Recent Belize News
11/21/2013 to 11/30/2013
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Today's Belize News

November 30, 2013


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

The San Pedro Sun

Everyone’s a winner at Captains Casino!
You can’t help but feel lucky when you are at Captain Morgan’s Retreat, undoubtedly one of the most popular beach resorts on Ambergris Caye.As if their three pools (each thoughtfully furnished with their own bar), tropical-tastic rooms and casitas, scrumptious restaurant and super friendly and attentive staff weren’t enough to make you feel like a winner, you can take that winning aura and Lady Luck over to their elegant Vegas-style Captain’s Casino and continue to feel like you hit the jackpot! Whether you claim to be a gambler or not (I THOUGHT I was in the NOT category), you’re sure to have fun at this slice of glitz and glamour right here on La Isla Bonita because the fun is irresistible!Who would have thought that putting $5US into a slot machine would keep me thoroughly entertained while winning and losing enough to play for almost an hour! Of course the courtesy cocktails graciously provided while I crossed my fingers and toes for a row of matching diamonds, cherries or 7’s to align on my next spin added to the fun of it all! Although they have over 40 slot machines to choose from, your gambling activities are not limited to what some call the “one-armed bandit”. There are card tables where contenders gather to try their hand at Blackjack, Texas Hold-Em’, Pokerand other games, while a Roulette table is set up for those who want to spin their way to winning. Their stylish bar hosts several video Poker games embedded into the countertop and there’s even a Chess table for those who prefer a more sophisticated method of gambling! The walls are adorned with a variety of high definition flat screen TV’s, all airing international sports and on Friday nights they have a DJ and dance starting at 9PM. Different days of the week offer special promos and they even have poolside Blackjack on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons, how fun is that! Nothing like soaking up the sun while gazing at the Caribbean and trying your hand at 21!

NEMO and Red Cross train 46 islanders in first aid
The San Pedro Branch of the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) working with the Belize Red Cross, held a two-day first aid training session in San Pedro Town. Held on November 20 – 21 at Fido’s Courtyard, the training was intended to ensure that more community members are trained in first aid, which is vital to save and minimize the loss of life during an emergency. Various resort personnel, public officers, law enforcement officers and volunteers from the community undertook the intense course. “First aid is given by trained First Aiders until professional help arrives. This is basically to render assistance to an injured person in an attempt to avoid a casualty,” said Jeromey Timrose Augustin, the NEMO Coordinator on the island. “Targeted participants were from the resorts, hotels, dive shops, airlines, boat handlers, Town Council sanitation engineers, teachers, police officers, firemen, transport officer, administrators and health workers, all who can play a key role in an emergency.”

Belizean Cuisine is a hit in New York
On November 14th, the Belize Tourism Board and top food magazine Saveur hosted a night of Belizean cuisine at the Saveur kitchen in New York, New York. Chef Jennie Staines, of Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, dazzled over twenty (20) top food writers with her authentic and flavorful cooking. In usual Belizean flair, Chef Jennie did demonstrations and interviews- all at once! Popular food writers and bloggers from big name publications, including Fodor’s, Bon Appetit, NY Times,, Afar and The Daily Meal, were treated to rum punch cocktails made with One Barrel rum. While the rum punch was a big hit, Chef Jennie’s appetizers of Conch’s Fritters and Jalapeno Poppers not only teased the palates, but also piqued the journalists’ curiosity about Belize’s rich cuisine. With local ingredients and a big personality behind the counter, the Saveur kitchen was set alive with tantalizing aromas and sounds as Chef Jennie conducted demos of how local foods are prepared.

National News: Sugar season delayed over dispute over bagasse profits
The 2013/2014 sugar cane season in Belize is in limbo as a result of a dispute between the milling company, Belize Sugar Industry Limited (BSI) and over 5,300 cane farmers. The main contention is that cane farmers are demanding a share of the income from the bagasse (the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane stalks are crushed to extract their juice) that BSI burns to produce electricity. The factory has announced that as of November 25th, the company was ready to mill sugarcane, but it has not been possible as the standoff has only picked up more steam. In 2007, BSI, through Belize Cogeneration Energy Limited (BELCOGEN), decided to turn bagasse into energy. Bagasse was considered a waste and had cost BSI millions of dollars to dispose of over the years. But BSI was able to invest over US $61 million dollars, the single largest private investment in Belize; bringing BELCOGEN to fruition by burning bagasse into energy. Cane farmers had been paid for sugarcane based on world international sugar prices influenced by the European preferential market. But because BSI has managed to make returns on bio-fuel, cañeros have indicated that their sugarcane has more value.

San Pedro Art Show (14 photos)
Artists from across the country and San Pedro have come together to showcase various collections of their original art at The San Pedro Lions Den. Come out for great deals Fri: 9AM-5PM (Happening NOW) Sat:9AM-8PM

8th Anniversary of the Belize Coast Guard (6 photos)
Today marks the 8th Anniversary of The Belize Coast Guard. To celebrate, they inaugurated their new San Pedro Coast Guard Station Building, and graduated their 4th recruit intake trainees. Congratulations Belize Coast Guard!

Ambergris Today

UNICEF Sponsors Bathroom Renovation at San Pedro Roman Catholic School
Students of SPRCS made a wonderful presentation on sanitation in the bathroom. Students and officials present at the ceremony enjoyed a funny and educational skit. The Chairperson of the Quality Child Friendly School Committee, Mrs. Yannicki Kie, gave a brief overview of the project and officially presented the School Maintenance Committee who will be in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of the bathroom and other areas of the school. Mr. Ivan Yerovi, UNICEF Representative delivered his special remarks, Sister Barbara Flores delivered the vote of thanks followed by the blessing of the bathroom facilities by Father Henry Bercasio. Chairpersons of the Parent-Teacher Association, Maintenance Committee and General Manager of the School signed the Maintenance Agreement after which the official ribbon cutting ceremony took place.

Belizean Cuisine A Hit in New York with Chef Jennie Staines, Elvi’s Kitchen
On November 14th, the Belize Tourism Board and top food magazine Saveur, hosted a night of Belizean cuisine at the Saveur kitchen in New York, New York. Chef Jennie Staines, of Elvi’s Kitchen in San Pedro, dazzled over twenty (20) top food writers with her authentic and flavorful cooking. In usual Belizean flair, Chef Jennie did demonstrations and interviews - all at once! The attendees were gifted with locally made products including condiments, pepper sauce, cook books and other Belize items. After dinner, one lucky writer walked away with a trip to Belize for two. She will be treated to La Isla Bonita’s hospitality for four nights. “I was treated like a queen by everybody involved in the project,” commented Chef Jennie Staines to Ambergris Today. “Everybody went out of their way to make the event a special one for me. I met very interesting people, dined at elite restaurants in New York and of course I was very proud of representing my country Belize and doing my part in luring more bloggers and food writers to visit Belize and give our home more promotion.”

Help Save A Life – Give Blood - San Pedro Blood Drive
Hosted By: San Pedro Red Cross, Washington University of Health and Science Medical School and Belize Blood Bank Date: Saturday, December 7, 2013 Time: 9 am to 2 pm Place: Washington University of Health and Science Medical School (Across from SAGA Humane Society and in front of Pedro’s Inn) Gifts and Refreshments will be provided. For questions contact: Sarah Thompson at 601-0345 Laurie Norton: Shirlee Arnould: 666-6144 *No appointment necessary

Misc Belizean Sources

San Pedro Town Council Toy Drive
The Black Orchid Restaurant & Lounge is proud to announce our Official Drop Off Status for the San Pedro Town Council Toy Drive. We are collecting toys for the Children of San Pedro. Please bring new unwrapped gifts to the Restaurant. We look forward to the support we know this worthy cause deserves. Thank you in advance from your friends & staff at the Black Orchid Restaurant & Lounge.

Dangriga Town river water is contaminated and not fit for human consumption
It has been brought to my attention by a Garifuna environmental activist that the North Stann Creek River, which flows into Dangriga Town, has been polluted and contaminated with several toxic and chemical substances for years now. He has been conducting testing of human beings, plants and animals for some years now. The results show catastrophic effects on all of them including land erosions along the river bank and the beach in Dangriga Town. His investigation revealed that for years now the citrus companies in Pomona Valley and Alta Vista “Salada Company” have been dumping their chemical waste from their factories into this river. Plus, there are companies doing several types of mining along the side of the river. Citrus farmers use several types of pesticides, which flow into the river when it rains as well. Then we have people dumping garbage and human waste into the river.

The Garinagu are the backbone of Belizean society We gave Belize its first sugar and cotton factory In the southern part of the country When the expatiates came to set up Industry Before the floods came and gave us great difficulty Most of our communities had to be rebuilt after Hattie which hit the south savagely and killed many Not to mention destroyed Belize City The British came in ships to help wi And we rebuilt relatively quickly We even help George Price get his first victory And Thomas Vincent Ramos championed the Cause with Marcus Mosiah Garvey My people were stalwarts in the rice and citrus industry During the early Commerce Bight Port days We strengthen the economy Having the only natural deep water port in the country During the 'Suba worker' days in Pomona Valley We were exporting canned citrus internationally And Dangriga was a thriving community God'sman Ellis and the Jamaicans gave us our first Agricultural show, bringing the farmers out the shadows He set up the infrastructure for Trial Farm Where Cynthia Topsey was born

Students performing at the Schools 29th Township Celebration at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium at the San Pedro High School.

Lighting the Christmas Tree at Central Park.
Come out on Sunday, December 1st, where we will be lighting the Christmas Tree at Central Park. We will also be hosting a Toy Drive, so bring out a toy and help us spread the joy of Christmas!

On Wednesday, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council hosted a Children's Rally at the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium at the San Pedro High School were all schools performed songs, dances and poems for everyone. It was quite entertaining! At the event, Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Angel Nuñez invited Mr. Clive Welsh of the Lighthouse Christian Radio to offer us his blessings. Following Mr. Welsh, was the welcome address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero, where he urged everyone to practice Civic Pride and be more appreciative of our environment. Mr. Einer Gomez was a guest speaker at the event where he shared with the students on how San Pedro has grown and how our ancestors help build this town. Offering the closing remarks was Councilor Kenrick Brackett. Also, at the event, Miss Garifuna 2013, Miss Tizane Martinez was officially crowned by Miss San Pedro High, Miss Chelsea Muñoz. The students also sang Happy Birthday to San Pedro's very own Miracle Baby, Daniel Estell who was celebrating his 4th birthday with us. To close off the event, the students were treated to ideals and biscuits and of course, the news that they would be getting the day off!

29th Township Anniversary Cocktail (38 photos)
On Tuesday, November 26, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and The San Pedro Town Council hosted a cocktail event in commemoration of the 29th Township Anniversary of San Pedro Town. Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Angel Nuñez greeted everyone to the event and shared his humor with the guests. At the event, Mayor Daniel Guerrero offered the welcome address, Mr. Clive Welsh from the Christian Lighthouse Radio offered the invocation and Mr. Wilfredo Alamilla Sr. shared with us a few memories of a young San Pedro Town. After all remarks were made, Miss San Pedro 2013, Solani Graniel and Mayor Daniel Guerrero presented awards of recognition and appreciation to various members of the community who have impacted the growth of San Pedro.

Wildtracks' New Sanctuary
Wildtracks is hoping to build a new sanctuary for the troops of monkeys they're housing, and they've taken to the web to crowd fund it on indiegogo. Check out their page to find all the information on the project, and if you can, help them out. "Wildtracks will be building a 35 foot high, 50 foot diameter central enclosure around a large sapote tree, linked by overhead tunnels to three, 40 foot long enclosures, providing facilities for the three troops currently in the Primate Rehabilitation Centre – a total of 13 spider monkeys...but we can only do this with your help! In addition to the new enclosures, Wildtracks needs to continue finding funds to support for the spider monkeys during the cage construction period, estimated at four months. It costs US$2,000 per month for the crates of fruit for the older monkeys and milk for the babies in the Nursery Unit."

Benque Market Ribbon Cutting
The Benque Market is coming soon! They had the ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday with the mayor and other stakeholders. Benque was chosen earlier this year to be Belize's next tourism destination, and for good reason. It's wonderful seeing Benque, known for having a special culture all its own, get these much deserved projects. They'll have permanent and temporary stalls for rent. Call 803-2020 for more information. "The ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Benque Market was held yesterday at Corner of Wyatt & Kennedy Street! The Mayor of Benque Viejo del Carmen, Miguel Velasquez cut the ribbon after introducing the market plan. Some of people helping the Mayor to cut the ribbon were L-R His Excellency Mr. Said Badi Guerra, Ambassador of Belize, Mr. Recard Gongora, representing National Authorizing Office, Mayor Velasquez, Mr. David Sanfiel, Civil Engineer representing European Union and Mr. Subrata Basu, Peace Corps volunteer."

SI United Defeat Belmopan 2 - 0
The SI United triumphed over the Belmopan Bandits 2 - 0 this last weekend. They will play the BDF this weekend since the last time they were scheduled to play, it was rained out. Go, United! "Amazing Match last Sunday, the boys but on a great show and defeated the 'Mighty' Belmopan Bandits. Looking to cash in more points with our three consecutive home matches coming up. BDF is Next this sunday. Go SIU!!"

MMAC Archaeological Tour Specials
The Maya Mountain Adventure Club is doing Caracol tomorrow, Xunantunich and Cahal Pech on Sunday, and Tikal on Monday. If you love ruins, now's the time to check them out. Belizeans get 50% off tours, and students get 75% off. Link goes to a short video of Mr. Cruz guiding a tour in Caracol.

Channel 7

Young Clerks Took Radisson Down For 180K!
Tonight one young accounting clerk is in jail, and other up and coming young office workers could be headed his way after police cracked a major embezzlement ring. Late this afternoon, Justin "Ducky" Lacroix was arraigned in Belize City magistrate's court on 58 counts of forgery related charges. Lacroix is a staffer at a local accountant's firm. And while he was coming up as an auditor, tonight, he's in jail. That's because he was arraigned late in the evening, when the court cashier had already closed up for the day. So even though he was offered fifteen thousand dollars bail, it couldn't be arranged so he was sent to jail. We are told that at least two others, also up and coming young professionals are in police custody and face a multitude of forgery related charges.

Terrible Traffic Accident from The Perspectives Of Driver/Witness
When we left you last night, it was with the news that there had been a terrible, fatal accident on the Western Highway near Belmopan. Well tonight we have more details. There is that one fatality to report but in a major collision involving 7 persons, there could have been more. Daniel Ortiz spoke to one of the drivers and a first responder today to try and find out what happened. Daniel Ortiz reporting This mashed up Ford Explorer was one of the vehicles in the accident on the Western Highway, just outside of Belmopan, which resulted in a fatality. ASP Sinquest Martinez - OC, Belmopan Police "Just before 5pm police responded to a traffic accident between miles 46 and 47 on the George Price Highway where they saw 2 vehicles; one white D-max, property of the Government of Belize and a green Ford Explorer. The D-max was travelling from the direction of Belize City to Belmopan driver by Ernesto banner while the other vehicle was travelling in the direction to Belize City driver by Bert Ramos when they had a collision and unfortunately one person lost his life."

BWS Former Employees: “I’ll See You In Court”
For months we've been reporting on the case of the terminated BWS employees. They are now suing their former employer for wrongful termination, and today it became clear that there is no settlement to be had - the matter will have to be argued in court. Attorney for 5 of the six terminated employees Antionette Moore told us that she'll see BWS in court!:.. Antionette Moore, attorney "It's a matter we had hoped to settle. It has not, BWS came today and only today through their lawyer saying that they are not amenable to a settlement and wish for the matter to be set for trial and so that is what will happen now. I think there is no merit to their defense, absolutely none and so they are taking their chances before a court." Moore says BWS did not entertain settlement proposals she put forward on behalf of the workers. And while at court, we also had an opportunity to ask the terminated workers about an angry release from the former union, the BWS workers union. Seems that last week, when the terminated workers took to the airwaves they had some not so nice things to say about the Union president Lorelei Westby. Well, the union sent out a defensive press release, saying quote, "several former workers of BWS have been on a campaign to defame the Belize Water Services Workers' Union and its former president, Ms. Lorelei Westby …they had repeatedly expressed praises for the kind of leadership they enjoyed and the benefits received via such good leadership," End quote. It added that their, quote, "malicious actions…cannot be condoned."

Hon. Dolores Says McKay Killing “Appears Extra Judicial”
The post mortem on Travis Mckay was conducted this afternoon in Belize City. McKay is the 22 year old who was killed by Ladyville police on Wednesday - near his home. Today his area representative Dolores Balderamos Garcia issued a statement saying, quote, "This is the second shooting this year that has ended in the death of a young Ladyville resident at the hands of the Police. I cannot, in my capacity of representing the Ladyville Community, stand by and say nothing." End quote. She adds that, quote, "In both instances there are many questions regarding the shootings, and…I feel compelled to add my voice to the cries of concern from Ladyville residents about the actions of the Police." End quote. Later in the release, she sharpens that critique and says, quote, "in no way can we as civilized persons and communities turn a blind eye to what appears to be extra-judicial killings by the Police." Balderamos-Garcia closes off by saying, quote, "The Police must be held accountable." We note that police have ongoing internal and criminal investigations.

Is Alleged Land Grab Undermining City Effort To Build Buttonwood Bay Park?
There's a simmering dispute over a park on Seashore Drive in the Buttonwood Bay area of Belize City. Area residents say they are trying to build a proper seaside park, but are being undermined by what they characterize as a land grab. The area is a dank and long neglected public space near the corner of Seashore Drive and Buttonwood Bay Boulevard. It's supposed to be a people's park, but neglect had turned it into a dubious hangout spot. Recently, residents, working along with City Hall, have been working to fix up the park, which meant clearing away some mangrove and filling it with sand - work which was ongoing today with City Council workers. But that parcel 3820 which is shown on this map as one integral plot is now under dispute. Giovanni Blease says it's his - not the whole park, just the area that was recently cleared and is now being filled. Blease's attorney told us that the park only extends to where the boulder - fence is and that small plot, between the end of the park fence and tall fence for Mike Feinstein's boat yard is designated for Geovanni Blease.

Tried to Kill Ex’s New BF, Gone To Jail For It
34 year old Leslie Fraser was found guilty of attempted murder today by Justice Adolph Lucas. The court found that he tried to kill his ex-common law wife's new boyfriend. The incident occurred on May 29, 2011. The complainant, Faron Waight, testified that while he was at his residence, at the corner of King Street and Amara Avenue, he saw Fraser lurking nearby. Waight said he grabbed a piece of stick and began to pursue Fraser on bike. He said that when he caught up, Fraser pulled out a machete from a bag and chopped him to the back of his head. Waight fell to the ground and Fraser got over him and chopped him several more times. The woman in the middle of the quarrel also testified for the prosecution that she saw Frazer chopping Waight.

2 Yrs After Project Approval, No Flood Alleviation Or Mitigation For Belama, PM Blames IDB Process
The 10 million US dollars flood alleviation and mitigation project for the Belama Project was signed in November of 2011 in the wake of Hurricane Richard. But two years later, there's no alleviation or mitigation for Belama resident who end up inundated every time there is a heavy rain. Indeed, nothing discernible has happened with the 5 year project. And that PM says that's because it's funded by the IDB - which moves at a glacial pace. We asked about it at his press conference on Wednesday:. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "The flood mitigation project indeed it is just now starting. The frustration has been for us intense, but these people have their processes. In a sense, you want to tell us about our being slow, comparatively speaking, we are like a hair. When you look at the way the CDB and the IDB and the Union proceed, so you ought to be commending us for doing so much better job than it appears is the international norm."

Mayor Bradley Passed On Freetown Candidacy?
Last night, we told you about three novel names which were entering the UDP's convention season. They are Elodio Aragon Junoiur, who will leave his job as the second in command at the police in department to run in Orange Walk East, Beverly Castillo, who will leave her job as ceo in the ministry of natural resources to contest the Belize Rural central Convention, and Omar Figueroa, a noted researched and wildlife expert who will get into the fray in Cayo north. Today, observers said we'd have one more name to add to that list: Darrell Bradley, whom it was rumored would be running in the Freetown Division. Well, the five pm deadline came and went and Bradley did not put in his name. So what's next? Well, Bradley Said he's focusing on the city right now - and if he reverts to Caribbean Shores, the convention there won't be held until a year or lesS before the next general elections. The UDP convention season for 14 care-taker seats starts early next year. Today the party's secretary general would not say how many applications were put in before today's deadline, but she did say that a majority of the 145 seats will be contested. She stressed that all names have to be vetted.

Curl Jr, Gets 3 Years For Indecent Assault
30 year old Curl Gordon, Jr. is spending the first night of 3 year sentence, which was handed down this morning from Justice Adolph Lucas. Gordon was convicted of committing an indecent assault on a 7 year old girl by a 9 member jury on last week Thursday. During the trial, the child testified against him that he touched her inappropriately. The mother corroborated the story telling the court that she saw Gordon on top of the child moving up and down. An examination of the child revealed that she was not carnally known, and so, he was only charged with indecent assault. In his defense, Gordon told the court that he is innocent of the charge and that the mother of the child set her up to tell lies on him. This morning, no one appeared to speak on Gordon's behalf and in his mitigation, he begged the court to be lenient on him since it was his first conviction. He also told the court that his wife is expecting his child, and he doesn't know how she will be able to provide it. Gordon then asked the court to please consider the one year he had already spent on remand, and to subtract it from whatever time he would be given.

Red Cross Fundraising For Flood Victims
For the past 2 weeks, 7News have been telling you about the millions of dollars in damages that the rains and flooding have caused to the country’s roads, infrastructure and agriculture. Well, sitting in the shadow of all of that rebuilding are the 200 families from the Belize River Valley and the Cayo District whose homes and possessions have been destroyed by the flooding.

Free Aids Testing For World AIDS Day
Sunday is World Aids Day, and all around the country, the Ministry of Health is organizing free HIV testing for the public. It’s part of an awareness campaign by the Ministry to allow an opportunity to find persons to find out their HIV status.

Precinct Policing Continuing The Community Outreach
So far this year murders in Belize City are down from 74 at the end of November 2012, to 37, exactly half at the end of November 2013. That's a remarkable 50% drop, and while everyone has their own theory about what's driving crime down, if you ask the police they'll say, with good reason that it's the implementation of precinct policing in the city. That's because precinct policing is about forming lasting relationships with the community, and one example of that came today in Precinct one where the formation held a health fair. Usually that's the job of the ministry og works, who did participate, but it was a police led effort. The officer commanding explained what's the idea:...

Dara’s Conscious Party
Another positive community effort is coming this weekend. The eternal fundraiser and tireless philanthropist Dara Robinson is having what he calls a conscious party. On Sunday afternoon at Bird's Isle, DJ's with a vintage taste in cultural reggae will, as they say, nice up the vibes, in a fund raising event that the organizers also hope will be spirit lifting. They told us more:..

Kinds With Hearts Of Gold
3 young boys who want to be an example of giving to spread kindness are William Bennett, Joshua Camal, and Mishach McKoy, students of Grace Primary School in Belize. As we told you, the Salvation Army started their annual Christmas Donation drive, the biggest fundraiser for their outreach programs of the year. These young boys organized a collection campaign in their school and managed to raise $80 to donate to the Salvation Army. They delivered it yesterday for Thanksgiving and told us that they just want to do a little to ensure that children less fortunate than them could enjoy a little of the Christmas Cheer, which Salvation Army makes possible:

Albert Street Looks Like Times Square! (Kinda)
Belize City residents lined up this evening on Albert Street to witness the second annual Bowen and Bowen Christmas tree lighting out at the Mule Park and to enjoy a festive evening. With Christmas only 26 days away, Mayor Darrell Bradley told us, what better way to kick-off the season than with a jolly good time on Albert Street. And if you're having trouble in traffic getting across the city that is because certain streets are blocked off to accommodate the event. Albert Street from Swing Bridge to Church Street will be closed as well as, Orange Street from East Canal to Albert Street.

Channel 5

1 dead and 6 injured in a traffic accident on the George Price Highway
A total of seven persons were injured in a traffic accident on Thursday evening. An SUV, heading toward Belize City, collided with a government vehicle en route to Belmopan. Three [...]

B.W.S.L. former employees proceed with lawsuit in the Supreme Court
A lawsuit brought against Belize Water Services Limited by five former employees, who contend that they were unlawfully terminated by the company earlier this year, will proceed in the Supreme [...]

Area Rep. for Belize Rural Central calling for proper investigation in the two police killings in the Ladyville community
On Wednesday afternoon, Ladyville resident Travis McKay was shot and killed by the police. His brother states he witnessed the police use unnecessary force when an officer pushed the face [...]

Opposition leader criticizes the secrecy surrounding the supposedly multiple investigation into the passport scandal
Minister of State turned political and public pariah Elvin Penner has gone M.I.A. Penner was castigated for his role in procuring nationality status and a Belizean passport for South Korean, [...]

PM does not support the 13th senator and opposition does
The debate on the thirteenth senator has been resurrected in recent weeks. It’s a concept which was passed into law by the U.D.P., but it never materialized. While the two [...]

UDP has at least three new faces running for standard bearer
The deadline for submission of names for persons wanting to offer themselves for candidacy in upcoming conventions to be held by the United Democratic Party is today.  While a list [...]

Some works to be done on the San Estevan Road
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has announced a multi-million dollar infrastructure program to repair streets and roads across the nation. The outlay is in response to damage caused by incessant rains [...]

Some monies to be allocated to alleviate Sarteneja/Chunox Road
While there is good news, albeit sometime in the future, for commuters between Orange Walk Town and Progresso, passengers on the Chunox-Sarteneja Road are forced to endure daily hell. The [...]

Oppositon says he is not impressed with multi-million dollar infrastructure program
At his press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow unveiled a multi-million dollar infrastructure program to address deteriorating streets and roads in the country. Almost three million dollars have [...]

PM says salary increase will take effect in July 2014
Discussions on a salary increase for teachers and public officers, so very loud earlier in the year, have apparently been muted. The unions appeared deflated in the face of government’s [...]

Leslie Frazier found guilty of Attempted Murder
Thirty-four year old Leslie Frazier, charged with the attempted murder of Faron Waight, was today found guilty by Justice Adolph Lucas, after the conclusion of a trial without jury.  The [...]

Belize Coast Guard celebrates its eight anniversary
Today the Belize Coast Guard celebrated its eighth anniversary in grand style in San Pedro, inaugurating its forward operating base and also passing out thirty new recruits. The facility, which [...]

Vandalism continues at the Lord Ridge Cemetery
Vandalism at the Lord Ridge Cemetery is a perennial practice by mischief makers who set out to desecrate the resting place of the dead.  While the problem had eased off [...]

Philanthropist organizing fundraising event for feeding program
Recognized philanthropist Dara Robinson is organizing a fundraising event this weekend for his primary school feeding program.  Billed as the first of its kind all conscious reggae party, Ras Dara [...]

Punta rock artist releasing new album
Budding Punta rock artist Taprick is releasing a new album this weekend after two months of carefully crafting a collection of songs which he believes will resonate with his fans [...]

Breaking News: one dies in traffic accident in the Capital
There is breaking news tonight. At about five-thirty this evening, a government vehicle collided into an SUV near the entrance to the hector Silva Airstrip in Belmopan. What we have [...]

PUP turns in signature to trigger recall
On October fifth the People’s United Party launched a campaign to collect signatures on a petition to recall Elvin Penner. The move came just weeks after news broke of the [...]

The paper trail on the visa hustle involving UDP ministers
At a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow scoffed at the evidence proving that Minister of State Edmond Castro is engaged in the large-scale procuring of visas for [...]

Francis Fonseca says Barrow’s defense of Castro is disgraceful
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on a variety of issues at a press conference in Belize City, and today P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca, did the same. Fonseca touched [...]

And says immigration bill is all glitter and no substance
Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, has proposed three new pieces of legislation which, if passed into law, will have the Immigration Department running like, in his words, a well-oiled machine. [...]

Police confirm they shot and killed Travis McKay
Police are saying tonight that Ladyville resident, Travis McKay, was shot and killed in a cross fire, but family members who witnessed the shooting vehemently contradict the police version. Wednesday’s [...]

Caribbean Financial Action Task Force blacklists Belize; is banking sector in jeopardy
As you know by now, the European Union has blacklisted Belize for not doing enough to curb illegal fishing. That is bad, but even worse is the news of the [...]

Opposition says it fully supports the farmers; even to strike
Back to the press conference hosted by the Opposition. Prime Minister Barrow on Wednesday went on record to give government’s full support to the stance of the cañeros that they [...]

UB Faculty and Staff Association concerned about state of affairs of university
UB President Doctor Cary Fraser remains on leave tonight amid the turmoil that has ensued since his announcement of impending departure.  While Prime Minister Barrow has gone on record to [...]


PM Sings A Different When It Comes To Visa Scandal
The controversy surrounding Belizean visa hustling continues and the situation only keeps getting interesting. While a national media house has taken upon itself to poke into the matter deeper and has come up with some compelling arguments, the Prime Minister defends his flock, in particular Minister Edmund Castro. As viewers may recall, the controversy blew over in the immigration department when proof surfaced that Elvin Penner was involved in the illegal processing of Belizean passports. Although the Prime Minister insists that there is no illegality to Penner’s actions he still booted him out of the United Democratic Party. An investigation into the immigration department was launched and as of yesterday, in the government press conference, Godwin Hulse says there was no update except to say that the investigation is ongoing. Another subsequent move is the restructuring of the immigration department for which three pieces of legislation have began its process in the House Of Representatives. Immediately following this scandal, Edmund Castro’s name was thrown into the mix as one of the government ministers who has been deeply and largely involved in visa hustling. First, a whistle blower surfaced but government gives her no credibility.

PM Discusses EU Position For Illegal Fishing
We have been reporting on the European Union’s position to blacklist Belize in High Seas Fishing. As we told, Belize along with Guinea and Cambodia are facing sanctions and were blacklisted by the European Union for illegal fishing in high seas. European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Maria Damanaki, said the fight against illegal fishing is being stepped up since the three countries are refusing to rein in the unlawful practice. Prime Minister Dean Barrow responded to the situation in yesterday’s press conference in Belize City. PM – DEAN BARROW “We will make every effort to put in place proper monitoring infrastructure and am repeating to you that we will very quickly pass the regulation what they are saying is, we pass the act and that is fine but there must be regulations under the act that will then create the monitoring infrastructure and then you must operationalize monitoring infrastructure, I am telling you that we will do that but I have said before and I will say again ultimately if we have to deregister the entire fishing fleet we will do that it is not a step we would like take because it is earning revenue to government but at the end of the day we will do whatever we have to get this thing in the kind of shape we want and to sort out the problem so let us also be clear that the possible consequences of the EU action, don’t extend to anything other than the fisheries product of the fishing fleet you know, doesn’t affect our shrimp, doesn’t affect anything else so while it is serious and we are taking it seriously and we will deal with it don’t let us carried away and believe that it is anymore consequential than it is.”

Works On San Estevan Road No Where In Sight
At yesterday’s Press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, flanked by a host of UDP ministers, CEO’s and heads of departments, the government promised to inject over seventy million dollars worth of money into road improvements across the country. Now the promise for, as the PM put it “road network improvements” comes at a time when there are still several projects pending completion and even commencement. We can think of two major roads in the Orange Walk District alone. So asking the Prime Minister whether the government will be rolling out these new projects soon and if they will be dragging their feet seemed only logical. Of course his natural and immediate response was to defend his administration saying that the government is delivering and delivering well. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “And while the need for action is real and while the need for speed must be undeniable must be deliberate speed so that you don’t do any foolishness with the public monies, in that context I am absolutely satisfied that we are delivering and will deliver that the respect to what is absolutely urgent people will see the action taking place immediately and we will make a complete nonsense, we will rubbish your faeces that you put forward a while ago.”


New Intake for Belize Coast Guard
Today the Belize Coast Guard held ceremonies to celebrate its 8th anniversary and the graduation of thirty new intakes. The ceremonies were held in Ambergris Caye where also, the Coast Guard’s San Pedro forward operating station. Love News was there and Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Twelve weeks ago a total of eighty young men and women signed up to be joined one of Belize’s most essential security force; the Belize Coast Guard. Today, after a three months training, graduation ceremonies were held for 29 of them. CEO in the Ministry of National Security, Ret’d Lt. Col. George Lovell, detailed the training that these young men and women went through. LT. COL. GEORGE LOVELL “There are the few, the proud that survived out of 80 that entered the hollow halls of the Coast Guard Training Company. Their training included physical fitness, swimming, drills, first aid, seamanship, law enforcement, weapons training and marksmanship. A typical day, just for your information included being up at 4 in the morning, PT at 5, fatigue which is generally getting the compound and their environs clean at 6. They then went and had breakfast at 7 followed by a hard day of training, building discipline, teamwork and learning the tool of military trade.”

PUP’s Area Rep Says Police Must Be Held Accountable
Area Representative for Belize Rural Central, Dolores Balderamos Garcia, has expressed extreme concern over the fatal shooting by police of Ladyville resident, Travis McKay. Dolores signals the incident as the second such one in which a Ladyville resident was killed at the hands of the police and she says that as the Area Representative, she cannot remain silent about it. The first victim was Ryan Lozano in April of this year. She adds that while she cannot speak with specificity about the facts, there are sufficient questions about the two incidents that cause people to raise concerns about the actions of the Ladyville Police. Even if the two young men had committed crimes, she said, they had a right to a fair trial. The Area Representative says that the community must not turn a blind eye to what she terms as quote “extra-judicial killings by the police” unquote. Balderamos-Garcia says that the police must be held accountable for their actions and joins the families of the fallen men in calling for full and proper investigations into their shooting deaths.

Armed Robbery in Southern Belize
An armed robbery was reported on Thursday in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “On Thursday, 28th November 2013 around 8:05 am, information was received of an armed robbery in front of Charles Franklin Hotel on George Price Street in Punta Gorda Town. PG Police were immediately dispatched to the location. Upon arrival, 25-year-old, Jamie Leslie, a Belizean salesman for Madison Company and a resident of Belize City reported to police that around 7:05 am he was walking towards to company truck parked in front of the said hotel when he was accosted by a dark skinned masked man. The masked man pointed, what appeared to be a handgun at him and demanded money. Fearing for his life he surrendered his blue knapsack containing a catalog, two invoice books, two Scotia Bank deposit books and a blue bag containing 1350 dollars. Police detained three persons for investigation and are looking for another person who they believe can help with the investigation.”

Fraser Guilty of Attempted Murder
Thirty-four year old Leslie Fraser, an unemployed charged with attempted murder, was found guilty of the charge today by Justice Adolph Lucas. It was a trial without jury. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until December 6 in order to give Fraser time to prepare a plea for mitigation. Fraser was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell represented the prosecution. The incident occurred on May 29, 2011. The complainant, Faron Waight, testified that Fraser came by his house at the corner of King Street and Amara Avenue where he resided with Fraser’s ex-common-law wife. Waight said he went and got a piece of stick and jumped on his bicycle and pursued Fraser who had walked away. Waight said that when he caught up with Fraser he turned around because Fraser took out a machete from a bag. Waight was first chopped to the back of his head and when he fell, Fraser stood over him and chopped him several times. Waight’s common-law wife testified that she saw Fraser chopping Waight . Fraser testified and said that at the time of the incident he was doing security work at Glen Godfrey law firm at the corner of Craig Street and Barrack Road. Fraser called one witness, Henry Lauriano, but Lauriano’s testimony did not help him.

Road Accident Kills Long Time Public OfficerA man was killed and several others were injured in a road traffic accident on the George Price Highway on Thursday evening. He is Efrain Cowo, who was a passenger in a government vehicle traveling from Belize City towards Belmopan. According to 40-year-old Ernest Banner, just before five o’clock on Thursday evening he was driving a white Isuzu D Max heading towards Belmopan when upon reaching between miles 46 and 47, his vehicle and a green Ford Explorer travelling in the opposite direction but in his lane collided. As a result, his passengers, 25-year-old Ginee Neal, 29-year-old Kendra Arnold and Efrain Cowo suffered varying degrees of injury. Ramos, who spoke to Love News, said that contrary to what Banner reported, the incident happened quite differently. BERT RAMOS “I was coming from Belmopan yesterday evening after a meet and coming down on the highway was like a stream of vehicle. The vehicle that was in front of me, it seemed like he observed this bad spot and I see the brake light come on and so I went down for my brakes but by the time that vehicle cleared the bad spot, another vehicle going the opposite direction was just coming sliding right into me. I tried by continuing to hold my brakes and make sure the vehicle doesn’t run into me but I couldn’t stop it and it collided right into the left hand part of my vehicle.”

Belizean Program Developer Gets Grant from Taiwan
Earlier this week the Government of Taiwan provided grants of seven thousand US dollars to 18 entrepreneurs. One of the recipients is 29 year old Tiffany Simpson who has been using her talent and creativity to design educational software to help students who are preparing for the CXC and PSE Exams. The GAME Prep Software designed by Simpson will soon be expanded to include A-Level exams and BJAT for primary school students. The disc version of the software is available in Belize, Trinidad, Barbados and Guyana. Those who are interested in obtaining a copy of the CD or viewing an online version of the program can visit for more information. Simpson has been creating educational software for the past three years.

Bomb Threat Disrupts University ClassesClasses at the University of Belize central campus were disrupted yet again today. Love News spoke with the Director of Public Information at the University, Selwyn King, about the cause of today’s incident. SELWYN KING “We received a called approximately 5 minutes ago; an unidentified caller indicating that a bomb has been planted again on the Belmopan Campus of the University of Belize. It is unfortunate that we, if I can, that we have some sick minds just disrupting the entire operations of the University as we are preparing for exams which will be on Monday. It’s affecting us not only mentally but physically in terms of the operations it comes to a standstill. We have to take the threat seriously. We have to shut down the University. We called in the police and the BDF Bomb Squad. It’s an exercise that apparently is like a reoccurring decimal that we are faced with at this point in time.” LINETTE CANTO “How often do you get these threats?” SELWYN KING “Basically I’m losing count but approximately it’s the 4th or the 5th one with the last 2 or 3 months.”

Law Enforcement Agencies Team Up For Annual Torch Run
The Belize Police Department has teamed up with other law enforcement agencies to conduct its annual law enforcement torch run. Sergeant Elroy Carcamo, the Head of Community Policing Unit, told Love News that the event is to fundraise and to create awareness about the Special Olympics. The Unit’s plan is to send the Special Olympics Team to Los Angeles in 2015, as he explains. SGT. ELROY CARCAMO “We are trying to raise some 5000 dollars this year in order for that to occur. What happens is that on Monday, December 2 we will move the torch where the first torch run was held in PG and from PG and we are going to Belize City where we will have the National Games Special Olympic Games at the Marion Jones Stadium. The torch will be carried from PG to Dangriga thereafter, the following day from Dangriga to San Ignacio passing through Belmopan. The day after that it will go from San Ignacio to Hattieville; Thursday it will go from Hattieville to Ladyville through the Boom Road coming up to Haulover Bridge. Then on Friday morning from Haulover Bridge we are bringing it in to where we will have different agents participating in taking the torch from one point to the other.

3-Year Sentence for Aggravated Assault of Indecent Nature on Female Child
Thirty year old Curl Gordon Jr, who was convicted last week of aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a female child, was sentenced to three years today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas stipulated that the time of one year that Gordon was remanded be subtracted from his sentence, so Gordon will serve two years. Gordon was not represented by any attorney. Crown Counsel Portia Staine represented the prosecution. The incident occurred on October 2, 2011. The child was seven years old at the time.

World Aids Day 2013
Today is World AIDS Day and in observance of that, the Ministry of Health’s National AIDS Program’s Voluntary Counseling and Testing Unit is conducting a full day of testing and awareness. The event, which ends at four this evening, includes free HIV/AIDS tests and tips on how to prevent acquiring the disease as well as what other diseases are linked to it. One of those diseases which is closely linked to AIDS, according to Bernadine Grinage, the Ministry of Health’s Acting Coordinator in the Voluntary Counseling and Testing Unit, is Tuberculosis. Bernadine Grinage “Tuberculosis is a co-infection with HIV. HIV with TB shortens the prognosis; so, that’s why we are emphasizing the importance of knowing your HIV status. If, for example, if you are tested reactive, meaning that there are antibodies for the HIV virus then it is advisable to do a tuberculosis screening test as well and if someone has tested and found out that they have tuberculosis then it is advisable to do an HIV test as well.”

Chamber Returns with Christmas Expo
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry is in the process of setting up for their Christmas Expo Extravaganza which is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Delmi Novelo is the Marketing and Public Relations officer. DELMI NOVELO “We will have various companies that will be selling clothing, computer gadgets; we have a Western Union, Chamber of Commerce, Karl H Menzies over there and the Y’s phone digital service that will be there at the expo. It’s an opportunity for everyone to come out and buy what they need for the Christmas season. So we invite everyone to come to the expo. The cost for the tickets is 3 dollars for adults, children 11 and under enter for free. We do have tickets available here at the Chamber of Commerce office and also at Doony’s and Beauty Plaza. If you want to come in before and not wait in the line then you can purchase your ticket in advance. Apart from all the various businesses we will be having at the expo, we will also be having music and entertainment by Super Furia Band. We will also be having the Santa Clause booth whereby children and their families can take a picture with Santa Claus. Our Western Union as well will be doing exclusive BTL top up so if anyone needs credit they can come to our booth and we will be the exclusive company to be selling for Smart and BTL.”

New Coast Guard Station in San Pedro
At today’s Coast Guard graduation ceremonies, Station San Pedro was inaugurated. The base came as a result of partnership between Belize and the U.S. South Command. CEO in the Ministry of National Security Ret’d Lt. Col. George Lovell and Chargé d’ Affairs at the US Embassy, Margaret Hawthorne highlighted the importance of the forward operating base. LT. COL. GEORGE LOVELL The building, I was told, was built at a cost of US 1.5 million dollars and can withstand winds that are associated with a category five hurricane or storm. The building can accommodate 16 personnel. It has a diesel generator and a 5000 gallon fuel storage capacity for both gas and diesel. There is also docking facilities as we see out here, that two ready vessels strategically located to enforce its mandate of law enforcement and military operations can be berthed. The area of operation for this station extends way beyond San Pedro, Ambergris and as far north as the Chetumal Bay and our northern border on the Rio Hondo with Mexico. It also goes all the way south to the area of Caye Caulker. The unit that will be operating from this station will be responsible for a host of missions, ranging from drug and weapon trafficking, illegal migrants, contraband, fisheries protection, environmental protection, boat safety and disaster relief operations.”


PUP Delivers Signatures to Governor General for a Referendum to Recall Elvin Penner
The process to recall Hon. Elvin Penner from his seat took a major step on Thursday morning. Key facilitators, working on the ground to collect signatures, along with the Ministers, representatives and other key motivators of the recall mechanism knocked on the door of the Governor General’s office this...

People’s United Party Hands Over Petition to Recall Hon. Elvin Penner
People’s United Party leader Francis Fonseca hosted a briefing with the press at Independence Hall this afternoon in response to numerous national issues. At the top of the agenda was this morning’s handing over of the petition for the recall of Cayo Northeast representative Elvin Penner, which 2,003 voters...

Fire Mercilessly Cosumes Residence on Fabers’ Road
There was a housefire last night in Belize City. A family residing at #2909 Fabers Road were forced to quickly evacuate their premises when a fire caught and the family matriarch fainted due to smoke inhalation. Her daughter, Irma Crawford, spoke to us off-camera about the circumstances surrounding the incident....

Hon. Fonseca says Police Killings Worries the PUP
A growing concern is the number of incidents involving police officers, after two this week in Placencia and Ladyville. At yesterday’s press briefing held at Independence Hall, PUP leader Francis Fonseca commented on the state of affairs. Hon. Francis Fonseca- Leader of the Opposition “On the recent police shootings,...

Motorbike Accident Sends one Injured into Hospital
A second accident occurred around that time at an intersection on Cayo Street in Belmopan. We understand that a motorist was knocked off his cycle on collision with a white vehicle. The motorist was taken to the Western Regional Hospital by a passerby.

PM Barrow Comments on Escalating State of Affairs of UB Faculty and Staff Association
The last we’ve heard of UB President Dr. Carey Fraser is that he is on leave. It is not certain how long he will be absent, or the nature of his leave, but in the meantime, Interim Provost, Wilmer Wright will hold over. As we have reported, the President...

New Photography Exhibits Shows Garifuna Life
November 19 may have come and gone but the rich cultural history of the Garinagu needs more than one day to be celebrated. This Friday the Image Factory is opening an exhibit on Garifuna culture called “3X Focus.” It is a collection of photographs from a trio of Belizean...

National Protected Areas to be Branded
Over 27% of all territory in Belize is under environmental protection, whether as national parks, monuments and reserves, or private sanctuaries and special grounds for animals. One of the common misconceptions about protected areas is that they are completely off-limits to those who make a living when in fact,...

Alleged Jealousy of Violent Woman Proved Murderous
A quote from B.C. Forbes goes, “Jealousy…is a mental cancer.” In August of 2012, this cancer proved murderous. Last year an alleged jealous and outraged estrange common-law wife who was no longer in a relationship with her baby’s biological father was accused of running over her ex-boyfriend with a...

Rural Development Officer Encounters Death on Vehicle Crash
The family of a Rural Development Officer is tonight mourning the death of their loved one, after he perished in a road accident last night. The incident occurred around 4:55 in the evening around Mile 46 and Mile 47 on the George Price Highway. 41 year old Efrain Cowo...

Fisheries Department Addresses EU Ban
While Belize’s local fisheries exports to the European Union (EU) have not been affected by a proposed ban on vessels carrying the Belize flag from selling products which the Union believes are caught illegally, there is a risk and the Government has moved to act. Their actions are based...

President of UB’s Vexatious Letter to Board’s Head
As we mentioned, Dr. Carey Fraser wrote to PM indicating that he was exploring an option that would see him leave the university next year. That letter was written on November 6th and copied to the Minister of Education as well as the leader of the Opposition. Now on...

Prime Minister Barrow Allays Fears on Petro-Caribe
In the context of addressing plans for improved infrastructure, the Prime Minister mentioned the Petro-Caribe initiative in which Belize saves millions in interest from concessionary loans by Venezuela which can only be used for capital projects. Some have called for the money to be used for other purposes and...


The McKay and Escarpeta families of Ladyville are tonight mourning the death of a family member, Travis McKay, 22, of Army Camp Road, Ladyville. He died on the spot after being shot in the head in a shootout with police at about 3:50 this afternoon in a yard behind the Ladyville basketball court. The official police report of the incident stated that about 3:30 this afternoon, Rafael Hernandez, 60, a Ladyville butcher, reported that while he was at his business, Belize Country Products of Mile 9 on the Philip Goldson Highway, a man ran into his business wearing a green mask, black sweater and long khaki pants, brandishing a handgun. The man then closed the door and demanded money. The thief proceeded to grab money from out the drawer and ran out of the building and across the Philip Goldson Highway into an abandoned house located beside Blue House Bar. Ladyville police who were in the area responded, continued the police release, and cornered the suspect on Seagull Street. The suspect then pulled out a .38 revolver and fired three shots at the marked police mobile unit, police said.

The 2012 murder of Jasmine Lowe resurrected public calls for the resumption of the death penalty in Belize. The issue has been off the front burner since, but was brought to the fore last month when a UK official, speaking at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council Working Group’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), held in Geneva, Switzerland, called on Belize to undertake a public consultation on the complete abolition of the death penalty. Prime Minister Dean Barrow said at a press conference Wednesday: “They’ve been on with this capital punishment thing for years now. Everybody knows that practically speaking, no judge orders execution, so it’s not happening. If they want us to take it off the books, I certainly won’t agree with them at all. I absolutely and completely disagree. I believe that capital punishment, if we were able to implement it, would serve as a deterrent, so there is no sympathy at all for that recommendation.” Kent Bowers was the last person to be executed by the state of Belize. He was hanged in June 1985. However, the UK official said that in 2012, Belize was unable to join 111 other states in supporting a worldwide moratorium on execution as a step towards total abolition—a decision in which she said the UK was “disappointed.”

Some three weeks ago, the unions – in particular the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) and the Public Service Union (PSU)– complained to the media because they thought that it was time to go back to the negotiating table with Government with regards to their proposed salary adjustments, especially since Prime Minister Dean Barrow had publicly said that GOB was “rolling in millions and millions of dollars.” Well, it appears that they will get their salary adjustments as promised – just not right now. Sporting a new look at today’s press conference, Prime Minister Barrow assured the public servants that they would get a pay raise; however, he added that they (the unions) need to exercise patience. The unions are hoping that Government heeds their demands and commits to setting a minimum salary increase, known commonly as a ‘floor’.

Vincent Tillett, 49, also known as “Stino,” was sentenced to 15 years in prison this morning when he appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas. Tillett was convicted of the lesser crime of manslaughter on November 15, 2013, in a trial without jury for the February 13, 2011 stabbing of Darwin Phillips, 22. Phillips was at the home of Denise Stuart celebrating the birthdays of three persons in that family. Between 7:00 and 7:30 that night, Tillett arrived at the house to drop off two of the four children he has with Stuart. Tillett went into the kitchen and when he emerged, he approached Phillips and stabbed him once in his chest, in front of his young children, and Phillips’ child, who were there watching a movie. On February 14, 2011, Tillett contacted police and told them they could apprehend him by the Haulover Bridge, which they did. During an interview with the police, Tillett confessed to stabbing Phillips because Phillips threatened to kill him.

While some might consider it as an attempt to counteract or even undermine yesterday’s press conference conducted by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in which the GOB rolled out a proposed infrastructure plan worth $200 million dollars, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Francis Fonseca, single-handedly staged a press conference this afternoon at the PUP’s Independence Hall. Fonseca opened the press conference with the news that the People’s United Party (PUP) has submitted approximately 2,003 petition signatures to the Governor General – all in support of a recall of current Cayo North East area representative, Hon. Elvin Penner. According to Fonseca, a “writ of referendum” will now be issued for the Cayo Northeast constituency 15 days after the signatures have been reviewed. That is expected to be around January 15th of next year. He also conceded that it will be an “uphill battle”, but he maintained that the PUP is committed to seeing the process through and achieving the difficult 65% threshold that stands almost as an impediment to the procedure.

Although Immigration Minister, Hon. Godwin Hulse, was still reluctant to divulge any detailed information about the “ongoing” investigations into the recent passport scandal, he did provide some additional information regarding the situation at the embattled Immigration and Nationality Departments, including the hiring of an assistant CEO in the Immigration Ministry. The “Penner Passport Scandal” that surfaced just before Belize’s 32nd anniversary of Independence in September, is still very much in the minds of many Belizeans. Former Minister of State and Cayo Northeast area representative, Hon. Elvin Penner – the man who was fired from Cabinet for his involvement in the granting of a Belizean passport to a man who was in a Taiwanese prison at the time – is still the area representative for his constituency.

Mr. Belize 2012/2013, Rigo Vellos, won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on Sunday, November 24, at the annual Yucatan Festival in Xmatkuil, Merida. Belize’s top bodybuilder, who trains at Spartan Fitness Gym in Corozal Town, competed in the “80kg and over” category, defeating dozens of other international competitors. He then advanced to the overall category and defeated well-known Mexican bodybuilders such as Surizaday Alba Peña of Mexico’s “The Gym” and Isaac Acuña of “AM Gym.” This is a historic achievement for Belize. This was the first time a Belizean competed in the event. And now, a Belizean can claim the top title in one of Mexico’s most competitive bodybuilding competitions.

Eight (8) games were played over the weekend, 2 in each of the 4 zones, in Week 1 of the FFB Inter-District Tournament 2013. In Zone 1, P.G. Police United crushed M&M Steelers, 5-0, with goals from Devin Burgess (7’ & 47’), Rowlin Burgess (21’ PK) and Deon Burgess (25’ & 81’). And Mavericks FC dropped GB United, 5-2, with 2 goals from Kenton Galvez and 1 apiece from Everette Recinos, Leslie Williams and Andre Logan; while GB United goals were by Henry Jimenez and Jose Lopez. In Zone 2, Hope Creek Pumas came from being down a goal to dispose of Roaring Creek FC, 5-1. Lionel Cabral had a hat trick (38’, 45’ & 84) and Victor Trujillo netted 2 goals (27’ & 85’) for Hope Creek, while Roaring Creek’s only goal was by Orin Reneau (16’). And San Martin FC drew, 1-1, with Green Gold FC. Melvin Barrientos (13’) put San Martin in front early, but Jeffery Apolonio (82’) equalized for Green Gold.

SCFA 1st Division Tournament update The Stann Creek Football Association (SCFA) Old Master Rum & Paul’s Guest House 1st Division Tournament 2013 had 2 back matches last night at the Carl Ramos Stadium to complete Week 11 of the tournament. In game 1, Umadagu FC defeated Aquillas, 3-1, with a goal each from Brandon Flores (26’), Earl Cacho (39’) and Victor Hernandez (61’). Aquillas’ only goal was by Lionel Thompson (44’). In game 2, Green Gold FC and New Site FC played to a 4-4 stalemate. Shaking the net for Green Gold were Erick Rivas (17’ & 38’), Hugo Franco (22’) and Hector Gomez; while New Site goals were by Brando Murillo (45’), Hasaan Lucas (54’) and Kyle Valerio (64’ & 90’+ PK). All back matches for the SCFA Old Master & Pal’s Guest House Cup are being played on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

There were several subjects discussed at Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s first press conference since his back surgery in Los Angeles three weeks ago. This was on Wednesday morning at the Biltmore Hotel, just a day after the harrowing details of the weekend beating, torture and murder of Tyson Rodriguez had sparked a heated exchange on KREM Radio’s WUB call-in show. That indirect exchange took place between a member of Belize City’s street public and a police officer. For some reason, the topic of Tyson Rodriguez, a victim of police violence in the Placencia peninsula over the weekend, did not come up at the PM’s press conference. Just a few hours after that press conference, a Ladyville youth was shot dead in the village, and early indications are that the deadly shooting was done by the police. Two weeks or so ago, a letter to the newspaper from a member of Belize’s expatriate retirement community discussed violence and crime perpetrated by Belizeans against members of the expat community. The indications are that police believed Tyson Rodriguez to be one of a trio of home invaders who brutally beat and robbed a middle-aged Canadian retiree couple in their Placencia home. The letter writer’s fears were real.

I do not agree with Clinton Uh Luna’s opinion of Samuel Haynes as a “hero of the Baymen’s clan.” I believe that Uh Luna’s reason for coming up with such an opinion has to do with certain parts of the Haynes poem which Rt. Hon. George Price chose for Belize’s national anthem. That poem was originally titled “Land of the gods,” and I believe it was written by Samuel Haynes while he was in self-imposed exile in the New York/New Jersey area in the early 1930s. The esteemed Mr. Haynes’ sojourn in the United States began in the early 1920s with Haynes working in Harlem as a high-ranking official of Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Before proceeding, let me say, brazenly and controversially, that I consider it a typically Belizean stunt for “them” to change Haynes’ poem to “Land of the free,” because the official line was that Belizeans believe in only one God, so Haynes’ poetic reference to our being a “land of the gods” was inappropriate. For me, this change was petty, disrespectful, and so typically Belizean. A poem is a poem is a poem. Haynes was a devout Methodist: he believed in only one God. There is a thing called “poetic license,” which allows the poet all kinds of latitude. Mr. Haynes was dead when you changed his original composition because of your religious uptightness. Disrespect.

F “Upon decision of the [European] Council to put the three countries [including Belize] on the list of non-cooperating countries, fisheries products caught by fishing vessels flying the flag of these countries cannot be imported into the EU any longer.” Prime Minister Dean Barrow said at a press conference in Belize City on Wednesday that Belize will do whatever it takes to comply with the demands of the European Union (EU) in a recent call by the European Commission to ban fisheries imports from Belize-flagged vessels on the high seas, over allegations that Belize has not been doing enough to meet standards imposed by EU regulations on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. Prime Minister Barrow said that the possible consequences of the EU ban don’t extend to anything more than the fisheries products caught on Belize-flagged vessels, and they do not affect shrimp. Belize also exports bananas and sugar to the EU. An official press release from the Ministry of Finance said, “…the European Commission [EC] has assured Belize that while any decision relating to IUU fishing will impact fisheries trade ‘the measures will not impact any other aspect of economic trade with Belize and the EU’.” Belize has registered 128 such fishing vessels, of which about 20 fish in the Atlantic Ocean and discharge their fish at the European Union ports.

The land dispute between the family of Rodwell Williams, Sr., and the Yearwood family of Cemetery Lane is scheduled to go before Supreme Court Justice Rita Joseph Olivette on Monday, when the judge is expected to hear an application from the Williams family for the court’s intervention, so that they can build on what the Yearwoods contend is their family property. Amandala understands that Rodwell Williams, Sr., who is being represented by his son, Rodwell Williams, Jr., a Senior Counsel, has submitted a claim against Sharette, Keith, Elaine and Gary Yearwood. Both families have purported to hold title documents to the property, originally owned by Richard Young of Gracie Rock, but deeded collectively to his descendants in perpetuity back in the 1930s. (The Yearwoods say they are descendants of the Youngs.) In late October, Williams, Jr., reportedly had a gacho shop, owned by a businesswoman who had been using another property of his, moved to the premises for which he steadfastly claims that his father, Rodwell, Sr., holds title.

About 44,715 people, or 13.42% of the population of Belize, are living with diabetes. The statistic was released by the International Diabetes Federation. The Diabetes Federation also revealed that about 382 million people had diabetes in 2013, and by 2035, 592 million people will be suffering with the disease. The number of people with Type 2 diabetes is also increasing in every country. Eighty percent of people with diabetes live in low- and middle-income countries, with the greatest number being within the 40 to 59 age range. It has been reported that more people in Belize die from diabetes than from violence yearly. There are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 diabetes is called insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, and surfaces in its sufferers from early in life (childhood or adolescence). People suffering with Type 1 diabetes show a complete lack of the insulin hormone, and insulin must be taken regularly as treatment.

Today, Monday, November 25, is Zero Tolerance for Violence Against Women and Girls Day. It also marks the first of 16 Days of Activism to end gender-based violence against women; and this morning, in a show of solidarity for the initiative, about 26 female students from Maud Williams High School and Sadie Vernon High School in Belize City took to the city streets to march and bring awareness to the incidents of violence against women and girls. The 16 Days of Activism is part of an annual calendar of events which are organized by the Women’s Department to promote awareness on the issue of domestic abuse, which unfortunately has been increasingly prevalent in our society. The initiative coincides with Women’s Month and therefore, activities are being held countrywide to educate the public as well as to celebrate the role of women in our communities.

— by Audrey Matura - Shepherd The Rule of Law is one of the hallmarks of our Constitution and it is one of the pillars that make a country a constitutional democracy. The Rule of Law is a term said and used with the hope that all understand it, so the layman’s version is “no man is above the law.” The simple gist of Rule of Law is that if a country or society seeks to be civilized, it must be governed by clearly defined laws by which ALL or EVERYONE in said society must abide by or be measured by. So the laws we are talking about apply to all equally and no one is above those laws … There are no exceptions. They may be man-made laws, but many are derived from Natural or God-given laws. When a person is born into a society/country, they are bound, without signing a paper contract, to abide by those laws and agree that those laws will govern them. If as they grow they do not wish to live by those laws, they must either lobby to change them, or move away to a society that allows the laws they want or pay the price if convicted of breaking the law.

“These people won’t stop until they kill off our offshore sector” The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) recently issued a cautionary note against Belize, saying that, “Members are therefore called upon to consider implementing counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks emanating from Belize.” On November 20, 2013, the CFATF went on to list Belize among three jurisdictions which it said have not made sufficient progress in addressing the deficiencies to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks. It said that Belize has made efforts to address its deficiencies; however, it has not taken sufficient steps towards improving its AML/CFT compliance regime, by failing to approve and implement required legislative reforms.

The Senate inquiry into Social Security financing schemes, held back in 2005, under the administration of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), demonstrated to the country of Belize that the upper house of Parliament has more power than merely rubber-stamping bills handed to them by the politicians in the lower house of Parliament. With the ruling United Democratic Party’s rise to power in 2008, a manifesto promise was made to install a 13th Senator, to be appointed from within the NGO community; but the ruling party has since reneged on that commitment, on the claim that doing so would result in paralysis in the Legislature. The refusal of the Government to bring into effect a provision in the Constitution which would pave the way for that appointment was highlighted recently when a motion by the PUP, calling for a Senate investigation into the passport and visa scandal, failed because the ruling party—which holds 6 of 12 seats, voted against it, and the President of the Senate voted in alliance with the ruling party. Had the 13th Senator been appointed, the outcome would have been different.

The recent rains over the past few weeks have undeniably caused considerable damage to a number of Belize City streets, and the Belize City Council is moving with a sense of urgency to remedy the situation. Motorists have not only had to dodge monstrous potholes on many streets in order to reach their destinations, but drivers are also complaining that they have had to dig deep in their pockets to pay for continuing damage done to their vehicles. The street works – which are scheduled to commence as early as tomorrow morning – will result in some inconveniences for drivers who use the two main arteries to come into the Old Capital. This afternoon, the Belize City Council’s Public Relations Officer, Kenny Morgan, briefed the media on the degree of work that will be done, and how city residents will be affected. Morgan said, “Two intersections will be affected; one being our present location at the corner of Partridge Street and the George Price Highway. The entire section between the Lord Ridge Cemetery and Partridge Street to its junction with Vernon Street will be worked on starting tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m.”

“These rains have really played hell with us,” Prime Minister Barrow says, but “Immediate help is on the way…” Rains caused $2.6 million in damage; GOB announces $78 mil in road works, $200 mil total in infrastructure works. No district in Belize has escaped major infrastructural damage due to the recent weeks of battering rains, and the headline issue at Wednesday morning’s briefing hosted by Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow—who has about six weeks to go before he can get back to his regular duty after major back surgery—was to announce nationwide infrastructure works which will be implemented over the span of the next three years. Barrow called it “an extremely muscular plan… a plan on steroids.” He said that “the menu of projects” that Government plans to finance “will for sure amount to 200 million dollars or not too much below,” and noted that the timeline for implementation would take them very close to the time for the next general elections. Those works have become necessary as a consequence of what Barrow described as “absolute devastation that has been wrought by a period of almost unceasing rain”—and the damage estimate following the weeks of rain is in the millions.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has returned a Mayan artifact stolen from Lubaantun to Belize. The Government of Belize announced on Tuesday that H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America, received the artifact in Washington, D.C. on Monday, November 25, 2013. “The FBI agents informed that the item was taken by a student who visited the site on a field trip. After learning that a student had possession of the artifact, University [New Hampshire University] authorities contacted the FBI,” the Government of Belize said in a statement. “At the handing over, Ambassador Mendez thanked the University for its swift action and the FBI for repatriating the [ocarina],” the statement added.

BSI tells cañeros take their “beef” to the court! Barrow to meet with cañeros Monday to try to broker a truce. The current crisis facing Belize’s sugar industry could not just result in multi-million-dollar losses in the north—but could also trigger dire domino effects on Belize’s macroeconomic landscape, should the gridlock between the 5,339 listed cañeros and the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI), a subsidiary of American Sugar Refining, continue to persist beyond December 15. That’s the longest possible date that cañeros can hold out before harmful effects are visited upon the industry, and the cañeros themselves, BSI officials told the media at a press conference they held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City on Tuesday morning. However, cañeros are not backing down from their demand – that demand being that BSI should give cane farmers a share of the monies they have earned from the sale of power generated from bagasse, because an agreement between the parties stipulates that they are to get a share of funds earned from by-products of the sugar cane.

A collision between a James Bus and a truck occurred at about Mile 42 on the George Price Highway around 4:30 this afternoon. The collision caused minor injuries to two persons on the bus — a man, 32, who complained of back pain, and a little girl, 6, who began to bleed from the nose. An ambulance later took the injured man, a resident of Kings Park in Belize City, to the Belmopan Hospital for treatment. The driver of the James Bus told police that he was travelling from Belmopan to Belize City, and the truck was travelling from Belize City to Belmopan. He reported that the truck driver suddenly swerved across the lane to enter a side street on the left side, across the road.

• Belize’s government debt and interest burden remain high, limiting fiscal flexibility • Declining oil production and payment of compensation claims will likely widen the current account deficit starting in 2015 • Growth to remain below historical norms at 2.5% on average over 2014-2016 The international ratings agency, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, has released its latest sovereign ratings for Belize. In a report dated Wednesday, November 27, it affirmed the ‘B-/B’ foreign and local currency long-term and short-term ratings for Belize. Such ratings mean that adverse business conditions will likely impair ability to meet financial commitments. It also suggests that although the country can meet short-term financial commitments, it grapples with significant uncertainties.

The Belize Times

Last week the UDP ragsheet was quick to call whistleblower Alverine Burgess a liar after a US embassy official declared that the embassy does not listen in on our conversations. It appears that may be a technical truth, since it would be the Department of Homeland Security (and not the embassy) that would be listening in. Due to the very sensitive nature of a foreign government listening in on the affairs of local politicians, we may never know the true situation. What has been revealed this week though, is that Edmund Castro is 100% a liar. And, if you believe the Dean Barrow of three weeks ago who publicly declared that any of his Ministers who issued 10, 20 or 30 visa recommendations is one of Ali Baba’s thieves, then it would follow that Edmund Castro is also 100% a visa hustler. Remember the first conversation that Jules Vasquez had with Edmund Castro after the whistleblower blew his lid? Castro barked at Jules “I don’t know anything about any damn visas for Chinese nationals”.

Francis Fonseca assists residents of Belama Phase 4
This week the Freetown Area Representative and PUP Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca lent a helping hand to residents of Belama Phase 4 who are suffering from ...

Needed: A Competent Minister of Works, CEO of Works & Chief Engineer!! – GOB fails to repair crumbling infrastructure nationwide
As much as CORRUPTION has become entrenched in the Barrow Administration, INCOMPETENCE will truly be their legacy as every sector of Belize has ...

A storm is brewing
By G. Michael Reid Before you read this first paragraph and turn away, let me inform you that this article is not about Penner. As promised though, I will continue to remind you of the gross injustice perpetrated by this boy and this government. It is my hope that, since this ...

This is what will cause the government to fall
“We are suffering from corruption, oppression and bad education. We are living amid a corrupt system which has to change” – Noha Hamed, twenty four, a worker in Egypt during the uprising that brought down the government. The basic norm in a parliamentary democratic state as Belize professes to be, is that a government governs by the consent of the governed. And since we pride ourselves on holding periodic elections when the people freely elect their leaders, then we are expected to wait until the next election day to return or to remove those who rule over us. To quote from the Preamble to our nation’s Constitution: Whereas the People of Belize… “believe that the will of the people shall form the basis of government in a democratic society in which the government is freely elected by universal adult suffrage and in which all persons may, to the extent of their capacity play some part in the institutions of national life and thus develop and maintain due respect for lawfully constituted authority”. This may be the ideal. But if truth be told, the will of the Belizean people was subverted from the days leading up to the general elections of March 2012 when several Ministers including Elvin Penner brazenly and fraudulently secured hundreds of nationality documents for persons who did not qualify for citizenship and illegally fast-tracked their registration as voters. With all that, Penner won by 17 votes.

Mr. Belize place 1st in Bodybuilding Competition in Merida
2012/2013 Mr. Belize, Rigo Vellos, won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on Sunday, November 24 ...

Paradise Freedom Fighters are No. 1 in Belikin Cup football
The Paradise Freedom Fighters of Punta Gorda secured the No. 1 spot in the Premier League of Belize as they struggled to a 1-1 draw with FC Belize in ...

Hurricanes win Bros. Habet table tennis championship
The Brothers Habet team table tennis championship finals at the Belize Elementary School auditorium on Sunday saw the Hurricanes crowned as 1st Division Champs while Team Garage and the St. Joseph’s Pros won their 3rd Division ...

The world is full of practical concepts. Every day principles and realities of life constantly bombard us with boundaries. A child who aspires to write books is told to change his dream to one that makes money in Belize. A young man, talented in drawing, is forced to study engineering ...

The BSCFA – BSI/ASR difference over Bagasse
By Richard Harrison The Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) (the farmers) and the Belize Sugar Industries/American Sugar Refinery (the processors).....are at an impasse over the definition of bagasse as a by-product of sugarcane. "the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any bi-product not covered in their present agreement will ...

Costly Corporate Greed – BSI/ASR’s position is bitter for sugar industry
American Sugar Refining (ASR) Inc., the new foreign owners of Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) thanks to the Barrow Administration, has taken a position of corporate greed which is bitter and could prove costly for the important sugar industry. ASR has rejected the cane farmers’ request for payment of $10 per ton of bagasse (sugar cane waste product) that is collected from the sugar cane delivered to the mill. ASR through its subsidiary company, Belcogen, utilizes the bagasse to produce electricity through its cogeneration plant. The electricity is then sold to BEL and BSI, earning millions of revenue for ASR; therefore, cane farmers classify bagasse as a by-product of sugar cane or at least a product of value. But ASR’s position is a hardcore NO. At a press conference held on Monday morning in Belize City, the company’s vice-president, Ricardo Lima, stated that the cane farmers have absolutely no claim. “The issue here is that we feel that since the farmers had no risk, did not put any money into Belcogen, have not invested into Belcogen – the product of electricity which is a result of the one hundred and thirty million dollar Belize investment by BSI should not go to anybody else but BSI. That’s just pure business fairness, and that’s what we call it,” stated Lima defiantly. The cane farmers disagree.

The New Revolution – Building on the Peaceful Constructive Belizean Revolution
By C. Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader “..There are constant cycles in history. There is loss, but it is always followed by regeneration. The tales of our elders who remember such cycles are very important to us now.” - Carmen Agra Deedy, Cuban-American Writer Just the thought of sitting and having a conversation with ...

The time has come!
By Dolores Balderamos Garcia A little over a week ago it came to my attention that a letter had been written to the newspapers making the proposal that Ladyville/Lord's Bank should become a town. The letter is written by Major Lloyd Jones, retired officer of the BDF who lives in the ...

By Francis W. Fonseca The MOU dated October 5, 1989 between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries Ltd. states that both parties “agree that the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any by-product not covered in their present agreement will be subject to future discussions ...

We Need A New Constitution
Dear Editor, Example # 1: On November 26, 2013 the Government of Belize held a House Meeting. After this meeting the media reported that Hon. John Saldivar secured an approval from the Prime Minister for $150,000 to assist the Belmopan City Council with much needed repairs to the streets of Belmopan. If you ...

Deplorable Streets in Port Loyola!
Dear Editor, I write to condemn the very terrible condition of the network of streets in Port Loyola. I know that the majority of the streets in Belize City are in a bad state, but the ones in Port Loyola are ten times worst. Presently the waterholes on Faber’s Rd. Extension, Louis ...

Editor Sir: Blackmail is effective if one is afraid to be exposed. It is said that foreign governments have irrefutable, incriminating evidence of wrong-doing by certain ministers, which they will not release, if the Prime Minister does their bidding. The Prime Minister, relying on the good sense of the Belizean people, should call ...

International Sources

Belize Adventure Honeymoon Trailer - 2013
Dionne and I got married and then went on an adventure to Belize! All of these activities we did through Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge, and were shot on my GoPro!

Charity begins here?
Why does Yvonne Truman collect every year for an orphanage in Belize? There are orphanages in Bahrain, orphans in Palestine, Syria and Iraq. Charity begins at home. The flood victims here in Bahrain could do with her donation. Why is she sending Bahraini dinars to South America??? Susan Andrews Yvonne Trueman: I have been raising funds in Bahrain for Bahrain charities for over 30 years including running six marathons. The Belize Orphanage is an extra charity which I support as this was what my son was doing when he was killed 19 years ago, so this is very close to my heart. The current flood charities I am also supporting, so I am trying to share myself around.

Latin America and the Caribbean advance toward universal access to HIV treatment
Three out of four people who need antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Latin America and the Caribbean are receiving it, according to a new report from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). That leaves one in four without the life-saving treatment but represents a 10% improvement in just two years and puts Latin America and the Caribbean ahead of all other developing regions in levels of ART coverage. “Latin America and the Caribbean lead the world in providing and expanding antiretroviral treatment on the basis of technological innovation and scientific evidence,” writes PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne in the preface to the report, Antiretroviral Treatment in the Spotlight: a Public Health Analysis in Latin America and the Caribbean 2013. “What remains is to close the gap in treatment coverage and ensure equitable access to and delivery of services,” writes Etienne.

Fisheries Officials Angered by EU Import Ban
The EU has moved to ban fish imports from Cambodia and two other countries, in a move to sanction illegal fishing operations under flags of convenience. Cambodia exports little fish to Europe itself, but it does allow its flag to be flown by many vessels, prompting the import ban, which also included Belize and Guinea and must be ratified by the EU before it goes into effect. In announcing the proposed ban Tuesday, Maria Damanaki, the EU's fisheries commissioner, said that the problem with the three countries was their inability to “control their fleet.” “How can they claim in these circumstances that the fish caught under their flag or in their coastal waters is sustainable?” she said. Nov Thuak, director general of the fisheries department in the Department of Agriculture, said the ban “dishonored” Cambodia.

What archives? UK ordered destruction of ‘embarrassing’ colonial papers
Britain systematically destroyed documents in colonies that were about to gain independence, declassified Foreign Office files reveal. ‘Operation Legacy’ saw sensitive documents secretly burnt or dumped to cover up traces of British activities. The latest National Archives publication made from a collection of 8,800 colonial-era files held by the Foreign Office for decades revealed deliberate document elimination by British authorities in former colonies. The secret program dubbed ‘Operation Legacy’ was in force throughout the 1950s and 1960s, in at least 23 countries and territories under British rule that eventually gained independence after WWII. Among others these countries included: Belize, British Guiana, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia and Singapore, Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia and Zimbabwe), Tanzania, and Uganda. In a telegram from the UK Colonial Office dispatched to British embassies on May 3, 1961, colonial secretary Iain Macleod instructed diplomats to withhold official documents from newly elected independent governments in those countries, and presented general guidance on what to do. British diplomats were briefed on how exactly they were supposed to get rid of documents that “might embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants (such as police agents or informers)” or “might compromise sources of intelligence”, or could be put to ‘wrong’ use by incoming national authorities.

Cayman Islands, Costa Rica sign tax pacts with U.S.
The United States has signed agreements with the Cayman Islands and Costa Rica to help those countries' banks comply with an anti-tax evasion law starting next year, the Treasury Department said on Friday. The deals are part of the U.S. effort to enforce the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), enacted in 2010 and set to take effect in July 2014. FATCA requires foreign financial institutions to tell the U.S. Internal Revenue Service about Americans' offshore accounts worth more than $50,000. It was enacted after a Swiss banking scandal showed U.S. taxpayers hid substantial fortunes overseas. Costa Rica was one of three Central America countries the Organization for Economic Development and Co-operation (OECD) has tagged as a tax haven. Panama and Belize were the other two. Significantly, the Costa Rica deal is reciprocal, meaning the Costa Rican government can get tax information about its citizens with assets in the United States.

Revealed: the bonfire of papers at the end of Empire
The full extent of the destruction of Britain's colonial government records during the retreat from empire was disclosed on Thursday with the declassification of a small part of the Foreign Office's vast secret archive. Fifty-year-old documents that have finally been transferred to the National Archive show that bonfires were built behind diplomatic missions across the globe as the purge – codenamed Operation Legacy – accompanied the handover of each colony. The declassified documents include copies of an instruction issued in 1961 by Iain Macleod, colonial secretary, that post-independence governments should not be handed any material that "might embarrass Her Majesty's [the] government", that could "embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers", that might betray intelligence sources, or that might "be used unethically by ministers in the successor government".

November 29, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The latest Tia Chocolate column is ready for reading!!!
Peanut Brother & Jelly:
The other day, as I sat in the drudgery of deadlines and air conditioning (haha, just kidding, I do kinda like my job), my little brother came by for his usual homework help. He’s a twin, but they were separated in school, so I only see one at a time. It’s relief really, since when they are together, I can hardly handle their cuteness. Anyway, Kevin swings by with his best friend Ramses, who’s at least two heads shorter than him, but has a smile that is more of a beam - a bright, blinding light. I mean I practically swoon at his smile, it’s so wide and contagious; and his eyes sparkle with mischief, even when he’s just asking for help. Enamored of him, I asked him if I can adopt him as my little brother as well, and he nodded yes. So, now I have four brothers total. It’s really fun as I only see them occasionally, plus I’m their homework hero – so it’s love, love, love and more love all around.

The San Pedro Sun

Join us in celebrating the annual Lighted Boat Parade!
The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade organization is in full swing in anticipation of Saturday December 7th, when gaily decorated and lighted boats will illuminate the sea. The San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) is actively seeking the support of the local business community to assist us in ensuring that this will be a successful, fun event that can be enjoyed by the many spectators on the island. We ask that any business that will benefit from the parade, or that enjoys the boat parade will consider making a donation. We are seeking gift certificates and cash awards as the prizes for the Best Boat, Most Creative Boat, Most Religious boat etc. receive prizes.

San Pedro Town celebrates 29 years… Happy Township Day!
San Pedro Town celebrated 29 years of being a municipality on November 27th. Two different events took place to commemorate the occasion. The first was an awards ceremony hosted on the beach at Ramon’s Village Resort on the night of Tuesday November 26th and the second was a students’ rally held on Wednesday November 27th at the San Pedro High School. Organized by the San Pedro Town Council, the first event was held to recognize people that have contributed to the growth of the island. Keynote speaker for the occasion was Manager of Ramon’s Village Resort Einer Gomez. In his remarks, Gomez said that the forefathers of the island had a dream and along with their dedication to the settlement, eventually led to the development of San Pedro Town, one of the best municipalities in the country. “But what is most rewarding is that our fathers embraced all that was instilled in them and made this community one of the most envied and respected throughout our country. Our fathers were the ones that paved the way for us to live better lives. The life we enjoy today. With their hard work and sweat they converted a community into a village.” Gomez said the native islanders have embraced what the island has turned out to be. “We have learned to adapt to grow not only as a Town but also as a tourist destination by protecting our environment and at the same time being proud of our past.” He highlighted that it is the togetherness and unity that makes San Pedro stand out from the rest of the country. “Time and time again, we have shown the world that our community is vibrant and alive. Ironically, it’s disasters like hurricanes, fires, sickness that brings out the San Pedranos in us to a fault! A fault that is contagious and admirable. In times of need, we are all one! This quality is not found anywhere and it is this quality that keeps us together. When one succeeds we all succeed.”

Ambergris Today

Preparations for SP Holiday Boat Parade in Full Swing
Since the inception of the San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade on Ambergris Caye seven years ago, residents and tourists have been looking forward to the special event that kicks off the holiday/tourist season on the island. Lights, sound and cheerful glee fill the night’s sky and everybody at Central Park, at home or at their special viewing spot has a great time. The San Pedro Holiday Lighted Boat Parade organization is in full swing and the San Pedro Business Association is actively seeking the support of the local business community to assist us in ensuring that this will be a successful, fun event that can be enjoyed by the many spectators on the island. Ambergris Today has always been an avid supporter and sponsor of this special event. Here is an update from the SPBA as they ask the community for their full support in order to make the Boat Parade a smashing success once again.

Misc Belizean Sources

In Our Own Words Video
We're in the middle of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. A powerful video was released by the Special Envoy for Women and Children where they interviewed kids from all around Belize, some in Cayo, and asked them about the consequences of violence. In related news, tomorrow morning at the Cayo Welcome Center, the Ministry of Health is having an information fair as one of the activities for the 16 Days. It starts at 9:00am. "Violence affects everyone. In this video children and adolescents from across the country share their stories and feeling about violence in Belize. In their own words. Produced for the Special Envoy for Women & Children, National Committee on Families and Children (NCFC) and UNICEF."

News Exchange Magazine Issue 15
News Exchange Magazine has their Fall 2013 issue in stores. There are some cool articles; definitely worth picking up. Tons of exquisite pictures too, and the cover girl lives in Cayo. "News Exchange Magazine has their newest issue out. It has a little of everything Belize in it. From culture, to food, to fashion, and many of the great photgraphers have some nice shots in this issue. You can get a copy at Venus Records and Gifts in Cayo. We were able to track down the model from the front page, and had her sign a copy. Thanks, Asuncion Martinez! Danny Chung took the perfect cover photo."

Belize River Valley Expo
The Belize River Valley Eco Tourism and Commerce Expo, organized by the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group, starts tomorrow. They'll have information booths from many different businesses and NGO's, and there will also be a county music competition. If you are interested, or would like more information, email them at "Informational booth, funding agencies, conservation NGO's, Cultural activities, 1st ever local country music competition, plantation dance, kis-kis, fly brush making, rice and cohune beating. Also get local wine, local eggs, turkey, local chickens, organic vegetables, Christmas decorations, cohune oil, coconut oil, tablata, wangla and much more!"

Talla Walla Vibrations at Soul Project
Musical interlude of the day. Emmeth Young and the Talla Walla Vibrations rocked the Soul Project for Independence Day. Here's a short video that captures some of the amazing rythyms of the night. Tomorrow night is Friday, which means it's their Open Mic Night, so you can catch some great, free music along with awesome tacos and drinks. The Soul Project, Cayo's cultural hub, just released a handful of videos from their Open Mic Nights, and you can see them on their page. International artists like the World Culture Band and Keren Bein have played there multiple times. Tabby Johnson will be performing there on December 14th.

Three Regional Firms Win investor of the Year Awards
. The inaugural Regional Investor of the Year Award was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina before a host of invited guests, including members of the private sector from Belize. The event, part of the 4th Annual General Assembly of the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), was held in recognition of the contribution of foreign and local investors to the Caribbean. Receiving the award for Foreign Investor of the Year was Qualfon Guyana Inc., a business process outsourcing and call center service provider based in Georgetown, Guyana. Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Brian Kearney accepted the award on behalf of Qualfon. The values-driven company, he said, is not just about business but also about a passion for improving the lives of people in the communities they serve. ARS Humano, a privately held health insurance company in the Dominican Republic, was awarded for both the Local and overall winner of the Regional Investor of the Year. Marketing and Corporate Development Vice President Diomares Musa, in accepting the awards, said she is honored that the work of ARS Humano over the past fourteen years is being acknowledged by the Caribbean Export Development Agency and CAIPA.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Tater Cokunut Candy
Thishere can'y brings back minny a recolleckshuns o'yeers gone by. I wuz chattyun' wit my frien las week an' I knoe hern Mom an' mine made these can'y ever Christmus. I rilly enjoyet eatin thishere can'y togeth'r wit peenuts..I would ett a few shellet peenuts an' the I would take a bite o't' can'y. Can'y wuz a speshul treet an' so I tride ta make it las as long as I could. My Mom did nairy dip 'um n' chocolate, jes rollet 'um n' cokunut. I coultn’t find hern recipe so did t'bes o'whut I memberd an' wit t'hep o'my frien I must say thishere can'y tastes like I memberd. T' xtrey dark chocolate coatyun' helps balance t'sweetness o't' can'y. I uset tater flakes but I knoe my Mom did nairy have thems roun, she uset reglar mashet potatoes.

An Overview of Placencia Belize
Placencia Village, known more simply as Placencia, sits at the very tip of the narrow Placencia Peninsula in southern Belize. As a result, it feels more like an island. It’s just a few minutes walk from the lagoon side to the open Caribbean. Less than 500 people are lucky enough to be considered permanent residents of Placencia, Belize’s tranquil community. The majority are Creoles, and descendants of European settlers and African slaves. The Placencia Peninsula is sixteen miles long, home to two other communities: Seine Bight and Maya Beach, The name “Placencia” is actually a distortion of Punta Placentia, the name the Spaniards gave to the peninsula in the 1800s. In English, it means Point Pleasant. It’s not surprising. Placencia’s beaches are often declared the very best on mainland Belize. The village’s tourism association calls them “Barefoot Perfect”. But that designation fits the rest of the town as well. There are no paved roads in Placencia Village, merely a series of pathways for foot traffic. Main Street is a just a sidewalk! However, a number of luxury resorts have sprung up along the peninsula, adding a little more rush to the Placencia lifestyle.

Explore the Rio Frio Cave
The Rio Frio Cave is one of the most remarkable attractions in the Mountain Pine Ridge Nature Reserve. Everything is gigantic in this cave! When you enter, you will see huge stalactites hanging from the massive cathedral-like vault which was part of a cave system that the Maya used to bury their dead. Room size boulders are strewn throughout the cave and a stream flows through forming pools with cascading falls. Here is a video that provides an overview of Rio Frio Cave:

Dance X BZ 2013
Latino Dance Mix from Corozal - performing Saturday night, November 30th 8:00 PM... Bliss Centre Belize City. The Corozal Daily wishes them a huge success!

Alex Reid and Kevin Manzanero. Both persons are wanted by Corozal, Belize City and San Ignacio Police in connection with a number of robberies. They are considered armed and dangerous. If seen please contact the nearest Police station or Crime stoppers at 922 TIPS.

The Corozal Town Council has embarked on a street repair program
Patching all those streets leading to various Primary Schools in order to alleviate their current conditions. Below is the San Andres road leading to Mary Hill Primary School that was being graded. Other streets that have been patched are 5th Avenue and currently, works are being carried out on 1st Avenue in front of St. Francis Xavier Primary School and the southern entrance on 1st Avenue. Works will continue and we will bring you further updates as they progress.

Consejo Road Disaster Task Force writes letter of complaint against Mayor Hilberto Campos on bio-hazard threat at the Consejo road Dump site
NOTICE OF BREACH OF RESPONSIBILITY OF DUTY BY MR. CAMPOS, MAYOR FOR COROZAL TOWN Greetings Ms. Candelaria Saldivar Morter, It is with our sincerest regret that we are providing your office this letter of NOTICE OF BREACH OF RESPONSIBILITY OF DUTY BY MR. CAMPOS, MAYOR FOR COROZAL TOWN. It is the overwhelming consensus of the members of the recently organized Consejo Road Disaster Task Force, that Mr. Hilberto Campos, Mayor of Corozal Town, is blatantly guilty of flagrantly violating his oath of office. Mr. Campos' repeated acts of negligence are absolutely unacceptable. He has deliberately disregarded an organized group's initiative of residents of Consejo Community who are being pro-active and have already chosen to freely volunteer to donate money, labour and other necessary resources in an effort to assist local government in bringing about solutions to the current highly toxic Corozal Waste dump site bio hazard. Mr. Campos has knowingly committed an obvious breach of his responsibility by disregarding his clear duty as a municipal leader; as he has deliberately neglected to act responsibly in a matter vital to progress, due to the people of the Corozal Town and Consejo community.

Channel 7

PUP: “Run The Recall”
Eight weeks after their leader gave an ultimatum - the PUP today formally triggered a recall effort against UDP Cayo Northeast representative Elvin Penner. At 10:00 this morning Deputy Leader Julius Espat and Cayo Northeast Caretaker Orlando Habet, along with their recall team, presented 2003 signatures to the Governor General in Belmopan. They've been criticized for taking too long to hand in the signatures, but now the process begins in earnest. The Elections and Boundaries Office will now start the reconciliation process to determine if the PUP has met the 30% threshold for the writ of referendum to be issued. Today, Espat and Habet told the media that the 2 month collection and vetting process was important to ensure that the next step can be taken. As a result, they are confident that the threshold has been met: Orlando Habet, Cayo Northeast "Today we called it D-Day for delivery of the signatures for the recall against Elvin Penner. We commenced this collection of signatures on the 3rd of October and we did almost exactly a month of signature collection and after that we did vetting of the signatures at our office with our committee."

Opposition Leader Calls PM’s Visa Flip-Flop “Disgraceful”
And after the petition was submitted this morning in Belmopan, in the afternoon back at party headquarters in Belize City, Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, held a 45 minute press briefing where he spoke on matters of public interest. Foremost among those was the impasse in the sugar industry where BSI and the Cane Farmers can't agree on what price, if any, should be paid for bagasse. Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced the official government position, which is that bagasse has a value and the farmers should be paid for it. But he stressed that they shouldn't hold the industry hostage by refusing the deliver cane. And what does Francis Fonseca say? Pretty much the same thing: that farmers should not protest by delaying the start of the season, But he criticized the Government for not getting both parties to the negotiating table: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Certainly the Prime Minister's intervention yesterday we view as being woefully inadequate. This is a very serious matter. It is not a political matter. It is a national issue which requires leadership and it requires immediate intervention. We cannot allow one single more day to pass without resolving this issue. It is going to affect the entire country of Belize. It is going to affect the entire economy of this country. We can't allow this issue to fester any longer."

Family Says Ladyville Cops Didn’t Have To Kill 22 Year Old
Today, Ladyville police are gathering key witnesses who they say can attest to the fact that 22 year old Travis McKay fired on police before they returned fire and killed him. Police also have the weapon he carried with three expended shells. But, despite all that, Travis McKay's family is not satisfied that their loved one had to be killed. Today, they spoke with me in Ladyville: Monica Bodden reporting This is where the shooting happened at 3:40 yesterday afternoon - just one block away from the Ladyville Police Station. The usually quiet neighborhood looked on in stunned, shaken disbelief as the scenes of crime team searched for expended shells and combed the entire area for additional evidence. The victim - 22 year old Travis McKay lay dead inside this yard - with a gunshot wound the chest area and some say one to the head. His body was then covered in a white sheet and put behind the pan of this police pick-up truck.

Grandmother And 12 Year Old Couldn’t Put Out Fire
A Belize City family was burnt out last night. It happened around 9:00 on Faber's Road, where a 12 year old was at home with his 89 year old grandmother and four younger nieces and nephews. That's when a candle started a fire, which the grandmother and pre-teen could not put out. The boy's mother who was nearby but not at home told us in an off camera interview that she rushed home only to find that all had been lost:.. Voice of: Irma Crawford, resident of house that was burnt down "When I reach there I ask where my mother and my kids are and I was told that they were at the long barracks step." Geovanni Brackett, reporter "It appears that the fire may have started in a room, particularly from a candle or something?" Voice of: Irma Crawford, resident of house that was burnt down "Yes it started in my mother's room and then it just spread. She says that she and my son was trying to put out the fire but the water that they had was too little, so my son took out my mother and the 4 year old and took them downstairs and he went up for the rest. After that he says he doesn't know what happen. He says that he saw the house in flames."

Man Says Minister Chanced Him Out Of Leased Land
You already know all about about UDP area reps, Elvin Penner from Cayo Northeast, and Edmund "Clear the Land" Castro from Belize Rural North, who are under public pressure. Well, tonight, the UDP's Corozal Bay Area Rep. Pablo Marin is the one who has questions to answer. Corozal resident Lennox Garbutt Sr., claims that Marin used his influence as an Area Representative and a Cabinet Minister to have Garbutt's lease to a piece of land cancelled and then transferred to Marin's sister, Ada Luz Romero. That land is lot #73 on the Consejo Road, and Garbutt claims that this cancellation was done without his knowledge, and that he couldn't make a case to the Lands Department to show how he has kept up his end of the lease requirements. Yesterday evening, he came from Corozal, where he explained the full story. Here's what Garbutt had to say: Lennox Garbutt Sr. - Claims Land Was Unfairly Taken Away "I was isssued this parcel of land on November 30th 2011. All through I paid my annual tax which is $60 per year and finished paid $120 on the 13th September 2013."

Mayor Bradley Stonewalls On Freetown
As we rpeot4ed earlier this week Lee Mark Chang has stepped down in the Freetown Division - clearing the way for a new candidate. Many are pushing for Mayor Darrell Bradley to take his eyes off Caribbean Shores and focus instead on Freetown. We're told the PM even announced to Cabinet on Tuesday that he and the Mayor had agreed to that. But, when we spoke to Mayor Bradley yesterday, he didn't want to discuss it:.. Jules Vasquez "We know that Lee Mark Chang has vacated his caretaker seat in Freetown. We know the Party has been prodding you for some time to offer yourself in Freetown. What is the outlook?" Mayor Darrell Bradley "The situation right now is really not focused on any general elections matter. The Mayor and his office is really keeping maximum focused and attention and at this present moment I am not really looking at that."

City Council Launches Emergency Repairs
But before he offers himself for any political office - mayor included - Bradley has to rehabilitate his image, which, right now, means rehabilitating streets that have fallen to ruin with the last month of rains. Today the City announced that major works will start on two high volume traffic areas. The work will block or partially block two major access ways into the city:.. Kenny Morgan, Public Relations - Belize City Council "One of the two major arteries in the city will be interrupted; one being our present location at the corner of Partridge Street and the George Price Highway. The entire section between the Lord Ridge Cemetery; from Partridge Street to its junction with Vernon Street will be worked on commencing tomorrow morning at 10am. Because of the works that will be carried on of course we will have to do some traffic diversion. I take this opportunity to inform the public of the altering routes that will be provided. At this time we are looking at for entry and exit from the city we are looking at utilizing Western Avenue and Mahogany streets and this will be for the larger vehicles; goods trucks, delivery vehicles and trailers. We will be asking these drivers to utilize the Western Avenue/Mahogany Street route."

What’s Up With Pen Road?
Another area that's in a mess is Neal's Pen Road, which was just paved this year. The work was obviously inferior and after the rains, the street looks just as pot holed as any 10-year-old street. The road was paved under the southside poverty alleviation project and we asked the man behind that project, Boots Martinez, who is also the area representative, what went wrong:.. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez "We believe that the heavy downfall of the rains, but that is not no instrument for making excuses. The contractor must go back and do what is necessary because we have a guarantee period and as I understand it the Ministry of Works have contacted the contractor to repair or make the necessary adjustment to the street." Jules Vasquez "I would look at that street as the materials were maybe inferior, the compaction was maybe inferior and the works itself maybe chip and seal need two layers, maybe it never had the proper two layers. That looks like an inferior job to me."

Interesting New Names For UDP Convention Races
Earlier we showed you Mayor Darrell Bradley stonewalling the media on whether he was interested in offering himself for the Freetown division. Well, while he's playing cagey, some newcomers are not! Tomorrow is the deadline for those wanting to submit their names as candidates for UDP conventions. And, reports reaching us are that some interesting names have been, or will be put into the mix. Second in command of the police department, Deputy Commissioner Elodio Aragon today confirmed to us that he will offer himself as a candidate for the Orange Walk East constituency. But to do that, the 18 year veteran of the police department will have to step down from his post and retire. He told us he is in the process of arranging an orderly departure and plans to formally launch his candidacy on December 15th. Aragon's father, Elodio Sr. was a three time UDP representative in Orange Walk East.

Major Programme To Focus On Youths In 4 Southside Communities
An ambitious new programme was launched today. It's called the "Youth and Community Transformation", or YCT Project. The 15 million dollars CDB funded initiative will directly address the needs of youth on the southside of Belize City. That was outlined at this morning's launch:.. The target communities are Port Loyola, Lake Independence, Pickstock and Collett. The money will be disbursed on the construction/rehabilitation of critical community infrastructure including a new resource centre in the Lake Independence area called the Lake Independence Resource Centre and the upgrading of the Wilton-Cumberbatch playing field.

First off, tonight's profile is anonymous. Due to the sensitive nature of the revelations, the subject's face and voice have been masked. It's about an anonymous female high school student who was adopted and in a quest to get to know her birth mom, she ended up being raped. She started cutting herself in an attempt to deal with her pain but when she almost lost her life she ended up turning to music and refocussed on a positive future. The profile was produced in conjunction with WIN Belize which approached us to feature relevant stories during the 16 Days of Activism to end violence against girls and women.

Woman Indicted For Murder of Her Baby’s Father
26 year-old Calaney Flowers, the woman who is accused of purposefully running over her baby's father 29 year-old Lyndon Morrison, and killing him, will stand trial for it in the Supreme Court. Her preliminary inquiry was held today before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, where the prosecution tendered all the evidence that they intend to use against her in the trial, which included more than 20 witness statements. After reading the statements from 26 year-old Sochyl Sosa, Morrison's girlfriend who was with him and got injured in that accident, as well as the one from Morrison's mother, Chief Magistrate Smith found that the accused must stand trial in the Supreme Court. Her case was committed for trial for the April 2014 session.

A Vegetable Stall across the Canal?
Yesterday CISCO construction created a stir when the company moved into the Collet Canal area in front of the Michael Finnegan Market and installed an unusual prefabricated concrete structure across the canal. Some thought it was another fish market, but Cisco Woods explains that it's only a new way to utilize dead space:.. Cisco Woods "Actually it's a donation that we did towards the city. It's really business; it's a market that goes over the canal. If you notice this is a busy spot on Saturday morning, they actually block-off the street so that vendors can lay out their products and sell it. We made the recommendation to the Mayor to put something across the canal where really it's just wasted space and get the vendors off the street onto that for different stuff; selling clothes, vegetables, you could sell anything off of it." "It will give enough space for either two or four vendors, depending on how the city wants to divide it up and how they will charge. It's an opportunity to hold vendors that are on the street right now to be able to be in a very neat and controlled area and very sanitary as well. It would be nice to get all the food stuff off the street getting it on to proper shelf, so it's away from the dirt."

Dance On, Dance X
It's the 5th annual Dance X Festival - which is hosted yearly by the Institute of Create Arts. Over the years it has become something Belizean dancers from across the country look forward to attending. It's not only about showcasing dance to the public, but also creating an atmosphere where dancers have an exchange with each other. Also the event features a line-up of international professional dancers and dance instructors facilitating workshops at the BLISS. One of those is our very own Jamie Thompson from the Dallas Black Dance Theatre - one of the oldest Dance Companies in the US. Today we stopped by the Bliss to find out more about what's happening. A hundred and twenty five dancers will be participating in the event.

Late Evening Accident
There was a fatal traffic accident about an hour before news time tonight. It happened just outside of Belmopan near Art Box and it involved a government vehicle, and another pickup truck. Reports to 7News at this time are that it has resulted in a fatality. One of the first responders, Phillip Willoughby, Belize City Councillor with responsibility for Emergency Management, told us that he was driving on the highway when he saw the Government vehicle, which had 5 passengers in it slam head on into a green pickup. The 5 people inside the vehicle suffered head and body injuries, and had to be transported to the Belmopan Hospital, where one government worker passed away. The other injured passengers will be transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. We'll have more on this story in tomorrow's newscast.

Channel 5

Breaking News: one dies in traffic accident in the Capital
There is breaking news tonight. At about five-thirty this evening, a government vehicle collided into an SUV near the entrance to the hector Silva Airstrip in Belmopan. What we have [...]

PUP turns in signature to trigger recall
On October fifth the People’s United Party launched a campaign to collect signatures on a petition to recall Elvin Penner. The move came just weeks after news broke of the [...]

The paper trail on the visa hustle involving UDP ministers
At a press conference on Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow scoffed at the evidence proving that Minister of State Edmond Castro is engaged in the large-scale procuring of visas for [...]

Francis Fonseca says Barrow’s defense of Castro is disgraceful
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on a variety of issues at a press conference in Belize City, and today P.U.P. leader, Francis Fonseca, did the same. Fonseca touched [...]

And says immigration bill is all glitter and no substance
Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse, has proposed three new pieces of legislation which, if passed into law, will have the Immigration Department running like, in his words, a well-oiled machine. [...]

Police confirm they shot and killed Travis McKay
Police are saying tonight that Ladyville resident, Travis McKay, was shot and killed in a cross fire, but family members who witnessed the shooting vehemently contradict the police version. Wednesday’s [...]

Caribbean Financial Action Task Force blacklists Belize; is banking sector in jeopardy
As you know by now, the European Union has blacklisted Belize for not doing enough to curb illegal fishing. That is bad, but even worse is the news of the [...]

Opposition says it fully supports the farmers; even to strike
Back to the press conference hosted by the Opposition. Prime Minister Barrow on Wednesday went on record to give government’s full support to the stance of the cañeros that they [...]

UB Faculty and Staff Association concerned about state of affairs of university
UB President Doctor Cary Fraser remains on leave tonight amid the turmoil that has ensued since his announcement of impending departure.  While Prime Minister Barrow has gone on record to [...]


Residents Of Guadalupe Street Take Up Plan of Action to Fix Their Street
If we were asked to select one infrastructural problem that the Orange Walk Town Council has been addressing since they took office back in March of 2012, we would have to say streets. At the same time, we have to recognize that Orange Walkenos are gravely concerned about the conditions the streets are in despite the council’s constant efforts to have them upgraded. The good news is though, that residents and business owners of one particular street have come up with a plan of action that could see the complete facelift of the street they live on. Today Mayor of Orange Walk Kevin Bernard spoke to us about the initiative which could see the adoption of Guadalupe Street. “Las week or weed and a half ago I had a meeting with members of the business community of that street Mr. Salas, Mr. Mendoza from CGI, Mr. Rempel and also representatives from the Cane Farmers Association came to meet with me and we discussed the proposal they would want to see Guadalupe street improve and how they as business persons can assist in the development on that street through the taxes that contribute and also through contributions by the business community in that area. In extension, the proposal then lead us approach the residence of that area, those residence that live on that area we want to see how they can and the commitment that the council would have been to ensure that the taxes that are collected from that street goes into a special fund so last night meeting was basically to throw out the idea to the residence and I want to thank all those who attended and I think it was very receptive, it was a very positive meeting and we should be having another meeting on the 9th of December.”

Elvin Penners Recall In Full Swing
Today the People’s United Party held a press conference in Belize City at the Party’s headquarters. A number of issues were discussed; of course, among them was the P.M press conference. In a solo presentation, leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, weighed in on 7 issues that were discussed yesterday by the Honorable Dean Barrow. Fonseca kicked off by giving an update on the recall referendum for the Cayo North East constituency. “Our standard bearer for Cayo North East, Mr. Landy Habet along with our deputy party leader for the west honorable Julius Espat secretary general and other members of the Cayo North East committee PUP committee and community presented to the Governor General today the petition for the recall referendum this morning in Belmopan. As you know the 30% threshold requirement calls for about just under 1800 signatures are necessary to meet that 30% threshold necessary and this morning we delivered to the Governor General His Excellency the Governor General I think 2003 signatures attached to that petition so we expect now that the Governor General in accordance with the law the Governor General will now forward that petitions and those signatures to the chief elections officer at the elections and boundaries commission and the election and boundaries office will have a maximum, a period of one month to vet those signatures and to approve those signatures.”

Orange Walk Gets Smallest Share Of GOB's Million Dollar Road Infrastructure Program
The Prime Minister’s Press Conference yesterday was loaded with promises on behalf of his government to the people of Belize. Among them is a 76.72 Million Dollar National Road Infrastructure Programme funded under the Petro Caribe agreement with Venezuela. Included in the programme is 10.25 million for the Corozal District, 15.61 million for the Toledo District and 6.34 million for the Cayo District. Notably though, out of all the districts, Orange Walk Is getting the smallest share of the pie as Government has allocated a mere 2.92 million for the entire district. Now, the news did not sit too well with many Orange Walkenos and with the Orange Walk Town Council who has constantly been lobbying with Government for financial assistant to upgrade the streets across town. Kevin Bernard- Mayor Orange Walk Town “When I spoke to the CEO on Tuesday in Belmopan he clearly said to me when I ask them what are they going to do about the Main road meaning between mile 53 and 55 that runs through our town he said they don’t have the budget for it but they have been given an approval for them to fix certain areas of the Belize/Corozal road that have been damaged and these are sections like coming after the UNO gas station, in front of Sabor Cosina and I understand just before the traffic light here by fire station and then also by Cheetos and a little down on Otro Benque road those are the areas that they are going to be fixing which he told me it is a little bit over three hundred to four hundred thousand that is being allocated for that, I understand that some slight work is going to be done on San Antonio road but is not going to be paved majorities of these monies are going into some of these areas like San Estevan road and these areas that needs attention, and so when I look at that it is very, very eye opening to see that we in the north that have one of the biggest industry the sugar cane industry we have a lot of farmers who travel through our roads and even though many use the by-pass but if they are looking at the by-pass itself the by-pass also needs some attention because if they leave that road unattended it will also deteriorate but we have some very serious concern I mean if the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister is very serious in developing Orange Walk district they need to start to focus their attention as well to the town.”

Radio Announcer Accused of Rape
Tonight 37 year old Michael Martinez, a radio announcer from the Corozal District is facing the long arms of the law after he was accused of rape. According to an 18 year old woman, around 9:30pm on November 20th, she went to Martinez’s work located in the Rainbow Town area of Corozal Town to talk to him. The woman stated to police that Martinez had promised to give her some answers to questions that he would ask on a giveaway program in order for her to win a cellular phone. Reports are that when the 18 year old arrived at the radio station, instead of giving her the answers, Martinez pushed her into a room located at the back of the building and had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

Agriculture Sector Experiences Millions Of Dollars In Loses Due To Flooding
Yesterday government announced immediate remedial road improvements along with larger scale major road rehabilitations across the country. In addition to that, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that the government will also be providing financial assistance to the agriculture sector after receiving a preliminary report of damages to other crop. According to the report, farmers, including those in the north, have lost millions of dollars as a result of the recent inclement weather. Honorable Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “Latest preliminary report we are looking in terms of crop damaged at people suffering in Cayo, Belize, Orange Walk, Corozal a total of $2,634,600.00 by way of losses and we are talking about soy beans, 800 acres having been destroy 350 acres of corn, having been destroyed 50% of vegetable farmers affected an if the weather persists all the vegetable farmers will be affected.”


Opposition Party Disagrees with PM’s Statements During Press Brief
Apart from the PUP’s effort in recalling Elvin Penner, Fonseca also spoke about the scandal within the immigration and nationality department. In yesterday’s press conference, Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse did not offer any update on the ongoing investigations. PUP Leader Francis Fonseca says it is unacceptable. HON. FRANCIS FONSECA “Absolutely no update was provided on this very important issue. The Belizean people still have so many unanswered questions about this issue and we heard the Minister of Immigration says, well, no essentially his response was no there is no update. What are the police doing? We hear that there is a police investigation taking place. There should be provided to the people of this country some update as to what is taking place with that police investigation. We understand as well that the FIU is supposedly investigating this matter as well. Well the Belizean people deserve to know what the status of that investigation as well. We hear that the auditor general is in the Ministry conducting an investigation. Again, there has been no report or update to the Belizean people on exactly what is taking place and this is completely unacceptable.” Fonseca also threw blows at the Prime Minister’s stand on the ongoing bagasse dispute between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited and American Sugar Refinery.

Mother Says Police Didn’t Have To Kill His Son
A man was shot and killed in Ladyville yesterday. Reporter Marion Ali returned to Ladyville today and here is her report. MARION ALI REPORTING “His aunty was coming, running while crying and screaming, ‘Travis, stop; Travis stop’ and then she started to say, ‘please don’t kill my nephew; please don’t kill my nephew’ and then he was saying please don’t hurt me, my brother.” MARION ALI “Travis McKay was reportedly killed by a policeman during a cross fire with Ladyville police sometime at around 3 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon. It happened on Seagull Street in that village. A police press release issued today stated that a police patrol cornered McKay on Seagull Street soon after he ran out of a business establishment on the Philip Goldson Highway. Police claimed that while they had him cornered, McKay produced a .38 revolver and fired three shots at them and they responded in kind, killing him. Officer commanding the Ladyville police station, Chris Noble told reporters soon after the incident the same sequence of events.”

3-Month Baby Has Successful Surgery in Venezuela
A Belizean child has successfully undergone cardiac surgery at a medical institution in Caracas, Venezuela. The Ministry of Health announced today that three-month-old Cassidy Martinez became the first Belizean to undergo a surgery of this nature at Hospital Cardiologico Infantil Latinamericano. She was diagnosed with an Atrial Septum and Ventricular Septum Defect in Belize City and her parents were advised to seek surgery abroad. The Embassy of Venezuela in Belize, through Ambassador Yoel Perez Marcano, along with the Ministry of Health, accepted and facilitated the request to assist baby Martinez, and she underwent the surgery on October 10th. The baby returned to Belize in the first week of November. The Governments of Belize and Venezuela signed a technical cooperation agreement

Transforming Youth and Community with Help From CDB
This morning the Government of Belize through the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, with financial assistance from the Caribbean Development Bank launched the Youth and Community Transformation Project. The project is intended to help tackle the root causes of crime and improve citizen and community security, particularly in Southside Belize City. The project will be implemented through a ten point four million dollars loan and a two hundred and ten thousand from the Caribbean Development Bank and Government’s counterpart contribution of four point one million dollars. The project will also allow for the construction and rehabilitation of critical community infrastructure including a new resource centre in the Lake Independence area and the upgrading of the Wilton-Cumberbatch playing field. Community agencies participating in the project include the YMCA, Samuel Haynes Institute of excellence, Youth for the Future and Yabra Community Policing Centre.

University Community Wants to Know Dr. Fraser’s Status with UB
At yesterday’s press conference Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he was aware of the letter sent to him by the President of the University of Belize Dr. Cary Fraser. According to the Prime Minister he has not met with Dr. Fraser to discuss his resignation. Today the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association has called on the Prime Minister to inform the University of Belize community and the nation on the current status of Dr. Fraser. The Association says it is gravely concerned that the national university is presently being run by a quote “retired/rehired, interim provost who is also the acting president” Unquote. According to the UBFSA this managerial instability is negatively impacting UB as decisions recently made by President Fraser, are now being reversed in his absence which will cause UB to go into further dire financial crisis. The Association says it strongly supports Dr Fraser’s position that the UB Board of Trustee must desist from micro-managing the university and operate solely from a policy level. In addition, the UBFSA strongly supports that all UB assets be placed into a Land Trust in an effort to sustain our national university on a long term basis. It also demands that the Minister of Education ensures that the Ministry of Education fulfils its outstanding debt obligation of over two million dollars owed to the university. UBFSA continues by saying it has zero tolerance for the crippling cuts in the budget that occurs on an yearly basis which impacts the quality of programs delivered to students by dedicated, qualified faculty and staff.

Woman Will Stand Trial for Murder of Estranged Lover
The case of 26 year old Calaney Flowers, charged with the murder of 29 year old Lyndon Morrison, was today committed for trial in the April 2014 session of the Supreme Court. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith told Flowers that a prima facie case has been established against her and that there was enough evidence to send up the case to the Supreme Court. The preliminary inquiry was done by paper committal. The incident occurred on August 28, 2012. Police reports are that Morrison and his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, were riding a motorcycle and Flowers trailed them in a red Saturn car and struck the motorcycle from behind when they reached in front of Central Assembly church on Freetown Road. Both Morrison and Sosa were flung from the motorcycle and they sustained injuries. Morrison succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards.

Andy Faces Another Drug Charge While Out on Bail
Thirty-four year old Andy Alford, who was on bail for a charge of drug trafficking, was remanded into custody when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and was arraigned on a second charge of drug trafficking. Alford’s next court appearance is January 16, 2014. Alford, who resides in Ladyville and has several convictions for drug offences, was busted around midday yesterday when police stopped a passenger bus in Ladyville and searched him. The police reported that they found 88.2 grams of cannabis in a black plastic bag that was in the front pocket of his pants. As a result, Alford was taken into custody and charged. The suspected cannabis was labeled as exhibit.

Lands Commissioner Says Land Was Reissued to a More Deserving Person
Lennox Garbutt, a resident of Corozal North Constituency says he is a victim of political land fraud and nepotism. Garbutt who once held a lease for a twenty acre parcel in the Consejo Area in Corozal, found out a few months ago that parcel 73- the parcel in question- has been re-issued to another Corozal resident by the name of Ada Luz Romero. According to Garbutt, Romero is the sister of Minister of Health and Corozal Bay Area Representative Pablo Marin who was the one who recommended for the parcel to be reissued. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING: “November 30, 2011; that’s the date Corozal resident Lennox Garbutt says he received a lease to parcel number seventy three located in the Consejo Road area. But three months ago, after attempting to keep his payments up to date, Garbutt found out that Parcel 73 had been reissued to someone else. “ LENNOX GARBUTT “I went to Lands Department in Corozal and found out that someone was issued that lease. So, I went to Belmopan and investigate it and I found out that it was issued to one Adalus Romero the Minister Pablo Marin. I also have files that show that Minister Marin had requested a cancelation for this parcel of land and reissued to his sister.”

One Year In Prison Following 60th Appearance in Court
Forty-eight year old Robert Bainton, a laborer of Hattieville who has made 60 court appearances and has several convictions for crimes of dishonesty, was sentenced to one year today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to the theft of a beach cruiser bicycle. The complainant, gas attendant Lawrence Smith, reported to the police that he was at Atlantic Bank on Freetown Road making a deposit for his work place when he looked through the glass door and saw Bainton jump on his bicycle and ride off. Smith said he pursued Bainton on foot and caught up with him on Freetown Road. A police mobile patrol was passing at the same time and Smith indicated to the officers that he needed help and they detained Bainton and took him into custody. Police recovered the bicycle from Bainton and charged him with theft.

Open House at Centre for Employment Training
The Cayo Centre for Employment Training is today holding its eighth open house. Correspondent Elaine Berry filed a report on the activities for the event. ORLANDO ESPAT “This is a time when our students showcase their talents and what they have learnt in this institution over the past years. We have guests from the business sector, we have guests from the churches, and we have guests from other ITVETs around the country and other institutions from San Ignacio and the surrounding areas too. We have invited everyone to come and to enjoy the displays and there are also the culinary arts which is an attraction for many people. Cayo Center for Employment Training opened its door somewhere around 1995. We started with a population of about maybe 15-20 students and as you heard the manager say today, we have about 255 new trainees at the moment. There is a need at the moment to do an expansion and In fact we are already thinking of building in the future and the plans are there for a hotel already where we can train our hospitality classes and then use this institution also to bring other people from ITVET here to do their training. We do mechanics, we do refrigeration, we do culinary arts, we do tourism etc. And we are expanding by the day and it’s a very attractive institution. We have people from the villages coming. We do our own books here. You can visit the Resource Centre here and you will see that the population is growing it’s not diminishing its growing.”

Health Officials Put Importance on Maternal and Neonatal Care
In Belize, like most other countries, the health and survival of women and their newborn babies during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period is of key importance. On this premise, the Ministry of Health in Collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund and the Belize Medical and Dental Association is hosting the 32nd International Pre-congress. Dr. Francisco Martinez Guillen (GUI-YEN) a Pediatrician and Neonatologist from Nicaragua is the facilitator. He spoke on some of the issues impacting maternal and neonatal care in Belize. DR. FRANCISCO MARTINEZ GUILLEN “We have a lot of obesity and overweight and pain and before pain. We have some increases in diabetic disease and hypertension and preeclampsia has a lot of trouble in our pregnant Latin American and Caribbean countries. So we need to change this kind of struggle; we need to reduce this kind of trouble in our pregnant women and the consequence in the new born baby.” Dr. Jorge Polanco, Deputy Director of Health Services, explained how the pre-congress hopes to address the issues of maternal and perinatal morbidity.


Police Finds Cannabis on Passenger Bus
Thirty-four year old Andy Alford, who was on bail for a charge of drug trafficking, was remanded into custody when he appeared today before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith and was arraigned on a second charge of drug trafficking. Alford’s next court appearance is January 16, 2014. Alford, who resides in Ladyville and has several convictions for drug offences, was busted around midday yesterday when police stopped a passenger bus in Ladyville and searched him. The police reported that they found 88.2 grams of cannabis in a black plastic bag that was in the front pocket of his pants. As a result, Alford was taken into custody and charged. The suspected cannabis was labeled as exhibit.

One Year Sentence for Stealing Bicycle
Forty-eight year old Robert Bainton, a laborer of Hattieville who has made 60 court appearances and has several convictions for crimes of dishonesty, was sentenced to one year today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, after he pled guilty to the theft of a beach cruiser bicycle. The complainant, gas attendant Lawrence Smith, reported to the police that he was at Atlantic Bank on Freetown Road making a deposit for his work place when he looked through the glass door and saw Bainton jump on his bicycle and ride off. Smith said he pursued Bainton on foot and caught up with him on Freetown Road. A police mobile patrol was passing at the same time and Smith indicated to the officers that he needed help and they detained Bainton and took him into custody. Police recovered the bicycle from Bainton and charged him with theft.

Murder Trial Set For 2014 for Ex-Lover
The case of 26 year old Calaney Flowers, charged with the murder of 29 year old Lyndon Morrison, was today committed for trial in the April 2014 session of the Supreme Court. Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith told Flowers that a prima facie case has been established against her and that there was enough evidence to send up the case to the Supreme Court. The preliminary inquiry was done by paper committal. The incident occurred on August 28, 2012. Police reports are that Morrison and his girlfriend, Sochyl Sosa, were riding a motorcycle and Flowers trailed them in a red Saturn car and struck the motorcycle from behind when they reached in front of Central Assembly church on Freetown Road. Both Morrison and Sosa were flung from the motorcycle and they sustained injuries. Morrison succumbed to his injuries shortly afterwards.


Ladyville Resident Killed by Police After Alleged Robbery
Police in Ladyville are anticipating a criminal and internal investigation into an officer-involved shooting in the village following an alleged robbery on the Philip Goldson Highway. Officially the report is that a certain Travis McKay was cornered in an area next to the basketball court, one block from the...

Prime Minister Recovers from Back Surgery and Playing Santa Claus!
Wednesday’s press conference hosted by Prime Minister Dean Barrow was his first since returning from successful back surgery in the U.S. earlier this November. He began by expressing gratitude to those who wished him well in recovery and says that while he really should be off his feet for...

How to Appease Caribbean Financial Action Task Force?
Last week, the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force listed Belize as one of the countries that have failed to comply with the Action Plan addressing legal deficiencies in the fight to combat money laundering and financing of terrorism. This, despite Government passing over a dozen pieces of legislation recently...

Murder Rate Drops down to Half in Belize City
After a nasty start to 2013, the criminal element appears to have settled down. Prime Minister Dean Barrow reported that compared to the record-breaking pace of 2012, murders are still below the century mark as of this week. Prime Minister Dean Barrow: “In terms of crime (very quickly), the...

Blacklisting on Fisheries of Belize by EU to be Addressed
The European Commission has recommended that several countries including Belize be blacklisted for failure to do enough to stop illegal activities on the high seas by ships registered in our name. A High Seas Fishing Bill has been passed by the House of Representatives but accompanying regulations and other...

The Guardian

More Development Money
The past three months of consistent rain has put a battering on the infrastructure of the entire country and the Government of Belize is responding to the massive damages that has beset the roads. Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference on Wednesday November 27th where he explained that the roadway problems will be addressed firstly in a remedial manner and thereafter in a comprehensive national multi-million dollar approach. P.M. Barrow announced that immediately 2.269 Million dollars will be made available to the ministry of works which will see remedial road works in all municipalities with the first tranche of over 96 thousand dollars already being made available. Corozal will receive $494,216.25 dollars; Orange Walk $184,356; Belize District over $442,295; the Cayo district will receive 1.1 Million dollars; Stann Creek will get $87,795 and the Toledo district will receive $59,160. While that is the planned spending to offer some respite for road users, a greater more holistic and comprehensive look at the infrastructure across the country will see Central Government investing $76.72 Million dollars on the major highways as well as the Old Northern Highway and village roads . These monies are currently available for infrastructure development through the Petro-Caribe Initiative. According to the Prime Minister, the investment will be made as follows: the Phillip Goldson Highway will see $16.73M in upgrades; the George Price Highway will get $5.3M; the Old Northern Highway will receive 1.7M. Investments will also be done on village roads as follows: $6.34M in Cayo; $10.95M in the Belize District; $8.63 in the Stann Creek district; $15.61 in the Toledo district; $2.92 in Orange Walk; and $10.25 in the Corozal district. The Prime Minister described the plan as one that was "muscular, a plan on steroids."

Government stands with Cane Farmers but...
The Prime Minister was categorical on Wednesday when he announced that the government was standing behind the cane farmers. Hon. Dean Barrow stated that "we are convinced that the farmers have a case." He continued, "the argument that the bagasse is waste and not a byproduct in our minds cannot stand." But after having made it clear that the farmers have a case, he added that "now we part ways with the farmers, in terms of the manner in which it seems they are determined to make their point and to press their case. We cannot consider it helpful for the industry, for the economy in the north and for the country for there to be this talk about strike and none-commencement of the crop. That will hurt all of us but it will hurt most the very farmers that are being encouraged not to deliver." The P.M. continued stating that he is willing to speak to the farmers for them to determine a way forward but he was quick to add that if it were not for ASR we would not have a sugar industry. There is now a tentative meeting with the Prime Minister which would be scheduled by Monday of next week. Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega is expected to also be a part of any such meeting.

Couple brutally beaten in Placencia, one Suspect is Dead
Twenty seven year-old Tyson Rodriguez, a Dangriga resident who was the main suspect in the home invasion of a Canadian couple in Placencia, has died while in the custody of Placencia Police. The direct consequence of his sudden demise has triggered the Commissioner of Police to order an investigation into the circumstances of his demise. A 59 year-old Canadian man and his 61 year-old wife were at their home at the Plantation area on last week Thursday night, and at around 8 p.m., 3 dark-skinned men ambushed, savagely beat them into submission and forced them to allow the assailants entrance into their house. The wife suffered a broken jaw and multiple facial injuries almost disfiguring her. The husband’s head was dunked under water several times; he almost drowned. The men then burglarized the house and escaped with the couple’s white GMC SUV speeding down toward the Southern Highway. Placencia police, as immediately as they responded the call for help, alerted all police formations of the home invasion, and the stolen vehicle, and surveillance and response teams were deployed. 13 and a half hours after the burglary, Corozal Police and Customs Patrol spotted the vehicle, which had its license plates removed, on the Chan Chen Road, over 200 miles away from where it was stolen. When they finally managed to get close to the vehicle and recover it, the two men who were inside had already dumped it, and they fled on foot. The investigating teams combed the surrounding area and saw one of the men who they believe was in the vehicle. That man was waiting at the Xaibe Bus stop, and as soon as he saw the officers coming he tried to run away, but with the help of Xaibe villagers, police caught him. He was later identified as Tyson Rodriguez, the Dangriga resident who had a run-in with San Pedro Police last year after one of the officers shot him, reportedly in self-defence.

Coming Soon - Salary increase for Public Officers
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced once again on Wednesday November 27th that a salary increase for public officers is next to being guaranteed. Hon. Barrow made the announcement at a press conference which he held to update the country on infrastructure investment the government has planned. PM Barrow had previously committed to public officers that their raise will be contingent on an increase on the recurrent revenue of the country. This year the collection centers have been performing exceptionally well and the PM noted that 50% of the increase will be allotted to public officers as a raise. Those monies will “will give a significant salary increase,” to public officers. Aside from that announcement the Prime Minister also expressed that he may well be playing the role of jolly old St. Nick as this year Christmas Hampers and toys will be made available to all constituencies. Even representatives of the opposition will be getting their share to spread the Christmas cheer.

Making Protected Areas a Personal Issue
Most Belizeans are aware of names such as the Chiquibul Forest, Sarstoon Temash National Park, Sapodilla Caye Range and the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. These are some of the most famous protected areas in the country but with the exception of a small group of people nobody knows why it is important that these areas be protected. On Wednesday, November 27th, the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development launched an awareness campaign to educate Belizeans on the role and importance of protected areas across the country. The initiative is entitled Branding Campaign for the National Protected Areas System and the launch was attended by Government officials as well as representatives of protective areas management organizations. Valentine Rosado, Communications Officer for the National Protected Areas Secretariat, says “Traditionally, awareness initiatives have mainly been conservation and science based and that only appeal to a small portion of society.” Rosado says previous awareness efforts have not resulted in the kind of public support necessary for efficient stewardship of our natural resources. He says, “The idea behind the branding initiative is to demonstrate that protective areas are of direct value to all Belizeans.”

Editorial: Manufactured Outraged and Stone Soup
You may know the story of the itinerant swindler who found himself in a remote village one night. The villages, suffering from hard times, did not offer to share their limited food with him. He told them that he fully understood their lack of hospitality, but asked only for a little help to make his own pot of stone soup. “Stone soup!” exclaimed the villagers, “No one can make soup from stones.” “Just lend me a large pot and let me use your fire hearth and I will show you how,” responded the silver tongued con artist. He set to work with a flourish stirring his pot of water into which he dropped three large smooth, clean stones. When it was bubbling away, he made a great show of tasting it and smacking his lips in delight. He exclaimed that it was coming along fine but a little salt would certainly improve its flavour. Continuing this charade, he persuaded the gullible villagers to drop in assorted vegetable such as onions, carrots and potatoes and finally a freshly prepared chicken and even to stir the pot themselves. As promised he produced a delicious pot of stone soup! In a parallel story, there is a heavy pot of manufactured outrage prepared by a consortium of interested parties hungry for political power. Their supposed pot of corruption is being offered to a Belizean public weary of global hard times. The cauldron admittedly contains a few heavy stones of individual passport irregularities, but the other ingredients are manufactured or manipulated by people who are well practiced in the art of deception. The accounts of individual wrong doing at SIF or Southern Regional Hospital are distressing but are no more indicative of government corruption than similar recently exposed instances of fraud at a large private enterprise point to corruption at the highest levels of management at Brodies. Other ingredients include completely fictitious narratives based entirely on rumour and hearsay. The Alvarine Burgess “revelations” have been widely shared on Channel 5 and other consortium media outlets, but it now appears that they have no substance. She has presented no evidence and large parts of her story have been proven to be factually inaccurate or completely fabricated, but the tricksters continue to stir her tale into their pot of lies. The US may or may not be listening in to our telephone conversations, but they would never admit to such a thing and certainly not to a no-body such as Ms. Burgess.

Force Ripe
My grandmother, the late Ms. Martina Carpizo, did not like us eating “green things” when we were young, so although she had several mango, plum, orange and guava trees in her yard, we had to wait until these fruits were ripe before we could have them. To avoid temptation, our Mammy would, during the season, pull the “full” mangoes from the lower branches of the tress and hide them away to ripen. The children would, at every opportunity, sneak into the little thatched storeroom and vigorously squeeze the mangoes to hasten their ripening process, and when they got soft enough, Mammy would, to our delight, allow us to eat these. I tell you, we enjoyed those bruised mangoes with salt and pepper, in spite of the bitter aftertaste they left in our mouths. We later learnt that such practice is called “force ripe”. In today’s world of politics, the pattern of persistent repetition of the same topic by Amalia at Channel Fox reminds me of the force-ripening tactic kids would employ in having their way. This PUP die-hard now comes across as desperate in trying to trigger a general election well before it’s due time, in an effort to gorge on the corrupt fruits that she and the Old Chap have tasted and become addicted to. Even after circumstances have exposed the so-called whistle blower as untruthful, Channel Fox refuses to let go, claiming new evidence, which even a Standard IV student can cut and paste, in the continuous pit bull attack against Hon. Castro.

Channel 5 Beating a dead Horse
It appears that Channel 5 has not yet fully understood that their ploy to try to destabilize the government by attacking Hon. Edmund Castro simply will not work. We thought that after their so-called informant was outed by the U.S. embassy as a downright liar they would have tried to ease up. But the rabid pitbull at the helm of that media organization simply will not let go. On their newscast on Tuesday they came again with the same old same old. They said Hon. Castro had given recommendations to 21 persons to receive visas in a two week span. Well if nobody has given Amalia the memo that recommendations given by area representatives are the order of the day, then this article may serve as such. On a daily basis area reps write out all manner of recommendations, from visa applications to the U.S. to visa applications for family members of constituents. Recommendations are also written for jobs, land considerations, references. You name it and the letters are written. Now even after the recommendations are made, it does not guarantee a positive outcome on the other end. Amalia fully knows well but she insists on beating a dead horse. To her we say, the carcass is beginning to stink, please don't beat it no more because that one there, is going nowhere. When minion Michael Roudon tried to bring it up during the Prime Minister's most recent press conference, the Prime Minister simply chucked that one to political mischief by Amalia Mai and the PUP.

Ministry of Education honors the best Print
On Thursday November 21, over 900 hundred students from around the country were honoured at the 2013 CXC Award Ceremony at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan. This year’s May-June 2013 session saw some of the most promising students yet; Edward P. Yorke graduate Xiaowen Huang managed to sit and pass 17 CSEC exams, with an astonishing 16 grade ones and 1 grade two. She got the highest grades in the country for science, technology and vocational subject group, clothing and textiles, and integrated sciences. In her speech to the students and proud parents at the ceremony, she commented that there were many factors, such as hard work, dedication and careful planning, which allowed her to perform so well in the exams. Huang was closely followed by SCA’s Marilen Guerra, who achieved 15 grade ones. She also received a subject group award in humanities. Both Huang and Guerra were awarded with iPad tablets as a token of appreciation for their hard work and achievements. Both of them are currently double majoring at the Saint John’s College Junior in Biology and Chemistry.

Eulogy for Clarita Leonie Dyer Geban
Clarabelle Leonie Dyer Geban was born December 24, 1937. At this time in history Belize was undeveloped and largely unknown on the world stage. The times were simple, the people were unsophisticated but honest. Her father was Alfred Dyer Senior, the patriarch of the family. Her mother was Madeline Haylock Dyer. The Dyer family earned a living by exploring the vast resources of the sea surrounding the coastland and the cayes. She had five brothers, three of whom on the Dyer side were hardened sea-fearing men. While the boys joined their father in the fishing community, Clara the only girl, went on to St. Hilda’s College and earned a diploma. This was the first for her family. At twenty-one years, she met Louis Geban and were married. Clara worked for many years at the Belize City Council as a tax collector. Throughout her life she was passionate about her church, her family, and politics. Like her father before her, she lived for the church in which she was baptized and in which she grew up. At St. Mary’s was actively involved in fund-raising projects, especially the St. Mary’s Feeding Program. Her family was critical of her. She was extremely proud of her children and would let everyone know that. Her family, however, extended to many people, included relatives, neighbors, and friends.

Minister Faber meets with UDP Youths
Almost every Saturday between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. you can find the youngest (and perhaps most enthusiastic) supporters of the United Democratic Party assembled together at the party headquarters on Youth for the Future Drive. The United Democratic Party’s rise to relevance on the national political stage was the result of a powerful youth movement. Many officials of the present administration can testify of the passion developed for country and party during meetings of the Youth Popular Front back in the days. The Youth Popular Front is back and senior officials of the United Democratic Party are working with the group to make it as dynamic as years past. On Saturday, November 23rd, Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, attended a meeting of the Youth Popular Front. Faber has been the group’s most dedicated supporter and had attended numerous meetings since its resurgence. He sees it as a responsibility because he too was a member of the Youth Popular Front. On Saturday there were over forty youths present at the meeting, as young as eight and a couple in their early thirties. Faber spoke to them about his experiences as a member of the group. He said it was then that he developed a passion for volunteerism. He always volunteered to be part of the party’s initiatives, especially Faith Babb’s initiatives. It was this willing attitude that earned him opportunities to move forward in the party- to the point where he was a legitimate contender for Standard Bearer in Collet and now to the point where he is one of the most secured Area Representatives of the country. Faber encouraged the youths to adapt a similar spirit of volunteerism and to take the party’s message wherever they go.

Global Investment Agents Visit KHMH
Dr. Adrian Coye, Director of Medical Services at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, guided a special tour of the hospital on Wednesday, November 27th. Two Directors of Nueterra Global Alliance are in the country meeting with health practitioners, policy makers and institution executives. After a meeting with KHMH Executives on Wednesday afternoon, the Nueterra representatives toured the facility along with Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health. Nueterra is a global leader in developing joint equity partnerships with health systems, governments, hospitals and physicians. Many healthcare investors are interested in taking advantage of medical tourism opportunities now available in Belize and since the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is the institution with the most material and human resources it is ideal for joint equity partnerships. Nueterra says its vision is “to create a truly borderless world of care – connecting patients, physicians, educators and investors from all over the globe.” Minister Marin says any organization that is going to improve the healthcare system of Belize is welcome. He says medical tourism should improve the infrastructure of our institutions, skills of our medical practitioners and overall healthcare system. The representatives of Nueterra were extremely impressed with the hospital management’s plans for expansion (space and services). Paola Reyes, Regional Sales Director, says, “There are great opportunities for partnership at this institution.” The two parties plan to keep in touch.

Lake-I’s first Turkey Trot
Always on a mission to keep the constituents of Lake Independence engaged, Hon. Mark King, on Sunday November 24th organized the first ever "Turkey Trot." The idea was to have men in the constituency come out with their sons and have a trot through the constituency to encourage greater male participation in the lives of young boy boys. While the participation was less than was expected, Hon. King says he is encouraged by the fact that there were young boys who came out. Those who did not have their fathers present were accompanied by an older sibling proving that male role models in young boy's lives are not necessarily only fathers but other older males in the family unit. At the conclusion of the Turkey Trot, some participants received turkeys.

Rural Central Committee Holds Retreat for Village Councils
Chairpersons and Councilors from nine villages in the Belize Rural Central constituency attended a retreat at the Black Orchid Resort in Burrell Boom Village on Sunday, November 24th. The retreat was organized by the Belize Rural Central Committee. The main objective was to provide an opportunity for networking among village leaders of the constituency in order to more effectively execute the United Democratic Party’s developmental agenda for the area. The keynote address was delivered by Michael Hutchinson, UDP Caretaker for Belize Rural Central. Hutchinson reaffirmed his commitment to continue working on behalf of the people of Belize Rural Central with the support of a Central Government that is preparing to inject an unprecedented amount of financial resources in rural communities across the country. Jacquelyn Franklin, Regional Development Officer in the Ministry of Local Government, and Diane Haylock, Chair of the UDP Committee for the Organization of Women, were also in attendance to address the village officials. Franklin presented on the role of village councils as authorized by the regulations in the Village Council Act. Haylock presented on transformational leadership and the need for more women in politics. Also allowed an opportunity to address the gathering were aspiring candidates for UDP Standard Bearer in the constituency, including councilor Dean Samuels.

Students Impressive at Entrepreneurship and Innovation Expo
Hundreds of Belizeans visited the Princess Hotel on Thursday, November 21st, to view the creative displays of students from the University of Belize and high schools from across the country at the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Expo. The expo is now an annual event made possible due to a partnership between the Ministry of Education, Belize Youth Business Trust, the University of Belize and the United States Embassy. This year there were thirty booths and along with the Marketing class of the University of Belize there were fifteen high schools representing all six districts. Sylvia Cattouse is the Special Assistant for Community Initiative out of the President of UB’s Office. She says the expo is important because “there is a critical need to develop young entrepreneurs.” Her message to the student population is “You are not just to look for a job or go to school to be hired by someone but if you are passionate enough about something then you can create your own opportunities.” Cattouse says, “In any developed country it is the entrepreneurs that are the drivers of the economy.”

Some thoughts from the President of the University of Belize
The President of the University of Belize has made known some of his thoughts on the issue of education in Belize and the Region. Dr. Cary Fraser recently met with main advocate Mrs. Maria Eugenia Paniagua in Belmopan for a brief discussion on a proposed Central American Educational Policy PEC that seeks to provide all Central Americans with at least nine years of basic education and bring educational excellence to the Region. PEC has the endorsement of the Council of Ministers of Education of the member countries of the Central American Integration System SICA. This Regional Strategy also has the support of the Council of Ministers of Education, Summit of Presidents and Heads of State within SICA. “Ultimately we should be thinking about 12 years of compulsory schooling, everyone should be legally required to be in school until they are 18; as the World has become increasingly technologically complex, it will be important for students before the age of 18 to be exposed to a level of knowledge that will allow them to enter a World that is so technologically complex that they will be left behind if they are out of school without the adequate level of preparation,” said Dr. Cary Fraser, at a recent meeting at the University of Belize, bringing together Education Officials and the supporters of PEC.

Jose Funez charged with carnal knowledge
On Monday November 25th 32-year-old Jose Funez, a resident and Technician of Mahogany Heights appeared before the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to answer to one count of carnal knowledge. Funez is accused of having sex with a child age 13 years. When he appeared in court, he was read the single charge but no plea was taken since the case is an indictable matter. No bail could not be offered and Funez was remanded to the Belize Central Prison until January 14, 2014. The alleged incident occurred on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at Funez’s home. It was not until later that day that the child told her mother what had happened and as a result she was taken to a doctor who examined her and confirmed that she was carnally known.

Daylight Robbery in San Ignacio Town
There was a brazen daylight robbery at a Chinese Store in San Ignacio Town on Sunday, November 24th. 34-year-old Xiang Rong Chen, reports that his business on Flamingo Avenue in San Ignacio know as ‘Kenny’s Store’ was robbed at about 8:15 am on that date. Xiang Chen, a Naturalized Belizean, told police that two unmasked persons entered his store, one armed with a firearm and the other with a knife. Chen was held up along with his worker Pedro Lopez, where a demand was made for money. The person with the handgun then took Chen into his room to the back of the store and again demanded money wherein Chen complied and handed over $2,000.00 and a check written to Pine Lumber for the amount of $380.00. Chen was then taken outside of the store. Meanwhile; the person with the knife started searching for cash in the register and took $300.00 as well as a black Mitsubishi brand lap tap valued at $1,300. The robbers also took another black lap tap valued at $1,500.00, an I-Phone with calling number 630-0896 valued at $1,200.00, which was on the counter. Chen lost to the robbery some $6,680.00 in total after which both robbers ran out of the store and made good their escape. The aforementioned, ‘Kenny’s Store’ has also been the scene of a crime before; where a security guard from Camalote and employed by ‘Security Force’ had been killed.

Sandhill schools to represent Belize Rural in Belize District primary schools football finals
The Belize Rural Primary Schools Football competition was played on Thursday November 21, 2013, out at the Sandhill Football Field. In the girls’ championship game, Pancottoq q edged out its neighbourhood school Guadalupe RC by the score of 5-3 in penalty kicks. The goal scorers for Pancotto were Shana Bood, Luz Monzon, Cassie Augustine, Aesha Metzgen and Aldean Williams. Meanwhile, the goals for Guadalupe RC were scored by Shevaun Vaccaro, Brandy Grinage and Brianna Leslie. In the first girls’ game of the day, Guadalupe RC blanked Maskall by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Shevaun Vaccaro. In game two, St. Therese Anglican School defeated Our Lady of the Way RC from Ladyville by the score of 4-2 via penalty kick. The goals for St. Therese School were scored by Vittian Trapp, Georsha Sutherland, Chelsea Humphreys and Alesha Baizar, while the goals for Our Lady of the Way RC were scored by Virginia Reid and Kavita Bardalez.

Cycling Twilight Criterium continues
The Belize Cycling Association through collaboration with the Belize City Council proudly presents the Thursday, Twilight Criterium, on November 28th commencing at 6:30 pm on Marine Parade. According to the Belize Cycling Association, the Female, Youth, Junior and Masters category 4/5 riders will ride for 45minutes, after which they will do 5 laps. Meanwhile, the Open Elite riders will ride for one hour and then do 5 laps to complete their category. The Belize Cycling Association is also reminding all members of the association that registration for the 2014 Cycling Season is presently taking place. Cyclists and cycling personnel can contact the following individuals in their zones for registration: Northern Zone – Arturo Vansen, Western Zone- Gilroy Spence (San Ignacio Area) and Delvit Castillo (Belmopan Area), Central Zone – Leticia Westby and Southern Zone – Cordell Gordon.

Inter-district Football competition starts
The Football Federation of Belize 2013 Inter-District Season commenced on Sunday November 24 with a number of games across the country. The teams that are participating in this year’s competition are PG Police FC, Mavericks, M&M Steelers, GB United, San Martin FC, Hope Creek Pumas, Roaring Creek United, Umadagu, Penarol, Brown Bombers, Georgeville Strikers, Ebony Lake, Ranchito Warriors, San Estevan, Progresso and Athletico Club Los Lobos. The teams are divided into 4 zones. In Zone 1 games played over the weekend, PG Police United blanked M&M Steelers by the score of 5-0. The goals for PG Police United were scored by Devin Burgess (2), Rowlin Burgess and Deon Burgess (2). In the second game played, Mavericks defeated GB United by the score of 5-2. The goals for Mavericks were Everette Recinos, Leslie Williams, Andre Logan and Kenton Galvez (2), while the goals for GB United were scored by Henry Jimenez and Jose Lopez.

Paradise/Freedom Fighters regains lead in Belikin Cup
The Premier League of Belize Opening Season Tournament for the 2013 Belikin Cup continued over the weekend with three games on the schedule. On Saturday November 23, at the Marshalleck Stadium out in Benque Viejo Del Carmen, the home team Verdes FC blanked the visiting Belize Defence Force by the score of 2-0. The 1st goal of the game was scored by Orlando Jimenez in the 5th minute of play to give the home team Verdes FC an early 1-0 lead. That lead was further extended when Julio Ayala scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 22nd minute of play for a 2-0 lead. The Verdes defence was able to protect the 2-0 lead in the remaining minutes of the first half of the game, and in the entire second half for the big win. The competition then continued on Sunday November 25 with two more games. At the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, San Ignacio United white-wash the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-0. The San Ignacio United squad was able to get onto the scoreboard when Anthony Gonzalez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 17th minute of play to give his team an early. In fact, that was the only goal really needed in the game. The lead was further extended for the San Ignacio United squad when Carlos Vasquez scored his team’s 2nd goal of the game in the 46th minute for play for the win. And at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, the current leaders’ in this year’s competition Paradise/Freedom Fighters and FC Belize played to a1-1 draw.

Volleyball General Congress takes place this weekend
The Belize Volleyball Association will be holding its General Congress on Saturday November 30, 2013 commencing at 1:00 pm at the Radisson Fort George Caracol Room. The highlight of the General Congress will be holding of Elections.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Ocean Academy’s Christmas Extravaganza
Dec. 7th, 7pm


Thanksgiving Morning On Ambergris Caye
Many of you are in places where the change of seasons is marked by birds migrating south or leaves falling from the trees. Here, in Belize, it’s the return of the tourists. I took a morning walk this morning up the beach and our island is bustling. Resorts have all their new cushions out, the beaches are neatly raked and tour boats are loaded and headed out. The “high season” has begun. The Christmas chill is also in the air. Our first real cold front. Last night, as I rolled myself into a blanket burrito, the temperature dipped into the low 70s, the humidity below 80% (my lips are already chapping) and the wind blew from the North west. Sweatshirts, winter jackets and wool caps are out in San Pedro.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Chaa Creek
The staff and management of Chaa Creek wish all of you, wherever you are, a truly wonderful Thanksgiving. We know that we’ll be taking the time out to be grateful for what we have, which includes you, our many friends and guests from around the world. You’re the reason why we’re here and you continue to be part of our growth while sustaining our philosophy that yes, you can combine Green, sustainable practices with quality and a certain casual luxury. In fact, our guests’ enthusiasm for responsible travel has contributed tremendously to our growth. Over the last 30 years Chaa Creek has evolved into a community consisting of over 130 dedicated staff members who in turn support many Belizean families. This allows us to provide educational and career opportunities that have a positive effect on Belize through initiatives such as the Chaa Creek Cares program. Ten per cent of what you pay for accommodation goes directly into environmental and social upliftment programs. We hope our guests sleep soundly knowing that their stay here is actually good for the people and country of Belize.

Belize preparing for a prosperous future
In a solid step forward, The Government of Belize, with financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Program is working on something with implications for every Belizean. The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has begun work a “Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017”. This strategy will be one of a series of medium-term plans working towards realising the vision behind Horizon 2030. This vision reads: “Belize is a country of peace and tranquillity, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after their own development in a sustainable way.” We think that’s a great goal, and achieving it requires effective planning starting with good medium-term strategic plans, and then linking these plans to successive operational year-to-year budgets and putting in place a solid monitoring and evaluation framework.

International Sources

EU warns Belize, Curacao about fishing sanctions
European Commission (EC) is urging European countries to impose trade sanction on Belize over illegal fishing, while warning Curacao that it may be next. The EC also urged European Union governments to hit Cambodia and Guinea with the sanctions, cautioning South Korea and Ghana that they, too, may be next in line. The EU executive called for action against Belize, noting that no “credible progress” has been made since hitting it with the so-called “yellow cards” last year. “Once placed on an official list of "non-cooperating countries" in the fight against illegal fishing, related products from those territories will find themselves all-but shut out of the EU market of half a billion consumers,” the EU said in a statement. The Commission also flagged up a new round of “yellow cards”, which puts key free-trade partner Curacao under mounting pressure to meet international obligations.

Caribbean Pulse beats again
THE last album Caribbean Pulse released was Stand Up 10 years ago. After a self-imposed break, the Los Angeles band is back with a new single. Blessed is the title of the song which was released November 1. It is from their pending album, Yesterday, which is expected to be out in early 2014. Caribbean Pulse is built around founder and rhythm guitarist William Smith, his brother Jason Smith who plays bass and lead vocalist/percussionist Ezzy Judah. All are from Belize. "Right now our focus is finishing up the Blessed video and we look to start doing shows in late January. We are in talks to do Rebel Salute and the Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival," William Smith told Splash. The band is an experienced unit with members from Belize, Jamaica and the United States. Caribbean Pulse also includes Jamaican drummer Carlton 'Santa' Davis (of Soul Syndicate Band fame), Michael Hyde (keyboards), Gil Smith (keyboards), and guitarist Steve Verhault.

Tropicals are the new produce frontier
Consumers are getting more exploratory in the produce department, and this is good news for Brooks Tropicals LLC, headquartered in Homestead, FL. “North American consumers are adventuresome,” said Director of Marketing Mary Ostlund. “They love a frontier. And in the produce section, tropicals are the new frontier. [This is] particularly important with everyone upping the amount of fruit and veggies they’re eating. They want to eat more of the produce they love. But they want to be tempted to love more.” Brooks Tropicals is a premier grower, packer and shipper of tropical produce grown in Florida and around the Caribbean. More than 4,000 acres are farmed, and the company harvests more than 70 percent of what the firm sells. Production areas are found in Florida, Belize, Brazil, Jamaica and Mexico. Commodities are also imported from countries in Central America and South America.

Central America opens the door to renewable energy
Over the last decade Central America has begun launching a range of small clean energy projects to reduce the impact of climate change and high oil prices, and to supply energy to communities in remote regions. As a result, today almost 65 percent of the electric power supplied to public utilities in the region is contributed by renewable energy sources, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America, a United Nations body. In Perquin, a village in the forest on the border between El Salvador and Honduras, Salvadoran families have built a gravity-powered micro hydropower plant in the local river. Previously, community members cut down trees to burn for fuel, deforesting the area and affecting the ecology of the river basin. But today they sell energy to neighbouring Honduras, using the profit to maintain the hydro plant and as a community emergency fund. Juan Benitez, a farmer in Perquin, said that electricity generated by the hydropower plant runs lighting that enables children to do their homework in the evenings, and that smoke from fires no longer affects villagers’ lungs and eyes.

Latin America and the Caribbean advance toward universal access to HIV treatment
Three out of four people who need antiretroviral treatment (ART) in Latin America and the Caribbean are receiving it, according to a new report from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). That leaves one in four without the life-saving treatment but represents a 10% improvement in just two years and puts Latin America and the Caribbean ahead of all other developing regions in levels of ART coverage. “Latin America and the Caribbean lead the world in providing and expanding antiretroviral treatment on the basis of technological innovation and scientific evidence,” writes PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne in the preface to the report, Antiretroviral Treatment in the Spotlight: a Public Health Analysis in Latin America and the Caribbean 2013. “What remains is to close the gap in treatment coverage and ensure equitable access to and delivery of services,” writes Etienne.

November 28, 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

Arlethe Lima Crowned Miss San Pedro Lions Queen 2013-2014
On Saturday night, November 23rd four young ladies vied for the title of Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014. The Angel Nuñez Auditorium at the San Pedro High School was packed with enthusiastic fans and the judges were tasked with a tough decision. After their votes were tallied the lovely Arethe Lima was crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014. The evening of pageantry was hosted by the San Pedro Lions and the Master of Ceremony was the gregarious John Palacio from LoveFM. The teenaged contestants included Miss Erica Bodden – sponsored by Hummingbird Rattan Furnishings, Miss Julissa Trejo – sponsored by Cayo Espanto Resort, Miss Arlethe Lima -sponsored by Rojo Lounge and Catline Benguche -sponsored by Caribeña Enterprises. The young ladies, along with reigning San Pedro Lions Queen Alexis Del Valle opened the Miss San Pedro Lions show with a dance presentation and then made their personal introductions. Palacio then introduced the five esteemed judges, which included Ms. Natasha Stuart, Mrs. Yoli Rivero, Dr. Giovanni Solorzano, Mr. Johnny Grief, Ms. Brie Harding and Mrs. Pat Grief as the tabulator. The San Pedro Dance Academy then preformed a Middle-Eastern style dance while the contestants prepared for the Island Wear modeling segment of the program. Sporting playful and flirty beach attire the young ladies were in their element, rocking the stage. A colorful Mestizo dance performed by the ever-energetic San Pedro Dance Academy followed.

Cause of Tyson Rodriguez’s death in question; did police murder him?
Two simultaneous investigations are ongoing into the death of Tyson Rodriguez, which occurred on Friday November 22nd, in the southern Stann Creek District. Police initially sent out a release claiming that Rodriguez died from natural causes, but the Rodriguez family maintains that Tyson was brutalized by police, then possibly murdered. Police claim that Tyson was arrested after he allegedly invaded the property of Canadian couple 59 year old David Baier and his wife Sonia on the Placencia Peninsula and severely beat Sonia. The entire ordeal began on Thursday at about 9PM when the Baier’s were robbed, beaten on the beach, taken to their house, tied up, their residence burglarized and their GMC Envoy SUV stolen. According to a police report the vehicle was recovered all the way in the Corozal District off a feeder road near Xaibe Village. Police say that Custom Officials saw the vehicle, decided to set chase but lost it in the process. It was later found abandoned by a joint team of Customs and Police Office. Later that morning, Customs officials saw 27-year-old Tyson Rodriguez sitting under a bus stop and identified him as the individual seen earlier in the stolen vehicle. They detained him and others, turning them over to Corozal police, who then transported Rodriguez and his companions to Stann Creek.

Zulema Ayala wins San Pedro Lions Peace Poster competition
The San Pedro Lions Club has selected the winning Peace Poster that will represent the club at an international competition. Zulema Ayala of The Island Academy was selected from amongst 38 entries that were submitted from four different schools on Ambergris Caye. The top three entries were announced on Friday November 22nd at the San Pedro Lions Den, and the three artists stopped by to receive their prizes. According to the San Pedro Lions Co-Chair of the Peace Poster competition committee, JanBrown, the judges had a difficult task selecting the winner. Brown said that after carefully looking at the criteria, the incorporation of the theme and other details, Ayala’s poster was the pick. “The students’ art work was very well prepared. They had some deep thoughts on the theme if you really look at the posters closely. This year’s theme for the International Peace Poster Competition was ‘Our World, Our Future.’ Most of the students incorporated the country and the theme, but some went and thought outside of the box and include the world into their posters. Each student that participated had to be between 11 and 13 in age by a certain date. Zulema’s poster was selected and we are happy that we have a poster that we will be sending to the international competition scheduled for2014,” explained Brown. The international winner and top 24 entries worldwide will be notified in February 2014 and will be invited to an international ceremony on March 2014.

Arlethe Lima Crowned Miss San Pedro Lions Queen 2013-2014 (49 photos)
Congratulations to Arlethe Lima, Miss San Pedro Lions Queen 2013 - 2014, and to all of the contestants who participated in the pageant. You are ALL beautiful young ladies

Ambergris Today

Flashbacks: Looking Back at Township Day in San Pedro
In this Flashback picture on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, we look back 29 years ago on what was San Pedro's first Township celebrations. Pictured here is the Salazar residence on Front Street (Barrier Reef Drive), now the location of a more modern building that houses Friki Tiki Gift shop and Belize Bank International, just across Fido's. Behind the house is an empty lot where today stands Island Plaza (Sailaway Cafe & Top Notch) and a glimpse of the San Pedro Lions Den. The banner above the streets marks: "Jenny's Store welcomes and supports Township". It was yet a very small community, but one that had grown in size as the community started to adjust to the growing tourism industry. Were the island residents back then aware of what was to become of the small village that was just entering Township status? Today, San Pedro Town, is closer to becoming a bustling city that has grown in leaps and bounds with residents still adjusting to the, still ever-growing and changing tourism industry. We owe this all to our founding forefathers, individuals and families on the island that had the vision of taking their people forward.

Belizean Fashion Designer Joris Hendrik Produces First Fashion Show
Belizean fashion designer Joris Hendrik highlighted his Spring/Summer 2014 Collection at the Princess Hotel & Casino on this past Saturday, November 23, 2013, as he produced his first fashion show of his professional career. The production was a total success. Joris Hendrik is among the first local fashion designers in the country to be internationally recognized in Belize’s burgeoning world of couture. After being a part of successful shows throughout the Caribbean, such as Carifesta XI in Suriname and the Caribbean Fashion Week, he decided to put off his first Joris Hendrik fashion show.

San Pedro Commemorates 29th Township Anniversary
Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the San Pedro Town Council sponsored two programs to celebrate the 29th anniversary of San Pedro’s Township. On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at Ramon’s Village Resort, invited guests had the pleasure of listening to inspiring addresses from Keynote Speaker, Mr. Einer Gomez, and from the Guest Speaker, Mr. Wilfredo Alamilla Sr. After the Welcome Address by Mayor Daniel Guerrero and the Invocation by Mr. Clive Welch of the Lighthouse Christian Radio, Mayor Guerrero and Miss San Pedro 2013 Solani Graniel presented framed certificates of recognition and appreciation to various members of the community who have made significant contributions to the growth and well being of San Pedro. Music by Wil and Dale along with drinks provided by the staff at Ramon’s Village along with delicious food presented by Pineapple’s Restaurant also at Ramon’s all blended beautifully to provide a most pleasant evening of entertainment and camaraderie to all the invited to this special occasion. As emcee Angel Nuñez summarized it from the very beginning, it was a wonderful site and setting for a wonderful occasion.

Misc Belizean Sources

Flashback video of San Pedro
Here is a flashback video of San Pedro in its early days as a town featured in a very popular international TV Show, Sabado Gigante with Host Don Francisco. We can observe various local personalities and places like the late Mr. Chico Flores at the Holiday Hotel and even our very own, Mayor Daniel Guerrero, as a young tour guide. If we're not mistaken, this video was filmed in the year 1992. Can anyone confirm this? Check it out! HAPPY TOWNSHIP DAY! Video courtesy of Mr. Antonio Novelo - Thanks for sharing this video.

Help for Sarteneja
District Coordinator for DEMO in Corozal Mr. Willard Levy has informed the Corozal Daily that additional assistance has been provided to the people of Sarteneja by utilizing a Belize Coast Guard boat to ferry residents to Corozal Town. This service was started yesterday Tuesday, Nov 26 and will last until this Thursday Nov 28. The "Thunderbolt" will continue the same run Friday Nov 29 & Saturday Nov 30. If necessary DEMO may continue on Monday. The service provided on both the Coast Guard and Thunderbolt is free of cost to the people of Sarteneja. The road conditions in these areas still remain in an extremely bad state and the issue with the High School students need immediate and further attention.

Happy Thanksgiving Celebrations
To all our friends from home and abroad, here is wishing you a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving Celebrations Belize tomorrow Thursday Nov 28 - Photo: "Beerdrinkus Amercanus & Canadensis"

Help for Henry Benefit Concert
There will be a Help for Henry Benefit Concert on December 9th at the George Price Centre to raise funds for Henry Griffin, who is battling leukemia. It's only $5 per person, and all proceeds go to the Griffin family. David Smith, Bethany Fritzler, and many others will be performing. There is also a gofundme site set up at "This page is set up for a little boy by the name of Henry. He lives in Belize. A friend of my family is a missionary in Belize and have planted a church there. Please know that 100% any donation will go towards helping Henry and his family get the much needed medical care that he has no access to at this point. If you have any questions about this please feel free to message me or email me."

Kontiki Family Fun Day
The Kontiki Neighborhood Watch is having their Family Fun Day this Sunday, starting at 9:00am. They'll have tons of food, some games, a football competition, a raffle, music, and even a greatsy pole. The KNW will use the funds to do more community improvements like installing more street signs and lights. "The Kontiki Family Fun Day will be held on Sunday Dec 1st 9am - 6am. We're going to have lots of delicious food and snacks for sale, as well as cool games and activities for kids. Family Fun for a worthy cause.. see you there! Please share this with your friends."

Chef Sean Kuylen Deconstructs Dukunu
Flavors of Belize teams up with Chef Sean Kuylen to make dukunu in episode 2, and Chef Sean explains how to make dukunu the easy way. He also adds some shrimp to the mix. Who's hungry? "Tonight on the menu is a traditional Mayan meal that's popular not only in Belize, but throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. It's name varies depending on location, but here in Belize it's known as 'Dukunu.' Chef Sean deconstructs this normally difficult and time consuming dish, and re-constructs it in a way easy for anyone to attempt right at home. Still keeping with the original elements of the dish, he makes it his own by adding his twist to this well known cultural meal."

Cayo CET Open House
The Cayo Center for Employment Training is having their Open House on Thursday, starting at 9:00am. See their students display their trades, and get to know more about CET. For more information, email or call 824-2944. "CCET invites you to their annual Open House!"

VIDEO: San Ignacio Market Walkabout
One of the best attractions in western Belize is the San Ignacio Market Day held every Saturday. This open air market is one of the best in the country offering fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm produce. Food vendors are everywhere, people come to sell anything from clothing, shoes, hammocks, hardware, animals and pets. It is rather like a produce market, peddlers meet and flea market rolled into one.

Channel 7

Another Castro Controversy? PM Says "No Smoking Gun" On Corruption
Today, three weeks after spinal surgery and 27 days after his last media interview – the Prime Minister held a press conference in Belize City. And, it was loaded: the event lasted just a shade under two hours, where the Prime Minister addressed a whole gamut of issues, from the latest immigration scandal, to his new beard. We’ll have all of that for you tonight, but we start with more Edmund Castro controversy. Six weeks ago, an immigration agent turned whistle-blower said that as a Minister of state, Castro had facilitated 200 visas for her in just a few months – and that he did it for two thousand dollars each. Castro flatly denied signing so many, but conceded that he had signed a few, but, quote, “nowhere in the neighborhood of 20, 30 or 40 nor 200” end quote. Castro also vehemently denies taking any money for writing recommendation letters. But last night Channel 5 showed documents demonstrating that he had signed at least 21 visa recommendations in just 16 days in May, 2013. Today the Prime Minister again had to defend Castro, and this time he said that a recommendation is only that: Mike Rudon - Channel 5 News "Over a sustained period, week after week, after week, he has been recommending visas for Chinese nationals. I know that you don't watch the news, so you might not have seen that, but what would be your comment on that."

Gov't Launches 76 Million Dollar National Road Infrastructure Programme
And while the air of scandal and the heat of burning issues took the headlines tonight, today’s Prime Ministerial press conference was really about Government’s response to the one month of heavy rains that have left Belize’s road and street infrastructure in a vastly deteriorated state. The PM said it is no less than a catastrophe: Jules Vasquez Reporting Prime Minister Dean Barrow "It's as I said, speaking clearly, a catastrophe with respect to these rains, and it's not over yet." Government is coming in with 2.26 million dollars as emergency repairs for the most severely affected roadways: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "We’re talking about areas where access has been cut off and movement of people and goods severely impaired and the Ministry of Works has given to the Ministry of Finance the budget that is required to do the immediate remedial work that is necessary." But that is only in the short term, in the long term, there is a massive three year plan to overhaul much of the country’s road infrastructure - an effort that this government hopes will become its hallmark:

PM Says Farmers Right, BSI Wrong, Bagasse Does Have A Value
And while government’s road infrastructure overhaul was today’s “big reveal”, the hardest line came down on the subject of bagasse. As we told you earlier, the PM unveiled what he said is the government’s official position. He says Cabinet adopted a position with key input from Minister Godwin Hulse, who has been on the BSI Board for years. Somewhat surprisingly that position does not square with the BSI position, in fact it is directly opposite: Prime Minister Dean Barrow “We are convinced and as a lawyer, I am entirely satisfied that there is every basis for our conviction, we’re convinced that the farmers have a case. We looked at the provision in the memorandum of understanding that talks about the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any by-product will be subject to future discussions, and the sharing of revenue will be based will be based on the result of those discussions. And in our view that clearly contemplates some form of compensation to farmers for the bagasse. The argument that the bagasse is waste, and is not a by-product in our minds cannot stand. You cannot say that the bagasse is not a by-product. To me, it doesn’t hold water for that argument to be made. So we are absolutely positive that the farmers have a case and that case needs to be addressed.” And while the government is with the cane farmers on that central issue, GOB is not with them on the plan to undermine the start of the crop season. He explained why he feels the farmers are going about it all wrong:

GOB Won't Fix Sugar Roads If Farmers Aren’t Serious About The Cane Season
And when they meet on Monday, the cane farmers are sure to bring up the issue of sugar roads. Those roads which are used for cane delivery took a beating with the month of rains. The Ministry of works would have to do major work on them before the crop season starts. But the PM says Government won’t fix the roads, if they won’t be used – he explained the position: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "I would need to be sure that there is going to be a crop. I am perfectly willing and happy to fix the sugar roads, but if there is not going to be a crop, then that isn't an immediate priority. I would have to look at other areas where people in fact can't get out of their villages and spend the money there."

Rains Caused Consequential Agricultural Losses
And while the state of the sugar industry overshadows everything in the Agricultural sector, the truth is, farmers all over the country have been plunged into crisis by the rains. The PM outlined the findings of a just completed report on rain damages: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "There is tremendous agriculture, tremendous crop damage, up until this morning, the Minister of Agriculture was on this. The Deputy just handed me the latest preliminary report. We're looking in terms of crop damage, at people suffering in Cayo, Belize, Orange Walk, Corozal a total of $2,634,600 by way of losses. We're talking about soy bean, 800 acres having been destroyed, 350 acres of corn, 50% of vegetable farmers affected, and if the weather persists, all the vegetable farmers will be affected. We can't pay them for the loss of earnings, but we can certainly help in terms of doing things like providing funding for seeds so that they can replant."

Cops Kill Alleged Armed Robber In Ladyville
Ladyville residents were shaken today by a barrage of gunfire in a neighbourhood only a block away from the police station. There was an exchange of gunfire between Ladyville police and an alleged armed robber which ended when the gunman was killed. According to area residents, it happened at around 3:30 this afternoon. Some say, they heard as many as 10 gunshots ring out. From what our team gathered on the scene, the armed robbery took place at Country Products Meat Shop which is located on the Highway in Ladyville. Police responded and managed to chase the man in an area near the basketball court, where the robber allegedly opened fire at police. Police fired shots in return –and caught the man in the chest area– killing him instantly. The man was later identified as Travis Mckay, a resident of the same neighbourhood. The officer commanding Ladyville explained: ASP Chris Noble, Rural Executive Officer, Police Department "What we have been able to gather is that there was an incident earlier and the police were following up on that incident. They came up on the gentleman that we have that is now deceased or that we have confirmed deceased. There was possible an exchange of gunfire and the person passed."

Stabbed His Wife’s Lover, Steeno Gets 12 Years In Jail
49 year-old Vincent “Steeno” Tillett, the man who stabbed his common-law wife’s lover to death, will spend a total of 12 years in prison for it. That was the sentence that Justice Adolph Lucas handed him today after his mitigation hearing. Justice Lucas heard character witnesses from Tillett’s daughter Naera Polanco; his friends, business man Alvin Hyde Jr. and Pastor Melvin Davis of the Church of Christ; and from his attorney, Arthur Saldivar. After careful consideration, Justice Lucas sentenced Tillett to 15 years in prison to be recorded as commencing from the day when he was remanded to prison to await trial. He will only serve 12, since he spent 3 years in jail, waiting to have his case heard. Tillett was tried without a jury before Justice Lucas who, after listening to the evidence presented to him, found him guilty of a lesser charge of manslaughter, not murder, when he stabbed 22 year-old Darwin Phillip, puncturing is heart, killing him.

Marsha Reid Speaks From Dock, Contradicts Caution Statement
Another accused person who is waiting on the judge to determine her guilt is 39 year-old Marsha Reid. Her trial for murder, which was done without jury, concluded today before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Southern Session of the Supreme Court. As we told you, Senior Crown Counsel Cecil Ramirez was able to get her confession statement, in which she admitted to stabbing her lover, BDF Corporal Donovan Castillo, accepted as evidence against her. Reid told the court from the dock that she stabbed him in the neck in self-defence after they had a fight. That is contrary to her confession statement where she told police that she was the one who attacked first.

PM Says IMMARBE Black Eye Can Be Fixed, CFATF Not So Easily
And we go back now to the Prime Minister’s press conference, which, as we said, was loaded with news. He addressed the issue of the European Union blacklisting Belize. As we told you last night, it’s because of IMMARBE – which sells the Belizean flag to high seas vessels in international waters. The EU correctly says that IMMARBE does not police the fleet, and because of that Belize was blacklisted. Today the Prime Minister said he is confident that Government can make adjustment in the laws to satisfy the Europeans: Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize "We will very quickly pass or promulgate the regulations. What they are saying is, 'You've passed the Act and that's fine, but there must be regulations under the Act that will then create the monitoring infrastructure, and then you must operationalize the infrastructure.' I am telling you that we will do that, but I've said before, and I will say again ultimately, if we have to de-register the entire fishing fleet, we will do that. It is not a step that you likely take because it is earning revenue for the Government, but at the end of the day, we will do whatever we have to. The possible consequences of the EU action don't extend to anything other than the fisheries product of the fishing fleet, you know. It doesn't affect our shrimp, doesn't affect anything else. So, while it is serious, and we're taking it seriously - and we will deal with it - don't let us get us carried away."

GOB Will Put Major Money Into City Infrastructure
And while that subject seemed to give the PM a headache, in contrast, he was happy to talk about funding road works in the city. As all city residents know, the streets are in an atrocious state after the rains – even after the mayor paved 100 streets. The Prime Minister says Government will now provide at least one million dollars in funding to provide urgent assistance to the streets. That begins with the entrance to the city at the western highway, which will be restored for a third of a million dollars. The PM said relief is also on the way in other areas: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "For the residents of Belize City in particularly, you will be comforted to know that immediate help is on the way. We will fund the works needed at the flag monument on Princess Margaret Drive to the tune of 148,229.80. We will fund the works needed at the stop light intersection with Mahogany Street in the amount of 188,243.84 and we will of course fund the works needed near to the Marion Jones sports complex, on that area to Landivar Street, which I have to pass every morning taking my daughter to school, so believe me I know why people are howling bloody murder. We will fund the remedial works needed for that area to the tune of $377,400, all to a total amount of 990,190.16." The Prime Minister also explained that the government will have toi step in on two major roads where the Council has run into contractor difficulties:

Hon. Bradley Unsure About Councillor Chang’s Future
We also got the mayor to comment on City Councillor Eric Chang. He returned to the country yesterday after an extended absence. The mayor says that after those three weeks away, he has to make sure that Chang is on the same page as a fast-moving council: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council "My responsibility as Mayor is to ensure that every single person in the City Council is performing 100%, persons with portfolios, persons without portfolios. I need to hear from him that he's serious about delivering on his commitments that he was elected to do." Jules Vasquez "Will he be reinstated as a councillor with portfolio? Do-" Darrell Bradley "No, we have no plans on doing that. We are very heavily involved in some of our infrastructure projects. I am quite satisfied with the performance of Councillor Dean Samuels. He's moving forward with Southside Street Rehabilitations Project. He wants to anxiously do those. We want to get those moving as soon as possible, so we're continuing. We're satisfied with the current fit, and I think that there is still this gaping question here in relation to his absence, and in relation to his name called the immigration fiasco, which he has to answer for."

Re-Branding Protected Areas
Belize has 103 areas all around the country which enjoy environmental protection. 69 of them are protected areas, and the rest are archaeological reserves, bird sanctuaries, and spawning aggregation sites. But did you know about them before? If the answer is “no”, then the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development has launched a campaign to inform you about the importance of these areas, which make up a network called the National Protected Areas System, or NPAS, for short. Now, branding, or re-branding usually is commonly used in business when referring to the process of creating and recreating a unique name image of a product in the consumers’ mind. The Ministry has decided to adopted it to protected areas because they want the average citizen to reconsider the importance the NPAS and the reasons that they should do all they can to preserve and keep them in their pristine, untouched states. Today, the Ministry held a re-branding campaign today at the Radisson Hotel, and 7News attended. The Chair of the National Protected Areas Technical Committee explained how important this exercise is to the Belizean identity:

DPP Has Doubts About Police Account Of Tyson Rodriguez’s Death
The family of 27 year-old Tyson Rodriguez believe that police officer killed him while in their custody, and that they should be brought to justice for it. The police officers are denying that they did anything to cause his death, and they claim that he died of natural causes, which they didn’t even see. So, after having seen all the evidence so far, what does the Director of Public Prosecutions think? Well, 7News spoke to her today, after she met with the investigating officer. She told us that she has perused the statements sent to her by the police yesterday and is of the view that the version of events given by the officers who were escorting Rodriguez raises more questions than answers, particularly in light of the findings of the forensic examiner who performed the post-mortem examination. DPP Vidal says however that the matter requires further investigation and that no charges are imminent.

Still Worth More Than A Thousand Words
In the age of powerful cellular phones, and inexpensive camera equipment, the art of photography is being eroded by the production of the everyday amateur or hobbyist. 3 women who still treat photography as an art form are Barbara Noralez, Helen Laurie and Myrtle Palacio. They’ve put together an exhibit called “3X Focus”, in which they photographed different subjects in everyday life, and they would like to share them with you. They gave 7News a preview, and told us why the public will appreciate their work: Barbara Norales - Artist, 3X Focus Exhibit "If you grew up in Dangriga, your childhood memories in the Garifuna Culture are about the 2-foot cow, and Jan Canoe on Christmas time. So, you know that you used to wake up to the sound of drums, the chericanare getting ready on Boxing Day, and everything. So, that is what I try to capture in all my pictures. In fact, some of my pictures are actual dancing of the Jan Canoe dancing on Christmas Day last year. So, they are not pictures in which the subjects posed to take. They were actually happening at that time."

One Man Was hurt In Bus Accident
Last night, 7News told you about the accident on the Western Highway just outside of Belmopan, where a James Bus, which was heading toward Belize, slammed into the back of a fruit truck. We told you that there was no one injured, but indeed someone from inside the bus who did get hurt. 32 year-old Belize City Elton Quilter was in the last seat on the driver’s side, and he got up to take out his money to pay the conductor when the accident happened. Quilter told police that he heard the bones in his spine area snap twice, and he starting feeling intense pain. He had to be removed from the scene by an ambulance who took him to the Western Regional Hospital. Quilter had an x-Ray, and he has an appointment to see a neurologist and an orthopaedic surgeon to see how serious the damage is. He says he is in a bind because neither party wants to take responsibility for the accident and he has mounting medical bills. As we told you, the bus rear-ended the fruit truck which was turning off the highway, and heading into a feeder road.

PM Says Unions Will Get Raise, But they Must Be Patient
Three weeks ago on this newscast, you heard the Unions complaining that they wanted to re-open negotiations with government on a salary increase. And they repeated their demand that government commit to some minimum increase, what they call a floor. Today the Prime Minister said they will get an increase but he still won’t commit to a floor: Prime Minister Dean Barrow "The teachers and public officers can rest assured that salary increase there will be. It will take place next year, after we've had a chance to see what the entire revenue stream is for the fiscal year, so it would kick in, I think in July, but I think retroactive to April first, and I am positive that, as I've said, that there will be a substantial increase. But, Lord, man, I have to appeal to the unions. Please, that is what I had put to you; I thought that we have pretty much had an agreement. Now is not the time to say that we demand that you give the increase now in the middle of the financial year, and we demand that there be a floor. Look at what is happening to the entire country as a consequence of the calamity that has overtaken us. Look at all that the Government has to do for all the people of this country. And as a matter of solidarity, please be patient."

PM Back To Work, But "Back" Still Not Fully Working
And we have two final items tonight. The first is on the PM’s bad back, and the second is on his weird beard. First to the back. He got surgery three weeks ago, and went to Belmopan twice this week. He says he has been working reduced hours since last week but might have been pushing too hard because his doctor said that he should take a month off. He explained: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I believe that the recuperation is coming along well and I am optimistic at the end of six weeks, the result will be as the doctor had promised. And he’s a doctor, not a politician so I believe that I can accept his promise. So that in 6 weeks, I should be experiencing measurable relief and be able to return to work, full tilt." The PM says he won’t go back to Belmopan for the rest of the week. And then he will make an effort again next week.

What’s Up With The Weird Beard?
And what about that beard? We heard it was part of No-Shave-November an observance by men to support awareness of male cancers such as prostate cancer. The PM said that’s not it; he’s trying to play Santa Claus: Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister “And before you ask, I am clearly intending to play Santa Claus. And for those who say that it is an expression of solidarity with respect to the, this being the month to raise awareness in terms of cancers that affect men…that’s such a lovely, uplifting story that I’m not going to dispute it.”

Channel 5

Immigration Minster offers no information on investigation, but talks on new measures
Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference to discuss what he termed a catastrophe visited by the incessant rains. We’ll have those comments later in our newscast, but [...]

Prime Minister addresses visa quota hustle at press conference
Tonight there is much more to bring you on the visa quota hustle. On Tuesday News Five had an exclusive look at documents which prove that Minister of State Edmund [...]

PM agrees that caneros are entitled to a share of profits from the use of bagasse
The impasse between cane farmers and B.S.I. is still holding strong…and latest developments up to Tuesday evening were that Prime Minister Dean Barrow had been asked by the Belize Sugar [...]

Eric Chang back in the country, but still no word to City Council
Councilor Eric Chang returned to Belize on Tuesday after an extended stay in Taiwan but his boss, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, is yet to have a meeting with Chang [...]

Ladyville resident is killed in late evening shooting
The Director of Public Prosecutions has not pronounced on the death of Tyson Rodriguez who was killed in police custody in Placencia late last week. But tonight, another man was [...]

Family alleges that police killed Travis Mckay
The family of Travis McKay came to our studios with a compelling report that they saw when the police chased and fired at McKay. According to the Aunt and brother, [...]

GOB to give $3 Million to assist infrastructural damages by flood
Today’s press conference was held for the purpose of discussing flooding and government’s response to infrastructure concerns. The bad news is that incessant rains have negatively impacted many families across [...]

PM Barrow speaks to EU ban on imports of fishery to Belize
The European Union is clustering Belize with Cambodia and Guinea as countries that have not done much to stamp our illegal fishing. On Tuesday, the EU announced a ban on [...]

Acting Fisheries administrator says the decision does have implications
A release from the Ministry of Finance which is now responsible for IMMARBE expresses surprise at the E.U. ban announced on Tuesday on fish imports. Today, we asked the Fisheries [...]

Barrow says no to the 13th senator
In its 2008 campaign manifesto, the United Democratic Party promised serious governance reform by introducing the idea of a thirteenth senator. That additional Senator would have come from the NGO [...]

Taiwanese government transfers agricultural projects to GOB
At Central Farm today, the Taiwanese Government handed over a two-year old project initially carried out by the Taiwanese Technical Mission. The Ministry of Natural resources and Agriculture will now [...]

“Steeno” sentenced to fifteen years behind bars
After twelve days on remand after being found guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder, Vincent “Steeno” Tillett learned his fate today when he appeared before Justice Adolph Lucas [...]


Corozaleno Cries Foul His Leased Land Was Re-distributed To Pablo Marin's Sister
A resident of Alta Mira Area of Corozal is complaining that his leased land was unjustifiably cancelled due to breach and or non-observance of the lease conditions. And while he claims that the move is partially politically motivated, tonight we bring you two sides to the story in order for you to be the judge. Maria Novelo has that report. Lennox Garbutt, former lessee of a 20 acre lot at the Consejo Road South East of the Corozal District, is tonight crying foul over the cancellation of his leased land in that area. Garbutt says he was unaware that the land was re-distributed to another Corozal resident and in that time had been making his rent payments on time. Lennox Garbutt– Former Lessee of 20 Acre Lot “I acquired the land on November 30th 2011, and from then on up to 2013 I have been paying my tax and I made several trips to Belmopan to see the commissioner of lands Mr. Vallejos and I spoke to him about the situation that I heard that someone had a lease as mines to my land and he told that that is not true so I came back to Corozal and I found out that indeed the person has the lese so I make an appointment to see Mr. Vallejos again and I went back and he told me the same thing that wasn’t true and when I hand out the paper and showed him he said that maybe it could have been error.”

PM Takes Cane Farmers Side, He Agrees Their Should Be Revenue Sharing When It Comes To The Bagasse
The situation between BSI/ASR and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association remains tense and while the government, through the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, has merely been taking on a position mediator; today the Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that they have taken a side. In the press conference this morning the Prime Minister says that his Cabinet and he personally feel that the cane farmers have a case. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister of Belize “We are convinced that the farmers have a case, we looked at the provision in the memorandum of understanding that talks about the sharing of revenue arising on the sale of any by-product will be subject to future discussions and the sharing of revenue will be based on the result of those discussions and in our view that clearly contemplates some form of compensation to farmers for the bagasse, the argument that the bagasse is waste and it is not a by-product in our minds cannot stand apart from general common sense, apart from trying to admittedly the formulation is less than clear is subject to argument.” Barrow goes on to say that while each party maintains their right to their arguments, he believes that BSI/ASR’s argument that Bagasse is not a bi-product but is instead waste, is not.

Millions To Be Spent In Infrastructural Work Orange Walk Only Gets 2.69 Million
Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow made his first public appearance since his return from seeking medical attention abroad, and his return is accompanied by the announcement of long awaited improvements in the private and public sectors which he made in a press conference held this morning in Belize City. The larger part of his presentation focused on infrastructural improvements to road networks across the country which has only been worsened by continuous rains over the last several weeks. But first, the Prime Minister announced that while government, through the National Emergency Management Organization, NEMO, has been providing assistance to families affected by the recent floods in the Northern and Western part of the country, they will be giving additional assistance to about one hundred families in the Cayo District and twenty families in the Stann Creek District. These families will be receiving food packages of three thousand dollars each per family. Furthermore, the Prime Minister announced that government will be replacing household items that were damaged by flood waters. Now, we move on to the announcement of funds for proposed infrastructural improvements – road works. Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that they have allocated funds for the immediate repair of roads that are in extremely deplorable conditions.

Will Teachers and Public Officers Receive Salary Increase?
During this morning’s press conference, another long awaited announcement was made by the Prime Minister. This surrounds the salary increase for teachers and public officers which have been tabled to the government and to which negotiations have been ongoing. And perhaps it was more of a reassurance as the Prime Minister stated that high wages for both is a given but after this fiscal year is concluded. Dean Barrow- Prime Minister “What we had said to the union’s negotiating team is for sure you will get your raise next year because there is no doubt that the formula which we have proposed that is that they get 50%, 50 cents on every dollars of increase recurrent revenue will yield them a significant salary increase. Nobody can predict with certainty the extent of the increases.” The new salary should be in effect sometime midyear in 2014. We will have more on the press conference in tomorrow’s newscast.


Belize Will Deregister Fishing Fleet if Necessary
As we reported on Tuesday, Belize was one of three countries to be banned from exporting fish products to the European Union, after the European Commission concluded that we were not cooperating in the fight against illegal fishing. According to the Commission, these countries have not addressed structural problems and have failed to show real commitment to tackle the problem. Love News got an interview today with the Acting Fisheries Administrator, George Myvette, who spoke on the technical aspects of the Government’s position that led to the ban. GEORGE MYVETTE “What has transpired in relation to the decision is that, from our stand point, it’s a governance issue and in that regard our advice as a technical arm of the government of Belize has been that there is a need to treat the foreign fleet regulatory issues holistically with the national issues and in that context we have developed a body of legislation that has been before the political directorate for the past 4 years and in that context we had unified the management of the foreign fleet along with the domestic fleet. The Government of Belize has made a decision in that regard in which we have decoupled the foreign fleet management from the domestic fleet management; that’s a policy decision, I am speaking to in relation to the technical recommendation that came out of the fisheries department. I would not be in a position to second guess but inform the policy decision but I would say that certainly the issues that would affect the domestic fisheries in terms of stock depletions, in terms of issues related to pollution, illegal fishing they run across the board and so in that context we found it wise to unify the management of the foreign fleet with the domestic fishery management programs.”

PM Addresses Reported Deficiencies in Belize Against Money Laundering and Terrorism
Last week the Caribbean Financial Task Force cited Belize for deficiencies in meeting the international standards of fighting money laundering and terrorism. Prime Minister Dean Barrow addressed the matter. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “That one is more serious than the EU situation and that one is also more problematic. We passed a raft of legislative measures in order to try to achieve the degree of compliance required but let’s be clear, the big countries are hypocrites; they don’t practice what they preach. They tell you what you have to do; they talk about harmful tax competition; they talk about this, they talk about that; they talk about knock off counterfeit goods, what is the name of the place in New York? Canal Street or China Town….the point is that in passing the legislation that we did, we had to try to steer a careful course; we recognize that these big countries and that their proxies, their agencies are all powerful and can collapse our system. So we can complain, we can denounce them but the fact is that ultimately we have to realize where the power lies. On the other hand, we have people in the financial services sector and offshore sector saying to us that if you go as far as these people are demanding, we are going to shut down the industry. So, it’s a huge balancing act that’s required. Ultimately, I have said to the local people, please, we will try as best we can to protect you as much as we are able but in the end, recognize that the jig will soon be up. It might be unfair but these people won’t stop until they kill off our offshore sector. Bottom line: we have, I believe, another six months. They have made the statement against us but they haven’t black listed us. The drafts person who operates as legal counsel to the Ministry of Finance has been given a job to go back over the list of demands from these people and has been given a mandate to produce the additional legislation that we need and to do the additional things that we need by February. We will go to the house, certainly by the end of January, with the new legislation drafted and ready to be passed and hopefully by February when, remember the Caribbean Action Task Force is a sort of subset of the Financial Action Task Force and the larger body is meeting in February, we want to make sure that we are in full or at least very substantial compliance by February and we will work towards that. So to repeat, I will complain, lament, and send up jeremiads; I will say that these people, ‘di chance we’ but we have no choice but to comply so comply we will.”

Guyana Has New Honorary Consul in Belize
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that the Government of Belize has agreed to the appointment of Hugh Asquith Saul as Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Belize. Saul will replace Lutchman Sooknandan who served in that capacity for a number of years but retired due to ill health. On Friday Saul was presented with his Letters of Commission by the Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Guyana. Saul’s appointment as Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Belize represents an important step in the further deepening of relations between the two CARICOM countries and to ensuring that nationals of Guyana residing in Belize are afforded the opportunity of consular services. Prior to migrating to Belize, Saul served as a member of the Board of Directors in the Guyana State Corporation, Guyana Fisheries Corporation, Guyana Agricultural Products Corporation, Guyana Agricultural Research and Development Institute and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism.

Attempted Robbery Leads to Culprit’s Death
A man was shot dead in Ladyville this evening. The incident happened in a yard in Ladyville Village shortly after four this evening. Allegations are that McKay robbed a meat shop on the Philip Goldson Highway and rode off on a bicycle towards his house in the village. But additional reports are that policemen, who had gotten an alert about the robbery, met McKay on a street leading to his house. There was an exchange of gunfire and in the process, McKay was fatally hit. Love News spoke with the Officer Commanding the Ladyville Police Station, Chris Noble, who said that the details are still unclear at this point. ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT CHRISTOPHER NOBLE “There was an incident earlier and the police were following up on that incident. They came upon the gentleman that we have that is now deceased and we have confirmed the deceased and there was possibly, an exchange of gun fire and the person passed. The incident we have is there was a robbery, a theft in the area. He is a resident of Ladyville.”

Former Traffic Officer and Accomplice Land In Court for Burglary Charge
Two men were charged in connection with a burglary at Skills Training Trading Center on Magazine Road in Belize City, when they appeared today in court. They are 37-year-old, security guard Glenford Patnett and 30-year-old, Giovanni Dougal, an office assistant at Skills Training Trading Center. Patnett was charged with burglary while Dougal was charged with abetment of a crime, to wit: burglary. Both men pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered each of them bail in the sum of $5,000.00 and adjourned their case until January 23, 2014. The burglary occurred between Friday, November 22 and Monday, November 25. According to the report, Patnett entered as a trespasser at the office of the receptionist and stole 640 dollars and a green cellular phone. The allegation goes further to say that Dougal facilitated Patnett in the commission of the crime. The door of the receptionist office was found damaged.

Castro’s Letters of Recommendation for Visas Are Absolutely in Order
Since October, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Edmund Castro has been the focus of allegations that he is involved in a visa hustling ring. Last night Channel 5 reported that they had obtained copies of documents which they say implicates the Minister of State and his administration. Prime Minister Barrow responded to the allegations at today’s press conference. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “I indicated that the Minister checked, spoke to the Director, the Director made it clear that at no stage did Minister Castro lean on her, call her in any way or intervened on her to try to procure a visa for a single solitary soul. The fact that he wrote letters of recommendations, on the face of it, is absolutely in order. Having had the minister’s report to me that the Director is crystal clear in saying there was no effort at twisting her arm or even gently persuading her on the part of Castro to give any visa. What you have produced is, in my view, not even remotely close to a smoking gun. On the face of it, ministers are entitled and perhaps obliged to write letters of recommendation. If you had shown that 200 or 100 or 75 and in combination with that there was any complaint, not complaint, any indication from the Immigration Director, who is the one who authorizes the visa, that Castro had intervened, then you would have had an argument.”

Father of Nine Faces 15 Year Sentence
49-year-old, Vincent Tillett, a.k.a. “Steeno’, a father of nine who was charged with murder but was convicted of manslaughter, was sentenced to 15 years today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas stipulated that Tillett’s remanded time of three years is to be subtracted from his sentence, so he will serve 12 years. Tillett’s conviction was for the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old, Darwin Phillips, a.k.a. “Darmu”, which occurred on February 13, 2011, at the house of Tillett. Before he decided on the sentence Justice Lucas heard pleas for mitigation from Tillett’s daughter, Naera Polanco,28 and two of his friends, businessman Alvin Hyde Jr. and Pastor Melvin Davis of the Church of Christ. All three of them spoke well of Tillett. They said that he is a quiet person, that he is hard working and that he is not a person quick to anger. Tillett’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, also spoke on his behalf. Crown Kayshia Grant represented the prosecution.

Eric Chang Is Back But Remains Without Portfolio
Former Belize City Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang is back in the country. Chang flew back under the radar yesterday afternoon. Chang’s name had been mentioned into the passport scandal after which, Chang left the country en-route to Taiwan where he stayed for more than three months. We caught up with Mayor Darrell Bradley and he told us that a meeting between Chang and himself will have to happen before the week is over. MAYOR DARREL BRADLEY “Persons in the media were somehow suggesting that well he came back yesterday and I should have called him yesterday and I should have known he was coming back yesterday. There is no Eric Watch; I don’t have people at the airport looking out for when this man comes. My responsibility is to be the Mayor of Belize City; my responsibility is to ensure that all 10 councilors and staff are fulfilling their mandate and their commitment as councilors and as part of the Belize City Council, that’s what I was elected for. I want to sit with him and I want to get his assurance and hear from him that he is committed to continuing as a councillor and to be an effective councilor. Whatever has to happen in relation to any kind of investigations again, we are still not in possession of any report or document or anything in relation to that. It is my responsibility as Mayor to ensure that our council is operating in a way that is effective and we are delivering on core commitments and that’s why I want to meet with him to get his assurance that he is going to continue in that same stead. We took, as a consequence of his actions, decisions which I thought were very appropriate. Those decisions will be kept in place; we have a new Deputy Mayor, we have a new Works Councillor but in respect to him being a councillor of the Belize City Council, he was elected by the people and I want to ensure that as a councillor that he continues to perform his public duties. He has no portfolio at this time and there is no decision on my part to assign any portfolio to him.”

Prime Minister Says Cane Farmers Have A Case for Bagasse
At this morning’s press conference the Prime Minister presented the Government’s position on the ongoing dispute within the sugar industry. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “We are convinced and as a lawyer, I am entirely satisfied that there is every basis for our conviction. We are convinced that the farmers have a case. We look at the provision in the memorandum of understanding that talks about the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any byproduct will be subject to future discussions and sharing of the revenue will be based on the result of those discussions and in our view that clearly contemplates some form of compensation to farmers for the bagasse. The argument that the bagasse is waste and is not a byproduct in our minds cannot stand. Apart from general common sense, apart from trying to do an exegesis, admittedly the formulation is less than complete, less than clear, is subject to argument but doing the best that I can, in terms of my experience as a lawyer and my knowledge on how you read language and texts, I am convinced, as is the rest of my Cabinet, that this contemplates that when, as has now happened, the sugar industry is able to make use of what formally was treated solely as waste to generate fuel and bagasse can be used for other things, I’ve seen, and when that happens you cannot say that the bagasse is not a byproduct. To me, it doesn’t hold water for that argument to be made. So, we are absolutely positive that the farmers have a case and that that case needs to be addressed. Now we part ways with the farmers, in terms of the manner in which it seems they are determined to make their point and to press their case. We cannot consider it helpful for the industry, for the economy in the north and for the country for there to be this talk about strike and non-commencement of the crop; that will hurt all of us but it will hurt most the very farmers that are being encouraged not to deliver.”


No Evidence of Impropriety with Minister Castro
Since October, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Edmund Castro has been the focus of allegations that he is involved in a visa hustling ring. Last night Channel 5 reported that they had obtained copies of documents which they say implicates the Minister of State and his administration. Prime Minister Barrow responded to the allegations at today’s press conference. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “I indicated that the Minister checked, spoke to the Director, the Director made it clear that at no stage did Minister Castro lean on her, call her in any way or intervened on her to try to procure a visa for a single solitary soul. The fact that he wrote letters of recommendations, on the face of it, is absolutely in order. Having had the minister’s report to me that the Director is crystal clear in saying there was no effort at twisting her arm or even gently persuading her on the part of Castro to give any visa. What you have produced is, in my view, not even remotely close to a smoking gun. On the face of it, ministers are entitled and perhaps obliged to write letters of recommendation. If you had shown that 200 or 100 or 75 and in combination with that there was any complaint, not complaint, any indication from the Immigration Director, who is the one who authorizes the visa, that Castro had intervened, then you would have had an argument.”

Belize’s Foreign Affairs Announces New Honorary Consul for Guyana
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that the Government of Belize has agreed to the appointment of Hugh Asquith Saul as Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Belize. Saul will replace Lutchman Sooknandan who served in that capacity for a number of years but retired due to ill health. On Friday Saul was presented with his Letters of Commission by the Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, Minister of Foreign Affairs in Guyana. Saul’s appointment as Guyana’s Honorary Consul in Belize represents an important step in the further deepening of relations between the two CARICOM countries and to ensuring that nationals of Guyana residing in Belize are afforded the opportunity of consular services. Prior to migrating to Belize, Saul served as a member of the Board of Directors in the Guyana State Corporation, Guyana Fisheries Corporation, Guyana Agricultural Products Corporation, Guyana Agricultural Research and Development Institute and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism.

Farmers Need New Approach for Bagasse, PM Says
At this morning’s press conference the Prime Minister presented the Government’s position on the ongoing dispute within the sugar industry. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “We are convinced and as a lawyer, I am entirely satisfied that there is every basis for our conviction. We are convinced that the farmers have a case. We look at the provision in the memorandum of understanding that talks about the sharing of revenue arising from the sale of any byproduct will be subject to future discussions and sharing of the revenue will be based on the result of those discussions and in our view that clearly contemplates some form of compensation to farmers for the bagasse. The argument that the bagasse is waste and is not a byproduct in our minds cannot stand. Apart from general common sense, apart from trying to do an exegesis, admittedly the formulation is less than complete, less than clear, is subject to argument but doing the best that I can, in terms of my experience as a lawyer and my knowledge on how you read language and texts, I am convinced, as is the rest of my Cabinet, that this contemplates that when, as has now happened, the sugar industry is able to make use of what formally was treated solely as waste to generate fuel and bagasse can be used for other things, I’ve seen, and when that happens you cannot say that the bagasse is not a byproduct. To me, it doesn’t hold water for that argument to be made. So, we are absolutely positive that the farmers have a case and that that case needs to be addressed. Now we part ways with the farmers, in terms of the manner in which it seems they are determined to make their point and to press their case. We cannot consider it helpful for the industry, for the economy in the north and for the country for there to be this talk about strike and non-commencement of the crop; that will hurt all of us but it will hurt most the very farmers that are being encouraged not to deliver.” The Prime Minister says he hopes to meet with cane farmers shortly.

Duo Steals From Skills Training Centre
Two men were charged in connection with a burglary at Skills Training Trading Center on Magazine Road in Belize City, when they appeared today in court. They are 37-year-old, security guard Glenford Patnett and 30-year-old, Giovanni Dougal, an office assistant at Skills Training Trading Center. Patnett was charged with burglary while Dougal was charged with abetment of a crime, to wit: burglary. Both men pled not guilty to the charges. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser offered each of them bail in the sum of $5,000.00 and adjourned their case until January 23, 2014. The burglary occurred between Friday, November 22 and Monday, November 25. According to the report, Patnett entered as a trespasser at the office of the receptionist and stole 640 dollars and a green cellular phone. The allegation goes further to say that Dougal facilitated Patnett in the commission of the crime. The door of the receptionist office was found damaged.

Manslaughter Conviction Leads to 15 Years Behind Bars
49-year-old, Vincent Tillett, a.k.a. “Steeno’, a father of nine who was charged with murder but was convicted of manslaughter, was sentenced to 15 years today by Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas stipulated that Tillett’s remanded time of three years is to be subtracted from his sentence, so he will serve 12 years. Tillett’s conviction was for the fatal stabbing of 22-year-old, Darwin Phillips, a.k.a. “Darmu”, which occurred on February 13, 2011, at the house of Tillett. Before he decided on the sentence Justice Lucas heard pleas for mitigation from Tillett’s daughter, Naera Polanco,28 and two of his friends, businessman Alvin Hyde Jr. and Pastor Melvin Davis of the Church of Christ. All three of them spoke well of Tillett. They said that he is a quiet person, that he is hard working and that he is not a person quick to anger. Tillett’s attorney, Arthur Saldivar, also spoke on his behalf. Crown Kayshia Grant represented the prosecution.


BSI says Bagasse Dispute Should be Settled in Court
Today, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and its partner in the Tower Hill factory American Sugar Refining (ASR) met the press in Belize City to give their side of the ongoing dispute over a payment for bagasse. The sugar producer has and continues to insist that the farmers...

Why Prime Minister Rejects Senate Inquiry Into Passport Scandal?
The motion tabled by the Opposition at the last meeting of the Senate for a Senate-led inquiry into reports of corruption at the Ministry of Immigration was struck down by the Government’s side of the floor. Six Senators voted in favor of the investigation, while the remaining six –...

Is CPBL on the Bench of the Defendant?
Breaking news this evening! Plus News has learned that CPBL; Citrus Growers of Belize Limited has been sued in the United States Supreme Court; specifically Puerto Rico. The suit is brought against the Citrus Company by SOCIEDAD AGRICOLA HERMANOS PEREZ, INC., of Puerto Rico, a Distributor of CPBL’s CitroPulpa;...

Is Former Deputy Mayor Eric Chang going to Meet with Mayor?
Belize City Councilor Eric Chang is confirmed to be back in Belize and high on his list of priorities is a meeting with his boss, Mayor Darrell Bradley. Stripped of his title as Deputy Mayor and his portfolio, Chang must explain why his name has been called as the...

Prime Minister Weighs in on the Bagasse Controversy
For the last two days, the cases of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) on the issue of payment for bagasse has been publicly presented. Each is adamant and there are suggestions of a court battle. But the farmers won an important...

Another Land Problem Visits the Corozal District
Double ownership of lands seems to happen more often than it should. Whatever procedures have lead to more than one person showing documents for land, has apparently still not been adequtely addressed at the Lands Department. We have another complaint today from a certain Lenox Garbutt who told us...

Violence Against Women Subject to 16 Days of Activism
The Sixteen Days of Activism is a major event for women’s rights advocates as they tie in three special observances toward the end of November and December – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which was observed yesterday, November 25; World Aids Day on December...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Caye Caulker’s Football Finest
TEAM ROSTER Manager – Mr. Julian ‘Neno’ Rosado Coach – Mr. Noe Sandoval

Dance X BZ 2013 – FREE Saturday Performace at the Bliss Centre for Performing Arts
November 26th, 2013. Dance Extravaganza which has become an annual event in November hosted by the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts announces “Dance X BZ 2013”! This year the festival will be held on Thurs. Nov 28, 29, 30, and includes both national and international dancers and groups such as: Belizean Jamie Thompson will be performing from The Dallas Black Dance Theatre, a dance company in the US. Jamie is an alumnus of Wesley College, who later joined the Belize National Dance Co; worked at the Institute of Creative Arts, studied in the US and is now a professional dancer with the Dallas Black Dance Theatre!!! Other dancers and groups taking the stage over the weekend include: Belize National Dance Company Ballet Folklorico, San Benito, Peten (Guatemala) Ugundani Dance Group The Ballet Art School Nu Generation Dance Company Orqueda Negra Dance Group Papa Zulu & Metro Sierra ( Mexico) Lirahunu Satue Dance Club The Airbender Ebenezer Youth Group New Elite ( Toledo) Latino Mix Dance Company (Corozal)


Taste of Playa celebrates 5th anniversary
This year Taste of Playa celebrated its 5th anniversary with a spectacular special even night, a wine and food pairing event hosted by La Casa del Agua. The menu included a salad of Melon and Goat Cheese, Seabass in Romescu Sauce, a slow roasted Portabello Confit, sauteed Squid filled with Pancetta Mousse, Beer Marinated Short Ribs and finally a Triple Chocolate Cake. All six courses were timed perfectly, the food was served at the right temperature and the wines were poured on time…. no easy feat with a group of 50 discerning, well-traveled and in this case rowdy foodies. The Kumar’s also attended the same dinner and said it was a great way to kick off the Taste of Playa 2013 and get to know the event committee and others people who had bought VIP passes. You can read the full review and see pictures on Life’s a Beach blog.

My Favorite Dining in Punta Gorda – Gomier’s Restaurant, Asha’s Culture Kitchen and Da Lazy Fish
This is maybe my third or fourth post about my new favorite town in Belize: Punta Gorda. I’ve called it magical…everything you want Belize to be in one place…and a Belize that almost feels stuck in time. It’s all those things. Also interesting to me is that the “restaurant scene” is no scene at all. From what I can tell, Punta Gorda proper doesn’t have one “fancy” restaurant. One with table cloths and candle light, one that serves tapas or farm to table produce… Some of the restaurants that I found didn’t appear to be open at first glance, had run out of some of their menu items and required a bit of wait time to get your food. But all had yummy food and DELICIOUS fresh seafood. Many show off the heavy East Indian influence in the area with mild curry. I’ve never had more tender conch or tastier tofu in Belize. Here are a few of my favorites in Punta Gorda. ALL very worth the visit. My very favorite and one I visited twice…Gomier’s Restaurant and Soy Center. Yes. You read that right. Soy Center. Don’t be scared off. It’s #1 on TripAdvisor for Punta Gorda restaurants.

Happy Thanksgivukkah To All!
Wow, it has been 125 years since Thanksgiving fell on the first day of Hanukkah, a rare occasion!! And everywhere you look around the web and on social networks people are excited; so excited are they that a new word has been born, "Thanksgivukkah"! The secular calendar and the Jewish calendar collided this year and we now have a once-in-a-life time convergence; something that will not happen again for another 70,000 years. This Hanukkah and Thanksgiving I am thankful for family, health, prosperity, food, technology, friends and music. As we all gather around our tables with our loved ones, I would like to wish each of you a Happy Hanukkah and a joyous Thanksgiving!

Outsource2LAC Shapes up as the foremost outsourcing and offshoring event in Latin America and the Caribbean
Representatives of hundreds of global services companies meet in Buenos Aires with industry experts to examine current trends The third annual Latin American and Caribbean Outsourcing and Offshoring Forum, Outsource2LAC, brought together representatives of leading global services industries in the region with potential clients from Asia, Europe, and North America. More than 500 businesspeople from the global services sector, trade promotion professionals and government officials participated in the meeting, which was held in Buenos Aires Nov. 20-21. During the event participants held more than 1000 one-on-one business meetings in fields that included digital animation, virtual education, pharmaceutical research and development, architectural design, and engineering design, among others. “Our region is increasingly recognized internationally for the great variety and quality of the global services it offers, and Outsource2LAC has become a key resource for this market,” said Fabrizio Opertti, chief of the Trade and Investment Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). “Our geographic location, time zone, and our growing numberof creative and innovative companies give us a competitive advantage,” he added.

We Need A New Constitution
You can’t have a house on a sinking foundation and you would never build a new house on one right? So then why are we ignoring the fact that our Constitution is a sinking foundation that needs to go? Example # 1: On November 26, 2013 the Government of Belize held a House Meeting. After this meeting the media reported that Hon. John Saldivar secured an approval from the Prime Minister for $150,000 to assist the Belmopan City Council with much needed repairs to the streets of Belmopan. If you study the Belize Constitution carefully you will find that Proviso to Section 16 (Non-Discrimination based upon race, religion, political persuasion, sex, etc.) expressly states that the Non-Discrimination Provision under Section 16 shall NOT apply to budgetary allocations under the National Budget. Therefore, allowing the ruling Government, more so the Prime Minister, unbridled power to discriminate against, for example, Area Representatives from the opposition party, thus leaving them hamstrung by not allocating financial resources to their constituency under the National Budget.

International Sources

Is Belize Becoming the Top Retirement Destination for Americans?
Belize, in Central America, is fast becoming one of the top retirement locations for Americans because of its climate, low-cost of living, close proximity to the US, and its culture. Over the last few years, more and more US retirees have relocated, retired, and continue to live in the country of Belize, located in Central America. According to BZE Tours, a company that specializes in Belize relocation and retirement tours, many Americans have opted to move and retire to Belize because the highly touted tropical paradise provides a long list of benefits that has captivated them. Some of these benefits are: Low Taxes – Belize is one of the few countries that can boast of low taxation on property, which is currently pegged at 1.5% on average. They have no capital gains tax, making the country ripe for property investing, most especially since Belize’s real estate market is considered highly affordable when compared to the real estate market in the US. Retire Persons Program – Aside from low taxes, the Belizean government has instituted a program that provides numerous incentives to retired individuals above the age of 45 years. One major incentive that most American retirees love is the duty-free tax break when bringing in vehicles and other goods from the US. Belizeans Speaks English – English is the official language in the country. It is used for everyday business and in every home, making Belize a retirement and relocation destination that will make Americans feel right at home. Currency Advantage – Currently, the Belizean dollar has an exchange rate of 2 is to 1 US$. There is no complicated exchange rate to deal with.

S&P affirms Belize at 'B-/B', outlook is stable
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Wednesday affirmed the B-minus/single-B foreign and local currency long- and short-term ratings on Belize. The rating outlook is stable. S&P said the ratings reflect the country's lingering high government debt and interest burden, and the vulnerability of its external debt service to external or fiscal shocks.

European Union Proposes Ban on Fish Imports From Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea
Fish imports from Cambodia, Belize and Guinea may be banned from the European Union for allowing illegal fishing operations. According to Reuters, Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki announced in a statement Tuesday that she recommended the ban due to the countries failure to tackle illegal fishing. "We import 65% of the fish our citizens eat and we would like to be sure that all this fish we eat is fished in a legal way," Damanaki said. "EU ships are not going to fish in their waters and there will be no cooperation with fishing vessels flagged from these countries." Three more countries, including South Korea and Ghana have been warned that they are in danger of facing a similar ban, in the first major proposal against countries failing to discontinue illegal fishing for people who do not have the correct permit.

Paddling Strokes - Belize Kayaking
I recently had two kayaking experiences in the country of Belize. Belize is an interesting country in Central America. I had gone to Belize many years ago on a mission trip to the interior cities of Corozal Town and San Ignacio. But this trip was to the barrier island of San Pedro with its outer barrier reef. After getting to the coastal city of Belize City, Tropic Airline delivers tourist to the outer resort areas. Rose Mary and I flew the Tropic "puddle jumper" to the city of San Pedro on the island of the same name. This island is narrow, only a few hundred yards wide and at just above sea level. After meeting our resort host we walked an alley two blocks to the boat pier as our luggage was taxied around to the boat. Then a seven minute boat ride took us up the island to our resort, El Pescador (The Fisherman). English is the language of Belize as it was previously British Honduras.

Newcastle United Transfer Special: Could Deon McCaulay Be The Next Mirandinha?
WHO is Deon McCaulay I hear you ask? He’s only the joint top scorer of the World Cup 2014 Qualification campaign with 11 goals equal to Robin Van Persie and Luis Suarez. MORE than the 10 of Lionel Messi, Edin Dzeko, Gonzolalo Huguain and Radamel Falcao, all 60M Euros worth. Goals win football matches and goal scorers are the most precious commodity in the football world. And 26 year-old Deon McCaulay, Belize international striker who currently bangs them in for the superbly-named Belmopan Bandits is a natural born goalscorer. He is fast, skilful, both-footed and could be the fox-in-the-box that Newcastle need to kill games off against tired opposition in the second half of games.

Concerns raised over SEWAGE FLOW in C’bbean Sea
As much as 90 per cent of the sewage discharged into the Caribbean Sea is either untreated or partially treated, a situation which the United Nations says is a major threat to the region's bread and butter — tourism. Previously, the figures bandied about were between 80 and 85 per cent. But, at yesterday's opening of a media workshop on wastewater hosted by the Global Environment Facility-Caribbean Regional Fund for Wastewater Management (GEF CReW), officials said the lower figures were representative of the wider Latin American and Caribbean region. Either way, the incidence has earned the region a failing grade as it stands to turn tourists away from our shores. "The Caribbean is failing in its handling of wastewater. It's receiving a failing grade from tourism. It's receiving a failing grade from fishing. It's receiving a failing grade from public health. It's receiving a failing grade in terms of climate adaptation," a five-minute video on the subject said. The failure stems from aged — and, therefore, inefficient — treatment plants in some instances, ineffective policies, poor policing of policies where they do exist, as well as the absence of facilities and policies in other cases.

American Airlines Launches Internet Check-In
Just in time for the busy travel season, American Airlines customers traveling with a passport from Latin America, the Caribbean, or Bermuda, can now conveniently check in for their flights via the internet. “With this new service, passengers are able to check in online through two to 24 hours before traveling, if they are traveling to the United States or to their citizen country,” the company said. This new feature allows customers to conveniently check in, select or change seats and request upgrades when available, all from the comfort of your computer or personal device. It also reduces the time spent waiting at the airport, allowing customers to print their boarding passes at home or via the self-service machines at the airport. “We know that our customers value the convenience and flexibility of being able to check in for their flights from anywhere,” said Art Torno, American’s Vice-President- Mexico, Caribbean and Latin America.

Thrillseeker, 61, who has traveled the world to dive into its dingiest caves jumps into Mexican pit so deep CLOUDS form inside
A thrillseeker who has traveled the world to dive into its dingiest caves has shared stunning photographs of his favorite one yet - a 1,200-foot-deep hole in Mexico that is so deep, clouds form inside. Dave Bunnell, a 61-year-old adrenaline junky from Delaware, has traveled to 18 different countries to take on dozens of the world's dingiest pits - and his favorite is Mexico's astonishing El Sotano de las Golondrinas, also known as 'the Basement of Swallows', in San Luis Potosi. These stunning images of the cave - one of the world's most dramatic free fall pits and a natural wonder than attracts thousands of cavers each year - show the moment he and his fellow divers plunge into the cave, passing through the clouds inside. Dave, an avid photographer, said the spectacular clouds, which form when humidity comes into contact with colder air, provide a perfect opportunity for him to take stunning pictures. He set up equipment on the cave floor below to capture the remarkable images. 'I started caving when I was 21, as part of a university outdoors club - I'd already been backpacking and rock climbing with them,' he explained. 'A couple of girls I was interested in were going caving, so I signed up and never looked back. I've since traveled all over the world, enjoying some of the most beautiful natural sights on the planet. 'It's such a different world it sometimes seems like being on another planet. So the other-worldliness of it, and that you never know what may lay around the next corner, when exploring a new cave, even a small one can give you these feelings like no other.'

How to Swim with Sharks in Belize
Aboard a Belize adventure tour, you’re sitting in a boat on the backside of Ambergris Caye outside Belize’s barrier reef. Your mission: find a patch of water known as ‘Shark Ray Alley’, jump in and swim with a school of fully-grown sharks. At this point, you think to yourself, “What happened to the stress free vacation I promised myself?” The good news is these aren’t great whites – instead, today you’ll be swimming with nurse sharks. Don’t let the name “shark” fool you; these gentle giants are harmless…at least most of the time. To help you relax and enjoy this special experience, here are helpful facts to keep in mind while swimming with nurse sharks.

November 27, 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

Rigo Vellos wins International Bodybuilding Competition
Rigo Vellos, the back to back Mister Belize, dominated the competition at the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on Sunday, November 24th at the annual Yucatan Festival in Xmatkuil, Merida, Mexico. The Revolution Cup is one of the largest regional bodybuilding competitions, and it attracts the best bodybuilders from Central America and the Caribbean Region. Vellos, Belize’s top bodybuilder was invited to the competition. Vellos, a native from Corozal, has been working out since the age of 16. He currently trains at the Spartan Gym in Corozal Town. In 2009, he earned his first title in the Junior Class at the Mister Belize Bodybuilding Competition hosted by the Belize Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation. Through perseverance and hard work, Vellos won the top honor of Mister Belize in 2012, and only months ago, in March 2013, he defended his title at Mister Belize 2013.

Lights, Sights and Prizes- Caribbean Christmas Colors is here again!
The twinkling lights and decorations peeking from the storefronts and homes are the first signs that the holiday season is upon us. Once again our homes will be lit with dancing lights and bathed in warm décor as the colors of Christmas fill our town. This year, for the 9th consecutive year, The San Pedro Sun invites residents and business owners of San Pedro to take the time to decorate their homes and establishments in the spirit of the season and have a chance to win dozens of spectacular prizes in The San Pedro Sun’s Ninth Annual Caribbean Christmas Colors Contest. Judging will take place on the evening of Saturday, December 14th when the judges will ride through every nook and cranny of San Pedro Town admiring the spectacular sights. They will have the final decision as to who the winners will be and the lucky holiday decorators will be announced in the special Christmas and New Year’s issue of The San Pedro Sun on Friday, December 20th.

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Returns Mayan Artifact to Belize
FBI Agents returned an artifact that was taken from the Lubaantun Mayan archaeological site.The handing over took place today, November 25, 2013, at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. Accepting the artifact on behalf of the Government of Belize was H.E. Nestor Mendez, Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America. The FBI agents informed that the item was taken by a student who visited the site on a field trip. After learning that a student had possession of the artifact, University authorities contacted the FBI. Thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding signed earlier this year between Belize and the United States of America to ensure that confiscated archaeological objects found in the United States would be returned to Belizean authorities, the FBI immediately contacted the Embassy to inform that they had the artifact in their possession.

Celebrating Children’s Day
Educational institutions across the country celebrated Children’s Day on Wednesday, November 20th under the theme “Stop the violence against the children”. In San Pedro, Children’s Day activitiesfor the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS) culminated with a grand parade on Friday, November 22nd. Close to a thousand students from SPRCS took to the streets in colorful costumes, waving colorful banners highlighting this year’s theme. According to the Ministry of Education (MOE) the theme, “Stop the violence against the children”, was part of a bigger initiative by Kim Simplis-Barrow, Belize’s Special Envoy for Women and Children, the MOE, the Ministry of Human Development, the National Committee for family and children (NCFC), Restore Belize, United Nations Children’s Funds(UNICEF) and the European Union. The demonstrations held across the country on Children’s Day showed the need to protect and care for young Belizeans in the midst of anincrease in child violence around the world.

Ambergris Today

Belize Red Cross Appeals for Communities Affected by Recent Floods
The Belize Red Cross is a making a special appeal to aid families affected by the recent floods in communities in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley. Local rivers, their tributaries, and lagoons spilled their banks during two weeks of continuous rains caused by tropical depressions that affected Belize. Villagers in some areas have endured up to four feet of water in their neighborhoods. The Belize Red Cross has begun assessing the needs of communities most affected in these areas. Both the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Red Cross are jointly collaborating in efforts to alleviate the suffering of those families most affected. Some 200 families in these areas are in great need so we ask for monetary donations, canned food, and toiletries to help in assisting these communities in need. The Belize Red Cross urges members of the public to support this appeal and to make contributions at our headquarters #1 Gabourel Lane, Belize City, and at our branches in Corozal, Orange Walk, San Pedro, Belmopan, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda.

Mister Belize Places 1st in International Bodybuilding Competition
Mister Belize 2012/2013, Rigo Vellos, won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on Sunday, November 24 2013 at the annual Yucatan Festival in Xmatkuil, Merida. Belize’s top bodybuilder, who trains at Spartan Fitness Gym in Corozal Town, competed in the 80kg and over category, defeating dozens of other international competitors. He then advanced to the overall category and defeated well-known Mexican bodybuilders such as Surizaday Alba Peña of Mexico’s “The Gym” and Isaac Acuña of “AM Gym”. This is a historic achievement for Belize. This was the first time a Belizean competed in the event. And now, a Belizean can claim the top title in one of Mexico’s most competitive bodybuilding competitions. Rigo Vellos won the Mr. Belize title back to back at the Belize Body Building and Fitness Federation competition on November 1st 2013.

Teen Talk: Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
* by Ryan Anonca, Teen Talk Reporter * In this week’s Teen Talk article, I would like to talk about coming out of your comfort zone and facing your fears. It is a very difficult to come out of your comfort zone if you are a shy person. There are people who are confident without any help and were just born with it, but for others they are not so lucky. I also have a lot of difficulties with being shy as well, which was the reason I started making a lot of crazy outgoing videos such as dancing on the street and dressing as many different characters on my YouTube show; www.RyanAnconaTV. So why is it good to come out of your comfort zone? Well, for the simple reason that we cannot always live our life in fear of what might happen. We must learn to take chances and not let our fears get the best of us. If we live in fear we wouldn’t be able to progress in life, just staying at the same pace for all eternity. That is a little boring; don’t you think?

Pic of the Week: Beach Bum Dogs in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Although there was quite a bit of rain over the weekend, it was not all gloomy skies most of the time. There were periods of sunshine when you could not tell that it had been raining at all. This is when everybody took advantage of the break in the rain and headed out to the beach. So in this week's Picture of the Week we highlight Tamera Blackenship's great capture of her pet dog Trigger as it joined them on a sunny afternoon enjoying the warm sun and clear skies.

Local Art Fair at SP Lions Den
Come on out and support local artists as they display their best paintings at San Pedro’s Local Art Fair to be held this Friday, November 29, 2013 and Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the San Pedro Lions Den. Artists include: Melody Sanchez Wolfe, Kirk Cruz, Papo Alamilla, Edgar Gomez, Baron Neal, Orvin Mejia, Valley Ruddick, Manzanero, Mr. Meggs and many more. Friday, November 29, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, November 30, 2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.! Don’t Miss out on this great event! See you there!

Kelly McGuire Singing for SAGA Humane Society
SAGA Humane Society is pleased to announce that on Tuesday, December 3, 2013,Kelly McGuire will be Singing for Saga at Fido's Courtyard from 6pm to 9pm. There will be an auction with Kelly showing he is the World's Best Auctioneer for Saga! Plus raffle prizes and Fido's will donate a portion of all sales of Draft Beer and Wings ordered during the event. Keep an eye out of our FB page for auction prizes, we have some great ones! On Friday, December 7, 2013, Saga HS elves will be with Santa for photos in Central Park for the Annual Lighted Boat Parade. Photos will be available for purchase in a Holiday Card. Proceeds will go towards the costs of the ongoing campaign to sterilize 75% of the island pets in 3-5 years through Operation SNIP.

Misc Belizean Sources

Art Fair @ the San Pedro Lion's Den Fri & Sat
Local Art Fair @ the San Pedro Lion's Den. Friday, November 29th , 9 am to 5 pm Saturday, November 30th, 9 am to 8 pm Please come support your local artisans.

Human - Jaguar Conflict in the Maya Golden Landscape
Last week Ya'axche, Forest Department and Panthera responded to reports from the Mennonite community of Pine Hill, Toledo District, about reports of a jaguar that 'attacked' a young man in his horse wagon. A few days later we received reports that a jaguar had been trapped. Edgar Correa (FD/Panthera) and Marchilio Ack (Ya'axche) responded and quickly called the Belize Zoo who agreed to take in the jaguar. Ya'axche would like to stress that once a jaguar is caught there is no chance it can be returned to the wild. Human - jaguar conflict is increasing as human population expand further into jaguar habitat. Panthera, ERI and Ya'axche are working hard to minimize this conflict using better livestock management and maintaining forested corridors.

St. Hilda Primary School, Georgeville
The children of St. Hilda Anglican Primary School in Georgeville displaying their talents.

Cayo CET Open House
The Cayo Center for Employment Training is having their Open House on Thursday, starting at 9:00am. See their students display their trades, and get to know more about CET. For more information, email or call 824-2944. "CCET invites you to their annual Open House!"

Anibru on Display at Belize Zoo
Jonathan Urbina's epic work, enititled Anibru, is currently on display at the Belize Zoo. It's amazingly beautiful, took 13 years to finish, and is made from collected feathers of birds that are native to Belize. Wow! Well done, Mr. Urbina! "Anibru comes to the Zoo! This fabulous feather display, named "Anibru" by her creator, Jonathan Urbina (left), has come to grace TBZ with her magnificent presence. Anibru is a unique work of art 13 years in the making. While all the feathers are of native birds, NONE were taken from live birds, rather collected from the forest floor, or given as gifts. To accompany Jonathan in the unveiling of Anibru was Belize's British High Commissioner, Peter Hughes (right). The British High Commission has a strong agenda on helping to curb Climate Change, which has resulted in a great working relationship with TBZ in the past. We are honoured to see that relationship continue with our new High Commissioner."

Olympic Legacy Cycle Race
They had a successful bicycle race on Sunday, courtesy of the British High Commission. The race was from Belmopan to Cayo and back. "On Sunday 24 November 2013 cyclists from the Weekend Warriors Cycle Club took part in a race to promote the 1st Anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Trophies, medals and prizes were presented to the riders by Deputy Head of Mission Mrs Jackie Brown."

Classic Cayo Captured
The SISE Town Council has uploaded a batch of classic pictures. Some are a story unto themselves. There's one of the first agricultural show too.

How to Make Homemade Apple Pie
Nothing like nice warm Apple Pie on a cold Winter's day. This recipe is simple, but delicious. Just the right amount of sweet and tart to tantalize the taste buds.

Easy Pumpkin Pie
This recipe is semi-homemade due to the fact that I used pumpkin from a can rather than fresh pumpkin. The sweetened condensed milk makes this dish so rich and delectable.

Belizean Sweet Potato Pound 1/2 Recipe
Sweet Potato Pound is so divine because of the coconut milk. Very few ingredients to this recipe and very simple to make.

David Baier, 59 and his wife Sonia Baier viciously attacked
We don't normally share this type of story in this page, but we think it is relevant to a current trend of crime against foreigners in Belize which deserves utmost attention. Viewer discretion is advised - National News - Nov 26th - Just 24 days after the murder of a Canadian woman, Patricia Lynn Nichiporowich who was brutally stabbed to death at her house in Consejo Shores, Corozal sometime on Tuesday Oct 29th, another Canadian woman and her husband are senselessly beaten and robbed in a plush area of the Placencia, Penninsula. Could this be a trend where criminals who are suppressed in Belize City now, by law enforcement are finding their way into main stream society and perpetrating these vicious and senseless crimes of violence? One of the alleged perpetrators, Tyson Rodriguez, was a well known figure to police as he had committed offenses in Caye Caulker prior to this attack.

Carlos Carrillo recognized at the National Youth Awards
The Corozal Daily wishes to congratulate Corozal's newest teen artist, Carlos Carrillo in being recognized at the National Youth Awards. Carlos placed 3rd in the country as an outstanding youth in Art and Culture. You can meet Carlos and his art work at Art in the Park.

People of Progresso and Sarteneja Villages still struggling
after weeks of extremely bad road sight of MOW (Ministry of Works) is what people are complaining about.

Belmopan boy needs help to get Leukemia treatment
The family of a 12 year old boy diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia is appealing to the public for assistance in getting him to the United States for treatment. The boy, Henry Griffin, has been undergoing tests in Chetumal, Mexico to determine the type of Leukemia he has and the results came back today. The family says they need the financial resources for Henry and his mom to travel to the US and more importantly, to identify a hospital in the US that will be able to take on treatment of the boy as a charity case. Anyone who can offer assistance is asked to contact Pastor Lee Brockinton at LifeNet church in Belmopan. The telephone number is: 629-7386. Or by email at:

Canadian couple injured during aggravated burglary in Placencia village
The death of Dangriga resident Tyson Rodriguez, 27, while in police custody has overshadowed a brutal home invasion on the Placencia Peninsula late last week. David Baier, 59 and his wife Sonia Baier, 61 were viciously attacked as they reportedly walked in the Plantation area on Thursday night of last week. According to a police report on the incident, the Baier couple was robbed of their personal belongings and cash, and Sonia Baier sustained a broken jaw during the robbery. David Baier told police that he was almost drowned by his attackers who allegedly submerged him several times under water. The Canadian couple also reported to police that they were forced to take their attackers to their home where they were tied up and their home burglarized of jewelry, cash and electronic items. Police say that the alleged robbers made good their escape in the couple’s GMC Envoy. According to the police report, the Baier’s SUV was located on Friday morning on a feeder road near Chan Chen village, Corozal. Police reports say that Tyson Rodriguez, believed to have been one of the occupants of the SUV as it was pursued by authorities, was apprehended by police and Customs department officials with the assistance of residents of Xiabe village, reportedly after Rodriguez attempted to flee from police by running into the school compound and then into some high bushes. Rodriguez was taken from Xiabe village to the Corozal police station and then transferred to Belmopan. On Friday afternoon, Rodriguez was transferred to the custody of Placencia police.

Channel 7

Eric’s Home!
He left Belize for Taiwan on Tuesday, September third, and exactly 12 weeks later Eric Chang returned to Belize today. He arrived at the Phillip Goldson International this afternoon on a flight from the US at around 4:00 pm. After 3 months, the media wasn't expecting him, so he didn't have to run the media gauntlet. This evening, Chang did not return our requests for an interview or to give us a comment via text message. But we do know that he has contacted a colleague in the council because Mayor Darrell Bradley told us that's where he got the news. Bradley added that he will call Chang tomorrow, but at this time no plans have been made for a meeting. The mayor confirmed that he has missed two council meetings - which means that he has not technically vacated his seat as a city councilor. The city council bye-laws state that to vacate his or her seat, a councilor must miss four successive meetings.

Belize Blacklisted, Gets a Black Eye With EU Fisheries Ban
In June, when the government of Belize took over the International Merchant Marine Registry, Immarbe from the Ashcroft Alliance and a Panamanian Law firm called Morgan and Morgan, a major part of the reason was that - with Immarbe in private hands - Belize faced international sanctions from the European Union because of the high seas fisheries fleet carrying Belizean flags. Now, to make it clear, these vessels have nothing to do with true Belizean fishers or vessels; Immarbe sells the Belize flag as a flag of convenience to international fishing vessels. For years, the European Union had been complaining that Immarbe doesn't have the regulatory oversight to properly police these vessels, which could be engaging in illegal activities on the high seas. Well, the government takeover should have brought some order to that, and followed by the High Seas Fishing Bill which has been tabled in the House, but not yet passed. To government's thinking, those measures should have allayed the fears of the European Union about a rogue fleet. It should have, but it didn't; seems the European Union wants deeds, not words.

BSI Takes To Media To Communicate Directly To Cane Farmers
December 15th. - that's when the Tower Hill Factory started taking delivery of cane in 2011, and that's also the deadline for 2013 - the absolute latest that the cane season can be opened without risking major losses to the industry and all the stakeholders. That's three weeks away - time that is needed to fix the cane roads after unusually heavy rains. But more importantly, that three weeks is needed to mend relations between the BSI Factory owners, which is American Sugar Refinery, or ASR - and the cane farmers. The two aren't talking right now, the Cane Farmers are refusing to meet with BSI executives until they agree to a meeting which will be held to negotiate a price for bagasse. That's a conversation BSI isn't even thinking about having, because they say bagasse is a waste product, which has a price of zero. And so today, BSI executives -who usually shy away from public engagements, held a press conference to try and get their message through to the cane farmers and the public. Jules Vasquez was there:

PUP Moving Forward On Penner Recall
On October second, the PUP announced that it would launch a recall petition on Elvin Penner, and 8 weeks later, on Thursday, November 29th., the oarty says it will submit those signatures to the Governor General to trigger a recall. It's not official-official- as in there's no press release, but we are reliably informed by a PUP operator that they plan to submit over two thousand signatures on Thursday at ten in the morning. Today's Amandala reports that the PUP have collected 2,100 signatures, which is about 300 more than the 30% required.

Shari Safe At Immarbe
It seems Shari Muschamp has been re-hired at Immarbe. The mother of two went back to work again today and remained there without incident. Her attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd tells us that THE GOVERNMENT's legal advisor has not responded to the letter demanding that Shari be fully restored to her prior capacity, but they are willing to wait until Friday as long as she remains at work.

Guatemalan Guilty Of Public Exposure
45 year-old Guatemalan Edwin Manuel Moralez, a resident of Melchor de Menchos, is at jail tonight, because he violated Belize's immigration laws and exposed himself in public. According to police, Moralez was near to Lowe's Supermarket in Ladyville, and he was on his way to Orange Walk, when he had the urge to urinate. He urinated in a public spot the same time when a police mobile passed. Officers saw what he was doing and arrested and charged him with exposing himself in a public place. He was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, where pleaded guilty and was fined $200 to be paid forthwith, or spend 2 months in jail in default. He couldn't pay, so he remained he remained in detention, and Immigration Officers discovered that he violated his visitor's permit because only received a 2-day temporary pass which allowed him to go only as far as Belmopan. Because he was found in Ladyville, on his way to Orange Walk, he failed to comply with the conditions of the permit, therefore, he was charged for it.

This Burglar Is So Busted
28 year-old Anwar Vernon is spending his first night of a 1-year sentence after he was convicted of burglary before the Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith. In the trial, the prosecutions main witness was a neighbour of the complainant Kevin Garbutt. This witness testified that shortly after 2 p.m. on September 27, 2012, he saw Vernon and another man enter Garbutt's house on Jane Usher Boulevard, and steal an Amplifier valued at $1,300. The amplifier was never recovered, and the second culprit was never apprehended. In his defence, he testified and denied that he committed the offence, saying that he was at a Chinese shop in the general area at the time of the burglary. After listening to the entire case, Chief Magistrate Smith rejected his version, and found him guilty of the charge. Because it is his first offence, he was spared of the minimum sentence of 7 years. Chief Magistrate Smith, exercising her discretion, sentenced him to 1 year in prison.

Recyclers Robbed
There was an armed robbery at the Belize Recycling Company Limited yesterday evening. It happened at around 4:20. Two masked men entered the main office at Mile 8 on the George price Highway. The company's accountant Rene Chacon was robbed of four hundred and fifty dollars in cash from his wallet and one thousand, one hundred and eighty two dollars from his pants pocket, money which belonged to the Belize Recycling Company Limited. One of the masked men was armed with what appeared to be a black shot gun and the other carried a knife while a third person stood and guarded the compound and had a handkerchief over his mouth. After getting the money, the 3 escaped.

Scary Bus Accident
Yesterday afternoon just before 4 p.m., a James Bus filled with passengers heading to Belize City had a major scare when the bus crashed into a fruit truck just outside of Belmopan. Passengers who were in the bus told us that from what they could see, the driver of the fruit truck may have been the cause of the accident. He was about to turn off the Western Highway into the feeder road to the left, seen here, but he didn't have on his indicator, nor did he pull off the road. He also did not give the bus driver enough time to react, and the bus slammed into the back of the truck spinning it completely off to road, where it came to stop on the other shoulder. Fortunately, nobody was injured, and another James bus was sent to transfer the passengers and take them to Belize City.

Coast Guard’s elite Physical Training
Last week Thursday to Saturday, the different units within the Belize Coast Guard cheered on their favourite teams as they took part in the first annual the Best Warrior Competition. The idea behind the competition is to simulate the harsh conditions while in the field to ensure the officers of the Coast Guard are in the best physical condition to be combat ready. The upper command of this arm of the security forces put together a 3 day marathon consisting of all the forms of the toughest training that an officer has to go through. The best 8 from recruit intake 4, the young officers, the training instructors, the newly formed Coast Guard Seals and a fleet team, worked together to complete the challenges with the best time and coordination of the entire unit. That team gets bragging rights, and it gives the recruits and the young officers a chance to challenge their superiors in a test of fitness levels to see who has the best grasp of the concepts, learned in training.

DPP Digging Into Details Of Tyson Rodriguez’s Murder
The Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, is currently reviewing the results of the post-mortem and the police statements given in relation to the death of Dangriga resident Tyson Rodriguez, while in Placencia police custody. As we told you yesterday, the official police version is that last Friday night, he was in their custody as the main suspect in the burglary of an elderly Canadian couple from the Plantation Area on the peninsula which happened on Thursday. Rodriguez was one of the 2 men who was reportedly spotted in the couple's stolen vehicle which turned up in Corozal, some 200 miles away. Placencia police say that he offered to cooperate with them on Friday night at around 10 p.m. to take them to where some of the couple's stolen items were, and while in the pan of the police mobile, he jumped out of the moving vehicle and ran through a bushy area where he fell with his hands handcuffed behind his back, and he drowned. As we told you, Rodriguez's family refuses to believe that he drowned; they think that he was killed by police while he was in their custody, and that the officers who did it are trying to cover it up. Their position is bolstered by the report from Dr. Mario Estradabran who certified that Rodriguez died from inhalation of beach sand and trauma wounds were found on his chest, indicating that he had been beaten. The family reasons that this suggests his head was held down in the sand and that he was suffocated by the officers who had him in their custody.

New Hampshire College Student Stole Belizean Mayan Artifact; Feds Got It Back
The story of artifacts looted from Belize goes back over centuries, but now with a Memorandum of Understanding between Belize and the USA to ensure that confiscated archaeological objects are repatriated, one object has been recovered. It's what's known as an Ocarina, a small rounded whistle in the form of a person dating back to about 800 - 900 AD, what is known as the terminal classic period. Here's how it was stolen. Last summer, a student from the University of New Hampshire who was on an environmental science class trip to Lubantuun in the Toledo District and pocketed the flute. But the other students knew about it, and reported it to their professor who called in the law. It was recovered by the FBI and was handed over yesterday at the Embassy of Belize in Washington, D.C. Nestor Mendez, the Ambassador of Belize to the USA accepted it and it will be returned to Belize.

Prep Software On Multiple Platforms
2 weeks ago, 7News promised to show you part 2 of our story on Tanya Simpson's GAME PREP, a computer program designed for helping students perform better on the PSE and CSEC Exams by allowing them extensive practice answering hundreds of sample questions. Due to time constraints we weren't able to do that, and tonight, we provide you with that interview. But there's also more to report because Simpson, whose entrepreneurial approach has earned her a business award. She told us about what she's offering to the 4th form students looking to sit the exam next year, in light of the revelation to from Education Minister Patrick Faber that they could win a $5,000 financial grant if they pass 15 exams: Tiffany Simpson - President, Belizean Artwork Publishing "Math, English, POA, POB, Spanish, Economics, IT, Caribbean History, Biology, Chemistry and Physics and we also included in our game prep build the essay assistance. This is a program that allows individuals to copy and paste their essay within the program and it reads their writing style and helps them to better structure their essay based on that particular writing style."

Saturday Night Fights
Right now, boxers at the Leopold Smart gym are making final preparations in their training to face a contingent of Mexican boxers who they will go up against this Saturday. This fight card had to be postponed due to the weather two weeks ago, but finally, Belizean boxing fans will get a chance to see their favourite fighters in action. Last week, 7News got a chance to see the Belizean boxers working out, and we spoke to their trainer, who says that the Belize Delegation has been taking the Mexicans seriously: The Belize/Mexico match up begins at 6:30 on Saturday night at the compound of the Hour Bar and Restaurant on Princess Margaret Drive. Channel 7 will be carrying the match live, so if you can't make it out there, you can catch it here.

Belize U-16’s Uncaf Undoing
Last night, our report on the final outcome of the Belize -UNDER 16 National Football Team in the UNCAF tournament didn't make it into the news. Tonight, we can report that on Friday night, the Junior Jaguars lost with a final score of 4 to 0. After all the scores were tabulated, it was determined that Guatemala, who Belize lost to once again in a much anticipated rematch, was the winner of the 2013 UNCAF U-16 Championships. Belize, which hosted the team, ranked at the bottom with 1 win and four losses, while on home turf.

Channel 5

It’s not just five…there is a long list of visas to Chinese nationals
Tonight, there is telling information that U.D.P. Minister of State Edmond Castro is involved in the mass procuring of visas for Chinese nationals. One month ago Castro was accused by [...]

Former Deputy Mayor back in the country
Former Deputy Mayor, Eric Chang, who has been away in Taiwan on an extended leave of absence, returned to Belize today.  The councilor departed for his home country along with [...]

BSI not bending on issue of paying farmers for bagasse
B.S.I. will not bend or bow where the issue of paying farmers for bagasse is concerned. That is the position coming out of a press conference hosted by B.S.I. and [...]

BSCFA taking the bagasse issue to court
Earlier this morning, at a press conference, B.S.I. reps stated repeatedly that they have tried to get BSCFA to the negotiating table with no success. Of course, the bagasse payment [...]

EU officially blacklisted Belize for Illegal Fishing
Months after the government assumed control of Belize International Services Limited which managed IMMARBE, the news is not good tonight for the now government-owned company.  In June this year, the [...]

Placencia Police in hot seat over death of Tyson Rodriguez
The police are in the hot seat for the death of twenty-seven year old Tyson Rodriguez? Rodriguez died while in police custody on Friday night in Placencia. His relatives say [...]

Aggravated burglary of Canadian couple still very much alive
But as both a criminal and internal investigation continues, the case of the aggravated burglary that spawned the fatal incident is still very much alive. The Canadian couple, David and [...]

Muschamp’s terms of reference for employment still not ironed out as yet
Sharie Muschamp, whose job as a receptionist at the International Business Companies Registry was in jeopardy a few days ago, was at her desk for a second day since returning [...]

Guatemalan national charged with exposing his person
A Guatemalan national charged with exposing his person in public and failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit will spend the next eight months in jail. Forty-nine [...]

PUP should hand over signature to the GG to trigger referendum
The P.U.P. will reportedly be handing over signatures to the governor general to trigger a referendum in the Cayo Northeast. According to information from a P.U.P. source, over two thousand [...]

Southern Region representative soon chosen for oil debate
Stann Creek’s Ecumenical High School will compete against either the Toledo Community College or Julian Cho High School to represent the southern region in the first annual oil debate competition. [...]

Invaluable piece of Mayan History returned to the jewel
An invaluable piece of Mayan history has been returned to Belize, following diligent work by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in tracking down an olden stone artifact which had been [...]

Allen and Roselle puts final touches to the wedding preparation
The reality wedding couple, Allen and Roselle are inching closer to their wedding on December fifteenth at the Princess Hotel. The couple is now putting final touches to the wedding [...]


Despite Millions Of Dollars At Stake BSCFA Does Not Budge In Their Position
And just as BSI made its position known when it comes to the Bagasse issue today, so did the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Right after travelling back from Belize City where BSI and ASR held their press conference, reporter Maria Novelo sat down with Vice Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega, to get the associations reactions on the conference. What we can tell you off the bat, is that cane farmers stand firm on their belief that there should be revenue sharing on the bagasse. Here’s how that dialogue went. Alfredo Ortega – Vice Chairman, BSCFA “We have been seeking legal advice at this point, we will be going to our lawyer maybe tomorrow, to see what advice would it be from them in this regard and what we have been doing based on the release that BSI has taken out, I think that the last two release that they brought up they have said that they have called us to negotiate this thing around the table without going into the airwaves and it seems to be that it is only talk because now they are coming and saying that take this in to court and on the other hand they are saying that bagasse is waste, it seem to me that in both ways they are contradicting themselves because Mr. Lima said it is a waste or a residue out of the cane and a part from that they are saying ok take the matter to court because let the court decide on whether you should get or not get anything and we are saying why should we go to court if we have an agreement let us decide based on the agreement we have and come to the table and let us discuss the matter because we as BSCFA we have presented to them in writing our proposal and why it is that we have reached to this ten dollars that we are asking from them and they haven’t done the same, they have not come to the table and present to us in writing and showing their figures why it is that they cannot pay the farmers and why is it that they consider the bagasse a waste.”

BSI Talks About Bagasse, They Says No To Revenue Sharing
The Belize Sugar Industries and majority holder American Sugar Refinery (ASR) this morning held a press conference in Belize City to present the company’s position on the current dispute with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers’ Association (BSCFA) as it relates to the claim for payment for bagasse. Our news team was on hand to capture the event and filed the following report. Maria Novelo – Reporting The proclaimed payment for bagasse by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, which has been making headlines around the country, was the focal point of dialogue in the Belize Sugar Industries press conference this morning in Belize City. While there is still an impasse on the bagasse negotiations, BSI’s position remains the same from the onset and finds that the best way to determine the BSCFA’s dispute is to take the matter to the Supreme Court. Arsenio Burgos – Chairman, Board of Directors, BSI “The relationship between BSI and the BSCFA are governed by law. The farmers sell the sugar cane to BSI, the sugar, the water, mud and all. The sugar cane is then the property and responsibility of BSI. It is BSI’s burden to store and dispose of the waste including the bagasse.”

San Estevan Road Deteriorates Even More, Assistance Nowhere In Sight
A few days ago we told you about the terrible condition in which the San Estevan/Progresso Road finds itself in. The current road condition is affecting the livelihood of many Orange Walkenos and Corozalenos. With the road packed up by mud, students and other commuters also find themselves in big trouble since it takes them forever to get to school and work. The situation has gotten so serious, that the topic was brought up at the last sitting of the House of Representatives by the Honorable John Briceno in hope of getting some sort of assistance in the area, but that is yet to come. And the situation is only getting worse because with the heavy rains over the past days, the condition of the road has further deteriorated. Pictures sent to our news room are evidence of that statement. The road is impassable, so much so, that even buses traveling from Sarteneja are unable to reach their destination. Hours are spent in trying to push or pull buses and other vehicles out of the thick mud, day and night. From what we are able to tell, commuters have become intolerable of the situation and are demanding that the road be fixed.

Street In Corozal Receive Much Needed Face Lift
San Andres Road, College Road, 6th Avenue, 2nd Street North and streets in the Areas of Altamira, Venezuela Layout, Dominguez Layout all have two things in common, they are in dire need of upgrading and they all fall under the jurisdiction of the Corozal Town Council headed by Mayor Hilberto Campos. For several months now CTV3 News has been receiving complaints from Corozal residents about the terrible conditions the streets find themselves in. The weather has not made the situation any easier as the constant rains just add more pot holes to the streets. Just as CTV3 News, the Corozal Town Council is bombarded with the complaints on a daily basis since they are responsible for the upkeep of the town’s infrastructure. And it seems that the complaints caught up with the Town Council because bright an early this morning workers were seen repairing 4th Avenue. As we visited the scene, Mayor Campos arrived in the area and we took the opportunity to ask him about the works conducted in the area.


Did Police Murder Robber? Internal Investigations are On
The Investigation into the murder of Tyson Rodriguez is currently ongoing. Rodriquez had been detained in Corozal as a suspect of the robbery of 59 year old Canadian National David Baier and his wife who were viciously attacked by three male persons and robbed. It happened on the Placencia Peninsula and so Rodriguez was transported to the Placencia Police Station. It was there that Rodriguez’s family believes that he was brutality beaten and murder by four police officers. The family’s attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd explained the circumstance to Love News. AUDREY MATURA SHEPHERD “They also believe that he was murdered because when the police spoke about him escaping, you have to think, what they told them and what they saw in the police report, it was then changed a bit; he was in the back of the pan and he jumped out and escaped and then they found him dead but you have to understand that the family got to examine the body. If you are in the back of a pan, a moving vehicle going to a certain place and if you know Placencia, you know that all the streets are pavement or have stones or pebbles and while that vehicle is moving, you jumped out with your hand still cuffed to the back, there would be certain injuries; you would have to sustain certain injuries that is consistent with a fall.

Mayan Artifact Returned to Belize
On Monday FBI agents handed over an artifact that was taken from the Lubaantun Mayan Archaeological site. Ambassador of Belize to the United States of America Nestor Mendez accepted the piece on Belize’s behalf. The FBI agents informed that the item was taken by a student who visited the site on a field trip. University authorities contacted the FBI when they found out the student had the artifact. Earlier this year Belize and the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that confiscated archaeological objects found in the United States would be returned to Belizean authorities. The handing over took place at the Embassy of Belize in Washington.

Armed Thieves Target Recycling Company
A business at mile eight community was reportedly held up and robbed on Monday. According to Rene Chacon, an accountant at Belize Recycling Company Limited, he was at the business along with a co-worker when two men wearing masks and armed with a gun and a knife, entered the main office and stole 450 dollars from his wallet and over a thousand dollars from his pants pocket. The larger amount of cash, according to Chacon, belonged to the company. The robbers then left. Police have made no arrests.

European Union May Ban Belize’s Fish Products
Fish products from Belize will be banned by the European Commission. This is part of a decision against this and two other developing countries that the Commission says are non-cooperating in the fight against illegal fishing. A press release from the European Commission in Brussels today states that the ban comes one year after a formal warning to Belize, Cambodia and Guinea to set up a fisheries management and effective control measures. The European Commission says that these countries have not addressed structural problems and have failed to show real commitment to tackle the problem of illegal fishing. Once the decision to ban our fisheries products takes effect, fisheries products caught by vessels that fly Belize’s flag will be banned from entering the European Union. Love News sought interviews today with the personnel from the Fisheries Department and IMMARBE, the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize, which manages the procedures and activities regarding registration of ships enrolled or seeking enrollment in the Merchant Marine of Belize. James Azueta of the Belize Fisheries Unit says that because the decision has to do with deep sea fishing, it does not concern the Fisheries Department, while IMMARBE has reserved immediate comment, it says that it will issue a press release after its Registrar of Ships, Gian Ghandi, has discussed the matter with the Manager of its Fishing Department, Valerie Lanza. Meanwhile, three other countries, Korea, Ghana and Curacao have now received warnings to control illegal fishing in their waters. On the contrary, a few other countries, namely, Fiji, Panama, Sri Lanka, Togo and Vanuatu also received formal warnings last year but they have, according to the Commission, made strides to manage the problem.

BDF Deputy Commander Says The Force Takes Care of Its Sick
The Belize Defense Force has denied a report that it is ignoring soldiers who are sick from accessing necessary advanced medical treatment. Love News had gotten a report over the weekend from a BDF soldier who claimed that he urgently needs advanced medical treatment not available in Belize and that he feels that his needs are being ignored. But today, Deputy Commander of the BDF, Colonel Stephen Ortega, denied that claim, saying that the Force relies on medical advice before it affords its sick or injured soldiers to the necessary treatment. Col. Stephen Ortega, Deputy Cmdr., BDF “When you join the BDF and sign on the contract that you sign, it actually says that the BDF will take care of all your medical expenses. So, you get sick, you come into the hospital, the doctor evaluates you; if it something that he can treat, he treats it; if it is something that he can’t treat then he recommends you to another institution that has that capability, then the institution does your evaluation; you come in and say, ‘this is what it is going to cost’. After that they will evaluate and say if they can deal with you in 1 month 2 months depending on your priority. If it is an emergency then resources are located immediately to deal with it, through the ministry. How the procedure works if somebody gets sick: they go to the hospital, the doctor evaluates them. If it is something that we can treat here, they are treated by our doctors and if it is something that has to be referred to one of the outside hospitals and the doctor also decides priority, because as you know resources are scarce and we have to pay whenever we use those institutions, so the doctor decides the priority then they pass through into the priority decided by the doctor. All decisions are based on resources. However, if an emergency, then resources are allocated to that emergency to ensure all the soldiers are taken care of. One of the things that the BDF does is that medical treatment is a must so we have to take care of the soldiers.”

BSI Says They Are Losing Money on Bagasse; Ortega Says He Doesn’t Believe It
Following this morning’s press conference we managed to get in contact with the Vice Chairman of the BSCFA, Alfredo Ortega. Ortega strongly disagreed with Vice President of ASR, Ricardo Lima who mentioned that the bagasse is not a by-product of sugar cane. Ortega says that the BSCFA has sent a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow asking for his intervention. ALFREDO ORTEGA “We have a mandate from the farmers and the mandate from the farmers is for us to negotiate with BSI, a payment for bagasse and a new mandate and based on that we continue with that mandate that the farmers have placed on us. It is a pity that they have chosen on their press conference to speak about the bagasse is a waste and that it is a residue out of the cane whereby we clearly know that the bagasse is a byproduct whereas it is now used for biofuel for the Belcogen plant. So now, we continue with our same force in asking for negotiations on behalf of the farmers. We are sending a letter to the Prime Minister asking for a meeting asking for his intervention. We want his intervention so we can come to the table with BSI to negotiate and to finalize this negotiation in regards to the new agreement including a payment for bagasse for the farmers, that is what we have been asking from the DPM and also we have been asking this from the Prime Minister. We don’t want anything else at this point in time; we want to finalize this negotiation because we have been asking for this since 2010 and BSI accepted in July when we started this negotiation and we were very clear that we wanted to finalize this negotiation before the 2013/2014 crop starts and that is where we stand. Once we can finalize this agreement that is on the table then we can deal with the other issues that are in place.”

Contention Continues Over The Residue, Bagasse
The Belize Sugar Industries Limited, BSI and American Sugar Refining, ASR, held a press conference today to address the ongoing dispute over bagasse with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA. BSI and ASR made it abundantly clear that as per requested by the BSCFA, no payment will be made for bagasse. The reason, says BSI and ASR, is that bagasse is not considered a by-product of sugar cane as proclaimed by the cane farmers. And since both parties have not been able to sit down and negotiate on the way forward, Vice President for ASR, Ricardo Lima says if BSCFA truly believes in its claim then the dispute should go through legal procedures in the Supreme Court of Belize. RICARDO LIMA “Usually when people negotiate in good intentions you have a list of petitions and items that you sit down and go through it in detail. Usually, well intended negotiations require so that each party understands the other’s position. You separate the list of the items that you will agree on and you have commonality and you put them aside and you agree on that. The items that are contested and not agreeable then you try to explain your position to the other party; if it is still not agreed, as in this case, the bagasse payment which we don’t agree to, I think the position, typically in a country such as Belize, which is a country of laws which is a very honorable court and judicial system, the recourse that either party has is to take it to the courts and let a third party decide on the particular issue which is at hand, which is the bagasse product and that’s what we are saying; that’s our contention, our position has been that from day one.”

Eliminating Violence Against Women
Yesterday was observed as international day for the elimination of violence against women. It is reported that domestic violence is a serious issue facing women in Belize. It is estimated that almost ninety percent of violent crimes against women are carried out by their spouse or partner. This type of violence does not discriminate and may affect women of all ethnicities and classes. The annual Sixteen Days of Activism to End Gender-Based violence was officially launched this past Friday and many organizations have joined forces to combat this overwhelming social issue in Belize. One such organization is the Domestic Violence Unit of the Belize Police Department. We spoke to Sergeant, Martha Reece, who leads the unit, to gain a better understanding of the resources they are making available to victims of abuse. MARTHA RHYS “The unit deals with domestic violence, family violence; it doesn’t necessarily have to be within the home, we have extended it to family but we deal with domestic violence, we deal with reports of emotional, physical and if we need to arrest and charge we also deal with that. We also provide information because a lot of people come in wanting to know how to go about dealing with the family courts in terms of orders, protection orders, maintenance and everything and we also deal with that.”

Neighbor Sentenced to One Year for Burglary
Twenty-eight year old Anwar Vernon, a resident of Jane Usher Boulevard charged with burglary, was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after she found him guilty of the charge. Chief Magistrate Smith told Vernon that she did not sentence to 7 years because it was his first offence. The incident occurred shortly after 2 p.m. on July 20. The complainant, 32 year old Kevin Garbutt, an employee of Bowen and Bowen, testified that he secured his concrete bungalow house at Jane Usher Boulevard and he went to work. He said that when he returned home he discovered that his Technical Pro amplifier, valued at $1,300 was missing. An eye witness who is Garbutt’s neighbor, testified that he saw Vernon and another man break into the house by prying open the front door. Vernon testified and denied that he committed the offence. He claimed that he was at a Chinese shop at the time the offence was committed.

Toledo Police Investigate Suspected Arson
Police in the Toledo District are investigating a report of arson in that district. According to Rosendo Sanchez, a Maintenance Operator of San Pedro Columbia Village, at around eight-30 on Sunday night he was at home when his attention was drawn to a cracking sound coming from the back of the house. Sanchez said that when he went to check he saw that the thatch roof was on fire and then recognized a man standing outside the house who reportedly told Sanchez that he had a gun. The 14 by 18 feet wooden structure valued at15 hundred dollars and contents worth around 500 dollars were destroyed by the blaze.

Minor Accuses Technician of Sexual Offense
In crime news, police have charged a technician with unlawful carnal knowledge after he allegedly had sexual relations with a minor. 32 year-old Jose David Funez, a resident of Mahogany Heights, was charged after the 13 year old girl reported to the Family Violence Unit that on Saturday morning while waiting at the bus stop she met a man she knew and who, after traveling to Belize City on the bus and returning to the community, took her to his home and had sexual intercourse with her. A doctor has since confirmed that the girl has had sexual relations.

Public Urination Lands Illegal Immigrant in Jail for Nine Months
It was double trouble for 49-year-old, Guatemalan national Edwin Morales on Friday, November 22, when he stopped on the roadside in Ladyville to urinate. Apparently because of a weak bladder, Morales could not wait to find a convenient spot and as a result, a police mobile patrol that was passing at the same time caught him in the act. Morales was detained by the police and he was charged with exposing his person in public. He was also charged with failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit after immigration officers investigated into his immigration status in Belize. Morales pled guilty to exposing his person when he appeared yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. She fined him $200 and ordered him to pay forthwith. Morales was unable to pay the fine so he will serve 2 months in default of payment.

Belize City Mayor Speaks on Deteriorated Streets, Councillor Chang and Christmas
The rapid deterioration of some Belize City streets as a result of four weeks of constant rains has prompted the Belize City Council to seek additional funds to extend its total number of streets that it will have given priority to as part of its infrastructure works, and the attention they will receive include drainage as well as resurfacing. Today Mayor Darrell Bradley told Love News that by the end of the street upgrades, the Council will have dealt with well over 100 streets. DARREL BRADLEY “We are very hesitant to do remedial works on some streets until we get at least a week full of clear weather. What we are doing is we are ensuring that we can finish our hundred streets and I want to make very clear that the situation in Belize City would have been much worse if we had not done streets like Freetown Road and Orange Street. We finished 95 streets so far concreted. And these have ensured that residents in Belize City, at least the main areas, have a clear drive even when you see the four weeks of continued rains, the concreted streets have held up well.

Debate Competition Goes to Southern Belize
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted the second debate in the National Secondary School Debate Competition on ‘Oil in Belize’ on Monday. Students of Ecumenical High School and Georgetown Technical High School competed to represent the Stann Creek District in the Southern Region Competition. At the end of the debate, Ecumenical High School was victorious in their arguments for the affirmative of the debate resolution: “The establishment of an oil refinery can cut the country’s reliance on foreign oil and decrease the cost of fuel.” Ecumenical High School now advances to the Southern Region Competition where they will meet the winner of the debate competition between the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho High School scheduled for early January 2014. Last week, Belize High School won in their first debate round against Belize Rural High School to advance to the semi-final round.


BSI says Bagasse Dispute Should be Settled in Court
Today, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and its partner in the Tower Hill factory American Sugar Refining (ASR) met the press in Belize City to give their side of the ongoing dispute over a payment for bagasse. The sugar producer has and continues to insist that the farmers...

Was it Eye for an Eye on Tyson Rodriguez’s Brutal Murder?
A family in Dangriga is tonight demanding answers after their loved one was found dead shortly after he escaped from Police custody. 27 year old Tyson Rodriguez was detained on Friday morning after an armed robbery report made by a Canadian man and his wife but by Friday night,...

What’s the Real Nature of Love?
Our good news for you is taken from the Bible “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we...

Rise and Shine Determines Appreciation Telethon This Saturday
This past Saturday, Plus TV’s Morning Show, Rise and Shine Belize hosted its second annual appreciate telethon. Rise and Shine has become an increasingly popular local program in the country that offers extensive analysis about current affairs. It also adds excellent and sane entertainment on just your everyday...

Elaine’s Tambranero Sauce Gives Biltmore a Hotter Taste
And while at the Biltmore for the one-year SBDC celebration we caught with a pair of entrepreneurs who the organization assisted to get their product better placed on the market. They are Lyndon and Elaine Sutherland from Corozal and they have created a special sauce which is guaranteed to...

Small Business Entrepreneurship Dances to the Rythm of BELTRAIDE
Last year, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) organized with multiple partners the Small Business Development Center (SBDC). Conceived as a one-stop shop for how to start, organize and manage a business, one year later the SBDCBelize can celebrate some modest successes. Deputy Director of BELTRAIDE Melanie...

Accused Courier in Passport Scandal Mr. Eric Chang is Back to Belize
Shortly after the Belizean passport scandal involving Mr. Wong broke, Mr. Chang abandoned his duties at City Hall and severed communication lines with Mayor Darrel Bradley. It has been almost eight weeks since he was scheduled to return to Belize. But during that time, Chang insisted that he...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

“The establishment of an oil refinery can cut the country’s reliance on foreign oil and decrease the cost of fuel.” -Ecumenical High School debate wins
Today The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage hosted the 2nd debate in the National Secondary School Debate Competition on ‘Oil in Belize’ as Ecumenical High School and Georgetown Technical High School competed to represent the Stann Creek District in the Southern Region Competition. At the end of the debate, Ecumenical High School was victorious in their arguments for the affirmative of the debate resolution: “The establishment of an oil refinery can cut the country’s reliance on foreign oil and decrease the cost of fuel.” After their win, Ecumenical High School now advances to the Southern Region Competition where they will meet the winner of the debate competition between the Toledo Community College and Julian Cho High School scheduled for early January 2014. Last week, Belize High School won in their 1st debate round against Belize Rural High School to advance to the semi-final round. The National Secondary High School Debate Competition on ‘Oil in Belize’ is one of the many initiatives that The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage is carrying out to keep Belizeans informed and engaged on issues related to oil in Belize. The debate was held at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Dangriga Town.


Unceasing rains have severely impacted travel nationwide. Cañeros have described road conditions in northern Belize as “very deplorable;” but the problem plaguing them is evidently a microcosm of a much bigger national problem. A very wet rainy season has brought plenty of torrential rains in the recent weeks – rains which have worsened the national road network and rendered many roads unusable. Cane farmers said that when they complained to Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega about their road difficulties, he indicated to them that it is a countrywide problem. We understand that some drivers in rural Belize, as well as in urban centers, won’t drive on certain streets and roads because they fear getting stuck. Others have had to reverse out of streets which have potholes so huge, you can’t get pass them unless you’re driving a large vehicle or a truck.

Roughly 1,500 cañeros who attended the annual general meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) held at Escuela Mexico, San Roman, Corozal, on Sunday, November 24, reaffirmed their decision to stand down on delivering sugar cane to the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) when the season opens tomorrow, Monday, November 25—and to remain firm in their stance until a formal agreement is penned which will assure them a bite of the millions BSI has been earning from generating power from sugar cane wastes called bagasse. There was a resounding applause as cane farmers stood in overwhelming agreement, and they indicated that they are willing to stick with their decision for the long haul. Alfredo Ortega, Vice President of the BSCFA, told journalists Sunday that, “[Cañeros] have shouted in unity that they are committed not to deliver any cane.”

Shari Muschamp, 27, a mother of two children, the second being only three months old, found herself unemployed while on maternity leave—caught in the crosshairs of a multi-million-dollar legal dispute between the Government of Belize and Belize Investment Services Limited (BISL) – the former managers of the International Business Companies (IBC) Registry and the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE). Muschamp told us that since she has been unjustly terminated and denied maternity benefits, she has been unable to provide for her children and has been living with relatives until she can get back on her feet. Her maternity leave has ended and when Muschamp showed up to work on Friday morning, November 22, security escorted her off the premises of the Marina Towers. Tearfully, the jobless mother told us that she has been demoralized by news that neither the Government nor BISL would take responsibility for paying her maternity benefits.

Police say that Rodriguez, whom they say they found floating in water with handcuffs on, was a suspect in a brutal Placencia robbery. A coroner’s report has said that a resident of the Benguche area of Dangriga, Tyson Christopher Rodriguez, 27, a prisoner who police say they found floating and handcuffed in a river in the vicinity of Chabil Mar, about ½ mile south of the newly built police station on the Placencia Road, was suffocated to death. Police say that Rodriguez was found floating at about 10:45 Friday night, about an hour after he escaped out of a police mobile unit, with his hands handcuffed behind him, but the coroner’s report, by Dr. Mario Estradabran, released by the family’s attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, who, along with a sister of Rodriguez, witnessed the post-mortem, says that the cause of Rodriguez’s death was “asphyxiation by broncheal aspiration sand – beach type and multiple traumatism to chest – trauma type.”

Late yesterday evening, at about 4:28 p.m., Curl Gordon, Jr., 30, a carpenter of a Los Lagos address, was found guilty of one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a 7-year-old female child. The decision was handed down by a 9-member jury – made up of 3 men and 6 women – who after deliberating for a little over an hour, unanimously came to the conclusion that Gordon is guilty of the sexual assault offense, which was reportedly committed two years ago. Gordon, who was 28 at the time, was accused of molesting the child and was consequently charged with one count of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon the then 7-year-old child on October 2, 2011. During the trial, the child – who is now 9 years old – testified en camera and told the court that Gordon had touched her inappropriately between her legs in October, 2011.

Orlando “Landy” Habet, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) hopeful for Cayo North East who wants to unseat Elvin Penner—the United Democratic Party (UDP) area representative for that electoral division who has been at the center of a passport scandal—in a recall vote, told Amandala today that they have collected more than the required signatures to push for a new election in the constituency. Habet said that an estimated 2,100 signatures have been collected – which is close to 40% of the registered voters in the division. He reports that there are 5,800 registered voters. Under law, a petition must be supported by 30% of those voters to trigger a recall vote. However, that petition request must be submitted to the Government, and will undergo a verification exercise via the Elections and Boundaries Department. If the Government is satisfied that the petition is in order, the vote will be triggered.

The MCC lights are far from adequate for night games, and the pitch was still mucky from the heavy rains going into the weekend, but football fans were pleasantly surprised yesterday by some real exciting attacking football from visiting Paradise/Freedom Fighters of Punta Gorda, and especially by the football artistry displayed by their diminutive midfield rookie, 17-year-old Jordy Polanco, whose superb ball and body control in tight spaces, coupled with incisive and accurate passing, harkened some older fans back to the time of Anthony “Garrincha” Adderley in the 1970’s. Not since then has a player so small in stature created such a big impact on a top level game at the MCC. But if that wasn’t enough, it was proven to be no accident that a heretofore unknown was the leading goal scorer in this Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season 2013-2014; for P.G.’s 22-year-old Franz Vernon showed that he is the “real McKoy,” displaying impressive speed and remarkable endurance in attack for the full 90 minutes, coupled with a striker’s heart and intelligence, unleashing powerful and accurate shots at goal with both feet, fearlessly facing tough tackling from the highly respected F.C. Belize defenders, and alertly pouncing on the split second “daylight” afforded him by PLB’s Best Defender Leon “Chow” Cadle, to drive home the game tying goal for his team.

There has perhaps never been more parity in the Premier League of Belize, as this Belikin Cup Opening Season tournament is shaping up to be the toughest ever race to the 4-team playoffs. After “resting” this past weekend, defending champion Police United FC is deceptively perched at last place in the standings; deceptively because they have a game or two “in hand” on different teams in the playoff race. (See standings below.) Only one point separates new league leader Paradise/Freedom Fighters from the next three teams – Verdes FC, Belize Defence Force FC (BDF) and Belmopan Bandits FC, with 10 points each, followed by FC Belize at 9 points. And with their big upset victory yesterday over BDF, even San Ignacio United FC still has a mathematical chance at making the playoffs. Only Police United is yet to secure a win in this season; and it will surely come. On Saturday night at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo del Carmen, it was home standing Verdes FC dealing a 2-nil shutout to BDF, with goals from Orlando “Leechi” Jimenez (5’) and Julio Ayala (22’).

The National Secondary Sports Association (NSSSA) and its affiliate regions – NSTA (North), CSSSA (Central), WSSSA (West), and SSSSA (South), mourn the passing of one of the long standing members of the NSSSA and CSSSA Executive, Mr. Arthur Butler. Mr. Butler passed away on Sunday, November 17, at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Mr. Butler has been a member of the CSSSA Executive for the past eight (8) years, and the NSSSA Executive for the past six (6) years, but has been involved in sports from his high school years. At the time of his death, Mr. Butler was the sports coordinator at Edward P. Yorke High School (EPYHS), the treasurer of CSSSA, and the assistant secretary of NSSSA. He was the tournament director for the NSSSA volleyball championship that was held last week Friday and Saturday, November 8-9, at St. John’s College.

In the post-World War II, nationalist era of Belize’s socio-politics, the cane farmers of the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts have proven to be our country’s most effective fighting force. They are usually unified, focused, and courageous. We say that so as to say this: the cañeros do not need any support from us at this newspaper. But, we expressed that support editorially a couple weeks ago. The reason we expressed that support is because we are Belizean nationalists, and whatever is good for the cane farmers is good for Belize. When this newspaper was established in 1969, the sugar cane industry had been experiencing boom years. The electoral politicians who depended for support on the cane farmers were very territorial about their constituencies, and in 2013 they still are. In Belize City, the media capital of the nation, we don’t know as much as we should about the history, the nature, and the function of Belize Sugar Industries (BSI). It served the Corozal and Orange Walk politicians’ interests to keep the rest of the country relatively ignorant about the sugar industry. Still, as the media, we must accept the ultimate blame for our ignorance.

In international sports, the home team almost always has a clear advantage, and that advantage lies in the size and energy of the partisan home crowd. Last week Belize finally hosted a major regional football event – the Under-16 tournament for Central American nations. There was no home field advantage for Belize, because there was no home crowd to speak of. ??? Ideally, such an event should have been staged in Belize City, the population center. But Belize City, as incredible as it may sound to non-Belizeans, does not have an adequate football facility. The one we had which should have been upgraded – MCC Grounds, was instead violated in cold blood by Mayor Zenaida Moya, the protégé of a UDP Cabinet Minister who claims to love the beautiful game. This is strange. But, this is Belize, a strange country indeed. Belizean football remained colonial in its thinking because it was controlled over the decades by people, culminating with Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who did not see the players and the fans as priority. Historically, the priority in Belizean football has been the administrators, the officials and the referees. This is a legacy of the colonial days, when the leading officials and referees worked for the powerful British business establishments in the colony – Belize Estate, Brodies, and Harley’s. The priority was to keep the natives who played the sport in line with colonial discipline. The football fans did not count, because the football players were not paid and the gate receipts vanished anyway. It was out of this kind of thinking that we ended up with Dr. Chimilio, a megalomaniac who served the Trinidadian Jack Warner’s interests, instead of the interests of Belizean football. Of course, Chimilio had his paid collaborators. This is a long story.

“Mao had dealt an enormous psychological blow to the U.S.A. On 15 December 1950, Truman went on radio to declare a State of National Emergency, something that did not happen in either World War II or the Vietnam War. Using almost apocalyptic language, he told the American people. ‘Our homes, our Nation … are in great danger.’ The Chinese by then had already driven the Americans back some 200 kilometres in a matter of weeks, in appalling conditions, with sub-zero temperatures compounded by icy winds. Secretary of State Dean Acheson described the reverse as the ‘worst defeat’ for U.S. forces in a century.” - pgs. 365, 366, Mao: The Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, Alfred A. Knopf, 2005 “It was having China as a secure rear and supply depot that made it possible for the Vietnamese to fight for twenty-five years and beat first the French and then the Americans. In most of these years, the huge logistics burden of the fighting in Indochina fell almost entirely on China.” - pg. 357, ibid. The United States is the greatest country in the world, and when I landed in New York City in late August of 1965 at the age of 18, I would have thought it was the greatest city in the world. New York was then the center of activism for Belizean Americans. Today, Los Angeles has replaced New York as the center of Belizean American activism. And, overall in America, there is an intense rivalry between the Big Apple and the City of Angels.

Janae Matute, a young girl of Roaring Creek, Cayo, who was born with cerebral palsy – a medical condition marked by impaired muscle coordination — was awarded over $2 million in damages by Belize courts. Her attorney says that she has not collected a penny of that award, issued by local courts against Dr. Raju Meenavalli and the Government of Belize. They are hoping that the country’s final appellate court, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), can bring them closure in a legal battle that has spanned more than a decade. Janae, a first form student at Belmopan Comprehensive School, will turn 13 on December 20. In 2000, Dr. Raju Meenavalli delivered her by C-section. Janae’s mother, Georgia Matute, claims that the doctor delivered her baby prematurely at 36 weeks. Meenavalli, a former government doctor now in private practice, had been accused of negligence and medical malpractice in the Janae Matute case.

Ortillia Cowo, a Belizean domestic of San Antonio village, as well as residents of her village, has become concerned about the wellbeing of her 17-year-old daughter, who has been reported missing since 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 21. Detrina Cowo, 17, is of Mestizo descent, has long, straight hair and a brown complexion. She weighs about 140 lbs and is about 5 feet in height. Detrina was last seen wearing a pink blouse, a pink skirt with a multicolored floral design, and pink slippers. Ortillia Cowo told police that they were at home on Thursday morning, and at about 11:00, she went out to buy at a shop nearby, leaving her daughter at home along with her grandmother.

Three Belizeans and a Mexican national, alleged drug dealers captured in Chetumal with over five pounds of cocaine last Friday, have been remanded to a prison today in Mexico City, where they will await trial for drug trafficking offenses. The men were captured by the marines of the Mexican Army stationed in the Chetumal area on Friday, November 15, on Cuauhtémoc Street in Subteniente Lopez Town on the Mexico-Belize border. The date when the men will appear in court is not yet known, but a remand time in jail of 6 months before a court trial is expected.


Carnitas and a visit to Puerto Aventuras
I had a few hours before taking a mini road trip with the Kumar’s and decided to go for a good walk around town. My plan was to go for more sushi but the restaurant I wanted to go to was not open yet so I did a coffee frappucino instead and saved my appetite for a late breakfast with Surendra, Carolyn and Nina. I walked from 5th Avenida Calle 10 and all the way to 5th Avenida and Calle 46. This was a good route to take as I only had to worry about vehicle traffic when I came to the Calle cross streets. I find many drivers tend to go fast in Playa, similar to San Pedro Cabs. If you are ever in Playa Del Carmen following info will help you to get around the grid like town town. Avenues run parallel to the ocean and are numbered are numbered in increments of five, while the the Calles or Streets are done in increments of two and run perpendicular to the beach.

International Sources

EU to Ban Fish Imports from States Linked to Illegal Trade (Cambodia, Belize and Guinea)
The European Union's executive branch also warned South Korea and Ghana that they faced similar bans unless they took concrete steps to address the problem. The European Union is the world's top importer of fresh and frozen fish and seafood. It has been criticised for not doing enough to prevent fish caught illegally in other parts of the world from ending up on European dining tables. "These decisions show our steadfast commitment to tackling illegal fishing," EU fisheries commissioner Maria Damanaki said in a statement. "We continue to put pressure on the countries which are fuelling the supply chain of illegal fishing." Earlier this year, EU governments banned imports of herring and mackerel from the Faroe Islands, accusing the self-governing Danish territory of setting unsustainable catch quotas for the fisheries it shares with the EU, Norway, Russia and Iceland.

Belize is the winner of Fashion Week in San Diego, CA
Belizean born fashion designer, Richard Henderson, and his business partner, CEO and Web/Graphic Designer, Timothy McGee, a native of San Diego with Caribbean roots, won the title of Best Designer at Fashion Week San Diego 2013-2014 on October 6, 2013. The duo, known as RHCREATION, won over the judging audience votes from a total of 26 designers from all over the world whose designs graced the runway in this prestigous competition. The event, beginning October 4, featured 3 nights of fashion event showcasing each designer with approximately 2,500 people in attendance each night, ended with a trunk show event where the winner was announced. RHCREATION is no stranger to the Belizean community both at home and abroad. The design house was honored 3 years ago with the title of official designer for Queen of the Jewel, the official Miss Belize Pageant, where they provide costumes, swimsuits and opening number dresses for all winners and delegates. Their winning Fashion Week San Diego collection of resort wear, swim suit cover-ups has been hailed as sexy sophistication with a caribbean flare. From the bright colors to the water color print that depicts the exotic flowers of the caribbean, the luxury sea side life style of San Diego and the tropical caribbean flavor of Belize.

Ease into Belize
The water taxi revved its outboard motors, spitting the scent of gasoline into the tropical air, and then took off, headed from Belize City to San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, 56 km away. Onboard, airplane-weary tourists, commuting locals, boxes destined for island businesses - and my wife and I with our luggage - crowded on wooden benches for the hour-plus trip. Once the boat took off, we quickly lost sight of the onboard chaos and instead became absorbed in the tranquil view. To call the waters of the Caribbean turquoise is to sell them short. There is an underpinning of deep ultramarine, topped by intricate cerulean waves shimmering across the surface. When the sun casts a certain light, the water seems lit from below and downright otherworldly. That's what I'd come for: to dive into a whole other world. It took me decades to get a passport, and not because of some State Department mistake. When I landed last winter in Belize, I was a 56-year-old virgin traveller.

McAfee Founder Who Fled Belize Now Subject of Bizarre 'Protective Order
Security software founder John McAfee denies that he threatened the life of his property manager, who filed a civil "stalking protective order" against the former Silicon Valley businessman. Connor Hyde, McAfee's property manager in Portland, Ore., said McAfee "warned that if I did not 'cooperate fully with [him]' he would consider me to be an integral part of a conspiracy that he believes he is the subject of," according to a stalking protective order filed in court Nov. 21. Hyde details incidents of "unwanted contact" in the complaint obtained by the Oregonian. McAfee, who made his fortune when he sold his security software firm McAfee Associates, made headlines last year when he was called "a person of interest" in the murder of his neighbor, Gregory Faull, in Belize. He then traveled to Guatemala, was deported to Miami and landed in Portland in January, the newspaper reported. McAfee, who told his actions "in no way" were stalking Hyde, explained that he plans to file a civil complaint against the building management company for mismanaging the property, including allowing items to disappear from his home.

John McAfee Accused of Stalking Property Manager in Oregon
Eccentric antivirus software pioneer John McAfee has been evicted from his apartment building following a civil stalking complaint filed against him. According to the court filing obtained by The Oregonian, McAfee was evicted from his luxury apartment last week after property manager Connor Hyde filed a complaint against McAfee for stalking. McAfee has since denied that he was ever evicted from the apartment and claims he left his apartment in Portland, Oregon up to two months ago. The 68-year-old has been in the headlines a lot over the past year after he fled Belize last November when police sought him in connection with the fatal shooting of his neighbour, US expatriate Gregory Viant Faull. McAfee escaped to Guatemala where he claimed political asylum and was eventually deported to the US in December.

Seahorses Ability To Hide From Prey 'Almost Magical' Say Researchers
We'd suspected it all along but it turns out seahorses are actually a little bit magic. The intriguing little creatures are maritime Harry Potters, equipped with an almost magical ability to make themselves invisible to prey, research has shown. Their delicate heads are designed to prevent disturbances in the water that would otherwise be detected by the tiny copepod crustaceans on which they feed. Copepods have an inbuilt alarm system that allows them to react to "bow waves" from an advancing predator in less than three milliseconds. Once alerted, they jolt away at speeds of more than 500 body lengths per second, the equivalent of a six-foot human swimming at 2,000mph. Yet 90% of the time, they are caught by seahorses.

Three countries to face fisheries blacklist, Commission announces
Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki has announced that she is formally recommending that fish imports from three countries should be banned. In a statement on 26 November 2013, she said that imports to the EU from Belize, Cambodia and Guinea should be blocked, as the countries have failed to tackle illegal fishing. "We import 65% of the fish our citizens eat and we would like to be sure that all this fish we eat is fished in a legal way," she said. In an addition to a ban on imports, she said that "EU ships are not going to fish in their waters and there will be no cooperation with fishing vessels flagged from these countries". Commissioner Damanaki also announced that formal warnings, known as "yellow cards", were being issued against South Korea, Ghana and the Dutch constituent country of Curaçao.

Belize, Curacao threatened with EU sanctions for illegal fishing
The European Commission on Tuesday urged EU governments to hit Belize, Cambodia and Guinea with trade sanctions over illegal fishing, while warning Curacao, South Korea and Ghana they may be next. The European Union executive called for action against the first three with no “credible progress” made since hitting them with so-called “yellow cards” last year along with five others. Once placed on an official list of “non-cooperating countries” in the fight against illegal fishing, related products from those territories will find themselves all but shut out of the EU market of half a billion consumers. The Commission also flagged up a new round of “yellow cards”, which puts key free-trade partner South Korea, Ghana and the Caribbean island of Curacao under mounting pressure to meet international obligations. EU Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, told a press conference that for South Korea, Ghana and Curacao, “this is not about EU legislation -- we are implementing international rules.” “We are very much willing to give them more time.” She said the “right to fish as they want” had to be set against the EU’s “right to protect consumers.”

Moon Belize (Moon Handbooks)
Travel writer, photographer, and Belize expert Lebawit Lily Girma knows the best ways to experience Belize—from the gorgeous beaches of the Northern Cayes to the diversity of the Cockscomb Wildlife Sanctuary and Jaguar Preserve (the only jaguar preserve in the world). Girma offers a range of interesting activities for every traveler—such as waterfall rappelling at Bocawina National Park or attending the Chocolate Festival—as well as unique trip ideas like A 14-Day Cultural Tour. Packed with information on dining, transportation, and accommodations, Moon Belize gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.

November 26, 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

Arethe Lima crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014
On Saturday night, November 23rd four young ladies vied for the title of Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014. The Angel Nuñez Auditorium at the San Pedro High School was packed with enthusiastic fans and the judges were tasked with a tough decision. After their votes were tallied the lovely Arethe Lima was crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014. Congratulations to all of the contestants who presented themselves well, and congratulations to Miss Lima.

Autism Awareness Workshop
A group of autism specialists from the United States of America are in Belize to educate people on the proper identification, understanding and support of children with Autism. On Friday, November 28th the team will be offering an educational workshop at the SunBreeze Hotel from 9AM to 4PM for individuals that have children or a sibling with Autism. The workshop will be open to teachers, parents, social workers and anyone who is interested in learning about and breaking the stigma of autism. The workshop is part of an initiative from Knowledge for People, Autism Education Around the World. The group’s goal is to give individuals and communities a greater understanding of autism through outreach, education, and support. Knowledge for People volunteers are in Belize from November 21st through November 30th, with the aim of creating and maintaining a long-term commitment and partnership in Belize for autism education.

Tropic Air launches Christmas food drive
Belize City 1Christmas is only a few weeks away and Tropic Air has launched a countrywide food drive with the purpose of distributing canned goods to needy families in the ten communities the company operates out of. All donations will be matched by Tropic Air management. The initiative was launched last week and members of the public as well as the businesses community are being encouraged to participate in the initiative. According to Jo Sayer of Tropic Air, the initiative is one way that Tropic Air wants to give back to the communities they serve. As such, all Tropic Air offices will serve as drop off locations. “The idea is to create meals for needy family. Each of our station managers have come up with a charity organization they will be working with, or a list of needy families in their areas,” said Sayer.

Ambergris Today

25 Years Ago: The Arrival of Caribs to San Pedro
I have just learned at the 2013 Official Garifuna Celebration, which I thoroughly enjoyed, that there are 350 Garinagu living in San Pedro. Could that be true? I would have estimated about 100 Garinagu living in La Isla Bonita. That would be a good social studies class project of a school to carry out a census of how many Mestizos, Creoles, Garinagu, ex-pats and other large ethnic groups we have living in San Pedro. Long ago I learned from older folks that Caribs were, first of all, noisy people; this was due perhaps to their loud singing and beating of drums. Whenever we the children used to make noise, our parents would tell us that we sounded like Caribs as they were called back then. We also learned that they were great fish eaters and could eat bony fish without prior picking out the bones. We were also told that they were hard working and perhaps the most honest people in Belize. Creoles at the time, had a different image, while Caribs had the fame as honest people.

Arlethe Lima Crowned Miss San Pedro Lions 2013-2014
The San Pedro Lions Club held its annual beauty pageant to select its beauty ambassador on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at the Angel Nunez Auditorium this past weekend. Four beautiful young ladies took up the challenge and impressed a large audience that gathered to witness the well put together pageant. Catlyn Benguche, Erica Bodden, Arlethe Lima, and Julissa Trejo took to the stage with an opening dance act and modeled in sportswear, were judged in the talent competition and came out with a bang during the evening wear and question and answer sessions. Their talent presentations involved highlighting the works of the Lions Club and their dedication to service in the community. In the end of an entertainment-filled pageant the crowd was pleased with the announcement of Arlethe Lima being selected as the new Miss San Pedro Lions who was crowned by outgoing queen Miss Alexis Del Valle. First runner up was taken by Erica Bodden, while Catlyn Benguche was given the prize for most photogenic and Julissa Trejo was awarded Miss Congeniality.

San Pedro Lions Club Announces Peace Poster Winners
For many years the San Pedro Lions Club has participated in the Lions International Peace Poster Contest which is held worldwide for children 11, 12 and 13 years old. The theme for 2013 was “Our World, Our Future”. Elementary schools on Ambergris Caye that included Island Academy, Holy Cross, San Pedro Roman Catholic School and New Horizon submitted 38 entries total and the winners were chosen on Friday, November 22, 2013. The judging was done on originality, artistic merit and expression of theme. Third place was awarded to Carla Rivas, 13 years old, New Horizon School; she received $50 plus an Achievement Award. Second place was Kemre Rippon, 11 years old, Island Academy and she received $100 plus an Achievement Award. First place went to Zulema Ayala, 13 years old, Island Academy. When asked about her theme expression, she said, “From war and unhappiness we can go to peace and equality. It does not matter what race, gender or religion you are. Everyone is able to bring peace to the world through one child at a time.” Along with winning $200 and an Achievement Award, Miss Ayala’s poster will be sent to the US for the finals judging in 2014. The grand prize on the International Level is US$5,000 with 23 Merit Awards of US$500each. Good luck, Miss Ayala.

Washington University of Health and Science (Belize) Holds White Coat Ceremony
On Thursday, November 21, 2013, the Washington University of Health and Science (Belize) in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, held its White Coat Ceremony at the Paradise Theater where 28 of their medical students made the transition from their preclinical studies to that of clinical health sciences. The symbolical ceremony marked another step in the medical students' studies towards their medical profession of choice. Dean of Students, Dr. Giovanni Solorzano, was first to address the gathering and he congratulated the medical students on all the great accomplishments in their studies they had attained to this point. Members of the medical school’s Student Government Association (SGA) also had the opportunity to address the gathering, including the SGA Vice President Omar Solis-Sigala who gave a great speech on how he came to San Pedro, struggled to adapt to the medical school and how he managed to persevere and overcome his obstacles. His inspiring words to his fellow classmates called for them to push forward and embrace their surroundings.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of November 16 – 23rd, 2013
It was great to see our friends, the brothers – Kevin and Kelly. They always have a great time and I’m thrilled Kelly landed that giant permit! Jeremy, thank you for your outstanding leadership with the Orvis group this week – all very much appreciated! We had some tough weather, but the anglers all kept a positive attitude as they approached the day. Every angler left El Pescador a better fisherman. Some learned more about their casting, some learned more about fish behavior, and some learned about breathing when they see fish. I’m thrilled to see my nephew Paul out there today trying fly casting for the first time. I just left the dock and he and his girlfriend were laughing and casting. That just warms my heart! Patty didn’t know she was going to try to fly casting, and now I’m afraid she is addicted. Thank you to Jeff and Sheila, Charles and Allison for returning for your third year. The gals were on “pool duty,” and had a blast. Potomic Flyrodders – be proud. Jim and Will rocked it. Thanks everyone for a great week!

PUP has a new standard bearer for Corozal North Division
The People's United Party has a new standard bearer for Corozal North Division. David Castillo, a former member of the Corozal Town Council was elected in a convention held today. Castillo has been an active member of the PUP having served in several position including being President of the Belize Youth Movement. He is the son of veteran politician and former Area Representative of Corozal North, Valdemar Castillo.

Belize Hotel Service Charge is Now Subject to Business Tax
The Income Tax Department has recently made a ruling that all service charge collected by the Hotels/Resorts are now subject to business tax. This ruling is retroactive and if it is determined that during an income tax audit that service charge was previously collected and not paid, and assessment will be raised for the corresponding business tax in addition to interest and penalties. Most hotels/resorts do not benefit financially from collecting the service charge and periodically all that is collected is eventually distributed to their employees and form a part of their total emoluments (subject to income tax p.a.y.e.). As such, service charge might be deemed conduit funds, which to the best of my knowledge is not subject to business tax. This is supported by Section 2 and Section 16 (1) of the Hotels and Tourist Accommodations Act which states:

The Second Annual Placencia, Belize Marathon and Half Marathon Kicks Off On December 8
"Only the second year and we are so pleased by the outpouring of participation and support from Belize and the local community of Placencia", says Chip. "We selected 'End of the World Marathon' as the title for our first year, 2012, to coincide with the festivities that were planned in Belize to celebrate the Maya culture here. We decided to keep it and embrace it, as have so many people in the country. Among our biggest supporters has been Chabil Mar Resort in Placencia Village. They have contributed their staff time to volunteer at Mile 1 Marker and are providing complimentary housing to Rowan Garel and his family, who will be here raising money for the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired."

Constructive notice and the Belizean Companies Registry
Mortgages and loans are a regular, everyday part of commercial dealings. A lender lends money to a borrower and receives a form of security in the event repayment cannot be completed. Typically, security takes the form of some property which is owned by the borrower. It can also be over future property; that is property not yet owned by the borrower but which the borrower considers will be soon be owned by him/her. An issue arises when the borrower uses this ‘future property’ as security, then uses the same property, once acquired, as security for another loan given by a different lender. Where the borrower defaults, which lender is to be paid first? Who has priority? These were two of the questions the Caribbean Court of Justice had to answer in the case of Atlantic Corporation Ltd v Development Finance Corporation and Novelo’s Bus Line Ltd (In Receivership) [2012] CCJ 6 (AJ). Novelo’s Bus Line Ltd had borrowed money from Atlantic Corporation Ltd on the security of Novelo’s present and future assets. Novelo promised not to borrow any money using those assets as security, without the prior written consent of Atlantic. In breach of this agreement, Novelo borrowed money from Development Finance Corporation (DFC) without Atlantic’s consent, using as security some newly acquired registered land as security.

Belize gets millennium development goals database system and training
In order to support the member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in the provision of an established millennium development goals (MDG) information system, on December 5, 2011, the ministry of foreign affairs of Mexico and the SICA countries, signed onto a project called “Institutional Capacity Building for Mesoamerican Governments on Monitoring and Evaluation of Millennium Development Goals (MDG). The ministry of finance and economic development in Belize facilitated a memorandum of understanding (MOU), between the National Institute of Statistics and Geography of Mexico (INEGI), and the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) and the Central Information Technology Office (CITO). The commitment of the MOU is to have INEGI deliver the information system, which includes the source code; database structure; user and technical manuals, as well as to provide technical assistance and training.

Why Belize Is A Great Place To Retire
Mayan ruins, spectacular waterfalls, lush rainforests, exotic wildlife, miles of unspoiled coastline, and the Western Hemisphere’s longest barrier reef — a paradise for diving, snorkeling and fishing. Belize is a Caribbean playground that is truly blessed by time, nature and culture. There are other factors that contribute to Belize’s popularity. It’s close to the US and Canada–just a two-and-a-half hour flight from Miami. The Belize dollar is pegged to the U.S. dollar two to one, so currencies conversion issues are easy and never vary. And the U.S. dollar is freely accepted anywhere in the country. It’s easy to buy real estate in Belize. There are no restrictions on non-citizens owning property and no capital gains taxes, although you will pay a transfer tax, also known as a stamp tax, usually about 5 percent of the property’s value. Annual property taxes are also very low, usually anywhere from $50 to $300 or so, depending on the value of your property. It’s easy to open a bank account in Belize — there are several to choose from… and most pay interest rates of up to 6 percent on U.S. dollar deposits.

Gillharry 7 Band From Corozal Town Belize Live Performance
The Gillharry 7, also known as the G7, is regarded as the best big band in Belize with a full complement of brass instruments, main and backup singers, and a full repertoire of music featuring original songs, Latin, Caribbean and Belizean music. Hand-held video at live performance, National Agriculture & Trade Fair, City Of Belmopan.

Festival of Culture Closing Night
The Benque Festival of Culture had its closing night Sunday night, and they had harp player Wagner Magus play some soothing music. They did get some video of him mesmerizing the crowd. "A great night to close of the International Festival of Culture... Harp (Guatemala) & Piano (Belize)... Thank you Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Argentina for the support in bringing forth this forum for the Art & Culture 2013"

Entrepreneurship Symposium
The Small Business Development Center, a branch of Beltraide, got some pitcures of this year's Entrepreneurship Symposium. The annual symposium aims to connect, empower, and promote Belizean entrepreneurs, along with connecting them to businesses that assist them in reaching their goals.

Enhancing the Caribbean’s Foreign Direct Investment Strategy
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion agencies (CAIPA), hosted their 4th Annual CAIPA General Assembly at the Radisson Fort George Hotel & Marina, Belize on November 21-22, 2013. Under the theme ‘Towards an Enhanced FDI Strategy: Strengthening our Foundation and Honouring Regional Excellence’ Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)officials from Member countries that include: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands, focused attention on the development of CAIPA’s Strategic and Sustainability Plan (2014-2018). The Plan is being developed with the assistance if Ideas to Business Limited.

Channel 7

Family Says Cops Killed Tyson Rodriguez
A 27 year old man died in Placencia this weekend - the cops say he escaped and they found him floating in the water; while his family says the cops killed him, held his face in the sand and suffocated him - while he was in handcuffs. Two vastly different accounts but no matter which one you believe, Tyson Rodriguez is dead. If the name rings a distant bell, it should; Rodriguez was shot by police on Caye Caulker in March of 2012. But this time there was no shooting; the post mortem result says that he died of, quote, "asphyxia by bronchial aspiration of sand beach", end quote. Basically that means he suffocated on sand. The death certificate adds that he had multiple traumas to the chest - which means that he had been beaten. Tonight we'll have both interpretations of that result, but we'll also have the back-story which is equally compelling. It starts on Thursday night with an American couple who live on the Placencia Peninsula; they were robbed, and beaten on the beach, then taken to their house, tied up, the residence burglarized, and their car stolen. When police found the vehicle all the way in Corozal - 213 miles away - on Friday morning they say that Tyson Rodriguez had been driving it. He was arrested after a reported beatdown by Xaibe villagers who apprehended him. That's how he ended up back in Placencia on Friday night at 10:30 where the circumstances leading to his death are still cloudy. Daniel Ortiz went to the Peninsula today to try to get some clarity:...

Tyson's Cousin Says Police Suffocated Him
But, as you heard in our interview, the family believes that if police did indeed have such information, they should have treated him like any other suspect who is innocent until proven otherwise. Today in Belize City, Tyson Rodriguez's cousin who raised him and lived with him up to the time of his death spoke to the media outside the KHMH morgue. The post mortem had just been concluded and for Keisha Rodriguez and her attorney it is clear that Tyson was severely beaten and suffocated in the sand on the Placencia beach. Here's what she told the media - along with her attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd:.. Keisha Rodriguez, cousin of deceased "A police officer from Dangriga came to my door at about 4:49am on Saturday and he told me that Tyson had died. I ask him how did he died and he said that he was detained in Corozal with a vehicle and that he had escape from the police and he jumped into a river and he drowned and a fisherman found him. That was what the police told me."

Shari Muschamp Admitted To Her Workplace
On Friday we showed you the pitiful plight of Shari Muschamp. She was working at the IBC Registry - but she had a difficult pregnancy, and right about the time when Government took over the registry from the Ashcroft Alliance - she left on an extended maternity leave. In the interim, government re-hired all the employees as public officers, but she got left out of the mix: she was never fired, but she was also never re-hired. When she got attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd to query her status, Government's legal advisor Gian Ghandi wrote to Matura-Shepherd informing her that Muschamp had been deemed medically unfit. Still, she wasn't back to work on Friday at the end of her maternity leave, and was shown out the door. But it seems her distraught plea outside the IBC Office softened some hearts, because when she went back to work today, she was allowed in and taken into a meeting - slash - negotiation with the Registrar of IBC's Santiago Gonzalez.

Cane Farmers Use AGM to Resolve To Get Compensated For Bagasse
Yesterday, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association held its Annual General Meeting. But the business of the meeting was overshadowed by the cloud hanging over the industry. That's the dispute over bagasse; it's the by product of sugar production which is now being used as bio-fuel for electricity; the farmers want to be paid for it, BSI says "no;" they buy it with the sugar, and it's theirs to do with as they wish. Today, the vice chairman of BSCFA's Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega told us that at t6he meeting, the farmers took a resolution to strike if they don't get paid:.. Alfredo Ortega, Vice President - Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association "The farmers passed a motion reiterating what the two division had passed on the 2nd and 10th November whereby they have place on our shoulders the negotiations with BSI and that there would be no deliveries if we are unable to finalize a negotiation to signed. What we will be doing this week, we will be sending a letter to the Prime Minister to intervene in this issue because what we are seeking for as cane farmers is to finalize this issue as friendly as possible without going to any issue that would be detrimental or negatively impacting the industry."

PM Will Meet The Press 3 Weeks After Back Surgery
And a man who is always in the public fray will be having his own press conference this week. Three weeks after spinal surgery, Prime Minister Dean Barrow will have a press conference on Wednesday. A press release form the government press office says that the subject will be government's response to rain and flood damage.

UDP Freetown Caretaker Steps Down
Some of that damage will likely have to address the Belama area phases three and four, which have been swamped by rains. But, you probably shouldn't expected to see the UDP Caretaker for the Freetown Division in the front row - and that's because Li Mark Chang is stepping down. Chang told us today that he is stepping away because he has to take care of his business, the Chon Saan chain of restaurants. He told us that his parents have retired and he and his wife have had to earnestly take up management of the restaurants in Belmopan and Belize Cities. He says he had decided to step down some time ago, but only recently made it official because the UDP is opening its convention season. He says he will remain involved for the UDP in Freetown and will support whoever is chosen as his successor. He says he has no idea who that will be.

Alleged Soldier Slayer Marsha Reid's Caution Statement Accepted
39 year-old Marsha Reid, the woman accused of killing her lover, BDF Corporal Donovan Castillo, is currently on trial without jury before Justice Denis Hanomansingh in the Southern Sessions of the Supreme Court. Reid, who is being represented by attorney Simeon Sampson, is waiting for the final 3 prosecution witnesses to testify against her, after which, she will be able to make her defence. That defence will have to be airtight because she is faced with her caution statement where she allegedly admitted to committing the crime. That has been tendered and accepted by the judge as evidence against her. As we've reported, she allegedly inflicted a stab wound to his neck which was fatal with a kitchen knife, which was recovered at the scene.

Mother Pleas For Missing Daughter
Tonight a 16 year old girl is missing along with 3 others from the Youth Hostel. The mother of Amber Grenardo visited our studios today to ask for the public's assistance in locating her missing daughter. According to Emma Burke, Amber went missing 2 Wednesday's ago after escaping from the Youth Hostel one night. And while this is not her first time the 16 year old has run away, it is the longest she's ever been missing. Monica Bodden "You mentioned that she went missing from the Youth Hostel right?" Emma Burke, mother "That's correct." Monica Bodden "Is this the first time that she has gone missing?" Emma Burke, mother "Not it's not." Monica Bodden "What's make you concerned this time around?" Emma Burke, mother "Because it's almost 2 weeks she has gone missing. The first time she went missing was 2-3 days she went and she was by herself. Now she is with 3 other young ladies I understand."

Making Small Business Work
One year ago, BELTRAIDE launched its Small Business Development Center in Belize City. Since then, the walk-in agency has taken on 170 clients and disbursed 200 thousand dollars in assistance to small business start-ups. Today and event was held to mark the milestone, and Melanie Gideon who leads the project told us they are making strides, and making a difference:.. Melanie Gideon, SBDC Director "A year later I think more and more entrepreneurs or people who think they are entrepreneurs or even business people have somewhere to go. It's a place where they can come and find not only refuge but know how. If you ask me if it is robust as a consequence, yeah, I am proud to say that. I think today you will showcase some entrepreneurs that without the center I am confident they wouldn't have been able to pull off what they've pull off."

Alleged Child Molester Remanded
32 year old Jose David Funez, a technician of Mahogany Heights is at prison tonight after he was taken court for allegedly having intercourse with a 13 year-old female minor. They girl reported that on Saturday, she went to visit him at his home where he allegedly had sex with him. Later that day, she went with her mother to the police station to make the report, after which, a doctor certified that she was carnally known. As a result, Funez was charged with carnal knowledge, and he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. Due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded to prison until January 14, 2014, his next court date.

A Program To Certify Cruise-Ready Seamen
We've already told you about Norwegian Cruise Lines and its offer to hire Belizeans to work on the cruise ship. The Ministry of investment reports that 300 persons have been recruited and NCL is looking for 100 more. On a parallel track, a consultancy group out of Dangriga has launched a basic safety training course - which will certify local seamen and enable them to work on any vessel internationally. The project is lead by Major Gilbert Swazo, who's also Dangriga's Mayor - and he told us more about it:..

FOOTBALL: PG's Freedom Fighters Find Paradise At MCC
The Belikin Cup Premier League Football game rolled on this weekend - and the most pivotal match was held in Belize City where the Paradise Freedom Fighters From Punta Gorda came to the MCC in Belize City to take on FC Belize. Channel 7 had live coverage at the forty fifth minute of the first half where FC Belize struck first - in a game that ended up in a one - one draw. Here's the call of that first goal from Mervin Rugged Flores:... Mark "Kelo" Leslie, Midfield - Belize F.C. "I thought we give away the 3 points because we had the game control but in the second half our team got a little tired, so the PG team capitalize on the second half and scored a goal to tie the game but in the 1st half we had lots of opportunity to go up 2-0. Unfortunately we missed our break and those guys capitalized on their goal and that was the game."

Mr Belize Outmuscles Mexicans
He recently won the Mr. Belize competition for the second year in a row, and now Rigo Vellos has won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held this past Sunday, in Merida. Vellos competed in the 80 kilogramme and over category, and according o a press release, he defeating dozens of other international competitors. The release adds that this was the first time a Belizean competed in the event which is one of Mexico's most competitive bodybuilding competitions.

Channel 5

Police investigates death of Tyson Rodriguez
An internal police investigation is underway in the death of a Dangriga resident who police detained following the burglary of a Canadian couple in Placencia. And it appears that the [...]

Family believes that Tyson Rodriguez is a victim of police brutality
You heard the police version of how they found the body of twenty-seven year old Tyson Rodriguez in the sea near the Chabil Mar Villa Resort in the Placencia Peninsula. [...]

Rodriguez family indicates legal action against Police Department
The family has indicated that legal action against the police department will be pursued.  Meanwhile, attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd says that what she observed on Rodriguez’s body is not consistent with [...]

Cane Farmers gather for a general meeting
There are five thousand three hundred registered cane-farmers in northern Belize. They are divided into eighteen branches which all operate under the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. On Sunday, a [...]

Sugar roads make delivery impossible
Currently, the ball is in B.S.I.’s court. What they do with it will have great impact on the industry in days to come. Experience has shown that cane-farmers are perhaps [...]

Muschamp back at work!
Twenty-seven year old Sharie Muschamp, a mother of two is today fortunately back at her desk at the International Business Company Registry. Muschamp was scheduled to return to work last [...]

Penner and Castro made it in the “Economist”
Belize’s former Minister of State Elvin Penner and current Minister of State Edmond Castro have made it onto the pages of one of the world’s leading news journals, the Economist. [...]

Jose Funes behind bars for the holidays for Carnal Knowledge
Thirty-two year old Jose Funes tonight finds himself behind bars after he was arraigned for the carnal knowledge of a thirteen year old girl. The Mahogany Heights resident appeared in [...]

Third Annual Tacos Fest in Orange Walk
On Sunday, the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk Town was home to the third annual Tacos Fest. The name says it all. It’s an event where residents and [...]

Belizean Body Builder wins international title
A Belizean bodybuilder has clinched an international title in the sport. Mister Belize, Rigo Vellos, won the top prize and title in the 2013 Revolution Cup Bodybuilding Competition held on [...]

Weekend Wrap Up with James Adderly
Good evening I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday. Week nine in the Belikin Cup brought the impressive Paradise Freedom Fighters of Toledo to the MCC Grounds yesterday for [...]


Internal Affairs Investigate Death of Man in Police Custody
An investigation has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the death of Tyson Rodriguez who escaped police custody on Friday. According to the official police report, Rodriguez was a suspect in the assault and robbery of 59 year old Canadian National David Baier and his wife who were viciously attacked by three male persons and robbed. After being beaten they were forced to take their attackers to their home where they were tied up as their home was burglarized. The culprits then escaped in the couple’s white GMC Envoy heading towards the Southern Highway. On Friday morning at about 9:30am, police attached to Customs called the Corozal Police Station requesting assistance in pursuing the vehicle. The vehicle was without license plate and occupied by two male persons which diverted from the Phillip Goldson Highway to Chan Chen Road. The vehicle was found abandoned off a feeder road. Twenty-seven year old Tyson Rodriguez of Benguche Area, Dangriga Town, identified as one of the male occupants of the Envoy, was seen at a bus stop in Xaibe Village and after a pursuit was detained by police. He was transported from the Corozal Police Station to Belmopan Police Station and then on to the Placencia Sub-Formation.

Fugitive Pleads Guilty to Fraud After Deportation From Belize
According to the Atlanta Journal, an Atlanta dentist who was found in Belize in February after fleeing the United States following indictment for fraud has been sentenced to seven years in prison on Friday. Kenneth Morris Wiggins Jr., owner and operator of Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offices in Roswell and Marietta, admitted to fraudulently billing Georgia Medicaid more than $2 million. Wiggins billed Medicaid for tooth re-implantations and suturing of wounds for 220 Medicaid patients although he never performed the procedures on those patients, according to Lauren Kane, spokeswoman for Attorney General Sam Olens. Kane said Wiggins fled to the Netherlands after being indicted in 2011, and was located in Belize in February. U.S. Marshals transported Wiggins from Belize to Miami, where he waived extradition and was returned to Cobb County. He has been held in the Cobb County Jail without bond since his return.

Businessman Ayuso Evades Taxes
Manuel Ayuso, the owner of a business establishment on Hudson Street, was charged with five counts of failure to file GST returns from April to August, 2013, when he appeared court. Ayuso pled guilty to the charges. Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart fined him the minimum fine of 500 dollars for each offence. She did not impose the penalty of 50 dollars for each day Ayuso did not file the GST return because it was the first time Ayuso was brought to court for the offences. Ayuso said he came prepared to pay the fine and he went to the cashier at the Magistrate Court and paid the money. The GST was represented by its legal officer, former magistrate, Ed P. Usher.

Cane Farmers Meet in Northern Belize
As we mentioned earlier, cane farmers gathered on Sunday in San Roman. The main purpose of the meeting was the revision of financial report for the fiscal year that ended on October 31. According to CEO at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmer’s Association, Oscar Alonzo, the new fiscal year will saw an increase of approximately 1.6 million dollars for the fiscal year 2013-2014. This year they are looking at expanding the existing replanting and social programs along with other programs under the BSCFA. OSCAR ALONZO “We will continue our emphasis on sugar cane quality that is of major importance because we want to ensure that our farmers continue to produce and deliver good cane to the factory. As you know we get paid for the sugar not for the volume of cane that we deliver and it requires that the farmers undertake integrated management practices in order to achieve the best results in terms of productivity and in terms of volume of production. We also intend to continue investments in compliance for the criteria for fair trade and especially those related to the environment where we have to ensure that we reduce our utilization of chemicals. It’s true that we have to use chemicals, we can’t really eliminate it totally but first we want to see if we can use biological controls, utilizing natural elements and in case we can’t control it in that we way then we apply the chemicals as a final recourse. We also will continue to invest in social projects. As you know fair trade, the consumer in Europe pays the extra amount for sugar that is sold under the Fair Trade logo because they feel happy that the farmers are utilizing (1) to improve production, (2) to improve their livelihood their welfare and that of the community; so, we will continue to invest in educational projects, health projects, recreational projects and also try to improve infrastructure in the communities.”

Sugar Cane Farmers Pass Resolution for No Delivery of Cane
Cane farmers in the north gathered in San Roman Corozal yesterday for the association’s annual general meeting. Arturo Cantun was there and has the details. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “Close to 1500 caneros convened for the BSCFA annual AGM. In discussion was the financial status of the association but the main item on the agenda was the bagasse issue. The discussion of that item started with a vote from the floor in order to ratify the resolution taken at two separate divisional meetings held earlier this month. There was a resounding support for the motion presented. Chairman of the BSCFA Alfredo Ortega said it’s now a matter to wait as they have met with Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega last Friday where they requested government’s intervention. The only action presented and supported so far is for cane farmers to stay home and don’t deliver cane when the BSI factor opens its gate when the crop season is declared open.” ALFREDO ORTEGA “Well, that is what we have on the table at this present time but we will be waiting, at least until this week that is coming to see what will be the response from BSI and from there we will know what other step we will need to do.” ARTURO CANTUN “How sure are you that this action will bring positive results for the caneros?”

Business Owner and Employee Robbed in Western Belize
San Ignacio police are investigating a robbery that occurred in San Ignacio Town, Cayo on Sunday night. According to Xiang Rong Chen, a businessman of that town, San Ignacio Police reported that around eight-15 that morning he was inside his business, Kenny’s Store when two men entered. One of the men was armed with a gun and the other with a knife. Chen said that the two held up him and his co-worker and robbed them of over two thousand dollars in cash and a Belize Bank cheque worth 380 dollars. He said he was forced outside and the knife-bearer then stole an additional 1800 dollars from the cash register, Chen’s laptop and an I-phone before escaping.

Bus and Truck Collide on George Price Highway
At least one person had to be hospitalized after a bus and a truck collided this afternoon. The accident which occurred between miles 42 and 43 on the George Price Highway left passengers very shaken. Hydeia Golanche, a colleague of Love FM, was traveling on the James Bus heading from Belmopan to Belize City. She spoke with Reporter Linette Canto about the accident. BUS ACCIDENT “The experience was very frightening; what happened was that the James Bus was traveling from Belmopan and the Banana truck was traveling from the direction of Belize City and he wanted to turn right into a lane that was on the opposite side of the road. So, what he did instead of waiting on that side he just swerved in front of the James bus; so, the driver of the James bus couldn’t do anything about it, so he blew his horn and he couldn’t do anything so he just hit into the truck. There were no major injuries but a little girl who was about 6 or 7 years old was bleeding from her nose and there was this guy who was had the major injury where he was already involved in an accident so this accident hurt his spine and it looks like the impact that he got in the bus kind of threw him back into that. I mean he was in a lot of pain. So, the ambulance had to come and take him out of the bus. Also there was a little baby who was crying hysterically so the mother just jumped into the ambulance with the baby so we didn’t know what happened to the baby but from the way she was crying, but we didn’t really know what happened to her. The reaction that I got from the back where I was sitting, everybody just started to scream. That was the first thing. When we heard the first bang the baby was the first to cry and scream out and then after that the other passengers started to scream but everybody was just frightened, so, nobody didn’t just rush up and move. Everybody just kind of stopped where they were stunned.”

Fire Victim Says His House Was Intentionally Burnt
An early morning fire completely destroyed a house in Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk. According to reports the fire started between 1:30 and two o’clock this morning at the residence of Ernest Martinez on San Rafael Street Trial Farm. We spoke with the fire victim’s brother Billy Martinez. BILLY MARTINEZ “I was lying down and I heard the dog bark around 1:30 or 2 o’clock; I wasn’t paying it any mind but when I looked through the door and I saw that the fire started and when then I realized my brother wanted to go in the house but at that same time I told him not to go in the house because the things in there are only material things but the feeling I have is that somebody burn this down intentionally because people don’t like to see the way you live; people see you don’t mess with anybody and you just pray to God and the way you act people envy people; everything is about envy. I don’t have any enemy at all. In the house, I had a fan, a bed, a DVD, TV lot of things like 8000 dollars’ worth of items and everything burnt. The house was built at a cost of about 10 thousand dollars.”

Woman and Son-In-Law Charged with Burglary
Two persons, 57-year-old, Estell Rhaburn and her son-in-law, 34-year-old, Patrick Thomas, who allegedly entered the business place of Rufus X were charged with burglary when they appeared in court today. They pled not guilty to the charge. The Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith offered each of them bail of 500 dollars and she adjourned their case until January 15, 2014. The police reported that on November 23, they responded to a report of a burglary in progress and upon their arrival at the corner of Lacroix Boulevard and Crown Street, they found Rhaburn and Thomas on the verandah. Nothing was reported stolen.

Police in Southern Belize Seeks Missing Teen
A teenage girl has been reported missing in the Toledo District. Ortillia Cowo of San Antonio Village, Toledo told police that at around 11 on Thursday morning she went to purchase at a nearby shop and left her 17-year-old daughter, Detrina Cowo at home along with her grandmother. She said that upon returning home the girl was missing. Detrina Cowo was last seen wearing a pink blouse, pink floral skirt and pink slippers. She has long straight black hair, is brown skinned, weighs about 140 pounds, stands about five feet tall and is of Mayan descent.

Chopping Incident Leaves Belmopan Police Investigating
Belmopan police are investigating a chopping on St Michael Street in the San Martin area of Belmopan. This is after 19 year old Moises Sutz, a delivery man for Garden City Restaurant suffered a large cut wound to the right side of the head and was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital. Police say they have since detained three men of Belmopan pending investigation.

Motorcycle Theft Reported In Northern Belize
Corozal police are investigating the theft of a motorcycle in Xaibe Village, Corozal. According to 34 year-old Julio Choco, a mechanic of that village, at around on Friday night he parked the motorcycle, valued at three thousand 800 dollars under a garage and locked the ignition. He said that when he checked the garage at around six on Saturday morning he noticed that the motorcycle was missing.


Norwegian Cruise Line Commences Job Recruitment Scheme
At its launch of the proposed Harvest Caye tourism development earlier this year, executives for Norwegian Cruise Line and the project developer, Hugh Darley, announced an initiative for hundreds of Belizeans to be hired to work on their ships. It seems other cruise companies are following suit, as today PLUS News visited a training course at the Biltmore Plaza for 40 potential employees of Carnival Cruise Line. With more here is Mayor of Dangriga and consultant/coordinator of the Basic Safety Training Course, Gilbert Swazo. Mr. Gilbert Swazo- Mayor of Dangriga vlcsnap-2013-11-25-18h37m20s146“People who are graduates from CET, ITVET, if there are electricians; those people who have conducted Hospitality Management training from secondary and tertiary level. Once they are certified in any of those fields, such as hospitality management, electronics or mechanic per say or even a plumber, the ships require all those various skills that repair and maintain all those systems. Furthermore, the ship is like a hotel, they will need hospitality service to serve, to do housekeeping among other things, people who are musicians…all those things. Once you have that skill, and perhaps even better certified in those skills, then through the conduct of the basic safety training course, you will be ellegible to become a sea fairer who can then be hired by one of the Cruise Lines, Norwegian, Carnival or Royal Caribbean”.

Cane Farmers Still Pressuring for Benefits on Bagasse Agreement
Sunday saw the annual general meeting of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) in San Roman, Corozal, geographically halfway between the two divisions of the Association. The largest turnout in recent memory gathered at the Escuela Mexico, where over 1,000 farmers were present to hear from their executive and lend their voices to the ongoing debate over payment on the bagasse that is a by-product of sugar cane. Producers Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) have been adamant about not paying farmers for the so-called “trash,” claiming sole responsibility for its disposal because, it says, it buys all cane from the farmers which then becomes its property. Not so, says the farmers, who have been clamoring since 2010 to receive a share of the bagasse profits gone to BSI under the 2002 agreement between them. During yesterday’s meeting, farmer Genaro Garcia introduced a resolution ratifying those passed at divisional level to not start this year’s crop until a satisfactory solution is reached on bagasse. Here is that portion of the proceedings.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

New Editor In Chief
Anna is a 5-year honorary Caye Caulker resident and has recently moved here to join her family. She comes from the San Francisco Bay Area where she managed an art school department, and now joins Caye Caulker Chronicles to contribute her passion for writing, community and culture. All emails and Letters to the editor can still be emailed to

Belize Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week!
Last week countries around the world united for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) through celebrations and events aimed at acknowledging the importance entrepreneurship plays in a country’s economic development. Belize was no exception, and through the support of the U.S. Embassy, the University of Belize, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Services, and the Belize Youth Business Trust a series of events were hosted in honor of GEW that celebrated local entrepreneurs, and provided information to existing and potential entrepreneurs on the entrepreneurship support services available in Belize. As part of the GEW events in Belize, the Fourth Annual Entrepreneurship Symposium took place on November 21 at the University of Belize, Central Campus, Belmopan. The 2013 Entrepreneurship Symposium was celebrated under the theme “Empowering and Connecting Entrepreneurs” and had participation from Business Service Organizations including Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SBDC- Belize, Development Finance Corporation, local entrepreneurs and U.S. Embassy Belmopan. An event highlight included special guest, Dr. Rene Villanueva, Sr., sharing his experiences as a successful entrepreneur.


Indulging at Dirty Martini and the Sushi Bar
For dinner, I met up with Carolyn and Surendra again. We stopped Dirty Martini first to pick up their Taste of Playa Passes and enjoy a martini which is a rare thing for me – that was my second one in 46 years. As soon as I saw the espresso martini on the menu I knew it was time to try something other than my standard rum and cran or bottled water and I was really glad I did. Surendra had a ginger martini and Carolyn went with the traditional ‘Dirty Martini’. While there ran into Michele which was perfect, I knew she would have a great sushi recommend for us – Nikkori Japanese Cuisine. The service was excellent and everything we ordered was delicious so much that we ended up ordering a round two of rolls.

Hickatee Cottages: A MUST STAY in Punta Gorda and a Bargain in Belize
I have been back in San Pedro (aka The Far North) for a few days now and the more I think about my time spent in Punta Gorda, Belize (the Deep South) the more excited I am to return. Punta Gorda is everything you picture Belize to be…everything that you want it to be…in one relatively small area. It almost has the feel of what I think Belize was like 30 or 40 years ago. I’ll say it again. Punta Gorda, Belize is magical. (Check out pictures from around town.) And here’s another cool thing about it. I found the perfect place for you to stay. I mean PERFECT. Hickatee Cottages. The owners Ian and Kate are warm and gracious. And their love of Punta Gorda, infectious. The cottages are set on a property that is groomed, comfortable and close to town (PG is only a 1.5 mile bike ride away) but also teetering on the edge of what Ian calls the “high bush”. Or to me, trails through a very serious jungle.

Guests give back through Pack-a-Pound program in Belize
Program coordinator Denise Duran with students of Holy Cross primary school in Calla Creek Village, Cayo District, Belize What is an ecotourism destination without sustainable practices? at The Lodge at Chaa Creek, our guests immerse themselves in our sustainable tourism ethos. If you love the gift of giving, you will love Chaa Creek’s initiative of including our guests in giving back to the community. Program coordinator and assistant guest services manager at Chaa Creek, Denise Duran, visited the Calla Creek primary school along with Emil Bradley to deliver school supplies donated by our past guests. Our Pack-a-Pound initiative gives Chaa Creek’s guests an opportunity to donate school supplies to classrooms in Belize. The procedure to donate to this cause entails sending school supplies to Chaa Creek via mail, Chaa Creek would gather school supplies, pack them off by pound and then distribute to the schools and students who need it most.

“Patience” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Let’s dispense with the veranda bit for today’s edition. Just take it as read that I went out there. During the last couple of days -following our travails in placing orders with Walmart (or Wallymart as Wes, a reader of this blog, refers to this company) ,Rose and I have spent the last couple of days documenting the tracking numbers for every item we have ordered and that will be delivered (we hope) to Hyde Shipping‘s warehouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It’s boring and painstaking work but it had to be done if we wanted to be able to produce a list that Hyde Shipping can use to ‘tick off’ our stuff as it is delivered. As we worked our way through the orders notating the tracking numbers we were also able to record the expected delivery date (quite a few items have already been received by Hyde Shipping) and with this information calculate that we might, just might, be able to have our twenty foot container (laden with our stuff) set sail on 6 December with an arrival in Belize City on 8 December.

How to make Hudut, a classic traditional Garifuna food
I’m a man of simple pleasures, next to Rice and beans with stew chicken and potato salad, Hudut is my favourite Belizean grub. And with Garifuna Settlement Day recently occurring on November 19, I’ve been craving this traditional Garinagu food even more. I’m happy to be cooking it today and sharing the recipe with you guys. Hudut is easy to make! It is comprised of green and ripe mashed plantains called Fu-fu and a fish coconut stew. This traditional dish is important to the Garifuna because it represents their love for the sea and living on the coast. Many other cultures that are near the sea or ocean have similar dishes, for example countries such as Brazil and Thailand have their own versions of a fish coconut stew. Even here in Belize, the local creole culture has a similar dish which is known as Sere. Sere is cooked in the same way but involves many other ingredients and is most of the time eaten with white rice instead of Fu-fu.

International Sources

John McAfee accused of stalking
The anti-virus software entrepreneur John McAfee has been evicted from his Oregon apartment and hit with a civil stalking complaint. McAfee, 68, last year fled the Central American nation of Belize, where authorities sought to question him in the fatal shooting of a US expatriate who lived near McAfee's home. He has denied any involvement. McAfee moved into a high-end apartment building in south-east Portland. The stalking complaint was filed by Connor Hyde, a property manager with the Riverstone Residential Group. Hyde no longer worked at the location, said Crystal Pierce, senior property manager at The 20 on Hawthorne, adding that the company did not comment on legal matters. Hyde's court filing, obtained by the Oregonian, says McAfee sent threatening emails and had access to weapons and armed associates from a motorcycle club. McAfee said in a phone interview on Monday that he moved to Montreal two months ago and had just learned of his eviction. He said he had issues with building management over "wilful lapses of security" but was not forced to leave. "I've never been evicted from anything," he said. McAfee said he had a "severe problem" with Hyde but never threatened him with anything except lawsuits. "He gave keys out to all of his friends, and friends of friends," he said. "People were partying in vacant condos. It's turned into a nightmare ever since the new owners purchased the building four months ago." Judge Steven Evans granted a temporary protective order against McAfee and scheduled a 3 January hearing.

Searching for Mayan ruins along the New River
Halfway to the freshwater lagoon, the British couple split off from each other, goose-stepping through the tropical grass. The wife makes it safely to a flagpole and crouches down, binoculars ready. The Jaribu stork they are stalking takes a step forward and the husband freezes mid-stride. "He looks exactly like that damn bird," Steve whispers across the table. It's just after sunrise and we finally have the restaurant patio at the Bird's Eye View Lodge to ourselves. We're in Belize researching material for a television series and we've committed a cardinal travelling sin. We booked a three-day sightseeing tour to visit the Mayan ruins at Lamanai and Altun Ha, but didn't read the fine print. It turns out we're on a birding tour and what we thought would be an interesting inland add-on to our Belizean Barrier Reef snorkelling trip is beginning to feel like a Monty Python skit.

What Will Your Retirement Persona Be?
After you retire, do you want to travel the globe -- or spend your days at home with your grandchildren? Or perhaps you'd rather just pursue that elusive hole-in-one at the golf course? Want to move to Belize after you retire? Then you have some serious planning to do. Ken Moraif, a senior advisor at Plano, Texas-based wealth management and investment firm Money Matters, says that you'll need to consider both the financial and lifestyle ramifications of such a retirement. Moraif points to clients who planned to sell their home and move to Belize. It seemed to make sense: The clients loved vacationing there, so why not live in the sunny paradise on a full-time basis? Moraif advised the clients to rent a home in the city for six months before they retired.

Violent, impoverished – and attracting billions
While you were relaxing this Sunday, two politicians were giving it their all on the last day of an incredibly tense presidential campaign in Honduras. It was the first time since civilian rule was established some 30 years ago that a new political party threatened to shake up the status quo. Central America is made up of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama and is home to around 41 million people. The largest nation is Guatemala with 14 million people, while the smallest is Belize with just 300,000 people. The rest have between three million and seven million people each. Meanwhile, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic often joins Central American regional initiatives or bodies.

The Big Trip: Belize
With wild jungles, Mayan ruins and serene beaches, could this exuberant corner of Central America be the hot new place to go? Martha Hayes packs her boots and bikinis 'Anyone wearing perfume?' asks Belizean conservation officer Roni Martinez as we pile into the back of a dust-covered Land Rover with all the high-tech camera equipment, binoculars and machetes necessary for a 8am trek into the Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve. Everyone in the vehicle raises a collective eyebrow, but it’s a valid question. Following recent clinical tests that involved dousing a tampon in Obsession, it turns out the elusive jaguar is attracted to a whiff of Calvin Klein. Sadly, I’m not wearing it and, coincidentally or not (they’re more likely to be spotted at night), we fail to see one of these strikingly beautiful yet highly endangered big cats. Tracking jaguars is a prime reason to visit Belize, which is home to a roll-call of wildlife that includes scarlet macaws, howler monkeys and the large Baird’s tapir.

Un-Belize-able Family Travel
Cayo gets a great write up in this article about traveling with a family, and the story reinforces that there are tons of things to do in Cayo for people of all ages. "Within 10 minutes of Chaa Creek, Xunantunich pyramids pop through the canopy. After crossing the river by hand-cranked ferry, we walked up a path for a few minutes and there before us rose the massive Mayan structure…looming at least as tall as a four-story building. We hiked to the top for incredible views over the verdant jungles with hints of other Mayan pyramids peeking through the leaves. It’s mind-boggling to think about the enormity of the Mayan civilization that once inhabited this jungle. As we sit there, admiring the architecture, I can just imagine the Mayans hustling around the base while the priests prepare for a ceremony at the top of the great pyramid."

What Costs Less Overseas When You Retire?
When you move overseas, most things cost less. Health care is cheaper, beachfront property is cheaper and flights are cheaper when you qualify for a retiree program. You can even enjoy a symphony performance for far less than in the U.S., and have a better quality of life for less. Here is a list of five items that are cheaper overseas. 1. Quality Health Care for Less In many of the countries International Living covers, quality health care is often half the price or less than you would pay in the U.S. For example, in Costa Rica a doctor’s visit costs $40 to $60–a third of what you’d pay in the U.S. Doctors are well-trained: Many have studied in the U.S., Canada or Europe and you’ll find hospitals with modern equipment and with standards similar to what you’d find at home. In some Central and South American countries, fees for belonging to the public healthcare system range from about $25 to $75 per month per person. Most expats pay for private health care and also use the affordable public health care as a safety net.

November 25, 2013


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

Wolfe’s Woofer: New Baby
“Where are you going?” Melody asked. “I’m going across the river,” I told her. “I have to take an amplifier to the repairman. Why are you asking?” “My friend has a new baby and I promised to go see it. My golf cart is broken down as usual, so Davin and I need a ride.” […]

Doctor Love: childhood sweethearts
Readers, please send your letters. They can be e-mails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, I dated one girl for eight years. We started out as childhood sweethearts when I was fifteen and she was fourteen. We remained committed […]

Letter to the Editor: Sueño del Mar
We, the members of Sueño del Mar, have not gone away. It’s been three years now since nearly 200 of us filed suit against British Caribbean Bank over the timeshare act of Belize, which law was supposed to protect our rights at Sueno del Mar from seizure by the Bank. Over three years ago, British Caribbean Bank seized the resort when the developer defaulted on a loan, and refused to honor the ownership rights of the members. British Caribbean Bank is the offshore arm of Belize Bank, and was not supposed to be making loans in Belize. But, it seems that this Bank doesn’t really care much about Belizean law. We have recently amended our claims against the Bank as it has become clear that the “loan” was illegal under Belizean law. During the last three years, the Bank-appointed receiver has operated the Sueño Del Mar resort as a Hotel, apparently at a loss as the operation was shut down earlier in 2013. The members’ personal property apparently has been removed as well.

Misc Belizean Sources

Impasse prevents start of 2013-14 sugar cane season
An impasse over a share of the profits from the sale of bagasse is preventing the start of the 2013-14 sugar cane season in Belize. The Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) are at odds over the profit sharing scheme with the farmers demanding a greater say on how the profits should be shared. Vice-Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Alfredo Ortega said the farmers have already made a plea to the government urging that it intervene in the matter. Ortega said the farmers want the BSI to come “to the table” to discuss the matter. “We remain on our fight that we would go to the table to negotiate once it is for the bagasse and the new agreement,” he added. Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega said that the cane farmers have been consistent in their positions and that “they will not start a crop unless they finalise some agreement regarding the bagasse.

What does the term 'the minister' mean when it comes to immigration?
Years ago, in 1976, when I was a police corporal in Orange Walk Town and responsible for criminal investigations, I went on a drug operation in Indian Church Village. We apprehended about 12 illegal Guatemalan aliens who were cultivating marijuana in the village. During the operation we seized several bags of marijuana and took the prisoners to Orange Walk Town for further processing. I then started to frame charges for "illegal entry" into our country and possession of "cannabis sativa L" the legal classification for marijuana. When I told one of the Guatemalans that he has no legal documents to be in Belize, he replied saying to me that his entry stamp to Belize was given to him by a "minister of government" that he works for. At that time the PUP was the government of Belize and he called the minister’s name to me, whom I knew. I was shocked, outraged and disgusted with this information. Why? Because Indian Church Village is far from Orange Walk Town and we had to leave early that morning to go on that raid. I then stopped all the processing and, when I looked in these 12 Guatemalan nationals’ passports, there was indeed a stamp by "the minister" in all their passports. This minister was not responsible for Immigration at the time because the minister who was responsible for the police force was C.L.B. Rogers and, as such, immigration fell under his portfolio.

Reparations II
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez UB president resigning Is somewhat disturbing Especially since the Facebook posting Of him giving it in writing Including a tongue lashing I think it’s downright embarrassing But then it revealing Why as a country we are not progressing Mr Luna asked three questions in Amandala last evening Reparation should be championed in tertiary learning Status quo challenging Like in the University of the West Indies When Walter Rodney was teaching Critical political thinking If Belize was granted reparation Who would receive the payment? PUDP corrupt governments The elitist two percent Would it disappear like the Venezuelan millions? Or end up in the hands of a few extraordinary Belizeans?

16 Days Launch at Cayo Welcome Center
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence start tomorrow, and there will be a launch at the Cayo Welcome Center starting at 5:00pm. The campaign goes through December 10th, and there will be many events around Cayo. You can find out more at their page: . and the Rutgers site.

The Belize Times

Crop Season Delayed – GOB Neglects Sugar Roads!
The standoff between the Belize Sugar Industries and the 6,000 cane farmers represented by the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) over a shared revenue agreement for the use of bagasse continues with no solution in sight. But it is not the serious impasse that has placed the start of the sugar crop in danger. It is the UDP Government’s total neglect of the sugar roads throughout the northern district that has placed the critical November 25th opening date at risk. With all the heavy rain, the roads have deteriorated and have become impassable. Government officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, which falls under the responsibility of the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega, whose constituency is in northern Belize, have stood aside with their arms folded as the conditions of the infrastructure worsens.

“I can’t afford $5 per day” – Mother of 4 says they have no food to eat, sleeping on cold floor
33 year old Juanita Paulino and her four children are among the 15% of the population who are considered “indigent”, meaning they can’t afford $5.50 a day. There were over 50,000 Belizeans who fell in the indigent poverty levels back in 2010, according to a population census. “My house is on sale, I have no electricity, I have no water and my kids are sleeping on the cold floor,” she explained to the BELIZE TIMES. Paulino, a single mother, has been enduring wretched days for several years, but it’s getting worse and worse. “I have had to sell everything at home so my kids could eat. All I have left at home are clothes and a few picture frames,” she said. But soon even the frames may have to come down. Paulino, who received a loan through Development Finance Corporation to build her home, never benefitted from the Barrow Administration’s write off program even though she was servicing her loan for six years. She says she was excluded despite explaining her difficult situation. Her property is now on sale by one of the local banks. She said she prays every night for a miracle to occur.

PUP leaders meet with cane farmers PUP leaders meet with cane farmers
Today, November 20, 2013 the Leader of the Opposition, Hon Francis Fonseca accompanied by Hon. John Briceño, Hon. Jose Abelardo Mai, Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez and Hon. Ramiro Ramirez met with leaders of the Cane Farmers Association in Orange Walk Town. The Cane Farmers requested the meeting with the Opposition to explain the current stale mate in the negotiation for revenue sharing for bagasse with BSI/BELCOGEN. The meeting lasted for two and a half hours.

UDP’s John Salidvar bashes cane farmers – Says they will “kill” the industry over “garbage”
Like a paid spokesperson for the U.S. company, American Sugar Refining Inc., the UDP’s John Saldivar, who at times acts like he’s the prime minister, bashed the cane farmers for lobbying to get financial benefits from the valuable sugar cane waste material known as bagasse, on Thursday. Saldivar, who seemed to be full of steam during the UDP’s “Wus Ting Da Mawning” show, blew his lid off by trivializing the issue and claiming that cane farmers want to “kill the industry over the garbage of the industry”. Saldivar said that he believes the cane farmers’ agenda is “unreal” and outrageous. He chose to defend ASR over the cane farmers. “You need to be fair to the investors,” he said, “mek di man mek back ih $150m then you could get to it”. According to Saldivar, the economic plight of cane farmers is not sufficient enough to sympathize with them.

Think About It
AMERICA IS LISTENING The brave lady who came forward with shocking allegations of misconduct and hustling in the ongoing immigration and visa scandal, revealed another shocking information. She said at the Belmopan Embassy of the United States two agents grilled and interrogated her for three hours. The agents wanted to know the names of everyone she dealt with, when, where, what exactly was being said and done. The lady had tried to dodge some questions until the agents clicked on a computer and confronted her with her own voice. The agents played what was a recording of her and Minister Castro carrying on a telephone conversation about visas. Gotcha! The agents showed the lady books and books of photographs of person they claimed got visas and passed through Belize. They wanted to know if she has seen any of them or had handled any passports for them. It should be clear that for the Americans, the Ministerial hustling on visas and passports have grave security concerns. Terrorists can find their way into the U.S.A. via the dirty doings through Belize Immigration Department.

UDP skeletons in the closet
By G. Michael Reid It is shameful and very disrespectful that Cayo Northeast representative Elvin Penner could do what he did and still continue to collect over a hundred thousand dollars of the people’s money every year. In any other country, he would have had to resign, be put in jail or worse. In Belize, we continue to call him “honorable”. I am pretty sure there are some who have already grown tired and weary of hearing about Penner but we cannot allow this to just go quietly into the night. I am sorry, but if this is the last column left doing it, I will continue to speak on this and hope that at some point, something will be done. Despite the best of efforts though, Pennergate seems slowly fading off the radar. Castrogate however, is starting to bleep louder. In an interview on the Dickie Bradley show last week, Belize’s most famous whistle-blower Alverine Burgess put her face to the name and went on record to insist that she gave Edmund Castro thousands of dollars to secure visas for Chinese nationals. The Prime Minister himself admitted that he had been made aware of the hustling in a press conference where he uttered his now famous, “for GOD’s sake stop it” remark. With this new evidence, it will be interesting to see what the Prime Minister does.

For many Belizeans, March 2012 was the date set for our deliverance: a sort of parole date, where our prison sentence had been miraculously reduced from five years to four. After four painstaking years of captivity and oppression, of our rights being trampled on, of a visionless dictatorship that should have never been, we were thankful that Dean had called an early election. What we could not foresee however, was the outright manipulation of our democratic process by Elvin Penner giving away our nationality in return for votes, the Corozal Bay electoral office opened nights to facilitate the registration of new voters for Pablo Marin, the blatant vote buying and piñata politics using taxpayer dollars to give out hams, turkeys and liquor to bribe voters into another five year prison sentence. Barrow’s 2008 plan was simple: take over the utility companies and use the money to benefit his cronies and win/steal more elections. In 2011, Dean Barrow knew that he was running out of time. He was well aware that he did not and could not deliver on a single one of his manifesto promises. He was on the brink of being exposed as a fraud, a leader who never intended to solve our nation’s problems.

Wesley girls defeat SCA in basketball game
The Wesley College girls posted their 2nd win against the SCA in the high school basketball competition on Tuesday, November 12. Breanne Meighan led Welsey with 9 points, Shanice Humes added 7 points, Danika Sanchez added 1 ...

FC Belize bombs Belmopan Bandits 3-2
FC Belize bombed the Belmopan Bandits 3-2 at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan on Saturday night. The Bandits gave up an auto-goal when Floyd Jones tried to head the ball to his goalie Woodrow West, but instead ...

Baby Jaguars falls to Guatemala 3-2
The Belize U-16 national team played a spirited game against Guatemala’s national team but couldn’t score enough goals for the win in the UNCAF under-16 football tournament hosted by the Football Federation of Belize at the FFB ...

AMAZING GRACE – Should We Confess to a Father?
A couple thousand years ago just a short while after the earth was created, an altercation occurred between two brothers. They were both offering sacrifices up to God and it happened that one of the brothers, whose sacrifice was not accepted, became jealous and angry at the other. To my ...

How to reverse Belize’s growing trade deficit with Mexico
By Richard Harrison In 2004, after in-depth research and analysis, I wrote a paper suggesting that Belize could reverse its fortunes vis-à-vis Mexico, and the growing trade deficit… in a significant way… if it focused on developing four categories of existing products for the Mexican market. These are sugar, rum, shrimps and exotic wooden furniture/utensils. I was asked at the time, “what are you smoking Mr. Harrison?” The skeptics commented that Mexico is one of the largest exporters of sugar and shrimps… so why would they want to import such from Belize? Belize still does not understand the nature of world trade. One of the US major exports to Europe and Japan is automobiles… and what do you think is included in the major exports of Europe and Japan to the US? You guessed it right… automobiles. They have found ways to differentiate their products… that they export autos with different brand images, features and benefits to each other.

By Anthony Sylvestre Senator Lisa Shoman is right! The President of the Senate had no right fi do weh ih do last Wednesday inna the Senate. He was plainly wrong, outta order and bogus. Just like Godwin Hulse (sorry! since he is a stickler for titles, I should say Dr., the Honourable ...

A Candyman Government – Barrow’s misguided politics trumps development
By Norris Hall BELIZE’s development is stagnating because the short term political considerations of the Barrow Administration trumps any meaningful long term planning for advancement and economic growth. While it is the role of the Ministry of Economic development to guide this agenda, it has failed because this government does not have ...

A New Revolution… Fulfilling the Promise of the Peaceful Constructive Belizean Revolution
By C. Trench-Sandiford-Deputy Party Leader A promissory note is a legal instrument in which one party promises in writing to pay a determinate sum of money to another party, either at a fixed or determinable future time or on demand of the other party. A promissory note between the people of Belize, ...

REFLECTIONS OF THE PUBLIC SQUARE – PUP Leader’s address at 36th Garifuna Settlement Day ceremony
Good morning Dangriga! It is a great pleasure and honor for me to once again be here with you as we celebrate the 36th Garifuna Settlement Day. I am proud, on behalf of the People’s United Party, to join with our Dangriga representatives, Hon. Ivan Ramos and Dangriga ...

US official confirms investigation into visa scandal
A United States Embassy official has confirmed that they are conducting their own special investigation into the very serious allegations of visa and passport corruption involving UDP Ministers. In answering questions about the US’s interests into the UDP’s visa and passport scandals, Margaret Hawthorne, the United States ...

Northern public transportation needs fixing!
Dear Editor, I write as a student and as a regular commuter to bring attention to a serious issue regarding the public transportation that needs to be addressed. For the past four years I have been travelling from Belize City to Orange Walk Town and vice-versa. From my experience, I can ...

Ladyville/Lord’s Bank should be declared a Town
Dear Editor, The residents of Ladyville/Lord's Bank should seriously consider becoming Belize's next town! According to the Statistical Institute of Belize (2010 census), Ladyville has 5,458 residents whilst Lord's Bank has 3,140. Combined, the greater Ladyville area has a population of 8,598. Should the residents decide to become a town it would ...

BWS: A promise un-kept is bad business!
“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.” - John Green, The Fault in Our Stars Monday, November 18th, 2013 Dear Editor: I write as a concerned resident of Chan Pine Ridge Village in Orange Walk District to register my concern regarding the several impassable streets that are currently creating very unnecessary burdens to the villagers particularly children who attend school from Monday to Friday and hence have to meticulously decipher (more than they do in their Math lessons) which pothole is less deep whenever heading to their classes. The deplorable condition of these streets in my village comes about not only as a consequence of the recent torrential rains that flooded most of the villages up North, but also as a result of perhaps the deliberate ill-supervision of BWS, whose project of water expansion at my village completed three months ago but they failed subsequently to honour their word and promise to scrape and fill the streets back to the excellent condition that it initially was before they started their massive excavation all over the village for the underground laying of pipes and other material.

Where is the Equal Employment Opportunity?
Dear Editor, Currently, I am a part time student at the University of Belize pursuing my degree on Business Administration. As I embark on my last semester I feel very excited about graduating and having more time to spend with my family and at work. Today, I write to bring across strongly ...


Top 25 Things to Do in Belize
Will you soon be traveling to Belize? There are many wonderful things you can see and do when you get there, and 25 of them are listed below. 1. Maya City of Caracol The largest site in Belize at over 30 square miles is still growing due to new discoveries. 2. Tikal Even though Tikal is in Guatemala, it is easy accessible from Belize. It is a location where you can tour ancient pyramids and marvel at the architecture. 3. Belize Zoo The Belize Zoo can be a treat for all ages.

Flying from Belize to Cancun Mexico
Flying from Belize to Cancun Mexico was super easy and very fast compared to going by land or boat. We left Belize at 11:30 am and landed in Cancun at 1:15 pm. As we are leaving Philip Goldson International Airport, it was very overcast and gray, earlier San Pedro looked like it was beautiful cloud formations and we experienced very little turbulence. Arriving at at Cancun Airport was great, even though I had been there many times from Canada this time around was a new experience arriving on a smaller sized plane. We saw lots of airport action and all sizes of cool looking planes as we walked through the parking area to customs. Getting checked into Cancun was fast and easy. It took about 10 – 15 min for the seven of us to hand in our customs forms and send our bags through the x-ray machine. This was the first time in a long while I did not have to take my laptop and tablet out before putting it on the conveyer belt. With the recent time change we are the same time as Mexico now so that made it easy for making arrangements. Surendra and Carolyn offered to pick me up at the airport and drop me at hotel Sahara. As soon as I cleared customs and got to the door, I saw Surendra walking towards me. It was great seeing them again and to celebrate Surendra stopped at a Starbucks drive through on our way to Playa.

Pirate’s Treasure on Ambergris Caye: Ridding the Reef of Lion Fish One Bowl of Ceviche at a Time
The dreaded lion fish are known to have reached Belize in 2008. They are beautiful to look at but bad bad news for the reef since they eat indiscriminately and almost constantly. Originally from the Pacific, it is thought that they were introduced to the Caribbean when someone dumped an aquarium. And now the population is exploding almost everywhere and these buggers are out competing native fish and wreaking reef havoc around the world. The have no natural predators but here is the cool thing. They are delicious! With firm white flesh that almost have the texture of lobster, they are difficult to clean…look at those long poisonous spines!…and don’t get particularly large but worth it. A very cute shirt at the Lionfish catching and cooking competition at Wahoo’s Lounge in Dec 2011.

Hiking in Belize is Fun!
Hiking our national parks is a great way to see many kinds of birdlife, plants and animals. As intimidating as some of our trails may look on a map, don’t worry. Most are designed in loops so you easily return to your starting point. Some trails are self-guided, some require the expertise of a licensed tour guide who can point out birds, wildlife and local plants. Whatever level of hiker you consider yourself, we have the trail to match what you’re looking for. Take a day tour or spend several days camping—either one provides you with the chance to encounter exotic tropical plants and birds, or to see wildlife, including howler monkeys, crocodile, or the tracks of the elusive jaguar and tapir (just hope they’re only the tracks).

International Sources

Why An Increasing Number Of Expats Are Discovering Belize
Expats have settled all over Belize, but one spot is starting to earn lots of attention lately... Corozal, the northernmost of Belize's six districts. It has the second-largest population of the districts with about 35,000 people and shares the border with Mexico. Once considered the undiscovered gem of Belize, this district and its tidy little capital of Corozal Town are quickly rising on the radar of foreign retirees and other expats, and there are lots of reasons why. One big reason is that it's generally less expensive to live here than are other areas of Belize. In large part this is because of that border we mentioned with Mexico... the city of Chetumal, Mexico, is just on the other side. Since Belize has little domestic manufacturing and relatively high duties on imported goods, shopping trips to Chetumal -- to Sam's Club and other big-box stores and supermarkets -- help Corozal residents beat the higher prices on imported goods paid by folks elsewhere in Belize.

Warming seas and super-storms raze the cradle of aquatic life
… and harm the livelihoods of coastal dwellers. Stripped of its color and smashed into pieces, the dead coral all but carpets the seafloor. Here, just off Caye Caulker, a tiny, bucolic Caribbean isle that is a magnet for snorkelers and scuba divers, the ravages of climate change are clear to see. Hurricanes have long been normal in this part of the world, and the spectacular reefs have adapted naturally to withstand the battering of storm waves. But not like this. Warming seas in recent decades have fuelled more frequent, stronger cyclones devastating the corals on an unprecedented scale and giving them less time to recover between tempests. None have been stronger than Mitch, the 1998 mega-storm that killed thousands across Central America and, less obviously, also caused the submarine massacre which I am witnessing. “The reef is going to be destroyed and it is not going to be very long now, maybe 20 years, if this keeps up,” says local diving guide Amado Watson, as we clamber back on his boat.

November 24, 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

Bicycle Race held on Garifuna Settlement Day
The San Pedro Cycling Club organized the first ever Garifuna Settlement Day Bicycle Race on Tuesday, November 19th as part of the day’s activities. The race was organized by local star triathlon athlete, Kent “Bob” Gabourel in conjunction with the San Pedro Cycling Club, to promote healthy competition and sportsmanship on the island. Several cyclists gathered at Central Park shortly after midday for the start of the race. The race was divided into three categories: juveniles, juniors and seniors. A total of 27 cyclists participated in the race. The race took juveniles and junior cyclists around the town core ending at Central Park. The juveniles completed five laps while the juniors did ten laps. In the seniors division, cyclist rode three laps from town core down to Victoria House Resort and back. A large crowd of spectators gathered along the route to cheer on their favorite cyclists as they raced to the finish line. In the juveniles division, first place went to Andy Rivero who took home a trophy and a $25 gift certificate. Second place went to Johann who took home a trophy and $15, while Zenedin settled for third and took home a trophy and $10.

Holy Cross Anglican Primary School celebrates Belize’s Culture
Holy Cross Anglican Primary School celebrated Culture Day on Friday November 15th. The event is an annual activity in which students get to showcase their knowledge about the various ethnic groups in Belize. Weeks in advance, the students were divided into various groups and were tasked to create a booth displaying the music, food and various visual aids of their assigned groups. The information displayed helped visitors and other students to learn more about the cultural groups in Belize. With the guidance of their teachers and assistance of the parents, the students were able to dress in various cultural outfits and even provided samples of food that are traditional in the Garifuna, Mestizo, Maya, Mennonite, East Indian and Creole ethnic groups.

The Garifuna are strong, united and alive
Belizeans countrywide observed Garifuna Settlement Day on Tuesday, November 19th. Activities to mark the arrival of the Garifuna to Belize in 1802 were celebrated in all the communities where Garinagu have settled in. On Ambergris Caye, the celebration spanned over two days, starting with the typical drumming and dancing on the night of the 18th of November, and concluding with a beach party on November 19th. The celebration started with a short ceremony at the San Pedro Central Park where several speakers addressed the gathering including the Mayor of San Pedro Daniel Guerrero and the President of the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council (NGC) Elroy Castillo. Masters of Ceremony were Jorge Aldana and Mr. Arana. There were dance and musical presentation from the San Pedro Dance Academy, Mad Skill Dancers, Punta in Belize and San Pedro Garifuna Melody Dance Group. The highlight of the night was the participation of the Bimecacule Garifuna Group of Belize City who performed until wee hours of the morning; bringing on stage typical Garifuna music and dances. From the paranda to jankunu to punta, the rhythm of the drums was celebratory, and even when the rain came down, the crowd stayed to celebrate with the Garinagu of San Pedro Town.

MoH continue to efforts to reduce Dengue cases
The San Pedro Town Council and the Ministry of Health are once again taking measure to control Dengue Fever in San Pedro Town. A team of four spray men have been going along the different areas of San Pedro spraying all of the mosquito breeding sights. This was done in a continued effort to reduce the number of Dengue virus infected mosquitoes in the community. The MoH urges residents to take proper precautions to prevent mosquito bites. Screening windows or keeping windows closed at sunset and sunrise can help prevent mosquitoes from entering the home. These are the prime times that mosquitoes feed. Residents should also avoid having containers that collect water in the yard; such containers should be properly sealed to avoid mosquito breeding sites.

Misc Belizean Sources

Belize River Valley Eco Tourism Expo
Next weekend is the Belize River Valley Eco Tourism and Commerce Expo, organized by the Community Baboon Sanctuary Women's Conservation Group. They'll have information booths from many different businesses and NGO's, and there will also be a county music competition. If you are interested, or would like more information, email them at "Informational booth, funding agencies, conservation NGO's, Cultural activities, 1st ever local country music competition, plantation dance, kis-kis, fly brush making, rice and cohune beating. Also get local wine, local eggs, turkey, local chickens, organic vegetables, Christmas decorations, cohune oil, coconut oil, tablata, wangla and much more!"

Entreprenuer and Innovation Expo
Global Entrepreneurship Week was celebrated by Beltraide, the University of Belize, and the U.S. Embassy with the annual Entrepreneurship Symposium. "Yesterday some of Belize's best and brightest youth came out to the Entreprenuership and Innovation Expo to display their innovative projects and learn about education opportunities abroad!"

The British High Commission is having a cycle race this morning from Belmopan to La Loma Luz and back, or to the Orange Gallery and back. It starts at 9:00am, so if you're driving, be on the lookout and cheer them on. "We hope to see you all on Sunday to celebrate the 1st anniversary of the London 2012 Olympics."

Detainee escapes from police; found dead later
A criminal and internal police investigation is underway in connection with the death of a man who was in police custody in Placencia village, Stann Creek district. Tyson Rodriguez, a resident of Dangriga was found dead around 11:30 pm in a small pool of water. The story, according to a source on the Placencia Peninsula, is that Rodriguez was detained on Friday by police in Placencia, pending investigation for a burglary earlier in the week. Reports are that around 10:30 pm on Friday, while he was being transported to the police station, Rodriguez allegedly jumped out of the police pickup truck and made good his escape from authorities. About an hour later, Rodriguez was found dead in a small pool of water. The Commander of the Professional Standards Bureau, formerly the internal affairs department, Mr. Leal, Southern Regional Commander Senior Superintendent Robert Mariano, the commander of the Intermediate Southern Formation and the commander of the Placencia police are part of the team conducting the criminal and internal investigation into the incident.


Don’t be a ‘Litter Bug’ Campaign says It feels so Nice to Keep Belize Clean
“Don’t be a litter bug.” Almost everyone has come across that famous little quote at some point in their lives but rarely does anyone take much heed of it. Well today, the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority has taken the initiative and prepared a two day workshop in hopes...

Popular DJ Suffers a Burglary and Theft to her Apartment
Popular DJ and producer Linda Blease became the target of a home burglary on this past Thursday. According to Police reports, sometime between 2:20 p.m. and 6:30.p.m., someone broke into Ms. Blease’s Belize City apartment and stole a laptop valued at $1,000.00, a Pro studio Beats valued at $600.00 and...

Media Worker Still Alleges Belize Coast Guard Used Excessive Force Against Him
On Monday, we told you of a shootout between the Belize National Coast Guard and suspected drug peddlers, north of Ambergris Caye, near the Belize/Mexico border. One of the perpetrators was wounded in the cross fire and transported to the a local Polyclinic. While that was the central story, what...

Rise and Shine Determines Appreciation Telethon This Saturday
This Saturday, Plus TV’s Morning Show, Rise and Shine Belize is hosting its second annual appreciate telethon. Rise and Shine has become an increasingly popular local program in the country and offers extensive analysis of current affairs as well as entertainment and just your everyday tips for living. The...


MayaBags in Punta Gorda, Belize: All I Want For Christmas Is You
I found the #1 item on my Christmas list for 2013 in Punta Gorda, Belize. Seeing these bags in person, feeling the amazing quality only confirmed my desire (I’ve been wanting one for about a year now). Check out these GORGEOUS pieces of art made in Belize by Mayan craftswomen and sold locally but also internationally. Featured in magazines like Vogue, sold by international companies like Anthropologie. LOVE. I spent a decent amount of time prancing about the shop with my desired item (and, for some reason, a strange T-Rex hand.) Isn’t it perfection? But let me back up a tiny bit. I first heard of the brand when I visited Hidden Valley Resort last year. They carried a few small beautiful MayaBag items in their gift shop and I was intrigued. I took a look at their website and immediately emailed to find out where I could see them being made…

Perfect Pie Crusts Made Easy: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Making Pie Dough
In this video, I share with you how to make 3 easy sweet pie doughs and 1 salt pie dough.You can find the BELIZEAN SWEET PIE DOUGH at 1:41 in the video. SIMPLE PIE DOUGH for Apple Pie at 4:54...SHORT PIE CRUST DOUGH at 8:44 and POT PIE DOUGH at 14:18. I also show you the right and wrong way to load the pie dough into a pan and blind bake to prepare for filling.

Visiting Belize’s Xunantunich Maya Site
One of my favorite Maya archeological sites in Belize, Xunantunich (pronounced Shoo-nan-too-nitch) is nothing short of breathtaking. Loosely translated as “maiden of the rock” or “stone woman” in Maya, it’s situated about two hours’ drive from Belize City along the Western Highway and across the Mopan River, in the village of San Jose Succotz. Its location translates into beautiful views of the river—where you’re likely to spot swimmers and horses by the banks–and the entire valley below. Easily accessible, the adventure to Xunantunich begins by getting on a hand-cranked ferry, for a short ride across the Mopan, followed by a short but steep hike towards the site. Spending three to four hours here is not impossible. The grounds are beautifully kept, and the structures are numerous: six plazas, dating from 200 to 900 A.D., pyramids, sculptures and carvings of jaguar heads, and much more.

The Human Impact of Climate Change: Personal Stories from Belize, Bolivia, and Brazil
Hosted by Al Gore and The Climate Reality Project, "24 Hours of Reality: The Cost of Carbon" shows the personal costs of carbon pollution to communities across South America and the Caribbean struggling with the impacts of climate change on the water they depend on. In Brazil, torrential rain washes away mountainside communities. In Belize, coral dies off in warming waters, threatening both wildlife and local economies. In Bolivia, heat claims the glaciers that towns rely upon for water.

Howler Monkeys, Stingrays, Coral, Dolphins...Belize Oh My!
Although a small country, Belize is host to more than 87 distinct types of ecosystems, which make ecotourism and agriculture the lifeblood of its economy. Slightly larger than Massachusetts, Belize is located in Central America at the southeastern tip of Mexico and east of Guatemala. The parliamentary democracy, which is part of the British Commonwealth, is well known for its Mayan temples, tropical rainforests and boasts the world’s second longest barrier reef. There are 150 identified species of mammals found in Belize ranging from the jaguar to the howler monkey. In addition, more than 618 species of resident and migrant birds have been identified. Not to be missed though is the sea life of Belize. Due to having the longest continuous barrier reef in the Americas, Belize can be counted on for great snorkeling and scuba diving where manatees, stingrays, sharks, dolphins, coral and turtles are easy to spot. Lastly, there are many family ecotour destination activities offered including caving and kayaking tours.

International Sources

List of Airlines Allowing Personal Electronics Below 10,000 Feet
The FAA officially gave the green light to lifting restrictions on using portable electronics in flight, but before that can actually happen each airline needs to get government approval. How long will it be before you can start using your iPad during takeoff and landing? That day may be coming sooner than you think because Delta and JetBlue both started yesterday, with more coming soon. Following a months-long investigation into whether or not handheld electronics like iPads, iPhones and Kindle ebook readers, posed a risk to avionics during takeoff and landing, the FAA concluded that there wasn't any reason to block people from using the devices. The announcement came earlier this week, and now it's up to the airlines to apply for approval before they let passengers play games and read ebooks through all flight phases.

Global Warming Fight Advances With First Steps on Treaty
Diplomats from almost 190 nations endorsed a set of measures on global warming, laying the groundwork for a treaty to be adopted in 2015 that would limit pollution by all nations for the first time. The delegates at a United Nations conference called on those who are ready to make pledges on emissions by the first quarter of 2015. They authorized work on a “loss and damage” mechanism that would help the poorest cope with the impact of climate change, took in $100 million in aid pledges to fund adaptation programs and agreed on a forest-protection deal. Richer nations have offered aid to entice poorer ones into joining in limits on fossil-fuel emissions. Japan pledged $16 billion in aid over the next three years. Norway promised at least $500 million a year through 2020. The U.S. said it’s paying out $2.7 billion this year. The $100 million for the adaptation fund will help pay for projects in Belize, Cuba, the Seychelles, Myanmar and Uzbekistan.

Leaders in self-denial and Caribbean economic crisis worsens
St Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony says that there is a grave economic crisis gnawing away at Caribbean countries and “governments are busy looking inward—each busy with their own agenda rather than pursuing a Caribbean solution to the economic crisis”. Not for the first time Dr Anthony has dared to tread where many other Caribbean leaders have shied away. Describing it as a “tragedy of the times”, he charged that governments are “engaged in one form or another of self-denial” while the Caribbean is “in the throes of a major crisis like it has never ever experienced before”. The picture is no more encouraging on the wider Caricom front. On the debt-to-GDP ratio, at the low end is The Bahamas at an all-time high of 49.9 per cent, Guyana 60 per cent (but with the second lowest per capita income after Haiti), Belize 78 per cent, Barbados 116 per cent, and Jamaica highest at 147 per cent.

ATM: Creepiest Places on Earth
ATM came in at number 2 on this creepy list. They might be confusing 'creepy' with 'other-worldly' or 'amazingly unique' though. "The cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal is also known as 'The Cave of the Stone Sepulcher.' The cave plays host to numerous skeletons, but what makes it even creepier is the fact that most of the skeletons belong to sacrificed children. Many of the remains and artifacts are completely calcified to the cave floor.

November 23, 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

Reporter claims Coast Guard used armed and unnecessary force on him
The San Pedro Sun is currently investigating allegations of “unnecessary force” between Senior Staff Reporter Jorge Aldana and Belize Coast Guard officers. Belize Coast Guard Lt. Commander Elton Bennett and San Pedro Police Officer in Charge Luis Castellanos have fully cooperated with The Sun during this investigation. On Saturday November 16th, shortly after midday, Senior Reporter Aldana was detailed to cover an apparent shooting incident involving civilians and members of the Belize Coast Guard. Aldana located and followed a San Pedro police truck making its way from the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II to a lagoon location where a Coast Guard vessel was docked. According to Aldana, he followed the police truck that had three armed Coast Guard Officers in blue uniform and one police officer in plain clothes riding in the pan. The truck was transporting two men seated inside. They were bleeding and appeared to have head injuries. While Aldana followed directly behind the truck he snapped several photos of the individuals who were in the pan of the truck until they reached the end of Jewfish Street. Aldana claims that he stopped approximately 300 feet from where the police vehicle stopped.

Fashion Kids for Boxes of Joy
With the Christmas season approaching quickly, Shantell Pascascio is once again organizing Boxes of Joy, an initiative to provide Christmas gifts for underprivileged children of San Pedro Town. On November 15th Pascascio held her first fundraiser: a children’s fashion show called Fashion Kids. According to Pascasio the show was a huge success despite the unpredictable weather conditions. The show consisted of five segments: Swim Wear, Island Wear, Casual, High Fashion formal and a last segment called “My Style”. The “My Style” segment was all about the individual and his/her personal style. For this segment, the models customized their favorite outfit to match their personalities. The young models certainly demonstrated a great sense of fashion and even a great love for the runway.

2013 Inter-Office Volleyball Tournament won by Lady Rebels & Team Legends
Lady Rebels and Legends are the winners of the first ever San Pedro Volleyball Association 2013 6-A-Side Interoffice Male and Female Volleyball Tournament. The final games took place on Saturday November 16th at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The last leg of the tournament started with the female game in which Lady Rebels, the leaders in the tournament, took on the Butterfingers. The game started in favor of Butterfingers, who took the first and second sets with 25-14 and 25-23. But the Lady Rebels made a stunning comeback in the last three sets that ended 25-22, 25-23 and 15-8. It was quite the defeat for Butterfingers who were considered the veterans, however the determination of the young Lady Rebels saw them walk away with the championship title. San Pedro High School (SPHS) females settled for third place in the tournament.

Spending your days on Ambergris Caye: (#7) Lions Bingo & BBQ
At the heart of community fun is the Friday night Bingo and BBQ at the Lion’s Den. It is always an event that is thoroughly enjoyed and comes highly recommended to visitors of La Isla Bonita who want to be part of a local, family oriented tradition. When enjoying the evening you not only have a great meal and good fun but help the club raise funds for the community. There is a great camaraderie amongst the crowd, while groups of friends and families devour fingerlickin’ good BBQ chicken, stewed beans, coleslaw and yummy tortillas, all for a very affordable price. The Lion’s Den also has a full bar for those who want to enjoy a cold Belikin or cocktail with their meal, and they sell three beers for just $10 and local rum drinks at the same bargain price! Bingo starts around 7PM and each game costs $2BZ, with a middle and final game costing $5 where you can win more. Depending on the size of the crowd each game can garner up to $100 or more, with the $5 games adding up to as much as $400! It is fun and easy and a great activity to enjoy with friends or as a family. The Lion’s Den is located on the northern end of Barrier Reef Drive in the heart of San Pedro Town.

Ambergris Today

Oceana Marks Fourth Anniversary in Belize
Since officially opening its doors on November 16th, 2009, Oceana in Belize has achieved remarkable victories and established an enviable track record advocating for the protection and sustainable use of Belize’s marine patrimony. Notable among our successes have been a total ban on all forms of trawling within both our territorial seas and exclusive economic zone; the buyout of the trawler fleet and subsequent donation of the vessels for more sustainable and eco-friendly re-use; the People’s Referendum which allowed Belizean voters to weigh in on the question of offshore oil (to which Belizeans responded with an overwhelming “NO”); and challenging Government’s policies & decisions before the Judiciary of Belize, where Oceana and its co-claimants secured a judgment declaring “unlawful, null and void” six production sharing agreements covering offshore oil exploration blocks within our maritime areas. In fact, Oceana’s advocacy bore more fruits when last year just before our 3rd anniversary Princess Petroleum relinquished portions of its concession block which included Belize’s iconic and world famous Blue Hole as well as the Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef. In keeping with the celebratory spirit, Oceana in Belize takes this opportunity to salute our Garinagu Community and to wish all an enjoyable and safe Garifuna Settlement Day! Oceana was a key sponsor of the 8th Annual Battle of the Drums, hosted in Punta Gorda Town on our anniversary and one of the major events leading up to Garifuna Settlement Day.

Misc Belizean Sources

CAPPS Reading Contest
They had the CAPPS Reading Contest yesterday at the George Price Centre. Congratulations Judah Swasey and Ronan Stewart for winning 1st and 2nd places! "District Finals for the CAPPS reading contest were held at Belmopan City on November 21st 2013. Congratulations to this year's winner Judah Swasey from Belize Christian Academy, and 2nd Place Ronan Stewart from Arms of Love."

Buy and Sell Classifieds 19-Nov
The Buy and Sell Weekly Classifieds for this week. There's a write up of Rio Frio Cave in this week's issue.

Wonders at the Belize Zoo
The Belize Zoo, which is celebrating its 30th year, and just had Panama the Harpy Eagle's 10th 'hatch' day party, is shown in a new video entitled 'The Wonders at the Belize Zoo.' "The Zoo was buzzing with festivities last week as we celebrated the 10th birthday of Panama our male harpy eagle! Over 100 students, parents and teachers from the communities of Indian Church, La Democracia, and San Carlos came to the Zoo to wish this beautiful bird a very happy "hatch" day. Students got to be eagles for a day, with masks and wings, and received prizes, birthday cake, and valuable knowledge about the importance of raptors like Harpy Eagles to our great country. We thank our friends at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for helping us provide a special day for the children of Belize."

George Price Highway November Progress
The new road to the soon to be started bridge is looking better each week. Taken on November 19th, 2013.

Thief withdraws thousands using stolen ATM cards
A man from Corozal is the victim of theft and the culprit used his own bank cards to pull off crime. Cyril Perfecto Nal, a resident of San Narcisco village, reported that on Saturday, November 16, he misplaced his wallet containing personal documents, including his ATM cards. Two days later, when Nal went to the banks to block the cards, he got the bad news, that someone had made a total of 13 withdrawals from his account, amounting to $9,000. The police are investigating the incident.

Channel 7

Deputy PM Meets With Cane Farmers: Will There Be A Strike?
On Wednesday, 7News told you about meeting between the executives of the ASR Group and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association which didn't happen because the BSI did not agree to the agenda which the cane farmers wanted. As we told you, both parties are deadlocked on the bagasse issue, and with the open of the next sugar season only a few weeks away, the negotiations to a renewed commercial agreement have been tense. To denote the importance of finding a resolution, senior ASR executives flew into the country to meet with the Cane farmers, but because they couldn't agree on the importance that the agenda should put on the bagasse issue, the association boycotted by not attending. Since then, the Minister of Agriculture and Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega, has been hard at work trying to convince both sides to schedule to resume negotiations. On Wednesday, he met with ASR and today at the Sugar Industries Control Board in Orange Walk, he had a 2-hour sit down with cane farmers. 7News was there when the meeting ended, and we spoke to Vega about the progress - if any - he had made:

Mother Of Two Says She Was Cut Off By GOB In IBC Takeover
Tonight, mother of two Shari Muschamp feels like it's her against the world. She was working as a receptionist at the former Ashcroft Allied companies, International Business Company Registry and IMMARBE until government took them over in June of this year. The public pronouncement from the Prime Minister was that no local staff would be fired. But Mushcamp - who had a difficult pregnancy - was on extended sick leave when the government took over - and it seems that when the changeover occurred - and the staff were re-hired as public officers, she was simply left off the employee roll. It wasn't an oversight, Government's legal adviser told Muschamp's attorney that no offer of employment was made to her by government because she was thought to be medically unfit to work. He based that on the fact that by April of 2013, she had exhausted her 16 days sick leave for the year, yet she remained on prolonged sick leave, which earned her a warning from the former management for it.

Hundreds of Head Of Cattle Imperiled By River Valley Floods
The Belize River Valley has been dealing with flood waters for months now. The residents are hardy country folk, so they're doing okay. But, what's starting to be affected is their livestock - and that's because the river has run over the banks and inundated the savannah where their animals used to feed. We found out more when we went down river with the Coast Guard today:.. Jules Vasquez reporting If you are wondering why these cattle have a lean and hungry look, it's because the cattle in this part of the Belize River Valley are starving. The river has run far over the banks and covered much of the available pasture land. Olivia Moody, Chairlady - Maypen Village "Right now the people of Maypen; there are 4 families that have livestock and I think they are the ones that needs more assistance."

Flooding Has Resulted In Agricultural Losses
As we showed you in the Belize River Valley, all around the country, the different communities have been experiencing the serious effects of the flooding caused by the relentless rains of the recent months. The Government of Belize has been studying the situation, and they've been working on the best possible response to help those affected. Today, the Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the Minister of Agriculture, told the media about the meetings that he has been having with the Prime Minister and the Minister of Works. According to Vega, while agriculture is a major area of concern, the priority right now is fixing the roads so that the villages aren't cut off from the main towns: Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "At this moment I know Prime Minister and I and the Minister of Works sat down on Wednesday to talk about the roads because we believe that is priority even though the crops is as important. The roads, we have villages that cannot commute from one village to the main town because bridges have been washed away and stuff like that. We have to prioritize our needs. I think the Prime Minister ask the Ministry of Works to do a complete assessment because, we, crying about San Antonio, San Luis bit other areas on the entire country are as badly affected."

PM Resting, Recovering
We've reported on the success that Prime Minister Dean Barrow had with his back surgery in California. Since then, he's been back in Belize recovering, and today, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega was asked for an update, since he has been meeting with Barrow. He said that at this time, everything has been going smoothly, and that the Prime Minister is recovering at a rapid rate: Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister "He is doing very good. I am very surprised to his recovery, he is doing extremely well. God must have answered everybody prayers and we hope that the recovery will be on the long term as successful as how it has been in these few days."

Curl Gordon Jr Convicted of Child Molesting
30 year-old Curl Gordon Jr. is awaiting a sentencing hearing after he was convicted of indecent assault of a female child in the court room of Justice Adolph Lucas. The child, who was 7 years-old at the time, testified in court that in October 2011, Gordon touched her inappropriately on her private parts. In his defence, Gordon told the court that he didn't do any such thing, and that the report was made to the police because the mother maliciously influenced her child to tell the police lies on him. The jury of 9 deliberated for a little over an hour before they returned with a unanimous verdict of guilty. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until next week Friday, to give him time to prepare a mitigation plea.

Ponce Recovering From Massive Butane Related Head Injury
On Wednesday, 7News told you about Danny Ponce, the Trial Farm resident who was seriously injured when an LPG Tank, commonly known as butane, exploded sending debris flying all over, striking him in the head. He was rushed to the KHMH hospital in a critical condition, but since then, he's had emergency surgery which has improved his prognosis greatly. Today, 7News spoke with his sister in Trial Farm, and she told us about what his recovery is looking like, after trying to help a friend and getting in such a disastrous accident. Here's what she told us: Marilyn Ponce, sister "It happened on Tuesday. He went with a person that retails Butane gas to shipyard. When they were doing this whole process it seemed like the tank was filled with too much air and then suddenly it exploded. It was actually the iron that was in the hose that hit him on the right side of his skull. According to the doctors, some of the bones broke damaging his right eye too. We're not sure if he's going to lose his eye but that's basically his situation right now."

FSTV Helps Dara Feed
We've told you many times about Dara Robinson's feeding programme. He just never stops giving. His feeding programme for about 40 children keeps rolling through his steadfast commitment to it. But today, he got a little break from the endless fundraising when the Fort Street Tourism Village sponsored an early thanksgiving lunch for his children. We visited during rice hours and found that there was turkey to go with that rice:.. Sheree Young, HR Manager - FSTV "We were inspired by Dara's feeding program, his passion that he has to feed the kids from day to day. This is just a small gesture to give back to them." Dara Robinson - Grassroots Philanthropist "It's not every day these kids get turkey at the program, so I welcome things like that. This is a special treat. My wife made a well put together Turkey dinner."

Belize U-16 Falters In UNCAF Competition
Right now, the Belize National U-16 Football Team is playing its final game against Costa Rica. Things don't look too good for the Junior Jaguars, because they have lost 3 games and only won 1. The third lost game last night in the match against Honduras, where the team was hoping to make a good showing, to recover from the disappointing defeat at the hands of the Guatemala National team. However, Honduras didn't give the Junior Jaguars an easy time, and in the 22nd minute of the first half, they scored the only goal of the game. Team Belize tried to equalize, but Honduras managed to hold them off, winning the match. So, tonight, they are trying to end with a flourish as they play the final match against Costa Rica, because with their goal average, and losing streak, they can't qualify to the final rounds. At this time, at the end of the first half, Belize is already down 2 goals, and Costa Rica is pressing hard to increase their lead.

Orange Is The Colour Of Support
16 days of activism to end gender violence starts officially on Monday. And the women's commission says you can show your support by wearing orange. Anne Marie Williams explains:.. Anne Marie Williams "This year the Women's Commission has decided as part of its campaign to launch a public campaign whereby Belizeans from all walk of life can get involved in ending violence against women." "The theme this year for 16 Days of Activism is "From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World, Challenging Violence Against Women." I think the theme is very apt because the Women's Commission has decided this year to join forces with the Unite Campaign which is the UN Secretary General's campaign. Ban ki Moon has decided that in 2009 he would have started and launched what is known as the Orange Day Campaign when people unite to end violence against women and girls."

OW’s Taco Supremacy Reinforced
And Sunday is local tacos day. No, not really, but that's what Orange Walk would want as they host their third annual tacos festival. We found out more from the organizers. Dillon Jones - Universal Radio "We do have the best tacos in the country, almost in the region - Orange Walk has it and we just need to keep it that way. We want people to realize that the tacos business is a serious industry. If you check it out on a daily basis there is roughly about 35 tacos stands around Orange Walk operating daily and if you put it on pen and paper, you would see the amount of chicken they are using, the people employed, amount of tortillas, vegetable, pepper sauce, even the phone. To me it is a serious industry and it is just growing and growing."

Channel 5

Cane farmers and B.S.I. stand firm; 2013-2014 cane crop is delayed indefinitely
The 2013-2014 sugar-cane crop season was to have gotten underway this coming Monday, November twenty-fifth. But that is not going to happen. There are two obstacles in the way – [...]

Mother of 2 shows up at her government job, to find someone else at her desk
Sharie Muschamp was employed at the International Business Companies Registry when it was taken over by the government earlier this year. She was, however, on medical leave which transitioned into [...]

A symposium on specific ways to end cycle of violence against children
A two-day symposium to end violence against children ended today in Belize City. The session is being held under the auspices of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, with [...]

Senior Counsel pokes holds in proposed legislation of National Security and Immigration Committee
Whatever happened to the National Security and Immigration Committee? The formation of the committee was announced in the wake of the recent passport and visa scandals as one of the [...]

Minister of Education says UB President has it wrong
It still remains unclear whether or not Doctor Carey Fraser, President of the University of Belize was put on leave by the Board of Trustees or he proceeded on his [...]

Man found guilty of the aggravated assault of a minor
Two years ago, a seven year-old child was the victim of sexual assault by a man, who at the time was twenty-eight years old. That man is now thirty years [...]

DJ Linda Blease is the latest victim of burglary
Popular Belizean entertainer, Linda Blease is the latest victim of burglary, following a break-in at her apartment on Thursday.  The female disc jockey reported to Belize City police that her [...]

Women’s Department kicks off 16 Days of Activism
Sixteen Days of Activism to end gender-based violence against women is an annual calendar of events organized by the Women’s Department to promote awareness on the issue of domestic abuse.  [...]

Alarming reports of demon possessions in Orange Walk
There have been escalating reports of bizarre behavior by young female students in Orange Walk Town. From the little information we have been able to gather so far, this all [...]

Baby Jaguars face Costa Rica in final match of UNCAF U-16 tournament
The UNCAF Under-sixteen Tournament has wound down to its final match with Belize facing Costa Rica tonight.  Despite winning only one of four games thus far, the Baby Jaguars have [...]

Hitler video redone about to reflect sentiments on city streets
There is a video that has gone viral on the internet in the past few days. Actually, it is adapted from a scene from a 2004 German movie named “Downfall” [...]


Belizean Will Not Pay FMVL
The Mexican Embassy announced today that the guidelines for immigration formalities and procedures have changed as it pertains to replacing their local visitor’s card (formerly known as FMVL) to the new REGIONAL VISITOR CARD. As we’ve reported, the FMVL cards were only valid until November 8th and as such, a replacement card is needed by all Belizeans travelling to and from Chetumal Quintana Roo. But the good news to us Belizeans tonight is that the application process is free of charge. Applicants must present their passport and submit the original FMVL card at the Mexican Immigration office located at Subteniente Lopez, Quintana Roo. The card is said to be valid for the same one year period upon renewal. Card holders will be entitled to travel within the border state of Quintana Roo for up to 72 hours. It is of note, that Belizeans who are charged a fee for replacement should report the matter to the Internal Control Body of the National Institute of Immigration.

Albion Island Is Experiencing flooding
Although the persistent rains have subsided, some areas prone to flooding are still underwater. This is wreaking havoc for many residents living in low lying areas including the villages of Santa Cruz and San Antonio. CTV3 News spoke with Chairman of Santa Cruz, Thomas Mucul who spoke to us about the situation presently faced by students, workers and even small children who are dealing with the after effects of Mother Nature. THOMAS MUCUL “La situación es que nosotros vivimos en una isla Albion Island, a donde se hace flood y sube el rio y ya no puede pasar ningún vehículo a Santa Cruz ni a San Antonio, tenemos que cruzar en lancha, o en carreta y nosotros vivimos tres millas de la orilla del rio de San Antonio y para que vengan los estudiantes no hay autobús, no hay forma y no pueden llegar hasta San Antonio para agarrar autobús es que los estudiantes llegan tarde al colegio.” Maria Novelo – Reporter “Have you dialogue with the authorities, anybody helping you guys?” THOMAS MUCUL “Yes, I have called the minister’s office and they said that they can’t help and I can’t do nothing and that is my job as the chairman but only to ask for help but nobody can help me.”

The Impact Of The Sugar Cane Industry In Belize
The sugar cane industry of Belize has endured many challenges in the past and has been a solid socio-economic engine for northern Belize and the country. Historically, and even today, we continue to depend heavily on the European Union market access for the survival and resiliency of our sugar industry. But with the on-going dispute between BSI and BSCFA on the revenue profit sharing of sales generated by the Bio Fuel better known as the bagasse, the industry is at risk. While this issue has been making headlines for quite some time now, it is anyone’s guess if and when the parties involved will find common ground. What is of concern to others is the economic downfall that can potentially harm the industry and Belize on a whole. Some fear that if the 2013/2014 crop season is delayed, the effects would be disastrous.

San Joaquin Street Damaged By Heavy Trucking
Residents of San Joaquin Street in Orange Walk Town were enraged this morning. That’s because a developer, who was filling up a lot in the area using heavy machinery caused more damage to the already dilapidated street. Our news team was called to the scene and upon arrival we saw residents up in arms since the road was left completely impassable. Albert Tillett- Resident San Joaquin Street “From since the dump truck start running white marl to fill up a land back there then the big hole started, we could have lived with the little small holes that it had before but since the weight of the big truck coming they start from around 5:30 until about 9:00 in the night and trip after trip and that is what you see right there, it was caused by the dump truck that throw the marl there, the street wasn’t that bad we could have lived with it.”

Eric Gonzalez Sentenced To 15 Years
Eric Gonzalez will spend 15 years behind bars. He was sentenced this morning by Justice Herbert Lord at the Northern Session of the Supreme Court after a jury of 12 convicted him of a lesser charge of manslaughter after they were unable to unanimously agree on the murder charge despite hours of deliberation. Viewers might recall that back in 2009 Gonzales was charge for the murder of Daniel Soto. His case began the first week of November but when it was time to deliberate the jury was unable to unanimously find him guilty of murder and as such found him guilty of manslaughter. During the trial, the Crown was represented by Councils Sabita Maharaj and Linsbert Willis while Gonzalez was represented by Senior Counsel Simeon Sampson.


Joris Hendrik Presents Spring/Summer 2014 Collection
A young, talented designer from the Cayo District will be hosting a Fashion Show tomorrow evening at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City. Joris Hendrik who hails from San Ignacio, Cayo is introducing his Spring/Summer 2014 Collection to the Belizean public in what promises to be an evening of elegance and creativity. Reporter Linette Canto stopped by this afternoon and spoke to Hendrik about the show. JORIS HENDRIK “It’s my first solo show in Belize it’s my spring summer 2014 collection it’s going to be a really fun show the collection is exquisite its very free its very breezy and its very elegant its very Belizean I would say and the show will include a number of performances. We are trying to create that social scene and ambiance where we all interact and socialize. It will be a year. I started off as a hobby 2 years ago but now I made it into my own business. I am really excited I am a little bit nervous because it’s my first solo show in the country but given what I’ve been doing so far showcasing at this year’s fashion week, attending Caribbean fashion week and participating in Carib Fiesta. Thanks to being invited by Belize. I’m very confident that it will be good. And it will be really great for the country. Lot of people haven’t seen my work and we will enjoy seeing some new talent. It all depends on my mode I get inspiration from everywhere you know you could be driving in the car and you see something that inspires you or you know music but mainly for this collection inspiration was gathered from Belize, the country, everything that we see around.”

Tacos Time in OW
If your mouth water when you hear “tacos” then Orange Walk Town is the place to be this weekend. The third annual tacos fest will be held this Sunday at the Banquitas House of Culture. Cindey Rivero is coordinator at the house of culture. CINDEY RIVERO Banquitas House is culture collaborating with Universal Radio and this is going to be the third year that we are having the Tacos Festival. Orange Walk is well known for Tacos and it is made out of corn. As also it is part of our culture so we are celebrating Tacos and it will happen this Sunday. We are going to start at 9 and we will be having a lot of activities throughout the day. So we will be having the canoe race, were going to be having greasy pole, we are going to be having competition such as best flavored tacos, eating tacos competition for all the people that will be wanting to eat tacos for free and then we will be having games for the kids like lime and spoon, sack race, treasure hunt and a new game we invented called corn hunt which fit in with the whole tacos festival. A lot of other competitions like watermelon. Then for entertainment we will be having Captain Roby and Super Furia for free as well dance and then we are going to be having other performances from local singers and dance groups so it’s going to be a full day of events so I am inviting everyone to come out and enjoy bring the family bring friends. And we are just here to enjoy and eat tacos.

Evangelical Churches Association of Belize Investigates Reports of Demonic Possession
Earlier this week LOVE NEWS reported on claims that some residents of Orange Walk were possessed by demonic spirits. We spoke with a relative of a female victim who went in details of what his sister experienced when she was possessed. Today we learnt that the Evangelical Churches Association of Belize is conducting an extensive investigation on the reports. Oscar Barrera is President of Evangelical Associations OW and told us more. OSCAR BARRERA “Evangelical Church Association of Belize with Pastor Crawford now we are doing a little investigation concerning the issue to see what is going to be the outcome of the days to come so that we can get together as a nation and visit these families and we also go in prayer for these people as well. Well actually we believe in the demon possession because the Bible also talks about it and these people are playing with the Devil literally. They are not using the Ouija board anymore they are using pencils and there are certain things that they do to call upon Satan and the demons are taking their bodies.”

MOH and UNPFA Join to Provide Workshop
The Ministry of Health in collaboration with United Nations Population Fund organized the workshops on obstetric and neonatal care. A one day practical training session to sensitize public healthcare workers of the Maternal and Child Health Units was held today at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel where new medical procedures, and practices in the care of maternal and child health were taught. Technical Advisor of Maternal and Child Health at the Ministry of Health Doctor Natalie Beer told us more. Dr. NATALIE BEER “There we have a representation from all the different health regions in the connection with the United Nations Population fund UNPF. We are organizing to have a more structured training program; to improve the skills of health care workers when providing care to target populations such as women before, during and after pregnancy and child birth and for the new born.”

Belize Makes Progress in Protecting Women and Children
Today the workshop to end violence against women and children culminated at the Biltmore Hotel. The workshop was strategically held because Belize joins the world in celebrating International Children’s Day. The workshop was the collective idea of a group of children and women advocacy group like the National Committee for Families and Children, NCFC and the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF. Both the NCFC and UNICEF agree that after the culmination of the workshop, Belize has a clear road map on how to meet its objectives. LUWANI CAYETANO “Belize is kind of following the example of the region and the world all over the world right now organizations that work with children’s rights are looking at ending violence against children. So this two day symposium is our way of developing a road map so how do we get to the end of ending violence against children what steps do we have to take and how will we know that we have gotten to certain steps. And so we’ve kicked off the 2 days symposium its ending today and we are leaving here with a road map to end violence against children and that’s the kind of way that I guess we have celebrated and worked really it’s more than a celebration it’s us coming together. And determining how is it we are going to work together towards the protection of our children. So its MCFC and special envoy actually this symposium is hosted by the special envoy restore Belize, the ministry of human development, social workers, police everyone is here to kind of put our minds together and develop a road map to ending violence against children. For us child participation is a huge piece.

Maypen Village Flooded; Area Rep Assists
Over the past few weeks we have brought you stories out of Crooked Tree Village where residents have had to adapt to deal with flooded conditions. The same can be said for residents of Maypen Village as we hear in this report from Marion Ali. RESIDENT “The road is filled with water. See that is my canoe I use right there. Right now I want to go to road I will paddle all the way to Red Sand in that dory.” MARION ALI REPORTING Residents of Maypen Village located about 25 miles from Belize City by road are cut off from the rest of the country except for boat access. The flood waters that have accumulated over the pass seven weeks have now begun to affect the lively hood of the villagers and their cattle and today they received the second round of assistance. The Belize Red Cross Society and Nemo Officials along with area representative Edmond Castro went by coast guard both and distributed items to the 10 neediest of 41 families in the village.

Police Chase on Freetown Road
Reports to Love News are that a police chase led to the capture of a male individual on Freetown Road. Love News understands that about nine o’clock this morning police on mobile patrol set chase a man who attempted to escape their custody. The man attempted to escape by going into the compound of Central Primary School on Freetown Road. Eyewitness reports indicate that the individual hopped over the schools fence and attempted to hide behind the infant two building. Armed policemen followed the individual who after seeing police coming for him, he hopped the fence unto Freetown road in the path of a police mobile. The individual was detained and taken to the police station. We understand that a warning shot was fired.

9K Unlawfully Withdrawn From Account
Belmopan Police are investigating a case of theft. Reports are that Cyril Perfecto of the Corozal District lost his wallet last Saturday. Perfecto’s wallet contained personal documents including ATM cards from two banks. Two days later he visited both banks in order to block his cards. The banks informed Perfecto that a person who apparently found his wallet had made thirteen withdrawals which amounted to nine thousand dollars. Police are investigating.

DJ’s Apartment Burglarized
Someone broke into the apartment of well known disc jockey Linda Blease. According to police, sometime between two and six thirty yesterday evening, someone broke into Blease’s apartment located on Santa Barbara Street and stole a number of items including a black HP Laptop valued at a thousand dollars, one red Pro studio Beats head phone valued at six hundred dollars and three hundred and twenty five dollars in cash. Police are investigating.

Charged with Aggravated Assault of an Indecent Nature
Thirty year old Curl Gordon Junior, a cabinet maker charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature on a female child who was seven years old, was found guilty of the charge yesterday in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas. Justice Lucas has deferred sentencing until Friday, November 29 in order to give Gordon time to prepare a plea for mitigation. The maximum sentence is three years. The jury of six women and three men deliberated for a little over an hour before it arrived at its verdict, which was unanimous. The incident occurred on October 2, 2011. The complainant testified in camera that Gordon sexually assaulted her. Three other witnesses testified for the prosecution. Gordon, who was not represented by any attorney, testified and denied that he committed the offence. He said that it was malice on the part of the mother of the complainant. Crown Counsel Portia Staine represented the prosecution.

Belizean Trio Charged in Mexico
Aston Michael Ramirez, Orlando Habet and Adelfo Ruperto Dzul; the three Belizeans who were caught with drugs in neighboring town of Subteniente Lopez, Mexico have been sent to a prison cell in Mexico. Love News understands that the three men along with a Mexican National Freddy Andrés Lagos Vargas who were caught with nine hundred grams of cocaine were taken to prison after which they will face a trail that could last six months. Other information coming out of Mexico is that investigations into the role of Lagos Vargas, has revealed that he might be responsible for the transshipment of large amount of drugs form communities in Belize and crosses through villages like La Union across the border. As we reported, all three Belize men, were detained after there were suspiciously riding around in a vehicle with Corozal license plates in Subteniente Lopez. Marines from the Mexican army, who had received an anonymous tip, intercepted the vehicle on Cuauhtemoc Street where their search led to the discovery of nine hundred grams of cocaine in the vehicle.

Belize Cited by Caribbean Financial Task Force
Belize has been cited by the Caribbean Financial Task Force for deficiencies in meeting the international standards of fighting money laundering and terrorism. According to News America, Belize and Guyana have been cited by the task force. The report further states that the CFTF has said that Belize must implement all outstanding issues including addressing its customer due diligence requirements and prohibiting dealings with shell banks; while Guyana is being urged to address the strategic deficiencies that exist in its national architecture to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. The Caribbean Financial Task force is comprised of twenty-nine jurisdictions of the Caribbean Basin Region, which have agreed to implement the international standards for Anti-money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism, Financial Action Task Force Recommendations in order to protect the international financial system from money laundering and financing of terrorism risks and to encourage greater compliance with the AML/CFT standards. Both countries are being urged to implement counter measures to protect their financial systems from the ongoing money laundering and terrorist financing risks.

The Road to the Resurrection of the Ex Service League in PG
Efforts to reactivate the Belize Ex Services League Punta Gorda branch began yesterday. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG REPORTING A meeting with a cold group of ex military personnel in Punta Gorda signaled reactivation efforts. The session was facilitated by Major Francis Marin. FRANCIS MARIN “We had a meeting with some key members to discuss the way forward for the development and the enhancement of the Belize Ex-servicemen league Punta Gorda Branch President who are retired officers, 002 Ramon Morales, Private Gilbert Gegeo and of course Captain Paul Mahung and acting sergeant Simion Martin Paulino and myself. We looked at the constitution of the Belize Ex-servicemen League and we also looked at the branch constitution. We throw around certain ideas, techniques and methodologies we can improve the recruiting drive bring more membership before and we discuss the responsibilities and duties at the national and the branch level.”

OW North Area Rep Speaks on Flooding
Yesterday we reported that residents of Santa Cruz in the Orange Walk district faced transportation problems due to flooded water over the main road. When we spoke with Chairman of Santa Cruz he said most affected were students who need to come to Orange Walk Town for classes as no buses were running between Santa Cruz and San Antonio. We asked area representative Gaspar Vega about the situation. GASPER VEGA “Yes as we speak San Antonio has more than two feet of water on the highway. San Luis has the same problem and the water is already swelling from the river in the Douglas Village; something that we just suffered a couple months ago. As you know we had to take groceries to those four villages and we can’t complain – that’s Mother Nature. We are just hoping and praying that it stops raining and like today we are not only praying for the sun but even for a little cold front because we know that the sun alone is going to take extremely long to dry this water in our villages.” Severely affected as well is the agriculture sector in the north. We asked Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega what is the impact.


Social Sector Works on Strategy to Fight Violence Against Children
Violence against children is not limited to the streets; or at least, that is the view of the social sector which is meeting in conference starting today in Belize City. UNICEF is partnering with the office of the Special Envoy for Women and Children, the Ministry of Human Development...

Belize Walks out of United Nations Climate Meeting
Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Hon. Lisel Alamilla. According to news outlet Aljazeera, the annual round of talks are meant to pave the way to a climate deal by 2015 that will peg global warming to a maximum 2.0 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial revolution...

Another Bomb Scare Hits the University of Belize
Classes at the University of Belize, Central Campus, were once again been cancelled due to another bomb scare. According to the Head of Public Information, Mr. Selwyn King, a call from an unidentified person came in to the receptionist, claiming to have planted a bomb on the campus. All...

Government of Belize to Introduce E-governance Technology for the Belizean Populace
The concept of e-anything – the usage of technology to improve service to the consumer – may not go over well in a country that is accustomed to the old-fashioned way. But such an innovation may be here to stay, and the Government is leading the way. The Ministry...

Rise and Shine Determines Appreciation Telethon This Coming Saturday
This coming Saturday, Plus TV’s Morning Show, Rise and Shine Belize is hosting its second annual appreciate telethon. Rise and Shine has become an increasingly popular local program in the country and offers extensive analysis of current affairs as well as entertainment and just your everyday tips for living....

Young Mother says she was Senselessly Fired from Government Registry
Earlier this year the Government of Belize seized control of the International Business Company (IBC) and International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) from their former owners, Belize International Services Limited (BISL). Litigation over that takeover will certainly be filed in the courts, but as Government and BISL wrangle,...

Hand in Hand Ministries and BEL Finishes New House for Another Needy Family
On Thursday afternoon afternoon Port Loyola resident Shantel Card was the recipient of a $16,000 home donated and constructed by Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) along with Hand in Hand Ministries. The energy company’s employees and Ms. Card herself worked through an entire...

University of Belize Hosts Promising Marketing Expo’
The University of Belize is expanding its efforts to develop the tools necessary to promote marketing skills among its students in the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences. Today it hosted its Annual Marketing Expo where the object, according to Dean Vincent Palacio, is for students to put into...

The Guardian

13 new streets for Belmopan
Area Representative for Belmopan, Hon. John Saldivar, has been spending much of his time identifying sources of financing to improve the living conditions of residents of Belmopan and has so far been able to pave 8 streets in the Caribbean Villas area of Belmopan. The streets that have already been asphalted are Jamaica Street, Pacific Street, Atlantic Street, Cayman Street, Bahamas Street, Barbados Street, St. Vincent Street and Bermuda Street. Immediately after concluding those streets, more finances were identified through Recondev and work has commenced on 5 more streets in the Judges Area. Work commenced last week and is pressing ahead with the complete upgrade and paving of Innis Street, Staine Street, Brown Street and Sosa Street. According to Hon. Saldivar, over 500 thousand dollars will be invested in these streets where they will all be paved. Work is also being done to upgrade streets in the San Martin Area. Work is also ongoing with the paving of the street leading up to the George Price Center.

Liar, Liar!
The People's United Party and Channel 5 ploy to create mischief using Alvarene Burgess as their major pawn blew up in their faces on Friday, November 15th. Their elaborate plan to smear Hon. Edmund Castro came to an unceremonious end after the U.S. Embassy categorically denied some of Burgess' allegations. On the Dickie Bradley show of Monday, November 11th, Burgess continued her wild accusations against Hon. Castro. She went as far as to say that she had been called in to the U.S. Embassy where she was interrogated for 3 hours after which she left crying. In her allegations, Burgess stated that embassy personnel had played a recording to her which included Hon. Castro, herself and an unidentified third party. In an unusual denial, the U.S. Embassy's Charge D'Aaffaires, Margaret Hawthorne told the media on Friday that Alvarene went to the embassy to get a visa and not as she claimed at the behest of the embassy. Hawthorne also added that the U.S. embassy did not record anyone especially not a government official as was claimed by Burgess. Alvarene Burgess' wild allegations are now made bare and it is quite clearly exposed that she is a liar.

Garifuna Settlement ay in BelizeGarifuna Settlement Day in Belize
garifuna2.jpg - 107.77 KbAll around the country, Belizeans joined in with the fellow “Garinagu” citizens in Celebrating Garifuna Settlement Day, which was observed on Tuesday, November 19th. It is in commemoration of the original Garifuna settlers who arrived in Belize on November 19, 1802, when they sought and were granted asylum by the Governor of the day. In remembrance of that event, Belize enjoys a public and bank holiday. Throughout the entire day of November 19th, the Garifuna people participate in different ceremonies and activities to remind the younger generation of the importance of the day they were allowed to live peacefully in Belize. On Tuesday at around 7 a.m., Garifunas and other residents living in Belize City and surrounding areas joined together in observing the “Yurumei”, the ceremonial arrival done annually. Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley had the honour of representing the Governor for his second year, he was out at the foot of the Belcan Bridge to welcome the “arriving members”, and to grant them access to the country in the same fashion as it happened 211 years ago.

United States’ $2 Million Donation to Belize’s Arm Forces
The Belize Defense Force and the Belize Coast Guard are now better able to perform their duties thanks to a two million dollar donation from the United States Embassy. On Friday, November 15th, Margaret Hawthorne, Charge D’ Affaires of the US Embassy to Belize, handed over the keys for seven Jeep off road vehicles and one Boston Whaler boat to Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security. The Belize Defense Force received three Jeep J-eight transport vehicles, three Jeep J-eight Patrol vehicles, and one Jeep J-eight Ambulance. Brigadier General David Jones said, “The vehicles will significantly improve the force’s ability to patrol challenging terrains and will be used specifically for quick reaction forces.” Jones said the force was badly in need of an ambulance for some time now. He said, “We need a rugged ambulance to go off-road, be it behind the Mountain Pine Ridge area or the Baldy Beacon area, when our soldiers are doing training and if there is any injury we have an ambulance [now] that is going to be on spot rugged enough to get them in and out of those terrain." Jones said the British Land Rovers were previously used for patrols in challenging terrains but “we don’t have those any more”. In addition to the vehicles, the B.D.F. also received 100 body armour vests, four Panasonic laptops, one tool package and two uninterrupted power suppliers.

Ballistics Training continues for Forensics Personnel
An expert from Canada was in Belize between November 13th to the 15th conducting a three-day workshop with personnel from the National Forensic Science Service who operate the Integrated Ballistic Identification System (IBIS) donated to Belize by the Canadian Government. Mr. Petar Zenovich, senior instructor from Forensic Technology, the company that provided and installed the IBIS system on behalf of the Canadian Government, was in the country as part of the company’s commitment to ensure proper maintenance and effective utilization of the system. Mr. Zencovich, who has been coaching IBIS operators for over 13 years, said he is very impressed with the progress made thus far by personnel at the National Forensic Science Service in applying the training they receive to operate the system. He noted that they have succeeded in creating a healthy database and establishing precise protocols in order to fully integrate the system into their daily tasks and overall function. He said he is very pleased with the extraordinary effort being put in by the entire management and staff to make the system and the program work for Belize.

Manufactured Outraged and Stone Soup
You may know the story of the itinerant swindler who found himself in a remote village one night. The villages, suffering from hard times, did not offer to share their limited food with him. He told them that he fully understood their lack of hospitality, but asked only for a little help to make his own pot of stone soup. “Stone soup!” exclaimed the villagers, “No one can make soup from stones.” “Just lend me a large pot and let me use your fire hearth and I will show you how,” responded the silver tongued con artist. He set to work with a flourish stirring his pot of water into which he dropped three large smooth, clean stones. When it was bubbling away, he made a great show of tasting it and smacking his lips in delight. He exclaimed that it was coming along fine but a little salt would certainly improve its flavour. Continuing this charade, he persuaded the gullible villagers to drop in assorted vegetable such as onions, carrots and potatoes and finally a freshly prepared chicken and even to stir the pot themselves. As promised he produced a delicious pot of stone soup! In a parallel story, there is a heavy pot of manufactured outrage prepared by a consortium of interested parties hungry for political power. Their supposed pot of corruption is being offered to a Belizean public weary of global hard times. The cauldron admittedly contains a few heavy stones of individual passport irregularities, but the other ingredients are manufactured or manipulated by people who are well practiced in the art of deception.

BDF Destroys Marijuana Worth $30 Million
Since April of this year the Belize Defense Force has been working with a United States task force operating out of Honduras to conduct search and destroy drug operations in Belize’s forest. The operations were kept secret to maximize their effectiveness. As a result, in less than eight months three operations were executed and over 100,000 marijuana plants were destroyed at different locations across the country. According to Brigadier General David Jones, the estimated worth of the product is close to $30 million. The Belize Defense Force was supported in the missions by six US trained seals from the Belize Coast Guard, Officers of the Forestry Department and U.S. military personnel. According to Jones, the first operation was conducted using a Chinook and a Blackhawk helicopter from the US military. Those choppers transported about 100 men to strategic locations in the jungle. It took two days to destroy 62 thousand plants. Jones says without the helicopters it would have taken the BDF up to two years to find and destroy that many plants. The second operation was conducted from September 7th to 10th. Two Chinook helicopters were used and another significant number of plants were destroyed. The third operation was without assistance from the US helicopter and 37 thousand plants were destroyed. General Jones says the BDF is in need of air support. Since BATSUB downsized and closed its air support program, the force has struggled to conduct effective jungle patrols and seek and destroy operations. Minister of National Security, Hon. John Saldivar, says the Government of Belize is “committed to any serious cost share arrangement that our partners are prepared to undertake in the acquisition of helicopters for Belize.” According to General Jones, BDF personnel are already being trained in flying helicopters.

Butane classified, prices changed
The Belize bureau of Standards issued a press release stating that effective November 16th there are two types of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) available in the country and as such there are two prices for these. The LPG being imported by Belize Gas and Western Gas Company Limited from Pemex has a consistency of 60:40 Propate: Butane ratio while LPG imported by Belize Western Energy Limited, Southern Choice Butane or Zeta Gas and Gas Tomza Limited which purchase from Central America has a 90:10 Propane to Butane ratio. The difference between the two products is that the LPG with a higher butane content is more efficient and is more expensive. The Mexican product will retail anywhere from $121.00 to $126.00 per hundred pound cylinder depending on where in the country it is purchased while the product with the lower butane content will sell for $5.00 cheaper. The Bureau of Standards encourages consumers to look out for labeling and markings of LPG mixtures from the suppliers to ensure they are getting what they are paying for. The Bureau of Standards requires such markings to be placed at the LPG retail outlets and mobile units.

Director of Public Prosecutions visits San Ignacio Town
Belize’s longest serving Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mrs. Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, met with members of the Peoples Coalition of Cayo (PCC) on Wednesday night of last week to interact with members of the Community and to set the pace for future work. The PCC itself is an organization that has been working with the Police to further reduce the rates of crime in the Cayo Area. The idea of a Peoples Coalition first came from the Prime Minister of Belize, the Hon. Dean Barrow. Mrs. Chery-Lynn Vidal was born in the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and graduated as an Attorney in 1998. Vidal came to work in Belize in the year 2000 and during those 13 years has spent them mostly at the Office of the DPP. Her work in Belize started as a Crown Counsel at the DPP’s Office, then as Crown Counsel at the Attorney General’s Ministry. Mrs. Chery-Lynn Vidal also served as an acting Registrar of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and as a Registrar General; after which she returned to the DPP’s Office. When Vidal returned to the DPP Office in 2004, she did so as Senior Crown Counsel and was promoted to Deputy Director in 2007, acting Director in 2008 and confirmed as Director in 2010.

Flash Flood in Western Belize
Some eight hours of torrential rains last Wednesday night resulted in flash floods in the Santa Elena Town and other Areas of the Cayo District, resulting in discomfort for many. The flash flood had by 8:30 a.m., on November 14th, prompted a Public Advisory from the National Emergency Management Organization, which stated that some 20 families in the Santa Elena area behind Three Flags and up to the cemetery had experienced a flash flood early in the morning. The business place of Joe Marr by the football stadium in Santa Elena Town was flooding while his children were trying to salvage furniture from the rising waters. Many residents spent early Thursday morning of last week cleaning the inside of their houses and trying to save some of their most precious belongings. Both approaches to the Cristo Rey Bridge had been washed away but by early Thursday the Hon. Rene Montero, Minister of Works, and his team had made an assessment. Workmen continued to work into the late hours of the evening last Thursday to re-connect the Cristo Rey Bridge. A family was saved from the flash floods in the Hillview Area as their house had temporarily become a flotation device, with a portion of the house lifting off its concrete foundation posts.

Flood relief for Rural North
Belize Rural North Area Representative, Hon. Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture are collaborating to assist the cattle farmers of Crooked Tree Village to preserve their livestock so that they can weather the extensive flooding which has almost cut them off from outside help. The communities of Crooked Tree and Maskall continue to experience flooding from the extensive rains which have taken place over the last 3 months. The Belize Red Cross reported last week that some 200 families from the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley were devastated by the unexpected rise in water. But, while Red Cross and NEMO collaborated to assist those families, the Belize Rural North Representative, Hon. Edmund “Clear the Land” Castro, is working to see that his constituents are able to get past the devastation. As has been widely reported, the Crooked Tree Road Causeway is currently under water, and in order for the villagers to get in and out, they have to be ferried by boats provided by the Belize Audubon Society and the Coast Guard. In certain sections of the village, the farm land and pastures have been inundated by water, which is not expected to recede until 2 months’ time at the earliest. As a result, the cattle farmers are going through a severe rough patch, and their area rep. is trying to alleviate their problems.

Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project
In November 2011, the Government of Belize and the Inter-American Development Bank signed onto an agreement for a loan of Ten Million U. S. Dollars (US $10.00 Million) and an additional Seven Hundred Fifty Thousand U.S. Dollars as Counterpart for a flood alleviation and mitigation project for the Belama Area of Belize City. This project titled, "Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project," consists of three main components to be implemented over a period of five years. The first component is Engineering and Administration, this includes the establishing of an Execution Unit along with Operational Expenses. The second component is divided in two sub components which are First Year of Civil Works and Second Year of Civil Works; First Year of Civil Works is further divided into outputs such as street improvements (No. 4), Canal Construction (No. 2) and upgrading of two parks. The design for the parks has been completed and tendered and the evaluation process is ongoing; the parks are Albert Hoy and D'Nest Inn. Some of the activities to execute are: change damaged lights, build sidewalks, construct drains & benches, repair both basketball courts and fix the football field. The streets to be improved are: Albert Hoy, Juliet Soberanis, Link Road (Apollo St.) & Loop Road (Delcia Goff St.), the activities to execute are: widening of the carriage way and apply a bituminous double surface chippings, construct drains, wide walks and bike paths plus other ancillary works. Two canals will be built also as part of the civil works these are Maheia's Canal and Bill Lindo Canal. The Second Year of Civil Works includes the construction of Douglas Jones Canal and Upgrading of North Side Canal.

ICT and Innovation as Drivers of Economic Growth
The Government of Belize has hired consultants from the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) in an effort to develop and implement a National Information Communication Technology and Innovation Policy and Strategy as well as an E-Government Strategy and Plan of Action. According to Dr. Colin Young, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, in developing the policies “we will be looking at the best possible ways that Belize can harness the use of ICTs to transform the way government does business with the public as well as how the private sector and civil societies can use ICTs to improve their efficiency”. Government officials and representatives from the private sector attended a ceremony to launch the drafting of the national policies on Wednesday, November 20th, at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary, assured the gathering of Governments full support of the ICT strategy. He said Government is investing an initial $400,000 into the drafting of the policies and strategies and is prepared to invest whatever is necessary for implementation because the embrace of ICT will strengthen Belize’s economy. Young informed the gathering of a study which shows that when Internet penetration is expanded by 10 percent in Latin American and Caribbean countries the increase in Gross Domestic Product is 3.18 percent.

Belize to Prepare a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for 2014 - 2017
The Government of Belize is pleased to announce that in partnership with the United Nations Development Program, through financial and technical assistance, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has commenced preparation of a Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy for the Period 2014 to 2017. The strategy will be one of a series of medium-term strategies that will need to be prepared and implemented towards realizing the vision put forward in Horizon 2030. This vision reads: “Belize is a country of peace and tranquility, where citizens live in harmony with the natural environment and enjoy a high quality of life. Belizeans are an energetic, resourceful and independent people looking after their own development in a sustainable way.” Achieving this vision requires effective planning which involves developing good medium-term strategic plans, linking these plans to successive operational multi-year budgets and putting in place an appropriate monitoring and evaluation framework. This first Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy will therefore complement efforts already under way to improve Government’s budgeting process through the adoption of programme budgeting. Programme budgeting is expected to result in much improved management of public resources.

12 years for attempted murder
On Friday, November 15th, after 10 days of waiting at the Belize Central Prison, 21-year-old Diondray McKoy was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for the June 2009 attempted murder of Everald Gray. Justice Troadio “John” Gonzalez, sentenced him to the 12 years effective Tuesday, November 5th, 2013, the day a jury of six females and three males found him guilty of the crime of attempted murder. In mitigation plea, McKoy chose to call no character witnesses. He did say that he did not know how it was that the jury had found him guilty. According to McKoy, he feels so sorry for the victim, but he did not shot him. Prosecutor in the case was Sheneiza Smith who was assisted by Leeroy Banner. In the trial, they called Gray, the shooting victim who testified that, he was at home on Queen Charlotte Street on June 23, 2009, at around 8:30 p.m., he heard someone calling his name. When he went to the door, he saw a man, who reached into his pants waist and pulled out a gun. He turned around attempting to run away, but the man shot him in the left shoulder, left armpit, and his right index finger. He ran into his bedroom, and collapsed there.

Acquitted of aggravated assault upon 8 year-old girl
On Wednesday, November 20th, a man who was accused of molesting an 8-year-old child in 2005 was acquitted by a jury. Ervin Borland had been charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon an 8-year-old girl. At the time the girl accused him of touching her inappropriately on her private parts. In court a jury of 9 persons unanimously found him not guilty of the crime. The trial saw the girl who is now 17 testify in-camera telling the court that sometime between May 19th and 22nd of 2005 Borland had removed her underwear and touched her inappropriately. Prosecutor, Leeroy Banner called only two witnesses to testify in the case against Borland. Those witnesses included the victim and her mother. The child's mother told the court that she had sent her daughter to borrow a scissors from a next door neighbor, but when the child took too long to return home, she went in searched of her. According to the mother, when she arrived at the house she saw Borland wearing only a shirt and no underwear or boxers. She then found her daughter in one corner of the room. According to the child's mother, her daughter who would say nothing much at that time, appeared frighten and scared.

Teenage Boy charged with wounding Teenage
On Wednesday, November 20th, 18-year-old Hayward Hulse appeared in Magistrate's Court to answer to charges of wounding upon his 17-year-old girlfriend. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail of $1,000.00 was offered to him which he met. He is to reappear in court on December 2nd. According to the 17-year-old girl, she and Hulse were socializing at the Baron Bliss Grave on Sunday, November 17th, when they got into an argument where she alleges that he became violent with her when he punched her in her face. The minor was given a medical legal form where she was examined by a doctor at a local hospital and her injuries were classified as wounding.

Old fine costs Elroy Saldano three years behind bars
On Wednesday, November 20th, 44-year-old Belize City resident, Elroy Saldano appeared in Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Hettie Mae Steward to answer to charges of harm and aggravated assault upon Tiesha Palacio. He pleaded not guilty to the charges but was unable to go since he has outstanding two old fines for theft and wounding for which he will have to spend three years in jail. Saldano was most recently arrested after Tiesha Palacio reported to police that on Monday, November 18, 2013) she and Saldano got into an argument where he picked up a beer bottle, broke it and then placed it to the left side of her neck which caused a cut wound. Palacio became fearful for her life and as a result, reported the matter to police requesting court action. Saldano is due back in on December 20, 2013.

Vincent “Steeno” Tillett, found guilty of manslaughter
Vincent Tillett was found guilty of manslaughter on Friday, November 15th, in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Darwin Phillips. The matter had concluded 18 days earlier, but Supreme Court Justice Adolph Lucas had taken time out to consider the case. After that consideration Justice Lucas announced on Friday of last week that Tillett was guilty of manslaughter and not guilty of murder in Phillips’ death. Phillips who was the lover of Tillett’s girlfriend was stabbed once to the chest on February 13, 2011 at a home that the accused occupied at the time with his common-law wife. During the trial, Prosecutor, Kaysha Grant called several witnesses to testify including Denise Stuart and Oran Young. Both main witnesses, chose to give evidence contrary to their 2011 statements and she was forced to treat them as hostile witnesses. At the end of their testimonies, both their 2011 statements were tendered in as evidence. Justice Lucas also admitted a statement that Tillett had given police back in 2011 where he admitted that he stabbed Phillips.

World Anti-Doping Agency has new anti-doping code
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) held its 4th World Conference on Doping in Sports from November 12-15, 2013, in Johannesburg, South Africa, where over 1500 participants from the National Anti-Doping Organisations (NADOs), Regional Anti-Doping Organisations (RADOs), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), International Sporting Federations (IFs), Sports Ministers (governments), UNESCO, and the media gathered to hear the presentations and the interventions for the new anti-doping code. The 4th World Conference was officially declared open by the Minister of Sports, Sports and Recreation of South Africa the Hon. Fikile Mbalula. The 4th World Conference also had the participation of Mr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, Richard Young (World Anti-Doping Code Drafting Team Draftsman and International Standards for Laboratories), Ulrich Hass (World Anti-Doping Code Drafting Team), and Jean-Paul Costa (World Anti-Doping Code Drafting Team).

Customs Firms’ Basketball competition champions
The 2013 Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ competition came to an end on Friday, November 15, at the Bird’s Isle. In the third and final game of the championship series, Customs defeated Port of Belize by the score of 70-66 to capture the Firms Basketball Title. The top scorers for Customs were Winston Pratt who scored 33 points, 14 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, Marvin Skeet who scored 10 points, and 5 rebounds, Oliver Solis and Devon Garcia who scored 7 points each towards the win and the coveted title. Meanwhile, for the Port of Belize, the top scorers were Earl Johnson who scored 22 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Lennox Bowman with 11 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists and a steal and Ian Augustine who scored 10 points, 9 rebounds and a steal. At the end of the championship game, the Belize District Basketball Association presented the championship awards as well as the individual awards. The following players received the 2013 individual awards MVP (regular season) Winston Pratt –Customs and Excise Department, Steals- Ervin Orosco (Atlantic Bank) 3.7, Assists- Ervin Orosco (Atlantic Bank) 4.6, Rebounds- Kurt Burgess (Heritage Bank/Ministry of Trade) 14.7 and the MVP – (Championship series) Winston Pratt. We say congratulations to the Customs and Excise Department for capturing the 2013 Firms Competition.

Belikin Cup Opening Season Tournament resumes
The 2013 Premier League of Belize Belikin Cup Opening Season resumed on Saturday, November 16, with a game played out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan between the visiting FC Belize and the host team the Belmopan Bandits. At the end of the long whistle FC Belize edged the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 3-2. The visiting FC Belize got on the scoreboard first when an own goal in the 4th minute of play was scored by Floyd Jones to give FC Belize a 1-0 lead. The lead was further extended when Jarret Davis scored the 1st of his 2 goals in the 17th minute of play to give his team a 2-0 lead. However, the deficit was cut in half for the Belmopan Bandits when Deon McCaulay scored his 1st of 2 goals in the 24th minute of play. The first half of the game ended 2-1 in favour of the visiting FC Belize. In the second half of the game the hostility between the two teams resumed when Jarret Davis scored his 2nd goal of the game via the penalty kick in the 50th minute of play to extend his team’s lead to 3-1. The Belmopan Bandits offence came roaring back with a goal of its own when Deon McCaulay scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 78th minute of play to cut the deficit once again to one. As the time expired in the game it was indeed a 3-2 victory for the visiting FC Belize.

Junior Footballers playing 500 ball in UNCAF U-16 championship
The National U-16 Football Team of Belize is currently playing 500 ball after losing to El Salvador last night by the score of 2-0 out at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan in the on-going Unión Centroamericana de Fútbal (UNCAF) competition that is being hosted by the Football Federation of Belize in Belmopan. The goals for El Salvador were scored by Jose Melendez in the 2nd minute of play and Carlos Mendez in the 60th minute of play. The UNCAF Championship opened on Monday, November 18, 2013, at the FFB Stadium in Belize with six (6) of the Central American countries participating. In Belize’s opening game against Nicaragua, Team Belize edged Nicaragua by the score of 2-1. The goals for Belize were scored by Rogi Solórzano in the 20th and 33rd minute of play. Meanwhile, the goal for Nicaragua was scored by Anderson Treminio in the 67th minute of play. In the other games also played on Monday, Guatemala blanked El Salvador by the score of 2-0. The goals for Guatemala were scored by Brandon De Leon in the 14th minute of play and Esteban Garcia in the 19th minute of play. And Costa Rica edged Honduras by the score of 2-1. The goals for Costa Rica was Scored by Luis Hernandez in the 41st and 51st minutes of play, while Foslyn Grant scored for Honduras in the 17th minute of play.

Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 9-Ball Tournament
The exciting Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 9-ball tournament continued at LINK-UP Bar in Santa Elena , Cayo, near the Hawksworth Bridge. On Sunday, November 17th, in the first match Di Rebels defeated Old School by 2-1. Winning for Di Rebels were: Barry Rudon over Fidelio Montes 5-3, and Mark Buquis over Luis Usher 5-4. In the losing effort for Old School it was Gilbert Luna over Dwight Crawford 5-3. In the second match, Link-Up defeated Champions 3-0. For Link-Up, Juan Maiestro Villanueva won Vallan Hyde 5-0, Erwin Woodye won Jordan Uck 5-3, and Jimmy Rudon won Michael Hyde 5-0. In the third match, Shooters defeated Dibo’s 2-1. For Shooters, Rogelio Boteo won Charles Talbert 5-3, and Wallace Chu won Jose Guerra 5-3. For Dibos, it was Manuel Balona winning David Fernandez 5-1. In the fourth match, Champions won Snipers by 2-1. For Champions, it was Vallan Hyde over Jose Luis Rodriquez 5-0; and Jordan Uck over Edwin Gonzalez by 5-2. In the losing effort for Snipers, it was Hector Ortiz defeating Michael Hyde 5-3.

Old School Vega’s 2013 Cup champions
The 2013 Vega’s Cup Tournament came to an end of Sunday, November 17, in a dramatic finish. In the championship game played between Old School FC and Jaguars United, the game ended 2-2 at the end of regulation time. The goals for Old School FC were scored by Christopher Hendricks in the 9th minute of play and Oliver Hendricks in the 67th minute of play. For Jaguars United, the goals were scored by Ervin Cocom in the 50th minute of play and Gabriel Perez in the 66th minute of play. In overtime the game also ended in a draw and it was not until in the penalty shoot out that Old School captured the title with an 8-7 victory. Meanwhile, in the third place game played between Barrio Boys and San Jose FC, the game ended 2-2 at the end of regulation time. The goals for San Jose FC were scored by Ervin Patt in the 18th minute of play and Jeffrey Yama in the 62nd minute of play. Meanwhile, the goals for Barrio Boys were scored by Osmy Medina in the 26th and 43rd minutes of the game respectively. The game then went into overtime where at the end of the overtime the game remained a draw. It was not until the penalty shoot out that San Jose FC edged out Barrio Boys by the score of 4-3.


Three Belizeans are in a jail in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico, awaiting trial after they were captured on Friday with 900 grams — over five pounds — of cocaine. They were intercepted by Mexican Navy marines on Cuauhtémoc Street in Subteniente Lopez Town on the Mexico-Belize border, and charged with drug trafficking offenses. They were then handed over to the Office of Public Prosecution in Chetumal, where they have been imprisoned and are awaiting trial. Information to us is that on Friday, the Mexican Marines were on mobile patrol on Cuauhtémoc Street when they stopped and searched a car in which three Belizeans and a Mexican national were travelling. The search resulted in the discovery of over two kilos of cocaine, and the four men were immediately arrested.

Tonight, the leadership of the University of Belize (UB) hangs in the balance after its president, Guyanese national Dr. Cary Frazer, went “off the radar” – so to speak – subsequent to alleging to Prime Minister Dean Barrow in a letter that the UB Board of Trustees has “micromanaged” the university, which he believes has restricted his leadership. Today, Amandala has confirmed that Dr. Cary Fraser is officially on leave for reasons unknown. The confirmation was made by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Harrison Pilgrim. When KREM News asked the reason for the president’s leave, Pilgrim responded that he was not aware that there had to be a reason for going on leave. When he was asked how long the president will be on leave, Pilgrim responded that it was an administrative issue. During the president’s absence, the Interim Provost, Dr. Wilma Wright, will hold over. Earlier this month, rumors were rampant that Dr. Cary Fraser had resigned from his post. It turned out that Dr. Fraser had written to the Prime Minister to say that he would be leaving the institution at the end of the academic year 2013/2014. He is expected to remain in office until the end of this current school year, which ends in May 2014.

High-ranking sugar industry sources told Amandala this evening that the recent battering from torrential rains has rendered the sugar roads in northern Belize virtually impassable to delivery trucks, and even if parties disputing over how the million-dollar-pie earned from bagasse power generation were to reach an accord, farmers will still not be able to start the crop year on Monday, November 25, 2013, as had been planned. Apart from having to contend with horrible roads, farmers would also have to contend with lower returns, since the sugar quality would be low, due to waterlogged fields. Earlier this week, the Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) issued a statement, conceding that although the mill stands ready to start the crop on November 25, 2013, “it is appreciated that there are difficulties with roads and fields caused by the excessive rain and this start date may need to be delayed.” Former Minister of Labour, Local Government and Rural Development, Gabriel Martinez, the chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board, confirmed that the industry is presently at a standstill, when he told Amandala this evening that the roads are “in a terrible state” due to the rains and that even if farmers want to start the crop year, he does not think the roads will permit them to start.

Chaplain George Castillo, the Dangriga-born elder who has retired from serving as Chaplain of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in the USA and author of the book – My Life Between the Cross and the Bars, returns to the USA tomorrow, after spending time home to celebrate his Garifuna roots – highlighted in Belize every November. Chaplain Castillo traveled with his wife of 56 years, Mrs. Muriel Castillo of Brooklyn, New York. Mrs. Castillo first visited Belize in 1970 and that was the most memorable of her four trips to The Jewel. She speaks of Belize with a beaming smile on her face, just as she does of her husband – who says the couple is still honeymooning. Garifuna Settlement Day was founded by Thomas Vincent Ramos in 1941 to acknowledge the contributions of Garinagu in Belize; but today, the positive contributions of Ramos and the Garifuna people are acknowledged even outside the borders of Belize. Ramos was one of Chaplain Castillo’s mentors. Chaplain Castillo said that a prophecy given by Ramos that he, Castillo, would occupy the Methodist Mission House in Dangriga did come true some years later. Chaplain Castillo, like Ramos, puts great emphasis on education. Although he did not complete high school here in Belize, Castillo worked and studied in the US and as a result of his industrious efforts, made history in that country.

The weather forecast calls for a high 90°F temperature inland Belize Friday, and while that is not the most extreme temperature on record in Belize, a report issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), dubbed the WMO Provisional Statement on Status of the Climate in 2013, is saying that the year 2013 is the globe’s seventh hottest in more than a century. During the first nine months of 2013, above average temperatures were present across most of the world’s land areas, perhaps most notably in Australia, “along with ocean waters to the south and south-east of Australia, as well as much of northern North America, the northeastern Pacific Ocean and part of the coastal north-east Atlantic, northeastern South America, northern Africa, and much of Eurasia,” the report said. It added, though, that “Cooler-than-average temperatures were scattered across a concentrated region of North America, central South America and the eastern Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of Ecuador, a small region of northern Russia, and parts of northeastern Asia.” Amandala was unable to get local data from the National Met Service to indicate where exactly Belize falls within this range.

The board of directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA) met today and decided that they would write ex-minister Gabriel Martinez – the chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board — and Agriculture Minister Gaspar Vega, requesting to meet with the officials on Friday to seek Government’s intervention in an ongoing stalemate between cane farmers and Belize Sugar Industries (BSI) over the sharing of revenues derived from bagasse through power generation. Alfredo Ortega, BSCFA vice president, told Amandala today that the last agreement between cane farmers and BSI ended in December 2012, and they refuse to sign a new agreement for the 2013-2014 crop year, due to start in less than a week, if it will again exclude them from revenues earned from power generation using bagasse – a by-product from milling sugar cane. Cane farmers boycotted a meeting with BSI yesterday, saying that the company has refused to stick to the agenda proposed – that agenda being the resolution of the bagasse revenue-sharing conflict.

Since the inception of the Belize Chess Federation in February of 1987 by the late Ricardo Aguilar, Belize City has not experienced a Round-Robin Blitz tournament. With the resurgence of Chess in the Jewel, many chess players had not gotten an exposure to a Blitz type tournament. So it was more than a welcome treat to the many chess aficionados of Belize City, who participated in the almost four-hour brain buster. Looking back, before the advent of the digital chess clocks, 5 minutes per side game was the standard for Blitz or Speed Chess. Also, before the introduction of chess clocks in the mid 1950’s, chess club “rapid transit” tournaments had a referee who would every ten seconds call out the elapsed time. Internationally, one of the first known official “Speed Chess Championship of the World” (or World Blitz Championship) took place in Kemeri Riga in Latvia, Europe, in 1937.

Here are the results of the race held in the Kulcha Capital, Dangriga, yesterday. Thanks to all who made the trip down, and the effort given for us to have had a great race, considering the weather over the last two weeks. WW Dangriga race results: A-Class – 1st Barney Brown (Scotiabank, 2:21:15); 2nd Warren Coye (Santino’s, st); 3rd Mark Gentle (BCB/FT Williams, st); 4th James Frampton (Santino’s, st); 5th Daniel Cano (M&M Engineering, st); 6th Isaiah Willacey (Digicell-4G, st); 7th Ken Gladden (Scotiabank, 2:22:10); 8th Palas Joseph (Santino’s, st); 9th Kirk Sutherland (Digicell-4G, 2:22:30); 10th Windell Williams (Scotiabank, st); 11th Halton Ritchie (Scotiabank); 12th Dean Belisle (BCB/FT Williams); 13th Andrew Brown (Cayo Rentals); 14th Steven Bissett (BNE); 15th Wilbert Jones (Digicell-4G).

The games were not played on Saturday, due to the wet condition of the MCC Grounds, but the all-clear was given yesterday, Sunday, November 17, for most of the Week 7 games in the SMART 13 & Under Football Tournament to be played. Three games were actually played, as one was determined by default, while another will be played as a back match. The postponement from Saturday to Sunday may have affected some teams more than others. Ladyville Jaguars coach Michael “Wataplat” Flowers said his team missed two of his best defenders, who had to attend church in Ladyville on Sunday morning and could therefore not make the trip to Belize City. In the first game on the schedule, City Boys won by default (3-0) over Young Stars. Collet Strikers then dropped Ladyville Jaguars, 2-1, on a goal apiece from Wayne Ford and Tyrel Estrada; while Joshua Martells got the goal for Ladyville, who suffered their first loss in the competition. Next it was defending champion Hattieville United with an impressive 3-0 win over Third World, with Jairo Donis, Edil Lemus and Jadon McGregor each shaking the net for Hattieville.

After defeating Nicaragua, 2-1, on opening day, Monday, November 18, and losing 2-0 to El Salvador on Tuesday, the Belize Baby Jaguars suffered their second loss yesterday to Guatemala by a 3-2 score in the UNCAF U-16 Championship being hosted in Belize at the FFB Stadium. Tonight Belize faces Honduras, and tomorrow, in the last game of the tournament, Belize meets Costa Rica. Six Central American teams (Panama is not participating) are seeing action every day from Monday to Friday of this week, with the winner to be determined by points total (and goal difference and most goals, if necessary). The games are played with 35-minute halves. Considering that we are yet to conduct a National Inter-District U-15 football competition, for players to better hone their skills, as well as allowing for more recruitment of talent country-wide, our Baby Jaguars are giving very good account of themselves against teams from countries who have fully integrated youth programs going for some years now.

In our part of the world, capitalism has been linked with God and Christianity. One reason for this is that the leading theorists and proponents of communism, the antithesis to capitalism in the first half of the twentieth century – Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, et alii – were outright atheists. They believed, in the words of Marx, that religion was the opium of the oppressed masses and that belief in God served no useful purpose. Capitalism, which had brought slavery and colonialism to Africa and America, was able to project itself in the said Africa and America as the defender of God and religion because its most important philosophical opponents were so completely opposed to God and religion. The natives in Africa and America who were victimized by the European conquest more than five hundred years ago, in the main had been engaging in various kinds of spiritual rituals and ceremonies as a relevant part of their lives. Africans and Americans, then, were religious peoples. European conquest also took place in Asia, but in this newspaper we usually focus on the European conquest’s effects on Africa and America, because Africa and America are from whence the vast majority of our Belizean citizens are derived.

Colonel Swindal lifts Air Force One into the sky. Davis, watching from the tarmac, is shocked by the steepness of the ascent – “almost vertical,” he says. It’s as though Swindal wants to leave not only Dallas but also the earth. President Johnson has never been on Air Force One – which is code-named Angel by the Secret Service – at least not in flight. Whenever he and Kennedy were flying to the same city, he would ask for permission to come aboard, to be allowed to share a little of Kennedy’s spotlight, to wave from the top of the same ramp. Those requests were always refused – Kennedy always citing security concerns, Johnson always believing his exile was for more personal reasons. The Kennedy people dismissively called him Rufus Cornpone, the sort of man capable of ruining a good suit just by wearing it. Evelyn Lincoln says later that Johnson’s repeated demotion to Air Force Two “bothered the vice-president more than anything else.” Now here he is, flying on the first plane, leaving the second in its wake – not due to the favor of a more powerful man but because he is the most powerful man. He looks around the stateroom. Jackie Kennedy has helped decorate it. Soon he will have much of it torn out.

Amid PetroCaribe concerns, Belize deal remains intact: Official
Belize may be able to barter rice, sugar and tourism services to pay for oil. Reports are surfacing again in the international press of uncertainty over the PetroCaribe initiative, through which Belize receives fuel from Venezuela under a concessionary finance arrangement which permits the country to defer payments and to use those funds to instead finance projects for socio-economic advancement. With an initial $20 million from the proceeds of the Venezuela-financed PetroCaribe Fund, Belize launched the National Bank of Belize—which plans to offer mortgage financing at a concessionary rate of 5.5% for a maximum of $100,000—on September 2, 2013. This has been the signal output from Venezuela’s pact with Belize. Whereas a Belize official told us that the deal has yielded substantial benefit for Belize, there is an indication that other countries may not be as happy. Earlier this month, it was reported that Guatemala had decided to pull out of the alliance. Then the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) reportedly issued a word of caution, saying in the Caribbean Region Quarterly Bulletin, Volume 2, Issue 4, that, “A possible new direction in PetroCaribe’s future could also impact the Eastern Caribbean. St. Lucia has recently begun to receive shipments of fuel from Venezuela under PetroCaribe, amid announcements by President Maduro that the interest rates on deferred payments would double to 2 percent.”

This is an understatement and sadly, in this country the extent of the corruption has not yet been revealed. There is a reason why the corruption in this Ministry does not see the light of day – I say it is simply because usually for a scandal to break out the informant must come from within. And, it is likely that said informant is not in agreement with the corruption, so they leak information and become whistleblowers. In the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Lands Department is one of the most powerful places to be because common desk officers have learnt the art of stalling work and suggesting their willingness to expedite it if an incentive is provided. To compound the situation, even the general public, who complain about corruption, visit the office and are themselves all too willing to also suggest their disposition to provide gifts to have their matter facilitated. Or in some instances, some law firms, land agents, or even business entities make sure each Christmas they “look out” for their insiders … trust me, they know who they are.

Two of Belize’s local tour companies were prestigiously rewarded this morning, albeit aboard a visiting Princess cruise ship which was docked 5.5 miles off the coast of Belize City. Both Bacab Eco Tours and Chukka Tours were accredited by Princess Cruise Lines for the sophisticated services that they offer — for the Horseback Safari Ride, and for the Xunantunich Maya Ruin Marimba Tour respectively. The tours are a part of local expedition packages that are regularly sold onboard the Princess cruise ships which dock in our harbor on scheduled visits. Bacab Eco Tours’ horseback ride was singled out as outstanding in the Low Volume Tour category for Belize for the 2012-2013 cruise season, while the High Volume Tour of the season in the Port of Belize was won for the second time in a row by Chukka Tours for their Xunantunich Maya Ruin Tour. Both tours obtained high ratings and positive passenger comments and were tagged as excellent-value tours. Dana Ionescu, customer service director for Princess Cruise Lines, commended both tour operators for their exceptional work during the 2012-2013 cruise season. While addressing the awardees, she said, “The effort made by you and your staff regarding the operational efficiency and overall quality of these tours is commendable. And Princess would like to acknowledge all your efforts, dedication and passion in offering our passengers a very good experience and assist[ing] them to escape completely.”

After weeks of suspension, the hearings of the Public Accounts Committee, tasked to examine, consider and report on the Auditor General’s reports on public finances, is due to resume meetings on Monday, November 25. The meetings which had been slated for October were initially postponed due to inclement weather and the rescheduled meeting did not happen because only two of six committee members attended. The PAC meetings are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 25 and 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 27. On Monday afternoon at 3:30, the National Security and Immigration Committee meets to consider three new bills tabled at a meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday, November 1.

As an individual with a physical challenge I have always been sensitive to the problems which persons with either physical or mental incapacity have to endure. The World Health Organization defines mental health as “a state of wellbeing in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. During the early 1990s, the commemoration of World Mental Health Day (10th October), which is marked in Belize as part of the larger Mental Health Awareness Week, has stimulated national initiatives at improving mental health education, awareness and advocacy. In recent years national and regional efforts in the field of mental health have emerged that place due priority on improving mental health and achieving equity in mental health for all people worldwide. Our national health and social development policies and strategies increasingly focus on promoting mental wellness, prevention of mental disorders and the removal of stigma associated with mental disease.

Daniel Ponce, of Trial Farm, Orange Walk, is in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit of the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after a butane tank which he was filling, exploded, causing him to suffer a massive injury to the head. About 11:00 Tuesday morning, Ponce was filling a butane tank when the tank exploded, slamming the nozzle of the tank hose into the side of his head. Ponce was rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital in Orange Walk Town, then to the KHMH in Belize City. Doctors are now working to save his life. According to reports, on Tuesday, Mennonite businessman Johan Lassen, 35, proprietor of Bert Quality Chicken, of Camp 10, ordered butane gas, which was to be delivered to his business. Lassen told police that when the gas was delivered and he paid for it, he left his business and was going home, in the same area, when he heard a loud explosion, which came from behind his business place.

New butane price structure raises questions about quality On Saturday, new LPG prices came into effect, according to a release from the Belize Bureau of Standards. The new price schedule is different from that which was released last month in that it has two price tiers, depending on the quality of the butane. According to a release issued Friday, butane imported from Pemex in Mexico, which has 60% propane and 40% butane (60:40), will be sold at $3 more per 100-pound cylinder, while butane imported from Central America, which has 90% propane and only 10% butane (90:10), will be sold for $2 less per 100-pound tank. Amandala was told that because there is a higher demand for butane in colder months, the impacts are felt in the local market, with LPG prices escalating and quality eroding. A spokesperson of the Bureau of Standards has advised Amandala that although the 60:40 butane is the standard for the local industry, Belizean importers are being allowed to bring in the 90:10 in the winter months.

A motorcyclist who slammed into a pickup truck is recovering at the Corozal Hospital from injuries to the head and body. Aurelio Chimal, 48, a bus driver of Nuevo San Juan, Orange Walk Town, who was riding the motorcycle, suffered a large cut wound to the forehead, and a swollen left foot. His condition has been declared as serious, but stable. Police said that about 6:15 yesterday evening, they went to the scene of the accident on the Patchakan Road, between Xaibe village and Patchakan, in the Corozal District. On their arrival they saw a red Nissan pickup on the right hand side of the road. They also saw a black Meilun motorcycle on the same side of the road, on the ground, beside the pickup truck. The motorcycle had a blown front tire, and its front lamp was broken, while the left side of the front of the pickup’s cab and the left side of its pan were damaged.

A petition letter signed by some 18 residents of an area near 2 ¼ Miles on the George Price Highway and Diana Dorado Street in Belize City was brought to Amandala today. The residents wrote the letter to appeal to either Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley or Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Mark King, to repair or upgrade the streets on which they reside because of the huge potholes and the inconvenience of having to walk through water when it rains. They complained that they have had to endure the conditions for over 5 years, and that “it has become unhealthy and unsafe not knowing how deep the holes are that you fall into.”

According to the crime statistics issued by the Belize Police Department today, major crimes for this year have seen a decrease since 2012. The stats – which are for the months of August, September and October – are showing a decline in homicides in the past three months. There were 119 murders recorded at the end of October 2012, while for that same period this year, there were 88 murders. The frequency of another major crime – robbery –has also decreased, from 413 incidences last year to 236 for the same period this year. One of the only crimes that is on the increase is theft; so far this year there have been 845 cases of theft, while there were 777 such cases up to the end of October last year. While there has been a decrease in the number of major crimes that were committed in October of this year, as compared to October 2012, the decline actually has been taking place gradually since August, in which 114 major crimes were reported. Then, in September there were 111 reported incidents, and last month recorded 73. Those numbers were significantly higher during the same period last year.

The Mayor’s people, ready to pounce on unwary citizens They say that perception sometimes becomes reality, and it is unfortunate that today, as a regular vehicle driver in Belize City, I find myself looking upon our diligent, well uniformed Belize City Traffic Officers as I would upon an enemy. The impression I get is that these officers are in the hunt, looking for victims to pounce upon. They are just doing their job; and their boss is the popular and smooth talking Mayor of Belize City, who is trying his best to manage the traffic while fixing these troublesome streets. But sometimes I get the feeling like there are traps being set for us helpless drivers. And I have been caught before. Have you? The driveway in the Atlantic Bank yard on Freetown Road is almost always full. Meanwhile, perhaps the widest street in the whole country borders the Atlantic Bank sidewalk. But for some strange reason, the Traffic Department has decided to paint the edge of the sidewalk red, meaning it is a “no parking” area. The taxi drivers simply ignore the sign, and park their vehicles there any time of day or night. They are standing only a few feet away, so, if a traffic officer stops by, they simply jump in their car and drive off. Unlucky me; if I want to go to the ATM, I have to park very far away, or take a chance that an unsympathetic officer will not stop by while I am inside the ATM.

Ya da fu we Belize… Since the above thought was introduced at the time of Independence, one gets the distressing impression that we don’t have a clue what it signifies. All discipline, good manners, courtesy have disappeared. Like an animal released from its leash by his master, we seem to be running amok, wantonly abusing ourselves and our country. The traffic chaos exemplifies our inability to understand that we are now responsible for ourselves. The children who are forced to play on the streets, the pedestrians who jaywalk daring the cars and trucks to hit them, the cyclist who rides wherever he chooses, including the sidewalk, the driver who stops in the middle of the road to chat with a friend, caring less about those behind him, all contribute to this mess. Officialdom adds to the nightmare by growing a hedge at the Northern Road from Belcan Bridge. Those turning left to go north must put half their vehicles into the maw of the incoming traffic.


Last minute vacation to a surprise destination
Travel snacks, a supply of vitamins and load of laundry on the go – check. Packing for my last minute vacation will recommence as soon as I finish this post, I was planning to finish last night and ended up at Trivia instead. Congrats to the Westies who took the $90 Darth Vader head prize pot. I figured since all my electronic gear was charged it would I would not have to much to do this morning before I leave. Wrong I was, new chores keep popping up faster than I can cross off everything I wanted to get done before leaving :) Thankfully the sheets are ready to go in the dryer. The countdown is officially on :) It is 7:00am and I start the first leg of my 3 part journey by getting to Tropic Air for 8:30 am to check in and catch my 9:00am flight to Philip Goldson International Airport. You will find out soon enough where I ended up. Travel Tip: This is for those of you who are planning your first Belize Vacation and wondering what the timing is like for clearing customs and getting to or flying from San Pedro Airport. The Tropic Air guideline is as follows: Allow for 45 minutes upon landing to clear customs and for return flights time they ask that you be at International airport 2 h ahead of your scheduled flight.

The “Real Belize”: Punta Gorda Has SO Much Character & I Love It
I really didn’t have many preconceived ideas about the southernmost sizeable town in Belize – Punta Gorda. I knew the far south was the least touristy area of Belize. They also see the most yearly rainfall and the entire region is pretty rural. The majority of tourists never make it down there and there isn’t a very big expat population. Hmmm…so wet, muddy and dull. Could I really spend 3 full days and four nights in this town of a few thousand? Absolutely. In fact, I’m already plotting my next visit for very early 2014. Punta Gorda may not be for every single traveller (but I’d argue neither is Belize) but it is for me. Everything fantastic that I now know Belize can be, all in one small town: culture, music, diversity, wildlife, the ocean, the cayes, seafood, rivers, caves, Mayan ruins, adventure and most of all? An amazingly diverse population (you actually hear the Ketchi and Garifuna languages on the street) with a welcoming, proud sense of community.

Belize’s Garifuna Settlement Day an International Success
Despite a week of very wet weather, this year’s Garifuna Settlement Day 2013, a national bank holiday in Belize that is also formally honoured in other countries and several US states was another big success, according to The Lodge at Chaa Creek. Garifuna Settlement Day is a unique cultural holiday honouring the Garifuna, a remarkable and resilient race of people who continue to play a major role in shaping modern day Belize, The Lodge at Chaa Creek’s food and beverage manager said . Bryony Fleming Bradley said that Garifuna Settlement Day, celebrated on November 19 throughout Belize, it is an important national holiday that was celebrated at Chaa Creek with Garifuna music and food. Garifuna Settlement Day is also celebrated in Honduras on April 12th, Guatemala on November 26th and in Nicaragua on November 19th,she said. And many people will also be surprised to learn that there were large celebrations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other North American urban centres where there are large Garifuna diasporas, she added. This year Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued a proclamation to establish and recognize September 17th as Thomas Vincent Ramos Day. Ramos is considered to be the father of Garifuna cultural identification in the 1940s, and fought for Garifuna rights and recognition.

What to Pack for a Week of Adventure in Belize
So you’ve got your ticket booked and you’ve bookmarked all the adventures you want to experience in Belize: exploring sacred Mayan caves, tubing along a lazy river and horseback riding past an ancient Maya city. But now you’re staring at your empty suitcase and wondering “What should I bring?” Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Here’s our packing list for Ka’ana’s favorite Belizean adventures:

Joel's story
I was born in Belize and adopted at the age of 4. My adopted father was in the Navy so we moved around a lot. I eventually moved to London but things didn’t work out and I ended up on the streets. Whilst living rough I met a Big Issue vendor who told me about the magazine, so I decided to walk through the doors of The Big Issue in August 2009 and have never looked back. Selling is like a real job: I was on my pitch early every day and worked an 8-10 hour day. It showed people I’m hard working, that I make my own money and run my own business. During the summer of 2010, The Big Issue Foundation asked Joel if he would like to join the vendor placement programme at the law firm, Freshfields. Every Thursday Joel has been selling the magazine in their office, gaining valuable work experience, establishing some fantastic contacts and improving his business and communications skills.

International Sources

Two wild sides of Belize
ORANGE WALK, Belize -- Nature in Belize is intense. Like most people who find their way here, I was responding to that call of the wild: the growl of the jaguars roaming Mayan ruins in the dense jungle of the interior and the waves breaking over the hemisphere’s largest coral reef. Tucked between Mexico and Guatemala on the Caribbean coast, Belize provides two very different experiences, and in one week I explored both — the mystery of ancient cities in the jungle and the astounding beauty of 70 species of corals on the reef. No one can forget the roar of howler monkeys swinging in the tropical canopy or the sight of the largest fish in the world, the whale shark, which is as long as a school bus. First on my agenda was the jungle. A white-hot sun bore down on the small boat as we rode upriver through the thick rain forest of northern Belize. We were headed to the ancient Maya city of Lamanai. It’s a place of dark secrets, not the least of which was the cause of its demise. The city, which once had a population of 50,000, was buried by dirt and foliage for four centuries until archaeologists started an excavation in the 1970s. Only five buildings have been uncovered. More than 730 buildings remain hidden in the firm grip of the jungle, an entire city never seen by modern eyes.

Searching for Mayan ruins along the New River
Embarking on the wrong tour at the right time might just result in the perfect getaway. Halfway to the freshwater lagoon, the British couple split off from each other, goose-stepping through the tropical grass. The wife makes it safely to a flagpole and crouches down, binoculars ready. The Jaribu stork they are stalking takes a step forward and the husband freezes mid-stride. "He looks exactly like that damn bird," Steve whispers across the table. It's just after sunrise and we finally have the restaurant patio at the Bird's Eye View Lodge to ourselves. We're in Belize researching material for a television series and we've committed a cardinal travelling sin. We booked a three-day sightseeing tour to visit the Mayan ruins at Lamanai and Altun Ha, but didn't read the fine print. It turns out we're on a birding tour and what we thought would be an interesting inland add-on to our Belizean Barrier Reef snorkelling trip is beginning to feel like a Monty Python skit.

How we hid our money offshore ... it's easier than you think
Opening a bank account in a tax haven is child's play, a cinch for virtually any Canadian, QMI Agency has found. QMI currently holds a credit card in good standing, issued from a tiny Caribbean island, to hide money from Canadian tax authorities. It looks like just any other MasterCard. We can use it for any purchase in Canada or elsewhere, without anyone asking us questions. We can visit any Canadian financial institution to transfer the funds. QMI chose a Desjardins credit union branch. To stay off the taxman's radar screens, we simply had to deposit less than $10,000 at a time. Had we moved more than $10,000, Canadian financial institutions would have been required to report the transaction to a federal agency, the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Obtaining the Caribbean MasterCard and opening an offshore account required just a basic knowledge of finance, an average command of the Internet, and the ability to lie about one's identity. THE BENEFITS OF AN OFFSHORE COMPANY IN BELIZE - Companies established by foreigners pay no tax to the government of Belize. The only fees are for the incorporation of the company. - Information about directors, officers, shareholders and the beneficial owner are not registered in Belize and are not accessible to the public. It's impossible for prying eyes to know who controls the company. - No control over funds transferred abroad. People can deposit large sums into another tax haven, no questions asked. - Any individual or corporation can become a shareholder, director or officer of the company. In other words, owners can hide behind aliases or empty shells.

Cobie Smulders’ Detachable Baby Bump
ON PURSUING HER INTEREST IN MARINE BIOLOGY: “Scuba diving is enough right now, though I did a course and I really enjoyed it. But we’re talking about going back to college for, like, six years, so I just don’t know. If I retired I could do it, but it involves so much lab time and the lab courses are all during the day, so it’s a hard thing to figure out. Actually, I teamed up with a charity called Oceana, one of the leading environmental organizations that deals just with marine life and protection. I’m going to Belize with the organization in December to take samples of the coral reef. That’s my dream realized right now; it’s fantastic.”

Mega-cruise ships looming over historic harbors spark debate
It's morning here and a human tide is pouring through the Pile gates, the massive fortifications that have protected this ancient port city from invaders for half a millennium. Hordes armed with credit cards and camcorders now breach Dubrovnik's medieval walls every day, part of an ever-growing army of tourists surfing a global upsurge in cruise ship vacations. The cruise boom is bringing much-needed cash to coastal communities around the world. In Europe alone, the cruise industry says it generates jobs for 326,000 people and contributes more than $50 billion a year to the economy. As flotillas of Titanic-dwarfing mega-cruisers loom over historic harbors, however, residents of port cities from the Arctic to the Mediterranean are asking if the daily onslaught of passengers is causing irreparable damage to their fragile historic districts. "We have a problem because the numbers of cruise passengers have moved beyond capacity," said Sinisa Horak of the Croatian Institute for Tourism. Other battles to halt planned cruise-terminal construction or limit numbers of passenger disembarkations are raging from Australia to Alaska, Norway's fjords to Belize's Caribbean beaches.

Ayo (The Garifuna Collective)
MUSICALLY, Belize is the proverbial mouse that roars. This tiny nation has a population smaller than that of Canberra yet it is a comparatively powerful voice on the world stage, courtesy of a colourful cultural heritage. As a Spanish, English and creole-speaking former British colony located on the northeastern coast of Central America bordering the west Caribbean, it boasts an exotic background and location that translates to an intoxicating mash-up of tropical Afro-Amerindian polyrhythm and melody. Driving percussion created by traditional primera, segunda and turtle shell drums, in unison with jawbone, shakers, maracas, cowbells and claves, and dancing guitars are what gives the Garifuna Collective's Ayo and its collaboration with Canadian indie rocker Danny Michel, Blackbirds are Dancing Over Me, such a potent pulse. These simultaneous releases are beholden to Belize's best-known musician, Andy Palacio, whose acclaimed album with the Collective, Watina, set the template for a modern and accessible world-pop style. Ivan Duran, who produced that seminal 2007 record, also steered the new releases. The groove generated in both CDs, like that on Watina, is predominantly playful yet tinted with an underlying sense of sorrow. Indeed, Ayo is bookended by valedictory songs that, while relatively bright and breezy, are dedicated to Palacio, who died in 2008. The album's heaviest percussion groove, Beiba Nuwari, makes a bigger impact, while Gudemei features electric slide guitar that imbues it with an earthy, bluesy feel. The guitar break on Aganba has more of a surf-rock twang. A ska chop distinguishes Dungua.

Shrimp fishing begins in Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea
The Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (Sagarpa) announced the start of the fishing season for several shrimp species in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. According to the new regulations published in the Official Journal of the Federation, the measure includes among others the seabob shrimp (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri) and the pink one (Farfantepenaeus duorarum). The ban on pink shrimp in the marine area of Campeche started on 15 June. The seabob shrimp can be captured by smaller-scale vessels, in marine waters and lagoon systems from the mouth of the river Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, to the border with Belize, except for Contoy fisheries and marine waters of the coastal front opposite Campeche and Tabasco.

November 22, 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

Miss Lions contestants officially sashed for upcoming pageant
The San Pedro Lions Pageant is set for Saturday November 23rd, and four beautiful and talented young ladies are vying for the title of Miss San Pedro Lions 2013/2014. Ahead of the pageant, the four contestants have been engaged in several events, and on Friday November 15th, they were officially sashed at the San Pedro Lions Den. Current Miss Lions Alexis Del Valle did the honors, sashing each contestant with sponsor’s sashes. Miss Erica Bodden is representing Hummingbird Rattan Furnishings, Miss Julissa Trejo is being sponsored by Cayo Espanto Resort, Miss Arlethe Lima is Rojo Lounge’s delegate while Catline Benguche represents Caribeña Enterprises. The event took place before a group which included sponsors, family members, Lions members and other regular Lions supporters.

The Belize Red Cross launches flood victim appeal fund
The Belize Red Cross is a making a special appeal to aid families affected by the recent floods in communities in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley. Local rivers, their tributaries, and lagoons spilled their banks during two weeks of continuous rains caused by tropical depressions that affected Belize. Villagers in some areas have endured up to four feet of water in their neighborhoods. The Belize Red Cross has begun assessing the needs of communities most affected in these areas. Both the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Red Cross are jointly collaborating in efforts to alleviate the suffering of those families most affected. Some 200 families in these areas are in great need so we ask for monetary donations, canned food, and toiletries to help in assisting these communities in need. The Belize Red Cross urges members of the public to support this appeal and to make contributions at our headquarters #1 Gabourel Lane, Belize City, and at our branches in Corozal, Orange Walk, San Pedro, Belmopan, Dangriga, and Punta Gorda.

Ambergris Today

World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk and Fundraising Fair
San Pedro AIDS Commission invites the community of Ambergris Caye to their annual World AIDS Day Solidarity Walk and All Day Fair and Fundraiser on Sunday, December 1st. The Solidarity Walk will take place around downtown San Pedro and it will be followed by the Fair including Rapid HIV Confidential Testing, Food & Drink Sales, Music by Rompe Raja & DJ Tribal. Read flier below for more details:

Tropic Air Inaugurates Service to Roatan, Honduras
The tourist community of Roatan is also very excited about this new connection with Belize. Speaking with various business owners (including hoteliers, restaurant & bar owners and tour operators) they expressed how happy they are and expect great things from this new flight. Both Roatan and Belize have much to benefit from the new flight. It is such an easier and more convenient way to connect with both destinations as many tourists are looking to visit Belize once in Honduras and vice versa.

Belize Coast Guard and BDF Receive 2 Million Dollars in Equipment
On Friday, November 15, 2013, Belizean and U.S. Military forces came together to commemorate important security and defense cooperation efforts between the two countries through a major equipment donation ceremony. The equipment the United States donated to Belize will allow the Belize military to deploy its forces more efficiently and rapidly. This equipment represents an investment that will yield major long-term security progress in the region, and will enable the Belize military forces to address the transnational threats of terrorism and illicit trafficking of humans, weapons, drugs, and merchandise. As part of the donation, the Belize Coast Guard received one Boston Whaler 370 Outrage Justice Series boat, 12 complete sets of Maritime Dive Gear, Three Panasonic Toughbook laptops, two sets of maintenance tools, one Hydraulic Outboard Engine Hoist, and one Motor Backup Test Tank. The Coast Guard boat package includes three four-stroke Mercury outboard engines that will be able to effectively operate and maneuver in coastal areas, and maintain sustained high-speeds, a vectored chase on the open seas, and maintenance spares to keep the fleet operational. This donation also included a 10-year limited hull warranty, a chart plotter with touch screen and GPS navigation equipment, radar and multi-band radio.

Actun Tunichil Muknal – One of the Creepiest Places on Earth
Our beautiful Belize is known for its natural wonders that included the Great Belize Barrier Reef, the Blue Hole and its Mystical Maya World and Archeological Sites. Making it in the international scene is one of Belize’s most popular Maya sites, the Actun Tunichil Muknal, also known locally as “Xibalba” or ATM, is a cave in Belize, near San Ignacio, Cayo District. The Actun Tunichil Muknal is a Maya archaeological site that includes skeletons, ceramics, and stoneware. It is a very popular tourist attraction and both locals and tourist enjoy visiting the cave. ATM has been featured in Ghost Hunters International season 3 episode 9 "The Crystal Maiden: Belize and France" where the team of Ghost Hunters evaluated the ghost stories behind the mysterious maiden. “The cave of Actun Tunichil Muknal is also known as “The Cave of the Stone Sepulcher.” The cave plays host to numerous skeletons, but what makes it even creepier is the fact that most of the skeletons belong to sacrificed children. Many of the remains and artifacts are completely calcified to the cave. One of the cave’s most notorious features is the skeleton of a teenage girl, whose bones have been calcified into a crystallized appearance. This skeleton is known as 'The Crystal Maiden'.”

Misc Belizean Sources

How Belize Transformed My Life.
I have been in Belize for over 5 years now and looking back I can see some profound changes that happened within me. For many years I owned an Import/Export business in the states. I did product development and consulting. After a few years in Mexico I went back to the states and lived in a gated community. I had everything that I thought I wanted in life. However something was wrong in my life. Very wrong. I did not feel I belonged anymore. The culture in the USA was moving in a direction I did not like. Government regulation and interference was constantly nagging me. I had to hire someone just to keep up with all the red tape and filling out forms that business need to give. Out of the blue my father called me. He wanted me to learn and take over the family business in Belize. At the time he had been in Belize for 25 years. I jumped at the chance. I did everything I thought I needed to do. I visited Belize several times and then sold the house.

VIDEO: Musical presentation by the Bimecacule Group from Belize City.

Belize’s National Bird – The Keel- Billed Toucan
The Keel-billed Toucan, known as the “bill bird”locally, is the national bird of Belize. The most obvious characteristic of the toucan is the huge yellow, orange, red, green and black bill. The toucan’s bill is amazingly dextrous and allows the bird to feed on a variety of tropical forest fruits. The Keel-billed toucans are a very social bird and can often be seen in flocks of six or more birds. They are found throughout Belize’s forests and nest in holes in tree trunks. They lay one to four eggs and the parent birds take turns incubating the eggs. This bird displays a rapid, heavy flapping of the wings when flying and calls with a creek creek sound, similar to a frog. Toucans are primarily fruit eaters, feeding on a wide variety of tropical fruits of the forest. It feeds by snipping off the fruit and flipping its head back to gulp the fruit. Toucans will also feed on insects, lizards, snakes and event the eggs of smaller birds.

Glass-floor hotel room on private island in Belize: Watch fish and ‘facetime your houseman’!
I couldn’t resist sharing this photo from Cayo Espanto, a private island for rent on the back side of Ambergris Caye in Belize. This is the glass floor in their Over Water Villa. “At bedtime, we recommend counting fish rather than counting sheep,” they say. The high end in Belize really is high-end. Every villa comes with iPad 2s, so you can call your butler (”facetime your houseman! surf the web in your star bed”)–or film and broadcast those fish in your floor.

VIDEO: Octopus steals GoPro camera
An octopus stealing my GoPro Hero 3 camera at Calabash Caye in Belize.

Xunantunich Frieze Highlights Maya Exhibit
We are featured inside the Nov/Dec issue of the American Alliance of Museum's magazine 'Museum'.

Festival of Culture Continues
Benque's Festival of Culture continues this weekend, starting tonight with poetry from Amado Chan. Saturday, Orquidea Negra will be performing, and on Sunday, Wagner Majus will be playing. Pictured are the Caracol YCD Stilt Walkers from last weekend. "The manifestation of the Arts by our Youths from Caracol Youth Community Development for the International Festival of Culture...Kudos to the skillful Youths.. for their support and Regional Representation at the Community Arts Network in Central America."

Buena Vista Gets Safe Water System
Feelgood news of the day. The ROWKIDS, with Low Country Community Church, are back in Belize, and they installed another safe water system. This time, they went to Buena Vista village, which recently got a new school building. Thanks, ROWKIDS, for providing safe water to another 3 villages that needed it. "Today was the first day of work. We all set out early at 8:00 to head to Buena Vista, our host town. It was smooth sailing until we hit the towns lovely pot hole filled roads, then the adventure started. The school was updated, and slightly modern, but still held its own personality. We were met by the children with open hearts and open arms. In true amazement that someone would devote even a moment of their lives to them. The building was almost completely finished, just needing an inner wall for storage and a sink for sanitization. We started our day with finishing the end of the stucco on the backside of the building."

Sixth Annual Artisan Fair
The 6th annual Artisan Fair, held in front of the U.S. Embassy, is tomorrow, from 10:00am until 2:00pm. There will be arts and crafts from all over Belize, and it's just in time for Christmas. In related news, they are having an auction the next day.

Cayo Celebrates Garifuna Settlement Day
The Cayo Welcome Center was jumping over the weekend, and the World Culture Band played there on Sunday night. There was also team of marimba players entertaining the crowd too. "The Cayo Welcome Center had a lot of live music over the weekend. The World Culture Band played on Sunday. There were also marimba players. In related news, there's a new restaurant in the CWC called Masabaduga, which is Garifuna for 'barefoot.'"

In Our Own Words (HD)
A video produced by the Special Envoy for Women and Children and partners and launched at the National Symposium to End Violence Against Children. Hear what Belizean children have to say about violence; their experiences and opinions... in their own words! Ever wondered what children think about the violence in our country? Have you ever heard their stories? If not, then you should take a few minutes to watch this jaw-dropping mini-documentary created by Special Envoy Belize .

Deputy Prime Minister Visits Belize Aquaculture Limited
The Shrimp Industry is on the rebound and Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Gaspar Vega found out why ... Check out our Belmopan Weekly story here!

Channel 7

Hon. Faber Vs. President Fraser
Good evening, and welcome to an early edition of 7news. We apologize for the early start but we're doing it so that we can have live football coverage for you from the FFB stadium in Belmopan at 7:00. Tonight the junior jaguars are taking on regional powerhouse, HONDURAS. In the headlines tonight is UB President, Dr. Cary Fraser. He announced his resignation to the Board of Trustees two weeks ago, and now rumours have surfaced saying that he's abruptly left office. And we don't mean "left" as in stepped out for a cup of coffee; we mean "left" as in "gone"! Those reports contradicted statements made by the Chairman of the Board of Trustees last week. He said that although Frazer had effectively tendered his resignation, he would remain on as President until the end of this current school year in mid-2014. Well, the Office of Public Information at the University circulated a notification amongst the faculty and staff that Frazer hadn't left office, he was simply on leave. Again, the circumstances surrounding that sudden leave has not been provided, and it has been interpreted by some at the university as the upper management quietly forcing Frazer out of office, given that he has already publicly accused them of micromanagement and undermining his office. Yes, it seems to have gotten quite ugly.

Faber Uses Public Platform to Defend Government
At that CXC Award Ceremony - Faber was one of the keynote speakers, and he used his remarks to address some of the pressing matters of public interest, which included the raging scandals revealed this year, and finally, the current dispute between the cane farmers and the BSI/ASR Group over the bagasse issue. Here's how he put it to the parents, students and CXC awardees in his remarks: Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education "If you have been tuned in to the airwaves and the media over the last few weeks, maybe even a couple months now, you may be aware of apparent insidious coordinated attempt, I would say politically to discredit a lot of what this government has done. Even when we have done well, somehow if one little thing is going wrong, it is use to taint the entire effort of the government." "There is an attempt to paint a picture that there is a general lack of accountability in this government and that we are somehow obstructionist in this regard. Yet it is this government that has passed laws which allows for the recall of elected representatives that is now being used. This really put power in the hands of the people to hold their elected officials accountable."

Smart Students Celebrated
2013 CSEC and CAPE exams. As we told you, Aaron Stock, who was the second best performer in the 2011 when he graduated from high school, was the best this year in the CAPE examinations when he graduated from 6thform. He managed to get 8 grade ones, and he was the country's best performer in Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Unit 1 and Physics Unit 2. He is currently studying in in the US, and today, his mother had to deliver his speech which he prepared especially for the UB Gynasium filled to capacity with this year's celebrated students and their proud parents. Here's what he had to say to his fellow students through his mother: Beverly Menzies-Stock, Delivering Aaron Stock's Address "Failure is not falling down; it is refusing to get it after you have fallen. One place where I fell a few times was 6th form, you 2 years at junior college is the time to find yourself spiritually, socially and academically. As you enjoy the almost total freedom of post-secondary education. Of course like it is always said with freedom comes the responsibility to act as mature adults do."

PUP’s Penner Recall Fizzling?
Whatever happened to the PUP's much discussed recall of UDP's Cayo Northeast Representative Elvin Penner? Three weeks ago, Deputy Leader Julius Espat told us the party would submit the signatures to the Governor General "next week". Well two "next week's" have come and gone, and a third is about to pass - and still no signatures have been submitted and no recall has been triggered. So is the PUP going to try and recall Penner, or what? Today Espat told us that all signatures have been handed in to the party secretariat and that he is now awaiting word from the Party Leader and the National Executive on how to proceed. Now you may ask why is the PUP waiting around when the party leader himself issued an ultimatum on a recall a whole seven weeks ago? Well, Deputy Leader Espat told us it is a matter of strategy and timing. We'll conclude that obviously momentum is not a consideration. Penner remains a member of the House and apparently has no intention to resign as his party has publicly asked him to.

A Workshop To End Violence Against Children
From bullying in the schoolyard to sexual abuse in the home setting - a two day workshop which started today is studying all forms of violence against children. It is ambitiously titled "Ending Violence Against Children" and is spearheaded by a constellation of child advocacy organizations: The Ministry of Human Development, the National Committee for families and Children, Restore Belize, UNICEF and the Special Envoy for Women and Children. They're all coming together to tackle a problem that is institutional, interpersonal and structural. That's a lot to take on but CEO in the Ministry Judith Alpuche says they have to start somewhere:... Judith Alpuche, CEO in the Ministry of Human Development and Social Services "What we intend to do over the next 2 days is to really come together and fleshed out or at least have the bare bones of a road map to combat violence against children."

UB, Embassy Encouraging Enterprise In Students
Every year, management students at the University of Belize are required to develop a product or service and pitch it publicly at the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Expo. It's one of the signature events of the management programme, and this year was no different as the US Embassy and the Youth Business Trust joined in. Lecturer Dr. Vince Palacio says it's about nurturing a spirit of enterprise which they'll need in a real world where opportunity isn't exactly waiting for them:... Vincent Palacio, Dean - Faculty of Management and Social Sciences - UB "Every year we put out over 800 graduates and the economy does not absorb them as fast as they come out, so we encourage our students and we trained them to be entrepreneurs. This particular initiative helps students to develop product from scratch and to be able to go out there and actually develop their own businesses." "As a part of the expo as well, we have some established entrepreneurs and our students can see them and strive to be like them also."

U-16 Team Recovering From Losses, Determined To Move On
Just a FEW MINUTES AGO, the Belize U-16 National Football team started its 4th game against Honduras in the 2013 UNCAF U-16 Championships in Belmopan. Channel 7 will cut to that game live right after the news, but today, 7News got a chance to speak with the team which is now playing with a losing record. The Junior Jaguars won the first game against Nicaragua, but they were defeated by El Salvador on Tuesday. They were looking to beat Guatemala last night in the rematch from the Cayman Island Tournament held earlier this year. They felt that they could have won that game, and so, when they hit the field last night it was with vengeance. But, it didn't work out as they had planned because the Guatemala National Team gave them their second loss of the tournament with a score of 3-2. They are set to go up against Honduras tonight, and Costa Rica tomorrow, and if the circumstances don't line up, they won't make it to the final round of the tournament, even if they win the two final games. Today, we spoke with the players and their coach about the mindset going into tonight's game:

BEL Builds, Donates House
Once upon a time not too long ago, say 7 years - your light company, BEL, was something like BTL - known as a proud corporate citizen, making donations to causes large and small. But, after the company's former owner Fortis clashed with government and started booking losses, the charity and community goodwill went out the door. Well, now, it seems the company is coming back around. No, they're not sponsoring reggae superstar concerts like BTL, nothing like that, but they did show some community love two weeks ago when the workers put hand to hammer to build a house for a woman in need. BEL says it has supported various other community initiatives this year, such as Dara's Feeding Program, the Inspiration Center, and other activities.

Channel 5

It is getting ugly at UB…President Cary Fraser goes on leave
Five presidents and seven provosts in thirteen years….that is the track record of the national university at its top two positions since its inception in 2000. And as it stands [...]

Minister of Education speaks on burning issues
Earlier today, we caught up with the Minister of Education at an award ceremony for top national students who bested the CESC and CAPE. We’ll have that story coming up. [...]

Faber makes huge announcement: high scorers to be compensated more
But there was an announcement by Minister Patrick Faber that students and parents will be pleased to know. The award for the Open Scholarship has been upped by a hundred [...]

BSCFA to meet with Deputy Prime Minister
Back to the sugar industry….With the opening of the new crop season in the sugar belt fast approaching and a threat of strike by cane farmers looming in the days [...]

Livelihood of Maypen villagers threatened by flood
Incessant rains in the past weeks have inundated most of the country, resulting in serious damage to infrastructure, including roads and bridges. In various parts of Belize the damage is [...]

Baby Jaguars take on Central American powerhouse, the Honduran U-sixteen team
The Baby Jaguars are tonight facing Central American powerhouse Honduras after falling to Guatemala in a devastating three-one loss on Wednesday.  As the UNCAF Under-sixteen Tournament enters its tenth match, [...]

CSEC and CAPE top scorers are honored
The spirit at the gymnasium at the University of Belize was uplifting today; present were sixth formers from junior colleges around the country and the occasion was the award ceremony [...]

Minister Lisel Alamilla addresses UN Meeting on Climate Change
A Belize Delegation currently in Warsaw, Poland for a UN Meeting on Climate Change joined with other small and developing countries and walked out of the meeting in protest, bringing [...]

Gardenia village says that someone beheaded his horse
A horse was killed and beheaded by an unknown person or persons in the village of Gardenia early this morning. The horse belongs to Gardenia resident Leslie Moody, who says [...]

Promoting regional economic growth through F.D.I.s
Representatives from nineteen countries that make up CAIPA are currently meeting in Belize. The organization promotes foreign direct investment in the region and at its current annual general meeting it [...]

Forget the word diet…it is all about clean eating in Healthy Living
Christmas is right around the corner and we know that the last thing you want think about is a “diet”. But for those immersed in the fitness world diets are [...]


What Causes Butane Tank To Explode
Earlier we told you about a butane explosion that almost cost the life of a 30 year old Daniel Ponce, a resident from Trial Farm Village. And while it is uncertain what caused the tank to explode, we can safely conclude that it was under massive pressure. We spoke with authorities at a well known gas company who are cautiously advising the public of damaged and unfit gas cylinders. The spokes person explained that it is company policy to inspect all tanks before they are filled. He adds that the tanks are usually pressurized and then checks with water are made to ensure that there are no leaks. Maria Novelo – Reporter “What would be some of the contributing factors for a tank to explode?” TANK SPECIALIST “Well, if you see the condition of this tank, how it is, if we continue to knock this section here the material will tear off and the same pressure of the tank can cause that or the material to burst or to make a hole and to start to leak the gas. Let say if you have a fire hart and this can just hall the fire and this can cause explosion of this same tank right, so what you can see here is tank that we had, we noticed the condition of the tank so we just decided to change it before something can explode or something worst can happen so what we did was just to remove it from where we had it and gave the customer a new one, for all the customers that we are working with right now, we just would like to recommend them that if their tank is in this condition to change it before something can happen to them.”


FMVL Card changes
Last two weeks we reported that Belizeans traveling to Mexican border cities and towns were faced with a dilemma as the regular Mexican border transit card FMVL was being replaced by the Regional Visitors Card. Arturo Cantun updates us on the changes in the process of cards. ARTURO CANTUN “Belizeans told LOVE NEWS that in order to get the new card they were asked to pay $295 pesos, approximately 50 Belize dollars. Replacing the old card was urgent for frequent Belizeans traveling to Mexico as the FMVL cards were valid only until Nov 8, 2013. Belizeans who did not pay for the Regional Visitors’ Card were faced with using their passport and standing in long lines to enter Mexico. This was quite evident this past weekend as hundred of Belizeans visited Chetumal.

Anglican Diocese Observes Stewardship Month
The Anglican Diocese of Belize is observing Stewardship month and schools are being encouraged to promote the importance of being good stewards among their students. Bishop Philip Wright was in attendance at a special service for the children of St. John’s Primary school this morning and spoke to us about the activities being carried out during the month of November. BISHOP PHILIP WRIGHT “Throughout the month we have indeed been encouraging congregations through their Bible study and through their services and so on to focus on stewardship but the big highlight would be on November 30th where we will have a big Jamboree on Bird’s Isle. We expect children from all our schools and all over the country to come in and display their talents because this year the theme stewardship is “Wrap your gift for Christ.” And so we are hoping they will bring their talents gifts and put it on display. It should be a fun day on the Bird’s Isle; Saturday November 30th. Hopefully you guys could come out and take a little glance of what we are doing.”

Reading Contest Held in Belmopan
The 10th annual District Final for the National Reading Contest was held today in Belmopan. Correspondent Fem Cruz reports. FEM CRUZ Today the Cayo association of Primary school Principals along with the Belmopan National Library Service held their 10th annual district finals for the National Story Reading Contest at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan. We had participants from several different primary schools in the Cayo district. The coordinator Terresita Guerrera spoke to Love News. TERRESITA GUERRERA “We the Belize National Library Service work in conjunction with the Cayo Association of Principals of Primary School to make this happen. We are the ones who provide the stories for the children we find the stories for them from different levels. Standard 2, 3 and 4 who participated in this reading contest. We first vote through the school eliminations and then they come to the finals. It’s basically to encourage children to read. You know a lot of children right now are having problems with reading. And then having problems at school so what we do the CAPS had brought out this initiative to encourage children to read and be more successful in school and the event today was very successful. All of the seven zones that we have participated and had my Judas Swasey from Christian Academy who came in first very very good reader and he is from the little division the standard 3. So we congratulate him also and his success in this event.”

Minister of Education Comments of Resignation of UB President
The controversy over the President of the University of Belize and the Board of Trustees remains in the news and tonight, new a new report is that Carey Fraser has been placed on leave. This could not be confirmed but when we met with Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, today, he weighed in on the issue. PATRICK FABER I have not been briefed by the board but what the chairman has said I think is the position. I have received likewise a copy of the letter that the president wrote to the Prime Minister of Belize. I will say now that I do take some umbrage what the president has written in letter claiming he has not received the support of the Ministry of Education especially as it relates to the finances. People should know that some years ago an outstanding amount of monies that were owed to UB were in excess of four and a half million dollars. It’s down to like 2 million and something now. And also all Belizeans were aware when I made the tough decision to cut back on granting the subsidized payments for incoming students for January of this year. So that that bill we have with UB is going down and going down substantially. So for the president to make that accusation I hold to be completely unfair but again that’s just what was based in the letter that he wrote to the Prime Minister that was copied to me. I am not in a position to talk anymore what is going on there. As people will know I don’t operate in that manner of micromanaging UB. I appoint a very competent board to do so. And as well people will know it’s a contract with the office of the Prime Minister that sees a president staying off this. So he was right to have written to the Prime Minister and we are waiting for the Prime Minister to come back in office. For him and I to have a discussion as to terms of that letter the president wrote to the Prime Minister. The board runs in terms of setting policies and procedures and so on based on the guidelines the minister gave but the everyday running of UB is not done by the board and if the president is for some reason unable to carry out those duties. There are others in the management of UB that I’m sure are competent to take on the challenge.

Fred Hunter Authors Book
Former Minister Fred Hunter Senior has recently released a new book; titled, “The History of the Sovereignty of Belize by Occupation Force of Arms Treaties”. As the title suggests, the book puts together in sequential order historical facts in regards to the sovereignty integrity of Belize. Hunter says that a great deal of research was done in order for the book to be informative. FREN HUNTER “This book was written specifically to deal with the problems of the referendum. Being on the referendum committee I realize there is such a lack of knowledge of the true history of Belize. And the strength of our case that was not out there. False conclusions were made by the very people who were supposed to defend us in the court. So I decided I was going to write this book get it into the schools if I could. The book is designed to be student friendly. There is no word in there that you have to go to a dictionary. Except the one on the cover-Sovereignty. That’s the biggest word you see in the book. So it was put out there so the people could know about because as a child, as a young man growing up I couldn’t get the history of Belize. When I got hold of Winsor Lynn’s History of British Honduras it was an eye opener.”

Anglican Diocese of Belize Observes Stewardship Month
The Anglican Diocese of Belize is observing Stewardship month and schools are being encouraged to promote the importance of being good stewards among their students. Bishop Philip Wright was in attendance at a special service for the children of St. John’s Primary school this morning and spoke to us about the activities being carried out during the month of November. BISHOP PHILIP WRIGHT “Throughout the month we have indeed been encouraging congregations through their Bible study and through their services and so on to focus on stewardship but the big highlight would be on November 30th where we will have a big Jamboree on Bird’s Isle. We expect children from all our schools and all over the country to come in and display their talents because this year the theme stewardship is “Wrap your gift for Christ.” And so we are hoping they will bring their talents gifts and put it on display. It should be a fun day on the Bird’s Isle; Saturday November 30th. Hopefully you guys could come out and take a little glance of what we are doing.” LINETTE CANTO, REPORTER Ok for those of you who are watching the newscast what would you tell them about being stewards in this time of need? BISHOP PHILIP WRIGHT “There is a little phrase that we like to say at times “Count your blessings name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” And I think that is the message that we might want to send that if people were to still step back a bit think about how good God has been to them share their gratitude and share from someone else what God has given them. I think that would be a good message for right now.”

New House Donate to Belize City Resident
A resident of Belize City received an early Christmas gift today at a value of sixteen thousand dollars. Shantal Card of the Port Loyola Area, was handed over the keys of her brand new sixteen by sixteen wooden house by the Belize Electricity Limited and Hands in Hands Ministries. A team of 45 employees along with contractors of the Ministries worked through inclement weather. Card is extremely ecstatic about the donation which was made possible through a charity program carried out by BEL, as explained by Senior Communications Officer, Vonetta Burrell. VONETTA BURREL “Primarily we try to support initiatives that are aimed at reducing crime and violence across the country this is a south side resident. She is a young woman starting off her life and she expressed her interest to Hand in Hand her employees became aware and they encouraged the company to support the initiative so that is why we are here today.” HIPOLITO NOVELO, REPORTER How was Miss Card chosen? “Well she was chosen based on specific criteria that Hand in Hand has they have their own criteria in which they request some information from candidates so they need to determine if the person has an actual need for a home and the person must adhere to certain requirements after receiving the home. Like they need to be involved in a community, they need to do different types of fellowship so. Hand in Hand have its own criteria that it requires. Let me tell you a little bit about the donation. Probably estimation the house is a 16 by 16 structure. It has a bathroom included. BEL provided all the electricity and pluming.”

Belize Represented in International Climate Conference
Belize is in attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland. Led by a delegation appointed by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Belize is participating in the conference which is divided into two segments; a technical segment which took place the first week and a High Level Segment which took place the second week. Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, Lisel Alamilla, left the country last week to join the Belize delegation and to participate in the High Level Segment and Dialogues. Minister Alamilla, delivered Belize’s National Statement yesterday. LISEL ALAMILLA “Madam Vice President we see this come as a vital step on the road to success of a global climate change raceme in 2015. The slogan “I care.” A slogan that is most appropriate for this occasion could easily be we care. Nothing exemplifies this fact more than the commitments we as governments made to address the issues of climate change when we ratify the convention in 1994. In 2009 in Copenhagen. We agreed to limit warming to at least 2 degrees Celsius and to scale up finance. We agreed to conclude a universal global climate treaty by 2015. Madam Vice President these are international binding, legal organizations. We convene in Warsaw so we made significant progress on a number of critical issues. Science is important to our work. To the extent that science continues to improve and to sharpen our understanding of what we have done to our retirement system it must also be a part of our solution. The latest intergovernmental panel on global climate change working group 1 findings.”

Top CAPE and C-SEC Achievers Recognized
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports along with the CXC Committee of Belize awarded more than three hundred students this morning for their excellent performance in the C-SEC and CAPE exams. Reporter Marion Ali and cameraman Brian Castillo were at the Jaguar Auditorium in Belmopan. MARION ALI Belize’s best achievers on the Caribbean Examinations Council’s CAPE and S-Sec studies, CXC, were recognized during a special ceremony today at the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan. Topping the CAPE or sixth form level exams for 2013 is Aaron Stock, who was honored as Belize’s Most Outstanding Candidate with the Belize Scholarship, now upgraded from a value of 80 thousand to 200 thousand dollars. At the secondary school level, Xiaowen Huang, a graduate of E.P. Yorke High School, was the top achiever in the CXC exams with a total of sixteen Grade Ones at the General Proficiency Level. Both Stock and Huang had sobering advice for students who now aspire for the same greatness as they have achieved. And Huang and Stock seemed to have the same views. Beverly Stock pinch-hitted for her son who is away studying.

Symposium to end Violence Against Children Held
The first part of a symposium to end violence against children was held today at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City. The two-day symposium which started this morning is being hosted by Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, and is focused on ending violence against children. Mary Vasquez of Restore Belize told us that this symposium is very important as the future of our community and our nation starts with the children. Mary Vasquez We tend to think of violence as a phenomenon that happens on the streets with guns between gang members but when you talk to most people about violence in Belize they are thinking about gang on gang violence with guns. But in reality that is a product of a deeper cultural phenomenon of violence. That begins actually when the child is born. The child is often born in a violent environment. The violence that we see expressed on the street is actually a learned behavior. And it is an expression of frustrations that build up over time within the child so it stems from the child’s experience. So if we want to stop the violence on the street that is being done by adults or 18 year olds. Then we need to make sure we are protecting the child from the time the child was born. So we can’t really end it on the street. We can repress it but we can’t end it. It has to end by rooting it up from the beginning.


GOB’s Proposal Seeks to Tighten the Citizenship and Passport Laws
On Wednesday night, we took a closer look at two of the three amendment bills intended to tighten-up regulations at the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality. Those bills were tabled at the last sitting of the House of Representatives and are now being reviewed by the National Security and...

National Museum Unveils New Exhibit on Belize’s Exciting Transport History
Fresh off a successful hosting of Caribbean counterparts, the Museum of Belize teamed up with the Belize Archives and Records Service to produce a new exhibit tracing Belize’s history in development of transportation. Titled “All Aboard: Belize in Motion through the Years”, Museum director Ms. Sherilyn Jones says, it was...

Garifuna Activities Got Colourful and Ryhtmic with the Upbeat of the Drums
Celebrations marking Garifuna Settlement Day took place across the country on Tuesday, marking the anniversary of the arrival of the first Garinagu to Belizean shores. Early in the morning there was the re-enactment of the migration from Honduras to Belize, and in the Old Capital this took place along...

Belize Family Life Association Pledges Support for Criminal Code Amendments
The Criminal Code Amendment Bill (2) was expected to return for further reading at the last sitting of the House of Representatives; however it turns out that the drafts team is still polishing up the bill. In the meantime, discourse continues on what some perceive as a controversial pitch...

Win or Defeat, my U-16 Players are Big Warriors says Coach Renan Couoh
The excitement of football fans throughout the country has reached a new level of intensity as we observe the U-16 UNCAF Tournament play out in our own backyard. We have placed all our hopes on the promising U-16 National selection, locally and famously known as the “Baby Jaguars”. The...

Horizon Academy Sparks up the Reading Passion with a Book Fair
This past weekend, students of Horizon Academy hosted their fourth annual book fair at the ITVET Campus in Belize City. From a young age, students are taught that reading is fundamental to success. But not all take to it. However, principal Diane Maheia told PLUS News that her 100-member...

Historian Reveals Belizean Territorial History Secrets in his New Treasure Book
Belize and Guatemala did not quite make it past the first hurdle to going to the International Court of Justice to resolve the territorial dispute – a referendum scheduled in October. But that does not mean there is an end to the debate. Historian and former area representative Frederick...

The Caribbean Court of Justice Explains its Position on a Homosexual’s Freedom
The Caribbean Court of Justice is currently tending to constitutional challenges to the Immigration laws in Belize and Trinidad and Tobago, laws that claimant, Mr. Maurice Tomlinson says legally bans him from entering either country because he is a practicing homosexual. But as that case gets off the ground,...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Do you have extra washbasins?
The CCRC School is adapting the Quality Child Friendly School Program, this includes teaching the children proper health and sanitary procedures. The RC School are trying to have wash basins inside or right outside or in all the classrooms. If anyone has wash basins/sinks that they can donate to the RC School please let us know. They are in the process of purchasing materials for the new classrooms, when we have the total materials needed we will share that information with you and account number for monetary donations.

Only available seafront parcel in the village for sale!
Only seafront parcel in the village proper is for sale. This is a rare opportunity to own a seafront parcel within the village with all utilities to it. Seafront parcels anywhere on the South island are very rare to come by, and especially one with utilities to it. This is your opportunity to own one. Since the land is vacant, you can build the building of your dreams and not have to buy into someone else’s dream. Property has commercial and residential potential. Act now! You will not find another seafront parcel with utility infrastructure available maybe for years.

US Embassy is looking for an experienced chef
Full time, 40 hours a week. Additional hours for special events.


Cayo appeal, San Pedro lagoon area and another defibrilator donation
The Belize Red Cross is a making a special appeal to aid families affected by the recent floods in communities in the Cayo District and the Belize River Valley. Local rivers, their tributaries, and lagoons spilled their banks during two weeks of continuous rains caused by tropical depressions that affected Belize. Villagers in some areas have endured up to four feet of water in their neighborhoods. The Belize Red Cross has begun assessing the needs of communities most affected in these areas. Both the National Emergency Management Organization and the Belize Red Cross are jointly collaborating in efforts to alleviate the suffering of those families most affected. Some 200 families in these areas are in great need so we ask for monetary donations, canned food, and toiletries to help in assisting these communities in need.

Mennonite Gurls A'ken Cook: Pear er Apple Brun Muffins
1 cup flour 1 1/2 cups natcherul wheet brun (nairy t'cereel) 1/2 teespoon bakyun' powd'r, 1/2 teespoon salt, 1 teespoon bakyun' sody 1/2 teespoon cinnamon 1/2 teespoon nutmeg 1 beete egg 1 cup brown sugar 3 tablespoons molasses 1 cup buttarmilk 1 pear er apple, peelet an' choppet into small pieces 1/2- 3/4 cup raisins er Craisins (dride cranberries) 1/2 cup choppet pekuns (opt.)

97% Owned – Economic Truth documentary
You think you know it all? Take a look at this documentary and open your eyes.

International Sources

Significant Storm System Possible Next Week Which May Disrupt Holiday Travel During The Thanksgiving Week For The Gulf Coast & US East Coast
Looking ahead, we are looking at the potential for a storm system to develop along the northern Gulf coast late Monday into Tuesday and for this storm to track northeastward along the US East Coast on Wednesday. This storm is expected to bring some very nasty travel weather along Interstate 10 across the Gulf coast and along Interstate 95 up the US East Coast. Across the Interstate 10 corridor along the US Gulf coast, heavy rain with the chance for severe weather is possible from about Monday night through Tuesday. A heavy rain storm is then possible along the Interstate 95 corridor from Tuesday through Wednesday. Further inland, heavy snow and ice is a distinct possibility across interior parts of New England from Tuesday night through Wednesday, including the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Incredible UNESCO Sites in Danger of Disappearing
Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System Of the 981 properties included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, some 44 are categorized as in-danger, for reasons ranging from political instability to irresponsible tourism. Why it’s special: This is the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere—visit for the coral-made islands; more than 500 species of fish; and the "Great Blue Hole," a famed diving spot that's nearly 1,000 feet deep. Why it’s in danger: In addition to development in the area, extensive mangrove cutting has removed food sources and shelter for marine life.

Passports to ignominy
All this has caused scarcely a ripple in Suriname, whose foreign minister says he expects no upset to relations with the United States. Reactions to similar shenanigans in Belize have been louder. There Elvin Penner, a junior immigration minister, was sacked in September over a passport issued to Kim Won-Hong, a South Korean then in a Taiwanese prison while resisting extradition to his own country for fraud. Mr Penner personally signed his passport picture and application form, but says he was misled through an identity fraud. Mr Kim was sent to Korea on September 26th. Since then, Belize has buzzed with reports of passport and visa fraud. Another junior minister, Edmond Castro, is under pressure over alleged visa fraud. If both lose their parliamentary seats in possible recall votes, the government would lose its majority. The government says it will tighten passport procedures.

Belize Family Vacation: Ambergris Caye With Kids
What’s 25 miles long, one mile wide and chock full of fun things to do? The answer is Ambergris Caye, an island off the coast of Belize with fine white sand, crystal blue water and the world’s second largest barrier reef. Here are my five favorite things to do if you visit with kids. Drive a golf cart everywhere. The island is walkable but the primary mode of transport is golf carts. My golf-crazed hubby and kids loved it. Towards the north end of the island, before the bridge, there is a place where you can rive your carts on the beach. It’s a beautiful drive, past some lovely restaurants. Tip: Do it in the late afternoon and you’ll find a great spot to watch the sunset. Snorkel Plenty of tour providers leave from San Pedro for snorkeling trips to the barrier reef. We went with SEAduced for the Caye Caulker day tour and had a fine time. The first stop was Hol Chan Marine Reserve where there is a natural cut in the barrier reef, which is as shallow as five feet in some places. The kid’s enjoyed the 45 minutes we spent snorkeling and were even able to spot some fish and corral. We brought our 2-year-old’s floating ring* and our 4-year-old wore a life vest. The next stop was Shark Ray Alley where you do indeed get to swim with the sharks. The sharks are much more interested in their food than you. Nevertheless, my kids decided to skip this experience. After this, the tour stops at Caye Caulker (above, pronounced Key Cawker), the quaint sister island to Ambergris Caye. Five-miles long by 1-mile wide (with some 30 tiny hotels on it!), it’s a lovely place to enjoy a lazy lunch, sample freshly made ice cream and savor a stroll along the beach. We managed to tire the kids out enough that they were happy to chill out on the bouncy deck of the catamaran for the trip back. Beaches There are many beaches to choose from on the island. One of the favorites, Ramon’s Village, is easy with kids. It has a restaurant on the water. Our little kids were happy to play in the sand and wade in the water to spot fish. Bigger kids and grown-ups can jump of a boardwalk jutting out into the sea to swim or snorkel. We had a great day.

7 Amazing Things about Belize
If you’re in the planning phase for a vacation, Belize should be your destination for all the right reasons. Belize is situated in Central America, between Mexico and Guatemala; it’s beautiful and hugged by nature all around. The abundance of breathtaking beaches, awe-inspiring sea life, the humble people, and fresh air are just a few things from a long list of great stuff to mention about this place. It’s a great place to get away from the usual hustle bustle of life and spend adventurous and pleasurable time with family. There are great many amazing things about Belize. Here are nine of them...

November 21, 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

Government of Belize in Attendance at the United Nations Climate Change Conference
The Government of Belize, led by a delegation appointed by the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, is currently being represented at the COP 19/ CMP9 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Warsaw, Poland. The UN Climate Change Conference commenced November 11 and should conclude November 22, 2013. The conference has two segments: (i) a technical segment which took place the first week and (ii) a High Level Segment which takes place the second week. Senator Hon. Lisel Alamilla left the country last week to join the Belize delegation and to participate in the High Level Segment and Dialogues to be held in week two of the conference. The inauguration of the high-level segment took place in the afternoon of Tuesday, 19 November. National statements will be heard in joint meetings of the COP and the CMP during the high-level segment on Wednesday, 20 to Friday, 22 November. Belize’s Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development will be delivering Belize’s National Statement on Wednesday, November 20, at 8:00 a.m. Central Standard Time.

Night of Fashion under the Stars
Top Notch Boutique along with Traveller’s Liquors, Sailaway Café, Premium Wines and Spirits and Fido’s Restaurant and Bar, collaborated in creating a “Night of Fashion under the Stars” on Saturday, November 16th. The show was held on Barrier Reef Dive, in front of Top Notch Boutique, and thankfully the weather was just perfect for an outdoor event. The fashion show, which was free of charge, attracted a large crowd that came out to enjoy the event. But the night was not only about fashion!Those in attendance were also treated toa great selection of wine from Premium Wines and local rum drinks from Traveler’s, all Liquor at special prizes; while Sailaway Café provided specials and snacks. Following the show, it was time to dance the night away to the sounds of DJ Dzl at the after party hosted at Fido’s Restaurant and Bar. Event organizers take the opportunity to thank all those who made the event a success, including everyone who came out to enjoy the event.

Ambergris Today

Garifuna Settlement Day Celebrations in San Pedro, Belize
The Garinagu people are known for their high spirit of celebration and friendliness. When the time comes to celebrating their national day of recognition, Garifuna Settlement Day, their singing, drumming and dancing starts a week early. In San Pedro, the Garinagu kicked off the celebrations as early as this past weekend. On Monday, November 18, 2013, the San Pedro Branch of the National Garifuna Council, in collaboration with the San Pedro Town Council, Ministry of Tourism & Culture and The San Pedro Cultural Committee kicked off the Garifuna Settlement Celebrations on the island with a ceremony held at Central Park which included speeches by key Garifuna residents, invited guests and musical presentations and dances. The celebration continued the next day, Tuesday, November 19, as the Garinagu reenacted the arrival of the Gariganu to Belize. They arrived at Central Park at midday and what followed was a short ceremony to start the day’s celebrations. People enjoyed live music, drumming, dancing and delicious Garifuna food.

Inter-Office Volleyball Championship Heats Up in San Pedro
The San Pedro Six-a-Side Inter Office Volleyball Tournament came to a grand finale on Saturday night at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday, November 16, 2013. Both male and female divisions were packed with competitive action from start to finish in matches that had the fans on the edge of their seats and many times on their feet to applaud the terrific plays put on by the athletes. In game one for the ladies championship, Rebels defeated the second place Butter Fingers in a game that had fans biting their fingernails. The veterans Butter Fingers easily won the rookies Rebels the first two sets. However, when Rebels got fully warmed up there was nothing to stop them and they spiked their way in three consecutive sets to give them the top edge 3 to 2 over the veterans. Rebels were sponsored by San Pedro Pro Dive Shop and included players like Mishelby Leiva, (Captain) Marceli McCorkle, Keilin Castillo, Brianna Leslie, Megan Longsworth, Rachelle Lisbey and Geysel Castillo (MVP). Kudos to the winners.

Top Notch Fashion Show Under The Stars
On Saturday, November 16, 2013, many gathered at town central in San Pedro for a night of fashion and glamor. Top Notch Boutique hosted its first Fashion show under the stars showcasing the best in woman’s clothing. The Top Notch Fashion Show was in everybody’s conversation as people gathered around the glittered black and pink stage in the middle of front street. Host of the event, Gerry Badillo kicked off the show by welcoming everybody to a night of fashion under the stars. Fourteen gorgeous models (including plus sized models) strut down the runway to the latest music by Bumsquad DJ DZL and amazing lights by Skynet Sounds. The models showcased the latest arrivals at the boutique in four segments labeled as Trendy, Club, Formal and Christmas Wear. S During the show, the audience enjoyed special performances by Cuban Guitarist Amaurys and Belizean artist Denise Castillo. They also got a taste of Travelers Liquor Ltd. brand new product Cristal Lite Rum “Goma Free Rum”, Sailaway Café’s delicious food and drinks and Premium Wines & Spirits’ excellent wines throught the night. The grand finale was one of the biggest highlights of the show as the Top Notch models shared the Christmas joy with their impressive Christmas props and fashion trends.

Strengthening the Balance, Part II (Leaders)
Last year November, I wrote an article to remind students and teachers alike of the importance of always maintaining and Strengthening the Balance between each other in the classroom and while at school. Teachers and students will work productively and smoothly when they treat Education in the classroom as a two-way, not one-way, process. In other words, despite what many people (especially parents who had limited schooling) may have believed in the past, or may still do, students are not sponges who merely go to school to soak up knowledge from a teacher in the classroom; neither are they clay for teachers to mold. Instead of absorbing an Education, like a sponge, a student learns under a teacher’s guidance and instruction when the student participates in the two-way process, and makes the effort to contribute his/her portion of a 50/50 endeavor.

25 Years Ago: The Marvelous Barrier Reef of Belize
“Hey Dad, let’s go fishing? “No my son because when you come out of school at 3:30 p.m. it is already a bit late.” “But Dad, it is May and our summer vacations have commenced.” With this said, my dad became excited and was delighted to take me and my brother out to the reef. There were two or three ways to go fishing at the reef. This day we took our small ten-foot dory, El Bonito, and paddled out towards the reef only about a mile away. It was very calm, so my dad decided to go outside the reef. He did not look for the channel which was about three fourths of a mile south. We went right over the reef by threading our way between the corals that were deep enough. Once on the other side of the reef which we called the “outside” or “afuera” in Spanish, we went about 200 feet out and dropped anchor. Soon with our hand lines and using sardine as bait we were pulling in large grouper, snappers, tuna and once in a while a small nurse shark. Fishing was great and by midday we had our catch of some two dozen large fish that would suffice for an entire week’s meals. Then I would beg dad to take me out trawling by hand line.

Misc Belizean Sources

Enhancing the Caribbean's foreign direct investment strategy
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), in collaboration with the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion agencies (CAIPA), will be hosting their fourth annual CAIPA general assembly in Belize on November 21-22, 2013. Under the theme “Towards an Enhanced FDI Strategy: Strengthening our Foundation and Honouring Regional Excellence”, investment promotion agency (IPA)officials from member countries that include Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, the Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands, will focus attention on the development of CAIPA’s Strategic and Sustainability Plan (2014-2018). The plan is being developed with the assistance of Ideas to Business Limited. Another special feature of this year’s general assembly will be the inaugural hosting of the Regional Investor of the Year Award for the Caribbean territories who are members of CAIPA. The award seeks to recognize and promote the contribution of foreign and local investors to the Caribbean economy.

Drumming by the Bimecacule Group
Video footage of a Dance presentation at the Garifuna Settlement Eve 2013

The San Pedro Town Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, The San Pedro Garifuna Council and the San Pedro Cultural Committee officially welcomed Garifuna Settlement Day in San Pedro. The Festivities kicked off with the re-enactment of Yurumei and followed with the official ceremony that consisted of various speeches, the Belize National Anthem in Garinagu and of course, a lot of drumming and punta! We salute all our Garinagu Brothers and Sisters on this vibrant celebration. Long live the People and Culture of the Garinagus!

with QueenAl FirstLady at Belmopan City, Belize. (16 photos)

Entrepreneurship Symposium
It's Global Entrepreneurship Week, so Beltraide and UB are teaming up with the U.S. Embassy to hold the annual Entrepreneurship Symposium tomorrow. It'll be at UB, in the Jaguar auditorium, starting at 1:00pm. "The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) on behalf of the University of Belize (U.B.) and in partnership with the U.S. Embassy Belize hereby cordially invites you to attend the annual Entrepreneurship Symposium to be held on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at the Jaguar Auditorium, University of Belize, Central Campus, Belmopan City from 1:00 - 5:00pm."

Happy Children's Day
Musical interlude for Children's Day. The National Committee for Families and Children uploaded the Children's Rights Song. "Because today is International Children's Day! Sing along if you know the tune..."

Makita Motocross Championship
The Makita Motocross Championship was this weekend in Spanish Lookout, and they got an exhilarating video with a helmet mounted GoPro camera. Congratulations, Carlos Lopez, for winning the race. "2 Heat for MX 2. This is the helmet cam on Marlon Dueck. He was competing against four other riders. Carlos Lopez, Carl Froese. Nathan Thiessen, and Shawn Krahn. Marlon wiped out in the mud bog in the 1st heat and tore out his shoulder. He fought hard against Carlos Lopez, but ultimately Carlos did take First Place."

Garifuna Collective at SISE HoC
The SISE House of Culture celebrated Garifuna Settlement Day one dey early, and some of the Garifuna Collective drummers were there to drum the day away. Talk about a special treat for everyone that made it out to learn more about the Garifuna culture. Thanks to Teri Cerda for the great pictures. "This is what happen yesterday at the San Ignacio & Santa Elena House of Culture (NICH) our documentary Film about Garifuna and Two members of The Garifuna Collective that played."

Garifuna Settlement Day in Cayo
The Cayo Welcome Center had a lot going on for Garifuna Settlement Day. Did you get to see the Garifuna drummers and dancers? "GARIFUNA SETLEMENT DAY night shot by Daniel Velazquez and Miriam Antoinette"

Tree Fellers Screening at GPC
Tree Fellers, the documentary about the nearly 1000 Belizeans that went to Scotland in 1942 to help fight fascism by felling trees, will be shown at the George Price Centre today. "Have you ever heard of Sam Martinez, Amos Ford, Eric Tathum, Alvin Tillett or Ernest Phillips? Are you related to either of them or any of the 900 British Hondurans who went off to Scotland in 1942? Have you ever wanted to know more about what happened to our Belizeans during WWII? Let us know at so we can arrange a screening of TREE FELLERS for you and get a glimpse of the past."

Cayo Cultural Chess Championship
The East Cayo Chess Association had their Cultural Chess Championship, and it's great to see such an interest in the classis strategic game. "This last Saturday, November 16th, the Cultural Day chess championship was held and it went very well. There were a couple dozen participants and the tournament directors – Alfred, Akeem and Javier – made sure that the tournament ran smoothly. There were other volunteers that provided arts/craft activities, cooked food for sale, drove participants to the tournament and just provide help when needed. There are too many names to mention everyone individually but your contributions helped and are very appreciated. Finally, no matter how much volunteer help is available, there is still a need for funds to pay for things necessary to run the tournament. We would like to thank everyone who contributed funds, especially Sagicor and Atlantic Bank. Without your help this tournament would have been very difficult to do. If you would like to get a visual of how the day went look at the pictures that are available."

Channel 7

ASR Execs Snubbed By Cane Farmers
Good evening and welcome to an early edition of 7news to make way for live under 16 football tonight at 7:00… We begin tonight with news of an event that didn’t happen. We’re talking about the scheduled meeting between BSI and its parent company ASR – on one side, and the Cane Farmers on the other. The meeting had been set for yesterday at the Radisson in Belize City – but it didn’t happen. And indeed, the farmers had made their terms clear on Monday evening with a letter to BSI saying that discussions about bagasse had to take center stage in any discussions, that it couldn’t just be a sidebar issue. And they weren’t bluffing! So, ASR Executives flew in from the USA to find no one to talk to. Senior Vice President Ricardo Lima told our colleagues at KREM Radio that he was disappointed: Voice of: Richardo Lima - Vice President, Technical Services, ASR "It's really not for us to judge them. They have a choice, and apparently, they chose not to show up, despite of the fact that we had set this up a few days ago. Two of my colleagues and I travelled all the way from the United States just for this meeting, but we hope that this conflict, instead of escalating, that it's resolved amicably for the betterment of the farmers, BSI, and the country of Belize."

Butane Explosion Leave OW Man Critical
The dangers of LPG – commonly known as butane – were underscored yesterday when another tank exploded. Very fortunately no one was killed, but a salesman is in the KHMH and reported in a critical condition after debris from the explosion hit him in the head. It happened yesterday morning at around 11:30 at Camp 10 in the Shipyard community in Orange Walk district. CTV-3 in Orange Walk reports that Daniel Ponce was knocked unconscious, and rushed to the Northern Regional Hospital. Due to the seriousness of his injury, he was then transferred to the KHMH. John Lahsen who was buying the butane told police that he heard the explosion and ran back to the area where he found Ponce bleeding from his head and the right side of his face. The gutted tank was 15 to 20ft away. We note that older, rusted butane tanks are particularly vulnerable to explosion when LPG with high volumes of propane is used. Over 15 years ago there was a fatal LPG explosion in Orange Walk which forced the enactment of regulations which disallowed delivery of gas directly to homes. In this case it was being delivered to a business, Chicken National Trust.

17 Year-old Shot In City
Police say there was only one incident of serious gun violence over the 19th, holiday. It happened in Belize City where a teenager was shot on Monday night. Around 9:30, 17 year old Wilbert Gabourel was walking on McKenzie Street and when was passing Brown Street, three shots rang out and he was shot twice to the left leg. The wounds are not life threatening and he was hospitalized at the KHMH.

Man Sent To Jail For Firearm; He Says It Wasn't His
Tonight, 18 year-old Shane Godoy is spending his third night of a 5-year sentence after he was convicted of firearm charges before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer. The arresting officers testified in the trial that at around 9:20 p.m. on July 19, 2012, they were on mobile patrol on Peter Seco Street, when they saw him riding a bicycle. When he saw the officers, he threw away an item, and they immediately detained him and escorted him back to the yard where it landed. They discovered that it was a black 9 millimeter pistol, which had 5 rounds of ammunition in the magazine, and as a result, they arrested and charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Hid Behind House From Police; Court Says Gun Was His
His fellow inmate, 23 year-old John Faber is also spending the third night of a 5-year sentence after he was found guilty of firearm offences before Senior Magistrate Frazer. The arresting officers testified that on July 16, 2011, they received information of a crime being committed, and as a result, they started to trail Faber’s pickup truck which he was driving. While on Faber’s Road, they stopped the vehicle and a man and a woman got out. When Faber got out, he ran into a yard trying to escape from police. He was detained, and they found a 9mm pistol, which was loaded with 2 live rounds behind a house he was hiding. He was charged with keeping an unlicensed firearm, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

Crooked Tree, Still An Isolated Island
6 days ago, 7News told you about the NEMO assistance to Crooked Tree Village which remains cut off by flood waters. The earliest that the waters are expected to recede is in 2 months. Until then, residents are being profoundly affected, especially the cattle farmers. To assist with that problem, their area representative, Edmund Castro, is collaborating with the Ministry of Agriculture to provide relief in the form of feed for the livestock so that they can survive until the village returns to normal. This afternoon, the villagers held a meeting with Castro and the Agriculture Representative where they discussed how the relief will work. We spoke with Castro afterwards: Hon. Edmund "Clear the Land" Castro - Area Representative, Belize Rural North "Since last week, trying to help the people in Crooked Tree with some rations, and so on, and right now, the mission today is to follow on the assessment for the livestock producers. We have 19 livestock producers in Crooked Tree, primarily in the "Black Bun" area. So, we brought in the Ministry of Agriculture to meet with them, and see how we can help them temorarily with some feed, for the time being to ease their cattle out of the different stress that they are going through, and also, to bring in seeds for them to plant so that they could have feed banks.

ABC’s Of E-Government
“E-Government” it’s a fancy term that gets a lot of airtime – but we don’t see too much action around it. In the e-government world, you wouldn’t have to wait in line for forms to be approved, or go endlessly from one government department to another, looking for answers, nor would you have to seek the gilded approval of an all-powerful minister. Just hearing all that you’ll know that e-government is a distant reality in Belize. But, it’s a reality nonetheless, even if it’s only visible on a far off horizon. That horizon came dimly into view today at the Biltmore Best Western where the Ministries of Finance and Technologyopened a workshop to develop two policy documents, one named the National Information Communication Technology Innovation Policy (NICTIP) and the other, an E-Government Policy, Strategy and Plan of Action. Lots of big ideas in there, and we tried to get the organizers to break it down for the regular citizen:

History of Planes, Trains and Automobiles In Belize
We all know Belize’s highways, but only few can remember the time when Belize had railway systems, that’s right, trains! And not just one railway system, there were three of them! That’s part of the story covered in a new exhibit that NICH has mounted at the Museum of Belize. The museum is named: “All Aboard: Belize in Motion through the Years” and covers everything from planes to trains to automobiles. We found out more at the official opening this morning: Jules Vasquez Reporting The exhibition engenders a broad sweep of history from dugout canoes to trains to cargo boats to planes and cars:

Man Sent to Jail For Putting Broken Glass To Woman’s Throat
44 year-old Elroy Saldano will spend 3 years in prison because he was charged with harm and aggravated assault for allegedly inflicting a cut wound to a woman’s neck. 24 year-old Tiesha Palacio reported to police that she was at a house on King Street on Monday night when she got into an argument with Saldano. He allegedly then grabbed a piece of broken beer bottle, and pressed it on Palacio’s neck, causing a cut. Police arrested and charged him with aggravated assault and harm, and he was arraigned today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, where he pleaded not guilty.

Belize Faces Tough Competition In UNCAF Under-16
In a few minutes, the Belize U-16 National Team, also known as the Junior Jaguars, will play their third game in the 2013 UNCAF Championship, being hosted by the Football Federation of Belize. If you’ve been tuning into Channel 7 for the past two days, you’ll know that they won their first game against Nicaragua on Monday, 2 to 1. But, they lost yesterday against El Salvador, which defeated the Jaguars, 2-nil. Today, we spoke with members of the FFB executive, who gave a brief synopsis of both games, and also explaining how the team needs to perform in order stay close to the favorites for the final round. Here’s what they told us: Marlon Kuylen - Executive Member, FFB (Via Phone) "The first night, we won 2-1 against Nicaragua, and that gave our players a boost going into the game last night against El Salvador. However, a very early goal caught young jaguars. They seemed nervous, and they were hasty in their passing and decision making, and we ended up losing 2-nil last night. But, I spoke to the coach a while ago, and he is saying that today, the players are very motivated going against Guatemala because you know, every time we play Guatemala, we want to beat them. If we lose to everyone else, want to beat Guatemala."

Scenes From Settlement Day
Yesterday, Belizeans all across the country joined with the Garinagu to celebrate Garifuna Settlement Day. We have footage of the activities which took place in Dangriga, but before that, we’ll take you to yesterday morning in Belize City where the National Garifuna Council organized the re-enactment of their ancestors’ arrival, the “Yurumei” to commemorate their landing in Belize two hundred and eleven years ago. Mayor Darrell Bradley was a part of the ceremony, and both he and the President of the NGC in Belize City explained the significance of the “Yurumei”: Francisco Zuniga - President, National Garifuna Council, Belize City Branch "This a reenactment of the first arrival of the "Garinagu" People to the shores of Belize. It is to show that when they driven from St. Vicent, they came all the way, struggling through Guatemala, Honduras, and eventually they came to Belize. The Mayor represents the Governor, so then the "Yurumei", which is the Saint Vicent people, sought permission first for them to land on the shores of Belize."

Channel 5

Crop Season in jeopardy, cane farmers stand firm on threat of strike
Five thousand three hundred sugar cane farmers from the Orange Walk and Corozal Districts are determined to go on strike as early as this coming Monday, November twenty-fifth. That is [...]

Will the mills at B.S.I. be churning with no sugar cane to grind?
But did the BSCFA miss an ideal opportunity to sit at the negotiating table? As we told you, a meeting was set for Tuesday, Garifuna Settlement Day. At the meeting [...]

Deputy Prime Minister meets with B.S.I. and A.S.R. to diffuse tension in sugar industry
Executives from the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association were purposely absent from a meeting on Garifuna Settlement Day. With the clock ticking, this afternoon, C.E.O. Joey Montalvo of B.S.I. and [...]

Vega asks for B.S.I. and BSCFA to come back to discussion table
As we said, the BSCFA has threatened that it will not make deliveries at Monday’s start of the next crop season if its request to receive a percentage of the [...]

Are farmers entitled to part of the proceeds from the sale of bagasse?
Tonight’s question is: Do you believe farmers are entitled to part of the proceeds from the sale of bagasse? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

The Baby Jaguars face Guatemala in UNCAF Games
The UNCAF under-sixteen tournament continues tonight in Belmopan with the Baby Jaguars taking on team Guatemala.  It’s a hugely anticipated game that is starting shortly at the F.F.B. stadium in [...]

Has Carey Fraser stepped down as president of UB?
Today, News Five received multiple reports that University of Belize President, Doctor Carey Fraser, had left office. Fraser has written a letter to Prime Minister Dean Barrow indicating that he [...]

An Orange Walk man is on life support following a gas tank explosion
An Orange Walk resident is tonight on life support following an explosion of a butane gas tank at Camp ten of the Shipyard Community. On Tuesday morning around eleven o’clock, [...]

17 year old shot in the leg
A minor is tonight recovering from gunshot wounds he received on Monday night. Seventeen year old Wilbert Cecil Gabourel was shot to the left leg sometime around nine-thirty p.m. as [...]

Man freed of indecent assault after 9 years behind bars
A man who was accused back in 2005 of molesting an eight-year-old child in the city is free tonight. The mother of the child claimed she caught him partially nude [...]

All Aboard: Belize in Motion through the Years Exhibit is launched
On display at the Museum of Belize is a historical journey of the evolution of transportation in Belize. The exhibit includes archival information such as photographs and items that show [...]

2 local tour companies clinch Princess Cruise Awards
Two companies involved in the tourism industry were honored by a major cruise line this morning. Both Bacab Eco Tours and Chukka Tours were cited by Princess Cruise Lines for [...]


Two Separate Shootings Incidents Under Investigation in Old Capital
A youth was shot on Monday in Belize City. Police say that sometime around nine-30 17 year old Wilbert Cecil Gabourel was walking towards a shop on McKenzie Street in Belize City when someone shot him twice in the left leg. Gabourel told police that he heard the shots as he was passing Brown Street and realized that he had been shot. He is in a stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and the police are investigating.

Primary School on South Side Belize City Burglarized
A primary school on the south side of Belize City was targeted over the weekend when thieves broke in and stole an assortment of school items. The discovery was made on Monday when a caretaker at Unity Presbyterian Church on Antelope Street Extension made checks. School items worth around 800 dollars were stolen. Police are investigating.

ICT – Is Belize Resisting Change?
In this modern era of globalization, communication has become almost instantaneous. For a developing country like Belize it is important to embrace information and communication technology (ICT) and effectively implement ICT policies. To this end, the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, in collaboration with the Central Technology Office has officially launched an initiative to develop two policy documents that will aid in developing an effective and enabling environment. Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Colin Young explained how this process would assist in positioning Belize to be more competitive in the global arena. DR. COLIN YOUNG “Well, what we are doing here today is launching the start of the National ICT Innovation Policy and Strategy and the E-Government Strategy and Action Plan for the Government of Belize. In terms of competitiveness, what’s critical is information, access to information, networking and what we’re trying to do is find the best possible ways that Belize can harness the use of ICTs, the internet and all the other tools that come with it; to transform the way the Government does its business with the public, increase its efficiency, deliver on very instantaneous time or very quick turnaround time as well as how businesses and the civil society organizations can use ICTs to increase their productivity and efficiency. So, really this is setting up what the policy direction is that the Government needs to put in place; it’s going to lay it out for us, so that we can implement it.”

Police Sergeant With Prosthetic Legs Returns to Work
In September of 2012 Sergeant Mark August, then stationed in Punta Gorda Town, lost both legs to a traffic accident near the Swasey Bridge on the Southern Highway. August underwent almost a year of treatment and therapy and acquired two prosthetic legs which he now uses along with crutches to make his way around. Now the policeman is the first member of the Belize Police Department who has no legs and is fully employed as a policeman. He is stationed at the Belmopan Police Formation’s Police Information Technology Unit. August, who was the Administrative Officer in Toledo up until the incident, told Love News recently that while his abilities are now limited, he can still function fully as a police officer.

Family Needs Help in Finding Ashton Samuels
An eleven year old boy is missing and his family is asking the public to help locate him. Ashton Samuels Junior reportedly left home at 44 Sittee Street in Belize City on Sunday and has not yet returned. Samuels is brown skinned with brown eyes and is medium built with a low haircut and stands about five feet tall. He left home wearing a green T shirt, brown short pants and black slippers. Samuels also reportedly has a chip on one of his front teeth. If you have seen this missing boy you’re asked to call the nearest police station.

Garifuna Culture Highlighted
Yesterday the most important day in the Garifuna Calendar was celebrated. Communities throughout the country came together to celebrate the Garifuna Settlement Day; the day was celebrated with parades, live music, drumming, dancing, prayers, a Garifuna mass and the crowning of Miss Garifuna 2013. The official ceremony was held in Dangriga Town; Love News was there and here is the report. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING: One the eve of Garifuna Settlement Day, traditional joyous music emanated from the Garifuna drums and shakers accompanied by the rich cultural singing of the Garinagu along with rhythmic dancing. The night brought continuous live cultural music which was mirrored by dances which holds special significance to the Garifuna Culture. The celebration is the 72th anniversary of Garifuna Settlement Day founded by Thomas Vincent Ramos. After a festive night, early morning on the 19th, as the sun was rising and the waves came crushing it, the re-enactment of the Garinagu’s first arrival in Belize was performed in front of eyes of many. For many Garinagu, the day is seen as a joint opportunity to glimpse in the past, remember their ancestor and never forget their roots.

ASR Says It Takes Two To Tango; Cane Farmers Leave BSI on Ice
The back and forth between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, BSCFA, and the Belize Sugar Industries limited, BSI, continues. With only five days until the next crop season is scheduled to be open, there are no signs that a common ground would be found by then. A meeting was scheduled to take place yesterday at the Radisson Hotel between BSCFA and BSI. But as we reported on Monday, BSCFA decided that they would not form part of the meeting if the agenda for the meeting does not deal solely with the conclusion of the negotiation of the new commercial agreement including the payment for bagasse, which has been the basis of contention between both parties. The cane farmers are requested payment for the use of bagasse since it is use to generate energy through Belcogen. On the other hand, BSI is saying that the cane farmers have made no investments to make any such request. The meeting was scheduled to commence at two o’clock yesterday and after waiting for more than an hour, it was clear that the BSCFA was a no show. Waiting for the BSCFA were BSI’s Chief Executive Officer, Joey Montalvo, Chief Financial Officer Belizario Carballo, Factory Manager, John Gillett and Government Representative Jose Novelo from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture. In addition, a key representative was present; the Vice President of American Sugar Refineries, Ricardo Lima. Lime briefly spoke to Love News about the absence of the BSCFA.

Tank Explosion Kills Sales Rep in Northern Belize
A butane gas sales’ man was injured when a butane tank exploded while being filled. The incident occurred on Tuesday morning a little after 11 at Camp 10 in the Shipyard Community. Information available is that according to Johan Lassen, he paid for his butane tank to be refilled at his business Bert Quality Chicken National Trust and then headed home. Shortly after he heard an explosion and went to check and discovered a Belmont gas sales’ man injured on the ground. The same explosion was heard by Moises Lopez who was just arriving at the business establishment. We spoke with Lopez who told us what he found out.

Police Investigate Robberies in Western and Northern Belize
Police have reported two robberies since last Friday. Police say that Maria Pedro, a housewife of Esperanza Village, Cayo, reported that on last Thursday afternoon she was walking towards her home with her baby in her arms when she heard footsteps behind her and then felt something on the right side of her neck. Pedro said that when she turned around she saw a man wearing a cloth over his face and armed with a knife behind her. Pedro said that she managed to pull the cloth from over the man’s face and recognized him from Esperanza Village. That did not stop the attacker as he grabbed her purse containing her cellular phone and her Guatemalan identification cards. Police have since arrested and charged 32 year old Fernando Crawford, a mason with Robbery.

Cyclist Knocked off Motorcycle in Rural Area of Northern Belize
A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway has left a bus driver hospitalized. 48 year old Aurelio Chimal of Nuevo San Juan, Orange Walk, suffered a cut wound to the forehead and a badly bruised left foot after he was knocked off a motorcycle on Tuesday evening. Police say that 30 year old Allen Ake, was travelling towards Corozal Town from Patchakan Village when he knocked down Chimal who was traveling in the opposite direction. Ake claims that it Chimal’s motorcycle was swerving across the highway and then collided into the left side of his pickup truck. He also alleged that Chimal was not wearing a helmet at the time. Police are investigating.


The Belize Coast Guard Frustrate a Possible Drug Peddling in Ambergris Caye
An anti-narcotic operation at Ambergris Caye led to a shootout between personnel from the Belize National Coast Guard and suspected drug peddlers. The incident occurred on Saturday morning, 1 mile south of the Belize/Mexico border at the Bacalar Chico area of northern Ambergris Caye. On Monday afternoon, we spoke...

Coalition Tour Activates Debates over Petroleum across Belize
The Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage continues its work to promote a sober discussion of the future of the nation’s natural resources, particularly as it relates to petroleum. Mrs. Julie Wade- Education and Outreach Officer for the Coalition “We are hoping that after this, more schools will be...

Garifuna Day Celebrations Get Colourful in Dangriga
The 19th of November is celebrated as Garifuna Settlement Day, but festivities across the country have long begun before. Our correspondent Mr. Harry Arzu was in the culture capital Dangriga and filed the following report. Correspondent, Mr. Harry Arzu The Garifuna Settlement Day was founded in 1941 by Tomas Vincent Ramos and was only celebrated in Dangriga until it became a national holiday in 1977. Today, various schools in various municipalities participated in activities leading up the Garifuna Settlement day which will be celebrated tomorrow. The students of the Delile Academy and Ecumenical High School with the traditional reenactment of the arrival of the Garifuna people to the shores of Belize, followed by a thanksgiving mass. The auditorium at the Ecumenical was still in to capacity as hosted some students including some sisters enjoyed a variety of performances by a number of artists and dance groups such renown musician such as Aurelio Martinez, Sandby dancers, Ecumenical high Schools popped up the drums, Champion and Joseph Chattoyer Garifuna Ballet, guests from New York City. The speaker at the event was the president of the Battle of the Drums Secretariat, Darris Avila, who encouraged the audience to continue embrace and to promote the Garifuna culture.


“Dancing in the Street” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Up yesterday (Tuesday) at around 04.40 hours and in what seemed like no time at all (well it wasn’t because it took me just a few minutes) I was out there on the veranda with the mug of black coffee and my iPad. Oh, and one of the two chairs that we currently have that can be moved easily. I focused first on ‘knocking out’ yesterday’s edition of the blog which, given the paucity of stuff to include, didn’t take me too long. So I then caught up with what is going on around the world via my subscription to The Times online. I spent some time reading about (and looking at photos of) the disastrous consequences of the typhoon in the Philippines. This got me to reflecting on how fortunate I am. OK I’d love two tickets for the World Cup in Brazil next year (anyone know anyone???). I wish I could speak fluent Spanish (or even enough to have a rudimentary conversation). It wouldn’t be a bad thing to have a bit more money. But on balance I’m more than happy with my lot.

International Sources

Rains cut into papaya production
Papaya volumes will likely be lower than normal for the foreseeable future thanks to heavy rains in Central America, importers said. Mother Nature has put a significant dent in papaya production, and things won’t likely return to normal for some time, said Bill Brindle, vice president of sales and marketing for Homestead, Fla.-based Brooks Tropicals LLC. “Rains flooded our fields in Northern Belize during August and September,” Brindle said. “Currently we’re at 50% of normal volume. New fields coming should push volumes to promotable heights by March.” Hurricanes in Mexico also have affected production there, said Homero Levy de Barros, president of Pompano Beach, Fla.-based HLB Specialties LLC. In mid-November, HLB also was sourcing papayas from Brazil, Belize and Guatemala.“As soon as the turkey and pumpkin pie goes away,” demand for papayas should pick up, he said.

Expats are self-selected to be an interesting bunch. We realized this again after one of the weekly get-togethers in our little Andean mountain town. (It's not really an official expat get-together... it's more of a Friday night jam session in the back room of one of the restaurants in town. Locals often show up, but most of the music is supplied by expats and their guitars, flutes, fiddles, ukeleles, etc.) Let's face it... dumping your old life and taking off to live -- even part time -- in Ecuador or Belize or Uruguay or Thailand or any other likely foreign haven is not what most folks do. They may dream about it. They may, in fact, spend their entire adult lives dreaming about it. But actually doing it is not something most folks seriously consider. It isn't what most people would call "normal." Even just visiting some of these places is a little out of the mainstream. The vast majority of U.S. citizens don't even have passports.

Déjà Vu all over again for indebted Caribbean
On May 23, shortly after wrapping up negotiations on the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) 958- million-dollar loan – its second in three years – to keep Jamaica out of default, the fund’s mission chief in the country, Jan Kees Martijn, set out to visit Croydon, a former plantation settlement in the mountainous northwest of the island. Also in Croydon that day was Verene Shepherd, professor of social history at the University of the West Indies and chair of the national reparations commission. Shepherd was recording her weekly radio show, “Talking History” – she was marking the anniversary of the hanging of Samuel Sharpe, leader of the slave rebellion of 1831-32 – when she ran into Martijn being led through town by the local chamber of commerce.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
Ukraine’s big triumph is shaping up as a huge disaster. President Viktor Yanukovych evidently told European Union Commissioner Stefan Fuele that he has no plan of signing the association agreement in Vilnius, Lithuania, during the Nov. 28-29 summit, according to a diplomatic source in Kyiv. And then, there is the whole issue of gasoline trade with Belize. It is conducted by young multimillionaire Serhiy Kurchenko's companies. He is believed to a member of the president's inner circle.

When Did Humans Arrive in South America?
Paleontologists have unearthed more than 1,000 fossils from a bone bed at Arroyo del Vizcaíno in southern Uruguay. Many of the bones, which date to 29,000 to 30,000 years old, are remains of three extinct species of giant ground sloth. Some of these sloth bones bear marks that could have been made by tool-wielding human hunters. But the site of Monte Verde, in Chile, is the earliest known human settlement in South America, and it is just 14,000 years old. “So, it’s strange and unexpected,” said Richard Fariña of Uruguay’s Universidad de la República.

5 Quick Questions Everyone Should Answer Before Moving Overseas
There are many benefits to moving overseas: the weather is better, your quality of life will improve and you will always have something to do. Here are a few quick questions that you should ask yourself before moving overseas. If you like to explore nature then consider Belize. The country’s interior hides tall waterfalls, rainforests and rivers. Near Sittee Point, there is a jaguar preserve where you can venture into the jungle in search of the big cats. Bird watching is also popular here–you’ll be able to spot parrots, toucans, flycatchers and herons in the area. There is a 176-mile barrier reef just off the coast for skilled divers, snorkelers and fishermen.

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