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#486182 - 02/18/14 10:21 AM Today's Belize News: February 18, 2014
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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

The Belize Fisheries Department report an increase in marine exports
The Belize Fisheries Department has reported a 46% increase in marine product export for the year 2013. Of a reported $24,997,526.70 in marine export revenue, fish fillet was the most valuable and the northern waters of Belize proved to house highly productive marine ecosystems, contributing $13,986,395 of that figure. Queen Conch product was the largest export, coming in at 965,068.9 pounds for 2013. Spiny Lobster and whole fish were also prominent exports, totaling at 547,638.5 and 525,879.7 pounds, respectively. Both lobster and conch are seasonal marine products and fetch high prices at international markets such as the USA and Mexico. 432,000 pounds of sea cucumber, a marine invertebrate not commonly consumed in Belize, was also exported to supply the Asian and Guatemalan market. Sea cucumber is considered a delicacy in Asia and is sold at relatively high prices. Like the conch, lobster, and grouper, the sea cucumber is also a seasonal product.The Belize Fisheries Department informs sea cucumber fishermen that renewal of licenses for 2014 will run from February 19 to February 28, 2014.

BIOPAMA trains regional officers using Belize’s robust protected areas system
The multi-million dollar project, now in the second of its four year tenure, is expected to impact 11 of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots which are all found in ACP countries. BIOPAMA covers terrestrial and marine protected areas (MPA). What gives the project more emphases in MPAs in this region is the fact that the Caribbean has roughly three times more marine areas that are protected than on land. “ACP countries are hotspots for biodiversity but because of the lack of resources, whether it is human or financial, we realize that it is not being protected and sustained the way it should be. BIOPAMA is meant to give support where the support is not there and increase the human capacity to be able to better protect the areas and improve in protected area management,” said Vaughn. According to Vaughn, in the Caribbean, MPAs are more developed than terrestrial protected areas, with Belize having one of the strongest MPA systems. For that reason, countries that are facing challenges in MPAs have been identified and invited to see firsthand how they are managed in Belize. Junior Marine Protected Area Officers, who conduct the day-to-day job in protected areas, were invited to attend the capacity building initiative. “Junior level professional require some exposure; they are young and have ideas. They have come into a system that for some, it may be frustrating depending on the type of set up they have. Others are coming from a system that doesn’t exist at all because there are countries that are new to protected areas. We decided to bring them to Belize because this country has a good history of protected area management. For the region, Belize has a robust protected areas management system. Of course while all is not perfect, there are success stories that can be useful to these participants, who can then strengthen what they are doing, or even develop policy papers,” explained Vaughn.

Grand Opening: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
On Saturday February 8th, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints officially opened their doors to the community as they inaugurated their new building with an Open House and dedication service. Located on Seagrape Drive, the new church is spacious and has several rooms including an air conditioned central chapel, and several classrooms with topics such as family history and temple, primary, young men and young women, relief society and priesthood, and a Bishop’s office.

Hey Blue Water Grill, ‘Sushi-Me’ Please!!
When it comes to eating out, I am biased. Ambergris Caye simply has the best eats; there, I said it. Restaurants and eateries cater to even the most finicky of taste buds. Topping the list of places to dine at is Blue Water Grill (BWG), especially as on Tuesdays and Thursdays, you’re looking at sushi night. Visitors and residents alike love the variety of Chef Chris Aycock’s creations. From the veggie rolls to the adventurous Sashimi, Nigiri and the aforementioned Monkey Brains – there is something for even the most hesitant diner. Chef Chris promised us a plethora of his divine creations, but first, he took away the soy sauce…! Wait, what was happening?! Don’t we need that sauce for the meal? Oh…Chris explained that each of our special dishes came with its own sauce. I look over to the boss – ‘ooohhh…we’re special!!’ Always known it, but love that it’s acknowledged! (Ha).

Belize Bobsled Team training for big event
Go Belize!!!!! Kathy Augey, Larry Pelotte, Robert W Spica and Connie Fournier-Nelson.

Ambergris Today

Celebrity Talk Show Host Chelsea Handler Vacations in Belize
When Astrum Helicopters hovers above Ambergris Caye residents start to wonder which celebrity is being brought to the island. It has become widely known that A-List celebrities acquire the services of Astrum to be flown directly from the international airport to destinations around the country. Case in point, this past weekend word had it that celebrity talk show host of E! Network’s Chelsea Lately, Chelsea Handler was in Belize. Rumors spread that she was staying at Victoria House and spending time at Rojo Lounge in Ambergris Caye. But over the weekend Ambergris Today got hold of a picture of Chelsea Handler in southern Belize.

Alfa Iguana at Belize’s Green Iguana Conservation Project Dies
The many students and visitors who have visited the Green Iguana Project Site at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Cayo District had the privilege to meet Gomez, a three foot iguana who was sort of the king of the iguanas and the main attraction at the project site. It is very sad to report that the beloved alpha male Gomez died last week. The many students and visitors who have visited the Green Iguana Project Site at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel in the Cayo District had the privilege to meet Gomez, a three foot iguana who was sort of the king of the iguanas and the main attraction at the project site. It is very sad to report that the beloved alpha male Gomez died last week.

Pic of the Week: Go Island Tubing in Caye Caulker
We just recently highlighted one of Belize’s newest tours on our iTravel Belize page, Island Tubing in Caye Caulker. The tour takes you around the island while you relax while being gently dragged in an inner tube sipping on some rum punch. It is total relaxation at its best in Belize. Here is another image of the tour as the ‘Island Tubbers’ pass by the famous Caye Caulker Split.

Misc Belizean Sources

Antoinette's Day Spa Opens
Antoinette's Day Spa has moved to Cayo, and it's now officially open. It's a full service spa, and they offer many different massage modalities, along with manicures and pedicures. They are located at 30 Cahal Pech Street, and you can email them at antoinettesdayspa@gmail.com.

Rotary Repairs Playground at OLoG
Rotarians from Canada that partner with the Belmopan chapter came back to check up on and fix the playground that they originally put in at Our Lady of Guadalupe. Thanks, Rotary! "Recently Rotarians from Canada returned to repair playground equipment that they initial brought from their home country. Some local Rotarians helped as well...great for our fellow Rotarians from Canada to come back to make sure that the equipment is in good shape!"

PACT announces grants
Today, Monday, February 17, 2014, PACT, accompanied by Honorable Senator Lisel Alamilla, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development, held a small Grant Award Ceremony at the Belize Audubon Society’s Office in Belize City, where it awarded $356,253.75 in two new medium-sized project grants! The two grants were awarded to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project is entitled: Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan and is for a total of $199,998.75. St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is one of the more visited sites co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society.

Chikungunya
Health authorities say persons who have contracted the mosquito borne disease, Chikungunya, should remain home as Dominica recorded more than 31 cases of the disease so far. Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and the island recorded its first case on January 16 this year. “The numbers keep changing on a daily basis … we have a number of suspected cases and we have a number of confirmed cases. The last count that we have in terms of confirmed cases was 31 cases and we have other persons who have not been confirmed. “We’re asking the persons with the disease to remain at home and to use mosquito nets when they are sleeping and other persons to use mosquito repellents as well,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr David Johnson, adding that it was advisable that people take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

Rape of 19 year old in San Pedro
On Saturday, February 15, 2014 at about 10:30 a.m. a 19 year old woman of San Juan Area, San Pedro Town visited the police station and reported that at about 12:00 a.m. on the same date she left her house with one of her female friends and went socializing with other friends. At about 3:00 a.m. she said that she was ready to go back home and so her friend decided to accompany her as far as the Central Park. She further stated that she continued to walk home and noticed that she was being followed by a male person she knows. Upon reaching home at about 4:00 a.m. she reportedly locked her door when about 2 minutes later she heard a knocking on her door. She stated that she went to open the door because she thought that it was her female friend who had returned. As she opened the door she saw the same male person that was following her at the door. He then reportedly forced himself inside her home and forcible had sexual intercourse with her against her will. Police are seeking one man as investigations continue.

SS Board buys into Citrus Products Limited
The Honorable the Prime Minister Mr. Dean Barrow announced this morning that Belize Social Security Board will be buying into Citrus Products of Belize Limited. More details coming shortly.

FISHING REPORT: Week of February 8 – 15th , 2014
We are just giddy around here. We had two months of rain and some pretty tough weather. This week we have our beautiful Belize weather back here on Ambergris Caye! Anglers and non anglers alike enjoyed the beautiful sunrises and days filled with sea breeze under sunny blue skies. Julie has been to EP the last three years celebrating her birthday! It’s so much fun to see our repeat guests. David and Lea have returned to fish with Captain Kechu, and Rob, Kyra and Tegan are pretty much super stars around here. It was a week where hearts were captured by the special fish that make dreams come true. Through fishing, families spend time together and friends reunite for laughs and more stories to share down the road. Thank you for a beautiful week of fish and hearts.

Official inauguration of the Santa Elena Library Renovation and Expansion Project
Talented kids, visionary leaders and a community working together to better Belize! (5 photos)

SHOOTING INCIDENT
Acting upon information of a shooting incident, Ladyville Police visited the Ladyville Basketball Court where initial investigation revealed that Arlene Bainton, 37, was along with Ornan Joseph Avila, 16, where they were watching a basketball game when they heard gun shots. People began running and some laid flat on the ground trying to shield themselves. They felt something warm running from their feet and a result both persons realized that they had been wounded. Investigation revealed that the shooter came from behind the fence of the basketball court and fired shots from a shot gun in the direction of the bleachers. Bainton received gun shots to the left side of the temple, foot and arm and Avila received to the left chest, inside the left lower arm and his left foot. Both persons where taken to BDF hospital in a stable condition, where doctor certify their injuries as wounding. Police are seeking one man pending investigations.

Regional body moves to protect spiny lobster
BELIZE CITY -- The executive committee of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) says it is working on “legal instruments” to strengthen regional cooperation for the conservation, management and sustainable use of the spiny lobster and the protection of its habitat. The 22ndmeeting of the (CRFM) executive, which concluded Friday in Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines, saw a two-day deliberation on matters such as coral reef management, the lobster fishery, and cooperation between CARICOM States and the French Islands in fisheries. “The Committee addressed a number of important regional initiatives designed to ensure sustainable use of our fisheries resources and protect the marine ecosystems,” said Milton Haughton, CRFM Executive Director. The CRFM executive committee consists of representatives of six member states of the regional inter-governmental fisheries organisation. The membership of the committee is drawn from the Caribbean Fisheries Forum, a group of government officials, fishers and representatives of private companies from CARICOM states tasked with providing technical support to the CRFM.

Moto Cross Race 4 Pictures
The Belize Moto Cross Association got some great pictures from their 4th race which they had at the Peter August stadium in Santa Elena. "What a GREAT RACE it was. The track was in Perfect Condition, Had a lot of Riders that participated. We want to Thank All the Riders, and Fans That came Out. The guys that prepared the Track. And Also A HUGE THANK YOU to Our Great Sponsors, without them there would be No Race. Sponsors are Makita, Universal Hardware, Tropic Air, Infinite Wireless, Motor Solutions, Maranco, Southwest Construction."

Architects of Human History
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez When Garinagu talk about Ahari They are talking about Annikai or Annikari The architects of human history February is the month of Black History What an irony? It’s amazing how our story has been commercialized by the oligarchy Hell bent on being subjects of the monarchy We noh di teach our pickney Their rich heritage, culture and legacy Di tell dem rass bout slavery mi betta fi wi When Africa was the cradle of humanity Timbuktu is the blueprint of all modern universities We have made the slave master our deity They have used religion to enslave wi By having us subscribe to religiosity Ignoring our African spirituality Calling it necromancy, we even gave the world freemasonry Which they stole and corrupted calling it Illuminati

Surprise Wedding Proposal Dive Video
Here's a very special dive for all our divers! Congratulations to Todd and Kristina!

BRAS for Belize!
Got Bras?? Women in Belize need good quality bras! Donate cash (here!), gift cards, or new/gently-used bras to BRASforBelize so we can help very deserving women in Belize in a very personal way! I am an archaeologist and have been working in the country of Belize every summer for the past seven years. I work at an important ancient Maya city called Xunantunich. Just across the Mopan River from Xunantunich is the village of San Jose Succotz, or just Succotz for short. Not far down the road is Benque Viejo del Carmen (Benque for short) and the larger town of San Ignacio. Over my summers in Belize, I have become very close with so many amazing Belizean women from these places! My friend Sylvia Batty (a strong Belizean women and up-and-coming Belizean archaeologist) and I want to give back to Belizean women in very personal ways. There is a huge need for adequate women’s undergarments in Belize. Donations to BRAsforBelize will impact women’s daily lives! Donated funds and gift cards will be used to purchase good quality bras in the US (we are bargain hunters!). Donated bras and those we purchase will be distributed to women living throughout the country of Belize and particularly in rural areas. I will travel to Belize in May to conduct archaeological research and I'll pack every last bra I can into my luggage and any extra bags I can afford!

Western Ballaz Defeat Orange Walk
The Western Ballaz travelled to Orange Walk this weekend to play the Orange Walk Running Rebels. They won the game, 80 to 70, making them the number 1 team in the Elite League. Thanks to Tarun for the great pictures and collage. The Western Ballaz are hosting the Dangriga Warriors this Saturday night at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. Please come out and support them as they remain the best in the league. "10% luck 20% skill 15% concentrated power of will 5% pleasure 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name! 2-0 watch the WESTERN BALLAZ live in action ad they play their first home game, February 22 (this saturday )8pm @ SHC Auditorium!!!"

Reconstructing the Youths Mentality for National Development
Some people might ask, what is “Reconstructing the Youth Mentality for National Development”? Well, in my professional perspective, the majority of our young people in Belize is poor and thus, is OVERLOOKED. The system TOLERATES this. We, at the Teens Belize Organization say that this must change. There is URGENT NEED for reconstructing the youth mentality if our youths are to take Belize to economic prosperity. Currently, the majority who is poor, and are at a disadvantaged, just “go” with the flow. But they have potential, but it’s no use they advance this potential because the system generates a sense that “it’s the survival of the fittest”. How about “the fittest who survive” help those who didn’t survive the system? Have our people “up there” ever thought of that? A careful person should provide help to those in need. It is in the midst of all the “Rackle & Tackle” of society that this reconstruction begins.

Shotgun taken in Corozal burglary
Police officers in Corozal town are are seeking the assistant of the general public in locating a firearm that was stolen from Lorenzo Reyes. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, Corozal Police were called to the Village of San Andres where businessman Lorenzo Reyes reported that someone had broken into his residence. Upon making checks Reyes noted that his licensed 12-gauge Mossberg Brand Pump Action Shotgun, valued at $ 2,500, an undisclosed amount of money and jewelry were stolen in the burglary.

Caye Caulker Sailing Club Fundraiser
The Caye Caulker Sailing Club will be having a fundraiser this Saturday starting at 10AM. We are looking for sponsors who are willing to donate towards our raffle. It can be a type of tour, dinner or hotel stay. Anything that you are willing to donate is welcome. If you would like to donate some sort of food for us to sell we will appreciate it as well. We are also asking for anyone who would like to offer their help, they are willing to come. We are having a meeting today at Mr. Neil Bradley (Madelin's Hardware by Paradiso Cafe) at 6p.m. so if you would like to be a part of the club or hear what are our plans feel free to come by. Everyone is welcome as well as their ideas to have a successful fundraiser! We will greatly appreciate all the help we can get as all this effort is for the kids. I am once again asking for any parent who would like to have their kids be a part of this club. Sign up sheets will be available on Saturday and it is free. All we ask is dedication from parent and child. This is a serious activity. It will not only give Caye Caulker a name but also your child will have the opportunity to become great sailors and compete against the top sailors from the rest of the country. Our kids attended the Corozal Regatta last week and did exceptionally well for their first time! Your child can be a part of this exciting recreational activity. Please contact me at the Island Link or call me at 226-0592 if you are interested.

Channel 7

Man Shoots Into Crowd In Ladyville, Injures 3
Public terror was unleashed last night in Ladyville when a gunman opened fire on a crowded public event at the community basketball court. It happened at around 8:30 when the gunman pulled out a shotgun and without any regard for the crowd - which included children - shot at a group sitting in the bleachers. Innocent people got shot, while many others could have been hurt, or even killed because the gunman fired indiscriminately. Daniel Ortiz went to Ladyville today to find out what happened: Daniel Ortiz reporting Public Terror unfolded last night here at the Ladyville Basketball court when a family function was broken up at the sound of shotgun blasts. Around 200 villagers and their children were at a PUP event organized to be a sports day. It was supposed to be an outing of activities to promote peaceful and enjoyable interactions, but somehow, violence made its way into the event.

"Beefing" At Club Leads To Southside Shooting
There was another shooting which happened early on Saturday morning. At around 3:00 am, 27 year-old Robert Tracey was walking on Central American Boulevard, and when he got to the Boots Crescent intersection, someone shot at him. One of the shots struck him in his back, but fortunately, he was rushed to the KHMH in time to receive treatment. Today, 7News spoke with the Officer Commanding Police Precinct 1, Superintendent Alden Dawson. He explained that police believe that this shooting is connected to a prior incident which happened after the Friday night opening of the BTL Park. Superintendent Dawson worked to help secure the event, and no flare-up happened at the event. Investigators believe that rival gang members had friction at the Elements Club, where some of the concert-goers went after the BTL Park opening, and which led to Tracey's shooting:

Police Kill Mentally Unstable Man In Toledo
Today police killed a mentally unstable man in Big Falls village. Best information says that a special constable in the village along with a regular constable was called to respond to a case of Moses Williams, a man in his 20's with known mental problems, who was exhibiting violent and aggressive behavior. When they got there, Williams was reportedly brandishing a machete, and chopped the special constable on his fingers. The police constable then shot him in the right leg. He was rushed to the hospital in PG Town , but apparently the gunshot punctured a major artery in his leg and he died at 8:30 am. The special constable was taken to the southern regional hospital.

GOB Comes Up With Multi Million $$ Solution to Standoff
On Friday, we told you about the very serious talks in the citrus industry. The background was the ongoing cash flow crisis at Citrus Products of Belize Limited. That’s the company that buys the citrus products from the farmers. But its accounts have been frozen because its board of directors is deadlocked on finding a new auditor – and the bank First Caribbean wouldn’t release any money until it gets audited figures. With that the industry wasn’t paying farmers, and they had stopped delivering – bringing one of the country’s three major agro industries to a grinding halt. The fallout in terms of losses could be huge – so government was pressed to make a dramatic and expensive intervention. The plan for that was outlined this morning at a Prime Ministerial press conference. 7News was there:…

PM Says The PUP Should Launch Private Prosecution For Penner
One week - that's how long the opposition gave the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie to respond to an appeal that he commence an investigation of criminal wrongdoing against area representative for Cayo Northeast Elvin Penner. Well, that one week expired today and the PUP's Legal Advisor Anthony Sylvestre confirmed to us today that the Commissioner has not replied. Sylvestre says that on Wednesday the PUP will go ahead and apply to the Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus which would compel the commissioner to act. Speaking with the Prime Minister today he said the decision on what to do is solely for the Commissioner:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "That's a matter for the commissioner of police." Marion Ali, reporter "Sir, people have been saying in some sectors that the commissioner has been intimidated." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Then you talk to the commissioner about that. I don't know that the commissioner is a man to be intimidated and if he is I don't know by who. But speak to him."

Integrity Commission Member Served On BAA Board, Signed Castro Cheque
Another headache that the Prime Minister is contending with is the Integrity Commission. Two of his appointees stepped down because they didn't want to have to endure the scathing scrutiny of the Politically Exposed Persons disclosure rules. So the Prime Minister has to find two more members, one of them a chartered account. But one of his appointees who did stay on has come under scrutiny. Armeid Gabourel is a former member of the Belize Airports Authority Board of Directors - yes, the same board that was made to resign after the Castro cheques appeared. Today the Prime Minister said that her former service on the BAA, and the signing of a five thousand dollar cheque in Castro's name - is not fatal for her appointment to the integrity commission:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "It is my understanding that Miss Gabriel was one who in fact opposed and it's on record as having done so the decision of the board to approved a sort of ongoing commitment to assist the minister in his constituency, so I wouldn't. Clearly we had to ask everybody to resign. You can't at this point making distinctions, but I wouldn't see the resignation there as being fatal to the Integrity Commission appointment. I am more concern about finding the replacement to the new resignations now even before formal constitution of those on the Integrity Commission that have said we simply are not prepared to live with the PEP obligations."

Immigration Minister Holds Forth On Nationality Employees Involved With Kim File
At the Prime Minister’s press conference today, we also caught up with Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse. He patiently waited for the media while we interviewed the Prime Minister – and spoke with us after. First, he discussed the two officers from the nationality section who have been asked to answer for irregularities with the Citizen Kim nationality file:…

Vitalino Gives His Side Of Yohnny Story
Last week, WE told you about the situation developing with Yhony Rosado, the owner of Cavetubing.com, where he is fighting an allegation of disorderly conduct in the Magistrate's Court and before the Belize Tourism Board's Licensing Committee. His accuser is Vitalino Reyes Sr., one of his competitors, who owns Cavetubing.bz. Rosado claims that the Reyes family is trying to destroy his reputation and his business, but Reyes claims that he's doing no such thing. Reyes visited 7News today to explain his side of the story where he claims that Rosado tried to steal some guests from him, and when he was unsuccessful, Rosado allegedly assaulted him. Here's how Reyes explained it to us: Daniel Ortiz "You do understand that whatever you say to us is not final. You have to go to court and prove these things and we as the media have to accept the ruling of the court. We can only present facts and the facts are Mr. Rosado beats that case and he is now claiming that he will be able to beat this allegation as well, so what you say to us has no real bearing on the case. Do you understand that?"

3 Injured In Gardenia Incident
Though the Police Press Office has not yet gotten around releasing the details, there was a serious traffic accident on the Northern Highway, near Gardenia Village, which left 3 persons injured last night. It involved a head on collision between a Chevy Tracker and an Isuzu Rodeo, and today, the Rural Executive Officer explained more about it: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "It occurred last night in the area of Gardenia. It was a head-on collision, it was not fatal. Persons were taken to the hospital and were being attended to. Their condition is unknown to us at this time, but we are looking to what was a traffic accident is that area."

Lied About Rape Report, Women Remanded
18 year-old Myesha Williams lied about being raped by a man, and tonight, she is at prison after being taken to court for committing a mischievous act. We won't reveal the name of the man she falsely accused because it will unfairly damage his reputation, but she told police that on Saturday, he sexually assaulted her. The officers responding to the report conducted a full preliminary investigation where photographs of the scene and statements were recorded. She showed them a damaged lock on her door, and the bedroom where the assault supposedly took place. The problem is that when the officers took her to the doctor to be medically examined, they found nothing to suggest rape. Under questioning, she revealed that she made the whole story up, so they charged her with a mischievous act. She told investigators,quote, "I mih only want they deal with the man. I am sorry I made up the report." End Quote.

GSU Gets 53 lbs Of "Hydro"
The GSU made a major weed bust in the city this morning - and they say it's hydro, known as high grade weed. It happened at 9:30 am while the unit was conducting an operation on West Collet Canal. They stopped a white 4 doors Taurus car driven by Reynard GRINAGE, a 40 years old Belizean mechanic of Faber's Road. Nothing was found in a search, but a bunch of keys was found on GRINAGE and the GSU followed up. So they executed a search at the upper flat of a board house at #5842 Bachelor's Avenue. Inside one of the rooms, the officers found 2 cartoon boxes each containing bricks of compressed hybrid cannabis. Inside one of the boxes were 13 parcels bricks wrapped in brown wrapping and tape that was along with another 5 smaller bricks to a total of 18 parcels. In the other box were 8 similar bricks and 2 smaller parcels in saran wrap to a total of 10 parcels. The box with 18 parcels weighed a total of 17.1 kilograms and the other box containing 10 parcels weighed a total of 7.1 kilograms. All parcels combined weighed a total of 24.4 kilograms or 53 pounds of hybrid cannabis. This would have a street value well in excess of 75 thousand dollars.

A Lovely Race!
The Valentine Cycling Classic, which hadn't been held for 2 years, took over the Western Highway on Sunday morning, from Belize City to Belmopan, and 7News was there for every single mile of the race from start to finish. Daniel Ortiz reviews it in detail in this report: The results of the open elite are Byron Pope, 4th place, Darnell Barrow 3rd place, Giovanni Lovell, second, and Angel Tzib, the champion. In the female category, Kerah Eiley won, defeating Shalini Zabaneh, the second place, and Kaya Cattouse, who came in 3rd.

Hon. Collet Endorses Luke, Says It's Not About His Bills
The PUP is preparing for a major convention in Cayo Central at the end of April. Luke Espat and Dan Silva will face each other in a hotly anticipated contest. Espat has been on the ground for 7 months, but Silva is the PUP's old general in the area. The wild card in this has been Senator Collet Montejo. He represented the PUP in Cayo central in the 2012 general elections and came within a few dozen votes of beating UDP incumbent Rene Montero. First we heard he would support Silva, then that he would run, but today he confounded all observers when he threw his support behind the Espat camp. He made the endorsement at Espat's residence in Belize City today:.. Senator Collet Montejo "I had to choose between the 2 and decided to come out publicly today endorsing the candidacy of Luke Espat. The obvious question then is why. Let me answer in a nutshell and I will give only 3 direct points: 1.) I have met a man that in our discussion shares the views that I have that the party must return back to its social justice agenda, that we've got to go back to the grassroots, that it's time for poor people to again be able to survive in this country. Not just with cheap food pantry programs, but with programs that will move them from that dependency to independence - to true economic independence.

Family Fears Worst For Missing Cab Driver After Finding Car
A Belize City family has grave concerns for their loved one tonight. Taxi-man Lester "Doggy" Roland has been missing for 6 days, and today fear struck at his family's heart when his taxi cab was found abandoned, bogged on the side of a city street. His brother told us more:.. Steven Rowland, brother of missing man "We found his car earlier this evening on Faber's Road right close to Crooman Lane and Western Highway and any information about his whereabouts will be greatly appreciated by the family." Jules Vasquez "You all found his vehicle?" Steven Rowland, brother of missing man "We found his vehicle yes." Jules Vasquez "People have been using his vehicle? What was the status for it?" Steven Rowland, brother of missing man "That's what it seems like." Jules Vasquez "Sir, his vehicle is in good working order and someone was rollin' in it?"

Doing It For Dara
This weekend, Jennine Hamilton held a promotion at her newly opened business place, Mr. Ham's Juices Smoothies, and Shakes. It's one of those news businesses operating from the kiosks at the renovated BTL Park, which was officially opened on Friday night. To give back to the community, she promised to try to sell 1,000 smoothies where she would donate 1 dollar for each cup to the grassroots philanthropist, Dara Robinson. She's trying to assist Dara with his feeding program, and though she missed her target of $1,000, she did very admirably. Today, she handed over $703 to Robinson, and 7News was there: Robinson told us that he already has plans for the money which will go to helping 40 needy children

PM Travels With Wife For Checkup
After meeting with the representative of Banks Holdings this afternoon, the Prime Minister left the country for Houston. He is travelling to be with his wife who is following up on her post cancer reconstructive surgery. He explained today:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "It's the usual follow-up of visits and there was to have been some residual reconstructive surgery but we are having some difficulties with the insurance company which is most upsetting, but there is no change in her condition, in other words as far as we know the cancer is still in remission, so it's not anything to worry about." The Prime Minister returns on Friday, 21st February, 2014. Deputy Gaspar Vega is acting Prime Minister.

The Passing Of Lionel Welch
And tonight, as we close we note the passing of attorney and football aficionado Lionel Welch. After a long and difficult illness, the 63 year old Welch died yesterday in afternoon in Los Angeles where he was being treated for advanced prostate cancer. He left Belize in November for treatment but it was too late as the cancer had already spread. He was well regarded in the legal profession and much loved in the football family where he was the owner of the FC Belize Club, recently crowned Sub-Champions of the PLB Tournament. He was also a member of the Member of the FFB Disciplinary Committee, the integrity committee for football and Legal adviser to the Football Federation of Belize. A statement from the FFB says, he will be missed by all involved in the sport of football. By tragic coincidence, his mother, Emma Cattouse who was 81 died yesterday evening in Belize City. She was hospitalized the day before in an unconscious state and never got to hear the sad news of her son's passing.


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#486183 - 02/18/14 10:22 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 18, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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Channel 5

Social Security to bail out citrus industry
There is crisis in the citrus industry, with dark clouds gathering overhead. It’s certainly not the first in what is a volatile industry, but it is serious. In recent weeks, [...]

G.O.B. to acquire CGA $9 Million loan, but Bank Holdings retains veto power
With all that said…with shares swapped, loan facilities appropriated and the Board restructured, has there really been any fundamental change to the core of the dispute? As we understand, despite [...]

P.M. Barrow says no money to be given to CGA
At the start of the conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made reference to lining up the directors of Banks Holdings Limited against the wall and shooting them. That is testament [...]

Chairman says CGA has 2 non-performing loans with the S.S.B.
Earlier we told you about the intervention by G.O.B. into the citrus industry. But at what cost…and at whose cost? G.O.B. has said that it will take over the loan [...]

Will C.E.O. of CPBL, Henry Canton, be terminated?
There have been sustained attempts to remove Dr. Henry Canton as C.E.O. of CPBL. In fact, in 2011, he successfully defended in Court his position after the CGA tried to [...]

Banks Holdings Representatives in Belize to discuss proposal
A pair of executives from the board of directors of Banks Holdings, the Barbados-based firm with minority shares in CPBL arrived in Belize this morning. Chairman Anthony King, accompanied by [...]

Pressing questions continue to revolve around immigration scandals
The interest and outcry in the immigration scandals of passports and visas have been constant. And that’s why Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse remains a person of interest whenever he [...]

2 officers from Nationality Section remain untouched in investigation
The case against the three officers in the Passport Section seems clear, at least from the Minister’s perspective. Those three officers – Sharon Neal, Omar Phillips and Erwin Robinson, have [...]

Services Commission hearing for suspended officers set for Tuesday
The Services Commission hearing for Sharon Neal, Erwin Robinson and Omar Phillips is set for Tuesday. There were reports that Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse would be attending the hearing, [...]

Shooting in Ladyville midst a sporting event; woman and minor injured
A sporting event was abruptly interrupted on Sunday night in Ladyville when a gunman fired aimlessly at a crowd comprising of men women and children. A Ladyville resident and a [...]

Gang rivalry ends with a Belize City youth shot in the back
While the Ladyville police have two persons detained for questioning in regards to the shooting at the basketball court, the Belize City police are investigating a shooting on Saturday morning [...]

3 injured in accident near Gardenia
It didn’t make it on the police blotter today, but we were able to confirm with the Rural Executive Officer of the Police Department, Assistant Superintendent Christopher Noble, that sometime [...]

Big Tom in court for indecent words against officers
Some years ago, Belize City resident, Kenneth Flowers, aka “Big Tom” was said to have been shot and killed in the United States but that turned out to be inaccurate [...]

18 year old pleads guilty to lying about being raped
An eighteen year old girl who fabricated a story that she was sexually assaulted inside her home is looking at time behind bars. When the report was made, the police [...]

Collet Montejo endorses Luke Espat for convention in Cayo Central
Both political parties are holding conventions even though elections are not due until 2017. In Cayo Central, the convention is set for April twenty-seventh, so that campaigns among the contenders [...]

Penner, the pariah, turns investment prospector
Disgraced former Minister of State Elvin Penner might be a political pariah in public, and indeed on camera he has been declared persona non grata by his boss Dean Barrow. [...]

P.U.P. request to ComPol unanswered, mandamus to be in effect
Today is February seventeenth, the last of seven days given to Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie by the Opposition to commence a criminal investigation against former Minister of State Elvin [...]

Still no Integrity Commission, but Barrow defends Armead Gabourel
The Integrity Commission is in trouble after two government appointees stepped down. They did so because under new legislation passed because of the Financial Action Task Force, they would come [...]

First shipment of sugar sails to England
The 2014 sugar crop was delayed for two months this year due to issues over the payment of bagasse between the Belize Sugar cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar [...]

Yhony Rosado says he is targeted yet again
Tour operator Yhony Rosado, an outspoken member of the Federation of Cruise Tourism Association of Belize, is in the news tonight again, following an arraignment in the Magistrate’s Court on [...]

Cycling and Basketball featured in Sports
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   Week two I the NEBL saw the basketball league consolidate its place on the entertainment landscape here in the [...]

LOVE FM

Arizona Resident Undertakes Library Project in Belize
Construction has started on a building in Sarteneja Village in the Corozal District that will serve as a public library for the over three thousand residents. The installation of a library in this community came about following the visit of a US citizen, who, in search of a retirement location came across the fishing community noticed, being the avid reader that she is, that there was no library for the community. Julia Kern of the Palominas area in Sierra Vista in Arizona, USA will be the librarian is currently soliciting contributions from the various residents and libraries in her area. Construction on the new library, with the support of community leaders and local residents began on January 21, 2014 and is expected to be completed by June 2014. If you are interested in making a book donation or financial assistance, you can contact Kern at jpkern1351@yahoo.com .

GSU Operation Yields More Than Fifty Pounds of Hydro
Operations conducted on West Collet Canal in Belize City by members of the Gang Suppression Unit yielded twenty four point four kilograms of hybrid cannabis. The GSU did their operations just after nine o’clock this morning during which they intercepted a white Ford Taurus sedan driven at the time by 40-year-old, Reynard Thenwick Grinage, a Belizean mechanic of a Faber’s Road address in Belize City. While the search of the vehicle turned up empty, a further investigation was conducted upon the discovery of several keys in Grinage’s possession. A search warrant was acquired and the GSU team executed a search, in the presence of Grinage, at the upper flat of a wooden house on Bachelor’s Avenue. Inside one of the rooms, GSU found two boxes, each containing parcels of compressed hybrid cannabis. One of the boxes contained thirteen brick parcels wrapped in brown paper and tape along with five smaller brick parcels. In the second box, eight similar parcels wrapped in brown paper and two smaller parcels in saran wrap were found. The cannabis combined, weighed twenty four point four kilograms or just over fifty three pounds of hydro.

Police Says Shooting May Have Stemmed From Gang Rivalry
Twenty seven year old Robert Tracey is tonight recuperating from gunshot wound to his back after he was shot once on Saturday morning at about 2:30am. Police say that Tracey was walking on Central American Boulevard and upon approaching at the corner of Boots Crescent heading towards Neal’s Pen Road, Belize City he heard several gun shots and realized he was shot. Superintendent commanding Precinct One, Alden Dawson says that no one has been detained for the shooting as yet. SUPERINTENDENT ALDEN DAWSON “Sometime around 2:30am on Saturday, February 15, Mr. Tracy was walking on Central American Boulevard heading towards Neal’s Pen Road and upon reaching the junction with Boots Crescent, he was fired upon, he heard several shots and realized he was hit in the back. The police went to the scene and retrieved six expended shells. Tracy has since been treated and released. The investigation is ongoing and so far, we believe that it is an incident that stemmed from the night club earlier on the Newtown Barracks. I am not really familiar with the incident that occurred but I understand there was some altercation among different gang members and that may have well led to this incident. In respect to this incident, no one has been detained.”

Traffic Accident in San Joaquin, Corozal
Last Friday, Corozal police responded to a traffic accident in San Joaquin Village just past nine o’clock between miles seventy nine and eighty on the Philip Goldson Highway. Upon the police’s arrival, they observed blood off the highway but by the time the authorities responded to the scene, the accident victim was already transported to the Corozal Hospital. When Police went to the Corozal Hospital Emergency Room they found 43-year-old, Marciano Tun of said village was found suffering from a cut wound to the forehead and nose along with abrasions to the forehead, left side of the back and left foot. According to reports, 53-year-old, Primitivo Torres of San Roman Village, a security for the Belize Border Management was driving his Ford Astro van heading towards Corozal Town and upon reaching the Everyday Supermarket, a man ran across the highway causing the accident. Torres reportedly transported Tun to the hospital for treatment. As a result, a notice of intended prosecution has been issued to Torres pending investigations.

PM Presents Way Forward for the Citrus Industry
The trouble within the citrus industry has been well documented. The latest news from this vital sector had growers complaining that they have not been receiving payments from the Citrus Growers Association of Belize. This is after there was disagreement on the appointment of an auditor. The Association sought the intervention of the Government and after meeting with all sides; Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke of a way forward. RT. HON. DEAN BARROW “The proposal is that FCIB will advance within the limits of their overall facility with CPBL, the immediate working capital funds necessary to get us out of the pickle that we are in in terms of the inability of the factory to pay for fruit. Ultimately, Social Security Board, initially the GOB is proposing to buy out the FCIB facility, buy out the loan that FCIB has with CPBL; the idea is that SSB will afterwards take that loan, Government will unsell it to SSB; in fact, SSB is in the business of making loans while the GOB is not or only unusually so, and, that ought to see then, SSB stepping permanently into the shoes of FCIB.

Immigration Minister Says He Wants Answers
The scandal at the Immigration and nationality department is yet to die as interest continues as to how a jailed individual could have gotten a Belizean passport. Today Minister of Immigration Godwin Hulse responded to questions from the media regarding the slow pace of the investigation. HON. GODWIN HULSE “We’re talking Public Service Commission; this is PSC work; when you get to police or criminal work, that is where they step in – they may be the ones who say, you get immunity or whatever, that is what DPP and the others do; that is not how we do it in the department. The department is strictly public service and how it is, that you breached these things; Public Service will decide this week or next week when they hear the people’s case.” REPORTER “Sir, in your opinion, from the evidence you have seen, should Miss Ady Pacheco and Mr. G Wade be fired or terminated or recommended for termination?” HON. GODWIN HULSE “Well, my personal opinion and this is simply my opinion – too much has happened in the department, they are the people responsible and they need to answer how it is, a certificate got to the minister for signing? .

Basketball Court Turns Dangerous Territory
A man and woman were shot last night just before ten o’clock in Ladyville Belize District. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the details. Residents of Ladyville Village were socializing last night on the Basket Ball Court when a male individual wearing a camouflage suit approach the crowd on the bleachers and fired a single shot. The gunman used a shot gun. The shooting happened nearby the Ladyville Police Station and Officer Commanding, ASP, Christopher Noble told us more. ASP, CHRIS NOBLE “Apparently somebody went there with what we believe to be, a firearm and fired at a group of persons or a person, we are not sure as yet, we are looking into it. Two persons were injured; they have been attended to, treated and released.” HIPOLITO NOVELO One of the shooting victims was 37 year old Arlene Bainton who receives several pellet wound to the leg and face.” ARLENE BAINTON “I went along with my family and friends to watch the basketball game; my son was playing football and that was done and so we went over to watch football. I don’t know what transpired in the park but my cousins and I were talking and I just heard boom and I saw people scatter and then when I noticed, my foot was bleeding and the young man behind me got shot in his chest and foot and another young man that was in front of us got it in his chin and his hand.

Robberies and Burglaries Investigated in Northern Belize
A businessman of San Andres Village in the Corozal District has told police that his home was burglarized last Friday between 5pm and 9pm. According to 53-year-old, Lorenzo Reyes the thief or thieves took a twelve gauge Mossberg Brand Pump Action shotgun with serial number H536324 valued at two thousand five hundred dollars along with an undisclosed amount of Belize coins and jewellery with a value yet to be determined. Reports indicate that access was gained to the house through a door that was left unlocked by the home owner. Investigations are ongoing. Items stolen during a burglary at the Belize Fruit Packers in San Andres Village in the Corozal District were recovered by authorities in that area. On Sunday morning at around 1:30, police visited an open lot where a search of the area led them to two picnic tables, four vehicle tires and a wooden door. Reports are that the items were taken when one of the company’s warehouses was burglarized. Police contacted the Manager, 41-year-old, Martin Aguilar who identified the items as those belonging to the company. Police have detained four persons pending their investigations.

Prime Minister Accompanies Wife on Medical Trip
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has left the country today to accompany his wife to Houston, Texas, USA. Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow is scheduled to be in Houston over the next few days to continue with her medical check-ups. The Prime Minister and his wife are slated to return on Friday, February 21, 2014. In the interim, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as the Prime Minister of Belize.

PlusTV

Belmopan Comprehensive High School Launches First Science Fair
The Belize Comprehensive High School, for the first time in a long time, held a science fair inviting parents guardians and other neighbouring educational institutions to witness this grand event. Our crew was on the ground on the day of the event and brought back an explosive report. Our...

Social Security Board to Buy Shares Into CPBL
The citrus industry is badly divided and dangerously close to collapse. Last week, the factories in the Pomona Valley were threatening to stop taking deliveries from growers as capital continued to be withheld by major banks First Caribbean International Bank and Heritage Bank. As it was forced to do...

Asian Belizean Wins Up UDP Convention
Virtually unknown UDP contender Ralph Huang won the UDP Standard Bearer convention for Cayo South on Sunday. Three candidates contested the seat; Michael Hulse, Ernest Patnett, and Asian Belizean Ralph Huang. 1,036 votes went to Huang. Patnett received 778 and 86 votes went to Michael Hulse. Ralph Huang will...

Santa Elena Library Upgraded
The Santa Elena library extension and rehabilitation was officially inaugurated this morning. On hand to open the New Santa Elena Library and Resource Center were Area Representative Rene Montero as well as Minister of Education Hon. Patrick Faber. The resource center is actually an internet café. 14 new computers...

BAY Basketball Tournament on the Way
Over 60 young people between the ages of 13 to 20 showed up at Hilltop Basketball court in the capital city on Sunday. The young men were there to hopefully be drafted to participate in the Belmopan Active Youths’s basketball tournament. After friendly matches on Sunday, the players were...

PACT Awards Grant
PACT awarded over three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in grants today Monday, February 17 to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project is entitled: Enhancing St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) Through New Infrastructure, Mapping and Management Plan for a total of...

Placencia Art Festival Successful
Placencia Village in the Stann Creek District made it to the Guiness Book of records for having the world’s narrowest street. Well, those “streets”, which are really sidewalks, were lined this weekend with some of Belize’s most beautiful works of art. The village of Placencia, in an effort to...

Blogs

Polvorones/Polboron de Belice
I remember growing up eating Polvorone Biscuits in Belize, I thought they were primarily from Belize or Mexico, but I discovered that the origin of polvorones is Spain. It is a type of heavy, soft and very crumbly shortbread. It is made with flour, milk, sugar and nuts. It is popular all over Spain and ex-Spanish colonies during the Christmas period. The ones in Belize didn't have nuts, so I made them that way.

The sad state of governance and justice in Belize
With the matter of Corporal Peck being for the most part determined, the shift now goes to the highly questionable Firearms Act itself and the nefarious manner in which it has been applied to regular, law-abiding citizens, long before it snared the corporal. For those who are not blind, it is clear that something serious is going-on behind the scenes. This evident because in the not too distant past, there was a case in which an individual with a criminal record was caught with an unlicensed firearm and/or ammunition and by virtue of the discretion of a police officer, he was inexplicably set free. This speaks volumes, especially given the parameters of Corporal Peck’s case. Therefore, it doesn’t take much to determine that there is more afoot than meets the eye.

My Journey From San Ignacio to Placencia, the 2014 Art & Music Festival and Chelsea Handler!
Friday afternoon I attended a gorgeous wedding at the magical Cahal Pech Maya site and Saturday morning I needed to be up before dawn to travel. From San Ignacio in Western Belize to Placencia, south over the Maya Mountains to the southern coast. The travel route: early morning taxi ride from San Ignacio to Belmopan (a friend taxi driver gave me a great rate of $50bzd, an extra 45 minutes of sleep and HOPEFULLY reprieve from the horrible Belmopan push onto the bus. The capital of Belize is my most dreaded bus station. Always crowded with a HUGE line for the bus. Read about all of my bus tips in this post.

DEAN NO LIKE ESQUIVEL
By: Audrey Matura-Shepherd I remember when Esquivel government collapse Caz Belize just had to give UDP the axe 1998 was not only bout retrenchment day It was bout minister gone rougue and astray Poor Manny he tried his best to reign dem in But never prepared to defend dem sin Inna no time he step aside Hand over leadership to his joy and pride Then Dean was the super-minister, weh know it all And he vouched he could keep dem straight and tall In his egotistic – I in control voice and stance He forget he just join the biggest power-shuffling dance Well when in opposition he never have to worry None had power, none was doing anything in a hurry Many were nowhere to be seen The party was bruk the coffers lean But when kruffy get tiad and vex They booth out PUP with a curse and a hex Dean beat he chest and rose to power Forgetting even the best love goes sour. He said he was noting like Esquivel

What a Belize vacation looks like (Video)
Today I’m sharing a viral video that showcases what a Belize vacation looks like. This adventure packed video titled Ruins, Rivers and Reefs makes it clear that Belize is an ideal destination for families and couples seeking authentic experiences that will provide unforgettable travel memories. So if you’re either a budget traveler or seeking a bit of luxury, see how Belize can deliver a once-in-a-lifetime trip that cannot be done anywhere else. San Ignacio, Mountain Pine Ridge, Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are featured in the video, if you’re interested in having a similar adventure, adapt my itinerary recommendations for a week or two weeks.

International Sources

Notes from a Libertarian Paradise
Imagine a place where government plays a negligible role in public life. Taxes are almost non-existent. Businesses operate free from the burden of regulation or bureaucracy. People lean on each other to establish and enforce standards of public behavior. Imagine a place with no Obamacare, no insurance mandates, no mandates of almost any kind. Libertarians are often derided as dreamers whose vision of the world could never be made real, but that is not true. All over the planet there are places where the Libertarian dream of hyper-limited government is played out in daily life. We can learn a lot about the merits and pitfalls of Libertarianism by examining the shape of life in the world’s Libertarian strongholds. Belize is a stunningly beautiful nation of beaches, rainforests, and coral reefs at the southern end of the Yucatan Peninsula. A former British colony, it escaped the upheavals of Cold War politics in the Third World by being altogether too small (only about 300,000 citizens today), too remote, and too poor for anyone to notice their existence.

LA ISLA BONITA, BELIZE. THE VIDEO
Post tardío de domingo para enseñaros este mini video de nuestro viaje a San Pedro, ya sabéis, La Isla Bonita, situado en Belize. Era nuestra primera vez en Centro América y el lugar creo que es el más paradisíaco que he visto nunca… espero que os guste y os traslade allí por unos instantes! Veréis de nuevo un poquito mis outfits de viaje en movimiento.Por cierto, lo que sale en el segundo 00:19 es la isla privada de Leonardo Dicaprio… algunos se lo montan bien…Un...

12 Surprising Things You Might Not Know About Tikal Maya Ruins
Tikal is just two hours away from the Belizean border and remains one of the most popular attractions in Guatemala. Almost any traveler who visits the western part of Belize (San Ignacio Town) travels to Guatemala for the day to visit this majestic Maya site. Located in the Peten Region of Guatemala, Tikal is an early classic to late classic Maya City. Here are 12 surprising things about Tikal: 1.) Tikal is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centers of the pre-Columbian Maya Civilization. 2.) The name Tikal may be derived from ti ak’al in the Yucatec Maya language; and it is said to be a relatively modern name meaning “at the waterhole”. 3.) The Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes passed within a few kilometers of the ruins of Tikal in 1525, however he didn’t mention them in his letters.

Belize Economic Review 2013
As one year ends and we embrace a new year, we tend to reflect on all that has happened and make comparisons to see if the year was better or worst than the previous. At the end of 2013, the same approach was taken and an economic review was done with the assistance of the Statistical Institute of Belize. In their assessment, they highlighted that Belize’s economy has seen several improvements, however it also faced quite a few downfalls over the last 12 months as compared to 2012. At the end of 2012, the economic review shows that Belize’s GDP was at $3.0 billon, with a growth of 5.3% and $8,754 per capita. Foreign Direct Investments were recorded at $197.9 million while public debt was at 78.1% of GDP. The Belize economy has shown a slow small growth from 2012-2013. GDP figures over the first 9 months of 2013 as compared to the same time in 2012 showed that the country grew by a minute 0.4%. A bit under what was anticipated. This is due to banana production which was down 6% and oil production which is also down due to oil fields nearing depletion.


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#486190 - 02/18/14 11:39 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 18, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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CTV3

Prime Minister Says, The Reshuffling Is Absolutely Not Happening
Last Friday we ran a story where it was alleged that the Prime Minister had reshuffled his cabinet to quote, “save his corruption infested administration”, end quote. The news took the social media by storm. The news then claimed that Area Representative for Belmopan and Minister of National Security, John Saldivar had been removed from his post and replaced by recently elected UDP standard bearer for Orange Walk East, and former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Elodio Aragon Jr. It further alleged that Elodio Aragon Jr. will then be sworn in as Senator and elevated to take Saldivar’s spot while Saldivar scoots over to Public Service. After today’s press conference, the Prime Minister addressed the allegations and put all doubts to rest.

Border Procedures In Slow Mode Causing Delays In Importation And Exportation
In an update to the border issue we reported on a few weeks ago whereby cargo trucks were unable to make it across the Mexican Border due to the suspension of license for the only broker agency “Servicios Aduaneros Integrados, reports tonight are that things are not running rather smoothly. While on February 4th the mobilization of cargo trucks renewed with the opening of a new Aduanal agency, ADJ “Alfonso Bello Juarez” with patente 3950, we understand that the process has been too slow. And truck drivers are become impatient. Today our Corozal news room was flooded with calls, reporting that the process at the new agency had stopped and that truckers wouldn’t be able to come across once more. Reporter Victor Castillo looked into the matter and was informed by officials at the ADJ that the services have not stopped. What’s happening though is that the system is moving a bit slow which is causing the delay for several containers to enter the country.

Blue Hole National Park To Get Major Uplifting
Today, PACT awarded $356,253.75 in two new medium-sized project grants. The grants were awarded to the Belize Audubon Society and Programme for Belize. The Belize Audubon Society’s project, entitled: Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan was granted $199,998.75. In case you didn’t know, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park is one of the more visited sites co-managed by the Belize Audubon Society. The main goal of this project is to install needed infrastructure at the site, with an aim to improve visitor’s experience, while enhancing the aesthetics of the protected area. In addition, the project includes a component which will ensure the Belize Audubon Society’s compliance with the new co-management agreement, by completion of a Management Plan. Key in the drafting of this plan is the protected area map, which will also be developed during this project.

Another Victim Of Rape In The Island Of San Pedro
A teenager on the island of San Pedro has reported to police that she was raped over the weekend and the perpetrator is on the loose. The 19 year old victim reported to the cops that around 12:00am on Saturday she left her house with one of her female friends and went socializing with other friends. At about 3:00 a.m. she said that she was ready to go back home and so her friend decided to accompany her as far as the Central Park. She further stated that she continued to walk home and noticed that she was being followed by a male person she knows.

GOB Proposal To Transfer CPBL Shares To SSB
The citrus industry has been sinking into a series of problems but ultimately the circumstances surrounding the industry have worsened. The dead lock between two of the shareholders, the Citrus Growers Association which owns 51 percent of the shares and Banks Holdings Limited, which holds 46.59% shares, have led the industry into crisis. Over the last weeks, CPBL has been unable to make payments to growers for their deliveries and there was a possibility that the factory would have stopped receiving fruit, in other words the factory would shut down. However, given the industry’s financial strife, government stepped in and has a new proposal to keep the industry afloat. Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize “The proposal is that FCIB will advance within the limits of their overall facility with DPBL, the immediate working capital funds necessary to get us out of the pickle that we are in in terms of the inability of the factory to pay for fruits. Ultimately, Social Security Board, initially the Government of Belize is proposing to buy out the FCIB facility, buy out the loan that FCIB has with CPBL, the ideas is that SSB will afterwards take that loan, government will un sale it to SSB since in fact SSB is in the business of making loans while the government of Belize is not or only unusually so and that ought to say then SSB stepping permanently stepping into the shoes of FCIB.”

Another Firearm Out In The Streets
Tonight Corozal Police are seeking the assistance of the public in locating a firearm that was stolen from Lorenzo Reyes. On February 14th, Corozal Police were called to the Village of San Andres where businessman Lorenzo Reyes reported that someone broke into his residence and stole his licensed 12 gauge Mossberg Brand Pump Action Shotgun valued at $ 2,500.00 Bcy, an undisclosed amount of money and jewelry. The value of the items has not been ascertained as yet. Police believe that the culprits gained entry through one of the doors which apparently was left unlocked by the complainant. Police are investigating.

Another Man Knocked Down On The Phillip Goldson Highway
Another man who is lucky to be alive tonight is 43 year old Marciano Tun who was knocked down by a Ford Astro van on Friday. The incident occurred around 9:25pm between miles 79 and 80 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. When police arrived at the scene Tun had already been transported to the Corozal Community Hospital where police found him suffering from a cut wound to the fore head and nose, abrasions to the fore head, left side of back and left foot. Investigations revealed that around 9:00pm, 53 year old Primitivo Torres, Border Management Security of San Roman Village in the Corozal District, was driving his Astro Van in the direction of Corozal Town and upon reaching in front of Everyday Super Market Chinese Store in San Joaquin Village, a male person ran across the highway from the left to right side.

Diesel Tank Explodes AT Workshop
An Orange Walk resident is lucky to be alive tonight after a trailer diesel tank exploded on Sunday at the corner of Nargusta and Banak Streets. According to Miguel Pren, who only suffered minor injuries, around 9:30 he was at his dad’s business namely Prens Welding Service welding a cylinder tank when it exploded. A big bang resonated in the area shortly after a large plume of smoke was seen. Luckily, the cylinder was empty which contributed to the fact that Pren only received a few burns to the right foot and chin. He was taken to Northern Regional Hospital where he was treated and later released.

Minister Of Immigration Says There Is No Excuse Whatsoever
We’ve covered the visa scam in which it is reported that government ministers are using a quota system, which the prime minister says could cause the fall of his government. But in the passport scandal, three public officers have been sent home; the suspension of the most senior member has been extended to five months at half pay. The C.E.O. of Immigration, Candelaria Saldivar confirmed that throughout the entire administrative investigation nobody looked at Elvin Penner. And even now, the only file under scrutiny is the Kim file. And after the PM’s press conference on the Citrus Industry issues, the media caught up with Godwin Hulse and asked him a slew of questions as it pertain to the investigation of the Citizen Kim fiasco and the passport scandal.


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