subaquatic playground. You can climb atop ancient Mayan pyramids at Caracol, Lamanai, and Xunantunich; or, snorkel or dive with impressive ocean predators in Shark-Ray Alley off of Ambergris Caye."

It's Never Too Late To Have A Good Time in Cayo
"It's never too late to have a good time." That's one of the classic Lee-isms uttered when we're not quite ready to let the party end, or even to get the party started! Londoners, you would have heard this one plenty of times! Such was the case on our last night in San Ignacio. It was Alex's birthday and we were determined to have a good time. After some merry-making at our hotel the 5 of us - Megan from London, and Alex and Meagan from Canada - headed into town to find any remaining nightlife. But alas! Being Monday night all the usual haunts were closed. Even the ever-popular, ever-pumping dance-hall venue. With no revellers to feed the late-night barbecue stands were closed too! (Gotta love any place where you can buy freshly braaied chicken on the bone at 2am!)

Channel 7

For the past week - we've been getting reports about seven containers that raised red flags at the customs department. The containers came from China, and the importer says they contain fertilizer. But customs suspects otherwise; they feel it could be a major shipment of what are classed as precursor chemicals. Those are chemicals like pseudoephedrine that are used in the production of meta-amphetamines. That's an illegal, highly addictive drug popular in the United States called "Meth". The precursors for "Meth" are often imported through gateways in Belize, Guatemala or Mexico so they can be smuggled into the United States. Belize Customs has gone through its problems with pseudo-ephedrine containers since that was outlawed in 2008 - and now determined drug manufacturers they are finding other chemicals that will work as precursors.

He's a Mexican diplomat, but that didn't give 50 year old Domingo Rodriguez Semerena immunity from being the victim of a crime. The cultural attaché at the Mexican embassy in Belize was robbed and held hostage late Tuesday evening. Rodriguez, who is stationed at the Mexican Institute in Belize City, reported to police that around 6:45 Tuesday evening, he was assisting someone to a friend's house on an unknown street in the city. When he got to the house, two men approached his vehicle. One of the men was armed and forced Rodriguez to the back seat of his vehicle after which 2 other men got into his vehicle. The 4 men then took him to an unknown house, where they tied up his hands and feet. He was then robbed of his cell phone, his gold chain, one hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and other personal documents. He was then guarded by one of the men until 7 o'clock yesterday morning, when he was taken and released at an abandoned swampy area on the Northern Highway. Rodriguez's black 2007 Audi SUV with diplomatic license plates was also stolen. The Mexican embassy had no comment.

The first trial without jury ended today with Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin found 20 year-old Akeem Thurton guilty of attempting to murder attorney Rodwell Williams. It is a landmark verdict in a high profile case, that lasted for two weeks. In the prelude to the delivery of his verdict, CJ Benjamin summarized the major sections of the trial, which started 2 weeks ago. He touched on all the major evidence which the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Taitt - Vidal, presented against Thurton. As he indicated, the DPP's case depended heavily on the testimony of the victim, Rodwell Williams, who was fortunate to survive his near-fatal shooting on the night of May 30, 2010. Williams went through the entire events of the night, in which his testimony finally culminated into his identification of Thurton as the man who he saw shoot him.

22 year old Edwin Moody is in a serious condition at the KHMH after he was shot yesterday evening in Belize City. As we reported last night, at a quarter to six, the construction worker of a Rocky Road address was riding on Racecourse Street near the Sunnyside Bakery when he was shot. Police say two men were riding behind him and fired several shots. They found their mark in the lower right side of his abdomen and the lower right buttock area. It is the second shooting on the usually quiet Racecourse street in four days. Police have made no arrests. In other crime news from Belize City, a man was stabbed this evening - again around 5:30 pm - in the Complex area of Lake Independence. We understand his injuries are quite serious and emergency surgery is required.

A man was shot by police yesterday afternoon in San Pedro. According to the San Pedro Sun, 21 year old Simon Velasquez of Boca Del Rio in the San Juan Area of the island was shot around 4. The Sunb reports that he had been in a number of fights that afternoon and they had received numerous complaints. When they responded to the reports, Valasquez allegedly tried to escape from police by running away. Police set chase after Valasquez who allegedly jumped two fences into an overgrown lot along the San Juan lagoon. Police continued following Valasquez and managed to catch up with him when Valasquez allegedly pulled out a stick and charged at one of the officers. That was when another police officer pulled out his police issued firearm and fired a single shot hitting Valasquez in the upper right thigh. Velasquez was taken to the KHMH in Belzi eicyt but has sicne been discharged.

Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People, Lisel Alamilla got a major big-up from the Association of Protected Area Management Organizations, APAMO yesterday. Well, from big-up to dig-up, today the Mayan Leaders' Alliance slammed her appointment in a lengthy press release. The statement says that "The Maya Leaders Alliance and the Toledo Alcaldes Association note with surprise and consternation that the new government has appointed a ministerial portfolio of 'Indigenous Peoples'." The release laments that "neither the National Garifuna Council nor the Maya people of southern Belize through the Toledo Alcaldes Association or the Maya Leaders Alliance, was advised nor consulted." They argue that, quote "the creation of this ministry…ought to have been decided upon in consultation with us." It continues, quote, "We have to wonder whether the government would have created a Ministry of Creole People or Mestizo People without consultation with those communities, and if they would have appointed a non-Creole or non-Mestizo to 'handle' the relationship with those communities." The release states that the Minister should have been an indigenous person, and suggests the name of Greg Choc as one possibility. But, after much lamentation, the group says it remains committed toquote "attempting to build a relationship of mutual respect with the government" and invites Minister Alamilla to meet with Maya leaders at the earliest opportunity.

Since August 2, 2011, Glenn Tillett, editor of the Independent Newspaper, and his 21 year-old daughter have been in and out of the courtroom in relation to the charge of handling stolen goods. Today, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer dismissed that charge for want of prosecution. Police reported that they searched his Belize City home, and found a pair of computers which was stolen in last year's burglary of the Salvadoran Embassy located in the Cohune Walk area of Belmopan. Tillett told police and the media that his nephew, 20 year-old Tyrell Hyde, took the items to his home and asked to store them there. He also said that they didn't know that these items were stolen. Police didn't believe him, and they arrested his daughter and him. Since September of last year, the matter has been granted 5 adjournments in Senior Magistrate Frazer's courtroom.

Last night we showed you how the cell phone registrations were going at both phone companies. SMART! had been advertising that today was their deadline for registration, while BTL's communications officer told us that they were using April 12 as prescribed by the Government. Well, as you might have guessed, with the threat of disconnection looming, a large section of the Belizean public decided to wait until the very last minute rush in and register their numbers at the Speednet offices throughout the country - which caused major lines. The problem is that today is not the deadline that the Government gave like the company was advertising.

The People's Referendum has come and gone - and the Barrow administration has agreed to hold a referendum on offshore drilling. But the public information about the issue has mostly been one-sided - which is what brings us to our next story. Janelle Chanona - in partnership with the Healthy Reefs initiative tonight presents the second and final part of her series examining the complex interplay of issues that factor into all deliberations about offshore drilling. And while the environment is one thing, the revenue that government can generate is the other side of the issue. Tonight Janelle Chanona looks at those competing interests: conservation on one side and cash on the other - in a feature she calls, "Show Me the Money":..

Yesterday morning in Cayo, the GSU discovered over 2 dozen M16 magazines along with 2 bullet proof vests in San Ignacio Town. Between 5:00 and 11:00 am, the GSU and San Ignacio Police searched Dudley Kenrick Lopez's residence in the Shawville Area of San Ignacio Town. Inside one of the 43 year old's bedrooms, they found 2 M16 magazines in a plastic bag. They then uncovered a carton filled with 23 empty M16 magazines. If this was not enough, 2 bullet proof vests were found on the floor and 1 ballistic portion of a vest was found behind an entertainment center in the same room. Lopez has been arrested and charged for Kept Unlicensed Firearms and possession of unregistered bullet proof vests. Lopez was also wanted by San Ignacio Police for burglary and will be charged for that offence as well.

She is an actress, an activist, and an educator and Dr. Billie Jean Young has educated and inspired hundreds of audiences around the world through her poetry, lectures, drama workshops and community organizing. She has worked in her native home of Alabama as well as abroad, particularly Belize, advancing the causes of social and economic justice. This morning Dr. Young launched her latest book at the Leo Bradley. The book is called "Family Secrets" and 7news was there. Dr. Billie Jean Young, Author "This was an intervention, we saw a woman in distress and a woman who needed help and so we decided to do something about it. This book is written in the mother's voice because the mother after her escape, she knew that mothers were always blamed for incestuous behavior of their husbands, and even some people insinuating that they have been in collusion with that behavior and she wanted to share to examine her own life to see why she was almost immune to it and even after she discover it, she was unable to do anything about it by herself."

38 year-old Walter Beaton, a Belize City taxi driver, was today acquitted of the murder of the notorious Leroy "Redants" Rhaburn in the court room of Justice Adolph Lucas. On August 22, 2009, Rhaburn, a resident of Taylor's Alley was stabbed once to the neck, after he had an altercation with Beaton at the corner of Orange Street and Euphrates Avenue. Beaton had given a caution statement to police in which he admitted that he went to buy tacos from a vendor on those two streets, and that's when he saw Rhaburn who eventually started to threaten him for no apparent reason. Beaton told police that he was trying to ignore Rhaburn and leave the area, but Rhaburn, who was reportedly drunk, started to advance upon him with beer bottle in head.

Our next story is about an art show that will either leave you nodding in agreement or fuming in anger. That's because a pair of committed young artists are taking on all the big issues from politics, to sexuality, to religion - with youthful panache and a devil-may-care attitude. Now, it's not for the squeamish - but it certainly won't leave you bored. The show is called "Society Killed the Teenager"; it opens tomorrow at the Image Factory, but we got a look today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Welcome to the very topsy-turvy world of Ruhiel Trejo and Briheda Haylock where nothing is what you thought it to be: Dean Barrow is the Queen, Francis Fonseca gets a "nope" - instead of hope, as do Mark Espat and John Briceno. The last supper gets plasticized, Pope John Paul is a poster-icon with a statement as is Martin Luther King, Ghandi and Bob Marley - even George Price gets the red and white treatment - with a cryptic statement below his image. Dr. Kevin Lee is a camera-man and Shyne gets his mugshot on a milk carton - the sum of his days reduced to a compact declaration of working-man's futility. Everything is declared plastic and everything is packaged and shelved for sale. Products are placards - and one throwaway statement is as good or bad as another. This is the work of Ruhiel Trejo - a young, committed and care-free artist - who doesn't care who he ticks off:

Channel 5

Akeem Thurton found Guilty of Attempted Murder of Rodwell Williams
On the night of May thirty-first 2010, Rodwell Williams was shot as he left his law office on Albert Street. It turned near fatal and Williams, the law partner of the prime minister, underwent surgeries in Belize and in the US and has now fully recovered. Two persons were charged with his attempted murder; Ricky ...

Handling stolen goods charges dropped against Glenn Tillett and daughter
While Akeem Thurton will spend many years in jail, journalist and talk show host, Glenn Tillett is home free. Charges for handling stolen goods against Tillett were dropped today. Tillett along with this daughter Katyce Flowers were charged seven months ago when a stolen computer and accessories were found at the house of Rhenae Nunez, ...

Mexican diplomat kidnapped and robbed
Police are reporting today on the abduction and the robbery of a Mexican diplomat. Domingo Rodriguez Semerena escaped with his life but his robbery was not swift; it became a laborious and nerve-wracking kidnapping. The Mexican Embassy would not comment on the situation since it is a police matter and neither would the police provide ...

Deadline for registering of cell phones extended by a couple weeks
At both telephone companies today, customers lined up for hours in a mad rush to register prepaid cellular phones and avoid disconnection. The registration started last October after the Telecommunications Act was amended and the subsequent passage of a Statutory Instrument as a means to fight crime. The deadline was initially announced for today but ...

Environmental Organizations feel disrespected by Liselle Alamilla’s Cabinet appointment
On Wednesday, APAMO issued a congratulatory message to newly appointed Minister, Lisel Alamilla. This afternoon, a statement to the nation from the Mayan Leaders Alliance and Toledo Alcaldes Association, had a much different tone. Now it is known that the Maya Leaders Alliance has not always had a good footing with the government and that ...

Farm worker is latest murder victim
A farm worker from the Cayo District is the latest recorded murder victim. Fifty-seven year old Marcelo Caranza’s daughter, Raquel, received a call on February twenty-ninth from Norma Figueroa, a resident of La Gracia Village, who informed her that he had been missing for two weeks. Figueroa said that she had last seen him on ...

Shooting at Chinese Store in Cayo
Also in Cayo, a Chinese business was robbed shortly before midday. According to the owners of Bing’s Supermarket, an armed man entered the store and robbed them of a computer, cell phones and an undisclosed amount of cash. As he fled, the armed robber opened fire on his victims; fortunately, no one was injured. But ...

After spending 3 years in prison, man acquitted of murder charge
A Belize City man, who has already spent almost three years in prison, is tonight a free man. The jury of twelve retired to the deliberating room shortly after midday to decide the fate of thirty-eight year old Walter Beaton, who was accused of fatally stabbing Leroy “Red ants” Rhaburn on August twenty-second, 2009. Just ...

Society Killed the Teenager; the New Exhibit at Image Factory
Society Killed the Teenager, that’s the name of a distinctively provocative exhibition being staged at the Image Factory by two students of SJC Junior College. Briheda Haylock and Ruhiel Trejo’s style combines emotions and politics to express their views on a number of issues that range from the religious to the sexual. News Five’s Jose ...

‘Family Secrets;’ The True Story of the Sexual Abuse of a Girl
The true story of the sexual abuse of a young girl has been captured in a book entitled Family Secrets. Written by US author, Dr Billie Jean Young, the book was launched this morning at the Leo Bradley Library. Young, who lived in Belize for several years, tells the gripping story from the perspective of ...

Annual Women’s Month Bike Rally this weekend
The annual Women’s Month bike rally is coming up this weekend. It’s an event that has had increasing support and participation over the years because while it is not a race, many come out with the hopes taking home a trophy for being the youngest female rider, the oldest female rider, the largest team of ...


Deadline to register cell phones adjusted
Today the offices of Smart across the country were packed with its customers to register their cellular phones. Smart’s Public Relations Officer, Ian Courtenay told us in an interview earlier today that they were given March 15th as their deadline to register their customers. And so the word got out and the Smart offices were flooded with customers who thought their time had run out. Courtenay assures that while your personal conversations and text messages can be traced for prosecution purposes, aside from that scenario, your communication with others is very confidential. The Police Public Relations Officer, the deadline for clients of both phone companies to register their cell phones is April 12th. To register your phones you need to take in an official form of identification, such as a passport or social security card along with the phone.

Journalist freed of criminal charges
Last August Senior Journalist, Glenn Tillett made headlines after he was charged with handling stolen goods. Today the charge was dismissed against Tillett and his 20 year old step-daughter. Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer, dismissed the case for want of prosecution. The duo was charged after police searched Tillett’s Belize City home and reportedly discovered two computers that police say were stolen from the Embassy of El Salvador in Belmopan. The stolen items were reportedly stashed at Tillett’s house by a relative who had gone to the house just before the police conducted the search.

Visiting team provides skills training in Orange Walk town
Students of Orange Walk IT-VET are benefiting from training provided by a visiting team from the USA. Our Orange Walk based reporter Manuela Ayuso Cantun has the details.

New book focuses on “Family Secrets”
Associate Professor and artist-in-residence on the Fine and Performing Arts faculty of Judson College in Marion, Alabama Dr. Billie Jean Young today launched her newest book entitled “Family Secrets”. The book which was published in December 2010 by Westry Wingate Press was launched during a ceremony at the Leo Bradley Library. It highlights the true experiences of a Belizean family going through a situation that involved incest, finally breaking the chains in the end by escaping to another country. The ceremony included the introduction of the Author by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington.

Belize City man murdered; family seeks answers
A Belize City family who is left in mourning following the shooting death of their loved one on Sunday night. Reporter Marion Ali and cameraman Myles Gillett tried to get some answers.

Special Maya exhibition opens in Toledo
A ceremony to mark the opening of a prominent exhibit of historical underwater Maya findings discovered just off Toledo was held this morning in Punta Gorda. We get the details from our Toledo based correspondent Paul Mahung.

Newly elected municipal authorities undergo training
Mayors, their deputies and councilors who were elected last Wednesday to govern their respective municipalities are gathered for the next day at the Belize Biltmore Plaza hotel to discuss their roles and responsibilities. The Ministry of Local Government-sponsored workshop, is also dealing with issues such as auditing and transparency. President of the Belize Mayor’s Association, re-elected Belmopan Mayor Simeon Lopez, told Love News that the Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse, rallied the newly-elected group to do the job that they were elected to do.


Commotion brewing in Teakettle, is it political?
Julius Espat, Peoples United Party area representative for Cayo South visited Plus TV's offices late this evening w...

City of Belmopan moving forward after elections
Mayor Simeon Lopez and his councilors will be sworn in officially on Monday March 19th at City Hall in Belmopan. Lo...

Primary school students show off talent in Festival of Arts
Festival of Arts has become an important part of Belize’s educational curriculum. Keeping the Arts alive, the Festi...

Drunken brawl leaves man dead in Orange Walk
A drunken scuffle over the weekend resulted in the death of a 24 year old man from Orange Walk.Cristobal Santos, a ...

Election Day as the FFB decides its future
It’s a big day for the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). Their Ordinary Congress is scheduled for this evening a...

Akeem Thurton convicted of the attempted murder of Attorney Rodwell Williams
19 year-old Akeem Thurton is the first Belizean to be convicted since the implementation of the trial by judge with...

Glenn Tillet and daughter freed of 'handling' charges
Popular talkshow host and Activist, Glenn Tillett and his daughter, Katyce Flowers have been exonerated. In August ...

Ten women to be honored at Belize Woman of the Year 2012
This is women’s month and ten Belizean women will be honored at the “Belize Woman of the Year” official ceremony On...

Shots ring out near Sunnyside Bakery, man hospitalized
Shortly before our news time yesterday evening a shooting took place near Sunnyside Bakery on Racecourse Street in ...

The Guardian

Star-studded Cabinet
The Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow held a press conference on Tuesday, March 13th in Belmopan City where he formally announced to the nation his selection of Cabinet Ministers. ...

Women victimized by PUP town council in OW
At least four UDP supporters have been officially terminated as a result in the change of administration at the Orange Walk Town ...

PM Address After Elections
Let me put on record how very grateful all of us in the United Democratic Party are to the people of Belize. Thank you, the great people of Belize! We are extremely happy that you have renewed our mandate. We ...

Little Power Major Victimization
God knows why he did not let the People’s United Party win the 2012 General Elections. In just one week, it is clear to every municipality that voted for them that the PUP has not changed one bit....

PUP attempted to buy the elections
For a political party that unreservedly stated that it was broke, the PUP sure was able to muster a lot of ‘mula’ in an effort to try and buy the electorate on March 7th. There were money mules walking around the entire country, lopsided carrying bags and bags of money. And voters felt the power of money on election days as specific constituencies were particular targets for the PUP’s money politics. The entire South gave way to the PUP’s money; the Northern Districts suffered with 5 constituencies falling to the PUP’s money and in Cayo it was two of the six. The only district that maintained was the Belize district and in particular Belize City where 8 of 10 constituencies proved that money can’t buy love. But there was one sobering reality here, however, as Lee Mark, as hard working, energetic and popular as he was, was unable to fend off to the big bucks of his opponent.

OAS Mission’s Report on Elections 2012
The General and Municipal Elections were being monitored by a contingent of 23 observers from the Organization of American States. According to Frank Almaguer, Head of Mission, the observers visited about 85% of the polling stations across the country and followed the process until the votes were counted. On Thursday, March 8, the team presented an initial report to the media.

Former Mayor Zenaida Moya and Hon Michael Finnegan Launch Mesopotamia Sewing Center
On Saturday, March 10, 2012, former Mayor Zenaida Moya and Honorable Michael Finnegan, UDP Area Representative for the Mesopotamia Division, launched the first ever Mesopotamia Sewing Center at the 2nd Floor of the Commercial Center. This initiative, which is the brainchild of Moya, is to help empower and bring financial independence to those unemployed Mesopotamia residents, who are interested in learning a trade and, immediately after the 3-month training, owning their own business to contribute to their families’ economic livelihood.

CITCO Staff Welcomes New Mayor and Council
The new Mayor and Councilors of the Belize City Council will be sworn in on Friday, March 16, which is 9 days after the Municipal Elections. For the Mayor -elect, Darrell Bradley, the work of his administration cannot be delayed that long. No one would have quarreled if he had chosen to take an extended vacation after months of campaigning. He then went through the longest Election Day in recent history but Darrell Bradley chose not to rest. He has been in countless meetings since winning the Mayoral race but he considered his meeting on the afternoon of Wednesday, March 14, to be the most important of all.

Group of four charged for beating another man
Three students and an office assistant appeared in Magistrate’s Court on Friday March 9th to answer to charges of harm upon a Belize City resident after he accused them of beating him up whilst at BTL Park in Belize City. The men, 21-year-old Reginald Rodriguez, 21-year-old Dennis Burke, 20-year-old Albert Leslie and 22-year-old Francisco Rosales appeared before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where they were read a single charge of harm upon 27-year-old Ian Jones. The incident occurred on Saturday, March 3, at the BTL Park.

Man succumbs at the KHMH 4 days after being stabbed in O.W.
A post-mortem has been scheduled for murder victim, Cristobal Santos, 24, a bus conductor of San Antonio Road, Orange Walk Town. Santos, the father of two young children was stabbed on Friday, March 9, at around 11:00p.m., on the San Antonio Road near Aquarius by the ex-boyfriend of one of his wife’s cousins. According to the family, the cousin and the ex-boyfriend were talking on the street, when Santos, who was walking down the street heading home, met them.

One thousand dollar fine for guilty plea
On Friday March 9th, 29 year old Marlon Gongora pleaded guilty to damage to property when he appeared in Magistrate’s Court. Gongora appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith where he was fined 1 thousand dollars plus 5 dollars cost of court for his guilty plea. While he pleaded guilty on that charge, he had additionally been charged with wounding a charge which he pleaded not guilty to. He was offered bail in the sum of 1 thousand dollars and his case was adjourned to April 13th. Gongora was charged after he was accused of causing damages to a Red Ford Escort and causing an injury to the owner of the vehicle.

Man found shot to death on feeder road
The body of 23-year-old Herman Garbutt was discovered by police off a feeder road shortly after 6:00 a.m., in the Mahogany Heights Area, Belize District. According to the police, Garbutt was shot multiple times in the head and body. The police recovered a total of two 9mm slugs along with three 9mm expended shells from the scene. The family declined an official interview today but told us that Herman had been living in the Mahogany Heights Area along with his common-law wife; he had no children. The information, we gathered from family members, was that Garbutt may have actually been killed since 11:00 p.m. the night before.

Belize City man murdered over holiday weekend
The family of 21 year old David Alberto Hernandez is visibly shaken and upset over the senseless killing of their loved one. David left his home located on Berkley Street on Saturday, March 10, 2012, after 8:00 p.m.,to purchase items from a store when he was gunned down.

Charged for aggravated assault of policeman
On Wednesday March 7th, a policeman was attacked in Double Head Cabbage while executing his duties and police on Friday March 9th formally arraigned Gian McFadzean and charged him with aggravated assault upon PC Kevin Broaster. McFadzean appeared before Chief Magisgtrate Ann Marie Smith where he was charged with one count of aggravated assault with a bottle upon PC Kevin Broaster and one count of harm. McFadzean, who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to both charges and was offered two cash bails of $200 each. His bail was set with the conditions that he must not interfere with the victim and that he must report to the Bermudian Landing Police Station every Friday between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. The matter was adjourned to April 11th.

Police woman’s Ex pleads guilty to threatening her
On Tuesday March 13th, 35-year-old Honduran Pablo Martinez appeared in Magistrate’s Court to answer to charges of threatening his ex-common-law-wife, a woman Inspector of Police. Martinez, a resident of Cemetery Road, appeared in Court #5 before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart where he was read a single charge of threatening words upon Inspector, Aracelli Petillo.

Woman stabs her mother in Orange Walk Town
On Friday March 9th an elderly woman, who suffers from hypertension and diabetes was stabbed in her house multiple times by her 48-year-old daughter. The incident occurred at around 12:00 noon on Zericote Street, in the Louisiana area, in the vicinity of the Louisiana Government School.

Ladyville Technical Girls and St. John’s College to represent Central Region in National Softball Championship
The 2011-2012 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition came to an end on Tuesday March 13, 2012, at Rogers Stadium with the final game in both the female and male categories. In the female championship game, Ladyville Technical High School edged Nazarene High School by the score of 9-8 to capture the 2012 Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Title. The winning pitcher was Rebecca Nicholson and the losing pitcher was Ashley Lucas. With the win, Ladyville Technical will now represent the Central Region at the National Secondary Schools Softball Championship.

Police maintains lead in Premier League Football Competition
The Premier League of Belize completed week 5 of the 2012 campaign with six games played over the last week. On March 11, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, Placencia Assassins defeated the host team San Ignacio United by the score of 2-1. San Ignacio United got on the scoreboard first when Felix Miranda scored his team’s only goal of the game in the 9th minute of play. The first half of the game ended 1-0 in favour of the home team.

Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Cycling Classic is this Sunday
The 31st Annual Ariel Rosado Memorial Belmopan Cycling Classic is organised by the Belize Cycling Association under the regulations of the International Cycling Union and Belize Cycling Association. The event is being sponsored by the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation, with co-sponsorship from Toucan Industry Limited, Atlantic Insurance Co. Ltd, and Red Bull. The 31st Annual event is scheduled for Sunday March 18, 2012. The Technical Meeting is scheduled for Thursday March 15th, at 7:00 pm on the UWI Campus on Princess Margaret Drive. Team managers are reminded that they are to pay race fees and any outstanding fees at the Heritage Bank Account number 1599. Managers must show proof at the meeting.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

March 9th long weekend in Caye Caulker
March 9th weekend passed by with much excitement as Caye Caulker’s visitors, comprised of tourists as well as locals from the mainland, were in for a relaxing and fun-filled weekend. The Lazy Lizard Bar at the Split held a two-day fete with two bands entertaining patrons, Abraxas Rock Band from Belize City and Electro Sounds Band from Orange Walk alongside DJ Chico who spun awesome tunes to everyone’s delight. Here are some photos so those of you who missed out can plan your weekend right next time.


Joe Taylor’s Creek – Kayaking & Wildlife
You’ve probably never heard of Joe Taylor’s Creek. As you drive into the town of Punta Gorda in the Toledo District, you’ll drive over a small unnamed bridge. Just underneath this bridge is Joe Taylor’s Creek, a short creek that stretches just a couple miles before emptying out into the sea. Many travelers going into Punta Gorda Town have driven across the bridge never stopping to look what lays beneath. However, those adventurous few who steer off the-beaten-path will find a hidden gem kayaking Joe Taylor’s Creek. So who the heck is Joe Taylor? According to residents of Punta Gorda Town who are old enough to remember, Joe Taylor was a butcher back in the old British colonial days. He ran his butcher shop at the mouth of the creek, close to where the bridge lays today. Supplying meat to a coastal town with a surplus of fish was good business and Joe ran his shop for years until he passed away. Today, almost nobody remembers the old butcher by the creek, but his name has survived generations to this day. There is another interesting story about this creek. On the banks on the upper end of the creek you can find volcanic rock. Belize has no volcanoes! The closest volcanoes are thousands of miles away on the Western coast of Guatemala and are mostly inactive. There have not been any geologists who have studied this phenomenon but local guides have their own speculations. Some say eruptions of the now inactive volcanoes in Guatemala ages ago spewed volcanic rock thousands of miles to this little creek in Belize. That’s a long way to travel for molten rock! Joe Taylor is a great example of Belize’s unique combination of history and nature. Not only can you ponder the story of the old butcher and the out-of-place volcanic rock, but you can also enjoy the raw natural beauty along the creek. As you paddle along in your kayak, you’ll see a variety of birds along the riverbank. If you have a keen eye for wildlife you’ll also spot reptiles and maybe even a few mammals. The best time to kayak the creek is early in the morning when it’s nice and cool and the birds are awake and boisterous.

Saga Humane Society Appetizer Cook-Off
Last night we attended the Saga Humane Society cook-off. These cook-offs feature a different food "theme" each month and through food and raffle ticket sales serve to raise much-needed funds for this worthy organization. This month's theme was appetizers, and the cook-off was once again held at Mojito's Bar and Grill, right on the beach in San Pedro. We had previously attended a pasta cook-off in this same venue, and it proved to be a great setting with plenty of seating, a fine breeze, and a good bar. The bar was offering $5 BZD ($2.50 US) "Meow-itos" (mojitos) all night in honor of the occasion, a fantastic deal that we took advantage of, of course! We had the pleasure of meeting and sitting with Jana and CJ, who were visiting San Pedro from Texas. Our friend Bill was volunteering this evening and did a great job. There was a great turnout from the community, locals, tourists, and expats alike, and we recognized quite a few of the faces.

Guilt is a Great Motivation
I am still stuck in an anti-internet mood. But I woke up this morning to take a picture or two of the sunrise. That's good, right? Thanks for all of the emails. I will be back at it soon. I promise.

International Sources

Belize it or Not!?
Carrying on a 40 year old family biz that helped establish today's booming Belize tourism trade, a young couple from Houston makes a splash in the Caribbean (Mukul and Kelly Kanabar). By the Houston Confidential.

A Look at the History and Lifestyle of the Mennonites of Belize
As well as the traditionalist Mennonites who speak a guttural form of German within their community there are around 2,000 Belizeans of Mestizo and Creole origins that have converted to this faith. The Belizean Mennonites are the most conservative and traditional of all the Mennonites to be found across Central America. The religious values and traditions of this dedicated group of people have had to avoid several forms of persecution throughout history as they sought peaceful methods to continue with the beliefs and values they have maintained throughout their existence. The Mennonites began in 16th century in what is now the Netherlands, they moved on to Prussia to avoid having to pay taxes they deemed unnecessary as they worked hard to maintain a religious and self supporting lifestyle while taking nothing from which the taxes would provide them with.

Belize Travel Writer Flies With Rod Blagojevich
Joshua Berman, Belizean guidebook author for Moon was on an American Airlines flight with our old friend Rod Blagojevich and two federal marshals today. The convicted former Governor headed to federal prison to begin serving a long sentence.

Exploitation of the xate plant in Central America's rainforest
Because of Mother's Day, Palm Sunday and a global demand for exotic xate palm leaves, the unspoiled rainforests of Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and other South America countries are being exploited due to the leaf's usage in long-lasting flower arrangements. The global flower trade is threatening the species' survival on a long-term basis, according to a UK study. At a peak demand worth $4 million annually, previous studies show that removing more than two leafs from the five-leafed wild xate palm will damage its reproductive capabilities. New xate or "camedor palm plants" will take at least four years to mature for harvesting. The point is, will labeling an endangered rainforest palm leaf as such make a consumer discriminate against buying the flower arrangement?

T&T, Belize and Puerto Rico in literary race
From a longlist of ten impressive titles, this year's Bocas Prize judges have whittled down a shortlist of three books, by a prolific Commonwealth Writers' Prize-winning storyteller, a professor of Caribbean Literature and creative writing, and a political analyst and lawyer who served as the Attorney General of Belize. Belizean politician, columnist and attorney Godfrey P Smith is the winner in the non-fiction category for his biography of Belize's first prime minister, George Price: A Life Revealed. A "well-crafted narrative that mixes affection and gratitude with something like awe," the judges remarked, defining the publication as a deft exploration of George Price's "eccentric genius and political acumen."

Elections in El Salvador and Belize: Separation of powers
TWO Central American countries have just completed legislative elections, with very different results for their respective governments. In Belize, which went to the polls on March 7th, the fate of the prime minister depends on how many seats his party manages to win in the country’s British-style parliament. El Salvador, which held elections on March 11th, has a set-up more typical of Latin America, in which the congress is elected independently of the president. Mauricio Funes, El Salvador’s president, must be glad that his country does not have the same system as Belize. His party, the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), won 31 of the 84 seats, five fewer than in the previous election. It is now a smaller force than the right-wing Arena party. Were El Salvador’s a parliamentary system, Mr Funes would probably be out. As it stands, he has two more years before his non-renewable five-year term is up. In Belize, the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) hung onto its majority, meaning that Dean Barrow, the prime minister, will stay in power. His position is slightly more precarious than before, however: the UDP now holds only a very slim majority, with 17 of the country’s 31 seats (down from 19). The People’s United Party holds the rest. Squabbles among its leadership in the run-up to the election may have prevented it from performing better. Indeed, the party’s current internal disarray was probably one reason that Mr Barrow chose to call the election when he did. (Another feature that separates Belize from most other Latin American countries is that the prime minister can call elections when he wants.)

Ghost Hunters International sacrifice their dignity with a bloodletting in Belize
know the Ghost Hunters International crew have been saying all season that this was going to be an all new season that is nothing like what we’ve seen before I didn’t really think they would take it all this far. This episode was titled “Sacrificed Mayan Spirits: Belize” and included investigating some Mayan temple ruins with a guy that thinks the spirits in residence are going to start following him home. Somehow in the middle of explaining all of the activity that has taken place at the site the caretaker and some of the television executives Ghost Hunters International team decided that re-enacting a bloodletting scene would help them get better ratings connect with the spirits. The whole idea of opening a vein on a cable television paranormal show is not new, in fact it was done by a paranormal group that had a television show for about 5 minutes a couple of years ago. Yes, it was one of the things that got the chuckle-heads kicked off the air. Immediately. I’d tell you the name of the show, but honestly it escapes me, if I can wrangle it up I’ll come back and post it. Honestly, are television executives that woefully ignorant of the increase in teenagers engaging in ‘cutting?’ Is there a correlation here? I have no idea, but it just doesn’t seem like a great idea having a cutting/bloodletting session included in our ‘entertainment.’ You know -- just in case.

March 15, 2012

The San Pedro Sun

Belize Bank Bulldogs win the15th La Ruta Maya River Challenge
The Belize Bank Bulldogs are the winners of the 15th annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge. The event kicked off its 15th edition of competition on March 9th from the foot of the Hawksworth Bridge on the banks of the Macal River in Santa Elena Cayo. Seventy Three teams in eight different categories raced for 170 miles ending on March 12th in Belize City. The four day challenge was vigorous and tested the paddlers’ stamina and perseverance at each leg of the race. The teams, each consisting of three paddlers, canoed the first leg of the race from the country’s western twin towns to Banana Bank Lodge outside of Belmopan City. The first leg of the race is approximately 46 miles. The paddlers also had the challenge of wiggling through other areas dodging protruding rocks on the Macal without losing focus. The second leg of the race, the longest part of the challenge, is 60 miles starting from Banana Bank Lodge all the way to Bermudian Landing. One of the most exciting parts of the race is the third day. Along the 36 miles from Bermudian Landing to Burrell Boom, many Belizeans and tourists intercept the race along strategic observation points on the river bank. One such observation point is Burrell Boom where villagers held a fair with live music and other entertainment as the paddlers arrived at the camping grounds. Hundred of Belizeans also camped in Burrell Boom to follow the last 25 miles of race to Belize City on day four of the challenge.

“No nonsense” says new head of SP Police
The Coastal Executive Unit (San Pedro/Caye Caulker) of the police department has a new Officer in Charge stationed at the San Pedro Police Station. The new OC is Assistant Superintendent of Police Vienie Robinson who comes with 27 years of working experience within the Belize Police Department. ASP Robinson takes over from Superintendent of Police Dennis Arnold who was promoted to the second in command of the Special Branch of the Belize Police Department stationed in Belmopan City. Robinson explained to The San Pedro Sun that her goals are to improve the community policing programs and work very closely with the community in the fight against crime. “I am looking forward to working with the community to decrease crime on the island,” said Robinson adding that “however I will not tolerate no nonsense.” Robinson, one of the top experienced females in the ranks of the Police Department, was the Acting Commandant of the Police Training Academy before being transferred to her new post here on the island. It is not the first time that Robinson is the head of a police formation, having been Officer in Charge of the Traffic Unit in Belize City, Robinson also brings sound knowledge to the island in traffic policing. “I want the public to know that I am here to serve the public. I will be in office everyday to ensure that complaints are followed through and that cases are dealt with,” assured Robinson. Besides improving the community policing program, Robinson also wants to improve the police-public relationship thus restoring stronger public confidence in the police department.

Shooting incident in San Juan Area leaves 1 injured
Some time around 3:45PM on Wednesday March 14, 2012, 21-year-old Simon Velasquez of a Boca del Rio address was shot by police in the San Juan Area of San Pedro Town. According to Police, Velasquez was involved in a series of fights since 1PM of the same date. According to SP Police, they received multiple complaints and responded on several occasions, but Velasquez was never around until they responded to a 3:30PM report. Police state that they saw Velasquez, and upon his seeing the officers, he allegedly ran away, with the police setting chase. Velasquez apparently jumped two fences and made his way to an overgrown empty lot in the San Juan Area along the lagoon. Two officers pursued him on foot and found him hiding. According to Police, when the officers came near, Velasquez pulled out a stick and charged at one of the officers.

Ambergris Today

Elvi’s Kitchen Names Burger after Ambergris Today
Here is one more reason for Ambergris Today to LOVE Elvi’s Kitchen! We are happy and honored to have been chosen by Chef Jennie, to be the inspiration of a special burger that they are naming The Ambergris Today Burger. Yes, Ambergris Today now has a burger named after itself and, not to be bias or anything, the Ambergris Today Burger is GOOD and YUMMY! :) It has a hearty and juicy slab of ground beef with a Chaya-filled center and lots of melted mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Chef Jennie Staines says the burger is very Sanpedrano with its chaya leaves being one of the main ingredients. She used to prepare the burger for her son Oscar Pinelo but had always wanted to add it to the menu at Elvi’s Kitchen. It was part of Oscar’s idea to present the burger to Ambergris Today.

Prime Minister Announces New Cabinet
A new Cabinet was appointed on Tuesday, March 13, 2012, following the re-election of the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s administration last week. In total there are fifteen ministers; eleven whom are elected representatives and the other four being appointed through the senate. While the Prime Minister did reshuffle the cabinet some ministers did stay with their same portfolio. Minister Manuel Heredia Jr, stayed with his portfolio of Ministry of Tourism and Culture as well as Minister Pablo Marin stayed with the Ministry of Health. The following is the new list of Ministers and their portfolios.

Belize Awarded in Traveller’s Choice Awards for Its Beaches
In January of this year, the BTB was proud to share with you that Trip Advisor, the world's largest internet travel website, had ranked various hotels in Belize as some of the top 25 hotels in the world. Once again, the BTB is thrilled to share, that Belize has once again been ranked amongst the best. Three of our breath-taking beach locations in San Pedro, Placencia and Caye Caulker were just rated the top 7th, 8th and 9th best beach locations in Central America. Visitors loving their experiences in Belize wrote resounding reviews online and shared them with the world. One of the numerous reviews on San Pedro’s beaches read: “I loved everything about San Pedro especially its beaches. The clarity of the water and the water’s temperature made my vacation extra special. A plus is that the barrier reef keeps the ocean waters calm. It was perfect!”


Basic First Aid kit
I am very pleased to report that thanks to Miss Paula’s wonderful donations our San Pedro Branch office is ready for action. Yesterday Gigi, Paula and I met up and sorted through all the things Paula was donating to our worthy cause and then we took them over to the office. I did a quick set up so she could see what her stuff would look like and knew I would be going Nate show on the room later in prep for today’s first volunteer & member sign up. I am so glad Mary and David are joining me from 10am – 1pm to help man the office. One my tasks this morning before heading to town was to make a Red Cross first aid kit for our San Pedro Branch. I was inspired by the one Paula gave me yesterday that I totally fell in love with, it was also a good reminder that I need to check all of ours and do some restocking. Even though it is a gorgeous warm sunny day Hurricane season is just around the corner and the recent rain is a good incentive to start preparations sooner than later. I must confess it was not until I moved to Belize that I started a first aid kit collection. What got me started was thinking in terms of emergency preparedness kits when hurricane Dean was coming and finding a good way to recycle the plastic packaging our sheets came in. You can see my homemade Hurricane season kit and my emergency light collection in Hurricane Season Belize – time to prepare post from May 2009.

The American Mastodon’s Teeth is just one form of evidence of Paleo-Indian occupation in Belize
Today’s Belize Photo of the Day is the Teeth of the American Mastodon whose scientific name is Mammut americanum. The American Mastodon first appeared during the early Miocene period and persisted in the fossil record until the end of the Pleistocene era and were widespread throughout North and Central America. This particular specimen was found along the banks of the Mopan River near the small village of Bullet Tree Falls in the Cayo District and today it is exhibited at Chaa Creek’s Natural History Centre. The teeth of this extinct creature appear to belong to a middle-aged American Mastodon and is characterized by rounded and pointed enamel-covered cones that wore down with every use and flattened out considerably over time. This proboscidean finding is just one form of evidence of Paleo-Indian occupation in Belize where scientists believed that the Paleo- Indians may have followed herds of large animals such as mastodons, mammoths, horses, and camelids as they crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska during the Ice Age.

2 people 1 life: wedding number 12 in Belize…plus THE most amazing Trash the dress!
I was dressed in my beautiful hand-made Mopan outfit. My lack of hair was a bone of contention but Luciana managed to do something with it for me with a splash of gel and a few pins. The last addition to my outfit was my handmade earrings and once I was ready Luciana gathered up buckets of bread she had made for us, a drum (no exaggeration) of homemade cacao drink and a huge chocolate cake fit for 30 people! We drove to the waterfall and emptied the van to the sound of the Marimba. We all stood and listened and then Venustiano invited us down to the waters edge to hold the ceremony. The ceremony was a traditional catholic ceremony and as we said our I do’s for the 12th time we looked into each others eyes and listened to the water splash behind us.

Soursop Cancer Truth, is this a Hoax?
So you've been hearing about this all magical fruit called soursop with cancer healing ability. This of course sounds way too good and too easy to be true. Questions like: What do studies say on soursop's cancer benefits? Why did they take so long to discover such a simple cure? Why is this thing such a secret if its so great? Does this fruit only have the ability to target cancer cells or are there more health benefits? Where can I buy the soursop fruit? How much of it does one have to consume in order to reap these benefits? If you are a cancer patient or you're close to someone who is, it is definitely worth your time to explore the possibility of adding soursop to the cancer treatment being administered.


The Belize Zoo gets another great online recommendation
The article says it all. The Tropical Education Center located across the street also gets mentioned. "The Belize Zoo is widely seen among the best small zoos around the globe. Established in 1983 by just Sharon Matola, the 29 acre zoo is home to only native Belize creatures such as the black jaguar, the spotted jaguar, puma, margay, ocelot, jaguarondi, scarlet macaws, and crocodiles also the famed Baird’s tapir called April. An 84 acre Exotic Instructional Center is neighboring the zoo, that you can hike or perhaps canoe through. It’s really a unique sort of zoo. Many animals are inside their natural environment. The people are really carefully managed and escorted."

VIDEO: La Ruta Maya Bloopers
This might be considered an LRM blooper. Someone getting mowed down by a canoe.

WMI Belize and Texas A&M do good deeds
Feelgood story of the day. Water Missions International Belize, who have built a few water treatment stations around Cayo, is working with volunteers from Texas A & M down in PG. Thank you, WMI Belize! "Team Texas A & M is doing a great job in Punta Gorda! Since Monday, they have completed yard maintenance on 1/2 of a very large campus (check out the machettes in action), taught 1000 students Health and Hygiene lessons, facilitated the first day of Leadership Camp, painted the housing building for the safe water system, AND begun water distribution to all classrooms! So excited for what today will bring! Having a great time getting to know this group!"

VIDEO: The NICH team receiving their awards
Video of the NICH team at the La Ruta Maya ending festivities in Belize City. The top 3 teams broke the previously held record. Great paddling, everyone. NICH President Ms. Diane Haylock, Brian W. And NICH Paddlers receive award at end of the race, all 3 top teams made it in a new record time.

Channel 7

Today, the new Cabinet for the second Barrow administration was sworn in at the Governor General's residence in Belmopan. These events usually carry an air of celebration - as the newly ascended ministers bus in a few supporters to share in the big day. But today, as the UDP starts its second term - it was a mostly business-like affair livened up by a few light moments. 7news was in Belmopan and here's how it went: Jules Vasquez Reporting Prime Minister Dean Barrow walked into a very crowded room at Belize House this morning as the 21 ministers, junior ministers and senator-ministers waited in red neckties and guayaberas to be sworn in. The oath itself was simple:

And while each new, or newly-renewed Cabinet minister has to find his way in the new mode of civil-society-infused governance - two new Ministers have gotten significant well-wishings. Senator Lisel Alamilla, the Minister of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People today received a ringing endorsement from the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, APAMO. A press release from that umbrella organization for conservation groups, congratulates Minister Alamilla, as well as the Minister of Natural Resources, Gaspar Vega and Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, Geology and Petroleum, Joy Grant - who is also from a conservation background. APAMO says it looks forward to working closely with Alamilla in, quote, "ensuring that the integrity of our protected areas are maintained and that our natural resources are properly managed for all the people of Belize."

This evening, at 5:45pm - there was a shooting on Racecourse Street near the Sunnyside bakery in Belize City. The victim is Edwin Moody known as "Dubsta" from Rocky Road who was reportedly riding a bicycle. He was shot to the lower body. Reports from the scene suggest that the gunmen may have been shooting at a nearby house when they caught Moody. Moody was rushed to the KHMH where he is currently receiving treatment. 7news arrived on the scene before the scenes of crime team and note that this is the second shooting at different ends of Racecourse street in three days; the first resulted in the murder of 21 year old David Hernandez. We'll have an update on Moody's condition tomorrow...

In Orange Walk Town, a 24 year old man has died after he was stabbed in a jealous attack last week. On Friday, bus conductor Cristobal Santos, was walking on San Antonio Street, allegedly intoxicated. Only a few yards away from his home, he saw his wife's cousin talking to her 19 year old ex-boyfriend. Witnesses report that Santos approached the couple, cursing at them before throwing a cup of rum at the man. The men started to fight, and that ended when the ex-boyfriend stabbed Santos in the chest. The perpetrator fled on his bicycle, and Santos stumbled home before collapsing at the door.

24 year-old Dekel Bennett, a security guard for the Battlefield Park, was acquitted today in the courtroom of Justice Herbert Lord of the alleged attempted murder of Dwayne Staine, a PC and Network Technician from Belize City. Staine, testified that on June 14, 2009, at around 3 p.m., he went to buy dog food from a vendor who was located near the park. While he was there, he urgently needed to urinate and decided to do just that on a tree in a secluded area of the Battlefield Park. He told the court, that when he was just about finished, a man, who he knew as Dekel Bennett, approached him and told him that what he had done was against park rules. Staine said that he completely ignored the man because he had already done it.

Elections were held one week ago - and many in the politics game are still trying to figure out what caught them. For the UDP in particular, the election was a lot closer than they thought it would be - and two interesting studies can be made of Port Loyola and Belize Rural North. In Port Loyola, incumbent and favourite of the Prime Minister, Boots Martinez slid 12 percentage points but still beat his opponent by 800 votes - down from 1,400 last time. In Belize Rural North, Edmund Castro overcame alienation from his party and government to handily defeat his opponent by 500 plus votes, down from 1100 last time. Both survived significant swings and we asked both Castro and Boots Martinez about the election outturn. Castro says he did it in spite of being the odd man out in his party:

Tomorrow March 15th is the deadline for registering your cellular phone. If you don't - as the public notice says - you face disconnection. Now that's nothing to play with - for most people, your cell phone is your lifeline. So we wondered, have the crowds been rushing the phone companies as the deadline appears in 24 hours? And how many phones have not been registered? And what will really happen if you don't register your phone by the end of business tomorrow? We're sure you have the same questions so we went to SMART and BTL today looking for answers. BTL says about 90 thousand of its customers have registered, but there are still more than a hundred thousand somewhere in the electronic ether:

33 year-old Zuner Hernandez and his 32-year-old brother, Roger Hernandez, appeared in court today for allegedly assaulting their Western Paradise neighbor, 31 year year-old Angel Dorado. According to police, at around 4:00 p.m. on March 3, Angel Dorado was in a yard at 8 Miles on the Western Highway, socializing with a male friend, when the Hernandez brothers drove up. The Hernandez brothers got into a verbal misunderstanding with Dorado, which escalated into a physical confrontation.

Last month we told you about the case brought by two former British students against their former high school - after they alleged that they had been raped by a local tour guide during an expedition in Belize. They sued to claim damages for the attack and demanded 100,000 pounds each in compensation from the British school, but the judge has ruled that the teachers were not to blame. The alleged rape occurred in August of 2005 when the girls 15 and 16 at the time were staying at a lodge in Georgeville just outside of San Ignacio. They claim that the tour guide enticed them with rum and entered the cabin uninvited.

The civil aviation department has weighed in on the accident that claimed the life of 22 year old Christopher Reimer. Reimer was flying a Polaris Ultralight - which does not conform to a standard air worthiness code. Civil Aviation was aware of the aircraft's presence in Belize, but it had not gotten any official documentation as it is only used for recreational purposes. And so what happened to the ultralight? Well, according to Civil Aviation it was a mechanical failure, not with the engine, but within the structure as the wings simply collapsed and the aircraft fell to the ground, instantly killing the young pilot. According to onlookers, he was flying over the village on Sunday at about 100 feet.

This weekend a man discovered that his vacation home was ransacked, and over $14,000 dollars in items were stolen. 49 year old Mark Bowman, who lives on Stann Creek Valley Road reported that sometime between the 10th of September 2011 and the 8th of March of this year, his 2 storey house in South Water Caye was cleaned out. The stolen items include a freezer, a washing machine, spea guns, kitchen knives, a television, liquor, beddings, fishing lines, shotgun cartridges and, for good measure 18 pairs of short pants, all to a total value of $14,000 thousand dollars. Mr. Bowman told us he does have suspects in mind, and the investigation will continue.

It may have gotten lost in all the election hype and post-election reconstruction, but it's women's month and one of the centerpiece events is the annual Women's Bike Rally. It is scheduled for this Saturday in Belize City at the corner of Western Avenue and the Western Highway. We found out more about it today: Icilda Humes - Director, Women's Department "As you may all know, March is Women's Month. In Belize, we are perhaps the only country to have designated an entire month to celebrate International Women's Day, which is actually celebrated on March 8. And on an annual basis, we plan activities countrywide, along with other government agencies and civil society partners to celebrate the achievements of women to recognize them for all the hard work that they continue to do throughout our country.

Channel 5

Ministers Swear Oath and Set to Task
There are twenty-one members to the new Cabinet led by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, that’s only one less than the previous Cabinet when the Barrow administration had a super majority in his first term. The ministers and ministers of state took the oath this morning at Belize House. The first official meeting of Cabinet is ...

PM explains choice of Senator to Minister
In the Senate, there are twelve members; six of them are representatives of the government. The list includes Juliet Thimbriel, Gerardo Marconi Sosa, Charles Gibson, Joy Grant, Liselle Alamilla and Godwin Hulse. At his press conference at the NEMO headquarters in the Capital on Tuesday, the Prime Minister explained why he brought in Hulse and ...

Boots lost Works Ministry, but it’s all good
His boots were made for walking amongst the people of Port Loyola, and though he moved to the North side of town, Anthony “Boots” Martinez received the mandate of his constituents with a smaller margin of victory. The former Minister of Works lost an economically strong ministry with major infrastructural projects underway. The PM, however, ...

B.Q. who no longer; AG Elrington resumes post
During his first term as Prime Minister, Dean Barrow changed the constitution to appoint an Attorney General from the private sector. According to the prime minister, the ministry was taken from Minister Wilfred Elrington so he could concentrate on Foreign Affairs. Barrow then appointed Bernard Q. Pitts as the Attorney General, in June of 2010. ...

APAMO welcomes new Cabinet Appointments
Prime Minister Dean Barrow picked Lisel Alamilla as the minister with responsibilities for Forestry, Fisheries, the Environment and Indigenous People. Alamilla, the former Ya’axche Executive Director, came under fire when it resigned from the Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage during its campaign for a referendum on offshore drilling. Alamilla’s rapport with the Association of ...

Troublemaker shot in San Pedro
Twenty-one year old Simon Velasquez is tonight undergoing medical treatment under police guard. Earlier today, he was shot when he was being pursued by two cops in San Pedro. It is alleged that Velasquez was involved in a number of altercations this afternoon and that he physically attacked several persons. At three-forty-five p.m. police were ...

F.F.B. Big Elections: will Bertie be dethroned?
For at least a decade, the president of the Football Federation of Belize has been Doctor Bertie Chimilio. There have been many controversies over the years, with many unsuccessfully trying to unseat Chimilio from his F.F.B. throne. In 2011, former Minister of Sports John Saldivar came close when he prevented the F.F.B. from hosting international ...

Orange Walk Mayor in hot seat over firings
This morning a string of reports were circulated about the firing of some thirty-one employees from the Orange Walk Town Council. According to the reports, the newly elected Mayor, Kevin Bernard, has been heavy handed on workers, terminating their services almost immediately since taking office, after he was sworn in last Friday. Earlier today, we ...

GSU removes gun and ammunition from streets
The Gang Suppression Unit on Sunday night recovered an improvised or homemade handgun shortly after David Hernandez was shot and killed on Racecourse Street. While responding to that shooting, the GSU was tipped off about a gun that was thrown into a yard on George Street. The officers searched the yard and found the weapon ...

Squatter and Cop Brother go after Landowner
There is no shortage of land disputes and tonight a Belize City resident claims the property she owns continues to be illegally occupied. The unwelcome tenant refuses to leave and Kenisha Velasquez says the situation is now escalating and her family is coming under serious threat. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports. Delahnie Bain, Reporting Lot ...

Center for Community Resource Development Open House
In celebration of women’s month, the Center for Community Resource Development, held an open house today. While it is gender inclusive, the NGO has been successful in attracting women, mostly single-mothers, to join its community-based development program. The women are training in a number of areas and some have since started their own small businesses. ...

Peeing in Park Attempted Murder Trial, dries up
Undefended in court today, twenty-four year old Dekel Bennett was freed of an attempted murder charge, also beating the alternative charge of dangerous harm with intent to cause harm. The charge stems from an incident in June of 2009, when according to Dwayne Staine, he went to Battlefield Park to buy a hotdog. He was ...


Peseros Allegedly Banned From CCFZ
Tonight details are still sketchy but reports reaching CTV3 News are that approximately six money changers from the Corozal District have been banned from entering the Corozal Commercial Free Zone after orders were given by CEO of the Free Zone Raul Rosado. But that is not all because reliable reports indicate that peseros at the Santa Elena Border will now have to pay an additional $50.00 to enter the free zone and offer their services to visitors who are interested in changing Belize and U.S currency to Mexican pesos. CTV3 News understands that previously the management of the free zone charged peseros $50.00 to enter the zone. But sources indicate that right after elections the more than 40 peseros were informed that their entrance fee to the free zone had been increased from $50.00 to $100.00. In fact we understand that if it was for CEO Raul Rosado, the UDP Candidate who ran in Corozal Southeast and lost against Florencio Marin Junior, all money changers would have been barred from entering the zone. What exactly is the problem? Well, reports are that since most of the peseros are either from the village of San Joaquin or live in the Corozal Southeast constituency, Rosado gave orders that they not be allowed to enter the zone since they voted for Florencio Marin Junior.

Corozal Police Detain Three Men For Cowo's Murder
It was Corozal’s first murder case for the year 2012, and today police announced that they have three individuals detained in connection with the murder of Orange Walk Resident and taxi man, 60 year old Antonio Fernando Cowo. Among the three individuals, Corozal Police believe they have the murderer in custody. The three men are expected to appear before the Corozal Magistrates Court tomorrow where charges will be levied against them. At around 4:30pm on February 10th, Cowo’s dead body was found lying on the back seat of a green Ford Escort with Orange Walk license plate with what appeared to be numerous stabs wounds to the chest. The vehicle was parked in some bushes approximately 200 yards off the San Andres Road in the Corozal District.

Car Theft Reported In Corozal
A Canadian Teacher residing in the Corozal District is tonight out of more than $5,000 after her vehicle was stolen. According to 53 year old Jacqueline Ann Milligan of #32 Santa Rita Road, sometime between the hours of 7:00am on the 9th of March and 5:00pm on the 11th of March her white Ford Escort Car with license plate number CZL-C18797 valued at $5,000 was stolen whilst parked at a parking lot adjacent to the Thunder Bolt Water Taxi situated on 1st Avenue Corozal Town. So far no one has been detained and police investigations continue.

Corozal Town Council Swore In To Office
Last night the UDP Mayor for the Corozal District Hilberto Campos and his team of six councilors were sworn into office during an official ceremony held at the Town Hall. During the ceremony Mayor Campos announced the councilor’s portfolios and the name of the Deputy Mayor of Corozal Town, two time councilor Jude Budna. As it pertains to the portfolios- Guillermo Arana will be in charge of drainage system, slaughterhouse management and cemetery, Jude Budna’s portfolio consists of youth, sports and youth programs, Rafael Castillo is in charge of market management, sanitation, health and the environment, Stacy Chi has taken up education, educational and literacy programs and social welfare, Daisy Marroquin is in charge of women affairs, neighborhood watch and security and Elva Perez has taken up park and play grounds, culture and tourism. Mayor Hilberto Campos is responsible for Infrastructure, Finance Management and Foreign Affairs.

Deputy Prime Minister's Portfolio Chopped In Half
Yesterday the Prime Minister of Belize the Honorable Dean Oliver Barrow announced his new Cabinet and from all indications there were certain Ministers who instead of being promoted were demoted since their portfolios were basically chopped in half. One of those Ministers is Honorable Gaspar Vega who previously held the portfolio of Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment. That Ministry was restructured and renamed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. This saw Vega losing geology, forestry, PACT, Environment and Petroleum. Vega’s Ministry will now consist of Lands and Land Management, Mining, Land Surveys, Physical Planning, Hydrology, Solid Waste Management and the Agriculture Sector. The areas of Geology, Forestry, Pact and the Environment will now fall under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous Peoples which will be headed by Senator Liselle Alamilla. As for Petroleum it will now fall under the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities awarded to Senator Joy Grant.

CEO Line Up For GOB's Fifteen Ministries
And just as he announced his new Cabinet the Prime Minister also announced the names of the Chief Executive Officers of the 15 Ministries yesterday. Sharman Hyde was named the CEO of Finance and Economic Development while the CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture will be Beverly Castillo. Mike Singh will be the CEO of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer protection. When it comes to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People the CEO will be Dr. Wendel Parham. Dr. Colin Young will be the CEO of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities while Alexis Rosado remains as CEO of foreign affairs. Carlston Goff will be the CEO for works and Transport and Col. George Lovell will be the CEO of National Security. Dr. Peter Allen remains as CEO for Health and Lawrence Sylvester retains the post of CEO of Housing and Urban Development. Taking a look at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture the CEO will be Lindsay Garbutt while Candelaria Saldivar will be the CEO for the Ministry of Labor Local Government, and NEMO. David Leacock remains as CEO for Education and Youth while Judith Alpuche remains as the CEO for Human Development. And the CEO for Public Service and Elections and Boundaries is Marion McNab.

Belize's White Sandy Beaches Rated The Top 7th, 8th and 9th Best Beach locations In Central America
Trip Advisor, the world’s largest internet travel website has once again placed Belize on its top list of places to visit. Three of the country’s white sandy beaches located in San Pedro, Placencia and Caye Caulker were recently rated the top 7th, 8th and 9th best beach locations in Central America after visitors wrote resounding reviews online and shared them with the world. In January of this year Trip Advisor ranked various hotels in Belize as some of the top 25 hotels in the world. Countries get awarded by Trip Advisor based on excellent reviews and high consumer ratings. According to Director of Marketing and Industry Relations for the Belize Tourism Board Yanick Dalhouse the recognition will definitely help to create more awareness of Belize as a ‘choice’ tourist destination.


Restaurant owner injured in Placencia robbery
A robbery in Seine Bight has left a man hospitalized after receiving gunshot wounds. According to police reports they received information of a robbery at Mangoes Restaurant and bar located in the Maya Beach Area of the Placencia Peninsula, at around ten p.m. Upon arrival at the scene they saw fifty six year old Canadian businessman Frank Da Silva, suffering from a gunshot wound to the right side of his abdomen. Da Silva reported that while at his business place with two customers, two male persons entered. One of the men had a handgun which appeared to be a 9 millimeter pistol and ordered the owner to hand over the cash from the register. Da Silva complied by handing over approximately one thousand dollars in cash. While leaving the establishment one of the culprits fired several gunshots towards Da Silva, one of which caught him in the right lower section of the stomach. Da Silva then returned gun shots at the culprits who still made good their escape. According to a person in the area, the assailants were of dark skin complexion, one about six feet tall and the other shorter and they were not wearing any masks. The person informed Love News that Da Silva was taken to the Dangriga hospital and later transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment. According to the resident a number of home invasions have been occurring in the area but have not been made known to the public. Placencia Police told Love News that they have detained seven persons for questioning.

Murder in Mahogany Heights
Police are investigating an apparent murder. Sometime around six o’clock this morning Police visited the Mahogany Heights area where they saw the lifeless body of twenty three year old Herman Garbutt with multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. The body was transported to the Karl Heusner morgue for a post-mortem examination. Police also recovered three expended nine millimeter shells and two nine millimeter slugs from the area. Police investigations continue.

Good Samaritan murdered in Orange Walk
A murder was reported in Orange Walk Town on Friday night. Reports are Police responded to reports of a stabbing incident on San Antonio Roadjust before midnight. On arrival they saw 24-year-old Cristobal Natividad Santos suffering from a stab wound to the abdomen. Initial investigations reveal that 20-year-old Trinidad Pineda of trial farm Village and Melanie Leiva were engaged in an argument when Santos tried to intervene he was stabbed. Santos was rushed to the Northern regional Hospital however he succumbed to his injuries while receiving treatment. Pineda will be charged with murder.


Swearing in ceremony held for Ministers of Cabinet
Belize House was abuzz with activity as all the ministers designate made their way into the compound to participate...

PM appoints Ministry CEOs
In yesterday's newscast we told you about Prime Minister’s appointments of Ministers, Minister of States and the fo...

Hon. John Saldivar appear on Rise and Shine
As well Belmopan area rep and now minister of National Security and Police, John Saldivar, visited rise and shine t...

Hon. Boots Martinez extends gratitude to Port Loyola
Port Loyola area rep and the new minister of Human Dev, Social Transformation and poverty alleviation Anthony “Boot...

UB student government is swindled out of its funds
Kaprie Marie Dawson, Vice President for the Student Government at the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus, report...

Election Day set tomorrow for FFB aspirants
It’s a big day for the Football Federation of Belize (FFB). The Executive Committee of the FFB will be holding an O...

Foster mother reports missing 15 year old
SHEREE LEWIS, a foster Mother at Dorothy Menzies Child Care Center reported to police that on Sunday around 11:00am...

National Standard Bearers of the PUP meet
The National Standard Bearers of the People’s United Party met yesterday at Independence Hall. That meeting was to ...

International Sources

Nicaragua Real Estate Development Gran Pacifica Hosts Tsunami Skydivers
Tsunami Skydivers Founder Rich Grimm lit the smoke signals at Gran Pacifica to indicate a safe jump zone for 20 skydivers from all over the USA and Canada. With over 205 members of the group and 140 jumpers in all, it was the largest skydiving exhibition in Nicaragua’s history. The jump consisted of a fly by at 12,500 feet to site the landing zone on hole number 3 of the Pacifica Golf Club followed by a 1 minute free fall and chute opening at 3,000 feet for a glide in and touchdown. Rich and the Tsunami Skydivers have been Jumping into Ambergris Caye, Belize for the past 7 years and decided to try a new location. Michael Cobb, Chairman and CEO of ECI Development with residential resort communities in Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and soon Panama, was on hand to greet the jumpers.

Canadian Govt Invites Applications
The Government of Canada is seeking applications from Canadian institutions for the Canada-CARICOM Leadership Scholarships Program. Scholarships are for student and research exchanges at the college, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Canadian institutions must submit applications on behalf of candidates. Students must be citizens of one of the following countries: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitt's, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos.

Treaty Energy Updates on Belize and Texas Oil Projects
Belize Update: Andrew V. Reid, Chairman and Co-CEO of Treaty Energy Corporation, stated, "Treaty Energy has acquired the 'Wireline Logging Truck' with all supporting equipment, a system valued at over $200,000 that will be used to wireline log SAN JUAN #2 and all future wells in Belize. The truck assembly is having new cables and new electronics installed, and based on the current time line, the Wireline Logging Truck will be leaving for Belize on Friday, March 16th. Pictures of the new Wireline Logging Truck will be posted to the website." Mr. Reid added, "Max Mohamed of RedRock Exploration, Inc. will meet the Wireline Logging Truck on its arrival in Belize and will proceed to perform the wireline logging of the SAN JUAN #2 well." "Mr. Mohamed has been retained by Treaty Energy to take responsibility for oversight of all Belizean operations and will report to Stephen L. York, President of Treaty," added Mr. Reid. "Our Belizean Project Manager, Keon Garbutt, will report to Mr. Mohamed." Max Mohamed will be working out of the new Treaty Belize Energy Ltd offices that are located at the Independence Airport outside the Village of Independence, Belize.

March 14, 2012

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

PM Barrow appoints Cabinet, Senators, Cabinet Secretary and Speaker of the House
A new Cabinet was appointed today, Tuesday March 13th, following the re-election of the Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow’s administration last week. Eleven of the elected seventeen parliamentarians from the ruling United Democratic Party were appointed as Ministers while all remaining six were appointed as Ministers of State in various ministries. Four Senators were appointed as Ministers through the senate. The speaker of the House is Attorney Michael Peyrefitte while the Cabinet Secretary is Carlos Perdomo

Ambergris Today

You Too Can Eat Like Royalty in Belize
Belize knows how to throw a party and definitely goes “all the way” to make guests feel special, royalty or not! :) I can definitely tell you that Prince Harry made it out of Belize a couple pounds heavier because at the Diamon Jubilee Block Party held on the day of his arrival to the country, he indulged in some fantastic food prepared by some of the best Chefs in the country. When you travel to distant places, food is a major part of your trip. Getting to know the place also involves trying out the local cuisine and sampling some refreshing drinks. Belize is known to serve up a mean collection of food that transcends a large group of cultures which make our country such a diverse one. Food in Belize is influenced by cultures from the Maya, Garifuna, Meztizo and Creole and Prince Harry had the pleasure of indulging in so much of this ridiculously delicious food that he is probably still digesting it. Here are some of the tasty dishes HRH Prince Harry had to sample while in Belize:

Marco Gonzalez Project Receives Funds
The Non-Profit Organization Marco Gonzalez Maya Site Ambergris Caye Ltd. (MGMSACL) is proud to have received grant monies of $7,000 U.S. from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. Mr. Matt Fowler, formerly of Mr. Joe’s Grocery, is a member of the Board of Directors for both the MGMSACL and the Upton Foundation and his love for the island has remained steadfast as he works to provide funding for the Maya Site Project. This time, the grant money was also earmarked to help two other local organizations. On Monday, March 12, 2012, funds were distributed to South AC Neighborhood Watch for membership and continued security they have been providing for the past two years and money went to much needed grounds maintenance in the form of volunteer help from SAGA. (SAGA housed the Fowlers pets when they moved back to the US.)


My Vision for the Nation as Prime Minister of Belize by: Andre k. Alamina
Our country is polarized by politics so much so that in the past 30 years of our short independent history, representatives from both political parties have rarely, if ever, united amenably for the betterment of our country as a whole. Instead, they eradicate or undermine policies set in place by the previous administration, essentially starting policy making from scratch. This, I believe, is one of the major reasons why our country has found such difficulty in making large economic, social and cultural strides towards a better Belize. If I were given the opportunity to lead this nation as its prime minister, my first order of business would be to create a master plan for the next 10 years in Belize. It will be a realistic, but challenging and robust blueprint that includes the prospective future for healthcare, industry, immigration, housing, education and other factors. Among the many things I will need to accomplish with the initial establishment of my administration, one of the first things I will need to do is to seek and surround myself with people who are of high integrity, competency and committed to the development and betterment of our country. As the Prime Minister, I will never have all the answers, and I will need to be advised by talented and knowledgeable Belizeans living within the country, and those who are members of the Belizean diaspora overseas (who constitute for a large percentage of our educated population). These individuals will be chosen based solely upon knowledge of their proven efficiency, not based upon whether they hold a seat in the House or simply because they are members of my political party.

Cross Training Exercise
Yesterday I discovered a new way of cross training and it turned a routine chore into a different kind of water exercise. I needed a break from work and decided to do some cleaning. As I was listing to music and washing both bathroom sinks I started noticing my movements and how I could alter them to get more bang for my buck. Instead of just rubbing back and forth around the edge of the sink, I took my cloth in my right hand and circled the whole thing a few times. Then I repeated the motion with my left hand, making big ovals and really stretching into it. Next I used the horse stance from tai chi,knees bent slightly and butt tucked in. Holding one end of my cloth in each hand and moving my arms towards my chest and away. As I practiced this I was buffing the tap handles and working on my triceps and pecs in a chest press motion. And of course there is the good old wax on wax off move from The Karate Kid this is great to keep in mind while wiping the counters. Warning: This method of cross training may lead to spontaneous dancing and actually make cleaning fun.

Just a Saturday In San Pedro
Let me start by apologizing. For some reason, I don't want to get on the internet. It's not that it doesn't work, I just don't want to log on. It's madness, I know! I am a total addict. Let's see if I can shake this horrible affliction. Perhaps I need inspiration. Let me tell you about my Saturday afternoon. The weather has been glorious. I mean seriously ridiculously fantastic. Really just the usual March. So I headed over to Lily's for some ceviche with my friend, Bonnie. Lily's Treasure Chest remains in my top three for ceviche. It is seriously old fancy slicing like Victoria House, no olives that make El Divino's ceviche so unique (and so good). It is simple. And FRESH. It takes 20 minutes to prepare and you know that they are slicing each veggie to order. We were sipping Belikins at Cholo's and they brought the ceviche over. With plenty of chips. Check out Bonnie's dog Pepe eyeballing the food.

Why Belize is a Backpacker’s Paradise
Untouched beaches, Mayan ruins hiding around every corner, and amazing flora and fauna are only a few of the reasons that make Belize such an enticing place to visit. A British Commonwealth, the tiny country is the only in Central America where English is predominately spoken, and it has long been a favorite spot for Canadians, Americans, and the British alike (note that we are speaking about the Cayes; Belize City and Belmopan can well be skipped). However, aside from those looking for a luxurious stay, Belize has also always been a great destination for backpackers for the following reasons:

Maya Ruins in Belize: Visiting Lamanai
Nearly every travel magazine and media outlet has included Belize in their round up of “must visit” destinations for 2012, mainly because the end of the Maya calendar takes place on December 21. And the recent visit by Prince Harry certainly did wonders for putting Belize on even more travelers’ radars. I guess for once I was ahead of the curve on something as I’ve been traveling to Belize regularly since 2005. I already know how cool the country is. But thanks for the backup National Geographic and TIME Magazine. Belize is a really a country that has it all for me – rich history, vibrant culture, and certainly no shortage of amazing cuisine. Those elements, along with the very special friendships I’ve made during all my trips, are the main things that bring me back at least once a year. I’m often asked by many first-time Belize travelers which is the best Maya ruin site to visit if you only have time for one. While I certainly have not explored every Maya temple in Belize, my recommendation is visit Lamanai.

Misc Belizean Sources

2011 Cruise ship arrivals in Belize down 3.7%
Destination Period Arrivals %change vs. 2010 Belize Jan-Nov 631,177 -3.7

Map of Oil Wells in Belize 2012

Total contribution of Travel & Tourism to Belize 2012

The official appointments list post election 2012
Name Portfolio Minister of State CEO

Channel 7

PM Names High Powered Senators To New Cabinet
After retreating to Placencia for the holiday weekend - the Prime Minister came back to Belmopan with a Cabinet line-up full of surprises. The new group was presented at a press conference this afternoon in Belmopan - and as we found out, the PM called upon some - what you might call - latent UDP's to fill out what he hopes will be the best government ever. That's a tall order to fill - and here's who he says can fit the bill:.. Jules Vasquez reporting When the new ministers came walking into the NEMO conference room, onlookers saw more than a few strange faces - and that's because the PM went in a most unusual direction when choosing his senator-ministers: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I had two options; to go the traditional route and to look for tried and true UDP party activists and make them senators and ministers or to go the route of looking for the best talent, the best brain power, the best expertise that would be available to me so that I could form a cabinet that could be seen by all the people of this country as reflecting an effort to harness all of the skills available to UDP in order to produce the best government possible." And those Senator Ministers are these four - Lisel Alamilla, of the Yaaxche Conservation Trust, Godwin Hulse, formerly a senator for the business sector, Joy Grant, formerly ambassador to the European Union and David Gibson, former CEO in the Ministry of Public Service. They are now all UDP senators and join a cabinet led by seasoned, veteran politicians:

New Senator - Ministers Speak
And the first National Party Council meeting will be on this Saturday. That's when Senators Godwin Hulse, Lisel Alamilla, Joy Grant and David Gibson - who have never been directly painted as UDP die-hards - will have to go to the UDP Headquarters and meet with the politicians who are now their colleagues. It's particularly interesting for Godwin Hulse - the former Senator for the business sector. Well, he's now a UDP Senator - and he told us why he could not turn down the Prime Minister's offer:..

PUP "Resign" Mark And Cordel
And while the Prime Minister is using the opportunity given by his slender majority to fashion a sort of Cabinet Dream Team - the two men indirectly responsible for the UDP's March 7th. victory, Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde, have been declared persona non grata in the PUP. Well, not quite persona non grata. In a quite tame maneuver, the party's 31 standard bearers met today in Belize City and chose not to expel the former deputy leaders but to declare that they had, quote, "effectively resigned."

21 Year Old Slain In City
There was a murder in Belize City on Sunday night. It happened around 9:00 when 21 year old David Hernandez was just around the corner from his home on Berkley Street. Hernandez was s standing on Racecourse Street, about 25 feet away from the junction of East Canal when 3 shots were heard, and he was seen collapsing to the ground. His father told us today that he kept close tabs on his son - but that night, he feels they shot the wrong person:...

Murder In Mahogany Heights - Could It Be Related To 8 Year Old’s Killing?
And while that 21 year old was killed in the city on Sunday, this morning, the body of a 23 year old was found in the forested areas surrounding Mahogany Heights. At 6 am this morning police received information of a body lying on a footpath in near Mahogany Heights. When they went there they found the body of 23 yr old Herman Garbutt lying at the junction of two paths. He had multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Police found three expended 9 millimeter shells in the area. Now the backstory to this killing is important. Herman Garbutt was the uncle of Eyannie Nunez - and, reports were that he was the target when that 8 year old was shot as she slept in her home on September12th., 2010.

Armed Robbery In Placencia Forces Bar-owner To Close Down
Police have been holding it down - but Placencia has witnessed a few too many unreported robberies for residents and business owners. But this one is being reported: On Saturday night at around 10, Mango's Restaurant and Bar, which is located in the Maya Beach Area of Placencia, was robbed. Today, 7News spoke to the establishment's owner, Frank Da Silva, a 56 year-old Canadian businessman, who had just been released from the hospital for a gunshot injury he received during the robbery. He asked to speak to us off camera, but he told us that 2 dark complexioned men entered the business place and ordered 4 four beverages.

Mennonite Man Killed In Recreational Aircraft Accident
THIS WEEKEND, a Mennonite rice farmer was killed in a recently purchased airplane. Christopher Reimer, the 22 year old rice farmer and born Belizean of the Blue Creek Village in Orange Walk purchased a microlight aircraft a week ago from Placencia. He was flying over the village on Sunday at his usual height of about 100 feet when the plane malfunctioned and crashed near the airstrip and the police station. Reimer died upon impact at around 8:30 Sunday morning. The cause of the malfunction is unclear since, according to sources, the plane, when purchased, appeared to be in good condition and had been approved by the civil aviation department. Reimer will be buried tomorrow. As for the plane, the microlight is a light aircraft designed for sports and recreation; thus, the requirements have been changed and adapted for this specific niche.

GSU Nabs Home-made Shotgun
Police say that they've found what they believe to be an improvised weapon. On Sunday night, at around 10 when the Gang Suppression Unit responded to the murder of David Hernandez at the corner of Racecourse Street and East Canal, they received a report that a firearm was being disposed of. The responding officers then went an area of George Street where they found a home-made firearm under a pickup truck. The Scenes of Crime personnel were then brought in to try to retrieve prints, but police have not announced that any were found.

Deranged Daughter Stabs 73 Year Old Mother
A 73 year old woman is recovering from stab wounds inflicted by her own daughter- even after 3 people tried to restrain her. On Friday, what started as a quiet lunch in Orange Walk Town turned very ugly. 73 year old Martha Carlos was at home on Zericote Street when two of her daughters and an employee entered the house around noon. As they were preparing to eat, Carlos' 48 year old daughter retrieved a knife from the kitchen and attempted to stab her mother. Her sister knocked the knife out of her hand, but that did not deter the determined daughter who went for another knife, pushing her mother into a room next to kitchen. The three women tried to restrain her, but they were unsuccessful, and the 73 year old woman, who is diabetic, has hypertension and recently survived a stroke, took another blow to her health.

Indian Merchant Robbed In South; Suspect From City
On Saturday in the south, an Indian Businesswoman was robbed of cash and assorted items valued at $7,400 - and police say the culprit is from Belize City. YOGYATA MOHNANI, the 23 year old owner of Life Style Store on Fadden Avenue, in Independence Village reports that at around 8:10 p.m. two men strode in and one of them pointed a gun at the woman shouting, "This is a hold up." The men robbed them of assorted electronic items valued at $4,400 dollars along with $3000 in cash. The police have since detained a man with a long criminal record from Iguana Street in Belize City for this crime. They are still looking for the another suspect.

Ruta Maya Finishes In Record Time
And taking a break now from all that bad news, the 15th Annual La Ruta Maya Race culminated in Belize City on Monday. After three days on the Belize river, the final leg started out with only one and a half minutes separating the first place team, Belize Bank Bulldogs and second place, the Oceana Wave Makers. That meant a furious rush to the finish at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City - where an especially fast final leg led to a new record time - and a photo finish between Belize Bank and Team Ziprider and an epic, finish-line spill:...

The CEO Line-up
And finally tonight, we go over the new Chief Executive Officers who will get to lead the newly organized ministries. Sharman Hyde will be the CEO of Finance and Economic Development. Beverly Castillo will be the CEO of Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. Mike Singh will be the CEO of Trade, Investment, Private Sector Development and Consumer protection. Dr. Wendel Parham will be the CEO of Forestry, Fisheries, Sustainable Development and Indigenous People. Dr. Colin Young will be the CEO of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities. Alexis Rosado stay on as CEO of foreign affairs. Col. George Lovell will be the CEO of the newly reconstituted National Security. Lawrence Sylvester stays on as CEO of Housing and Urban Development. Carlston Goff will be the CEO for works and Transport. Lindsay Garbutt stays on as CEO for Tourism and Culture. Dr. Peter Allen stays on as CEO for Health. Candy Saldivar is Godwin Hulse's CEO in Labour Local Government, and NEMO Marion McNab is CEO for Public Service and Elections and Boundaries. Judith Alpuche stays on as CEO for Human Development. David Leacock stays on as CEO for Education and Youth.

Channel 5

New Cabinet has 2 women; 15 Ministers, 2 Junior Ministers
The U.D.P. government won seventeen of the thirty-one divisions throughout the country in last week’s general elections. Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicated last week that he would mull over the configuration of new ministers and ministries. This afternoon at the NEMO conference room in Belmopan, the PM was flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, ...

Will environmentalist agree with Liselle?
At a first glance it appeared that the PM placated his critics when he appointed Liselle Alamilla as a minister. Her appointment would secure a second female minister and her conservation background as the director of Ya’axche Conservation Trust would mean that environmentalists would receive a senator and a minister that would support them. But ...

Senator Hulse, now Minister; will he conform?
According to the prime minister, the four senators are U.D.P.s. Senator Charles Gibson was selected to be Minister of Public Service and Elections and Boundaries. Gibson is a career public officer and is well known in the Capital. But more so, the fourth senator appointed as minister is well known farmer, orator, and independent thinker, ...

Mark and Cordel excommunicated from P.U.P.
While Prime Minister Dean Barrow was putting the final touches to his Cabinet, the People’s United Party met at Independence Hall. The opposition party has still not conceded the elections because of alleged Election Day irregularities for which it has filed three petitions in court. The P.U.P. is blaming its defeat on Mark Espat and ...

New Cabinet Secretary, New Speaker of House
When the House meets next Wednesday for the first time in this term, there’s going to be a new speaker. That was revealed among other appointments that were announced today. That presentation included the other U.D.P. senators and the Cabinet Secretary. Dean Barrow “There are some other appointments that I can disclose at this time. ...

C.E.O. Reappointments to New Ministries
The elected representatives were not the only people holding their collective breath to see if they would be doled out responsibilities in the government. The Chief Executive Officers (C.E.O.) for the ministries also waited and listened if they would continue to hold their posts. In most of the redesigned ministries, C.E.O.’s remained the same, however, ...

Before his murder, he told his father take care
The murder statistics went up by three over the extended holiday weekend bringing the list to seventeen since the beginning of the year. The latest homicides were recorded in Orange Walk Town and Mahogany Heights. In the City a twenty-one year old was gunned down on Racecourse Street. News Five’s Andrea Polanco reports on the ...

Father/Husband murdered while parting a fight
Prior to the murder of David Hernandez, in Orange Walk Town a twenty-four year old man was stabbed while attempting to break up a fight early on Friday night on the San Antonio Road. Cristobal Santos managed to make it back to his home but soon succumbed to the injuries to his abdomen. Police have ...

Marked Man Murdered
The latest murder victim was found this morning. He is twenty-three year old Herman Garbutt Junior, who was found dead under a tree in Mahogany Heights with gunshot wounds. Family members told us off camera that at around eleven o’clock on Monday night, at least two gunshots rang out. While police haven’t been able to ...

Blue Creek resident dies in flying accident
The community of Blue Creek is grieving the death of one of their own. Twenty-four year old Christopher Reimer died in a freak accident on Sunday when his hang glider malfunctioned and he plunged to his death. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports from Blue Creek. Isani Cayetano, Reporting Hang gliding, a recreational activity popular within ...

Robbery and Shooting in Placencia
A robbery at Mango’s Restaurant and Bar in the Maya Beach area of Placencia took a violent turn when the culprit opened fire on the owner. Businessman, fifty-six year old Frank Da Silva, reported to police that shortly before ten o’clock on Saturday night, he was at Mango’s along with two customers when men entered. ...

Minor says she was victim of incest
A fifteen year old student in the Toledo District is reportedly a victim of sexual abuse and at the hands of her own father. The alleged incident occurred over two months ago, on January fifth, but the teen has just found the courage to go to the police. She has reported that her father had ...

Man threatens to kill his significant other, a cop
And in court today, the ex common-law-husband of a police inspector accepted responsibility for threatening to kill her. Honduran national, thirty-five year old Pablo Martinez Herrera has lived in Belize for fourteen years and has permanent residency. But tonight, he is a resident at the Central Prison. Martinez appeared before Magistrate Hettie-Mae Stuart and was ...

Monday Sports mash up with James Adderley
Good Evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. The 2012 La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge took front and center in our nation over the weekend drawing thousands of fans from all across the country. WE pick up the action on Day II and it’s Oceana Wave Makers challenging the mighty Belize Bank ...


New technology tracks La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
And while the La Ruta Maya organizers say that the event had grown leaps and bounds over the past 15 years, this year, the race also involved a special feature for online fans. People halfway across the world could view the race live online via GIS technology. Managing Director of Total Business Solutions, Loretta Palacio, explains how the technology works and what it offers. Palacio says that her company is able to also carry the Annual Cross Country Cycling Classic. The only requirement is that the organizers need to forward the names of the teams or others who are interested in being a part of the coverage to Total Business Solutions in advance.

PUP throws out two of its members
The People’s United Party today made an interesting announcement. Earlier today the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, named his Cabinet, and we will have the details of that coming up. But first, we report on the PUP announcement, that it has lynched its former Albert and Lake Independence Representatives, Mark Espat and Cordel Hyde as PUP members. In addition to this, the Party’s Chairman, Henry Usher, told Love News late this evening via phone that the party is going ahead with its petitions to the courts over the denials for recounts in two of the constituencies where it narrowly lost.

Prime Minister announces new Cabinet
Prime Minister Barrow today announced his new cabinet. Ava Diaz Sosa has the story.

Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge ends in photo finish
The 15th annual La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge concluded yesterday at the foot of the Belcan Bridge. Reporter Marion Ali has the details of the four day competition.


PM Barrow announces new Cabinet
Hon. Dean Barrow and his party has been granted a second term in office and today Prime Minister Barrow announced h...

Four Senators, also to serve as Ministers introduced
At the press conference today the Prime Minister introduced four senators who have been appointed as Ministers. Fir...

Prime Minister Dean Barrow sworn in
Prime Minister Dean Barrow took his oath of office on Friday March 9 for his second term. The swearing in ceremony ...

Leader of the Opposition on alleged illegalities in March 7th elections
While Prime Minister Dean held his press conference today to announce his members of the new cabinet the Peoples Un...

Police open murder investigation into death of 21 yr old Alberto Hernandez
A young man succumbs to his injuries whilst undergoing treatment at the KHMH. On Sunday March 11th at 9:00pm, Polic...

Mayor of Dangriga and his council sworn in to office
Mayor Gilbert Swaso and his council have been sworn in to office. Area Representative Ivan Ramos along with numerou...

Man found dead, suffered multiple gunshot wounds
Earlier this morning (March 13) around 6am, police visited a footpath in the Mahogany Heights area where they came ...

Teen arrested after shots fired at crowd
Belize City Police is investigating a report of aggravated assault. 23yr old Kendra Madrill reported to police yest...

Mango's Restaurant and Bar robbed, man shot
A well known Restaurant was robbed on the Placencia Peninsula. On Saturday about 10:00pm police responded to a Robb...

Belize Bank triumphs in La Ruta Maya 2012
The 15th consecutive running of La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge got underway on Friday March 9 at the Hawkswort...

The Reporter

Lower gas prices and renegotiate the Superbond!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow reiterated his pre-election promise that the government of Belize would explore all avenues to relieve Belize of the onerous burden of the billion-dollar Superbond, with which the past PUP government saddled the country. The Prime Minister was speaking at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Thursday afternoon, March 8, at a press conference he had called to evaluate the March 7th General Elections.

Prince Harry - a great hit in Belize! Belize - a great plug for tourism!
HRH Prince Harry’s whirlwind 24 hour visit to Belize last Friday, March 2, did much more than represent Queen Elizabeth II as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It also highlighted Belize on the world stage as an exciting culture and adventure destination. The squadron of international journalists, photographers and television videographers who arrived to cover the visit broadcast reports on CNN, Sky News, Nine Network from Australia, ABC News, the Thomson Reuters News Network, ABC News Intercontinental, ABC News USA, the London daily newspapers – The Sun, ITV News, and the Press Association Ltd. Even Channel 5 and Seven News’ reports are sometimes picked up by the Caribbean News Association (CANA) and broadcast to the rest of the region.

Guatemalan Alcaldes go to Toledo to see forest damage first hand
Friends for Conservation and Development in Toledo hosted three recently elected alcaldes from Melchor de Mencos, Poptún and San Luis, and the Vice Alcalde from Dolores along with their councillors, for a site visit to the Chiquibul Forest over the weekend of February 25-26. The idea was to raise awareness about the environmental impacts taking place in the protected areas of Toledo and the heavy losses that Belize has been facing. Friends for Conservation took the delegation to visit the Caracol site where they observed first- hand the expanding agricultural frontier into Belize, and also witnessed the depredations wrought by illegal logging activity when they walked the trails used by xateros.

Two suspects remanded for $155,000 jewelry store heist !
Alfredo Petillo, 27 of Progress Street, Orange Walk Town, and Guishang Wagner, 22, an employee of the Conscious Youth Development Program, were remanded to prison after they were arraigned on robbery charges before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer in the Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, March 6. Petillo and Wagner are accused of robbing Edwin Garnett at gunpoint of 691 pieces of gold and silver jewelry, valued at $155,503.44 at the Profile Jewelry Store in the Belize City Commercial Center on Wednesday, February 29.

Bank robbers elude cops! Three missing with thousands
Belize City Police are still looking for two men to question them about last Thursday’s armed robbery at the First Caribbean Bank. Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez told The Reporter the men were identified on the bank’s surveillance camera. Armed robbers had made their way into the First Caribbean Bank branch at the San Cas Plaza around 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 1, and held employees at gunpoint while they helped themselves to an undisclosed amount of cash.

Queen’s Scout Fernando Oliva. He needs money for a visa to travel to the United States
The Belize Scout Association has selected an outstanding young Belizean, Queen’s Scout Fernando Oliva, to travel to the U.K. to represent Belize at Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in April. Oliva hopes to arrive in England towards the end of April, but first he has to find the funds to pay his airfare to the U.K. and back. The Scout Association of the United Kingdom will pay Fernando’s travel and other expenses while he is in the U.K., but he is faced with the task of raising money for his passage. He will also need money for a visa to travel to the United States. Fernando Oliva is one of five young people in Belize to hold the distinction of Queen’s Scout. His many works of honour and duty to God and Queen were recognized last March when he became a Queen’s Scout, reaching the pinnacle of a world youth movement which embraces millions of young men and women.

Vatican appoints Rev. Christopher Clancy Auxiliary Bishop of Belize
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize is to have a new Auxiliary Bishop. He is Father Christopher Clancey, former Pastor of the Parish of St. Francis Xavier in Corozal Town and a priest of the order of St.Viator. He will be consecrated as Bishop in Belize City at St. John’s College Auditorium on Saturday, May 5, 2012, at a morning mass which will begin at 10:00. Archbishop Luigi Pezzuto, Papal Nuncio, will be the principal celebrant at that Mass, accompanied by Bishop Dorick Wright of Belize and Bishop Jacques Berthelet, retired Bishop of the Diocese of Saint Jeab Longueuil in Quebec, Canada.

UDP holds on to 6 municipal bodies, while PUP captures 3
More than 60, 000 registered voters countrywide went to the polls on Wednesday, March 7th to decide who will manage their towns or cities’ affairs for the next three years. After the results were tallied, they showed that the Opposition, People’s United Party (PUP) had gained some ground since its last defeat, as it captured three of the nine municipalities that were in the hands of the governing United Democratic Party (UDP). The UDP mayoral candidate for Orange Walk Town, Ivan Leiva, lost to the PUP’s Kevin Bernard by 642 votes.

New sugar producer to begin operations in Belize. BELTRAIDE says this is one of many new investments
Contrary to what some may suggest, the S&P downgrades have not reduced the quantity of investments in Belize, as several new investors—including a new sugar producer, are set and ready to establish operations in Belize, Mike Singh, the executive director of Belize Trade and Investment Services (BELTRAIDE) told The Reporter on Monday, March 5. Green Tropics Limited, a Guatemalan-based company, has already invested approximately $12 million in land for sugar production. Singh said the company, which has already submitted applications for them to construct a new factory within the next two years, intends to run “their own sugar mill.”

Belize basketballers off to Lebron James tournament
Fifteen young Belizean basketball players will represent Belize at one of the world’s top Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournaments, the King James Classic for under-19 players, to be held in LeBron James’ hometown of Akron, Ohio on April 27-29. The Belize Basketball Federation introduced the 15 players at a press conference held at the National Sports Council offices at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City on Monday, March 5. Editorial
The People’s United Party under its new leader, Mr. Francis Fonseca has shown unexpected strength and resiliency after the debacle of his predecessor, Prime Minister Said Musa. The Party did not do well in Belize City, but in Toledo, in Orange Walk and Corozal and Cayo it did remarkably well, considering that it had only 30 days to mobilize its forces and taking into account the huge disadvantage it sustained in losing two key players - Mr. Mark Espat and Mr. Cordel Hyde during the four-week run-up. Byron Pope & Shalini Zabaneh win C-Ray cycling tour
Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes cycling team and Shalini Zabaneh of the Sagitun cycling team won their respective divisions in the first ever C-Ray Cycling Tour held under the auspices of the Belize Cycling Association on the Burrell Boom Hattieville Bypass and the Western Highway over the weekend, March 2-4. Three times Lionman triathlon champion Kenroy Gladden of the Horizon team won the Masters over-35 category, while Oscar Quiros, riding unattached, won the junior division. Byron Pope won the first stage on Saturday, a 30-mile circuit race from the CDS Gas Station in Burrell Boom to the Data Pro junction with the Northern Highway back though the Burrell Boom bypass to Hattieville and back to the CDS gas station. Shalini Zabaneh emerged as the female winner in this first stage, while Sherman Thomas of Team C4 won the masters’ category. Oscar Quiroz won the junior category. Pope also dominated the elites in the second stage of the tour an individual time trial from Leslie’s Imports to mile 9 on the Western Highway and back to Leslie’s Imports on Saturday afternoon. Shalini also had the best individual time among the women, while Giovanni Lovell of Team Lovell won the Junior category and again Sherman Thomas won the Masters’ category.

UDP sobered by 17-14 win
Voters of Belize returned the United Democratic Party to another term in government but not by the landslide margin UDP optimists had predicted. The UDP won by a narrow margin: 17-14. Two of those seats the Opposition People’s United Party say they will challenge in the Supreme Court. A PUP victory in court could tilt the scale in favor of the ‘blue’ 16-15. Indeed the UDP’s victory at the polls might well be labelled a Cordel Hyde or Mark Espat victory; because it was only their stepping down from running for another term, and the PUP’s last minute replacements that spared the UDP from humiliation at the polls.

International Sources

Belize, one of the world's best vacation destinations says Fox News
A recent Fox News television broadcast highlighting Belize as one of a few selected international tourism hotspots shows that North Americans needn’t travel far to visit one of the world’s best vacation destinations, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Larry Waight. “It was interesting to be watching television and seeing Belize come up as one of the Fox News hotspots for 2012, in company with just a few select locations that included more distant destinations such as Vietnam, India and Korea,” Mr Waight said. “What it said to me was, ‘great, you don’t need to travel far to enjoy what tourism industry experts and an authority like Fox News describe as the most interesting and best in the world’,” he said.

Maya Civilization Collapsed Amidst Mild Drought, New Study Suggests
For more than 500 years, the Maya kings ruled the New World's richest and most advanced civilization. But then, around 800 C.E., the Maya empire began to collapse and its kings soon disappeared; by 1000 C.E., most of its great cities and temples lay in ruins. What happened? In recent years, scientists have increasingly blamed a series of droughts for the calamity, but the evidence has been ambiguous. A new study concludes that drought did indeed play an important role, but the actual decrease in rainfall was relatively modest. At its height, Maya civilization occupied much of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula and Central America, including modern-day Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. Archaeologists have dated the first settlements as far back as 2000 B.C.E., but the rise of kings and dynasties occurred during the so-called Classic period, beginning about 250 C.E. At sites like Tikal in Guatemala, monarchs decked out in jade jewelry ruled as many as 100,000 people, including artists, scribes, and the farmers who worked the surrounding cornfields. But by 830 C.E., more than 80% of Tikal's population was gone, and population losses at many other Maya sites were even greater.

Economic contribution of Belize's Coral Reefs and Mangroves
Coastal and marine ecosystems provide vitally important goods and services to countries in the Caribbean. This study looks at only three out of the many culturally and economically valuable services provided by these ecosystems in Belize. Even within this narrowed scope, this study finds that the country’s coastal resources are extremely valuable. Belize’s coral reefs and mangrove-lined coasts provide critical protection against erosion and wave-induced damages from tropical storms; they have supported artisanal fishing communities for generations; and they stand at the center of vibrant tourism industry, drawing snorkelers, divers and sport fishermen from all over the world. Despite their importance, these benefits are frequently overlooked or underappreciated in coastal investment and policy decisions. Unchecked coastal development, overfishing, and pressures from tourism threaten the country’s reefs, with the additional threats of warming seas, fiercer storms, and other climate-related changes looming on the horizon. Fish populations, including commercially valuable sport-fishing species and colorful reef fish, will diminish if they lose the mangrove forests they rely upon as critical nursery habitats. Coastal properties will become increasingly vulnerable to storms and erosion, and reef-related tourism will suffer as reefs and mangroves decline. Belize’s government, NGOs, and private sector have begun to recognize the importance of coastal ecosystems to the economy. Nevertheless, the amount currently invested in protecting Belize’s coral reefs and mangroves is very small when compared to the contribution of these resources to the national economy. The World Resources Institute (WRI), in collaboration with WWF Central America, assessed the economic contribution of these services at the national level and within individual Marine Protected Areas in Belize.

Court dismisses Belize rapes action
Two Kent women who were raped as schoolgirls on "the trip of a lifetime" to Belize have lost their High Court damages action. The pair, who are now in their early 20s and cannot be identified, had sued their former school in the Medway area of Kent and expedition organiser Adventure Life Signs Ltd (ALS) for an agreed sum of £100,000 each, subject to liability. Mr Justice Mackay, in London, said the teenagers were in a party of 12 staying at a remote camp in August 2005 when they were raped by a local man, Aaron, a tour guide and the joint owner of the farm resort. He was not positively invited into a cabana shared by five girls, but they did not actively protest, he added. After some harmless socialising, when they were at pains to keep noise to a minimum to conceal his presence, Aaron initiated a game of "spin the bottle" before the rape took place. He was later charged with the offences in Belize, but they were dismissed as the girls, for entirely understandable reasons, added the judge, felt unable to go back to give evidence at his trial. They alleged that Aaron's behaviour at a swimming pool on the afternoon of the incident should have put the expedition leaders, a teacher and two ALS representatives, on notice that he was grooming them as potential victims. The judge said he was satisfied that comments he made at the pool were not heard by the leaders or reported to them. Dismissing the claims "with regret", the judge said: "This party was continuously supervised by three highly responsible and experienced adults. Short of posting a guard on the door of each cabana, or instituting some system of watch-keeping, there would have been no way of defeating Aaron's assault on these girls, which he and up to a point they were at pains to keep from the leaders. "It would not be fair, just and reasonable to define the scope of their duties so as to require them to have taken those or any other precautions that night.

March 13, 2012

Valid: March 12 - 19, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to East-northeasterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad west Atlantic High pressure system. This airflow will favour the influx of some moisture, favourable for a few showers here and there. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into Thursday and Friday of this week, giving way to a seasonally drier and stable SE’ly airflow across Belize and the SW Gulf of Mexico. The fair and dry weather will become much more prevalent and warmer this coming weekend.

We can therefore expect generally breezy, fair and sunny weather through Thursday of this week with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central interior during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and dry as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during Monday through Thursday of this week will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch, especially over central regions. Daily rainfall totals on Friday through the weekend and Monday next will amount to 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch over the central coast, and minimal elsewhere. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

SPHS claims Northern Regional Softball Championship Title
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) softball team will travel to Belmopan City to represent the Northern Region in the male division of the National Softball Competition. The competition is scheduled for March 16th and 17th and comes after SPHS dominated at the Northern Regional Softball Tournament (NRST) on March 3rd. The team, along with coach and supporters travelled to Burrel Boom Village on Saturday, March 3rd to compete in the NRST hosted by Belize Rural High School. In the semi-final game pitcher Konrad Gonzalez and the SPHS boys only needed one inning of work to dispatch the boys from Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico in a game of 15 to 1. SPHS went up against Belize Rural High School in the championship match, where they managed a win with a score of 12 to 3. At the end of the tournament, San Pedro’s Jeffrey Cole Ray was awarded Most Valuable Player of the tournament. According to coach, Marion Mejia, the SPHS boys have been practicing for the past six months in preparation for this tournament.

Another Shade of Blue films on AC
Another Shade of Blue, a travel video program, was in Belize over the past week filming their last episode for this season. The crew had the opportunity to film all across the country, from a Maya ruin, to caves and the cayes. The crew was on Ambergris Caye where they had the opportunity to film the spectacular underwater world of our reef system, catch crocodiles with the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary/ACES and of course enjoy some of the entertainment on Ambergris Caye, especially the world-famous Chicken Drop at Wahoo’s Lounge. The host Ty Sawyer took time out to interact with visitors and locals while filming the Chicken Drop on Tuesday February 6th. “What we are filming is the authentic side of the destination; something with a strong sense of place. You can’t come to Belize without going out to the rainforest to see Maya ruins… the caves… the cooking and food… the cayes like Ambergris and the reef,” explained Sawyer. He added that, “we like to motivate people to travel to the destination we have been travelling to. We try to portray what the authentic element of the experience would be.” The crew filmed Sawyer visiting Xunantunich, some of the caves in the Cayo District, the jungle, preparing typical Creole dishes, diving on the reef at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley, releasing a crocodile and enjoying activities on Ambergris Caye such as the Chicken Drop. According to Sawyer, Another Shade of Blue is aired on several channels in the USA, UK and Spain and is transmitted to over 100 million households. The adventures of Sawyer while in Belize will be the 12th episode in the first season of Another Shade of Blue for 2012 which is expected to air in May.


Tia Chocolate: Quince IV
While Sara and Luciola stroked the soft, cool satin and scratchy lace on her grand dress, everything else was coming together. From the kitchen, Vilma called to Sara, telling her to put out her bath things and prepare herself a bath. The ceremony would start in a few hours, and from the moment she took her bath, she would no longer linger outside. Instead, she would get her hair combed, braided, curled, twisted and decorated. Her face would get its first full makeup treatment. The beautification process would be lengthy, but it would not be tradition if she didn’t go through it. She would wait till the very last moment to slip into her flouncy, lacy confection of a dress. From there, she would head out and meet Fabian, who would walk her to the spot where the pastor would wait and hold the official blessing.

"Success is measured in the lives we change"
My Name is Darrel, I am 23 years old and I hail from the tiny Central American country of Belize. In Belize, while football is a popular sport, it is still years before it can be comparable to that played in other countries in the world, or the region for that matter. The female sport is even less developed. Of course, efforts continue to develop both gender versions at the government and national association levels. However, there are many people that voluntarily take on this challenge at the local grassroots level. I am one such person. I am the manager of a female football team with the name Rising Starz FC. My coaching staff and I have been struggling well over a year with laying the foundation that will see the club serve as a pillar in the social development of our community and country.

Misc Belizean Sources

Shot Croc Needs Your Help!
Just two nights ago we were conducting a routine crocodile capture, tag, and release for our ongoing American crocodile, Crocodylus acutus, population survey. The croc we captured had been shot in the head and hind leg, but alive. We were able to remove the bullet from the head but not sure if any remain in the leg. There are exit wounds so we know that some went through and through. This large 10 foot 8 inch, male, crocodile is now in a small holding facility. We cleaned all the woulds and treated with antibiotics as best we could. This croc came to us so quickly out of the water for bait that we had to chase it off to set the snare. This indicates it was being fed by humans and hence a very dangerous and large apex predator not afraid of humans. Additionally, it is now obviously an easy target for poachers. This croc will need care for at least a month in the small habitat but can not, nor should not, be re-released into the wild. It will be killed for sure. Currently we do not have any room at out natural habitat sanctuary. We are in need of funding to build it a suitable enclosure.

World Vets to assist SAGA Humane Society in “Fix your dog to fix up San Pedro”
SAGA Humane Society in its ongoing effort to help control the pet population in San Pedro is collaborating with World Vets to offer a FREE Spay & Neuter for pets in low income household’s, March 13-15, 2012. There will be an international team of Veterinarians, Vet Techs, Assistants and Veterinarian Students to offer FREE services to the community of San Pedro. This NGO states on their website “Our mission is to provide veterinary aid in developing countries and veterinary disaster relief worldwide.” This is the second year this wonderful organization has brought it’s much needed services to La Isla Bonita. In 2011 the team was able to Spay/Neuter over 50 animals. This year the goal is to more than double these numbers. Please give these exceptional volunteers a warm island welcome if you see them about town.

Belize Study Abroad - Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary
Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is an environmental education center offering Belize Study Abroad experiential learning programs and training opportunities while serving as a model of conservation land Stewardship. Mission: Our vision is the possibility of a sustainable world. Description: Our goal is to guide our guests and students in experiencing the natural wonders of the tropics and life in a developing country, recognizing the diversity of human potential through other cultures. We do this from a peaceful natural setting within a 1070-acre private protected area at our Monkey Bay campus where we experiment with sustainable living technologies and conservation land management.

Cow Foot Soup! - "Don't knock it 'til you try it!"
Yes that's right I said it...Cow Foot Soup. While most Belizeans reading this will probably start salivating when thinking about this and even more when they see the pictures, others from outside countries might go "EEEwwwwww". It doesn't sound delicious or appetizing but once you've tried it you will most definately change your mind, or you might not, but like the name of this blog says "No knock it til you try it". Cow Foot Soup is made all over Belize, some claim the best while some are the best. If you used to live in Belize city or still do and was old enough to go out about 10-15 years ago you still dream about "Jokers" Restaurant. This was a small small shak about 10'x10' and they opened around 4pm and stayed open til about 4am. If you were friends, about 5 or 6 am lol. Now, there are certain things we eat when we are hungover. The English have their English fry up which if you know what it is will give u a heart attack unless you were hungover, and Belizeans have Cow Foot Soup. Yes, by far the BEST hangover (Goma in kriol) cure that ever existed.

International Sources

Cuba To Test Dengue Fever Vaccine On Humans
On Wednesday at the International Biotechnology Congress in Havana,Cuba, leaders of a clinical trial announced their project for a vaccine against dengue fever. The research director at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, or Cigb, Gerardo Guillén, said research in monkeys proved the vaccine's effectiveness in controlling the multiplication of the virus. The vaccine is designed to act on all four known variants of the dengue virus, Guillén said. Bugs that Give You More than a Sting Guillén said that so far there are no products in existence anywhere that prevent dengue fever, although several international pharmaceutical firms are developing weaker vaccines that use the virus itself to treat the illness. Cigb worked with France's Pasteur Institute to develop the vaccine. Dengue, which is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is characterized by a high fever and intense general malaise accompanied by skin eruptions.

The 7 Best Reasons To Retire Overseas
The best tropical choices include Ambergris Caye, Belize, and Roatan, Honduras, which also qualify as two of the most affordable places to retire in the Caribbean.

You don't need a helicopter to travel like 'The Bachelor'
Already a tourism hotspot in light of the end of the Maya long-count calendar this year, this welcoming Central American country was resplendent in the show, with majestic Maya temples and plenty of ocean-centric adventures. One highlight was Lamanai, the towering Maya temple in Northern Belize whose vertigo-inducing steps Ben and Courtney bravely climbed to the top. (There are plenty of other ruins to choose from in Belize, however, including Xunantunich and the spectacular Actun Tunichil Muknal, a cave that houses the calcified skeleton of a young Mayan girl who was sacrificed.) For those who prefer sand, sun and even sharks (no, we’re not talking about Courtney), a trip to the offshore island of Ambergris Caye is a good bet. From the featured properties of Victoria House or Coco Beach Resort (which is also offering a “The Bachelor Island Romance Package,”) it’s an easy boat ride to the aptly named Shark Ray Alley, where Rachel nearly had a panic attack swimming among friendly shark species and stingrays. Divers shouldn’t miss the world-famous Blue Hole, which Ben and Lindzi dropped into from (what else?) a helicopter.

Living Tax-Free In Belize
Designed to attract foreigners as residents, Belize’s “qualified retired persons” (QRP) program resembles Panama’s popular pensionado program. The QRP offers significant tax incentives to those who become permanent residents of Belize, but not full citizens. When you qualify, you’re exempted from all taxes on income from sources outside Belize. QRPs pay no import duties on personal effects, household goods or on a motor vehicle or other transport, such as an airplane or boat. You must be 45 years of age or older to qualify and be able to prove personal financial ability to support yourself and any dependents. The minimum financial requirements include an annual income of at least $24,000 from a pension, annuity or other sources outside Belize.

The mermaid will lead you there: Avadon Divers
Great interview with one of Belize's premiere dive operators. "...I was talking to Anne Marie McNeil, co-owner of Avadon Divers. Her voice was the welcoming calm that I was looking for. I was a first time diver and anxiety about learning how to do it, from breathing to the gear, overwhelmed me. Her easy clear tone set me at ease and put me in the right frame of mind to complete a day of Discovery Scuba..."

AllEnergy Strikes Oil on Its First Well on Its Belize Concession
AllEnergy Corporation (OTCQB: AFSE) (OTCBB: AFSE) (, a growth-oriented international energy company, announced today that it struck oil on its first well on the Princess Concession in Belize. The first well is expected to be completed and put into production following review by the Belize Regulatory Officials. It is estimated to contain up to 6 million barrels of recoverable oil. The reservoir was determined in size by Satellite Image and Chem-Tool. Pay zone depth was determined from actual drilling and mud logging. Porosity and saturation were gauged visually by outside consultants using statistical modeling with low side parameters, predicting a reservoir of 6 million barrels. This figure could grow depending on the trending of the reservoir.

March 12, 2012

Valid: March 12 - 19, 2012

The feature of interest this week will be a relatively stable and fresh Easterly to East-northeasterly airflow over the NW Caribbean, generated by broad west Atlantic High pressure system. This airflow will favour the influx of some moisture, favourable for a few showers here and there. The High Pressure system will weaken as we move into Thursday and Friday of this week, giving way to a seasonally drier and stable SE’ly airflow across Belize and the SW Gulf of Mexico. The fair and dry weather will become much more prevalent and warmer this coming weekend.

We can therefore expect generally breezy, fair and sunny weather through Thursday of this week with some brief daytime showers, especially in the central interior during the afternoon. It will become increasingly warmer and dry as we move into the weekend.

Daily rainfall accumulations during Monday through Thursday of this week will range from 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch, especially over central regions. Daily rainfall totals on Friday through the weekend and Monday next will amount to 0.01-0.10 of-an-inch over the central coast, and minimal elsewhere. In short, the 2012 Dry Season will continue across the nation over the next seven days.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Contemplating Carnaval
Although the paint has dried from the Carnaval festivities a couple weeks ago, the controversy certainly has not. Every year the issue of rampant painting, and the result of damage to person and property is evident. Sure it’s lots of fun but there are no limits to it, and the practise of painting is especially damaging and costly to local business owners. Not only do downtown entrepreneurs have to absorb the time and expense of wrapping plastic around their store fronts and expensive billboards to protect them from paint damage, often the painters tear down the plastic and maliciously deface the property anyways. What most likely evolved from the original tradition of tossing flour during this celebration, the practise of throwing paint is not one that many island residents appreciate. Held hostage by a minority of island merrymakers that take great pleasure in the behaviour, many of us plan our days around escape routes to avoid the unsolicited painting to ourselves, our vehicles and whatever it is we may be carrying. With almost a mob mentality that can be frightening to foreigners and locals alike, we watch over our shoulders with the paranoia of being chased down the street by a gang of paint wielding juveniles or drunken adults who are just itching for some violence. Ultimately this behaviour is nothing but a license to vandalize property and terrorize those who choose not to participate.


Belize's Benefactor: The Super Cool Baron Bliss
Baron Bliss Day, March 9th, has always been one of my favorite Belizean holidays. There are a few reasons. The timing. The United States so thoughtlessly leaves a huge gap between Presidents' Day at the end of February and Memorial Day at the end of May. A holiday in March is a great idea. His name. Baron Bliss? Amazing. It's so well.... almost what you'd expect in a romance novel. "The Viscount that Loved Me". "The Dreamy Duke". "The Baron Bliss"...can't you see it now? Henry Edward Ernest Victor Barretts was born in England in 1869. He took the familial title of Fourth Baron of Portugal in his early adulthood. At that point, he was the Baron Bliss. As a successful engineer, justice of the peace and man of substantial family wealth, he retired early. In his early forties, he took to the sea. Fishing and sailing were always his true passions. The BB was paralyzed in 1911 and confined to a wheel chair, probably by polio (Jonas Salk's vaccine against the disease was not developed until the mid 1950s). Sir Bliss was looking for warmer climates. After his boat was commandeered during World War One, he sailed to the Bahamas, and then to Trinidad. After a serious bout of food poisoning in that country, he sailed to British Honduras (now Belize) and apparently fell in love. He explored as much as he could but after a month or so, he died. He left his entire estate (estimated at $2 million USD) to the country of Belize in 1926. The Baron was 57 years old. And apparently never set foot on Belizean soil. He was in a wheelchair for goodness sake! The fund, which still exists today, built the Bliss Cultural Center in Belize City. Do you see why I love this holiday? What an amazing story. There is a memorial in Belize City for him right by the lighthouse.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: Turneffe Islands, Lionfish Awareness
Featuring Ecologic Divers 5 Star Padi Dive Team aboard "Blue Attitude" Today we dive "The Elbow" to take a look at Lionfish populations and size while providing you with some Lionfish Awareness facts. San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize This dive was actaully filmed on New Years Eve, 12-31-11

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Beach Reclamation Under Way
Caye Caulker’s East Beach, the one facing the reef, is getting a much-needed face lift. About 35 feet out into the sea worth of beach that has eroded over the past ten years due to storms is now being re-nourished. Hicaquenos could not be happier. We’ll have a wonderful beach for Easter and on which to celebrate this year’s Lobster Fest.

International Sources

An Underwater Video Survey on Caribbean Reef Sharks
A research team at the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University employed videos to enumerate the number of Caribbean reef sharks (Carcharhinus perezi) existing within and outside the marine reserves on the Caribbean Sea’s Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Over 200 baited remote underwater video (BRUV) cameras were employed to collect data in the form of survey. The BRUV cameras, nicknamed ‘Chum cam’ were used by the scientists to compare the relative abundance of reef sharks in two marine reserves with that of the two fishing areas. The sharks were found to be more abundant in the reserves.

Treaty Energy Corporation and Princess Petroleum Ltd Sign MOU on oil & gas joint venture
Treaty Energy Corporation reports signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Princess Petroleum Ltd regarding a 50/50 Joint Venture on the Paradise Concession owned by Treaty Energy Corporation. Andrew V. Reid, Chairman and Co-CEO of Treaty Energy Corporation, stated, "We are pleased to announce that our Joint Venture Partner on the Princess Concession in Belize, Princess Petroleum Ltd, has signed an MOU to purchase a 50% position in the Paradise Concession purchased by Treaty Energy in September 2011." Mr. Reid added, "We are elated that Princess Petroleum has joined us in this expansion of exploration inBelize and look forward to beginning evaluation studies on this new concession. As with protocol on the Princess Concession, we plan to use satellite technology in order to narrow our search on potential prospects."

AllEnergy Strikes Oil on Its First Well on Its Belize Concession
AllEnergy Corporation (OTCQB: AFSE) (OTCBB: AFSE) (, a growth-oriented international energy company, announced today that it struck oil on its first well on the Princess Concession in Belize. The first well is expected to be completed and put into production following review by the Belize Regulatory Officials. It is estimated to contain up to 6 million barrels of recoverable oil. The reservoir was determined in size by Satellite Image and Chem-Tool. Pay zone depth was determined from actual drilling and mud logging. Porosity and saturation were gauged visually by outside consultants using statistical modeling with low side parameters, predicting a reservoir of 6 million barrels. This figure could grow depending on the trending of the reservoir.

Prince Harry: 'I was choked up by the way Caribbean is celebrating the Queen'
Prince Harry has finally wrapped up his Diamond Jubilee tour of the Caribbean, and it's been a life changing experience for the young royal. Reflecting on his time abroad representing the Queen, the 27-year-old was as honest and refreshing as ever – exactly the qualities that have won him so much admiration on his trip. The Prince revealed that the rapturous reception from the people of Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas had left him "choked up". "I personally had no idea there was so much warmth towards the Queen. To me that's been very humbling," he said. "She's thousands of miles away and yet they celebrated her in the way they did and made me feel so welcome, so I couldn't thank them more."

Corrections and clarifications
A spokesman for Prince Harry has asked to point out that the Prince was not drunk at the street party in Belize pictured last weekend, as may have been suggested by our headline. The Prince sampled local rum, a cocktail and fruit wine but did not drink five beers as suggested.

Want the perfect vacation? Get yourself here
In the instant before my head dunks into the fluorescent Caribbean Sea, somewhere between two tiny islands off Belize, I think: Am I ready for this? A moment later, I'm clutching the side of my kayak, legs flailing as I shovel water out of the seat with a bucket. Then, I'm yanking my soaked self up onto the hull, face first and wheezing. Finally, I roll my bottom half into the seat with an audible thud. It was all as ugly and graceless as it sounds. The wet exit – learning to tip my kayak and then quickly climb back in, without assistance – was the first of many moments in Belize that sounded daunting, very un-vacation-like.

March 11, 2012

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekend Weather Report

The San Pedro Sun

Why wild animals do not make good pets!
People often do not realize the risks and long term consequences of everyday actions or habits such as keeping wildlife as pets until it is brought to their attention. I have seen this again and again, and the recent media attention given to racoons, advertised as pets, is very alarming! The Belize Wildlife Conservation Network (BWCN), an organization established partly to decrease the conflict between humans and wildlife, works closely with the Belize Forest Department, and has been working to develop some basic information and facts that explain why raccoons and other wildlife should not be kept as pets. First, and perhaps the most important reason for not keeping wildlife as pets is the threat to the health of your family. All animals can harbour certain diseases that can be passed to humans (and vice versa) – the list of possible diseases is long and the consequences of those diseases range from a nuisance (itch) to deadly (herpes in monkeys). A lot of knowledge and expensive care is required to keep wildlife healthy and avoid disease transmission.

San Pedro’s Michal Guan joins Belize Basketball selection to Ohio
Fifteen players, including San Pedro’s very own Michal Guan, have been chosen from around the country to represent Belize at the King James Classic Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Basketball Tournament scheduled for April 2012. The tournament will be played in Akron, Ohio, USA, the hometown of LeBron James, (Miami Heat forward) from April 27-29. Try-outs began countrywide starting February 11th and end February 22nd in San Pedro. Interested young men at the high school level gave their all at the chance to be chosen to attend this prestigious tournament. 48 individuals were selected from the tryouts and invited to the University of Belize campus in Belmopan for the preliminary final tryouts on February 25th and 26th. From this group, 21 were selected to return for the final tryouts in Belize City on Sunday March 4th at the Civic Center. Making the cut were fifteen players, including Michal Guan from San Pedro.


The Week in photos
It has been a week of interesting weather. A week ago, the wind was so blustery, our Saturday Ak'Bol yoga class had to be held in the small palapa off the beach and without mats, lest everything blow away. Late Sunday through Monday, a cold front came through bringing quite a bit of rain (especially for "dry season") and leaving lots of muddy puddles in the road north of the bridge. We've also had extremely high tides this week (from the full moon?) bringing boatloads of sargasso and other sea grass up onto the beach. This is the highest we can remember the water coming on our beach since last fall, when Hurricane Rina came within 100 miles of the island. As a result of all this weather, both the beach and the road have been messy to ride bikes or run on. By mid-week the weather was back to the norm -- moderate east winds, sunny, and very warm. The changeable weather here continues to surprise me! I've been posting a lot of photos on Facebook this week but have been neglecting the blog. I know at least a few folks worry if we don't post in a week, so I thought I'd share some of the photos from the past week here.

Go Nature Belize
For all my past blogging about the pool and clean eating I cannot believe I had not been to Go Nature Health food store before now. I finally stopped in the other day and was pleasantly surprised. I was able to get something I had been missing since my other life in Canada, fancy health food store toothpaste. I scored some Now brand Xyliwhite Cinnafresh toothpaste Gel. I also discovered an interesting skincare line called Peace of Belize which I am going to try, I just wanted to double check what I have at home still and then decide where to start for Rachel’s line. Go Nature Belize Shop Hours, Mon- Friday 10am to 5:30pm closed for lunch 1 to 2 pm Sat 10am to 2pm, Sun closed, Closed Belize bank holidays. Taz will do do special orders if products are available from her mainland supplier. Right now she has a bulk container of Dr Bronner’s peppermint soap and she is practicing recycling in Belize by filling peoples bottles and charging by volume. I highly recommend trying some.

A Morning Walk Turns into Breakfast
I woke up early today to take a long walk down the beach. A little much needed exercise. The sun was just up, fishermen were trolling for bait fish and pelicans were drying their wings in the wind. The dock is just south of me at a condo complex called Tara Del Mar. And just south of that is a much smaller, much older house. The gentleman is drying off his lobster traps. Season is closed again until June 15th. Victoria House was looking beautiful... But the breakfast was smelling even better. I guess 8 minutes of exercise is better than nothing.

“Only in Belize” The La Ruta Maya Race 2012
The 15th annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge, held between the 9th and 12th of March and one of the world’s longest canoe races, replicates an ancient Maya river trade network through the rainforests of Belize to the Caribbean seacoast and is capturing a larger audience this year due to global interest in the 2012 Maya “prophecies”, according to one long time participant. Mick Fleming, owner and GM of the Lodge at Chaa Creek, which has been entering canoes in the gruelling race for 12 years, with his own team winning the 2002 Masters Class in 2002, said that in addition to the historical Maya link, the race also has a strong environmental significance. “One thing we’ve always loved about La Ruta Maya is that it creates more awareness of Belize’s beautiful river system and our need to continually monitor and protect its health.

La Ruta Maya Promotes Competition and Conservation
Today marks the beginning of the 15th annual La Ruta Maya River Challenge, one of the world’s great river races tracing a 175 mile ancient Maya river trade route through Belize, and, according to Belizean eco resort Chaa Creek, a valuable way to raise awareness of the need to safeguard Belize’s pristine waterways. The Lodge at Chaa Creek, which has been promoting environmental sustainability in Belize for over 30 years, has been a long-time supporter and enthusiastic participant in La Ruta Maya. So passionate, in fact, that owners Mick and Lucy Fleming sent a staff member to Canada to learn canoe building from Ted Moores, a master canoe builder of Bear Mountain Workshop in Ontario, and now produce their own handmade timber canoes. During last week’s visit to Belize, Prince Harry christened a new Chaa Creek canoe, The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee, for a British High Commission entry in the race.

Exploring The Land of the Submerged Crocodile
The Belizean Jungle and the Mayan ruins of Lamanai had always been an area I longed to see ever since I did an Essay in high school on the Mayan Civilization. As soon as I was old enough to travel on my own, I’d booked a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula. I explored the whole coast, all the way down to Tulum, experienced some fantastic bird watching in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere (the UNESCO World Heritage site) on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, and then wandered around in awe in Tikal, one of the largest archeological sites of pre-Columbian Maya civilization in Guatemala. It took my breath away and ignited a spark in me to see more archeological and historic wonders in the world. Lamanai – meaning “Land of the Submerged Crocodile” in Belize, is the third largest and possibly most important archaological sites in Belize. It soon became one of my dream destinations. So, in true New Jetsetters spirit, knowing that life is too short to just sit and think about living your dreams, we set aside the time and money for a visit to Lamanai.

know your food: Belize
Belizean Cuisine. What does that mean? To be honest, when I was invited to taste the foods of Belize in December, I had no idea. A quick internet search told me that Belize had a national beer (Belikin), relied heavily on the habanero and that rice and beans were a signature dish. I found all of these things when I visited Belize, but I also found a diversity in food that complements it's diverse people and landscape. A change in location meant a different cuisine entirely. As I moved through Belize's landscape from the jungle to the sea and met it's people, I saw a shift in cuisine. (When is the last trip where you visited both a Mennonite village and then danced with Garifuna, a culture descended from Carib, Arawak and West African people, in the same week?) At first glance, the continuity of beans, habaneros and even fry jacks might lead one to belive that meals were uninspired or standarized. But, close to the border I tried Mexican inspired meals and fell in love ceviche, further south I tasted the Mayan influence in dishes centered around corn or in Mayan-style pulled pork . I snacked on sweets made by Mennonite women with recipes passed down from their European ancestors and ate fresh fish for breakfast just like a Garifuna family. I'll do my best to take you along on my all too brief tasting journey and help you know what to expect, dare I say, seek out, when you decide to visit Belize. Just a mere six days didnt afford me enough time (or stomach room) to try everything. In fact, my "to do" list of foods to try that I made before my trip still has work to be done. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but an attempt to share with you my most memorable meals.


Police and criminals – wolves in sheep’s clothing
Dear Editor, I am writing this to bring awareness of the frustrations people are having with the Police Department. My home was burglarized in December 2011, in Vista Del Mar, Ladyville. I have been following up with the police officers regularly to get updates on the investigation and, most importantly, the police report, which I desperately need. Among the items stolen was a Dell desktop that I had gotten from Courts Belize Limited. I have gone so far as appearing on the news to appeal to the public in hopes of making people aware that purchasing “hot items” encourages stealing. I thought this would help in the recovery of the items that were stolen, since I described them on a television and radio interview. Below is a letter that was sent to Mr. Elodio Aragon, Jr., to get his assistance in dealing with this matter. I was told go visit his office on Monday, February 20, but as I mentioned over and over to the police, with the nature of my job, I am not always working in the city. The letter details all the occurrences since the burglary.

International Sources

Reelected Belize Prime Minister Will Turn To Chavez For Fuel
Newly reelected Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said he will turn to Hugo Chavez for assistance in providing low cost fuel as part of his plan to reduce the cost of living in Belize. Mr. Barrow was speaking at a press conference in Belize City after narrowly escaping defeat in general elections held yesterday. His United Democratic Party won 17 seats versus 14 seats for the opposition Peoples United Party in the country’s 31 seat parliament. It had previously enjoyed a super majority of 25 seats in parliament. Mr. Barrow said that his government will continue its pro-poor agenda and that by importing fuel direct from Venezuela, he will cut down on high priced imports from traditional fuel suppliers. He said that while the plan was not divulged in his party’s election manifesto, he would immediately open a dialogue with Venezuela to obtain fuel under the Petro Caribe plan promoted by Mr. Chavez. Currently Exxon, Shell and Texaco provide fuel imports to Belize. Mr. Barrow further promised to establish a government oil refinery within 18 months to process the country’s crude oil which is currently exported, in an effort to further reduce reliance on fuel imports. Mr. Barrow added that his government will look at producing its own bio-fuel and other fuel alternatives.

In Belize: 4 must-do inland adventures
Sure, the island life is a sweet one. But don't leave Belize without taking a short drive from the coast and discovering a different world: The Actun Tunichil Muknal cave was a Mayan place of sacrifice and worship about 2,000 years ago. It's largely untouched, and only a handful of guides are licensed to take small groups in. We trek for half an hour in the jungle, cross a river three times, swim into the cave, climb rock walls, squeeze through tight spaces and wade through neck-deep water crossing slippery rocks at every turn, with nothing more than a headlamp and a very helpful guide.

In pictures: Mother nature struts her stuff in Belize
The Globe's Amberly McAteer spent six days island hopping - by kayak - in Belize

VIDEO: A Day of Sailing aboard "Twice As Nice"
Sailing from Caribbean Villas Hotel Ambergris Caye to Caye Caulker. Here's a look at the Verralls family on their home away from home, Twice As Nice. Thanks for the invite and sharing the experienc

2012 Readers' Choice Awards - Favorite Caribbean Hotels - Matachica Resort in Belize makes the list
Matachica, Belize, one of the 2012 Readers' Choice Awards - Favorite Caribbean Hotel Nominees... This small (24-room) ecoresort on a Belize beach offers uber-private luxury, including fine dining at the Mambo Restaurant, massages and locally sourced body treatments at the Jade Spa, and explorations of the nearby barrier reef.

Oh my, do we ever love having leftover pork roast just so we can have these delicious pork tacos!

Mexico City phases out iconic VW Beetle taxis - Belizeans know about these too well.
Officials said Friday that the last of the old-style VW Beetles will have their cab licenses expire by the end of the year. If you are a Belizean and travelled to Chetumal in Mexico to go buy groceries or to just go relax you know well about these cars as taxis.

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