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#488573 - 03/25/14 11:35 AM Today's Belize News: March 25, 2014
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Referendum Unit still active even though no new date is in near sight
Sunday October 6, 2013, would have been the date for the joint Belize –Guatemala referendum to see if the people of both nations were willing to have the unfounded Guatemalan claim taken and settled before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). But months before the agreed date, Guatemalan government pulled out and so far, there is no concrete information as to when and if it will be held. The Belize Referendum Unit updated the media on Thursday March 20th about some of the work the 30-member Referendum Commission has been engaged in. Rosado explained that the work of the Joint Commission is moving hand in hand with the Referendum Unions and hopes that by the final meeting in December, a way forward can be reached. For the time being, a slightly different approach is being taken to address issues between the two countries. “Over the years, the subject of the claim has tended to kind of absorb all the energies that we have in our bilateral relations, so that when it comes to collaborative efforts, those have basically gone by the wayside because we have been concentrating on finding a solution to this claim which has eluded us. This time the minister decided to take a slightly different approach.

Maya Traditions: Meeting a Maya Shaman
Before the rise of conventional medicinal practices, communities around the world were much reliant on the consultation of shamans and spiritualists for remedies and treatment for anything from infertility to snake bites. In Belize, before the influences of western culture and conventional medicinal practices were introduced much of these communities relied upon shamans. These healers employed the use of the lush rainforests, finding the remedies to various ailments in the forms of herbs and plants. Don Elijio Panti was one of these healers. Don Elijio grew up in San Antonio, a small Yucatec Maya village located in the Cayo District of Belize. He used traditional Mayan healing techniques passed down from countless generations before him. His healing system encompassed the use of plants, herbal baths, acupuncture, prayer, massage and the use of the sacred Sastun (a sacred object passed down from generations believed to have healing powers and wisdom). His works went on to take international significance through several apprentices that came from abroad to learn herbal healing under the wing of Don Elijio himself. Don Elijio passed away on February 4, 1996 at the age of 103. Throughout his lifetime he was distinguished with several national and international awards such as the “Distinguished Contribution to Science” by The New York Botanical Garden, and “Member of the British Empire” by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Belize for his contributions in herbal medicine.

Missing in Belize
To Whom It May Concern: Hello. My family member, Dean Nassad Joseph Jr, went missing in Belize. He was a resident, and last seen March 1st on the north part of Ambergris Caye with his friend Vincent Crawford. He was last seen by a security guard who stated he was in a group of 5 and that was the last anyone heard from either Dean or Vincent. From my understanding, coast guard are not able to locate him, although I'm not sure how much more this has been looked into. This is so extremely important and we desperately need help locating him as we are in the United States and unable to travel, and are not sure if our safety would be a question, if this is a disappearance due to him being hurt. I'm wondering who these other 3 men are, have they been questioned (surely the security guard has been able to identify him), have police checked where his cell phone last pinged from, interviewed more people who may be witnesses, etc.

Ambergris Today

Saga Humane Society Prepares for National Pet Week Activities
Deciding to get a dog is a life changing decision for you and the dog and should never be taken lightly. Dogs require at least a couple of hours of your time every day for feeding, grooming, exercise, training and play. They need to be kept safely contained and on walks their poop picked up, bagged and placed in the garbage bin. If you don’t have a fence, then your dogs should never be left unattended in your yard. Your dogs will be able to run away to poop in the street or in your neighbor’s yards, empty garbage bins making an unhealthy environment. They will learn bad habits like chasing children, bicycles or vehicles resulting in accidents or injuries. Not only are you placing them in danger, but also could be causing nuisance problems in your community. Unbelievably, some irresponsible dog owners blame vehicle drivers when their dog is hit by a car or cart, forgetting that it is their responsibility to keep their dog safe and off the streets.

Glorious Sunrise Beach Wedding in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye
We had to share this amazing picture that was captured by Jose Luis Zapata Photography during one of his destination wedding assignments. He took this image during a sunrise beach wedding that took place at Victoria House Resort in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Congratulations to Gregory and Jodie Stewart for their one-of-a-kind island wedding.

Saga Italian/Pasta Cook Off
Saga Humane Society Monthly Cook Off Fundraiser Wednesday, March 26, 2014 At Bella Italia Tickets go on sale at 6pm - serving starts at 6:30pm

Fundraiser Event for Adolfo Gongora
Adolfo Gongora is in need of an urgent heart surgery and is in need of financial help. He is a worker at Caribeña Enterprises and the staff and friends are hosting a fundraiser event this Friday, March 28, 2014 at Jaguars Temple Night Club! Lots of giveaways and surprises through out the night! Come on out and have fun and support a worthy cause.

How Do You Get Around In Belize? Local Traveling Can Be an Adventure!
Travelers and locals get move around in Belize in all sorts of ways to get to their destinations. The best part about traveling is informing and sharing your experience with others. I have had many unforgettable experiences traveling my own country and, believe me, they make one heck of a conversation starter followed by loads of laughter. One of the best advices that my dad has shared with me growing up is, “Travel as much as you can, as far as you can, as long as you can. Life’s not meant to be lived in one place.” Traveling Belize by air, land or sea you are bound to have a good adventure to add to your stories. Let’s be realistic, sometimes not all traveling goes as planned; but those are the ones that we learn from. I have heard many traveling stories from locals and tourists and I find them very interesting. It doesn’t matter if you are traveling alone or with company; you are bound to make more friends along the way.

Misc Belizean Sources

Distributor needed for exclusive territories
RediVolt International is looking for one or more distributor(s) on the Belize mainland. Our product is designed in the USA and produced with US parts and has continually provided protection since 1987. Our products are unique as they completely guard against surges, brownouts, blackouts, and harmonic distortions. Every RediVolt comes with a lifetime warranty of up to $100K connected equipment. No need to house the inventory as we can get it to you in 24 hours. Maintenance free.

Sunday night shooting leaves one man injured
A shooting incident on Sunday night in Belize City has left one man injured. The victim has been identified as 21 year old Anthony Young. According to police reports, Young was socializing through an alley near the corner of Armadillo and Dolphin Streets when gunshots rang out. Young told police that he ran and sought refuge in a yard and that was when he realized that he had been shot. Anthony Young was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where he was admitted to ward and police say he is in stable condition with gunshot wounds to his right ankle and left wrist.

Escalante gets covered with hardcore material and we have already started with Boca del Rio!
(18 photos)

Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park
On Saturday March 22nd, Corozal Junior College (CJC) rendered a spectacular display of a Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park, now the official site of the Maya Wedding Garden. Guest speaker of the event was Darrell Bradley, Mayor of Belize City. Mr. Roy Rodriguez recounted the importance of the Santa Rita site to Belize and its history. The re-enactment of the Mayan wedding was to honor Corozal’s rich culture and heritage to greatly benefit generations to come. All proceeds for the event will be used to improve the Santa Rita site. Videos and photos were reserved to two media companies and one photographer but no Corozal media was announced, so we bring you only one photo of the event that we took at our own risk.

Paint Up A Storm
The Winsom Foundation is having this year's Paint Up A Storm at the Cayo Welcome Center on April 5th, starting at 10:00am. It's fun for all ages. The movie entitled 'Wasteland' will be shown at 6:00pm. "TWO WEEKS TO GO... COME OUT AND SUPPORT THE ARTISTS AND GET THE CHILDREN PAINTING"

Caribbean Women in Business: A Trend or Paradigm Shift?
Across the globe and through the ages, women have experienced the disadvantages of existing in a patriarchal framework, which has designated them to a homemaker role, and continues to define the sex as a whole. Women in business are breaking that mould across the world and writing new stories for themselves, and in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) is assisting them through a variety of programme-based interventions. In commemoration of International Women’s Day 2014, Caribbean Export wishes to highlight and applaud the tremendous progress of Caribbean women in the business arena. We believe that, in keeping with this year’s theme of “Inspiring Change”, that these women are not only inspiring, but also effecting change in meaningful and lasting ways.

Belize Contraband Turns Violent on Western Border
Armed contrabandistas shot their way across the Western Border crossing with Guatemala one evening about two weeks ago causing a serious International Incident. Reports from the border have shown the Contraband business coming from the Benque Viejo Free Zone at the Western Border has escalated into a violent confrontation with Guatemalan SAT officers manning the crossing between Benque and Melchor de Mencos. The peaceful nature of this usually quiet and unarmed border crossing was shattered as two trucks loaded with suspected contraband successfully entered Guatemala territory by use of force at the heavily traveled legal border crossing at Melchor de Mencos, Peten. The two trucks were reported to have come directly from the Benque Viejo Free Zone and refused to be inspected by Guatemalan authorities and opened fire on the border check point forcing the Guatemalan SAT officers to flee for their lives while the two trucks, suspected to be loaded with contraband, forced their way through the moveable barricade that is used to control traffic between Belize and Guatemala. This is a serious international incident and Guatemala has reported it to the OAS even though, ominously, there has been no mention of the incident in the press.

Honduran bicyclist gets head crushed by dumptruck
Police have identified the victim of Saturday’s road traffic accident in Belize City as 33 year old Jose Martinez, a Honduran living on Iguana Street. His head was crushed, killing him on impact, after he appeared to slip and fall off his black beach cruiser bicycle while crossing the pedestrian ramp on the right side of the road on Saturday afternoon around 4:30. Police say that the driver of the 14-wheeler Peterbilt truck, a 57 year old Gilroy Wade of Western Paradise, Belize District, was driving toward Hattieville when his sideman informed him of what happened. He immediately called police who cordoned off the area and processed the scene.

Trevor Vernon lawsuit against Edmund Castro is postponed
Minister of State Edmond “Clear The Land” Castro is being sued by one of his constituents, Trevor Vernon. Vernon accuses Castro of violating the Code of Conduct enshrined in the Constitution and the Corruption in Public Life Act when he caused himself and others to receive some $30,000 in funds from the Belize Airports Authority in 2013. The case was scheduled for hearing today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin, but it has been postponed until May 5. Neither man was present in court. The Minister was in Belmopan for the budget debate while it is not known why Vernon was not present.

EU bans Belize fish
The European Union has banned fisheries imports from Belize and two other countries after determining that the country had not acted sufficiently against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Last November, the EU gave Belize, Cambodia and Guinea a final chance to address the matter. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was quoted as saying that additional regulations would be incorporated into the High Seas Fisheries Bill which was then before the House of Representatives, and if necessary the fishing fleet under the International Merchant Marine Registry (IMMARBE), which had been taken over last July, would be deregulated. But the EU has said it is simply not enough. OCEANA Vice-President Janelle Chanona spoke to us via telephone this afternoon and said that the immediate effect of the ban will be seen on international fishing vessels carrying the Belize flag which sell directly to EU member states, but if the ban is allowed to continue, that will eventually spread to local fisheries products.

Man charged in Kayla Burgess murder; Dueck family expressed condolences
The family of an 18 year old woman from San Ignacio has put out a statement to the pubic regarding the case of the murder of 24 year old Kayla Burgess. The family of Faith Deuck has retained the services of attorney at law Audrey Matura Shepherd and in the media statement today stated that Dueck “is as much a victim of the accused 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt.” The one-page statement goes on to explain that Dueck had recently started to share a house in the Kontiki area and that she met Kayla Burgess through Garbutt “who introduced Kayla as a friend and with whom she had socialized before in the company of Vinnie.” The Dueck family statement goes on to say that: “To faith, it was not unusual to see Vinnie with Kayla’s vehicle nor to learn that he dropped off Kayla or picked her up somewhere or even had to take the vehicle for Kayla somewhere, thus seeing him with the vehicle that Thursday did not send off any alarm bells to her. It would not even have been unusual for Vinnie and Kayla to hook up and make plans unknown to her or for Kayla to even visit him. It was not until police visited Faith at her workplace Thursday night that she learnt that Kayla was dead, which was devastating news in itself and worst yet when she learnt that Vinnie admitted to being responsible for her death and recalling that earlier he had been in possession of Kayla’s gold Kia.”

Belizeans with dual citizenships can no longer depend on the UDP for support
By Wellington C. Ramos When I first came to America in 1978 to live, most Belizean Americans wanted a change of government. Many of them were complaining that they came to this country because they were victims of victimization committed against them by the People’s United Party and I was one of them who felt and experienced it. I remember attending a “No Guatemala Demonstration” in April of 1977 along with other police corporals like myself. After the demonstration that same week, I was given an immediate transfer to San Pedro Ambergrys Caye. The problem was that I was scheduled to commence my three months leave in the month of July that same year. I went to the Commander of Eastern Division at the time, Superintendent Gilbert Franklin, to file a complaint against the transfer but he said he could not do anything about it. I then decided to go and appeal to the Premier George Cadle Price and he said the same thing but referred me to the minister of internal affairs Carl Linbergh Rogers -- “Lindy”. When I got to Paslow Building, his permanent secretary Michael Hulse approached me and said the following: “Corporal, da we you mi di du di demonstrate with UDP yada day”.

A Unique Opportunity for Young Leaders to Be Trained in Road Safety
In collaboration with YOURS - Youth for Road Safety Project and the Caribbean Development Bank - the Government of Belize would like to open an invitation to your school to select future young leaders to apply for a unique opportunity to be trained as youth facilitators in road safety. Why Road Safety? Road traffic crashes are the single biggest killer of young people, killing more than HIV/AIDS, TB or Malaria. In Belize, approximately 30% of all road traffic fatalities are young people aged between 16 and 29. About 90% of these youth casualties are males. A combination of physical and developmental immaturity, and inexperience and youth-related lifestyles further increase the risk of young road users to road traffic collisions. We believe young people in Belize have not yet been adequately empowered to make informed choices to influence their own development. Young people are part of the road safety solution.

Candle light march for Kayla Burgess
A candle light march will also be held in Belmopan on Tuesday March 25th at 6:30 p.m. from in front of Kayla's house at #10 Oriole Street around the Ring Road and end in front of Belmopan Comprehensive School. Kindly wear either a green or white top. Candles will be provided. All are invited. Funeral will be on Wednesday March 26th at 2 p.m. Nazarene Church in Independence Village. A bus will leave at 10 a.m. in front of BTL- Belmopan

H4L Chetumal Excursion
The Hand for Life club at SHJC is doing a Chetumal bus trip as a fundraiser and it leaves on Sunday, April 11th. It's an overnighter, and includes Bacalar too, for only $95. "Please support !!!! Open to the general public ....."

Your Guide to Snorkeling near San Pedro, Belize
Ever dream of swimming with sharks without getting your leg bitten off? What about swimming throughout schools of fish and watching a sea turtle glide gracefully throughout the water? Does snorkeling with a sting ray tickle your fancy?! Care to swim alongside a manatee (!!!) anyone? With a 185-mile barrier reef (only second in size to Australia's), the opportunity to see a vast array of sea life is pretty amazing. Pretty gosh-darn epic if you ask me. The options are basically endless when it comes to sticking your head below the surface. All around the island of Ambergris Caye there is an abundance of sea life and colorful corals just waiting to be explored. The water is turquoise in color, and the best snorkel spots are easily accessible by both half or whole day tours. Diving is also an option, although requires a PADI license.

Ocean Rescue Swimmer Class offered at Robert's Grove, Belize
Robert's Grove Beach Resort in Placencia Belize and Fire Management International presents the Ocean Rescue Swimmer Class!

Inauguration of New Facilities at Bacalar Chico
Ecological & Educational Center, photos

Faith Dueck is No Accomplice in Death of Kayla Burgess Says Her Attorney, Audrey Matura-Shepherd
Audrey Matura-Shepherd, attorney for co-accused, Faith Dueck in the murder of Kayla Burgess released the following statement on behalf of her client on Monday. The accused, Vince Garbutt, 21 has been formally charged for Murder. His mugshot issued by police on Monday, shows scratches on Garbutt’s cheek and neck. Audrey Matura-Shepherd wrote to the press on Monday: “The Family of 18 year old Faith Deuck, wishes to set the record straight that unlike all the speculations and accusations against her, she is no accomplice in the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess, and she too is as much a victim of the accused 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt. She had just become his room-mate sharing the same house in the Kontiki Area the Monday before the murder of Burgess, whom Faith met through Vinnie who introduced Kayla as a friend and with whom she had socialized before in the company of Vinnie.

Embattled Belizean Minister of Education Responds to Viral Report via Facebook
News went viral over the weekend that Belize’s Minister of Education, Patrick Faber went berserk on Friday evening in front of his mother-in-law’s home on Gill Street in Belize City and shattered the windsheild of his estranged wife’s vehicle. It is not known what ticked off the minister known for his penchant to easily become unhinged. Mrs. Krishna Faber and Patrick have been married since 2004. Things deteriorated over recent years, we’re told, due to Faber’s drinking, philandering and abuse. Late last year, Mrs. Faber packed up and left and moved back home with her mother on Gill Street.

Video: Monkeying Around at Wildtracks
Molly came back to visit Izzie, a monkey being rehabilitated at Wildtracks after being away for 8 months. Cuteness ensued. They give status updates on many of the other monkeys too. "Wildtracks Update: A busy week at Wildtracks, with a visit from Molly, Izzie's primary carer through the early days - the trips to the vet, the operations, and the recuperation. It has been eight months since they last met, so what happened when they were reunited?"

Video: ERI and Panthera Seminar S1E2
Today is the second Environmental Research Institute and Panthera seminar. This time, they'll have Dr. Francis Putz talk about Natural Forest Management. They have pictures from the first seminar, which was last week. "Oh look!! It's the second seminar in our series... didn't think we'd keep you waiting too long for another one, did you? Join us next Tuesday!"

Video: Belize - Spring Break 2014
Spring Break trip (2014) to Placencia, Belize Video Shot and Edited by Jake Rockefeller

Video: Gringos In Belize
Motley crew of characters aboard 2 chartered catamarans frolic through the barrier reef of Belize.

Video: Ramon Llaneza Exploring Mysterious Bottom of Belize Blue Hole by Ramon Llaneza

Video: Orquidea Negra Dance
A dance presentation by Orquidea Negra Dance Company at Maya Day, 2014. Here is another awesome presentation by Orquidea Negra Dance Company. This was done at Maya Day 2014 in Blue Creek village, Toledo district.

Video: Crusin' Baby!!! Part III: Belize City, Belize
Rain Forest Jungle Trek and Cave Tubing in Belize! Day 5 of our 7 day cruise.

Video: Cave Tubing in Belize, Central America
21 minutes

Video: Belize
8 minutes

Video: Spring break 2014 GUATEMALA & BELIZE
Everything was capture with a GoPro!

Video: The Garifuna people in Belize
Well known Topsham builder Claude Belanger is also an archeologist, and an expert on the Maya civilisation in Belize. In 2005 he took me to visit Barranco village on the border with Guatemala to meet one of Belize's interesting minorities - the Garifuna people who are struggling to preserve their culture. I saw some familiar problems - definitely worth a slot on Topsham TV.

Video: Ambergris Caye Belize Diving
Simcoe Diving's trip to Ambergris Caye Belize to dive on the Belize Barrier reef system. Great footage of nurse sharks, moray eels, coral systems, and turtles!

Video: Blount Small Ship Adventure BELIZE 2014
46 minutes. One of my "bucket list" items has been to visit Belize and to snorkel in this pristine location. Blount Small Ship Adventure with only 72 passengers was the perfect platform for this adventure. The snorkeling was both plentiful and very beautiful. This video is both for our friends who like to follow our travels and for all of the great new friends we made on the ship. I want to admit that names of sea-life plants and animals could be incorrect but are accurate to the best of my knowledge. I hope you enjoy.

Video: Maya Day in Belize, at Tumul K'in
13 minutes. Maya Day was being celebrated in Belize on March 24, 2013. The festivities were hosted by Tumul K'in Learning Center, located in Blue Creek, Belize. On this day, Mayas celebrate their Identity and traditional Mayan customs are performed, including "The Dance of the Deer." In collaboration with Ak' Kutan Radio, also located at Tumul K'in, the Berinstein (2013) Q'eqchi Mayan Narrative collection is being produced on a weekly Q'eqchi Maya Storytelling Program. One of the most popular legends is the story about "The Dance of the Deer" because the dance is known throughout all parts of Belize and is still practiced widely in Guatemala, as well as Belize.

Video: Belize Trip 2014
An incredible place to visit!! Ambergris Caye Belize I apologize for the shaky cam syndrome in this video, I enjoyed things so much that I didn't focus on filming lol


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#488574 - 03/25/14 11:36 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 25, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 7

Vinnie Garbutt Arraigned For Kayla's Murder
21 Year-old Vinnie Garbutt, a resident of the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio, is on remand at prison tonight after he was arraigned for the murder of his girlfriend, 24 year-old Kayla Burgess, who was killed on Thursday afternoon. Garbutt was arraigned this afternoon before Magistrate Nardia Morgan, on the single charge of murder. Because it's murder, no plea was taken, and he was remanded to prison until June 24 when he'll appear in court again. As we told you, on Thursday evening, Burgess' family from Independence Village, received a text from Kayla's phone demanding a ransom of $250,000 or else she would be killed. They also got information in the form of another text message that she could possibly be in the Cayo District. Her family immediately alerted police, who conducted a sweep of the entire district, and her body was found in Bullet Tree Road inside her vehicle, a Kia Sorrento. The vehicle was locked, and when police got inside, they found Burgess with with a plastic bag over her face and a plastic tightener strapped around her neck.

Rt. Hon. Musa: PM Barrow From Hercules To Humpty Dumpty
Turning now to politics - the 2014 - 2015 budget was debated today at the House of Representatives in Belmopan. As per parliamentary convention, Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca started with his response to Prime Minister Dean Barrow's 6th budget. He said it exposed the Prime Minister like a ringmaster at a circus: Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of the Opposition "This is a UDP government that is disconnected, out of touch and high on themselves. And the budget presented on March 7th by the Honorable Minister of Finance, the Prime Minister reflects that disconnect, reflects that arrogance. Like the ring master at a cheap circus, the Minister of Finance smeared on the makeup and the lipstick, sprayed himself from head to toe with some five dollars "Kush Kush" and for good order, even recited some Shakespeare, but Mr. Speaker, no amount of makeup can hide the ugly reality of the Belizean people and no amount of cheap cologne can cover up the smell of this rotten UDP government." "The game is over master. The ringmaster, Mr. Speaker, is standing all alone on center stage under the big circus tent and his pants are on the ground. You try to talk pretty Mr. Prime Minister, but the Belizean people reality ugly bad. The UDP jobs plan Mr. Speaker is to send you to break stone on street - that is their jobs' plan."

PUP Youth Arm Protest Against Minister of Youth
And when those supporters left, it was time for them to "fall-in" at a planned protest through the streets of Belmopan leading up to the National Assembly stairs. It's organized by the youth arm of the PUP to pressure youth Minister Patrick Faber on lack of support for youth development in the new budget. We spoke to lead organizer Micah Goodin:.. Micah Goodin, PUP Youth Envoy "We are here because we have recognize that it is time for young people to step up - this is our time and we will not wait anymore. We will get involve and we will take on whoever we have to take on even if that includes Minister Faber." Jules Vasquez "What is specific allegation here today? I know you all have been complaining for a while that youths are left out of the budget." Micah Goodin, PUP Youth Envoy "Yes, for too long we have been excluded out of the budget and today you are seeing a youth rally. We have identified different youth leaders from the different districts and this is the beginning of something great. This is the beginning of a new era where young people are not sitting on the sidelines anymore. We want to live in a Belize where we are confident that after completing an education that there is employment. We want real opportunities, we want real development we want to be a part of that development."

A Frightening Number of Weekend Traffic Accidents, Two Fatal
For the Month of March alone, there have been 10 traffic fatalities, 6 of which happened on the Northern Highway in the jurisdiction of the Ladyville Police. Tonight we report on 6 more accidents which happened over the weekend - 4 of them in the Belize District. There were 2 fatalities among this weekend's victims, but we start with the story of a survivor: 3 year-old Romeo Flores Jr., who remains in the hospital in a critical condition. On Saturday afternoon, the child was knocked down by a bus which was traveling through the Scotland Half Moon area after his family and he attended church. Today, 7News spoke with police and his father about what happened: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "Our traffic incidents; we had one in Scotland Halfmoon, persons were exiting an area where there is a church, traffic may have been thick and a child was knocked by a passenger bus traveling towards one of the villages. The child was rushed to the hospital and is being attended to there."

Truck Runs Over Man At Crowded Roundabout
And we turn now to the fatalities - two of them, on in the Belize District, the other in Dangriga. First to the once in the city - which was gruesome: one man died after a dump truck ran over his head. 33 year-old Jose Martinez was riding his bike at around 4 on Saturday evening when he fell off. That's when the dump truck tried to get over the pedestrian ramp, and one of its wheels crushed his skull. It was a very gruesome scene, and today Police told us more about how it happened: Cpl. Jorge Lemus, Admin Officer, Precinct Two "Precinct Two police proceeded to one mile George Price Highway where upon arrival they noticed a Hispanic male person lying face down on the street beneath a 14-wheeler dump truck, Peterbuilt brand that was driven at the time by one Gilroy Wade of a 8 Mile Community address. Our investigation has revealed that this said male person was riding contrary to traffic and the said dump truck arrived at the pedestrian ramp to give way to pedestrians crossing the ramp. However, upon moving off, his side man alerted him that he had knock down somebody. He immediately stop the said truck and rendered assistance."

Early Morning Exerciser Knocked Down and Killed In Griga
In the weekend's other fatality, the family of 63 year old former BDF soldier Henry Pascual tells us that he was knocked down while exercising on the Stann Creek Valley Road early on Saturday morning. They say that he was in the habit of waking up before 5:00 am to go exercise - and that's when someone knocked him down from behind. The driver stopped to pick him up and carry him to the hospital, but he died shortly after. His family tells us his daughter died on Friday morning and he was knocked down and killed 24 hours later…

Ladyville Scene of Three Shootings In 48 Hours
As we told you before the break, Ladyville police had to manage 4 traffic accidents this weekend, but there were also violent crimes which happened that kept the officers busy. The first happened on Saturday morning, where one man was shot on Pigeon Street. The Rural Executive Officer told us about it: ASP Chris Noble - Rural Executive Officer "On Saturday morning sometime after 1:30am, the police visited an area on Pigeon Street and a gentleman had gone to a police officer and reported that he had been injured. The person was taken to the military hospital, they assisted and then taken to the Karl Heusner. He has been released. The preliminary on that is that somebody had fired shots indiscriminately. We don't know if it was at somebody, but pellets may have hit that person. He is now out of the hospital." And a few hours later, police had to go back to Pigeon Street after a wild shootout happened in which bullets went flying into the houses of unsuspecting victims. It's the kind of thing we report on frequently in the crime hotspots in Belize City, but the family which has been living in at their address on Pigeon Street for over 15 years, has never experienced this before. They told us about how the shootout disturbed their sense of peace and security:

Two Shot In Ladyville, One Still Hasn't Turned Up At Hospital
And there's still more crime news from Ladyville police are investigating a possible retaliation for Sunday's shooting. This one is believed to have happened this morning possibly as early as 4:00 am. But the victims did not go to police or the hospital, and police only found one of them around 2:30 today. He is Corey McKay and he had multiple gunshot wounds. The person who was shot along with him has still not turned up at the police station or the hospital.. The pair were reportedly on the turf of a rival individual who opened fire on them. Police have a suspect and are seeking the other shooting victim.

Hon. Espat's Home Burglarized, But They Only Stole His Budget Presentation!
Deputy Leader of the PUP Julius Espat is expected to make his response to the budget tomorrow. His turn on the floor is always anticipated because of his combative style. He's already become well known for his confrontations with the Speaker of the House - and his sparring with members of the UDP. But he'll have to burn the midnight oil if he wants to be ready for tomorrow's debate session, and worse than that, he may have to show up with a handwritten speech. And all that's because his laptop computer and his speech were stolen from his home on Seashore Drive on Sunday morning. Police say that Espat's home at the corner Independence Avenue and Seashore Drive was broken into around 1:00 am on Sunday - which is across the street from Mark King's residence. Espat today told us that only two things were stolen:.. Hon. Julius Espat, Cayo South Area Rep "Well I was working late, preparing my speech and I forgot to put on the alarm, went to sleep and my wife alerted me that there was something upstairs in the house; the dog alerted us. And so I took out my weapon and tried to find out what was happening. And we didn't find anything, so we put on the alarm and went back to sleep. In the morning, we got up and I wanted to practice my speech and I asked my wife, where did she put the speech and she says she didn't touch it. And then we realized that the two laptop computers that I was working on last night and the speech miraculously disappeared."

Hon. Faber Downplays Domestic Dispute
Another parliamentarian who had a tough weekend was UDP Education Minister Patrick Faber. Faber and his wife are going through a separation and, according to reports, on Friday - which happened to be Faber's 36th birthday, there was a domestic dispute. Reports say it happened at his wife's family home in Belize City where Faber allegedly threw a cement brick into her vehicle's windshield. She has not made a police report, and when we asked Faber for comment via text message today he told us quote, "The article being circulated is riddled with falsities. It is clearly crafted by those who would wish to tear me down. The truth is that my wife and I are going through a separation. It is a matter that is for us both a personal issue. We would hope that you can respect that, if not for us then for the sake of our two boys."

Rogue Corporal Accused of Another Lawless Assault On Civilian
A hair braider who works out of the Belize City Tourism Village claims a police corporal with a long history of abuse used excessive force against her. She says that last week Wednesday, she had a confrontation with a fellow hair braider while in the tourism village. Officers attached to the Tourism Police Unit responded to try to keep the peace, and in that process, Sharmaine Copious claims that the Corporal punched her in the head and choked her before his fellow officers could calm him down. Today, she explained the confrontation with the officer to us: Sharmaine Copious "They came up to the approach of the vociferous behavior with me and the young lady. They escorted us out of the village which is behind the barrier behind Mirab - both of us in the direction behind the barrier, this other officer followed us and he start to push at me. I said to him please not do that. Both of them held on; one on the hand that I had a soda and the other that I am holding my bicycle with. The corporal drag the bicycle out of my right hand and the other police officer drag the soda out of my left hand. Anyways, my hand went backwards because of the way the police officer had my hand. So my hand ended up hitting him on the shoulder area. He said that he was going to charge me for assaulting a police officer. I got so mad I said to him "f-ing charge me" with an obscene language.

Belmopan Man Says He's Victim Of Capital Harassment
And we came across another tale of alleged police harassment this weekend. Michael Usher, a 33 year old Belmopan resident says since he was wrongly charged for burglary in 2012, police have been constantly harassing him - most recently wreaking havoc at his home in the Capital. Here's his story:.. Michael Usher "I am getting repeated harassment from Belize Police Department in Belmopan for no reason. Every time something happens in Belmopan, the police come to my house and digs up my house. If the camera crew goes to my house right now, they will see where my door is broken off; my back and front doors are broken off. My house is totally dug up. Police always harass me for no reason and takes me to the police station for 48 hours and then they release me because they never have any charges on me." Jules Vasquez "Well, nobody doesn't stone empty mango tree." Michael Usher "I have never done anything. The police don't have any charges on me from the past until now. The only charge that they have on me is what they gave me in 2012."

Former Belizean Boxer Killed In Chicago Assault
A Belizean who lived in Chicago is making national headlines in the United States after he was killed trying to protect his daughter form a racist. Last week Wednesday, 59 year old Michael Tingling was walking his 15 year old daughter home from school when Joseph Firek started making inappropriate gestures at the girl shouting racial slurs at them. Tingling stood up in front of his daughter to defend her, which is when Firek pushed him in the chest., Tingling has a pacemaker and the push or the stress of the event triggered a cardiac event, which caused him to die an hour later. Joseph Firek, 59, has been charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime. Tingling's family said he a Belize native who boxed in his youth. He had health problems - diabetes and heart disease -- and wore a pacemaker, they said.

Brazen Border Bandits Rob Money Changers
On Friday evening at 6:00 pm there was a brazen armed holdup on the Belize side of the Western Border at Benque Viejo. A pair of armed Guatemalan Bandits held up two money changers - and as police told us the robbers weren't afraid to use their pistols:.. ASP Dinsdale Thompson, O.C., Benque Viejo Police "Yes there was a robbery which we believe to have been carried out by two Guatemalans male individuals if Hispanic descent. We have further investigated that there are $2,700.00 which they have stolen from of our Belizeans money exchanges who work out at that location on a daily basis on the Belizean side." "Our investigations reveals that they have come over with one 9mm pistol and have discharge some rounds up in the air with the intend to put the individuals in fear. It's a good thing no one was hurt. So far what we are doing is we are working along with the Guatemalans authorities in trying to find out who these individuals are." Jules Vasquez "Is there anything you can do because all these money changers have a lot of cash on them?"

Despite Executive, Legislative Efforts, Belize Banned
Belize passed new fisheries laws and nationalized Immarbe, but it wasn't enough and it has been announced that the trade restrictions will be placed on Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. The decision means EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea and ensure that EU fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these nations.

Channel 5

Budget Debate: Leader of the Opposition says the budget is a noodles budget
Today parliamentarians from constituencies countrywide gathered to debate the 2014 – 2015 Budget, presented by Prime Minister Dean Barrow two weeks ago. It’s titled Bettering People, Building Belize – A [...]

Former Prime Minister takes on the Prime Minister
The third speaker for the day was former Prime Minister and political firebrand Said Musa. If there’s one thing that can be said for the wily veteran, it is that [...]

Said Musa says PM has lost his fight on corruption
According to Musa, the performance of the economy under the U.D.P. has been dismal at best, and that is borne out by poverty statistics. The government has boasted about the [...]

Patrick Faber targets B.N.T.U.
Following former Prime Minister Said Musa was Collet Area Rep and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber. He’s usually good for two hours, but today he seemed somewhat subdued. Still, he [...]

John Briceño lashes out at the government
Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceño, then took center stage. He was fired up, and combined past achievements and present statistics to lash out at the U.D.P. government. [...]

Vince Garbutt is arraigned for murder of ex-girlfriend
Three police officers escorted a university student to the San Ignacio court this morning. Vince Garbutt was handcuffed, as he made his way to the courtroom of Magistrate Nardia Morgan. [...]

Family traumatized following shootings on Pigeon Street
Police in Rural Belize District had their hands full over the weekend. There were a number of traffic accidents which we will have later in the newscast, but there were [...]

2 persons injured in early morning shooting in Ladyville
But there was a third shooting in the Ladyville Area…this one occurred early this morning. A search by the family of Corey McKay and Karim Arnold as well as the [...]

Honduran National killed in traffic accident in the City
There were various traffic accidents over the weekend, at least five, in the Belize District alone; one was fatal. A Honduran national of Iguana Street Extension, Jose Angel Martinez, was [...]

Brazen robbery of two money changers at the Western border
A daring, late-evening heist at the western border last Friday, believed to be the work of a duo of Guatemalan bandits, remains the subject of a joint police investigation.  The [...]

Home of Deputy P.U.P. Leader Julius Espat burglarized
On Sunday morning, there was a burglary in Belize City. Now that’s nothing out of the ordinary, but in this case the victim was a well-known politician and the burglary [...]

Janet Arnold is new Assistant GM of National Bank of Belize
There is an update to report on the National Bank of Belize. As you know by now, Jose Marin was named Managing Director when the Bank opened its doors last [...]

Janine Ebanks-Alpuche appointed Executive Director of Friends of Belize
Former Product Development Officer at the Belize Tourism Board, Janine Ebanks-Alpuche has been appointed as executive director of Friends of Belize.  Alpuche is responsible for heading the organization’s efforts in [...]

3 year old boy clings to life following accident in Scotland Halfmoon
There were a total of six traffic accidents over the weekend; four occurred in rural Belize which is the jurisdiction of Rural Executive Officer of the Police Department, Assistant Superintendent [...]

2 Bowen & Bowen employees badly injured in traffic accident
Two Bowen and Bowen employees are also in critical condition at the K.H.M.H. following an accident on Sunday evening. Thirty eight year old Ian Nunez of Poinsetta Street and thirty-five [...]

Minor accidents along Phillip Goldson Highway
Two minor accidents also occurred in Rural Belize District.  Although twenty miles apart and not as serious, the number of accidents within his area is of concern to him, says [...]

Salvadoran man remanded for immigration offense
A Salvadoran national who has been living in Belize illegally had to spend the weekend in lockdown after he was busted while hanging out with a group of men on [...]

Did Faber smash wife’s windshield with cement block?
It was reported on social media over the weekend that Minister of Education, Patrick Faber had damaged the windshield of his wife’s vehicle. The incident happened on Gill Street, where [...]

Sports Monday with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderly and this is Sports Monday.   Week 7 brought up the halfway mark in the National Elite Basketball League so we journeyed to Orange Walk [...]

LOVE FM

Supal Street Shooting Injures Fisherman
It is an area well known to the Police and in the past we have reported several shootings in this area with one of the most recent ones being, what was dubbed an attempted hit on the leader of the Supal Street Bloods Gang, Jason Williams. Well tonight, it is a Belizean fisherman who was the victim of a shooting that occurred on Sunday night just after ten o’clock. Police were alerted of gunshots fired in the area and upon response, investigators encountered 21-year-old, Anthony Young of a Supal Street address suffering from gunshot wounds. Initial reports say that Young was socializing in an alley near a primary school on Dolphin Street when he was alerted by gunshots ringing out around him. In response to hearing those gunshots, he sought shelter in a yard on Supal Street but realized a few moments later that he was injured in his right ankle and left wrist. Police recovered five 9mm expended shells from the scene while Young was taken to the hospital for treatment where he was listed as stable. Investigations continue into the incident.

Separate Shootings = 2 Men Injured
Love News visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital this afternoon where we found the family of Corey McKay in distress after receiving the news that he was shot twice this morning in his back in Ladyville Village in the Belize District. Also injured in the shooting incident was Kareem Arnold who received a gunshot wound to the shoulder. The family was not in any frame of mind to speak with us today and the Officer Commanding that area, ASP Christopher Noble was not available to provide us with any further information. ……But while we cannot bring to you the full details of that incident, we can tell you about Marlon Itza. Itza is a Belizean security officer who was found by Police bleeding from the head on Sunday night just around nine o’clock. According to reports, the Police went on Nurse White Street in Belize City where they encountered 26-year-old, Marlon Itza with injuries in the back of his head. Preliminary investigations indicate that Itza was inside his home, in the company of three other individuals when two men of Creole descent entered his residence. One of the two men, armed with a handgun hit him in the back of the head while demanding money. A struggle ensued and the firearm fell to the ground causing it to discharge.

Faith Cleared of Charges on Kayla’s Murder
As we mentioned, 18-year-old, Faith Dueck was also detained by San Ignacio Police following preliminary investigations but upon receiving directives from the DPP’s office, Dueck was released and no charges were levied against her. One can only imagine the distress brought upon the young girl and as a consequence of that, the girl’s family acquired the services of Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd in an effort to muzzle the media and effect some damage control to the girl’s reputation. Today, Shepherd issued a release to the media that read as follows: “The Family of 18 year old Faith Deuck, wishes to set the record straight that unlike all the speculations and accusations against her, she is no accomplice in the death of 24 year old Kayla Burgess, and she too is as much a victim of the accused 21 year old Vince “Vinnie” Garbutt. She had just become his room-mate sharing the same house in the Kontiki Area the Monday before the murder of Burgess, whom Faith met through Vinnie who introduced Kayla as a friend and with whom she had socialized before in the company of Vinnie.

Vinny Arraigned on Murder Charge
Police in western Belize started out their investigations last Thursday with the report of a ransom kidnapping of 24-year-old, Kayla Pandy Burgess of Independence Village in the Stann Creek District. Hours later, further investigations revealed that the authorities were being misled and there was no ransom kidnapping to investigate but rather a murder incident that is believed to have occurred in the Kontiki Area in San Ignacio Town. A diligent search and quick response by the Police led to the discovery of Kayla’s body on the Bullet Tree Road inside her 2005 gold Kia Sorento and subsequently, to the detention of 21-year-old, Vince ‘Vinny’ Garbutt and 18-year-old, Faith Dueck. Evidence was gathered and statements were taken and all of this was submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions. On Saturday, March 22, directives were issued to the San Ignacio Police by the DPP’s office and Garbutt was charged with murder. He appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Nadia Morgan where he was arraigned and is scheduled to reappear in court on June 26, 2014. At the time of the incident, Garbutt was a student at Galen University and had attended classes up to the day of the murder. Kayla Pandy Burgess will be laid to rest on Wednesday in Independence Village.

Joint Operations Yield Drugs, Alcohol and Firearm
Last week we told you of the joint operation that was being conducted on San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. It was an immense team effort as the Military, Coast Guard and Police officers including members of the Gang Suppression Unit got together and carried out a search of twenty premises, two hundred and fifty vehicles as well as individuals. They also carried out searches on ten known bases on the island. It was an intense day’s work that resulted in the arrest of eight person for drug possession, I person for an immigration offense, one person for possession of crack pipe as well as the confiscation of one thousand two hundred and fifteen grams of cocaine, one thousand and ninety seven grams of marijuana as well as one 4 ½ inch crack pipe and a marijuana plant about 1 ½ feet tall and one nine millimetre pistol with a magazine containing three live rounds of ammunition. In addition to all this, the operation yielded uncustomed goods including one litre of Teacher’s Whiskey, three litres Bacardi White rum, one litre of Five Whiskey. The operation on the island entailed vehicular check points, mobile and foot patrols as well as maritime patrols. The operations team was led by Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster and Superintendent Linden Flowers.

PlusTV

Man Charged in Kayla Burgess’ Murder
Ms. Kayla Burgess’s accused murderer was formally charged by San Ignacio police on Saturday. He is 21 year old Vince Garbutt, a resident of San Ignacio town. Mr. Garbutt allegedly confessed to the murder of Kayla Burgess, a resident of Independence village, Stann Creek district. After her parents received...

Belize District Reports More Shootings
There was a shooting incident this morning where two men were shot. It happened in the Ladyville area. Police say that Corey McKay was shot twice to the back while Kareem Arnold was shot once to the shoulder. Police say they are seeking the shooter. There was another shooting...

Truck Wheel Crushes Man’s Head
There was a terrible road traffic accident on Saturday afternoon in Belize City. Around 4:30 pm Saturday on Cemetery Road in front of the First Stop Taxi Stand, 33-year-old Honduran national Jose Martinez of an Iguana Street address in Belize City was knocked down and killed when a passing...

Fatal Traffic Accident in Stann Creek
A fatal traffic accident on Saturday claimed the life of a retired BDF soldier. Our Dangriga correspondent Harry Arzu has the story: Mr. Harry Arzu- Correspondent of Dangriga “63 year old BDF retired soldier Henry Pascual lost his life over the weekend as a result of a traffic accident...

EU Blacklists Belize’s Fish Products
Today European Union States voted, in a historic decision, to officially Blacklist Belize, banning the importation of Fish and fish products into those countries. The bann, which is the first of its kind for the EU, means that Boats flying the Belize flag cannot export to the 28 states...

First Hearing of Mr. Trevor Vernon vs. Hon. Edmund Castro Postponed
Minister of State Edmond “Clear The Land” Castro is being sued by one of his constituents, Trevor Vernon, who believes that in his actions during and after some 80 cheques were distributed by the Belize Airports Authority, totaling over $30,000, he violated the Code of Conduct enshrined in the...

GSU Descends on San Pedro
A team comprising of 47 personnel from Eastern Police Division descended to the island of San Pedro to conduct police operations from March 20th to the 22nd. The team consisted of personnel from GSU, Special Branch, ITUnit, Anti Drug Unit, ED Quick Response Team, BDF and Coast Guard. Recently,...

Drugs Found Along Mopan River
On Sunday, police on mobile patrol in Benque Viejo Town, Cayo District were working along the Mopan River when they saw a male Hispanic person with a back pack crossing the Mopan River. ‘ Upon the approach of the police, the male person dropped the blue back pack and...

Belmopan UDP Mayoral Candidate is Mr. Khalid Belisle
Municipal Elections are set for March 4th, 2015, that is a little less than a year away. Today, Honorable John Saldivar took the opportunity at the budget debate to introduce his favored candidate running for Mayor of Belmopan City Council. Hon. John Saldivar- Minister of National Security and Area...

Blogs

Where to find good seafood and my favorite healthy snack from Cayo Belize
Whether you live here or planning to cook on vacation and want to enjoy some good Belize seafood, Grace Shrimp on front street has you covered. I have passed it by a zillion times and never stopped in then finally one day I decided to give them a try. The shop is closer to the beginning of front street on the left hand side. Just look for the blue sandwich board sign right before the Cigar store on the left hand side, walk down the lane and you will find the store in your right. It is small but they have a good selection fresh frozen seafood in their 3 big freezers. I was very happy to find both black and white de-veined shrimp in a variety of sizes in the $20 range. I also bought conch and snook both in $15 BZD range the first time and have already been back for more shrimp. Anyone have any good tips on cooking conch? I did not do such a good job of it. When I looked it up online I read that it will get rubbery when it goes into the pot and that simmering it longer will soften it up again. Maybe I was impatient that day but it never seemed to soften back up again.

LOTs of Sun, Snorkelling, Sparkling Ocean and A Few Goose Bumps on the Rum Punch 2
I spent lots and lots of outdoor time over the water on one of my favorite trips – sailing northward to Mexico Rocks snorkeling site with Captain George Eiley and the Rum Punch 2. We met our good captain and his trusty first mate in town at 10am on a gorgeous GORGEOUS Sunday morning. The Rum Punch, an old Belizean fishing boat turned touring craft, was ready to sail. We pulled up to Mexico Rock…a huge swimming pool like area dotted with coral heads. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL DAY.

Lionfish searches and lobster tickling
After our first week of marine science classes in the beautiful fishing village of Sarteneja, myself and my fellow expedition volunteers were excited to finally make it to the Bacalar Chico Dive Camp and get stuck in with the hands-on part of our expedition. Our first three weeks of diving were spent gathering important coral and fish data, and by the fourth week we were set for a new challenge… On almost every one of our dives, a lionfish would be spotted. Lionfish are thought to have been accidentally released into the Caribbean from an aquarium in North America. Despite their strange beauty, from a very early point in the expedition we learned about the damage that this species is wreaking on the local reef. Blue Ventures’ lionfish research is therefore designed not only to monitor the lionfish population itself, but also their food competitors and potential predators. Still a topic of some debate, it is thought that some of the larger marine species could develop an appetite for this rather sedentary species.

International Sources

European Union blacklists seafood trade in Belize
In its toughest move yet to eradicate illegal fishing, the European Union on Monday blacklisted Belize, Cambodia and Guinea, effectively banning their products from the world’s most valuable seafood market. The move to target the three “as countries acting insufficiently against illegal fishing” means EU states will now be required to ban their fish imports and EU vessels required to stay out of their waters. “These decisions are historic,” said the EU’s Fisheries Commissioner Maria Damanaki. “I want EU citizens to know that the fish they consume is sustainable, wherever it comes from.” Illegal fishing is estimated to account for 15 percent of world catches and the decision by the EU, which imports 65 percent of its seafood, won swift praise from environmental groups. “Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing depletes fish stocks, damages marine ecosystems, puts legitimate fishers at an unfair disadvantage and jeopardizes the livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable communities,” said WWF, Oceana, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Environmental Justice Foundation.

EU bans fish imports from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea
The blacklist, first proposed by the European Commission and then rubber stamped by the member states on Monday (24 March), is a first for the EU under its illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing regulation from 2010. “I want EU citizens to know that the fish they consume is sustainable, wherever it comes from. We are steadily moving in that direction,” said EU fishery commissioner Maria Damanaki in a statement. The ban was imposed because they do not comply with international fishery laws. The laws set out rules to prevent illegal fishing practices. At €10 million annually, the value of their exports to the EU is relatively low, but NGOs say it sends a strong signal to other larger fishing countries on the commission’s warning list.

EU Council announces first-ever seafood trade ban against illegal fishing nations
Today, four leading environmental groups – Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF), Oceana, The Pew Charitable Trusts and WWF have welcomed a decision by the EU Fisheries Council to place trade restrictions on Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea for failing to cooperate in fighting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing. The decision means EU member states are now required to ban the import of fish from Belize, Cambodia, and Guinea and ensure that EU fishing vessels do not operate in the waters of these nations. In addition to welcoming the ban’s approval by the EU’s 28 fisheries ministers, and praising the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Maria Damanaki, for her leadership, the NGOs are calling for greater transparency in the way the EU evaluates third countries’ efforts to fight illegal fishing. They are also calling on the European Commission to close a loophole that allows non-EU vessels fishing in the banned countries’ waters to continue exporting their catches to the EU, and to work with EU member states to strengthen efforts to keep illegally-caught fish off the dinner plates of European consumers.

Paul Simon To Join Sting For Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert
Sting and Trudie Styler will be joined by Paul Simon at a star-studded 25th Anniversary Rainforest Fund Benefit Concert on April 17. Joining the lineup will also be James Taylor, Dionne Warwick, Ivy Levan, trumpeter Chris Botti and opera singer Renee Fleming. The concert will take place on the Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall to raise awareness and funds for the important work the Rainforest Fund provides to communities of indigenous peoples throughout Brazil and other countries including Belize, Cameroon, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mexico, Nicaragua, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela. The biennial Rainforest Fund concert provides a major source of funding for the work of the Fund, which was started by Sting and Trudie in 1989, out of a desire to help a community of indigenous Amazonian people in Brazil.

Ambergris Caye in Belize listed as one of the "Destination On The Rise" by the Chicago Tribune
World destinations on the rise, according to TripAdvisor.com's Travelers' Choice awards. Read more here: TripAdvisor.com. Ramons Village Resort Pier and palapa in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Something Fishy is Happening at the Belize Barrier Reef!
Belize may be a small country but it holds the largest cave system of Central America and the second largest barrier reef in the world. With over 500 species of birds, 400 species of subtropical fish, and 900 Mayan historic sites, the country embraces a rich culture with biodiversity unlike any other around the globe. In 2009, the Belize Barrier Reef was named a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, World Heritage Site in Danger. The 900 sites entitled in danger are highly significant to humanity for its cultural and natural characteristics. The World Heritage Committee supplies resources and plans treatment programs for sites in danger of devastation or complete demolition. The sites around the world vary in geography and sizes ranging from monuments to lakes. The Belize Barrier Reef is among one of them because of problems associated with natural environment events, human activity, and pollution. These occurrences destroy natural habitats of many species including the parrotfish and surgeonfish, and stunt the growth of endangered populations.


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