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The San Pedro Sun

Police Report
On Saturday, April 12th, Belize City Police Officers responded to reports of a shooting at Mike’s Club on Regent Street West in Belize City. At the scene, police observed 27-year-old Darrington Louriano on the floor, suffering from apparent multiple gunshot wounds. Louriano was immediately rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Initial investigation revealed that Louriano was socializing in the club, when at around 6:40PM a male person entered the establishment and opened fire on him. Medical reports stated that the shots sustained by Louriano were fatal wounds, and medical treatment would not have prevented his death. Police have no suspects as yet, but are searching for possible culprits.

NCL wines & dines the media while frosting the Harvest Caye cake
On Wednesday April 9th the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) hosted a luxury cruise liner tour and luncheon for Belizean media. The tour of the Norwegian Jewel, which was anchored off the shore of the Belize City Cruise Terminal, gave the media the opportunity to learn about the operations and amenities of the massive, 15-story cruise liner.Colin Murphy, Vice President of Destination and Strategic Development at NCL and Vice President of Public Relations AnneMarie Mathews lead the tour, along with BTB’s Cruise Destination Director Valdemar Andrade and Media and PR Manager, Andrea Polanco. The tour of the Norwegian Jewel, a vessel that accommodates 2,376 guests and more than 1,000 crew members, included one of their iconic swimming-pooled promenades, the command bridge, the environment station and recycling center (where photos were not allowed), a plush spa and salon area, fitness center, performance theatre that can accommodate 1,000 people, several restaurants, bars, reception floor, art galleries, shopping and more.

Mayor Daniel Guerrero speaks on issues…from streets to politics
The Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and three of his councilmen were busy on Thursday April 10th inspecting work being conducted on the streets of San Pedro Town. The street work is being carried out by the Ministry of Works with the assistance of The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). Over half-a-million dollars worth of materials is being barged to the island to rehabilitate streets in the DFC, San Juan, Boca del Rio areas and on Northern Ambergris Caye.While speaking about the roads, the Mayor also took the opportunity to address other concerns including his political future.

Misc Belizean Sources

Award-winning Airman supporting New Horizons 2014 medical training
After only four years in service, Staff Sgt. Molly Cox has expanded her medical logistics knowledge as she continues to gain experience in operations all around the world. Cox calls both Scribner, Neb., and Arkansas City, Kan., home, but she has been around the world operating as a medical logistics Airman. Cox has deployed to Iraq and an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, and she is currently deployed in support of New Horizons Belize 2014. New Horizons is an annual event coordinated amongst U.S. Department of Defense service members, the U.S. Embassy and the host nation government to conduct civil engineer and medical training. The training benefits U.S. forces as they are offered an opportunity to practice deployment and joint training procedures.

Multi-national healthcare team to serve Belizeans near Punta Gorda
Belizean and U.S. medical providers will offer a variety of healthcare services to Belizean people April 28 - May 8 in the Punta Gorda region in Belize. Basic services provided will include eye screenings, general medicine, pediatric medicine, dental exams and procedures, as well as pharmacy. "We will be providing adult medical, pediatrics, women's health and minor dentistry during our two-week" medical readiness training exercise, or MEDRETE, said Chief Master Sgt. Tammy Frazier, New Horizons Expeditionary Medical Operations Squadron chief enlisted manager. "In addition, we will have a preventative medicine team comprised of public health and bioenvironmental specialists who will provide education and water sampling." Care will be available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following dates and locations:

Mexican Juan Pablo Magallanes wins Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
Veteran Mexican rider Juan Pablo Magallanes Aranda, 33, is the winner of the 86th annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Classic, outlasting a deep field of local and international talent. Weather conditions favored a fast race, and the record of 2 hours 40 minutes to San Ignacio was bettered from its position in 2009. Magallanes, riding for Benny’s Megabytes, was one of a group of dangerous internationals leading the first half of the race along with David Henderson, Giovanni and Rafael Choto of Belize and Hector Hugo Rangel of Mexico, and he shook them off at Belmopan to run through the hills. He was ultimately reeled in, but not before a group of six foreigners, including Guatemalans and Americans, had dodged a six-pack of Belizeans early on the return journey.

Drowning reported in Stann Creek
There are reports of a drowning in the Stann Creek district. The name of the victim has not yet been ascertained; but reports say that the man is from the village of Bella Vista, situated along the Southern Highway in the Toledo district. drown21 Drowning reported in Stann Creek Reports say that the man, believe to be in his 40’s appeared to be under the influence of alcohol when he was last seen alive. His body was retrieved from the river in Red Bank village around 2 pm today.

Belizean man killed in Guatemala
A Belizean man from Benque Viejo del Carmen was reportedly killed in Guatemala sometime on Good Friday. The victim has been identified as 22 year old Edwin Javier Chan. The body of Chan who worked with Tropic Air at their Maya Flats office just outside of San Ignacio town, was found in what has been described as “an isolated” area and preliminary indications are that it showed gunshot wounds. Chan’s uncle has initiated efforts to return his nephew’s body to Belize for burial. Friends of Edwin Javier Chan recall him being a hard worker who was always helping his mother, until she was visciously murdered back in January of this year.

Cross Country Cycling Classic underway
The 86th edition of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is underway on the George Price Highway. Official ceremonies were held this morning at BTL park, followed by a lead-out to the traditional starting point at Mile 2 on the George Price Highway, still referred to as the old George August meat shop. The race, featuring just under 100 cyclists is now heading to San Ignacio town where it will make a turn around the Columbus Park in front of the police station and then returning to Belize City, ending at the BTL park.

Rotaract at Easter Fair
The Easter Fair is on! The Rotaract Club of San Ignacio will be there, and they are selling their tickets for their Grand Easter Raffle, which will happen later today. Stop by and get your raffle ticket.

86th Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic
The Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic came through Cayo today. Photos: LINK 1 - LINK 2

Sawdust Tapestries in Benque
Benque has been busy during Holy Week. Yesterday, they had the Passion of the Christ re-enactment, as well as the creation of all the sawdust tapestries.

The Reporter

Bananas under threat in the Caribbean
Caribbean banana producing countries have been warned to be on their guard against the introduction of the fusarium wilt disease regarded as the most destructive to the banana industry. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that the disease has already spread from Asia to Africa and the Middle-East, and is now “menacing” the Americas. To raise awareness, the FAO said the issue will be on the agenda of a series of upcoming meetings in Kenya, South Africa, and Trinidad and Tobago, with the aim of addressing a range of issues related to TR4, including developing action plans for its prevention, monitoring and containment.

Mexican wins 86th Cross Country Cycling Classic
Foreign riders dominated the top seven places of the 86th Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic today, with Mexican rider Juan Pablo Magallanes of Benny’s Megabytes Team winning in five hours 45 minutes and three seconds. Magallanes finished second last year to Darnell Barrowr, and this year he outsprinted Guatemalan rider Alejandro Miranda Padilla of the SMART team at the finish line in front of the BTL Park in Belize City. Magallanes won the $6,000 first prize, the winner’s garland of roses from Florasol and no less than eight trophies: from Digicell, the Elston Kerr Cup, the Jeffery O’Brien family, the Altreith Smith family, Ludrick “Buno” Smith Memorial, the Green family of Los Angeles trophy, the Donald Matura family trophy and the Norman Ashford Gillett trophy. He also won a $400 shopping spree at Mirage, a return ticket to the USA from United Airlines, a return ticket from Maya Island Air, a bull from Cuello’s Distillery, a two-night stay at Barrier Reef Lodge and a weekend’s stay for two at Captain Morgan’s Retreat, both in San Pedro Town, $250 from LC Distributors and an MP4 player from Go Wireless.

Nobel Prize-winning author passes
Gabriel García Márquez, the influential Nobel Prize-winning author of “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and “Love in the Time of Cholera,” has died. The 87-year-old literary giant was treated this month for infections and dehydration at a Mexican hospital. García Márquez, a native of Colombia, is widely credited with helping to popularize “magical realism,” a genre “in which the fantastic and the realistic are combined in a richly composed world of imagination,” as the Nobel committee described it upon awarding him the prize for literature in 1982. He was sometimes called the most significant Spanish-language author since Miguel de Cervantes, the 16th-century author of “Don Quixote” and one of the great writers in Western literature.

Belizean pilot murdered in Guatemala
A Belizean pilot was reportedly murdered in neighbouring Guatemala. According to reprts, the pilot, who is originally from Succotz Village, Cayo, was discovered lying face down near a hotel in Melchor de Mencos with gunshot wounds to the head. Belizean and Guatemalan authorities are investigating the murder but police do not believe that the motive was robbery because when his body was discovered, the unnamed pilot still had his personal belongings with him.

Camalote resident stabbed in neck; critical
Belmopan police are looking for a suspect following a stabbing on Good Friday night that left a man critically wounded. According to reports, the incident occurred sometime after 8 p.m. in Roaring Creek Village and the victim, a man identified only as “Parham”, suffered knife wounds to the neck. Parham told police that a man he was able to identify approached him near a Chinese grocery shop and stabbed him. Police have not release any information on this incident and the motive is not yet known.

OECS Export Development Unit works with regional entrepreneurs to promote trade with French Caribbean
The OECS Export Development Unit (EDU) says it is working with regional entrepreneurs to further promote trade with the French Caribbean following a successful fact finding business mission to the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. A statement from the St. Lucia-based OECS Secretariat said that during the mission, representatives of firms from the sub-regional grouping attended seminars, and meetings on discussing trade relations, possible joint ventures as well as meeting with the important stakeholders in the two countries. Citing the on global economic situation, Philbert said he welcomed the initiative as one intended to spur economic activity and employment in the region.


Benque, Belize Decorates the Streets Beautifully For the Passion of The Christ
I travelled to Benque Viejo on Thursday afternoon to take part in what might be the most elaborate Easter celebrations in Belize. The last town along the western highway, just before the Guatemalan border, Benque takes the Good Friday traditions quite seriously. I was up at dawn and here is some of what I saw… Mostly young people were up raking, flattening and wetting the massive amounts of sawdust that were being poured onto the streets. A crowd was gathering and the re-enactment was beginning. It wasn’t until the procession and the stations of the cross that I got a better look.

International Sources

The World's Best Destinations For Solo Travel
Travelling alone is no longer taboo. In fact, it's trendy to go alone out of choice. Celebrated as a way to learn about oneself, more people are discovering the freedom of exploring a new place on their own terms. From the frozen heartlands of Iceland to the sultry beaches of Belize, many destinations are independent traveler-friendly. Community groups, meet-ups and a vast wealth of online and digital resources make it easier than ever to go solo. Paris even has fun speed-dating styled language improvement events. Still undecided? Here are some tips on destinations known to be safe and where to look in each. Happy solo travels!--Anisha Shah Where: Belize The coolest Central American destination right now has to be Belize. Ambergris Caye lives up to the hype, and there are bars, beaches, and natural beauty in huge quantities. Interspersed with Mayan ruins, a spectacular barrier reef, and rainforest, this English-speaking nation appeals to expats and solo travelers alike. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Ambergris Caye Guide

Eight Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Overseas Retirement Destination
We're always asked to compare and contrast overseas retirement destinations. How does Panama compare to Nicaragua or Costa Rica, for instance... what about the mountains of Ecuador versus the mountains of Mexico or how do the beaches of Thailand compare to the beaches of Belize? And of course, we're happy to offer our opinions... but you know what opinions are worth. There's no shortage of those out there. Truthfully, as much as we'd like to, we can't pick the perfect overseas retirement destination for you. Only you know what your lifestyle requirements are. Are you a culture vulture who loves city life? Or do you prefer the wide-open spaces of rural life? Are you comfortable with learning a new language? What about activities like fitness clubs, hair salons and shopping malls? How important are those to you?


Video: Heavenly Belize, 5min.
Over 250 amazing aerial photographs of a beautiful country - Belize - on your iPad and photography book "Heavenly Belize"! Most people who come to Belize will agree that it is a country of astounding and diverse beauty. But few visitors - and most Belizeans for that matter - are fortunate enough to view Belize through the eyes of a soaring hawk or frigate...or a brilliantly plumed scarlet macaw. That's the extraordinary vantage point employed by author/photographer Marius Jovaisa in Heavenly Belize. Using an ultralight aircraft originally designed for National Geographic assignments in Africa, Jovaisa travels the length and breadth of the country, capturing images ranging from towering jungle covered mountains and ancient Mayan cities to the 400 foot deep Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef. Whether you are a first time visitor to Belize, or "born and raised" here, these never before published photographs will give you a deep appreciation of this refreshingly unique nation.

Video: "Golden People" - Belize Documentary Teaser, 5min.
This is a 5 minute teaser for my short documentary, "Golden People". It explores the culture and poverty hidden behind the tourism industry in the country of Belize. This was a submission into the 2014 Seattle University Film Festival.

Video: Belize, 4min.

Video: WhaleShark - Belize, 3min.
Whale Shark Scuba Diving in Belize

Video: Belize Cross Country Cycling Classic 2014 Finish, 2min.
The winner of this years Belize Cross Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic is Juan Pablo Magallanes of Mexico riding for Team Benny's Megabytes. Second Place was won by a Mexican rider for Team Sprint and third place by a rider from Guatemala.

Video: Militairen leren vechten in genadeloze jungle van Belize, 3min.
Zo'n 40 geselecteerde officieren en onderofficieren van het Korps Mariniers en de Luchtmobiele Brigade volgen in november en december 2013 de Jungle Warfare Instructors Course in het Midden-Amerikaanse Belize. Waar normaal gesproken de aandacht vooral uitgaat naar (over)leven in de rimboe, ligt de nadruk dit traject vooral op het vechten in het dichte groen. Daarbij krijgt het overdragen van kennis en ervaring veel aandacht, zodat de nieuwe instructeurs straks tot op geweergroepsniveau les en leiding kunnen geven.

Video: Zip Line in Belize, 3min.