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#495051 - 08/27/14 06:56 AM Today's Belize News: August 27, 2014
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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

Dead Ray drifts ashore, Eagle ray CSI in Belize (15 photos)
ProDive shop called the Hol Chan Marine Reserve who then called us to come and investigate an eagle ray mortality near Banyan Bay. The deceased female eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) seemed in perfect shape aside from a dorsal scrape and no spine. Thanks mucho to Kirah Forman for the photos and to Jairo Osorio for the help, especially in getting the jaw out.

From Wowlas to Iguanas-Encounter the Wild!
In Belize one of the many slithery creatures you may encounter are snakes such as the boa constrictor, known locally as the infamous “wowla.” While they are primarily abundant on the mainland, they can be found around the islands’ mangrove swamps as well. In the summer time these private reptiles come out of their burrows more often to sun themselves in the summer rays and feed on small rodents and birds. Check out these cool shots of Nature at its best.

Team Brazil wins the Mundialito Football Tournament
On Thursday, August 21st, Team Brazil won their final match in the 2014 Mundialito Football Tournament and earned the coveted first place championship cup. Held at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Arena and hosted by the San Pedro Sports Committee, the tournament saw six teams of children between the ages of 5 to 14 competing in […]

Four Contracts Signed Under Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program
Press Release- Belize Press Office- August 25th- Minister of Works and Transport Honourable Rene Montero, Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works and Transport Lennox Bradley and Project Manager Rolando Chan met with contractors today at the Ministry of Works and Transport Conference Room in the City of Belmopan, where they signed contracts for an upcoming Flood Mitigation […]

Cuban living in San Pedro caught in drug bust
A Belizean and a Cuban national have been remanded to prison following a large drug bust on Wednesday August 20th. They are 52-year-old Pascual Terrero Pineda of a Boca del Rio address in San Pedro Town and 49-year-old Ruperto Eulalio Reyes of Sittee River Street in Orange Walk Town. The duo was found with over […]

Ambergris Today

Dead Sea Creatures Wash Ashore Unexplained in Ambergris Caye
The summer days in Belize are packing on the HEAT and everybody is looking for ways to cool off. Most of us hit the beach, but recently there has been a massive influx of sargassum seaweed that is accumulating along the shoreline and the temperature of the sea water has been very high as well. Everyone is feeling the heat, including the beautiful sea creatures. Ambergris Today was contacted by the crew at Belize Pro Dive Center that was worried about the sudden discovery of dead fish along the shore on Monday, August 25, 2014. The carcass of a deep sea creature – the beautiful spotted eagle ray was seen floating ashore as well as several other fish and even eels. What is causing these creatures to die is uncertain as there are several factors that could contribute to the death of the animals, including the increase in water temperature, the feeding of the sea creatures or the sargassum seaweed wash up.

PUP Party Leader Meets with Business Community in San Pedro
Led by People’s United Party (PUP) Belize Rural South Chairman Mr. Nicolas Varela, Standard Bearer Mr. Elito Arceo and Mayoral Candidate Dr. Giovanni Solarzano, Party Leader Hon. Francis Fonseca visited three communities of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye on Saturday, August 23, 2014 which included the San Pedrito, San Mateo and DFC Areas. The San Mateo is one of the most impoverished and marginalized areas on the island lacing proper streets and running water. A meeting with the members of the San Pedro Business community was also held at Banana Beach Resort before the scheduled endorsement of the San Pedro PUP candidates later that evening. The joint endorsement convention was held for Standard Bearer for PUP Belize Rural South and San Pedro Municipal. Mr. Elito Arceo is the new Standard Bearer and Dr. Giovanni Solarzano is the new Mayoral candidate leader for the PUP team.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Four Contracts Signed Under Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program
Minister of Works and Transport Honourable Rene Montero, Chief Engineer in the Ministry of Works and Transport Lennox Bradley and Project Manager Rolando Chan met with contractors today at the Ministry of Works and Transport Conference Room in the City of Belmopan, where they signed contracts for an upcoming Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Program. A total of four contracts were signed, namely the Bill Lindo Canal Contract which includes construction of a concrete -lined and earthen canal contracted to Mehia’s United at a cost of $892,250; the Douglas Jones Canal Contract which includes construction of a concrete-lined, covered canal contracted to Medina’s Construction at a cost of $1,813,629.88; the North Side Canal Contract which includes the cleaning of the existing canal and lining with vinyl sheet pile, also contracted to Medina’s Construction at a cost of $1,935,150; and the Link Road (Apollo Street) to Belama Phase IV Contract which includes street upgrades contracted to M&R Construction at a cost of $1,077,425.86. The contracts total $5,718,455.74.Mr. Lennox Bradley will act as supervisor to ensure the suitable and timely completion of the contract works, scheduled to be underway by September 8th, 2014 and expected to be completed by July 5th, 2015.

Make a difference in a student’s life - BE KIND, STOP THE BULLYING AT SCHOOL
While the summer vacations come to a close, all children and youth are returning to school these days. If you see a classmate who is struggling to make friends, or who is being teased and bullied because he/she does not have friends, become that gift! Welcome or at least smile at them in the hallways and school grounds. You never know what that person may be facing outside of school! Your kindness can make a big difference in someone's life. We respect our teachers and they should continue to praise students in ways big and small - Recognize work in class, display good work in the classroom and send positive notes home to parents, hold weekly awards in your classroom, organize academic pep rallies to honor the honor roll, and even sponsor a Teacher Shoutout section in the student news blog to acknowledge student’s hard work.

Reflection on the International Black Summit 2014
By Abdulmajeed K. Nunez When most Belizeans hear “black” they think about race That jumps at you when you look at their face Again some pre- judged the space in haste The summit was about facilitators creating a space So that I and my true self could sit face to face The facilitators attended with grace Helping us to explore how we interface Searching and exploring how I be in that space Pondering my life script and finding my place. Fortunately the cosmos aligned it with Emancipation Day celebrated at UWI As a summit we attended in solidarity Folks again we were a part of history

Jasmine Rhamdas Crowned Queen of the Bay Belmopan
Congratulations, Jasmine Rhamdas, for being crowned this year's Queen of the Bay Belmopan. More pictures. "Congrats to all the contestants especially Ms. Jasmine Rhamdas for winning the Queen of the Bay Belmopan 2014 Pageant."

Harpy Cafe at the Belize Zoo
The new Harpy Cafe at the Belize Zoo has good food. The new cafe really fits will with the zoo. "The Belize Zoo has a new restaurant: The Harpy Cafe. It's good too. It's great to see the zoo progressing."

The Cave Where Mayans Sacrificed Humans
Actun Tunichil Muknal continues to be all over the world news. The Telegraph and the Daily Beast have some interesting articles about it. "The river that formed Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal cave still flows, pooling as it emerges into the dawn sunlight and necessitating a swim to start our journey into the Mayan underworld. Our guide has insisted on an early start and no one else is around as we take the plunge. The view back from inside is amazing, the rock arch framing a view of water, jungle and sky; the view the other way is black. That river is always with us. The water is strangely warm, sometimes around our ankles, then about our necks, but always pushing against us. Above, bats hang in their holes and tiny seedlings grow from their droppings, atrophying in the dark."

Back to School Concert Fundraiser
Supa G and Lova Boy will be playing at the Sacred Heart College auditorium this Saturday. They'll be joined by Erenestine Carballo, the Sweet Pain Band, Chico Ramos, and Mistah Geeh. The fundraiser will help with scholarships, the Cancer Society, and the Heal the Kids Foundation. You can get tickets at the Shell station and Joseph Freight. Have a great semester!

University of Belize Launches Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series
On Tuesday, September 2, 2014, the University of Belize Faculty of Education and Arts will launch Di Silvaana Udz Lekcha Series, named in honor of Dr. Silvaana Udz in recognition of her outstanding contributions to education and culture in Belize. This year's lecture will be presented by Godfrey P. Smith, author of the award winning George Price: A Life Revealed and writer of the political blog Flashpoint. Smith also served as head judge for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize and as a judge for this year's Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize. His lecture will focus on The Role of Contemporary Belizean Writers in Nation Building.

Guava Limb Café 1st Anniversary
The Guava Limb is celebrating it's 1st anniversary this Saturday. They'll have a Maya buffet at night and special all day long, including 10% off during the day. Congratulations on your first of many years, Guava Limb! "The Guava Limb Café extends to you a cordial invitation to join us in celebrating ONE YEAR in service to our patrons!! **FREE Welcome Drink **Maya Buffet served from 6pm-10pm (includes dessert) **Specials & Discounts all day long **LIVE Music **You are entitled to 10% discount from 11am-5pm!!"

Scarlet Macaws All Fledged
All 7 of the Scarlet Macaws that the Scarlet Six crew monitor have gone out into the wild. Great news from the Chiquibul. "The S6 Crew came out this week with great news. ALL 7 chicks have now successfully fledged from their nests. These chicks have the 'new' genes to pass on for future generations of macaws within the Maya Mountains of Belize. Pictured here, one of the last chicks (right) which fledged, is being fed by its adult parent (left) outside of the nest cavity. A HUGE THANK YOU to all our donors, field partners and volunteers who helped us make 2014 an even better year than last. We look forward to your help again in 2015 for even better results."

Channel 7

Fiery Emotions After Residential Blaze
This afternoon a Belize City homeowner in the Gungulung area lost everything when her home burned down. But, it's our headline tonight because the Belizean American homeowner Sonya Harris says her nephew did it. And why? She claims she stopped him from selling weed at her house where he had been living rent-free for two years. 7news was on the scene this afternoon at 1:00 and here's what we found:... Courtney Weatherburne reporting This dramatic scene on Holy Emmanuel Street in the Gungulung area said it all - there was nothing the fire department could do to save anything here - all they could do was try to keep it from spreading to other buildings. While police cleared the area the fire was brought under control relatively quickly and soon enough the flames turned into smoke. Still neighbors looked on because it was an emotional scene for the homeowners, who lost everything in the fire. We soon found out why there was so much rage, when Sonya Harris publicly erupted.

Fire Dept. Says Physical Evidence Points To Arson
And so what does the Fire Department have to say about this nephew and the direct allegation that he burned the house down? Well, today at a press briefing, the Fire Department did confirm that the house was set on fire -be setting clothing on fire in one of the bedrooms:.. Benisford Matura - Operations Officer, National Fire Service "We've started our investigation and the information revealed from the investigators show that the fire started in north eastern section of the structure which is one of the bedrooms because it had two bedrooms. Further investigation revealed that it started somewhere on top of the mattress and probably with the use of clothing the fire started because clothing was spread all over the room. We've canvassed the area in the bedroom and found that the clothes was spread all over the floor and in an unusual pattern that wouldn't be normal."

Divided FFB Executive Holds Reconciliatory Meeting
For the past 2 weeks now, we've been telling you about the internal conflict in the Football Federation of Belize executive. Truth is, a division in the executive has been flaring up for several months now, but none of the principals wanted to go public because that would be bad for the public image of football. So, the undercurrent of discontent stayed mostly out of public view for over a year, but recently, it stirred the direct intervention of FIFA and CONCACAF, governing bodies which could not ignore it any longer. So, that set off a directive down the chain of command in the country's Football executives that a General Congress Meeting had to be held where all grievances must be aired out. FIFA and CONCACAF were looking to ensure that the administration of football would continue to progress. That General Congress Meeting happened last night at around 7 at FFB Headquarters in Belmopan. Our news team was there for an exclusive look at the issues. Daniel Ortiz reports:

Teenaged Basketballer Short In Indiscriminate Gang Violence
18 year old Roderick Williams is in the hospital recovering from three gunshot wounds he received last night. Just after 9:00, the teenager was shot at the corner of Elston Kerr and Iguana Streets - one more victim of the indiscriminate violence associated with a gang war in his neighborhood. Williams was standing with 19 year old Aleem Richardson when a gunman looking to be in his teens approached them, pulled out a handgun and opened fire. Williams was shot to the abdomen, hand and back while Richardson was shot to his right small finger. The gunman then ran up the street and jumped on a motorcycle that was awaiting him a couple blocks away. Neighbors rushed Williams to the KHMH and today he is in a stable condition.

Police Have Bank Robbery Suspects, But No Positive ID's Yet
Police have 2 suspects detained for yesterday's brazen, daylight, armed robbery which happened at the Heritage Bank on Barrack Road. They are awaiting an identification parade to determine of the employees at the bank can finger them as the robbers. Police detained them based on images from the surveillance cameras. One of them was picked up from the Pinks Alley area, and the other turned himself in to clear his name with police. It remains to be seen if charges will be brought against them.

Ch'oc Says He's Taking A Break From SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, it's better known as SATIIM, and its well-known leader Greg Ch'oc has helped to make the NGO a household name. But Ch'oc, who's been its leader for almost 2 decades, announced today that he's stepping aside for personal reasons. He's going away to study law at the University of the West Indies Cavehill Campus in Barbados. News emerged in August of last year, that he had made the decision, but when we asked him about it, he said that while he had plans to do so, the timing wasn't right. Well, it seems it is now, and today at a press conference in Punta Gorda Town, he announced that he's stepping aside: Greg Ch'oc, former Executive Director - SATIIM "Effective today I step down as the executive director of the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. I have done so with the support of my family, my staff, the board and the community that has stood behind us."

New SATIIM Director Faces Challenges
One of the first things that Tzalam takes over is the battle between the Government of Belize and the claimant Mayan communities of the Buffer Zone on either side, and US Capital Energy in the middle. As we've told you, Justice Michelle Arana has already made a ruling on the issue of Government granting permits to US Capital to drill inside the Sarstoon Temash National Park. The parties were supposed to have participated in court ordered mediation, but today, the Executive Director announced that Government had applied to the court to discontinue this course of action. Here's how she put it: Froyla Tzalam, New Director - SATIIM "We were unable to have our legal team present and as he had also mentioned that once more justice is being denied to the claimant communities of the Sarstoon Temash area. As he had mentioned government of Belize had made an application to discharge the mediation order by Madam Justice Arana on August 5th, 2014. However Justice Arana had appointed a mediator after that date which to me shows her commitment to the process. We had all hope that the mediation process was one in we could get the recognition and respect for our customary laws, traditions, customs, institutions and the land tenure system to be fully and effectively addressed."

SATIIM Will File Civil Suit For Missing Money
Another of the unresolved issues that Greg Ch'oc leaves behind in Tzalam's hand is the issue of more than 250,000 thousand dollars which was embezzled from the organization. As we've told you, the man who was supposed to be the prime suspect, was cleared in the Magistrate's Court. Today, the outgoing Director told us that there is a civil claim pending against him, which they will file shortly: Greg Ch'oc, former Executive Director - SATIIM "We sought legal advice at the urgent of the board. Advice obtained from our legal counsel shows that the statute of limitation should not have applied in this case which is why the charges were dismissed because the charges should have been filed within 6 months. What we found is that this is a hybrid offence and does not carry the limitation. On the advice of our attorney and the claimant and the board of directors of SATIIM I wrote a letter to the acting Director of Public Persecution Mr. Cecil Ramirez asking them to respectfully reinstate those charges.

Western Regional Still Mum on Missing Truck
Last night we told you about the 2014 Hilux truck, assigned to the Vector Control Unit that was stolen from the Ministry of Health. Tonight we have more details on that story along with an image of an identical truck. It was stolen from Western Regional Hospital compound between the hours of 4:00 and 7:00 on Friday evening. We can't tell you if it was insured because Regional Health Manager Pearl Ellis hasn't been taking our calls. The truck is valued at just under seventy thousand dollars. It is the third Hilux being stolen from the Ministry of Health in three years.

The Other Way Of Stopping
Our next story is about a crash at a roundabout - where we don't know if the driver passed their driving test - but we can say for sure, that they failed the Rotary's four way test! That's because they careened into the rotary roundabout at mile one on the northern highway - plowing over the solid steel four way test sign. The Ford Escape was seen straddling the roundabout at dawn. The driver was either drunk or going to fast, missed the turn at the roundabout completely, and hurtled over the roundabout.

Citizens On Patrol Take to The Streets
Last week we told you about the 3 day orientation for the Citizens on Patrol Program where the community is working along with the police to restore and maintain peace. Well today, 13 cop volunteers were deployed to patrol the Mahogany Street Extension and Vernon Street as well as in the Jane Usher area. Courtney Weatherburne caught up with the cop teams in these areas to find out more about the initiative and the reaction from residents: Courtney Weatherburne reporting Usually, when you see officers on the street whether it is walking or patrolling in their vehicles, it is not to conduct surveys or to connect with the residents. But today the Citizens on Patrol did just that. It was the first day of patrol for the volunteer cops in Belize City and we found them on Mahogany Street Extension.

Garifuna Is Not Spoken Here?
The National Garifuna Council has sent out a cautionary email about allegations of culturally discriminatory practices in banks within Dangriga Town. The release says that the council has heard an allegation that one of the banks in Dangriga Town is not permitting employees to speak in the Garifuna language - allegedly to each other, or to bank patrons. Now, it's not confirmed but the Council says it is investigating, adding, quote, "We will not stand aside and allow our rich cultural heritage to be disrespected by any entity, individual, or organization." End quote.

Man Charged For Unitedville Murder
Tonight, 19 year-old Joseph Vaccaro Jr., a resident of Belize City, is at prison tonight following his arraignment for a murder and an attempted murder. As we told you, 38 year-old Victor Vargas was killed after we stabbed twice in the neck, early on Saturday, August 16, in the village of Unitedville. His 19 year-old companion, who he was socializing with hours before, was suspected to be the man who attacked him. After investigation police say that they had enough evidence against Vaccaro, and yesterday he was arraigned in San Ignacio Magistrate's Court for murder. Today, he was brought to the Belize City Magistrate's for another stabbing incident which happened earlier this year.

Making Municipalities Child Friendly
The Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality initiative was launched today at the Biltmore. The idea is to devise a strategic plan geared at protecting the rights of youths by taking stock of the issues affecting them and finding solutions. It's a mammoth task but UNICEF along with the Belize Mayor's Association are getting 100% behind it. UNICEF representative, Ivan Yerovie told us what they'll be looking at: Ivan Yerovie, Representative, UNICEF "The mayors along with the communities work to improve the situation of children in every city. It's not an easy task definitely, however we are counting on the mayors to really improve the agenda and the work they do with children. Children rights is deserve, not only the central government, but also the local government in this case the mayors in the cities to really work with children to listen to children and to improve the agenda for them. I will mention one of those serious issues that are affecting children is violence against them. Of course the statistics are talking by itself in terms of sexual abuse for instance; I think every 3 days there is a case of sexual abuse to our children in this country. We have to put the topic on the table. We need this country to talk about those issues and of course it's not an easy task but the idea here is how can the city mayors play a major role in terms of coordinating the response."

Mexican News Site Says Kids Smuggling Drugs Along Hondo
Today we came across a report in an online newspaper called Novedades Quintana Roo which alleges that drug smugglers are using minors to transport their drugs between Belize and Mexico. The news site reports that at least 150 minors were employed to transport drugs in the rural communities bordering Belize. This has been occurring over some time now, last year the Municipal Police in Othon P. Blanco in Quintana Roo reported that trafficking takes place at as many as 90 spots along the Banks of the Rio Hondo. The minors are reportedly called "burritos" who are paid 200 pesos for every run.

Neighborhood Alleges GSU Abuse
Just before news time this evening, 7news received a frantic phone call from an resident of Lake View Street - who told us the GSU was inside their yard brutalizing them. A team was sent out to the area, but when we arrived, the GSU was already gone. Residents say the officers did not say what they were looking for, and only stormed in and starting abusing everyone. They also alleged than an elderly woman with a fractured arm was pushed to the ground by the officers for no reason at all. Here's what they told us: Resident "GSU came and ran in the alley way and didn't ask any questions. My brother was in the neighbor house and they just tell them to get out. I came out to check on my brother because prior to this incident about 3 - 5 days ago they had an altercation with the GSU and they have beaten him before, so I came out to check on him and saw that they have my brother on the ground.

Belize Gets Ready For Nation's Cup
At the top of our newscast, we told you about the trials that FFB President Ruperto Vicente has been having, while trying to run the business of the sport of football. Amidst all this, Belize is set to make an appearance in the Copa Centroamericana - or Naiton's Cup, the tournament which allowed the Jaguars to qualify for their first ever Gold Cup appearance last year. But, President Vicente has been having trouble keeping coaching staff, and last night, he told us about the series of events which saw Costa Rican Leroy Sherrier Lewis back in the driver's seat head coach of the Jaguars: Ruperto Vicente - President, Football Federation of Belize "Coaching is a very tough thing and certainly when we make decision about coaches you have to think economically. Most of the coaches out there are calling on 10,000 - 15,000 per month and that's US dollars. There is no way that this federation can afford that, so for the most part we have to wait until we can get a coach that is reasonable economically and so we got a coach who came to us with US$4,000 per month and the executive believe that we could have handle that, but the coach came and prepared to work but got impatient because the time was too short. Mr. Lewis came and said listen, I am here and I am prepared to work with the federation and so we did discuss our differences and Mr. Lewis said listen we had our problems but let us put that aside and let us work for football and so we fall short yes because we have to look for the coaches that we can afford."

Cyclists Pay Respects To Fallen Riders In LA
We all know the cyclist Ernest Jawmaine Meighan was well honoured in his death by Belize's Cycling community - but you may not know that even in Los Angeles where there is a large Belize population, they honored his memory. On Sunday August 17th, the 45 Mile Memorial Ride was organized by BelCal Cycling Club Vice President Andrew Burgess. It started and ended in Leimert Park, in Los Angeles, California. Approximately 30 cyclist (most wearing Black Ribbons) showed up for the ride.

Channel 5

FFB Executives & League Delegates Meet…
The Football Federation of Belize has been overwhelmed by internal sparring, a lack of organizational cohesion, management crises and allegations of financial mismanagement…so much so that some members of the [...]

CONCACAF Called in to Adjudicate
So with everybody on the local front on the same page, it was on to this morning’s very early meeting. F.F.B. President Ruperto Vicente says he also felt compelled to [...]

National Team Prepares for Central American Cup
Now we turn to Belize’s national team which has been working out at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. The nation’s A Selection is preparing to head to the U.S. [...]

New Leadership for SATIIM
For years, in fact for more than a decade, Greg Ch’oc was the head and face of SATIIM, the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management. Earlier today, flanked by Maya community [...]

Consensus Undetermined in Oil Drilling
Last Tuesday, the District Association of Village Councils, led by president Gabriel Edwards, convened a meeting with residents of Midway, in the Toledo District, to discuss the issue of oil [...]

Gungulung Resident Burns Down Aunt’s Home
Tonight, one man from the Gungulung area has confessed to starting the fire which completely gutted his aunt’s forty by thirty foot wooden home on Holy Emmanuel Street. The blaze [...]

Gunman Targets Two Men in the City
Urban violence continues to plague the Old Capital and tonight one of two persons injured in a late night shooting on Monday remains hospitalized. Around nine-twenty p.m., eighteen year old [...]

FFB Discusses Football Pitch with CONCACAF
As we told you, one of the straws which broke the proverbial camel’s back was the disqualification of Belize from the champions League. CONCACAF refused to certify the football pitch [...]

Accused Murderer Hit with More Charges in Court
Over the weekend, a teenager found himself in big trouble with the law after he was first arraigned in the Cayo District for a murder which occurred in San Ignacio [...]

City Resident Sentenced to Five Years
Late this evening, forty-three-year-old Luis Gordon, a resident of Amara Avenue who attacked and chopped his own sister in September of last year, was this evening sentenced to five years [...]

SATIIM Will Not Close the Door on Barranco
Barranco Village, which is also one of six buffer communities surrounding the Sarstoon Temash National Park, is a founding member of SATIIM.  Over the years, there seem to have been [...]

Workshop on child friendly Municipalities Kicks Off
eveloping Child Friendly Cities is an initiative of UNICEF, the Ministry of Local Government and the United Nations Development Programme which defines and develops child friendly municipalities and communities. The [...]

Mayors’ Association to Play a Greater Role…
The implementation of the sustainable and child friendly municipalities’ initiative falls in line with the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The MDG’s were signed back in 2000; they focus [...]

Stay tuned for the reveal of the winner of “If You Can Sing It, Bring It!”
Anticipation is building up as shortly the grand finale of If You Can Sing It, Bring It gets underway live from the Bliss. It has been nine solid rounds of [...]


MCHS Bans Styrofoam Plates On Campus
Thanks to some vigorous student and faculty activism, the era of ubiquitous single use Styrofoam at the Muffles High School is over. The decision makes MHS the first school in the North and perhaps the nation to issue such a ban which has been a raging success for over three school years. It’s a Go Green initiative that deserves merit and recognition. In this story, we’ll share with you the High School’s ‘Go Green’ campaign that has taken a commendable step toward environmental responsibility. Maria Novelo reports. Maria Johnston – Principal, MHS “One of the values of sisters of mercy is that of Stewardship of Earth which means that we need to take care of our environment and one of the decisions that we took on that day was to ban Styrofoam from our campus.” With a population of 670 students, Muffles High School has banned the usage of Styrofoam products in their daily dining break. Polystyrene packaging — better known by the brand name Styrofoam, has detrimental effects on the environment. According to Principal Maria Johnston, the figures on how much waste was being produced were astounding.

MCHS Auditorium Continuous Under Construction
Since its ground breaking back in January, the construction of the Muffles High School auditorium is well underway to its completion. And while the administrators at the school hoped to put it in use for this upcoming school year, plans were delayed a bit causing it to be under construction still. Today when we visited with Principal Maria Johnston, we were given an update on the progress. Maria Johnston – Principal, Muffles High School“We started construction late May early June and it is almost I would say 70% completed thanks to the generous contribution of the alumni, particularly the business community here in Orange Walk, the roof is coming in next week and that will cover 1000sq feet and it will equip with 12 bathroom facilities, a food dispensing area and a store room so we are very happy that we have accomplished so much and we are thankful to God because it hasn’t rain and that also helped us to accelerate the construction.”

Diosa Maya Pageant To Be Held In Belize Next Year
Belize is set to host the next Diosa Maya Internacional in 2015. The announcement was made yesterday by the organizer Manuel Blanco Gonzalez. In a televised news report aired in Mexico, Gonzalez indicated that besides promoting the talent and beauty of young women in the five participating countries, the pageant is focused primarily on promoting the Maya Culture. Here is an excerpt of that interview with Gonzalez.Manuel Blanco Gonzalez“Hoy a los quince anos tenemos una gran suerte por ejemple hay países que se han unido en este certamen internacional, es el propósito más importante de la cultura Maya, las tradicionales cultura Maya, que se ve que los tenemos en los cinco países centro americano; Belice, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras y México. Tenemos programado obviamente para el mes de Noviembre de nuestra selección de Nuestra Diosa Maya México quien nos representara próximamente en el mes de Marzo 2015 en el país de Belice, eso será la elección en el mes de Noviembre y lo haremos en el estado de Quintana Roo en la islas de HolBosh con los estados de sureste Mexicano como son Yucatán, Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas y como invitado de anos pasado también Veracruz.”

Belize Police Investigates Shooting Incident In The Old Capital
Another shooting incident is being investigated by Belize City police. According to authorities, last night at about 9:35, they visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw eighteen year-old Rodrick Williams of #7011 Iguana Street Extension, Belize City, with apparent gunshot wounds to the abdomen, hand and back. They also observed nineteen year old Aleem Richardson of #3552 Sanker Street, Belize City, with an apparent gunshot wound to the right small finger. Police report that earlier that night, around 9:20, Williams and Richardson were standing at the corner of Iguana Street Extension and Elston Kerr Street when a male person of dark complexion approached them. The individual pulled out a handgun and fired several shots at them. Both teenagers were admitted and treated and are in a stable condition at the KHMH. Police have not made any arrests in this latest shooting and continue to investigate.

MHS Continue To Excel In CXC
As we’ve reported, the CXC results are in and according to the analysis, students performed better in this year’s Caribbean Examination Council, CXC exams. Over three thousand students from High Schools countrywide sat the May-June exams. And at the Muffles High School, their performance has been consistently well year after year, says Principal Maria Johnston. Maria Johnston – Principal, Muffles High School“This year I can reveal to that 80% of the students who sat the CXC passed 6 or more and when I say they passed 6 or more it varies from 6 to 11 CXC’s and now once the student passes 6 CXC’s including English they get a tuition school to any tertiary institution of their choice therefore here at Muffles 80% of those students who sat the CXC’s are getting a student scholarship to any institution of their choice and our top scorers was the valedictorian, Alexis Esquiliano so congratulations to her and she passed 11 CXC’s and she passed all.”

Parents Of Progresso SDA Primary School Demand Transfer Of Principal & Teacher
It’s been a couple of days now that we have been reporting on the feud between parents, teachers and principal of Progresso SDA Primary School and the situation seems to be getting worst as the new opening of the news school year approaches. Parents claim that some of the teachers at the school and the principal have not been doing their job. In fact they have been called incompetent. As mentioned, the situation seems to be escalating and today reporter Victor Castillo travelled to the village of Progresso where he met with a group of parents who held back no punches and voiced out their concerns.

Residents Of Palmar Seel To Elect New Lands Committee, Government Is Against
There are continued contentions among villagers in San Jose Nuevo Palmar over land. Descendants of the village have accused the current lands committee in the village of mismanagement of the natural resource and even finance. As a result, descendants have decided to elect a new lands committee on August 31. This decision, however, is in itself impulsive as we understand it will be held with or without the blessing of the government which is the lands trustee at the moment. It appears descendants of the village have grown wary of the lengthy process as they feel government is taking too long to call elections. A group started lobbying for the appointment of a new committee earlier in the year and in February this year, Lands Commissioner, Wilbert Vallejos and solicitor General Nigel Hawk, met with the community to discuss the necessary process to take. At the time, a committee was formed with members of the village council and representatives of the elders and community.

Thieves Target Xaibe Primary School
Last week the school of Xaibe became the target of unscrupulous thieves. Margret Carr, 48 year old Belizean principal and teacher at the Xaibe Village R.C. School, reported to authorities that between the hours of 5:00pm on Wednesday the 20th of August 2014 and 9:30am on Thursday August 21st 2014, her office was broken into. The perpetrators made off with five grey and black in color Panasonic brand laptop computers. When police processed the scene, they noticed that there was no forced entry. The serial numbers and value of the equipment is unknown according to police. It is a significant loss for the school especially since they were donated by the Corozal Rotary Club. Corozal Police continue to investigate and are asking the public's assistance in solving this latest crime which, in their report, they add targets the young people and prevents them from getting a proper education.

Elderly Man Injured During Altercation With Minor
An altercation this morning ended with an elderly man being injured to his hand. He is fifty-six year old Charles Cal of a Rain Tree Drive address in the Louisiana Area in Orange Walk Town. According to his daughter, Maria Lucia Carrillo, her father was at home when he got into a fight with a fifteen year old minor who is no stranger to the family. Carrillo told us what happened this morning. Maria Lucia Carrillo“Clavetearon a mi papa porque tuvieron un disgusto con un muchacho y lo clavaron en su mano que quedo impedido para siempre que ya no puede trabajar ni nada esto sucedió a las 9:50.”Dalila Ical – Reporter“Tengo entendido que arrestaron a su papa y al otro individuo que lo ataco?”Maria Lucia Carrillo“Pero no sé porque lo arrestaron si el no hizo nada solo se está defendiendo de todo. El malentendido fue el que le gustaba pegarle en su cabeza del niño y constante iba a mi casa pero quien sabe porque lo hizo solo vino y le pego el muchachito en su cabeza y el muchachito sufre de ataques.”

Individual Throws Stones At Motorist Traveling On Highway
Motorists have called into our studio today warning about a group of people throwing stones at passing vehicles along the Phillip Goldson Highway in the Biscayne Village area. According to the complainant, who wished to remain anonymous, he was driving along the highway in that area around nine Saturday night when something hard hit the door on the driver’s side. When he inspected it, he said that his vehicle had been dented just about an inch below the glass on the driver’s door. When he drove about a mile further up the highway, he came across another motorist whose rear windshield had been completely shattered.

Machete Wielding Man Detained In San Pedro
Late Friday evening we received news that a man wielding a machete was chasing people around in San Pedro Ambergris Caye. The reports add that he was chopping people randomly. Today, police report that around 6:23 31 year old Tyrone Garnett, a Belizean Technician employed at BTL came into the San Pedro Police station to report that he was attacked by a man wielding a machete. According to the San Pedro Town resident, earlier that day around four forty-five he was driving a white Toyota Hilux Pick-up, property of BTL, on Angel Coral Street.

MOH Releases Report On Food-borne Disease Study
Today the Ministry of Health shared with the media the results of a Foodborne Disease Research study. What’s this you ask? The Ministry says the study launched in September 2012 was aimed at estimating the proportion of the population suffering from Acute Gastroenteritis (AGI) also known as stomach flu, at a specific time period while also estimating the economic burden the disease has on the public health system.

Students Receive Educational Grant From St. Francis Xavier Credit Union
Over 300 young shareholders at the Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union gathered at the financial institution this past Saturday to collect their student grants. Each year, as a token of appreciation for being part of the institutions growth, grants are offered to each young member to assist with their back to school expenses. We spoke to a few recipients and the General Manager Rafael Dominguez.Rafael Dominguez – General Manager“We are actually giving a token to all student members who have qualified to a student grant and it is the fourth year that we are actually giving this gift of token to our student and this is what is taking place here at the main office here at Corozal Town. It is a simple form that we give to our entire student member especially to the high school and we also have been able to incorporate the ITVET institute and the simple form application caters for the members to have minimum shares of a hundred and fifty dollars up to what was the ending of June 2014.”

Back To School Program Assists Hundreds Of Students
On Sunday and at the close of the summer holidays, Standard Bearer for the Corozal Bay Gregorio Papas hosted his 4th Annual Back to School Bash for the children in his constituency. Hundreds of children along with their parents and guardians took advantage of the event and its fun activities and giveaways. Our news team was there to capture the highlights. Here is that report from Victor Castillo.Victor Castillo – Reporting Clowns, games and haircuts were activities in this year’s fourth annual Back to School Bash organized by Gregorio Papa’s Garcia and Team Papa’s in Corozal Bay Constituency. It’s an annual event to assist kids in this area with school supplies before returning to school.

Rotaract Witnesses Another Successful Bag Drive
The Orange Walk Rotary Club members completed another of their projects over the weekend and this one’s called the Kind Heart Bag Drive. A few weeks back we told you about their drive to collect used school bags from generous members of the Orange Walk Town. The initiative was to collect as many school bags to then issue to the less privileged children within the community. Vice President of the club, Janelle Ozaeta says they issued the bags over the weekend to some seventy school children.Janet Ozaeta – Vice president of the club“We donated 70 school bags to different children from across Orange Walk and we did some in the Palmar area, some in the Trial Farm Area and some as well in Town and this is an annual project that we do. Last year we donated about the same amount and this year the same and our fund raisers that usually cater for this is our Fiesta Rama fund raiser and this year we started a new fund raiser, the Scavenger Hunt and I would like to say thank you to all of our sponsors, to the Rotaractors that came out yesterday that worked hard and diligently, we put smiles on 70 kids yesterday and they were really excited about it. I think for Rotaractor is a big success , we go out there and we gave our bags and we put smiles on different children faces and yesterday the little guy said “yes I got a new bag to go to school” and I think for Rotaractors is a huge success and for the community.”

#495052 - 08/27/14 06:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 27, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

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Woman Accuses Nephew of Burning Her House Down
Fire officials were called out earlier this afternoon to the Gungulung Area in the Lake Independence Division after a fire was ignited at a home on Holy Emmanuel Street. Love News spoke with Ben Matura of the National Fire Service to get the details that followed the 911 call for help. Benesford Matura “At 12:45PM we got a call of a house fire on Holy Emmanuel Street; two units were dispatched to the area. The address is 9190 Holy Emmanuel. Upon arrival, there were three structures in the yard; the one to the very back was under fire. We got into operations and extinguished the fire. The other two remained intact. It was a 40X30 wooden on plycem structure, about 4 or 5 feet off the ground. After extinguishing the fire we got in contact with the owner which is Ms. Sonia Harris.” 53-year-old, Sonia Harris, the home owner, has been in Belize for a few months working on improving the structure of this home. Love News went to the site of the fire, where we found Harris and her family members in tears, trying to cope with the loss of thousands of dollars she had just recently invested. A loss she cannot comprehend since the man who confessed to setting the home on fire was no less than her nephew, who she had allowed to live in the house rent-free for the last two years.

Artisans To Converge at Memorial Park This Weekend
This weekend the Memorial Park will come alive with color and creativity as the third annual arts and crafts expo takes center stage. Reporter Olive Singh has more on the upcoming event. OLIVE SINGH REPORTING OLIVE SINGH: “A special cultural activity will be held this Saturday at the Memorial Park. The Belize Tourism Board presents their third annual Village Arts and Craft expo which will feature talents of local Belizean artisans to the public and international visitors. The Expo serves as the podium for these small entrepreneurs to network with sponsors in the tourism industry. Love FM spoke with the Development Coordinator Clive Meyers who encourages the public to come out and support Belizean Talent.” CLIVE MYERS: “The Belize Tourism Board Village Arts and Craft expo is a project that stems from an umbrella program by the name of the Village Outreach initiative. This is where is for us to foster rural community development with artisans that live in the villages of Belize.

Another Shooting in Southside Belize City
Two men were wounded in a shooting incident last night. According to police report, at around 9:20 last night, 18 year old Rodrick Williams and 19 year old Akeem Richardson, were standing at the corner of Iguana Street Extension and Elston Kerr Street when they were approached by male person of dark complexion who pulled out a handgun and fired several shots in their direction. Williams was shot to the abdomen, hand and back. Richardson was shot to the right small finger. Both men were transported to the K.H.M.H. where they were admitted in a stable condition. Police investigations continue.

Police Nabs One of Four Persons Involved In Stabbing Incident
Joseph Vaccaro Jr. one of four persons who the police believe was involved in stabbing incident, was charged with attempted murder and dangerous harm when he appeared yesterday before the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Vacarro was remanded into custody until September 1. The charges arose from an incident which occurred between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on January 16, 2014. The complainant, a 15 year old boy, reported to the police that he was standing at the corner of LaCroix Boulevard and Balam Street when a car pulled up and three persons jumped out and inflicted multiple stab wounds to his body. In January three men were charged in connection with the incident. They are 54 year old Joseph Vacarro Sr., 34 year old Rupert Garnett and 33 year old Kenrick Crawford. As we reported yesterday Vacarro appeared in San Ignacio Magistrate Court where we was charged with murder in connection with the death of Victor Vargas, a resident of Unitedville in the Cayo District.

Gordon Sentenced After Injuring Relatives with Machete
Forty-three year old Luis Gordon, a resident of 48 Amara Avenue, was sentenced to five years yesterday by the Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of grievous harm for chopping his sister, 23 year old Janelle Gilharry, on the little finger of her right hand, an injury which resulted in permanent paralysis of her finger. Gordon is still faced with charges of attempted murder and grievous harm for injuries he allegedly inflicted on Janelle’s husband, Robert Gilharry. The incident occurred on September 6, 2013, on Amara Avenue, where Janelle and Robert, also reside. According to the evidence, a female friend of couple stayed overnight at the couple’s apartment and had parked her vehicle in the yard, an act which upset Gordon. So the following day, September 6, Robert moved the vehicle and parked it on the street.

CONCACAF Officials in Belize to Sort Out FFB Problems
Two Officials from CONCACAF arrived in the country yesterday. Rafael Salguero, an Executive Member of CONCACAF and of FIFA along with Marco Leal, CONCACAF’s Director of Legal Affairs, was called in by President of the FFB, Ruperto Vicente, says that the Salguero wand Leal were called in as advisors. A meeting with the delegates, congress and the officials was held at six o’clock this morning at the FFB’s headquarters in Belmopan City. Vicente says that it was necessary to call in the officials for assistance. RUPERTO VICENTE “It was an excellent discussion and there has been some recommendations made and we have been given recommendation to first of all hold a retreat for the executive members and then thereafter come back to the general meeting and look at what proposal we’ll be presenting to them and then the CONCACAF officials will be here as well. This is important to bring them in because as you know we are a growing federation and we are still learning and for this reason I have also invited FIFA to come in and assist us with our strategic plan and so that is going to be happening in October. They will assist us with our financial positions and so forth so that is going to be coming as well in October where they will put in place a mechanism on how to better manage our finances and how to better manage the federation. This is not something unique to Belize. There are many other countries that have gone through and are going through this sort of phase and so it was easy for them to recognize where our problem is and what we can do to rectify our problems.”

Skilla Captured by San Pedro Police
San Pedro police have captured twenty nine year old Jason, “Skilla” Gillette. According to reports, Gillette was captured on Thursday night in the San Mateo Area of San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. San Pedro Police say that they received a tip from people who saw Gillette in the area. Police responded quickly and upon their arrival in the area, Gillett was seen sitting in a veranda of a newly built house. Gillett did not put up a fight. A search was conducted on Gillette, the house and yard, but nothing incriminating was found. Due to the report made against Gillett by German Zuniga, Gillette was consequently arrested and charged for aggravated assault. Zuniga reported to police that Gillett took out his black and chrome nine millimeter pistol and fired four shots in his direction. Luckily for Zuniga, all the bullets missed.

Machete-Wielding Man Scares Caye Residents
A video surfaced on Facebook over the weekend showing a man randomly attaching people with a machete on San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye. The video has gone viral as it shows two men running away from the machete wielding man. The official police reports states that on Friday, August 22, 31 year old Tyrone Garnett, reported that he was driving a white Toyota Hilux Pick-up on Angel Coral Street and as he was passing the junction of Angel Coral Street & Ambergris Street, he observed a group of people running. As a result he stopped; and suddenly saw 20 year old Simon Velasquez approaching from the driver’s side door with a machete in his hand. and started to knock the driver`s side window glass for the vehicle with the machete. According to Garnett, Velasquez then pushed the machete through the window in an attempt to hurt him. Garnett received injuries from the machete whereby he sustained three cut wounds to three of his fingers of his left hand. Shortly after San Pedro Police arrived on the scene and detained the culprit. We understand that Valesquez has been charged for wounding and police say that they have suggested that he get psychiatric attention.

5 Million to Be Spent on City Canals and Street
Four contracts were signed this morning for the carrying out of infrastructural works around the country. The contract signing took place in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Works and Transport on Power Lane in the City of Belmopan. During today’s signing ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle explained what the four contracts are for. Errol Gentle: “We’ll be signing four contracts. The first being the Bill Lindo Canal which is the construction of the concrete lined canal and that is at a cost of $892,250 with the Government of Belize and Maehia’s United. Then we have the Douglas Jones Canal which is the construction of a concrete lined covered canal at a cost of $1,813,629.88 and this will be signed with Medina’s Construction. We also have the North Side Canal which is the cleaning of the existing canal and lining of with sheet pile with Medina’s construction at a total cost of $1,935,150 and fourthly, Apollo Street to Belama Phase 4; that is the upgrading of the street and this will be signed with M&R construction at a total cost of $1,077,425.86; all to the grand total of $5,718,455.74.”

Weekend Gun Violence Tapers; One Incident Reported
The weekend was a relatively quiet one considering the past incidents of violence we have spent Mondays investigating. There were only two incidents of gun violence and only one man injured. The first occurred on Friday night. It is a shooting, which police believe is gang-related, that took place at the corner of Vernon Street and Central American Boulevard in Belize City. The incident happened just before ten o’clock and left 40-year-old, Ralph Martinez of a Mayflower Street address with a gunshot wound to his left lower back. According to reports gathered, Martinez was socialising at a house at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets where it is believed he was being monitored. Martinez left the residence and began walking on Vernon Street towards Lakeview Street when a white van, traveling from Lakeview Street area, drove up near him and several shots were fired by one of the occupants in the van.

Provident Bank of Belize Hit By Armed Robbers
One man has been detained as Belize City Police continue their investigations into a mid-morning robbery. Once again we join reporter Hipolito Novelo for the details. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Hipolito Novelo: “Belize City Police responded to a brazen armed robbery on Barrack Road. It happened minutes after nine o’clock this morning when two men entered, Provident Bank and Trust Limited and robbed the cashier.” Inspector Santiago Ciao: “Two male persons entered the Provident Bank requesting to see the cashier. The cashier was called out; before she could have approached this person he went right into her cubicle pulled out the bottom draw, pulled out a red and a black cash pan and made his way out. In that process he was being chased by the cashier telling them that he could not take those cash pans with him. The other male person then pulled out a .38 revolver and pointed at her and said ‘Do not move, this is a robbery’. The guy left the building with two cash pans, he pulled the security into a corner, gun butted him three times and ordered him to lay on the ground then the robber left. The security then made chase and he caught them boarding a van which they used to escape the scene.”

Missing Man Found Dead in Shallow Grave
The Banner and Duhaney families had their worst fears become reality over the weekend. Last week the family went to the media looking for information after Denvo Bannner Duhaney went missing. Duhaney’s body was found this past weekend. Reporter Hipolito Novelo has the story. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING Hipolito Novelo: “The decomposing body of 27 year old Denvo Banner Duhaney was found in a shallow grave on Saturday afternoon in the Village of Lemonal, Belize District. Duhaney had been reported missing and was last seen on Saturday August 9. Duhaney was a cricket player and he was celebrating in the village’s field after having won the match. Since that night, no one had seen him. Days past and the family began to worry. Eventually a search party went out looking for him.” Arlene Banner: “It was a big ordeal because we didn’t know what to do, where he was or what could have happened to him for 14 days and it took us between the sixth and seventh day to realize that something was wrong. We started to contact more family members more often, then we realized we hadn’t gotten any response from anybody and that was when we decided that we were going to do a search up in the village.


New Director for SATIIM
The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indegenous Management (SATIIM), in a press conference on Tuesday, made a very important announcement ; the organisation is under new leadership. Greg Choc is stepping down as leader and Ms. Froila Tzalam is the new Executive Director of SATIIM . Greg Choc stated tha...

Two teenagers shot in Belize City
Two teenagers were shot in Belize City last night.  18-year-old Rodrick Williams of Belize City was shot to the abdomen, hand and  back while 19-year-old Aleem Richardson, also of Belize City, was shot to the right small finger.According to police reports, at 9:20p.m...

Another Government Vehicle stolen
A government vehicle assigned to the Western Regional Hospital’s Vector Control unit was stolen on Friday night...

Missing Lemonal man found dead in shallow grave
27 year old Denvo Banner, a resident of Lemonal Village, Belize District, was last seen on Saturday August 9th at a party in Lemonal, after which he said he was heading to Guinea grass Village in Orange Walk District. However he never reached his destination.The family became uneasy  at his sudden ...

Heritage Bank robbed in Belize City
A brazen Monday morning robbery of a bank was successfully executed in Belize City. Sometime after nine o’clock Monday morning, Heritage Bank located on Barrack Road was robbed at gunpoint by two men of dark complexion. They made off with over $40,000.00 in Belize and US currency...

Man shot in the back on Belize City street
A man was shot in the back on Friday night. On Friday August 22 at about 9 o’clock, police visited the KHMH where they saw 40-year-old Ralph Martinez of Mayflower Street, Belize City, in  stable condition suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the lower back...

A&R’s Security Guard accused of conspiracy to commit robbery of store
One of A&R’s own Security Guards is being accused of being a part of a conspiracy to a robbery at its Belize City Northern Highway branch...

19 year old charged with murder of father of 7
Victor Vargas was murdered two Saturday’s ago. The 34 year old father of 7, known as Nico, got into a fight with a teenager who allegedly stabbed him in the throat...

2 years for stolen computer
Robert Jefferies, the nephew of former Compol Crispin Jefferies, was sentenced on Monday to two years imprisonment, for handling stolen goods; a laptop computer which was stolen from inside an office at the Law firm of Ernest Staine, located on Regent Street in Belize City. On Monday, at the end of ...

Acute Gastroenteritis and causes of Food Borne Illness in Belize
Last week the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Belize and the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), presented the results of the Burden of Illness (BOI) research study on Acute Gastroenteritis and causes of Food Borne Illness in Belize...

Building Canals for Food Mitigation
As part of the Flood Mitigation program which is being funded through a loan Agreement made with the Inter-American Development Bank, four contracts were signed to commence the construction of three canals, the cleaning of one existing canal, and the upgrading of one stretch of road in Belama Area, ...

New Bridge planned for twin towns
While on the subject of infrastructure works in the country, Hon. Rene Montero expounded on some of the street works ongoing in his municipality, and highlighted the construction of a new bridge that will be connecting the Twin Towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena. Rene Montero – Minister of Works and T...

Another Dead Body found in Orange Walk
The body of a dead man was found floating in the Belize New River on Sunday August 24th, in Orange Walk Town. The body has since been identified as that of 66 year old Efijenio Dujon, a Guatemalan National of no fixed address.Reports are that Efijenio Dujon was last seen alive on Saturday afternoon...

Found Property
On Sunday afternoon, a police/BDF Strike Team visited an abandoned lot on Vernon Street, where searches  inside a blue drum led to the finding of a black plastic bag inside the drum containing five black parcels, each containing green leafy substance believed to be cannabis...

Annual Shooting competition held in Hattieville
There was a shooting competition on Saturday held at the BDF Gallery Range in Hattieville. It is an annual event and this year saw the participation of Police, BDF, Customs, Immigration, Security companies, and Cayo Pistol Club. The competition was divided into 3 sections; pistol competition, fallin...

Anonymous messages Belize?
A very interesting video is making its rounds on Belize social media. Over the last 24 hours alone, since it was posted, the video has been viewed more than 3,700 times. That’s quite a feat for Belize’s small online population...


The massive cost of “leptospirosis” fried chicken
Leptospirosis, a potentially deadly disease contracted when food or water is contaminated by rat urine or feces, left the family of Nigel Augustine, 22, with a massive financial burden of $13,000, and although they have received donations to help pay the bill, Mary Lobo, Augustine’s mother, told us on Friday that they still need to find $9,000 more to settle their account with the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH). Augustine’s medical records state that he suffered leptospirosis, acute renal failure and pneumonia. His mother said that he has been unable to return to work, and his kidneys won’t function well for about 6 months.

2 jailed for crystal meth worth BZ$4 million
Late this evening, Cuban national Pascual Terrero Pineda, 52, from Boca Del Rio in San Pedro, and Ruperto Eulalio Reyes, 49, a Belizean from Orange Walk, were remanded to the Belize Central Prison after being arraigned in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court for drug trafficking in connection with what authorities have referred to as the largest crystal meth bust on record in Belize. The duo have been accused of being in possession of at least BZ$4 million worth of methamphetamine, otherwise known as “crystal meth”, a widely used, highly addictive drug which was reportedly found in the back seat of a car that spun out of control and ran off the road during a police chase this past Wednesday, August 20, at around 7:20 p.m. in Orange Walk.

Heritage Bank jacked 40 grand!
The Heritage International Bank and Trust Ltd., located at the corner of Barrack Road and Craig Street, was held up this morning at about 9:30 by two brazen thieves, who got away with over $40,000 in Belize and US currency. Police said that the bank was robbed at gunpoint by two men of dark complexion, who then fled in a waiting grey/silver Dodge van that was parked on Craig Street. At about 10:00 a.m., the van was located abandoned on Santa Barbara Street. Fast work by police has led to the arrest of one suspect, but the second robber is still on the run.

Belizean-American killed in Boston Carnival parade
Information to Amandala is that a young Belizean-American woman was murdered in Dorchester, Boston, over the past weekend while taking part in the city’s annual Caribbean Carnival, and today, a teenager was arraigned in Boston for her murder. Boston police said that this past Saturday, August 23, shortly after 8:00 a.m., officers assigned to a parade associated with the city’s annual Caribbean Festival heard gunshots and later found Dawnn Ashley Jaffier, 26, suffering from gunshot wounds in the area of Charlotte and Blue Hill Avenues in the Dorchester neighborhood.

BML and CitCo agree on payment schedule
A payment agreement has been ironed out between Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) and the Belize City Council (CitCo) in order to shave down over four months of arrears, amounting to about $1.5 million, which was owed to the sanitation company, whose owner had subsequently resorted to temporarily terminating some fifty employees in order to keep the company afloat. Two weeks ago, on Monday, August 4, a frustrated group of BML workers spontaneously took to the streets in response to the situation and expressed their dissent by scattering several bags of refuse in front of City Hall on North Front Street in Belize City in an effort to have their concerns addressed by Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley.

Belizean youth make foray into multi-billion-dollar mobile app market
Forty-five Belizean youth from various parts of the country launched their mobile app innovations at the Ramada Hotel in Belize City on Friday afternoon, August 22, after a week of training under the 2014 Young Innovators Program, organized and funded by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The youth, divided into 8 teams, presented their new apps, which are available for free on Google Play. During Friday’s app launch, the teams were rated by their peers, and the most popular apps among the workshop participants walked away with Toshiba two-in-one laptops (which can also function as tablets) and free Internet for a year from the provider of their choice.

Missing cricket player, 27, found decomposing
At around 2:30 this past Saturday afternoon, a search party of villagers and police officers came upon a decomposed corpse which was buried in a shallow grave near some bushes about 600 feet northeast of St. Luke’s Methodist Primary School building in Lemonal, located in rural Belize. The search team was made up of members of the family of Denvo Banner Duhaney, 27, a popular cricket player from the village who had been missing since August 9, and to their utter dismay, the body was later identified as their loved one.

A&R security guard remanded for A&R robbery
An A&R security guard has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith late this morning on a charge of conspiracy to commit robbery, in connection with a robbery at the A&R Belize City branch, located at Mile 1 1/2 on the Philip Goldson Highway, which took place last Wednesday, August 20, sometime after 6 p.m. Leroy Ciego, 28, a resident of Marigold Lane, in the Lake Independence area, was read a single charge of conspiracy to commit robbery. No plea was taken from him and he was remanded to prison until his next court appearance on October 9.

Editorial: Beat Down
From time to time, we “talk big” at this newspaper and put up a brave front, but more often than not these days we feel that we have been watching a psychological “beat down” of our people in this population center. Decisions are made and projects are undertaken and/or abandoned which have the masses of our people confused, leave us inconvenienced, destroy our landmarks, and obliterate our history. Why are we not surprised that the locking of the gates of the MCC Grounds a few months ago has not resulted in any visible improvement? Instead, judging from the video footage presented by KREM TV in their Sunday evening news package, the MCC Garden is once again being treated as an idea whose time is gone. The Garden was a sacred place in our people’s consciousness. Politicians and bureaucrats in their employ now appear to have a master plan for the Garden which has to do with predator casinos instead of the Belizean people. Straight up.

From the Publisher
Belizeans at home (and for purposes of this column I will just arbitrarily refer to us as “Base Belizeans”) and Diaspora Belizeans have to stop shouting at each other long distance and organize a forum where the issues can be properly ventilated and some hard resolutions passed. The first thing that has to be done is to identify those voices which are compulsively committed to a UDP or a PUP agenda, and remove them from the discussion. This is a difficult assignment, and it will take time to complete it. But, it can be done, and it must be done if any serious, documented fusion of Base Belizeans and Diaspora Belizeans is to begin taking place.

Letters: Jack Linker’s letter has “factual errors”
In the Sunday edition of Amandala, you published a letter from Jack Linker concerning the importance of exercising your vote. Whereas I agree with this sentiment, there were factual errors in the letter that require pointing out. “…in the USA, the largest democracy….” Mr. Linker does not specify if he means the largest democracy in size, or in population. Not that it matters, because both are incorrect. The largest democracy in land mass is Canada, the 2nd largest country in the world. The largest democracy in number of people is India. Around 1.2 billion people live in India and everyone over the age of 18 has the right to vote. The population of the USA is around 315 million.

Stomach flu study reveals an $18.6 mil burden
The stomach flu has become fairly common—so much so, that the overall economic impact has become astronomical, at an estimated BZ$18.6 million annually, with roughly 40,000 cases believed to occur across Belize each year. Apart from diarrhea generally resulting in 3 or more bathroom visits for the day, patients mostly suffer abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever. Information provided to Amandala by Englebert Emmanuel, Burden of Illness Coordinator/Director of License Accreditation in the Ministry of Health, indicates that the economic impact of acute gastroenteritis on the public health system in Belize is estimated to be BZ$6.2million annually, while the economic loss due to unproductive days is estimated at BZ$ 10.9 million annually. Within the private health care system, loss of productivity and health care costs were estimated at BZ$1.4 million annually.

More hands on deck for school uniforms
In recent years, vendors have adopted the practice of importing school uniforms from places like Guatemala, contrary to the traditional practice which Belizeans have had of getting their uniforms made by local seamstresses and tailors, but a group of women from northern Belize have been trained with the skills necessary to bolster local garment production. According to the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Social Investment Fund in Belize, a group of 26 women graduated this month from the Garment Construction Training project, financed through a loan of US$51,440.00 from the Bank.

Ruckus at Robert’s Grove board meeting
A meeting of the board of directors of Robert’s Grove Beach Resort, said to be the premier tourist resort in southern Belize, according to a number of tourism experts, had to be aborted because a member of the board objected to attorney Arthur Saldivar’s presence in his capacity as the attorney for Jean Marc Tesse, the majority shareholder of the resort. Even before the meeting could get underway, there was an altercation between Saldivar and Boris Mansfield, a minority shareholder, who was about to chair the three-member board meeting, which included director Michael Kramer. Amandala was invited to the resort to report on the altercation between Saldivar and Mansfield, which had been reported on a local radio station.

Police charged two Mile 8 residents for gang-related offenses
Two residents from the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway were arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court this morning on separate charges for tattoos that police are alleging link them to criminal gangs. The men appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton Police charged Angel Dorado, 34, for “profess[ing] to belong to a criminal gang,” and Shaquille Baeza, 19, for “displaying gang membership.” Dorado was the first to be arraigned and he pleaded not guilty to the charge that he had professed to belong to the Bloods Gang.

Belize and Uruguay confirm mutual support for top OAS positions
At a recent meeting held in Belize, top-ranking officials of both Belize and Uruguay discussed the bids by candidates from their respective countries, to seek the two leading administrative posts in the Organization of American States (OAS). H.E. Ambassador Gonzalo Koncke, Uruguay’s Special Envoy, Chief Executive in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Representative to the United Nations, was in Belize earlier this month on a mission to discuss bilateral relations between the two countries.

Tut Bay FC wins CYDP Peace Cup 2014
BELIZE CITY—The best-of-2 games championship series in the CYDP Peace Cup 2014 tournament was played over the weekend at the Hostel Field, with Tut Bay emerging champions over second place North Front Street. Tut Bay won [...]

Belize participates in CAC Table Tennisqualifiers in El Salvador
BELIZE CITY—Belize will be participating in the Central American & Caribbean (CAC) Games Table Tennis qualifying event to take place in El Salvador from August 28 to 31, 2014. Team Belize will comprise of: Zhi Cheng; [...]

Complex “Admirals” take Game 1 in BDBA Firms Finals series
BELIZE CITY—The BDBA (Belize District Basketball Association) Firms Competition opened its best-of-3 games championship Finals series on Friday night, August 22, at Bird’s Isle, where Complex Admirals took Game 1 of the series by a 73-63 [...]

Spotlight on golf in Belize – 4th Annual Corkers World Cup
BELIZE CITY—The 4th Annual Corkers World Cup took place last weekend at the Roaring River Golf Course, as players from all over the world competed in a team tournament, with the Belizean Americas trying to win [...]

The August 24th, 2014 issue of The STAR (Cayo) is online HERE

This Week's Stories:

  • Murder in Unitedville later identified as Victor “Niko”:
    Just as the new day was dawning on Saturday, August 16, San Ignacio Police were called out to the village of Unitedville on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District, to investigate the presence of the lifeless body of a male person on a veranda. Upon arrival at the Unitedville residence of Quinton Middleton, 29 year old businessman, the police came upon body of a male person of Hispanic descent, face upward on the veranda. The deceased was later identified as Victor “Niko” Vargas, 37, Guatemalan, naturalized Belizean who resided in the village.
  • Who Will Be Queen Of The West 2014?:
    This year’s September Celebrations was launched today at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio with the official presentation of the six contestants for the Queen of the West. Master and Mistress of Ceremony for the event were William Black and Melanie Usher who is also serving this year as the pageant coordinator. The welcome address was delivered by Queen of the West 2012, Miss Marcia Moody, who invited the public to come out on Saturday, August 23, 2014, to the Octavia Waight Center Auditorium to support their favorite contestant.
  • The Difference In Leadership Is As Clear As Day Is To Night:
    It’s been over two months since the incident with PUP Belize Rural North Standard Bearer, Arthur Saldivar, occurred. It is alleged that he accompanied Melanie Coye to the Central Bank sometime in mid June to retrieve Coye’s 1.6 million dollars as ordered by the court. The loot, it is alleged, was placed in two separate carrying cases, one containing $940,000 and the other $660,000. It is alleged that Saldivar made off with the bigger haul and had failed to turn it in to Melanie Coye, an allegation Saldivar denies in one breadth, while in the other, he speaks about the client owing him legal fees to the tune of 100% of the clients rescued funds.
  • GSU Nets Three Drug Finds In A Day:
    Members of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) were today conducting routine searches for illegal drugs, arms and ammunition in Santa Elena and surrounding communities. The operation started at around 5:30 a.m. this Saturday morning with a visit to the Jeronimo Thompson street residence, in Esperanza Village, of Mark Francis Peters. Present at the time of the search were Peters and three other persons. According to the GSU, when searched, Peters was found in possession of a black plastic bag, in his pocket, containing 13.9 grams of suspected marijuana.
  • Alleged Female Burglar Remanded To Prison:
    A 28 year old Belizean woman was today remanded to prison on a burglary charge. The charge stems from a report made by Gerald Armstrong. In a statement to the police Armstrong informed that his house located on Eduardo Juan Street in Santa Elena, Cayo was burglarized and stolen there from where small items amounting to less than one hundred dollars. Armstrong alleged that the incident occurred on Saturday, August 2. The investigation led to the arrest of Marciela Castellanos, 28, Belizean domestic.
  • Rugby: The First Four:
    The southern districts have seemingly stormed ahead in setting up rugby football clubs in Belize, and the first four clubs have appointed organisors and are busy attracting players and volunteers through their social media campaigns. * The Belize Rugby Board (Rugby Belize) has organized the country into two ‘Districts’ for domestic competition purposes; North includes Corozal, Orange Walk and Belize, and South covers Cayo, Stann Creek and Toledo *Hattieville United Rugby Football Union (part of the Hattieville United Youth Sporting Club), organized by Haddan Garbutt, is the headquarters of Rugby.
  • Be Your Spouse’s Biggest Fan:
    If you’re married, God has given you an incredibly important role: to be your spouse’s biggest fan. It’s a job only you can do in the way God desires, and your spouse desperately needs you to do it. We live in a world full of critics. We don’t have to look far to find someone who will put us down. That’s why every person on the planet desperately needs to be affirmed by someone on a regular basis. It’s how God wired us. If you’re married, one such person should be your spouse. To have a growing marriage, it’s essential for you and your spouse to build into your marriage continual affirmation of one another.
  • Suspected Guatemalan Bandidos Attack:
    A 52 year old housewife from Bullet Tree Falls village in the Cayo District visited the San Ignacio police station where she reported an incident of robbery. The complainant, Betty Cruz, informed that she was with her wheel chair confined husband and a worker in the El Pilar Mayan reserve when at around 1:00pm on Wednesday, August 20, two Hispanic male persons showed up on her property asking for a drink of water. She told the police that while she was getting the water, three other men, wearing masks and brandishing assault rifles suddenly appeared. She said that the men spoke Spanish with a clear Guatemalan accent. The couple was relieved of one thousand dollars in cash, two chainsaws, an electrical converter, several security cameras as well as an assortment of food items.
  • Criminal Cases Falling Like Flies:
    A number of criminal cases, some serious, are being struck out for want of prosecution when a policeman, on interdiction, is not appearing in court to give evidence. This is the case with police constable Maxwell Valerio. Some of the recent cases being struck out because of Valerio’s non-appearance in court are: i) August 4: Possession of a controlled drug, 6.5 grams ii) August 4: Damage to property iii) August 8: Possession of a controlled drug, 9.5 grams iv) August 12: Possession of Ammunition charges for ten .38 rounds.
  • Epilepsy:
    Epilepsy is a group of long-term neurological disorders characterized by epileptic seizures. These seizures are episodes that can vary from brief and nearly undetectable to long periods of vigorous shaking. In epilepsy, seizures tend to recur, and have no immediate underlying cause while seizures that occur due to a specific cause are not deemed to represent epilepsy. In most cases the cause is unknown, although some people develop epilepsy as the result of brain injury, stroke, brain cancer, and drug and alcohol misuse, among others. Epileptic seizures are the result of excessive and abnormal cortical nerve cell activity in the brain. The diagnosis typically involves ruling out other conditions that might cause similar symptoms (such as syncope) as well as figuring out whether any immediate causes are present. Epilepsy can often be confirmed with an electroencephalogram (EEG).
  • Third Annual Patriotic Paddle:
    Our Charitable Fundraising Event, the third annual Patriotic Paddle sponsored by BECOL is scheduled for August 30, 2014. The event is in honor of re-visiting the route of the "Flowers Bank 14" paddle to Belize City and in celebration of the decision to defend the Settlement. The Paddle starts at 8:30 am with a short opening in Flowers Bank Village after which we move off at 9am to Burrell Boom where we'll have lunch. Burrell Boom will be an entry point for paddlers wishing to join in the event. We move from Burrell Boom to Manatee Lookout in Ladyville which is also an entry point. We'll take a few minutes break there before continuing to Courthouse Wharf in Belize City. THIS IS NOT A RACE and all crafts are to paddle along together. Canoes and kayaks can participate in the event.
  • Venezuela Plans To Introduce Supermarket Fingerprinting:
    The government wants to introduce fingerprinting at supermarkets to stop people from buying too much of a single item. President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela has announced a mandatory fingerprinting system in supermarkets to combat food shortages and smuggling. He said the system would stop people from buying too much of a single item. But the opposition in Venezuela rejected the plan, saying the policy treated all Venezuelans as thieves. Critics said fingerprinting consumers of staple products was tantamount to rationing and constituted a breach of privacy.
  • STAR Humor
  • Your Weekly Horoscope and Lucky Numbers
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Public Notices

Patrick JonesPJ

Youth convicted of burglary; given jail sentence
29 year old Robert Jeffries is serving a two year prison sentence on a conviction of burglary handed down Monday by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. Jeffries was convicted after a laptop computer reported stolen from the office of attorney Ernest Staine between March 21 and 22, 2013, was […]

Youth charged with attempted murder
Already facing murder charges for the death of Victor Vargas in Unitedville, Cayo, 19 year Joseph Vacarro, Jr., now faces attempted murder and dangerous harm for an attack on a 15 year old boy in Belize City earlier this year. He appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith today […]

Security guard accused of A&R robbery conspiracy
Despite his protests of innocence, twenty-eight year old Leroy Ciego, a security guard who was on duty at A and R Store, located at mile one and a half on Phillip Goldson Highway when it was targeted by thieves last Wednesday, was remanded to the Central Prison until October […]

Brothers charged for stealing and handling used tires
Two brothers have been charged for burglary and handling stolen goods from a used tire depot on Central American Boulevard and Fabers’ Road last week. 35 year old Henry Pitts, a car washer also known as “Snake,” and his brother Roderick appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on […]

Making Belize’s municipalities safer for children
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partner the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are working with the Ministry of Local Government to make all of Belize’s 9 municipalities safer for their youngest residents. At the start of a workshop opening the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Initiative, Ivan Yerovi, […]

National Garifuna Council investigates alleged language discrimination
The National Garifuna Council says it is investigation an allegation that a financial institution in Dangriga town has instructed employees not to speak the Garifuna language in the workplace. The allegation first surfaces this past weekend when a confidential email was sent to me inquiring if this […]

Dangriga market set for September finish
Residents of the Culture Capital and produce vendors are expected to finally get their reconstructed Dangriga Town Market by the end of September, according to latest projections. Started last year but halted in September after investigations by the Office of the Contractor General unearthed illegal payments by contractor […]

New leadership for SATIIM
There is a new Executive Director for the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management, SATIIM. After years at the helm, Greg Choc today stepped down, paving the way for Froyla Tzalam to take over as the new Executive Director and at the same time ushering in a new […]

Bull Shark found dead in Joe Taylor Creek, Toledo
The Toledo Institute for Development and the Environment, TIDE, is reporting that a female bull shark was found dead this morning in the Joe Taylor Creek in Punta Gorda town. According to a report posted on the TIDE web page, a necropsy was conducted by the organization’s […]


Dog Days of Summer Plus A Hodgepodge of Other Topics Around San Pedro
This post is really a mash-up of topics from yesterday but the theme of Monday August 25th was certain. And everyone I ran into, each taxi driver I passed or rode with, each shop keeper was focused on that one topic- THE HEAT. In the morning, the sea was flat as a pancake and the breeze (the one or two whiffs of it each hour) was blowing from the lagoon side. From the North West. Finally the sargasso seaweed wasn’t coming in anymore…but nothing was coming in. No air. HOT. You can see the sargasso still breaking apart along the shoreline. It’s going to take a bit longer for that stinky stuff to disappear.

Chaa Creek’s Staff does it Again
Their generous donations through the Inland Expedition Guides/Staff Program once again brought joy and much needed school supplies to local children We recently wrote about the annual Chaa Creek Scholarship Program, which kicked off this year on August 20 with a special luncheon at the Guava Limb Café for the some of the twelve deserving students who will have their further education tuitions paid courtesy of Chaa Creek. And now for more good news and another shining example: On Monday August 18, 2014, 37 kids from the little village of Corozalito off the Chaa Creek road were taken to the Belize Zoo as part of this year’s Inland Expedition Guides/Staff Program.

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. 2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain, and rinse under cold water. 3. In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar to make the dressing. 4. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, tortellini, bacon, raisins, sunflower seeds and red onion. Pour dressing over salad, and toss.

International Sourcesizz

Belize Thanks Journey's Keyboardist for Visiting by Recording 'Don't Stop Beliezin'
You can't make this stuff up. Jonathan Cain, the keyboard player for Journey and writer of perhaps the band's biggest hit, "Don't Stop Believing," vacationed in Belize recently—and tweeted about what a fantastic experience it was. The Belize Tourism Board got wind of this, and with help from its ad agency, Olson, orchestrated an elaborate thank-you to Cain—in the form of a cover song, "Don't Stop Belizein." Popular local Belizean group The Laru Beya Boys recorded the song, which you can hear below. Olson and the Belize Tourism Board have collaborated on quirky campaigns in the past. Last year they offered free vacations to Vince Gilligan and eight members of the Breaking Bad cast—after the phrase "taking a trip to Belize" was used on the show as a euphemism for getting murdered.

Mission to Belize brings hope, help, happiness to orphans
The following is my account of a weeklong mission trip to Belize (Central America), which I took with my mother, Jane Wheeler, and my cousins Sara and Emily Steybe, and 17 others earlier this summer. It was sponsored by La Jolla Presbyterian Church. Our goal was to paint cheerful murals on an orphanage for abused children and build a home for the impoverished 10-member Garcia family. Once we arrived at the Banana Bank Lodge, everyone retrieved their suitcases from the trunk and carried them to their rooms, since there was no path to roll them on the ground. Four people were assigned air-conditioned rooms, while the rest were given cabanas to stay in for the week ahead.

Belize centurion, community advocate honored
A Belizean-born centurion and a popular community advocate were among honorees during the recently-concluded Harlem Week. The Board of Directors of Harlem Week, Inc. and New York City Senior Citizen’s Committee, Inc. bestowed the honor on Caroline Lightburn, 105, and Verna Arthur, Manhattan Community Outreach Director and Senior Advisory Council Liaison with the New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA). They received the awards during the “Elders Jubilee” Luncheon and Awards Ceremony, on Aug. 5, at the Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building in Harlem. Harlem Week celebrated its 40th anniversary, while the Elder’s Jubilee celebrated its 37th anniversary.

UN Committee on Migrant Workers to review Belize and Ghana
The UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (CMW) is meeting from 1 to 5 September to review Belize and Ghana. They are among the 47 States Parties to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families. States Parties are required to submit regular reports to the Committee of 14 international independent human rights experts on how they are implementing the Convention. Among the Issues likely to be discussed are: Belize (1-2 Sep): Application of the Convention by administration and judicial officials; conditions of detention of migrant workers; legal and labour protection for migrant workers including in agricultural and domestic work sectors; equality of treatment with nationals; consultation and cooperation with other States parties concerning international migration trafficking and sex tourism.

Keep manatees on endangered species list
I grew up in Crystal River. I saw my first manatee 55 years ago when I was 5 while I was fishing with my dad. It glided under our boat and my dad was frightened that it would tip us over. To me they were magical and on that day, I became fascinated by these gentle, lumbering creatures. I have spent a lifetime studying the manatee -- the African manatee in Ivory Coast and the West Indian manatee of which there are two sub-species -- the Antillean manatee in Cuba and Belize and the Florida manatee here in Florida.

10 Incredible Horseback Riding Adventures
Lush green coffee plantations, snow-capped volcanoes, game-rich safari plains and the rainforest wilderness are just some of the extraordinary destinations just waiting to be traversed on horseback. Finding the opportunity in these incredible destinations isn't always easy though, so we've come up with 10 exceptional horse riding opportunities at lodges and resorts in undeniably beautiful regions of the world. In Belize's Maya mountains, the protected Caribbean forest of Mountain Pine Ridge is rich in flora and fauna. It's here that you'll find Blancaneaux, Francis Ford Coppola's ultra luxe Balinese-style mountain lodge - well positioned, close to Caracol Mayan site and overlooking a small river and waterfall. As well as a spa and pool, the resort has stables from which you can arrange sunrise rides through the rainforest, trail rides that take you from pine to rainforest while seeking out hidden waterfalls, and sunset rides to the nearby national park.

CRFM to Give Oral Arguments to Law of the Sea Tribunal
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) will on September 5, 2014 give oral arguments to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg, Germany in response to a request for an advisory opinion on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in African waters. ITLOS, which is made up of 21 Judges, including two from the Caribbean, namely, Judge Dolliver Nelson (Grenada), and Judge Anthony Amos Lucky (Trinidad and Tobago), is hearing oral submissions from States Parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and International Organisations with an interest in the subject. Professor Pieter BekkerLegal Counsel for the CRFM, Professor Pieter Bekker of Dundee University, UK will join representatives of nine (9) countries and the SRFC, the European Union (EU), and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) in presenting oral arguments.


Video: The Babymoon, 4min.
Our trip to Belize before the baby arrives.

Video: New Kingston Interview @ Irie Seabreeze Festival, 3min.
Hailing from Brooklyn New York, 3 brothers led by their father Courtney Panton Sr, who also plays bass on stage with the group call themselves "NEW KINGSTON". Together they incorporate R&B, Hip-Hop and Jazz with their heritage genre Reggae to form their sound. Formed in 2006 in the basement of their Brooklyn home they have performed to other basements and backyards around town to clubs to stadiums worldwide. In support of releasing their sophomore album 'Kingston University' released FEB 2013, New Kingston serves as main support for The Green from Hawaii on their West Coast Liars & Lovers Final Chapter Tour! But before heading home they stop off in Austin, TX for SXSW to play the Flamingo Cantina! With more to come supporting SOJA, Cris Cab & Collie Buddz, New Kingston is on a non stop touring rampage to spread Reggae and Love across the world!

Video: Belize, 3min.

Video: Belize palm tree trimmer working, 1min.

Video: Hopkins Village, Belize to Austin USA, 6min.
Drive to the airport speeded up!

Video: Ice Bucket Challenge Belize Style, 1min.
Capricorn Restaurant, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Video: Caribbean Marine Atlas II Kickoff Meeting, 4min.
CMA2 kickoff meeting: 4.2. Belize (J. Azueta)

Video: Carnival Magic Aug 2014, 4min.
Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan (Honduras)

Video: Half Moon Caye - Half Moon Wall - Long caye Aquarium August 3 2014, 5min.

Video: ANONYMOUS messages Belize, min.

Video: Living in Rural Belize 22 Aug, 29min.

Video: BELIZE Ambergris, Placencia & the Sapodilla Cays, 12min.
Honeymoon in Belize.

Video: Belize Police Department Commercial 2014, Security Begins With You!, 1min.

Video: Royal Belize in June 2014, 3min.
I wish I could explain how incredible this island in Belize truly is. It was the opportunity and trip of a lifetime. We will be thanking our friends (The Postons) for a good while. So here's the first of many - "Thank You!"


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