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#492699 - 06/25/14 06:30 AM Today's Belize News: June 25, 2014
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Tigersharks are first NEBL Champions
The San Pedro Tigersharks are the 2014 Champions of the first ever National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) hosted by the Belize Basketball Federation (BBF). The islanders claimed the much coveted title at game three of the finals on Sunday June 22nd at the Rafael Angel Nuñez Auditorium after they faced the Cayo Western Ballaz. The championship win was a rebound after a loss against the country’s western basketball powerhouse on Friday June 20th in San Ignacio, Cayo. The islanders travelled on Friday night for the second of a three-game series, with the hope of sealing the championship. But as destiny would have it, the Ballaz team came out in full force and dominated the entire game. The San Pedro Tigersharks’ mistakes were plenty and the Western Ballaz took advantage of islander’s inability to finish their plays. By the end of the night, it was 74 to 67 in favor of the Ballaz. With that win, the Ballaz forced a game three, which saw the San Pedro Tigersharks having home court advantage.

San Pedro Lobster Fest draws large multitude to the island
On Saturday June 21st, hundreds of residents and visitors flocked to the island’s Central Park for the annual San Pedro Lobster Fest Block Party. A total of 15 booths hosted some of San Pedro’s top restaurants, all offering lobster prepared in a variety of delicious ways. To complement the great food, visitors were also treated to a taste of Belize’s music with a bit of live steel band and punta music. From early in the evening, visitors swarmed the various tents to get their hands on some succulent and sweet crustaceans. There were lobster hotdogs, lobster empanadas, lobster risotto, lobster lettuce wraps, lobster burgers, lobster kebabs, lobster pizzas, lobster enchiladas and even lobster waffles; truly lobster was available every which way. Equally abundant were tropical drinks, even lobster margaritas. While offering an array of lobster dishes to customers, the booths also worked hard to convince a panel of judges who were tasked to select the Best Lobster Dish, the Best Lobster Drink and the Best Lobster Themed Booth. After satisfying their taste buds, the judges selected the following as the winners.

(Not) Working my butt off
It’s been over seven weeks. What I’ve learned: Abs are made in the kitchen, NOT the gym Alcohol has more calories than food. I love food. Alcohol means hangovers. I hate hangovers. Therefore, yup, I’m sticking to food. I’m the one not drinking. Have I become boring? If I have to do one more squat, my butt will turn to rock… Speaking of butts…I’ll tell you a story, but I don’t want you to vilify or believe that the person in the story is a monster. Some people just don’t know better. I’m adopted, and as such, my makeup is different from that of the parents who raised me. My birth mother was a Creole-Garifuna mix, and biological father is a Yucatec Maya. My body type is not typical of the Maya people I grew up around, and as such, I’ve been blessed with quite a bit of booty. I am more prone to pack on muscle, and will never have the tiny waist and slender, long, lean look. I’ve accepted that of myself, and know that I should revel in the fact that I’ve been built for strength, endurance, and will more than likely always be able to haul things twice my body weight if given half the chance. I am what I’m often called on the street: “Strong Gyal”. That’s fine. But to my Maya (adoptive) mother – the woman who raised me? I was such a different breed of person! As I hit puberty, my body morphed into the ‘big butt, broad shouldered, thick-waist” person I’ll be for life. My poor mother saw all my little Maya cousins running around being petite and skinny, and yes, I ran around too, but my legs were muscled, my calves were huge, and my butt…it was huge…

Maya Magic at Marco Gonzalez Site
And so it was on Saturday, June 21st when Maya priest Martin Choc, by invitation of site director Jan Brown and the Board of Directors, held a summer solstice ceremony and blessing of the Marco Gonzalez Maya Site located five miles south of San Pedro Town. Renowned flautist and musician Pablo Collado’s ethereal music captivated the guests as they arrived for the 10AM ceremony. With more than 40 people in attendance, and half as many participating in the ceremony, people from all corners of the earth stood shoulder to shoulder in a circle around an urn of burning incense and the demure, weathered man who spoke in his native tongue of Q’eqchi Mayan. Choc first blessed the area, fanning it with holy water using a palm frond while he walked around the Main Plaza where the ceremony took place. Then, holding candles and enchanted by his words, the circle stood silent, with only the sounds of birds, the burning incense and his blessings to be heard. After the ten-minute ceremony each person was asked to return their flaming candle to the burning incense urn, and the group was told that the vessel must remain there for three days, undisturbed. The ending ritual was punctuated with the soft drumming of Collado.

Public Advisory on Use of Specific Health Products
The Ministry of Health has received a public notification from the Unites States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization, on health products that consumers are advised NOT to purchase. Consumers are advised not to purchase or use the following products that are promoted and sold for weight loss on websites or in retail stores: Dr. Ming’s Chinese Capsule, 7 Days Herbal Slim, Sliming Diet Berry Plus, Asset Extreme, SlimEasy Herbs Capsule and Meizitang Citrus. FDA Laboratory confirms that these products contain Sibutramine, a controlled substance removed from the market for safety reasons in October 2010.

Ambergris Today

Eat More Lobster at San Pedro Lobster Fest
The judges were delighted to savor two new lobster creations never before seen at Lobster Fest; Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Gill impressed with a savory Lobster Chimichanga while Cayo Espanto impressed with Lobster Waffles. The Best Lobster Dish went to Casa Picasso with their Lobster Risotto. And food was not the only thing the judges were sampling throughout the evening. Lobster inspired cocktails were also on the judging table. Pineapples came up with a Luscious Margarita garnished with lobster and olives, Hidden Treasure Restaurant had a sweet Mango Mojito, Cayo Espanto produced Lobsteritas and Casa Picasso had a fresh cucumber martini they called the Rejuvenate. The Best Cocktail award went to Hidden Treasure.

Isla Bonita Elementary School Receives 20 Tablets
The Isla Bonita Elementary School received a kind donation of 20 iPad tablets on Monday, June 23, 2014. The donation was made by an anonymous donor through the Northern Cross Foundation. The school received 20 – 16gb iPad (3rd generation) and they will be put to good use at the school’s computer lab. The tablets will be available for the students in Standard III classes up to Standard VI.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Chris Nuñez received a generous donation from Wolfgang Wind
On Monday, June 23, Mayor Daniel Guerrero and Mr. Chris Nuñez received a generous donation from Wolfgang Wind. The donation included a Stop Sign with LED lights, a Bushnell Speed Screen and a Bushnell Velocity Speed Gun with a tripod. These items will help the San Pedro Transport Department tremendously in controling all speeding vehicles. Thank you Wolfgang Wind!

Summer Art Wave Program
The Summer Art Wave Program kicks off Monday June 30th with the one week program of Corn Husk doll making. This program will focus on women, young and mature, who would like to learn a skill which will generate income. There is still space available; kindly visit the House of Culture to register. All of the Summer Art Wave Programs are free of cost! Courtesy Corozal House of Culture (NICH)

Wildtracks Update
Meet Vicki! She is about 3.5 months old - an endangered Yucatan black howler monkey - but not a very big one! She is the 70th monkey to come into Wildtracks! Support your local Wildtracks Organization!! Courtesy Wildtracks!

Public Advisory on Use of Specific Health Products
Government of Belize Press Office

Dia De San Pedro Calendar of Events
Karaoke Competition: Friday June 27th at the old Football Field

We can't let this go down like that!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez BGYEA and Rod of Correction Are symbols of hope This is what Maurice Bishop tried to do with the Grenadian folks This will put a halt to American imports Then Americans invaded with force Then assassinated him and put in their cohort No wonder Barrow is trying to discredit Nigel’s effort To ensure that his government continues to get endorsed After the formation of ROC The eleven organizations were responsible to send out a press release to that fact Informing the nation they were committed to ROC None except one did that Now their spokesman is under attack You all could have prevented that Now it’s time for you all to take stock

PSE Awards Ceremony
Sacred Heart College will be the hosting the Ministry of Education's PSA awards ceremony for Cayo this Thursday, June 26th, starting at 9:00am. Congratulations to all the brilliant students!

Belize shrimp farms prepare for certification
Members of the Belize Shrimp Growers' Association are preparing for Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) assessment, thanks to funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH). The Association expects eight farms, representing 89% of shrimp farms and more than 95% of total farmed shrimp production in Belize, to enter assessment against the ASC Shrimp Standard later this year. The Belize Shrimp Growers Association has been working with Mauricio Mejia, WWF Mesoamerican Reef program officer for aquaculture, to help the farms develop better management practices and reduce their environmental impact. “Since 2007 the farms have been reducing their environmental impacts. There is still more to be done but they are on their way to be ready to enter assessment against the ASC standard,” said Mr Mejia. “For me the certification of eight shrimp farms means the sustainability of the Mesoamerican reef – it will be a massive achievement and an example for other countries and industry.”

Office of the Prime Minister Addresses Belize Bar Association on Justice Awich
The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) has noted with concern the continued attacks by some lawyers on Justice of Appeal Mr. Samuel Awich. These attacks, using the Belize Bar Association Resolution as their springboard, are contemptuous and contemptible. They seek to scandalize the Belize Court of Appeal by alleging bias on the part of a member of that court, and may well be actionable by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Belize Audubon Society Summer Camps
The BAS is having a few different Summer camps this season. They have a 'Jungle and Cave Adventure Camp,' a 'Nature Photography Camp,' a 'Birds of a Feather Flock Together Camp,' and other great adventures.

Cornerstone's New Facility
The Cornerstone Foundation started using their new facility this week. Looks great, and the kids on the feeding program sure appreciate it. Thanks, Cornerstone, and congratulations! "Day 1 at the new facility for the children in the Cornerstone Feeding program."

Channel 7

Small Protest by Anti-LBGT Crowd as New US Ambassador Is Sworn In
The new US Ambassador designate Carlos Moreno arrived in Belize on Saturday morning. After a few days of settling in - he presented his credentials to the Governor General at 10:00 this morning in Belmopan. It's usually a routine event - and for the media , a near non event that typically gets relegated to the end of the news. But not this one. Tonight it's a headline because Ambassador Moreno became the first Ambassador ever to face a protests while he presented his credentials. Now, we're careful to say that the protest was very small and the man leading it is known to….how to put it nicely? "Tilt at windmills"? But Patrick Menzies made it a first today as he chanted down the new ambassador. 7News was in Belmopan:..

Cross Border Custody Battle: 6 Year Old Guate Student Abducted From Benque School
Where is Germayoni Letran? The 6 year old Guatemalan was abducted from the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School in Benque Viejo Town this morning - and no one has seen her since. It's a complicated situation because the crime was committed in Belize - but the suspect is her Guatemalan aunt, and the complainant is her Guatemalan father, and the child is believed to be somewhere in Guatemalan. All of them live in Melchor - expect the child's Guatemalan mother; she lives in Los Angeles - and does not have custody of the child. Benque police believe she set up her sister to go and abduct the child at school this morning - we spoke to the OC via telephone:.. ASP Dinsdale Thompson, O.C. - Benque Viejo Police "The young lady who came to the Adventist school here in Benque Viejo and took the child away is relative to the mom who is in the US at this present moment. What we have found out so far that it is a family dispute and so it's a dispute between the mom and the dad over the custody of the child and that's why the mom we believe orchestrated the abduction of the child. Wherever the child is or who have the child, what we are looking at is the possibility that the child was taken back into Guatemala - that, we are still following up. We do not have any connected evidence on that. We are looking at the personal safety of the child and return of the child so that the child can get on with her education and the mom and dad settle their issue whatever it is. At the moment it is a violation that have occurred on the soil of Belize, so that's what we are looking at as well."

DPP Wants Drug Plane Lawmen Re-Tried
In December of 2012, Justice Denis Hanomansingh acquitted the 5 lawmen who were accused of landing a drug plane on the Southern Highway. Now, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, is seeking to appeal that acquittal; she wants them re-tried. The plane was loaded with almost three thousand kilos of cocaine - but got stuck on the highway when one of its wings got damaged during the improvised landing. The twin Engine Beechcraft King Air 200 landed in the Bladden area of the Southern Highway. 5 lawmen Police Corporal Renel Grant, Corporal Nelson Middleton, Sergeant Lawrence Humes, Customs Boatman Harold Usher, Sergeant Jacinto Roches, and civilian Victor Logan were all charged of abetment to commit a crime. The accusation was that they facilitated the landing of the plane.

McKenzie Jr Charged; Victim's Family Say They Had Nothing to Do With It
Before we went to break, we told you about George McKenzie Jr being arraigned today for the attempted murder of 22 year old Paul Alvarez - which happened in November of last year. Last night you heard the outrage from McKenzie's mother, tonight you'll hear the other side of the story from Alvarez's mother. Dorita Puerto- came by our studios today and told us that her son wanted no charges to be laid against McKenzie nor did he know anything about McKenzie's arrest until last night. Puerto said it was all police work that led to the 19 year old's arrest and it had nothing to do with her son. Dorita Puerto, mother of Paul Alvarez "I just came to give a brief statement concerning the situation of the young man George McKenzie that got arrested and charged for my son Paul Alvarez, because according to the police he is the one that shot my son on November 15th last year and the situation is that his mom got on TV on the news and talk a lot of stuff that is not real because she says that nobody from "jungle" likes her son and the police and "jungle" people harassed her son and stuff like that. Well on behalf of the police I don't know. But on behalf of us, nobody from "jungle" have no problem with anybody.

Office Of The PM To Awich's Defence
We've told you all about the various attacks on Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich. The bar took out a resolution against his re-appointment, the former Prime Minister brought it up in the house, and more recently Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck wrote a lengthy article in the weekend papers questioning whether Awich's re-appointment unde3mrines the integrity of the Court of Appeal. Well, the Prime Minister's Office struck back today with a strongly worded release. It refers to, quote, "continued attacks" which are, quote, "contemptuous and contemptible." It says these attacks, quote, "seek to scandalize the…Court of Appeal…and may well be actionable by the Director of Public Prosecutions." The release says, quote, "the campaign is being led by persons with obvious interests to serve, namely Bar President Eamon Courtenay, Jacqueline Marshalleck and her husband Andrew Marshalleck."

Man Falls From Lamp-Post While Trying To Get Electricity
Today a post mortem was conducted on the body of Ernest Conorquie - a man in his 30's who fell from a lamppost on Sunday night and died. The post mortem will determine whether he was electrocuted or if he died from the fall. It happened on Rivero street near the junction with Kraal Road in the Port Loyola Area of Belize City. And why was he on that lamp-post? Well, he was trying to steal electricity for his home which had reportedly been without power for some time. It's highly dangerous, and also illegal but stealing power from a variety of sources is a way of life for many on Belize City's southside. His family denied requests for an interview today - but friends told us he was a working man who was trying to provide for his family.

Another Will Be Charged For Townsend Murder
Adventist Missionary Brian Townsend was killed in Belize in December of 2013, and since then two of the three men believed to have killed him, brothers Marlon and Rualito Balona have turned up dead. The third man who was believed to have been involved is in prison - for a fine he didn't pay. But now Belmopan police have gotten a breakthrough in the case - which they say will enable them to charge him for murder:.. Supt. Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding, Belmopan Police "Just yesterday we got new information in the form of statements, and those statements today will be sent to the D.P.P.'s office for advice. Following that advice from the D.P.P. we will move on from there. We are very hopeful, and like I said before, any loss of

Capital Cops Recover Weapon From Burglary
In other news from Belmopan police - they have recovered two guns stolen from a restaurant in Ontario Village. The officer commanding told us how they found the guns hidden in the bushes:.. Supt. Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding, Belmopan Police "On Sunday shortly after midnight we received information that Trey's Bar and Grill owned by John Robertson of Ontario Village had been broken into. The police responded, a quick response team as well as our patrol officers, we process the scene and there are a number of finger prints found on the scene. Based on that one Freddy Sosa Jr. was brought into custody. There were 3 firearms that went missing during the burglary; a 12 gauge shotgun, a pellet gun and a 9mm pistol. On Sunday morning very early a team was put together and about two and a half miles behind Ontario Village both the shotgun and the pellet guns were found. We are still investigating the possibility of recovering the 9mm pistol. They were hidden in the bushes, but good police work led us to the exact location where they were hidden. We believe its a crime of opportunity, he had a relative working for Mr. Robertson and we believe that he use that opportunity to gain entry into the house."

Vanessa Champagne Was Robbed; Robber Shot By Police
Vanessa Champagne Paris - she's become a national figure, the first transgender person to be thrust into the public spotlight. But, the news tonight is that she continues to be the victim of crime. This one went un-reported but on June 10th she was robbed in Belmopan. It happened right on the walkway through the center of the capital where Vanessa was walking late at night. Luckily police have been deployed to the crime hotspot and responded immediately: Supt. Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding, Belmopan Police "On the 10th of June at around 10:20pm Vanessa Champagne Paris reported that he was walking on the sidewalk near ambergris Avenue when he was accosted by four male persons who took away his Iphone valued at five hundred dollars. Police responded immediately and a suspect was found to be in a tree along the sidewalk. He was ordered to come down and during the process he placed his hand in a black bag that he had with him on the tree. Police fired one shot which caught him on the right hand. Nobody was ever charged for it because the complainant did not request any further Police action into the matter." Jules Vasquez "Are you concerned that with the suspect already perched himself on a tree…that lethal force was still used?"

Americans Help With Forensic Education
Often in this newscast, we show you different crime scenes, and the technicians from the National Forensic Science Service doing their jobs. They're usually the ones retrieving expended bullet shells, putting down evidence markers, and taking photographs. All of these items are usually tendered as evidence which criminal prosecutors rely on to build their cases. It's a process that is central to criminal prosecutions, but often training is inadequate. But now, the US Embassy is facilitating long term training which will bring them up to standards used in the American Police Departments. We got a chance to meet the trainer Hayden Baldwin. He told us about 10 month course that the personnel at the Forensics Science Service will undergo: Hayden Baldwin, Scenes of Crime Trainer "Scenes of crimes technician is going to received a level of training above what they currently have and that level will take them to international standards. In order to accomplish that, that will take about 1 year of training. I will be here for 2 weeks each month for the next year to go through a very intense and long training that is going to challenge them to make sure that they are the forensics experts that they will become. We are looking at photography, latent work, latent meaning the fingerprints, palm prints, shoe impressions, going into impression evidence which is shoe prints, tire tracks, bite marks, tool marks then into biological and trace evidence where they will be able to use forensics light sources to look for bodily fluids at the crime scenes.

US Ambassador Proposes A Refocusing Of US Assistance In Belize
And while we're used to the US Government assisting with security initiatives, the new Ambassador says he'd like to tweak that focus slightly. Today, he discussed his interest in education and the arts and how that shapes his approach to crime:.. H.E. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador to Belize "But I also think there has to be kind of a refocusing of the types of assistance. Both my wife and I are very interested in education, particularly of the arts. Belize itself has a rich cultural history in art and music. In fact I was talking to the Governor-General about this. He has a very fine and deep enduring passion for music. Without disclosing the contents of that discussion, we agree that cultural assistance particularly directed towards youth, getting at the root of the problem with respect to citizen security and so forth. I think that one of my recommendations in my capacity as Ambassador here will be to channel resources in the direction of non-military assistance but to take the form of assistance in terms of educating youth in particular, steering them away from gang violence and drug use and so forth."

Menzies Still Occupying
One week ago Patrick Menzies started his "Occupy Belmopan" event - and one week later, it's still going. But today he took a break to protest against the new US Ambassador - and then went right back to the foot of the Assembly Stairs to resume his occupation. Today, he repeated that he will stay there until the gender policy is withdrawn. Patrick Menzies "The movement is this; we're here Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday having services and teaching and preaching and praising God. And on Monday and Sunday…every other day we're there passing out flyers. And it's been working. We have a lot of people, English speaking and other people coming out there now and saying you know what, we didn't know what you guys were doing so thank you very much. My victory will come when Belizeans stand up for their nation. Belizeans out there stop being cowards. Cowardice is of the devil, it's not of God and if you are scared for them to take your job right now they will be trampling upon your sons and their kids. You must sacrifice now for further generations." Jules Vasquez "These people don't join you because you are extreme. Not even your own church brethren join you because you are too far out there brother."

Re-thinking Trade
In March, we showed you the latest figures from the Statistical Institute of Belize which showed Belize's growing trade imbalance. That imbalance has been a focus of the Government and for the past few months, different public officials who work in all the different aspects of trade have been participating an a training workshop funded by the European Union. The goal is to create a trade negotiating team which will be able to represent Belize in the different neighboring countries in an effort to open up export markets. Today was the final session, and the media was invited to see the new members of the trade negotiating team in action. We stopped by and spoke with the Director about the importance of these officials:

A-1 On Aids
The trade workshop was held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel and in the room next door the National AIDS Commission was making a presentation to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, & Malaria. The Commission is trying to secure grant funding to continue its work. The Fund Portfolio Manager for the Global Fund told us today that the organization is impressed with the country's performance to earn an "A1" Rating: Matthew MacGregor, Fund Portfolio Manager - Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria "I'm here today in Belize to support the National AIDS Commission and the CCM (country coordinating mechanism) which are two bodies that work closely with the global fund to access funding for HIV and tuberculosis here in Belize." "Today we are working through the focus areas that that funding will support alongside the National AIDS Commission and the Ministry of Health from the Belize government." Geovannie Brackett, reporter "Being one of the largest funders as it relates to those issue here in the country particularly AIDS, could you give us like a sum of what the last sum that your organization have donated to the country of Belize."

UK Guardian: Belize City Fourth In Homicide
In April, we told you about the United Nations Global Study on Homicide from which showed that based on 2012 figures Belize had the third highest homicide rate in the world. That wasn't new, but what was, was the murder rate for Belize City. It stood at 105.1 per hundred thousand - more than two and a half times the already bad national average for 2012. Today an article in the UK Guardian put it in perspective. It listed Belize city murder rate - this time based on on 2011 figures at 4th highest in the world, followed by Guatemala City, Caracas Venezuela and Basseterre, Saint Kitts.

Channel 5

Government threatens the president of the bar and two former presidents
  Government threatens the president of the bar and two former presidents. Prime Minister Dean Barrow is in Dominican Republic for a SICA summit, but just after six this evening, [...]

U.S. Ambassador is greeted with a protest
US Ambassador designate Carlos Moreno arrived in Belize on Saturday morning to take over from his predecessor, Vinai Thummalapally. The retired California Supreme Court Justice turned diplomat made it official [...]

US Ambassador presents credentials to the GG
The media was not allowed on the grounds of Belize House this morning, but we were invited to the US Embassy parking lot for an impromptu, very brief word from [...]

Ambassador Carlos Moreno says he ain’t pushing the gay agenda
Ambassador Moreno could not help but notice the welcome he received outside the residence of the Governor-General. To our knowledge he is the first arriving US Ambassador to ever been [...]

6 year old Guatemalan student is kidnapped in Benque
Benque Police are tonight investigating a report of the kidnapping of a six year old Guatemalan girl in Belize. Germayoni Asucena Cancinos Letran commutes daily from her home in Melchor [...]

6 men go before the Court of Appeal for drug plane in the south
In November of 2010, a plane famously landed on the Southern Highway, and nearby authorities found over twenty-nine thousand kilos of suspected cocaine with a street value of close to [...]

Victim of brutality says it was orchestrated by the police top brass
The violent assault of Ernesto Chan last Thursday in San Ignacio by a pair of officers is the fourth reported incident of police brutality within that jurisdiction of late.  On [...]

Transgender woman, Vanessa Champagne Paris, is robbed
In April, a transgender woman named Vanessa Champagne Paris was badly beaten as she walked on Vernon Street in Belize City. She claimed that she was targeted because of her [...]

Pretrial date set for case of Pickwoad land claim
The Pickwoad family, along with attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, was back in court today, where a land dispute involving a parcel situated at the corners of Chetumal Street and Albert Hoy [...]

George McKenzie Junior faces a slew of charges
  A few months ago, nineteen year-old George “Junie Balls” McKenzie was accused of pulling the trigger on a man who was shot on Victoria Street. But just when he [...]

Christian Workers Union is back in the fold of the N.T.U.C.B.
The Christian Workers Union has been accepted back into the fold of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize after being booted out of the umbrella organization, following a failed [...]

CWU president says collective bargaining agreement for stevedores still up in the air
In mid-August of last year during the apparent implosion of the union, negotiations for a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Port of Belize Limited on behalf of the stevedores came [...]

Occupy Belmopan – organization determined to stand strong
On June seventeenth, the organization called the Alliance of Ministers and Leaders of Belize took to the steps of the National Assembly in an initiative called Occupy Belmopan. Since then [...]

Ambassador Carlos Moreno to refocus US assistance in Belize
In recent months Belize’s military branches have benefitted from millions of dollars in equipment, infrastructure and training, courtesy of the US. Those donations are a part of a larger regional [...]

Police look to charge a Benque resident for murder of Canadian national
Canadian Brian Townsend was murdered at Christmas in the Valley of Peace community in the Cayo District. It was a sensational crime, more so because within a matter of weeks [...]

Money changer shot in Corozal
A money changer from San Joaquin, Corozal, narrowly escaped death today when he was targeted shortly after five this morning. Forty-seven-year-old Martin Guerra was shot after he left his brother’s [...]

Scenes of Crime technicians get forensic training
Scenes of Crime technicians and personnel of the Belize Police Department are being trained to meet international standards in forensics. Today, the Belize National Forensic Science Service Department and the [...]

2-year program to bolster foreign trade concludes
With a widening trade imbalance, Belize has been attempting to close the gap. To this end, a two-year program to bolster foreign trade concluded today. The project, funded by the [...]

The debut of “If You Can Sing It, Bring It!”
The wait for Channel Five’s exciting new entertainment show is over. At nine o’clock, the recorded auditions of If You Can Sing, Bring It will premiere right here on this [...]


Belize And Mexico Bilateral Transport Authority Agreement Signed
Last week we reported on the meeting where Director of the Federal Motor Carrier, SCT, Federico Dominguez, met with Belizean government officials to agree on safety rules to be followed by trucks as well as buses and tourism buses that cross the Belize Mexico Border. Heading the Belize delegation was Minister of State Edmund Castro, also present was Honorary Consul of Belize in Chetumal Lic. Jorge Valencia. In that meeting several issues where discussed including one that will benefit Belizeans travelling in the Mexican territory and are involved in minor traffic mishaps. Lic. Jorge Valencia - Honorary Consul of Belize in Chetumal “We have been working in conjunction with the state and the municipal police in which we have already made an agreement with them that when a Belizean comes in and gets into an accident or violates a traffic regulation they will be issued a courtesy ticket, they won’t be fined, they will be issued a courtesy ticket and they will be explain to them the rule that they broke and how the transport regulation is in Chetumal, and this is not only for the City of Chetumal but for the whole state of Quintana Roo, we did that from last year and for Easter they put it into operation and we didn’t had any problems with Belizeans when they came in there.”

Wilbert Carcamo Apprehended By Corozal Police
Wilbert Carcamo, the man we told you about last night accused of attacking 24 year old Andrew Lopez and his wife, is tonight behind bars. Carcamo, who was wanted by Corozal Police for dangerous harm, was apprehended yesterday evening in the Village of Libertad He was arraigned in court this morning where he pleaded not guilty to one count of dangerous harm and aggravated assault. He was offered bail of $5000.00 or two sign bails of $2500.00 each. As mentioned last night, Carcamo is said to have attacked Lopez and his wife as they walked along the main road in Libertad Village on Sunday night.

Money Exchanger Escapes His Death As He Was Shot While Heading To The Border
A money exchanger from the village of San Joaquin in the Corozal District is lucky to be alive tonight after he was attacked by two masked individuals while in the Santa Rita Area of Corozal. Around 5:45 this morning, Martin Guerra was on his way to the Northern Border after making a short stop at his brother’s house. Guerra reported to police that upon reaching the intersection of the Santa Rita Road with the Philip Goldson Highway two masked men came out of the bushes and fired a single shot in his direction. Luckily the bullet missed its target. Andrew Ramirez - OC Corozal Town “A male person has been injured and he has been identified as Martin Guerra. Our initial investigation reveals that Mr. Guerra was a pesero, had visited his brother sometime about 5:45 am and left en route to the border so coming out of the road where his brother live he had to stop at a “T” and he had to make a right turn toward the Phillip Goldson Highway, upon making that right turn towards the Phillip Goldson Highway he saw a male person, wrapping over his face, Hispanic who fired a shot towards his vehicle, the gun that was used to his description was like shot gun.”

P.M Heads Out To Dominican Republic For SICA Summit
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow is tonight out of the country as he traveled to the Dominican Republic for the handing over of the SICA Presidency to Belize for the six-month period commencing July 1st, 2014.

66 Public Servants Honoured For Public Service Day
Over the last months, Public Service information day was held in each district and members of each department set up booths to educate the public on the work they perform and the services offered. Minister of Public Service Charles Gibson has said that the occasion serves to help the government employees learn more about what the customer needs and is looking for and how they can improve on their service delivery. Today, June 23rd, is national Public Service Day. The United Nations’ Public Service Day is held on June 23rd each year as well and the event serves to recognize that democracy and successful governance are built on the foundation of a competent civil service.

Conch Will Be Off Season July First
Attention conch ceviche lovers, conch will be out off season effectively July first. Anyone caught handling the sea food will be liable to prosecution under the laws of Belize says the Belize Fisheries Department. The department issued a release alerting the public on the closing day stressing that failure to comply with the closed season will result in prosecution in court under Regulation 3 (1) (b) of the Fisheries Regulations, Chapter 210 of the Subsidiary Laws of Belize Revised edition 2003. Anyone knowing of illegal conch harvesting is urged to call the department at 224-4552 / 203-2623 to make a report.

US Group Visits Belize To Learn About Women Issues And Other Cultures
A group of women educators are in Belize from the US and will be travelling across the country in an effort of learning more from our culture and people. The group arrived in Belize on Sunday and has been to San Ignacio and today visited with Mrs. Ofelia Novelo, founder of Mujeres Ayudando a Mujeres a Superarse, MAMAS in Orange Walk Town. The women are led in part by Annice Allen who told us more about their visit. Annice Allen “We are here as a part of the full braid haze group project abroad and it is funded by the United States Department of Education and we are here in an effort to further develop our curriculums each member of the group, we are developing our curriculums so a part of what we are doing is trying to expose educators to other cultures and we have chosen Belize as a place to immerse ourselves into the culture so that when we go back to the United States we can teach our students more broadly about the world. The Belizean culture provided us for an avenue to really look at women issue which is our major focus is on women’s issues. As you know the world is getting smaller and we heard a lot about globalization and global education so part of what we want to do is to take our children and not let them see and to help them see beyond the US and there are other people’s in the world and that they have a different understanding about the world or maybe a similar understanding but they use different tools that is available in your environment and so our way of life is not the only way of life there is.”


George McKenzie Jr. Faces Attempted Murder Charge
George McKenzie Junior was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. No plea was taken because the offence is indictable. Mckenzie was remanded into custody until August 14. The charge is in relation to a shooting incident that occurred about eight months ago. The victim, Paul Alvarez Jr, was shot in his neck while he was in Jenny Shop, located at the corner of Victoria Street and Lovely Lane.

Taxi Man Faces Eviction, Police Brutality and Marital Problems, Claiming Wife Is Intimate with Senior Policeman
The Public Standards Branch of the Belize Police Department has launched an investigation into the complaint against two police officers attached to the San Ignacio Police Station after an incident occurred in that municipality that left both Sergeant Octaviano Victorin and the complainant, a taxi driver, 39-year-old, Ernesto Chan bearing injuries as a result of a scuffle that occurred last Thursday night, June 19. Chan made his rounds to several media houses yesterday in an effort to sensitize the public on the alleged abuse of power being displayed by some officers from that station, particularly towards him. Yesterday, during our investigation of the story, Love News managed to talk to one of the accused officers, Sergeant Victorin, who gave us his version of what transpired, saying that Chan initiated the aggression against him.

Authorities Desperately Seek Baby Germayoni
An infant one student remains missing up to news time after she was reportedly abducted from her school in Benque Viejo del Carmen, Cayo District. Love News spoke to the Officer in Charge of Benque Viejo, Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, who gave us an update of the on-going search for 6-year-old, Germayoni Asucena Cancinos Letran. SUPERINTENDENT DINSDALE THOMPSON “Sometime around 8:30/9am this morning, a male Guatemalan national entered the police station and reported that her daughter, Germayoni Asucena Cancinos Letran, a six year old Guatemalan child who is attending Seventh Day Adventist Primary School here in Benque Viejo Town had been abducted by the little girl’s mom cousin, a female as well and he was unable to find her. What we did was interview him and other individuals along with students as well who did confirm his report that yes, baby Letran was abducted by a Guatemalan female individual who we are at this moment looking for. We do believe that she was taken back into Guatemala; we have not confirmed that; we still have not found her at this moment as yet.

Case of Compressed Cocaine, Police and Customs Officers Makes it To Court of Appeals
Five police officers accused of having part in the landing and offloading a drug plane on November 13, 2010 were acquitted by Justice Denis Hanomansingh in December of 2012. The men accused are Corporal Renel Grant, Corporal Nelson Middleton, Sergeant Lawrence Humes, Customs Boatman Harold Usher, Sergeant Jacinto Roches, and civilian Victor Logan who were all charged with abetment to commit a crime. However, the Director of Public Prosecution, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, is seeking to appeal that acquittal and this afternoon the Court of Appeal heard her arguments. Vidal told the court that the trail judge made an error when he found that the evidence submitted was not enough. In court today the men were represented by attorneys Hubert Elrington, Anthony Sylvestre, and Simeon Sampson. Sylvestre objected to the application for leave to appeal stating the Vidal did not file her applications before the required time of 21 days from the date of the decision. Arguments ended late this evening and will continue on Friday. Viewers may recall that on November 13, 2010, a twin Engine Beechcraft King Air 200 landed in the Bladden Area of the Southern Highway. Inside the plane were thousands of pounds of compressed cocaine and the men are being accused of assisting in landing the plane.

Christian Workers Reunites with NTUCB
In October of last year, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize expelled the Christian Workers Union but tonight but parties are reunited. A release from the NTUCB states that the CWU has been reinstated as a member of the NTUCB. The CWU was ejected as a member of the Umbrella Union after the union did not meet its financial obligations to the NTUCB. Key members of the union ventilated their anger at the past President, Antonio Gonzalez and Secretary James McFoy who were blamed for the terrible financial status of the Union back then. After pressure from its members Gonzalez and McFoy did not seek reelection and in December of 2013, after the CWU conducted free, fair and transparent elections, securing a governance structure aligned to its constitution, the NTUCB has been working with the CWU to restore the union to its rightful place under the Congress’ umbrella. The CWU’s new president is Attorney Audrey Matura Shepherd. A release from the NTUCB states that the CWU has been reinstated with all entitlements, in accordance with the terms and conditions outlined in their constitution.

Forensics Training: Pass or Leave the Unit
Today marked the start of a one year skills training for Belize’s Scene of Crime Technicians. The training is being facilitated by the National Forensic Science Service Department and the US Embassy trough the expertise of Advisor, Hayden B. Baldwin who is the Executive Director of the International Crime Scene Investigators Association. The crime scenes technicians at the National Forensic Science Service will also be using high quality tools for them to do their work effectively and efficiently. We were at the ceremonies this morning and here is what Baldwin and the Executive Director of the National Forensic Science Service, David Henderson, had to say about the initiative. HAYDEN B. BALDWIN “Scenes of crime technicians are going to receive a level of training above what they currently have and that level will take them to international standards. In order to accomplish that it will take about one year of training. I will be here for two weeks each month for the next year to go to a very intense and long training that is going to challenge them to make sure that they are the forensic experts that they will become. It is the same standard of evidence as basic is that we’re still looking at photography, latent work meaning fingerprints, palm prints, shoe impressions, going into impression evidence which is shoe prints, tire tracks, bite marks, tool marks then into biological and trace evidence where they’ll be able to use forensic light sources to look for bodily fluid at the crime scenes. Trace evidence that can be recovered and taken to the forensic laboratory for analysis and then into changing the way that they write their reports, make crime scene sketches and the reading of the crime scene, also part of that is the interpretation of the crime scene. They’ll be using equipment that they do not currently have, the equipment will hopefully be purchased in the future so they will have it to use after the training is completed and it’s the same type of equipment they currently have it’s just more professional models of it.”

Re-acquisition Case Heads to The Caribbean Court of Justice
In the Court of Appeals today was Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay on behalf of Fortis and other interested parties who are seeking to appeal the decision of the Court of Appeal in regards to the second acquisition of Belize Electricity Limited and Belize Telemedia Limited. Courtenay formally requested to take the matter to the Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellate court. The request was granted. The appeal came after a decision from the Court of Appeals was handed down on May 15, 2014 in a 300-page document setting aside the Supreme Court’s ruling that stated that the re-acquisition of both utility companies was unlawful,null and void. The case was that of the Attorney General and Minister of Public Utilities against BTL Employees’ Trust, Fortis Energy and British Caribbean Bank. It was a majority decision by the Court of Appeal, consisting of President Justice Manuel Sosa and Justice Samuel Awich.

Health Ministry Says Beware of Diet and Sexual Enhancement Drugs
A from the Ministry of Health is advising consumers not to purchase specific products being advertised as weight loss supplements over the internet. The advice came from the Unites States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization. The products on the black list include Dr. Ming’s Chinese Capsule, 7 Days Herbal Slim, Sliming Diet Berry Plus, Asset Extreme, Slim Easy Herbs Capsule and Meizitang Citrus. According to the FDA, the products contain Sibutramine, (SI-BU-TRA-MIN) a controlled substance removed from the market in October 2010 due to the risk of serious cardiovascular events and strokes. Belizeans are also being advised not to purchase the following sexual enhancement products: CONTROL All Natural Sexual Enhancement and Best Whips.

Ambassador Moreno Says There is No LGBT Agenda
The ambassador of the United States Carlos Moreno presented his credentials to Governor General Sir Colville Young this morning after having arrived in the country on Sunday morning. But his arrival was not warmly welcomed by a five protestors lead by Belize Can’s Patrick Menzies. A few of them protested the post of Moreno and Menzies told us why. PATRICK MENZIES We oppose the fact that he was the only judge that went against PROP 8 in favor of families in California and was selected by Obama just like he did to the Dominican Republic by sending them a homosexual ambassador. We now have one that supports the LGBT agenda and mentioned, I read in the news where he mentioned that he is going to, basically my summary of it, teach us how to obey international law. My word to Obama and Mr. Moreno is to keep your abomination in Obama’s new nation and White House; this is not ‘Obamanation’; this is Belize, we have a constitution and we reject Obama, Moreno or anyone else that comes here and try to tell us to change our constitution or change our laws to fit Obama’s trash. Africa has been very clear, they don’t accept the trash. We are Belize, we are not the fifty second or fifty third state of Obama, We are Belize and we should be respected as a sovereign nation and that’s why you are out there.”

#492700 - 06/25/14 06:31 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 25, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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US Ambassador Presents Credentials to Governor General Amidst Protests
It is official. Retired U.S. judge Carlos Moreno, after giving his credentials to the Governor General of Belize His Excellency Sir Colville Young at the Belize House in Belmopan, was sworn in as the new U.S. Ambassador to Belize. But not everyone was happy.  A handful of people lead...

Ministry of Health Advisory on Specific Health Products
The Ministry of Health says it has received a public notification from the Unites States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), through the International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization, on health products that consumers are advised NOT to purchase. Consumers are advised not to purchase or use the...

Early Morning Shooting in Corozal
There was a shooting incident in Corozal early this morning. 47 year old Martin Guerra, a Belizean money changer of San Joaquin Village reported that sometime around 5:30 this morning,  he had visited his brother in Santa Rita Area. He was driving his blue dodge Caravan towards the Philip...

Guns Stolen from a Bar
A bar in Ontario Village, Cayo was broken into over the weekend. Stolen  from the establishment were three fire arms. According to police, based on finger print matches, one person, a relative of an employee at the bar, was detained and charged for burglary and kept unlicensed firearm and...

NTUCB Welcomes Back CWU Into its Fold
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize has announced that the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU)  has been re admitted into the fold of the Congress family. CWU was kicked out of the NTUCB October of last year after CWU failed to carry out elections in a timely manner. But...

Accused Con-man Brought to Court
Police believe they have the man who is alleged to have gone on a spree of deception in Belize City, targeting older persons by posing as a bill collector for Belize Electricity Limited, among other things. On Monday, 49 year old Curl Gordon, also known as “Doggy”, a laborer...

Townsend Murder Still Under Investigation 6 Months Later
The very tragic murders of Brian Townsend on Christmas day and on Isidoro Bonilla on December 13th,  believed to be linked, rocked the nation’s capital in 2013. Belmopan police immediately launched an intensive investigation which lead them to three suspects. Then, in a twist of events, two of the...

George McKenzie Jr. Charged with Attempted Murder
George Mckenzie, Jr., the son of George “Junie Balls” Mckenzie, was charged with attempted murder of Paul Alvarez when he appeared today before Magistrate Herbert Panton. Mckenzie was remanded into custody until August 14. Alvarez was shot in his neck while he was in Jenny Shop, located at the corner...

Southern Highway Cocaine Plane Case Appealed
Police officers Corporal Renel Grant, Corporal Nelson Middleton, Sergeant Lawrence Humes, and Sergeant Jacinto Roches; former Customs boatman Harold Usher, and civilian Victor Logan, were accused of facilitating one of the largest cocaine busts on record in Belize. A plane famously landed on the Southern Highway on November 13, 2010, and...

Office of the Prime Minister says Attacks on Justice Awich by Bar Association are Contemptuous
A lengthy press release from the Office of the Prime Minster has sprung back at the Bar Association and its president, Eamon Courtney for statements made in opposition of the re-appointment of  Justice of Appeal Samuel Awich. The release says that the Office of the Prime Minister has noted...


Lands million-dollar screw-up
A multi-million dollar airline maintenance facility that is presently under construction by Tropic Air in San Pedro Town has been brought to a standstill following the recent issuance of an injunction order which came about after it came to light that two other private landowners both possess separate land titles within the same area due to an apparent mix-up by the Lands Department concerning the layout of the property and the scope of the titles. The two landowners are Brett Feinstein – who got a title in April 2014 – and Marilee Pou. Tropic Air’s problems are with Feinstein. In December 2013, Tropic Air Limited, a local airline company, started construction on a high-tech maintenance facility to substantially expand their operations on the island; however, the Central Building Authority has placed works on hold via a cease-and-desist order sought by Construction Depot Limited – which is a member of the Benny’s Group of Companies – whose proprietor, Brett Feinstein, also has a claim on a significant portion of that same property.

Pit bulls attack, man discharges firearm; cops charge man!
A San Pedro resident whom police charged with one count of discharging a firearm in public is planning to sue the Police Department for false imprisonment after he spent 13 days in custody and his case was dismissed today, without trial, when he appeared before Magistrate Dale Cayetano. Byron Evans, 33, was arrested and charged by San Pedro police on Tuesday, June 10, after he allegedly discharged his licensed .38 pistol in a public place. San Pedro police, after conducting an investigation into the incident, arrested and charged Evans with one count of discharging a firearm within 40 yards of a public place. Evans reportedly was about to be attacked by two pit bulls, which were roaming free on Tarpon Street. He drew his gun and fired one shot at the approaching dogs. The shot did not hit any of the dogs; neither did it hit anyone.

New US Ambassador takes office Tuesday
The new US Ambassador to Belize, Carlos Moreno, 65, arrived in Belize over the weekend and is due to assume official duties tomorrow, Tuesday, after presenting his credentials to Belize’s Governor-General Sir Colville Young. Moreno will then take over from Chargé d’Affaires, Margaret Hawthorne, who has been leading the US Mission in Belize since the departure of the former US Ambassador to Belize, Vinai Thummalapally, in 2013. The US Ambassador Designate, a native of Los Angeles with Mexican parentage, is accompanied in Belize by his wife, Christine. In a video produced by the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Information Programs in October 2013, Moreno said, “The words ‘Equal Justice for All’ serve as a guiding principle for me and for a free democracy.”

Missing key murder witness = nolle prosequi
A Belize City man who has been accused of the January 2009 shooting death of Barney Cunningham, 20, was freed of the murder charge and three counts of attempted murder when the prosecution indicated to the court that its key witness for the trial could not be located. This morning, when Supreme Court Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez told Marlon Foreman, 27, that he was free to go, Foreman literally ran out of the courtroom. With the paperwork indicating the prosecution’s intention of entering a nolle prosequi in the case having been completed last week, Foreman, who had been on remand since 2009, could have regained his freedom last Friday, but his freedom was delayed until after the weekend.

Michael Silva’s murder case committed to the Supreme Court
Michael Silva, 28, who has been charged with murder for the death of Maritza Santos, 19, a domestic of Hillview, and who has been on remand at the Belize Central Prison since November 2013, was brought to the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court today, where the murder charge was read to him. He was committed to trial at the upcoming October session of the Supreme Court. Police have accused Silva of killing Santos by beating her in the head, and then trying to commit suicide by drinking the poison Paraquat. Santos died, but Silva survived. First he was taken to a private hospital in Belize City, and then he was taken to Guatemala for treatment for the internal injuries he suffered.

Belize to assume presidency of Central American Integration System — SICA
Belize Prime Minister Dean Barrow left Belize today, Monday, en route to the Dominican Republic where that country’s president will hand over the 6-month pro-tempore presidency of the Central American Integration System (SICA in Spanish) to Belize, effective July 1, 2014, according to a press release from the Office of the Prime Minister. Official sources in the Dominican Republic have announced that Heads of State and Government from Central America and the Dominican Republic are scheduled to meet in Punta Cana this Friday, 27th June 2014. They added that key officials from the European Union and the United States, as well as ministers of foreign relations of Turkey and New Zealand, are expected to attend the meeting.

Arson in August Pine Ridge
The home of a family of August Pine Ridge, Orange Walk District, was destroyed by a fire which is believed to have been deliberately caused, and police are searching for a resident of the same village in connection with the incident. Elder Oliva, 27, told police that at about 7:00 Friday evening, he and his brother, Jairo Chi, 28, who lives with him, locked their house and went out. On their return at about 11:00 that night, they saw a man, whom they knew, riding away on a bicycle from their house, and then saw that their house was engulfed in flames.

Shooting on Ben Bow Street
Three men are alive after a gunman fired at them at about 7:00 Saturday evening on Ben Bow Street. One victim suffered a gunshot injury to his right arm, but the other two men were unhurt. Javan Clare 19, a student of Iguana Street, Belize City, told police that at about 7:00 Saturday evening, he and two of his friends were transporting two sound system speakers to Ben Bow Street on a carrier cycle to play for a party at the preschool in the area, when a man on a bicycle rode up behind them and fired at them. He then escaped out of the area. The three men scrambled for cover, but Clare was hit by one of the bullets.

Corozal police are seeking Wilbert Carcamo of Libertad after he allegedly almost knocked down a couple with his vehicle while they were walking on the Libertad Road at about 7:00 yesterday evening. According to a report made to police, Carcamo then beat up the husband in front of his wife and then sped off when other villagers came to the victim’s aid. Andrew Lopez, 24, a laborer of Xaibe, told police that he and his wife were walking on the main road in Libertad to the bus stop at the junction of the road and the Philip Goldson Highway, when, at a distance of about three lampposts from the bus stop, he saw a vehicle coming towards them.

Court of Appeal will impose reduced sentence for Lavern Longsworth’s murder conviction
Lavern “Anti-Christ” Longsworth, 40, who was convicted of the July 2010 murder of her common-law husband David White and is serving a life sentence in prison, appeared in the Court of Appeal today, where she was expecting to be handed a new sentence. But the sentencing has been put off until next week Friday, when the three Justices of Appeal will determine what sentence to impose on Longsworth. Her attorneys, Godfrey Smith, S.C., and Leslie Mendez, did not agree with the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal, who felt that a ten-year sentence was appropriate. Mendez, however, wanted Longworth’s sentence to be the three and a half years that she has already served. DPP Vidal, however, rejected that suggestion, saying that the imposition of a sentence for time already served would be an affront to justice. The DPP suggested that she serve a ten-year sentence.

Editorial: Strange Sedi
During the 2008 general election campaign, Kremandala supported the United Democratic Party (UDP) Pickstock constituency candidate, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, with all the media resources at our disposal. The then ruling People’s United Party (PUP) had never lost Pickstock before. Kremandala supported Mr. Elrington because it was clear that the incumbent PUP Pickstock candidate – Godfrey Smith, was a special favorite of Lord Michael Ashcroft’s. The two had travelled together in Africa in the Lord’s private jet. In March of 2007, Lord Ashcroft had instructed his lawyers in Belize, the Barrow & Williams law firm, to write the Kremandala chairman threatening him with lawsuits because of a 10 percent share of KREM Radio which had not been transferred to him in 1994, and because, according to attorney Rodwell Williams, who was and is the law partner of now Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, Kremandala owed the Belize Bank in the neighborhood of $262,000, which did not include special penalties. For Kremandala, needless to say, the attack was traumatic.

From The Publisher
In a matter of less than three decades, Buttonwood Bay (originally Belama) has become an impressive residential community which boasts the Honorable Prime Minister as one of its residents. This was all mangrove swamp before the late 1970s. A Panamanian named Javier Berbey Garcia came to Belize in the mid/late 1970s, and he is the one who created Bella Vista, the community which is just to the north of Buttonwood Bay. I believe Javier was a member of the ruling family in Panama which featured General Omar Torrijos as the big man. Belize Premier, Hon. George Price, and General Torrijos had become good friends, and out of this friendship Berbey Garcia came to Belize and began real estate and construction business here. Bella Vista was his first creation. Bella Vista, a seafront community, was the first Belize City real estate project which featured canals cut into the dredging land fill. The canals helped to drain the swampy land, while providing access into their lots for rich residents who owned power boats. All the original landowners who invested in Bella Vista were Belizeans who had money.

To: Clinton Can-Uh Luna, from Frank M.
I’m writing in response to your report in the May 25th issue of the Amandala – FRIENDS OF CUBA GATHER IN BELIZE CITY. You said that in the short future an organization may be officially formed by the friends of Cuba. Interesting; I’ll wait to see. Personally, I’m not impressed by or with the socio-political and civic involvement of the many Belizeans who have returned from study in Cuba. Their socio-political involvement fell short of my expectation. To be frank, I’m disappointed by it. I neither hear about nor see them as a group or individually promoting any socio-political ideas that could help to make ours a more fair society. Do you? I’m not proposing that we adopt the one-party system of Cuba but there are some good things in the Cuban system that we can adopt to make ours a more fair society like Cuba’s without adopting the one-party system.

Belize has been placed on a tier 2 watch list – a step downward from its previous tier 2 ranking in 2013 – by the US State Department, according to its 2014 Trafficking In Persons, which states that the Government of Belize “did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period.” Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, said via teleconference on Friday that, “The tier 2 watch list is kind of like a ‘C minus’ or something like that in the American grading system. It’s warning to the countries that are on the watch list that they are in danger of falling to tier 3.” (The rankings range from tier 1 to 3, with three being the lowest rank.) As it did in its 2013 report, which suggested that Belize had been making significant efforts to ensure compliance with the US guidelines, the US State Department in its 2014 report pointed to “coerced prostitution of children,” “child sex tourism” and forced labor in Asian restaurants and shops here in Belize.

Constable Marroquin released on bail for attempted murder
A police officer from San Ignacio Town who was recently charged for attempted murder, harm, and use of deadly means of harm upon a teenager from Unitedville was granted bail today at the Supreme Court in Belize City. Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez offered Police Constable Jesus Marroquin, 31, Supreme Court bail of $8,000 for the offense of attempted murder at around 11:00 a.m. this morning. Last Friday, June 13, Marroquin and three other officers from the police’s Quick Response Team in San Ignacio were arraigned in the San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court in connection with the May 25 shooting of Elston Arnold, 19, who was shot in the back during an alleged altercation between the four officers and a group of youths near a bus stop in Unitedville.

5 years for Jason Williams, 34
A Belize City man whom the police’s Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm and ammunition and one count of handling stolen goods was found guilty of the charges this morning, when his trial before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith concluded. Chief Magistrate Smith, before imposing the two 5-year sentences for the firearm and ammunition possession charges, told Jason Joseph Williams, 34, a resident of Belmopan and clothing seller: “Your defense is a Disney Channel fabrication.” Smith stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently. Williams, who has a charge of theft pending before the court, was sentenced to an additional six months for the handling stolen goods charge.

Court hears GOB appeal in case of award granted to street figures
A successful lawsuit against the government which was won by three well-known street figures – 2 of whom are now deceased – in November 2011 was later appealed by the Government of Belize (GOB), and that case went before the Court of Appeal today. However, after arguments from both sides were heard, judgment has been reserved for a date to be announced. The three men – Shelton “Pinky” Tillett, Charles Woodeye, and Micah Thompson – successfully sued GOB for wrongful imprisonment after the Supreme Court ruled that they were wrongfully accused of the 2009 murder of John Paul Saldivar, 28, which occurred on Ambergris Caye. Tillett, Woodeye and Thompson were charged for Saldivar’s murder, and after 11 months on remand at the Belize Central Prison, they were set free in January of 2010, with no case to answer, since the case against them did not proceed to trial due to a lack of evidence.

Collision in San Ignacio
Two vehicles collided on the George Price Highway at about 5:30 Sunday evening, and three of the individuals who were in the vehicles received minor injuries. The vehicles were not damaged extensively, and both drivers were charged by police. Eli Eleazar Obando, 30, an employee of BTL, told police that he was travelling from Benque Viejo to San Ignacio, and he had indicated that he was turning to the left in front of Chuc’s Gas Station in San Ignacio. He checked his mirror to clear traffic, he said, but did not see any vehicle behind him, and so he proceeded to make the left turn, but while turning, a vehicle suddenly came up and slammed into the driver side of his vehicle, causing his vehicle to spin out of control and overturn.

A former resident of Belize City, Wentworth Hemmings, who now lives in Phoenix in the United States, has been sentenced today after a hostage situation that lasted more than nine hours. Judge Bruce Cohen sentenced Hemmings, 40, to 31 years in prison and lifetime probation with sex offender terms, according to the court spokesperson. Hemmings was charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, six counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, six counts of kidnapping and two counts of sexual assault. Police said that in October 2011, Hemmings entered the home of his former girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him. Four of the ex-girlfriend’s children were asleep at the time. Once they awoke, Hemmings threatened the 35-year-old woman and her children at gunpoint.

Patrick JonesPJ

Accused con man charged in court
Police say they have the man who is alleged to have gone on a spree of deception in Belize City, targeting older persons by posing as a bill collector for Belize Electricity Limited, among other things. On Monday, forty-nine year old Curl Gordon, a.k.a. “Doggy”, a laborer of […]

Global Fund to assist fight with HIV and TB
Tuberculosis may not be on the national radar as a endemic disease, but HIV certainly is. A primary funder of programs fighting these two diseases as well as malaria, the Global Fund, is conducting a review of past grant funding and future initiatives. Portfolio manager Matthew MacGregor says […]

Crime scene technicians to be trained to international standard
Belize’s Scenes of Crime technicians began a one-year training today sponsored by the U.S. Embassy which intends to raise their knowledge and practical application of crime scene investigative techniques to the highest standard. Hayden Baldwin, the Executive Director of the International Crime Scene Investigators Association, says that with […]

Woman shoplifted drink from supermarket
A woman accused of shoplifting must find over $150 in court fines to pay. 58 year old Natalie Arnold of Belize City went to the Everyday Supermarket in Hattieville and took out a bottle of Coca Cola and a bottle of Giffitti, a Guatemalan Caribbean specialty rustic hard […]

Troy Augustus changes plea
Eighteen year old Troy Augustus, who pleaded guilty to committing a mischievous act yesterday changed his plea to not guilty today. August made the switch when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart for sentencing. Augustus was released on a bail of $300 and his case was […]

Cayo Tour Guide Association Launches First Ever Tourism Summer Camp
In this post, I introduce Joe Awe, the president of the Cayo Tour Guide Association (CTGA) about their upcoming tourism eco summer camp. Larry Waight: Why did the Cayo Tour Guide Association decide to invest energy into this first ever Tourism Eco Summer Camp? Joe Awe: Legacy. What good is a great organization, whether for profit or not, if it does not invest in a social option which not only will help and engage the future of this country but also allow guides to celebrate their decisions to become guides in the first place. This is an opportunity that will give the young dreams and make our guides give of their time and passions.


Happy Summer Solstice 2014!
At Chaa Creek, celebrating the summer solstice is part of a local tradition going back thousands of years. Long before western telescopes came into use, the ancient Maya were busily recording the solstices with astounding accuracy and marking the exact day with ritual celebrations. The Summer Solstice, widely considered to be the first day of summer, falls on June 21 in the northern hemisphere, making it the longest day of the year. And, of course, June 21 in the southern hemisphere is the winter solstice with the shortest day of the year. Many cultures throughout history have marked and celebrated the solstices, but the ancient Maya; the most accomplished astronomers of ancient time, pinpointed it and other cosmic events with astounding accuracy and precisely charted the positions of planets and other celestial bodies well into the future. So the Maya priestly astronomers working out of Xunantunich and preparing to celebrate the solstice in, say, 314 AD, would have calculated the exact arrangement of celestial bodies and known what the skies above Chaa Creek would look like in 2014. Pretty impressive, when you think about it.

Big Block Party San Pedro Lobsterfest 2014
Crawlers finished their week long marathon around the island with a bang at the big block party for San Pedro Lobsterfest 2014. The welcome speech was scheduled at 4:45, but that did not stop people from coming out early to watch booths being set up and be first in line for a multitude of scrummy lobster treats. After enjoying world famous San Pedro spiny lobster, party goers kept the party going with delicious lobster themed cocktails and ice cold Belikin beer. If you missed it this one and are thinking about San Pedro lobsterfest 2015 (like a few people I know), the 2014 block party line up on the San Pedro Lobster Festival facebook page will help convince you to start planning for next year. Some first timers come for part of the festival and do not book themselves on the island for for the best part – the big street party. A quick glance at June 2015 calendar shows the block party will likely be Saturday June 20th. Stay tuned to The official San Pedro Lobsterfest website for Lobsterfest 2015 dates and schedule of the weeks events. You can see more party pictures on the San Pedro Lobster Festival facebook page photo stream.

International Sourcesizz

Green Globe CEO, Guest Speaker at Belize Tourism Industry Association 29th Bi-Annual General Meeting
Green Globe CEO Mr Guido Bauer has been invited to address the 29th Bi-Annual General meeting of the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) on the 9th of July 2014 at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza. Mr Guido Bauer will present insights into how certification benefits tourism operators. Using working examples, Mr Bauer will discuss how Green Globe has assisted a variety of businesses in Belize to organize their great efforts in environmental conservation, and care for local communities and people, into practical sustainability management plans. This process has led not only to international recognition through Certification by Green Globe, but has had a direct impact in bringing more business and greater customer satisfaction.

Increasing numbers of tourists uncover Belize treasures
A naturally beautiful, near-magical place, of exotic black orchids, mysterious Mayan history and the flaming colours of wild toucans and scarlet macaws, Belize is undoubtedly magnetising. Yet, it remains one of the final unspoilt jewels in Central America's crown. The country, which ranges around 20,000 km², is known for its diversity of flora and fauna that is second to none and makes for an enthralling experience. Spanning rich rainforests - home to tapirs who swim in the rivers and colourful motmots who dot the trees - and near-endless barrier reefs - the longest in the world - it is no surprise that Belize is growing in popularity as a to-visit destination. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) recently released figures showing Belize coming in at second place on the list of fastest growing tourist destinations in the Caribbean in the first quarter of 2014, behind only the Turks and Caicos Islands. The country registered 32,712 tourist arrivals in February, an impressive increase of 11.6% in the number of people discovering Belizean treasures on the same month the previous year. This healthy growth was complemented by interesting figures, also released by the CTO, which broke these arrivals down in terms of the main markets that were visiting. These figures showed an increase of 11% in US visitor numbers in the first quarter of 2014 as well as a vast growth of 26.6% in visitors from Europe.

Services Airman keeps Task Force billeted, fed and entertained
He’s one of the busiest Airmen assigned to the U.S. Southern Command sponsored New Horizons exercise in Belize. As the lodging representative he makes room assignments, tracks personnel accountability and works with the host nation hotel to make sure things like laundry, dining and housekeeping practices are meeting government standards. Senior Airman Mario Acevedo, a New Horizons Services journeyman deployed from the 820th RED HORSE Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, also plans morale trips, barbeques, movie nights and sports and fitness activities. When he’s done with all of that he issues MREs to more than 560 personnel, delivers breakfast to two engineering constructions sites in Belize City each morning and also assists with switching out Belizean Defence Force security guards at the end and beginning of their shifts.

7 "Next-Easiest" Overseas Retirement Destinations
We won't name just one spot in tiny Belize. It's only about the size of Rhode Island, so should you decide to explore this Central American country (tucked beside the Caribbean Sea just south of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula), you can easily check out the entire country in just a few days. Our favorite retirement spots include the inland Cayo district, the Corozal district to the north at the border with Mexico; the island of Ambergris Caye; and Placencia town farther south along the coastal mainland. Belize has much to offer: it's just a two-hour flight from Miami and the official language is English. If you love water sports, this is your place. You can fish, dive, and snorkel to your heart's content along its luscious barrier reef. You'll enjoy a typical Caribbean lifestyle here...think swaying palms, white sands, and turquoise waters accompanied by a lilting reggae beat. There are some downsides to living here. There can be hurricanes. Also, Belize isn't known for its medical care. For anything serious you'll need to head across the border to Chetumal, Mexico. And because Belize isn't a manufacturing hub nor does it enjoy a lot of agricultural diversity, you'll pay more for imported items (which is just about everything).

Weston Author Recounts Diving With Cousteau In Norwalk Talk
After graduating Weston High School in 1973, Richard Hyman met Jacques Cousteau and got a chance over the years to take several expeditions with the famous undersea explorer aboard his research vessel Calypso. "I wanted to do my little part to keep Cousteau's memory alive, particularly for the youngsters that might have never heard of Jacques Cousteau," Hyman said. "If I can reach some of them, it's a way to carry on his legacy." His father was a business partner of Cousteau's. After traveling to Los Angeles to meet with the explorer after high school, he was invited to drive a supply truck from California to Saskatchewan, where Cousteau's crew was working on a documentary about beavers. He went on three expeditions aboard Calypso over the next six years, including trips to document spiny lobsters off the coast of Mexico, journeys to the Belize Barrier Reef, and diving down to the wreck of the USS Monitor off the coast of North Carolina.

Lufkin eye doctor makes impact in Central America
Doctor Richard Ruckman said his recent trip to Belize mad not only an impact on his patients but on him as well. "I think this [mission] is worthwhile," Ruckman said. "It has made me a believer." Ruckman left his position at The Center for Sight for one week to perform surgeries in a remote and poor area of the Central American Country. The trip was with the non-profit Benevolent Mission International. Ruckman said he is used to seeing many of the cases he saw, but was also amazed at the age of many patients. "For many of these individuals this was their first ever eye exam," Ruckman said. "We would see school children come in and be amazed at their need for glasses." Ruckman was joined by doctors and volunteers from all over the United States to perform the surgeries on the native people. "To me the biggest challenge was walking in to a strange clinic and operating room environment," Ruckman said. "But then you just remember what you were trained for and figure it all out." Ruckman said he was amazed by the response of the patients.

Local prof digs her way to big praise
A professor out of Oshawa has earned a coveted grant for her excavation work at an ancient site in Central America. Dr. Helen Haines, an anthropology professor at Trent University Oshawa, was given the $20,000 grant by the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration. Dr. Haines has been conducting research on Maya culture in northern Belize for 25 years, a release from the university says. She is currently the director of the Ka’Kabish Archaeological Research Project (KARP), which is focused on understanding the development of social stratification and its transformative role in the development of early states. Dr. Haines was thrilled to learn that she and her team will receive funding from the National Geographic Society, stating the grant will provide immense help with the support of student research and project infrastructure, the release says. “I am deeply honoured to be receiving a National Geographic Society grant,” she says. “I remember reading National Geographic journals as a child, and to think that I might one day be featured in one of their volumes is a dream come true.” She says her dream of becoming an archaeologist began when she found a book about Heinrich Schliemann’s discovery of Troy in the library of her elementary school. “I fell in love with the idea that someone could read about one of these myths and then actually go and find it,” she explains.

The 10 world cities with the highest murder rates – in pictures
4: Belize City. (Murder rate: 105.1 in 2011) The one-time British colony of Belize has the third highest national murder rate in the world. The majority of the homicides take place in the former capital of Belize City where gang violence is rampant, especially on the south side.


Video: Chikungunya: the virus that "bends up", 4min.
Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by Aedes aegypi and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes (the same mosquito species that transmit dengue). The virus's name comes from the Makonde language of Tanzania and means "that which bends up."

Video: Belize, 15min.
Ambergris Caye - Caye Caulker - Pine Mountain Reserve

Video: Culture of Belize: Informative Speech, 6min.

Video: Holy Cross Belize Graduation 2014, 4min.
Highlights from the 2014 graduation. Enjoy.

Video: The Blue Hole, Belize, 7min.
Scuba Diving The Blue Hole in Belize and two near-by reefs through Frenchies Dive School in June 2014. Filmed and Edited by Maxwell Harrington

Video: Science Hope for Sharks and Reefs in Belize, 6min.
NYTimes.com video on Glover's Reef, Shark Population Study. The benefits of marine reserves.

Video: A Minute of Beach Time, Placencia Belize, 1min.
6AM Wave breaking on the Beach of Placencia, Belize.

Video: Fairtrade in Belize - Working together for success, 4min.
A film about the impact that Fairtrade has had for sugar farmers in Belize.

Video: Indian Church Primary School, Belize, 8min.
Students at Indian Church Primary School practice and perform their dance moves for the Orange Walk district competition.

Video: Blue Hole - Belize, 4min.
with Ramon's Village diving.


Click for excellent scuba lessons with Elbert Greer!

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Chaa Creek is an award-winning luxury Belize Resort, rated as one of the worlds best Eco Lodges. We are a pioneer in adventure travel to Belize since 1981!
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