Recent Belize News
1/21/2013 to 1/31/2013
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January 31, 2013


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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

Edward Barahona charged with Murder
San Pedro police have officially charged a man of an Escalante Area of San Pedro Town for the weekend murder of 25 year old Byron Espat-Estrada. The accused killer is 33 year old Edward Barahona, and he is no stranger to Police. Espat, a boat captain of the San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town, was stabbed multiple times inside Daddy Rock Nightclub situated off Barrier Reef Drive near the Central Park. Edwardo-Barahona-Espat-Murder According to Police, based on information they received, searched the home of Barahona, where they found a shirt with what appeared to be blood. The shirt was taken for forensic testing, and if the blood matches that of Estrada, police will be using it as part of the evidence during the trial. Barahona was detained for questioning as part of the investigation. Police also gathered statements from several witnesses who were inside the club at the night of the incident. Barahona was then taken to Belize City for a group parade where he was placed in an area with other persons and was positively identified by the witnesses, confirmed San Pedro Police.

Bistro Mestizo hosts and wins 2013’s first Saga cook-off
The Saga Humane Society in San Pedro held its first cook-off of the new year, and hosting the ever-popular event was Bistro Mestizo. The event is organized monthly to help raise money which directly assists Saga in offsetting operational expenses for the island’s only humane society. Wednesday, January 23rd saw 13 competitors, showcasing their signature appetizers served for hungry and enthusiastic attendees. Appetizers ranged from mini pizzas to brochette to fish ceviche, all tempting and delicious. For the minimal contribution of $10, those in attendance got to sample all the food and cast a vote for the favorite entry. It did not take much for attendees to cast their votes, and by the end of the night, host restaurant Bistro Mestizo won with their fish ceviche appetizer. Danny Cann placed second with his Tuscan brochette with bacon and third place was captured by Elizabeth Bertfche for her ham and cheese poppers. The proprietors of Bistro Mestizo decided to donate their prize, an MP3 player, to a cancer victim to use while travelling and recovering from treatment.

Ambergris Today

United Airlines Magazine Features Belize
Belize has received the prestigious honor of being featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine, Hemispheres. Belize was chosen for the “Three Perfect Days” article, and is also featured on the cover of the magazine. To capture the full authentic Belizean experience, the twelve page spread features a myriad of adventures and gives readers a peek at just what sets Belize apart; the people, culture, food, and landscapes are just a snapshot of what makes Belize the ideal tourist destination. Joe Keohane and Al Argueta take readers on a journey into the heart of Central America, Belize.

El Secreto Offers Pillow Menu in Belize
We know that you have all heard about restaurant menus for food, drinks and desserts, but have you ever come across a pillow menu? There is one resort on Ambergris Caye, Belize that is offering a pillow menu to its guests as part of its great service and excellent accommodations. El Secreto resort might be the only resort offering this service in the country. Although it might seem a bit excessive to order specific pillows, the luxury to indulge in the perfect pillow and have an even better night’s sleep is ideal. It is definitely something that you can get used to. A pillow menu is a list of available pillows provided by a hotel to guests, usually free of charge. El Secreto is the only resort we have heard that does this in Belize. The resort allows guests to make an alternative pillow choice. Some common pillow alternatives are memory foam, feather core, and hypoallergenic.

Teachers Peaceful Demonstration in Belize’s Capital City
Schools in San Pedro closed down yesterday, Tuesday, January 29, 2013, as island teachers joined fellow members of the Belize National Teachers Union in Belmopan in a national demonstration. Thousands of teachers gathered in Belmopan in the national demonstration, this is the first mass mobilization by teachers on the issue of salary adjustments and there is a potential for strike action if they are unable to reach agreement with government. At around 9:30 a.m. the parade moved off from the Belmopan Comprehensive School, heading for Independence Hill, in the capital city of Belmopan, Cayo. It was massive, as thousands of teachers sang and marched down the road in solidarity and unity of purpose; even the U.D.P. Mayor of Belmopan and retired educator Simeon Lopez came out with his flag to add his support to the movement.

Major Donations for Isla Bonita All-Star Marching Band
Since November of last year a committee of enthusiastic parents and residents has been raising funds for the Isla Bonita All Star Marching Band. This band is getting ready to attend the Governor General’s Annual Marching Band Fest on March 23 under the fine guidance of Band Master Mr. John Thompson. The band is comprised of young boys and girls from Isla Bonita Elementary, San Pedro R.C. School, Holy Cross Anglican School, St. Peters and San Pedro High School. The Committee along with members of the marching band have so far held several raffles, a radiothon, two dollar drives with music, two parade-athons with music, sales at Island Invasion, sales at the San Pedro Holiday Boat Parade, and collection of fees from all members. Recently several generous and major donations have brought the Isla Bonita All Star marching band closer to its goal of attending the Band Fest scheduled for March 23, 2013 in the city of Belmopan.

Misc Belizean Sources

Short video on nassau grouper protection in Belize

VIDEO: Good advice (crime in Belize) PART 2
Apart from all the humor, this really happened. I know you guys enjoyed the the punch lines and what's not, but apart from that, this is a rough story of what actually occurred to me. Like, I said in the video, my goal is not to bash down police in general, but to shed light on the injustice that happens every single day; some police abuse their authority. I've heard, read, and know of situations like this; I never thought it would one day be me experiencing it. And if could happen to me, it can happen to you. I know I said in the video that I will take court action, however I've decided to forgive him and let God be my vindicator. ;)

Belize Grows in Popularity as Spring Break Destination
Belize is becoming increasingly popular as a new Spring break destination with more and more students wishing to mix exotic adventure with the annual ritual of sun, fun and partying, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s Bryony Fleming. Ms Fleming, the Belizean eco-resort’s food and beverage manager, said that she has noticed a trend towards more adventure and activity-focussed Spring break vacations. “There has been a definite increase in enquiries about Spring Break options here in Belize and I’m sure word of mouth and social media are driving much of the interest we’re seeing in recent years,” Ms Fleming said. In the past, the most popular Spring break destinations were the beaches of Florida, especially Daytona Beach, and Fort Lauderdale, as well as South Padre Island in Texas. However, since the 1990s Mexico has become increasingly popular, with Cancun hosting huge and often raucous groups of revellers. More recently, Ms Fleming said, more and more people are discovering neighbouring Belize, with its pristine rainforests, uncrowded Caribbean coastline, hundreds of tiny islands and the Belize Great Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest. “I think we’re seeing a growing trend where younger people are looking to combine a bit of adventure and healthy activities with their partying. They’re realising that drinking and dancing are all well and good, but let’s face it, you can do that anywhere. With a Belizean Spring break, you get to let off steam and still go home having had a real adventure, something exotic and unique that will stay with you forever,” she said.

Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Adventure Company & Jungle Lodge Launches Facebook Contest
Belize Internet Marketing & Website Design announces the “Picture your Adventure in Belize” Facebook Contest for Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch, an adventure company and jungle lodge located at Mile 41.5 on the Hummingbird Highway in Belize, to serve as a way of interacting with past and potential guests in a fun and rewarding way. For the first time ever, Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch is holding the “Picture your Adventure in Belize” monthly Facebook contest which begins in February 2013 and ends on January 31, 2014 to give past and potential guests a chance to experience Belize in a fun and adventurous way that can also prove to be educational. To enter the contest, the contestant must click on the “Win” tab on our Facebook page and submit a picture of themselves at Caves Branch Jungle Lodge or of them doing something adventurous. They can ask their friends and families to “Vote” for their picture. The most popular picture for each month’s submissions wins the prize. Every month a winner will be selected. The winner will receive a 3 night’s stay at Ian Anderson’s Caves Branch Jungle Lodge for two in one of the jungle suites. If upon arrival, a Belize tree house is available – the winner’s accommodations will be upgraded. The winner will receive 2 single day adventures, all meals and drinks and accommodations for the 3 nights. The contest will recognize a total of twelve winners during 2013. Winners will be featured in Blog posts and on the Facebook Page.

Mexico presents in Belize the art exhibition “Jazz and more”
The Embassy of Mexico invites the general public to the opening of the art exhibition “Jazz and more” by the Mexican artist Enrique Hernandez on January 31st, 2013 at the Institute of Mexico in Belize City. This exhibition, which includes 23 works of art, facilitates communication and mutual understanding between Belizean and Mexican artists, especially those who live and work in the South of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. Enrique Hernandez is a Mexican artist who showed interest in drawing and painting since his early childhood. At the age of 16 he enrolled at the Mexican Art School of Advertising and Artistic Drawing. Hernandez worked as a designer and illustrator in various advertising agencies and participated in several collective painting exhibitions. In 1985 he moved to the city of Chetumal, Mexico and worked as a set designer, radio and TV host, producer, and director for the Quintana Roo Broadcasting Institute. He is also an entrepreneur in the field of music recording.

The artwork of Jerry Nisbet
Pencil Artwork of San Pedro Town back in 1993. How nostalgic. Artwork by Jerry Nisbet. My Dad preferred pencil art over all others. this is a familiar sight for most Belizeans. It is a picture of the "main" street San Pedro 1995 he reproduced in pencil.

Belize Senior Women’s Volleyball Team won Bronze at the World Champ Qualification Tournament
Group G, in Panama City.

St. Martin's CU and Heritage Bank Team Up
Saint Martin's Credit Union, Cayo's best choice for banking, has teamed up with all the other CU's and Heritage Bank so their debit card can be used at all the locations throughout Belize. They are calling it Network One. You can find all the locations here: "Yes, it Works! Now all Major Credit Unions and Heritage Bank card holders are on One Network."

Rotaract Visits Octavia Waight
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio visited the Octavia Waight Centre Sunday, where they distributed dental supplies to the older generation. Thanks, Rotaract! If you're interested in joining, they meet Wednesday nights at Hode's.

Cayo Highlighted in Hemispheres Magazine
Cayo gets an amazing write up in the latest edition of Hemispheres Magazine. Caracol, Rio Frio Cave, and MPR get a great write up. Blancaneaux Lodge is where the author stayed. The Flavors of Belize cookbook got a great mention in the article too. "The crown jewel of the Cayo region is Caracol, a sprawling ruin that once was one of the most powerful cities in the Mayan world. At its peak there were maybe 150,000 people living here, roughly half the present population of Belize, and the whole city was clad in plaster. It was mysteriously abandoned 1,200 years ago and rediscovered by a logger in 1937. As you explore, a hummingbird mistakes your orange backpack for a giant flower; a howler monkey erupts in a nearby copse, scaring you out of your wits. Skirting a coal-black fire ant hill with great care, you encounter what’s left of a middle-class Mayan residence. Under it is a tomb in which archeologists made an extraordinary discovery: skeletons with flatened foreheads and jade inlaid in their teeth."

Channel 7

FFB Will Keep Coach, Resignation Was All A Mix-Up!
On Monday, 7News told you about the troubling news circulating about Leroy Sherrier's abrupt departure as the coach of the Belize National Team. It came as a surprise to the football community because after all, he just led the National Team to its first qualification for the Gold Cup, the best performance in Belize's history. And the team was very vocal about their support for the coach, believing that a change would cause instability. The executives from the Football Federation of Belize were also aware of that issue, and while trying to mend fences with the coach, they found that electronic mischief had caused a major miscommunication. A bogus letter was sent to the FFB, which falsely claimed that Coach Sherrier owed 50,000 US dollars to the courts in the US. And then Sherrier had also agreed to have his performance reviewed. So, when he saw that FFB President Vicente arrived back in Costa Rica, and found that this letter had been sent to them, he thought the Vicente came to fire him.

Drunk Canadian Man Dies After Head Injury While In Police Custody
A Canadian man died yesterday after receiving a head injury while in the custody of Cayo police over the weekend. But the Police say 35 year old Jeffrey Donald Furgula caused his own eventually fatal head injury when he slipped and fell due to drunken-ness. Officer in charge of San Ignacio, Superintendent Ralph Moody told us that they picked up Fergula on Saturday night in the Savannah Area and he was very drunk. He told us via phone they took him into custody so that he would not be harmed or taken advantage of - but on Sunday, police say he brought harm to himself: Supt. Ralph Moody (Via Phone) - OC, San Ignacio Police "He was picked out and escorted to the San Ignacio Police Station. This male person appeared to be under alcohol. He was processed, that is to say that his items were taken away. We questioned him as to his name and nationality, but could not respond to those due to the condition of his drunken state. He was locked up in a cell on that same date, and on Sunday, January 27, 2013, at about 7 a.m., police officers saw the body of the male person who was picked up in the Savannah area, lying down in the cellblock in a motionless manner. We received information that he fell inside of the cellblock and caused injuries to his forehead. He died this morning."

Confession From Nicoli Rhys Thrown Out
Yesterday, 7News told you about Nicoli Rhys, the man who is standing trial in the Supreme Court for the brazen execution of Andre Trapp in June of 2010 in front of the Magistrate's Court. Well, there are major developments to report on tonight, because the case against him is on very unsteady ground. First, a total of 7 witnesses from the Prosecution's case have completed their testimony, out of a possible 11. That seventh witness was one of the responding officers who claimed to have heard Rhys when he allegedly gave an oral confession to being the gunman, when police arrested him near the scene. And the admissibility of that important piece of evidence was tested today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, where Rhys took the stand and gave his version of how the events unfolded. Nowhere in his testimony did he ever admit or accept that he gave police any oral confession. In addition to that, Chief Justice Benjamin ruled that the oral confession inadmissible because the officer did not properly place Rhys under arrest, nor was he cautioned about his rights.

Into The Chiquibul Wild
Over the years we've taken you into Chiquibul more than a few times. And that's because the vast forest - more than four times the size of Barbados - is the pristine protected area where Guatemalan poachers go to gather Xate, hunt wildlife, extract timber, and now, pan for gold. We've visited many parts of this rugged hinterland, but we've never gone to the extremely remote Ceibo Chico - which is the current flashpoint area for Guatemalan gold panners. And so, on Friday, special correspondent Janelle Chanona and Cameraman Codie Norales left out before dawn to head into the wilds of Chiquibul. Tonight, they'll take us to areas where no camera has been before in part one of a two part series on the Ceibo Chico and the grueling journey to get there. Janelle Chanona reports: In any other part of Belize, a tractor is a standard piece of farm equipment. But in the Chiquibul Forest, it's a life line. The machine has turned a gruelling two day hike into an arduous six hour journey.

Lady Cop Accused Of Extorting Money And Margarita's
36 year-old Woman Police Officer Jenny Tanner, a resident of Caye Caulker, is out on bail tonight after a Canadian National accused her of extortion. According to police, Christopher John Graham, a dive master reported that on December 11, 2012, he was driving an overcrowded golf cart on Caye Caulker when he was stopped by Tanner, and asked to produce his driver's license. He said that when he told her that he had none, Tanner told him if he paid her $100 and bought her two Margarita's, she would not charge him for any wrong doings. Graham said that he agreed and gave her $100, and he then took her to a nearby restaurant and bought her the 2 drinks. After doing so, he went and reported the matter to police, and requested court action against the officer. Police investigated the report, and they charged tanner with extortion. She was arraigned today before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. She pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail of $2,000, which she was able to meet. She must return to court on February 28.

Pedestrians Forced To Use Long-Abandoned Overpass
In the one year since the Darrel Bradley led council was elected - Belize city has gone through lots of traffic changes. It's been a tough 11 months, but also gratifying as potholed streets have been transformed into first class concrete roadways. But more than just transforming the streets, the council has been trying to regularize the flow of traffic - and that meant eliminating the pedestrian crosswalks at one of the city's most persistent bottlenecks - the Belcan roundabout - or Flag Monument, as it is also known. It's a major change for pedestrians - and Monica Bodden found out the logic behind the move: Monica Bodden Reporting For the first time since it was built 16 years ago people are using the pedestrian overpass. But that's only because they are being forced to - after the city council removed the pedestrian crosswalks when they cement-paved the first 100 yards of the northern highway.

The First Building Block Of A Belizean Baseline For DNA
There's an interesting project starting tomorrow and it's led by the National Forensic Service. They are collecting DNA samples for a project called the Belize Population Genetic Study. The project is being led by the University of North Texas and it hopes to establish a baseline for DNA markers in Belize Diana Bol of Forensic Services explained that this is the first step towards setting up a system for DNA testing: Diana Bol - National Forensic Science Services "Majority of the countries here in the region, they already have this study done. What it does is that it tells your background, to tell how rare a person's profile might be so that you can connect them in the future. However, this particular study will not be recording the information such as names, address, or anything like that to link any person. It is purely to get an entire profile of the country of Belize based on anonymity."

Belize's First Business and Investment Magazine
Over the years, you've probably heard about the Destination Belize Magazine - that's the standard bearer for all things having to do with Belize tourism. Well, now BELTRAIDE has the same sort of publication to promote trade in Belize. It's Belize's First Business and Investment Magazine called "INVEST BELIZE". The inaugural edition was launched today and we found out more about it: Michael Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "It's a milestone. It's something that we've been working on for probably about 8 months, and the whole concept of coming out with a publication that highlights Belize's investment opportunities, success, and giving information is something that investors can look at, perhaps when Belizean business people are traveling, government officials, they can hand out to show what Belize is all about." Damian Solano - IDEALABS, Publisher: "Invest Belize" "The magazine focuses on Belize business. I think for a long time, Belize has been promoted internationally but mainly as a tourist destination. There hasn't really been any real push in getting information out there about Belize as a business or investment destination. And that is what this magazine aims to cover. So, what you find in the magazine, in this inaugural edition, are some success stories, of some successful business ventures that are currently in Belize.

Mexican Artist With A Jones For Jazz
The Institute of Mexico is opening its first Art Exhibition for the New Year tomorrow night. It is entitled "Jazz and more" by the Mexican artist Enrique Hernandez. Hernandez lives in Chetumal and today we found out why he's got a jones for jazz. Marcelino Miranda - Press Officer, Mexican Embassy "The Mexican Embassy is inviting the public to attend the first exhibition that the embassy is presenting for this year. It's going to be on Thursday at the Institute of Mexico, and the title of the exhibition is "Jazz and More". This is by the Mexican artist, Mauricio Hernandez, who not only an artist, he is always a designer. He's presenting not only is talent, but also the different techniques that masters very well. And I think that for the general public, and especially for those who love music, this will be a wonderful opportunity to look at this splendid exhibition that includes different works of musicians, music instruments, and especially jazz. They will also see, like I said, the different techniques like oil on canvass, acrylic, and also water colors. The exhibition includes 20 different pieces, and this exhibition was previously presented in Chetumal at the Museum of Mayan Culture. And now, the Belizean public will have an opportunity to have a look at this exhibition at the Institute of Mexico in Belize. It will remain open for 2 weeks here, and then, it going to be taken to the George Price Center in Belmopan for another 2 weeks. The entrance is free, and I think that this a very good opportunity for families to bring their children, young people as well, for those who've haven't had an opportunity to enjoy an exhibit. This is going to be good. This is a good opportunity to see what artists are doing on the other side of the border."

Channel 5

National Team soccer coach back with team
Costa Rican Coach Leroy Sherrier Lewis is back in the game after less than four days off the playing field and after leading the national football team to a historic win against Nicaragua in the Copa Centro American Games. That’s the latest word that the Football Federation of Belize’s President Ruperto Vicente, handed down via [...]

Team recounts highlights of Copa Centro Americana Games
Now that the coach is back, the other big hurdle the federation is facing is one of financing. The F.F.B. has confirmed that preparation for and attendance at the Copa Centro Americana Games carried a price tag of a quarter of a million dollars and getting ready for the Gold Cup in July, will cost [...]

Minister tells N.T.U.C.B., ‘at this time finds not available’
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the representatives of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of the Public Service Senior Managers will meet with the government on Friday in Belmopan. They will sit down with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the government’s ministerial committee which includes, Patrick [...]

Numerous voices at protest on the hill
Tuesday’s demonstration staged by the B.N.T.U., the P.S.U. and the A.P.S.S.M. was a show of force. Thousands of teachers converged on the usually quiet capital city to send a message to the powers that be—they want a salary adjustment and respect. And if the government did not quite get the message from the masses that [...]

Sudden Death: Canadian mortally injured in cell
An internal investigation has been launched by the police on the death of a Canadian national after spending a night in a holding cell in the San Ignacio Police Station. Reports are that when Jeffrey Furgala was picked up by police and taken to the station on Saturday night, he was intoxicated. He was placed [...]

Minister pulls brakes on City hall
The current Belize City Council is no doubt one of the most active councils when it comes to infrastructural development. The twenty million dollar bond it floated last year has made it possible for many street upgrades across the city. The council plans to pay the bond with the funds that it should collect from [...]

Rosewood cache found
There was a scare earlier today that another container or possibly two of rosewood had been detected up north. The report is that the containers were discovered in Carmelita, Orange Walk. When we checked, we were told that a team from the Ministry of Forestry will be deployed to Carmelita on Thursday to confirm the [...]

How do Mayas feel about ICJ Referendum?
The Referendum on whether to forward the Belize/Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has made it necessary to examine judgments by the court involving territorial dispute. In November 2012, the ICJ ruled on a dispute involving Colombia and Nicaragua that shows the ICJ ruled to compromise, which did not settle well with [...]

Busted! Illegal immigrants caught
  Two Honduran nationals are spending quality time at the Kolbe Correctional Facility after they were caught last Friday in Belize City as they were passing through on their way to the USA. The men, twenty-eight year old Manuel de Jesus Zuniga Ramirez and twenty-four year old Eliseo Romero Garcia, were apprehended by Immigration officials [...]

After police released him, he robbed a soldier
  A Belize City man has been returned to the Kolbe Correctional Facility for an extended stay of seven years. Twenty-nine year old Clarence Grant, a resident of Ontario Village in the Cayo District, appeared today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, where he was found guilty of robbery and handed his sentence. Grant was [...]

Cop extorts tourist on golf cart
  A Tourism Police Officer stationed in Caye Caulker is out on bail tonight after she was charged with a single count of extortion for an incident which occurred in December, 2012. Jennie Tanner has been on interdiction since December, after Canadian Dive Master Christopher John Graham alleged that he was shaken down for a [...]

Invest Belize: new magazine for foreign investment
A glossy new publication was officially launched today. It is being published by Idea Labs and commissioned by Beltraide. Invest Belize, as it is called, is geared exclusively to attract foreign investments that has dipped significantly in the past years. At the presentation today, Minister Godwin Hulse said the first issue won’t disappoint. News Five’s [...]

Canadian Author gives lesson on bullying at Belize Elementary
The students from the Belize Elementary School this morning welcomed special guests all the way from Canada. Award winning author, Victor Lethbridge, made a special presentation to the eager students portraying signs of social issues affecting youths through story-telling. Duane Moody reports.   Duane Moody, Reporting It was a day filled with fun activities for [...]

Exhibit launched at Mexican Embassy
From story-telling to the art…on Thursday, the Mexican Embassy is opening an art exhibition entitled, “Jazz and More.” The pieces displayed in canvass, acrylic and water color paintings focus on music by the Mexican artist, Enrique Hernandez. Hernandez, who has been painting for twenty-five years, is also a media personality in Chetumal.   Domingo Rodriguez, [...]


Prime Minister Will Meet With Unions
On Tuesday the leaders of the Belize National Teachers Union, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, and the Public Service Union, marched with their memberships atop Independence Hill in Belmopan. Their plight is an unresolved matter over salary adjustments that ...

Woman Police Constable Charged For Extortion
Thirty-six year Jenny Tanner, a police officer attached to Caye Caulker Police Station, was charged with extortion when she appeared in court today. Tanner pleaded not guilty to the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith offered her a bail of $2,000.00 She stipulated that $500.00 of...

Seven Years In Prison For Robbing Soldier
Twenty-nine year old Clarence Grant, a fisherman of Ontario Village charged with the robbery of $300.00 from BDF Lieutenant Zane Duhaney, was sentenced to seven years today after he was found guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who imposed the sentence, stipu...

Evangelical Churches Invite Public To Public Worshipping
The Belize Association of Evangelical Churches has issued a statement on the crime situation in Belize. The statement came after the Association’s quarterly meeting on Monday and started by denouncing what the churches called, quote, “the hideous quadruple murders tha...

Belize Makes It In United Airlines Magazine, Hemispheres
The little third world country that once couldn’t find itself on the map of the world, Belize, is now the place that everyone’s talking about. The latest milestone for the jewel is being featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine, &l...

BDF Prepares For Big Events At The Weekend
And while the BDF is investigating an alleged rape case involving two of its members, it is also preparing for two big upcoming events. This weekend, the Force will hold its annual BDF Day and that follows the change of command on Friday. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Ortega w...

Investigations of Rape and Sexual Harassment Ongoing Within The Belize Defense Force
In late December Love News broke the news of a number of reports of alleged sexually-related offences made by female soldiers within the Belize Defense Force against male soldiers dating back over the past couple years. One of the alleged incidents happened only two months ag...


A Hero's Welcome For Belize's National Team
Yesterday evening Belize welcomed back the stars of the most successful National A-Selection Team ever put together. They have been dubbed the Jaguars and it has its reason as the team made Belizeans proud at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana by winning against a world class football team and qualifying for the Copa Oro to be played later this year. The tournament was held in San Jose Costa Rica and Belizeans all around the world ensured the watched Belize’s performance. Even though Belize placed fourth, the entire country couldn’t be prouder and that was displayed in Belize City yesterday. The team members were greeted by loud applauses and cheer and we were there to capture all the excitement. Reporter Elmer Cornejo and Cameraman Jesus Melgar filed the following report. A huge sign welcoming the National Football Team could not begin to describe how proud the country is of the performance of the jaguars at the UNCAF CentroAmericana Tournament in Costa Rica. Supporters and fans where already waiting at the Brodies parking lot in Belize City for the team that gained recognition and respect for Belize in the football world to arrive. But by 4:15 the bus carrying the stars arrived and one by one the players exited the bus. They were immediately welcomed with by a roaring applause and cheers as each one took their place at the head table in front of Belize’s media.


Minister Faber says government subsidy for UB will not be reinstated
The salary adjustment being requested by teachers is not the only hot button issue on the plate for Minister Faber. The students of the University of Belize are also not happy that a government subsidy which had been in place for years was cancelled this year. The student government held a demonstration on Monday to express their view that the subsidy should be reinstated. Today Minister Faber told Love News that he heard their call loud and clear … but reinstating the subsidy is not going to happen. And while Faber is confident that a negotiated settlement of the salary adjustment for teachers and public officers will be reached, the same cannot be said about subsidy for the University of Belize. Minister Faber says on that issue, there is not much to talk about. Minister Faber told Love News that he has indicated to the UB students that he is prepared to meet with them but they have not yet responded on when they will be taking up that offer to sit down and dialogue.

Minister of Education comments on teachers demonstration
And while teachers demonstrated in Belmopan today, Cabinet was meeting just a stone’s throw away from where thousands had gathered on the plaza in front of the National Assembly building. One of the Ministers in that meeting was Education Minister Patrick Faber, who told Love News this afternoon that he supports the teachers’ right to demonstrate. Faber says he is confident that an amicable solution will be worked out. The negotiation process will continue on Friday when both sides are scheduled to meet.

Teachers hold massive demonstration in Belmopan
Thousands of teachers from all over the country today converged on the nation’s capital for a massive demonstration. Initial estimates are that over two thousand teachers traveled by bus and private vehicle for today’s event in Belmopan. The teachers demonstrated to send a strong message to government that they are serious about wanting a salary adjustment. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo had front row vantage point and file this report. Apart from the teachers, today’s demonstration has the support and active participation of public officers, the student government of the University of Belize and civil society groups. One such group is the Teens Belize Organization which this morning issued a statement saying, and we quote: “the Teens Belize Organization hereby ushers its full support to all the good Teachers & Public Servants of Belize. Our Teachers & Public Servants deserve better treatment, better wages, and better working environments,” end of quote.

Challenge Gobie Foundation receives donation
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has teamed up with partners to raise funds for the construction of an intensive pediatric ward to lessen the need for young Belizeans to have to travel abroad. Today the initiative got a major boost as Hoover Company made a donation of $50,000.00 to the Challenge Gobie Foundation to be used toward the effort. Anand Poornananda of the Hoover Company explained why the donation was made. Eva Gabourel of the Challenge Gobie Foundation received the donation and said it will go a long way in achieving their goal. On hand for the short handover ceremony was Kim Simplis Barrow, the special envoy for women and children. She said she is looking forward to the completion of the project. To get more information on the work of Challenge Gobie Foundation in its quest to raise the necessary funds for the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit you can log on to their Facebook page.

Canadian companies recruiting workers in Belize
Actyl International is a company that is recruiting Belizean workers to enter the workforce in Canada. Dr. Linda West, President of the company spoke with Love News. West said after workers qualify, air fare and housing will be taken care of by the employer. She said they have received over a hundred applications since Monday. The company had previously held recruitment drive in Belize City. Actly International has its headquarters on Barbados Street in Belmopan. Dr. West said they will be accepting applications up until Friday.

Burglaries and robberies make it to the crime blotter
Thieves have targeted the Fiesta Chicken business establishment on Vernon Street in Belize City. According to a supervisor at the establishment, sometime between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, the business located at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon streets, was burglarized. Among the items stolen was, the cash register and a computer all to a total value of four thousand, two hundred and thirty five dollars. Meanwhile, a Ladyville man has reported that his business place in Belize City has been burglarized. The burglary is reported to have happened sometime between January eighteenth and Monday of last week. According to the fifty four year old owner, a quantity of electrical tools valued at three thousand, eight hundred and forty five dollars was stolen. Police investigations continue. There was a robbery on Monday night in Belmopan. It happened at the Sansung Restaurant on Nim Li Punit Street in the nation’s capital just before eleven thirty last night. According to police reports, two masked men, one of whom was armed with a firearm, went into the restaurant and robbed the owners and their employee cash, jewelry and phone cards, all to a total value of four thousand, four hundred and eight dollars. Police investigations continue. Police are investigating a reported case of carnal knowledge in the south. A fourteen year old girl, in the company of her mother, reported to Independence police that on Tuesday of last week, the owner of a shot in Bella Vista village was having a conversation with her when the teenager went to the establishment to purchase goods. The girl says that during the conversation, the shop keeper pulled her into his room and had sexual intercourse with her. A doctor has since certified that the girl has been carnally known. Police investigations continue.

Orange Walk police takes custody of wanted man
A man wanted by police has handed himself in to authorities in Orange Walk. Love TV’s Dalila Ical reports.

Man charged in San Pedro stabbing death
Thirty-three year old San Pedro resident Edwin Barahona, has been arraigned on a charge of murder. No plea was taken and Barona was remanded to the Hattieville prison until his next court appearance on March twenty first. Barahona is accused of the stabbing death of twenty two year old Byron Estrada on Saturday morning inside the bathroom of a nightclub in San Pedro town.

Looking for a new home, Belize City woman appeals for help
Next to health, food and clothing, having a roof over your head is perhaps the next basic need that any human being needs. One Belize City woman is in a desperate search for a new home. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo met the anxious home owner earlier this week and here is her story.

NTUCB hosts mid-morning press conference
Poised to demonstrate on Tuesday in Belmopan in response to what they term as quote, “disrespect on the part of the Government” over a salary increase, the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, under the umbrella National Trade Union Congress of Belize, met today with the media. Dylan Reneau, who heads the NTUCB, responded sharply to a recent press release by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which opposes a raise to the public officers. The Chamber release states in part, and we quote, “the Chamber cannot condone the idea of general Public Sector wage increase that may serve to simultaneously reward unproductive or counterproductive work. This would, in the opinion of the Chamber, be a waste of taxpayers’ funds”, unquote. Here’s Reneau’s response. President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, said that the demonstration will be a message to the government for disrespecting them. The government, Palacio suggested, is investing resources in areas that are counterproductive, as opposed to the public service, which employs the vast majority of Belizeans. Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, Jose Castellanos, said that what the unions are asking for is not unjustified and compared the Government’s inflation figures to their figures. Palacio Palacio discouraged the demonstrators from wearing political colours or bearing banners with personal attacks.

Traffic incident on Phillip Goldson Highway leaves one man dead
There was a horrific traffic incident over the weekend on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Correspondent Arturo Cantun reports.

Former BNTU president passes away
As teachers prepare for a big demonstration on Tuesday in Belmopan, the education sector in mourning the passing of one of its stalwarts. Former school teacher, and president extraordinaire of the Belize National Teachers Union John Pinelo passed away over the weekend, following a long illness. Pinelo, a resident of San Ignacio town, contributed over four decades to the teaching profession in Belize. He rose to prominence on the national scene during his tenure as BNTU president in the 90’s. His long time friend and colleague George Frazer who served alongside Pinelo for many years, today gave Love News his recollection of Pinelo’s life in public service since the amalgamation of the two teachers union in the early 1970’s. Frazer who is himself a veteran educator, served on the BNTU executive from the mid-80’s until Ausut of last year. He recalls that it was under Pinelo’s presidency that many of the more progressive accomplishments were achieved for BNTU members. Frazer summarized his recollection of his fallen colleague by describing him as the most courageous union leader of his time. John Pinelo will be laid to rest on Wednesday following funeral service at 3 o’clock in the afternoon at the Sacred Heart Church in San Ignacio town.

UB Student Government holds protest in Belmopan
Students of the University of Belize abandoned classes today and took to the picket lines. At issue is the matter of what the UB Student Government calls burdensome registration fees. Correspondent Felix Mai was at the protest and files this report. While the UB Student government protested the discontinuation of the government subsidy which covered registration fees, the Head of the Office of Public Information for UB, Selwyn King today told Love News that registration for this semester shows an increase over last year’s numbers. This, according to the UB official, shows that the cut in the Government Subsidy is not really affecting tertiary level students.

A hero’s welcome home for Belize’s National Football Team
The red carpet was rolled out this afternoon for Belize’s national football team. The team finished fourth in the Copa Centroamericana, falling one nil to El Salvador in the third place match on Sunday. The team touched down at the Phillip Goldson International Airport late this afternoon, and Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Myles Gillett were in the welcoming party. From the airport, the team traveled to the Brodies parking lot on the Phillip Goldson Highway where a press conference was held, followed by a motorcade. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports. Belize’s fourth place finish in the just completed Copa Centroamericana established many history making moments for Belizean football. For the first time, Belize won a match in the tournament, defeating Nicaragua by a score of two to one. It was also the first time that Belize qualified to the semi-finals in the UNCAF tournament and for the first time, a football team from Belize is heading to the Gold Cup later this year in the United States.

Equine encephalitis confirmed in Cayo district
A case of equine Encephalitis has been discovered in the Cayo District. Director of Animal Health at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, MigueL Depaz, told Love News that the case has indeed been confirmed. Love News asked Depaz whether there were any chances of this disease getting out of control and becoming widespread. According to Depaz, since it is an equine disease, it can also be transmitted to donkeys. For further information or to report suspected cases, the general public is asked to call any of the BAHA offices. Depaz advises farmers or horse owners to monitor their animals closely and inform BAHA as soon as possible if Encephalitis is suspected so as to allow for quick response on their part. He also advises farmers with healthy horses to do the annual vaccination against the disease.

Attack leaves Orange Walk man hospitalized in Belize City
A man from the Orange Walk district is hospitalized in Belize City following an attack over the weekend. Thirty six year old Emiliano Blanco, a resident of Yo Creek village, was reportedly socializing in Orange Walk town when he was assaulted. Sotero Blanco told Love News this morning that when his younger brother did not return home on Friday, night the family went looking for him on Saturday morning, and that was when they got the bad news from the police. According to Sotero Blanco, his brother was socializing somewhere on Progress Street in Orange Walk where the attack is believed to have taken place. Today’s police report did not make any mention of this reported incident.

Stabbing death in San Pedro; burglary in Toledo
A man was stabbed to death on Saturday morning in San Pedro Town. The victim has been identified as twenty five year old Byron Estrada. According to reports, Estrada was killed inside of the bathroom at a nightclub in the town. According to reports, Estrada was viciously stabbed a total of twenty two times, mostly to the upper side of the body. This includes three stabs to the shoulder and four stabs to the neck among many others. Police were alerted about the incident around 3:15 am on Saturday and quickly responded. Estrada was transported to the San Pedro Polyclinic where he was pronounced dead on arrival. San Pedro police have detained several persons for questioning and they believe that some of the detainees will be able to assist with their ongoing investigation. Police in Toledo are investigating a burglary in Punta Gorda town. A fifty two year old Mechanic reported to police that he left his brother’s house for which he is caretaker on Tuesday and traveled to Abalone Caye. The man says that when he returned home days later, he discovered that the house was broken into. Stolen from the residence were a number of electronic items valued at fifteen thousand, US dollars. Police investigations continue. ALBERT MOODY, JR. Twenty-two year old Albert Moody Jr., a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in Court today. Moody was also charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken 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 March 19. The incident occurred around 7 p.m. on January 15. Kent Moss reported to the police that while he was having a conversation with a friend on the verandah of his house on Raccoon Street Extension he was shot three times by a male person who came up behind him. Moss was admitted to ward at KHMH where his condition is described as stable. Seventy-two year old Frank Jaskin, a.k.a. “Big Frank Vernon”, a vagrant who failed to do 100 days of community service, a sentence he was given after he pled guilty to theft in December last year, was sent to prison today to do a sentence of two months in default of community service. Jaskin was ordered to serve the sentence by Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart when he appeared in her court on another charge of theft. According to the allegation, Jaskin stole a sack of scrap metal a burglar bar from Sotero Tillett on January 25. The items have a total value of $250.00. Magistrate Stuart told Jaskin that she will offer him bail for the theft after he has served his two months.

VIP suggests how teachers can get their salary adjustment
The Vision Inspired by the People political party today issued a statement saying it stands in Solidarity with the Unions. Public Relations Officer Robert Lopez today told Love News that the VIP has a suggestion on how to resolve the issue. The VIP statement suggests that the threshold on the Windfall tax be reduced to sixty US dollars per barrel, and further suggested that any surplus should go to reducing the cost of Secondary and Tertiary tuitions.


Investigation into sudden death of Canadian national who was in police custody
A Canadian National who was detained by San Ignacio Police over the weekend died last night in Belize City at the K...

PUP congratulate teachers of Belize on their demonstration
The People’s United Party sent out a release today to congratulate the teachers of Belize on their successful demon...

Woman police officer arraigned on charge of extortion
In early December of late last year, a Canadian Dive Master reported to police that he was the victim of extortion ...

Education Minister and Student Leader disagree over letter
On Monday; Hope Amadi, the National Student Government President for the University of Belize held a protest in the...

Belize City man, convicted last year, slapped with another conviction
A Belize City man who was convicted last year was slapped with another conviction. This time he got an additional 1...

Firearm charge dismissed when Police witness fails to show up
27-year-old Henry Thomas, a resident of the Lord’s Bank was happy to learn that his case for kept firearm and ammun...

Honduran national in court on Immigration charge
A Honduran national remains behind bars over a week now after she was brought before the court on a single charge o...

Drugs recovered within Seine Bight and Placencia Village
On Tuesday January 29th a joint operation involving the Mobile Interdiction Unit and K-9 Unit; conducted an anti dr...

Teachers' Union leader wonders about the motive of the chamber of Commerce
On Friday the Chamber of Commerce and Industry sent out a release concerning the trade unions request for an increm...

Company in Belmopan offers job opportunities abroad
Finding a job in Belize is not necessarily an easy task for Belizeans. Perhaps that is why many have been lining up...


A Cool Red-Footed Amphibian!
The Lodge at Chaa Creek located in the western dense forests of Belize is home to the fascinating Red-Footed Tree Frog scientifically known as Tlalocohyla Loquax. Our guests can observe this red-footed frog in our “Creatures of the Night” tour in which our experienced and knowledgeable naturalist guides will take them through trails populated by Ocelots, Howler Monkeys, Tarantulas, Patoos, Jaguarundis and many more intriguing rainforest residents. These are medium-sized tree frogs, with adult males 33 to 45 mm in total length and adult females 38 to 47 mm, characterized by having a yellow venter and bright red or orange coloration on the backside of the thighs and on the webbing between the fingers and toes. The upper surface is smooth, while the venter is granular. At night, the dorsal surfaces are typically yellow to reddish brown. During the day, the upper surface is yellow to pale grey, almost white. It is a relatively uncommon nocturnal species that primarily breeds in deep bodies of standing water (both permanent and temporary). Males call through with a loud “kaaack” or “wonk” note that resembles the honking of geese from floating leaves in the deepest parts of the breeding ponds. Although this species is not an explosive breeder, its reproduction peaks in July and early August and in mid-rainy season. Each clutch contains about 250 eggs and forms a large gelatinous mass that is attached to vegetation near the water surface. This species is found in humid lowlands and premontane slopes of the Atlantic versant in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Their habitat is typically around temporary ponds in Lowland Moist and Wet Forest zones and marginally in premontane Wet Forest and Rainforest.

Death Of Canadian In Belize Police Custody
On Sunday 27th January 2013 at approximately 6:30 am, San Ignacio Police checked Cell No.3 where detained person 35 year old Canadian Jeffrey Donald FURGALA was seen in the Cell lying face up and when called he was unresponsive. A physical check was made on his person when Police noticed that he had some blood in his nose and was apparently unconscious. As a result, he was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital for medical treatment. He was later transported to the KHMH on 27th January 2013 where at 11:00 am he was in a critical condition and was to undergo surgery. FURGALA was pronounced dead at 11:15 pm on January 29. Initial investigation indicates that FURGALA was detained on Saturday 26th January 2013 at 10:12pm in the Savannah Area San Ignacio Town, apparently under the heavy influence of alcohol and since he was unable to give an address where he resides he was kept in custody for his own safety. However, witnesses in the other cell blocks indicate that on Sunday 27th January 2013, sometime around 01:00 am they heard a loud sound which sounded like someone falling and thereafter a loud snoring coming from Cell No.3 which was where Jeffery Donald FURGALA was detained.

What Hurts the Most?
Early morning errands in town this morning gave me the excuse (not that I really need an excuse) to have breakfast at Estel’s. Having filled myself with the food and the view I very quickly visited Gekko Graphics to get some printing done (we are not buying a printer until we move in to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize). Then on to the Post Office to mail a cheque ( wonder of wonders, I received a refund (not a large amount but …) from the UK Customs and Excise for an overpayment of personal income tax) and then on to Atlantic Bank to make a withdrawal (I hate those) for upcoming bills we have to pay. Also stopped off at the BEL (Belize Electricity Limited) office in Pescador Drive to query why the apartment we are renting has been classified as Commercial. Turns out it wasn’t a mistake but that for someone who owns two or more residential properties ( as the owner that we are renting from does) only one of the properties can be categorised as Residential with the rest being Commercial . Both of his properties,however, are charged at the residential tariff. So now you know. It does pay though to check bills wherever you are but this is especially so in Belize. At around 12.45 pm Rose and I went to Pedro’s Hotel to have lunch before watching Arsenal come back from two nil down to earn a draw. Not the winning result I was hoping for but, obviously, better than losing. The lunch and the company were, as usual, exceptionally good.

Collared Aracari at Lower Dover Belize Jungle Lodge
Sometimes it is easy to get great bird photos at Lower Dover Field Station in Western Belize. Today was one of those days… It seems a family of 5 Social Toucanette’s has been flying around the hotel grounds at Lower Dover. Recently it has been common to see multiple Aracari’s perched on the nearby papaya trees, eating when the fruit is ripe.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pandesal..Buns frum t'Philippines
Pandesal is a popular brakefuss food n' t'Philippines. Thay air oblong fermed buns which have bee rolled n' breed crumbs befor bakin'. Thay air lite and fluffy, crustee on t'outside and soft on t'inside. N' t'Philippines thay air usual dunked n' coffee but I prefr t'ett 'um with cheez, jam, er a creem cheez spred. Thay air bes hot out uf t'ove! Freeze t'left'vers, wen reheeted thay air jes as good. Air sen has caregivers who air frum t'Philippines and thay were a'tellin me about these buns. I wuz intrigued so deecided t'gif' it a try and thay turnt out amazin! I have alreddy made 'um twicet n' one week! I brung sum t'air sen‘s trayler fer t'guys t'ry..I wasn’t shure hoe thay compard but thay assured me that thay were verr good!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Mater Basil Tertellini Soup
Cook garlic n' earl ovr medium heat until fragrant. Stir n' broth, mater juice and maters. Brang t'a bawl. Add tertellini, reduce heat and simmr fer 10 minutes. Add basil, oregano, red peppr flakes, creem and Parmesun cheez. Brang t'a bawl and simmr fer 5 more minutes. Sprinkle each servin with dishnull grated Parmesun cheez.

International Sources

It's supposed to FIND MINES...but COULDN"T FIND THE REEF!!!!OYE
Stuck Minesweeper to Be Cut Into Pieces.

Instantly Improve Your Day With This Magical Baby Tapir
A tapir break should proooooobably be a part of every work day. Are you feeling crushed by bureaucracy? Oppressed by your mandatory dress code? Do you feel under-appreciated and ignored? Sadly, this baby tapir can't make your job less tedious or your boss more appreciative... All he can do is look at you like this. They look like this... miracularious little sepia watermelons.

Lessons from the ancient Mayans
American Indians make all manner of extravagant claims on the federal government, some of which have resulted in extravagant restitution. The modern-day Mayans make no such claims down here in Belize or Guatemala. They seem to prefer hanging out at the gas station to taking over a temple or palace. Why doesn’t a local Mayan huckster with a huckster’s gift for dramaturgy and eloquence simply take over a Mayan ruin and declare it his own? Maybe he could even collect taxes. He surely could take his case to the United Nations or the World Court. Today’s Mayans possibly have suffered a huge failure of imagination. It might have begun back in A.D. 1521 when the Mayan civilization went poof. Have modern scholars detected in the records of the ancient Mayans any signs of an awareness of mounting economic problems, of an accumulating unsustainable national debt or of entitlements leading to bankruptcy? The Mayans boasted a rich hieroglyphic language. Is there a word in old Mayan for entitlement? How in Mayan would one spell Obamacare?

Belize seeks help over drug wars
Spillover from Mexico's violent drug war is prompting the Harper government and the Canadian military to become more involved in helping defend the tiny Central American country of Belize. A series of internal reports, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, show the government has quietly increased co-operation with the Commonwealth nation, formerly known as British Honduras. Canada is providing non-lethal equipment for security services and helping with strategic planning and the training of soldiers. The documents, which all date from the spring of last year, describe the situation in Belize as deteriorating in the face of ultraviolent drug cartels that are battling not only Mexican and U.S. law enforcement, but each other as well.

Hidden treasures: Central American Gas
Gas in Central America is dominated by one major producer and consumer: Mexico. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), the country has 12 trillion ft3 of reserves, mostly in the south. Proven reserves are expected to rise dramatically in the future, however, as 90% of the probable and possible reserves are located in the underexplored northern region. Because the growth in production is not keeping up with the growth in consumption, Mexico must import at least 1 billion ft3/d. Most currently comes from the US via pipeline, but the country is also increasing its LNG capacity. Belize is also home to a portion of the productive Petren Basin, known locally as the Corozal Basin. The Belize Geology and Petroleum Department is promoting exploration in the region, noting that tectonic activity has created the potential for structural closures bounded by faults and pinch outs that could be delineated through modern seismic technology. During the 1980s, exploratory wells drilled in the basin have encountered oil shows in the Yalbac and Hillbank formations, but no commercial deposits. In 2005, however, Belize based Belize Natural Energy (BNE) found 25 million bbls of oil reserves at the Spanish Lookout and Never Delay fields in the Corozal Basin. BNE subsequently constructed field and transportation infrastructure, and is currently producing 3300 bpd.

Eyeglasses Retailer America's Best Supports Restoring Vision Through Belize Donation
America's Best is proud to support Restoring Vision, a relief effort aimed at providing eyewear to regions where they are desperately needed. In conjunction with the New England College of Optometry, Restoring Vision supplies eyeglasses, usually readers and sunglasses to regions that need them. Most recently, Restoring Vision supplied more than 500 pairs of glasses to people in Belize. Restoring Vision works with eyeglass frames suppliers like America's Best to provide materials that philanthropic and medical mission trips might not otherwise have access to. In tropical climates like Belize, one of the most important supplies the mission groups can provide are sunglasses. With UV protection, sunglasses help prevent eye damage, including cataracts, caused by the sun's harmful rays. Reading glasses are also popular because they can allow older people to get the mild correction they need or can be used in place of prescription glasses if an optometrist is not available, as is the case in some remote areas.

The buzz on Belize
CNN's Holly Firfer shares the secrets to a Belize getaway.

Help us restore Belize's stunning coral reef system
The stunning Mesoamerican Reef is the largest barrier reef in the Atlantic Ocean, stretching for nearly 600 miles off Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico. Coastal communities depend on the reef and its fisheries for food and income, but today both are in significant decline due to overfishing, coastal development and climate change. To solve the problem, EDF is using a groundbreaking approach that could serve as a key model for putting coastal fisheries throughout the developing world on a sustainable path. Read about our work below, and then help us solve the problem by donating today.

Caribbean debt high, says Trinidad central bank governor
Gross public debt in the Caribbean was at 80 percent of gross domestic product in 2012, Trinidad and Tobago Central Bank Governor, Jwala Rambarran, said as he addressed senior finance officials from Commonwealth Caribbean countries. The officials met at a workshop on countercyclical loans for the management of exogenous shocks in small and vulnerable economies. "It is no secret that small vulnerable economies in the Caribbean have grappled with external shocks of varying magnitudes and duration over the past two decades. These shocks include a compression of aid flows, dismantling of preferential trade arrangements for sugar and bananas, interventions related to anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism," Rambarran said. He noted that many Caribbean governments have resorted to more expensive commercial borrowing to bridge their funding gaps and this, combined with the growing inability of regional governments to generate high enough primary fiscal surpluses for debt servicing, has contributed to a large public debt overhang. "Gross public debt in the Caribbean climbed rapidly from 65 percent of GDP in 1998 to a peak of almost 100 percent of GDP in 2002, before falling to a still elevated 80 percent of GDP in 2012. The accumulation of public debt was even faster in the Eastern Caribbean, moving from just over 60 percent of GDP in 1998 to a high of almost 120 percent of GDP in 2004, before falling to 95 percent of GDP in 2012," Rambarran elaborated.

9 Ways to Explore the Belize Rainforest
As lush rainforest or subtropical jungle cover 78% of the country, incredible rainforest adventures await you in Belize, just 3 hours from New York and 4 hours from Toronto. Under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act, a 2001 agreement with the U.S. Government has preserved the picturesque landscape, secluded beaches, limestone caves and lagoons of the 23,000-acre Maya Mountain Marine Corridor. Toucans (Belize's national bird), macaws, peccaries, howler monkeys, spider monkeys and jaguars have been protected. Here are 9 ways to explore the rainforest. Camping Mountain Biking Cave Tubing: Floating along a river that winds through caves and rainforest on an inner tube is one of the most unique ways to view the Caves Branch Nohuch Che’en Reserve Cave Canoeing and Kayaking Jungle Horse Riding: An adventure starting at Belize Jungle Dome takes riders along riverside trails in the jungle, through teak plantations and Abseiling: One of the most memorable abseiling adventures in the Americas is at Actun Loch Tunich sink hole (Black Hole Drop). Caving: Great places for caving include Actun Tunichil Mucnal, dubbed one of the top 10 caves in the world by National Geographic and Barton Creek Cave, which was a Mayan burial site. You'll travel there by canoe. Zipline Canopy Tour Moonlight Jaguar Quest: Near Blancaneaux Lodge, you will set out with guides in search of jaguars in their natural habitat.

Belize asks Canada to help fight spillover of Mexican drug war
Spillover from Mexico's violent drug war is prompting the Harper government and the Canadian military to become more involved in helping defend the tiny, Central American country of Belize. A series of internal reports, obtained by The Canadian Press under the access to information law, show the government has quietly increased co-operation with the Commonwealth nation, formerly known as British Honduras. Canada is providing non-lethal equipment for security services and helping with strategic planning and the training of soldiers.

The Story of Bottled Water
Watch out bottled water companies. The Story of Bottled Water employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand—how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when it already flows from the tap. Over five minutes, the film explores the bottled water industrys attacks on tap water and its use of seductive, environmental-themed advertising to cover up the mountains of plastic waste it produces. The film concludes with a call to take back the tap, not only by making a personal commitment to avoid bottled water, but by supporting investments in clean, available tap water for all. Our production partners on the bottled water film include five leading sustainability groups: Corporate Accountability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Pacific Institute, and Polaris Institute.

January 30, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Hemispheres, February Issue: “Three Perfect Days In Belize”
Belize has received the prestigious honor of being featured in the February 2013 issue of the United Airlines in-flight magazine, Hemispheres. Belize was chosen for the “Three Perfect Days” article, and is also featured on the cover of the magazine. To capture the full authentic Belizean experience, the twelve page spread features a myriad of adventures and gives readers a peek at just what sets Belize apart; the people, culture, food, and landscapes are just a snapshot of what makes Belize the ideal tourist destination. Joe Keohane and Al Argueta take readers on a journey into the heart of Central America, Belize. “Day One,” the adventure begins at the Blancaneaux Lodge in the Cayo District, and later takes readers into Rio Frio Cave and then on to discover the mysteries of Caracol.

Solid Waste Management Authority providing training on Hazardous Waste
As part of the Solid Waste Management Project BL – L1006 infrastructure works, a hazardous waste cell is currently being constructed at the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill site. This cell will be used to facilitate the proper management of hazardous waste generated in the country. Hazardous wastes, if not properly managed can cause serious problems to human health and to the environment. With this in view, The Belize Solid Waste Management Authority in conjunction with the Department of Environment will be having one day training on the (Handling of Hazardous Materials and Waste) at The George Price Center for Peace on January 30, 2013. The participants are drawn from a cross section of sectors that generate and handle hazardous materials. The course will be covering the basic steps of hazardous waste management; including the characteristics a waste must contain in order for it to be accepted for final disposal in Belize’s Mile 24 Hazardous Waste Landfill. The training will be facilitated by ABConsultores Ambientales of Mexico.

Taiwan offers 24 international scholarships for Belizean students
Belize-Coat-of-ArmsThe Republic of China (Taiwan) is offering the opportunity for 24 Belizeans to study abroad. The opportunity offered by Taiwan is a goodwill gesture to the nation and its people as part of the diplomatic relationship that exists among the two countries. The Republic of China (Taiwan) is a thriving nation experiencing rapid economic growth and industrialization. On October 13, 1989, Belize and Taiwan established a diplomatic relationship, and the Taiwanese Embassy has been present in the country of Belize since October 25, 1989. Since the embassy was erected Taiwanese government has taken the initiative to aid Belize in it development to meet world standards. One of the few ways that Taiwan has shown its support is by granting student in Belize scholarship to further both graduate and undergraduate studies at universities in Taiwan. Current Ambassador of Taiwan in Belize is H.E. David C. K. Wu shared his country’s intent to offer a total of 24 scholarships this year. The areas of study vary from nursing to business administration. These scholarships are given under the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) of Taiwan. The scholarships are for enrollment starting in September, 2013. Persons that receive any of the scholarships available are entitled to a round trip airfare, housing, tuition fees, credit fees, insurance, textbook costs, and a monthly allowance. Studies abroad can last from two to four years, depending on the program. Only Belizean citizens can qualify for the scholarship program.

Ambergris Today

Man Stabbed to Death Inside Island Night Club
The first murder of the year on Ambergris Caye took place this past weekend on Saturday, January 26, 2013, during the early hours of the morning at a popular night club in San Pedro Town. The vicious murder of 25-year-old Byron Estrada took place inside the restroom of Daddy Rock’s Night Club; Estrada was stabbed multiple times and succumbed to his injuries soon after. According to police reports, Byron Estrada, boat captain of San Pedrito Area, was found lying on the ground with multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and back. Investigations revealed that Byron Estrada (Espat) was inside Daddy Rock Night Club socializing with friends and reportedly went to use the restroom where he was approached by a male person of dark complexion who allegedly inflected the said multiple injuries to Estrada.

Belize National Football Team Makes History
The Belize National Football Team, also known as the Belize Jaguars, returned to Belize on Monday, January 28, 2013, after making history in the Copa Centro Americana Games held in San Jose, Costa Rica. While the boys from Belize might not have won first place, they were the official big story of the competition, surprising regional football observers who expected them to be easily knocked out of play. The team captured the attention and hearts of many Belizeans and returned to a heroes’ welcome. The Belize Jaguars made sporting history for the nation as they qualified for 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup to be played in 13 host cities across the United States against 11 other nations in July. One of the more interesting stories to come out of this year's UNCAF event revolves around the Jaguars' breakout at the international level. The smallest Central American nation by a long shot, with just 300,000 inhabitants, Belize had only had four draws from eight previous tournament appearances.

Misc Belizean Sources

Victoria Peak Expedition – May 2013
This year Cayo Adventure Tours will be leading another expedition to Victoria Peak in Belize. This is an exciting adventure that is not for the fainthearted! We will be joined by 10 adventurous, “no- turning back” individuals. You could be one of them. Requirements to climb Victoria Peak Victoria Peak is the highest mountain in the range at a height of 3,675 feet and the second highest elevation in Belize.This will require a 3 to 4 day hike through the jungle!

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Mater Basil Tertellini Soup
Cook garlic n' earl ovr medium heat until fragrant. Stir n' broth, mater juice and maters. Brang t'a bawl. Add tertellini, reduce heat and simmr fer 10 minutes. Add basil, oregano, red peppr flakes, creem and Parmesun cheez. Brang t'a bawl and simmr fer 5 more minutes. Sprinkle each servin with dishnull grated Parmesun cheez.

Channel 7

Teachers Protest, By the Thousands
Today classrooms across Belize were empty and thousands of school children stayed home because their teachers went to Belmopan to send a message to the Prime Minister: they want a raise and they won't take no for an answer. 7News was there from beginning to end - and Jules Vasquez has this story. Jules Vasquez reporting The crowd started out relatively small on the green in front of Belmopan Comprehensive at 9:00 am. Perhaps there were a few hundred and it looked like the unions might be in for a disappointment: Jose Castellanos, President APSSM "We have to get the masses today and if we get the mass I think the government will understand that we mean serious business." Jules Vasquez "I am a little let down from teachers, I expect more."

Minister Responds to Protest
That's one thousand more than the BNTU President promised yesterday - and to be sure, a mighty impressive crowd - the type usually reserved for political rallies. And so with the numbers in a range that they could relate to, did the political directorate - which was in Cabinet -get the message? One of them who had a unique chance to do so was Education Minister Patrick Faber; his office at the Ministry of Education flanks the National Assembly Stairs. Today, when returning from Cabinet, he walked past the large crowd and had to go around the back to get into his office. We caught him as he was passing and asked him if he was moved by the showing:.. Jules Vasquez "The crowd out here today seems impressive to us but did you as the Minister see it and are you sufficiently impressed that they have the 100% support of the teachers?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "Honestly I have not seen the crowd. I have just walked by here and I have not looked over for obvious reasons. I know that somebody might be in the crowd that gets over happy and does something that is not necessarily warranted, I must get to my office and that is the reason I'm passing here. I have to go enter through the backdoor but it's not a problem." Jules Vasquez "You may not have heard the chants this morning but the chants said that if you can't help you'll have to go."

Convicted Killer Charged For San Pedro Restroom-Stabbing Murder
Last night 7News told you about the San Pedro resident, 25 year-old Bryon Estrada Espat, who was killed inside a night club. Well tonight, the man who police believe stabbed him to death is at prison after he was taken to court today. As we reported, Espat was inside Daddy Rock Night Club on Saturday at around 4 a.m. when several men followed him inside the restroom area. One of those men, who managed to slip a knife past the security, attacked him and stabbed him 22 times to multiple areas of his body. He managed to escape his attacker briefly, and he ran into the main club area, where he collapsed. Persons inside the club tried to help him, but his injuries were too severe. He died while being transported to the San Pedro Polyclinic. Police had 3 men detained, and yesterday, one of those men, 33 year-old Edward Barahona, a resident of San Pedro, was arrested and charged with murder. He was arraigned today in Belize City before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until March 21. Today, relatives of Barahona contacted us to say that they don't believe that police are carrying out the investigation correctly because they've charged the wrong man. They say that Barahona is innocent of the crime he's now remanded for. Police say they found him with blood on his shoes and clothes - but have not gotten a confession.

Trial without Jury For Alleged Killer Of Andre Trapp
In June of 2010, the story made the headlines of all the media houses when Andre Trapp, the reputed leader of the Southside Gangsters was killed in front of the Magistrate's Court. That incident made a major impact because of the ruthless efficiency in which it was conducted, and more importantly, because it happened near the courthouse, the seat of the judiciary, which represents law and order. Well, the man who has since been on remand for that murder is now standing trial - but he's doing so without the benefit of a jury. Nicholi Rhys, who police caught near the scene the same day, stood before the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin, this morning for the beginning of his trial without jury.

The Footballers Return, Re-loaded
Last night, we showed you the homecoming of the Belize National Team, but due to time constraints, we were unable to fully show you the scope of that welcome from the Belizean people. When they arrived at the Phillip Goldson Airport yesterday, it was to a proud group of family and friends who cheered loudly, hoisting flags in their honor. The team was then transported to the Brodies Parking Lot on the Phillip Goldson Highway, where they held a press conference to greet the nation and voice their gratitude for the support: Here's how they expressed themselves to the public: Deon McCauley - Forward - Belize National Team "I just want to thank everybody for being out here. It means a lot to the team to see that everybody out here supported us. It will gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of energy going into the Gold Cup and I feel that with the support of the entire country it is something big for us to be there at the Gold Cup and Guatemala and Nicaragua is not there for the first time in history it means a lot to Belize, to the people and I just want to thank everybody for the support."

Hon. Faber Calls Amadi A "Liar"
Yesterday UB President Hope Amadi had his own protest in Belmopan. The numbers weren't anywhere to those put off by the Teachers today - but considering that he had a one man press conference on Friday - he didn't do too badly. But one thing he did do was tick off the Minister of Education. That's because Amadi's entire protest and offensive is based on his declaration that the Minister never answered their letter sent on January 21st. They gave him until the 24th to answer and when he didn't, that set off their countdown to a protest which culminated yesterday. But the minister says flatly that Amadi is lying. Strong words, but Faber didn't mince them one bit today:.. Jules Vasquez "The basis of his protest yesterday was that they (student government association) wrote to you and you did not respond." Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "That's an absolute lie. In fact I did receive their email. In fact you I think forwarded me a copy of that email to me once you received it and last Tuesday I to make sure that I made an answer, it was a very brief reply to say to them that they demand as they put in their letter to me - they are demanding that I and the Ministry re-instate the fee subsidy to which I responded that that demand cannot be met.

Faber Remembers The Heady Days of 2005, and Says "This Da No Dat!"
Amadi did speak at today's event - but we couldn't find him to comment on the Minister's firm assertion that the response was sent on time. And so while Amadi is the one presently giving trouble at UB - it wasn't too long ago that Faber himself was the one - to use a colloquial term - give "battery" at UB. Unless you're, like…5, you should remember the time in April of 2005 when police dragged Faber across the UB compound. It was historic; it was unforgettable, but Faber says it is a not a parallel event to today's protest:.. Jules Vasquez "Do you remember your days as (you are still young) a younger revolutionary?" Hon. Patrick Faber - Minister of Education "I am told that they are making a lot of comments about my arrest in 2005, but I remind them that my arrest was not any teacher or raise of pay issue. I was trying to get into the University of Belize where Said Musa was giving a speech. I think people are confusing the issues terribly. But none the less I agree with all of those who said that I used to be that kind of person who stands up and I stood up. Let be clear on what he issues back then that were problematic apart from my trying to get into UB into a public forum that the police had try to stop me from getting into. The issues back then were the fact that public money was being siphon off - was being used to pay individual private debts. There was major issue of corruption.

Canadian Job Recruiters Love Belizean Labour
You may remember the name ACTYL. They were in Belize City in December recruiting workers to be employed at McDonald's in Western Canada. They got an overwhelming response and came back - but this time focusing on the Cayo District. This time they are broadening their search based on what they say is an excellent labour pool in Belize. They're doing interviews on Barbados Street in Belmopan - where we didn't see them lining up like they did in Belize City - but that's because the Actyl representative says they came early: Reporter "What has the turn out been like today so far?" Dr. Linda West - ACTYL Group "The turnout has been very steady. People weren't supposed to arrive until noon, everybody arrived at like 6am-7am and so we've interview the people who are supposed to be here at noon and now we are waiting for the next crowd." Reporter "How many applications would you say you got so far?" Dr. Linda West - ACTYL Group "Today about 145."

Will Teachers Pay Be Cut
Today you saw thousands of teachers marching on Belmopan. That means they weren't at their work stations - which is the classroom. So will their pay be docked? It's an issue that comes up whenever teachers strike, but rare is the politician who has the daring to take it out of their pay. Today union President Palacio said it's the rule - but he hopes their right to protest will be observed:.. Jules Vasquez "Is there any chance that the ministry or thr managements would be so bold as to make a deduction for a day?" Luke Palacio, President BNTU "Jules, we've made that known to our teachers, we've said to them that the education rules does say that if the teachers go on any type of industrial action although it specifically speaks to a strike - they may lose salary. We are hoping that that is going to be the operative term "may."" And doing some housekeeping on Teacher's issues, in fairness we also have to let them respond to the scathing release that the Chamber of Commerce sent out on Friday. As we reported, the Chamber frowned on an across the board wage increase and said it would only favour quote, "properly evaluated increases (for) hardworking public servants." Jules Vasquez unmasked the coded language and asked the unions for their response yesterday:..

Police Target The Peninsula
Police have conducted another special operation on the Placencia Peninsula targeting known dealers - but seemd to only come up with their stash spots. Between 2:30 and 5:00 this afternoon, the Special Branch along with Placencia police, members of the Mobile Interdiction Unit and the K-9 Unit conducted an Anti-drugs operation in Seine Bight and Placencia. The team searched the homes of two construction workers of Seine Bight and found nothing. But a further search in an adjoining lot -led to the discovery of 24.5 grams of what police say is "Hydro" weed which was deposited as Found Property. Police searched another empty lot next to a known operator which led police to the discovery of 25.6 grams of Hydro weed and 58 small bags containing a total of 25.6 grams of cocaine. All items were deposited as Found Property.

Channel 5

Thousands of union members demonstrate in Belize’s Capital
Less than two weeks ago, teachers from all ten B.N.T.U. branches countrywide voted by secret ballot to participate in a national demonstration. The decision was almost unanimous and it would garner the support of the wider national Trade Union Congress of Belize. This morning as cabinet met, teachers from every corner of the country converged [...]

B.N.T.U., N.T.U.C.B. and APSSM rally at the Assembly Building
After marching on the ring road, the gigantic crowd headed to Independence Hill for a three hour rally of speeches by branch representatives and other union leaders. Their cry was for salary adjustments and respect from the government. Police stood on guard throughout the event, but the demonstration started and ended peacefully. The unions now [...]

Can G.O.B. find cash for salary adjustments?
Over six hundred and thirty-nine persons voted on our last question on whether government was attempting to union bust. An overwhelming seventy percent voted yes and thirty percent said no. Tonight’s question also relates to the teachers and public officers. It is: Do you think government can find the money to provide salary adjustments to [...]

Mass shutdown of schools on protest day
While all the action was in Belmopan, the city was relatively quiet.  An overwhelming number of teachers answered the B.N.T.U.’s call for action. Here in the City, only a few schools kept their doors open. Duane Moody has that story.   Therese Roches, Principal, All Saints Primary School “We had fifty percent of our staff [...]

APSSM past president says P.M. has power to make changes
While teachers and the B.N.T.U. took center stage through sheer numbers, the demonstration had the explicit support of the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers. Leaders of those two unions were clear that while their members would not come out in mass, thus triggering a shutdown of public offices, representatives [...]

First murder trial without jury in session
The first murder trial without jury kicked off today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Twenty-two year old Nicolai Rhys, the son of a police corporal, is accused of murdering reputed gangster, Andre Trapp on the morning of June tenth, 2010. After Trapp was killed; a green vehicle was seen speeding away and Special Constable Charles [...]

Suspect charged for murder of San Pedro resident
  On Saturday, twenty-five year old San Pedro boat captain, Byron Estrada, was butchered inside a popular nightclub on the island. Estrada was stabbed twenty-two times inside the bathroom of Daddy Rock night club and managed to stumble to the bar for assistance. He was taken to the San Pedro Polyclinic, but succumbed to his [...]

Faber redux: Minister’s forgotten protest
As far as the union negotiations go, the buck stops at Prime Minister Dean Barrow, but the man in the hot seat is Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. His name came up repeatedly in the chanting by union members in the demonstration, and they were not exactly chants of praise. Faber’s position today is markedly [...]

Education Minister denied UB student government claims
Following that trip down memory lane, Minister Faber also spoke about a more recent incident at the national university, U.B. The University of Belize’s student government led a protest on Monday through the streets of Belmopan and it ended at the steps of the assembly building. Hope Amadi, the student government president, led about one [...]

Guatemalan Foreign Ministry investigation; President says country at a disadvantage in taking claim to ICJ
  The Guatemalan press is today reporting that President Otto Perez Molina has asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate who should have had Guatemalan’s best interest at heart, but dropped the ball in respect of the upcoming October referendum. Perez Molina made the declaration following a meeting between Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and [...]

APAMO condemns violence at Ya’axché Conservation Trust office
Last week, the Minister of Forestry, Lisel Alamilla, disclosed that someone had shot at the offices of the Ya’axche Conservation Trust in Golden Stream. Today, the Association of Protected Areas Management Organization joined the minister in condemning the violence. APAMO expressed disappointment that anyone would attack the organization which is dedicated to achieving conservation goals [...]

Dad pleads for help with daughter’s leukemia
Times are tough for a lot of people and many can ill afford medical attention. From time to time, they turn to the media to get exposure to their cause. Tonight, a father pleads for financial assistance for his young daughter, Sandy Jimenez, who is afflicted with leukemia.   Angel Manuel Meza, Needs Help for [...]


Minister Faber Speaks On UB Subsidy Cut
The salary adjustment being requested by teachers is not the only hot button issue on the plate for Minister Faber. The students of the University of Belize are also not happy that a government subsidy which had been in place for years was cancelled this year. The student governm...

Unions Demonstrate At The Nation's Capital For Salary Increase
The throngs that turned out to demonstration on Independence Hill against the Ministry of Education, and by extension, the government, numbered anywhere from between three and five thousand, by approximation. Heralded by a January 10th meeting with government negotiators that yie...

Police News
A Ladyville man has reported that his business place in Belize City has been burglarized. The burglary is reported to have happened sometime between January eighteenth and Monday of last week. According to the fifty four year old owner, a quantity of electrical tools valued...

Case of Carnal Knowledge Reported in Southern Belize
Police are investigating a reported case of carnal knowledge in the south. A fourteen year old girl, in the company of her mother, reported to Independence police that on Tuesday of last week, the owner of a shot in Bella Vista village was having a conversation with her when the ...

Business Establishment Burglarized in Belize City
Thieves have targeted the Fiesta Chicken business establishment on Vernon Street in Belize City. According to a supervisor at the establishment, sometime between Saturday afternoon and Monday morning, the business located at the corner of Vernon and Sarstoon streets, was burglari...

San Pedro Resident Charged For A Weekend Murder
Thirty-three year old Edward Barahona, a resident of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, was charged with the murder of Byron Estrada when he appeared in court today. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Barahona was remanded into custody until March 21. Estrada, a resident...


Cacao growers meet in Punta Gorda town
The nineteenth annual general meeting of the Toledo Cacao Growers Association was held on Saturday. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

National football team feted on their return to Belize
The Belize National Football team, just back from the COPA CENTROAMERICANA tournament is being feted at this hour in Belize City. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

NTUCB holds mid-morning press conference
Poised to demonstrate on Tuesday in Belmopan in response to what they term as quote, “disrespect on the part of the Government” over a salary increase, the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, under the umbrella National Trade Union Congress of Belize, met today with the media. Dylan Reneau, who heads the NTUCB, responded sharply to a recent press release by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which opposes a raise to the public officers. The Chamber release states in part, and we quote, “the Chamber cannot condone the idea of general Public Sector wage increase that may serve to simultaneously reward unproductive or counterproductive work. This would, in the opinion of the Chamber, be a waste of taxpayers’ funds”, unquote. Here’s Reneau’s response. President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, said that the demonstration will be a message to the government for disrespecting them. The government, Palacio suggested, is investing resources in areas that are counterproductive, as opposed to the public service, which employs the vast majority of Belizeans. Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, Jose Castellanos, said that what the unions are asking for is not unjustified and compared the Government’s inflation figures to their figures. Palacio Palacio discouraged the demonstrators from wearing political colours or bearing banners with personal attacks.


The British have done a number on us all through these years. It started, of course, when they kidnapped us from West Africa and shipped our ancestors here to cut logwood and mahogany for them. The profits were sent to London, and the Belize settlement was absolutely neglected where infrastructure and institutions were concerned. After World War II, Belizeans, like colonial subjects all around the world, seized the opportunity to begin fighting for self-government and independence. “The opportunity” derived from the fact that the white supremacist European states had gone to war with each other in 1939, for the second time in two decades, for the prize of world hegemony. Following the lead of Ghana and Nigeria in West Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados moved to independence in the Caribbean. Bermuda and the Cayman Islands did not, for their own reasons. Belize was in a unique situation because of a serious territorial claim by its Central American neighbor to the west – Guatemala. So, Belize’s independence was delayed for 17 years after self-government in 1964. The British could have dealt with the Guatemalan problem, but they were so much more powerful than the Guatemalans that they had chosen over the decades to ignore Guatemalan complaints. Eventually, after the Americans, in line with their 1823 Monroe Doctrine, became involved in the Anglo/Guatemalan dispute as interested parties in 1962, the British, in cahoots with their Western Hemisphere cousins, began to support proposals which would have compromised the sovereignty of Belize and make Belizeans subordinate to Guatemalans.

Police say he was stabbed 22 times. San Pedro police responded to a call at 3:39 a.m. on Saturday, January 26, and upon arrival at Daddy Rock Night Club, they saw the night club security guards and other persons trying to get 25-year-old Byron Estrada into a truck. Officer Commanding, Supt. Luis Castellanos, said that Estrada was stabbed about 22 times. Estrada sustained multiple stab wounds to his neck, chest, back and right hand, and later succumbed to his injuries while being attended to at the San Pedro Polyclinic. According to witnesses, Estrada, who is a Belizean boat captain of the San Pedrito area in San Pedro, was seen going to the restroom inside the club. A man described as being dark-skinned, with braided hair and wearing a green shirt, followed Estrada into the restroom. Estrada later came stumbling out of the restroom towards the bar. Persons inside the club decided to turn on the lights when they realized that Estrada was bleeding.

The TACA International Airlines flight carrying Belize’s National “A” Team touched down on schedule around 3:42 p.m. this afternoon at the Philip Goldson International Airport, to begin a warm Belizean welcome for our football heroes who made history a few days ago at the Copa Centroamericana in Costa Rica. We did not win the tournament, or come in second, or even third. Belize came in fourth, but in so doing, we made two major milestones, winning our first ever game in the Copa, and in the process qualifying for the first time ever to the Gold Cup tournament later this year in the U.S.A. Five of the seven Central American countries qualify to the Gold Cup, and Belize was fourth in the tournament, ahead of Guatemala, Panama and Nicaragua. Following an energetic greeting from fans and relatives at the P.G.I.A., Russel’s bus transported the team to the Brodies Parking Lot on the outskirts of Belize City, where a short “hyped up” press conference was held, with Love FM’s Terry Gordon doing the M.C. honors. A few players – Deon McCaulay, Woodrow West, captain Dalton Eiley, Trevor Lennon and sub-captain Elroy Smith then got a chance to express their appreciation to the many fans gathered there to welcome them home.

The Gold Cup is a major challenge, and indications are that Belize’s National Team coach Le Roy Sherrier Lewis is not convinced that the FFB’s National Team Committee is ready to make the necessary inputs and adjustments needed for him to take the team to the next level, a requirement if we are to make an impact in the Gold Cup tournament which is only five months away. The vibes we got from the players is that there is no turning back. We must work things out with coach Sherrier Lewis, who has demonstrated his commitment to excellence and whose strategic plan has placed the National Team program on the road to success. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a first hand explanation from coach Sherrier Lewis of the concerns that prompted him to reportedly announce his relinquishing of the coaching job, and opt to remain with his family in Costa Rica We asked FFB President Ruperto Vicente to comment on the situation regarding the tenure of coach Sherrrier Lewis in light of reports of his leaving the post. The President’s reply was, “I want the coach to continue the program. I’m waiting for him to respond to us; but I will discuss the details of the coach’s situation on Wednesday during our press conference. But certainly, we want the coach back.”

If you took this exact same Belize football selection and made Manuel Bilches the coach again, we would return to getting five and six from these Central American powerhouses. Because I believe that, the first thing I would say is that Ruperto Vicente and his team of FFB officials made a fabulous choice when they brought back Leroy Sherrier Lewis from Costa Rica to coach our selection. Remember, some years ago Sherrier Lewis had achieved the most sensational result in the modern era of Belize when he brought us back from a 2-0 deficit and would have beaten Guatemala 3-2, but for a late and weak penalty call against us. For that success, or better put, in the immediate aftermath of that success, he was fired by Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who was then in charge of the FFB. It didn’t make any sense then, and it makes even less sense now, when we’ve seen what Sherrier Lewis-coached teams can do. Before I continue, I would say that between now and July, when the Belize selection flies to the Gold Cup in the United States, we have a lot of work to do. FFB officials like Luis Peña and Marlon Kuylen will have to do important fund-raising, because everything costs money, especially training, nutrition, and medical attention. It is the management structure which is the constant in championship teams: the playing personnel is a changing dynamic, even during the course of a game itself.

Dear Editor, I believe that no one wants to be the victim of incompetence. Incompetence can be inconvenient; incompetence can be annoying; incompetence can be dangerous. Incompetence on the sea is reprehensible. I wish to relate an example of incompetence on the sea. On the morning of Thursday, January 17, the Administrator of San Pedro Roman Catholic Elementary School arranged for a boat to take teachers to a Belize Teachers Union meeting in Belize City. The boat was incompetently serviced. With over thirty passengers aboard, it stalled five times on the trip from San Pedro to Belize City. The teachers were to return to San Pedro at 4:30 pm. When they arrived at the dock, a crew member was asked if this was the same boat that brought them to Belize City. The answer was affirmative. The next question was: Has the crew spent the afternoon repairing the engine? The answer was, “No.” Barely fifteen minutes underway – near St. George’s Caye – the boat’s motor quit for good. The thirty or so passengers were left adrift in a very rough sea and approaching darkness. Waves were splashing over the gunnels, and I called the Coast Guard. After several questions, the Coast Guardsman asked to speak to the captain. I handed the captain my phone, and he angrily declared that he would not talk to the Coast Guard. An administrator from RC Elementary took my phone, and speaking into is said, “There is no problem here. A boat is on the way.”

Dear Editor, I don’t attempt to solve any of the country’s problems with this one letter to Amandala, for which, by the way, I have much respect on account of its numerous hard-hitting commentaries, editorials and synopses of political goings-on in our little neck of the woods. Nor do I aspire to become some sort of modern-day freedom fighter/blogger who thrives to “save his country before he loses it” through overt media-based attacks that subvert the powers that be. Not me, rather I simply love reading the news, it’s my literary staple. In fact, apart from textbooks, it’s the only thing I actually read, which must fly in the face of every high school literature teacher who tells her students the only way to be successful in this world is to become worldly by reading lengthy novels. The printed mass media, in my opinion, is far more educational and oftentimes entertaining in its own right than bound material thicker than a centimeter. Local early morning call-in shows also typically reflect the same content covered in the printed press, albeit to varying degrees of self-righteous know-it-all-ism. At the tip of the spear, however, and without any brown-nosing on my part, is the WUB, hands down. On camera, the son of your Publisher is an intelligent and moral man, though I can’t speak to his character off camera. Nonetheless, I only wish he would contact his “journalist” counterparts on Coney Drive and let them know that endangering the well-being of two innocent young witnesses to their father’s murder, while simultaneously prejudicing the outcome of a future criminal hearing, would warrant their immediate termination without benefits if this were a country in the industrialized world. But it’s not, and what a fool am I to expect anything better, when the main competitor for the monopoly on the 6:30 broadcast is quick to hypothesize that murders in the old capital are now being driven by a deepening divide between ethnic groups. Reporting the news means only reporting the facts, not your opinions!

Two weeks after the house of Said Musa, former People’s United Party Leader and former Prime Minister, was shot up in the City, Steven Valencia, 46, a PUP activist of Santa Elena, Cayo, and the father of two little girls, was shot to death in the bedroom of his home at about 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, January, 24. Thieves gained entry into his house and shot him in the neck, back and chest. He was taken to the San Ignacio Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police say that Valencia, who was at home with his two young daughters, 4 and 6 years respectively, heard a noise coming from behind his house, and at the same time, the back door was stomped open and two unmasked men entered the house, one of whom was armed with a shotgun. They ordered him to lie on the floor, demanded money, and then shot him. When neighbors, who were alerted by the gunshots, began flashing their lights at the house, the robbers ran out of the house and escaped.

Magistrate offered bail of $5,000 and two sureties of $2,500 each Today, Clinton Roca, 28, a dispatcher of Willow’s Bank Village, was charged with three counts of an unnatural crime when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Roca is accused of engaging in the lewd acts with a male minor, 14, on three separate occasions while the minor was staying at his house. According to the report, the minor told police that Roca, one day in January 2012, started to touch his penis from outside his pants. The child said that he went outside and Roca followed him, where he continued to touch him and eventually pushed him to the ground and had anal sex with him. After doing so, Roca, according to the child, told him that if he told anyone about what had happened, he, Roca, would kill his family.

This afternoon, grateful fans met Belize’s national football team at the Philip Goldson International Airport to celebrate the team’s historic accomplishment in the Copa Centroamericana tournament just concluded in host country Costa Rica. Belize, for the first time ever in the tournament, won a match; lost three matches very respectably, 1-0; and drew against our archrival, Guatemala; and again, for the first time in our history, won a slot in the CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held in July in the United States. We were “the buzz” at a tournament that featured several countries that have played in the World Cup. The “bird” touched down at the PGIA at approximately 3:42, and after interviews with the local media, our boys headed by bus for the Brodies Parking Lot at Mile 2 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, where they intermingled with their many fans, while their remarkable accomplishments in Costa Rica were “hyped up.” Thereafter, the team was taken on a motorcade through the city, with fans lining the route, which included Central American Boulevard, Cemetery Road and Albert Street, ending at Bird’s Isle, where the team was feted, after playing five grueling games in nine days.

The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) and the Joint Negotiating Team (JNT) held a press conference today, Monday, to restate their position on their entitlement to salary adjustments, and to make known the plight of public service workers and teachers as they make an effort to move forward in their negotiations with Government. The union presidents at the press conference made it clear that they are not asking the government for a raise, but rather a “salary adjustment” in relation to the cost of living. Immediate past president for the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM), George Myvette, said that there have been no less than 12 meetings over the past five years with government officials concerning the salary adjustment, among other important matters concerning the unions. Myvette said that the unions have done nothing but negotiate in good faith, yet not all of their requests have been dealt with in a manner that’s been favourable to them. He said that the negotiations are still ongoing, but the unions will go on with their demonstration in the city of Belmopan tomorrow, Tuesday, to show Government that they are serious. “We believe that we are at a stage where we have to demonstrate, that this is a national imperative that public officers and teachers are being heard, and that something is worked out that would benefit public workers and teachers,” he said.

When I played football at the highest level in Belize, at that time first division, fans used to crowd the chain-link fence in rows 3 to 4 deep, the stands were full, and younger and more athletic fans used to climb the trees in the MCC Square Garden to see our games, and I’m not talking about international matches. I’m talking about regular Sunday games. Soon after that worthless Dr. Bertie Chimilio took over in the late nineties, football began a nosedive, and the fans stayed away in droves, in fact, by the hundreds. Chimilio demonstrably became a dictator, and, some believe, a madman. After many years of much pain and embarrassment in our international games, we engaged in “root canal” work and Chimilio was booted out, some believe, by the mercy of God. Ruperto Vicente, a former player and referee, took over. I have some issues with Ruperto because of what he didn’t do when he took over, but what I wish to say here is that I believe that he is as much a part of our success in Costa Rica as Leroy Sherrier Lewis, the coach; world-class striker Deon McCaulay; goalscorer Trevor Lennon; the incomparable Woodrow West, our goalkeeper; and all the other top-notch players who comprise our national team, and who fought magnificently against stronger teams.

Marsha Reid, 35, of Racoon Street Extension, accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court. Reid, who is presently on remand, was returned to her cell at the jail, after she was taken to the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, January 23, where she was committed to stand trial for the capital offense. Also, all 40 witnesses were committed to attend the Supreme Court to testify for the Crown. Police contend that Reid travelled to Dangriga from Belize City to the home of her ex-boyfriend, BDF corporal Donovan Castillo, 37, about 6:30 a.m. on Monday, May 23, 2012, entered his room while he was sleeping, slashed his throat , cut his head, then stabbed him in the chest and abdomen .

The Reporter

Daring daylight execution of Lebanese businessman
Lebanese Belizean businessman, Majdi Agha, 50, was executed in front of his wife and young child, in front of their home in Buttonwood Bay around 8:50 a.m., on Tuesday. He and his family had just returned home, when a masked gunman ambushed him from inside his yard. Police found Agha’s lifeless body near his gate, and they reported that his body bore several apparent bullet wounds. A construction worker in the neighborhood, said he heard about five gunshots. He also heard Agha’s wife screaming. He said, “It looks like she couldn’t speak; she was making noise as a sign; she was pointing towards the fence. I looked and saw the vehicle and a baby and I saw the man lying down on the side.”

Combating Crime One on one with ACP Miguel Segura
Assistant Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura is the new Officer Commanding Eastern Division, or OCED. That makes him the Belize District’s top cop holding overall responsibility for the Rural and Coastal formations. He is assisted in his command by two veteran officers, Senior Superintendents Desiree Phillips and Marlon Allen, but the position is a big one with major responsibilities.

It’s the strangest thing. I’m sitting here on a Monday morning and from what I’ve been able to gather the weekend was murder free in the city. I’m not kidding. Hard to believe right? There’s no news flash on Facebook; no gossiping and sharing the latest gory details; no weeping and moaning or gnashing of teeth as we shake our collective heads at the state of affairs in the city and reminisce about the days when the only murders to report would be after drunken bar fights over some much-in-demand babe.

Long-term aspirin blindness link
People who regularly take aspirin for many years, such as those with heart problems, are more likely to develop a form of blindness, researchers say. A study on 2,389 people, in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, showed aspirin takers have twice the risk of “wet” age-related macular degeneration.

Quadruple helix DNA seen in human cells
Cambridge University scientists say they have seen four-stranded DNA at work in human cells for the first time. The famous “molecule of life”, which carries our genetic code, is more familiar to us as a double helix. But researchers tell the journal Nature Chemistry that the “quadruple helix” is also present in our cells, and in ways that might possibly relate to cancer.

Wesley College girls lead high schools football
The undefeated girls of Wesley College girls are leading the Belize District High Schools Football Competition, as they triumphed 1-0 over the girls of Anglican Cathedral College on Monday. They scored a 1-0 victory over the girls of St. Catherine’s Academy at the M.C.C. grounds last Friday, January 18.

Excelsior boys lead high schools football
The undefeated boys of Excelsior High School enjoyed their third victory of the Belize District High Schools Football Competition, while the boys of Wesley College recovered from a 1-5 loss to Excelsior to post a win and a draw at the M.C.C. Grounds last Friday, January 18. Excelsior High School boys enjoyed a 4-1 victory over the boys of Anglican Cathedral College in a back-match on Saturday morning. Tyrone Gabriel and Kareem “Ton-ton” Flowers led the Excelsior offensive, supported by Enfield Martinez and Stefan “World” Diego on the wings, and James “Soonky” Fitzgibbons and Alex Ferguson at midfield.

GOB officially launches ICJ educational campaign
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has officially launched its public education campaign on whether or not the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute should be decided by the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Superbond renegotiations almost over!
Savings , not “new money” to spend, PM Barrow says. The Government of Belize and holders of Belize’s “superbond” have agreed on the general economic terms for a restructured bond agreement, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced Monday afternoon at a press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel. According to Barrow, the new terms would result in cash flow savings of US$11 million for 2012, US$33 million for 2013, US $118 million for the five-year period from 2013 to 2017, and US$247 million for ten-year period of 2013 to 2022. Read More

BNTU versus GOB
The negotiation impasse over salary adjustment between the Government of Belize and the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) is leading to a massive showdown next Tuesday, when teachers plan to converge on Belmopan for a national day of protest. The unions are seeking a 30 percent salary adjustment over a three-year period, but the government of Prime Minister Dean Barrow is insisting that government cannot find the money for the salary adjustment at this time.

Belize’s historic 1st win at Copa Centroamericana
Not even a 4.0 on the Richter scale tremor felt in Costa Rica a half hour before Belize’s match with Nicaragua could prepare Belizean football fans, for the earth-shaking result: Belize’s first ever victory in UNCAF Copa Centroamericana at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica on Tuesday, January 22.

Foreign Minister to COLA: “Take it to court”
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has argued that the process which brought GOB to preparing for a referendum on going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) is unconstitutional. However, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington says that only a court of law can make that call. At the media sensitization forum for the ICJ Educational campaign held at the Radisson Hotel on Wednesday, the Minister explained that he had never considered the argument.

Taiwan gives Santa Elena school solar panels
The El Progresso Government School in Santa Elena Town, Cayo, will now have a reliable source of constant electricity supply, thanks to the kind donation of two sets of solar panels and heavy-duty storage batteries, provided by the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan.

$1.5 million could save southern rice industry
The rice production in the south experienced a record-breaking drop for the 2012-2013 crop, but the chairman of the Rice, Beans and Corn Association, Dennis Usher, says one “soft loan” from government is all that is needed to save the industry.

Opposition says Citco’s new tax measure might be illegal
Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, said the Belize City Council’s plan to deny drivers license to residents who owe certain taxes might very well be illegal. Fonseca said to The Reporter last Wednesday, “there are some lawyers that I have already spoken to that are of the view that it is illegal and unlawful.” He opted to reserve his personal judgment on the issue, saying he prefers to get a legal opinion from the PUP’s legal advisor first.

CDB contributes US $2 million to Belize Education
“Change we must and change we can!” avowed Minister of Education, Youth and Sports Hon. Patrick Faber as he launched his ministry’s five-year Belize Education Sector Reform Project, with US$2 million in funding from the Caribbean Development Bank.


A Tale of Five Cities: Moxviquil Reserve Hike
After checking out all the gorgeous plant specimens in the Orquideas Moxviquil botanical garden, it was time to take a woodland hike. There's a 2.5 km loop trail (though it felt longer!) beginning right behind the garden and leading up to a wonderful view of San Cristobal. We had read about this hike in Tripadvisor and were looking forward to locating the trail. But first, a few photos of our initial attempt to locate the orchid garden, which I mentioned in the previous post. When we saw the first sign for the preserve, we thought we needed to hike on the trail by the sign to get to the garden. So, we enjoyed a short hike into the forest before we realized that we needed to turn back to the road and continue along a bit farther to find the garden. Now, onto the trail from the back of the orchid garden. We had it completely to ourselves and did not encounter another hiker. Perfect! The trailhead behind the "artsy outhouses" featured in our last post Great view of San Cristobal as we climbed the trail There were signs like this all along the trail

Stars And Stripes Forever: Obama's Immigration Plan
For those of you on the right who think that they are just going to hand out welfare checks to these people, you are mistaken. This is a path to citizenship not a golden ticket, they still have to earn their rights. Even if it did become easier for them to get a government handout I don't think many of them would take it. Illegal immigrants often work twice as hard as many Americans and they are willing to do jobs that most Americans won't. I believe this will help the country. These people believe in the American Dream, they don't have the opportunities in their country and that is why they are here. With immigration reform making this path accessible, their money will go into the system. Between taxes and spending money on cars and houses they will only help the economy. At this moment, it looks like there's a genuine desire on the part of Republicans and Democrats to get this done. And that's very encouraging news for Belizeans across America to get out of the shadows into the light.

Godspeed, Mr. Pinelo
John Pinelo, a brilliant teacher and mentor of 1000's, has passed away. His funeral is tomorrow at 3:00pm at the Sacred Heart Church. His wake is this evening. "John Pinelo career teacher, principal and former BNTU President passed away at his home in San Ignacio this weekend at the age of 64. He had been battling cancer for some years. His family tells us Mr. John Pinelo was instrumental in molding the lives of many young Belizeans serving as either a teacher or principal for many of Belize's Schools including: Santa Elena R.C., Roaring Creek R.C., Sacred Heart Primary, Bullet Tree Falls R.C., Saint Francis Xavier R.C., Succotz R.C. and Sacred Heart College."

Galen's Garifuna Culture Course
Galen has a great video out highlighting their Garifuna Culture Course. They show some drumming, dancing, and have some decent interviews with students. The Galen Eagle Band always puts on a great show. You'll be able to see them on February 2nd at the ATLIB Basketball competition at Cayo's Falcon Field when Sacred Heart Junior College hosts the games.

Jaguars Return to Belize
Jaguars National Team Back on Home Soil - Press Conference in Belize City Jan 28th 2013

Tacos on the Go
Just in time for Superbowl 2013, an easy snack that is sure to please. Create any taco topping you like and just add to a bag of chips. Easy and tasty. Clean up is a cinch.

If I Had a Hammer
It actually felt a bit like being back at work this morning and -not that I hanker for this kind of feeling on a full-time basis – I quite enjoyed it. It involved some the use of communication skills to try to make use of the return leg of the flights we booked with United Airlines when we moved to Ambergris Caye, Belize last May. We had managed to accumulate enough Mileage Plus rewards to fly Business Class with the return flights ( which we had no immediate plans to make use of) being Economy. Our plan was ( hopefully still is) to convert the ‘return’ tickets to allow us to fly to Dallas for our ‘home fixtures and fittings’ inspection trip and book ( and pay for obviously) the return flights. I started off by ‘phoning the United Airlines’ office in Belize City and managed to get a response after a couple of ‘no answer’ attempts. I ran through what I want to do but was dismayed when the chap told me that we can only use the tickets for the booked route i.e.from Belize via Houston to London. No good for us because we don’t want to go back there (well not yet). I have not given up though because I have completed ( and submitted) the highly restrictive (in the sense that it does not allow you to fully describe your requirement) on-line form. I now wait to see if this works. I somehow think though that we will be buying both the outbound and inbound tickets. Worth the try though.

International Sources

International Tourism to continue robust growth in 2013
International tourist arrivals grew by 4% in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Emerging economies (+4.1%) regained the lead over advanced economies (+3.6%), with Asia and the Pacific showing the strongest results. Growth is expected to continue in 2013 only slightly below the 2012 level (+3% to +4%) and in line with UNWTO long term forecast. With an additional 39 million international tourists, up from 996 million in 2011, international tourist arrivals surpassed 1 billion (1.035 billion) for the first time in history in 2012. Demand held well throughout the year, with a stronger than expected fourth quarter. By region, Asia and the Pacific (+7%) was the best performer, while by sub-region South-East Asia, North Africa (both at +9%) and Central and Eastern Europe (+8%) topped the ranking.

Belize asks for Canadian help in fighting spillover of Mexican drug war
Spillover from Mexico's violent drug war is prompting the Harper government and the Canadian military to become more involved in helping defend the tiny Central American country of Belize. A series of internal reports, obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act, show the government has quietly increased co-operation with the Commonwealth nation, formerly known as British Honduras. Canada is providing non-lethal equipment for security services and helping with strategic planning and the training of soldiers. The documents, which all date from the spring of last year, describe the situation in Belize as deteriorating in the face of ultra-violent drug cartels that are battling not only Mexican and U.S. law enforcement, but each other as well.

New evidence highlights threat to Caribbean coral reef growth
Many Caribbean coral reefs have either stopped growing or are on the threshold of starting to erode, new evidence has revealed. Coral reefs build their structures by both producing and accumulating calcium carbonate, and this is essential for the maintenance and continued vertical growth capacity of reefs. An international research team has discovered that the amount of new carbonate being added by Caribbean coral reefs is now significantly below rates measured over recent geological timescales, and in some habitats is as much as 70 percent lower. Coral reefs form some of the planet's most biologically diverse ecosystems, and provide valuable services to humans and wildlife. However, their ability to maintain their structures and continue to grow depends on the balance between the addition of new carbonate, which is mostly produced by corals themselves, set against the loss of carbonate through various erosional processes. Scientists have long known that reef ecosystems are in decline and that the amount of live coral on reefs is dwindling. But the paper, published on DATE TBC in Nature Communications, is the first evidence that these ecological changes are now also impacting on the growth potential of reefs themselves.

Costa Rica Crowned Again, Belize Make History
International debutants as late as 1995, Belize only made their first appearance in the Copa Centroamericana two years later. Since then they have always finished last in the regional tournament, organised by the Union Centroamericana de Futbol (UNCAF), the governing body of Central American football. In all that time Los Jaguares failed to win a single game in the competition. This unwanted record finally came to an end this year when they claimed a group-stage victory en route to a wholly unexpected fourth-place finish, earning them a berth at the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the very first time. Another highlight of the 2013 tournament, which came to an end last weekend, was the return of host nation Costa Rica to the top of the regional pile. Los Ticos had not won the competition since 2007, when they claimed the title for the third time in a row and sixth time overall. Deposed as champions in 2009 by Panama, who were succeeded by Honduras two years later, La Tricolor ended their six-year wait in style, going undefeated throughout the competition. The final standings from the tournament land Costa Rica at the top. Honduras and El Salvador finished second and third, respectively. Belize and Panama round out the top five while Guatemala, who placed sixth, is the only team from the tournament to miss out on the Gold Cup action.

Taking it Slow on Caye Caulker
Off the coast of the country of Belize lies a small island. An island with no cars that is reachable only by boat or plane. An island where the streets are sandy, the lobster is fresh, and shoes are not required. An island where life moves a bit slower, and where the rum punch is always flowing. This is Caye Caulker. For such a small place, Caye Caulker sure won me over in a big way. The little island about 20 miles off the coast of Belize has come to represent my vision of Paradise in my head. And I know I’m not alone — ask just about anyone who has been to this tiny island in Belize, and chances are that they, too, will sing it praises. Why, you ask? Well, let me tell you. “Go slow” motto The motto on Caye Caulker is “go slow.” This motto is reflected in all aspects of life — from the fact that there are no cars at all on the island (transport is either by golf cart, bike, or on foot) to the speed of service in restaurants. Things just move at a more relaxed pace here; there’s no rush, mostly because there’s really no place better to be. This translates to a very chilled-out vibe that is infectious from the minute you step off the ferry boat.

Spring Break Belize! My First Missions Trip and How you Can help!
Hello everyone! As you heard in the video, I am going on a missions trip as a team with 12 other people through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. We are going to Belmopan, which is the capital of Belize to help spread the gospel, organize chrisitan chapters, and help save the lost who may not know God. I am so blessed to have this opportunity, and it would be even more of a blessing if you all would help!

The Living Maya Experience at The Lodge at Big Falls
Traveling in the Toledo District of southern Belize is a cultural delight thanks to the rich and colorful traditions of the native Garifuna and Mayan people. The Lodge at Big Falls has long supported sustainable local tourism initiatives and now have introduced a new cultural program called the Living Maya Experience. Designed in partnership with two families of employees at the Lodge, visitors are able to experience how traditional Maya live today and what life was like 50 years ago before the modern world encroached. Since the Maya communities in this region speak English, the level of interaction is quite high.

5 Places To Find Free Educational eBooks - Edudemic
So what happens when Google, Amazon, and your local library come up short in your quest for free educational eBooks? The Harvard Classics, Project Gutenberg, Bartleby, OER Commons, ICDL – International Children’s Digital Library

January 29, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Byron Espat-Estrada stabbed to death inside nightclub
Byron-EstradaA family on Ambergris Caye is mourning the tragic loss of yet another family member as a result of an ongoing rivalry. The victim is 25-year-old Byron Espat Estrada, a boat captain of the San Pedrito area of San Pedro Town. Estrada is the second son in the family to have died under similar, tragic circumstances. Estrada’s younger brother Charlie Espat was one of the two San Pedro teens found partially buried 50 yards off a feeder road in the Orange Walk District on June 9, 2012. Charlie and his cousin Edwardo Alamilla had been reported missing on June 5th and their decomposed bodies were found four days later with apparent gunshot wounds to the head. According to authorities on the island, Byron Espat Estrada was stabbed at least 22 times inside the men’s bathroom at Daddy Rock Night Club. He collapsed near the bar counter and was taken to the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II where he was pronounced dead. Superintendent of Police and officer Commanding San Pedro Police Department Luis Castellanos said that the incident happened around 3:30AM. “On Saturday the 26th of January 2013, at about 3:39AM, police received information of a stabbing incident at the Daddy Rock Disco (Night Club). As a result we quickly responded and upon arriving at the disco we found a young gentleman by the name of Byron Estrada who was seen bleeding from his neck area, his chest and his back,” said Castellanos, who indicated that the victim was taken to the island’s PolyClinic where he was officially pronounced dead at about 4:32AM. “We have launched an investigation to see what actually happened; and who is the perpetrator of this crime. So far we have detained some people for questioning and we believe that one of them may be able to assist us in our investigation…the incident wasn’t a fight. We received information that apparently the victim entered the bathroom and whilst in the bathroom he was stabbed. He came out, while the disco was still in function, and ran towards the bar where he collapsed, and where persons assisted him and took him downstairs. It happened very quickly and it doesn’t look like it was a fight.” Police say that they observed numerous stab wounds to the upper part of the victim’s body, plus cut injuries to the neck area. And while police investigation into the death is ongoing, the mother of the victim, Pricilla Espat, who has lost two of her sons as a result of crime in less than one-year, explained that police were not compassionate to their pain.

Steven Valencia, PUP Cayo Chairman found murdered in his home
Steven ValenciaThe Chairman of the People’s United Party Executive Committee in Cayo Central, 40-year-old Steven Michael Valencia was murdered inside his home in Santa Elena Town. The former resident of San Pedro Town was shot and killed in the presence of his two children in his La Loma Luz Boulevard home. According to police the incident happened shortly before 9PM on Thursday January 24th. According to Police, they responded to a report of shooting at around 9PM on La Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena Town. Upon arrival police say that they observed the body of Valencia in one of the bedrooms with apparent gunshot wounds to the upper back, right foot and right thigh. “Initial investigations revealed that about 8:45PM on said date, Valencia was at home with his two daughters when a noise was heard coming from behind the house and at the same time, the back door was stamped open and two males of dark complexion, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, entered the house unmasked, ordered him to lie on the floor, demanded money and fired shots at him, causing the fatal injuries,” said a police report. Valencia was shot in the presence of his two children, one a six year old, who told police that $7 was all they managed to steal from his pocket.

Ambergris Today

Our Lady of Fatima Statue Coming to San Pedro
The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church and the Community of San Pedro are preparing for the 2nd Pilgrimage of the Travelling Statue of Our Lady of Fatima to Belize which is set to take place on Monday, February 11, 2013. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima will be arriving in San Pedro on Monday, February 11, 2013, at 4:00 p.m., everyone is invited to welcome the statue at the John Greif II Airport. The statue will be taken to the San Pedro RC Church for the official coronation to take place at 4:15p.m. At 5:00p.m. a rosary for Our Lady of Fatima will take place, at 6:00 p.m. a mass followed by a candle light procession through the main streets of San Pedro. On Tuesday, February 12, 2013, a boat procession and boat blessing will take place at 7:15 a.m. after which the statue leaves the island.

New Rules and Regulations Set for Carnaval 2013
Even before the San Pedro Town Council had made announcement of the new rules and regulation for the Carnaval 2013 celebrations, some island folk were stirred up at the mention that there would be some new changes that would alter the traditional celebrations. The San Pedro Town Council has released the following rules and regulations for Carnaval 2013 for La Isla Bonita. After much consultation with the people of San Pedro and meetings with the Carnaval committee the following was decided for this year’s Carnaval celebrations. Mayor Daniel Guerrero announced that there will be lots more policing taking place during the celebrations and stiff penalties for those who do not comply with the rules that are intended to make Carnaval a safe celebration for everybody and more respect given to the businesses who have suffered much vandalism in the past years. Below are the new rules and program of events:

Flashbacks: Ambergris Lodge a Local Hangout Spot
“Carmita, let’s go swimming in front of the Ambergris Lodge,” said Lupita enthusiastically during the summer of 1975. “Mek we go,” responded Carmita in a colorful Creole dialect. “There are a few dories front a di beach and I sure Mista George Stefanko will lend us wan paddle fi go paddling.” Pretty soon Carmita and her friend were at the beachfront paddling their dory and having a splendid time, San Pedro style. On the beach several boys and girls were getting ready for a warm mid afternoon swim at the most beautiful white spot in front of the village. The Ambergris Lodge was at the time advertising delicious seafood and an enjoyable time skin diving. There was a lovely wide sandy beach with only a little bit of sea grass as Mr. Stefanko insisted that the beach be cleaned of logs and debris except for the sea grass which was thought to prevent beach erosion. It was a sight and a site enjoyed by locals and a few tourists alike when Ambergris Caye had much of its natural appeal. Today Mayan Princess has managed to keep that natural and exquisite appeal.

25 Years Ago: Antonio's Letter Is Rejected
Well as you can see, Antonio’s request to formalize his relationship was rejected not because he was not worthy or charming but because the father considered his daughter to be a bit too young. Girls traditionally got married at 16 or 17 years of age, but fifteen was also quite common. This letter to the young lover was not to be interpreted wrongly so he could continue to court the young lady by going to parties, or walks to the park and holding hands but that was about it. If he could steal a moment to steal a kiss, well that was his luck or his prowess or charisma, let’s say. However, that had to be done privately and not in the presence of the father. To tell the truth, some mothers were more lenient and allowed a bit more contact or close-up moments. Romantic mothers indeed!

Youth Writing Contest
Deadline: February 9, 2013 Topic: “WHAT LOVE MEANS TO ME” Love to write? Enter the San Pedro Library Youth Writing Contest and tell us in your own words about what love means to you. Requirements * only hard copies (handwritten or typed) will be accepted. * Essays must be between 75 to 100 words in length. Eligibility * Writer must be in STD IV, V, VI and students of schools located in, or residents of San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. Awards * The best 5 essays of each school will be display at the San Pedro Library and Schools. * Winners will be honored, along with their teacher at a special event at the San Pedro Library February 14, 2013. * Prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners. There will be also 10 consolation prizes.

Home Style Cooking and Flavors at El Fogon
El Fogon, the name says it all! Spanish for fire hearth, you know that when you dine at this popular restaurant you will be served some of the most authentic Belizean food on the island. The food is unique in flavor as mostly everything on the menu is prepared on an outside fire hearth, used in the olden days when San Pedro was just a small fishing village with no stoves. It's that authentic taste that is infused with the smokiness of the fire hearth that keeps bringing people back to El Fogon. Owned by island locals who have come to prepare recipes passed on to them by generations, El Fogon features food inspired by Latin America, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Heroes Soar Over Lamanai Maya Ruin Belize
The Ministry of Health Belize set out on a very important mission alongside American Soldiers to Sarteneja Village, Corozal. They combined human power and will to give medical services to the community in need. The team provided the people with vitamins, medical attention, meds, breast exams, pap smears and health education. Even on a day’s work Dr. Marin got the chance to take an outstanding picture of them flying over the Lamanai Maya Ruin. Keep up the good work!

Misc Belizean Sources

Taking a bite out of Lionfish population on the Belize Barrier Reef with dive friends.Tranquility Bay, outside the reef. Ambergris Caye.

Rotaract Bonfire Night
The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio had their first social. They had a bonfire at Hode's. They've finished planning their Red Carpet Affair fund raiser. It'll be at Meluchi's on Saturday, February the 16th.

Runway Release 2013 Pictures
Demian Solano was at Rebecca Stirm's Autumn/Winter fashion show, and he captured some amazing pictures. He's posted a few, including a couple that have the 2 Miss Belizes, Destinee Arnold and Chantae Guy. Many more to come.

Rotary Donates Laptops to SHJC
Feelgood story of the day. The Rotary Club of San Ignacio donated 3 Dell laptops to Sacred Heart Junior College's Primary Ed department. Thanks again for all you do around Cayo, Rotary! "SHJC is grateful for the donation to SHJC Primary Education Department from the Rotary through the Belize Literacy Program. The PE dept received tree Dell laptops with educational software installed."

BELTRAIDE and Idealab officially LAUNCH Belize’s First Investment Magazine!
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and Idealab Studios are privileged to announce the launch of the Inaugural Issue of Belize’s First Business and Investment Magazine “INVEST BELIZE”. The Launch will take place on Wednesday, January 30th, 2013, at Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, from 2:00p.m. – 5:00p.m. Invest Belize will be used as a promotional tool to showcase Belize in a progressive light for what it represents: an investment destination. The magazine is strategically featured to aggressive investors who are seeking to invest in new dynamic markets, such as Belize. This publication features the major investment opportunities, while providing up to date information on policy, trade agreements, statistics, trade and projections to the investment community in Belize and abroad.

Channel 7

Unions Say They Were Disrespected
Tomorrow at 9:00 am in Belmopan, the teachers' union with support from the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers will stage a mass protest. It's been in the making for weeks - and today the union leaders made the media rounds to crystallize their public stance. We caught them at a press conference in Belize City. Teachers Union President Luke Palacio led the charge:.. Luke Palacio, President BNTU "The Belize National Teachers Union has the most organize, the most powerful labor movement in this country will be demonstrating in Belmopan tomorrow to show that we are not satisfied with the disrespect that has been shown to the three unions negotiating with the Government of Belize. We want the public support; we want them to understand that this fight is not about more money in the pockets of teachers only. We are negotiating for all person paid from the public purse, meaning the nurses, BDF, police and any other persons who is paid from the public purse. We are going to have this demonstration tomorrow, it's a peaceful protest. We again are saying that for those who will join us we want no political slogan; no slandering, no name calling and any other organization that is prepared to lend us their support again remember the focus must be on the Collective Bargaining Agreement." And the union leaders say the protest is an important means of gaining leverage in ongoing talks with government - they say this because the PM has reached out to them in the past week:

Man Fatally Stabbed 22 Times In Nightclub Restroom
UB Students got the streets of Belmopan warmed up today with a small protest of their own. And we'll have that for you a little later on in the news. But first, the weekend witnessed the 13th murder of 2013. This one happened in San Pedro at a nightclub where a 25 year old was hunted down and stabbed to death in a nightclub restroom. Tonight, the family of Byron Estrada Espat are awaiting a post mortem on his body - so that they can proceed with funeral arrangements. Daniel Ortiz travelled to the island yesterday where he spoke to his grieving mother and to police investigators. Here's his report: Priscilla Espat - Mother of Deceased "I can't take the pain. It's now 2 sons that they've taken away from me, Charlie Espat, and Byron. And you know what? It's not fair because the law hasn't done anything about it." Reporter "What is the police saying about the assassination, and how is the investigation going?" Priscilla Espat - Mother of Deceased "They are saying that my son is involved in drugs. That's not true; he is not a drug dealer. I know 100% that he works hard."

Footballers Greeted Liked Heroes In Grand Homecoming
TODAY it was a grand homecoming for the national football team, known internationally as the Belize Jaguars. They finished fourth in the Copa Centroamericana 2013. It wasn't the outcome we might have hoped for as they lost the semi-final match against Costa Rica - and the third place game against El Salvador - both times by a score of one to nil. But they came home to a heroes' welcome, nonetheless. And deservingly so, because this team did what no other Belizean National Football team had done before: they won a game in the regional cup - and didn't come home in last place! More than that, they had a number of respectable losses behind inspired play by goalkeeper Woodrow West. And so while they didn't shock the world, they did put them on notice that Belize's football programme is up and coming to contender status. We were at the airport when they arrived today - and here's how the motorcade went:.. Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "This is a good feeling. It is an excellent show of support for our National Team - Belizeans coming out here to support us and certainly I am happy and this gives me great motivation to be able to continue the work and continue to build our Belizean football." Harrison "Cafu" Roches - Forward - Belize National Team "We really appreciate it. I feel happy to see people supporting us like this. This make us feel great."

Massive Collision On Northern Highway
There was a terrible traffic accident on the Northern highway on Saturday morning: It left one man dead and 10 persons injured. It happened at about 6:45 am between miles 31 and 32 when a southbound Toyota 4 Runner collided into a Tillett bus which was heading to Orange Walk. The impact was massive, launching vehicle parts all across the road and ripping off half the body of the Four Runner which was left to look like it had been cut in half. The driver, Prison warden Juvencio Serrano was crushed in the driver's seat and died immediately. The bus driver 58 year old Carlos Herrera was also crushed behind the wheel of the bus. He survived though, but had serious injuries to his chest, face left arm and feet. He was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital while 10 other persons - passengers on the bus - received varying injuries. Most of them did not expect the impact, had no way of bracing for it, and were launched violently forward when the collision occurred. Police say Serrano caused the accident when he lost control of his Toyota 4 Runner and collided into the bus.

Three Vehicle Collision In Corozal
And that wasn't the only accident involving a bus this weekend. As we told you on Friday night's news there was a three vehicle collision near the northern border. It happened between mile 88 and 89 AT 6:25 on a wet highway as night was falling. A BBOC bus driven by 47 year old Christino Rodriguez was travelling from the border to Corozal Town with 35 passengers when a minivan driven by Jeremias Garcia crashed into the back of the bus. Passengers from the bus walked out and two of them Doris Noh and Lillian Roches were knocked down when a third vehicle, a Subaru Legacy collided into the van causing injuries to its driver Jeremias Garcia as well as Noh and Roches. 22 year old Doris Noh had both feet apparently broken and one 37 year old Lillian Roches received a large wound on the right foot. 34 year old Jeremias Garcia received a wound to the right foot as well.

UB Students Protest
At the top of the newscast - we told you about the Union's protest which is scheduled for tomorrow in Belmopan. And while the unions will do it tomorrow, the University of Belize did it today. They held their protest against an increase in admission fees for new students. The issue has been on the back burner for weeks, but with no response from the Minister of Education, the UB student government moved it to the front burner with a protest in Belmopan today. It started at 8:30 am with a very modest crowd - but from there it gained some momentum. Not enough to shut down the school, and probably not enough to force any reaction from the ministry but certainly enough to give us a story. Monica Bodden has the story:.. Monica Bodden reporting Over one hundred UB students marched off the University of Belize Belmopan Campus this morning and made their way through the streets of Belmopan and in front of the National Assembly. They all held posters and chanted their dissatisfaction in the subsidy cut that has been imposed on new students. Hope Amadi - President, UB Student Government "Today demonstration we do hope that with the change the perception of people towards the subsidy cuts especially the minister for him to understand that the students are not happy with the cuts that has been imposed on the new students that are coming in. This issue started far away from 2006. In 2006 we had about 32% poverty rate and during that period the minister said that the poverty rate is too much for us to ask more from the students. It doesn't make any sense for we to ask more from the students. Today we are at about 44% poverty rate and if you said no in 2006 when the poverty rate was 30% plus why would you not imposed it when the poverty rate 40% plus, it doesn't make any sense. We are asking the minister to reconsider and allow the students on the subsidy that he has cut put it back for the students so that they can enjoy going to school and have a reason to go to school."

Dr. K Leslie Adresses UB Graduates
And while today the mood at UB was outspoken, on Saturday it was formal as the university marked its Sixteenth Commencement Exercises at its main Campus in Belmopan. The 480 graduates received diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor, Certificate and Diploma levels. They also got to hear words of advice from keynote speaker, the Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, Dr. Kenrick R. Leslie who urged them to take charge of the future:.. Dr. Kenrick R. Leslie, Executive Dir., Climate Change Center "You must ask yourself the question; what does all of this means to me? Here I mean not only what you have clean the University over the past years but also from the information that I have provided you today and since we all know we cannot escape the clutches on climate change. Your challenge to yourself must be what will I do about it. The key element of change is yourself. The attainment of resilience cannot only reside with our policy makers but with our youth and you represent that element. You first must be convinced, you must believe, you must be aggressive, you must be passionate, you must be committed to the cause to help our beloved country survive the ravages of climate change."

Man Charged For Trying To Kill
2 weeks ago, 7News told you about 20 year-old Kent Moss, a resident of Freedom Street, who was shot on January 15. Well, tonight 22 year-old Albert Moody, a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, is in jail because police say that he was the gunman. As we reported, Moss was on a verandah at #7099 Raccoon Street Extension, having a conversation with a friend, when a dark complexioned man came from behind a house and fired several shots at him. He suffered 3 gunshot injuries, but survived after he was rushed to the KHMH. Police charged Moody with attempted murder, grievous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison due to the nature of the offenses.

Woman Robbed By Neighbors In Mahogany Heights
There was a burglary in Mahogany Heights over the weekend and the burglars are from the same community. It happened early Sunday morning just before 2. Neighbors noticed when 4 burglars pried opened the back door of Shelly Edwards's home. Edwards and her family were not at home at the time so neighbors alerted the police who responded quickly. The robbers escaped with a variety of items including a bag of soap power and ice-cream - but they didn't make very far after they were caught red-handed. We found out more from the homeowner Shelly Edwards:.. Shelly Edwards, Victim of Burglary "I got a call from my neighbors stating that they burglarized my home. I went away for the weekend to spend my birthday with my mom. When I got that call I hurriedly came. I spoke to the police and they confirm that my home was burglarized. They told me that they retrieve the stuff and they got the culprits in custody." "I could tell you that I have very good neighbors because they were the ones who call the police and alerted them about what was happening." Reporter "How did the burglars gained access?" Shelly Edwards, Victim of Burglary "They gained entry through the back door. They used a crow bar to pry open the back door because the police have the crow bar, they found it in my yard. Because of the quick police response here they got the culprits."

The Sports Bar Effect
As we told you earlier, the National Football Team returned home today triumphant. True, they only went 1 - 1, and 3, but that one win was more than Belize has ever had in that regional tournament. And the losses - while still losses - were the most respectable Belize has ever had. And yesterday afternoon, hopes were high as the team competed for 3rd place against El Salvador. Avid football fans and casual viewers were glued to their televisions watching in eager anticipation to see if Belize could pull it out. That's what they were doing at Cholo Sports Bar in San Pedro. Our team was there on another story, but stopped in to share the excitement - because, let's be honest, this kind of international match featuring Belize doesn't happen too often. We sampled the sentiment of the fans who were very proud to see their boys featured on the sports bar's 5 big screens for the first in a very long time. Here's what they told us:

Rebecca Storms the Fashion World
While the football team got a motorcade, another Belizean who is getting major love from the public is the young fashion designer, Rebecca Stirm. Viewers may remember that Stirm wowed the Caribbean Community with her talent for design by placing 3rd in season 2 of Jamaica's fashion designing reality TV series, Mission Catwalk. And while she gave an admirable showing on the international scene, she is now being embraced by her Belizean fans. On Saturday night, her first Runway Show was held at the Princess Hotel. 7News attended what turned out to be a glamorous evening. Here's what Stirm told us about surprise of the overwhelming success: Daniel Ortiz reporting The Kings Room was packed on Saturday night, filled to capacity with socialites and local VIP's who waited in anticipation for the Rebecca Stirm Fashion Show.? And, with more than 4 months in the making, she delivered.

The Passing Of a Union Giant
Tonight, on the eve of what promises to be a major protest by the Teacher's Union we note the passing of one man who was always on the frontline of those protests. John Pinelo career teacher, principal and former BNTU President passed away at his home in San Ignacio this weekend at the age of 64. He had been battling cancer for some years. His family tells us Mr. John Pinelo was instrumental in molding the lives of many young Belizeans serving as either a teacher or principal for many of Belize's Schools including: Santa Elena R.C., Roaring Creek R.C., Sacred Heart Primary, Bullet Tree Falls R.C., Saint Francis Xavier R.C., Succotz R.C. and Sacred Heart College. They add that Unionism in Belize is synonymous with the name John Pinelo. Mr. Pinelo has been involved in the Belize National Teacher's Union since its inception serving as local branch officer for the San Ignacio and Benque Viejo Branches. He was elected to the National Presidency in 1984 for the first time and since then was re-elected five more times holding this position until April 2003.

Channel 5

Unions full day demonstration of government
A teacher’s demonstration has morphed into a massive protest; thousands are expected to show their muscle in Belmopan. It starts in about fourteen hours and teachers will be joined by other union members of the National Trade Union Congress when they descend on Independence Hill. The battle cry is over salary adjustments which the unions [...]

N.T.U.C.B. dismisses Chamber of Commerce comments
Last Friday, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a statement regarding the wage bill issue that stands to increase salary adjustments are approved by government. It said that compensation increases for public sector workers should be tied in with measurable performance improvements.  The B.C.C.I. also said that it can’t condone the area of [...]

UB students’ small protest
While teachers will show their strength on Tuesday in Belmopan, this morning, the capital was also the venue for another protest. A group of students staged a small protest over government’s decision to cut off subsidies to the university.  They say they want government to re-instate the funding because fees are unaffordable to new students. [...]

Priscilla Espat loses another son to murder
There was a vicious murder on the island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye in the early hours of Saturday morning. Twenty-five year old Byron Estrada was stabbed multiple times as he socialized at a local club; he succumbed to his injuries soon after. At first glance it would appear to be a random murder unconnected [...]

A Swan song for a beleaguered family
The murder of twenty-five year old boat captain Byron Estrada came as a shock to his mother, but she is certainly no stranger to tragedy and no stranger to violent death and allegations that those deaths are drug related.  When the dots are connected, a picture emerges linking the touristy tropical island of San Pedro [...]

One dead as SUV and bus collide on highway
Road traffic accidents are frequent on our highways and account for a significant percentage of deaths. But despite negative perception, serious accidents involving buses are not frequent. An accident early Saturday morning between a Tillett’s bus travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk and an SUV travelling in the opposite direction was particularly gruesome. One [...]

Villager stabs villager in attempted murder incident
Thirty-three year old Rene Murillo of August Pine Ridge has been charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. On Sunday night, sixty-one year old farmer also of August Pine Ridge Casario Ku, reported that around eight thirty pm, while walking in the village, he was approached by Murillo who [...]

Shooting leads to Moody’s attempted murder charge
  Over the weekend, twenty year old Albert Moody, a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, was detained in connection with the shooting of Kent Moss. When he appeared before Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, Moody was slapped with three charges: attempted murder, grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Bail was denied and Moody [...]

Justice for Shelly Edwards; burglars caught
Four persons are tonight in big trouble after they were allegedly caught red handed with items stolen from the house of Shelly Edwards. According to reports, just after two on Saturday morning, Edward’s home in Mahogany Heights was burglarized and stolen were several items including a microwave, a sound system and several other items totaling [...]

“To Sir with Love,” B.N.T.U.’s Pinelo passes away
There is one face that won’t be at the N.T.U.C.B. protest in Belmopan. Former B.N.T.U. President, John Pinelo, had held the teachers union together for many years and led them through negotiations and protests with governments.  Pinelo was in the frontline with the B.N.T.U. in the 2010 demonstration. The long-serving union president passed away over [...]

480 students graduate from UB
The University of Belize’s sixteenth commencement exercise was held at the Central Campus in Belmopan on Saturday. Four hundred and eighty students graduated and of that amount three hundred and thirty, roughly sixty-eight percent, were females. The President of the University of Belize, Doctor Cary Fraser congratulated the graduates while the guest speaker and Director [...]

Hero’s Welcome; Jaguars return home
The Belize National Football “A” Selection, also known as the Jaguars, returned to Belize today after making history in the Copa Centro Americana Games held in San Jose, Costa Rica. While the boys from Belize might not have won first place, they were the official big story of the competition, surprising regional football observers who [...]

Sports Monday highlights with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The Copa Centro Americana produced its 2013 Champion yesterday and while that honor does not belong to Belize, our national football team did make an enormous splash inside this event hosted at Costa Rica. For the 1st time Belize won a ballgame beating Nicaragua [...]


Unions Plan Protest For Tomorrow In The Capital
Poised to demonstrate on Tuesday in Belmopan in response to what they term as quote, “disrespect on the part of the Government” over a salary increase, the Belize National Teachers’ Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers,...

Man Receives Twenty Two Stabs Inside a Nightclub Restroom
A man was stabbed to death on Saturday morning in San Pedro Town. The victim has been identified as twenty five year old Byron Estrada. According to reports, Estrada was killed inside of the bathroom at a nightclub in the town. According to reports, Estrada was viciou...

VIP Party Suggests Resolution For The Unions Issue
The Vision Inspired by the People political party today issued a statement saying it stands in Solidarity with the Unions. Public Relations Officer Robert Lopez today told Love News that the VIP has a suggestion on how to resolve the issue. The VIP statement suggests that the...

Former Union President Passes
As teachers prepare for a big demonstration on Tuesday in Belmopan, the education sector in mourning the passing of one of its stalwarts. Former school teacher, and president extraordinaire of the Belize National Teachers Union John Pinelo passed away over the weekend, following ...

University Students Protest Government's Subsidy Cut
Students of the University of Belize abandoned classes today and took to the picket lines. At issue is the matter of what the UB Student Government calls burdensome registration fees. While the UB Student government protested the discontinuation of the government subsi...

Belize National Football Team Returns Home
After touching down at the Phillip Goldson International Airport, the team headed to the Brodies Parking Lot on the Phillip Goldson Highway where the players got a chance to speak about their experiences and expressed thanks to all who made the football journey possible. &nb...

30K Burglary In Punta Gorda
Police in Toledo are investigating a burglary in Punta Gorda town. A fifty two year old Mechanic reported to police that he left his brother’s house for which he is caretaker on Tuesday and traveled to Abalone Caye. The man says that when he returned home days later, he dis...

Two Teenagers Reported Missing
Two teenagers have been reported missing. The first is sixteen year old Spencer Bodden, a student of the Independence High School. According to the family of the teenage boy, he left home around six o’clock last Wednesday morning to go to classes and has not returned ...

Belize City Resident Faces Charges of Attempted Murder and Grievous Harm
Twenty-two year old Albert Moody Jr., a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared in Court today. Moody was also charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. No plea was taken because the offences are indictable. Neither could t...

Senior Citizen Refuses To Do Community Service For Theft
Seventy-two year old Frank Jaskin, a.k.a. “Big Frank Vernon”, a vagrant who failed to do 100 days of community service, a sentence he was given after he pled guilty to theft in December last year, was sent to prison today to do a sentence of two months in default of communi...


Philip Goldson Highway Plays Witness To Two Major Traffic Accidents, One Proves Fatal
Two major accidents took place on the Northern Highway over the weekend, the first on Friday followed by a tragic one on Saturday. On Friday evening, sometime around 6:30, police received reports of a major traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway near four miles in the Corozal District. Reports to our newsroom indicate that under the heavy rain which poured on Friday, a passenger bus was unloading passengers when a white van careened into the back of the bus. Lilian Roches was travelling in the van when it careened into the back of the bus. Roches suffered extensive injuries to her legs. While persons on the scene were rendering aid to Roches, the accident was compounded by the wet conditions which caused a small car to crash into the back of the van causing an accident on an accident. Reports to our newsroom indicate that two women who were standing behind the van were hit by the car causing severe injuries to their bodies. Rescuers managed to free Roches from the wreck just in time before the car crashed into the van. Roches was transferred to the Northern Regional Hospital where she remains in a stable condition. The other two ladies were treated and released.

Fruta Bomba Employees On The Verge Of Losing Their Jobs
On January 22nd, 2013 we brought you the story of the bee keepers in Progresso Village alleging their apiaries were being disturbed by the insecticides and pesticides Fruta Bomba uses on their papaya farms. For almost a year the bee keepers have been in a constant battle to safe guard their bees and their honey making livelihood. Well tonight, not only the beekeepers are being disturbed, but the farmers employed by Fruta Bomba from Progresso Village. This morning, seven workers of the Fruta Bomba Company stopped by our studios to say they too are at the edge of the cliff of losing their jobs if the issue of the beekeepers is not dealt with properly and adequately by officials of the government. Here is there side of the story. Juan Rivera-Fruta Bomba Worker “Estas tres personas hace ocho años dieron el mismo problema con la compañía quiso proyectar más trabajo en esa aldea. Eso de químicas Fruta Bomba o cualquier persona que va a trabajar la agricultura tiene que usar foliares parra el crecimiento para fortalecer la flor a nivel nacional e internacional, Fruta bomba está usando estos foliares bajo de control nadie está permitiendo eso estamos muy claro. “Cuando vas a fumigar tratándose de estos venenos tienes que fumigar para hongos adonde sea vamos al mercado tienes que usar estos tipos de foliares para fortalecerse.”

Stabbing Incident Lands One Man In Jail
Two persons are not spending these nights at home in the comfort of their beds and in the company of family. On Sunday, January 27th, Orange Walk Police were called out to August Pine Ridge where they observed one man suffering from stab wounds to his stomach. According to the official police report, sixty-one year old Belizean farmer Casario Ku, informed police that he was walking home on the evening of the 27th when he was approached by thirty-three year old Rene Murrillo. Ku alleges that he and Murrillo got into an argument which quickly escalated to a physical altercation. During this physical struggle, Murrillo produced a knife and inflicted a stab wound to the stomach of Ku. Ku was immediately transported to the Northern Regional Hospital where he received medical attention. Murrillo has since been arrested and charged for the crimes of Attempted Murder, Use of Deadly Means of Harm, and Dangerous Harm.

Leroy Lewis Abandons National Selection
And while Belize’s National A-Selection has respectively departed from the tournament with much respect by the other Central American national teams, head coach Leroy Lewis announced over the weekend that he has decided to leave the team. The Costa Rican National was hired as head coach on October 3rd of last year and after four months on the job, Lewis announced yesterday that effective immediately he is no longer the head coach. In the post-game press conference, Lewis stated that he believes that Football Federation of Belize is not well structured and that there is no guarantee that it would change in the near future. Here are his words: Leroy Lewis, Former National Coach Lewis has no signed contract with the FFB and in a press conference back in October, Lewis told the media that quote, “When you have mutual trust, you don’t have to sign no contract”, end quote. We will bring you the team’s reaction to this in tomorrow’s newscast. Allegations surrounding his resignation stem from difference of opinions in Costa Rica by FFB representatives and Lewis in regards to the team’s workout schedule. Additional friction is alleged by Leroy Lewis playing a defensive stand as opposed to an attack offense. But that’s not all, we understand that emails had been circulated as soon as Belize had qualified for the Copa Oro concerning the replacement of certain players with the present team with others who failed to qualify for the team. We will follow these allegations made by certain players of Belize’s National Selection and former coach Leroy Lewis in the days ahead.

U.B Students Take Their Discontent To Belmopan
This morning, over 300 students of the University of Belize walked out of classes and marched to Independence Hill where they held a peaceful protest. The root of the discontent of students stems from Government’s withdrawal of its financial subsidy towards registration and school fees. As a result of the canceled subsidy, student’s fees have seen a steep increase of about 60%. The increase in student fees was to take effect this month. For weeks, the Student Governments Association have been expressing their concern and difficulties faced by students in socio-economic challenges. The protest started at the UB Belmopan campus where the students congregated after walking out of class and then they proceeded to march to Independence Hill. The students were joined by past Student Body President Moses Sulf and other SGA presidents and representatives. The demonstration ended sometime around noon today. Today the students of the University of Belize demonstrated in front of the National Assembly Building, and tomorrow, that same venue will host another demonstration, this one expected to be much larger as the Belize National Teachers Union will demonstrate against Government in regards to the salary increments they have requested. We will have our cameras out there tomorrow and bring you the story in tomorrow’s newscast.

Belize's National Team Loses Respectably To El Salvador
Belizeans here at home and around the world were abuzz over the past few days as Belize’s pride and joy, the Jaguars of Belize participated in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Social networks and media houses throughout Belize featured stories, articles and posts on the level of play Belize has achieved. Belizeans once more had reason to believe in Belizean football and in a brighter future for the sport both locally and internationally. In this tournament alone, Belize managed to make history by advancing to the Copa Ora tournament, winning their very first Central American professional team, qualifying for the semifinals and placement match, and signing two of its national players to professional ball clubs. Reporter Hipolito Novelo recapped yesterday’s third place match against El Salvador. The brand new national stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica came to life yesterday with the two final matches of the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. In the first game of the day, Belize took the field for the last time dressed in their white jerseys to face off against El Salvador in the third place match. Belizeans across the world tuned in to watch their National Selection make history for the second time in playing for a placement game, especially since the team was referred to as the Cinderella Team of Central America.


Boat Captain Byron Estrada Espat murdered in San Pedro
There was a murder at a San Pedro Town nightclub this weekend. It happened at Daddy Rock Night Club located at Cent...

Prison officer Juvencio Serrano Jr. dies in Traffic Collission
There was a fatal traffic accident on Saturday on the Phillip Goldson highway. Just before seven o'clock on Saturda...

33 years-old old Rene Murillo charged for attempted murder in August Pine Ridge Village
There was an attempted murder reported in the Orange Walk district. 61year old Casario Ku, a Belizean Farmer of Aug...

University of Belize students take to the streets in protest of fees increase
Tomorrow, Belize's major Trade Unions will be having a six hour demonstration in the City of Belmopan for an increa...

The University of Belize holds its Sixteenth Commencement Exercises
The University of Belize held its Sixteenth Commencement Exercises on Saturday January 26, for students, who succes...

Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in Camalote Village
Belmopan Police are investigation a report of Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. On Friday January 25 an 11 year old minor ...

Unions are getting ready for Tuesday's Belmopan demonstration
Unions are getting ready for Tuesday's Belmopan demonstration. Tomorrow, in the City of Belmopan, activists and rep...

The Ministry of Education releases statement on the Union Demonstration
The Ministry of Education sent out a press release today saying that in view of the public announcement made by the...

The NTUCB says that Chamber of Commerce is "self-serving"
The NTUCB says that Chamber of Commerce is "self-serving". While the unions gear up to march on Belmopan, the union...

Tributes paid to the late Union leader John Pinelo
While on the protest line in the nation's capital on Tuesday, unionists and teachers in particular will be carrying...

Belizean born Joel Evans collected his 5th Emmy at the 27th Annual Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards.
An Emmy, is the most prestigious award in television production worldwide, and is considered the television equival...

Belizean designer Rebecca Stirm's fashion show was a huge success
Another Pastor's kid from Belize has been invading the culture with her gifts and abilities. Belizean clothing desi...

The Guardian

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker Animal Health Shelter Fundraiser
Donations are being accepted

Belize and Guatemala take territorial dispute to World Court
The Organization of American States (OAS) says its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, met with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Belize and Guatemala on the protracted territorial dispute between both countries. “The meeting’s main objective was to exchange information on the tasks that both countries are committed to carry out in preparation for the referenda concerning recourse to the Court of the Hague Convention on the territorial issue,” said a statement from the OAS. In the tripartite meeting, which took place within the framework of the European (EU)-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit here, the OAS said both officials “explained the situation in each country, with a view toward finalizing the consultation agreed and renewed the commitment of their governments to carry it out.”


Tale of Five Cities: Visiting an Orchid Garden
One of the most interesting things we did in San Cristobal, Mexico was visit the Orquideas Moxviquil botanical garden. The garden is a preserve for over 600 species of Chiapas orchids, cacti, bromeliads, ferns, and other flora. Most of the specimens were rescued from within the Chiapas state from sites that were disturbed by human activities. It was a little over a mile from our hotel as the garden is north of the city in a more rural area, but we had a beautiful day for it. We had a bit of difficulty finding the entrance and ended up hiking along a woodland trail in the Moxviquil Reserve (which the garden is part of). We finally realized that we were not in the right place, back-tracked, and went farther up the road where we saw this sign.Before we knew it, we found the gardens up the road just a bit. This place was absolutely gorgeous! The owner met us and gave us a quick tour as he had to get back to a ceremony there on the premises. We spent a good long time walking around and looking at orchids and other specimens. And after we'd seen all the plants, we spent a good amount of time bird-watching -- of course we had brought our binoculars! Calla Lily -- one of the few non-native plants in the garden

Ever evolving
I was watching the new Bruno Mars video Locked out of Heaven this morning and got thinking about the evolution of people over the course of time and on my blog, so many small world world stories out there. Today’s post is an email from Brent, my Helena Montana weather man that illustrates how small the world is between Montana Belize. Last year Brent and his girlfriend Lisa offered that I could send them a couple of things to bring down on their Belize vacation. They were staying at Banana Beach Resort and happened to be at the martini bar one night and saw Cowboy with his Big Sky trucker hat, which led to Montana talk. A few days later while dropping my portable ipod shuffle player and bikini top off at Grand Caribe, they bought a t-shirt for a friend at the pool Cowboy’s bar and grill and it turns out that random purchase led to a six degrees of separation moment which you can read about below. I am sure it will be further continued at El Divino with Cowboy Doug in May when Brent and Lisa return, looking forward to meeting you both this time around.

Our House
Fully rested after my day off – thanks to the Mystery Blogger for filling in for me to produce yesterday’s edition- I am raring to go to report on week thirteen of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. First of all I want to correct an omission from Sunday’s edition. When we visited the build on Saturday we saw the first clear signs of how the clerestory windows will look (OK you have to have a good imagination but …). We are making good ( well we hope that it proves to be good) use of these windows in the living/dining room area and the bedroom on the First Floor and in one of the bedrooms on the Ground Floor. On Saturday, with the forms in place, we could start to see what these windows will look like. Rose and I spent the morning on general chores including a trip to the shops to stock up the cupboards and the refrigerator. We also managed to find a little time to start reviewing the lighting plan for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. The plans show this detail but we have the opportunity to finally decide what type of lights, where we want them, how many light switches, where we want them, etc,.These are the next decisions we need to let Daniel Camal, our building contractor, have. We will have this completed for our Friday afternoon meeting with Daniel. In the afternoon we met with Larry and his wife Sandy to show them our house ( OK it is far from being finished but we are already thinking of it as ‘our house’). Larry ( who has been following the blog) and Sandy intend to build a home here and were keen to have a look at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and to meet with Daniel.

International Sources

Belize Revisited
“How long do you intend to stay in Belize sir?” “I’m not sure. We thought we’d just play it by ear and see what happens.” “Well, enjoy Belize whatever you do. Welcome to Belize!” Said the Immigration Officer in a strong Caribbean accent as he stamped our passports. We climbed back into the car and left Mexico behind, geographically and culturally. Belize is a different world. Gone is the litter, gone are the packs of dogs (generally) and gone is the everyday struggle to speak a second language. Mexico has been tough. Really tough. To be fair to Mexico it has generally been due to a run of bad luck, rather than Mexico per se. But either way it feels good to be back. Eight years is a long time and it’s difficult to believe it has been that long since we were last here, but the place hasn’t changed much. People still smile and wave as we drive by. Everywhere feels welcoming, easy and laid back. As we left the northern Mexico/Belize border behind we first arrived in sleepy Orange Walk. Most places were closed for Sunday and the streets were empty as we drove around looking for a bank where we could get some Belize dollars. We found both an ATM and a Chinese takeaway. Result! We also later found Marmite in Belize City, panic on the streets at the hands of an over reaction to a few gang member killings and a right rear puncture on the Niva which led to Liz acting as a counter-weigh so I could jack the car up.

Consienten aduanas tráfico de ganado desde Belice
El tráfico de ganado proveniente del vecino país de Belice se encuentra a la alza ante el consentimiento de las autoridades aduanales, aseguró el presidente de la unión de Abastecedores en la capital del estado, Heradio Novelo Castilla. Indicó que ante el excedente de ganado bovino de engorda en aquel país, a ultimas fechas productores locales han manifestado su inconformidad debido a que los transportes beliceños pasan sin ningún “problema” la garita ubicada en Subteniente López. “Estos traficantes, cuando llegan a ser detenidos, es en comunidades rurales del municipio capitalino, por lo que cuestionó; ¿Cómo es que llegan hasta estos puntos sin papeles? si se supone que las autoridades aduanales se los deben pedir”, dijo.

Belice, paraíso del narcotráfico; territorio de Zetas y Maras
El país es utilizado para el trasiego de cocaína, advierte grupo de análisis en Estados Unidos; resaltan la importancia geográfica para el tránsito de mercancía ilícita. Belice, que comparte frontera con México y Guatemala, se ha convertido en territorio dominado por el cártel de Los Zetas y Maras, advierte un reporte de Inter-American Dialogue, de Washington. De acuerdo con el grupo de análisis político e inteligencia, en los últimos 30 años se ha recrudecido el fenómeno del narcotráfico en la pequeña nación centroamericana que se ha transformado en punto importante para el tráfico de cocaína, proveniente de Sudamérica hacia Estados Unidos. Pese a tener una población 43 veces menor que Guatemala o 15 veces inferior al promedio de los países centroamericanos, Belice enfrenta una creciente tasa de homicidios, pandillas, el problema de ser punto importante para el narco y falta de recursos.

Dialogue’s Working Paper: Organized Crime and Insecurity in Belize
Inter-American Dialogue Working Paper. The Inter-American Dialogue is pleased to publish this working paper by Julie López, an independent journalist from Guatemala who covers regional crime and security issues. Our aim is to stimulate a broad and well-informed public debate on complex issues facing analysts, decision makers, and citizens concerned about Latin America’s policy agenda. In this working paper, López offers an in-depth look at the security landscape in Belize, a country too often ignored in regional policy discussions, but one which faces criminal challenges similar to those of its larger Central American neighbors. Combining policy analysis and journalistic accounts based on her recent stint in Belize, López examines the political, social, geographical, and institutional factors that have contributed to Belize’s role as a transit point in the international drug trade. She also discusses the rise of other illicit enterprises, including arms trafficking and human smuggling and looks at the impact of growing gang activity. Finally, López analyzes national policy alternatives being explored in Belize, such as marijuana decriminalization and a state-sponsored gang truce, and the particular challenges the country faces in integrating into the Central American regional security framework.

Local Rotarians to speak at Portugal conference
Rotarians Don Shay and Stephen Lindop have been given the chance to talk about the Leduc and Nisku region in Lisbon, Portugal on June 23-26. Specifically, the two Rotary Club of Nisku Leduc members will talk about the Belize project —a project which helped inspire children to increase their literacy by building playgrounds— which was spearheaded on the local level. “This program has become so effective, it has actually changed the literacy rate in Belize so much so that the government has to build more high schools because people are staying in school,” explained Shay, who is the incoming local president. “The idea is to inspire these small little clubs all over the world to take on larger projects.” The Belize Literacy Program started in 2002 and puts an emphasis on literacy through play, with playgrounds built in Belize as well as local teachers provided with Canadian-style teacher workshops. As a result, the program —which has now been taken on as a Northern Alberta district initiative— has now forced the Belize government to build new high schools due to increased attendance rates.

Belize, Guatemala Foreign Ministers Meet With OAS SG Insulza
Belize Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and Guatemala Foreign Minister Luis Fernando Carrera held tripartite talks this weekend with Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza in Santiago. The objective of the meeting was to exchange information on the tasks both countries will carry out advance of the referenda both countries will be holding in October 2013 on their long-running territorial dispute. During the meeting, which took place during the EU-CELAC Summit, both officials explained the situation in each country and renewed the commitments of their governments to carry out the referenda, according to an OAS statement. Insulza, who was accompanied at the meeting by Ambassador Hugo de Zala, his chief of staff, said the OAS “will continue supporting all efforts made by Belize and Guatemala to comply with the agreements they have reached.”

Still not a convert, but if I ever win a cruise again I won’t turn it down
Belize City: At 9 in the morning, our cruise ship anchors a couple of miles offshore as this former British Honduras city with a tropical monsoon climate disgorges its passengers into tenders for the trip to shore. Tours of the city and environs await, including Mayan ruins near the Belize-Guatemala border. The offshore location is as close as the huge ship could safely approach the shore and a barrier reef that holds it at bay but is a favorite spot for scuba divers. The passengers have until 6 p.m. to get back to the ship or they will be left stranded and desperately waving on the shore. Belize City is not a very big place, with a population of less than 80,000, and is the principal port of the country of Belize. One of its central sources of revenue is the cruise ships. Arriving at nearly the same time, three of them are floating offshore on this day, two of them Carnival ships and one Norwegian. Just past the docks are restaurants, stores and waiting tour guides holding signs proclaiming the names of their tours. Behind the stores are the individual entrepreneurs hawking their wares. Our tour guide tells us they’re a far better source of goods and souvenirs than the stores, and their prices are considerably less.

McCauley, Belize shine brightly at Copa
Deon McCauley has scored goals before - plenty of them. The Belize striker was so prolific in qualifying for the 2014 World Cup that his eleven goals - scored over the course of the first and second rounds -- still lead the region in the run-up to Brazil 2014. But none of those World Cup qualifying goals will have proved more timely or valuable to the nation as a whole than the shot he tapped past Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza, on the final match day in Group A of the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. "It felt unbelievable, incredible," McCauley said of the goal. "There aren't words that can express how good it felt to get that goal at that time in the game, it's unbelievable." The goal, which came in second half stoppage time, gave Belize a 2-1 win over Nicaragua - the nation's first-ever victory at the competition after 23 games. Just as importantly, McCauley's strike handed Belize three valuable points. After a tie with Guatemala earlier in the phase, the Jaguars finished as runner-up in Group A, which gave them an automatic berth in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The feat qualifies as perhaps the most important in the nation's sporting history.

The Top 5 Photography Tips For Absolute Beginners
Fueled by a desire to take better photos, last year I got myself a nice DSLR for Christmas. I’m certainly no photography expert - but I did take the time learn a few photography tips I could immediately use to take substantially better photos. Some of these tips can be applied to any photo – not just using a DSLR – so even if you have a point and shoot or a camera on your smartphone, then it’s worth reading these. I should stress, these are only for an absolute beginner; if you class yourself as an amateur photographer, you’ll probably laugh. For me, these tips pretty much blew my mind. The Rule of Thirds This really ought to be taught in school, and it’s so ridiculously easy to learn. Essentially, photos will look better if your subject isn’t centered.

January 28, 2013


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Specials and Events

The January 27th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Barroom Brawl Lands B.D.F Behind Bars:
    A heated argument which began inside a popular nightclub in San Ignacio Town culminated in near fatality. In the incident two on-duty security guards emerged with serious cut wounds while a police special constable was stabbed in the arm and the three alleged aggressors were badly beaten. The incident reportedly began inside the Blue Angels Nightclub at around 2 0’clock on the morning of Sunday, January 20, 2013. It is reported that the incident began when the attention of Jermaine Pandy, one of the club’s security guards, was drawn to difficulties a colleague guard, David Wright, was experiencing at the top of the entrance stairs, as he was seeking to eject two male persons from the club.
  • Rene Montero At Work:
    Although it is early into his second term in office, Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works and Transport is certainly not committing the errors of the past. He is not leaving things for the last few months before the next general elections as his works in the constituency continues. The road into Hillview up to Eden Adventist High School has been paved with the commitment to completing the paving of that entire stretch of access road into the Hillview community a project which has been promised by several Area Representatives dating as far back as to the days of the PUP’s Daniel Silva Jr. The Hon. Rene Montero is making reality his promise to the people living in the Hillview Community.
  • Letters: Police Covering For Police:
    Your comment in last week’s edition of the STAR is indeed a valid one. It is no secret that the police covers up for police. They go to every means to cover the corrupt activities of those within their ranks. Apart from covering up the involvement of fellow policemen in drug trafficking and other corrupt activities, they also cover up the abusive domestic violence of those within their ranks. My sister lives with a jealous policeman and whenever he comes home drunk, which is increasing in frequency, he never fails to administers a severe beating on her.
  • Letters: We Now Have An Adequate Supply Of Vehicles:
    There was a time in the recent past when the police was operating with scarce transport. The problem was brought to Government’s attention and the matter was quickly addressed. We are now in a much better position. We no longer transport prisoners in an open back vehicle as they get wet when it rains on the road to and from prison. Today we have a new enclosed van to transport prisoners. Our vehicle supply is now adequate and for this we thank the government of Belize in general and the Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar in particular.
  • Belize Wins First-Ever Copa Centroamerican Game:
    Belize won its first-ever game at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana and grabbed the inside track on an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Nicaragua on Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional. The scoreboard was opened against the run of play in the 29th minute, when Midfielder Trevor Lennen ran onto a ball at the top of the box, and rifled a shot into the back of the net that Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza could do little about. Nicaragua continued to press, but it was Belize that nearly extended its lead two minutes before the half. Harrison Rochez shot strongly from the top of the box, but his drive was denied by a diving Espinoza, and Lennen's follow up shot rolled just wide of the Nicaraguan goal, sending the game to halftime with Belize up one.
  • North Korea 'Plans Third Nuclear Test':
    with plans for a third nuclear test. In a statement carried by KCNA news agency, the country's top military body said the "high-level nuclear test" and more long-range rocket launches were aimed at its "arch-enemy", the US. The statement gave no time-frame for the test. North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests, in 2006 and 2009. The move comes two days after a UN Security Council resolution condemned Pyongyang's recent rocket launch.
  • Mexican Man Barbecued Neighbour’s Dogs:
    A municipal police official in northern Mexico says officers have arrested a man who confessed to killing his neighbour’s three dogs and barbecuing them. Police spokesman Adrian Sanchez says the arrest was made late on Tuesday based on an emergency call about a fight in the streets. Police said on Wednesday that Ulises Rodela, 39, was a confronted by his neighbour and told him he turned the dogs over to animal control upon finding them in the street. The owner told police that animal control had no record of receiving the dogs. Police said Rodela then confessed to barbecuing the dogs. Officials were still trying to confirm whether Rodela sold the meat.
  • Female Smoking Death Risk 'Has Soared':
    News Changing habits such as starting earlier and smoking more cigarettes have been blamed for the dramatically increased risks of lung cancer. The trends, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, show death rates in women have caught up with men. The study looked at data from more than two million women in the US. The first generation of women smokers started during the 1950s and 60s. In those early years, women who smoked were nearly three times more likely to die from lung cancer as people who had never smoked.
  • Thousands Of Venezuelans In Pro-Democracy Rallies:
    Allies of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and the opposition have taken part in separate rallies to celebrate the end of military dictatorship. Thousands of "Chavistas" took to the streets of the capital, Caracas, while their opponents held a smaller event. The opposition used the date to criticise the government's handling of Mr Chavez's absence for illness. President Chavez has not been seen or heard since an operation six weeks ago to treat an undisclosed cancer.
  • UB Partners With EU: Masters & PhD Scholarships Opportunities:
    The opportunity for Belizeans to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree is available once again through a program offered by the nation’s tertiary institution, the University of Belize. The European Union project has provided funding for the scholarships through “The Caribbean-Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS). CARPIMS II is funded by the Education, Audiovisual and Cultural Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission and is designed to facilitate the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff among a consortium of Universities from the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The program aims at building capacity and encouraging socioeconomic development in each country and each region.
  • Venezuela Vice-President Claims Assassination Plot:
    Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela’s vice-president, claims the government has uncovered a plot to assassinate him and Diosdado Cabello, head of the national assembly. Mr Maduro said groups have been followed for weeks that “have the goal of trying to kill” him and Mr Cabello. “For that reason, they’ve said that we’re fighting because their macabre and criminal move is to make attempts against our lives – something they won’t achieve – and later on try to blame one or the other,” he told supporters.
  • UB Producing Almost 500 Qualified Students This Time:
    The University of Belize (UB) continues to build national capacity and human capital for socioeconomic development of Belize. Students who have successfully completed their course of study at the University of Belize will receive their diplomas at the Associate, Bachelor, Certificate and Diploma levels on Saturday January 26, at the University’s Sixteenth Commencement Exercises, Central Campus, Belmopan.
  • STAR Humor
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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

Doctor Love: My ex’s current beau is cheating on her
I was in the city last week and went to eat a restaurant that is in a really out of the way place. After I sat down, I noticed a couple that was sitting in one of the booths on the other side of the restaurant. The way they were seated I could see them but they couldn’t see me. I know the guy but I don’t know the woman he was with. The guy is the one that broke up my girlfriend and me about a year ago. We had been together for a while and had just moved in together. Within a week of meeting him, she left me and moved in with him. They are still living together.

Letter to the Editor: A Note on Incompetence
I believe that no one wants to be the victim of incompetence. Incompetence can be inconvenient; incompetence can be annoying; incompetence can be dangerous. Incompetence on the sea is reprehensible. I wish to relate an example of incompetence on the sea. On the morning of Thursday, January 17th, the Administration of San Pedro Roman Catholic Elementary School arranged for a boat to take teachers to a Belize Teachers Union meeting in Belize City. The boat was incompetently serviced. With over thirty passengers aboard, it stalled five times on the trip from San Pedro to Belize City. The teachers were to return to San Pedro at 4:30 pm. When they arrived at the dock, a crew member was asked if this was the same boat that brought them to Belize City. The answer was affirmative. The next question was: Has the crew spent the afternoon repairing the engine. The answer was “No.”

Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on Carnaval 2013
by Einer Gomez. Kindly allow me to share with your readers a letter I wrote to our San Pedro Town Council regarding the changes being made to the 2013 Carnaval in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Dear Mayor Danny & Councilors, Thank you for inviting the community to voice our opinion on the upcoming Carnaval Festivities. I am sure that together we can come up with a meaningful decision as we move forward. First and foremost let’s not forget that the community of this beautiful island was founded under religious beliefs and traditions. This culture, and the beauty of our Island combined, created a heaven for tourism; a demanding industry.

Wolfe’s Woofers: First Date Warning
Dennis-Wolfe-Wolfes-Woofers“Let me have an American coffee,” I told the waiter at Sailaway Café. “Anything else, sir?” he asked, when he served the coffee. “Can you please turn the music down just a little bit?” When he turned the music down I turned on my electronic book and started to read. Then I realized that with the quiet I could hear the conversations around me. At the next table two attractive young Spanish women in their early twenties took a seat. “Oh, Maria!” one of them said. “I am so glad I ran into you. I have something very important to ask you about.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Sports Commentary: Belize's performance against Honduras
By Wellington C. Ramos I was anxious to watch the game between Belize and Honduras, who are competing for the Central American Cup. By the time I got to see the game, it was about ten minutes in the second half. Honduras were playing quality football, with teamwork, ball control, passing to their teammates, avoiding turnovers, shooting and creating opportunities to score goals. Belize on the other hand were playing too much of a defensive game. Their defence was stuck in the goal area, putting a lot of pressure on themselves, the goal keeper and blocking his view on several occasions from seeing the players. There was a free kick and one of the Belizean players in the wall, turned his back to the kicker and opened up the wall. Luckily, the goalkeeper was good and he saved the ball. I was not impressed with the way Belize were playing and I felt that they were going to lose the game.

Belize Jaguars Take 4th Place
The Belize Jaguars took 4th place at the Copa Centroamericana football tournament in Costa Rica. Congratulations, Jaguars!

Energizing Youths Entrepreneurship Workshop Ad
The Energizing Youths Entrepreneurship Workshop will be on Saturday, the 23rd of February, at the University of Belize's auditorium. TAS Belize made their advertisement. Contact Patrick Andrews at 601-5011 for more information. "We must empowered our youth with keys and tools on how to create employment for themselves. Small business start ups are known to be the engine of any thriving economy. So many of our young adults are sitting at home with an Associates or Bachelor degree waiting until they can get a job with the government. There is hope, there is a way forward. Mark your calendar for Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship work shop coming this February Saturday 23rd."

Big sharks today and another great day of diving on our routine Blue Hole Trip. This is dive two of three tank dive.


Another Accident On The Phillip Goldson Highway
The stretch of the Northern Highway now known as the Phillip Goldson Highway between Belize City and Ladyville has been witness to many traffic accidents and tragic deaths. This morning, the curves that follow the banks of the Belize River saw another traffic accident, between miles six and seven. Reports indicate that the accident occurred a little after eight this morning just before the Haulover Bridge and involved a white four door car and a small delivery truck. Eyewitness accounts indicate that the small delivery truck, which was being driven at the time by Benfield Borland, was traveling in a northerly direction while the white car driven at the time by Police Officer Michael Hutchinson was traveling in the southerly direction. Hutchinson was attempting to overtake an SUV which was also traveling in a southerly direction when the head on collision with the delivery truck occurred. Both Michael Hutchinson and Benfield Borland sustained minor injuries. Police continue their investigations.

Partners Of Belize Medical Mission Offer Their Services To Northenos
From time to time, Belizeans have been able to benefit from free medical services provided by not for profit missions to Belize. Throughout the years, thousands of Belizeans have received medical treatment for just about every type of illness that could be readily diagnosed. What makes these medical services even that much noteworthy is the fact that the men and women performing them do it for free. In these tough economic times, Belizeans do everything possible to stretch their hard earned money and sometimes, that means self-medicating due to the lack of funds to pay for a doctor’s visit. This morning, the Northern Regional Hospital was inundated with residents hoping to take advantage of free medical attention being offered by the eighteen medical practitioners of the Partners of Belize Medical Mission. The team comprised of dentists, hygienists, dermatologists and general doctors. Dr. Gordon Womack spoke to us and told us more.

Jose Luis Sosa Wanted By Police
Yesterday we brought to you the story of the shooting that occurred at San Lorenzo Housing Site. Officers had entered the house in which Jose Luis Sosa, his girlfriend and two week old baby were in. Officers fired a single shot that hit Sosa in his right leg as he took a swing at them with an object. Sosa quickly grabbed hold of his baby in efforts of diffusing the already tense situation. Blood was pouring from Sosa’s leg injury leaving a trail from the bedroom, throughout the house that lead outside. Once outside, Sosa handed over the baby to his girlfriend and he bolted into the nearby bush. Officers fired shots at him but missing their mark and after hours of searching for him, Orange Walk Police ended the man hunt. Soon after officers left the area, Sosa reappeared at his house for a change of clothes and to tie his leg in efforts of slowing down the bleeding from the gunshot wound. The bullet managed to enter his leg and then go out through the other side.

PUP Activist Murdered In Cayo
The murder count for 2013 has gone well in to the double digits already with the latest murder recorded last night in the Cayo District. Residents of Santa Elena Town were shocked to hear the murder of a well-known businessman and political activist. People’s United Party Cayo Central Executive Committee Chairman Steven Valencia was ruthlessly gunned down last night in his home on Loma Luz Drive. Sometime around nine last night, forty year old Valencia was at home with his two daughters when they heard some noises outside of their home followed by the loud bang of the house’s backdoor being forced open. Reports indicated that two unmasked men of dark complexion entered the house of which one was armed with a shotgun. The two men ordered Valencia to lie on the floor and demanded that he hand over money. Valencia pleaded with the two men stating that he did not have any money in the house, but the men fired shots at him causing the fatal injuries. Valencia was suffered gunshot wounds to the upper back, right foot, and right thigh. Unconfirmed reports indicate that Valencia was murdered in front of his two daughters and both assailants managed to make good their escape with only $6 which was in Valencia’s wallet. The People’s United Party has expressed concern and extended their condolences to the family.

Belize's National Team Loses Against Honduras, Belizeans Still Proud
History was made tonight when Belize took the field in Costa Rica one more time in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana against Honduras. Playing in their first semi-finals match has opened the doors for a whole new different level of experience for the men proudly representing Belize on the football pitch. As the game just finished a few minutes ago with Honduras winning with a one to nothing score, we didn’t have enough time to do an in depth report on the match, but we do promise this story for you on Monday’s newscast. For now, we will focus on two subtitled stories of tonight’s game. There is both good news, and a bit of bad news for our national team. We’ll start with the bad. As you may have noticed a major change in the defensive lineup, Belize took the field this evening without defensive back Everall Trapp. Trapp was hospitalized immediately after Tuesday’s game against Nicaragua which catapulted Belize to the Semi-final round. Trapp was admitted to the emergency room in San Jose, Costa Rica, for a high amount of enzymes in his blood. This condition usually happens after one’s heart has been injured most commonly after a heart attack. The enzymes are found in your blood but in very low quantities, but once the heart sustains an injury, these enzymes would leak from the hearts muscle cells into the blood stream increasing the levels to the blood. Enzymes are also found in other parts of the body, and may also secret higher levels into the blood stream should those parts be damaged as well. Speculation among professionals in Belize indicate that Trapp may have suffered what is known as a threatened heart attack which is when one experiences chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and abnormal electrocardiography results. We are pleased to report that Trapp was released from the hospital in a stable condition but has not been cleared for play.

Demonstration Set For January 29th
The Belize National Teacher’s Union has set January 29th as “The Day” the nation will see their strength. Teachers will travel to Belmopan by the bus loads to demonstrate against Government’s unwillingness to further negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, particularly that section of salary increments. Confirmation has been received by Executive members of the BNTU, that they will be joined by hundreds of members of the other unions. The Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers will join members of the BNTU in Belmopan as they demonstrate outside of the Cabinet meeting. Here in Orange Walk, several of the executive members of the local branch of the BNTU were panellists on a special edition of CTV-3’s morning show, Despierta Belice. Producers of the morning show along with host Santiago Baeza organized a special show last night with President Otilio Muñoz, Vice President Keith Augustine and Secretary Flor Valdez. Muñoz commented that in July of 2012, the Government of Belize entered in the partial agreement with the Unions with eight out of the twenty-three requests of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. He stated that out of those eight, only three were relevant to the teachers. But in a meeting held with Government on the tenth of January this year, Muñoz says that Government took a “no” position to everything discussed and proposed, rather than negotiate.

ESTM Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Teachers have been making headlines across the country lately, but not for the excellent effort placed in the classrooms, but now, for payment of that excellent effort. Teachers are more than educators, they have come to be considered the parents of the students in their classrooms throughout the day as they are the ones tasked with their safeguard. Well, today teachers and students of the Escuela Secudaria Tecnica Mexico are in the news for a milestone in the education services. That milestone is thirty years of service to students of the northern districts of Belize. The school commemorated their thirtieth anniversary today with all day activities and our news team stopped in this morning and filed the following report. Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico is a technical vocational high school that was built and donated in 1982 by the Mexican government as a symbol of recognition of the Independence of Belize. In January of 1983, formal classes began with an enrollment of sixty-eight students and a staff of five teachers. Since its establishment, the student population has grown considerably with the nrollment standing at over 600 students. Today the school’s staff, students, and invited guests congregated at the school’s auditorium as a special ceremony was prepared to initiate the celebration of the school’s 30th anniversary.


Chamber of Commerce calls of amicable settlement of salary impasse with unions
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is of the strongest desire that both parties come to an understanding that will be beneficial and sustainable to the Belize economy and taxpayers. Chamber says any public sector salary increases awarded in the absence of growth in the private sector will ultimately result in increased cost of living through higher taxes which would run the risk of simply negating the salary increases in any event. According to the Chamber any increase in public sector wages should be done in an objective and reasonable manner based on evaluated and measureable performance and productivity focusing on positive results achieved by a public officer in their position as well as identifying areas of improvement when there is less than optimum performance. The Chamber goes on to say that in an economy where the unemployment rate is 16 point one percent, the private sector submits that the priority focus at this time should be on private sector job creation and real economic growth. The release from Chamber ends by saying it supports the tax review begun by Government this week and suggests that the unions also take the opportunity to participate and contribute towards developing methods for achieving savings in Government’s operations and growing the economy for the benefit of all Belizeans.

Cayo politician shot dead in home invasion
A prominent citizen of Santa Elena town was murdered on Thursday night. The killing has left the community in shock. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Fashion designer plans weekend runway show
Acclaimed fashion designer, 19 year old Rebecca Stirm, is tying the final knots in preparation of a fashion show on Saturday night in Belize City. The event will feature some of Stirm’s latest designs but, but she says it is also an opportunity for her to raise funds to advance in the field. The modeling show starts at 6:30 on Saturday evening at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City.

Youth murdered; family seeks answers
Less than a month into 2013 the number of murders is hovering right around the one dozen mark. It is not a particularly pleasant state of affairs, and today two more bodies are in the morgue as the crime wave stretches from the old capital to Cayo. In the case of the Belize City killing, police have detained one person and are continuing their investigation. Love TV’s Patrick Jones reports. Marvin Gaynair, Junior leaves to mourn his death, his parents, a son, three sisters and seven brothers.

Man shot in the foot “accidentally” as he struggled with police officer
A man was shot in the leg during an apprehension by police on Thursday evening. According to police reports, a mobile patrol on the Burrel Boom Road around four thirty yesterday evening intercepted two men riding on a single bicycle. The officers stopped and search the men, identified as twenty seven year old Adrian Myvette and twenty four year old Ernett Broaster. Authorities say that during the search they found the men to be individually carrying small quantities of marijuana. Upon being place under arrest, police say Myvette ran away but was pursued and apprehended. Myvette reportedly resisted arrest and a struggle ensured, during which the policemen’s point thirty eight revolver accidentally discharged hitting Myvette in the left leg. Myvette was taken to the KHMH where he was treated and released into police custody where he was formally arrested and charged for the crimes of drug trafficking, escaping from lawful custody, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and allowing one’s self to be carried on a bicycle. The second suspect, Ernett Broaster was arrested and charged for the crimes of carrying a person on a bicycle and possession of controlled drugs.

Anti-crime protest held in Belize City
A demonstration against Crime was what was on Phillip “Fada” Henry’s agenda for today. In fact the activist visited Love News a couple days ago to invite the people of Belize to join him in the demonstration at Battlefield Park in Belize City. He was expecting a crowd of at least five hundred people; but from the looks of things, Henry was woefully short of his targeted crowd. He told Love News why he suspected the turnout was low. While Henry calls on government to address the crime situation, another demonstrator, John Bracket says that the war against crime requires community participation. Love News also did not see any demonstrators from Gales Point Manatee village as ws expected by organizers of today’s demonstration.

Science fair held at St. Catherine Academy
A science fair was held today at the Saint Catherine’s Academy in Belize City. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo reports.

Escuala Mexico celebrates 30th anniversary
Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico is celebrating its 30th anniversary. An official ceremony was held at the school’s compound in San Roman Village in the Corozal District. In his address, Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez highlighted the outstanding contribution that graduates have made to Belize’s development. In 1982 the Mexican government built and donated the Hight School to Belize as a symbol of recognition of Belize’s independence. In January 1983 formal classes began with the enrollment of 68 students and a staff of five teachers. Today the high school has an enrollment of over 600 students. The celebrations for the 30th Anniversary included the presentation of the Traditional Dance Company of the Department of Culture of Quintana Roo.

National Sports Council says no election can be held for BCA executive
While the stellar performance of Belize’s national football team has lifted the nation’s collective spirit, tonight another big sport discipline is facing some major problems. The Belize Cycling Association is without an elected executive … at least that is the view of the National Sports Council. According to the Council, the term of office of the last constitutionally elected executive expired at the end of November last year. Controversy has enveloped the election of a new executive because of issues regarding which constitution should be used as there are apparently more than one versions of the document. Today, the National Sports Council issued a statement saying that it won’t recognize any results of a purported election scheduled for this weekend by the former executives of the Belize Cycling Association. Allan Sharp is the chairman of the National Sports Council. Sharp told Love News that a schedule meeting with the president of the regional governing body for Cycling did not materialize as scheduled this week and he is hoping that that meeting can happen soon, so that things can return to normal in the sport of cycling. Until a new executive is elected for the Belize Cycling Association, an interim committee chaired by the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association is conducting the affairs of the Association.

Renovated school building inaugurated at St. Peter Claver, Punta Gorda
A newly renovated school building at the St. Peter Claver primary school in Punta Gorda town was inaugurated earlier this week. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

FFB president says team Belize is ready for Honduras
Belize’s historic run in international football is continuing at this hour in San Jose, Costa Rica. Belize is taking on Honduras in the semi finals of the COPA CENTROAMERICANA, in a game that is undoubtedly being watched by thousands of Belizeans at home and abroad. Honduras is the reigning champions of Central America and Belize is aiming to unseat them. The Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose is the venue for the game you are watching. It is undoubtedly one of the biggest football matches ever played by Belize. The Belize National Football team advanced to this semi-finals of the COPA CENTROMERICANA tournament on Tuesday night when they defeated Nicaragua by a score of two to one on a late goal by striker Deon McCauley. The outcome of this game will determine whether Belize plays for the championship on Sunday or not. In any case, advancing to the semi-finals was historic enough for Belize which, prior to Tuesday, had not won a game in the UNCAF tournament before. President of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente today told Love News that team is in a high state of readiness. Vicente says that while Honduras is a formidable opponent; Belize went into tonight’s match with their “A” game. The Belize National Football team is expected back home on Monday and Vicente says they will be given a hero’s welcome when they touch down at the Phillip Goldson International airport. The team is scheduled to arrive in Belize on Monday afternoon.


A Tale of Five Cities: Around San Cristobal (Part 2)
More photos from our sight-seeing walks around beautiful San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico...

Top Souvenirs to Buy in Belize
Belize is a hidden gem when it comes to tourism, especially if you’re looking to go scuba diving or simply relax on a gorgeous beach. The unique culture and flavors of Belize also offer some excellent souvenirs to take back from your trip. Whether you’re looking to buy gifts for people back home, or to remember your trip by, here are some excellent souvenir ideas for your trip to Belize: Habanero peppers grow throughout Belize, and are featured in many traditional spicy dishes. The traditional rice, beans, seafood, and stew chicken of the area is often spiced up with pepper sauce. And this is a great item to take back to the foodie on your gift list – or just so that you can continue to enjoy the flavors of Belize long after you’re gone. Marie Sharps is one of the best-known hot sauce makers in the country, and you can even get a tour of the facility. While there is a large market in tourist areas like downtown San Pedro and San Ignacio, most tourists recommend avoiding this market in favor of individual marketplaces around the outskirts of San Pedro, San Ignacio, by the Xunantunich ferry in Succotz Village, and in other areas of Belize. In these markets, you can find lots of traditional crafts, including worry dolls that feature a distinct Belizean beauty, woven purses, and wooden crafts. Like other countries, Belize features a wide variety of art styles and types, but the country is known particularly for its slate carvings. You can buy carvings in many Belizean gift shops, but it’s cheaper and more fun to buy them directly from the artists by the Xunantunich Ferry on the Mopan River bank in Succotz Village. This way, you can have some contact with the creator of your souvenir piece – and you can skip out on the marked-up shop prices. The Cotton Tree Chocolate Factory actually allows you to see how chocolate is made in Punta Gorda. Then, you can take home some delicious chocolate to commemorate your trip.

How did we get here?
How did we get to this place in Belize? This is a reflective question I keep asking myself as I watch and listen in horror as the death toll keep climbing in Belize. I know the helplessness and frustrations of those who want to make a difference; the paralysis of those who live in the carnage daily and the failing and inept judicial system that creates no justice for the average Belizean. Back in the day murder was unheard of, and the ones that did occur was normally limited to domestic violence that got bitterly out of hand. When I grew up in Belize, Belizeans were known as docile people, a description I had issue with because it seemed to describe people who did as they were told. Today I long for the days when we are back to a peaceful fun loving people; back to a community spirited people. As I reflect on the society I grew up in, I remember a peaceful, happy society where everyone got along and people were poor but were satisfied with what they had…

Chocolat no it is not a misspell read on ;0)
Mystery blogger here. Mr. John is fed up with the rain. The build stops when it rains, and it is lashing down. We have decided to review our plans for the house and are going to build a castle instead. Why, well we already have a moat so all we need now is a drawbridge.Mmmmm chocolate, mmmmmmm Johnny Depp, dream, zzzzzzzzz.

International Sources

El Salvador nips Belize, takes 3rd at Copa Centroamericana
Nelson Bonilla scored in the second half to boost El Salvador to a 1-0 victory over upstart Belize to earn third place at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana on Sunday. The El Salvadorans, who ended a six-game winless streak in the competition, equaled their best finish at Copa. The clinched third place for a fifth time (1995, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2013). Belize easily surpassed its best Copa placement and has conceded one goal or less in five of its last six UNCAF encounters. Both sides booked spots at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which will be hosted by the United States from July 7-28. Bonilla scored the game’s lone goal in the 50th minute. He finished off series of passes with a close-range shot at Estadio Nacional. Belize’s best opportunity came two minutes prior, when Deon McCauley, Central American team’s top goal-scorer, sent a shot from barely inside the midfield stripe that almost caught goalkeeper Derby Carillo out of his net. The shot, however, sailed just high of the goal.

Saborio, Costa Rica top Honduras in Centroamericana final
Honduras may be the up and coming power in CONCACAF, but Costa Rica won back the title of kings of Central America. Geancarlo González scored in the 37th minute to give Los Ticos a 1-0 victory over Los Catrachos in a thrilling final of the Copa Centroamericana on Sunday at Estadio Nacional in San José. It marked the seventh UNCAF title for Costa Rica, who were hosting the tournament for the third time. Seven MLS players saw time in the final, including Real Salt Lake’s Álvaro Saborío (above), who nearly drew blood inside the first quarter-hour but saw his attempt saved in a sensational performance by Honduras ‘keeper Donis Escobar. Portland’s Rodney Wallace was also in the Costa Rica starting lineup, while Honduras countered with Houston’s Boniek García, New England’s Jerry Bengtson, San Jose’s Víctor Bernárdez and Seattle’s Mario Martínez. Columbus striker Jairo Arrieta — who ended up the shockingly low-scoring tournament's Golden Boot winner as the only player with two goals — came off the bench for Costa Rica in second-half stoppage time. In the third-place match, El Salvador dispatched upstarts Belize 1-0 with a 49th-minute goal from Nelson Bonilla. Starting in goal was Los Angeles-area native and former Cal FC goalkeeper Derby Carrillo, who won his first cap for El Salvador. The Copa Centroamericana doubles as Central America's qualifying tournament for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. As the top five finishers, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Belize and Panama booked spots in this summer's tournament.

US citizens in Belize gets early warning from US Embassy
Emergency Message for U.S. Citizens: Belmopan (Belize), University of Belize Demonstration and March Riots/Civil Unrest. U.S. Embassy Belmopan advises U.S. citizens to avoid the areas surrounding the National Assembly Building, Market Square and Government of Belize offices in Belmopan on Monday January 28, 2013 from 0800-1700. Belize authorities have confirmed that the President of the University of Belize (UB), Belmopan campus, will lead a demonstration on Monday, January 28, 2013, to protest the decrease of subsidies to the University. The demonstrators are scheduled to meet at the UB campus at 8:00am and march to the National Assembly Building. We remind U.S. citizens that demonstrations take place in Belize from time to time in response to world events or local developments. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens should exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens are urged to stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute heads to World Court
The Organization of American States (OAS) says its Secretary General, José Miguel Insulza, met with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs from Belize and Guatemala on the protracted territorial dispute between both countries. “The meeting’s main objective was to exchange information on the tasks that both countries are committed to carry out in preparation for the referenda concerning recourse to the Court of the Hague Convention on the territorial issue,” said a statement from the OAS. In the tripartite meeting, which took place within the framework of the European (EU)-Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit here, the OAS said both officials “explained the situation in each country, with a view toward finalizing the consultation agreed and renewed the commitment of their governments to carry it out.” During the discussion, the OAS said Wilfred Elrington – the Foreign Affairs Minister from Belize and and Guatemala’s Foreign Affairs Minister Luis Fernando Carrera “thanked the efforts of the hemispheric body, particularly those of Secretary General Insulza, for accompanying the process.” Insulza, who was accompanied by Ambassador Hugo de Zela, his chief of staff, said “our organization will continue supporting all efforts made by Belize and Guatemala to comply with the agreements they have reached.” Guatemala and Belize, have signed an accord agreeing to let their territorial dispute, which is nearly two centuries old, be settled in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, otherwise known as the Court of the Hague or the World Court.

Honduras' Suarez: We're deserving finalists
After edging Belize, 1-0, in a semifinal match tighter than many might have expected, Honduras progressed to a second straight final at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Despite the luxury of a roster full of international stars, the Catrachos have been made to work for everything that they have earned in the competition. A pair of 1-1 draws in the first round and a narrow semifinal win in three games reinforce that notion. Through it all, though, the Hondurans are exactly where most observers thought they would be…in the last two, contesting for the trophy. "I'll keep the second half," Honduran head coach Luis Fernando Suarez said of the showdown with Belize. "I thought Belize might be a tough opponent for us. "They did things well. But we scored the goal, and that's why we're deserving finalists."

Cave Tubing in Belize
While Belize was quite the relaxing getaway, we made sure we had a number of exciting adventures on the agenda as well. We took tubes through pitch black caves, guided by lights we had attached to our helmets. It was a really cool way to experience the environment of Belize. Click through the gallery to see pics from our cave tubing excursion.

From Textbook to Real Life: The Mayan Ruins
Sitting in a boat, 100 times smaller than the cruise ship we were on, I was sandwiched between my mom and brother, along with 50 other people in the boat, like sardines while my dad was taking photos. You could feel there was excitement of going to shore, finally, after a night of constant movement of the ship. But for me, going to shore meant my feet were going to step on a new country, the 13th to be exact. And not only that, I was about to set foot on a real Mayan ruin. Rewind to the previous school year. I’m picturing myself sitting in my desk… world history class… students falling asleep around me… The teacher at his podium… Lecturing… "Today we are going to learn about the Mayans…" Most students don’t learn anything about the Mayans until they take world history, in 10th grade. I’ll be honest, history is not my favorite subject… But somehow, the Mayans happen to be one topic I paid most attention to. That’s only because I knew and I was determined, that I would one day, visit one of the ruins of this civilization. (and we discussed a lot about blood and sacrificing) Again, to be honest, one year later, I don’t even remember what I learned about the Mayans in school. Fast forward back to the boat. We reached the port. Found our ride. Drove an hour and a half, seeing mountains… people….architecture….of Belize. We stopped, got out of the van and wow! I was at a Mayan ruin, well the sign said so.. I didn’t see anything yet…

Highlights of Belize and Guatemala
What sorts of things do you picture when you think of Central America? I’m asking because I didn’t really know what to expect before I visited both Belize and Guatemala earlier this month. Based on what the media had told/shown me about the region, I only thought of jungles and coffee and violence in association with Central America. And, to be fair, you WILL find those things there. But Central America is more than what the media leads us to believe. In fact, both countries I visited were so different that it was amazing to me that they existed side-by-side within the same region. I visited Belize and Guatemala on an 8-day trip with Intrepid Travel, and was trying to figure out how best to describe my experience to you. Should I write a review? Share photos? Just jump right into all the individual posts I wanted to write? In the end, I settled on a highlights video, along with some of my best photos from the trip. Check out the video below, and then read on to get a preview of what I did/saw on this adventure.

Xcalak: mare, sabbia, sole e tranquillità
Di tutte le località costiere lambite dal Mar dei Caraibi, Xcalak forse è la meno conosciuta, ma di tutti i posti meta del turismo messicano è di certo la più tranquilla, forse troppo desolata, ma qui si può vivere ed assaporare la vita del Messico autentico. Il principale motivo per cui Xcalak è poco conosciuta fondamentalmente è che è veramente ardua da raggiungere. Adagiata su una lunga e stretta lingua di sabbia nell'estremità più meridionale del Messico, lungo una propaggine ammantata da foreste di mangrovie e quasi al confine col Belize, Xcalak è preservata dal turismo di massa grazie alla barriera corallina che non consente alle navi da crociera di avvicinarsi alla costa. Alle spalle di questo remoto villaggio di pescatori, oltre la foresta di mangrovie che funge da naturale scudo, si estende la Baia di Chetumal e dalla terra ferma ci si può arrivare solamente percorrendo una lunga strada sterrata e coperta di sabbia, verso sud rispetto al paesino di Majahual. Abbiamo raggiunto Xcalak con una corriera, proprio partendo da Chetumal, dove avevamo passato la notte; i pulmini, piuttosto attempati, fanno diverse fermate in città, ma sono soltanto tre o quattro al giorno e così, per non sprecare tempo, abbiamo preso il primo alla mattina. In principio la strada è piuttosto facile, asfaltata e si dirige verso nord senza alcuna difficoltà, giunti all'incrocio per Majahual si svolta verso la costa e dopo parecchio tempo si raggiunge questa località lontana dai giri turistici, ma comunque vivace, piacevole ed attrezzata per i visitatori.

When Mexico lost Belize
In issue 53 of Pioneers, directed by Francisco Verdalles, appears an interesting writing signed by the chronicler of Chetumal Ignacio A. Herrera Muñoz titled “When Mexico lost Belize” (please note that between the don Ignacio and that this type of an “innocent” accent that makes a difference between the two). For reasons of space, I will not repeat several statements of the Chronicler, however we must begin by declaring: “The government of the republic who had inherited at independence be recognized that Spain had rights over Belize, was aware of this situation and therefore concluded a border treaty in 1893 that was called MARISCAL SPENCER boundary treaty. “

January 27, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

John Saldivar renounces accusations of “union-busting”
I maintain my absolute right, obligation even, as an Area Representative to consult with my constituents on matters affecting their well-being. The current impasse between unions and the government on the issue of salary increase is one such matter, and I am grateful to the more than fifty teachers of my constituency who showed up for the very fruitful discussion that took place this afternoon. I am very encouraged by the exchange of ideas that took place at the session, and I will, as a result, be making some suggestions to the Hon. Prime Minister which can hopefully move the process in a positive direction. I denounce any suggestion that this type of dialogue between a duly elected Area Representative and his constituents can be characterized as “union-busting”.

Hon. Lisel Alamilla speaks on incident at Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has been informed that at around 1:20 am on the morning of Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013, several shots were fired at the Field Station of Ya’axche’ Conservation Trust which is situated near Golden Stream Village on the Southern Highway in Toledo. Golden StreamYa’axche’ Conservation Trust is a co-management partner with the Forest Department in the management of the Bladen Nature Reserve, and has been a fervent ally in the struggle against the illegal logging and trade of illegal rosewood from southern Belize.

Misc Belizean Sources

Brigitte the croc rescued
Brigitte rescued. She would have otherwise been shot; as most shrimp farmers in Belize illegal kill crocs found in their shrimp ponds. Brigitte was rescued, kept in quarantine to be sure she is disease free, and now swims freely in the largest, natural, secured crocodile habitat in Belize thanks to La Fondation Brigitte Bardot! Thank you!

Strings of Love Call for Artists
The SISE Town Council is having their Strings of Love concert, in celebration of Valentine's Day, on Friday, February 15th, at the Cayo Welcome Center. They are looking for guitarists and singers. Contact Mike or Shari to find out more.

Raspberry Creem Fillt Lemon Amish Friendship Breed Cupcakes
“Make these sweet, lite and creemy raspberry fillt cupcakes fer yer nex Valentine’s Day Partee.” Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Servings: 24 Yield: 24 cupcakes Ingredients Cupcakes: 1 cup 3 aigs 1 cup vegetabull earl 1/2 cup lite creem

Amish Friendship Breed Pineepple Cokunut Cheeseecake Mini Muffins
“Serve these tastee sweet muffins at yer nex fambly dinnr.” Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Servings: 30 Yield: 24 mini muffins and 1 loaf Ingredients 1 cup 3 aigs 1/3 cup earl 1/2 cup milk 3/4 cup brown sugar

Channel 7

Belize Loses In Semi's, Retains Respectability
Tonight, Belizean football fans are saddened but not devastated after Belize lost to Honduras one-nil in the semifinals of the Copa Centroamericana which was played in San Jose Costa Rica. The game just finished a few minutes ago - and as the heavy underdog, Team Belize held its own. The Hondurans scored in the 67th minute and Belize did not equalize. The good news going forward is that we are still in contention for third place. That match will be played on Sunday afternoon. And then on Monday afternoon, the team returns home where they will be celebrated in a motorcade through the city.

Cayo PUP Activist Killed In Home Invasion, In Front of 2 Young Daughters
And while there are bittersweet emotions over the score in football, in Cayo, the community is reeling from the aftershocks of a home invasion and murder. It happened in Santa Elena at a home behind the race-track where prominent PUP Activist Steven Valencia lived. Last night two men got into his home and killed him in front of his daughters. Daniel Ortiz went west today to try to find answer to this disturbing murder:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting Last night at around 9 p.m., 40 year old Steven Valencia was at home with his 2 daughters, when 2 armed men came to his back door and broke it open. Though there were dogs on the premises, they put up no resistance to the assailants last night or, for that matter, the police and press today. Unhindered, the intruders then reportedly robbed him of a small amount money and shot him in the upper back, right foot, and right thigh.

Man Killed After Dropping Off Girlfriend
And shortly after that murder in Cayo, there was another - this one in the St Martin's area of Belize City. It happened at around 9:35pm on Mahogany Street. The victim is 23 year old Marvin Gaynair of an Aloe Vera Street address. Gaynair had just dropped off his girlfriend and was walking on Mahogany Street heading back to his home. When he reached the junction of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street he stopped to talk with someone he knew. That's when the gunman pulled up on him and opened fire. Gaynair was shot to the chest, back and right hand and was rushed to the KHMH where he succumbed to his injuries shortly after. Marvin Gaynair was the father of a four year old child and was also a construction worker. So far police have detained one person for questioning.

UB Students Prepare To Protest
The University of Belize Student Government Association will protest on Monday morning in Belmopan. This is after they wrote the Minister of Education on Monday and demanded a reply by yesterday, Thursday. The letter was again appealing to him to re-consider Government's decision to increase the registration fee for incoming students. The minister did not reply and so on Monday - the Students will take it to the streets of Belmopan. SGA President Hope Amadi told us he has the backing of the students:.. Hope Amadi "We ask the students if they would support us to go on strike and they said yes. They say that they will support us, to walk out of class and talk to the Minister - the Minister would understand how much this is a problem to us." Reporter "What is it you are hoping to accomplish?" Hope Amadi "We hope at the minister and Belizeans at large would acknowledge or know how much their children have grown over the years because over the years people have been taking the youths like they cannot do anything. We hope that by this the minister would understand how serious the students are in the issue that affect them the most which is the cut and the subsidy."

Students Go Grafitti?
But this morning things were already happening - right in front of our studio! This morning we saw some pro-UB street graffiti in front of our studio. It was painted in burnt oil. We also saw a similar graffiti scrawled on the entrance to the SJC compound. We asked Amadi about it:.. Jules Vasquez "In front of my office this morning I saw painted on the street "No increase in UB fees." Is this something that you all are behind or you all know about? Is there anything you all know about it?" Hope Amadi "That is going on?" Jules Vasquez "Yeah." Hope Amadi "I mean if that is going on that is to say that people are really tired of this. I live in Belmopan and all my activities are going on in Belmopan, so if somebody here in Belize City are doing that - that is nice, I wish they could continue more. It's something that Belizeans need to understand what is going on. I do think the massage has to be out here more for people to understand that yes it is pass time that we Belizeans begin to fight for what we want and what we believe in."

Chamber Objects To Public Officers Pay Raise
And while the students, teachers and public officers are looking to ratchet up public activism, the Belize chamber of Commerce and Industry is urging caution - particularly to the unions. A release sent out this evening says that quote, "any Public Sector salary increases awarded in the absence of growth in the Private Sector will ultimately result in increased cost of living through higher taxes.." The release adds that any increase in compensation to Public Sector workers should be tied in with performance improvements and efficiency increases. The Chamber says it "cannot condone the idea of general Public Sector wage increases that may serve to simultaneously reward unproductive or counterproductive work." The Chamber also says that with "deficit budgets" GOB does not have much room for negotiating increases with public officers.

Man Accused Of Crime Against Child
Tonight, 20 year-old Clinton Roca is out on bail after he was taken to court for an unnatural crime against a 14 year-old boy. According to the minor, on 3 separate occasions between January 2012, and February 13, 2012, Roca sodomized him in a village in the Rural Area of Northern Belize. Police investigated the reports, and they eventually charged Roca with committing an unnatural crime, he was arraigned today before Magistrate Cayetano, where he pleaded not guilty to charge. In the arraignment, the prosecutor objected to bail. Roca's attorney made several submissions to counter the objections, and after Magistrate Cayetano considered them, he ruled in Roca's favor.

Police Shot A Man Who Ran From Weed Charge
Tonight, 27 year-old Adrian Myvette is recovering from a gunshot injury after he was shot by a police officer who he allegedly assaulted. The officer, attached to Ladyville police, reported that at around 4:35 yesterday, they were on mobile patrol on the Burrell Boom Road, when his attention was drawn to 2 men who were double riding. The officer stopped and searched both men, who were identified to be Myvette and 24 year-old Ernett Broaster. The officer reported discovered 82 grams of cannabis on Myvette, and when the officer tried to arrest him, he ran away. The officer pursued him, and when Myvette realized that he was caught, he started to fight him off. The officer's report gets vague at this point, but the he says that during that struggle, Myvette was accidently shot in the left leg when his service .38 revolver accidentally discharged. Myvette was taken to the KHMH, and he was treated and released into police custody, where he was charged with drug trafficking, escaping lawful custody, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer, and allowing himself to be carried on a bicycle.

Police Face Maskall Villagers After Murder
Residents of Maskall who are outraged at the murder of one of its senior citizens last weekend - will have a chance to take it up with police. As we reported 61 year-old Ervin Morales was found chopped to death inside his home in Maskall - and two teenagers were charged for it. The motive appears ot have been robbery. Well the Regional Executive Officer of Belize Rural along with officers from the Ladyville station are urging villagers to come to the community center tomorrow to vent their concern about the incident and security in general. Noble says he plans to have similar meetings in all 27 villages of Belize rural.

Elrington and Insulza In Chile
On Wednesday, 7News showed you the opening of GOB's ICJ Campaign, yesterday; we also gave you a sample of the opinions from the students of Saint John's College during the public consultations by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington. Well today, Elrington met with the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza in Santiago, Chile. At this meeting, Elrington and INSULZA discussed the most recent developments in Belize concerning the referendum process. Both Elrington and Insulza were in Chile for the Summit between European Union and Community of Latin America and Caribbean States.

FFB: "A Respectable Loss"
Tonight, football fans and Belizeans generally may be a little downcast because of this evening's loss to Honduras one-nil in the final of the Copa Centroamericana. But football experts agree, it was a very respectable loss. Belize was a decided underdog against a world class Honduran team which was better conditioned, more experienced and more patient. And even with all that - they only scored a single goal in the 67th minute in a game they had to win. We asked Marlon Kuylen (quee-lyn) of the FFB executive for his post mortem on the game:.. Marlon Kuylen "The team played very well. Honduras as you know is a very experienced team, they are the defending champions on this tournament, they are a World Cup qualifying - they are playing to go to the next World Cup. Our showing was impressive. The Honduras team as I said are professionals, their patience paid off, they are experience and there were some fatigue on our part." Daniel Ortiz "While the country was looking at the game hoping for a Hail Mary, there were some that said that they predicted that we would have lost. How do you respond to them in light of the performance from the National Team?"

A Two-Man Army
For weeks now, Phillip Fawda Henry has been taking to the airwaves to hype up an anti-crime protest that he had planned for today. Well, in terms of generating crowd support, it was an abject failure. In fact he had fewer people than he did last time - and that was only five! We spoke to the pair of protestors Battlefield Park:.. Phillip "Fawda" Henry - Activist "We are out here yes protesting against crime and violence because it seems like nobody else wants to stand up for their country. It seems like from the old days people stand up just for the sake of money but if they would know the value of their country they would stand in solidarity to save their country." John Brackett - Activist "If it takes only me alone to be out here demonstrating and keep up the awareness - that's simply what I am going to do."

Rosewood Hostility Causes Shots Fired At Ya'xche'?
There are signs tonight that the Rosewood War is dangerously escalating. The Forestry Department issued a release today saying that on Wednesday morning at 1:20, several shots were fired at the Field Station of Ya'axche' Conservation Trust which is situated near Golden Stream Village on the Southern Highway in Toledo. Ya'axche' co-manages the Bladen Nature Reserve, and has been working with the Forest Department to stop the illegal extraction and trafficking of Rosewood. The release says, that the shooting is an act of retaliation against the recent rosewood crackdwon.

Late Evening Accident Stops Traffic At Border
There was a serious three-vehicle collision this evening on the Northern Highway near the Mexican Border. It started when a mini-van ran into the back of A BBOC bus. And then 20 minutes later, another car came behind and crashed into the van - while also running over two women who had come out of the bus. As we understand it, that second collision was caused by the fact that the minivan's lights were crushed in the collision - so the oncoming car could not see the accident in the road. The full extent of the injuries are not known at this point, but traffic was blocked up for over an hour as rescue teams worked to clear the highway. The road is very wet as it has been raining in the area.

A Great Week for Football
And as we close this week, even though Belize lost to Honduras today, there is still much to celebrate. Our national football team has raised eyebrows and earned respectability throughout the region and the world. We lost to two world class teams, Costa Rica and Honduras, by a total of two goals - and we beat Nicaragua - the first victory for Belize in such a tournament. And now, regardless of what happens in Sunday's third place game, we move unto the Gold Cup in the USA in July. So, as we close tonight, things are looking up, and we are looking back at this week's heroics set to a tune written for the team called "Go-Go Belize" by the Super Furia Band. Have a great weekend, and let's all hope for a win on Sunday.

The Belize Times

History! – National Team defeats Nicaragua in dramatic finish
The entire nation of Belize is ecstatic over the highly dramatic victory which Belize’s National A Team had over Nicaragua on Tuesday night in the Copa Centro America held in San Jose, Costa Rica. Not only was Belize seeking to advance in the tournament with a win (the first ever for Belize), but it was also looking to qualify to the Gold Cup scheduled for July 2013 which would be a first for the country. The National A Team did it. First with a goal in the 29th minute by midfielder Trevor Lennen who blasted a right foot shot which was unstoppable for the Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza. Belize’s highly defensive playing style continued in this game, as Nicaragua attempted to spoil the lead. Belize’s goal keeper Woodrow West was at his best, guarding the goal and coaching the team from where he stood. West has been nothing less than spectacular in the tournament, showing his talent and ability as an alert, attentive and acrobatic athlete. Only 1 goal had been scored on him in Game 1 against Costa Rica, until the 85th minute when the defense allowed Nicaragua’s Elvis Figueroa to receive a pass and aim a shot at West that was too close and too quick to stop. Regulation time ended with the game tied 1-1. Three minutes extra time was given, but Belize didn’t wait that long to find its mark. In minute 1 extra time, Nicaragua’s defense erred upon receiving a lob, which bounced off the defence’s foot right in front of Belize’s striker Deon McCaulay. McCaulay’s sharp reflex pushed him ahead with the ball and when the Espinoza came out to block the strike, McCaulay simply tapped the ball to the right and into the goal. Nicaragua tried to get the ball into Belize’s territory, but had no success. With the loss, they were eliminated from the tournament. Belize had tied with Guatemala 0-0 on January 18th, and lost to Costa Rica 1-0 on January 20th. Belize is in Group A in 2nd place, with 4 points. Belize ...

PM’s desperate bait to bondholders
Prime Minister Dean Barrow toned down his euphoria over the Superbond re-negotiation at a press conference held on Monday, January 21, 2013. Just days before Christmas, in December 2012, Barrow had called the media to announce that a deal had been struck in time for Christmas. In his usual grand flair, he was all smiles for the cameras, as he flaunted big words that seemed to impress no one but the members of his head table. Barrow reported that an agreement had been reached “with bondholders” and that it would result “in excess of 150 million dollars in relief”. But on Monday of this week, reacting to pressure that the December stunt was just a show, a much less enthusiastic Barrow called the media again. Remarkably, the facts had changed. ...

GOB Attempts Union Busting – BNTU rejects meetings with Police Minister & Prime Minister
The Barrow Administration’s naked and shameful attempts to disrupt the teacher’s movement with divide and conquer tactics have been exposed, further aggravating Union Leaders who are planning a massive demonstration on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013. On Tuesday, the Belize National Teachers Union Belmopan Branch President received a copy of a letter sent from the Belmopan Education Office to all Managers, Principals and Teachers in the Belmopan Area, calling them to an urgent meeting with the UDP Constituency Area Representative Minister of National Security John Saldivar at 1:30pm on Wednesday, January 23rd. The purpose of the meeting, stated the memo, was for Saldivar to “discuss the Bargaining Agreement”. The memo also informed the managers, principals and teachers that the Ministry of Education was giving them a half-day free of classes so they can ...

Another Lebanese Businessman Murdered – Are Police clueless about strange wave of murders?
Lebanese-Belizean businessman Majdi Agha was murdered in an execution-style shooting outside of his home on Tuesday, January 22nd morning. Agha had parked his vehicle outside of his yard on Keating Crescent in the Buttonwood Bay Area and was about to enter through his gate when a lone, masked gunman appeared and shot him. Agha fell into the nearby drain. Neighbors say they saw a man running away from the area, towards an awaiting car. Agha’s wife and newborn child were inside the car when the attack happened. She heard the gunshots and when she went outside to check, she saw her husband lying dead in the drain. Agha received a shot to the head and three to the body. ...

Digging Up Bones!
The Belize City Council’s decision to take away the building of graves at the Lord Ridge Cemetery from local undertakers and contractors smacks of little more than just unadulterated greed. While the cementing of our city streets is certainly welcome, the mayor seems intent on carrying out this job by gouging every possible penny from not only the living but even the dead. While they continue to insist that prices will not change, all those who have had to do business since the change over, have a different story to tell. The Council’s recent conflict with undertakers and grave builders had me reminiscing about a time long gone. One of the first jobs I held as a young boy growing up on Cemetery Road in Belize City was apprentice to Mr. Locke, at the time, Belize’s premier grave builder. It was no easy job, and it entailed breaking big stones into little ones. We had no cement blocks and don’t remember us using any steel or ‘sand and gravel’ even. We would cast the sides, fill up the middle with dirt and cast the top. Many of the stones that I would break were recycled from old tombs that were left abandoned and derelict. In retrospect, I guess you could say that we were, well, sort of grave robbers. We would identify the old broken-up tombs during the daytime and return at night to gather up the pieces. For a kid who grew up deathly afraid of ghosts, you could imagine that that had to have been the most difficult aspect of that job. ...

Belize is among the top six countries in the world in relation to its murder rate. Belize at 44 murders for every 100,000 citizens has surpassed even the notorious Jamaican murder rate. The same is likely, though if not worse for persons put in jail, before a trial. ...

The Government is insistent on making a mockery of the teachers of this country. In very lucid intervals the attitude of the Government towards the teachers is borderline contemptuous and poorly clad annoyance. But the teaching fraternity is a formidable one. These teachers that are being scoffed at, undermined and ill-treated like indentured slave hands are in contact with over a hundred thousand (100,000) students who are attending a total of 541 schools throughout the three levels of the education factory. The sheer number of teachers is staggering with almost 5,000 dedicated men and women nationwide. Clearly, good politics will dictate that the Government should show tremendous restraint from extending the full extent of their usual penchant to be crassly condescending and insultingly dismissive. The issue for the Government is not the economic hardship and sacrifice which has been weighing heavily on teachers. The human side of the reasonable request by the teachers in the collective bargaining agreement does not register with the petty and selfish government. What they see is a block of voters and political turmoil which is very bad news because it confirms the quiet discontent and disappointment which is a prelude to final confirmation that the people will take no more excuses.

Ladyville Tech defeats ACC 2-1
The Ladyville Technical High School girls enjoyed their 2nd win 2-1 against the Anglican Cathedral College girls on Monday. Shanese Rhaburn gave the Ladyville girls a 1-0 lead while ACC’s Ajahney Carr equalized for ACC just before the break. In the 2nd half, ACC gave up a free kick which Shanese Rhaburn converted into a goal. The Ladyville Tech girls also posted a 3-1 win over the Excelsior High School last Wednesday. Tishawn Garcia scored Ladyville’s 1st goal, but Excelsior’s Shakeema Lorenzo delivered the equalizer for a 1-1 draw at the half time break. In the 2nd half, Ladyville’s Remelinda Perez scored a 2nd goal and Shameika Franklin iced the win with a 3rd goal. ...

Reid, Martinez & Abraham win Weekend Warriors Boom race
Team Zitro’s Mark Reid won the “B” division of the Weekend Warriors’ Belize City to Burrell Boom cycling race on Sunday morning, while team M&M Engineering’s Preston Martinez won the “A’ division and Ian Abraham won the “C” division. Mark Reid clocked 2:03:20 as he won the 42 mile race from Leslie’s Imports via Hattieville to Burrell Boom village on the bypass road and back to Leslie’s imports. Team Digicel 4G’s Isaiah Willacy was 2nd while M&M Engineering’s Daniel Cano finished 3rd. Team Zitro’s Carlo Marin was 4th, Team Santino’s Jerome Moir was 5th and team Digicel 4G’s Kevin Hope was 6th. Preston Martinez clocked 1:50:57 as he won the “A” class race. Team BCB/F.T.Williams’ George Abraham was right behind to take 2nd, while Team Scotiabank’s Barney Brown was 3rd in 1:51:49, and BCB/F.T.Williams’ Dean Belisle was 4th. BWS’ Derek Smith was 5th, and Team Digicel 4G’s Jack Sutherland was 6th. ...

Buttonwood Bay defeats softball opponents
The Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Primary School girls and boys enjoyed big wins when the Belize City primary schools softball competition continued at the home of softball, the Rogers’ Stadium on Monday afternoon, January 21. Buttonwood’s pitcher Shenelle ...

Barrow REJECTS Faber
UDP Leader Dean Barrow has placed on record that he does not support UDP Chairman Patrick Faber as the next Deputy Leader of the United Democratic Party. “I do not support the Minister of Education in his challenge of the Deputy Party Leader,” Barrow told Channel 5, Channel 7, LOVE FM and every media yesterday afternoon. This was after he had announced that same position on his privately-owned UDP mouthpiece radio station in the morning, for all UDPs to hear. ...

AMAZING GRACE – What Are You Doing With Your Talent?
In the manual, we hear a story of a business man going far away and leaving his goods in the hands of his servants. He gave to each of them according to their own ability. In the story found in Matthew 25:14, he gave to a particular servant only one talent. At the end of the parable, the master ended up giving his servant a good scolding because he took the talent and buried it in the ground as if it was a seed. Well, yes, it was a seed but not the type you bury in the ground, rather the type you would bury in a bank or business. After burying the talent, this servant probably sat around, twiddling his thumbs, waiting for his boss to return to give him the good news that the money was buried safely in the ground. On the other hand, the master gave to the other servants five and even ten talents which they both invested smartly, earning back more than they were given. They got into business and trading; they understood their potential and the quality of what they held in their hands. Allow me to ask you a question. If Belize was one of these servants, how many talents do you think the boss would have given to us? How much do we import in a year? How much do we export? How are we improving our foreign exchange? I was saddened to hear that a huge amount of precious wood was destroyed the other day in our country. There is so much that could have been done with that resource to help our economy. I personally believe the issue with Belize is not only one of corruption, but rather a more crippling side effect of ‘middle class mentality’. Our economy cannot be built on a poor or a poverty mentality! ...

In my perspective
All over the world mass killings are becoming too frequent. However, the December 14, 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in the Sandy Hook Village of Newton, Connecticut, USA seems to be more outrageous since it was an elementary school, with 6-8 year old children as victims. The Nation viewed this mass killing as over the top and many citizens, some lawmakers in the congress and the President of the USA are calling for tougher gun laws, especially hand guns. Something has to be done. The Nation is sick of these killings. I suggested in this column many times that Belize should implement a program like this to curb the shootings on the streets of Belize City. Turn in your weapons – no questions asked – but if you own a weapon it has to be registered with law enforcement. If you use an unlicensed weapon to commit a crime or killed someone the penalty would be severe, long jail time and possibly execution. Just like the United States, the people of Belize are just fed up and scared to walk the streets anymore. You never know when a maniac will ride up on a bicycle and shoot you in the head for no reason. This year alone there have been 144 murders in the Belizean Nation, a record setting number, and no one seems to have any solution to this problem. ...

Home Economics
“For the past few weeks the leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union has been calling on its members to attend an important meeting to discuss critical issues. Those issues include the collective bargaining agreement, crime, the economy and the ICJ.” ~ Channel 5 News, January 17, 2013 “By Monday all the branches should have voted and the final tally will be known. But, with Belize District, the largest, voting so overwhelmingly in favour of a demonstration and strike – it’s a virtual certainty that the other districts will vote along that line – leading certainly to a mass demonstration, and likely to a strike. “We say likely, because Government has been apprised of their position – and has also taken a hardline, that there’s simply no money to pay for an increment at this time.” ~ Channel 7 News, January 17, 2013 The teachers are taking their rightful place in Belize…as agents for positive change. They….like most of the people in Belize…are seeing small sectors of the population flush with cash, luxury and excesses….while they toil in vain from paycheck to paycheck. ...

Mayor Bradley loses his cool on KREM WUB – “I don’t have to be here”, Belize City Mayor snipes back at co-hosts
Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley was visibly frustrated and uncomfortable as he appeared on the KREM WUB Morning Show on Tuesday morning. Bradley even sniped once, twice, even maybe thrice, at the co-hosts of the show, Sharon Marin and “Mose” Hyde, saying “I am not here because I want to. I don‘t have to be here”. Bradley, who is used to appearing on the morning show co-hosted by his employee and father, was seemingly upset that he was being asked “hard questions”. The co-hosts were discussing relevant matters regarding the slow pace of street construction, traffic congestion, the unpopular garbage tax, and the Council’s controversial decision to deny essential services to persons with outstanding tax payments. When the co-hosts recognised the Mayor’s frustration, they eased him somewhat, but the callers didn’t; they showered the Mayor with a firestorm. One caller dealing with the Council’s increase in property taxes said the Mayor should not be increasing taxes when the majority of people are living through hard times. “If people couldn’t pay when the price was low, why you heightened the tax,” asked the city resident. ...

The Challenge of ‘Equal Representation of the People’
The legislature should be the body that represents the interests of different sectors within the Belizean society and when doing so they must ensure the legality and legitimacy in their decision making for the common-good, benefit and welfare of the greater masses. Since it is naturally impossible for individual Belizeans to make decisions, it is also fundamental to our democratic system that those who we chose to represent and make decisions for us, do so through effective discussion and consultations in order to solve issues of national importance. Lamentably however, despite the fact that there are only two mass political parties with representation split almost equally in the composition of our House of Representatives, pluralism is not necessarily identified and there is no real consensus where the 31 constituencies are concerned. As if that is not bad enough, what obviously prevails are personal interests among the representatives of the ruling UDP party doing their private decisions for personal gain. This scenario which has played out uninterrupted since 2008 has caused chaos at all levels of government and has also reflected that we have a weak political party with no vision or ability to move the country forward economically, especially because there is no active consultation between civil society and Belmopan. ...

Anti-ICJ Pressure steps up
The anti-ICJ campaign increased in pressure today, when the flag poles at the Flag Monument located at the entrance of Belize City on the Phillip S.W. Goldson Highway all waved “No ICJ” flags. Who and how such a stunt was pulled is a mystery. Officials were unaware of the stunt until around 9:00am. Traffic Officers regulating heavy traffic in the area were forced to leave their stations to remove the flags. But by then hundreds of commuters had already taken note of the strange goings-on. ...

Belizean Publisher Featured On US Daytime Show
Belizean publisher of Flavors of Belize - The Cookbook, Tanya McNab was featured on US Show Daytime. Tanya was invited to showcase Belize and her book on Daytime TV. Daytime TV, produced by River ...

Of this and that…
It is 2013. There are people in Belize with no water. Imagine that. Of all the things. Water is the most basic. You can do without everything else. Water is the first utility service of cave men. Santa Marta is about 29 miles away. Mahogany Heights is 32 miles ...

Guatemala takes issue with Belize’s Referendum Law
While the Government of Belize has kick-started it’s Public Awareness Campaign on this year’s ICJ referendum, Guatemala appears to be having second thoughts or at least major concerns on whether the playing field is level. According to a front page article on the Wednesday’s edition of Guatemala’s La Prensa Libre newspaper, officials in the neighbouring country are taking issue with Belize’s Referendum Law, specifically the section that requires a minimum of 60% voter turnout to validate the referendum. Guatemala accuses Belize’s officials of amending the Referendum Act to include the threshold “just four months before signing the special agreement” with Guatemala to take the ICJ matter to a referendum. According to the article, Guatemala sees it as a “strategy” by Belize to make the referendum difficult and complicated, and reports the President of Guatemala’s Supreme Electoral Tribunal, María Eugenia Villagran, stating that it may give reason to “postpone” the referendum in Guatemala. ...

PM Abuses Media
Dean Barow has cracked. We can see that the pressure has consumed him. He cannot handle it. In an interview following the ICJ Educational Campaign Launch, Prime Minister Barrow was asked a straight forward question by Channel 5 reporter Jose Sanchez. “Was it appropriate for the Minister of National Security to have the Ministry of Education to instruct teachers to close their doors and send students home today for a meeting in Belmopan, the Capital?” At first the Prime Minister acted as if he knew nothing about the request. “Again Jose, you are asking me a question based on a premise that I have no knowledge of.” But as the interview went on Dean Barrow spoke about the situation in great detail, clearly knowing the facts of it. Barrow then attacked the journalist’s credibility by essentially accusing him of being a liar. “Well then sir again, how are you going to ask me to comment on a version of events that I have no knowledge of and furthermore I will tell you, I don’t believe you. I don’t believe you sir.” ...

Ministry of Housing is a HUGE Waste
The UDP can afford to pay teachers and public officers if it cuts the huge waste that exists in Government. One wasteful Ministry which has received an inflated budget every year is the Ministry of Housing. Since the UDP took office, there has been no housing project for Belizeans and no housing policy. In fact, when you browse the weekend newspapers, you’ll see that more people are losing their homes. Yet, the non-functional Ministry of Housing is allocated millions of dollars every year. In 2008-2009, it had a Budget allocation of $2,913,619. In 2009-2010, its total Budget allocation ballooned to $16,007,640. In 2010-2011 allocation remained at a high with $10,603,973. In 2011-2012, the budget was $7,281,775. Now the estimated total revenue for this year’s Housing budget is $2,514,219. In the 5 years of the UDP, the Housing Ministry has spent a total of a whopping $39,321,226! At a modest $10,000 per home, that should be almost 40,000 homes, but WHERE ARE THE HOUSES? ...

Government Waste – Over-Crowded, Expensive Cabinet
The BELIZE TIMES is in solidarity with the poor, working class of Belize. With the cost of living increasing steadily – about 30-35% increase since 2008 – teachers, doctors, nurses and public officers deserve better salaries. To assist the Barrow Administration in finding the resources needed to provide the salary increase here is an area that can be looked at. With 16 Ministers and 5 Junior Ministers in Cabinet, Belize has to find over $2 Million in Ministerial Salaries every year. This is a waste! The Government does not need 21 Cabinet Ministers! Especially when they lack even the most basic of skills and competence. There is absolutely no need for a Minister of Gangs. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development could take over the Ministry of Trade, Investment and Private Sector Development which is led by a ghost called Erwin Contreras. We also need to stop practising the wastefulness of appointing “Ministers of State”. That’s why the Government already hires trained CEOs. No need for Ministers of State in the Ministries of Finance and Economic Development, Immigration, Agriculture, Transport, and Youth and Sports.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also the unholy pope of the ruling vindictive, destructive and hateful, United Democratic Party, is the chief architect in the creation of Belize as a gangster nation over the past six years. Barrow’s rise to power and his ultimate life ambition ...

ICJ Public Education Launched
We meet this morning to launch the Public Education Campaign leading up to a Referendum at which the Belizean people will be asked to vote Yes or No on the following question: “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?” ...

The LAW on Gangs!
CRIME CONTROL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT Suppression of Criminal Gangs 1. In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires, “criminal gang” means an organization or association or combination of persons which is formed for, or which acquires, the purpose of committing or facilitating the commission of any of the offenses set out ...

UDP land grab in OW South – Farmers’ lease lands stripped away by greedy cronies
Reports to the BELIZE TIMES are that a land grab continues to take place in the Orange Walk area at the hands of greedy UDP cronies. Several farmers living in the Orange Walk constituency have been affected, as their lands, held with lease documents, is taken away ...

UB Students/Education Minister Patrick Faber standoff continues
Despite pronouncements made by Minister of Education Patrick Faber that the Government’s decision to end its subsidy to the University of Belize is final, the University of Belize Student Government continues to agitate for the financial support to continue. In a letter sent to Minister Faber on Monday, January 21, 2013, the Association of Student Governments which includes the Student Government Presidents from UB’s three campuses have demanded that the Ministry of Education re-instate the subsidy by Thursday, January 24th. ...

PM Barrow increases security detail
The country has been in a heightened state of fear since the multiple murders involving several known gang members in an apartment in Belize City on the morning of January 8th and the shooting of former Prime Minister’s Rt. Hon. Said Musa home last week Wednesday, ...

No more taxes!
Dear Editor, Every time the Prime Minister gets on one of his choice friendly television or radio stations, he proclaims that his Government will not raise any taxes on Belizeans. This is the reason, as I understand it, for his refusal to get into any kind of arrangement with the tax-sucking ...

Message to REAL Union Leaders
Dear Editor, As plantain no longer eat like rice, with the cost of living spiralling out of control and crime rampant, there seems to be no end to this madness. Our Unions have now awakened out of their slumber and are calling for a demonstration against all of the above issues. As ...

Illegal CitCo tax squeeze!
Dear Editor, I remember writing to your newspaper back in November, to express my serious concerns about a new tax policy implemented by the very chancey Belize City Council. As my published letter had explained, I had gone to the Traffic Department to license my vehicle but was told that I ...

Police Officers STILL seeking retro salary payment!
Dear Editor, Over some hundred Police Officers whom had been re-enlisted into the Police Department for quite some years now have been seeking their Salary Review Retro-Payments, which was promised to them within a period of thirty (30) days by the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar and for the ...

UB Student Leaders tell GOB: Reinstate UB subsidy!
January 21, 2013 The Association of Student Governments The University of Belize City of Belmopan Honourable Patrick Faber Minister of Education, Youth and Sports City of Belmopan Dear Honourable Faber: The Association of Student Governments of the University of Belize, representing the greater student body of the university, upon meeting on Friday and Saturday January 11th and 12th, ...


A Tale of Five Cities: Around San Cristobal (Part 1)
We got a lot of walking in around the beautiful colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico's Chiapas state. I thought I'd share some of the many photos Barry shot as we walked around town. San Cristobal's architecture was strikingly beautiful. You'll likely notice that we (and others) are dressed more warmly than in Belize in some of these shots. It was much cooler and less humid up in the Mexican highlands than what we were used to -- and breezy as well. Morning temperatures were in the 40s, but the sun warmed things up quickly and mid-day temperatures hit the 60s and 70s. When the sun was out, it felt great, but overcast skies off and on made it feel a bit chilly. Still, no rain, bugs, or humidity made for very pleasant sight-seeing weather! We climbed up this switchback staircase to a beautiful scenic overlook of the city. There's a school and church up top, and we read about a cafe on Tripadvisor, but never saw it.

Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now
Woke up this morning to the sound (again) of rain. Would this put the pouring of the concrete beams for the First Floor of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize at risk ? I was tempted to get ready quickly and go up to the site and see if work was taking place but then common sense kicked in and I realised that my presence wouldn’t change things. They would be working or not irrespective of me being there. So I had breakfast and settled down to watch Arsenal nervously beat Brighton and Hove Albion to progress to the next round of the FA Cup. Feeling that the day might turn out OK after all I left Rose at home whilst I went to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Even before I got to the site I could hear the sound of the concrete mixer churning away. I love that sound. Great, the rain wasn’t going to stop things today. The heavy rain of the past few days made the approach to the house a lot more difficult but you wouldn’t think it to see the way that the guys pushed the wheelbarrow up the ramp.

International Sources

Sen. Nelson aids local family of murder victim
On Jan. 15, Nelson’s office sent a letter to U.S. Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally in Belize, requesting that he discuss the situation with the government there and “urge them to move as quickly as judiciously possible in investigating the crime.” The letter said family members have found the investigation of Faull’s death “painstakingly slow.” “Right now, it’s kind of in limbo, but Sen. Nelson is helping us get the story out there,” Keeney said. “We contacted the embassy in Belize to work on it and get some things involved. We just have not had any real satisfaction in what they’re doing.” “Sen. Nelson has answered my plea,” she said of his efforts to raise awareness of Faull’s death. She said Faull and McAfee had no history together before living near each other.

Honduras advances to UNCAF final
Defending champion Honduras edged upstart Belize, 1-0, Friday night in the semifinals of the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana to earn a place in the championship match against the winner of the late match between host Costa Rica and El Salvador. The teams played through an extremely active, but scoreless, first half in which the chances came frequently and were evenly divided. Top-notch goalkeeping from Belizean Woodrow West and his Honduran opposite number Donis Escober denied multiple scoring opportunities. The proceedings became increasingly tense as the second half got underway, with both squads aware that a trip to the final was on the line. Honduras came close several times through the pairing of U.S.-based attackers Oscar Boniek Garcia and Jerry Bengtson. But it was Belize with the clearest chance of the second half's early going, when right back Evan Mariano tried his luck from distance, only to miss just wide.

January 26, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Carnaval 2013: “Comparsas y Pintura, Nuestra Cultura”
carnaval-comparsas-2012-66With all the controversy surrounding the original changes that the San Pedro Town Council had initially put forth for the 2013 celebrations, there has been a compromise reached, with a request from the council that participants respect the new rules. There was a lot of back and forth in regards to the initial changes which wanted a painting zone declared from the beach by Wet Willy’s dock to the Boca Del Rio park. However, there has been a new venue announced, and painting will take place in town, from the beachside in front of Rubies’ Hotel all the way down to the cemetery. There will be a lot more policing of activities, and participants are urged to follow the rules to make for a safe carnaval for everyone involved. Below find the new rules and a program of events for the 2013 revelry. CARNAVAL RULES & REGULATIONS

256 days before Belize-Guatemala referendum, GOB launches educational campaign
ICJ Referendum Education Campaign Launched-8There are just 256 days to go before Belizean electorates have to choose whether they want to settle the Guatemala-Belize territorial dispute at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). With that deadline in mind, the Government of Belize (GOB) launched an educational campaign on Wednesday January 23rd. The launching of the campaign saw the presence of the Head of State Representative in Belize, Governor General Sir Colville Young, the Prime Minister of Belize Dean Oliver Barrow, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca of the People’s United Party, various parliamentarian, representative of the Belize Council of Churches, local Government Representatives and even students, all showing a united front in what is being referred to as a “bi-partisan and united” referendum campaign. ICJ Referendum Education Campaign Launched-2The referendum came about as part of the compromise made between Guatemala and Belize following several rounds of failed negotiations in an effort to peacefully settle Guatemala’s territorial claim over a portion of the country of Belize. The question that will be asked is, “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime territories pertaining to these territories, should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determine finally, the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?”

Repeated complaints lead to the transfer of a Corporal
Police-NewsThe police force is meant to be the image of security, but in light of recent events, many citizens of Ambergris Caye are losing their trust in those tasked to serve and protect the people. Over the past few months, disturbing reports have surfaced from both locals and tourists about unprovoked police brutality and improper conduct. Residents have brought many complaints to San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero on disconcerting issues regarding the police force. Concerned citizens are demanding action to ensure that these matters do not affect our tourism based island. In The San Pedro Sun Issue #03 Volume 23, we reported on two long-time residents’ experience with late night/early morning raids by four police officers. There have also been claims by tourists who allege improper treatment from uniformed police officers. From claims of harassment to extortion, the reports are disheartening, and have driven a wider wedge between the public and police. As the complaints increased, residents felt that the issues were not being addressed with the level of importance they deserved. While Mayor Guerrero had previously voiced the people’s complaints to former OC Vienie Robinson, the response was minimal. However, with the arrival of the new OC Luis Castellanos, Mayor Guerrero once again presented his community’s

Ambergris Today

Rising Up to HIV – Maralyn Gill’s Story
Her bright smile and positive aura filled up the room when she made her entrance. She made San Pedro her home for many years, sharing life and love with her family and friends. Rasta Pasta was the famous restaurant that she operated, which brought a unique zest and flavor to the island and at one point in the neighboring island of Caye Caulker. Maralyn Gill was an active member of the community and made much friendly relationships all over. But then came a time when life brought Maralyn some big challenges and she had to move to the United States. Many did not know of her whereabouts, some lost contact with her and only a few friends and family members kept in contact.

Misc Belizean Sources

RiseUpToHIV: Maralyn Gill
My name is Maralyn Gill, I am 57 years old, mother of 3, grandmother of 8 and a widow. I was diagnosed HIV positive in 2004 in the small Central American country of Belize. We moved to Belize in 1991, my husband was from there was and in 1996 we opened our restaurant and it was quite a success. We were married for 18 years in what i thought was a monogamous marriage, or so I thought, until 2001 when my husband turned fifty and went flipsy and left me for a young Honduran girl. Later that year in 2001 just after 9/11, we lost everything in a category 5 hurricane and 2 weeks after that my husband was found dead in Belize City. I reopened my restaurant on a small island there but started getting ill with flu like symptoms and night sweats. After much antibiotics and then told it was probably just menopause for the following 3 years. In 2004 I was diagnosed with Hepatitis A while on vacation in Miami and hospitalized for 10 days and was given an array of tests including an HIV test but upon release I was told to rest when I got home and I assumed all tests came back negative no problem. When we got back to Belize I still was not doing well and went to a specialist in internal medicine.

Mexican school in Belize celebrates 30th anniversary
The “Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico” (ESTM), in San Roman Village, Corozal District, Belize, is celebrating its 30th anniversary. The official ceremony was headed by its principal, Carlos Castillo, and the Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez. More than 800 people attended, including school officials, teachers, students and their families. The Escuela México is a technical/vocational high school that was built and donated in 1982 by the Mexican government as a symbol of recognition of the Independence of Belize. In January 1983, formal classes began with an enrollment of 68 students and a staff of five teachers. Since its establishment, the student population has grown considerably. The enrollment now stands over 600 students. In 2006, Mexico donated US$700,000 for the expansion of the school premises, in order to establish the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College, which opened its doors in September 2007. Today, this institution is managed by a Belizean board of directors. Throughout the years, Escuela Mexico has improved its academic standards and has achieved high marks at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC). The school premises are also an important centre in the Corozal District for cultural and educational events.

Belikin Domino Tournament in Cayo
Today, in Belmopan, at E&L Sports Bar, Belikin is having their Domino Tournament. The national finals are in 3 weeks.

Cayo Central Basketball Tournament
The San Ignacio Town Council is going to have a basketball competition in the next month. The teams will need 10 players each. Contact Mike Salazar or Devin Garcia for more information or to sign up. "We will sponsor all the teams,its time to create activities in the neighborhood ,10 man per team don't waste time call us now ."

Caves Branch Free Vacation Contest
Ian Anderson's Cave Branch Jungle Lodge is having a contest where you can win an all inclusive 3 day, 2 night vacation. See their website for more information. Best of luck. "Here's your chance to win an adventure in Belize! You do not need to be a previous guest to qualify as a contestant. Starts February 2013 - Click this link if you require more information about "Picture your Adventure in Belize". ( Good luck! (Look over on your right to see recent posts by others - you will find the pictures there.)"

Channel 5

Valiant effort by Team Belize in Costa Rica
The highly anticipated football match between Belize and Honduras for the 2013 Copa Centro Americana was broadcasted live on this station. The Belize national “A” selection team and its strong defense took on the returning champs, Honduras. Team Belize held its ground, but at the sixty-seventh minute, its goal was penetrated by Honduran team. It [...]

Father of two girls murdered in home
There were two murders on Thursday night, one in Belize City and the other in the Cayo District. The first horrific murder occurred in Santa Elena, where a well known resident was shot at least three times in the presence of his two young daughters.  Steven Valencia was hit on his foot, back and then [...]

Bad company. Why was Marvin Gaynair killed?
The second murder on Thursday night took place in Belize City about an hour after the Santa Elena murder. It is also the second in less than forty eight hours in the old capital.  At about nine thirty, a twenty-four year old man was heading home when a gunman opened fire on him.  Marvin Jerome [...]

Two persons—including police officer—injured in traffic accident
There was a head on collision involving a delivery truck and small car between miles six and seven on the Phillip Goldson Highway in the height of this morning’s rush hour. Two persons were injured and while there is still no official police report, the names of the two drivers are known. Police officer Michael [...]

Chamber: salary increases, zero growth equals higher taxes
A peaceful demonstration is going to be staged by teachers and public servants on Tuesday in Belmopan, following a recent breakdown in negotiations with the Barrow Administration over long-delayed salary adjustments, It has prompted a position by the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry.  The Chamber, in a release issued today, urges government, as well [...]

UB Student Government to protest loss of G.O.B. subsidy
The last day for late registration for the University of Belize is this Monday. On that day the student body represented by Nation Builders also plans a demonstration in the nation’s capital. That is because the government is no longer providing a subsidy for new students entering UB. In a letter dated January twenty first, [...]

Roca charged for repeated sodomy of minor
  Twenty year old Clinton Roca, an aero dispatcher at the PGIA has been charged with three counts of unnatural crime upon a fourteen year old minor. According to the minor, the first incident happened in January of 2012 where Roca threatened to kill him and his family if he said anything. The second incident [...]

Man pleads guilty to drug possession
  A tourist from Alaska vacationing in Caye Caulker was today arraigned for a single count of drug trafficking after he was caught with one point two grams of crack cocaine. But by this afternoon, twenty-nine year old Allan James Meade avoided jail time or a minimum fine of ten thousand dollars when he pleaded [...]

Former prison employee says it’s political victimization
He was responsible for the management of paroles, processing records and was the chairman of the inmates’ classification committee at the Central Prison. We say was because effective today, Lionel Ernest Smith Senior was terminated from his post at Kolbe Foundation. Smith Senior had been working at the Foundation for over a year and according [...]

SCA’s Science Fair celebrates 130 years of Mercy
The Saint Catherine Academy hosted a science fair this morning; bright minds from eight different schools from the city were invited to observe the fair. The science projects covered a number of topics and were put together by students of all forms. News Five Jose Sanchez was also on hand to look at the work [...]

Faada Henry’s protest against crime
The P.S.U. and the B.N.T.U. are finalizing the details for next week’s march in the Capital. But an enterprising individual and his friends have taken to the streets today for a different matter. Phillip ‘Faada’ Henry organized a protest in Battlefield Park in Belize City because of the increase in violent crime. Henry did not [...]

BUMSQUAD scratches itself into music scene
  An international DJ is on tour in Belize and is promoting music and membership to an international organization. He is a founding member of the world renowned group, BUMSQUAD that has a solid and growing following locally. DJ Latin Prince, who arrived in the Jewel on Thursday, is also the C.E.O. of the group [...]


PUP Stalwart Murdered In His Home
The broken back door at the home of 40 year old Stephen Valencia on La Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena Town, Cayo, is where his attackers entered shortly before nine on Thursday night. On a political front, the newly appointed PUP Cayo Central Campaign Manager was preparing for...

Cycling Association Has No Elected Executive
While the stellar performance of Belize’s national football team has lifted the nation’s collective spirit, tonight another big sport discipline is facing some major problems. The Belize Cycling Association is without an elected executive … at least ...

Chamber of Commerce Weighs In On Unions Request for Salary Increase
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is of the strongest desire that both parties come to an understanding that will be beneficial and sustainable to the Belize economy and taxpayers. Chamber says any public sector salary increases awarded in the absence...

Escuela Secundaria In Corozal Celebrates 30 Years
Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico is celebrating its 30th anniversary. An official ceremony was held at the school’s compound in San Roman Village in the Corozal District. In his address, Mexican Ambassador Mario Velazquez highlighted the outstanding contribution that...

Police Shoots Man During His Attempt To Escape Arrest
A man was shot in the leg during an apprehension by police on Thursday evening. According to police reports, a mobile patrol on the Burrel Boom Road around four thirty yesterday evening intercepted two men riding on a single bicycle. The officers stopped and search the men, ident...

Police Detains One Person For Last Night's Murder in Belize City
A shooting incident in Belize City has left one man dead. The victim has been identified as twenty three year old Marvin Gaynair, Junior. According to police reports, Gaynair was walking on Mahogany Street heading in the direction of Central American Boulevard around nine t...

Belize National Football Team Faces Honduras In Costa Rica
The Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San Jose will be the venue of one of the biggest football matches ever played by Belize. The Belize National Football team advanced to the semi-finals of the COPA CENTROMERICANA tournament on Tuesday night when they defeated Nicaragua by a sc...


Shots Fired At San Lorenzo Housing Site, One Man Injured
Orange Walk recorded its second shooting incident this morning, only two weeks after the incident by Liberty Avenue. This morning, the quiet community of San Lorenzo Housing Site was the scene of a police arrest gone wrong. Shots rang out a little after 9:30 and our newsroom’s phone began ringing off the hook with reports of a man being shot. Our news team was among the first to arrive on the scene and reporter Elmer Cornejo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson filed the following report. Sometime around 9:45 this morning, residents of San Lorenzo Housing site saw their morning routine and tranquillity of the neighbourhood shattered with the sound of gunshots. Four police officers pulled up in front of this house in a dark tinted vehicle bearing no license plates. Allegations made are that officers kicked open the back door of the residence and quickly made their way into the bedroom where twenty-six year old Jose Luis Sosa was with his girlfriend and new born baby. Officers report that Sosa swung at them with an object in his hand which led to one of the officers firing a single shot that hit the twenty-six year old in his right leg. Sosa then quickly grabbed his two week old baby in efforts of avoiding further injury which quickly diffused the situation. Once the officers managed to get the couple with their baby out of the house, this is where matters got out of hand for the officers. Amidst the growing amount of residents that had come to see what was happening, Sosa managed to make good his escape into the bushes. Sosa’s frightened girlfriend managed to compose herself just enough to give us an interview. She did not wish to appear on camera.

Race For UDP Deputy Party Leader Is On
The race for Deputy Party Leader of the United Democratic Party is soon to enter the home stretch leg with the finish line set for February 17th. Two of the ruling UDP Ministers have entered their names contesting the seat of Deputy Party Leader, the second most powerful seat within the party’s hierarchy. It is widely known that the one that holds the DPL’s seat is the chosen one to also be the Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Belize. Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Party Leader of the UDP Gaspar Vega has been challenged by Minister of Education Patrick Faber. Both men have been canvasing the 31 constituencies and visiting with the delegates in efforts to garner support for their candidacy. Faber has publicly gone on record stating that he believes he can do a much better job at the post of Deputy Party Leader than the current holder. Well, in what has been dubbed as the game changer, Prime Minister of Belize and Leader of the UDP went on record stating that he does not support Minister of Education Patrick Faber. Barrow said and we quote, “I have said that while Minister Faber is, I think, an extremely well-qualified and able minister, while I think that he has a glorious leadership future in the United Democratic Party, at this time, and for this contest, I do not support him, end of story." And that’s also the end of the quote.

New Exhibit Opens At The Corozal House Of Culture
It has always been said that one needs to know where he came from, in order to understand where he is going. Students throughout Belize are taught a bit of Belizean history on a daily basis and with the present territorial dispute with Guatemala Belizeans are getting a crash course on that specific historical part of Belize. Here in the north, there are several culturally related historical developments that are seen and lived on a daily basis. One such story is that of the Sugar Cane Industry. Belize is currently one of the countries offering quality sugar to the world market. Sugar production is the major industry for the northern districts of Belize creating employment for over 6,000 cane farmers with economics benefits of millions of dollars to the communities. In an effort of going back to yesterday, even as far as the 1800’s, an exhibit titled “Back in the Day” has been put together for showcase at the Corozal House of Culture. David Ackerman, Chairman of COLCHA, Corozal Organization Leading Cultural Heritage and Arts, stopped by our studio this morning to tell us about this unique exhibit. It is unique because a lot of the pictures to be placed on exhibit cannot be found in the Belize Archives.

Belize's Hotels Receive Top Recognition
Over the past years, travellers from around the world have been planning vacation getaways to the most exotic and adventurous places on the face of the planet. In this day and age of technology, we are sure that 99% of all travels originate with some sort of search engine or travel advisory blogs which hold pictures and write ups on activities, scenic views, and testimonials of destinations to visit. One such site which travellers rely on for great recommendations on places to visit and hotels to stay in is has been posting recommendations and reviews for resorts and vacation destinations around the world for over a decade now. A major influencing factor that the site has been providing to its readers, are awards for the best hotels to stay in when travelling abroad. The site makes recommendations on several categories which are suited to best fit your budget. The 2013 top hotels to visit have been named on the Trip Advisors website and Belize has resonated several times in several categories. Most notably, Belize has dominated in two major categories, ‘Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America’, and ‘Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America’. In the Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America category, Maya Beach Hotel in Placencia, Pooks Hill Lodge in Belmopan, Belcampo Lodge in Punta Gorda, Matachica Beach Reort in San Pedro, Turneffe Island Resort on the Turneffe Islands, Xanadu Island Resort Belize in San Pedro, Chabil Mar in Placencia and Turneffe Flats on the Turneffe Island ranked between 7th to 25th with Belize also taking the top four spots. In fourth place is Coco Plum Island Resort in Dangriga, The Phoenix Resort in San Pedro took third, Pelican Reef Villas Resort in San Pedro took second and in first place is Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Shop situated in Hopkins Village. Out of the Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America, Belize was awarded twelve spots out of the twenty-five. In the Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America, Belize was awarded for Athens Gate in San Pedro, Pook’s Hill Lodge in Belmopan, Mystic River Resort in San Ignacio, Xanadu Island Resort Belize in San Pedro, Black Rock Lodge in San Ignacio, El Pescador Resort in San Pedro, Coco Plum Island Resort in Dangriga, Chabil Mar in Placencia and Pelican Reef Villas Resort in San Pedro with rankings between fifth to twenty-fourth. Belize managed to secure the top two spots in this category with The Phoenix Resort in second and Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Shop in first. Once more, Belize secured an impressive 44% of the Top 25 Central American Small Hotels for service. In the major categories, Victoria House, Coco Beach Resort, Grand Caribe Belize Resort and Condominiums and Las Terrazas Resort of San Pedro took four spots in the Top 25 Hotels in Central America. The Phoenix Resort and Las Terrazas Resort of San Pedro, Turtle Inn from Placencia, Blancaneaux Lodge from Cayo and Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort from Stann Creek took five spots in the Top 20 Luxury Hotels in Central America. Top 25 Small Hotels in the World saw three of Belize’s resorts awarded spots in this category with Hamanasi Adventures coming in second and Pelican Reef Villas Resort and The Phoenix Resort in sixteenth and twentieth places respectively. This is the eleventh year is presenting hotels with these awards and has similar categories for regions around the world. Travel writer Lan Sluder commented on an online travel forum stating and we quote, “These awards are well-deserved, but I do think TripAdvisor this year missed some other great places in Belize.” These awards come at a great time as Belize is celebrating international victories both on the football field, and now on travel destinations. If you’d like to review the complete list of awarded hotels you can visit Congratulations to all awardees.

Cook Book Launched By Tania McNab
In July of 2012, Tanya McNab unveiled a cookbook that took years of research coupled with traveling to remote parts of the country in efforts of compiling the best Belizean recipes. Belizeans across the nation took pride in knowing that Belizean cuisine will forever be recorded in History for generations to follow. Well, as Belize just happens to be a tourism destination, it’s only fitting that as part of the package, local food be marketed to tourists as well. Tanya McNab was featured this week on a morning show in Tampa, Florida where Belizean flavours were highlighted for the millions watching and the millions wanting to tantalize their taste buds with exotic cuisines. Here is that segment as aired on WFLA News Channel 8 which is hosted by Cyndi Edwards.


40 year old Steven Michael Valencia shot dead Santa Elena Town
San Ignacio Police are investigating a shooting incident that has left 40 yr old Steven Michael Valencia dead. Just...

23yr old Marvin Jerome Gaynair Jr, shot dead in Belize City
There is also a murder to report on in Belize City. At 9:45pm on January 24, Belize City Police visited the K.H.M.H...

Union leaders say what they are seeking as a group is only reasonable
Representatives of the major unions - the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU), the Public Service Union (PSU) an...

BCCI urges the Trade Unions and the Government of Belize to come to an understanding
The Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry sent out a release saying (“The Chamber”) is of the strongest desire that...

Police seek Jose Luis Sosa for the crime of robbery
Yesterday we told you about a man who had been shot in Orange Walk. Today, the Police press officer sent out inform...

Fathers demonstrate against violence
Last week, we told you that citizen activist Phillip "Fawda" Henry along with John Brackett had planned what they c...

26 year old Warren Castillo of Independence charged “Drug Trafficking”.
Police in Independence Village have arrested and charged 26 yr old Warren Castillo of Bonesville area, Independence...

27 yr old Adrian Myvete shot while resisting arrest for Drug Trafficking
Ladyville Police were conducting mobile patrol on the Burrel Boom Road yesterday evening at 4:35pm, when their atte...

Several shots were fired at the Field Station of Ya’axche' Conservation Trust
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development sent out a press release this evening informing the...

Drivers enjoy a smoother ride on Nim Li Punit Street in Belmopan
Residents of Belmopan have been enjoying a smoother ride on one of the most trafficked commercial streets in Belmop...

Belize's National Football Team up against Honduras
Belize's National Selection is going up against Honduras in a last of their game play for the The UNCAF Copa Centro...


Belize won its first-ever game at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana and grabbed the inside track on an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Nicaragua on Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional. The scoreboard was opened against the run of play in the 29th minute, when midfielder Trevor Lennen ran onto a ball at the top of the box, and rifled a shot into the back of the net that Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza could do little about. Nicaragua continued to press, but it was Belize that nearly extended its lead two minutes before the half. Harrison Roches shot strongly from the top of the box, but his drive was denied by a diving Espinoza, and Lennen’s follow up shot rolled just wide of the Nicaraguan goal, sending the game to halftime with Belize up one. In the second half, Nicaragua upped the pressure even more, pushing for the tying goal that would keep its quest alive to qualify for the Gold Cup. But they were denied time and time again by Belize’s superb goalkeeper Woodrow West. In the 70th minute, team captain David Solorzano put Belize on notice, placing a free kick just high from 20 yards. The stage was set for a dramatic finish, and it wasn’t until the 85th minute that Nicaragua finally broke through.

She only went to visit, she told the court. Today, Natalie Coleman, 25, a resident of Libertad Village in Corozal District, was found guilty after she was charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition for (4) 16-gauge cartridges. In December of 2011, police searched the house of Randy Dominguez, 22, Coleman’s boyfriend. When they arrived at the house, located in Biscayne village, Dominguez ran through the back door of the house, leaving Coleman to face the police all alone. Since Coleman was the only person there when the police discovered the four cartridges, she was charged with the offense. Dominguez was additionally charged in March of 2012, but those charges were eventually withdrawn. Coleman, who was unrepresented in court, told the magistrate, in her defense, that she was merely visiting the house that day and was not a resident there at all. But she still was found guilty.

Unions to PM Barrow: “There is no money for our raise-a-pay? How come you find big money for your many unneeded contract officers and for paying criminals?” With reference to the demands of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) for a salary increase for themselves and public officers, Prime Minister Dean Barrow said an emphatic ‘no” on Monday, and today, Thursday, the BNTU, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers (APSSM) and the Public Service Union (PSU), in response, have confirmed that they will demonstrate next Tuesday in the City of Belmopan in front of the National Assembly Building. The Prime Minister had stated that the government does not have the money for any salary increase at this time, adding that the only way that that could be made possible was by raising taxes. The unions appeared unimpressed by Barrow’s statement. They are asking for increases of 12 percent per annum for junior workers and 10 percent per annum for senior workers over three years. Unions have said that they see their request as more of an adjustment to their salary, rather than an increase. They feel the adjustment is necessary because the cost of living has increased, but their salaries have not. They argue that if the government can find money to pay gang members to keep down crime, they can find money for teachers and public service employees.

Majdi Khoder Agha, 51, was shot to death in front of his home. Majdi Khoder Agha, 51, a Lebanese Belizean of Keating Crescent in the Buttonwood Bay area of the city, was gunned down in front of his house at about 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday. He was shot multiple times in his head and body and died on the spot. Reports are that when Agha got out of his car to open his gate, a masked gunman who was lay-waiting him in his yard shot him about six times. The gunman then escaped. Agha was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival. He reportedly had just driven up to his home after dropping off his daughter at school and had parked in front of his gate. Neighbors say that after Agha was shot, they saw the shooter jump over the fence and run off, inserting the gun back under the waist of his pants while doing so, and shortly after, they heard a car speed away, which they believe was the getaway vehicle.

Clive Geban, 19, and minor, 15, charged with conspiracy to commit murder as well. Clive Geban, 19, and a minor, 15, both residents of Maskall Village, were today brought before the Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith, where charges of conspiracy to commit murder, and murder were read to them for the death of Ervin Morales, 60. Morales, also a resident of Maskall Village, was killed on January 19, 2013, and police say that both the minor and Geban, along with at least one other person, are the ones responsible for his death. Morales’ body was discovered after Emilia Gotoy, a woman who cooks for him, sent a neighbor to check on him since he didn’t come for his food. Knowing he suffers from epilepsy, she became worried after his non-appearance. When the neighbor arrived at the house at 12:50 p.m. Saturday, Morales’ body was observed with chop wounds to the back of his head, his left shoulder, hand and both elbows

“MCC for Football use only” “The Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow announced on Wave Radio’s “Fus thing da Mawnin’ that two weeks ago Cabinet made a decision that the MCC grounds will be used exclusively for football and sporting activities. PM Barrow stated that cultural fairs and other events that would have been held on the MCC grounds will no longer be entertained. “The decision by Cabinet was taken by public complaints by members of the public including the Football Federation of Belize following an anniversary concert held on the MCC by BTL on December 14th. Following the event pictures were circulated of damages done to the field causing concern as to whether or not the field should be used for public gatherings. Now the Cabinet has made a decision and the MCC will no longer be used for public events except they are sporting ones.”

In the first game tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Panama will have to battle it out to see who will win the 5th and final spot in the Gold Cup. Belizean fans are certainly nervous about our 5:30 p.m. encounter against defending Copa Centroamericana champion Honduras in the first semifinal. (Costa Rica and El Salvador clash in the other semifinal.) But it is so much better to be in the semifinal, and be sure of our Gold Cup berth, than in the shoes of Guatemala and Panama today. The norm in previous years was for our Belize national team to pack up and come home immediately after their group-phase games. Not so this time. We have two more games to play. The two semifinal losers will play for 3rd place on Sunday; and the two winners square off for the Copa Centroamericana 2013 championship. All the foreign media people and the big name stars on Honduras are not giving Belize much of a chance tomorrow. But even in the worst of times, our boys are not known for giving up. According to a report today, “the Catrachos take on the tournament’s surprise package, Belize, at 5:30 p.m. local time” on Friday. Hmm. Try to relax and enjoy the game, Belizeans. These are our first two games in preparation for the Gold Cup in July.

Football fans in Belize are still trying to get used to the idea, after an explosion of emotions last night all across the country, that we are indeed going to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in July, following our national team’s injury-time 2-1 victory over Nicaragua in the decisive game of the Copa Centroamericana. With the win, and the subsequent failure of Guatemala to beat Costa Rica, Belize is guaranteed a spot in the Gold Cup and a place in Friday’s semifinal of the Copa Centroamericana. So, Belizeans will have to wait a bit longer before they can greet our boys at the airport in celebration of this historic milestone. In a quick response to the spectacular win last night, the Press Cadogan Sports Show went on air shortly afterwards at 7:00 p.m., a day earlier than its regularly scheduled Wednesday night date on Krem Radio 96.5 FM. Few fans are giving Belize much of a chance in Friday’s semifinal against defending champion Honduras; anything else would only be desert, after the sumptuous feast we all enjoyed in last night’s win. Whatever Friday’s outcome, Belize is eagerly awaiting the return of our football heroes. Nevertheless, Honduras will be well advised not to take our Jaguars lightly.

The teachers of Belize comprise the most powerful trade union force in the country, and they have decided to demand more pay. The Government of Belize has responded by saying that it cannot oblige. This is a case, as they say, of irresistible force meeting immoveable object. Before the teachers demonstrate in Belmopan on Tuesday, GOB has gone on the offensive this week with television ads featuring the Financial Secretary. The Financial Secretary is a man who hates the spotlight, but he is a man who has, behind the scenes, accumulated some credibility over the years. Incidentally, he is a nephew of the iconic national hero, Rt. Hon. G. C. Price. These ads, we think, will be effective. The burden of proof will therefore be on the new leadership of the Belize National Teachers Union. This union’s reputation rests on their bringing the Musa government to its knees in February of 2005. But the circumstances in 2005 were different from those which prevail today. The teachers union of 2013 will have to convert potential energy into real energy. The teachers will need to recruit all those allies of 2005 who made the force greater than the sum of its parts. A drama unfolds.

On Wednesday evening there were things happening on the Channel 7 newscast which should have given you an idea of the games behind the games in Belizean politics. That is, if you knew some things you probably don’t know to the extent that we would. UDP Housing Minister Michael Finnegan launched a broadside against PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, ostensibly because Francis had made a big thing, propaganda wise, out of having gone into the Plues and Dean neighbourhood to counsel and console the residents after the January 8 slaughtering. Plues and Dean, and the area surrounding same, are Finnegan’s Mesopotamia turf. It sits right next to the Prime Minister’s Queen’s Square constituency, so it is possible that Mr. Fonseca thought he was embarrassing the Prime Minister by going in there. Perhaps he was, but, more important as it turns out, he was interfering in Michael Finnegan’s business. Despite the fact that he is doing everything he can to fly beneath the radar, despite the fact that his profile has been so low it is practically invisible, Ralph Fonseca remains a very big man in the PUP. He is a very big man in the PUP because the oligarchs who control the really big money here, swear by Ralph. They will give him money because they know that once the PUP wins and Ralph is in play, they will get back their money and then some. And then some, Jack …

I’m reading this exciting new book about Alexandre Dumas, the French general who was the father of the novelist by the same name, Alexandre Dumas, who wrote such all-time classics as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexandre Dumas, the general, was the son of a white French nobleman father and a black Haitian slave mother. In other words, he was a mulatto. Alexandre Dumas, the general, married a white French woman, who was the novelist’s mother. So, in the complicated racial categorizations of the eighteenth century, the novelist was a quadroon. If he, in turn, married a white woman, then his son would have been an octoroon – one eighth black. Over the centuries, however, it has become the norm to refer to everybody of mixed European and African blood as “mulatto.” In the United States, they divided everybody into white and black. If you had so much as one thirty/second black blood, you were legally a Negro, which is to say, nobody. But in French Caribbean possessions like Haiti, and British Caribbean possessions like Jamaica, the difference between the blacks and the mulattos was very important. Blacks fought against mulattos during the course of the Haitian Revolution, and that dislike remains up to the present day. In Jamaica, blacks are about 90 percent, but the minority mulatto class in Jamaica is much better off than the blacks.

Please allow me a little space in your newspaper to respond/refute the misinformation that Bill Lindo has been spewing with respect to the importation of genetically engineered seeds into Belize. I have tried to ignore Bill in the past, but I cannot anymore. First of all, Prosser Fertilizer (registered agent for Monsanto) has not been involved in any negotiation whatsoever, to convince government to go “full speed ahead” with the importation of genetically engineered seeds. Totally false. Bill, you could have simply called me, before misleading the public with your unfounded propaganda; you have called me in the past to check the facts about seeds, especially corn seeds! Prosser Fertilizer, along with Monsanto, has no intention of supplying any GMO seeds by May/June of 2013 as suggested by Lindo. Prosser Fertilizer has and will continue supplying the corn and sorghum farmers of Belize with superior hybrid (non-GMO) varieties in the years to come. We have been proudly doing that for several years now. Prosser, along with Monsanto, will only consider the marketing of GMO seeds in Belize after the government has passed the necessary legislations for its importation and cultivation. Both companies are quite happy and contented with the increased performance/yields of the present varieties that are presently being cultivated in Belize.

In response to your January 20 inquiry: after the Hon. Servulo Baeza concluded that gill net fishing must be outlawed, in its entirety, to save the Fisheries, there was a Cabinet shuffle and the Hon. Mike Espat replaced him as Minister of Fisheries. The criminal charges against the Fisheries Officer for selling licenses to the Guatemalan gill net fishermen were dismissed and the law was changed so that the Guatemalan gill net fishermen could obtain licenses to fish in Belize. Tourism would be one of the great beneficiaries resulting from the outlawing of gill net fishing. Texas outlawed gill net fishing and nearly extinct species of fish came roaring back. As a result, Texas developed a billion-dollar sport fishing industry. Belize’s tourism industry would profit by hundreds of millions of dollars annually from an increased sport fishing industry if gill nets were outlawed. The Fisheries would also profit, along with added employment.

I am an Italian teacher and a keen collector of fully addressed stamped envelopes posted and travelled from all over the world. We usually dispose of the envelope after reading our letters or we throw postcards and view-cards away: I keep them and have been collecting them since I was a boy. In case you or your offices still receive mail from both your country or abroad, may I ask you to keep the envelopes and send them to my address above? I understand that electronic mail is cancelling the traditional post delivered home by the postman, but if that service sill works in your place, I am pretty sure you can save some envelopes for my collection! Grateful for your help, I thank you in advance and look forward to hearing from you.

Belize is the victim of a prodigious legal problem that seriously affects the rights of all Belizeans. Politicians have allowed the devastating problem to continue even though it would take very little effort to resolve it. The problem arises from the Courts’ failure to deliver judgments in a timely manner. There have been cases where the Court did not deliver its judgment for 4 or more years after the case was heard and submitted for decision. Such a delay can have the effect of making the belated judgment unenforceable. During the past year the Hon. Justice Jacob Wit of the Caribbean Court of Appeal denounced such delays. During past years there have been articles in the media setting forth the problems from such delays. The politicians have failed to take any action to resolve the problem. Consequently, during the January 14, 2013 opening of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice, Hon. Kenneth Benjamin, spoke of the pressing issues of the Judicial System and broached the serious problem of justice delayed. He spoke of the timeliness of judgments and the effectiveness of the enforcement of delayed judgments. The problem is serious, because justice delayed is justice denied. The politicians’ continued failure to correct the problem is inexcusable, as the correction is simple. Other jurisdictions have had the problems of delayed judgments and resolved their problems in very simple manners. The State of California’s law resolving the problem is as follows:

In all forms of government, and particularly in democracies, the State holds a monopoly on the use of force. The right to use deadly force is afforded to ordinary citizens in a very narrow set of circumstances, such as self-defence and the defence of one’s property. Since it is the State that holds the monopoly on the use of force, citizens rightfully expect that in exercising this monopoly the Government (and by extension its agents) will act with restraint and within the confines of the law. Where they fail to do so swift and appropriate actions must be taken to deal with the offenders in order to prevent the emergence of a culture of abuse. The brutal slaying of the George Street Four and the subsequent accusation that it was the Gang Suppression Unit (agents of the State) who perpetuated this unprecedented act, is cause for grave concern. However you may feel about the four men, and about George Street, and about gangs in general, the undeniable fact is that four men were MURDERED; allegedly at the hands of the State. Though we all hope that the allegations are false, the truth is that some elements of the security forces have become more and more abusive towards the Belizean people over the last decade. The political masters of the security forces seem either unwilling or unable to effectively address this issue. It is therefore in this context that the allegations against the State, in relation to the George Street Four, have taken on the traction that they have.

Growing up in Chicago during the 1940’s and 1950’s on the city’s blue-collar Southside, there was a saloon on every street corner and mid-block as well. Among its beer-and-a-shot clientele of factory workers, truck drivers, police and firemen, would sit the only man in the joint wearing a business suit. Always on the same stool at the end of the bar and always in attendance, day or night, he was the neighborhood’s liaison with Mayor Daley’s well-structured, downtown patronage machine, the “go to” guy for a wide range of favors that might include getting the heaved and buckled city sidewalk in front of your house fixed—”My mother-in-law keeps tripping on the damn thing,” to appeals for employment—”My kid just got out of the army and is talking about wanting to be a fireman;” in all cases “Sheik” (the only name he went by) would see what he could do. Sheik was also the man to see if you needed a new wristwatch at an affordable price—he kept them in the trunk of his car, some still in their original boxes. It went unspoken that at the very least, come election time, you would help get out the vote…you know, one hand washes the other. Sheik had juice.

COLA said “no” to ICJ in the form of flags raised during the press conference. The Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) has been anything but silent since the start of discussions of the government taking the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). COLA stands on its claim that the government should not take the issue to the court because it is not necessary. Members of the organization said that Belize belongs to Belizeans and that is it, there is nothing to dispute. Members of COLA were present at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs referendum education campaign launch on Wednesday, January 23, 2013. While sitting silently inside of the conference room, the members held flags in their hands with a symbol showing the letters “ICJ” being crossed out in a circle. President of COLA Giovanni Brackett said that they had no intention of causing any problem during the launch, but were simply there to show their opposition to the issue of going to the ICJ. Brackett said that he and his fellow members were asked to leave the room to avoid any problem, but they refused.

Banner allegedly burned down her common-law husband’s house after an argument. Today after a jury deliberated for almost three hours, they returned with a guilty verdict against Keisha Banner, 24, who was accused of arson. On January 30, 2011, Dishon Rowland, the then common-law husband of Banner, was at his home at #69 Vernon Street, with Banner and some friends playing a game of cards in the yard. Banner and Rowland got into an argument over the card game. In his testimony, Rowland told the court that after getting into the argument, he went inside the house but decided to leave. But as he was leaving the house, he went into the kitchen and saw a bottle of gasoline, which he moved. About 20 minutes after leaving the house, he received a call that his house was on fire. The Crown, which was represented by Sheneiza Smith and newly appointed member of the Director of Public Prosecutions office, Leroy Banner, then called their main witness, Carla Flowers

Marsha Reid, 35, of Racoon Street Extension, accused of killing her ex-boyfriend, has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court. Reid, who is presently on remand, was returned to her cell at the jail, after she was taken to the Dangriga Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, January 23, where she was committed to stand trial for the capital offense. Also, all 40 witnesses were committed to attend the Supreme Court to testify for the Crown. Police contend that Reid travelled to Dangriga from Belize City to the home of her ex-boyfriend, BDF corporal Donovan Castillo, 37, about 6:30 a.m. on Monday, May 23, 2012, entered his room while he was sleeping, slashed his throat , cut his head, then stabbed him in the chest and abdomen . She then escaped out of the house, which is on Teacher Street, but not before locking up his nephew in his room. Reid was arrested shortly after and charged with murder.


A Tale of Five Cities: Travel day to San Cristobal
We decided to visit San Cristobal de las Casas while we were traveling around Mexico because it sounded absolutely charming. Lonely Planet describes it this way: "Set in a gorgeous highland valley surrounded by pine forest, the colonial city of San Cristóbal (cris-toh-bal) has been a popular travelers’ destination for decades. It’s a pleasure to explore San Cristóbal’s cobbled streets and markets, soaking up the unique ambience and the wonderfully clear highland light. This medium-sized city also boasts a comfortable blend of city and countryside, with restored century-old houses giving way to grazing animals and fields of corn." We were looking forward to the highland terrain with lower humidity and cooler temperatures than we've grown used to. It would be a brief taste of autumn -- and much cooler than winter in Belize! So, on December 13, we left Palenque behind on a bus bound for San Cristobal. Even though both cities are in the Chiapas state of Mexico, San Cristobal sits at an elevation of 7200 feet, while Palenque is only at 200 feet, so we would be doing quite a bit of climbing on this day. We bought our tickets the day before at the ADO station, though we would actually be taking an OCC bus to San Cristobal, as OCC serves this part of Mexico. It is equivalent to the ADO first-class bus. Palenque ADO Station I think I was attracting a little attention as I used my new Galaxy Tab to read in the bus terminal (see below). There was no wi-fi, but I was reading a book using the Kindle app. This was our first trip with the tablet, and it worked out really well. We had no room for a full-size laptop in our packs, and while on previous short trips we've managed without a computer, on a sixteen-day trip, we didn't feel comfortable without some form of communication device. The tablet allowed us to check bus schedules, restaurant ratings, and even make some reservations for our return trip -- not to mention to keep up with all those pesky emails that pile up on a trip. And I didn't have to carry a book along as I had several free ones loaded on the Kindle app. Although the bus ride from Palenque to San Cristobal is only about 130 miles, it takes approximately five and a half hours due to the mountain roads. It was a beautiful drive, but Barry and I both felt quite queasy during the middle part of the trip where there were many hairpin turns and bumps. Fortunately, we didn't have to run for the rest room, but it was an icky feeling and not something we anticipated in advance.

Hooded Warbler – The Songbird
It’s beauty of plumage, charm of voice, and gentleness of demeanor, make it indeed not only a lovely, but a truly lovable bird. Doubtless, also, the nature of the Hooded Warbler’s haunts increase its attractiveness, not merely because these well-watered woodlands are in themselves inviting, but because they bring the bird down to our level. This creates a sense of companionship that we do not feel with the birds ranging high above us, and at the same time it permits us to see this exquisitely clad creature under most favorable conditions.

Did You Know – Central America
Who had claim over Central America first? The first Mexican Empire…. Southern Belize and Guatemala was part of the Guatemala District. The map shows the twenty-four districts of the Empire.

PUP Cayo Party Chairman Killed In A Home Invasion In Cayo, Belize
Peoples United Party (PUP) Cayo Central Chairman Steven Valencia was just killed this morning in a home invasion at his home on La Loma Luz Blvd in Santa Elena, Belize. Police suspect that access was gained through a back door which was found broken. All they took was the $7 he had in his pocket, said his 6 year old daughter who witnessed the incident. Does being a man and having honor means killing an innocent person? I want to believe that human life means something in Belize. Where is the highest values of integrity, caring, compassion, social justice, truth, personal peace and harmony gone, and what kind of depraved mind will kill a man in front of his 6 year old daughter?! As a nation, we have lost all respect and regard for human life, and until our values are reversed in that respect, we can expect more horrendous tragedies as was witnessed in Santa Elena this morning. We have created in the last 30 years a culture based on our idolization and emulation of much of what's produced in North America. Materialism and lack of early parental supervision is a constant contributing factor to our lost moral soul as a nation. Need I say more? My thoughts and prayers go to the family and friends of Mr. Steven Valencia.

Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)
Weather this morning although not starting out bright,sunny and hot ( wore a sweat top until around 11 am) was a vast improvement when compared to the previous few days. It looked good for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. An opportunity to claw back some of the time lost to the heavy rain. Feeling good – and everybody is free here to feel good – I thought I would spend a little time whilst drinking my early morning cup of coffee on the veranda reflecting on the progress of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize versus the forty week schedule as the time lapsed has just edged over the thirty percent mark ( for those with a statistical bent today sees us (excluding public holidays from the calculations) hit the thirty-two point nine percent mark). We have experienced one or two interruptions. Not surprising really when one considers that the build started on 5 November which was slap bang in the rainy season. So to only lose a couple of days to inclement weather is pretty good going. Hope that I am not tempting providence with this! We have also changed the design/build specifications for the Ground Floor with the addition of a bedroom en-suite and a move of position for the store room. Oh, and we have also changed the design/build for the ground to Ground Floor stairs and the golf cart ramp.

International Sources

VIDEO: An osprey in action
This is truly incredible video. I can't believe this Osprey got 5-6 fish at a time,then got a flounder under 3' of water, and then made off with what looks to be a 5+ lb. steelhead. I've never seen a bird shake water off like a dog does - wouldn't want to get in the way of him when he's got his eyes locked and his talons in the "load" position! Its talons are amazing! There are 3 sequences in this one video: 1st sequence he catches half a dozen fish in one strike. 2nd sequence he plunges talons into deep water right to the bottom to grab his prey. 3rd sequence he captures a big old fish that looks as if it weighs more than he does! This is incredible to watch (best viewed in full screen mode...enjoy! Turn on Sound Coming in on approach the legs drop like landing gear and the talons (wheels) are exposed for touch down!

The Interview: One on One With John McAfee
Silicon Valley pioneer John McAfee sits down with Raj Mathai. His early days in the Silicon Valley were fueled by cocaine and alcohol. Nowadays, it's a new set of problems. Police say John McAfee might be connected to a neighbor's murder in Belize. He fled that small Central American country, leaving behind a trail of teenage girls and guns. He's now in Portland, Ore., thousands of miles away from Belize, and that's where NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai caught up him. "So what would you tell the Belizean Government if you had any role in his murder?" Raj asked McAfee. "Absolutely none," McAfee replied. "They know this, they know I'm not involved in the murder, they haven't questioned anybody else." McAfee knows people question whether he's lost his mind, but insists it doesn't bother him. "Much of the press has been very negative. I'm a mad man. Perhaps I am, I don't think I am," McAfee told Raj adding: "People on the street all give me the high five sign. Keep going!"

How Will Central America Keep Growing Its Tourism Base?
After receiving the last year more than 12.9 million international visitors, with about 8.9 million tourists identified as directly elected local destinations and about 4 million as passing travelers, mainly cruisers, Central has repeated since the beginning of 2013 its purpose of further growth in the sector this week and discussed strategies that will improve in areas such as security, multicast and promotion. In this direction two seminars were focused just days ago in Guatemala where the AECID, the World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the Central American Integration System (SICA), more tourism leaders of the seven countries in the bloc and representatives of the press..

January 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Annual Valentine Poetry Contest to be hosted at Bistro Mestizo
With February right around the corner it’s time to start thinking about that oh so sweet and romantic holiday, Valentine’s Day! With visions of cupid dancing in your head (and heart) why not put those thoughts of love and inspiration to pen and paper…declaring your passion in the form of a poem! The San Pedro Sun is proud to announce our annual Valentine Poetry Contest, with fabulous prizes for poems of different categories, such as most romantic, funniest, Spanish and of course, the ode to the beloved lobster whose season closes on February 15th when the tasty crustaceans take a well-deserved honeymoon until mid-June. Poetry prizes range from one night stays at exotic resorts, dinners, golf cart rentals, gift certificates and much more! This year The San Pedro Sun is pleased to partner with Bistro Mestizo where the annual poetry reading event will be held on the evening of February 14th. The mood will be set with soft music, poetry readings and Ms. Shelly has planned a delicious Valentine’s dinner for those who want to seduce their taste buds while indulging in a romantic atmosphere. Tickets for the meal must be purchased in advance at Bistro Mestizo, located on Barrier Reef Drive in the heart of San Pedro Town. Of course their regular menu items will be available for order that night as well.

Celebrating the life of Herman Penland
Herman Penland was born in Des Moines, Iowa USA to Eva and Robert Penland. He had two brothers. Herm’s adventurous spirit took him to California at the age of 16 where he joined the Navy and later met his wonderful wife Linda in college in 1958. They married in 1962. In 1972 Herman moved the family to Karachi, Pakistan and that began their international life. After five years in Pakistan, the family moved to La Paz, Bolivia where he was the director of The American School for twenty years. After visiting Ambergris Caye for the first time in 1995, they fell in love with the island, purchased their first piece of property and immediately made plans to retire here. Two weeks into retirement in a hammock, Herman decided it was time to find a hobby on the island. He still felt he had more to accomplish in life and decided to purchase Southwind Properties. From real estate sales, Herman’s interest grew into development and he started working on plans for Belizean Shores Resort. In 2000 his son Doug moved to Belize to help Herman carry out his vision and dreams. After the success of Belizean Shores, Herman and Doug moved onto developing Belizean Cove Estates and Coco Beach Resort. Even at the age of 80 Herman was actively involved in planning the development of their current project, Venezia Del Caribe.

Belize Shark Project starts tagging project off of Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker
Shark Tagging Rachel Graham-7It is believed that sharks contribute to $4 million annually to the Belizean economy through tourism related activities. These activities are primarily concentrated to diving and snorkeling in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, Blue Hole, Halfmoon Caye, Gladden Spit and Silk Caye Marine Reserve. However not much is known about the shark population, their aggregation sites, their behavior in Belizean waters and most importantly what some of their spawning sites are. For that reason the Wildlife Conservation Society, spearheaded by Dr. Rachel Graham through the Belize Shark Project (BSP) is moving full force in promoting the management and conservation of sharks and rays in Belize through ongoing long term research and as such are currently tagging sharks off the coast of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. According to Graham, who is a well respected and experienced marine biologist, the Belize Shark Project is an ongoing, long term project specially geared to study and learn more about sharks in Belize. Speaking with The San Pedro Sun Graham explained that the populations of shark and rays worldwide are under increasing pressure and in Belize it is no exception, widely attributed to unsustainable fisheries. Moreover, globally the numbers are declining because of bad fishing practices. Shark fining in the Asian market is a problem in the region since fishermen are fining (and ultimately killing) sharks to accommodate the high paying demand. Closer to home, sharks, according to Graham, are becoming scarcer and are not in abundance as they once were which can be attributed to fishing habits and even the transformation of critical habitat.

Luis Castellanos takes the helm at the San Pedro Police Department
The San Pedro Police Department has a new Officer in Charge (OC). The new OC responsible for the Coastal Executive Unit is Assistant Superintendent of Police Luis Castellanos. OC Castellanos was formerly Head of the Prosecution Branch. He comes to San Pedro offering 28 years of experience. His immediate transfer was made in order to fill the position of former OC Vienie Robinson. Castellanos officially took over office on Monday, January 14th. Originally from the Orange Walk District, Castellanos received his primary education at Chapel’s Primary School. Following this, Castellanos went on to attend King’s College where he obtained his high school diploma. Castellanos then joined the Belize Police Formation, during which time he obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Administration at San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Castellanos has served in both the Orange Walk and Cayo District; serving as part of the Prosecutions Branch, Traffic Branch and Professional Standards Branch. This is his first assignment to San Pedro.

Ambergris Today

New Superintendent Brings Positive Outlook for San Pedro
During our chat with Superintendent Castellanos we learned that he is a man of discipline and hopes to work along with his officers for a better San Pedro and to tackle crime to their best of their abilities. He is also very smart, approachable and friendly; great attributes that make him an excellent candidate for a leadership position at the police department. "I intend to gain the trust of the people of this community and together work for a safer San Pedro," commented Supt. Castellanos. “In the short amount of time being here I want to bring change to both the police station and to the island. I plan on working to better the living conditions of my officers so that they can give their best to the community,” he continued. “First and foremost we need to better the living conditions of the police officers. The present barracks where they are living is in dire need of fixture. By the time I leave here I hope to have a new living quarters for our officers, either to the back of the station where it currently is or above our headquarters.” Supt. Castellanos mentioned that he was appalled to see that island has no morgue and plans to lobby for the island to get one either at the police or for the poly clinic by the end of his term. In regards to tackling the crime situation, he stated that he noticed that one of the major problems here on the island is burglary and he hopes to work strategically with his team of officers to lower this immediately.

Belize/Guatemala Referendum Educational Campaign Launched
In preparation for the referendum scheduled for 6th October, 2013, the Government of Belize launched its Public Awareness Campaign on Wednesday, January 23, 2013, at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. At the Opening Ceremony of the GOB's ICJ public awareness campaign, leaders and dignitaries from across the majority of Belize's social, political and religious sector gathered to validate the significance of an event that is sure to be noted in Belize's history. Everyone listened intently as the Referendum Secretariat opened the discussion of what led up to this decision to let the nation choose whether or not they support settling this matter in court. "Today, the Ministry will launch its public awareness campaign, preparatory to referendum on October 6, to determine whether the people of Belize support referring the Guatemalan claim to the International Court of Justice for Final Settlement. Belize has participated in negotiations aimed settling this dispute since 1962. Over the past half century, many patriotic, nationalist, political leaders and public officers, often with the support of dedicated private sector leaders serving on various advisory commissions and committees have tried mightily to come up with a settlement that would have enabled us to put this dispute behind us,” stated H. E. James Murphy - Referendum Secretariat.

Blues Jam Session Raises Funds for Holy Cross
The Blue Dogs were accompanied by very popular island musicians who playing the very best of blues, drawing a very massive crowd collecting $2,350BZ in less than three hours. The Blue Dogs fan club also helped out in donating of $6,500 and another great contribution was made from a philanthropic association of volunteer donors of Microsoft Corporation which brought the grand total to approximately $17,700. The Ambergris Today would like to give kudos to the Glen Schwendinger, the Blue Dogs and everybody who were a part of this successful fundraiser.

Hopkins Bay Resort Boasts Luxury in the Heart of Adventure
Hopkins Village lies 15 miles south of Dangriga in southern Belize. It is a cozy coastal enclave with about 12 miles of sandy beaches and home to Garifuna families who fish, carve canoes and weave baskets in the tradition of their ancestors. Nestled along these sandy beaches are new neighbors include luxury resorts, residences and condominiums that are looking into embracing the peaceful ambience of the village. One such place that is capturing all this peacefulness, charm and beauty of Hopkins Village and gathering it in one fantastic package is Hopkins Bay Resort. “The definition of luxury in the heart of adventure” says Hopkins Bay’s website. It is a southern Belize vacation spot that offers more than just the tranquility of Hopkins Village and the charm of its village people. It is ideally located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea to offer fantastic access to diving, snorkeling, fishing and sailing adventures and yet so close to inland adventures that include cave tubing, waterfall rappelling, rainforest zip lining, Maya ruin explorations, among others.

Misc Belizean Sources

BAS Visits St. Matthews
The Belize Audubon Society visited St. Matthew's Primary today to talk about conservation and sustainability. Thanks, BAS! "Hi FB January 24th, 2013, BAS went to St. Matthew's Government School in the Cayo district to conduct a presentation on conservation in Belize to the students of Standard 3. We were delighted to see that the kids were eager to learn, and their participation in our conversation was delightful. Keep it up St. Matthew's. Photos by: Dirk Francisco"

Rotary Provides Cayo Villages Water Filters
Feelgood story of the day. Rotary brought in water filters to villages all around Belize, including 9 in Cayo. Now many thousands more Belizeans have a clean source of water. Thanks, Rotary! "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio was pleased to partner with the Rotary Club of Belize City to distribute Sawyer Point One Water Filters to nine rural villages in the Cayo District. Filters were delivered with the help of visiting Rotarians from Clovis, New Mexico and Tulsa, Oklahoma. The nine villages that received filters were, Duck Run 1, Duck Run 2, Duck Run 3, Los Tambos, Santa Teresita, Selena, La Gracia, El Progresso and Cool Shade. Providing safe drinking water is one of the main areas of focus for Rotary International and hopefully many more villages will benefit from this humanitarian effort."

Cayo Welcome Center News
The SISE Town Council has a video out about the Cayo Welcome Center. It looks good, and should be having its real inauguration in the next few months. On February 15th the Strings of Love concert will be happening there. The video also shows the great word done on Burns avenue, which hopefully will stop having vehicles allowed on it soon. It ends with the Eden road project in Santa Elena.

Fashion Illustration Winner Announced
Congratulations to Cayo's own Amal Assales for winning Rebecca Stirm's Design Illustration contest! Amal won a gold seat ticket for the Autumn/Winter 2013 fashion show happening this Saturday night in Belize. "And the winner of our Design Illustration contest is, and the young lady who has won a Gold ticket to our runway show is................................ Avid young artist and sketcher- Amal Assales from Cayo, Belize! Heres her sketch and explanation.. 'Hey Becca, I call it a confidence hat. It's derived from my post-recent [mental] obsession with Egypt. The skirt is made from a butchered forever 21 bra (Thought I'd give them credit :D) Hope you like it '"

Avon Recruitment in Cayo
Avon is doing a recruiting drive around Belize.

VIDEO: Pigs in a Blanket
This dough or blanket for pigs in a blanket is very simple to make and very tasty. You can use the sausages of your choice. A simple and great snack to serve for any sporting event or party.

Channel 7

Unions Says Prime Minister Coming 'Round To Their Position
Tuesday's planned teacher's demonstration in Belmopan is getting bigger. Today the Association of Public Service Senior Manager and the Public Service Union made it official: their memberships will join in. We'll have that shortly, but first to the news of the day. The two sides, Government and the Unions are getting close. That's after the Prime Minister sent the Unions a signal yesterday that he is willing to index a pay raise to a surplus in the current account. He said that on WAVE Radio and the Unions today told us that now he is talking their language: Jose Castellanos, President APSSM "Yesterday the Prime Minister said that he would be willing to link the adjustment to the surplus and give us a portion for that surplus. If that is the case we are prepared to work on that basis. If we had been made that offer at our last meeting in January we wouldn't be here where we are today because that time they were simply saying no to everything. That's what we were looking for - for tangible measures where we can link our adjustment because we are talking about next year and not this year. Next year we won't be in a deficit, we will have monies to save and continue to increase our foreign reserves. We are heartened by that position. We are hoping that we can have an amicable solution and have a win-win situation for both of us."

And so, while they are ready to talk - to make sure the balance of power is properly leveraged, first the unions have to flex. And - as we told you at the top of the story - it won't just be the Teachers. They officially have company. The PSU President indicated his Union's readiness:.. Mervyn Blades, President PSU "Our membership had agreed that we will show our support and we will have people physically there at the demonstration because it's a joint effort. We keep hearing over the media that it's only BNTU, its BNTU, APSSM and PSU - all of us together doing the demonstration, so we will be out there." Jules Vasquez "Are you all hoping for a semi-shut down of the governments' operation?" Mervyn Blades, President PSU "No we are not at that level. What we are saying is that we got in each our branches a couple of our membership will be out because we are not at that level yet and so we just want to show solidarity to our brother, it's a joint effort, so we have to be out there even though we know we have a lot of essential services. We are getting people that are not mostly affected with those essential services because we are not at strike action yet."

Castellanos Says GOB Can Afford It
So the APSSM and the PSU are down to demonstrate - while also still ready to negotiate. And those negotiations will be based on numbers - bearing in mind that while working with the same figures, the bottom line for the unions is far different than Government's. Take for example the cost of the increment package. Government says - and you've seen ads about this - that it will cost over three hundred million dollars over three years. But the unions say those three years will cost - at the most - 200 million dollars. And more importantly they say that with sound economic stewardship, government can afford it:.. Jose Castellanos, President APSSM "This year we had 7% growth as opposed to what they were saying in December which is 3.5% - that means 35 million dollars more in additional revenue which we it and now will show it to them. In fact this year the economy grew as much as it grew in 4 years." Jules Vasquez "Remember we still have a financing gap."

National Team Relaxed, Ready For Semifinal Game
Tomorrow evening at 5:30 in San Jose, Costa Rica, the Belize National Football Team will play in the Copa Centro Americana semi-finals against Honduras. The stakes are high - and so is the sense of anticipation, as the entire nation waits to see if Belize can shock the world. But, carrying the weight of the dreams of an entire country on your shoulders isn't easy and so we wondered about the team's preparation process for tomorrow's game. Assistant coach, Charlie Slusher told 7News via phone this evening, that the players have been trying to unwind and rest up. But, they are not as tense as you might think. He, along with several other players, explained that now that the pressure of qualifying is off them, they will play tomorrow's came with comfort and confidence, enjoying it instead of constantly being on edge:.. Charles Slusher, Assistant Coach, National Team "Yesterday we took a day off and we took the team for an outing to visit the volcanoes in Costa Rica.

Two Teens Charged For Maskall Murder
On Monday we told you about 61 year-old Ervin Morales, who was found chopped to death inside his home in Maskall. Well tonight, 2 teenagers are in prison tonight after police arrested and charged them for his murder. As we told you, Morales' friend got suspicious when Morales didn't show up at around midday last Saturday, January 19, and as a result, he went searching for the elderly man. That neighbor found his body inside his house wrapped up in a blanket on his bed room floor. He had chop wounds to the back of his head, left shoulder hand, and both elbows. Well, police investigated the case, and they charged 19 year-old Clive Geban, a Belize City resident, and a 15 year-old minor with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Police Shoot Wanted Man, He Still Escapes
A wanted man in Orange Walk was shot by police today but still escaped. According to reports, Jose Sosa was in a house in Orange Walk when police shot him in the leg. Still he somehow managed to escape and remains Orange Walk's most wanted tonight.

SJCJC Students Question Minister About ICJ
The International Court of Justice education campaign has already kicked off. Last night the committee met with the students of Wesley Junior College and today they did the same at Saint John's Junior College. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington and his team listened to the students concerns and answered questions regarding Belize going to the ICJ. Here's an excerpt:.. Student "Question is: since we are going to settle the dispute at the ICJ. In your point of view what is Guatemala standing on for justification for the claim?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "The basis upon which they started off was really the claim which had failed to honor the past 7 of the contract of the convention and they started out by suggesting that that is in fact the basic reason why they are going to go. But then they have gone back now and toiled on more recent times and rely on some old conventions. But none of the legal opinions that we have read suggest that any of what they say makes any real good legal sense."

Woman Convicted OF Burning Down BF's House
24 year-old Keisha Banner is at prison tonight awaiting sentence after she was convicted of arson in the Supreme Court yesterday. She was accused of burning down her ex-boyfriend's house on January 13, 2011. The crown counsels representing the DPP's office called 5 witnesses, but the main witness was Banner's ex-boyfriend, Dishon Rowland. Rowland took the stand and testified that on the day in question, he had an argument with Banner at his Vernon Street home. He said that he saw a bottle of fuel on the kitchen cabinet of his 20 X 24 plywood house, and he decided to move it. He said that he left it in the yard, and left the house, only to receive a call 20 minutes later that his home was burning down. Another prosecution witness placed Banner on the scene saying that she gave her a box of matches, and within minutes, she saw her exiting Rowland's house which was then caught fire.

AJ Meditratta; Various Positions
Earlier this week you saw AJ Mediratta appear alongside the Prime Minister at a press conference. He's the Co-chair of what's called the creditors Committee, the group that represents over 50% of the owners of the Superbond. And while it is the first time we've had a face-to-face encounter with Mediratta, in a sense, he's no stranger to Belize. That's because Mediratta was at Bear Stearns in the early oughts when Belize's bonds first went to the market. As is now well known, that borrowing was unsustainable, and in short order, those bonds had to be re-structured - and packaged into the albatross we now all know as the Superbond which was launched in 2006. And so we were suitably surprised to see Mediratta appear now at the other end of the table for Superbond 2.0 - representing the bondholders -some of whom bought those bad bonds, marketed by Mediratta and Bear Stearns in the first place. We asked him about that neat transition:...

Jamaica Will Recruit More Cops
The murder rate in Belize and Jamaica are very similar - but there's one important difference, theirs went down sharply last year while ours went up! And that's why our next story from our colleagues at CEEN News in Jamaica is instructive. It explains that they are targeting a very sharp decrease in crime by the year 2017 and they hope to do this by adding more police:.. Belize's has about 400 police per hundred thousand residents, which is significantly lower than Jamaica's 622.

How Does GIS Come Into Your Daily Life?
Geographic Information Systems or GIS, many people use it, but very few actually understand the technicalities. Every time you consult Google or Bing Maps, look at a map of Belize City, or consult the GPS on your smart phone, you are using a form of GIS. And the authorities on the topic in Belize are trying to promote the commercial use of GIS, as well as increasing awareness of GIS in industrial use. YESTERDAY was day one of Belize's 3rd Annual GIS conference, and 7News stopped in to get a preliminary look. Here's what one of the coordinators told us: Loretta Palacio - Managing Director, TBSL "This is our 3rd annual GIS conference here at the Biltmore, it's going to be for 2 days and we are bringing together everyone; individuals, professionals, leaders, decision makers, NGOs and everybody to come and learn, explore, discuss, share our experience with GIS. We have a pack agenda. We have this morning our keynote Mrs. Blake from the United Nations in New York; she is the former GIS manager in Jamaica. We have our international partners presenting on GIS, we have our local presenters, we have statistical institute of Belize presenting, we have BEL, and we have land information center and the NSDI. We have Healthy Reefs; we have quite a number of presenters; Frank Tench from Meteorological center, businesses, senior executives and everyone. There is a topic for everyone and so we are here for two days so that we can cover enough ground."

BDF To Celebrate New Commander
The BDF's New Commander, Cornel David Jones will assume command in a formal ceremony next week. For the military - which always likes to put on a regimented show - it's a big deal because they don't get a new commander every day - and this is the first change of command in almost five years. And they're making a PR campaign out of it. Yesterday Lieutenant Fermin told us that it will be a good ceremony:.. Lt. G. Fermin "It is very important as we will be seeing the now Brigadier General Tapia, he will be leaving his post of office as the commander and we will have Lt. Colonel David Jones David Jones who will be taking up the new post as commander for the Belize Defence Force. We have military attaches, we have different commanders from the Caribbean, and we have commanders from the US that we invite every time we have this change of command. It's a very big event. We will have the chain of command parades whereby we will be displaying the drills that the force usually carries out, so it's going to be very unique, it's going to be one that everybody should see."

Profile Of an Educational Legend
Tonight's profile is about Brenda Armstrong, well known as the Principal of Wesley College. She also grew up right down the street from Channel 7 on Dean Street and in tonight's profile, she explains how her childhood influenced her career as an educator - a career that she explains is coming to an end...Here's her profile:

Channel 5

Teachers and Public Servants to march against G.O.B.
There is a steely resolve tonight by the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, known as the Joint Unions Negotiating Team, to stage a national demonstration this Tuesday while Cabinet is meeting in Belmopan. The unions have not yet received the required permit for what [...]

B.N.T.U. against Saldivar’s union-busting tactic
  On Wednesday, Minister of National Security John Saldivar, area representative for Belmopan, issued a response denouncing statements made by the Joint Unions Negotiating Team that a letter to meet with his constituents, particularly members of the Belize National Teachers Union, was a blatant act of union-busting.  Despite a rather anemic attendance at the meeting, [...]

Suspect shot inside home
A man was shot this morning in Orange Walk Town. Reports suggest that at nine-thirty this morning, four undercover officers drove to the San Lorenzo Housing Site in Orange Walk Town where they forced themselves into a building. Inside one of the bedrooms was twenty-six year old Jose Luis Sosa, his girlfriend and their newborn [...]

Teen charged for murder of Maskall villager
Maskall resident, sixty year old Ervin Morales, was found lifeless in his house on Saturday with several chop wounds to his body. Today, nineteen year old Clive Geban and a fifteen year old minor were arraigned in Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith for the murder of Morales. Geban was detained [...]

Goal! Belize to face off with Honduras
The Belize National Selection “A” Team is preparing to take on Honduras after a spectacular win against Nicaragua on Tuesday. While the victorious two to one game led to a spot in the finals, the Honduras game will propel the team to heights not experienced before in the Copa Centro Americana Games. That game plays [...]

Sports only please; new rules for old MCC
The use of the MCC Grounds for events other than football came under fire last year when Telemedia was authorized to utilize the grounds for a concert on December seventeenth.  F.F.B. President, Ruperto Vicente, along with other sports enthusiasts warned that the pitch would have been damaged.  Vicente also wrote to the National Sports Council [...]

Unemployment rate increases
The Statistical Institute of Belize conducted its most recent labor market survey in September 2012. There are some interesting results when compared to the previous survey at the end of April, 2012.  The unemployment rate increased by one point seven percent to sixteen point one percent, meaning that more than three thousand persons were added [...]

Business and church support Referendum Process
A historic decision will be taken this October. Belizeans will be deciding in a referendum whether or not, they agree to submit the Guatemalan territorial claim relating to land, insular territories or maritime areas, to the International Court of Justice.  The stakes are high and the outcome of the referendum could lead to a definition [...]

P.M. says Prensa Libre wrong on Referendum Act
The Guatemalan newspaper, Prensa Libre, has shot some doubt with an article that suggests that Belize is acting in bad faith with the upcoming referendum on whether or not to send the border dispute to the International Court of Justice. Belize’s Referendum Act was amended in 2008 to reflect a sixty percent voter turnout for [...]

Accused of stealing alcohol and electronics
Devain Flores, a resident of Neal Pen Road, Belize City was today arraigned for a burglary which occurred on January thirteenth on a property in Saint Anne’s Village. Flores appeared unrepresented before Magistrate Anne Marie Smith and pleaded not guilty to the charges of burglary and damage to property of Hazel Lord, who is the [...]

Citrus Mutual wants its own processing factory
Citrus industry problems are endemic to the boardroom rather than on plantations. The Citrus Growers Association continues its battle with its investment partner Banks Holdings of Barbados over the future of Citrus Products of Belize Limited.  While these groups engaged in a legal battle, the larger farmers formed a second group called Belize Citrus Mutual [...]

Get positioned with GIS
A two-day conference ended today at the Biltmore Plaza where a cadre of engineers converged to discuss the use of geographic data to create successful businesses and make informed decisions. It’s the 2013 Belize GIS User Conference and this year, the number of participants increased over last year. Duane Moody found out that GIS is [...]

First manatee killing for 2013
Manatee killings do not make headlines, but over twenty of the peaceful creatures were fatally injured by boats in 2012. The first monitored manatee accident for 2013 was recorded on Wednesday by the Dolphin Park in West Landivar. Jamal Galves, a manatee research associate for Sea to Shore Alliance and Coastal Zone Management Authority and [...]


Unions Prepare For Demonstration Next Week For Salary Increase
The Belize National Teachers’ Union is moving forward with their planned demonstration next Tuesday in Belmopan. They are asking the government to grant them a ten percent salary increase over three years, starting next year and their request is made against the backdrop of...

Exploration Underway For A Second Processing Facility
A group representing citrus producers in the south has begun exploration of the possibility of establishing a second processing facility. As it currently stands, the Citrus Growers Association of Belize owns and operates the only citrus processing facility at Pomona village in th...

Police Seek Two Teenagers For Maskall Murder
Nineteen year old Clive Geban of Jasmine Street in Belize has been arrested and charged for murder and a fifteen year old, for the crime of conspiracy to commit murder. This is in connection to the murder of sixty year old Ervin Fitzroy Morales in Maskall Village on Saturday the ...

Former Lecturer Turned Sculptor Discouraged By Lack of Support
Stephen Okeke - he’s the man behind many projects in Belize, ranging from books, to sculptures to politics to a recycling machine. But Okeke has not received the kind of fanfare and support that he wanted to see his projects through, and the poor support that he received fo...

Minister Saldivar Issues Statement on His Meeting With Teachers
Belmopan area representative John Saldivar has issued a statement, defending his decision to meet with teachers in Belmopan on Wednesday. Saldivar, who holds the portfolio as Minister of National Security, took issue with what the Belize National Teachers Union called an act of u...


U.S National Wanted For Child Molestation Could Be Hiding In Belize
The last US National who has made headlines on the newscast nationwide was the well-known Pioneer of the McAfee antivirus, John McAfee who went into hiding after his neighbour was killed. Tonight making the headlines is one more US National but this time, sought by US authorities. The man in question is Richard Frank Savarese. Savarese is wanted back in his home state of Alabama in connection to child molestation charges. Baldwin County Sheriff alerted their Belizean counterparts of Savarese apparent hiding in Belize. Reports are that the sixty-seven year old US National has been in communication with several business persons in Belize in efforts of seeking employment and residence. Savarese has been on the run for a couple of months now and US Authorities believe he is hiding out in Belize. If anyone has seen Richard Frank Savarese, you are asked to please call your nearest police station or the 922-TIPS hotline. Once more, Sevarese is wanted in connection to Child Molestation charges in the US state of Alabama.

Have You Seen Juana Menjivar?
minor from the Corozal District is tonight missing. Reports are that the 14 year old female minor, Juana Menjivar left her father’s house situated in Paraiso Village on Monday January 21st sometime around 8:30 in the night. The minor informed her sister Daisy Menjivar that she would go to visit her mother Floridalma Quinones in Buena Vista Village within the Corozal District, but she never did make it to her destination. David Casores, father of Juana Menjivar, is the the child’s custodian and has made a formal report at the Corozal Police Station. It is believed that Menjivar is in the company of thirty five year old Allan Moreno, a 35 year old resident of 5th Street North near rainbow beach in Corozal Town. Juana Menjivar was last seen wearing a floral blouse, long blue jeans pants and a pair of black tennis shoes. Menjivar is of clear complexion about 5 feet 6 inches in height and has long black hair reaching to her shoulders. She weighs about 150lbs. If anyone knows the whereabouts of Juana Menjivar and or Allan Moreno, you are asked to contact your nearest police station or the Corozal Police Station at 402-0022.

Job Opportunity For Belizeans
The unemployment rate in Belize currently stands at about 25%, meaning one out of every four Belizeans is out of work. With the current economic climate in the country, Belizeans are more and more becoming desperate in finding gainful employment. With little to no relief coming from Government’s side in the form of economic stimulus, foreign investment interest, or business incentives, Belizeans will not see the creations of new jobs anytime soon. At present, the best the Government of Belize can come up with in terms of job creation is in the construction or sanitation fields. But, these are only temporary jobs. Despite those harsh realities, there is some good news tonight for those Belizeans who are in search of a job opportunity. The Actyl Group of Canada are in Belize and will be recruiting vibrant Belizeans between the ages of 19 to 35 who are in search of a job. Successful applicants will be taken to for work at several McDonald's Operators in Canada who are in need of youthful servers to work in their franchise restaurants. Recruitment begins January 29 and ends on February 1st at number 19 Barbados Street in Belmopan City. Information sessions will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the exception of a 12:00 p.m. start on the 29th. Trade workers are also being sought. If you’re a skilled worker and are welders, ironworkers, heavy duty mechanics, you are also encouraged to apply as there are several posts available in those areas. The sessions are free and applicants must bring a copy of their Resume, Valid Passport and Graduation Documents. For more information, you can visit the company’s website at or you can contact Sheran Palacio at 635-4796.

Will There Be A Referendum For The Belize/Guatemala Territorial Dispute?
Throughout the course of the day, several articles were published on Guatemala’s newspaper La Prensa Libre website in reference to the referendum process for the territorial dispute to the ICJ. The main topic of discussion now places Guatemalan authorities with an apparent change of mind in taking the matter before the ICJ. The most captivating headline was posted a little after one this afternoon stating, “TSE – Tribunal Suprema Electoral – suspende licitaciones para consulta popular por diferendo” which translates to ‘Electoral Supreme Court suspends bidding for Consultations on Referendum’. This indicates that Guatemalan officials have stopped the education process of the referendum scheduled for October 6th of this year. The referendum will leave it up to the electoral bodies of both countries to see if the territorial dispute is taken to the International Courts of Justice. But in order for the matter to be heard before the ICJ, both countries need to have their citizen’s voting in favour of it. This is where Guatemala now has an issue with the process occurring in Belize’s side. According to the articles written in Guatemalan newspapers, the issue at the point of contention now is that four months before Belize’s Foreign Ministry and Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry signed the agreement for the referendum, Belize legislated changes to the Act dealing with referendums. In Guatemala, there is no set percentage of required voter turnouts for the referendum process, which is the change Guatemala claims Belize has adjusted. The new legislation here in Belize states that there must be 60% voter turnout on the day of the referendum in order for the results to be binding.

Teachers Will Not Be Moved, Demonstration On The Horizon
In yesterday’s newscast, we highlighted the press release issued by the Ministry of Education in which it informed teachers of the Belmopan Constituency that they have been granted permission for half day classes in order to attend a meeting with Minister of National Security John Saldivar. It struck media houses across the country odd when this release was issued as Saldivar does not sit on the negotiating team and has no authority within the Ministry of Education. So why would he need to meet with teachers in his constituency? Well that’s a question on the minds of many. Teachers perceived this action as union busting, a divide and conquer tactic. President of the BNTU Belmopan Branch said that the teachers of the Belmopan branch will not fall into Saldivar’s union busting tactics. Soon after the announcement of Saldivar’s meeting with teachers, our phone line here in the News Room began ringing constantly by teachers and concerned parents stating that a similar action was taking place here in Orange Walk. Allegations made to us over the phone was that workshops by a high school and the Ministry of Education for the district of Orange Walk. Our news team travelled to Yo Creek Village this morning and spoke to President of the Belize National Teacher’s Union Orange Walk Branch Otilio Muñoz who told us more on the matter and clarified several issues.


Michael Finnegan supports Patrick Faber for Deputy Leader
The Convention to choose a new deputy leader of the ruling United Democratic Party got pretty interesting today, when Prime Minister Dean Barrow publically declared that he is not supporting the Collet area representative in his bid to unseat Gaspar Vega from the position. The Prime Minister made the pronouncement this morning, during his appearance on the WAVE Radio talk show. But one man who is backing Faber going into the convention, is Housing Minister Michael Finnegan. And today he told reporters that matters be who the Prime Minister supports in the convention, Faber is the man he thinks will be the better Deputy Party leader. The February seventeenth Convention is scheduled to take place in Corozal town. And going in, Finnegan says it is an open and transparent process. And to prove it, the veteran politician says he is even making his delegates accessible to both candidates to make their sales pitch ahead of next month’s convention. Love News asked Minister Finnegan if today’s public pronouncement by the Prime Minister amounted to a game changer for Faber with under a month to go before the convention.

Briefing for potential Taiwan scholarship recipients
Belizeans looking to further their education abroad today had an orientation of sorts with representatives of the Republic of China Taiwan at a luncheon. The event served as an information provider for those who are considering applying to study in Taiwan. Ambassador of Taiwan to Belize, David Wu, says the program started in 2002 and since then over two hundred students have completed their program of studies with impressive achievements. He told us about this year’s scholarship program. As to how many people will be granted the scholarship this year, Wu says it is a varying factor. Today’s briefing was well attended by aspirants to the Scholarship and Love News spoke with one of them, Janell Dawson who explained how getting the scholarship would help with her contribution to the country. While Dawson is contemplating what the Taiwanese studying experience might be like, Geraldine Godoy experienced it when she went to study for her Masters in Environmental Engineering with a concentration in Sustainable Development. But Taiwan is another continent on the other side of the world, so we asked Godoy if by any chance she got lost in translation. Today’s briefing was held at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel in Belize City.

University of Belize offers scholarship opportuities to all Belizeans
Belizeans who wish to read for a Masters or Doctorate degree now have access to scholarship opportunities through an initiative offered by the University of Belize. According to a statement from UD, the European Union is providing funding for the scholarships through a project called the Caribbean Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme. Selwyn King is the director of public information for the University of Belize. King says the scholarships are for the pursuit of studies in several academic fields. The deadline for the receipt of applications Caribbean Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme scholarships is March first.

Mesopotamia representative says Leader of the Opposition is not being truthful
A week ago, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca told the media that he has held a meeting with relatives of the victims of the quadruple homicides inside an apartment building at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets. Fonseca says that he met with about thirty of those family and other members of the community. The venue, according to Fonseca was a yard on Dean Street. Well today, the area representative for the Mesopotamia division came out swinging against the leader of the People’s United Party, accusing him of not getting his facts straight. A police investigation of the quadruple murders is still ongoing to determine a motive for the slaying of Albert Fuentes, Leonard Meyers, Anthony Perez and Keino Qually on January eight.

Protestors say “no” to the ICJ referendum
And while the launch of the awareness campaign was underway inside the Caracol room at the Radisson … outside the upscale hotel, a group of people who say they already know all they need to know about the issue was making their voices heard.

Annual Methodist district conference underway in Belize City
The Methodist Church in the Belize Honduras district is this week taking time out to review the organization’s performance over the course of the last year. The one hundred and fifty second district conference for the Methodist Church is underway in Belize City. Reverent Roosevelt Papouloute is the head of the Methodist Church in Belize. Reverend Papouloute says that despite challenges, the Methodist Church continues to carry out its mission in Belize and Honduras. The District conference of the Methodist Church ends on Sunday with the annual church service, which will be broadcast live on our sister network, Love FM.

Government says MCC Grounds to be used only for sports
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports today announced that effective immediately, the MCC Grounds will not be used for anything other than sports. According to a press release dated January fifteenth but emailed to the media this morning, the decision to reserve the stadium’s use for only sporting activities was taken based on feedback from the community after consultation with Cabinet. The official release says that government will be identifying funds to upgrade the facility strictly for sporting events and as such believes that, to be maintained for this purpose, use of the facility is to be restricted only to such events.

Education campaign launched leading up to ICJ referendum
The public awareness campaign leading up to the October sixth ICJ referendum has begun. Love TV’s Marion Ali and video journalist Brian Castillo had front row seat for the launch and bring you this report.

FFB president says big things in store for Belizean football
The president of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente returned to the country this morning after witnessing the national team advance to the semi finals of the Copa Centroamericano. The historic victory for the Belize National Football team came yesterday evening as Belize Defeated Nicaragua in a nail-biting two to one final score at the national stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica. Vicente, in an extended interview with Love News, said Tuesday evening’s victory is huge for Belizean football. Belize’s next game is scheduled for Friday when the national team goes up against Honduras. Vicente says the team is ready mentally and physically for the game. Vicente says the FFB plans on building upon the success of the current national football team as Belize looks to competing in the next World Cup qualifying tournament. The FFB resident says his personal belief is that the officiating in the tournament has been exceptional so far and that it has impacted the performance of Belize’s national team. Ruerto Vicente, President of the Belize Football Federation.

Mesopotamia representative comments on teachers’ plan to demonstrate
On Tuesday, teachers from all over the country are planning a mass demonstration in Belmopan. At issue is a stalemate on the issue of a salary increase for teachers and public officers being negotiated as part of a new collective bargaining agreement with government. The Barrow administration has said that it does not have the money to grant the proposed salary increase at this time; but the teachers are not buying it, and so they will demonstrate on Tuesday, hoping to force government to reconsider its position. Today, the member for Mesopotamia division, the UDP’s Michael Finnegan, weighed in on the upcoming mass demonstration. When asked for his response to allegations that while government is saying it cannot find money to give the teachers a salary increase, that funds are located to pay gang members, this is what Finnegan had to say. Again, the mass demonstration by the teachers is set to take place on Tuesday in Belmopan.


A man has been shot in Orange Walk
A man has been shot in Orange Walk. Reports to Plus News is that the person was wanted by police and when police tr...

Unions say demonstration is definitely on
The major unions - the Belize National Teachers' Union (BNTU), Public Service Union (PSU) and Association of Public...

Two teenagers charged with brutal murder of Maskall man
Police have arrested and charged 19 yr old Clive Geban of Belize City and a 15 year old male minor for the crime of...

Post Mortem shows 50 year old Majdi Agha died from a bullet to his heart
The murder of another Lebanese businessman has still been unsolved. This despite the presence of a security camera ...

Students dialogue with top officials on Referendum
The Referendum Commission is beginning its education process by meeting with students across the country. Wesley Co...

National BNTU President Luke Palacio says Government is sending "mixed signals"
Earlier this week we told you that teachers from Belmopan were forwarded a memo from the Belmopan District Educatio...

Primary and Secondary Schools in Stann Creek and Toledo receive school and medical supplies
Primary and Secondary Schools in Stann Creek and Toledo have received donations of various school and medical suppl...

14 year old Juana Evangelina Menjivar is missing
A fourteen year old girl has been reported missing. She is 14 year old Juana Evangelina Menjivar. The child’s fathe...

Natalie Coleman sentenced to 5 years for firearm offences
25 year-old Natalie Coleman was sentenced to 5 years in prison yesterday. Last December, police say they searched C...

Fashion designer Rebecca Stirm will be showing her new collection on Saturday night
19 year old Belizean fashion designer Rebecca Stirm will be showing her new collection on the runway this Saturday ...

Brandon Thompson arraigned for robbing a Guatemalan
A Belize City man was today arraigned for robbing a Guatemalan. 26-year-old Brandon Thompson was unrepresented when...

The Guardian

Stevannie Duncan called to the Bar
In a short ceremony held on Friday. January 18th at the court of the Chief Justice, Kenneth A. Benjamin, 25-year-old Stevannie Duncan, the daughter of now deceased, Pamela Duncan and her husband, Managing Director of Heritage Bank, Stephen Duncan was called to the bar.

Belize strengthens its National Alert to maintain Free Status
The Belize Agricultural Health Authority has strengthened its national poultry health alert.

Belt Night at House of Shotokan Karate Academy
On Friday, January 11th, relatives and friends of more than thirty martial arts student from the House of Shotokan Karate Academy gathered to celebrate with their loved ones as some ascended in belt classification and others received belts for the first time in their career.

Ned Pitts Stepping Down from Olympic Committee
The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association will elect new officers on Saturday, February 16th. Long- time President of the association and national sports hero, Edward “Ned” Pitts has announced that he will not contest the elections but will continue to support the association as an advisor when called upon. The announcement was made public on Thursday, January 17th, in a press briefing hosted by executive members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Belize Olympic And Commonwealth Games Association.

Transforming Belize City - 41 Streets and counting; A Beach is in The Works...
Under the leadership of Mayor Darrell Bradley, Belize City is undergoing an impressive, never-before-seen transformation. Nearing to the 1-year anniversary of the elections in March of 2012, the Belize City Council has been able to have either begun to pave or completed as many as 41 streets across Belize City. This week, the work on one of the major streets neared completion; that road is Freetown Road, which is a major artery coming into Belize City. A couple of weeks ago work started on Chetumal Street, and the work there has advanced considerably beginning first with the construction of a drain system. Work on the street itself has commenced in earnest with the street being closed off to vehicular traffic.

Belize Broadcasting Authority drafts Media Guidelines
The Belize Broadcasting Authority is in the process of formulating guidelines to regulate the manner in which media entities report on crime and violence in the country. Assisting in the formulation of the regulations is Oliver Wates, who has a vast level of experience in the field of journalism. Wates has been a correspondent with Reuters for 21 years and has worked in television and in media and journalism training in 60 countries. Now in Belize, Wates along with members of the Belize Broadcasting Authority have come up with draft guidelines by which the media is to operate when reporting on crime and violence.

No Concern Over Guatemala’s Claim on Belize’s Referendum Law
There was a report in the Prensa Libre newspaper of Guatemala that the President of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in Guatemala, Maria Euginia Villagran, was speaking of a possible postponement of the referendum date based on concerns about Belize’s Referendum Act. The Guardian spoke to Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Fred Martinez, who said that there is no real reason to be concerned about the possibility of any postponement to the October 6th simultaneous referenda date.

MCC for Football use only
The Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow announced on Wave Radio’s “Fus thing da Mawnin’ that two weeks ago Cabinet made a decision that the MCC grounds will be used exclusively for football and sporting activities. PM Barrow stated that cultural fairs and other events that would have been held on the MCC grounds will no longer be entertained. The decision by Cabinet was taken by public complaints by members of the public including the Football Federation of Belize following an anniversary concert held on the MCC by BTL on December 14th. Following the event pictures were circulated of damages done to the field causing concern as to whether or not the field should be used for public gatherings. Now the Cabinet has made a decision and the MCC will no longer be used for public events except they are sporting ones.

Healthier Environment for St Peter Claver School in Toledo
Over 900 students and teachers of St Peter Claver RC School in Punta Gorda, who were once exposed to the dangers of dilapidated asbestos roofs, now enjoy a healthier environment thanks to a Social Investment Fund (SIF) project that removed the asbestos roof from three of the buildings on the school compound. The project also renovated one of the buildings, which was officially inaugurated on Wednesday, January 23rd, during a ceremony held on the school campus.

Government to provide Quality, Potable Water to Chan Pine Ridge Village in the Orange Walk District
Over 447 residents of Chan Pine Ridge Village in the Orange District will soon have access to quality, potable water thanks to a Social Investment Fund (SIF) project, which aims to improve and expand water supply to rural communities in Belize.

Statement from Belmopan Area Representative Hon. John Saldivar Regarding Meeting with Teachers in his Constituency
I maintain my absolute right, obligation even, as an Area Representative to consult with my constituents on matters affecting their well-being.

UDP will support Referendum
Prime Minister and Leader of the United Democratic Party, Hon. Dean Barrow has announced that the UDP's National Party Council has taken the position that it will be supporting the referendum scheduled of October 6th. According to the Prime Minister, decisions have also been taken both at the Cabinet to support the referendum process.

Unions seek $240M in three years - GOB can’t afford it, wants negotiations to continue
Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that the request by unions to have a 36 percent salary increase for junior workers and 30 percent increase for senior workers over the next 3 years is simply not affordable. The unions’ request, most prominently, the Belize National Teachers’ Union's, says PM Barrow, will represent $240 million more that the Government has to find over the next 3 years. That is excluding $10 million, which the Government has to find to pay salary increments for public officers yearly; that is almost automatic (and this should be done in a meritocratic fashion, but this is seldom the case). The salary increments for public officers is 2.5% of what they earn.

The Year in Review 2012
October The month of October 2012 saw some welcome development for the small village of Sunday Wood in the Toledo District. Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Patrick Faber spoke at the opening of a new school.

Another Lebanese Man killed
Police are investigating the shooting death of 50-year-old Lebanese national Majdi Khodr Agha who was killed on Tuesday January 22nd. Police report that at around 8:50 a.m. they responded to Agha’s house, located on Keating Crescent in the Button Wood Bay area of Belize City where they found his corpse in a drain near his gate. He received 3 gunshots to the body and one to the head. Reports indicate that Agha had just returned home from dropping off his daughter to school and was in the process of opening the gate to his yard when he was a attacked by a lone gunman who wore a mask. After shooting Agha the gunman ran off and boarded a vehicle that was parked nearby and it sped off.

Fifth Suspect charged for Robbery of Chinese Grocer
On Friday, January 18th police took 20-year-old Gregory Knox, a Construction Worker of a Rio Bravo Crescent address in Belize City, to court on charges of robbery, and firearm and ammunition offences. He appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he told her that he had been shot in his two legs and cried in pain during his arraignment. Due to the nature of the offences, bail was not granted and his case was adjourned until March 1. In court, Knox also said that he is on medication for his injuries. He claimed that he went to take a gift for his daughter in the area of Mopan Street and when he was passing by, he saw the men and one of them whom he knows gave him $5.00 and that's how police linked him to the robbery. He claimed he is innocent and got shot for nothing.

Cop gets off Charges of taking Motor Vehicle without Authorization
On Friday, January 18th charges against police constable, Marvin Wade, his brother, Jason Wade and, Herwin Godoy were withdrawn for want of prosecution. The men had been charged with taking a motor vehicle without authority and handling stolen goods after a 2009 Toyota Hilux was taken from the Ministry of Health’s compound in Belize City on May 8th, 2012. At the time, surveillance cameras had caught a man dressed in camouflage jump over the perimeter fence and made off with the pickup truck. The men appeared before Magistrate, Hettie Mae Stuart, where the court prosecutor told the court that he will not be offering any evidence in the case against the men because they have no evidence against them. With that Magistrate Stuart told the men they were free to go as the charges were withdrawn from against them. Present in court with the men were their attorney, Bryan Neal, who said he never had to make any submission on behalf of his client since the prosecutor had no evidence.

International Olympic Committee Officials called on Minister Longsworth
Minister Herman Longsworth with Olympic Committee officials Rogers Stadium, Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Belize advances to the semi-final round in Copa Centro Americana
The National Football Team of Belize made history on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013, when it won its first ever football match in the Copa Centro Americana Tournament that is currently taking place in San Jose, Costa Rica, against Nicaragua in a 2-1 victory. Belize got on the scoreboard first when, forward, Travis Lennon scored Belize’s 1st goal of the game in the 28th minute of play to give Belize a 1-0 lead. It was well into the second half of the game that Nicaragua was able to score the equalizing goal against Belize for a 1-1 tied. However, in the closing minutes of the game, Deon McCauley scored the second and what proved to be the winning goal for Belize. With the 2-1 win for Belize over Nicaragua, Belize advanced to the playoff round of the Copa Centro Americana. Belize’s place as the number 2 seed in its division was solidified when Costa Rica, the tournament’s favourite, and Guatemala played to a 1-1 draw. The semi-final games which are scheduled to commence on Friday, January 25th will see Belize going up against Honduras and in the second semi-final game it will be Costa Rica and El Salvador. The championship was started on Friday, January 18th saw Belize losing to Costa Rica by the score of 1-0 and then on Sunday, January 20th, Belize played to a 0-0 draw against Guatemala.

Holy Redeemer and Buttonwood Bay Nazarene Boys and Girls lead in Primary Schools Softball
Holy Redeemer batter hits a fair ball down the first baseline The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Softball Competition continued at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City with a number of games over the last days. On Tuesday, January 22nd, in the girls’ game played, Holy Redeemer School edged St. John’s Primary School in a nail biting game by the score of 9-8. The winning pitcher for Holy Redeemer School was Sharen Lewis while the losing pitcher was Brea Gabourel. In the boys’ game, it was also Holy Redeemer winning over St. John’s Primary School by the score of 13-3. The winning pitcher was D’Andre Arana and the losing pitcher was Warren Smith. On Monday, January 21st, in girls’ competition, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene won over Unity Presbyterian School by the score of 14-10. The winning pitcher was Shenelle Magandi and the losing pitcher was Allison Ariolla. In the boys’ game, Buttonwood Bay Nazarene blanked Queen Square Anglican School by the score of 23-0. The winning pitcher was Brian Molina and the losing pitcher was Tariq Silva.

Taking One Step Back
There is a general agreement that criminals are bred and not born. It is not surprising that neglected and abused children, who have never known the security and love within their family that every child deserves, learn that the secret to survival is to look out for themselves alone. It is easy to blame parents for failing their children but a closer look shows that these parents are often themselves barely managing to survive and many had a childhood lacking in care. We can and must channel our efforts to the children we have collectively failed but we must also take one step back to look at the next generation.There is a consensus that interventions that address the needs of at risk children must be a major component in reducing violent crime. These include programmes intended to improve parenting skills; education initiatives that keep children in school; economic assistance targeting those most in need, especially children. This makes sense because poor parenting skills are exacerbated by poverty and poverty itself feeds into family disintegration. Conditional Cash Transfer Programmes such as BOOST and its companion Pantry Programme help families to survive and nudge them towards better parenting by rewarding school and ...

Superbond Renegotiation almost Complete
On Monday, January 21st, Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with Co-chair of the Super Bond Creditor's Committee, A.J Mediratta held a joint press conference at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel where it was announced that the terms of the renegotiated Superbond is almost complete. Mediratta's visit was for him to have personal discussions with the Prime Minister on outstanding issues. For now, the general economic terms of the restructuring has been agreed to with only minor details being left to be completed. According to Prime Minister, Barrow the exact terms of the renegotiated terms of the Superbond cannot be made public at this time. He said, however, that there are significant savings that will materialize as a result of the new terms. In 2012, those savings in cash flow will be 11 million U.S. In 2013, the savings go up to $33 million U.S.; between 2013 and 2017, the government would have realized some $118 million U.S.; between 2013 and 2022, cash flow savings would have gone up to $247 million U.S.

Belize advances in Central American Cup
Living up to his record as having the most goals in international play, Deon McCauley managed a heart-stopping 91st minute goal on Tuesday January 23rd against Nicaragua in Costa Rica in the Copa Centroamericana (Central American Cup). It was a goal that gave Belizeans watching the action a collective sigh of relief and a moment of euphoria. The goal meant that Belize had won the game 2-1 against Nicaragua. Six minutes earlier at the 85th minute of play, E. Figueroa managed an equalizing goal taking the game to a 1-1 draw. Hearts must have sank and the probabilities of Belize advancing to the next round began to be calculated by all who were watching. Those calculations were no longer necessary after the McCauley goal. Belize advanced to the Semifinal round after the win. During the game against Nicaragua, Belize had managed to maintain a lead from the 28th minute of play when Harrison Roches passed the ball to Travis Lennon at the outside box of the Nicaraguan Goal. With surgical precision, Lennon drove a cannon shot into Nicaragua’s goal taking the lead of the game. That had the game 1-0 and it was maintained that way despite best efforts by Nicaragua’s squad who kept attacking the goal but which was capably defended by Woodrow Wilson West stopping all goals attempts.

What is There to lose in going to The ICJ?
On Wednesday, January 16th the Ministry of Foreign Affairs began its recruiting exercise to have media organizations become partners in the education campaign that will see Belizeans vote on a referendum on whether to take the age old Guatemalan Claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or not. Presenting at the media mixer was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington. He explained that by all indications, Guatemalan Government officials are convinced that they will be able to get a ‘Yes’ vote from their people and the question is whether Belize will be able to follow suit. He explained that while a ‘No’ vote would not have a dramatic deterioration in relations with Guatemala, it could possibly mean that there would be an increased number of Guatemalans making their way illegally into Belizean territory. Additionally, he said that the friendly group of nations that are currently supporting the process and are financing the office at the Western border are likely to pull financing, they have expressed as much, he said.


A Tale of Five Cities: Good eats in Palenque
During our two days in Palenque, Mexico, we got to enjoy some tasty food. On our first night, we just wanted a simple dinner. We needed to find an ATM to get some cash beforehand and ended up walking a long way looking for a Scotiabank ATM. We never did find one so had to backtrack to another ATM, then re-backtrack to Pizzeria Palenque. I was more than hungry (and fussy!) by the time we got there, but it was worth all the trekking. The pizza was delicious, and the cervesas were very cold. Great prices too! Ahhhhh...the simple things in life are the best Our pizza had fresh tomatoes, spicy chorizo, jalepenos, and avocado. Delish! Both mornings we had the continental breakfast at the Hotel Xibalba, which was included in our room rate. The breakfast consisted of fresh fruit, bread and butter, and really good coffee (but only one cup -- free refills are not typically given in Mexico, or Belize for that matter). We sat outside in handmade chairs constructed from thick wood rounds, sanded and polished to a smooth shine.

Realizations and New Locations
The other day I had a realization, when it comes to exercise I am like a snowbird. Many people do 3 – six months or as long as they can here during their cold months. Right now we are experiencing a lot of rain and major cold front and I cannot bear the thought of getting in the pool to exercise, truth be told for the past few months. I decided to work with that and find an alternative to help me get my abs back and hula hooping is doing just the trick. I can keep it spinning for at least 20 minutes. I have also developed some stretches and other exercises with the hoop. After exercising, I decided to take a desk job break today in favor of going with Dennis to Cg Esthetic and doing field work taking pictures. Dennis had asked borrow my phone to book a haircut with Carole, I told him I would sort it out and knew I could probably find her on the coconut phone as she has wifi in her new location at Fairdale plaza. I booked the time and sent her a few pics from the Brad Pitt Channel commercial so she would know what he was looking for. The new shop looks great and she has some really cool things for sale in addition to the haircare products and barefoot sandals. Rob is doing these great lamps made from recycled bottles and beach bits. If you are looking for a new San Pedro souvenir for your house, these are definitely cool. She also has these really nice edible hibiscus flowers that go in your wine. They open up when submerged and they help the bubbles last longer. It was good catching up and I found out Carole’s Aunt Denise who tries to snowbird as often as she can is coming back for a month. Bet that is perfect timing for her I am sure it is cold in Montreal right now.

Belizestagram! The Best Photos Of The Week
I had a hard time choosing the top photo. Since I love sunsets I really wanted to go with Amanda’s Caye Caulker shot but the colonial style beach home in Placencia stole my heart. I have a house in Cayo, which is in Western Belize but I have yet to own property on the beach – that’s on my bucket list.

Public Education Campaign On Guatemala's Territorial Claim to Belize
ADDRESS OF HON. FRANCIS FONSECA, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION ON LAUNCH OF PUBLIC EDUCATION CAMPAIGN: Public Education Campaign – Launch January 23rd, 2013 Belize City We meet this morning to launch the Public Education Campaign leading up to a Referendum at which the Belizean people will be asked to vote Yes or No on the following question: “Do you agree that any legal claim of Guatemala against Belize relating to land and insular territories and to any maritime areas pertaining to these territories should be submitted to the International Court of Justice for final settlement and that it determines finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the Parties?” This, ladies and gentlemen, is the question that will undoubtedly dominate our national conversation and consciousness for many months to come. Our People’s United Party is obligated and committed to being a part of that National Conversation. Our Party’s National Executive meeting at Independence Hall on October 20th, 2012, made the following decisions: 1. The People’s United Party will participate in the Public Education Campaign. That participation has already began

Guatemala's Territorial Claim to Belize [INFOGRAPHIC]
Earlier today I saw an infographic about the Territorial claim of Guatemala over Belize on the Guatemala Prensa Libre. The infographic is in Spanish and it basically illustrates a map of Belize and the territory that Guatemala is claiming from Belize. I didn't clearly understand it since it was written in Spanish so I decided to translate some part of the infographic and come up with an English version. Do note that this is just my interpretation of the infographic that I saw on the popular Guatemalan newspaper. This infographic is for educational purposes only. If it helps, share with your English speaking comrades. I am sure they will appreciate this.

Let the Sunshine In
After the heavy rain of the last few days it was much better when I arose this morning at 5 am. No sound of the rain beating down. Just the swoosh of the coconut palms. Exactly the sound I hoped to hear. A good omen you would think for progress on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize today. My optimism was dampened (sorry for the pun) when at around 9 am the rain started to fall lightly. Would this be enough to prevent work on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize again today? Fortunately the rain did not last long and did not fall too heavily but Rose and I decided to wait until the afternoon to visit the site. Just to give the rain a chance to change its mind! We decided that we would use the time to prepare for the weekly Friday meeting we have with Daniel Camal, our building contractor, during which we compare progress versus the schedule and confirm our requirements for the next phases of our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. With our notes finished we set off for the site.

Cheap Vacation in Belize – AdventureTravel by Bus from Caye Caulker to Western Belize
For tourists looking to travel affordable in Central America, Belize is often surprisingly expensive. Occasionally there are vacation deals from Canada or the U.S. offered through Delta, United, or American Airlines into Belize City International Airport. Most often European travelers will find Cancun to be the cheapest and most direct option. The “Mundo Maya” travel route also helps to avoid visa conflicts with America. Regional airfare is quite expensive to Belize. Connections from Flores, Guatemala (Tropic Air) and San Salvador, El Salvador (Taca) often run in the hundreds of dollars. Therefore if you plan on a cheap tropical vacation, its best to first try flying into Cancun. Also, Chetumal on the Mexico/Belize border, has airport that occasionally runs airfare deals from Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, and Ottawa, Canada. From Cancun, Playa, and Tulum, Mexico it is possible to travel to Belize City directly by overnight bus.

Happir Thun A Pig N' Mud: Amish Schnitzel Beens
Amish Schnitzel Beans-from 6 slices bacon 3 medium onions, sliced 1 lb fresh green beans-I used frozen that were thawed 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes-I just grabbed 2 large tomatoes 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1/3 C boiling water-I

International Sources

Regional merchants face new US withholding tax
Under new rules added to the US Tax Code in January 2012, credit card processing companies must now collect and verify the tax identification number (TIN) and legal name associated with that number for each merchant customer. Section 6050W of the US Internal Revenue Code now requires merchant-acquiring entities in the US such as American Express to document the status of any US or foreign business they settle transactions with. Although section 6050W is aimed at American taxpayers, who have to provide their taxpayer identification number, foreign merchants using the payment services are subject to the regulation if their establishment has a physical address or bank account in the US, or if it processes transactions in US dollars, as it is the case with credit cards. All transactions using US-based credit cards are subject to an automatic 28 percent withholding tax unless the merchant is compliant with new regulations. So far, American Express appears to be the only company enforcing this law, although it should eventually apply to all US-based cards.

VIDEO: Belize Oil- The Benefits
Now that oil has been discovered in Belize, who's likely to benefit?

Corin Nemec in horrific boating accident
While he is going to be fine in time, this type of news is the type we hate to report. According to TMZ, actor Corin Nemec — who portrayed “Jonas Quinn”, the Kelownan scientist from Langara and eventual SG-1 team member in Season Six of the series — is recovering from emergency surgery after shattering his leg in multiple places in a boating accident this past weekend. Nemec, who was in Belize shooting a film (presumably a production headed for Syfy) called Poseidon Rex, was on board a Coast Guard vessel that crashed violently into a partially submerged barge. “We hit the sinking barge … with an enormous amount of force,” Nemec told a local reporter in Belize. “[And] that threw me into the side of the boat where I shattered my femur in three places.”

Corin Nemec Lucky To Be Alive After Boating Accident
Actor Corin Nemec is lucky to be alive following a serious boating accident in Belize. The 41 year old, who played the titular character on U.S. Tv series Parker Lewis Can't Lose, was travelling with a film crew to the set of his new movie Poseidon Rex when their Coast Guard vessel struck a semi-submerged barge on Saturday morning (19Jan13). Nemec, who was thrown from the boat, was then rushed to the Medical Associate's Hospital for emergency surgery after losing over half the blood in his body and breaking his leg in three places. He tells local station 7 News Belize, "We hit the sinking barge, and that is what filled the boat to one side immediately with an enormous amount of force, and that threw me into the side of the boat where I shattered my femur in 3 places. It was the doctor here on call, who has been amazing, Doctor Smith, he said that it's the worst break that he's had to deal with. And I lost over half of the blood in my body during they trauma, and during the operation, and I still don't have the right blood count yet... "The whole event was very scary. Everybody onboard that boat, including the gentlemen working for the Coast Guard, everyone is lucky to be alive.

Cave Tubing in Belize
While Belize was quite the relaxing getaway, we made sure we had a number of exciting adventures on the agenda as well. We took tubes through pitch black caves, guided by lights we had attached to our helmets. It was a really cool way to experience the environment of Belize. Click through the gallery to see pics from our cave tubing excursion.

Belize City, Belize – Corin Nemic, who is best known for the early 1990’s sitcom ‘Parker Lewis can’t Lose’ is lucky, for him, to still be alive after suffering serious injuries in a boat accident on the set of his newest movie. Nemec was apparently injured filming a sequence aboard a Coast Guard vessel. He apparently lost a good deal of blood and broke his leg in multiple places. It’s not clear what anyone was doing by hiring Corin Nemec for a new movie and it’s also not clear if the insurance on said movie even existed, never mind being extensive enough to cover his recovery, if that even matters to producers.

January 24, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

Town Council mandates changes for Carnaval 2013
The dates for Carnaval 2013 have been set and the rules have been changed. From February 8th through February 13th, the San Pedro Carnaval will see a celebration focused on tradition as opposed to the free-for-all painting and debauchery that has evolved to over the years. While some residents are arguing that the changes are for the better, there is also opposition from those who want to keep carnaval the way it has been over the recent years. As the island develops and the population has grown, the celebration of carnaval has been met with mixed emotions. For many, carnaval is a time for friends to gather and join in a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation on the island. Over the years however, some revelers have taken it upon themselves to intentionally deface public and private property and in some instances, cause bodily harm to other individuals. The final night of carnaval was often considered a version of “Fat Tuesday”, with a “free-for-all” attitude. Many believe this night has evolved into a more sinister affair, with bullying, physical harm and vandalism and leaving the true meaning of carnival behind.

Blues Dogs perform in benefit function for Holy Cross
Two members of the Blues Dogs band teamed up with island-based musicians for an afternoon of blues on the beach at Estel’s Dine by the Sea. The event was organized in an effort to raise funds for the Holy Cross Anglican Primary School, the only public school in the San Mateo area of San Pedro Town. Kent Obermann and Chris Kay of Blues Dogs’ band were vacationing on Ambergris Caye when they decided to donate their time and talent for a worthy cause. Speaking to The San Pedro Sun, Obermann explained that after meeting with Rendezvous’ Glen Schwendinger, they had the same idea: a charity performance. “We started talking about life, music and other things and the next thing you know, we are doing this fundraiser. It was two of us from our band, and all the rest are local musicians. Glen put together an unbelievable fundraiser. We have a lot and it is our opportunity to give back. We are on vacation and this is a skill that we have and there is no reason not to use it and have fun while doing something good,” said Obermann.

NFL’s Larry Fitzgerald & Andre Roberts vacation on Ambergris Caye
The warm turquoise waters, serene beaches and friendly people are no doubt a few of the reasons why two National Football League (NFL) players recently vacationed on Ambergris Caye. 25 year old Andre Roberts and 29 year old Larry Darnell Fitzgerald Jr., both Arizona Cardinals players were on holiday for five days in Belize. Larry-FitzgeraldLarry Fitzgerald is a wide receiver who was picked third (overall) by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2004 NFL Draft. He has remained with the Cardinals and is currently the fifth all-time in NFL history in receiving yards per game for a career (76.0 yards per game). He is behind Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, Torry Holt, and Marvin Harrison. A little over a year ago, in August of 2011, Fitzgerald Jr agreed to an eight-year, $120 million contract extension.

Ambergris Today

Jerry Jeff Walker's Camp Belize 2013 Pickin’ Parties
They are loyal followers of Jerry Jeff Walker, who is set to give two concerts during his Belize Camp 2013 taking place from January 20 to February 3, 2013, in San Pedro, Belize. But even before Jerry Jeff Walker sets foot on stage for his main events, his fans have already started the party in San Pedro in what is known as Pickin’ Parties.

Flavors of Belize on Daytime TV!
Tanya McNab, publisher of Flavors of Belize -The Cookbook, was invited to showcase Belize and the cookbook on United States daytime television morning show. Daytime TV is a morning show that is produced by River Bank Studios at the NBC News Center / WFLA Channel 8, Tampa, FL.

Misc Belizean Sources

New website for Holy Cross
At Holy Cross we are excited about this new year and have begun our year with a new website. For those of you who have not already seen it, please take a moment to view the site, which has everything you need to know about volunteering,donating supplies, donating funds and helping out with construction projects. I'd like to thank everyone who helped with the website, including Jacob Musick from the Canterbury Society of the College Of William and Mary and the members of the Holy Cross Education Foundation. Please, enjoy reading this January edition of our news letter, may it remind you why Holy Cross Anglican School holds a special place in the hearts of so many.

Belize Labour Force Survey, September 2012
The September 2012 Labour Force Survey reveals the number of employed and unemployed persons in Belize. The Scout Association of Belize is planning on publishing a history of scouting in Belize. If you have any information that would beneficial to include, please contact Randolph Johnson, who is heading up this project, at the email address above.

Book on Scouting
The Scout Association of Belize is planning on publishing a history of scouting in Belize. If you have any information that would beneficial to include, please contact Randolph Johnson, who is heading up this project, at the email address below.

VIDEO: PADI Underwater Photography, Advanced Course
Featuring White Sands Pro Divers Academy, PADI Instructor Ian Oliva,Ambergris Caye, Belize

Crystal Cave with Carlos the Caveman
This travel review has loads of great pictures from the Crystal - aka Mountain Cow - Cave. They relate that going with Carlos the Caveman was 'one of the highlights of our entire trip.' Mountain Cow Cave is really getting some good publicity lately, as it should, with all of its amazing formations. "We went into some small places that made my heart race, wondering if I was going to fit and get through! There were times where we would slide down on our bums on the muddy, slippery rocks and be very close to a 20 foot drop down to the bottom (and surefire broken limbs or worse). We went into several small side crevices to see human remains that were still undiscovered by archeologists (unearthed during a particular rainy season). Carlos was a great guide and truly loves caving. He was very good at pointing out the best route to take and to lend a helping hand when needed. Then, we went to Wonderland. Most people don’t get to go here. There are only a few guides who know the way and are supposed to go there (not that there are any rules 500 feet underground). In addition to that, it is a tough climb up and down to get there. But oh, so worth it."

The New Belize Logo Story
After 26 years, Belize finally has a new logo. How did Olson come up with it? The unique process is described, and they made a video about the process too. "Olson turned to Belize itself for inspiration--the circular forms found across the nation inspired the new typeface, while a local artist contributed his own take to the national bird, the toucan. In all, the identity brings a contemporary, yet classic vibe to represent tourism in Belize and harkens back to classic travel posters of the '60s (which, as design pieces tend to stand the test of time better than the stuff of recent years). The graphic forms are balanced out with textural brushstrokes, a nod to the handcraftsmanship of the country's artisans."

Autumn/Winter 2013 Runway Models
Rebecca Stirm has an album of the models, including two Miss Belizes, Destinee Arnold and Chantae Guy, along with many others that you know and have seen many times before, that will be in the Autumn/Winter 2013 Fashion Show. It's just 3 nights away. "Meet the runway models for our autumn/winter 2013 Collection Runway Release - January 26th at the Princess Hotel [Kings Room]"

Chaa Creek Wins on TA and Oyster
Chaa Creek not only won a Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice awards, but made the list for 15 Unique Hotel Stays. On TA, they won in the Best Small Hotels category, and they remain on the Best Family Hotels category from last year. Read what has to say about them. Congratulations, Chaa Creek! "Chaa Creek, one of Belize's first eco-lodges, has evolved from its humble beginnings as a working farm to become a premier luxury retreat. This sophisticated operation includes rustic-luxe, thatched-roof cottages, wonderful service, and modern amenities such as an infinity pool with jungle views and a full-service spa. The riverside setting on a private rainforest reserve is phenomenal, and myriad tours and outdoor activities are offered through the hotel. To top it off, room rates are fair for what you get -- and there are even budget accommodations available at Macal River Camp (pictured), located on the property."

Belmopan Bus Terminal Infomercial [VIDEO]
Have you been by the Belmopan City Bus Terminal as of late? If you have, you may have noticed a few or lot of changes. But don't worry, here is a guide on how to use the Bus Terminal and parking areas.

Vacancy Notice
PROJECT NAME: Integrated Entrepreneurship Development in Central America and Dominican Republic FUNDING AGENCY: CENPROMYPE through Republic of China (Taiwan) POSITION: Local Project Coordinator Statement of Capability: The objective of the project is to Promote and strengthen entrepreneurship in Central America and the Dominican Republic with the purpose of establishing new Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSME); and developing and strengthening businesses in the MSME sector. The project has four components: 1. Awareness and support for national strategies for entrepreneurship and design of the regional strategy

Channel 7

Belize's National Football Team Advances to Semis! Gold Cup On Horizon!
Tonight, there's still elation all across the land over the Belize National Football Team's historic win yesterday over Nicaragua in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana being played in San Jose, Costa Rica. That's because Belize's second place in Group A was secured last night when Guatemala drew against Costa Rica, 1- 1. That result means that the Belize team - with four points - now moves unto the Tournament Semifinals and also qualifies for the Gold Cup which is a much larger tournament. So now Belize takes on Honduras on Friday at 5:30. For this small country, this is considered a giant leap forward and we'll have much more on what's next when we talk to the President of the FFB, who's just returned from Costa Rica. -That is coming up in our second segment...

ICJ Campaign Launched; Opponents Gain Prominence
But before we talk regional football, we've got to talk regional politics - and Belize and Guatemala are right in the middle of it. That's because today the ICJ education campaign was launched formally in Belize. And it's also the day that Guatemala's leading daily the Prensa Libre chose to publish this odious map, which shows - in yellow - the portion of Belize that Guatemala is claiming. More on that later, but first to the ICJ campaign. Last week, we told you that the Government of Belize would begin its campaign to educate the Belizean public on taking the matter of the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice. It's the lead-up to simultaneous referendums in Belize and Guatemala on October 6, 2013. At today's launch the Prime Minister announced how he will vote in that referendum, while the Leader of the Opposition, who shared the stage with him was non - committal.

COLA Pres Says Referendum Resistance Won't Stop
And if today's launch was any indicator, they can expect to face opposition from COLA at a few of those events. Today, COLA President Geovanni Brackett was kicked out of the ceremony, supposedly for being disruptive. It involved his supporters and him sitting in their chairs and showing their flags to the cameras. 7News caught up with him downstairs, and we asked him if the officers explained why he was being kicked out. Here's how he described it: Geovanni Brackett - President, COLA "What happened, if you noticed, one of the officers came to me and asked me to kindly step out. Well, I said that I did nothing wrong, you understand. I don't have anything illegal on me, so I just went outside. When I went outside, the officer asked me, 'Mr. Brackett, I am hoping that you don't the activity and the presentations that are going on.' I said, 'Sir, I know you saw me raising up a flag, with a 'no ICJ' symbol on it. What we did is that the cameras are rolling around, and everyone knows that COLA opposes going to the ICJ. If these cameras show us just sitting there nicely, it appears that we are supporting. So, we kindly didn't say anything, but just silently holding up the flag for a few seconds that you all - you all just need about 10-12 seconds of B-Roll footage - I'm a camera man - and then you're done with the business.' He said to me that they don't want us to raise that flag again.

Flag Monument Victim Of Early Morning Mischief (by COLA?)
And while COLA activists were unceremoniously yanked from today's event - truth is, they had already put in their work with some early morning civil disobedience. 7news was at the flag monument before dawn where we came upon a most unexpected site. Jules Vasquez has the story: Jules Vasquez Reporting This morning before dawn 12 flags saying no ICJ were raised at the flag monument. This is how they looked at 6:00 am - a sort of lo-tech, guerilla style vandalism to protest today's launch of the ICJ public awareness campaign. And while it may have been low-intensity, it was high on symbolism - these defiant flags hoisted instead of the national flag to greet the waking city.

Guatemala + Int'l community Looking At Bze Referendum Law
And while COLA is leading the charge against the referendum in Belize, they got some heavy fuel from the Prensa Libre paper in Guatemala today - which published an image of the full Guatemalan claim to Belize. Now it's a matter of fact - and one that has never changed, but most Belizeans, on seeing it, would recoil in disgust: they're claiming half the country! But going beyond emotion, Guatemala is looking very closely at Belize's referendum process, and they've zeroed in on Belize's referendum law. According to referendum act, a successful referendum must have 60% voter participation for the result to be binding, which means that if the threshold is not met, then the referendum is null and void. And that's what the Prensa Libre article was about: that with the 60% restriction, it puts Guatemala at a disadvantage. The article questions whether or not Belize has acted in good faith with that amendment, which came months before the signing of the Special Agreement between the two countries.

FFB Hyped For Centro Semi's, Looking Ahead to GOLD Cup
As we told you at the top of our newscast, Belize's National "A" Team qualified for the first time in its history of participating in the UNCAF's Copa Centroamericana. The team remains in Costa Rica tonight - as it preps for Friday night's semi-final match against Honduras. But, while they keep their eyes on this prize, they're also looking to the horizon: the prestigious Gold Cup, which will be played in July in the US at some of the finest football stadiums in the U.S and against 11 other countries including Canada, Cuba, Haiti, Martinique, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States. Indeed, it is a time of excitement in football circles, and after less than one year as President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente is on top of the world. He returned to Belize today after watching history being made yesterday. He explained that the international community, which was skeptical of Belize, is now stunned by the team's performance thus far: Ruperto Vicente - President, FFB "I am very excited about the performance from our national team in Costa Rica. Certainly, the other Central American countries were not expecting Belize to perform so well, and they did not believe us when we said to them that we're here to surprise them. So, certainly, our national team has perform well, and we're excited about it."

Police Review Surveillance Video For Majdi's Murder
Police have been reviewing the security camera footage of 50 year old Majdi Agha's murder yesterday morning in the Butonwood Bay area. As we reported, a neighbor's security cameras captured the entire execution. Those who have seen the video tell us that it shows a man of Hispanic, or possibly Arabic or East Indian descent waiting for Agha in his yard on Keating Crescent. As he pulled up to open the gate, the shooter emerged from the yard and shot him. Agha survived and tried to run, but the shooter walked behind him and fired more shots. His wife and newborn child were in the car witnessing all this. She jumped out in panicked desperation and started to scream while the shooter finished him off. The gunman then ran behind the yard into an empty lot to escape. Contrary to reports we received on the scene police do not believe he was wearing a mask. Still, the gunman's face is not made out clearly on the video.

PM Says He Does Not Support Faber For Deputy
For weeks we've been reporting on the contest in the UDP to see who will be the party's Deputy Leader. Chairman Patrick Faber has done the "not-done-thing" and challenged the sitting Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega for the Deputy's post. It's created major friction within the senior ranks of the UDP - and - at the official level - the Prime Minister has steered clear of choosing a favourite. But today, he changed course. He appeared on WAVE Radio's Fus Thing Da Mawnin - and - in what seemed to be what we'd refer to colloquially as a "hand-set-play", he responded directly to a caller who asked him what he thinks of the race for Deputy. Here's a voice recording of what the PM said: Voice of Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Party Leader, UDP "All sorts of reasons, including for reasons of ethnic and geographic balance, I do not support the Minister of Education in his challenge to the Deputy Party Leader." And if that sounded a little unclear, the PM repeated it to the press at the end of the ICJ launch. Here's what he told us:

More Comment On Teachers' Dispute
Honourable Finnegan also held forth on a number of news-making issues - one of them being the Government's ongoing dispute with teachers. We'll have that shortly, but first to yesterday's flare-up with the teachers. As we reported, the president of BNTU's Belmopan Branch publicly accused Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar of Union Busting. That's after the Belmopan Branch of the BNTU received an invitation from the Ministry of Education for select Belmopan schools to attend a meeting with Saldivar at the George Price Center today. We today asked the Prime Minister what he thinks of it - and he refused point-blank saying that he is not intimately aware of the details. Here's how the conversation quickly turned when one reporter pressed the issue: Jose Sanchez - Channel 5 News "Was it appropriate for the Minister of National Security to have the Minister of Education to instruct teachers to close their doors, and send students home today for a meeting in the capital?"

Woman Gets Five Years For Ammo
We take a break now from all the politics for some court news - about a woman who's serving time for possession of unlicensed ammunition. 25 year-old Natalie Coleman is serving a 5 year sentence after she was convicted of firearm offences in the Magistrates Court today. In December of 2011, police visited her home and found four 12-gauge shotgun cartridges. She was charged jointly with her boyfriend, 22 year-old Randy Dominguez, for keeping unlicensed ammunition, but Dominguez's attorney was able to get the charge withdrawn when they showed the court that he was not present at the time of the search. So, Coleman alone stood trial for the ammunition, and the police officers who made the bust came and testified to it before Magistrate Cayetano.

A Fair For Scholarships
The Embassy of Taiwan held its 2013 scholarship briefing this morning at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel. Over 20 Belizean scholarship seekers took the opportunity to sit in this morning and learn about the Scholarship program. Ambassador David Wu explained the idea behind the scholarship fair: Currently there are about 100 Belizean students pursuing degrees in Taiwan in fields such as journalism, public health, nursing, agriculture, business administration, engineering and information and communication technology.

BCM Wants to Build Its Own Citrus Plant?
There's some interesting information coming out of the citrus belt tonight. Belize Citrus Mutual - the growers group that claims to represent a majority of the industry's fruit production says it's considering building its own Citrus Processing facility. Normally, that's not the kind of thing one would take seriously, but Citrus Mutual does have what you might call, a lot of juice. And they've written a letter to the A letter to the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture to ask how it should proceed. The background to the letter is that the sole processing facility at CPBL is functioning but beset by constant disputes between the majority and minority shareholders. So now, Citrus Mutual wants its own, independent of all that fighting. So is this proposal what would be called a dead raise - a proposal meant solely to exert leverage on a situation? We won't even dare to hazard a guess - meaning we'll definitely take a wait and see approach on this one!

Finnegan Says He Never Paid Gangs
Two weeks ago, in the aftermath of the Dean Street Massacre, the area representative for Mesopotamia Michael Finnegan interceded quickly to get leader of the George Street gang into an emergency meeting with the Prime Minister in Belmopan. This was widely and roundly criticized - and then it was followed by a rumor that Finnegan had sponsored an all-expense paid retreat for the gang leaders in their Gales Point Manatee hide-away. That was never more than a rumor but it gained traction - and even the Chamber of Commerce bit on it. So today, since we had him in a game mood, we asked Finnegan, did he pay the GSG to take a vacation? Hon. Michael Finnegan "Of course, I got involved because I was afraid of the repercussions, so I got involved, and I heard the Chamber of Commerce sent out a release saying that we were in negotiations these gang members. That is not true. We were no negotiation with the gang members in that meeting with the Minister of National Security, the Prime Minister, and myself. That is not true, but let me go one step further.

Hon. Finnegan Calls Hon. Fonseca A "Congenital Liar"
And while we are on the subject - what about those meetings that the leader of the opposition had on Dean and George Street with the community after the mass murder? Those meeting were held in the Mesopotamia division, Finnegan's turf. And that's probably why Finnegan went-off today when we asked him to discuss how Francis Fonseca seemed to be edging in on him: Hon. Michael Finnegan "Mr. Vasquez, when the Opposition Leader first gave you that interview, he said that he met with 30 people in a yard on Dean Street. When he had an interview last week on Open Your Eyes, that 30 was moved up to 40 people. So - I want you to put this on, the numbers too - let me tell you something, Mr. Vasquez, the Leader of the Opposition - we are not in parliament now, we are out here - is a congenital liar because no yard on Dean Street can hold 30 people, absolutely no yard in my division on Dean Street can hold that amount of people. Then, he went on to say that there are 4 and 5 houses in 1 yard. That is a lie; no yard in the Mesopotamia Division can ever hold 4 or 5 house. And he said on West Street, that's a lie."

Man Injured In Coast Guard Accident Explains
Over the weekend there was a boat accident on the sea that involved a Belize Coastguard Boston Whaler vessel and a semi submerged barge. The accident happened around 5:20 on Saturday morning between St George's Caye and Drowned Caye. The Coastguard vessel was transporting a Film Crew to St George's Caye when it crashed into the semi submerged barge. Roughly about 22 passengers were onboard, 3 of who were coast guard officers. Several persons were injured including the film's lead actor and co-producer Corin Nemec. Nemec received a broken leg and was transported to the Medical Associate's Hospital in Belize were he had to receive emergency surgery. He is tonight recovering and spoke with 7news from his hospital bed. He told us his crew has been filming out at St George's Caye for a few days and that the Belize Coastguard was a part of the movie storyline. But on that day he says they were going too fast and the boat driver didn't see the wreck that lay ahead:

Channel 5

Belize/Guatemala referendum process begins now
The official launch of an education campaign for the October referendum process took place today. To give the event an air of bi-partisanship, both the leader of the opposition and the prime minister addressed the launch. The opposition remained on neutral grounds supporting the process, but stopped short of supporting a Yes vote. The Prime [...]

Caribbean flags removed for ‘No to ICJ’ flags
The flag monument inside the roundabout by the Save U Plaza is a welcoming landmark at the Philip Goldson Highway entrance to Belize City. The colorful flags of the Caribbean normally fly at the monument.  But about three a.m., someone took down the flags and replaced them with white flags that had a very clear [...]

Guatemala media alleges unfair referendum legislation
On the day the campaign was launched in Belize, the popular Guatemalan newspaper Prensa Libre lashed out on the Government of Belize. The article claims that the government intentionally changed the legislation to increase the voter participation to sixty percent to make the referendum valid. Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Fred Martinez, was asked about the [...]

B.N.T.U. and P.S.U. says union busting; P.M. says not so
The head of the Belmopan Branch of the Belize National Teachers Union, Corland Galvez and her membership are up in arms over a letter from the Ministry of Education authorizing the closure of schools at noon today. The letter asked parents pick up their children because teachers would be attending a meeting with Minister of [...]

Finnegan says B.N.T.U. has a right to demonstrate
We also asked Minister Finnegan to weigh in on the issue and he says he supports a national demonstration which is well within their democratic rights.   Michael Finnegan, Mesopotamia Area Representative “If the teachers feel aggrieve, the teachers have a right to demonstrate. This is how our democracy work in our country and I [...]

P.M. supports Gappy for Deputy Party Leader
The campaign for U.D.P. Party Leader is heating up and it was all on the airwaves this morning. Party Chairman, Patrick Faber, is challenging sitting Deputy Party Leader, Gaspar Vega. Faber has released a campaign ad and has been making his media rounds, both on the impending B.N.T.U. demonstration and his bid for deputy leader [...]

Faber not fazed by P.M.’s support for Vega
At the same time, Minister Faber was on Love FM and stunned by the pronouncement he maintained that the Prime Minister has confidence in him.   Patrick Faber, Party Chairman, U.D.P. “My boss, the Prime Minister, has indicated publicly that he believes that I; he supports me to be the next leader of the party. [...]

Finnegan says Faber suited to steer U.D.P.
While the Prime Minister supports Vega other heavy weights in the U.D.P. are coming out in support of Faber. Former Prime Minister, Manuel Esquivel, Dean Lindo and others are safely in Faber’s corner. Today Mesopotamia area representative Michael Finnegan, never one to mince words, placed on record his unwavering support for Faber. Finnegan held a [...]

George Street is better than what P.U.P. say
In the aftermath of the George Street massacre two weeks ago, opposition leader, Francis Fonseca, during a press conference, urged community leaders, political, social and religious, to visit residents of the crime-ridden neighborhood.  The objective, as he put it, was to ensure the people that the state is on their side and that the heinous [...]

G.O.B. didn’t pay George Street Bosses
When asked if he organized and financed the immediate departure of the George Street bosses to Gales Point following the tragedy, Finnegan told reporters that the assertion is baseless.  As the Mesopotamia area representative, Finnegan says he was instrumental in bringing the relevant government ministers as well as the gang leaders to the negotiation table.  [...]

Woman to soon find out fate for burning house
  A jury of nine stepped into the deliberating room this afternoon to determine the fate of twenty four year old Keisha Banner, a resident of Belize City accused of burning down her boyfriend’s house located on Vernon Street on January thirtieth 2011. Banner’s trial began last Wednesday, in the Supreme Court before Justice Troadio [...]

What’s next for Belize’s Football selection?
It was a proud moment when the National Selection “A” team Belize scored the winning goal against Nicaragua at the Estadio National de Costa Rica inching closer to the July Gold Cup. It was not until the final minutes of play that Belizeans savored the victory when Super striker, Deon McCauley secured the glorious goal.  [...]

Taiwan offers scholarships for Belizeans
More than twenty scholarships will be made available by the government of Taiwan to Belizean students for the upcoming academic year. The areas of study for either a bachelor or masters degree are varied and recipients will also have the opportunity to study mandarin. At a briefing this morning, the Taiwanese head of Mission, walked [...]


MCC Grounds to Be Upgraded for Sporting Events Only
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports today announced that effective immediately, the MCC Grounds will not be used for anything other than sports. According to a press release dated January fifteenth but emailed to the media this morning, the decision to reserve the stadium...

UDP Ministers Campaign To Be Deputy Party Leader
The Convention to choose a new deputy leader of the ruling United Democratic Party got pretty interesting today, when Prime Minister Dean Barrow publically declared that he is not supporting the Collet Area representative in his bid to unseat Gaspar Vega from the position.&n...

Belize Advances to the Copa Centroamericano
The president of the Football Federation of Belize Ruperto Vicente returned to the country this morning after witnessing the national team advance to the semi finals of the Copa Centroamericano. The historic victory for the Belize National Football team came yesterday evening as ...

Teachers' Union In Orange Walk Plans Demonstration
The BNTU in Orange Walk are planning to take action in the nation’s Capital next week. Dalila Ical reports: “Members of the Belize National Teacher’s Union Orange Walk Branch are preparing for what appears to be an imminent demonstration in Belmopan Tuesday ...

Woman Found Guilty of Arson
Twenty-three year old Keisha Banner, charged with arson for burning down the house of her common-law husband, Deshon Rowland, was found guilty of the charge today. The jury of eight women and one man deliberated for about two hours and a half before it arrived at its verdict, which was...

Pregnant Mother Sentenced On Ammunition Charges
Twenty-five year old Natalie Coleman, who is seven months pregnant and has a son nine years old, was sentenced to five years today after she was found guilty of kept ammunition without a gun license. The incident occurred on December 20, 2011 in Biscayne Village. The police, members of...


Businessman murdered in Buttonwood Bay neighborhood
A shooting incident in Belize City this morning has left one man dead. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

Demonstration against crime planned for Friday
In 2012 Belize saw its share of stand ups against crime in the form of peaceful demonstrations. People vented their frustrations, the sadness and dissatisfaction with the way the crime situation in Belize was headed and by the end of the year, there was a record number of murders documented. And 2013 hasn’t started so peacefully since the country was rocked by the recent quadruple massacre which took place in Belize City, as a result, Activist Phillip “Fada” Henry is calling on residents from the North to the South of the country to come out in yet another demonstration against crime. About a week ago, Henry had called on the media to presence a protest on Albert Street, however when Love News arrived at the scene there were less than five people wielding signs in protest. He explained to us what exactly happened on that day. But the question lies on what a demonstration will do to effect change in the crime situation in the country. Love News addressed to Henry that there have been demonstrations over and over again against these acts, yet there has not been much change to talk about, however he told us, that this demonstration must bring transformation.

New officer takes command of police in Toledo
A new officer has taken command of the police formation in the Toledo district. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Water shortage forces cancellation of classes in Stann Creek
Close to seven hundred primary school students in the Stann Creek district were out of classes for the last couple of days. The problem was a shortage of water in the villages of San Roman and Santa Rosa because of a broken water pump. Love News understands that for sanitary and health reasons, the children were kept away from classes on Monday and today. Late this evening, we were informed that the problem with the busted water pump was remedied and the good news is that tonight, there is running water again in the affected villages. That means, that classes should resume as per normal on Wednesday.

Postal clerk accused of damage to property
Twenty-eight year old postal clerk Warren Anthony, a resident of Lemonal Village, was charged with damage to property and harm when he appeared in court. Anthony pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $1,500.00 and his case was adjourned until March 25. The incident occurred on Saturday, January 19 in Lemonal Village. Anthony’s ex-common-law wife reported to the police that Anthony went to her residence and punched her in her mouth and threw down her cellular phone and broke it. The woman said her cell phone has a value of two hundred dollars.

Income Tax Department recognizes the work of its staff
The well known creole saying: NOH WAIT TIL THE MAN DED FUH TELL AM IH GOOD was aptly applied over the weekend when the Income Tax Department took time out to recognize some of their own for years of dedicated service. Our senior national correspondent Paul Mahung has the story.

Awareness campaign on ICJ referendum to be launched on Wednesday
The public launch of the education campaign on the ICJ referendum is set to take place tomorrow in Belize City. According to a government statement, the public awareness campaign will be launched during a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel. Guest speaker at the launch will be Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party Francis Fonseca is also scheduled to speak at tomorrow’s public awareness campaign launch in preparation for the October sixth referendum. The simultaneous referendum will take place in Belize and Guatemala where citizens of both countries will decide whether or not to take Guatemala’s claim to Belizean territory to the International Court of Justice for final resolution. Tomorrow’s launch of the ICJ referendum public awareness campaign will be broadcast live on Love FM beginning at ten o’clock in the morning.

Unions accuse government of union-busting
The unions are accusing government of union-busting. This follows an announcement that the Ministry of Education has given the okay for half day classes on Wednesday to facilitate a meeting with teachers in Belmopan. According to reports reaching the RSV Media Centre, area representative fro Belmopan, John Saldivar wants to meet with teachers in the Cayo district, purportedly to talk about the collective bargaining agreement currently under negotiation. The announced time for the meeting is one o’clock on Wednesday afternoon at the George Price Centre in Belmopan. The Unions have called on teachers to boycott the meeting, and denounced the move by the government side as nothing short of union-busting.

Belize gets historic football victory in Costa Rica
There is enough bad news to depress an entire nation; but we’ll defer those stories for a while and open up our newscast with news coming out of San Jose, Costa Rica. The National Stadium in the Costa Rican capital was the venue for a history-making football match featuring Belize and Nicaragua. For Belize, it was a chance to do what had never been done before, advance to the next round of competition in the Copa Centroamericana. Belize needed to win the game to be assured of a berth to the next round and from the opening whistle, the team came out hard. Star goal keeper Woodrow West was at the top of his game, making a number of saves. And then came the big moment of the first half of the game for Belize. The equalizing goal for Nicaragua was scored in the seventy fourth minute. But in the ninety first minute of the ballgame, Deon McCauley gave team Belize the decisive edge. The win by Team Belize assures the nation of its first advance beyond the first round in international football competition.


Public awareness campaign for the Belize / Guatemala Referenda launched
The date for the simultaneous referenda in Belize and Guatemala is set for October 6th of this year. The question b...

Ambassador Fred Martinez says Guatemalans are being misinformed
One looming cloud over the October referendum is a provision in Belize’s referendum act which was amended shortly a...

Anti-ICJ activists ejected from Referendum event
Anti-ICJ activists were tossed from the referendum event this morning by armed police. As we said, there is also op...

Marsha Reid in Court for stabbing death of BDF soldier
Marsha Reed, accused of stabbing a BDF soldier to death late last year, was in court today for preliminary hearings...

"No ICJ" flags raised in Belize City
The Belize Flag monument in Belize City was decorated with NO ICJ flags. Reports are that as early as 2:45am today ...

PM does not support Minister Patrick Faber in his bid to be Deputy Leader of the UDP
Minister Patrick Faber is campaigning against Hon Gaspar Vega to be the deputy leader in the United Democratic part...

Police Officers train in Riot Control
Earlier we showed you the Belizean Flag monument with no ICJ flags swaying in the wind. While COLA was allegedly fl...

MCC Stadium is for sporting events only
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports issued a press Release Regarding the Use of the MCC Football Stadium. L...

National Football Team needs more financial support to improve and represent Belize
Perhaps that decision has something to do with the recent football wins for Belize. Belizeans are still celebrating...

Keisha Banner on trial for arson
nother woman was in court today because of an argument with her boyfriend that turned dangerous. Keisha Banner has ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Community Disaster Response Team Training
The training commences this Friday January 25th , 2013 at the Caye Caulker Community Center starting at 7:00 PM .All are invited to attend . Friday’s topic will include the introduction and the first 3 units: Why establish a community disaster response team; CDRT’s and disasters; CDRT’s and Disaster Preparedness and Community Assessment after a disaster. At this meeting the dates and time for other training sessions will be determined. The Belize Red Cross is looking for community members to be trained as Community Disaster Response Teams to volunteer with NEMO and other organization during Emergencies. If you believe you are a team player and want to make a difference in your community, please join us by signing up for the training that will commence as early as this Saturday or Sunday. Following the training; if you attend all sessions, you will receive a certificate and your names will be included in the Community Emergency Plan that will be sent for approval to NEMO. This is a non –political training and is geared to help you to help your community in Disasters and other related hazards. The training will cover all the Units below and will require a team leader for each of the task listed below, so invite your friends and neighbor. Food and Refreshments will be provided at all training sessions. The training is as follows:


A Tale of Five Cities: Visiting the Palenque Maya Ruins (Part 3)
In addition to Maya temples and other structures, there were plenty of other interesting sights at the Palenque Archaeological Site in Chiapas, Mexico. We saw one of our favorite tropical birds, the Blue-Crowned Mot Mot. These birds must like hanging out at the ruins as the first one we saw was in Cahal Pech in San Ignacio. I love the way they just sit still on a branch for so long, allowing us to take multiple shots. Wish more birds would behave that way! And this tree, on a closer look, revealed a fascinating fruit (reputed as a possible cancer cure), soursop. Soursop (graviola) Here's a pretty tree -- no idea what it is, though. Anyone? It was interesting to me that vendors were allowed inside the park; we hadn't seen that at any parks in Belize. We bought a refrigerator magnet with a hand-painted image of a Resplendent Quetzal. Big spenders, I tell ya! I didn't know exactly what this was until I did a little research. Turns out that the Palenque site included an extensive system of aqueducts and channels used for water management by the Maya. In addition to engineered waterways, there was a lovely river running through the site. The stairs to access the river, which was much lower than the rest of the site, were extensive, but worth all the sore quads. The jungle in this area was impossibly beautiful!

Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again
Got up slightly later than usual this morning at 5.25 am and virtually immediately heard the sound I dread. No, not Rose telling me what to do but the sound of rain. Very heavy rain. It was raining incessantly- I couldn’t see it because the sun (?) didn’t come up- until around 7.30 am when it started to abate. It was still ‘there’though waiting to return and as it got lighter it was a very grey, cold day. Not looking good for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize today. Things got worse when at around 8.30 am the heavens opened up again and the rain came down,did it come down. Difficult to see where the water ends and the sky begins. Giving the morning up as a ‘bad job’ I elected to try to cheer myself up by going for breakfast at Estel’s so I put on my rainwear and headed on down there. Seems like nearly everybody ( a bit of exaggeration here) had the same idea as me because the place was packed. So packed I had to sit inside. Thought this was a bummer until I saw people sitting outside getting hit by rain spray.

International Sources

Starting Over On A Caribbean Island
One Step At A Time... In February 1999, Ann Kuffner and her husband Mike stepped out of a tiny turbo-prop plane onto the tarmac in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, for the first time. Ann and Mike had come to this Caribbean island off the coast of mainland Belize with a group of intrepid adventurers exploring opportunities in a country none of them had ever visited before. As Ann explains, "We had no idea what momentous life changes would occur as a result of that tour." Ann and Mike, living in California at the time, had been day-dreaming about a life in the Caribbean as Ann puts it, "forever." Belize, with its Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, seemed an ideal choice for where to realize their Caribbean fantasies. "We did have it in our minds, though," Ann adds, "that, if we liked Belize as much as we thought we might based on our research, we might buy a place of our own in the country. An investment near the Caribbean Sea seemed like a no-brainer in 1999."

Belize Defaulted Bonds Gain as Restructuring Nears
Belize defaulted bond prices climbed as the government and creditors near agreement on a restructuring. The price on Belize’s 8.5 percent dollar bonds maturing in 2029 gained 2.7 percent to 55.99 cents on the dollar at 3:47 p.m. New York time. The bonds have climbed from a low of 30.5 cents on Aug. 15 after the government missed a $23 million coupon payment. The restructuring may value the defaulted debt at as much as 70 cents on the dollar, more than double what the government initially put forward in a proposal last year, Carl Ross, a managing director at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said in a report today. “The end result is likely to be significantly more generous to bondholders than the initial offer,” Ross wrote, adding that his analysis was based on “incomplete information.”

Honduras vs. Belize 2013 Kicks off Copa Centroamericana Semifinals
Saturday’s Honduras vs. Belize 2013 Copa Centroamericana Semifinals game (en vivo live score below) was confirmed to news after last night’s results. Both Belize and Honduras advanced to the semifinals after slow starts in this Copa. But with lackluster scoring results, neither team appears a dominant favorite for Saturday’s match. Prior to this weekend’s Honduras vs. Belize 2013 game (start time 2:30 PM PST), Belize struggled this Copa. In Group A, Belize went two games, scoreless. First against Costa Rica on January 18, Belize failed to deliver a single goal, being defeated at Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Then two days later, Belize returned to the stadium, and failed to score again. Against Guatemala, the team delivered a 0-0 draw.

January 23, 2013


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Specials and Events

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’s Jaguars make history in 2-1 win against Nicaragua
The Belize National Football Team gave a stellar performance in the Estadio Nacional de San Jose, Costa Rica late on Tuesday, January 22nd when it faced off against the Nicaraguan National Football team. In a stunning, last minute Trevor-Lennonfashion, Belize’s Jaguars took an impressive victory of 2-1 in its third game at the Central American Cup (UNCAF). This is the first time that Belize has won a game in the UNCAF, and the win has captured the attention of the football world. Many media houses were optimistic about the chances of Belize to do well, as there has been marked improvement in the quality of football displayed on the field. In the game against Nicaragua, Belizeans across the nation and abroad were glued to their TV’s and computer screens, anxious for a win to catapult Belize into the second round and into the history books. After 28 minutes, Trevor “Bruce” Lennon delivered, drawing first blood against Nicaragua with an impressive goal that put Belize in the lead for the first half. It certainly gave the Jaguars that boost of pride, and the Deon-Scoresdefense put up a valiant effort against the struggling Nicaraguan team. When the first half ended, it was still 1-0 in favor of Belize. Spirits were high, and upon the start of the second half, there were many attempts on the part of both teams, but it wasn’t until the 84th minute, six minutes before the end of the regular time that Nicaragua evened the game.

Ambergris Caye wins big with 2013 Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards
The results for the Trip Advisor’s 2013 Traveler’s Choice Awards are in, and once again, Belize received multiple awards and acknowledgements. With multiple stakeholders placing in the top tiers of the awards, Director of Tourism, Laura Esquivel-Frampton extends congratulations to all the awardees. Director Frampton says, “This is a testament to the hard work and dedication to the tourism product by our industry. The recognition awarded is truly deserved, and really helps to show how much we (Belize) pride ourselves on quality service. We are definitely leaps and bounds above the rest, and have surpassed most in our region and rank highly alongside some of the largest around the world.” Belize dominated in the categories of “Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America” and “Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America.” The results are as follows:

Belize Forest Department Wildlife Officers receive training from ACES
American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) provided crash-course training for the Belize Forest and Fisheries Department (BFD) officers on Wednesday January 16th. Hampton Gamboa, Rasheeda Garcia, Judene Tingling and Jose Baki were taught proper methods of safely trapping and snaring crocodiles in the wild to remove them from populated areas. The American Crocodile is protected under the constitution of Belize and therefore it is considered illegal to feed, capture, or disturb crocodiles. It is also illegal to sell their remains or crocodile products. American crocodiles are endangered species with less than 10,000 still remaining and numbers dwindling due to poaching activity. With the large scale developments on Ambergris Caye, the crocodiles’ natural habitats are ever-shrinking, and the end result is crocodiles coming in close proximity to humans. The more humans interact with these animals, especially by feeding them (whether directly or indirectly), the more the crocodiles lose their fear of humans, and that can lead to unfortunate attacks on people. The fact is that many islanders continue to tamper with the remaining island crocodiles, in the process, placing themselves in danger and disturbing the life of the crocodile. No ACES trains Belize Forest Department Officers ACES trains Belize Forest Department Officers matter how used to humans a crocodile is, it is scientifically proven that these animals are apex predators and never lose their instinct to attack. As such, the training provided by ACES was invaluable, teaching the officers the proper method of the species’ removal while avoiding harm to the animal.

Ambergris Today

SAGA Benefit - Super Bowl Tailgate Party
Feliz Bar & Grill invites everyone to their Super Bowl Tailgate Party! Benefiting SAGA Humane Society! Sunday, February 3, 2013 at 4:00 p.m Feliz Bar & Grill located ½ Mile North of the Bridge at the Cloisters

Visiting Pampered Paws
I have noticed many people walking in and out of San Pedro’s biggest and most popular pet supply and service shop. This pet hot spot is called Pampered Paws and trust me it is the place for you and four legged friend to visit. On my visit I met with the proud owner, Kathy Marin (Dog behavior specialist, certified dog groomer and trainer). Kathy explained to me that she is happy to have the support and positive feedback from the community of San Pedro. I also was introduced to the fantastic staff, which are responsible for getting all pets pampered and looking sharp. The Pampered Paws team are ready to take on any task: grooming, baths, walking…you name it! I had such a great time watching all the pets getting pampered and most of all learning a thing or two on how to keep my pets healthy. If you are around, make sure to drop by even if it just to say hello.

Misc Belizean Sources

Full Moon Concert
Come and dance the night away under the moon with great music!

Biggy and Binjaz Birthday Pictures
Danny Chung got some great pictures at Biggy and Binjaz birthday party at Meluchi's. "These guys did it again! This may well be one of the BIGGEST Parties of the Year!! Happy Birthday again to Roberto Harrison and Jnl Hrsn!!"

Belize Defeats Nicaragua in Copa Centroamericana
Congratulations to the Belize Football team, in Costa Rica for the Copa Centroamericana, for winning against Nicaragua. That puts them in second place, after Costa Rica, with a 1-1-1 record. The top five leading teams in this tournament will qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Yoga Retreat in Cayo
Leonardo Melendez captured some great moments in Cayo, and on the cayes, when 'Yoga Peach' had her 'New Beginnings at the Mayan Ruins' yoga retreat for the end of the Mayan calendar. They stayed at the luxurious Hidden Valley Inn, and did yoga at Cahal Pech and Xunantunich. They are planning another retreat for the last week in May, and once again, they'll be at HVI in Mountain Pine Ridge. "Join us May 24-30, 2-13 in Belize for our Yoga Adventure & Relaxation Retreat! Spend 3 days in the scenic Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve and 3 days in the awe-inspiring island of Ambergris Caye. Reflect, restore and renew as you nourish the mind, body and spirit with relaxation, adventure, and yoga in one of the most beautiful and natural places on earth! Belize It is a world class destination for the naturalist and adventurer."

Flavors of Belize on Daytime TV
Flavors of Belize was highlighted on Daytime TV. More great exposure for Belize, its food, and its great culture. "Flavors of Belize had the wonderful opportunity of being hosted on Daytime TV on January 16th. Daytime TV, produced by River Bank Studios covers 85% percent of US household viewers, with a reach of 97.1 million homes across the United States and is syndicated in over 100 markets. The show aired today at 11am ET and we will be posting a copy as soon as it's available!"

Tostones are truly a bare pantry meal. With just green plantains, you can have a delicious snack or meal. Topped with cream cheese, this dish is scrumptious. The person who thought us to make this is originally from Nicaragua.

Channel 7

HISTORY; Belize Wins At Copa Ceontroamericana, Poised to Advance
Belizeans all across the country are overjoyed tonight - our National Football Team is poised to advance to the semifinals of the 2013 Copa Centroamericana being played in Costa Rica. That is after a dramatic, HISTORIC 2 to 1 victory over Nicaragua with a sensational goal in the 90th minute of today's Game with Nicaragua. The prolific striker Deon McAuley scored the go-ahead goal at the end of regulation, and you could feel a wave of joy sweep across the country as it went in. We'll look at the unforgettable goal again:.. For the record, Mcauley was the top striker in the entire world in the World Cup qualifiers in 2011. Travis Lennan scored the other goal for Belize in the 29th minute. And this is history, because today's win makes it the very first time Belize has won a match at the Copa Ceontraoamericana or as it used to be called, Concacaf Gold Cup. We had drawn four times - making this first victory even sweeter.

Man Murdered In Front Of Wife and Child
And while we're all riding a high off that historic win….sadly, there's still bad news to report tonight. Tonight another Belize City family is in the throes of devastating grief after a father and husband was executed in front of his home this morning. Lebanese Belizean businessman Majdi Agha was killed in front of his wife and young child at his home in a secluded residential area of the city's northside. It was another ruthless daylight execution, pulled off with impunity - and Daniel Ortiz was on the scene:.. Daniel Ortiz reporting 50 year-old Lebanese Belizean Majdi Agha was found dead in the drain in front of his home on Keating Crescent off Seashore Drive in the Buttonwood Bay area. According to residents, he had just returned home from dropping his daughter at school. He got out of his car, and as soon as he attempted to open his gate, a masked gunman - or, in this case, a hitman - suddenly appeared and shot him several times.

New FFB Executive Validated
As we told you at the top of the newscast - Belize beat Nicaragua this evening in dramatic fashion in the 2013 Copa Ceontroamercana. This means the team is poised to advance to the semifinals and unto the next qualifier the Gold Cup - which is a historic first. That's reason for all of us to celebrate, but none more than the news executive of the FFB - for whom this is the first major international showing. We spoke to Public Relations Officers for the FFB and they gave us a synopsis of what they thought of how the game was played and its importance:.. Luis Pena, PR Officer - FFB "The game was well played as you can see. The National Team selection for Belize played an exceptional game. We were up one nil and then we were draw and then again Deon Mcauley scored a goal in extra time, so this gives Belize a very good position to qualify for the Goal Cup." Reporter "This game itself, even if we do advance - it's a first for Belize isn't it?" Luis Pena, PR Officer - FFB "It's a first, its history in the making for Belize we are all excited. Now you have to watch the game at 8pm because Costa Rica and Guatemala will battle it out. Guatemala has a lot on the line now because if Guatemala loses or draws automatically Belize may advance."

BNTU Says GOB Union Busting
Tonight the Labour Unions are accusing Minister John Saldivar of attempted union busting. This is after the Belmopan Branch of the BNTU received an invitation from the Ministry of Education for select Belmopan schools to attend a meeting with Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar at the George Price Center tomorrow. They are advised to make Wednesday a half day for teachers so that they can attend in the afternoon. We spoke via telephone with the president of the Belmopan Branch of the BNTU who told us why the invitation was inappropriate and tantamount to union busting - which has been reinforced in a signed communiqué sent by the joint negotiating team. The branch president told us more:... Voice of: Corlan Galvez, BNTU President - Belmopan Branch "We from Belmopan saw it as something political. We decided that we are not going to attend this meeting because when we have our general meeting here in Belmopan we don't invite 8-10 schools, the meeting is for everybody. The discussion of the negotiation is for everybody in Belmopan - all the teachers in Belmopan, not 8,9,10 schools at all, everybody because for us we are wondering why Mr. Saldivar calling a meeting when he has no connections with the negotiation team from government side nor from the union side. Maybe if it was Patrick Faber having this meeting then we would have seen - maybe he had something to say, but what can John Saldivar tell us? They like to say that teachers always have holiday - now you would take us out of class to a meeting to talk about the bargaining agreement that we think you don't have any idea about because you have never negotiated with present negotiating team."

Joint Team Givers Their Version Of Why Union Can Afford Increments
The representatives of that joint team gave PLUS TV an interview in Belmopan this afternoon. First, the BNTU President Luke Palacio underscored why he feels it is union busting:.. Luke Palacio, President BNTU "This is an attempt at union busting. Belize National Teachers' Union, along with our joint negotiating team, has prepared a statement that has been sent out to the media, in which we are advising the teachers to boycott that meeting, either they stay at home, or they report to their regular place of work, during the time of the scheduled meeting. We see this as acting in bad faith. Every time we went to negotiations on the Collective Bargaining Agreement, never was there a time when an Area Representative would have called constituents to discuss these matters. We believe that if the Government is serious about addressing this issue, they were given ample opportunity. By letters sent to the office of the Honorable Prime Minister asking his intervention at which time he had sent 3 ministers to participate in the negotiations and never was an area representative and in this particular case the Honorable John Saldivar ask to be a part of that team. We at the union are saying - we are not doing anything illegal, we are legally registered bodies; the 3 unions that are negotiating. This is a part of industrial relations and we expect to operate in an atmosphere of good industrial relations and so we condemn this act and we strongly advise our teachers not to participate in tomorrow's meeting."

A History of Violence
As we told you earlier, the Unions have flared up at what they call an attempt at Union busting by the government. With this fresh infusion of bad blood and the allegation of union busting - the stage is set for a mass teachers' demonstration a week from today in Belmopan. We'll be there in our customary position on the frontline. That frontline is not always a friendly space - particularly in the last 12 years when many times the idea of a peaceful protest has fractured into violence. Jules Vasquez has been on the frontline for nearly all this events - and tonight he looks back at the history of violence from April of 2001 in Orange Walk to January of 2013 on Basra Street. Here's his report:..

Flavours Goes International
The Flavours of Belize Cookbook was launched in September of last year - and since then, the publisher Tanya McNab has been pushing her product wherever she can. You've seen her on this newscast and other media outlets more than a few times - but now, she's taken her show on the road. McNab recently appeared on a morning show in Tampa Florida - and she told us about the experience and the exposure.

Channel 5

Belize wins against Nicaragua Copa Centro Americana
Copa Centro Americana has been an experience for National Selection A Team as the competition has been anything but easy. In the first game versus Costa Rica, team Belize lost, in a one to zero game. The second game against Guatemala ended in a draw making the third game to be played against Nicaragua a [...]

Well-known Belize City businessman murdered
After a two week reprieve in gun violence, there was an execution style murder this morning in the City. Majdi Agha, the well-known owner of the King Kabab restaurant was gunned down as he and his family returned home from a doctor’s appointment. In the past three months, three Lebanese nationals have been murdered in [...]

2 detained for murder of Maskall villager
  Two persons have been detained in connection with the murder of an elderly man in Maskall Village. Sometime between ten a.m. and twelve-thirty p.m. on Saturday, sixty year old Ervin Morales was murdered inside his bedroom. The discovery was made by a neighbor after being alerted that Morales had not showed up for lunch [...]

Saldivar closes schools to force teachers to meeting
What does the Minister of National Security have to do with the salary adjustments that teacher’s have been pressing for over the past years? We don’t know either but John Saldivar has successfully lobbied the Ministry of Education to cancel classes in the nation’s capital on Wednesday afternoon so he can meet with teachers who [...]

Unions call Saldivar and G.O.B. actions union busting
While News Five spoke to the president of the Belmopan branch, the national President of the B.N.T.U. Luke Palacio was in a session with the President of the Public Service Union Marilyn Blades and the President of the Association of Public Service Senior Managers Jose Castellanos. This meeting also took place in the capital. The [...]

UB Student Government resists increased fees
The planned demonstration and possible strike are not the only issues facing the Ministry of Education. The Association of Student Governments of the University of Belize is resisting a cut in government subsidies to the university which means that registration fees for new students stand to go up. The association has written to Minister Faber [...]

Do you agree with the unions that government is attempting to union bust?
With violence so prevalent in daily newscasts, there is a sense in some quarters that television images of the bodies and the accompanied bloodbath, contribute to the trauma of society.  Last week we asked, should the media censor coverage of gang related murders or violent crime? It was an extremely close call among those who [...]

Will football team make it to the next round?
You may have held your breath to see Belize put in that second goal at the absolute end of tonight’s game. But you may have to hold it just a bit longer. There is one more hurdle to overcome before we advance. And according to Luis Pena, the Public Relations Officer for the Football Federation [...]

Film crew injured as coastguard vessel hits barge
As we said earlier, there was an accident on the sea over the weekend. It involved a film crew, the Belize Coastguard and a semi-submerged barge. A few of the people on board the Coastguard’s Boston Whaler were injured and according to Lieutenant Commander Elton Bennett, the cause of the accident is being investigated.   [...]

Mahogany Heights without potable water
In our newscast on Mondays night, you heard the cries of the villagers of Santa Martha on the Old Northern Highway, about life without water. Today we re-visit Mahogany Heights, a community on the George Price Highway which has also been without tap water since last year. The problems with the supply of water, echoed [...]

Hit a lady with a baby
A Belize City postal clerk, twenty-eight year old Warren Anthony of Lemonal Village is charged with harm upon his common-law-wife and for damage to property. Anthony’s common-law-wife, Shakira Reynolds complained that she was hit in the right eye while holding her one year old child. The incident occurred a few days ago and on Monday, [...]

Belize Bank’s Sky Branch near International Airport
Residents in the Ladyville area including Lord’s Bank, the Japan Area and neighboring villages will now be able to access services offered by the Belize Bank at its newly open Sky Branch near the cut-off to the Phillip Goldson International Airport. The branch which was formerly at the P.G.I.A. was relocated on Monday to its [...]

Still in season – Flavors of Belize
Belizean publisher Tanya McNab, renowned for her bestselling cookbook Flavors of Belize, was recently featured in the international media where exposure for the publication was broadcasted to approximately ninety-seven million homes across America.  Tanya, a local culinary enthusiast, appeared on Daytime TV, a syndicated show hosted by Cyndi Edwards on WFLA News Channel 8 in [...]


Education Campaign on ICJ Referendum Launches Tomorrow
The public launch of the education campaign on the ICJ referendum is set to take place tomorrow in Belize City. According to a government statement, the public awareness campaign will be launched during a ceremony at the Radisson Hotel. Guest speaker at the launch will be P...

Arab Businessman Killed Infront His Home
The murder scourge has reached double digits just 22 days into 2013 as today, yet another man was gunned down in Belize City. The incident happened at ten minutes to nine this morning on the city’s north side, on Keating Crescent in the Buttonwood Bay area. Our camera...

Government Accused of Union Busting
The unions are accusing government of union-busting. This follows an announcement that the Ministry of Education has given the okay for half day classes on Wednesday to facilitate a meeting with teachers in Belmopan. The government’s negotiating team is due to meet with the...

Activist Plans Crime Protest for Friday
In 2012 Belize saw its share of stand ups against crime in the form of peaceful demonstrations. People vented their frustrations, the sadness and dissatisfaction with the way the crime situation in Belize was headed and by the end of the year, there was a record number of murders...

Postal Clerk Attacks Ex-Girlfriend
Twenty-eight year old postal clerk Warren Anthony, a resident of Lemonal Village, was charged with damage to property and harm when he appeared in court. Anthony pled not guilty to the charges. He was released on a bail of $1,500.00 and his case was adjourned until March 25. The ...


Workshop Held For Refrigeration And Air Conditioning Technicians
The National Ozone Unit in the Department of the Environment, in collaboration with the Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians of Belize, today held a workshop at the ITVET Conference Room in Orange Walk. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians were present to take part of this workshop which was free of cost and necessary to prepare those who felt they needed some more theory in efforts to pass the examination for licensing. The licensing is necessary since the Refrigeration Technicians Licensing Act 2010 requires that all technicians be licensed and registered. Hernan Hernandez, Inter-President of the Association of Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technicians told us more. “It has come to our attention that the material in our syllabus is too heavy over the head of our technicians so we design a series of workshop that we revisit the syllabus that go over it and that when they are done they should be comfortable and sit down their exam to their category and feel that they are going to pass.” A second workshop is scheduled for March and will be a continuation of today’s informative session. Hernandez says that the workshop will come at a small fee for those who wish to attend.

Corozal Police Investigate Robbery
And while Johnson recovers from his injuries, a woman from Concepcion Village in the Corozal District is nursing some minor scrapes and bruises. According to the official police report, twenty-nine year old Maria Juliano from Concepcion Village, a Belizean Businesswoman, was walking by Diamond Restaurant in Belmopan City sometime around 7:30 the evening of Sunday, January 20th, when she was held up by a dark complexion male. Juliano told officers that the dark complexion male approached her from the opposite direction where he pulled out a knife and demanded she hand over her purse. Juliano didn’t give it up that easily and a struggle ensued where the male person eventually managed to rip away her black and brown leather purse. Juliano reported that in the purse she was carrying a little over $4,000 Belize, in different denominations packed within a white envelope along with other personal documents. Belmopan police are asking anyone with information into this robbery to please assist as they continue their investigation.

Belize Celebrates First International Victory
History was made this evening in Costa Rica as Team Belize, the National A-Selection, won its first ever Central American match in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. Belize faced off against Nicaragua in their third match of the first round of the tournament. Belize had lost their opener against the host team Costa Rica and drew a zero zero draw with Guatemala on Sunday. The historical part of this match is that Belize did not score one, but two goals against Nicaragua’s A-selection. The first goal came off of a heel pass to Trevor Lenon who fired a right foot shoot outside of the box straight into the right hand upper corner of the back of the Nicaraguan goal putting Belize up one to nothing at the twenty-eight minute of the first half. With that, Belize buckled down and defended that goal dropping eight defenders to the back. At the end of the first half, Belize had held on to its one to nothing lead. The second half started just as the first half had ended, with Belize putting defensive pressure to hold on to the one to nothing lead and hoping for a counter strike that would give them their second goal of the match and sealing the victory. The boys in red defended as much as they could but the equalizer for Nicaragua came in the ninety-second minute of play when Daniel Figueroa, Nicaragua’s go to guy fired a left foot shoot from within the box which got passed Woodrow Wilson West. With that, it felt as if the wind was knocked out of every Belizean that was following the game around the world.

Caledonia Resident Charged For Stealing From Hon. Edmond Castro
One man who has been living most of his life in Caledonia Village of the Corozal District, is tonight behind bars at the Central Prison for charges of theft. According a report made by Hon. Edmund Castro, Minister of State in the Ministry of Works and Transport and Belize Rural North Area, he has been robbed of almost $50,000 worth in equipment. Castro alleges that sometime between October 1st and December 30th of 2012, his bulldozer which had been parked on the Bomba Road was stripped of many of its key components. The pillaging of the bulldozer parts amounted to $49,884 which Castro alleges were sold off as spare parts. Belize began to investigate this report of theft and all their information led them to a house in Ladyville Village where they recovered almost all of the items. Present at the time of the discovery was forty-nine year old Oscar Hernandez, Nicaraguan National. Hernandez was arrested and charged for the crime of theft and police prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds of Hernandez being a flight risk. Magistrate Dale Cayetano accepted the no bail submission and remanded Hernandez to the Central Prison until his next court date. Hernandez is set to reappear in Magistrate’s Court on April 1, 2013.

Bee Producers Make Strong Accusations Against Fruta Bomba
Many of us enjoy morning pancakes with a touch of honey or a lot of honey. Many of our elderly enjoy a nice warm cup of tea with honey in it as well. In these times of changing weather, many self-medicating individuals will take a spoonful of honey with lime and garlic so as to clear up a sore throat. Well, all of these and many more different uses for honey are currently at risk for the consumers of honey from the Northern Bees Cooperative. For almost a year now, the bee keepers have been in a constant battle to safe guard their little friends and livelihood producers, the bees. Allegations have been cast by members of the cooperative against Fruta Bomba Limited in relation to the harmful use of certain pesticides. Our news team caught up with the bee producers and spoke to them about the amount of bees that have died and the amount of revenues they have lost. Here’s that report. In the animal kingdom, they are referred to as social animals but that doesn’t mean they are friendly. Bees are social because they do things together: move as one, attack as one and yes, make honey as one. Even though Belizeans would never want to be swarmed by bees, making money from the honey they produce is the way to go. That is exactly what the Northern Bees Cooperatives in the Corozal district have been doing for years preparing apiaries and harvesting drums of the nectar these buzzing bees produce

Shots Fired In San Pedro, One Man Injured
A man from the island of San Pedro is still recovering after receiving several gunshot wounds to his body. Twenty-two year old Arquel Johnson reported to San Pedro Police that sometime around 11:30 the night of Saturday, January 19th, he was on his way home after an afternoon out in the town. Johnson told police that when he was passing the Airstrip area, he was approached by one Clifford Galvez. The interaction between both men grew tense and ended with an altercation. Galvez managed to quickly get away from Johnson but only to return a few minutes later with what Johnson described to be a .38 revolver. Galvez fired several shots at Johnson of which a few managed to hit their mark. Johnson sustained gunshot wounds to his left upper arm and managed to get away avoiding further injury. Galvez was quickly transported to the San Pedro Polyclinic and then to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City for further medical attention. Quick police response lead to the apprehension of Clifford Galvez and the recovery of the .38 revolver used in the shooting. Doctors have classified Johnson’s injury as wounding and San Pedro police continue their investigations into this shooting.


Maskall villager found murdered in his home
The village of Maskall in the Belize district is as quiet a rural community as there can be in Belize. But tonight the peaceful-style country living of the village’s residents has been disturbed after one of their own was found murdered in his home. Love TV’s Marion Ali reports.

PM hosts press conference to give update on super bond renegotiation process
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today hosted a press conference to update the nation on the progress of the renegotiation of Belize’s external debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. Last December, the Prime Minister announced that agreement has been reached in principle and that the details of the restructured super bond would be made public in the coming weeks. Today, while he still did not release the details, the Prime Minister announced that the general terms have been agreed with the creditor committee representing the bondholders; but that some minor details, such as the legal language remain outstanding. The co-chair of the Creditor Committee, A.J. Mediratta of the firm of Greylock similarly could not release details of the new super bond agreement, but said Belizeans and the bondholders he represent, will be happy with the new deal. And while that is the current state of affairs where the super bond is concerned, the trade unions are eagerly anticipating the details of the final agreement as they have reached a critical point in their negotiation of a new collective bargaining agreement with government. The sticking point right now is the issue of a salary increase for public officers and teachers. Government’s lead representative on the ministerial sub-committee, went on record on Friday saying that government just does not have any money to give public officers and teachers the proposed salary increase. Today, the Prime Minister confirmed that assessment, saying that while the new super bond deal will result in huge savings for the national treasury, it does not signal government’s ability to honor a pay increase right now.

Aggravated burglary reported in Belmopan
A woman and her children were the victims of an aggravated burglary on Friday. Our Cayo correspondent, Fem Cruz has the details.

NTUCB says it is in solidarity with affiliates in salary dispute
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize today issued a statement saying it stands in complete solidarity with the three of its affiliates in the stand they have taken relating to the current status of the negotiation of the Collective Bargaining agreement. On the issue of the proposal for a salary increase, which is the sticking point right now, the NTUCB statement takes issue with what the umbrella organization calls the derailment of the process by the government side. Lead member of the ministerial sub-committee Patrick Faber, last week told the media that government is not now in a position to agree on a salary adjustment because there simply is no money to support such a move. The NTUCB statement says, quote: “in light of such revelation, the NTUCB wishes to register its complete denouncement of such a stand by the official/GOB side and urge them to suggest workable compromise solutions for a negotiated settlement,” end of quote. Dylan Reneau is the president of the NTUCB. The NTUCB statement goes on the say that while government has attempted to stave off tax increases, the working middle class has been bearing the brunt of sustaining Belize’s economy. NTUCB also points out that the recent increase in electricity rates and the high cost of fuel are increases that the workers of the nation will have to bear.

Training in organic farming held in Toledo
Training sessions in organic gardening were held this weekend in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Water shortage sparks protest in Santa Martha village
After almost six months without consistent supply of water the residents of Santa Martha Village have had enough and have taken a stand. Our Orange Walk Bureau Chief Manuela Ayuso Cantun reports.

Bee keepers in the north facing challenges
Honey production in Belize is a small industry. While efforts are made by beekeepers as well as the agriculture department to grow this sector of agriculture, some members of the Northern Beekeepers Cooperative are facing challenges with another stakeholder in the agriculture business. Reporter Arturo Cantun has the details.

UB Student governent writes to Education Minister
The Association of Student Government of the University of Belize has written to Minister of Education Patrick Faber. The Association is requesting that Minister Faber reconsiders the position in discontinuing the subsidizing of school fees for incoming students of the University. In its letter the Association is asking for an immediate meeting with the Minister to discuss the issue. They issued a Thursday January 24 deadline for the meeting or a change in position.


Belize's first victory ever in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana
Today will go down in Football as History for Belize. The decisive football match between Belize and Nicaragua kick...

Lebanese businessman shot and killed in Belize City
Belize City's latest murder took place this morning. Belize City Police are investigating a shooting incident that ...

Joint negotiation team for unions saying union busting being tried by Government
The PSU, BNTU, APSSM met in Belmopan today to further discuss their strategy in moving forward in the negotiations....

Simultaneous referendum with Guatemala has been set
The date for the simultaneous Referendum in Belize and Guatemala to determine if both countries should take their t...

Negotiations on the superbond payments are nearing an agreement.
Yesterday, the Prime minister called a press briefing to say that negotiations on the superbond payments are nearin...

UDP First Deputy Gaspar Vega says he has PM's support
Last week we brought you UDP Chairman Patrick Faber making his pitch to be UDP First Deputy Leader. Following yeste...

Jian Xiong He allowed his patrons to drink liquor at Vin Li Shop
It is a rare charge that we don’t hear of very often but one Chinese grocer who police say allowed his patrons to d...

24 year-old Haley Cattouse convicted and fined for Drug Trafficking
A woman was fined ten thousand dollars for drug trafficking. 24 year-old Haley Cattouse was convicted and fined yes...

Shares in New World Oil and Gas drop over 10%
Shares in New World Oil and Gas slipped more than 10% as it announced that the rate of drilling in its Blue Creek #...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker’s NEW BTIA Website
Check out the new Caye Caulker BTIA Website! Members kindly review your information and for changes email at

Caye Caulker Go Slow in Fast Forward
The editor and owner of Ambergris Today, Dorian Nuñez along with his friend, Delsie Graniel spent their weekend on La Isla Cariñosa and to the looks of it, they had lots of fun. Check out the video!!!


Belizeans want a win... Contrary to the grossly erroneous propaganda on the FFB website in years past, football is and has been, from “way back when”, the national sport of Belize. Why Belizean football has staggered in progress, while the rest of Central America and the Caribbean, against whom we were very competitive in the 30’s and 40’s and 50’s of the previous century, have made great progress, is a long story that involves years of shortsightedness, corruption and betrayal at the highest level of the sport in Belize. But that is behind us, and we are steadily moving forward now. Be that as it may, Belizean fans are nevertheless very hard to please, especially some past footballers from that long gone era. They know what we are supposed to be capable of; and therefore they drive a very hard bargain in assessing the performance of our national team. To most fans who are aware of our recent record in the UNCAF Nations Cup, our 1-nil loss to Costa Rica on Friday was a great achievement, a huge improvement over our last meeting when it was 7-nil, and therefore cause for some celebration. But to the few hard liners, “they played a bucket of s___;” “they can’t even hold the ball;” “they hardly threatened their opponent’s goal;” etc, etc.

Pay raise “a complete financial impossibility”: PM Dean Barrow... Teachers will demonstrate on Tuesday, January 29 Last Thursday afternoon, January 17, The Belize District branch of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) held a meeting at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, which was attended by over 500 teachers. The branch voted overwhelmingly, by secret ballot, that they would suspend classes on Tuesday, January 29, to travel to Belmopan to protest outside the weekly Cabinet meeting, against the lack of progress in their salary increase talks. The Branch president, Kathleen Flowers, said that the joint negotiating team had been meeting with GOB for the past two years for a salary increase, in addition to other benefits, but to no avail. At the time of the Belize District branch meeting, all the various branches of the union also held meetings and voted on a plan of action. All these decisions will be sent to the National President, Luke Palacio, and he and his Council of Management will then decide which way the wind will blow, and further industrial action has not been ruled out. Today, after his press conference about the Super Bond at the Biltmore Hotel, Prime Minister Dean Barrow let the teachers, and the nation, know which way his wind will blow.

The deal isn’t done, but “it’s close to finality” — within a couple weeks. Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference today, Monday, January 21, to provide an update on the current status of the Superbond. The PM said that he was still unable to give details on the economic terms of the Superbond until another week or two, but he did address the current estimates in cash flow savings that are anticipated. “The Superbond restructuring negotiating team has reached a support agreement with the committee representing the Superbond holders… we continue to try to work through the outstanding issue and to bring finality to the process,” Barrow stated. The PM said that the general economic terms of the restructuring have been agreed. There are one or two minor issues that stand, but those issues “don’t do any violence one way or the other” to the restructuring, he explained. “While I can’t say to you this afternoon that the deal is done, I can tell you that we’re so close to finality that we expect to launch the exchange offer within the next week or two,” he said. “Until we can do that and of course when we do that there will be full and complete disclosure but until we do that — because of the sensitivity of market trading, because we have to be careful that we don’t run afoul of SEC regulations, because we don’t want to give anybody an unfair lever with respect to the trading in the bond — I still cannot give you the full particulars of the economic terms I have said to you we have agreed,” Barrow went on to say.

A 60-year-old epileptic was found murdered in his Maskall home around 1:00 Saturday afternoon. Ervin Fitzroy Morales, a long-time resident of Maskall village, was discovered with chop and stab wounds to his neck, back and head. Our reports are that he was chopped and stabbed about nine times. His neighbor who everyday cooks for him told police she became worried when he did not come for his breakfast that Saturday morning, or for his dinner at noon. She feared that he had suffered a bout of epilepsy and was stricken at home. Neighbors told police that when they went to his house, they discovered him with chop wounds, and wrapped in a blanket. Police say there were no signs of forced entry.

Editorial: BIG UP OUR BOYS
About 45 years ago Belize’s young ladies burst on the regional softball scene and heaped glory on themselves and the country of Belize. In 1974 our ladies won gold at the Central America and Caribbean Games in Santo Domingo, and in 1978 they actually defeated the mighty United States in head-to-head competition. During that decade of glory, our young men were not involved in organized regional and international competition in football and basketball, and our young men fell behind. Remember, Belize was not a member of FIFA, because we were not an independent country, and when our football champions hosted Honduras’ Platence here at the MCC Grounds, we were humiliated, 9-0. A few years later, our young men were humiliated in basketball by Puerto Rico in Medellin, Colombia. At this newspaper, quite young at the time, we were voices crying in the wilderness when we complained of the disparity between the triumphs of our young ladies in softball and the struggles of our young men in football and basketball. Between 1995 and 1998, after semi-professionalism had been introduced into both football and basketball, our young men experienced regional vindication in football, through Juventus of Orange Walk, and in basketball by way of the national basketball team in the 1998 CARICOM tournament and the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Because of different incidents of violence which made the headline news in the first week and a half of the New Year, there was occasioned a mood of ethnic tension in Belize City worse than I have ever seen. Thankfully, that tension eased after a few days, and today, Sunday, January 20, 2013, things are pretty much back to normal. Over there in Asia, there is a history which is an interesting study for those nation-states with diverse populations. India and Pakistan, which are both nuclear powers today and are frequently on the verge of going to war with each other, were once one country, known as India. Up until the time of World War II, India was a British “possession.” But, Mahatma Gandhi’s anti-colonial leadership surged in power in the years immediately after World War II. So, the British prepared to grant independence. There was a problem in India, however, and the problem was religion. Because of religion, India became independent in 1947 as two nations instead of one – Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan. And there was a bloodbath which took place. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus and Muslims were killed in fighting along the borderline. And in too many other communities, Hindus in India massacred minority Muslim families, while in Pakistan, Muslim majorities slaughtered minority Hindu families.



A Tale of Five Cities: Visiting the Palenque Maya Ruins (Part 2)
Here are the remaining temples and other structures we visited, photographed, and climbed up on our visit to the Palenque archaeological site in Chiapas, Mexico in December of 2012. Temple of the Count. It was so incredibly peaceful in this wooded part of the site, with few other tourists around.... Temple of the Inscriptions. This was one of the very few structures that we were not allowed to climb up. Just as well, my quads were absolutely SCREAMING by about 3/4 through this day, and would be sore for days after. And I thought riding my bike everywhere would be enough "training". Nope! Barry was smart and trained by doing multiple stair climbs in our condo building prior to the trip and thus did not suffer like I did.

Up Coming Saga Cook-off and Super Bowl Tailgate Party
Hi all it is Saga cook-off time again. If you are in town and want to do a great fundraising party, check out the January Cook-off tomorrow night [Jan 23rd] 6:00pm at at Bistro Mestizo on . This months theme is appetizers and I am sure that the entry selection will be incredible as always. Money raised from this monthly event goes towards Saga Humane Society and helping provide much need care for man island animals. If you are unable to attend the cook off and would like to make a donation to Saga or a contribution to humane society wish list, please contact Katia Marin

GingerScoop: A Sunset Cruise on the Lady Leslie
As a cold front has hit San Pedro (it is a wopping 68 degrees outside) and I sit here drinking my hot tea with a box of Kleenex, I figured I would reminisce about a fantastic trip I took a few weeks ago (when it was nice and warm). I was invited to join in on a sunset cruise on the Lady Leslie. Knowing I was in for a treat, I could not resist. The Lady Leslie is a spacious catamaran that is known for it’s delicious food and wonderful service. And the bean bag chairs on the front of the cat, a nice added touch. Most of the passengers I had met before, but here is a couple that “crashed” the party. They fit right in by the end of the trip. The Lady Leslie is captained by Martin and the skippers are Ricky (son-in-law) and Jody (his son). Here is Jody giving us our instructions for the evening: “Keep your arms and legs inside the boat at all times….drink plenty of rum….and you must have a good time”. Yes….the Captain is Martin and a skipper is Ricky….they did not make that up. I was truly looking forward to the food, as they roll fresh sushi on the cruise! Yes, fresh sushi. But in the meantime, I consumed quite a few horny monkeys. They tend to get me in trouble. What is a horny monkey you ask? Horny monkey=an amazing mixture of rum punch and panty ripper. Who comes up with these names?

Madre de Cacao – A Simple & Elegant Tree
Common names: Mata Ratón; Cacao de nance, Cachanance, it is commonly known as “Madreado” in Honduras; Kakawate in the Philippines; Madre Cacao or Madre de Cacao in the Philippines, Belize and Guatemala; and Madero negro in Nicaragua. Madre de Cacao is nitrogen-fixing tree that can grow from 10 to 12 meters high. The tree is referred by many people as a quick-stick due to the characteristic of growing almost right away just by cutting it and directly planting it in the ground. Adaptable to almost any soil environment including infertile soils, the tree is tolerant to salt spray and water logging and it can also tolerate drought for up to 6 to 8 months. This tree can be potentially weedy, but rarely causes a problem. Its ubiquitous characteristic makes it good alternative for feeds due to its availability in almost at all areas in the country. In many tropical and sub tropical countries, the tree is used for various purposes such as live fencing, fodder, coffee shade, firewood, green manure and rat poison. The tree can also be used for medicinal and insect repellant properties. Farmers in Latin America for example often wash their livestock with a paste made of crushed leaves to ward off torsalos, a common parasite on cattle and deer. In the Philippines, the extract obtained from its leaves is used to remove external parasites.

Here Comes the Rain Again
Since starting this blog I have received quite a few comments about how basic, may be even primitive, the building techniques are. Well, if you want to see primitive building techniques in action take five minutes to look at ‘House Building Mayan Style. Compared to this the techniques for our build in Ambergris Caye,Belize look absolutely modern.’ Rose and I spent most of the morning on our computers communicating with family and friends in the UK and taking care of administrative matters. This done we had lunch and prepared for an afternoon visit to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and set off around 2.15 pm. We hadn’t travelled too far when we felt spots of rain so we decided to stop off and pop into the Harmouche Hardware store in Pescador Drive to look at the door knob range – we have to choose these for our new home. There was a reasonable range on display but nothing that really took our fancy. When we came out of the store we saw that the heavens had opened and it was absolutely bucketing down ( English expression for pouring down). Only attired in our usual T shirt and shorts we elected to shelter under the canopy for a while in the hope that the rain would pass.

Ms. June Heusner- Making a difference
Belize is faced with the most turmoil I can remember since Independence. Some people have predicted a dire future for our youths and country. Sometimes it may appear in the backdrop of a diminished economic climate, wavering values, corruption and a failing justice system the future seems uncertain. However, as long as there is life there is hope. There are people who are fighting for Belize. There are grass root activists in our communities whose work goes unnoticed, unappreciated or under-appreciated. This month on Twocanview, I want to highlight an unsung Belizean hero, a fighter, an advocate, a mother, grandmother, godmother and second mother to many people who have the opportunity to know her. I would like to introduce you to Ms. June Heusner. A woman I admire immensely and have adopted as my second mother. A woman ions ahead of her time, a trailblazer in her own right. Ms. June, as she is affectionately known, has that special something. She is a Belizean patriot, She has a passionate love for Belize, she is genuine, she is a fighter and she believes in her causes. She is a community leader, she is respected by just about everyone in my generation and almost every resident of Belmopan has encountered Ms. June Heusner through her many hats she has worn throughout the years. If you are not from Belmopan, you probably have never heard of Ms. June Heusner. A very jovial, caring, passionate soul; a single mother who successfully raised four daughters on her own and a political secret weapon for the United Democratic Party in Belmopan. Ms. June was not always the community activist. She was a secretary in the Public Service and a young single mother with 3 daughters. She recalls being a card holding member of the PUP in her teenage years but defected during Heads of Agreement of 1981. Her decision to take a moral and patriotic stand during time and protest the controversial agreement cost Ms. June her job, some associates and friends in Belmopan, a predominantly conservative public service community. It was brave of her to step outside her comfort zone, risk her job security, friends, and future to fight for what she deeply believed in. That moment in Belize’s history sparked something in Ms. June that lives today. Today Belizeans may be faced with a similar quandary with the ICJ vote.

International Sources

Belize wins first-ever Copa Centro game
Belize won its first-ever game at the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana and grabbed the inside track on an automatic berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a thrilling 2-1 victory over Nicaragua on Tuesday at the Estadio Nacional. The scoreboard was opened against the run of play in the 29th minute, when Midfielder Trevor Lennen ran onto a ball at the top of the box, and rifled a shot into the back of the net that Nicaraguan goalkeeper Denis Espinoza could do little about. Nicaragua continued to press, but it was Belize that nearly extended its lead two minutes before the half. Harrison Rochez shot strongly from the top of the box, but his drive was denied by a diving Espinoza, and Lennen's follow up shot rolled just wide of the Nicaraguan goal, sending the game to halftime with Belize up one. In the second half, Nicaragua upped the pressure even more, pushing for the tying goal that would keep its quest alive to qualify for the Gold Cup. But they were denied time and time again by Belize's superb goalkeeper Woodrow West. In the 70th minute, team captain David Solorzano put Belize on notice, placing a free kick just high from 20 yards. The stage was set for a dramatic finish, and it wasn't until the 85th minute that Nicaragua finally broke through. A long ball was settled skillfully in the box by Felix Rodriguez, who cut back for Elvis Figueroa. The 24-year-old pounced on the bounding ball and slammed the equalizer past West.

Inescapable calm
The relaxation police will bust you for being in any kind of hurry on this Belizean isle... On this island off the Caribbean coast of Belize, you'll hear it almost as soon as you step off the water taxi dock: "Go slow." Stride too purposefully down a sandy street, as if you actually were headed somewhere, and someone will toss a "Go slow, mon" from a doorstep or window, busting you for being wired into some far-off, faster-paced place. All mechanisms of life on Caye Caulker have but one gear: slow. Like during breakfast at an open-air beachside bar. At 10 on a brilliant morning, nothing on the menu was available. No beer, no bread, no fish, no lobster, no pastries. "Staff didn't show up this morning," the owner said with a shrug. Caye Caulker is an anachronism in the world of slick, want-it-now Caribbean mega-tourism. Veteran backpackers compare it with Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Cancun, about 20 years ago or Cancun itself 25 years before that. "Caye Caulker? There's nothing there!" sniffed a bow-tied bartender at a white-tablecloth brasserie in the town of San Pedro on nearby Ambergris Caye.

New Independent Film, GARIFUNA IN PERIL To Screen at The 2013 San Diego Black Film Festival on SUNDAY February 3rd 2013
After successful screenings in London, Santa Fe New Mexico, and New York City; The New Independent Film, GARIFUNA IN PERIL will have its West Coast Premiere at The San Diego Black Film Festival on SUNDAY February 3rd 2013 at 12:30pm. Tickets are $10 each.

January 22, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The reality of life in San Mateo
It’s just before ten on a Friday morning, and the island heat is beginning its climax. Miss Daisy turns around from the living room into the kitchen, without taking a step. She stirs the pot of rice, knowing it will last her exactly three days. Daisy has lived in San Mateo for six years. The two room home she and her family of five live in now was built little by little after she obtained the plot of land from the government. Even though she had to walk along planks to get to her land, it did not change the fact that the land was hers. “This has been our way of living from way back, so it really doesn’t worry us,” she says of life in San Mateo. “We came over because there were many persons just coming and squatting on the land. We wanted to keep an eye on ours.” Miss Daisy’s day began just like any other mother’s. She woke at six a.m., cooked breakfast for the family and then sent her oldest child in the house to school. But today, instead of cleaning house, she is searching for electricity. Her home has been without any electricity for the past three months. Because light poles do not reach her area of San Mateo, she has to buy electricity from someone near the front of the community. “I could not afford the amount I was being charged,” she explains. “They [electric companies] won’t allow any more electricity to be connected to those poles because they already have too many [lines] on them already.”

San Pedro Lions Club receives check donation from Coon Valley Lions Club
Visually impaired kids on the island to benefit from donation... The San Pedro Lions Club on Ambergris Caye, Belize received a donation from the Coon Valley Lions Club from Wisconsin, USA on Friday January 18th. The donation was made on behalf of the club by Loran Nordgren of Westby, Wisconsin and is a result of a donation with the understanding that half the money raised in a raffle was for the Coon Valley Lions Club and the other half for the San Pedro Lions Club. According to Nordgren, the club in the US raffled a trip for four people to Belize, with accommodation for a week at his Ambergris Caye home. “We raised over $12,000 US and after expenses it came to a little over $7000 US profit half of which came to San Pedro Lion Club,” said Nordgren who elaborated that the reason he chose to offer his home for a week in the raffle with the condition to help the island’s club is because he fell in love with the island.

Belize aims high at the Copa Centroamericana (UNCAF)
Costa Rica was the host of this year’s Copa Centroamericana (UNCAF), an international football championship for national teams within Central America. The participating members of this league are Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and of course Belize, the only English speaking national team in the Copa Centroamericana. The games began on Friday, January 18th when Belize took the field against the home team Costa Rica in the inaugural game. Belizeans across the country made plans to ensure prime viewing; many headed to sportsbars, while some hosted friends at home, and others just had a quiet night of viewing, ready to cheer on their beloved Belize team. At 8PM, the National Belize football selection was on the field with the players’ minds focused on a strong defense throughout the game. Costa Rica’s first goal attempt came within the first few minutes, and Belize’s defense stepped up, blocking the first of many attempts. Team Costa Rica was determined for a win, but Belize was not backing down. By the time the whistle blew to signal the end of the first half, there was no score on the board; Belize had held its ground to Costa Rica.

Ambergris Today

Caye Caulker’s “Underwater Wilderness” Featured in Men’s Journal Magazine
The island of Caye Caulker has been featured as one of “The Nearest Faraway Beach Towns” in Men’s Journal. Stephen Rodrick, the writer, begins by saying, “Getting to Caye Caulker isn’t easy. Leaving with all your fingers isn’t guaranteed.” The entire spread highlights seven less crowded beaches that visitors have come to love. The article on Caye Caulker highlights the water adventures that can be found at Caye Caulker, such as fly fishing and swimming with nurse sharks, eagle rays, and dolphins. As a testament to the elements of excitement and surprise, Rodrick stated that, “Leaving with all your fingers isn’t a guarantee”, referring to dive master, Eugene Bul, who was surprised by a four-foot barracuda.

San Pedro Carnaval Goes Bigger
The San Pedro Town Council declares Carnival 2013 a Big Time Event this time around. In an effort to discourage vandalism and destruction to property, to promote San Pedro and make Carnival an annual tourist attraction, to discourage aggressive behavior and improper touching of persons, the Mayor and the Cultural Committee have proposed to enhance on this cultural tradition and make it a sensational attraction for both locals and tourists. A few bold and original incentives have been planned to make this event a thrilling experience. First of all the programmers will step up the celebration from three to five days. Here’s a plan of the events to be announced formally by the Mayor.

Sharing Ideas with Media Partners in Central America
I got the opportunity to gather with fellow journalists from across the Central American region this week at an international seminar that dealt with tourism and the role of the media in reporting tourism-centered news/features and also how the media can properly manage reporting during times of crisis to minimize the effects on a country’s tourism industry. Invited to the seminar was a broad spectrum of participants that included international and regional media, travel bloggers and writers. Belize was represented by five person, two from San Pedro and three from the mainland and they all played an integral part in sharing their ideas and even participate in a panel discussion.

Flashbacks: Police Presence in San Pedro
This Flashback photo takes us back in time to the 1950’s when a single police officer was stationed in San Pedro to take on the responsibility of law and order, immigration, customs, registrar of births, registrar of deaths, health, and a few other minor duties. The only responsibility that the officer did not have was prosecution, and that was because back in those days there were no crimes committed locally that necessitated prosecuting anybody in a court of law. Ah and don’t forget, besides these many obligations, the officer still found time to go fishing. Back to the flashback. The door on the right led to a tiny office no larger than 6 X 8 feet which housed a table, 2 chairs, a filing cabinet and a communications radio. The door on the left led into a holding cell which was about the same size of the officer’s office. Most of the time it was not in use so you could find fishing net, paddles, snorkeling gear and a few other personal items. These items were removed occasionally when some drunk decided to give unwarranted trouble and asked to sleep in the prison for some hours.

25 Years Ago: A Letter to Formally Date a Girl
Very often when I address young boys and girls on my book “25 Years Ago”, they ask me questions that remind me of other topics. This week the first form Students at San Pedro High asked about courting and romance. I even had to sing a song that formed part of a serenade years ago in San Pedro. Today I recall how a young lover went about requesting the privilege to date a young lady and become her fiancee. Here is the letter written by a young lover to his future (hopeful) father-in-law. With this letter Antoño, who had been courting Rosita at the park, at parties and on the streets, announces to Rosita's parents his good intentions towards their daughter. He wants to make formal his relationship with her. Previously, she had been his "enamorada" (girlfriend) but he now wants her to be his "novia" (fiance). court Years ago in San Pedro, Antoño would write in his best handwriting or have a confidential friend of his write it out. He would place the letter in an envelope and send it to his future father-in-law. Any young boy on the street would deliver it for 25 cents. If he wanted to look good and gain favor with the family, he would send it with a young brother of the girl. Some brave young men delivered it themselves.

Pic of the Week: Go Slow in Caye Caulker, Belize
We captured the true definition of Caye Caulker's 'Go Slow' motto this past weekend as there was nothing or anybody that was moving this dog from the middle of the street. He was taking a morning nap as pedestrian and golf carts passed by - the very little traffic that there is on the streets of Caye Caulker.

Misc Belizean Sources

Isla Bonita Elementary School Marching Band
The San Pedro Town Council made a contribution to the Isla Bonita Elementary School Marching Band which will be used for travel costs, uniforms and other needs. They are arduously preparing for Band Fest 2013, which will be held on March 23rd, 2013 in Belmopan. If you would also like to make a contribution you may contact the school at Tel. 226-3754 or you can Email them at or for more information.

Flavors of Belize on Daytime TV
Flavors of Belize was highlighted on Daytime TV. More great exposure for Belize, its food, and its great culture. "Flavors of Belize had the wonderful opportunity of being hosted on Daytime TV on January 16th. Daytime TV, produced by River Bank Studios covers 85% percent of US household viewers, with a reach of 97.1 million homes across the United States and is syndicated in over 100 markets. The show aired today at 11am ET and we will be posting a copy as soon as it's available!"

Computer Classes at the GPC
Starting today, the George Price Centre will start with one and two day IT classes. Contact the GPC for more information. Microsoft Project: 22nd and 23 of January. Microsoft Word: 29th of January. Microsoft Excel: 30th of January. Quickbooks: 5th and 6th of February.

Winter Solstice Celebration at Caracol
National Geographic got Joshua Berman's firsthand report of staying overnight on Ca'ana at Caracol, for the Winter solstice, to celebrate the end of the long count Maya calendar. Dr. Jaime Awe, director of the Belize Institute of Archaeology, was there to explain the history of Caracol. Here's the video to go with the story that was released a few weeks ago. "Sleeping under the stars on top of a Maya temple in the middle of one of Central America’s largest tropical forests is the stuff of dreams. Especially in this day and age, when most major Maya sites are off limits outside daylight hours. But tonight is different. Another shooting star! The forest canopy rustling in the night breeze below sounds like rain, but, amazingly, the December sky is clear. Sometime around 3:30 a.m., a drum begins to beat. Maya elders are leading a procession through the trees to perform the solstice ceremony. I know I should go (I don’t want to miss anything!), but I also don’t want to miss the show above me. So I remain in my sleeping bag, glued to the sky. That, after all, is where it all began. The sky." Best of Cayo's insight:

Channel 7

Creditor Committee Co-Chair Visits To Say Superbond 2.0 is Ready For Launch
Superbond 2.0 is about two weeks away from launching. That's the news coming out of a prime ministerial press conference held this afternoon. But it wasn't just another announcement like the one held before Christmas, today, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was joined by A-J Mediratta, he's the co-chair of the creditors' committee. That committee represents over 50% of the bondholders - the group that stands to lose the most from the renegotiation. Mediratta arrived in the country on Saturday where Prime Minister Barrow and Speaker of the House, Mike Peyrefitte, greeted him at the airport. He flew out to San Pedro with his family and returned today for the press conference. His presence indicates that the new deal is done in accord with the creditors. And while they stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars over the life of the bond, Mediratta was agreeable enough. Both he and the PM agreed that the process would soon be finished: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The general economic terms of the restructuring have been agreed. While then I can't say to you this afternoon that the deal is done, I can tell you that we are so close to finality that we expect to launch the exchange offer within the next week or two." AJ Mediratta, Greylock Capitol, Co-Chair, Creditor's Committee "We are very close. A broad agreement on the general terms was reached in late December and we are right now really just priming through the process."

PM Responds To NTUCB Statement
And so while there are savings to be realized in the coming year, Government says it didn't have the money to make the payments in the first place! And that's why the PM made it clear today that from the Government's perspective there's no way this measure of breathing room can be used to try and pay for, or justify a wage increase for teachers and public servants. Here's his explanation: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "If of course we were to do anything such as immediately add back on to the deficit that we would just have succeeded in narrowing something like the two hundred and odd million dollars over three years that the salary demands would represent, we would have ended up in a decision where the public and the international community will say to us well you just succeeded in the fool's gold feet of digging a hole to fill a hole and in fact of digging a larger hole to fill a smaller hole." Today the National Trade Union Congress of Belize - the umbrella group for all major unions issued a statement saying that, quote, "the NTUCB expresss its total and unconditional solidarity the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, the Belize National Teachers' Union and the Public Service Union."

Senior Citizen Murdered In Maskall
But right now we turn from news of the government's finances to murder - the ninth of 2013. This time the victim is an older man - and he was killed in Belize Rural. Monica Bodden went to Maskall village to find out about the violent death Fitzroy Morales:.. Monica Bodden reporting 61 year old Ervin Morales was found dead inside his home in the village of Maskal just after midday on Saturday afternoon. The elderly man was discovered by a neighbor - lying face down on his bedroom floor -wrapped in a blanket. He had a chop wound to the back of his head, left shoulder, hand and both elbows. A villager identified as Emilia Gotoy who normally cooks for Morales - became concerned when he did not show up for lunch on Saturday afternoon. Knowing that Morales suffers from epilepsy, Gotoy asked someone to go check up on him.

NTUCB Explains: Inflation Cutting Into Salaries
In our first segment, you heard the Prime Minister outline Government's financial position and why it can't afford to give teachers and public officers the 30% pay increase they are asking for. Well, the unions don't want to hear it, and today the NTUCB issued a statement saying that it will, quote "support activities aimed at raising the consciousness of the Belizean populace to this issue." Do those activities include a possible strike? That's what our colleagues at PLUS TV asked President of the NTUCB Dylan Reneau today:.. Reporter "So then this means that the NTUCB will support the BNTU if its goes on sustain this strike?" Dylan Reneau, President - NTUCB "The NTUBC will support the Belize National Teachers' Union, the Public Service Union, and the Association of Public Service Senior Managers in whatever action they intend to carry out." Reporter "Is the NTUCB satisfied in the legitimacy of GOB's position that the country simply cannot afford to pay?"

Police: He Robbed Hamze
On Friday's Newscast, we told you about the robbery which occurred on Coney Drive at around 5 p.m. Well, the man who allegedly committed it, and was caught by police in the area is in prison tonight after he was arraigned this morning. As we reported, two men entered Hamze Grocery Store, located at the corner of Blue Marlin Boulevard and Coney Drive, and to rob the owner, Ahmad Hamze, and his relative, Belham Hamze, at gunpoint. When they tried to flee, 2 of the store's regular patrons set chase after the men, and one of those men fired shots at the robbers with his licensed firearm. No one was hurt, but it allowed enough time for members of the Gang Suppression Unit to respond, and detain one of the men in a swampy area off Coney Drive.

Young Men In Accident, Robbed While Unconscious
Tonight, 5 young men are fortunate to have escaped major injuries in an accident which happened on Sunday morning in Belize City. According to police, 21 year-old Darren Wright, the driver of the Grey Toyota 4 Runner, seen in the footage, reported to police that he was in the vehicle along with 20 year-old Avery Gordon, 21 year-old Kevian Godfrey, a 17 year-old male minor, and the 16 year-old son of the Minister of Housing, Michael Finnegan. They were travelling at high speed on New Road, and when they arrived near the Puma Gas Station, he lost control of the vehicle. They collided into a lamp post - which snapped, and overturned. The 17 year-old was flung through the broken windshield unto the street. Everyone received injuries from the accident, and 2 of them ended up being hospitalized. And to make a bad situation worse, the young men were reportedly robbed of their cellular phones, tennis shoes, and trousers while they were in an unconscious state.

Octogenarian Killed In Northern Accident
An 81 year old was killed in a traffic accident on Friday evening at 6:00 in the Corozal District. Eduardo Acosta, was crossing the highway in Calcutta village when he was hit by 56 year old Hector Manuel Torres, a Corozal resident who was northbound. A Post mortem certified the cause of death to be "TRAUMATIC SPINAL SHOCK SYNDROME" due to multiple spinal fractures. Torres has been served with a Notice of intended Prosecution.

Accused of Stealing From Hon. Castro
46-year-old Oscar Hernandez, a Nicaraguan from Caledonia village, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court for allegedly stealing almost $50,000 in equipment from Belize Rural North Area Representative, Edmund Castro. According to police, Castro reported that between October 2012, and December 2012, his D-6 Bulldozer was parked in an area off Bomba Road, and during that time someone tampered with it and stole several major parts of the engine, to total value of just a shade under fifty thousand dollars. Police investigated, and they were able to recover all the stolen items at a residence in Ladyville this weekend. The owner of the house pointed police in Hernandez's direction, and after investigating further, they charged him with theft.

Haley Cattouse Convicted
In October of last year, 7News told you about 24 year-old Haley Cattouse, who was busted by police with crack cocaine in her home. Well, she now has to pay $10,000 dollars in fines after she was convicted in the Magistrate's Court today. As we reported, police searched her home at #77 Banak Street, and found a black plastic bag under the flooring of her house, with 13 pieces of foil paper parcels containing 3.4 grams of crack cocaine. She was charged with drug trafficking, and she was arraigned before Magistrate Cayetano. She stood trial in subsequent adjournments, and police officers came and testified exactly to what they reported. The prosecutor's case against Cattouse was finished today when the forensic analyst testified to the court that the substance in those pieces of foil paper tested positive for crack cocaine.

Okeke Gives Up On Goldson Project
17 days ago, we told you about Steven Okeke's plan to try to erect a monument to the National Hero, Phillip Goldson, in the Battlefield Park. He estimated that he needed $5,000 and 1 week to get the bust properly mounted and set in place, and he asked the public to assist him to raise the money for the effort. Well, he thought that he could stir the public to action by appealing to their sense of patriotism, but - as with all things Okeke - it ended in disappointment. He decided that there was no point in trying to get this thing done the right way, so on Sunday, he rented a crane and just lowered the bust into the park and left it there. We asked him why he gave up on the right way and did it any old way. Here's how he explained it: Steven Okeke "I left the sculpture at the Battlefield Park yesterday. It was becoming too frustrating; it's kind of you are doing something people have no value for but first I must have to thank those who actually helped me to come this far in that kind of fundraising Ms. Collet Maheia had on behalf of her two children. Mr. Habet and Habet, Mr. Brackett and Mr. Will Mahia. In the process I was spending more money trying to raise the money, so I had to stop immediately because it was taking too long and this thing has been problem for me too. As you try to campaign over this kind of things you spend a lot of money and it's like you are trying to do something people don't want. I was able to raise about $1,800.00 but in the process of raising money I was spending more than I had raise. It was almost going back to zero, so I had to use whatever I had to pay the process of bringing it here and arrangement to just leave it there. There was a time I was angry and then I became disappointed but right now I am embarrass because I thought things would have improve better than this."

Belize Football Has A Chance!
And so while Okeke can't stir the public to move for nationalist pride, the New Belize National Team is doing quite well to rebuild nationalist support for Football in Belize. On Friday night, they played the host country in their first game of the Copa Centroamericana. It was a game before five thousand, five-hundred Costa Ricans cheering for their "Ticos" - and to the credit of the Belize side - Costa Rica only managed to score one goal against Belize. The hero of that match and Sunday's game against Guatemala was BDF Goalkeeper Woodrow West.? Belize held Guatemala to a nil-nil draw, earning Belize its first point of the tournament. We spoke to him via telephone in Costa Rica this evening, and he told us that he is proud of their performance so far: Woodrow West "To step up to that level and play a different level of football for Belize.

No Water, No School for Santa Martha Villagers
There were no classes at Santa Martha Government School today - after the small community decided to keep their children at home to protest against their Water Board. The village has been without running water for the last 6 months and today villagers held a demonstration in front of the school compound hoping that someone would listen to their appeal. Monica Bodden did, and here's her story:.. Monica Bodden reporting It has been six months now since the village of Santa Martha has been without running water. We understand the population of the village is roughly about 700 villagers -162 of that 700 are children who attend the village primary school. But today the classrooms of Santa Martha Government School were empty - to be precise, only 2 students attended school today. That is because the parents of the community decided to keep their children at home as a sign of protest - until someone addresses their water issues.

Trip Advisor Loves Belize
Trip Advisor has released its 2013 Awards and once again, Belize shines. Belize's resorts dominated the categories of "Top 25 Small Hotels in Central America" and "Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America." A total of 12 Belize properties were awarded, giving Belize 48% of the total including #1 Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Shop - San Pedro, Belize and #2, Pelican Reef Villas Resort - San Pedro, Belize plus #3, The Phoenix Resort - San Pedro, # 4 Coco Plum Island Resort - Dangriga, Belize - and the list goes on. Belzie also shined in the Top 25 Hotels for Service in Central America, the Top 25 Hotels in Central America: the Top 20 Luxury Hotels in Central America: and earned the two spots in Top 25 Luxury Hotels in the World:

Channel 5

Renegotiated bond to save U.S. $247 Million
The government said today that a deal will soon be struck in re-negotiating the five hundred and fifty million dollars U.S. bond. In 2012, it appeared that a default was imminent, and then the government offered only a partial payment in September. There was a sixty day extension period which expired in November, and then [...]

Bondholders sympathetic to Belize?
The P.M. said the debt flow relief will not eliminate the country’s fiscal or financial gap. While Barrow believes this pending agreement mends the relationship with the external financial community he was also hopeful that debt servicing will be sustainable. AJ Mediratta, a senior partner of Greylock Capital Management told the media that they represent [...]

“Impossible!” P.M. comments on salary adjustment
The hundreds of millions in dollars of relief brought by a restructured bond may have given teachers hope that the government will be able to grant pending salary adjustments. But the Prime Minister has crushed all hopes of those salary increases occurring in the near future. Following today’s press conference with the chairman of the [...]

London Court awards $36 Million to Belize Bank
It is not known how it will factor in the superbond savings but the London Court of International Arbitration recently issued an award in favour of the Belize Bank Limited in arbitration proceedings commenced by the Bank against the Government.  Word to News is that the arbitration concerned the breach by the Government of a [...]

Senior citizen murdered in Maskall
There has not been a murder since the massacre of four gang affiliates in Belize City two weeks ago, but over the weekend, a senior citizen, who is an epileptic, was found dead in his house in Maskall off the Philip Goldson Highway.  Ervin Morales lived alone in a two bedroom house; his body was [...]

Strike on horizon; N.T.U.C.B. supports teachers
Dialogue between the Barrow Administration and the Belize National Teachers Union, the Public Service Union, as well as the Association of Public Service Senior Managers concerning the long overdue salary adjustment resumed in mid 2012, following a four year suspension.  Since then the parties have been in negotiations; but have failed to arrive at an [...]

School fees could increase with salaries
With the impending national demonstration and possible strike action at government’s front door, Patrick Faber, who leads a ministerial committee on collective bargaining agreement with the unions, said last Friday that government does not have the finances to support the adjustment. This morning, Faber likened the adjustment to an increase and further warned that it [...]

Paying gangs but why not educators?
Minister Faber was also asked about payment made to gangs, either for the truce or to keep the peace in the aftermath of the slaughter of four George Street Gang affiliates two weeks ago. Specifically, how is it that there are resources for gangs but not for public officers?  Here is his response.   Patrick [...]

Accused of stealing minister’s tractor
A man accused of stealing from Minister Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro is behind bars tonight. Nicaraguan national, forty-six year old Oscar Hernandez, a mechanic in the Caledonia Village appeared unrepresented and was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on a single charge of theft. It is alleged that between October 2012 and December 2012 in [...]

Not Cool! AC technician jailed for robbery
  A shooting took place just adjacent to our headquarters on Coney Drive after a nearby store was robbed last Friday evening. Quick police action led to the arrest of twenty–five year old Nuri Dario Polanco, an air condition technician of Belize City. Polanco was today arraigned in the court of Magistrate Hettie Mae-Stuart and [...]

2 accidents; one is fatal
Two traffic mishaps over the weekend have left one person dead and five others injured. The first occurred in the northern part of the country late Friday evening, where eighty-one year old Eduardo Acosta of Calcutta Village lost his life. Fifty-six year old Hector Manuel Torres of Altamira, Corozal reported that while he was driving [...]

2012’s bloody crime statistics
2012 has been recorded as the most murderous year with an unsurpassed number of homicides occurring between January first and December thirty-first.  While the annual statistics for crime and violence have been progressive, there has been an overall increase of fourteen and a half percent as it relates to murders in comparison to 2011.  There [...]

No water in Santa Martha Village; villagers up in arms
The village of Santa Martha is located off the Philip Goldson Highway; it is home to about six hundred residents of which about one hundred and sixty are of school age. This morning while the school doors were open, only two students showed up for classes. As in other communities, a problem over the lack [...]

Football highlights on Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The national football team of Belize has created much excitement and has increased expectations after 2 outings so far in the 2013 Copa Centroamericana. There is indeed a real chance that team Belize can advance to the 2nd round and that objective demands that [...]


Unions Want Salary Increase; Minister Says It Currently Cannot Be Done
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize today issued a statement saying it stands in complete solidarity with the three of its affiliates in the stand they have taken relating to the current status of the negotiation of the Collective Bargaining agreement. On the issue ...

Police Arrests and Seeks Another Man In Connection With Armed Robbery
One man was arrested and charged and police are looking for another suspect following an armed robbery on Friday. 41-year-old Ahmad Hazme owner of Hazme Grocery Store located on Blue Marlin Boulevard on Coral Grove reported to police that just after five o’clock on Friday e...

UB Student Government Gives Minister Deadline To Reconsider the Halt of School Fees Subsidy
The Association of Student Government of the University of Belize has written to Minister of Education Patrick Faber. The Association is requesting that Minister Faber reconsiders the position in discontinuing the subsidizing of school fees for incoming students of the University...

Traffic Incident In Corozal Proves Fatal for Senior Citizen
An elderly man was knocked down and killed last Friday evening. In the official release Police say they responded to the scene of a traffic accident in Calcutta Village where they saw a 1997 Geo metro car parked on the right hand side of the road with shattered windshield w...

Superbond Renegotiation Almost Finalised
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today hosted a press conference to update the nation on the progress of the renegotiation of Belize’s external debt, commonly referred to as the super bond. Last December, the Prime Minister announced that agreement has been reached in principle a...

Young Woman Fined For Crack Cocaine
Twenty-four year old Haley Cattouse, of a Banak Street address, who was charged with drug trafficking for three point four grams of crack cocaine, was fined $10,000.00 after she was found guilty of the charge. Magistrate Dale Cayetano gave her until April 30 to pay the fine. If she def...

Mechanic Steals From Government Minister
Forty-six tear old Nicaraguan national Oscar Hernandez, an auto mechanic who resides in Caledonia Village, was charged with the theft of $49,884.00 worth of bulldozer parts from the Minister of Transport, Edmund Castro, when he appeared in court today. No plea was taken because the...


Another Life Claimed On The Philip Goldson Highway
Last week Friday, the Phillip Goldson Highway claimed the first life for 2013 in a tragic traffic accident. According to eye witness reports, a burgundy colored 1997 Geo Metro Car with license plate Czl-C-12218, traveling north towards Corozal Town which was being driven by 56 year old Hector Manuel Torres, swerved off the road and knocked down an elderly man. Torres reported to police that another vehicle was travelling in the opposite direction as he was and when he noticed, the vehicle was coming straight at him in his lane. In order to avoid a head on collision, Torres swerved off the right hand side of the road but did not notice eight-one year old Luciano Eduardo Acosta. Acosta was crossing the highway and was just feet away from his home when the burgundy colored Geo Metro hit him. Acosta sustained severe head trauma, several fractures to his vertebrae, and both his feet broken as well.

Corozaleno Arrested For Possession Of Controlled Drugs
Tonight, the never ending fight on drugs has another man from the Corozal District behind bars. Last Friday evening, Corozal Police acted on information received, and conducted a search on sixty-five year old Daniel Moreno, businessman of Baeza’s Layout of Corozal Town. Officers along with the K-9 unit conducted a search on Moreno which yielded a rolled up thin piece of paper with suspected cannabis in it. The homemade cigarette had all the characteristics of a weed joint. A further search by the Officers lead to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing a leafy substance which was classified as suspected to be cannabis. As a result of the find, the officers took the confiscated items back to the station for further testing and Daniel Moreno was arrested and charged for possession of a controlled drug.

Orange Walk Residents Assist Distraught Family
Four days before Christmas last year the Arzu family house situated at #11 Dangriga Street in Orange Walk Town, was destroyed by a fire. The house belonged to retired citizen, Thomas Arzu and was valued over $140,000, while the belongings were estimated at a little over $10, 000. The extended family of twelve moved in to a temporary dwelling at the New Journey Ministries Church of God in Christ. Today the family still does not have a house to return to and sought the assistance of the community at large. In what was an unprecedented event, four out of the five radio stations in Orange Walk Town, came together to lend airwaves to the cause. Estereo Amor, Sugar City Radio Station, Universal Radio, and Fiesta FM all teamed up to simulcast the radiothon which took place at Central Park in Orange Walk Town. All four stations carried the same live feed with participation by radio personalities from all four stations.

4,300 Marijuana Plants Go Up In Flames
It has been a while now since we’ve heard a joint task force pushing forward into the jungles and wilderness of Belize in search of marijuana fields. In the past, we have done several ride alongs with several joint task forces put together to seek out and destroy these illegal fields. Officers waddle through water, endure frigid weather, and dangerous scenarios all in efforts of continuing the fight against the drug world. This past Friday, the Corozal Police Department put together significant intelligence of the whereabouts of a marijuana field within that district. The anti-drug team conducted an operation about a quarter mile northwest from the village of San Antonio where they discovered a marijuana plantation. When officers measured the field, the plantation measured 125 feet in length and 50 feet in width. A total of 4,300 marijuana plants were uprooted and destroyed measure four and a half inches to six inches in height. Along with the sprouting plants, officers also confiscated over 1,300 seedlings which were being prepared for transplant. All of the plants and seedlings were destroyed by fire and as is the usual in these situations, no one was found in the area.

National Team Makes Belizeans Proud
On Wednesday, January 16th, Belize’s National Selection travelled to Costa Rica to participate in the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. The A-Selection is headed by head coach Leroy Lewis who has been training the team for about six months. Belize first took to the field on Friday, the 18th of January against the host team, Costa Rica. The last time Belize and Costa Rica played, Costa Rica walked away with a home and away cumulative average of 13 to 1. At the end of regulation time for Belize’s first game of this tournament, Costa Rica walked off the field with a mere 1 zip victory sending local media houses in a frenzy. While those criticized their home team, we here in Belize were proud of the effort and high level of play our boys showed on the field. Belize took to the field for their second match on Sunday, January 20th this time, to face what many here at home have dubbed, their arch nemesis. In what proved to be a hardly fought match, both teams walked off the field in a stale mate, zero zero score. With that draw, Belize got onto the points board with one point. Headlines across Guatemala highlighted the disappointment football enthusiasts expressed towards their team. With this stalemate, Guatemala has remained winless in seven of its last eight UNCAF games.


Suspected robber charged
One man has been detained and police are looking for another suspect following an armed robbery on Friday. 41-year-old Ahmad Hazme owner of Hazme Grocery Store located on Blue marlin Boulevard on Coral Grove reported to police that just after five o’clock on Friday evening two male persons entered his store and held them up at gunpoint. The men stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene on separate bicycles. A resident from the area fired several shots at the robber. Quick response by Police led to the apprehension of one of the suspected in a swamp area off Coney Drive. Police have since arrested and charged 25-year-old Nuri Daru Polanco of an Antelope Street address with robbery and aggravated assault. Police are looking for a second suspect.

Woman fined for crack cocaine possession
Twenty-four year old Haley Cattouse, of a Banak Street address in Belize City, who was charged with drug trafficking for three point four grams of crack cocaine, was fined ten thousand dollars after she was found guilty of the charge. Magistrate Dale Cayetano gave her until April thirtieth to pay the fine. If Cattouse defaults on payment she will serve three years in prison. Cattouse was busted on October third of last year. Evidence which came out at the trial revealed that the police were on mobile patrol and when they stopped and searched Cattouse’s house they found 13 packages wrapped aluminum foil in a muddy area under some boards near to the front door. Cattouse, who was the only person present at the time, was taken into custody and charged. Cattouse testified and admitted that the crack was found at her house but she said that it was never weighed and if it was taken out of the foil the charge would have been possession of a controlled drug. Cattouse was not represented by any attorney.

Mechanic accused of stealing tractor parts
Forty-six tear old Nicaraguan national Oscar Hernandez, an auto mechanic who resides in Caledonia Village, was charged with the theft of forty nine thousand, eight hundred and eighty four dollars worth of bulldozer parts from the Minister of Transport, Edmund Castro, when he appeared in court today. No plea was taken because the offence is being treated as an indictable one. The prosecutor objected to bail on the grounds that Hernandez is a foreigner and is a flight risk. Magistrate Dale Cayetano upheld the objection and remanded Hernandez into custody until April first. According to court documents, Minister Castro, left his bulldozer on Bomba Road between October first and December thirtieth of last year and when he returned for it there were a number of parts missing. On January 18, the police went to a house in Ladyville and recovered all the stolen parts.

Robbers target SanCas outlet on Slaughterhouse Road
It is a place that offers the Belizean housewife and thrifty shoppers significant savings on grocery items, the San Cas Commissary across from Love FM and Love Television was reportedly held up shortly after nine this morning. Love News has learned that two guys, posing to be shoppers, opened the bolt on the door and let themselves into the store, where they held up the Manager, Minerva Lanza, at knife point. One of the assailants reportedly demanded the money, while the other placed the knife to her throat. The irony about the whole ordeal is that one of the thieves reportedly handed back a hundred-dollar note and a bag that contained smaller denominations of money, saying that he didn’t want it all. The San Cas Commissary is not normally opened on Mondays for business, and when it is, that’s not until 11 am. The fact that the robbery was carried out after nine today gives police the strong suspicion that the culprits were closely tracking the Manager’s movements. The incident has prompted the company to enhance its security features.

Mental Health Association holds wellness conference
Stress is something that affects most one time or the other, and there are a lot of other ailments that can me accompanied with that feeling. But stress along with other parts that attack our healthy being, can be tackled with different methods and that is exactly what women and men are doing at St. Catherine Academy, where a Wellness Conference is taking place as part of the Mental Health Association’s Wellness Day. President of the Association is Jenny Lovell. The facilitator of the conference, Estelle Maartmann-moe told us about some of the techniques being employed in the conference. The conference according to Lovell had a good turn.

Winners of comic book competition announced
Hollywood Screen Writer Tony Puryear and his wife, actress Erica Alexander, came to Belize last year and held clinics on creating comic books during their Concrete Park tour. As a result a comic book competition for student in Belize was created in partnership with NICH, the Belize Tourism Board and the Belize Diaspora Network, and the winners were announced this morning during a short ceremony. Suzette Zaiden from NICH, told us more about the competition. Zaiden says the selection process was done entirely by Concrete Park, but she shared with us what the winners would be walking away with. Love News spoke with the excited first, second and third place winners, who further shared their thrill of having made it to the top. The event took place at the House of Culture in Belize City.

Belize City family gets new house
A Belize City family is tonight enjoying the comforts of a new roof over their heads, thanks to a helping hand from friends and neighbors. Love TV’s Natalie Novelo and video journalist Myles Gillett documented the happy occasion and bring you this report.

Minister Faber responds to threat of industrial action by unions
The Belize National Teachers Union has taken a position to hold a mass demonstration at the end of the month, and there is the possibility that it could escalate to nationwide strike. At issue is the thorny subject of salary increases. The BNTU, as a member of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, is taking the lead in expressing their dissatisfaction with the government’s indication that there simply is no money to facilitate a pay raise for teachers and public officers. The lead member of the Cabinet sub-committee in the collective bargaining process, Minister Patrick Faber today told reporters that all indications are that there will be a huge budget deficit and given that the expected pay increase for teachers and public officers will put an additional thirty million dollars annually on the government’s wage bill, there is no way the public purse can afford the raise at this time. The government has put forward its position and the NTUCB has asked for more time to effect further consultations with its membership. And while the teachers are signaling their readiness to hit the picket lines, Minister Faber maintains that the process has not stalled and the talks have not broken down. But he says he is at a loss as to how things have advanced from negotiations to the point of contemplated industrial action so quickly.

Collet representative says unions challenge won’t adversely affect his deputy leader campaign
And while the teachers are threatening strike, that is not the only thing that Minister Faber has on his plate these days. The Collet area representative is in the middle of a hotly contested campaign to unseat Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega as the deputy leader of the ruling United Democratic Party. Love News asked Faber is this looming crisis with the unions will adversely affect his chances of defeating Vega in next month’s convention. The convention to choose the deputy leader of the PUP will be held on February seventeenth in Corozal town.

City Council PR manager goes on the record about infrastructure works
If you’re navigating through Belize City, this time it perhaps seems like a chaotic maze of streets that are closed and two way traffic on what ordinarily are one-entry lanes. The Belize City Council, in its attempt to give the old capital a decent facelift in as little time as is necessary, says that there is a method to what appears to be madness. The Council’s newly appointed Public Relations Manager, Kenny Morgan, explained to Love News today that the progress will include kinks along the way, but that the Council is doing the best it can. Morgan says that the Council has since created a Traffic Advisory Morning Show, utilizing the various media houses to disseminate information as to what streets will be closed and which can be used as diversions and two-way lanes to ease congestion and minimize bottlenecks. But one thoroughfare that motorists and businesses along its path will breathe a sigh of relief over is the Northern Highway, which was opened to traffic on both sides of the highway this afternoon. Meanwhile, regarding the other hiccups that City Hall has been facing over gravesites, we asked Morgan to explain where the problem lies and how soon it can be ironed out.

National football team prepres for international match in Costa Rica
Belize’s national football team is tonight in Costa Rica getting ready to play its first game in the qualifying tournament for the 2013 CONCACAF gold cup. The twelfth edition of the Copa Centroamericana, formerly known as the UNCAF Nations Cup starts tonight and Belize’s national football team under the leadership of head coach Leroy Sherrier looks to make a bold statement in the tournament. It is the first international outing for the national team under the new management of the Football Federation of Belize, and hopes are high that this team, which has been in training for a long time, can go where no other Belize national football teams have gone before. The team arrived in San Jose on Wednesday afternoon and the opening whistle for its first game is at eight o’clock tonight. Luis Pena is the public relations officer for the FFB. And although it has been said many times before, Pena believes the national football team is in prime state of readiness and should have no problem advancing to the next level. The Belize contingent to the Copa Latinoamericana Tournament in Costa Rica is headed by the president of the FFB Ruperto Vicente. The top five teams from the Copa Centroamericana will qualify for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Honduras is the defending champion of that tournament.

Veterinarians from Mexico arrive for Cattle Sweep exercise
A comprehensive survey of Belize’s cattle population will soon commence. An agreement was signed earlier this week for an exchange of veterinarians from Mexico to facilitate the Belize National Sanitary Cattle plan project. Dr. Miguel Depaz is the director of Animal Health at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority. Dr. Depaz told Love News that there is a strict timetable for completing the sanitary cattle sweep. That was Chief Veterinary Officer at the Belize Agricultural Health Authority, Dr. Miguel Depaz.

Police destroy marijuana plants in Toledo
Over five thousand marijuana plants were destroyed on Thursday during an anti drug operation in Toledo. Correspondent Paul Mahung reports.

Man charged for illegal firearm possession; another jailed for stealing
Thirty-one year old Kenroy Vanzie, a laborer of Arlington Drive, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Vanzie pleaded not guilty to the charges He was remanded into custody until March 18. The incident occurred on January 2. Police reported that they went to Vanzie’s residence and when they searched his yard they found a nine millimeter pistol with 6 rounds of ammunition in the swamp. Vanzie did not have a license for the firearm so he was charged. Vanzie claims that police had him in detention since December thirtieth and that they had beaten him up. He says that he was released on January 3 and he was not detained again until yesterday. Fifty-three year old George Slusher, a carpenter of a Belize City address was charged with stealing a roll of aluminium foil from K-Mart Supermarket, was given a suspended sentence of 6 months today when he pled guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser told him that he must not be arrested for any offence during a period of 1 year otherwise he will serve 6 months in jail. The incident occurred this morning. Pradeep Badrani, the manager of the supermarket, reported to the police that Slusher was seen stealing the foil and as he was about to get on his bicycle he was detained and the foil fell from the waist of his pants.

School in Cayo district gets solar panels donation
The El Progresso Government School in the Cayo district is the recipient of a donation of solar panels. The donation is from the national Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. At the handing over of the donation, ambassador of the Republic of China, Taiwan, David Wu, congratulated the university students for their initiative to assist the local primary school. Each year, through the sponsorship of the government of Taiwan, almost two hundred volunteer groups from various universities in Taiwan are sent abroad on goodwill missions.


Belize and Superbond creditors close to deal
Prime Minister Dean Barrow and the negotiating team for the restructuring of Belize's Super bond debt say they are ...

NTUCB releases position on the ongoing salary increase negotiation
The General Council of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize met over the weekend and via a press release tod...

60 years-old Ervin Fitz-Roy Morales Murdered in Maskall Village
A 60 year old man was murdered over the weekend. On Saturday January 19, 60yr old Ervin Fitz-Roy Morales of Maskall...

Minister's son among five injured in traffic accident
Five men, among them the son of a prominent Government Minister, were injured to varying degrees after a traffic ac...

Fatal traffic accident Friday night in Calcutta Village
A fatal traffic accident occurred on Friday night in Calcutta Village. Corozal Police were called to the village on...

Philip Goldson bust has been moved to Battlefield Park
Philip Goldson bust has been moved to Battlefield Park. Philip Goldson was created a National Hero in 2008 and is r...

Belize city business robbed at gun-polnt on Friday evening
On Friday we reported on a shooting incident in Belize City. Details were sketchy at the time but police have now r...

Two men charged with firearm offences
Last week Friday, Belize City Police arrested and charged 31 yr old Edwin Vanzie of Arlington Drive for the offence...

Belmopan Police investigate Aggravated Burglary
Belmopan Police are investigating a case of Aggravated Burglary that was reported by 30 yrs old Evelyn Zuluta, of R...

Belmopan Police investigate robbery
Belmopan Police are investigating a report of robbery. 29yr old Maria Jaliano, Belizean Businesswoman of Concepcion...

Police investigate Saturday's fire in Belize City
There was a fire in Belize City on Saturday. At 3:39am on Saturday January 19, acting on information received, Beli...

The Reporter

Victims’ Rights are Human Rights
Amidst the sadness, anger and fear of last week in the aftermath of the discovery of a quadruple murder in Belize City, the public may have lost sight of a possible ray of sunshine from an announcement by the Police Department that there would be greater protection of witnesses and victims of crime in Belize by the establishment of a Witness Support Unit. The Human Rights Commission was pleased to learn of this new initiative and hopes that it may assist in reducing some of the entrenched obstacles confronting the criminal justice system.

Chamber takes P.M. to task on gang violence.
Negotiating with gang leaders sends wrong message! Posted by admin on Jan 21, 2013 in Crime | 0 comments The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has issued a statement demanding that the Government do more to control gang violence and sharply rebuking the Prime Minister for negotiating with gang leaders. The complete statement is reproduced below:

Tips for first-time parents
You’ve survived 9 months of pregnancy. You’ve made it through the excitement of labor and delivery, and now you’re ready to head home and begin life with your baby. Once home, though, you frantically realize you have no idea what you’re doing! Brushing up on these tips can help first-time parents feel confident about caring for a newborn in no time.

Why is hand washing so important for kids?
A delicious mud pie, a good-luck rock, or a friendly frog are the types of goodies kids love to bring home. But these adorable gifts can also bring millions of germs with them. Kids don’t always listen when you tell them to wash their hands before eating, after using the bathroom, or when they come inside from playing.

Criminal Justice System in crisis! Chief Justice Benjamin says
“The criminal justice system is in crisis,” Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin said at the official opening of the Supreme Court on Monday. C.J.Benjamin noted that the number of indictments in the criminal division of the Supreme Court are far in excess of the ten cases heard during the legal year.

SJC, Excelsior & Ladyville Tech boys win in high schools football
The girls of St. Catherine’s Academy drew 1-1 with the girls of Ladyville Technical High School while the boys of Excelsior High School, St. John’s College and Ladyville Technical High School all enjoyed big wins when the Belize District High Schools Football Competition began at the M.C.C. Grounds last Thursday and Friday, January 10-11.

Belize Bank wins 6th annual Boom to Manatee Lookout canoe race
Ruta Maya veterans Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz of the Belize Bank Bulldogs won the sixth annual Burrell Boom to Manatee Lookout canoe race on Saturday, January 12, the first of three races the Belize Canoe Association has organized in preparation for the 14th annual Ruta Maya River Challenge, a gruelling 140-mile race scheduled for the Baron Bliss Holiday weekend of March 9. The Belize Bank team completed the 16 mile paddle in one hour 27 minutes and three seconds to claim the $400 first prize overall and a $150 prize as the first male team.

Cemeteries Dept. offers value for money – Citco’s PR says
The intention of the Belize City Council’s Cemeteries Department monopolizing the digging and building of graves is to give good value for money, said the City Council’s newly appointed public relations manager, Kenny Morgan at an impromptu press conference at Lord’s Ridge Cemetery on Thursday afternoon, January 17.

GoB tells media that Belize’s case at the ICJ is iron clad
Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Wilfred Elrington said Wednesday that Belize has an airtight case and is sure to win should we take the Belize-Guatemala dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ)

The Importance of Budgeting for MSMEs
A budget is an accounting tool used to outline a company’s expected revenues and expenses for a future time period. This period can be monthly, quarterly (every three months), annually, or more. Many small business owners tend to believe that budgeting is a practice that is only necessary for large companies or corporations; however, budgeting is vital to the success of businesses of all sizes.

Belize rejection of Argentine default model spurs Bond rally
Belize’s dollar bonds are rallying in most in emerging markets after the Central American nation improved a restructuring offer that was worse than what Argentina gave creditors following its 2001 default.

Former Prime Minister and family threatened
The home of former prime minister, the Hon. Said Musa, was shot at by an unknown gunman on Tuesday night. Belize City Police confirmed Wednesday that the main door of Musa’s home had been shot through, and the rear passenger window of his wife’s car had also been shattered by a bullet.

Teachers vote for National Day of Protest
More than 500 teachers voted in favor of a proposal to hold a National Day of Protest, in Belmopan on Tuesday, January 29. The votes were taken when the Belize District Branch of the Belize National Teachers Union met at Holy Redeemer Parish Hall on Thursday.

Forestry Dept. Investigates two new rosewood cases
Belizean authorities are reportedly investigating two separate rosewood cases: one in Belize City, and another at the Western border. According to a government press release, the authorities intercepted a 40-foot container, which contains 28 tons of rosewood flitches (in log form) that were supposedly being imported from Guatemala, at the Western border on Wednesday. The release states that the “Forestry Department is working with its counterpart in Guatemala and is awaiting confirmation on the origin and legitimacy of the rosewood material.”


House Construction Mayan Style
The Chiac family who I wrote about in a previous post have received a small grant from the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the Belize Tourism Board. The grant is for infrastructure and other improvements to develop their fledgling tourism business focused on home craft making. Part was to be spent in the construction of a new building where guests get to try new craft skills themselves. On Friday, 18 January, Carlos and his father Juan were hard at work erecting the frame for the house that will be 20 x 30. That is ample space to set up different craft making areas and display their products for sale. Some of their crafts are not commonly found. Little more than a year ago all Juan and Hilaria’s sales were to other villagers. Juan makes hammocks and bags from natural fibres he weaves himself and large, useful baskets from the tai tai vine for storing bread, fruit and vegetables; for presentation of other items or a thousand other things. The great thing about the style of twenty-first century Mayan house construction is that it is exactly the same as first century house construction. Same poles, same ropes, same leaves that have grown in the same place for all that while. And as someone once said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Rachal Graham seeks Caye Caulker Tour Guides assistance!
Rachel Graham made her way to Caye Caulker to ask for the assistance of all Tour Guide and indeed Fisherman for research into Belize’s Shark Project. She visited many of the operators and even held a question and answer session at Raggamuffin to inform the Guides of how fundamental they will be in gathering data on both the shark and the stingrays in the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve. Rachel, winner of the 2011 Gold Award from the Whitley Fund for Nature, has been instrumental protecting Belize’s reef – championing our cause to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of biodiversity. The Belize Shark Project is both Rachel and Caye Caulker’s Belize Dive Services ongoing work in educating and researching our apex predator to ensure that our reefs remain abundant and indeed flourish for both environmental and tourism interests. This call to action will require Guides watching out for the sharks and the stingrays that have been ‘tagged’ so that she can monitor their patterns in order to assess how best protect them. Guides have been informed that they are to text Rachel with times of sightings and locations for her to log in their records!

Help to support 2 students for CXC/CAPE exams
I am assisting two young persons preparing for CXC/CAPE exams. I need to raise approximately $500 to facilitate this preparation and I am appealing for financial contributions to make this happen. If you can assist, please contact me via telephone or SMS at 607-6777. Each contribution will be acknowledged with a receipt. Thank you in advance for your kind assistance. Patrick Jones

These Boots are Made for Walkin'
I feel duty bound to issue a REBAR WARNING at the beginning of this edition because it does contain photographs of this ‘offensive’ ( well to some readers anyway) material. Warning issued I will now get on with today’s edition to update you on progress on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. In numerous editions I have spoken about and/or shown photographs of the absence of any health and safety procedures on our building site. Very pleased to say though that we have not witnessed one accident or even something coming close to one . That is until today when the victim was me. Attired in my customary T shirt, shorts and flip flops I was wandering around looking at the work that was going on when I felt a sudden, sharp pain in the sole of my left foot. I looked down to see that I was standing on a previously used form ( waiting to be used again). I tried to move but felt my foot impaled to the wood. I gingerly tried to move my foot but it was fixed. I then raised my foot to see that I had trodden on a three inch nail. Ouch. On inspecting the injury Rose and I were extremely relieved that no apparent damage had been done so I quickly doused the injury with water and dried it with the clean cloth that Rose always appears to have in her bag.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Apple Caramel Tertillas
A frien shared thishere easy apple deessert with me. We rilly lackd it! Hoe a'ken y'all go rong with un apple dish uf inny kine?? And if'n y'all reckon thishere is deliciyus t'day y'all make it..jes wait till t'nex day, it’s eve bettr! T' tertillas becum softr as thay sit n' t'sauce. If'n y'all have inny left'vers jes covr t'pun with plastick wrap and refrigerate. Y'all a'ken have it fer brakefuss t'nex mornin..with a slice uf cheez insteed uf ice creem! I rilly want t'ry thishere with rhubarb and peeches wen thay air n' seesen.

Amish Romants and Kereun TV | Suthern Plate
Latelee I’ve finallee gotte roun t'a'trine a few recipes I’ve had on mah “must make” lis fer well ovr a decade, today is one uf 'um. I furst read about Revel bars shertlee aftr I gut marrd wen I wuz reedin un Amish romants. I’m purty shure it wuz a Beverlee Lewis one. If'n y'all’ve nevr checkd out inny uf hern books but enjoy reedin, I reckon y'all’ll be verr pleezed. I luv wen I a'ken read sumthin jes fer t'pure pleshur (nairy becawz it is required as part uf mah job) and come out uf it with a lil wisdom t'add t'who I am. I don’t remembr which book thishere wuz, but n' t'stery t'mane care ackter gut hern fambly out uf t'rayler so she could make these secretlee as a sprize fer hern mothr’s birthdy. I remembr a'thankin “Noe thems must be sum kine uf good.” I shure wasn’t disappointed.

International Sources

Newly Discovered 'Plastic Island' Shows Global Epidemic Worsening
'Even if everyone stopped putting garbage in the ocean today, giant garbage patches would continue to grow for hundreds of years'. Floating patches of humanity's garbage have become a permanent feature in the world's oceans and a new discovery in the South Pacific shows that this woeful trend has worsened, not improved, since the phenomenon was first discovered nearly two decades ago. As new research by the 5 Gyres Institute shows, the existence of a new plastic island has been found swirling with junk in ocean currents running near Easter Island in the South Pacific, marking the first documented garbage patch in the Southern Hemisphere. The new study, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, documents the first evidence of a defined oceanic “garbage patch,” an accumulation zone of plastic pollution, floating in the area designated as the South Pacific subtropical gyre.

Tailgater’s owner Gregory Faull dies, leaves UCF legacy
Gregory Viant Faull was a well-known face around the university, especially when it came to UCF athletics. It was common to see him cheering on the UCF football and men’s basketball teams. Vickie Faull, his ex-wife, said he was incredibly close with Donnie Jones, coach of the men’s basketball team, as well as the players. “UCF was his team,” said Kristi Campbell, former bartender and front of house manager at Tailgaters Smokehouse, the restaurant Faull opened on campus in Knight’s Plaza. “He was the No. 1 supporter of the athletic department,” Campbell said. Whenever there was a game his attitude was infectious, and whenever UCF won there would be free drinks, free meals all around, she said. Greg Faull opened up Tailgaters Smokehouse on the UCF campus in 2007 after he saw the opportunity while working on a separate construction project at the university.

New World slumps on slow Belize progress
Shares in New World Oil and Gas (NEW) slipped more than 10% as it announced that the rate of drilling in its Blue Creek #2A side-track well in Belize had been slower than anticipated, as well as an issue of almost two million new ordinary shares. The Blue Creek #2A side-track well is targeting a potentially significant trap in Hillbank and Y3, two oil-bearing formations seen in the Blue Creek#2 vertical well. Drilling operations had been halted whenever sections of interest in the targeted Hillbank and Y3 formations were encountered so that core samples could be taken. "While there is a long way to go yet, the company's disclosure that it has not yet elected whether to test the well is disappointing," said analysts at FoxDavies. "We would have liked there to be more positivity, especially following [the] initial decision to drill the side track in the first place." Almost 1.1 million new ordinary shares in the company, at an average of 9.67p per share, have been issued in settlement of professional fees and other transactional obligations. In part payment of historical costs related to the Danica Resources farm-in agreement, about 750,000 new ordinary shares in the company have also been issued at an average of 10.34p per share.

New World Oil and Gas falls hard
New World Oil and Gas fell hard after announcing the issue of almost two million new shares as well as delays to drilling in Belize. The bulk of the new shares - 1.08m - were issued at an average of 9.67p per share to settle professional fees and other financial obligations. It also created almost 750,000 new shares at an average of 10.34p per share as part payment of historical costs related to the 2012 Danica Resources Farm-in agreement. On top of this, a total of 141,387 shares were issued to the company's directors, Frederick Hodder and Chris Einchcomb, at an average of 9.55p per share. In Belize, the firm said its Blue Creek 2A side track well was targeting a potentially significant trap.

Last scoop for the Rudins: Couple sells ice cream parlor to pursue Belize dream
The Rudins personally won’t see smiling faces in Scoops anymore as owners of the business. A new owner of the Main Street business will enjoy smiling ice cream enthusiasts beginning today, as the Rudins grin their way to Belize next month. After five years of ownership, Dennis, 69, and Eden Rudin, 42, sold their 2014 N. McCulloch Blvd. business in order to live their dream and move to San Ignacio, Belize. Moving to the Central American country had been a goal the couple had for a long time and they finally got serious about it two years ago after vacationing in the English speaking country for a month. “We loved it,” said Dennis. Eden had visited Belize nearly 10 years ago because she enjoyed diving there, Dennis said. The couple visited in 2009 and then stayed for a month in 2011. “When we started Scoops it was our dream to build Scoops and then to sell and relocate to Belize,” Dennis said. “It’s a beautiful country.” The Rudins plan fell into place when they sold the business to LaTawyna Lowry, a local banker with Chase Bank. The 15-year Lake Havasu City resident has been training to take over the business since the beginning of the month and is anxious to get started.

As nation watches, Belize aims for Copa glory
As sporting events go, few have held more importance in the history of Belize than the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana match against Nicaragua scheduled for Tuesday in Costa Rica. "The entire nation will be at a stop," said Belize assistant coach and long-time national team goalkeeper Carlos Slusher. "The entire nation will be at a standstill for that game." In an exclusive interview with, Slusher revelaed that his countrymen back home have been following their national team's progress closely this week, with Belize on the brink of a historic chance to play for a berth in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. "The entire country is behind us," said Slusher. "Even the people, as we watch, even the people that don't know about football, are behind us. And more and more people are glued to the television watching the Central American Cup. "The entire country is happy. But I have already told them that we know that we have not really accomplished anything yet if we don't make it to the Gold Cup."

The ICJ and Guatemala's claim to Belize: A case of self interest over sovereignty?
The government of Belize (GOB) recently announced the date on which it shall commence, in earnest, its highly questionable “(Mis)Education Campaign” for the impending simultaneous referenda to be held on 6th October 2013, concerning whether the matter of Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize’s sovereign territory should be submitted to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a presumed “final determination”. My position is clear: “No to the ICJ”. Yet I am compelled to highlight a matter which I find increasingly more unnerving. Due to the GOB’s apparent impotence in dealing with their Guatemalan counterparts on this issue, along with their obvious caving-in to the allure of gaining access to millions of US dollars for participating in this farce of an undertaking...

January 21, 2013


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Specials and Events

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Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Waiting No More: It was hard to open his eyes; the effort to unglue his top lids from the bottom, too exhausting. So, he gave that up, focusing instead on the pictures in his mind, and absorbing light that filtered through his paper thin eyelids. His favorite time was the moment before eventual sleep, that hazy, ethereal few minutes when he stood balancing between sleep and wakefulness. As the days melted into weeks and weeks turned to months, the memories of his youth dissipated. Instead, he kept his eyelids closed, for the most beautiful picture remained behind his lids.

The January 20th, 2013 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Belize City Youth Charged In Cayo For $15 Robbery:
    A 20 year man from Belize City was today arrested, charged and remanded to prison on a robbery charge. San Ignacio police reports that on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at about 8:15 pm Ervin Tzul, 23, Belizean Lab Technician visited the police station in San Ignacio where he reported that he was robbed a few minutes earlier while socializing with friends inside the Macal River Park in San Ignacio. The complainant informed that while inside the park the group was approached by a male person of dark complexion wearing a blue shirt with stripes and a blue pants. The man, armed with a knife, reportedly approached the complainant demanding his cellular telephone and money.
  • Increase Fee For Drivers License Is Optional:
    Paying twice the statutory fee for a drivers’ permit in the twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena is optional says Mayor John August. In the face of the doubling of the statutory drivers’ license fee in the twin municipalities, the contention blew up earlier this week when, on Monday, January 14, the Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, National Emergency Management and Immigration & Nationality, issued a public notice informing that pursuant of Statutory Instrument #182 of 2003, the legal fee for the issuance of a driver’s license is ONLY thirty Belize dollars and that drivers are not required to pay anything above the thirty dollars fee.
  • Is An Accused Drug Trafficking Policeman Shielded By The Police?:
    A police constable on interdiction for allegedly being involved in illegal activities in Belmopan City has been arrested and charged with drug trafficking after he was allegedly caught in the act. Acting upon information received at around 5:00 P.M. on Tuesday, January 15, a team of policemen from the Benque Viejo sub-formation rushed to area near the western border station. Upon arrival they were informed that the person wearing a blue t-shirt and blue ¾ pants boarded a taxi cab heading into Benque Viejo Town.
  • Godsman C. Ellis - Is Now At Rest:
    We take this opportunity to express deepest sympathy to the Ellis family on the passing of Mr. Godsman Ellis. Mr. Ellis was indeed a pioneer in several aspect of Belizean life. He was instrumental in agriculture, tourism and the Garifuna council among several other undertakings. He lived a fruitful life. Mr. Ellis has now gone to rest. May his soul now rest in eternal peace.
  • Looking For Mr. Hilary Wade Delmar:
    I am the younger Brother of Mr. Hilary Wade Delmar. On June 12th, 2011 your paper reported on an American by the name of Hilary Wade Delmar arrested by local police. Mr. Delmar was arrested and in custody, awaiting charges for being in the possession of excess ammunition and a contraption suspected to be used for smoking marijuana.
  • Cuba Confirms 51 Cholera Cases In Havana:
    Cuba’s health ministry has confirmed a cholera outbreak in Havana with 51 people infected - the biggest incidence of the disease there in decades. An official statement said health workers had detected an increase in “acute diarrhoea” in some districts, which has been established as cholera. The source has been identified as a foodseller who caught cholera during a previous outbreak in eastern Cuba. Doctors have been going house to house in Havana areas, checking for symptoms.
  • Guatemala Shock As Two Murdered Girls Found On Street:
    Guatemalan police are investigating the murder of two girls aged six and 12 whose bodies were found dumped on a street in the capital, Guatemala City. The girls, who were wearing pyjamas, appeared to have been strangled, officials said. Police are trying to establish whether their deaths are linked to the murders of two women found with gunshot wounds in the same district. Some 700 women were killed in Guatemala in 2011, according to official figures. The bodies of the two girls were found in the early hours of Wednesday on a street in Zona 11, a southern district of Guatemala City.
  • Thank You For Your Support:
    I would like to start by saying thank you for promoting the Kontiki Family Fun Day and apologies for the tardiness of this letter. The reason for this tardiness is because in an effort to sell a few more raffle tickets we postponed the raffling date for November 30th, 2012. The purpose of this article is to thank all the kind and generous hearts who gave freely, thank you to all the people of Kontiki and surrounding areas who attended the event and all those who contributed to make this day a success.
  • Early HIV Drugs 'Slow Virus Down':
    Giving a patient HIV drugs as soon as they are diagnosed could be the future of treatment, say researchers. Currently, antiretroviral therapy is given only once the immune system has been seriously weakened by infection. A trial, in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that a year-long course of therapy after diagnosis helped preserve the immune system and keep the virus in check. It is thought that early treatment may also reduce the spread of HIV.
  • New Belize High Commissioner to Canada Meets Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper:
    His Excellency Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States, yesterday presented his Letter of Introduction to the Right Honorable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, accrediting him as Belize’s High Commissioner to Canada. The meeting took place in the Office of the Prime Minister in Ottawa, Canada, where High Commissioner Mendez discussed with the Canadian leader issues of prominence in the Belize -Canada bilateral relationship. During his visit to Canada, High Commissioner Mendez also met and had discussions with senior officials of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, officials of the Department of National Defense, and representatives of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
  • Venezuela Vice President Faces Leadership Test:
    As ailing President Hugo Chavez's successor, Vice President Nicolas Maduro is in charge. But he faces hurdles in solidifying support in a post-Chavez Venezuela.
  • Lance Armstrong: How It Feels To Lose Faith In Your Favourite Sport:
    Bitter, angry, disappointed, but hopeful. As a lifelong cycling fan, that’s how I feel after Lance Armstrong’s confession - and now that, maybe, a line can be drawn under years of lies and deceit. Imagine how you would feel if you discovered that the there had been so much cheating at such a high level across the sport you love, that a decade’s worth of results could no longer be relied upon. What would you think if the sport could no longer say with any great certainty who had won the Premiership, or the World Cup? That is effectively what has happened in cycling.
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The San Pedro Sun

American couple claims fraud by Belizean Attorney
John-Cynthia-Englehardt“We chose to buy a condo in Belize because we fell in love with the country,” said John Englehardt as he and his wife Cynthia detailed their bad experience with their Belizean hired attorney, who for over three years have not been able to provide them it the title to the property. The Englehardts are from Michigan, USA, and they said that they hired Arthur Saldivar, paid him over $13,000BZ, but to date has not completed his job. Even worse, they claim, is that Saldivar has been avoiding them. The frustrated couple said that they felt that their only other option was to reach out to the Belizean press to explain the bad experience in an effort to recuperate their monies back. According to the Englehardts in late 2009, they began looking to invest their hard-earned savings in a place they loved. After scouting, they decided to purchase a condo at Reef Village, paying US$115,000 in early 2010. But the coupled detailed that in order for them to legally obtain a strata title, they had to hire an attorney. Cynthia said that she paid Saldivar in February of 2010, 1% of the value of condo and all the government fees that he had listed to complete the Transfer of Title for Unit H202 at Reef Village Resort.

Misc Belizean Sources

Movie Being Shot In Belize
Overheard a conversation yesterday about a movie currently being shot on St. Georges Caye. Seems the Coast Guard was involved in transporting the crew and actors (Why?) when about 5:00 am yesterday morning they ran one of their big skiffs into a scuttled barge in front of the bogue. The star and other actors suffered injuries including broken leg(s). Lots of things do not sound right - why was the national coast guard transporting them - how can the coast guard of all people not know about that barge which is in plain view and known to most naval tyros??

4 Ambergris Resorts win TripAdvisor awards
Congrats to the four Ambergris Caye resorts that just won TripAdvisor 2013 Travelers’ Choice Awards as being among the Top 25 Hotels in Central America: Victoria House #5 Coco Beach #8 Grand Caribe #10 Las Terrazas #11

Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship
What happens when there are no jobs, when you live in a country with 23% unemployment and over 45% living in poverty? There must be a deliberate plan of action to energize youth entrepreneurship. We must empowered our youth with keys and tools on how to create employment for themselves. Small business start ups are known to be the engine of any thriving economy. So many of our young adults are sitting at home with an Associates or Bachelor degree waiting until they can get a job with the government. There is hope, there is a way forward. Mark your calendar for Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship work shop coming this February Saturday 23rd.

Twin Palms B&B Wins Trip Advisor Award
Congratulations to Twin Palms Bed and Breakfast, for not just being ranked number 1 in Cayo, but also for having 127 perfect reviews, and winning the Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice award for Best B&B. "I was in Belmopan for a few nights for business and Anna and team at Twin Palms made my stay effortless, incredibly comfortable and stress free. I was upgraded to one of the separate suites that had a kitchenette, it's own wifi and a beautiful spacious bedroom. Any concern or issue I had was quickly addressed by Anna. I was even provided with a cell while staying there so I could call a taxi service to take me to and from my meetings. When I needed to print off documents or order food from the local restaurant Anna was there to help. Even the cleaning staff that tended to my room daily were lovely. I can honestly not recommend this bed & breakfast enough. If I ever return to Belmopan I will definitely be staying at Twin Palms. Thank you so much Anna and Tim for your amazing hospitality"

Although I got up this morning at 5 am I was feeling slightly the worse for wear. Probably caused by only having around four and a half hours of sleep, concentrating on the cards we drew last night on the Poker Run and maybe, just maybe, the copious amount of Belikin I consumed. You would think that at my age I would know better! The Poker Run, as always, was great fun made even more so by the high number of people that went on this one. A fact strongly confirmed by the winner’s prize ( not me I am sorry to say) of BZ$1,040. For those of you that read this blog that either live on Ambergris Caye or are visiting soon the next Poker Run is Saturday 2 February. The big question is whether my constitution will recover in time! Anyway, watched the Chelsea v Arsenal game that started at 7.30 am. A particularly frustrating and annoying game – yes, you guessed it, Arsenal lost. I had some breakfast before the Tottenham v Manchester United game started and did watch the first half but my heart wasn’t in it. I still felt deflated by Arsenal’s defeat so I thought I would pick up on where I left off in yesterday’s edition and update you on what other progress had been made on our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize.


Partial Payment Not Accepted By CJC, Students Demonstrate
Belizeans across the length and breadth of this country have begun feeling the economical pinch as increases have been implemented in almost every sector of society. Electricity rates have taken a steep 16.7% increase, the cost of fuel remains extremely high, the cost of goods on the shelves have slowly gotten out of the reach of pockets of many families and as of recent, the cost of education at the university level skyrocketed. Students at the University of Belize have seen a drastic increase in their registration fees as the Government of Belize has cancelled subsidies it used to give to the University. Teachers are planning industrial action against the Government of Belize in efforts of getting their salary increments within the collective bargaining agreement. Well, the students of Corozal Junior College today felt the proverbial pinch as the school’s administration would only accept full payments for matriculation to the school. About 300 sixth form students united in a short demonstration minutes before noon today and walked out of the school’s compound. According to reports by the students, the school would not accept or entertain partial payments for classes adding an additional financial burden on the students and their families.

One Life Claimed During Traffic Accident
Just a short while ago, there was a fatal traffic accident on the Phillip Goldson Highway on the portion running through Calcutta Village. Unconfirmed reports are that an elderly man who appears to be in his eighties was walking on the side of the road when he was knocked down by a blue Geo Prism bearing license plate CZL-C-12218. The accident occurred in front of the Calcutta Adventist Spanish Church and eyewitnesses say that there is a speed bump right in front of it. The body of the man, whose name we are withholding at this point in time until his family has been properly notified, has been transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where it has been pronounced dead on arrival. We will follow this story and bring you all the details in Monday’s newscast.

Land Grab Continues Under The UDP
Since the UDP took office in 2008, there have been constant reports of corruption and victimization from within each and every Ministry; most particularly, the Ministry of Natural Resources. Our newsroom has been buzzing on a constant basis with allegations and reports by Belizeans across the country saying that their lands have been cancelled and/or given to known UDP associates. Reports have also poured into our newsroom alleging that hundreds of acres of land have been taken away from Belizeans who have either been working the land or have been waiting for land documents to be released to them, and sold at rock bottom prices to party cronies. Well tonight, more allegations have been coming into our newsroom, this time from the Orange Walk South constituency. Area Representative Jose Mai visited our studio today and told us what the people of his constituency are facing. Some strong allegations were brought forth on behave of the people of San Felipe and surrounding area in which they allege that family members of the National State Officer Darleni Padron have been the ones benefiting from the latest slew of cancelled leases. Reports are that these cancelled leases are placed in the names of family members who in turn sell the lands at lucrative prices to Mennonite farmers. Area Representative Jose Mai told us more on the land cancellation and land selling situation facing the people of his constituency.

2012 Crime Statistics Released By Police Department
The Belize Police Department has recently undergone a change in hierarchy in the various levels of heads of departments with Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie at the helm. But that’s not the only major change the department has undergone, every single ranking officer will now hold on to their seats by a performance based review. Each head of department will be subject to periodical performance reviews to ensure that crime statistics decline and not continue to escalate as has been the trend over the past few years. The police department released the statistics for 2012 today and what we can safely say is that crime had risen from 2011 to 2012. The number of murders rose from 124 in 2011 to an all-time high of 145 in 2012, an increase of 21 more murders for last year with the Belize district having the most murders at 90. Rape went up by one count from 27 to 28 for 2012. Robbery saw the biggest increase to 487 from 447, a difference of forty more robberies last year than the previous year. The biggest increase in robberies was registered in the Belize District which saw fifty-six more than in 2011. Burglary went up by twelve reports last year totalling 1,106 while the only decline in statistics was seen in theft reports which went from 1,024 in 2011 to 950 in 2012. Reports of carnal knowledge increased by six from 50 to 56 with the highest number registered in the Cayo district. In total, there were 2,766 crimes reported in 2011 and six more reported in 2012 at 2,772.

Education Campaign On Referendum 2013 Comences
Belize is a sovereign nation that is recognized internationally and is a full member of the United Nations. Our borders are clearly defined in what we acknowledge as the supreme law which outlines the governance of our nation, or better said, our Constitution. However, Guatemala and Belize have both decided to invite the citizens of their respective lands to vote via a referendum about the intended path of taking the so-called "Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute", to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for a once and for all final decision. A public awareness campaign has been launched in both countries and here in Belize, the media was officially sensitized on the issue on Wednesday of this week at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. A sensitization tour was kicked off and today, the unit responsible for educating the people of Belize visited the sixth form students of Muffles Junior College. The referendum team engaged the students of the institution in an awareness campaign on the pros, the cons and the risks facing Belize should the matter be taken before the ICJ. Member of the referendum sensitization team, Ambassador James Murphy spoke to our news team this afternoon and told us more.

Sugar Industry Continues On The Right Track
The Belize Sugar Industries Limited has issued their information bulletin for the seventh week of the 2012 – 2013 Sugar Cane Crop Season which is from the 9th to the 15th of January. The bulletin reports on several key parameters pertaining to factory performance, cane quality and factory efficiencies. Under Factory Performance, the factory milled 42,493 tons of cane this week yielding 4,122 tons of sugar with 2,720 tons of mud extracted. Both the tons milled and sugar produced numbers are up this crop season as compared to last year at this time. Cane milled is up by over 70,000 tons and the sugar yielded is about 8,000 tons more. For the Cane Quality, the factory has been extracting a bit more pollution this season that last season at this time with 11.39% extracted this week taking it up to 11.24% from 10.66% last season. The quality of the purity of the sugar cane juice is up from 84.57% to 84.71% this season. This week’s juice purity stands at an impressive 85.85% but, the mud percentage has gone up also to 6.4% this week but, the cumulative average is still down at 4.79% as compared to last season this time which was at 5.84%. The Tons Cane per Tons Sugar stands at 10.31 tons of cane milled to produce one ton sugar.

The Belize Times

Dangriga Town Council Condemns Actions of Ministry of Local Government
The Dangriga Town Council (DTC) is outraged at the blatant partisan politics and condemns in no uncertain terms the disrespect shown to the DTC by the Ministry of Local Government in the selection of the Liquor Licensing Board for 2013. In October 2012, the Ministry of Local Government requested from the DTC to make its submission of a recommended list of names to serve as members of the Liquor Licensing Board 2013. The Council conducted its due diligence which included meeting with the residents to confirm if they would be willing to volunteer their service to Dangriga by serving on the Liquor Licensing Board 2013. Subsequently, the DTC submitted its recommended list of Board members to the Ministry of Local Government. On Monday 4 January, 2013, the DTC received a letter from the Ministry of Local Government informing on the composition of the Stann Creek Liquor Licensing Board 2013. Noteworthy, is the fact that only one person who was recommended by this DTC was approved by the Minister nor did the DTC received any correspondence from the Ministry to indicate that the recommended members did not qualify to be members of the said Board.

Dying 1,000 Deaths
By G. Michael Reid Fear, then, is not intrinsically bad. It is when fear is out of proportion to objective risk that it becomes dysfunctional. ~ Mark Warr Terror struck at the heart of Belize City last Tuesday when for the better part of that day, our city was held at siege. Stores closed, schools were let out and downtown Belize City was turned into a virtual ghost town. The interesting thing is that that there was absolutely no reason for this action, or reaction if you will, only the fear that there might have been a reason. What became obvious last Tuesday was the kind of control that criminals have over our lives. We don’t carry much money anymore, we don’t wear our jewelry and many folks rather stay home and watch television than do a night on the town. We have become almost a “fortress society” which is a term used to describe “when citizens withdraw from public life and everyday social intercourse is curtailed sharply.” Thank GOD for facebook! Apparently what happened to us last Tuesday is what criminologists describe as a “fear of crime”. Not to be confused with actual crime, this “fear of crime” is as damaging and detrimental to society as crime itself. It is believed that “fear of crime” affects far more people than actual crime. A 1967 U.S. President’s Commission on Law Enforcement offered this brief but trenchant observation: “The most damaging of the effects of violent crime is fear, and that fear must not be belittled.”

Junk Bonds & Barrow’s “mishmash” – The Prime Minister’s option: if you need help, call a friend – call Kenneth
It was not too long ago in the history of the government’s debt that Prime Minister Dean Barrow was shouting from his Opposition pulpit that the then government had defaulted on its debt obligation and was doing some fancy foot-work to soften the government’s external debt obligations. It now appears that Barrow has not learned the Ali shuffle or perhaps he is being weighed down by his humongous ego. Shouting like a Doomsday harbinger, Barrow seems to have appointed himself as a Saint. It was a self-ordination just in time for the general elections. These elections were slated for within the next twelve months from February of 2007. He was beginning to imagine all sort of possibilities (his Party’s Campaign slogan for the elections) and was posturing with all sorts of panaceas to fix the country’s ills, real or imagined. By now it appears all were imagined. He is still looking at the mirrors five years after he took office. Before supporting the previous PUP government’s debt restructuring efforts, which was simply a formula to restructure, or if you will, consolidate, Belize’s external debt, he preached to his Choir: “Belize”, he said at the time, “is the only country in the Caribbean which has found itself in this financial mishmash in which it has not been able to meet its debt obligation”.

Shots fired at former PM’s home!
The residence of former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa was targeted in a shooting on Tuesday night in Belize City, marking a dangerous extreme in the level of crime in the country. Hon. Musa told journalists on Wednesday morning that he didn’t realise that his home had come under assault until this morning when he was about to leave for his regular morning gym workout. “When I went downstairs, I noticed the main door had a hole in it, and when I looked down I saw a small piece of metal on the ground, that’s when I realised that the door had been shot through,” explained the former Prime Minister. Hon. Musa also checked and discovered that the rear, right window of his wife’s vehicle that was parked inside the yard had been shattered by one of the gunshots. He indicated that shortly before eleven o’clock on Tuesday night he had gone to bed when he heard the sound of gunshots.

Father of the Nation Remembered
Tuesday, January 15th, 2013 marked the 94th birthday of the late Father of the Nation and great leader of the People’s United Party (PUP), the Rt. Hon. George Cadle Price. In memory, honour and appreciation of the distinguished legacy of our leader, the Party Leader, the Hon. Francis Fonseca and other members of the party placed wreaths at Mr. Price’s burial site at Lord Ridge Cemetery in Belize City. The occasion also presented an opportunity for the nation to reflect and remember that despite the turmoil and upheaval facing our country at this time, the foundation of service, selflessness, dedication and pride in our country, as embodied by Mr. Price, must continue to live on in each and every one of us if our country is to progress and move forward in the right direction. He is a true symbol of all things great and of all things Belizean.

GOB Dodges BEL Bukut, Consumers Don’t!
The cost of electricity, provided by the Government-owned Belize Electricity Limited, has increased by 17% effective January 1st. In its original rate review announced last year December, the increase tallied by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), was to affect residential consumers, business and industrial consumers and even the Government of Belize (GOB). But the news today is that the Government has found a way to dodge a portion of the increase, forcing the PUC to nudge the increase on consumers even higher. With the election season already gone, the Government feels no remorse in increasing the cost of living on Belizeans. GOB argued, through a commentary letter, that its portion of the increase be lowered – specifically the rate BEL rate of 64 cents per kilowatt hour for street lights. GOB said that when the tariffs were reduced in early 2012 – just before the elections actually – the 55 cents per kilowatt hour rate for street lights were not reduced. GOB claims in its letter that they absorbed the loss, but with the proposed 9-cent increase the loss would even be greater.

Is Belize Falling Apart?
History shows that most countries that fall apart do so not with a bang but with a whimper. They become failed states not in an explosion of war and destruction but by being utterly unable to take advantage of their society’s huge potential for growth condemning their citizens to a lifetime of misery and poverty. We are seeing this slow grinding process unravel before our eyes as this Barrow Government goes from crisis to crisis, each time the level of corruption and incompetence becomes even more pronounced. Today Belize is plagued by massive unemployment. Young school leavers whether from the primary, secondary or tertiary level end up joining the ranks of the burgeoning army of the jobless, neglected masses of frustrated young people. Because of the breakdown of the family structure in so many marginalized areas of our cities and towns and the overcrowded dehumanizing housing conditions prevailing in these urban areas, especially in Belize City, many children are abandoned to a life of begging and scrounging on the streets. This is the reality. Meanwhile the Government Ministers live in their own fantasy world, driving their air-conditioned fancy SUVs, totally oblivious to this stark reality. What is worse, from the Prime Minister down, they live in denial and when problems do confront them, they behave like it’s not their responsibility. It’s always somebody else’s concern. “I am not to blame” is the standard mantra. The PUP is to blame, is their old, tired, lame excuse.

House of Shotokan holds Belts Awards ceremony
Almost two dozen students received white and yellow belts signifying their advancement in the sport of karate when the House Of Shotokan Academy (HOSKA) held its 3rd annual belt award ceremony on Friday, January 11, 2013 at the Whitfield Tower on Coney Drive. The belts were presented by Sensei Shihan Ray Kelly, an 8th degree Black Belt, and honour guest, His Excellency David C.K. Wu, Taiwan Ambassador.

San Lazaro & Progreso FC advance to playoffs
San Lazaro FC and Progresso FC secured their playoff berths in the Orange Walk Football Association’s 1st division competition, by blow-out wins at the People’s Stadium in Week 9 of the competition on Sunday. San Lazaro FC bombed Cristal of Orange Walk Town 7-0 in the afternoon. Cristal was undermanned with only 8 players when they took the field, while San Lazaro was clearly in it to win it! Andres Alvarado drove in the 1st goal past goalie Gustavo Ken after just 3 minutes of action. Cristal got reinforcements from John Uh and Isra Zetina to bring them up to strength, but Jason Carillo blasted in a 2nd goal to give San Lazaro a 2-0 lead at the half.

Belize Bank Bulldogs take 1st place in Boom to Manatee Lookout race
The Belize Bank Bulldogs canoe, which is paddled by the defending Ruta Maya champs Armin Lopez, Daniel Cruz and Amado Cruz, won the 6th annual Burrell Boom to Manatee Lookout canoe race organized by the Belize Canoe Association on Saturday. The Belize Bank team clocked 1:27:03 to win the $400 1st prize overall and another $150 1st prize in the Male division. The NICH team, paddled by Oscar Cordon, Efrain and Felix Cruz, clocked 1:27:06 to win the $50 2nd prize in the Male division, while in the Westrac canoe paddled by Jerry Cante, Erwin Cruz and Henner Cruz clocked 1:27:10 to place 3rd overall. The Oceana canoe paddled by Euken Arnold, Tyreek Thompson and Chris Guydis, clocked 1:27:36 to finish 4th overall. The “Beat the Burn” team of Andreas Cabb, Ruth Cruz and Keron Cabb clocked 1:32:40 to win the $150 1st prize in the Mixed division.

Big, Big Electricity Rate Hike
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is the monopoly distributor of electricity in Belize. The CEO of BEL is Jeffery Locke. The chairman of the Public Utilities Commission is John Avery. The senior consultant for energy in the Energy Ministry is Ambrose Tillett. Senior consultant to the PM on energy issues, I understand, is John Mencias. All of these men are friends of mine, who graduated with very high marks in 1982 from my alma mater, Belize Technical College. They were all classmates….who at one time or the other, held important posts in BEL…before it was sold to Fortis. They went on to prepare themselves in engineering degrees, and later in business degrees at the master level. They are some of the best minds I knew Belize to have. They are collectively responsible for the risks and benefits related to this big, big rate hike. I wish them…and Belice… the best end-results. The PUC for years did not approve rates increases that were being requested by the FORTIS company ….which insisted that rates needed to be increased to offset their higher cost of operations, especially with increases of carbon fuels. Since this was never achieved, the company ran down its cash reserves, until such point that it started requiring bail-outs by the Government of Belize, since it would not pump any more money into Belize, from its very substantial international reserves…due to the PUC intransigence.

In my perspective – What can we learn from the Dean St. massacre?
Growing up in and attending school in Corozal was a joy indeed. I had a great childhood and enjoyed my youth in Corozal – nothing but good memories. One of those memorable events was just about every evening after school; many of the boys from my school would walk to the police station and play volleyball. The station had a volleyball court and some of the police officers would even join us. Rubbing shoulders with the Rev. Makey, pastor of the Corozal Methodist School that I attended, was an awesome experience I remember to this day. Back in those days policing was a respectable occupation. The police officers I got to know in Corozal were professional and trustworthy. These men carried themselves with dignity and respect and the community respected them. I remember the uniforms were clean and ironed. They had so much starch in them the crest was sharp as a razor blade. They shaved daily with hair combed and in place. I believe they had to pass an inspection before they could go on duty for that day. That’s the way it was. They did this because they had to earn the respect of the community they were entrusted to, and they did. You didn’t hear of police officers running drugs and involved in crime back then, for the shame they would bring on the police force if anyone did anything like that. Today as I watch the police officers rolling down Central American Blvd in Belize City in the back of an old beaten up pickup truck, packed like sardines and guns blazing, it is nothing but a disgrace to the people of this country. They seem like a rag tag team that cannot shoot straight. Frankly, they remind me of Barnie Fifer on the old Andy Griffin TV series. How can the public have any confidence in a police force that doesn’t even have the decency to wear a clean uniform? They look tired. Some look frightened. Others just look like they’re on something. Let me be clear, not all police officers are like this. There are many fine, dedicated officers serving the public with dignity and respect. But there are those that should not be trusted with people’s lives in their hands. They lack training and self discipline.

AMAZING GRACE – What is your gift?
Happy new year to all. Christmas season has come and gone, and now we have entered a new year. In this year some people may not know it as yet, but they will become wealthy, others will get awards, a few will end up in court, and sadly some will be in the hospital fighting for their lives. Worst of all, some will die, although they have no idea of that happening this year. In fact, we have already heard of almost a dozen deaths and the year has just freshly begun. Death is not picky. Once he sticks his hand down in that boledo barrel and he pulls out your ticket, it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, short or tall, rich or poor; he is coming. Well, there is something that death is afraid of, but before I go there, let me go back to the Christmas season. I saw quite an amount of children with grinning faces satisfied with what they received for Christmas, but I also saw a few disgruntled ones who were next to angry for what they received. One child actually began crying and stomped away. Have you ever gotten a gift that you didn’t want, and it made you upset? Thing is, although a gift may be free to you it’s not really free. It cost someone something somewhere down the line to get that gift for you.

The Art in Craft, DeliciousJam!
In University, the first book I was assigned was The Story of Art by E.H. Gombrich. This book presented me with two challenges, the first that the edition which we were assigned was in Spanish, and second was that Gombrich stated that there was a difference between Art (Fine Art) and art (handicraft). In Belize, it is my belief that that line of distinction is less defined. Maybe, it would be possible to say that it may not even exist. We experience in Belize a rich environment where art envelops both handicraft and the highly revered Fine Art. Thankfully the international contemporary art scene has become a rich mixture of craft as art or art as craft. For example visual artists have begun to utilize ‘craft forms’ to create fine art. I say this considering several artists who participated in the Landings project. The Landings project featured a series of exhibits with participation of visual artists from Belize, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. One Landings artist, from Mérida, México who works in a similar fashion is Vanessa Rivero. This artist utilized basic concepts of handicraft, with drawing elements, i.e. composition, scale, negative space etc. She generally does large installation pieces where she combines the elements of drawing with media that are not always identified with Fine Art like sewing or tiling. It is not a rare or strange thing. The word art defined by Oxford dictionary states, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.” It states further “a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice”.

Traffic accident on Phillip Goldson Highway
A traffic accident near mile 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway on Tuesday evening resulted in the injury of several persons. Shortly after 5:00 p.m., a Mazda Tribute SUV and a delivery truck for Unicomer collided. The SUV was travelling towards Ladyville, while the truck was heading in the opposite direction. The SUV lost control on the highway and slammed into the rear of the truck. The driver of the SUV, identified as a female person, and a minor were injured and taken to the hospital for treatment. The persons travelling inside the truck were shaken up for the most part. The truck flipped over on its side and ended up on the side of the highway, luckily not on the side where the river runs parallel to the road.

UDP graveyard hustle?
The UDP Belize City Council wants to knock poor and hardworking Belizeans out of business. Their latest attack moved from well-known Dj Tambran, to downtown cook Paul Ferguson, to the undertakers and cemetery workers who prepare the burial ground for funerals. Early this year, the Mayor announced a new policy which disadvantaged those who are in the funeral business. The Council arbitrarily took control of all work carried out at burial sites. This action was seen by most as an act of greed and hate. A Council greedy for money and filled with hatred towards anyone trying to make an honest living. But could there be more to it? Might there be a hustling scheme behind all of this? With people like Easy Glenn and Joe Bradley Sr. one can expect all sorts of schemes, but one suspicious activity which caught the attention of persons might involve the deputy mayor.

GSU groomed in region’s deadliest country
If Belizeans ever wondered where the Barrow Government’s rogue police unit, the Gang Suppression Unit, gets its abusive and violent tactics from, it was revealed by a Police agent who appeared on the Dickie Bradley Special show on Channel 5 on Monday night. The GSU is groomed in the second deadliest country in Central America – El Salvador. El Salvador falls at 2nd place in the ranking of most homicides in Central America with 66 per 100,000 people. That country is home to some of the deadliest gangs which include the vicious MS13. Is there any link to the training in that crime-filled country and the fact that the GSU exacts fury on residents, many of whom are innocent and defenseless? Is there any coincidence that Belize is now at 3rd place, even higher than Jamaica, with the murder rate per capita?

Justice System in Crisis! – Why the diagnosis is worse than disclosed
Many Belizeans would view the ceremonial opening of the Supreme Court as little more than pomp and circumstance, exhibited with a good measure of superfluous pageantry. In most cases their view would be accurate, as the fraternity of high paid lawyers has a flair for the dramatic which is better suited for colonial egos and Shakespearian plays than for the gritty, bloody cement streets of Belize City. The ceremonies, complete with a church service designed to absolve the many sins and neglects of the legal system and its agents, took place at the Holy Redeemer. It then moved to the cramped Court room of the Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. Comparatively and for context, the new Chief Justice is not as charismatic or as grandiloquently palavering as his predecessor, Dr. Abdulai Conteh. Conteh, a Sierra Leonean national who was chased from Belize by the UDP Administration in 2010 after he rejected their political interference in the courts and their persistent victimization of citizens and political opponents. At that time the Bar Association, a traditionally docile and timid bunch, described the Chief Justice’s removal as the “unseemly manner in which the tenure of the chief justice has been treated by the government of Belize.”

The life of Keino Malcolm Quallo
Keino Malcolm Quallo was the beloved son of Glenford Allen Quallo and his wife, Jewel Pearl Ruth Patten Quallo of Belize City. He was born on 7 October, 1972 and named by his father. Keino is the name of the famous barefoot Kenyan marathon Olympic champion, Kipchoge Keino. Glen represented Belize in the marathon race at the Commonwealth Games held in Winnipeg, Canada. In his new running shoes, he was soundly beaten by the barefoot Kipchoge Keino and so impressed by this relentless African athlete’s stamina that he publically vowed to him that he would name his firstborn son in his honour. And so he did. Glen also gave Keino his middle name, Malcolm, in honour of Malcolm X, the defiant, Black Power force who hastened the end of the segregation era in the United States with his incisive brilliance and willingness to tell truth to power—even though it cost him his life. Thus, Keino Malcolm Quallo was deliberately given the name of Black, relentless and defiant heroes from either side of the Atlantic—one who represented physical prowess, and the other, the moral fibre of his people. So long as his health permitted, he bore his heritage with strength, intelligence, physical grace, empathy, and nobility.

BNTU mobilizes!
The Belize National Teacher’s Union is preparing to mobilize. The powerful Union will hold a Special Extraordinary General Meeting in every district this Thursday, January 17th and it is inviting members and non-members to attend and decide what the next courses of action will be. The Union says it is ready to take the lead on issues affecting the country, starting with the Government’s outright delay in settling the matter of a salary adjustment that was promised by the Barrow Administration in 2008. Last year, the Unions were duped by the Government into signing a document called a “progress report”. The document contained no substantive information about a salary adjustment for public officers, teachers, police officers, nurses and other Belizean workers. But the Government took advantage of the media opportunity and created a perception that they were faithfully “negotiating” with the Unions. This was weeks before preparing the 2013 Budget.

Live bullets fired on Dean St. residents
The Ministry of National Security has yet to explain why its security officers put the lives of Belize City residents at risk when they opened fire into a crowd using live rounds. The crowd of about 150 persons had gathered around an apartment at the corner of Dean and Plues Streets upon learning of the gruesome killing of four men who are well known in the neighbourhood: Leonard “Ghost” Myers, Anthony Perez, Keino Quallo and Albert “Long John” Fuentes. The word spread throughout the city was that the men had been targeted by the Police’s most notorious arm, the Gang Suppression Unit. As the Police prepared to remove the bodies from the scene, the crowd grew angry and emotionally charged. There were several scuffles between the police and victims’ loved ones and friends. The Police then deployed its elite Belize Special Assignment Unit, which engaged the residents in a military-style fashion. Large and loaded automatic rifles were pointed at residents. Police officials carrying guns loaded and locked in their hands, screamed at and shoved away residents.

City resident terrorized during city shooting
The streets of Belize City are not safe anymore. A female resident of the city was fortunate to escape unhurt after her vehicle was hit during a random shooting in the old capital. The woman said she was driving into the city, past Lord Ridge Cemetery on Cemetery Road, when she heard the sound of a gunshot. She then heard her rear window shattered and she sped away. The woman said the area was poorly lit so she could not see from where the shot was fired. She went directly to the Police Station to report the incident. She says she will be careful where she drives in the city, and if she could avoid night time driving, she will. There have been several shootings in Belize City over the last few days.

GAPI vs. FABER – Third Lap: Race to First Loser
The fight for first loser is really on. The UDP is scrambling around. The latest news out of the hair pulling contest for Deputy Party Leader of the UDP is not as funny but far more expensive. Sources inside the Gapi Vega camp have leaked the guts of the movement inside the sticky race between Patrick Faber and Vega. The most recent update is that Landy Burns, the defeated UDP candidate for Orange Walk East, is not supporting Gapi. Burns is bitter against Vega. We are told that he blames Gapi for his defeat. Gapi is extremely unpopular in the North and was only saved by a heavily financed election. Faber then believes he can split the Orange Walk UDP delegates. Remember that the UDP were rejected outright in the last elections in the North. There are only three elected UDP representatives up north. Those are Gapi in Orange North. Corozal North with a narrow surprise win for Hugo Patt, and the clueless Pablo in Corozal Bay. He still has no idea how he beat Papas. None.

BYM says get tough on crime
The National Executive of the Belize Youth Movement sends condolences to the families and friends of all the murder victims of today’s tragic event, as we lament this most violent and horrific start to 2013. We especially would like to send out our heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Keino Quallo, former Vice President of the Belize Youth Movement. The BYM is calling on the government to take necessary measures to protect the citizens of this country and especially the residents of Belize City. We as young members of this society are tired of living in fear of dying, and of losing loved ones to violence. We urge the government to take all necessary measurements required to upkeep the safety of Belize City residents.

New Toledo Alcaldes take oath
On Saturday January 5th, 78 First and Second Alcaldes were sworn at Father Ring Parish Hall, Punta Gorda Town. This ceremony was a momentous event for the 38 Maya villages of the south as their traditional leaders take office to lead them into 2013 and 2014. Special remarks were made by Mr. Enerst Banner of the Ministry of Rural Development who maintained that the ministry will continue to collaborate with the Alcaldes. Inspector Ernel Dominguez, commanding officer of Punta Gorda Police formation, affirmed that the Alcaldes play a very important role in policing and that the police will remain committed to their partnership with the Alcaldes especially through its Community Policing program. Attorney for the Maya people, Antoinette Moore, spoke on the topic of Rights. She asserted that as Indigenous Peoples, the Maya communities have a right to exercise their own forms of social institutions such as the Alcalde system. Guest speaker Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith congratulated the Alcaldes for taking on the mantle of being custodians of law and order especially in these times when crime is becoming more prevalent. She spoke to the Alcaldes on principles of Integrity, Independence and Fairness. She encouraged the Alcaldes to ‘do right when no one is looking’, to be ‘free from improper influence’ and to be ‘balanced in their reasoning.’ The Chief Magistrate asserted that incorruptibility must be a bench mark of all magistrates and ‘to be one of the Alcaldes who cannot be bought.’

CitCo Audit Exposes Lack of Accountability
The financial statements of an economic or business entity ought to be a true and fair expression of the entity’s financial position at some point in time, and a result of its performance for usually a year. In other words, the financials are in fact a measurement of performance in the use of resources entrusted with the entity. How did the entity put assets to use? How it managed its obligations and consequently enhanced its purpose? The Financial Statements are in fact an instrument of “Accountability”. But who is responsible for the preparation and fair presentation of financial statements? No doubt it is those who are responsible for the governance and management of the entity. The Belize City Council did prepare financial statements for the period April 1st to March 31st, 2012, which were supposed to account for the use of the citizen’s taxes and other resources they entrusted with the Council. But It is only prudent and sensible that financials prepared by management be subjected to examination by an independent auditor to enhance the degree of confidence of the intended users. As is the case with the Belize City Council, the audit is to give reasonable assurance that there are no “material misstatements “ in the financials, such as taxes receivable , debts owing, and the legitimate use of resources, including money borrowed , taxes collected, and subvention allocated from Central Government.

Christmas Cheer 2012 in Belize Rural Central
The People’s United Party Belize Rural Central Committee ensured during this past Christmas Season that there was Christmas Cheer in Belize Rural Central. The Committee, led by Area Representative Dolores Balderamos Garcia, first visited Gales Point where an impromptu Christmas Party was held for residents, with the provision of Tortilla Chips and Cheese Dip, as well as Juices and Soft Drinks, and Toys for the children. Area Representative Ms. Dolores also visited elderly residents of Gales Point and distributed grocery hampers to many needy householders. Later, in the Lord’s Bank, Hattieville and Ladyville areas over 400 plates of Ham and Turkey Dinner were prepared, dished out and distributed to the elderly and needy residents, as has become a Christmas tradition in Belize Rural Central. The Committee, in addition, did not forget the Police in the Ladyville and Hattieville areas, who also received their Ham and Turkey Dinners courtesy of Ms. Dolores and the PUP Committee in appreciation for their efforts all year round.

Solutions…or Half-Baked Resolutions?
2012 is dead and gone. Another year wasted with no progress or development; one that has tainted the annals of our history. It will be remembered as one in which Belize was perceived internationally as a destitute country with an irrational government that has brought its people to their knees. It’s been a year of all glitter at the government level but no beneficial substance to the people. It was a year that subjected Belizeans to the shrewdest cost of living, on the one hand, and the gravest unemployment rate on the other which have pushed us deeper into the poverty-stricken margin. Security wise, the government proved that it can no longer guarantee the safety of Belizeans with the highest murder rate in the country ever, one every three days. Crime and violence have become a norm in what is believed to be gang-related or organized-crime activity but more prominent than ever within our security forces with their acts of brutality and what may be extra-judicial slayings. Therefore, anxieties persist as we enter 2013 especially because there is no hopeful sign indicating that better is in the horizon. The truth of the matter is that since 2008, it has gotten consistently worse, our nation dragged into economic decline. Presently, the peak of foreign investment is barely a 10% of what it was prior to 2008. The Barrow Administration crumbled the pillars of economic stability, clouded the investment climate in Belize and triggered alarm bells globally when he seized control of the privately owned telecommunications company BTL and electricity provider BEL, all in the name of nationalization.

Alamilla Confirms UDP Corruption…admits to failure after 9 months in office
Minister of Forestry and Environment Lisel Alamilla has confirmed that there is serious corruption in the UDP Government. A frustrated Alamilla told reporters last Friday that corruption under the UDP, and especially in her Ministry, is so entrenched that even after spending nine months in office she has failed to tackle it. “I am certain that there is corruption within my ministry. The difficulty is proving it,” said Alamilla. But has Alamilla really been “fighting” corruption in her Ministries of Government? She inherited the Ministries, with all kinds of baggage, from Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and today it still remains intact as if everything is honky-dory. No special investigation has been launched. No special inquiries have been made. No major reshuffle. No heads have rolled. Alamilla was speaking at a media event in which she displayed and destroyed confiscated Rosewood valued at half a million dollars. A moratorium on Rosewood was enacted last year but that has not stopped its harvesting or the exporting.

Caye Chapel Deal Gone Sour
Remember the big song and dance Barrow made about the sale of Caye Chapel in his Independence Day address? Well according to reliable source the Qatari group of investors smelt a rat and have pulled out of the deal. They found out that the UDP Minister they were having discussions with, sold them a development plan which belonged to a Canadian Group. The Canadian Group developed this plan with the Sheridan Hotel in mind. The Minister went to Qatar and sold the Qatari Group the same plan for a handsome fee with the Four Seasons Hotel chain proposed as the developers of the project expansion. When Barrow made his boastful Independence Day speech that Caye Chapel had been sold to multi-millionaires from Qatar, the Canadian Group realized they had been taken for a ride. It is reported that the Qatari investors have backed out of the deck for fear of buying a law suit. The Canadians are no longer interested in buying. They realized they cannot trust this Belize Government. Caye Chapel is now back on the open market for sale and the charlatan Prime Minister has egg all over his face.

150 Murders in 2012 – The BELIZE TIMES explains its count
There were 150 vicious murders in 2012, the highest ever in Belize’s history. The Police are yet to release their murder count, but the BELIZE TIMES had been tracking the homicide rate from the start of the year. With weak policies initiated by the Ministry of National Security, and the UDP Government’s insistence to negotiate with gang members, the country remained in siege as criminal elements ran amok in the country. The media’s unofficial tabulation has the count at 145, while the Bar Association’s count is 148. For clarity, the BELIZE TIMES informs readers that in its count are the killings of Arthur Young, Allan “Boco T” Kelly, 18 year old Kendale Flowers and 22 year old Alexander Mazariegos which we consider as victims of state executions. The other killing is that of Charles Gamboa who was found dead in Dangriga. The Police say no foul play was involved but the victim’s family reported seeing signs of a vicious assault on their loved one’s body.

Up in Smoke! – Minister Alamilla destroys half a million worth of Rosewood
Minister of Environment and Fisheries (briefly Indigenous Peoples) Lisel Alamilla-Pennil seemed to be practising lessons from a book entitled “Stupid things politicians do” when she decided to cull the media in Toledo for a bonfire of one of Belize’s most precious resources, Rosewood. Wearing a false sense of pride, after her Ministry seized and confiscated a truck containing illegally harvested Rosewood, Alamilla said she wanted to “send a message”, as she put it, to those responsible for the illegal harvesting. Wanting to send a message, like cursing the wind, and not taking direct action was strange, almost nonsensical, since her Ministry knew who the persons responsible for the Rosewood extraction were. In fact, the Chief Forest Officer Wilbur Sabido reported that the same individuals were caught moving an illegal loot in the same area several weeks ago.

PUP makes recommendations to fight crime
The People’s United Party (PUP) first wishes to offer condolences to the families of all persons who have lost their lives since the start of 2013. We next call in the strongest terms for the Government and security forces to respond swiftly to the near state of anarchy possibly caused by the further killings of today January 8, 2013 and to bring the current situation under control. Schools have been closed, children sent home and citizens are living in fear. Our leader, Hon Francis Fonseca stands by to hear from Prime Minister Barrow, and the PUP will do all that we can to cooperate in bringing peace and order to Belize City. The present crime situation cannot continue and we call on Government to work with all Stakeholders in this national emergency. Further to the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on January 8, 2013, the People’s United Party offers the following recommendations:

Private Sector says GOB is emboldening criminal factions
The Private Sector is gravely concerned about the recent acts of violence in Belize. Although we are less than 3 weeks into the New Year, there has already been a sharp increase in crime, escalating last week with a quadruple murder of men from George Street, and today’s attack against the home of the former Prime Minister of Belize. The Private Sector calls on the Government and citizens alike for adherence to the rule of law and the protection of our citizenry. We demand that the Government implement measures that are directed at improving the quality of life in Belize and adopts a position of zero tolerance to crime and known criminals. The Private Sector condemns the Government’s perceived need to negotiate with criminals while the demands of law-abiding citizens for protection and safety are repeatedly ignored. We consider that the Government’s willingness to engage in negotiations with these gang leaders sends a dangerous signal to Belizeans and the international community. We consider that criminal factions have been emboldened by the fact that they can bring the Prime Minister to the negotiation table, while citizens cower in fear.


A Tale of Five Cities: Visiting the Palenque Maya Ruins (Part 1)
Our main purpose in visiting the Mexican city of Palenque in the Chiapas state was to visit the Palenque Archaeological Site (Maya ruins). This site is medium in size compared to huge sites like Tikal, but is one of the most widely studied, written about, and well-known Maya sites. After breakfast we walked out onto the main highway to catch one of many collectivos to the site. These are inexpensive vans that run back and forth all day long. There are no set stops, you stand by the side of the road, and before too long, one will stop for you. In addition to tourists, they also transport vendors carrying their wares to sell at the site. There were a few vendors in the collectivo that we caught. Entering the site. After paying our entrance fee, we entered the site. Unfortunately we did not have a printed map and did not see any available there. If you're going, you may want to print a map before you go, because it's easy to get disoriented -- this is a large place! Another tip: there is plenty for sale to eat and drink right outside the entrance for very reasonable prices, so you don't need to buy bottled water or anything to eat in town to bring along if you don't want to. We bought some water and a couple of snacks to supplement what we'd brought along.

Ten Interesting & Fun Facts About Belize
Belize is a small and eclectic country that is bordered by Mexico to the north, south and west by Guatemala, and east by the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Ethnically diverse and culturally rich; Belize has many things to offer visitors from its varied ecology to its historical pre-Columbian Maya temple cities. Below are ten interesting and fun facts about Belize: 1. Belize is one of the best places in the world for shark viewing. The best times to go are during the months of April – July. 2. Belize has an uncommon species of howler monkey that is known as one of the top ten loudest animals in the world. 3. The locals in Belize have created some unique names for its natural wonders including Owl eye butterfly, the Swallow Tail Cattle Heart Butterfly, and the Red Footed Booby Bird, and the False Vampire Bat. 4. Belize is the only Central American country with English as its official language. 5. High on the list of Belize’s many charms is a very comfortable tropical climate with an average yearly temperature of 84° F (29°C). Costal sea breezes and Belize’s large tracts of jungle and rainforests provide cooling relief even in the hottest summer months while winters can be cool but never very cold. In short, the climate is pretty much near perfect. 6. Belize has the only known jaguar preserve in the world and it is located in the cockscomb Wildlife sanctuary in southern Belize. 7. Archaeologists estimate that at their peak, 1 to 2 million Mayans lived within the borders of present day Belize. Mighty Maya cities such as Caracol, Xunantunich and Lamanai dotted the landscape, with small agricultural communities farming the land between. 8. Belize is roughly only 180 miles long and 68 miles wide. It is a small but sparsely populated country outside the cities because of the protections it has in place for the natural wonders that are within its borders 9. Belize has such a dense population and is one of the most populous in the world for its size. 10. Outside the Belize mainland is one of the world’s natural reefs known as the Belize natural reefs with 200 separate islands.

House for Rent in San Ignacio, Belize
Hello fellow Belizeans! 3-bedroom house for rent in downtown San Ignacio, Belize. Recently renovated and ideally located at the corner of West Street and George Street. Semi-furnished (stove, fridge, beds, etc.). Available February 1 or March 1, 2013. Rent negotiable. Please email for more details. Serious Inquiries Only!

International Sources

Mahogany in British Honduras
Found this on the internet - long, long... but may make interesting reading for anyone interested in the mahogany business going way back in Belize.

Guatemala, Belize battle to 0-0 stalemate at 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana
Guatemala and Belize played to a scoreless tie Sunday afternoon at the Estadio Nacional in a match that kicked off the second day of Group A play at the 2013 UNCAF Copa Centroamericana. The two teams spent much of the first period feeling each other out, with valid scoring opportunities at a premium. Late in the first half, Belize winger Ashley Torres was sprung through, however, his touch let him down and Guatemalan goalkeeper Cristian Alvarez was able to collect without difficulty. Just minutes later, Carlos Figueroa had a chance to put the Chapines ahead, but his shot from point blank range went straight at Belizean goalkeeper Woodrow West.

Belize PM denies bargaining with gang leaders
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow has insisted that his administration did not negotiate with known gang leaders following last week’s murder of four people whose bodies were found in an apartment building. Prime Minister Barrow has also distanced his administration from reports that the gang members were paid BDZ$40,000 (US$20,000) to maintain peace and not retaliate. Last week, Prime Minister Barrow told reporters that he led a delegation, which included National Security Minister John Saldivar for talks with the leaders of the George Street Gang and that an arrangement had been reached for them to leave the area and not seek to retaliate against people they believe committed the murders.

Biodiversity in Cayo
Great article on Cayo with mentions of Mountain Pine Ridge Mayan ruins, Caracol, and even raptors, scarlet macaws, and jaguars. Some of the pictures featured are from Roni Martinez, Blancaneaux Lodge's conservation officer. "From Rio Frio Caves, we drive through winding roads toward Caracol, the largest archeological site in Belize, watching the outside scenery dramatically shift from pine ridge habitat to moist, leafy rainforest. Sitting shotgun, our insightful guide Jorge tells me to keep my eyes peeled for a jaguar or a Tata Duende, the elf-like forest spirit with no thumbs and backwards feet. Legend has it that this mischievous mythological creature takes small children in the forest where he steals their thumbs. I'll hold onto my mine . . . for now...

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