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#499155 - 12/19/14 10:29 AM Today's Belize News: December 19, 2014
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Specials and Events

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


The San Pedro Sun

Lions Senior Citizen's Party
Belize Bank staff has been partners of this annual event. — with Stef Nunez. (13 photos)

PM Barrow signs controversial agreements with Guatemala
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has signed 13 bilateral agreements with Guatemala without informing the Belizean community of the details. The documents were signed on Wednesday, December 17th at the closing of the 44th SICA Summit in Placencia between PM Barrow and President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina. While the in depth agreements are still not known, the accords encompass issues in prisoner exchange and the serving of penal sentence, operating hours at legal terrestrial entry points, program on seasonal workers, protection, the recovery and returns of items of cultural and natural patrimony, visa waiver for students, deportation, electric power trade, transmission interconnection and grid connectivity, mutual recognition of driver’s license, movement of student via land entry points, protection of the environment and sustainable use of resources, degree equivalence and recognition of education documents, sustainable tourism and stolen vehicles.

Mayor Danny and SPTC spread Christmas Cheer around town
Hundreds of school children on Ambergris Caye were paid a special visit just before the Christmas break courtesy of the San Pedro Town Council. Mayor Daniel Guerrero accompanied by Santa Claus and his helpers made a stop at each school, handing out a small gift to each student. It is an annual activity for the council, and is one that brings smiles to the children of the island; and on December 10th and 11th, the happy faces were in abundance. Stops were made first on Wednesday, December 10th at the larger schools starting with San Pedro Roman Catholic School eventually ending with the preschools the following day. According to Mayor Guerrero over 2,000 toys were distributed to the school children across the island. For the most part, the toys included various sets of dolls, toy cars and trucks.

Belizeans receive Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Training
The Belize Department of Environment (DOE) hosted a three day Oil Spill Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation (OPRC) training seminar for dealing with offshore and onshore oil spills. Belize’s Barrier Reef and other marine ecosystems are the country’s top tourism attractions, and as such, DOE believes it is necessary to take extra precautions to protect these environments from all major threats, including oil spills. The training was held from Tuesday, December 9th to Thursday, December 11th at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City and saw participants from across the country, including members of marine conservation groups.

Love FM Christmas Parade ushers in holiday season
The Love FM Christmas parade is part of the annual 12 Days of Christmas Celebrations held across the country. Big thanks goes out to all the participants of this year’s parade, including The San Pedro Town Council, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., Top Notch Boutique, Foreva Fancy, Isla Bonita Elementary, Wings, San Pedro Lions Club, Social Security Board, Hummingbird Furnishings, San Pedro Culture Band, Belize National Library Service and Information System, Dynamic Little Stars, ABC Preschool, Benque Viejo Marching Band and Love FM.

PEMEX Engineers in Belize, is there a large oil find?
Although reports were sketchy, Mexican press indicated that the experts were received by both oil investors and government authorities in the country. The engineers are expected to return with equipment, also via the Chetumal airport, that will allow them to do more specialize testing of the possible oil deposit discovered. While in Belize, the engineers also performed a revision of maps that are supposedly oil sites. However, it is expected that by early 2015, more PEMEX staff will have a longer presence in Belize. GOB has made no formal announcement of the possible oil discovery or the associated visit of PEMEX engineers. However, earlier this year, GOB promised public officers their salary adjustment, which Prime Minister Dean Barrow said would be sustainable in the long term by a possible oil find in the Orange Walk District. At that time, PM Barrow had hoped that the discovery was in commercial quantity. Since then, there has been no official update and it is uncertain at this time that it may be the same possible oil find.

Ambergris Today

Welcome back home Miss World Belize Raquel Badillo

Sunshine Scholarship Foundation Doing Good for the Community
Meet Dayanara Manzano, she is a Standard 4 student at Isla Bonita Elementary School who is visually impaired. If it were not for the assistance of the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, Dayanara would have been having a difficult time attending school. Due to her disability, Dayanara would have a challenging time attending a regular public school where she would not receive the attention needed obtain a proper education. It is through the assistance of the Sunshine Scholarship Foundation that she can attend a private school, such as Isla Bonita Elementary, where she is able to get the one-on-one attention from her teachers.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Edward "Smithy" Smith and Misha McKay
Turning it up last night at Lovetv Bze "12 Days of Christmas" Show at Old Belize.

Belize Forges New Environment Gains for Central American Countries
Belize has forged major gains on climate change, the environment and sustainable development for the Central American region, it was revealed, on Tuesday, December 16, 2014.

Prime Minister Barrow Departs Country on Personal Leave
The Office of the Prime Minister informs that today 18th December, 2014 the Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow departed the country for Florida, USA on personal leave and will return Monday, 22nd December, 2014.

Repairs on the street have begun after BWS finished repairing the damaged underground pipe on coconut drive.

Power interruption 6:00am to 9:00am, Sunday, December 21: entire Belize City
Inclusive of all areas up to Mile 1 Philip Goldson Highway and Mile 1 George Price Highway. BEL to conduct urgent repairs at Belize City Substation.

Carol of the Pans, Steel Bands
This is something you don't want to Miss!!!

ASR/BSI CANNOT BE TRUSTED AS THEY KEEP MOVING THE GOAL POST!!
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize denounces the conduct of ASR/BSI in their seeking to change the terms of the previously settled agreement without going back to the cane-farmers; having already conceded to the oppressive and unfair terms pushed by ASR/BSI with the intervention of no less than the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. The latest blatant attempt by ASR/BSI to undermine the cane farmers comes in the form of them now not wanting the legally established Sugar industry Control Board to be removed as the regulating entity. They want by the agreement to slip in their own entity created and named the Harvesting Delivery and Control Unit effectively being an arm of ASR/BSI; and in contravention of the law. In the absence of negotiations with the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA); this provision was included in the draft agreement.

Channel 7

Man Murdered, Only Scavenged Remains Found
Ladyville police today found the remains of a male who they believe was murdered. All they encountered were the scattered bones of the man, believed to have been disturbed by animals that scavenged his body after he was killed. It's a developing story and police believed violence was involved in his death. Our news team was in Ladyville for most of today, and Daniel Ortiz has this report: Daniel Ortiz reporting The signs says that you're not supposed to dump garbage here in the Dew Drops Area at mile 11 and a half on the Northern Highway. But, not only is it being ignored, it seems that someone killed a man and left him there to decompose, or they killed him elsewhere and dumped him in that location. At least, that's what police looking at that this time.

Things Still Not Sweet in Sugarland
On Monday we told you that the impasse in the sugar industry was at an end - both sides had agreed to the Prime Minister's compromise package and it was only left to sign the final agreement to make it official. But the devil is in the details and all this week, that agreement has been in the shaping. The Chairman of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association was supposed to sign it today - but at the last minute the Association's proofreaders saw one item in there which they felt both sides had agreed to leave out. No one seems quite sure whether this inclusion was intentional, accidental or a genuine misunderstanding - but the cane farmers sent it back to BSI for excision. We understand that the offending clause has been excised, but now the signing has been put back to Friday.

Teenager Shot In City
This morning in Belize City, a 14 year old was shot in the area of Partridge Street. It happened at around 5:30 am - and the child was injured in the leg. But who would shoot a young man so indiscriminately and why? Well, he is from the often troubled Mayflower street area, and today Monica Bodden asked his mother what's behind it:.. Mother of 14 year old minor "I usually get up after 4am when my baby would get up crying, but he didn't got up this morning, so I just continue sleeping. My son usually comes home like after 5am in the morning. This morning my door was shut, so I didn't know they would be outside and then like half an hour after some little boys came to bang on my door and shouted for me and I thought it was the police. They woke my baby and so I came out, the little boy said that my son got shot. He told me that he and my older son and the neighbor went to buy tacos.

Man Charged For Machete Double Murder
On Monday, we told you about the double chopping murder which happened just outside Paraiso Village in the Corozal District. Well, police believe that they have solved that crime, and one man has been criminally charged for it. He's 67 year-old Salvadoran Jose Santos, and he has been charged with 2 counts of murder for the savage chopping deaths of 49 year-old Salvadoran Fernando and Heidi Theresita Chable, initially identified as Heidy Atherly.

PUC Wants Rates Lower Than BEL Proposes
Nine days ago we told you how BEL proposed a 3.4% cut in electricity rates - which works out to about 1.5 cents less per kilowatt-hour. They sent that to the Public Utilities Commission for consideration. The PUC today announced that it has made its own review and concluded that BEL can cut the electricity rate more than 3.4%; the PUC proposes a 5% decrease on the average electricity rate. That works out to about 2.2 cents per kilowatt-hour. The PUC amendment to BEL's proposal is what is known as the final draft and so the rules state that within 10 days BEL and the public can send in their comments. You can send yours to the PUC at 41 Gabourel Lane, Belize City, or by email at info@puc.bz.

SMART Says It's Building Its Own Southern Infrastructure
In other utility news, SMART says it's going to send its own transmission line to the Toledo District. As we have reported, the company cried foul when BTL said it would cut SMART off its southern data and voice infrastructure. SMART responded with a lawsuit, saying BTL's move would cut off 7,000 customers in the Toledo District. The suit has been dropped and BTL has agreed to keep the infrastructure available to SMART until the end of February. A release from SMART today says that the construction of its transmission line should be completed by the end of February 2015.

Cuba-USA: What It Means For Cubans Living Here
America's move to reestablish relations with Cuba after 50+ years has been making headlines around the world. Ties between the US and Cuba were severed since 1960 when the US imposed a trade embargo on Cuba. This has crippled economic and social development in Cuba. But President Obama has taken a bold step to dramatically improve relations with Cuba. Now many of you might be wondering what this news development has to do with Belize. Well, there are a fair number of Cubans living here in Belize, not to mention the 97 medical professionals in the Cuban medical brigade. So we wanted to find out what this change in US policy means for them? 29 year old Yadielis Martinez has been living in Belize for about 5 years and owns Brisas Del Mar restaurant on Caye Caulker. Today via telephone from Caye Caulker Martinez explained how significant this rapprochement is to Cubans living in Belize and their families back in Cuba. Yadielis Martinez, Caye Caulker resident "Well I thinks it's very important for the people who lives in Cuba because if the Cuban government and the United States government have a good relations, that means that they are going to open lot of things that are closed at the moment.

SICA: The Handover Was Fraternal
Yesterday's SICA Summit of Heads of State and Government in Placencia ended with Belize handing over the pro tem Presidency to Guatemala. Prime Minister Dean Barrow who chaired the session was lavish in his praise of his Guatemalan counterpart:.. Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister "I am honored to have served as your chairman for today's proceedings. Events such as these are about many things and one such is the strengthening of the inter-personal relations between officials, between ministers and between heads. President Otto Perez Molina has long since stamped himself as a thinker, a worker and a superb creative force. We can therefore look forward to a bold and muscular semester under the firm guidance of his "mano dura.""

PM Takes Personal Leave
And after pushing through those agreements, the Prime Minister recorded his Christmas message and today went on personal leave. A release from his office announced that he left the country for Florida and will return on Monday, December, 22nd , 2014. Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega is acting Prime Minister.

PUP Candidates Had Bench Warrants In Their Recent Past
In our next segment we'll tell you about the huge mess that's been created at the Belize Tourism Board because Director Of Marketing Clive Meyers apparently faked his resume. And while the fraud appears elaborate enough, it could also be interpreted as a lack of due diligence on the part of those who hired him for such a senior post. Now, due diligence is a sometimes tricky thing - because, outside of an information society, thorough background checks can be difficult. And the PUP had to do its own clean up before launching its Belize City Council slates. That's because bench warrants had been issued for two of their Belize City council candidates. Delroy Herrera told us that he paid half of the outstanding amount two months ago, and is paying the balance regularly.

BTB Suspends One, Investigating Others In Wake Of Myers Misrepresentation Meltdown
Yesterday, we told you how Clive Myers, BTB's new Director of Marketing & Industry Relations resigned only 3 days after being officially installed. Well tonight, we've learned more about the reasons behind it. It happened yesterday when some anonymous whistle-blower went making the media rounds delivering a package of documents detailing that Myers allegedly forged his credentials. The documents say that he never went to Ashford University Online to get his bachelor's degree, like he claimed, and neither did he go to Drexel University to get his master's degree, as he claimed.

Salvation Army Soldiering For True Spirit of Christmas
550 families received a Christmas food package today from the Salvation Army. Now, the Salvation Army always helps out the most needy, but this package is just something extra for the season. According to Joliker Leandre (LEE-AND), Regional Commander of the Salvation Army, their main objective is to make people's lives a bit better, not just during Christmas time. Michelle Sandoval, Chair lady, Salvation Army "Right now we are doing the parcel distribution. They will received like the can foods, beans, rice, flour and so forth for each of the elderly citizens here in Belize. When the Christmas appeal started, we were asking them to come to register. They had to just bring in their ID, give their name to confirm that they are elderly citizens and need to receive their food hamper. We are not giving it to any young person of that sort. When they come they bring their tickets and they present it to us and we scratch them off the list that we have already created for them."

Atlantic Bank In The Hood
Today Atlantic Bank was the one spreading Christmas Cheer. The bank's staff went into the poorer areas of Belize City distributing gifts freely to children - Monica Bodden caught up with them in the Lake Independence area:..

Channel 5

Human Remains Found at Dewdrop Estates
Our records indicate that the murder count now stands at one hundred and forty-three. This morning, the remains of a man were found in an area in Ladyville known as [...]

Family of Escaped Prisoner Claim Police Harassment
The manhunt continues for twenty-five year old Emmanuel Willoughby, an inmate at the Belize Central Prison who escaped from his cell last Saturday. According to the Kolbe Foundation, Willoughby cut [...]

Family will Press Charges against Police
Up until late Wednesday afternoon, police officers conducted a search at the Willoughby’s residence at 7005 Antelope Street Extension. Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd says that they have made formal complaint to [...]

Border Incursions on Centre Stage at SICA Summit
The ratification of thirteen agreements between Belize and Guatemala, in the words of Prime Minister Barrow, is a single step commencing the journey of a thousand miles.  The long road [...]

Sugar Cane Crop Season in Limbo
The 2014-2015 sugar cane crop season will not start on Friday as was anticipated and forecast. In fact, it may not start anytime soon. Turns out that all the jubilation [...]

A Look at Bi-Lateral Agreements Signed
There were thirteen agreements signed on Wednesday between Wilfred Elrington and Carlos Raul Morales, the Foreign Ministers of Belize and Guatemala. They cover a period of ten years and while [...]

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Speaks on ICJ Referendum
Will Guatemala proceed to a simultaneous referendum on whether or not to take the unfounded territorial claim to the International Court of Justice? On this side, Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington [...]

Minor RTA Near Crooked Tree
There was a traffic accident this morning at the Crooked Tree junction at miles thirty-one on the Phillip Goldson Highway. A white truck collided into an SUV coming out of [...]

FIU and Titan Back in Court
FIU attorneys were back in court today where they are being challenged by Titan International Securities for the release of a trove of documents seized during an operation back in [...]

Hattieville Resident Charged for Drug Trafficking
A Hattieville resident was not at his house at mile seventeen and a half on the George Price Highway when it was searched by the Gang Suppression Unit.  The unit [...]

Smart Dispels Rumours of Southern Service Interruption
SpeedNet Communications, the parent company for Smart, has issued a press release dispelling the notion that the company’s service to the south will be cancelled as a result of ongoing [...]

P.U.P. Blasts B.T.B. for Myers Debacle
On Wednesday, we showed you the ignominious departure of the B.T.B.’s two day Director of Marketing and International Relations, Clive Percival Myers. Myers resigned, allegedly when it was revealed that [...]

US and Cuba Enhance Relationship
The historic prisoner exchange deal between the United States and Cuba marks a new chapter in relations between the two, following decades of glacial tension.  The renewal of diplomatic affairs [...]

O.A.S. President Awarded Order of Distinguished Service
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States departed to Washington on Wednesday after participating in the SICA Summit. Jose Miguel Insulza was witness to the signing of the [...]

Eastern Division Organizes Christmas Party
The Belize Police Department’s Eastern Division is organizing its second annual Christmas variety show entitled COPS.  This year they have chosen B.T.L. Park as the venue and are inviting the [...]

Salvation Army Hands Out Food Packages
This morning Belizeans lined up outside the Salvation Army’s headquarters on Regent Street in the City. Christmas is one week away, but while many Belizeans shop and decorate and prepare [...]

Organizations Go All Out for the Elderly
And while the Salvation Army was doing its thing, other organizations are showing and sharing the love this Christmas. At the Sister Cecilia Home in Belize City, All Saints Church [...]

CTV3

Inspiration Center Receive Donation From Taiwan
And before we wrap up the news, visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs for Taiwan, H.E. David Lin, yesterday handed over two wheelchair accessible vehicles to Chairperson of The Inspiration Center Board of Directors, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow. The vehicles comprise a 2014 El Dorado Aerotech 240, Ford E-450 bus and a 2014 Ford E-250 van. The bus has capacity for 6 wheelchairs and 9 stationary and fold-away seats; while the van accommodates 3 wheelchairs and 3 stationary seats. The vehicles will be used to transport some 30 children with disabilities to and from the Center for therapy.

Robbers Make Their Move In Corozal
The string of home robberies is being reported and opportunistic thieves are mostly targeting high valued items. In Corozal, 65-year-old American retiree James Lawrence of Xaibe Village reported that on Monday December 15th his residence at Xaibe Village was burglarized. Stolen were an assortment of electronic items, house hold items, assorted jewelry and tools all to a total value of $16,497.00. Corozal Police are seeking 2 persons of interest who are known to them as investigations continue. In another incident, 32 year old Domestic of Patchakan Village, Leonor Gilharry reported that between 2:00pm & 3:00pm Sunday December 14th her house was burglarized by her husband Elvis Gilharry whom she has been separated from since June 2014. Upon making checks she saw her former husband Elvis Ellis Gilharry, along with his Brother Juan Carlos Gilharry coming out from her yard. The men made away with her cellular phone valued at $140. The Gilharry brothers are being south by police.

Clive Myers Tenders Resignation As Acting Director
Following the BTB’s announcement on appointing Clive Myers as Acting Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, two days later today, the Belize Tourism Board announced that the Mr. Clive Myers, has tendered his resignation with the organization, effective immediately. Reports for his abrupt resignation stem from a record of information that has been circulated to the media regarding the authenticity of his degrees and programs. Photocopies of email queries from two online Universities have yielded no results regarding the attendance or graduation of Clive Myers or Clyve Myers. Myers has not denied or confirmed the allegation as of newstime. As a result, Ms. Karen Pike, Director of Information Management, will be holding over the responsibilities of the Marketing and Industry Relations department, in the interim.

Be Careful When Shopping In Chetumal
Belize plans to issue a warning to Belizeans who visit Chetumal City, Mexico and the tourism sector in that part of the country is worried about the repercussions. This is what the Mexican press is reporting. According to an article in the newspaper titled “Novedades Quintana Roo”, published today December 17th, reports from Belizeans claiming to have been robbed in the city, especially by taxi operators, has prompted Belizean authorities to consider issuing a warning to the Belizean population about the dangers of visiting that part of Mexico. Honorary Consul of Belize to Mexico Jorge Valencia is quoted saying that many complaints have been made on the social media, especially Facebook.

PM Signs Thirteen Bilateral Agreement With Guatemala
The 44th Summit of the SICA Heads of State ended today at the Belize Ocean Club in Placencia and today the President of Guatemala Otto Perez Molina arrived to meet with other presidents and heads of delegations from the SICA member countries. The one day summit saw dialogue on matters including the migration of unaccompanied minors to the United States, regional security, and climate change, among others. But during President Molina’s visit, the Government of Belize has signed 13 Bilateral Agreements with Guatemala today in Placentia in the presence of the Secretary General of the OAS, Jose Miguel Insulza.

Sandy Hunter Library Encourages Students To Read
School is out but that is no reason for children to keep their head out of the books. At the Sandy Hunter Library, there are several programs held throughout the year to encourage children to develop a love for books and reading. One such program came to a close today at the library and in celebration of the occasion the children were treated to a small party at the library this morning. Here’s more on that story. Dalila Ical – Reporter This marks the last activity of the year, but that does not mean that it is any less important. What is being celebrated is the close of a new program which seeks to encourage children, or members of the Sandy Hunter Library to love books. The reading challenge was launched in March and concluded this month.

19 Year Old For Chopping Incident In San Estevan
On Monday we told you about a chopping incident in San Estevan village that left 43 year old Sylvano Osorio recovering at the KHMH from several chops wounds to the head and forearm. Today we were informed that his attacker, 19 year old Esner Ellides Chuc has been formally arraigned and charged for three counts which include; use of deadly means of harm, attempted murder and grievous harm. Chuc was remanded to prison where he will reappear in court on January 21st, 2015. For context, Osorio and Chuc were involved in a misunderstanding on Sunday night infront of the Community Center where several families were for recreation but that was quickly broken up. Some twenty minutes later, Chuc came back wielding a machete and inflicted the injuries upon Osorio. Meanwhile, Osorio is still under observation at the Northern Regional Hospital.

O/W Police Issues Warning For Christmas Season
With Christmas now just days away, a string of robberies and theft cases remain are on the rise. The joyous season can easily turn frightening if residents become victims to opportunistic thieves and resilient robbers who are known to prowl around this time. And in an effort to curb these instances, the Orange Walk Police formation highlighted their own plans for the season. SUPT. Selvin Tillett – Deputy Commander, OW Police “Our anti-crime prevention extra Christmas patrol commenced from the 15th of November and we have extra foot patrol, bicycle, mobile, and motorcycle patrols so that is in effect and it will continue until or after the 15th of January, the Orange Walk police is working hard, diligent and trying to work with the community so that you people can enjoy Christmas and new year’s not only that but every day because me as a police I consider it as home so I do my best to make it safe.”

Salvadoran National Charged For Sunday Mornings Double Murder
Tonight, the man accused of hacking a couple to death has been remanded to prison. But first, a postmortem examination on the bodies has been conducted and investigators managed to positively identify the female victim to be 22 year old Heidi Teresita Chable. Officer Commanding the Corozal formation, Andrew Ramirez elaborated in this update. Andrew Ramirez – OC Corozal “First of all, we ended up confirming the identity of the female and she has been identifies as Heydi Teresita Chable, 22 years of age and date of birth being the 02 of January of 1992. Yesterday post mortem was conducted on both bodies and the Doctor has certified the cause of death for the male for being exanuation due to multiple chop wounds to the head, neck, face, chest and limb and for the female same thing due to chop wounds to the head, neck, face and forearm more than likely the injury sustained by these individuals was fatal wounds.”

LOVE FM

Myers Resigns From Belize Tourism Board
It was an elevation that seemed well deserved and earned as Clive Myers was given an opportunity to act in the post of Director for Marketing and Industry Relations for a six month period, but his climb up the ladder would soon be thwarted as documents were released to the media claiming that Myers had forged diplomas and fabricated his educational background, stating that he had attended certain institutions when that may not have been the case. Right on the heels of this exposure, Myers resigned from the Belize Tourism Board saying that he would be making a public statement in due time.

Leslie Speaks On Signing of Agreements
Today Ambassador Stuart Leslie who is the lead negotiator in the Belize Guatemala dispute was the guest on our sister station Estereo Amor. Ambassador Leslie said the signing of the thirteen agreements yesterday is just the beginning of a process. STUART LESLIE “These are framework agreements especially with respect to the environment and sustainable development. What will happen next now that these things are signed are the technical people and the practical side of it. Meaning that the people in the department of the environment from Belize and from Guatemala will have to sit down and work out a memorandum of understanding or protocols to say look if this happens then this, the penalty for this is that and look at the laws and see how they will apply.

Belize And Guatemala Signs Bi-Lateral Agreement
A historic signing of a Bilateral Agreement took place yesterday afternoon on the Placencia Peninsula. Belize and Guatemala signed a 13 point agreement as part of the confidence building measures. The agreement was signed by Wilfred Elrington, Belize’s Foreign Minister and his Guatemalan Counterpart, Carlos Raul Morales while Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Guatemala’s President, Otto Perez Molina along with the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, witnessed the signing. The agreement focuses on several areas including education, Prison Exchange and electricity. While making his way out, President Molina was briefly stopped by the media and we got a chance to join in the interview. First off, Molina was asked about his first visit to Belize.

PM Departs To Florida
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country earlier today for Florida. The Prime Minister is on personal leave and is scheduled to return home next Monday. During the Prime Minister’s absence, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega will act as Prime Minister.

Man Charged With Drug Trafficking
Thirty-three year old Wallace Rubio, an unemployed of mile 17 and a half on George Price Highway, who was charged with drug trafficking for 10 pounds of cannabis, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Because he pled guilty and he asked for leniency, Rubio was spared a custodial sentence of 3 year and he was only ordered to pay a fine of $10,000. He was given until March 31, 2015, to pay the fine. If he defaults on payment he will serve 3 years. On May 7, 2012, at around12:45 p.m., the police, members of the GSU, went to Rubio’s residence to execute a search warrant. Nobody was at home when they arrived, so they went and got a Justice of the Peace and they returned to the house, a small plycem structure about 3 feet from off the ground. They executed the search in the presence of the Jp and the search resulted in the discovery of the cannabis in a carton barrel. Some of the cannabis was in a transparent plastic bag while the rest were in a beige sack. When weighed, the cannabis amounted to 4.54 kilograms or 10 pounds.

Men Plead Guilty With Robbery and Wound
Two men, 21 year old Iran Jones and 21 year old Lorenzo Ogaldez, charged with robbery and wounding, plead guilty to the charges when they appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. Jones, who has previous convictions, was sentenced to 5 years for robbery and 3 years for wounding. Senior Magistrate Fraser stipulated that the sentences are to run concurrently, so Jones will only serve 5 years. In relation to Ogaldez, who has no previous conviction, Senior Magistrate Fraser said she has not decided what to do with him, so she remanded him into custody until Monday, December 22, for sentencing. Jones was also charged with handling stolen goods but that charge was dismissed because the prosecution offered no evidence. The incident occurred around 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, December 14.

PlusTV

More Delays for the Crop Season
The start of the sugar cane season seemed to be in the immediate horizon after the farmers met and, after much deliberation, agreed to accept the 51 cents per ton of sugar cane proposed by the Belize Sugar Industry and their partner the American Sugar Refiners. This was only after the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association shifted many of their positions and dropped several others, including their position on the bagasse debate, all in an attempt to start the crop season as quickly as possible. This of course left it open for their members to accuse them of betraying the interest of the cañeros.But after much heated debates the members agreed to accept the proposal. The next step was to take it to the attorneys of both parties to have the matter official drafted out and signed. This was projected to take place by the middle of this week however up until Thursday nothing has been signed. That is because BSI/ASR in their final proposal, introduced an old position that had been dropped earlier in the negotiations this year. Ezequiel Cansino, Chairman of the BSCFA explained, via phone.

COLA, FECTAB hold protest for cruise port
Advocacy organizations Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the Federation of Cruise Tourism Associations of Belize (FECTAB) upped the ante in their fight to establish a cruise port in the Belize District that will, they say, ensure the survivability of the industry in increasingly competitive and uncertain times. However, on Wednesday they unveiled a new piece of evidence, which they say confirms that the cruise ship lines – or at least one of them – is abandoning Belize City. Executive Member of FECTAB and well-known tour operator, Yhonny Rosado, painted a stark picture of what will happen if the exodus continues. “When they were building Harvest Caye, they were mentioning that only some of the ships or one or two ships will be going there. You got to cruiseset.com, they are already canceling all their ports to Belize City. They are going to Harvest Caye. Cruiseset.com; it is not FECTAB, it is not nobody, it is an international website that the cruise use to notify the American and Canadian public that they are going to a different port starting November next year. So there will be no more high season.


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#499156 - 12/19/14 10:30 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 19, 2014 [Re: Marty]
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The Guardian

Guatemala does not constitute and will never constitute a threat to Belize
The occasion of the 44th Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) held in Placencia served up the perfect opportunity for a historic meeting between the President of Guatemala and the Prime Minister of Belize. Hon. Dean Barrow presided over the Summit as he ended Belize’s six-month pro-tempore presidency of SICA and handed over the reigns to the President of Guatemala, H. E. Otto Fernando Perez Molina. Before the Summit, Prime Minister Barrow greeted President Molina at the Riversdale Airstrip in Placencia after which they made their way to The Placencia Hotel for a breakfast meeting to discuss Belize Guatemala relations and the thirteen agreements that both countries had been negotiating and ready to sign at the end of the SICA Summit, signaling a renewed commitment to strengthen relations between the two countries. The thirteen agreements between Belize and Guatemala establish formally and for the first time functional cooperation programmes that are practical and progressive. In their implementation they will bring tangible and practical benefits to the people of both countries. The two governments had set out to embark in such cooperative programmes since 2005 but they could not be done until now. The functional cooperation agreements range from formalizing the serving of penal sentences, to the recognition of educational documents, environmental protection and sustainable use of resources to recovery and return of stolen vehicles.

PM Dean Barrow’s Xmas Message
What a wonderful time of the year Christmas is! It is a time when we as Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, a time to be close to those nearest and dearest, and a time for renewal. It also however presents an occasion for all Belizeans, of all backgrounds, to come together in appreciation for all that God has blessed Belize with. Let us remind ourselves that the values that unite us as Belizeans are by far greater and more enduring than anything that divides us. Jesus’ simple birth is a lesson in humility to all of us. The story of Jesus changed the world and that is why we celebrate his birth every year around this time. The story also reminds us to have faith in humanity; to believe that we all have some good within us. Let us in this season enjoy the importance of families and close friends. Let us also be mindful of those that are less fortunate than us at home and outside our beautiful jewel. Let us ask for blessings for the many entities –charities and the private sector that work with those less fortunate and contribute to making Christmas truly a season of sharing and happiness.

Cane Farmers force Fair Trade money bonanza
In August, 3 and a half months ago, news emerged that Fair Trade intended to reduce the amount of Fair Trade Funding that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association received after buying Belizean sugar at premium prices. Secondly, the organization which provides oversight of the use of the money, Flo Cert, temporarily decertified the association yet again due to financial misappropriation and theft of the association's funds, and the violation of child labour statutes. Only 2 days after being officially cleared of the most recent ban, the farmers are forcing the Association to do something which is bound to get them in trouble again with the oversight bodies of the Fair Trade agreement. Readers may remember the expose that this newspaper printed in which we discussed the misuse and poor handling of Fair Trade money over the past 6 or 7 years in which 20 million dollars ended up in the accounts of the Association, set aside as a social program for the farmers. Well, to add to that, the general cane farming membership of the association passed a resolution at their meeting on Sunday, December 14, that 2.5 million dollars will be shared among the general membership of about 5,300 farmers. It's a sort of Christmas cheer that the farmers are giving themselves in which each member will received approximately $470 for themselves. That's not exactly the way the money is to be used for because such wanton spending is not permitted.

Stop Bav Julius
When Myrtle Palacio wrote to the Financial Secretary that, “the PUP will be participating in the Christmas Cheer Program”, she did so as the Secretary General of the PUP; and in so doing spoke for and on behalf of the entire opposition party. Francis appeared shortly after on television, flaunting his hypocrisy as proud as a peacock, at the same time admitting that the program is indeed a transparent and accountable one. On Friday, December 14th the sanctimonious Julius Espat announced that he will not be accepting the Christmas Cheer. He cited a foolish and less than believable excuse for not participating. Our take on it is that Julius is trying to show up his boss and party leader. Julius is on a mission to first embarrass, and then overthrow his party leader.

BELTRAIDE Prepares 74 Youths for Upcoming Jobs
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Services (BELTRAIDE) recently formed a new unit to provide industry specific, demand driven employment training for Belizeans seeking jobs. The unit now operates the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC) and its first 74 clients graduated on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. BTEC is the result of Prime Minister Barrow’s call for the Fast Track to Employment Training Institute on July 30 of this year. David Leacock, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singh for BELTRAIDE to partner with ITVET to provide the training. Christine Smith, Director of BTEC, says the first field her team is focusing on is the Business Process Outsourcing industry. BELTRAIDE began focusing on BPO three years ago. Since then BELTRAIDE has hosted numerous training sessions countrywide as the demand for new employees continues to grow. Mike Singh, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, says that demand for employees in this field is even greater now as the Ministry “receives one or two inquiries a week” from investors interested in establishing a call center in Belize. Singh says the Ministry expects there will be a need for over 2,100 new employees in the sector over the next two years. However, investors are more likely to establish a center if a trained labor force is already available.

New Market for Benque Viejo del Carmen
Belize’s most Western Municipality, the Town of Benque Viejo del Carmen, now has a brand new market. A marching band ‘Ciencia y Tecnologia’ from Melchor de Mencos entertained Benque residents on Monday night of this week at the entrance of Benque Viejo, preceding the informal opening of the new market in Benque Viejo. In his brief presentation to residents on Monday night, Mayor of Benque Viejo del Carmen Miguel Velasquez thanked the people of Benque Viejo and informed them that the market is now theirs, for them to use. Mayor Miguel Velasquez informed the Guardian that families are now free to congregate within the plaza at the new market. “I am satisfied that the new market will be benefiting everyone,” says Chelsy Hernandez, Benque Viejo’s Queen ‘Flor de La Feria.’ The Benque Market was built with the support of the European Union and the Government of Belize under the Belize Rural Development Project Two at a cost of about $680,000.00

Belize’s High Seas fisheries get a boost
On Monday, December 15, the European Council adopted a decision to remove Belize from the list of ‘non-cooperating third countries’ in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This decision was taken pursuant to a recommendation by the Directorate General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG-MARE) to remove Belize from this list in consideration of the concrete measures taken by Belize to rectify the deficiencies pointed out by the European Commission earlier this year. This decision by the EU Council shall enter into force on December 18, 2014, the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. This is the first case where a country is removed from the list of non-cooperating third countries through cooperation and on-going dialogue with the Commission; and it demonstrates that the EU system of bi-lateral cooperation and collaboration to assist third countries in fully implementing the IUU Regulation is indeed effective and bearing fruit.

Inspiration Center Gets Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles
Life just got a little easier for mobility challenged children receiving therapy at the Inspiration Center because on Tuesday, December 16, His Exellency David Lin, Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, handed over two wheelchair accessible vehicles to Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Chair of the Inspiration Center’s Board of Directors. One of the vehicles is a 2014 Ford El Dorado Aerotech bus. It has three double stationary seats and six double foldaway seats. It has a state of the art wheelchair lift system and has enough space for up to six wheelchair passengers. The approximate value of the vehicle is in the neighbourhood of US$95,000. The second vehicle is 2014 Ford E-250 extended van. It has seating for three and space for three wheelchair passengers. The van is also equipped with a wheelchair lift system. The approximate cost of the van is US$66,000.

Ministry of Works & Transport signs contracts for more infrastructure projects
The Minister of Works & Transport Hon. Rene Montero and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Errol Gentle, signed contracts for the several works on December 15, 2014 at the Ministry of Works Conference Room in Belmopan. M&M Engineering Consultants Limited signed a contract for the new Mullins River Bridge which was destroyed by severe flash floods during the passage of Tropical Storm Arthur in 2008. The cost of the design and construction of the bridge is BZ$4,461,172.36 with a design/build period of 12 months. The project will be supervised by BECA International Consultants Limited with the assistance of the Project Execution Unit. Funding for the project is provided by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Government of Belize. HE&W Consulting of Barbados signed a BZ$857,290.87 contract for the study of the impact of dredging the Mouth of Belize River and Haulover Creek. Using Global Positioning System (GPS), the consulting firm will provide the exact location of the project site as well as a scaled map, indicating the area considered under the study – all of Haulover Creek and at least one mile into the sea (equivalent to 12 km overall on this stretch) and the other stretch equivalent to 24 km, from the Boom Cut off (Boom Bridge) to the mouth of the Belize River and one mile into the sea.

Draft of Municipal Plans developed for San Ignacio and Santa Elena Towns
A working document or draft of the Municipal Development Project Plan for the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena has been presented to residents. The contents of the documents were disclosed on Thursday, December 4 at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The work in progress comes as part of technical assistance under the Municipal Development Project now being implemented by the Social Investment Fund (SIF) in nine of the municipalities in Belize, except for Belize City and San Pedro. As explained by Clifford King, Local Government Officer working within the Ministry of Local Government, the Municipal Development Project is funded by a 30 million dollar loan facility from the World Bank that was signed in 2010. Under this Project streets have been improved such as West Street in San Ignacio and Eden Drive in Santa Elena, but additional fulcrum have been provided to the San Ignacio based Town Council over the last four years to bring about improved municipal management. Thus; a detailed forward plan that spans for over a decade (fifteen years) for the Twin Towns has been developed, which has already been presented to some stakeholders but more input is now needed from the public.

Sugar Industry back on its feet - Final documents to be signed
Prime Minister Dean Barrow's intervention into the Sugar Industry has once again yielded results that will see the beginning of the 2014/2015 cane crop. It is a well publicized fact that cane farmers and the factory owners couldn't agree on a value of the payment for bagasse. It has caused both sides a great frustration to solve this issue that spilled over into the commercial agreement for last year's crop. An interim agreement was only reached after Prime Minister Barrow and his Government team brought both sides to the tape for candid discussions over what the cane farmers would need for them to deliver their cane. The farmers wanted this bagasse dispute solved before the next crop year started, and BSI gave an undertaking that they would seek to try their best to come to an agreement for bagasse. For months they met and had discussions about the price for bagasse, but that stalled due to the huge disparity in the figure that the farmers want for the bagasse and what Belize Sugar Industries Limited was comfortable paying.

Richard Harrison writing bounce checks
On Tuesday of this week, a businessman visited the Guardian Newspaper to provide us with the attached check. There seemed to have been absolutely nothing wrong with it, of course, we have an untrained eye. It was not until the businessman pointed to us that the check was made of rubber. Yes, Richard Harrison on December 4, just two weeks ago paid someone with this $400 dollar check. The problem with the transaction is that the check did not have sufficient funds in it and it bounced. Yes, the PUP candidate for Cayo North wrote a check and there were insufficient funds in the account. This is no surprise to the Guardian. We have consistently been saying that Richard Harrison is bankrupt.

GSU Parties with City Children
Officers of the Gang Suppression Unit invited some of Belize City’s most unfortunate children to the Queen Street Police Station on Monday afternoon, December 15, for a time of dancing, feasting and merry making. The unit issued invitations to 75 children, mostly from the Southside, but by the time the event started on the roof top of the police station there were more than one hundred youngsters present. Corporal Samuel Bonilla said, “We prepared for 75 children but I can assure you that none of them will leave here empty handed.” Corporal Bonilla held true to that assurance, thanks in large part to Caves Branch Adventure Company. Caves Branch assigned its top chef, Executive Chef Peter Brewer, to attend the event and prepare a meal for the children. Brewer cooked rice and beans with barbecued chicken for the party. He prepared nachos for the appetizer and his assistants also served fresh fruit and a slice of cake. Brewer says he loves cooking, “but nothing can compare to the satisfaction of watching the children enjoy the meal he prepared.” He says Caves Branch’s owner, Ian Anderson, was excited to partner with the Gang Suppression Unit to bring some Christmas cheer to the children.

Good to Know
Belize and Belizeans are governed by a set of rules called laws. The original set of rules from which these were derived was known as Barnaby’s Codes. There are sections in these laws that due to the fact that they are seldom used we don’t even know they exist and as strange as some of them may sound, these are our Laws… It is generally believed that law enforcement officers need a warrant for everything except when they are dealing with Firearms and or ammunition but it is stated under the QUARANTINE ACT CHAPTER 41 PART V under Miscellaneous section 10.-(1) It shall be the duty of every member of the police department to enforce, using force if necessary, compliance with this Act and with any order, instruction or condition lawfully made, given or imposed by any officer or other person under the authority of this Act, and for such purpose any member of the police department may board any ship or aircraft and may enter any premises without a warrant.

Belize attends Climate change conference in Lima
Belize coordinated the participation of SICA (the Central American Integration System) countries in this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP20) in Lima, Peru, December 1-12th. The Conference of the Parties is designated as the supreme governing body of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aimed at reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Convention entered into force in 1994 with 195 countries submitting their instruments of ratification. These countries meet once a year, for two weeks, in order to evaluate the application of the Convention and develop the negotiation process between the Parties in front of new commitments. Belize is the Pro Tempore President of CCAD (Council of Ministers of the Environment) within SICA, and this is the first time that SICA countries are participating in the COP20 as a coordinated SICA delegation.

Biting Season!
If you are wondering how a group of people so staunchly opposed to the berthing facility in Southern Belize is now leading the campaign for the State Bank project; You Do Not Know Money. Christmas is just around the corner and “man need fu eet”. COLA’s President Geovanni Brackett has suddenly become the great crusader for Mike Feinstein’s project. And FECTAB’s President, Tom Greenwood, we can say has been on the wagon a long time ago. The Feinstein Group of Companies (FCG) is waiting to move forward on a US$150 million project off the coast of Belize City that involves the development of Stake Bank Island and North Drowned Caye into first class destinations for foreign and domestic tourists. Feinstein will invest US$67.5 million to develop the island into an entertainment centre with a port for the berthing of cruise ships. The port will be capable of hosting four voyager class cruise ships at any given time. Stake Bank will also provide a marina for transiting yachts and facilities for shops, restaurants and bars, nightclubs and other entertainment venues. There will also be an “independent entertainment and shopping area for cruise crew members” as well as a Mayan themed water park. The second feature of the project has been dubbed Ocean View Grand. It is an US$89 million investment in the development of North Drowned Caye into a multiuse luxury village resort. North Drowned Caye is located two nautical miles from Belize City.

Harrison
From what I have gathered, political pundits all agree that the by-election on January 5, 2015 to fill the parliamentary seat in Cayo North vacated by Joseph Mahmud will be a crucial gauge of the mood of the voters. The most recent such indicator of support was on November 18 in Belmopan, but that show of numbers for the United Democratic Party was not an election: some say it was just an outing. January 5, then, will be a solid yardstick by which both political parties will be measured. When we look at the candidates, it is difficult to disagree that the UDP’s Figueroa seems the more attractive of the two aspirants, with Mr. Harrison coming across as the underdog, for various reasons. To me, Figueroa is more articulate in his presentations and very composed in his demeanor. Harrison seems to have no tangible platform to stand on, or point to. His campaign strategy so far centers on being on the defensive, in that he claims to have failed in several of his business ventures because of new economic policies introduced by the UDP Government.

Disingenuous Leaders
The saga that has been the crop season for the year 2015 has presented many challenges to all the industry stakeholders. Belize Sugar Industries and the Cane Farmers Association had been at loggerheads for some time now over several points concerning the ownership of the bi-products of sugar cane delivered to the mill. For several years both parties have agreed to disagree and nothing ever came out of it. Of course, those at the helm of the cane farmers association have traditionally supported the PUP. For context we will enumerate some of the so called leaders of the association, we start with Carlos Magana who ran for the PUP, Ramon Monchie Cervantes who is a PUP standard bearer, Alfredo Ortega who ran for PUP and was defeated in a convention by Monchie, Oscar Alonzo who is a known PUP and the list goes on.

Barranco Pier Renovation
On Friday, December 12th, 2014 a contract for the repair of the Barranco Village Pier, which was damaged during a storm in early October, was signed between the Chairman of the Barranco Village Council Dr. Joseph O. Palacio and contractor, Mr. Alexander “Sonny” Garbutt. The reconstruction project, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2015, is being financed by the Office of the Prime Minister and will be supervised by the Ministry of Works. The works total a little over BZ$41,000.00 and is one of the largest recent inflows the village has received for infrastructural development. The project will be most welcomed by residents as it is expected to create employment for Barranco Village.

Finca Solana
I have stopped reading articles submitted to the Amandala by Clinton Luna for several years, since I believe that he is a very angry and a very troubled person. The last time I perused his writing was when he verbally attacked a couple of American citizens because during walks, their dogs’ barking irritated him when they passed his house. His masked demand from Government at that time was to basically have the Americans deported from Belize. To me this was not the reaction of a mature, learned individual. Since that awkward incident,I decided, as is my right, to ignore his ramblings. In any instance, from time to time readers would bring certain articles to my attention and ask me to respond, because it seems that the Amandala has given Clinton Luna free rein to write whatever he wants, whenever he wants, even if his views are bigoted and divisive.

Mayors of Belize Deliver for Municipal Workers
without fear of political victimization, thanks to a document endorsed by each member of the Mayors Association of Belize on Wednesday, December 17, 2014. The Mayors of Belize signed an agreement to abide by the policies and stipulations of the Municipal Service Regulations, a document drafted to establish a consistent set of policies and practices for all nine municipal governments. Honourable Senator Godwin Hulse says it is a historic day for the country, one that is supported by senior officials of both major political parties. Hulse says the Ministry of Local Government has been pushing for the universal regulations since 2008 and he is glad that it is now passed with him as Minister. The Belize Mayors’ Association made the establishment of the document a priority item on their agenda in the first quarter of this year. A taskforce was then commissioned consisting of city/town administrators, human resource representatives and legal officers from all nine municipalities. Three Mayors also worked with the taskforce along with Ministry’s Director of Local Government. The taskforce was responsible to review the public service regulations, labor act and other international treaties dealing with municipal workers. They were then to engage employees of the councils’ offices and put together a document that will direct operational procedures for all municipal governments. The taskforce worked together for more than eight months before the document was ready to be presented. Mayor Darrell Bradley of Belize City and Mayor Kevin Bernard of Orange Walk Town were instrumental in providing legal advice and public service guidelines.

Prime Minister’s Opening Statement XLIV Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Central American Integration System (SICA)
On behalf of the people of Belize I welcome you to our beautiful southern shores here on the Placencia peninsula. In doing so I continue a long tradition of Belizean hospitality. Our people delight in sharing both personal warmth and the paradisiacal charm of our natural bounty with all who come in peace and friendship. Please, therefore, sientensen en casa, at the foothills of our Maya Mountains where the drums of our Garinagu reverberate in the valleys and the melodies of our Mayan Marimbas steal softly down to the Caribbean Sea. Today’s 44th Summit of SICA marks the culmination of Belize’s stewardship of the pro tempore presidency of our integration movement, and it is now my duty to provide you with a status report. Your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,I am happy to be able to say that SICA is strong; and that our efforts at building better economies, stronger democracies, healthier environments and inclusive societies continue to bear good fruit.

Body of well known disc jockey found in Esperanza Village, Cayo
Three persons are currently in detention by San Ignacio Police in connection with the death of 24 year old Samir Fernandez, whose body was found by Police at about 4:30 pm on Wednesday of last week. His body was found at the far end of the Sedacy dirt road, south of Esperanza Village and some three miles away from his home. Samir Fernandez had injuries to the forehead and to another part of his head. He had apparently been lured from his home to a secluded area and hit on the most vulnerable portion of his body with a blunt object. Police investigations have so far revealed that Fernandez was still alive at 10:00 am on Tuesday of last week and from his last text messages to other persons have been able to verify his movements that morning. He had left his home on Tuesday in a taxi. Police are also connecting with the Belize City Formation, which has also detained another person who can assist with the ongoing investigations.

Brothers who professed to be gang members out on bail
Brothers Roy Bennett and Ryan Bennett are out on Supreme Court bail after spending more than two months on remand for allegedly professing to be members of the Gill Street Gang. Their cousin Maurice Felix was release on December 5 but freedom took a week longer for them. The three were arrested on September, 25, for possession of a controlled drug and professing to be a member of a criminal gang. They pleaded not guilty to both charges but professing is not a bailable offense at the Magistrates Court. All three were remanded at the Belize Central Prison.

Taxi Thieves in Chetumal threaten to have warning emitted by Belize
The Mexican Newspaper Novedadez Quintana Roo reported on Wednesday that the state of Quintana Roo is preparing in the event that Belize issues an advisory to its citizens when they visit Chetumal. The worry stems from multiple reports appearing on Facebook in which Belizeans complain that they have been robbed by taxi drivers in that, a popular shopping Mecca for Belizeans.

Another Chopping murder in Corozal
On Tuesday, December 9, police caught a Corozal man red-handed while he was chopping another to death. On Sunday, December 14, Corozal investigators had to respond to a second chopping incident just outside of Paraiso Village in which 2 persons were killed, presumably by the same assailant. Acting on information received, they visited a farm less than a mile North East of the Village where they saw the lifeless body of a woman identified to them as Heidy Atherly. She was found in the yard with multiple chop wounds to the head, neck, and upper limbs. Inside a small concrete house, they found the body of 49 year-old Salvadoran Fernando Rivas, a cane cutter who resides there. He too had multiple chop wounds to the head, neck and upper limbs.

GAS GONE DOWN AGAIN!!! Diesel is now $7.88, Regular is $8

Young Mother Gets Bail from Ammunition Charge
Danika Usher, 23, mother of a 2-month-old baby is extremely lucky to be home on bail from an illegal ammunition charge. Attorney Ellis Arnold got the Supreme Court to waive a two weeks waiting period for bail applications and secured bail for Usher on Friday, December 12. On Wednesday, December 3, police visited Cardinez Alley in Belize City where they conducted a search of Danika Usher’s home. Police found a bullet in one of the rooms and arrested the four persons who were in the house at the time. Danika Usher was charged along with her cousin, Shantel, and two brothers Donovan Charles Usher, 19, and a 16-year-old minor.

Police United top seed into the Premier League of Belize playoff
The Premier League of Belize Opening Tournament regular season came to an end on Sunday 14 December, 2014 with one single game on the schedule. In that game played out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the visiting Belize Defence Force and the host team Verdes FC played to a 0-0 draw. With that draw both teams have qualified to the playoff round of the Opening Tournament. The tournament continued on Saturday 13 December, with three games on the schedule. In the game played out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village, the host team Placencia Texmar Assassins defeated Wagiya by the score of 6-2.

St. Catherine Academy and St. John’s College are National High Schools Basketball Champions
The National Secondary Schools Sports Association and Bowen and Bowen Basketball Tournament were played over the last weekend at Bird’s Isle in Belize City. On Saturday 13 December, 2014, in the female championship game, St. Catherine Academy representing the Central Region defeated Muffles College representing the Northern Region by the score of 26-23 to capture the 2014-2015 national title. The top scorers for St. Catherine Academy were Indie Dixon and Andreinae Samuels with 6 points each. The top scorers for Muffles College were Zetina Catzim with 8 points and Julia Puerto with 7 points. In the third place game Delille Academy representing the Southern Region defeated Sacred Heart College representing the Western Region by the score of 36-24. The top scorer for Delille Academy was Starite Requena with 22 points and the top scorer for Sacred Heart College was Kellsea Wade with 8 points.

Giovanni Lovell captures SMART Test Race
The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with SMART sponsored an Open Elite Test race on Sunday, 14 December, 2014. The race started from in front of SMART Headquarters on the Phillip Goldson Highway to Carmelita Village and then back to the SMART Headquarters. The first rider to cross the finish line was Giovanni Lovell of BTL Cycling Team. The second rider to finish was Brandon Cattouse of C-Ray Road Addikz and he was followed by Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes, Henry Moreira of SMART Cycling Team and David Henderson also of SMART Cycling Team to round off the top five finishers in the race.

Jaguars United is Vega’s Cup champions
The 2014 Vega Cup Tournament came to an end on Sunday, 14 December, at the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk Town with the third place game as well as the championship game. In the third place game played, Awe V United blanked San Antonio FC by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Edwanie Munoz in the 11th minute of play to give his team an early lead in the game. That lead was never relinquished by Awe V United. For finishing third in the championship, Awe V United received for their prize $1000.00 in cash, a team trophy and individual trophies for the players and coaching staff. For San Antonio FC fourth place finished it received $500.00 cash and a team trophy.

Cop Charged with extortion
Police in San Pedro have arrested and charged police constable John Arana with extortion. Police report that on Friday, December 12, they responded to a report of an extortion in progress and they visited Mamacita's Entertainment Bar which is located on Angel Coral Drive in San Pedro Town. When they arrived they found P.C. John Arana making his way out of the establishment. Police conducted a search on him and in his wallet they found 10- 50 dollar bills alleged to have been extorted from the establishment's owner. The businessman told police that Arana had approached him and instead of going to court for bills he owed to a supermarket he could make it go away for a fee. At the time Arana asked for 200 dollars up front and for an additional 1000 dollars which he would pick up on Friday. The businessman then gave him 2 - 100 dollar bills and Arana left.

Robbery turns near fatal in Mahogany Heights
Mahogany Heights Village experienced a dangerous shooting incident on Thursday, December 11, in which 5 persons could have been injured. Fortunately, only one out of the entire group was injured, and he managed to survive the attack. At around 6 p.m., five residents got off a bus and were walking through a grassy path into the village when a dark complexioned man, who was wearing a hooded shirt, approached them. That man then proceeded to hold them up at gunpoint, which caused everyone to panic and flee. At that moment, the gunman started firing at the group, but he ended up hitting 22 year-old Joel Winston Seawell in the right side of the mouth and lower back. He managed to escape and sought help from one of the villagers who rushed him to the Western Regional Hospital for medical treatment.

Chain Saw out on bail
James Swazo, 38, also know as the chain saw man, was offered bail in the sum of $5,000 plus two sureties of $2,500 each by Justice Antoinette Moore on Friday, December 12. Swazo was charged along with Burton Claire, 20, Gavan Claire, 19, and Kyle Carter, 19, for keeping a .38 Special revolver and ammunition without a gun license. There was an armed robbery at a Chinese Grocery Store on Albert Hoy St. in the Belama area on Thursday, October 30. Three men entered the shop demanding money. One was armed with a chrome handgun and another went behind the cash register and took out $741. The men then ran into a waiting green Geo Prizm and drove out from the area. Quick police response resulted in the men being tracked and captured on Coney Drive. Inside the vehicle were four men along with the loot and a .38 Special revolver loaded with four rounds. They were arrested and taken to the Queen Street Police Station.

Hon Rene Montero Christmas 8-ball tournament, Santa Elena Cayo
The Hon. Rene Montero Christmas 8-ball tournament continued at Link-up Bar in Santa Elena, Cayo on Sunday, December 14, where it was the grand semi-finals with the following results. Series #1, team seeded # 2, Link-Up defeated team seeded #3, Camp 6 in a truly exciting best of two matches. In the first match, Camp 6 looked good as Rogelio Boteo shot like never before in this tournament as he downed Erwin Woodye, Jr, 4-1. But, Jimmy Rudon of Link-Up tied up the match as he turned it up by beating Angel Vargas 4-3. Then, Juan 'Maestro' Villanueva taught Mark 'Bukis' Trujillo a lesson by winning him, 4-1. This meant Link-up won the first match, 2-1. So, we go to the next match, which means that two players from Camp 6 needed to win to force a tie-breaker, and sure enough that’s what happened. The first game saw Angel Vargas meeting Jimmy Rudon again, but this time Angel won Jimmy, 4-2. Then Wayne Wiltshire chalked up for Link-Up and defeated Mark Trujillo, 4-1 which tied up the match. The third game was won by Rogelio Boteo over Juan Villanueva as Boteo racked Juan 4-3, though Juan had the golden opportunity but Boteo made him pay.

Patrick JonesPJ

Special Envoy for Women and Children reports a successful year
It has been a successful year for the Office of Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow, capped by Tuesday’s reception of specially equipped vehicles for clients of the Inspiration Center. Looking forward to 2015, the construction and equipping of a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit for the […]

Salvation Army hands out Christmas packages
Belize City residents were the first to benefit from the annual drive of the Salvation Army to spread the joy of Christmas to all Belizeans this morning with the first distributions of over 500 packages of basic food items to needy residents of the Old Capital. The items […]

Police to put on show for City residents
This coming Friday the Police Department’s Drama Group and the Office of the Commissioner are hosting Belize City residents at the BTL Park for a special interactive event. We got a preview from Deputy Officer Commanding Eastern Division Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster who said the initiative is the […]

Non-custodial sentence for man who plead guilty to drug trafficking
His house was searched while he was not home, but 33 year old Wallace Rubio, unemployed of Hattieville, Belize District, admitted to possession of 10 pounds of cannabis with the intent to distribute, which is drug trafficking. Rubio today pleaded guilty before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, changing his […]

Man accused of gang affiliation is given bail
It is a charge increasingly thrown at Belize City residents as police attack the gang structure at its roots, but there was a dispute in Magistrate’s Court today over exactly what it means to display gang membership. 19 year old Jason Philip Briceño was one of two persons […]

Men plead guilty to robbery attack outside barroom
21 year old Iran Jones began a five-year sentence for robbery and wounding today, pleading guilty before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer in the No. 2 Magistrate’s Court. He along with 21 year old Lorenzo Ogaldez, who also pleaded guilty, is accused of robbing and attacking boat repairman 28 […]

Man charged for double murder in Paraiso, Corozal
Sixty seven year old Jose Antonio Santos has been arrested and charged for the double murder which happened on Sunday morning in Paraiso village, Corozal. Santos was arraigned before Magistrate Hurl Hamilton on two counts of murder in the brutal murder of 22 year old Heidi Teresita Chable […]

Christmas parade this weekend in Punta Gorda town
A Christmas parade will take place this coming Saturday in Punta Gorda town. The event is the collaborative effort of the Punta Gorda town council and the Drums Not Guns group. Organizer of the Christmas parade Janine Johnson says it will start at 4 o’clock on Saturday afternoon […]

International Sourcesizz

Los mejores hoteles sobre el mar
De México a Bora Bora, aquí un recuento de los más exclusivos resorts encallados sobre las aguas del océano. Este fin de año nos dimos a la tarea de recorrer el planeta para presentarte los mejores hoteles que ofrecen a sus visitantes bungalows construidos sobre el mar. Toma nota y ve planeando la última escapada de tus vacaciones de esta temporada. 5. Cayo Espanto (San Pedro, Belice) ¿Alguna vez has soñado con tener una isla propia? Pues bien, lo más cercano a este pensamiento es Cayo Espanto, una isla bañada por las aguas del Caribe, que ofrece a todos los turistas un universo de confort, lujo y descanso. Cayo Espanto sólo cuenta con seis habitaciones y un Bungalow, hecho que hace que los pocos visitantes tengan a su alcance toda la isla. Además, existe la posibilidad de recibir un masaje en el Spa y disfrutar del Restaurante del lugar, que tiene una carta repleta de platillos tradicionales. Las tarifas van de los 1,500 a los 2 mil dólares por noche, y si quieres visitar este exótico lugar, lo mejor es que reserves con anticipación.

North American expats reveal the beauty of Belize
Retired expats living in Belize have spoken about why they have chosen to live in the English speaking Caribbean country which they say offers a comfortable lifestyle on a reasonable budget. They enjoy the beaches and the mountains and claim they can live on between US$2,000 and US$3,000 per month. Many are Americans who also say they still feel close to home. Belize has a population of 330,000, is located below Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula and has a rich heritage including Maya temples, seaside condos, jungle lodges, and colonial mansions. The main settlement, San Pedro, is described as a bustling town with lots of tourists and expats. But Ambergris Caye is the most established of the expat communities in Belize and has seen considerable growth in the last 10 years.

Belize expands visa waivers
Belize's Ministry of Immigration has decided to expand the list of countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter the Central American nation. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse said citizens from Japan, South Korea, Colombia and Brazil, as well as U.S. permanent residents, will benefit from the decision, according to Belize's 7 News television. "The reason for that is very simple, we are pushing tourism. COPA wants to fly in from South America to Belize," Hulse said, adding that his ministry can't "hang up people having to apply and it's taking a long time, so we waived the visa requirements." He said citizens from roughly 50 countries don't require visas to come to Belize.

Belize elimina exigência de visto de vários países, entre eles o Brasil
O Ministério de Imigração de Belize decidiu eliminar a necessidade de visto de vários países da Ásia e da América Latina, entre eles o Brasil, com o objetivo de impulsionar o turismo, informou nesta quinta-feira a imprensa local. O canal "7 News" divulgou declarações escritas do ministro de Imigração, Godwin Hulse, em que explica que, além dos brasileiros, serão beneficiados os cidadãos de Colômbia, Japão e Coreia do Sul e residentes permanentes dos Estados Unidos. "A razão é muito simples: estamos impulsionando o turismo. A Copa (companhia aérea) quer oferecer viagens de Belize rumo à América do Sul", afirmou. O titular da pasta acrescentou que para atrair novos turistas à Belize não será conveniente deixar as pessoas esperando em aeroportos com "solicitações que tomam muito tempo"

RE/MAX SELLS TWO INTERNATIONAL MASTER FRANCHISES
Global real estate franchisor RE/MAX, LLC divided and sold their Caribbean and Central America (CCA) region today. The new owners of RE/MAX Caribbean and Central America are John and Lucinda Turley of Belize, and Ricardo and Teresa Cardenas of El Salvador. A new RE/MAX Dominican Republic region is now owned by Mélido and Marianela Marte of Santo Domingo. "These two new owner groups are the perfect region owners. Each of these individuals has been a successful member of the RE/MAX network for many years. This change in ownership feels like a natural progression that demonstrates the 'Everybody Wins' philosophy at RE/MAX," says Larry Oberly, Vice President, Global Development, RE/MAX, LLC. John Turley has owned two successful brokerages in Belize since 2009, earning the title of the #1 real estate brokerage in that country from 2011-2013 for RE/MAX Southwind in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, and the #1 real estate brokerage in Caye Caulker Village in 2013 for RE/MAX Island Real Estate. Turley himself was recognized as the #1 RE/MAX Global Sales Associate in 2013 and has been a Top 30 RE/MAX Sales Associate since 2011.

8 Luxury Treetop Stays to Experience
BLANCANEAUX LODGE Mountain Pine Ridge, BELIZE In the protected Caribbean forest of Mountain Pine Ridge, the Francis Ford Coppola mountain lodge Blancaneaux Lodge is located in one of the highest points of the country, and from its vantage point in the forest, affords views over the surrounding area, with a cooler climate for outdoor pursuits. The Balinese-style lodge overlooks a small river and waterfall, which you can look out on from the lodge's private infinity pools. The lodge is near the ancient Maya archaeological site of Caracol, and a pool, spa and stables are all a part of Blancaneaux Lodge too.

DirecTV secures FIFA rights in the Caribbean
DirecTV has acquired the exclusive Caribbean media rights to FIFA events across all platforms from 2015 through 2022, which includes the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015, the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, among other FIFA events. The agreement includes the territories of Antigua & Barbuda, Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent, Surinam, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks and Caicos.

Novelty driving sales of fruits from Caribbean, Central America
Produce items coming out of Central America and the Caribbean are numerous and several are gaining in popularity. Robert Schueller, director of public relations for World Variety Produce in Los Angeles, which markets under the Melissa’s label, said his company is having success with red Caribbean papaya from Belize, okra from Honduras and snow peas, sugar snaps and rambutan from Guatemala. “Red Caribbean papaya has shown the most growth potential over the last four to five years, especially,” Schueller said. There’s growing demand for “a sweeter large papaya variety,” as compared with the maradol papaya, he said. Jessie Capote, owner of Miami-based J&C Tropicals, said mangoes and green-skin avocados are among his company’s biggest-selling items. “There’s more variety coming from those countries, and there are more distribution points. There’s just a lot growth in that category all the way around,” Capote said. Mangoes have entered the mainstream with other staple fruits, he said.

SICA pushes for stopping child migration, welcomes Cuba-U.S. pact
Leaders at the Central American Integration System, SICA, summit have agreed to continue pushing for actions to stop the migration of unaccompanied children to the U.S. and congratulated this nation and Cuba for their agreement to normalize relations after a more than five-decade break. The 44th Summit of the heads of the SICA nations, held in Belize, also agreed Wednesday on a human-centered approach in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, after the expiry of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals next year. On the initiative of Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela, SICA approved a resolution congratulating the U.S. and Cuba for agreeing to renew diplomatic ties. SICA, with headquarters in San Salvador, said in a statement that the summit dealt with the group's five pillars of priority: social integration, economic integration, institutional reinforcement, democratic security and risk management, and climate change.

Belize Provides a Luxurious Home Away from Home for the Holidays
There is a growing trend for holiday travel, and more families are looking for new and unique holiday experiences. Families are realizing that spending Christmas abroad can actually take stress out of the holidays, and create the opportunity for loved ones to truly connect and spend quality time together. This Christmas, Villa Verano will be transformed into a luxurious “home away from home”. Located on the beach, Villa Verano is within close proximity to jungles, rivers, waterfalls, as well as the spectacular Belize Barrier Reef with an abundance of diving, snorkeling and fishing adventures. Christmas in Belize is magical. The weather is perfect for exploring jungles, reefs and ancient Mayan cities. Families will experience the familiar elements of the holidays, but in a warm, tropical setting. Most Belizeans share in the traditional rituals of Christmas. Decorating, baking and socializing are the highlights of the holidays, and with so many ethnic groups, the celebrations are truly multi-cultural.

Videos

Manatee Footage in Belize from Blackbird Caye Resort, 1/2min. Manatee sightings like this are rare. On a recent dive trip to the Great Blue Hole our very own Cardinal was able to capture this amazing footage of the West Indian Antillean manatee. Cardinal has been with us for 5 years and was his first time seeing one so that tells you how rare this is! Enjoy....

Bamboo Beach Resort - Copper Bank, Belize - Central America, 12min. Aerial video and some stills of the Bamboo Beach Resort in Copper Bank, Belize, Central America

Belize Vimeo, 4min.

San Pedro Belize 2014, 12min. This is a video of my vacation to San Pedro Belize December 2014

Trilogy The best proposal, surprise wedding and honeymoon set 1.part Proposal in Lands of Maya, 9min. This is a video of my proposal, surprise wedding and honeymoon which took place 10000 km away from my home in Latvia - in Central America and Caribbean. My girlfriend thought we are going only for two and half weeks long trip to Guatemala, Honduras and Belize, but trip was extended to 7 weeks. In Belize she got proposed at secluded Caribbean island, than 4 weeks latter, she was taken to uninhabited island and one of the most beautiful and inaccessible beaches in the Pacific – Playa de Amor. None knew about wedding plans, even our parents and herself, and everything was organized behind hers back. She thought it was the last hours of the trip, but straight after wedding there was another surprise to come – honeymoon for one month in Mexico, Florida, Puerto Rico and Caribbean islands.

Vinelli Teaser, 3min. Richard Vinelli is the founder of the Ojojona Foundation and the interim representative of the Honduran Consulate to Belize.

Belize Bike Rally 2014 Ride Slide Show, 15min. First Belize Bike Rally, February, 2014. We are so fortunate to have ridden our motorcycle from Los Angeles, California all the way to Belize City, Belize, Central America, to join the celebration of the historic first Belize Bike Rally. We hope and pray that we could be able to attend in February next year the second Belize Bike Rally.

Belize 2014, 4.5min.

Althea Moses Belizean Cultural Dance, 3min. With Lorna Smith & Ms. Myrna At Lil Belize Restaurant Event Center

Belize vs Honduras punta style pt1, 2min. Big Music


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