Recent Belize News
8/11/2012 to 8/20/2012
Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

August 20, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The August 19th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Fourteen Brawling Boys Criminally Charged
  • Clerk Charged For Stealing Police Pay
  • We Have Come A Long Ways
  • Guat Gold Diggers Destroying Ceibo Chico
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial:
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

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

The San Pedro Sun

Letter to the Editor: Thanks from the San Pedro Town Library
Dear Editor, The San Pedro Town Public Library and the Senior Librarian Mrs. Ira Acosta would like to extend special thanks to the Minister Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. for his invaluable help in sponsoring our two library assistants who have been with us for the past month. Ms. Lisa Castillo and Ms. Hermela Rodriguez assisted us with the summer program, and also with helping at the library, thank you ladies. We hope the patronage of the Minister, the businesses and the community continues in the future, again thank you to all our sponsors. /s/ Iracela Acosta San Pedro Town Public Library

Letter to the Editor: NFAT says Thanks
Dear Editor, On behalf of the First Aid Team Responders/Paramedics (NFAT) from Belize City, I want to thank those that were kind enough to support the community of San Pedro and the Costa Maya Festival. We were able to get great support from the Administrator of the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Poly Clinic II, Mr. Owen Vellos, with supplies, coordination of meeting with physicians and the founder, Darwin Slusher. Thank you to EMT/Paramedic, Director General Mr. Owen Sanchez, paramedic with 20+years from Belize City ambulance services, as well as all fourteen EMTs and paramedics. They were able to arrive on the island thanks to free travel via the island water taxis. We thank Mr. Dominguez of the San Pedro Fire Department for providing accommodations for the team. We extend our gratitude to Ms. Robinson, Assistant Superintendent and Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Department, who fully supported us to the best of her abilities. Special appreciation goes out to Dr. Noeli. Nicholson, M.D., who was on call for the four days. She was and is one of the very best myself and the team has ever worked with. Her expertise in medicine is exceptional. We also thank Dr. Laurenzco Nicholson, M.D. and Dr. Javier Zuniga M.D. Without these individual’s help, we could not have functioned as well as we did. We had no idea what to expect since the service had never really been attempted before, and we are thankful that it worked out as well as it did.

Altun Ha – The Pride of Belize’s Maya History
Belize has its fair share on Maya Temples and historical locations of the ancient Maya civilization but none can quite compare to the prestige and popularity of the county’s most loved and well known Maya city, Altun Ha. Despite its relatively small size compared to others in the area Altun Ha is one of Belize’s most excavated and restored location making it a favorite for tourists and visitors wanting to experience a true sense of ancient Maya civilization from centuries past. Add to that the fact that it is the closest Maya site to Belize City, and is very easy to get to as compared to some of its more hidden counterparts, and you can see why Altun Ha has become the pride and joy of Belizean Mayan heritage. Few Belizeans can think about Maya Culture without immediately pondering the ancient Maya wonder of Altun Ha. It’s popularity and prestige in Belizean society is so ingrained that you would be hard pressed to find any Belizean who has not either been to or grew up knowing everything about that famous location. Altun Ha is synonymous with Belize and connects the country to its majestic past, so much so that the symbol of Altun Ha, its largest and most popular temple, the “Temple of the Masonry Altars”, has made its way onto the face of the national currency, and on to the bottles of the country’s leading beer, Belikin.

Misc Belizean Sources

Kurse of the Xtabai On Tour
Reef TV caught up with a multitude of people that caught the showing of Cayo's Kurse a di Xtabai at the Paradise Theater on Ambergris Caye. Not only did everyone have rave reviews, but he interviewed Matthew Klinck, and it looks like Make-Belize Films will be doing quite a few more movies, and they'll be getting attention all over. "2012: Kurse a di Xtabai is a Creole-language supernatural thriller and the first feature length dramatic movie to be entirely produced in Belize. It was directed and produced by Matthiew Klinck and selected as the opening night movie of the 2012 Belize International Film Festival."

Miss Earth Belize 2012 Pageant | Facebook
Congratulations to Jessel Lauriano, who has been crowned as this year's Miss Earth Belize. Not only did she represent Belize in 2010 at Miss World, but she'll be going to Indonesia to reresent Belize in the Miss Earth pageant. Miss Earth Belize 2012: Jessel Lauriano (Belize City) Miss Air/1st RU: Idolly Saldivar (Belmopan) Miss Water/2nd RU: Katalina Jones (Lord's Bank) Miss Fire/3rd RU: Claudia Lara (Ladyville)

Belize National Song Competition
Vote for your favorite song in 3 different categories for a national song for the 2012 September celebrations. The 3 categories are Carnival song, Patriotic song, and Junior song. Many faces, many dreams, one goal: Celebrating Belize! "You are allowed to vote once for each song in the Patriotic, carnival and junior categories. So listen to them all and cast your vote on the ones you like. If you have comments you may post them at the bottom."


Drunken Brawl Costs One Man $6,000
Tonight Corozal Police has charged 28 year old Manuel Hernandez, the man accused of barging into the home of 64 year old Cecilia Botes, brandishing a machete looking for 42 year old Wadencio Che and his 22 year old son Luis Che whom he had a fight with. Viewers might recall that the commotion, it is alleged, sent Botes’ blood pressure sky high. She died while being transported to the Corozal Community Hospital. As a result of the altercation Wadencio Che received a cut wound to his left eyebrow while Luis Che received a large cut wound to his right upper left shoulder. Manuel Hernandez was injured to the mouth and arrested by police. It was not known if Hernandez would be charged for the injuries caused on the Che’s or much less for the death of Botes. The last time we spoke to Corozal Police we were informed that the file against Hernandez would be sent to the DPP for advice. And from all indications it was because today Corozal Police formally charged Hernandez for the crime of grievous harm against Luis Che. When he appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court this afternoon Hernandez, a cane farmer from the village of Cristo Rey, pled not guilty and was granted bail to the sum of $6,000 which he met. He is scheduled to re-appear in court in the month of October.

Alberto Naj Charged For Drug Trafficking
A man from the Corozal District has been charged for drug trafficking. On August 15th Corozal Police executed a search at the residence of 36 year old Jose Alberto Naj, a mason of #46 Bocotora Street. But even before the search began, Naj ran into the yard and threw a small transparent plastic bag over a fence. Police retrieved the bag and found it to contain 2.9 grams of suspected crack cocaine. As a result Naj was arrested and charged for drug trafficking. This afternoon he appeared before the Corozal Magistrates Court where he was charged for drug trafficking. He pled not guilty to the charge and was granted bail to the sum of $6,000 which he met. Naj is scheduled to re-appear in court on October.

Making A Difference By Changing Lives
There is no doubt in the minds of Belizeans that our country has drastically changed over the past few years. One of the major changes is the crime and violence rates that have reached a shocking level, and the country’s poverty rate, only adds insult to injury. Without a doubt the children of Belize are the ones being most affected by all these negative changes. They become susceptible to being recruited into gangs and some are even forced out of school in order to work. But the Belize Camping Experience, a registered non-profit Belizean organization formed in 2006, believes in saving the children of Belize from the grasp of crime, violence and poverty. Since 2006 the organization has been working with children between the ages of six and 12 living in high risk areas across Belize City. Through summer camps and other activities, the organization keeps in contact with the youths throughout the year. According to the Director of Belize Camping Experience Alexander Perez, presently the organization has 1,000 children under their care. Alexander Perez- Director Belize Camping Experience “Why we cater there much is because the violence is so huge, the way how those kids live, I am from Orange Walk, and I am telling you just week ago we lost one of our campers, one of our councillors was shot and that is the reality of Belize, are we going to do something like that kind of violence is moving to Orange Walk, we believe that if we can get the country excited we start in Belize where is the worst place where to live but there is hope, there is hundreds of kids in the city of Belize and we want to meet with them before the gang members do right. The children that we cater for are the high risk areas, Southside you talking Mahogany Street, where the Antelope, Racoon, areas where you as Orange Walkeno don’t want to go right, once you know those kids in those neighbourhoods it’s a safe swan, we focus in that area because we believe that we can steer up something else and so that Belize can see that there is actually good things that can come out from areas like that.”

Flooding In Xaibe Affects Agricultural Sector
In last night’s newscast we showed you the after effects of Tropical Depression number 7 which turned into a Tropical Wave. It caused a wide range of flooding across the Corozal District leaving streets, yards and homes under several inches of water. The mass flooding affected areas such as Chula Vista, Altamira, Potzal and Olga Marin Drive sending DEMO Corozal into an emergency meeting. But Corozal Town was not the only place affected by the flooded waters. Villages such as Libertad, Concepcion, San Joaquin and Xaibe were also affected. In Xaibe several homes were left under water, but what’s even worst, is that the agricultural sector in the area received some serious damage. Hipolito Novelo – Reporting Numerous roads and yards are under several feet of water in the Village of Xaibe in the Corozal District. Like residents of Corozal Town, Villagers of Xaibe did not expect the flooding and the damage that it caused. Homes are inundated by more than four feet of water but what is even worse is that the livelihood of villagers is at stake since the bad weather damaged their crops. According to Genara Cano, the Area Leader for Humana People to People, over thirty families have been affected in the village of Xaibe.

Xaibe Residents Want TO Know Where Is The Assistance?
Earlier in the newscast we told you about how the flooding has affected the farmers of Xaibe Village. While those farmers are grieving the loss of their crops, some residents are frustrated that no assistance is coming their way as is the case of 45 year old Maria Rodriguez who suffered the blunt of the bad storm that passed through the country on Wednesday night. Her yard has turned into a lagoon and what’s even worst, the water is stagnant. Maria Rodriguez- Resident Xaibe “Yo lo que le quiero decir que me saquen el agua de mi terreno, solo eso y mis cosas porque todo se me perdió, todo, todo no saque nada, solo eso y nada mas porque no les pido ninguna ayuda que solo quiero que me ayuden con el agua pues lo balance yo lo puedo conseguir a como de lugar.” Living across Rodriguez is 33 year old Rubycelly Duran and her family. Like Rodriquez, Duran’s home is inundated by water and she is yet to receive assistance from the relevant authorities, despite several requests made.

BWU Elects New Chairman
Two weeks, on August 3rd, Ian Leiva, who is now the former Chairman of the Belize Worker’s Union, resigned from his post. In a letter written by Leiva to the executive of the Union, he states that he no longer wants to be the Chairman of the union and is resigning from his post. Leiva didn’t specify the reasons for his resignation but stated; however, that he wishes for the union to keep moving forward. In light of Leiva’s resignation, this afternoon members of the union participated in a bi-election to select a new chairman. Out of the 147 union members only 40 attended the bi-election which was won by Ramiro Ramon Gongora, the union’s former secretary. Gongora, who was uncontested, received the full support of the 40 members. This evening we caught up with Gongora who told us that he will immediately start tackling some of the problems the union faces, including the payment of dividends. Ramiro Gongora, Chairman BWU “It was actually taken by the depth of the worker that didn’t even knew that BSI had such a depth and that cause all this sugar industry to go in a different direction bringing in other investors into the sugar industry. We were just told that there was a proposal we didn’t agree we were just taken into a meeting in Belize City as a protector and I am also a protector and we were just taken to a meeting at the Chambers of Commerce and explained to us that this is the proposal that is being given to worker and we didn’t even vote or nothing we were just told that this is what they are proposing.”


Haven away from home at Hickatee (part 2)
In addition to the great things about Hickatee Cottages I shared in part 1 of this post, there's even more that we loved about being here. They have this great little dipping pool. It was cool, refreshing, and just right for lounging around in. Even though I am bird watching in this photo, I did enjoy this pool daily after our hikes and bike rides. Flowers in our cottage There are cute stone paths around the property, perfect for watching birds and butterflies from. The paths did get a bit wet after a heavy rain one night, but they didn't take that long to drain. Umbrellas outside your door are a thoughtful touch There's a pretty creek with lily pads. And the road right outside the property is great for birdwatching too since it's the perfect wood's edge environment. We spent many an hour here.

Crap shoot – a San Pedro shopping story
Anyone that lives here knows shoe shopping is a tricky business in San Pedro. Today I am going to tell you story about how tricky. I wanted some news some shoes for a weekend work function so I set out walking to town to see what I could find at my 4 usual choices for shoe shopping in downtown San Pedro. My requirements were very simple some sort of black or neutral color wedges to go with a cute black dress I was going to wear while snapping pics of the cocktail party decor, sounds simple right? Not so much. First I did a fast pass through Wings department store – nothing new in stock. Weaving my way towards the center of town, next I walked to the place upstairs in a green building on a side street close to Tropic Air. Not sure the name but I know Eileen and Dan from DandE’s frozen custard are their neighbors, struck out there too. Then came Foreva Fancy in the same building as the Belize Red Cross. It was looking promising, I found a few pairs I liked. That is until I found out they only order one size per pair of shoes, I was not Cinderella in their store. Last stop on my list was Top Notch on front street, no luck. All this shopping was making me hungry so I walked to Dixie’s Shake, for flautas. While they were cooking I decided to stop by Belizean Melody, one of our more popular island Art galleries. If you know Melody Wolfe you know she a shoe guru. I knew she would have at least one secret store. I lucked out and she had two recommends. I walked around the corner to the first one – Lala’s store and found out they were not done their 4 h mid day break so I walked to the next spot above gecko graphics. They pulled out their catalog and said see what you like we can order and have it here in 3 weeks – sigh.

The Bus From Cancun and a Few Hours in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico...Baby Lions? Really?
After an unexpectedly AWESOME time in Cancun (swimming with whale sharks, releasing baby turtles and 25 cent Hass avocados set a new high bar for me), our week at the Royal Sands Cancun was over. Good bye view from my balcony... Good-bye mega-hotel with the insane army of ever friendly employees...(here they are mobilized to clean the already pristine beach in the morning...50 guys probably picking up dead baby turtles before the kids get up) good-bye gym heavenly enough for me to go 7 days in a row. That beats my old record by about 4 days. Anyway, it's time to catch the bus south. And since we are in one of the world's greatest areas (Yucatan/Belize), why not make a few stops on the way down home. We took the city bus (still only $8.50 pesos ANYWHERE in Cancun) from the hotel to the ADO bus station. Once there, they have buses running to Playa Del Carmen every 15 minutes pretty much all day. They have this separate section for these tickets. The ride is easy...just about an hour and only $48 pesos or $3 USD. Mexico's bus service is incredible in every way...a machine. Playa del Carmen was a tiny fishing village not so long ago but due to its gorgeous beach and international restaurants and shops and amazing location, it has really exploded. The population is now listed at 150,000! Fifth Avenue is a pedestrian street that is certainly touristy but in many ways maintains a bunch of local and European charm. A good place to stop for a few hours.

International Sources

Belize to Skip Payment If Lenders Don't Relent
Belize, a Central American nation with an economy the size of Pine Bluff, Ark., is running out of money to pay its debts. But the tiny country is playing hardball with its lenders. Belize is insisting that creditors forgive 45% of what they are owed, or allow it to delay any debt payments for 15 years. Otherwise, it says it won't make its next payment of $23.1 million due on Monday. And if Belize and its bondholders don't reach a deal by Sept. 19, the country will default on its $543.8 million in outstanding debt—making it the first sovereign default since Greece forced creditors to take a 53.5% loss in March. Creditors say Belize didn't tell them directly that it planned to skip a payment. The country simply posted its intention on the Central Bank of Belize's website. "We're mystified," said A.J. Mediratta, a partner with Greylock Capital Management and the leader of a creditors' group holding about $300 million in Belize's bonds. "I'm sure every country could benefit from not paying their debt but this isn't the way to do it.

Cockscomb Basin Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve in Belize

August 19, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Police Report: August 11 – 16, 2012
Drugs Trafficking On Monday 13th August 2012 at about 2PM San Pedro Police officers visited the residents of Gilbert Henry 29 year old of a Sea Grape Drive Address where a search was conducted. During the search police found 10 transparent plastic bags and wrapped inside were what appeared to be 7.1 grams suspected cannabis and four plastic bag containing buff substances suspected to be 8.2 grams of crack cocaine. Police also discovered cash totaling $356.85 believed to be proceeds from the sale of drugs. Henry, the suspected drugs and the money were taken to the San Pedro Police Station. As a result police later charged Henry for the crimes of being in possession of control drugs and drugs trafficking. Sudden Death On Monday August 13th at 9:15AM police personnel and Dr Lorenzo Nicholson responded to a call where they visited a pier centrally located in San Pedro Town. Upon arrival they saw the motionless body of 55 year old Barcley Dawson Rader, retired American of 10 miles north of San Pedro Town lying face up wrapped in a white sheet on a plywood slab. The body had been transported to the pier by boat. Initial investigation revealed that on Sunday August 12th at about 9:30AM the deceased went to sleep in his room. At about 8:45PM on the same date his son, namely 22 year old Dalton Paul Rader an unemployed American of the same address went to check on him and found him lying on his left side apparently dead. The police then transported the body to the San Pedro Poly Clinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. There was no visible sign of violence and further investigation reveals that the deceased have been suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure and pulmonary infection. No foul play is suspected.

Wolfe’s Woofer: The Mexican Lawyer
“You having salbutes tonight, Mr. Dennis?” “No,” I told the lady at my favorite roadside restaurant. “I’ll have two tamales.” I took a seat at one end of the picnic table. At the other end, Mario, a local construction worker was having his dinner. “Where is Jose tonight?” I asked him. “I’m used to seeing you guys together.” “Jose had to meet with an abogado. I think you call him a lawyer,” Mario said. “He didn’t know what for.” Eventually Jose came in and ordered. He took his seat near Mario who asked, “Why you had to see the lawyer?” “Is kind of a funny story,” Jose said. “This lawyer is from Mexico.” “Mexico? You ain’t been in Mexico since we went to Merida together four years ago.” “That’s right. We got drunk in Playa del Carmen on the way back and spent all of our money. Remember that?” “I sure do,” Mario said. “We had to walk and hitchhike almost all the way back.”

Dr. Love: Confused
Dear Doctor Love, I have been to Belize twenty times in the last three years. Six of those times have been one-week vacations and the other times were holiday weekends where I get away from my job in the U.S. for four or five days. I love the country, but what keeps me coming back is a man. I met him in the Cayes where he works as a fisherman and a tour guide. Although he is very poor, I helped him by buying a boat for him and he is doing much better now. I know that he is no saint, but I don’t expect him to be when I am only here for a little bit of the time each year. On my last visit, though, I heard some very disturbing rumors from people who live on the island. Someone told me that he got two of the local girls pregnant. I confronted him about this and he says it is all lies. He says people are just jealous of him because I bought the boat for him. On this visit, I did not call to contact him before I came down and I made it a surprise visit. When I finally tracked him down, he was at a house with a woman with three children. It was obvious that he lived there, even though he denied it. All of his clothes were there at the house and even his boat motor. He said it is not what it looks like. According to him, he is just staying there because he got kicked out of his room. The woman in the house says that is true and she just gives him a place to stay when he doesn’t have any place to go.

Misc Belizean Sources

Queen of the Bay pictures
Congratulations to Jasmine Arce, who is Queen of the Bay Belmopan. She represented St. Matthews. Nicole Smith was 1st runner up, and Elsa Cardinez was 2nd runner up. Queen of the Bay Belmopan 2012 Awards: Miss Amity: Miss Teakettle, Elsa Cardinez Miss Photogenic: Miss St. Matthews, Jasmine Arce

BNYCF's Youth Chess Camp
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation had their Youth Chess Camp at the GPC. It was for 3 to 7 year olds to learn the foundations of chess. Looks like they learned a lot and had a great time doing it. "my awesome Junior coaches and junior coaches trainees- making learning of chess possible even for the 4 year old ones! Love this week camp at GPC: here we are"


Friday, August 17 Police News
There was another shooting on Thursday night and the area where it happened is besieged with this type of crime. Flamboyant Street in the Lake Independence area, where an apartment complex once stood, was the scene of Thursday night’s shooting that has left a youth hospital...

Slovakian Businessman Released on Bail
Forty-two year old Karol Mello, a businessman from Slovakia who was remanded into custody after he was charged with uttering on a false document and perjury, was released on a bail of $10,000.00 today after he was offered bail by Justice Denis Hanomansingh. The bail, two sureties...

Flood Waters Recede in Corozal
Residents of the Corozal district continue to endure flooded villages and neighborhoods. Overnight rains on Wednesday caused at least nine villages and parts of Corozal town itself to be inundated. A number of persons from affected areas had to seek refuge in the Guadalupe ...


Papaya losses estimated at $695,000 Hurricane Ernesto passed right north of Belize, through Mexico, causing minimal impact on the country; however, the cyclone did leave behind a trail of damage in the agricultural sector of northern Belize. According to the Initial Situation Assessment Report received by Cabinet on Tuesday, August 14, 2012, the sector suffered $763,000 in direct losses, mostly due to 23 acres of papaya loss from Bomba and Little Belize, Corozal, tagged at $695,000. The remaining losses included corn, plantain, sweet pepper, and apiaries (bees). Sugar cane losses, according to the report published by the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), were not included in the figure and they are expected to be negligible. The report said that 180,000 people across Belize felt varied impacts of Hurricane Ernesto. The shelters were occupied by 592 people seeking refuge from the storm, while 911 evacuated the islands of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker and stayed on the mainland until the hurricane passed.


International Sources

Vice president of Taiwan arrives in Belize
Vice President Wu Den-yih arrived in Belize Saturday from the Dominican Republic on the second and final leg of a 12-day visit to the Latin America region that began Aug. 13. Wu was welcomed at the airport with a military salute and greeted by Belize Governor General Sir Colville Young and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. He was expected to meet with Taiwanese expatriates Sunday evening and with Young and Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow Monday. At a meeting with Taiwanese media following his arrival, Wu said the United States has accorded him "full respect and cooperation" to make his transit stops in New York and Los Angeles during his trip between Taiwan and Latin America. He attributed this to the rebuilding of trust between Taiwa

S&P says region’s default rose in July
On the heels of Belize announcing a default in its repayment of its external debt, a major credit rating agency says that the Caribbean’s default rose in July as governments around the world incorporate policy responses to avert a repeat of the 2008 recession. The Wall Street-based Standard & Poor’s Rating Services said that the speculative-grade default rate in Latin America and the Caribbean has edged up to an estimated 1.97 per cent, as of July 31, after “bottoming” at 0.52 per cent in July. “During the financial crisis of 2009, the speculative-grade corporate default rate in Latin America and the Caribbean increased sharply, but it was significantly lower than the global default rate and less than half the US default rate,” said Diane Vazza, head of Standard & Poor’s Global Fixed Income Research. In an article, titled Emerging Markets Credit Metrics: Defaults Increase In Latin America And The Caribbean As The Global Economy Slows, Vazza said the emerging markets speculative-grade default rate peaked at 7.25 per cent in October 2009 before declining steadily and bottoming at 0.52 per cent in July 2011. She said since then it has been “creeping up” and that so far this year, 14 entities have defaulted in the emerging markets, including seven from Latin America and the Caribbean. Vazza said Standard & Poor’s estimated 12-month trailing speculative- grade default rate for the emerging markets as of July 31 is 1.97 percent.

Belize private sector supports renegotiation
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) says it supports the decision to renegotiate the “super bond” after the Dean Barrow government announced earlier this week that it was defaulting on the repayment of its external debt. A statement from the Office of Prime Minister Dean Barrow said that the next interest payment of US$46 million on Belize’s accumulated US$544 million foreign debt, referred to as the “super bond” is due on August 20. The payment would have been the country’s first under the interest payment plan on the US dollar Step Up Bonds due in 2029. The government said that the reason for the non-payment is that the stepped up payments represent almost one half of the country’s total public indebtedness under the new stepped up 8.5 per cent rate. The main opposition Peoples United Party (PUP), which said it was neither consulted nor informed of the government’s decision, has called on Prime Minister Barrow to address the nation on the implications of his administration’s decision to default on the external debt payment. In a statement, the BCCI said that it believes that, without exception, “debts must be paid and that we must be financially responsible citizens. “However, where the economic viability of our country is at stake, the terms of repayment should not be so onerous as to strangle or deter the country’s economic growth. It is in this vein that the BCCI, in principle, supports the renegotiation of the bond with the goal of making debt repayment more manageable.”

August 18, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Fourth annual Tres Pescados tournament next weekend
2012 marks the fourth year of the annual Tres Pescados Slam Tournament and as of Wednesday August 15th, some 15 boats had signed up with a total of 36 anglers. The dates are set for Thursday August 23rd through Saturday August 25th. The tournament has attracted international attention with anglers traveling from neighboring Mexico and as far north as the United States to compete for the coveted prizes. The tournament is a catch and release fly fishing tournament for the three flat species – bonefish, permit and tarpon. Rules of the tournament are simple: – everyday each team will get a different ID tag and they will have to take a digital photo of the fishes caught with the ID tag and then that comes back to the tournament committee and points are based on the fish caught and released

San Pedro Sports Council gets sporting equipment donation from young Belizean-American Football Player
On Thursday, August 16th Councilor Gaby Nuñez thankfully received a generous donation of sporting equipment given to the San Pedro Sports Council by 16-year-old Belizean-American football player Timothy Paz and his family. The donation which included footballs, tennis shoes, sports jerseys and other equipment are a welcome addition and comes just in time to be used for the summer football camp as well as for future sporting activities that the council has planned. In total the council received over four dozen sets of jerseys, two dozen footballs shoes and 18 footballs that they will use for sporting events in San Pedro. This is not the first time Timothy has donated sporting equipment to the island; in fact, when speaking with The San Pedro Sun he said that he’s been doing so for some years now whenever he comes down on vacation to visit his family and friends in San Pedro. Timothy plays football for the Norwich Free Academy Soccer Team in Connecticut, USA, and says that every couple of years his school gets brand new uniforms and equipment for their sports teams. He decided to ask his coach, Robert Briones, if he could bring down some of the equipment from previous seasons and donate them to the kids here on the island. He also got some of his friends and teammates in the U.S., who have seen what he’s been doing to help donate equipment here in Belize, to donate some stuff of their own and add to the number of items he could provide.

Police confuse identity of one of three killed in north AC in police shootout
The Belize Police Department has confused the names and photographs released, of one of three men killed in a shootout with law enforcement agencies on July 7th on northern Ambergris Caye. The three men killed were Alexander Mazariego and Ismael Garcia of Belmopan and Kendale Flowers of Belize City. At that time police released photographs of the deceased, including one which was erroneously identified a posing Alexander Mazariego with a M4 Carbine. It was later discovered that in actuality the photo was of Elias Hernandez who was detained by police during a special police operation on August 7th. The error came to light after The San Pedro Sun released the pictures of one of three persons who were detained in a special police operation on August 7th in which police shot and injured 24 year old Steven Bowen Jr. some nine miles north of San Pedro Town. The picture of one of the detainees, 22 year old Elias Hernandez, proved to be the same person in the picture that was provided to the media for the identity of deceased Mazariegos. It is uncertain how police incorrectly labeled Mazariego, but can now confirm that the person in the picture with the M4 Carbine has been positively identified by authorities as Elias Hernandez.

Ambergris Today

Never Underestimate a Tropical Depression
Case in point, look at the past two storms to cross over Belize this month. Hurricane Ernesto made landfall just above the Belize/Mexico border as a Category 1 Hurricane and it brought little rain and just some wind gusts. Some residents evacuated, others boarded up their homes and many prepared for a direct impact as the storm seemed headed straight for Belize; luckily we were spared. And now a weak tropical depression which followed almost the same track as Ernesto makes landfall about a week after; it brought heavy rainfall to the northern district of Corozal. There was massive flooding, homes were inundated, streets were impassable, crop was ruined and people had to evacuate their homes to shelters that the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) had to make available.

Belizean-American Soccer Player Donates to Sport Council
ports Councilor Gaby Nuñez graciously accepted a kind donation of sports equipment presented to him by Belizean-American Timothy Paz. Paz and his family handed over the sports equipment on Thursday, August 16, 2012, in front of the BTB Office in San Pedro. “I am very grateful to Timothy and his family for this kind donation,” stated Councilor Gaby Nuñez. “These sports jerseys, tennis shoes and other equipment will be used for the summer soccer camp that is presently underway and for other sports activities in the near future.”

Ismael Kay Sets New Record for San Pedro High School
San Pedro High must be very proud of Ismael Kay who, through his hard work and accomplishments, has set a new record in external examination passes. Ismael is an all around young man who loves to get involved. He was a member of the San Pedro Dance Company and traveled abroad to represent San Pedro. He was also the main choreographer and beauty pageant organizer for the Miss San Pedro Pageant. In the Math Olympiad he was there; in the Food and Nutrition Science Competition he was there; for fund raisers, he was there. He is also the President of the San Pedro Leo’s Club. News from the regional external examinations CSEC or Caribbean Secondary Examination Council, the all around man proved that he is also an all around pro at many subjects. Giovanni Ismael Kay set a new record high for San Pedro High by passing 10 subjects out of 10 attempted with eight ‘grade 1’ and two ‘grade 2’. (Note: grade 1 is the highest grade achievable in any subject)

Misc Belizean Sources

Government of Belize : Application of the Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Framework in Belize
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority hereby informs the general public of a Validation Workshop that it will be hosting on August 20, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the George Price Centre for Peace and Development. This workshop is a follow-up to the first workshop held on May 03 2012, where stakeholders identified potential agricultural commodities for the export market and in addition explored the food safety; plant and animal health requirements that Belizean products would need to comply with it in order to access foreign markets. The feedback from stakeholders was then fed into an evaluation tool that would assist BAHA in identifying the areas where the respective industries and the Authority need to build capacity in order to expand the current export base. The evaluation tool, known as the Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) Framework is being applied in Belize in collaboration with the Standard Trade and Development Facility (STDF) of the World Trade Organization, who provided a grant of $30,000 USD to apply the MCDA Framework. The tool utilizes a structured process for the setting of priorities, within a multi-disciplinary scenario, where all the respective needs for building sanitary (human and animal health) and phytosanitary (plant health) capacity rely heavily on the same pool of resources.

Fundraiser for Lucky Boy today at the Belize Zoo
Lucky Boy is just getting better and better with each passing day! Even tho far from being robust, our fellow is coming along beautifully......We look forward to our upcoming BBQ, which will work to provide funds, aimed at seeing that his quality care continues. Stop by the Zoo, today, August 18th for great food and a worthy cause!! Remember, plates go for $8.00, and a $25 donation gets you an up close "meet and greet" with the Lucky Boy himself.

Channel 7

High School Principal Confesses To "Messing Around" With Student
Norman Willacey is the Principal, pastor and school counselor at the Belmopan Baptist High School. But tonight, he is under a very serious public accusation; the mother of a sixteen year old former student says that Willacey was having a very adult romantic relationship with her teenaged daughter while she was a student. And it's not just an allegation - she has proof: sexually charged Facebook messages exchanged between the principal and her daughter between March and July of this year. We warn you, the messages are of an adult nature - and the story is certainly not fit for children. But it is an allegation of urgent public interest: as it alleges that a school authority figure abused his position to seduce and sexually engage one of his own students. We are not showing the mother's face to protect the identity of her daughter - and we have also blocked out her daughter's name on the Facebook script. Here's what this outraged mother told the media today:.. Voice of: Victim's Mother "I have a child that attends Belmopan Baptist High who just recently graduated. The principal at the school - that I have found out has been having inappropriate behavior with my daughter. I found out that she has been emailing him back and forth and talking to him and that he gives her money at different times. He spends lots of time with her - everybody in the school was aware of that - she is in and out of his office a lot. She was at the computer erasing one of her accounts. When she was closing down the computer, the computer had freeze, so her second account that she thought that she had taken care of did not erase. "

Karol Mello Finally Freed
37 days ago, the Government of Belize arrested Slovak National Karol Mello in an attempt to hand him over to authorities in his country of origin. Tonight, though, things have taken a turn: he is free from prison and out on bail. As we have reported, Mello fought the expulsion order which was issued against him by Minister of Immigration Hon. Godwin Hulse, and won. Justice Legall ruled that the government was detaining him illegally. But before Mello could even hope to be released from the Belize Central Prison, authorities charged him with 2 immigration offences: perjury and uttering a passport which he was not entitled to utter, both in relation to his Slovak passport which was reportedly withdrawn by the Slovak Government. When he was arraigned, the Senior Magistrate denied him bail on the grounds presented to her by the prosecution. This gave GOB 7 more days which they were entitled to detain him, but Mello pushed through for a bail petition which was heard today before Justice Hannomansingh - and he was successful. After his petition hearing, the media spoke to his attorney outside of court about his submissions which used to convince the judge. Here's what he told us: Andrew Marshalleck - Attorney for Karol Mello "The most important thing is that Mr. Mello has been granted bail. After all the paper work is done he should be release unless of course somebody decides maybe to charge him with something else, it's important for that reason. It is also important because just looking at the papers and a cursory look at the material before the court demonstrated that the charges are really very frivolous."

Resort Owner Fined for Trafficking 14 Year Old Girl
There is a human trafficking conviction to report tonight - and it involves a 14-year-old Guatemalan girl who was forced into prostitution. The case started all the way back in January and ended this evening in San Ignacio Magistrate's Court. 35 year old Estella Pinelo was convicted of trafficking in persons for harboring a 14 year old girl for 5 months and forcing her to work at her establishment, the Riverside Resort in San Ignacio. But the word work is really not appropriate for what this teenager was made to endure. The child was never paid, forced to prostitute herself, beaten, awakened at dawn to do menial chores, and locked in a room with the owner's special needs child. The maximum sentence for such a conviction is five years in jail, but Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith showed leniency because Pinelo is nursing a four month old child: so instead of sentencing her to even the minimum of a year in jail, she imposed a ten thousand dollar fine. DPP Cheryl Lyn Vidal prosecuted the case and had indicated she will file for an appeal of the sentence.

Court: "Riot" Led To Mob Torching ACES Compound PG
If you follow the news closely, you may remember the torching of the American Crocodile Centers, ACES, in Punta Gorda in September of 2010. Two years have passed, no one has been criminally charged and the owners, Vince and Cherie Rose have had to relocate to Ladyville. But they haven't given up: the American couple has maintained throughout that a marauding mob of Toledo villagers burned down their home - and police let them. For background - you'll need to recall that - the Rash children, Benjamin and Onelia had just gone missing - and somehow, the villagers of San Marcos became seized of the opinion that the Rose's were somehow responsible. Well, they weren't - but still, their property was burnt to the ground. And so, the Rose's got a lawyer and sued the government for permitting a riot to ensue which destroyed their property. Under the Riot Compensation Act, the government is responsible for damages that arise during a riot. The decision was handed down today in the Supreme Court by Justice Oswell Legall.

Unemployment Highest in 14 Years!
In 2011, the census found that unemployment was at 23%. And while that figure is telling, the truth is that the census is not the right instrument to best measure unemployment. For that, statisticians rely on the workforce survey - which takes into account seasonal employment and other variables. Well, the results of the survey conducted in April of this year were released today - and unemployment is still very high. As a matter of fact, it is the highest it has been in 14 years! That's 14.4% - the highest it has been since April of 1998 when the national rate was 14.3 percent. That figure varies from district to district, but unemployment was highest in the Cayo district at 18.3% and lowest in the Belize district at 12.1%. Unemployment is much higher for women than it is for men: Males unemployment rate is only 9.1% while women are at 22.3 percent. And, among ethnicities, unemployment was highest among Maya's with 18.3%, and lowest among Mestizo's at 13.6%.

Victim Of City Shooting Refuses Police
There was a shooting in the city last night - but the victim doesn't want to cooperate with police. It happened at 9:20 when 25 year old Austin Rowland was on Flamboyant Street when he was shot in the left leg. Police say that five expended shells and one live round were recovered from the scene. But when they got to the hospital Rowland - who is no stranger to police - refused to give a statement. He also declined an interview with us. Police have the name of a suspect - who is also no stranger to them. At almost exactly the same time as that shooting in the Lake Independence area, there was another in the Port Loyola Area. This time police found 7 expended shells on Gill street - but no one was hurt. 25 year old security guard Steven Lambey was riding his bicycle on Gill Street when two men who were riding towards him opened fire. Lambey also refused to make an official report.

Mayhem On The Mexican Highway
Any merchant who travels the road while transferring goods through Mexico will tell you that it can be a dangerous job. That danger became real on Tuesday afternoon for Hyram Longsworth, a bus operator in Lord's Bank, when he was robbed at gunpoint of his vehicle and his newly-purchased bus in Mexico near the Border with Belize. Today, he spoke to us about how the Mexican assailants robbed him of approximately $50,000 in cash and goods. Here's what he told us about what he experienced. Hyram Longsworth "I know that the border is a bot tense and while coming from Los Indios into Matamoros heading to Belize." Daniel Ortiz "Which area is this sir?" Hyram Longsworth "This is in Mexico about 25-30 miles away from Matamoros I was high jacked by 3 armed Mexican men who then wanted to stop me and I drove my bus and fight them off at least half of a mile but then while going it got tough. These guys, I don't know what they really wanted and they continue and continue - the man had a dead shot at me. There was a guy in the back with what looked like a AK-47 and the next guy came out with a 9mm gun and told me to open the door. That's when I opened the door, but I believe then that was when they wanted money."

Floodwaters Still Not Receded In North
Last night, 7News showed you the widespread flooding in the low lying areas of the Corozal District. Well, the news tonight is that although much of the waters are receding, some areas are still under water. Mayor of Corozal, Hilberto Campos told 7News that the water has gone down in majority of the town. But, some areas are still under water. 7News also called Willard Levy, the District Organizer for NEMO Corozal who told us that the villages of XAIBE (SHY-BEH) and Caledonia are still largely under water. He added that there may be more villages which are still flooded, but their survey is incomplete. Levy added only the Guadeloupe RC shelter, which currently has 7 shelterees, remains open. A survey is being done to see how much devastation has been done to the agricultural sector in the district.

Ernesto Pounded Papaya Crops
Hurricane Ernesto spared Belize and the damage to infrastructure was minimal but NEMO reports that the agricultural sector experienced losses of 763 thousand dollars. Corn, sugar, cane, papaya and plantain were damaged. The greatest damage is to papaya crops where 23 acres in Fruta Bomba and Little Belize were damaged. The value of the combined losses is 695 thousand dollars. 592 persons went into shelters in countrywide, 314 of them in Corozal. NEMO reports that 911 persons voluntarily evacuated San Pedro and Caye Caulker.

Youth For A Summit
Today Youth for the Future Belize joined the rest of the world to celebrate International Youth Day 2012. A youth festival was held at the MCC Grounds to showcase young artists and entrepreneurs. It was all clean fun for the youngsters who even got to enjoy a special performance by well-known Jamaica reggae artist 'Pressure". 7news was out there and spoke with one of the coordinators who told us what the overall object of today's event is. Norman Brembridge, Youth for the Future "Actually what we are doing is commemorating "AKA" celebrating international youth day. It's a international event where we seek to recognize youths nationally for their involvement in their own development and the involvement of the development of a country and so it's a launch practically of international youth day today and it's going to be followed with a series of events for young people across the nation." Monica Bodden "Specifically today what would be happening out here?" Norman Brembridge, Youth for the Future "It's going to start off with a presentation and a couple motivational speakers to actually challenge the young people that are out here to be proactive and be a part of the program that are establish for their development and to actually come to us with programs that they would want to see for their own development."

Meet Ms. Earth
5 young beauties will all be vying for the title of Miss Earth Belize come this Saturday night at the Bliss. It's the pageant's second year and we found out what you can expect tomorrow. Kimberly Robateau, Miss Earth Belize "Tomorrow night is the Miss Earth pageant at the Bliss and there will be 5 young ladies competing for the title of Miss Earth 2012. This is the year of sustainable energy and they will be doing an introduction of dance, costume, evening wear and swimsuit wear. The costume will basically base on sustainable energy, so when you thing about energy you wonder what can you do, so to see that you have to attend the Miss Earth pageant tomorrow night at the Bliss." "The ladies have been preparing - it's so tiresome, I'm sure they are tired. They also been practicing even though some of them have other things to do - they have to try to do both of them - try to fit everything in but I believe they will do very well from what I am seeing. Of course every queen will look and say who they think fit and I can't really say yet who will really be Miss Earth 2012 because they all really fit the title."

Chantae In Ms. World
And while the ladies of Ms. Earth will compete on Saturday night - early tomorrow morning - Belize time - the contestants for Miss World 2012 will be participating in their main event in China. As we've reported, Belize's Chantae Guy did well in one preliminary competition The Top Model Event. You can see how she stands up to the competition tomorrow morning at 6:00 when the Ms. World Pageant airs on Channel 7. It will also repeat later in the evening for those who need a Saturday sleep-in.

Channel 5

Married Pastor and Principal’s relationship with student
There is a serious allegation being made against the principal of a high school in Belmopan. A parent of a teen has alleged that the principal had sex with her daughter on the school compound and that the sexual relationship has been ongoing for a year. The mother had no intention of going to the [...]

Pastor texts confession to News 5
In an update to this story; News Five and Channel Seven have been attempting to communicate with Willacey while he was sending messages to his attorney. News Five also sent Willacey a text message. Moments ago he replied in two messages and we will read them verbatim. They say, “I HAVE spoken to jules vasquez. [...]

Uproar as Port suspends outspoken stevedore
A brief standoff between the management of the Port of Belize and career stevedore Raymond Rivers, an outspoken advocate for the rights of dockworkers, led to a temporary delay in the servicing of a cargo vessel moored at the harbor this afternoon. The impasse was the result of a suspension which Rivers is tonight serving [...]

Port Receiver explains why stevedore was suspended
According to Arturo Vasquez, the suspension is the result of written complaints tendered by fellow stevedores against Rivers, as well as his contempt towards the new management of the port by refusing to accept a memo issued to him. In the end, Vasquez was able to avert a complete standstill by liaising with the gang [...]

Known gang affiliate shot
Twenty-five year old Austin Rowland, a resident of Oleander Street in the Lake Independence area, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the left leg following an armed assault on him on Flamboyant Street on Thursday night. Reports are that Rowland, a known affiliate of the PIV gang, was in the vicinity of the long [...]

Steven Lambey escapes 7 bullets
Shortly before that incident there was another shooting across town. At nine-twenty p.m. Steven Lambey, a security guard of Reggae Street, was riding his bicycle along Gill Street when he was accosted by two men when he reached the intersection with Ross Penn Road. Upon closing in on him the gunmen fired a total of [...]

Slovak Karol Mello free on bail
Karol Mello, an alleged crime boss in Central Europe’s underworld, wanted in Slovakia for a series of crimes he reportedly orchestrated, including the slaughter of a mother and son in a botched hit, is tonight a free man after being granted Supreme Court bail by Justice Denis Hanomansingh. The forty-two year old broker, who was [...]

D.P.P.’s successful human trafficking conviction
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions is cracking down on accused human traffickers and today sealed the third conviction for this year. Thirty-five year old Estella Pinelo was first arrested in May 2010 when a fourteen year old girl was removed from her resort in San Ignacio and handed over to Human Development [...]

Corozal’s receding waters, but cane crop damage
The rains in the north have seized and the waters are now receding. But in the aftermath of both Hurricane Ernesto last Tuesday and the freak rains that hit Corozal on Wednesday night, there is a lot of damage to the agricultural industry; specifically to the sugar cane crop. Minister of State in the Ministry [...]

The rocky and muddy Independence Village roads
Deplorable road conditions are common in Belize, but while the old capital is getting some much needed face lifts with concrete streets, other parts of the country aren’t as fortunate. A concerned citizen in Independence Village sent us these images of streets from across the community. While there is a shortage of paved streets, those [...]

Lands Department failing system; BGYEA granted extension
On another part of the Highway, Mile forty-one on the Western is the place called Harmonyville. In May of this year we told you how Harmonyville applicants were pressing forward to secure the titles to their land. The applicants were given three months to make their payments for their land but that never happened. Nigel [...]

International Youth Day with Jamaican Artist, Pressure
Countries across the globe celebrated International Youth Day on August twelfth, but in Belize the festivities had to be postponed due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. While today’s weather was still not optimal, the Youth for the Future Secretariat called out the young people to the MCC Grounds to have their day in the [...]

Girl with face tumor still in treatment
Remember Catarina Ishim, the little girl with the life threatening tumor? We have been following her story since March of this year before she left for Knoxville Tennessee in April to get much needed surgery through the kind assistance of the Hearts of Christ Children’s Ministry. Well, she did over twenty hours of surgery and [...]

Hundreds of students get free back to school accessories
School will be re-opening in a matter of weeks and some eight hundred students are already getting ready for the new school year with some much needed assistance. For over ten years the students are being sponsored by donors in the U.S. through the Hearts of Christ Children’s Ministry. The primary, high school and university [...]

Mayor Bradley’s next project for Belize City
There are several projects that are in place by the City Council to increase the quality of life. One includes the rehabilitation of at least fifty percent of streets in the City. On Wednesday, at the opening of Holy Emmanuel Street in the Lake Independence Area of Belize City, the Mayor spoke of another beautification [...]

Rescued from starvation, jaguar needs permanent shelter
Lucky Boy is the rescued Black Jaguar that now calls the Belize Zoo, home. He was saved after he was left for dead in captivity in Southern Belize. Well, the Belize Wildlife Conservation Network along with the Forestry Department and the Zoo retrieved him from where he was left to starve. Lucky Boy, as he [...]

Corozal ballers to tournament at Mets Stadium
For the past few months, the Sprite and Belikin National Three by Three basketball tour has brought out the best from each district. Recently the finals were held in the Jamboree Parking lot and the Corozal Team won. The prize is participation in the FIBA Three by Three World Tour in New York on August [...]


Police News

Female Police Constables Attend Workshop on Professional Development
A two day seminar by the Police Department ended in Belmopan today. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ Belmopan Correspondent Love FM “The Belize Police Department is hosting a two-day Professional Development seminar for all female Police C

Family Claims Body of Murder Victim in Orange Walk
Orange Walk Police have not made any arrest in the murder of Toledo resident which occurred in that municipality yesterday morning. Reporter Dalila Ical has an update. DALILA ICAL Orange Walk Correspondent Love FM “The family of 33 year old Fernan

Butane Prices on the Rise
Last month the price of butane took a huge cut but the news today is that there has been an increase in butane prices. According to the Supplies Control department of the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, the new controll

Chamber of Commerce Supports Bond Renegotiation
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says in principle it supports the renegotiation of the super bond with the goal of making debt repayment more manageable. The Chamber says it believes without exception, debts must be paid and we must be financially responsible citizens. Howev

Flooding in Northern Belize
Constant rains have affected residents of several villages in the Corozal District. Reporter Patrick Jones travelled north and has the story. PATRICK JONES Senior News Reporter Love FM “Torrential rains overnight have left much of the Corozal Dist...


University of Belize Solar power project ready to switch on!
The project was funded by the Government of Japan through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. The power gen...

Police make arrest in robbery of Mexicans cycling Highway
Three Mexican men were the targets of thieves on the Hummingbird Highway last week. In an update concerning the cas...

Steven Okeke says Northern Highway can do with Thumb bumps
There is a major push to upgrade and pave many Belize City streets. However, even as the Council is undertaking the...

Belmopan Beauties vie for Queen of the Bay
We featured the delegates of the Queen of West Pageant this week but let’s bring it closer to home; the Pageant is ...

Convicted ladyville child molester strikes again
A Ladyville resident is settling in at Kolbe tonight after he was accused of indecent assault against a 16 year-old...

Butane Prices heading back up
Just about a month ago, the Government announced a sharp decline in the cost of butane. Well, that was a short live...

Cocoa production in the Toledo gets financial boost
Inter-American Development Bank and the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) signed an agreement in Belize City ...

Oceanic Society in Belize studying manatees from the Air
Marine research usually involves going into the waters to conduct investigations and surveys. But one research orga...

Zoo holds Bar-B-Q fundraiser for rescued black jaguar
The Belize Zoo is having a roadside BBQ this Saturday, but this is an important BBQ – it’s to raise funds for Lucky...

Belize Coast guard makes a drug bust out at sea
Belize Coast guard makes a drug bust out at sea. Yesterday afternoon around 3:30 pm the Da


Youth and murder statistics
To date in 2012 there have been 92 murders, exceeding the record paces set at this point in 2010 and 2011, when there were 131 and 123 murders, respectively, for the entire year. After eight consecutive months, September of 2011 to March of 2012, when fewer than ten murders were recorded per month, a feat credited by authorities to the success of the gang truce signed at the end of August, 2011, April to July of 2012 has seen four consecutive double-digit months: 21, 16, 15 and 13, respectively. There have been six murders to date in August. Looking a little more closely at our statistics for murders we established the following trend. For the last three years, murder victims between the ages of 18 and 30 have numbered around half the total of murder victims per year: 68 in 2010, which is 51.9%; 63 in 2011, which is 51.2%, and to date in 2012, 46 for 50% even. Murder victims aged 18 and under in each of those years number 16 for 2010, 13 for 2011, and 11 for 2012. Within the 19 to 29 age bracket, the numbers are 47, 47 and 35, respectively.

Belize-Telemedia takes Silver, Guatemala, Gold, in 7th Central American Softball Championship 2012
Representing Belize over the weekend in the 7th Central American Senior Female Softball Championship, held in Costa Rica from Friday, August 10, to Sunday, August 12, was the Belize Telemedia Female Softball Team, reigning National Champions of Belize, who were reinforced with a few players from other teams for the international tournament. Our girls had a splendid showing, and came ever so close to taking the championship, having to settle for 2nd place. Seven (7) teams participated in the Central American Championship: host Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Belize – Belize Telemedia Female Softball Team, El Salvador, and Panama. In our first game on Friday, August 10, Belize crushed Costa Rica, 15-2, with Mary Flowers the winning pitcher. Belize saw action in three (3) games on Saturday, August 11. In game 1, Belize fell, 4-2, to Guatemala, behind losing pitcher Kenrene Gillett. Game 2 saw Belize defeating Panama, 6-2, with Leandra Guy the winning pitcher; and Belize was victorious again in game 3, this one 6-4 over Nicaragua, with Kenrene Gillett picking up the win. Two games remained for Belize on Sunday, and though we won both, it wasn’t enough to secure the championship. Leandra Guy pitched Belize to an 11-2 rout of El Salvador in the first game on Sunday; and Mary Flowers was on the mound for Belize in the nightcap, as our girls whipped Honduras, 8-1.

Football is on the move; FFB President visits the sports desk
This morning, FFB President Ruperto Vicente dropped by the Amandala sports desk, and we welcomed the opportunity to be enlightened on the progress and plans for football under his administration, which was elected to office on March 15 of this year, replacing the administration of Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who had ruled football in Belize since 1998. Stategic plan FIFA has advised the FFB to hold off on finalizing any strategic plan until November of this year, when FIFA consultants will be conducting special training in Belize for the FFB, towards designing a strategic plan for the next 10 years. Nevertheless, the FFB has designed some plans in regards to the structure of football tournaments in the coming season. Football competitions – no B League The FFB does not envision a B League in its plans for football right now. Vicente says that, after reviewing the situation, with regard to their overall plan, a B League would not be feasible right now. The top league, the Premier League of Belize, or Belize Premier League, as some fans prefer to call it, will start its competition next weekend or early in September.

U19 National Cricket Selection disappointed in Suriname, remain in Division 2
Just an update on the U19 Tournament which was scheduled to be held from July 31 to August 5 in Suriname, but was called off due to rain. The ICC Americas Under-19 Division 2 Championship, which was cancelled due to rain, will not be re-held due to financial reasons. ICC Americas Officials will recommend that Argentina, Bahamas and Cayman Island move back up to Division 1, since they had been there before. They were dropped down to Division 2 because of the level of cricket they were playing; in other words, they were not playing Division 1 cricket. Presently, the following teams are in Division 2 – Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Cayman Islands and Suriname. But if the head office approves the recommendation made, then only Belize and Suriname will be left in Division 2. These tournaments are held just about every two years, and to know that we have been taken out of the U19 World Cup run for 2014 was a big blow, as the winner from this (Division 2) tournament would have gone up to Division 1; and if we had won that, we would have earned the right to represent the Americas at the 2014 U19 Cricket World Cup.

Editorial: Border concerns
Sometimes we get the impression that the government cannot handle more than one pressing issue or exigency at the same time – it’s a one-or-the-other kind of situation. But, the truth is, such a luxury cannot be enjoyed by any modern nation state, for any excessive period of time. We understand the dramatic importance of the Super Bond negotiations. We understand that we are at an awfully critical stage in those negotiations, and we understand that the next few days, and particularly the next few weeks, will, to paraphrase Thomas Paine, try the souls of men. We understand all that. But still, serious issues pile up in modern government. Those issues don’t stay neatly stacked in the backroom until the number one issue in the front room is resolved, and a beautifully ordered transition can take place. Case in point – the creeping “invasion” taking place on the western front of our country will not hit the pause button because we have to face down the bondholders. We wish it were such. Sometimes we get the impression the government is looking the other way, praying this matter of the border encroachments would just go away. In times past our Guatemalan neighbors were encroaching on our fabulously diverse forests for logging purposes. Then it was for xate leaves, and if it wasn’t for the ornamental leaves, it was for farming purposes, or to actually settle and live; now it’s to pan for gold. All these varied activities on our border have been going on for over 30 years now.

From The Publisher
People who survive an accident which claims the life of a friend or relative subsequently experience a feeling similar to guilt. This guilt, which is unjustified if you consider things purely rationally, comes along with a question. Survivors ask themselves why it was that they came out alive of a situation which could easily have taken their lives, and did in fact kill someone near and dear to them. Combat veterans also go through such “changes.” In John Donne’s famous poem, he says that, “Every man’s death diminishes me.” Yes, there are Ebenezer Scrooge-types who appear to be surviving without any love, but such people are often victims of some earlier form of trauma. Overall, we are a part of other people, and they are a part of us. When I watch the annual parade of our schools on Independence Day, the behavior of the young boys/young men in their uniforms is interesting to me. I think that the young males who are in school are being psychologically affected, whether they are fully conscious of it or not, by the behavior/lifestyle of their street contemporaries who are not in school. What jumps out at me is how many of the boys who are in school are trying to get as close as they can to “sagging” with their pants. The street style/culture of the teenaged gangsters affects the talk, the walk, and the attitude of Belizean boys who are in school. When you look at a school like Wesley College, the physical line which separates the school from the violent streets around it is a very thin line. Other schools may be more removed from the streets, but almost all the young males who are in school but who live on the Southside of Belize City, have to walk and ride streets where they encounter young males their same age who are killing and dying too fast for us to keep count.

Stop the destruction of Belize’s fisheries – ban gill netting!
The present proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act still provide for gill net fishing that will continue the destruction of Belize’s fisheries. Gill net fishing must be outlawed in its entirety. In years past, Belize’s fisheries were of such great magnitude they were unequalled elsewhere. Older fisherman tell of the great schools of Crevale Jacks that were so large that when they were feeding on sprat, the waters were erupted in areas of more than a square mile. Unfortunately, there are no longer such great schools of Crevale Jacks or schools of other species of fish that were so prominent and plentiful in Belize during earlier years. They have all but disappeared. Their decline and disappearance have been the result of gill net fishing. 90% percent of such gill net fishing has been done by Guatemalan gill net fishermen who come to Belize in their boats loaded with miles of gill nets. Fortunately, during 2003 and early 2004, Belize had an exceptionally fine Minister of Fisheries, the Hon. Servulo Baeza, who showed great interest in protecting the fisheries and the country’s economy. Baeza held public meetings, took polls, and made surveys regarding gill net fishing and its effect. He eventually arrived at the opinion that, to save the fisheries, gill net fishing had to be outlawed in its entirety. The first public meeting was held at Monkey River on April 22, 2004 and was recorded. The meeting was attended by Southern gill net fishermen. The fishermen explained the great harm to the industry that resulted from gill net fishing, and how and why employment in the fishing industry would be increased and the fisheries saved if gill net fishing was outlawed. They further explained that the only reason that they fished with gill nets was because the Government of Belize allowed the Guatemalans to do so. Their position was that they would gladly give up gill net fishing if the Guatemalans also were prevented from gill net fishing. Six years later they repeated the statements on television.

GOB heading for super-bond default?
Committee for bondholders rejects GOB’s restructuring scenarios Ministry of Finance says it can’t meet Aug. 20 payment of US$23 million Internationally, the reaction to the proposed restructuring scenarios for the Belize’s US$544 million step-up bonds due in 2029 has been negative, and only yesterday, a group of the bondholders, who are being advised by BroadSpan Capital LLC, issued a statement frowning upon them. On the heels of that statement, the Ministry of Finance today issued a press release signaling that it is unable to make the next installment of the super-bond payment, US$23 million, due next Monday, August 20, 2012. “We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face. Our hope, however, is that we can move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument,” said the release. In a statement issued Monday, August 13, by the Coordinating Committee of Bondholders, formed to address matters relating to the potential restructuring of Belize’s U.S. dollar bonds due 2029, the group announced its “disappointment and concern” over the Government of Belize’s recently published indicative restructuring scenarios, which propose a substantial haircut off the principal payments of nearly half. The committee said, “While initially encouraged by the Government’s stated commitment to a ‘fair and transparent dialog,’ the Coordinating Committee is having difficulty reconciling the scenarios and the financial information released by the Government on June 20.” The three restructuring scenarios are as follows: Scenario “A” proposes a 50-year bond, from 2012 to 2062, whereas scenarios “B” and “C” propose 30-year arrangements with contrasting features and both having final maturity dates of 2042.

Belize burdened: bondholders balking!
The restructuring of Belize’s US$544 million super-bond grew more contentious this week when bondholders balked at the terms proposed by Government of Belize—terms which they have said are not good for the negotiations; and the Government, inturn, responded saying that it will not make the impending bond payment due next Monday, August 20. The Barrow administration had actually budgeted for the US$23 million payment in the national budget which took effect on August 1, 2012, but it issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it really can’t meet interest payments at the new rate of 8.5%, which takes effect next week. The Government of Belize has signaled to bondholders that the BZ$46 million which bondholders have been expecting to get, despite ongoing negotiations, won’t be paid on the current terms, and it has insisted that the terms need to be renegotiated. “We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face. Our hope, however, is that we can move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument,” its press release said. The announcement sparked a Standard and Poor’s downgrade on Belize’s long-term foreign currency ratings from “CCC” to “CC” (vulnerable to highly vulnerable), with a negative outlook suggesting that Belize’s next rating would be “SD” – “selective default.” The downgrade—about which the Barrow administration, which has borrowed primarily on concessionary terms, is unconcerned—would come even if the Government proceeds with restructuring under conditions of duress, the ratings agency has indicated.

Belize downgraded after announcement that super-bond won’t be paid
Belize’s S&P long-term foreign ratings approaching “selective default” ”…either a missed payment or an exchange that we view as distressed constitutes a default.” “The ratings could stabilize at this level if the government makes the payment and forgoes debt rescheduling negotiations.” Immediately after the Government of Belize announced on Tuesday that it won’t be able to meet the August 20, 2012, super-bond payment of BZ$46 million in interest charges, the international ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s, downgraded Belize’s long-term foreign currency ratings from “CCC” to “CC”—from vulnerable to highly vulnerable—marking it with a negative outlook. “The negative outlook reflects the prospect that we will lower our foreign currency ratings to ‘SD’ [selective default] if the government misses its Aug. 20 payment as announced, or if it proposes a debt exchange to investors,” said the ratings agency in a press release today. “The ratings could stabilize at this level if the government makes the payment and forgoes debt rescheduling negotiations.” As shown in the accompanying table, the other currency ratings for Belize remain unchanged. “The rating action follows the government’s announcement today that it will not pay the US$23 million semiannual coupon due on Aug. 20, 2012, on its US$546.8 million bonds due 2029. The interest rate steps up [from 6%] to 8.5% on the accrued interest due this month,” said Standard & Poor’s credit analyst Kelli Bissett

Former tropical depression floods northern Belize
Areas of Corozal Town and District under as much as four feet of water The remnants of a tropical depression that formed last Thursday about 1,800 miles east of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean crossed Belize last night as a tropical wave after dissipating on Saturday while still about 40 miles east of Barbados. While the system failed to gain enough strength to become a threat as it journeyed through the Caribbean Basin, upon its arrival here it dropped “unexpected and unanticipated” substantial amounts of rainfall in the north and center of the country. The National Meteorological Service has confirmed that as a result of the wave, some six inches of rain fell in the area of Consejo, Corozal District, as recorded this morning, and two inches in Orange Walk. Belize City also saw some shower activity. According to Belize’s weather bureau, showers are expected in the North tonight, though not as much as last night, and tomorrow, Friday, will see a decrease in rain activity. Conditions on the weekend will be generally fair with only isolated showers and thunderstorms. Areas of the Corozal District earlier today were under threat of evacuation due to flooding conditions brought on by the intense rainfall caused by the wave last night and this morning.


Haven away from home at Hickatee (part 1)
We already introduced you to Hickatee Cottages near Punta Gorda town in a previous post, but we wanted to share more about this gem of a place to stay in southern Belize. There was so much to love here, from the peaceful setting with so many plants, to the resident howler monkey troop, to the lovely, comfortable cottages, to the cooling dipping pool, to the fantastic food, and last but not least, to the helpful and knowledgeable owners, Ian and Kate. I'm sure a lot of folks who stay here spend most of their time venturing out on excursions during the day, but we really enjoyed just hanging out here, watching birds on the grounds or on the road right outside. The natural setting can't be beat, and as you enter the gates you can actually feel your stress slipping away. Flora and fauna Here are some of the plants and animals we enjoyed seeing around the grounds. There are great identifying signs for many of the plants. Some we'd seen before in other spots but hadn't known what they were, so it was helpful to put a name with a face, so to speak.

Royal Sands Cancun: Not a Dreaded Time Share, So Much More Than I Thought
When my friends asked me if I wanted to use their (quickly expiring) time share in Cancun, I'll admit...I was a tiny bit hesitant. Firstly, the words "time share" send a shiver down my spine...aggressive sales men hunting me all week...resort organized mixers? Not my thing. Second...Cancun? Sure I planned a trip to the Yucatan for this week anyway...but I was thinking relaxing Tulum or Cozumel or maybe a new locale...Isla Holbox. Cancun was definitely not my first choice. But as soon as I looked at the website, it didn't make sense NOT to go. Incredibly cheap price. 2 bedrooms? Two baths? A full kitchen? A huge dining balcony? 1300 square feet? (It's set up to sleep up to 8.) Let's give it a go. And I'm super glad I did...Royal Sands is much nicer than I ever would have imagined and this time of year in Cancun? Fantastic. Like almost all of the hotels on the "strip" this place is HUGE. Hundreds and hundreds of rooms and villas... And though this is my view for most of the day....

Guide to getting the best deal on car hire
When the weather starts warming up, our minds naturally start to turn to planning a summer holiday. A popular option for getting around – especially for parents with small children- is to hire a car, either at home or abroad. It gives you the freedom to explore your destination at your own pace and be your own tour guide. And with children on board it is a great, flexible option. If hiring a car for you and your family is something new, here are some tips to help you get started: Add up the extras. Calculate the total cost of hiring a car including any extras you may incur, such as a child or infant seats, or roof racks. If you know you are going to need an infant or child seat, compare the cost of taking your own to that of hiring one. It can often work out cheaper to take your own which your child is familiar with. Check the small print. Always check the provider’s website and read the terms and conditions carefully. Be prepared to be flexible. Bear in mind you may not get the exact car you ordered. Many car rental companies make it clear that it will be a ‘similar’ car and reserve the right to upgrade you to a more expensive model if they are not able to supply the model you ordered.

Top Five Historic Ruins in the Caribbean
Most visitors to the Caribbean don’t make it further afield than their cabana, and with good reason. The powder white sand and clear water make for some of the best beach bumming on the planet. Here are the top five fascinating and picturesque reasons to pry the pina colada out of your hand and explore what’s past the tiki bar. Tulum, Mexico One of the most visited sites on the Yucatan Peninsula, this fortification has stood sentry on its sea cliffs since the 13th century. A pre-Colombian Maya city, Tulum was a major trading port. When you arrive from your resort in Playa del Carmen or Cancun, you’ll immediately be awed by the Pyramid El Castillo and the sprawling complex around it. Flawlessly preserved, the sun baked city walls, frescoed temples and majestic palaces stand as the prettiest ghost town you’ll ever see. Lamanai, Belize Delve into the ancient culture of copper at this chilling compound of carved temples and weather worn foundations. From the apex of the High Temple, 108 feet up, you’ll enjoy a sweeping view of the Jaguar Temple, Mask Temple, surrounding rainforest, and the New River Lagoon. Don’t miss the 15 foot high empty-gazed mask that has guarded Lamanai since the 6th century, or the accompanying exhibit that displays dozens of ornate copper artifacts. Lamanai is a quick and easy trip from either the coast of Belize or Orange Walk Town.

August traditionally ‘Italian’ Month
When you work year in and year out in the tourism sector of Caye Caulker to begin to recognize patterns and seasons both with numbers and the difference in demographic each month. Whilst our high season definitely runs from November to May, an additional high season in the summer of July and August is traditionally witnessed for us in the ‘back-packer’ market of Caye Caulker. This small influx is like a blessing to us here on the island as it will allow us to save money to take us through the slow (almost dead) months of September and October. This August and July has not disappointed as the Split, Caye Caulker has been quite the place to be at sunset with scantily clad Europeans running around and enjoying our Caribbean flavor!! For as long as I can remember, August has been christened ‘Italian Month’. Although Italians obviously travel throughout the year, August is a month which at home they take the month off and therefore Italians travel the world on mass during the month of August. Their presence is distinctive as they generally travel in large groups – Adventuro del Mundo – and their leader will research for tours and hotels, their goal to strive for the best quality at the cheapest price. If there is generalizations that one can apply to these Italians is that they are always animated, fashionably dressed and they will definitely win the award for the Nation that wears the smallest swim attire!! Whilst back 4 years ago their groups were at least 20 and perhaps above, with the Italian’s economy the size of the groups and even the number of groups have definitely dropped this year – however, their presence is very much still here and we are enjoying every minute of it as they make the Split seem colorful, well tanned and beautiful!!

International Sources

The Beasts and Beats of Belize
WE were hiking through the woods of the Cockscomb Basin Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve in Belize, the more-than-150-square-mile verdant reserve that is a no-hunting haven for many species of this hemisphere’s wild cats — the puma, ocelot, jaguarundi, margay and jaguar. As we moved along well-tended trails, there were signs of activity — muddy paw prints by a riverbank, bits of jaguar scat — but we were unlikely to actually see any of these magnificent creatures. “They don’t like to get too close to humans,” said our guide, Dr. Rebecca Foster, a staff scientist with the conservation group Panthera. “I hope you’re not disappointed.” How could we be? Even without a jaguar sighting, the sanctuary was a gorgeous Eden, full of natural wonders. Giant ferns lined the trails. Above us, howler monkeys scampered through the trees, and parrots and toucans glided through the air. Moving quietly, one might catch a glimpse of a deer or pig-like peccary — the jaguar’s preferred prey. After a few hours at Cockscomb, it felt as if we had stepped, full body, into a Henri Rousseau painting.

S&P downgrades Belize
Belize suffers its latest downgrade from Standard and Poor’s moving deeper into junk territory after the Dean Barrow administration announced Tuesday that it cannot meet its first payment on its foreign debt. The Washington-based international rating agency has lowered its long term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to double-C from triple-C-minus. “‘We also lowered our foreign currency issue rating on Belize’s US$546.8 million bond due in 2029 to ‘CC’ from ‘CCC-’,”‘ S&P said in a statement. Belize was scheduled to pay US$46 million on the accumulated US$544 million foreign debt referred to as the “‘super bond”‘ due on August 20. “‘We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face,”‘ Prime Minister Barrow said, adding his administration wants to “‘move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument. S&P noted that under its criteria, “‘a missed payment or an exchange that we view as distressed constitutes a default.”‘ The rating agency further pointed out that Belize which has per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of approximately US$4,500 had net general government debt of 68 per cent of GDP at year-end 2011 and it projected the country’s 2012 gross external financing requirements at $US210 million S&P warned that it will lower Belize’s foreign currency ratings to ‘SD’ (selective default) if the government misses its August 20 payment or if it proposes a debt exchange to investors. An ‘SD’ rating is assigned when Standard & Poor’s believes that the obligor has selectively defaulted on a specific issue or class of obligations, excluding those that qualify as regulatory capital, but it will continue to meet its payment obligations on other issues or classes of obligations in a timely manner.

UWI lecturer says Belize should approach IMF
As the Dean Barrow led administration in Belize tries to renegotiate its debt with foreign creditors, a regional economist believes that it is time for the Government to seek the intervention of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill campus, Dr. Winston Moore says if the IMF intervenes a clear signal could be sent to the international community that the country is serious about addressing its fiscal difficulties. “‘Anytime a country defaults on its debt it signifies some degree of distress. Indeed, the most recent Article IV report for Belize (since December 2011) hinted that there might have been difficulties in relation to debt on the horizon.”‘ He said in order to emerge from the crisis Belize should implement a credible plan for fiscal adjustment. According to Moore, investor confidence in Belize could also be threatened. He told CMC that the Central American nation could be faced with difficulties in accessing funds on international markets in the future. Belize suffered its latest downgrade from Standard and Poor’s moving deeper into junk territory after the Government announced that it could not meet its first payment on its foreign debt The Washington-based international rating agency has lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to double-C from triple-C-minus. On Tuesday, the Government of Belize said it could not pay the US$23 million semiannual coupon due on August 20 on its $546.8 million bonds due 2029.

Belize set to default on Aug 20 coupon
Belize's 2029 bond was trading at about 34.00-38.00 on Friday after falling to as low as 18-25 on Tuesday, after the government said it was unable to meet its August 20 coupon payment. The move is seen as adding to the worsening backdrop for the upcoming debt negotiations after the sovereign just last week put out restructuring terms that many see as unacceptable. "They are raising the stakes. We have strived to take a measured approach in responding," AJ Mediratta, a partner at Greylock Capital Management and chairman of the creditor committee, told IFR. "The committee wants to be constructive; we control a majority of the 2029 bond, and think their actions are unnecessary and provocative." Whether the announcement is part of the sovereign's negotiating strategy or is the first step towards a default remains unclear. In either case, the move creates considerable friction between the debtor and its creditors as both parties prepare to meet in what is likely to be a protracted restructuring process.

W&L Researchers Examine the Economic Value of Coastal and Marine Resources
How much are tourists visiting Belize willing to pay in conservation fees? A pilot study by Washington and Lee economics professor James F. Casey and a team of W&L students suggests it’s much more than the $3.75 fee that the country currently charges. Casey and nine students visited Belize during the 2012 spring term to study the economic value of coastal and marine resources, focusing on coral reefs, fish populations, coastal development, and the ecological benefits of marine ecosystems. While there, the students asked tourists to complete a survey about their willingness to pay a fee to protect natural resources. . The current conservation fee is bundled into a $39 exit charge that is collected when leaving the country. The survey addressed three questions: What is the maximum conservation fee tourists would pay? What do tourists want to protect? Would knowing the current fee affect their maximum willingness to pay?

Dangriga Town mayor from Belize holds town hall meeting in Brooklyn
On Sunday, August 12, 2012, Dangriga Town Mayor Gilbert Swaso from Belize, held a Town Hall meeting in Brooklyn, New York City. The meeting was sponsored by the United Garifuna Association Inc. The welcome address was delivered by the president Alfonso Cayetano and the introduction was done by the director of financial affairs Dennis Bonilla, all officers of the association. Swaso wasted no time in discussing what he inherited when he took office, how he plans to solve the problems of the town and his vision for a better Dangriga Town. He addressed the dilapidated state of the streets in the town and the need for immediate repairs. Other items discussed was the renovation of the town market, the Jettie Pier, ambulances obtained recently, sanitation trucks, unemployment, tourism, a cultural centre, uncollected tax revenues, limited subvention, limited revenues, neglected dirty lots and the cleaning of the beach. One plan is to change the name of the pier from Commerce Bight to “Port of Dangriga Town” and have it be managed by a board appointed by the mayor of the town. Currently, the pier has remained dormant for about fifteen years and is not being used for any shipping. He made efforts with the citrus company to employ residents of Dangriga Town and about 100 young men were employed to reap oranges but only about six are still employed. The citrus and the oil companies have both indicated that they would rather ship their products through Commerce Bight Pier.

Cayo Has 3 of the 5 Top Quality Resorts
This article highlights the 5 best resorts out of the 35 they visited. 3 of them are in Cayo. Chaa Creek, Blancaneaux, and Caves Branch are praised for how stunning they are. "Belize has many fabulous places for tourists to stay. Although the average size of hotels in the country is under 25 rooms, there are a;so some really exceptional luxury hotels and resorts available. These top end establishments are truly outstanding with a consistent superb quality and a general ambiance which amply justifies their selection. Then there are some really terrible ones which cannot be recommended irrespective of personal budget limitations: they are just too awful. As a specialist in destinations in Belize I recently visited the country and my husband and I inspected 35 hotels in 12 days."

August 17, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

BTIA Marketing and PR Summit 2012
The Belize Tourism Industry Association would like to take this opportunity to humbly extend an invitation to the media to attend our 2012 Real-time Marketing Masterclass – Marketing & PR Summit. The one day summit will run from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 23rd, 2012 at the Princess Hotel & Casino. Real -Time Marketing Masterclass features (3) 90 minute presentations, with a panel discussion after each segment, which will include discussions with successful industry stakeholders (both local and international), providing added insight in the on three main subject areas including; Content marketing, Real-Time Marketing & PR, and Social Media. The goal of this seminar is to enlighten the participants on how to harness the power of online marketing and public relations comparing these to our current practices and seeing how we can develop a stronger efficiency on both. With this being said, we have hired renowned speaker and published author: Mr. David Meerman Scott, who has presented at industry conferences and events in over twenty countries, was once the VP of marketing for two publicly traded technology companies and was Asia’s Marketing Director for Knight-Ridder, at the time one of the world’s largest newspaper and electronic information companies.

2012 IBL Basketball Champions to be crowned this Friday
There is one game left in the 2012 Interoffice Basketball League (IBL) season and on Friday the IBL kings will be crowned. The IBL final series game five will see hometown favorites Tuff E Nuff take on Alamilla’s in a game that will decide the champions of the season and will again see some of the country’s best players battle it out on the court to showcase their skill and athletic ability. Tuff E Nuff has taken the competition by storm and has dominated the season from the start boasting a better record than any other team in the league and breezing through the playoffs to reach the final series suffering just two loses all year. They did however, come up against some tough opposition, meeting the only team to beat them throughout the competition in a 5-game final series that has now come to last match in a thrilling 2-2 tie for the crown. Alamilla’s is the first and only team to show stiff competition to the impressive Tuff E Nuff squad, but coach Rico Black has professed that the team is ready to bring it home; and they will be holding nothing back in the final game when they make their last effort for the championship.

Lack of Magistrate causes backlog in the court in San Pedro
San Pedro Town with its almost 13 thousand residents lacks a resident magistrate to preside in a timely and efficient manner over cases in the San Pedro Magistrate Court. The lack of a magistrate came after Patricia Arana departed and was transferred to the Financial Intelligent Unite in June of 2011. Since then, the island has been without a full time resident magistrate which is now causing a serious backlog in new cases brought forward by the San Pedro Police Department. Currently different magistrates are sent to San Pedro twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday, for about a combined time of six to eight hours per week to deal with court matters. With only a few hours of service, the Magistrate Court is unable to keep up with the number of cases before the court. In many instances detainees remain at the San Pedro police station holding cell for several days until a magistrate judge is sent to San Pedro Town. On a weekly bases some 20 cases are scheduled for hearing at the Magistrate court, of which approximately 30 are new matters. These cases before the court do not reflect the number of civil and family matters also dealt with at the Magistrate Court through the office of the clerk of court.

Mary Gonzalez promoted to Associate Editor of The San Pedro Sun!
The San Pedro Sun is proud to announce the promotion of long-time employee Ms. Mary Gonzalez to the position of Associate Editor. In 2005 Ms. Gonzalez was hired at The Sun to perform as our graphic designer and paper layout staff. Over the years she has not only excelled in this area but brought to the paper a sense of style and personality that defines our media presence within our community. Ms. Gonzalez has also added her own charismatic touch when writing for the weekly San Pedro Sun Visitor Guide under her pen name “Tia Chocolate” and takes a special interest in reporting on community news with a genuine passion for the people and country of her beloved Belize. SPSUN Editor Tamara Sniffin commented, “It is only fitting that an employee who demonstrates exemplary skills and dedication to her profession be duly recognized, and it is with great pleasure that we add Ms. Gonzalez to the title of Associate Editor. We congratulate Ms. Gonzalez on her very successful journalism and media career and look forward to working side-by-side with her for many more years to come.”

Record Number of Manatees Seen in Belize
Sometimes the best way to approach a situation is by getting a new perspective. Researchers in Belize have done just that, and have strengthened efforts to protect one of the most iconic — and threatened — animals in the world’s oceans. To get a better handle on the number and locations of endangered Antillean manatees, Belize’s leading marine research organization and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the rotund marine mammals. From their bird’s-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize’s status as the world’s most important country for this endangered subspecies. A team from the Oceanic Society, led by Dr. Holly Edwards, partnered with LightHawk to conduct aerial surveys of the remote Turneffe Atoll, which were then combined with surveys of the mainland coast led by Nicole Auil Gomez of Belize’s Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute and LightHawk to arrive at the total.

U.S. fund raiser makes over US$20,000 for injured tourist couple
A fund raiser was held in the United States earlier this year. The purpose was to assist Dana and John “Rob” Leonard. Readers may remember Rob as the visiting tourist on the last day of his honeymoon who met an unfortunate accident when he was ran over by a boat while snorkeling and consequently lost his leg. His wife, Dana was along with him when the accident occurred and also received injuries to her arms. The U.S. fund raiser collected just a little over US$20,000 which was handed over to the Leonards to offset their medical expenses. The San Pedro Sun first reported on the boating accident on September 22, 2011 in Issue 21 Vol. 37. Eyewitness to the accident, Wolfgang Wind, had informed The Sun that the two individuals were snorkeling in front of the dock at the hotel they were staying at when he saw a San Pedro Belize Express vessel drive by approximately 50 feet away from the dock and run over the snorkelers. Wind opined that the boat was extremely close to the dock and that ordinarily, vessels travel much further out at sea. He further stated that the vessel that caused the accident eventually returned, but by that time, the injured tourists had already been taken aboard a Caye Caulker Water Taxi boat that had been close behind.

Change in controlled prices of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG)
The Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection hereby informs the general public that effective August 16th 2012 the controlled prices of LPG will be as follows: District Controlled Price for LPG Imported from Mexico Controlled Price for LPG Imported from Central America Belize City 108 109 Belmopan 110 111 San Ignacio 110 111 Benque 111 112 Orange Walk 109 110 Corozal 108 109 Dangriga 112 113

Rowan prepares to ‘Walk Across San Pedro’ to raise funds for the Visually Impaired
Few people can say they’ve climbed to the top of Victoria Peak in just two days, and even fewer can say they’ve walked across the entire country in less than a week, but Rowan Garel can, and he’s done it despite not having the ability to see! The courage and bravery of the inspirational fourteen year old seems limitless and has done so much for the visually impaired in Belize by raising awareness and much needed funds, yet, he’s set and ready to do more… now he’s getting ready to bring his determination and efforts to La Isla Bonita and ‘Walk Across San Pedro’. Rowan has shown that by putting fear and regret aside you can achieve great things regardless of the challenges you may face, and despite being born without the ability to use his eyes, his efforts have raised thousands of dollars for the struggles of the visually impaired in Belize. During his walk across Belize, young Rowan was able to raise over $74,000 for his cause and became an inspiration to his many friends and supporters and indeed the entire country for the courage he has shown. He did, however, have a goal to reach $100,000 and Rowan is not one to sit back and let his dreams pass him by. Rowan is sure that by bringing his efforts to the community of San Pedro his will certainly be able to reach his goal; proving to everyone that you can achieve the thing you put your mind to as long as you choose not to give up.

Ambergris Today

Belize Boasts Record Number of Manatees Worldwide
Did you know that Belize has the most number of this endangered species in the world? That’s right; studies have proven that Belize has the most number of Manatees! Researchers in Belize have strengthened efforts to protect one of the most iconic and threatened animals in the world's oceans. To get a better handle on the number and locations of endangered Antillean manatees, Belize's leading marine research organization and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the rotund marine mammals. From their bird's-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize's status as the world's most important country for this endangered subspecies.

Sweet Success for Belizean Cocoa Industry
IDB and TCGA sign agreement to support cacao farmers in southern Belize The agreement between the Inter-American Development Bank and the Toledo Cacao Growers Association, signed in Belize City this week, is for a contribution of almost US$750,000 from the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) a member of the IDB Group, to support cocoa production in Toledo. The project will significantly boost exports of organic cocoa from Belize by connecting small farmers in rural Mayan communities to global supply chains. The project will work with the TCGA to expand economic opportunities for cacao growing communities in rural Belize by providing farmers with technical assistance to strengthen their production of cacao, using organic and sustainable methods; increase the use of harvesting and processing methodologies that ensure the cocoa meets flavor and quality standards; and strengthen the TGCA’s business management capacity, including implementation of a geographic information system for forecasting and strategic planning. The project will also promote the parallel cultivation of other high value organic crops, such as spices and peppers, to supplement farmers' incomes. The project will develop multimedia training kits in the Kek’chi and Mopan Maya languages, and produce documentaries and case studies on the sector. Some 1,100 small farmers and their families are expected to benefit from increased income levels as a result of productivity and quality improvements. Over the next three to five years, the TCGA and its members are expected to double the volume of their cacao exports into high value markets, from 45 tons to 90 tons per year. The area of land certified as organic and fair trade will increase by 30%. The project also seeks to expand the participation of women and youth in cocoa production, through training in bean fermentation, and financial literacy.

Misconception Of Guidance Counseling
Many students (and some teachers) in Belize tend to think of counseling as a form of discipline or something for the mentally sick: a suspension requirement or talking about one’s problem(s). That is totally wrong. Real-world counseling is relatively new to high school students and/or adults in Belize, and is very much unlike what is portrayed in common fictional scenes on TV. During my term as counselor (two years) at a local high school in Belize I continuously stressed my position as being that of a guidance counselor instead of counselor. What’s the difference? Basically, guidance focuses on helping a student make important choices/decisions (about classes and teachers, about home and family, about peers, and about a future vocation or career), and counseling focuses on helping a student make important changes in his/her life, and includes various forms of therapy. A guidance counselor focuses on helping a student do both: make important choices and necessary changes. Although discussing the past may be helpful in some situations, guidance counseling helps a student focus on coping with his/her own problem(s) in the present and future, and on setting short term and long term goals. Guidance counseling provides students with tools for dealing with problems and enhancing quality of life. Tools include parent/teacher/peer relationship skills, anger management, or techniques for controlling thoughts and actions. Despite past issues in a student’s life, guidance counseling focuses on the present and whatever specific problem(s) that a student is targeting.

Misc Belizean Sources

Melonie Gillett's Come Away Music Video
Melonie Gillett's 3rd Music Video "Come Away" was directed by Ben Hudson of Star Base Films. The Come Away team travelled across Belize in pursuit of capturing the beauty of Belize in it's most natural state.

VIDEO: BELIZE on MSNBC: Wildlife Sights And Sounds: Jungle of Belize
Originally aired on November 17th 2008, MSNBC takes a look the pristine beauty of Belize. Belize is home to more than 700 wild animals and bird species. This video features the wildlife sights and sounds of the Howler Monkeys, Tapir, Spider Monkeys, Jaguar, Black Tigers, Vultures, others

Belizean Food Recipes
Learn to cook Belizean food recipes and other dishes from Belize. Camaron Frito, Chicken Onion Pie, Fish Loaf, Fish Tacari, Fried Steaks, Spicy Chicken Wings

Generation of Fire's Sky VBS
Feelgood story of the day! Generation of Fire had their Sky Vacation Bible School. They took 100's of great pictures during the week. "As We kicked off Our Vacation Bible school with the Theme SKY - We learnt that NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE ... TRUST GOD"

Dhal Roti
Dhal is a type of flatbread, in this case I use flour tortilla, Roti is the more inexpensive form of this meal, while Puri is the more elegant form. I do believe what I've made here is the Dhal Puri, but in Belize I knew it as Dhal Roti. I love flour tortilla and split peas, so pairing them just seems natural.

Channel 7

Flooding In Corozal
Last week, Hurricane Ernesto made landfall in the southern areas of Mexico, with the Corozal District getting some of its effects. Corozal was very prepared for that storm and nothing much happened. And, according to forecasts, tropical depression 7 for 2012 was supposed to bring only minor effects to the district, and as a result, no one was paying it much attention. But, this system produced over 12 hours of rain, which resulted in unexpected wide-spread flooding in the low lying areas of the entire district, catching everybody off-guard. NEMO Corozal and other authorities had to activate to help the villagers who were affected to evacuate and secure their personal items. 7News went to Corozal to see the effects of the flooding, and here's what we found out: Daniel Ortiz reporting More than 12 hours of rain has flooded the low lying villages in the Corozal District.

Doctors Can't Do Anything Else for 10 Year Old Brighton
For the past 3 weeks, we have been following the story of 10 year old Brighton Cordova - the little boy who was crushed beneath a house as it collapsed on him and his friend, 7 year old Jova Griffith. Luckily for Jova, his injuries were not too serious and he was treated and released. But Brighton's injuries were far more severe. He suffered a cardiac arrest and severe head injuries and was put on life support. But, just days ago he was taken off the machine by doctors at the KHMH and is now breathing on his own. It might seem like quite an improvement for the young child but his diagnosis is still grim. According to his family, more than half of Brighton's brain is damaged and doctors say there is nothing else they can do to help him. This afternoon he was discharged from the KHMH hospital and was transported in a Bert Ambulance to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town.

Chamber Supports Superbond Restructuring
The Belize Chamber of Commerce has written to say it supports Government in its effort to restructure the Superbond. A meeting was held yesterday between the debt renegotiation team and the Chamber executive earlier this week and this evening, Chamber President Kay Menzies writes to team leader Mark Espat, quote, "the (Chamber) believes…debts must be paid (but) where the economic viability of our country is at stake, the terms of repayment should not be so onerous as to strangle or deter the country's economic growth." The letter continues, "It is in this vein that BCCI supports the renegotiation of the bond with the goal of making debt repayment more manageable." The chamber urges government to use whatever savings are realized through a renegotiated bond to, quote "introduce programmes to stimulate and promote economic growth and investment."

Lands Dept Computer Records Corrupted, Causes Admin. Paralysis
The Lands Department is recovering from a major computer breakdown - and it's caused a near administrative paralysis and much perverse speculation. According to CEO Beverly Castillo, the problem started two weeks ago - on the third of August when the computer system was backing up and had a massive breakdown. It left the computer system corrupted - and thousands of files had to be restored. What's concerning folks right now is that the financial portion of the records has not been restored - leaving some to fear that the record of their tax and other payments may have been irretrievably lost. CEO Castillo says you shouldn't worry; they do have those records in the cash book - and are systematically restoring it. But, it's a tedious process and she says it will still be another two weeks before it is fully restored.

12 Kilos of Cocaine Worth Quarter Mil - Left Unclaimed On Griga-Barrios Ferry
12 Kilos of cocaine has a wholesale value of about a quarter million Belize dollars on the street - so what was it doing lying around unclaimed in a Puerto Barrios to Belize ferry? That's what Dangriga police found on Monday afternoon at 3:30 pm when a customs officer called them to the pier where the Barrios to Dangriga Ferry docks. The customs officer told the police that the boat captain had called him to say he found something suspicious on the boat and wanted to hand it over as he docked in Dangriga. The package contained 12 kilo-bricks of cocaine wrapped in plastic. Police questioned the captain and all the persons on the vessel. According to the officer commanding in Dangriga Town, Robert Mariano they were convinced that the cocaine did not belong to anyone on the boat, so no one was detained, and it has been labeled as found property.

Could There Be Another Spell Of BBOC Bus Unrest?
Who can forget the bus unrest of May 2011? Those striking images of when the Belize Bus Owners Cooperative shut down the highways are some of the most enduring that we have captured. And, some in the BBOC are now threatening that they might do it again - if a new decision by the Transport Board is put into effect. A five hour meeting was held in Belmopan today between the BBOC and the Commissioner of Transport Crispin Jeffries. Jeffries informed them that two runs out of Benque Viejo at 3:30 and 4:00 pm will be given over to Westline Bus. In exchange the BBOC will get two runs from Benque at 7:00 and 8:00 at night. Jeffries told us it's an attempt to bring uniformity to the schedule and eliminate overlapping runs. But the BBOC says Transport taking away two profitable runs and giving them two losing runs in exchange.

Another Special House Sitting
Many an eyebrow was raised today when a notice went out announcing a House Meeting for next week Thursday. It's another one of those special sittings - but from what we've been told by Government sources - there's nothing too special on the agenda. According to our reports, Government intends to pass legislation introduced at the last special sitting and may table for a first reading other legislation as may be required to meet the terms of a policy based loan with the IDB. Back in June, the Prime Minister had announced that Government is asking the IDB to partially guarantee the restructured Belize bonds.

Butane Prices Creep Back Up
Four weeks ago, the controlled price of butane fell sharply - by a little under thirty dollars across the board - bringing the price for a hundred pound cylinder of Central American butane to under a hundred dollars for the first time in a very long time. Well, it was good while it lasted, but the news tonight is that the price has started to climb back up. Butane imported from Central America has gone up about 12%, from 97 dollars per hundred pound cylinder to 109 dollars. Higher grade Butane from Mexico has also gone up - but not as much. That climbed from 103 to 108 dollars per hundred pound cylinder. The CEO in the Ministry of Trade says that the price change arises because the acquisition cost went up. He assured us his ministry will be as quick to react when that acquisition cost goes down.

US Park Service Gives Tips To Belize
Belize often boats that we have about 36% of our national territory under some kind of protected areas designation. Well, that impressive but the US National Parks System is no slouch either. It has 397 areas in the system and today one of their Outdoor Recreation Planners, James Bacon visited Belize to discuss Best Practices with Belize's park managers. Now, it's not that Yogi Bear wasn't available, it's just that Bacon says he may be able to learn a thing or two from Belize:.. James Bacon "It was just to exchange information, learn from each other, share our best practices and some of the things that we need to improve in the United States and vice versa to here - take those messages and best practices back with me to United States."

Tonight's I Am Belize profile is about Hakeem Arzu. He's a Belize City boy from Raccoon Street Extension. He grew up selling Johnny Cakes for his family business and now he's made it to medical school in Cuba where he is specializing in Pediatrics. Tonight, the Doctor-in-training tells us that medical school is a long ways off from where he started - but the lessons he learned from his grandfather who kneaded 50 pounds of flour every night - still apply. Here's his story:..

Captain Roby's Soca Excursion
It's a well-known fact that most Belizean recording artists and entertainers don't make a living off their music: they do it for the love, and when the love runs out, most just stop. But, Captain Roby has been doing it for 25 years and though the returns may be diminishing - the lover he has for music seems to be ever increasing. His latest recording - stacked with 10 original Soca Tunes is called "Fyaah On the Streets." It's his first full-length recording since 2008 and he says it is being released just in time for September:.. Captain Roby, musician "It's a new album and it has a lot of entraining music; dance music, so we could party throughout the carnival and September time."

Corozal Still Flooded
As we told you at the top of the newscast - many parts of northern Corozal are flooded tonight. At this hour, the floodwaters are receding in some areas of Corozal town where the drainage is working well; it's stopped raining for the time being, but the rain is forecast to continue into tomorrow. Footage taken by our colleagues at Baymen North within Corozal Town show how heavy the flooding is in some areas - so much so that only dogs seems to be enjoying it. In the villages, the water level is still more or less the same as we left it this evening - which is that it has gotten into some people's homes in villages like San Joaquin and Libertad. At this point though, families have simply secured their belongings - but have not moved into shelters.

Channel 5

Corozal District flooded by rains
There was no hurricane, but residents in the north of the country woke up to streets and even the floors of some homes under water. It can be called a freak storm up north as for the past twenty-four hours, there has been non-stop raining. From three o’clock this morning, several shelters were opened to [...]

Lack of drainage is the cause of flood damage
Several areas in Corozal Town including Port Saul and the Chula Vista Area experienced a rise in water levels of up to four feet. Corozal Town Mayor, Hilberto Campos, says a lack of proper drainage in those areas prevents the water levels from receding. And in the other areas with proper drainage that nevertheless experienced [...]

Bond default may affect investment in Belize
Last week, the government published three restructuring scenarios for the 2029 Superbond. Those scenarios were followed up by an announcement that the government would not be able to pay the August twentieth coupon. An assessment of the situation released by Nomura Securities noted that the Prime Minister’s budget presentation indicated that the government had provisioned [...]

Chamber of Commerce meets with Bond Team
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, following a meeting with Ambassador of Economic Affairs Mark Espat, has issued a release in support of renegotiating the Superbond.  While the default on the coupon and the Standard and Poor’s downgrade were being announced, Espat, in his capacity as government’s lead negotiator, met with the private sector [...]

Belizean car jacked on dangerous road in Mexico
Businessman Hiram Longsworth, an occasional auto dealer, was carjacked in Mexico on Monday by a trio of armed bandits in the State of Tamaulipas.  Longsworth, who occasionally visits family and friends in the United States, was transporting a pair of vehicles along a treacherous stretch a few miles outside the city of Matamoros when he [...]

Village Council member and Chairman at odds
We reported earlier in the week about the complaints coming from Crooked Tree Villagers regarding the lagoon’s fishing regulations. But that’s not the only battle the villagers are fighting. The Crooked Tree Vice Chairman Steve Perriott says the Village Council is essentially inactive and that the chairman, George Guest has refused to have a meeting [...]

Butane prices rockets
Almost a month ago the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, announced a huge decrease in butane prices. The cost per hundred pound cylinder went down by thirty dollars, but it’s heading back up. As of today, the prices from Mexican Importers went up four dollars while the price from [...]

University of Belize Solar Energy dream, a reality
In September of last year the construction for a clean energy solar generation system started in Belmopan. The project was funded by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), at a contract cost of ten million Belize dollars. The project, which impacts the entire country, seeks to reduce green house gases and produce a viable source [...]

Coastal Zone series for professionals
A Stanford University doctoral candidate has been doing research in conservation practices in Belize for the past few years. During that time, Patrick Gallagher has worked with organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute (CZMAI), Ya’axche Conservation and the Green Reef Initiative. But most of his research has [...]

U.S. National Parks experts meet with locals
Belize is internationally recognized for its conservation initiatives and vast protected areas. Today, a half day seminar organized by the United States Embassy, was held at the Radisson to discuss best practices when it comes to managing national parks. Leading the seminar was James Bacon, an outdoor recreation planner from the U.S. National Parks Service. [...]

House of Culture and Museum exhibits kid art
Summer is slowly winding down and so are the many camps that sprung up two months ago. To culminate its summer activities, the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) opened an art exhibit at the House of Culture today. It features impressive pieces by the young camp participants, most of whom have no previous [...]

Courts gives to customer
UNICOMER’s Courts Belize Limited is one of the country’s businesses that tries its best to give back to customers. Its recent promotion came in the form of two round trip tickets to London, including shopping money. News Five spoke to the winner and the company representative who says there are more giveaways to come in [...]

Healthy Living feels the pinch of Appendicitis
The premature death of fourteen year old Marcella Smith on August eighth was devastating for her family. The cause was appendicitis, which can easily be confused with gastroenteritis.  As in Smith’s case, the condition can be fatal if it goes undetected. So this week on Healthy Living, General Surgeon Doctor Philip Burgess explains the early [...]


Police News
Police have detained a Belize Defense Force soldier pending the outcome of investigations into a report of aggravated assault. The incident happened around seven thirty last night at the Riverside Patio in Belize City. A woman, identified as Sherlette Lamb reported to polic...

Murder in Orange Walk Town
A murder was reported in the Orange Walk District. Correspondent Arturo Cantun has the details. ARTURO CANTUN Orange Walk Correspondent Love FM “A resident of San Vicente, Toledo was murdered this morning in Orange Walk. Reliable reports indicate to Lo...

Past Mayoral Candidate Proposes Highway Thumb Bumps
The stretch of road between the Haulover Bridge and Belize City has become one of the busiest parts of the Northern Highway. Thousands of vehicles traverse the roughly five miles of road on a daily basis and over the years there has been numerous traffic accidents, many of them fatal.&...

Oceana Sponsors Trip for High Risk Youths
OCEANA Belize has teamed up with the Belize City Council to give a group of children a memorable trip to one of our offshore islands. It was part of the organization’s first-timer reef visit program. Hipolito Bautista Jr. is the Communications and Marketing Officer fo...

Police Department Employee Charged for Theft; Bar Brawl Leads to a Dozen Arrests
A number of people appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate court yesterday. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the story. ELAINE BERRY San Ignacio Correspondent Love FM “Twenty nine year old, Francine Garcia of Rosewood Street in San Ignacio was charged with theft in...

City Hall Prepares to Release Details of Municipal Bond
And while Lake I residents can boast of a newly paved street, city residents will in a few weeks time be able to invest in the municipal bond that Mayor Bradley has said will serve to give the entire city a facelift. We got an update from the Mayor on the progress of that initiat...


Corozal Comes Under Water With The Passing of Tropical Wave
As meteorologist Derrick Rudon mentioned, the District of Corozal felt the strong effects of the tropical wave. Several areas were left under water and families had to be evacuated. After receiving several calls of concern CTV3 News headed further north this morning. At the entrance of San Jose Village we were greeted by a section of the northern highway under water. As the water flowed across the highway, finding its way into culverts, yards and homes, we continued our journey to Corozal Town. What we found upon our arrival is something never seen before, at least not to that extent. The damaged caused by last night’s torrential rains was unbelievable. Reporter Hipolito Novelo and cameraman Kenrick Simpson filed the report. Corozalenos are trying to cope with the damage left behind by last night’s tropical wave. The rain that fell was the kind that turned streets and yards into lagoons. After many hours of torrential rains this is how Corozal looked.

Quib's Family Recovers His Body And Takes Back Home For Proper Burial
Today marked a sad day for the family of 33 year old Fernando Quib, who was gunned down in the wee hours of yesterday morning, while sleeping on the passenger seat of his cargo truck parked on Banak Street. Today Quib’s father, Juan Quib Sr. and his brother Juan Quib Jr., travelled to Orange Walk to recover his body from the hospital morgue in order to take it back to San Vicente Toledo for proper burial. The news that his brother was murdered in Orange Walk Town left Juan Jr. in shock. According to him, his brother was a person of good character, had problems with no one and all he did was work. Juan Quib Jr. - Brother of Deceased “My brother was calm, hard working and energetic he is always traveling most of the time like three or four times per week.” Carmelita Perez- Reporter “When was the last time you saw him alive?” Juan Quib Jr. - Brother of Deceased “Maybe like two or three days ago.”

DEMO On The Ground Assisting Corozalenos
On the ground assisting residents that were and are still being affected by this unexpected flooding, is DEMO Corozal. At around 8:00 this morning, the executives of the organization met and discussed their plan to effectively and efficiently handle the flooding situation. According to Coordinator of DEMO Corozal Willard Levy, several shelters have been opened in order to accommodate shelterees. Willard Levy, Coordinator, NEMO Corozal “At this point we only have one shelter that has seven people in there, up to twelve o’clock today and the other shelters are still open should in case, but most of the families going to relatives and friends, what we are doing at this moment is that we assisting the families relocating their personal belongings, we have truck and we have different volunteers doing this work in assisting the people in relocating themselves to somewhere dry, it terms of their properties.” Hipolito Novelo – reporter “Sir, approximately how many shelters are open throughout the Corozal District?” Willard Levy, Coordinator, NEMO Corozal “At this point we only have four shelters open; we have the Guadalupe R.C. School, we have C.C.C., we have Xaibe R.C. School and we have Libertad Methodist School.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “Approximately how many citizens of Corozal Town are affected by this flooding?” Willard Levy, Coordinator, NEMO Corozal “We don’t have a count right now but we know it is a lot of people that affected with this flood.”

BCCI Throws In Their Support For Bond Restructuring
A few days ago the Barrow’s Administration announced that it will unable to meet coupon payment on the 2029 bonds due on August 20th. Since its announcement, both local and international negative feedbacks have been hurled at the Government. Ambassador of Economic Affairs, Mark Espat who is leading the negotiation team on the bond restructuring, met with the private sectors yesterday. Today, in a letter written to Espat, The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed support for the restructuring of the super bond. In the letter the chamber states and we quote, “As expressed in our conversation yesterday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) believes that, without exception, debts must be paid and that we must be financially responsible citizens. However, where the economic viability of our country is at stake, the terms of payments should not be so onerous as to strangle or deter the country’s economic growth.” End quote. The letter concludes by stating that, quote, “Our debt burden must be restructured so that it is sustainable in the long term thereby enabling Belize to honor its financial obligations without further damage to the economy.” End quote.

Price Per Hundred Pound Cylinder Of Butane Goes Up
Less than a month ago Belizeans woke up to the good news that the price per a hundred pound cylinder of butane saw a price reduction of $30.00. But the good news did not last very long because effective midnight last night the controlled price for butane saw an increase. Here in Orange Walk the price for a hundred pound cylinder of premium butane went from a $105.00 to a $109.00 marking a $4.00 increase while the lower grade will be sold for $110.00 instead of $98.00. That’s an increase of $12.00. This means that Belizeans will pay more for the lower grade butane which comes from Central America. In the Corozal District the new prices stand at $108.00 for premium butane and $109.00 for the lower grade, marking an increase of $3.00 and $12.00 respectively. In the release, issued by the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Government makes no mention as to why the increase was necessary.


Okeke’s traffic idea to priven accident
Since his failed bid to occupy City Hall as Mayor, Stephen Okeke has been out of the media spotlight. But today he broke his self-imposed exile to take on the issue of road safety within City limits. But he is not just pointing fingers … Okeke is actually putting forward workable solution, at least that is how he shopped it to reporters this morning in a first of its kind road side press conference. Love TV’s Patrick Jones and video journalist Brian Castillo braved the sun and rain to hear Okeke’s idea. Okeke estimates that it would cost less than three thousand dollars to install four different sets of these thumb bumps between Belize City and the Haulover Bridge and it is a project he believes can be easily implemented within a very short period of time. Regarding the death of Chen, police on Monday formally arrested and charged the driver of the SUV, Shoshana Moody for the offences of manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention, driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and failure to keep as close as possible to the right hand side of the road. Police Pathologist Dr. Mario Estradabran has certified that Chen’s cause of death to be trauma shock and massive organ damages and traumatism due to road traffic accident.

Murder in the Orange Walk District
A murder was reported in the Orange Walk District. Correspondent Arturo Cantun has the details.


Belize farmers plant corn to raise funds for Southside kids
Plus news was in Banana Bank a month ago to cover an ongoing initiative between Farmers from the Cayo District and ...

Town Counsellors discuss progress of Cayo infrastructure works
Two councilors from the Twin Towns appeared on Plus TV's Rise and Shine. Mike Salazar who is responsible for Entert...

Twin towns prepare for September Celebrations
The month of September is only two weeks away and the country of Belize will be celebrating 30yrs of Independence. ...

Opposition PUP responds to Government's decission to Default
In a release issued by the People’s United Party they “ noted with grave concern the decision of the UDP Government...

US Embassy asked "What next" in John Zabaneh saga
As was promised we bring you more from that interview with Public Relations officer Eric Heyden concerning the rece...

PM Barrow says Belize will default on Superbond payment
News flash! The Government of Belize today announced that it is unable to make the August 20, coupon payment on the...

Sixteen year old murdered in Belize City
There is another murder to report in Belize City which occurred last night. Another 16 year old Kirk Hemmans was ki...

Orange Walk man is beaten to death
Orange Walk resident 35 year old Ricardo Blanco was out socializing with some friends on Thursday August 2 when the...

Forty belizean kids get first time visit to Barrier reef
Oceana and the Belize City Council join forces for a children’s summer program. On Saturday (August 11) 40 children...

Police confirm elderly woman died of heart Failure after witnessing brawl
On Monday we reported on a brawl which took place in the village of Cristo Rey. The lawless men took the fight into...

Roaring Creek man shot by masked man
A Roaring Creek is thankful tonight to be alive. 21 year old Jermaine Welcome, of Roaring Creek Village reported th...

Belize City woman is attacked by a BDF soldier
A Belize City woman is attacked by a soldier. Sherlette Lamb reported that on Tuesday night (August 14) around 7:30...

Dangriga police nab robber in the act
Dangriga Police this morning (Aug 15) responded to a call received pertaining to a possible break in at Gongora Apa...

Break-in reported by businessman in Hopkins Village
Over the weekend it was reported to the police that the home of Lee Sanders Canadian businessman of Hopkins Village...

Orange Walk mental patient gone missing
Maria Lucia Carillo of Louisiana Area has reported that her sister 31 year old Zudianita Carillo, who is a mental p...

Thirteen year old child claims 21 year old man had sex with her
A 13 year old female minor and student of Belize City

The Guardian

Where is the love and where is the PUP Women’s Group
PUP Women's Group It does not matter who the person is, what type of job one does, or even what country they live in; nobody should receive $5,000 after 43 years of service to one organization. Unfortunately, the People’s United Party is not just any organization. They are “a criminal organization involved in politics” and $5,000 is exactly what Doreth Bevans received after she was fired from the Belize Times after 43 years of service to the paper and even more in service to the party.

Minister of National Security visits Annual BDF Volunteer Camp
Volunteer batallion shows off their skills and Hon. John Saldivar visits camp On Friday, August 10th, 2012, Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar visited over 300 troops taking part in the annual BDF Camp conducted at Boston Camp located at Baldy Beacon, Mountain Pine Ridge.

PUP Wants Consultation on Superbond Restructuring??
In 2008, the United Democratic Party was elected to pull Belize out of a ditch that the People’s United Party had drove the country in. That required the establishment of a fiscally-disciplined administration that had the ability to maneuver and halt the country’s downward path to its demise. In just four years, Prime Minister Barrow’s administration was not only able to halt the country’s downward path, but he was also able to turn the country around. By March of 2012, the country was ready to climb out of the ditch and move forward. Prime Minister Barrow called early elections to ask the people for a specific mandate. After four difficult recovery years, the people of Belize reelected the United Democratic Party to office with a mandate to do whatever was necessary to lead the country back on the path to prosperity. That means getting the tires, hands and face muddy if necessary to crawl out the ditch and get us on solid economic ground.

New UDP Orange Walk East Committee
Supporters of the Orange Walk East Committee On Sunday, August 12th, the United Democratic Party's new Orange Walk East Committee was sworn in. The meeting took place at the Nabet's Service Center on the Orange Walk-Corozal Road and saw some 50 supporters of the UDP witness the swearing in of the new executive. Sworn in were Alberto Crawford as the chairman; Carlos Perera as the secretary; Hubert Pascual as the assistant secretary who will also be in charge of youth; treasurer Marcelina Sutherland and assistant treasurer Araceli Gongora.

Committee extends deadline for Public Comments on Marijuana Decriminalization to August 31st
The Committee commissioned by the Minister of National Security to evaluate the issue of Decriminalization of Marijuana thanks those who submitted their opinions regarding a proposal to remove the current criminal penalties incurred for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) for personal use. Your responses have been respectfully evaluated and taken into consideration, including, many requests to extend the deadline. In this regards, the committee has extended the period for submitting your comments to August 31, 2012.

Mark King Continues Infrastructural Development in Lake Independence
On Wednesday, August 15th, Hon. Mark King, Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez and Mayor Darrell Bradley officially opened the new and improved Holy Emmanuel Street in Belize City. King has led the effort to upgrade streets in the Lake Independence area from before he was elected as Area Representative of the division on March 7th, 2012.

Belize City Council Summer Program: Shaping Young Minds for a Better Belize Tomorrow
Belize City Council Mayor Darrell Bradley, Councillor Alain Gonazalez, Phillip Singh, Community Outreach Officer in collaboration with Oceana had a successful summer camp. Singh said this year’s theme was – “Shaping Young Minds for A Better Belize Tomorrow”. This camp had 70 kids from Standards 4 thru to 6. The kids visited the Old Belize Museum and Beach, Goff’s Caye, Bacab Eco Park, The Belize Zoo and the Prison. One of the most enjoyed was the trip to Goff’s Caye, which included a snorkel on the reef. Thirty of the children had never been to Goff’s Caye and an equal majority had never snorkeled before. After one of the kids dipped his goggles below the water for the first time he shouted out in excitement and amazement, “Sir! Sir! Fishes!” Others were amazed by the Brain Coral. Words can’t describe the heartfelt emotions you get when you see children so alive with amazement.

30 More Students receive BTL Scholarships
Belize Telemedia Limited 2012 Scholarship recipients The Belize Telemedia Limited has been providing opportunities for young Belizeans to further their education since its scholarship program started in 1991. Since then, almost 600 students have received scholarships, and over $1 million has been spent on the educational expenses of promising Belizean youths. On Wednesday, August 15th, 30 more youths received the best scholarship in the country.

Belmopan Sports Camps a Major Success
Tennis Summer Camp with Dr. Raju at Hilltop, City of Belmopan Close to 500 children and youths participated in summer camps in the Capital City over the past two months through the collaborative efforts of Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar, the Belmopan City Council, the Belmopan Sports Council and Belmopan’s Sporting Associations.

John Chessman Jr. and Dillon Clarke charged for E-Buy Supermarket Robbery/Murder
On Thursday, August 9th, Ladyville Police responded to a robbery in progress at E-Buy Supermarket located at #116 Crab Catcher Street. Surveillance video inside the store showed that the robbery took place at about 5:05 p.m. 31-year-old Chinese businessman Peixian Tan was inside his shop when two dark complexioned men entered the store. One was wearing a black T-shirt and cap and the other dressed in a blue T-shirt and cap. The men demanded money as the robber in the black shirt pointed the gun at Tan. Tan handed over an undetermined amount of cash and whilst leaving the store, one of the men fired a single shot at Tan, which hit him to the left side of his head. Tan was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital by a civilian where he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Investigators recovered one expended 9mm shell from the scene. Quick Police response led to the arrest of 22-year-old John Chessman, Jr., and 18-year-old Dillon Clarke. On Monday, August 13th, the two men appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where they were formally arraigned for the murder. No plea was taken due to the nature of the offense, and bail could not have been granted. The men will be remanded at the Belize Central Prison until their next court appearance on September 20th. According to neighbours, it was not the first time that Tan’s shop was robbed. They believe that Peixan Tan, who they call Kenny, was killed by cold -blooded individuals because he did not pose a threat to them.

Kirk Hemmans Murder Result of Tangled Gang War
At about 10:30 p.m. on Monday, August 13th, 16-year-old Kirk Hemmans became the latest murder victim from an area that has been ground zero for Belize City gang warfare over the last month. Supaul Street and surrounding areas have seen numerous shootings and murders over the last few weeks due to ongoing gang rivalry and personality clashes. Hemmans had been living in fear for his life since his friend, Kendis Pike was killed on Tuesday, July 31st. That fear escalated when his neighbour, Arlene Banner’s, house was shot up early Saturday morning and an 11-year-old and 18-year-old were injured. Hemmans is not known as a violent or dangerous individual but he is known for hanging out with Supaul Street residents. His fear was not predicated by his direct involvement in any criminal activity; it was based on his understanding of how thin the line between friend and foe really is in a hostile environment. Hemmans lived the last few days of his life not certain what friends to hang with and which enemies to fear. He was at his grandmother’s house on Monday night before he decided to go buy something to eat. His grandmother warned him about being on the street late; however, Hemmans was hungry and wanted something from a nearby Chinese fast food shop. He was on his way back from buying a burger and ideals and was riding on Kut Avenue heading towards Kraal Road. Upon reaching the intersection with Fairweather Street, he was approached from behind by a man on bicycle, who fired a single shot at him that hit his right upper back. The suspect then continued riding down Kut Avenue heading in the direction of Kraal Road and made good his escape. Hemmans was rushed to the Karl Heusner memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead by a medical officer.

Liny Aranda shot while Riding on Faber’s Road
Liny Aranda was riding his bicycle along with other friends on Faber’s Road at around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 11th. Upon passing St. John’s Vianney Primary School and heading towards Central American Boulevard, Aranda was approached by a male of fair complexion. That individual pulled out a firearm and fired a single shot at Aranda. He was hit to the left shoulder and was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was treated and released. Police investigation into the shooting of Aranda continues.

Three Men charged for Orange Walk Murder
Police have arrested and charged 3 men in connection with the murder of Ricardo Elmer Blanco who's body was found on Saturday August 4th on a feeder road in the Indian Hill area just outside of Orange Walk Town. He had been badly beaten and was strangled with the elastic band from his underwear. Police have since arrested 21 year old Manuel Toloza, 20 year old Feliciano Briceno and charged them for murder. Also charged was 25 year old Taxi Driver, Julio Castillo who was charged for abetment to commit murder. All the men appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate's Court where they were remanded to the Hattieville prison until September 12th.

Joshua Gallego detained for Shooting of Jermaine Flowers
Police have arrested 19-year-old Joshua Gallego of #7098 Raccoon Street Extension for the shooting of 19-year-old Jermaine Flowers. At about 2:40 p.m. on the afternoon of Sunday, August 12th, Jermaine Flowers was riding his bicycle on Raccoon street Extension and upon reaching the corner of Pelican Street Extension, he was approached by Joshua Gallego, who took out a firearm and fired three shots at him. Flowers was hit by a bullet in the right hand and grazed by another near the upper left side of his rib cage. Gallego appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, where he was charged for attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and grievous harm. He was remanded to prison until September 25th.

Police search for Allain Garcia in Connection to Shooting Incident
Police are looking for Allain Garcia in their investigation into the shooting of 19-year-old Randy August. Randy August and a friend were riding their bicycles on an unnamed street off LaCroix Boulevard at about 7:45 p.m. on Monday, August 13th, when a dark complexioned male described as being medium built exited a yard and fired several shots at him. August received one gunshot wound to the right side of chest and one to the right forearm. Police investigation into the incident continues.

Belizean Car Dealer jacked in Mexico
More and more, the country of Mexico is falling into the clutches of drug dealers and criminals and a Belizean car dealer fell prey to the wonton disregard for law and order. The Guardian spoke to Hiram Longsworth, the Security Manager at the Belize City Council but who also doubles as a car dealer in his spare time. Longsworth who is in Mexico, relayed a horrifying ordeal he had at the hands of criminals in Mexico. He told us that on Monday, August 13th, he was making his way to Belize through Mexico in a Blue Bird bus, which he had purchased in the U.S. While he was driving the bus he was also towing a Ford Escape with the bus. Longsworth says that he was travelling through the Mexican State of Matamoros when suddenly an SUV approached him at high speed and forced him to pull over. Immediately, three men carrying AK-47 assault rifles jumped out of the vehicle and boarded the bus. He was forced off the bus and one of the men commandeered the bus. Longsworth says he tried to offer the gunmen money but the refused it. Instead, they only took the bus and drove off with it in the opposite direction. While doing so, because of the speed that the men were travelling in, it caused the Ford Escape to be wrongly towed totally destroying it.

11-Year-Old awoken by Gunshot to the Chest
On the night of Friday, August 10th, Arlene Banner and her eight children went to sleep under the shelter of their home. Their sleep was disturbed by officers of the Gang Suppression Unit sometime between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Saturday morning. The officers asked the whereabouts of one of Banner’s sons by using his nickname. She explained that he was not there and he had not been living there for a while. She opened the doors to the officers and they took a quick look before they left. The family then went back to sleep. About two hours later, 4:55 a.m., the family’s sleep was disturbed once again, this time by the sound of gunshots. 18-year-old Tyrone Pinto was sharing the lower level of a bunk bed with his 11-year-old sister, Carline Pinto, when he heard the sound of gunshots coming from nearby. He heard his sister cry out and realized that the bullets were a threat to them. As he tried to pull his sister to safety, he was struck by a bullet to the left knee. Tyrone Pinto fell to the floor unable to pull his little sister off the bed. The gunman continued shooting in one general area. Carline Pinto fell to the floor a few seconds after her older brother but by then she was already been hit multiple times. After the shots stopped, Tyrone managed to drag Carline outside the room. Their older brother, Charles cried out to their mother and shouted to the neighbours for help. Arlene Banner, who thought the shooter was targeting someone near the house, was struck by the realization that it was her children who were under fire. A neighbor rushed to assist the family in his minivan and transported the injured children to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.

One Year in Jail for Indecent assault
On Tuesday, August 14th, 46-year-old Dwayne “Warrior” Young, a stevedore residing in Mahogany Heights, appeared in Magistrate's Court where he was sentenced to one year in jail. Young appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer accused of indecent assault. According to a 22-year-old woman from Mahogany Heights, on February 20th, she had gone into her yard to feed her dogs when Young, her neighbor, made inappropriate sexual advances on her. She told the court that he kissed her on the mouth and cheek and touched her genitals against her will. The young woman's father also testified in court explaining that on that day, he had gone outside to check why the dogs were barking and he saw when Young had his daughter held by the waist. In his defense, Young told the court that the entire story was made up. He said that he had done work on the bathroom for his neighbor and that her mother had made advances on him which he refused. Because of this, he said the woman made up the story to get back at him. The Magistrate did not buy the story and found him guilty of indecent assault and sentenced him to one year in prison.

Minister Herman Longsworth and the Ministry of Sports and the National Sports Council to introduce New Disciplines to Belize
The Hon. Herman Longsworth, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports with direct responsibilities for Youth and Sports, came away from the 6th Commonwealth Sports Ministers Meeting that was held on Wednesday July 25th, 2012, at the White Hall Banqueting Room in London, England, as a winner. Minister Longsworth, through the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association, the International Rowing Federation and International Roller Blade Federation, held discussions on the introduction of rowing and roller skating to Belize. These discussions involved both International Federations promising to send clinicians and equipment to the country for the introduction and development of the two new disciplines. While in London, Minister Longsworth was briefed by the Director of the National Sports Council Patrick Henry that Florette Blackwood, Senior Director of Sports in the Prime Minister’s office in Jamaica has confirmed that the Jamaican Amateur Swimming Association will be calling shortly to set up a swimming programme for the country. The introduction of the programme was first discussed between Blackwood and Henry back in 2010 with the process now fully coming on stream with support from the Jamaica Amateur Swimming Association. With these new disciplines to be introduced shortly in the country no doubt the focus will be on individual disciplines and events.

Telemedia captures Silver Medal in Central American Softball Championship
Telemedia, the National Softball Champions of Belize, returned home on Tuesday, August 14th, after representing the country at the 7th Central American Senior Female Softball Championship in San Jose, Costa Rica over the weekend of August 9-13th, 2012. Telemedia joined the representatives of the seven countries that make up the Confederation of Central American Softball Federations (CONCASOFT) for the championship. The championship officially got underway on Friday, August 10th, with Belize winning handily over the host country Costa Rica by the score of 15-2. The winning pitcher was Mary Flowers and the losing pitcher was Kimberly Porras. Due to the heavy rains experienced in San Jose, the competition had to continue early Saturday morning at 7:00 between Guatemala and Belize. In this game, Guatemala defeated Belize by the score of 4-2. The winning pitcher was Laura Rodriguez and the losing pitcher was Kenrene Gillett. This was the only defeat for Belize during the championship. In the second game played that day, BTL bounced back to defeat the 2010 (9thCentral American Games Champions) Panama by the score of 6-2. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Bleysin Sobenis. In the third and final game that Belize played during that day, it also defeated Nicaragua by the score of 6-4. The winning pitcher was Kenrene Gillett and the losing pitcher was Imelda Lopez. The championship then continued on Sunday, August 12th, with Telemedia winning both games played that day. In game one, Telemedia defeated El Salvador by the score of 11-2. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Katia Galeas. In the final game for Belize, it also defeated Honduras by the score of 8-1. The winning pitcher for Telemedia was Mary Flowers and the losing pitcher was Maite Nunez. At the end of the championship, it was Guatemala that captured the 7th Central American Senior Female Softball Championship with Telemedia, representing Belize, taking the second place trophy and Nicaragua taking the third place trophy. Although Guatemala and Telemedia finished with the identical win-loss record 5-1, Guatemala won the championship because it had defeated Belize. Belize’s pitching sensation Leandra Guy was named the Best Pitcher of the championship and she was awarded the Best Pitcher Trophy.

22nd National Women’s Championship set for next weekend
The Belize Softball Federation will be hosting the 22nd National Women’s Softball Championship from August 24-26th, 2012, at Rogers Stadium, the home of softball in Belize. The National Women’s Championship brings together the champions and sub-champions of the affiliated associations of the federation in an intense 3-day competition for softball supremacy in Belize. So far, these are the teams that have earned the right to represent its association at this year’s championship: from Cayo, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy and Camalote United and, from Belize City Telemedia and Mirage Lady Rebels. The Technical Committee for the 22nd National Women’s Championship consists of Edison Parks; Tournament Director; Floyd Flowers, Deputy Tournament Director; Jude Lizama, Chief Scorer; and Statistician; and Joel Westby; Chief Umpire. The National Softball Champion gets to represent Belize at the 22nd Central American Senior Softball Championship. The defending national softball champion is Telemedia from Belize City.

Vega Cup Tournament continues This Weekend
The 2012 Vega Football Cup Tournament regular season commenced on Sunday, August 12th, 2012, with four games on the schedule. All games were from Division A and were played at the Trial Farm Football Field. In game one, Barrio Boyz defeated Santa Cruz FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Nizon Arana in the 47th minute of play. In the second game of the day, San Roman FC blasted New River Dynamites by the score of 5-2. All five goals for San Roman FC was scored by Damian Ku in the 41st, 61st, 67th, 76th and 88th minutes of play, while Irvin Cantun scored the 1st goal for the New River Dynamites in the 17th minute of play, and the 2nd goal was scored by Hereberto Rejon in the 56th minute of play. In game three, San Pablo FC and Untouchables FC played to a 1-1 draw. The goal for San Pablo FC was scored by Abel Cosme in the 39th minute of play, while the goal for Untouchables was scored by Alexander Cacho in the 18th minute of play. In the final game of the day, Old School also blasted San Luis FC by the score of 5-1. The goals for Old School were scored by Jose Puerto in the 5th and 87th minutes of play; Oliver Hendricks in the 33rd minute of play; Remi Can in the 85th minute of play and Vance Waight in the 87th minute of play. Meanwhile, Miguel Medina scored the only goal of the game for San Luis in the 28th minute of play. The competition will continue this coming Sunday August 19th, with four more games. All games are in Division A and will be played out at San Jose Football Field. The first game is scheduled for 10:00 am between San Juan FC and Athletics FC, followed by game two between San Jose Survivors and Blackwater FC, followed by game three between Douglas Galaxy and United Ballers, with the fourth and final game between San Antonio Jaguars and San Jose Pumas.

Newborn travels to Virginia for Life-saving Operation
Paediatrician Dr. Cecilio Eck accompanies baby Hannah on her long journey On Wednesday, August 8th, Leonzo Castillo and Aurora Maribel Chacon had their first child together at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. They named her Hannah Castillo. The birth of a first child should be one of the most joyous occasions in an individual’s life but Leonzo and Aurora were shaken by the discovery that their baby was born with a life-threatening birth defect call esophageal atresia.

CIBC FirstCaribbean joins Orange Walk Community
Businesses and residents in the Orange Walk community now have the experience of banking with the Caribbean’s largest commercial bank following the opening CIBC FirstCaribbean branch on Queen Victoria Avenue recently. In speaking on the location strategy for the new branch, Country Manager, Glen Smith stated, “A branch in the Orange Walk area is a fantastic business opportunity for CIBC FirstCaribbean and we are delighted to know that anticipation of our branch opening is high. “We coupled our soft opening with a sales blitz that allowed us to introduce ourselves to the community and build rapport with them. As a further demonstration of our commitment to the Orange Walk community, we are working also on an initiative which will allow our employees to make a donation to a worthy cause in the area. This aligns with our Caribbean-wide “Adopt-a-Cause” activities.” The new branch employs six persons led by Branch Manager, Pablo Ayala. It features three teller stations, one Instant Teller and a Night Depository facility. Other banking halls that have recently been introduced within CIBC FirstCaribbean’s branch network include Maraval in Trinidad, Rodney Bay in St. Lucia, Wildey and Sunset Crest in Barbados and Carmichael in The Bahamas.

Preliminary Results for 2012 CXC Examinations
The Ministry of Education released the preliminary results of the 2012 Caribbean Examinations Council’s exam on Thursday, August 9. 3,040 candidates, 1,687 females (55.5%) and 1,353 males (44.5%), registered for 33 out of the 35 general and technical Proficiency subjects offered at the CSEC level for the May to June examinations. Overall there were 19,405 graded student subject entries- up from 17,661 last year. 120 candidates, 61 (50.8%) females and 59 (49.2%) males, registered for thirty-five CAPE Subject Units of the forty-six offered by CXC comprising of 19 Unit 1 and 16 Unit 2. Candidate entries for CSEC 2012 showed an increase of 9.2 percent compared to 2011, and the subject entries experienced an increase of 12.6 percentage points, while CAPE’s candidate entries decreased by 10.4 percent compared to last year and the Unit entries increased by 6.3 percentage points.

San Joaquin Fiesta comes to Life once again in Corozal District!
The Village of San Joaquin will not be outdone as it kicks off its 46th Annual San Joaquin Fiesta. For all those who enjoy a Spanish- style fiesta, then San Joaquin village will be the perfect place to be this Thursday, August 16th to Sunday, August 19th as the San Joaquin Fiesta sets the weekend a blaze.

Testing in Belize Educational System and External Examinations
Betty Jean Usher-Tate, 4th from left The beginning of formal education in Belize (formerly British Honduras) dates back to 1816 with an effort to educate “the young and disadvantaged children” in the Honduras Free School, which offered religious and academic instruction (Bennett, 2008). Under British colonial rule, the Church-State system of education was established. In twenty-first century Belize, this symbiotic partnership remains in existence mostly because Belizeans perceive religion and moral teaching as an integral part of one’s education. The system has also worked conveniently for the Belize government thus far.

The Reporter

Judge rules Karol Mello illegally detained, but new charges will keep him in jail!
Slovakian national Karol Mello remains in Police custody, even though Supreme Court Justice Oswald Legall ruled last Friday, August 10, that the Government of Belize had illegally detained him. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer denied Mello bail late Friday afternoon, when he was brought before her on charges of perjury and uttering a passport which he was not entitled to utter. These new charges have effectively nullified the writ of habeas corpus that Mello’s attorney, Godfrey Smith, had filed to determine the validity of his client’s detention.

Carline Pinto, 11, survives massive attack on her home in Benbow St.
Eleven-year-old Carline Pinto survived and is in stable condition after she was shot four time as she slept in her parents’ home at #32 Benbow Street, just before dawn last Saturday, August 11. She was shot in her chest and belly, but latest reports say the worst is over; as a surgical team at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital had worked feverishly to save her life.

Superbond ll: The Price of a Belizean Haircut Belize needs to be more innovative!
In 2007, the country of Belize, at the time considered to be in default on its debt by Standard & Poor, issued a $550 million bond on international markets. The so-called “super bond” due in 2029, would bear interest only for 12 years, giving Belize time to achieve fiscal consolidation and grow its economy before principal payments began in 2019.

We can’t afford to pay next “superbond” coupon, GOB says.
The Government of Belize, via a Ministry of Finance press release, announced Tuesday that it is “unable to make an August 20, 2012 coupon payment” on the U.S. Dollar Step-Up Bonds due in 2029. “The annual interest rate on this bond stepped up earlier this year to 8.5%,” Prime Minister Dean Barrow said. “We simply cannot afford this coupon payment, given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face.”

PUP sets up tamper-proof leadership in defiance of its party constitution
The National Executive of People’s United Party has passed two resolutions effectively barring any and all challenges to the office of Party Leader and PUP parliamentarians as standard bearers until after the 2017 General Elections.

Belize Times workers cry foul over severance pay! But former party boss Musa says they got everything.
The Belize Times, the official organ of the People’s United Party, and the oldest newspaper in the country, folded and its work force disbanded. Five long-time employees were given their walking papers last Friday, and they are furious, accusing the management of foul play and betrayal. Doreth Bevans, the paper’s lithographer who has racked up 43 years of dedicated service to the newspaper, was paid $5,940 as severance pay and said this week: “After so many years of service, I did not want to leave bitter. I wanted to leave in peace.”

Belizeans awarded 21 scholarships to study in Taiwan
Twenty-one young Belizeans received their scholarship awards to study in the Republic of China on Taiwan from Taiwan’s Ambassador H.E. David Wu at the Chateau Caribbean on Saturday, August 4. Some 19 students received scholarships under Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund Scholarship Program. Among them, Enoc Hercules will pursue his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the National Chengchi University. Derek Alfred Davis will study for his masters in information systems and application at the National Tsing Hua University, and Amparito Teresita de Jesus Tun will study human resource development at the Graduate Institute of the National Taiwan Normal University.

Dark chocolate may lower blood pressure
There may be good news for people looking for an excuse to munch on a couple of squares of chocolate after a review showed the treat could reduce blood pressure. An analysis of 20 studies showed that eating dark chocolate daily resulted in a slight reduction in blood pressure. The Cochrane Group’s report said chemicals in cocoa, chocolate’s key ingredient, relaxed blood vessels. However, there are healthier ways of lowering blood pressure. The theory is that cocoa contains flavanols which produce a chemical in the body called nitric oxide. This ‘relaxes’ blood vessels making it easier for blood to pass through them, lowering the blood pressure.

7 Major benefits and exercise essentials of a daily exercise regime
We were created for “movement and action” and no doubt a consistent daily exercise regime is one of the best ways to keep this machinery, the human body, in such mobility. Most doctors recommend at least 30-45 minutes of daily exercise. 7 Benefits of Daily Exercise Regime Just 30 to 45 minutes of daily exercise are critically important to a total lifestyle approach to health. Below are some of the benefits of such a consistent exercise regime.

BDF wins 2012 Champions’ Cup
Belize Defence Force won the 2012 Champions’ Cup 8-3 on goal aggregate, after they drew 2-2 with Westlake in the second game of the championship finals at the MCC grounds on Sunday, August 12. Ralph Flores and Marlon “Matador” Meza led the BDF offensive, supported by Byron Usher and Harrison Tasher on the wings, and Lisbey Castillo and Richard “Cheety” Jimenez at midfield. Knowing that they needed a 7-0 win to overturn the 6-1 result of the week before, Albert Thurton anchored the Westlake’s defense with the help of Shannon Flowers, Jarret Davis and Leon Rowley. They held the BDF strikers scoreless for much of the first half, and only four minutes remained before intermission when Byron Usher succeeded in embarrassing Westlake’s goalkeeper with the BDF’s first goal.

Telemedia women win silver at VII Central American Softball Championship
The Belize Telemdia women won the silver medal at the seventh Central American Women’s Softball Championships held at the La Sabana Sports Complex in San Jose, Costa Rica on Sunday, August 12. The Belize women got off to an encouraging start as pitcher Mary Flowers led them to a 15-2 win over the hosts, Costa Rica, in their opening game at the Daniel Vargas Stadium last Friday morning. Pitcher Kimberly Porras was Costa Rica’s pitcher

Toledo cacao growers to get $750,000 IDB funding
The Toledo Cacao Growers Association signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank in Belize City this week, by which a member of the IDB group, the Multilateral Investment Fund, will contribute almost US$750,000 to support cacao production in Toledo. The project will connect small farmers in rural Mayan communities to global supply chains, thereby significantly boosting Belize’s exports of organically grown cacao. The project will work with the Association to expand economic opportunities for cacao growing communities in rural Belize. The project will offer farmers technical support to strengthen their cacao production, using organic and sustainable methods. They will also be encouraged to use harvesting and processing methods, which ensure the cacao meets flavor and quality standards. The Association’s business management capacity will also be strengthened, with the use of a geographic information system to forecast crop yields and for strategic planning. The project will also promote the cultivation of other high value organic crops, such as spices and peppers, in tandem with the cacao to supplement farmers’ incomes. The project will develop multimedia training kits in the Kek’chi and Mopan Maya languages, and produce documentaries and case studies on the sector.


One of The Coolest Experiences of My Life: Swimming with Whale Sharks Off Isla Mujeres/Cancun + Tips & Suggestions
We rode out for about 50 minutes to a spot where all the boats were congregated...when we slowed down, you started to notice that there were fins everywhere. QUICK! Into your gear! (The guide said that the water is about 35 meters deep here.) The captain angled right next to one of them and JUMP! Two people assigned to a guide hop into the water right next to this huge shark. (I'm not going to hands were shaking. And the ones were were seeing in the beginning were only about 25 feet long.) Jump? Seriously? Right near the shark's mouth? Sure. The shark could care was like the 100 boats and all the snorkelers meant nothing. They were just cruising around skimming the water for the golden flecks of algae. At first you are just trying to stay out of their way...the tail and the gills gaping open are the only things really moving. That's us swimming alongside our first shark. THAT'S US! Totally, totally insane. Perfectly smooth with three long ridges along their back, polka dotted, they don't even seem real. It's like you are watching a film through your swim mask even though the animal is less than 10 feet from you. It doesn't matter that there are tons of boats and people out there. There were SO MANY SHARKS. I'd guess well over 60...maybe 100? At some times there were 4 or 5 just near our boat. You can swim with the sharks for about 10-15 minutes (or try frantically to follow them) and then the captain calls you out so that the next couple can jump in. You can go again later (up to 3x). PLUS you are exhausted. THAT WAS SO CRAZY.

Top 10 Can't Miss Experiences & Things to Do in Belize
Diving/Snorkeling Belize is home to the second largest barrier reef which makes it an ideal spot for scuba divers and snorkelers alike. Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker are two of the most popular islands in Belize and both offer outstanding dive spots to explore the reef. The water is a brilliant turquoise when you jump in and the show has just begun. Purple coral, electric blue fish, nurse sharks, turtles, orange starfish, and occasional hammerhead are just a sampling of what you may see. The reef is just three quarters of a mile from the shoreline of Ambergris Caye and there are many other locations to explore the reef along the approximately 175 miles it stretches along the coast. Whether it’s a quick trip just out from San Pedro, a trip to Turneffe, or a multi-day trip to the Blue Hole, you won’t be disappointed with the extraordinary world under the sea. Mayan Ruins Belize’s fertile climate, coastal access, and expansive marine life made it an attractive home for many Mayan people and therefore restored ruins are sprinkled throughout Belize. Some of the most popular sites include Altun Ha, Lamanai, Cerros, Caracol and Cahal Pech. A day at one of the many sites will provide breathtaking views from the tops of temples and a good dose of Mayan history provided by one of the many experienced Belizean guides. Deep sea fishing If you’re looking for a little adventure, deep sea fishing off the coast of Belize can deliver just that. dorado, tuna, marlin, wahoo, sharks and sailfish are all present outside the reef. Deep sea fishing is a thrilling experience whether it’s your first time fishing or you are a seasoned angler. From the excitement of heading out to the satisfaction of reeling in a magnificent Dorado, the entire experience will leave you wanting more. To top off a successful day of fishing you can bring your catch to one of the local restaurants in town and enjoy a fresh seafood dinner provided by your hard work on the boat.

How to Swim with Sharks in Belize
You’re sitting in a boat on the backside of Ambergris Caye outside Belize’s barrier reef. Your mission: find a patch of water known as ‘Shark Ray Alley’, jump in and swim with a school of fully-grown sharks. At this point, you think to yourself, “What happened to the stress free vacation I promised myself?” The good news is these aren’t great whites – instead, today you’ll be swimming with nurse sharks. Don’t let the name “shark” fool you; these gentle giants are harmless…at least most of the time. To help you relax and enjoy this special experience, here are helpful facts to keep in mind while swimming with nurse sharks. Nurse Sharks Are Mostly Harmless To Humans When it comes to dinnertime, nurse sharks simply aren’t interested in swimmers. They are unable to consume large fish, much less a whole human. However, like most wild animals, they will bite defensively if provoked. The lesson? Respect them and they will respect you. Few attacks have ever been recorded, none of which were fatal. Only one of those attacks was unprovoked. Nurse Shark Have Small Teeth and Mouths Perhaps a large reason for their lack of aggression towards humans is related to the small size of their teeth and mouths. Rather than eating pray with traditional ‘shark bites,’ they opt to suck in their food with the vacuum produced by their large throat cavities. They Are More Likely to Dine LIKE a Human than On a Human Nurse sharks can be very large. In fact, they have been known to grow as long as 14 ft and weigh over 730 lbs! Despite their large stature, their diet is quite similar to that of a human. Shellfish, shrimp, squid, and small fish are common menu items for this open-water foodie. Nurse Sharks are Bottom Dwellers Nurse sharks catch their pray on the sea floor and spend most of their time down below. Occasionally, however, they can be coaxed to the surface at ‘Shark Ray Alley’ where cautious snorkelers can take a closer look, without encroaching too much.

Shark Week!!
Yes, it is here, the official Shark Week 12th – 19th August celebrated by the Discovery Channel. And, although they are mainly celebrating the sharks on the opposite end of the spectrum with regard to fear ie the Great White, our Nurse Sharks deserve a little applause too and so we are here to give them a big hand!! Both the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve have varying numbers of resident Nurse Sharks. These non- agressive members of the Shark family serve an educational purpose to all of those persons who have been terrified to get into the water since ‘Jaws’ first came out, proving that not all Sharks are going to tear your head off!! Shark week will be on the Discovery Channel for the rest of the week so for those wanting to learn more about how we can protect our apex predator and therefore protect our marine environment. Or perhaps you just want to terrify yourselves or even just admire the prowess of these magical creatures in the water – whatever the reason, it will be interesting!!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (15 August 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (7 Balls) 23 ­28 ­41 ­67 ­7 ­32 ­46­ Y 125.00 Each (10 Balls) 23 ­28 ­41 ­67 ­7 ­32 ­46 ­53 ­42 ­48­ T 150.00 Each (18 Balls) 23 ­28 ­41 ­67 ­7 ­32 ­46 ­53 ­42 ­48 ­47 ­27 ­31 ­6 ­3 ­62 ­35 ­17­ Letter X 750.00 Each (22 Balls) 23 ­28 ­41 ­67 ­7 ­32 ­46 ­53 ­42 ­48 ­47 ­27 ­31 ­6 ­3 ­62 ­35 ­17 38 ­39 ­40 ­66­

International Sources

Markets react badly as Belize presses bid to renegotiate debt
On Tuesday, the Belize government announced that it would be unable to make next Monday’s (August 20) US$23 million coupon payment on its US dollar US$546.8 million so called “Step-Up Bonds” due 2029. This has set up a potential default if the country is not able to restructure its debt and pay bondholders within 30 days of August 20. This news was met swiftly with a ratings downgrade by Standard & Poors (S&P), which lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CC' from 'CCC-'. "Under our criteria, either a missed payment or an exchange that we view as distressed constitutes a default," said S&P credit analyst Kelli Bissett. This move by the ratings agency follows rumbles of disquiet that started up last week when the Central Bank of Belize posted to its website a proposed a restructuring of the bond that would discount its value and reduce its interest rate.

August 16, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Taxi Driver Injured in Accident
An early night accident on Wednesday, August 15th in the San Juan area has left one person injured. The San Pedro Sun was called and upon arrival at the scene, the San Juan Roundabout – a severely damaged taxi was discovered in the middle of the street, blocking all access. According to bystanders, the taxi bearing license plate SP D-0187 was on its was southbound when an individual across the street from Richie’s Supermarket hailed for a ride. The taxi driver tried to make a three point turn and this was when the accident occurred. Claudia Handal was at her nearby hot dog stand when the incident occurred. “He stopped and was going to pick up Luis Romero from the hardware store. He turned and drove up and had to reverse to be able to make the complete turn. He was coming very, very slowly and then all of a sudden, he just went “wush” full speed back into the building!”

PSU “not happy” with temporary freeze of public service allowances
Members of the Public Service Union (PSU) working in San Pedro Town are not happy with the decision taken by the Ministry of Public Service and Election and Boundaries to freeze allowances for the month of September. The announcement was made on July 16th via an internal memorandum issued by the Chief Executive Officer Marian McNab. The freeze in allowances will affect rent (housing), hardship and vehicle allowances granted to public officers who work outside of their original place of employment. According to the circular memorandum, the ministry along with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will undertake a general review of all allowances currently received by public officers. “Allowances have proliferated overtime, some of which are no longer pertinent to the purpose for which they were initially approved. This has resulted in exorbitant costs to the government,” stated the memo. But in order to facilitate the review process, all allowances will be frozen in the month of September, pending submission from the Head of Finance of each Ministries and Departments. Information must include the name of public officer, allowance received and the purpose/justification timeframe for the allowance.

Stray dog roundup has begun on the island
The San Pedro Saga Humane Society along with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) began their stray dog roundup on Sunday night, August 12th. A team comprised of Saga personnel, a representative from the SPTC, along with media representatives congregated at the Saga office around 6PM to start the roundup. At the end of the night, around 10:30PM, some 19 strays had been picked up from all over town, from public areas such as streets, alleys and parks. Saga’s Bill Milstead thought the roundup was very successful, but could have been even more effective. “The Council provided us with a F650 truck and an employee (driver) and we loaded the truck with crates. We went to about five different neighborhoods, picked up about a total of 19 dogs which were then taken to Fort Dog. The first exercise went very smoothly. We did not have any police presence or anybody from the Health Department though. While I’m not sure that that was really necessary, I would have preferred it. The reasons I say this are several. Number one, we didn’t encounter any controversies on Sunday night but if we had, it would have been nice to have a police officer there. And as far as having a representative from the health department, it would have been nice to have them there to observe and see that we did do things professionally. That we did not enter any private areas while seeking dogs.”

Oceana sponsors Belize City Council Summer Program trip to Goff’s Caye
On Saturday 11 August 2012, 40 children, ages 9 through 15, along with 5 adults enjoyed a full day of sand, sea, sun and learning under Oceana’s first-timer reef visit program. The day’s trip to Goff’s Caye, which included a snorkel on the reef was in support of the Belize City Council’s Summer Program ‘Shaping young minds for a better Belize tomorrow’. According to Dr. Allan Gonzalez, Councilor for Public Health and Afterschool Programs, the summer program “is to support the aspirational development of marginalized children through greater understanding and appreciation of Belize’s wider environment.” The Goff’s Caye experience was unforgettable. Thirty of the children had never been to Goff’s Caye and an equal majority had never snorkeled before. After dipping his goggles below water for the first time, one child shouted out in excitement and amazement, “Sir! Sir! Fishes! Fishes! There are fishes DOWN HERE!” Others were awed by the sight of Brain Corals. “Words can’t describe the heartfelt emotions you get when you see children so alive with amazement,” shared Mr. Dough Sigh, Community Outreach Officer for the Belize City Council.

National AIDS Commission Committee inducted in San Pedro
The National AIDS Commission (NAC) Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Island Committee was formally inducted during a luncheon ceremony held at El Divino Restaurant on Thursday, August 2nd. The purpose of the luncheon was twofold. Primarily as a show of gratitude to the various businesses and organizations that have come onboard in allowing staff members to form a part of the Island Committee. The second purpose of the luncheon was to induct and present the new Committee members. Notable attendees included: Dr. Jose Victor Perera, United States Agency for International Development(USAID) Central America Capacity Project; Mrs. Kathy Esquivel, Chairperson for the National AIDS Commission; Mrs. Adelle Catzim-Sanchez, Country Manager for USAID PASCA; Members of the San Pedro Town Council, Caye Caulker Village Council, San Pedro police formation, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Belize Red Cross, San Pedro Lion’s Club and The San Pedro Sun along with Committee Members.

Ambergris Today

Young Girl Escapes Being Crushed by Out of Control Taxi
A young teenager and a hot dog vendor are lucky to be alive or having avoided serious injury after a taxi driver slammed his car into the wall of a supermarket and nearly crashing into them early Wednesday evening, August 15, 2012 at around 8:20p.m. The taxi slammed full speed into the corner wall of Richie’s Supermarket, located at the round-about on Pescador Drive and with much luck on their side, a young teenager and a lady who operate a hot dog stand in front of the supermarket, narrowly escaped the full impact that occurred just a couple feet from them. According to the teenager girl, the taxi driver started to reverse from across the street in front of San Pedro Hardware and suddenly increased its velocity and headed almost straight for them. The impact was so hard that it totally dented the rear of the vehicle and destroyed two plastic chairs next to the hot dog stand. Luckily no one was seated on them; the girl reported her two laptops damaged, which were set on one of the chairs.

Summer Camp Activity at Goff’s Caye, Belizean Children Enjoy
Prior to Saturday’s Goff’s Caye trip the children had visited the Old Belize Museum and Beach, Bacab Eco- Park, The Belize Zoo and the Prison. Mr. Singh noted that the program is geared towards nurturing the children to become positive, productive Belizeans by removing them from the usual high risk environments in which they reside and showing them the true beauty, bounty and possibilities which Belize has to offer them. On the return trip the children shared their disbelief and gratitude to Oceana for sponsoring such an event for them; many stating that it is the, ‘Best experience they have ever had.’

Belize Times Cancels Print Edition Citing Hard Times
One of Belize’s longest established newspaper, The Belize Times, will no longer be published in print; it will only be available online. But that’s not the only changes for the Belize Times, five out of their seven employees were terminated; two of them after having decades of service to the company. Veteran staffers were not happy with the decision and feel that they were not duly compensated for the many years they faithfully served the newspaper. The People’s United Party Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca responded to their comments in an official press release stating that the firings were justifiable. According the Belize City media, Fonseca stated "Ten days ago I made the difficult but unavoidable decision to release five members of the Belize Times staff and family." The PUP statement says that the decision to fire the workers, while a difficult exercise, was unavoidable given the state of the nation’s economy and the fact that the Belize Times had been operating under an outdated, wasteful and unsustainable business model.

Rowan To Walk Across San Pedro for the Visually Impaired
He climbed the Vicoria Peak, Belize’s second highest mountain with the height of 3, 675 feet in just two days and walked across Belize from the Benque Viejo Border to Belize City a 92 mile walk in five days and now he plans to walk across La Isla Bonita! Fourteen year old, Rowan Garel knows no boundaries when it comes to raising funds for the visually impaired of Belize. During his walk across Belize, Rowan managed to raise a total of $74,000, but was a bit short of his goal which was $100,000. With this second walk, A Walk Across San Pedro, Rowan hopes to be able to reach their goal. On Saturday, August 25, 2012, come on out to support Rowan and the blind children of Belize! The walk will start near Pelican Reef Resort (South Ambergris Caye) at 9a.m. and end at the Boca Del Rio Bridge. Get those tennis shoes ready and let’s walk for a good cause and remember to donate and support Rowan and the blind children of Belize! See you there!

Misc Belizean Sources

Ranger for a Day
Calling all naturalists, eco-tourists and adventurers! If you are looking for an unparalleled experience of the Belizean jungle alongside a local Mayan ranger, then consider joining Ya'axché Conservation Trust's Ranger for a Day patrol, you will join an official Ya'axché patrol of the 15,000-acre Golden Stream Corridor Preserve (GSCP). This unique experience will give you the opportunity to play an important role in the protection of this vital forest corridor. As an honorary ranger, you will contribute to the daily wildlife logs; record key species of mammals and birds along the riverside trail and learn how our rangers detect signs of hunting. You will hone your own detective skills as you learn to identify jaguar, puma and tapir tracks, identify the unique call of the Montezumas oropendola and spot hummingbirds, toucans and curasow. Golden Stream during dry season. | Photo: Erik Hammar. Your boots will get muddy and you should prepare to get sweaty but after a morning of adventure, you are invited to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Golden Stream River, the lifeblood of the Golden Stream Corridor Preserve.

Bullet Tree Falls Environmental Committee
The Bullet Tree Falls Environmental Committee is very active in the Cayo community. They are planning another river cleanup for the Mopan river. "Official Adoption - Adopción oficial (Gnostisismo Cristiano Universal Primitivo de Belize)"

Channel 7

92nd Murder For The Year
There has been another murder - this one in Orange Walk Town. By our count, it is the ninety second (92nd.) murder for the year - and like so many that have come before it, this one is inexplicable. As Monica Bodden found out, a cattle truck driver from Toledo was killed as he slept in his broken down vehicle. Here's her story: Monica Bodden Reporting It was inside this cattle truck - that 33 year old truck driver Fernando Quib was shot three times while asleep. The incident happened in this quiet residential area on Nargusta Street in Orange Walk Town. Neighbors say, they heard when the 3 gunshots rang out around 2:45 this morning - but no one saw anything.

Tyrone Meighan Alleges Brutality
The Meighan brothers of Banak Street - their names are in the news with great regularity; Tyrone and Ellis seem too often be in trouble with police - and that's when they aren't under threat from organized gangs. Indeed, even though they are only teenagers, the brothers have been in and out of Family and Magistrate's Courts from as young as 13 years old. But with all that bad rep, they have also had to learn to deal with sustained police harassment and intimidation. Well, the family of Tyrone Meighan is complaining to the media that constant police presence has stepped up to police brutality - and, they say, threats of an execution. Tyrone Meighan's mother, Shelly, spoke to 7News this morning and she told us that police officers went up to the prison and beat her son while he was in the cell. Here's how she described what it's like when even the law enforcers are allegedly issuing threats against her entire family.

BDF Soldier: Allegedly Drinking, w/ Weapon, In Uniform Assaults Woman
Tonight, 23 year-old BDF soldier Darwin Hernandez is in detention pending investigation for an incident where he allegedly assaulted a civilian while in his uniform and while carrying his force-assigned weapon. Sherlette Lamb, a resident of Belize reported that at around 7:30 last night, she was socializing at the Riverside Patio, and she got into an argument with Hernandez - who had allegedly been drinking there with another soldier. Lamb claims that he punched her in the left side of the neck and face which caused it to swell. Hernandez allegedly went as far as to take away an M-16 from a fellow Soldier he was partying with, pointed it at Lamb, and issued a death threat against her. Lamb said that she feared for her life and ran into a bathroom.

A Gateway To Lake-I
Not ten years ago - Holy Emmanuel Street - which is behind the government complex building in Belize City - was at the far Southwestern end of the city. Well now, Holy Emmanuel is only the road to the far end - west of Holy Emmanuel, you've got the Gungulung Extension which pushes up against Chetumal Street South - the landing area for the new Belama bridge. And that road is now fully paved - with a double coat chip and seal which cost two hundred thousand dollars. It's an initiative of the Area Representative Mark King paid for by the City Council - which, to its credit, has gone very light on self-promotion - even after concrete paving close to twenty streets. But Mayor Darrell Bradley's path crossed with that of a career politician, Mark King today - so it was lights, camera, action on Holy Emmanuel Street today where King explained that the new street is a gateway to Lake - I.

Can "Peace" Be A Verb?
And while we were on La Croix we had to ask Area Rep King about La Croix Boulevard. He's the Minister of State with responsibility for the Gang Truce - and since May, gang war has flared up in the area - resulting in at least five persons shot on La Croix Boulevard. Today when we asked him what this means for the Gang Truce, and he was, like, "which Gang Truce." King told us that instead of truce, he wants to make the word peace into a verb: Jules Vasquez "This La Croix, which annexes Holy Emmanuel, has been the scene of at least 5 shootings since May, and I know that there is a lot of gang rivalry in this area. Is there anything that you can do, or that you have been doing to diffuse the tension in this area." Hon. Mark King - Lake Independence Area Representative "Jules, one of the reasons - and I must say why I haven't been giving gangs much attention - is because I am a different type of representative when it comes to that ministry and gangs. As a matter of fact, the word gang truce shortly in a press conference will disappear. It will become peace in process. And let me tell you why. We must not give the criminals of this country - or those people who want to do bad in this country - any media frontage, at all. It paints a bad picture on our country, and what the media says about us."

The Mayor's Plan For More Paved Streets
And if he's going to be Minister of "Peacing" - then will Darrell Bradley be the Mayor of Concreting? In five months in office - his council has quietly paved close to twenty streets - most of them with concrete. Today he explained that in advance of the launch of the Municipal Bond, he hopes to finish paving a few other much trafficked streets: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "We've moved into Daily Street; we've already completed Daily Street. Now, we're on Craig Street, which comes from Daily Street unto Barrack; then we'll move on to Barrack Road. The BWS indicated to us that they will complete those works by next week Wednesday, and as soon as they finish, our contractor will go on that. They're also doing works along Hyde's Lane, and so Hyde's Lane will be cemented, and when they finish Barrack, we'll move on to Freetown Road. We'll then do Mapp Street, and Douglas Jone Street, and we'll then do North Front Street. The idea is that we want to do the whole downtown grade, so that when drivers drive in the downtown area, they get a perfect drive on fully cemented streets."

Belize City: "Long On Heart, But (Not) Short On Paint"
And apart from a major street paving campaign - the mayor is also hoping to spruce up the city with a paint job. He outlined the effort: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "Something that we're going to unleash right now is that we're working with Restore Belize, and we will be painting all the houses along Orange Street, Albert Street, and Regent Street. And we want to be able to finish this before the ending of September. But when we make these things public, it's only with the objective of trying to get more people involved."

Okeke Wants Thumb Bumps
But even with the paving and painting, one city resident wants more. Former Mayoral Candidate Stephen Okeke says he wants a speed reducer called thumb-bumps placed on the northern highway between Belize City and the Haulover Bridge. Okeke lives at mile three and a half not far from where Liang Sheng Cheng was knocked down and killed on Saturday morning. In fact, to make his point, the always dramatic Okeke held the press conference exactly in front of the drain where Cheng's dead body lay. He says thumb bumps are a cheap and relatively un-intrusive way to get speeding drivers to slow down: Steven Okeke - Wants Thumb Bumps Installed "With these thumb bumps - they're called thumb bumps - you can drive over this at 30-40 miles per hour, but anything above that, it will shake the vehicle and help you to slow down. But it will not slow traffic. And these thumb bumps are - like what you find here - could be made from metal. It's not so much as to cause a lot of discomfort or inconvenience, but what is a driver's inconvenience, when compared to the loss of life of a loved-one. I believe strongly that between the Haulover bridge, and the flag monument, there should be at least 4 bump spots because once you cross the Haulover now, you're in a residential neighborhood. These thumb bumps solves the problem. What I'm saying is that we can get this done within a month. We don't have to wait for one more fatality to do that, and you don't have that need to break up the streets to do reconstruction. This can actually be driven into the street, drilled and secured."

Convicted Sex Offender Accused Again
53 year-old Patrick Payne, a resident of Ladyville village is at prison tonight after he was accused of indecent assault against a 16 year-old female minor. The victim reported to police that on August 13, while she was asleep, she felt someone fondling her. She woke up and allegedly caught Payne in the act. Police arrested Payne, charged him with aggravated assault of an indecent nature, and took him before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today. Due to the strength of the submissions from the prosecutor, Payne was remanded to prison until September 18, his next court date. It is important to note that 2004, Payne was convicted of a similar offence, and according to the prosecutor, the circumstances were very near identical to this new allegation. He was sentenced to 3 years in prison for that conviction.

Oprescu To Mello: Get Out Now!
Robertino Oprescu - if you follow the news closely - you'll probably remember his name from 2004 when the Romanian was accused of using fake company names to swindle big money from the KHMH. Well he was found not guilty in 2006 - but instead of being set free, he was sent back to jail on the strength of an expulsion order signed by then Immigration Minister Ralph Fonseca. If it sounds familiar - it should - that's more or less what happened with Slovakian Karol Mello last week. And this morning Oprescu sent us an email with advice for his fellow Eastern European. He says, quote: "Leave Belize while you can." Oprescu included a self portrait in the picture - carrying a nine millimeter gun in a holster on his side.

BTL's Scholarships
2012 makes it 21 years since BTL first began its scholarship program, and today the company held a ceremony to award 29 new recipients. It's a full 4-year scholarship for the 27 new high school students and 2-year scholarship for the 2 sixth form awardees. The awardees were formally announced at the ceremony, and 7News was there to see all 29 of them accept the gift of a scholarship that costs anywhere for $1,000 to $3,000 per year. Here's what the representatives of the company and the awardees told us: Anjali Vasquez - Public Relations Manager, BTL "We actually had a really wonderful ceremony, where we actually acknowledge 30 high school and sixth form scholarship recipients. And what they get is a full scholarship. So, for those getting it for highschool, they get all 4 years paid for, tuition and books. We also offer mentoring if they need it - tutoring if they need it. We pretty much get very involved in the education process, as far as they are concerned. We started in April where we sent out the call for applications. So, we sent out countrywide to all the schools. We put it online - these scholarships application - and then, we get them come in. Toward the end of June, we had something like 400 scholarship applications which we had to sift through. And even though we asked for certain things, sometimes they're sent incomplete, but it doesn't stop there. We will literally call back the parent or the student, and tell them that they missed this particular piece of paper, and if they could send it in. We really want to give them a fair chance. And after that, we sift through again. We have a committee that looks at these scholarships, and say that they would like to interview these particulary 75-100 students. This year, we actually interviewed a hundred kids."

Reading The Riot Act At Transport
Anyone who travels on public transport regularly will probably have a laundry list of complaints about crowded buses, mechanical failures, interminable waits at bus stations, drunks on the bus...all sorts of unpleasant stuff. But, the Ministry of Transport wants to implement a strict new regime - and they're doing so with the issuance of new Road Service Permits. Fact is, most bus operators have not had regular Road Service Permits for at least over a year. Well now those are being re-issued - but with the promise of strict enforcement. We'll wait and see on that one - but the first step in the right direction was made today when a meeting was held between the Ministry and the Operators. The CEO laid down the law: There are 37 conditions for a road service permit - and the 36 bus operators have to sign unto all 37 conditions before their new Road Service Permits are issued. He outlined some of those conditions at the meeting, which was held at the Police Training Academy in Belmopan: Hon. Edmund Castro - Minister of State, Transport

Channel 5

Standard and Poors downgrades Belize
There will be a special sitting of the House of Representatives on Thursday, August twenty-third. The press release sent from the Capital did not state the reason for the special sitting but the day would no doubt be focused on the Superbond. The next coupon payment of forty-six million dollars is due on Monday, and [...]

Gang Truce now Peace in Progress?
The super bond may be on the mind of those who are interested in the economy, but human bondage, the type that enslaves and ties the minds of our youths with hand guns, is a grave concern for the rest of the country. And in Belize City, areas like La Croix Boulevard in the Lake [...]

Trucker killed in Orange Walk
One district that is in need of peace is Orange Walk. In less than two weeks, a second person has been brutally killed in the local community. A thirty-three year old man that frequents the north transporting cattle to the south was the target of gun violence in the Louisiana Area of the town. He [...]

Roaring Creek Villager dodges 3 bullets
A Roaring Creek man is lucky to be alive and without injury after three shots were fired at him. Twenty-one year old Jermaine Welcome told police that on Friday night he was riding his bike in the Another World Area in the village when a dark complexion man with a black mask started to follow [...]

Woman says B.D.F. punched her and pointed gun
A Belize Defence Soldier is in police detention following an assault on a Belize City woman. Sherlette Lamb told police that on Tuesday night she was socializing at the Riverside Patio when she got into an argument with a man. Lamb reported that during the confrontation, the man punched her to the left side of [...]

Crooked Tree Fishermen against fishing regulations
It’s one of the oldest villages in the country and it’s had its share of land disputes, but the latest controversy is Crooked Tree is in the water. Fishing has long been one of the main income earners in the village, but fishermen are now complaining because of restrictions on their use of the lagoon. [...]

Belize Audubon says it’s only enforcing law
Kenneth Bruce, one of the village fishermen, says his main concern is losing his nets and he just wants them back. But according to the Protected Areas Manager in charge of the Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, Dominique Lizama, Bruce’s nets were removed because he had them in a restricted area of the lagoon. Lizama explains [...]

Willow’s Bank cooks soul food in fire hearth
The second Willows Bank Fire Hearth Festival is coming up this weekend. It was started in 2011 by a group of residents from the village who wanted to revive the traditional way of cooking and introduce it to the younger generation. The main feature of the event is a fire hearth cooking competition, but coordinator, [...]

Manatees are continuous victims of boat accidents
Village life is teeming with activity, as you’ve heard the Crooked Tree Villagers are concerned about fishing, and the Willow’s Bank group are preparing for their festival. But in Ladyville Village, there was an environmental concern today. Several manatees were sighted near the Oar House and Bar located in Vista Del Mar. That prompted the [...]

Businessman’s plan to curb road accidents
In some parts of the world, including Belize, manatees are an endangered species. The sea cow as it is also referred is a perpetual victim of hit and run incidents as they are normally killed by boat propellers. As environmentalists are putting signs in areas frequented by the mammal to reduce accidents, people are also [...]

Gungulung Street upgraded
For the past couple months, several Belize City streets have been getting much needed upgrades. A twenty million dollar bond facility by the Belize City Council has been developed to ensure that at least fifty percent of streets within the former Capital receive either hot mix or concrete. Since the start of the project, fifteen [...]

Romanian national not looking back on Belize
Our newsroom received an email from a man named Robertino Daniel Oprescu. He says that he is a Romanian citizen and he was allegedly illegally imprisoned by the Belize government. Oprescu said that he was fingered as the mastermind of a fraud at the K.H.M.H. He goes further to say that he believes that the [...]

Scholarships awarded to students
Corporate responsibility and sponsorship is normally heralded this time of year. Recently the Belize Bank gave twenty-five high school scholarships along with a promise of mentorship by the bank employees to students in each district. This afternoon Telemedia continued with its scholarship program which started way back in 1991.   Isani Cayetano, Reporting Thirty primary [...]

You are the Next Superstar!
The third episode of Be the Next Superstar was postponed last week due to the threat of Hurricane Ernesto. But on Tuesday night, the engines were in full swing as the first knock out round for the show got underway. Three participants from Group A fought for a spot in the show and at the [...]


Miss World Belize Makes Her Country Proud
Social Miss World Belize Chantae Guy is turning heads in China where she is preparing for the Miss World 2012 Pageant scheduled to take place this Saturday in Mongolia. Guy is among the 118 participants that will be competing for the prestigious crown of Miss World and so far she has been doing extremely well and making Belize proud. The 20 year old took part in five preliminary events over the past few weeks including a top model competition. Out of the 118 beauty queens, 45 were selected for the competition and tonight we are proud to say that Guy was placed among the top ten. The ten participants took part in a top notch fashion show for 1346 Cashmere which is one of the best cashmere brands in China and the world. Being placed in the top ten also won Guy a photo shoot with Vogue Magazine, one of the most prestigious magazines in the world. The photo shoot will be featured in the next issue. The winner of the top model competition will be announced during the Miss World Pageant. Also forming part of the competition is a multi media award which can assist each of the participants to move on to the finals. Here at home Belizeans can assist Guy to enter the multimedia award competition by visiting the Miss World Belize web page. To assist Chantae in winning the People’s Choice Award visit You can vote one time per day.

Punta Gorda Resident Becomes Orange Walk's 8th Murdered Victim
Two weeks ago blood flowed in Orange Walk Town as 35 year old Ricardo Blanco was brutally murdered. Eleven days after Blanco’s death police formally charged 21 year old construction worker Manuel Toloza and 20 year old mechanic Feliciano Briceno for murder while 25 year old Julio Castillo, a taxi driver of Trial Farm, was charged for abetment to commit murder. Tonight Orange Walk Police have another murder to solve. Early this morning, a man was killed while sleeping inside a cargo truck with Belize City License plate A2029. In the click of a second 33 year old Fernando Quib from the community of San Vicente in Punta Gorda became sugar city’s 8th murdered victim. Quib arrived in Orange Walk yesterday evening. His destination was the community of Shipyard where he was scheduled to purchase several heads of cattle. With the truck experiencing mechanical problems Quib was unable to continue his journey and instead took the vehicle to the mechanic shop where he decided to spend the night since the truck was to be fixed until today. At that time no one knew that death was lurking in the dark. Hipolito Novelo Reports. Residents of Banak Street claim to have heard the sound of three gunshots around 3:00 this morning but when they peeped out of their windows they saw nothing out of the ordinary and went back to bed. Little did they know that what they heard were indeed gunshots, shots that killed 33 year old Fernando Quib a resident of San Vicente in Punta Gorda. By the wake of dawn what truly transpired earlier in the area came to light, Quib had been brutally murdered while sleeping inside this truck used to transport cattle.

31 Year Old Female Goes Missing
A woman from the Orange Walk District has gone missing and tonight her family is asking for the public’s assistance in order to locate her. Zudianita Carrillo, a 31 year old mentally challenged patient of the Louisiana Area, left home early yesterday morning en route to the Fort Cairns Market Plaza and since then has not returned home. According to Maria Lucia Carrillo, her sister was last seen around 6:30pm yesterday in the company of Ernesto Garcia. Zudianita Carrillo is of fair complexion, about 5 feet in height and weighs about 100 pounds. She was last see wearing a blue jeans pant with a striped blouse and a pair of yellow slippers. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of the 31 year old is asked to contact the nearest police station.

Low Loan Rates Offered At First Caribbean Bank
Last night we told you about the grand opening of First Caribbean International Bank here in Orange Walk Town and the wide range of services that the bank is offering to customers at superior quality. One of those services that the bank is offering is loans at low interest rates. In these hard economical times that is good news. According to the bank’s sale specialist, Anibal Padron, First Caribbean International Bank, can be considered as the financial partner, suited for its customers. Anibal Padron, Sales Specialist, CIBC “Wherever you are a customer we try to find the product that best suits you and work together with the customer so that you meet your obligations comfortably and you can meet other obligations outside of the bank as well without being under financial strain.” Hipolito Novelo - Reporter “So what would be some of the types of loans that the bank provides?” Anibal Padron, Sales Specialist, CIBC “We have a large range of loans that we offer for example we have our residential mortgages, we have vacation loans, medical loans, if you want to purchase a new vehicle, we have credit cards as well which the Visa Card which can be used internationally, we have students loans, if you have a child that will be studying abroad we can also facilitate those types of loans,”

Post Mortem Examination Certifies 64 Year Old Died Of A Heart Attack
Cecilia Botes, a 64 year old resident of Cristo Rey Village in the Corozal District, dropped dead on Saturday August 11th after 28 year old Manuel Hernandez barged into her home brandishing a machete. A post mortem examination conducted on the body of the deceased certified that she died of massive heart thrombosis due to a mild myocardial infarction, in other words a heart attack. Around 9:00 on Saturday night Botes was at home lying in her hammock when Hernandez, who had just been involved in fight with 42 year old Wadencio Che and his 22 year old son Luis Che, barged into the residence looking for the two men. The entire scenario apparently raised Botes’ blood pressure and she died moments later while being transported to the Corozal Community Hospital. Hernandez, who happens to be Botes’ nephew, was immediately detained by police. This afternoon when we contacted Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation Gualberto Garcia, to inquire if any charges will be levied against Hernandez, we were informed that the files are being complied and will be forwarded to the Department of Public Prosecutions for advice. Of note is that during the altercation, 42 year old Wadencio Che received a cut wound to his left eyebrow while Luis Che, who is recuperating at the Northern Regional Hospital, received a large cut wound to his right upper left shoulder. Manuel Hernandez was injured to the mouth. We understand that the fight began over a bottle of beer.

National Service Day Declared In Honour Of Father Of The Nation
RT Hon George Cadle Price has been famously dubbed as the “Father of the Nation” and will always be remembered as such. He was one of the most important instruments in obtaining Belize’s Independence. Belize’s first Prime Minister passed away on September 19th at the age of 92. In order to commemorate the life, work, dedication and service of the late Rt. Hon. George Price, the George Price Centre for Peace and Development has declared September 19th as “National Service Day”. The day will be set for Belizeans to carry out community service projects in order to make a positive change through hard work and service. The People’s United Party has also resolved to press the government to declare the 15th of January a national holiday to mark the birth of a true Belizean patriot, a leader who loved his country unconditionally and above all things, the man who led our nation to independence and dedicated his entire life to the betterment of all Belizeans.

San Joaquin Fiesta Kicks Off Tomorrow
Tomorrow will mark the beginning of one of the north’s biggest festivity as the San Joaquin Fiesta comes alive in the Corozal District. It will be the 46th annual San Joaquin Fiesta and for all those who enjoy a Spanish style fiesta, then San Joaquin Village will be the perfect place to be this Thursday, August 16th to Sunday, August 19th as the celebration sets the weekend a blaze. The Fiesta is in celebration of the village’s patron saint: San Joaquin. The festivity commences tomorrow with a Novena and a mass at the San Joaquin Catholic Church, after which, cultural presentations and mechanical rides will put everyone in the festive mood. On Friday August 17th the official opening ceremonies will take place at the San Joaquin Park. Saturday night, the park will play venue to a variety of cultural presentations highlighting the cultures of Northern Belize. Later on visitors will be treated with the energetic music of the mighty Gilharry 7 Band and on Sunday night Supa G and Gilharry 7 will both take to the stage as they close out the weekend festivities. For more information on San Joaquin Fiesta, contact Marceli Tzul, Chairperson of the San Joaquin Village Council via phone at 602-0415.

507 Manatees Habitat Belize
From a bird's-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize's status as the world's most important country for the endangered species. An article posted on, indicates that researchers in Belize have been working in strengthening efforts to protect one of the most iconic and threatened animals in the world’s oceans: the Antillean manatee. In order to better assess how many and where the manatees are located in Belizean waters, Belize's leading marine research organizations and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the marine mammals. They were able to locate over 500 manatees. According to the article, a team from the Oceanic Society, a non-profit conservation organization partnered with LightHawk, a volunteer-based environmental aviation organization, to conduct aerial surveys of the remote Turneffe Atoll. The results of the aerial survey were then combined with surveys of the mainland coast led by Nicole Auil Gomez of Belize's Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute in order to arrive at the total amount of manatees found in the jewel. The surveys help scientists learn the manatees' travel patterns and habitat use in Belize, which can be used to guide boat traffic routes to reduce collisions with manatees, as well as other management issues.


Belize won’t meet super bond payment
The government of Belize will not make the next coupon payment on the nation’s foreign debt, commonly known as the super bond. The announcement was made today via a press release by the Ministry of Finance. As we have reported previously, the first coupon payment on the stepped up interest payment plan is for forty four million dollars and becomes payable on Monday of next week. In today’s statement, the Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dean Barrow says, quote: the step-up bond alone represents approximately one half of Belize’s total recorded public indebtedness. The annual interest rate on this bond stepped up earlier this year to eight point five percent. We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financial shortfall and other challenges we face,” end of quote. The official statement ends by saying that it is the hope of the government of Belie that, quote: we can move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument,” end of quote. While the first public reaction to the news on social media is an expression of concern for Belize’s economy, one observer we spoke with believes that the announced super bond default has no implications outside of the process of renegotiating the super bond. The thinking, according to the observer, is that the government cannot mislead the bond holders into thinking that it can make the step up coupon payment, thereby falsely holding out expectation that it will continue to scrape together scare funds to meet these burdensome payments. The super bond interest payment is due on Monday of next week, but there is a thirty day grace period, and it is during this window of opportunity that negotiators of the super bond are hoping that the creditors will realize that the government of Belize is serious about the restructuring exercise and getting more favorable terms. The government of Belize last week released its offer to bond holders, indicating that it is willing to repay the debt; but at a much lower rate and over a much longer period of time. Bond holders have so far not been welcoming of the government’s offer, and a prediction on Monday of a so-called “threat of a credit event” has now come to pass. Analysts with the US-based Citigroup are predicting a protracted negotiation process and described the government’s offer last week as a threat of a credit event rather than a willingness to negotiate. The Opposition People’s United Party this evening issued a brief statement on the bond coupon default. The statement says that the PUP views the decision with grace concerns. Furthermore, it says, the Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca was neither consulted with nor informed of this very critical decision, which the PUP says has very serious implications for Belize’s economy and development. The PUP statement goes on to say that during the 2012-2013 Budget debate the Prime Minister led the Nation was led to believe that the government had budgeted for this payment and would be honoring the August 20 payment. The PUP statement ends by calling on Prime Minister Dean Barrow who is also the Minister of Finance to immediately address and inform the Nation on the specific reasons for the decision to default on the coupon payment and to outline the consequences and implications expected to follow. The opposition party says it remains hopeful that the Super Bond restructuring exercise currently underway is successful.

Teenager murdered near his home on Benbow Street
Benbow Street seems to be fast becoming the old capital’s most popular war zone. Just one night after the shooting of an eleven year old girl and her 18 year old brother while they slept in their beds, there was a murder not far from the area. It happened just off Fairweather Street on Kutt Avenue as the victim was shot in the back as he was returning from buying food. Here’s Love TV’s Marion Ali with that story. Kirk Hemmans did not attend high school, and according to his grandmother, hung out in the area with fellow youths.

Carline Pinto making fast recovery
On Monday Love News brought you the news of eleven year old Carline Pinto who was shot four times as she slept in her bed in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Today we bring you the update on the spirited little girl who is looking forward to celebrating her twelfth birthday in September. Today, her mother, Arleen Banner, told Love News that her little girl is not only looking forward to making a full recovery, but also to returning to school, where she will advance to standard six. Her return to classes, however, may be a little delayed for obvious reasons. So far, no one has been arrested for the Saturday morning shooting of the brother and sister duo.

Man injured in shooting incident on Lacroix Boulevard
A shooting incident on Monday night in Belize City has left a man hospitalized, while police are looking for the gunman. The victim has been identified as nineteen year old Randy August. Police say that around seven forty five last night, August and a friend were riding on separate bicycles just off Lacroix Boulevard around seven forty five last night, when gunshots rang out. August was hit twice in the right side of the chest and forearm. The friend who was with August was not injured. Police describe the alleged gunman as being of dark complexion and say they are looking for one person in connection with the attempted murder of Randy August.

Taxi driver is the victim of armed robbery
A Belize City taxi driver has reported being the victim of an armed robbery on Monday afternoon. The broad daylight incident happened around one thirty on Monday afternoon on Mahogany Street Extension. Twenty nine year old Allain Garcia reported to police that he was walking toward his house when he was accosted by two men, one of whom he identified as George Matthews, and the other only as Gill. Garcia says that as the men approached him, the one known only as Gill took out a firearm from his pants waist and handed it to Matthews. According to police, Matthews reportedly got off his bicycle, and held Garcia by the shirt, pointed a black handgun to the left side of his neck and demanded his properties. Fearing for his life Garcia reportedly handed over three hundred and fifty dollars in cash after which both men made good their escape in the direction of Lacroix Boulevard. Police are now looking for two suspects in connection with the incident.

Teen burglar caught in the act in Placencia village
A burglar was caught in the act on the Placencia Peninsula early this morning. According to reports, police went to a hotel in the village around twelve fifteen this morning where, with the help of the home owner, they were able to apprehend the thief. As it turns out, the alleged burglar is a sixteen year old boy from Mafredi village in the Toledo district. Inspector Mark Flowers is the officer in charge of the Placencia police. Inspector Flowers says that with the low season in the tourism industry now underway , more people will be in search of employment and often dins themselves in desperate situation. Inspector Flowers believes that the continued cooperation of the community with the police will greatly assist the entire Placencia Peninsula in keeping down crime in the village. As a part of the community outreach a meeting will take place tomorrow afternoon at the Siene Bight Community Centre. During tomorrow’s meeting, Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer will be the guest speaker to inform and educate the people about their rights as well as the powers and authority of the police and special constables.

Teen girl allegedly sexually assaulted by grown man
Another underage girl has reported being the victim of a sexual assault by a grown man. The girl, a thirteen year old student of Belize City is telling police that in the month of April this year, she visited a friend’s house in the Belama Phase Four area of Belize City. During the visit, the girl said that she and the friend engaged in sexual intercourse. Police say that a medical examination has since certified that the little girl has been carnally known. Police are now looking for the man for questioning and possibly charges in connection with this report.

Boat passengers charged for drug possession
A number of persons travelling in a passenger boat with drugs on board were detained yesterday in Dangriga. Correspondent Harry Arzu has the story.

Driver charged in connection with weekend road traffic accident
Police formally arrested and charged twenty five year old Shoshana Marie Moody for the offences of Manslaughter by negligence, Caused Death by Careless Conduct, drove motor vehcle without due care and attention, drove motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit and failed to keep as close as possible to the right hand side of the road. This was in connection to the incident which occurred on the morning of Saturday 11th. Sixty nine year old businessman, Liang Sheng Chen was walking on the extreme left hand shoulder off the Northern Highway from the Direction of Belize City towards Halouver Bridge, when a Kia Sorento, driven by Moody, travelling in the same direction, lost control and hit him. The impact caused Chen serious head and body injuries killing him on the spot. The vehicle continued to careen out of control hitting a Hyundai minivan driven at the time by Jose Reyes. A post mortem examination was conducted on the body of Liang Sheng Chen by Dr. Mario Estadabran, who certified the cause of death to be “Trauma Shock and massive organs damages and traumatism due to Road Traffic Accident”.

Teenager charged for allegedly shooting another teen
Nineteen year old Joshua Gallego, a laborer of Raccoon Street Extension who allegedly shot nineteen year old Jermaine Flowers, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Gallego was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken from him because the offences are indictable. Neither could the court offer him bail because of the nature of the offences. He was remanded into custody until September 25. The incident occurred around 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, August 12. Flowers reported to the police that he was riding his bicycle on Raccoon Street Extension and when he reached Pelican street Extension he was approached by Gallego who took out a firearm and fired three shots at him. Flowers was shot in his right arm and a bullet grazed the upper left side of his rib cage.

Road traffic accident in Esperanza village
A traffic accident on the Western Highway yesterday, resulted in two men injured. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports.

Ariel Rosado scholarship fund awards first scholarship
In July, the Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation awarded full high school scholarships to eight needy and deserving primary school students. Now the Foundation has selected another scholar as the recipient of the Ariel Rosado Galen University Scholarship. The lucky recipient is Kimberley Searle, a graduate of Saint John’s College Sixth Form. Love News spoke with Dr. Alvaro Rosado, the father of the late cyclist, who explained how the scholarship winner was selected. Altogether the two-year scholarship is worth about thirty thousand dollars.

Culture policy consultation comes to Belize City
NICH will be hosting a National Cultural Policy Consultation at the House Culture on Regent Street. Communications officer at NICH, Shari Williams filled us in with the details on tomorrow’s event. Once again the Consultation takes place at the House of Culture, tomorrow at 5 pm.

Karate camp closes
The annual camp of the Belize Shotokan Karate Association was held at the weekend in the Belize district. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Controversy precedes Miss Earth pageant
The Miss Earth Belize Pageant will take place this Saturday night at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts. But this year’s pageant is preceded by a number of allegations by the reigning Miss Earth, Kiasha Bevans. Bevans said not only was she not allowed to carry out her duties, she did not receive the promised prizes. Coordinator Darlene Campbell told Love News, Bevans allegations are simply vindictive. She said Bevans did not live up to her duties. Campbell said contrary to Bevan’s allegations she has gone out of her way to ensure that the candidates in the pageant are well taken care of. Campbell said despite the baseless allegations, the pageant will proceed as scheduled on Saturday.


US Embassy in Belize comments on John Zabaneh Drug Kingpin Designation
Based on our interview with Zabaneh and the release Plus news had some questions for the U.S. Embassy. Plus news sp...

Maya King Farm employees say Future is uncertain
During our visit to Mayan King we got a firsthand look at the community and its operations. Mayan King employs appr...

John Zabaneh speaks with PlusTV about US Drug Kingpin Designation
black listed by the U.S. Department-Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). According to OFAC three Bel...

Little boy commits big man crime
A potentially nasty situation was successfully diffused early this morning (Aug 1...

A Belize City taxi-man is robbed at gunpoint
Allain Garcia reported that on Monday afternoon (August 13) he was wa...

Miss World Belize Shantae Guy is Top Model Finalist
MS WORLD PICS Shantae Guy has emerged as a force of nature in the Miss World Beauty Pageant. Miss World is one of t...

Belize Times newspaper undergoes major downsizing
The PUP has issued a release stating that its operations at the Belize Times newspaper has been operating at a loss...

Bajaj, shot while with James Swann, now charged with drug Trafficking
Ajay Bajaj of Corozal Town was one of the persons targeted in a shooting which happened one week ago, in front of D...

More Guatemalans found panning for Gold in Belize National park
A Police Constable attached to the Special Patrol Unit reported that on August 10, was conducting foot patrol in th...

Chinese Storekeeper in Ladyville murdered, two arrested
Last week Thursday (Aug 9) Ladyville Police responded to a robbery in progress, after 5pm, at E-Buy Supermarket Lo...

Two Female School students report separate Carnal Knowledge incidents
a 14-year old female student of San Ignacio Town accompanied by her mother reported that three months ago on May 4,...

Chinese businessman knocked down, woman driver charged
A traffic accident has claimed the life of a 69-year old Chinese businessman. Investigations reveal that LIANG SHEN...

Early morning gunshots hit kids sleeping in bed
Belize City Police are investigating a shooting that has left two persons injured. Police arrived at #32A Benbow St...

Elderly woman dies of Heart failure after witnessing brawl
Last Saturday night (August 11) Corozal Police visited the Community Hospital where they saw the lifeless body of 6...

Three Men on Bikes shot separately in Belize City; one dead
Three separate shooting incidents occured in the City etween last saturday and monday night. They all involve vict...

Thief breaks into Minister of National Security's vehicle
John SALDIVAR, Minister of National Security reported that sometime between the hours of 6:30pm and 10:15pm on Satu...

Man shot near Ladyville Police Station
Ladyville Police On August 3, around 11:45pm, responded to a shooting on Poinsettia Street which is about six house...

Two charged for Drug Trafficking of Crack Cocaine
On August 12 Police conducted a house search at #4 Simon Lamb Street, the residence of Steven Frazer. The search le...


The Best Travel Apps to Use On the Go
You’re hungry, exploring Belize, and you need to find a restaurant before you start snapping at your travel companions. What do you do? If your phone runs apps, you can be calling a taxi to the nearest hot spot while your paper-bound companions are still looking around for brochures. Travel apps can help you find tourist destinations, local cultural events, and the best places to eat in Belize without wasting time looking through your guidebook or trying to speak the local language to ask a stranger. Now, you don’t need to sort through thousands of useless or overpriced travel apps to find the best ones. Here are the best travel apps to use while you’re on the go. 1. Belize Travel Guide 2. TripAdvisor 3. FlightTrack Pro 4. Lonely Planet City Guides and Ebooks

Touring Marie Sharp's Factory
'A Lesson in Heat!' Marie Sharp's got a great review, and what a title they chose for it. Everyone loves Marie Sharp's, but the author really had a 'crush' on her habanero sauces, and got to meet Marie herself! "'Marie Sharp?' I wondered to myself. 'There's really a Marie Sharp? It's not some fictional character made up by a corporation to sell hot sauce?' Marie Sharp's hot sauce had been on every table I'd encountered since arriving in Belize four days prior. I'd sprinkled it over my eggs, into a hot bowl of shrimp soup and timidly to the side of our chicken when I first encountered the 'fiery hot' variety. With a presence like that, I expected big business. I never expected to meet the woman responsible for concocting the hot sauce recipes that have become Belize's national condiment." Check out Marie Sharp's website at:

Happy Birthday Jerry and Maday
We are celebrating two birthdays this week – Captain Jerry and one of our gorgeous office ladies, Maday! Jerry actually celebrated his 29th birthday on the last overnight tour – lucky passengers – as he chose to be on the seas (as that is his favorite place to be) and Maday’s birthday 28th birthday is today and she is at home with her friends and family! Jerry, the Captain of Entertainment at Malik's birthday.Maday was Zahara's 'hair doctor' during her bout of head lice! Captain Jerry is one of the original crew members at Raggamuffin as he can actually boast that he was sailing with Captain Jimmy, long before Raggamuffin even became a reality – a true member of the Ragga family!!! Jerry is a true favorite of both passengers, crew and office staff due to his highly infectious cheery personality – in fact, Jerry won our crew ‘Personality of the Year’ which was voted on by all our staff as their choice of their favorite person to work with – well done Jerry! But we have to make a big shout out for Maday as today is her birthday! Maday has been with us for almost a year and in that time she has become very much an integral part of the office team – her sweet, selfless and humble nature easy for everybody to absolutely love! A big shout out to these two wonderful crew members – may they both have many more blessed birthdays to come – we love you both!!!

International Sources

Belize defaulting on debt payment ...Opposition wants explanation
Belize's main opposition People's United Party (PUP) is calling on Prime Minister Dean Barrow to immediately address the nation on the implications of his administration's decision to default on its external debt payment due on August 20. PUP said that Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca was neither consulted nor informed of "this very critical decision which has very serious implications for Belize's economy and development". A statement from Barrow's office on Tuesday said that the next interest payment of US$46 million on Belize's accumulated US$544 million foreign debt, referred to as the "super bond", is due on August 20. The payment would have been the country's first under the interest payment plan on the US dollar Step Up Bonds due in 2029. The government said the reason for the non-payment is that the stepped up payments represent almost one half of the country's total public indebtedness under the new stepped up 8.5 per cent rate. "We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face," Barrow said, adding that his administration wants to "move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument". Belize is currently trying to renegotiate its foreign debts with creditors and has offered them a three-pronged payment plan, which involves an extension of the payment period on the super bond well beyond the 2029 maturity date. Grace period The PUP said the coupon payment also has a 30-day grace period that ends on September 19 after which there could be a default on the coupon payment.

S&P Cuts Belize's Rating on Expected Missed Payment
Standard & Poor's lowered its sovereign-credit rating on Belize further into junk territory, after the country's government said it won't make its coming coupon payment on its bonds due 2029. S&P downgraded the Central American country's rating to double-C from triple-C-minus.

Beauty Pageant Minute: Miss World 2012 Top Model Fashion Show--The Top Ten, Photos + Video!
The 62nd edition of the Miss World beauty pageant is happening in Ordos Inner Mongolia China. This is the biggest international beauty pageant in the world, particularly because of the fact that 116 contestants will be vying for the coveted beauty title (Miss Universe, for example "only" has 80'ish contestants at best). The televised final contest is occurring THIS Saturday August 18th. If you are in the good ol' US of A, it will be shown LIVE on E! Entertainment on Saturday MORNING at 8-10 a.m. Make sure to DVR it in case you're not apt to be up that early on a Saturday. Here are the Top 10 Top Models of Miss World 2012: Miss Belize Chantae Chanice Guy

August 15, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

GOB unable to meet Superbond payment for August
The Government of Belize today announced that it will not be able to meet its super bond payment to its creditors due for August 20th. The announcement was made via a press release from the Ministry of Finance shortly after midday on Tuesday August 14th. The Superbond payment amount due is US$23,497,211.11 at an interest rate of 8.5%. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is quoted in the release as saying that “The Step-Up Bond alone represents approximately one-half of Belize’s total recorded public indebtedness.” After the re-election of the UDP administration into office, PM Barrow had appointed a negotiating team headed by former PUP Albert Division Representative Mark Espat to look at the Superbond negation to arrive at more manageable payment terms. So far the team came up with three possible alternatives to restructure the current payment.

Female charged for assaulting a Police Officer inside the SP Station
A 19 year old female had to be arrested by police after she caused a ruckus at the San Pedro station and assaulted a female Special Constable. The person, Silvia Teul originally of the Cayo District, is presently a resident of the Airstrip area in San Pedro Town. The incident occurred shortly after 3AM on Saturday, August 11th inside the San Pedro Police Station. According to SP Police, they had previously detained Teul’s friend Lorena Montes following a report made by Roxanne Canul. Police said that Montes was involved in an altercation that started inside Daddy Rock’s Night Club. A group of Montes’ associates visited the SP Police Station following her detention. According to police, Teul who appeared to be highly intoxicated, began acting unruly and was very vocal near the entrance of the police station while inquiring about Montes. Police say that because of her unruly behavior and appearance of being drunk, Teul was asked to leave the station. Police further claims that Teul uttered to the officers, “F@$k you police. You can’t do me f@#$ing nothing!”

Dr. Love: Trapped
Dear Doctor Love, For my family the holiday season has always been a wonderful time of the year. We have relatives in the U.S.and the U.K. and they always come down to visit us at this time of the year. Friends of the family come, too. We always welcome them and we cram more people into our house than can possibly fit. It is really our favorite time of the year. Two years ago we had some trouble with our business and things became a real financial trouble. For awhile it looked like we might even lose our house. We were lucky enough to pull out of it but not without a lot of damage to our finances. Then the holiday season came around and it nearly wiped us out again. It took us until April to recover but we finally did. This year business has been slow again. We have been going along pretty good but not enough to get ahead. Now, the holiday season is over and we are back in trouble again. Thanks to God, the tourist season is starting and if it is a good one, we will come back quickly. If it is not, we are going to be struggling until July or August, if we even manage to make it back.

Art in the Park – Arts & Craft Exhibition
The San Pedro House of Culture is pleased to be hosting the Art in the Park – Arts & Craft Exhibition. The exhibition will takes place Thursday, August 30th and Friday August 31st, beginning at 10 am on the San Pedro Central Park. Kindly join us for two full days of local arts, music and entertainment.

Ambergris Today

Belizean Songstress Melonie Gillett Launches New TV Show and Music Video
Melonie Gillett launches her new Come Away TV Show and Music Video for the song entitled “Come Away” today, August 14, 2012. The music video and TV Show were directed by Ben Hudson, a home-grown Belizean, of Star Base Films. It features a number of locations across Belize including Robert’s Grove Beach Resort, Mama Noots, Bocawina Mayflower Park, BACAB Eco Park, Caye Caulker, Placencia, and Altun Ha! The entire project provides industry standard quality, raising the bar yet again for the music industry in Belize. The Come Away song, track #14 on Melonie Gillett’s “The Dreamer” Album, is an invitation to Come Away to Belize and experiences all the wonderful things that Belize has to offer.

Channel 7

Belize Won't Make Superbond 46 M Payment On Aug 20
This morning at 7:00 - which is 9:00 in New York - the Government of Belize sent out a brief, 150 word press release telling holders of the Superbond that it won't make the 46 million dollar Superbond payment which is due next week Monday. The plain-spoken release says, quote, "The Government of Belize announced today that it is unable to make an August 20, 2012 coupon payment." It quotes the Prime Minister as saying "The Step-Up Bond alone represents approximately one-half of Belize's total recorded public indebtedness... We simply cannot afford this…payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face. Our hope, however, is that we can move quickly toward a sensible restructuring." And the release doesn't say much else - but the effect of it is tremendous. It puts bondholders on notice that the Government of Belize isn't playing around - and if they want their money, they'll have to come to the bargaining table. It also puts Belize in that position that no person or country wants to be in: that of a Malpago. But according to Economic Ambassador Mark Espat, who is heading the Debt Restructuring team, not making the payment does not put Belize in a difficult position with accessing other credit - since Belize does not seek commercial credit.

Teenager Killed In Violence-Ridden Area
There was another murder in the city last night - and this time, a 16 year old was killed. It happened in the same general area where 11 year old Carline Pinto was shot up on Saturday morning, and where 18 year old Kendis Pike was killed two weeks ago. And now it's a 16 year old in a widening spiral of violence stemming from an all out war between rival gangs. Monica Bodden found out about this most recent teen murder:... Monica Bodden reporting The murder of 16 year old Kirk Hemmans happened here at the corner of Kut Avenue and Fairweather Street just after 10:30 last night. This huge bloodstain in the middle of the street indicates the exact spot where the teenager took his last breath. Hemmans - who was riding his bicycle on Kut Avenue into Fairweather Street - was approached from behind by a gunman who fired the fatal shot at him - hitting him once to the right upper back. The murderer then rode off on Kut Avenue and headed in the direction of Kraal Road.

Man Accused of City Shooting
19 year-old Joshua Gallego, a laborer of Raccoon Street Extension, is in prison tonight after he was accused of trying to kill another Belize City resident. 19 year-old Jermaine Flowers told police that on Sunday afternoon, at around 2:40, he was riding his bicycle on Raccoon Street Extension. When he arrived at the Pelican Street intersect, Gallego allegedly approached him and fired 3 gunshots. One of those shots struck him in the right arm, and another grazed him across the upper left ribcage. Police detained Gallego, and yesterday, they charged him with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm, and grievous harm. He was arraigned today in the courtroom of the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until September 25, his next court date.

They Came On A Yacht, Left With A Criminal Record
They may have come to Belize on a yacht, but that didn't save three tourists from going to court amongst common criminals. 69 Bryan Peter Stein; 32 year-old Platina Yeek-Hwan Tong, both British Nationals; and 32 year-old French businesswoman, Lisa Christelle Chotard, were charged with illegal entry into Belize. The private citizens arrived in Belize on Stein's private yacht, Maxime, on Sunday at around 7 p.m., where they moored near the Radisson Marina. The vessel's captain contacted the harbour master at the Radisson who was supposed to contact the relevant authorities to allow legal access into Belize. There was some form of miscommunication where the Immigration Department did not receive the information of their arrival until yesterday. Getting tired of waiting on the immigration officials to arrive, the trio exited the vessel and went on a private tour of Belize without being process for entry in the country.

Year in Jail for Man Accused OF Indecent Assault
46 year-old Dwayne "Warrior" Young, a stevedore residing in Mahogany Heights, will spend a year in prison because he was convicted of indecent assault in Magistrates Court today. In February of this year, 7News reported that a 22 year-old woman told police that on February 20, she went downstairs of her house in Mahogany Heights to feed the dogs. According to her, Young, who was a neighbor, made unwanted advances when he approached her, kissed her on the mouth and on the cheek, and then fondled her. Well, this complainant came to testify to just that in this trial. And her father corroborated her story by testifying that he heard the dogs barking, and when he came to investigate, he saw Young with his arm around his daughter's waist. In his defence, Young told the court that the family made up the entire story to get back at him. According to Young, before they accused him of this crime, he did some repair work on their bathroom, and the victim's mother made unwanted advances on him when her husband was away.

"Serve The People" On The Anniversary Of Price's Death
In honour of the first anniversary passing of National Hero, George Price September 19th. will be "National Service Day." According to a release from the George Price Center, The National Celebrations Commission - has agreed to declare September 19thas "National Service Day". And so, on that day, all Belizeans are being encouraged to carry out some kind of community service in memory of Price who once told the Miami Herald, ""I believe that happiness consists in serving others and not oneself." The George Price Center urges citizens to clean up their communities, raise funds for a worthy cause, or volunteer.

Midnight Basketball Is Back
In the mid to late 90's -basketball legend Pulu Lightburn started up a programme called Midnight Basketball. The intent was to capture at risk youth and engage them in some productive activity. Well, that programme has now been resuscitated by Restore Belize. It started on Friday night in three different neighborhoods involving as many as 100 males between the ages of 16 and 24. Director of Restore Belize Mary Vasquez explains what the big idea is. Mary Vasquez, Director - Restore Belize "Actually the idea is to have positive activities taking place in areas that normally don't have a lot of positive activities and by default maybe have some criminal activity taking place. The idea is to come into these neighborhoods and bring a positive activity that young people can enjoy, can participate in either as spectators or as ballers." "Our communities need to re-claim its public space. Our communities' needs to say: This is our community and we want good things to be happening day and night, so it's a matter of re-claiming public space for legitimate use. We are doing games right now in 3 separate neighborhoods, when we have a champion from each of those neighborhoods then we will have a finals where they would come together in a common place - not in any one of those neighborhoods."

Compol and San Pedro O/C Clash Over Girl Who Assaulted Cop
19 year old Silvia Teul was arrested by San Pedro Police after she allegedly tried to choke a Woman Special Constable inside the San Pedro Police Station. According to the San Pedro Sun, the incident reportedly occurred around 3 on Saturday morning when Teul went to check up on her friend Lorena Montes who had been in a nightclub brawl. Police say that Teul appeared intoxicated and was asked to leave the station - which is when she allegedly cursed the police officer. Woman Special Constable Lisa Castillo, decided to arrest Teul which is when she allegedly charged the constable and gripped her around the neck. Police charged Teul for assaulting a police officer, use of indecent words, common assault and resisting lawful arrest. Due to the seriousness of the offence, a Senior Justice of the Peace decided to remand her until Teul could appear before a Magistrate. And that's where it gets dicey: The San Pedro Sun reports that despite the order given by the J.P., Commissioner of Police David Henderson ordered that Teul be granted police bail.

Still Shrimp In the Sea
There's no longer a shrimp season - and that's because banning shrimp trawlers put an end to the commercial Shrimp trade. And so most times when you eat shrimp - it's farmed shrimp from Belize's many aquaculture facilities. But there are still shrimp in the sea and today near the BTL park we saw a crowd of folks casting nets for the swimming animals. Those we saw told us that the shrimp were have been brought in by a spell of rough seas followed by a calm such as we had today. They were selling the fresh sea shrimp for ten dollars a pound - but the price was negotiable.

Melonie's New Vid Is All About Belize
When Melonie Gillett releases a new music video, it's not just a video; it's a mini movie masterpiece that took months to put together. Indeed, the talented singer has made exotic music videos into her trademark - and she's doing just that with her latest release Come Away. The sultry tune is actually a pitch for the Belize Tourism product - but as she told us - she's not doing it for the BTB - who is not a sponsor - she's doing it because she loves Belize. Here's her story:.. Melonie Gillett, musician "The launch is whole project - it's the "come away" project which features the music video and the "come away" Belize which will all be launched tonight on Channel 7 at 9pm." "When it comes to this song it came straight from the heart - it talks about my feelings about Belize, the way I feel about Belize and the way I think everybody should feel about Belize as a Belizean."

What's Life Like In A Violence Riddled Area?
For the last 2 nights, 7News has been telling you about the violent shooting incidents on or near Benbow and Supal Streets. And while the family of these victims has their own grief and trauma to deal with, the residents of these neighborhoods are living in a sort of sustained terror, after their neighborhood has become a war zone. One such area resident is our summer intern, Andrew Munnings. The Wesley College fourth former was friendly with two of the recent murder victims. He told us that it is painful to see his peers lives cut short by gun violence and explained what it is like living in a violent community such as Benbow Street: Daniel Ortiz "Mr. Munnings, what area of the city do you live in sir?" Andrew Munnings "I live in the south side area right now. That was the area that I grew up in." Daniel Ortiz "What street exactly?" Andrew Munnings "Currently I am on Benbow Street." Daniel Ortiz "What is it like to be in an area that is currently under gang warfare?" Andrew Munnings "To tell you the truth it's not only in that area that I have a fear of, going to the shop and those kinds of things - it's probably the whole city. We always hear it on the news, so it's nothing that no one know about but to know that its young people who are dying - some of them who hasn't even start their life yet, then that would bother anybody like myself. As a youth you can't even walk to the shop because all kinds of things runs through you mind like will I come back home and will this be the last time that I step foot outside."

Channel 5

Government unable to pay August Superbond coupon
The Superbond negotiating team dropped a financial super bomb on bondholders. In a release that was posted on the Central Bank of Belize’s website this afternoon, G.O.B. said that it is unable to meet the August twentieth coupon payment of the Superbond. The payment is for ninety-three million Belize dollars, due next week Monday or [...]

But bond coupon was in the budget
The announcement is stunning because in the presentation of the budget for the 2012/2013 budget in July, the Prime Minister specifically and categorically stated that “For the fiscal year 2012/2013, we have budgeted overall debt service payments at Belize two hundred point seven million dollars, of which approximately one hundred and seventy-four point five million [...]

Was there interference by ComPol with San Pedro case?
Nineteen year old Silvia Teul, a resident of the airstrip area of San Pedro, appeared in Magistrates Court today where she was arraigned on multiple charges stemming from an altercation with a female officer inside the San Pedro Police Station on Saturday. Shortly after three o’clock that morning, police detained Lorena Montes, who was involved [...]

16 year old murdered where? Belize City
On Monday we told you about the eighteen year old and his eleven year old sister who were mercilessly shot repeatedly while they slept inside their home on Benbow Street. And it doesn’t take a criminologist to observe that most of the victims as well as the perpetrators are regularly in their teens. So the [...]

19 year old shot where? Belize City
Another shooting incident preceded the murder of Kirk Hemmans on Monday night and the victim is also still in his teens. This time gunfire erupted across town, in an area that is quickly becoming another hotspot in the Old Capital. Tonight, nineteen year old Randy August is recovering from injuries he received during a shooting [...]

Man who allegedly set tank on fire passes away
After almost a month of being hospitalized, thirty-five year old Orson Emmerson Twist passed away on Saturday morning at the K.H.M.H. Twist, who since his hospitalization was given a fifty percent chance of surviving, was suffering from first and second degree burns to eighty percent of his body. On July sixteenth we reported the story [...]

Former K.H.M.H. employee says she’s the victim
One year old Kimora Leslie died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (K.H.M.H.) on April twenty-ninth, 2006, after urgent neurosurgery was allegedly delayed. It was an extremely controversial issue and Leslie’s grandmother, Sharn Lemoth, who was then employed at the hospital, was vocal on the media, expressing her dissatisfaction with the K.H.M.H. But after speaking [...]

Evaluations to find solutions to improve CSEC scores
The results of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), also known locally as CXC, have been released. On Monday News Five spoke to Juan Vargas, the Local Registrar for the exam who has been looking closely at the results. He confirmed that the number of exams taken has increased to three thousand and forty, which [...]

Miss World Belize Chantae Guy is big in China
Belize’s Chantae Guy is making a strong impression in China as she prepares to vie for the Miss World 2012 crown in Mongolia on Saturday. Over the last four weeks, the twenty year old Miss World Belize participated in a number of preliminary challenges called fast track events; she struck it big when she placed [...]

Miss Earth Belize Runner Up says pageant organizer fooled her
But while Belize has relatively strong representation in China for the Miss World 2012, on the local scene, the five delegates vying for the title of Miss Earth Belize 2012 will also take center stage at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts this Saturday, August eighteenth. But who is the reigning Miss Earth? News [...]

NICH’s roadmap to national cultural policy
If you wonder what life holds for beauty queens after pageants, this next story will shed a minor light. Former Queen of the Bay 1998 Shari Williams is the Communications Officer for the National Institute of Culture and History. NICH is working toward creating a National Cultural Policy and is seeking opinions and ideas from [...]

Belize’s Olympians return home
After two weeks of competition at the Olympics Games 2012 in London, the closing ceremony was held on Sunday celebrating the amazing sporting feats of the athletes who had taken part in the games. Taking home the most medals was the United States with one hundred and four overall; followed by China with eighty-eight medals. [...]

Will there be training and support prior to Rio Olympics?
Additional training as well as financial support are needed to improve the performance of Belizean athletes against competing countries. And with all eyes set on Rio de Janeiro for 2016, Track and Field Team Leader of the 2012 Belize Olympic Delegation, Josephine Flowers, says that they will, with the limited facilities available in Belize, begin [...]


Police News
Nineteen year old Joshua Gallego, a laborer of Raccoon Street Extension who allegedly shot nineteen year old Jermaine Flowers, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in court today. Gallego was also charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was ta...

Belize Shotokan Karate Association Holds Annual Camp
The annual camp of the Belize Shotokan Karate Association was held at the weekend in the Belize district. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports. PAUL MAHUNG Toledo Correspondent Love FM “From Toledo, the camp had the active participation of members of the Toledo...

Traffic Accident Reported in Cayo District
A traffic accident on the Western Highway yesterday, resulted in two men injured. Correspondent Elaine Berry reports: ELAINE BERRY Cayo Correspondent Love FM “At about 4:55pm on Monday, August 13, two cars were involved in a traffic accident at mile sixty fi...

Minor Caught Red Handed in Hotel Room
A burglar was caught in the act on the Placencia Peninsula early this morning. According to reports, police went to a hotel in the village around twelve fifteen this morning where, with the help of the home owner, they were able to apprehend the thief. As it turns out, the ...

Government Says Belize Will Fail to Meet Next Payment on Nation's Foreign Debt
The government of Belize will not make the next coupon payment on the nation’s foreign debt, commonly known as the super bond. The announcement was made today via a press release by the Ministry of Finance. As we have reported previously, the first coupon payment on t...

Young Girl Recovering From Shots Received in Her Bed
On Monday Love News brought you the news of eleven year old Carline Pinto who was shot four times as she slept in her bed in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Today we bring you the update on the spirited little girl who is looking forward to celebrating her twelfth birthday in ...

Another Southside Murder in the City
Benbow Street seems to be fast becoming the old capital’s most popular war zone. Just one night after the shooting of an eleven year old girl and her 18 year old brother while they slept in their beds, there was a murder not far from the area. It happened just off Fairweath...

Estereo Amor Awards Two High School Scholarships
Two teenagers from Orange Walk Town have won a four scholarship to Orange Walk Technical High School. The scholarship was offered by Estereo Amor in collaboration with the Orange Walk Technical High School. In early July, the public was invited to apply for the scholarships in two categories. In ...

People's United Party Justifies Firing Five Employees
The opposition People’s United Party today issued a statement on the termination of services for five employees of the party’s mouthpiece, the Belize Times. The PUP also announced, via the same statement, that Belize Times will now be available only on the internet un...

Belize Business Bureau Analyses Super Bond Renegotiations
One week from today, the Government of Belize will need to dig deep into the nation’s treasury to come up with the next coupon payment of forty six million dollars as the next interest payment on the foreign debt becomes payable. It will be the first payment of the stepped up int... Three Mexicans Robbed Whilst on a Journey for Peace
Three Mexican Nationals who were on a ride for peace, a journey that began in Cuernavaca Mexico and is scheduled to take them by road to Argentina, were attacked and robbed in the Stann Creek District. It is alleged that the three riders, Roberto Cervantes a Mechanical Engineer a...

Police News
Two persons, 22 year old John Chessman and 18 year old Dilon Clarke, were charged with the murder of 32 year old Pei Xan Tan, also known as “Kenny”, when they appeared in court today. They were also charged with robbery. No plea was taken because the offences will be tried ...

Minor Shot Four Times Whilst At Home In Bed
A young girl remains hospitalized after she was shot multiple times in an early morning shooting in Belize City. Reporter Marion Ali has the story. MARION ALI News Reporter Love FM “The perforations on this wall at 32A Benbow Street are the damages that bull...

CXC and CAPE Results Released
The Ministry of Education today released the results of the CXC Examinations conducted in May and June of this year. According to an official release, there were three thousand and forty candidates who sat all but two of the General and Technical Proficiency subjects at the CSEC ...

A Dozen Parcels of Suspected Cocaine Confiscated
Reports reaching Love News Center are that a number of persons have been detained by Dangriga Police for questioning. Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU Dangriga Correspondent Love FM “Dangriga Police confiscated some twelve parcels of suspected cocaine earlier...


First Caribbean Bank Opens In Orange Walk
Yesterday First Caribbean International Bank officially opened its doors here in Orange Walk Town. The branch is located on Queen Victoria Avenue, right in front to the Orange Walk Police Station. According to Branch Manager Pablo Ayala, the new branch employs six persons and features three teller stations, one Instant Teller and a Night Depository facility. Pablo Alaya, Branch Manager “Plans have been in progress for a while now, it is just a matter of now trying to get everything set up, everything coming together and indeed the day has arrived and we are so proud to be here.” Hipolito Novelo - Reporter “The location, do you think it is a right location within the town?” Pablo Alaya, Branch Manager “We believe so, it is not exactly where the rest of the banks are but we believe that we are giving persons another venue where they can bank which is normally the standard but we do offer parking and do you’re banking transactions here. When particularly interested in financing for caneros and of course we do offer products for everybody else.” Hipolito Novelo - Reporter Is there a branch in Corozal?” Pablo Alaya, Branch Manager “No, currently we don’t have a branch in Corozal, so the Corozal community can travel here and as we grow plans may come in phase that we can open a branch in Corozal we will.” First Caribbean International Bank, according to Ayala, provides a wide range of services to its customers at a low fee.

Negative Reactions Towards GOB Restructuring Bond Options
But markets have reacted negatively to Belize's indicative restructuring proposals. Citigroup analysts describe Belize's options as a "threat of a credit event rather than a willingness to negotiate.” AJ Mediratta, a partner at Greylock Capital Management and chairman of the ad-hoc committee of holders formed a few months ago states an we quote “We previously communicated from the beginning that we are sympathetic to the challenges facing Belize and are prepared to work with the authorities in a consensual and collaborative manner. However, we do not consider the indicative scenarios released last week as the start of negotiations. This is the most organized and unified group of bondholders involved in a recent sovereign restructuring, and it is our position that we will respond to proposals that are clearly based on ability to pay using reasonable, mutually agreed assumptions as well as demonstrated burden sharing among commercial, bilateral and multilateral creditors and, importantly, the Government itself.” End of quote According to a recent report by Carl Ross for Oppenheimer “The proposed terms were significantly worse than most people expected, with a major lengthening of maturities and a drastic cut in coupon levels. These investors see neither the need nor the urgency for the scope of NPV haircut being offered by Belize, and Belize is likely to become a financial outcast in the region as a result.” End of quote.

Foreigners Robbed While Riding For A Good Cause
In a ride to generate environmental awareness Roberto Vivero and Roberto Cervantes were on their way to Buenos Aires Argentina, along with Alan Omar Hernandez who was riding for peace. But on Friday afternoon their ride was interrupted by two armed masked men who proved that here in Belize there are no boundaries when it comes to criminal activity. The trio was intercepted by criminals while travelling along the Hummingbird Highway to the coastal town of Dangriga. Vivero and Cervantes were robbed of their laptop, hard drives, cameras, tape recorders, bike repair kits, medical kits, BZE$100 and a passport. According to reports, the incident occurred around the Middlesex Village when the men were ambushed by three armed masked men. Two of the assailants were wielding machetes while the third held what appeared to be a firearm. While Vivero and Cervantes got robbed, the third cyclist, Alan Hernandez, who is riding for peace, was much more fortunate. Hernandez was riding a few yards behind the duo and managed to escape from the assailants. Vivero told us that without their laptops and equipments they are unable to continue with their journey and are planning to head back to Quintana Roo Mexico.

Teachers Strive To Improve Quality Of Education In Belize
Since last week Friday over 200 hundred primary school teachers have been participating in a number of workshops held at the ITVET Campus in the Corozal District. The Continuous Professional Development Workshops is offered every year to teachers, with the focus of enhancing the quality of education in Belize. While in Corozal yesterday, we attended one of the sessions and spoke to Corozal’s District Education Manager Pedro Kukul, who told us more about the workshops sponsored by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Rotary Club of Canada. The Continuous Professional Development Workshops started on August 10th here at the Corozal ITVET Campus. The workshops are aimed at improving the professional competence of educator’s throughout their teaching career. Pedro Kukul, District Education Manager, Corozal “The continuous professional development is an annual event especially around this time, the Ministry of Education organizes, continuous professional development for teachers in every district of the country.”

S&P Cuts Belize's Rating On Expected Miss Payment
And late this evening, Belize’s sovereign-credit rating was pushed further into junk territory by Standard & Poor’s. S&P downgraded Belize’s credit rating to a double C from a triple C-minus after the Barrow Administration officially announced that it won’t be making its $46 million bond coupon payment on August 20th. In an article posted on S&P states and we quote “The outlook is negative, reflecting prospects the firm could lower the ratings to selective default if Belize's government misses its payment as announced or if it proposes a debt exchange to investors.” End quote. If the Barrow Administration fails to pay the bondholders within 30 days of August 20TH, it will default on its debt. S&P expects GOB to fund its gap through the exceptional financing of default, import compression and a drawdown of reserves. The rating cut is the latest in a series of downgrades this year from S&P and Moody's Investors Service, as both rating firms cited concerns about the possibility of another debt restructuring. In June, Moody's downgraded Belize's sovereign debt rating to Ca, pushing it deeper into highly speculative territory. Late this evening the Opposition People’s United Party weighed in on the much discussed issue of Governments default on its $46 million bond coupon payment. According to the PUP “The Leader of the Opposition was neither consulted on nor informed of this very critical decision which has very serious implications for Belize’s economy and development. During the Budget debate for 2012/13 the Nation was led to believe that the government had budgeted for this payment and would be honoring the August 20th, 2012 payment.”

GOB Unable To Meet $46 Million Bond Payment
The government of Belize today ended months of speculation by officially announcing that it is unable to meet its next coupon payment of $46 million, with an interest of 8.5 %, for the super bond due on August 20th which is only seven days away. Despite the fact that Government had stated that it budgeted for the payment, never was it announced if the payment would or would not be made, that is until this afternoon when the Ministry of Finance issued a press release stating to the nation that Belize will be unable to meet coupon payment. The release further states what most Belizeans already know, that Government has commenced discussions with the holders of the bond regarding a consensual restructuring of the U.S$557 million super bond due in 2029. In the release the Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Finance and Economic Development the Honorable Dean Barrow states and we quote “We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face. Our hope; however, is that we can move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument.” end quote.

Gabino Tzib Recognized As Officer Of The Month
Police Constable #1329 Gabino Tzib, was this afternoon awarded Police Officer of the Month for the month of July. Two and a half years ago, on July 7th 2010, Tzib decided to join the force and was assigned to the Orange Walk Police Department. Since then, Tzib has been hard at work serving his community and this afternoon he was recognized by the Orange Walk People’s Coalition Committee. When spoke to Tzib this afternoon he could not be more proud of his accomplishment. “The way I think is by assisting is as, the people come here to Orange Walk to make a report, am trying to be perfectly working with them, dealing with their report, working hard and if I need to detain somebody, working hard in my investigation to bring that person and work with the people.” “Currently, do you form part of the Quick Response Team?” Gabino Tzib, Police Officer of the Month July “Yes, currently about two months from now that I join the Quick Response Team right here at Orange Walk.”

BTIA Offers Marketing Summit For Entrepreneurs
A Marketing Summit for business owners and entrepreneurs will be held in Belize City on August 23rd at the Princess Hotel. According to the Executive Director of the Belize Tourism Industry Association Efren Perez, the full day summit will be looking at three different marketing areas that could easily be incorporated in the business ambience. “Its content marketing its website, videos and photography, content on its website and it is also being talking about the social networking on how you are can improve on social networking, twitter, Facebook, blog sites and also looking at real time marketing and public relations, how it is that we can be more aggressive to capture the market that we want for our businesses, there are going to be three panel discussions and each panel will consist of about seven people that are very successful at what they are been doing and in each one of these three areas would be sharing ideas with us as to the best practices and what it is that they’ve been successful at. We are having our presenter who is an International author of eight bestselling books on Newsweek and we also have International panelist, the vice-president of international media from BBK also who has worked with huge companies like Sam’s Club and so it is an event tht you are going to get a lot of knowledge out of.”


Police press officer’s weekly press conference
The shooting of eleven year old Carline Pinto was not the only unfortunate incident that occurred over the past weekend. There was also a fatal traffic accident. Police Press Officer, Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, gave the details at the police briefing. Yearwood also had an update in connection with last Thursday evening’s murder of Taiwanese businessman, thirty one year old Peixian Tan in Ladyville. The two persons, 22 year old John Chessman and 18 year old Dilon Clarke were charged with Tan’s murder when they appeared today in the Magistrate’s Court. They were also charged with robbery. Both were remanded into custody until September 20th. Security footage showed that two persons entered E-Buy Supermarket on Crab Catcher Street in Ladyville and pretended to be customers. One of them who was armed put a pistol, pointed the weapon to Tan’s head and took him behind the counter while the other one stole an undetermined amount of money from the cash register. The gunman then shot Tan, also known as “Kenny” in the left side of his head. Tan died while being transported to the hospital. The police reportedly retrieved one expended 9 millimetre shell form the scene. In Corozal, an elderly woman died after a chopping incident outside her house ended up in her living room and she suffered what is believed to be a heart attack from the ruckus. The Police press officer explained how it happened.

Dangriga police detain a number of persons
Reports reaching Love News Center are that a number of persons have been detained by Dangriga Police for questioning. Harry Arzu reports.

Trio charged in murder of Orange Walk man
Three men appeared this morning before Magistrate Merlene Moody in Orange Walk where they were charged in connection with the murder of 35 year old Ricardo Blanco of Trial Farm Village. 20 year old mechanic Feliciano Briceño and 21 year old construction worker Manuel Toloza, both of Trial Farm Village were charged with murder. 25 year old salesman of Trial Farm village Julio Castillo was charged with abetment to commit murder. It is believed Castillo facilitated the use of a white Toyota car to transport Blanco. The three men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison and are to reappear in court on September 12. Blanco went missing on Thursday August 2 after a night of drinking and socializing with other men from the village. When he failed to come home that weekend, his family launched a search which led them to a feeder road off the Northern Highway where Blanco’s body was found under some dry grass, nude except for a green piece of cloth tied around his neck. He also had injuries to the chest and face.

11 year old girl shot while asleep in bed
It is not the first time that a Belizean child has gone to sleep, only to be shot in what many would consider to be the safety of their beds. Luckily, this time, the victim — an eleven year old — is expected to survive the attack at her home which occurred sometime after five on Saturday morning. Love TV’s Marion Ali and Videographer, Brian Castillo, were on the beat today and filed this report. Carline Pinto was shot in the chest, stomach, shoulder and right foot, but is expected to survive and is said to be responding well to treatment.

Mexican nationals hit by highway bandits in the south
Three Mexican Nationals who were on a ride for peace, a journey that began in Cuernavaca Mexico and is scheduled to take them by road to Argentina, were attacked and robbed in the Stann Creek District. It is alleged that the three riders, Roberto Cervantes a Mechanical Engineer and Red Cross Volunteer, Roberto Vivero, a Red Cross Paramedic, and the other man identified as Allan, a Social Worker and Rotaract International Director, were on their way to a host family in Dangriga where they were scheduled to stay the weekend. Upon reaching an area around Middlesex Village on the Hummingbird Highway, they were ambushed by three men who came out of a red car and were wearing stockings on their heads. The three men, two of which were identified by the riders to be of dark complexion, came wielding a gun and a machete and knocked Cervantes and Vivero off their bicycles. Allan, the third rider was lagging behind so he managed to evade the attack. Reports are that the men were taken into the bushes where they were stripped of a number of items including two laptops, two cameras, a first aid kit, a kit containing their toiletries and one hundred Belize dollars along with a passport. While this was taking place, the third rider managed to ride away from the scene unnoticed. Soon after, the men are said to have alerted a police vehicle that was passing by but they couldn’t catch up to the perpetrators who had made good their escape. According to Mexican Newspaper, PULSO, the victims said they are in good health however, they said that their project is threatened in its continuity due to the fact that the criminals got away with their digital equipment. The newspaper article goes on to say that the men reported the matter to the local police and the Mexican Embassy in Belize and that they will remain in the country in hopes of replacing their digital equipment. Love News understands that the men managed to maintain their credit cards which were on their person at the time.

Ministry of Education releases CXC results for Belize
The Ministry of Education today released the results of the CXC Examinations conducted in May and June of this year. According to an official release, there were three thousand and forty candidates who sat all but two of the General and Technical Proficiency subjects at the CSEC level. According to the official release, there was a drop in overall performance for Belize in terms of high school students sitting the CSEC exams. Juan Vargas is the local Registrar of CXC. In terms of the core subjects of mathematics and English, Vargas says there were some decreases in overall performance; but Belizean high school students continue to do well in the CSEC exams. In the CAPE section of the CXC exams, Vargas says the results were also upbeat; but concluded that there is always room for improvement.

Social partners want to help bond renegotiations
One week from today, the Government of Belize will need to dig deep into the nation’s treasury to come up with the next coupon payment of forty six million dollars as the next interest payment on the foreign debt becomes payable. It will be the first payment of the stepped up interest payment which now stands at eight point five percent. The sum of money to be paid next week is budgeted for; but whether or not government will actually make the payment is still not certain. And the prospect of a default has the private sector and social partners worried. The Belize Business Bureau today went public with its position saying it wants to help the process of renegotiating the so-called super bond and calls for widespread dialogue on the way forward. Arturo Lizarraga is the president of the Belize Business Bureau. For his part, the Manager of the Belize Business Bureau Hipolito Bautista believes that the government is laying the foundation for a possible engagement with the International Monetary Fund; a prospect which he says is not good news for Belize. That is why the social partners are uniting in their efforts to help move the proposals published last week by the government forward and make the offers more attractive to the bond holders. So far, reaction from those bond holders has not been positive and there are many who believe that the three scenarios put forward by government do not go far enough to entice the bond holders. Bautista says that when he hears that one of the proposals is to only offer 55 cents on every dollar owed to the bond holders, that is a sign that a default is a possibility and that is a prospect that should have Belizeans worried.

Fire reported in Punta Gorda town
A fire incident was reported yesterday afternoon in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details.

PUP Leader explains firing of Belize Times staff
The opposition People’s United Party today issued a statement on the termination of services for five employees of the party’s mouthpiece, the Belize Times. The PUP also announced, via the same statement, that Belize Times will now be available only on the internet until further notice. On Friday of last week, five employees were let go by the Belize Times, among them long-serving workers Faye Castillo and Doreth Bevans. The PUP statement says that the decision to fire the workers, while a difficult exercise, was unavoidable given the state of the nation’s economy and the fact that the Belize Times had been operating under an outdated, wasteful and unsustainable business model. The PUP statement says that the Belize Times has been operating at a loss for the past few years, and that it can no longer sustain those losses. PUP leader Francis Fonseca, according to the official statement, assumes full responsibility for the decision to terminate the services of the workers, and says that all benefits and entitlements do to the fired workers have been paid in accordance with Belize’s labor laws. Fonseca offers his apologies to the aggrieved former employees of the Belize Times and says that while he and the PUP owe these employees and friends a great responsibility, the greater responsibility lies with the members of the Party who as shareholders in the PUP are demanding that the financial affairs of our Party be administered with a greater sense of responsibility, accountability, and efficiency.

Belize does well in women’s softball in Central America
Belize’s national women’s softball champions, Telemedia, have concluded participation in the Central American Champion of Champions tournament. And the ladies of team Telemedia are not coming home empty handed, having captured the silver medal in the games. The tournament which opened on Friday and ended yesterday was played at the La Sabana Metropolitan Park in San Jose, Costa Rica. For the first time since the tournament started, this year all the countries of the Central American isthmus sent a representative to the games. Each team played a total of six games and Belize and Guatemala ended play on Sunday with an identical record of five wins and one loss. But due to the fact that Guatemala had beaten Belize by a score of four to two on Saturday morning, they captured the gold and Belize had to settle for the silver medal. The third place spot in the tournament was won by Nicaragua. Host country Costa Rica placed seventh in the tournament. Aside from winning the silver medal, a member of the Belize team, pitcher Leandra Guy walked away from the tournament with the best pitcher award. Guy pitches locally for the Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy team from the Cayo district. A decision has not yet been made on where the next Champion of Champions tournament will be played. But in terms of regional fast pitch softball, the next big tournament is the male championships which will be played in November in Guatemala City. Another big event on regional the softball calendar is the Central American games on March of next year which will be hosted in San Jose, Costa Rica.


Gold rush inside Chiquibul — 12 detained for illegal gold panning
Belize security forces are cracking down on persons illegally panning for gold inside Belize’s prestigious Chiquibul Forest. A total of 12 persons have been detained since Friday; 2 have been charged and 10 more await formal

Musa The Hatchetman!
He has a “very cold, cold heart.” – former Belize Times worker.. This morning, three ex-employees of The Belize Times, the organ of the Opposition People’s United Party, visited Amandala to share with the public [...]

West Lake gains respect, holds BDF to 2-2 draw
After a late start and an uneventful exhibition between F.C. Belize and R.G. City Boys at the MCC yesterday, the nightcap game 2 of the Belize City Champions Cup finals series between BDF and West Lake [...]

“Antonio,” not “Anthony,” our apologies
We received a call this morning from tournament organizer Dickie Hernandez, and shortly afterwards a visit from 70-year-old Michael Soberanis, son of the legendary Belizean labor leader, Antonio Soberanis, both gently correcting the first name spelling [...]

Editorial: Welcome to the party
There was a time when Said Musa was considered socialist, roots even, a youthful populist. His detractors used to even accuse him of being a “communist.” But the 1998-2008 administration of the PUP under his leadership [...]

From The Publisher
When Amandala became the leading newspaper in Belize in 1981, this was a disturbing development where the establishment or power structure in Belize was concerned. If you are a member of Belize’s middle class, you may ask: well, who exactly constitute the establishment or power structure in Belize? The reason you may not be able to see things clearly enough for definition, is likely because you are too close to the power, and you may even have hopes of one day seeing your children graduate to those higher heights, so to speak. If you are a member of the roots class, however, you know exactly who are the establishment or power structure, because these are what roots people consider to be untouchables. They are the ones who walk on top of roots people, as a matter of routine. A few years after this newspaper became the industry leader, the Jesuits brought an American here by the name of David Runkel to teach journalism to their Sixth Form students. This would have been the middle/late eighties. It seems Runkel started talking about investigative journalism to his students, and I imagine he must have pointed out to them all the different areas where Amandala fell short of international journalism standards.

Of this and that
Today, Monday, Amandala celebrates 43 years of service to the people of Belize, and next month, September, will mark my sixteen years as editor of the newspaper. As we say, “How time flies.” Actually, I have [...]

The Reporter

Belize Default Official
The Government of Belize announced today that it is unable to make an August 20, 2012 coupon payment on the country’s U.S. Dollar Step-up Bonds Due 2029.


A Beautiful Day for (Hopefully) Swimming with 40 Foot Long Whale Sharks
Beautiful one for a very early start. In a few minutes we are getting picked up from our hotel... to truck it over to Isla Holbox. Pronounced with the Mexican-Mayan X = "Sh"...or Holbosh. Supposedly the whale sharks are in a veritable frenzy between Holbox and Contoy feasting on plankton and algae. NOT human flesh. He is only a filter feeded. I will certainly let you know how it goes...

Mystery Fruit: Rambutan (Or Eye Ball Fruit), Tasting Strange Things and Some Pictures of Cancun
One of the best things about travelling or relocating to a new country is eating and drinking. Trying every new thing that you can. Honestly, is there a better way to get to know a different culture? As you may know, I'm in Cancun. More "Bubba Gump's All You Can Eat Shrimp Buffet" and McDonald's than exotic cuisine. But we are still in Mexico. If you can't find the local food in the hotel zone, a short bus ride away is the city of Cancun. 500,000 people, many who have moved to the area to work in this huge tourist destination, tons of shops and lots of street food & fruit and veggie carts. Over the past year of blogging, I've tried both good and bad. These black chicken tacos in Bacalar, Mexico are an example of the bad. A sip of bitters from an older gentleman in Dangriga, Belize surprisingly good. Pig tails? Yes please. Genitalia of conch? Sure...why not? Termites off a giant nest in Cayo? Ugh...just one. There is only one thing that I just couldn't try...and that was sea turtle egg ceviche in Omoa, Honduras. (Black clams on the right - delicious, sea turtle eggs on the left...sorry lil guys, you'll never make it to the ocean.) But I digress... I've worked tirelessly (pause for sympathetic sighs...) over the past few years to try all the new fruits in Belize. Some I've never seen before, mystery fruits like cashew fruit and waxy apples, sour sop, craboo & seagrapes and more (all are listed under the label: Mystery Fruits to the right.) Here is one that I have tasted before (in Vietnam) but is probably new to lots of people. It is sometimes available in Belize but widely available this time of year in most of Central America. Hello, Rambutan.

Retire to the Simple Life in Cayo, Belize
In Belize’s Cayo District, it doesn’t take long for any other reality you’ve brought with you to fade. In this frontier land of rivers and rain forest, your mind and your body are occupied with challenge and discovery from sun up until you fall exhausted into your bed each evening. Mick Fleming is something of a legend in this part of Belize, a larger-than-life character who, more than 30 years ago, with $600 in his pocket, made his way to Belize City, where he met a guy in a bar who owned a piece of land in the jungle he was interested in selling. Mick bought, thinking he’d try his luck as a farmer. The farming was tough going, but, in time, Mick identified another opportunity. Travelers were beginning to find their way to this remote region. They’d happen upon Mick and ask if he had a place where they could spend the night. Mick built a few thatched-roof cabins … then a few more … then a dining room and a bar. I met Mick about a quarter-century ago, when his Chaa Creek Lodge was a humble (electricity- and hot water-free) but beautiful oasis in the rain forest. I returned as often as I could for years, but, when I traveled out to see Mick most recently, I realized it had been maybe 13 or 14 years since my last visit. In the intervening years, Chaa Creek has grown up. Today, it’s 25 luxury villas, a spa, a swimming pool, and five-star service in the still thatched-roof dining room.

Bean Restaurant
Last night we ended walking down the beach to Bean restaurant at ak’Bol yoga retreat, it is only 5 min or less from Grand Caribe Resort. We enjoyed yummy food and good company, Kirsten and Jim, then Milio, Captain Green, Sir Andrew and Ricardo turned up. I posted pics of what we ordered below I had the shrimp quesadilla, Cowboy and Leisa both did breakfast for dinner. Kirsten gave me a piece of carrot cake to try, I am eating it right now right now for a late night snack – thanks girlfriend it is totally hitting the spot and helping me get the job done.

International Sources

Immigrants in Belize
A Spanish accent How foreigners are transforming a small English-speaking country. BELIZE has long been a country of immigrants. British timber-cutters imported African slaves in the 18th century, and in the 1840s Mexican Mayans fled a civil war. More recently, North American sun-seekers and retired British soldiers have discovered its coast. Light- and dark-skinned men stand side by side on the country's flag. The latest migration is from elsewhere in Central America. Thousands of Salvadoran refugees arrived in the 1980s. More recently, Guatemalans have come seeking land. Of Belize's 300,000 people, 15% are foreign-born. Thanks to higher birth rates, mestizos have overtaken creoles (of mixed African ancestry) to become the biggest group, making up half the population.

NOAA raises prediction for named storms
The Atlantic Ocean may have a couple more named storms this year than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration initially predicted, the group said Thursday. NOAA now predicts 12 to 17 named storms, up from the nine to 15 it predicted shortly before the June 1 start of hurricane season. Six named storms, including the current Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ernesto, have been produced so far. For the Atlantic Ocean, a normal season would produce 12 named storms (with top sustained winds of at least 39 mph), including six hurricanes and three major ones. NOAA also adjusted its predicted hurricane range, to five to eight (up from four to eight). Two to three of those should be major hurricanes, meaning Category 3 (with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph) or higher, NOAA says.

Record Number of Manatees Seen in Belize
Sometimes the best way to approach a situation is by getting a new perspective. Researchers in Belize have done just that, and have strengthened efforts to protect one of the most iconic -- and threatened -- animals in the world's oceans. To get a better handle on the number and locations of endangered Antillean manatees, Belize's leading marine research organization and conservation groups took to the skies to scan the crystalline waters of Belize for the rotund marine mammals. From their bird's-eye view aboard small planes, researchers have been able to spot a record 507 manatees this year, confirming Belize's status as the world's most important country for this endangered subspecies.

S&P Lowers Belize Long-Term Foreign Currency Rtg To 'CC
The government of Belize announced today that it will not make its Aug. 20, 2012, coupon payment on its U.S. dollar-denominated step-up bonds due 2029. -- We are lowering our long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CC' from 'CCC-'. -- The outlook is negative, reflecting the prospect that we will lower our foreign currency ratings to 'SD' if the government misses its Aug. 20 payment as announced, or if it proposes a debt exchange to investors. Rating Action On Aug. 14, 2012, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services lowered its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Belize to 'CC' from 'CCC-'. We also lowered our foreign currency issue rating on Belize's US$546.8 million bond due in 2029 to 'CC' from 'CCC-'. At the same time, we affirmed our 'C' short-term foreign currency and 'CCC+/C' local currency sovereign credit ratings on Belize. Our '4' recovery rating and 'B-' transfer and convertibility assessment remain unchanged.

S&P Cuts Belize's Rating on Expected Missed Payment
Standard & Poor's lowered its sovereign-credit rating on Belize further into junk territory, after the country's government said it won't make its coming coupon payment on its bonds due 2029. S&P downgraded the Central American country's rating to double-C from triple-C-minus. The outlook is negative, reflecting prospects the firm could lower the ratings to selective default if Belize's government misses its payment as announced or if it proposes a debt exchange to investors. Earlier Tuesday, Belize's government said it won't pay the $23 million semiannual coupon due Aug. 20 on its $546.8 million bonds due 2029. If the government fails to pay the bondholders within 30 days of Aug. 20, it will default on its debt. However, the government is expected to renegotiate the structuring of bonds in the future. Bondholders and the Belize government have been negotiating since the country said it found its monthly dues too high. S&P noted Belize has a per capita gross domestic product of about $4,500 and had net general government debt of 68% of GDP at the end of 2011. The firm expects Belize to fund its gap through the exceptional financing of default, import compression and a drawdown of reserves.

Belize unable to make bond payment, says PM
The government of Belize announced on Tuesday that it is unable to make an August 20, 2012, coupon payment on the country’s US dollar Step-Up Bonds due 2029, setting up a potential default if the country is not able to restructure its debt. However, the government said it has already commenced discussions with the holders of this bond regarding a consensual restructuring of the instrument. “The Step-Up Bond alone represents approximately one-half of Belize’s total recorded public indebtedness,” said Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize and Minister of Finance and Economic Development. “The annual interest rate on this bond stepped up earlier this year to 8.5%. We simply cannot afford this coupon payment given the financing shortfalls and other challenges we face. Our hope, however, is that we can move quickly toward a sensible restructuring of the instrument.” Last week, the Central Bank of Belize proposed a restructuring of the bond that would discount its value and reduce its interest rate, according to a note on the bank's website. If the government fails to pay the bondholders within 30 days of August 20, it will default on its debt.

Howler Monkeys at the CBS
This is a great review of the Community Baboon Sanctuary. It gives a good overview, and tells the CBS' history. It's to the howler monkeys what the Iguana Hatchery is to iguanas. "This organization started in 1985 with the idea that local landowners in villages where black howler monkeys live could voluntarily pledge to conserve and practice sustainable land management practices. 27 years later, the organization is still going strong, and is led by a group of women called the Women’s Conservation Group. Over 200 people in 7 small communities across 20 square miles have pledged to conserve their land for the black howler monkey. The Women’s Conservation Group has representatives from each community. These women attend monthly meetings and bring news back to their communities to share in the conservation effort. They are also in charge of tourism at the sanctuary, educational efforts, managing the museum, lodging, tours, and the list goes on and on."

August 14, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Belize placed in the Top Ten at Miss World Top Model Show
Miss World is one of the World’s biggest beauty pageant whose motto is “beauty with a purpose”. Top Model is the biggest event leading up to the Miss World pageant and the top ten finalist from that event will have there spot light at Miss World pageant as they will be called by country on live television… For the first time ever BELIZE has placed in the top 10 in this or any event at the Miss World Pageant where Miss Chantae Guy left 110 delgates sitting as she walk the runway to receive recognition for her country. Please show your support to Belize by going online and like, comment and share Miss World Belize Page as this will help her in the multi media segment of the competition… as she continues to work hard to represent Belize as a true ambassador.

Ambergris Today

Mayor Keeps Promise of Humane Capturing of Stray Dogs
After receiving quite an amount of negative feedback from a sector of the community and abroad for the inhumane process in which the stray dogs were being killed with strychnine poison, San Pedro Mayor, Daniel Guerrero, took the advice of the local Saga Humane Society to capture and get rid of problematic stray dogs in a more humane way. Mayor Guerrero is more than likely the first mayor to go along with this new process as most communities around the country still use dog poisoning as a method to control the stray dog population. In an effort to prevent further poisoning, Saga took the initiative and promised the San Pedro Town Council that they would capture at least 20 dogs each week and after last night’s efforts, the new program looks very promising; 24 stray dogs were captured.

Belize Makes Top Ten at Miss World Top Model Show
Miss Belize World, Chantae Guy, is on a fast track to a possible semi-final or final spot at the Miss World Pageant that will be held on Saturday, August 18, 2012. On Sunday, August 12, she made the Top 10 list in the Miss World Top Model Show, one of the biggest and final competitions before the Miss World Pageant. The Miss World Top Model Show was a catwalk night for the contestants as the 46 Top Model semi-finalists strutted their stuff on the catwalk in front of the judges fashioning the best of Graham Black's collection for 'Erdos 1436'. The ten finalists were announced in no particular order and the winner will be announced during the 2012 Miss World live finale.

Sell-A-Ton At The Lion's Den
Clean out your closets!

In Search for Turtle Nests in North Ambergris Caye
On Friday, July 27, 2012, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve invited me to experience their annual turtle nest scouting at the Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve and National Park. Marine Biologist, Kirah Forman and her team guided me to every nesting ground which they had tagged for inspection. I was shown the step by step strategies in finding and tagging a turtle nest. I learned that noting down data on how many eggs were hatched inside each nest is very important, as it helps compare data from previous years. During the scouting, I was excited to have come across a nest that had hatchling in them. The experience was amazing and definitely unforgettable. I hope that you feel the same way after viewing my video blog.

Misc Belizean Sources

CSI Belize, Crocodile Adventures
Come Join CSI Belize, “Crocodile Scientific Investigators”! Join our expert croc team on an educational crocodile research expedition aboard the “Swamp Thing,” a comfortable twenty foot Carolina skiff. Cruise through mangrove habitat into the night and search for crocodiles, birds, and other nocturnal wildlife. Watch while expert Biologists try to capture saltwater crocodiles for tag and release. No special attire is needed for this two hour, lagoon, boat trip. This tour is operated by the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary, a non-profit organization committed to the conservation of Belize’s critical wetland habitats and protected species, specifically Crocodilians, through scientific research and education to preserve wildlife for future generations.

SELL A TON at the Lion's Den, Aug, 18th
Sell whatever you want at the Lion's Den in San Pedro!

Channel 7

11 Year Old Girl Shot Up In Her House
When we go to sleep at night - it's with the expectation that our families will be safe inside our homes. But, an intensifying gang rivalry in the Supal Street area - has residents there on edge around the clock - after the sanctuary of a family's home was invaded by gunshots early on Saturday morning. Two sleeping residents aged 18 and 11 were shot - and the younger victim, an 11 year old - who should be getting ready to enter standard six next month, is instead fighting for her life tonight at the KHMH. Monica Bodden has the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting It was on the lower bunk of this bunk bed that 11 year old Carlene Pinto and her 18 year old brother Tyrone Pinto were sleeping -when they were shot. Their other sibling lay on the top bunk. We counted at least 6 bullet holes near the wall beside the bed. Holes only inches away from where the children's heads were resting as they slept on that morning. When we got a view from the outside of the house - we counted 12 bullet holes. It is a family's worst nightmare - waking up to the sound of gunshots - too many to keep count of. Early Saturday morning around 4:53 Arlene Banner was at home with her common-law-husband and their 8 children - The family was all asleep when they heard a barrage of gunshots ring out. Little did they know, their wooden bungalow house on Benbow Street was under fire.

Two Charged For Gratuitous Murder Of Defenceless Grocer
On Friday, we told you about the robbery turned murder at the E-Buy Supermarket in Ladyville on Thursday, August 9 - and showed you how the gunmen had already robbed the store and had the proprietor squatting on the ground when they shot him in the back of his head. Well tonight, the men believed to be the ones seen on the security camera video are behind bars after they were taken to court today. They are 22 year-old John Chessman Jr. and 18 year-old Dillon "Moo Moo" Clarke, a resident of Ladyville. They were taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer and arraigned for the murder of Peixan Tan, known to his customers as Kenny. Due to the nature of the offences, Senior Magistrate Frazer did not accept any plea from them, and they were remanded to prison until September 20.

Woman Dies After Brawl Spills Into Her Home
A woman died in her home in Cristo Rey Village after a machete brawl spilled into her residence. But, it wasn't the machete that killed 68 year old Cecilia Botes - it's the shock of having a the brawl erupt into her house! It happened on Saturday night at around 9:00 when four men got into a machete fight at a Chinese store. Two of the men 42 year old Wadencio and 22 year old Luis Che ran to the Botes house because she is their grandmother. Police press officer Fitzroy Yearwood explained that when the aggressor stormed into the house - Botes became very ill:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "It is reported that on Saturday 11th August, 2012, 10:25pm Corozal police visited the community hospital where they saw the lifeless body of Cecilia Botes, 68 years old domestic of Cristo Rey Village. Initial investigations into the cause of her death revealed that at 9:10pm Luis Che, Wadencio Che and Manuel Hernandez and some other male persons from that village were involved in an altercation in front of a Chinese shop. One of these men Luis Che ran into Ms. Botes home to seek refuge where Manuel Hernandez kick in her door and as a result of the commotion Ms. Botes told both men that she was not feeling well. Ms. Botes was rushed to the Corozal hospital where she was pronounce dead on arrival."

Gold-Seeking Guatemalans Continue With Incursions
Today two Guatemalans who were caught panning for gold in the Chiquibul - were taken to San Ignacio Magistrate's Court - and tomorrow another ten will be arraigned. That's the new policy to deal with Guatemalans who are swarming to the Ceibo Chico Creek and adjacent areas to pan for gold. A joint patrol found the first two panning for gold in the Upper Ceibo Chico creek, five miles inside Belize. They are 45 year old Crisanto Augustin Choc and 19 year old Santiago Choc of 19 years from the village of El Naran(h)on. It's a grueling 14 hour trek - and that is using a tractor - from where they were found to San Ignacio town. And when they got to the Millonario junction - which is about three quarter way in, the two detainees tried to escape, but they were re-captured. And then yesterday, the joint patrol came upon another ten persons. These ones were in the Rio Blanco creek which is just over 4 miles inside Belizean territory. All of the men - working in three different groups - are from Monte Los Olivos - a border village in Guatemala. They were also brought in on the arduous journey to San Ignacio. They arrived this morning and are being held pending charges of illegal entry, entering into a park without authorization, defacing a natural area, and gold panning. They also had a small amount of marijuana so they will be charged for drug trafficking as well.

Special Medical Mission To Save Newborn With Birth Defect
Tonight, a newborn baby girl is on her way to Virginia all the way from Belize. Hannah Castillo was born with a life threatening birth defect five days ago - and in short order, the World Pediatric project set up a lifesaving mission to get her to a specialist in the United States. 7news was there when she left the hospital this morning:.. Jules Vasquez reporting One week old Hannah Castillo was carted out of the hospital this morning - for the first leg of what will be a long journey for the newborn. As she posed with her family for a photo this morning - while they tried their best to keep up appearances, as you can tell from the distressed look on her mother's face, all is not well with this newborn. Anna cannot eat because of a congenital defect - called esophageal atresia. Milagro Garel, World Pediatric Project "It's an incomplete esophagus." Jules Vasquez "How does this affect the child?" Milagro Garel, World Pediatric Project "The child can't eat - can't swallow her own saliva because like it stops here and there is no connection to the stomach."

Elderly Man Knocked Down, Driver Charged For Drunk Driving
Those who travel or exercise along the Northern Highway early at morning will be familiar with the Liang Sheng Heng, a spritely 69 year old who is always seen fast walking for exercise. But on Saturday morning around 6:30, he was knocked down and killed on the road. He was walking on the shoulder of the highway when Marie Moody knocked him down with a Kia Sorrento. Sheng Heng suffered serious head and body injuries and died on the spot. The Sorrento continued to careen out of control and hit another oncoming vehicle. Police have served the driver with a notice of intended prosecution. The press officer told us more today:.. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood - Police Press Officer "Yes she has been served with a notice of intended persecution and have receive urine and blood samples from her which will determine whether she was driving under the influence over the prescribed limit. I can tell you that today we might have charges filed against her."

Broke Belize Times Scraps Physical Edition, Now Online Only
Last week, we told you about the 5 employees at the Belize Times who were terminated, two of them, after decades of service. So with five gone, only 2 remain - and the announcement today is that the country's longest established paper will no longer be published in print, it will only be available online. That's the news, but the sensation has been about the veteran staffers who were fired. Our newscast featured them as they vented their frustration because they believe that they were not duly compensated for their years of service. Well today, the PUP Party Leader responded to their comments. In a press release, Hon. Francis Fonseca says that when he assumed leadership of the party, he commissioned a full review of the financial model that the Belize Times Newspaper was using. That review came back and it showed that the model and structure of newspaper was, quote, "outdated, wasteful and unsustainable". According to Fonseca, the newspaper was operated at a loss for several years and represented a financial liability.

Superbond 2.0: Creditors Committee Makes Slight Saber Rattle
The Government of Belize's proposals for Superbond 2.0 continue to get hammered by analysts, and now bondholders - in the form a Creditors Committee - are voicing their dissatisfaction. A press release from Broadspan Capital - which has been organizing a Creditors' Committee quotes Committee Co-Chair AJ Mediratta as saying that quote "Bondholders have more questions than answers at this point." If Mediratta's name has a faraway but familiar ring - it should, he's been in our news before. In the good old days of capitalism run amok, he was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns who helped Belize float two of the bonds and secure two insured loans - all amounting to about 340 million dollars of the 547 million in burdensome debt that had to be wrapped into the Superbond. Well, now, he's back, and working the other end of the table where Mediratta's committee says government has not released material information necessary to evaluate the country's debt sustainability.

John Saldivar Government Ride Broken Into
Two big names are in the news - and that is because they were the victims of theft. First, Police Minister John Saldivar's government issued Toyota Prado was broken into on Saturday night. Saldivar parked in front of the Ex-Servicemen's league on Princess Margaret Drive in Belize city and sometime between 6:30 and 10:15, a thief smashed the passenger side window and snatched a purse. Inside the bag were two passports, for Darlene Saldivar and John Saldivar Jr. Also stolen was a bunch of keys, documents for Darlene Saldivar such as driver's license, social security card, voters identification card and one hundred and fifty dollars in cash. Police have not recovered any of the items. Same for Said F. Musa, the son of Rt. Hon. Said W. Musa. His home in Vista Del Mar was burglarized while he was on vacation between July 19th. and August 6th. The thief got in through a burglar bared window and stole his Glock 380 pistol as well as an assortment of electronic items. Police are looking for the gardener, known to them as Julio - in connection with the burglary.

Rachel Is Back Home, Hungry For Craboo + A New Direction
Over the past two decades or so, Rachel Huesner has been one of the most prolific public artists in Belize exhibiting regularly and producing copious artistic output. And even thought she has relocated to Trinidad and Tobago - where she is a full time artist and teacher - Rachel keeps coming back home - to get back to her roots, and maybe even eat a few bags of craboo, which she can't get in T and T. It may sound like a weird anecdote, but it's true, she misses craboo so much she even painted a vendor from memory. Rachel today told us that she is constantly looking for something new - even if it means painting with coffee! That's right coffee. Here's what she told us about her new show at the Image Factory, called Precious Moments:.. Rachel Huesner "It's been almost 25 years I've been painting. I think about having an exhibition every year - earlier it was maybe 2-3 shows a year. Each shows is about 20 paintings - for the past 25 years, do the math. So after painting for so many years it's like what next?"

Sweet Sailing Practice
The Belize Sailing Association is currently conducting training for young sailors from the age of 9 to 14. They have collaborated with an INTERNATIONAL organization called the International Optimist Dinghy Association. This organization sent one of their representatives, Jorge Santiago, an internationally renowned coach from Puerto Rico, to conduct the training. Today, they were preparing for a sailing race which will be held this Saturday, and 7News stopped in to see how the training was going. Here's what the participants told us: Daniel Ortiz "Tell us what this instructor has been doing with the sailors in Belize?" John Oliver, Member, Belize Sailing Association "We bought these boats and he has taught us how to set them up specifically for racing; how to put the tension in the sails, how to put the foot straps, all kind of little adjustments to make it better and easier and faster to sail." Daniel Ortiz "How long is this training going to take place?" John Oliver, Member, Belize Sailing Association "It was Saturday and Sunday of last week, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday this week, then he takes a day off. He is going on a tour around the city and the countryside and then Saturday we are having the Buttonwood Bay regatta here and it would be right on this very spot."

Chantae Guy Impresses At Miss World
The Miss world pageant will be held this coming Saturday in Mongolia, and Belizean Candidate Chantae Guy has done well in one of the preliminary events. It's called top model, and from a field of 46, 20 year old Belizean Chantae Guy was selected as one of the top ten Top Model Finalists. The winner will be announced during the 2012 Miss World on Saturday. Her supporters in Belize are asking you to go online at to vote for her in the People's Choice Award.

Channel 5

11 year old girl shot multiple times while sleeping; brother also injured
An eleven year old girl is fighting for her life in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The vicious cycle of violence continued on Saturday morning but instead of the streets, the gunman went with bloody vengeance to a family home. According to the police, the child and her brother were shot while asleep in bed. [...]

Honduran national shot in Belize City
There was another shooting incident over the weekend which left a Honduran national injured.  Shortly before eleven o’clock on Saturday night, twenty-nine year old Lindy Aranda, a mason, was riding his bicycle on Fabers Road along with several friends when he was accosted by a lone gunman who fired a single shot at him.  According [...]

Vehicle careens and kills businessman in accident
Saturday morning was also deadly on the highway. A Belize City businessman, Liang Sheng Heng was killed in a traffic accident. Heng was walking on the Northern Highway when an SUV travelling in the same direction lost control hit Heng and killed him on the spot. And according to reports, after knocking down Heng, the [...]

Woman dies after violent fight reaches inside her home
A fight between relatives in the village of Cristo Rey in Corozal District has left an elderly woman dead and a man fighting for his life after he was chopped in the head. Sixty-eight year old Cecilia Botes was inside her home on Saturday night when someone knocked down her door. Botes, who suffered from [...]

3 charged for murder of Trial Farm villager
Three Orange Walk men have been charged in connection with Ricardo Elmer Blanco’s death. After he failed to return home on August third, the following day Blanco’s nude body was discovered about three hundred yards off the Northern Highway, a mile and half away from Trial Farm. According to police, Blanco was discovered with a [...]

Suspects detained for E-Buy robbery/homicide
A Ladyville businessman was fatally shot during a late evening robbery at E-Buy Supermarket last Thursday August ninth.  Two armed assailants entered the store shortly after five p.m. and demanded money from the owner, thirty-one year old Peixian Tan. He complied and handed over the day’s proceeds from the cash register, but as the robbers [...]

Neighbor’s machete attack fueled by jealousy?
Another chopping incident occurred over the weekend in the Corozal District; this time in San Roman Village. Ocias Cobarruvias was walking home along with his son and a friend, when his neighbor attacked him with a machete. Police say, Julio Vega allegedly pulled a machete from off his bicycle and started hitting him repeatedly to [...]

Oppenheimer says proposed terms significantly worse for bondholders
The feedback on the bond restructuring continues to be far from welcoming. According to a recent report by Carl Ross for Oppenheimer issued on August tenth, 2012, “The the proposed terms were significantly worse than most people expected, with a major lengthening of maturities and a drastic cut in coupon levels.” Ross estimate that the [...]

Committee of Bondholders express disappointment with negations
There is breaking news room regarding the bond. The Coordinating Committee of Bondholders formed to address matters relating to the potential restructuring of Belize’s U.S. Dollar Bonds Due 2029.  They have expressed disappointment and concern over the Government of Belize’s recently published indicative restructuring scenarios. The press release by the coordinating committee of bondholders says [...]

Belize Times decline; former workers want Musa to “show me the money”
The government has a tough task of restructuring the Superbond to the international bondholders and on the home front, the Opposition People’s United Party also faces a tough time keeping its party organ, the Belize Times functional. A press release from Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca says the newspaper has been operating at a loss for [...]

Illegal gold miners busted miles in the Chiquibul National Park
The first arrests for illegal gold mining in the Chiquibul National Park were made over the weekend during patrols by the Joint Forces Unit based at the Ceibo Chico Conservation Post. The team, which included personnel from the B.D.F., Police and Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), first detained two Guatemalan nationals from El Naranjon [...]

Proper solutions needed to end Guatemalan incursions in Belize
The first phase of the initiative was to inform the Guatemalans that they were illegally panning for gold on Belizean territory. But Manzanero says that since they are moving in to make arrests, it is clear that the warning has not deterred the illegally activity. It is believed that there is still a large number [...]

CSEC: more students, more passes; but core percentages decline
The cramming for high school examinations have long been forgotten and those students are enjoying their summer holidays while preparing to enter sixth form. Before classes begin, there is still unfinished business with their former high schools that they must attend to. Results are in for the CXC Examinations and Belize’s over-all scores indicate a [...]

CAPE examinations: more females take exam and results are steady
Also released today were the results of the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE). One hundred and twenty sixth form students signed up to sit subjects. Fifty-one percent of them were female and forty one percent were male. Vargas, who is also the Local Registrar for the Examination, told News Five that CAPE’s candidate entries decreased [...]

Home of Said Musa Jr. burglarized
Said Musa Junior, son of the former Prime Minister, lost over six thousand, two hundred dollars in items when his house was burglarized between mid July and August sixth. The twenty-eight year businessman of Vista Del Mar reported to police on Friday that the thief or thieves removed a burglar bar from a window on [...]

How safe are we? Minister of National Security’s vehicle broken into
He’s the head honcho of local law enforcement, but even the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar Senior, has been targeted by criminals. His vehicle was burglarized, while it was parked in Belize City on Saturday night. A handbag, containing personal documents belonging to Saldivar’s wife and son, was stolen from inside the Toyota Prado. [...]

Exhibit showcases the art of Rachel Heusner
Rachel Heusner is a Belizean who lives in Trinidad and Tobago; but her love for Belize and her passion for painting soon infused to create works of art. With a wide collection that dates way back to the mid 1980’s, Heusner paints to tell stories. Over the last two decades, she travelled across the Caribbean [...]

James Adderley with the weekend sports update
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Belize Defense Force went into Game II of the Champion of Champions Cup inside the MCC Grounds yesterday with a commanding lead after pummeling West Lake 6-1 to open this 2 Game championship series. The 1st hint of goal comes when Tyron Pandy [...]


Three Men Charged For The Murder OF Ricardo Blanco
This morning three men from the Orange Walk District were charged for the murder of 35 year old Ricardo Elmer Blanco at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court. Eleven days after Blanco’s death, police were able to charge 21 year old construction worker Manuel Toloza and 20 year old mechanic Feliciano Briceno, both of Trail Farm Village for murder while 25 year old Julio Castillo, a taxi driver also of Trail Farm Village, was charged for abetment to commit murder. Reports to CTV3 News are that police suspect Castillo facilitated the use of his white Toyota Camry to transport Blanco. All three men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison until their next court date set for September 12th. Viewers might recall that on August 4th, police found Blanco’s nude body lying face up in some bushes about a quarter mile into a feeder road off the Northern Highway. Based on the bruises observed on the victim’s body and the piece of cloth that was found around his neck, police believe Blanco was badly beaten and then strangled to death with his underwear. Blanco was last seen alive on Thursday August 2nd drinking in front of Diamond Store located in the Village of Trail Farm where he became involved in a fight with a group of men.

68 Year Old Drops Dead After Witnessing Attack
A brawl in the village of Cristo Rey on Saturday night has led to the death of a 68 year old woman. Cecilia Botes did not die as a result of an injury; in fact, her death has nothing to do with murder. The woman dropped dead after a man, armed with a machete, barged into her home looking for two other men. It appears that Botes, who suffered from high blood pressure, could not withstand the commotion and passed away while being transported to the Corozal Community Hospital. Today CTV3 News spoke to Botes’ grieving husband who told us his wife would still be alive if 28 year old Manuel Hernandez would not have barged into their home. On Saturday night 28 year old Manuel Hernandez, 22 year old Luis Che, his father, 42 year old Wadencio Che, and another individual only known as “Chivo” were drinking in front of Tommy’s Store when a fight broke out between Luis Che, Wadencio Che and Hernandez. Reports are the brawl was over a beer.

Hard Work Pays Off
Two months ago Courts Belize Limited launched their Nominate Your Teacher Award competition to recognize the exemplary work of educators. Belizeans countywide were asked to submit a 150 word essay outlining the work of the nominee and what type of teacher he or she is. Here in Orange Walk Courts received a number of submissions but at the end of the day only one teacher was able to win the $2,000 worth in appliances and furniture. Cesar Ramirez- Branch Manager Courts O/W “This is the first that this particular promotion is being done but you always hear from Courts that we are doing new week promotions throughout the year that we are being operating.” “When exactly did this promotion started?” Cesar Ramirez- Branch Manager Courts O/W “Well, it went on for two months and ended on June 15th so that is when we put a halt on all the letters that we are coming in cause we had quite a few letters coming in and we had to sit down and make a selection of which one was the best and the one that I have here, am going to read a little passage for you to see why this person was selected, it says here; He is a disciplined and hardworking teacher who approaches his task conscientiously and with a high level of maturity.” The teacher described in the essay and the winner of the Nominate Your Teacher Award is no other than Otilio Munoz, President of the Belize National Teachers Union Orange Walk Branch and treasurer of the Orange Walk District Education Council.

Indian National Has his Day In Court
He was a person of interest in the death of James Swan Jr. who was gunned down on Sunday August 5th while standing in front of Deng’s Supermarket located in the heart of Corozal Town and tonight 38 year old Ajay Bajaj, an Indian National of 7th Avenue Corozal, has been charged for possession of controlled drugs and drug trafficking. On Thursday August 9th police personnel executed a search warrant at Bajaj’s residence. Upon sighting officers Bajaj immediately handed over a zip lock plastic bag containing 3.1 grams of suspected cannabis. A search of Bajaj’s bedroom led police to the discovery of another zip lock plastic bag also containing suspected cannabis. As a result Bajaj was formally arrested and charged for possession of controlled drugs and drug trafficking.

Jealousy Leads To Injury
Another chopping incident was also recorded in the north this time in Village of San Roman. At around 8:30 Saturday night Ocias Cobarrubias Sr., a 34 year old mechanic from the village, was walking home along with his 8 year old son, Ocias Cobarrubias Jr and Herson Garcia when he was attacked by one Julio Vega. Here is what we found out. At around 8:30 Saturday night, 34 year old Ocias Cobarrubias Sr., his 8 year old son Ocias Cobarrubias jr. and Herson Garcia were heading back home when they were attacked by Julio Vega. Ocias Cobarrubias, Chopping Victim “Venimos caminando y el cuate salió montando con su bicicleta y cuando estaba pasando enfrente de mi jalo su machete y se vino enzima de mi y empezó a planéame pero yo no levante mis manos porque pensé que si lo levantaba me los iba a cortar y yo me fui sobre de él y el empezó a recular, a recular sobre de su bike y en eso yo agarre su bicicleta y empecé a defenderme con la bicicleta y el cuate no me dejaba de dar y dar y dar, y el tenia como un trauma y vio que yo ya lo iba a tumbar con su bicicleta y fue haya cuando el entonces me dio con el filo pero yo quitándome me dio un montón de golpes.” According to Cobarrubias Sr, it is not the first time that he is attacked by Vega who happens to be his neighbour.

Sacred Maya Smoking Shell Launched At The BHOC
Belizean Author Manuel Novelo entered the world of literacy publication when he first published his book, Sacred Maya Smoking Shell in the U.S. and then here in Belize. The book has proven to be a hit among readers who anxiously wait around for new publications especially those that speak about ancient history. A few weeks ago the novel was launched in Belize City and Corozal and on Friday night it was launched here in Orange Walk at the Banquitas House of Culture. Here is how the night went. Carmelita Perez– Reporting Sacred Maya Smoking Shell takes readers back in time to when the Maya lived in Belize. Apart from unfolding ancient history, Author Manuel Novelo also captures the emotions of the reader by bringing a love story to life. In the presence of a number of Orange Walkenos, the eminent author launched his book at the Banquitas House of Culture on Friday night. But during the launching Novelo did not go deep into his book rather, he spoke about the ancient Maya Civilization in order for book lovers to better understand the novel.

Buscando Una Estrella Infantil Week Two
As the weeks go by the Buscando Un Estrella Infantil Karaoke Competition attracts more attention and audience. Without a doubt the competition has become the number one watched show in the north exposing the many talents that children possess. This week the second round of the competition kicked off at the Gala Lounge with 8 participants after Estrella Diaz and Danny Pena were eliminated. Once again the audience and viewers at home were left in awe with each and every presentation. Here are the highlights of the second round of the competition. On Sunday two more participants will be eliminated from the competition and only six will move on to the next round. So remember, if you would like keep your favorite singer in the competition, then send your text message to 2588. To vote for Samsung Pop, send the number 1 to 2588, to vote for Fernanda Ayuso text the number 2 to 2588, to vote for Ayana Rudon text the number 3 to 2588, to vote for Yadeli Novelo text the number 4 to 2588, to vote for Byron Munoz text the number 5 to 2588, to vote for Mcbride Pop text the number 6 to 2588, to vote for Joselyn Eck text the number 7 to 2588 and to vote for Shanika Bull text the number 8 to 2588. All text messages are 50 cents inclusive of GST. Remember that to vote, simply text the number of your favorite contestant to 2588, using Smart phones only. Voting ends at midnight on Friday.


Summer camp underway in Teakettle
Over a hundred young people are involved in a two week summer camp taking place in Tea Kettle Village. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports.

Jaguar killed in Corozal
The Belize Forestry Department has commenced an investigation of the killing of a jaguar in the Corozal district. These pictures emailed to our News Centre show the young male jaguar after it had been killed, reportedly near Caledonia village and brought into the community. The incident is reported to have happened last weekend; but it was not until late this week that word of the killing surfaced. Love News understands that the animal was killed somewhere in the vicinity of Caledonia and San Pablo villages. Under Belize’s laws, it is illegal to hunt or capture jaguars, which are listed as an endangered species. The Forestry Department today dispatched an officer to Caledonia village to investigate the killing of the animal. We will continue to monitor the story and bring you developments as they occur.

Murder in ladyville
A Lady-ville businessman was shot and killed yesterday evening. A short while ago we spoke with Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of national Security Raphael Martinez about the incident.

Charge for false documents
Love News understands that the Mello’s case was transferred to Belmopan because that is where he allegedly committed the illegal acts when he applied for permanent residence. And even though is not Mello’s substantive attorney, Marshalleck is of the view that the charges will not stick. The case goes before the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court on August twentieth. Karol Mello has been in police detention since July eleventh.


Bike ride to Boom Creek Village and Moho River
While staying at Hickatee Cottages southwest of Punta Gorda, Belize, we decided to grab a couple of the complimentary beach cruiser bikes and explore the unpaved road westward to Boom Creek Village and the Moho River one afternoon. The Hickatee "fleet" Ready to hit the road! Almost zero traffic other than a couple of bikes going the other way made for a really fun ride. Love these empty roads! We stopped to check out birds many times along the way to the village, so the five-mile ride ended up taking around an hour and a half. Birding along the way Beautiful scenery along the way The traditional Maya village of Boom Creek has no electricity and just a few Maya huts. There are no stores, restaurants, or any other form of commercialism. The only building we saw other than personal dwellings was a church, or at least what appeared to be one, since there were two crosses on the outside. Looks like the roof needs a bit of work, though.

Loving the view
What a ‘Happy Monday’ as Le Roi would say. And it is a very happy Monday for me I am sitting on the veranda up north watching boats go by while I work – it does not get much better than this. I am testing out blogging on my Toshiba tablet. The first two pics were taken with it – not bad for a tablet and they came up high res [others were taken with my Cannon powershot s5is] While I am finding it pretty easy to blog on my tablet in spite of not having a portable mouse, I was finding it a bit slow especially since my ADD was kicking in as a result of too much iced coffee and not enough breakfast. I decided to go hijack Cowboys computer and finish this up fast so I can go eat my leftover coleslaw, barbecue ribs, an American breakfast with fry jacks at the pool bar and back to my view.

The Water Taxi and Bus from San Pedro, Belize to Cancun...CANCUN BABY!
I'd been to Cancun a few times in my 20s and had never fallen in love. Packed with drunken gringos, annoying kids, food chain restaurants and a total lack of all things was great if you could get a long weekend there for $200 but for anymore? I always picked somewhere else. BUT...I have learned to appreciate Cancun for all it is. It can be super cheesy and it can be awesome. There are some very valid reasons millions visit this resort city...the prices...the beach (GORGEOUS)...the modern conveniences (particularly stunning to me after living in Belize for 6 years)...the prices! When a Mexican tourism board picked an empty island in the remote Yucatan to turn into a resort area in 1970, they did good. They did seriously great. (There were only 3 people living here at the time...3 caretakers for a coconut plantation!!!!) And when a friend had a timeshare we could borrow...a timeshare with two huge bedrooms, a full kitchen and a beachfront balcony? I was all in. I'm learning to absolutely love Cancun. For all the beautiful... The cheap (6 limes for less than 20 cents USD???)... And the cringingly tacky (ick, these are baby shirts)... But before I get to all of that, let me tell you how I arrived in Cancun. How I travelled from San Pedro, Belize to Cancun in a day. We woke up early to catch the 8am San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi to Chetumal. You need to be there by 7:30am to buy your ticket ($85bzd for locals/residents and $130bzd for all others, roundtrip). The management at SPBE is super nice and they have a great rate. I always use these guys. There is a relatively new cafe, Lick's, right on the beach by the dock that is perfect to wait in (and keep an eye to see when immigration arrives to stamp your passport). We only had some drinks but we watched people get stuffed fry jacks, coffees and johnny cakes QUICKLY.

David Meerman Scott’s Belize Masterclass Levels the Field
Marketing guru David Meerman Scott is well known on the world lecture circuit for taking the global view, but his upcoming “Marketing Masterclass” in the tiny country of Belize shows how the local use of new media is levelling the playing field between the poorest and the richest nations. Larry Waight, marketing administrator for the Lodge at Chaa Creek, said that the August 23rd seminar proves that you don’t need a large budget to make a big splash in today’s marketing environment. “This visit and the Masterclass shows how dramatically new media and social networking has changed the face of communications and global marketing. Just a few years ago, Belize would not be attracting speakers of Mr Meerman Scott’s calibre. We simply wouldn’t have had the budget or the reach to attract the attention of people like him. “However, with the emphasis on creative content marketing and better ways of engaging customers, smaller entities such as ourselves can stand out and attract attention. It’s a very exciting time to be marketing as the emphasis is on more on creatively communicating rather than just selling,” he said.

BNYCF Chess for Beginners at GPC
The Belize National Youth Chess Foundation is doing a chess class for beginners at the George Price Centre this week. It's targeted at kids between the ages of 4 and 7. The link goes to pictures of BELPO visiting the last chess camp. "Corozal did their camps , OW too, W Cayo did theirs, Stann creek is getting ready with their camps, Toledo is finishing one more week soon, and east cayo will have camp for 4-7 year old ones next week- aug 13-17th- great chess summer. Coaches need time for a break!"

Caye attractions of Caye Caulker!
Increasingly we are finding that Caye Caulker is finding itself toping the ratings tables for popularity in various media publications or websites around the world – but can you put your finger on the button as to what makes the island so special?? One can definitely not pin-point its success to one particular restaurant, hotel, bar or even snorkel or dive operator as we are but a small piece in the jigsaw puzzle that creates the bigger picture. Our success lies in our island’s unique charm and beauty and for that everyday we are grateful!! Sandy streets – where else in the world can you stroll up the main high street, blown in the breeze, with the most magnificent view of the reef. Our sandy streets give us that laid back and ‘un-touched’ feeling that you have gone back 50 years or so in time to a small fishing village in Belize and nowhere else in the world is quite the same. Along with the sandy streets come the lack of motorized transportation – most walk barefoot or use bicycles and even electric golf carts are chosen above engines – nothing moves too fast on this island!!

Belize Mega Bingo Results For (11 August 2012)
Straight Line 100.00 Each (9 Balls) 64 ­37 ­19 ­42 ­18 ­57 ­32 ­65 ­13­ Y 125.00 Each (11 Balls) 64 ­37 ­19 ­42 ­18 ­57 ­32 ­65 ­13 ­12 ­49­ Inside World 1000.00 Each (16 Balls) 64 ­37 ­19 ­42 ­18 ­57 ­32 ­65 ­13 ­12 ­49 ­29 ­27 ­61 ­44 ­59­ Letter X 750.00 Each (23 Balls) 64 ­37 ­19 ­42 ­18 ­57 ­32 ­65 ­13 ­12 ­49 ­29 ­27 ­61 ­44 ­59 ­10 53 ­54 ­58 ­25 ­17 ­4­

The 5 E’s For Successful Blogging in Belize
I have noticed a new trend in Belize and it has nothing to do with sinful crimes and annoying child molesters – it is called blogging my friends. Bloggers from all parts of Belize are writing about Belize and exposing Belize to the whole world in a way that you have never been seen before. Some are writing about the wonders of Belize; some speak about the Belizean food. How is this benefiting Belize you might ask. Well to put in simple words, blogging has dramatically assisted in the development of our country anyway you take it. You think McAfee just picked up his bags one day and headed to Belize? No, he did the smart thing first, which is reading about Belize online as much as possible and then decided to come to Belize. Well, blogs gave him the information he needed – that is the power of blogging. Since the introduction of blogs we can finally write good things about Belize and ignore the bad things. Blogging has spread so fast that the majority of online users are using the technology without even knowing. A status update on Facebook can be categorized as blogging, even a tweet. The headache about blogging is that there are millions and countless of blogs online that speak exactly about the same thing that it is so hard to rank highly on the most popular search engines. This means that you will probably not get the exposure you seek for you content and blogs. Everybody competes for ranking in search engines and well it is not all about content anymore -- it is about creativity.

International Sources

Use sunscreens that don't harm our beautiful coral reefs.
Coral reefs, often called "rainforests of the sea”, are delicate ecosystems that are affected by the slightest change in chemical balance and water temperature. Many swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers are unaware that the chemical sunscreens they use may be killing coral reefs. Researchers estimate that 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off swimmers annually in oceans worldwide, and that up to 10 percent of coral reefs are threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching.* Chemical Sunscreens contain synthetic chemicals which absorb UV rays thereby absorbing radiation. The following ingredients are found in common chemical sunscreens and have been linked to coral bleaching: paraben, cinnamate, benzophenone, and a camphor derivative. Pledge to use nano-free, mineral sunscreens that don't contain these ingredients to not only protect your health, but also the ocean's ecosystem as well. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, so please consider the following mineral alternatives this summer:

Interpol Issues Wanted Notice for 'Whale Wars' Star
Interpol has issued an international wanted notice for conservationist and "Whale Wars" TV star Paul Watson, days after he skipped bail in Germany as Costa Rica tried to have him extradited. Watson was arrested at Germany's Frankfurt airport on May 13 on an arrest warrant issued by Costa Rica, which accuses him of endangering a fishing vessel off the coast of Guatemala in 2002. He posted roughly $302,000 bail and was ordered to remain in Germany as it considered Costa Rica's extradition request, but he stopped reporting to authorities on July 22, a German court said. Watson left Germany and forfeited his bail, according to his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which isn't revealing his location.

Google Doubles Down On Local, Buys Frommer’s To Add To Zagat
Google has purchased Frommer’s, the travel guide brand started by writer Arthur Frommer back in 1957, from its parent publishing company Wiley, both Google and Wiley confirmed on Monday. Aside from a great global brand name and some 300 travel guide titles to cities and places around the globe, the deal gives Google more ammunition in its quest to turn its now year-old social network, Google Plus, into the premiere resource for users to find all types of local businesses, landmarks and deals. Google, after all,purchased the famed restaurant and business rating company Zagat in September 2011 for the sum of $151 million, then launched a new section of Google Plus, “Local,” in May 2012 using Zagat’s rating 30-point rating system. On Monday, Google said it would be combining the newly acquired Frommer’s brand with Zagat, and presumably, Google Plus as well. The information came on the heels of an article in The Wall Street Journal which first reported on the deal.

Belize Tries to Lower Debt, in Talks With Investors
The Belize government is trying to restructure its "superbond" to make it easier for the debt-laden government to pay the bond back. But investors aren't too happy about the terms, and the 2029 government bond's yield has soared. The proposed new bond would discount the superbond's value and reduce its coupon rate, according to a note posted on the Central Bank of Belize's website on Aug. 8. This new bond would carry the same amount of risk, but investors would be compensated less for that risk. "The proposal was worse than investors expected," said Boris Segura, analyst with Nomura Securities. In March and April, the Belize government claimed the bond restructuring would be market-friendly, but "it is not looking that way at all," he said. Ultimately, the government is supposed to come up with a deal that 75% of bondholders agree to before they can proceed with the restructuring. But at the moment this is looking tenuous. In response to the news, the existing 2029 bond's yield has soared 10.3 percentage points, to 30.2%. On Monday, the bond was trading as low as 32 cents on the dollar, a sharp drop from the 50 cents it was trading at before the proposal was made public. The restructuring of the US$543.8 million in outstanding debt could have devastating consequences on the country's long-term economic health if it spooks investors.

Cayo and Bullet Tree in Pictures
A budding photographer recently came through Cayo, and captured some great shots from around the area. Xunantunich, Cahal Pech, Caracol, the Saturday market, the Parrot Nest, and downtown are all in there, along with many other Cayo spots. "Once upon a time I went to Belize and Mexico for a month with my family. I saw a ton of Mayan ruins, 26 new species of birds, got horrible food poisoning and became extremely tan. It was awesome... We hired a friendly guide and spent the next two days traveling through the mountains and jungles to see Mayan ruins. We encountered the worst roads I had ever seen in my life (worse than Costa Rica) and met all sorts of interesting people. The first day we visited a relatively unknown Mayan site named 'El Pilar' which was not excavated and allowed us to see what ruins look like while still mostly underground. Following that we went to an unpronounceable site called Xunantunich and wandered around the city of San Ignacio afterward. On the second day we spent three hours driving to a place known as Caracol. On the way back we stopped and swam in a gorgeous mountain stream surrounded by pine trees.

August 13, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Valid: Sunday-Monday, Aug. 12-20, 2012

An active tropical wave, the remnants of tropical depression seven, is moving into the central Caribbean this evening. This tropical wave is tracking westward at 20 mph. At this rate this system will reach the shores of Belize late Wednesday night. Showers and thunderstorms will begin affecting areas of coastal Belize as early as Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. The airflow over the NW Caribbean will remain moist and unstable on Thursday through Sunday, supporting more outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms over most districts.

Rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.10-0.25 of-an-inch on Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday. Daily rainfall rates will be on the increase, especially over central and northern areas from Tuesday night through Thursday, ranging from 1.00-2.00 inches. Over other areas daily rainfall rates will be in the range of 0.50-1.00 inch during this period. Rainfall rates for Friday through Sunday will range from 0.25-0.75 of-an-inch concentrated mostly over central and northern coastal areas.

CLICK HERE for the full Belize Weekly Weather Report

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!! Opposites - Part II
The house she lived in was always empty, with only a clucking, scratching chicken or two wandering from one door through the other. There was only one bedroom; it was large, housing one bed, a hammock, and lots of boxes where clothes were packed away like drawers. Her clothes outnumbered her mother’s by far, and they fit in the large box labeled Sharp. Mama’s clothes were in two smaller boxes, the Rainbow and the Carnation boxes. Papa’s were in one big Nido box, bigger than Mama’s, but smaller than the Sharp. There was one bureau, but it held their underwear, napkins and some good clothes.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Guest Editorial: What if there was no Costa Maya Festival?
Last week I had several friends and family members come over from the mainland to visit, enjoy and spend their money in San Pedro Town for the 20th annual Costa Maya Festival. Most of them spent three nights at a hotel, dined and consumed drinks at several establishments and had a fantastic time at the festival. At some point, I had to tell some other friends that I was not into the business of booking hotels, because it was so difficult and frustrating to locate rooms by Thursday. Most, if not all of the golf carts were rented out – we could not get one by Friday morning. People came in by the hundreds through the local water taxis and airlines during the course of the week. Some businesses even went ahead and organized their own functions, taking advantage of the crowd that was attracted to the island for the Costa Maya Festival, some even taking advantage of the name of the festival without stepping up to be a sponsor. It felt very good to know that everyone was making money; the hotels, the restaurants, the food stands, the bars, the water taxis and the airlines. Everyone was happy that Costa Maya provided some cash for them in the slow season. And that was exactly what the Costa Maya Festival was envisioned to do for the island when it started 20 years ago as the Sea and Air Festival. But there is a flip side of that coin that vexes the heck out of me.

Belize’s Path to Medical Tourism
There’s been considerable buzz about whether Belize is ready to dip a toe into the field of medical tourism. Tourism is the major source of revenue for this small country. Medical tourism could provide a significant boost in revenue for the country. But medical tourism is rife with potential pitfalls. Recently the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) initiated the first step in this process. They held their first public workshop on August 3rd. It was held at the George Price Center, in Belmopan. The IADB hired a medical tourism expert to lay the groundwork to develop Belize’s sustainable medical tourism plan. Their Costa Rican consultant, Mr. Massimo Manzi, moderated the recent workshop. He presented an overview of the study he’s leading. Mr. Manzi is the Executive Director of ProMed (the Council for the International Promotion of Costa Rican Medicine). He developed Costa Rica’s highly successful medical tourism model. He now offers his expertise to other countries to assist in developing their medical tourism models. Mr. Nicholas Ruiz, the Executive Director of Beltraide, opened the meeting. He talked about the attractive opportunities in medical tourism. He repeatedly noted that Beltraide is committed to developing a sustainable medical tourism approach that will benefit Belize, and Belizeans. “The over-riding idea is that we want Belizeans to participate in this industry.”

Wolfe’s Woofers: Poor Little Maria Has No Shoes
“Do you leave your TV on all of the time?” I asked Drummer Dan. “Yeah. It seems to discourage burglars.” We were unloading his drum set from the back of the golf cart after playing at the Road Kill Bar on Monday. Dan’s TV was blaring out an infomercial pleading for donations to adopt a child from a Third World Country for only $24 a month. “I wonder if that organization is legitimate or whether it’s just a ripoff,” I said. “I don’t care either way,” Dan said. “I wouldn’t give that guy a dime.” “Why is that?” “I went to one of his fundraising lectures years ago back in California. He started talking about the poor children in Central America so I decided that when they passed the collection basket I would donate five dollars. He kept speaking and he talked so well that pretty soon I upped it to twenty.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Soul Project Cultural Center Coming Soon
The Soul Project, Cayo's new Cultural center, is almost finished. Can't wait for the grand opening. "Abdela Bedran and I are building this cultural space, modeled after a project he saw in New Orleans, these are the pictures of the work in progress, this will be a art gallery with a stage for open mic. We will have beer and wine, and Running W beef grill, special cuts aged steak ect. Real tacos Mejicanos, this will sustain the culture"

The government owned Toyota Prado assigned to Minister of National Security John Saldivar was broken into on Saturday night as it was parked near the Ex-Servicemen League Office on Newtown Barracks. The vandals made off with a bag belonging the Minister's wife. Among the stolen items are passports belonging to the Minister's wife and son. The damage to the broken window is estimated at $400. Police are investigating.


Chaa Creek’s Awesome Eco-Kids Summer Camp Experience
It’s probably one of the coolest and best summer camp experiences in the country and the setting could not be more perfect – Chaa Creek’s pristine 365-acre private nature reserve that is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, birds and flora. The Eco Kids Summer Camp is a once in a lifetime experience that has lucky Belizean children enjoying summer activities and in the process going home with a deeper understanding and respect for the natural world and their place in it. Ambergris Today was invited to cover a couple days of Eco Camp and I arrived mid-week through the eco camp activities; the kids had already been to the Maya Ruins and visited the Belize Zoo. That day the campers were learning about land conservation which had the group visiting the 33-acre Maya Organic Farm within the Chaa Creek compound.

International Sources

VP departs on trip to Central America, Caribbean allies
Vice President Wu Den-yih departed Monday on a 12-day visit to two allies in Central America and the Caribbean, and is scheduled to transit in the United States on his first official overseas trip since being sworn into office in May. Before boarding at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Wu said that he will represent President Ma Ying-jeou at the Aug. 16 swearing-in ceremony of Dominican Republic President-elect Danilo Medina. In addition to attending the ceremony, Wu is scheduled to meet with outgoing President Leonel Fernandez Reyna and other officials. He will also visit vocational collaboration projects that Taiwan has been working on in the Caribbean country. Following his trip to the Dominican Republic, Wu will visit Belize in Central America. Wu will be the first high-level official to visit the Taiwanese ally since Ma visited in May 2009. His itinerary in Belize includes a visit to Central Farm, where Taiwanese agricultural technicians are helping to improve local farming techniques.

August 12, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

The August 12th, 2012 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Howe Gets Two Months For Beating Father-In-Law
  • No Helmet, No License, No Insurance... BOOM!!! Bullets! Ten Of Them
  • “These Are The Facts” Writes Samuel August
  • Street Project Launched In The Nation’s Capital
  • Decriminalization of The Use Of Marijuana
  • Seven Member Belize Delegation Attends Football Workshop in Guatemala
  • John Lawrence Remand Again On Another Robbery Charge
  • Obesity In Children
  • A Memorial In Mexico City For Victims Of Drug Violence
  • Letters to the Editor
    • Policemen MUST Record Statements
    • That Sleeping/Gambling Policeman
    • Let Us Keep Our Environment Clean
  • Fatigue
  • Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney To Announce Running Mate Paul Ryan
  • Jamaica’s Usain Bolt Wins 200m And Makes Olympic Athletics History
  • STAR Humor
  • Editorial: The Jasmine Alert - The Smart Girl And The Not So Smart Woman
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Public Notices

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

The San Pedro Sun

SAGA Humane Society reminds dog owners to contain your dogs
With the public outcry following the recent San Pedro Town Council dog eradication sweep on La Isla, which many saw as inhumane and uncalled for, SAGA Humane Society is in the process of working alongside the Town Council to formulate a more humane response to the “stray dog” problem plaguing the community. The previous eradication had become necessary due to the numerous strays and unattended pets that traversed the town, overturning garbage cans, defecating in public places and generally being a nuisance, and even harmful to residents. Despite the outrage at the manner in which the previous eradication took place, it seems as though many pet owners continue to be negligent in securing their pets. By not ensuring their pets are contained in a fenced yard or in some other manner, the problem with strays and unattended dogs continues. As such, SAGA Humane Society is taking the opportunity to issue a warning as well as educate the general public on the importance of protecting one’s pets. The San Pedro community is informed that roundups of loose dogs will soon begin. Once the dogs are contained, SAGA will hold them for a maximum of three full days. Owners wishing to reclaim their pets will have the opportunity to do so at SAGA on Tuesdays from 9AM to 12PM or 1PM to 5PM, or on Wednesdays from 1PM to 5PM. Owners are warned that there WILL be a fee to pay to retrieve one’s pet. Owners will also have a choice to have their pet spayed or neutered at a discounted cost.

Dr. Love: Keeping in touch with Family
Dear Doctor Love, Because I have lived here in the Caribbean for several years now, I rely on the phone to stay in contact with my parents. It is very important for them to know how I am doing. I make it a point to call them at least once a week. Sometimes, when something important happens I call two or three times because I know they look forward to the calls. My parents have been very disappointed because my fiancé does not call them very often. As a matter of fact, she hardly ever calls them directly. She used to call them when I asked her to but now she says it is just too much for her to handle. Instead, she sometimes talks to them after I have called them. She says has a family of her own that she has to call all of the time and she would prefer that I handle the stuff of my family and she can handle hers. I don’t talk to her family very often but they are fine with that. Mine needs a little more support, especially since their health is not too good right now. My mother, especially, feels like she needs to be close to her future daughter-in-law.

Misc Belizean Sources

A day in San Ignacio Town
Perched on the hills of the Maya Mountain overlooking the charming town of San Ignacio is the San Ignacio Hotel Resort. A small boutique resort with all the amenities of a five star hotel and also their service is second to none. From the minute you arrive at the resort you will be pampered by their knowledgeable and friendly staff. After checked in I was escorted to my room and what a room it was. A spacious room with Belizean paintings on the walls and a balcony over looking the seventeen acre of rainforest; it is part of the hotel property and home of the green iguanas. After I had settled in my room I went to verandah where I met my friend, Mariam, the resort owner and manager, and two travel buddies who had traveled with me to San Ignacio so that we get updated with what is happening in and around Cayo. The first couple of hours we spent it admiring the beauty of the resort over some cocktails and snacks. The Buffalo wings were my favorite. While sitting on the verandah we saw a few birds jumping from tree to tree and we even got to see two toucans eating berries from a huge tree that stands majestically by the edge of the swimming pool. Not sure if the little frog doing its gymnastics on the one inch wide iron railing was hired by Mariam to entertain us or was just our luck to see this little creature leap from end to end of the railing and every time landing perfectly. When the sun started to set we went to visit Mr. Godman Ellis, a man who contributed so much to the development of the tourism industry, and now at eighty-two lives with his family down the road from the San Ignacio Hotel.


US Government Blacklists Three Belizeans
For the past couple of days, Love News has been reporting on the blacklisting of three Belizeans and their business holdings by the United States government for their alleged involvement with Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel. Using its Kingpin Act, the United States Treasury is...

Home Invasion in Cayo District
A St. Matthew’s Village family was terrorized during a home invasion early this morning. According to one of the victims, she was in bed along with her husband and two children when she was awakened by a loud noise. Upon making checks they saw three men who had used t...

Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Rape and Robbery
Twenty-six year old Leroy Gomez has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. At the end of July Gomez was found guilty of rape and robbery. Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Gomez to 15 years for each charge however the sentences will run concurrently. The incident occurred...

Four Found Guilty of Money Laundering
Last Friday a jury of seven women and two men deliberated for about two and a half hours before it found Michael Coye, Melonie Coye, Atlee Matute and Dietrich Kingston guilty of money laundering for $1.5 million. On Wednesday the four were back in court in front of Chief Justice ...

Discussion on the proposal to remove the criminal penalties for the possession of a small Amount of Marijuana in Belize Continues
The discussion on the proposal to remove the criminal penalties for the possession of a small amount of Marijuana in Belize continues. And today the Committee set up by government to evaluate the feasibility of the decriminalization announced another extension of the deadline for...

Data Shows Increase in Tourist Arrivals
The comparative figures for the first six months of the last three years show impressive overnight tourist arrivals for Belize. From twenty one thousand, three hundred and twenty eight arrivals in 2010, the figures for this year show that three hundred and thirty seven more visit...

Friday, August 10: Police News
A misunderstanding between an employee and a manager resulted in one man on the run and the other hospitalized. On Monday morning Police visited the Independence Polyclinic where they saw 47-year-old Aurelio Menjivar suffering from several cut wounds. Reports are that Menji...


Jaguar Hunted, Killed And Skinned In Caledonia
At the beginning of the New Year we brought you the story of a female jaguar that was trapped in Petville here in Orange Walk. Francisco Magana contacted the Forestry Department and personnel from the Belize Zoo informing them about his catch. Veterinarian Sheila Schmeling traveled all the way to Orange Walk to examine the feline, which based on her expertise, was in good health. That same day the jaguar was tranquilized, transported to the Belize Zoo and enrolled in the jaguar rehabilitation program. The feline was named Naranja and so far is doing well. But not all jaguars have the same faith. Some are hunted by poachers, killed and skinned for their pelt which is very valuable. And that’s exactly what happened this past Sunday. According to reports, a group of men were out hunting in the outskirts of Caledonia Village when they came across a male jaguar. Reportedly, the animal was shot in the back of the head and transported back to the village where it was skinned. Its hide was peeled off in order to be sold. Because, jaguars are endangered and protected in Belize, serious concerns have been raised. The jaguar is protected in the Wildlife Act which makes it illegal to hunt them down. It has been estimated that 400-600 jaguars inhabit Belize.

Taiwan Government Donates $40,000 For September Celebrations
This year Belizeans will celebrate the jewels 31st Independence under the theme “Many Faces, Many Dreams, One Goal Celebrating Belize”. As we speak many are the activities that are being organized for the 10th and 21st of September. But these activities cost money and in order to alleviate the pockets of the September Celebrations Commission, His Excellency David K. Ku, Ambassador to Belize from the Republic of China Taiwan, donated BZ$40,000 to the September Celebrations Commission. The generous donation was received by the Co-Chairperson of the commission, Diane Haylock. In his address, Ambassador Wu expressed that he is honored to be part of Belize’s 31st anniversary celebrations and the 214th anniversary of the Battle of St. George’s Caye. According to Haylock, the money will be used to enhance various cultural activities on the calendar of events.

No Case File, No Case Against Omar Vallejo
On Thursday February 9th, 25 year old Aurelia Blanco and her four year old daughter, Luzelly Tun, were knocked down in San Andres Village in the Corozal District by a gold Ford Explorer allegedly travelling under high speed. Blanco died on the spot while her daughter suffered head and body injuries. Corozal Police detained the two men travelling in the vehicle who were allegedly under the influence of alcohol. One of the men Omar Vallejo was charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention and driving under the influence of alcohol. Vallejo was offered bail which he met and on Tuesday his case was once again before the Corozal Magistrates Court. Here is what transpired. On February 9th 2012, 31 year old Javier Tun lost his 25 year old wife Aurelia Blanco. Blanco and her four year old daughter Luzelly Tun, were knocked down by a gold ford explorer driven at the time by Omar Vallejo from the Village of Pathackan. On February 13th, Vallejo was charged for manslaughter by negligence, causing death by careless conduct, driving without due care and attention and driving under the influence of alcohol. The following morning Vallejo was offered bail to the sum of $8,000 which he met. On Tuesday August 7th the case was once again before the Corozal Magistrates Court. But this time Magistrate Clive Lino struck out the case since no case file was presented by the prosecution. For Javier Tun the decision came as a shock.

Sacred Smoking Shell Launched A The BHOC
His book was first published in early June and as we speak, author Manuel Novelo is launching Sacred Maya Smoking Shell, at the Banquitas House of Culture. The launch was set for 7:00pm. Wanting to know more about tonight’s activity, we visited the house of culture and spoke to Assistant Coordinator Cindy Rivero. Cindy Rivero, Assistant Coordinator “Mr. Manuel will be showing a power point presentation related to the book he will be explaining a lot of things about the Maya civilization and as well apart from that we are going to be, the audience will have an opportunity to ask him questions related to the book and any questions Mr. Manuel will be answering them in detail and after that we will be having the book signing whereby they can purchase their book for $25 here at the Banquitas.” Hipolito Novelo – Reporter “Is Mr. Novelo expected to read an excerpt of his book?” Cindy Rivero, Assistant Coordinator “Yes he is and we want to invite everyone to come and if you are not able to make it you can always come to the Banquitas House of Culture and purchase your book here as well, only a small contribution is asked and other than that you are welcome to come.”

More Negativity On GOB'S Bond Restructuring
Last night we told you how the Government of Belize plans to restructure the $547 million so-called super bond with three proposals entitled the Indicative Restructuring Scenarios. GOB had to move quickly because its next payment is 11 days when a payment of $57 million with 8% interest is expected to be made. But the government’s proposal, as anticipated, is not making bond holders happy. In fact, according to, “Citigroup analysts describe Belize's announcement as a "threat of a credit event rather than a willingness to negotiate”. It goes on to say that it won’t be surprising if the government does not pay the 8.5% rate. Option one in the Indicative Restructuring Scenarios extends the superbond payment 50 years from now, to 2062 with a two percent interest rate and 15 years grace period. The second option extends the bond to 2042 with no grace period but with a 45% discount on the principal interest. The third option extends the bond’s payment to 2042 with a 45% discount on the principal but with a 5 year grace period along with a 5.3% interest rate.

Free Medical Services Offered To Orange Walkenos
Today a group of volunteers from California USA stationed their equipments at Chapels School where they offered free medical services to Orange Walkenos. We stopped by the school this afternoon where we found residents taking advantage of the services offered. The Missionary group, which hails from the Baptist Church in California, travelled to Belize in order to assist Belizeans in more ways than one. Earlier in the week the group was in Belmopan and today they were offering free medical checkups at Chapels School. Charles Kim, Coordinator “He will be checking the blood pressure and the blood sugar level and if anybody has any kind of health problems that he can be able to offer some help so we buy a lot of vitamins and paid medications. We are typically seeing people with a high blood pressure so he is offering them with health advisors to keep their blood pressure lower. This is a very beautiful country only that it is hot and humid but we are getting used to it.” According to Coordinator of the group, Charles Kim, so far they have seen over 100 patients who also took the opportunity to get their eyes checked.

Karol Mello Behind Bars After He Was Freed and Re-arrested
The case against Karol Mello, the alleged Slovakian mobster who reportedly absconded to Belize in 2010 to evade trial for murder, was back in court today and for a few minutes, Mello was a free man. On Wednesday July 11th Mello was detained by authorities in San Pedro where he has been living for the past two years with his wife and baby boy as a result of accusations that he may have been involved in the death of a woman and a child in Slovakia and two gang leaders in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Mello was immediately transported to Belmopan where arrangements were being made for him to be extradited to the Slovak Republic. But on July 17th his Attorney Godfrey Smith, rushed to the Supreme Court to prevent his expulsion to Slovakia arguing that his client was being held unlawfully since he has not been charged for any of the crimes he purportedly committed. Justice Oswell Legall granted an injunction to stop his expulsion, at least until his case was heard. Mello, who holds a permanent residency, was back in court on July 31st for the habeas corpus application to be heard. The matter; however, was adjourned for today July 12th after government’s Attorney, senior crown counsel Magali Perdomo, informed Justice Legall that she was not prepared to go forward with the application. After listening to arguments from both sides, Justice Legal ruled that the expulsion order, signed by Minister of Immigration Honorable Godwin Hulse, was “procedurally flawed.” The statement that proved pivotal was based on the Minister of Immigration Hon. Godwin Hulse’s interview given to 7News in which he indicated that even though the Slovak Republic has no Extradition Treaty with Belize, Mello should, quote unquote “Face the music”.


Frank Palacio Spotlight
You never know where tweeting a link to someone will get you. In this case it ended up with a spotlight interview with Belizean writer Frank Palacio after he emailed to thank me for helping promote his book. 1. Three things/places you would recommend people see do or eat when they travel to Belize. People should take a guided tour of Belize city and look at the historic, British Colonial Buildings, The princess Casino/fort George area of Belize is beautiful. People should go bird watching (check with the Belize Audubon Society for the best locations) and take the tour of the caves via inner tube. My fave Belizean cuisine include the Conch soup which comes with fries , seafood, and Garifuna cuisine. 2. My claim to fame is falling in love with Facebook and so I wrote a book, poem, prayer, and a joke all about Facebook and they are all available on Youtube. Here is an excerpt from my poem, “Ode to Facebook: Mad Facebook Love.” Facebook, what does it do? Who needs it ? Some use it a great deal, others only a bit What’s the big deal? Well, It all depends It’s like chatting with a neighbor over a fence At first the users were few, only they had a clue Now I know it’s better even than beef stew I was much too busy and much too grounded Now I know it makes your education more rounded Myspace was replaced by those with taste So we all joined Facebook with great haste

August 11, 2012

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

The San Pedro Sun

Supreme Court of Belize orders the release of Slovakian Karol Mello
Shortly after publishing this article, around 12:50PM, The San Pedro Sun learned that Karol Mello has been re-arrested pending charges from the Belize Immigration Department. Details of that arrest will be reported as they become available. The Supreme Court in Belize set Karol Mello free after handing down a decision shortly after 9AM on Friday, August 10th. Mello was detained on July 11th as a result of accusations that he may have been involved in the death of a woman and a child in Slovakia and two gang leaders in 2003 and 2004 respectively. As previously reported in The San Pedro Sun, Mello was detained with the intention to extradite him to Slovakia based on an Interpol request. Mello’s attorney in Belize, Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith, first went to court and filed an injunction order against an extradition order by the Government of Belize until he had been given a trial in Belize. After the Belizean courts granted Mello’s attorney the injunction, a Habeas Corpus case was filed to have Mello’s case dealt with immediately.

Wanted US national Mark Thomas Pappas captured on Ambergris Caye
There has been no official word from the Belize Police Department but The San Pedro Sun has confirmed with local authorities in San Pedro Town that a U.S. national wanted in his country was recently captured. Forty-five year old Mark Thomas Pappas was apprehended at his beach side condominium in the Escalante area on the afternoon of Friday, August 3rdby San Pedro Police. Pappas was being closely monitored before local police moved in on him. Pappas, who has been living on Ambergris Caye for the last six months, was apparently involved with a prominent local real estate business and owns prime beach front properties in Belize. San Pedro police, working on the strength of a U.S. warrant from the state of Maryland, moved in on Pappas. When asked to identify himself, Pappas gave police his full name and presented them with documents proving his identity. Police then informed Pappas that he was wanted in the U.S. for investigation of wire fraud and that he would be detained and handed over to authorities in his country. Pappas was read his rights and then escorted to the San Pedro Police station. The U.S. Embassy was immediately notified about Pappas’ capture.

Man injured in shooting in Caye Caulker
On Saturday, August 4th there was a shooting reported in the Caye Caulker Village. The incident occurred sometime around 5:15AM. One person was shot during the altercation while two others received cut wounds as a result of the incident. According to police, they responded to a report of a shooting incident that occurred somewhere in the Split location of Caye Caulker Village. They later visited the Caye Caulker Health Center where they observed three people with injuries, one of whom was shot. Twenty-nine year old Lincoln Allen, fishermen of Pinks Alley in Belize City was seen suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the left palm of the hand and to another apparent gunshot wound to the left shoulder. Also observed at the clinic was 23 year old Justin Alamina, businessman of Hicaco Avenue of Caye Caulker Village suffering from a cut wound to the forehead and 19 year old Sylvia Joseph, waitress of a Lousiano Reyes street and Caye Caulker’s Miss Lobster Fest 2012-2013, also of Caye Caulker Village, suffering from a cut wound to the left ear.

Benque Viejo del Carmen comes alive for the annual Benque Fiesta!
I have been to Benque Viejo del Carmen on several occasions, in fact one of the main reasons I visit is because my family roots go very deep in ‘Benque’. This trip however, my travels were beyond the family reasons. It was time for the long awaited yearly Benque Viejo del Carmen municipal fair. I have never before been to the Benque Fiesta, so this year when I was invited to attend, I was eager to experience the hype that so many prepare an entire year for. The fiesta celebrates the day of Benque’s patron saint Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Nuestra Señora de Monte Carmelo) with traditional marimba bands, local food and drinks, games, mechanical rides, cultural presentations, sports and dances with entertainment from neighboring countries such as Guatemala and Mexico. Just the combination of food, drinks, cultural shows and music was enough to get me off Ambergris Caye and heading down to the western most towns in Belize. I decided to take the trip the way many do, by boat then by bus. Taking the first Caye Caulker Water Taxi off the island placed me in Belize City by 8AM just in time for the express bus from Belize City to Belmopan.

Ambergris Today

Three Belizeans Allegedly Tied to Sinaloa Drug Cartel
The U.S. government’s effort to dismantle Mexico’s powerful Sinaloa drug cartel is a war with multiple fronts. The latest is the tiny tourist jewel of Belize. On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control announced it was freezing the assets of three Belize residents alleged to be drug traffickers and “key associates” of the Mexican drug trafficking group. The Treasury Department has also prohibited U.S. citizens from doing business with the suspects or their companies. The focus on Belize — a polyglot, 327,000-resident wedge of the Yucatan just south of Cancun — is the latest evidence of the overwhelming influence of the south-to-north movement of drugs through Central America. The U.S. government has estimated that up to 90% of the 700 metric tons of cocaine headed from South America to the U.S. wends its way through Central America, and every nation in the region is on the U.S. list of “major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries.”

Public Consultation by Ambergris Caye Wetland Committee

Chaa Creek's Awesome Eco-Kids Summer Camp Experience
It’s probably one of the coolest and best summer camp experiences in the country and the setting could not be more perfect – Chaa Creek’s pristine 365-acre private nature reserve that is home to an extraordinary range of wildlife, birds and flora. The Eco Kids Summer Camp is a once in a lifetime experience that has lucky Belizean children enjoying summer activities and in the process going home with a deeper understanding and respect for the natural world and their place in it. Ambergris Today was invited to cover a couple days of Eco Camp and I arrived mid-week through the eco camp activities; the kids had already been to the Maya Ruins and visited the Belize Zoo. That day the campers were learning about land conservation which had the group visiting the 33-acre Maya Organic Farm within the Chaa Creek compound.

Public Comments Regarding Marijuana Decriminalization Extended
The Committee commissioned by the Minister of National Security to evaluate the issue of Decriminalization of Marijuana thanks those who submitted their opinions regarding a proposal to remove the current criminal penalties incurred for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana (Cannabis Sativa) for personal use. Your responses have been respectfully evaluated and taken into consideration, including, many requests to extend the deadline. In this regards the committee has extended the period for submitting your comments to August 31, 2012. For the purpose of this discussion we invite your continued input and ask that you respond to us with your thoughts on the following:

Misc Belizean Sources

Chaa Creek Announces “Diaspora Deals” for Belizeans
With the annual Belize Celebration Season about to get underway, Chaa Creek is offering special discounts for Belizeans living abroad to help them “come home and enjoy the party,” marketing administrator Larry Waight said today. With the annual Belize Celebration Season about to get underway, Chaa Creek is offering special discounts for Belizeans living abroad to help them “come home and enjoy the party,” marketing administrator Larry Waight said today. Belize has a large diaspora, with one out of every three Belizeans now living overseas, for the most part in the United States, Great Britain and Canada. According to the US Census some 175,000 Belizeans live in the US, while it is estimated around 3,000 Belizeans are currently in England. “With so many Belizeans away from loved ones over the holidays, we wanted to do our bit to help reunite people, so we’re offering a 20% discount off all rooms throughout the month of September for overseas Belizeans, or Belizeans wanting to treat their loved ones to a bit of affordable rainforest luxury while they’re home,” Mr Waight said, adding that the “Belize Diaspora Deal” was a result of Chaa Creek’s owners’ and management team’s own experiences.

Public Consultation by AC Wetlands Committee
The Ambergris Caye Wetlands Committee will be having their second public presentation on the proposed marine protected areas for Ambergris Caye. The meeting is scheduled for the 21st of August.

VIDEO: Caribbean Villas Hotel- Ernesto Views
A look at the stormy conditions Ernesto brought to the island.

Cayo Call Center Interviews
Today they will continue interviewing for the new Cayo Call Center. They need customer care agents. Students, here's your chance. Call 824-2357 for more information. "The email address once again is Feel free to call us if you need any assistance or information, but be sure to send in your resume to the email address so that you can be told the time, date and place of the interview."

Rotary's Belize Literacy Project
A big thanks to Rotary for the Belize Literacy Program. "The Belize Literacy Project is in its fifth year of training for teachers all across Belize. This Rotary project, unique in the world, brings the Rotary District from Alberta, Canada, and the country of Belize together as partners through the Ministry of Education and Youth. Teachers will be in training for the next two weeks, beginning 6 August in each district."

Fish bonanza at the Split!
It is no ‘old wives tale’ that after a storm, the fish find a safe harbor to feed and the Split here in Caye Caulker is a well renowned spot where they come in abundance to nourish themselves. Therefore yesterday there was a rather unusual spectacle at the Split as local fishermen, guides and various onlookers joined in the fishing bonanza!! Carlos Ayala of Carlos Tours throwing his line!And for the winners ... a bucket full of Red Snapper By the afternoon the sky had clouded over and it was almost strange to see instead of sunbathers, fisherman lined up on the sea wall to get their chance at taking home dinner. Red Snappers were biting all yesterday and in fact, locals believe that they still will be there today. Good and even inexperienced fisherman were walking away from the Split with at least 3 or 4 good size snappers – just in time for their better halves to throw in the pot to cook for supper!!

Channel 7

Karol Mello Freed, Then Re-Arrested
Karol Mello has been fighting his expulsion from Belize since he was picked up in San Pedro on July 11th. And today was supposed to be his big day: the day the Supreme Court gave its decision on the Habeas Corpus application by his attorney Godfrey Smith. The application required the state to prove that it had legitimately imprisoned Mello - who is a permanent resident of Belize. 7news was at the court today to hear the Judge's decision and Daniel Ortiz has this report:... Daniel Ortiz reporting Today is the expiration day of the injunction to stop the Immigration Department from expelling the Slovak detainee, Karol Mello. But that is of no consequence because the Supreme Court has ruled that the Government of Belize has been illegally detaining him. Mello's wife, Zuzana - who has been his interpreter to his attorney - was again present at the Courthouse - but Karol Mello was not there today. In his absence, the strength of the arguments from his attorney, Godfrey Smith, was sufficient to convince Justice Legall. Viewers will remember that the Minister of Immigration, Hon. Godwin Hulse, told 7News that even though The Slovak Republic has no Extradition Treaty, Mello should quote "Face the music". Well, that statement proved pivotal: The court ruled that it cannot allow his expulsion without the proper procedures.

Chinese Grocer Gratuitously Murdered
As we reported last night, a Chinese grocer was killed in Ladyville. Sadly, it is the type of truly senseless crime that has become all too familiar - gunmen robbing and then shooting a grocer. And that's just what happened yesterday. Monica Bodden has reviewed security camera footage which showed that the armed robbers had no reason to kill the storeowner called Kenny. Here's her report:.. Monica Bodden reporting The entire community in the Mitchell Estate Area of Ladyville, was left in shock yesterday evening - when their area Chinese grocer was gunned down in broad daylight. It happened here at E-buy supermarket - on Crab Catcher Street, that 32 year old Peixan Tan known as Kenny was shot once to the left side of his head. Tan was rushed to the KHMH in an ambulance but succumbed to his injuries while being transported. On the scene police recovered a 9mm expended shell and were looking for two suspects in connection to the robbery that turned out to be a homicide. Security footage shows that the two armed robbers entered the store posing as customers.

New Rules: No Challenges To PUP Party Leader
The PUP National Executive met on Wednesday and though no press release was sent out - the Executive unanimously passed two resolutions, which, observers tell us, are huge. Party Leader Francis Fonseca today confirmed that the two resolutions make it so that no challenge can be made to replace the Party Leader or the elected representatives as standard bearers - until after the next general election. So, the effect of the new resolution is that for the next five years or so until the general election - when the party has national conventions - no one can offer himself or herself for leader. And at the divisional level - no one can offer themselves as standard bearer in an area that already has an elected PUP representative. It's an unprecedented maneuver, one that effectively limits the party's internal democracy. Our reports are that the resolution was tabled by Deputy Leader Julius Espat to create a period of stability - which he noted will also be attractive to financiers.

Belize Times Does Not Print, Fires Five Of Seven Staffers
And while the PUP party leader is protected by edict of the National Executive - we can't say the same for four employees of the Belize Times. Four veteran staffers were fired today - after decades of working at the Party Organ - which is also the longest established newspaper in Belize. They say they aren't so much angry that they got fired - they're angry that their severance and gratuity only amounts to small change - after a lifetime of service. Today, still emotional after their last day of work - they came to us after five and vented with anger at the way they were sent off:.. Doreth Bevans, Terminated - 43 years at the Belize Times "Today we got the same letter. Mr. Musa came and said that he wanted a meeting with us. He came and give me this letter; he says that one belongs to me, Fay and Rachel and when I opened the letter there was only $5,940.00. I told Mr. Musa that I didn't want that. I told him that after 43 years working at the Belize Times - what will I do with that kind of money. He told me that that's all he has because he didn't have any more money, he is broke."

More Banking Backlash On GOB Restructuring Scenarios
There is more angry reaction on the money markets to Government's so-called "Indicative Restructuring Scenarios". A UK Investment Banking Consultant called Exotix describes it thusly: "BELIZE - RESTRUCTURING PROPOSALS: WORSE THAN EVEN WE EXPECTED." They go on to explain that quote, "the proposals are even worse (for bondholders) than the fairly pessimistic scenarios we set…and are certainly worse than the market has been expecting." The analysis notes the 46 million dollar coupon payment is due in ten days, and they say, quote, "We don't think the authorities would want to default on the coupon." That is a matter, still unresolved, we gather - though the payment has been budgeted.

Jamaica Dominates Sprints At Olympics
The 2012 Olympic Games will end on Sunday night in London - and all this week, Jamaica has shone brightest. China and the USA may dominate the overall medal count, but Jamaica has the most medals per capita, and currently is behind only Russia in the overall medal count for athletics. Male and Female sprinters from the island nation have medaled the high profile sprint events - and did what had only been done once before in Olympic history when it earned first, second and third place in the men's 200 meters. It's a huge deal in that country where these successes have coincided with the country celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of its independence. The final showcase for Jamaican speed is the men's four by 100 relay - which will air live on Channel 7 tomorrow at 2:00 pm.

Deforestation Increases in Belize
According to a report published on the internet, Deforestation in Belize has accelerated since late 2010. That worrying conclusion comes from a new satellite-based assessment of our forest cover by an organization called CATHALAC. It compared forest cover between early 2010 and early 2012, concluding that Belize's forest cover fell from 62.7 percent to 61.6 percent during the period, a decline of 25,264 hectares. The annual loss of 12,632 hectares is higher than the rate observed between 1980 and 2010, when deforestation averaged around 10,000 hectares per year.

Channel 5

Slovak Mello almost freed then rearrested
Forty-two year old Karol Mello, an alleged Slovakian gangster wanted in his home country for a string of murders, was ordered to be released from the Belize Central Prison this morning in a decision by Justice Oswell Legall. Mello, who was detained a month ago, faces criminal charges in Slovakia while efforts are being made [...]

Murder of businessman in Ladyville
Ladyville Police are tonight continuing their investigation into the murder of thirty-two year old businessman Peixan Tan, who was gunned down inside E-Buy Supermarket on Crab Catcher Street on Thursday evening. According to a fellow grocer, two dark complexioned men entered the premises shortly after five o’clock and demanded money. During the armed robbery, Tan [...]

Rape and home invasion in quiet village
While Belize City was spared its daily dose of violence, another community much like Ladyville, is reeling from violence that has disturbed the peace normally associated with the area. A home invasion in Saint Matthews Village has left a man hospitalized and his family traumatized. Early Thursday morning, at around two o’clock, armed men broke [...]

What caused 14 year old to die suddenly?
Fourteen year old Marcella Smith, a promising Edward P. Yorke High School student died mysteriously at her home in Belize City on Tuesday. Smith was found motionless on the sofa and bleeding from the nose by her aunt, Averil Tinsley. Her death has stunned the family, the school and her friends because she was not [...]

Mysterious fish death in the river
Hundreds of fish have been dying in the Haulover Creek in the past few days. It is not known if toxins have been leaked in the river; however, it has become a nuisance for fisherman, Elic Logan and his family, who live on bank of the river in the Lake Independence area. Logan says that [...]

Resort torched in Toledo
The Indian Creek Lodge in Toledo has been under fire by former employees. First there was the issue of an under fed jaguar that was pining away in a cage. That animal had since been rescued by the Belize Zoo. But no one came to rescue the employees who reported to the labor department that [...]

Bowen said he recently met man with the M4 carbine
Steven Bowen Junior was shot by law enforcement officers in San Pedro on Tuesday. He was with Elias Hernandez and Lucio Salazar; all three were accused of being part of a group of about ten, who were intimidating residents with high powered weapons on the north end of Ambergris Caye. Bowen says he knows nothing [...]

Bowen says police didn’t have to shoot him
As for the actual shooting incident, Bowen says the officers had no reason to fire at him. He told us that they were at Salazar’s house and as he was packing to leave he heard gunshots from outside. According to Bowen, he threw himself on the ground and alleges that though the officers found him [...]

So called serial rapist gets 15 years
He has beaten numerous charges for sexual offences, but on July thirty-first, the so-called serial rapist, Leroy Gomez, was convicted of the Rape and Robbery of a twenty-six year old woman, which occurred on August twenty-third, 2011. Gomez appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas for sentencing on Thursday and was given two fifteen year jail terms, [...]

B.T.B. launching new initiatives to improve tourism
The recent figures issued by the Belize Tourism Board on visitor arrivals to the Jewel are promising. With an overall increase of nine percent in arrivals in the first half of the year and the month of July already showing an estimated seventeen percent increase at the PGIA alone, the BTB machinery is in full [...]

Will bondholders take the new options?
A few bond restructuring options have been posted on the Central Bank of Belize’s website. And according to a research analyst, there are default concerns. The yield on the bond in its current form, jumped three point five percentage points to twenty-three point four percent after the announcement of the three options, which suggest that [...]

House fell on boy, but bills also weighing family down
While the bond is a billion dollar issue, a local family is facing financial difficulty of their own. And while it won’t cost anywhere near the Superbond, raising a few dollars more is a matter of life and death for their child. Ten year old Brithon Cordova remains hospitalized since his house in Orange Walk [...]


Coye and company convicted of money laundering
A groundbreaking conviction, on a white collar crime, has been handed down by the Chief Justice of Belize in the na... Chinese businessman shot and killed at E-buy establishment

Chinese businessman shot and killed at E-buy establishment
Police were called to E- buy Supermarket located at 116 Crab Catcher Street in Ladyville just after 5pm yesterday (... Employees feeling the blow of Zabaneh blacklisting

Employees feeling the blow of Zabaneh blacklisting
Mayan King Banana Farm is having problems paying its employees. John Zabaneh said he’s unable to pay his 200 employ...

PlusNews nabs exclusive interview with John Zabaneh
PlusNews crew travelled to Placencia to met with John Zabaneh to get his side of the story. We will be bringing tha... Tackling match fixing and corruption in football

Tackling match fixing and corruption in football
The Football Federation of Belize on Monday sent a delegation to Guatemala City to attend a two day workshop (Augus... Kids sharpen skills at academic summer camps

Kids sharpen skills at academic summer camps
For children summer is all about vacation and for the diligent at heart summer camps and activities. One social ent... Judge orders the release of Karol Mello... but hes not free yet

Judge orders the release of Karol Mello... but he's not free yet
Justice of the Supreme Court Oswell Legall this morning ordered the “immediate” release of Slovakian national Karol... How you can make your voice count in marijuana decriminalization debate

How you can make your voice count in marijuana decriminalization debate
The Committee commissioned by the Minister of National Security to evaluate the issue of Decriminalization of Marij... Belize Lodge and Excursions burnt to the ground

Belize Lodge and Excursions burnt to the ground
The Belize Lodge and Excursions, located in Indian Creek Village, was recently brought into the media spotlight whe...

Police investigating teenager's sudden death
A teenager is discovered dead in her home. A residence on St. Jude Street in Belize City was the grim scene on Tues...

Remembering artist Benjamin Nicholas
The superlative Belizean artist, Benjamin Nicholas, passed away earlier this year in Dangriga. On Monday past he wo...


BDF captain arraigned on handling stolen goods in Cayo
A BDF captain has been arrested and charged with handling stolen goods, being a firearm. He was taken to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court, where he appeared in front of Magistrate Narda Morgan, who remanded him until September 3.

Ashcroft’s $40 mil arbitration award against GOB not enforceable, rules Court of Appeal
“...there is no legal obligation on the part of Belize to recognize and enforce domestically arbitral awards within the contemplation of the New York Convention...” said Court of Appeal... Belize never ratified the New York Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards under which arbitration in London was sought and so is not obliged to pay

Ernesto spares Belize, but drenches Mexico
Security forces shut down Princess casinos at the Belize-Mexico border. DEMO Corozal Coordinator, Willard Levy, said they refused to comply with directive to close.... While the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) of Belize declared an “all clear” for the entire country of Belize at 9:30 Wednesday morning, what was last night Hurricane Ernesto has been dumping heavy rains over parts of Mexico, as it moves toward the Gulf of Mexico, where, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami, it could retain tropical storm strength well into Thursday.

Leroy Gomez, convicted rapist, gets 15 years
Today, Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced Leroy Gomez, 26, to 15 years for rape and another 15 years for robbery after a 9-member jury found him guilty of rape and robbery on July 31.

3 years in jail plus fines for Melonie and Michael Coye
Atlee Matute and Deitrick Kingston fined $25,000 each... Today, after about six hours of mitigation hearings, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin finally sentenced the convicts of Belize’s largest money laundering scheme – which was unraveled after $1,557,789 was discovered in two suitcases in the home of Michael Coye, located at #12 Johnson Street.

Sinaloa Zabaneh!
US directs sanctions against John Zabaneh in drug trafficking allegations... Mexican Sinaloa Cartel link cited by US Treasury ... The Unites States Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced on Tuesday, August 7, 2012, that the Stann-Creek based, Belizean business magnate, John Zabaneh, his nephew Dion Zabaneh, of Belize City, and Corozal-based businessman Daniel G. Moreno, as well as five businesses associated with the elder Zabaneh and Moreno, have been named under the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act as persons and companies that can no longer do business with US individuals and companies.

Corozal and Belize City are Champions in the Sprite/Belikin Beer 3x3 basketball tour.
When the final buzzer sounded, the Corozal team defeated the Orange walk team 15 to 10. The team from Corozal included Marcell Richards, Jason Grant, Alton Herrera and Benedict “Big Ben” Terry. Benedict was a force to reckon with the entire day. His post presence was superior on this day, and opposing teams couldn’t match up with him. A quick history of Big Ben shows that he grew up in Libertad and played for the UB Black Jaguars, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. He recently returned from the University of Alabama with a Master’s degree in Accounting. He was also a member of the University of Alabama practice team.

Double Head fans celebrate in ‘Landing
Excellence defeat Western Eagles in game 3 to become National Cricket Champions 2012... Game 3 of the best-of-3 games series for the 2012 Harrison Parks National Cricket Championship between Excellence of Double Head Cabbage and Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores ended before 4:00 p.m. on Saturday at the field in Bermudian Landing, where hundreds of cricket fans jammed the sidelines to witness the final game of the competition. After losing game 2 at home the previous week, failing to eclipse what seemed an easily attainable score by Western Eagles, Excellence captain Ian Broaster was determined not to allow his team to make the same mistake twice. Rancho was all out for 97; and Ian led off the batting along with Orson Flowers.

West Lake seeks redemption in Champions Cup finals game 2 on Sunday
After suffering a 6-1 shellacking from BDF in game 1 of the Belize City Champions Cup 2-game finals series on Sunday last, the West Lake squad is hoping to regroup and salvage their reputation with a competitive match in game 2 this coming Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at the MCC.

Kent Thompson’s “flood-fly catcher” invention
Double Head Cabbage cricket fans were in such a comfortable position in the early going on Saturday, confident of an easy victory over Rancho’s Western Eagles, that there were many relaxed conversations taking place on the sidelines, while the Double Head batsmen were going through the motions towards the expected victory.

Belize’s border forest threatened
“...extensive deforestation [in Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala] advancing towards the Belize frontier”... Whereas Belize is lauded internationally for its exemplary forest preservation efforts, its immediate western neighbor, Guatemala, is grappling with one of the highest deforestation rates in Central America, and as anticipated, the escalating deforestation problem is extending into Belizean forests, as Amandala, supported by Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD), had highlighted in a May 2011 special report featuring massive land clearings, slashed and burned for illegal plantings by Guatemalans in the Chiquibul—a spillover of activities in the fast-growing Peten which features very high poverty rates. (See photo accompanying this article.)

43 years of Amandala
Monday, August 13 of 2012 will mark 43 years since Amandala was first published in Belize in 1969. We are very proud of this achievement on Partridge Street because our main competition was established by leaders of the Chamber of Commerce in 1967. They had at their disposal everything money could buy in the way of printing technology. Ours was a roots newspaper, begun, literally, with nickels and pennies and dimes. Because of this beginning and our specific journey of growth, as slow and rough as it was, the people of Belize know that no politician owns or controls Amandala.

Ideas and Opinions - Decriminalize Marijuana II
I have to generalize because, the exact figure is not known but, a significant number of our young citizens are sent to jail each year for the possession of marijuana. They are users, not sellers. They take their own money to buy a substance which will do them harm. For that act, should a wise and concerned government make them criminals for life?

Editorial: Jamaica at 50
A tiny Caribbean country much smaller than Belize, but with a population of just under three million persons, Jamaica on Monday, August 6, celebrated its 50th anniversary as an independent nation. Regardless of geography, it’s a “large” country. It “plays big,” on the regional and international stage. It always has.

From The Publisher
The Russian people have begun celebrating the bicentennial of their war in 1812 to repel the invasion of Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France. Outside of Moscow in September of 1812, the Russians and the French fought what was at that time the bloodiest battle in history – the Battle of Borodino. There were almost 100,000 casualties at Borodino


Checking out Punta Gorda on two wheels and two feet
On Saturday and Sunday (July 28-29), we explored the town of Punta Gorda several times, riding beach bikes provided by Hickatee Cottages, where we were staying, and on foot. Punta Gorda is very different from San Pedro, even though both towns are right on the water. Unlike San Pedro, which caters to divers, fishermen, and tourists from all over the world (including celebrities), "PG" is not touristy. And since it's not on an island, cars and trucks roam where mostly golf carts and bicycles still travel the streets of San Pedro (though more and more motor vehicles arrive monthly, it seems). Traffic was lighter than in San Pedro overall, even on a Saturday. There's a great Saturday market we got to check out, and I bought a Maya bag from a local man that probably would have cost me double in San Pedro. The PG town clock is stuck at 1:05 forever, but at least it has a toucan! Wheeeeeeeee! Buying Benedryl at the local pharmacy -- only $2.50 US for 24 tablets, way cheaper than in San Pedro! The local chocolatier was closed while we were in town, unfortunately. Heavy sigh! Part of the Saturday market

Weather Returns to Perfection, Distilling Fine Pruno and Off On Vacation
Hurricane Ernesto has now completely blown by and the weather on Ambergris Caye has returned to beautiful. Even almost Tropical Storm Gorden (out in the Caribbean but potentially headed out way) seems to have fizzled. The sea is still churned up a bit...more chalky blue tan water than the usual crystal clear aquamarine but it will settle in a day or two. Some of the beaches will require a bit more clean-up. A bunch of sand has washed away or shifted... To reclaim "my beach" at Royal Palms, they have started a project which will be going on for a few weeks. Some buoys were set up yesterday to kick off the process. Across the street, I've noticed quite a few people across the street harvesting sea grapes. I honestly didn't know this pretty fruit was even edible. Apparently, when these "grapes" turn red and then purple, they are very tasty and can be turned into wine. I have tried quite a few local wines...wines that are brewed out of almost everything...but never the sea grape. At the Belmopan Agriculture fair in June, I think I tried about 4 different kinds. And that was barely scraping the surface.

International Sources

Bondholders wary of Belize's bid to renegotiate debt
Markets have reacted negatively to Belize's indicative restructuring proposals, published on the central bank website this week, with some predicting a protracted negotiation process unlikely to be completed before the Central American country's next coupon payment is due August 20. Given that looming deadline, and the less than favorable terms, Citigroup analysts describe Belize's announcement as a "threat of a credit event rather than a willingness to negotiate," adding that it would not be surprising if the government does not pay the 8.5% rate should it fail to reach an agreement with creditors by then. In his budget speech for fiscal year 2012-13, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said the government had made room for overall debt-service payments at BZ$200.7 (US$83m), of which BZ$174.5m is tied to external debt. However, it had been assumed that the government wished to cut a deal with creditors before payment on the 2029 bond on August 20, when it steps up to 8.5% from 6.0%. "The committee will convene to discuss a response, but we are not taking the indicative scenarios very seriously," said AJ Mediratta, a partner at Greylock Capital Management and chairman of the ad-hoc committee of holders of the 2029s formed to engage the government.

Belize to host investment conference in Los Angeles
The Consulate of Belize in Los Angeles will be holding an investment conference on Saturday, August 25, 2012, so that the Belizean Community may attend and explore the current opportunities in Belize. Presentations will be made by: (I) Development Finance Corporation (DFC) – Presenting information on Purchasing Homes under Foreclosure in Belize, Payment Mechanisms, DFC Mortgage Finance and Commercial Lending Programs. (II) Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (Beltraide) – Presenting on Government of Belize Incentive Programs, Beltraide Business and Investment Services, Priority Areas for Investment in Belize, and Showcasing Belizean Companies. The conference is intended to provide Belizeans living abroad with information on how to invest, own a part of and become an economic stakeholder in the country of Belize. This is an opportunity to participate and become fully involved in the economic development of Belize.

Click here to return to
Today's Belize News

Commons Island Community History Visitor Center Goods & Services
Search Messages CIG Info

Copyright by Casado Internet Group, Belize