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April 19, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Shooting victims hurt while trying to assist police in their investigation
Two teenagers who were the victims of a shooting incident on northern Ambergris Caye are upset and making allegations against the police department. The two making the allegations are 18-year-old Christian Espat and 20-year-old Brian Espat, both fishermen of San Pedro Town. The allegations follow injuries received while in handcuffs as they headed by boat to the area in which they were shot at on Sunday April 13th. While the injuries are one aspect that has the brothers upset, they are not happy with the treatment they received at the hands of the police. Once at the crime scene, Brian alleges that the police officers abused their power and used them as shields. “When we reached at the area of the incident, the police indicated for us (two brothers) to go to the front. The officers indicated that if anyone should get shot, we should be the ones. Then they had me looking for the bullets as if I was the one that did the shooting. Since when do the police have the victims looking for evidence?” claims Brian. He alleges that he can identify all the officers and claims that the contingency included Sergeant Raymond Berry and Inspector Reynaldo Pook.

ABC Preschool Star Show huge Success
It was night of fun and laughter as ABC Preschool held its annual extravaganza on Friday, April 11th. The Angel Nuñez Auditorium was packed as children of all ages and even adults came out to enjoy the live concert which started shortly after 7PM. The performance showcased artists from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico imitating some of the best known cartoon and teen series. Children got to enjoy performances from the all-time favorite Disney princesses Belle, Cinderella, Snow White and Aurora. Toddlers were treated to performances from Dora the Explorer and Caillou from Sprout TV. To end off the night, the children got to sing along to hit songs from the Disney Channel’s Austin and Ally imitators.

San Pedro PolyClinic receives three tuk-tuk emergency vehicles
Three of the vehicles were sent to the public health facilities on Ambergris Caye, while one is going to Caye Caulker. While it will not replace conventional ambulances on mainland Belize, on the two islands they will serve as such since none of the islands have an ambulance. Speaking to the press at the event, Heredia said the tuk-tuk ambulances are perfect for the island’s need. “After they were assembled, I can see that they are perfect for the needs that we have. They are not sophisticated, but it is something that can bring more comfort to tourists or our locals, up north or down south of San Pedro and including the area like San Pedrito, San Juan and downtown San Pedro. So I am much appreciative of the embassy, and also Minister Elrington who was instrumental in making sure they arrived over here properly,” stated Heredia. For his part, Marin said that the tuk-tuk ambulances are not a long term solution, but will help reduce the challenges in rural, hard-to-access areas. “This is a support vehicle; this is for areas where we want to do outreach work or like – San Pedro Town which is small. So we can leave one of these mobile units in different areas so it will be faster for them to reach the clinic… If Dubai is using these kinds of vehicles that means it’s very convenient, [but] they are not a long term solution.”

Misc Belizean Sources

Warm weather for the rest of the weekend
Temperatures are hovering in the mid to low 90’s across the country on this Good Friday. And the warm weather and some unstable conditions will prevail heading into next week. The general forecast for Belize and her coastal waters is for mostly sunny skies this afternoon. Tonight will be partly cloudy. Showers will be isolated but there is the chance of an isolated afternoon thunderstorm inland or in the north. The wind is easterly to northeasterly at 5 – 15 knots and the sea state is choppy. A low tide will occur at 6:44 this evening.

Belize Child Exploitation!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez “The tourism industry is not to blame!” The CEO of the ministry of Belizean enslavement was quick to proclaim The taxi drivers and the tour operators are the one initiating it Who in their right mind believes that bullshit? Didn’t the PM say, “For God sake stop it!” You all think he was only talking about the visa shizzz? Hit them on the hip you all are condoning it You all see an opportunity so you are exploiting it Everyone is exploiting Belize’s children Even those sworn to protect them The PAHO ministry of health has been killing them Those they don’t kill with fake medicines they are disabling them The US security ministry Has been arresting, profiling, incarcerating, emasculating and criminalizing them Using their gang associates to assassinate them Whilst murderers, rapists and drug barons are finding Belize to be a safe haven The ministry of human enslavement and institutionalized dependency has been using, abusing and dehumanizing them

Fatal road traffic accident in Toledo district
A traffic accident on Thursday evening in the Toledo district has claimed the life of one man. The victim has been identified as Robert Gentle, a resident of Mafredi village. According to reports by our colleagues at Ak’kutan Community News Network (ACNN), Gentle was traveling in his tracker SUV when it overturned at Crique Troso near Mafredi village around 3 pm on Holy Thursday. ACNN reports that the vehicle was extensively damaged. Robert Gentle is originally from Esperanza village, Cayo, but because of work, lived in rural Toledo in the area of the Blue Creek quarry.

FREE entrance to all Archaeological Reserves for Belizeans over the holidays
NICH wishes everyone a safe and blessed Easter!. National Institute of Culture and History

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Wind power, anyone?
To Whom it May Concern; We have been working with the Belizean government on wind projects since January. We would be very interested in introducing private wind power generation for your island. We have the expertise to install, finance, and develop the utility lines for the entire community. If this is something that the community would want to research please feel free to get back to me. Regards Cliff Brooke Hydro Star Energy

The Reporter

Belizeans accuse Canadian McDonald’s of “slavery”
Belizean workers at McDonald’s in Canada are accusing the company of treating them like “slaves”. A report by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, states that the Belizeans say that McDonald’s is effectively forcing them to share an expensive apartment, then deducting almost half their take-home pay as rent. The Belizeans who migrated to Canada after an invitation by that country to apply for jobs over a year ago, said that when they arrived at the airport they were told that there was already an apartment for them. “At that point we already know we don’t have a choice of where to live,” said Jaime Montero, who traveled to Edmonton with four others to work at McDonald’s. “We had to live there. We were told this is what we are doing,” said another worker who didn’t want to be named because he still works for McDonald’s. “You work for us now, so we are your owners”, they claim they were told. The Belizeans said their dream of making good money in Canada to send to their families in Belize quickly shattered. Instead, they pocketed less than $800 per month, which they said is barely enough to live on. They worked at McDonald’s locations in south Edmonton and said it took them more than an hour to get to work by public transit.

Scotia Bank honors $60,000 commitment to school
This week Scotiabank donated $20,000 to Living Hope Preparatory School in support of its feeding program. The donation is the culmination of a $60,000 pledge made to the school, over the last three years. Patrick Andrews, Vice President and Managing Director of Scotiabank, said that Scotiabank honors its strong commitment to education and healthcare. “We believe in providing students with the tools and skills they need to reach their full potential within our communities.” Francis Calacayo, the school’s principal, accompanied by Reverend Natalee Bowen, the school’s manager, received the cheque on Wednesday at Scotiabanks’s Belize City branch. Calacayo told The Reporter today that the schools’ feeding program has been running for almost 10 years, catering to the needs of students of lower socio-economic backgrounds.

The accident scene on Mahogany Street shows motorcycle under car
Photo

Police operation yields over two pounds of weed
An anti-drug operation in the Pickstock area of Belize City has led to the discovery of over two pounds of marijuana. Police say that officers from the Quick Response Precinct Two Unit were on an anti-drug operation on Fitzgibbon Street at around 9:40 a.m. on Wednesday. They searched an abandoned lot in the Pickstock area of Belize City which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing suspected cannabis which amounted to 464 grams. During the operation a second find of a black plastic bag among garbage weighed 455 grams or just over a pound. Both finds were regarded as found property.

Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission concedes that anti-doping procedures in 2013 fell short of international standards
The Jamaica Anti-Doping Commission (JADCO) has conceded that some procedures carried out while collecting samples for testing last year were not consistent with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) International Standards. JADCO made its concession in a statement on Wednesday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) blasted Jamaican anti-doping officials for the mishandling of a drug test by sprinter, Veronica Campbell-Brown. Three-time Olympic gold medallist, Campbell-Brown had a successful appeal to her two year ban on the grounds that international standards were violated during her sample collection.

Blogs

Birthday trivia and a GREAT Friday
It’s Easter weekend in and one of the busiest times of the year. Hotels are booked to capacity and aside from out of country visitors, many Belizeans head for the coast to get some holiday beach time. The rush started yesterday as many people were arriving and running around town doing last minute errands. This was the day to get your shopping done and stock up on spirits as the Bars and stores do not sell alcohol on Good Friday. Today, Saturday and Sunday will be full out busy all around town and by Monday things will start winding down and get back to normal. Two tips for enjoying a good Easter Holiday in Belize: It is not unheard of for ATM’s to run dry on Easter weekend so stocking up on a little extra cash and keeping it in a safe secure place will ensure your holiday fun does not get cut short. Easter is one of our busiest times of year along with Christmas and New Years.

A Very Traditional Good Friday Morning in Very Traditional Benque Viejo, Belize
This morning everyone was up at the crack of dawn carefully laying down saw dust carpets on the streets for the mid-day procession. Here are some pictures and I have lots more to take. This is still going on… EVERYTHING is closed in the town. No one is working. I need to get out there and take about 15,000 more pictures so enjoy your Good Friday. The big parties start this weekend. I am here until the afternoon and then head to Belize City for the evening. Off to beg someone for a cup of coffee!

THE LOCAL CHURCH IN BELMOPAN
Every time I travel to Belmopan, Belize, I'm reminded of what going to church was like during my childhood. Growing up in northern Mexico, I remember my grandpa preaching at revivals every weekend. I recall going to church several times a week, sometimes twice a day. It's not because we were religious fanatics, but if our fulfillment is found in our Creator; what better way to satisfy that desire than by constantly being in His presence. Christianity is lived out differently in North America than it is internationally. The fast-paced culture we live in teaches us to focus on our own strengths and capabilities; forgetting that the root of our actions, desires, motivation and perseverance, all come directly from God. Our everyday culture requires us to be more intentional in slowing down and diligently seeking God. It can be done, but we have to be persistent and conscious about it. Serving in Belize is more than just taking part in a construction project; it is a reminder that EM's partners in Belize are a perfect reflection of how to live in constant relationship with God. Belize's local churches are dedicated to an intimate relationship with God, bringing forth strength and perseverance to those around them. The pastors' reliance is fully on God—no doubt about that—filling their body with prayer and scripture every day. There are several pastors who preach 6-7 times a week, not to gain personal praise, but wanting to make God's name known throughout the country.

Volunteer story: Learning about lionfish
As an interdisciplinary marine conservation organisation, Blue Ventures targets its efforts across many levels. In Belize, the main focus is tackling the lionfish invasion that is threatening to decimate juvenile fish populations in the local reefs, including supporting the Sarteneja Fishermen Association‘s “promoting lionfish as an alternative fisheries target species” project. One of the project’s activities was a competition in which primary school children designed and painted signs about lionfish, while the high school children developed banners using power point, to raise awareness about this invasive species within the local community. At Bacalar Chico Dive Camp, we saw first hand the impact that lionfish are having on native fish stocks. In particular, lionfish compete with lobster – a key local fishery – for habitat, and with other fish for food. They become sexually mature at well under a year old, can reproduce every four days, and live for up to 15 years. So we are talking about ONE HECK OF A LOT of lionfish! First seen in Belize in 2008 and lacking predators, lionfish have multiplied at an exponential rate. Needless to say, we saw them on every dive.

12 Things You Need to Know About the 2014 Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic
The “Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic” is the top sporting event in Belize that draws crowds in the thousands. This year, the Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic is scheduled to take place on April 19th 2014. The event is covered in “real time” (live coverage) throughout the country. The race begins in Belize City. The race is comprised of 144 miles. At 6:00 a.m., cyclists start the race at Leslie’s Imports (Mile 1 ½) on the George Price Highway. Cyclists are categorized into four groups, 18 Year Old , Under 23, Elite and Masters. The mood is always celebratory during the race due to the peaceful and happy nature of the Belizean people. The “Finish” line will be at the newly renovated, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) Park.

International Sources

A chocoholic's guide to the Caribbean
Not many things trump an island getaway. Here's one that does: a chocolate-filled island getaway. And the Caribbean islands have much to offer when it comes to the beloved cacao bean. Here, you'll come across a storied history, chocolate factories and dedicated chocolatiers. In other words, it's not hard to find your sweet spot. Chocolate Festival of Belize: There's more to Toledo than dramatic waterfalls, Mayan temples and world-class fishing spots. It also has a longstanding cocoa-producing history, and it all culminates in May during the Chocolate Festival. Here you can sip specially brewed chocolate stout while listening to steel-pan music, get to know the chocolate producers themselves and sample chocolates flavored with organic orange peel and baalam nut. Also for sale are powdered cacao, baking chocolate, homemade cocoa-butter lip balm and cocoa-butter soaps. And don't forget to sample the dark chocolate mixed with bacon bits. chocolatefestivalofbelize.com

Boy’s wish comes true in Belize
A 12-year-old St. Charles boy saw Mayan ruins up close in Belize this year, thanks to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Illinois. Connor Milmoe spent eight days in the Central American country of Belize starting on March 29. He traveled there with his family after his doctors referred him to Make-A-Wish. His adventure included visits to four different temple sites, cave tubing and zip-lining over a rainforest....

Belize Falling Under the Drug Cartel Influence
In 2011, Belize was added to the USA’s “blacklist” of nations considered to be major producers or transit routes for illegal drugs as it became further enmeshed in the cocaine pipeline from South America up to Mexico and the United States. Approximately 10 tons of cocaine (with a street value in excess of half a billion dollars) passes through Belize each year. The increasing presence and influence of the drug cartels in this Central American country continue to wreak havoc on government institutions and public safety. Between 2000 and 2011, the intentional homicide rate in Belize more than doubled up to a level four times that of Costa Rica (which is also suffering under the cartels), three times that of Nicaragua, twice the rate in Panama, and even higher than in Guatemala. Only El Salvador and Honduras had higher murder rates than Belize among the Central American group in 2011, but Belize’s rate was increasing far faster over the past decade. According to just released 2012 data, Belize’s homicide rate has now passed that of El Salvador to take possession of second place behind Honduras. The murder rates in Belize’s most populous cities are higher than all other Central American nations except Guatemala, and Belize is barely behind Guatemala’s homicide capitals.

Travel website Oyster.com name its Top 10 dive sites
Topping the list was Half Moon Caye in Belize, followed by the Blue Heron Bridge at Riviera Beach, Fla., the RMS Rhone in the British Virgin Islands, Gran Cenote on the Riviera Maya, Mexico and Point Lobos in Carmel, Calif. Rounding out the top 10 were the Florida Keys, Isla Mujeres in Cancun, Cocos Island in Costa Rica and Ray of Hope, Bahamas.

Foreign Employees Accuse McDonald's of 'Slavery
Last month, McDonald’s was slapped with seven class-action lawsuits in the US, accusing the company of stealing employee wages by, amongst other things, forcing them to work off the clock. Now in Canada, McDonald’s is being accused of “slavery” for forcing foreign-born employees to live in a corporate apartment by automatically deducting the exorbitant rent from their paychecks. The accusations come from McDonald’s employees from Belize, who came to Edmonton, Alberta to work at the restaurant. “When we arrived at the airport, they said, ‘We already have an apartment for you,’ so at that point we already know we don’t have a choice of where to live,” said Jaime Montero, a former McDonald’s employee who has been most vocal about the claims. Canada’s Minister of Employment and Social Development is looking into the case. The apartment was located in downtown Edmonton, but the employees worked at a McDonald’s on the southern outskirts of the city. It took them about an hour and a half to get to work via public transportation. Five people lived in the two-bedroom, 2,500 sq. ft. apartment, which rented for $2,143 per month. Records show that, twice a month, the company took $254 out of the employees' paychecks to pay the rent. (Yes, that adds up to more than $2,500 a month; McDonald's did not pay utilities, and McDonald's had no explanation for what happened to the extra money.)

Earth Day 2014: Find Out How Global Warming Is Hurting 20 Latin American Countries
Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century. "Climate change is a present and growing threat to economic development, and the goals of reduction of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity," said Erick Fernandes, the adviser for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Latin American and Caribbean region for World Bank, to Latin Times. "Unless the world takes bold action now, a warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions, roll back decades of development gains and making it impossible to end extreme poverty by 2030." In Latin America, global warming has already made its mark with corals being bleached by warm temperatures, glaciers melting, cities becoming vulnerable to rising sea levels, and more. And it’s not just global warming that is threatening nature in Latin America: other forms of destruction (e.g. logging in the Amazon) is proving to be detrimental to biodiversity. In fact, according to The World Bank, Latin America is responsible for a small portion of global carbon emissions -- 12.5 percent, to be exact--but the region is the most affected by the temperature spike.

Community-based fishery management delivers individual and collective benefits in Belize
Recently, I traveled to Belize to see how TURF-reserves (territorial use rights for fishing co-located with no-take zones) are performing and learn about plans to expand them nationwide. The Mesoamerican Reef, the largest in the Atlantic Ocean, spans the Belizean coastline and is rich in biodiversity and a crucial source of income for thousands of fishers. Coastal fisheries, however, are at risk due to overfishing, and other pressures such as coastal development and climate change. In Belize, fishers have seen a decline in their catch, and the Belize Fisheries Department is using TURF-reserves to provide fishers the right incentives to become better stewards of their resources. As fishers take better care of their fishing area they will realize benefits and secure them for future generations. This approach to fisheries management is known as “Managed Access.” In 2008 the Belize Fisheries Department began working with EDF, Wildlife Conservation Society, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE), and other Belizean institutions to deploy two Managed Access pilot projects.

Videos

Video: Belize Dive Clips, 7min.
Some Dive videos down in Belize

Video: President of the Belize Medial Tourism Association, Dr Marcello Coyi, 4min.
Interview with Dr Marcello Coyi, President - Belize Medical Tourism Association

Video: Belize and a couple of Finns, 4min.
Adventurers: Deebo Juero Deshi IDA & INA

Video: Female yellow-headed amazon parrot in nest in Belize, 3min.
This was taken by a video camera placed by TIDE rangers in an artificial nest in Payne's Creek National Park, Belize. She sits on her 3 eggs for a while, and then leaves.

Video: My Back Yaad: Corozal, 21min.
Corozal is not just the sleepy town bordering Mexico anymore. Come with us and lets see why Corozal is a unique getaway for tourists and Belizeans alike.

Video: Belikin Chocolate Stout (initial thoughts and review), 5min.
Belikin Chocolate Stout gets a ***** 5 Star rating

Video: Baking Belize Cashew Apple Crisp, 8min.
Cashew Apple Crisp. This has nothing to do with Apples. The Cashew Apple is the fruit of the Cashew tree that the Cashew Nut comes from. This is just one of the many ways to use the cashew apple, a delicious fruit that is popular in Belize. Here we show you step by step how to make a delicious crisp or crumble from the cashew apples and papaya, another Belizean fruit.

Video: Surface view of the Blue Hole, Belize, 1min.

Video: Scuba dive belize blue hole 17.04.2014, 6min.

Video: Sharks in Belize, 1min.
This videos is of a dive with sharks in Belize

Video: Mexico & Belize, 15min.
This video is about Mexico & Belize

April 18, 2014


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Alcohol to be sold ONLY with meals on Good Friday
The San Pedro Police Department will once again be enforcing a dry Good Friday. No stores, supermarkets or bars are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages from Thursday, April 17th at 12 midnight to Friday, April 18th at 12 midnight. Hotels and restaurants will be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages with meals to bonafide customers only. According to Officer in Charge of the San Pedro Police Department Luis Castellanos, both mobile and foot police patrols will be dispatched throughout the island to ensure liquor stores and bars are closed and stores are not selling liquor or beer. Through the course of the day, random police spot checks will be held at establishments to prevent liquor being sold under the counter. “I will personally be out on Good Friday. It is time for San Pedro to start respecting the laws of Belize, and the law states that no liquor, alcohol or beers should be sold on revered days, such as Good Friday and Christmas Day,” said Castellanos.

La Isla Bonita gears up for the Easter Weekend!
Is San Pedro Town ready for the high influx of visitors on the island for the Easter weekend? That is exactly what Mayor Daniel Guerrero and his councilors went to find out when they made courtesy calls to the San Pedro Police Department, the Fire Department and the Dr Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic. Mayor Guerrero and Councilors Kenrick Brackett and Carlos Barrientos dedicated the afternoon of Wednesday April 16th to visit with providers of essential services to ensure that all their “ducks are in row” for the Easter Holiday.

Belize City Smart No Limits brings pressure on San Pedro Tigersharks
It was no easy match for the San Pedro Tigersharks when they faced off against Belize City Smart No Limits in week ten of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL). The game took place at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium on Saturday April 12th. Belize City Smart No Limits brought their A-game, giving the home team a wake-up call and much excitement and anxiety to home crowd. The visiting Belize City team came out strong when Greg Rudon passed the first ball of the game to Brandon Rogers. Rogers moved Tigersharks’ Michael Adams out of the way easily opening the scoreboard with a two-point shot. The Tigersharks were forced to respond and Tyrone Edwards quickly crossed over the ball to Darwin Leslie to push the first two points for the home team. Ashton Edward followed with a three-point shot plus a free throw, giving the home team a four-point lead. At the end of the first quarter, the home team led the visitors 24 to 18. With four minutes to go before the end of the game, Smart No Limits’ main player Greg Rudon made a spectacular move, capitalizing on a three-point shot then catching a free throw, turning over the game and giving the visitors a four point lead. Moments later Darwin Leslie of the Tighersharks picked up a loose ball catching a two-point, putting the islanders back into the game. Fast forward to crunch time and Leslie come up with two free throws that extended San Pedro’s lead to four points. No Limit pressured at the last minute of the game, but back-to-back blocks from 6’11” inches Michael Adams swatted away the golden opportunity of the city boys. San Pedro Tigersharks picked up their eighth consecutive win, finishing the game at 84 to 81 in favor of the home team.

Ambergris Today

PUP San Pedro Announces Slate for Municipal and General Elections
“The Belize Rural South PUP Executive Committee would like to inform its constituents that we have a Standard Bearer and also our PUP 7 for the upcoming Municipal Elections scheduled for March 4, 2015. With utmost respect and pride the PUP announces the candidacy of Dr. Giovanni Solorzano as our Mayoral Candidate. The Councilor Candidates are Mr. Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez Jr.; Mr. Alex Noralez; Mrs. Marina Graniel Kay; Mrs. Maria “Conchita” Valdez Flota; Mr. Pablo Alejandro Kumul and Mr. Omar “Kanasi” Guerrero. It is with much pride and honor that the PUP announces the unanimous endorsement of Mr. Eulogio “Elito” Arceo as Standard Bearer for Belize Rural South to represent San Pedro Town and Caye Caulker and to oversee their growth and well planned development of the Sister Islands.

Video Pick: Belize Adventure by Alex Parrillo
Looking at Alex Parrillo’s video posts on his YouTube page, you can definitely tell that he likes to travel. Well, in his latest video post he complied great imagery of his adventures in Belize. He tackled muddy roads, steep stairs, deep caves and coral reefs as he visited San Ignacio, Caracol Maya Archaeological Site, Caves Branch cave system and the island of Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sources

Rabbit, Papa Doc, The PUDP
There is a political acronym coined, I believe first, in the Amandala newspaper, that of the “PUDP”, referring to any and both of the larger political parties in Belize – the People’s United Party (PUP) and the United Democratic Party (UDP). The reference is such as to express to the world that they are one and the same – just different players, same game. If this is the truth, and in Belize, the population seems to believe every letter of the idea of the PUDP, it is appropriate and important to connect with the young people who came into their teenage years in the early part of the new millennium to understand why the larger political parties are referred to as such. These young people are the people who connected with the music of the super star Eminem and probably still connect with the music and even the movie “8 Mile” (released 2002). Simplified, the birth of the PUP the leaders realized two things: they wanted the Belizean people to create our own destiny and they wanted to strengthen the sociopolitical economy of the then colony. The PUP then became the party of social justice. Simplified too, in 1973, the UDP came to life with a pro-business, pro “get with the world economy” mantra, and certainly, a viable option for political management which in opinion, is important for a strong democracy.

Police look for man accused of chopping a woman
Police in Corozal are looking for a man who allegedly chopped his ex-mother-in-law and lashed his ex-common-law wife with a machete. Roberto Locke, according to police, barged into the home of his ex-common-law wife around 3 am on Wednesday and began accusing her of having an affair with another man. The 22 year old woman told police that Locke punched her in the face. Police say that the woman’s mother, upon hearing the commotion, went to her daughter’s aid.

Fuel for United FC
Deputy Mayor Gabriel Nuñez, on behalf of the San Pedro Town Council, presented a cheque to Mr. Elvis Budna from United FC football team to purchase 50 gallons of fuel for transportation. United FC will be participating in a football marathon in Sarteneja on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. The San Pedro Town Council would like to wish them the best of luck in the games!

SHC's Run for Peace
Sacred Heart College had their 2014 Run for Peace. They really put on some mileage. Peace to all, and have a great Easter.

Western Ballaz vs Tiger Sharks
The Western Ballaz are taking a weekend off for Easter, and will host the Tiger Sharks next Saturday, April 26th, starting at 9:00pm. The warm up game will be SHC vs Santa Elena, and will start at 6:00pm. There will be more prizes than ever, and half time will be off the hook! Meluchi's will be hosting the after-bash. In related news, the Belmopan Bandits will be hosting the Corozal Heat in Belmopan, starting at 8:00pm.

Passion of the Christ Procession
Benque is having their annual Passion of the Christ re-enactment and procession tomorrow, Holy Friday, starting at 10:00am. In related news, they celebrated Holy Tuesday with the Procession of El Encuentro. "Take note my fellow Belizeans and facebookers...this is taking place once again in Benque Viejo on Good Friday of this year...bring the family along with you and be part of this annual event!"

University of Belize and BELTRAIDE sign MOU
The University of Belize and BELTRAIDE signed a memorandum of Understanding yesterday, which will see future entrepreneurs passing through the institution get an opportunity to bring their business ideas to life. The MOU will allow BELTRAIDE’s Small Business Development Center activate at a higher capacity so that persons interested can receive training on different enterprise management techniques.

BEL Power interruption
8:00am to 12:00noon on Thursday, April 24: Mile 8 to 18 along Philip Goldson Hwy including Ladyville, Lord’s Bank, Maxboro and Los Lagos. BEL to install lightning arrestors on the distribution system between Mile 8 and 18, Philip Goldson Highway.

Police and traffic officers conduct road checkpoints for Easter
Authorities have stepped up their vigilance this long Easter holiday weekend to try and keep motorists safe on the highways. The Belize Police Department working with the traffic department for the Town and City Councils has been conducting vehicle check points at various locations. These are designed to ensure that vehicles are properly insured and licensed and that no one is driving while under the influence of alcohol. This was the case this evening in Orange Walk where officers were out in full force doing checkpoints.

86th Cross Country Classic bigger and better
The 86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is to kick off from BTL Park on Newtown Barracks on April 19 at 5:50 in the morning. Traditionally run from the outskirts of Belize City to San Ignacio’s Columbus Park and back, the race has attained iconic status and the battle between Belize’s best and visiting foreign teams and individuals is sure to raise the national spirit. The lead-out to the start of the race and its return go by the route of Central American Boulevard, Freetown Road, left on Barrack Road against the flow of traffic and heading up to BTL Park for the finish. The foreign line-up, expected to number over 20, includes representatives from Mexico, Guatemala, the United States and for the first time, Haiti, who is sending a four-man national team.

Caretaker arrested for Hattieville shopping spree
Twenty-seven year old Sherman Hemmans, a resident of Gracie Rock Village, was charged with eight separate counts of theft when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Hemmans pled not guilty to the charges and he was released on bail of $6,000. His case was adjourned until June 3. Hemmans, who is employed as a caretaker, is alleged to have swiped an ATM card from Joseph Fusy and used it to purchase grocery items from Everyday Supermarket, located in Hattieville, Belize District.

George McKenzie Junior faces murder charge
This morning, the son and namesake of late reformed gangster, George “Junie Balls” McKenzie, who was killed several years ago, was charged with a recent murder. George McKenzie, Jr., is accused of causing the death of 57 year old Alfonso Cruz, a resident of Rhaburn’s Alley, who was shot and killed around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 12. McKenzie was brought to court this morning but he was not arraigned because the court is waiting on a directive from the DPP. Cruz was sitting on an old refrigerator that was in the alley when his assailant shot him once in the head from close range.


The Belize Film School is just under a motnh away. Last year the students did quite a few documentaries on local artists and personalities from Cayo, and Bullet Tree Falls. This year, they are focusing on San Antonio. Can't wait to see the footage. "You could be in Belize making a Wildlife Documentary! See where life takes you!"

SI United Tie Verdes
The San Ignacio United played the Verdes yesterday, and it was a draw. Over the last 2 years, that makes their stats 4 - 3 - 3. They travel to PG next week. "San Ignacio United draw with Verdes FC. Anthony Gonzalez scored his 4th consecutive goal in the last 3 games. Paradise Freedom Fighters are next in PG."

Channel 7

McKenzie Jr. Murder Charge Withdrawn
Tonight, George McKenzie Jr. - son of slain gang leader George "Junie Balls" Mckenzie Sr - is in detention after he was taken to court but couldn't be arraigned for the charge of murder. Investigators were sure that they had the right man. But at the very last minute, new information suggesting an alibi was brought forward from the upper ranks of the Department, causing the charge to be suddenly withdrawn - which is very unusual. Police were sure that he was the shooter who gunned down 57 year-old Alfonso Cruz in Rhaburn's Alley on April 12. They got a statement from an eyewitness who Mckenzie Jr had allegedly tried to shoot immediately before Cruz was murdered. Plus, they did an ID parade where McKenzie was identified as the gunman who shot Cruz. But at the last minute, reports tell us a senior police officer intervened with alibi evidence in Mckenzie's favor. This caused McKenzie, who was already at court to be arraigned, to get a last minute reprieve.

Paris Copius Stabbed
Tonight, 19 year-old Paris Copius, a Ladyville resident, is at the KHMH in a critical condition after he was attacked and stabbed in the village. Police have very little information at this time, but they suspected that it happened sometime around 10 or 11 p.m. last night. One of difficulties they faced was that no one informed them of Copius' condition after he was transferred from the BDF Hospital, to the KHMH. That only happened after the professionals realized that his injuries were more serious than they initially anticipated. Today, the Rural Executive Officer provided the media with the information they have about the incident at this time: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Earlier this morning we learn that a gentleman from the village has been taken to the military hospital and then onto the Karl Heusner Hospital. He was being attended to there and apparently procedures had to be done on him. We've establish that an incident did occur in the village and there is one person that's being sought and we are hoping that by day's end we will wrapped up the information to give something comprehensive. However we know that there was a stabbing and that is from the injuries we understand he received. We have received the information from him and we are working on whatever else other processes to get it sorted out."

Jealousy Led To Caye Caulker Stabbing
And Caye Caulker police are also investigating a stabbing. This one happened on Tuesday night on the island. 24 year old Aquiles Canche and 31 year old James Crawford got into a fight at 10:30 near the village cemetery - and a local resort. The dispute centered over a female Kathy Balam. She was reportedly hanging out and talking with Canche when Crawford who she has a relationship with came upon them and stabbed Canche in the back. Canche then stoned Crawford with a bottle of rum. But the bottle didn't even break, and Crawford continued to stab Canche 5 more times, twice in the back, once to his lower stomach, once in his arm pit, and once in the lower stomach. Neighbors rushed Canche to the clinic but he was in bad shape, and at the height of the night, island Police had to find a boat to carry Canche to the KHMH. He received emergency surgery and is in stable condition. Police have not been able to get a statement from him.

Fisheries Makes Easter-Time Bust
It seems like whenever the major holidays arrive, there's an accompanying spike in illegal activities. Christmas usually brings an increase in contraband goods, and for the Fisheries Department, Easter and its seafood cravings means that off season product is more likely to be illicitly traded. So, the Department has set up checkpoints, and yesterday their diligence paid off in a major way. Daniel Ortiz visited with them today, and found out that they had busted thousands of dollars in prohibited marine products. Here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting What you're looking at is somewhere between 15,000 to 20,000 dollars' worth of illegal fisheries products which were confiscated by officers from the Department's Conservation Compliance Unit yesterday.

Belizean Recruited To Work In Canada Criticizes Job Programme
In December of 2012, we told you about the Canadian company named ACTYL which was in Belize recruiting workers for McDonald's. Hundreds flocked to their interview sessions at the Radisson and many were eager for the opportunity to earn as much as 10 US Dollars per hour - even if it meant flipping burgers in a cold country. But, now a report from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation says that at least one disgruntled Belizean worker is calling it slavery. Jaime Montero has lashed out against McDonald's - and for that he has been fired, evicted from the McDonald's apartment and ended up in a homeless shelter. But, tonight, his claims are making headlines in that country. CBC network reported on the story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/mcdonald-s-foreign-workers-call-it-slavery-1.2612659?cmp=rss Montero was fired in November and evicted from the apartment. He still has a work permit, but has been unable to find another job. And while his plan was to send money back to Belize, he says his family is now sending him money while he tries to find a job.

Canadian Wife Says Murder Not Suicide, Police Say Insurance
A Canadian woman is demanding that police re-open the investigation into her husband's death, which was ruled a suicide. William Lloyd Webster was found hanged to death in his Cayo home in December of 2012. But, she doesn't buy it. She hired a private investigator who compiled a 10 page report citing inconsistencies in the forensic examination and the scene of the crime. Rene Webster says "there was no suicide note and there are many things that just don't add up." She says they recreated the crime scene and have proved that it was physically impossible for Webster to have hung himself. Nonetheless, she says local police are writing her off as an hysterical grieving widow. But, police say differently. Today the officer in charge of Cayo Superintendent Ralph Moody told us quote, "there is no evidence at all indicating that there is a murder with Mr. Webster." End quote. Moody told us he met with Rene Webster last week and he claims that she told him she quote, "only wants the police to change (the cause of death) from a suicide to a murder…for insurance purposes." End quote. Moody stressed that we could quote him on that and told us that quote, "I will not put my career and my reputation on the line for any such thing."

Making Sense OF the NCL Economies
Last night, we showed you the first part of our interview with Michael Singh, the CEO of the Ministry of Trade, where he explained that Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye Port project got all environmental clearances it needed. With the Environmental Compliance Plan completed, the project moves on the next phase where Cabinet will decided on a final agreement on the social and economic guidelines that the Company must adhere to so that they can get the final go-ahead. As we've told you, the Belize Tourism Industry Association has been against the plan claiming that it is not environmentally or economically beneficial to the country. They will challenge the Department of Environment's decision to give the project environmental clearance in court by way of judicial review proceedings. The President of BTIA's Placencia chapter has also offered strong resistance to the project on economic grounds. Yesterday, while had the opportunity, we asked Singh to address them, given that he has been present as a trade and investment promotion representative ever since the project first emerged. Here's our conversation with Singh on those economic concerns:

Hemmans Swiped Card and Then Kept Swiping?
27 year-old Sherman Hemmans, a resident of Gracie Rock Village, is out on bail tonight after he taken to court for swiping a man's ATM Card and going on a grocery shopping spree valued at a little over 5 thousand dollars. Joseph Fusy reported to police his card was stolen, and that charges of up to 5 thousand, 38 dollars was charged on it by the thief. Investigators looking into the missing ATM card and found out that all those expenses were from grocery items purchased at Everyday Supermarket in Hattieville. Hemmans was linked to the card and the purchased, so he was charged with 8 counts of theft.

The Pageantry Of Cross Country
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is the only certifiably epic event on the annual sporting calendar. And that is because of its history, but it's also because of the pageantry - the colors and the character of the men and their machines. Today as an annual pre-race event, the Cycling Federation arranged a Cycling Parade. We stopped by to speak to a few of the local cyclists about their level of preparedness: Darnell Barrow, 2013 Cross Country Champ "I feeling very amazing and I've been doing all my training so I feel confident right now; myself and my team has been training very hard. I have a good team support to back me up to defend my title, so feeling good." Daniel Ortiz "Tell us about the pressure? Every Belizean wants to see a Belizean take the garland and you done it last year and now the pressure is on you to keep it, so how do you deal with that?"

In Search OF Good Friday Fish Finders
Every year, we tell you about the Holy Thursday rush on fresh fish at the markets all over the country. As should be well known, it is both religious observance and cultural practice to strictly eat fish on Good Friday. But with high demand for a fixed supply, the only constant in the marketplace is increasing prices and increased haggling over said prices. This year Monica Bodden went for her education in Good Friday Fish Finding, and here's her story:..

Water Taxi's Ready For Easter Rush
And another fixture of the Easter holidays is the rush to the cayes. Hotels on San Pedro and Caye Caulker are booked to capacity - and so are the water taxis. Between Holy Thursday and Good Friday - thousands of Belizeans set out on the water taxis for their island retreats. Competition between the two leading service providers Caye Caulker Water Taxi and San Pedro Belize Express is fierce and so are the price wars. And while they are competing, the water taxi's are also having to deal with the biggest crowd of the year, kind of like Christmas in April. Today Joe Marin of Caye Caulker Water taxi told us they have multiple boats on standby just to accommodate the rush:.. Joe Marin, Caye Caulker Water Taxi "Yes the rush is picking up like from this afternoon right through the rush will pick right up and then tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday then Monday is start tapering off. But tomorrow and Saturday will definitely be the big rush. We have extra boats come on line and we are handling everything okay."

Easter Destinations Are A Mixed Bag
But we certainly can't all afford to splash out to the Cayes. Still, it is a four day weekend, a time when there are weighty religious observances, and where, for better or worse, "r and r" has become its own kind of religion. So, the question arises, what are you doing for Easter? That's what our colleague Geovanni Brackett went to the streets asking today:.. An observance both religious and Now, we know that most folks can't afford to go there.

Channel 5

2 fisheries busts yield $20,000 worth of sea food
With Good Friday and the Easter Holidays upon us, the demand for fish has increased and so has vigilance by the Fisheries Department for seafood that is out of season. [...]

1 man detained for illegal gill net fishing in protected area
While no one was arrested for the illegal seafood found on the buses, one man, a resident of the Belize River Valley area, was arrested on Wednesday following a patrol [...]

Ladyville youth stabbed multiple times
Sometime either late last night or in the early hours of the morning a teenager from Ladyville was stabbed multiple times. Police are in the middle of their investigations and [...]

Canada issues a travel advisory against Belize
A United Nations report recently released has placed Belize as the third most dangerous country in the world and that dubious distinction might be having some effect. So far this [...]

The demand for fish jacks up the prices
Holy Thursday is a busy time for vendors because fish and other types of seafood will traditionally be consumed on Good Friday. At the various fish markets this morning, we [...]

Gracie Rock caretaker arraigned for theft
A caretaker of the Gracie Rock area is being accused of eight counts of theft which allegedly occurred at the Everyday Supermarket, located in Hattieville, a well-known grocery store in [...]

Prosecutor holds off on arraignment of George McKenzie Junior
Nineteen year old George McKenzie Junior was escorted to the court this morning in handcuffs in connection with the murder of fifty-seven year old Alfonso Cruz. But about an hour [...]

Belizeans recruited to work in Canada say McDonald is modern-day slavery
Belizeans who were recruited to work in Canada are finding out that the jobs are not as lucrative; in fact, some say their experience working at McDonalds is a form [...]

Private investigation shows Canadian William Webster was murdered
On December twenty-third, 2012, Canadian William Webster was found dead in his home in Santa Elena in Cayo. He was hanging from a strap attached to a beam in his [...]

Easter Tips by police for Rural Belize District
As we’ve done all this week, News Five has been providing tips to all residents on security and safety do’s and don’ts this Easter Weekend. Rural Executive Officer, Assistant Superintendent [...]

Hot cross bun, a timeless Easter tradition
Ovens across Belize have been lit since the beginning of Holy Week and bakers at home or at your favorite pastry shop are busy preparing a perennial Easter treat.  Hot [...]

Healthy Living has useful tips to stay safe if you plan to hit the water
Easter is here and within the next few days, thousands of Belizeans will travel to their favorite watering hole for some rest, relaxation and fun. One of the unfortunate side-effects [...]

CTV3

Canadian Widow Launches Investigation Into Death Of Her Husband
A Canadian widow has launched an investigation into the death of her husband in San Ignacio Cayo that occurred on December 23 2012. For context, when police investigated the incident they concluded that Lloyd Webster had committed suicide since he was found hanging from beam at his home. But the widow of the deceased Renee Webster is not buying that theory. She recalls that after not being able to contact her husband she asked neighbors to check on him. They found him hanging from a beam in the basement of the house.

Forest Department Launches Project To Save Parrots
The Forest department, Orange Walk Office in collaboration with the Belize Bird Rescue has taken on an initiative that seeks to save a species in the country’s diverse wildlife population. These are parrots of which a great number, by their count, are in captivity. Last night the officers held a meeting in Orange Walk to educate the public on how to keep captive parrots healthy and also on the laws of Belize. According to Hannah Martine, Officer in Charge of the Orange Walk Forest Station, the main objective of their campaign is to help maintain a viable population of parrots in Belize, which is unfortunately dwindling.

Corozaleno Wins Farmer Of The Year Award
Felix Esquivel of Consejo Corozal District is this year’s Farmer of the year. He was selected from a number of nominations that were made from around the country to the Agriculture Department. We spoke with Esquivel today who said that he has spent his entire life as a farmer, weathering all the challenges that farmers face in his sector. We spoke with Esquivel today about his experience as a farmer. Felix Esquivel- Czl Farmer Of The Year “Cuando empezábamos a sembrar papaya después no nos resultó y empezamos con la cebolla, tomate, sandia, de todo que se consume localmente.” Dalila ical – Reporter “Que tan exitosos ha sido su negocio estos años?" Felix Esquivel- Farmer Of The Year “Pues como todos los agricultores tenían perdidas en el principio de la cebolla que no nos organizábamos bien y el tiempo pero ahorita la cebolla ya está yendo bien y ya tiene dos años y eso es lo que estamos trabajando más ahorita.”

Week 12 Of 2013/2014 Crop Season
April 13th 2014 marked the end of week 12 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 12 the factory milled fifty six thousand four hundred and seventy six tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of six hundred and fourteen thousand four hundred and fifty four tons of cane. Last year the factory milled a four hundred and seventy seven thousand three hundred and ninety eight tons cane during the same 12 week period. Taking a look at sugar production, six thousand six hundred and sixty seven tons of the sweetener was produced for week 12. An overall of sixty five thousand nine hundred and twenty eight tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year the factory produced forty seven thousand six hundred and twenty eight tons of sugar. This week the factory worked at a grinding rate of eight thousand sixty eight tons cane per day. Overall, for the 11weeks of crop, the grinding rate per day stands at seven thousand six hundred and eighty one tons cane. Last crop it was at five thousand nine hundred and sixty seven tons cane per day.

UNESCO Places Belize 8 In List Of Must See Sites
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced its list of MUST see spots around the world and Belize’s Barrier Reef was among the top nine listed. Many of the places are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which means they are places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. The report says Belize is considered one of the best spots for diving in the world, in large parts thanks to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Belize Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere.

Cheetos Not Good For You
If you, your child or any other family member are lovers of Cheetos chips then we suggest you pay keen attention to the next report. Research conducted by the Health Living Cornerstone in the United States shows that particular spicy snacks and favorite of many children is causing them grave harm. Why is this important to Belize? Parents are being asked to beware when giving their child spicy snacks such as Cheetos Flamin’ Hot and Crunchy. Emergency room doctors are reporting treating more and more kids every day who have developed gastritis – a painful inflammation or erosion of the stomach lining – after eating the snacks.

No Arrest Made For Broad Daylight Robbery
Tonight, despite having surveillance footage of the perpetrators in yesterday’s brazen mid-morning robbery at the Orange Walk’s Bargain Center, authorities are still trying to identify the men in the footage provided by the store. When we contacted Deputy in Command, Selvin Tillett he informed us that they were following up on some leads but no arrests were made so far. For context, two men; one of dark complexion and the other of Hispanic descent entered the thrift store located on Main Street at around 9:45 yesterday morning.

Belizeans Experience Fuel Price Increase
Tonight we have some really bad news for Belizeans who were thinking of traveling in their private vehicles for the Easter Holidays. It’s just that your trip will come out a bit more expensive due to an increase in the price of fuel. That’s right; the price of fuel saw an increase midnight last night. This means that the next time you go to the pumps; you will pay $11.64 for a gallon of regular gas instead of $11.35, an increase of 29 cents. Diesel saw a two cents increase as it went from $10.47 to $10.49. As for V-Power or Premium gas it remains the same at 11.75 per gallon.

The Reporter

Desperate search for missing students on sunken ferry continues
The desperate, massive search for ferry passengers of a sunken ferry in the Yellow Sea off the coast of southwest Korea continues as almost 300 remain missing. Hope remains that those trapped on board are still alive. The passenger, most of whom are students, reached out to parents and relatives via text messages. One text read: “No phone connection so there is no Internet connection. So just sending text message.” Another said: “There are few people on the ship, can’t see a thing, it’s totally dark…there are few men and women, women are screaming.”

Police warn motorcycle owners about increase in thefts
The police press office today issued a warning to owners of motorcycles to ensure that their cycles are secured at all times following an increase in reported motorcycle thefts. There have been two thefts of motorcycles in as many days in the Belize District alone, the most recent of which was over last night. Jose Landero, who lives in Vista del Mar, reported to police that his blue Meilun brand motorcycle was stolen from off his veranda between 10 p.m. on Wednesday and 6 a.m. today.

Woman’s leg crushed in traffic accident in Belize City
A traffic accident a few minutes ago on Mahogany Street near its junction with Central American Boulevard in Belize City has left a woman inured. The Reporter has confirmed that the accident involved a car and a motorcycle and that the car ran over the woman’s leg. She is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital receiving medical attention and the police are on the scene. Our information is that the woman was on the cycle. We will endeavour to get the details of this breaking news story as they become available.

WALLBelize rejects Revised Gender Policy 2013
The United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize, which calls itself WALLBelize, says that it rejects the Revised Gender Policy 2013. The organization, which says that its mission is to confront systems of oppression, injustice and exploitation, and to defend the unborn and women and girls, is of the view that the government is determined to implement the Policy. WALLBelize, in a press release, takes issue the sections that it says encourage violence and disrespect against people in promoting abortion and same sex relationships, and in its earliest revision, promoting prostitution. The organization feels that these concepts are in violation of biblical preaching. Through implementation of the Policy, WALLBelize feels that the government intends to force the schools, including faith-based ones, to include these concepts in the curriculum, and this would “lead to a perverse and confused society with behaviours that would be difficult to reverse. Such a curriculum would also infringe on the rights of parents and families to raise their children in their chosen religious and spiritual orientations.”

The Belize Times

Bloody Streets!! – 6 Murders in 4 days
On the same week Belize was named the 3rd most dangerous country in the world by the United Nations this week, criminal violence has escalated with six cold murders in just four days across the country. Four of those murders occurred in Belize City alone. The latest homicide occurred in the broad daylight on Tuesday afternoon. Well known cyclist, 41 year old Ernest “Dangalong” Thurton, had stopped by his aunt’s house in the Junesville Area when he was attacked by a gunman who fatally shot him in the back. Thurton, who is employed by Santiago Castillo Limited as a messenger, was delivering company payments in the form of cheques earlier, and it is believed that may have been the motive for the attack. The Police have not said if anything was taken from Thurton. Thurton is not known as a troublemaker. He had stopped by his aunt’s home to ensure that it was secure. His aunt is in the United States, and Thurton had been securing the house.

“We will block US capital” – Maya Leaders say they will “use all necessary action” to defend customary lands
The Barrow Government has aggravated an already tense and flammable situation in the Toledo District with its arbitrary and flagrant Cabinet decision to extend a permit granted by U.S. Capital to continue its oil exploration on Mayan customary land. The decision came days after an April 3rd Supreme Court ruling which declared that the Government acted wrongfully when it granted the initial permission to U.S. Capital without any form of consultation with the Mayan people. On Friday April 11, Maya leaders met to look over the situation and two resolutions were passed. The first is that they would launch another legal offensive with a challenge to the Government’s Cabinet decision and would seek an injunction to stop U.S. Capital from proceeding with any activities.

Murder Capital! – UN names Belize – 3rd Most Deadly Country in the World
On the eve of what has been the most murderous weekend for this year, a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) placed international scrutiny on Belize for its domestic problems related to crime and poor citizen security. The UNODC conducted a Global Study on Homicide to see which countries had the highest murder rates in 2012. Belize, which saw the second highest number of homicides in 2012 than over the past three years, topped the list from the Caribbean, was the 2nd highest in Central America and 3rd highest in the world. The study concluded that Belize had 44.7 homicides per 100,000 citizens in 2012. That was higher than El Salvador (41.2 per 100,000), Guatemala (39.9 murders per 100,000), Jamaica (39.3 murders per 100,000), Swaziland (33.8 per 100,000 in 2012), Saint Kitts and Nevis (33.6 per 100,000), South Africa (31 per 100,000), and Colombia (30.8 per 100,000).

Drill baby, drill
By G. Michael Reid. Attorney General Wilfred Elrington’s recent mumbling and bumbling attempt to misrepresent the recent Supreme Court ruling against the government of Belize is pathetic and shows the government’s total disregard for the rule of law. On April third, Justice Michelle Arana handed a decision which basically affirms the rights of the indigenous people of Belize. The decision made two major declarations: (1) that the Government’s decision to permit drilling and road construction inside the national park is irrational and unreasonable, because it was made without the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous Maya communities; and (2) that the permission which the Government of Belize gave to the company to drill in the Sarstoon Temash National Park breaches the legitimate expectation of the indigenous Maya peoples. Justice Arana went further and urged the Government to comply with its obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of the indigenous Maya. In an interview given following the case, Attorney General Elrington made the following comments; “I read the judgment of Madame Justice Arana, her judgment was very clear and it was evident to me that she had given very careful thought to the matter.” In spite of that, Elrington went on to suggest that Justice Arana was not referring to the current treaty with US Capital. What then was Madame Justice referring to Mr. Elrington? Isn’t this very agreement what this case was all about?

UDP Politics as Usual…
In terms of this crime thing, can we realistically expect 2011 to be any different from 2010? Can we expect a decrease in murders, in home invasions, in assaults, in robberies and shootings and thefts? The government has offered nothing different from 2010 – no new initiatives, no new agenda, no new plans, no bold, visionary ideas. There is nothing new coming out of the Ministry of Police, nothing new coming out of the Police Department. Operating Restore Belize is still putt-putting merrily along on the wings of a song. Poverty is increasing apace, as is unemployment. Frustration and desperation are heading on up. There have been no social programs offered and no move to address the school dropout rate. There is still no state of the art forensic/DNA lab which Mr. Barrow promised something like three years ago. He continues to promise the lab periodically but still nothing. That’s all we’ve gotten from this government – NOTHING. The Minister of Police did his media thing the other day but while he may be cute (or not) we were given NOTHING concrete, nothing to base our hopes for better on. So far 2011 isn’t looking all that great…

Editorial: There is Hope!
The story of the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most powerful in the world. It is therefore much more than a story. To Christians, it is the foundation of their faith – showing that Jesus is truly the son of God and that he washed our sins with his life and blood, promising to return for his children. It is a symbol of Hope. Today Christians all over the world celebrate the great moment and the acclamation: “Jesus has risen!” It is a powerful message of hope and salvation. For this reason the Easter weekend is first and foremost a very spiritual time in Belize. There is a growing trend to mix this holy week with non-spiritual celebratory events, but by and large most Belizeans recognize the need to connect, or for some, reconnect, with their Church to pray and seek guidance. While there are many who would argue that politics and religion should never mix and indeed it would be correct for us to say that pastoral leaders are much better at explaining and interpreting the scriptures than politicians, all of us in Belize can find hope in this great Easter message. This is a message of peace and unity in a time when our nation is grappling with violence and the senseless loss of lives.

Brown Bombers & City Boys enter U-15/ U-17 football playoffs
The Brown Bombers U-15 team and the City Boys U-17 are the No. 1 seeds in their respective divisions entering the 2014 Belize District Football Association playoffs, as the regular season closed at the MCC grounds in Belize City on Saturday, April 12. The Academy FC “B” team held the Pallotti FC girls to a 0-0 draw in the only game played on Saturday. The last remaining U-15 game between the Brown Bombers and the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club U-15 was compassionately re-scheduled for Sunday, April 13, after the untimely death of promising, young footballer, Richard “RJ” Waight; but on Sudnay, the Hattieville United could only field 8 players and forfeited the game to the Brown bombers who finished the season at the top of the standings.

Lady Jaguars, Moen Stars, SQ Jr. Stars & Dragons win in volleyball
The Lady Jaguars, Moen Stars, SQ Junior Stars, Rebels and SQ Dragons posted big wins when the Belize District Volleyball Association’s 2014 competition continued at the Belize Elementary auditorium over the weekend. The Moen Stars had no trouble dispatching the SQ Junior Stars in game 1 on Friday night in 3 sets: 25-15, 25-16 and 25-21. In Game 2, the defending champs, the Lady Jaguars had to go to extra points to win the 1st set: 27-25 over the Belmopan Mystics, but after that they dominated the next 2 sets 25-10 and 25-7.

FC Belize defeats Police United FC 1-0
The FC Belize stunned the top-ranked Police United FC 1-0 in the Belikin Cup closing season competition at the MCC Garden on Sunday. The up-to-then undefeated Police team took the game to the FC Belize with Clifton West, Danny Jimenez, Harrison “Kafu” Roches, Amin “Tacos” August and the Makin brothers, Devon and Andres, leading the attack, but the FC Belize goalie Elroy Rowley came up with save after save to keep them scoreless the entire game. Michael “Chenko” Whittaker just started this season with FC Belize and has not had as much playing time, but when he got the chance, he made Police feel his presence, blasting in the winning goal past goalie Keith Allen in the 39th minute.

AMAZING GRACE – Like Taking Candy From A Baby
The term: ‘taking candy from a baby’ is used to describe the ease with which one can deceive or steal from someone else. There is nothing ‘cool’ or glorifiable in it. When someone’s actions are compared to taking candy from a baby, in essence, the person has taken advantage of someone weaker; someone more vulnerable to those with power and aggression. To take things a step further, babies are the hope of the future. They are the embodiment of the world’s push to progress and new ideas. Children’s innocence is a gift that, in this figurative statement, is exploited. Lately, there have been several outbreaks of men exploiting the vulnerabilities of women, by targeting them for robberies. Now, let me clarify that I in no way want to belittle women or come across as sexist, intimating that women are by any means ‘weak’ or less than a man. As I’ve mentioned before, women are incredibly strong, the backbone of our country! In fact, one of the women that was held up by three men held her ground and refused to give up her money without a fight. Unfortunately, the men outnumbered her and she was badly beaten up until she could barely use her jaw to talk. This is the injustice that burns me. There is no excuse for beating a woman and I am amazed at the amount of cowardice that would drive men to robbing our ladies.

The Cross of Christ and Gender – EASTER MESSAGE 2014
What does the cross have to do with gender? This is an unusual kind of Easter message, but a timely one I believe. For a springboard text, consider Ephesians 5:25; Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Scripture passages in this message are quoted from the KJV and are in italics). Can you see an important allusion to gender roles related to the cross in this Scripture? When the Titanic was sinking, the captain ordered that the women be placed in the limited number of lifeboats with a man to man each lifeboat to safety; the rest of the men went down with the ship, including the captain. That was not chauvinism – that was chivalry!

More Fake Passports & Visa – Cubans & Nigerian busted at Western Border
There is no indication that the Ministry of Immigration plans to investigate how three men, two Cuban nationals and a Nigerian, obtained fake travel documents in an attempt to enter Belize through the Western Border. The Cubans, 40 year old twin brothers Joel Jaimes Gonzalez and Joany Jaimes Gonzalez, and Nigerian national 53 year old Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, are accused of using illegal documents including fake passports and a visa. The Cuban brothers were using Guatemalan passports in the names of Nestor Bayona Carreno and Felipe Bayona Carreno, according to Belize’s immigration officials. The officials grew suspicious of the twins and upon checking their luggage, they discovered their real Cuban passports.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – The Meaning of Easter
By Francis W. Fonseca This week as we prepare to celebrate Easter and offer our support to our Belizean Cyclists participating in the 2014 Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic, let us reflect on the meaning of Easter. In doing so, I read once again, the 2013 Easter Message of Pope Francis. Pope Francis says: “This is what Easter is: It is the exodus, the passage of human beings from Slavery to sin and evil TO the freedom of love and goodness. Because God is life, life alone, and we are his Glory: the living man.” Pope Francis calls for peace in a world “divided by greed looking for easy gain”, a world “wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family.”

Six Years of Neglect!
Residents of the Toledo District continue to wonder why it is that the Barrow Government has refused to carry out any kind of meaningful development since taking office six long years ago. Toledo West area representative Hon. Oscar Requena has been one of the loudest critics of the UDP Government’s neglect in the face of so much that needs attention and so many who are in need in his constituency. Just two weeks ago, at the 2014 Budget Debate that looked at the Government’s spending of one billion dollars, Hon. Requena reiterated his condemnation for the lack of electricity expansion throughout the entire Toledo District.

PUP meets with powerful Latin American Leader
People’s United Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca and other Party officials met with Mr. Bernal Jimenez, the President of Costa Rica’s National Liberation Party and Vice President of Socialist International at Independence Hall on Friday, April 11th 2014. Mr. Jimenez is a well-respected Latin American leader. He leads one of the two major political parties in Costa Rica which just faced-off in a presidential election on Sunday, April 6th.

Arrogance on Steroids
The Minister of Health, the electrician Pablo Marin and his imported CEO, dentist Peter Allen, are hell bent on awarding the position of Director of Drug Inspectorate to the daughter of their UDP colleague, Erwin Contreras. Marin and Allen have ignored the position of the Pharmacists Association that Contreras’ daughter is not qualified nor adequate for the post. She has no experience in the Pharmacy industry, has no qualifications in the field, and from all indications, is politically appointed.

GOB Bruk! – Work at Marion Jones Sporting Complex Stalled!
There was nothing but shame and disgrace in the face of Sports Minister Herman Longsworth as he admitted that the construction work at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex has stalled because the Government ran out of funds. Longsworth accepted fault saying, “government will have to take the blame for this most recent delay”. He then tried to piece together a silly excuse that it was because of the “budget cycle” and there being a “delay in payment”. This showed just how much Longsworth knows about Government work. The Government smart stream system actually closes prior to April 1st, which is the start of the fiscal year, and opens up right after. There should be no reason for any delays in payments, especially payments having to do with millions that were donated and are sitting in Government’s coffers.

Government must follow the Rule of Law
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage strongly condemns any action by Government which would result in the granting of permission for a continuation of work by US Capital Energy after expiration of their current permit on April 30, 2014. Clearly, any such actions would appear to be an attempt to circumvent the Court’s decision made on April 3 by Justice Michele Arana. Justice Arana ruled that the issuance of any new permit required free, prior and informed consent from the Indigenous Mayan Communities. The Coalition fully supports the Indigenous Mayan Communities and the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIM) in seeking an injunction to bar Government from “issuing, renewing or extending permission to drill for oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park” without first seeking free, prior and informed consent.

“We will block US capital” – Maya Leaders say they will “use all necessary action” to defend customary lands
The Barrow Government has aggravated an already tense and flammable situation in the Toledo District with its arbitrary and flagrant Cabinet decision to extend a permit granted by U.S. Capital to continue its oil exploration on Mayan customary land. The decision came days after an April 3rd Supreme Court ruling which declared that the Government acted wrongfully when it granted the initial permission to U.S. Capital without any form of consultation with the Mayan people. On Friday April 11, Maya leaders met to look over the situation and two resolutions were passed. The first is that they would launch another legal offensive with a challenge to the Government’s Cabinet decision and would seek an injunction to stop U.S. Capital from proceeding with any activities.

Murder Capital! – UN names Belize – 3rd Most Deadly Country in the World
On the eve of what has been the most murderous weekend for this year, a report issued by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) placed international scrutiny on Belize for its domestic problems related to crime and poor citizen security. The UNODC conducted a Global Study on Homicide to see which countries had the highest murder rates in 2012. Belize, which saw the second highest number of homicides in 2012 than over the past three years, topped the list from the Caribbean, was the 2nd highest in Central America and 3rd highest in the world.

Blogs

What to Expect: Easter 2014 on Ambergris Caye
Easter is a LONG holiday in Belize. Banks close for a half day on Thursday and it seems like the entire country heads to the beach. Good Friday all the way through Easter Monday. The huge party all kicks off with a DRY DAY. Golf carts are ALL rented (and being driven around town like bumper cars), hotel rooms for 2 are packed with 15…let the good times begin! But: Good Friday in Belize is celebrated without alcohol. Dry. Though not exactly. The holy day is observed without alcohol sales. There are low key pool, beach and house parties galore. And check on your boat trips – many tour companies and fishermen dock their boats for the day in observance. The town center is a bit quiet since all bars and most restaurants are closed and there is a Roman Catholic procession through the streets of San Pedro. (More pictures from 2 years ago here.)

“The Sound of Silence” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I was out on the veranda (yes, the western, lagoon, facing one on the first floor) yesterday morning at around 05.00 hours (yes I had a mug of black coffee and my iPad with me – please do stop interrupting otherwise I’ll lose the flow. And possibly the will to live) running through the list ((I did what I said I would do (a man who keeps his promises, that’s me) and wrote them down)) thinking about which suggested song I would use first. I was somewhat ponderously mulling over (I wish I could say that my brain was on fire with creative thought but I can’t, I’d be lying) the list when the sound of silence was broken. As an aside, why is it described as the ‘sound of silence’ ? I mean the definition of silence is “the absence of sound” ie you cannot hear a thing! Anyway, back to my early morning reverie and the list. I narrowed my choice for the next edition (this one) when the final selection was made for me when I heard the sound of a cement mixer ‘kicking’ in to action on the lot immediately north of us. The time? It was 06.00 hours. The sound of silence was no more and in no time at all the concrete pour began.

Tropicalogy a new Tropical Travel Blog Directory
In this day and age travel blogs have become a popular resource for people who are planning to vacation or move abroad. It is no surprise that travel blog directories are also becoming popular. Tropicalogy is a new and comprehensive tropical travel blog directory, providing people worldwide with a window into the tropics. If you are interested in the tropical travel, culture, and products then Tropicalogy is the place for you. Tropicalogy website has a large list of tropical destination travel blogs to help you plan a vacation to remember, research moving abroad or just get a tropical escape anytime you need one. These blogs will help you enjoy a a local travel perspective, find unique places to stay and fun things to do. You will also be able to shop for a wide range of tropically inspired and sometimes hard to find products and get information on local events happening right now across the tropics. Plus if you ever wanted to want to know how to quit your job and live on a boat, then Tropicalogy will inspire you in that direction with the cool info-graphic in their blog.

Belize Part 1- Me talk Spanish one day
I don’t know if you have ever read any David Sedaris books. His book Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his time living in France and struggling with French, reminded me of my on going struggle with Spanish (I took French as a second language). In Mexico, I am a dumb four year old trying to put three words together. “This food good!” “Me like spicy!” “Mexico so pretty!” In Belize, an English speaking country, I was suddenly funny and smart again. People laughed at my jokes, answered my questions about politics and the environment. I was an adult again. It was glorious! So much of this book resonated with me. I want desperately to understand, to have compassion, to be part of the culture in Latin America. But when you struggle with communication, you force yourself into viewing it all from a distance. I will get better at Spanish. One day I will tell a joke in Spanish and someone will laugh. But for one week I had Belize. I could adapt quicker, talk to people, share, tell a joke, make a friend. We soaked up every minute of it. Here is our first few days in Belize: Crooked Tree This is a bird sanctuary and town full of you guessed it, serious birders. I sat for hours on the balcony of the hotel we were camping at overlooking the lake watching them watch birds. The hours went by like this: “Marge look, a blue heron!” “Write it down!” “A yellow tailed warbler, no, two yellow tailed warblers! Oh my God, I can believe it! Write it down….” Birding is a serious business, I have not seen people that passionate about anything for sometime. Good for them. I like passionate people. I am not sure if I will ever get that excited about birds, but for each his own.

Belize Part 2- “I think I hate the jungle!”
About an hour into our three hour hot, humid, jungle hike in St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Sam was telling me a story about how when he was a kid he dreamed about exploring the jungle. Who doesn’t want to be Indiana Jones when they are young? Movies like Swiss Family Robinson make the jungle seem so adventurous and exciting. Monkeys in the trees, waterfalls, tropical flowers, it was a happy place. In reality spending time in the jungle when it is over 100 degrees out is not very fun. Not very fun at all. As soon as you get into the dense part of the jungle, there is not much light and it gets really hot because there is almost zero breeze and the humidity is punishing. And then there are the jungle critters. I saw a giant orange and black tarantula the size on my fist, and the day before we saw a four foot Fer-de-lance (one of the most dangerous poisonous snakes in Central America) dead in the road next to where we were camping. Sam and I would take turns “breaking the trail” as we called it, which meant the person in front went through all the spider webs.

The Mishandling of Jasmine Lowe’ Investigation Part 2
I spoke to my source close to the investigation last night to get a feel of what is happening now. The pathologist (not forensic pathologist) could not determine a cause of death. Not surprising, he is not an expert in that field of forensics, so I learned last night. And BTW, Belize law does not require a forensic specialist to examine murdered bodies; only a medical doctor is needed. Meaning, he was never trained to determine cause of death that is not obvious. I feel like my head is spinning. I feel like screaming WTF. Can this murder even be solved, if they cannot establish a murder even happened? Everything following that evaluation seems to be a big waste of time. According to my source, the police are looking for blood and fingerprinting evidence in the car they impounded to find clues that may link little Jasmine presence in the taxi. Sounds good right? WRONG. Let me remind you that they didn’t take any evidence from Jasmine. No fluids or fingerprinting, no rape kits, nada so making that link would be a feat even gods would find impossible. Not to mention, as Faye stated in her dingle berry, the investigating officer is making wide assumptions about what happened based on observations he can neither prove nor disprove. So now they have a “suspect” who may or may not be the murderer. The public fears are somewhat alleviated. Please don’t let your guard down now. At this stage, the public need to be very cautious and aware as to the person the police presents to them. The police is desperate for a solution making the environment ripe for a scapegoat. Criminals in Belize laugh at our poor investigative skills.

International Sources

Obama weighs bond hearings for detained immigrants
The action could allow the release of thousands of people if judges approve bond in a move that might allay concerns of Latino groups and other allies over deportations. Obama administration officials are considering allowing bond hearings for immigrants in prolonged detention, officials said, a shift that could slow the pace of deportations because immigration courts expedite cases of incarcerated immigrants. Several thousand immigrants could be released from jails across the country if judges are allowed to hear their cases and grant bond, advocates say. The proposal is one of several being floated as the White House scrambles to ease the concerns of Latino groups and other traditional allies that have turned on President Obama in recent weeks. Some called him "deporter in chief" and excoriated his administration for expelling immigrants who could qualify for legal papers under the immigration overhaul bill that passed the Senate last year but then stalled in the Republican-led House.

Travel in Belize: Top 10 Things to Do
If you’re planning your first trip to Belize, here’s a list of the top 10 activities you should consider. 1. Experience the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef To truly experience Belize you must see the reef. If you’re not a water person you don’t need to get into, or onto, the sea to appreciate the reef’s beauty. Just hop a local flight to Ambergris Caye or Caye Caulker. You’ll be enchanted with the stunning view of the Caribbean Sea beneath you, and the waves breaking on the barrier reef, to the east of the cayes. 2. Take a Boat Trip Be sure to get out onto the Caribbean Sea, inside the reef. Take a water taxi, motorboat, catamaran, or sailboat trip. Or get into a kayak and paddle out to the reef. The shimmering, nuanced shades of aquamarine are utterly calming when viewed this way. The sea is teeming with vibrant fish, coral and rays… And the water temperature is perfect, so you’ll want to jump right in.

Audubon meeting to discuss birds of Belize
Forsyth Audubon’s chapter meeting on Tuesday will feature a program on the “Birds of Belize.” Phil Dickinson, the Bird’s Eye View columnist at the Winston-Salem Journal, and four other chapter members recently traveled to Belize to develop a partnership with the Belize Audubon Society for conservation of habitat critical to migrating birds. A social half-hour will begin at 7 p.m., followed by the program at 7:30 at the Historic Bethabara Visitor’s Center, 2147 Bethabara Road. The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, email kimbbrand@gmail.com.

The Belize Zoo is a hoot at night
Howler monkeys whoop it up somewhere high in the surrounding trees, their loud barks piercing the still night. Nearby, a jaguar roars, its chesty cough adding to the eeriness of the dark jungle. Only our guide’s flash light cuts through the blackness, illuminating the narrow path, framed by thick walls of brush. Red eyes stare. It’s just another night at the Belize Zoo, home to more than 125 animals native to the Central American country, many of them endangered. Because most of them are nocturnal, night is the best time to see them. And we do. Jaguars. Pumas. White-tailed deer. An American crocodile. And tapirs, also known as mountain cows (although they’re shaped like pigs but with longer snouts). The cool thing about this preserve is the animals live in their natural environment. No manmade habitats; they’re simply fenced in. You can literally reach out and touch them, though plenty of handmade signs advise you not to do so.

Videos

Video: 1, 1min.
U.S. Army LTC Diane Boese provides optometric care in Belize during New Horizons Belize 2014.

Video: A part of the road to Elijio Panti National Park, Belize, 3min.
On March 29, 2014, I went to Elijio Panti National Park with my two friends David Tzul and Antonio Mai, both from nearby San Antonio Village. It had been several years since I was there. I had been told the road to the park was too bad to drive in but Antonio knows the area very well and when I arrived at his house he said we could do it no problem. The road was quite rough in spots. It would not be possible in even a small or medium sized SUV let alone a two-wheel drive car. I was driving a 2013 Mitsubishi L200 4WD diesel pickup which had fairly good clearance but there were some deep ruts and big rocks on portions of the road. Driving required keeping the wheels on one side or the other in VERY specific places. If a wheel went into a rut or dropped off a large rock, we would not be going anywhere for a while. But with guidance from David and Antonio, we made it and had a great two days in the park.

Video: Galen Eagle Band Launches Music Album, 4min.

Video: Belize part 1, 13min.

Video: Belize part 2, 4min.

Video: Chicken Drop Ambergris Caye, Belize, 12min.

Video: Hot cross bun a timeless Easter tradition, 6min.

Video: Black Howler Monkeys, 4min.
Filmed at various locations in Belize (Pook's Hill Lodge, Caracol, Community Baboon Sanctuary).

Video: Dangriga, 6min.

Video: Puma on Trailcam, 1min.
Our trail camera was set at the Bocawina trail and we got this magnificent puma walking on the trail! Mama Noots Bocawina Adventures & Eco-Resort (BELIZE)

Video: Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge - The Chica Travelista, 3min.
The Chica Travelista visits Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge in Belize!

Video: Rafael Caye Belize, 52min.

Video: Diving the Blue Hole Belize, 2min.

Video: Mayflower Bocawina National Park, Belize, 35min.
Explore the wonders of the Mayflower Bocawina National Park in this documentary film! The Mayflower Bocawina National Park was filmed from May to August 2013 by Duarte Dellarole for his Ecotourism BSc. degree internship. The goal was to promote the most recent National Park in Belize and show how Ecotourism plays a fundamental role in the conservation of protected areas. The film you are about to watch shows the work that Mama Noots Bocawina has been developing in the area, the activities that they offer in the park and information on the wildlife and plants that can be found in this protected area. From 2013 to 2014 the resort has made many changes, including new rooms that are not shown on the documentary.

Video: "auf den Spuren der Mayas" Yucatan-Guatemala-Belize, 11min.
Chichen Itza- Merida- Campeche- Palenque- San Cristobal de las Casas- Atitlansee- Flores- Tikal- Placencia Caye Caulker- Chiquila-Holbox

April 17, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Getting inked with George Alamilla
Getting a tattoo is a pretty big deal. Wherever you are in the world, the right tattoo artist is the key to ensuring that you have the sickest ink around. Figuring who gets to permanently mark one’s skin is important. In San Pedro, George Alamilla is considered the man for ink. George, also known as Inkman, has had a plethora of canvases in the form of many San Pedranos. On bare skin, he creates elaborate masterpieces in multicolored ink. Inkman is truly a skilled artist, sought by many to create statement pieces on their body. I’m talking everything from cute little butterflies to menacing skulls to entire underwater scenes, jaguars, tribal- whatever your tattooed little heart desires, and George is the man to create them for you.

Atlantic Bank hosts Choose and Cruise Loan Fair
Atlantic Bank, San Pedro Branch, in partnership with Captain Shark’s, F&S Golf Cart Rental and Dealer, Rick’s Custom Carts and FC’s Aluminum, hosted a loan fair on Saturday, April 12th in the Atlantic Bank Sub-office parking lot from 9AM to 2PM. The Choose and Cruise Loan Fair provided the community with the opportunity to not only view and compare prices on golf carts, but to also apply for low interest rates on new and pre-owned golf carts. Golf carts, motorcycles and accessories were specially priced at the fair. Customers wanting to apply for loans were assisted by Atlantic Bank employees, and some approvals were given that same day. For those who missed the fair, Atlantic Bank will be hosting the Choose and Cruise Loan Fair again on July 12 and November 8, 2014.

Linda Miller is the New Canadian Warden for San Pedro Town
Linda Miller, San Pedro Town resident has been appointed as Canadian Warden for San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Miller, a born and raised Canadian, has been living on La Isla Bonita for the past seven years and is the operator of UnBelizeable Property Management. As of January, 2014 Miller is a representative of the Canadian Consulate in Belize, and has been tasked to assist Canadians travelling to or living on the island. Miller, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada, informs the general Canadian populace that there is an upgraded system for the registration of Canadians living abroad. All Canadians living or travelling to Belize are urged to register, as this provides vital information to the Canadian Government to assist in case of an emergency while in another country. The system also provides information on emergencies at home (Canada) while out of the country. The re-registering process only applies for those who registered before December 14, 2008. Registrations can be made online at www.travel.gc.ca/register. To learn more about registering or in need of assistance while in San Pedro, contact Linda Miller at 626-6749 or lmiller@live.ca.

Ambergris Today

First Lady of Belize Kim Simplis-Barrow Featured on Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Magazine
Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow, First Lady of Belize, had a photo shoot for international magazine Harper's Bazaar Interiors and they've released a fun behind the scenes video about the entire experience. On his video post on YouTube, Harper's Bazaar International Style Editor Luigi Irauzqui invites viewers to take a look behind the scenes of HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS: KIM SIMPLIS' BELIZE April 2014. The magazine crew spent five days traversing the country and capturing the First Lady amidst breathtaking views that Belize has to offer, including scenes from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, that include resorts like the celebrity private island resort of Cayo Espanto, El Secreto and Victoria House.

San Pedro Youth Cadets Enjoy Island Life
The San Pedro Youth Cadet Corps Program has been in full swing for about three months now and the 20+ children that have enrolled in the program are thoroughly enjoying themselves with events and exercises that are being prepared for them. Just this past week the young cadets were hosted by the San Pedro Branch of the Belize Coast where they learned the ins and outs of their operation on the island. They visited the Coast Guard outpost and were giving a great ride on board one of their speed patrol boats. They were also treated by My Secret Deli to a delicious luncheon.

Celebrity Talk Show Hosts of MoJoe on Return Visit to San Pedro, Belize
Ambergris Today caught up with Montserrat Oliver, Yolanda Andrade and Barbara Coppel as they arrived in San Pedro Town today April 16, 2014. The three amazing television host, personalities and actresses were super friendly and energetic. They were so full of life as they arrived via Maya Island Air; celebrating that they are back on the island on vacation. The MoJoe talk show is aired under the Mexican television network Unicable and in San Pedro it can be viewed on Telehit (local channel 30) which rebroadcasts it. Ambergris Today was so happy to meet up with Montserrat and Yolanda once again and wishes them, and Barbara, a great time in the #1 Island in the World.

Mayor Getting ready for Easter
Mayor Daniel Guerrero made his rounds today around town as he visited the San Pedro Police Department, San Pedro Fire Station, Traffic Department and the Poly Clinic to make sure the personnel of each department is prepared for the Easter Weekend rush and large influx of visitors.

Teen Talk: Defining Gender Roles in Society
- by Ryan Ancona - In this week’s Teen Talk I would like to talk about gender roles. First of all what are gender roles? To sum it up gender roles are expected behaviours from a certain gender. Certain examples of this would be like expecting a guy to like the color blue and a girl to like the color pink. I have noticed in a lot people my age that I meet that they have this idea of what a girl should do and what a guy should do. This kind of mentality is a common concern, but if you do have this mentality it is not your fault. From when you are in preschool, society pushes this mentality on you. We were taught that girls play with Barbie dolls and boys play with trucks.

Misc Belizean Sources

Ambergris Divers Easter Beach Party
April 19, Starts at 11am

San Pedro Town Council: Please be reminded that our offices will be closing at 1:00 p.m. tomorrow Thursday, April 17, 2014.
Also, GOOD FRIDAY is DRY FRIDAY. Absolutely NO ALCOHOL should be sold on this day. Grocery stores/Supermarkets that have alcohol products on display must cover them OR remove them off the shelves. We ask for your cooperation and understanding.

Trees of Belize (2013), second edition. Kate L. Harris. Bay Cedar Publishing, Cheltenham UK. 122pp. ISBN: 978-0-9927582-0-2
“With more than 750 native, and not-so-native tree species prevalent throughout the forests, savannas and cayes of Belize, their correct identification can be madly exasperating - each palm virtually indistinguishable from the next. From allspice to ziricote, this book describes seventy of Belize's most significant and more commonly-encountered species - providing the reader with a wealth of information as to their incredible properties, traditional uses, and Mayan folklore. Thoughtfully written and beautifully photographed, Trees of Belize provides an enjoyable insight into the diversity and splendour of Belize's tropical flora. This is a comprehensive and concise guide - and perfect for natural history enthusiasts, tourists, and locals alike.”

BRRI 2014 Birdathon Results
The Belize Raptor Research Institute had their annual Birdathon, and while Lamanai Outpost Lodge won - with 205 species! - Cayo lodges won 4 of the spots, with Mountain Equestrian Trails taking 2nd, Black Rock Lodge taking 3rd, and Mariposa coming in 5th. "The 2014 Bird-a-thon results are in! A special thank you to all of the 14 teams and 10 lodges that participated this year in our 4th Annual Bird-a-thon and 2nd Annual Lodge-a-thon competition to make our annual fundraising event very successful... The Bird-a-thon was the buzz of Belize in March as teams competed to find the most bird species in their region... We are still voting on the Best Bird of the Bird-a-thon and will announce it shortly, as well as the winners of various prizes, the team species’ lists and participants. Every team wins something for participating in this friendly fundraiser for research and conservation in Belize. Thanks to all of the sponsors for supporting our efforts!"

Belizean teachers assist New Horizons as translators
Eight teachers and the principal at Progresso Roman Catholic School in Progresso, Belize, volunteered their time April 10-12 to help translate between U.S. and Canadian health care providers during New Horizons Belize 2014. The school officials assisted with translations during general medical, dental and eye exams for patients more comfortable speaking Spanish. Though many people in the region may understand and speak English, they may not be as comfortable with the language as they are with Spanish. "A lot of the people are hearing what the doctors are saying in English. They might understand, but they may not feels as comfortable responding in English," said Delia Peralte, the school principal.

Problem Jaguar "Edgar Hill"
Since being rescued in November 2013, Problem Jaguar "Edgar Hill" has settled in well at the Problem Jaguar Rehabilitation center off-site at The Belize Zoo. Edgar Hill was reluctant to venture out into his run. But the days of coaxing the fellow to go and have a day out are over. He is especially fond of his swimming pool, and expresses a great deal of Panthera onca behaviour...such scratching trees to sharpen his claws, and playfully rolling in the sun. More research involving our rehabilitated jaguars is developing in concert with the University of Belize's Environmental Research Institute. We are very proud of this important program!

DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE (31 photos)
On April 10, 2014, The San Pedro Town Council, the Belize NAtional Road Safety Demonstration Project in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Project under the Social Investment Fund hosted its national campaign launch of their latest don't drink driving campaign under the theme: "Think Before You Drink. Don't Drink And Drive." All municipalities were scheduled to launch the same campaign on the same date and same time. The event officially opened with the national anthem which was performed by high school students, Martha Alicia Vasquez and Elina Palma, and then followed the invocation by Mr. Clive Welsh from the Lighthouse Christian Radio. Mayor Daniel Guerrero offered the welcome address which he emphasized that we all try to drive safely at all times and especially during the Easter weekend. Councilor Kenrick Brackett (councilor responsible for Transport), was not only master of ceremonies but also spoke on the importance of this campaign and how we can benefit from it. Mr. Marion Mejia provided the public with vital statistics on drunk driving as well as important facts on alcohol. Following Mr. Mejia, Mr. Tirso Galvez, Operations Officer of the Department of Transport, presented Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Chris Nuñez with the stickers, posters etc. Mr. Tirso also presented Mayor Guerrero and Mr. Nuñez with a Digital Breathalyzer Machine and made a demonstration to show the different ways to use the machine. At the event, Mr. Rafael Torres and Mr. Moose shared with the public their experience with drinking and driving and how it has affected them.

"Think Before You Drink"
Jingle produced for the launch of the campaign "Think Before You Drink. Don't Drink And Drive."

Come join us for Placencia Belize Lobsterfest 2014
Scheduled from June 27 -29, 2014, the Placencia Lobsterfest is a grand celebration of the opening of the lobster season in Belize attracting thousands of local and international visitors. The event is organized by the Placencia BTIA and the Placencia Village Council and has long been a traditional mainstay of Placencia’s economy. What to expect at Placencia Lobster Fest 2014: Game for kids Belikin beer drinking contest Biggest lobstah’ competition Lionfish tournament Mr. & Ms. Physique

Student Group Helps at CDI
Students from the Munro Academy on Cape Bretton Island, Canada, helped out at the Cayo Deaf Institute. They did a lot during their week there, from helping to dig some septic lines to scrubbing roofs. They even brought down 9 Ipads for the school. "While at the Cayo Institute, the students enjoyed a camp experience, and they were always busy helping to dig holes for septic systems, scrubbing roofs, cleaning ceilings and helping in the kitchen... As part of their fundraising for the trip, the students also raised money to purchase nine iPad Minis for the institute... The Cayo Institute had a special night when they cooked tortillas, chicken and beans and everyone sat around the fire to enjoy their meal."

Many closures for Easter Holy Week
Many businesses and Governmental and NGO offices will be closed for many if not most of the days during Holy Week. Some will close as early as Wednesday afternoon, 16 April and may not open until Tuesday or even Wednesday 23 April of the next week. Check to be sure you have enough of essential foodstuffs, medical prescriptions, and other requirements. The good thing about this is that many workers will be able to share this spiritual time with their families.

Channel 7

Dr. Frazer Out; Allan Slusher's In At UB
In November of last year, 7News told you about Dr. Cary Frazer's sudden decision to make an exit from the University of Belize and from his post as President of the institution. It involved a letter he sent to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the Minister of Education where he complained about bureaucratic pressures and breakdown between his office and the Board of Trustees. According to Frazer, the Board's micromanagement of the university, and lack of financial support from the Government made it difficult for him to develop the institution to the level he had initially planned. So, his departure will officially take place next month, and at this time, there are moves afoot to get Economist and former Central Bank Governor Allan Slusher installed as a temporary president. We'll tell you all about that. But first, when we got an opportunity to the speak with Harrison Pilgrim, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, this afternoon, and we asked him about the process they will go through to identify who will be Frazer's permanent replacement.

Slusher Has The Confidence Of The UB Board
So, as viewers may have noticed, when Frazer's letter became public, he sort of faded into the background, on a leave, where it was suggested that the board obliged him to make a pre-departure exit. In his absence, Dr. Wilma Wright, a holder of a Doctorate degree, took over as Acting President, leaving her post as Provost to run the University. That's been happening for over 4 months now, as we told you, Allan Slusher, will take over from her. That appointment is in its final stages, and Slusher's work history is notable. He was a Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, the Region's Nominee at the World Bank, who served for 2 years, and he worked at Caribbean Development Bank for more than 15 years, where he retired as a vice president. There is, however, one chink in the armor; he is only the holder of a Bachelor's Degree. When that announcement was made inside the University, it caused some protestations from the Faculty and Staff at UB who felt that an individual who does not hold a terminal degree shouldn't be the head of management. The reason was that there are persons who are persons employed currently and who are believed to be more qualified than Slusher. There was also the suggestion that his appointment was going be done chiefly because influence of the political directorate. More than that, some faculty members viewed it as a possible vote of no-confidence of Dr. Wilma Wright's management so far.

NCL's ECP Is Complete. Next!
Exactly a week ago, Norwegian Cruise Line's executives hosted a media tour on their luxurious cruise Ship, the Norwegian Jewel. It was to try to change the perception that cruise tourists aren't cheapos, and to show the Belizean public what their operation looks like behind the curtains. On that excursion, 7News spoke with Colin Murphy, the Vice President, of the cruise company's Destination & Strategic Development, and he basically despite the resistance being mounted by the opponents Harvest Caye project, "it is going to happen." That's exactly the sentiment we got today when we spoke with Michael Singh, the CEO of the Ministry of Trade, who was present at the very initial stages of this project, when it first emerged. Here's how he explained it: Mike Singh - CEO, Ministry of Trade "As of today the ECP has been completed by the Department of the Environment. NEAC has approved the project and the next phase as you rightly said is for us to enter into definitive agreement. We have been working on the terms of that agreement which will follow pretty much the terms of the MOU which has already been released. Once that definitive agreement has been done, at that point then the project really has the green light to move ahead."

NEAC Ignored; BTIA Will Take Them To Court
And as we told you last week, about the letter from Belize Tourism Industry Association to NEAC Chair and the Chief Environmental Officer Martin Allegria that the environmental appraisal committee needs to rescind their approval of the Harvest Caye Cruise Port. President of the Placencia Chapter of the BTIA, Stewart Krohn, Confirmed to us Allegria responded to their attorney, Godfrey Smith. He said that not surprisingly, Allegria defended the decision to approve the Harvest Caye project, saying that they were well within the rights of the law to do so, which they did properly. Krohn told us that a decision has been made by the BTIA to bring that court case where they will challenge NEAC's decision via judicial review proceedings.

The Life Of A Career Cyclist Ended Callously
Our headline story last night was the shooting death of Ernest "Dangalang" Thurton, who was killed in the Junesville area. It's a seemingly senseless killing of a long time athlete just so that his assailant could rob him of supposed monies he had on him. Today, 7News went back to get a few more answers on it, and Monica Bodden reports: Superintendent Alford Grinage "On Tuesday the 15th April about 3:30 pm police was inform about shots fired in the St. Martin's De Porres area whereby the police responded. They responded to #12 Junesville whereby upon reaching they observe the lifeless body of a male creole decent person lying face down on the ground beside a coconut tree. Initial investigations reveal that Mr. Thurton went to the residence as a caretaker for his relative who now resides in the United Stated whereby he was attacked by two male persons who fired a single shot which caught him to the left side of his chest. He was pronounced dead at the hospital a few minutes later."

Eddison Johnson Reportedly Hunted His Trespassers Down
On Monday, we told you about how 53 year-old Edison Johnson shot and killed 23 year-old Saul Garcia and 24 year-old Luke Cox when he found them on his farm in Carmelita Village in the Orange Walk District. Though it may look like Johnson was protecting his property from thieves, he was charged with 2 counts of murder because he broke the law when he shot and killed the men. Today, we spoke with Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who told that she has reviewed all the materials that Orange Walk Police has furnished so far, and that they still need to do some follow up work. DPP Vidal said, however, that the evidence at this time shows that indeed Garcia and Cox went to Johnson's farm to steal from him. As we told you, Johnson found that his houses were cleaned out of all the valuables, and a part of his roofing was torn off. It seems that the men intended to steal the sheets of zinc which were on the ground, and Johnson caught them.

G. Smith And R. Fonseca Back In With PUP?
The PUP held a National Executive meeting last week and, while Party Leader Francis Fonseca hosted a press conference immediately after, he didn't tell the press about some important party business. The executive voted to make well-known attorney Godfrey Smith it's new National Campaign Manager. The high profile addition is major news because Smith is seen as Michael Ashcroft's go-to guy in Belize. His appointment to the party executive in such a senior post would seem to suggest that Smith might be able to rekindle Ashcroft's interest in the PUP - which could translate into a much needed infusion of campaign financing for the opposition. At this point though, that is speculative. All we do know is that Smith who often publicly positions himself as an independent essayist is now fully back in the PUP inner circle as a chief strategist and to some extent, fund raiser - which is how Ralph Fonseca defined the post when he was Said Musa's national campaign manager. The new arrangement as we understand it is that Smith will Chair a national campaign committee.

NGO'S Support SATIIM's Injunction Move
SATIIM and the Mayan Communities in the Buffer Zone are patiently awaiting their post-judgment injunction hearing against the Attorney General and the Ministry of Forestry to restrain them from extending US Capital's Drilling Permit which ends on April 30. But while they do so, they've also gain support from 3 members of the NGO Community. Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations (APAMO) and The Belize Institute of Environmental Law and Policy (BELPO), and the Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage have all thrown in their voices in favor of the move to try to block the permit extension. All 3 organizations have issued statements in strong condemnation of the Government if such an extension is has been or is to be granted. The Coalition said, "Government should be the shining beacon of following the Rule of Law and in protecting the human rights of its citizens."

The Hype For Cross Country
Every year, hundreds of fans line up along the Western Highway eagerly awaiting their favorite cyclist running in the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic. It's pretty much a part of the Easter Celebration, and today the President of the Cycling Federation of Belize told us about the preparations they've made for it this year. We couldn't help but notice how excited he was about Saturday's race: Dion Leslie - President, Cycling Federation of Belize "We are on the brink of having a Belizean win 3 consecutive times, so you now all of that coupled in with just the overall hype and the fact that cross country is something that is embedded in the DNA of every single Belizean because your Easter vacation does not start until cross country is finish, you can't eat, you can't drink, you can't do anything until you heard the end of cross country and so it's something that we are all excited about and we know this year will be exciting, not only because of the prizes that we've gathered but because of the competition coming, both the foreigners coming in and the level where our local riders are right now, we expect it to be exciting, fast dynamic race filled with surprises throughout the entire 140 plus miles."

BELTRAIDE & UB Collaborate For Enterprise Development
The University of Belize and BELTRAIDE signed a memorandum of Understanding today, which will see future entrepreneurs passing through the institution get an opportunity to bring their business ideas to life. The MOU will allow BELTRAIDE's Small Business Development Center activate at a higher capacity so that persons interested can receive training on different enterprise management techniques. 7News attended that signing and spoke with representatives of both bodies: Harrison Pilgrim, Chair, Board of Trustees, UB "We need to look further than the university because the University of Belize was formed from a partnership you could call it of 5 different institutions and the objective of government at that time and continues to be the goal of the administration is to ensure that this partnership yields benefits for the people of Belize and so it is not a partnership with BELTRAIDE for the benefit of the university but we need to see a partnership with BELTRAIDE together. We will be developing young minds and will be training young entrepreneurs and that will auger well for the development of Belize."

Channel 5

Elderly mother of Anglican Bishop is robbed at her home
It is the kind of crime that is considered utterly shameless and unimaginable… preying on the elderly.  But tonight, we report on a barefaced theft that could have very well [...]

2 detained for the murder of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton
  Two men are in police detention for the senseless murder of forty-one year old cyclist Ernest ‘Dangalang’ Thurton. He was killed by a single bullet to the left side [...]

B.T.I.A. to take NEAC to court on EIA to Norwegian Cruise Lines
The Belize Tourism Industry Association which has consistently opposed the Norwegian Cruise Lines port at Harvest Caye is heading to court having exhausted a number of other avenues. It is [...]

A look at the shooting death of two robbers in Carmelita
Luke Cox and Saul Garcia are dead while Guinea Grass shop owner Edison Johnson is in jail, charged for two counts of murder. The deadly incident occurred on Friday at [...]

Deceased homeless amputee was 67 year old Gilbert Domingo
Around midday on Tuesday, the body of a homeless amputee was carted off to the morgue from the sidewalk at Mule Park in the downtown area of the City. His [...]

Alan Slusher appointed Interim President of UB
Former University of Belize President Dr. Cary Fraser demitted office in mid-November of last year, amid a swirl of controversy as to whether he was indeed granted leave by the [...]

2 firearms are taken off the streets; one was stolen from Precinct Two
Two firearms were recovered in the past few days by police…one on Rhaburn’s Alley near the residence of fifty-seven year old Alfonso Cruz who was murdered on Saturday night and [...]

2 men receive Supreme Court Bail
Two persons, an interdicted cop and a Ladyville businessman, were offered Supreme Court bail today. The cop, PC Ronald Sutherland, was on remand for not adhering to bail conditions. Sutherland [...]

A new justice appointed to the Supreme Court
The appointment of a new justice to the Supreme Court is imminent. Justice Sonya Young of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines arrived in the Jewel on Tuesday and was today [...]

Belmopan resident maimed while trying to break up a fight
A Belmopan resident, who stepped in to break up a fight, ended up a victim of maim. Thirty year old Leon Humes reported to the police that after he socialized [...]

Tips to keep you safe during the Easter Holidays
The Belize Police Department has been making the rounds of the media in the days before the Easter weekend. It is unfortunate, but true, that traditionally during this time there [...]

6th Street in King’s Park permanently a one-way street
In March, business operators and residents of Sixth Street in King’s Park raised the alarm when City Hall changed the street to one way overnight. Business owners in particular claimed [...]

CTV3

MAMAS Undergoes Classes To Upgrade Themselves
There are many ways to make a living; it’s a matter of innovation, creativity and in some cases courage to step out of the norm. And that is exactly what some women have chosen to do as they have signed up for classes under the Mujeres Ayudando a Mujeres a Superarse, MAMAS, program. The program has been ongoing for years but throughout the course of its implementation, the courses provided for women have been evolving ever so quickly. Today, the women are taking barbering classes under the cosmetology class. Today we joined the women as they were busy working and learning. Dalila ical – Reporting The women are already about half way through the cosmetology program which goes beyond the manicure and pedicure lessons. It has extended to teaching women to do various forms of art such as face painting for children, which has been one successful addition. Iliana is one of the students who have found the lessons both fun and fulfilling.

The True Meaning Of Easter
After living and celebrating the holy and penitential season of Lent, we enter into Holy Week which is the holiest and most important time in the Liturgical Year. Holy Week is the time in which we enter into the Paschal Mystery of Christ in a most unique and profound way. This reaches its climax in the celebration of the Triduum, the greatest of all liturgies, on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil when faithful’s truly walk with Christ and enter into his saving mystery. Even though the Triduum is celebrated over three days, it is actually one liturgy that begins Holy Thursday evening and ends late Holy Saturday night. In fact, it is often called the “mother of all liturgies.” Through the Triduum, we literally walk and journey with Christ from the celebration of the Last Supper, to the Agony in the Garden, through the Passion and Crucifixion, unto the celebration and joy of the Resurrection. It is a powerful and moving experience that Catholics experience during the Lenten season. Today we stopped by at the La Inmaculada Parish Office and spoke with Sister Adalberta Chuc who spoke to us on the schedule of events for the Catholic Church.

Orange Walk Police To Increase Patrols Around Areas
The Corozal Police Formation has formulated several plans in order to keep Corozal Town and its rural areas safe during the Easter break. And the Orange Walk Police Formation is not staying behind. Police Officers will be working overtime during the holidays to keep the town and surrounding areas secure and as crime free as possible. Deputy Commander of the Formation, Inspector Selvin Tillett, shared some tips that the public can follow to ensure their own safety. Inspector Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding Orange Walk Police “Our ultimate goal is for us to give the best of what we have during that period so you can enjoy your Easter break, police will have increased foot mobile, motorcycle and now we have bicycles, bicycle patrol in the area so if you see vehicle checkpoints, you see police man patrolling the areas, visiting homes and areas where usually people go out on vacations and business places.” Dalila Ical –Reporter “Will these be tightened as well in the night time?” Inspector Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding Orange Walk Police “This will be right through the Easter. Highway patrols, vehicle checkpoints all available at Orange Walk we will put I place.”

School Is Out But Students Of BMHS Still Hard At Work
While school is out for the Easter break, the students at Bishop Martin High School were busy entertaining the children at the Sandy Hunter Library with their renditions of folk tales from our history. Today when we stopped by at the library, students were presenting their stories to a handful of kids in the library’s reading program. English Teacher at the School, Ester Tepaz told us more on today’s activity. Ester Tepaz – English teacher, Bishop Martin High School “They are stories based on the folktale characters and they are stories which they had to interview their gran parents to get, they are not the traditional stories you find in the textbooks because these are original stories told to them by their grandparents because one of the problems we find with kids is that sometimes they claim that they do not have an idea of what to write on so when they were asked to interview their grandparents they came up with many ideas and so that was created into stories and then the best stories were chosen to make Jumbo story books like the ones you see presented here today and that is what we showcase here today.”

PlusTV

BTIA Wants Judicial Review of Harvest Caye EIA
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is insisting that the Department of the Environment’s National Environmental Apparaisal Committee erred in approving the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and addendum for the Norwegian Cruise Lines project at Harvest Caye. BTIA attorney Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith wrote to Chief Environmental Officer Martin...

Homeless Man Dies in Albert Street
In the heat of the midday sun, a homeless man, confined to his wheel chair, died alone in Albert Street. The unidentified amputee often hung around Albert street during the day and at night could be seen in Queen Streets where a group of homeless people make their bed....

Police Begin Hunt for Killers of Ernest Thurton
This afternoon, Superintendent Alford Grinage, officer in charge of the Department’s Precinct 2 in Belize City, updated the press on the still-young investigation into Tuesday afternoon’s brutal murder of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton. The 41 year old cyclist and messenger for Santiago Castillo Limited, who resided at Queen Charlotte Street,...

Man Tries to Break up Fight; Loses Eye
A man who tried to break up a fight lost his eye in the process. According to Police reports, at around 2:00 am on Saturday, 30 year old Leon Humes, Belizean construction worker of Belmopan City, after socializing with some friends at a night club, went to purchase food...

Thief Poses as Collection Agent
Police are advising the general public to be on the lookout for a con artist. At around 12:05 pm on Tuesday April 15th, 76 year old Belizean Retiree of Southern Foreshore, Belize City reported to police that around 10:00 am, on that same day, she was visited by a...

Mytheon Solutions Trade License; Just Issued?
Many questions still surround the evasive Mytheon Solutions, a credit company that allegedly distributes phone credit to all departments under the Ministry of National Security; this includes, police offices, BDF solidiers and the Belize Coast Guard. Two weeks ago, Plus News managed to get a copy of the registration...

Jimmy’s Wireless in Belmopan Robbed
Jimmy’s Wireless located on Constitution Drive, Belmopan, was robbed this morning sometime between 11 am and 12 noon. A male person, after stuffing his bag with thousands of dollars worth of electronics, inconspicuously walked out the front door. General Manger Judy Dueck spoke to Plus News earlier this evening...

Galen Eagle Band Launches Music Album
They have been making quite a name for themselves over the past few years and today, Galen’s Eagle’s Band released its first music album titled “I am the Alpha and the Omega”. The CD, which features nine songs, was released on PlusTV’s Rise and Shine this morning. Producer Lloyd...

Church in Orange Walk Burglarized
According to Orange Walk Police, some time between last Friday night and Saturday morning, thieves broke into the Life Ministry Church located on Chan Pine Road in Orange Walk. Marcia Pech, who made the report to police, stated that the church lost approximately BZ$20,421 worth of items. We understand...

APAMO Supports SATIM
APAMO says it is in full support of SATIIM’s application for a Post-Judgment injunction and impending ‘on the ground’ actions to restrain US Capital Energy Belize Ltd from conducting oil drilling in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The organization says that “The issuance of an extension to US Capital...

Firearm Stolen From Police Station Leaves Terrible Trail
18 year old Kevin Rodriguez was one of three men murdered over the weekend in Belize City. Officer Commanding Precinct Two Superintendent Alford Grinage says police may be closing in on solving the case over the next few days. “…Rhaburn’s Alley, but I know that the one that was...

Easter Road Trips Just Got More Expensive
Easter weekend is a time when a lot of families jump in their vehicles and hit the road to go somewhere for the long weekend. Well, that trip just got a bit more expensive as the cost of fuel is up once again. As of midnight Tuesday, the cost...

Bones Dug up by Street Workers May Be Human
Police have confirmed that on Monday on Iguana Street Extension, workers for Belize Water Services Limited (BWS) unearthed a set of bones while digging trenches as part of the concreting project on Central American Boulevard. Precinct 2 Police were called to the area along with Scenes of Crime technicians...

Wife Says She Has Evidence Husband’s Death Is Not Suicide
William Lloyd Webster, a Canadian National died at the age of 63 on Sunday December 23rd 2012, in Santa Elena, Cayo District. According to reports, Webster’s lifeless body was found hanging from the noose of rope tied to a beam of his house in Santa Elena. Police formerly listed...

Anti Crime Easter Campaign in Cayo
The Easter Holiday is literally right around the bend, but while the end of this week is the signal for the start of a laid back weekend, the police are cranking up the patrol as the Anti Crime Easter Campaign gets underway: “From the 7th of this month, we...

The Guardian

Darrington Louriano killed at Mike’s Club
Darrington Louriano, a 27 year-old Belize City man who is known to police, was shot and killed inside the well-known Mike’s Sporting Club on Regent Street on Saturday, April 12. Louriano was the younger brother of 57 year-old Hector “Bad Card” Lyons, who was also killed execution style in the vicinity of Mike’s Club 13 days before. According to police, at around 6:30 p.m., Louriano was socializing with the other patrons of the bar when a dark-skinned man walked in and fired several shots at Louriano fatally injuring him in the head. The gunman ran off, leaving the entire bar of patrons terrorized by the incident. They also watched as Louriano took his last breath and died on the scene, after which police came and removed his body, and process the scene. At the club at that time was, Minister of Human Development, Anthony “Boots” Martinez, who told the media that he was a mere 10 feet away from Louriano when the attack was executed on him. He recounted how the older patrons of the bar risked personal injury to try to escape being in the path of the gunfire. Martinez says that he thinks that it will be a while before those regulars will feel safe going back to Mike’s Club after Louriano’s killing.

Two men killed in separate traffic accidents
Apart from the 5 men who died from gun violence from Friday April 11, to Sunday April 13, there were 2 men who lost their lives to fatal traffic accidents. The first one happened just before 8 p.m. at mile 19 and a half on the Northern Highway in an area of Sand Hill known as Edge Water. Raymond Allen Sedacey was riding his bicycle back home after going to one of the neighborhood shops. He was trying to cross the road when an empty Tillett Bus heading north knocked him down. Sedacey suffered massive head and body injuries and died almost instantly. His bike was launched like a projectile at another resident who was at the side of the road, and he got struck in the head.

Arson Victim from Cayo needs your help
Agustin Avelino Martinez, 82 years of age is one of the victims of a recent two storey house fire at Number 31 Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena Town, in the Cayo District. The Naturalized Belizean was alone sleeping on April 4 at about 10:45 pm in the upper wooden flat when he was awoken by the heat and smoke from the flames. Don Ting hurriedly got up but in his desperation to come out of the building walked into a live electrical circuit and was slightly injured on the left leg. Police continue to investigate the burning of the abode measuring 20 by 80 feet, with a concrete lower flat and a wooden upper living space, which they now believe was as a result of arson. As a result, Police continue to look for Mark Estell, who they believe can answer questions relating to this arson.

BEL impersonator caught
Belize Electricity Limited has issued a release asking residents to be wary of individuals who go around posing to be employees of the company. BEL explains that employees and contractors carry an authorized BEL identification card. Anyone who claims to work for the company should be asked to present the identification card. BEL also states that no employee of theirs will ever request payment for services conducted. The release was prompted after a resident of Buttonwood Bay reported to police on Friday April 11 that there was someone who claimed to work for the company and offered to pay the resident’s bill. Apparently the conman had been doing this for weeks where he went to various persons and offered to pay their bills and he even offered a discount if they paid their bills through him. He would then take their money and never be seen again. The one Buttonwood Bay resident was on to the con and pretended to want to use the service. He instead called the police and the con man was caught. Police are yet to release the identity of the conman or whether or not he was charged.

Two Cubans and a Nigerian busted at PGIA with fraudulent documents!
On Thursday April 10, Immigration officials intercepted three men who were trying to make their way into Belize using fake documents. The men, were identified as Joel Jaimes Gonzalez, 40, who carried a fake Guatemalan passport under the name Nestor Bayona Carreno while his twin brother Joany Jaimes Gonzalez carried with him a fake Guatemalan passport under the name Felipe Bayona Carreno. A third man, Nigerian national, Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, 53 was also found trying to enter the country using a fake Belizean visa. The bust occurred at the Philip Goldson International airport at around 4:00p.m. as the three men tried to make their way into the country after coming off an AVIANCA flight from El Salvador. According to Immigration Officials, airport staff noticed discrepancies in the travelling documents of the three men who were all travelling together. The men were then detained and upon closer inspection it was deemed that the documents the men were travelling with were not authentic.

Darrell Carter Dodges Jail - he owes GST
Darrell Carter is a PUP mouthpiece that appears every Monday on a talk show called the Business Hour on Love FM. The show, if we were to judge by the name, should seek to give advice to people on how to run a business. That however is less than what the talk show does. On a weekly basis, Troy Gabb, the other co-host and Carter pick all manner of topics which have nothing to do with business and everything to do with politics and try to run-down the government. Well maybe Carter should be concentrating on getting his own business in order before he chooses to host a business hour. It seems that he needs more than a business hour to rescue himself though. He was again dragged before the Magistrate’s Court on the force of a committal warrant. In August 2013, the court ordered that Carter pay $11,000 out of a $22,000 judgment which he owed the General Sales Tax department. Of the $11,000 he was ordered to pay when the judgment was made, Carter had only paid $7,000 leaving $5,000 up in areas plus the other half in balance too. At the time Carter had agreed to pay $500 monthly to settle his areas towards the $22,000 but that was not being done.

Man Killing Croc Put to Death
Carl Diaz, 47, was killed by the jaws of a crocodile on Monday, April 7th, in the Green Estates area of Lord’s Bank Village. Diaz is originally from Benque Viejo Town but frequently fishes in the Ladyville/Lord’s Bank area. He was fishing in the area around 3 p.m. on Monday April 7. It is believed that he was just about to call it a day when he went to take a rinse in the water. It was at this time that the crocodile took its opportunity to attack. Another fisherman in the area reported that he heard screams and saw a crocodile dragging the man’s body. That fisherman made some noise to gain the crocodile’s attention which caused the beast to release its prey. At this same time a group of kids were heading towards the pond to swim and they also heard screaming. They went to check and saw Diaz’s body near the pond. His right leg was almost severed and he had multiple bite wounds across the body. Diaz was already dead. Residents of the community joined Vince Rose of the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary in Ladyville to search for the killer. Being aware of the increased activity in the area, the crocodile went into hiding. It was not until Thursday, April 10th, that the search party came across the creature’s den. The group of volunteers dug the killer out of its hole and Rose lured it out. It was a mature 12 foot male fresh water Morelet crocodile. According to Rose, it was 45 to 55 years old and weighed 500 to 550 pounds. The crocodile was euthanized, burnt and buried.

Popular Cyclist killed
Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton, a well-known cyclist, was gunned down at around 4 o’clock on Tuesday, April 15. Thurton, who was a hard working, man and an athlete, is believed to have been killed because his assailant intended to rob him. Thurton had just left the Income Tax Department on business for his employer, Minister of State, Hon. Santiago Castillo and he was looking after a house for one of his relatives, and while on the street, known as Cumberbatch, in the Junesville area of the City, a gunman shot him in the back. Thurton fell to the ground and bled out while his assailant managed to escape, and by the time area residents responded, he had already passed away.

Marroquin Drury Out on Bail from Charges relating to Police Shootout
On Tuesday, April 15th, attorney Bryan Neal was able to secure bail for Marroquin Antwon Drury from Justice Adolph Lucas at the Belize Supreme Court for $7,500. A police mobile unit chased a group of men in a maroon Astro van at high speed within the city on Friday afternoon, March 28th, following a shooting on Mahogany Street. The sequence of events led to the arrest and charge of 22-year-old Marroquin Drury. According to police report, at around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, officers of the Gang Suppression Unit intercepted a maroon van which was heading from the Complex area on Mahogany Street where someone had just shot at Joshua Lewis. The officers fired shots at the vehicle and when it came to a stop one man had already jumped out and another was seen fleeing the vehicle. Inside the vehicle was the driver, identified as Drury. By the time officers caught up with the van, Drury had already called for his attorney, Bryan Neal. Neal was at the scene where police searched the vehicle and nothing incriminating was found. However, Drury was detained by police.

Farmer kills two men defending his property
Edison Johnson, a 50-year-old businessman and farmer from Guinea Grass Village, has been charged and arraigned for two counts of murder after he shot and fatally wounded two men, who he says were trespassing on his farm on Friday, April 11. The men he killed are 23 year-old Saul Eliseo Garcia, a labourer of Rhaburn Ridge Village, and 24 year-old Luke Cox of Carmelita Village. Johnson’s farm is located between miles 46 and 47 on the Northern Highway, and it is in a remote area, some 1 and a half miles in rough terrain, where there are no other houses nearby. The family hadn’t been to the farm for almost a week, and during that time, thieves burnt their farm down, tore off parts of the roofing for their 2 houses, and stole all the valuable items they had in the houses. That’s how Johnson found his property, where he had invested his family’s savings as a sort of retirement plan.

Two more Murders in the City
Two more persons were killed in Belize City by gun violence over the pre-Easter weekend. 57 year-old Alfonso Cruz was killed at around 9:30 p.m., some 3 hours after the Mike’s Club killing of Darrington Louriano, and on Sunday, the following day, at around 11 p.m. 18 year-old Kevin Rodriguez was shot to death. Alfonso Cruz, who is a well-known, hardworking man, who operates heavy equipment, was sitting on an old refrigerator inside his yard on Rhaburn’s Alley when a gunman with absolutely no regard for human life, shot him in the chest. An eyewitness told the media that before Cruz was randomly targeted, the shooter allegedly pointed the gun and pulled the trigger at another man, but it jammed. When he finally got it working, he picked Cruz as a target and callously shot him to death. He died while in transit to the KHMH.

Enfield Reyes Charged for Shooting at Wife
A domestic dispute between a business man and his wife has turned for the worst now that the wife has accused her husband of pulling out his license firearm and firing a shot at her. Fortunately for the 29-year-old woman, the shot missed but the incident has left her traumatized and forced her to apply for a restraining order. According to reports, 31-year-old Enfield Reyes got into an argument with his wife at their King Street residence on Sunday Night, April 13. The argument got heated and Reyes pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a single shot. At the time of the incident, the couple was at home with their two-year-old daughter. Police responded to the incident and arrested Reyes.

Lisa and SSB’s $3.34 Million
It seems that madam Lisa Shoman has a penchant to read the Guardian Newspaper with an eye for detail. Well here is something for her to read, proof read and dispute. In 1992, Harry Courtenay secured 3.34 million dollars from the Social Security Board to purchase shares in a hydroelectric company, BECOL. While the money was taken from SSB, the board claimed that they never received the shares which they had paid for. This started a long and drawn out legal battle over the $3.34 during which time Courtenay was taken to court and criminally charged for the money. In a trial by jury he managed a not guilty verdict in 1997 but SSB was not satisfied and opted to pursue a civil suit against Courtenay. By July 31, 1998 a judgment was passed by Justice George Meerabux, against Courtenay in the civil suit after he failed to submit a defense. That ruling had it that Courtenay should pay back $3.34 million dollars along with 6.5% interest. Courtenay’s legal representation would resist the ruling however and entered arguments on his behalf which were denied by the court and it was ordered that he must pay the $3.34 million dollars to SSB. The legal wrangling continued thereafter with Courtenay’s legal representation asking the Supreme Court to put the judgment aside. That was denied however.

Government of Dubai Donates 26 Community Health Vehicles to Belize
The Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, have donated twenty-six health support vehicles to the Government and people of Belize. On Monday, April 14th, the Ministry of Health held a brief ceremony to officially announce the donation. Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, says the donation is only the beginning of a relationship that will see Belize benefit greatly from the well resourced state. He says, “This is really just a foot in the door.” The vehicles are three-wheeled motorcycles with a passenger cover attached which is equipped with seating and a stretcher to support patients. Dr. Allen says the vehicles will be used mainly for community health outreach. He says they will be used for public events. Medical teams will be transported with medical kits to events where there are mass gatherings and provide services when needed. The vehicles will also be used as mobile clinics and to make home visits to senior citizens. Dr. Allen says there are many ways in which the vehicles will be used but “they are not replacements for ambulances”. According to the Ministry of Health, “The vehicles will be distributed to identified priority regional and community hospitals across the country where there are transportation and logistical challenges.”

Union Praises Anwar Barrow for Role in Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Shareholders of BTL were first to give a nod of approval for the ascension of Anwar Barrow to the post of Chairman of the company. However, the most enthusiastic support has been expressed by the workers of the telecommunications company. The Communications Workers Union issued a press release on Thursday, April 10th, praising the new Chairman for his instrumental role in the recent collective bargaining negotiations. The release went on to say, “The Union is also of the view that the stewardship of the company is off to a good start under the chairmanship of Anwar Barrow.” It is a resounding endorsement from the workers of the company. The Union has approved a three year proposal from the executive committee of the company which will be instituted retroactively to October 1st, 2013, for a yearly salary increase of 4 percent. The three year agreement also includes a 1 percent increase in company and staff pension contributions, a $25 per month increase in phone allowance and free 4G service for staff members. Employees of BTL are more than happy with the package and staff morale is at an all time high at the state owned company.

Caye Caulker Chronicles

2014 FCCA Foundation Children’s Enviromental Poster Competition

Sailboat for Sale
14 foot day sailor. With trailer. By Owner, 501-602-4728. $5000BZ

Amandala

FARMER KILLS THIEVES – CHARGED WITH MURDER!
Edison Johnson, 50, owner of the Johnson Farm located in the Carmelita area, Orange Walk District, appears to have become the latest victim of one of Belize’s strange gun laws – he is charged with murder for fatally shooting two men who he found burglarizing his property on Friday evening. One of the men died almost immediately, while the other man was found dead at about 9:30 the following morning, Saturday, April 12, the day after he was shot. The two bodies are in the morgue in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Johnson has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison until June 20, on charges of two counts of murder after he was arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Monday. Many citizens believe, however, that Johnson should never have been charged at all, since he was only protecting his property and his life from the thieves.

SAN CAS MESSENGER, 41, MURDERED
Shortly after 4:00 p.m. this evening, a well-known cyclist and office assistant for the San Cas group of companies, was callously shot to death during an apparent robbery attempt that took place in the area known as “Junesville,” located behind the Charles B. Hyde Complex Building in the Lake Independence area of Southside Belize City. The victim, identified as Ernest Thurton, 41, popularly known as “Dangalang,” a father of six children, who had been working for San Cas for the past 20 years, was reportedly making a routine check at his sister’s house near Cumberbatch Street, which he had been caretaking, when he was ambushed by two assailants and viciously shot once in the right side of his midsection. He was left to die on the ground next to a coconut tree in his aunt’s yard. Amandala understands that the perpetrators were lay-waiting the unwary office assistant to rob him, but when Thurton realized what was about to happen, he ran, and the gunman fired a single shot that caught him in his midsection, killing him almost instantly.

“MAHOGANY MAN,” BERT TUCKER SUCCUMBS TO PROSTATE CANCER IN JAMAICA
Adalbert “Bert” Tucker, Belize’s Ambassador for Foreign Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, famously known for his activism for the community-based project, the Belize River Valley Development Program (BELRIV), passed away last Thursday in Jamaica after his battle with prostate cancer—one of the leading cancers among Belizean men and the ailment which recently claimed the life of another well-known Belizean, attorney Lionel Welch. Belize’s Honorary Consul in Jamaica, Elecif Arthurs, told Amandala this morning that Tucker will be buried in Belize and they are in the process of registering his death and preparing the body for burial within the next two weeks. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she said, will make a formal announcement. Tucker had recently traveled to Jamaica to seek treatment for his condition, but his condition was reportedly too far advanced. Tucker is a former United Nations Advisor to several countries in the Caribbean and Africa. He is a graduate of the University of the West Indies and Harvard.

COLD-BLOODED EXECUTION AT MIKE’S CLUB
On Saturday sometime after 6:00 p.m., a social gathering at the famous Mike’s Club at the corner of Regent Street West and West Canal was transformed into a crime scene. Some of the club’s patrons were playing dominoes, a few were focused on the billiards table and others were watching television and conversing when a man, gun brazenly in hand, walked in and shot Darrington Lauriano, 27, to death. Police reported that Lauriano, a resident of both Belize City and San Pedro, was shot once in the right side of the forehead, once beneath the nose, once in the right cheek and once in the left arm. He died almost instantly. After firing the shots, the killer, described as a youth who was dressed in a white T-shirt, dashed out of the club, escaping into the streets from which he had come. Reports are that Hon. Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Port Loyola area rep, was in Mike’s when the shooting occurred, and he had to dive for cover.

Businessman, 31, shot at wife, 29
A businessman who has been in police custody since Sunday, when his 29-year-old wife reported to police that he pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a shot which missed her, was remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded not guilty to a charge of aggravated assault with a firearm. Enfield Reyes, 31, a businessman of a King Street address, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who remanded him to prison until his next court appearance on June 6. Reyes is being represented by attorney Ellis Arnold, Senior Counsel. According to the complaint against Reyes, on Sunday, he became involved in a domestic dispute with his wife at their King Street home, and he allegedly pulled out his licensed firearm and fired a shot at her, but fortunately, he missed. His wife reported the incident to police and demanded court action. Besides demanding court action, the traumatized wife is also seeking a restraining order against him.

NCL hosts media tour of Norwegian Jewel
In an effort to sway negative public perception about the impact of their cruise tourism activities in Belize, Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) engaged members of the media on a tour of The Norwegian Jewel, where they were afforded an opportunity to take a look at the grandeur of the ship itself, as well as to observe environmentally healthy initiatives which are employed by the company, which plans to unveil a cruise tourism project in southern Belize as early as next year. Since private tourism stakeholders in the south have constantly blasted the intentions behind the project, NCL found it necessary to publicize how they conduct business on the seas, since they have received the go-ahead from the National Environmental Assessment Committee (NEAC) to proceed with their proposed Harvest Caye project. The state-of the-art, fully air-conditioned luxury vessel contains 16 decks which hold 11 dining areas, villas and suites, several bars and lounges, a fully equipped fitness center and spa, pools, clubs, arcades, medical centers and a number of casinos, is staffed by over 1,100 crew members from 60 different countries, and has enough space to comfortably accommodate about 2,500 passengers.

PUP discuss Elvin Penner and other national issues with the media
The Leader of the Opposition People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca, was the main presenter at a press briefing Thursday afternoon at the party’s Independence Hall headquarters. Fonseca discussed matters of national importance along with newly appointed PUP senator Anthony Sylvestre and the Cayo North East PUP standard bearer Orlando “Landy” Habet, who is one of three persons challenging the Chief Elections Officer’s decision not to admit over 300 signatures in the petition to trigger a referendum for the recall of the disgraced former Minister of State in the Ministry of Immigration, Elvin Penner. Fonseca told the media that the police’s investigation into the Elvin Penner passport scandal has been stalled, even after Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin had ordered Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, to proceed with and conclude the investigation, when he issued a writ of mandamus against the Commissioner in a judicial review last month.

PUP reviving effort to recall Elvin Penner with judicial review of rejected petition signatures
On May 29, Elvin Penner is scheduled to return to the Belmopan Magistrate’s Court, where he has been charged with two criminal offences in a private lawsuit by the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA). The issue of his recall, however, resurfaced in compelling fashion when Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel ruled to allow the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) a judicial review of the Chief Elections Officer’s decision to invalidate 337 petition signatures on December 30, 2013. A judicial review seeking a writ of certiorari against the Chief Elections Officer for her exclusion of 337 signatures was successfully argued by PUP attorneys Lisa Shoman and Anthony Sylvestre, representing claimant Orlando Habet and four others from the Cayo North East constituency. Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai and the Attorney General were represented by the Deputy Solicitor General Nigel Hawke, who opened the hearing submitting that Habet and two of the applicants did not have the requisite “locus standing” for the application.

EDITORIAL: Fighting for survival
The shooting murder of Darrington Lauriano which took place early Saturday night at Mike’s Club, just two blocks away from Belize City’s Central Police Station, occurred a few feet away from Port Loyola area representative and Cabinet Minister, Anthony “Boots” Martinez. Martinez gave an interview to Channel 7 in which he explains that he dove to the floor in an act of self-preservation. There is little doubt that the other people who were in the club will tell similar stories. A form of the Genovese syndrome has hit Belize big time. Four other murders occurred over the weekend, two of them on a farm in Carmelita, a village outside of Orange Walk Town. What reportedly happened in Carmelita was that the owner of a farm caught burglars stripping his home and opened fire on them with a shotgun, killing two of them. This is how these situations routinely play out in American movies, and gloriously so for enthusiastic audiences, but the traditional British law in Belize was always strictly against victims using lethal force against thieves. We have, nevertheless, seen numerous occasions since Belize’s 1981 independence where the law has been lenient on robbery victims who have used lethal force, but the Carmelita victim who employed lethal force has been charged with murder and remanded to the Hattieville prison.

Four “blood moons,” the first visible from Belize around midnight on April 15
Forecaster Francisca Wellington told Amandala today that the total lunar eclipse—a phenomenon known as the “blood moon,” because the moon will appear copper red—is expected to be visible from Belmopan sometime after 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night, and data available to her indicates that the eclipse will run for 3 hours 35 minutes, with the total lunar eclipse spanning 1 hour and 18 minutes. Information Amandala has obtained from NASA’s website indicates that tonight’s “blood moon” will be one in a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses to occur roughly six months apart in 2014 and 2015. NASA says they will occur on April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015; and September 28, 2015. This is called a tetrad, but what is rare about this tetrad is that it also falls on the dates of two major Scriptural feasts: the Passover (Pesach) and the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot), in both 2014 and 2015.

What we have lost as a nation…
As we all go into a frenzy this Easter, let us take time out to remember the reason for the season … it’s not only spring when flowers bloom and birds sing and the wind blows the kites up high … It is the season of spiritual renewal and re-birthing. It is always a good time to reflect on ourselves and to see how far we have accomplished our New Year’s resolutions and if we need to get back on track or change course. The same way we do our annual spring cleaning because we want our house to be clean, we need to do our spiritual spring cleaning because we want our life to be meaningful. Ironically, the season of Lent leading up to the Resurrection of Christ used to be very solemn, as people did not dare drink, eat in excess or use profanity. The forty days leading to Holy Sunday when Christ resurrected from the tomb had a holiness about it, a sacredness and a sense of compassion and love about it. But that was in time past as now Belizeans do not even know what is Lent, much less respect it … for some it may seem like no big deal … But it reflects what as a nation we have lost …

“I really no wan go da jail!” fisherman tells magistrate
A Belize City fisherman with fifteen years’ experience on the sea begged Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer not to send him to prison after he pleaded guilty to being in “possession of out of season lobster tails” and “four hawksbill turtles,” which are endangered, protected species, when she arraigned him this morning on the two charges that the Fisheries Department levied on him. The fisherman, Lionel Sedacy, a resident of 47 Amara Avenue, was remanded to prison along with two other men on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, for allegedly firing on a Coast Guard patrol boat that had gone to investigate a robbery report in the area of Middle Long Caye last Thursday. When asked to enter his plea, Sedacy said he was “guilty with an explanation.”

“I am going to bring back Penner.”
Or the mis-education of a generation... Some thoughts ran through my head this morning when I heard the foreign investor representative of the Harvest Caye project given a long rostrum on Love FM News, telling the nation that, regardless of all the opposition from the BTIA and Placencia residents, he had the comfort and the assurance from no less than the Prime Minister, in the House of Representatives, that “It is going to happen.” So, they better get used to it. It is amazing the things that happen in Belize. They say a people who don’t know their history, are bound to repeat their mistakes. It’s almost funny, if it wasn’t so serious, and frightening, the ignorance, as in mis-information, mis-education, or simple lack of information provided to our Belizean people. A lot of shortcomings can be addressed and corrected with the energy, enthusiasm and creativity of our nation’s future, our young generation; but only IF they are provided with, and exposed to, important historical information. Some of us grew up as children of UBAD. I marched in a UBAD demonstration for the 18-year-old vote at the age of seventeen. We were concerned about our country, about our future. That demonstration also called for a free radio, when Radio Belize, the only station, was totally controlled by the government.

“T-Bug” fatally knocked down by commuter bus
A villager who was making a routine trip to a nearby shop met a tragic end this past Saturday after he veered into the path of an oncoming commuter bus that was traveling in the opposite direction. The victim – who was riding a bicycle at the time – was hit and died instantly after he was violently flung into the air and landed a distance away from the vehicle before it reached a halt on the right hand side of the road. The incident occurred shortly after 8:00 p.m. near Mile 19 on the Philip Goldson Highway, and Rural Executive Officer Assistant Superintendent Christopher Noble, who was on the scene within minutes of the fatal traffic accident, gave reporters an initial account of the incident, while urging drivers, cyclists and pedestrians to be careful on the road, especially as we approach the long Easter weekend.

Joint US and Belize law enforcement destroys over US $29 million worth of drugs
A joint anti-drug operation conducted in different areas of the country between Belize law enforcement and the US military Joint Task Force Bravo, announced that the operation was successful and that over US $29 million worth of drugs were destroyed. The operation was conducted last month, March 15 to March 20. The operation destroyed 34 marijuana fields and about 57,283 mature marijuana plants. In addition, the team also found and destroyed 25 pounds of marijuana seeds. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder training for 52 Belizean lawmen who took part in the operation. Due to the huge success of the operation, future joint operations will be carried out.

Lab results for Valley of Peace crop damage still pending
It has been almost a month since Green Tropics – a sugar cane company which was clearing thousands of acres of land to plant sugar cane – was fingered by vegetable farmers in the Valley of Peace village in Cayo as being responsible for significant crop damage, and while the company maintains its innocence, the farmers and the Ministry of Agriculture are patiently awaiting the verdict via plant samples that were sent abroad for testing. The company had used an airplane to spray an industrial herbicide while conducting massive clearing of land near the Valley of Peace on March 15, but fell into hot water, so to speak, when farmers from the area alleged that the herbicide which was sprayed by Green Tropics killed their crops. The test results were scheduled to be in by last Friday, April 4, but today when we contacted the Chief Agricultural Officer, Roberto Harrison, he told us that the Ministry is still presently waiting for the results to be sent back from El Salvador, however he expects that they should be in by tomorrow, after which they will be able to determine whether the damage to the crops was indeed caused by the herbicide that was used by Green Tropics.

Philip Goldson Highway accident claims life
Mario Choc, 27, a sales clerk of 3 ½ Miles, Philip Goldson Highway, Belize City, was knocked down by an oncoming vehicle at about 8:40 Saturday night, and suffered injuries to both of his legs, his right hand and head. Choc died on the scene. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH), where he was declared dead on arrival. Choc was at Mile 3 on the Philip Goldson Highway, and was walking to the driver’s side of his vehicle, in which he was about to head out of the city, when he was knocked down. Glen Crawford, 25, of Maxboro, Sandhill, told police that he was travelling from the city to Maxboro in a Ford Ranger pickup truck on the Philip Goldson Highway, when, upon reaching in front of New Horizon Building on the highway, he slowed down to allow an ambulance that was travelling in the same direction to overtake him.

Road traffic accident in Hattieville
The Mendez family of Belmopan was involved in a road traffic accident in Hattieville in which the vehicle they were travelling in overturned. Sarina Mendez suffered minor injuries – abrasions to her right hand and right knee. Her son, 13, along with her daughter, 9, and her niece, 21, all escaped unhurt Mendez was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released. Carlos Mendez, 46, of Belmopan, was traveling along with his wife, Sarina Mendez, and their children and a family member to Belmopan from the city at about 9:00 Sunday night, and upon reaching an area between Miles 17 and 18 on the George Price Highway, a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction suddenly swerved into his lane. To avoid a collision, he swerved to the right, off the road and as a result, flipped over.

IBIS is helping police link stolen gun to multiple crime scenes
The police are using the mighty IBIS (Integrated Ballistic Identification System) to investigate a gun stolen from them, which was recovered in the Jane Usher Boulevard area, and allegedly was used in multiple shooting incidents, including a murder that occurred about two weeks ago. Corporal Jorge Lemus, the Admin Officer for Precinct #2 Police, confirmed that the weapon was stolen from Precinct #2. The powerful, high-tech state-of-the-art IBIS is used by forensic analysts and police investigators worldwide. It expedites the highly labor-intensive and time-consuming task of matching ballistics information in police investigations.

The Corozal police step up public safety campaign for the Easter holidays
The Corozal police force, under the command of Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, has undertaken a campaign to ensure public safety over the Easter holiday. The police advise the business community and the public at large that as we enter the Easter season, criminal elements are expected to step up their unlawful activity. While the police will commit to doing its constitutional part, they ask the public to do the same. Residents are urged to report anything suspicious in their area, either vehicles or persons. Businesses are advised to close on time and not risk opening after the prescribed hours. Take nothing for granted. Do not walk in isolated areas alone. Avoid going out alone with a huge amount of cash and/or jewelry. Do not over-consume alcoholic beverages, and know those with whom you are socializing.

Correction to “Laura Baptist Middleton recovering at the KHMH”
In our Sunday, April 6, 2014 issue of Amandala, in an article titled “Laura Baptist Middleton recovering at the KHMH,” we said that the principal of Sadie Vernon High School, Laura Baptist Middleton, collapsed in her office and was found lying on her office floor by the vice principal. Amandala was later informed that the principal did not collapse on to the floor, but to a chair, and that it was not the vice principal or the acting vice principal that found and assisted her, but some teachers who had come to her office.

Maya threaten to block US Capital
Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, has confirmed that the Government intends to issue an extension to its permit to US Capital Energy to continue petroleum operations inside the Sarstoon-Temash National Park—a move which has the Maya community up in arms, and threatening protest action to stop the oil company from proceeding with works inside the park. Indications to our newspaper this morning are that the Government is looking at revisiting the position it took last week to extend the permit, which expires at the end of April, but we have had no signal yet that it has, in fact, decided to change its stance. After a meeting held on Friday, April 11, the communities of the Sarstoon Temash region and the Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management (SATIIM) issued a communiqué, expressing their concern over news that the Cabinet has taken a decision to extend the current permit of US Capital Energy.

3 foreign nationals charged for using fraudulent documents
An AVIANCA flight touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) arriving from El Salvador on Thursday, April 10, and when three passengers disembarked and presented their travel documents to Belize Immigration officers, it turned out they were traveling on fake documents and were immediately arrested and questioned, before they were charged. Immigration officers discovered that the Guatemalan passports that twin Cuban brothers Joel and Joany Gonzalez, 40, presented were fake. Also, upon a close examination of the Belizean visa that Nigerian national Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, 53, presented, immigration officers realized that it was an old type of visa that is not in use anymore, so he was charged for using a fake Belizean visa.

J. C. Arzu makes a strong Peini statement
I’m writing about the community named Saint Vincent Block, also known as Cerru, a Garifuna property in suburban Punta Gorda Town, aka Peini. In 1924 the Garinagu of Peini pooled their meagre resources to purchase 1,000 acres of land just outside the town, in honor of the struggle of their ancestors in St. Vincent who gave up their lives in an attempt to defend their land and culture against the British. This Saturday, April 12, 2014 marks the 217th anniversary of the involuntary arrival of the Garinagu to the shores of Honduras Central America. Following the murder of the Garinagu’s Paramount Chief Satuye, aka Chatuye, on 14 March 1797 (see Pen Cayetano’s painting at the Belize City Library of African and Indian Studies), the survivors were forced off their homeland Saint Vincent (now Saint Vincent and the Grenadines), and shipped at sword and gun point nearly 2,000 miles away to Roatan, Honduras. Obviously it was intended that they were never to return home.

BELPO: “Where is the respect for the law, SATIIM, the indigenous communities and the people?”
On April 3, 2014, Justice Arana handed down her decision in the action brought by Sarstoon/Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) and others to stop the incursion into the national park for the purpose of oil exploration. Despite previous court decisions and government agreements on respecting the rights of the indigenous peoples, it was confusing and disturbing to see this matter back in court. What prompted the return to Court had to do with the Government’s granting permission and permits to US Capital Energy to enter the National Park for the purpose of conducting petroleum exploration drilling activities and to build an access road to carry out such activities. The Court declared that permission to allow road construction and commercial oil drilling was irrational, unreasonable and it follows that it is unlawful. It violated the legitimate expectations of SATIIM & Buffer Communities as established by the two “Maya Land Rights judgments” from the Supreme Court of Belize as well as the “United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People”, signed by Belize, and international law.

Cayo Western
Last night, Cayo Western Ballaz (9-1) hosted the Corozal Heats (2-8) at the Sacred Heart College auditorium in San Ignacio Town, in front of a packed and very loud stadium. Corozal Heats came out firing, taking a 13-0 lead at the start of the game by hitting 3 three-pointers, capitalizing on the home team’s slow start. Corozal was able to extend the lead to 21-4 in the first quarter, but after a timeout by the home team, they were able to regroup and cut the lead to 28-18 at the end of the first quarter. By midway through the second quarter, Cayo Western Ballaz was able to put their stamp on the game, taking a 31-28 lead, as they went on a 16-0 run, and never again surrendered that lead. At the half, Western Ballaz was up 41-37. The game got a bit physical in the first half, as 3 technical fouls were awarded. In the third quarter, Cayo Western Ballaz was able to open up the lead to 61-49. The second half was filled with technical fouls, as the home team picked up 2 more technical fouls, an unsportsmanlike foul and a disqualifying foul, while Corozal Heats also got 2 technical fouls. The game ended 80-65 in favor of Cayo Western Ballaz, who extended their winning streak to 6 in a row.

Cross Country Cycling
Cross Country Cycling Classic winners Year Winner 1928 Elston Kerr; 2nd Norris Wade 1929 Elston Kerr; 2nd David Graham 1930 Norris Wade; 2nd Elston Kerr 1931 Donald Lightburn; 2nd Anselm Waight 1932 No race (1931 hurricane) 1933 Robert Ferguson; 2nd Donald Lightburn 1934 Robert Ferguson; 2nd Herbert Gentle 1935 Donald Lightburn; 2nd Dinsdale Lord 1936 Donald Lightburn; 2nd Hendicott Croft 1937 Jose Sosa; 2nd Jim Melin 1938 Jose Sosa; 2nd Luther Tucker 1939 Ben Sanchez; 2nd Jose Sosa 1940 Hendicott Croft; 2nd Ben Sanchez

Ben 9-Ball Tournament
The Belize Billiards Sports Federation (BBSF) organized the 2nd Annual Ben Bounahra 9-Ball Tournament on April 12 and 13, where the venue was Mike’s Cue Club in Belmopan. Here’s more and how it concluded with a bang. Twelve teams from across the jewel registered, namely: Toledo United of PG; Di Rookies, Camp 6 and Link-Up from Cayo; Barrio Fino, Special Effects, Twin Stars and BRC Shooters from Belmopan; Riverside and Elements of Belize City; Route 88 of Orange Walk; and a Team Corozal. By the end of the second day, it was only two teams left standing around the table in the final, which saw Elements and Toledo United showing their talent and skills to become the champs. It must be mentioned that it was “déjà vu” all over again, as Toledo needed to win Elements twice, since they were undefeated going into the final; but Toledo won the first match and failed to do so on the second, which is exactly what transpired last year.

Belize Muslim Community
The National Primary School Softball Championships got underway today with games being played at two separate venues including the Rogers Stadium and Queen’s Square Football Field in Belize City. Six teams, each representing one of the 6 districts of Belize, squared off in both the male and female categories from 9:00 a.m. until late evening, when the female and male winners were crowned at the conclusion of the tournament. Participating district champion teams were: Belize District – (Female – F) Muslim Community; (Male – M) Crooked Tree Gov’t. Cayo District – (F) Camalote St. Jude RC; (M) Camalote St. Jude RC. Corozal District – (F) Corozal Methodist; (M) Xaibe RC. Orange Walk District – (F) Carmelita Gov’t; (M) Carmelita Gov’t. Stann Creek District – (F) Richard Quinn RC; (M) Independence Primary. Toledo District – (F) Aguacate RC; (M) Aguacate RC.

Police United suffers first defeat
It was do-or-die for FC Belize, whose fading playoff hopes hinged on a victory yesterday against previously undefeated Police in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) Belikin Cup Closing Season 2013-2014. League leading Police came into the MCC riding high with confidence, having drawn once and winning 5 of their 6 previous outings. But on this Sunday they would be without their regular sweeper, Kishane “Grill” Pech, who was suffering from a toe injury; and FC Belize were featuring their new young striker from Orange Walk, Michael Whittaker, on whom their hopes were raised for a turnaround in fortunes, as he would combine with league leading scorer Jarret Davis to make the FC Belize attack one of the most formidable in the Premier League. Well, the hype was not all hot air, as the young man from the north delivered in impressive fashion to give FC Belize the goal they would defend all the way to gain a desperately needed 1-nil victory against Police United yesterday at the MCC.

FROM THE PUBLISHER
The indications are that two of my esteemed, ranking contemporaries, Ornel Brooks and Bert Tucker, died within some hours of each other last Thursday, April 11. Brooksie died in Belize City on Thursday morning, while Adalbert passed in Kingston, Jamaica on Thursday night. Before I discuss my departed brothers, let me say that the Easter Week publication of Amandala has always been one of my favorite issues, because most readers will take it along with them to their Easter vacation spot, which means that readers will have more leisure time to examine the various articles than would be the case with the usual weekend issue. This Easter Week column is by way of paying personal respect to the achievements of these two outstanding brothers, and I also hope to honor the families from which they came while sharing memories with their friends. As far as I can figure out, Deputy Premier C. L. B. Rogers decided to train a new kind of specialist policeman following the Belize City uprisings occasioned by the release of the Seventeen Proposals in the spring of 1968. The traditional policemen had experienced a lot of problems dealing with the Thirteen Proposals’ disturbances in 1966, so the 1968 uprisings convinced Mr. Rogers, who was Minister of Home Affairs and therefore responsible for domestic security, that he needed a more militarized unit for special assignments. Cabinet agreed, and what became known in the streets as the “paramilitary” was born.

Police charge Ladyville shooting victim for knife, but withdrew it in court on a technicality
A Ladyville man, Oscar Perez, 31, who was involved in a bar brawl on April 5, which started inside the Blue House Bar and ended outside on the Philip Goldson Highway in front of the bar, was charged in a Belize City court with “being in possession of an article with a blade longer than three inches,” but the charge was withdrawn because of a technical loophole related to the size of the blade Perez had been carrying. Police say Perez stabbed Dennis Burke, 47, who shot him with his licensed firearm and who, nevertheless, was remanded to prison on a charge of “discharging a firearm in public.” On Friday, Perez, a construction worker, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned him on the single charge of possession of an article with a blade longer than three inches, to which he pleaded guilty.

Supal Street resident shot on Dolphin Street
Five men lost their lives in separate shooting incidents that took place over this past weekend, but one shooting victim is lucky to be alive today after he also came under fire while riding on a street in southside Belize City in broad daylight on Saturday. Police said that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this past Saturday, April 12, where they observed Glenford Alvarez, 21, of a Supal Street address, with an apparent gunshot wound on the left foot. Investigators then found out that at about 10:45 that morning, Alvarez was riding a bicycle on Dolphin Street in front of Wesley Upper School when he was approached from behind by a dark-complexioned male person riding a beach cruiser bicycle who pointed what appeared to be a pistol in his direction and fired several shots at him, causing his injury.

Kevin Rodriguez, 19, gunned down on Curl Thompson Street
Amidst an apparent resurgence of gun violence across Belize City, another young man met his untimely death after he was ruthlessly gunned down as he stood inside a yard on Curl Thompson Street in the Port Loyola area last night at around 11:00. Amandala understands that Kevin Rodriguez, 19, was already inside the house of his mother’s church sister where he was staying, in the aforementioned yard, but stepped out after receiving a phone call; however, instead of meeting the person who called him, Rodriguez was met with gunfire and died within minutes after being shot three times by a gunman. Police reported that they visited Curl Thompson Street in the Jane Usher Boulevard area on Sunday, April 13, at approximately 11:00 p.m. and saw the motionless body of Kevin Rodriguez, with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the upper and lower part of the body.

2 shotguns stolen in Paraiso and Monkey Bay
Two weapons, a 12-gauge and a 20-gauge shotgun, were stolen from their owners in two separate incidents. The 12-gauge Harrington and Richardson shotgun, S/N AU629146, valued at $250, was stolen at about 4:30 Saturday morning from its owner – Eloy Briceño, 43, a ferry operator — in Paraiso, Corozal District, where he resides. Briceño told police that he had gone hunting early in the morning in the Paraiso area and was carrying the shotgun on his motorcycle. He parked the motorbike and put the gun beside the motorbike and went into the bushes, he said. According to Briceño, when he came out of the bushes shortly after, the shotgun had been stolen.

GSU makes bullet and weed bust at Far West Street house
The Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) searched a house on Far West Street on Sunday and found two .9mm rounds and a small quantity of marijuana. But the homeowner, a nurse’s aide, had to be hospitalized, because her blood pressure went dangerously high because of the bust, and she was unable to be arraigned in court on Monday. Bernadette Samuels, 48, is expected to be arraigned as soon as she is well enough to appear in court, her attorney Bryan Neal told the court. The five other persons who were present when police made the bust pleaded not guilty to the ammunition and possession of controlled drug charges when they appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who said, before remanding them to prison, “I can’t offer unno bail! That means that all a unno gwine da jail.”

Coast Guard and pirates clash at sea
There was a dangerous confrontation that occurred just after midday yesterday in the waters located 20 miles southeast of Belize City after five fishermen made a desperate call to the Belize Coast Guard alerting the authorities that they were in the process of being robbed by three men, two of them Hispanic and one of Creole descent. The Coast Guard officers responded immediately and upon reaching the scene, they spotted the robbers – who were in a mid-sized skiff with a 50-horsepower engine registered as Dannica – and set chase, but the combative assailants reportedly refused to be apprehended without a gunfight, which ensued while they were being pursued by the marine officers. Amandala understands that the would-be robbers fired several shots at the Coast Guard, who responded similarly with gunfire in a high speed chase and shootout that reportedly went on for two and a half hours until the bandits were finally cornered and detained near the reef. Today, we spoke to the Coast Guard’s Fleet Commander, Lieutenant Greg Soberanis, who recounted the incident and told us how they managed to intercept the pirates.

Sea pirates remanded to prison
Three Belize City seamen who, according to police, were engaged in acts of piracy on the high seas and who fired at a Belize Coast Guard vessel that was attempting to intercept them were arraigned and remanded to the Belize Central Prison after appearing in court Monday morning. The men, Lionel Emmanuel Sedacy, 37, Giovanni Murillo, 28, and Everal Teck, Jr., all appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who arraigned them on two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm against Jose Reyes and Dobian Montero. All pleaded not guilty to the charges, but because the offences were committed with a firearm, bail could not be granted and they were remanded to prison until their next scheduled court appearance on June 13. The incident for which the men are charged occurred on Thursday, April 10. Around 6:45 p.m. on that day, the Belize Coast Guard was called by fishermen and told that they were being robbed of their products somewhere southeast of Middle Long Caye, which lies about 20 miles from Belize City.

Robberies reported in Belize City
Two burglaries reportedly occurred in Belize City which resulted in total losses to their victims of over $9,000 in cash and goods. Cambranes Bakery of Freetown Road in the city was burglarized sometime after closing at 9:00 Friday night, and before its reopening at 5:50 Saturday morning. Thieves stole a 12-inch monitor valued at $800, and cash, to a total value of $1,615. The bakery owner, Salvador Cambranes, 56, told police that he is sure that he secured the bakery at the end of the workday on Friday night. Also, at about 3:00 o’clock Friday morning, Gilbert Ellis, 97, was in his house on Nurse Seay Street in Belize City when he was awakened by a noise in the lower flat of his two-flat house. He got up to see what was happening, and went to the lower flat, and that was when he found that the house’s lower flat had been burglarized.

Armadillo Street resident remanded on attempted murder charge
A resident of Armadillo Street was remanded to prison after he was arraigned on attempted murder, use of a deadly means of harm and wounding charges when he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Monday. Hugh Thomas, 22, an unemployed resident of 21 Armadillo Street, was not required to enter a plea, because the charges laid on him are indictable, and will be heard in the Supreme Court. Because the offenses were committed with a firearm, Frazer told Thomas that she could not offer him bail and remanded him to prison until his next court appearance date on May 30. Thomas is accused of the March 16 shooting of Hortence Lynch, a seventeen-year-old minor.

Woman raped in the Dump area of Punta Gorda
A 24-year-old woman of Pomona Valley was raped by a man who took her to the Dump area of Punta Gorda after the woman asked him for a ride to Punta Gorda from the 6-mile junction of the Southern Highway and the Stann Creek Valley Road. The incident occurred about 1:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon. The woman told police that she was travelling from Pomona to Punta Gorda and got a ride in a vehicle with a man whom she did not know. The woman said that after they passed Bella Vista, the man began to touch her legs and her vagina without her permission, and when they arrived at the Dump area in Toledo, instead of going into Punta Gorda Town, the man drove the car into San Antonio Road and turned left into a little road off the highway, where he raped her.

Chinese store robbed in Corozal
Less than a week after two Chinese stores were robbed on the Santa Rita Road in the Corozal District, another Chinese store has been robbed, this time in Paraiso; three thieves got away with $450 and a bicycle. Police’s quick investigation led to two men being detained, and two more men from Belize City are being sought. Police said that at about 3:00 Monday evening, Hui Bang Chen, 52, a Chinese businessman of corner Philip Goldson Highway and Paraiso junction, reported that around 2:50 p.m. that afternoon he had been at his store, Jing Jing Store, attending to customers when three men entered the store, one of whom was armed with a gun.

San Pedro resident escapes death
Miguel “Motita” Fuentes, 25, of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro Town, is lucky to be alive after he was shot multiple times in San Pedro. He is now recovering at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, and is in a serious but stable condition. According to police, Fuentes was walking on the beach in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro with two friends at about 5:00 Sunday evening, when five men approached them and one of them fired at Fuentes and his friends, hitting Fuentes in the hand and in the side and back. The three friends scrambled for cover and went into the sea to escape the gunfire, and the five men then left the area. Fuentes and his friends were rescued by a boat that was travelling nearby, which took them to the Texaco Pier, from where police took Fuentes to the San Pedro Polyclinic, where he was stabilized before being taken to the KHMH for further treatment.

57-year-old murdered “for no reason”
There are currently more questions than answers surrounding the inexplicable murder of a 57-year-old father who unfortunately ended up in harm’s way while sitting on an old refrigerator inside his yard this past Saturday night at about 10:00 p.m. Police report that they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital sometime after 10:00 p.m. on the night of April 12, where they saw Alfonzo Cruz, 57, a resident of #2 Rhaburn’s Alley, with an apparent gunshot wound to the left side of the chest and the left lower back. According to police, their initial investigations revealed that Cruz was with his friends at his home in the alley when a lone gunman, who was riding a bicycle, approached and fired several times at Cruz.

The Reporter

Hundreds missing after ferry sinks off South Korea
Almost 300 people remain unaccounted for after a ferry carrying 459 people capsized and sank off South Korea. The ferry, carrying mainly school students, was travelling from the port of Incheon, in the north-west, to the southern resort island of Jeju. Among those on board were high school students on […]

Drug rehab centers upgrade quality of service
Drug rehabilitation centers in Belize are increasing the quality of service provided to their clients through a new system developed by the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission. The Reporter spoke today with Ismael Vallejos, Director of Jacobs Farm Rehabilitation Center, who explained that he was among two Belizean delegates who participated in a regional training seminar in Nassau, Bahamas last week. The seminar, funded by the Organization of America States, was to train rehab representatives in employing a new client data entry system which will not only ensure more relevant and comprehensive data to authorities and stakeholders, but also greater confidentiality to clients. “The seminar also provided a forum for drug rehab representatives to network and share ideas, which will benefit the quality of the service we are able to provide.”

Santino’s cyclist/messenger shot dead
Veteran cyclist, Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton, 41, was shot dead shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday in the Junesville area, Lake Independence Division, Belize City. Thurton’s killers pounced on him while he stopped briefly to check on a house that he was taking care of for an aunt while on an errand as a messenger with San Cas Company. Based on initial reports, Thurton tried to run but his killer fired a shot that struck him in the left side and he fell under a coconut tree where he died. While the motive is thought to be robbery, the police are scheduled to brief the press this afternoon on details of their investigation into this incident.

Alleged con artist on the loose
Police have issued a warning to Belize City residents to be wary of an alleged con artist who is impersonating a money collector for a local cable company. The warning follows a reported incident today in which a man allegedly collected money from an elderly woman while pretending to be a collecting agent for the cable provider. The 76-year-old year woman who lives on Southern Foreshore told police that at around 10 this morning a man who appeared to be in his 50′s visited her home, claiming to be a collector for the cable company and told her that she was arrears. The woman continued that the man said that to avoid disconnection she needed to pay $20, which she agreed to do. She said that the man promised to go get her a receipt and return.

Police detain suspect in connection with cyclist’s murder
Police have detained one suspect in connection with the shooting murder of Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton. Thurton was shot to death sometime around 4 p.m. on Monday while checking on an aunt’s house behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde Building in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. His family believes that the motive was robbery and that his killer was trailing him since Thurton was a messenger for San Cas Company. His employer, Minister of State Santiago Castillo, Jr., later told reporters that Thurton only delivered cheques and prior to his murder, had gone to the Income Tax Department. He stopped on his way back from his errand to cheque on the house when his killer decided to strike.

Wildfires in Chile claim 12 lives, consume 2,000 homes
At least 12 persons are dead after wildfires in Chile consume 2,00 homes in Chile. That country’s Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo reported that 8,000 people are homeless as a result of the blaze. Earlier, Chile’s National Emergency Office’s website, citing police, had said that at least 16 people were dead. It was not immediately clear why the reported death tolls were different. More than 1,200 firefighters worked to control the wind-whipped blaze in Valparaiso and the suburb of Vina del Mar, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said. The wind hampered firefighters’ ability to create firebreaks, and the blaze had spread to more than 2,000 acres, Penailillo said. Bachelet said the firefighters were backed up by 17 aircraft and that additional police were being brought in to prevent looting in the areas abandoned by their residents. Many of the survivors suffered burns, and the most seriously burned patients were being transferred to hospitals in the capital, Santiago, about 75 miles away, the president said.

Report explains why higher fuel prices are better for business
Higher oil prices have been good for business, according to a report by an arilines writer. In the past six years, the report says, airlines have overhauled the way they operate to adjust to this new reality by exercising more discipline with things like offering fewer seats. This, he says, […]

Barney Brown wins Weekend Warriors’ Cross Country
Barney Brown of the Scotiabank team won the A division of the Weekend Warriors’ annual Cross Country cycle race from La Loma Luz Hospital in Santa Elena. Brown finished in front of Smart headquarters on the Philip Goldson Highway in Belize City on Sunday, April […]

Muslim Community girls win primary schools National Softball Championships
The girls of the Muslim Community School, the Belize District Champions, won the national primary schools softball championships organized by the National Sports Council at the Rogers Stadium on Friday, April 11. Muslim’s MVP pitcher Essenie Ciego led the Muslim girls to an 11-4 win […]

Good night’s sleep good for brain health
A good night’s sleep may be essential to brain health, say Swedish researchers who found depriving healthy young men of a night’s sleep increased blood concentrations of brain molecules to levels seen in brain damage. Researchers from Uppsala Unversity report the findings of their small trial, which was funded mostly […]

Enjoy life more – your body will age better, study shows
A new study from the UK, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal claims that people who enjoy life will have better physical function and faster walking speeds than their more pessimistic counterparts. We already know there are health benefits associated with a positive outlook on life. A study from […]

Surveys: Crime has adverse effect on Caribbean development; Belize suffers only on local front
Studies conducted over the last year by the Inter-American Development Bank and the University of the West Indies indicate that crime has had significantly adverse impacts on development in the Caribbean. One report notes that in the Bahamas armed robberies and violent crimes are […]

Killer crocs – a closer look
The Easter holidays are upon us and many people are planning to spend the long weekend with family and or friends. The traditional Easter-time activities include at great deal of swimming and fishing in one of the many river, ponds, or lagoons across the […]

Belize 3rd most violent country in the region: 2012 UN report says
Belize had the third highest murder rate in the region for 2012, a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime says. The UNODC Global Study on Homicide 2013, launched last Thursday in London, presented 2012 statistics which showed Belize having a […]

City Council to settle with Waste Control
BELIZE CITY, Tues. Apr. 15, 2014 Sanitation company Belize Waste Control Limited has agreed to end its litigation against the Belize City Council, and the two sides will now sit down to work out their differences. On Tuesday morning before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, attorneys […]

EDITORIAL
For the 1.8 billion Christians around the world Holy Week is the most solemn time of the year. It recalls the events leading to the passion of Jesus and His death by crucifixion- a slow, agonizing torture which would end in asphyxiation. It was the most shameful of deaths, reserved […]

Attorney General gives NCL nod of approval
The Office of the Attorney General told the Belize Tourism Industry Association that they have no relevant claim against the Harvest Caye development. According to BTIA President Herbert Haylock, they received a letter from the Attorney General’s office Tuesday morning, which basically defends the […]

Farmer shoots and kills trespassers Attorney asks DPP to drop charges against his client
Hubert Elrington, the attorney for Edison Johnson, the farmer who has since been remanded to prison for having shot and killed two alleged trespassers on his farm, said he’s written to the Direct or of Public Prosecutions to get his client out of jail […]

Maya communities prepare for face off with US Capital
The Sarstoon Temash Institute of Indigenous Management filed an injunction this week for the Supreme Court to stop Cabinet from renewing or extending any permission to US Capital Energy to drill in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. SATIIM filed for the injunction on Monday in […] “No change in plans!” Contreras’ daughter will be appointed Director of the Drug Inspectorate

“No change in plans!” Contreras’ daughter will be appointed Director of the Drug Inspectorate
The Ministry of Health maintains that Danini Contreras, daughter of the Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras, will remain the Director of the Drug Inspectorate despite the Belize Pharmacy Association’s plea for her removal. “What I want to do is for me to better control the […]

Blogs

Shopping in Belize: My Favorite Souvenirs On Ambergris Caye
Shopping for souvenirs on vacation is one of my least favorite things to do. I do NOT enjoy wasting quality beach, snorkel and tour time sifting through…junk. And often it is just that. Shot glasses, fridge magnets, junky jewelry, tacky t-shirts. What seemed funny when you riding on your vacation high, is more just…embarassing or useless when you get home. BUT…shopping for quality, local made products is good times. Meet the artists and artisans. People have some fascinating stories. And there is nothing better when you get home and have something that you love and enjoy and use. Something that gets you day dreaming about Belize… So here are my top picks for buying souvenirs in San Pedro. Stuff you can go home with an not feel like a total Jack Hoff.

Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
Chapter 4 of the Laws of Belize – THE CONSTITUTION OF BELIZE PART II Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms 3. Whereas every person in Belize is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely- (a) life, liberty, security of the person, and the protection of the law; (b) freedom of conscience, of expression and of assembly and association; (c) protection for his family life, his personal privacy, the privacy of his home and other property and recognition of his human dignity; and (d) protection from arbitrary deprivation of property, the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest.

Diving with the Whale Sharks in Belize
Diving with Whale Sharks, the largest living fish on the planet is an incredibly amazing experience and Belize is one of the few places in the world where you can get to experience this. We do have to warn you that in order to go on this expedition you need to book very early. There are limited spots available during the months the Whale Shark passes by, this is to help protect the sharks from being exposed to too much human contact as well as the other marine life in the area. The average size of a whale shark is about 25 feet long but there have been recordings of ones well over 40 feet long. Don't let their size fool you though, they are gentle creatures that are merely curious and will readily come towards you if they don't feel threatened or harassed. Wouldn't you be curious too? When can the whale sharks be seen? The months of April and May are usually the best times to plan your trips to see these amazing creatures.

Jada's Eggie Bread: Easter Breakfast
Eggie Bread is the English version of French toast. Jada loves to make this simple recipe for Sunday morning breakfast or brunch. I love that the apple glaze replaces pancake syrup as I'm not a huge fan of syrup.

Approved Foreign Riders
86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic

International Sources

The Fish We Never Knew: Looking Extinction in the Eye
I had asked Rocha where he worries the next extinction might happen, and he slid over to a jar holding Halichoeres socialis, the social wrasse. The inch-long fish lives in only one small area in the Pelican Keys in Belize. Habitat destruction and mangrove clearing has left it without much resilience. If nothing is done — and it’s not clear what there is to do, except that we are people and when we find out about things like this we feel like we should do something — it will probably be eaten to extinction by human-introduced lionfish. In January, Rocha’s IUCN group declared it critically endangered. It’s the something that’s always the problem. We put the fish away in the jar, and reversed down the collection aisle, past biological riches that would take decades to understand. Rocha spun the wheel on the giant library-stack cabinets to pull them back together again, locking the extinct and endangered fish back in the anonymous darkness.

McDonald's foreign workers call it 'slavery'
Foreign workers recruited from Belize are accusing McDonald’s Canada of treating them like "slaves," by effectively forcing them to share an expensive apartment – then deducting almost half their take-home pay as rent. “When we arrived at the airport, they said, ‘We already have an apartment for you,’ so at that point we already know we don’t have a choice of where to live,” said Jaime Montero, who came to Edmonton with four others in September to work at McDonald’s. "We had to live there. We were told this is what we are doing," said another worker who didn't want to be named because he still works for McDonald's. The Belizeans said their dream of making good money in Canada to send to their families quickly shattered. Instead, they pocketed less than $800 per month – which they said was barely enough to live on.

Videos

Lunar Eclipse from San Pedro Belize
Eclipse from my deck in San Pedro, Belize with a five year old Sony DSC-H50 9.1MegaPixel Camera..I only did the first half cause it got too late jeje

Video: GoPro Scuba Dive Trip to Belize 2013, 6min.
My scuba dive trip out to Belize at the end of October 2013. Shot entirely on a GoPro camera. Some pretty neat stuff like sharks, looking up at divers from the Blue Hole, loads of curious turtles and a very interested barracuda. Editing done by Colin Maythenyi; thanks!

Video: Belize - Under the Sea..., 7min.
Snorkeling at the Barrier Reef in Belize Cayes.

Video: Welcome to Belize, 21min.
Whatever you thought a paradise was, Belize is! Perfect destination for incentive travel and tourism! Country of rain forest, coral reefs, culture and adventure!

Video: PADI Open Water certification dives Belize April 2014, 20min.
Dives off Ambergris Caye, Belize, with Belize Pro Dive Center. First dive is outside the reef, second dive is at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, last bit of video is at Shark Alley.Video mostly shot by by Ben, age 11.

Video: 412 in Belize Central America, 6min.
Hattieville Prison Outreach, Kings Childrens Home, Belize Gospel Expo 2014

Video: Enter the Spider Monkeys, 2min.
The Spider Monkey Complex at Wildtracks, where many monkeys get rehabilitated before being released back into the wild, is finished, and some of the monkeys have moved in. Thanks, Wildtracks! "The first of the satellite enclosures of the Spider Monkey Complex is completed, and Pancho, Theresa and Pippa moved over into their spacious new accommodation."

Video: Beautiful Views of the Cayo District, 2min.
Check out this video that highlights the panoramic and beautiful views of the Cayo District:

Video: Scuba Diving on the South Caye in Belize, 7min.
Video taken with a GoPro on April 5-6, 2014. Visibility was not great.

Video: belize mission 2013 720p, 13min.
A mashup of our 2013 Mission to Belize

Video: SELTZA LIVE IN "BELIZE" 2014..PT1, 5min.
SELTZA PERFORMING LIVE IN BELIZE 2014

Video: Belize City Skaters, 2min.

Video: Belize Zoo Trip With Dad!, 3min.
Baby Aruny Christiansen Perez First Trip With DAD at Belize Zoo

Video: Whale Sharks Placencia, Belize Pirates Cove Scuba, 1min.
Gladden spit marine reserve

April 16, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

SPSC Football Tournament is in Semi-finals
On Sunday, April 13th the first games of the San Pedro Sports Committee (SPSC) Football Tournament semi-finals were played. The four remaining teams were pitted against each other to see who truly has what it takes to be in the finals. Both matches were thrilling, and each team gave its best, delivering two big wins. The first match between Southwind and Dorados started shortly after 3PM. These two power teams were both eager for a win, as such both delivered an early goal each. But as the game advanced, Southwind took control of the game, both offensively and defensively, scoring two goals and defeating the Dorados in a 3-1 point game.

BTIA Launches Destination Belize 2014
The Belize Tourism Industry Association officially launches the 18th publication of Destination Belize Magazine. Destination Belize is the official visitor’s magazine and #1 marketing collateral piece for Belize. The magazine is dedicated to showcase Belize and all it has to offer to our visitors near and far.

Ambergris Today

GOD Donates Motorcycles To Government of Belize
This week the Government of Belize Press Office announced that the Ministry of Health received 26 health support vehicles that were donated by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. If Hon. Heredia is true to his word, three of those vehicles are to arrive to the island of Ambergris Caye real soon. The Ministry of Health hosted an official presentation of the vehicles that was held at the compound of the National Engineering and Maintenance Center Compound in Belize City.

25 Years Ago: Fearless Men of the Sea in Ambergris Caye Part 1
Fortunately for us, one of San Pedro’s most fearless “Men of the Sea” is still alive so we can pay him our respect and honor. Please take note that like him, there are many fearless Men of the Sea but we got to write a story of one of them first. We are talking about Mr. Francisco Arceo better known as Don Fashico or Don Fash, dad of Patty, Susana, Shelly, Vicky, Mercie, Neria, Martha, Omar and Elito Arceo. Don Fash has been a fisherman all his life and his life has been molded by the sea, tranquil yet tumultuous, kind yet mean. Don Fash first started challenging the sea as a seine net fisherman. He knew every corner and every inch of the lagoon, creeks and channels where he earned his living with sale of mullet, bonefish, barracuda, permit, jacks, shads and even snapper. What produce Don Fash could sell on the island he did, and any surplus was taken to the mainland for extra sales.

Palm Sunday Celebrations in San Pedro
Amongst all the chaos of parties for Easter here on the island there is also the religious celebrations that take place. The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is responsible for conducting a Lenten Schedule every year. Palm Sunday was observed on Sunday, April 13, 2014, where the Blessing of the Palms took place. Church goers gathered at 7:00 a.m. at the corner of Barrier Reef Drive and Tarpon Street for the blessing of the palms by the RC School. A short reenactment of Jesus’ entrance to Jerusalem was done by the priest of the San Pedro RC Church and his disciples all the way to the RC Church. Mass was then carried out at 8:00 a.m.

Misc Belizean Sources

Good Friday is Dry Friday
Just a reminder to all the Liquor License Holders (bars, clubs, restaurants, supermarkets/grocery stores,etc.) No liquor shall be sold on Good Friday. All grocery stores/supermarkets that have Liquor on display must cover the liquor products OR take them off the shelves. Help us share this message. Have a happy and safe Easter!

Liquor Extensions
The San Pedro Town Council and Liquor Licensing Board kindly asks all those interested in applying for a Liquor Extension to kindly do so by tomorrow morning before 11:00 a.m. Any applications for Liquor Extension after 11:00 a.m. won't be accepted. We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.

San Pedro Town Council:
WE SHALL BE CLOSING OUR OFFICES ON THURSDAY AT 1:00 P.M.

Combat Team Awards Belts
The Combat Team awarded orange belts to many of their students. They departed Belize yesterday, but after visiting many schools around Cayo(BCS), and having an exhibition at the GPC, they left an inspiration of God and an understanding of karate in their wake. Godspeed, and thank you, Combat Team! "All the kids tested for their belts last night and our instructor. The kids were so excited to received their Orange Advanced belts! Great things are happening at our Belize Karate School!"

ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT PROJECT IN BELIZE
BELTRAIDE has collaborated with the Centre for the Promotion of Micro and Small Enterprises (CENPROYMPE) and the Embassy of Taiwan (China) in executing a project in Belize namely, “Integral Development of Entrepreneurship for Central America and Dominican Republic”. The purpose of the project is to promote and strengthen entrepreneurship in Belize by generating, accelerating and strengthening emerging businesses in the segment of micro, small and medium enterprises. In 2013, seventeen entrepreneurs benefited from the program and have accessed seed capital for the growth of their businesses in terms of purchasing raw material, machinery and promotional material. The program is geared towards empowering entrepreneurs and boosting their operation for development and success.

Proposed Standards for Development: Labelling of Pharmaceuticals
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify the relevant stakeholders and the general public of the development of a new standard “Labelling of Pharmaceuticals” to be developed by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ). Please review the justification for the development of this standard and note deadline for submission of any comments to the Bureau of Standards is May 2nd, 2014. If you wish to be consulted when the first draft of the standard is made available kindly indicate this request. The justification form is also available on request from the BBS office and website at http://www.bbs.gov.bz . Comments can also be mailed to the BBS Office or email at bbs@btl.net or stds.officer@bbs.gov.bz. To view the proposal for this new standard, kindly click on the link below: NWIP_Labelling of Pharmaceuticals (2) To view the evaluation form for this new work item proposal, kindly click on the link below: NWIP Evaluation form – Labelling of Pharmaceuticals

Draft Regional Code of Practice for Organic Production and Processing
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify the relevant stakeholders and the general public that the final draft standard “Code of Practice for Organic Production and Processing”, being developed by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is out for voting. Stakeholders are asked to note, on approval of the standard by COTED, the Bureau is obliged to adopt the same as a national standard therefore it seeks overall acceptance of the document. The deadline for submission of any comments to the Bureau of Standards is May 30th, 2014. The standard is also available on request from the BBS office and website at http://www.bbs.gov.bz . Comments can also be mailed to the BBS Office or email at bbs@btl.net or stds.officer@bbs.gov.bz. To view the draft Code of Practice, Kindly click on the link below: Draft Regional COP for Organic production and processing – 20140405

Canadian Forces Doctor In Belize On Training Mission
With approximately 17 years in the Canadian Army, one doctor has finally had the opportunity to travel internationally while wearing her country’s uniform. Canadian Army Capt. Noémie Johnson, a licensed family physician, is on her first deployment and is taking advantage of the training opportunities offered to her while providing medical care to Belizeans near Corozal, Belize. The path Johnson, a native of Quebec, Canada, traveled to end up in Belize involved an extensive education and a change in career goals, but ultimately led her to operating in family care. A graduate of the Royal Military College of Canada, she began with studies in physics and astrophysics, and then continued to serve three years as a signals officer responsible for enabling commanders to have command and control over their units by maintaining computer network, radio, satellite and phone communications. ”I enjoyed my work a lot, and I could’ve progressed in that career. But it would have meant a lot more of managing and engineering technical projects, and I really like to work with people,” Johnson said. “I had slowly been thinking about medicine to work more closely with people, and I essentially just applied.”

Army medic tests Spanish-speaking skills, learns civil affairs in Belize
A U.S. Army medic in Belize is taking the opportunity operating under New Horizons Belize 2014 to acquire and apply useful knowledge to better herself and her career. U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Summer Ramjak, a native of San Bernardino, Calif., deployed from the 349th Combat Support Hospital in Los Angeles, is primarily acting as the first stop for Belizean patients in the Corozal, Belize, area and is also tasked with the additional duty of assisting civil affairs. New Horizons is a multi-faceted, international exercise geared toward providing mutual training opportunities between host nation and U.S. service members while assisting the host nation population in various capacities. Specifically, New Horizons encompasses Belizean, Canadian and U.S. medical professionals operating in numerous medical readiness training exercises throughout the country. The exercise also involves Belize Defence Force and U.S. military civil engineers constructing five school facilities and one medical care facility.

Robbers shot and killed; farm owner charged for murder
In a span of one week, opportunistic thieves raided and ransacked two houses that are located on a 45 acre farm belonging to the Johnston’s family. The farm is located in the outskirts of Carmelita Village and several times has fallen victim to the hands of thieves while the family was away. Apparently the same scenario was to play out on Friday night only that this time, 50 year old Edison Johnston, the owner of the farm was at home. It was while making routine checks on the farm that Johnston encountered two men burglarizing his property. Officer commanding the Orange walk police, Dennis Arnold says when police arrived at the farm, they met with Johnson who handed over (1) 12 gauge shotgun, (2) 12 gauge cartridges and his gun license.

Rose Classic basketball camp opens
This week, the 8th Annual Rose Classic opened at Birds’ Isle. Every Easter, Belizean-American Cleon Hyde returns home to run a two-week basketball camp for youth between the ages of 8 and 18, promoting youth development and a sense of unity in an often divided city. A draft of participants was held and teams selected in three categories: 8-12 years, 13-15 years and 15-18 years. Team uniforms were sponsored by American apparel giant Nike. Hyde runs a much larger similar camp back in the U.S. and recruits local volunteer athletes, trainers and referees to assist in the two-week program, also sponsored by the Belize City Council.

Pharmacists Association will proceed with action over Danini Contreras
The impasse between the Pharmacists Association of Belize and the Ministry of Health over the appointment of Danini Contreras is at the point of possible industrial action. Association vice-president, Marisol Melhado says they are proceeding carefully because they are part of an essential service and are working with the Public Service Union (PSU). But they hold on to their demand for Contreras’ exit, insisting that she does not have the qualifications nor experience for her specially-created post. According to Melhado, her Bachelor’s Degree, while enough for the Ministry, is short of the full requirements to practice in Belize – most importantly, her registration as a licensed pharmacist in Belize and experience in the field.

Nelson Young case moves closer to completion
Earlier this year we reported that Nelson Young, former employee of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), has been waiting for at least a year for the decision of an Essential Services Tribunal convened by the Ministry of Labour in 2012 to look into his case. Nine years ago he was fired at the height of civil unrest in 2005 by the Ashcroft regime in charge at the time, along with two others and later union representative Christine Perriott. When we last checked with authorities we were told that the report is on the desk of Minister of Labour, Senator Godwin Hulse. Today he told us that it’s still there, but because they needed legal advice from the Solicitor General’s Office on certain issues with regard to the report. That advice is coming next week and thereafter the report should be issued to both sides.

City Council reaches agreement with Belize Waste Control
This morning Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Belize Waste Control were back in court in the latest effort to resolve the contentious sanitation dispute. Last week they were at each other’s throats over the Council’s alleged cavalier attitude about paying the sanitation company on time and there were threats of further litigation. But the two sides have entered into a consent order before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin after Belize Waste Control indicated a willingness to settle the dispute. Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley, told reporters that the company agreed that they were now satisfied that arrears owed, now down to two weeks behind schedule from a high of 15 in December, are clear. The company will also receive $10,000 which had been deducted by the Council when the company had gone on strike because they were not being paid.

Cyclist Ernest Thurton shot and killed
Around 4 o’clock this evening in the Port Loyola area, popular cyclist and messenger for Santiago Castillo Limited Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton, 41, was shot and killed near his aunt’s home on Cumberbatch Street which he was taking care of. He had stopped in on an errand for his boss Hon. Santiago Castillo Jr when he was menaced and shot once, mortally wounded. Thurton leaves behind five children. He was a long-time cyclist and was certainly not known to have any part in the ongoing warfare on the streets of Belize City which has now claimed seven lives in four days. This evening Castillo issued a call for the issue of crime to be addressed by all.

CITCO and BWCL end litigation
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley says the Belize City Council is working on settlement with Belize Waste Control. This follows the decision by the sanitation company to end litigation before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin this morning. The Belize City Council, according to the Mayor, has paid down its debt to the BWSL to two weeks owed.

Easter 2014 Residential Garbage Pick-Up Schedule

Commentary: A mandate for a Garifuna nation
By Wellington C. Ramos On the 11th, 12th and 13th of April 2014, Garifuna people from the countries of “Yurumein”, now known as St Vincent and the Grenadines, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Belize and the United States, came in large numbers for the first Garifuna Nation Summit. The purposes of this summit was to receive a mandate from the Garifuna people to form a Garifuna Nation, to receive updates on the state of affairs in the communities where the Garifuna people live worldwide, to establish a framework for the Garinagu people to work in concert with each other on a daily basis and to have the structures and institutions in place to help solve their problems. Prior to this summit, invitations were sent to all the government representatives in the countries mentioned above and only two countries responded and they were Belize and Yurumein St Vincent and The Grenadines. Representing St Vincent and the Grenadines were two Garifuna representatives: Honourable Senator Jomo Thomas, a Garifuna as well, and Honourary Consul Cardin Gil, representative for St Vincent and the Grenadines for the City of Los Angeles, CA.

Western Ballaz Beat Heat
Western Ballaz vs Heat pictures from Adma's Photography. They won 80 - 65. They have this week off, and then they host the San Pedro Tigersharks. She also got some great pictures of the opening introductions, where the Ballaz brought some heat of their own, and some pictures of the team posing with their fans.

Holy Saturday 9 Ball Tournament
Mom's Backyard is having a Holy Saturday 9 Ball Tournament. They'll also have a cook out on the 19th, and a dance at night. They'll have specials, lots of great food, and their stuffed jalapenos too.

Our Lady of Sorrows Procession
Happy Holy Tuesday! Last night was the Procession for Our Lady of Sorrows in Benque(pictures). Tonight is El Encuentro. "Holy Monday in Benque Viejo Del Carmen is observed with a Procesion that is carried on with the statue of our Lady of Sorrows and is called the Procesion of solemn silence or procesion de el silencio.

Combat Team Awards Belts
The Combat Team awarded orange belts to many of their students. They departed Belize yesterday, but after visiting many schools around Cayo(BCS), and having an exhibition at the GPC, they left an inspiration of God and an understanding of karate in their wake. Godspeed, and thank you, Combat Team! "All the kids tested for their belts last night and our instructor. The kids were so excited to received their Orange Advanced belts! Great things are happening at our Belize Karate School!"

Standard for Public Comments: Specification for Cement
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) wishes to notify the relevant stakeholders and the general public that the final draft standard “Specification for Cement”, being developed by the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ) is out for public comments. Stakeholders are asked to note, on approval of the standard by COTED, the Bureau is obliged to adopt the same as a national standard. The deadline for submission of comments to the Bureau of Standards is May 23rd, 2014. The standard is also available on request from the BBS office and website at http://www.bbs.gov.bz . Comments can also be mailed to the BBS Office or email at bbs@btl.net or stds.officer@bbs.gov.bz.

A Celebration of the life of Bert Tucker: Belizean Renaissance Man
The Patrimony and Stewardship Working Group (PSWG) join with our Belizean compatriots in condolences to the mother, children, family, friends at home, the diaspora, and other regions of the world on the passing of our brother, son of the Belizean soil, Ambassador Adalbert Tucker. The veritable Belizean Renaissance Man par excellence non pareil, our dear friend and mentor, Ambassador Adalbert Tucker, was one of the brightest and most loyal facets of our jewel. Bert had astounding capacity, genuine humility, and from his vessel and learning and understanding, he unselfishly poured out his God-given talent and wisdom: even as this was always replenished. He grew our attention span and analytical capabilities. Sharing from his earliest teachings and discipline, private schooling under Miss Annette Maheia – through to Belize Technical College, University of the West Indies and Harvard the witticisms, anecdotes, philosophies he applied himself Walter Rodney-like to school our people.

Channel 7

Ernest "Dangalang" Gunned Down And Killed
Last night, we told you about the 5 men who died from gun violence over the Pre-Easter weekend, well tonight, our headline story is once again about another shooting death. This one happened this afternoon in the Junesville area of the city. Ernest Thurton was doing his job when a gunman attacked and shot him in the back. Why would the assailant attack a 41 year-old man? That's what we tried to find out when our News team arrived on the scene a short while after. Monica Bodden reports: 41 year old Ernest "Dangalang" Thurton - a well-known Belizean Cyclist - laid dead faced down in this yard behind his aunt's house in the Junesville area. It happened just after 4 this afternoon - some residents' say they heard the single fatal shot rang out. Turton who has been a messenger for San Cas for over 20 years was on the job and had just left the Income Tax Department. Hon. Santino Castillo - Thurton's Employer "Ernest Thurton better known as "Dangalang" started working with me about 20 years ago at Santino's, was a rider on team Santino's and then transfer to San Cas when I did and really was not a trouble maker at all." Monica Bodden "Now I know that it just happened, but can you confirm to us if he was on the job?" Hon. Santino Castillo - Thurton's Employer "Yes he was, he was taking some cheques - first of all he handled no cash. He is a messenger and he took some cheques to the Income Tax Department and I understand he was caretaking his aunt's house, so he pass here either before or afterwards to in fact look at the house. He apparently was lay waited at that time.

Pharmacists Respond Ministry: You've Been Ill-Advised
In our newscast last night, 7News showed you the response from the Minister of Health Pablo Marin and CEO Peter Allen. They basically said that despite the objections from the Belize Pharmacists Association, they would move forward with keeping Danini Contreras, the New Director of the Drug Inspector, in her post. As we've told you, the Association is opposed to the regularizing of her employment because she is unqualified for such an important job. Contreras has also come under particular scrutiny because of the perception that she only landed the job because she is the daughter of the Minister of Trade, Erwin Contreras. Well, after seeing their Ministry's position in the news last night, the Pharmacists Association asked to make a response to CEO and the Minister. Here's how they explained that they aren't getting in the way of the Director for the sake of it:

Mario Choc Died In Front Of His Family
Last night, 7News told you about how 27 year-old Mario Choc became the second accident victim this weekend when he was knocked down by Glen Crawford. As we told you, Crawford claimed that he had a moment of temporary blindness which happened when an oncoming vehicle's headlights flashed in his eyes. Choc received head and body injuries and was rushed to the KHMH for treatment where he died 2 hours later while undergoing surgery. Today, we spoke to his common-law wife, who told us that the incident unfolded right in front of her, and their child: Angelina Tot - Common-law-wife "I just off the bus and when I saw him standing on the gate then I saw him coming to meet me on the other side of the street." Monica Bodden "So he was already at home standing outside when I got off." Angelina Tot - Common-law-wife "I saw him coming but he was walking slowly. Two other vehicles pass and nearly hit him, so the third one that was heading to Ladyville, a white vehicle that hit. I didn't know what to do. I just scream and I ran to see him and I talk to him but he didn't say a word."

CitCo And Waste Control Cease Fire.. For Now
The legal battle between Belize Waste Control and Mayor Darrell Bradley's City Council has come to an end. That's the outcome of a hearing today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. As we told you, this case against Mayor Bradley has been in court for several months, starting back in February of last year. At one point, Waste Control was pressing for contempt proceedings against Bradley when he owed them more than 3 months in arrears for their sanitation services. Well, he's managed to catch up to the point where he now only owes the company 2 weeks in arrears. The ideal situation would be a zero balance, but Mayor Bradley told us outside of court today that the Council will keep current in their bill with the company for the next few months: Mayor Darrell Bradley "The litigation is finish. The court had on the last occasion granted an adjournment to today's date for the claimants, in this case Waste Control to file what is called a statement of facts and issues for the court to satisfy itself what friable issues there still are. The claimants did not file that document and they had indicted to the court this morning that we were going to press settlement of the matter and we have entered into a consent order which the City Council agree to and which they likewise agree to.

Sixth Street Will Remain 1-Way
And while we had the opportunity, we asked Bradley about what's happening with 6th Street. Viewers may know that at the beginning of this month, the City Council turned that very busy business thoroughfare from a two-way street into a one-way access. The businesses owners were complaining that the decision has cause them to lose some of their customers, and today, we asked Bradley about that. He said that despite the protests, they will keep Sixth Street as a 1-way: Mayor Darrell Bradley "We had put together a series of consultations with various stakeholders that used that are; people who shop on 6th Street; people who visit; people who lived there and also business who operate from 6th Street. The one way has been working, we had monitored that and I indicated that that was for a month's period. Councilor Elrington who had responsibility for traffic likewise indicated that to the media. We have continued it because it seems to be working. The difficulty that we have had is that people are not adhering to the one way.

Mayan Communities Back To Court Against US Capital
SATIIM and the Leaders of the Mayan buffer communities have filed an application for an injunction against US Capital Energy to stop them from drilling inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. They claim government gave the oil company an extension on their drilling permit last week, which is supposed to end on April 30. SATIIM's statement from last week says that the Mayan Communities views this "extension" as a direct contravention of the judgment handed down on Thursday, April 3. That statement, said, "We condemn any decision by Cabinet that seeks to circumvent the declarations and order of Justice Arana." It ended ominously by stating, "Should cabinet not rescind its decision we along with our communities will take all necessary action to block US Capital Energy from entering our Maya Customary Land." But while they've taken that stance, 7News has been checking into their facts as they've presented them, and both the Chief Forestry Officer and the attorney for US Capital says that the Mayans are mistaken. There is no extension, and according to the Wilbur Sabido, the Chief Forestry Officer, there hasn't even been a discussion with the company about that extension. And in relation to the counter by Michael Peyrefitte, the attorney for US Capital, who said that SATIIM misrepresented the facts of that meeting where the oil company's representatives gave their interpretation of Arana Judgment, the organization says that it did no such thing.

Senior B&B Executive Passes Away
Former long-time Chief Financial Officer of Bowen and Bowen, Karl Ayres passed away on Wednesday of last week at a hospital in Houston, Texas. Ayres was 65 and has been suffering from ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease. His family hopes that his death can raise awareness of the debilitating illness which is not widely known in Belize. ALS is a degenerative disease in which nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord die off, making it hard, and eventually impossible for the patient to walk, speak, eat, swallow, and breathe. A release from the company says that Ayres was a "great advisor to the Late Barry Bowen and later to his son Michael Bowen and contributed tremendously to the growth and success of the Bowen & Bowen group of companies." It adds, quote, "He continued to be a fine leader until he left his desk for the last time on Friday, February 28th amid the tears of the staff.." Ayres family has donated his organs to be used for ALS research as was his wish. His funeral will be held on Wednesday April 16th in Houston and a memorial service will be held at Divine Mercy in Belize City on the 23rd of April.

Joris' Winter Collection
In June of last year, Belizean Fashion Designer, Joris Hendrik, made our newscast when he turned heads at the Caribbean Fashion Week in Kingston Jamaica. That's when the Prime Minister's wife, Kim Barrow, wore one of his pieces at the event in that country, making an impression on the international community. Well, he's been hard at work to brand his fashion line, and he was also preparing for his fashion show here at home. It happened on Saturday at the Princess Hotel's King's Room, and our news team attended. Daniel Ortiz has that story: The Joris Hendrik label currently features of two lines of women's wear: Ready-to-Wear and Eco Love.

Enterprise Opportunities With Taiwanese Embassy
BELTRAIDE and the Taiwanese Embassy has been collaborating for the last 2 days. They're were working to give 80 entrepreneurs training and a business opportunity to strengthen and grow their enterprises and access funding. It's but one of the attempts to grow the countries medium, small, and micro enterprises, and today we stopped in to speak with one of the organizers about how it will went: Christine Smith - National Advisor, Regional Entrepreneurship Program "We are doing the second round of entrepreneurship training. It's a regional program that is piloted in Central America and the Dominican Republic. It involves training entrepreneurs. There are two rounds of training; this is the first training. After this training each entrepreneur will produce a video pitch which will be evaluated by a panel of judges. Those who are successful comes back to a second round of training, go through the process of doing the video pitch as well and they present to an evaluation panel and those who are successful will received seed capital to help them on their business."

Rose Basketball Tournament Returns
For the last 8 years, the Rose International Tournament has been coming to Belize to train aspiring basketball players in the skills and techniques in the sport. The facilitators usually accommodate several hundred young ballers, and today 7News stopped in to see how the basketball camp was going: Cleon Hyde - President, Rose Classic International "This is just an expansion of what I do in the States. In the States we've been doing it for 9 years and what I did was just piggy back the idea and brought it down to Belize. What we do, we do what's called an annual draft where the kids get pick to put on a team. We don't allow neighborhoods to bring their teams. What we do we have our own selection of teams and then we put these kids in the selection that's available. We've been doing it for 8 years and we've been pretty successful. A lot of kids have been with us maybe 6-7 years started out I would say standard 4 all the way up to 4th form."

Channel 5

Well-known cyclist, Ernest “Dangalang” Thurton, gunned down off Cumberbatch Street
A man was killed late this afternoon in Lake Independence, behind the Complex building off Cumberbatch Street. It is the sixth murder in four days and the seventh for the [...]

Homeless man perishes on Albert Street in the height of the lunch hour
A homeless man, who was a fixture in the downtown area, died today at around midday, in the height of the rush hour. The unidentified amputee would continuously hang out [...]

Should G.O.B. extend license to US Capital Energy for drilling in the National Park?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think that despite a court ruling government should extend the license to US Capital Energy for drilling in the National Park? Send your [...]

Pharmacists’ Association lashes back at Minister of Health for his unqualified comments
Government’s hiring of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras to a high level post in the Ministry of Health is meeting sustained resistance from the Pharmacists Association of Belize. The [...]

Pharmacists’ Association threatens with industrial action
The Pharmacists’ Association currently has approximately one hundred and fifty members. Even as the situation heats up, the association says that under the Essential Services Act, they are prevented from [...]

Minister of Labor comments on pharmacists’ issue
According to Public Service Regulations, for the appointment of Contreras to be rescinded, the association will have to make a formal request to the Ministry of Labor. In a brief [...]

Belize Waste Control settles with Mayor Darrell Bradley
After several weeks of litigation in the Supreme Court to settle outstanding arrears of some three hundred thousand dollars owed to Belize Waste Control, Mayor Darrell Bradley can rest easy [...]

Mayor Bradley says present agreement with BWC needs to be discussed
While there won’t be any further court action, Mayor Bradley says they still need to sit down to iron out the kinks of the present agreement, particularly where it concerns [...]

Santa Barbara resident gets bail following shootout with the police
Attorney Bryan Neal was able to secure Supreme Court bail for Marquin Drury, a resident of Santa Barbara Street in Belize City, who police alleged fired shots at them back [...]

Enfield Reyes charged for allegedly shooting at his wife
A domestic dispute between a business man and his wife turned ugly on Sunday night at their home in the King’s Park area.  Enfield Reyes is now being accused by [...]

Businessman taken to court for outstanding GST debt
Another businessman was before the court today. Darrell Carter of Carter’s Upholstery located on Cemetery Road was taken to court by the GST in respect of an outstanding bill amounting [...]

A time-share deal in Cancun that went bad for a Belize City businessman
Time-sharing is an increasingly popular option for regular vacation goers, especially in Cancun and other parts of Mexico. It’s sort of a club, where you can buy into future vacation [...]

Suspected human remains unearth on Iguana Street
On Monday morning, Belize Water Services Limited employees working near Iguana Street made a discovery of suspected human remains. The bones were unearthed as the employees were digging a trench [...]

N.G.O.s support SATIIM’s application for yet another injunction to stop oil drilling
Across the environmental community, organizations are lending full support to the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. SATIIM, as well as the five Mayan communities, has proceeded to file an application [...]

Belize to enjoy visa free privileges to enter the Philippines
There isn’t any local official report on it, but the Department of Foreign Affairs of Philippines says that Belize is among a group of countries that will enjoy visa free [...]

Cayo police prepare for the Easter Holidays
The Easter weekend is just days away. For some, it is a time of Christian symbolism, for spiritual reflection. For others, it is a time to party…non-stop drinking and revelry. [...]

CTV3

Tillette's Bus Driver Pending Charges For Fatal Traffic Accident
The weekend also recorded two traffic accidents including one fatal. Thirty two year old Rafael Murillos, bus driver of Carmelita Village, Orange Walk District, was driving a bus belonging to Tillett Bus Line from the direction of Belize to Orange Walk when upon reaching mile 19 ½ Phillip Goldson Highway he collided into Raymond Allen Sedacy who was apparently riding his bicycle across the highway. As a result of the impact, Sedacy’s body was thrown several feet away from the bus lading in the middle of the highway. He sustained head and body injuries and died on the spot. His body was transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where it awaits a post mortem examination. Police have since detained and served Rafael Murrillos with Notice of intended Prosecution.

Dubai Donates To The Ministry Of Health
The Ministry of Health today received twenty six health support vehicles during a handing over at the National Engineering and Maintenance Center Compound in Belize City. These vehicles are donated by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. The health support vehicles are three-wheeled motorcycles with an attached covered unit equipped with seating and a stretcher to transport patients. According to a release by the Ministry, the vehicles will not be used as a replacement for conventional ambulances but will support the Ministry in the transportation of patients for healthcare services and coordinated assistance with our partners at health promotion events, social events, mobile clinics use and home visits.

All Establishments That Sell Liquor Must Be Closed On Friday
The Corozal Police Formation is preparing for the Easter Holidays and is ensuring that the Corozal residents in urban and rural areas are well informed of their security measures set in place. The latest out of the formation is an advice to the business community, particularly those with liquor licenses. The police inform this sector that all establishments that sell alcohol must be closed on Good Friday. This means that they are to remain closed from midnight on Thursday to midnight on Friday. There are exceptions though but only for hoteliers. They however must obtain a written authority from the chairman of the liquor licensing board that will include the hours granted for the sale of liquor.

More Lives Claimed In The Old Capital
A few hours after the old capital recorded its second murder for the night. Alfonso Cruz was associating with his friends at Rhaburn’s Alley, when the group was approached by a lone gun man riding a bicycle. The individual opened fire at the group and several shots caught Alfonso Cruz who was fatally wounded. Police investigations continue. The third life was claimed on Sunday night, this time an 18 year old resident of Belize City was the victim. At approximately 11:00p.m police visited Curl Thompson Street, Jane Usher Boulevard Belize City where they saw the body of 18-year-old Kevin Rodriguez of #8814 Jane Usher Boulevard with apparent multiple gunshot wounds to the upper and lower part of the body.

Johnson's Attorney Speaks About His Case
Senior Counsel and Attorney Hubert Elrington, has over 40 years’ experience in the court of law of Belize and while we were interviewing him on the case of his client, Edison Johnson, accused of murdering 23 year old Carmelita resident Luke Cox and 24 year old Rhaburn Ridge Village resident Saul Garcia after he allegedly caught them burglarizing his farm, of particular interest was his sentiment over the judiciary system. He made some stark insights referencing a case that was thrown out due to it being a ‘no case submission’ but the accused served years in prison. It is a similar case as with Johnston, so we thought it was worthy of air time, here is that excerpt. Hubert Elringhton– Senior Counsel “On Friday just before this incident occurred I was at Belmopan in another murder case with Freddy Fernandez and an on a no case submission after he was there for six years from 2009 to now no five years he was acquitted of murder on a no case submission the judge just said there is no evidence why have you had this man in prison for so long so you know. Well our system needs a lot of remedy and instead of being remedied is getting worst in my view, there is a major, major, major problem in the police and in certain parts of the judiciary there needs to be some major overhaul right away it is really in a bad situation in my view.”

Man Hanging Out At Club In Belize City Shot To Death
The weekend’s bloodbath also found its way into Belize City where there was also three homicides. The first took place on Saturday at around 6:42p.m. Reports are that 27 year old Darrington Robert Louriano of # 4142 Marigold Lane, Belize City, was hanging out at Mike's Club located on Regent Street West, when a male person of dark complexion dressed in a white T- shirt, entered the establishment and fired several shots fatally wounding Louriano who was sitting on a stool. Louriano received multiple gunshot wounds and fell to the ground where police found is body when they arrived at the scene of the crime. The victim’s body was transported to the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital where it was pronounced dead on arrival. Louriano was got on the head. Police investigation continues.

Garcia's Sister Say's He Was Set Up
And while the community is still reeling from the tragedy in That unfolded on the Johnson's Farm, the family of 24 year old Saul Garcia, one of the deceased, is seeking justice for Their loved one. They Told U.S. This morning at the police station received to call That They from Saul who Informed them of his injuries and was pleading for them to send help. That help did not arrive and the police did not make the discovery of his body until the day after. Saul's sister, Reina Garcia says the family factotum factotum believes I was 'set-up', here is what she Told us. Reina Garcia - Sister of Deceased, Saul Garcia "My brother Hubert Garcia got a call from the at five o'clock and his wife got a call on the six o'clock I was alive, saying I Could she needs help and get a car to go to find him where I was shot and He Told the woman I did to set-up and That the Mentioned Lucas said I was going and Accompanying him well and so it Followed That I know my brother is not a thief and all people Carmelita knows he is not a thief and I was Accompanied by his friend because i do not know how I was to follow his friend that's what I do not understand, I do not understand Because my brothers are my dad, my mom us grown in the church that's what we do not understand How this happened but bad company and I've Said That I Owed the boy went to collect the money but the Lord says Were raiding but if They Were to say assault is not a farm and there is nothing there just some old sheets and then I do not know what happened there do not understand anything in This. "

Farm Owner Shoots Two Alleged Robbers, He Is Charged For Murder
Was it murder or was 50 year old Edison Johnson protecting his property and his life from criminals? That’s the question that looms in the minds of Johnson’s family. The 50 year old resident of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District was arrested and charged for double murder after he fatally wounded two men who allegedly invaded his property and were about to burglarize his farm located approximately two miles outside of Carmelita Village. While police found the dead body of 23 year old Carmelita resident Luke Cox on Friday night, the body of 24 year old Rhaburn Ridge Village resident Saul Garcia was not found until the following morning. It is a complicated situation, so much so, that even the DPP had to be involved. And since the double murder has left more questions than answers, CTV3 News’ reporter Maria Novelo took a closer look at what transpired on that deadly Friday night. Here is her story.

Broad Daylight Armed Robbery Takes Place In Centre Of Orange Walk Town
The audacity of criminals these days is daunting. For one young woman, this is an understatement after she was held up while on shift at a thrift store in Orange Walk Town today. The armed robbery played out shortly before ten this morning at the Orange Walk’s Bargain Center located on Main Street and it was all captured on camera. Dalila Ical reports. Dalila Ical – Reporting Two men entered the Orange Walk’s Bargain Center located on Main Street. They were a dark complexion male and another police are identifying as a Hispanic male. They held up the cashier on shift and stole cash and phones. The entire incident was captured on the surveillance camera at the store and here is a look at what transpired. The incident lasted for just under two minutes. And in that time span, the two individuals, clearly young men, managed to rob the store out of thousands of dollars. Hugh O’Brian is the store owner.

Thieves Target Church
This Easter season there seems to be a spike in cases involving thieves targeting several places from farm properties, to bargain centers and over the weekend even a church was targeted. Today we spoke with Second in Command at the Orange Walk Police Station, Inspector Selvin Tillet who told us that thieves looted the Life Ministries Church on the Chan Pine Ridge Road between Friday and Saturday morning. When caretakers arrived on Saturday, they were made aware that the church building had been burglarized and that the criminal or criminals, made away with several thousands of dollars in items. Inspector Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commanding Orange Walk Police “Items totaling over 20 thousand were stolen and this includes electric guitars, generators, clothes and accessories. Police have recovered so far a Honda brand motor machine valued at seven thousand, a green 75foot green hose valued at eighty five dollars, a metal rake twenty six dollars, a fender brand base guitar valued at a thousand dollars, Phillips brand mixture valued two thousand dollars, a yellow one hundred feet measuring tape, fifty dollars, two metal shovels at thirty five dollars each, a small shovel valued at twenty five dollars so far one person is being detained pending investigation.”

PlusTV

Cyclist Shot and Killed in Belize City
A Belize City cyclist was shot and killed in Belize City this afternoon in the Lake Independence area. At about 4 this evening, well-known cyclist Ernest Thurnton, also known as Danga Lang, was shot dead in Junesville, a housing community located just behind the Complex Building in Lake Independence....

Pharmacists’ Association will Proceed with Action Over Danini Contreras
The impasse between the Pharmacists Association of Belize and the Ministry of Health over the appointment of Danini Contreras is at the point of possible industrial action. Today the Association’s vice-president, Marisol Melhado, spoke to the press and said that the Association is not backing down. Marisol Melhado- Vice President...

Belize: The Third Most Murderous Country in the World
Each year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) conducts a Global Study on Homicide to see which countries across the globe have the highest murder rates. According to a top ten list made by the United Nations, most of the murderous countries are Latin American countries and Belize and...

Nelson Young Case Moves Closer to Completion
Earlier this year we told you that Nelson Young, former employee of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL), has been waiting for at least a year for the decision of an Essential Services Tribunal convened by the Ministry of Labour in 2012 to look into his case. Nine years ago he...

Belize City Council Reaches Agreement with Belize Waste Control
On Tuesday morning Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley and Belize Waste Control were back in court in the latest effort to resolve the contentious sanitation dispute. Last week they were at each other’s throats over the Council’s alleged cavalier attitude about paying the sanitation company on time and there...

Belmopan Bus Terminal Vendors Complain of no Equal Access
Food vendors at the Belmopan Bus Terminal claim that they are on the brink of losing their business to the more established Indian Businessmen. We resorted to an off camera interview because though they emphatically embrace their stance against what they call inequality, they say they remain fearful of...

Brazen Mid Morning Robbery in Orange Walk
There was a brazen mid morning robbery in Orange Walk. It occurred at the Bargain Centre on Main Street at around at 10 this morning. Information is still sketchy, however, Police released photographs to our friends at CTV 3 in Orange Walk in hopes that the public’s assistance could be...

WALL Belize in Solidarity with Roman Catholic Church’s Stand
United Christian Women’s Alliance Belize, also known as WALL, issued a press release saying that they join the Roman Catholic Church in celebrating the dignity of all women and in condemning all forms of violence, aggression and disrespect of women. The organization says they also support the Catholic Church’s...

Belizeans Stay up to Watch Red Moon
Those who stayed up to get a rare glimpse of a red moon were surely not disappointed. The skies were super clear in Belmopan as the earth moved directly between the moon and the sun causing filtered sunlight to shine through the earth’s atmosphere, making the moon appear red. ...

Blogs

“Help” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
After the gaffe the other day with my choice of song for the headline I’ve concluded two things. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for me to come up with a song. It’s also -fairly obviously to you and me alike- that I’m not that competent at remembering which ones I’ve already used. So in an attempt to make things easier for me and less repetitive for you I’ve come up with an idea – I do still occasionally (very occasionally I must admit) have my moments. It looks to me that I can manage one of these tasks on a consistent basis but managing the two of them now appears to apparently be beyond my diminishing capabilities. Oh for the days when I felt like I could remember everything (and more often than not did) . And have memory space to spare for colleagues (you know who are) whose memories weren’t as good. What’s the purpose of all of this you’re thinking. Get on with the good stuff (who do I think I am kidding). Well after this self-appraisal I’ve decided that action is urgently required (looks like I can still be decisive though). It’s obvious that I need help.

CD eating fungus found in Belize and how to save your cart from salt
I noticed a few of my CDs suddenly transparent squiggly lines on the surface. In my picture below you an can see how it started at the outer edge and was spreading as it devoured parts of the thin aluminum. I was not interested in any household science experiment involving fungus so I trashed the CD and opted for some research instead. I Googled the term “CD eating mold” and it brought me right back to Belize. This is not a new phenomenon the articles I read were dated back to 2001, the first one said researchers in Spain discovered a fungus that eats holes in compact discs and corrupts the information stored in them. They went onto say that after visiting Belize in Central America, Victor Cardenes of Madrid’s National Museum of Natural Sciences, found one of his CDs discolored, transparent and unreadable. The next one I read was a BBC news article with similar information, citing the fungus which belongs to the common Geotrichum family was brought back from the Central American country of Belize. They also reported many e-mails were sent from Panama, Costa Rica and Guatemala describing similar cases of a strange fungus eating CDs that thrives in tropical heat and humidity.

HEAD OF OPERATIONS BLOG: SETTING UP BELIZE
The Frontier Belize Marine Conservation & Diving project has been a long time in the making. I remember sitting down with Frontier’s Managing Director in 2012 and thinking that Central America, and specifically Belize would make a perfect location for Frontier’s newest group project. Belize is a stunning location, not only on paper but in real life and I have been lucky enough to visit it twice with Frontier. The laid back, friendly people, colourful culture, amazing foods (you need look no further than Belize for the best fresh juices!) and beautiful environment. Belize boasts an incredible barrier reef, the blue hole, primary forest and a huge range of indigenous wildlife species. The Belizeans have a very advanced and thorough marine protection scheme through MPAs, zonation and enthusiastic co-management partners working in each area. However one thing that has become apparent as lacking is comprehensive baseline biodiversity data and monitoring programmes in some of the smaller, less well funded reserves.

International Sources

Cataloging Insect and Bat Diversity: A Research Trip to Belize
It was late 2002 and I had just received my latest Bat Conservation International magazine. As I relaxed on the couch and read the articles, my eye caught on a field expedition to Belize being led by biologist Fiona Reid. This expedition would study the bats of Belize at several locations in the northern half of the county in July of 2003 and they were looking for participants. I ended up going on the trip with two of my former students and it changed my life! We not only worked with the bats, but we stayed longer and brought back over 200 insect specimens from that trip. This trip started my love affair with that remarkable country. Since that trip, I’ve been back to Belize eight more times — often leading eco-tours that have a distinctly wildlife biology slant. On every trip, there is always a small research component where we document inventories of wildlife we see. But since 2003, I haven’t led a purely research-oriented mission until my upcoming trip in June 2014. For my next trip, seven biologists, including myself, will be studying the insect and bat diversity in the northern Maya Mountains of Belize. We will also establish a major entomology collection in Belize while conducting an inventory of bats in the area of the Maya Mountains.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The 9 Must-See Spots
We have seen some beautiful sites during our travels around the world. But don't take our word for it (although you should; we are experts) - many of our favorite places are UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which means they are "places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy." And there you have it - spots that make this list are absolutely stunning. To date, there are 911 sites on the list and we have seen a ton of them. But to make things a tad more manageable, we've pared it down to 9 sites that you've just got to see. And if you can make it to all 911, then by all means go for it. 8. Belize Barrier Reef Belize is considered one of the best spots for diving in the world, in large parts thanks to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Belize Barrier Reef, the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere. Indigenous wildlife like turtles, manatees, crocodiles and hundreds of species of fish and coral call its waters home. The site also includes sand cays, mangrove forests, lagoons and estuaries. Where to Stay: Chabil Mar Chabil Mar, right on the beach on Placencia Peninsula, has 22 spacious villas equipped with family-friendly amenities: open kitchens, washers/dryers, closet space and one to two bedrooms.

United Airlines introduces mileage option to carbon offset program
In celebration of Earth Month, United Airlines is enhancing its carbon-offset program to allow the airline's MileagePlus frequent traveler program members to redeem their miles for offsets to cover the carbon emissions associated with their air travel and/or cargo shipments, the airline said today. The Chicago-based carrier's existing program allows United customers to calculate and purchase offsets for travel and cargo shipments. But customers now can use either miles or money. The new mileage component is believed to be the first of its kind to be offered by a United States-based carrier. When MileagePlus customers opt to offset their emissions after booking on united.com, they may select from a list of United Eco-Skies partners to redeem their miles for the offset, including forest conservation near San Francisco, wind power in Texas and biodiversity preservation in Belize. The airline's carbon-offset projects were designed in collaboration with Sustainable Travel International, a global, non-governmental organization that specializes in innovative, sustainable tourism and conservation solutions.

DFA grants visa-free privilege to 7 countries
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced Tuesday that it has granted visa-free privileges to seven countries allowing their nationals to enter Philippines for 30 days. “Effective today, April 15, nationals of seven (7) additional countries will now enjoy visa-free privilege to enter the Philippines for a period of stay of 30 days,” DFA said in a statement. “These countries are Belize, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan,” it said. The granting of visa-free privilege is seen to promote tourism and investments from the countries. “The [countries] have been emerging as key players in the international economic community and which have growing bilateral ties with the Philippines,” DFA said.

Why Latin America Is So Violent
According to a recent report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Latin America is the most violent region in the world, with an average 25 murders per 100,000 population, as compared to a global average of 6.2 per 100,000 population in 2012. Mounting crime related to drug-trafficking and maras (youth gangs), together with widespread availability of weapons and high levels of impunity, are some of the root causes of violence. In the absence of coherent strategies to address these issues (including a more effective global approach to the war on drugs, some form of weapons control in the US, and reforms to the police and judicial systems in the region), insecurity will continue to hinder businesses and economic growth and to trouble citizens in the region in the forecast period and beyond. The Global Study on Homicide 2013, the fourth in an annual series, provides an overview of the number of intentional homicides in the world, their distribution by country and region, a profile of the victims, together with an analysis of the police and criminal systems across the world, with their conviction rates.

Scubadiving in Centro America
Il Centro America propone molteplici attrazioni turistiche capaci di rendere questa regione una destinazione perfetta per una vacanza da sogno. Si va da una ricca offerta di turismo archeologico, coloniale, naturale e d’avventura, alla grande varietà di località per fare immersioni subacquee. A tale proposito, a Madrid si è recentemente tenuta la VI edizione della Fiera del Diving ed all’evento hanno preso parte anche rappresentanti dell’Istituto Honduregno del Turismo per valorizzare la propria offerta in questo settore. Nell’ambito della manifestazione il direttore di IHT, Emilio Silvestre, ha sottolineato come l’isola di Utilia, una delle isole della Bahía, sia un paradiso naturale per gli amanti di questo sport, grazie anche alla presenza di pesci colorati ed incantevoli barriere coralline. Inoltre, la suddetta isola risulta essere uno dei pochi posti al mondo, insieme al Belize ed a Panama, dove è possibile nuotare con gli squali balena. Il momento migliore dell’anno per vivere questa incredibile esperienza va da marzo a giugno, durante le notti di luna piena.

Call for Belize submission: Vidanta Foundation Prize 2014

Thunderbolt Water Taxi Schedule for the Easter Holidays
Monday through Thursday – Leaves 7:00 a.m. Corozal/San Pedro Returns 3:00 p.m. San Pedro/Corozal There will be no run on Good Friday. Saturday and Sunday – Leaves 7:00 a.m. Corozal/San Pedro Returns 3:00 p.m. San Pedro/Corozal Stops in Sarteneja: 7:30 a.m. and continues to San Pedro and returns to Sarteneja at 4:30 p.m. continuing to Corozal. Price - $50 Bz one way and $90 Bz round trip/person – Corozal/SanPedro/Corozal Children 5-9 years pay half price. Children under 4 and under are free. Price - $25 Bz one way and $50 round trip/person – Corozal/Sarteneja/San Pedro Have a safe and pleasant Easter Holiday from the staff and Management of Thunderbolt Water Taxi ! Thunderbolt 2nd Avenue Corozal Town 610-4475 and 4220026

April 6 - April 12 2014 Fishing Report
The Orvis Seminar began on Sunday with some classroom knot tying and on to the casting platform and then to strip setting and playing a bonefish, as well as guide lingo and tactics. The second Orvis Seminar arriving late in the week will overlap into next week.

Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You
When Riskin went to Belize to study bats and came home with a botfly maggot lodged in his scalp, he never faulted the itchy creature’s mother. She was just passing her DNA off into the future. That’s what every living creature does, Riskin says. We’re just “meat robots” at the mercy of our DNA. And Riskin believed that… until his son, Sam, was born. Surely, protecting our DNA is inherent in much of what we do, including parenting. We want our offspring to live to see their own offspring, thereby preserving our genetic make-up for generations to come. But does DNA explain love, or is love just a mask for the propagation of a species? Is Nature as benevolent as we believe it to be, or is there a “creepier side” that we should know about?

Videos

Videos: Poetry competition in Cayo,
Here are videos from a recent Rotary Club Event in Cayo, allowing high school youth to express themselves, on current issues in Belize. As I said the youth with the power of social media will demand change one way or another!! issues; political corruption, police distrust, education opportunities

Video: The beauty of pollination, 4min.
Be sure to have your sound turned on (and watch it in HD, full screen). The hummingbird doing rolls chasing a bee is not to be missed. Be sure to watch closely (around 2 min 40 sec) and check out the baby bat under its mother. Unreal. If you never knew what goes on in the garden when you aren't paying attention, watch this - some of the finest photography you will ever see and includes some time lapsed shots.

Video: Belize 2014, 6min.
University of Louisville Justice Administration, Communication, Dental, and Nursing, Faculty and staff Service Learning trip to Belize 2014.

Video: Belize 2014HD, 26min.

Video: Belize dangriga, 3min.
Bicycle ride

Video: Battle of the Bands Corozal Belize, 2min.

Video: Band Fest Winners; Belmopan included, 3min.
PlusTV

Video: Belize National Anthem, 1min.
Olympic Version London 2012 Versión Olímpica Londres 2012

Video: Belize ASB 2014, 4min.

Video: Belize // Part 1, 5min.
First part of the adventures I had in Belize!

Video: Belize // Part 2, 3min.
One day we were invited to the lake, and this is just a bit of what happened there. It was a blast! This was shot in 1280x720 at 60 fps, so that's the reason the quality is a bit worse than normal. Also, it was a smaller boat, so it was a bumpy ride, hence the bounciness of the video.

Video: Belize // Part 3, 4min.
The final part of my adventures in Belize! The last part of the video is so shaky, because that's how bad the road was.

Video: University of Florida Wild Spring Break in Belize, 16min.
It was called the 'Wild Spring Break in Belize,' and it was a unique educational experience for the University of Florida students. They got to tour the Belize Zoo, stay at the Tropical Education Center, see iguanas at the Green Iguana Conservation Project, Howler monkeys at the Community Baboon Sanctuary, and work with animals at the Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic. Daniel Velazquez' documentary on their visit is spectacular. NMSU also did a trip down, and the video is on fb. "Uflorida Wild-Spring-Break in Belize 2014 - Thanks to Daniel Velasquez for another great video. Thanks to BWRCs great teaching crew with Drs. Sonia, Fidu and Zoltan as well as assistants Dairy and Jaz and support crew with Mike, Sam and Justin. And last but not least thanks to Victoria Bender for coordinating and of course thanks to the students for being one of the best groups ever! Best of luck for your continued careers and we hope to hear from you again. Dr. I"

Video: Belize - Under the Sea..., 7min.
Snorkeling at the Barrier Reef in Belize Cayes.

Video: , 21min.
Whatever you thought a paradise was, Belize is! Perfect destination for incentive travel and tourism! Country of rain forest, coral reefs, culture and adventure!

Video: Golden People - Belize Documentary - Teaser, 5min.
5 minute trailer to my short documentary, "Golden People". The documentary reveals the cultural riches and economic poverty behind the tourism industry in the small country of Belize.

Video: MZBZ Belize City (Goldson Intl.) / Belize - Instrument Approach & Landing ILS 07 PA31T, 6min.
MZBZ Belize City (Goldson Intl.) / Belize - Precision Instrument Approach & Landing ILS RWY 07 Cheyenne II PA31T

Video: Western Caribbean Cruise April 2014 - Honduras, Belize, Mexico, & Key West, 11min.

Video: The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize, 16min.
Mick and Lucy Fleming, the owners and creators of The Lodge at Chaa Creek, take a wildly civilised approach to adventure travel in the Caribbean and Central American country of Belize, providing casual luxury in a vibrant, unspoiled rainforest setting . The resort offers customised eco tours and adventure activities including horseback riding, swimming, canoeing, hiking, mountain biking, birding, visits to the onsite Butterfly Farm, Natural History Museum, and rainforest tours including a traditional Maya medicinal plant trail. The Lodge at Chaa Creek also boasts one of best health spas in Belize and Central America. The accent is on comfortable adventure, and as a family owned and operated jungle lodge, caters to all ages and interests with vacations designed to get everyone involved in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And it's an adventure you can feel good about. The Lodge at Chaa Creek actively promotes sustainable, socially responsible tourism practices in the belief that visitors and host countries should benefit from our cultural exchange.

Video: Belizean Birthday Party, 2min.
Jason, the kids and I having fun at Alrena's 6th bday party.

April 15, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Lionfish Jewelry: looking good for a great cause!
Let us introduce you to one of these amazing minds, Petrona Hun. Petrona grew up in the village of Silver Creek, Toledo where she was intrigued by the art of crafting and designing at a very young age. She learned traditional Maya designs from village elders and incorporated ideas into her sewing, embroidery and basket weaving. While jewelry crafting has always been one of Petrona’s many talents she was introduced to eco- friendly jewelry and the idea of incorporating lion fish spines into her designs at an entrepreneurship training by the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE). When Petrona found out just how these predators were affecting our oceans, she jumped on board, and decided to help by doing what she knows best: creating an entire line of handcrafted lionfish jewelry designs!

The two police houses still not moved
Three weeks after the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and the Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez promised to move the two houses donated to the San Pedro Police Department, no action has been taken. Moreover, there seems to be no real indication as to when the houses will be moved. Nuñez said that efforts are being concentrated in completing another project that will also help to alleviate the living condition problems. He said that the new buildings of the barracks are moving ahead. Financed by a small group of business people on the island and spearheaded by Mukul Kanabar, it is expected that the new barracks will be completed soon. In fact, the Deputy Mayor stated that all the wiring for the two-story building has been installed and windows are being put in place.

San Pedro Traffic Department now equipped with Breathalyzer
As part of the Belize National Road Safety Demonstration project, the Belize Transport Department has donated a breathalyzer to the San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD). The breathalyzer is a device used to measure alcohol levels in the blood using a breath sample. This device seeks to crack down on irresponsible driving and prevent traffic accidents caused by drunk driving. Mayor Daniel Guerrero of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and Head of the SPTD Chris Nuñez were on hand to receive the breathalyzer during a short ceremony held on Thursday, April 10th at the Central Park to launch the “Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign. The event continued with a couple of testimonies from residents whose lives have been affected by driving under the influence. Rafael Torres spoke of his experiences while driving under the influence of alcohol and how at many times he endangered the lives of other without even knowing.

Belize’s Tiburon Rum wins Bronze at San Francisco World Spirits Award
There’s another Belizean product turning heads and teasing palates in the international market arena and already it’s made a name for itself at the 14th Annual San Francisco World Spirits Award held from March 20th-23rd. Tiburon Rum, a double barrel aged rum from the shelves of Belize’s Traveller’s Liquors stood out among the 1,474 spirits submitted by distillers and importers from 63 different countries. Tiburon Rum is sold exclusively in the United States at $34.99USD per bottle.

Miguel “Motita” Fuentes shot on northern Ambergris Caye
One man was retrieved from the sea off northern Ambergris Caye after he was shot on Sunday April 13th. The victim has been identified as 25-year-old Miguel Fuentes aka “Motita,” a fisherman of a Boca del Rio address in San Pedro Town. At the time of the incident, Fuentes was accompanied by 18-year-old Christian Espat and 20-year-old Brian Espat, also fishermen of a San Pedrito Area in San Pedro Town. One of the people inside the vessel was US National, Dr. Gregg Godfrey. His intervention and medical expertise helped save the life of a heavily bleeding Fuentes. “We were travelling in the Bacalar Chico Area and we noticed three individuals waving their hands frantically and we went upto them. We noticed that one of them was shot and we pulled him into the boat and he said that somebody shot him with a big gun,” explained Dr. Godfrey. Once inside the boat, Dr. Godfrey managed to splint and bandage the wound, and then rushed Fuentes to San Pedro Town for medical attention. Fuentes was taken to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro PolyClinic II for treatment and later airlifted to Belize City, where he remains hospitalized at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH).

Ministry of Health Receives Donation of Support Vehicles from Government of Dubai
The Ministry of Health today hosted an official presentation of twenty-six (26) health support vehicles donated by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. The presentation was done at the compound of the National Engineering and Maintenance Center Compound in Belize City. The vehicles will be distributed to identified priority regional and community hospitals across the country where there are transportation and logistical challenges; and also to areas that have a more dispersed high risk population group. On hand at the presentation were Minister of Health, Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. and other health partner officials. The Ministry extends its gratitude to Minister Heredia and the Attorney General and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington for their support in this initiative.

Ambergris Today

BTIA Launches Destination Belize 2014
The Belize Tourism Industry Association officially launches the 18th publication of Destination Belize Magazine. Destination Belize is the official visitor's magazine and #1 marketing collateral piece for Belize. The magazine is dedicated to showcase Belize and all it has to offer to our visitors near and far. The 2014 Destination Magazine includes amazing photography of our destinations and the BTIA has further incorporated the Belize Tourist Board's creative marketing strategy to ensure a unified public and private sector branding for Belize. It also includes articles on our remarkable reef; protected areas; Heartland of the Maya; Getting Married in Belize; Real Estate and Retirement; kite surfing; our exotic culinary dishes; yearly activities and a complete listing of industry partners and BTIA members.

Belize to Host 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay
The Queen’s Baton is set to arrive in Belize on Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II 88th birthday, Monday, April 21, 2014. The anticipated tradition, which has become a staple of the festivities, happens every four years. This year it signals the staging of the XX Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014. Relay teams of one hundred participants will carry the baton to each destination where it will be welcomed with a reception, tree planting initiative and plaque ceremony. Celebrations for the Queen’s Baton Relay will be led by Patron of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, H.E Sir Colville Young. Joining the GG will be British High Commissioner to Belize Mr. Peter Hughes, Consul General of India to Belize, H.E Arun Hotchandani, Minister of Sports Honorable Herman Longsworth, Mayors of the respective municipalities and executives of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA).

Catholic Church Easter Schedule 2014
Holy Thursday 6a.m. – Washing of the Feet Mass After Mass – Transfer of Holy Eucharist to the Parish Hall Till 12p.m. – Adoration in the Parish Hall Good Friday 4a.m. – Stations of the Cross Around Town 12noon – The Seven Last Words (Las Siete Palabras) 3.pm. – Celebration of the Passion of the Lord *Liturgy of the Word *Adoration of the Holy Cross *Communion Service 6pm - After Service – Procession around Town (El Santo Entiero)

All Access Pass inside Belizean Designer Joris Hendrik’s Fashion Show
The fashion industry in Belize is growing at a moderate pace and many are appreciating the hard work of our Belizean designers, but most importantly they are supporting them. Hard work and dedication pays off when you put your heart into something you love. I was invited by up and coming fashion designer Joris Hendrik to check out his latest fashion show inside the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City. I came to know and befriend the talented Joris when I met him at his his first Eco-Friendly Fashion Show for Earth Day. Since then he has made some impressive accomplishments like showcasing his talent to Prince Harry during the Royal Jubilee tour and much more. This year I decided to give you an all access behind the scenes preview of the Joris Hendrik’s Fall Winter Fashion Show that took place on Saturday, April 12, 2014, at the Princess Hotel and Casino in Belize City. I hung out backstage with the team as they prepared for the show. There I met the gorgeous models that were chosen to represent Joris’ fall winter collection and also the makeup artist Emmanuelle Habet - The Doll House and photographer Ernie Alpuche. The collection was truly amazing and props have to go out to Plastic, Knight and Day Photography and Crowns by Inga Woods for teaming up with Joris in making the show extra special.

Flashbacks: Amigos Del Mar, Friends of the Sea
Amigos Del Mar is very close to being “Twenty Five Years Ago”, like our columnist would say, or perhaps it already is. In this Flashback which was taken in 1992, 22 years ago, Amigos Del Mar boasted its original sign and logo, which even included a fax number that has now become obsolete. However, Amigos Del Mar owned by the famous Albino “Changa” Paz has truly lived up to its name, being Sea Friendly, Friends of the Sea or Guardians of the Sea. They protect and conserve all aspects of marine life and encourage all guests to enjoy the sea as is and to leave it a better place than they have found it. Amigos Del Mar has stepped up to larger boats, larger office and dive shop, larger and professional staff- indeed larger operations. Perhaps the most popular dive and tour operation in San Pedro, Amigos Del Mar remains committed to being Friends of the Sea.

Misc Belizean Sources

Reports of more illegal rosewood logging in Toledo
Earlier this month, the leaders of Medina Bank and Golden Stream vilages in the Toledo district reported that they have been getting reports of illegal rosewood harvesting in their communities. The leaders say that as soon as the illegal activity came to their attention, they reported the matter to the Forestry Department in Toledo, but have seen very little action on the part of the authorities to deal with the matter. And so the leaders organized themselves and proceeded to go in and confiscate the 31 unflitched rosewood logs with an estimated value of BZ$9,000. Reports are that a team of about 10 Belize Defence Force Soldiers later went to speak with one of the Alcalde allegedly to claim the rosewood; but when they refused to provide proper legal documents upon which they were making the claim to the logs, the leaders of Medina Bank village refused to hand over the logs.

Ministry of Health Receives Donation of Support Vehicles from Government of Dubai
The Ministry of Health today hosted an official presentation of twenty-six (26) health support vehicles donated by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. The presentation was done at the compound of the National Engineering and Maintenance Center Compound in Belize City.

SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY - MASTERS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
The program will begin on June 9, 2014 and will be imparted online in English. The scholarship deadline for this program is May 2, 2014 and admission deadline of the program is April 18, 2014. Details of this scholarship offer can be found at the following website: www.oas.org/scholarships or http://bit.ly/1q8Uszb

Businessman targeted for unpaid GST
Darrell Carter, owner of Carter’s Custom Upholstery, is in trouble with the General Sales Tax Department tonight after he was brought to court on a committal warrant. Carter’s bill with the Department stands at $23,847.36 and the prosecutor wanted no less than $6,000 today to avoid jail. According to Carter he could only pay $500 today and another $1,000 tomorrow as he is expecting to collect a payment. Carter has been perennially in trouble over taxes and contributions as he paid only $7,000 of a $22,000 bill a few years ago and has not honored previous commitments to pay off his debts to both GST and Social Security Board. Carter told the court that since a fire at his business on Cemetery Road a year and a half ago he has been having a lot of trouble, but the Magistrate was not lenient.

Three murders in 48 hours in Belize City
This past weekend in Belize City saw four separate shooting incidents in a span of less than 48 hours, causing three deaths and injury to a fourth man. Around 10:00 a.m. Saturday on Dolphin Street near Wesley Upper School, a man identified as 20 year old Glen Alvarez, aka “Dut”, was riding a bicycle toward the bridge crossing Collet Canal at the junction of North Creek Road and Fairweather Street when a single armed man, also on bicycle, rode up from behind and fired several times at Alvarez, who was injured in his left leg. One person is detained by Police, pending investigations. Nine hours later, police were called out again to Mike’s Club at the corner of West Canal and Regent Street West, where around 7:00 p.m., 27 year old Darrington Lauriano was shot three times by a lone gunman of dark complexion, who entered the bar through a back entrance located on the east side of the building near the canal.

Three traffic accidents, two fatal, in Belize District
Two men died and several persons were injured as a result of three traffic accidents in the span of two days on both major highways. At 8:16 p.m. Saturday night, Ladyville police found the dead body of Raymond Allen Sedacy flung off the road at Mile 19 ½ on the Philip Goldson Highway, with head and body injuries. They were allegedly caused by a Tillett’s bus driven by 32 year old Rafael Murillos, a bus driver of Carmelita, Orange Walk District. Murillos was driving the bus toward Orange Walk when he hit Sedacy, who was riding a blue beach cruiser bicycle across the road. Police have since detained Rafael Murrillos and have served him with notice of intended prosecution. About 25 minutes later in Belize City, Maxboro/Sandhill resident Glen Crawford reported to Precinct Four Police that he was driving a white 1995 Ford Ranger pickup from Belize City toward the Haulover Bridge and on reaching New Horizons Building he noticed an ambulance coming from behind him and traveling in his direction and he pulled off the road to let it pass.

SATIIM goes for injunction against Government
ollowing the April 3 ruling of Justice Michelle Arana that requires Government to consult the Maya people of Southern Toledo District prior to any attempt to continue exploratory work inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park, there has been serious disagreement as to its meaning. Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) says this applies to the current permit which expires on April 30; U.S. Capital Energy which is responsible for the work believes it does not. On April 8, Cabinet approved the extension of U.S. Capital’s permit to continue works inside the protected area. Attorney General Wilfred Elrington provided legal counsel on the matter, advising that the recent judgment does not apply to an existing permit; more specifically, U.S. Capital’s concession to drill for oil within the Sarstoon-Temash National Park.

Five charged including minor for ammo and weed
Six persons were taken to court today for possession of unlicensed ammunition and controlled substances following a Police search of a house on Far West Street on Sunday. Nicoli Rhys, 23 of Euphrates Avenue; Rheonna Rivero, an 18 year old student; Shane McKoy, 27; and Godwin Neal, Jr., an 18 year old student, along with a 17 year old minor who was also a student, were charged with possession of 2 9mm brass Luger brand bullets and 1.2 grams of cannabis located in a compartment inside a standing fan. A sixth person, nurse Bernadette Samuels, had to be taken to hospital from court this morning for treatment and has not been arraigned.

Entrepreneurship workshop focuses on helping small business develop
A two and a half-day workshop has opened at the Belize Institute of Management (BIM), focusing on developing entrepreneurship in Belize, Central America and the Dominican Republic. The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) signed up ninety entrepreneurs from around the country to learn about entrepreneurship and developing their businesses as well as preparing proposals to access capital. Facilitator and national advisor on the Regional Entrepreneurship Training Program for BELTRAIDE, Christine Smith, says the key to operating a successful small business is knowing your customer base and fulfilling a specific need in the community.

Trio charged for high seas incident
A trio of Belize City men were charged with aggravated assault and drugs and illegal fishing offences as a result of a bust on the high seas following a chase last week Thursday. According to police, two members of the National Coast Guard, Dobian Montero and Jose Reyes, reported that they responded to a report of an apparent robbery in an area southeast of Middle Long Caye in the Lighthouse Reef system, 20 miles from Belize City. Shortly thereafter they saw a blue and green 23 foot skiff under the name “Dannica” which corresponded to the vessel used in the robbery. The skiff fled and the Coast Guard officers set chase. Eventually, the vessel stopped in the water and as the Coast Guard closed in, four shots were fired.

Charges for shooting at basketball game
A Belize City youth has been charged with the attempted murder of a female minor who was shot while watching a basketball game in the North Creek Road area last month. 21 year old construction worker Hugh Philip Thomas of an Armadillo Street address appeared in the #2 Magistrate’s Court charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding in relation to the shooting of teenage student Hortence Lynch of Belize City. Lynch and two youths, Kenyon Moss and Justin Orellano, were shot by two gunmen who rode into the area on bicycle and fired toward their direction, where they were seated on a parked vehicle. Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer did not take a plea from Thomas, who returns to court from remand on May 30.

The Tale of the Two Cities
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez The Belize that you see is a smoke screen Let me explain what I mean There is a Belize for the upper class Then there is a Belize for the lower class They have perfected their propaganda I can’t go to the border with Will Mehia UNIBAM is the agent for the US foreign policy or plan I can’t support Greg Choc fronting for an oil company from Alaska US Capital would have never invested 20 million On a wild assumption it is all shenanigans 38 villages and one they swindled from the Garifuna With both governments emasculated into collecting agent for the International Monetary Fund

Belize Zoo Visits SHC Science Fair
The Belize Zoo visited Sacred Heart College for their Science Fair this week, bringing some critters with them. "TBZ congratulates Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio town on another great science fair! The Zoo's Education team took the show on the road with colourful wildlife displays, animal artifacts, posters and more for the many students shuffling through the 'zoo-zone.' Herman the Hermit crab was this year's animal ambassador at the fair. Hermit crabs are usually shy recluses, but Hermit showed energy and charisma as he scuttled across the hands of curious students... However, TBZ Educators reminded students that humans(like themselves) are also capable of saving our natural world, and invited them to sign up for the annual conservation camp this summer. Be on the lookout for more info as July draws near!"

Benque Holy Week
Benque's culture and history show during Holy Week, and this year there's a lot happening for it. Palm Sunday(pictures) was celebrated yesterday. They are doing a Eucharist and Procession tonight in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows. Tomorrow night, it's the procession of El Encuentro. Friday is the famous Sawdust Art Project, and the Passion of the Christ re-enactment. Saturday is the Easter Vigil. Happy Holy Week!

Parrot Forum
If you are in Orange Walk and want to know all about parrots, then we've got a forum for you. The Belize Forest Department in collaboration with the Belize Bird Rescue will be holding a very important information session on Tuesday, April 15. The event will be held at the Orange Walk Education Center starting at 5:30 pm. During the meeting, the facilitators will be sharing vital information needed to keep captive parrots healthy and on the Belize WIldlife Protection Act, Chapter 220.

CONTRABAND BY CONTRACT ON THE BELIZE BORDER
The contraband activity in the Benque Free Zone took an even darker tone over the weekend. Usually reliable source says on Friday night the contrabandistas began transporting some chemical that they had to extract from drums into gallon jugs for the backdoor trip to Guatemala. Although contraband activities have been going on in Belize for a long it is not in our best interest, as a sovereign nation to have the GOB involved with activities designed to evade legitimate customs duties due our neighbors. We are conducting some form of low-grade economic war against our large and powerful neighbors buy conspiring to evade their laws for personal profit of the members of government. The recent death of the Guatemala national caught planting weed and the recent find of harvested rosewood in Toledo also bear closer inspection.

Gales Point Day of Healing
Women of Belize, Sadly, in recent years, Belize has been plagued by violence, but there are people trying to make a difference... you can help. As you may have heard, grassroots community leaders from various parts of Belize City have been conducting a series of events known as the ‘days of healing’. I would like to invite you, on their behalf, to lend your support to their 11th event, scheduled to take place on the 19th of April in the village of Gales Point, ‘Malanti’. In their own words: “This effort seeks to rekindle a sense of commonality and reconciliation in neighborhoods across Belize, one community at a time. Ultimately, the organizers hope to stem the tide of violence and subsequent fragmentation of the community by using a bottom up approach.” The ‘Day of Healing’ movement, was borne out of that horrid quadruple murder on Dean Street. In a very evolved response to this incident, the Dean Street & George Street community came together in mourning and determined to show a different side of themselves from what was being portrayed in the news. They held a community open day of sorts, combining sports, family games and performances by local artists in an inspiring occasion for community residents and visitors of all ages to come together in unity, culminating in a stirring candle light vigil.

Ministry of Health Receives Donation of Support Vehicles from Government of Dubai
The Ministry of Health today hosted an official presentation of twenty-six (26) health support vehicles donated by the Government and people of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai. The presentation was done at the compound of the National Engineering and Maintenance Center Compound in Belize City.

Earth Day in Corozal
Friends of Corozal United for Sustainability (FOCUS) in collaboration with the Corozal Town Council, other environmental groups, friends and schools proudly announces Earth Day April 26th, 2014. Earth Day is on April 26th. The global Earth Day initiative for 2014 is “GREEN CITIES”. To commemorate Earth Day (FOCUS) will adopt the “Corozal Green Mile” trash clean-up campaign. We (FOCUS) will start from the northern border Santa Elena in Corozal to the southern boundary in Buena Vista Village, Corozal on the Phillip Goldson Highway. After the clean-up activity, we will all meet in Mangrove Park, Finca Solana area where there will be invited speakers, food, prizes, as well as educational tours to finalize the day’s activities and express appreciation to the participating working group. We are requesting your groups participation and support. We are inviting you to form part of our clean-up campaign under the concept of “Adopt a Mile: Keeping Corozal Clean”. By signing up in support of this effort you can make this event a united and successful effort for the environment.

Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies
The U.S. Embassy is partnering with the University of Belize to facilitate a 6 week FREE online course offered through Case Western University titled, "Growing Entrepreneurship in Transitioning Economies." The course starts on April 28th so sign up today! While the course work will be offered online and completed at your convenience, we will host scheduled review meetings with an Embassy facilitator to help participants better understand and discuss course materials. At the end of the course, the participants who successfully complete the course materials, and attend the review meetings will be given a certificate of completion to add to their professional resumes. If you decide to sign up for the course and want to attend the review sessions. Please email us at BelmopanPA@state.gov so that we can send you the meeting schedule and location in Belmopan.

Liquor store hours Good Friday
The Corozal Police Formation would like to inform the business establishments and the Public at large as to the opening hours for ALL LIQUOR LICENSE ESTABLISHMENTS on Good Friday April 18, 2014. All liquor establishments must be closed on Good Friday which means from midnight Thursday to midnight Friday. Exception is granted to Hotel License, however the owner (s) must obtain a written authority from the Chairman of the liquor board which should include the hours that are granted. Whilst in the past, it is the Public’s concept to open after 6:00 p.m. on Good Friday, it is not law and the Police intends to enforce this specific Act in conjunction with the Liquor Board. Thanks for your understanding and support.

Channel 7

Man Kills Two Alleged Robbers: Police Say It's Murder
It was a deadly weekend in Belize: there are 5 murders to report on tonight, plus two traffic fatalities, a total of 7 deaths, all males between the ages of 18 and 57. We start tonight with a story of two killings In Carmelita Village, Orange Walk which many thought would not result in murder charges. Two alleged robbers were killed by the property owner whose farm they had just raided. He was defending his property but police said he went too far, and that's why they charged him for murder. Daniel Ortiz has the story:... Daniel Ortiz reporting The Johnson farm was still smoldering, today, signs that it had been burnt to the ground. The two houses that they worked hard to build were ransacked and all the items of value were stolen. Thieves tore off parts of their roof, probably to gain entry.?The family's life's work had been reduced to nothing. That's the difficulty that 50 year-old Edson Johnson, the patriarch of the family found himself in on Friday when he visited the farm. He then opened fire on 2 men when he found them trespassing on his property.

Hon. Boots Saw Darrington Die
And so while those are the two murders in Orange Walk - there were three in the city - all occurring between Saturday and Sunday night. We start with the first at around 6:30 on Saturday night. 27 year old Darrington Lauriano was killed in what is believed to be a gun related shooting. And on Saturday night, he was hanging out at the famous Mike's Club in Belize City when he was executed. It was witnessed by minister of government Anthony Boots Martinez who told us what he saw: Jules Vasquez reporting It might look shabby from the outside but Mike's Sporting Club on Regent Street West is the oldest bar and membership club in Belize. On Saturday evening at 6:30, it was buzzing with activity and regular patron, Minister Anthony Boots Martinez was there: Hon. Anthony Boots Martinez, Minister of Human Development "People were playing checkers, people were playing dominoes, people were watching TV talking about the fight the night. I was sitting playing domino and I just heard what seems to be like the sound of dynamite."

Man Crushed By Bus On Saturday Night
The pre-easter weekend was deadly in more ways than one. As we've shown you, there were murders, but there were also two traffic fatalities. The first happened at Mile 19 and a half on the Northern Highway where Raymond Allen Sedacy crushed by a Tillett bus on Saturday night. We were on the scene, shortly after, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting The body of Sand Hill Resident, Raymond Allen Sedacy, was removed from the Northern Highway, to start its journey to the KHMH Morgue. He became the latest victim of a fatal traffic accident at mile 19 1/2. He was trying to cross the highway on bike, and he was a short distance away from his house, when he was struck by an empty Tillett Bus heading north. The Rural Executive Officer, whose officers had to investigate yet another fatal traffic accident in his jurisdiction, spoke to us on the scene shortly after it happened.

Another Saturday Night Fatality
And while police were at that fatal accident scene near Sandhill, there was another at mile two on the northern highway near the New Horizon Building. GLEN CRAWFORD was northbound in a Ford Ranger Pick-Up when he saw an ambulance coming up fast behind him. He pulled to the right side of the Highway to let it pass, and then got back unto the highway. He said that he drove for about 1/2 a mile when a vehicle coming from the opposite direction blinded him with high beam lights. To avoid an accident, he again veered to the right side of the road. That's where he hit 27-year-old Mario Choc of 3 ½ Miles northern Highway who was walking on the side of the road. Mario Choc received injuries to both of his legs, right hand and head and died while undergoing surgery at11:50 p.m. Notice of intended Prosecution has been served on Glen Crawford.

Murdered For A Gun Stolen From Cops?
And as we've shown you already, this weekend's death toll was staggering. 7 men lost their lives, either to murder or traffic accidents. The youngest was 18 year old Kevin Rodriguez. He was at home in the Port Loyola area late last night when death came calling. We found out more from his aunt and mother:.. Jules Vasquez reporting 18 year old Kevin Rodriguez was killed at this house on Curl Thompson Street Extension. He got a call at a few minutes to 11:00 according to his mother who asked to appear off camera: Sylvia Rodriguez, Mother of Deceased "He received a phone call yesterday and he came out outside - just that." He went outside to what neighbors say was a barrage of gunfire. His aunt was sleeping inside. She asked to appear off camera: Brenda Aguilar, Aunt of Deceased "I was sleeping when I heard the gunshots. I awoke and lay down on the ground. I wait a minute and then I came out and saw him already dead. I couldn't do anything. He calls me saying Brenda, but when I came out I couldn't do anything."

What's With Stolen Weapon?
And while the murder is presently unsolved, that firearm is compelling. It was stolen from police possibly used in a homicide two weeks ago, and now could have factored into another murder. That's a terrible trail - particularly for a weapon that should have been used to keep the peace. But, right now all that is known for sure is that it was stolen from police and found in the yard beside Kevin Rodriguez's home: Corporal Jorge Lemus, Admin Officer Precinct #2 "We can confirm at this time that yes it is a weapon that was stolen from Precinct #2. At this time the investigation is still ongoing with that of the other homicide that we suspect that the weapon might be involved in. The weapon in question was a 9mm pistol that was stolen and found in an abandoned lot in the Jane usher Boulevard area and our investigations reveals that this person is sought for questioning concerning that same firearm." The firearm is presently being put through ballistics testing.

Grown Man Killed In Random Shooting
And the last murder we'll tell you about tonight is probably the most senseless. 57 year old Alonso Cruz was the victim of a random shooting that had nothing to do with him. Cruz was a working man a heavy equipment operator - and known as one of the most generous persons in Rhaburn's alley off North Front Street. But a deranged gunman on bicycle seemed that he didn't care who he shot on Saturday night. A neighbor who responded to the scene told us what happened at about 9:30:.. Voice of: Neighbor "They say that a known gunman passed through the alley and snap his gun in a sprang-head face and the gun jammed, so he went into one of the yards close by to check his gun. It seem that he came out back to see if his gun was working and meet the master in the yard relaxing and he opens fire on the master. The master didn't make, he died in the ambulance." Police have made no arrests.

Shooting On San Pedro: Injured Man Escapes In Boat
So far tonight, we've told you about the 7 deaths, 5 of which are being treated as murder. Well, there was another shooting in San Pedro, in which the victim narrowly escaped fatal injury. The San Pedro Sun reports that it happened at around 5 p.m. on Sunday in the Bacalar Chico Area on Northern Ambergris Caye. 25 year-old Miguel Fuentes was walking on the beach with several other men, when a group of 5 approached them. One of the men started shooting at the group, and Fuentes was struck once to the left hand near the elbow and once to the right side of the back. Fuentes and his companions ran into the sea, where they escaped, and were picked up by a passing vessel. One of the occupants of the vessel was fortunately a doctor, who gave Fuentes emergency treatment to stop his injuries from bleeding out. He was then rushed to the San Pedro Poly Clinic, and he was later transported to the KHMH.

Alleged Pirates Charged
3 men who shot at the Coast Guard, and are suspected of being pirates have been charged and arraigned. 28 year-old Giovanni Murrillo, 19 year-old Everon Teck, and 36 year-old Lionel Sedacy, were all arraigned before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, today on the charges of 2 counts of aggravated assault for allegedly firing 4 shots at them on Last week Thursday. Though they pleaded not guilty, the offences were allegedly committed with firearms, so all 3 men weren't eligible for bail. They've all been remanded to prison until May 30. Sedacey was arraigned by himself for drug possession of 0.9 grams of cannabis. He pled guilty to that charge and he was fined $100 and he was ordered to pay forthwith, in default 3 months. But his troubles were not over just yet. He was then taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and charged with possession of 31 lobster tails out of season and possession of 4 turtle fins. He pled guilty to the charges and he was fined $4,000 for the turtle fins and $650 for the lobster tails. He was given until April 30 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve 1 year and 3 months.

6 Charged For Firearm
These 3 alleged pirates were joined by 6 others today because police say that they had bullets and drugs in their home. Yesterday, police searched a house at 10 Far West Street and found the 2 bullets and a small quantity of cannabis. Present at the time were 23 year old Nicoli Rhys, 27 year old Shane Mckoy, 18 year old Rheonna Rivero, 18 year old Godwin Neal Jr. a 17 year old male student of Wesley High School and Bernadette Samuels, a nurse at KHMH. But only 5 of them were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser because Samuels collapsed with high blood pressure and she was admitted to ward at KHMH. The 5 were charged with kept ammunition without a gun license and possession of 1.2 grams of cannabis. They pled not guilty to the charge, but they were remanded into custody.

Ministry Will Fight Pharmacists
Last week we told you about the Belize Pharmacists association rejecting the proposals form the ministry of health to regularize the employment of Danini Contreras the recently installed Director of the Drug Inspectorate. The Pharmacists rejected a compromise and held their ground that she has to go. Well, the Ministry is also holding its ground. We spoke to the Minister and the CEO today:.. Peter Allen, CEO - Ministry of Health "It is a little bit difficult for me to think that what is a special interest group that has an interest of course in who conducts inspections, should be telling us who the inspector will be. Obviously we are open to negotiations and it was for that reason that the Minister suggested that the association was welcome to send a representative on any inspection to make sure that the process was transparent and fair and the executive rejected that. The executive has since written saying that they feel that they will be force to use the essential services process. I did check just this morning before I came because for some reason I thought you might ask me, but the minister of labor has not yet received notification about such a process. But if indeed that is the process for the settlements of disputes then once again the ministry is happy to proceed with the process. We do think we are doing the right thing." Hon. Pablo Marin, Minister of Health "We are not overseeing anyone, we are looking at an area that will benefit the country. Everything we do is for our people and if we have someone to go out there and look at illegal drugs, the quality of drugs and test the drugs that we have then that means that we are moving forward and that is everything that we are doing. It is sad to see that six years from now, the Pharmacy Association is jumping on something that we are trying to do for the benefit of the people."

A Three Wheeled Ambulance? Not Quite!
Over the years, we’ve seen the rise of the three wheeled vehicles, called auto rickshaws in India. They are pretty basic, a modified motorbike connected to a covered lorry. We’ve seen them used for light transport and cargo – but we’ve never seen them outfitted with ambulance sirens! 26 of them are a donation from the government of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. We found out how they will be deployed:..

What's Being Done About Unhealthy Audits?
We also got the CEO in the ministry of health to speak about a pair of audits. The first is for the Central Health Region, basically the Belize district where the auditor general has completed a report which found irregularities. That was months ago, but apart from a suspension, nothing substantial has been done. Allen told us it is a process..

Channel 5

Darrington Lauriano killed inside Mike’s Club
A United Nations report places Belize as the third of ten countries with the highest rate of murders in the world. It’s a startling statistic and this past weekend proved [...]

The senseless murder of a 57 year old Rhaburn Alley resident
The second murder took place hours later on Saturday night. Fifty-seven year old Alfonso Cruz of Rhaburn’s Alley, Belize City was shot to the left side of the chest and [...]

18 year old south side youth murdered in Jane Usher
Twenty-four later on the south side, eighteen year old Kevin Rodriguez was gunned down and his family believes he was lured to his death. Just before eleven p.m., Rodriguez, received [...]

2 robbers are shot and killed by a farm owner in Carmelita, Orange Walk
The weekend’s violence started on Friday night up north in the village of Carmelita when a fifty-year old grocer from Guinea Grass and his son visited their family farm located [...]

Attorney says farm owner will be trapped in prison for years
In just a matter of seconds on Friday, Edison Johnson’s life was changed for all time. He is now an inmate at the Belize Central Prison, charged with two counts [...]

UN Report says Belize is the third most dangerous country in the world
Where murders are concerned, Belize recorded fewer numbers in 2013 that in the five years prior. That was good news for a country under siege, and provided hope that perhaps [...]

2 traffic fatalities in Belize District
Aside from the five persons who were murdered, two others died in traffic fatalities. There was a fatal traffic accident on Saturday night near mile nineteen and a half on [...]

Sea pirates arraigned for aggravated assault with firearm
  Three Belize City pirates were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court for two counts each of Aggravated Assault with a Firearm.  They are Lionel Emmanuel Sedacy, Giovanni Murrillo, [...]

6 persons busted by GSU
The Gang Suppression Unit conducted a search on Sunday at the home of a K.H.M.H. nurses’ aide where the Unit found nine millimetre ammunition and some marijuana. The home owner [...]

Several shootings: in City and San Pedro
Twenty-one year old Glenford Alvarez, a resident of Supal Street, was the target of a lone gunman on Saturday morning.  Shortly before eleven a.m., Alvarez was riding a bicycle on [...]

Health Officials defend appointment of Minister’s daughter to top post
It’s been a month since the Pharmacy Association has been expressing concern about the appointment of the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras to the post of Director of Drug Inspectorate [...]

SATIIM responds to Attorney General’s interpretation of court ruling
This morning, the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM, as well as claimants from five buffer communities surrounding the Sarstoon-Temash National Park, filed an application for a post-judgment injunction in [...]

A serious allegation of police brutality
Tonight, News Five has been able to confirm that San Ignacio Police are following up reports of an alleged police brutality in that district. Although it is only an allegation [...]

A fleet of support vehicles donated to the Ministry of Health
This morning, the Ministry of Health received a fleet of health support vehicles from the United Emirates. The twenty-six vehicles are valued at three hundred thousand dollars; essentially they are [...]

C.E.O. Peter Allen gives update on audit reports at hospital
There have been reported irregularities in two hospitals; the Southern Regional as well as the Central Regional Hospital. In the south, the Hospital Administrator Nasley Sommerville was suspended last October, [...]

An update on weekend sporting activities
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. We take you out immediately to scenic San Pedro for Saturday night’s big time shootout between San Pedro Tigersharks and [...]

LOVE FM

Woman Needed A Ride Home But Got Raped Instead
A Pomona resident has reported to Police in Punta Gorda that she was raped on Friday after hitchhiking from the Stann Creek Valley Road junction. The woman says that she caught a ride with a stranger bearing short black hair, a red complexion and a tattoo on his arm but when they passed Bella Vista Village, the driver began touching her inappropriately on her legs and her private part. Upon arriving at the Dump Area, the man drove the car into San Antonio Road, turned left off the main road and had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police are investigation.

Belmopan Family Overturns on Highway
Just before nine o’clock on Saturday night, a traffic incident occurred between miles seventeen and eighteen on the George Price Highway in Hattieville Village, Belize District. Upon arrival at the scene, police found a blue Mitsubishi L200 pickup truck overturned on the left side of the road, when traveling to Belmopan. Reports are that 46-year-old, Carlos Mendez, a resident of Belmopan was heading home in the company of his wife, Sarina; his 13-year-old son; his 9-year-old daughter and his 21-year-old niece when an oncoming vehicle swerved in their lane causing Mendez to stray from his lane onto the shoulder of the highway, thus causing the vehicle to overturn. Sarina received abrasions to her right hand and knee while the other passengers escaped unhurt. The vehicle sustained damages to the windshield, roof and windows. A notice of intended prosecution has been served to Mendez pending the results of the investigation.

Bright Lights Cause Death of Sales Clerk
Traffic personnel of Precinct Four in the Belize City are investigating a traffic incident that has left the family of a sales clerk in mourning after he received injuries to his legs, right hand and head. According to reports, a resident of Maxboro, Sandhill Village, Glen Crawford was driving to Belize City this past Saturday night just before nine o’clock when he was blinded by high beams from an oncoming vehicle, causing him to swerve to the right side of the road, hitting 27-year-old, Mario Choc who was walking on the shoulder of the Philip Goldson Highway near the Belize Biltmore Plaza. Choc died while undergoing treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hosptial just before midnight on Saturday. Meanwhile, Crawford, who was driving a Ford Ranger pickup truck, has received a notice of intended prosecution pending further investigation.

Minister’s Daughter Stays on As Director; Health Minister Says His Plans Will Not Change
The Association of Pharmacists in Belize has been up in arms for almost two months now after the daughter of Minister Erwin Contreras was hired to fill the post of Director of Drug Inspectorate. It is a post that is currently non-existent in the Public Service as it was recently created through the Ministry of Health with the stamp of approval from Health Minister, Pablo Marin and Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen. But aside from being a Minister’s daughter, the PAB cited several other reasons why they cannot and will not approve Danini Contreras’ appointment. Among those reasons were her lack of qualification to hold the post, lack of specialized training and not being registered as a chemist or druggist….but despite PAB’s objections, Marin says he is putting his foot down and doing what needs to be done.

Former Politician Sent to Central Prison
Darrell Carter, a former PUP politician was taken to prison today on a committal warrant for failure to pay General sales tax. Carter owes a total of twenty three thousand dollars and Magistrate Dale Cayetano ordered him to pay six thousand dollars today or go to jail. Carter said he only had five hundred dollars to pay today and he promised to pay one thousand dollars by tomorrow. But the prosecutor for GST would not accept that. She told the court that it was not the first time Carter has been brought before the court and it was not the first time he has made the same promises. She said the last time Carter made a payment was in February last year and it was only fifty dollars.

Trip to Shop Turns Fatal in Belize Rural
“The body being transported in the pan of the police pickup truck is that of Raymond Allen, a laborer of Sandhill Village. Allen lost his life on Saturday Night after he was knocked down by a Tillett’s Bus. Allen had just left home on his bicycle en route to a nearby store when he was knocked down. His Step mother, Ramona Sedacy, ran to the scene after being told the heart-wrenching news.” RAMONA SEDACY “He had already passed away when I got here. I didn’t see anyone; only one of my neighbors was here and he came and told me.” RENEE TRUJILLO “Where was he going?” RAMONA SEDACY “I think he was going to the shop. I don’t know…they came to tell me he got knocked down by the bus and that was the time I came out here and his body was in the grass.”

Farm Owner Remanded After Killing Thieves on His Land
As we heard, the Johnston family is convinced that Edson was merely protecting his property. Nonetheless, police have proceeded to charge him with two counts of murder. For this reason the family has hired the services of Attorney Hubert Elrington. Arturo Cantun explains the family’s position. “According to Rosita Johnston, the farm her husband bought in 2004 was meant to be a place where she and her husband would spend their golden years. That dream was stolen when the family discovered their farm was burglarized and all they had worked hard for had vanished. ROSITA JOHNSTON “My farm, my two places had my bed and my bureau, everything in my house. Now, my farm – all the coconut and the zinc, everything is gone. I never thought that I would picture myself like this, wasted all these years working so hard. I worked at Turneffe Lots for twelve years and my husband worked for ten and we used to have foul, so many years ago, we used to have all that and before they burnt this place, my daughter and son-in-law used to live here for three years and we used to work at the caye and they would mind here. I can’t explain myself and how I feel; the only thing I can think is what did I work for? Because working here is not like working for Government. We worked for having something and we invested all our money here because this was where my husband said this would be a retirement for him because in his older years, he could sell the place and make something in life.”

Coast Guard Attackers Arraigned for Aggravated Assault
Three fishermen, who allegedly shot at two members of Belize Coast Guard, were charged with two counts of aggravated assault when they appeared today before the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith. They are 28 year old Giovanni Murillo, 19 year old Everon Teck and 36 year old Lionel Sedacy. They pled not guilty to the charge and they were remanded into custody until June 13. Sedacy alone was charged with possession of point nine grams of cannabis, a charge to which he pled guilty. He was fined one hundred dollars and he was ordered to pay forthwith. Sedacy’s troubles were not over. He was taken before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and charged with possession of 31 lobster tails out of season and possession of four turtle fins. He pled guilty to the charges and he was fined four thousand dollars for the fins and six hundred and fifty dollars for the lobster.

PlusTV

Jesus Christ Died for Our Sins and Rose Back From the Dead
Our Scripture for this week is taken from 1st Corinthians 15:3-4- “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”.

Darrel Carter in Trouble with GST
Darrell Carter, owner of Carter’s Custom Upholstery, is in trouble with the General Sales Tax Department tonight after he was brought to court on a committal warrant. Carter’s bill with the Department stands at $23,847.36 and the prosecutor wanted no less than $6,000 today to avoid jail. According to...

Hugh Phillips Charged for Shooting Female Minor
A Belize City youth has been charged with the attempted murder of a female minor who was shot while watching a basketball game in the North Creek Road area last month. 21 year old construction worker Hugh Philip appeared in the #2 Magistrate’s Court charged with attempted murder, use...

PUP and UDP Rallies Clash
Quite a bit of tension has been reported from within the PUP as the convention to elect the PUP standard bearer for Cayo Central gets ever nearer. However, Dan Silva Supporters were reminded this weekend that Luke Espat is not his only opponent. On Sunday April 13th, Daniel Silva’s...

Bus Hits and Kills Cyclist
There were two accidents on the Phillip Goldson Highway just about 20 minutes apart from each other. The first incident happened at Mile 19 ½ where a Tillett Bus knocked down a man identified as Raymond Allen Sedacey. According to police reports, the bus was driven at the time...

New vehicles for Ministry of Health
The Government of Dubai donated 26 health support vehicles to the Ministry of Health today in Belize City. The three wheeled motorcycles come with a covered unit that equipped with seats and a stretcher to transport patients. The vehicles, valued at $300,000, will be distribute to those hospitals across...

SATIIM Goes for Injunction Against Government
Tensions have risen following the April 3 ruling of Justice Michelle Arana that requires Government to consult the Maya people of Southern Toledo District prior to any attempt to continue exploratory work inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) says this applies to...

Shootout on the Seas with Coast Guard
There was a shoot out on the seas where the Coast Guard was in pursuit of a skiff carrying three men. Today in Court, a trio of Belize City men were charged with aggravated assault and drugs and illegal fishing offences. According to police, two members of the National...

Ministry of Health Won’t Back Down on Danini Contreras
The scandal surrounding the appointment of the daughter of Trade Minister Erwin Contreras, Danini Contreras, as Director of the Drug Inspectorate has stepped up to new levels with reports that the Pharmacists’ Association has threatened industrial action. Minister of Health Pablo Marin and CEO Dr. Peter Allen were quizzed...

Large Stash of Rosewood Confiscated
Forestry Officers in the Southern Districts have confiscated another stash of Rosewood. The amount is so large this time, that it is taking several trips for BDF transportation to move the rosewood flitches to their Campsite in the Toledo District for safekeeping. Some time over the weekend Forest Rangers...

Band Fest Winners; Belmopan Included
Band Fest 2014 was played out at the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal Town on Saturday April 12th under the patronage of the Governor General Sir Colville Young. The annual event brought together different bands from all around the country to compete in different categories and also featured local...

Pedestrian Knocked Down and Killed on Highway
Shortly after that accident, there was another one, fatal as well. Glen Crawford reported that he was driving a Ford Ranger Pick-up truck on the Phillip Goldson Highway travelling from the direction of Belize City heading towards the Haulover Bridge. He said that a motor vehicle was coming from...

Red Moon Rising
This week is holy week in the Christian calendar but in the Jewish calendar it marks Passover Celebrations. Tonight at sundown marked the beginning of Passover and it continues until tomorrow at sundown. What is special is that tonight there will be a total eclipse of the moon, and what makes...

Two Men Shot on a Farm During Alleged Burglary
There were two more killings this weekend, but the circumstances surrounding these murders are a bit confusing. It appears, at least in the first instance, that a burglar entered the wrong building and was killed by the property owner. The incident happened at Johnson’s Farm situated on the outskirts...

Thief Scolds Family for Leaving Door Open
A family in Belmopan is shaken up after a man just walked into their home and robbed them of their jewelry and cell phones. The incident happened on Saturday night at around 10:30 pm on Temash Street. We understand that the door to the house was open and the...

Hugh Phillips Charged for Shooting Female Minor
A Belize City youth has been charged with the attempted murder of a female minor who was shot while watching a basketball game in the North Creek Road area last month. 21 year old construction worker Hugh Philip appeared in the #2 Magistrate’s Court charged with attempted murder, use...

Darrel Carter in Trouble with GST
Darrell Carter, owner of Carter’s Custom Upholstery, is in trouble with the General Sales Tax Department tonight after he was brought to court on a committal warrant. Carter’s bill with the Department stands at $23,847.36 and the prosecutor wanted no less than $6,000 today to avoid jail. According to...

Blogs

“Just the Two of Us” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
I’ve had a mixed bag sort of time since the last edition. Nothing monumental to report. I’ve not been back to ‘go to war’ with the fence. I want to get it finished, of course I do. But it’s not like it’s going anywhere, is it! I had an ego massaging experience last Friday (well at least I think it was Friday). I had breakfast at Estel’s Dine By the Sea and was on my way to the ‘cart after some shopping at The Greenhouse when I sensed something behind me. Turning around I saw that it was a female pushing a bike. I chivalrously (I do display good manners occasionally) moved to one side to allow her easier passage. As she drew close she mounted the bike and in seconds was beside me. As she started to cycle away from me she turned and said “You’re building a new life aren’t you”. Not being the brightest bulb in the box it didn’t register what she was on about until she added “Love the blog”. And then the penny dropped. I didn’t get a chance to respond or to get her name but if you (and obviously you’ll know who you are) are reading this I’d just like to say “Thank you”. I was ‘made up’ (( no I didn’t go home and apply mascara and lipstick – it’s an English (originating in Merseyside) expression meaning “really happy”)) all day. In fact I’m still ‘made up’!

Scattered clouds in San Pedro Belize
My favorite weather app is showing scattered clouds for San Pedro Belize and colder than yesterday which means we are experiencing a cool 29c opposed to the balmy 31c we experienced yesterday :) I know some of you are about to get hit with more snow like the Wags. Hopefully your upcoming trip to Belize and being able to finally see people in the big pool as you help me test the webcam will help you through this difficult weather. As bad of a day as I am having I just cannot imagine cold and snow in the mix – living here has truly spoiled me. I find it ironic that I cannot see a cloud in the sky as the “scattered clouds” they are predicting are definitely inside my head lol. I would even add chance of storms due to an extremely frustrating tech morning, according Wundergound I have to wait till Wednesday for real stormy weather. Been working on the webcam all morning and managed to get a few more issues ironed out, we are almost ready to go live again if all goes well with my tech help this afternoon – yay. I have to say other than our crazy internet and power issues lately, it has been a lot easier than I expected to be able to do remote control on cam laptop up at Grand Caribe while I am at my desk in San Pablo.

Belize Public Service Salaries
Position Salary Members of the House of Representatives $610,200.00 Members of the Senate $169,020.00 Crown Counsel – Civilian Prosecutions Unit $153,396.00 Chief Justice $150,000.00 Appeals Judge $139,320.00 Undersecretary Revenue $119,736.00 Puisne Judge $110,000.00 Director of Public Prosecutions $100,000.00 Financial Secretary $100,000.00 Assistant Registrar $92,928.00 Prime Minister $91,800.00 Auditor General $81,787.00 Minister of Public Service $81,000.00 Minister of Health $81,000.00 Elections and Boudaries – Registering Officer Cayo $80,140.00

Belize’s Coolest Caves
In this post, we bring to you the coolest caves to visit in western Belize. Known locally as Xibalba, Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM Cave) is one of the most popular and impressive caves in the Cayo District that was used as a sacred place by the Maya of Belize. The ATM cave consists of a series of chambers ending in a 300 by 50 meter Cathedral where sacrificial ceremonies once took place. Visitors are offered the opportunity to travel into the Maya past and witness a living museum where human sacrificies and artifacts can be viewed in their original context. Located 16 miles away from San Ignacio Town near Vaca Falls, Che Chem Ha Cave is most notable for its unique collection of Maya artwork and artifacts. The cave’s entrance is decorated with Maya motifs and an assortment of storage jars line the walls of its chamber. Visitors will notice that many of the storage jars still contain maize and other staples of the ancient Maya diet.

International Sources

In Belize, teaching youth life-skills to prepare for workplace
For Diangelo Ramos, a young man living in Belize, surviving after he was thrown out of his house at 13 took determination and courage. “I was drinking at school, missing classes,” he recalled. ”My teacher said she would not give up on me because she knew I could change.” Diangelo participated in a youth engagement programme implemented by UNDP. The Southside Youth Success project, established in 2012, is a coordinated system that provides mentoring, life-skills, training and job placements for vulnerable youths in Southside Belize City (SBC), the most violent area of the country. It focuses on preventing “most-at-risk” youth, in particular young men, who come from the most marginalized parts of Belizean society, from entering gangs and provides them with the life-skills and knowledge base to enter the workforce instead. “Today I think I have changed,” Diangelo said after completing the programme.

Videos

Video: Caye Caulker Easter Preparation, 12min.
Gilbert Tzac

Video: Sacred Heart Flashmob, 4min.
Rotary worked with Sacred Heart Primary and the SIPL to do a flash mob at the Cayo Welcome Center. 'This book's gonna be a good book!' Sacred Heart School in San Ignacio in Cayo, Belize performed 'Gotta Keep Reading' to raise awareness for literacy in Belize. This was done in cooperation with the 'Literacy Alive' project which was supported by Rotary International and the Rotary Club of Red Deer, Ab, Canada as well as the Rotary Club of San Ignacio.

Video: The Placencia Resort, 6min.

Video: BAREFOOT IN BELIZE FISHERMEN REPORT, 2min.
THE LITTLE BELIZE COMMUNITY LOS ANGELES "Somewhere in the various Districts of Belize the future Prime Minister is growing up may a pair of shoes reach his or her feet to avoid a Barefoot Injury."

Video: Diving in Belize - Nov. 2013, 8min.
Photography and Editing by Orest Romaniuk while vacationing in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Old Belize Historical Center, 1min.

Video: Belize Cave Water passage Push, 18min.
2 1/2 Miles Underground in Belize, Cavers push virgin passage through an underground lake with air space of just a few inches, at times ducking from air pocket to air pocket, all the while facing dangerous conditions as the oxygen is over taken by sulfur dioxide. one caver was nearly lost as he swims to death zone.

Video: Belize XMET Caving Dive Team, 18min.
caved dive Belize with virgin swim in underground lake, 2 1/2 miles underground

Video: Belize / Bacab Eco Park, 3min.
Aboard the bus to Bacab Eco Park & riding "Rice n Beans"

Video: Belikin - CHOCOLATE STOUT, 1min.
We present to you Belikin Chocolate Stout, made with organic cacao from the farms of Toledo, Belize. We don't use fillers or shortcuts and we don't compromise our brewing. We only produce the best for The Beer of Belize.

Video: Hot Docs Trailers 2011: THE CHOCOLATE FARMER, 1.5min.
With machete in hand, Eladio Pop cultivates his Belizean cocoa plantation, following in the footsteps of his Mayan ancestors. But as progress undermines tradition, his children confront a modern world, charting their own path. Will any of them carry on his legacy?

Video: Mexico, Guatemala & Belize 2014, 26min.
My trip to Mexico, Guatemala & Belize Date 14.01.14 - 14.03.14 camera. Gopro hero 3 black

Video: 3 Seasonal Beers of Belikin Beer Worth Trying, 3min.
Drinking In Belize: The Country's Rum Industry Aside from the popular Belikin Beer, Belize also offers a good rum. The nation is part of Central America but its coast is on the Caribbean Sea, so rum is entrenched in its alcohol habits ever since. It is not that it just your eyes everywhere like the Jamaica, but you will easily find and buy it, and at very economical prices. The Belize rum market today is controlled by Travellers, a company that Mr. Omario Perdomo started midcentury with a bar of imported beverages for travelers in the center of the former capital, Belize City. Those times were also when the sugar cane industry sky ascended, so a lot of Belizeans decided to begin doing their own distillates. Mr. Omario Perdomo of Travellers Bar was no different, deciding to homemake his own rums. Travelers Rum was born and they now have over 20 products in their line, including vodka and bitters, that are massively distribute around the country.

Video: Dangriga Belize Arrival, aerial, 4min.

Video: The Split, Caye Caulker, Belize, 2min.
The Split in Caye Caulker is just that it was split by a hurricane and the the caye is now two not one. The Lazy Lizard is the watering hole at the end of the land here, The beer is cold and water is warm what could be better than that okay the bikinis are small and the girls are pretty how is that ..

Video: Fun on the Beach with Rusty, 3min.
Rusty (my dog) is loving the beach here in Belize. This was shot on my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition and this is my first fully edited video.

Video: Traveller's Liquors Baron Gin - Cheers to the Baron, 1min.

Video: Belize Teaser, 4min.

Video: Spooky, 4min.
Spooky (Curve Bar, Sittee River, Belize)

April 14, 2014


FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Doctor Love: Best Friends and Drinking
Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length. Dear Doctor Love, My best friend and I have been together longer than some marriages that I know of. We have always been really tight but […]

Police Report
On the April 7th at 4:55pm a female minor visited the police station along with her mother, where she reported that on Tuesday, April 4th, at about 7:30pm she went along with an 18-year-old Honduran construction worker of Boca Del Rio Area to his friends house who resides in San Pedro Town; while at the house he had sexual intercourse with her. She was examined by a doctor who confirmed that she was carnally known. Police are looking for this man pending investigation.

Belize to Host 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay
The Queen’s Baton is set to arrive in Belize on Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II 88th birthday, Monday, April 21st. The anticipated tradition, which has become a staple of the festivities, happens every four years. This year it signals the staging of the XX Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014. Belize’s participation in this symbolic precursor event takes place from Easter Monday, April 21st, through to the baton’s departure on Thursday, April 24th, 2014. During its journey in Belize, the baton will be making its rounds to Belize City’s House of Culture, Belize Youth Hostel & Cadet Corp, Governor General Field in Belmopan, BTL Princess Royal Park in Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Central Park in Punta Gorda Town. Relay teams of one hundred participants will carry the baton to each destination where it will be welcomed with a reception, tree planting initiative and plaque ceremony. Celebrations for the Queen’s Baton Relay will be led by Patron of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, H.E Sir Colville Young. Joining the GG will be British High Commissioner to Belize Mr. Peter Hughes, Consul General of India to Belize, H.E Arun Hotchandani, Minister of Sports Honorable Herman Longsworth, Mayors of the respective municipalities and executives of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA).

Wolfe’s Woofer: The Invasion
“How would you like to try something really different today?” Mike asked me. I had spent three days in Houston, Texas getting checkups at the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital. Now I was spending some time with my friend Mike, in Brownsville, before returning to Belize. “I’m game for about anything,” I told him. “What did […]

Misc Belizean Sources

Airman supports medical exercises in Belize
There are many pieces to bring together when a group of people deploys outside of the U.S., and each person plays an integral part in ensuring that group's mission is accomplished. Tech. Sgt. Randy Dozier, a biomedical equipment specialist, is playing a key role in ensuring the New Horizons Belize 2014 mission is fulfilled. New Horizons is an annual event coordinated amongst U.S. Department of Defense service members, the U.S. Embassy and the host nation government to conduct civil engineer and medical training. The training benefits U.S. forces as they are offered an opportunity to practice deployment and joint training procedures. During New Horizons, Dozier, a native of Dayton, Ohio, is responsible for providing equipment support for medical service members by setting up, calibrating and maintaining medical equipment, as well as providing training on the appropriate use of that equipment.

McDonald's foreign worker practices face growing investigation
The federal investigation into McDonald’s use of temporary foreign workers has widened to several other locations, as more local workers speak out about feeling sidelined and shortchanged. “I feel it’s definitely discrimination against Canadians,” said Chris Eldridge, from Lethbridge, Alta. Eldridge just quit his managerial job for six McDonald’s locations in Alberta, because he said he could no longer stomach denying local employees much-needed shifts to accommodate temporary foreign workers. “Honestly, some days I wonder, is this still Canada? Everyone is supposed to have equal rights.” Eldridge said the foreign workers were recruited from Belize, the Philippines and Jamaica by Actyl Group, an international recruiter used by McDonald’s Canada. It charges employers up to $2,000 per worker it recruits. Actyl’s job website is designed to attract foreign workers. It lists numerous ads for full-time jobs at McDonald’s. They all suggest Canadians can apply, but only for part-time work. “The selected candidate is expected to work 40 hours per week with the possibility of overtime. Part-time applications from Canadians or people in Canada with their PR are also accepted,” the ads read. http://www.independent.co.uk/i/page-3-profile-joel-hodgson-sprinter-9257786.html

Page 3 Profile: Joel Hodgson, sprinter
On your marks, get set… Go. Well, hopefully. Joel Hodgson, 26, is just half a second away from competing at Glasgow 2014. He needs to reduce his best time at 400m to 45.7 sec to make the cut. What’s his story? When he was three months old he was abandoned by his mother at an orphanage in Belize. He and his two sisters were adopted by a Scottish couple when he was four, and grew up in West Dunbartonshire. Hodgson moved to London in 2009 but soon found himself homeless. Things weren’t looking great…? “Life was tough for a while but then things started to improve,” Hodgson said. He began selling the Big Issue outside a law firm and staff were so impressed with his attitude they offered him a job.

Governance in Central America and Criminality in El Salvador
With the most recent estimates of homicides reported by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (the latest data being for the year 2012), the northern cone of Central America continues to lead and set records for intentional deaths. Honduras has the world’s highest rate of murder, with 90.4 per 100,000. Guatemala’s numbers were 39.9; El Salvador had 41.2 per 100,000; and, surprisingly, Belize homicides were reported at 44.7. All of which must alarm Mexico's political leaders (where the rate per 100,000 intentional deaths was 21.5) as their southern borders, seemingly, continue to be elbow to elbow in violence, death and misery, with little progress showing from professed efforts to actively fight crime. In the United States, the 2012 intentional homicide rate per 100,000 population was 4.7. This report graphically and boisterously shows that the Americas' homicide rates have been five to eight times higher than those of Europe and Asia since the mid-1950s, describing the phenomenon as "the legacy of decades of political and crime-related violence."

Dan Silva holds huge rally in Santa Elena town
A huge rally was held on Sunday afternoon in Santa Elena town by the aspirant for the Cayo Central seat for the People’s United Party (PUP), Daniel Silva. The event started with a motorcade through the constituency, passing through Cristo Rey, San Antonio, El Progresson, Georgeville and culminating in Santa Elena town. Among the featured speakers at the rally were Senator Patrick Jason Andrews, Lake Independence hopeful Cordel Hyde and Dan Silva. Silva will square off with businessman Luke Espat on April 27 in a standard bearer convention which will be held at the Pentecostal Primary School on La Loma Luz Boulevard in Santa Elena town.

Firearm discharges during fight; one man grazed
An early Sunday morning fight in San Ignacio town has left one man facing criminal charges. Reports say that around 4 am, a misunderstanding broke out between two men. During the back and forth, one of the men reportedly pulled his licensed .25 firearm and the weapon discharged grazing the other man’s abdomen. Police issued the injured man with a medico-legal form and took him to the San Ignacio community hospital for treatment. At the hospital a doctor classified the injury as harm. The man whose weapon discharged, grazing the other person has been detained pending charges.

Vehicles crash in Santa Elena town
At least two people were hurt in an early Sunday morning crash in Santa Elena town, Cayo. Details of the incident are still sketchy, but initial reports say it happended just after 2 am on Sunday and involved a car and a pickup truck. Three persons, the driver and a passenger in the car as well as the driver of the Hilux received varying degrees of injury and were taken to the San Ignacio Community Hospital for treatment. Preliminary indications are tht the crash happened near to the China Town grocery store in Santa Elena town when the car allegedly made a left turn into Mabel PItts Street and into the path of the west-bound Toyota Hilux.

Three shootings in Belize City leave two dead and one injured
Saturday in Belize City saw three separate shooting incidents in a span of less than 24 hours, causing two deaths and injury to a third man. Around 10:00 a.m. Saturday on Dolphin Street near Wesley Upper School, a man identified as 20 year old Glen Alvarez, aka “Dut”, was riding a bicycle toward the bridge crossing Collet Canal at the junction of North Creek Road and Fairweather Street when a single armed man, also on bicycle, rode up from behind and fired several times at Alvarez, who was injured in his left leg. One person is detained by Police, pending investigations. Nine hours later, police were called out again to Mike’s Club at the corner of West Canal and Regent Street West, where around 7:00 p.m., 27 year old Darrington Lauriano was shot three times by a lone gunman of dark complexion, who entered the bar through a back entrance located on the east side of the building near the canal.

ERI and Panthera Seminar S1E3
Tomorrow is the third Environmental Research Institute and Panthera seminar. The talk will be given by Robert Euwe and be about 'optimizing jaguar prey occupancy.' Interesting. "Here's number 3!!! Join us on Monday April 14 for the third in our Seminar Series."

Cayo Cleans Up at Band Fest
Congratulations to the Benque Marching Band for winning 1st place at Band Fest. Band Fest was yesterday in Corozal, and Cayo really cleaned up. The SISE Dreams took 3rd place in the marching band category. The Belmopan Active Youths took 1st place for Drum Corps. "At the end of the event, St. Luke “Purple Spirit” marching band won the Drumline competition. In the Drum Corps category, the champion is the Belmopan Active Youth group. They took home $4,000 and a trophy. Second place was won by the Holy Redeemer Marching band. Coming in third was the St. Luke marching band. In the Marching Band with Wind Instrumet category, Benque Viejo Marching Band walked away with first prize, taking home $6,000, a tropy and medals. Second place in this category was won by the Corozal Community College marching band while the San Ignacio/Santa Elena Dreams Marching Band captured third prize."

Band Fest 2014 Results
The Ricalde Stadium in Corozal town was the venue today for the annual Belize Band Fest. The event brought together marching bands from around the country to perform in different categories and included “show” bands that present particular pieces for the enjoyment of the crowd. The day’s even started with a street parade, giving thousands of people who lined the main streets of Corozal town, an opportuity to witness the beauty and sounds of the young people.

Cayo Anti Drink and Drive Campaigns
Cayo had its share of Anti-drink and drive campaigns this week. Benque, Belmopan, and San Ignacio all had one. The one in Benque even had a small business fair. "The Benque Viejo Traffic Department and The Benque Viejo Town Council have launched 'Don’t Drink & Drive' Campaign yesterday, April 10th. The Ceremony and Business Fair were held in cooperation with Benque Viejo Police Station, Social Security, BRC printing, Bneque Polyclinic, BTB Western Branch, Vega’s Distributer, Cubola Productions and Beltraide. At the Ceremony, A breathalyzer was handed to the Benque Traffic Department by the National Road Safety Committee. Prior to the fair, Poster competition has held for primary school students. There were more the 55 entries and 3 of them got the prizes. Winners were 1st prize: Carol Martinez- STD IV, 2nd prize: Brayden Caballeros- STD III, 3rd prize Vanessa Choc- STD II. Thank you for your participant and Congratulations! Take care of yourself and your family not to Drink & Drive especially in Easter Holidays.!"

Spelling Bee Cayo Finals
The Coca Cola Spelling Bee finals for Cayo, where 14 Cayo students showed off their superb spelling skills, were held this week in Spanish Lookout. Geon Codd, from St. Andrew's won first place, while Sherman Matute from St. Jude, and Michael Sabido from Shepherd's Academy took second and third. Thanks, Coca Cola, for making this happen again, and Mr. Jones for getting some great shots. Congratulations to all the bright students!

Belmopan Bandits Beat Houston Hurricanes
The Belmopan Bandits defeated the visiting Houston Hurricanes last night by 2 points, 4 - 2. Congratulations, Bandits. Pictures, and more pictures. "Final whistle Bandits 4 - 2 Houston Hurricanes"

Kim Simplis-Barrow Photo Shoot Fun
Mrs. Kim Simplis-Barrow had a photo shoot for Harper's Bazaar magazine, and they've released a really fun behind the scenes video about it. Oddly, Cayo isn't in it - maybe they are saving the best for another video - but it's still worth a watch. Laurent Levy did a great job. "Take a look Behind- The-Scenes at HARPER'S BAZAAR INTERIORS: KIM SIMPLIS' BELIZE April 2014 Photo shoot produced by Harper's Bazaar International Style Editor LUIGI IRAUZQUI and be part of this breathtaking pictorial adventure: from the tropical Central American jungles to the turquoise waters of the Belizian Caribbean Sea."

Today Universe Electro Promo
They Tomorrow Universe promo concert was held at the Cayo Welcome Center on Friday night. The pictures speak for themselves. It was a great performance by up-and-coming local DJ's who realize that talking over every song not only breaks the musical rhythm, but it's not what people go out to hear. That fact alone made it awesome...but wait, they played some great trance and dubstep too. Well done. More! "The Tomorrow Universe promo show at the Cayo Welcome Center was amazing. Real DJ's - no talking over every song like the wannabe dj's do - and the best trance music was played. It was a perfect night for it too. Thanks to all that made this happen."

Buy and Sell Classifieds 8-Apr
There are a lot of sales and specials happening around Cayo. This issue highlights Caracol. Happy Easter!

FOCUS Invites Groups to Adopt a Mile: Keeping Corozal Clean
FOCUS, other environmental groups, the Corozal Town Council, and others invite groups to the Corozal Green Mile trash cleanup campaign, beginning at 7 am on Earth Day, Saturday, 26 April 2014. Groups should contact FOCUS as soon as possible to get trash bags, gloves, group leader t-shirts, water, etc., for the event. Groups will "Adopt a Mile" of the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District. Cleanup will begin on your assigned mile at 7 am, and all groups will meet at Mangrove Park by 11:30 am. The aim of this project s to increase awareness of trash clean up, Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary (CBWS), FOCUS, PACT, Mangrove Park, sustainability and educational events and classes. Earth Day is an international effort to keep our countries green and clean, including Belize. Call FOCUS at 629-9370 or email focusczl@gmail.com to let us know you'll be participating. We also need support and donations for supplies for the cleanup.

2014 Bandfest
The streets of Corozal were filled with Band Fest fans anxiously waiting who would take the 2014 1st place trophies. On Saturday April 12th, a total of nine marching bands including several drum corp groups were heavily applauded, as they entertained us gracefully. After a street parade pre-judging, they headed to the Santiago Ricalde Stadium where the kick-off competition and final judging took place. This year's participating groups included Corozal Community College Marching Band - Corozal, Uprising Drum Corp - Orange Walk, Belmopan Active Youth – Belmopan, Dream Marching Band - Santa Elena & San Ignacio, Benque Marching Band – Benque Viejo, Stella Maris School Futuristic Marching Band – Belize City, St. Luke's Purple Spirit Marching Band – Belize City, Holy Redeemer Primary School – Belize City, Central Drum Corp – Orange Walk. Special invited guest were Banda Del Instituto Bethel - La Cieba, Honduras, and Othon P. Blanco, Chetumal's Marching Band. (9 photos)

Early Eleactions?
A sign of an early election? UDP standard bearers met on Saturday, April 12th for training with party chairman Alberto August and secretary general Pearl Stuart. Ralph Huang is all smiles for the camera. As is being widely speculated by the rumors of the impending resignation of Commissioner of Police, Allen Whylie, indications are that elections could be imminent. Seems captain Barrow cannot right his ship and there is mutiny aboard. Barrow’s Swan Song on February 5, 2014 “Every time I take action, as I tell you am sworn to do and as I am telling you I will continue to do, there are political repercussions because of the slimness of the majority. I bear that well in mind as I take the actions that I take. Ultimately if I have to take more actions and it results in two persons or perhaps three persons who are in the House, resigning from the party thus triggering either bye-elections or a general election, I will simply have to do what my duty and conscience tell me I must do and live with the consequences, which will no doubt be a loss of the consequent general elections. I am not going to go there easily as I said, but if I have to, I will go there.”

Blogs

Hamanasi Adventure Resort in Hopkins: A Belize Luxury Lodge At Its Best
It’s quite an exaggeration for Belize (my imaginary Louis Vuittons are SO not necessary here) but you get the idea. And it brings to my mind one of the fantastic and very comfortable ways to experience Belize. A way where you don’t need to worry about much. A beautiful blend of rustic and chic with a heavy dose of fantastic service that a few spots in Belize do SO well. Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort in Hopkins is definitely one of them. This resort is gorgeous with immaculate attention to detail but not at all uptight. You know you are in Belize for sure. The decor, the food, the drinks, the furnishing, the floweres, THE VIEW but your resort is just so well appointed. Quiet luxury. I’m still working on the term.

International Sources

22 Breathtaking Beaches in Central America
With the deep, blue Pacific Ocean on one side and the tranquil Caribbean Sea on the other, few places in the world can rival the breathtaking beaches of Central America. Choose one of these 22 picturesque Central American destinations for your next beach vacation, and you’ll return home refreshed, relaxed and ready to do it all again. #1. Ambergris Caye, Belize Really trying to get away from it all? The Caribbean-style, car-free town of Ambergris Caye offers the hammock napping, coconut drinking lifestyle you’ve been seeking.

Videos

Video: Responsible Tourism with Hickatee Cottages in Belize, 9min.
Sometimes, when you travel, you discover gems, where the owners/operators combine a passion for doing things well.I created this video after I stayed at Hickatee Cottages, an exemplary place to stay in the southern Belize jungle just beside a small non-touristy town called Punta Gorda. As an example of how to create tourism infrastructure, this place is off-grid and yet offers hot water, daily fresh supper menus created onsite, beautiful rooms with fans and very clean. Exceptional gardens, a troop of howler monkeys, and short trails are all part of the experience. This "soft ecological footprint" combined with a commitment to connecting their guests to local experiences and local experience providers was very much appreciated. As someone who appreciates and looks for tourism establishments that practice Responsible Tourism, I was impressed with how they have combined a low footprint with their personal values, to create a getaway place that offers peace or the opportunity to step into the jungle to go down the river in the hands of local birding guides, archaeology exploring, experience a taste of Mayan culture, or learn about Garifuna or Creole drumming. The approach that the owners have taken is profitable, socially responsible, and environmentally conscious.

Video: Belize, 5min.
filmed during our trip to belize over the holidays of 2012/13 music: "Hollow Gold" by Podington Bear (podingtonbear.com/) WEAR HEADPHONES, please.

Video: Playful sharks at Tackle Box dive site Ambergris Caye Belize, 2min.
Filmed with GoPro Hero3+ with red filter fitted to Hollis dive mask

Video: Assignment 10.1.1, 2min.
This video is about Belize - Snorkle

Video: Hol Chan Marine Reserve, 2min.
Nurse sharks and a moray eel fight over a conch at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Ambergris Caye Reef, Belize.

Video: Hopkins, Belize, 4min.
Hopkins, Belize was just our speed. No trendy touristy resort traps, or ridiculous night clubs. Just wonderful people, beautiful ocean, and amazing jungle. We stayed at Jaguar Reef. . . highly recommended! We loved the open air dining room right on the beach. Rented a dirt bike from Emma at Alternative Adventures. . . that is the best way to get around the rough dirt roads.

Video: San Ignacio Belize As Viewed From Cahal Pech Resort Motel, 2min.
The Cahal Pech motel and resort is located right next to the Mayan ruins of the same name (as the resort). The ruins is a large, well kept park area, and is a very low entrance fee. The park will be enjoyable to most people other than those who have a hard time walking around. It is very interesting, with many relics housed indoors at the main building. You can view a few pictures of the ruins on 2Belize.com (this web site). This video gives a panoramic view of the area both in front of and behind the Cahal Pech motel and resort.

Video: Belize - From the Jungle to the Beach, 4min.

Video: Diving in Ambergris Caye, 3min.
Ambergris Caye, Belize with Island Divers Belize in September 2013. Good dives in the canyons with nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, morays and more.

Video: Belize Diving Shark, 3min.
Shark Action in Belize

Video: 1998 Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, 4min.
In 1998, 130 people, most of whom were just starting to practice and work towards forming what eventually became 24K Gold Music Shows, took a trip via cruise ship to visit Belize. Not everyone on the 24K Gold Music team was on the trip, and some on the trip were just relatives or friends of 24K Gold Music team members. However, most everyone on the trip thought it was a fantastic visit, and thoroughly enjoyed the day at the ruins!!! That was back in the days of camcorders that used video tape, so while I would likely record every minute of the visit NOW and likely do so on two different camcorders at once,.... back then the tapes were 20 minutes long, so I only filmed about 4 video tapes to cover that day's trip. Eventually, if people are interested, I may make a longer video and show more of the artifacts and such that were on display at the park, but for this coverage, I have edited it down to about 3 and 1/2 minutes of video. It was a time when many of the 24K Gold Performers were just little children, so it will take our fans back to the days we were just practicing, seven years before we began doing the shows in 2005. I hope you enjoy the trip back in time!

Video: Reportage choc: Cœur des Gangs: Belize en Amérique centrale - 2014 Entier, 47min.
Belize a été le premier endroit où un membre de gang ma donné une grenade de guerre dans les mains explique Ross Kemp. Alimentée par le chômage et un trafic de drogue constant, les gangs se livre à une guerre interne dans les bidonvilles. Ross rencontre les gangs qui contrôlent les rues et voit une partie des armes qui font de cette ville une zone de non droit.

Video: OUR TRAVELS IN GUATEMALA AND BELIZE, 32min.
We see Antigua (the 18th c. Spanish capital of Central America), scarlet macaws, Mayan ruins towering over the jungle, and the laid-back beaches of Belize

Video: San Pedro, Belize, 3min.
Just a quick bicycle ride around the beautiful Caribbean island...

Video: Scuba Diving Caye Caulker Belize, 6min.
Libby and I Scuba Diving on Caye Caulker in Belize

Video: Forbidden Passage (1941), 41min.
This entry in MGM's series of shorts, "Crime Does Not Pay", features the U.S. Department of Immigration's efforts to halt the smuggling of illegal aliens into the country. Desperate immigrants, tired of waiting for legal entry, pay exorbitant fees and risk a grisly death to enter by illegal means.

Video: Central Bank Of Belize Warning Explained, 2min.
Tammy Lier Gibson explains the context of the Central Bank of Belize posted warning.

Video: Honeymoon in Belize snapshot, 3min.
Honeymooning in Belize.

Video: Spotted Eagle Ray at Pelican Cay Belize, 1min.
Snorkeling at Pelican Cay Belize, this spotted eagle ray almost ran into me before he saw me above! Beautiful!!!

Video: Parrots of Belize, 3min.
Arman's 2nd Grade Presentation

April 13, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Dentists brighten children’s smiles at the Smile Clinic Too
Three dentists were on the island from April 7th to 9th, offering free dental care for students at Holy Cross Anglican School. The visiting dentists were at the San Pedro Smile Clinic Too on the invitation of Doctor Mark Johnson, the founder of the clinic. During the three days the doctors saw over 90 students. Heading the group is Dr. JoAnn Boraas, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, who explained that the three doctors wanted to do something special since it has been exactly 30 years that they graduated from dental school along with Dr Mark Johnson. “Dr Johnson, after establishing the Smile Clinic, has been bringing several of his former dental classmates to offer free clinics for the people and children of San Pedro. We decided to come this time around to volunteer at the clinic,” said Borass. The other two doctors are Kristi O’kane from Saint Paul Minnesota, USA and Kristin Kenner of Double Drake, North Dakota, USA.

Kama Bistro Bar and Lounge host Mud Wrestling Competition
It was a dirty fun night on Friday, March 4th as Kama Bistro Bar and Lounge hosted their signature Mud Wresting Competition. The completion started a little after 10PM when six young ladies entered the ring, ready to prove who was the strongest and fittest out of all. The lucky winner would not only walk away with bragging rights, but with a grand cash prize of $300. The gathered spectators enjoyed the match immensely, rooting for their favorite contestant while enjoying refreshing cocktails made by Kama’s friendly bartenders. In the end, only one young lady rose to the top as the winner of Kama’s Mud Wrestling Competition: The Snow Queen! Supporters cheered her one, and the celebration lasted throughout the night, with the rhythmic tunes of DJ Gracey Rock keeping the crowd pumped throughout the night.

US and Belize Governments destroy US $29 million worth of marijuana in a joint operation
The US government has announced that over US $29 million worth of drugs were destroyed in Belize during a joint five-day operation. The operation took place from March 15th through the 20th and comprised of law enforcement personnel in Belize and the US military Joint Task Force Bravo based in Soto Cano Air Base in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. In a press release issued from the US Soto Cano Air Base, both countries, working though the US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize, participated in a “highly successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize.” The release stated that the operation resulted in the destruction of 34 marijuana fields with approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants valued at an initial estimate of US $29 million. The joint team also found and destroyed 25 pounds of marijuana seeds believed to be used for cultivation in Belize.

Ambergris Today

PIC OF THE WEEK: Touch the Horizon in Belize.
Nothing short of spectacular sunset viewings in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize where you can touch the horizon. Sit on the shore line as the waves creep up to your feet or step into the water and head for the horizon. Enjoy these and many more amazing sunsets that can only be found in Belize. - picture by Gerry Badillo

Misc Belizean Sources

Paint Up A Storm Documentary
Paint Up A Storm was last week, and Cayo documentary filmographer Daniel Velazquez was there to capture all the festivities. The documentary on the project has been released. Looks like everyone had a fun and artistic time at the Cayo Welcome Center last week.. "Paint up a Storm, Winsom Foundation event, Cayo Welcome Center, shot and chopped by Daniel Velazquez, A soul project documentary"

BEL Advises Customers to be Wary of Impersonators
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises customers to request proper identification from any person claiming to be a BEL employee or contractor. All BEL employees and contractors carry an authorized BEL identification card. Customers should ask any individual who claims to be conducting work on behalf of BEL to present a valid identification card. If in doubt, customers should contact BEL directly. BEL reminds customers and the public that BEL employees and contractors are not authorized to and will NEVER request payment for services conducted at customers’ premises.

BDF, US partnerships built beyond medical, engineer missions
Belize Defence Force and U.S. service members are working side-by-side in various fields during New Horizons Belize 2014. While the main New Horizons mission involves civil engineer and medical readiness training amongst BDF, U.S. and Canadian members, there are also service members working behind the scenes being offered the same cooperative partnership opportunities. "My job here is to integrate with the BDF and ensure the security of (medical readiness training exercise) sites, to include the safety and security of personnel, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment at all hours," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Nick Ressler, New Horizons force protection. Being afforded opportunities to coordinate with other nations provides an array of benefits, but can also present challenges for the members to overcome - a valid chance to provide training and lessons learned for both sides.

Belize Band Fest held in Corozal town
The Ricalde Stadium in Corozal town was the venue today for the annual Belize Band Fest. The event brought together marching bands from around the country to perform in different categories and included “show” bands that present particular pieces for the enjoyment of the crowd. The day’s even started with a street parade, giving thousands of people who lined the main streets of Corozal town, an opportuity to witness the beauty and sounds of the young people. At the end of the event, St. Luke “Purple Spirit” marching band won the Drumline competition.

BCWU wins pay increase for BTL workers
State-owned telecom company Belize Telemedia Limited has been involved in negotiations with the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) over the latest collective bargaining agreement for workers. Those have come to an end this week and while they did not get 5% pay increase as asked for, they came close, with 4% salary increase given annually retroactive from October of last year. The workers are also getting a 1% increase in staff and management pension contributions, $25 more in phone benefit per month for staff, and free Digicell 4G for each staff member. After ten months of negotiations beginning last June, the final proposal from the BTL Executive Committee chaired by Anwar Barrow was approved by a 95% super majority of the Union’s membership.

BTL Employees Trust wants judgment
The Court of Appeal told attorneys fighting the second nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) that it would deliver judgment on Thursday, April 10, after hearing the case in October of 2012. That’s over a year ago and after several postponements of the judgment, the most recent coming on Thursday, the BTL Employees Trust, the front for the former owners of BTL, is demanding answers. In a press release the group says, quote, “It is almost five years since the nationalizations first began and no compensation has been paid [to] the Trust. In the meantime, massive interest is accruing on the compensation owed which Belizean taxpayers will also have to pay.” The release points out that it has now been five years since the first nationalization in 2009, which has been ruled unconstitutional by Belizean courts and now sits before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), which is likewise awaiting this decision so that it can hear both cases and issue a definitive ruling.

Squatters may seek legal advice
Squatters in the area behind the under-construction Lake Independence Boulevard are being told to vacate their properties immediately to make way for development in the area. The problem is that they say they have nowhere else to go, and their area representative now says he cannot help them. They had organized themselves last week to seek assistance, and it appears they may have found some. While she did not wish to share details, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman and Anthony Sylvestre confirmed that a group of squatters came to them seeking advice. Whether those possibilities include court action is as yet unknown, but PUP leader Francis Fonseca, who is familiar with the issue as Freetown area representative which borders Lake Independence and will be connected through the project, expounded on the party’s views later on Thursday at their press conference.

Cayo Northeast recall petition challenge proceeds
On Thursday in the Supreme Court, Justice Courtney Abel allowed three of the original five applicants in last week’s filing of the challenge to the decision of Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai to recommend the rejection of 337 signatures from the original 2,002 presented to the Governor General last November to proceed. Lead applicant Orlando Habet and two voters from the division were given the green light following arguments in the Supreme Court, where Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke conceded that two voters who signed the petition, George Manzanero and Sonia Moro, could proceed. They allege that their names were unfairly taken off for differing reasons. The fourth and fifth applicants, two workers in the organization and execution of the petition, were excluded by the judge despite their sufficient interest in the case so as to manage the case better. Their affidavit evidence can still be accepted, but Habet is now the sole representative of the 337 rejected signatories, as originator of the petition.

Two men die in shooting incident in Orange Walk
A shooting incident around 6 o’clock on Friday evening in Carmelita village, Orange Walk has left two men dead. The victims have been identified as Lucius Rhaburn and Saul Garcia. Police have not yet released details of the incident, but reports from Orange Walk says that a man and his son went to the farm situated a couple miles off the Phillip Goldson highway to check on the farm. While there, a vehicle with three occupants reportedly drove up. It has not yet been ascertained what transpired after the vehicle arrived; but a shot was fired at the vehicle. Rhaburn, fatally wounded, fell to the ground while two other persons ran away.

Fatal shooting in Belize City
A man was shot and killed this evening in Belize City. The victim has been identified as Darrington Lauriano, who reports say is no stranger to the police. The circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting are not yet known; but preliminary reports suggest that a government minister who is known to frequent the club may have witnessed the incident. The minister was unahrmed. There is no indication as yet who the assailant is, but sources say the person entered the establishment and the shooting happened near the back entrance of the club overlooking the canal.

Caye Caulker Lobster Fest logo competition!
Send your logos to cckrlobsterfest@hotmail.com Deadline: April 26th 2014 Check out our flyer for the rules and guidelines Share and have friends 'Like' the image Competition is valid to Residents of Belize only!

Western Ballaz Defeat the Heat
The Western Ballaz scored another victory tonight, defeating the Corazal Heat 80 - 65. The introductions are getting cooler every game. The next game is against the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, at home, and it'll be on April 26th. Go Ballaz! "The Cayo Western Ballaz might've had a slow start, but they came but quickly from 15 points behind, and by the end of the game, won by 15 points 80 - 65."

Baron Gin Commercial
Travellers Liquors has a new gin out, entitled Baron Gin, and they made a fun commercial for it(even though Cayo isn't in it). It looks like they are...sipping on gin and juice. "Our new Baron Gin ad! Beautiful for a great gin."

SI United Draw with FC Belize
"San Ignacio United lead the the match 2-1 all the way to the final minutes unfortunately a late penalty lead to a draw with the sub-champions FC Belize. Congratulations to Anthony "Keish" Gonzalez on his 3rd goal in the last 2 games."

Saved Musical
The Belmopan Choral Society is performing their 'Saved' musical, which will have Handel's Messiah and other gospel songs inspired from the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, around Cayo this weekend. They'll be doing 2 shows tomorrow, Sunday, April 13th. The first is at the Cayo Welcome Center, and will stat at 3:30pm, while the second is at the Sacred Heart Church, and will start at 5:00pm. They'll also perform at St. Ann's Church on Monday.

GRILLED FISH IN FOIL, BELIZE-ISLAND STYLE – SATURDAY WEEKLY RECIPE POST
The stuff you need: 1 to 2 lbs grouper (or other firm fish) – head & guts removed -(save for later, great fish stock) 1 green bell pepper – sliced in strips 1 to 1 ½ yellow onion – sliced in rounds 2 tomatoes – sliced in rounds 3 cloves garlic chopped 1 lime – cut in half bunch fresh cilantro chopped ¾ cup mayonnaise 1 tablespoon prepared mustard ¾ stick butter (sliced) Season salt to taste Hot sauce to taste Flour Tortillas

Happy Birthday Gorge Olivarez!!!!!
Gorge is 41 years old today as you can see on the cake, not 14 as he would try and have you believe:) I have baked 2 cakes in my life, one for my lovely wife and one for Gorge- That puts Gorge in pretty special company.

CJC Expo 2014
On Friday, 11 April 2014, CJC held its annual Expo, representing groups of students doing business, science, and math projects, and also booths representing businesses and organizations from the community. Here are some photos from that successful event.

The Belize Times

Bad News for Penner
Despite a heavy veil of protection placed by the Barrow Administration to defend corrupt UDP area representative Elvin Penner from facing justice no matter what, the People’s United Party has won yet another victory for the people of Belize. At 10:35 on Thursday morning, Supreme Court Judge Courtenay Abel granted permission for judicial review of the Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai’s wrongheaded decision to invalidate 337 signatures that had been collected in a petition to trigger the highly-anticipated Recall of the disgraced UDP Cayo North East politician. The petition had attracted 2,000 signatures or 34.4% of the registered voters, exceeding the required threshold. The permission for judicial review was brought forward by PUP Standard Bearer Orlando Habet and four other applicants: Ursulo Guerra, Carla Smith, Sierra Moro and George Manzanero. In Court this morning, their attorneys, Senior Counsel Lisa Shoman and Anthony Sylvestre Jr., argued confidently on their behalf, pressing that the applicants had been adversely affected by Tamai’s decision.

Mayor Bradley slams UDP Administration – Living conditions in Lake I, Port Loyola make him sad
Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley slammed the UDP Administration when he admitted that his Party has failed our country by neglecting the real needs of the people of Belize. Bradley, who appeared on the Open Your Eyes morning show this week, was asked about the reason behind his refusal to submit an application to run once more as a UDP Mayoral Candidate. Bradley was uncharacteristically honest and brutal when he explained that he isn’t too happy with the record of his Party in Government “When I drive in the Gungulung Area or certain areas in Port Loyola, it makes me really sad to see the conditions in which our people live and our people have to be asked to survive in, in terms of street conditions, housing conditions, long term policies…and it makes me feel that we are not doing what we should be doing or enough to have an impact on those people…and that is why I have difficulty…”, he explained.

Pharmacists threaten to protest over illegal appointment of Minister’s daughter
The Pharmacists Association of Belize issued a fiery press release on Wednesday April 9th 2014 in which it threatened to initiate protest actions if the controversial appointment of Minister Erwin Contreras’ daughter to the newly formed post of “Director of Drug Inspectorate” is not rescinded. Danini Contreras, a recent graduate of a University in Guatemala, was secretly pushed to the special post in total disrespect of well-trained and experience professionals in the pharmacy sector. When the news of the appointment surfaced, it stirred up an ant’s nest that no treatment has been able to calm. The Pharmacists Association demanded that the Minister of Health recall the appointment and that they are given greater respect through consultation before moving ahead with such a decision. Those calls have been ignored by Pablo Marin however, and instead of respect, the Association was called into to a closed door meeting on March 26th in which they were told to keep hush and that the Ministry was not prepared to rescind Contreras’ appointment.

Top Up Kings! – Saldivar’s get rich scheme exposed
Ever since the Opposition PUP called out the company name “Mytheon Solutions” at last month’s Budget Debate, UDP Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar has made a mighty run for cover. Saldivar, it seems, does not want to face the Belizean people and answer questions about his involvement in the company that reportedly made two millions dollars from doing business with the Ministry of National Security. What’s wrong with that, you may ask? Well, Saldivar is the Minister of National Security! That’s a serious conflict of interest! Possibly, even criminal. For many months Mytheon Solutions was a secret, but now it’s out. On November 2nd, 2009, Saldivar and his business partner Khalid Belisle registered Mytheon Solutions as their company with the address “St. Vincent Street Extension”. On the registration documents the Minister and his follower described the company’s business as “phone credit distribution”. On June 4th 2010, the company’s ownership changed hands from Saldivar/Belisle to only Saldivar. Then on August 26th, 2010, the ownership changed once more from John Saldivar to Darlene Saldivar, who is the Minister Saldivar’s wife.

Think About it
Hattieville is a village 16 miles from Belize City. It gets its name from hurricane Hattie which devastated Belize in 1961. The many residents from Belize City who lost their homes to ferocious winds and a rise in the sea which saw ten feet of water cover Belize City, were temporarily relocated to bungalow wooden huts hastily constructed 16 miles from the then capital. Over the years a village grew up. Over the years a new generation inherited the Village. Since the arrival of the UDP to government in 2008, so called gang members were given, literally given, house and lots at Hattieville for free. Their unchecked behavior and influence has taken hold on quite a number of youngsters in Hattieville. The results has been a growing member of young thugs and lawless elements in the village. Bus drivers regularly report the unruly and disrespectful behavior of many youths from Hattieville. There is a Police Station with about eight Police who do two twelve-hour shifts of four officers per shift. On Saturday evening 5th April at the basketball court, a mob of young men went on a minor rampage. The Hattieville Police could not control them. They picked fights and would listen to no one.

Caligula
Gaius Caesar Augustus Germanicus was an emperor who ruled the Roman Empire from 37 AD to 41 AD. As a boy, Gaius was given the nickname Caligula which means “little soldier’s boots”. The nickname came because he was favored by his father and was always in his father’s side, even accompanying him to war. Upon becoming emperor, Caligula was described as a “noble and moderate ruler during the first six months of his rule”. After that however, his madness, cruelty and brutality placed him among history’s most hated and insane tyrants. (I’m starting to see similarities already.) Caligula had a horse which he called Incitatus, which means “swift” or “at full gallop”. History records that Caligula loved that horse so much that he built him a marble stall, an ivory manger and even a house. Incitatus wore a jeweled collar and lived and ate better than most of Caligula’s subjects. He had servants around the clock who fed him a diet of oats mixed with gold flakes. When Caligula went over the edge was when he proposed to make his horse a senator and a chief counselor. While many historians have labeled Caligula as just plain crazy, writer Aloys Winterling in his book “Caligula: A Biography” (2011) suggests that there might have been some method to the emperor’s madness. Winterling opines that “insanity was not the only logical explanation for Caligula’s behavior”. He makes the case that many of the emperor’s wackier stunts, including his plan to appoint his horse a Senator, were done to make a point. Winterling believes that Caligula wanted to; first of all show his parliamentarians that they were worthless and that even an animal could do the work that they did. More importantly, it seems Caligula wanted to prove that he could do anything he wanted and get away with it. He was wrong, dead wrong! Caligula became the first Roman emperor ever to be assassinated.

Editorial: …BEFORE WE LOSE IT
“For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:44-45 Despite the corruption of international influences Belize is still a village. Complete with the empathy, budget, natural resources and collective conscientiousness of a sleepy riverside community. Our strength is the character of our people. Our common bond in the social contract is the respect and dignity amongst our people. Our pith is resilience and the survival culture of “making do with what ever we have”. In this aspect we, Belizeans, are consistent to a fault. We are rather tolerant, optimistic and God fearing. Mr. Price, the visionary that he was, solidified the plurality of our country by insisting that we not be allowed to call ourselves, creoles, maya or mestizo but that we adapt the uniformity of being called Belizeans. If you were to ask the average Belizean to describe Belize and our culture, the response would be balanced and accurate. That balance is the inheritance of the political deliberateness of pre-independence PUP leadership.

Moen Stars & Jaguars post wins in volleyball games
The Moen Stars girls and the Jaguars men posted wins in the 2014 senior volleyball competition at the Belize Elementary School auditorium over the weekend. The Moen Stars’ Jahshema Saunders, Analisa Habet, Nelissa Ramirez, Shelmadine Cacho and Sherika Burton scored hits against the Belmopan Mystics to win 25-7, 25-12 and 25-15. On Saturday, the Moen Stars dominated the Belmopan Warriors: 25-23, 25-9 and 25-10, even though Warriors’ Krystal Jones, Esther Middleton, Melissa Garnett and Kaylani Reid had scored in the 1st set. On Friday, the Moen Junior Stars’ Kevanna Sebastian, Clara Sabal, Juel Lewis, Mya Musa and Gianna Brown had also stopped the Warriors in their tracks: 25-12, 25-16 and 25-18.

Byron Pope wins Pre-Cross Country race
Benny’s Megabytes’ Byron Pope won the Cycling Federation’s 120-mile pre-Cross Country race on the George Price Highway from Leslie’s Imports in Belize City to Mount Hope and back on Sunday. Pope clocked 5:10:04 to win the $300 1st prize and a trophy.

FC Belize draws 2-2 against San Ignacio United
The FC Belize held San Ignacio to a 2-2 draw in the Belikin Cup closing season competition organized by the Premier league of Belize at the Norman Broaster Stadium on Sunday. Jarret Davis scored first for FC Belize in the 42nd minute, but Tony Gonzalez equalized for San Ignacio in the 44th minute. Tony Gonzalez scored San Ignacio’s 2nd goal in the 61st minute, but Jarret Davis converted a late penalty to equalize 2-2 before the long whistle. In Benque at the Marshalleck Stadium on Saturday night, Verdes upset the defending champs, the Belmopan Bandits: 2-1 with goals by Nahjib Guerra and Jamir Cano, while only Elroy Kuylen scored for the Bandits.

REFLECTIONS ON THE PUBLIC SQUARE – Quiet Rage
By Francis W. Fonseca In every corner of this beautiful land we call Belize, there is a “Quiet Rage” building up in the Belizean people. From north to south, east to west there is a growing sense of frustration and desperation. Scandal after Scandal! Corruption after Corruption uncovered! UDP lies and propaganda! UDP friends and family getting richer while the masses suffer! This is the Belizean reality in 2014! Some ask in frustration, why have the people not taken to the streets? Well, the answer is simple. This is a petty, vindictive UDP Government that governs thru fear and intimidation. But the breaking point is near. The people have had enough of scandals, lies and corruption. The PUP must now move to organize the people in a mass demonstration. The message must go out loud and clear, this UDP Government has lost the moral authority to continue governing Belize. It is time for Change!

Another broken promise!
The Ministry of Sports’ incompetence and failure to plan adequately has created a series of headaches for the planners of the annual Holy Saturday Cycling Classic. Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth had promised just 29 days ago that the Marion Sports facility would be ready for the traditional ending of the race. He said, “certainly we should be able by Easter to be able to have the Cross Country finishing there and have it opened to the public”. However, just the contrary is taking place. The Marion Jones Sporting ground continues in its everlasting construction phase and will NOT be ready for the end of the biggest cycling event of the year. The only portion of the facility that has been completed, or at least it seems so, is the fence that Longsworth’s private company built and for which he collected a cool two million dollars from the Government. If that money had been put to the cycling track instead, it would have been ready years ago.

Ariel Rosado Foundation offers scholarships
The Ariel Rosado Foundation is now accepting scholarship applications for Academic Year 2014-2015. Scholarships are available in the following categories: 1. Primary School Grants for students to learn to sail with the Belize Sailing Association 2. Secondary School scholarships covering the cost of Books, Tuition and Fees 3. Galen University Scholarship covering the cost of Tuition For further information visit our website at arielrosadofoundation@bz.com or call our office at 223-5674 or 600-6665. Closing date for applications is Friday 13th June 2014.

Pharmacists Association position on contracting of a Director of Drug Inspectorate
On the matter of the contracting of a Director of Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health, the Pharmacists Association of Belize maintains that: - On March 4th 2014, an individual was contracted in a non-existent post - The creation of the current “post” of Director of Drug Inspectorate has not gone through the proper processes expected in the Public Service and as such is not established - While the person holds a Bachelor of Science Degree with content to meet the minimum requirements for education in Pharmacy practice, this person does not meet the requirements for the post of Drug Inspector (whom she would be expected to supervise), much less that of a director’s position. - The person contracted: 1. Is not registered as a Chemist and Druggist under the laws of Belize, and as is required to be a Drug Inspector, as stated in the Ministry of Health’s job description

A Joker for a Mayor – Does Darrel Bradley take anything seriously?
There seems to be very little that Belize City Mayor Darrel Bradley takes seriously these days. It appears that he treats most things with varying levels of significance, depending on how personally related they are to him. He has consistently faced the risk of criminal proceedings for contempt of court for postponing and arguing his way out of settling a huge outstanding debt to the sanitation company, Belize Waste Control, which he had given an undertaking to pay off while he was the City Council’s legal advisor under former Mayor Zenaida Moya four years ago. He recently admitted to spending all his time at Court doing private legal work instead of being at City Hall, looking after the very important duties of his office. No wonder the City is under such neglect, disaster and chaos.

UDP Incompetence causes major economic loss in OW
The Orange Walk Town Council expresses its utter dismay and outrage at the Orange Walk Sports Council and the Ministry of Sports. Because of incompetence, neglect and mismanagement of the People’s Stadium by the Sports Council, the community has been negatively impacted. The loss to Orange Walk is significant. Band Fest is an event which attracts thousands of Belizeans from every corner of the nation. On April 12th, they would all have been here in Orange Walk…buying from our small businesses, staying in our hotels, enjoying all that Orange Walk Town has to offer. Twenty-three vendors who would have been out at the People’s Stadium have lost that opportunity. In addition, participants and spectators must make other arrangements and pay more to go all the way to Corozal, with only a week’s notice. The OWTC understands the decision by organizers to move Band Fest 2014 to the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal. In all such events, the welfare and safety of participants and spectators must be of primary concern. The fact is that the People’s Stadium was not adequate to host the event – not because of a lack of facilities, but because the Sports Council was negligent in preparation of the field. Despite months of notice and more than sufficient time, the Sports Council was unable to provide even simple maintenance to make the field ready for Band Fest 2014. That is unacceptable and unforgivable.

Straight Talk: GOB’s Wasteful Spending
The government should stop wasting thousands of dollars weekly on countless propaganda advertisements that are of no use to the Belizean people. Those advertisements cost the hard working taxpayers of this country close to a million dollars every year. The propaganda advertisements feature crones of the government telling us about the wonderful job the administration is doing while hard time, suffering and poverty abound throughout our communities. There are endless ways in which the huge sum of money can be used to truly benefit the Belizean people. The National Sport Council needs some of those funds to help promote sports in the country. Presently the council can’t help the youth of Belize with a simple ball much less a set of sporting gears. The public clinics in the urban and rural areas of the nation can also use some of those funds to have basic supplies like flu medication, syringes, cotton, aspirin, dehydration salts, and bedding supplies in stock. Some of the big bucks the government is wasting on weekly political propaganda advertisements can also be used to promote education in the country. That can be done by assisting primary schools with textbooks for students, teaching aids, and suitable furniture to enable the children to sit properly to learn their work instead of relying on teachers to bear more and more of such cost out of their small salaries.

Students attend XX HACIA Democracy Summit in Panama
Students of the Belize High School attended the Harvard Association Cultivating Inter-American Democracy (HACIA) Summit held this year in Panama City, Panama from March 13-16, 2014. According to a Brief History of HACIA Democracy, it was established twenty years ago on May, 1994, by two undergrad students and, Jason Price, a teacher at the International School of Panama, who envisioned a political simulation focused specifically on issues of the Americas. Now in 2014, twenty years later, the conference returned not only to the same country and city, but to the same hotel, Hotel El Panamá, to celebrate the Twentieth Summit of the Americas. Organizers of the event noted that HACIA Democracy has become the “most diverse simulation of the Inter-American System in the world with more than 600 delegate attendees from over 30 schools from all over the hemisphere.”

A Father’s Love in Raising a Daughter
When I was younger, at least once a month, my younger sister and I would take the train into New York City by ourselves to meet our dad for lunch. We began these get-togethers around ages 13 and 11, respectively. It was during these luncheons that we learned the importance of developing relationships with men, because our father was our first date. During these one-hour luncheons, dad would allow us to choose a restaurant near his job. Sis and I would arrive at his job promptly at noon. Because he frowned on us not being on time, we made sure that we were never late. We enjoyed spending time with him, and he enjoyed our funny personalities and all the stories we told him. We could talk about everything and anything. Our father had the traditional role of a parent who was present in our lives; he gave us “father love.” After we arrived at his job, the security department called his office to introduce us. He told the person to send us up to the 15th floor and he introduced us to his co-workers. We were constantly reminded to call everyone by Mr., Miss, Ms., or Mrs. He would brag to his colleagues about our latest achievements, and they would acknowledge how brave we were to take the one-hour train ride into the city by ourselves. They commented on how clean we looked and how mannerly we were, and they always wanted to know how well we were doing in school. One of our dad’s favorite co-workers was a lady by the name of Ms. Nancy. Ms. Nancy was a secretary who loved to chew gum and who always had a beehive hairstyle. She looked like she lived in the 50s, or maybe the 50s never left her. We always enjoyed our conversations with her until we left at 1p.m. for our luncheon date.

How Big-H changed Belize’s Coconut Fortunes
Big H launched its fresh bottled natural coconut water at the Agricultural Show in 1998. Before this…coconut production in Belize was falling rapidly…especially since a disease called “lethal yellowing” was rapidly disseminating the coconut palms. The sale of dried coconut was still vibrant, since housewives still used it to make home-made coconut milk for use in baking creole bread and preparing the popular “rice and beans”. A small amount was used in cottage industries to make coconut oil. However, even this was in decline, since importers started to bring coconut milk powder in convenient sachets for a rather inexpensive price…and they also imported large amounts of coconut oil already packed for retail sale. Today, this imported milk powder has almost completely displaced the grating of dried local coconuts. If Big H had not successfully introduced and marketed its coconut water…coconut production in Belize would have continued its decline, and today production would probably be negligible.

AMAZIN GRACE: If you see your Brother standing by the road
I like to observe things. Those who recognize my habit of reading past the actions and words of a person to the heart, often call my talent of observing: discernment. Those who become uncomfortable at my perceptions call me ‘interfering’. Either way, I enjoy getting lost in my environment; noticing how people interact when they feel no one is watching. One common occurrence I see is the common man or woman’s reaction to homeless people. I once saw a man sneer at the dirty, homeless man as he sat in his wheelchair begging outside a popular stationary providing establishment. The average person barely gives homeless people a thought or a prayer, but thankfully God is not so cold in His regard. There are several arguments why the homeless people are given such cool and often cruel receptions by passersby. Often times, homeless people can trace their current troubles back to some kind of addiction, whether it be gambling or drugs. No child grows up thinking, “yeah, I wanna be homeless and poor”. No youth expects their prospective job opportunities to include begging on the streets. Circumstances, however, can drive a person to cross boundaries that they would normally not have toed. Despite knowing that every poor soul on the street has a story, homeless people are more often than not seen as less than. Their worth as human beings are written off based on their seemingly lack of contribution to society.

Citizens irate over removal of airport seats
Numerous complaints have been received by the BELIZE TIMES about the sudden removal of seats from inside the Phillip S. W. Goldson International Airport public waiting area. There has been no explanation for the decision, but it has terribly inconvenienced passengers and visitors to the airport. In particular, senior citizens who must now sit outside the terminal or make their way upstairs to the waving gallery for a seat to rest their feet.

Maya Leaders Correct US Capital’s Attorney
On March 27th, 2014, US Capital through its attorney Michael Peyrefitte gave an interview to the various media houses where he boldly stated with certainty that, ‘The only time this matter [US Capital oil activities] was brought to court was when there was an issue as to what cut the Mayan leadership would get from this.’ He went further, ‘The Mayas should be just as honest [as the teachers] with the people of Belize and say their only issue with this case is their cut of the pie.’ In the corporate world everything is about money. This is what, as a People, we need to understand about oil companies and perhaps that accounts for the attorney’s uninformed and offensive statement. When the Maya people say land rights, they hear money. When the Maya people demand for consultation, they hear money. However, when we talk about our culture, the environment, right relations, they hear nothing. For a corporation, it is always about money, so of course negotiations with them include discussions about money. This perhaps is the only part of the relationship that the company (and the government) is able to understand. This exemplifies the reasons behind why it is essential for the court’s support to assist the Mayas in protecting everything that is important to us – our culture, environment, AND economic interests that are protected by the constitution and the Petroleum Act. In addition, Article 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples also affords us these rights.

A stranger in Finny’s home
Mesopotamia’s disgraceful Area Representative is well known for his crass behavior and lack of respect for women, but it now seems that his disrespect is coming home to roost. The Finny one is not only suffering from his back, but also from some serious blues and bad macobi. He even had to complain to his Papa Dean, who told him to do something drastic about his problem. Papa Dean told Finny that they can’t afford anymore scandals from none a unuh. Penner, Jon Jon Saldivar, Castro and Faber are enough embarrassments for the UDP. To try and quiet the noise the bukut Minister is said to have offered to pay a well known gang leader $54,000 to please stay away from his house. But the word is that there is still a stranger in Finny’s home.

Blogs

THE HOTEL RE-Opens on Ambergris Caye, Belize
“The Hotel” was built as a high-end resort and has been in the works for about five years. It is located just over the bridge on a very pretty lagoon side piece of property and has stunning ocean and lagoon/sunset views. Two years ago, it was almost complete. Molly Malone’s, an Irish bar (the owner is an American Irishman) opened. A New York style deli and wine bar were announced. My heart soared. NY STYLE DELI? Yesterday, I stopped by with friends for lunch. I got very little scoop…only that the place still looks beautiful (but need some serious clean up and finishing) and that the original owner is going to finish the construction and the hotel rooms. Here is what I saw. (And my pictures are taken with an IPhone 4s…my lost camera seems to be SUPER SADLY permanently lost. I am not getting over this one easily.) The lobby. Tres chic. Though I’m not quite sure about the Marilyn Monroe and James Dean pictures. But who am I?

Belize Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to Resign Soon, Sources Say
Could general elections be imminent in Belize or is it wishful thinking on the part of the growing numbers who are disenchanted with the Barrow administration? That is what sources within the Belize Police Department say the impending resignation of Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie suggests. A source from within the Department confirmed to NBZLive on Saturday morning that Whylie’s letter of resignation has already been written but has not been submitted as yet. But don’t shed any tears for the ComPol because his actions are solely motivated by self preservation. Whylie, we are told is making the move to secure his pension since he may not have a job under a PUP administration. With a writ of mandamus hanging on to him, Whiley would lose whatever he has accrued in benefits for his years of service, thus his decision. Remember back in February, Prime Minister said that he may have to make the difficult decision a second early elections because of the scandals rocking his administration?

International Sources

Pilot Captures Crazy-Surreal Photo Series By Basically Just Sticking His Camera Out The Cockpit
Alex MacLean is used to seeing the world from up high. The photographer is also a licensed pilot, and he's spent years "sticking his camera out the cockpit" of a small Cessna 182, snapping what he sees below. The result is an astounding photo essay that pits man-made civilization against nature, animals against industry, and humans against the forces that, from above, are clearly mightier than we'll ever be.

Could Fairies Be Real? Alleged Real-Life Fairy Photos, Fairy Sightings
Roland, 79: “While doing a development in Belize where we had to clear roads and paths through the forest of Malacate Beach. One bright morning, no clouds or fog, while at work doing that clearing of bush, a fairy approximately 6 inches long wearing a black and green vest was flying toward me about shoulder height right in eye sight. It seemed as though he was coming straight at me … Then I noticed about 3 feet behind him was a large black bird that was on his … [tail] trying to catch him. “I could feel what he was saying even though I could not hear what he was saying and it was help me, help me, help me. But it happened so fast, my mind could not get into action in the split seconds that this accrued. And last I seen he was flying into the forest with this big black bird even closer behind him. “This took place 15 years ago on the Beach area of Malacate in Belize. I constantly remember this young fairy’s flight and he hope he got away but I doubt it.”

CCJ rules against doctor in case of child developing cerebral palsy
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has dismissed an appeal by a Belizean-based doctor against a lower court ruling that he failed to follow procedure sanctioned as the proper practice for an obstetrician during the pregnancy of a woman who later gave birth to a child with cerebral palsy. The five-member panel of the CCJ said it had also ordered costs against Dr Raju Meenaalli in the case that also involved doctor-patient relationship. The Court heard that Georgia Matute had visited the clinic of Dr Meenavalli, an obstetrician and gynaecologist after she discovered that she was pregnant. The Court was told that at the time she informed Dr Meenavalli that her last menstrual period (LPM) occurred on April 27, 2000, but the doctor ignored her instructions and noted that her LMP was March 27, 2000. Consequently, he proceeded on the basis of an erroneous LMP which led to Matute's premature delivery of the baby, Janae Matute, which eventually caused Janae's development of cerebral palsy.

REVEALED: How the Pope begged Margaret Thatcher to abandon the Falklands in 1982
NEWLY uncovered documents have revealed how the Vatican tried to convince Margaret Thatcher to abandon the Falklands at the height of the war with Argentina. Pope John Paul II made the private plea during his visit to the United Kingdom, the first by a reigning pontiff, in 1982. Though officially an “honest broker” between both sides, he expressed his fear that a military defeat for Argentina would mean the toppling of its right-wing military dictatorship in favour of a left-wing government, which would allow the Soviet Union more dominance in the region. However a top-secret memorandum, uncovered after 32 years, shows how Mrs. Thatcher held her ground, saying Argentina's forces should “go home and leave the Queen’s people and Queen’s territory”. Already facing mounting casualties and pressure from the US, the Prime Minster rebuffed any talk of compromise because “there could be no compromise between right and wrong”, stating that: “while war was a terrible evil, there were worse things including the extinction of all that one believed in”.

IMF: Latin America and the Caribbean in low gear in 2014
On Tuesday April 8, 2014, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook (WEO). From the discussions, the IMF believes that the global economy will be supported by the stronger performance of the advanced economies, particularly that of the United States. Expectations for an improved economic outturn in the United States is likely to outstrip the weakness in some of the emerging markets, such as some of the infamous BRIC economies as well as weakness in Japan and Europe. Overall World Output growth of 3.6 per cent is projected for 2014, further increasing to 3.9 per cent in 2015 from 2013’s growth of 3.0 per cent.

Videos

Video: Glimpse of Belizean Fashion Designer - Joris Hendrik Fashion Show

Video: Vu sur Terre Belize, 26min.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4wBi0lNuDg, 2min.
We drove out to Caracol by ourselves and ran into a friend,that we had never met, One of those facebook things that happens to us more and more, especially in Belize.. to all our friends and fellow Youtubers. thank you for help us hit the One Million viewers mark a bit ago without all your help it would not have been possible

Video: Colinda Cabanas, Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min.
Caye Caulker is a small limestone coral island off the coast of Belize in the Caribbean Sea measuring about 5 miles (8.0 km) (north to south) by less than 1 mile (1.6 km) (east to west).

Video: Travel Cooking with Bruce ~ Conch Ceviche from San Pedro, Belize!, 6min.
Today, Bruce shows us how to make Green Curry Coconut Shrimp, AND Fried Shrimp Dumplings. [Yes! A double feature!] We are again in San Pedro, on our beloved island, gorgeous Ambergris Caye in Belize, Central America. The dumplings are leftovers from the 'Travel Cooking with Bruce:Shrimp Dumplings in San Pedro' Episode.

Video: Cave tubing in Belize, 5min.

April 12, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Fishermen targeting shark for export to Guatemala caught
Two fishermen were busted with shark meat and fins amongst other items when they attempted to export the products to Guatemala. The two men are Jose Chulin and Lineker Ortega, both Belizean fishermen. The incident highlights a problem that conservationists have been clamoring for years, a total review of the shark fishing trade and better enforcement of shark fishing regulations. Those talks have not seen much progress, but the incident, which occurred on March 22nd in southern Belize, brings to light the issue about the shark trade once again. According to the Fisheries Department, when the two men were in the process of being transported to Punta Gorda Town, they managed to escape in the dark of night, and despite searching the entire coastline, the men were not found. It was not until the following morning, on Saturday March 22nd, when a person called TIDE and reported that two fishermen had requested his assistance in exporting salted marine products to Guatemala. TIDE immediately responded and that is when they executed the arrest.

San Pedro Sports Committee hosts developmental football workshop
The San Pedro Sports Committee hosted a five-day technical and capacity building football workshop on Ambergris Caye. The workshop was geared to evaluate the skills of young athletes and at the same time, offer a Level 1 course to aspiring coaches. The workshop ended with an all-day football fair at the Saca Chispas Football Field on Saturday March 5th, in which footballers from all levels displayed their skills and abilities. These trainings include grassroots football for children between the ages of six and 12 years, formation of football academies, capacity building for coaches, beach and five-a-side football and capacity building for referees. “In San Pedro Town, we conducted two simultaneous workshops which included capacity building for coaches and the formation of football academies for sub-13, sub-15 and sub-17 teams… we look at the basic football philosophy and we also put what is being taught into practice. These are some of the ways that FIFA is helping Belize to develop football,” said Cowo.

San Pedro Tigersharks take a bite out of the Toledo Diplomats!
Week nine of the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) saw a crushing defeat for the Toledo Diplomats, the only team that had managed to win the Tighersharks in the league thus far. The San Pedro Tigersharks redeemed themselves and finished some unsettled basketball business with the southern team on Saturday 5th. So when the game started, it was on to settle the “beef.” The second quarter was no different, as it was clear that the home team was in to seal the game. Ervin Avila of Toledo opened the second quarter with a two point basket and came back a few seconds after with yet another excellent execution, putting the game at 25 to 11 apiece. Veteran Rico Black led the charge for the Tigersharks and after a successful cross over to Louis Pitterson, the good luck net shook. It was not the only time the net shook for the night, because after a slight improvement in the performance of the Diplomats and the dominant islanders, the halftime ended at 44 to 21; Tigershark was in the lead by a whopping 23 points.

Ambergris Today

Norwegian Cruise Line Invites Media on Tour of Norwegian Jewel
On the day that a group of Belize media personnel was invited by Norwegian Cruise Line to a special tour of their ship Norwegian Jewel there were three other ships that made calls to Belize; two of them were Norwegian ships while the others were for Carnival and Princess. Needless to say the Tourism Village in Belize City was teeming with activity from busy cruise passengers shopping at the village and others heading for tours around the country. The Norwegian Jewel is a 965-foot ship with the guest capacity of 2,376 guests. It is fully air-conditioned, has staterooms, villas and suites, 11 dining areas, seven bars & lounges, several pools, clubs, theaters, arcades, fitness center, spa, medical center and even a casino. That and much more is compacted into 15 decks or levels that encompass the state-of-the-art vessel. Amongst all the four vessels on call that Wednesday, April 9, 2014, between 8,000 to 10,000 cruise ship passengers were in Belize.

Breathalyzer Presented to Island as Part of National Anti-Drinking/Driving Campaign
The Belize Department of Transport presented the San Pedro Town Council and SP Traffic Department with a new breathalyzer as part of the ‘Think Before You Drink’ national campaign that was officially launched this week. On Thursday, April 10, 2014, the "Think before you drink. Don't drink and drive.” Campaign was launched on San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye at Central Park. Marion Mejia presented important facts of Drinking and Driving after which Mr. Chris Nuñez, Manager of Traffic Department, addressed the audience and stressed on the importance of sensitization and education on drinking and driving. He asked the community for their utmost understanding and cooperation for all to have safer roads.

Farewell to Stephen ‘Papi Box’ Manuel
It is with deep regret and sincere sorrow that we learned the passing of Stephen Manuel known to most people locally and internationally as Papi Box today Friday, April 11, 2014. Papi came to San Pedro as a young child and lived his entire life in San Pedro. A more suitable name for this friend would have been “Smily” since he shared a constant smile to everyone he came in contact with. This smile was shared with friends he served and entertained as a bartender for many years. He also shared his glee with passengers in his taxi and later on with his big clientele at Papi’s Diner where he excelled as a restaurateur. Papi Box served this community he made his home as a brave and roaring Lion.

Ariel Rosado Annual Bike Ride and Scholarship Giveaway
The Ariel Rosado Annual Bike Ride will be held on Saturday 10th May 2014 starting at Galen University campus in Central Farm and ending at Hour Bar and Grill in Belize City. Ride for Scholarships, Ride for your health, Ride for Fun. Registration and further information available at Ordonez Bike Shop on Pelican Street or Smiling Meats on New Road or call 223-5674/600-6665. Scholarships are available in the following categories: 1. Primary School Grants for students to learn to sail with the Belize Sailing Association 2. Secondary School scholarships covering the cost of Books, Tuition and Fees 3. Galen University Scholarship covering the cost of Tuition For further information visit our website at arielrosadofoundation@bz.com Or call our office at 223-5674 or 600-6665 Closing date for applications is Friday 13th June 2014.

Misc Belizean Sources

Benque Earth Day Celebrations
The Benque House of Culture is having an Earth Day celebration on Tuesday, April 22nd, starting at 8:30am. They'll do a clean up and painting campaign at Centennial Park. They are looking for more capable volunteers, so if you're interested, call 823-2697. Happy Earth Month! "Our Act of Green will be to maintain and upkeep the beautification project at the Centennial Memorial Park, join in and be a part of the green wave for Earth day , because it is more than just a day, but a lifestyle."

Santa Elena Easter Marathon
Feelgood news of the day. The Santa Elena Primary students had their Easter marathon yesterday. More pictures here. Thanks go out to Janet Lopez, for organizing the wonderful event. "Janet Lopez hosted her second annual Easter marathon give away. Over 1000 students and not one left without sticky hands, a smile and something in their hands to remember the day. MONTHS of collecting and sorting, and accumulating. What an incredible, thoughtful, giving, loving, woman. Okay...what's for dinner?"

Western Ballaz Host Heat
The Western Ballaz host the Corozal Heat tomorrow night, Saturday, April 12th, at 8:00pm. The last time they played, in Corozal, the Ballaz beat them 78 - 76. The expo game this time will be the SHC second string team against a Benque junior selection. There will be lots of prizes, food, and drinks, and this time, there will be a $25 free throw contest too. Meluchi's will host the after party. "Game again this Saturday against Corozal Heat at SHC. This game will start at 8:00 p.m. Thanks for supporting your WB boys!!"

BEL Holy Thursday Hours
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) advises customers that opening hours for all BEL offices on Holy Thursday, April 17, 2014 will be 8am til 2pm

National anti-drink driving campaign launched
Countrywide today, especially in the major municipalities, a road safety campaign targeting drunk driving was launched. Communications Officer for the project, Daedra Haylock, told us that of particular interest to them is young people, who are being encouraged to consider the consequences of unsafe driving as a result of intoxication, which does not begin at the “falling-down drunk” stage, but with the very first beer or liquor. Haylock says alcohol-selling establishments may be asked to offer incentives to promote safe driving. The campaign is an off-shoot of the National Road Safety Project. According to Swedish communication specialist Jette Ravn, Belize was selected for several reasons including a high incidence of traffic fatalities and a generally cavalier attitude toward alcohol use.

UB hosts fourth annual research conference
Belize’s national university, the University of Belize, is trying to build the expertise and research background of both students and faculty and promote the academic, professional and intellectual development of all Belizeans. For the fourth straight year, the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) hosted a research conference showcasing the best of its students’ and faculty members’ research work, particularly in. The conference featured a wide variety of topics and Dean of the Faculty, Vincent Palacio, mentioned a few he is looking forward to hearing, including a report on Belize’s progress toward achieveing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Palacio said that the ten best thesis papers delivered by students are being featured today.

Gardening students carry out beautification project in Cayo
Three students of Belize Botanic Gardens’ Professional Gardeners’ Training have designed and installed a garden at the public bus stop at the junction of the Chial Road and the George Price Highway in Cayo. Prior to the upliftment project by Ivan Tzib, Rozana Lemus and Byron Jaimie, the area was covered by trash and so the installment of the garden was timely to make the area look better. Members of staff of the Belize Botanic Gardens have pledged to assist with the upkeep of the garden by keeping the plants watered and emptying the garbage bin regularly. The initiative of the students is commendable, but lamentably not even 24 hours after the hard work of putting in the facility to beautify the area, vandalism appears to have already been visited upon the project as one of the plants has disappeared.

Hurricanes to Blow into Belize
The Belmopan Bandits are hosting the Houston Hurricanes tonight for an international friendly game. It'll be at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium, and it starts at 7:30pm. "Hurricanes head Coach Brendan Keyes said I have been working on this game for a while now so for it to be confirmed today was worth all the hard talks we had. It's a great experience to travel over seas for the lads, myself and I look forward to see some beautiful places in Belize and mix with the locals. Team Captain Jorge Vela will make the trip after getting the good news today getting his papers and making him eligible to travel. I can't wait to play the Bandits Vela said with a big smile, it's great that Coach Keyes can get us these types of games."

Change of contact number at Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve
The Institute of Archaeology would like to inform all Tour Operators, Tour Guides and the General Public that the contact number for the Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve has been changed to 804-0207.

Buy Property in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Buying any type of property is a major decision and a great investment. It can be very intimidating, especially if you are considering buying property in another country or in an island such as Ambergris Caye, Belize. However with proper research and the right information the process is simplified and doesn’t have to be intimidating. When you make the decision to purchase property there are many things you need to consider. You need to decide where you want to purchase, how much you want to spend and what type of property you want to invest in. One type of investment that you can consider is purchasing a foreclosed property. A foreclosed property is simply a property that has been recovered by the bank from those that have stopped making payments towards their loan in an effort to sell the property to recover the money that was lent to the borrower. In these cases, when a bank has foreclosed on a property, they put the property on the market for sale and normally would be willing to accept less than market value for it. Therefore this simply means that you can get a great deal on the property.

Yes!! It is here. Rugby in Belize
Rugby Belize has announced the appointment of Jonathan Woodward, as Global Ambassador. This is a proud moment for Rugby Belize and hopefully the first of many exciting announcements in the future regarding the development of Rugby in Belize

American Actor David Cross
Hollywood Actor David Cross dives with our friends at Amigos Del Mar Dive Shop on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. This is really cool.

BELIZE: COME FLAUNT YOUR LOVE FOR THE MOTHERLAND!
Belize is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Flanked on the East side by the stunning Belize Barrier Reef, this exotic country is breathtaking to behold. Belizeans are some of the luckiest people in the world -- they wake up every morning in paradise. This website is a shrine to all things Belizean. Show your love for the motherland and flaunt your Belizean pride. We have a lot of cool stuff in our shop we just know you'll love. Welcome! Have a look around.

Channel 7

Cuban Twins And A Nigerian Busted With Bogus Documents At PGIA
2 Cuban brothers and a Nigerian are in custody tonight after they were busted by the Immigration Department at the PGIA with fake immigration documents. The men flew in to Belize, and it is believed that they were trying to make their way to the US. 40 year-old Cuban twin brothers, Joel Jaimes Gonzalez and Joany Jaimes Gonzalez, and 53 year-old Nigerian Patrick Joshua Aibaengbee, landed on the Avianca flight from El Salvador yesterday. The brothers tried to get into country with fake passports, and fake Belizean visas. In the case of Joel and Joany Gonzalez, the walked up to the arrival section and presented 2 separate Guatemalan passports. Joel handed over a passport which said that his name was Nestor Bayona Carreno, his brother Joany, handed over a passport which said that his name was Felipe Bayona Carreno. If the fake documents passed inspections, the 2 brothers would have been able to enter the country legally because Guatemalan citizens do not require a Belizean visa to travel here. Luckily, the immigration officials processing the documents became concerned and made closer checks. On verification, they found out that the Guatemalan passports were forged with the photographs of the brothers superimposed into them to look official, in an attempt to allow these impostors to get through immigration.

Global Study On Homicide Blows Up Belize
The United Nations Global Study on Homicide was launched yesterday in London, and, using 2012 figures, it shows Belize with the third highest murder rate in the world. As regions, Southern Africa and Central America have the highest murder rates per hundred thousand, and Belize with the 2012 rate of 44.7 murders per hundred thousand Belize was third highest in the world behind Honduras and Venezuela. Belize's figures for 2013 showed a sharp decline in the murder rate to 29.8 murders per hundred thousand citizens. Still that is high because, globally, the average homicide rate is 6.2 per 100,000 people, but Central America has rates four times higher, more than 24 victims per 100,000. Interestingly the statistics also show that Belize City was among the most dangerous cities on earth with a murder rate of 105.1 murders per hundred thousand citizens. Under the heading for each country's most populous city's murder rate, only Guatemala City at 116, Caracas Venezuela at 122 and Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis at 131 were higher. Juarez Mexico and San Pedro Sula which have the highest city murder rates in the world, were not listed in that category because they are not the most populous cities in their countries.

Penner Was Questioned
At a press conference yesterday, Leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca complained that police had not yet gotten a statement from Elvin Penner and that the investigation file is incomplete. Fonseca suggested that police were dragging their feet and if that continued, the PUP would go to the court to find Commissioner Allen Whylie in contempt. But 7News has confirmed that Penner was questioned by police - indeed he did not give a statement - because he told the investigators he would have to consult with his attorney. Generally, accused persons only rarely give sworn statements to police. Police have handed over the file to the DPP, Cheryl Lynn Vidal who told the media two weeks ago that, quote, "I have not yet reached the stage where I am satisfied, on what has been presented to me by the police, that I can properly direct that charges be laid." End quote.

Con Man Caught In The Act
A man has been going around Belize City impersonating a BEL collection agent. His con is that he tells residential home owners that he can get their light bills discounted - they just have to give him the bill and the money, and he'll get it done. After that he disappears, with the money and the bill never to be seen again. The man presents himself with a bogus ID to facilitate the scam. Reports of this sort have been going around for weeks - but this morning one sharp Belize City resident put a stop to his game. The Buttonwood Bay resident told the man to hold on while he got his money together. The resident used that time to call police who responded quickly and picked up the man. Despite our best efforts, police have not provided any further details, but BEL did send out a release today. It says that BEL advises customers to request proper Identification card - one that looks like this - from any person claiming to be a BEL employee or contractor. Any and every BEL employee claiming to be conducting work on behalf of the power company can be asked to present a valid identification card.

Leon Gomez Convicted, Emerges Emotional From Court
22 year-old Leon Gomez is at prison tonight awaiting his sentencing hearing after he was convicted on Wednesday night of manslaughter in the courtroom of Justice Adolph Lucas. Gomez was charged with murder for the stabbing death of 27 year-old Salvador Martinez. Viewers may remember that on January 18, 2010, at around 6 p.m., Ladyville Technical High School and Sadie Vernon High were having a football match on the MCC Grounds when a brawl broke out in the stands. Martinez tried to part the fight, and while he was trying to protect a friend, he got stabbed in the chest and abdomen area, which caused him to bleed out and die. The main crown witness was one of the young men who was in the fight that day. He told the court that he had a misunderstanding with another man who grabbed his phone out of his hand, and while he was arguing with the person who took it away, he felt a pint bottle hit him across the head. That's when the fight broke out, and he saw Martinez fighting with Gomez. The fight stopped when someone shouted that police was coming, and when he looked over, he saw that Martinez was suffering from multiple stab wounds. The prosecution, led by Crown Counsel Portia Staine, also got Gomez's caution statement admitted into evidence. He told police in that statement that he was fighting with a man who he stabbed in the hand to release him. Gomez said that when the man released him, he ran away.

A River Used To Run Through It
The development what's to be Lake I Boulevard has been making the news since last Friday because of the squatters who were in the way, but tonight, we report on it once again because the development has caused the contractors to block the river. Tonight, we spoke with the Contractor, Francis Woods, who is the Director of Cisco Construction, and he told us that they started filling the river 1 and a half to 2 weeks ago. He tells us that it is important because they will have to operate heavy equipment in the area to drive piles into the ground for the bridge which will connected the boulevard to Belama's Chetumal Street. When we asked him if there is going to be any long term environmental consequence of doing that, he told us that he doesn't have the documents in front of him to be able to say exactly, but he says that an EIA was done, which was properly vetted and signed off on by the DOE and NEAC. He says that the workers are following the recommendations of the Department of Environment to the letter to ensure that there is little impact on the environment in the area.

Parlacen Makes Overtures To Belize
A body called "Parlacen" - as in the Parliament of Central America wants Belize to be a member. Parlacen is an extension of SICA, the Central American Integration System, and it's a political institution with headquarters in Guatemala City. It facilitates regional discussions about political, economic and cultural affairs of common interest. Today the president of the parliament Paula Rodriguez came to Belize ot meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Foreign Ministe3r Wilfred Elrington. Elringotn says they are recruiting Belize ofr membership:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington "It's interesting that years ago you initiatives were made by Belize to become full members of Parlacen and the opposition was raised by the Guatemalans. But the present Guatemalan administration is fully on board with the idea that Belize should be a part of Parlacen. As a matter of fact Ms. Paula who is Paula Rodriguez who is the president of Parlacen is a member of President Molina's party in Guatemala and her visit is with the full vetting of the president of Guatemala and the present administration in Guatemala. Her invitation is for us to become observer members of Parlacen."

Trade Ambassador Bert Tucker Passes
Former Belize Trade Ambassador Adalbert Tucker died in Jamaica last night. Tucker had been ailing from complications of prostate cancer. He went to Jamaica - where his sister is the honorary counsel for Belize - to seek treatment, but his condition was too advanced to be effectively contained. He took a turn for the worse two weeks ago and died last night. Tucker has an impressive international resume as an international development consultant. He had graduate degrees from UWI and Harvard, and worked in Jamaica during the Manley years, and also in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Liberia. But his friend and former boss Wilfred Elrington remembers him best as a humanist and a patriot that he first met as a boy on west Street in Belize City:.. Hon. Wilfred Elrington "A very passionate nationalist; very powerful sense of humor; a tremendous memory and just a very kind individual. He really was into education. He saw education as being vital for us. A good human being; being would have lost a good son, a very solid, native son who to the extent that he could made his contribution to Belize different ways."

Kidney Fair Under-Attended
When's the last time you went to check your kidney? That's what the Kidney Association of Belize hoped that members of the public would do today at their annual fair. The association says that it's a vital organ which is one of the first parts of the body to be affected by hypertension or diabetes. And if you watch the news - you'll know that there are enough people out there suffering from end stage renal failure. Today, we stopped in to find out how the fair was going: Ruby Nicholas, President, Kidney Association of Belize "The purpose of the fair is to invite participants to come out and find out about their health status. We have several of the providers here. We have the Diabetes Association; we have the nurses, the doctors; we the AIDS center; HECOPAB and we have invited those who could have come out with their materials to provide information for the public." Daniel Ortiz "Why is it important that one knows the health of their kidneys ma'am?"

Ornel Brooks, A Media Rememberance
Last night we told you about the passing of former police commissioner Ornel Brooks. The 63 year old was cremated today and after a memorial service on Monday, his remains will be taken back to Gallon Jug, where he was born. And while there are so many stories about this particular boy from Gallon Jug - today Jules Vasquez went into the archives - specifically the years between 1996 and 1999 - when Brooks - then in his mid to late 40's - emerged as the most media engaged police commissioner ever. You might not remember, but for a while there, his media appearances dominated the national discourse, and sometimes he even outshined his ministers, Dean Barrow and Jorge Espat. Jules Vasquez marvels at how things have changed from Brooksy's days:.. ComPol Allan Whylie "As I said I was out of office, so I can't comment. I need to get into office to see what have been said, what has been submitted to me before I could say something." Geivanni Brackett, reporter "Have you heard anything on the news?" ComPol Allan Whylie "No." Jules Vasquez reporting Didn't see the news? Ornel Brooks was the news! He was the first modern police commissioner Belize knew. Modern in the sense that he was fully engaged with the media. He didn't hide behind hollow press officers - he didn't even have one, neither did he skulk away from the cameras, Brooks put on his best suit whether camouflage or business, and engaged the media frontally and fearlessly. ?No commissioner of police before or after carried himself with such singular swagger.

Lifting Their Voices For Lent
The Belize Choral Society is hoping that you will come out and support their Lenten Choral concert, which takes place tomorrow at the Parish Hall. It will feature music they've been working on for months, and we stopped in last night to see their final rehearsal. Courtney Gillett, a member of the choir, told us why you will enjoy it: The concert starts at 8 p.m., and tickets can be bought from choir members or at the door for $20.

Profile Of a Vocal Teacher
Tonight's I am Belize Profile is about teacher Lavern Ferguson. She teaches at St Luke's Methodist but to get there she had to overcome family and peer pressures as one of the youngest high-schoolers to be a good student, and great teacher:

Good Egg Hunting
On Tuesday, we showed you the pre-schoolers who got their chance to go scavenger hunting for some pre-Easter treats courtesy of BTL. Well, today, the primary school students of Bethel in Belize City, got their opportunity thanks to the Belize City Council and Diamonds International. We stopped in the see the egg hunt in progress, and to catch a glimpse of those excited students race about to score some early Easter eggs.

Channel 5

Government approves extension to US Capital Energy despite court ruling
Tensions are reaching a feverish pitch tonight between Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, U.S. Capital Energy and government. On April third, Justice Michelle Arana handed down a major decision [...]

SATIIM says it will do what it takes to block the oil company
The Mayan Leaders in the buffer communities held an emergency meeting this afternoon in light of Cabinet’s decision. The spokesman for the Mayan leaders is SATIIM’s Executive Director Greg Ch’oc. [...]

5 fishermen home safe, while a trio of pirates is in custody
While five fishermen are home safe, a trio of pirates is in custody tonight. As we reported on Thursday night, the Belize Coast Guard responded to a robbery twenty miles [...]

Godwin Hulse tells immigration officers “Lord turn it around”
There has been precious little coming out of the Immigration Department where the Penner situation is concerned. At this point…and really at every point since the scandal broke, there have [...]

Senior immigration officer chastises Director Maria Marin
Minister Hulse’s call to a talk show on Wednesday morning was in response to a previous Belizean caller who was upset at the turn-around and endless hassles to get a [...]

2 Cubans and a Nigerian caught at the P.G.I.A.
There was a big bust at the P.G.I.A. on Thursday when a Avianca flight touched down from El Salvador.  On board were two Cuban twin brothers with fraudulent Guatemalan passports [...]

More illegal logging of rosewood in the south
If all has gone as scheduled the Forest Department, working along with the Police, should be conducting a sweep of South Stann Creek. The goal is to crack down on [...]

Work halted at Marion Jones because of non-payment
One month ago Minister of Sports Herman Longsworth told News Five that the Marion Jones Sporting Complex was close to completion. That’s a story we had certainly heard before, multiple [...]

One month later, still no results for crop destruction at Valley of Peace
It has been almost a month since a little over thirty-five acres of vegetables were destroyed in the Valley of Peace community.  The destruction, it is strongly believed, is the [...]

Cordel is back in the P.U.P. ranks
At the P.U.P. press conference held at Independence Hall on Thursday, there was much about governance matters and social concerns. But there were also some plain political talk. The P.U.P. [...]

Guatemalan officials in Belize to investigate killing in Chiquibul
The recent killing of a Guatemalan national by Belize Defense Force personnel inside the Chiquibul forest has sparked renewed concerns by the international community about the existing border issues between [...]

Belize High School donates to the Belize Youth Cadet
Organizations donating to other less advantaged entities – it happens maybe less than one would hope, but it does happen. Still, our attention was caught on Thursday as students from [...]

SIF Rep says no monies for investors of previous contract
Last Wednesday, the Social Investment Fund handed over the contract for the completion of the Dangriga Marketplace to CB Constructions out of San Ignacio. The new contract valued at a [...]

2 notable personalities pass away
Two notable personalities have passed away. Ambassador for Foreign Trade Adalbert Tucker lost his battle with cancer on Thursday night in Jamaica where he was receiving treatment. Tucker had been [...]

CitCo and Diamonds Int’l host Easter egg hunt for Bethel students
Easter is fast approaching, but today, it came early for students of Bethel Primary School who were treated to an Easter Egg Hunt. Diamonds International located within the Fort Street [...]

Kidney Association holds annual health fair
There was another event not far from our studios. The Kidney Association in Belize held its annual health fair at the Lion’s Club Parking Lot on Princess Margaret Drive. The [...]

CTV3

Team Healing Hands Donates Wheelchairs To Disable Children
A group of rehabilitation professionals known as Team Canada Healing Hands are in Belize providing rehabilitative education, training, and care in areas of need, particularly for children with disabilities. During their visit this year and over the course of the week, they tended to approximately 55 children, provided 18 wheelchairs and customized 15 others. We caught up with the team today at the House of Culture where we met Occupational Therapist, Carolyn Kelly who told us about their capacity building with workers from Project Hope and the Inspiration Center. Carolyn Kelly – Occupational Therapist “We’re trying to set up a wheelchair for a little girl and she could be at risk at pressure because she doesn’t have cushion on her wheelchair, this is her chair here, and you can see that the upholstery is very weak and it is crooked so our job is to give her a nice flat seated surface and to give her cushion so that when she sitting in her cushion her skin is protected and she will be able to sit upright and level. We brought lots of things from Canada but our hope is that we can use materials that are available here in Belize so that when we leave all the professional therapist and health professionals in Belize can continue to be able to do the work when we are gone.”

Ministry Of Health Issues Advisory On Safety Tips To Prevent Drowning
The death of two forth form students from Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman Corozal, has apparently prompted the Ministry of Health to send out an advisory on safety tips to prevent drowning. As mentioned last night, an investigation is still ongoing on the circumstances surrounding the death of 16 year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin who drowned in the Macal River on Friday while on a class trip in San Ignacio. With the Easter Holidays right around the corner, the Ministry of Health is partnering with the city and town councils and the National Association of Village Councils to address the issue of drowning. Reports are that every year the Ministry records cases of drowning. During the six year period of 2008-2013, a total of 131 deaths by drowning were recorded. Recent statistics show that in 2013, there were 20 deaths due to drowning, with the Belize and Cayo Districts seeing the greater number of deaths with 8 and 5 respectively. Males, in particular are the most at risk group, accounting for more than 80% of all drowning deaths. In 2013 alone, males represented 85% of all drowning deaths for that year.

Corozal School Holds Kite Competition
Physical activity is defined as any form of exercise or movement and may include planned activity such as walking, running or other sports. It may also include daily activities such as household chores, gardening, walking the dog and believe it or not flying a kite. Now, we all know that it is that time of the year when kites are on demand. But for schools that hold kite competitions, it is more than just students having fun in the sun. Kite flying helps children feel more confident, happy and relaxed. The activity improves their self- esteem and self-concept, sense of belonging, ability to sleep better, self-expression and the opportunity to achieve. With so many benefits in kite flying the Corozal Church of Christ Primary School launched their annual kite contest today. A total of 35 kites were submitted by students from preschool to standard one. The competition continues tomorrow with students from the middle division and upper division taking part in the event.

PlusTV

Behind the Rejection of the Penner Signatures
Yesterday we reported on the decision of Justice Courtney Abel to allow three of the original five applicants in last week’s filing of the challenge to the decision of Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai. Tamai recommended the rejection of 337 signatures from the original list of 2,002 presented to...

BTL Employees Trust Wants Judgment
The Court of Appeal had set April 10 as the date when it would deliver judgment on the second nationalization of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) after hearing the case in October of 2012. That’s over a year ago and after several postponements of the judgment, the BTL Employees Trust,...

BCWU Wins Pay Increase for BTL Workers
Sticking with BTL, it has been involved in negotiations with the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) over the latest collective bargaining agreement for workers. Those have come to an end and while they did not get 5% pay increase as asked for, they came close, with 4% salary increase...

Does Government Have the Right to Appeal Mandamus?
At the PUP’s press conference in Belize City on Thursday, the Opposition claimed that the Government continues to drag its feet on the prosecution of ex-Minister of State Elvin Penner. As part of that foot-dragging, notice has been served of the appeal of the decision of Chief Justice Kenneth...

2 Cubans and a Nigerian Busted at PGIA With Fraudulent Documents!
Yesterday Thursday, April 10, 2014 at around 4 p.m., Immigration Officers at the Phillip Goldson International Airport intercepted three people with fake passports coming off an AVIANCA flight from El Salvador. On board with fraudulent documents were two Cuban brothers with fake Guatemalan passports and a Nigerian with a...

Squatters to Get Legal Advice?
Last week we reported on the plight of squatters in the area behind the under-construction Lake Independence Boulevard. They are being told to vacate their properties immediately to make way for development in the area. The problem is, they say they have nowhere else to go, and their area...

New Horizons Project Kicks Off at EP Yorke
On Thursday, the U.S. Southern Command launched its New Horizons 2014 exercise, dedicated to bringing the military personnel of Belize and the U.S. and the local Ministries of Education and Health into partnership for training and improvement of social services. At the launch, U.S. Charge’ D’Affaires Margaret Hawthorne spoke...

St. Martin’s Easter Day Kick Off
Children from St. Martin’s Government School in Belmopan had an Easter holiday kick off this morning with an all day sports day event at the Governor General’s Field in Belmopan. We dropped by right in time to witness the old marble and spoon race. Clementina Romero, Vice Principal of...

Amandala

FORMER COMMISSIONER OF POLICE ORNEL BROOKS DEAD AT 63
“He not only wanted to be a policeman. That was his dream. He lived to be a policeman,” Eldon Brooks said of his late father, Ornel Brooks, who lost his battle with colon cancer while undergoing treatment in Belize City this morning. One of my father’s favorite phrase was “top cop,” Eldon said of the man who rose from the humble rank of Constable to Commissioner of Police, after spending some thirty-odd years in the Belize Police Department. Brooks took over command of the Police Department in November 1996, and held the post for the next three years. Following his retirement, Brooks’ next posting was at the National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC), where he assumed the post of director. When his job at NDACC came to an end, Brooks took over the security operation of the Belize Central Bank, as chief of security, before settling into his quiet retirement.

KILLER CROC CAPTURED
The hunt for a crocodile that attacked and killed Benque Viejo resident Carl Diaz, 56, while he was fishing in a waterway in Lords Bank, Ladyville, at about 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon, is over. The male Morelet crocodile, which weighs about 550 pounds and has a length of about 11 feet, with part of its tail missing, is being held at ACES, the American Crocodile Education Sanctuary (ACES) in Ladyville, and it is expected to be humanely put to death by the authorities. The hunt for the vicious crocodile began on Tuesday evening after it killed Diaz. Vince Rose, a crocodile expert, told Amandala in an interview this afternoon that after a hunt for the animal that continued throughout last night, it was spotted at about 10:00 this morning near a hole in the area. The team had to dig out the crocodile, but it was not an easy task, because the beast had dug in tightly in the hole, and they also had to contend with its powerful jaws.

LEON GOMEZ, 22, GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER
Leon Gomez, 22, walked out of the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas with tears in his eyes, still protesting his innocence, “da no me.” Gomez was visibly upset and had to be restrained by relatives and court policemen, who led him to the waiting police mobile unit that would return him to the Belize Central Prison, where he has been on remand since he was charged with the January 18, 2010 murder, of Salvador Martinez. Justice Lucas has set May 12, as the date for a mitigation hearing and sentencing of Gomez, after a jury of 5 men and seven women returned a unanimous not guilty of murder verdict, but a 10-2 split decision of guilty on the lesser count of manslaughter. The jury had deliberated for over four hours. Gomez’s murder trial began on March 17, but in the opening days, a number of voir dires slowed down its progress, as counsels, defense and prosecution, hammered away at points of law, legal arguments which had to be held in the absence of the jury. Attorney Alifa Elrington Hyde, who represented Gomez, tried, but failed to prevent a caution statement that her client had given to police from being entered as evidence in the prosecution’s case.

WOMAN, 82, SAYS SHE IS VICTIM OF WITCHCRAFT
Zetora Johnson, 82, of Baracat Street in Belize City, claims that witchcraft is being used against her by a man whom she knows, who is demanding $250 from her to cure her. Johnson, speaking with Amandala today, told us that she has refused to pay him, and now, she cannot sleep at night and feels “all kinda things” moving in all parts of her body, and her legs and ankles are swollen. She showed her swollen legs and ankles to us and said that the pain would begin from her toes and move up to her legs, which become swollen and very painful, and to get relief, she soaks them in water, or urine. She said that her life has become full of misery and pain. Johnson told Amandala that three years ago a group of Africans were living in a house next to her property on Baracat Street, and her son began an intimate affair with one of the women. But the woman’s brother-in-law was annoyed, because he was in love with her also, and animosity began to develop between the brother-in-law and her son. The man began to threaten him.

Belizeans, beware of scamsters in Cancun!
The vacation season will be here again in a little over a week, and many Belizeans will be making the trip to Cancun, Mexico, where they may be approached by agents of a vacation promotion company, trying to get them to buy into timeshare packages on the promise that they will receive major hotel discounts on future trips to Cancun after paying an initial fee. However, some of the persons who have been approached by agents for such deals while they were staying at hotels in Cancun have indicated to us that rather than gaining discounts, they have lost thousands of dollars in the process. “It was a horror story for me,” said one San Pedro resident we spoke with today. He told us that he and his wife lost $1,400, after they opted out of a deal proposed to them while they were staying at a Cancun hotel two years ago, in August. The couple were vacationing with their child, and the father told us that rather than spending their time enjoying their days in Cancun, they sacrificed some of that valuable time in trying to negotiate a package for future vacations—which they eventually abandoned after seeing terms and conditions which would have locked them into an agreement which seemed to them like a preapproved loan. He said that the hotels were probably selling the schemes to get money to recover millions that had been lost due to hurricane damages.

CCJ upholds $2 million ruling for Janae
Janae Matute and her mother, Georgia Matute, were jubilant today over a decision handed down this morning by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), in which the court agreed with decisions made by the lower courts to award the family over $2 million in damages after they found Georgia’s gynecologist, Dr. Raju Meenavalli, liable for miscalculating her due date—an error which the courts believe caused Janae to develop her lifelong disability. Janae sued via her next of kin, Georgia Matute, her mother. “I am very excited,” her mother said, expressing her gratitude that The Almighty has blessed them in being able to see justice in the matter. “A lot of times we feel we do not get justice, but He is faithful,” said Matute. She told us that she has not yet gotten an indication from her attorneys on what will be done to ensure that the court’s award will be settled.

EDITORIAL: Kremandala and the PUP
Channel 7 reported on Wednesday evening that former PUP Lake Independence area representative (1998-2012) Cordel Hyde will become the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) standard bearer for the division in an endorsement convention next month. We had been hearing much the same thing for a few weeks now, but in such delicate matters one has to wait and see. Since withdrawing from his chairmanship of PUP Lake I early in 2012 when his son became terminally ill in New York City, Cordel Hyde has worked in different capacities at Kremandala. The PUP standard bearers that we know, are holding on to their day jobs. At the point when they begin full time campaigning for general elections, things change. Since 2009, the faction which is presently in control of the PUP has taken the position that Kremandala is in the paid employ of the Barrow UDP government. That PUP faction even published its own newspaper, called The National Perspective, for two plus years, until late 2011 when they regained control of the PUP following the resignation from leadership of Johnny Briceño. There had been a competition for PUP leadership following the resignation of Said Musa as PUP Leader in February of 2008. In a leadership convention that March, Johnny Briceño had defeated Francis Fonseca by a narrow margin. In that convention, Cordel Hyde and Mark Espat, then the PUP Albert area representative (1998-2012), had supported Mr. Briceño.

From The Publisher
In September of 2011, the Kremandala group organized a national conference of Belizean writers, artists, musicians and intellectuals, something we called “WAMI.” We financed the initiative ourselves from within Kremandala, so our logistics were modest. We certainly hoped that we could make it an annual affair, but that was not to be. WAMI did not receive the support from Belize’s tertiary level educational institutions which the conference should have, but that is easily explained. Belize’s tertiary level institutions are controlled by the ruling political party and by religious organizations. Neither the government or the churches have any interest in exposing the young minds under their jurisdiction to any ideas which have not been processed and approved by the establishment. The ideas, then, which are presented to our young people in Belize’s tertiary level institutions are only those ideas which are acceptable to the government and the churches. Because Belize is a society where there is freedom of expression, tertiary level young people also have access to ideas which originate with newspapers, radio stations, and television stations, not to mention their own social media. As you can imagine, the processed and approved ideas presented by the government and the churches are often outdated: certainly, they are not cutting edge.

Escuela Secondaria Mexico students laid to rest
Two fourth form students of the Escuela Secondaria Mexico school of San Roman, Corozal, who drowned in the Macal River in San Ignacio while swimming with their classmates on Friday near the low bridge, were buried in their respective home villages on Sunday. Anahi Zepeda, 15, who is a resident of San Joaquin, Corozal, was buried in that village’s cemetery, and Edgar Puck, 16, a resident of Patchakan, was buried in the Patchakan Village Cemetery. Zepeda was an honor roll student, while Puck was the designated valedictorian and was to have presented the valedictory speech at the upcoming school graduation. The tragedy occurred at about 4:00 Friday evening near the low bridge in San Ignacio. The fourth form class had been on a school tour of the Che Chem Ha Cave System in the Cayo District, and had stopped at the swimming area near the bridge, to wash themselves off, when Zepeda and Puck were swept away by strong currents that came down the river.

Crocodile kills man in swamp near Green Estate, Lords Bank
Carl Michael Diaz, 47, a fisherman of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, Cayo District, died after he was attacked and dragged under water by a crocodile while he was fishing in the water in an area in Lords Bank, at about 3:00 p.m. Monday afternoon. A resident of the Spanish Town area, Lords Bank, told police that at about 3:00 p.m. on Monday, he was walking in the area, about to go fishing, when he heard a noise coming from the water channel. He went to see what was happening and that was when he saw a man being attacked and dragged under water by a large crocodile. The man immediately began to make noise to distract the crocodile, which released the man and disappeared in the water. Diaz’s body was later recovered by police. According to the police officers, they located the body of Diaz around 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon about 900 feet southwest of the Green Estate property in Lords Bank. He was lying face-down in the water, and his right foot was almost severed, they said. The officers also observed that there was a huge, irregular wound on his right leg, and there were three bite marks on his left foot. Diaz was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival at about 6:00 p.m. Monday evening.

Schism deepens over oil drilling in southern Belize
Tensions continue to run high between some members of the Maya community and US Capital Energy, after what Greg Ch’oc, executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), has described as a “bullying” attempt by US Capital Energy to summon Maya leaders to a meeting at their Punta Gorda office on Tuesday morning, so that the company could give them their interpretation of the ruling. Ch’oc told Amandala that, “US Capital had written to community leaders inviting them to a meeting, and what was interesting is that Michael Peyrefitte and company officials were going to interpret the decision of the court to the leaders.” “When did Mr. Michael Peyrefitte [US Capital’s attorney] become the legal counsel for these communities? Is this even ethical for his profession?” Ch’oc questioned, in a statement issued Tuesday. “US Capital Energy and its operatives need to understand that maintaining the status quo – bullying communities — is no longer an option and that this action by the company is a vile disrespect for indigenous communities,” he added.

Dredging inside South Water Caye Marine Reserve approved: official
For the past two weeks, fishermen from southern Belize, as well as concerned persons from within the environmental community, have been questioning an ongoing dredging operation inside the conservation zone of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve. When we first heard of the case more than a week ago, we checked with the Department of the Environment, but we were told that they were not aware of any such operation. Roberto Pott, chairman of the South Water Caye Marine Reserve Advisory Committee, told Amandala today that they had received no notification that dredging would ensue inside the protected area. Amandala confirmed today from Michelle Alvarez, Inspector of Mines at the Geology and Petroleum Department, that the department did issue a permit to Devon Castillo of Dangriga to dredge inside the protected area – but only after the required clearance was received from authorities such as the Fisheries Department and the Department of the Environment.

King responds to squatters, but now Belama residents report environmental hazards
A third bridge that is intended to join the northside and southside areas of Belize City, over the Belize River, has caused much controversy in the past few weeks – first by a group of squatters on the Lake Independence side who are saying that their area representative, Hon. Mark King, reneged on his promises after assuring them that the new project would not spill over onto the properties that they now occupy; and now from residents on the other side in Belama, who have expressed their concerns about harmful environmental impacts that have resulted from the plan to construct a bridge adjoining the two sides of the city. As residents who have squatted in the low-lying extended areas of Holy Emmanuel Street in the Lake Independence area remain under a cloud of uncertainty as to where they will go next, since they have been told that the project will claim the meager tracts of government land that they have inhabited, some Belama residents have also detected disruptions in their way of life and in the environment in which they live which are already causing serious concerns.


People have power and wealth in many ways, by high position in office and possession or control over money is one of the most common. However, the most basic and humble means of power is to own land. Think of it and you will see how owning a piece of land may be all you need to empower you, establish you and feed you. Yes, land is one of the most valuable and powerful resources Belize has, but this has eluded many of our people who have either failed miserably or taken for granted how important owning land is. Nations have been invaded for a piece of real estate; relatives have feuded and killed over land; some of the biggest frauds have been over land, and politicians have known how to use possession, control and ownership of land as one of the most effective campaign promises to get elected. This week Belize has seen a magnified version of land disputes, first with the Maya asserting their rights to the communal land and second the Lake-I residents squatting on land in the area of the soon-to-be Chetumal Boulevard Bridge. However, while both have their own nuisances, take note that at the core of it all is the issue of power… who has the power to take control over the land.

Doug Singh is new CPBL Chairman
Last Wednesday, April 2, the newly reconfigured Board of Directors of the Citrus Products of Belize Limited (CPBL) met at CPBL’s headquarters on the Stann Creek Valley Road in the Stann Creek District, and current Social Security Board (SSB) chairman Doug Singh was unanimously voted to assume the chairmanship of the recently embattled company. The meeting was the first to be held since the terms of a new Memorandum of Understanding were ironed out by the Government of Belize in conjunction with the other stakeholders in the citrus industry to move the company out of an impasse at the end of February. Amandala spoke to the new chairman Doug Singh today and firstly, he gave us a breakdown of the compilation of the new CPBL Board members. He explained that the new board is comprised of two directors from Banks Holdings, namely Richard Cozier and Henry Canton; two representatives from the Citrus Growers Association (CGA), who are Henry Anderson and Denzil Jenkins; Karen Bevans, who represents Heritage Bank; Jose Novelo from the Ministry of Agriculture, representing GOB; and of course, Singh himself, who also acts as the representative of SSB.

Rosewood inventory exposes threat of stock decimation
Preliminary information coming out of a $130,000 rosewood assessment being conducted by the Forestry Department is that illegal loggers have cut down so many mature trees—standing in the forest for at least 80 years—that it could threaten the health of rosewood stocks in southern Belize. Dr. Percival Cho, Forest Officer, is leading the rosewood assessment, which he told Amandala is almost 50% complete and should be concluded by June 2014. While Cho could not provide us with exact numbers at the time of our interview, he was able to tell us anecdotally what the situation looks like on the ground, in Toledo and Stann Creek, where they have been doing the inventory. He said that two teams of 4 persons each (locals hired for the project) have been measuring rosewood trees, and they are able to say that the majority of larger trees, 12 inches in diameter and more, are found as stumps—which means that they have been stripped from the forest. The standing trees are smaller and immature, not suitable for export for hardwood products, but only usable to make fences and to burn as firewood.

Carnal knowledge in San Pedro
A girl, 13, of Boca Del Rio, San Pedro, was sexually assaulted by an 18-year-old young man at about 7:30 Friday night at a house in the Boca Del Rio area. Yesterday, Monday, at about 5:00 in the evening, the girl went to the San Pedro police and reported that on Friday evening, a man whom she knows, who also lives in the Boca Del Rio area of San Pedro, invited her to a house in the area, where he raped her.

Fugitive who chopped up female police officer captured
The manhunt for Oscar Perez, 44, of Trial Farm, Orange Walk District, who has been on the run since December 9 last year on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding for attacking a female police officer, came to an end following his arrest at about 4:30 yesterday afternoon in Little Belize near Shipyard, in the Orange Walk District. Perez will be to taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court tomorrow. Police said that at about 4:30 p.m. on December 9, 2013, WPC Marilyn Pate, of the Orange Walk police, went to Trial Farm, to the home of Oscar Perez, along with members of the Human Development Department, to detain Perez pending investigations into allegations of sexual abuse of a female child.

Hattieville resident Justin Lemott, 26, arraigned on murder charge
An apparently senseless stabbing incident that left a teenager dead and another injured last Saturday, has resulted in murder and other criminal charges against a Hattieville resident, who was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court and remanded to prison today. Justin Lemott, 25, of 19 Foster Street, Hattieville, appeared animated and wanted to speak when he appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith. But since no plea was required from him, as he was only being arraigned on the charges, she told him this was not the time for him to talk, before reading the charges to him. Smith read the murder charge first, which accused Lemott, on April 4, of intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of Richard Waight, Jr., in Hattieville, in the Belize Judicial District.

One man shot, another stabbed in Ladyville
At about 2:00 Saturday morning near a bar in Ladyville, Dennis Burke, 47, a businessman of Vista Del Mar, Ladyville, was stabbed in the right upper chest, while Oscar Perez, 31, a construction worker of Airport Road, Ladyville, was shot in the abdomen. The two men were taken to the Belize Defence Force Hospital at Price Barracks Ladyville, where they were stabilized, before being transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Police said that on Saturday morning they responded to a shooting near a bar in Ladyville, where, on their arrival, they saw two injured men, Dennis Burke and Oscar Perez, lying near the highway. They found that Burke had been stabbed in the chest, and near him they found a 9mm pistol.

Beaten into a coma – he took too long to return a bike!
A father of two is presently lying unconscious, hospitalized in a coma for the past two days at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after he was beaten, allegedly by two brothers, near his home on Central American Boulevard in Belize City. Amandala understands that Lloyd Augustus, 35, was socializing with a group of friends this past Sunday, April 6, sometime in the afternoon, when he asked to borrow a bicycle from one of the persons he was socializing with. According to our reports, he did not return with the bike until later on in the night, which was when he was severely assaulted by two of the men. Today, we spoke with his sister, who wished to remain anonymous, and she told us how the incident unfolded. She said, “The [beating] incident happened between 2:30 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. and I wasn’t around, but one of my friends came and told me that my brother was just taken to the hospital because he was just found on the street side, and he was badly beaten. I then went to the hospital and I saw the state that my brother was in, and the doctors told me that indeed he was in a bad condition. I then came back to my house and when I started inquiring, one of the main witnesses told me that he was beaten by two young men.”

Two contractors charged for employing undocumented worker
Two contractors, a Belizean and a Salvadoran with Belizean permanent residency, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Tuesday to answer to a charge of employing a person who is not in possession of a valid temporary work permit. Belizean contractor Oscar Rene Chan, 45, a resident of Succotz, Cayo District, pleaded not guilty to the charge, thereby challenging the Immigration Department, which levied the charge. But Salvadoran Samuel Elias Zelada Cosmi, a resident of Mahogany Street who has been living in Belize since 1993 and has permanent residency status, pleaded guilty to the charge. Magistrate Frazer fined Cosmi $1,000 plus $5 cost of court for his guilty plea. She ordered him to pay by April 30, 2014; if he defaults, he will have to spend six months in prison.

$10,000 fine for mother of 5, for “drug trafficking”
A Belize City woman who pleaded guilty to one count of drug trafficking when she appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today was fined the mandatory minimum sentence of $10,000. Smith ordered her to pay $5,000 immediately; in default, she will have to begin serving the three-year prison sentence the offense carries. The woman, Roshawn Higgs, 35, a domestic of #6 -7th Street, Kings Park, who is the mother of five children, the youngest being one-year old, is a first-time offender. In court, an unrepresented Higgs said she was guilty of possession, but the Chief Magistrate told her that the charge before the court was for drug trafficking. When Smith asked her to enter a plea, Higgs pleaded guilty to the one count of drug trafficking.

Thief “went to sleep and woke up confused,” so he signed out another detained man’s property at police station
A Belize City mechanic who stole from a man while they were both in police lockdown now has two years to clear his head—from the confusion he admitted caused him to steal, when he answered to someone else’s name and then brazenly signed out the person’s property from the police station. Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith sentenced mechanic Jermaine Jorgenson, 25, a resident of 6812 Tibruce Street, to two years in prison after he pleaded guilty to one count of theft on Wednesday. Police charged Jorgenson with theft from Glen Williams, 31. He was accused of stealing $500 and four gold rings which has a combined value of $2,639. The theft occurred on Friday, April 4, when Williams was detained. He handed in his properties to police, which is a standard procedure detainees must comply with. But the following day, April 5, after he was released, he returned to claim his property from the police, and that is when the theft was discovered.

Police on manhunt to capture Reid and Locke
Corozal police are on a manhunt to capture two wanted men – Alex Reid of the Cayo District, who is wanted by Corozal police for armed robbery, and Robert Locke, wanted for rape of an underage girl in Corozal. Police have issued warrants for their arrests. Anyone who sees the men or knows their whereabouts is urged to contact the nearest police station. Added to the armed robbery Reid allegedly committed in Corozal, San Ignacio police also want him for a number of other crimes. Police say that Reid was one of two bandits responsible for the death of Freddy Lopez, 67, of Cayo, who was shot in the head during a robbery attempt by one of two robbers who held up Lopez and his family while they were walking in the Kontiki area of San Ignacio.

Deon’s team, Atlanta Silverbacks
Belizean fans are paying close attention to the games of Atlanta Silverbacks in their pre-season, and will be as intently focused on their season games in the North American Soccer League (NASL), where the Atlanta Silverbacks play their Spring season opener on the road in New York this Sunday, April 13, against the NY Cosmos. Of course, that is because our own Deon McCaulay now plays with the Silverbacks. There are 10 teams in the 2014 NASL tournament: Atlanta Silverbacks; Carolina RailHawks; FC Edmonton; Fort Lauderdale Strikers; Indy Eleven; Minnesota United FC; NY Cosmos; Ottawa Fury FC; San Antonio Scorpions; and Tampa Bay Rowdies. In their pre-season, the Atlanta Silverbacks lost 1-0 to the Charlotte Eagles on Saturday, March 15, at Atlanta Siverbacks Park; on Sunday, March 23, Deon scored the first goal, a header, in first half to lead the Silverbacks to a 3-0 win over University of Alabama-Birmingham in Birmingham; on Saturday, March 29, the Silverbacks dropped Young Harris College, 4-1, and Deon had a hat trick (3 goals) at Silverbacks Park; on Saturday, April 5, the Silverbacks drew, 2-2, with Clemson University Tigers at Silverbacks Park, as Deon’s two attempts, a header and a shot, went straight to the keeper. Deon did not play in their last pre-season outing on Sunday, April 6, where a different line-up was used for a 4-2 win over Carson Newman College at Silverbacks Park.

Cross Country Parade
Holy Saturday is just 9 days away, and the tradition continues with the Annual Cross Country Parade, which takes place on Holy Thursday, April 17, starting at 4:30 p.m. The parade will leave from behind the Supreme Court building and travel through the principal streets of the City, to end at BTL Park (exact route not released yet). The Cycling Federation is also encouraging all cyclists, even those not taking part in the Cross Country, to join in the parade. Save as PDF Print this Post

Football juggle
Not too long ago, when Belize star striker Deon McCaulay was pressing for his release from the Belmopan Bandits FC in order to secure a contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks FC, Bandits owner Hon. John Saldivar expressed strong disapproval at the way his club was being treated in the matter by the foreign club, calling it “disrespectful.” Well, from reports we received this week, it seems the Paradise/Freedom Fighters club of Punta Gorda, Toledo, perceived a similar measure of “disrespect” in the treatment they received in the rescheduling of their game with Belmopan Bandits FC which was originally set for Saturday, April 12, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium. In its Monday release giving the weekly game report and schedule, the Premier League secretariat quite casually included a Wednesday night date for the Freedom Fighters vs Bandits game. When we inquired, the PLB said the date change from Saturday to Wednesday was to accommodate an invitational match the Bandits had arranged with the Houston Hurricanes of the U.S. on Saturday at the Isidoro Beaton. Bandits manager Kenneth Budna confirmed this when we contacted him, and said the arrangements had just been finalized.

BOXING EVENT
According to our reports, the first ever boxing event at the Tipsy Tuna beach resort in Placencia on Saturday night was a big success, with hundreds of spectators in attendance to witness an exciting 14-bout amateur card. The action got started at 6:00 p.m. and lasted until around 10:30 p.m., after which medals were presented to the winners. Participating boxers were from Clinton Tucker’s Lions Den Gym in Ladyville, Frank Martinez’s Lions Den Gym in Cayo, Leopold Smart’s Gym in Belize City, George Swaso’s Dangriga Gym, and there were also boxers from Placencia and Cowpen making their debut in the sport in front of their home fans. Judges for the event were Elton Anderson, Duane Saldano, Darrel Arnold and Robert Ordonez, Jr. Bell/timekeeper was Leshawn Pollard, referee was Robert Ordonez, Sr., and the doctor in attendance was Dr. Alexis Caballero. The boxers fought 3-minute rounds with 1 minute rest in between rounds.

LETTERS: Like Ebony Street, like San Antonio Road …
I completely understand and sympathize with the people of Ebony Street in Belize City who were bombarded with dust from heavy traffic when their street was used as an alternate route. I hope their problem has been solved. We at San Antonio Road in Orange Walk Town have been living in this condition for two long years. The only reprieve we got was the long rainy season. Bad for the cane farmers, but good for us. There are many important businesses along this main street/road, and I know tax contribution is major from these enterprises. I fail to see a reason why we have been left in the dust for so long. Our health and business machines have deteriorated.

LETTERS: Caleb Orozco lied to the OAS
I want to state that I was horrified to hear how Caleb Orozco lied to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington D.C. on Monday, March 28, 1014, vis-à-vis the death of Ricky Castillo, which occurred in Orange Walk Town some time ago. According to Orozco, Castillo was bludgeoned to death with a bat and his throat slit. To the uninformed, anyone would have thought that Castillo was the victim of a hate crime. I do remember the incident. Ricky Castillo was well known for his personal tendencies. In today’s sophisticated international jargon in general use, he would be considered to be a member of the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender and Intersex) community. In Orange Walk Town he was affectionately known as “Granma”. He was sympathetic to UNIBAM. Castillo had hosted a party at his house on the Belize-Corozal Road for his close friends of the LGBTI community. As they got “nice up” imbibing alcoholic beverages, the party got out of control, which ended in a brawl.

LETTERS: Taiwan official discusses Bill Lindo article
Reference is made to Mr. Bill Lindo’s commentary titled “Global financial system about to blow up again!” in the AMANDALA Belize Newspaper, April 6, 2014, concerning the global financial system. In his article, Mr. Lindo also mentioned recent student protests in Taiwan and put this matter side by side with the change of government in Ukraine. We hope to point it out that it is not precise to analogize Taiwan’s matter with what happened in Ukraine. The protesting students of Taiwan were concerned that the services pact with China will undermine their opportunity of employment in the future and broaden the difference between the rich and the poor in Taiwan. They believed that the legislative process of the pact was not transparent, and hoped to catch the government’s attention to their concern by means of occupying the legislative chamber of the parliament.

LETTERS: Abolish the Westminster system
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system derived from the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The system is a series of procedures for operating a legislature. It is used, or was once used, in the national legislatures of most Commonwealth and ex-Commonwealth nations, beginning with the first of the Canadian provinces in 1848. It is my view that all CARICOM countries must abolish the Westminster system because it creates a stratified society and does not allow true democracy to occur in parliament. It is a democracy only for the majority with the minority party or parties having only a symbolic token of democracy. Belize is a country rich in natural resources – we have oil, gold and an abundance of agricultural land. Our population is small and young therefore it is easy to maintain and can be developed to make Belize a powerhouse in the world.

LETTERS: Strong words from Carolyn Trench-Sandiford
Three statements in the article captioned “Justice Arana Reaffirms Maya Land Rights” in the Amandala of April 6th 2014 resonate with me, and compel me to juxtapose them and add to the dialogue. The first is… “No to oil drilling until our rights to land, resources, culture, identity and equality are recognized…” as per the SATIIM; and The second is “The courts have said, repeatedly said, and Arana has said yet again, that the indigenous people should not be forced to go to court to have those rights respected. It is the obligation and duty of the government…” per Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, attorney for SATIIM; and The third is “At this point, we will continue (to drill) [i]until someone tells us to stop.” I also wish to extract from and make reference to specific statements in your editorials entitled “Wounded Knee and Sarstoon-Temash” and “Partridge, Sarstoon-Temash and the MAA” of November 2nd and 9th 2012 respectively.

The Reporter

World Bank: Caribbean economies “holding steady”
The World Bank says that Caribbean and Latin America have been holding steady, despite tighter external condition. This week the Washington-based financial institution said while international investors shift their focus back to advanced economies, particularly the United States, as a result of monetary policy normalization, emerging economies face much tighter […]

BNE launches fund to assist Belizean entrepreneurs
The Belize Natural Energy (BNE) Charitable Trust launched the first phase of an Empowerment Fund aimed at providing Belizean entrepreneurs the opportunity to finance viable business plans. The first phase of the Empowerment Fund is being rolled out through La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited […]

Suspected police murderer caught
A suspected police murderer who was on the run since last December is in police custody. Oscar Perez Hernandez, a labourer of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, was nabbed during a police operation on Wednesday afternoon in Little Belize, Corozal. He is due in […]

BML director criticizes Mayor for investing in “capital projects”
The Managing Director of Belize Maintenance Limited, BML, Lawrence Ellis, has accused Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley of investing in projects that the City Council has no mandate or obligation to spend on. Ellis, whose company is owed at least seven weeks payment from […]

PUP considers filing motion to hold Compol in contempt
The People’s United Party is contemplating filing another motion in the Supreme Court asking the Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin to consider whether or not the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie can be held in contempt of court. While the PUP, at a press conference on […]

BTL workers pressure management on pay with silent protest
In advance of continued negotiations between the Belize Communication Workers’ Union (BCWU) and the executive board of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) this coming week, employees on Friday staged two silent one-minute protests at all offices of the state-owned telecom company. […]

Teachers who led school trip could face sanctions for drownings
The Ministry of Education is investigating the circumstances that led to the drowning deaths of two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Technica Mexico, which occurred in San Ignacio Town last week Friday. The two students, including the school’s valedictorian, Edgar Pook, 17, and […]

Venezuela president and opposition agree to formal talks
The Venezuelan government and a coalition of opposition parties have agreed to enter into “formal talks” to end weeks of anti-government protests. At least 39 people, both opponents and supporters of the government, have died in protest-related violence. Venezuelan Vice-President Jorge Arreaza said the two sides had agreed to hold […]

US contractor on hunger strike in Cuban jail
A US contractor who has been in jail in Cuba for more than four years has gone on hunger strike, his lawyer says. Alan Gross, 64, said he began fasting on Thursday to protest his treatment by both the Cuban and US governments. Mr Gross is serving a 15-year prison […]

China angered by latest U.S. arms sale plan for Taiwan
China’s defense ministry expressed anger on Wednesday after the U.S. House of Representatives agreed to authorize the sale to Taiwan of four second-hand U.S. warships, saying the United States had ignored Chinese protests. China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island at the […]

“What has changed?”
The Church has always been here in Belize. Homosexuality too, has always been here. The bedroom has always been the domain of privacy; the unknown and the unknowable. Unless, of course, those who are in there speak about what was done; either by way of boasting or by way of […]

Short-term Thinking Leads to Long-Term Failure
“Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein A colleague of mine recently made the observation that our economic history is based on short-term unsustainable activity rather than on long-term efforts. Instead of the agriculture most of our […]

Byron Pope wins Pre-Cross Country
Defending national road champion, Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes cycling team won the 120-mile pre-Cross Country race organized by the Cycling Federation of Belize on the George Price Highway from Leslie’s Imports in Belize City to Mount Hope and back on Sunday, April 6. Pope […]

FC Belize draws 2-2 with San Ignacio United in Belikin football
FC Belize salvaged a 2-2 draw out of the jaws of defeat in their eighth outing in the Belikin Cup closing season competition, organized by the Premiere league of Belize at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio last Sunday. Rudolph Moody created some early […]

Smoking – Do you really know the risks?
You probably know about the relationship between smoking and lung cancer, but did you know smoking is also linked to heart disease, stroke and other chronic lung diseases? Smoking can also increase your risk for cancer of the bladder, throat and mouth, kidneys, cervix and pancreas. Thinking about quitting? Look […]

EDITORIAL
Two senior students, 16-year-old Anahi Zepeda and 17-year-old Edgar Pook of Escuela Secundaria Mexico died by drowning last week when an unexpected surge in the river swept them away. Edgar jumped in to save the Anahi, who did not know how to swim. Both perished as the unrelenting stream carried […]

Penner recall case greenlighted
Justice Courtney Abel agreed Thursday that three of five applicants can ask his court to review Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai’s decision to reject 337 signatures from last November’s petition for the recall of Cayo Northeast area representative Elvin Penner. Of the original five applicants, […]

BCWU supports Anwar Barrow as Chairman of BTL’s Executive Committee
The Belize Communication Workers’ Union says it supports the leadership of Anwar Barrow as the Chairman of the Executive Committee of Belize Telemedia. In a press release circulated Thursday, the union states that it is “of the view that the stewardship of the company […]

CCJ upholds award for Janae Matute
On Thursday morning, the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) found against obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Raju Meenavalli and in favour of Roaring Creek student Janae Matute, 13, and her mother Georgia, ending a 13-year saga in which the doctor was accused of medical malpractice. CCJ judges Rolston […]

The Kidney Association of Belize
The Kidney Association of Belize organized and held its fourth annual health fair today to promote kidney and health awareness. This came with support from other organizations that promote similar causes. President of the Kidney Association of Belize, Ruby Nicholas told The Reporter that it’s very […]

Blogs

Earlier flights and reaching new heights with Tropic Air
Many have been questioning being at Philip Goldson International Airport 3 hours in advance of their international flights out and a few are also asking if it will be the same in slow season, the answer is yes. Due to the increasing popularity of Belize travel year round, Tropic Air is no longer experiencing slow season the way that they used and finding the month September as being the quietest one of the season. Tropic Air flight guidelines 2014 – Allow for 45 minutes upon landing to clear customs – check in and pay. For return flight time they ask that you be at International airport 3 h ahead of your scheduled flight. Please note Tropic will not take responsibility for any missed international flights due to unforeseen delays on any flights booked in less than the required time. End of 2013 numbers for Tropic Air: • 270 employees • 16 destinations, 11 domestic. and 5 international • 275,000 passengers • 12 planes The above figures show marked steady growth from having just over 250 employees, and carrying over 220,000 passengers in 2011. These numbers found in San Pedro Sun article – Tropic Air Late Evening Flights Return.

International Sources

The World’s Murder Capitals
The U.N. Office of Drugs and Crime released its 2013 Global Study on Homicide this week. Overall, the number of murders in the world is relatively stable—even declining slightly—but the most striking finding in the report is how geographically concentrated homicide is become. According to the report, a group of countries—all of them in either the Americas or Africa—accounting for just 11 percent of the global population are the location of 46 percent of the world’s homicides. Honduras has the world’s highest homicide rate at 90.4 murders per 100,000 people, and it’s not even close. Venezuela is next with 53.7. Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Jamaica all have rates around 40.

Meeting the Maya in midwinter
Like a lot of Minnesotans this year, I opted for a winter vacation, but this one taught an unexpected lesson: You don’t need sand, sun and surf for a good one. Deep mud and torrential rain will work just as well, if you’ve got a compelling destination and a small group of like-minded companions to share it with. I had all those things in spades on a trip to Central America in January. Especially the rain and mud. I had gone to north-central Guatemala, a region known as the Peten, to spend a couple of weeks tromping around Mayan ruins with a dozen other archaeology buffs from the Maya Society of Minnesota. Some were working archaeologists, others had been Peace Corps volunteers there, all were experienced and enthusiastic travelers – a good thing, because it wasn’t a cream-puff trip, and many of us were pushing the outer edge of middle age.

Rocky academic unlocks long-lost secrets of ancient Mayans
DR STAN Serafin stares intently at the ancient skull he nurses gently under the probing light. As he works his way through the skeletal remains discovered on an archaeological site in Mexico, he pauses for a moment, realising that he is living his dream. The Rockhampton-based academic has just unearthed some long-lost secrets about the ancient Mayan civilisation. "I feel so lucky to be doing this," the 36-year-old said at his CQUniversity office yesterday. The bioarchaeologist was part of a team that examined about 200 skulls and skeletons recovered from 13 sites in north-west Yucatan, Mexico, where the Mayan peoples have lived for more than 3000 years. The research was done to trace changing patterns of violence and warfare relating to distinct periods in Mayan civilisation.

Green Energy Solutions Could Save the Caribbean $200 Million
HIGH ENERGY costs are the Achilles heel of the Caribbean. More than 97 percent of this region’s electricity is generated from fossil fuels and many islands devote a hefty portion of their GDP to fuel imports. On some Caribbean islands, electricity bills can soar up to six times higher than in the United States, which creates a burden for many local businesses. At the same time, these islands are vulnerable to the environmental impacts associated with fossil-fuels, including air pollution, rising sea levels, and coral bleaching. Reducing the reliance on fossil fuels and supporting cleaner, more efficient energy production is critical to helping island economies grow sustainably. But many companies face hurdles in accessing credit to invest in clean energy. That’s where the banking sector can play an important role.

18 ways to survive the lime shortage
Thanks to drought, disease and drug cartels, we’re headed for an all-out lime crisis. Here's how to navigate the citrus catastrophe. Lime-ageddon, guacpocalypse, mojito-gate … call the looming lime dilemma what you will, but we’re calling it an opportunity to put some new fruits in the limelight, so to speak. Some suggest that we should be back in limes by mid-spring; but with the way things are looking in Mexican lime growing regions – the source of most of our limes – we’re preparing for the worst. Lime buyers say that prices have more than quadrupled this year, jumping from $14 a case to more than $100. Bad weather and a tree disease in Michoacán, Mexico, have wreaked havoc on the lime supply, further exacerbated by the mind-boggling influence of drug cartels. (Because apparently when making billions of dollars on cocaine isn’t enough, it’s time to begin shaking down lime farmers.) At this point, the Knights Templar Cartel controls the wholesale distribution center where growers sell limes to the global market, making limes an even hotter commodity.

Lime prices spike after shortage in Mexico
In Mexico, they’re practically a sacred institution. The mighty lime is used in drinks, food, and well just about everything. In recent months, a big drop in production has meant limes are in hot demand – and prices have shot up. Grower Juan Leana Malpica says he is receiving 20 times as much for his limes as 6 months ago. Prices normally rise at this time of year – but there are other more important factors. “There’s the devastation caused by a citrus disease. Then there is climate change. With the arrival of winter there has been a cold snap in neighboring states. And what I feel is most devastating are the price speculators.” Many growers simply can’t or won’t get trucks on the road. Those most directly affected are Mexican consumers. “I normally buy two kilos,” one shopper says, “But now I buy a half and only use them for absolute essentials.”

Videos

Video: Belize Funnel Cloud, 1min.
There were actually three different funnel clouds in the sky that morning. We were house sitting at Steppingstones Resort near Monkey River in the Southern district of Toledo in Belize. We weren't really sure what we were looking at when they first started coming down over the Caribbean sea. It looked like heavy rainfall in a condensed area but then it started taking on a more centered point. Having all three form at once only made the view more spectacular.

Video: One Drop Competition in Cayo District, Belize, 1min.
Crazy ass one drop Competition

Video: Belize Zip Rides 2013, 7min.
We enjoyed an exciting ziplining tour during our December 2013 cruise.

Video: Ants in Belize, 15sec.
Leaf cutter ants marching through the nighttime forest

Video: Swimming in San Pedro, Belize, 3min.

Video: Belize 2014, 8min.

Video: Belize video 1, 8min.

Video: Belize video 2, 6min.

Video: Belize video 3, 6min.

Video: Placencia Belize Our Home Away From Home, 15min.
Placencia Belize and Captain Jak's Photos from our numerous visits..

Video: Lamanai Ruins in Belize
4min. Lamanai means "submerged crocodile" in the Maya language and it's also the name of the third largest, and possibly most interesting, archeological site in Belize. Located in the Orange Walk District, the Lamanai temple complex sits atop the western bluff of the New River Lagoon and is surrounded by pristine rainforest. Lamanai was occupied continuously for over 3,000 years and it's remoteness contributed to it's continuous occupation, well beyond most other Maya sites, until at least 1,650 AD. Set in tropical forest and providing spectacular views from several of its large temples, Lamanai provides a unique experience into the culture of the Maya and the biological diversity of the tropical forest.

Video: Cruising the New River Lagoon in Belize to Lamanai, 2min.
As Belize's largest lake, the New River Lagoon is an oasis in a maze of narrow rivers and waterways that cut through Belize. Jabiru storks, roseate spoonbills, great black hawks, social flycatchers, snail kites, blue crowned motmots, night herons, northern jacanas, squirrel cuckoos, cormorants, and several species of parrot fly high above the surrounding broadleaf rainforest.

Video: Belize, March 2014, 3min.

Video: Diving in Belize 1 ; Thnx 2 John Speaker for filming!, 6min.
Diving in Belize in 2012 with the nurse sharks.

Video: Diving in Belize 2 ; Thnx 2 John Speaker for filming!, 1min.

Video: Diving in Belize 3 ; Thnx 2 John Speaker for filming!, 5min.
diving with nurse sharks pt 3 (best part). You can see a shark "sniffing" at my underwater camera @ 2:42

Video: The Barrier Reef Reserve System of Belize, 5min.
A trends and tourism issues assignment from a group of Hotel Management students at George Brown College. English subtitles are available. We hope you enjoy!

Video: Shark Alley Belize, 3min.

April 11, 2014


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Four teams head into the SPSC Football Tournament Semi Finals
The San Pedro Sports Committee Football Tournament (SPSC) is heading into the semi-finals, and only four teams remain. The matches are getting tougher and tougher as every team is fighting for the coveted first place trophy. In the quarter finals, eight teams battled to score as many goals as possible to earn points and advance in the competition. The determining matches for the semifinals were played on Saturday, April 5th and Sunday, April 6th. Two matches were played on Saturday starting at 7PM. First up were FC United and Caye Caulker. FC United struggled throughout the game, as Caye Caulker was determined to take the win. In the end, Caye Caulker won the match in a 2-0 point game and earned a coveted spot in the semifinals. Next to take to the field were the Legends and Veterans. Both being seasoned teams; the match was certainly an interesting one. Unfortunately, it was the last match that the Veterans would play in the tournament, as they succumbed to the Legends in a 6-2 point game. This big win allowed the Legends to advance to the semifinals.

Jhoshi Alexander continues to represent Belize with pride
Congratulations are in order for Belize’s Jhoshi Alexander, Mr. Pacifico y El Caribe 2013-14. As part of his many prizes given to him as winner of the esteemed pageant held last year, Jhoshi was sent to Mexico City to further his preparation in the field of modeling, acting and dancing. While in Mexico, he is highlighted as a Belizean model and is participating in castings and activities that enhance his studies. Jhoshi will also participate in the “Feria de Culturas Amigas” alongside the Belize Embassy in Mexico within the month of April. “I am happy to be learning new things, and participating in these activities in the name of the country I consider to be my home, my land, and that which I love so much, Belize,” says Jhoshi. Jhoshi is even more excited to share the news that he has been selected to be the face/image for the Breast Cancer Foundation at the Central American level. Every year, the foundation chooses a male and female representative who will be part of a yearly campaign. The chosen representatives will be part of print, online and television campaigns, and this year’s chosen male image is that of Belize’s own Jhoshi Alexander.

Verge of Umbra: When Heavy Metal cheats on Hip Hop with Reggae!
The day I heard ‘The Meditation’ by Verge of Umbra started out like any other work day. It was a blip on my newsfeed well before my first cup of coffee, so I didn’t get to listen to it till late into the day. I should have pressed play immediately. Who needs caffeine when you have this tune to get your adrenaline revved up?! Allow me to preface this entire story with the fact that I am a metal enthusiast – as in, I love rock/metal and it is my go-to genre of choice – but, I am not an expert. I appreciate a good combination of drums (the drums man!) and guitar and pounding bass – it all blends into a backdrop that sometimes far surpasses the quality of lyrics even – but lyrics matter too! With the exception of, oh, I don’t know, country (?)…I listen to pretty much anything. But my first foray into music came with Guns N Roses, Nirvana and Metallica. I would say that two out of the three really cemented my love for rock. Not exactly the typical Belizean musical experience – believe me, I know!

BCWU and BTL reach collective bargaining agreement
Belize Communications Workers’ Union – The collective bargaining negotiations between the Belize Communications Workers’ Union (BCWU) and Belize Telemedia Ltd (BTL) began in June 2013. After its first-ever meeting on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 between the General Council of the Union and the Executive Committee of the Board, the Union is now confirming that it has agreed with the proposal presented by Executive Committee at the meeting. The Union congratulates the Executive Committee and all members of its General Council for conducting the meeting in an open and very healthy atmosphere that is most conducive to harmonious industrial relations.

Ambergris Today

$29 Million Worth of Marijuana Destroyed by US/BZE Joint Task Force
Joint Task Force-Bravo and the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan partnered with Belizean military and police forces in a highly successful marijuana eradication operation in Belize, March 15-20, 2014. The operation resulted in the Belizean government destroying 34 marijuana fields and approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants for an initial estimated value of USD $29 million. In addition, the team also found and destroyed 25 pounds of marijuana seeds. Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder training for 52 Belizean personnel who participated in the operation.

Ambergris Caye Deserves More Tourism Dollars to Stay on the Island
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is growing fast; maybe a little too fast. I love the direction that it is going, but our leaders better sit down and think very carefully at the decisions they make. For every action they take, there might be three to five reactions that they must be ready for. Is the town ready, is there enough infrastructure to sustain such fast development, do the positive effects outweigh the negatives ones and will they be ultimately beneficial for all island residents? Those are some questions amongst many that need to be addressed before any decisions are made. Ambergris Caye does need a lot more of its own taxpayers’ monies to stay on the island to help it keep up with development. Many residents complain that government does not feed its goose with the golden egg or invest enough in its moneymaker. All of these statistics prove that Ambergris Caye is, without a doubt, the country’s moneymaker. Our government does need to invest and develop tourism around the country with taxpayers’ money, but many on the island feel that we are not getting our fair share of returns. Do not forget this figure: $1.2 billion netted by tourism and of that 38% is generated by Ambergris Caye “by choice”. It is a whopping $456,000,000. Do we all agree we need a bigger share of the tourism dollars? Thank you.

Misc Belizean Sources

Businesses complain of soft drink shortages
The Cayo district finals of the Coca Cola Spelling Bee is taking place at the Countryside Park in Spanish Lookout. 14 boys and girls from 7 Zones in the Cayo district are competing in this afternoon’s competition vying for a chance to represent Cayo in the 20th Annual National Coca Cola Spelling Bee. There is an air of excitement among the competing schools, each hoping that their candidate will out-spell the rest of the condidates and earn the top spot.

Spanish Lookout hosts Cayo district finals of the Coca Cola Spelling Bee
Various business establishments in San Ignacio/Santa Elena have been reporting challenges obtaining soft drinks and in some cases bottled water from Bowen & Bowen Limited. So far there have not been any official word from the company on what the issue is, but several businesses either had no soft drinks in their coolers or were on the verge of running out on Thursday morning. We are in the process of confirming with Bowen and Bowen what is causing the shortage of products in the Cayo district.

Don't Drink and Drive Campaign
Today, April 10th, nine municipalities will simultaneously Launch the Don't Drink and Drive Campaign in collaboration with the Social Investment Fund (SIF). The campaign notes that worldwide drink driving is of great concern. It is well known that it causes many deaths and severe injuries in traffic. 25% or one out of four fatal accidents are caused by drivers being impaired. Here in Belize drink driving is known to be the second largest cause of fatal accidents. The Government of Belize is undertaking the Belize National Road Safety Project that has been funded with the implementation of the drink driving campaign through the Caribbean Development Bank. The Social Investment Fund has through its Belize Municipal Development Project, funded by the World Bank, created the strategy for the campaign as well as trained all traffic officers in Belize in enforcement tactics and road safety issues. The two projects have come together and collaborated closely with all TCCs to undertake this campaign at a national as well as a local level.

Ministry of Health Advises on Safety Tips to Prevent Drowning
Every year, the Ministry of Health records cases of drowning, an unintentional injury death that is preventable. During the six year period of 2008-2013, a total of 131 deaths by drowning were recorded.

The Combat Team Martial Arts Troupe
The Combat Team is having a free demonstration at the George Price Centre tomorrow night, starting at 7:00pm. The team is comprised of Brian Bryan, Brandon Stowers, and Jarred Sweat, and they've visited 45 countries so far, demonstrating their combination of martial arts and the teachings of Christ. They did a demonstration at Belmopan Baptist High School earlier this week. Here's a promo. "The Combat Team is a Christian Martial Arts Demonstration Team that uses their gifts, and talents in the martial arts as a platform to reach, teach, and share the love of Christ around the world. Admission is FREE...."

Earth Day Photo Competition
The University of Belize is having a photo competition for Earth Day. There are 3 categories, kids, amateur, and professional. Photos should follow the theme of 'Growing Green,' and must be submitted before April 23rd, and the winners will be announced at UB's Earth Day festivities on Wednesday, April 30th. Good luck! "To create a photo-line which will depict an individualized interpretation of the theme Growing Green while also encouraging the use of technology to capture Belize’s beauty at its best.

Benque Don't Drink and Drive Campaign
Benque is having their Don't Drink and Drive Campaign and Fair today in Centennial Park to raise awareness of the issue. There's a business fair that will go until 3:00pm. "The Benque Viejo Traffic Department and The Benque Viejo Town Council will hold 'Don’t Drink & Drive' Campaign & Fair tomorrow, April 10th at centennial park. The Ceremony will start at 10:00 a.m and the business fair will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Let’s come out join us! This campaign is under the BSIF Belize Municipal Development Project and The Town and City Councils nationwide collaborate with the National Road Safety Project."

Belize prepares for BETEX
BETEX, the largest tourism show organized and promoted by the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) will be held next month in Belize City from May 7-12, 2014. According to Herbert Haylock, President of the BTIA, the first BETEX event was organized in 1996 and since then has taken place every two years attracting more than 350 local and international tourism professionals and press representatives. The travel show is a business to business event that showcases Belize’s travel destinations, hotels, tour operators and other tourism service providers. “It is an exclusive opportunity for international travel resellers (trade visitors) to meet, network, negotiate and conduct business with local travel suppliers (exhibitors), learn more about Belize, and experience the destination first-hand,” says Mr Haylock, the BTIA President.

Police say “killer croc” captured
The Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez has released a photograph with the caption Killer Croc”, of a crocodile believed to be the reptile that attacked and killed 47 year old Carl Michael Diaz on Monday afternoon in Lord’s Bank village, Belize District. Diaz’ body was found in a water channel on the Green Estate property with the right foot almost severed and bite marks on the left foot. According to police reports, Diaz who is originally from Benque Viejo del Carmen was attacked and killed as he walked in the area to go fishing. The crocodile has been euthanized.

New Horizons Belize 2014 opening ceremonies held
Opening ceremonies were held for the New Horizons Belize 2014 exercise April 10 at the Edward P. Yorke school in Belize City, Belize. More than 200 Belizean and U.S. representatives from various schools, armed forces and organizations attended the event, which kicked off the annual exercise typically held in different Central American, South American or Caribbean nations each year. Opening ceremonies included presentations by each of the four schools receiving new facilities built by the BDF Light Engineer Company and U.S. military civil engineers. Also included in the ceremonies were speeches from the Belizean minister of education, U.S. Embassy chargé d'affaires and the Hattieville school vice principal. "The opening ceremony is very symbolic (and) is very important," said Lt. Col. Louis Sutherland, Belize Defence Force commanding officer for the services and support battalion. "The opening ceremonies was a reflection of what's to come."

Belize Transport Department has donated a breathalyzer to the San Pedro Traffic Department
As part of the Belize National Road Safety Demonstration project, the Belize Transport Department has donated a breathalyzer to the San Pedro Traffic Department (SPTD). The breathalyzer is a device used to measure alcohol levels in the blood using a breath sample. This device seeks to crack down on irresponsible driving and prevent traffic accidents caused by drunk driving. Mayor Daniel Guerrero of the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and Head of the SPTD Chris Nuñez were on hand to receive the breathalyzer during a short ceremony held on Thursday, April 10th to commemorate the implementation of the Road Safety Project. Traffic departments across all municipalities and cities have also been equipped with a breathalyzer. (4 photos)

Belize's Child Prodigy!
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez There are not a lot of women in Belize into IT She’s a trailblazer and trendsetter not into conformity She’s a visionary and wants good for her country She’s big on educational accessibility Running on a political ticket is not for she She’s been approached by PUDP, but she is for the community Not into popularity and all for national unity She developed and planned protocols and policies for the National Reform Party Winner of the UWI 2014 Outstanding Woman of the Year She’s one of Belize’s pioneer female programmers Born and raised in south side Belize Still residing where she grew up Pallotti and SJC sixth form are her alma maters ...

THIS DOG NEEDS HELP
Her name is "Lacie" and her owners died last October. She has lived in her yard without an owner since then. she became pregnant, weaned her puppies and the Belmopan Humane Society has found homes for many of them. A BHS member has been visiting, feeding and providing water twice a day for the past 2 months to "Lacie" and her pups. She has been spayed, has all her shots, dewormed. The house is up for rent and she must be removed. She is quite a fearful dog but one can see she craves attention and love just doesnt know quite how to respond to it yet. She has been used to going out on the street to look for food for many months so would need a very well secured fenced area. She would make a good watch dog and a loyal companion. If anyone can think of where we can put "Lacie" by the end of this weekend please call Lilly Morison at 602-7947.

The Queen’s Baton
The Queen’s Baton is set to arrive in Belize on Her Majesty’s Queen Elizabeth II 88th birthday, Monday, April 21st. The anticipated tradition, which has become a staple of the festivities, happens every four years. This year it signals the staging of the XX Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow, Scotland from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014. Belize’s participation in this symbolic precursor event takes place from Easter Monday, April 21st, through to the baton’s departure on Thursday, April 24th, 2014. During its journey in Belize, the baton will be making its rounds to Belize City’s House of Culture, Belize Youth Hostel & Cadet Corp, Governor General Field in Belmopan, BTL Princess Royal Park in Dangriga Town and Punta Gorda Central Park in Punta Gorda Town. Relay teams of one hundred participants will carry the baton to each destination where it will be welcomed with a reception, tree planting initiative and plaque ceremony. Celebrations for the Queen’s Baton Relay will be led by Patron of the Belize Olympic & Commonwealth Games Association, H.E Sir Colville Young. Joining the GG will be British High Commissioner to Belize Mr. Peter Hughes, Consul General of India to Belize, H.E Arun Hotchandani, Minister of Sports Honorable Herman Longsworth, Mayors of the respective municipalities and executives of the Belize Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (BOCGA).

BELTRAIDE Staff Easter Charity
Beltraide visited preschools around Belmopan, and had Easter egg hunts and handed out Easter baskets to the kids. Thanks, Beltraide! "The staff of BELTRAIDE came together utilizing its resources under the organization and personal allocations to give preschools in the Belmopan area a treat for Easter. This was done through an Easter Egg Hunt and mini Easter baskets for the kids. Kudos to another team effort."

The Combat Team Martial Arts Troupe
The Combat Team is having a free demonstration at the George Price Centre tomorrow night, starting at 7:00pm. The team is comprised of Brian Bryan, Brandon Stowers, and Jarred Sweat, and they've visited 45 countries so far, demonstrating their combination of martial arts and the teachings of Christ. They did a demonstration at Belmopan Baptist High School earlier this week. Here's a promo. "The Combat Team is a Christian Martial Arts Demonstration Team that uses their gifts, and talents in the martial arts as a platform to reach, teach, and share the love of Christ around the world. Admission is FREE...."

BELTRAIDE PARTNERS WITH DFC TO ASSIST MSME’S TO ACCESS CREDIT
On the 9th of April, the Development Finance Corporation (DFC), and the key investment promotion agency, Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to benefit local Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in the areas of credit facilitation and credit management. DFC, the country’s premier development financing institution, currently offers and manages a series of productive sector credit programs geared toward the MSME sector in Belize. BELTRAIDE, through its Small Business Development Centre Belize (SBDCBelize), will be providing much needed long-term technical assistance through the advice and training to entrepreneurs and MSMEs, who intend to access credit through the DFC, to systematically improve their access to funding and develop their business acumen.

HAWKSWORTH BRIDGE CLOSURE
The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic Thursday April 10 through Wednesday April 16th between the hours of 9pm to 3am to carry out necessary maintenance on the bridge. The public is advised to use the low level timber bridge while this maintenance is being done.

First Music Summer Camp in Orange Walk !
Maestro Carlos Perrote will teach how to play Steel Pan, Garifuna & Afrocuban percussion, guitar and keyboards for children ages 5-18. Venue is the Banquitas House of Culture in Orange Walk, August 25-30. To register please contact organizer Elisabeth Hobarth at lizhobarth@yahoo.com, Tel. 226 3755. Spaces are limited-first come, first serve.

Cayo Welcome Center Marimba Dance

Video: Cruising the New River Lagoon in Belize to Lamanai
2min. As Belize's largest lake, the New River Lagoon is an oasis in a maze of narrow rivers and waterways that cut through Belize. Jabiru storks, roseate spoonbills, great black hawks, social flycatchers, snail kites, blue crowned motmots, night herons, northern jacanas, squirrel cuckoos, cormorants, and several species of parrot fly high above the surrounding broadleaf rainforest.

Video: BELIZE VACATION VIDEO PHOTO SLIDESHOW
5min. Belize vacation video slideshow of San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Lamanai, Belize, Mayan Ruins, Ambergris Caye

Video: Hike, Snorkel and Rappel to find the Mystery of the Maya
5min. For outdoor enthusiasts and pre-Columbian history buffs the Central American neighbors of Belize and Guatemala offer the best of both worlds. Swim to a jungle cave to find Maya ceremonial artifacts. Discover the jewel of Maya civilization at Tikal. Rappel down a 300-foot sink hole and snorkel in Belize's South Water Caye Marine Reserve. Virgin rainforests with orchids, howler monkeys and toucans and hundreds of species of exotic birds make getting to these magical and mysterious Maya sites half the fun.

Video: Belize Spring Break 2014 Huntington University
10min. Huntington University's spring break trip to Belize, Central America. We spent our week at the Hosanna House, with Here's Hope Ministries.

Video: EQUALLY DETESTABLE THIS SAME WEEKEND
1min. Belikin Bash in San Ignacio Belize

Video:
min.

Video: Belize Trip 2014
5min. Another great vacation video from recent visitors to Belize. An interesting dubstep version of Bob Marley's I'm a Rainbow Too adds something to it all. The last couple of minutes are in Cayo. Xunantunich gets its screen time, along with some canoeing along the Macal.

Video: Belizean Artist, Blak Berry stepping it up with his new single - Since Yo Gaan/Boom Boom (Dancehall Reggae Medley)
4min. Get the Single album on iTunes now :https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/boom-boom-single/id858238886 BlakBerry, Belize's Top Male Dancehall/Reggae Artist is kn...

Channel 7

Foreign Minister Updates Guatemalans On Civilian Killed In Chiquibul
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, met this afternoon with Guatemalan authorities to update them on the investigation into the death of 26 year old Tomas Desdicho Ramirez, the Guatemalan civilian who was killed by the BDF inside the Chiquibul on Belizean soil. As we've told you, Ramirez is the 4th civilian to be killed by BDF in 3 years, and so, his death has created some cross border tension. Elrington, who is trying to regain the confidence of the Guatemalans, granted us an interview after that meeting at his Belize City Office. Here's how he explained their discussion: Hon. Wilfred Elrington "These were two members of the "fiscales" they called them, these are people who worked in the prosecutor's office like the DPP office and they really wanted to come over to see to what extend they could be of assistance to us they told me in terms of trying to get to the bottom of what really transpired out there in the jungle which led to the death of the Guatemalan citizen. It's a difficult circumstances, but this exercise in no different from when it is allege that a policeman here has shot and kill a Belizean. It's the same process they go through; you investigate it in an objective and dispassionate way without it being said that you are sacrificing the policeman. This is a situation that it's almost a situation that damn if you and you damn if you don't because in the case where a policeman is allege to have shot a Belizean and kill a Belizean - if you don't investigate it properly or the public doesn't perceive that you are doing that - the government and the police is criticized."

Killer Croc Caught and Put Down
The man-eater that killed a father of five on Monday has been caught. After another night of waiting with no result, this afternoon croc catcher Vince Rose and a team of young men from Lord's Bank took action: they dug the Morelets Crocodile out of his lair and captured him. It turns out to be a 12 foot mature male - and it was properly subdued, and bound on site. Rose told Monica Bodden about his capture:.. Vince Rose - Owner, ACES "Last night zero activity, he didn't go for any of my traps, any of my snares, any of my chicken - he didn't go for anything anywhere nor did I see him last night. This morning I went out and checked about 5:30 this morning and he still hadn't gone for any of my traps. I went back there about 8:30 and there was a local kid who said that he say the croc, so he bring me back there and we saw the croc and then I notice that he had a house/den right there because he kept sticking his head and in and out and so I knew that where his house was. Meanwhile about 10 more local boys showed up and they insisted on digging the croc out of his hole. So at that point I said what the heck (they got more muscle and energy that I do), I am not sitting and digging, I would have just set my trap and walk away, but they dug him out and as soon as they saw his head and we were able to get his head up they came over and got me.

CCJ Upholds Malpractice Award for Janae
The biggest medical malpractice award in Belize's history has been upheld by the Caribbean Court of Justice. That's the decision that the court handed down this morning via teleconference. The panel of judges found that 2.3 million dollars must be paid to Janae Matute, and a little over half a million dollars must be paid to her mother, Georgia. 13 year-old Janae, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, has been featured in our newscast many times; she is the child who was born premature, and due to post-natal complications, she was left with the disorder, which makes her life a constant struggle. The doctor, Raji Meenvalli, who the family sued for malpractice in the Supreme Court, challenged it in the Court of Appeal - and when he failed there, took his case to the highest court in the land, the Carribean Court of Justice. That was head in February of this year. But in the end, he lost, and after the decision was handed down today, we got a brief reaction from his attorney, Godfrey Smith:

Coast Guard in Shootout and Chase With Pirates
The Coast Guard was in a dangerous shootout with pirates today. It all started at around noon when five fishermen made a distress call: they were 20 miles southeast of Belize City being robbed by 4 men. The coast guard responded, saws the pirates and set chase. They fired at the Coast Guard and the officers fired back. The chase continued like that for 2 and a half hours. Operations Officer, Lieutenant Greg Soberanis narrated the event for us:... Lieutenant Greg Soberanis - Belize Coast Guard "Coast Guard received a report from members of the fishing community that one of their vessels was being robbed just about 20 miles south east from here. The vessel escaped into the creek in the area of Middle Long Caye. We immediately deployed our standby unit from this location and upon arrival at the scene we were informed by the fishermen whose product was taken that the men were hiding somewhere in the immediate vicinity. The patrol conducted a search of the area but the said vessel and occupants were not seen in that particular area. The patrol continued their search and on their way back to base the vessel that was given to us as it relates to its description was sighted. We approach the vessel and immediately the vessel took off. A hot pursuit ensued where the vessel conducted evasive maneuvers trying to elude the coast guard patrol.

BTL Union Gets 4%, Praises Exec Anwar Barrow
Last week Friday we told you how BTL employees took a minute to bang on their desks in unison - an expression of union solidarity in ongoing collective bargaining negotiations. Well, it seems management heard them loud and clear - because the Union was offered and have accepted a 4% increase. A release from the Union today saying that quote, "the Union is now confirming that it has agreed with the proposal presented by Executive Committee." The release sates that that major points agreed on for the three-year period, October 2013 to September 2016 are for a yearly 4% salary increase retroactive to 1 October 2013; a 1% increase in company and staff pension contributions; a $25 increase per month in phone benefit for staff; and free 4G service for each staff member.

PUP Says Barrow's Nepotism Overbearing
But the PUP isn't impressed - not with Anwar Barrow. At a catch-all press conference today, the party once again called for the Board of Management at the telephone company to rescind their decision to appoint Barrow as the Chairman of the Executive Committee. Today, Opposition Leader, Francis Fonseca, used that platform to criticize the Prime Minister for a series of appointments of his family members to very senior posts within his Government. Here's how he explained it: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Anwar Barrow's appointment as chairman of the executive committee of management of BTL is the latest in a series o appointments of family members to positions of influence made by this UDP prime minister, Prime Minister Barrow since taking office in 2008 and I want to take this opportunity to remind the Belizean people about some of these appointments: Lois Young Barrow, the ex-wife of the prime minister, appointment to serve as ambassador to the United Nations and prior to that appointment Belizeans will know that she served as the primary private legal counsel to the government of Belize. Shyne Barrow, I mean no disrespect but that is the name I am aware of Jamal Shyne Barrow, the son of the prime minister appointed musical ambassador of Belize after he was deported back to Belize from the United States of America.

PUP Says It's Not Playing On Penner
Another full court press that the Opposition is making is against Elvin Penner, the man who has been criminally charged and arraigned for the Citizen Kim passport scandal. 5 weeks ago, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin granted the Writ Of Mandamus which compelled Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to re-open an investigation against Penner for his role in the issuance of the fraudulent nationality certificate and Belizean passport to the South Korean fugitive, Won Hong Kim. Today, Fonseca told the media that time is going, and they will not wait forever to give ComPol Whylie a chance to provide disclosure. He said that if they don't see any positive movements with the investigation, they will press the court to find him in contempt:

Supreme Court Allows Judicial Review of Recall
And while they wait for things to progress on the criminal side against Penner, they're also pressing forward on the civil side to get him ejected as Area Representative of Cayo Northeast. Today, Justice Courtney Abel heard the application from Orlando Habet and 5 other residents of Cayo Northeast to challenge the decision of Chief Elections Office, Josephine Tamai, to reject 337 signatures, which meant that the threshold to trigger a recall referendum against Penner wasn't met. After hearing from Acting Solicitor General Nigel Hawke and Attorney Lisa Shoman, he granted leave to bring judicial review proceedings. Outside of court, Shoman explained what their hopes are for a favourable outcome in the case: Lisa Shoman, attorney "The chief elections officer depending on what the court decides - we are fighting for the 79 people who signed twice; 72 who signed twice and 4 more who signed three times. The chief elections officer disallowed all of those people because of the double signature. We are saying the law doesn't say that is a penalty at all.

PUP Comments On Dan Silva Situation
And a little more from that PUP press conference, it's been months in the making, but former 3 term Lake I Area Representative, Cordel Hyde, was finally confirmed by the party as the standard bearer who will run in that constituency. As has been widely reported, Hyde and the party parted ways under less-than-friendly terms, but he's now fully back in the PUP fold. Opposition Leader Fonseca discussed his candidacy today: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "Mr. Hyde has applied to be a candidate for the People's United Party in the Lake Independence area and the national executive of the party has approved that application subject to one meeting that we will have, but yes that is the case that Cordel Hyde in fact is the only applicant for Lake Independence and will in fact at some future date, that date has not yet been determine, will be sworn in as the PUP standard bearer in Lake Independence." Attorney Kareem Musa, the son of Former PUP Leader and Former Prime Minister, Said Musa, will also make his debut as the Standard Bearer for Caribbean Shores. Fonseca discussed it after we asked him about the party's plans for that constituency:

Bradley Says Mind Still Not Made On Mayorship
And while the PUP is entering its general election campaign season, the UDP has finished that phase and is now preparing for its municipal conventions. The biggest name in all this has been rising political star Darrell Bradley. He didn't in his name for Mayor at the party's deadline on March 28th , and since then he's been vacillating on his decision on whether or not he'll run. Today, this would be Prince of Denmark told us about his dilemma: Mayor Darrell Bradley "I think that in terms of running for mayor in office again, it's an easy decision for me, I have other commitments in terms of my family commitments, I have other commitments of my professional development as an attorney, I have other views in terms of other political office that I am thinking about, so it's not an easy decision for me. Of course I can't not make a decision very long into the future, it's something that I am seriously reflecting on, It's something that I am consulting people on. It's a thing that I want to go forward in politics but there are other considerations that I have to give before making a final decision."

Former COMPOL Brooks Passes
Tonight, we note the passing of former Commissioner of Police, Ornel Brooks. Brooks died this morning in Belize City after an emergency surgery yesterday. Reports say he experienced multiple organ failure after surgery for a gastric disorder. Brooks was 63. He was a career police officer who ascended to the highest post in the Department in the mid 90's and served until the year 2000. He had a memorable, often colourful term as Commissioner - where he gained distinction for his strong hand and his media savvy. After that he was the Director of the Drug Council and then went on to be Director of Security at the central Bank - from which he retired three years ago. As per his wish, he will be cremated and his ashes taken back to his home in Gallon Jug. There will be a memorial service on Monday.

New Awareness Effort To Curb Drunk Driving Over Easter
Today, a "Don't Drink and Drive" Campaign was luanched. It's a national effort, part of a wider Road Safety programme to upgrade highways and activate enforcement. But, with Easter approaching, the message of safe, sober driving was timely, and multiple agencies put the word out today. 7News was there: Jules Vasquez reporting Any cause that can get these two potential political rivals in the same photo op has to be a good one. And it is - drunk driving has caused dozens of traffic fatalities in Belize. But despite all the carnage there's no hard numbers because driving drunk has never been seriously enforced or monitored in Belize. But with the number of road accident deaths, it caught the attention of the World Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank: Jette Ravn, Communications Specialist "Belize was selected by the World Bank to begin with for this project because it was detected that you have some serious problems with road safety and traffic management in the country."

Mayor Says "Bar" In Park Part of Bowen Branding
And while we had the mayor on the subject of drinking and driving, we asked him about the Lighthouse Beer bar that now graces the shoreline at the BTL Park. Well, at least we thought it was a bar, but the mayor told us, it's not! Jules Vasquez "Mayor we see the bar in the background, we lost that bottle - the Lighthouse." Mayor Darrell Bradley "No man, it's not a bar Jules." Jules Vasquez "But its painted Lighthouse Beer." Mayor Darrell Bradley "Because its sponsored by Bowen and Bowen. You used the word bar and I just want to correct you." Jules Vasquez "It looks like a bar." Mayor Darrell Bradley "Yes but a bar has certain legal definition; a bar is place that you can access alcohol without the consumption of food - that's not what that place will be. It's painted that way because one of the good corporate sponsors for the BTL Park project has been Bowen and Bowen and they gave a lot of sponsorship in relation to that facility, but that's like saying that Tavern which is a place that I go quite often is just a bar, it's not a bar. Even though it's named Tavern which connotes that it's a bar."

UB Researches All Kinds Of Stuff.
The University of Belize today held its Fourth Annual Student Research Conference. The idea is to put research at the top of the pyramid of higher learning, and in so doing, enrich the society with scholarly papers on subjects as varied as Default Risk among Credit Unions, to the perception of tour guides on the Stake Bank Project. We found out more today:.. The conference is a one day event and it finished this afternoon…

More New Horizons
This morning the US Embassy held the opening ceremony for New Horizons 2014. New Horizons has been staged in Belize a number of times since 2007, and this year, the US Southern Command will be constructing four new classrooms in the Belize District. In addition, the team will improve facilities at the Belmopan Hospital and offer free medical services in the areas of general and family care, dental care, ophthalmology, urology, surgery, gynecology services and health education around the country. The US Chief of mission told us more this morning at EP Yorke high in Belize City:.. The four schools that will be benefiting from the project include Edward P. Yorke High School, Hattieville Government School, Sadie Vernon High School and Stella Maris School.

Ashcroft Alliance Laments Long Wait For Appeals Court Judgment
Today was supposed to have been a big day at the Court of Appeals. All parties had been notified that the long awaited judgement on the re-acquisition of BTL by the government of Belize would be handed down. But, yesterday, delivery of the judgment was postponed again. And, the Ashcroft Alliance isn't happy about it. They issued a release today in the name of the BTL Employees Trust. The release says it is almost five years since the nationalization first began and no compensation has been paid. IT warns that quote, "massive interest is accruing on the compensations…which Belizean taxpayers will also have to pay. To explain the latest delay, the release then goes unto make a suggestion of dubious motives in the case of one Appeals Court judge - a suggestion which we won't repeat because it seems to tread dangerously close to contempt of court.

Hon. Mike Says Mayans Attended US Capital Meeting
Last night, we told you about the scolding that SATIIM had for Michael Peyrefitte, for inviting the Mayans to a meeting on Tuesday to discuss US Capital Energy's interpretation of the judgment from Justice Michelle Arana. Their press release suggested that no one attended that meeting and boycotted as a "vile attempt" by the oil company try to influence them and to weaken their resolve to fight the exploration in the Sarstoon Temash National Park. Well, Peyrefitte told us today that SATIIM's Executive Director, Greg Ch'oc was being disingenuous by reporting that no one, including the Mayan Leaders of the buffer communities, attended. He provided us with photos of that meeting, and listed off the names of the leaders of the communities which attended. He said that representatives, including Leaders, from Crique Sarco, Lucky Strike, Sunday Wood, Conejo Creek, Barranco, Midway, Santa Anna, San Felipe, and Jacintoville attended the meeting and they had a good discussion about the judgement and what it means.

Channel 5

Man-eating croc in Lord’s Bank is finally captured
A News Five team is just back from the headquarters of the Belize Coast Guard where three men have been detained following a shootout at sea. We’ll have that coming [...]

Coast Guard comes under fire in Belizean waters
This story just in…a high speed chase in Belizean waters involving the Belize Coast Guard took place this evening. Our News Five team is just back and reports that three [...]

Court grants judicial review of the decision to reject signatures in recall petition
While the political gods continue to throw a shroud of protection around former Minister of State Elvin Penner, the fates seem to be conspiring against him. Today, leave for judicial [...]

B.T.L. Employees Trust comment on pending judgment on nationalization of Telemedia
Justice delayed is justice denied… This afternoon, the B.T.L. Employees Trust issued a statement in respect of a long pending judgment on the constitutionality of the second nationalization of Telemedia [...]

Opposition calls Anwar Barrow’s appointment at B.T.L. an act of nepotism
The People’s United Party held a press conference at Independence Hall this afternoon. The topics up for discussion ranged from Elvin Penner to very internal politics. We’ll have all that [...]

P.U.P. has hard questions for PM and John Saldivar on Mytheon Solutions
Another topic on the political table this afternoon was the now very well known Mytheon Solutions. That company was first registered by John Saldivar and Khalid Belisle in 2009. John [...]

CCJ upholds decision in the case of Doctor Raju versus Janae Matute
The Caribbean Court of Justice today issued a decision in the case of Doctor Raju Meenavalli versus Janae Matute and her mother, Georgia. The decision was delivered from Port of [...]

Belize Communications Workers Union gives update on negotiations at B.T.L.
While the P.U.P. is calling Anwar Barrow’s appointment at B.T.L. an act of nepotism, the Belize Communications Workers Union is throwing bouquets at Barrow. The union said in a release [...]

The transparency and accountability of the Integrity Commission
It’s mostly gone under the radar, but March thirty-first was the deadline for all members of the National Assembly to file their declarations with the Integrity Commission. It’s actually something [...]

P.U.P. comments on the Holy Emmanuel squatters
The Holy Emmanuel squatters, as they’ve been dubbed, have been prominent in the news for the past week. Their homes are being threatened by the massive infrastructural work which will [...]

Mandamus Update: P.U.P. Leader says he will do what he has to
Today, the People’s United Party won a significant victory in Supreme Court, a victory which injected at least a spark of life into a dead recall petition. But that’s only [...]

Stewart Krohn asks NCL Executive to clarify a number of issues
On Wednesday, Vice President of Destination Development for Norwegian Cruise Line, Colin Murphy, told the media that the company is moving full steam ahead with plans to construct a multimillion [...]

Leon Gomez, Guilty of Manslaughter
On Wednesday night, twenty-two-year-old Leon Gomez was found not guilty of murder for the January 2010 stabbing death of Salvador Martinez.  He was however, found guilty of manslaughter.  The verdict [...]

The New Horizons Belize 2014 project is launched
Four schools in the Belize District will be getting spanking new classrooms as part of a project by New Horizons Belize. The U.S. Southern Command is teaming up with three [...]

Don’t Drink and Drive…a campaign to keep the road safe
Traffic accidents have been on increase since the beginning of year and invariably it involves drunk drivers.  This morning, a simultaneous launch of a Don’t Drink and Drive Campaign took [...]

Traffic laws to regulate alcohol limit for drivers enforced
The campaign was also launched in Belmopan this morning. Representatives of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, as well as the Social Investment Fund, through the Belize Municipal Development [...]

Healthy Livings looks at a Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
Complimentary & Alternative Medicine, or CAM, is a term used to describe non-mainstream health approaches. Some of these approaches are used together with conventional medicine – complementary and some are [...]

CTV3

MOE Investigates Drowning Of Students
On Friday we reported on a high school trip gone horribly wrong. As a consequence, two forth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico drowned in the Macal River after strong currants swept them off their feet while washing off. But it seems the drowning of 16 year old Edgar Puck from the Village of Patchakan and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin was not the only mishap experienced that day. But first let’s talk about the investigation being carried out by the Ministry of Education and the Board of Directors of ESTM. We understand that today both parties met to look at preliminary findings and will make a determination in terms of how they will proceed in gathering additional evidence in getting students and teachers accounts of the incident. While it is an ongoing investigation Jahmor Lopez, Education Center Manager for the Corozal District, spoke to us on the course of action they will take.

BTIA Orange Walk Chapter Weighs In On Band Fest Change Of Venue
The shift in venue for the 2014 Love FM’s Band Best has sparked the ire of many people, particularly those who had made plans to make an economic profit off the event. Today, the Belize Tourism Association Orange Walk Chapter issued a press release expressing their discontent with the changes. The BTIA Orange Walk Chapter says it is “disappointed” after what happened adding that it could have been avoided given that there would have been better communication and preparation among all parties involved. Those key parties are also listed in the release and they include Love FM, which oversees Band Fest, and the Orange Walk Sports Council, which manages the People’s Stadium. The organization says that quote, “It is inexcusable for the Orange Walk People’s Stadium to be kept in such deplorable conditions” end of quote.

CZL Police Issues Safety Easter Tips
The Corozal Police Formation is gearing up for the long Easter holiday weekend but in the same light they are asking the public to do their share in maintaining peace and order in the district. Officer Commanding the Corozal Police Formation, Andrew Ramirez, says there is much that business owners can do to safeguard their stores. “1. Report anything suspicious either vehicle or persons, I think Corozalenos or nortenous knows exactly who the north individuals are so we can just look out for outsiders. 2. Close your business on time and do not risk opening after the prescribe hours. 3. Do not take anything for granted. 4. Do not walk in isolated areas by yourself. 5. Avoid going out alone with amount of cash and jewellery. 6. Do not over consume alcohol and know who you socialize with. 7. If you leave your house during the Easter Holidays please contact your neighbour and the police we will ensure that patrols are conducted in those areas during your absents and please be reminded that the Corozal Police Station Number is 402-0022.”

The Progress Of 2013/2014 Crop Season
April 6th 2014 marked the end of week 11 of the 2013/2014 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 11 the factory milled fifty three thousand eight hundred and thirty seven tons of cane. To date, the factory has milled a total of five hundred and fifty seven thousand nine hundred and seventy eight tons of cane. Last year, during the same period, the factory milled four hundred and twenty seven thousand six hundred and ten tons of cane. Taking a look at sugar production, six thousand three hundred and ninety six tons of the sweetener was produced for week 11. An overall of fifty nine thousand two hundred and sixty one tons of the product has been produced so far. Last year, the factory produced forty two thousand two hundred and forty four tons of sugar.

CZL Police Continue To Investigate Armed Hold Up Of Jing Jing Store
Corozal Police continue to investigate the robbery of Jing Jing Store located at the corner of the Philip Goldson Highway and the Paraiso Junction. Owner of the establishment, Hui Bang Chen, told police that three male persons, 2 of them of creole descent and the third of Hispanic descent, entered the business. One of the men pointed a gun at him while another robbed him of three to four hundred dollars in cash. The third person attacked a costumer and took one hundred and fifty d0ollars that was in his wallet. The men escaped on bicycles.

Wanted Man Captured By Orange Walk Police
Tonight, Orange Walk Police is reporting a breakthrough in the attempted murder case of Woman Police Officer, Marilyn Pate which occurred on December 5th, 2013. For context, as previously reported, on December 5th, WPC Marilyn Pate accompanied personnel of the Human Development Department to the house of Oscar Perez in Trial Farm, Orange Walk when the incident transpired.

Pharmacist Association Stands Firm, They Want Newly Appointed Director Of Inspectorate Removed
On March 12th we reported on the dissatisfaction from the Pharmacist Association of Belize with concerns over the illegitimate appointment of Danini Contreras who is the Minister of Trade Erwin Contreras’ daughter as Director of the Drug Inspectorate in the Ministry of Health. The Association says that Contreras, who holds a degree in Chemical Pharmaceuticals, is and was not qualified for the post. The association maintains that to be a drug inspector, one would have to be a registered pharmacist, have 5 years working experience; specialized training in drug inspection, and have an associate or a diploma in pharmacy. And today, a little over a month after they first reacted to the news, the Pharmacist Association of Belize issued another release on their meeting with Minister and CEO of the Ministry of Health on March 26th.

"No Drink And Drive Campaign" Launch In Orange Walk
One of the most anticipated holidays is just days away and there is no doubt that there will be A LOT of alcohol consumption happening throughout the course of the Easter weekend. It is a time when hundreds of Belizeans travel to various destinations with their families to enjoy the holiday but once alcohol is involved, danger always looms. This was part of the message that was delivered this morning by representatives of the Orange Walk Town Council and the Ministry of Works and Transport as they launched the national road safety “No Drink and Drive Campaign”. The campaign was launched at the Central Park and Dalila Ical has more on the story. Dalila Ical – Reporting Errol Gentle – CEO, Ministry of Works & Transport “One death is too much and whilst we are trying, last year we had 20% reduction in fatality caused by traffic accident, last month alone there was three and whilst we are looking at a 20% reduction my thing is that if we can go to 75% reduction let aim for it because one death is too many.”

Man-eater Crocodile Captured
Tonight, despite the tragic death of Benque Viejo Del Carmen resident, 47 year old Carl Diaz, there is good news to report for the residents of Lords Bank as the man-eating crocodile has been captured. Since the incident unfolded on Monday, Vince Rose, Owner of the American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary (ACES) has been setting traps and hunting the apex predator. And Rose and his team hit the jackpot this afternoon when the Croc was captured. We spoke to Rose who said that immediately after its capture, the crocodile was euthanized. Here is what he told us via telephone today. Vince Rose, Owner, American Crocodile Educational Sanctuary (ACES) “Today we set up the traps and one local boy came up to me and said that he think he saw the croc and he brought me back to the bush and he pointed me to where he saw it and then I found his den where he lives and he was hiding in his den and that was about 10:00am and another ten local kids showed up and they insisted upon digging on his den and so I left them just to go ahead and start digging and was about to setting up another trap and then they finally broke through the top on the ground onto his den and saw him and then that was probably about 2pm and then I put my other trap onto him and safely capture him and then brought his to Aces Shrimp farm and at that point we call the police and they requested the animal to be put down as soon as possible and that is what happened.

Chairman BSCFA Throws Hat His Hat In The Political Ring
Both major political parties are gearing up for general elections. The work has begun and over the last few months several conventions and endorsements have been held in both camps. In the same light, men and women, however sparsely, are tendering their application for different constituencies. One such person is Alfredo Ortega, who is popularly known as the spokesperson for the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. Ortega has entered his application to run for candidate of Orange Walk North in the People’s United Party. We spoke with Ortega who told us more about his decision. Alfredo Ortega – Aspiring Candidate “Realmente el sector agrícola y el sector de la industria azucarera de que el apoyo ácido poco, yo estado aquí desde el 2000 y hemos estado luchando bastante para que la industria azucarera llegara a otro nivel y claro hemos logrado bastante internamente en La Asociación hemos logrado hacer cambios, criterios y reglamentos que se han dado acá dentro, realmente no estoy usando La Asociación como un plataforma tome mi decisión individual porque yo quisiera ver de que el sector agrícola llegue a otro nivel y no solo el sector del canero pero si no el sector agrícola productivo para que así Belice pueda tener una mejor posición en tener una seguridad de comestibles porque la mayoría de alimentos se han sido importada y vemos de que hay bastante potencial aparte de la caña como en la producción de vegetales, en la producción de arroz que ahorita está en los suelos y realmente necesitamos dar ese cambio y de que garantiza de que hay un mercado del producto y viendo esos factores entonces eso me ha dado la decisión de postularme en las convenciones que vienen.”

CEMJC Holds Annual Expo
The Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College welcomed prospective students and their families to an Open Day at its campus today where visitors were treated to a fascinating range of exhibits from each program sector of the school’s curriculum. It also saw the participation of several members of the business community. Our news team arrived just in time to capture the event as it was winding down, here is that story. Dalila ical – Reporting A total of 276 students enrolled at the Centro Escolar Mexico Junior College got some much needed hands on experience of the programs they are studying for; from tourism to IT to Agriculture. The open day was an ideal opportunity for the students to present and explain their work to a wide audience. Lizbeth Cabral – Tourism Lecturer “We divided the projects in the different sectors; we have food and beverage, attractions and entertainments and then we have history and culture, we have accommodations and we have like two operators on tourists and so all of these 16 projects we incorporated the Creole, the Garifuna, the Maya, the Mestizo, we have a ship and we have Belize Airways the first airline in Belize, we have the Billboard tour, ATM cave tour, we have a rainforest lodge and we have a variety of stuff out here today.”

UN Places Belize In Third Place In List Of Countries With Most Murders
In a recent report released by the United Nations Africa is declared as the region with the highest number of murders in the world. Honduras is the most violent country in the world, with a rate of 90.4 intentional homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, said the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, based on data from 2012. Honduras is followed by Venezuela with 53.7. But what is making headlines on this side of the globe, especially here at home, is that Belize ranked third in the list. According to the UN’s report Belize ranked third with 44.7 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants. El Salvador placed fourth with 41.2. Bear in mind that in the report rates above 20 are considered serious. The UN study attributed the high murder rate in Latin America to organized crime and decades of political violence.

PlusTV

Chief Elections Officer to be Challenged on Penner’s Pre Recall Review
Justice Courtney Abel has allowed three of the original five applicants in last week’s filing of the challenge to the decision of Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai to recommend the rejection of 337 signatures from the original 2,002 presented to the Governor General last November. Lead applicant Orlando Habet...

Chetumal Bridge Project Causing Environmental and Health Hazards
Concerns over the environmental impact of the Chetumal Street Bridge project have been raised by fishermen and some residents of Belama. We have already reported on the concerns of the squatters of the area, but our colleagues at KREM are reporting environmental impact concerns as well. About a week...

Janae Matute and Mother Win Final Case in CCJ Ruling
The decade long saga of Janae Matute and her mother Georgia Matute, finally came to a close as the trial judge of the CCJ ruled in favour of Janae and her mother against obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Raju Meenvalli. In June 9th 2000, Georgia Matute realized she was pregnant and so...

Leader of the Opposition Updates his Views on National Issues
The People’s United Party (PUP) called a press briefing today at Independence Hall for a regular update on national issues of interest to the party. Leader Francis Fonseca called for newly appointed chair of the Executive Committee of Belize Telemedia Limited Anwar Barrow to resign his post on the...

Man Eating Crocodile Captured
The man-eating crocodile that killed 47 year old Carl Diaz, while he was fishing in the area of Green Estate on Monday afternoon, was captured today. ACES crocodile expert had been hunting the croc for the past two days. Police issued this picture today showing the captured animal all bound up....

Another Employer Charged for Avoiding Payments to Social Security
The man popularly known as “Brads”, 44 year old businessman Kim Chee of a Vernon Street address, appeared in court today charged with failing to make Social Security contributions for employees within the prescribed fourteen-day period under law. Chee is accused of missing the deadline in each month from...

The Guardian

Orange Walk’s Cocky Mayor
It is perhaps one of the most unethical and disturbing things in business, for someone to use their position for personal gain. Based on evidence provided to the Guardian Newspaper, this is where Kevin Bernard finds himself in these days. This newspaper was furnished with various correspondences by Facebook and e-mail between Bernard and a young man who’s name we will not publish which points to some great deal of inappropriate behavior on the part of the mayor. The first in the series of correspondences has three pictures of a male’s genital which were forwarded to the aforementioned young man. Apparently there was a request whereby the young man said “yeah sure send it i wud like to see it jeje”. The respondent to the e-mail carrying the address: Kevin Bernard ( muchodinero24@gmail.com ) complied to the request and sent three pictures. There is a note on the email stating “OK please keep to yourself, Send me a text when u get this”. Looking at the e-mail, the request was made on February 5, 2011 at 12:26p.m. and by 10:37p.m. it came.

Crocodile kills man in Ladyville
Carl Michael Diaz, a 42 year-old resident of Benque Viejo, who has family living in Ladyville, is at the KHMH morgue awaiting a post-mortem, and at this time, it is believed that he died from a crocodile mauling. It happened at around 3 p.m. on Monday, March 7, on a private property known as the Green Estate in the Lord’s Bank/Ladyville area. Someone heard him screaming, and when they went looking, they found Diaz near a pond all the way to the back of the property. He was already dead at the time, and there were signs that a crocodile attacked him. A minor is believed to have witnessed part of the attack, but he was too traumatized to speak with police at the time when they approached him. Diaz was found on the bank of the pond with fishes he had caught in a small sack. He had injuries all over his body, but most notably, his right foot was almost severed; there were bite marks also on his legs which suggested an animal attack. There was also blood in the grass nearby, and animal tracks believed to be those of a crocodile.

The Bridge is Coming
Work crews are working diligently on both the northern and southern ends of Chetumal boulevard where the construction of a new bridge will soon begin. A couple of weeks ago a contract was signed with Cisco Construction Company for the filling of the approaches to the bridge in preparation for the bridge’s construction. Another contract was signed with M&M engineering for the actual construction of the bridge itself. The preparatory work is now well underway with material being dumped up to enable heavy equipment to access the river for piles to be driven into the river itself. These will be the supporting structures which will hold up the bridge. When the Guardian visited the site on Tuesday April 8th, dredging equipment was on site removing silt from the river bed while clay was being dumped into the river for access to take place. Work commenced for this last week and within the next week or so the piles will be driven. While there is a concern that the river is being filled up, this is only a temporary measure being done. After the pile driving is complete, the material will be removed from the river.

Belize Celebrates World Health Day
World Health Day is celebrated every year on April 7 in commemoration of the World Health Organization being founded in 1948. This year Belize joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Health Day under the slogan “Small Bites, Big Threat”. The specific focus during this year’s World Health Day activities is on vector bourne diseases; a topic on which Belize has reasons to celebrate since the country has significantly reduced its cases of vector borne illnesses since the start of the millennium. The European Union recently approved a grant of €750,000 for the Ministry of Health to continue its combat against vector bourne illnesses. Kim Bautista, Vector Control Chief of Operations in the Ministry of Health, organized a health fair on Monday, April 7th, at the Lions Club Parking Lot in Belize City to highlight some of the initiatives that the unit has undertaken to reduce vector bourne illnesses across the country. Vector borne diseases refer to diseases that are spread by organisms such as mosquitoes, ticks and sand flies that transmit viruses, parasites and bacteria to humans. The Vector Control Unit is known for its spray trucks that are disturbing to the nostrils of most Belizeans. However, according to Bautista, there is much more that must be done to effectively combat vector bourne diseases. The activities of the unit will increase from basic surveillance and spraying campaigns to community education and systematic approaches. Using the funds from the European Union, the unit will be working with local authorities and communities to identify neighbourhood hazards and promote best practices. Bautista said surveillance will be intensified over the next 20 months. He said there will be a focus on community drainage systems and solid waste management, among others.

Victim of his judgement
At this newspaper when we began to see Julius Espat sidling up to Plus TV, we knew it was bad news for that media entity. We had long had suspicions that the fair and balanced approach that the television station had would soon be eroded and replaced with outright negative campaigning against the government. The first outright move that the TV station made was exposed when Jason Andrews threw in his hat as a candidate for the PUP in Belmopan. It is our belief that Julius Espat was the guiding hand behind Andrews' decision. While at the time Louis Wade tried to save face and pretended to kick Andrews off as a host of their morning show, there were still undertones present. Those undertones began to get louder and louder and soon enough the television station had gone from religious, fair and balanced to downright negative and anti-government. It got so bad that Hon. John Saldivar mounted a lawsuit against Plus TV and Andrews and Wade- and won. Minister Saldivar did not seek financial compensation, and given the nature of the TV station's continued attack on him, maybe he should have. We are also now of the belief that he will soon mount another suit.

The Belize Natural Energy and Government of Belize Charitable Trust Launch Empowerment Fund
The Belize Natural Energy and Government of Belize Charitable Trust is pleased to announce the launch of the first phase of its Empowerment Fund. The overall objective of the Fund is to empower entrepreneurs through the establishment of revolving loan facilities to finance viable business ideas that contribute towards bettering Belizean communities. The first phase of the Empowerment Fund is being rolled-out through La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited with seed capital of $750,000 and will be implemented out of both the credit union’s Orange Walk and Belmopan offices. To mark the official launch of this program, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 at La Inmaculada Credit Union headquarters in Orange Walk Town. The Trust and La Inmaculada both share the similar mission of empowering and uplifting Belizean people and communities so that they can become the conscious architects of their own future.

Easter Egg Hunt in BTL Park
The BTL Park was like the end of the rainbow for preschoolers of Belize City on Tuesday, April 8th, as treasures were found all over the place. Belize’s kindest corporate citizen, BTL, sponsors various kinds of events throughout the year for Belizeans of all ages. Since Easter is a time of year little children look forward to, the staff decided to sponsor an event specifically for infants. Therefore, invitations were extended to five preschools across the city. The teachers were encouraged to take 25 second year students to the BTL Park for an Easter egg hunt on Tuesday. The event started at 9:30 a.m. Before the search for goodies commenced, parents, teachers and BTL staff members played some fun games with the children like “rabbit find a hole”. After the games, the parents, teachers and BTL staff took the children to look for treats in the park. They all had fun hunting down the sweet treats. Some found more than others but every single child went home happy since after the hunt they were all provided with refreshments and an Easter basket. Loyal BTL customers wishing for a similar Easter treat can text in to win an Easter vacation for four in San Pedro which includes airfare, accommodation, gulf cart, tours and meals. Others can choose to take advantage of the Easter Double/Triple promotion every Wednesday in March.

Arun Cowo Buys Bed and Wins 2014 Kia Sportage
Corozal resident and Free Zone bartender, Arun Cowo, is the lucky winner of a 2014 Kia Sportage. Cowo was one of seven branch finalists in Courts Belize’s grand promotion. Marketing Officer Gina Ford explained that being named a finalist in the promotion was based on luck of the draw but winning the coveted $75,000 vehicle took a bit of work. From the month of January to the end of March, Courts customers received one ticket to enter the Kia Sportage raffle for every $50 purchase, cash or credit. Cowo and his wife purchased a bed set at the Corozal branch for some $3,000. That earned him almost 60 tickets, one of which was selected at the branch drawing. Six other finalists were selected from across the country and all showed up at the Belize City Branch on Saturday, April 5th; all except the Dangriga finalist that is. Arun Cowo and his wife were the first to show up at the Belize City Branch on Phillip Goldson Highway. Cowo said he left Corozal on the 4:30 a.m. bus and got to Courts before 6 a.m. The final showdown started a little after 11:30 that morning. The last finalist to show up was the Belize City representative. Marketing officers of Courts then explained to them the rules of a “Minute to Win It” showdown.

Macal and Belize River claims three lives
Since Friday of last week the Macal and Belize Rivers have claimed three lives. In the first instance, two students from Northern Belize met their deaths in an unplanned entry in to the Macal River, while a Guatemalan also drowned in the Belize River. At about 3:30 pm last Friday, two students Anahi Zepeda and Edgar Puck stepped into the Macal River to wash off the mud from their bodies obtained after a tour of the Che Chem Ha Caves by the Arenal Road in Benque Viejo Town. The region of the river where the two fourth forms students from Escuela Secudaria Mexico in San Roman Village entered is by the temporary wooden bridge that connects San Ignacio to Santa Elena and where sometimes powerful under-currents exist. Unfortunately, 15 year old Anahi Zepeda lost her foothold on the lichen covered pebbles and was dragged down some 300 yards to where a deep section of the river is known to exist. This alarmed 16 year old Edgar Puck, who then dived in and tried to rescue his friend, but was dragged further down the river, they both did not resurface. A third student, Ruggen Tuz from San Narcisso then went to their aid but it was in a fruitless effort. Shorty after, the body of Edgar Puck was found near the bank of the Macal River, where first aid was applied but with no success. At about 5:24 pm that same evening, the body of Anahi Zepeda was found further down the river. Both were then taken to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where they were pronounced dead on arrival. A post mortem has since been conducted, which revealed that both friends died as a result of asphyxia by drowning.

CXC Officials visit Belize to assist the Ministry of Education in improving the quality and relevance of Technical Vocational Training in Belize
The Ministry of Education has through the support of the European Union engaged the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) to provide Caribbean Vocational Qualifications (CVQ). CVQ is the certification needed for free movement of artisans and other skilled workers throughout the Caribbean under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. CVQ represents a qualification that can be given to students graduating from the ITVETs and High Schools as well as to persons already in the workforce, for achieving a set of skills towards a trade such as electricity, plumbing, hospitality, etc. Belize, as a signatory member of the CSME, is expected to prepare its citizens for this free movement of labour. To initiate the process, the EU is funding two CXC experts, who are visiting Belize from 31st March to 4th April, 2014. These experts will work alongside the staff of the Employment Training and Education Service of the Ministry of Education and to build capacity for the implementation of CVQs in Belize. During the visit, the CXC Officers will visit ITVETs and Technical Secondary Schools in the Banana Belt to obtain firsthand information of existing infrastructure, systems, processes, and human resources that can contribute to preparing students for CVQs They will also hold separate consultations with TVET administrators and instructors from all districts in Belize to further enhance their knowledge of the existing system and to identify gaps that need to be addressed.

Southern Tour - Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture
The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Agriculture- Honorable Gaspar Vega, Minister of State- Honorable Hugo Patt, Chief Executive Officers of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and senior officers of the Lands and Agriculture Departments and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA) toured the southern districts on April 1 and 2, 2014. The Deputy Prime Minister and his team first met with members of the Board of the Citrus Growers Association to discuss the control of Citrus Greening and the Certification of Citrus Nurseries. The meeting concluded with an agreement to immediately convene the task force that was set up to oversee the citrus greening certification program. The BAHA will continue to play a central role in control of HLB and the certification of citrus nurseries. The team then travelled to the village of Trio to meet with the small farmers in that area to discuss the issue of land holdings. The Deputy Prime Minister committed to regularize landholdings by June of this year.

Harvest Caye to Welcome Guests in Fall of 2015
“We expect Harvest Caye to be operational by the fall of 2015,” says Colin Murphy, Vice President of Norwegian Cruise Line with responsibility for Destination Development. The National Environmental Appraisal Committee has approved a revised Environmental Impact Assessment submitted by Norwegian Cruise Line for the development of Harvest Caye. The cruise line is now preparing an Environmental Compliance Plan and will then apply for relevant permits to commence its US$50 million development project. Colin Murphy says Norwegian made adjustments to its EIA based on the concerns raised at public consultations on the project. He says one of the concerns involved the source of potable water for Harvest Caye. Murphy says we made adjustment and included a state of the art reverse osmosis system on the island that is similar to what we have on the ships. The treatment system will be able to use sea water and produce quality drinking water. There were also concerns about an incinerator that was proposed for an inland site. Murphy says, “We addressed that concern and changed the plan; therefore, the incinerator will be built on the destination itself and as proposed will release very little emissions into the air.” Murphy says there were also concerns about the dredging of the area.

Ministry of Health personnel Attend Drug Treatment Seminar in Nassau, Bahamas
The Ministry of Health will be represented this week at the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission, Organization of American States (CICAD/OAS), Standardized Drug Treatment Data Form Project Training Seminar from 9th – 10th April 2014 in Nassau, Bahamas. The objective of the training will be to strengthen the capacity of the Research and Information Unit of National Drug Abuse Control Council (NDACC) as well as rehabilitation and treatment facilities in Belize to gather, analyse, and report drug related information in a standardized form. According to the Regional Drug Observatory, of which Belize is a member, drug treatment is one of the sectors where drug-related data is most underdeveloped. A pilot project on standardized drug treatment data form was successfully implemented in three Caribbean countries during 2012 and 2013. A report from that project indicates that it has been a valuable source of information on drug treatment in the region.

‘Paint Up A Storm’ held in San Ignacio Town
An activity celebrating the free expression of art was held in San Ignacio Town at the Cayo Welcome Center on Saturday of this past weekend. Sponsored by both the Winsom Foundation and the San Ignacio’s and Santa Elena’s House of Culture, the arts filled day brought together artists from Belize City and other parts of the Country. Children were out in large numbers to place fine stokes of many colors to paper. While some ten artists, who worked in pairs, were given boxes of a variety of supplies and asked to come up with their own costumes. By mid-day Saturday, five models walked on stage with their costumes, some made from easily accessible materials such as plastic, paper and tape. “The whole concept is for artists to come, no pressure, it is not to sell...it is just for the pure joy of creating and having stuff coming from your soul,” says Winsom Winsom, who has been holding 'Paint Up a Storm' in San Ignacio Town for the last five years, mostly at her own expense.

Political Mischief maker to be charged
Following an accusation by one Mr. Jermaine Miranda, involving the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Eddie Webster, and Mr. Frank Mena, a meeting was held today, 4th April 2014, in the office of the Senior Superintendent of Police, Mr. Robert Mariano, at the Dangriga Police Station. Attending the meeting which started at 11:30 am were Mr. Robert Mariano, Mr. Frank Mena, Mr. Eddie Webster, Mr. Moises Lopez, the Honourable Michael Peyrefitte, Reverend Frederick Francisco, Senior Justice of the Peace, Mrs. Antoniette Webster and Mr. Jermaine Miranda. During the meeting Mr. Miranda admitted that the accusation he had made against Mr. Webster was untrue and he had done so to create mischief. Mr. Miranda apologized to Mr. Webster and Mr. Mena for his lack of judgment and mischief. It is expected that Mr. Miranda, according to Mr. Mariano, will be charged for making a false declaration to the police among other offences.

In for a Surprise
I must offer compliments to Channel 7 for the impressive scores obtained in the recent media survey which revealed something many of us already knew; that this news station was considered by viewers as most reliable and accurate in its reporting. I mean, their culture in exercising tough professionalism combined with in-depth research on national issues is considered wide-ranging and informative. Most importantly, News 7 has no concealed agenda to pursue, and no political dragon to slay. Many other outlets cannot make such claim, especially Channel Fox, who is managed by a PUP die-hard and has turned the station into a campaign arm of the Opposition. Let me tell you a few things about Fox. If there is but a minor occurrence in the most remote corner of our country which can have even the slightest negative influence on this UDP Government, Fox will chew it up and spew it out on viewers with a impassioned twist in the tale. If there is a meeting of the Senate or the House, 80% of the news coming from Fox will show the Opposition members delivering their presentations, with the other 20% showing Government Ministers saying something or the other, mostly out of context.

Squatters moved from Lake I Boulevard
Since Thursday, April 3, a small group of squatters has been trying to play upon the sympathies of the Belizean public, which has been tolerant over the years, in trying to force the Government into granting them the piece of land they are squatting on, which just so happens to be in the way of the Lake Independence Boulevard. Readers may remember of the operation that the police conducted in June 2011, where all the squatters in that area, which was known as Chetumal Street South, were removed to make way for the Government’s mega development. The plan was to build a boulevard which connects the Western Highway to Chetumal Boulevard in the Belama Area. Government also committed to putting an international bus terminal and a sporting complex in the area. After these people were duly warned and moved, others in distance, pretended like they didn’t know they were squatting on land that the Government intended to use. For 3 years, these other squatters (or in some cases the same squatters, who simply moved over), got away doing it. Now that Cisco Construction and its employees are working hard to lay the foundations for the boulevard, spreading clay to develop the area, the houses of these squatters are in the way, and they refuse to move. They are begging the Government to leave them untouched, but that is not only impossible, since the land is needed, but also unfair to the hundreds of Belizeans on waiting lists for years trying to get a piece of land.

U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State visits Cayo
U.S Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Francisco Palmieri (Paco) toured the San Ignacio Police Station on Friday of last week , as part of his two day visit to Belize. While at work, Francisco Palmieri overseas the Caribbean and Central America in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs. Francisco Palmieri has served in various posts around the World; including the Columbia and Mexico/Merida operations, in addition to 19 Narcotics Affairs Offices throughout the Western Hemisphere. During his visit Palmeiri met with Officer in Charge of the San Ignacio Police Formation Ralph Moody and his Deputy Reymundo Reyes, as well as Community Groups making an effort to reduce crime in the area. Present at the meeting with him was Caesar Sherrard, Chairman of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC and Ernie Braun, Chairman of the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA. During his visit at the police station in San Ignacio Town, Francisco Palmieri had an inside view of the Evidence Room, which had been obtained with the assistance of the U.S Embassy. He also had conversations with a finger print specialist attending to a finger print recognition system at the San Ignacio Police Station.

Voice of the West held in Cayo
A 13th 'Voice of the West' competition was held at Hodes’ Place on Savannah Street in San Igancio Town on Thursday night of last week. Organized by the San Ignacio Rotary Club, this much awaited competition brought together some 42 participants from 12 High Schools in Belize. The future luminaries participated in various areas of public speaking, gaining much applause from a large and youthful audience. In a just released note by the Rotary Club of San Ignacio “...in the eyes of the Rotary Club of San Ignacio all participants are winners. We would like to thank you and your Schools for all the hard work that you put into the outstanding presentation.”

American National Freed of Drug Charge for Hemp Seeds, Not Cannabis
In December 2013, American national John Downard was busted at the Phillip Goldson International Airport with what authorities said was illegal drugs, 461 grams of hemp seeds. Downard was charged with one count each of importation of a controlled substance and distribution of a controlled drug. His trial began back in February of this year before Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Downard’s attorney, Rachel Montejo, submitted a no case application at the beginning of the trial based on the fact that hemp seed is not a controlled drug. On Monday, April 7th, Magistrate Leslie Hamilton upheld Montejo’s no case submission and ruled that Downard had no case to answer to for drug trafficking of cannabis seed. That was after Forensic Analyst Diana Bol-Noble’s report concluded that “no cannabis resins were detected”. In her view that meant that whatever was in it was psycho tropic.

Arson suspected in Cayo
Police in Cayo continue to look for Mark Estell, the ex-husband of Evelyn Estell, whose place of shelter at number 31 Carillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena Town was completely burnt with all the uninsured contents inside, on Sunday of this past weekend. Neighbors near the burnt building, measuring 20 by 18 feet, report seeing flames coming out of the two storey building from all directions. Living downstairs in the cement portion of the building at the time of the fire was 30 year old Evelyn Estell, a Naturalized Belizean, along with her two young girls. Living alone in the upper wooden flat at the time was the owner of the building 82 years old Agustin Avelino Martinez (Don Ting), a Naturalized Belizean. Evelyn Estell was awoken by smoke and on realizing that the house was on fire, exited the burning building along with her two kids in the nick of time. While Agustin Martinez in the upstairs section, tried to douse the flames but was slightly injured in the left leg.

Late to Court and guilty of Gun Charge
On August 2nd, 2011 the Anti-Drug Unit of the Police Department busted 21-year-old Jose Cocom Jr. with a sawed off shot gun. At about 1 p.m. that afternoon, police officers of the Anti-Drug Unit were on mobile patrol in Hattieville Village when they noticed a group of men standing at the Cool Spot near the roundabout. The driver of the mobile, PC Pech, and other officers exited the vehicle and approached a Hispanic man, identified as Cocom, who was acting suspiciously. The officer informed the man that he will conduct a search on him. According to officer Pech, that was when Cocom raised up his hands and said, “Sir, I surrender and I have a gun”. Cocom was cautioned by the officer and he began to cry. He lifted up Cocom’s shirt and saw a sawed off shot gun on his waist. According to officer Pech, Cocom said, “I thief that from somebody.” He was once again cautioned about his statement. The officers then arrested and escorted Cocom to the Belize City Police Station.

Jerome Ferguson Jailed for Stealing Gold Rings in Holding Cell
Jerome Ferguson was sentenced to two years imprisonment for stealing from a fellow detainee while in a police holding cell. According to police reports, on Friday, April 4th, 31-year-old Glen Williams was detained by police and handed over his personal properties, including $500 cash and 4 gold rings. Upon his release the following day, he went to collect his properties and that’s when it was discovered by the police that the items had already been claimed by another man, identified as Jerome Ferguson. Officer Santiago Ciau immediately launched an investigation into the matter and realized that it was Ferguson who signed out for the items. Ferguson was located and charged with theft.

Roshawn Higgs Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking
Roshawn Higgs, mother of five children, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking on Wednesday, April 9th and was imposed a non-custodial sentence in form of a mandatory minimum fine of $10,000. At about 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8th, police searched Higgs’ home at number six 7th Street in the King’s Park area after they found her standing in her yard by the door acting suspiciously. According to PC Carl Garbutt, while on patrol in the Kings Park area he saw 35-year-old Roshawn Higgs standing by the door of a house acting suspiciously. The officer informed her that he will conduct a search of her home for illegal firearms and drugs. During the search of Higg’s room, Officer Garbutt found a barrel and inside it he found a blue container with three plastic bags containing green leaf like substances suspected to be cannabis. PC Garbutt cautioned Higgs, then arrested and escorted her to the police station where the suspected weed was weighed in her presence. It amounted to 150 grams.

Two stabbed in Hattieville, one dies
Justin Lemoth, a 27 year-old resident of Hattieville, was remanded to prison for allegedly killing 17 year-old Richard Waight Jr., and injuring his 16 year-old friend, both of whom are resident of Hattieville Village. Waight and his friend were on the basketball court, which is in the vicinity of the village police station, on Friday, April 4, at around 9:25 p.m. They were reportedly socializing when they had a misunderstanding with some other young men who were on the court as well. According to police, Lemoth got involved, and pulled out a knife and stabbed both Waight and his friend. Waight suffered a wound to the left side of the chest, and his friend suffered one to the right lower abdomen. Police were immediately called, since they were but a stone’s throw away, and both young men were taken to the KHMH. Unfortunately, Waight’s injury caused him to bleed out before he could receive medical treatment, and he passed away, while in the arms of his father, Richard Waight Sr.

Belize Logistics’ Jose Gomez Charged for Non-payment of Social Security Contributions
Proprietor of Belize Logistics, Jose Gomez, appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer on Friday, April 4th, to face a charge of failure to make contribution payments to the Belize Social Security Board. According to reports, Gomez has failed to make contribution payments to Social Security for his employees from August 2013 to February 2014. It is a serious charge because it means that an employer takes money from their employees’ salary for Social Security contributions but doesn’t make the payments. The employer is therefore stealing from his employees and committing fraud using the Social Security Board. In court Gomez was unrepresented and pleaded guilty to the charge. He told Magistrate Frazer that his business has gone next to bankrupt and that he has gone from four employees to one and he will try his best to catch up with the payments. Gomez at one point owed the Social Security Board over $1,200 but has paid some $600 towards it. Frazer imposed a fine of $500 plus a $5 cost of court which must be paid by May 31st, 2014.

Woman police attacker caught in Little Belize
Police have finally caught up with a man whom they say chopped one of their own on the 5th of December of last year. At the time, Woman Police Constable Pate was responding to a domestic dispute in Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk when she was attacked by a man wielding a machete. During the attack Pate was severely chopped to the head having her hospitalized for a number of days. The attacker managed to escape. While Pate was on her way to recovery, the attacker remained at large until Wednesday April 9th when police say they conducted an operation in Little Belize Village in the Corozal district. During the operation they apprehended Oscar Perez, 44, of trial farm village. He has since been charged with attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and wounding.

Anfernee Romero succumbs to shooting

Keron Rosa Appeals Drug Trafficking Conviction
Justice Adolph Lucas has reserved his ruling on a drug trafficking case in which Keron Rosa was convicted for drug trafficking on July 22, 2013, imposed a fine of $10,000 and sentenced to three years imprisonment. Justice Lucas heard the appeal on Friday, April 4th. Rosa’s attorney, Anthony Sylvester, argued that the sentences imposed upon his client were unconstitutional. Crown Counsel Kaysha Grant of the DPP’s office argued that the sentence imposed on the appellant was not grossly disproportionate and is allowed by the Constitution. Justice Lucas will deliver his judgment on May 9th.

Spice Man Arthur Sewell Charged for Holding Out on GST
Arthur Sewell, 70, appeared in the Belize City Magistrates’ Court on Friday, April 4th, to face a charge of failure to file General Sales Tax return. The allegation being made by the GST Department is that Arthur Sewell, who is the owner of Sewell Spice located at #61 Euphrates Avenue, failed to file GST for the months of October, November and December of 2013 and January of 2014, a total of four months. Sewell appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart and in court pleaded not guilty to the offense. The trial against Sewell will take place in June of this year and will be prosecuted by Jacqueline Meighan. According to our information, Sewell has a previous conviction for non-filing of Social Security for which there is still an outstanding balance on the imposed fine.

Byron Pope wins Pre-Cross Country Race
The Cycling Federation of Belize sponsored its Pre-Cross Country Race on Sunday April 6, 2014. The race started from in front of Leslie’s Import on the George Price Highway to Mount Hope and then back to Leslie’s Imports. The race which lasted some 5:10:04 was captured by Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes. The second rider to cross the finish line was Marlon Castillo of BTL Cycling. Henry Moreria of Predators Belize was the third rider to cross the finish line in a time of 5:10:13, and he was followed by Gregory Lovell of BTL Cycling in a time of 5:11:03 and then followed by Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Road Addikz. The race was a warm up leading up to the 86th Running of the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic on Saturday April 19, 2014.

San Pedro Tigersharks continue to lead Elite Basketball League
The National Elite Basketball League competition continued over the last week with four games across the country. On Thursday April 3, 2014, at the University of Belize Gymnasium, the home team the Belmopan Point Bandits defeated the Dangriga Warriors by the score of 66-54. The top scorers for the Belmopan Point Bandits were Stephen Williams with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist and 5 steals, Erwin Robinson with 13 points, 3 rebounds and a steal and Dorian Jones with 9 points, and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Jamir Flores with 13 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, Gary Francisco with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, and Macario Augustine with 8 points, 11 rebounds and a steal. The competition continued on April 4, 2014, with two more games. At the Bird’s Isle in Belize City, the Belize City based Smart “No Limit” Team won handily over the Corozal Heats by the score of 71-62. The top scorers for the Smart “No Limit” team were Gregory Rudon with 15 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals, Erwin Orosco with 12 points, 1 assist and a steal and Elsworth Itza and Kevin Domingo with 10 points each. For the Corozal Heats team, the top scorers were Jason Grant with 22 points, and 8 rebounds, Marcel Richards with 15 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 1 steal and Sheldon Williams with 9 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists.

Police United maintains lead in Premier League Belikin Cup Tournament
The Closing Tournament for the Belikin Cup of the Premier League of Belize continued over the last week of play with three games across the country. On Saturday April 5, at the Marshalleck Stadium in Benque Viejo Town, the home team Verdes FC edged the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 2-1. The home team Verdes FC got on the scoreboard first when Nahjib Guerra scored the 1st goal of the game in the 37th minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. It was until the closing minutes of the first half of the game that the visiting Belmopan Bandits were able to get onto the scoreboard when Elroy Kuylen scored the equalizing goal for his team in the 40th minute of play. The first half of the game ended 1-1 in a draw. In the second half of the game, the Verdes FC was able to penetrate the defence of the Belmopan Bandits, when Jamil Cano scored his team’s 2nd and final goal of the game in the 84th minute of play for the 2-1 victory. On Sunday April 6, at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the San Ignacio United FC and FC Belize played to a 2-2 draw. The visiting FC Belize was able to get onto the scoreboard first when Jarret Davis scored the 1st of his two goals in the 41st minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. However, the lead was short lived as the home team the San Ignacio United FC got onto the scoreboard when Anthony Gonzalez scored the equalizing goal in the 43rd minute of play.

Queen’s Baton Relay edges closer to Belize
The Queen’s Baton Relay was launched on October 9, 2013, at Buckingham Palace in London, England, by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen, as Head of the Commonwealth, placed a message that will be read by her at the opening of the XX Commonwealth Games on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. The baton relay demonstrates the unity and diversity of the Commonwealth of Nations, and the first leg of its epic journey was to India on October 11, 2013 as the host of the last Commonwealth Games, which were held in New Delhi, India, in 2010. The Commonwealth Games are the second largest multi-sports event in the world only after the Olympics and are held in the odd years of the Olympic Games. Unlike the Olympic Torch, the Queen’s Baton Relay is actually far more extensive than the torch relay. During an eight-month span the relay will cover some 190,000 km before it returns back to Scotland for the opening of the games.

National Primary schools softball championships this Friday in the City
The National Primary Schools Softball championships for school year 2013-2014 will come to an end on Friday April 11, 2014 at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. The championships will feature the champions in both girls and boys categories from all six districts of the country. The official opening ceremony is scheduled to commence at 8:30 am at Rogers Stadium and will be declare opened by Linda Reyes, ISF Hall of Fame Member and former Ace pitcher of the National Women’s Softball Team of Belize. The games in the girls’ competition will be played at Rogers Stadium the home of softball in Belize while the boys’ competition will be played at the Hostel Field. The schools that will be competing in the girls’ competition are from the Stann Creek District Richard Quinn RC from Georgetown Village, from the Cayo District Camalote St. Jude RC, from the Belize District Muslim Community, from Orange Walk District Carmelita Government School from the Corozal District Corozal Methodist School and from the Toledo District Aguacate Roman Catholic School.

Blogs

Middle Street San Pedro Finds – Art and Ice
$2bzd for a shaved ice? Don’t mind if I do…I stopped in for one totally old school snow cone. Lime syrup (they have lots of flavors) that all sinks right to the bottom. Once this thing softened up and I could mix it, it was a pre-lunch delight. I’ll have one again. You can pay .50 extra for condensed milk which I know many love. But I’ll stick to the classic. Particularly in the summer. Just about a block north is Saul’s shop and he is the reigning king of painted signs. All hail the king. Stop in just to look at the cute labels and packaging and t-shirts…the guy knows how to design a logo. Saul owns The Rum, Cigar and Coffee Shop that is THE coolest spot in town to have a coffee, meet all sorts of characters, take a seat inside (in his new lounge) or out front and watch the world go by. Also an EXCELLENT spot to drop off your husband while you do some shopping. Cigar and coffee with rum cream? He’ll be glad to wait.

“Looking for Linda” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
On returning home from our trip to Mérida it was very easy -virtually seamless in fact – to resume the routine (has a certain ring to it that. A bit like a Cole Porter song, “Begin the Beguine”. No? Oh well never mind). Regular readers will know the score. Up early, mug of black coffee and iPad out on the veranda for start of the day meditative time. Just me and my thoughts and wherever the Internet will take them. The only things that limit where my thoughts may travel are whether I have ingested enough coffee and the Internet bandwidth. Obviously I have total control over the former unless we have been stupid enough to run out of coffee – and although I might have my moments there (being stupid I mean)- we don’t because Rose is never that stupid. She’s far too organised for that. Now control over bandwidth? Well that’s a completely different matter entirely. I’m powerless. You’d imagine though, wouldn’t you, that at around 05.30/06.00 hours that most of the bandwidth would be available to me. Mine all mine and all that. I mean how many other people are up at that time drawing off my bandwidth? Doesn’t work that way though as I’ve found out. I decide where I want to ‘head off to’ enter it in the Search Bar and then watch and watch that bloody egg timer. But hey that’s part and parcel of living in a place like this. I mean I didn’t come here for supersonic Internet speed. It would be nice of course but it’s not the be all and end all.

Excursion Focus: Goff's Caye, Belize City
Royal Caribbean offers a number of cruises to Belize City and like us, you may be looking for something fun to do here during the day. We spent weeks searching for the right excurison for our family and we eventually decided on Goff's Caye. Goff's Caye is a small private island off the shore of Belize City. It's only accessible by boat and you must book a private excursion to reach the island. Did I mention Goff's Caye is small? It's only 1.2 acres of sand but if you're looking for somewhere to swim, enjoy the sun and snorkel, then this is the place for you. We booked our excursion online for $40 per person (kids under 4 are free). This gets you transportation to and from the island, snorkeling equipment and complimentary rum punch. Getting to and from the island is probably the most difficult aspect of the entire itinerary. Royal Caribbean ships have to tender in Belize City, so you have to take the Royal Caribbean tender to Belize City and then take a different boat to Goff's Caye.

Exploring The Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave in Belize
I rolled up into San Ignacio, Belize in a dilapidated old school bus without much of a plan, as I often do. This was the second half of my Belize adventure. The first half was a sun-soaked few days on the islands, but now I was in the jungle, where the real adventure is. I was itching to find something unique and exciting to do, so shortly after checking into my hotel I went on a mission to find what there was to do in this remote little city. As I walked out of my hotel I heard a call “Hey buddy, you looking for a tour? Jungle? River tubing? Mayan ruins?” Well that didn’t take very long, did it? Now normally I can’t stand these guys. I realize that they’re just trying to make an honest buck, but when I pass by every day for a week and they don’t get any less pushy I start to get pretty annoyed very quickly. This time was different though – I was eager for something to do and these guys were throwing opportunities at me. “Ok, so what do you got?” After debating what seemed to be dozens of available options I settled on a tour of Actun Tunichil Muknal, also known as the ATM Cave. It featured a jungle hike, cave exploration and an ancient Mayan sacrificial site, all lead by an experienced guide. Not bad for my first venture into the jungles of Belize.

Around San Ignacio Belize in 10 incredible Photos
Rated as the ecotourism town in western Belize, San Ignacio offers a plethora of tours and activities for the adventure traveler. Canoeing, bird watching, cave exploration, hiking, zip lining, river tubing, Maya Temples, cascading waterfalls, and sumptuous Belizean meals are just a few of the things that mesmerize travelers to visit this part of Belize. So here you go, the best travel photos of things to do in San Ignacio Belize.

Taking a Plunge in Belize
Strapped in and dangling from a cable, I cautiously peer over the tree stand. My heart is in my throat. Somehow, the lush dense green of the rainforest almost lessens the severity of a 140-feet drop. Before I know it, I’m gliding effortlessly over the treetops and marveling at the beauty of this island gem (in between giddy girl screams, of course). Belize has completely won me over. Zip lining thorough a tropical rain forest is just one of many jaw dropping experience visitors can add to their bucket list. Sacred caves and ancient Maya temples, world-class diving and snorkeling, and memorable dining options are just a few to consider. Situated between Mexico and Guatemala, Belize encompasses the best of both worlds. On one side, you’ll find Central American jungles, on the other side – the Caribbean Sea. With that map, it’s no wonder Belize a primary port of call for many cruise lines. That was the case with us – just an excursion day. After one visit, though, I decided just one day here would never be enough. Our zip-lining adventure took place in Caves Branch Archeological Reserve, southwest of Belize City. Many local tour guides are available, and packages can often include zip lining and cave tubing (which we also did).

UDP Takes Another Political Hit as SCTOB Grants Leave for Judicial Review on Penner Recall Petition
Very satisfied attorney Lisa Shoman and Orlando Habet as they exited court this morning, Host of Vibes Radio’s Morning Buzz, Albert Vaughan in background. The once thought to be moribund recall petition lodged by Orlando Habet, PUP standard bearer in the Cayo Northeast division and four others has gotten new life today in the Supreme Court of Belize. On Thursday morning Justice Courtenay Abel of the Supreme granted leave for Judicial Review of the Chief Elections Officer’s decision to reject over 300 signatures from the petition to recall disgraced former Immigration minister, Elvin Penner. Having made that decison, the Chief Elections Officer, then notified the Governor General that there were not enough signatures for the referendum recall to be held. That should have done away with that – however It didn’t sit well with the Opposition PUP. They articulated their disapproval and rejection of the Cheif Elections officer’s decision in a press conference held the party’s headquarters on Thursday, January 9th, 2014.

International Sources

My Thoughts On Today’s Colorado State 2014 Hurricane Season Forecast
Colorado State University (Dr. Phil Klotzbach & Dr. William Gray) released their April forecast for the upcoming 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season. In their latest forecast, they are predicting a total of 9 named storms with 3 of those storms becoming hurricanes and 1 of those of hurricanes becoming a major hurricane (Category 3, 4 or 5).

Summer school: Belcampo’s artist-in-residence program turns a Belize resort trip educational
“We made history today,” says Antony John, bouncing back from the telescope. That double-crested cormorant is not supposed to be here,” I home in on the yellow-faced bird with its great black wings outstretched. John — a gangly Welshman in safari garb, with spiky salt-and-pepper hair and rockstar piercings — explains its natural habitat is coastal. “If this is the first local sighting, who should we report it to?” I ask. “Nobody. We’re going to shoot it,” says John. As well as cracking jokes without mercy, John is at Belcampo jungle lodge, near the seaside town of Punta Gorda in Southern Belize, to share his expertise as a birder, painter and organic farmer. The former host of Food Network farming show Manic Organic, from Stratford, Ont., is the inaugural chef in Belcampo’s artist-in-residence program, which allows visitors to learn skills from wrapping tamales to mixing mojitos alongside some of the world’s leading food experts.

Caribbean must strengthen measures to deal with proceeds of crime
The two-day eighth annual regional Proceeds of Crime Conference began here on Wednesday with Caribbean countries being urged to strengthen measures aimed at curtailing the activities of criminals that could undermine national security. “This conference is important because serious and organized crime threatens national security by fueling violence, breeding insecurity, creating instability and weakening governance. “In doing so it poses a significant threat to prosperity, threatening economic growth by discouraging inward investment and creating barriers to business,” said Eamon Kearney, the Programme Manager-Caribbean Criminal Assets Recovery Programme (CCARP). The conference, funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) and hosted by Dominica’s Financial Intelligence Unit, is part of the DFID’s initiative that covers the seven independent countries of the Eastern Caribbean, along with Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Montserrat.

The Strange Ventriloquy of Sounds
Last month I asked what you love about Africa and received a great response – thank you. One thing that came through loud and clear (no pun intended) were some of the sounds of Africa, from the singing grass to the roar of a lion. This got me thinking about how nostalgic a sense sound is, and how powerfully it can immediately transport you to a place and time. Here are where some of my favourite sounds from around the world take me. And you?

Ready, set, go slow
Residents and visitors on Caye Caulker, Belize, take life at a slower pace. Holly Firfer reports for CNN.


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