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#496617 - 10/09/14 06:33 AM Today's Belize News: October 9, 2014
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The San Pedro Sun

Taiwanese Ambassador and CATO members visit San Pedro
The Ambassador of the Republic of China in Taiwan to Belize, His Excellency Benjamin Ho and his wife were on a working visit on Ambergris Caye. During his one day visit, Ho met with the Mayor of San Pedro Town Daniel Guerrero and members of the San Pedro Town Council. The visit took place on Sunday September 28th and was part of the country’s 2014 Business and Investment Mission to Belize organized by the Central American Trade Office (CATO). As part of the delegation, Ho was accompanied by representatives of SpeedTech Energy and Sunmed Medical Group. Representatives of the two companies made presentations about their products and line of service. The intention was for the municipal leaders to see how their products could be used in San Pedro Town. For its part, SpeedTech Energy showcased their green energy source as an alternate for non-renewable sources of energy.

Time for a bike ride
There is truly nothing more fun than a ride down the beaches of our island, taking in the breeze and balancing through sand. At least, these little girls seem to be enjoying their two-wheeled jaunt!

Garbage fished from the sea for International Cleanup Campaign
While the total tally of the amount of garbage recovered from the coastal areas has not been calculated, the amount of garbage recovered paints a sad environmental problem. Humans continue to dump garbage in our planet’s water sources, thus contributing to the deterioration and pollution of the marine ecosystem. Often, hundreds of living things, reptiles, birds and fish associate the garbage as a food source, eventually ingesting the objects and dying due to the toxic components of the garbage. The event highlights the point that more effort is needed to stop humans from dumping garbage, especially into the water sources. It is designed to help build awareness to dispose of garbage the right way. The garbage that was collected was taken to the municipal dump for proper disposal. The organizers would like to thank the organizations and residents that assisted in making the event successful.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro Junior College Donates to Roman Catholic Church
Please allow us a space in your prestigious Newspaper for the following: On September 19, 2014, San Pedro Junior College joined the George Price Centre for Peace and Development in commemorating our National Day of Prayer and Service. We identified a non-profit organization, in this instance, the Roman Catholic Church, to donate our proceeds of the Bar-b-que Sale that we did for the purchase of a new keyboard. We need to mention that on this occasion, the Lion’s Club agreed to assist us in this endeavor as part of their community service. The following was the final breakdown of our fundraiser: Bar-b-que sale--$1040.00; Lion’s chicken ceviche sale--$87.00; Lion’s Bingo--$453.00. Our grand total of this first ever SPJC Community Service was $1,680.00.

Island Benefactor Al Felly Brings Typewriting to San Pedro
Al Felly was no ordinary visitor to San Pedro. He was a professional florist of Madison Wisconsin, and like a regular tourist he loved fishing. However, he fell in love with the children of San Pedro, and when he became connected with them, he really got “hooked.” He visited with me back in 1972 when the school was just commencing. Since then both of us have retired, but the influence is still being felt and enjoyed in San Pedro. In this series we will get to see in how many fashions Al Felly touched the lives of hundreds of Sanpedranos. Today this is his favorite phrase: “I think back when it all started - love it.” Well, I worked all along with Al Felly and his wife Eadie and you are going to get it from the horse’s mouth.

San Pedro Participates in Countrywide Coastal Water Cleanup Day
Every article of trash was recorded and the information will be sent to the Ocean Conservancy to document the state of marine debris in Belizean waters. According to the 2013 data, approximately 9,300 pounds of trash was collected from twenty-seven (27) miles of coastline and waterways in 50 different locations. The trash collected this year from around the country included the usual non-biodegradable suspects: plastics, Styrofoam, aluminum wrappers and paper. But the debris also included things like car parts, tire rims and medical waste. Beyond compromising Belize’s aesthetic beauty, marine debris poses serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine reptiles such as turtles, marine mammals such as dolphins and manatees.

Security Guard Stabbed while Robbers Lose $130K in Failed Robbery Attempt
A San Pedro security guard was left hospitalized on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, after he was stabbed twice while on his way to the bank to make a large deposit. Roberto Assi, a security guard at Milo’s Center located in downtown San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, was on his way to make a deposit for the business at the local Belize Bank branch shortly after midday when he was accosted by two robbers who stabbed him twice in the process. The robbers managed to forcibly remove the money back from the security guard’s grip just a few feet from the bank and then the two men made their way way down Barrier Reef Drive (Front Street) towards the direction of Central Park. Onlookers started pursuing them and during the scuffle of their apprehension, the bag containing $130,000 was torn, spreading money and checks across the street and park area. This is when local vendors and people on the street proceeded to help themselves to the money; so while the robbery was prevented, the money was still lost (or stolen) by residents of the island who were at Central Park.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize and Mexico sign bilateral agreements
With the signing of three agreements and the announcement of a series of specific actions, the eighth meeting of the Belize-Mexico Bi-National Commission took place last Friday. The Commission is the principal forum for dialogue between the two countries. Foreign Ministers Jose Antonio Meade and Wilfred Erlington led the meeting and announced the results after two days of work in Belize City, signing the following agreements: • Memorandum of understanding in tourism cooperation; • Letter of intent between Mexico and Belize to improve the security and cooperation programs at the maritime borders;

World Food Day 2014
Government of Belize Press Office

World Mental Health Day 2014 October 10th, 2014
The Ministry of Health celebrates World Mental Health Day this year with a national ceremony at the Welcome Resource Center, Belize City on Friday, October 10th starting at 10:30 a.m.

Where to Meet Expats in Punta Gorda, Belize
Unlike the more popular beach towns in Belize, Punta Gorda—in the Toledo District—is seldom crawling with tourists. And you’ll find few expats in Punta Gorda, compared to towns like Corozal, San Pedro, Placencia or San Ignacio. Upon visiting earlier this year, I learned that a growing number of expats are visiting and trying out the region to see if it’s a fit for them. Punta Gorda, often called PG, is not a party town. Actually, many of the expats who live there fulltime own and operate a business. Others are deeply involved in volunteer or nature-related activities. The long-term expats seem to have integrated seamlessly into the local community. So those expats I quizzed had a hard time coming up with “expat hangouts.” They said that they have little time to “hang out”… Although of retirement age, few are retired.

The Government of Belize has granted a request to protest from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. in front of the U.S. Embassy, Belmopan, on Thursday October 9, 2014. The protest is in regard to the United States Southern Command-funded Forward Operating base for the Belize Coast Guard on Hunting Caye. Belmopan Police have stated that they expect protesters from multiple civil groups and organizations to attend, but they do not know how many participants will be present. The Embassy recommends that visitors to the Embassy avoid contact with demonstrators if possible and recommends exercising extreme caution when driving in the vicinity of the demonstration. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence. You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.

Ministry of Health Fact Sheet on Chikungunya CHIKV!

Ministry of Health Fact Sheet on EBOLA!

BirdSleuth Workshop: Connecting Kids through Birds
As promised, photos from this year's BirdSleuth International two day Workshop held at our field station at Golden Stream on September 29th & 30th! The workshop introduced to primary school teachers a bird-focused environmental education curriculum developed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's Educaiton Program. And as a follow up to participants from last year, the second day focused getting feedback on experiences with using the curriculum. We are thankful for BirdSleuth International (www.birdsleuth.org), teachers and participants for providing their valuable time to this workshop.

Festival De La Hispanidad Y Mestizaje
Colcha Presents a weekend of Cultural Excitement! Come join of for the following event we have planned: Oct 10th - Historical Lecture - Roy Rodriquez Oct 11th - Hasta la Media Noche Musical Concert Oct 12th Evening of Traditional & Cultural dances and presentations * All event start at 7:30pm Corozal House of Culture (NICH)

Channel 7

Hon. Hulse Hunting For Illegal Labourers At Hunting Caye
Since the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie at the Caracol Archaeological Reserve two weeks ago – the entire country has been under a heightened state of security awareness. Which made it the perfect time to find out that a Guatemalan Company, BINARQ, was building the US Funded Coast Guard Forward Operating Base on Hunting Caye in Belizean water. It’s the kind of no brainer that begs the question, “what were they thinking?” by having Guatemalan civilians building a Belizean military facility. Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse, who has been taking a hard line on labour related issues for immigrant workers, told the press today that as soon as he was informed of the Hunting Caye contractual arrangement, he tasked a labour team to investigate whether or not the proper permits were received to get Guatemalan Civilians working at the site. Here's how he explained it:

Saldivar: Why No Red Flags at Hunting Caye
The one minister of Government who did know about the arrangements made for the construction of the Forward Operating Base was John Saldivar, the Minister of National Security. Saldivar hasn't been granting interviews to the press for months, but he agreed to a press encounter today at the ceremony for the Police recruit intake number 90. The media took the opportunity to ask him why a Guatemalan company building the Hunting Caye Facility didn't raise any red flags, and here's how he responded: Alindy Marisol Amaya - News Director, KREM News "In relation to the operating base of the coast guard, in the wake of your comments in the national assembly and those of prime minister Dean Barrow, they have said that, that's not enough, heads should roll because there seems to be the sense that people, or yourself, may have been aware that Guatemalans were in fact constructing it. There is a threat in Guatemalans knowing the ins and outs, the exits of those security facility."

Hon. Lisa Vs. Bobby & Beenie
Yesterday, we told you about the letter that attorney Lisa Shoman wrote to the promoters of the Bobby Chin Birthday Bash Concert, which will take place at Cahal Pech Resort on October 18. The promoters will bring in Jamaican Dancehall Superstar Beenie Man as the headline event, but UNIBAM is demanding that all artists put on a clean show for the concert-goers. The organizations says that Beenie Man or Bobby Chin may, quote, "...make statements/sing, and/or perform lyrics and acts that incite, the murder of His Holiness the Pope, incite and advocate the hate/harm or murder of LGBT persons and promote harm and/or forcible sexual acts against women (and) girls…." End quote. Today we asked Shoman, to explain the legal basis for what, essentially, is censorship: Lisa Shoman, Attorney UNIBAM "It's not about gay people, it's about violence. This addresses violent lyrics and the violence can be expressed towards the police, it could be expressed about the pope, it could be expressed about women, it could be expressed about gay people. So the focus is not the LGBT community, it is a call for there to be no violence, no violent lyrics song, no violence expressed and I think that is a reasonable call.

Beenie Disavows Prejudiced Statements Of Youth
But, truth be told, the allegations of homophobia have dogged Beenie Man as a performer for over a decade now. Gay rights groups – especially in the United States – have been forcing promoters to cancel his shows since the early aughts. It’s affected him big time, and stopped his ascension to status as a marquee entertainment name. In 2012 – he made this statement to appease his critics. It’s relevant now in Belize, and we air it mostly unedited:… Today local promoter Troy Flowers, professionally known as DJ Dalla wasn’t quite so contrite. He said in a statement today, quote, “Stop trying to fight and stifle the entertainment industry…it's a growing industry that puts food on many tables….

San Pedro Robbery Was Both Questionable and Comic
Police have identified a main suspect who they are seeking for a brazen daylight robbery and stabbing yesterday in the heart of San Pedro town. And while initial reports said a security guard was left critical and that he had been robbed of $130,000 thousand dollars – police today told us that the guard only got a flesh wound and an official police report says that 39 thousand dollars in cash was stolen. Privately, police sources have told us that they have their doubts about that figure and are waiting for an accounting from the security company to verify it. Here’s what happened: yesterday afternoon at around 1:30, security guard Cleofosio Robert Assi, was walking from the Western Union Office in downtown San Pedro to the Belize Bank with the money in his backpack. He was going to make a routine deposit, but had no escort and no firearm. Two men attacked him, stabbed at him and wrested away the backpack with the deposit bag. They fled, but according to the San Pedro Sun, townspeople chased them, and detained the bagman at the town’s Central Park.

Police Said Send Five PIV To Prison
Edwin Drive Flowers, known as a prominent figure in the PIV gang. He is joined by 34-year-old Michael Coleman, 23-year-old Emmerson Skyers, 24-year-old Albert Clother, and a 17-year-old minor – all allegedly linked to PIV. The group of five appeared before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith in Court #1 today where they were all unrepresented. They were jointly read a single charge of professed to be a member of a criminal gang, specifically, Peace In the Village, Bloods. They all pleaded not guilty. There’s no bail for the gang charge and so all 5 were remanded until December 8, 2014. The girlfriend to one of the accused told court reporters that the charges are trumped up because they were all at the home of a contractor getting ready to go to work. We note that Drive Flowers – who was shot has his own small construction company.

What Happened To The Caracol Memo?
A week ago, 7News broke the story of the police memorandum which was sent to the Commissioner of Police, his top officers, and copied to the office of the Director of Tourism, Commissioner of Police, the BTB's Director of Destination Planning, and the Administrator of NICH in January. The Commander of the Tourism Police Unit warned in very stark terms that the Tourism Police Unit's officer were not adequately trained and equipped to secure the Caracol Archaeological Site. That was in January of this year, 8 months before Special Constable Danny Conorquie was killed, yet, no steps were taken to address the recommendations of Assistant Superintendent Diana Hall. She foretold that a tragedy such as this one could take place, and last week when the media questioned the Prime Minister about it, he said that the Minister of National Security was the government official most equipped to deal with those inquiries. That opportunity to ask the National Security Minister about that memo came today, and the media grilled John Saldivar on it. Here's what he said:

American Sicko Says He's Guilty
David Wendell Thompson – he’s the American schoolteacher who was accused of trying to seduce under aged Belizean girls using facebook. Well, the news tonight is that the 49 year old Thompson has signed an agreement to plead guilty to a federal charge of online enticement of children, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of life behind bars. Thompson confessed to talking to two girls in Belize, one 13 and the other 15, using his own Facebook account and a phony account he set up in the name of Iris Levy, which was made to look like the profile of a teen-aged girl in Belize. In facebook chats, he tried to entice the 13 year old into sex, telling her, quote, "But u need help…I want u to have a better life." When the girl said she was worried because she was only 13, Thompson wrote in February, "U promised I could be your first and I felt special…will you still let me?"

Hey, Mr. Carter!
Businessman and former politician Darrell Carter pleaded guilty to two social security offences in court today. Carter was charged for four counts of failing to pay Social Security for his employees in February, March, April and May, 2014. He had pleaded not guilty when the case first came up in August, but today he pleaded guilty to two of four counts. In court, Carter asked for another adjournment because he had to let go his attorney and needed another. But the Chief magistrate refused saying that from August he had ample time to get a new attorney. The Chief told him that she was of the view that the matter did not have to go through a trial since the charges are straightforward, and that he either paid the contribution when he was to pay or he did not. Carter tried to present the case on his own and produced some documents showing that he had been making payments to Social Security Board. Carter maintained that he was innocent and maintained a not guilty plea but when the charges were reread to him and that's when he presented to the court a receipt for two payments which was made yesterday for February and March.

Court Reports Say The Cayo Magistrate Lost Her Cool
Yesterday an accused person appeared before Magistrate Nardia Morgan in San Ignacio Magistrate’s Court for a case of grievous harm. But the arresting officer, a woman constable could not find the medico legal form specifying the injuries. Well, according to reports from inside the courtroom, that sent Magistrate Morgan off! She reportedly slammed a book on the judge’s table – and the book went tumbling to the ground. She then reportedly threw some harsh words and stormed off the bench into her chambers, where she picked up he bag, and marched out through the door, only stopping to tell the defendant to go about her business. Reports say that the tantrum continued outside the courtroom. Since then Morgan has apparently gotten over it and returned to the courtroom but has reportedly banned civilian prosecutor George Lopez form appearing before her for the rest of the year.

Nancy And Don Hector, Damage Diplomacy
As we told you, earlier, Minister of National Security, John Saldivar told the media today that his ministry will look into why the Memo about the security concerns at Caracol were seemingly ignored, which critics say contributed to the unsafe conditions which led to the death of Special Constable Danny Conorquie. Well, The Belize People's Front says that you should join them in Boycotting Guatemala because the Government on that side is not doing enough to help Belize curb the incursions into Belizean territory: Daniel Ortiz Reporting For at least a decade now, Friends for Conservation and Development have been sounding the alarm that Belize loses millions of dollars to Guatemalan poachers. They've been engaging in all different kind of illegal activities in the country's natural reserves along the western boarder. The Belize People's Front says at the state level, the response has been inadiquate.

New Gun Law To Senate
Today, the Senate met to discuss the Amendments to the Firearm Act and the Legal Profession Act. As we've told you, the Government is seeking to rationalize the gun laws so that persons who have been wrongfully detained can get bail. As we've featured in our newscast many times in the past, the gun laws have been criticized as being too oppressive, and today, the Leader of Government Business, Senator Godwin Hulse, told the press that he joins those who have been pushing for this change, even if it is only incremental: Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Immigration "As I said in the senate, let's be clear, I have been on this gun thing forever. You can probably dig in your archives for some of my speeches I gave on it. I've had personal experience or being roughed up by police, arrested and charged and it's not nice and I didn't know what hit me, where this was coming from? So i've been an advocate of this, we have discussed in cabinet in depth.

Belize Trucker Traffic Blocking In Chetumal
A major trucking malfunction caused a Belizean trailer to end up blocking the highway near Subtiniente Lopez in Chetumal yesterday. According to the "Por Esto!, Quintana Roo" newspaper, at around 3 in the afternoon a Belizean driver was transporting tonnes of fencing material to San Ignacio from Chetumal when the trailer suddenly became detached from the truck at the entrance of Chetumal, and was stuck in the road. But with the help of passers-by and enforcement officers, they were able to re-attach the cargo trailer to the truck. That took them about 1 hour.

South Indian Dance In Belize
An Indian dance group is here in Belize for the first time to perform the oldest and most popular South Indian classical dance known as the Bharatanatyam. There is a story behind this highly complex and elegant dance and the dancers discussed that at their rehearsal today. The performance started at 7:30 tonight at the Bliss. Entrance is free.

Immigration Questions Arise Again
Since the Private Prosecution against Elvin Penner failed, immigration matters seemingly have gone cold, but there are reports reaching the media tonight that a senior Immigration Officer from the Benque Viejo Office is being investigate for possible immigration irregularities. The allegations are that the officer facilitated documents for Chinese Nationals not yet in the country. Today the Minister confirmed it for the media: Mike Rudon, Reporter - Channel 5 News "We have been hearing that an immigration officer in Benque is under investigation for her part in facilitating some passports for foreign nationals, who aren't even in Belize. I understand it has been brought to the attention of the director and to your attention."

#496618 - 10/09/14 06:33 AM Re: Today's Belize News: October 9, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

More News: Scroll up from here

Channel 5

Minister of Immigration Clueless on Workers’ Status
The news that a Guatemalan company with Guatemalan employees was building a Coast Guard facility on Hunting Caye broke last week Thursday. One week later, the Government says it still [...]

Minister Saldivar Says He Knew About BINARQ…But Kept Mum
While the Minister of Labour, Hulse, is saying that he still does not know about permits, the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, says all required permits were approved. Saldivar [...]

Another Immigration Investigation Underway
The Penner immigration corruption scandal which dominated the public landscape for a year has now fizzled. But with Immigration such a ripe tree full of fruit to plunder, there will [...]

US Embassy Responds
Since last Friday, News Five emailed the US Embassy with a series of questions in respect of the contract issued to BINARQ. Late this evening, we got a response. While [...]

UNIBAM’s Attorney Says It’s About Violence…Not Anti-Gay Lyrics
Three weeks ago an injunction against controversial artist Alkaline put him under manners, bound to keep his lyrical peace and tone down the sex. And now another artist is being [...]

Bobby Chin Says the Show Will Go On
Dancehall performing artist Beenie Man can be considered a mainstay in Belize, having been invited to perform in the country since the mid-nineties. So what is the contention all about? [...]

Beenie Man Says Love & Respect Only…No Hate
But according to UNIBAM’s Attorney, Lisa Shoman, there is precedent for the action being taken against Beenie Man, whose real name is Anthony Davis, and she’s right. Beenie Man and [...]

Belize People’s Front wants to boycott Guatemala
The murder of Danny Conorquie continues to raise the ire of the public. One group that is championing that Conorquie’s murder should not be in vain is the Belize People’s [...]

Minister Saldivar Still Quiet on Compensation Quantum
Earlier today when we caught up with the Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, he was drilled about compensation to the family of Danny Conorquie, who was killed two weeks [...]

Saldivar Says TPU Memo is being Investigated
At the beginning of the year, on January twenty-fourth, the Commander of the Tourism Police Unit, ASP Diana Hall, wrote to the ministry outlining the dangers and risks that tourism [...]

Another Accident on the George Price Highway
There have been extensive reconstruction works on the George Price highway, indisputably the most dangerous roadway which can claim the most fatalities from road traffic accidents. This morning at around seven-thirty [...]

Amendments to Firearms Act Passed…More on the Way
Today, the Senate met and with government’s majority, approved amendments to the Firearms Control Act, the Gun Control Act and the Legal Profession Act. Where the Firearms Act is concerned, [...]

Man Remanded for Carnal Knowledge
A teenager who is only thirteen years and nine months of age is claiming that a young man she is acquainted with had sexual intercourse with her against her will. [...]

Belize City Man Remanded for Burglarizing Home
A thirty-nine year old man is tonight on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of burglarizing a house and stealing about two thousand dollars worth of household items.   Lance [...]

136 Police Recruits Pass Out
One hundred and thirty-six women and men joined the ranks of the Belize Police Department today. The ceremony was held at the police training academy in the capital where family [...]

B.N.T.U.’s call for action to “Unite to Stop the Attacks and tek wi country bak.”
One group that we had not heard from in respect of the execution of Danny Conorquie is the Belize National Teachers Union. Well this evening, we did. Following a meeting [...]

Bodybuilding Championships Set for Next Week
The Belize Body Building and Fitness Championships is set for next Friday, October seventeenth. For months, the federation and athletes, both male and female, have been putting the necessary preparations [...]

Belikin Calendar 2015 is about Fitness & Sports
If you have been following social media, you would know that the launch of the Belikin Calendar takes place on October twenty-fourth, at a reception to be held at the [...]


The Symptoms Of Ebola And How To Prevent It
The second part of the Ministry of Health’s press briefing was to give the media a rundown on the deadly Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which has been wreaking havoc in Western Africa. The current outbreak in West Africa, (first cases notified in March 2014), is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak since the Ebola virus was first discovered in 1976. There have been more cases and deaths in this outbreak than all others combined. It has also spread between countries starting in Guinea then spreading across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia, by air (1 traveller only) to Nigeria, and by land (1 traveller) to Senegal. And while there is no known cases of the deadly Ebola virus in the Caribbean, officials say that the region including Belize should not rest on its laurels. Reporter Maria Novelo has this story in the following report.

Our Lady Of Guadalupe R.C. School Receives New Bathroom Facilities
For years students enrolled at Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic School in Altamira Corozal have been forced to use dilapidated bathrooms, thus putting their health at risk, but not anymore because the staff and faculty of the school can boast of new bathroom facilities. Daniel Moreno, a concerned citizen, saw the need of the school and that’s where the initiative was born. Daniel Moreno – Concern Parent “I was informed that the school needed better bathroom facilities and God put it on my heart actually to go ahead and do this and I consulted with my team at a Crossing the Gulf Ministries and we decided to go ahead and constructed the bathroom.”

Is Belize's Poultry Being Smuggled Into Chetumal, Quintana Roo?
A report aired yesterday on one of the media houses in Chetumal, Mexico has suggested that wholesalers who sell chicken may be smuggling chicken into the country from Belize. The suggestion goes further to state that this poultry from Belize can be contaminated and unsafe to eat. The report indicates that some wholesalers are selling chicken at a rather cheap price, somewhere in the vicinity of twenty-seven to twenty-eight pesos per pound which translates to somewhere over four dollars a pound. This is a concern as various wholesalers are competing for sales and the issue was raised because the actual marked price for chicken there is thirty-five pesos or more or almost six Belize dollars. The suggestion therefore was that some wholesalers were able to offer their poultry at a cheaper price because it was smuggled into the country from Belize. As we mentioned earlier too, the interviewee further suggested that this meat could very well be contaminated. Here is an excerpt of that story and the interview aired.

Organizations Meet To Discuss Security At Archaeological Reserves
The shooting death of a tourism police Danny Conorquie at the Caracol archaeological site has stirred a series of events that center on security and justice for the victim. The discussions as to how to deal with the aftermath of the situation continued this weekend with a stakeholder meeting. Discussions surrounded the archaeological reserve and the Chiquibul National Park among members of the Belize Toursim Board, the National Institute of Culture and History NICH, the Institute of Archeology, the Tourism Police Unit, San Ignacio Police Formation, Friends for Conservation and the Cayo Tour Guides Association. The Cayo Tour Guide Association made a number of recommendations including the need to increase military presence on the route to Caracol and the site itself starting from seven in the morning. This way there would be better access to the site for tourism activities that include botanical tours, ecology, hiking and camping to name a few. The association also suggested that they would like to have a better rapport with the TPU and Armed forces or every security option available for their safety. The second suggestion is that at least two hundred meters or more near the site is thinned, not cleared to allow for better visibility within the park and perimeter.

Belize Being Cleaned Of Debris
The Wavemakers 23rd annual national clean-up campaign which was held on Saturday proved successful once more. Hundreds of volunteers took to the beach, riverbanks, canals and lagoons to collect and remove garbage and other forms of debris from Belize’s waterways. Every article of trash was recorded and the information will be sent to the Ocean Conservancy to document the state of marine debris in Belizean waters. According to the 2013 data, approximately 9,300 pounds of trash was collected from twenty seven miles of coastline and waterways which comprises of fifty different locations. The trash collected this year included the usual non-biodegradable suspects: plastics, Styrofoam, aluminium wrappers and paper. But the debris also included things like car parts, tire rims and medical waste. Beyond compromising Belize’s aesthetic beauty, marine debris poses serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine reptiles such as turtles, marine mammals such as dolphins and manatees. The clean-up was one spearheaded by the folks at the Scout Association of Belize, Oceana Belize, Rotaract Clubs, environmental clubs and other organizations across the country.

Carmelita Resident Stabbed While She Sleeps
Tonight, Orange Walk police have arrested and charged one male teen in connection to an aggravated burglary in Carmelita Village that occurred last night. According to the situation report, around 12:13am, acting on information received, Orange Walk Police visited Carmelita Village in the District of Orange Walk where they met 43 year old one Ruth Flowers suffering from a cut wound to the right arm and palm of left hand. Information gathered revealed that Flowers was lying on her bed when she was awakened by a male person standing by her bed. This person stabbed her on her right arm and attempted to stab her again but Flowers grabbed the knife by the blade causing the cut to her palm. The person then ran away but not before Flowers recognized him as 18 year old Brandon Vasquez, Belizean labourer of Carmelita Village, who was arrested and charged yesterday for the crimes of Aggravated Burglary and Use of Deadly means of harm.

Robbery In San Pedro Nets Thieves More Than A Hundred Grand
A major heist on Ambergris Caye has netted thieves over $130,000 during a brazen daylight robbery at Milo’s Center in downtown San Pedro. The Sun reports that around 1:20 this afternoon, a security officer identified as Roberto Assi was wounded in the process when two men attacked him as he was heading out with a deposit bag to the bank. The two men stabbed and then robbed him of a deposit bag containing $130,891. One of the suspects was caught and the other with the money bag made good his escape. Police say the men are known to them and are actively seeking the other perpetrator.

SP Police Recovered Drugs And Cash, Two Men Charged
In other news coming out from San Pedro, island authorities arrested and charged a pair of men from the island for the offence of drug trafficking. This morning around 8:30am, a team of San Pedro Police, QRT, CIB and Special Branch personnel, conducted a search at an apartment room located at # 14 Sandpiper Street in the San Juan Area, San Pedro Town. Present at the time were 55 year old Rene Gabriel Perez, Belizean Fisherman and 18 year old Nairo Perez, Belizean fisherman, who both reside at the apartment. A search was conducted inside the room which led to the discovery of a pink plastic container containing green leafy vegetable substance wrapped in transparent plastic amounting to a total of 123.0 grams of suspected Cannabis. Also found inside the plastic container was ($656.00) in different denominations believed to be proceeds from drug sales. Both men were arrested and charged for “Drug Trafficking.”


US Embassy is Examining Contracting Procedures
The US Embassy issued a press release on the building of the Coast Guard facility on Harvest Caye, and the fact that Guatemalans have been contracted to do the work. The release says that- “The goal of the U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) is to support the Belizean military and people so that the United States and Belize can continue to work closely together in strengthening maritime security interests that affect both countries. In consideration of our strong U.S.-Belize partnership, USSOUTHCOM and the U.S. Embassy in Belmopan are currently examining the contracting procedures and construction efforts underway to address Government of Belize concerns…..The bidding process for these infrastructure projects is transparent and open to a pool of international contractors under the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Central America “Multiple Award Task Order Contracts” (MATOCS).

Heavy rains cause flooding in areas across Belize
Heavy showers fell over most parts of the nation on Wednesday, causing flooding in some areas. Many Belize City streets were completely under water as the rains fell heavily most of the day. In Belmopan, some streets were also flooded as well as yards. In the Salvapan extension area of Belmopan, a truck which had just delivered soil to a resident, was moving off when its fuel line burst and spilled onto the streets. That fuel was clearly seen on the flood waters in the area causing an ugly black film. Residents of the area are especially concerned about the oil sheen as some of them have water wells in their yards and fear of contamination has been expressed. The area is prone to flooding but this is a unique situation as the flooding, linked with a simple incident, can now create a potential hazard. We were unable to get a comment from the Department of Environment late Wednesday evening, when we were made aware of the situation. We will follow up on this story.

Teachers’ Union Issue Call To Action Following Killing Of Danny Conorquie
The Council of Management of the Belize National Teachers’ Union met on Saturday, and unanimously voted for an immediate “call to action”. BNTU is asking its teachers to stand in solidarity and support of tourism officer Danny Conorquie, who was gunned down in the Caracol Mayan Site by Guatemalans. This call to action is to bring into sharper focus all the risks Belize’s military and security have to “endure in the absence of solid security”. Via a prèss release, BNTU says, “…BNTU wishes to register our great concern and displeasure over the ongoing varying forms of invasions into Belize by neighbouring Guatemalans.” BNTU says they are embarking on this call to action under the theme “ Teechaz got yuh back…Unite to stop the attacks, ahn tek wih kuntri back”.

Ministry of Health discusses Dengue, Chinkungunya, and Ebola
On Tuesday the Ministry of Health hosted a press in Belize City to update on its efforts to fight three major diseases, one already making an impact and two others being monitored as a potential threat. We start with Dengue, the fever spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. It is endemic to Belize and the rainy season from June to November is at its height in terms of cases reported. But the 2014 season has raised some concerns, both in terms of the cluster location of the virus and its mutation to the deadly hemorrhagic fever. According to Director of Health Services, Dr. Michael Pitts, of the over 700 cases reported, the majority are concentrated in vulnerable areas of Belize City’s Southside. Doctor Michael Pitts – Director of Health Services “In terms of what is happening in Belize District, most of the cases that we are seeing are in Belize City. For all public health purposes, we have divided Belize City into nine zones. We are seeing most of those cases in three zones, which are primarily on the Southside of Belize.

Patrick JonesPJ

Teenage boy reported missing in Benque Viejo del Carmen
A fifteen year old boy from Benque Viejo del Carmen has been reported missing by his father. Christian Reymundo who is a first form student of the Mopan Technical High School, left home on Tuesday evening around 6:30 pm, telling his dad that he was going to his aunt’s house to do homework. But the boy never made it to the aunt’s house, according to Omar Reymundo, 36, who lives on Riverside Street. According to the father, when the teenage boy left home on Tuesday evening, he was riding a beach cruiser bicycle.

Robbery in San Pedro; thousands of dollars stolen
There was a robbery in San Pedro town, on Ambergris Caye on Tuesday afternoon. 28 year old Cleofosio Assi, who works as a security guard, was enroute to the local branch of the Belize Bank when he was accosted on Barrier Reef Drive. According to police, Assi felt someone grab his backpack. A struggle ensued during which Assi was stabbed to the right shoulder. Still, he was able to identify his attacker, described as being of brown complexion, has dreadlocks and wore a beard on his chin.


Untamed Belize – Spotlight on the Chiquibul, Belize’s Rainforest
Comprising 1,073 square kilometres, (414 sq mi) of rugged, pristine forest, the Chiquibul National Park contains The ancient Maya metropolis of Caracol, a Belizean wonder in its own right. And as the dense environment has daunted explorers for centuries, who knows what ancient Maya wonders are still waiting to be discovered? Originally part of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, which was marked out in 1956, the park was set aside after intense lobbying by conservationists in 1991, with the current borders drawn up in 1995 to protect the area and ensure that Caracol remained surrounded by a park. Thanks to such forward thinking action, the area has been saved from much of the ecological depredation seen in neighbouring countries. However – and there always seems to be a however when it comes to the environment – illegal incursions by foreign nationals seeking to harvest gold, game, lumber, xate palm leaves, and other valuable natural resources are increasingly becoming a problem. But more on that later.

BELTRAIDE’s Latest Investment Magazine Centers on Agribusiness
In 2013, the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service launched the magazine “Invest Belize” in an effort to promote its initiatives and highlight the investment opportunities available in Belize. On Tuesday, September 30, BELTRAIDE unveiled Invest Belize Volume 3 which is concentrating on opportunities available in the agribusiness sector. Invest Belize Volume 1 focused on offshore business outsourcing and Volume 2 was centered on tourism development. Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade, says this edition may be the best yet. BELTRAIDE selected McNab Publishing Limited for Invest Belize Volume 3. McNab has a track record of producing exceptional pieces such as the Flavours of Belize Cookbook, Belize Travel Guide and the Inspirational Calendar. Singh says he is extremely proud of the quality of articles in the magazine: “We are getting articles written by very senior people in government and very qualified people in the private sector.”

Trade Relations Between the Caribbean and China are Strengthened
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) supported a contingent of representatives from four (4) of the Region’s Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to participate in the 8th China LAC Business Summit that was held in Changsha, China between September 12-13, 2014. The mission to China led by the Honourable Minister Donville Inniss, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development for Barbados sought to build relations, discover new potential trading partners and promote the Caribbean for viable investment opportunities. Speaking at the China LAC Summit, Minister Inniss noted that the areas for future cooperation between China and the Caribbean included financial services, logistics, tourism and hotel development, agribusiness and infrastructure development. The participation of these BSOs that included JAMPRO, InvestSVG, The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce of Haiti, is an important step towards not only strengthening the capacity of the BSOs to understand the Chinese market but also to enable the BSOs to work with the regions private sector to strategically target and penetrate the Chinese for exports and investments.

International Sourcesizz

Decade of Destruction: The High Cost of Hurricanes [Infographic]
Katrina. Wilma. Sandy. During the past 10 years, these names have unfortunately become common parts of the American lexicon. They symbolize a decade that featured 15 of the costliest hurricanes on record that resulted in thousands of casualties, millions of destroyed homes, and more than $310 billion in total damage. This “Decade of Destruction” infographic from MPA@UNC, the online format of the Master of Public Administration program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, explores the devastating damage caused by hurricanes between 2004 and 2013, the relief and recovery efforts of government agencies and NGOs, and preventive measures taken to protect the nation’s most vulnerable communities from future natural disasters.

Jim Can, wanted in Belize tax scheme, linked to Calgary kidnapping
Jim Can, a Canadian businessman wanted as part of a major U.S. investigation involving stock fraud, tax evasion and money laundering in Belize, has a controversial past in Canada, including an admission he was present during a violent kidnapping of a Calgary businessman who says he was held at gunpoint by two associates of the Hells Angels. Can faces several charges in the U.S. following a two-year undercover investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is accused along with five others, including another Canadian, of taking part in what is described by U.S. authorities as a "fraudulent" and "intricate" scheme involving sham companies, anonymous debit cards and stock manipulations worth more than $500 million US. Can is a stock promoter who lived in Calgary for many years before moving to Belize.

International Tourism Conference Showcasing 280 Central American and European Vendors
The Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) announced that more than 100 European wholesalers and about 180 Central American vendors will participate in the Central America Travel Market Fair 2014 (CATM), which will be held in Costa Rica this October 9 and 10, in the Pedregal Events Center. Wilhelm von Breymann, Minister of Tourism in Costa Rica and member of the Central American Tourism Council (CCT), said that as hosts they expect attendees to enjoy the event and take advantage of the recent announcements made ​​by the World Tourism Organization (WTO) which reported a 6% increase in international tourist arrivals for the first half of this year to do business. “CATM has become an exceptional showcase for promoting tourism in the Central American countries, and promoting the dissemination of multi-destination, tourism products and knowledge of the region,” he said.

Strengthening the Caribbean Internet
The promise of a better local Internet experience, data security and commercial opportunities has been one of the greatest incentives to establishing IXPs across the Caribbean. The TTNIX exchange now brings to eight the number of active IXPs in the Caribbean. T&T joins British Virgin Islands (BVIX), Curacao (AMS-IX), Dominica (DANIX), Grenada (GREX), Haiti, St Maarten (OCIX) and St Lucia (SLIX) as Caribbean countries with exchange points. Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis and St Vincent and the Grenadines are also actively engaged in setting up local exchange points. “Tremendous progress has been made in sensitising the region to the importance of building out national Internet infrastructure. Now we are seeing the fruit,” said Bernadette Lewis, secretary general of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU).

Mayas, la plus grande expo "in the world"
Avec plus de 3000 ans de civilisation, le peuple Maya ne cesse de fasciner. L'exposition proposée actuellement par le Musée du Quai Branly à Paris permet de mieux comprendre la richesse de cette culture mexicaine. Une visite s'impose. Après la subite et disproportionnée rupture culturelle franco-mexicaine liée à l'affaire Florence Cassez initiée unilatéralement par Nicolas Sarkozy en février 2011, voici qu'à Paris, le Musée du Quai Branly opte en octobre 2014 pour une symbolique réconciliation en mettant en scène, (jusqu'au 8 février) dans son immense espace du rez de chaussée la plus grande exposition sur la civilisation Maya jamais réalisée, rassemblant - essentiellement dans des vitrines parfois trop sobrement éclairées - 385 pièces rares, dont une bonne cinquantaine exceptionnelles par leur rareté , leur signification et leur beauté. La civilisation Maya (de « maïs », la céréale sacrée) , originaire du Yucatan au Mexique vers 2600 avant JC, ayant également des bases au Belize et au Guatemala, est l'une des plus étudiées, mais nombre de ses activités et ses rites demeurent encore mystérieux. On distingue plusieurs périodes, différentes cultures se côtoyant, notamment les Olmèques.

Mangroves protecting corals from climate change
Certain types of corals, invertebrates of the sea that have been on Earth for millions of years, appear to have found a way to survive some of their most destructive threats by attaching to and growing under mangrove roots. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and Eckerd College recently published research on a newly discovered refuge for reef-building corals in mangrove habitats of the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than 30 species of reef corals were found growing in Hurricane Hole, a mangrove habitat within the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument in St. John. Corals are animals that grow in colonies, forming reefs over time as old corals die and young corals grow upon the calcium carbonate or limestone skeletons of the old corals. Coral reefs make up some of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth, and face many threats such as coastal pollution, dredging and disease. However, some of their most widespread threats involve warming ocean temperatures, solar radiation and increased ocean acidification. It is from these threats that corals are finding refuge under the red mangroves of Hurricane Hole. Red mangroves, subtropical or tropical trees that colonize coastlines and brackish water habitats, have networks of prop roots that extend down toward the seafloor, and corals are growing on and under these roots.

Violent Incursions into Belize
On Thursday, September 25, 2014, Tourism Police Special Constable Danny Conorquie was shot at the archeological site of Caracol. His death was witnessed by fellow guards and tourists who took videos of his death. This week, On October 3, 2014, Guatemalans armed with shotguns and machetes, attacked Belizean carpenters who were building an observation post at Valentin Camp, inside the Caracol Archaeological Reserve Trans-national organized gangs of poachers, smugglers, and human traffickers continue incursions into the border area between Guatemala and Belize.

International Archaeology Day
The largest Maya site in Belize, Caracol was bigger than modern day Belize City—the largest city in the country—and supported over 144,000 people. An extensive agricultural system supported this spectacular kingdom. Caracol's monumental architecture includes Canaa—the largest building at Caracol and one of the largest man-made structures in Belize. Caracol was also a military power scoring major victories over Tikal and Naranjo. Will Caracol be able to overpower its competition in ArchaeoMadness?


Video: Belize My New Home on Caye Caulker.mp4, 2min.

Video: A Glimpse of Belize HD, 4min.
Belize, the only English-speaking country in Central America, offers a unique combination of richly, rewarding experiences that make it unlike any destination on the planet. Swim with the exotic sea life along the Western Hemisphere's largest barrier reef. Explore the fascinating mysteries of the largest concentration of Maya sites in the region.

Video: Tender docking with Carnival Glory off the coast of Belize, 2min.
Tender boat docking with Carnival Glory off the coast of Belize.

Video: Exploring Cahal Pech, San Ignacio, Belize, 2.5min.
This is a video I shot of me going through Cahal Pech in September of 2014.

Video: Snorkeling and Diving in Belize, 3min.
Snorkeling off Caye Caulker and Scuba at the Blue Hole.

Video: Conch Fishing San Pedro, Belize, 4min.
On the first day of the season, Sanpedranos in Belize are up at the crack of dawn and heading out to fish for conch in order for them to supply the restaurants, bars and homes on the island. Those who don’t fish eagerly await for the days batch to arrive and either purchase their fresh conch or head to their favorite locale to have some conch ceviche, or their conch soup or fritters.

Video: Whale Shark Aggregation in Belize – Cristiana & Alain Bontemps 2009 Natural History Nature Documentary, 10min.


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