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5/1/2013 to 5/10/2013
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May 10, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Finger Licking Fiestas: Lobster Fest 2013!
With the opening of Lobster season right around the corner (June 15th) Belize is gearing up once again to host its annual lobster fests. Lobster season in Belize marks the opening of much anticipated annual festivities that draws lobster lovers from near and far. With events taking place in Placencia, Caye Caulker and San Pedro, lobster junkies have not only one but THREE opportunities to indulge in the goodness of scrumptious local lobster dishes. Want to enjoy the fun island style? The event kicks off in the San Pedro from June 15th-23rd. Celebrating its 8th annual Lobster fest, the annual block party will take to the street on the 22nd. The Central Park will come alive as music and savory flavors fill the air creating the perfect atmosphere of rhythm and thrill as lobster critics go from booth to booth basking in the ambiance all attributed to good food. Chefs of the island take part in the event to showcase some of their finest lobster dished both new and created just for the event , or traditional recipe that never fail to satisfy even the pickiest eater.

Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Presents Grant to GOB
His Excellency Mr. David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) presented a cheque in the sum of US Dollars Five Million to the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of Belize on Thursday, May 9th. The cheque represents a Grant to Belize for the year 2013 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program between Belize and the Republic of China (Taiwan) for the period 2013 to 2016. The proceeds of the Grant are for the general benefit and well being of the people of Belize. In particular, Government of Belize will use the funds to cover local counterpart expenditures on key infrastructure projects, including the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase II, the extension of the Southern Highway to Jalacte in the Toledo District, and for the new crossing of the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. In accepting the Grant, Prime Minister Barrow said: “Ambassador, please convey to your Government the heartfelt thanks and appreciation of my Government and those of the people of Belize. This cooperation program will go a long way in assisting Belize in meeting its development goals”.

Belize and Guatemala Agree on Next Steps in Negotiation Process
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Belize and Guatemala, Wilfred Elrington and Luis Fernando Carrera, met yesterday with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, to analyze the situation of the process to submit their dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Both Ministers agreed on the firm will of their countries in maintaining the Special Agreement to submit the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ and, in that sense, they agreed that the Deputy Ministers should meet, within the framework of the High-level Working Group, and as soon as possible, to reinforce the confidence-building measures guiding this process. The Ministers also agreed that once progress is made in the process, they will meet again to set the date for the holding of the referenda.

Tuff E Nuff wins second game in a row in National Interoffice Basketball Tournament
Defending national Interoffice Basketball Champions, San Pedro’s Tuff E Nuff Team has started on the right track, having won two straight games in the 2013 season. On Friday May 3rd, Tuff E Nuff were back at the Birds Isle in Belize City for their second game of the season. Their second game was against CYDP (Conscious Youth Development Programme) and by all accounts the game was an intense and close one. Throughout the match-up defending champs maintained command on the court, taking their second win in the 2013 season. Tuff E Nuff took a slim lead in the first quarter with a 22 to 19 score; and it set the precedence for the game. In all four quarters, Tuff E Nuff maintain thier lead over CYDP, with the largest leading coming in the second and fourth quarters, with seven points. CYDP, a power house in Belize City tied the game for a brief moment in the second and third quarters but Tuff E Nuff regained control of the game. By the end of the fourth quarter, Tuff E Nuff took the win with 86 points over the CYDP’s 79 points. CYDP’s Lerroy Louriano scored the most points in the game, a total of 27.

2013 Fly Fishing Film Tour presented by COSTA DEL MAR
On Saturday night, May 4th fishermen of San Pedro descended upon the Tres Pescados Fly Shop for the Fly Fishing Film Tour presented by Costa Del Mar. The night started with a presentation to local legend Mr. Carlos Marin. Because of his life-long contribution to the sport Tres Pescados Fly Fishing Film-12fishing community in San Pedro, Mr. Marin was presented with a LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD by Alyssa Flota of El Pescador. Also in attendance were the cast & crew of the Buccaneer’s & Bones TV series. Among the cast was former news anchor Tom Brokaw, musician Huey Lewis, angling legend Lefty Kreh and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.

Ambergris Today

Navigational hazard Notice as Dredging Starts for Sunset Boardwalk Project
The public and all mariners are hereby informed that dredging works has now commenced in the Laguna de San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, for the purpose of upgrading, filling, and reclamation for the San Pedro Sunset Boardwalk and Water Taxi Terminal: a Project development initiative under the Sustainable TourismProgram (STP). It is envisaged that this activity will continue through May and June 2013. The dredge and pipeline will remain in the area of operation after normal operating hours for the duration of the works. All mariners are hereby advised to travel with extreme caution on approach to and passage through the Laguna de San Pedro. All mariners are requested to regard all warnings and navigational aids which may be displayed by the operator and to remain well clear of all operations.

Costa del Mar Presents Second Annual Fly Fishing Film Tour
Following the success of the first film tour, fishermen of San Pedro descended upon the Tres Pescados Fly Shop for the second annual Fly Fishing Film Tour presented by COSTA DEL MAR on Saturday night, May 4, 2013. The night started with a presentation to local legend Mr. Carlos Marin. Because of his life-long contribution to the sport fishing community in San Pedro, Mr. Marin was presented with a Lifetime Acheivement Award by Alissa Flota of El Pescador. In attendance were the cast and crew of the Buccaneer’s & Bones TV series; among the cast was former news anchor Tom Brokaw, musician Huey Lewis, angling legend Lefty Kreh and Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.

Misc Belizean Sources

Village Council Elections Underway
Village Council Elections are held every four years in Belize. This year, the first round of the Village council elections for the Corozal District will begin on Sunday May 12th for Calcutta, Ranchito, San Joaquin, Carolina, San Pedro, Cristo Rey and Yo Chen. On Sunday May 19th, San Roman, Santa Clara, Louiseville, Consejo and Chan Chen. On Sunday May 26th, Sarteneja, Concepcion, San Victor, San Andres and San Antonio. On Sunday June 2nd Chunox, Progresso, San Narciso, Buena Vista, Copper Bank and Xaibe. On Sunday June 9th Libertad, Caledonia, Paraiso and Patchakan. Corozal has a total of 28 villages. The electoral division for the entire district is 24,086 registered voters. 12,504 of these voters are males and 12,434 are females. Females account close to 50% of Corozal’s electoral votes. In canvassing some of the rural villages in Corozal the most important issues that stand out are jobs, land distribution, water and electricity access, education and more autonomy to the village councils.

The rights of Maya indigenous communities not guaranteed
Oil and logging activities are carried out in the district of Toledo by private companies without consultation of the Maya communities. In an appeal issued on May 6, 2013, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expressed serious concerns regarding the human rights situation of the Maya indigenous communities in the District of Toledo, in south Belize. According to the IACHR, the government of Belize have been giving away oil and logging concessions to multinational companies without consulting the communities prior to the extracting actions, which endangered the natural resources that are essential for the indigenous groups living there. In 2004, the Maya indigenous communities of the District of Toledo filed the petition case No. 12.053 before the Commission. The petitioners claimed that the State of Belize had violated the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man “in respect of lands traditionally used and occupied by the Maya people, by granting logging and oil concessions in and otherwise failing to adequately protect those lands, failing to recognize and secure the territorial rights of the Maya people in those lands, and failing to afford the Maya people judicial protection of their rights and interests in the lands due to delays in court proceedings instituted by them.”

Beach-Town Life, Belize (from $55,000)
We’d finished dinner almost an hour earlier. But we were still in the restaurant. Our host was back after a few weeks away and it seemed the whole town wanted to catch up. Every time we tried to leave, somebody else dropped by to chat. Not that we were in any hurry to go. With the stars twinkling overhead and a cool breeze drifting off the ocean, we were happy to linger and enjoy the evening. In Placencia, Belize, the atmosphere is super-relaxed. Today, scattered around town, you’ll come across boutique hotels, luxury developments, and upscale restaurants. But Placencia has kept its laid-back charm and small-town feel. Of course, the 16 miles of natural soft sand beach helps everyone to slow down. As does the lagoon fringed with mangroves, access to the Belize Barrier Reef and hundreds of little cayes offshore. Twenty dive sites…a Technicolor reef that’s a giant private aquarium, stuffed with parrot fish, butterfly fish and blue tangs…a lagoon that’s home to dolphins and manatees. This place is a water-lover’s dream…

Calla Creek Outreach Video
Feelgood news of the day. 4 the World Belize has a short video showing the building of the basketball courts at Calla Creek primary school, which is the school they've decided to focus upon for their outreach. Looks like the kids are really enjoying the new court. Thanks, 4 the World!

Help Vitelio Gomez
Vitelio Gomez, a bright student currently on hiatus from SHJC, has lymphoma, and needs a bone marrow transplant. They've set up a site for donations. If you can help this promising student, please do. "Vitelio Gomez is a 22 year old college student at Sacred Heart University in Belize who had his studies interrupted with bouts of fever and night sweats. The doctors originally thought he had pneumonia, but after failing multiple treatments for this, he traveled to Mexico City and was found to have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma."

Regional Entrepreneurship Training Program
Do you have a great business idea, but don't know where to start? Or do you already have a new business (less than 3 years old) and want to see it expand? If you do, then you should apply for this funding. Please share this with others who have a talent that they can develop into a successful business. "Entrepreneurs, welcome to the application form for the EMPRENDE training program, leaded by BELTRAID and CENPROMYPE. For the application and selection process, you must understand the following points: Potential Entrepreneurs: People and teams with business ideas and motivation to undertake full time, but have not yet advanced to the stage of marketing their product or solution."

Youth Artist Award Nominations
The National Institute of Culture and History is accepting nominations for the Youth Artist Award. The winner will receive a $1000 grant to be used towards education. Nominees must be between 10 and 24, and be engaged in an artisitc discipline. NICH's Institute of Creative Arts is getting ready for the Festival of Arts.

Channel 7

Robbery At UB Dorm
Last night, the unthinkable happened at the University of Belize Central Campus in Belmopan: a group of bandits stormed into the dorm building, and robbed 9 students at gunpoint. Very fortunately, no one was hurt, but the school is reporting – quite understandably - that the students were traumatized. And right that they should be: sometime around 7:00, the six masked men, dressed in black, each of them armed with either a handgun or a shotgun went into the students individual rooms and forced them outside into the common area – the living room. That’s where they were tied up and left for an hour, while the men thoroughly ransacked all the rooms. They stole laptops, cell phones, cash and other personal items totaling a considerable $41,108 dollars. The men collected the items, left the students tied up, and fled. After some time, at around 8:30, the students – sensing the threat was gone - finally got to call for help. A statement from UB says the students were Athletes on the Scholarship Program and international students from the English as a Second Language Program. Last night, University staff accompanied the students to file Police reports and they have also been offered counseling. UB additional measures have been implemented “to ensure students’ physical and emotional well-being.”

Greg Ch’oc Reported SATIIM Finance Officer
PG Police today confirmed that they are investigating the embezzlement of one hundred thousand dollars from SATIIM, the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. Police report that 45 year old Greg Ch’oc the Executive Director for SATIIM reported that between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 the former Administrator and Finance Officer forged, deposited and cashed several cheques belonging to SATIM amounting to over $100,000.00bcy. Choc has told us he strictly cannot comment because it is before the courts. And while police are saying the figure is one hundred thousand dollars, reliable sources tell us that the figure is above two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Which, in any organization, is a staggering amount to have been siphoned off in just 15 months. At this point, the former staffer has been questioned, but no charges have been brought.

Lord P. Goldsmith Speaks On Orozco Case
For the past 2 days, the Caleb Orozco’s challenge to the Government of Belize has been extensively aired before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Queen’s Counsels Christopher Hamel-Smith and Lord Peter Goldsmith made a total of about 11 hours of arguments in court as to why Section 53 of the Criminal Code is offensive and should be struck down. Well today, the Government of Belize was given a chance to respond, and Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke defended the law before the court. The strength of his argument was on the central point that the rights Orozco is claiming do not exist in the Belize constitution. According to Hawke, nowhere in the written text of the constitution does it name a right to privacy, human dignity and sexual orientation. He submitted further that the court does not have the jurisdiction to imply, impute or impose these supposed rights into the constitution because it would be giving itself legislative powers, which violate the doctrine of the separation of powers. Hawk’s presentation lasted 3 hours. And while that was today, yesterday Lord Peter Goldsmith represented his international clients yesterday. We asked him about his clients’ interest in the outcome of this case, and about that prevailing perception that there’s a foreign agenda at work. He told us that contrary to the widely held belief, he was not retained to press for the decriminalization of sodomy in Belize on behalf of wealthy international interests.

Hamel-Smith Recaps Orozco Case
While that was the position from Lord Peter Goldsmith this morning, late this evening, we were able to catch up once again with Christopher Hamel-Smith, Orozco’s lead attorney. After hearing the arguments presented by the state and the Church we asked him to comment on the position that this matter is for the Belizean people and the Legislature to decide on. His response was that the Courts are the guardians and the interpreters of one of the best written constitutions in the Caribbean, which allows for an ideal challenge to the sodomy laws here. Christopher Hamel-Smith, QC - Attorney for Caleb Orozco "The constitution of Belize says expressly that it is the Supreme Law of this country and that any other law to the extent that is inconsistent with the constitution is void. The only person in the country that is allowed to decide whether it is contravening the constitution in the country is the courts; that is the job of the courts so that the judge has to answer the question. That doesn't mean the parliament cannot do its job but the courts are the guardians of the constitution, they have to interpret the constitution and they have to apply the constitution and I am sure they will do so; whichever party is right or wrong."

UNIBAM Boss’s Home Burgled
But, while his attorney is optimistic about the case, Caleb Orozco is becoming increasingly rattled. He’s reporting to police that someone vandalized and trespassed on his property yesterday. He told us this evening that 2 masked men entered his yard, a few days after someone sent a death threat against him to force the end of the case. Caleb Orozco - Challenging Belize’s Criminal Code "Between 3 and 4 last night security arrangement were circling and they found some problems. Later on around 8:30 a.m while I was preparing to come to court they found the right side of my car door stripped. The upper part of the car door glass was broken - the back part of my car was open and later on I found out through a neighbor that the police had checked for a report that they were two masked guys that had jumped my iron gate to get into my yard while I was sleeping. I knew nothing of the men, I knew nothing of the police report until 8;30 this morning. I was asked to go make a formal report to the police station and I did that this morning and this has happened on top of a lot of Facebook threats. One person saying that this case could easily be dismissed if I die. It's things like that that have been accumulating over the past few weeks." Reporter "According to your own affidavit - your own accounts, you have lived a life under threat because of your homosexuality. Do you feel that recently in the last week or two, that these threats has gotten more serious and that your life is in danger at this point?"

Man Charged For Un-natural Crime Against Girl
Before the break, we showed you Day 3 of Caleb Orozco’s challenge to Section 53 of the Criminal code which reads, “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Orozco says that the words, “any person or” should be declared unconstitutional because it violates his rights to sexual freedom. But, as we showed you yesterday, there are members of the church who believe that the law is good because it protects against male on male rape and child molestation. Well, we report tonight of a case which puts the importance of this law, as interpreted by its supporters, in the spotlight. 26 year-old Edwin Emmanuel Coye, a resident of Apollo Street in Belama, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court today for charges of carnal knowledge and an unnatural crime.

Belize and Guatemala Meet At OAS
The Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala met with the OAS Secretary General yesterday in Washington. A release from the OAS says quote, “Both Ministers agreed on the firm will of their countries in maintaining the Special Agreement to submit the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ.” Now, that special agreement stipulates October 6, 2013 for joint referendums, but the OAS release makes no mention of that date and simply says quote, “they agreed that the Deputy Ministers should meet…as soon as possible,” and “once progress is made…they will meet again to set the date for the holding of the referenda.” That seems to suggest that it’s “ok” that the Guatemalans unilaterally bailed on the referendum process. A release from Belize’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says, quote, “The meeting proceeded in a constructive spirit, with both delegations reiterating the need to seek an early resolution to the age old dispute, despite the present obstacles to the holding of the referenda in October 2013.” The release adds that “the meeting explored various ways of ensuring that the commitment to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice, as contemplated in the Special Agreement, is maintained and acted upon in the shortest possible time.” Again, no timeline, but the Belize release adds that the OAS has agreed to convene a subsequent Ministerial level meeting to confirm the way forward by June 2013.

Indians Caught In Western Belize
Tonight, eleven men from India are detained at the Belmopan police station after they were caught last night in the Billy White Area – which is in Western Cayo. Information is sketchy and police are mum, but 7news has learned that a round 8:00 pm, the Police Mobile Interdiction Team, acting on information received intercepted the 11 men walking on the road towards Duck Run. Information says that they were coming in illegally from Guatemala and had been trying to do so for days. Last night they made it across the Bullett Tree area – and that’s where they were caught. But what will be the charges? No one could say today – and some suggest that though a human trafficking operation appears to be afoot, they could be charged with illegal entry and sent on their way. We’ll keep monitoring the situation.

Prison Inmate Stabbed
There is confirmation tonight that a prison inmate was stabbed to the neck yesterday – while police was transporting a group of inmates back to the Hattieville Prison after a court date session. 18 year old Anthony Carballo Jr – who is on remand for murder - told family members from his hospital bed -that he was stabbed by an inmate from a rival gang who had been left unshackled by police. After he was stabbed, he alleged that he was tasered and then tear gas before he was taken to the hospital. Today in an interview with 7news, his aunt told us more about what happened. Voice of Anothon’y Aunt "Well apparently Anthony is in the Belize Central Prison on remand and he was brought down to Belize City for a case in the Magistrate's Court. Upon heading back he was taken by the Police Department - there were several of them in the police van being transported to the Belize Central Prison. Some of them were handcuffed not all of them were handcuffed and upon arriving close to the Prison one of the inmates that were not handcuffed approached him and started stabbing him with a metal object that we call 'bora'.

Yucatan, Mexico Wants Tourist Links In Belize
Belizeans are very familiar with the Mexican State of Quintana Roo – so many of us are regulars in the capital, Chetumal, and for Easter, who isn’t down for a Cancun run? But, when we think of the state of Yucatan, we mostly think of Merida’s hospitals’ – and not much else. That’s why a delegation from Yucatan’s Ministry of Tourism is in Belize trying to bolster the image of their state as a touristic and as a shared gateway to the Maya world. Marketing Director Santiago Gonzalez explained. Santiago Gonzalez - Marketing Director - Ministry of Tourism Yucatan "Specifically we are trying to build a new relationship with Belize. We are trying to develop new roots and new products that combine Mexico and Belize and also to offer the people from Belize the things we have in Mexico that are attractive for people here. In Yucatan we have great infrastructure - the hospitals, malls, shopping centers for the restaurants that combine perfectly with the things you have here in Belize. I think the European markets and the people from North America don't see the borders between the countries, they don't see the difference between the Mayan world.

Dollar Diplomacy In Decline, But Taiwanese Still Sweet On Belize
Dollar Diplomacy may be in decline, but Taiwan always has a few dollars – or a few million - to scratch the Belizean government’s itches. The Taiwanese today donated five million US Dollars to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. It is the 2013 Grant under the Bilateral Cooperation Program, which runs for the period 2013 to 2016. Taiwanese Ambassador David C. K. Wu, explained: H.E. David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) " This is a grant from my government to be of some of help for the construction of your infrastructure and we are very honored and very pleased to do so because you know Taiwan and Belize - we are very coridal partners." A government release says the proceeds of the Grant are quote, “for the general benefit and well being of the people of Belize.” The release adds that Government will use the funds to cover local counterpart expenditures on key infrastructure projects, including the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project Phase II, the extension of the Southern Highway to Jalacte in the Toledo District, and for the new crossing of the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena.

Woman Calls Out For Missing Son
13 year old San Ignacio Resident Scott Thompson has been missing for the past 12 days. He is a special needs child who is kept at home – and known to hitch-hike. He’s gone wandering before but never for this long and today his mother came to us saying she is beside herself with worry. Elvira Thompson - Mother of Boy Missing Since April 27th "I am Scott's mother and I live in San Ignacio and I came up here for the public to help me look for my son who has been missing since April 27th and hasn't reached home since and I have not heard about him since" Dennis Ellis "Is this the first time he's been missing?" Elvira Thompson "No, this is not the first time but this is the first time it has ever been so long"

Ret’d Canadian Belizean Educators Want To Start School
And while that special needs child is in the wind, a pair of retired teachers want to make sure children with those kinds of needs have greater educational options. Dr. Lorna Bennett and Louisa Sanchez left Belize nearly five decades ago and migrated to Canada where they both became highly trained and specialized educators. They work with special needs children and that means kids who have difficulty learning, visual and perceptual difficulties, mild sensory deficits, language deficits, and social skills deficits. And now that they are in semi retirement, they want to bring their considerable skill set to help Belizean children. Yesterday, they told us a little bit about their grand plan. Dr. Lorna Bennett - Belizean-Canadian Educator "Now we have decided that we would like to address the needs in Belize of children that are having learning difficulties. We are calling it the Bennett Sanchez diagnostic teaching center because we are not just going to evaluate children but we hope to hire people to tutor those children based on programmes we set up for them after finding out what they're difficulties are." Jules Vasquez "Often times, perhaps too often, in school is a child is unable to learn - the child is just seen as 'duncey'."

GSU Says Man Threw Gun In Canal
25 year-old Berris Alexander Torres, a resident of Tibruce Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to court today for firearm offences. According to the GSU, last night they were on patrol in the Saint Jude’s area in Lake Independence, when they saw Torres on a bridge. Police say that when Torres recognized them, he allegedly threw an object into the canal. They detained him, and took him to the area they saw him dispose of the object, and the officers retrieved a .38 special revolver which had 5 live rounds of ammunition in its chamber. As a result, they charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keep unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today in Magistrate’s Court, and he was remanded to prison until July 3, 2013.

“Public Service” And “Information” Do Go Together
Public Service Information – try going into any government department on an average day – and you might say that the word “information” should never be put next to the words “public service.” To that end, a viewer sent us this depressing video from the vital statistics unit where one man is seen shuffling through a chaotic pile of pink papers while a restless crowd waits behind the desk. That’s often the state of public service in real time, but not for the folks who are organizing the public information day show that’s travelling across the country. It started in Belize today where government departments proudly put their services on display – we found out more: Anissa Perdomo - District Representative - Public Service Info Day "We have approximately 20 departments participating for Public Service information day and one of the things we wanted to highlight this year is showing the public the different services that we offered as public officers. Many times we go to different departments and we don't know the different services that they offer. This is a way of showcasing what services we offer. The public service has gone a long way and we have improved in a lot of services that we do so having things like this is just showing how we improve in the public service." Form here the exhibit travels to San Pedro tomorrow then Corozal and Belmopan.

PROFILE: Courtney Gillett
Tonight’s profile is about Courtney Gillett. She’s a young, visually impaired girl but she’s full of life – and determination. She’s taken on the Spelling B, and many more challenges. She tells us more in tonight’s profile.

Deon Wants To Make A Difference
The Third World Social Club is a three week summer camp that has been around for 13 years. The grass roots camp is organized by football star Deon Flowers in the Lake Independence area and caters for over 250 underprivileged youths from across the city. But it is not easy keeping it going – according to Flowers it’s him against the world in terms of sponsorship. To make the annual camp possible this year, he is hosting a 2 day bar-b-que sale next week and a football marathon fund raising drive. Here’s how you can support. Deon Flowers – Third World Sports in Education "The camp is coming up and we're looking at what all we have, we want to do it on the correct date because we dont want to go through any hassle running back and forth while the camp is on. We want to get everything together so right now we are raising funds and next week Friday and Saturday we're having a bar-b-q sale to raise funds to reach a budget that we have. We are catering for 200 and add kids but the amount of kids that come we don't want to chase any of them away.

Channel 5

Masked gunmen storm UB dorm and tie up students
We’ll have the court details of the Caleb Orozco case and a robbery at his house coming up, but first we go to the nation’s capital where a terrifying robbery took place on Wednesday night. Fourteen students were attacked and robbed by armed men at the University of Belize, Belmopan Campus. The group of foreign [...]

Trafficking of Indian nationals through Belize
A bold attempt at smuggling eleven illegal immigrants through Belize, presumably en route to the United States, has resulted in several arrests, including the mechanic/driver of the British High Commission.  On Wednesday night, a detail of officers attached to the Mobile Interdiction Team nabbed a group of Indian nationals, who purportedly entered the country unlawfully [...]

UNIBAM’s Orozco receives threats and his vehicle violated
The highly publicized case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney-General of Belize continued before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. This morning CJ Benjamin informed the Court that the claimant, Caleb Orozco, has been granted permission to be absent from the proceedings for some time. Shortly after, reports circulated that persons unknown had targeted Orozco’s vehicle, and [...]

Objection in the Court! UNIBAM
Day three started much the same with the procession of attorneys for the claimant, the state and interested parties and observers from both sides of the legal battle heading into the court to take their seats. Today was set aside for arguments from the defendant and from the fourth to sixth interested parties, the churches. [...]

3 foreign entities in gay case
On Wednesday, Day two of the trial, Queen’s Counsel Lord Peter Goldsmith made his submission to the Court. Goldsmith is representing the foreign interested parties in the case, namely the Human Dignity Trust, the International Commission of Jurists and the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, renowned international legal bodies with a focus on human rights who have [...]

Foreign minister returns from meeting with Guatemalan at O.A.S.
As we reported on Wednesday, Belize and Guatemala have been meeting with the O.A.S. in Washington. Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, along with a delegation of government officials, returned this morning, following a round of discussions with Guatemalan Foreign Affairs Minister Fernando Carrera and O.A.S. Secretary General Miguel Angel Insulza. The purpose of the meeting [...]

Former P.U.P. leader, John Briceño joined attended meeting
Joining the Minister of Foreign Affairs on the visit to Washington was former Leader of the Opposition John Briceño.  While the People’s United Party has not presented a formal position on the matter of the joint referenda, Briceño says that they have commenced a series of consultations among regional executives of the party.    John [...]

Mexico and Belize sit to talk tourism opportunities
The Embassy of Mexico in Belize along with its Ministry of Tourism organized an excursion to the Jewel to forge a new relationship through multi-destination tourism. Many tourists and backpackers from Europe do not simply desire to see one country when they cross the ocean. That is why at a power breakfast at the Best [...]

GSU takes gun and marijuana off the streets
Just before midday today, the Gang Suppression Unit arrested fifty-two year old taxi driver, Valentine Ferguson. He was driving a Toyota car when he was intercepted by the Unit near the house of who is described as a reputed drug dealer on West Street. The vehicle sped away in the direction of Water Lane with [...]

Orange Walk Court finds man guilty of attempted murder of common-law
There were two guilty verdicts today in the Supreme Court sitting of the Northern District in Orange Walk Town. Justice Herbert Lord delivered his verdict in the case of Kenroy Foreman who stood trial by judge alone.  Foreman was tried for the attempted murder of his former common-law law back in April of 2009 in [...]

Murder case collapses as witness fails to appear in court
Twenty-three year old Belize City resident, Anthony Lewis, who was on trial for the December 2010 murder of eighteen year old Leon Ebanks, today walked from court a free man. The case concluded in a nolle prosequi when police could not locate the main witness to testify against him. Within twenty minutes of walking into [...]

Unnatural crime; man charged for sodomizing female minor
As the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize continued in the Supreme Court, in the lower court a man was arraigned for sodomizing a fourteen year old girl. Edwin Coye, a resident of Apollo Street of the Belama Phase four area of Belize City appeared unrepresented before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer [...]

In-depth, inside the classroom; 143 students with special needs take P.S.E.
For parents and families who have children with special needs, education begins early and at home. But the challenge is greater once they enroll in schools because few are equipped with the necessary tools. There are over one hundred and forty students in schools across the country who have special needs that range from autism [...]

Public service comes out to show its services
The Government of Belize is the largest employer in the nation. Services offered by government departments and ministries represent an important vein not only in the legal and justice system, but in health, agriculture and just about every industry in the country. And though International Public Service Day is a month away on June twenty-third, [...]

The Pallotti Campus Darling Pageant
The twenty-fifth annual Pallotti Campus Darling Pageant will be held at the Princess Hotel and Casino on Friday.  The yearly showcase of young beauty and talent has helped the high school tremendously in raising funds to improve the on-campus experience of students.  This year it is anticipated that the event will raise enough money to [...]

Runaway; have you seen this missing child?
But there is some disturbing news to report. Thirteen year old Scott Thompson, affected by a psychiatric disorder, has been missing from his home in San Ignacio Town since April twenty-seventh.  The teenager was last seen wearing a grey shirt with a blue dragon design, a pair of black jeans shorts and black slippers.  According [...]

A raw natural and balanced diet on Healthy Living
Every health related issue is linked to lifestyles; a healthy way of life includes exercise and a balanced diet. Some people are making the switch to all protein, less carbs, more wheat, juice diets, cabbage diets, detox diets and the list goes on and on. Tonight on Healthy Living we sit one-on-one with a certified [...]


Day 3 Concludes In Orozco vs Attorney General On Homosexual Issue
There were quite some things to talk about as the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize entered its third day at the Supreme Court of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. As we reported yesterday, attorney for the interested parties, namely the Commonwealth Lawyer&rsquo...

Taiwan Gives Belize A Five Million Dollar Grant
Prime Minister Dean Barrow today received a five million dollar grant from Taiwan. The check was handed over by Taiwanese Ambassador David Wu. DAVID WU "Today I am very honoured I represent the Republic of China, Taiwan; I am handing over a cheque of five million US ...

Outstanding Results Released For ATLIB Examinations
Back in February hundreds of students sat the Mathematics and English ATLIB examinations and today the Association of Tertiary Level Institution in Belize released its list of outstanding students in both subjects. ATLIB congratulates and recognizes the dedication and effort of the out...

Tourism Endeavor Presented By Mexican Officials To Belize's Tourism Stakeholders
This morning the Ministry of Touristic Development of the State of Yucatan, SEFOTOUR, along with the Embassy of Mexico met with various stakeholders of the tourism industry in Belize at the Biltmore Hotel. The purpose of the meet and greet was to a new touristic endeavor entitled, &ldq...

Supreme Court Rules: Man Guilty of Attempting To Murder His Spouse and Another Guilty of Raping A Mentally Challenged Woman
In news from the Supreme Court, a man who had reportedly attempted to murder his former common-law was today found guilty. Justice Herbert Lord found Kenroy Foreman guilty of the April 2009 incident in which Foreman slit the woman’s throat three times. The incident ha...

Belize's Foreign Minister Heads Delegation To Washington For Meeting With OAS and Guatemala
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington led a Belize delegation to Washington to meet with his Guatemalan counterpart and the OAS Security General Jose Miguel Insulza at the OAS headquarters earlier this week. The meeting was convened to discuss the next steps in the Belize Guate...

Belize City Resident Remanded On Firearm Charge
Twenty-five year old Berris Torres, an unemployed of Tibruce Street, was remanded into custody when he appeared in court and was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. Torres pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until July 2. The i...

UB Students Robbed Inside Dorm
An armed robbery at a dorm at the University of Belize in Belmopan netted robbers over 40 thousand of cash and items. Correspondent Fem Cruz has more in this report. FEM CRUZ " Love news spoke to one of the UB student 19-year-old O. McKoy who said that on ...

Unemployed Man Remanded On Charges of Sodomy and Carnal Knowledge
Twenty-six year old Edwin Coye, an unemployed of Belama Phase 4, was charged with one count of an unnatural crime and two counts of unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl, 14 years and 4 months old, when he appeared in court today. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser explained to him that she...

Burglary Investigation Leads To Teenager Arrest
Eighteen year old Jonathan Gideon, an unemployed of Hemsley Street, was charged with burglary when he appeared in Court. Gideon pled not guilty to the charge. He was offered a bail of six thousand dollars and his case was adjourned until July 2. The burglary occurred around 12:10 p.m. ...

GSU Busts Mechanic After Uncovering Cannabis In Refrigerator
Twenty-three year old Victor Cima, an auto mechanic of Mckay Boulevard, was charged with drug trafficking for 573 point one grams of cannabis when he appeared in Court today. Cima pled not guilty to the charge. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered him a bail of eight thousand dollar...

Belize Man Acquitted Following Christmas Day Stabbing In Hattieville
Twenty-three year old Anthony Lewis, charged with the murder of Leon Ebanks, was freed of the charge today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez when a nolle prosequi, indicating that the prosecution does not wish to proceed, was entered by Crown Counsel Leroy Banner. Crown Counsel Ban...


UB Students attacked in dormitory by armed robbers
The spring semester is coming to an end, and students at the University of Belize are on their last lap of exams. This is usually a time when there is absolute quiet, as students are doing last minute prepping for their tests, but that calm was abruptly interrupted last...

Day three of the Challenge to Belize’s Sodomy Law
Day three of the court hearing of Caleb Orozco’s attempt to get rid of Belize’s sodomy laws got on the way today. On the first two days, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin heard from Orosco’s lawyers but today, lawyers for the Government of Belize and the church made their arguments....

Teacher detained as Police investigate unnatural crime
Yesterday we reported on another incident in San Ignacio where a minor was allegedly sodomized by his high school teacher. Police issued an official release today where it says that on Wednesday May 8th at 11:00am, a 14 year old Student of San Ignacio Town visited the San Ignacio...

Edwin Emmanuel Coye arraigned for carnal knowledge
In a present day use of section 53 of the criminal code, a man was arraigned in court this morning after being accused of sodomizing a 14-year-old girl. 26-year-old Edwin Emmanuel Coye, appeared unrepresented appeared before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer this afternoon where he was read three indictable offenses,...

Belize and Guatemala deligations meet at OAS
The delegation of Belize led by Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington met yesterday May 8 with a Guatemalan delegation led by Foreign Minister Carrera and the OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza at OAS Headquarters. The meeting, held at the invitation of the OAS Secretary General, was convened ...

SATIIM funds reported stolen
SATIIM funds have been reported stolen. The executive Director for Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) of Punta Gorda Town reported that between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 a former Administrator and Finance Officer for the organization forged, deposited and cashed several cheques belonging to SATIIM....

Mayor of Dangriga tells Rise & Shine of Land Dispute
There is an issue of land controversy in Dangriga Town. This particular case started back in 2000, when a Dangriga resident purchased a small parcel of land, located near the main bridge in downtown Dangriga, which the town council says was set aside for public use. The purchaser of...

Taxi driver high-jacked in Corozal
A 64 year old taxi driver of Corozal reported that on the morning of Wednesday May 8 at around 7 pm, he was driving his car by the Corozal Town Bus Terminal when he was stopped by two Hispanic descent men. The men chartered the taxi to the border....

Convictions for attempted murder and rape in the Supreme Court in Orange Walk Town
The office of the Director of Public Prosecutions today reported convictions for attempted murder and rape in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court in Orange Walk Town. Justice Herbert Lord presided over both cases. Santiago Coc, indicted for rape, was convicted on the alternative charge of carnally knowing...

Yucatan Ministry of Tourism promotes its product
This morning, Belize’s press was hosted by the Yucatan Ministry of Tourism on the occasion of a promotional effort of that Mexican state’s tourism product. Southern Mexico and northern Central America including Belize are seen as the center of the Maya world and marketing director Santiago Gonzalez Abreu told...

Taiwan gives grant for Belize infrastructure
Today in Belmopan, His Excellency Mr. David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), presented a cheque in the sum of five million US dollars to Prime Minister Dean Barrow. The cheque represents a Grant to Belize for the year 2013 under the Bilateral Cooperation Program...

Public Officers showcase their services
Leading up to Public Service Week in June, the officials who keep our country moving are showcasing their services to the general public in a series of public information day. The first was held today at the ITVET Compound in Belize City. With more here is Belize District representative...

Workshop for Municipal Development Planning held in Belmopan
The first of three national workshops on municipal development planning was held today at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in the city of Belmopan. The BMDP is a $30.0 million Government of Belize project being financed through the World Bank and implemented by the Social Investment...

The Guardian

700 Students in Feeding Programs
Over 700 students from the south side of Belize City are benefitting from the Southside School Meals Program that was officially launched by Hon. Patrick Faber on Tuesday, May 7th. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has targeted 13 primary schools in the city to be part of this pilot program that they hope to roll out nationally in the near future. Those schools are Calvary Temple School, Friends Boys School, Grace Primary School, Living Hope Preparatory School, Muslim Community School, Queen Square Anglican School, Salvation Army, St Ignatius School, St. Luke’s Methodist School, St. Martins Depores School, Unity Presbyterian School, Wesley Upper School and the Skills Training Center. The meals are prepared and packaged inside the “Satellite Kitchen” at the Magazine Road Skills Training Center and distributed to the different schools across the city. The Ministry works in collaboration with the Nutrition Department of the Ministry of Health to ensure that the meals provided to the students are nutritiously balanced. The students that are in the program also receive vitamins and dental services. Minister Faber said that it is a program he wanted to implement from day one because he has been extremely concerned about the large number of students, who attend schools regularly without having something to eat and those who choose not to attend school for that very reason. He said, “We are hoping that this program provides a strong foundation and good solid start so that our students can perform and develop because we understand the saying in creole ‘empty krokus bag kyaant stan up’.”

Courtenay fabricated Allegations against former British High Commissioner
A Royal Court of Justice judge has ruled that former Ambassador to Belize John Yapp is entitled to damages to compensate him for losses after the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the U.K. acted in breach of his contract and breached their duty and care to him when he was withdrawn from his position in Belize. The judgment was handed down by Justice Cranston on Friday, May 3rd. Yapp had been withdrawn from Belize in June of 2008 following allegations that he had touched the bottom of Eamon Courtenay’s wife, Denise, at a function. Thereafter, an investigation of sexual misconduct and of bullying against his staff was conducted by the FCO. The Office was more concerned with the allegations of sexual impropriety which were deemed to be baseless. The investigation, which was conducted by Michael Gifford who is now the U.K Ambassador to North Korea, acquitted Yapp of sexual misconduct. Those accusations arose out of allegations made by Eamon Courtenay who claimed that Yapp had inappropriately touched his wife. Investigations on the matter proved that this was one of many allegations made by Courtenay against Yapp which were deemed to have been politically motivated

Bam Si Deh! 15 Attorneys for and against Section 53
The case of Caleb Orozco and interested parties versus the Attorney General and interested parties began on Monday, May 6th in the chambers of Chief Justice, Kenneth Benjamin. Even before the beginning of the case, it was billed to be filled with drama and excitement and two days into the arguments it has not disappointed, at least not from the theatrics that are accompanying the case. Religious organizations who are opposed to Orozco’s position have held prayer vigils in Corozal and other parts of the country. In Belize City a sizeable one was held in front of the Supreme Court on Monday night and throughout the proceedings, some have gathered outside the courthouse to hold prayer meetings. Orozco is taking the Attorney General to court challenging the constitutionality of Section 53 of the Criminal Code. That section reads “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Orozco, an openly gay man, says that the law violates his right to privacy, dignity and equality. He has retained the services of Senior Counsel Christopher Hamel Smith, Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson, Lisa Shoman and Westmin James a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, at UWI’s Cave Hill campus. But Orozco is not alone in his bid; he is joined by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Human Dignity Trust and the International Commission of Jurists, who also have representation by Queen’s Counsel Lord Peter Goldsmith and Godfrey Smith.

Minister Opens Education Showcase 2013
Minister Faber to honour Outstanding Teachers in Education Showcase The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is holding Education Showcase 2013 under the theme “Working Together: Stakeholders Partnering to Enhance Education”. Education Showcase 2013 is taking place from Sunday, May 5th, to Friday, May 17th, and a series of events will take place in the two week period which Minister Patrick Faber hopes will reinvigorate education stakeholders.

National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013 Held
Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega shakes hands with Senior Farmer of the Year George Choj All roads led to the National and Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) Grounds on May 3rd, 4th and 5th as thousands of Belizeans converged for the sixty fifth ever Trade Show, with this one, as has long been tradition, being held near the Nation’s Capital. To befit this Year’s theme, “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production through Renewed Public Private Partnership,” the three days of activities was to highlight the work of the farming community, bringing together individuals, organizations and groups from across the Country.

Book Week celebrated in Cayo
Author Elodio Aragon with his book,‘In the Flow of Eternity’ BookWeek ended on April 27th in the Cayo District, after a three- day series of events for which the book industry had an opportunity to celebrate under the theme, “Books: Food For the mind”. Under the stewardship of the Belize Book Industry Association (BBIA), it was an occasion to enjoy the gift of books and also to meet their authors directly.

Buena Vista Village selects Village council Slate
The in the Corozal Southwest division has selected their UDP slate for the upcoming village Council elections. They are: Daniel Chable for Chairman and Mariela Teck, Giovani Teck, Samuel Quinteros, Azucena Chan, Esther Olivarez, and Ernesto Chable for councilors. The Corozal Southwest now has UDP slates in all the villages of this division ready for Village Council Election Day.

Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis releases New Book - Commits Proceeds to Restore Belize
Hon. Patrick Faber, Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis and Sir Colville Young An anonymous source once said, “Poetry doesn’t belong to those who write it, but to those who need it.” Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis is in a league of her own in the class of poets for her generation and on Wednesday, May 8th, she released a pair of books that the country of Belize desperately needs right now, “Moments in Time Volume 1: A Collection of Poems, Short Stories and a Play” and “Moments in Time Volume 2: A Collection of Poems, Two Short Stories & a Play”.

Ministry of Health receives Funding for Mental Health Project
The Ministry of Health Belize is pleased to be a sub-grantee on the project “Improving prevention and treatment systems based on primary health care for alcohol use problems in two Caribbean Countries – Guyana and Belize’ funded by Grand Challenges Canada to the Grantee Ministry of Health, Guyana.”

From Yalbac #1 to Mike Usher #1 - A Brief History of Exploration in Belize
Petroleum exploration began in Belize 1938 when Shell was given an exploratory license to conduct exploration work. The first exploration well, Yalbac #1, was drilled in 1956 in the Yalbac Area by Gulf Oil. Though dry or noncommercial, there were oil shows that indicated the possibility for the presence of a petroleum system. This sparked the interest of other major companies such Anschutz, Chevron, Texaco, Esso and Philips. As Majors, the aim was to explore for and successfully drill large structures targeting giant oil field (greater than 100 million barrels). This resulted in significant exploration work both onshore and offshore to identify drillable structures. With several structures identified, over 40 exploration wells were drilled by the end of the 1980’s, and all were unsuccessful with no commercial discovery. Several wells had oil shows. Most of the seismic and wells shown in the figure below were acquired and drilled during this period. Naturally with no success, the majors would lose interest and leave. The wealth of the data that was acquired remained as the property of the Government of Belize. These data attracted the interest of smaller intermediate companies such as Petro Belize, Marathon, Eagle and Spartan. Companies like these saw smaller structures being as attractive. With new data and previously acquired data several more wells were drilled. By the late 1990’s hundreds of square kilometers of aeromagnetic and gravity data, hundreds of geochemical samples and thousands of line kilometer of 2 dimensional seismic were acquired; and 50 exploration wells were drilled in both the offshore and onshore area. A commercial discovery was yet to be made. Like other frontier high risk areas in the world, un-success was attributed to poor data quality and limited knowledge of the geology.

7,900 Plus sit Math and Social Studies P.S.E.
Seven thousand, nine hundred and thirty-one students sat part two of the Primary School Examinations on Monday, May 6th. It consists of the mathematics and social studies papers. Students once again said that the mathematics exam was the hardest of all P.S.E. papers this year. The mathematics exam is divided into two parts. Part one is a multiple choice section consisting of 50 computation questions that requires relatively simple and quick calculations. Part two of the exam is problem solving. There are ten problems to solve in section two of the mathematics exam. Principal Examinations Officer, Yvonne Davis said they tried to use questions that are relative to the Belizean society. Questions based on the General Sales Tax, utility bills, higher purchase, etc. Last year, the worst scores were recorded in Mathematics exam once again. However, grades were the best they had been since 2004. The mean score for Mathematics was 54.38%, which was up from 47.16% in 2011. The mode grade was Adequate at D, which was again an improvement on the E (0-49%) from the previous year. The median was 53%. In 2011, the median was 45%. Educators hope for continued improvement in performance this year.

The Ambassador of the State of Qatar presents Credentials to Governor General
Today, the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young was presented with credentials from the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Belize, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamid Al-Thani. In his presentation, the Sheikh conveyed greetings and best wishes for progress and prosperity to the Governor General and the people of Belize on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar; H.R.H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani,the Crown Prince of the State of Qatar, and H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar. The Sheikh further expressed the Emir’s pride in the relations between Belize and Qatar, and his aspiration to build strong relations at all levels to serve the common interests of both countries. During his visit, the Ambassador met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and also presented his credentials to Foreign Minister, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and CEO, H.E. Alexis Rosado.

Change of High Commissioner to Belize
Peter Hughes, OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to Belize in succession to Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Hughes will take up his appointment during August 2013. Hughes began his diplomatic career in 1985 as Desk Officer in Defence Department and has served overseas in Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, Afghanistan and North East Asia. On his appointment as British High Commissioner to Belize, Hughes said “It is a great privilege to have been given this opportunity to represent the United Kingdom in Belize. I hope to build on the enduring friendship between our two countries, and look forward to working closely with the Government and people of Belize to support our shared objective of a secure and prosperous future.”

PUP Standard Bearer’s Son charged for beating up Female Teacher
31-year-old Police Corporal Darrell Usher appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, May 8th, to answer to a charge of wounding upon a 29-year-old female teacher. The incident occurred two weeks ago, April 25th, at a repast in Hattieville Village. According to the woman, she was sitting at a repast for the late Mark McKoy, when Usher suddenly approached her and punched her in the face. According to the teacher, she was punched to the left temple, jaw area and kicked in the stomach. She said Usher acted out because he thought it was her that said something bad about him earlier that day. She said that he had been sending her threats via text prior to the attack. She had to seek medical attention at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where a doctor classified her injuries as wounding.

Fight in Cayo Leaves One Dead
A fight, which had erupted between two males on May 3rd, 2013 in San Ignacio Town has left one man dead. Shortly after 6:30 pm, a shirtless person with braided hair was observed motionless on the bank of the Macal River at the corner of Riverside t and Wayatt Streets or behind the spacious ‘Pit Pan Bar’ in San Ignacio Town. Closer inspection of the victim revealed that there was a stab wound on the left side of his neck and to the left shoulder. That body has since been identified to be that of 17-year-old Shaheem Slusher from Gales Point Manatee in the Stann Creek District. On that fateful night, the body of Slusher was rushed to the San Ignacio Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival by the attending doctor. Sources say that Shaheem was patronizing the Pit Pan Bar when he became involved in an argument with another male and it was outside the establishment where the stabbing occurred.

From Good Samaritan to charged for Attempted Murder
On Monday, May 6th, 34-year-old Edgar Elmer Frutos, an Angelus Press Technician and Belize City resident, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Frutos appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was accused of chopping Osmond Romero, on April 27th, 2013, in Belize City. He was remanded to prison until July 4th. Frutos is accused of chopping up Romero with a machete, causing injuries to the upper part of his body.

Abrupt End to Murder Trial
On Friday, May 3rd, the murder trial of 21-year-old Kirk Smith, Jr. came to an abrupt end at the Supreme Court. Smith, who was accused of the August 25th, 2010 murder of well-known Wesley College employee, Eyan Arnold aka “Trouble” came to a sudden halt in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas just hours after the trial had commenced. The case was halted after two jurors, one of them, the foreman in the case told the court that they knew the father of the accused. The jurors told the court that because they knew the father of the accused, it would affect their judgment in the case. Upon hearing that Judge Lucas dismissed the 12 member jury and informed the accused that he would have to traverse his case to the next sitting of the Supreme Court so that the same panel of jurors are not selected again. The prosecutor in the case had already called 2 witnesses, they included a main witness, Antonio Pop, and the deceased's common-law wife, Carolyn Castillo who had identified the body to the police prior to the post-mortem examination.

7 Years for stealing Pan Crema Biscuits
On Wednesday, May 8th, 31-year-old Mark Faber, resident of Biscayne Village, was sentenced to 7 years for burglary and 6 months for handling stolen goods in relation to the burglary of a burrito shop, which is located near the Boom Road junction with the Phillip Goldson Highway. In court, police officers Elizar Cobb and Roman Cantun said that at about 11:55 p.m. on January 2nd they caught Faber pulling out his hands from inside the burrito shop owned by Guadalupe Torres. Apparently, Faber had pried open the wooden window of the shop in order to gain entry. The officers caught him in the act and conducted a search. During the search, the officers found 2 packs of Pan Crema biscuits inside his pants pocket and four empty chips bags on the ground next to him. As a result, he was arrested and charged for burglary and handling stolen goods. In court, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith found Faber guilty of the charges. This was his second conviction for burglary. Therefore, Smith sentenced him to 7 years imprisonment for the burglary conviction and 6 months for handling stolen goods.

Michael “Crazy” Arnold pleads guilty to rape
On Monday May 6th, Michael ‘Crazy’ Arnold told the court that he did not want to waste its time and pleaded guilty to a charge of rape he was facing. After his plea he chose not to call any witnesses for mitigation, he only asked the court to allow his sentence to run concurrently with a 10 year term he is currently serving. Arnold stood accused of raping a 29 year old woman on September 18, 2010. According to the woman, at about 10:00 p.m., that night, she was on her way to use the bathroom, which was down stairs of her apartment, when she was approached by Arnold who told her to come over to his room. The woman said she declined and told Arnold that at the time she was having her menstruation. Undeterred, Arnold pulled out a firearm and placed it at her head. He then ordered the woman to perform oral sex on him but she refused. He then grabbed her and pulled her into his bedroom. Whilst there, he put the firearm under his pillow. He then got a machete which he placed at the woman’s neck telling her that with the machete it would be easier to use instead of the firearm which would make too much noise. The woman further reported that Arnold proceeded to take off her underwear at which time she begged him to use a condom which he agreed to do and then proceeded to rape her.

Paul Smith re-arraigned on Murder Charges
On Monday, May 6th, 18-year-old Paul Smith reappeared in Magistrate’s Court where he was charged once again for the murder of 36-year-old Stevedore, Frank Neal. The teenager had originally been remanded to the Wagner’s Facility as he was thought to be 17 years of age however; it turns out that he is actually 18 years old making him an adult. Smith was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith where the charge of murder was read to him as an adult. The indictable matter saw no plea taken from Smith who was unrepresented in court. He was then remanded to the Belize Central Prison and is due back in Court #1 on July 4th, 2013.

Eduardo Torres detained for Palm Island Murder
Police have detained a 40-year-old security guard in their investigation of John Paul Fernandez’s murder which took place early Saturday morning, May 4th. According to police, Fernandez was seen socializing at Palm Island Bar with Eduardo Torres, security guard of Carnation Street in Belize City, when a single gunshot sound was heard. Fernandez was then seen lying motionless on the ground. Police arrived at the scene at 3:41 a.m. and transported Fernandez to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. From the scene police recovered a 9mm Glock pistol with a magazine containing 15 live rounds. An expended shell was also recovered from the scene. Torres has been detained by police and their investigation will determine what charge will be levied against him.

Fined $11,000 for molesting 6-year-old girl
On Tuesday, April 23rd, 38-year-old John Baptist Sr., a Belize City resident, who was accused of having sex with a 6-year-old child back in 2003, and also accused of sexually molesting her on three other occasions was found guilty of 2 of the four counts. On Friday, May 3rd after mitigation pleas, the 38-year-old convicted molester was set free after being fined a total of 11 thousand dollars. He was facing a maximum jail term of 4 years upon conviction at the Supreme Court. Nonetheless Justice Troadio Gonzalez, imposed two fines, a $5,000 fine which he was ordered to pay $1,000 by May 31st, 2013 and the balance in two payments by January 31st, 2014 or in default 1 year imprisonment.

Available Scholarships from Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation is inviting applications for the following scholarships for academic year 2013 – 2014. The Foundation emphasizes that once applicants are accepted into a program the main criteria for consideration is financial need. High School Scholarships tenable at any recognized High School in the country of Belize covering the cost of all Fees, Tuition and Books for a maximum of 4 years: 1. The Joyce and Arthur Barrow Memorial Scholarship 2. The FULTEC Scholarship 3. The Dorin and Louis Humphreys Scholarship 4. The Joan and Said Musa Scholarship 5. The Rosaura and Erdulfo Nunez Scholarship 6. The Sharon and Chester Walker Scholarship University Scholarships tenable at Galen University covering the cost of Tuition for a maximum of 2 years: 1. The Ariel Rosado Academic Scholarship 2. The Saniyya Rosado Athletic Scholarship Primary School Sailing Scholarships: Interested Primary Schools are invited to apply for a Grant that covers the cost of 1 year membership fee and 25 sailing sessions with the Belize Sailing Association for 5 students attending any Primary School in Belize. Schools must provide adult supervision for students while participating in sailing sessions.

Belize’s Miss India Belize Returns from Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia
Belizean born Ms. Janine Gilharry returns from Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia after participating in the twenty second (22nd) annual Ms. India Worldwide Pageant. The pageant which took place on April 27th, 2013 in that country focused on the promotion of Indian culture around the world and around the Diaspora of Indian heritage. In Belize, Janine Gilharry competed in the Ms. East Indian Belize 2013 pageant and placed first runner up. She was officially invited by the organizers of Ms. India Worldwide on the basis of her excellent Indian performing arts and pageantry and most importantly on her keen interest to learn more about her Indian heritage and culture. Ms. Gilharry was also given the title of Miss India Belize by the organization upon her officially becoming a candidate of the Miss India WorldWide 2013 pageant. Ms. East Indian Belize is a pageant organized annually by Corozal Organization of East Indian Culture and Heritage (COEICH). This year, five young ladies vied for the title. COEICH is principally focused on the revival of the East Indian culture in Corozal. The organization was organized on September 6, 2009. As a Participant in the Miss India Worldwide pageant, Ms. Janine Gilharry gained a wealth of experience. Upon speaking to Ms. Janine Gilharry she stated:

Byron Pope captures 8th Pablo Marin Cycling Classic
The 8th annual Pablo Marin Cycling Classic was held on Wednesday May 1st, 2013, in Corozal Town. The elite riders started from Miami Beach in Corozal Town to the Belize-Mexico border then onto Orange Walk Town around the Caribbean Tyres Round-about and the back to Miami Beach for a total distance of 86 miles. At the end of the journey, it was Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, who was the first rider to cross the finish line in a time of 3:33:29 to capture first place. The second rider to cross the finish line was Johnnie Quintal, who is unattached, and he was followed by Gregory Lovell of Telemedia, who finished third. He was followed by Allen Castillo of Benny’s Megabytes who finished fourth and then Nissan Arana, who is unattached, finished fifth to round off the top five finishers. The other finishers in the elite competition were Juan Manuel Yapur, who is unattached; Mark Staine of Benny’s Megabytes; Henry Moreria, unattached; Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray; and Peter Choto of Belikin Western Spirit.

Tuff “E” Nuff wins Second Game in Competition
The 2013 Interoffice Basketball League competition continued on Friday, May 3rd at the Bird’s Isle. In the first game of the evening, Tuff “E” Nuff won its second game of this year’s campaign when it defeated CYDP by the score of 86-79. The top scorers for Tuff “E” Nuff were Jamal Kelly with 25 points, 2 rebounds and 5 steals; Winston Pratt with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists; and Tyrone Edwards with 13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Meanwhile, the top scorers for CYDP were Leroy Louriano with 27 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 3 steals; and Bernard Felix with 25 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. In the second game, No Limits defeated Sir Belikin by the score of 87-78. The top scorers for No Limit were J. Leslie with 21 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals; and B. Rogers with 21 points, and 10 rebounds. For Sir Belikin, the top scorers were Steven Williams with 25 points, and 3 rebounds; and Ty Bradley with 16 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 7 steals.

New Elections for the Formation of the Western Zone Cycling Association
The Legislative Council of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association met on Monday, May 6th, 2013, and decided that the Western Zone elections that were carried out in April are null and void. This means that a new election for the formation of the Western Zone Cycling Association must be held. The attorneys all agreed that the deadline for the registration of candidates for the election was March 10 and at the cut-off point only 63 persons were eligible to vote. The Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association informs the cycling community that the new elections will be held on Saturday May 11th, 2013, at the Belmopan Hotel and Conference Centre in Belmopan commencing at 2:00 pm.

Police United and FC Belize win in semi-final openers
The Semi-final round of the Premier League of Belize Football Competition opened up on Saturday May 4th, 2013, at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan, where the home team Police United (number 3 seed) bested the Belize Defence Force (the number 2 seed) by the score of 3-1. The home team, Police United drew blood early when Amin August scored the first of 2 goals in the 4th minute of play to give his team an early 1-0 lead. However, the lead was short lived when the Belize Defence Force got on the scoreboard when Tyrone Pandy scored the equalizing goal in the 11th minute of play. At the end of the 1st half of the game, both teams have played to a 1-1 draw. It was well into the second half of the game, in fact it was actually in the closing minutes of the game, that the Police United squad was able to penetrate the defence of the BDF where they were able to score the go-ahead and winning goal which was scored by Amin August in the 90th minute of play and then the insurance goal by Trevor Lennon.

Holy Redeemer Girls and Ephesus SDA Boys are Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Champions
The 2012-2013 Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Championship concluded on Thursday, May 2nd, 2013 at the Bird’s Isle in Belize City. In the girls’ championship game, Holy Redeemer School defeated Belize Elementary School by the score of 13-12. The top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Zaria Jenkins with 5 points while the top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Chelsea Williams with 9 points. In the boys’ championship game, Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist defeated St. Martin De Porres School by the score of 28-27. The top scorer for Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist was Delbert Sabal with 10 points and the top scorer for St. Martin De Porres School was Deon Edwards with 8 points. Holy Redeemer School girls and Belize Elementary School girls along with Ephesus Seventh Day Adventist boys and St. Martin De Porres boys will represent Belize City at the Belize District Primary Schools Basketball championships.

Football Federation of Belize hosting UNCAF training
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB), in conjunction with UNCAF, is hosting the 2013 seminar entitled “Refereeing for Growing Young Officials (Arbitral Jovenes En Proyeccion). The seminar will be held from May 7th-9th at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. The training seminar will have the participation of coaches from Belize, Guatemala, Mexico, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras. The instructors for the training are Victor Estrada, Carlos Batres and Francisco Ramirez.


Homestyle cooking a great price and whats new around town
What a busy day, it started with a sunrise drive with Dick at 5:00am and then we split up for a couple of hours and regrouped for an errand run to town. While there we hit 3 banks paid a parking ticket checked 4 stores for a camera to computer chord and stopped off at BEL on behalf health and safety committee for the San Pedro Red Cross to make sure they knew about the power pole that had been run across from the Belize Medical School. It is hazardous looking especially since that road is now highly trafficed due to it being a detour because they are still fixing the road after broken water main on coconut drive. All that running around made us hungry so I suggested we check out what the days lunch was at Denny’s Donuts and Truck stop. It turned out to be chicken fried Steak so I decided to treat Dick , Paul, and Cowboy Doug to lunch. Dick and I grabbed a glazed doughnut and I paid for lunches and told the girls we would be back to eat ours at noon when they opened and that Cowboy and Paul would work out when they wanted to get theirs. It was delicious Dulce Wolfe is a great cook and at $10 a meal you cannot go wrong for a delicious home cooked lunch.

Jello Cheese Cake
Jello Cheese Cake is a very simple delicious dessert to make. No baking required, just chill and serve.

“With a Little Help from My Friends” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
With the choice of tiles for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize completed Rose and I focused on the stuff that needs to be done for the importation of our golf cart. First off was to get the Application Form ‘signed off’ and stamped by a doctor. This was very easily achieved with a visit in the morning to Doctor Miguel Allison in Trigger Fish Street (don’t you just love the street names) with a cost of BZ$ 30 per ‘Form. After lunch Rose and I made a visit to Gekko Graphics in Buccaneer Street to get photocopies of my UK driving license and “QRP” I.D card. With the paperwork complete it was straight around the corner to the San Pedro Town Council offices in Barrier Reef Drive. After a short wait in the Transport Department queue the Application Form was stamped for me to go pay the BZ$ 60 fee and then get my photograph taken and be issued with my Belize drivers license. The whole thing only took twenty minutes. And whilst I was getting my license Rose paid this year’s property tax! Feeling quite pleased with ourselves Rose and I went up to see what was going on at our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and to meet Carolyn and Robert (who live on the island and who we have become acquainted with through this blog) to let them have a look at our ever evolving house.

Missing – Cara Pastor
On Tuesday May 7th 2013 at 5:04pm,Herman George Pastor Jr, of #19 Rose Wood Street, Santiago Juan layout Area, San Ignacio Town, Cayo District, reported that on May 3rd 2013, between the hours of 9:00pm and 10:45pm, his daughter Cara Pastor, 16, a student, ran away from home and is suspected to be in the company of a male person of SIEGNE BIGHT VILLAGE, Stann Creek District. She is 5’5 in height, slim athletic built, have a “mohawk” haircut, dark complexion and of Creole decent. Police are seeking Darnell Majore whom they believe can assist in the investigation.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Crunchy Bakd Chicke Tenders
1 1/2 pounds chicke tenders (chicke brees strips) 1 cup buttarmilk 1/2 teespoon crushed red chili peppr 1/2 teespoon garlic salt 1 1/2 cups panko breed crumbs 1 cup grated parmesun cheez 1/2 teespoon salt 1/4 teespoon cayenne peppr 1/8 teespoon black peppr Mix buttarmilk, crushed peppers and garlic salt togethr n' a shalloe dish (like a pie plate) and add chicke tenders…turnin pieces t'coat. Covr and set aside t'marinade fer one hour er overniite.

The May 12th, 2013 issue of The Capital Weekly is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Record-Breaking Turnout ! 42,000 Attend Agriculture & Trade Show:
    What you put in is what you get out. It’s an old saying that’s as true as it is trite. Perhaps more appropriate in this instance (since Agriculture is at the center of the event in question) is the good old Bible version, which goes: “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7). Never before has so much been invested in Belize’s Annual National Agriculture and Trade Show; and just as surely, never before have the rewards been as great. Ticket sales for last weekend’s Agriculture and Trade Show indicate that a record-breaking 42,000 persons visited the show grounds over the weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 4 and 5, 2013. And receipts from the event were over $200 Thousand which, as noted by Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega, is about double what the best performance of the show was in any previous year. It did not happen automatically; far from it. This record turnout and performance last weekend was the culmination of the first phase of an arduous and ambitious undertaking to upgrade the National Agriculture and Trade Show Grounds at the entrance of the Capital City, Belmopan, and better organize and promote the event itself which occurs annually. It’s an initiative that is being led by Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Gaspar Vega; his Chief Executive Officer in that Ministry, Jose Alpuche; and Chief Agriculture Officer, Eugene Waight, with the full participation of the entire staff in the Ministry.
  • New British High Commissioner to Belize:
    News has been received of the appointment of a new British High Commissioner unto Belize. He is H.E. Peter Hughes and his appointment will take effect in August of this year, 2013. Mr. Hughes is described as a British Diplomat with extensive experience, having served as Ambassador in a wide cross-section of countries and regions. including the Caribbean, Australia, Afghanistan, South Asia and North East Asia. Speaking of his new appointment to Belize, Mr. Hughes commented: “It is a great privilege to have been given this opportunity to represent the United Kingdom in Belize. I hope to build on the enduring friendship between our two countries, and look forward to working closely with the Government and people of Belize to support our shared objective of a secure and prosperous future.”
  • Small Nation - Great Things!:
    Whatever the story is, statistics often tell no more than half of it. Indeed, the official figures show that the Belize Economy is doing well, especially when viewed in comparison to other economies in the region and the world. That is, of course, only half the story. The other half is being graphically told by the economic activity we see around the Country. One of the many episodes in the compelling account of a rebounding and advancing Belizean Economy features a private-sector project officially launched just two weeks ago in the Belmopan area, as documented elsewhere in this edition. It’s called Egoli Estate modern, high-standard residential project with strong backing from the commercial banking community. It is, among so many other visible signs, a clear indication that there is great confidence in the Belize Economy.
  • Ambassador of Qatar Presents Credentials: Meets Governor General Sir Colville and Prime Minister Barrow:
    Today, the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young was presented with credentials from the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Belize, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamid Al-Thani. In his presentation, Qatar is a small country that resides on the western side of the Arabian Gulf as part of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a member of the GCC countries which contains several other gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The majority of people in Qatar are Muslims, and the citizens speak Arabic, although English is a very widespread language there, because of the huge number of employees from Europe and North America. The Qatari people are very friendthe Sheikh conveyed greetings and best wishes for progress and prosperity to the Governor General and the people of Belize on behalf of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar; H.R.H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani,the Crown Prince of the State of Qatar, and H.E. Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of the State of Qatar. The Sheikh further expressed the Emir’s pride in the relations between Belize and Qatar, and his aspiration to build strong relations at all levels to serve the common interests of both countries.
  • Some Quick Facts About Qatar:
    Qatar is a small country that resides on the western side of the Arabian Gulf as part of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a member of the GCC countries which contains several other gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The majority of people in Qatar are Muslims, and the citizens speak Arabic, although English is a very widespread language there, because of the huge number of employees from Europe and North America. The Qatari people are very friendly, and they embrace, and most of the time they tolerate foreign visitors’ cultures, while holding on tightly to their own.
  • Faith Lift By Zelda Hill: The Judgment is Already Declared!:
    Having the foreknowledge from Scripture of how the war against evil will end should urge more people to enlist on the side of righteousness. History also has proven that whenever you choose to stand on any side that God has endorsed, you are always on the winning side. For these reasons it is distressing to see that the current debate on the decriminalization of homosexuality has upset and divided a nation that once acknowledged the supremacy of God and esteemed His decrees. Our god-fearing grandparents would “turn in their graves” to know that their children have exchanged the light of Scripture for an ‘enlightened’ doctrine, which compels us to examine our traditional moral convictions and to consider removing our ancient spiritual landmarks. And as the battle progresses to the courtroom, it seems that many are awaiting the judge’s decision to endorse or to redefine their personal convictions.
  • Things Looking UP in First Quarter of 2013; Prime Minister Reports to the Nation at Press Conference:
    I think I ought to start by reporting on the visits that I had first to New York and then to Haiti. I was accompanied on the New York leg of the trip by Ambassador (Mark) Espat; The purpose of that visit was two-fold; we went to have a meeting with the Greylock people with respect to some possibilities concerning the 75 Million US Dollar window that, as part of the agreements governing the restructuring, we’re allowed in terms of the issue of additional bonds, over and above what we now describe as Super Bond Two. That 75 Million US Dollars could accommodate any settlement that we might perhaps reach with FORTIS, for example; so there was a need to discuss mechanics in that regard. Also, Ambassador Espat was asked to present a paper at a UN meeting that was hosted by the Economic and Social Council of the UN, together with the Britten Woods Institutions, the World Bank and the IMF. Perhaps most important for purposes of this morning’s press conference is the visit that I had with the US Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The idea there was to update him on where things stand between Belize and Guatemala. We’ve all been aware, in the past couple of weeks, of the developments in Guatemala.
  • Address by Hon. Gaspar Vega; Delivered at Opening of National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013:
    Ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant good afternoon to all of you. Once again, it gives me great pleasure to address you, at this, my second Agriculture and Trade Show as Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture. This afternoon I am particularly proud, as this new Multipurpose Centre we are using represents the start of a five year redevelopment programme for the Show Grounds. These grounds, all sixty acres, are truly a national asset and we must treat it as such. When you consider the rich history of the Agriculture Show and its prominent place in Belizean culture, then I dare say this is really a National Heritage Site. This year’s theme “Stimulating Prosperity in Agriculture and Food Production Through Renewed Public-Private Partnership” captures the essence of the work the Ministry is undertaking. We are very much aware that for us to succeed, the active participation of private sector stakeholders in the work of the Ministry is vital. We facilitate, the private sector invest profitably, Belize and all Belizeans prosper!
  • Achievements in HECOPAB:
    The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council and other partners in health conducted a health fair in March 2013 at the Lions Club in San Pedro Town. Six new San Pedro Community Health Workers (CHWs) were presented and endorsed by all collaborating partners and the community. The Ministry of Health recognizes CHWs as forefront community leaders who provide preventative measures, health education and direct patients to health facilities.
  • Second round Burden of Illness Study commences:
    The Ministry of Health announces the second round of the ‘Burden of Illness Study’ (BOI) research study on Food Bourne Diseases in Belize. The study aims to determine the prevalence of acute gastroenteritis related to food and water infection. It will also investigate the more common viruses or bacteria transmitted by food and seek to determine the magnitude of underreporting to the Ministry of Health as well as strengthen the laboratory capacity for accurate diagnosis of the most common food borne illnesses. The study is conducted in two phases, the low season of acute gastroenteritis which is during the period September to November and the high season which is during the period April to June.
  • World Health Day 2013:
    The Ministry of Health joined its national partners, the Belize Kidney Association and PAHO/WHO – Belize to celebrate World Health Day and World Kidney Day early last month with an official ceremony in Belize City. The campaign focuses on hypertension also commonly known as high blood pressure and the need to “Know your numbers.”
  • Belize and Guatemala hold regional launch:
    The Minister of Health of Belize, Pablo Marin, the Minister of Health of Guatemala, Jorge Alejandro Villavicencio and special guest the Director of the Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) Carissa F. Etienne hosted the 11th regional launch of the Vaccination Week in the Americas at the Adjacency Zone between Benque Viejo, Belize and Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala last week.
  • King James Crowned MVP Again:
    After picking up his fourth MVP trophy Sunday, Miami Heat star LeBron James gained a new appreciation for the rivalry his team has with the New York Knicks. James, 28, became the youngest player in NBA history to win four MVPs after receiving 120 of 121 first-place votes by league media members and analysts. The lone other first-place vote went to Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. “LeBron gets it, I take my hat off to him, he deserves it,” said Anthony. “They had a helluva year, to win 27 straight games, a hell of an achievement.”
    The Elections and Boundaries Commission, in accordance with Part II, Sections 6 and Part VI, Section 35 of the Village Councils Act, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2003, hereby release the official schedule for Village/Community Council Elections 2013 In all villages nomination opens at 9:00 a.m. and closes at 10:00 a.m. No asterisks denote Poll closes at 1:00 p.m. * Denote Poll closes at 3:00 p.m. ** Denote Poll closes at 5:00 p.m.
  • Confidence in the Belize Economy; New Era Development Launches Egoli Estate:
    It’s the new standard for infrastructure and residential development; and it was officially launched two weekends ago in the Belmopan area. We’re speaking, of course, of Egoli Estate, a project conceived, developed and managed by a group who call themselves New Era Development Company Ltd. Situated at the North End of the Capital City, the community hopes to become the new center of Belmopan City, as it represents where the country will go in its future community development planning and execution. They are building a complete community using modern eco-friendly construction and development practices.
  • Belmopan Kids and Youth Cup 2013:
    Week 5 Result Youth Cup 2013 Sunday 28/04/2013 12:00 pm Celtic - Las Flores = 01 goals vs Valencia - YWAM Roaring Creek = 07 goals Ronald Orellana - 6 min Dmitre Fabro - 4 & 62 mins Eddy Valencia - 27 & 40 mins Naim Wilson - 39 & 75 mins John Banner - 72 min 2:00 pm Chelsea - Maya Mopan = 00 vs Real Madrid - Mountain View = 01 Jose Mendez- 51 min 4:00 pm Manchester United - San Martin = 02 vs Barcelona - Site7 = 0 Jorge Hidalgo - 6 & 80 mins

International Sources

Interview: John McAfee Answers Your Questions
Last week you had the chance to ask software designer and international man on the run John McAfee about his exploits in business, programming, and the jungle. Mr. McAfee provided some extraordinarily entertaining and frank answers to your questions. Read below and enjoy. Do you still write code? by sosume Do you still write code, perhaps for fun? McAfee: I haven't written code in 20 years. In truth I was a terrible programmer. At all the companies I worked at I did everything within my power to avoid coding tasks. I was just good enough though to be able to spot the truly outstanding programmers. At McAfee I hired the best and then stayed out of their hair. If I had been responsible for even a tiny amount of code I fear we would never have gotten off the ground. McAfee Antivirus by AmiMoJo Doesn't it bother you that your name is being used to peddle one of the worst anti-virus products on the market? Often it comes pre-installed on computers as a 30 day trial (crapware), with dire warnings flashed up in the event that the user fails to pay (scareware). The performance hit it brings is huge. Would you advise anyone else to name their product/company after themselves in this way? McAfee: I haven't been involved with McAfee Ant-virus for 21 years.

Taiwan Presents $5 Million Grant to Belize For Infrastructure Projects
Taiwan has granted $5 million to the government of Belize for infrastructure projects. The funding, which was officially presented by Taiwanese Ambassador David CK Wu to Prime Minister Dean Barrow Thursday, will target projects including the Belize City Southside Poverty Alleviation Project, the extension of the Southern Highway to Jalacte and the new crossing of the Macal River in San Ignacio/Santa Elena. “Ambassador, please convey to your Government the heartfelt thanks and appreciation of my Government and those of the people of Belize,” Barrow told Wu. “This cooperation program will go a long way in assisting Belize in meeting its development goals.” The grant, which was issued under the Bilateral Cooperation Programme between the two countries, covers the period from 2013 to 2016.

Day Three of the Caleb Orozco v. The Attorney General of Belize trial challenging the constitutionality of the Section 53 anti-sodomy penal code started with chatter in the courtroom about the Claimant Caleb Orosco’s home being vandalized: This came on top of new reports last night on Belize Channel 5 News that threats of violence against Caleb and the gay community members close to him had escalated. Lisa Shoman, Attorney for Caleb Orozco, appealed to all, especially the media: “There has been a visible increase of threats and violence against Mister Orozco and against all homosexuals in Belize. There are threats for killing, burning, shooting; you name it. It has to stop. We are all Belizeans. We can agree to disagree without getting violent about it.” Arguments on behalf of the Attorney General of Belize were made today by Nigel Hawke, Senior Crown Counsel. Objections were entered to the Claimant’s reliance on Sections 11, 12 and 16 of the Constitution, which govern freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, and the right to non-discrimination. (In the afternoon session the Judge would rule that these sections are admissible. ) Next up was the argument that that there were no fundamental rights upon which Claimant could rely in the Belize Constitution. Counsel for the Defense argued that sexual orientation was not a basis for claiming the rights afforded to citizens under the Constitution, and therefor the rights the Claimant sought to enforce rights were “somehow mythical.” And that:

Belize and Guatemala agree on next steps in negotiation process
The ministers of foreign affairs of Belize and Guatemala, Wilfred Elrington and Luis Fernando Carrera, met on Wednesday with the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, to analyze the situation of the process to submit their territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Both ministers agreed on the firm will of their countries in maintaining the Special Agreement to submit the Guatemalan claim to the ICJ and, in that sense, they agreed that the deputy ministers should meet, within the framework of the high-level working group, and as soon as possible, to reinforce the confidence-building measures guiding this process. The ministers also agreed that once progress is made in the process, they will meet again to set the date for the holding of the referenda. Both ministers expressed their appreciation to the OAS and to the secretary general for their constructive participation in this process, as well as to the international community for its support throughout the years, stressing their hope that they will continue to receive that fundamental support to maintain peace and stability between the two countries.

Time-lapse map chronicles decades of global change as seen from space
Satellite imagery can serve as a time machine, revealing dramatic change in just a few seconds — but can you imagine documenting almost three decades' worth of all that change, across most of our planet's land mass?

May 9, 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

Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas sing for Mama Vilma’s Family Home
On Saturday, May 4th the melodious voices of Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas, also known as the Midtown Violets, drew a crowd on Wet Willy’s deck. The concert started at 8PM to benefit Mama Vilma’s Family Home. This is the second concert Karen has performed to benefit the Mama Vilma’s Family home and the first for Ashlee. Both artist are based in Tennessee, USA and are currently in their “Spring in the South” tour. Singing several of their original songs, as well as covers of popular songs requested by those in attendance, Karen and Ashlee brought the house down indeed. With songs like “Whiskey Straight”, “Save Paris for me”, “Down by the Bayou” by Karen and “Fine me” and “Pull the trigger” by Ashlee, there was good music for everyone in attendance.

Spelling Bee – the Belize District finals
On Tuesday, April 30, students from The Island Academy showed their strong support of two peers at the 19th Annual Coco-Cola National Spelling Bee District Final in Belize City. The Belize Elementary School auditorium full of kids waved off oscitancy (excessive yawning) and hoped forapotheosis (powerful glory) or thaumaturgy (a miracle), as Standard 6 competitor Kaylee Kumul and Standard 5 contestant Zulema Ayala demonstrated their manageability of a miasmic (of fog-like density) collection of words. Unfortunately, even after BEEing encouraged by that gigantic insect, the ever-dancing A-Zee Bee, both San Pedro students were eliminated by the fourth round. Victorious spellers, First Place Nikki Sanches, from Holy Redeemer Roman Catholic School, and Second Place Danielle Mohammed-Ali, of Burrell Boom Methodist, will advance to the national finals in June. The Island Academy claque (a favorable audience) checked their aglets(plastic tip on a shoelace) and congratulated the girls on their effervescent (bubbling energy) participation. Interested protégées (apprentices) can begin studying any time for the perennial(occurring each year) contest.P1020059

San Pedro team sets new record in Mahahual at annual “Copa Gobernador” fishing tournament
A group of fishermen set a new record at the annual Governor’s Fishing Tournament in state of Quintana Roo, Mexico held on May 4th and 5th. The 22nd annual fishing tournament called “Copa Gobernador” is the largest fishing tournament in the state of Quintana Roo and takes place in the tourism community of Mahahual. Four teams from San Pedro Town participated and for the first time, a Belizean team captured the first place. The team consisting of Captain Enrique “Ricky” Marín, Josué Reyes, Kevin Kelly, Alby Godoy, and Kim Kelly also set a new record after catching a blue marlin weighing 314.5 pounds on the first day of the tournament. Team Hook Line+Sinker managed to secured 9435 points far ahead of the other fishing teams. Three other teams from San Pedro Town also participated in the intense competition. The Cuarto Poder Newspaper is reporting that one of the Belize team’s catch was disqualified, causing “controversy” and gaining major attention in the state’s press.

Ambergris Today

It’s Raining Cats in San Pedro, SAGA Reports Overpopulation on Island
Cat overpopulation in San Pedro is bad news for people and cats. Right now there are hundreds of stray and abandoned cats hiding in bodegas, alleys and only coming out at night to hunt, scavenge and reproduce. These cats rarely live longer than two years as they succumb to injuries and disease. They cause a nuisance by ripping open garbage, fighting and making noise as well as spreading infectious diseases. They have no one to love them or care for them and that is the fault of the people who allowed them to breed and continue to breed. Unfortunately, their irresponsibility has now become the responsibility of the community and SAGA Humane Society.

Action Planning for Central Belize Corridor (Forest and Maya Mountains)
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable and the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute will initiate Management Action Planning for the Central Belize Corridor through a launch event from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center on Thursday May 9, 2013. Strategic partners in this initiative will include the Panthera Foundation, the German cooperation though GIZ, the Forest Department, the Fisheries Department, Department of the Environment, the Belize Zoo, Belize Audubon Society, Community Baboon Sanctuary, the Nature Conservancy and the Rancho Dolores Environmental Group as well as all private landowners and communities in the area. The Central Belize Corridor is a critical segment of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor and connects the northern block of protected forests in Belize, including the Rio Bravo, with the southern block, the Maya Mountains.

Mama Vilma’s presents “Señora, Reina de Reinas” Pageant
Mama Vilma’s Home in an effort to raise more fund for their cause will be having their first “Señora, Reina de Reinas” Pageant. Persons over 35-years of age are invited to participate. Interested persons can make contact at 627-2681 or 629-2233 or visit Mar’s Boutique for more information or contact Mrs. Shelly at El Bistro Mestizo Restaurant.

Did Students Get Married at San Pedro High School?
On May 9, 2013, I was cordially invited by the junior students at San Pedro High School to witness two wedding ceremonies. Trust me, when I was asked to attend the weddings, I was as confused as when you read the headline to my blog post. Don’t worry, the weddings were only a reenactment as part of a project of their Christian Life Choices class. Up to this day, I still remember my fun sessions of Christian Life Choices with my Principal Mr. Angel Nuñez. It was one of those classes that my peers and I looked forward to every day. Mr. Nuñez thought us many paths that we will face in life as we got more mature. Marriage was one of the topics that we came across and believe me it raised a lot of questions. The most important question was “What is Marriage?”

Misc Belizean Sources

Mama Vilma's 3rd Annual Fashion Show May 10th
San Pedro Fitness Club, 7pm

VIDEO: Ocean Academy’s Fly Fishing Class
Belizean high school students are learning the art of fly fishing and guiding in their P.E. elective at Ocean Academy Non-Profit High School on the island of Caye Caulker. Going beyond paper and pencil to fly rod and line, I share my passion with students who had never touched a fly rod before. Like us on Facebook and watch the evolution. We are always in need of equipment and scholarships. Thanks and enjoy!

Youth Artist Award Nominations
The National Institute of Culture and History is accepting nominations for the Youth Artist Award. The winner will receive a $1000 grant to be used towards education. Nominees must be between 10 and 24, and be engaged in an artisitc discipline. NICH's Institute of Creative Arts is getting ready for the Festival of Arts.

SIPL Appreciation Video
The San Ignacio Public Library has released a wonderful feelgood video that goes from inception, showing it being built, and painted with some help from the Rotary Club members, to the events they've recently done, and the schools they've hosted there for storytelling and plays. Who can forget their great rendition of 'Green Eggs and Ham?" Well done, and worth the time to watch. "The San Ignacio Public Library wishes to extend sincere gratitude to all its library patrons for their continued support to the library."

BumBastic Party Pictures
The Bumsquad had their Agric parties between the Wing Stop and Barrio Fino. News Exchange Magazine sponsored some wild nights, and Danny Chung was there capturing the festivities. DJ Alvin Duke came over from Bumsquad Ireland to have a little mixing time too. Well done!

Little Bean Update
Feelgood news of the day. Little Bean, the rescued howler monkey that's at the Primate Rehabilitation Centre, is doing great, and getting bigger. Thanks, Wildtracks! "Wildtracks Update: Now, almost a month into the Primate Rehabilitation Centre Nursery Unit appeal, we catch up with Little Bean to see how she is doing..."

Beltraide at AGRIC
Beltraide got some good pictures of the business booths at Agric.

Make-Belize Films News
Make-Belize Films, which made Kurse a di Xtabai here in Cayo, has upgraded their website, and they are listing their upcoming movies and productions. They are planning on producing 50 short movies that will focus on culture around Belize.

Channel 7

Hamel-Smith Says Church Doctrine Not Universally Against Decriminalization
Last night we showed you the beginning of the case between Caleb Orozco and the Government of Belize. Orozco is challenging Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code claiming that it violates his constitutional rights to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man living in this country. Well, it seems that the rhetoric from both sides is being dialed down somewhat now that it is before the courts. The matter coming to the forefront now is that on one side, Orozco claims that the law needs to be declared unconstitutional because it violates his sexual freedom. And on the other side, those who support it say that it’s there to protect against male on male rape and child molestation. This morning, Orozco’s lead attorney, Chris Hamel-Smith spoke to the media outside of court where he briefly discussed an argument he presented before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. According to Hamel-Smith, contrary to the public perception, the different churches around the world are not uniformly against the decriminalization of homosexuality. Here’s how he explained it.

Staffer Embezzled Major Money from SATIIM
Tonight, Greg Choq’s organization, the PG-based Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management known as SATIIM, is going over its books, after a staffer reportedly embezzled as much as one hundred thousand dollars from the organization. 7news has confirmed that police have questioned the staffer about 100 thousand dollars allegedly embezzled between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013. Information so far suggests that he made out cheques to himself and would cash them while documentation in office showed they were made out to businesses he had supposedly purchased from. The staffer was released yesterday evening, possibly pending charges as police work on their investigation which is also getting input from SATIIM’s bank. Reports say charges could be brought as early as next week. We cannot release his name at this time since no charges have been brought. Executive Director Greg Ch’oc told us that he could not comment on a matter that is before the courts.

Post Mortem Says Baby Bucket Drowning Was not Foul Play
On Monday, police said they suspected foul play in the death of one-year-old Kyle Leslie who was found dead in a bucket last Friday. But tonight the news is that after a post mortem showed no signs of foul play, the investigation has been closed, and it is being treated as an accidental death. Officer commanding for the Precinct two in Belize City, Superintendent Alford Grinage told us that the Police Forensic Pathologist found that the baby died by asphyxia due to drowning. His 19 year old mother Tanya is now proceeding with the funeral for her youngest child. She told police that she stepped out of the house briefly on Friday afternoon and when she came back inside, Kyle was face down in the bucket.

Fire Dept Confirms House Was Torched
Last night we told you about the fire that destroyed Messelina Usher’s home in Hattieville. The Fire Department has confirmed what Usher told us yesterday: Orin Smith of the Fire Department concluded that it seemed to be a case of arson. Police note that the home did not have any electricity at the time of the fire. They say the value of all the items destroyed amounted to a total value of $4,168 dollars. Police say they are seeking a man named Lloyd Banks Usher whom they believe can assist in the investigation.

Controversial Corporal Charged
31 year-old Corporal Darrell “Tutsi Usher, is out of bail tonight after he was taken to court today for allegedly beating up a school teacher. According to the teacher, at around 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, she was at a wake for Mark McKoy, one of the men who died in that terrible Western Highway accident along with Emmerson Jones and Pastor Godwin Flowers. The teacher reported to police that without warning, Usher approached her chair. He allegedly punched her in the left temple area, and kicked her in the stomach. According to her, Usher apparently was misinformed that she had insulted him earlier that day. She sought medical attention, and the doctor classified her injuries as wounding. After 2 weeks of investigation, Police arrested and charged Usher. He was arraigned today before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith, who granted him bail of $1,000, which he was able to meet. He is due back in court on July 8, 2013.

7 years for $13 Stolen Biscuits
31 year-old Mark Faber, a resident of Biscayne Village, is spending the first night of a 7 and a half-year prison sentence after he was convicted of burglary in Magistrate’s Court. 2 police officers testified in his trial before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith that at around midnight on January 21, 2013, they caught Faber in the act of burglarizing Burritos Place, while they were on mobile patrol at the Burrell Boom Junction. The officers told the court that they saw him pushing his hand into one of the wooden windows of the shop, so they detained him. They searched him and discovered 13 dollars’ worth of snacks, belonging to the establishment, and they charged him with burglary and handling stolen goods. When he was given a chance, he could not provide an adequate defence, and he even put himself at the scene on the night in question. After considering the evidence presented before her, Chief Magistrate Smith ruled that the prosecution provided adequate evidence which proved Faber’s guilt.

The Aftermath of December Shooting Is Paralysis For City Man
We report on many shootings that don’t result in fatalities, and sometimes we say, “fortunately, so-and-so survived”, or that the “injuries were not life threatening.” And that’s usually the end of it, the media moves unto the next event, in the expectation and hope that shooting victim recovers. But there is no happily ever after for one victim, whose shooting was not even reported. It happened on a night of terror at BTL park, December 15, 2012 when a concert featuring local artists erupted into public terror after a gang brawl broke out and three salvos of shots were fired. Hundreds of terrified concert goers made a desperate dash for safety: four persons were stabbed and one shot. Tonight, one of those victims is in the fight of his life. 22 year old Gregory Jones who claims that he was socializing with his girlfriend has been left paralyzed from his chest down and is suffering from a terrible, consuming case of bedsores which is causing him to nasty infections. His family told 7news today that they are trying to get better medical assistance for him across the border.

PUP Re-making The Village Council Rules
Village Council elections start this weekend – and both major mass parties are gearing up for battle. Now, the elections shouldn’t be partisan, but they are – and often-times viciously so. But not for the PUP, not this time; they say they want to play the game right. Now, we know in Belize’s poisoned political culture – the word “right” doesn’t sit too well with either red or blue, and when it comes to election time conduct, all bets on good behavior are off! But, this time around the PUP say they want public officers who administer the elections, including police, to change a culture that their own party played a large part in creating. At a press conference this afternoon, Deputy Leader Julius Espat explained. Hon Julius Espat - PUP Deputy Leader "We are therefore calling on public officers who are assigned to supervise Village Council elections - to ensure non-political intereferance and allow the people in these communities to elect their own leaders. We are also calling the CEO's and Heads of Department to remind their staff that they must not take part in electioneering and vehicles in their care should not be used for transportation of UDP supporters. We are calling on the general public also to be vigilant and ensure and that they document by use of their telephones and cameras, any government vehicles that are on the ground. My message to the government of the day 'we the Belizean people will be watching you but this time it will not only be watching, we will be documenting you and we will be putting you on every media we possibly can."

Australia And Belize Come Up With Best Practices For Reef Management
What do Australia and Belize have in common? Not much except for having the two of the largest reef systems in the world. And that’s why this week managers of both reef systems are teaming up in a 3 day workshop to share ideas and devise best practices. Dr. Paul Marshall, from Australia explained common challenges both reef systems face. Dr. Paul Marshall - Change Program Manager, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority "Even though Australia and Belize are so far apart - our reefs share many of the same challenges. In Australia one of our biggest issues is pollution from the land, mostly fertilizers that are coming off farms and this actually can really undermine the ability of coral reefs to deal with other pressures like climate change. You have big challenges from coral bleaching which we also have. Coral reefs are much more susceptible to Coral bleaching if they are under stress from pollution. So understanding that there are linkages is very crucial because it helps us to identify things we can do as people who live along the coast and people who care about reefs. It's such a fascinating and important challenge for people to grapple with the vulnerability of these systems that seem so large and so permanent but they're not. Coral reefs are built by living organisms and they are very fragile and very vulnerable."

OCEANA Says GOB Should Stop Treaty Energy
And staying with the marine matters, OCEANA also held a press conference today. We gather it’s to respond to the prime minister’s response to OCEANA’s response to the Supreme Court judgment about offshore drilling. Yes, that is a lot of responding, but today OCEANA still wanted one more bite at the already much bitten cherry. For Audrey Matura – Shepherd, that last word is that companies which want to continue drilling – and are not directly injuncted against doing so - should be stopped by the government. Audrey Matura Shepherd - OCEANA Vice President "I think that that's the quagmire we are in - where we have a government which should be a law abiding government, a government that should operate within the rule of law it is that government would then have to police. But if you give a statement that 'we will allow and have the concession holders decide how we will proceed next' - what you have done is relinquish your responsibility as the government of this country and handing it over to a set of companies that the law has said don't even qualify under the law to even have a contract. But until they violate we will not move the court and so we would call on all Belizean - everyone, even public officers need to know that the government cannot tell them 'give them the permit'."

The Cruel Killing Of A Crocodile
Tonight, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary and the Forestry Department are gathering information to detain 4 minors in connection with the brutal killing of a crocodile on San Pedro. According to ACES, they received a call on Saturday that 4 twelve year-old boys were dragging a tied up crocodile along a dirt roads near the airstrip in the San Pedrita Area. One of the boys reportedly jammed a PVC pipe down the crocodile’s throat. ACES personnel immediately responded and they found the battered and beaten crocodile in a bushy area. They did everything that they could for the crocodile, but it was beyond help, and it died later that day. The Forestry Department has indicated that they will bring charges against the perpetrators of this crocodile’s death. It belongs to the American Crocodile Species, which is protected around the world.

CITCO sand SIF Reach Agreement After Stop Order
A few weeks ago on April 22nd we told you about the Buttonwood Bay drainage project launched by area representative Santino Castillo. But one day later the City Council led by his future opponent at a UDP convention Mayor Darrell Bradley put a stop order on those works because the project did not provide for the repairing of streets after BWSL dug it up. So that was the impasse for over two weeks, but today a release form the City Council says that the Social Investment fund has agreed to expand the scope of works to REPAIR Pike Crescent, E Street and Park Avenue – the council will then concrete Buttonwood Bay Boulevard. With that agreed the stop order has been lifted.

BEL Says OK to PUC Plan
Last week Friday, 7News showed you the press conference in which PUC Chairman John Avery explained the slight rate reduction to the Social Class of customers from 29 cents to 26 cents per kilowatt hour. Well tonight, BEL is reporting that they are still in the process of going over the Annual Rate Review, but they find this decision from the PUC favorable. BEL had originally asked the PUC to reduce the average electricity rate by about one cent per kilowatt-hour. The PUC proposed a reduction of even less than that, about one quarter of one cent per kilowatt hour.

Major Works Released By Belizean Author
You may know Doctor Corinth Morter-Lewis as an educator, but she’s really a writer and a poet – and today she launched two major works. They compile stories, poems and plays from 55 years of writing, a staggering total of 76 poems, two short stories and one play. The collection divided into two volumes is called “Moments In Time” and it was launched today to well-deserved bouquets of praise from life long fans. They spoke at the event, which was held at the Leo Bradley Library. Adele Ramos - Reviewer - Moments In Time "Moments in Time reflect our unique Belizean experience. There have been books published, tons of books but to be quite honest I have never seen a production where you can turn the pages and you keep seeing yourself and your experience and who we were, where we were, things we used to say, enjoy, things we still enjoy." Jose Sanchez - Reviewer - Moments In Time "There's a poem about the intricacies of 'Pepitos' and another called 'Ecstasy' and surely the mango that she wrote about was not meant for the ears of children. The poem, short stories and the play are all living testimonials of a gradual shift same as the tectonic plate shift sometimes slowly beneath the ocean, sometimes violently - but it's a craft that shifts along the history of Belize. Feel free to paddle in your leisure on the river of Moments in Time Volume 1."

The Gift Of A House
Today the Rotary Club of Belize alongside Hand in Hand Ministries handed over a brand-new two bedroom house to a much needed family in Belize City. As a part of their humanitarian agenda – this is not the first home that has been built to assist struggling families. With annual fundraising activities, the group manages to build at least one house per year. The Rotary President told us more. Maria Coye - President, Rotary Club of Belize "Well we just blessed a house that the Rotary Club built for the Avilas and we did it in collaboration with the Hand in Hand Ministry. One of the things that we do as a Rotary Club we do a lot of humanitarian work in Belize and internationally and the Rotary Club of Belize - we do build houses. This is just another house that we built so we do fundraising. We select certain projects for the year and one of those projects is that on an annual basis we build a house for a needy family."

Channel 5

Closing arguments for UNIBAM in Caleb Orozco versus Attorney General
Day two of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney-General of Belize wrapped up after four this afternoon before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Orozco is challenging the constitutionality of the section fifty-three of the Criminal Code. Lead counsel for Orozco, Christopher Hamel Smith closed arguments while Lord Peter Goldsmith, made submissions on behalf of three foreign interested [...]

Holy See and Anglican Church views on homosexuality in court
And while that was the case submitted by Orozco’s lead counsel in a nutshell, Christopher Hamel-Smith spent quite a bit of time dealing with the fourth to sixth interested parties in the trial, the Churches. He spoke on the diversity of views allowed and supported by the Constitution of Belize, and likened that to the [...]

UNIBAMer feels threatened because he’s gay
In a release from the Belize Council of Churches issued on May sixth, they reiterate their intention to stand against, “Any and all changes in the Constitution of Belize that will not promote the sanctity of human sexual relations as established by God.” But in that same release, the churches condemn any act of violence, [...]

The faithful and the gay fight over poll
And while taking issue with homosexuals who want to have their cake and eat it too, Pastor Louis Wade took issue with our online poll which is an unscientific measure of public opinion. The question this week was ‘Do you support the decriminalization of sodomy,’ and the response has been overwhelming; at news time over [...]

National issues to be discussed at O.A.S. Gen. Assembly in June
There is another issue of national importance that is brewing…that is the referendum on taking the territorial dispute to the ICJ this year. News from Washington is that Guatemala has agreed to hold one in the not too distant future.  Foreign Ministers, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington and Fernando Carrera of Guatemala met this morning along with [...]

Who’s got the purse strings? P.U.P. has new agenda
The People’s United Party has launched its Village Council election agenda entitled True Development. The brief ceremony took place today at Independence Hall and featured addresses from P.U.P. leaders from the North, South, East and West of the country. But while the development agenda was on the table, the discussion was all about reality, and [...]

OCEANA may seek injunction against Treaty Energy for continued drilling
On Tuesday, Louisiana-based energy company Treaty Energy Corporation announced its plan for Treaty Belize Energy to resume drilling operations at its San Juan three well in the Stann Creek District.  The decision succeeds advice from their attorneys and Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s public opposition to a recent Supreme Court decision rendered by Justice Oswell Legall. [...]

OCEANA tells P.M. to take criticism to court
Matura-Shepherd also commented on the prime minister’s open objection to the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Oceana during his quarterly press conference last week.  P.M. Barrow described the judgment handed down by Justice Oswell Legall as both egregious and aberrant.  According to Matura-Shepherd, as a matter of ethics, the prime minister’s protest should have [...]

Burglar shot dead; mom says cop murdered him
This Friday will make three weeks since twenty-one year old Ryan Lozano of Ladyville was shot and killed by a cop. That officer, believed to be a high ranking officer attached to the Ladyville Police Sub-formation, is said to have fatally wounded Lozano following a burglary in the Los Lagos Community. An internal police investigation [...]

Governors of Central Bank from the CARICOM region
Financial experts from the region are in Belize for the fourth bi-annual meeting of Governors of Central Bank from the CARICOM region.  Aside from the governors, other participants are from the CARICOM Secretariat, the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance, the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centre, the International Monetary Fund and the Caribbean Financial Action [...]

Educator Corinth Lewis pens Moments in Time, Volumes 1 & 2
Academic and scholar, doctor Corinth Morter Lewis released two not one, publications this morning. Lewis’ books will be enjoyed by both children and adults. Combined they are a compilation of short stories, plays and poetry. At the launch this morning, the Governor General introduced Lewis as the Renaissance woman who was interested in the likes [...]

Cop arraigned for wounding woman
A cop was arraigned in courtroom of Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith this morning for Wounding a teacher. The incident happened in Hattieville on April twenty fifth when family and friends were holding a repast for the late Mark McKoy, one of three men who were fatally injured in a traffic accident at Mile Six [...]

Stealing from cookie jar; 7 years for cookie burglary
Thirty-one year old Mark Faber, an unemployed resident of Biscayne Village, was today sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after being found guilty of Burglary for stealing from the cookie jar.  On the night of January second, Faber was caught red-handed by a pair of officers as he was stealing from inside [...]

3 new cases of carnal knowledge; one is pregnant
There are three cases of carnal knowledge to report tonight. The latest allegation is against twenty-six year old Edwin Coye. On Tuesday afternoon, Coye was surprised by police in an abandoned house in the Belama Phase four area with a fourteen year old student.  Both were taken to the police station where the student reported [...]

Settling the score with a bake-off competition
Four Belize City high schools competed this afternoon in a bake off. The students pulled out their aprons and cooking utensils but they had one secret ingredient to incorporate in their recipes. The aroma of freshly baked pastry permeated the YWCA compound, but in the end there could be only one recipe that swayed the [...]


Day 2 Ends On Orozco vs Attorney General on Homosexual Issue
Caleb Orozco Vs the Attorney General of Belize continued today in the court room of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Attorney for Caleb Orozco Christopher Hamel-Smith was allowed over an hour to complete his arguments today. After concluding, Queen’s Counsel Lord Peter Goldsmith p...

Opposition Party Calls Press Conference On Upcoming Village Council Elections
It is village council elections time and the People’s United Party has already introduced its 14-point list of pledges. At a press conference today at its Queen Street party headquarters, the PUP’s Area Representatives, Julius Espat, Dolores Balderamos Garcia and Dr. ...

Central Bank of Belize Hosts Meeting of CARICOM Central Bank Governors
In fulfilling its mandate as an official organ of the regional integration movement, the Committee of CARICOM Central Bank Governors meets biennially in a member country as the chairmanship is rotated. This year the Central Bank of Belize will be hosting the 40th Bi-Annual Meeting of C...

Rotary Club Builds New Home For Family of Seven
A family of seven is tonight sleeping comfortable after they received a new home. The Rotary Club of Belize in partnership with Hand in Hand Ministries this afternoon handed over the keys to the brand new home to Jose Avila and his family. According to President of Rotary Club of Beliz...

Belizean Literary Stalwart Launches Two Volumes of Moments In Time
One of Belize’s literary stalwart, Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis, today launch yet another of her literary works at the Leo Bradley Library in Belize City. The launching ceremony was for the first and second volume of “Moments in Time Volume -A Collection of Poems, Short Stories...

Oceana Explains Supreme Court Ruling
Today Oceana in Belize called a news conference to explain what the recent Supreme Court ruling means and what its steps next are in its fight against offshore drilling. People will remember that on April 16th, Justice Oswall Legall, ruled in favour of Oceana. Oceana had ch...

Police In Southern Belize Investigates Two Cases of Carnal Knowledge
Two other cases of carnal knowledge have been reported, this time in the Toledo District. A 19-year-old unemployed of Dangriga Town is facing charges of carnal knowledge after reportedly, impregnating a 14-year-old female of Punta Gorda Town. According to the police, the yo...

Minor Admits To Sex With Belize City Man; Man Faces Carnal Knowledge Charge
Belize City police are currently investigating a report of carnal knowledge. Acting upon information received, police officers went to an abandoned house on Apollo Street in the Belama Phase Four area on Tuesday, April 7 at around 4:30pm. Upon their arrival at the location,...

Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation Says Bike Ride Was Successful
On April 20 the Ariel Rosado Memorial Bike Ride was held and saw the participation of just under two hundred riders. It was the second year that the bike ride was held in memory of cyclist and sports enthusiast Ariel Rosado who lost his life in a terrible accident years ago. The ride w...

Biscayne Resident Gets Seven Years For Stealing Biscuits, Chips and Chocolate
Thirty-one year old Mark Faber, a laborer of Biscayne Village who pushed his hand through the window of a fast food shop and stole grocery items amounting to $13, was sentenced to 7 years for burglary and 6 months for handling stolen goods today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie smit...

Day One Of Orozco vs Attorney General of Belize Concludes In Supreme Court
The most awaited court challenge of Caleb Orozco Vs. the Attorney General of Belize gave way in the Supreme Court this morning. The case which was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am got off to a late start at about 10:30 a.m. The court was packed to capacity as representatives from both sid...


Challenge to the Belize’s Sodomy Law enters second day
The second day of the trial between Caleb Orozco, figurehead of the movement to decriminalize sodomy, and the Government of Belize began in the Supreme Court this morning with concluding arguments from Trinidadian Queen’s Counsel Christopher Hamel-Smith. He went through various reports looking at the impact of HIV on...

Belize Council of Churches issue press release on homosexuality
In response to the lawsuit filed by Orosco, the Belize Council of Churches issued a press release today. The Belize Council of churches is made up of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan, The Anglican Diocese of Belize, The Belize/Honduras District of the Methodist Church, The...

UNIBAM and supporters apparently high jack Channel 5 poll
UNIBAM and its supporters apparently high jacked a channel 5 poll today. Now internet polling has never been considered scientific in any regard but, they may still offer some idea as to where a specific population is headed. The poll question on the channel 5 website is “Do you...

Agronomist suggests alternatives to Rosewood
Rosewood is a highly prized and a much sought after timber. In Belize, the timber is found primarily in the Toledo district in low-lying coastal areas. The District, which once boasted over 85% forest coverage, has been losing some 5000 acres of forest each year. Rosewood was being extracted...

Minister Lisel Alamilla explains Cabinet’s position on enforcement duties
In more Rosewood related news, information recently circulated suggests that Cabinet has tried to block enforcement duties on the part of the Ministry of Forestry and Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Department of the Environment, particularly with regard to Rosewood. Today, Minister Lisel Alamilla issued a response. Minister Lisel...

BCSNH reply to PM’s comments on Judge’s decision
After a few false starts, two of the three claimants in last month’s Supreme Court judgment quashing six production sharing agreements for various violations of local law and policy, OCEANA in Belize and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage (BCSNH) hosted the press in Belize City to...

Man detained pending carnal knowledge charge
Belize City Police were tipped off about suspicious movements at an abandoned house in the Belama Phase 4 area yesterday afternoon. There they saw a 26 year old man, who lives at another house on the street. He was with a 14 year old girl. Police took both of...

Oil exploration continues despite injunction
Activity continues in the South off Punta Gorda in the hunt for petroleum despite the injunction granted by Justice Oswell Legall last month. Today Minister for Fisheries Lisel Alamilla told us the next move of Providence Energy, which has a block in the Port Honduras Marine Reserve. Lisel Alamilla...

Five family members charged with armed robbery of Belize City taxi driver
Five family members, one of whom is a 14 year old, have been charged in the armed robbery of a Belize City taxi man. The suspects, all residents of Supal Street – 27 year old Kareem Williams, 23 year old Cathelee, 19 year old Kevin Alvarez Reyes, 19 year...

Dr. Corinth Morter Lewis releases new books
Author, poet and educator Dr. Corinth Morter Lewis, who served as President of the University of Belize from 2003-2007, has released two volumes of fiction, poetry and plays for a wide audience under the name “Moments in Time”. Dr. Lewis has been writing poetry for five decades and previously...

Gill Nets must be registered
The Belize Fisheries Department, today issued a release advising the public that anyone who intends to engage in fishing, using a non prohibited gill net, is required to apply to the Fisheries Administrator to register the gill net, using Form I of the Second Schedule. This is in accordance...


Treat yourself to summer school in the Jungle!
Education doesn’t need to be boring. In fact, it can be quite an adventure. One of the things Chaa Creek prides itself on is providing an informal learning experience for our guests by stimulating interest in Belize’s fascinating history, natural environment and culture, and then providing the tools to follow up that interest. For example, guests can wander up to the Belize Natural History Centre (NHC) and get a glimpse into the local ecology, Maya culture, flora and wildlife at their own pace, and then feel free to ask our knowledgeable licenced naturalist guides questions. Since we’re situated in the very Heartland of the Maya, there’s no better place to learn about this enigmatic ancient culture, for it’s all around you. As another example, while running electricity into the Chaa Creek gift shop some years ago, we unearthed a perfectly preserved chultun, an ancient Maya storeroom, and the NHC has more examples of Maya artefacts we’ve uncovered over the years.

Amazing Belmopan Round-about Statue [Illustration]
This is an illustration of the statue found by the round-about in Belmopan City. It was done with Adobe Illustrator using a cubism touch. It can be customized to any preferred size or color. It is a limited edition and we can also frame it for you for an additional fee. It makes an excellent gift for those wonderful mothers or friends. Anybody that is seriously interested in purchasing this piece (either digitally or printed) can email us at

“I Like Chinese” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Spent the early part (well around 8 am so not that early) of yesterday morning sending an email to Benny’s to establish if they will supply us with electrical appliances e.g. ovens (ranges for non UK readers), microwaves, a washer, dryer, TVs absent import tax (because of my acceptance in to the “QRP”). They were very quick in responding to my enquiry and confirmed that any goods supplied – provided I prove proof of entry in to the programme – would be supplied without applying the tax. They also supplied links so that Rose and I can see what is available. We now need to make selections, obtain prices and do a cost comparison against the cost of buying in the States and shipping to Ambergris Caye. Next job on the ‘to do’ list which I will start tackling today. Whilst I was focusing on the appliances Rose spent time deliberating over the choice of tile for her bathroom and having made her decision made the entry on the spreadsheet she has prepared (detailing the tiles we have chosen by room – name, dimensions, reference number and price per square foot) that we will now send to Daniel Camal, our building contractor. We then had a frantic rush to get to Pedro’s Inn by noon for lunch in advance of the Chelsea v Tottenham Premiership game that could prove to be pivotal in Arsenal’s efforts to achieve Champions League football next season. This time Pedro (aka Peter) had organised lunch with a difference – a Chinese meal prepared by Chon Saan Palace (Kelly Street, Belize City) and flown over to Ambergris Caye on a Tropic Air flight. Shades of David Beckham and his pie and mash being flown from London to Los Angeles! OK, not quite!

Vaccination: The Hidden Truth
Do vaccinations cause more childhood diseases than they prevent? If you have small children in your family, you owe it to them to become aware of these startling facts. This hard-hitting video will shock you. The truth it reveals is that vaccinations do not reduce the incidence of childhood diseases. To the contrary, they increase them. They can also cause a multitude of illnesses that are far worse than the childhood diseases themselves. This program was produced in Australia and features contributions from medical doctors, authors, researchers, and victims. If you have small children in your family, you owe it to them to become aware of these facts. In this extremely informative video, fifteen people, including Dr. Viera Scheibner (a PhD researcher), five medical doctors, other researchers, reveal what is really going on in relation to illness and vaccines. Ironically, the important facts come from the orthodox medicine’s own peer-reviewed research. With so much government and medical promotion of vaccination for prevention of disease, the video is clearly devoted to presenting the other side of the issue that parents and others are not being told. The result is a damning account of the ineffectiveness of vaccines and their often harmful effects. It declares that parents are not being told the truth by the media, the Health Department and the medical establishment, with a medical doctor, Dr. Mark Donohoe, confessing that “It is a problem for me that I am part of a profession that is systematically lying to people…”

International Sources

Taiwan and Belize to Strengthen Bilateral Investment Cooperation
A delegation of six industry leaders from Belize called on the Department of Investment Services (DOIS), Ministry of Economic Affairs on April 23 to exchange views on strengthening cooperation in the promotion of bilateral investment, trade, and economic relations. The delegation was led by Mr. Daniel Gueerero, mayor of San Pedro, and included Herbert Hugh Hay Lock, president of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BITA); Israel Ivan Marin, councilor of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Khub Chand Vanjani, member of the board of directors of the Corozal Commercial Free Zone; Jimmy Vanjani, a trading company executive; and Ms. Marilyn Suzette Pinelo, a BITA specialist. The Belize visitors noted that their country is rich in natural resources and beautiful landscapes, and is blessed with a hard-working people. In addition, the government offers a number of inducements to invest. One of these is the Corozal Commercial Free Zone, in which wholesale and retail companies enjoy duty-free treatment. Taiwanese businessmen can set up wholesale and retail bases there and import quality products from Taiwan into the zone, and then sell them on to the Mexican and North American markets. Mayor Guerrero pointed out that Belize is one of the member states of the Caribbean Common Market, and that it has signed FTAs with other countries including Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. In addition, its export products enjoy preferential tariff treatment in the U.S. under the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) program and the provisions of the European Union. Gueerero suggested that Taiwanese manufacturers make use of these advantages to cooperate with Belize manufacturers in setting up production bases for products and parts which will be eligible for this favorable tariff treatment. Such cooperation will boost economic and trade relations between Taiwan and Belize.

Moody's: Debt overhang will continue to constrain Belize's sovereign rating
Belize's Caa2 government bond rating will likely remain in the Caa range for the next two to four years, given persistently high debt ratios and two defaults in the past seven years, says Moody's Investors Service in its latest report on Belize. Two default events reveal the country's low debt tolerance and signal diminished institutional willingness and ability to service external debt, according the report "Credit Analysis: Belize, Government of." Moody's says government debt on the order of 70% of GDP, coupled with limited fiscal and foreign exchange buffers, impairs Belize's credit outlook and leaves the country vulnerable to adverse shocks that can materially impact government creditworthiness. Debt servicing capacity is likely to decline as Belize exhausts its limited oil reserves. At the current rate of extraction, oil exports are set to decline to around 1% to 2% of GDP by the middle of the decade, from a high of 11% of GDP in 2011, impairing both fiscal revenues and foreign exchange earnings, says Moody's. Compensation claims arising from the nationalization of two utilities during 2009 - 2011 - Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) -- could pose significant credit risks. Currently in litigation, the materialization of sizeable BEL/BTL liabilities would significantly increase the likelihood of another external debt restructuring, says Moody's. Contingent liabilities could also stem from a weak banking sector, as poor credit quality and under-provisioning for impaired loans has led to a marked deterioration in capital adequacy ratios and profitability indicators. In April, Moody's upgraded the government bond rating to Caa2 from Ca after Belize restructured its sole foreign currency bond, the US$547 million "Superbond" due in 2029. The distressed debt exchange represented Belize's second debt restructuring since 2006. The upgrade balanced an improvement in the government's liquidity position following a pre-emptive restructuring of its external commercial debt, against a debt overhang that was not cured by the default and continues to impair Belize's solvency, says the rating agency. For more information, Moody's research subscribers can access this report at

Today, on Day Two of Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement’s (UBIBAM) constitutional challenge of Belize’s Section 53 anti-sodomy law, lead attorney Christopher Smith‐Hamel SC, made his closing arguments. During his closing, he quoted Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Anglican humanitarian leader from South Africa: “’Our lesbian and gay brothers and sisters across Africa and elsewhere are living in fear, and they are living in hiding…Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared path to freedom and justice.’” Following Smith-Hamel’s closing arguments, submissions were made by Lord Peter Goldsmith representing the three law-related international human rights organizations (Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Human Dignity Trust and the International Society of Jurists) who have intervened in the case in support of the Claimants. Lord Goldsmith examined the issue from a global perspective, demonstrating that a large number of Commonwealth and other countries have decriminalized same sex conduct, among them, India, Armenia, the Balkans, New Zealand and Azerbaijan. During his submission, Lord Goldsmith commented about what we keep exclaiming here on OBLOGDEE:

Supreme Court hears closing arguments from attorneys urging strike down of anti-sodomy law
At the end of a second day of hearings around the country’s anti-sodomy law, Belize’s Supreme Court heard closing arguments from attorneys pushing for the country to remove the law, citing its unconstitutionality. Under the Central American country’s code, gay citizens currently face a penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment. Section 53 states: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, is part of a constitutional challenge to overturn the ban on same-sex sexual activity, in the case of Caleb Orozco v the Attorney General of Belize. Chris Hamel-Smith, the lead counsel for claimant Mr Orozco, yesterday urged the court to look carefully at the constitution, citing the right to privacy, home and family life, and the recognition of human dignity of every individual.

John McAfee keeps riding the crazy train
Int'l man of mystery tells Slashdot about crushed testicles, drugs, VICE. When we left off, former software impresario and all-around goofball John McAfee had fled Central America and landed in, of all places, Portland, Oregon. Now he's speaking publicly, offering up stories about his life like: I had my right testicle shattered by a hammer in 1974 when I ran afoul of some local drug barons in Oaxaca. It's the size of a grape now and shaped like a small frisbee. And: I was also taking more drugs weekly than most of you will do in a lifetime, and I was a totally indiscriminate user. Whatever came across my desk went up my nose, down my throat, in my veins or up the nether region. The stories get stranger from there.

The Belize LGBT Anti-Sodomy Law Trial Day Two
I entered to an empty court room, now cool and quiet on a beautiful Belize morning. A beautiful woman comes in alone, sits down in the audience section, clasps her rosary between her two hands and prays silently. A few minutes later, a priest (I presume; he is wearing a dog collar) then enters and moves toward the the woman. They embrace. It is clear that this case touches deeply held beliefs on both sides. But this scene also tells us that there are also deeply held emotions. Now two porters come in with boxes holding the massive library of materials needed by both sets of advocates. The advocate tables are covered with thick volumes. Now the advocates are filing in, smiling at one another, shaking hands on both sides. Such is the majesty of the court: Two sets of people completely at sixes and sevens with each other, but showing each other respect, civility, cordiality. Would that all of us could manifest such decency in our daily lives. The Chief Justice enters. We all rise and bow to him as his takes his seat on the hand carved rosewood chair with an intrically carved phineal in the shape of a crowned globe on the back. The advocate for the plaintiff now starts.

Was Darwin Wrong?
Evolution by natural selection, the central concept of the life's work of Charles Darwin, is a theory. It's a theory about the origin of adaptation, complexity, and diversity among Earth's living creatures. If you are skeptical by nature, unfamiliar with the terminology of science, and unaware of the overwhelming evidence, you might even be tempted to say that it's "just" a theory. In the same sense, relativity as described by Albert Einstein is "just" a theory. The notion that Earth orbits around the sun rather than vice versa, offered by Copernicus in 1543, is a theory. Continental drift is a theory. The existence, structure, and dynamics of atoms? Atomic theory. Even electricity is a theoretical construct, involving electrons, which are tiny units of charged mass that no one has ever seen. Each of these theories is an explanation that has been confirmed to such a degree, by observation and experiment, that knowledgeable experts accept it as fact. That's what scientists mean when they talk about a theory: not a dreamy and unreliable speculation, but an explanatory statement that fits the evidence. They embrace such an explanation confidently but provisionally—taking it as their best available view of reality, at least until some severely conflicting data or some better explanation might come along. The rest of us generally agree. We plug our televisions into little wall sockets, measure a year by the length of Earth's orbit, and in many other ways live our lives based on the trusted reality of those theories.

May 8, 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 latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Defiant, Part III:
Somehow, her life started getting back on track. She had hated the feeling of dependence, especially when her son looked at her like she was the only person in the world that mattered. In a few months, she had felt the kind of fierce love and possessiveness she had only heard of. She had thought that once upon a time, she had loved her baby’s father, but looking into the soft brown eyes of her innocent little boy, she knew that was nothing compared to what she felt now. If life was to work out, she would make every effort, if only for the tiny human being that depended on her.

The San Pedro Sun

Captured croc tortured to death in San Pedro
For the last several weeks the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary ACES team has been concentrating on capturing and relocating problematic crocodiles in the San Pedrito/Airstrip area of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye. Permitted by the Belize Forestry Department to address crocodile problems in Belize, ACES had been asked to remove crocodiles from the area due to safety concerns in regards to their proximity to the tarmac. Neighbors in the area have also asked ACES to remove the crocs as some have lost their dogs to the opportunistic predators. With a netted trap setup in a canal alongside the airstrip, the team routinely checks to see if a croc has been captured. When they are successful, scientific data is collected on the animal and then it is relocated far away from people or detained in a permanent holding facility. Over the weekend, local children pulled one of the captured crocodiles from the ACES trap and brutally tortured it to death.

Zillah Flota is Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014
It is a pageant held as a fundraiser for the San Pedro Pre School, and this year, four little beauties went onstage in the hopes of capturing the tiara and title of Miss Chiquitita. At 8PM on Saturday May 4th, the pageant kicked off with a dance number that introduced each of the girls: Zillah Flota, Seydi Francela, Destiney Gonzalez and Emy Segovia. The crowd that gathered at the Central Park was enthusiastic in their applause and encouragement of each child, and it was apparent that the five judges would have a hard time handing down their decision. Felix Ayuso, Yakarelis Hernandez, LilianaNuñez, Caitlyn Stolley and Marivel Gomez were tasked with judging the girls on their poise, talent and overall charm and performance on stage. Melly Badillo and Dalinda Guerrero were the tabulators for the evening.

PM Barrow returns from SICA meeting in Costa Rica
The Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow is back in the country after attending a meeting of Heads of State of the Central American Integrated System (SICA) of which US President Barrack Obama was a guest. The SICA meeting took place in Costa Rica on May 3rd and 4th and the highlight of the meeting was a meeting of the regional SICA Heads of State with President Obama where issues related to the regional economy, drugs and security were discussed. The SICA meeting was planned to coincide with Obama’s visit to Costa Rica on the invitation of President Laura Chinchilla. According to official media releases from Costa Rica all Heads of State of Central America including Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, an open critic of Obama, was present. The Central American leaders, in speaking to President Obama highlighted that if there is not increased cooperation on behalf of the main consumer of the drug (United States), the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime will not be enough. , said Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Dominates in Mahahual, Mexico Fishing Tournament
The Governor's Fishing Cup XXII Mahahual 2013 was a total success as the crew of the vessel Hook Line & Sinker of San Pedro Belize, took first place with a score of 9,435. Nobody could exceed 314 lbs of the stunning blue marlin caught by the vessel "Hook Line + Sinka", claiming to be the big winner of the fishing competition. According to reports, the 314-pound blue marlin caught by the fishermen of San Pedro is the largest in an official tournament and is a historic catch. Team "Hook Line + Sinka" consisted of Captain Joshua Reyes and fisher folk - Kevin Kelly, Alby Godoy, Ricky Marin and Kim Kelly.

Flashbacks: Casita over the Sea
Fishermen and tourist guides have always found it fascinating and a convenience to build small ‘bodegas’ or storage space on the pier and very close to their operating stations. Most fishermen would build these ‘bodeguitas’ over the lagoon on the west side of Ambergris Caye. There they would store fishing lines, hooks, sinkers, rod and reels, nets, hook sticks, and even diving masks and fins. The next day it is very convenient to pick up the equipment and put it into the boat for another day at sea. The tourist guides, on the other hand, would build their ‘bodeguitas’ on the east or front side of Ambergris Caye. There they would store, let me see, masks and fins, snorkels, sun block, and perhaps a dive tank or two.

25 Years Ago: Strange Home Remedies to Remove Head Lice!
A lot of parents used the extermination method, more or less as we would use an insecticide to get rid of all kinds of insects, mosquitoes, flies, roaches etc. Therefore they would rub the head with kerosene, yes kerosene, until it was fully moist. Not oblivious of the fact that kerosene was sort of a harmful chemical, some parents opted to use Dettol, a brand name of a disinfectant. Dettol was used to disinfect hospitals and homes, the floors and walls of bathrooms as well as the basins and toilet bowls. Imagine walking about with smell of Dettol coming from your head.

Misc Belizean Sources

Crime Reports in Belize
interesting new website. see how long they stay at it....

National Bank of Belize
A National Bank of Belize is on its way. The Belize Social Security Board (SSB) funds will form part of bank’s pool. Minister Joy Grant: “We intend to accept deposits and turn this into a full-scale bank…” Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities Joy Grant will head the new National Bank of Belize, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced will be established to force commercial banks to revisit their interest rates, but which will also serve as a vehicle through which the Government will supply an initial $20 million for residential mortgages at a rate of 6.5%. “This is a wonderful idea whose time has come…” said Barrow, adding that, “We mean to take it to the limit where this thing is concerned… We expect to be giving people a better return on their deposits than the commercial banks are doing.”

US oil company to restart drilling operations in Belize
Treaty Energy Corporation, a US-based energy company, has announced a new operational structure for its subsidiary company, Treaty Belize Energy Ltd, along with the recommencement of drilling operations in Belize. Treaty Energy Corporation's CEO, Andrew Reid, announced that Max Mohamed has been appointed to be the president and CEO of Treaty Belize Energy Ltd. Mohamed is a geologist and has been overseeing Treaty Energy's exploration for oil in Belize, pertaining to the two hundred thousand acres of Princess Petroleum's onshore concession. Treaty Belize Energy has drilled three wells so far on the concession, the San Juan #1, San Juan #2 and San Juan #3. While in the process of drilling on San Juan #3, a Supreme Court ruling was issued against the government of Belize, concerning several offshore concessions, including the Princess Petroleum Concession. Two of these offshore concessions included a small acreage onshore, one of which is the Princess Petroleum Concession.

VIDEO: Total chaos at the vital statistics / registration office in Belize
You would think with the new office for the vital statistics that things would have improved but, exactly the contrary is true. People stand and wait for hours at a time only to get the news that they will have to come back tomorrow or they lost the application. Some folks had been coming back for days to get the same results. The air is thick with anger and frustration as the sole guy searching trough the chaos of mixed up papers exchanges curse words with one of the guy that just got told to come back making you wonder how long it will take for a riot to break out. Something has to be done A.S.A.P. because whatever they are doing IS NOT working.

VIDEO: Silk Cayes Marine Reserve
Join us on a day tour, two tank dive-snorkel combo as we depart from Placencia Village. Silk Cayes aka Queen Cayes is a protected area and managed by S.E.A. Belize "Southern Environmental Association" The Gladden Split & Silk Cayes Marine Reserve lies within the central region of the Barrier Reef off the coast of Placencia Village. Thanks for sharing and choosing Belize as your vacation destination.

Bleach My Bones Demo Video
Rick Galvez, aka the Nudist, has the demo video for his song Bleach My Bones out. It's interesting, to say the least. Cayo has some great talent. Give it a watch. If you like it, Rick plays at the Soul Project all the time.

Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation has scholarships available. "The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation is pleased to invite applications for the following scholarships for academic year 2013 – 2014. The Foundation emphasizes that once applicants are accepted into a program the main criteria for consideration is financial need. High School Scholarships tenable at any recognized High School in the country of Belize covering the cost of all Fees, Tuition and Books for a maximum of 4 years"

Education Week at the SIPL
The San Ignacio Public Library is celebrating Education Week by inviting the local schools over for some storytelling and fun. Today, they had Sacred Heart Primary students from infant 1 and 2. Happy Education Week!

Belize Coalition at AGRIC
The Belize Coalition to Save Our National Heritage had a booth at Agric, and they got a lot of pictures of people enjoying their exhibit. They had games, prizes, and educational activities for their guests. "The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage would like to send a heartfelt THANK YOU to all the volunteers who came out to assist us at the National Agriculture and Trade Show! Thank you as well to all who visited our booth and took the time to interact with us and learn about our organization, the petroleum industry, and Belize's offshore and onshore protected areas! Together, you all made our booth a success and we look forward to your support at future events!"

Cancer Society Open Day
The San Ignacio branch of the Belize Cancer Society is having its first event in Cayo. This Saturday, May 11th, at 9am, at the Cayo Welcome Center, they'll be having their Open Day. There will be information booths, medical professionals, and BFLA reps there to answer questions.

Smart River Challenge Results
Smart had their River Challenge at Agric Saturday morning. Here are the results from the race. Great job guys! "Smart and the Belize Canoe Association would like to Congratulate the winners of the Smart River Challenge held on May 4th and would also like to thank all the teams that participated."

Vegetable Rice
In this video I used my new rice cooker to make an easy rice menu with with shrimp, chicken and vegetables. This meal was simple to make and very tasty and filling.

Channel 7

Finally, It Begins: Caleb Vs. GOB
The case of Caleb Orozco against the Government of Belize started today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Unless you’ve been under a rock somewhere, you’ll know that Orozco is challenging the constitutionality of Section 53 of Belize’s Criminal Code which says that quote, “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” Orozco says that violates his right to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man. In a case that has become an international cause célèbre, he is joined by the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Human Dignity Trust, and the International Commission of Jurists. On the other side is the Government of Belize which is joined by Roman Catholic Church, the Belize Church of England Corporate Body, and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches. That’s Gay rights, and human rights on one side, and Church and state on the other – bigger than any heavyweight legal fight we’ve ever seen. After months of agitation and buildup, it finally started today, the first round in this culture war between public morality and individual freedom of choice. Daniel Ortiz was in court all day, and here’s his report.

Coro Police Caught With Contraband Gas?
A cell phone video posted on YouTube shows Corozal police filling up their patrol pickup with fuel in Santa Clara village. The video claims that the gas is contraband. If true, that would seem to be a super-embarrassment for police, but the police press office, coolly put out a release today explaining the circumstance. The release says, quote, “On May 6th at…2pm, Corozal police mobile unit while in the execution of a Supreme Court Order in the village of Santa Clara, Corozal in the recovery of a tractor that was in dispute between members of (a) family, ran out of fuel. The police were offered assistance and were refueled by a member of the family with just enough to make it to an official Service Station. A video is now being shown on the internet initiated by an aggrieved family member from whom the tractor was recovered… showing the police mobile being refueled by…a member of the family who is now in the possession of the tractor….”

Woman’s home Burned Down, After Same Fate Befell Sister
In early March we told you about the murder of 23 year old Abel Arana in Hattieville. That was followed by the torching of Tifarrah Usher’s Hattieville home. Why? Because she is the sister in law of the man who is believed to have shot Arana. No one was arrested, and now another the home of another Usher sister has burned down. Just after midnight, Messelina Usher got the call that her house in Hattieville was burning. Messelina is the girlfriend of the man believed to have killed Arana. Today she told us how all this retaliation has turned her life upside down. She says she’s certain they broke into her house and burned it down. Messelina Usher - Hattieville Home Burned "You will see where they pulled out the horse and staple to open the door to get inside - I guess it's from inside the fire started." Jules Vasquez "Now you don't think that the fire started spontaneously. You believe that someone did it - that this is arson?" Messelina Usher "I believe this is arson and I believe it's the same person that burnt down my sister's house.

Hunger Hurts Students Chances At Success
As the old creole saying goes, “empty crocus bag cyaahn stan’ up” – it means that if you haven’t eaten, you won’t be good for much. Well, multiply that by ten, for a young student who hasn’t eaten and is expected to sit in a hot classroom and listen to mostly boring teachers wax on while their belly is growling like a caged jaguar. Indeed, hunger is a reality in many schools across Belize – and now the Ministry of Education is trying to address it with the launch of a school meals programme. It’s already up and running and feeding kids in the Belize and Stann Creek districts – but it was officially launched today. 7news was there when lunch was served. Dr. Candy Armstrong - Director of Education Support Services "The Ministry of Education is currently providing 100% funding for the three School Meal Programmes in two districts, Belize and Stann Creek. A mid-day meal is provided for all students who are beneficiaries to this programme. In addition, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, students receive De-worming tablets, vitamin A supplement, access to dental care and they engage in regular activity while they are at school."

"Crazy’s" Sentence Concurrent, Not Consecutive
Last night, we told you about 29 year-old Michael “Crazy” Arnold who was convicted of a second rape charge in the Supreme Court. He pleaded guilty the offence and Justice Adolph Lucas sentenced him to 15 years. We said it would run consecutively with the remaining 10 years of his current sentence for a previous rape conviction. That was an error. In fact, Justice Lucas' actual ruling was that the new sentence is to run concurrently with the previous one, not consecutively. So, he will only serve a total of 15 years in prison, not 25 as we had reported.

Belize Fisheries Blacklisted By EU
The European Commission has blacklisted Belize and 7 other countries for illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and it could have far-reaching consequences for our fisheries exports. The blacklist was announced two weeks ago when the European Parliament's fisheries committee voted to list Belize, Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu. This decision is described as the first of its kind, but at this time, does not include any trade sanctions. That could change though, and if the situation does not improve, the European Union could impose a ban on selling fisheries products from Belize to that trading bloc.

Woman, Daughter Terrorized in Belmopan
Last night 7:00 a business woman of the Maya Mopan area near Belmopan was terrorized in a coordinated, armed attack. 39 year old Miriam Navarette – a Guatemalan Business woman was closing her Grocery Store when three armed, masked men wearing gloves and forced their way inside. One of the men was armed with grabbed her by the neck and put the gun to her head while another man grabbed her 12yr old daughter. The two females were pushed inside their adjoining house and the men closed the door while another kept watch outside with a rifle. After assaulting a 42 year old man in the home, and snatching up three hundred dollars from the cash register and assorted electronics and jewelry, the men left, firing shots into the air.

Cycling Election Overturned
A month ago, we told you about the challenge from Daniel Cano in relation to the Western Elections for the Cycling Association. On April 7, the National Olympic Committee held elections in the western region and former Cycling Association president Emil Moreno was re-elected as president along with vice president Gilroy Requena. Cano challenged the results on the grounds that members of the cycling community were allowed to register on the date of the elections, and allowed to vote. That was contrary to an agreed upon deadline, and the Olympic Committee should not have allowed those late members to vote. Well, after several weeks of deliberation, the Protest Committee of the Olympic Committee decided last night that he’s right, they should not have voted. As a result, the elections from April 7 are voided and new elections will be called. They have not set a date as yet when those new elections will take place.

African American Actor Wole Parks Got “It” From His Belizean Mom
Last year we told you about Wole Parks, the African American Actor with Belizean roots. For Wole, his Belizean roots aren’t just happenstance, he says they are an integral part of his identity and shape the way he navigates the entertainment world. That’s because he was raised by a strong Belizean Woman, Lillette Parks a former teacher at St. Hilda’s. He says apart from rice and beans and chilmole, Lillette Parks also gave him the confidence and the attitude to thrive in a competitive environment. He’s been in Belize since Saturday – and before he left today, he gave us an interview. Monica Bodden Reporting Wole Parks plays "Manny" in Premium Rush, a 2012 major Hollywood action movie in which he is the pumped-up rival of the star, Joseph Gordon Levitt. Parks is a first generation American son of a Belizean mother Lilette Parks and a Tanzanian father whom he never met. He credits his mother for his success.

New High Commissioner Cometh
Last night we told you all about the embarrassing legal flap that the British Foreign Office was put through after former British High Commissioner to Belize John Yapp was abruptly sent packing in 2008. A British Court found that it was improperly done, and with no good reason – after he was insubstantially alleged to have inappropriately touched a woman’s backside. That was five years ago and now there will be a new British High Commissioner to Belize – the second since the Yapp incident. The commission sent out a release today informing us that Peter Hughes has been appointed British High Commissioner to Belize to take the place of to Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service after three years in Belize. Hughes will arrive in August.

Channel 5

UNIBAM: Gay all the way to the Supreme Court
The church is threatening fire and brimstone, calling homosexuality an abomination and is praying for the protection of section fifty-three of the Criminal Code. But notwithstanding all that, Caleb Orozco is having his day in court, or in this case, a week in which Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hear arguments from attorneys representing Orozco, [...]

15 attorneys fighting the UNIBAM case
In the case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize, the Attorney General is being represented by Crown Counsels Nigel Hawke, Gillian Smith, Herbert Panton and Magali Perdomo, while the Church, as an interested party, is being represented by distinguished attorneys Eamon Courtenay, Rodwell Williams, Michel Chebat, Jacqueline Marshalleck and Christopher Coye. Today [...]

Treaty Belize Energy Limited to proceed with oil drilling despite court ruling
Two weeks ago, Justice Oswell Legall ruled that six oil contracts were null and void. Today, there is news that Treaty Energy Corporation, the parent company of Treaty Belize Energy Limited, is proceeding with plans to continue drilling operations. In the ruling, Justice Oswell Legall invalidated the offshore oil concessions granted between May 2004 and [...]

Do you support decriminalizing sodomy?
And tonight’s question is: Do you support decriminalizing sodomy? Yes or no. Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote on our e-poll at You can also send an email with your comments to

Cops and contraband fuel caught on camera
A citizen journalist’s cell phone video capturing police in the act has gone viral. The video of uniformed cops at a house allegedly known for dealing in contraband fuel was taken by a man who had a run in with the law over his tractor. The cops removed the tractor and then a man is [...]

Europe blacklists Belize for illegal unreported unregulated fishing
Belize has been blacklisted by the European Union among eight countries that are considered non-cooperative in the fight against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.  The list also includes Cambodia, Fiji, Guinea, Panama, Sri Lanka, the Togolese Republic and the Republic of Vanuatu. On April twenty-fourth the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee adopted a measure that [...]

A house where murder was committed goes up in flames; family believes their lives are at risk
A house went up in flames in the dead of the night on Wednesday in Hattieville. The house was vacant because the owner, Messalena Medina had moved to Belize City. She had been receiving threats ever since the March fourth murder of Abel Arana which occurred at the same house. Medina believes she at risk [...]

Vigil to pray away gay on the cusp of UNIBAM case
On the eve of the landmark trial of Caleb Orozco against the Attorney General, hundreds gathered at the steps of the Supreme Court. Emotions were running high among the faithful; they all had different views but they mostly want to leave section fifty-three of the Criminal Code as it stands. Mike Rudon has a report. [...]

New British High Commissioner appointed to Belize
The appointment of a new High Commissioner has been announced by the Foreign Commonwealth Office. Pat Ashworth, who has been serving in Belize for a number of years, is retiring from the British Foreign Service. His successor is Peter Hughes, who has tremendous diplomatic experience having served in Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, Afghanistan and [...]

Couple survives robbery in Belmopan
Thirty-nine year old Miriam Janet Navarette, a Guatemalan businesswoman of Maya Mopan, reported to Belmopan police that her store was robbed by a team of three armed bandits on Monday night.  Shortly after seven o’clock, the trio entered Shalon Grocery on Bethel Street where they proceeded to relieve her of three hundred dollars from the [...]

5 family members robbed a cab driver
A group of five family members including a fourteen year old minor was today arraigned on a single charge of robbery. Allegations are that last Saturday, the group robbed taxi-driver, Nestor Galindo of his personal items including a cell phone and radio. On arraignment, they appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Charged were siblings: Cathelee Reyes, [...]

Father argues with granddaughter and daughter chops him
A misunderstanding among members of a Belize City family, in the wee hours of Monday morning, has resulted in charges being brought against fifty-three year old Medardo Cocom and his stepdaughter.  Cocom reported to police that sometime around one o’clock he had an argument with thirty-four-year-old Chriselda Cabanas at their Custard Apple Street address, when [...]

Shift of funding from tertiary to primary level?
Following today’s launch of the Southside Feeding Program at the Skills Training Center on Magazine Road in Belize City, the media had a chance to discuss the future of the Ministry of Education’s plans during Education Showcase 2013. Minister Patrick Faber has often referred to a focus on primary school rather than tertiary level to [...]

Ministry gives free food to needy students on south side
A healthy diet helps to keep school children attentive in the classrooms but many families are having a tough time in providing proper and regular meals to their children.  This morning, the Ministry of Education launched the Southside School Meals Program which will provide free meals to needy students. Thirteen schools from the south side [...]

Young basketball players return from King James Classic
A contingent of young Belizean athletes has returned to the jewel after playing friendly games against US high school basketball teams. While the host teams were more experienced in techniques, the local athletes also proved their mettle on the basketball courts. On hand were recruiters looking for potential talent. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.   [...]


Day One Of Orozco vs Attorney General of Belize Concludes In Supreme Court
The most awaited court challenge of Caleb Orozco Vs. the Attorney General of Belize gave way in the Supreme Court this morning. The case which was scheduled to begin at 9:00 am got off to a late start at about 10:30 a.m. The court was packed to capacity as representatives from both sid...

Belizeans Assemble For Prayer and Vigil Against Homosexual Issue
Hundreds of Belizeans assembled in the vicinity of the Supreme Court last night on the eve of the much publicized case of Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM challenging the constitutionality of Section 53 of the laws of Belize. The Churches had called on all B...

Belize Action Fears Introduction of Homosexuality Teachings In Classrooms
In September 2010, the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) along with its Executive Director, Caleb Orozco filed a case in the Supreme Court of Belize challenging Section 53 of the Criminal Codes of Belize. Currently, section 53 of the Criminal Code of Belize states: "E...

Ministry of Education Sees Decrease In Students Sitting PSE
Yesterday an estimated seven thousand three hundred and ninety one Standard 6 students throughout Belize sat the second and final part of the Primary School Examinations- a decrease of about one hundred and forty two students according to Principal Education Officer for National Exams,...

Man Assaulted by Step-Daughter
MEDARDO COCOM 53yrs D.O.B 05.11.59 Belizean Carpenter of # 4350 Custard Apple Street, Fabers Road Belize City reported that on 06.05.13 at about 1:00am while at home he had a dispute with his step daughter CHRISELDA CABANAS 34yrs D.O.B 23.09.78 Belizean Domestic of same address. As a r...

Search At Fish Market Yields Suspected Cannabis
On Wednesday 1st May, 2013 at 7:50pm, police were on mobile patrol in the Conch Shell Bay area and conducted a search at a fish market located on West Collet Canal, Belize City. The search led to the discovery of a transparent plastic bag containing green leafy vegetable substance susp...

Four Men Face Charges For Firearms, Ammunition and Marijuana
Police have charged four men for possession of possession of controlled drugs and kept firearm and ammunition without a gun licence. Police say on April 22 police conducted searches on 34-year-old Jeffery Murrillo, 22-year-old Windel Gibson, 34-year-old Ignatius Garcia and 49-yea...

City Council Causes Delay In Burial
There was another glitch involving a grave spot, this time at the Eternal Garden Cemetery at mile thirteen on the Western Highway. An anonymous relative of the deceased who was laid to rest today called Love News to the cemetery where they arrived at four this evening to cond...

Forest Fire Sets Two Storey Structure Ablaze
A two storey-building at miles 29 on the Southern Highway caught ablaze due a forest fire as many residents of Miles 29 on the Southern Highway believe. Our News Room received information that a two storey building just in front of the Georgetown Technical High School in the...

Feeding Program Rolls Out With Funding From Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education Youth and Sport officially introduced its School Meal Program- a feeding program that is being funded fully by the Ministry. Three schools in the Stann Creek and Belize Districts will benefit from the program in its initial stage. According to Dr. Candy Armstr...

Four Adults and A Minor Arraigned on Charge of Robbery
Five persons, one of them a 14 year old girl, were charged with robbery when they appeared today in court today. The adults are 27 year old Kareem Williams, 19 year old Kevin Alvarez,19 year old Keisha Westby and 23 year old Cathelee Reyes. They and the minor pled not guilty to the cha...

Belize and Australia Team Up To Protect Barrier Reefs
The fragile Belize Barrier Reef eco-system has come under constant threats due to global warming and the effects of climate change. But while we have very little control over Mother Nature’s effects, we can control how we care for these natural wonders by the way we develop...

Belize Gets New British High Commissioner
A new British High Commissioner to Belize will take up his post later this year. Peter Hughes OBE will succeed Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Hughes will take up his appointment during August. Hughes began his diplomatic career in 1985 as ...


Video Captures Police Refuelling Police Vehicle With Contraband Fuel
A video showing a police officer attached to the Corozal Police formation refueling the police vehicle with what is believed to be contraband fuel has gone viral and is causing quite a stir in the social mediums. We could describe to you what exactly was captured in the video but instead we’ll let you see and judge for yourself. To view the video click on the following link. If you were left in wonder, the hierarchy of the Belize Police Department wasn’t. Here is what they say happened. According to a police report, on May 6th, 2013, at approximately 2:00pm, Corozal police’s mobile unit ran out of fuel while one of the officers was executing a Supreme Court Order in the village of Santa Clara. The uniformed police officer was in the midst of recovering a tractor that is presently in dispute between members of the Correa family when he noticed that the vehicle was running low on fuel and would not make it to the gas station. The officer was offered assistance by a member of the Correa family, who is allegedly a well known contrabandist. The man, according to police, gave the officer just enough fuel to reach the nearest service station. Police say that the video was taken by an aggrieved family member from whom the tractor was recovered and given to the member of the Correa family who refueled the police vehicle. What ever the case, we’ll see where the investigations will lead or if anyone will be charged for that matter.

Miss Diosa Maya Is Named Miss Rotaract 2013
As we told you earlier on in the newscast Miss Diosa Maya Internacional Grisel Carballo was one of the 8 Rotaractors who represented Belize in this year’s Rotaract 18th Bi District Conference held in Tegucigalpa Honduras from the 1st to the 5th of May. During her participation in the Bi District Conference, Carballo completed another milestone as she was named Miss Rotaract 2013 and won an award for the best Arabian Costume. Grisel Carballo Miss Rotaract 2013 “The Friday night was the Arabian night it is just a night that they called and everybody had to go with an Arabian custom of their own and there was competition for best custom and I got that award for best costume, the costume was designed by me, I made it on my own and I am proud to say I won that award and after the dinner we had the presentation for Mr Rey Feo our Rotaractor, Mr Rotaract and Miss Rotaract and I went up for Miss Rotaract and I also got that title. I won Miss Rataract for 2013 and my presentation was based upon, I went up there and I described my country and I talked about the Mayan culture and I talked about the diverse culture of our country, population and the geographic location of our country and it was more of an informative and persuading them to come and visit our country.”

Minor Charged For Drug Trafficking
A fifteen year old minor from Orange Walk has been arrested and charged by Orange Walk Police for the crime of drug trafficking. Since the individual is a minor, we are unable to reveal his name but what we can tell you is that yesterday at around 11:00am police searched a residence located on Royal Palm Street where the 15 year old minor in the presence of his father handed over a black plastic bag containing 286.8 grams of cannabis. This morning the minor appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where he was charged for drug trafficking and offered bail which he met.

Belize Receives Four Awards At 18th Bi District Conference
From May 1st to the 5th 2013, more than 100 youth from Central America including 8 from Belize converged in Tegucigalpa Honduras for Rotaract’s 18th Bi District Conference. Among those representing the country was former president of Rotaract Orange Walk, Stephanie Acosta and member Grisell Carballo. On a yearly basis, Rotaract hosts a Bi-district conference for all Rotaractors from the countries of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panamá to commemorate the past year and plan for the coming year. Stephanie Acosta – 18th Rotaract Bi District Conference. “The purpose of this conference is to select the new leaders for the upcoming Rotaract year and also to select and present awards for the various club and individual outstanding Rotaractors. The countries that participated are those that belong to the two Rotaract districts 4240 and 4250. Now Rotaract clubs from 4240 consist those from Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Nicaragua, and Belize is part of the 4250 district and so 4250 consist of Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, so Rotaractor from all those clubs were present at this by-district conference.”

Guinea Grass Resident Remanded For Firearm and Ammunition Offences
On Sunday afternoon 24 year old Vildo Westby, a Belizean laborer of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District, was detained by police after one air pistol containing one .22 live round was found in the ATV he was driving and 15 .22 live rounds of ammunition was found on him. As mentioned last night Westby was detained pending investigations and yesterday afternoon he appeared before the Orange Walk Magistrates Court where he was charged for prohibited firearm and ammunition. Since the Magistrate Court does not offer bail for a firearm offence, Westby has a period of ten days to apply for bail at the Supreme Court level.

Belize Represented In International Body Building Competition
This year Belize will participate for the first time in the Mr. Hercules Olympia Body Building Competition that will take place this weekend in Colchester, London where the world’s top-form bodybuilders will participate in the power event of the year. Rigo Vellos, who recently won 1st place in the Corozal Bodybuilding Competition in the Senior Category held this past weekend, also won 1st place in the Habet and Habet Mr. Physique Competition which was held in Placencia over the Easter weekend. Vellos is also the current 2012 Mr. Belize title holder and plans to defend the title in this year's Mr. Belize. But the road to the competition proved to be no easy task for Vellos who had to raise funds to cover for his flight, food and hotel accommodation. We will keep following this story and bring the results of the competition as soon as they are made available.

Belize's Foreign Minister Heads To The OAS
By now you may be acquainted with the fact that the Belize/Guatemala Referendum has been called off by both countries. In Belize the announcement was made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow during his first quarterly press conference held on April 29th. The move was first made by Guatemala who wanted Belize to amend its referendum laws from a sixty percent voter turnout to a simple majority so as to level the playing field. While Guatemala has practically announced to the world that they are backing out of the referendum, Belize is yet to be officially informed about the country’s position. All indications are that the official information will be divulged during a meeting scheduled to take place between Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington, Guatemala’s Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera and the Secretary General of the OAS Miguel Insulza. The meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at the OAS headquarters in Washington. We understand that the opposition will also have representation in the meeting as former P.U.P Leader John Briceno will be present. Included among the topics that will be discussed are the Adjacency Zone and the future of the December 2008 special agreement between both countries.

A Story Of Resistance Opens At The Corozal House Of Culture
The Corozal House of Culture is presently hosting an exhibition entitled “A Story of Resistance” in Belize and is expected to continue through the month of May and the first week of June. The exhibition is being carried out by the National Institute of Culture and History, NICH, with the aim of educating, primarily the students. Debra Wilkes Gray, Corozal House of Culture “This is an exhibit that we are very excited about and it is called a story of resistance in Belize and it was produced by the Institute of Cultural and Social Research under the National Institute of Culture and History.” Irvin Aragon – Reporter “What is the purpose of the exhibition?” Debra Wilkes Gray, Corozal House of Culture “It is educating people in the development of Belizeans as a country and there are crucial moments in time that has helped shape this country so with this exhibit, it is a visual documentation of recorded moments such as the labour movement, such as the Mayan resistance slavery, women even a timely piece right now which is the Guatemalan claim to territorial here in Belize.”

A Visit To The Optometrist Free Of Cost
Visiting the Optometrist is very costly here in the country of Belize, but today a group consisting of 24 undergraduates and 2 practicing Optometrist from Memphis Tennessee were in the Village of Caledonia in the Corozal district rendering their services in eye examinations and providing eye glasses and temporary relief eye drops to those who needed it most free of cost. The team works under the umbrella of the Praying Pelican Mission, a group of missionaries who travel across the globe assisting countries in need in several areas including in the health sector. Today reporter Irvin Aragon along with Cameraman Kenric Simpson travelled to Caledonia where they paid to the optometrist. Irvin Aragon – Reporting The cost of adequate health care in Belize is very high, including a visit to the Optometrist. Many Belizeans refuse to visit an “eye specialist” because of the high cost that one needs to pay especially if the optometrist recommends the use of eyeglasses. Often at times, the problem is not as serious as the patient might believe but the lack of regular checkups, in the longer run, does result more expensive.

Annual Festival Of Arts Brings Talent Alive
Today, primary schools from across the Orange Walk District participated in this year’s annual Festival of arts which forms part of the long list of activities scheduled for Education Week celebrated from May 5th to the 17th. In the morning the audience was elated by students of the rural communities and in the afternoon students from the various primary schools within town took to the stage bringing to light their hidden talent. Victor Castillo reports. Victor Castillo - Reporting Today the Banquitas House of Culture was the venue for this year’s Festival of Arts forming part of the week of activities scheduled for Education Week. Over 15 primary schools, eight of them from rural communities, participated in this year’s event. As students took to the stage, talent came alive as they presented under the categories of drama, dance and music. Leroy Green – National Coordinator For Expressive Arts “Well it is the second half of the Orange Walk Primary School festival of arts and so the children are showcasing their talents in drama, dance and music. They are not being judged because it is not a competition, they are being adjudicated in the sense that the adjudicators’ reports will go back to the schools and these define the standards that they are at and how they need to go and improve in teaching and producing items of arts. My role at the ministry is that I travel from district to district holding workshops with a team in drama, dance, music and creative writing, motivating teachers to teach it as a regular subject in school. The festival of arts is one of the ways in which we assess what the teachers are actually doing at school where arts are concern.”


Challenge to the Belize’s Sodomy Law began in Court Tuesday
The case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize on the constitutionality of Belize’s sodomy law got on the way today in the supreme court. It was a packed court room with local and international lawyers for the plaintiff as well as those representing the government and...

Masked robbery in Maya Mopan
There was a masked robbery at a grocery store in Maya Mopan last night. Owner of the store, Miriam Navarette was closing up her store – Shalon Grocery, around 7pm, when three masked men dressed in dark clothing, gloves and carrying firearms, forced their way inside. One of the...

Belize blacklisted by the European Fisheries Committee
Belize is one of eight countries which has been blacklisted by the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee. On what grounds? Well the Committee says that Belize is being non-cooperative in the fight against legal, unreported and unregulated fishing. The blacklisting was proposed by the European Commission, but ultimately voted on...

Armenia Lands Commission Chairman explains land controversy
Plus TV, over the past two weeks, has been reporting on some of the challenges facing Armenia Village; one of those primary issues being land. If you’ve been following any of our recent reports on the community you’ll know that the Village of Armenia has a Lands Committee which...

PUC Chairman encourages renewable energy sources
Much of Belize’s power supply is obtained through fossil fuel sources – either Mexican power or that of the gas turbines at Blair Atoll and Mile 8 gas plant on the Western Highway – or hydro electric sources. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has been tasked with looking at...

Family drama in Belize City leaves two persons in jail
Family drama in Belize City has left two persons behind bars. Police were called to the home yesterday afternoon, where a 53 year old resident reported that he got into an argument with his 34 year old step daughter, who also lives at the house. He claims she chopped...

Police caught on tape allegedly fueling up on contraband gas
Police were caught on tape in Corozal, allegedly purchasing contraband gas. The video you are looking at was taken on a cell phone camera and the original file is a little over two minutes long. It captures the dealers filling up a can measuring almost a gallon in size....

Belmopan Lions sponsor eye clinic
The Belmopan Lions Club is hosting its annual eye clinic. Every year the Club partners with a group of both Professional and Student Doctors from VOSH (Volunteering Optometric Service to Humanity), Southern College of Optometry in Memphis Tennessee. The clinic started on Monday and runs for four days. Plus...

Experts partner to preserve Barrier Reef
Today in Belize City, experts on the world’s two largest reef systems met to discuss how they can partner together to fight certain issues affecting both. Belize’s Barrier Reef is second to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in terms of length but according to the experts they both face issues...

Belize Special Boat Unit defends maritime areas
The Belize Special Boat Unit is tasked with defending the country’s maritime areas. The SBU was formed five years ago, under the Maritime Unit, which is now the Belize Coast Guard. The SBU held an exhibit at this year’s Agric Show, where we learned about the responsibilities of this...

School feeding launched
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports today launched a school feeding program that will benefit students from thirteen schools from Southside Belize City and six in Dangriga Town. According to the Ministry, the program is focused on helping to accomplish one of the strategies outlined in the Belize...

New British High Commissioner to Belize
A new British High Commissioner to Belize has been appointed. Peter Hughes OBE will take up his appointment in August of this year, in succession to the current Commissioner Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. The soon to be British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes, began...


UNIBAM says homosexual acts should be decriminalized; Belize Action says section 53 should not be changed. Today, Tuesday, May 7, a landmark constitutional challenge brought by Caleb Orozco, United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) executive president, against the Attorney General of Belize in regard to section 53 of the Criminal Code, will be heard in the Supreme Court of Belize. The case has led to a heated contention between the churches and the claimant, Orozco. We spoke to Director of Belize Action, Pastor Scott Stirm, yesterday, who had announced that Belize Action, its supporters and members of the churches were planning a gathering for an awareness rally last night in the Supreme Court parking lot. Stirm had said they were asking that all concerned citizens be present at the event. The primary activities which they planned as part of the event included a brief presentation on the core issues which underscore the case and its importance, as well as a session for prayer and worship. “Basically the position of Belize Action is we’re saying to the changing of section 53, our sodomy and natural act laws, we’re going to agree together against the changing of these laws,” Stirm said. “The primary reason why we feel so strongly is the law they’re saying is a violation of their human dignity, personal privacy and human rights has never once been used to prosecute any case for any consensual act but it has been used repeatedly over and over for sexual abuse,” he went on to say.

Did someone shoot him, or did he shoot himself? Two children, ages 4 and 8, are now without their father, John Paul Henry Fernandez, 32, who died of a gunshot wound at about 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, outside the Palm Island nightclub, situated at about Mile 2 on the Philip Goldson Highway. Initial reports by investigators were that the club had closed and Fernandez, a laborer of a Flamboyant Street address, and a security guard, Eduardo Torres, were socializing in the yard, when Fernandez suddenly grabbed a gun from the security guard, placed it behind his head, and pulled the trigger. The bullet reportedly went into his head and came out of his mouth, killing him almost immediately. Fernandez’s family, however, strongly rejects this story, and said that Fernandez would never kill himself. Police say that they were called to Palm Island at about 3:40 a.m. on Saturday, May 4, and when they went there, they saw Fernandez lying face up in a pool of blood inside the compound, with a gunshot wound to the right side of the head. He was transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

John Baptist, 38, walked out of court a very happy man this morning after trial judge Justice Troadio Gonzalez handed him a fine, and not jail time, for two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. Baptist was charged with one count of carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, after a report was made against him by the victim, who was 15 at the time of the trial. The child testified about being assaulted by Baptist for a period of almost ten years, and of Baptist having sex with her from she was only 6 years old. She also spoke of the lewd acts committed upon her by Baptist, including him performing oral sex on her on more than one occasion. After hearing the evidence, the jury could not decide on a verdict on the carnal knowledge charge, found him not guilty on the first count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, but guilty on the other two charges of indecent nature. The judge gave Baptist time to prepare his mitigation plea and to also have persons appear and speak on his behalf. However, when Baptist appeared in court today, he was the only one present: no one appeared to speak on his behalf.

Arnold is currently serving time for another rape, and the prosecution asked for life, but the judge only gave Arnold 15 years. Michael “Crazy” Arnold, 35, is currently serving a 12-year sentence after he pleaded guilty to a rape charge back in May of 2011. This morning, he again pleaded guilty to another rape charge when he appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas, Sr. According to a presentation of the facts of the case by Kaysha Grant of the DPP’s office, at 10:00 p.m. on September 18, 2010, the victim, 29 at the time of the rape, said she was at her apartment and was heading toward a shared bathroom when Arnold approached her. Arnold told her to come to him, but she refused and that was when Arnold pulled out a firearm and placed it at her head. Arnold then told her to perform oral sex on him, but she refused, telling him that his penis was dirty. Arnold then grabbed the victim and pulled her into his room (apartment), where he put the firearm under his pillow, grabbed a machete that was beside the bed, and placed the blade against her neck. Arnold told her that it would be easier to chop her up than to shoot her because the gunshot would make too much noise.

“Ultimately, the Government and Maya will have to sit at the table and talk. They will have to come to some kind of resolution on the issue… The Maya people are not going anywhere.” – Antoinette Moore, SC The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), an arm of the Organization of American States (OAS), issued a statement today, calling out the Government of Belize for having allowed private companies to carry out oil exploration and exploitation and logging activities in the traditional lands of Maya communities under permits issued by State authorities without first consulting with the Maya. “Specifically, the information indicates that illegal extraction and destruction of natural resources from traditional Maya lands in the Toledo District has taken place recently with the alleged collaboration and/or acquiescence of State agents,” the IACHR statement went on to say. The IACHR noted that Belize also failed to report to a working meeting on the Maya land rights case this March. It also expressed concern over reports of a newly-granted logging concession in traditional Maya lands without the required consultation. (See press release elsewhere in this edition of Amandala.) Maya Leaders Alliance spokesperson Cristina Coc told Amandala that they made the request for IACHR intervention. The MLA’s main concerns continue to be the petroleum and logging concessions that Government has issued without consulting the Maya, but also Governments’ non-compliance and non-reporting on the issues.

Police 3:1 BDF, FC Belize 1:0 Bmp Bandits. The turnout was not the best for the opening games of the Premier League semifinal playoffs; which is a bit strange, but not completely surprising, in what has traditionally been the time when fans flock to the stadiums to witness the best of the semipro league in quest of a shot at the national championship of Belize. It was an Agric Show weekend; there was little in the way of real football advertisement promotion; football fans were recently deflated by the cancellation of the much anticipated first national team Friendly since qualifying for the Gold Cup; and the recent controversial elimination of perhaps the hottest team down the stretch, Placencia Assassins, may not have helped to spark the frenzied fan attraction that usually accompanies the start of the Premier League semifinals. Whatever the cause, it will be either redemption time or the “showers” this coming weekend for the top seeded teams who both lost round 1 of their semifinals. Defending champion Belmopan Bandits and 3-time former champion Belize Defence Force (BDF) will both be at home with their backs against the wall, having lost their “away” game this past weekend. On Saturday night at the FFB Stadium, it was #3 seed Police United pulling out an injury time 3-1 victory over #2 seed BDF, who suffered a serious setback when their national team goalkeeper Frank Lopez was ejected at the 27th minute for his remarks to referee Christopher Reid. Police midfielder Amin “Tacos” August had given his team an early lead at the 4th minute, but defender Tyrone Pandy equalized for BDF at the 11th minute. It was 1-1 at the end of regulation, but both Tacos (90+’) and midfielder Trevor “Burger” Lennen (90+’) struck in injury time to give Police the 3-1 win.

On Saturday afternoon a national television station showed images which appeared vulgar and could have been considered a display of public immorality. This was live television featuring Belizean principals. The likelihood is not high that there will be any outcry about this incident. All the focus of Belize’s religious righteous is on this week’s Supreme Court case which seeks to change a law about private morality. Belize ran into a serious problem with an attack on our public morality when American cable television became the norm in Belizean homes about twenty five years ago. For many years it seemed that movies with X-rated and pornographic content could not be regulated by any local authority, and the children of Belize were thus exposed, within the assumed protection of their own homes, to extreme behavior, which included homosexuality and lesbianism. At some point, Belize’s Carnival had become an annual display of public immorality, featuring lewd dancing and behavior. We can’t say at what point Carnival got out of control, or if this was a result of our moral guidelines having been destroyed by cable television. Even though Carnival included little children behaving almost as lewdly as their older counterparts, it took some years before there was a rise in public complaints about the children’s attire and their gyrations.

Separate incidents of infant drowning occurred over the weekend. One-year-old Kyle Leslie of Belize City was found drooping over a bucket of water in his home on Friday, May 3, 2013. Subsequently, on Saturday, May 4, five-year-old David Cruz drowned in a pond behind his home in Burrell Boom Village. Kyle’s mother, Tanya Leslie, 19, said that she went outside for about five minutes to talk to someone and when she went back into the house she found Kyle leaning over a bucket of water in the house. Leslie said that the bucket was kept in the house as a container in which they washed dishes. She told us that it seemed that the baby had been playing in the water because they found his truck next to the bucket and water was in the truck. Inside the bucket were three plastic cups, which Leslie said were drinking cups that were kept on the purified water container. Leslie’s other son, a two-year-old, was also left in the house when she went outside. She told us that when she walked into the house, he was standing at the door looking back at his brother lying over the bucket.

Shaheem Slusher, 18, of San Ignacio, died after being stabbed in the right side of the neck by a man with whom he had an altercation at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3, on the river bank behind the Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio. According to the family, Slusher had been swimming in the river when he decided to approach a young woman and ask her to go make a purchase for him. The young woman’s boyfriend, 31-year old Brian Burke of Esperanza, however, came up to him and objected to the request, and they became involved in an argument by the riverside, which resulted in Slusher being stabbed. Police said that when they responded to reports of the stabbing and went to an area by the riverside behind Pit Pan Bar, they saw Slusher’s body, with stab wounds to the neck and to the left shoulder. Slusher was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.


San Pedro Branch Belize Red Cross Update and Carilones Kitchen new location
Yesterday Anthony Philip and I went on Reef Radio and TV’s morning show with David Marin to talk about what the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross has been doing and give updates on the First Aid Program. One of the exciting things SPBRC has been working on is to get an emergency warning siren system for the island. We recognize a need to be able to reach a large portion of the community in a short amount of time should we ever need to. Thanks to Stacy from the Phoenix Resort we have also been networking with an Ambulance person and seeing how we can assist him in getting a service up and running on the island. The next Certified First Aid Course is going to be hosted by Las Terrazas Resort and it will be held at Seascape Villa’s on May 3oth. Graham confirmed La Perla is sending Four people and Playa Blanca two, I am pretty sure The Phoenix and Victoria House will be sending staff as well. They have both been amazing at supporting the program by sending 5 or so staff to each training. Both Resorts have 15 staff working there now that have first Aid Training and that number will keep growing monthly. Thanks goes out to all the other Ambergris Caye businesses who have stepped up to join the program and get staff certified, please see First Aid Program page to get the list of all participating businesses.

Food is an Essential Part of the Adventure in Belize
In order to survive in the increasingly competitive tourism industry, even the most remote resorts must pay careful attention to their kitchens as travellers are placing greater emphasis on a quality dining experience, the food and beverage manager of a popular Belizean eco resort advises. Bryony Fleming Bradley, of The Lodge at Chaa Creek in western Belize, said that the days of adventurous travellers being satisfied with food that was simply hot and palatable are over. ”Some years back, our guests would always comment at how happily surprised they were with the quality of the food we served, as it usually exceeded their expectations of what would be found in such a pristine location. “These days, expectations are definitely higher, and there is a greater emphasis on things like presentation, variety and where and how the ingredients are sourced,” she said. “Fortunately, Chaa Creek began as a family farm, and we still maintain a Maya organic farm that supplies our restaurant, so fresh produce has never been a problem. In fact, Chaa Creek has been growing healthy organic food for literally thousands of years.” Ms Fleming Bradley explained that Chaa Creek sits within the Macal River Valley, which was once a large Maya trade and agricultural centre. The Chaa Creek area, nestled on the banks of the Macal River and situated between the two important ancient cities of Caracol and Tikal, was populated by hundreds of Maya farming families who produced food for the urban centres.

Regional Entrepreneurship Training Program with P3Ventures

US Air Force Assists in School Construction in Belize
Air Force civil engineers and Army combat heavy engineers lay mortar on structural blocks April 19, 2013, at the construction site of Louisiana Primary School at Orange Walk in Belize. Civil engineers from the U.S. and Belize are constructing various structures throughout Belize as part of an exercise called New Horizons. Building these facilities will support further education for the children of the country and provide valuable training for the U.S. and Belizean service members. New Horizons is an annual training exercise for U.S. military civil engineers and medical professionals that prepare participants to deploy, conduct joint operations with partner nations, and redeploy back to the United States. New Horizons 2013 is scheduled to take place in the Central American country of Belize from early-April to late-June.

“Jeans On” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Over to Belize City yesterday morning to visit The Dental Center to see Doctor Hernandez – on his monthly visit from Guatamala City – for him to hopefully form an opinion as to why one of the implants he had installed did not work. With a trip to the ‘big city’ I dispensed with the normal attire of shorts and put my jeans on. Funny but wearing jeans I just feel that I get bothered less by the pedlars and people looking for a handout. Must look less like a tourist! Anyway, I took the 8.30 am Belize Express Water Taxi over which got me there in good enough time to pop in to Brodies for a spot of shopping (mostly toiletries) and then onto The Tile & Stone Center to pick up the samples that Rose wanted to have a closer look at before making the final choice for her bathroom. The visit to meet Doctor Hernandez proved to be somewhat uneventful. He explained the things that could have caused the problem. Explained that he wants to leave it a few months to see how the bone in my jaw reacts and sent me to the Belize Diagnostic Centre for a panoramic X-ray (at a cost of BZ$ 160) after which I caught the 1.30 pm Caye Caulker Water Taxi back to Ambergris Caye where Rose was waiting for me so we could run ‘home’ to drop off the stuff I had bought.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Teriyaki Glazed Skillet Chicken
1/2 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup loe-sodium soy sauce 1/4 cup sugar 3 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons watr 3 teespoons garlic, minced 1 teespoon fresh gingr, microplaned 1 lb. boneless skinless chicke breests thin cut N' large skillet combine lemon juice, soy sauce, white and brown sugar, watr, garlic and gingr. Cook ovr medium heat until sugar dissolves, stirrin' frequentlee. 2-4 minutes.

International Sources

Caleb Orozco v. Attorney General of Belize: Upholding Human Rights for All?
In a recent speech in London, Sir Shridath Ramphal, the former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations, laid out his views opposing the criminalization of homosexuality, wherever it occurs. Sir Shridath quoted another stalwart of anti-discrimination, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who has said that the violence and criminal sanctions suffered by LGBTI people across the world are intended to make them "doubt that they too are children of God," which he calls "nearly the ultimate blasphemy." Sir Shridath went further, equating opposition to the persecution of LGBTI people with the campaign to end slavery in the 19th century and the anti-apartheid struggle of the 20th century. "The abolitionists were pilloried, but they prevailed," he said. "The abomination was not their campaign, as the plantation owners complained, but the evil of slavery itself." Sir Shridath Ramphal, who played a pivotal role in dismantling apartheid, is an unapologetic advocate of decriminalization. He recognizes criminal sanctions for what they are, a colonial legacy that never had a part in the indigenous cultures on which they were imposed and that should have been repealed long ago. This month, Caleb Orozco, the head of United Belize Advocacy Movement, or UniBAM, a small human rights organization in Belize, will attempt to do just that. His case challenging the constitutionality of section 53 of the Belize criminal code, which criminalizes consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex, is due to be heard by a court in Belize today, May 7.

Change of High Commissioner to Belize
Mr Peter Hughes OBE has been appointed British High Commissioner to Belize. He will succeed Mr Pat Ashworth, who will be retiring from the Diplomatic Service. Mr Hughes will take up his appointment during August 2013. Mr Hughes began his diplomatic career in 1985 as Desk Officer in Defence Department and has served overseas in Australia, the Caribbean, South Asia, Afghanistan and North East Asia

Encroaching Sea Already a Threat in Caribbean
The old coastal road in this fishing village at the eastern edge of Grenada sits under a couple of feet of murky saltwater, which regularly surges past a hastily-erected breakwater of truck tires and bundles of driftwood intended to hold back the Atlantic Ocean. For Desmond Augustin and other fishermen living along the shorelines of the southern Caribbean island, there's nothing theoretical about the threat of rising sea levels. "The sea will take this whole place down," Augustin said as he stood on the stump of one of the uprooted palm trees that line the shallows off his village of tin-roofed shacks built on stilts. "There's not a lot we can do about it except move higher up."

Scottish scientists launch crowd-funding for robots that repair coral reefs
The ocean covers over 70% of the planet, but is threatened by multiple stressors such as bottom fishing, pollution and climate change. Coral reefs support the livelihoods of almost half a billion people; marine litter affects around half of all marine mammals and kills almost a million seabirds per year. These threats require active and urgent intervention to ensure global sustainability of human livelihoods and biodiversity. Currently, habitat remediation or restoration can only be achieved in small patches. In deep sea ecosystems, these tasks are also too dangerous for direct human intervention. A team of scientists and engineers at Edinburgh University is committed to addressing these threats using innovations in computing, marine biology, and undersea robotics to revolutionize how such threats are addressed, combining autonomous underwater robotics with 'swarm intelligence.' Nature shows how groups or swarms of organisms (e.g. bees and termites) operate collectively to achieve complex objectives.

Deep sea diving robots to save world’s coral reefs
SCIENTISTS in the Capital are raising funds to create robots capable of repairing endangered coral reefs unreachable by deep sea divers. The experts at Heriot-Watt University have teamed up with a Marine Systems Engineering Laboratory at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Centre in Massachusetts and a coral “nursery” in Belize to create the “Coralbots”, which will use special arms to repair damaged underwater ecosystems. David Crone, a professor of computer science at Heriot-Watt University, said: “In September last year we had an event called The Heriot-Watt Crucible, which was seeking to bring experts in different disciplines together to see what they could learn from each other. The proposal for this collaboration between marine biologists and robotics experts to preserve and repair coral reefs was one of the winning ideas.” Having secured enough money from the university to start the project, the scientists now need a further £68,890 to manufacture and “train” the first of two bots, and they are hoping the support of businesses, schools and concerned individuals will help them reach their target.

Opening arguments in Belize anti-sodomy law hearing urge court to uphold constitution
Chris Hamel-Smith, the lead counsel for claimant Mr Orozco, urged the court to look carefully at the constitution, citing the right to privacy, home and family life, and the recognition of human dignity of every individual. The Trinidad and Tobego attorney argued that Section 53 discriminates against sexual minorities, and urged the court to find Section 53 inconsistent with the constitution. Ultimately, the Constitution requires “respect for individual conscience, respect for diversity of ways of being, respect for diversity of world-views and diversity of views,” said Hamel-Smith. “Be not afraid. We do not come here to advocate a world view that disrespects or forces or imposes anything on…[your] community,” Hamel-Smith said in addressing arguments of the supremacy of God. He added: “this case is about…the nature of the open, democratic and pluralistic society contemplated by the Belize Constitution.”

Belize: Supreme Court set to debate around decriminalisation of homosexuality
The Supreme Court in Belize will today begin to debate the country’s criminal code which outlaws same-sex sexual activity. Under the Central American country’s code, gay citizens currently face a penalty of up to ten years’ imprisonment. Section 53 states: “Every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, is part of a constitutional challenge to overturn the ban on same-sex sexual activity. UNIBAM Executive President Caleb Orozco spoke to PinkNews about the case in July 2012.

Treaty Energy Corporation Appoints New CEO of Treaty Belize Energy and Plans to Restart Drilling Operations in Belize
Treaty Energy Makes Managerial Changes to Better Streamline Operations in Belize and to Restart Drilling Operations on San Juan #3 after Supreme Court Ordered Injunction against the Government of Belize. Treaty Energy Corporation TECO -3.23% (, a growth-oriented international energy company, is pleased to announce a new operational structure for its subsidiary company, Treaty Belize Energy, Ltd., along with the recommencement of drilling operations in Belize. Treaty Energy Corporation's CEO, Andrew Reid, announced that Mr. Max Mohamed has been appointed to be the President and CEO of Treaty Belize Energy, Ltd.

Strong ties between fly fishers lead to MSU, Belize collaboration
Strong connections between fly fishers in southwest Montana and Central America have led to new research at Montana State University. The project is focused on conch, a sea snail that's known for its delectable meat and large shell. The research is spearheaded by one of the managers of Turneffe Flats Resort who is working on his master's degree in fish and wildlife management at MSU and could someday - if his fans are right - become prime minister of his country, Belize. Alex Anderson, 27, not only served two years as student body president at the University of Belize, but he helped drive two major projects that promote conservation in this country along the Caribbean Sea. One created Belize's largest marine reserve. The other led to the protection of bonefish, permit and tarpon as catch-and-release species in Belize. Anderson comes from a family of fly fishing guides and worked seven years at the internationally known Turneffe Flats Resort. Although he grew up in Cotton Tree, a town of 600 people and three streets, he is known all over Belize. "There are a little over 300,000 people in the country, and 200,000 know Alex," said his faculty adviser, Al Zale, leader of the Montana Cooperative Fishery Research Unit in MSU's Department of Ecology. Anderson also has a heart for Belize, and it's currently beating for people who are trying to make a living selling conch.

Today began the four day constitutionality challenge trial of Belize’s Section 53 anti-sodomy law in their Supreme Court. I have been watching the #UNIBAM twitter feed all afternoon (Belize = CST) for wonderful live-tweeting from Asa DeMatteo and now have been emailed (thank you!) the Press Release for Day One. The Press Release relays that the proceedings “began today with a reminder of the supremacy of the Constitution and the fundamental rights it guarantees to every individual.” The rights the Belizean Constitution guarantee include “the rights including privacy, freedom of conscience and expression, personal privacy and home and family life, and the recognition of human dignity of every individual.” Lead counsel for the Claimant, Trinidad and Tobago attorney Chris Hamel-Smith, CS, “argued that Section 53 discriminates against sexual minorities in Belize, on its face and in its impact on the LGBT community, and counseled the court that finding Section 53 inconsistent with the Constitution would not amount to legislative action.”

May 7, 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

A glimpse at the amazing underwater world with White Sands Dive Shop
“Did you see the dolphins yesterday?” asked the diver sitting next to me as we leave the dock next to Las Terazzas Resort. “It was amazing, the most incredible dive I’ve ever had,” exclaimed Cesar Cuevas. Equally giddy about the experience was his wife Rachell. Today we are on our way to dive Hol Chan (a Maya word that means small channel) Marine Reserve. The weather is perfect with only a slight breeze, and the water is crystal clear, highlighting the array of blues and turquoise colors that make the Caribbean famous. Belize has long been considered among the best dive destinations on the planet. And in this small Caribbean country, the island of Ambergris Caye offers countless diving experiences just minutes from her shore. San Pedro town offers numerous dive operations with dive masters who ensure a memorable and safe experience. Today we are with White Sands Dive Shop, among the oldest and prestigious dive operations on the island. Owner and operator Elbert Greer has a staff of seven who are dive masters, diving instructors, fishing guides, snorkel guides and boat captains. Four of the guides are with us today as we travel the short distance to Hol Chan, which offers an underwater experience for every class of diver.

Manuel Heredia Jr. donates funds for SPTC Mother’s Day Extravaganza
Plans are ongoing for the annual Mother’s Day celebration hosted by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). As part of the coordination and planning, on Friday May 2nd the SPTC received a donation from the Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia to help finance the event. A check for of $5,000 was handed over to San Pedro Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Mayor Guerrero expressed his gratitude for the generous gift from Heredia. “The money will be used to help us with our Mother’s Day event,” said Mayor Guerrero. It is an event that, according to Mayor Guerrero, will be a grand one. This year’s entertaining evening is scheduled for Saturday, May 11th at the Central Park. In handing over the contribution, Heredia explained that the donation was a commitment made to the mothers of the island to assure that the event will continue to be held. “I am happy to be able to secure funds that will improve the Mother’s Day celebration,” said Heredia. The money was secured through the Ministry of Tourism. San Pedro mothers are invited to the grand Mother’s Day Extravaganza that will commence at 6PM. The entertainment for the evening will be courtesy of X’Pet, El Cocotazo and Jose Gabriel, all Mexican performers.

Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve burglarized
On the morning of April 25th, an employee of Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve discovered that the toll booth located at the entrance of the site had been broken into. Window brokenIt appears the building had been entered through the door after the latch was broken or through a side window. According to Jan Brown, Director of Marco Gonzalez Archaeological Reserve, no money is ever left at the site, maintenance equipment and some merchandise was missing. The largest item stolen was the newly purchased Echo Gas Leaf Blower. While smaller items such as tools and grounds maintenance equipment were also reported missing. A set of Bushnell Binoculars, a personal item of an employee who had been using them to identify birds on the site was also taken. There were also a few merchandise items missing – t-shirts, beverage coozies and two “Ancient Maya Traders of Ambergris Caye” by Thomas Guderjan books that had just been received to re-sell. As well, the locks on the restrooms were destroyed.

US University Celebrates Garifuna Culture
The New Jersey Folk Festival paid tribute today to the remarkable resilience of the Garifuna people, a community that has survived wars, exile and deprivation – and which today is flourishing. “I believe this is due in great part to their absolute refusal to surrender against incredible odds,” said Camillo Gonsalves, permanent representative to the United Nations for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who spoke earlier this afternoon at the 39th annual gathering of the festival. The festival is part of Rutgers Day, the annual open house showcasing the best the university has to offer, which this year drew a record-breaking crowd of 83,000. St. Vincent is the ancestral homeland of the Garifuna people, who today are found largely in Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. A large Garifuna diaspora also exists in New York and New Jersey, the ambassadorsays.

Ambergris Today

Belize and Australia Team Up to Protect Barrier Reef Biodiversity
Managers of world’s two largest barrier reefs team up to protect biodiversity - Australia and Belize might seem worlds apart, but when it comes to coral reefs there is much in common. A key challenge faced by both countries is how to encourage economic development in ways that don’t reduce marine biodiversity. This is the focus of a three-day workshop in Belize City that will take place between May 7 and 9, 2013. Coral reef managers, scientists and policymakers will come together to review best-practice approaches to biodiversity offsetting, which can help developers and regulators design projects that deliver social and economic benefits while ensuring no overall loss of biodiversity.

Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar Holds Grand Opening Party
There is a new watering hole in town! More of a social hangout and a great place to eat; Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill held its inaugural party on Saturday, May 4, 2013, with live music by the 3D Band and DJ Traxx. There were lots of giveaways and complimentary drinks and appetizers throughout the night. Patrons were also happy to enjoy the Floyd Mayweather Jr. face-off fight against Roberto Guerrero. Needless to say the place was packed all weekend long and everybody had a great time.

What is the Book Of Mormon?
Learn about the History and Origin of the Book of Mormon and its testimony of Jesus Christ; friends and family of all ages are invited at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in front of San Pedro Belize Express Water-Taxi. Fridays at 5:00 p.m. Beginning in May 2013.

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: My View Carlo and Ernie's Opening Night
Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar celebrated their opening night on May 4th, 2013. Catch Carlo and Ernie's Runway Bar on Coconut Drive. A definite must stop when in La Isla Bonita.

Belize's First Movie Launches Caribbean Film Industry
Make-Belize Films, an organization developing the film arts in Belize, is pleased to announce the international online release of 'Curse of the Xtabai'. The 80 minute jungle thriller-comedy is available for rent at for $1.99. 'Xtabai' (pronounced "ish-ta-by") has the distinction of being the first major movie fully produced with Belizean talent. The project provided training then employment for 65 Belizeans, who conceived and performed the film without the use of a script. "We want movies from Belize to offer audiences something unique and special", explains producer Matthiew Klinck, "so we're using improvisation to bring a raw energy to the screen."

Belikin at AGRIC
Belikin caught some people enjoying themselves at the Belikin beer tent at Agric.

EMPRENDE Entrepreneur Funding
Do you have a great business idea, but don't know where to start? Or do you already have a new business (less than 3 years old) and want to see it expand? If you do, then you should apply for this funding. Please share this with others who have a talent that they can develop into a successful business. "Entrepreneurs, welcome to the application form for the EMPRENDE training program, leaded by BELTRAID and CENPROMYPE. For the application and selection process, you must understand the following points: Potential Entrepreneurs: People and teams with business ideas and motivation to undertake full time, but have not yet advanced to the stage of marketing their product or solution."

Rewarding Mom Sweepstakes
Mother's Day is fast approaching, and not only are many local restaurants having specials and live music, but Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry is giving you a chance to get your mother a free makeover. You'll also get a photoshoot with Ramon Quiroz and hair done by Cory Flores. Good luck! "Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry would like to give away a makeover this Mother's Day! One lucky mom will be randomly selected this Thursday, May 9, 2013. Winner will receive a makeover by Vanessa Awe Makeup Artistry along with hair done by Professional Hairdresser Cory Flores AND a mini photo session with Ramon Quiroz Photography! All you have to do is be sure to 'like' the page, then nominate a mom by commenting under this photo and that's it! *Anyone can be nominated, as long as the candidate is a mom. For more details on eligibility please refer to flyer. Have a nice day everyone! :)"

Running W Heats Up AGRIC
Running W got some great pictures while they were grilling and making some delicious BBQ at Agric. "Wow! What a weekend at the Agriculture Show grounds! If you weren’t feeling the heat of Running W’s grills, you surely missed out on the BEST grilling around!"

Caricom Song Competition
Don't forget about the Caricom song competition. Songs must be submitted by May 30th. The song should celebrate the history, culture, and traditions of the Caribbean. The winner will take home $10,000. Good luck.

VIDEO: Keyanni - Belize Top Model of The Week - Behind the Scenes Video
Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful travel destination of Belize. Models are selected based on various criteria by a well known and published photographer in Belize, Will Moreno from Will Moreno Photography and Lucelli Cal the owner and principal of one of the hottest trending boutiques in Belize, Catwalk Fashions. We will take you on a journey with us as we travel around Belize and perform these photoshoots in these beautiful locations with gorgeous models. The Main photo selected weekly is published on a full color print page in the Belize Times Newspaper in Belize. Make sure to tune in to see who our next weekly Top Model will be. Model: Keyanni Makeup Artist: Lucelli Cal Hair: Soraida Sharma Clothing: Catwalk Fashions Boutique Location: Chaps Bar and Grill - Pickwick Pool Published: 5/5/2013 Belize Times Newspaper Music by Kesha - "Blow"

Channel 7

Another Murder At The Former “Palm Island”
Tonight, the family members of 32 year-old John Paul Fernandez, continue to ask questions about what led to his apparent murder on the compound of The Office Restaurant and Bar – formerly known as Palm Island Bar – on the Phillip Goldson Highway. On Saturday morning at around 3:41 a.m., Fernandez was found dead with a gunshot wound to the right side of the head, and no eyewitnesses to say what led to it. All police are able to confirm tonight is that he was socializing with a man and shortly after a single gunshot was heard. Fernandez was later found dead in a pool of blood. His family is devastated by his sudden loss and today, they spoke with 7News to share what little information they have about the last time he was seen alive. Christopher Fernandez - Brother of Deceased "The information that I got was that my brother was helping a guy that was selling BBQ, not far from here, and the guy said he dropped my brother home. He said that he brought my brother at the lane but he didn't see if my brother reached at home. We got information and everyone knows who did it but we are leaving the information up to the court and to God so that they make the decision what is right. We're waiting on the police to get some information but the only reason is because I want to know how they killed my brother and what really happened to my brother. We want to know who did it and the reason why? Because my brother is a loving person, everyone knows my brother around here and know that he is loving.

City Shooting – 10 Shots Fired, No Injury
And while that murder happened early on Saturday morning, by Saturday night there was a wild shooting in the city. It happened at around 7:25 on Saturday night on Caesar Ridge Road. Residents say as many ten shots were fired by a passing gunman. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and police say the targeted person escaped. The police scenes of crime team responded and we saw them put down nine bullet markers. No one has been arrested or detained for the shooting.

Cayo Stabbing Results In Murder
John Fernandez’s murder was the weekend’s second homicide. The first happened in an area behind the Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio at around 6:30 p.m on Friday. 18 year-old Shaheem Slusher had just left his work site. He went for a swim, and he was socializing with several men. He got into an argument with another man who pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the neck and left shoulder. He tried to escape, but he fell and bled out beside the river. Last night, 7News travelled to San Ignacio, we got a chance to speak with his uncle, who is a police officer stationed in Belmopan. He told us about how they are dealing with his sudden loss. Denroy Barrow - Uncle of Deceased "It was around 7:00 Friday evening - I was at home when I was informed by a collegue that one of my nephews was injured by the river side. I made checks and I met the police officers at the scene doing their work. I don't have the full details but I was made to understand that my nephew was on his way from work because he works in Santa Elena. I believe that sometime while he was in the San Ignacio area he stopped by the river to wash off the cement from his work. As I understand it there were some other individuals in the area where he and someone got into a misunderstanding and a struggle insued whereby he received two stab wounds - one to the right side of the neck and the left side of his shoulder.

Mother Explains How Her Baby Died In A Bucket, Cops Not Completely Convinced
On Friday night we told you about a baby that apparently drowned in a bucket. One-year-old Kyle Leslie’s mother told police that she came back into the house to find her baby submerged in a bucket. Today, she told us her story. Jules Vasquez reporting Tanya Leslie - Mother of 1 year old, Drowned in Bucket "Well, it's an experience that I will never forget." Today, 19 year old Tanya Leslie has nothing but regrets. On Friday afternoon, at around 1:00 she had been sleeping with her two sons, Damion, two and Kyle,1 at her home on Mahogany Street when she stepped out briefly. Tanya Leslie "I got a phone call and they told me to come outside for the money and when I was out there I realized that only one of my sons was by the door. I went back into the kitchen I saw my son in the bucket and I pulled him out. I squeezed his stomach and I saw that water came out of his mouth like he was choking water and he was still alive.

Toddler Falls Into Pond In Boom, Drowns
And while that was Friday in the city, another small child drowned on Saturday in the Burrell Boom Area – and in this case police believe it was accidental. Five year old David Alexander Cruz was unaccompanied when he fell into a pond near his house and drowned. But while he was not being supervised near a body of water, as we found out there is a reason why that was the case: Mom was fending off a bush-fire. Jules Vasquez reporting On Saturday afternoon at about 3:00, a bush fire was encircling the Cruz family home off the Burrell Boom Road. The mother of three, 25 year old Raquel Carcamo was trying to fight the fire and keep it away from the house, when she called in her children who were eating coconuts about 200 feet away, near this putrid looking pond 200 feet from the home. But five year old David Alexander Cruz stayed back. Jose Tobar - Uncle of Deceased "The problem was that the baby David gave him the life jacket that he had and then they went. His sisters and my little brother didn't conscious that he stayed at the back so when they were looking for him they realize they couldn't find him. His sister Giselle went to the pond and she saw a hand in the water that's when they called her mother and told them that her brother was in the pond."

Crazy Arnold Gets a Crazy Jail Sentence
29 year-old Michael “Crazy” Arnold is at prison tonight serving a 12 year prison sentence after he was convicted of rape in 2011. Well, he’s getting 15 years added on to his prison time because he pleaded guilty to a second rape charge today. His female victim, who was 29 year-old at the time, told police that at around 10 p.m. on September 18, 2010, Arnold, who she knew for a month, entered her apartment and put a gun to her head. He ordered her to perform oral sex on him. She said that she refused and that’s when he pulled her on to a bed, grabbed a machete and put it to her neck threatening to chop her to death if she didn’t cooperate. With that machete to her throat, Arnold raped her. That case was called up today before Justice Adolph Lucas, and Arnold took the opportunity to change his plea to guilty. He begged the court to consider handing him a sentence which would run concurrently with his current 12 year sentence, 2 years of which he has already served.

Accused Killer Is 18, Not 17
A month ago, we told you about the execution-style killing of 36 year-old Frank Neal. Two days later, police charged a young man for his murder, who claimed that he was 17 years-old. Well tonight, he is in prison and he will be treated as an adult because police have confirmed that Paul Smith, a resident of Cemetery Road, is 18 years-old. As we reported, at around 6 p.m. on March 8, Neal was riding on Glenn Street, and he had gone to buy Johnny Cakes. That's when a gunman rode up behind him and shot him in the back of the head. He fell in the drain, and died on the spot. Paul Smith was taken before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith who remanded him to prison until July 4, 2013, his next court date.

UNIBAM’s Pre Trial Press Conference
May seventh to the tenth in the courtroom of Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin is reserved for what’s known as the UNIBAM Case, Caleb Orozco. The Attorney General of Belize which is the gay rights group challenge to section 53 of Belize’s criminal code. That section of the law says, “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” UNIBAM says that denies gay men their constitutional right to privacy. That’s the broad outline of a case which has triggered Belize’s first culture war: between those Christians who say that homosexuality is an abomination and the gay rights group which says consenting adults should be free to do as they wish in their private lives. The case has drawn a constellation of local and international legal luminaries, and today, aware that the court of public opinion is as important as the court of law, Orozco’s group held a pre-trial press conference at the University of the West Indies, Open Campus. Westmin James and Caleb Orozco took questions on the nature of the case, and whether the impetus for it came from international agencies pushing a gay rights lobby. Caleb Orozco - Executive President, UNIBAM "For far too long the state has ignored it's LGB's citizens fundamental right and freedom in other lower level lots. It may have immediately removed to individual citizens' prejudices immediately but it's certainly a heck of a debate and a journey to get there."

Thousands Take PSE Part II
Tonight, thousands of Standard 6 students from around the country are breathing a sigh of relief because they finished the PSE today, sitting Paper two, the Math and Social Studies subjects. It’s the most important test of their young academic careers, and today 7News got a chance to speak with a few of them to get a feel for how challenging they found the test to be. Adalmi Cambranez - Wesley Upper School "We were taking Social Studies and Mathematics today." Daniel Ortiz "In your optinion, how was it now that you've gone through it?" Adalmi Cambranez "Only one of two were hard - not that hard but it was good. I think I passed it with a high score." Daniel Ortiz "How long did it take you to prepare for it?" Adalmi Cambranez "It took me long enough because I was doing very well in my opinion so I studied very hard." Kevin Vega - Grace Primary School "The Mathematics was kind of challenging but I know I did well. The Social Studies was faily easy I think."

Bowen & Bowen Production Lags, Can’t Keep Up With Demand
For weeks, we’ve been hearing complaints about shortages with Bowen and Bowen products, from soft-drinks in the plastic bottles, to soft drinks in the glass bottles, and now an acute shortage of Crystal water products. Today, Bowen and Bowen Senior Executive Hilly Martinez confirmed that as regards water products, the company is behind in production and just cannot keep up with market’s demand during the hot months of April and May. He says this has led to the rationing of five gallon bottles and the shortage of the pouch bags for 25 cents. As for the glass bottled soft drinks, he says they had a major breakdown with a machine called the crowner, which puts the aluminum stopper on the bottles. He says they had to order the replacement part form Germany which also caused delays.

Belize’s Buffest Off to Britain
In October of last year, 7News showed you the 2012 Body Building Champion, Rigo Vellos. Well, he’s moving on from Belize, and he’s competing in a much larger competition. Vellos is making a few last-minute preparations to leave for Colchester, London for the 2013 Hercules Olympia Body-Building competition which will be held this Saturday. This competition is a big deal it attracts some of the world’s top-form bodybuilders, and Vellos will become the first Belizean to participate. Since the October 2012 Bodybuilding championships, Vellos has won 1st place in the Corozal Bodybuilding Competition in Senior Category, which was held this weekend. He also won 1st Place in the Habet and Habet Mr. Physique Competition which was held in Placencia over the Easter weekend. All through this time, he has been fundraising to travel to London, and he thanks his sponsors.

Ride ‘Em, Cowboy!
The Rodeo, it has become a mainstay at the National Agriculture and Trade Show, and every year, fans flock to the event because of the excitement it brings. Brave cowboys from across the country participated in yesterday’s rodeo, and 7News was there for every thrilling moment of it. Daniel Ortiz has that report. Daniel Ortiz reporting Yesterday, the 2013 Rodeo was filled to capacity; every seat in the four corners of the facility's bleachers was occupied. It has a history going back some 47 years, so it's expected that the sport has avid fans and supporters. The Rodeo is all about good clean fun and entertainment, but according to one of the oldest professionals, there is a youth outreach aspect to it. Robert Lightburn - Rodeo Official Timekeeper "I would like to see this go on. The objective of this is to get the kids involved in something positive. Rodeo is something that you have to practice and live." And the youth participation was evident when one of the youngest contestants confidently rode her horse through the course designed for the Barrel Racing.

Barbering As a Business Solution
Right now, Belize’s unemployment rate is IN THE teens, and every day, young Belizeans try in vain to seek out different employers for jobs. At the YWCA, young women and youth have traditionally been the target groups for intervention but 16 weeks ago, the organization collaborated with the US Embassy to create a unique capacity building training. Today, 7News attended it’s first barber expo, and 7News found out about that capacity training. Daniel Ortiz reporting The male population in Belize currently doesn’t have enough barbers; most of them have to line up every 2 weeks to get a trim. The YWCA, in collaboration with the US Embassy, decided to turn that demand into an avenue of outreach to young men in the communities, who need a trade and are willing to accept help. Sonia Linarez - General Secretary, YWCA "Today is a big day for the YWCA because we are having a barber expo. This is the first time the Y has embarked on such an initiative."

British Court Says former BHC Yapp Was Unfairly Done In By Courtenay Complaint
Since 2008, we’ve been reporting on the case of John Yapp, the former British High Commissioner to Belize who was abruptly relieved of his post and sent home after a complaint emerged that he’d behaved inappropriately – specifically that he’d touched a woman’s behind at a cocktail party. For years, rumours circulated as to who that woman may have been – but now, a judgment in British Court has been handed down – and it says the woman was Denise Courtenay and the man who complained about it was her husband, Eamon Courtenay. The 42 page judgment arises out of a lawsuit Yapp filed against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, saying that he had been unjustly dismissed from his Belize posting. The judgment discloses the details of confidential conversations Courtenay had with Foreign Office Staff. The Courtenay Allegations, as they are called, were put into an e-mail which says, quote, “at private events the claimant had acted inappropriately with women, including touching Mrs Denise Courtenay’s bottom, and so people were no longer prepared to invite him to events. The mail also lists six other allegations in which Courtenay is alleged to have said he had declined to attend events at the High Commission during the visit of (a British) Minister, and that quote, “Mr Courtenay commented that the sooner the claimant left Belize the better.”

Channel 5

Pen knife murder at Cayo bar
There were two murders over the weekend; the first murder occurred in the west. Eighteen year old Shaheem Slusher, a construction worker from Gales Point Manatee, moved to San Ignacio seven years ago, but something went awfully wrong on Friday evening. At about six-thirty, his body was found behind the Pit Pan Bar in San [...]

Name changed, but man murdered at Palm Island
Nine hours later, there was another murder…this time in the Old Capital. It’s also the second murder to be recorded at Palm Island. In the predawn hours of Saturday morning, two friends were socializing at the Belize City club, when one was fatally shot. One suspect, who was being questioned, was subsequently released and police [...]

5 year old drowns in Burrell Boom Pond
Even as the nation struggles to deal with the killing by drowning of three small children one week ago, another family is grieving the loss of their only son to drowning. This latest tragedy occurred in the village of Burrell Boom on Saturday afternoon; it has left a young mother inconsolable after her son, five [...]

Toddler drowns in bucket in Belize City
Another child purportedly drowned and Belize City police are tonight investigating the death of a toddler. The initial reports are that one year old Kyle Adain Leslie drowned inside a bucket of water on Friday afternoon at his Mahogany Street house. Sometime around two-twenty p.m., a team of officers visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital [...]

Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala headed to O.A.S.
The October referendum has been called off; first by Guatemala on the basis that they wanted Belize to amend the Referendum Act to change the sixty percent voter turnout to a simple majority and also because they were not prepared to spend millions of dollars on a process which likely would not have yielded a [...]

Former British High Commissioner vindicated of allegations of inappropriate behavior
Former British High Commissioner to Belize John Yapp has been vindicated after a judge ruled that he was let down by the British Foreign Office in 2008. Yapp was yanked from service in Belize after allegations that he had touched the rear of a senior politician’s wife at a social function, and also that he [...]

UNIBAM and U-RAP pretrial conference
The landmark case of Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize goes to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, and both sides, and the churches as interested parties, are gearing up for what will be a very significant trial challenging section fifty-three of the criminal code which states that persons who engage in carnal knowledge [...]

Is UNIBAM being used for foreign gay agenda?
Although the trial will be run along clear-cut legal lines, this is far from a clear-cut, unemotional issue and feelings on both sides are running deep. Today, the media asked the hard questions, including a query about an existing perception that there is a foreign agenda at work, and Caleb Orozco is just a pawn [...]

UNIBAM’s Caleb says gay case is human rights issue
And from taking offense to giving offense, Orozco reiterated that there is no foreign government at work in this case, and it is a human rights agenda that is dictating his struggle. Orozco also revealed that discrimination is one of the key issues at play in this case.   Caleb Orozco, Claimant “The US Government [...]

Michael “Crazy” Arnold locked up until 2023 for rape
Repeat offender Michael “Crazy” Arnold was charged for raping a twenty-nine year old woman back in September 2010.  At the time, Arnold pleaded not guilty. But today, he went back to court and changed his plea to guilty so as not to waste the court’s time. Arnold called no witnesses, but asked the court for [...]

Frutos’ attempted murder with machete
Thirty-four year old Edgar Elmer Frutos, an employee of the Angelus Press Limited, appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith today, where he was read a string of charges stemming from an incident on April twenty-seventh.  The technician is accused of hacking Osmond Romero with a machete, following a misunderstanding.  In an affidavit, Frutos said [...]

Smith; claims to be a minor, but charged for murder
Eighteen year old Paul Smith was charged today for the March murder of Frank Neal. Smith originally claimed that he was seventeen, but he was brought back to court today from the Wagner’s Facility and arraigned as an adult before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. Neal was gunned down by a lone gunman while purchasing [...]

Day two of PSE; students say math hard, social studies easy
Day two of the PSE took place today at different locations countrywide. Close to eight thousand primary school students sat the exams. While a number of students were comfortable with social science, math is still a challenge for the majority. News Five’s Jose Sanchez, spoke to students from various primary schools.   Jose Sanchez, Reporting [...]

CARSI and YWCA teach youths to be paid barbers
The Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) is the United States Government’s top program for investing and promoting peace in Central America. CARSI has pledged six million U.S. dollars to go towards initiatives that combat urban crime and narco-trafficking while investing in programs that prevent youths from straying into illicit activities. Several weeks ago CARSI [...]

Ball kicking, hoop shooting Sports Monday highlight
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is sports Monday.   The 2013 PLB playoffs got off to a roaring start over the weekend so we took in game 1 of the home and away series between Police United and the Belize Defense Force inside the FFB Stadium at the Capital City Saturday night.   [...]


Gay Rights Sits High On This Week's Legal Agenda In Belize
High on the legal agenda for this week is the much-touted case of Caleb Orozco and the United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, which is seeking to challenge Section 53 of the Laws of Belize that pertains to sexual conduct. Today, one of Orozco’s legal representatives, West...

Security Detained For Murder of Belize City Laborer
32 year old John Fernandez, a laborer of 17 Flamboyant Street went socializing last Friday night with friends when his life was cut short. Fernandez’ uncle, David Morales, informed Love News that earlier on Friday night he learned that someone had dropped off Fernandez near...

Final Segment of Primary School Exams Held Today
The second portion of the Primary School Examinations is being sat today all over the country. Love News spoke with Principal Education Officer for National Exams, Yvonne Davis, who gave us the details on the scope of today’s exam. YVONNE DAVIS "Today they are ...

Agric Show Held Over The Weekend
Over the weekend thousands of Belizeans flocked to Belmopan for the 2013 National Agriculture and Trade Show. Since its establishment back in 1970, “Agric” as most Belizeans refer it as, has become, undoubtedly, one of the most visited events of the year. The theme ch...

Mother Turns To Media To Locate Missing Son
Tonight, worries over thirteen years old Scott Thompson is growing as it has been over a week since anybody has heard of him or knows his whereabouts. According to the Thompson mother, Elvira Thompson, it’s not the first time that the thirteen year old has gone missing...

IACHR Expresses Concerns Over Human Rights Situation With The Maya Communitites
An article on online news page, reports that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, IACHR, has expressed concerns regarding the human rights situation of the Maya indigenous communities in Toledo. The article says the IACHR has received information that p...

Fire At Airport Bar Reported
It has not been reported in the police news report but the San Pedro Sun has reported that a fire at Jet’s Bar at the Philip Goldson International Airport has totally destroyed the bar. The newspaper reported that the incident happened at around eight on the night of Sa...

Fifteen Years For Rape Following Guilty Plea
Thirty-six year old Michael Arnold, a.k.a. “Crazy”, was sentenced to 15 years today by Justice Adolph Lucas after he pled guilty to rape. Justice Lucas stipulated that the sentence is to run consecutively to a sentence of 12 years that Arnold is serving for a rape convictio...

Teenager Found Murdered In Cayo District
An eighteen year old man was murdered in the Cayo Districton Friday Evening. According to reports, the victim Raheem Slusher, a resident of Gales Point Manatee Village was involved in an argument with thirty one year old Brian Burke at Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio Town. The a...

YWCA Holds Barber Competition Following Training Sessions
The YWCA Building was buzzing with the sound of hair clippers this afternoon as the Young Women’s Christian Association held its first ever Barber Expo and Competition. The competition saw that participation of 8 competitors who have been part of a barbering course that has taken...

Baby Drowns In Bucket While Mother Was Asleep
A one year old toddler reportedly died while in the care of his young mother last Friday afternoon and the 19 year says that he drowned while she was asleep. Tanya Leslie told Love News that she returned home on Mahogany Street after lunch hour on Friday and met two of her young ...

Action Plan Launched For Central Belize Corridor
The Government of Belize through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable and the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute will initiate Management Action Planning for the Central Belize Corridor though a launch event from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the B...

Four of Six Fishermen Plead Guilty For Drug Trafficking
A case involving six fishermen, charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled drug, concluded today with four of them pleading guilty. They are Juan Munoz, Joselito Bautista, Jose Nunez, Jose Peraza, Javier Perez and Jose Rodriguez. All six were charged with drug traffic...

New Horizon's Plastic Surgeons Operates On Toddler
A 4 year old Belizean boy, Isai Carrillo, underwent surgery on May 2nd to correct syndactyly, otherwise known as hand fusion, in his right hand. The surgery was done at the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town. With help from New Horizons’ plastic surgeons; his hand tha...


Firearm And Ammunition Removed Off The Streets
A man from the Orange Walk District is in serious trouble with the law after he was busted with a firearm and several live rounds. The incident happened at around 3:00 yesterday afternoon when police searched a Yamaha ATV driven at the time by 24 year old Vildo Westby, a Belizean laborer of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District. The search led police to one air pistol and one .22 live round found in the cartridge. But police were not satisfied and decided to search Westby. This time the search yielded (15) .22 live rounds of ammunition. Westby was immediately detained and escorted to the Orange Walk Police Station where he is detained pending charges.

Junior Farmer Of The Year Hails From Corozal
Over the weekend thousands of Belizeans flocked to Belmopan for the annual National Agriculture and Trade Show which was officially declared opened on Friday. Undoubtedly, there were many attractions at the show grounds and let’s not leave out the great deals. But perhaps one of the highlights of the event was the naming of the senior, female and junior farmers of the year. Tonight, the spotlight shines on the junior farmer of the year who we are proud to note is from the Corozal District. This morning Reporter Victor Castillo and Cameraman Kenric Simpson travelled further north and visited the 15 acre farm land of 19 year old Nelson Enrique Burgos, 2013’s Junior Farmer of the Year. Victor Castillo- Reporting Meet this year’s Junior Farmer of the year, 19 year old Nelson Enrique Burgos from Fresh Water Creek in the Corozal District. At the age of 14 Burgos became interested in farming and since then has dedicated most of his time and efforts in expanding his family’s business. Every day, with the assistance of his grandfather, he cultivates this 15 acre plot of land, planting an assortment of vegetables and fruit trees. But Burgos does not only toil the soil, he also grows a number of chickens which similar to his fruits and vegetables are sold for local consumption.

Two Toddlers Drown In Belize City
On Friday four year old Triana Teul, three year old Thomas Teul and one year old 1 year old Trinaya Teul were laid to rest. The three siblings were killed by their mother, 22 year old Felicia Chen, on April 27th as she took them to the Belizean Beach and drowned them. Tonight there is more sad news to report as two toddlers drowned in separate incidences. The first incident occurred on Friday May 3rd. According to 19 year old Tanaya Leslie, she arrived home at around 12:30 on Friday afternoon where she found her two sons asleep. Tired herself the mother says she fell asleep too and when she woke up she found her one year old baby boy, Kyle Leslie, face down in a bucket of water. The mother says she immediately pulled the toddler out of the water but it was too late, by the time the child arrived at the hospital he was already dead. No charges have been levied upon Leslie. The second incident was recorded on Saturday May 4th. Ladyville Police visited the Fresh Pond area in the Village of Burrell Boom in Belize City where they found the body of five year old David Alexander Cruz. Investigations revealed that sometime between 3:00pm and 4:00pm on the 4th, the child went into the pond located 100 yard away from his house and drowned. The child was retrieved from the water by his mother 25 year old Elvis Raquel Carcamos, a Salvadoran national. The body of David Alexander Cruz was transported to the K.H.M.H where it was pronounced dead at 7:00pm.

15 Year Old Minor Gone Missing
Tonight the mother of a 15 year old girl from Orange Walk Town is asking for the publics assistance in locating her daughter whose been missing for two days. Seleni Norelia Blanco left home on Saturday May 4th at around 7:30am en-route to her job at the Ready Call Centre and has not been seen since. According to Blanco’s mother, Rosa Truches, she received a text from her daughter on Saturday and on Sunday afternoon at around four informing her that she was ok and should not worry. But Truches, who visited our studios today, told us she is worried sick about her daughter and all that she wants is for her to return home. Blanco is described as being of Hispanic Decent, has long black straight hair, brown skin and dark brown eyes. Anyone knowing the whereabouts of Seleni Norelia Blanco is asked to contact the nearest Police Station or contact the family at 665-3866 or 605-8276.

Students Sit Second Part Of PSE
On March 18th, 2013, a total of 7,556 standard six students countrywide sat the first part of the Primary School Examination which represented a 6% increase over last year 2012. 1,804 students of the total amount were from the north; 858 students were from the Corozal District and 946 students were from the Orange Walk District. Today, students sat the second part of the Primary School Examination consisting of Math paper one and two and Social Studies. So how did it go? That’s what we found out. Irvin Aragon – Reporter Today, hundreds of standard six students countrywide headed to the various examination rooms to sit the second part of the Primary School Examination. This year 1,804 students who took the exams were from the north. Over the years, the Ministry of Education has seen an increase in the number of students who sit the exam and this year was no different except for the fact that 142 students who took the first phase of the exam did not sit the second part. The numbers here in the north however, were not affected. The exams consisted of Math paper 1 and 2, paper 1 consisting of 50 multiple choices and paper 2 consisting of 10 problem solving questions. The Social Studies paper consisted of 50 multiple choices.

Ministry Of Education Celebrates Education Week
Yesterday marked the beginning of Education Week celebrated this year under the theme: “Working together: Stakeholders partnering to enhance education”. Activities will run for two weeks this year culminating with Teachers Day on Friday May 17th. The main objective for the celebration is to highlight achievements in the Education system, according to District Education Officer Carla Alvarez. Carla Alvarez- District Education Officer “The purpose of these two weeks of celebration is to sensitize the public as to some of the education services that are offered and what the Ministry of Education does on its various capacities and so the celebration started with an ecumenical service in the various districts and this two week period is teachers’ day.” Irvin Aragon - Reporter “Could you tell us some of the activities happening here in the north?” Carla Alvarez- District Education Officer “There is a calendar that marks the various activities happening throughout the country and then we also have some specific activities here I Orange Walk but coincidentally today is PSE day two and so it is an interesting way to start the spirit of celebration, tomorrow we have a, what you call a Creole culture type of program telling a story and this will be conducted by Ms. Mirna Manzanares at Banquitas House of Culture. Monday, May 13th we will have a financial literacy fair at ITVET this one of the highlights of the two weeks celebration and we are inviting schools from across the country to participate”


Two small boys drown over the weekend
Two little boys lost their lives in separate drowning incidents over the weekend. One took place in Belize City and the other in the Ladyville area. We begin in Belize City where according to police, nineteen year old Tanya Leslie of Mahogany Street discovered her baby son’s head inside...

Homosexual Court Case Starts Tomorrow
Lawyers for Caleb Orosco, litigant in tomorrow’s constitutional court challenge to the sodomy law, flew in today. Orosco hosted a press conference flanked by media representative Nyasha Laing and attorney representing the UWI Law Faculty Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), Westmin James. Orozco fielded questions central to the case, including...

Teenages dies after knife attack
A teenager lost his life on Friday night, after someone he had a misunderstanding with, attacked him with a knife. The incident happened at Pit Pan Bar in San Ignacio Town around 6:00pm. 18 year old Raheem Slusher, a resident of Gales Point Manatee Village, and Brian Burke, a...

Head to head collision on Cayo bridge
There was an accident on the low lying wooden bridge joining Santa Elena and San Ignacio. It happened this afternoon. The bridge is a one lane structure and usually vehicles wait until the bridge is clear before embarking. But somehow, a J and J bus and a green Toyota...

Law Expert confident on Belize dealings with ICJ
There is no longer a referendum scheduled for October 6th to decide whether Belize goes to the ICJ. Even so, the discussion on the Belize Guatemala issue continues. Last week professor from the University of Wollongong School of Law in Australia, Warwick Gullett, stopped in Belize as part of...

Julius Espat and Conrad Lewis discuss Public Accounts Committee on Rise & Shine
Conrad Lewis, Former Clerk of the National Assembly and Hon. Julius Espat Area Representative for Cayo South and Chairman of the Public Account Committee were guests on this morning’s Rise and Shine. The two spoke about The Public Accounts Committee which has the duty of examining, considering and reporting...

Family Friendly National Agriculture and Trade Show
The National Agriculture and Trade Show was held over the weekend. Thousands flocked to the nation’s capital for the annual event that featured the country’s finest crops and animals and of course – what would agric be without some good food, entertainment, and promotional deals. There were quite some...

Belize City youths trained in Barbering
The YWCA and Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) of the U.S. Government have teamed up in an initiative to provide training to Belize City youths interested in barbering. Shearing off hair and providing intricate designs for those who are into that is becoming something of a science, but...

Ambassador of the State of Qatar presents credentials
Today, the Governor General of Belize, Sir Colville Young was presented with credentials from the Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Belize, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamid Al-Thani. In his presentation, the Sheikh conveyed greetings and best wishes for progress and prosperity to the Governor General and ...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ocean Academy Biology Students Research Sharks
Marine Biology students from Ocean Academy High School spent a Sunday afternoon learning first-hand how scientists conduct field research. Dr. Rachel Graham leads the Belize Shark Project. She taught students how to use a GPS and depth sounder, collect data, bait a long-line and set-up an underwater camera. The group didn’t catch any sharks to tag, but did swim with 21 Southern Sting Rays and 4 Nurse Sharks.

Ocean Academy Holds Science Fair
Naked eggs? Color-changing milk? Clouds in bottles? These are scientific wonders, and many more experiments were on display at the Annual Ocean Academy Science Fair. Students led hands on experiments and answered questions from primary schoolers, preschoolers, visitors, tourists and the community.

Jasmine Skeen is Miss Tourism Belize 2013
Jasmine Monique Skeen, a proud product of Caye Caulker, was crowned Miss Tourism Belize 2013. She will represent Belize at the Miss Tourism International Pageant to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in December. Hearty congratulations, Jasmine!

Cary Canto for Councilor


Tips for an Affordable, Extraordinary Summer Holiday
With a bit of comparison shopping, a summer holiday in an exotic Caribbean rainforest setting may cost less than taking a vacation at home, according to a vacation planning expert at Belize’s The Lodge at Chaa Creek. Bryony Fleming Bradley, who is also Chaa Creek’s assistant GM, said that the popular eco resort’s all-inclusive Belize vacation packages can result in big savings by removing any hidden costs from a holiday. “What always blows out vacation budgets is the many surprises and hidden costs people seem to encounter when travelling, whether overseas or in their own country,” she said. “As much as you plan, things always seem to arise that end up costing more than expected.” “By booking an all-inclusive Belize vacation package, you know exactly what everything is going to cost from the moment you land in Belize until you depart, so that you get the most out of your summer vacation with the least amount of expense and stress,” she added. Ms Fleming Bradley said that another advantage of all-inclusive vacation deals is the very low cost overall.

Poster: Belize Social Media Consulting Contest
This is a poster we did for Belize Social Media Consulting for a contest they are promoting on Facebook and Twitter. This is what they had to say, on Twitter, about the final product: @BZSocialMedia : "@ibelmopan wow! wow! wow! #speechless absolutely love it! More than I expected! Thanks so much!"

“Out of Touch” in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Started my day yesterday just before 4 am (got to bed early the previous night) with a mug of coffee on the veranda reviewing a Heads of Agreement for a friend in the UK. It was the early May bank holiday in the UK and he wanted my comments for his return to work on Tuesday. Think I may have mentioned before that I do not miss working (well not too much) and took to being retired a lot easier than I had thought I would but I do enjoy the opportunity to review the occasional contract for the business (national newspapers) that I spent my working life in. It’s good not to get out of touch! When I had finished the review and typed up my comments on the draft and sent them to my friend I turned my attention to my In Box where I was really pleased to find an email from my nephew Bradley which was accompanied by a load of photos that he had taken of his son Cody and his cousins. He does this from time to time so we are not out of touch with how they are growing up. No real reason for including these photos in today’s edition other than I like them.

Letter to Minister of Tourism
We received this in an email and wanted to share it with you. Dear Laura, The FCCA Platinum Conference is soon to be opened. We are in a uniquely bad position as native Belizeans in this sector of the tourism industry, as there is NO ONE with Platinum Standing, except for the BTB. We consider ourselves as tax payers to be partially responsible for BTB’s ability to be a platinum member of FCCA. Thus, we ask the BTB if it would be possible for the organization to request from the FCCA for a seat or seats as NON PARTICIPATING OBSERVERS at the conference. It appears there IS precedent for that at Platinum FCCA conferences in the past. Moreover, it would be a blackeye on the face of Belize if the only representation of a tour operation is an foreign operator.

Deputy Prime Minister Vega Family Land Grab
We recently got hold of some of the land documents showing where the minister has either given or sold at dirt cheap, land to his family. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources has literally said that because him and his family are not “NORMAL” Belizeans that these actions are ok and the Prime Minister actually backs him up.

International Sources

You Can’t Have Human Rights Without Gay Rights
The Supreme Court of Belize is arguing about whether or not LGBT people can legally be LGBT. The question is at the root of all equality. Ten years ago, when I became a lawyer, I believed that the single most important civil rights issue of our day was racial equality. Over the past two years, a tooth-and-nail fight for gay rights in Belize has broadened my outlook. It has made me understand the need for a truly humanistic approach to ensuring minority rights on a global scale. While racial relations are still the nemesis of social progress in many countries, the fight for gender equality and gender expression has become the new civil rights struggle—and for good reason. When deeply ingrained stereotypes and cultural mores exclude gay persons from society in regions like the Caribbean, law itself becomes as essential to eradicating discrimination as it was for America’s Birmingham boycotters 50 years ago.

May 6, 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

Woofer: Mexican Breakfast
So, just what is it about the Mexican breakfast that makes it so appealing?

Editorial: Becoming Belizean
Last Friday, April 26th my husband and I were proud to take the Oath of Allegiance and become Belizean citizens. It has been a long process, and one that took some perseverance and just old-fashioned patience. No strings were pulled, no bribes were paid, no deals were made…we just filled out the paperwork, complied with all the requirements, sat our interviews and took the nationality test; answering questions such as “what is the national tree”? The final paperwork was filled on April 12, 2011, and two years and a few days later, we stood in a room with 180 other people from all corners of the globe, pledging our allegiance to the country we now call home. Many have asked us why this was so important to us, that we share citizenship with our native USA. To me the answer is easy…Belize is my home, Belize is where I work, live, play…Belize is where my dear friends are…so why wouldn’t I want to belong to her?

Doctor Love: English Common Law vs Napoleonic Code of Law
Sometimes, Dr. Love is not all about love. Let's talk law: "innocent until proven guilty"? Or do we follow the "guilty until proven innocent" rule?

Misc Belizean Sources

VIDEO: We R 1 Take a (Stand) - Alvin Ledlon
This song is to inform people of their Human Rights that exist under the United Nation's Declaration on Human Rights and is in support of equality for all.

Rotary Eye Clinics in Cayo
The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is having their annual eye exams through Friday, May 9th. They'll be performing the checks at the San Ignacio Community Hospital. Call Dr. Ruth Guiterrez at 804-2510 to register. They'll be checking for cataracts, pterygium, glaucoma, and diabetes.

Why Unblocking of VOIP Is Good News For Belize Small Business
The news broke on April 29th, 2013 that Belize Telemedia will no longer block Voice Over Internet Protocol – ( VOIP ). This is great news for Belizeans at home and abroad, no more costly phone bills! The Prime Minister said “Of course this ability to now freely access VOIP will further harness the power of the internet, and allow Belizeans to enhance many facets of their lives, particularly in areas such as long distance learning with video-conferencing capabilities, computer to computer conversations with families and friends abroad, and even internet-based television.” The reason I was excited about the news wasn't just that I could do video chat with family and friends but I was thrilled that small business owners and entrepreneurs can also now tap into an even greater arena!

April 28, 2013 - May 4, 2013 Report
The big migratory tarpon have been seen down by Long Caye and Savannah. Shino landed a 50 lb tarpon, Kaz had a 30+ lb beauty and Kelly got hers with live bait! Shino landed some gorgeous permit and there were so many bonefish landed we couldn't keep track. Dale landed a beautiful snook and barracuda on fly! Fun week!

Working at Cara Blanca Pool
Working at Cara Blanca Pool #1 this week. Incredible experience - a giant sink hole in the middle of the Belizean rainforest, with a Mayan ceremonial site along its rim. Here Marty O'farrell dives along a cliff wall at about 90 feet, a location where he discovered a huge fossilized backbone (each individual vertebrate the size of a cantaloup) in the rock along with a leg bone of an unknown creature. In the lower left is a debris field from sediment and jungle detritus fallen into the pool over 100's of years. At the top of the photo is a light layer of hydrogen sulphide (smells like rotten eggs) which the light barely penetrates. Traded my camera for a collecting bag as we spent the afternoon excavating underwater in depths of 20-60 feet. Finds include stone tools, bones and pottery shards. Back at it in a few minutes.


Experiencing Minimal Hurricane Winds Before The Hurricane Season
As mentioned in the story more than $300,000 worth in damage was recorded in the community of Shipyard alone, due to last nights torrential rains. But what caused yesterdays sudden change of weather after experiencing an intense heat of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and even a hail storm in Corozal? According to the Belize Weather Bureau a high pressure ridge influenced our weather brining along minimal hurricane force winds. Frank Tench - Forecaster “Well, I receive report that there was a hail storm that occurred in the Corozal District more specifically in the Ranchito area of Corozal and it started around this afternoon and the hail stones was recorded and observed close to 3:15 this afternoon, before the hail stones there was strong winds in the north and northwest and period on intense showers and rain as the system moved across the Corozal District. Hail storm happens specially during within thunder storms, they normally occurring within any thunder storm on an average day but when they reached the ground and we experience them the conditions are very violent in the thunder storm itself and allows the hails stones to reach the earth surface, in a normal thunder storm cloud you’ll have a series of thunder storms cells or it might just be one thunder storm it might be a group of cells, we have these updrafts and down drafts and cause the process of freezing and condensation of the water vapor within the cloud but if the downdraft is sufficiently strong they allow the frozen water droplets to fall out and experience it as hail.”

New App Developed By Student Of CEMJC
Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College has been in existence for only six years but the institution has taken their motto of creating more access for higher education very seriously. At today’s open day and inauguration of two new buildings, the educational institution also took the opportunity to unveil an exciting application that can be used on android cell phones and ipads. The Maya Run apps was developed by one of the students of the Information Technology Department. Hugo Gonzales- Dean CEMJC “We are presently here in the IT lab and what we are about to unveil to our nation is that one of our CEMJC students Mr. Dair Aban wrote all the codes in programming for this new game application that we are showcasing which is called the Maya Run and he is the person responsible for coming up with the game and the graphics and so forth. It all started at the beginning and we joined into a group and begin planning on something to do on the development club so we first came up with a game and we decided to either do a fun game, a puzzle game, and we came with a fun game called the Maya Run. Everything was planned from the beginning and it was challenging but successful.” The new application will be offered to the telecommunications company SMART. According to Teacher David Alfaro, the school is proud of their latest achievement.

CEMJC Ready To Increase Student Enrollment
Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College has been in operation for less than a decade and today the institution can boast of five new classrooms. Those classrooms were inaugurated this morning during a special ceremony held at the school grounds and we formed part of the special invited guests. Elmer Cornejo reports. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College has been in existence since 2007. As a tertiary educational institution, it began serving the District of Corozal with only a science laboratory, a computer laboratory and two classrooms with an enrolment of fifty students. But that changed today as the institution inaugurated two newly built upper flat structures which will house five classrooms. Hugo Gonzales-Dean CEMJC “I must agree that I am overwhelmed with joy to be a part of this momentous occasion, first of all I must thank our Almighty God for only through him all things are made possible. I clearly recall some years ago when the Mexican government provided a monetary grant with the intention to establish a vocational technical junior college in Belize, this grant paved the way for Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College to become a living reality.” Construction began in December of 2011 and according to the CEMJC’s Dean Hugo Gonzales, the two newly built buildings come at a cost of two hundred and eighty five thousand Belize dollars.

Guatemala's President Declares State Of Emergency In Four Towns
Tonight the country of Guatemala is making headlines but it has nothing to do with the Belize Guatemala Territorial Dispute or much less the simultaneous referendum. Reports coming out of Guatemala indicate that President Otto Perez Molina declared a 30 day state of emergency in four southeastern towns following deadly clashes related to a proposed silver mine. The declaration means the citizen’s constitutional rights in the towns of Jalapa, Mataquescuintla, Casillas and San Rafael Las Flores, are temporarily suspended. During a press conference held yesterday, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina announced that the move was made in an effort to quash the violent protests against Canadian mining company Tahoe Resources. According to Guatemala’s local media, one police officer and a demonstrator were shot dead during a shootout on Monday when police went to free 23 police officers who were being held hostage by protesters and were later released. Reports also suggest that six protesters were reportedly wounded by gunfire from the company’s security guards on Saturday. For their part Escobal Silver Mine has denied any responsibility for the death of the police officer and demonstrator but has stated that they regret the injuries to protesters caused by rubber bullets. Riots began earlier this week in the town of San Rafael Las Flores, located about 40 miles east of Guatemala City where Tahoe Resources Escobal silver mine is located. Protesters claim that the Escobal silver mine, which is not yet under operation, will contaminate their land and local water supplies.

The Aftermath Of Unexpected Freak Storm
After experiencing a whopping temperature of 100 degrees yesterday, a drastic change in the weather conditions was experienced here in the north. Residents in the village of Fire Burn, Little Belize, and the Community of Shipyard were the most affected by last night’s thunderstorm. In fact, we can safely say that the Mennonite Community of Shipyard recorded a loss of more than $300,000 as some 15 houses were damaged and 4,000 chickens were killed. As you will witness in the following report, the aftermath of last nights thunderstorm proved to be disastrous, at least for some. Cameraman Jesus Melgar and reporter Irvin Aragon filed the following report. Irvin Aragon – Reporting Just before 7:00 last night villagers of Fire Burn located more than 15 miles out of Orange Walk Town, began experiencing light rain and thunder. While they were preparing to go to bed as usual, the weather changed drastically brining along a storm of hail and winds that, to many, looked like that of a tornado. Residents of the village did their best to protect their valuables, but the thunderstorm took them by surprise and by the time they took action it was too late. Gilberto Campos, Resident of Fireburn Village “Empezaron una lluvias muy suavecitas pero de repente se vino un viento yo ya estaba acostado así como a las siete de la noche cuando empezó la lluvia que hasta dicen que hasta hielo cayo y arranco todas las casitas que estaban a media, medias y pues ni modos son cosas de Dios que se va hacer.” ”

Instilling Good Values To Our Future Leaders
While residents of Fire Burn Village experienced a hail storm and strong winds capable of uprooting trees and blowing off roofs, not everything is bad news. Today 6 primary schools from the Orange Walk South constituency faced off during a football tournament hosted by the Fire Burn Government School. According to the coordinator of the sporting event, Alex Palacio and the main sponsor of the tournament, Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai, the aim is to keep the younger generation off the streets. Alexander Palacio, Teacher “Well basically what we are trying to do is we are trying to have the youths in the different small schools because small schools doesn’t have a big population to play sports competitively, so what we have here today are six schools from the different areas around the Orange Walk South area, we have here Fire burn, San Carlos, Indian Church, Santa Martha Trinidad who will play football here today, but the school doesn’t have a lot of players so basically we have to do it co-ed meaning five boys and three girls to make a team.”

CEMJC Holds Annual Open Day
Every year, educational institutions hold open days to encourage creativity among students and at the same time upgrade the schools performance. Today the students and staff of Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College held their annual open day with the aim of keeping the public informed about the schools recent projects and other activities. From what we found out, the event was both informative and educational. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting Hugo Gonzales- Dean Centro Escolar Junior College. “Basically we are commemorating our inauguration and our open day because this is the time that CEMJC takes and shows the community a taste of what CEMJC provides to it students and in turn the students showcase their talents, their skill, their knowledge in the various areas like tourism, management, natural resource management with a major in biology, information technology which is one of our biggest and one of the most productive programs that we have here at school as well as I cannot forget our business program.” Students from CEMJC’s sister institution Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico as well as the faculty and staff of Cornerstone Presbyterian High School, other primary schools and community members visited each and every booth on site with interest.

Electricity Rate For Social Rate Customers Sees Minimal Reduction
Back in the Month of April 2013 the Belize Electricity Limited submitted an application to the Public Utilities Commission for a reduction in electricity rates for the period July 1st 2013 to June 30th 2014. The Government owned company asked the PUC to reduce the Mean Electricity Rate by approximately 1 cent per kilowatt hour thus bringing the residential rate down to approximately 48 cents per kilowatt hour. After a month of reviewing the application the Public Utilities Commission is recommending a reduction of even less than what BEL requested. The minor proposed reduction of approximately on quarter of one cent will benefit the Social customer class. The Minimum Charge was reduced from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and the electricity Rate/Tariff was reduced from $0.29 per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 per kilowatt-hour.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Miss Lobster Fest Pageant 2013 is looking for candidates
The reigning Miss Lobster Fest, Miss Sylvia Joseph, is inviting talented, energetic, motivated, smart young ladies to capture the title of Miss Lobster Fest 2013. For application or information, please contact: Chantel Marin 6008417 Ilda Marin 6075466 Elizabeth Usher 6303652

Caye Caulker Village Council Elections Set for June 16th
Village Council elections are held every four years in Belize. This year (2013) is one of those years. The date for the Caye Caulker Village Council election has been set for June 16, 2013. So far, three persons have thrown their hats into the ring for the position of Chairman. These are Minelli Young, Wayne Miller, and Phillip Guizar. Numerous persons are also vying for the 7 councilor positions. Both Phillip Guizar and Wayne Miller are running with a full slate.


Two great parties
Last night we had planned to do date night at Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill. I am glad we ended up running into Dianne and Tracy in the parking lot which was packed with carts, they were just leaving. When we got to the bar, many of our friends were already there helping celebrate the new venue. It was a unanimous agreement that this was a great spot and that it was going to do very well. We could all see ourselves there doing airport pick ups and drop offs waiving to our friend flying in and out. We arrived a bit later than planned and missed the food so when Cowboy Doug said he was heading onto Wet Willy’s Cantina to support the Midtown Violets fundraiser for Mama Vilma’s, it was a no brainier to meet him there to support a good cause, get some baked mac and cheese and home cut fries – yum.

Mergulhando no Blue Hole e Half Moon Caye
O Blue Hole está localizado no Lighthouse Reef, um arrecife de corais dentro da área protegida pela Grande Barreira de Corais de Belize, a segunda maior do mundo, apenas atrás da Austrália. Ainda que vizinho, o Blue Hole não pertence à grande barreira de corais e está localizado a 70km da costa belizenha. A viagem de barco dura duas horas, acompanhada de um bonine para não enjoar, foi super tranquila. Tínhamos um grupo bem mesclado de italianos, israelenses, lituanos, alemães, canadenses e americanos, além dos dois brazucas aqui. O mergulho no Blue Hole foi lindíssimo, o que impressiona lá é a sua geografia, é imaginar que este gigante já esteve mais de 50m sobre o nível do mar e formou todas aquelas estalactites gigantescas! Não foi à toa que Jacques Cousteau o declarou um dos 10 melhores lugares para mergulhar no mundo!

“Good Times” in Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up slightly later yesterday morning at 5.15 am. The ‘penalty’ for going to Pedro’s Inn last night to see and hear the Midtown Violets. We are really pleased that we did. Two very talented girls playing a mix of the ‘classics’ and their own stuff (which, by the way, was very good). After a couple of mugs of black coffee I felt that I had rejoined the land of the living and headed off to Estel’s for a much needed breakfast before the very important QPR v Arsenal game which kicked off at 10.30 am here. Whilst at Estel’s though I kept in touch with the Spurs v Southampton game (rooting, of course, for Southampton) which unfortunately Spurs won with a goal perilously close to the end of the game. Rushed back to the condo we are renting for the Arsenal game and got slightly delayed because a water main burst and lifted up the cobble stones in Coconut Drive. Got home in time though to watch Arsenal secure the three points with an early goal by Theo Walcott. Just need to win the remaining two games now and I’ve got Champions League football to look forward to next season. I watched a bit of rugby league, a snack for lunch and it was time to head to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize taking a detour because of the burst water main.

International Sources

Teotihuacan 'Orbs,' Metallic Spheres, Found By Robot Under 'Temple Of The Feathered Serpent' In Mexico
For centuries, Mexico's ancient city of Teotihuacan has concealed a mysterious secret, only recently revealed by the help of robots equipped with lasers and infrared cameras. The small, remote-controlled devices have explored several rooms beneath the Temple of the Feathered Serpent, a structure described by Discovery as a "six-level pyramid decorated with snake-like creatures." The probes revealed hundreds of mysterious yellow orbs that range from four to 12 centimeters across. Indiana Jones would most certainly approve. According to a release from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History, the clay spheres are believed to have originally been covered in pyrite, a yellow-colored mineral known as "Fool's Gold," which oxidized over thousands of years to become jarosite, an amber mineral crust. Jorge Zavala, an archaeologist at the excavation, called the metallic orbs an "unprecedented discovery," adding that the scientists "do not know their meaning," via Discovery. LiveScience notes that the odd spheres were found deep within the temple in three burial chambers that are believed to house some of Teotihuacan's ancient leaders.

The nation of Belize, bordered by Mexico and Guatemala, is the last country in Central America where homosexual acts are still illegal and punishable by long prison terms. But that could change for Belize and set an important precedent for the rest of the Caribbean Commonwealth. Starting Tuesday, May 7th, Belize’s Supreme Court will hear a challenge to the country’s sodomy law which not only outlaws homosexuality but treats it as if it was the same thing as bestiality. Section 53 of Belize Criminal Code Section 53 states that “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” The battle lines are drawn between Caleb Orosco, a human rights activist, the claimant in the case and various organizations against the government of Belize, along with a consortium of Christian Churches. The United Belize Advocacy Movement (UBIBAM), along with three international human rights organizations (Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Human Dignity Trust and the International Society of Jurists), claim that the Belize sodomy law is “incompatible with the rule of law and with respect for international law and international obligations enshrined in the Belize Constitution.”

New Horizons’ surgeons give Belizean boy a helping hand
Isai Carrillo, a 4-year-old Belizean boy, underwent surgery May 2 to correct syndactyly, otherwise known as hand fusion, in his righthand. The boy’s grandmother brought him to the plastic surgery clinic to be seen with hopes the team would be able improve the limited use of his hands. With help from New Horizons’ plastic surgeons, his hand that was once fused now has three fingers. The surgery took three hours and consisted of separating the fused unit into fingers using skin grafts from his abdominal area. This operation will give the boy a little more of a pincher mechanism, said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Matthew Talarczyk, plastic surgeon from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. “It could mean … having ease opening up a door,” said Talarczyk, “[It will help with] very little things that can mean a lot in terms of functioning.”

May 5, 2013


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The San Pedro Sun

Water Main Breaks on Coconut Drive
This morning, Saturday May 4th at approximately 9AM a water main on Coconut Drive ruptured, not only flooding the road but causing it to collapse. Authorities were quick on the scene and repairs are underway. This also explains why the residents in the area are currently without water, as the source needed to be turned off in order to make repairs. It is uncertain how long the area will be without water but The San Pedro Sun will continue the updates as they become available.

Little Iguana Caye project halted
Department of the Environment (DOE), while on inspection at a dredging site near San Pedro Town, were informed of a project on Little Iguana Caye. The tiny, mangrove-covered islet is located ten miles northwest of Ambergris Caye and is one of several small islets that form a string of islands that have been designated as habitat for various species of birds. However, it appears development was in full gear and by all accounts from the various government ministries, it was an unsanctioned development and as such a stop order was issued. The verbal stop order was given on Thursday April 25th. Little-Iguana-CayeWhile Little Iguana Caye is home to hundreds of red ibises that nest atop the dense vegetation, it is privately owned. But that does not exempt the property owners from going through the proper channels to develop the property – and that was what DOE has maintained. Martin Alegria, Chief Environmental Officer at the DOE says that the different government agencies were unaware of the development. “In the case of Little Iguana Caye there is no file. There is no application; there is nothing in our office regarding that undertaking. However, during the site visit again conducted, we realized that construction has started; I understand, it is a two-story, over-the-water structure which is even more of an issue in terms of development, you know. We issued a stop order, a verbal [order] right away because we don’t know anything about it. I don’t know if other agencies know about it.”

Juvenile Hawksbill Turtle undergoes flipper amputation
Hol Chan Marine Reserve (HCMR) staff has been caring for sick, weak and injured turtles under the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program. It is estimated that only one in one hundred hatchlings will survive to sexual maturity. On this note it is of upmost importance not only to protect but to conserve these precious species. Last year, HCMR took into their care, a juvenile Hawksbill Turtle that was found near Ambergris Caye’s beach. It was quickly noticed that the turtle was suffering problems with its left front flipper, but it was unknown whether the flipper had been broken or if it was a birth defect. According to Miguel Alamilla, Marine Biologist and Manager of HCMR, the turtle was taken into captivity and placed under observation, and as it grew, the flipper seemed to create a problem for the turtle’s mobility. “It has been in our care for over a year. Over time we noticed it wasn’t healing and we eventually decided to amputate the flipper since it was getting bigger but it couldn’t dive. We had a visiting vet who recommended the amputation,” stated Alamilla. The vet that recommended the amputation is Dr. Paul Calle. Dr. Calle is the Director of Zoological Health for the Wildlife Conservation Society’s main office in the Bronx, New York, USA.

National News: GOB lifts block on VOIP
As of May 1st, the years of blockage on Voice Over Internet Protocol service, commonly referred to as VOIP, will finally end. It was a campaign promise by the Barrow Administration in 2012 and now the state run telephone company, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), has lifted the restriction on the service. The announcement was made by the Prime Minster of Belize Honorable Dean Barrow during his first quarterly meeting for 2013 which took place on Monday April 29th. With the lifting of the blockage on VOIP service internet users will be able to use Skype, Net2phone and Vonage to make their long distance calls for free. According to PM Barrow allowing VOIP will put an end to a long debate from different sectors and will give over 200,000 internet users subscribed to BTL internet a free service “At the end of this month (April 30th), BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. This will mean that the use of high speed internet services including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet – that there won’t be any restrictions whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. This of course will affect BTL’s revenues from it’s voice traffic tremendously… But the government needed to keep its commitment. Technology is moving so quickly that we would have been playing a losing game if we had continued trying to restrict VOIP,” said PM Barrow.

Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014
Congratulations Zillah Flota, Miss Chiquitita 2013-2014!

Misc Belizean Sources

Water Main Breaks on Coconut Drive
The main water pipe on Coconut Drive broke and the water pressure cause the street to burst open. Medina's Construction has been contacted and will start repairs immediately after Belize Water Services (BWS) works on the repairs and installation of the maine pipe. The affected area will be replaced with Cement Slabs rather than the cobble stones as it previously had.

The Belize Times

UDP IN-FIGHTING – Santi to Darrel: Bring it on!
There is another battle brewing in the UDP, remnants of the bad blood between Vega and Faber. Since the devastating loss, former chairman, Patrick Faber, is bruised and battered and seeking blood. All sorts of intra-party attacks have been launched against UDP Deputy Leader Gaspar Vega and anyone in his camp. Back in March, the secretary general and staff at UDP headquarters threatened to resign. And now, a Faber sympathizer, Darrel Bradley has indicated interest in dethroning Vega-ally, Santino Castillo, in Caribbean Shores. Sounds like one big soap, doesn’t it. Bradley was the first to pull at Santi’s hair, when he issued a City Council stop order that brought a drainage project conducted by Central Government in Caribbean Shores to a halt. Bradley wasn’t invited to the opening of the project held by Santi, and he was mighty upset, we are told. While Santi was away on business, Bradley pulled what seems to be a cheap shot.

Red Eye Boy Gets Paid!
The BELIZE TIMES is reliably informed that on April 25th, 2013 an OFFICIAL WIRE TRANSFER OF BZ$1.6M WAS SENT TO A BANK ACCOUNT belonging to a company under the control of Ambassador Mark Espat, more well known to Belizeans as the RED EYE BOY!!

Barrow endorses sale of illegal Rosewood
The Barrow Administration has done a grave injustice to environmental efforts to protect the endangered Rosewood specie. Prime Minister Dean Barrow admitted that there is a “political price to pay” but had ...

It is a tragedy unlike any other of its kind. A young mother, age 22, kills three of her young children, ages 4, 3 and 1 year. Quite correctly it has sent shockwaves through the Belizean society. With all that we have been subjected to these past years-drastic increases in robberies, rapes, ...

Chalk and Cheese!
By G. Michael Reid Belizeans had an excellent opportunity this past Monday to compare differences between the leaders of our nation’s two major political parties. On Monday morning, Leader of the Opposition Honorable Francis Fonseca appeared as guest on Plus TV’s popular morning talk show “Rise and Shine”. Almost immediately following, ...

Editorial: Waiting To Exhale
At 8:30am on Saturday, April 27, the soul of all Belizeans became a little darker, sadder and culpable. The shock was one thing but the chilling reality that this incident happened in sweet, innocent, beautiful Belize is still sharply shameful despite the torrential news of daily sensational murders. The news flooded ...

Fabio Carballo wins U-18 table tennis championship
SJC’s Fabio Carballo won the 1st annual Don Omario Cup when by the Belize Table Tennis Association held its under-18 national table tennis tournament at the Belize Elementary School Auditorium on Saturday April 27. Some 32 players ...

Belize Bank Blazers in women’s softball marathon
The Belize Bank Blazer won the all-day marathon which kicked off the 2013 Belize City women’s softball competition on Sunday, April 28. The Blazers stopped the Rebels 13-4. Kiri Lizama, Marsha Wills, Jolene Davis and Fiona Rivero ...

Belizeans dominate Cycling in Cozumel
Belizeans who participated in the annual Cedral Cycling Classic in Cozumel, Mexico over the weekend left a lasting impression on neighboring athletes. Kaya Cattouse won as female champion overall, while Team Santinos’ Jim Scott ...

Fantasia Espejo
There’s an old adage in politics that no publicity is bad publicity. However, it appears that there is one exception to that rule, as one city councilor has sunken to an all-time low in his zeal to seek attention. Readers may recall that a few weeks ...

KHMH denies “overtime payments” to former employees
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital administration, which was found guilty of misspending thousands of dollars by an oversight committee, is denying thousands of dollars in overtime payments to its former security guard employees. The hospital administration fired their on-staff security guards in January to privatize the security ...

AMAZING GRACE – Why do bad things happen to good people?
Why do bad things happen to good people? It is a question most human beings have asked. It has no pat answers and cannot be solved with comfy, neat platitudes. Some people, in their pursuit of the solution to this question, have fallen into bitterness, anger, and even depression. Some ...

UB Faculty & Staff Association Sets the Record Straight
The University of Belize, Faculty and Staff Association (UBFSA) would like to set the record straight on the issue of the CSB Payroll Audit and the call for an Independent Commission by the Prime Minister of Belize. Firstly, it is important to note that the UB audit is not ...

Why My Mother or Father Sold Me for a Dollar? ARREST THEM!
By Dr. Angela Banner Joseph In my view, nothing is more vicious and outrageous than the abuse, exploitation, and harm of the most vulnerable members of our society, and I firmly believe that our nation’s laws and resources need to reflect the seriousness of these terrible crimes. –Bob Ney The sexual exploitation ...

National Bank of Belize Ltd – falling short?
The call for national banking is not fact, it is decades old....and various angles of approach have been suggested....varying according to differing objectives. The PM must be congratulated that he has listened to this call...perhaps reinforced via negotiations with the unions....and is taking action. Still...we should collectively seek ...

SCALES OF JUSTICE – The Toycie Syndrome!
In her well-known novel, Beka Lamb, pre-eminent Belizean novelists, Zee Edgell has as one of her characters, the teenage female Toycie Qualo, who suffers great disappointment in her final year of high school. This disappointment later drives Toycie mad and to her grave. As is well known, Toycie grew ...

Women who lead: lessons from the forgotten district
Machakila is a beautiful village in southern district of Toledo. Belizeans consider Toledo to be one of the most pristine parts of Belize. It is not listed in the most technologically advanced nor infrastructural ...

Why the Caye Chapel Deal went sour
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was careful not to shove his foot in his mouth when he discussed the Caye Chapel deal that sunk to the bottom of the sea. Barrow refused to say exactly why a million dollar investment plan went belly-up, and only said that the ...

Of this and that…
The Holy Reedemer Credit Union is an institution. When you say Credit Union, people think HRCU. Even though there are others. There is St. Francis Xavier Credit Union. St John’s Credit Union. There is Mount Carmel Credit Union. When you say HRCU we think Miss Jane. She is ...

Games at DPP’s Office
The BELIZE TIMES has received more troubling news out of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Information coming in to us is that in a recent case where a poor elderly man, Jose Anilla, from Valley of Peace was charged with having 12 bullets ...

PUP leader says discretion laws must go
While appearing on the PLUS TV’s Rise and Shine morning show, PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca signalled that as part of a robust reform agenda, the next PUP Government will do away with the sections of ...

Victimized workers sue BWS on eve of Labour Day
On the eve of Labour Day, five former Belize Water Services (BWS) employees sued the company in the Supreme Court of Belize alleging they were unlawfully terminated. The claim seeks loss salary and benefits. The workers also asked the Court for compensation for BWS’s breach of ...

PUP calls on “attitude of urgency” to address family issues
The People’s United Party expresses its shock and deep concern at the unspeakable tragedy that unfolded last weekend in which a mother took the lives of three of her four children and attempted to take her own. The Party believes that this unprecedented incident brings into sharp focus ...

GOB’s Carrot on a stick for Placencia residents
Dear Editor, This is a letter to the people of the Placencia Peninsula. On Saturday 27th April, the Ministry of Local Government, and high ranking officials from the Ministry of Finance and BWSL descended in mass to the Placencia Basketball Court. The entourage easily numbered (including Security) 25-40 persons. The “reason” behind ...


A funny story about shopping in Belize by Tacoboy
Last night the Midtown Violets [Karen Waldrup and Ashlee K Thomas] were continuing their Spring in the South Tour and played at Pedro’s Hotel. Tacoboy was helping them get ready for the show that morning and they said the one thing they needed was microphone stands, so he set out to make that happen. It is not uncommon for people here to shop by phone, send the money to Belize City or put it in the businesses bank account and have what ever they just bought flown over on Tropic Air Cargo. Usually this works quite well but the following story is a funny account of what happened to tacoboy when he was shopping from one of the regular Belize City stores that Pedro’s Hotel buys things from. So we need 2 microphone stands for the girls playing on Friday night, and 2 new microphone cables also. I call the store in Belize City to find out how much for those items so we can write a cheque and send it by Airplane. I get that all done and sent over, and call them to make sure they got the cheque and to see what time we would receive the stands. They tell me the 11:30 flight over. Just after noon I call Tropic Cargo, nothing had arrived, so I check back with the store.

Empanadas en Español
Happy Cinco de Mayo. This video is dedicated to all my viewers who have been asking for me to make a video in Spanish. I don't think I'm really fluent in Spanish as I only know what I learned in First Form or 9th grade in Belize. I had fun doing this video though and hope you guys enjoy it.

“Keeps Gettin’ Better” in Ambergris Caye
Spent yesterday morning taking care of paying bills and helping Rose to finish off the spreadsheets detailing the wood colours we want and the tiles that we have chosen for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize that now need to be ordered from The Tile & Stone Center in Belize City. We hadn’t been finished too long when Daniel Camal, our building contractor, contacted us to let us know that they had made a door to the design we had asked for and it was ready to look at. So, we left the condo, got in the golf cart and went to Daniel’s workshop to find that the door exactly replicated what we want. Obviously in a ‘virgin’ state, it, along with the others that will now be made, will be stained to our chosen colour. After ‘signing off’ the door Rose and I headed straight to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize and got there around 2.30 pm to be greeted by Porfelio sifting sand at the entrance to our lot.

International Sources

U.S. And Canadian Military Medical Personnel Work Together In Belize
U.S. and Canadian military medical personnel partnered to provide comprehensive dental services at the Punta Gorda Hospital annex here during a dental readiness training exercise scheduled from April 22 through May 2. The 11-day medical mission, part of an ongoing exercise called New Horizons, provides dental services consisting of oral hygiene education, teeth cleanings, fillings, root canals and extractions. The team also has the capability to provide partial dentures, known as teeth restorations. Senior Airman William Cochran, dental laboratory technician from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., found job satisfaction during his first deployment despite the increased responsibilities. ”Even though the workload is crazy fast and working at two and a half times what I would be working at back home, I am loving it,” said Cochran. “People come to the clinic with no teeth and I am able to give them their life back essentially. I help give them a brand new smile.” The dental team, made up of 34 U.S. Air Force personnel from Offutt and Keesler Air Force Bases and two Canadian Army Forces personnel from Canadian Forces Bases Shilo in Manitoba and Petawawa in Ontario, worked together to provide patient care. Canadian Army Sgt. Line Plante, dental technician from Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba, felt she was able to contribute to the mission in an area she was most familiar. ”When we first got here, it was a little unclear what our role in the mission was,” Plante said. “I am most comfortable in the dental surgery area, so I was able to jump right in and assist the resident doctors with the tools they need to accomplish their job.”

May 4, 2013


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

DOE revokes dredging permit from ‘Royal Belizean Land Company SA’
The Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture via the Mining Unit has revoked a dredging permit and issued a stop order against a development carried out by property owner Darrin Sherry on behalf of Royal Belizean Land Co. S.A. The letter was served on April 25th to Sherry by Mining Unit’s Mining Inspector Michelle Alvarez. The San Pedro Sun first broke the story on April 18th about concerns brought up by a few sport fishermen. The fishermen expressed their issues about ongoing excavation as part of a development located north of the San Pedro Marina Channel (located south-west of Ambergris Caye) on a fragile area considered prime habitat off Ambergris Caye for bone and permit fish, two protected fish species in Belize. The revocation letter states, “You are hereby informed that Registered Quarry Permit No. 85 of 2013 issued to Darrin Sherry for Royal Belizean Land Co. S.A is hereby revoked for failure to comply with the terms and conditions stipulated under RQP No. 58 of 2013. Failure to act in accordance with said instruction will result in legal action taken against Darrin Sherry for Royal Belizean Land Co. S.A” During the investigation, it was discovered that Royal Belizean Land Co. S.A., who was granted permission to dredge, was excavating in an area not approved.

NEMO conducts training ahead of hurricane season
With the hurricane season exactly one month away,the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) countrywide is gearing up for the season. The NEMO San Pedro Branch is no exception and on Thursday April 25th, conducted training with some of its members of the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) Management. The training took place at Fido’s Courtyard and had the participation the Deputy Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mayor Mito Paz. According to the NEMO Coordinator for the cayes (Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker) Jeromey Timrose Augustine, there were four objectives of the EOC Management training. “The purpose was for the members to determine the functions of an EOC; look at how an EOC should be sited, designed, set up and operated; see some of the resources required in an EOC and lastly review the importance of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) in running an EOC,” said Augustine.

San Pedro Labour Department holds Labour Day Fair
The San Pedro Labour Department hosted a Labour Day Fair on Tuesday April 20th at Central Park. The purpose of the fair was to educate the public of the labour laws of Belize and sensitize the working people on issues involving labour and employment. Many people still do not completely understand their rights as a worker. The SP Labour Department utilized this fair to set up an information booth to display important laws concerning employees and their employers. Individual labour officers had the opportunity to explain the services they provide and address queries put forth by the public or businesses. Emphasized at the fair was the use of the “Public Employment Service” provided by the Labour Department. This service facilitates job placement for both employers and persons seeking a job, and the only way that this service can serve at its best capacity is if all persons are knowledgeable that the service is available. Pamphlets with valuable information on a variety of topics were given out.

Red Cross conducts training at Black Orchid Restaurant& Lounge
The courses offered by the Belize Red Cross will ensure that the work force in the tourism industry on the island have access to Basic First Aid training in times of emergencies. There are already plans to conduct similar training, at Seascape Villas which will be hosted by Las Terrazas on Thursday May 30, 2013. The cost will be fifty dollars ($50) per person. Any business or individual wanting to sign up for the upcoming training can do so by emailing Laurie Norton at or Shirlee at San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross would like to thank Judyann and Tom Horton from the Black Orchid Restaurant for hosting this month’s training and providing lunch for the participants. Thanks you’s are also extended to Banana Beach Resort and Cowboy Doug’s Pool Bar and Grill for sponsoring a community health worker and post office staff.

Ambergris Today

Successful Training Day for the San Pedro Belize Red Cross
Volunteer facilitators Chris Berry & Jermaine Santos came all the way from Belmopan and Belize City, to give first aid and CPR training to local residents and staff. The San Pedro Branch of the Belize Red Cross would like to thank Judyann and Tom from the Black Orchid restaurant for hosting this month’s training and putting on a great lunch! We would also like to congratulate to all the newly certified trainees and thank Black Orchid Restaurant, Victoria House Resort, The Phoenix Resort, Caribbean Villas, Cowboy Doug's Grill, South Ambergris Caye Neighborhood Watch for joining the First Aid Program and sending staff for certified first aid training yesterday. Thanks also goes out to Banana Beach Resort and Cowboy's Pool Bar and Grill for sponsoring a community health worker and post office staff.

Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow Statement On The Death Of The Three Teul Children
As Special Envoy for Women and Children, I am extremely saddened by the loss of the lives of four year-old TrianaTeul, three year-old Thomas Teul and one year-old TrinayaTeul. I want to express sincere sympathies to the family of these children and ask the rest of the country to join me in keeping six year-old Trina Teul in our prayers as she recovers from the trauma of witnessing this tragic incident. This heartbreaking story is a reminder that we must take issues relating to mental health seriously. The mother, 22 year-old Felicia Chen suffers from clinical depression, a common mental health disorder that many do not recognize as a real health condition. The fact is however, that depression, like other mental health conditions, can consume a person’s life if left untreated.

Misc Belizean Sources

Human Dignity Trust on Caleb Orozco v Attorney General
On 7 May 2013, the Chief Justice of Belize, sitting in the Supreme Court, will hear a groundbreaking challenge brought by Caleb Orozco, Executive President of the United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNiBAM), which is challenging the constitutionality of s.53 of the Criminal Code of Belize. Section 53 criminalises homosexuality. It states that “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years”. The Constitution of Belize protects the fundamental rights and freedoms for “every person in Belize.” The Constitution also recognises “the equal and inalienable rights with which all members of the human family are endowed.” These rights and freedoms include the rights to dignity, equality and privacy. Caleb will seek to establish that section 53 by criminalising homosexuality violates his human rights and is therefore unconstitutional and must be either struck down or amended to protect private, consensual sexual relations between adults of the same sex.

Thank you San Pedro Polyclinic
On a rainy Friday night, January 25th, 2013, I left work, went for a glass of wine, picked up dinner to take home with me, relax, eat and watch a movie. By the end of the movie (around 10pm) I was ill with a very severe case of food poisoning and by 12am Saturday, January 26th, I began vomiting blood. Around 3am with no relief, I recognized that I was going into shock and was in serious need of help. Somewhat skeptical after losing someone about 6 years ago (needlessly because the Polyclinic was neither staffed nor equipped), I called the emergency number and the phone was immediately answered by Dr. Noeli Nicholson who told me I must come right away, and she would open the clinic and meet me there in 20 minutes. Knowing I was in trouble and would most likely be on my way to Belize, I emailed Dr. Mark Musa in Belize City, packed a suitcase, and called Renee, the taxi driver I thought most likely to still be working the Friday/early Saturday nightclub transfers. He wasn’t, he was home sleeping, but he came right away and took me to the clinic, where true to her word, Dr. Noeli was there waiting for me.

Granting citizenship to some Guatemalans violates the Belize constitution
Article-29 (3) of the Belize constitution that deals with dual citizenship reads: No person shall be entitled under the provisions of this Part to be a citizen of Belize or be granted citizen of Belize if such person shows any allegiance to or is a citizen of a country that does not recognize the independence, sovereignty or territorial integrity of Belize; Provided that the (Minister) may in his discretion grant Belizean citizenship to persons falling under this Subsection who would otherwise be entitled to such citizenship under the provisions under Sections 23 and 25 of the Constitution. In this provision it says Minister but there are several ministers in the Belize government Cabinet. Does it mean the minister of immigration or all the ministers of government? This could be interpreted by the ministers of government that they all have the right to grant citizenships to Guatemalans without going through the Cabinet, Minister of Immigration, the Belize House of Representatives and the Senate. I think this ambiguity needs some clarification to say which minister of government is responsible to grant that exception to the rule. Otherwise, some ministers will be abusing their powers to grant Guatemalans citizenship and that poses a threat to our people and country. Have the ministers of Belize government, currently or in the past, granted waivers to Guatemalans to become Belizean citizens? We need an answer to this question now.

ID Seven Website Launched
Id Seven has launched their website. They have a great mission, and their shirts are high quality. "Our website is up! We worked hard for a year to finish it so we could do it ourselves! It may not be all that and a bag a chips but we thinks it's all that and a bag of "haad-time" :D Check it out! Send us ideas/feedback here on Facebook!"

Cayo Event Calendar for May
The Cayo Event Calendar for May is up. If you have any events that need to be added, just let us know. There's a lot going on for Agric this weekend. Belmopan, and Cayo, are celebrating.

September Celebrations Theme Competition
They've announced this year's September Celebrations Theme competition. Good luck! "September Celebrations may be months away, but now is the time to start thinking up a possible theme. Last year's was 'Many faces, Many dreams, one Goal – Celebrating Belize.' For those of you who think you have something just as unique or maybe even more original floating around in your head, submit your themes for this year's September Celebrations!!!!!!"

Mental Health Services in Belize
Here's a list of clinics countrywide that provide mental health services through the Ministry of Health along with contact numbers.

Briheda Haylock Solo Art Exhibit
The Soul Project will be having Briheda Haylock's art exhibit today, May 4th, at 6:00pm.

Belmopan High Quality Vector Map
This is a high quality vector map of the city of Belmopan. It can be customized to any preferred size or color. It is a limited edition and it can also be purchased along with frame. It makes an excellent gift for those wonderful mothers or friends. It can go on cups, t-shirts, brochures, guides, wallpaper, etc. Anybody that is seriously interested in purchasing this piece (either digitally or printed) can email us at

Basic Bookkeeping Workshop

Channel 7

Strange, Severe Storm Wrecks Roofs In Belize District
Last night we told you about the brief afternoon hailstorm in Corozal – but we didn’t know that would only be the start of the day’s severe weather. By 9:00 pm last night, a sever thunderstorm and a weird wind from the west was wreaking havoc in the Belize district. It ripped off a few roofs, and we found out more today, about the weather system and the wreckage it left in its wake. Jules Vasquez reporting This is the satellite loop from 5:45 yesterday to last night at midnight and that wisp of blue in the middle descending down the screen is the same systems that produced hail in Corozal and kept going south. Frank Tench - Weather Forecaster "The whole region was covered by thunderstorm activity during the night but the thunderstorms that really affected came from the North West. Some of these thunderstorms eventually came accross Northern Belize and eventually worked their way to central and even southern Belize during the night to produce the outburst of showers and thunderstorms and the strong winds we experienced last night. At the airport we recorded a maximum gust of wind of about 65 knotts but during the episode itselt sustained wind gust wind speeds in the range of 40-50 knotts between 7:00 and 8:00pm last night."

Storms Destroys OW Poultry, Topples 15 Homes, Costs Major $$$
But in Orange Walk, the damage is far greater – they didn’t lose a few roofs, they lost a huge volume of poultry worth hundreds of thousands of dollars! CTV-3 reports that the storm really wreaked havoc in the Central Orange Walk District –toppling 15 homes and killing as many as four thousand chickens in Camp 18 of Shipyard, a Mennonite community.

Another Baby Dead, This One In A Bucket
Tonight, there is more sad news to report about the loss of an infant’s life – as a one year old baby boy apparently drowned in a bucket. It happened in Belize city this afternoon at 2:30 pm. Police were called to a house at the Corner of Mahogany street where one year old Kyle Leslie was found dead in a bucket. According to reports, the child’s mother Tanya Leslie left the one year old and her other child, a two year old inside the house as she was talking to someone outside. When she came back in, she found one year old Kyle face down in the bucket. The mother was at the police station giving a statement this evening along with her landlady.

Man Convicted Of Indecent Assault, Fined, But Not Confined
38 year-old John Baptist Sr., a Belize City resident who was convicted of incident assault against a 6 year-old female minor, got a major break from the Supreme Court today: the judge says he doesn’t have to go to jail! Baptist Sr. was charged with 1 count of carnal knowledge and three counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. The female, now 15 years-old, testified that sometime between 2003 and 2004, he raped her when she was 6. The minor testified that on three other occasions, Baptist took advantage of her mostly in the nights, when it was either dark, or there was a black out. According to her, he came to her room and touched her inappropriately. After Crown Counsel Leroy Banner closed his case, Baptist presented his defense to the court. In his dock statement, he told the court that at the time of the alleged encounters, he wasn’t anywhere near the house of the child spoke of.

Authorities Want Aaladin Harmouche
Tonight, a 21 year old Lebanese man named Aaladin Harmouche is wanted by police and immigration authorities after his case of illegal entry was dismissed in Benque Viejo court yesterday. According to reports, Harmouche was caught entering Belize illegally at the Western Border on March 26th. He was charged for illegal entry, pleaded guilty was fined a thousand dollars and then remanded to prison, because he had been in Belize illegally – on an expired visitor’s permit – and he was held pending a removal order. He was due back in court yesterday to pay the fine and then face the removal order – but due to a curious mix – up, he never made it to Benque Viejo Magistrate’s Court for the hearing. According to reports, the prosecutor from requested an adjournment, but the Magistrate dismissed the case. It turns out, instead of being in Benque Court, he was at the San Ignacio police station, and when he was finally taken to court at 11:00 am, the Magistrate told him he was free to go – even though he did not have a valid visitor permit and, according to reports, did not pay his fine.

For the First Time, Terminated BWS Employees Speak Out
Last night we told you about the five Belize Water Service Employees who were fired in January and are now taking their former employer to court for wrongful dismissal. Today, for the first time, we got to speak to three of them about their lawsuit. They asked to appear off camera, but told us they must vindicate their name after being terminated under questionable circumstances. Voice of Ex-Employee - BWS "We have filed a court action in the Supreme Court of Belize. The ex-employees feel that we were dealt with wrongly. We were handed a letter of redundancy just as a scape goat to fire us based on implications of involvement of a scandalous letter concerning management and staff of BWS. That is basically our position at this present time. Now you have BWS still hiring people under these same position that became redundant. Maybe they have different name but they do the same thing. That then to me convinces the intention that BWS is not going through a redundancy process - then what is it? Then my union should have stepped in. The fact that gets to me the most is that we have people paying dues to a union who should be there to put that 'metal shield' for them to defend us. As of today at this time we have not gotten any response or communication from the union. We have not heard anything from the Belize Water Services union - nothing at all. That is our mother union - the union that we have paid our dues to. In regards to Mr. Mceifer has been there for over twenty five years and he has not gotten not even an ounce of support or defense from the union any at all, to me that is unfair. In my point of view and in my position, the union has been compromised. How can you have your Vice President and General Secretary get fired and their post has become redundant in one day? And not even a fight, nor a release, nor a phone call to say they are going to get to the bottom of the situation."

PUC Explains Logic Of Miniscule Rate Reduction
Last night, we told you about the PUC’s decision to implement a miniscule rate reduction for BEL in its annual review proceeding. The proposed decrease to the average rate is less than one cent, and the slight benefit will accrue solely to those who need it most: customers who are paying the social rate. Their Minimum Charge will go down from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and their rate will slide from $0.29 cents per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 cents per kilowatt-hour. It represents very modest savings, but PUC’s Chairman, John Avery told the media today, the rate proposal is a welcome buffer for Belize’s energy needs which partially depends on fossil fuels. According to him, prices fluctuate with no warning, and the public has to absorb the spikes in the cost of power production Here’s an excerpt of that 1 hour long press conference:

Cancer, The Key Is Awareness
May is Cancer Month and the Belize Cancer Society has organized a number of awareness-raising activities. The theme is: “CANCER: “Did you know? Get the facts!” and the Society’s Public Relations Officer and says the strongest weapon against this deadly disease is knowledge. Daedra Haylock - Public relations, Cancer Society "That is exactly what we are trying to do - give the facts about Cancer and help people to understand the lifestyle issues surrounding Cancer and help people to be more aware of the issue and to help them make decisions, manage their care, to help family members and their friends. The entire month is dedicated to education and building awareness. We will be visiting media houses to talk about Cancer, to offer information and to try and help people to determine how to manage the situation and how to help others that may be suffering with cancer. Yes, indeed the publicity that we gained on the issue of cancer with the Prime Minister's wife situation and her being so open, bold and courageous to let us know and able to follow her care is indeed a plus. It has made people more aware, more comfortable talking about the situation. If it's made one more person comfortable that is a success. We are asking everybody to participate and to get ahead of the issue and to not be afraid to contact us and the groups in your areas and get the information that is necessary."

Patrick Menzies Says He Was Beaten, Cops Say He Beat One Of Them
Last week, 7News told you about 28 year-old Patrick Menzies and his latest run-in with police. Well tonight, he’s out on bail after he was taken to court for it. As we reported, on last week Thursday, Menzies got into an altercation at a Belize City bar with Police Constable David Griffith. They reportedly started to fight, and Menzies allegedly knocked out PC Griffith. That’s around the time when, according to reports, Menzies was arrested by responding police officers, who allegedly beat him. Well, the allegations of police brutality have to take a backseat because Menzies was charged with wounding, and today he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. He pleaded not guilty and was granted bail of $500, which he was able to meet. He must return to court on June 26, 2013. Menzies is also out of bail on 2 counts of attempted murder against Police Constables Delwin Casimiro and Natasha James for trying to run them over in 2011.

UNIBAM: The Big Issues
The UNIBAM Case goes to court on Monday, and let’s put it this way: we’ve never had a Supreme Court case promoted in a television advertisement. But, that’s how high the stakes are for Monday’s big showdown. As many as eight local and foreign Senior and Queen’s Counsels will crowd into the Chief Justice’s courtroom for the hearing. And while the arguments will deal with human rights, church and state, section 53 of the criminal code and other weighty issues….at the core, it’s about the individual – and his right, or his wrong to have relations with men, and whether that somehow up-ends the social order, or if it just leaves people to do as they please in the privacy of their bedrooms. In July of 2011, Janelle Chanona explored the complex stew of issues that arise from this case – to keep things in context for Monday’s hearing, we re-visit her report. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize, May 13th 2011 "I would limit myself to saying that the government as a government has taken the position that it needs to argue for the constitutionality of the law that is in place that's being challenged and so I would not go beyond that official position. I am not prepared to comment on my own physiological conviction or lack thereof. That is the official position of the government. This is one time when it might be wise for me to say nothing more."

Trading On Turneffe
The Turneffe Atoll was recently designated a Marine Protected Area – after years of work to get it done. But declaring it is one thing, properly protecting it is quite another. And that’s where two international conservation groups come in; they are the Blue Marine Foundation and Fauna & Flora International. They will help set up the protected area – and on Wednesday they launched that joint effort at a reception. Alamilla Explained the importance of it: Hon. Lisel Alamilla - Minister of Fisheries "Well we would have declared that area as a Marine Protected Area even without having identified the funding because it's important for Belize to protect that area because of its Bio-diversity and of it's importance to the livelihood of fisher folks. But having some money to move this forward is very helpful."

Channel 5

3 slain children laid to rest
A heart wrenching funeral was held today for the three Teul children who were killed last week. Their mother, twenty-two years old Felicia Chen has been charged with their murder and is under observation for her mental state. One child, the eldest, survived the horrific incident; she ran for help telling a neighbor and police [...]

Dead from immersion syndrome, what is it?
Now, the Teul siblings were drown by their mother at Belizean Beach. But on Tuesday, post mortem examinations conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran on the bodies of the kids stated that they died as a result of immersion syndrome.  That would be the second time in less than a week that the medical term would [...]

Freak storm damages Shipyard
Most of the country experienced the effects of severe thunderstorms on Thursday night, starting in the north and heading south. There are reports of extremely strong winds, lightning, heavy rains and in the north, a hailstorm was experienced in the afternoon. The freak weather, coming on the heels of an intense heat wave has passed, [...]

John Baptist fined 11 grand for indecent assault
Thirty-eight year old John Baptist Senior of Belize City was tried last week for having sex with a six-year-old child back in 2003 and of sexually molesting her on three other occasions.  At the conclusion of the trial, a jury of nine found Baptist guilty of two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature [...]

Murder Trial discontinued following disclosure by jury members
The murder trial of George Street resident, Kirk Smith, who was accused of the August twenty-fifth, 2010 murder of well-known Wesley College employee, Eyan Arnold aka “Trouble” came to a sudden halt today in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas just hours after the trial had kicked off.  That’s because two jurors, one including [...]

Electricity bill goes down a little for social rate customers
The Public Utilities Commission, following a request from Belize Electricity Limited in early April, has approved a nominal reduction in the cost of energy per kilowatt hour for social rate consumers which is even less than was sought by B.E.L.  It’s a negligible markdown of one percent which represents a discount of three cents per [...]

UNIBAM trial gets underway on Tuesday
The most significant trial in our young nation’s history gets underway on Tuesday, May seventh, when the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Caleb Orozco versus the Attorney General of Belize. The long awaited day in court has been preceded by a very tangible increase in propaganda on the ground and in the media. Those [...]

Anglican Church sends message to governments on marriage
On the eve of the UNIBAM case, the Anglican Diocese has issued a strong statement on the definition of marriage. Protecting marriage as a union between man and woman was one of the central topics discussed in the past few days by the House of Bishops of the Caribbean and the Standing Committee of the [...]

Professor says Belize should go to ICJ to settle unfounded claim
The special agreement that would have formed the way to the International Court of Justice is still intact, but both Belize and Guatemala have cast aside plans to go to the ICJ for the time being. But the discussion on the best plans to end Guatemala’s unfounded claim continues. A professor with expertise in international [...]

Maritime law expert says that Belize could lose some of its sea
In Australia, Professor Gullett works along with the University of Wollongong’s research center in ocean law and policy. While Gullet believes that the ICJ would rule in Belize’s favor on land, his expertise in maritime law compels him to believe that the country may lose territorial waters because of the concave area shared with Guatemala [...]

Belize in money laundering scheme originating from Argentina
Belize is being named in an alleged money laundering scheme originating in Argentina and spanning many countries.  Press reports say that a leading Argentinean businessman, Lazaro Baez; his son, Martin Baez; and others were accused of money laundering in recent days.  The allegations surfaced through a television program of a well established journalist who linked [...]

Sadie Vernon teachers speak of mismanagement at school
There is trouble brewing again at the Sadie Vernon High School in Belize City…and as it has in the past, the contention is between the teachers and the principal. The irritant is the mismanagement at the institution, according to the teachers. On Thursday night, a concerned group came to News Five’s studios to express their [...]

Who owns land at foot of Dangriga Bridge?
News Five has still not been able to get official comment from the Ministry of Natural Resources or from Anthony Garincha Adderly on the land dispute in Dangriga. As things currently stand, Adderly is in control of the land right at the foot of the Main Bridge, and rents stalls to vendors who operate from [...]

Sculptor now forging Antonio Soberanis
You might think that business expert, politician, author, community activist and sculptor Stephen Okeke would have his hands full. You might also think that after all the trials, tribulations and controversy surrounding his bust of Phillip Goldson that he would have sworn off sculpting. But you would be wrong. In fact, Okeke is in the [...]

Positive Vibes from the musician
There is a new album that will hit the stands at music outlets around the country this weekend. “The Musical World of Positive Vibes” is being released on Saturday at the Agricultural Trade Show by the local Punta Rock Artist. A mixture of Dancehall, Punta Rock and Reggae, Positive Vibes says that the album is [...]


PUC Explains Decision On BEL's Submission on Tariffs
The Public Utilities Commission, PUC, today held a press conference to explain the details of its decision made on the Belize Electricity Limited’s submission on tariffs. Here’s the PUC Chairman, John Avery, with a summary of the minute difference between what was ini...

Belize's Annual Agriculture and Trade Show Happens At The Weekend
The National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013 will be officially opened tonight at the Show grounds in the City of Belmopan. Chief Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Eugene Waight, says that this year, there is a wider emphasis on Agriculture. He told us mor...

Belizean Man On The Run In Virginia, USA
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are asking US citizens primarily in Farmville Town in Virginia State, USA, to be on the lookout for a Belizean who is on the run in that community. The Southside Messenger Newspaper of Virginia has published a picture of Joel Fuentes...

Escaped Prisoner Shot and Recaptured
A prisoner who escaped from the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning was reportedly shot upon his recapture. Police say that at around 9 this morning, remanded prisoner, John Bermudez, was at the court for a robbery charge when he escaped from out of the defenda...

European Union and University of Belize Boast Graduates of Primary Education Project
The European Union and University of Belize’s Banana Belt Primary Education Project was officially closed off during a ceremony this morning at the Independence High School Auditorium in the Stann Creek District. The project was funded by the European Union at one point two...

One Brother Acquitted; The Other Fined For Drug Trafficking
Twenty-two year old Leo Wilson, one of two brothers charged with drug trafficking for 89 grams of cannabis, was fined $10,000. today by Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser after he was found guilty of the charge. He was ordered to pay by August 31. If he defaults on payment he will ser...

Judge Says 10K For Crack Cocaine
Twenty-two year old Egbert Jones, a laborer of Picstock Hutment , was fined $10,000. today by Senior magistrate Sharon Fraser after he was found guilty of drug trafficking for4.2 grams of crack cocaine. Jones was given until August 31 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve...

Judge Fines Man For Aggravated Assault of An Indecent Nature
Thirty-eight year old John Baptist, who was convicted of 2 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, was fined $5,000. for the first count and $6,000. for the second count today by Justice Troadio John Gonzalez. He was ordered to pay $1,000. by the end of May a...


PUC Explains Decision On BEL’s Submission on Tariffs
The Public Utilities Commission, PUC, today held a press conference to explain the details of its decision made on the Belize Electricity Limited’s submission on tariffs. Here’s the PUC Chairman, John Avery, with a summary of the minute difference between what was initially submitted and later approved and how they arrived at their figures. John Avery “In BEL’s submission they proposed a mean electricity rate for the upcoming annual tariff period of 47.93 cents as opposed to the 48.86 cents per kilowatt hour that the Commission had approved on January 11 of this year. You may recall we conducted an exercise in December in which we reviewed the Final Decision for the 2012 ARP and as a consequence we have seen significant increases in the cost of power supply from Mexico and significant reduction in the amount of electricity supply from BELCOGEN and from the hydro sources in Belize. We were forced to increase the rates effective January 1st in order to help to cover a shortfall of about $45 M in additional electricity costs that BEL incurred due to the factors I just told you being higher purchases from CFE and less production from Belcogen and BECOL. Now, in this ARP, we are again reviewing that very period that we did in the amendment decision and so the $44 million that we made in corrections that resulted in the increase in January, after we have actual figures up to December, that amount of corrections when coupled with other corrections for 2011 – 2012 annual tariff period, it increase the corrections from 44.8 million from that amendment in January to 45.2 million roughly, now in this ARP.”

European Union and University of Belize Boast Graduates of Primary Education Project
The European Union and University of Belize’s Banana Belt Primary Education Project was officially closed off during a ceremony this morning at the Independence High School Auditorium in the Stann Creek District. The project was funded by the European Union at one point two million dollars and was implemented by UB in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. Love News spoke with one of the teachers who graduated from the program, Joel Coleman who told us the program was a wonderful one. JOEL COLEMAN “I am happy that we have finally come to the end. I have seen that because of this program we will definitely have changes in our classrooms in the Stann Creek District. It never comes late; it comes in time because there was a need for us to improve the quality of teaching in this area. So I am happy that we are given the opportunity and I am happy that we went through all the struggles and hardships of completing this project and we will come to this end and I think it’s fruitful and on the other hand when we look at the training of teachers, quality teachers mean quality classrooms mean better quality students; so the students, am sure that after this training , teachers and school will work at a quality level where students will be performing at the level which is desired in this nation; quality students and good result.”

Escaped Prisoner Shot and Recaptured
A prisoner who escaped from the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court this morning was reportedly shot upon his recapture. Police say that at around 9 this morning, remanded prisoner, John Bermudez, was at the court for a robbery charge when he escaped from out of the defendant’s bench and ran out of the court room. Bermudez was later re-captured but was shot in the process and was admitted for observation and treatment at the PG community hospital.

Belizean Man On The Run In Virginia, USA
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials are asking US citizens primarily in Farmville Town in Virginia State, USA, to be on the lookout for a Belizean who is on the run in that community. The Southside Messenger Newspaper of Virginia has published a picture of Joel Fuentes as a 36 year old as a man with a previous criminal conviction. The paper’s Thursday’s online edition states that Fuentes and David Vasquez-Sanchez of Mexico escaped from the detention center in Farmville this past Monday. The two scaled a fence in the centre’s recreation yard and then crawled under a gate on the west side of the facility to flee. Vasquez-Sanchez was captured, but US authorities have warned US citizens in the area to refrain from attempting to apprehend Fuentes but instead to alert them if they spot anyone matching his description. The Farmville Detention Facility houses detainees for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security.

Belize’s Annual Agriculture and Trade Show Happens At The Weekend
The National Agriculture and Trade Show 2013 will be officially opened tonight at the Show grounds in the City of Belmopan. Chief Agriculture Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Eugene Waight, says that this year, there is a wider emphasis on Agriculture. He told us more about what to expect of this weekend of NATS 2013. EUGENE WAIGHT “We will have the Mennonite community there from Spanish lookout which we know in a big community in terms of agriculture production, in terms of grains, poultry, the whole dairy industry has a big concentration there and beside that we are bringing other subsectors within the industry. We will have the citrus industry, banana industry even the cacao growers and the chocolate companies will be out there this year. Beside we have a whole group of probably in excess of 20 different cooperatives that will be there, showcasing the different product that they have invested and developed in terms of value adding. So I think in terms of agriculture, besides the ministry, has its own demonstration unit which will be an eye catcher this year; the Central Farm booth is always an eye catcher and if it was last year, this year it will be even better. Aside from that we have other department like the Fisheries department, we have the department of environment, Forestry, the ministry itself has its own extension staff and this is one of the areas that many people go on Sunday to buy vegetables and fruits because you normally get fruits you probably wouldn’t see in your regular supermarket or store in your district.


Former employees of Belize Central Prison take grievances to Court
Last month news broke of the stand-off between former employees of the Belize Central Prison and the prison’s managers, Kolbe Foundation. Those former employees had publicly charged the organization with firing too many employees without due process, among other charges made in a documentary released on Facebook. After prison...

BWS Former Employees Take Labour Dispute To Court
There is another labour dispute before the courts, involving five former employees of Belize Water Services (BWS) let go in February, supposedly because their posts had become redundant. But the employees, identified as Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy, have filed suit as of...

Forest department will enforce Rosewood restrictions
The Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has found itself in the spot light of late since its sudden announcement of a rosewood amnesty. That amnesty period closed last week Friday and some four days later, hundreds of rosewood flitches were still spotted on compounds in the South....

Guilty Child Molester only gets fined
Last week Tuesday, April 23, 38-year-old John Baptist Sr., a Belize City resident who was accused of having sex with a 6-year-old child back in 2003, and also accused of sexually molesting her on three other occasions was found guilty of 2 of the four counts. Today during mitigation...

Storm causes structual damage in Ladyville and Lord’s Bank
Yesterday afternoon’s powerful storm spawned a hail shower in the Corozal area but also left significant damage in Belize City and the Ladyville/Lord’s Bank community. PLUS News spoke to a homeowner in Belize City who suffered as a result. Anthony Jones – Storm Victim: A rain was starting, and...

Weather Forecaster explains cause of severe storm
At the weather bureau, forecaster Frank Tench Jr. was tracking the storm which spawned sustained winds of 57 miles per hour, average for a tropical storm, with maximum winds approaching 75 miles per hour, the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane, both measured at the International Airport. He tells...

Dr. Malik Soudah explains medical school admission policies
Tonight, we bring you part two of our coverage on the American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) press conference. Yesterday, Dr. Malik Soudah, the school’s chief administrator and President of American Academic Services, addressed multiple topics on the history and practices of AGUSM. One of his sore spots...

Escaped prisoner gets shot and taken to hospital
A manhunt for an escaped prisoner ended with him getting shot. John Bermudez, was in court on a robbery charge at the Punta Gorda Magistrate Court, yesterday morning, when he fled from the defendant bench and dashed out of the courtroom. Authorities were later able to track him down,...

Two men detained for ammunition offence
Two Belize City men were detained after they were caught near Belmopan with unlicensed ammo. Last night, Police were on patrol in Roaring Creek, when they set chase on a vehicle with three men inside. When they reached the George Price Highway, the car stopped in front of a...

Organisations call for emphasis on social and mental health issues
The drowning death of the Teul infants allegedly committed by their mother, who has since been diagnosed with chronic clinical depression, has garnered much public awareness to mental health illnesses. Prompting organizations such as the Special Envoy for Women and Children as well as the PUP and the NCFC...

World Press Freedom Day recognized
World Press Freedom Day – which highlights the need for action to upholding the right of journalists to carry out their work, is being recognized today. The theme for this year is “Safe to Speak: Securing Freedom of Expression in All Media.” Over the past decade, more than 600...

Silas Sabal releases new Christian Music CD
Silas Sabal, Gospel singer, song writer and producer has released his latest album titled “His Love Has Taken me Over.” PlusTV caught up with him down south where he was on a promotional tour. Silas Sabal – Christian Recording Artist: This is my new project and this is a...


Michael Figueroa charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, and Figueroa’s common-law wife, Stephanie Welch, was charged with threatening words directed against her own sister on Tuesday. The days are super hot right now, and so are tempers in Hattieville: two blood sisters have differences of opinion and their children and husbands are being sucked into the dispute. Two days ago, Stephanie Welch, 32, was charged in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court with assaulting Kimberly Ramclam, 37, the principal of the Hattieville Adventist Primary School, and threatening to burn down the home of her (Stephanie’s) sister, Elorine Fuller, and have men shoot it up. Just moments after Welch was arraigned before Magistrate Dale Cayetano, her nephew, Glen Requeña, 22, Elorine’s son, was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm after Welch told police that Requeña pointed a gun at her after telling her that “…one ah unu wanh dead now.”

Police say he fatally shot Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, 21, when he stepped out of Brown Sugar. Travis Tyler Navarro, 19, a resident of #12 Gaol Lane, was charged with a single count of murder for the death of Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, 21, when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith this afternoon. Gonguez was murdered on Monday evening as he stepped out of the San Pedro Water Taxi, located inside the Brown Sugar compound on North Front Street. Reports are that at 5:50 Monday evening, when Gonguez stepped out of the establishment, a dark-complexioned young man wearing a white T-shirt, ¾ jeans pants and a peaked cap, came from out of hiding in the yard of St. Mary’s Church, located across the street at the corner of Gabourel Lane and North Front Street.

Dr. Mario Estradabran, police coroner, performed the autopsy. An autopsy conducted on the three children, Trinaya Felicia Teul, 1, Thomas Teul, 3, and Triana Teul, 4, who were found dead in the sea in the Belizean Beach area after supposedly being drowned by their mother, Felicia Chen, reportedly determined the cause of death to be “Immersion Syndrome.” describes “Immersion Syndrome” as being caused by “prolonged exposure to wet conditions at temperatures from 50 degrees F to 32 degrees F (10 degrees C to 0” C).” The autopsy was conducted on the bodies of the three babies on Monday, April 29, by police coroner Dr. Mario Estradabran at the morgue of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The children died about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, when, according to police, their mother, Felicia Chen, 22, took them into the sea in the Belizean Beach area and drowned them. The babies were recovered from the sea and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where they were pronounced dead on arrival about 1:30 p.m. that Saturday.

Chen has to be housed at a mental facility for her own safety. Felicia Chen, 22, a mother of four, is accused of drowning her three youngest children at the Belizean Beach, then attempting to drown herself. Chen was arraigned yesterday, Monday, before Magistrate Dale Cayetano on three counts of murder, but before an adjournment could be set, it had to be determined whether it would be safe for her to be housed at the Hattieville Prison or at a mental facility, the name of which was not mentioned. An evaluation was then ordered to determine what her state of mind is, and if she would be a threat to herself if housed at the prison. It must be understood, though, that the court was not trying to determine what her state of mind was at the time of the triple drowning, but whether she needs to be in a place where she can receive treatment if needed.

Attending students and a few accompanying parents were treated to two fantastic basketball thrillers this afternoon at Bird’s Isle, where the Sports Council supervised tournament featured the female and male Finals of the Belize City primary schools basketball tournament. Sixteen (16) male and seven (7) female teams participated in the tournament, which just tipped off a couple weeks ago on Monday, April 15. The male semifinals were held on Tuesday of this week, and we got to see a bunch of talented youngsters in tough competition, whetting our appetite for the Finals. Ephesus SDA prevailed, 31-26, over a game St. John Vianney squad in the first male semifinal, with Antaun Palacio and Delbert Sabal netting 13 points apiece for the winners, while James Pugh Ephesus SDA was Delbert Sabal, who led them to victory with 10 points, including some clutch free throws. Deon Edwards had 8 points for St. Martin’s. scored 8 pts for the losers. In the other semifinal, it was St. Martin De Porres dominating the smaller sized Wesley Upper boys, 28-14, with Glen Arzu leading St. Martin’s with 10 pts, while Jahmar Harris had 14 pts for Wesley.

The Premier League of Belize is pleased to announce that a change has been made to its Tournament Fixtures for the Play-off Round. See the following below: Upcoming Playoff Round 1 schedule: Saturday, May 4 7:30 p.m. – #3 Police United FC vs Belize Defense Force FC – FFB Stadium Sunday, May 5 4:00 p.m. – #4 FC Belize vs #1 Belmopan Bandits FC – MCC Grounds The playoff Round is a two-game knockout (#1 Seed vs #4 Seed and #2 Seed vs #3 Seed). The lower seeded team will host the first game. Please note that Police United FC will be hosting the Belize Defense Force FC at the Football Federation of Belize Stadium in Belmopan.

At his press conference on Monday morning, Belize’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Dean Barrow, announced the establishment of Belize’s first national bank. It is sensational news for us Belizean nationalists, because it is probably the only way forward where Belize’s domestic economic development is concerned. This is a bold step by our embattled Prime Minister. Before we proceed, let us say that the only thing we wanted to hear about at that press conference was rosewood, because we are very, very angry about what is happening with rosewood. This is a situation where Belize’s elected politicians are defying and violating the expressed wishes of the Belizean people. Belize’s elected PUDP politicians did this before, repeatedly, with the selling of Belizean passports. And now, they are doing it again. Shame on the Government of Belize. Lord Acton, may he rest in peace, was right. To the best of our knowledge, this national bank idea was first proposed by the late, brilliant Dr. Leroy Taegar. Since Taegar died a couple years ago, Bill Lindo had taken over the national bank baton. None of these two were given any credit for the idea, however, when Mr. Barrow made his announcement earlier this week. So that, if the national bank concept works, and it almost assuredly will, it is Mr. Barrow who will get the credit for the idea.

AGRI Editorial
Belize’s national agriculture show began more than forty years ago when the seat of government was moved from Belize City to Belmopan. At the time Belizeans were still quite idealistic in our nationalism, and the feeling was that agriculture and agro-industries would be the mainstay of the Belizean economy. Back then, it was not foreseen that things like oil, tourism, real estate, and offshore banking would have the impact that they now have on the Belizean economy. Our farmers and ranchers have lost their headline status at Agri to all the buy-and-sell businesses, such as telecommunications, which have taken advantage of the unique sales opportunities which Agri offers during its two spectacular weekend days. Exactly when agriculture became secondary to trade and business at Agri, we can’t say. But, we are not here to examine or denounce that change in Agri. What has been, has been. We come to celebrate Agri today, for the sociological phenomenon that it is. It is the one annual event where Belizeans of all classes and ethnicities and colors and opinions, come together and mingle for an entire weekend. These Belizeans come from every single part of Belize, and it is Agri that offers the best opportunity for a bird’s eye view of the diversity which is Belize.

“If you or I wish to change something fundamental in Belize’s status quo, then we would have to seek political power. In order to achieve that political power, we would have to become as corrupt as the UDP and the PUP are. That is the dilemma of so-called activists in Belize.” - pg. 13, FROM THE PUBLISHER, Amandala No. 2700, Sunday, April 28, 2013 You will seldom hear any of the ideas proposed or discussed in this column and our newspaper’s editorials come up for analysis and discussion on any of Belize’s mainstream media. I am referring to the electronic media – radio and television. From time to time, The Reporter, our newspaper competitors in the field of print media, will publish material challenging our theses. This amounts to fair comment, which is acceptable and, in fact, welcome. Our various political opponents over our 44 years in public life, and sometimes these opponents have been UDP and sometimes they have been PUP, have mostly resorted to ad hominem attacks, which is to say, they attack me personally, which allows them to avoid a discussion of the ideas which Amandala presents. All the radio stations, except for KREM, are 20 years or younger. In television, and I stand to be corrected, Channel 7 is about 30 years old, but for many years they did not feature domestic news and editorials. Channel 5 is a little more than 20 years old, I think.

Legall ruling against 6th Constitutional Amendment “of no practical effect,” he also said. “…the minister can say to the landowner—whether you like it or not—I am making an order that the concession-holder go onto your land” The Government of Belize does plan on appealing the April 16, 2013 decision of Justice Oswell Legall in which he declared six offshore petroleum concessions to be “unlawful, null and void,” as well as the April 19 decision of the judge in which he ruled certain portions of the Sixth Constitutional Amendment to be “unconstitutional, null and void.” “I don’t think there is much practical consequence to any of those two judgments,” Prime Minister Dean Barrow commented at his press conference on Monday. Barrow confirmed that Government’s legal counsels have already prepared documents for the appeal. “I’ve seen our grounds of appeal and I believe that the lawyers described that as an aberrant ruling on the part of the judge, and I completely and unreservedly endorse that,” Barrow told the media.

Chamber and NTUCB to get seats on BIL. Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced Monday that he will increase the number of directors on the board of Belize Infrastructure Limited (BIL) from 7 to 9, to accommodate the inclusion of representatives from the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Barrow made the announcement in light of allegations made by the Opposition People’s United Party that BIL is a “hustle vehicle” for the ruling United Democratic Party. In his response to Barrow’s budget speech, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca had said in March that, “We should all take note of BIL. I want to sound the alarm bells now. I expect this to be a UDP-hustle vehicle that will seek to avoid the rules and regulations of Government. Why is this private company necessary to carry out the work of Government? Will this company be competing with the private sector? Who will it be purchasing materials and supplies from? Who will manage this company?”

“This is an unusual case where a Prime Minister, by his signature, has purported to create a special tax regime:” Michael Young, SC, tells the CCJ. The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), seated in Trinidad and Tobago, today heard the appeal lodged by BCB Holdings Ltd. and The Belize Bank Ltd. against the Attorney General of Belize, in relation to the BZ$43 million arbitration award granted by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) back in 2009. The judgement will be delivered at a later date. Michael Young, SC, appeared today for the Government of Belize, while Eamon Courtenay, SC, and Ashanti Arthurs-Martin, appeared for the appellants. Both sides had foreign attorneys as a part of their legal team. The dispute dates back to October 2008 and it originates out of a settlement deed which set out tax concessions that the then administration of Said Musa made with the parties, in getting them to abandon litigation by the Michael Ashcroft group against the Government over shares in Belize Telemedia Limited (formerly Belize Telecommunications Limited).

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today issued its initial decision in response to the rate application submitted by the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) last month as a part of the 2013 Annual Review Proceeding (ARP). The PUC said that whereas BEL had recommended a Mean Electricity Rate (MER) of $0.4793 per kilowatt-hour, along with specific adjustments to specific regulated values, and specific tariffs for various consumption bands for various customer classes, the PUC, after its review, has approved a rate of $0.4865 per kilowatt-hour. The current MER was fixed at $0.4886 per kilowatt-hour in January, when electricity rates went up by 17%. Today’s PUC decision would mean a negligible 0.4% rate reduction, but for one category of consumers. “Due to the small reduction in the MER, the only current tariffs adjusted were those for the Social customer class. The minimum charge was reduced from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and the electricity rate/tariff was reduced from $0.29 per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 per kilowatt-hour,” said the PUC.


Beachfront Condo and Lagoon side apartment for rent
For those of you who are considering taking the plunge and moving to Belize or already live here and in the market for new diggs, this post is for you. Both beachfront condo and lagoon side apartment are available now with a minimum 6month lease. To view either apartment please call Angela at 626-9527 La Hacienda Apartments are located about a mile and a half south of town. Hacienda is a 1bed/2bth super spacious 2nd floor corner unit. dock, pool quiet and safe. It is 800sq ft , fully furnished, air conditioning, ceiling fans, wireless connection, cable. Potential for second bedroom as well as for sale lease option to buy. $600 usd, electric runs about $200 bzd if air conditioning is used a lot and water $50 bzd.

International Sources

Virtual Tour of Belize by Travel Informed
Please click the link below (or cut and paste to it to your browser) to access one of the most outstanding virtual tours of Belize produced by Travel Informed. Included are 10 destinations: Cayo, Stann Creek, Punta Gorda, Placencia and some atolls. Kindly read the browsing tips first when you open the link. Click arrow on the left hand side to drop the destination bar and do enjoy!

Former diplomat wins right to 'substantial' compensation after Foreign Office withdrew him from service over 'scurrilous' sex accusation from politician's wife
A former top diplomat has won the right to substantial compensation from the government after a judge ruled the Foreign Office let him down when he was wrongly accused of touching the rear of a senior politician's wife. John Yapp - our man in Belize until his sudden suspension in June 2008 - said he was left 'shell-shocked' when his superiors confronted him with the bizarre allegation levelled by an opposition politician from the central American state. He was suspended from his post as High Commissioner with immediate effect, London's High Court heard, and never re-engaged at ambassadorial level. The 61-year-old was summoned before an FCO mandarin while on leave from Belize in June 2008, said Mr Justice Cranston, and hit with accusations that he had a 'bullying' management style and had 'displayed inappropriate behaviour towards women at social functions'. That allegation was described as 'unfounded and scurrilous' by Mr Yapp's QC, Jane McNeill, and it was ultimately rejected after a full investigation by the FCO's own disciplinary panel.

Teaching crosses cultural boundaries
When first-grade teacher Jean Kirshner stepped into a classroom in Belize in 2007, she knew her life would never be the same. She could not foresee then how many other lives also would change because of that visit. Kirshner said she simply saw a need from which she could not turn away. “I was stunned because there were no books or school supplies,” said the Mammoth Heights Elementary School teacher. “It was heartbreaking. I knew I couldn’t get back on that plane and leave it.” That visit was the impetus for the Belize Education Program, now a twice-yearly international visit by school staff from Belize and the Douglas County School District.

May 3, 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

Ambergris Caye to celebrate 8th annual Reef week
The reef plays a pivotal role not only in Belize’s ecosystem, but as the bread and butter for thousands of Belizeans. Some of Belize’s prime tourism destinations are located along the reef, thus it is the main economic drive for many coastal communities like Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker. For that reason, Hol Chan Marine Reserve has come up with a week of activities to highlight the crucial role the Belize Barrier Reef plays as part of country’s natural and cultural heritage. The activities will be held as part of Reef week which will be celebrated from May 20th to the 26th on Ambergris Caye. The purpose of the week’s activity is to bring awareness about the values of the reef to the country and specifically to the island. In her address for Reef Week as part of Reef Week delivered in March, Honorable Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development highlighted the value of the reef to Belize. “Everybody would agree that the Belize Barrier Reef is important economically, socially and culturally.

El Pescador, Belize, honored as 2013 Orvis International Destination of the Year
El Pescador Lodge has been honored with the 2013 Orvis International Destination of the Year. The award was presented on April 20th to Alissa Folta, Chief Executive Officer of El Pescador Lodge. The lodge was awarded for being a world-class flats fishing destination and a lodge that consistently meets guest expectations for service and overall quality of guest’s experiences. The award was given during the Orvis Rendezvous ceremony in Missoula, Montana USA and presented by David Parkins, Executive Vice Chairman of Orvis. Speaking at the event Parkins said that they had expanded their awards to include a special resort. “El Pescador was a real pioneer in salt water fly fishing. It was the first fishing lodge on Belize’s famous Ambergris Caye. Over the years it has continued to evolve and has become a regional leader in conservation, guide training and customer service. El Pescador has probably welcome more Orvis travel groups than any other lodge. And it is their commitment to excellence that keeps us coming back. We are proud to recognized El Pescador Lodge,” said Perkins

US University Celebrates Garifuna Culture
The New Jersey Folk Festival paid tribute today to the remarkable resilience of the Garifuna people, a community that has survived wars, exile and deprivation – and which today is flourishing. “I believe this is due in great part to their absolute refusal to surrender against incredible odds,” said Camillo Gonsalves, permanent representative to the United Nations for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who spoke earlier this afternoon at the 39th annual gathering of the festival. The festival is part of Rutgers Day, the annual open house showcasing the best the university has to offer, which this year drew a record-breakingcrowd of 83,000. St. Vincent is the ancestral homeland of the Garifuna people, who todayare found largely in Belize,Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. A largeGarifuna diaspora also exists in New York and New Jersey, the ambassador says.

Ambergris Today

Video Pick: Tribute to Marine Conservationist Lionel Heredia
He was one of Belize’s firs marine conservationists and lived his life protecting the ocean in which he grew up on. Caye Caulker island resident Lionel ‘Chocolate’ Heredia passed away a couple weeks ago, but not after being honored for his hard work, dedication and love for his country.

US Air Force Assists in School Construction in Belize
Air Force civil engineers and Army combat heavy engineers lay mortar on structural blocks April 19, 2013, at the construction site of Louisiana Primary School at Orange Walk in Belize. Civil engineers from the U.S. and Belize are constructing various structures throughout Belize as part of an exercise called New Horizons. Building these facilities will support further education for the children of the country and provide valuable training for the U.S. and Belizean service members. New Horizons is an annual training exercise for U.S. military civil engineers and medical professionals that prepare participants to deploy, conduct joint operations with partner nations, and redeploy back to the United States. New Horizons 2013 is scheduled to take place in the Central American country of Belize from early-April to late-June.

Misc Belizean Sources

The Story of Resistance in Belize Exhibit Opening
It is with great pleasure that the Corozal House of Culture presents 'A Story of Resistance in Belize' Exhibit. The exhibit chronicles crucial moments in Belize's history, including the Maya resistance, slavery, the labour movement, women, nationalism, Guatemala's territorial claim and more. This historical exhibit opens Friday May 3, 2013. Please join us in witnessing historical developments that shaped our country into what it is today.

VIDEO: Hail Storm in Corozal
It hailed in Corozal on Thursday May 2nd, 2013

Australian help for Caribbean coral reefs and climate change
Australia will use its expertise in guiding the Caribbean to adapt to climate change and manage its coral reefs. Coral reefs provide benefits to the Caribbean valued at over four billion annually. The reefs of the Caribbean are of great importance in providing shoreline protection, habitat for healthy fisheries and an essential attraction for the tourism sector, according to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC). The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) have agreed to a two-year programme that will also be used to address some of the key challenges identified in “Climate Change and the Caribbean: A regional framework for achieving development resilient to Climate Change (2009-2015) developed by the CCCCC.

New Horizons team builds structures faster
New Horizons’ construction teams continue construction on classrooms located throughout Belize using a fast, stay-in-place concrete wall forming system. The teams are building four structures to be used as classrooms located in Ladyville, Crooked Tree and two in Orange Walk Town. The forming system is currently being used to construct three of them. Training is one of the primary objectives of the New Horizons exercise, and the teams are using this opportunity to learn how to construct buildings with a different method than what they have used previously. Prior to coming to Belize, the 823rd Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers Squadron built a small section of wall with the concrete wall forming system as part of a troop training project for the Army 10th Special Forces Group prior to deploying. The project provided an opportunity to compare the concrete wall forming system to building with the traditional concrete masonry unit block.

Second phase of project launched to improve access to finance for entrepreneurs in Belize
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is launching a second phase of its project with Belize’s Atlantic Bank to increase access to finance for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which are critical to job creation and economic growth. With continued support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), IFC is helping Atlantic Bank improve its capacity to serve small and mid-sized business owners and provide them with access to approximately US$35 million in financing by April 2014. Atlantic Bank has 15 locations nationwide and is the third largest bank in Belize in terms of assets and loans disbursed. “In partnership with IFC, we have solidified our foundation to continue growing our SME business,” said Sandra Bedran, general manager of Atlantic Bank. “In this second phase, we will work with IFC to develop a more client-focused, performance-guided approach, so that we can better serve the needs of our small and medium entrepreneurs and fill the financing gap that often constrains their businesses.”

MOTHER'S DAY EXTRAVAGANZA 2013 Central Park San Pedro, 6pm

Bumbastic Pre-Agric Dances
The Bumsquad was in Belmopan last night, getting ready for AGRIC today. They'll be at Wing Stop and Barrio Fino Sports Bar. Danny Chung will be there snapping photos.

Cayo Book Fair Pictures
The San Ignacio Public Library posted a ton of pictures from the BBIA Book Fair, which was held at the Cayo Welcome Center, and on Burns avenue. They got some great pictures of the acrobatics that took place on Burns. "The SIPL was at the BBIA's book fair 2013"

San Antonio Village Website
San Antonio Village has a website! It has quite a bit of information on it, and even a business listings page. Giving us ideas for the next version of the site. Well done, Clara! "San Antonio Village, your introduction to the Adventure Capital of Belize and the Heart of Cayo, central to numerous travelers’ destinations and home to the diversity of the jungle, Maya Mountains and the Pine Ridge Forest. San Antonio is located in the lush 'broadleaf forest' ecosystem, popularly called the jungle. Just five miles drive will take you to the entrance of the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, a totally different ecosystem called 'upland savannah'."

AGRIC Fairgrounds Map
AGRIC starts this afternoon with the opening ceremony at 3:00pm. They've released a map of the new layout for the Belmopan fairgrounds. Stay cool, and have a great AGRIC!

Rice and Beans 1/2 Recipe
In this video, I troubleshoot the making of Belizean Rice and Beans and I make only 1/2 the recipe for those who have a small family. After viewing this video, you will know what to do when things doesn't go right and the rice won't soak and some of the grains remain uncooked.

Channel 7

Gonguez Alleged Killer Charged
On Tuesday, 7News told you about the 21 year-old Rajiv Gonguez, the Belama resident who was murdered on Monday evening in front of Brown Sugar, home to the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. Well tonight, 19 year-old Travis Tyler Navarro, the man who police believe was the shooter, is at prison after he was taken to court today. As we reported, just before 6 p.m., Gonguez drove up in a silver pathfinder and parked in front of the market place. He went inside to pick up a neighbor Jayme Marin, and when he exited, a gunman on foot, who is believed to have been lying in wait, ambushed him and opened fire. 2 of the bullets struck him in the face and chest, and the gunman ran off. Gonguez was immediately rushed to the KHMH, but was pronounced dead on arrival.

Woods/Kolbe Seek Injunction Against Blease/Correlation
Exactly a month ago, 7News told you about the situation brewing between the Kolbe Foundation Belize Central Prison and an organization calling itself the Belize Central Prison Employees Correlation. Well, today, members of the Correlation were summoned before the court to answer to a lawsuit filed by the Prison. It’s in relation to a public challenge that the organization launched against the prison’s private owners claiming that too many employees were being fired without due process. The Correlation produced a documentary making several claims against the prison, and they published it on Facebook. Prison officials contacted the lead members, Herman Blease and Abdul Nunez, requesting them to pull the documentary off the social media because according to them, it was erroneous and –and more importantly – defamatory. They even had their attorneys write to the Correlation leaders, but they refused to do so. And so, for weeks, the prison has been considering its legal options. Today, the suit finally became real when the Prison’s CEO Earl Jones, and Kolbe Foundation’s CEO John Woods appeared before Justice Courtney Abel. They brought a claim against Herman Blease, Adul Nunez, Carla Kasimiro, and Carla Budhna claiming the court should restrain them from continuing their campaign against the prison.

Mayor Confirms Candidacy For Cari Shores, Despite PM’s Opposition
Last week, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley confirmed that he was “actively considering” a candidacy in Caribbean Shores. But on Monday, the Party Leader Dean Barrow said if Bradley decided to challenge UDP first time Area Representative and Minister of State Santino Castillo in a standard bearer convention, it would be quote, “unfortunate.” Well, it seems that’s just what it will be. Yesterday we caught up with the mayor while he was spearheading a labor day community work programme – and he told us he hears the Prime Minister alright, but he’s not backing down. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "I didn't see the comments but I had indicated to you when we discussed this the last time when you had asked about it that it was something that I was seriously considering. Really and truly my focus is being an effective Mayor; the city has a lot of challenges. We are making strides in serious areas but there is a lot more that we need to do in terms of public consultations, I think there's a lot more infrastructure that we need to do. My priority right now is City Hall and being an effective Mayor and leading the City's team and trying to bring the city forward and out of a state, in which I would characterize it as, decline. Today's project 'Labor for Belize' is and indication that we're moving in the right direction and my activities right now will be directed solely at City Hall. Any upcoming elections for General Election is at least four years away and there will be ample time at the appropriate time to consider those things. It is a thing that I am considering and it is something that I am speaking to people but I haven't made any decisions about it."

Hailing In The North
There was a brief hailstorm this afternoon in the Northern Corozal District. At around 2:30, hail poured down over the villages of Libertad, Ranchito, Santa Rita and Corozal Town. Forecaster at the Met Office Frank Tench says it’s the product of very intense thunderstorm in the upper atmosphere. He said it’s typical of the months of April and May when very hot daytime temperatures create the right atmospheric conditions for the freak weather event. Tench says that during these thunderstorms, water vapor condenses into ice pellets, some of which stay frozen enough to fall out of the clouds as hail.

Terminated BWSL Employees Sue Former Employer
In February, we told you about five workers that BWSL terminated – including the Union Vice President and General Secretary. Well, on April 30th., the eve of Labour Day, they filed suit against their former employer for unlawful termination. According to a release, the claim seeks loss of salary and benefits and compensation for a breach of the collective bargaining agreement. The crux of the case is what we had reported: in their letters of termination, the workers were told that their posts had become redundant – but an internal memo said that they had been fired for breaching confidentiality. The workers further allege that since their terminations, BWS has hired persons to fill their posts. The terminated persons, now claimants in the lawsuit are are Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michale Novelo and Journett McKoy. They had worked at BWSEL for between 2 and a half and 24 years. Two other persons who are not in the suit were also terminated. They are being represented in this case by Antoinette Moore.

PUP, NCFC, Special Envoy On Infanticide
The PUP, the NCFC and the Special Envoy for Women and Children have issued statements on Saturday’s unspeakable crime: the murder of three small children by their mother. In its statement, the PUP says quote, “this unprecedented incident brings into sharp focus the extreme challenges that many women and families face in Belize today.” It adds that, quote, “the Belizean public should withhold a rush to judgment against the accused…and await the relevant facts.” The statement from the National Committee on Families and Children says quote, “the death of three children demands that we pause and reflect on how to strengthen the support to families to ensure that there is awareness of the warning signs and where to access services to prevent future occurrences.” And the statement Special Envoy Kim Barrow says quote, “This heartbreaking story is a reminder that we must take issues relating to mental health seriously.” It adds, “It is important that we all educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of (clinical depression) as there are services that are available to help treat and manage depression and prevent it from escalating with such devastating results.” End quote.

AGUSM Bites Back, Says Smear Campaign Funded By Detractors
For the past two weeks, The American global University of Science and Medicine has been taking a pounding in the press – and the man driving the issue if Phillip Fawda Henry. He’s made all kinds of claims against the school, saying basically that it’s a sham operation. Well, today, after a press release and a phone interview, AGUSM came out swinging. The Medical school held a two hour media breakfast where there was a lively and illuminating exchange. Here’s a small portion of that:… Dr. Malik Soudah - President - AGUSM "All I want from you guys - the media is to give us a fair shot to defend ourselves and present our case and our side of the story." Jules Vasquez reporting And so, this morning Dr. Malik Suda and his assistant Dean, Belizean doctor Dr. Eduardo Giovanni Solarzano as well as the president of the student government, Sarah Thompson - held a media breakfast to make the point emphatically that the school with campuses in San Pedro and Ladyville is legitimate.

Troubling School Rivalry Leads To Allegations Against Precinct Police
Tonight, the officers from Police Precinct system have its first complaint of police brutality coming from a member of the public. It concerns a worrying situation which is developing between the neighboring schools of Wesley Upper School, and Queen Square Anglican School, which are right across from each other on Dolphin Street. Students from both schools have been ambushing each other and fighting. The situation escalated to the point in which a student was stabbed last week. Police were called in to intervene, but according to Rosalie Williams, the parent of 2 of the boys suspected to be involved, they took it too far and brutalized 8 school children. She spoke to the media this morning, and explained the situation. Rosalie Williams – Concerned Parent "I have two sons age 13 and age 14 years old - Isaac Williams and Isic Williams that are going to school at Queen's Square. On Tuesday when I came home from work they told me that they were taken from school that day to a police precinct by Police officers and teachers. I asked them the reason and what was it that they did. They told me they didn't know. What happened was that the principal called the Police that deals with the kids from that school to go to the school because of a complaint she received from a parent and a student from Wesley school. She believes that the older kids from standard five and standard six may have known about the incident so she asked the police to speak with them.

PUC Proposes Adjustment To Social Rate
One month ago, BEL asked the PUC to reduce the average electricity rate by about one cent per kilowatt-hour. Well, the PUC has considered that application, and proposed a reduction of even less than that, about one quarter of one cent(!) per kilowatt hour. It’s miniscule, but it can translate into savings for those getting the social rate. Government stripped away part of their subsidy in January. So, the PUC proposes to reduce the Minimum Charge for that group from $5.00 to $4.00 per month and cut their rate from $0.29 cents per kilowatt-hour to $0.26 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is only the initial decision, and comments form the public are accepted until May 13th, 2013.

Opposition Leader’s Mother Passes
We note the passing of Molly Fonseca, the mother of the leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. The 79 year old had been ailing for some time and reportedly died at home. She was the mother of two, and will be remembered in this newsroom as a staunch PUP and a stalwart of the Fort George Division where she was a long standing member of the Committee.

Expert: ICJ Might Give Guate More Than Expected
All the hype and hysteria about the ICJ has subsided because the Guatemalans have unilaterally nixed plans to have simultaneous national referendums on the issue. So, the whole issue of whether we will or we won’t go to the ICJ is at best, in limbo, and, at worst, on a permanent backburner. And so while the issue of having the ICJ settle our territorial dispute is at rest, what about Belize and Guatemala’s territorial waters? Those have never been formally defined – because adding a maritime dispute to the land dispute, would only make the centuries old issue even more intractable. But what would the ICJ says about who should get what in those waters? That’s what visiting Australian professor Robert Gullett spoke about today at a lecture organized by the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism. He’s the Dean of Law at the University of Wollongong, and an expert on the Law of The Sea. His presentation at the Radisson this afternoon was called, “Defining lines in the sea: Reflections on the evolving jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice in maritime boundary delimitation.”

Mayor Labored On Labour Day
Yesterday, most of us took the day off for labour day. But, not the city council. For the second year in a row, the council organized a major work programme and enlisted support from local groups to spend their morning in the sweltering sunhot to beautify the city. They were all over the place and we found them by the swing bridge – where the Mayor explained why he loves labouring on labour day. Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "The idea is that we're going to come out on Labor Day. Last year we did it and it's an annual event that we call 'Labor for Belize'. Today is a holiday and we would recognize and thank our laborers accross the country for developing the nation. What the City Council decided to do is on our holiday we are going to come out and be joined by a group of students and members of the business community, out here at the Swing Bridge we have Diamond International. We are going to labor for our society and we are going to labor for our city. The City Council staff was out by the flag monument and we cleaned a length of the monument from 6:00 - 9:00 this morning. I'm going around touring some of the other prokects throughout the city. We are very pleased that this year it was a success again. We had tremendous support from the business community, schools, the youth cadet corp. We had a group from the Nigerian community - 15 persons and they are doing some painting along the Princess Margaret drive on the medians, bars and the cross walks in front the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and they indicated to us that they live in this community and they wanted to show their support for the Belize City community."

PROFILE: Gilroy Clother Jr.
Tonight’s profile is about Gilroy Clother Jr. He’s got no great claim to fame, but the high school student’s story is compelling. He grew up tough in the swamps of Freedom Street, ended up in the states, got kicked out of school, lost a brother to kidney failure and then used that inspiration to rebuild himself. Here’s his story

Channel 5

Is rosewood still being cut?
Tonight, there is video footage purportedly showing that contrary to the official government line the movement of rosewood in southern Belize is a thriving industry. The amnesty period was closed on April twenty-sixth and in his press conference earlier this week Prime Minister Dean Barrow asked those who were opposed to that amnesty to move [...]

Gaol Lane resident charged with murder
Three days of intensive investigation into the senseless murder of Belama resident, twenty-one year old Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, police have made an arrest. This afternoon, nineteen year old Travis Tyler Navarro, of Gaol Lane in Belize City, was arraigned for Gonguez’s murder before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. On Monday evening, just before six, gunshots [...]

American Global University defends its name
Last month at a press conference at the Belize Institute of Management, serious claims were levied at the American Global University School of Medicine, an offshore medical university that has moved to a building on the International Airport Road. In a nutshell, the allegations were that the AGUSM was bogus and a scam. Well today, [...]

Hailstorm in Corozal villages
There was a very booming thunderstorm experienced in some parts of the country on Wednesday night. But a weather event that happened today topped that and had people buzzing about it this afternoon. A rare weather occurrence passed over the Corozal District after three o’clock this afternoon. The villages of Santa Rita, Ranchito and Calcutta [...]

President Obama and PM Barrow heading to Costa Rica
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is heading to Costa Rica to join Central American presidents for a regional meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama. It is Obama’s second stop in the region; earlier today he arrived in Mexico City for meetings with President Enrique Pena Nieto. Top on that agenda was border security and trade matters, [...]

Bridge over troubled water? Dangriga resident claims land
There is a battle brewing in the culture capital, and it’s all about land – parcel nine ninety-one, to be more specific, located right at the foot of the main bridge in Dangriga. It’s about two hundred and forty feet long and a little over twenty feet wide, and the dispute is over who has [...]

Minister receives treatment in U.S.; Opposition Leader’s mom passes
There is word to News Five that the Minister of Housing, Michael Finnegan is in Houston Texas, where he is receiving medical attention. Finnegan is consulting with a neurosurgeon on a condition that has been causing him acute pain in the past year. From what we gather, he is likely to have surgery to repair [...]

Former BWS employees take court action
Belize Water Services Limited is tonight facing litigation, following a claim of wrongful termination by a group of five former employees that was fired in early February.  Don Gillett, Colin Morrison, Charlette Barnett, Michael Novelo and Journett McKoy were relieved of their respective duties at the company after being informed that their posts had been [...]

Special Envoy for Children provides therapy for surviving Teul sibling
Twenty-two year old Felicia Chen remains under observation for her mental health. On Tuesday, she was charged with three counts of murder for the deliberately drowning three of her children at Belizean Beach last Saturday. In the aftermath of a diagnosis confirming that Chen is suffering from Chronic Clinical Depression, the Special Envoy for Women [...]

Surviving daughter of Felicia Chen will receive psychotherapy
Assurances have also been made by the Department of Human Services that the surviving daughter of Felicia Chen will receive psychotherapy from an assigned counselor while the department makes an assessment regarding her future.  Acting Director at the department is Lliani Arthurs.   Lliani Arthurs, Acting Director, Department of Human Services “We have been with [...]

Painter raises funds to help with funeral arrangements
The tragedy that has fallen on the Chen and Teul families has sprung hope from the public. Offers to assist with financial costs for the funeral of the children are emerging from the public. Funerals are costly and a member of the public, who shares the nation’s collective pain, decided to place her passion for [...]

Alleged indecent assault of 4 minors down south
There is a serious complaint made by four female students of Sittee River Village in the Stann Creek District. The girls, ages six through to eleven years claim that on April second, while at the yard of their neighbor, a person known to them as “Chicken Man” asked them to show him the house of [...]

Domestic squabble ends with elephant foot over the head
Thirty-six year old Sherla Adolphus, a domestic of Crooked Tree Village, and her former common law husband, forty-two year old Dean Dawson of Sandhill Village, appeared in magistrate’s court today where they were charged individually for their role in a domestic dispute.  Dawson was arraigned on four counts, including aggravated assault and harm upon his [...]

How to combat erosion in Dangriga?
For the past few months much attention has been paid to the coastline of Dangriga Town, where erosion has become a serious concern. Today Mayor Gilbert Swaso told us that after analysis and consultation, the Council has come up with a practical plan which is being finalized and which will be put in place very [...]

Step out for a cause during the Annual Cancer Month
Across the country there are hundreds of Belizeans living with various forms of cancer.  The month of May has been designated as Cancer Month during which activities have been organized by the Belize Cancer Society to raise awareness about the terminal illness.  The highlight of the month is the annual Cancer Walk which sees growing [...]

Hype night during Corozal Bay Resort Concert
A concert will be held this weekend at the Corozal Bay Resort in that northern most district. In celebration of the one year anniversary of Father and Son Productions, the event will feature a host of local and international artists including Sharon “Bad Gial” Martinez, Andidre and international recording Jamaican artist Darrio among others. Today, [...]

Healthy Living relieves some stress
Given the high rates of unemployment and poverty, there is no doubt that many parents are under a lot of stress to provide for their families. Some can cope through help from family, friends or church, but others are left alone to battle. Although not widely publicized, there are governmental and non governmental agencies that [...]


Belize To Be Showcased On World Fishing Network
WFN: World Fishing Network, the leading entertainment destination and digital resource for anglers throughout North America has decided to film in Belize for their “Escape and Explore” five hour marathon of fishing adventures from exotic destinations around the globe. A new...

Closing Ceremonies For EU Funded Project Planned For Friday
Ceremonies to mark the close of a one point two million project funded by the European Union and implemented by the University of Belize in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports will take place tomorrow at the Independence High School Auditorium. The project si...

Robbery of Chinese Store In Northern Belize
A Taiwanese Chinese store in Orange Walk was robbed this afternoon at gunpoint. Love News understands that around 2:15 pm a man walked into Ring Store on Liberty Avenue and held up the store owner with a black gun then stole a top up phone machine and escaped. No one was...

Ministry of Health Benefits From Canadian Project
The Ministry of Health is a sub-grantee on a project funded by Grand Challenges Canada to the Grantee Ministry of Health, Guyana. The project is entitled “Improving prevention and treatment systems based on primary health care for alcohol use problems in two Caribbean count...

Hail Storm Reported In Northern Belize
It is not a regular occurrence but this afternoon, some parts of Corozal Town experienced a hailstorm. Residents heard what sounded like loud bangs against their rooftops and windows and when they came outside to see what it was, they witnessed marble sized hailstones. The pi...

Belize Observes Cancer Month In May
The month of May is recognized as cancer month and the Belize Cancer Society as the primary organization that seeks to broaden the public’s knowledge about cancer is hosting an entire month long of activities. According to Public Relations Officer of the Belize Cancer Society, Da...

YWCA Holds Barber Competition to Conclude Barber Course
Back in September of last year, the Young Women’s Association, YWCA, with the support of CARSI began a training course for young males with the initiative of enhancing their barbering skills. The group of twelve participants met every two weeks since the start of the training and...

Thursday, May 2 --------- President Of American Global University Travels To Belize To Clear Up Allegations
Since reports started to circulate about a month ago about the American Global University, there has not been much said about the medical institution aside from what came from interested party, Philip “Fawda” Henry when he protested in front of the facility and when he held...

Esperanza Villager Detained For Robbery of US National
San Ignacio Police have detained a man pending a charge of robbery. This follows a report made by a US national. He reported to police that on Thursday April 25 he was approached by a man who asked if he was interested in buying some land valued at four thousand dollars.&nb...

Mayors' Association Has New Executive
The Belize Mayors’ Association elected its new Executive for the year 2013-2014 at a meeting held on April 26th at “El Rancho” in Belmopan. Mayor John August of San Ignacio Santa Elena is the new president. Mayor Hilberto Campos of Corozal Town is the vice presi...

Security Guard Remanded On Aggravated Assault
Twenty-nine year old Michael Figueroa, a security guard of Old Hattieville, who allegedly pointed a firearm at two women, was charged with two counts of aggravated assault when he appeared in court today. Figueroa pled not guilty to the charges. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith explai...

Crack Possession Lands Man Six Months Behind Bars
Fifty year old Israel Bahadur, a laborer of Taylor’s Alley, was sentenced to six months today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to possession of point two grams of crack cocaine. Chief Magistrate Smith gave Bahadur the custodial sentence instead of a...

Employees Of Utility Company Seek Legal Recourse On Their Termination
Early in February the Belize Waters Services Limited was under scrutiny after a number of long time employees had been fired because, in the company’s view, their posts had become redundant. But back then it was alleged that the workers had been laid off because they did not adhe...


It Rained Hail In Corozal
In case you haven’t felt the heat lately then let me tell you that today Belize experienced a record breaking temperature of 100 degrees meaning that today was extremely hot as the temperature soured. But according to forecaster Francisca Wellington, the scorching heat, which has nothing to do with climate change, should be nothing new to Belizeans. Forecaster Francisca Wellington “This is the dry season and this is the normal temperature that occurs during the dry season, we had up to hundred and four, just last month in Central Farm an just yesterday I believe it was hundred and two or hundred and three that was recorded at Central Farm, so we are seeing that there is areas of low pressure over us what we call heat lows meaning that the winds will not be blowing very strongly it is light and we have this heating so because of that we are expecting the temperatures to go very high especially for the inland areas.”

Jose Mojica Dies Of Traumatic Shock
In the wee hours of Sunday morning a traffic accident claimed the life of 19 year old Josue Mojica, Belizean farmer of San Felipe Village in the Orange Walk District. Tonight, while police hunt for Andres Cruz, the driver of the gold Chevy pickup truck that knocked down Mojica as he was driving a black motorcycle at the entrance of the village, a post mortem examination has reveled that he died as a result of traumatic shock caused by multiple injuries. As previously reported, at around four Sunday morning, Mojica was driving a black motorcycle at the entrance of the village when a gold Chevy pickup truck travelling in the opposite direction, collided right into him. Mojica sustained injuries to the right foot, right leg and abdomen area. He succumbed to his injuries on the way to the Northern Regional Hospital.

Kim Simplis Barrow Calls On Belizeans To End Stigma Associated With Mental Illness
As mentioned earlier in the newscast, Saturday’s triple murder of 4 year old Triana Teul, 3 year old Thomas Teul and 1 year old Trinaya Teul, has stirred mix emotions among the people of Belize. The topic has even been debated in the social mediums and today, the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow, called on Belizeans to end the stigma associated with mental illnesses that deters many persons suffering from depression from seeking help. In a release issued this afternoon, Simplis Barrow states that Felicia Chen’s story is a reminder that we must take issues relating to mental health seriously. Twenty two year old Felicia Chen suffers from clinical depression, a common mental health disorder that many do not recognize as a real health condition.

BTIA OW Chapter Holds Logo Competition
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter was one of the 15 proud recipients of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Grant awarded by La Inmaculada Credit Union under the institutions SSEDDAT Two Program. BTIA Orange Walk Chapter received more than $16,000 in funding which will be used to put out a quarterly tourism publication over a period of nine months for both the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts. In order to name and find a logo for the publication, BTIA Orange Walk Chapter has lunched its “Name a Logo” competition which is opened to the public. Jasmine Zetina, BTIA O/W Chapter “The competition is a name and logo competition that we launched for the high school and sixth form students of the northern districts and the reason if that we will be starting a quarterly publication the first on coming out in June but initially it was launched for the high schools and sixth form but we decided to go ahead and expand the persons who will be able to participate so we went ahead and invited all Belizeans and so far we been having a very good response to it.”

US Army Surgeons Assisting Those In Need
In our newscast aired on Friday April 26th, we brought you the story of a group of fourteen plastic surgeons attached to the US Army who are presently in Orange Walk offering free plastic surgeries to as much as fifty children. Surgeries offered include the removal of cleft lip and pallets, injuries to the nose, lumps and body mumps among others. Today Lieutenant Coronel Karia Laython gave us an update on the consultations as well as the ongoing surgeries. Lieutenant Coronel Karia Laython- Plastic Surgeon Staff “They keep for checking in with us again and we actually seen 45 patience in consultations and we have 22 patience scheduled for surgery and we have 11 surgeries that already have taken place and we are welcoming everyone to come check in with us for any consultations, for any problems specially for soft tissue or any questions patience may have because we still have slots available for surgery so if anybody wants to come and see if we have services available for them we will be happy to evaluate them and all the cost for evaluations and surgeries are free of charge to the people.” Even though the team has tended to patients from as far as Belize City, spaces are still available for those in need of surgery.

PUP Calls On GOB To Address Abuse of Women And Children
Belizeans are just recovering from the horrific incident that occurred last weekend in which 22 year old Felicia Chen, a resident of mile 8 on the George Price Highway, took away the life of three of her four children- four year old Triana ElicaTeul, 3 year old Thomas EdilbertoTeul and 1 year old Trinaya Felicia Teul. Chen has been charged with three counts of murder and is currently hospitalized at a mental health facility after doctors declared that she is suffering from Chronic Disorder. Chen will be under observation for 14 days after which it will be determined whether she will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison or placed at a mental health facility for treatment. Chen is said to have led a life of abuse both on the hands of her children’s father and her family yet it is left to be determined what drove this mother over the edge to commit such a heinous act, before attempting to take her own life.

John August New President Of Belize Mayors Association
The Belize Mayors Association held a meeting on April 26th at “El Rancho” in Belmopan City with the purpose of electing a new executive for the period 2013-2014. At the end of the meeting a new executive was formed comprising of Mayor John August Jr. of San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town as President, Mayor Hilberto Campos of Corozal Town as Vice president, Mayor Kevin Bernard of Orange Walk Town as Secretary, and lastly, Mayor Simeon Lopez of Belmopan City as treasurer. All Executive members committed to focus and place all efforts in furthering the goals and objectives of the association and to foment Local Governments, as a whole, in the country.

Extreme Heat Has Serious Effects
High temperatures such as 100 degrees can cause negative effects to the human body. Heat exhaustion is a relatively common reaction to severe heat and can include symptoms such as dizziness, headache and fainting. It can usually be treated with rest, a cool environment and hydration including refueling of electrolytes, which are necessary for muscle and other body functions. Heat stroke is more severe and requires medical attention—it is often accompanied by dry skin, a body temperature above 103 degrees Fahrenheit, confusion and sometimes unconsciousness. That’s what some of us are practically facing with the recent increase in temperatures. There are certain measures that can be taken; however, to prevent dehydration and heat stroke. Elmer Cornejo - Reporting Today the Met Service of Belize reported a scorching one hundred degrees Fahrenheit in heat inland. In average, this has been the trend in temperature for the last few months and even though most Belizeans have become accustomed to the extensive heat, the reality is it does have its effects and for some it can even mean death.


Travis Navarro charged with murderer of Dennis Gonguez
After three days of intensive investigation into the senseless murder of 21-year-old Dennis Rajiv Gonguez, police are today able to charge a well-known Belize City youth for murder. He has been identified as 19-year-old Travis Tyler Navarro. This evening, at around 2:30 p.m., Navarro was swiftly taken into Court...

Government says Rosewood Flitches were Stamped
On Tuesday, we ran a story showing rosewood being stockpiled in the South. This, some four days after the amnesty period was closed. As we told you on Tuesday, our news crew was stoned and mooned by angry workers at the rosewood site after our camera crew took shots...

Kenny Morgan explains Citco’s action on Cemeteries
PLUS News today caught up with public relations officer for the Belize City Council, Kenny Morgan, concerning a story we first reported on Tuesday regarding the undertakers of Belize City being kept out of the public cemetery despite the reaching of an agreement at the Supreme Court between both...

AGUSM sets the record straight
The American Global University School of Medicine (AGUSM) and sister school Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS) have been under public scrutiny for several weeks following allegations that AGUSM in particular is little more than a “ghost house” and a diploma mill. But today, the President of American...

Hail in Corozal, Heatwave Elsewhere
What’s up with the weather? The heat has been blazing on the country in the recent weeks, with little or no rainfall relief. This evening we spoke to Forecaster at the Belize Met. Service Frank Tench, who told us why we’ve been experiencing these extreme weather conditions. Frank Tench...

Stakeholders will have to compromise in Armenia Land disputes
Last week we told you about land issues which the Village of Armenia has been facing. Cruz Cal, a local of Armenia, is the Chairman of the Lands Committee which is supported by seven other members. The committee recently identified 2000 acres of land which they have been distributing,...

Suspected Con Man Detained After Robbery Plot
An American national, presently staying in San Ignacio, says that he walked right into a con man’s robbery plot. He claims that last week Thursday, he met this man, who asked him if he was interested in purchasing lands and if so he would take him to see properties...

64 year old charged for allegedly touching four minors inappropriately
A 64 year old man has been charged for allegedly touching four minors inappropriately. Juan Antonio was arrested after four girls, ages 11, 9, 8 and 6, accompanied by their parents, reported to Police that on April 2nd, around 4pm, while at their neighbors’ yard, a man they know...

Turneffe Atoll declared Marine Reserve
The plans were set in train from decades ago and signed on to in December by Minister of Fisheries Lisel Alamilla, and on Wednesday there was the formal declaration of the Turneffe Atoll as a marine reserve. Minister Alamilla spoke to PLUS News about the importance of the declaration....

Caribbean Bishops encourage opponents to Constitutional Change
The Government of Belize is heading to the court next week on the Constitutional Challenge filed by UNIBAM and Caleb Orosco. And while the pro-gay rights lawsuit brought against the Government in the Supreme Court may be the first of its kind, it certainly isn’t the only effort of...

Many spend the Holiday beautifying Belize City
The Belize City Council and its partners came out to conduct the second annual Labour for Belize initiative on Labour Day. According to Mayor Darrell Bradley there were numerous projects conducted. We caught up with him at the venerable Swing Bridge. Darrell Bradley – Belize City Mayor: We’ve been...

Senior steppers back from Merida
The Belmopan Senior Steppers boogied their way to Merida, Mexico, for three days full of dance and cultural presentations. The group of energetic seniors, ranging from 58-91 years old, performed primarily for members of Mexican senior organizations. They returned last week and we caught up with dance instructor Karen...

The Guardian

Promise Delivered : VoIP Unleashed!!!
Belizeans are finally truly free of the PUP-Ashcroft secret Accommodation Agreement now that Prime Minister Barrow has declared an end to the ban on Voice over Internet Protocol services (VoIP). The agreement featured special conditions such as a Government guarantee of 15% return on investment, no business tax and custom duties, and the ban of VoIP, among others. The change of Government and subsequent nationalization of the company ended most of the special arrangements between Government and the Belize Telemedia Limited. However, the ban on VoIP lived on. VoIP is a program that takes analog audio signals, like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turn them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. The program allows the user to bypass the phone company and its fees when making calls. There are three ways in which VoIP is used. One is with an analog telephone adaptor (ATA). The ATA allows you to connect a standard phone to your computer or your Internet connection for use with VoIP. The ATA is an analog-to-digital converter. It takes the analog signal from your traditional phone and converts it into digital data for transmission over the Internet. The second way is by using a specialized phone called an IP Phone. The IP Phone is similar to regular phones but it comes with an Ethernet connector instead of a phone connector. It can be connected to any router and used to make calls. The third and easiest way to use VoIP is from computer to computer. The most common form is video chatting. There are several sites that allow video chatting for free or at very cheap monthly rates.

A National Bank for National Development
The Prime Minister announced during his quarterly press conference that the National Bank is well on its way to being formed. Already, a Board of Directors has been appointed to form part of the Bank. This will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant with Marion Palacio being the Vice Chair and members being Dylan Reneau, John Mencias, and Hector Sabido. Jose Karim Marin has been given the nod to be the General Manager. According to the Prime minister, the bank’s board is comprised of well-rounded individuals with financial capabilities as well as knowledge in the area where the bank will be receiving its financing. Initially, 20 million dollars will be the start up capital which will be made available for mortgage loans for public officers and teachers primarily, however, the PM noted that finances will also be made available for middle and low income persons. The finances will be derived from the Petro-Caribe Initiative, which currently sees the Government purchasing fuel from Venezuela but only a portion of the actual value is paid for the fuel, the difference is a deferred payment which is converted into a loan that pays 1% interest.

Referendum stalled
Prime Minister Hon.Dean Barrow officially announced on Monday, April 29th that the Referendum that was scheduled for October 6th to decide on whether or not the country would take it’s territorial claim to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has been called off. The Prime Minister explained that there were bilateral meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington and CEO in the Ministry, Alexis Rosado with Guatemala’s foreign minister Fernando Carrera. During those meetings, a particular nagging issue was discussed. That issue being where it was announced in the Guatemalan media that a new passport would be issued to take into consideration the Guatemalan claim over Belize. The Guatemalans gave their assurances that the reports are not true and that the new passports to be issued will be identical to the existing one.

What If?
What if a certain country or state still had Jim Crow-type laws on their books but they were not currently being enforced and had not been used for many years? Would they still be offensive to the community of persons targeted by them? What if several members of this community had achieved prominent positions in the wider community in governance, commerce and services? Would this mean that the Jim Crow laws are any less offensive? Does the existence of offensive Jim Crow laws encourage stigma and discrimination including petty harassment and even violence especially against less socially successful members of the community? Does the existence of Jim Crow laws encourage religiously and/or politically motivated “leaders” to preach or speechify against members of the targeted community with impunity? Should religiously and/or politically motivated “leaders” have the right to access technical and financial assistance from all available sources, local and foreign, to support their call to retain Jim Crow Laws? Would the presence of support from foreign individuals and organisations make the call to retain the laws “bogus” or inspired by outside forces? (Many non-American Neo-Nazi groups supported Jim Crow Laws in the USA.) Does the existence of Jim Crow laws, even if they are not enforced, imply a threat that they could be used in the future and thus help to remind the targeted population that they are at risk and therefore should remain as invisible as possible?

First Ever San Estevan UDP Village Council Slate
UDP Party Chairman, Alberto August endorses candidates It was a celebratory atmosphere in San Estevan village on Friday, April 26th as the United Democratic Party officially endorsed the village council slate, which will be contesting the upcoming village council elections in that community.

Four Belizeans Receive Prestigious Honour of the British Empire
Four Belizeans were today honoured at the Belize House for their selfless and outstanding contributions to Belize.

Tourism Industry continues to Flourish
Tourism industry stakeholders are pleasantly surprised at the number of overnight tourist arrivals for the first three months of 2013. In 2012, Belize saw record numbers in overnight tourist arrivals with a 10.2% increase over the previous year. During this same time, there was a 2.7 percent increase in tourist arrivals globally, which means that Belize outperformed the rest of the world. Experts projected a more modest performance in 2013 as they are expecting a growth in overnight arrivals of 4.5%. However, statistics released by the Belize Tourism Board shows that there was a 13% increase in overnight tourist arrivals for the first three months of this year.

Investor Confidence at all Time High
Upon being elected to govern in 2008, Prime Minister Barrow and his United Democratic Party administration knew that they needed to build back foreign investors’ confidence in Belize in order to move the economy forward. The previous administration had destroyed Belize’s credibility with foreign investors because of shady arrangements such as dual exclusive contracts. After five years of transparent governance by the United Democratic Party’s administration, foreign investors are now flocking to the jewel.

Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital responds to Security overtime 2012
In response to a news report of April 26th, 2013 on Channel 5 regarding an allegation of unpaid overtime being made by some former KHMH security employees, the KHMH Administration advises that all legitimate outstanding claims by these former employees were settled at the time of their redundancy in March of this year.

Labour Department holds Open Day Countrywide
The Labour Department within the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and National Emergency Management held an Open Day on Tuesday at all its ten branches countrywide. Genee Neal, Public relations officer for the Ministry of Labor says that the Open Day was a fun-filled and informative one and is in reference to Labor Day which will be observed on May 1st.

Maranco’s Oil Find still not quantified
On Monday, April 29th, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow announced that Maranco, which struck oil in the Gallon Jug area in north western Belize, has still not been able to quantify the amount of oil that is in the find. PM Barrow stated that there have been problems that have prevented the oil company from completing the exercise. There are two main problems that have the encountered so far the first being that salt water is seeping into the oil well and the company is looking to plug the seepage using concrete. The second problem Maranco faces is a chemical reaction that has taken place inside the well after acid was injected into it to clean it of drilling mud. That acid has caused a tar-like substance to form in the well preventing any work from proceeding.

Taiwanese Navy visits Belize
The 2013 Midshipmen Cruising and Training Squadron of the Republic of China-Taiwan’s Navy was in Belize from Sunday, April 28th, to Tuesday, April 30th. Officers of the squadron put on a show for local government officials and students at the MCC Grounds on Monday, April 29th.

Hon. Gaspar Vega inaugurates New Multipurpose Centre for San Jose Village
The Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Area Representative for Orange Walk North, Hon. Gaspar Vega, officially inaugurated a new multipurpose centre in the village of San Jose, Orange Walk on Saturday, April 27th.

Dennis Rajiv Gonguez murdered
Police are investigating the murder of 21-year-old Dennis Rajiv Gonguez which occurred on Monday, April 29th. According to police, Gonguez was walking in the San Pedro Water Taxi compound with Jayme Marin at about 5:50 p.m. ,when they were approached by a slim built, dark complexion male dressed in a ¾ blue jeans pants, white shirt and peak cap. The individual took out a firearm and fired several shots at Gonguez. He was struck multiple times, at least once to the head, and died at the scene. Police retrieved two Aquila brand 9 mm expended shells, a Luger brand 9mm expended shell and two slugs from the scene. The Belize Police Department is searching for a Belize City man who is a person of interest in the murder investigation.

Rupert Avila charged for Fake Cheques
On Friday, April 26th, 31-year-old Belizean to the Bone employee, Rupert Avila, was charged for being in possession of a fake cheque. Allegations are that on Tuesday, April 23rd, he was found in possession of a Nova Scotia Bank cheque #077 in the sum of $5,810. Avila allegedly attempted to pay a cashier at Benny’s Bargain Center with this cheque. The cashier called police to the establishment and they arrested Avila since they did not believe he was unaware that the document was false. The origin of the cheque is said to be from Unity Presbyterian School. Avila appeared before Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith on Friday where he was charged with one count of possession of a false document and one count of claiming upon a forged document. He pleaded not guilty to the offense and was granted bail in the sum of $1500, $500 in cash plus one surety of $1,000. He is due back in court on June 20st. The police press office advises all business establishments to be on the lookout for forged Scotia Bank cheques.

Brian Castillo charged for Keeping an Unmuzzled Ferocious Dog at Large
Police arrested and charged Lord’s Bank engineer, 50-year-old Brian Castillo for keeping an unmuzzled ferocious dog after his neighbour reported that Castillo's pit-bulls went into his yard, attacked and killed their dogs. At 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 21st, a 48-year-old woman of the Lord’s bank area visited the Ladyville Police Station and reported that she was at home half an hour earlier when her neighbor’s three dogs went into her yard and killed her 4-year-old pit-bull dog. She also told police that it was not the first time her neighbor’s dog got out of his yard. When police visited the scene, they saw one dead pit-bull dog with multiple injuries over its body. On Friday, April 26th, Castillo appeared in court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. In court, Castillo pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount. He is due back in court on June 4th.

Leeann Samuels caught Smuggling Weed into Police Station
On Friday, April 26th, a 22-year-old beautician was fined $400 for 3 grams of weed she was caught with inside a plate of food she was taking for her boyfriend, who was detained at the Queen Street Police Station. Leeanne Samuels of #21 West Canal, Belize City appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug. Police say that on Thursday, April 25th, Samuels visited the station at about 12:20 p.m., where an officer present at the precinct conducted a routine check inside a black plastic bag she had in her possession. Inside the bag was a foam plate container with food. Inside the food, they found a fonto leaf and the weed inside a transparent plastic bag. Samuels was there to take food for her boyfriend, 21-year-old Kenrick Longsworth, who was detained at the Queen Street Police Station. In court, she pleaded guilty to the offense. Magistrate Dale Cayetano imposed a non-custodial sentence by fining her $400 plus $5.00 cost of court which she was ordered to pay by August 31st, 2013 or serve 9 months in prison.

8 Years for Attempted Murder
On Friday, April 26th, Justice Troadio Gonzalez sentenced 28-year-old Leroy Ramsey to 8 years in prison after a jury of 9 found him guilty on two counts of attempted murder. Ramsey was accused of the February 19th, 2008 attempted murder of Lincoln Broaster and Cecilio Madrill who were both shot at whilst on raccoon Street in Belize City. On that night, Broaster, Madrill and Robert Wagner were together on the street side, when according to Wagner’s testimony, he saw Ramsey approach them and opened fire. According to Wagner, he saw when Ramsey pulled out a gun and fired shots in the direction of Broaster and Madrill. He explained that he saw when Broaster was shot at twice and Madrill three times. Broaster received gunshots to the left chest while Madrill escaped unhurt. During the trial Madrill did not testify while Broaster, had to be treated as a hostile witness when he began to give evidence contrary to his 2008 statement to police. On the stand, Broaster told the court that he never saw who shot him and only knew he was shot because he heard the shots. In cross examination, prosecutor Sheneiza Smith got Broaster to admit that he told police he saw Ramsey shot him that night.

John Speer accused of Burglary
56-year-old John Speer, tenant of North Front Street Guest House, appeared in court before Magistrate Dale Cayetano to answer to a charge of burglary. Allegations are that sometime between Wednesday, April 24th, and Thursday, April 25th, he entered the room of 70-year-old John Chan, who was also staying at the guest house, and stole $800 in cash. Chan made a report to police which led to the detention of Speer and another male suspect. However, the other individual was released and Speer was charged with burglary. In court, Speer was unrepresented and pleaded not guilty to the offense. There was no objection to bail but Speer was remanded to the Belize Central Prison because he was unable to meet a bail of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount. His next court date is set for June 11th.

FFB Certifies Coaches
The Football Federation of Belize made history this weekend for the first time since its inception by certifying 18 “C” level coaches from the Southern Football Zone which comprises the Stann Creek and Toledo districts. The 48-hour certification course, which began on the April 12th, 2013 saw the participation of 19 participants over a three weekend period which ended on the April 28th, 2013. Participants certified as “C” Level coaches are: Jerome Lester Serrano Dennis Serrano Peter Parchue Margaret Cullerton Angelique Mejia Crispin Ariola Maxwel Makin Wayne Casimiro Myric Caliz Leon Gentle Simon Palacio Alex Cruz John King Abel Pop Jose Garcia Glenford Hines Hector Hernandez Andy Leslie This certification course is the first of its kind held in Belize and was facilitated by Technical Director Renan Couoh and assisted by the FFB’s Technical Committee which includes Philip Marin, Emilio Montero and Marvin Ottley. The Certification Course continues later in May (exact date to be released) for 21 participants in the Central Zone which comprises the entire Belize District. Those interested are encouraged to contact the FFB Secretariat at 822-3410, Instructor Marvin Ottley or Executive Member Marlon Kuylen.

Managers of World’s Two Largest Barrier Reefs Team up to Protect Biodiversity
Australia and Belize might seem worlds apart, but when it comes to coral reefs there is much in common. A key challenge faced by both countries is how to encourage economic development in ways that don’t reduce marine biodiversity. This is the focus of a three-day workshop in Belize City May 7th - 9th. Coral reef managers, scientists and policymakers will come together to review best-practice approaches to biodiversity offsetting, which can help developers and regulators design projects that deliver social and economic benefits while ensuring no overall loss of biodiversity. “Biodiversity offsets are emerging as an important strategy internationally, but most of the work to date has focussed on land-based biodiversity”, explains Minister Lisel Alamilla, Minister with responsibility for the environment.“This workshop will not only help chart a more sustainable path for Belize, but will also make a valuable contribution to international best practice. “ “We are currently tackling similar issues in Australia”, says Dr. Paul Marshall from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. “It is a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and collaborate on a issue of such importance to the future of coral reefs and coastal communities.”


New Hotspot Grand Opening May 4th
Carlo and Ernie’s Runway Bar and Grill is pretty much guaranteed to be a hot spot not only due to location and close proximity to the San Pedro Airport, but because it is Carlo and Ernie who are behind it. It will be a perfect spot for meeting arrivals, last good byes and raising your Belikin beer or rum as friends pass by on planes. If you are in town this weekend, be sure and stop by their grand opening is this Saturday May 4th and guaranteed to be a fun time. Everything kicks off at 4pm with live music from 3D band & DJ Traxx. You will also be able to enjoy enjoy free shots, snacks, giveaways and watch the Floyd “Money” Mayweather vs Robert “The Ghost Gurerro” fight.

Photo of the day: Aerial shot of the Macal River!!
The Macal River extends approximately 1492 square kilometers and flows from its headwaters in the Maya Mountains to the turquoise Caribbean Sea. On a canoe trip, you can enjoy the spectacular view of various species of birds and plants and even see villagers washing in the riverbanks.

“Umbrella” in Ambergris Caye
It was a holiday for most people on Wedneday but once Rose got up we got down to selecting the tiles we want for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. After a couple of hours (but it seemed much longer) we had made nearly all of the decisions. Only a few areas to go now! We then turned our attention to the light fittings which were a lot easier and quicker to decide upon. Once this was done Rose created a spreadsheet detailing the light fitting by type and by area of the house and this is now ready to send to Daniel Camal,the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. Needing a breath of fresh air we then took a drive to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize to act as a catalyst for producing an ‘agenda’for the meeting we had scheduled with Daniel Camal for Thursday at 10 am. It’s a lot easier to walk around the house when nobody else is there. That done we went home and produced a twenty-one point ‘agenda’ which I sent to Daniel yesterday morning. I must have been a real shit when I was younger because as they say, “there’s no rest for the wicked”!

The Best Of Central America
With summer around the bend I can’t help but reminisce on the time when I went backpacking in Central America. Before having that experience, I couldn’t have imagined how amazing and life changing the trip was going to be. The people and cultures are as diverse as the landscape, and the food – oh the food – is magnificent (farm-to-table). I did my travels smoothly thanks to the help of Lonely Planet’s Central America on a Shoestring travel guide and with approximately $1000 to $1200 USD. The guide book has an excellent coverage on the history and current conditions of each Central American nation and was incredibly helpful with wonderful tips on where are the best places to eat, stay and explore. It basically was great to experience the best of Central America in two months! Here are the top 10 spots that you shouldn’t miss when you travel in Central America.

International Sources

Strange bedfellows: American Christian zealots are fighting back against gay rights—abroad
A third front is the Caribbean and Central America. Caleb Orozco of UNIBAM, a gay-rights group in Belize, is arguing in court that its criminalisation of homosexual sex violates the constitution. According to Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, an American civil-rights watchdog, a coalition of churches resisting the move is supported by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), another American outfit. (The ADF, like Mr Engle, could not be reached for comment.) Belize’s most prominent anti-gay cleric is American; his church is affiliated to a ministry in Arizona, whose leader has urged believers to raise the dead in morgues. Mr Orozco has been threatened and attacked with a bottle.

Belize gay rights activist in court battle to end homophobic colonial-era laws
Caleb Orozco, of gay rights group UniBAM, is taking the fight against 'anti-buggery' criminal laws to Belize's supreme court. Caleb Orozco has been denounced as the antichrist, received death threats and had a beer bottle smashed into his face. Next Tuesday, the gay rights campaigner will face a very different kind of challenge, when he comes up against the attorney general of Belize and the leaders of the country's churches. The courtroom battle over the Caribbean state's colonial-era "anti-buggery" laws is a significant milestone in a global campaign to decriminalise homosexuality. For four days, Orozco, supported by the former UK attorney general Lord Goldsmith and Godfrey Smith, Belize's former attorney general, will dispute the legality of a 19th-century law drafted in Britain. Defending section 53 of Belize's criminal code, which outlaws "carnal intercourse" between consenting same-sex adults, will be Belize's current attorney general, ...

A Journey to the World of European Tech
I’m visiting here and am amazed by and immersed in how Europe has become a different technological world. None of this will be new to world travelers. But if you’re an American who hasn’t been to Europe recently, you might enjoy these notes: * On the flight over, Finnair offers in-flight Wi-Fi. How? Slowly and expensively — via satellite. Using this service, you pay by the megabyte (as on cellphones), not by time (as in hotels). I decided to try it out: $5 for 10 megabytes. What did I get for my five bucks? About three e-mails and seven lines of instant messaging. What the heck? How could a little text eat up 10 megabytes? I suspected that something was sucking down the megs behind the scenes. After scratching my head at 39,000 feet, it finally occurred to me to turn off the iCloud feature of my laptop, which keeps my calendar, address book and other data constantly synchronized with the Web. Genius! That was it.

May 2, 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

SP Mayor Daniel Guerrero returns from working visit to Taiwan
The Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero is back on the island after leading a Belizean delegation to Taiwan on a 10-day working visit. Forming a part of the Belize delegation were Herbert Haylock, President of Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA), Israel Marin of Belize Diesel and Equipment Company Limited, Khub Chand Vanjani, a Director at the Corozal Free Zone and Marilyn Suzette Pinelo from the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The visit was an invitation from the Taiwanese government coordinated through the Central America Trade Office (CATO) in Taiwan. The delegation of five departed Belize on Friday April 19th and returned on Sunday April 28th. Speaking with The San Pedro Sun following his visit, Mayor Guerrero said that trip was a learning experience and one that can yield good results. “I can see Belize benefiting from several things that the Taiwanese are doing. They are far more developed than we are but I am certain that in the area of investment, Belize can do more to attract some into the country. Recycling is another area we can learn from and capitalize. We are not good at recycling and if you look at Taiwan, they try to recycle as much as they can to reduce garbage. Tourism is another area we should try to invest more into,” said Guerrero.

SPHS presents Science and Business Fair 2013
Across the country, schools host Science and Business Fairs to showcase the students’ creativity and potential. It is a great opportunity for students to showcase their best efforts. On Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th several groups composed of San Pedro High School (SPHS) alumni displayed their work to be judged and critiqued at their annual Science and Business Fair. The entire community of San Pedro was invited to the Angel Nuñez Auditorium to witness the ingenuity of the bright minds over at SPHS. Since the beginning of the new school year, students have been investigating, planning, and experimenting in order to produce the final result which was on display during the Science Fair and Business Fair.The event lasted two days, with science experiments being showcased on Friday and the business projects presented on Saturday.

Managers of world’s two largest barrier reefs team up to protect biodiversity
Australia and Belize might seem worlds apart, but when it comes to coral reefs there is much in common. A key challenge faced by both countries is how to encourage economic development in ways that don’t reduce marine biodiversity. This is the focus of a three-day workshop in Belize City 7-9 May. Coral reef managers, scientists and policymakers will come together to review best-practice approaches to biodiversity offsetting, which can help developers and regulators design projects that deliver social and economic benefits while ensuring no overall loss of biodiversity. “Biodiversity offsets are emerging as an important strategy internationally, but most of the work to date has focused on land-based biodiversity”, explains Minister Lisel Alamila, Minister with responsibility for the environment. “This workshop will not only help chart a more sustainable path for Belize, but will also make a valuable contribution to international best practice. “We are currently tackling similar issues in Australia”, says Dr Paul Marshall from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. “It is a wonderful opportunity to share experiences and collaborate on a issue of such importance to the future of coral reefs and coastal communities.”

Ambergris Today

Groundbreaking Ceremony of Maya House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum for Belize
The Toledo District will benefit from significant a significant economic investment which will create educational and job opportunities for its residents. The investment will come through the construction of the Maya House of Cacao and Chocolate Museum for which the groundbreaking ceremony took place on Friday, April 25, 2013 at the San Antonio Highway. The project is being led by the Toledo Cacao Growers Association (TCGA) which has received a grant of €500,000 or BZ$1,250,000 through the Belize Rural Development Project II, funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize. The European Union will contribute BZ$1,000, 000 to the project which aims to reduce poverty in the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts. This will be achieved through increasing employment, and household income opportunities by further developing the cacao industry through agro processing and eco-tourism opportunities.

Misc Belizean Sources

Miriam - Belize Top Model of The Week - Behind The Scenes Video
Belize's Top Model is selected Weekly and shot on location at various sites in and around the beautiful travel destination of Belize. Models are selected bas...

A magazine on Belize Fashion + Arts + Anything Contemporary. Having collaborated with many artists in fashion, modeling, the arts and music, I have always had the idea of doing a magazine that tells their story. This is the beginning of that journey. I am pleased to introduce STRIDES Magazine.. a publication on Belize Fashion + Arts and Anything Contemporary. We are working hard to get the first issue off the ground real soon.. here is a little teaser of some of the stories we are working on. Stay tuned, and if you know anyone that is making great STRIDES in what they do and you feel they should be featured, let us know! Demian Solano Publisher

Open Letter to OAS Secretary General
Ambassador Insulza: We write on behalf of a cross-section of Belizeans and true friends of Belize, worldwide, who acknowledge and hold in the highest regard, the sovereignty and territorial integrity achieved by the nation of Belize on 21st September 1981 via joining the brotherhood of independent nations courtesy of the United Nations. This correspondence shall bring to your attention a number of issues, under the aegis of the Special Agreement, involving the Organisation of American States (OAS)’s handling of critical concerns, arising from Guatemala’s unfounded claim to Belize. We understand that within the scope of the Compromis signed in 2008, by the two governments, that the OAS shall act as an impartial arbiter, toward bringing to a definitive solution, Guatemala’s unfounded claim on Belize’s sovereign territory. As you are aware on Monday, 22nd April 2013, the Government of Guatemala announced that it will no longer adhere to the agreed upon date scheduled for the simultaneous referendum. This determination is, undoubtedly inauspicious concerning the aforementioned Special Agreement between the two governments. Yet even prior to this development, due to the continued intransigence of the Government of Guatemala, the process was held in a state of stasis.

Generation of Fire Youth Retreat
The Generation of Fire Youth Group had a retreat over the weekend with the theme 'Breaking the Pattern.' "GOFAR2013 Youth Retreat was carried out under the Theme: 'Breaking the Pattern; Entering His Glory'. This Retreat was Unforgettable! The Glory of God filled the Retreat Facility! The Fire of God was there! The Prescence of God broke every pattern the world has established and established the mindset of God! There was and Extravagant, in Spirit and Truth Praise and Worship that saturated the atmosphere and penetrated Heaven. It was Amazing! God Suprised us with His Above and Beyond! It was an Awesome time as Over 50 Youths Gathered to make their hearts the habitation of God's Glory. It was an awesome time as Our Youths from Generation of Fire Youth Group, Youths from Generacion Belize, and from Spanish Lookout all together Sought the Face of God with all our hearts."

SHJC Tourism Students at Caracol
The Sacred Heart Junior College Tourism students had the trip of a lifetime, and were lucky enough to spend the night at one of the best Mayan archaeological sites: Caracol. Joe Awe's Eco and Adventure Tourism class had a lot of fun during the amazing learning experience. "Tourism Students from SHJC had a unique experience when they camped overnight at Caracol."

Photo of the month
This month we want to say thank you to our beautiful ‘Ragga Queen’ – she has tirelessly and effortlessly traveled up and down Belize’s reef gifting the perfect adventure for all those that ride her. She for many years has been our largest boat, our most comfortable ride as she was brought on to take us to the ‘next level’. As of the end of May she will come 2nd in line to Ragga Empress, our new catamaran which will once again give our overnight customers the comfort and class that they very much deserve but in the fanfare we may forget our Queen! Fear not, Queen will not be put up to pasture but may spend more time around Caye Caulker, undertaking the Hol Chan day snorkeling tour!!


Felicia Chen Is Suffering From Chronic Depression
Saturday’s triple murder of three year old Thomas Edilberto Teul, four year old Triana Elica Teul, and one year old Trinaya Felicia Teul at the hands of their mother, 22 year old Felicia Chen, has the left the country of Belize in shock. And as family members of the three young children including their father, recover from the dreadful ordeal; a post mortem examination has certified their cause of death to be Immersion Syndrome. Chen, who has been charged with three counts of murder, was taken back to court today where it was revealed that she is suffering from Chronic Depression and is in urgent need of therapy and will be held under observation for the next fourteen days at a mental health hospital after which it will be determined whether she will remain there or if she will stand trial. As for six year old Trinaya Felicia Teul, who managed to escape death, she is also receiving psychiatric assistance.

Prime Minister Lack For Words When Questioned About GIV Enterprises
Governments 19 days controversial Rosewood Amnesty came to an end on April 26th with much discussion. Yesterday, during his first quarterly press conference, the Prime Minister of Belize touched basis on the issue for the first time by stating that he completely understands the public’s outcry. Honorable Dean Barrow Prime Minister of Belize "I cannot be disrespectful of public opinion but I still think that that was a legitimate, simple and practical way to go. Look there's talk of principals that were involved and connection to the UDP. While those that do the actual exports are limited in number - the people who cut the rosewood and sell to the brokers and exporters are regular folk in Toledo. That is why I said according maximum respect to those that almost violently disagree with the government's position - I would appeal for them to join us in drawing a line in the past. And we’re saying freely to this issue and moving forward now in a sustainable way with respect to the harvesting of this most precious natural resource." But what does the Prime Minister think of the fact that GIV Enterprises, the company owned by German Ignacio Vega, brother of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, is the sole exporter of all of government’s confiscated rosewood? Well, unlike the Prime Minister, he lacked for words.

Combating The Dreadful Frog Hopper
A few years ago the Sugar Industry and the livelihoods of thousands of cane farmers came under threat by a heavy outbreak of the frog hopper insect. The tiny insect sucks the leaf of the cane and dries up the plant, eventually destroying it. The froghopper insect becomes a problem for sugar cane when it exists in very high numbers, which escalate especially in hot, humid conditions. With this in mind, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, with funding from the World Wild Life Fund, set up a laboratory in Corozal which is used to identify the egg count of frog hoppers in each cane field in order to work towards its eradication. Here is how the process works. Elmer Cornejo – Reporting The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association established the Frog Hopper Egg Monitoring Laboratory in Corozal Town in 2011 with funding obtained from the World Wildlife Fund in efforts of controlling the spread of the frog hopper, a small insect that is considered deadly to the Sugar Industry if not dealt with in time.

VOIP Accessible In Belize
Forming part of the “United Democratic Party’s” manifesto promise back in 2008 was the introduction of the Voice Over the Internet Protocol better known as VOIP. Years past and government was unable to fulfill on that promise. That is until yesterday when the Prime Minster Barrow announced that effective today April 30th VOIP will be readily available for Belizeans. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize “B.T.L. will enable full and open access to VOIP based services and applications in Belize. This will mean the use of B.T.L.’s high speed internet service including DSL, wireless internet and mobile internet and will mean that there will be no restriction whatsoever on Voice Over Internet Protocol. B.T.L. says this will immediately allow over two hundred thousand Belizeans currently with B.T.L.’s residential internet and with internet on Digicell Mobile Services, to gain immediate access to the many other VOIP based applications and services that are not currently available. Of course this ability to now freely access VOIP will further harness the power of the internet and allow Belizeans to enhance many facets of their lives; particular in areas of long distance learning with video conferencing capabilities, computer to computer conversations with families and friends abroad and even internet based television. Now this of course will affect B.T.L.’s revenues from its voice traffic tremendously. We thinking that of seven million dollars are being lost in the first year.” So now, Belizeans are left with the question; how will Government fill that 7 million dollars lost in revenue? That’s a question that’s left to be answered.

A Different Look For This Years NATS
This weekend all roads lead to Capital City Belmopan for the National Agricultural and Trade Show scheduled to take place on May 3rd and 4th. According to Eugene Waight, Chair of the National Trade Show and Agricultural Committee, the weekend promises to be one filled with entertainment and the recent changes made to the show ground itself will make the event more interesting. Eugene Waight- Chair, National Trade Show and Agricultural Committee. “The biggest and brightest show comes on this weekend starting on Friday at four, we have the opening ceremony and then the two days of show Saturday and Sunday. I would like to highlight that we have done large investment in infrastructure, we now have a new welcome and ticketing area, very nice and we put on some metal signs and it brings a new look to the show grounds and to Belmopan, the welcome signed was sponsored by BTL and the government invested in a new main stage, it is a much larger building 60 x 100 feet very cool, w also invested in a Rodeo Pavilion that was sponsored by Bowen and Bowen so we got a lot of sponsorship this year, besides that we have made a lot of secondary roads across the show grounds to try to relief that congestion that we had in the past where everybody wants to be on the main road so we have a lot of secondary roads and lots of stalls and booths will be on those secondary roads.”

VIP Party Says No To The ICJ
Yesterday we told you about the educative session on the issue of the unfounded Guatemala Claim carried out here in Orange Walk Town by the Referendum Unit. During the sensitization campaign, representatives of the Referendum Committee spoke about the pros and cons of taking the existing territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. As mentioned last night, the Vision Inspired by the People Party also addressed those in attendance. While the United Democratic Party’s central executive and the national party council is saying yes to the ICJ, the Peoples United Party is yet to take a stance. But when it comes to the VIP party, they are saying no to ICJ. Paul Morgan, VIP “Our first hurdle in at the ICJ which we are not hearing about is to convince the court that Guatemala must recognize the 1859 treaty and that will be a hurdle. People if we lose that case, if they are smart enough to maneuverer their way around that case then our case is dead, forget it, so we are saying this because our position is no, somebody say it better than I, you gamble pity pat don’t gamble your country. Article 59 speaks to precedence on and this is something I would like you to tell the Government to ask the ICJ the decisions of the court have no binding in force except between the parties and in respect of the particular case, that is what they are saying about precedents, any case that the ICJ tries has to do with this thing called International Customs, customs in Belize and Guatemala are different that custom in Nigeria and Chad, they different than customs in Europe, so that is why the ICJ cannot have precedence from one to the other, they can’t apply a judgment from Nicaragua and Colombia to Belize and Guatemala, we have different customs, different relationships.


Happy Labor Day Belize

April 21, 2013 - April 27, 2013 Fishing Report
A week of perfect fishing weather finally settled in opening up all the flats throughout the area. Lots of permit were fooled with tarpon fishing making a big appearance. The migratory tarpon are right around the corner.

International Sources

Playboy Belize Feature
The April issue of Playboy Mag Travel features a full page spread on Belize. Writer Mickey Rapkin gives great overview of the scuba diving and snorkeling of Belize’s fantastic Barrier Reef. The article says the country is not overrun by tourists – yet. He recommends as the ultimate picnic catching a speedboat to the microscopic Silk Cayes (islands), catch some snapper and have your tour guide grill it on the beach and chase down with ice-cold beer. Rapkin also reveals that Director Francis Ford Coppola who owns a resort here, has a secret stash of 50-year old pirate-worthy rum that he sometimes shares if you ask nicely. But we are a little puzzled about the Melon Lady. Perhaps the author took the Maya legend of Th Xtabai as his inspiration.

BTL drops VoIP restrictions
Belize’s full-service telco Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has confirmed that the company will provide unrestricted access to Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP), effective from 30 April 2013, and the service will be open to all BTL subscribers using DSL, fixed-wireless broadband, CDMA and EDGE/3G mobile internet services. Belize’s prime minister Dean Barrow initially reported the state-owned company had agreed to lift restrictions on VoIP in his first quarterly press conference for 2013. According to BTL chief operations officer Karen Bevans, cable companies who resell BTL’s internet services will also automatically have VoIP services opened to their customers. The company is currently looking at providing more services and applications to make up for the revenue lost as a result of the liberalisation of VoIP, estimated at around USD7 million in the first year of unrestricted VoIP access.

Belize Government To Launch National Bank
The Belize government is to launch a national bank that Prime Minister Dean Barrow said should place pressure on commercial banks to reduce lending rates to consumers in the future. Barrow said the National Bank of Belize Limited will have a start-up capital of BDZ$20 million (one Belize dollar = US$0.50 cents) that will come from PetroCaribe funds. "The mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower to middle income Belizeans and in particular to public officers and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time," he told reporters. Directly intervening Barrow said the government is "directly intervening in the market to cut down costs in a sector that for too long has given little back to those on whose backs the profits are made in the first place." He added that "the whole idea is to put pressure, downward pressure, on the lending rates of the commercial banks." The prime minister said the National Bank expects to lend to consumers at an interest rate of approximately 6.5 per cent on average. He said that since the bulk of the monies will be loaned to teachers and public officers it was expected that there will be a minimum non-performing element in terms of those loans. Barrow said the board of directors and a managing director have already been named and the idea is to turn the national bank into a full bore facility with all the services.

Military veterinarians gain experience, help community in Belize
The 719th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services team based in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, provided free veterinary care to livestock as part of a readiness training exercise in San Jose, Belize, in mid-April. The exercise is designed to provide vaccinations to animals in several communities while helping improve the skills of U.S. military medical forces. Photos courtesy of U.S. Army Central Public Affairs. In this photo, a Belizean man ropes a calf for vaccinations during a veterinary readiness training exercise in San Jose, Belize, April 19, 2013. Medical professionals from the U.S. are providing free veterinary treatment at multiple veterinary readiness training exercises throughout Belize as part of an exercise known as New Horizons.

Moody's: Debt overhang will continue to constrain Belize's sovereign rating
Belize's Caa2 government bond rating will likely remain in the Caa range for the next two to four years, given persistently high debt ratios and two defaults in the past seven years, says Moody's Investors Service in its latest report on Belize. Two default events reveal the country's low debt tolerance and signal diminished institutional willingness and ability to service external debt, according the report "Credit Analysis: Belize, Government of." Moody's says government debt on the order of 70% of GDP, coupled with limited fiscal and foreign exchange buffers, impairs Belize's credit outlook and leaves the country vulnerable to adverse shocks that can materially impact government creditworthiness. Debt servicing capacity is likely to decline as Belize exhausts its limited oil reserves. At the current rate of extraction, oil exports are set to decline to around 1% to 2% of GDP by the middle of the decade, from a high of 11% of GDP in 2011, impairing both fiscal revenues and foreign exchange earnings, says Moody's. Compensation claims arising from the nationalization of two utilities during 2009 - 2011 - Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) -- could pose significant credit risks. Currently in litigation, the materialization of sizeable BEL/BTL liabilities would significantly increase the likelihood of another external debt restructuring, says Moody's. Contingent liabilities could also stem from a weak banking sector, as poor credit quality and under-provisioning for impaired loans has led to a marked deterioration in capital adequacy ratios and profitability indicators.

New Horizons dental team brings smiles to Belize
U.S. and Canadian military medical personnel partnered to provide comprehensive dental services at the Punta Gorda Hospital annex here during a dental readiness training exercise scheduled from April 22 through May 2. The 11-day medical mission, part of an ongoing exercise called New Horizons, provides dental services consisting of oral hygiene education, teeth cleanings, fillings, root canals and extractions. The team also has the capability to provide partial dentures, known as teeth restorations. Senior Airman William Cochran, dental laboratory technician from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., found job satisfaction during his first deployment despite the increased responsibilities. "Even though the workload is crazy fast and working at two and a half times what I would be working at back home, I am loving it,” said Cochran. “People come to the clinic with no teeth and I am able to give them their life back essentially. I help give them a brand new smile."

More people enjoying Belize than ever
The number of people visiting Belize in the first quarter of 2013 was at a record high with a total of 92,991 tourists travelling to the country between January and March. That is an increase of 13 per cent on visits during the same period in 2012, highlighting the lure of Belize's Caribbean coast and the locals' reputation for being friendly and laidback. In March alone the country saw the number of tourists top 35,000 for the first time ever. Those wishing to follow in the footsteps of their fellow travellers will find that it has lush rainforests, the ruins of Maya temples and world-class diving opportunities. The biggest barrier reef anywhere in the western hemisphere is located off the coast of Belize, making this underwater world a must-see for divers.

WFN Delivers Three New Shows As Part Of Its May Programming Lineup
Watch a talented group of anglers spend 13 days at the world's second largest reef fishing for tarpon, bonefish, wahoo, tuna, barracuda and permit on another WFN original production, Belize Outdoors. Locals, travelers, experts and beginners - everyone comes away with a catch in the tropical paradise of Belize starting Saturday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Belize Tourism Off to Record Start in 2013
Tourism in Belize is at an all-time high for the first quarter of 2013, according to a report from the Belize Tourism Board. Airport arrivals increased by 7.58 percent in January, by 6 percent in February and by 10.1 percent in March, all compared to the same periods in 2012. In March, Belize recorded 28,623 tourist arrivals, the most the country has received in any single month in its history. It was also the 19th consecutive month of annual growth.

May 1, 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

Presenting the Miss Chiquitita 2013 Contestants
On May 4th, at 7PM at the Central Park, San Pedro Pre-School will be holding its biggest fundraiser of the year in the form of the Miss Chiquitita pageant. Five utterly adorable young ladies will be vying for the crown currently held by Kiryani Pou, Miss Chiquitita 2012-2013. Destiney Gonzalez (8), Emy Segovia (8), Maria Camal (6), Seydi Francela (6) and Zillah Flota (6) are the brave, talented and beautiful young girls who will be presenting their dance introduction and talent, modeling their swimwear and of course, their princessy, elegant evening-wear.

Rotary Club Leaders Review San Mateo’s Water Filter Project
During the year 2012 the Rotary Club supported a local project to improve the quality of drinking water in San Mateo, since prior articles explain San Mateo Area’s waters as contaminated. Ann Kuffner, who has extensively researched water treatment options for the area, contacted Doctor Marcelo Coyi Gynecologist and Obstetrics at the Belize Medical Associates Clinic in Belize City. Dr. Coyi is also an active Rotary Club member who sponsored a grant to obtain 2,000 Sawyer water filters for mainland Belize. Upon request from Kuffner, Dr. Coyi donated 200 of the Sawyer filters to the San Mateo area. With the entire project under the watchful eye of Rotary Club, filters were given to residents that required it the most. San Pedro health inspector Lisa Tillett, has been very instrumental in assisting the project and in educating residents about proper filtration methods. On April 13th, Dr. Coyi revisited the San Mateo community, to evaluate the project status. Dr. Coyi brought two active international Rotarians with him; Diana and Roger White who reside in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. Kuffner and Tillet spear headed the tour taking Dr. Coyi and the visitors to ten San Mateo homes who were using the filters. The Rotarians interviewed each of the residents, asking them questions about their filter use and how it has impacted their everyday life.

Mother of missing man claims remains found may be of son Matthew Gonzalez
The mother of a missing male has visited the San Pedro Police Station to identify and claim the remains of a person believed to be that of her son. Violet Jones explained to The San Pedro Sun that she believes the bones found on Wednesday April 10th by San Pedro Police are those of Matthew Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been missing since January 7, 2011. Police found the bones in shallow waters in the Boca Ciega area located on the southern tip of Ambergris Caye. According to Jones, the nearly complete set of bones are identifiable because of the denture fillings done on her son since he was 14 years. “When Matthew was 14 years old, I had him get a filling in his tooth. When I was called and told that the police found these bones in San Pedro and I told the police officer that the only thing I could identify Matthew by right now, is by his teeth. I say that’s the only thing I could identify him by because at this point, from two years ago, you can’t find nothing else on a bone that was in the water. I told the officer that the teeth should have ivory filling and then the teeth from the bones found has some ivory filling. Some of his teeth were also decayed. So those are the only things I was able to identify him by,” said a very distraught Jones.

El Pescador honored as 2013 Orvis International Destination of the Year!
Orvis feels the best criteria for these awards is our customer response and comments. Each year we go through our customer surveys and find those operations that have given our customers an extraordinary experience and level of service. It is a difficult task because all of our endorsed operations are excellent or they wouldn’t be in the program, but each year there is one that really stands out. This year, it is our pleasure to award the International Destination of the Year to El Pescador, a fly fishing lodge located on Ambergris Caye in Belize. Owned and operated by the Flota/Spiro family, El Pescador is, in addition to being a world-class flats fishing destination, a lodge that consistently exceeds guests expectations for service and the overall quality of the guest’s experience.

Ambergris Today

Successful Amputation of Turtle Flipper
The Hol Chan Marine Reserve has an Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Program that takes care of sick, weak and injured sea turtles. Most recently, they have been taking nurturing back to health a juvenile Hawksbill Turtle that was found near the shores of the ilsand. It was noticed that the turtle had a problem with its flipper; it was unknown whether it had a broken it or if it was a birth defect. Under the care of the Hol Chan Marine Reserve Staff, the turtle was taken into captivity and placed under observation. As the turtle grew so did the flipper and it created a drag for the turtle when it swam. In order to increase its chances of survival in the wild it was decided to make consultations with veterinarian Dr. Paul Calle of the Wildlife Conservation Society and it was decided that the best thing to do was to amputate its flipper.

Portofino Resort in Belize Offers Guests Soap Butler Service
You need not be a VIP guest or pay extra for extravagant service to be treated in a special way at Portofino Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. The resort is the first and only hotel in the country that has a Soap Butler; a service that makes every guest a VIP! What does the Soap Butler do? Well the person is a concierge of sorts, delivering a selection of hand-made, scented soaps for guests to choose after settling in their room. If they wish, guests can select a different scent for every night of the week. Word is out that everybody wants to be The Butler. Upon checking into your room, the Soap Butler arrives with a selection of soaps presented in a hardwood board. These homemade soaps are made especially for the resort and feature natural herbs and spices that include lavender, jasmine, grapefruit, apple, bergamot and eucalyptus. They are hand crafted by Belizean Maya Artisan Soap Makers and support the Belize National Youth Chess Foundation. The BNYCF uses chess as an educational and motivational tool to teach life skills to children from poor and disenfranchised families.

Hanging with San Pedro High School Science Fair Geniuses
On Friday, April 26, 2013, students of the San Pedro High School worked so hard to come up with the best experiments and projects to showcase at the schools annual Science Fair. On arrival at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium I noticed many creatively decorated booths. On my way down the booths I noticed the judges doing what they do best, and let me add they were as impressed as I was. These students should be called geniuse; the science fair had many cool experiments and projects such as flying balls, milk into plastic, rainbow in a measuring cylinder, thunderstorm in a testube, rocket, potato gun, building war tank, ruben's tube and much more.

Education Redefined?
Recently, a reader and grandmother of two high school students asked me if I thought that our responsibilities to teach our children today have changed. She pointed out the many drastic changes in the lifestyles and attitudes of young people today compared to when we were teenagers in the 1960’s. She suggested that perhaps we need to redefine the meaning and purpose of Education in the 21st Century. My response is that I firmly believe that no matter what age we live in, our responsibilities to teach young people, especially our own children, will never change. A large part of our responsibility as parents is to guide our children as they grow, and continuously stimulate them to learn as much as they possibly can in order to become self-sufficient, productive and independent. After all, the ultimate goal for all children is to grow up and eventually “leave the nest” (home) to lead their own lives, become independent, create their own families, and so on and so forth. However, no matter how much young people may change from one generation to the next, my unequivocal response regarding redefining Education is: NO.

Teen Talk: Finding Your Talent is a Good Thing
* by Ryan Anonca, Teen Talk Reporter * Everyone has that little something he can do- that very special talent, but a lot of people don’t actually know what their talents are. It could be sports, singing, dancing, drawing or even being smart because technically being smart is a talent. Personally I believe my talent is acting and I am not saying I am amazing at it but I keep on trying and practicing to get better. Some people don’t know what their talents are because they are too afraid to try new things. Some ways you can find your talent is by finding something that you like and keep on practicing even if you are naturally good at that thing it wouldn’t hurt to get better at it. For example, you like football but on the first day you tried it you got kicked in the face. Just because that happened to you doesn’t mean you should just give up and forget about it. One should keep on trying until one can dominate the sport.

Misc Belizean Sources

Commentary: Guatemala is in violation of the special agreement with Belize
By Wellington C. Ramos When nations sign international agreements with other countries, it is their responsibility to carry out the terms of the agreements under international law. The country that is affected, which in this case is Belize, can bring a case against Guatemala before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for violating the Special Agreement they signed in the year 2008. Guatemala is refusing to proceed with the referendum because they want the date to be changed for a date that is convenient to them and to force Belize to change their referendum laws and remove the 60% requirement. Belize responded by making it clear to Guatemala that those two demands are unacceptable and that they will not concede to their demands. If Guatemala had an earthquake, a hurricane or some unusual event that is causing the country some pain, suffering, undue hardships etc., then one could understand the reason for a request to postpone the referendum. However, none of these incidents are occurring in Guatemala today except the trial of one of their former presidents Rios Montt for the slaughtering of many native indigenous Maya Indians in the 1980s.

AGRIC Event Schedule
The've released the event schedule for this year's Agricultural and Trade Show, and it looks to be full of fun activities. Cayo's Mr. Roberto Harrison will be the MC at the opening ceremonies, which start at 3:00pm on Friday. Congratulations again to the Farmer of the Year, George Choj. "Opening Ceremony and inauguration of our improved showground is set for 3:00 pm on May 3rd."

Cahal Pech Wedding Video
Feelgood news of the day. Danny Chung was the videographer at Molly and Stuart's wedding at Cahal Pech recently. Danny and the team at Belize Profoto did a great job covering every part of the wedding. Congratulations, Molly and Stuart! "Wedding Video Highlight done for couple at Cahal Pech & San Ignacio Resort Hotel! Congratulations to Molly & Stuart on this new chapter in their lives! If you want to book wedding videos and photos with us, leave us a message or call us at 607-9542 or 650-7852!"

UB Earth Day Pictures
The University of Belize posted quite a few pictures from their Earth Day festivities. From the Earth Day bike race, to the students enjoying the opening ceremonies, to the unique exhibits, to the fun and games, to the booths, they are all in there. There are pictures from the Trashion Fashion show too, where the students made clothing and accessories from trash. Thanks again, UB, for an awesome day!

Belizean Stewed Beef
Stewed beef is basically beef smothered in gravy. As a Belizean of course I use lemon or lime juice or distilled white vinegar to wash the beef. The secret spice is the recado with all its rich spices and color. I added some chunks of potatoes to make the meal more hearty.

The Chocolate Festival is only a few weeks away but we're super excited to share our yummy and CHOCOLATY feature story! Here's what our team learnt about Ixcacao Maya Belizean Chocolate. Not only is it an exciting story BUT you'll have an opportunity to win some 'sweet' prizes in the coming weeks! :)

Channel 7

Psychologist: Mother Who Allegedly Killed Babies "Clinically Depressed," "A Danger to Herself"
Today, 22 year old mother and accused killer of three of her children Felicia Chen held a folder over her face as she was taken back to Belize City Magistrate’s Court. Chen was charged with three counts of murder yesterday but before she can be remanded, the Court has to determine if she’s fit to go to prison. Yesterday, DPP Cheryl-Lynn Vidal appeared in court to raise the issue of her present mental condition and whether the Prison was the best place for her at this time. Magistrate Dale Cayetano granted a one day adjournment for Dr. Elma Augustine and Psychiatric Nurse Eleanor Bennett to assess Chen’s condition. They reported to the court that Chen is suffering from chronic clinical depression and that it is so bad right now, that she is a danger to herself. They found that her mental state is a priority and that she was in urgent need of therapy.

Father Of Slain Kids: It’s Not Mother’s Fault
And so while Felicia Chen awaits further evaluation of her present mental state, the father of her children Thomas Teul Sr still hasn’t spoken to her. Today, he was making arrangements for the funeral of his three children, 4 year old Triana, 3 year old Thomas and 1 year old Trinaya. It is an unimaginable burden that he’s been left with, and what’s made it even worse, is that in the public eye, it’s likely because of him. The child’s grandmother Protacia Chen told the media that he was an abusive, deadbeat dad: that he hadn’t visited the kids or given the family money and that he beat Felicia, and probably caused her homicidal distress. That’s pretty tough to come back from, but today we met Thomas Teul Sr: He put the blame right back on the grandmother, and even on himself, but stressed that it was not Felicia’s fault. He admits that he hadn’t seen his kids in two weeks, but says there’s a story behind that too. Voice of Thomas Teul Sr "This Monday I went there to take some stuff for the baby and I wanted to see my kids but the mother (Felicia's mother) started throwing phrases such as 'I am not a man and I don't deserve to see my kids' and Felicia heard that and she didn't allow me to see them. I walked away and explained to her what we will have to do and I left." Jules Vasquez "Felicia's mother indicated that it was problems with you which may have led to her doing that awful thing that she did. Were you the problem in this relationship? Were you what prompted her to do this?"

Chief Met Officer’s Son Slain In Execution
Last night we reported on the evening murder of Dennis Rajiv Gonguez. It happened at dusk, on North Front Street. Today Monica Bodden found out that it was an execution on one of the City’s main streets – here’s her report. Monica Bodden Reporting So it was routine yesterday when Gonguez pulled up in a silver Pathfinder parked infront of the market place and walked inside the compound. Little did he know that a man had been looking around the area. Some described him as acting uneasy. At ten to 6 when Gonguez and Jayme Marin were walking outside the compound that was when the slim dark complexion man - walking in a white t-shirt and a three quarter pants with a cap on his head - walked straight up to Gonguez and shot him. Those in the area reported hearing as much as six shots - two of which hit Gonguez; one in the face and one in the chest. He is believed to have died instantly but a grey pickup truck rushed him to the KHMH where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police are not speculating as to what the motive might have been but eye witnesses told us it had every appearance that a targeted execution. Today the mystery remains as to why anyone would want to kill a 21 year old student from Belama. His father - the Chief Met Officer, Dennis Gonguez, was devastated when we spoke to him today and both him and Rajiv's mother declined comment.

City Hall Still Denying Undertakers
Last week Thursday, we told you how undertaker David Coye secured a court order which overturned the city’s monopoly on grave construction, and got Coye and other undertakers back into business. Mayor Darrell Bradley was contrite as he backpedalled on the policy which was instituted in January, and he admitted that it was a mistake by City Hall to stop the undertakers from providing the service. It should have been a happy ending, but not so fast…. Coye says he’s still not being allowed to work in the cemetery and he says that the council is not respecting the authority of the court. Well today, we got a chance to speak with PR Officer Kenny Morgan about why undertakers aren’t been allowed to operate freely. He told us that it’s because City Hall wants to institute an oversight mechanism, and they will have a sit-down with the undertakers Kenny Morgan – PR Officer, Belize City Council "We are planning to have a meeting with them, but that would be subsequent to our engineering people putting forth a set of standards that the undertakers would have to comply to as we prepare them to allow them access to Lord Ridge Cemetery for the purpose of constructing tombs once again."

Child rape in Placencia
There’s an ugly case of child rape coming out of Placencia tonight. A 13 year old is pregnant and her mother’s boyfriend is responsible. The report was made a week ago when the child visited the police station accompanied by her mother. They alleged said that he had sex with the child twice in March. A medical examination confirmed this. Police have since charged a 22 year old Honduran from Maya Beach and charged him for two counts of carnal Knowledge. To protect the child’s identity we cannot share his name or show his picture.

GSU Busts Man With 10Lbs Weed
This morning in Belize City, the GSU busted a man with over ten pounds of marijuana. They searched Jason Martinez on Partridge Street and searched his blue knapsack and found 20 parcels of cannabis each wrapped in black plastic which were tucked inside transparent plastic bags. It all weighed in at 10.36 pounds and MARTINEZ was charged with “Possession of Controlled Drugs with intent to supply”.

Elrington Says Guatemala Getting Better
The Government of Belize confirmed what the Guatemalans had made official from last week: the October 6th bi-national Referendum is off. It’s a disappointment, but not an unexpected development since the Guatemalans have been pulling out of agreements at the last minute for decades. But in spite of this latest withdrawal – Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington is not discouraged. He told us yesterday that there’s progress and an incremental acceptance. Jules Vasquez "Are we able to say now that truly these people have aptitrade what was undertaken in the best spirit in that December 2008 signing?" Hon. Wilfred Elrington - Foreign Minister "No, actually my own view is that - if you know anything about the history of the negotiations arising out of the 1859 treaty then you will know the process has been a very slow one. As a matter of fact the decision to go to the ICJ was taken by Britain in the 1930's, they had indicated that they were prepared to go to the ICJ. The Guatemalans did not agree to do that unconditionally until 2008 and if you have been reading the history of this dispute you will know that this is the way it operates. Things move very slowly and things never follow smoothly. I think that if we look at the history, we have been having steady progress with them. As a matter of fact from attempting to invade us now they are working with us and working jointly with our military to protect the border and I don't see any negativity in what is transpiring. It is very cosistent with the historical evolution with this particular item."

PM Justifies Rental Contracts with San Cas/Hon. Boots
And, there’s one more bit from yesterday’s two hours Prime Ministerial Press Conference which we did not get to add to last night’s news. We asked the Prime Minister about two buildings being rented for public purposes. First, the Ministry of the Public Service is renting a building owned by Santiago Castillo Limited for the Vital Statistics Unit, and, second, the Police Department is renting a building controlled by Antony Boots Martinez for one of its precinct houses. The Prime Minister bristled at the suggestion that this was somehow improper. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "The complaints about the building in which the Vital Statistics Unit was housed are legion. You say okay - let us move. San Cas has a building that used to house the DPP, it was okay then before he was a minister of government; we paid a fair rent. The Supreme Court by way of the ruling given in the election petition challenges made it absolutely clear that there is nothing wrong with government renting premises from a minister. So here it is, we improved in terms of the public - the appearance and the convenience with regards to the Vital Statistics Unit, a place that they have to go for birth papers and so on. But you raised a specter of some type of conflict interest because that is the building that we rent. As far as I am concerned once it is a fair price and it is not that you go and do a valuation and you see comparatively that a building like this goes for $5,000 a month and we are paying $10,000 a month - there is absolutely nothing wrong with government renting that building from the Santiago Castillo company which obviously the minister has interest.

Labour Day Is Learning Day
Tomorrow is Labor Day, a public and bank holiday where we all honour the contributions of workers to Belize’s history. Antonio Soberanis is probably Belize’s best-known labor unionist who fought many of the rights which have been enshrined in Belize’s Labor Act. The problem is that although the labor force has all these rights, many workers are not educated about what they are entitled to from their employers. So today, the Ministry of Labour held country-wide Open Day Fairs at its office. 7News stopped in at the Belize City branch. And here’s what the Deputy Labour Commissioner told us about its significance: Paulette Wagner - Deputy Labor Commissioner "Well it's an effort that the Labor Department had decided to try to do a country wide open day in recognition that tomorrow being the Labor Day. We want to showcase the services that the Labor Department offers to the public. A lot of our employed people do not know their basic rights such as the minimum wage, what they are to be earning, and the average working hours (45 hours a week). They don't seem to understand that that is their right and they should demand it. In some cases the people do know their right but because they want to keep their job, they take jobs that don't pay according to labor laws. Most of the time our job is to entertain Labor complaints that have stopped working or have lost their job and they would come to us with these situations and we then investigate and contact the employers to see if they have labor benefits and try to collect them."

Can You “Ptosis”?
Today, 14 students from the Belize District participated in the District Finals for the 2013 Coca-Cola National Spelling Bee. It’s a competition in which these primary school students go up against each other to spell their way through a complex set of words full of odd pronunciations and strange spellings. 7News stopped by as the competition was at its height, and we got a chance to speak with the winners. Niki Sanchez – 1st Place, Holy Redeemer Primary "I am very excited and happy right now, it took a lot of hard work but it paid off." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us what it takes to become an excellent speller? What sort of hours do you have to put in to study these words? I know they gave you around two to three hundred words to study."

Channel 5

Father of slain toddlers responds to allegations of bad parenting
Thomas Teul the second, the father of the three murdered children, is making funeral arrangements to lay them to rest. The triple murder of the children ages one to four years has stunned the nation and has sparked questions about the mental health of the mother and domestic abuse.  Teul the second, is the estranged [...]

Mental state of mother who killed 3 is questioned
This morning, Felicia Chen was escorted back to the Court by police from the Queen Street Police Station. Her face was covered to protect her from the glare of the cameras and she did not have a change of clothes since her arraignment on Monday. Chen is reportedly suffering chronic depression and is under observation. [...]

Son of weatherman slain in Belize City
Just before the start of our newscast on Monday, a young man was executed outside the Brown Sugar Compound on North Front Street. The area was crowded with the hustle and bustle of persons who had just arrived by boat from the cayes, but was soon cordoned off as a crime scene. Dennis Rajiv Gonguez [...]

Ministry of Natural Resources undermining Dangriga Town Council
There’s another land controversy brewing and the Dangriga Town Council says it is a deliberate attempt by the Ministry of Natural Resources to undermine and frustrate the Council and the people of Dangriga. In a nutshell, what we found out today is that parcel nine-nine-one near the main bridge in downtown Dangriga was sold to [...]

Will there be a Cruise Terminal at Crawl Caye?
Crawl Caye, a small island just off the Placencia mainland, has been the source of some contention lately. Norwegian Cruise Lines has approached the government about constructing a cruise terminal there, but one immediate concern is that the caye lies within the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, which is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. [...]

Government to open National Bank of Belize Limited
Prime Minister Dean Barrow had a lot to say on Monday in his hour and half presentation…some of it positive and some of it not so positive. One particular item which falls into the ‘positive’ category is the National Bank of Belize Limited. The P.M. says the bank already has a Board of Directors, a [...]

BIL! The P.M. claims it’s not a hustle
And while news of the National Bank of Belize Limited was met with cheers, the P.M.’s special vehicle, Belize Infrastructure Limited, not so affectionately known as BIL, hasn’t met such a warm reception. It’s been called a vehicle created for the purpose of hustling, and everybody from the Chamber to the unions have raised eyebrows [...]

Quality of oil found is not light sweet crude
In late March, there was the announcement of a showing of oil in the Orange Walk district, and a statement that testing to determine if it was commercial would take somewhere in the region of two weeks. So there was speculation of an oil bonanza announcement. But there wasn’t at the P.M.’s press conference since [...]

Stepfather impregnates minor
Twenty-two year old Henry Clementino Flores, a Honduran national of Maya Beach, Placencia, has been arrested and charged for two counts of carnal knowledge, following reports that he engaged in sexual intercourse with a minor.  On April twenty-third, a twelve year old girl, accompanied by her mother, told Placencia police that she was carnally known [...]

Principal assaulted by mother of student
A woman was charged today with attacking the principal of a school.  Thirty-two year old Stephanie Welch is accused of slapping and pushing the principal of a primary school in Hattieville last Friday, in front of her students. Welch, the mother of a twelve year old child, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court [...]

GSU busts Belize City man with 10 pounds of weed
The Gang Suppression Unit mounted an operation early this morning on Partridge Street. They spotted twenty-nine year old Jason Martinez, who they describe as a reputed distributor of cannabis in Belize City. Martinez was carrying on him a knapsack in which the Unit claims it found twenty parcels of cannabis wrapped in plastic weighing four [...]

Territorial Volunteers plant trees at Gracias a Dios
Just before news time, we received word that the Belize Territorial Volunteers had returned from a successful expedition to the border marker at Gracias a Dios in the far south of Belize. The trip was timed with the signing of the April thirtieth 1859 Anglo-Guatemalan Treaty, and as on all expeditions to the border by [...]

P.U.P. says intimidation and victimization concerning Auditor General’s Report
The Auditor-General’s Report 2010-2011 was damning. It was full of phrases like disregard for regulations, procedures and accountability; inadequate records management, deficient management and unsatisfactory accounting for government assets. In fact, Auditor-General Dorothy Bradley goes so far as to say she could not form a concrete opinion from the audit because of a lack of [...]

National football team has new coach and attention of FOX Sports
The Football Federation of Belize had some success with Costa Rican Coach Leroy Sherrier. But Sherrier left the country and the team amidst plans for the upcoming Gold Cup Games to be played in July in the United States. That left hopefuls for the team and the F.F.B. scrambling to find a suitable replacement. Today, [...]


Father of Murdered Children Says He Wants To See The Mother Set Free
And after the news of the maternal filicide of three children rocked Belize on the weekend and Monday newscasts, people had begun to draw their own conclusions based on what the children’s maternal grandmother claimed. Protasia Chen said that her daughter was frustrated wit...

COLA Releases Statement on PM's Announcement on Referendum
Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA has released a statement in connection with the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, that the scheduled October 6th Referendum is being called off. President of COLA, Geovannie Brackett says they carefully considered t...

Project for Conservation of Marine Resources In Central America Launched
A ceremony to mark the launching of a project for the conservation of Marine Resources in Central America was held today in Punta Gorda. PAUL MAHUNG "The project for protection and conservation of marine coastal ecosystems in the marine areas is focusing on the port Hondur...

City Council Clarifies Issue On The Cemetery Services
Last night Love News brought you the latest development between the proprietor of Coye’s Funeral Home, David Coye, and the Belize City Council regarding cemetery services. The Belize City Council’s initial intent was to be the sole entity offering cemetery service but that ...

Son of Chief Meteorologist Slain
A student was shot and killed last evening in Belize City. The victim is 21 year old Dennis Rajeef Gonguez, the son of the Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez and his wife, Shelmadine. She told Love News that she was with her son for most for most of the day running errands...

Labor Department Holds Annual Open Day Countrywide
Labor Department Offices countrywide are hosting their annual open day. The event is an effort undertaken by the department to sensitize the public about the services offered by the Labor Department. On the other hand, the open day is also geared to inform the community on s...

Missing Teens Reported In Southern Belize
Two teenagers have been reported missing in Santa Cruz Village in the Stann Creek District. According to Gloria Nunez, the mother of sixteen year old Roberto Nunez who is missing, he set off at 5:00 a.m on Sunday but did not inform her of where he was going. She says she la...

Belize City Council Labors on National Labor Holiday
The Belize City Council is inviting residents, schools, community groups and business to join in a “Labor for Belize Project” that is taking place tomorrow in commemoration of Labor Day. According to Phillip Singh, the Community Outreach Officer for CITCO, the initiative is...

Ecumenical Auditorium Project Receives Handsome Donation
Last week Friday Love News reported on a talent show being held by Ecumenical High School in Dangriga Town aimed at raising funds to build their auditorium. Well today, the funds were raised four zeroes higher with a donation from someone in the Community. Dangriga Correspo...

Fire At 4H Centre In Belmopan
A fire this afternoon partially destroyed a building in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ " Acting upon information received this afternoon at 12:43pm of an office on fire at the National Agriculture and Trade show grounds, Belmopan fire figh...

Gunmen Ambush Two Women in Western Belize
Two women were held up at gun point in the Cayo District. We join Correspondent Fem Cruz for details on the incident. FEM CRUZ "Marilena Dueck, 31- year- old resident of mile 45 on the George Price Highway reported that on Monday afternoon, April 29 sometime ar...

Belizean Record Label Celebrates First Anniversary
A young record label will be celebrating its first anniversary over the weekend in Corozal Town. The record label Father and Son, located in the Corozal District will celebrate its work with several local artists with a concert on May 4. They will feature international Jamaican artist,...

Stepfather Impregnates Twelve Year Old Minor
A 22-year-old man from Maya Beach has been charged with two counts of carnal knowledge. This follows a report by a 12-year-old girl who told police that her stepfather had sex with her and now she is pregnant. The man reportedly had sex with the young girl in March. A...


Chief Meteorologist’s Son Murdered
A student was shot and killed last evening in Belize City. The victim is 21 year old Dennis Rajeef Gonguez, the son of the Chief Meteorologist, Dennis Gonguez and his wife, Shelmadine. She told Love News that she was with her son for most for most of the day running errands, until he dropped her off in the evening. He was scheduled to leave Belize for to Los Angeles on the same day to complete his studies but changed his flight plan for his little sister. SHELMADINE GONGUEZ “From the morning we were out doing business, paying our bills and moving around and different things like that and I told him, Raji, I need a little rest; he said, ‘ok, mommy, go’ and then I went out, he dropped me off where I was and then I called him, he came, he went back, he came, he went back but short trips and then he said, ‘ok mommy I will wait right out here for you’, that’s by the canal side. He went to water taxi to pick up one of his friends, that’s when I called him because he was taking a little bit too long and I called him and apparently a strange person answered the phone and I said Raj, where are you and the person said no this is not Raj, Raj is dead. He came to Belize for a little time and he was going out back. Apparently he booked his ticket for Monday and he held his ticket back because of his sister, there was a little conversation telling her that he will come up on the Friday.”

Labor Department Holds Annual Open Day Countrywide
Labor Department Offices countrywide are hosting their annual open day. The event is an effort undertaken by the department to sensitize the public about the services offered by the Labor Department. On the other hand, the open day is also geared to inform the community on some quick facts in respect to labor in Belize. Deputy Labor Commission, Paulette Wagner, told Love News more on today’s event. PAULETTE WAGNER ” We have all sort of information about people to do with working relations. We have a quick facts that tell us about all the basic benefits that workers should know about, minimum wage, the normal working hours and stuff like that. One fact that the average person wouldn’t know that we do; maybe they don’t know that we take matters to court. When a laborer comes to us from a probable employee that has lost their job we try to resolve the matter by talking to the employer to see if we could convince him to pay whatever benefits might be outstanding and if the process here at the Labor Department doesn’t work meaning the employer doesn’t want to cooperate then we have the option to take the matter to court. We do take matters to court.”

Missing Teens Reported In Southern Belize
Two teenagers have been reported missing in Santa Cruz Village in the Stann Creek District. According to Gloria Nunez, the mother of sixteen year old Roberto Nunez who is missing, he set off at 5:00 a.m on Sunday but did not inform her of where he was going. She says she later learned from the mother of the other missing teen, that she had been informed that they were going hunting in the area of San Roman Village with some men of that village. Gloria Nunez says it is preoccupying for her because her son, who works in the banana industry, had gone out before to do fishing only during the day. Love News contacted the father of Nunez and he informed us he was out with officials looking for his son, before we lost contact with him. Love News will continue to follow up on the story but anyone with information regarding the disappearance of the two teens is advised to contact the nearest police station.

Belize City Council Labors on National Labor Holiday
The Belize City Council is inviting residents, schools, community groups and business to join in a “Labor for Belize Project” that is taking place tomorrow in commemoration of Labor Day. According to Phillip Singh, the Community Outreach Officer for CITCO, the initiative is meant to be part the sanitation and beautifications efforts being carried out by the city council. LABOUR FOR BELIZE “Ok as you all well know , tomorrow is Labor Day; it is the day that workers take a day off to rest but here at the Belize City Council, we won’t be resting. We will be doing what we call a Labor for Belize event and we’re asking schools, businesses willing to take part in our activity. What we are going to do tomorrow is going to do a cleanup on the Northern Highway all the way to Freetown Road and when we reach Freetown Road, you notice we have some new concrete streets we decide to sweep the streets along the side just to create a different area. We will also be painting the basketball courts; we have several in mind, we have the Wesley basketball court we have the St. Martin’s basketball court, we have the Jane Usher Basketball Court, we have committee groups coming out, we have the Lake I community group, we have our staff, some of them live in the Lake I area, they are interested in cleaning

Ecumenical Auditorium Project Receives Handsome Donation
Last week Friday Love News reported on a talent show being held by Ecumenical High School in Dangriga Town aimed at raising funds to build their auditorium. Well today, the funds were raised four zeroes higher with a donation from someone in the Community. Dangriga Correspondent, Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “During a ceremony held on the grounds of Ecumenical High School that took place on Monday, April 29, a prominent citizen of the Stann Creek District donated some $50,000 to the school specifically to assist towards the construction of an auditorium that is being built on the school’s compound which has been on a stand still for a while now due to lack of funds. Ray Lawrence is the 2nd Vice Principal in charge of student affairs.”

Fire At 4H Centre In Belmopan
A fire this afternoon partially destroyed a building in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the details. FEM CRUZ ” Acting upon information received this afternoon at 12:43pm of an office on fire at the National Agriculture and Trade show grounds, Belmopan fire fighters visited the area. Upon arrival at the scene saw an office at the 4H Centre already engulfed in flames. Quick response from the department managed to save the building and some of its contents. According to a past graduate, 19-year-old, Justin Bradley, a resident of Camalote Village, he was sitting beside the office on a picnic bench waiting for a letter when he heard a number of crackling sounds. Upon turning around to see where the sounds were coming from that is when he saw smoke coming out of the back window from the section of the food processing lot. Bradley immediately informed the manager, Mr. Luke Ramos who told Love News, he immediately went to the scene.”

Gunmen Ambush Two Women in Western Belize
Two women were held up at gun point in the Cayo District. We join Correspondent Fem Cruz for details on the incident. FEM CRUZ “Marilena Dueck, 31- year- old resident of mile 45 on the George Price Highway reported that on Monday afternoon, April 29 sometime around 2pm while driving her white Toyota Taurus SUV from Valley of Peace Village enroute to the City of Belmopan and upon reaching Agropino Cawich Bridge on Valley of Peace Road, two male dark persons of medium built suddenly came out of the bushes wearing stockings over their faces and armed with what appeared to be 9mm pistols. Both men then pointed the gun towards her and fearing for her life she then slowed down the vehicle and stopped. The two gunmen then demanded money and valuables from her but she did not have anything to give them. At the time she was accompanied by her friend, 32-year-old, Carmenia de la Fuente, Belizean manager of mile 44 on the George Highway who was held up at gunpoint and robbed of $ 1750 in cash ,1 Alcatel cellular phone, 1 hand bag containing personal documents, receipt books , note books and a number of keys, all to a total of value of $1990.50. Police investigation continues.”

Belizean Record Label Celebrates First Anniversary
A young record label will be celebrating its first anniversary over the weekend in Corozal Town. The record label Father and Son, located in the Corozal District will celebrate its work with several local artists with a concert on May 4. They will feature international Jamaican artist, Darius. Local singer from Corozal Andre Herrera who goes by the artistic name Andi Dre told us more about the event. ANDRE HERRERA “Well Father & Son basically, a Caribbean style base; we focus on Caribbean style genres from soca, dancehall, reggae; we got into the public eyes with a song from Andidre named, ‘She Want Di Wuk’ and that’s myself and we pushed forward with a song named, ‘Good Love’, ‘Dem a No Gallis’, ‘Black Man Style’ from Alt. We got a lot of recognition as the label got nominated for seven awards in the BMA’s, the Belize Music Awards this year for being the first year that the label has showed itself big. We got some international recognition, one with the same artist, Dario whom I have done a song with, ‘Wuk and Bubble’ and so just to celebrate one year of success in the business and basically he’s coming down to do a video shoot and then we are going to do a concert. He will be here from May 2 but the event starts Friday, May 3 at D Spot Lounge where there will be an autograph night and a competition hosted by him; ladies enter free and men are ten dollars. During the day, Saturday will be a family day in Corozal Bay Resort with a volleyball competition, music, drinks; just a fun day with the pool and the beach side and in the night there will be the official concert with all the Father & Son artists, Andidre, Sagadi, ALT, Annika Perez, Missy B, Finesse and other artists, Sharon Martinez and of course Dario will come on afterwards the to end the show off.” The event will also feature a host of DJs from Orange Walk, Belize, Stann Creek and Corozal. The security at the event will be high.

Stepfather Impregnates Twelve Year Old Minor
A 22-year-old man from Maya Beach has been charged with two counts of carnal knowledge. This follows a report by a 12-year-old girl who told police that her stepfather had sex with her and now she is pregnant. The man reportedly had sex with the young girl in March. A medical examination certified that the minor was carnally known, as a result the stepfather was arrested and charged.

Prime Minister Announces National Bank Aimed At Expanding the Home Owning Class In Belize
Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of the formation of the National Bank of Belize Limited. The Board of Directors will be chaired by Minister Joy Grant. The bank’s motto is “Of the people for the people and according to the Prime Minister is expected to expand the home owning class in the country and provide cheaper access to credit. DEAN BARROW PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE “And of course the mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower to middle income Belizeans and in particular, public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time. Now the point is being made this is fiscal policy in action; government is directly intervening in the market to cut down cost in a sector that has far too long given too little back to those on whose back to profits that are made in the first place; ( somebody wrote that for me I am not quite sure I would have framed it in as provocative manner as that) but the truth is that the whole idea is to put pressure, downward pressure on the lending rates of the commercial banks. So while the phrasing here is, I would have nuanced it a little more; it’s not saying anything that is not true. We’ve indicated that the startup capital will be provided by the government of Belize from the proceeds of the Petro Caribe funds which we borrow at one percent over twenty years. We’re putting twenty million dollars and we’re prepared to inject more over the short term depending on how the Petro Caribe program continues to develop. The bank expects to lend to consumers at an interest rate of approximately six and half percent on average.”

Orange Walk Farmer Dies Following Road Accident
Nineteen year old Josue Mojica, a Farmer of San Felipe Village in Orange Walk is dead following a road traffic accident. Initial investigations by police revealed that Mojica was driving a black Sunny motorcycle around 5:15 yesterday morning at the entrance of the main street, travelling in the direction from south to north, when on turning into the road of a private property, a gold colored Chevy Pickup came from the opposite direction and collided into the front of his motorcycle. The vehicle was driven at the time by Andres Cruz. Mojica fell off the motorcycle and received severe bodily injuries including abrasions to his right leg and abdomen area. He died on his way to the Northern Regional Hospital. Meanwhile police are seeking for Andres Cruz for questioning.

PM and Ambassador Espat Travel To New York On Super Bond 2 Business; Guatemala Calls Off Referendum
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held his first quarterly press conference today and there was a lot of ground to cover. The Prime Minister who recently returned from attending meetings spoke first of his visit to New York at which he was accompanied by Ambassador Mark Espat. DEAN BARROW PRIME MINISTER OF BELIZE “We went to have a meeting with the Greyloc people, with respect to some possibilities concerning the $75million US dollar window, that as part of the arrangements governing the restructuring we are allowed in terms of the issue of additional bonds over and above what we now describe as super bond 2; that $75 million could accommodate any settlement that we might perhaps reach with Fortis. So there was a need to discuss mechanics in that regard. Also, Ambassador Espat was asked to present a paper at a UN meeting that was hosted by Ecosoc, the Economic and Social Council of the UN together with the Bretton Woods Institution, the World Bank and the IMF and perhaps most important for purposes of this morning press conference is the visit that I have with the US Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. The idea there was to update him on where things stand between Belize and Guatemala .”

No Salary Deposits for Primary School Teachers Under Catholic Mission
Primary school teachers employed under the Catholic Mission faced inconvenience last week Friday as their monthly salary was not deposited in their bank account as per usual. Over the course of the weekend, our newsroom received a number of complaints from teachers across the country who wanted to know what was the delay with their pay. Upon making checks this morning with the Catholic Mission LOVE NEWS understands the problem arises from a setback at the Treasury Department. We understand that the money to pay the teachers was never processed at the Treasury Department thus no monies were directed to the Catholic Mission so that they in turn would make the deposits to the teachers’ bank accounts. Our attempts to get an explanation from the Ministry of Education as to why this occurred were unsuccessful as no one seemed to know what happened. We must note this is not the first time teachers, who are employed under the religious missions, go through this inconvenience. For the past couple of years teachers get paid on the last Friday of the month.


PLUS TV finds what appeared to be freshly cut rosewood
The controversial nineteen day rosewood amnesty was declared closed last week Friday. According to Channel 7, the amnesty day ended with Minister Lisell Alamilla posting on her face book page, and we quote, ” Tomorrow is a new day. For those who care and wonder, I still love my...

Dennis Rajiv Gonguez Jr shot dead in Belize City
The streets of Belize City have been relatively quiet unaffected by gun violence for the past few weeks, but last night, shots rang out at a busy intersection and when gun smoke cleared, a young man laid wounded on the street. PLUS News was called out to the corner...

Felicia Chen charged for drowning 3 of her children
22 year old Felicia Chen of Mile 8 Western Highway is accused of an unspeakable act: deliberately taking her four children into the sea off Belizean Beach on the Western Highway on Saturday afternoon, then drowning three of them and attempting to drown her oldest child, aged six, who...

Senior Attorney reacts to PM’s comments on Judge’s decision
Yesterday we brought you the reactions of Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca to the judgments handed down on April 16 and 19 by Justice Oswell Legall. The Prime Minister took strong exception to the conclusions reached by the judge and declared the judgments...

Gualemala and Belize could work together on Atlantic/Pacific link
One hundred and fifty four years ago, the representatives of the United Kingdom and Guatemala signed an important treaty in an attempt to settle the Guatemalan claim. Because of one article, Article 7 which proposed a means of linking Guatemala to the Caribbean coast through Belize, not being followed...

Water system in Pueblo Viejo needs rehabilitation
In a previous newscast we told you about water problems which the Village of Pueblo Viejo has been dealing with since they lost mechanical water supply some seven years ago. There was previously a water board that controlled a small pump in the community but the pump eventually burnt...

New well should aleviate water problems in Armenia
The Village of Pueblo Viejo is not the only community that’s faced with a water problem though. The Village of Armenia is located about 15 minutes outside the City of Belmopan and since the dry season has begun, accessibility to water has become a daily challenge of resident from...

PM praises Police efforts in Crime reduction
Last night, we brought you highlights of the Prime Minister’s quarterly press conference held yesterday and tonight we continue our coverage of pressing issues addressed by the PM. On the issue of national security, the country can report a downward trend in murders committed on the streets. Last April...

Masked men ambushed couple in SUV
Last month, the kidnapping of a toddler made headlines, when masked men ambushed their family car in Northern Belize. Tonight we report on another highway hold up, this time in the west. According to Police reports, around 2 in the afternoon yesterday, a woman and her friend were travelling...

12 year old allegedly impregnated by stepfather
Tonight we bring you upsetting news coming out of southern Belize, where a 12 year old was allegedly impregnated by her stepfather. Police in Placencia say that the stepfather reportedly had sex with the minor twice in the month of March and that now she is pregnant. After the...

PM defends Opposition Leader’s claim that BIL is a ‘Hustle Vehicle’
The controversial Belize Infrastructure Limited is intended to provide multipurpose sporting facilities across the country in a partnership between the Government and private sector. Yesterday the Prime Minister responded to accusations that the vehicle which features GOB appointees and Ministers will be used to “hustle” on large-scale projects. Prime...

Funeral Director prevented from working in Belize City Cemetery
We told you last week that David Coye, a funeral director, won a judgment in the Supreme Court against the Belize City Council with regard to being able to work in the public cemeteries Lord’s Ridge and Eternal Garden. However, PLUS News has been informed that Coye was prevented...

National Bank of Belize will open in Belmopan
A new National Bank of Belize will open in Belmopan in a few months. Prime Minister Dean Barrow gives details of what the bank will offer. Prime Minister Dean Barrow: The Mission of the Bank is principally to make Residential Mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower to...

Taiwanese sailors visit Belize
The 2013 class of midshipmen cruising and training squadron of the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy is visiting Belize for the third time. 841 midshipmen landed on Sunday and Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley, whose deputy is Taiwanese, formally welcomed them. Darrell Bradley – Belize City Mayor: I...

PM reports on Maranco Oil status
A few weeks ago Maranco reported a gush of oil at a site in Orange Walk District. The nation has held its breath waiting to find out if the find of petroleum is in commercial quantities. Today the Prime Minister indicated that that wait will continue as the company...

Poll says Referendum would have received Yes vote
With all the talk about going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) now just about done after news of the postponement of the October 6 referendum, we will not know for sure how Belizeans would have voted. But the Prime Minister told PLUS News on Monday that he...

Labour Department hosted an open day to detail its work
Labour Day is an international celebration of workers – whether it is held in May 1 as in most countries or later in the year like the United States. Today the Labour Department hosted an open day to detail its work. We hear more from Deputy Labour Commissioner Paulette...

Jaime Chan still does not have his daughters back
Jaime Chan still hasn’t gotten his daughters back. On Friday we told you of Jaime Chan, who says he lost his daughters due to running afoul of the Department of Human Services because of a report made by their mother against him. Because of his beliefs about public schooling...

PUP claim intimidation against certain personalities
The People’s United Party controls but does not hold a majority in the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives. Those members – chairman Julius Espat and member Rodwell Ferguson, today issued a release condemning various acts of “intimidation” and “victimization tactics” against certain personalities which they say...


Karen Bevans, Chief Operations Officer, told Amandala that BTL was already allowing some level of VoIP via “WhatsApp,” “Yahoo Messenger,” “Face Time” and other such applications. However, she said, the main concerns were Vonage and Skype. Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) Net Vasquez has confirmed that the company will tomorrow open full access to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which BTL has been partially blocking from Belizean consumers. VoIP enables Internet users to talk with each other without having to pay per- minute rates applied to regular calls on cell phones and landlines. In his first quarterly press conference for 2013 this morning, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the state-owned company has agreed to lift the current restrictions on VoIP. “It helps the economy when everybody has use and access to this type of communication,” Vasquez told Amandala. “At the end of this month—which I believe is tomorrow—BTL will enable full and open access to VOIP-based services and applications in Belize,” Barrow told the media this morning.

A UDP newspaper drubs AG, describing her behavior as “unforgivable;” PM Barrow refuses comment. “That doesn’t move us one way [or] the other,” Auditor General Dorothy Bradley told Amandala this evening, in responding to an article published in last weekend’s issue of the ruling United Democratic Party’s newspaper, The Guardian, which, among other charges, said that Bradley “…has failed miserably, and has deliberately chosen to feed this nation erroneous information of the worst nature and not qualifying [her 2010-2011 audit] report. Such behavior is rather unforgiveable.” Bradley, who was appointed by the UDP administration to succeed Edmund Zuniga, was out of the country when the story appeared in the newspaper, and she told us that she only had a chance to read it today. “This is garbage,” she said, saying she wished that the author of the article would have called her office, because the article, in certain parts, appears to contradict itself.

SSB funds to form part of bank’s pool. “We intend to accept deposits and turn this into a full-scale bank…” Minister of Energy, Science and Technology, and Public Utilities Joy Grant will head the new National Bank of Belize, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow said today will be established to force commercial banks to revisit their interest rate, but which will also serve as a vehicle through which the Government will supply an initial $20 million for residential mortgages at a rate of 6.5%. “This is a wonderful idea whose time has come…” said Barrow, adding that, “We mean to take it to the limit where this thing is concerned… We expect to be giving people a better return on their deposits than the commercial banks are doing.” The motto of the proposed new national bank, said Barrow, is “…of the people, for the people,” and the mission, he added, is, principally, to make residential mortgages and other consumer loans available to lower and middle-income persons, and particularly to public officers and teachers, at cheaper rates than are being offered at this time.

A man died this evening at about 5:30 after a gunman walked up to him and shot him four times in his head and body in front of Brown Sugar on North Front Street. The killer then escaped. The man has been identified by police as Derrick Gonquez, son of the Chief Meteorological Officer Dennis Gonguez. According to the social media, however, the deceased is named Rajiv Gonguez. Witnesses told police that Gonguez had just disembarked from a San Pedro water taxi at the docks at Brown Sugar, and was walking to his vehicle, which was parked outside, when a man walked up to him and shot him. Gonguez was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, but died shortly after while receiving treatment. At press time tonight, the killer has not been apprehended, and the motive for the murder is still unknown.

Wednesday, May 1, is a public and bank holiday which is called Labor Day in Belize. In some parts of the world, the day is called May Day. This is an international holiday to honor workers of the world. Robots, which are increasingly sophisticated machines designed to perform factory work previously performed by human beings, are a major aspect of manufacturing in the developed nations of the world. In Third World countries like Belize, nevertheless, human beings still do almost all the work which emphasizes hands and muscles. So, we have fishermen and farmers, waterfront workers, warehouse workers, truckers, workers in the electricity, water/sewerage, and telecommunications industries, workers in the fields and factories of the sugar, citrus, banana, and shrimp industries, construction workers, garbage industry workers, policemen and soldiers, and so on and so forth. Even though the teachers and public officers comprise two of Belize’s most powerful trade unions, they are not probably considered workers in the classic sense. This is because they work with their minds more than they do with their hands and their muscles. Please understand, and forgive, we are not experts in this subject. But, it is absolutely important to give our younger readers a sense of the domestic and international history which is involved here. Remember, the ancestors of most of us Belizeans came to this land as slave, indentured, or refugee workers. The masters of Belize’s slave and colonial history represented what the scholars and analysts refer to as “capital”: our ancestors were the labor. Labor works in the service of capital, and there is a long history of capital exploiting labor, in order to maximize profits and in order to finance what is called “research and development.”

The Roman Catholic priests and nuns have tremendous power in Belize because their schools are considered the best in our country. There is nothing more important in the mind of the average parent than getting the best possible education for his/her child. Parents will ignore criticisms of a school, its curriculum, or its administration, whatever, as long as they believe that such a school gives their child the best chance for life’s success. And, as the saying goes, “Nothing succeeds like success.” Today, I will give you an idea of the gut loyalty of Catholics to their schools. About 54, 55 years ago, I was in Standard VI at Holy Redeemer Boys School on North Front Street. Carlson Gough and I had been “skipped” from Standard IV to VI, and now we two, who were about 11 years old, were in class with some big boys who may have been as old as 15, 16 years. I was fortunate that the young Belizean nun who was teaching the class took a liking to me, as I to her. She was strongly built, and had a fierce temper, of which she was proud and often boasted. In British Honduras 54, 55 years ago, corporal punishment was the order of the day at home and in school, murderers were still routinely hanged at Her Majesty’s Prison on Gaol Lane, and the whole sociological climate was different from it is today

by William Chet Sir, This week I had the pleasure of attending a beautiful wedding in Punta Gorda Town. The church and reception hall were packed with hundreds of wellwishers, family, friends and fellow Church of the Nazarene members. We had the pleasure of seeing many old friends, among them Reverend Wade, his wife and family children and grandchildren all here to attend this blessed union. He was Pastor here from 1973 into the 1990‘s. I had a lot to say about the groom but so much had already been said that I could only endorse it. What I did want to mention and will take this opportunity, is the very impressive fact, that although there were at least 100 young children in the church and reception hall, there was no distraction, no unruliness. They were so well behaved, talking and in quiet ways playing together but in very respectful ways.

“The referendum is off”. Guatemalan officials have signaled to their Belizean counterparts that the referendum programmed since a year ago, for voters in Belize and Guatemala to simultaneously go to the polls on October 6, 2013, to weigh in on whether the territorial differendum should be settled at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), has been indefinitely postponed. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the announcement this morning at his first quarterly press conference for 2013. He said that the parties held a bilateral meeting on the occasion of the 5th Summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) held in Haiti last week. That meeting came on the heels of a meeting Prime Minister Barrow held with Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, earlier that week, in order to underscore Belize’s position, as well as to signal to the UN that Belize may need further UN support.

The three dogs attacked and killed a $1,500 pit bull. Brian Castillo, 50, was charged for the offence of keeping an un-muzzled ferocious dog at large. Castillo, an engineer of Lords Bank village, appeared in court on Friday, April 26, and was granted bail in the sum of $1,000, which he was able to meet. He is to return to court on June 4, 2013. On Sunday, April 21, 2013, Castillo’s neighbor, a 48-year-old woman of Lords Bank, reported to Ladyville police that around 10:30 a.m. on that date, while she was at home, Castillo’s three dogs went into her yard and killed her four-year-old pit bull dog, which was tied in the yard. The woman said that her dog was worth $1,500. She reported that she tried to stop the dogs from attacking her dog, but her attempts were fruitless. She added that it was not the first time Castillo’s dogs have strayed out of their yard.

According to the surviving child, her mother, after killing 3 of her children, tried to kill herself. In one of the most horrific, tragic and heartbreaking incidents to happen in this nation, a mother is accused by police of killing three of her four children on Saturday, April 27, by drowning them at Belizean Beach, a popular bathing and picnicking spot four miles out of Belize City, on the George Price Highway. The mother reportedly then tried to kill herself. A police press release of Monday, April 29, 2013 stated: “On April 27, 2013, at about 12:15 p.m., police visited Belizean Beach, at Mile 5 on the George Price Highway, where they saw the apparently lifeless bodies of three children that were retrieved from the sea by police officers. “Initial investigations revealed that on the same date between the hours of 8 and 9 a.m., Felicia Chen, 22, an unemployed of Mile 8 on the George Price Highway, left with her children — Trina Teul, 6, Triana Elica Teul, 4, Thomas Edilberto Teul, 3, and Trinaya Felicia Teul, 1 — for Belizean Beach.


#TravelTuesday – Our trip down south for Chicken Fried Steak
The Polaris was looking like tropical Beverly Hillbilly’s, filled with colorful coolers and bright plastic baskets. We had both wrapped up our morning work and it was time to make our way south. I was planning to get to First Aid Training down south but Shirlee who was managing the First Aid Training at Black Orchid Restaurant texted me they were going to be wrapping it up at 3:30 so I would not have time to make it. I immediately got assimilated into Cowboy’s errand run. He had to do some banking, unload the Polaris at at Banana Beach Resort, get to Lone Star and of course stop for a drink at Lola’s Pub along the way. While waiting for Cowboy Doug at Belize Bank 2 guys stopped and asked if I was having a yard sale, I got an lol when I told them as much as I would not mind a few extra bucks, my buddy would get pissed if I sold all his stuff and I was pretty sure they did not want my party dresses I sat and listened to music while I wanted then Lopez stopped to chat and Cowboy was done.

The Prettiest Flowers in Belize’s Forests
The above photo is of the Cortez tree which is in full bloom by the Chaa Creek Stable. According to Mick Fleming, Co-Founder of The Lodge at Chaa Creek, the Cortez Tree is considered one of the prettiest flowering trees in Belize’s forests and the wood is supposed to be extremely hard but way too beautiful to cut down.

“Happy birthday” in Ambergris Caye
Up around 5 am yesterday morning and spent some time – with my mug of coffee – reading The Times on-line. Then set about tackling the In Box and then turned to sending emails. One of which was to the Belize Tourism Board to find out when Rose and I can expect to receive our QRP (Qualified Retirement Program), without which we cannot submit an application for permission to import a golf cart. Next off was an email to Daniel Camal, the building contractor for our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize , to wish him a very happy birthday. Then spent a fair amount of time exchanging emails with Benny’s (for our lighting requirements) and The Tile & Stone Center (for our tile needs). Choosing is taking far longer than we contemplated. Before we knew it though it was time to head off to our build in Ambergris Caye, Belize. On arrival we could see Edson applying cement to the underside of the eastern (front of house) First Floor veranda.

Belize Guatemala Mexico border
Interesting news from the Belize/Guatemala border region. The following appeared in the Belizian newspaper, The Reporter. Border security key issue Belize-Mexico-Guatemala Belize beefs up border patrols While Belize is engaging in border talks with both Guatemala and Mexico, the tone of these talks could not be more different. In light of the most recent incident with the capture of four Belize security officers last week, which was preceded by deadly belize soldiers-Guatemalan civilians confrontations earlier this year and last year, talks with Guatemala have been tense. But in the north, Belize and Mexico are working together to cut down on the illegal activities along the borderline. Last week in their third annual border security meeting in Belize City, the two countries co-ordinated their efforts to beef up border security. Ministry of National Security and Immigration Permanent Secretary Allan Usher headed the Belize delegation and said he was optimistic about the binational effort to stem criminal activities along the over 300 miles border stretch. Usher said that Belize has already deployed additional resources to patrolling our side of the border, including more manpower to deter illegal activities, particularly smuggling, and transhipment of illegal drugs and firearms. These border patrols include police, BDF, Customs and Immigration officials. Mexican ambassador to Belize, His Excellency Lic. Enrique Hubbard Urrea, said he is optimistic that Belize and Mexico can join their efforts to solve common problems.

Owners Of The World Bank/IMF
The World Bank/IMF is owned and controlled by NM Rothschild & Sons plus 30 to 40 of the wealthiest people in the world. For over 150 years they have planned to take over the planet through money. The former chief economist of the World Bank, Joe Stiglitz, was fired in 2000. He pointed out to top executives that every country the IMF/World Bank forced their way into ended up with a crashed economy, a destroyed government, and some even broke out in riots. Former President of the World Bank/IMF Sir James Wolfensohn, would not comment on his dismissal. Before Joe Stiglitz was fired he took a large stack of secret documents out of the World Bank. These secret documents from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund reveal that the IMF required nations: To sign secret agreements containing 111 destructive items. (I’d love to get a hold of that list) To agree to sell off their key assets – water, electric, gas, etc. To agree to take economic steps which are devastating to the nations involved.

International Sources

Making Money Doing What You Love in Belize
“This may sound a little chauvinistic, but I think every man has the desire to build a home for himself in the wilderness with his bare hands,” says Elbert Greer. It was this desire, to carve out a place in paradise, that led the former teacher to his new life on Ambergris Caye, a Caribbean island just off the northeastern tip of Belize. After many years teaching vocational education for the state of Tennessee, Elbert had decided it was time for a change. Recently divorced and 40 years old, he didn’t just change his life…he started over from scratch. He and his faithful black Labrador, Bubba, arrived just as the island was becoming a diving Mecca. That was in the mid-1980s. More than 20 years later, Elbert is running a successful business and is one of the top dive instructors in the Caribbean, with more than 4,000 dives under his tank.

Former Norfolk police chief nearly dies in Belize
Former Norfolk Police Chief Bruce P. Marquis was training police in Central America as a contractor for the State Department when he got sick about three weeks ago. What started with flulike symptoms quickly worsened, and Marquis was flown from a hospital in Belize City, Belize, to one in Florida to be treated for a rare pneumonia. His wife, Traci Marquis, said that a nurse told her he nearly died, and that a doctor said he was lucky to be alive. "He's getting better, but anyone who has seen him in his heyday - a very healthy individual - he is not the same individual today," she said. "It's been horrific." Marquis, 61, retired April 1, 2011, after about seven years as Norfolk police chief. He was previously an FBI agent and chief of police in Hartford, Conn. His wife said he began working for several companies with State Department contracts, and the work took him to Europe, South America, Central America, Africa and the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Countries he worked in included Moldova, Uganda, Ecuador, Tunisia and India. He arrived in Belize City in mid-March to help train officers in policing and investigations. "He described going to murder scenes where the poverty is just wretched," Traci Marquis said. "There's just so much drugs, gangs and homicide. There's just a complete lack of regard for human life."

Guatemala pulls out of Belize border dispute referendum date
The prime minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, has confirmed that Guatemala has unilaterally withdrawn from holding a referendum on October 6, 2013 – to be held simultaneously with a similar referendum in Belize – over the question of referring the territorial dispute between the two countries to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for arbitration. A special agreement between Belize and Guatemala on submitting the issue to the ICJ was signed on December 8, 2008. In Belize, voters were to be asked: “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 determine finally the boundaries of the respective territories and areas of the parties?”

Natural solitude, reefs a draw in Placencia, Belize
It’s obvious why filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola built the Turtle Inn resort here: White sand, a blue Caribbean Sea and, some 20 miles offshore, the second-largest coral reef in the world after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. To the west, the sun sets behind the mangrove-fringed Placencia Lagoon and the distant smoky-blue Maya Mountains and Victoria Peak. There’s one more compelling reason to come here: Solitude. On a glorious afternoon, I found a beach to myself. An Englishman told me he went bonefishing for a half-day and didn’t see another boat. A kayaking trip turned up lots of birds, a few manatees and no people. Let everyone else go 100 miles north to Ambergris Caye, the largest island in Belize and its No. 1 tourist destination. The island’s population has swelled to 12,000, not including all the American ex-pats and retirees who have built multi-million-dollar homes along the island’s beaches and have bought up new beach-side condos.

10 Things Most Americans Don’t Know About America
Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment.

A Collection Of My Favorite One-Liners From Thought Catalog Writers
Before I started writing on Thought Catalog, I was an avid reader and I continue to be as much as I can. I would read it in the morning, afternoon, and evening. I would even read it at 3 o’clock in the early morning, post-Saturday night celebrations. I would read it on the bus, on the train, in sunshine, and in rain. (Yes, I was trying to rhyme on purpose.) I have always loved quotes; I believe words are powerful. Sometimes I think we wait til people hit the big time or worse, till their dead, before we acknowledge that their creations changed us, even in the smallest way, even if it was just for a moment in time.

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