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#486366 - 02/20/14 05:07 AM Today's Belize News: February 20, 2014
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV3
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The San Pedro Sun

Two tourists receive minor injuries after a gun accidentally goes off
Belize Police Press Officer Rafael Martinez would not go into details, but did confirm that two tourists were injured shortly around 9:30AM on Wednesday February 19th in Belize City. The incident occurred inside the Brown Sugar Terminal that houses the San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi. Martinez said that it was a negligent discharge, meaning that the firearm accidentally went off. An eyewitness, who was one of the many passengers waiting to board a water taxi, told The San Pedro Sun that a firearm belonging to a businessman from Caye Caulker Village fell to the ground and several shots went off. The shots hit the concrete structure and fragments from the shots injured two female tourists, a mother and her daughter who were in the area. Fortunately, the injuries were not life threatening and thus the two tourist have been treated and released.

San Pedro barge collision damages Belize’s largest port
A boat accident involving a cargo barge from San Pedro Town has forced the closure of the largest commercial port in the country, Port of Belize Limited. The accident occurred around 4:45AM on Tuesday February 18th when a vessel belonging to Krystal Shipping slammed into the port docking facility, seriously damaging three beams that hold up part of the port structure. The Belize Port Authority has opened an investigation to find out what caused the accident but the Port of Belize has indicated that the damages and losses to business can be in the hundreds of thousands. Speaking to the media, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Belize Limited Arturo “Tux” Vasquez said that it will take a minimum of six days before the repairs are completed. “The effects arequite significant really because it puts the pier out of commission and obviously we are still in the stage of assessing everything and the priority for us right now is to make sure that we get this [port] fixed. We thought that it was only one of the beams but apparently it damaged all three, so instead of having to replace one, we are looking to having to replace three beams now. The engineer is currently looking at it and trying to put all the plans in place, but for us even to replace one beam, we would have to close the pier off, so initially we thought about four days, but I think now we are realistically looking at about six days.”

2 years in a row -Ambergris Caye is #1 island in the world!!
Ambergris Caye has been selected by TripAdvisor® as the number one island in the world for the second consecutive year in the 2014 Traveler’s Choice Island awards. The good news was revealed by the travel review organization on February 19th and along with Ambergris Caye’s accolades, other resorts and hotels from various parts of the country were also recognized as top places in the region. Beautiful Ambergris Caye is the largest populated island in Belize located in northern waters of the country and anchored less than a mile west from the regional Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. “Ambergris Caye hovers in a vacation sweet spot: just enough amenities to make it exciting, but not so overdeveloped that you’re tripping over flip-flopped tourists. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elk horn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites,” describes TripAdvisor®.

Flor Ancona’s Carnaval Group hosts Valentine’s Dinner Dance
Carnaval Season is on its way and already some of the comparsas groups have begun fundraising for the big days of March 2nd-4th. On Saturday February 15th, Flora Ancona’s Carnaval group held a Valentine’s Dinner Dance at the Lions Den in an effort to raise funds for their group. The group would like to thank everyone who came out to support the dinner/dance and encourages the public to come out and have a great time at the first ever Miss Carnaval pageant. The pageant will be their next fundraising event and is sure to be a great time. Set your calendars for Friday February 21st at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium.

Diamond in the Rough- Artisan Edition
Often times the end of vacations, tend to be the least favorite part of a trip for visitors vacationing in the “#1 Island in the World-TripAdvisor Awards 2104.” But thanks to talented Belizean artisans such as our woodcarvers, Ambergris Caye tourists get to take a piece of paradise with them when they leave-literally! In this article you will be introduced to three of San Pedro’s woodcarvers who have given countless visitors the perfect souvenir to remember their time in San Pedro. They work with tools such as chisels, chainsaws, and hammers in order to turn pieces of rough woods such as logwood, driftwood and ziricote into masterpieces that reflect various aspects of rich Belizean culture and wildlife.

Ambergris Today

Ambergris Caye Voted #1 Island in the World Two Years in a Row
Residents of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye are jumping for joy as the island has once again been voted THE NUMBER ONE ISLAND IN THE WORLD for the second year in a row in Trip Advisors’s 2014 Travelers’ Choice Awards. Ambergris Caye beat out destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and even Marco Island in Florida, for the coveted title. “Millions of reviews, nothing but the best” posts Trip Advisor as it lists the TOP 10 Islands in the World, voted by its millions of online viewers and reviewers. And Ambergris Caye, Belize is on the top of that list one more time for the second year in a row! This is such a great honor for Ambergris Caye and Belize as the number one tourist destination in the country also becomes the tops in the world once again. This Belizean jewel offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility that keeps visitors coming back year after year to enjoy the sun, sea and air.

Golf Cart Crashes Into Island Supermarket
At about 6:12p.m. on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, San Pedro Police and the San Pedro Traffic Department responded to a traffic accident that occurred on Coconut Drive on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Upon arrival police and traffic wardens found that a green golf cart had crashed into the glass wall of the Island Supermarket. Driving the vehicle belonging to Peter Jones was 79-year-old Graham Whitehead, UK Citizen. Investigations reveal that Whitehead stepped on the wrong pedal and instead of hitting the brakes, he stepped on the accelerator causing the cart to crash into the glass window. Mr. Whitehead received minor cuts on his left foot and was treated at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Poly Clinic.

A Valentine’s Day Surprise Dive Proposal in San Pedro, Belize
This is quite likely one of the coolest marriage proposals that we have seen done here in Ambergris Caye. Who can beat an engagement underwater at 85 feet deep at the Tunnels of Love? This is exactly what Todd planned as he organized an elaborate marriage proposal for his girlfriend Kristina. It was a surprise dive proposal organized by the team at Belize Pro Dive Center who helped Todd with the dive preparations and the celebration once they came back from the dive. And it all happened on Valentine’s Day. Watch the video; it’s pretty amazing!

Flashbacks: De Ja Vu Stories on Skeletal Findings in San Pedro
Very often we have a de ja vu or repeat story on some incident or the other. In this flashback series of photos taken by renowned photographer Kay Scott in the 1980’s we re-live the same story of the recent find of skeletal remains in the mangroves of North Ambergris Caye. This Flashback was supposedly of a sailor Lawrence Dombrowski of Florida who disappeared on New Year’s Eve of 1987. Despite a rigorous hunt for the person or body, it did not appear until February 21, 1988 when Carlos Martinez discovered a partially clothed skeleton in the mangroves of Boca Del Rio Area of Ambergris Caye. There were many rumors including that the skeleton had two bullet holes, that the body was found buried, and that his dingy had drifted away and he drowned. The biggest rumor was that he headed to Mexico and left the country. Do you wonder what stories will come out of this one that the police has in its hands today?

Misc Belizean Sources

Longest zip line in Central America
The longest zip line in Central America is 2,300 feet long and located at Mayflower Bocawina National Forest in Silk Grass on the Southern Highway in Belize. The last line is very fast & very long, lasting over 30 seconds!

Ground Breaking for Infrastructure Improvements at Archaeological Sites
Tourists and local visitors to archaeological sites in Belize will soon benefit from infrastructure improvements at the sites under the Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites (MTBCAAS) project. The infrastructure works will commence at Altun Ha, Belize District and a ground breaking ceremony was today (Wednesday, February 12), to mark the occasion. The project is funded by the European Union and the Government of Belize. European Union (EU) Ambassador Paola Amadei who addressed the ceremony remarked “It is a symbolic event as this EU funded project aims on one side to improve the experience of tourists visiting the archaeological sites AND as well promotes employment and better opportunities in the communities in the proximity of the archaeological site. This project has the component of promoting community development.” Visitors to Altun Ha will experience the upgraded Visitor’s Centre which will be outfitted with audio-visual equipment, enhancing the tourist experience. Additionally, a new male bathroom facility, walking trails and seating areas will be constructed. These improvements will cater to people with diverse abilities and increase health and safety at the site. A contract was signed with KIKOS Engineering Services for $255,583.41 to carry out the construction works at Altun Ha. Construction is expected to last for 4 months, ending in June 2014.

(MOU) to establish and protect Belize’s biological corridors and core areas that function as habitat for jaguars and their prey
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish and protect Belize’s biological corridors and core areas that function as habitat for jaguars and their prey will be signed at 10 a.m. on Friday February 21, at the Black Orchid Resort, Burrell Boom Village, Belize District. Signatories to the MOU will include the Government of Belize, through the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries, and Sustainable Development, the University of Belize through its Environmental Research Institute (ERI), and Panthera. The ERI, is dedicated to the science and conservation of natural resources and the development of Belizean human capacity. Panthera is a global non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of wild cat species and their habitats, with a long history of jaguar conservation efforts in Belize and the Mesoamerican region. The jaguar, because of its mobility and sensitivity to human presence, along with its ecological function and its role in human culture, can provide an effective focus for monitoring the integrity of core areas and for corridor identification and conservation.

University of Belize partners with European Union in Masters and PhD Scholarships Opportunities for Belizeans
The opportunity for Belizeans to pursue a Masters or a PhD degree is available once again through a program offered by the nation’s tertiary institution, the University of Belize. The European Union project has provided funding for the scholarships through “The Caribbean-Pacific Islands Mobility Scheme (CARPIMS). CARPIMS III is funded by the Education, Audio-Visual and Culture Agency (EACEA) of the European Union, and is designed to facilitate the movement of Masters and PhD students and staff among a consortium of Universities from the Caribbean and Pacific regions. The program aims at building capacity and encouraging socioeconomic development in each country and each region.

The La Ruta Maya River Challenge is just over 2 weeks away. It'll follow the same route as last year. The SISE House of Culture's Cultural Night will be at the Cayo Welcome Center on Thursday, March 6th. The World Culture Band will be playing, and they'll have marimbas, and dancing.

UB's Jan/Feb Newsletter
The University of Belize has released their first newsletter for the year, and it's filled with good news and articles about their endeavors, including articles about their collaboration with TAMU and their student numbers. "The first e-bulletin for the year 2014 - University of Belize Collaborates with Texas A&M University; UB Receives Agricultural Equipment Donation; Educational Trends; UB Receives Donation of Technological Equipment; UB Distributes Micro Propagated Planting Materials to Benefit the Agriculture Sector; Preserving Red Kidney Beans via Science; BSU President Visits UB; UB Scientist Spearheads Research on ‘Dung Beetles’ ; Students Enhancing Campus Landscape; US Graduate Student on Internship at UB; UB Black Jaguars Coach Receives High Level Training; Bringing Smiles to Children; Mandarin Class - Hen Hao; Welcome to the UB Team; Free Laboratory Testing"

20th Coca Cola Spelling Bee
The 20th annual Coca Cola Spelling Bee has been happening all around Belize. Congratulations to Zone 3 finalists Rina Marcos(United Pentecostal) and Leighi Alvarado(Santa Elena), and Zone 5 finalists Sherman Matute(St. Jude's) and Shelby Gonzalez(St. Martin de Porres), who will all go to the district finals. Great event; thanks, Coca Cola! Best of luck to all! "The annual Coca-Cola Spelling Bee is celebrating its twentieth anniversary and this year plans to be a banner year for the national competition. Beginning with the addition of other corporate sponsors, including the Belize Bank, BTL, Caribbean Treasures and the Ministry of Education, the spelling contest is being billed as the biggest primary school event."

Cayo International Banking Fair
The Cayo Welcome Center will be the site for Cayo's International Banking Fair this Saturday, from 9:00am until 2:00pm. The Atlantic International Bank is sponsoring the event, and they'll have an information booth, games, and applications for those interested. "In Belize, we love to celebrate thus, this weekend we are celebrating the new Atlantic International Bank and Atlantic International Corp Services San Ignacio office with an “International Banking Fair”. The fair kicks off at the Cayo Welcome Center from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday February 22nd. The International Banking Fair promises to have something for everyone. Here’s what you can expect!"

Early morning robbery nets thieves undisclosed amount of money
Police in Belize City are investigating an early morning robbery in Belize City. It happened around 6:30 this morning on Freetown Road. Reports are that a person was in the process of depositing money for Western Diaries at the Freetown Road branch of Atlantic Bank when the robbery happened. An undisclosed amount of money was taken in the robbery.

With the rolling hills of Cayo as the backdrop, the Zone Eliminations of the National Cocal Cola Spelling Bee is today in San Antonio Village, Cayo. 16 children from 8 primary schools in Zone 3 are taking part in today's competition.

Profiting from a strong private sector – Job creation:
Collectively we are by far Belize’s largest employer. According to the Statistical Institute’s most recent Labour Force Survey, for September 2013, 84.8% of employed persons (more than 108,000) are working in the private sector. The Government of Belize, on the other hand, employs 11.6%, totaling just under 15,000 people. Contributed by Kay Menzies – President of Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Love is in the Air Concert
The Benque House of Culture is having their Love is in the Air Concert Saturday, February 22nd, starting at 7:00pm. It's at Centennial Park, and the Benque Marimba Academy is involved, so maybe they'll play a little. Thanks, Benque HoC! "Come and support our local artists this coming Saturday!!!"

Lucio and the New Generation
The SISE House of Culture teamed up with the Cayo branch of the Belize Cancer Society teamed up Saturday to bring out Lucio and the New Generation to play at the Cayo Welcome Center. Emmanuel Mangar also played some. It was another fun night at the Cayo Welcome Center. "The Belize Cancer Society teamed up with the SISE House of Culture to bring Lucio and the New Generation to the Cayo Welcome Center."

PUP to pursue Police Penner investigation in court
The People’s United Party awaits a date for the hearing of its application for judicial review of the Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie’s indecision to act on the investigation of the Elvin Penner/Won-Hong Kim scandal. Legal advisor Anthony Sylvestre filed the documents at the Supreme Court Registry this afternoon and spoke to the press afterward, saying the PUP and his law firm, Musa and Balderamos, had to act after there was no response received from the Commissioner by the deadline of Monday, February 17. Sylvestre says the Party still believes that there is time to act and arrest Penner and his assistants, however the six-month statute of limitations on summary offences will run out in March.

Channel 7

Morning Killing Is Result Of Escalating Gang War
Yesterday morning there was a misunderstanding between two rival gangs, George Street and Supal Street at the fish market in Belize City. Tonight, police believe that same misunderstanding resulted in a shooting last night and a murder this morning in acts of random retaliation. Last night’s victims were injured, this morning it was murder on Plues Street. 7News was there: Jules Vasquez Reporting The shooting happened between Plues Street and West Canal at 9:30 this morning. 25 year old Tarique Cadle lay dead in the yard, he had been shot multiple times to the head. His sister Kassian Cadle arrived at the scene in time to identify the body: Kassian Cadle - Sister of deceased "When I arrived on the scene, I saw his slippers outside, his cap behind the fence in the yard where he was shot, and I saw him at the back lying down. It was tragic moment. It was nerve-wrecking because I saw my brother's face - you know - blood coming all out of his nose, his ears, even his eyes. It was was a cruel death."

Gun Accidentally Discharges at Water Taxi Terminal, Minor Injuries For Two
And just as police were processing the Tariq Cadle murder scene, a report came in saying that there had been a shooting at the San Pedro Belize Express Terminal on North Front Street. Now, on a day when there are four cruise ships in port, and the area is thronged with tourists, that was very disturbing news. Fortunately we can report that it was an accidental gun discharge and no one was seriously hurt. But, accident or not, a nine millimeter pistol discharging in a crowded terminal poses a huge public safety risk. Police explained what happened: Superintendent Gualberto Garcia - OC, Police Precinct 3 "It was a local, a Belizean business man who was in the area right behind me this morning, and at about 9:50 a.m. this mornin, he was coming out of the Compound at the back there. He is a licensed firearm holder; he had firearm in his pants waist. Upon exiting the compound, he tried - according to the investigation - to fix his pants, and unfortunately, that action caused his firearm to be negligently discharged. As far as we are concerned, the firearm was pointed downwards, as you can imagine, and the bullet hit the floor, richoceted, and the pieces hit 2 tourists who were coming out and were immediately around him, 2 females, a mother and daughter. Both persons have been treated by BERT personnel, and as far as we are concerned, they refused to be transported to the KHMH, and they returned back into the compound with injuries treated already."

Body Found In Guinea Grass Is 23 Year Old Man
It has been confirmed that the a body found yesterday morning on the outskirts of Guinea Grass Village in the Orange Walk District is 23 year-old Luis Moreno, a young man who went missing about 10 days ago. Preliminary findings from the medical examiner suggests that he may have been killed. The body was found on a farm called Rancho Lalo, located 2 and half miles on the Guinea Grass Road. Approximately 400 meters in, his skeletal remains were found under some cohune trees. HIS MOTHER Marcela Moreno went to the site and identified the body as her son who she’s been looking for. She recognized him from the boxers and sweater he was wearing. Marcela Moreno had been tormented by the news of the discovery since yesterday, and she had strongly suspected that it was her son, which she finally confirmed today.

Public Service Hearing For Officers From Passport Section
Immigration Officers Sharon Neal-Flowers, Erwin Robinson and Omar Phillips, all from the Passport Section of the Immigration Department, are at home tonight, patiently awaiting the decision of the Public Service Commission as to whether or not they will be terminated as public officers. These officers, you will recall, are the same ones who were suspended following the unearthing of the Citizen Kim Scandal. Director of Immigration Maria Marin recommended them for termination in January. After weeks of waiting to defend themselves against the allegations that they had a hand in getting fraudulent passport issued to Won Hon Kim, they got their opportunity today before a Commission Tribunal in Belmopan. The hearing was held behind closed doors, and after 3 hours, it was all over after one witness testified against them. Oswald Twist, attorney for Robinson and Phillips, spoke to the media afterwards, and he told us that he’s confident about the case they presented on behalf of the Immigration officers:

PUP Files Writ Of Mandamus
And while those wheels of process turn in Belmopan, today at the Supreme Court in Belize City, the PUP went to the Supreme Court to file a writ of mandamus – basically asking the court to make the Commissioner of police arrest Elvin Penner for violating the passport and nationality act. This move comes after the party gave Commissioner Allen Whylie 7 days to respond to their request, which he ignored. So the PUP went to court to file the application today and we spoke to the legal advisor: Anthony Sylvestre - Legal Advisor, PUP There’s been no response to that letter and so, as a consequence, we are forced to actually take this course of action and actually initiate judicial review proceedings against the commissioner." Hipolito Novelo - Love News "Is there any indication that the Com Pol even open and read the letter. Well, there was no formal - or any response to our office, but I did read in the Amandala that Rowland Parks was lucky to have a reply given to him from the Commissioner. But, there hasn't been anything formal that has been submitted to our office."

Cuban Gold Heist Fugitive Wanted, But US Not Ready Yet
Last night we told you about Cuban fugitive Raonel Valdez Valhuerdi. He was caught by immigration authorities in the bushes of Benque Viejo trying to slip illegally into Belize from Guatemala. Sharp work by the Benque Border Immigration told them to follow up on a hunch and google his name: they found that he is wanted in Coral Gables Florida for the armed robbery of 3 million dollars in gold. Police reports fr4om Florida say he masterminded the theft of two rolling suitcases filled with more than 100 pounds of gold flakes from a courier working for a Bolivian export company. Now, he’s at the Hattieville Prison pending deportation presumably to Cuba – even though he paid his two thousand dollar fine for illegal entry. But now, since it turns out he’s wanted by the US, Belize police say they will expel him. A US Embassy spokesperson, says that they have been in touch with the Belizean authorities regarding Valhuerdi…and “if necessary (they will) work with local counterparts to take further action.”

Unconfirmed Firings From That "Hotbed of Corruption"
7News has been attempting to confirm all day with Wilbert Vallejos, the Commissioner of Lands, and the Acting CEO of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture about the status of 3 very senior public officers from that Ministry who all been reportedly dismissed. They are the Deputy Registrar of Lands, Barony Hernandez, and the Deputy Commissioner of Lands, Nestor Hernandez, and National Estate Officer Darleen Padron, and we must stress that it is not confirmed that they are indeed terminated. These officers were all reportedly appointed by the Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega when he was elected to office, and CTV3 reports that Nester and Barony Hernandez are Vega’s nephews.

Lawyer For Immigration Officers Say They Are Being Scapegoated For Hon. Penner
In our last segment we told you about the three Immigration Officers from the passport section who were taken before the public service commission today. Well, two more are pending; they are Ady Pacheco and Gilroy Wade, from the nationality section. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse says they are the ones who handled the disappeared Citizen Kim file. The Director of Immigration wrote to them asking for their explanation and they "lawyered up". Through sources in the public service, 7News has obtained a copy of that letter from their attorney Godfrey Smith. It says that they deny acting in breach of Department procedures since they have never been provided with an outline of their specific duties. As for any breakdown in procedure which led to the Citizen Kim passport, Smith writes that quote, “my clients say that any such misprocedure – as all of Belize knows – was conceived and engineered by Minister of state Elvin Penner acting either personally or through instructions directed at public officers.

Mental Health Association Says Moses Williams Didn't Have To Die
On Monday, we reported on the police killing of a mentally unstable man in Big Falls Village, Toledo District. Moses Williams who was brandishing a machete and charged towards a special constable and chopped both his hands. As Williams stood over him, with the machete in the air and was about to chop him again, a police Constable reportedly fired a warning shot with his issued 12-guage pump action but Williams took no heed. The police then shot Williams in the left leg to subdue him, but, Williams reportedly kept advancing with the machete towards the police and got a hold of his shotgun. Both police officers then dashed off. A few minutes’ later police heard when the shotgun. Police from Punta Gorda arrived on the scene and found Williams sitting on the ground with the shotgun under his injured leg and a machete next to him. Police took Williams to the hospital and he died at 9:20am.

Introducing Breathalysers?
25 Traffic Enforcement Officials from around the country participated in the first of a 2 day training on road safety and enforcement. It’s being conducted by facilitators from a Danish company, SWeROAD, and it will focus on a wide range of topics aimed at making the Country’s roads a safer place to drive. 7News stopped in to find out what the international trainers were presenting to the traffic officials. Here’s what one of the organizers told us about it: Evan Dakers - Representative, Social Investment Fund "There is a number of activities will be taking place. Today's workshop is focusing on issue of communication with road users. We have been trying to get the police officers and traffic wardens to understand that there are proper ways of speaking to road users, and of course, there are not-so-good ways of doing it. But, I think what is even more important - and that will be done tomorrow because this is a 2-day - tomorrow, they will be introduced - or maybe re-introcuded in some cases - to the use of breathalysers. That will be an opportunity for those drivers who are driving under the influence of alcohol to be put on warning. In other words, there will be the distribution of breathalysers, and all the traffic warders and traffic officers will be able to utilize these equipment. So, I think that we are hoping that with the use of the breathalysers, there will be a definite reduction in road traffic accidents and so forth."

From China To Chile, Around The World In A Few Years
Travelling in a motor home is one of the cheapest ways to travel the world. That’s according to a group of friends who have set out to travel the world in an RV. These fulltime RVers are from China and began their journey around the world in May of 2012. A year and a half later, they have visited 35 countries out of a list of one hundred. This had always been a dream for the group of friends - who say they had to sacrifice their businesses and homes to make it a reality. Here’s their story.

Belize Bests Top Island List
For the second year in a row, Ambergris Caye has been voted Trip Advisor’s ‘#1 Island in the World.’ The list this time is Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands and Ambergris Caye bested destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and Marco Island in Florida. According to the glowing review on Trip Advisor, “The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility."

Channel 5

Gang warfare: Tarique Cadle murdered on Plues Street
There is a murder to report tonight resulting from the hostility between two south side gangs. It stems from a shooting on Tuesday night at the corner of King Street [...]

George Street gang members injured in shooting incident
While police are investigating Tarique Cadle’s murder, the two Belize City gang affiliates of George Street who were shot on Tuesday night remain hospitalized. Twenty-five year old Kariq Tzul of [...]

2 persons detained in the murder of cab driver, Lester Rowland
On Monday evening, the lifeless body of sixty-one year old Lester Rowland was discovered inside a concrete vat outside of his home on Guerrero Street.  A team of law enforcement [...]

3 suspended immigration officers go before Services Commission
Elvin Penner, the disgraced former minister of state, who facilitated the illegal issuance of a Belize passport to a South Korean fugitive, has not been questioned much less investigated. But [...]

P.U.P. files writ of mandamus against ComPol Whylie
The People’s United Party believes that by his own admission in an email to the media, Elvin Penner committed an illegal and criminal act in the passport issued to South [...]

Sitting Magistrate Seeking judicial review against Director of Immigration
As you heard, the P.U.P. is asking the court to direct the Commissioner of Police to carry out a criminal investigation into the illegal issuance of a passport to a [...]

2 tourists injured in accidental discharge of firearm
There were thousands of tourists today in the area of the Tourism Village when a pair of visitors narrowly escaped grave; they were wounded by the fragments of a nine [...]

Body found in Orange Walk farm confirmed to be that of missing man
A News Five team traveled to a farm on the Guinea Grass Road where human remains were found by the farm’s caretaker. While the police would not confirm the identity [...]

Infrastructure bonanza a 3-year plan
In November 2013 Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted a special press briefing to announce a countrywide infrastructure bonanza, what he called a plan on steroids. G.O.B. proposes to spend approximately [...]

Ministry of Works C.E.O speaks on the San Estevan/Progresso Road
That’s good news for Belize City and other municipalities who will benefit under the National Infrastructure Plan. But there is an area in the north which continues to bedevil commuters. [...]

Patrick Bevans arraigned for attempted theft
A Belize City man, who claims he was badly beaten by the police and B.D.F. after he was accused of trying to steal a rifle assigned to a B.D.F. officer [...]

6 illegal immigrants caught in sting operation by Immigration Department
A total of six illegal immigrants, who were rounded up as a part of a sting operation by the Immigration Department, appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court today to [...]

25 traffic enforcement officers receive training
Today, police officers, traffic wardens and transport officers gathered at the Belmopan Training School to learn the dos and don’ts of traffic enforcement. It’s all part of a larger Road [...]

Road Safety Project deals with traffic enforcement and road conditions
As we told you, the Road Safety Project deals with everything from traffic enforcement to road conditions, specifically the road on what is called the western corridor. That’s the Western [...]

Mental Health Association issues release on shooting death of PG man
Moses Williams, a mentally challenged person, was shot and killed by the police in Big Falls.  Police told News Five that Williams was shot after chopping the left arm of [...]

#486367 - 02/20/14 05:08 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 20, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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More News: Scroll up from here


Marcela Moreno Confirms The Body Of Her Missing Son
The human remains found yesterday morning on a farm located off the Guinea Grass Road in Orange Walk have been identified and with that came the worst nightmare for a mother who reported her son missing days ago. The remains were identified as those of 23 year old Luis Enrique Moreno. And while Marcel Moreno had to endure the heartache of identifying her son’s remains, authorities are now tasked to solve or discover the circumstances surrounding his death. Reporter Maria Novelo and Video Journalist Jesus Melgar have been following this story from the onset and filed the following report. Maria Novelo – Reporting Marcela Moreno’s worst fear of her missing son was confirmed today when she positively identified her son’s skeletal remains at the site in which it was found, a quarter mile in on a farm off the Guinea Grass Road. 23 year old Luis Enrique Moreno, better known as ‘Patch’, was last seen by his mom on Wednesday February 5th, when as she recalled, he was in a jovial mood. Little did she know it would be the last time she would see her son alive.

C.R.D.T.F. Commences Project To Avoid Spillage Of Bio Hazard And Garbage In Consejo Road
On our newscast last night we reported on the initiative taken by a group of concerned residents living in the community of Consejo in the Corozal District. They have taken up the task of fixing portions of the Consejo Road which is currently in deplorable conditions. With that also comes finding a solution to the current dumpsite problem residents of the area face especially during the rainy season. As we have reported before whenever it rains the garbage flows on to the road which is prone to flooding. Both issues have become a must fix problem for residents and today when we arrived at the affected area, members of the Consejo Road Disaster Task Force were busy at work getting the job done. Victor Castillo – Reporting An eight feet tall retaining berm constructed of white marl is being erected on this very spot as a barrier to avoid the spillage of bio hazard and garbage, which is currently contaminating approximately half a mile of the Consejo Road.

Charitable Organization Assists With Disable Child's Edcuation
Vibes Alive International in collaboration with Charitable Roots Organization organized a tribute to Bob Marley concert which was held on February 8th at the East Sports Centre in Orange Walk Town. Founder of Vibes Alive, Omar Ayuso said this was the third event being organized by the organization and serves as a fund raiser. Monies raised from the concert are handed to beneficiaries that are struggling with medical ailments. The funds raised in this year’s concert will be handed to fourteen year old Ruby Seleni Garcia, a young girl suffering from juvenile arthritis. And while that donation is yet to be made, today Garcia received much needed assistance from Cuellos Distillery Limited which was also present at the function on February eight. The company set up a stall from where they served mixed drinks at a dollar per cup and all the money earned at the stall was today handed to Garcia for her medical expenses. A shy and thankful Garcia sat down and spoke with us for a moment after she received the donation.

Belize Represented At La Diosa Maya International Pageant In Merida Yucatan
Five Central American beauties including a candidate from Belize hailing from Orange Walk are in Mexico tonight preparing to vie for the La Diosa Maya Internacional Pageant being hosted in Merida, Yucatan. Beauty Ambassadors Miss Dalina Reyes who is representing the country as Miss Diosa Maya Belize 2014 travelled along with reigning Miss Diosa Maya Internacional Grisel Rosseli Carballo over the weekend. Since the beginning of the week the women were slated for a series of appearances with the press and invited guests to the pageant. Yesterday, the candidates presented their national costume and viewers may recall that Belize also won this segment of the pageant last year. Today the candidates were judged in the swim suit segment which is only just being integrated into the pageant this year.

Ambergris Caye, #1 Island In The World
For a second year in a row, Ambergris Caye is the ‘#1 Island in the World,’ according to Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands Award. Ambergris Caye beat out destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and even Marco Island in Florida, for the coveted title. Very proud and happy about this recognition for Belize, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation, says that collaboration and hard work with industry partners, coupled with satisfied guests, made this possible, “We are honored that Ambergris Caye is once again the #1 Island In The World. The commitment and love invested in this industry have not gone unnoticed. We are also very grateful to the travelers for sharing their wonderful experiences with the Trip Advisor community, because without the visitors this award would not have been possible.” This announcement follows the recognition of several properties in Belize in the 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards.


Gang Boss’ Nephew Murdered
Tonight the family of Tarique Kylon Cadle is preparing to lay him to rest while the Belize Police Department is putting the pieces together to solve the city’s latest homicide. The shooting death of 25 year old Tarique Cadle occurred this morning on Plues Street. He was shot multiple times to the head. It is believed that his death was a retaliation of shooting that occurred last night on the corner of West Canal and King Street. Love News has been following the trail and we first start with the murder of Tarique Cadle. Hipolito Novelo and Brian Castillo filed the following report. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING KASSIAN CADLE “This morning before he went out he came by my room door and peeped inside and he said, ‘where is Kassian?’ and so, I peeped from under my quilt and asked, ‘what do you want now?’. He is someone like that, he would bother you for things every minute and that was my last response to him this morning. He celebrated his birthday on the 17th when he asked me to buy him a t-shirt for his birthday but I didn’t pay him any mind; if I knew it would have ended like this, I would have given him the world.”

Armed Holdup Outside Atlantic Bank
Members of the Criminal Investigations Branch of Precinct Three of the Belize Police Department in Belize City are investigating an armed hold-up that occurred just after six thirty this morning. According to initial investigations, 26-year-old, Edgar Larios, Branch Manager for Western Dairies in Belize City had gone to Atlantic Bank on Freetown Road to make a deposit this morning when he was met by an armed robber just outside the ATM room, in front of the bank. The robber, upon pointing the gun at Larios, demanded that he be given the bag of money but when Larios attempted to hand over the bag, he purposefully dropped the bag on the ground which created a distraction for the robber, at which time Larios grabbed the firearm from the assailant. But it didn’t end there, as a third person came on the scene wearing a security guard’s uniform picked up the bag of money off the ground, running away with it. It is uncertain whether the security guard and the gunman were working together but police are reviewing the camera footage and are expected to identify the culprits shortly. The money bag for Western Dairies contained cash and cheques with a total value of four thousand four hundred and eighty three dollars and seventy five cents.

Head of Adoption Scam Found in Belize
The International Adoption Guides Incorporated, an adoption service provider in South Carolina that were identifying children in Ethiopia for adoption and arranging the process by US-based parents. But authorities in the United States caught on to cases of fraud that were occurring through the falsifying of documents. As a result, several current and former employees of the company were indicted including 53-year-old, Mary Mooney who was residing in an apartment in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. Mooney was picked up from her apartment during an early morning raid and was flown from Belize to the United States to stand trial. She served as the Executive Director of the adoption agency and was charged along with three other American nationals after carrying out an adoption scheme for five years during which they violated the laws relating to the adoption of Ethiopian children by using US parents; meaning that they drew up fraudulent contracts and submitted them to the courts in Ethiopia in order to get visas for the children to travel to the United States. According to reports, the US Government is seeking to have Mooney’s assets in Belize frozen.

GSU Cracks Drug Ring Operation
On Monday, we reported a drug bust conducted by the Gang Suppression Unit that yielded twenty four point four kilograms of hybrid cannabis and led to the arrest of 40-year-old, Reynard Grinage. Further investigations on Grinage were carried out and subsequent arrests were made. According to the GSU, on Monday night, after receiving intelligence of a drug ring operated by Grinage, they conducted an operation on Central American Boulevard in Belize City where they searched a white Toyota Camry that was parked. Standing near the vehicle was 35-year-old, taxi driver, Hugh-Donald Beeks of a Neal’s Pen Road address. A search of the vehicle led to a bag containing 383 grams of hybrid cannabis that was found on the floor on the front passenger side. Beeks was arrested and charged for the crime of possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply. But according to GSU’s investigations, the ring extended even further which led to the arrest of 31-year old, Clarissa Vasquez, an employee of the Belize Electricity Limited with Kelly Street and Bachelor’s Avenue addresses. Vasquez, who is the lessee of the Bachelor’s Avenue house where the initial drug was found, was charged with possession of controlled drugs with intent to supply.

Sanitary Improvements for Children of Southern Belize
The Ministry of Health through the Belize/Japan Social Development Fund Grant Project will begin infrastructural improvements on the sanitary facilities for several primary schools and health posts in the rural areas of the Toledo District. In a press release issued earlier today, an initial assessment was done on seventy three facilities and those categorized as priority areas have been identified as those that will undergo upgrades. While the primary objective of this five point five million Belize dollars project is to improve the sanitary facilities for children in the Toledo District primary schools, the overall aim for the JSDF Grant is to address and improve the health and nutrition of children in the local communities in that southern-most district of Belize which will be attainted through a focus on prenatal care, nutrition monitoring and school health interventions at the primary school level. According to the Ministry of Health, this project has brought about several improvements including the training of several community health workers, the provision of medical equipment to assist in the monitoring of the nutritional aspect of the project in the long term. The project has also brought about a health manual for the students and a monthly health activity in the primary schools. The JSDF project was established by the Government of Japan and the World Bank in June 2000 with the Belize JSDF Grant Project signed into effect for Belize in June 2011 with responsibilities carried out by the Ministry of Health.

Six Charged with Immigration Offences
Six immigrants were charged with immigration offences when they appeared today before magistrate Dale Cayetano. They are 48 year old Nigerian national Michael Igbodokwu, 45 year old Honduran national Jose Flores, 26 year old Honduran national Moris Rodriguez, 44 year old Salvadoran national Noe Alvarado, 28 year old Salvadoran national Jose Lopez and 32 year old Honduran national Christian Amaya Donaire. Igbodokwu was fined one thousand dollars after he pled guilty to a charge of failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit. He was ordered to pay the fine forthwith. He was unable to pay so he was taken to prison to serve six months. A removal order was made out for him to be deported back to Nigeria either after he has paid the fine or has served the time. Igbodokwu entered Belize via Phillip Goldson International Airport in March 2009. He was given a visa permit to remain in Belize until March 2, 2011. Flores was remanded into custody until March 18 after he pled not guilty to a charge of failure to comply with the conditions of his visitor’s permit. Flores entered Belize on September 26, 2008 and he was given a visa permit to remain until November 21, 2013.

Firearm Discharges Among Tourists; Three Injured
This morning, there was a scare at the Brown Sugar Market place on North Front Street in Belize City as two tourists had to be taken for medical attention after bullet and concrete fragments caused them injuries. Just before ten o’clock this morning, it was business as usual as several cruise ships called today and many were out from tour guides to hair braiders trying to meet their bottom line. But that came to a halt today as 76-year-old, John Holden of a Caye Caulker address reportedly dropped his licensed firearm accidentally on the concrete causing the gun to go off. Since the safety was not on and a bullet was in the chamber, the bullet was fired and ricocheted from the concrete causing chips of cement along with the bullet fragments to splatter and thus causing injuries to the two French tourists. 44-year-old attorney, Isabelle Fillinger and her 12 old daughter both received injuries to their left leg. Assistant Superintendent Gualberto Garcia told us more. A third tourist was injured as well but he left in a taxi with minor abrasions. According to the police, the tourists have stated that they do not want any court action against Holden.

Fish Market Argument Leads to Murder and Attempted Murders
Police believe that the shooting death of 25 year old Tarique Kylon Cadle is retaliation to the shooting of 25-year-old, Kariq Tzul of a West Street address and 27-year-old, Andrew Tate of a George Street. Tzul was injured in the upper portion of this left leg while Tate was seen suffering from gunshot wounds in his right arm, his left arm, the left portion of his abdomen, the lower portion of his stomach, the upper portion of his right leg as well as the upper portion of his left leg. According to reports, the men were sitting on a step inside a yard at the corner of West Canal and King Street when a lone gun man walked towards them from the direction of George Street and opened fire on them. The gun man has been described as being of slim built, dark complexion, long dread hair and dressed in a white t-shirt. Assistant Superintendent commanding Precinct One, Alden Dawson told us more. SUPERINTENDENT ALDEN DAWSON “Sometime after 10pm last night, police from this precinct responded to a shooting at the corner of King Street and West Canal. Whilst there, we learned that two persons, namely, Kariq Tzul – 25 years and Andrew Tate, 27 years both of a George Street address were sitting on a stairs at the same address when a lone gunman arrived at that location and opened fire on them, discharging several rounds.


Public Service Commission Hears Case of Suspended Immigration Workers
Former Minister of State, in the Immigration Department, Elvin Penner continues to enjoy ministerial perks, but while he continues to enjoy the safety of his political affiliation, three Immigration officers, who, some argue, were only following directives from Mr. Elvin Penner, have been suspended facing possible termination. Today the faith...

Andrew Tate and Kariq Tzul Get Shot
27 year old Andrew Tate of George Street and 25 year old Kariq Tzul of West Street were shot at after 11 Tuesday night. It happened in a yard at the corner of West Canal and King Street. Our information is that this is the latest indication of brewing...

Tyrique Cadle Shot Dead
Residents of the area believe that this morning’s shooting of a young man said to be related to the leader of the Supal Street group may be retaliation for last night’s shooting. Police have so far indicated at that around 9:31 this morning an individual identified as Mr. Tyrique...

Man Accidentally Drops Weapon; Three Injured
A French mother and daughter visiting Belize and a man were injured this morning at the Brown Sugar Marketplace compound in Belize City after the owner of a licensed 9 mm. firearm accidentally dropped his weapon while attempting to pull up his pants. It occurred around 9:50 a.m. when...

PUP Initiates Judicial Review on Mr. Penner for Passport Scandal
This afternoon, the People’s United Party’s legal advisor, Anthony Sylvestre, initiated a judicial review on behalf of the party’s leader, Francis Fonseca, against Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie. This is with regard to the Police Department’s investigation of the Penner Passport Scandal, as it relates to his activities with...

Ten Years in Jail for a 9 mm. Pistol
32-year-old Jevon Levi Slusher is serving his second night of a 10 year sentence after he was found guilty of kept firearm and ammunition. His trial took place before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith late yesterday evening where at the end, he was found guilty. Allegations were that...

Mental Patient Shot by Police; Dies from Injuries
There was a shooting in Big Falls Village, Toledo District on Monday. Moses Williams, a known mental patient, was the victim. According to police, about four villagers had made reports about being harassed by Williams who was always armed with a machete. Apparently, Williams had a machette when the...

Concerns Remain Over CitCo Security Redundancy
The redundancy of the Belize City Council’s Security Department took effect on Friday but the headaches continue for City Hall and the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU). The Council had promised to have the cheques ready by 2:00 p.m. Friday but they were not and the workers were not paid...

Early Morning Robbery Targets Deposit Box
At about 6:30 this morning, an undisclosed amount of money was robbed from a person depositing monies for Western Diaries. The target point this time made it to Atlantic Bank on Freetown Road in Belize City.

Guatemalans Charged for Illegal Sea Cucumbers
They are tiny animals, but very valuable. The sea cucumber is a Chinese delicacy that sells here for between US$50 and 110 per kilo, about BZ$21 per pound and in cooked form can run up to US$165 in China. On Monday, February 17 around 4:00 a.m. the Police Mobile...

Man Served with Notice of Intended Prosecution Over Horse Accident
Yesterday we told you about the horse which had to be euthanized due to a traffic accident on Craig Street in Belize City. Police have issued a press release on the matter saying that Josue Garcia has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Garcia was the one...

Mexican on Ammunition Jumps Bail
Chetumal student 23 year old Zurisaday Villasenor Mendez was due back in court this morning for the continuation of his trial on firearms and ammunition charges. In October 2012 he was busted at the Las Vegas Casino and Hotel but his case, initially heard in Corozal, was transferred to...

Ambergris Caye Named No. 1 Island in the World
For a second year in a row, Ambergris Caye has been named the ‘#1 Island in the World,’. This is according to Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands Award which says that “The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility.” The blue hole...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Police Officers Should Be An Example To The Community
The Class of Standard 1 of Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School have been learning the different types of pollution as well as endangered species. The students along with parents took a field trip, yesterday February 18th, to the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve located on the North end of Caye Caulker. This field trip was conducted by FAMRACC (Forest and Marine Reserves Association of Caye Caulker). To their dismay, what they found was very disturbing. Trees were shot at, some were completely torn down, paper targets were found as well as expended shells were found by most of the kids. It is said police officers are to serve and protect the community but also to be an example to kids. What are we suppose to say of their behavior especially when it come to destroying a protected area? If someone without ‘authority’ goes and does the same are they to be punished? This is one of many incidents where they have been abusing their authority on our island and yet they are not punished. Children are taught that police officers are there to help when in need and also represent the law. Caye Caulker is a tourist destination and for tourists to see what the law enforcements do, how are they suppose to trust them when they get into trouble.

Support The Caye Caulker Sailing Club
Raffle tickets and bbq tickets are now available! Bbq chicken tickets are $10.00 each. Raffle tickets are $5.00 each or 5 tickets for $20.00. You can contact shary at the island link, charlie jones or head on over to barrier reef sports bar to purchase raffle and bbq tickets! Support our kids!!!

Police Officers Should Be An Example To The Community
The Class of Standard 1 of Caye Caulker Roman Catholic School have been learning the different types of pollution as well as endangered species. The students along with parents took a field trip, yesterday February 18th, to the Caye Caulker Forest Reserve located on the North end of Caye Caulker. This field trip was conducted by FAMRACC (Forest and Marine Reserves Association of Caye Caulker). To their dismay, what they found was very disturbing. Trees were shot at, some were completely torn down, paper targets were found as well as expended shells were found by most of the kids. It is said police officers are to serve and protect the community but also to be an example to kids. What are we suppose to say of their behavior especially when it come to destroying a protected area? If someone without ‘authority’ goes and does the same are they to be punished? This is one of many incidents where they have been abusing their authority on our island and yet they are not punished.


Conversations with a Shaman
Shamanism refers to a variety of spiritual practices involving rituals, prayers and healing. A shaman (priest or practitioner) is considered an intermediary or messenger between the human world and the spirits. A Shaman’s role in ancient history has been that of a priest, doctor, spiritual healer and community advisor. In some places he/she is also termed as “witch doctor.” In Belize, I had the opportunity to have a one-on-one conversation and personal ceremony with a Shaman. Mr. Jovencio Canto and I met at the entrance of the Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins. Dressed in western style black pants and half sleeves shirt, I wouldn’t have been able to pick him out as a Mayan priest from his looks. However, he had a strong gaze and a obscure calmness about him. His English was rather limited, but he spoke Spanish and Mayan. My translator, Lizbeth helped us though the conversation.

Is Li Chee Chinese in Belize City the Best Fried Chicken in the Country?
Fried chicken or (“fry chicken”) is a hugely popular dish here in Belize. And in almost all communities, the busiest place to buy it is at your “local Chiney” or the local Chinese restaurant. Most Chinese restaurants in Belize are more fast food joint doing swift, late night business in take-away fried chicken drenched with sweet ketchup rather than a place for dim sum or won ton soup. In fact, if you order the a Chinese-American staple like an eggroll, you might get a roll that has been in the freezer since…I don’t know…Hurricane Mitch? They say stew chicken is the national dish of Belize but based on what I’ve seen (and eaten)? I’d say Fry Chicken with sweet ketchup is a definite contender. SO it’s time for me to up my game – to officially find the best fried chicken. Not just in San Pedro (that’s at Reef Restaurant on Middle Street in my book) but country-wide. And it’s been a long time coming but FINALLY I tried Li Chee Chicken. Probably the biggest name in fry chicken in Belize.

If you thought one award wasn’t enough you were right – congratulations, Ambergris Caye!
Belize’s Ambergris Caye is famous for fly fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and a variety of water sports, but the attractions of this Caribbean jewel don’t stop at the water’s edge – there are plenty of activities and venues to excite even the most jaded sun seeker. Some 25 miles long by one mile wide, Ambergris Caye is the largest of the nearly 200 islands arranged along Belize’s tropical coastline and spectacular reef system, the second largest in the world. Proximity to the reef, which lies less than a half mile offshore, makes it easy to explore this pristine paradise by snorkel, scuba or hire and charter boats. Attractions such as Shark Ray Alley, the Blue Hole, Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Lighthouse Reef are all close by and easy to get to. Ambergris Caye accommodations are varied enough to suit almost any style and budget, ranging from the luxurious beachside resorts to numerous small budget holiday lodgings. There are also island holiday rental houses, villas and apartments for longer stays and family beach holidays.

Belizeans in World War II - The British Honduras Forestry Unit in Scotland
Happy 104th Birthday, Mr. Sam Martinez, the only Belizean still living from the 800 plus Belizeans who went to Scotland during WWII. Mr Martinez lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is originally from Barranco, Belize. Below is a link where you can see Mr. Martinez who was featured in the UK documentary "Tree Fellers" The documentary tells the story of some of the over 800 men who traveled from British Honduras (now Belize) to Scotland in 1941 to work as foresters. Their stories and the stories of other black men and women from the commonwealth can be seen at the Imperial War Museum in London.

International Sources

Ambergris Caye is Trip Advisor's #1 Island in the World!
"For the second year in a row, Ambergris Caye takes top honors. The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility. A mangrove swamp is the eye of this white beach island, the largest in Belize, and golf carts are the main form of transportation along the sandy roads. Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites."

Best Destinations in Central America - Travelers' Choice Awards - TripAdvisor
San Pedro places 7th Place in Top 10 Destinations in Central America!

Best Small Hotels in Central America - TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards
10 Resorts of Belize placed in the 25 Top Small Hotels in Central America! This is outstanding! 1st - Hamanasi Dive Adventure & Dive Resort, Hopkins 2nd - The Pheonix Resort, San Pedro Town 3rd - Pelican Reef Villas Resort, San Pedro Town 6th - Coco Plum Island Resort, Dangriga 7th - Xanadu Island Resort Belize, San Pedro Town 14th - Chabil Mar, Placencia 16th - Athen's Gate, San Pedro Town 17th - Turneffe Island Resort, Turneffe Caye 22nd - Sleeping Giant Lodge, Belmopan 23rd - Ka'ana Boutique Resort & Spa, San Ignacio 4 Resorts are from San Pedro Town!

Top 25 Hotels in Central America - TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards
Four of our Resorts placed in the Top 25 Hotels in Central America! Great Job to all these Resorts! 2nd - Grand Caribe Belize Resort & Condominiums 11th - Coco Beach Resort 12th - Victoria House 24th - Las Terrazas Resort

How Much Does A Property Cost On The World’s Number One Island?
Admit it. Deep inside you want to own your place in the sun. And if you really want to live it up, you may want to head down to the Ambergris Caye in Belize, the world’s number one island as voted by TripAdvisor. For the price of a shack in the middle of Australia, you could own a roomy studio condo on the beach at just A$165,000 (US$150,000). A one-bedroom condo will set you back anywhere between $181,000 and $275,000, while a two-bedder will cost you from $220,000, depending on the location. A free-standing villa home in a managed complex with access to pool piers and other amenities costs around $440,000, while villa homes cost from $907,000 up to $1.595m.

Belize trip offers warm respite, bonefish
Wow, stepping off the airplane at Belize City recently was quite a pleasant jolt: instead of below-zero temperatures and fierce wind chills, we were greeted with a humid 80-degree temperature and a soft breeze. Instead of parkas, pacs and wool pants, people were wearing shorts, T-shirts and sandals. My wife, Carol, and I had been invited to vacation with our friends, Barbara Baker and Jon Sweet, on Caye Caulker, Belize. We eagerly accepted the invitation. Sweet had enticed me with reports of great fishing for bonefish, permit, tarpon and other saltwater fish species. Both Baker and Sweet mentioned the beauty of the area, tasty cuisine and the comfortable tropical temperatures. Sweet extolled the leisurely pace that existed on Caye Caulker. “There are no cars on the island; people get around by riding golf cart taxis, riding fat tire bicycles or walking. The motto of the island is 'Go Slow.'” We hitched a water taxi ride to Caye Caulker and arrived after a 45-minute trip that ran past numerous cayes — small, sandy islands formed on coral reefs. After docking, we disembarked to a vista of white sand beaches, palm trees, brightly colored houses, brown pelicans and cormorants, and friendly street vendors offering fresh grilled chicken or fish.

Airmen, soldiers to provide medical care to thousands of Belizeans during New Horizons ‘14
Airmen and soldiers from Air Forces Southern, the 355th Medical Group and the 349th Combat Support Hospital are readying medical personnel, packing supplies and shipping medical equipment that will be used in treating thousands of patients in support of their upcoming deployment to Belize for New Horizons ’14. “We are so incredibly grateful to the Belizean government for all of the exceptional support they provided in the planning of this exercise and we look forward to once again joining forces on the ground in a few short weeks,” said Lt. Col. James Smith, 12th Air Force (AFSOUTH) deputy command surgeon. During last year’s exercise in Belize, Air Force and Army medical teams worked side-by-side with Canadian doctors, the Ministry of Health in Belize, as well as Belizean doctors and medical personnel to provide care for more than 14,828 Belizeans during the medical readiness training exercises (MEDRETES). A group of highly-skilled professional medical personnel will soon come together once again to provide routine and essential medical treatment to more than 15,000 Belizeans.

Norwegian announces development in Belize
As listed in a 2013 report, Norwegian Cruise Line has mentioned “commenced development of recently acquired island destination in Belize.” It is now confirmed that Norwegian has been investing in building a 50$ million exquisite cruise destination which spans on 75 acres placed on two islands in southern Belize. As mentioned last August, the project will most likely feature a floating pier, a marina, a transportation hub, a lagoon for water activities and sports, a beach area and an island village with open-air structures placed on platforms. The project has been organically oriented to blend into the natural scenery and to incorporate traditional Belizean, Mayan and Garifuna cultural elements. “As our fleet continues to grow to 15 ships by 2017, we expect that we will double the number of guests sailing on our Western Caribbean itineraries and, once this new destination is complete, bring four times as many guests to Belize than we do today,” Norwegian President and CEO Kevin Sheehan said in August 2013.

Which Of These 5 Top Retirement Havens Is Right For You?
Who Should Retire To Cayo, Belize? Belize is a retirement, a tax, and an offshore haven. This is a sunny country where the folks speak English and value their freedom and privacy. Belize is easy to get to from the States, and the people living here are welcoming and hospitable once you've arrived. On the other hand, this is a small country where the infrastructure is most kindly described as "developing." The cost of living can be affordable, even low, but not if you want to live a more developed-world lifestyle that would mean buying lots of things not produced locally. Anything imported comes at an inflated price. My favorite part of Belize is its Cayo District. No infrastructure, limited services and amenities, and little market demand could be interpreted as negatives, but, in Cayo, these things are a big part of the appeal. Once you get to Cayo, you don't mind that there's no infrastructure. You don't mind that the culture is more concerned with country living than consumerism. You don't mind...or, if you do, you're not happy. If you're interested in a lifestyle supported by the diversions and distractions of a big city, Cayo is definitely not for you. If you're delighted by the thought of wide-open spaces where life revolves around the land and where independence and self-sufficiency are prized above all else, then Cayo could be the paradise you seek. At home in Cayo, the view outside your bedroom window and from your front porch would be of fields and pastures, trees and jungle, rivers and livestock. You'd see Mennonites driving horse-drawn carts and children walking home from school. Everyone going about his or her business, not much bothered by market values, fiscal cliffs, or the mounting deficit. Here, in this land of escape, where life is simple, those things don't seem to matter or even to register.

Caribbean islands recognised as top two world's best
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has announced the winners of its Travelers’ Choice Islands, with the top two world’s best being Ambergris Caye, Belize, and Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands. In its second year, the annual awards recognize more than 100 islands globally, including top ten lists for Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the South Pacific, and the US. “There is something transporting about an island vacation, and these Travelers’ Choice Islands winners will help travelers find their next escape,” said Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor. “From the coral reefs of Ambergris Caye to the beaches of Ko Tao, these winning islands have been highly rated from travelers around the globe.” Travelers’ Choice Island winners are determined based on the quality and quantity of the most highly-rated hotels, restaurants, and attractions listed for each island on TripAdvisor gathered during a 12-month period. Top ten islands in the world: 1. Ambergris Caye, Belize

25 best little hotels in the world
Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort Hopkins is #8 on the list of the 25 best little hotels in the world.

VIDEO: Kayaking in the mangroves in Belize 2014

VIDEO: Meet Belize's Telecom Regulatory Agency
Public Utilities Commission website - www.puc.bz

4 Ways to Experience Culture in Belize
Best known for its barrier reef, Maya sites and dizzying array of outdoor thrills, Belize’s diverse population catches most by surprise. Up to 8 major ethnic groups happily coexist in this small Central American country of about 320,000 inhabitants -- from descendants of the ancient Maya to Afro-Caribbean, Latin and East Indian groups. From one district to the next, this extraordinary mix translates into a slew of cultural experiences. Here are 4 of the best ways to experience Belize and to soak up all of its rich flavors during your visit. Belize City and its surroundings are the hub of Belize’s Creole culture and history. Despite the city’s reputation for crime -- like most urban hubs in Central America -- there is much to be experienced here, from authentic Creole eateries and villages to glimpses of Belize’s former days as a British colony. Start at the waterfront Government House of Culture on Regent Street, with an indoor museum showcasing art, photos and silverware from the colonial period. Directly across the street, marvel at the stained glass and mahogany interior of St. John’s Cathedral -- the oldest Anglican Church in Central America -- built in the early 1800s by enslaved Africans.

15 Travel Photos of Beaches in Belize
This week is a beach theme for my newest gallery of photos from Belize…

VIDEO: Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System
The coastal area of Belize is an outstanding natural system consisting of the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, offshore atolls, several hundred sand cays, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries. The system's seven sites illustrate the evolutionary history of reef development and are a significant habitat for threatened species, including marine turtles, manatees and the American marine crocodile.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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White Sands Dive Shop - 5 Star PADI Dive Facility - Daily diving, SCUBA instruction and Snorkeling
Caribbean Inspired All Natural Condiments & Spice Blends, Over 100 are Gluten Free!
We manage a variety of homes, apartments, condos and commercial properties here on Ambergris Caye. Our minimum lease on ALL properties is six months.
Conch Shell Inn: All rooms are right on the beach in the heart of San Pedro, so within walking distance to anything and everything!!
Lil’ Alphonse has snorkel equipment to fit anyone as well as Marine Park Tickets and flotation devices to assist those not as experienced.
Coastal Xpress offers a daily scheduled ferry run to most resorts, restaurants and private piers on the island of Anbergris Caye. We also offer  private and charter water taxi service.
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