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#489202 - 04/08/14 06:44 AM Today's Belize News: April 8, 2014
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The San Pedro Sun

SPHS volleyball and basketball teams to travel to North Carolina
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) volleyball and basketball teams are holding a series of fundraising events to raise money to travel to Jacksonville, North Carolina, USA. The trip will enable the students’ participation in a sports exchange program with Northside High School which will be held from April 16 to 25, 2014. A total of 25 students will be travelling and the estimated cost for travel expenses is $10,000. On Friday, April 4th the students and teachers of SPHS held a radio-thon and dollar-drive in front of Reef Radio on Pescador Drive. The Radio-thon brought in an estimated $4,000.

Message on World Health Day
world-health-day-2013Every year more than one million people die from diseases carried by mosquitoes, flies, ticks and other insects, such as triatomine bugs. These vector-borne diseases – which include malaria, dengue, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, Chagas disease and leishmaniasis – cause chronic illness and immense suffering for hundreds of millions more. Climate change, altered habitats and increased international trade and travel are exposing more people to the vectors that transmit these diseases. They present a risk in all regions, including countries where the threat had formerly been eradicated, but the most affected are the world’s poorest people, especially those who live in remote rural communities far from health services or in urban shanty towns. By profoundly affecting people’s health, vector-borne diseases are a serious impediment to poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Saga Humane Society presents 2013 Annual Report
Since 1999, Saga Humane Society has been assisting Ambergris Caye with the abuse, neglect and overpopulation of island pets. Throughout 2013, Saga implemented several projects aimed at reducing strays and unwanted pets on the island. These projects included Operation SNIP (spay and neuter campaign) and mobile clinics to provide vaccinations to pets whose owners are unable to take them to the clinic. Saga reports that 170 dogs were taken off the streets and into the shelter in 2013, a 5% decrease as compared to 2012. Out of 170 dogs picked up, 32 were returned to their owners. Unfortunately, Saga reported a 2% increase in euthanization, as 101 of the dogs that were roundup had to be humanely put down, due to age and other medical reasons. Owner surrenders also saw a decrease as only 266 pets were given up to Saga, out of which 178 were euthanized. Sadly, adoption figures were also down, with only 108 animals adopted into new homes. This 36% decrease in adoptions is believed to be a result of the buying and importing of full breed animals.

Lazy Croc – Southern style food, BBQ, and PLENTY of it!
I think it’s safe to say that barbeque is a staple around here. There’s just something about grilled and smoky meats that has us licking our chops! One place that offers a taste like no other is Lazy Croc BBQ Smokehouse. I might even be so bold to as to say it is one of the best on the island- especially when it comes to good ole Southern style BBQ! Located just a couple miles north of the bridge, Lazy Croc serves up some true, finger-licking smoked dishes: baby back pork ribs, BBQ chicken, smoked fried chicken (yes, I said smoked), and plenty more. As a matter of fact, my mouth is watering just thinking about all the yummy goodness. Owner Christiano has really added to Lazy Croc’s menu, and its location! With two wooden patios overlooking one of the island’s many salt water lagoons, which is also home to Jaws the resident crocodile, Lazy Croc is the perfect place for both a great meal and sightseeing. Unfortunately, my partner in crime, Monique, and I didn’t get to see the croc Jaws; regulars say he’s a bit shy with newcomers. Nevertheless, we got our wildlife fix spotting several green iguanas and various birds; however don’t bother asking me the names because I’m not a birder like some people (side-eyes the boss). We enjoyed the atmosphere and the sightseeing from the comfort of our reserved seating on the “Huckleberry Ferry.” Yes, the Huckleberry Ferry – I swear that’s what it’s really called! It’s a picnic table set atop a floating platform that takes customers on a smooth ride from one end of the lagoon to the other, all while they enjoy their meal and take in the scenery. Very idyllic and indeed, unique and fun.

Ambergris Today

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

Oceana and Maya Community Win One Against Oil Drilling in Belize
SATIIM and Indigenous Mayan Communities Supreme Court Victory is a Victory for all Belizeans - The Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and Oceana in Belize salute the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM) for its ongoing efforts to have the indigenous rights of the Maya of Southern Belize respected. Madam Justice Michelle Arana's historic ruling on April 3rd 2014 affirmed those rights when the Supreme Court found that while the Government of Belize has the right to issue permits to explore for oil and even drill, they must consult with the members of the affected indigenous communities to determine what activities can happen on their lands as well as the forms of compensation to follow. The lesson all Belizeans should take away from this issue is that we all have the inherent right to be part of a consultative and participatory process in the management of our resources - especially when political policies have the potential to cause irrevocable damage.

University of Belize Sports Delegation Heads to Central American Games
On Friday, April 4, 2014 a contingent of more than 80 persons—including athletes and coaches—will represent the University of Belize (UB) and the jewel in the V Juegos Deportivos Universitarios Centroamericanos (JUDUCA V)—translated in English (The Sport Games of Central American Universities 5). "Brotherhood, Solidarity and Integration" is the theme for this fifth edition of JUDUCA scheduled from April 07 – April 12, 2014 in Managua, Nicaragua. The delegation from UB will join counterparts from 21 other Central American universities to compete in the disciplines of chess, soccer/football, basketball, track and field, futsal, table tennis, swimming, karate, and volleyball. In 2012 at JUDUCA IV held in Guatemala City, Guatemala, UB Black Jaguars team won gold for male basketball and two bronze medals for track and field. Irice Reyes finished third in the female long jump (4.95 m) and Mark Anderson also finished third in the Male 200 m clocking 11:01 seconds. In basketball, UB Black Jaguars defeated University de San Carlos de Guatemala to take the gold with an undefeated record after overpowering Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador. UB Black Jaguars finished fourth in male volleyball and soccer/football.

Easter's Traditional Religious Celebrations in San Pedro
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye is the place to be for Easter Break, the mainland folk flock to the island and the tourists come to enjoy their spring break. Nothing like spending some great time on the beach, soaking up some sun, sipping on cool cocktails partying on endless night…but one aspect of Easter in San Pedro goes pretty much unnoticed by the masses. Amongst all the chaos of parties there is also the religious celebrations that take place during Easter. The San Pedro Roman Catholic Church is responsible for conducting a Lenten Schedule every year. The staff of Ambergris Today took turns in participating on the highlights of the schedule and discovered the rich and traditional celebrations of the Catholic Church for Easter.

Misc Belizean Sources

FISHING REPORT: Week of March 30th– April 6th, 2014
The Fly Shop of Redding brought a great group of anglers down this week that made our lodge an even better place to live and work. My heartfelt thanks to Kara (of The Fly Shop in Redding CA) for her undying enthusiasm for our sport that made all of us here at El Pescador a little happier each day..

Students who drowned have been laid to rest
The two high school students from Corozal who drowned in the Macal River on Friday afternoon have been laid to rest. They have been identified as 15 year old Anahi Zepeda and 16 year old Edgar Puck, both Fourth Form students of the Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico in San Roman village, Corozal. Zepeda and Puck were with classmates on a field trip that earlier in the day had visited the Che Chem Ha Caves. On the return journey, police say that a teacher told them that they stopped so that the students could wash themselves in the river near the low-lying wooden bridge. While in the river, police say Anahi Zepeda was dragged down by the currents. Seeing that she was in trouble Edgar Puck reportedly tried to assist Zepeda when they both went under the water and did not resurface.

Guatemalan man drowns in the Belize River
The body of Guatemalan man has been retrieved from the Belize River in Santa Familia village, Cayo. The victim has been identified as 33 year old Francisco Martin Juan who is from Huehuetenango, Guatemala. Police say that Juan’s uncle Jose Miguel Gaspar, also from Huehuetenanco, Guatemala, reported to them that around 12:30 on Sunday afternoon, he and his nephew went to the river to swim. Gaspar told police that at the time he entered the water Francisco Juan was “highly under the influence of alcohol.” The police report says that as Juan was attempting to swim across the river, the current pulled him under and he did not resurface.

Fire guts house in Santa Elena Town
A late Sunday night fire in Santa Elena town, Cayo, has left at least two people homeless. Just before 11 o’clock last night, fire officials were called to a house on Carrillo Puerto Avenue in Santa Elena town where a two storey building was engulfed in flames. Preliminary reports indicate that Evelyn Estelle was asleep in the lower flat of the building, made of concrete, when she smelled smoke. When Estelle went to investigate, that was when she found out that the building was on fire. The upper part of the building, which was made of wood, was being occupied at 82 year old Augustine Martinez.

Residents accuse San Ignacio police of abusive behavior
A group of women is expected to be charged in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today following a melee at an event over the weekend. A scuffle broke out among patrons of the event which was taking place at the Macal River Park but the police is taking heat for the way officers handled the situation. As a third-party video – which is used with permission – shows, police officers pushed a handcuffed man into the pan of a pickup truck. He had apparently been detained. An officer then got into a verbal exchange with another man who was concerned for the way the man was being handled.So far there haas not been any response from the Police Department pertaining to accusations of excessive force being used by the officers in apprehending the man who was taken away from the scene in the back of the vehicle.

Toledo farmers discuss food security
The Inter American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, IICA, is facilitating a discussion in Toledo on the issue of family farming and how it can contribute to Food Security. Farmers from different communities are taking part in the discussion which is looking at the topic of “the role of family farming in food security.” The forum is being moderated by IICA’s country representative Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, with inputs from the Chief Agriculture Officer Roberto Harrison. Organizers of the discussion are hoping that through networking, farmers in the Toledo district will come to realize that they can contribute effectively to food security. Coming out of the discussion were ideas on how the individuals and their families can become self-sustainable and by extension, help in the development of their communities.

Orquidea Negra with BNDC and Friends
The Orquidea Negra Dance Company represented Cayo by performing at the Bliss Centre with the Belize National Dance Company in their 'BNDC and Friends' production this weekend. Awesome photographer Will Moreno was there, and he got some amazing shots. Well done, BNDC and Orquidea Negra! "We are proud of all the wonderful performers who graced the Bliss Stage last night and tonight for 'BNDC & FRIENDS' Dance and Music/Dance Concerts. You were all amazing! and THANK YOU!"

UB's Evening of the Arts
The University of Belize is having their very first Evening of the Arts tonight, Tuesday, April 8th. They'll have art from the famous Carolyn Carr, and also Valerie Penner, an up-and-coming artist, who did an exhibition at the Soul Project recently. The event will also have music and poetry from the talented UB family. "The upcoming Evening of the Arts, which will take place on April 8th from 5 to 7 p.m., will feature the works of two visual artists: Valerie Penner, an Associate's degree student here at UB whose work is presently on display at the Bliss, and Carolyn Carr, a well-known, very accomplished Belizean artist. The evening's line-up will also include about a dozen sensationally gifted vocalists, pianists and poets who are students, faculty, and esteemed friends of UB. The event is free of charge, so bring your family and friends, and let's make it a lovely, fun-filled evening."

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

Face of Defense: Marine Connects Using Sign Language
Hands wave through the air in an organized fashion, and children follow the movements as they enjoy the children's story "A Day at the Farm." Marine Corps Cpl. Parnell Sararana put his Universal Sign Language skills to use here April 4 as he translated while Air Force Staff Sgt. Jon Espinoza read aloud at the Stella Maris School Belize Academy for the Deaf. Sararana is deployed from the 1st Civil Affairs Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., in support of New Horizons Belize 2014, an exercise in which U.S. service members train with Belizean professionals in engineering and medical care. The civil affairs role in the exercise is to engage with the local population, as well as government and nongovernment organizations, to facilitate the best possible environment to build educational and health facilities and provide medical, dental and veterinarian care throughout the country.

Millions of dollars worth of marijuana goes up in smoke
The United States department of defence is reporting that a joint military operation involving Belize Defence Force soldiers and Belize police has resulted in the destruction of twenty nine million dollars worth of marijuana. The operation was carried out during the week of March 15 to March 20. According to a news report compiled by Captain Steven Stubbs and published on the department of defence website, a total of “34 marijuana fields and approximately 57,283 mature marijuana plants” were destroyed. The exercise was carried out by Joint Task Force-Bravo and the U.S. Embassy Military Liaison Office in Belmopan in partnership with Belizean military and police. According to the online story “Joint Task Force-Bravo provided aviation support, on-call casualty evacuation and caving ladder tr

World Health Day celebrated
Today is World Health Day and the focus is on control of vector-born diseases; that is, diseases caused by insects such as mosquitoes that carry deadly viruses and bacteria. Common examples include dengue fever and malaria. A formal ceremony was held in Belize City and we spoke with CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Allen, who reports that the Ministry has made great strides in certain areas, reducing the number of malaria cases in Belize to 26 last year, as well as a consistent spraying and eradication program. He notes that there is still much work to do to completely eliminate diseases like these and reminds Belizeans to get rid of possible breeding sites for mosquitoes and insects carrying malaria and dengue fever. Following the ceremony there was an informational health fair.

Man shot near bar in Ladyville
An altercation inside the Blue House Bar on the Philip Goldson Highway, a stone’s throw from the police station, early on Saturday morning led to injuries for two men. Dennis Burke, 47, apparently got into an altercation with one Edwin Perez and both had to be escorted out. They continued to brawl and Perez’s brother, Oscar Perez, a construction worker of Airport Road, intervened. He, it is alleged, pulled out a folded five-inch pocket knife and stabbed Burke in the chest. Burke retaliated by shooting Oscar Perez with his licensed 9mm handgun in the abdomen. Both men were treated at the BDF hospital at Price Barracks before being transported to the KHMH.

Hattieville youth stabbed during fight
Promising youth athlete Richard Waight Jr of Hattieville died this weekend after being stabbed in the chest in a late-night melee on the basketball court next to the police station. Two men, an adult and a minor, have been detained as part of the police’s investigations. A second teenager, aged 16, was also stabbed during the assault. Police report that a fight had broken out on the court between two Hattieville teenagers and an older man was trying to part it. That man was then assaulted and this was when the teenagers were wounded.

Corozal families say sad goodbye to fallen students
Two promising lives were cut short on Friday afternoon when two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico drowned in the Macal River. 16 year old Edgar Puck a resident of Patchakan village and 15 year old Anahi Zepeda from San Joaquin were scheduled to graduate in a few months time. But instead on Sunday, their families were bidding sad goodbyes as they were laid to rest in their respective villages on Sunday. Puck was to have been the valedictorian at his graduation, while Zepeda, an honor roll student herself, would have taken her place among the graduates; but instead their bright smiles will be missing from the class of 2014 graduation.

Armed robbery in Corozal town; police investigate
A broad daylight robbery in the Santa Rita Area of Corozal Town this afternoon has left police searching for three suspects. Around 4 o’clock this afternoon the proprietor of Jing Jing Store reported to police that three men entered the store, one armed with what appeared to the a fire arm. Fearing for her life the proprietor says she handed over an undisclosed amount of money. According to reports one of the customers who was inside the store at the time of the holdup was pistol-whipped by the assailants. Police have processed the crime scene and continue investigate the armed robbery.

Disturbed, Disappointed
I am Kenny Jacobs, Executive Director of Teens Belize Organization and television host of Developing Toledo TV Show aired on PGTV. First of all, our education system needs to change its ways of teaching. Students are enrolled in an institution and are fed with materials daily, all of which, I agree, is important to their learning. The question remains, are they being taught to graduate and look for a job? Or are they being taught to construct their own business after graduation? Every year there are thousands of graduates from high schools and tertiary institutions countrywide who are unable to move on, due to financial and/or other constraints. These students have been taught by our education system to seek employment at a company/business after graduation. We cannot allow our system to continue doing this. Our students deserve an utmost challenge from primary school or high school to be bred with the relevant knowledge and skills to start their own business, once they graduate.

Businessman released from drug trafficking charge
The difference between cannabis and hemp proved vital to a San Ignacio businessman who walked away today from charges of drug trafficking and importation of a controlled substance. 49 year old naturalized Belizean John Daniel Downard, who is director of a company called Vortech which is researching the potential of pulverizing hemp seed, was busted with 460 grams of hemp seed in his luggage at the Philip Goldson International Airport last December. The item was declared but investigators pressed charges even after tests run locally came back negative for cannabis resin. Hemp seeds are not banned under the Misuse of Drugs Act and thus, according to attorney and former Magistrate Rachel Montejo-Juan, the prosecution had not proved that Downard was trafficking or importing a controlled substance, which cannabis is. Magistrate Leslie Hamilton agreed that Downard had no case to answer and dismissed the charge.

High hopes for good 2014 PSE performance
Teachers across the country are holding out high hopes for their students to do well on the first part of the Primary School Examination which was administered today. Students wrote papers in Language Arts and Science. Thousands of Standard 6 boys and girls across the country took the PSE today. In Toledo, there were three testing centers; namely Toledo Community College where 266 students sat the PSE; Corazon Creek High School where 338 students took the PSE and Julian Cho Technical High School where 97 students sat the PSE. Dr. Carmen Lopez who works with the Ministry of Education in Punta Gorda town says that no matter what the outcome, the Ministry will continue to work hard with teachers, students and parents in providing quality education for the children. “I believe we have done out part and it is now for the students to show us that yes indeed we have done an effective job,” says Dr. Lopez.

Clayton Williams - Bibagari
Musical interlude. Clayton Williams, a promising Garifuna musician, has released Bibagari, proving yet again that Belize has some of the best music in the hemisphere. Clayton's Canadian tour with the Lebeha Drummers last year has inspired him to create some really touching music. Thanks for the music, Mr. Williams! He has a behind the scenes video on Youtube. "Here is my new single Bibagari (your life) written by me and produced by Juni Mar. I like to apologize to everyone for the delay releasing the song but its here now,tell me what you think, like it and most of all don't forget to share. The song is also available to download on Soundcloud.

Purchasing Belize Real Estate
Purchasing Belize real estate is very simple and extremely secure. The extensive documents that are common with a property purchase in the USA, Canada and/ or Europe are thankfully not part of the buying process here. There are no barriers to foreign investment and, as a member of the British Commonwealth, Belize has a legal system based on British law and is the only English speaking country in Central America. Understanding your documents will be much easier than in other countries in Central America. Title is fee simple absolute title so is extremely secure. Title insurance is available yet rarely utilized. Foreigners have the same property rights in Belize, as do local citizens. Foreigners can own beachfront property in Belize. In addition, Belize has no capital gains or inheritance taxes and a growing private offshore banking sector. Corporate income taxes are also quite low and can be as low as 1.75% of gross sales! Property taxes are extremely low (normally below $US 100 annually) so holding costs are very low.

Lincoln Jones, renowned minister in Belize, dies at 56
Lincoln Jones, a renowned evangelist among Churches of Christ in the Central American nation of Belize, died April 3 after suffering an apparent stroke. He was 56. Jones was baptizing new souls into Christ as recently as March 23, according to members of the Burrell Boom Church of Christ, who posted photos of the event on the congregation's Facebook page. "He was such a pillar in the church in Belize," said Barbara Kee, a longtime friend of Jones who served, along with her husband, Windle, as a missionary in the African nation of Cameroon. The Kees, who now live in Texas, made regular mission trips to Belize, a nation of 324,000 souls south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. The couple worked alongside Belizean ministers — including Jones and Andrew "Tex" Nunez — and U.S. missionary Bill Amason, who died in 2011.

SATIIM And Indigenous Peoples - Another Legal Victory
SATIIM, the foremost environmental and human right organization in Belize along with four indigenous Q’eqchi’ Maya communities have achieved another monumental legal victory yesterday. The Belize Supreme Court Justice, The Honourable Michelle Arana declared: That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is irrational and Wednesbury unreasonable, that decision having been made without the free prior and informed consent of the indigenous Maya communities; That the decision of the Government of Belize to allow oil drilling and road construction in the National Park is in breach of the legitimate expectation of the indigenous Maya Peoples, that the Government of Belize would comply with their obligations under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to respect the rights of Indigenous Maya Peoples to their lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned, occupied or otherwise used or acquired; ORDER directing the Government of Belize to obtain free, prior and informed consent from the indigenous Maya peoples with respect to any contract permit or licence that falls within the National Park.

Corozal Family Fun Day
Youths from San Pablo Presbyterian "Emmanuel" Church will be hosting this activity. Kite Flying, Games and Music for the entire family!! April 26th at 2:00 P.M.

Corozal Drowning
On April 4th, two fourth form students of Escuela Secundaria Tecnica Mexico (ESTM) tragically drowned while on a field trip to the Cayo District. Today was a sad day for the family of the late Anahi Zepeda as she was laid to rest on Sunday April 6th with special honours from her alma-mater. Thanks for supporting the ESTM Family on a difficult day! Photo shared by Modesto Cano.

Video: Belize City Tourist Guide
5min. I make a short video in Belize City about why I believe it is worth seeing when one visits Belize. It represents a country in the infancy of independence and all that is good and bad in these early stages.

#489203 - 04/08/14 06:44 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 8, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 7

Croc Kills Man In Ladyville
A man was killed by a crocodile today in the Ladyville/Lords' Bank area. It happened on a large private property known as the Green Estate. Reports are sketchy but we do know that the body of a Hispanic man was found near a pond all the way to the back in the area - and there were signs that a crocodile had killed him. It happened on a private property called Green Estate. The unidentified man's body was found near a large drain which feeds into the river that runs along the property. Police say he had markings and indentations on his body - but it will be up to the forensic examiner to determine if a crocodile killed him. Police got the call at around 3:00 pm -from someone who heard him screaming. There is also an eyewitness account form a minor who reportedly partially witnessed the croc attack but is too traumatized to speak with police at this time.

2 Students Die, When School Trip Turns Into A Swimming Trip
On Friday we told you about the two high school students from Corozal who drowned on a class trip to Cayo. Fourth former 17 year old Edgar Puck would have been his school's valedictorian - but when he saw his 16 year old classmate Anahi Zepeda get under by the Macal's currents, he had to save her. He couldn't and they both drowned. It is tragedy beyond words for their family and school community, and there is also rage because the students should not have been swimming. Today we went north to San Roman, Corozal find out about a class trip gone terribly wrong: Daniel Ortiz reporting The entire faculty, staff and student body of Escuela Secondaria Technica Mexico joined the families of 17 year-old Edgar Puck and 16 year-old Anahi Zepeda in their continued mourning. Jahmoor Lopez - Representative, Ministry of Education "We continue to mourn. As a school community we ask the nation to keep us in their prayers, to keep the family of these young persons and very promising Corozalenos and Belizeans - to keep them in their prayers and that's what we are asking for. Certainly we are doing an investigation."

Stabbed To Death By A Grown Man; He was Only 17
And our next story is about another teenager's death - but this 17 year old didn't drown; he was killed. Richard Waight Jr., a resident of Hattieville lost his life in a village brawl on Friday. It started out a fight between boys, but things escalated when one of the parties went for an older man to settle the beef, not with conflict resolution, but with a blade. He stabbed two teenagers, leaving one critical and another dead. We visited the grieving family today:... Jules Vasquez reporting Today Richard Waight Sr. thumbed through his son's certificates; Richard Jr had been an exceptional football player - but now all that was gone. Richard Waight Sr. "I found my son dying Jules." Richard Waight Jr. was stabbed in a fight that broke out here on the village basketball court near to the village police station - seen in the background in yellow. An older man stabbed him and a 16 year old friend. The stab was to Waight's chest. He fell on the grass and bled profusely.

Police Recover 3 Guns from the Street; One May Have Been Stolen From The Department
Belize City Police have taken three weapons off the street since Friday. This one - a 38 pistol - was found by Precinct 3 police on Usher Street Saturday. It was concealed under an abandoned pick up truck and carried 6 live rounds. Precinct two police found two guns as well, a 38 pistol and a nine mm pistol. 7News has confirmed from multiple sources that the 9 mm is being investigated as the possible murder weapon in last Thursday's murder on Central American Boulevard where 18 year old Anfernee Romero was killed. A very disturbing twist on this story, is that police are looking at the likelihood that this 9 millimeter pistol was stolen form the police department. The theft, investigators believe was carried out by a police officer who sold the weapon unto the streets. IT could be related to the theft of the trove of weapons from the house of culture, where four 9 mm pistols - and plenty of ammunition were stolen.

Fishermen In South Found With Shark Fin For Guatemala
On Friday March 24th Fisheries and TIDE Rangers had to play sea sleuths with a boat carrying a large amount of salted shark meat and dried shark fins - likely designated for illegal export to Guatemala. First, they had to team up to catch the vessel which tried to escape from the Port Honduras Marine Reserve Rangers. Then after they detained the vessel and its two crew, and were escorting them back to Punta Gorda, they escaped again, this time under the cover of night. The rangers searched all along the coast, but found nothing. It wasn't until the next morning when a good Samaritan called TIDE and reported that two fishermen had requested his assistance in exporting salted marine products to Guatemala. With that, an arrest was finally made on the morning of Saturday March 22nd. The fishermen, Jose A. Chulin of Ranchito in the Corozal District and Lineker Ortega of Temash River in the Toledo District were charged with shark finning, possession of a gill net longer than 100 metres, and attempting to export fish without an exporters license.

More Rosewood Smuggling Revealed
And the resource rich Toledo is also still being stripped of its rosewood. On Sunday our colleagues at PGTV responded to a call that someone was hauling rosewood from the Trio area and taking it to a secret location in Bella Vista Village which is at the northern boundary of Toledo. PGTV followed the info and found all this freshly cut and unstamped Rosewood, about seven thousand board feet stowed away at the PG entrance to Bella Vista village, deposited about half mile off the road. Wil Maheia says he gave the information to the Forest officer at Savannah Forest Station, but today the Chief Forest Officer reports that they only found a single individual in a pickup carrying ten pieces of Rosewood totaling about 160 board feet. That is going to court later this month, but Forestry says that's not the end of it. Chief Forest Officer Sabido tells us via text, quote, "we recognize that there is a lot of rosewood in farms in that area, (which) we are going to systematically start confiscating later this week." Maheia says if they had moved on this haul they could have confiscated it all.

After X Week
13 year old Ishmael Flores is the little boy who was knocked down in a hit and run incident just outside of Burrell Boom Village 6 weeks ago. He was knocked off his bicycle in the Buttercup area on February 23th - while returning from his aunt. After spending a week and a half in a coma at the KHMH, he succumbed to his injuries. Three weeks after his death, and still no one has been arrested and charged. His family believes the police are dragging their feet in the investigation. Octavia Lucario, mother of Earl Flores "From last night I told my gentleman that I am going to Channel 7 to make a report because I am tired of this. The police are pushing us around and we want justice, I am tired of it. Up to this moment we are not hearing anything. They told us that they will give us a call and we are not getting any calls or anything." Monica Bodden "You mentioned to me earlier that blood samples were taken?" Octavia Lucario, mother of Earl Flores "Yes." Monica Bodden "Explain that to us because we understand that a vehicle is at the police station that is supposedly the vehicle that hit your son."

Man In Accident Says They Crashed Into Him
Last week we told you about the head on collision involving two Belizean drivers and two tourists. It happened at mile 3 on the Western Highway where a new pedestrian cross walk has been installed. Well today, one of the drivers told us that the cross walk is what led to the crash where he was the victim. Edmond Carter was driving his Toyota Previa says when a Mazda Protege crashed into him: Edmond Carter, contractor "I reach the pedestrian crossing and I came to a stop and then the gold vehicle, the guy says that his foot got stuck on the accelerator and the brake. What happen is that there was a vehicle in front that had passed and then he came from behind that vehicle and swerve into my lane. Now I am heading up to Belmopan and he was heading to town and the impact from his vehicle spins my van into the direction of Belize City."

Hon. King Says Squatters Need To Move
All last week we showed you those squatters on the area known as Lake Independence Boulevard - which will lead to the new bridge cross from Belama into Lake Independence. There are 6 families and they are playing the sympathy card to the max by begging government to find somewhere to put them. That falls to area representative Mark King. We'd been trying to reach him all last week and he agreed to an interview today. He explained that asking for land in Lake I is asking to get into a long line:... Hon. Mark King "They concur with the government. They moved, we got the contractor to assist them to move whatever - their houses are very small and so we believe we can move them. But at the end of the day they can't force us to just find a piece of land and give it to them. I have to wait for that information to come in to know where there is land and a sub-division is being done. Again if that information comes in and there is no land available then I simply can't give it to them. I would apply for them at the Lands Department just like regular folks that I apply for."

Blue House Bru Haha Leaves One Man Shot
On Saturday morning at 1:55a.m, there was as shooting and stabbing in front of Blue House Bar in Ladyville Village. 47-year-old Dennis Burke from Vista del Mar was stabbed to the right upper chest and was lying on the side of the highway along with 31-year-old Oscar Perez a construction worker of Airport Road, with a gunshot wound. Police say Burke was inside Blue House Bar when he got into a fight with Edwin Perez. They were thrown out, and Perez's brother Oscar intervened and reportedly stabbed Dennis Burke to his chest. Burke then took out his licensed 9 mm Luger brand Pistol and fired one single shot at Oscar Perez which caught him in the Abdomen. Both men were rushed to the BDF hospital, but police say the Blue House Bar and its environs are a source of recurrent problems:.. Supt. Chris Noble, Regional Executive Office "The incidents occurred outside of the establishment. Far and few between is that the incidents occur inside. However inebriated these persons might be or amped up on whatever they do inside there, it spills over into one; a major highway and trying to avoid it we made attempts to communicate this to several agencies to see what they can do. The establishment has limited parking, it is on a major highway, it prolongs into the wee hours of the morning where people would want to get in or out of the city for work purposes. It is a wonder that we have not dealt with the loss of life and hopefully other entities that are involve will see it our way and assist us in looking at it in another way that we don't have loss of life."

Hon. Alamilla Talks About Harvest Caye
Last Wednesday, we told you about scolding 3-page letter which the Belize Tourism Industry Association wrote to NEAC Chair Martin Allegria demanding that the body rescinds its decision to approve NCL's Harvest Caye Project. That 3-page letter outlined what the BTIA believes to be oversight or ignorance of the environmental laws. But, is it being taken seriously? That's what we asked Lisel Alamilla, the Minister in charge of Environment, this weekend at another event, and here's how she responded: Hon. Lisel Alamilla "On Friday the ministry met and reviewed the environmental compliance plan for the Harvest Caye development and so they have gotten clearance from NEAC and we are just now developing the easy peak." Daniel Ortiz

All The Cycling Hopefuls Head For Mount Hope
The Holy Saturday Cross Country classic is only 12 days away - and this weekend, the Belize cycling Association held a crucial warm up event. It's a race from Belize City to the feared Mount Hope and back. 7News followed along and witnessed who could stand up to the test on the road:... The next event is the 86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic.

Wondering About World Health Day?
Today was celebrated as World Health Day under the theme Small Bites, Big threats. Protect yourself and your environment from vector borne diseases. An official ceremony to mark the day in Belize was held this morning at the Lions Club Parking Lot, in Belize City. Dr Peter Allen explained:..

Channel 5

Crocodile kills a man in Lord’s Bank
A crocodile reportedly killed a Lord’s Bank resident this afternoon. Police are processing the scene and not providing details at this time, but sources tell us the grisly death occurred [...]

17 year old stabbed to the chest in Hattieville and dies in his father’s arms
A senseless murder on Friday night has left the Hattieville community in shock and a family grieving the loss of one of their own. The murder victim is a seventeen [...]

Escuela Mexico students who drowned in Macal River are laid to rest
This weekend, two families in the Corozal District laid their loved ones to rest after a tragic accident on Friday. Fifteen year old Anahi Zepeda and sixteen year old Edgar [...]

School and Ministry of Education ask who’s responsible
According to school officials, two students who were on the trip have had to be hospitalized. It is an extremely serious matter, and the parents of Edgar Puck and Anahi [...]

Guatemalan man drowns in the West
A third person lost his life in the west due to drowning. On Sunday afternoon, thirty-three year old Francisco Martin Juan went swimming with his uncle near the Belize Old [...]

Businessman is arraigned for a shooting at a Ladyvillle bar
Less than five hours after the murder in Hattieville, Rural Belize Police officers responded to a shooting incident in front of Blue House Bar on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Ladyville [...]

More than 7000 students sit day-one of the P.S.E.
Primary school students around the country were up bright and early this morning for day-one of the Primary School Examination. More than seven thousand six hundred sat the exam, for [...]

Still no answers in hit & run that claimed the life of 13 year old
The family of thirteen year old Earl Flores Junior continues to reel over his death. The minor was hospitalized since February in a coma after he was injured in a [...]

Fisheries Department in Toledo record a huge bust
A routine patrol in the south has yielded a huge catch of salted shark meat and dried shark fins. The Fisheries Department is just reporting the incident that took place [...]

American national freed of drug charge
In December 2013 American national John Downard, a Director and someone who was living in Belize and going back and forth to the United States was busted at the PGIA in [...]

A case of arson in Santa Elena
There is a case of alleged arson in Santa Elena. Police believe the ex-common-law-husband of Evelyn Estell, is responsible for setting on fire her house located on Carillo Puerto Avenue, [...]

Man, who claims police brutality, charged for assaulting cop
On March thirtieth, twenty-five year old Henry Pleytes reportedly went to get two of his children from his common-law-wife, Jessica Hernandez, whom he claims, had taken them with her to [...]

World Health Day 2014 celebrated
World Health Day is being commemorated universally today.  In Belize City, representatives from the Ministry of Health, as well as the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, formally recognized the day [...]

The latest stats on basketball, football, cycling and billiards
Good evening I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday. We take you immediately top the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Capital City where the Belmopan Bandits played host Verdes FC [...]


The King Promised Land Papers; Will the Squatters Become Homeless?
The situation of the squatters on Holy Emmanuel Street remains unresolved amidst ongoing developments in the area. The Government’s project is threatening the homes of those who have come to call the swampy area their home. Seeing the necessity of having a roof over their heads, the people built their own houses from scratch, cleared the area of huge trees and constructed “London bridges” over the murky swamp waters. But a few months ago, surveyors came around, nailed pegs in the ground near their homes. In a meeting last year, Lake Independence Area Representative, Mark King, told the residents they would be given titles for the land they are on. HON. MARK KING “That land in the Gungulung area; the people there were worried because they thought that we would kick them off but I am happy to tell you that that is not so. What we will do, Mr. Morris is surveying the land and when he is done surveying the land, all I will do is give you the paper; that is what I promised you before the election. Remember when I went and protest my own city council, you called me crazy but I keep my promise to you guys. Now, at the end of the day, all of you who live just across the bridge in Gungulung, you are going to get your land title very soon.”

Fire Consumes Home in Santa Elena
Police in San Ignacio and fire officials are investigating a fire that occurred in the Santa Elena Town, Cayo District just before eleven o’clock last night. Reports indicate that the authorities were called out to Carrillo Puerto Avenue, where they encountered a 2-storey green building engulfed in flames. Preliminary investigations have revealed that naturalized Belizean, Evelyn Estell was asleep in the house when she was awoken by the smell of smoke. Upon making checks, she realised that the house was on fire. The wooden, upper flat of the house was occupied by the owner, 82-year-old, Augustine Martinez while Estell, who was renting, occupied the lower flat of concrete. All items inside the house were destroyed and neither the structure nor its contents were insured.

Crocodile Kills Man in Rural Belize; Police Seeks Identity of Victim
A man is dead tonight after he was attacked by a crocodile in the Green Estate compound, a proposed housing site in the Ladyville area. Up to news time investigators were still processing the scene of the incident but we do understand that just after two o’clock this afternoon, a man, unidentified to us was gathering fish out of a pond in the Lord’s Bank area in the Belize District when the crocodile made its move. Details are not forthcoming as the police was not allowing the media on the scene. We will have the details for you in tomorrow’s newscast. We do know that police are seeking assistance in identifying the victim. The man bears a rose tattoo on his left arm and a peace sign tattoo on his right arm. he is of fair complexion and is about five feet six inches in height; he has a mustache and beard. A blue fishing net and red sack was found in the water.

Construction Worker Found with Firearm and Ammunition
Twenty-six year old Justin Richards, a construction worker of Flamboyant Street, was charged with kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license when he appeared today before the Chief magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Richards pled not guilty to the charges. He was remanded into custody until June 6. The incident occurred on Friday, April 4. The police were on mobile patrol on Central American Boulevard when they saw Richards with a bag in his hand. The police reported that when they stopped Richards and they searched the bag they found a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver with 5 rounds of ammunition in its chambers. As a result, Richards was arrested and charged. The firearm and ammunition were labeled as exhibits.

Arrested and Charged for Hemp Seed
Forty-nine year old John Downard, the director of Vortech, a company investigating the potential of pulverizing hemp seeds, was freed of charges of drug trafficking and importation of cannabis seeds today by Magistrate Leslie Hamilton. Downard, who is a naturalized Belizean originally from the United States, was charged with the offences on December 4, 2013, when he arrived in Belize via Phillip Goldson International Airport and 460 grams of what was perceived as hemp seed with cannabis resin. Downard was charged despite the fact that he declared that they were hemp seeds and they were tested twice and the presence of cannabis resin was negative. Today at the close of the case for the prosecution, Downard’s attorney, Rachel Montejo Juan, submitted that Downard did not have a case to answer to because the prosecution had not proved its case. Magistrate Hamilton upheld the submission and dismissed the charges. The prosecution has given notice that it intends to appeal Magistrate Hamilton’s decision.


Man Shot and Another Stabbed at Notorious Bar in Ladyville
There was nearly a second and possibly third death in as many nights this weekend, this time in Ladyville. According to police, there was an altercation inside the Blue House Bar on the Philip Goldson Highway, a stone’s throw from the police station. One Dennis Burke, 47, apparently got...

House in Santa Elena Goes up in Flames
There was a fire in Santa Elena on Friday night which totally engulfed a house on Carillo Puerto Avenue. Evelyn Estelle was at home sleeping when she was awakened by the smell of smoke and realized that her house was on fire. Augustine Martinez- Fire Victim “One of my...

Edgar Puc Drowns Trying to Save his Friend
On Friday April 4th, we reported on another drowning incident when two High School students lost their lives in the Macal River, in San Ignacio. According to the official police report, at about 3:30 p.m. 4th form High School students were on their way back from a school trip...

Hattiville Youth’s Life Cut Short by Stabbing Incident
He had a promising future as an athlete, but his life was cut short in the blink of an eye on Friday night. 17 year old Richard Waight, Jr., of Hattieville, Belize District, died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after receiving a stab wound to the chest during...


Sunday at the Gorgeous Rojo Lounge on North Ambergris Caye, Belize
The weather on Ambergris Caye continues to be beautiful. Warm (and getting warmer), windy and lots and lots of sun. Apparently, for the past few weeks, the terribly beach-chic Rojo Lounge has been opening on Sundays for a bit of a Sunday fun day celebration. (Rojo is a favorite on all sorts of international best bar lists.) But only this week did I see the announcement… Time to head up there…to just soak in the gloriousness that is the Rojo Lounge. Finn snapped a picture of me soaking it in. Can you imagine better ways to spend a Sunday afternoon? But let me concentrate on my department, food. And a myth that I can now dispel properly. This food is not really expensive. First, it is DELICIOUS. DEEE-Licious. Everything we tried was really really, worth coming back for, good. The prices might look a bit steep but the portions are for 2 or even three people. You get tongs with your dish…it is one to be shared. Not for just one person.

Belizean Beef Soup
In this video, I show you how simple it is to make beef soup Belizean style. The recipe is simple the soup is scrumptious and the beef is tender. This recipe uses very few ingredients and can also be done in the slow cooker.

International Sources

How New York City Embraced the Chocolate Revolution
Chocolate used to be simple to buy. There was chocolate candy, and then there was chocolate to make brownies and other baked goodies. In more recent times, however, chocolate buyers have been inundated with new terms and compound words printed on the labels of this much sought-after sweet. Artisan, single origin, blend, percentage, fair trade, are a few relatively new designations given to chocolate bars found everywhere from supermarket chains to small gourmet shops. One of the newest of these nomenclatures is bean-to-bar, a term and practice easy enough to understand that is inching toward a revolution in the chocolate-making industry and paving its way through American cities, especially New York. Raaka Virgin Chocolate, which makes unroasted (or raw) chocolate bars, is praised for the impact of the raise it gives to the farmers: an effective 20 percent for their beans, far higher than even Fairtrade standards and essentially unprecedented in the industry. Raaka’s co-founder, Ryan Cheney, claims that this premium not only guarantees net monetary gain for the farmers but it also supports local growth and development. One of the farm-towns Raaka buys from, for example, from the Moho River Valley of Belize, has seen a 40 percent increase in school enrollment for children of cacao farmers.

Cayes to the Forest
With its rainforests, unspoilt coastline and eco-retreats, Belize is a must for intrepid travellers with a penchant for luxury, writes Anisha Shah Blessed with virgin beauty, tiny Belize is wedged between Guatemala and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Pristine beaches give way to translucent azure waters that wash over the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Two hours inland, dense rainforests and remote rivers shelter endangered species, many indigenous and unique to Belize, the rich foliage also concealing Mayan ruins. Alongside the astonishing array of marine and jungle life, a laid-back Caribbean vibe completes the allure. Belize has become renowned for its luxury eco-lodges and retreats, and its government has earned praise for designating large swathes of land as protected. Although an influx of visitors means that things are changing fast, eco-conservation remains at the heart of the tourism industry, which is determined to preserve the Belizean soul. And what a soul it is! Distinctly different from its neighbours, Belize is Central America’s sole English-speaking nation, with an ethnically diverse population of Mayans, Mestizos, Mexicans and Afro-Indians alongside immigrants from across the globe, the latter attracted to the relaxed work-life balance of the country’s cayes and atolls that lie just off the coast. Myriad luxury properties are peppered across Belize, offering serious rest and recreation. None are finer than the multiple-award-winning retreats of film director Francis Ford Coppola, a godfather of the country’s hotel industry.


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