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#499275 - 12/23/14 04:24 AM Today's Belize News: December 23, 2014
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Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
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The San Pedro Sun

Nonfunctional navigational lights a threat to boaters
Several boaters from Ambergris Caye have expressed concerns about nonfunctional navigational lights along the route between Ambergris Caye and Belize City. Because some of the lights, especially those along the channels are not properly working, boaters believe that it can mislead boat captains thus causing them to run aground. The upkeep of the navigational lights is the responsibility of the Belize Port Authority. According to boat captains, the lights help to guide boaters through very narrow channels near shallow areas. These highly trafficable areas include the San Pedro Marina Channel around Ambergris Caye, Porto Stock between Belize City and Caye Caulker, and the channels along Swallow Caye. These areas, which are used by vessels on a daily basis, including the public water ferries, require experience and knowledge of the waters. The lights are of great help, especially for those who are not well-versed with the area and during times when visibility is low. According to the Belize Port Commissioner Merlene Bailey-Martinez, the Belize Port Authority has indeed been made aware of situation. Bailey-Martinez explained that they have been making major upgrades to navigational aids, but it is being done in turns starting with the areas of most importance. “The Belize Port Authority has been working to upgrade aids to navigation over the past year, and in fact, we have been reinstalling lights along various channels. Between March and July we spend over $110,000 replacing buoys and lights, especially along English Caye Channel. It was fairly urgent that we dealt with that before moving to other areas,” said Martinez.

Smart’s transmission line to Toledo to be completed by February 2015
Over the past five years, Speednet has worked diligently and invested millions of dollars to build out its own network which would allow the company to become fully independent. This major investment project has been successful throughout the rest of Belize and is now underway in Toledo. To this end, Smart would like to inform its customers in Punta Gorda and surrounding villages that the construction of Speednet’s transmission line is due to be completed by the end of February 2015. Smart would therefore like to reassure the public that the transmission line will not only improve the quality of the services being provided but will also allow for the expansion of Smart coverage in the Toledo District. We would like to thank our customers for their patience, loyalty and continued patronage and reiterate our commitment to the people of the Toledo District.

Less turtle nests but better hatch rate on Ambergris Caye
Less turtles nested along the beaches on Ambergris Caye in 2014, but the hatching success has been one of the best over the past three years. That is the result of the 2014 Turtle Report compiled by the Ambergris Caye Marine Turtle Monitoring Program at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. The turtle nesting season ran from April – when authorities reported the first turtle that crawled up to nest – up until the last week of November when the last clutch hatched. Two types of turtles are known to nest on Ambergris Caye: the Loggerhead turtles (Caretta Caretta) and the Green turtles (Chleonia Mydas). Very rarely would authorities report Hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate) nesting on the island. According to Hol Chan Marine Reserve Manager, Marine Biologist Miguel Alamilla, during the course of the 2014 Turtle Nesting Season, 77 turtle nests were recorded. 49 of the nests were found on the Robles Point Beach, 21 nests at Rocky Point Beach and six at Basil Jones Beach. In addition, one turtle nest was also found on South Ambergris Caye near Wataview Resort. Compared to the 2013 figures in which 96 turtle nests were found, 2014 saw 19 nests less.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week: Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus Take on San Pedro on Golf Cart
Santa Claus has been spotted in this side of the hemisphere lately; and Ambergris Today caught him no where else but in La Isla Bonita! And it looks like he has given up his sleigh for a cool golf cart. We just hope to see him and Mrs. Claus with their swim trunks and bikini next! Don't you think so?

Taiwan Donates Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles to The Inspiration Center
Visiting Minister of Foreign Affairs for Taiwan, H.E. David Lin, 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. According to Executive Director of The Inspiration Center, Kendra Griffith, the vehicles are being used to transport some 30 children with disabilities to and from the Center for therapy. Mrs. Simplis Barrow thanked Minister Lin and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) for their continued support of the Center, noting that with this donation the Center is able to offer affordable and accessible transportation to complement its already affordable speech and physical therapy.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Belize FISHING REPORT: Week of December 13th – 20th, 2014
Our December fishing has been remarkable in spite of some weather days. We always warn people to have fun with the bonefishing before burning up deck time chasing tarpon…but we also know how addictive chasing tarpon can be. That was the case this week. Robert and John – you are due! Our tradewinds are back and the sea is settling. We had a great time meeting new friends this week and look forward to your return. Our fly fishing community is a close nit one, and that’s a good thing. We get to know some really fun and interesting people here and for this, we thank you. Thanks for sharing your stories and extending your cast here at El Pescador. We hope this holiday time is special for all of our angling friends. Keep tying flies, casting your lines and living your dreams. From all the staff here at EP – we look forward to seeing you on the dock!


A Christmas message from the Editor of the Corozal Daily
For most of us, Christmas is a time of giving and rejoicing with our family, friends and loved ones. Perhaps we give and we receive gifts and cheers. While we celebrate, let us not forget the purpose of Christmas and let us be mindful of those families in our villages and communities in Corozal that may not be able to treat themselves with the gifts and cheers of Christmas. Let us be considerate and pray for these families and their children. We have always been aware of the magnificent community spirit here in Corozal and that was reinforced last night at the spectacular Christmas parade that was greatly supported by our community. As Corozal welcomes our snowbirds from the USA and Canada, let us all bear in mind that they come here to enjoy our warm weather and people and let us all continue to contribute to their happy stay, joyful and safe experience.

Channel 7

BSI Compromises, Cane Farmers Say They Don't See It
Tonight the standoff in the sugar industry continues - and it's clear there will be no crop before Christmas. There were rumors today that there would be a movement to protest against the cane farmers chairman Ezequiel Cansino - but when we passed the cane farmers association office - everyone was just waiting on their fair trade cheque. More on that later, but The news tonight though is that BSI has budged, and removed what the offending clause 2.3 in the draft of the final agreement. That's the one that deals with a new creature proposed by the BSI called the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit. The farmers say that BSI is proposing it to take the place of the Sugar Cane Production Committee - which is an independent government-appointed body. This is the body that determines which cane will be accepted and which rejected. Well, over the weekend BSI says in the spirit of compromise, it removed the reference to the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit in clause 2.3. Financial Director, Belizario Carballo explained:

Fair Trade Funds Divvied Up Amongst Farmers, They Claim Hardship
But today, most of the attention wasn't on finger pointing; it was on that Fair Trade money. As we told you, at the general membership meeting eight days ago - the farmers passed a controversial resolution to draw down on 2.5 million dollars of fair trade funds, and use it as a sort of cane country Christmas cheer. Many in the industry frowned on it - because that's not what fair trade funds are for, but today as the over five thousand cheques were cut for each and every farmer we didn't hear much objections. It works out to about 471 dollars each - not quite a king's ransom - but some much needed Christmas funds for the down and out farmers. Today Chairman Cansino told us the fact that they are down and out might qualify as fair usage:.. Ezequiel Cansino - Chair, Com of Mgmt, BSCFA "Well I can't oppose on that. It's justified that this help for all the cane farmers be given to them because we are not in a season as yet."

San Ignacio Shooting Murder May Be Drug Turf Related
There was a shooting murder in San Ignacio Town last night, which has left a family grieving before the holidays, and a police officer looking for the gunman. It happened on 2nd Street, which the residents in the area say, has become very active with drug activity recently. Police have stepped up their patrols on this street, and they passed by the house 10 minutes before the gunman attacked. Still, this shooter managed to ambush his targets, kill a man and get away, all before the police arrived. Our news team went to San Ignacio to find out more, and Daniel Ortiz reports: Daniel Ortiz reporting 32 years old Jermaine Pagett took his last breath here at the bottom of the stairs of this house on 2nd Street in San Ignacio Town. He was in the company of 4 other men, 2 of whom lives at the house when a masked gunman ran up the steps and shot him in the chest. Everyone else ran off trying to escape being shot, but the injury to his chest claimed his life within minutes.

Another Cayo Killing
In our last segment, we told you about Jermaine Pagett, who was killed in San Ignacio last night. This weekend saw another murder, but this time on the More Tomorrow Road. Early on Saturday morning, Belmopan police found the body of 22 year-old Juan Alberto Guerra Ramirez, a Guatemalan seasonal worker who lives in Harmonyville. At this time, police are not saying much because the case is still under investigation, but the belief is that they have the killer in custody, and it is only a matter of time before he is criminally charged This evening, the Belmopan Commanding Officer spoke with us about what they've found out so far: Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police "Unfortunately, sometime after 9am on Saturday morning, we received information of a body that was found about a mile into the More Tomorrow Road. We immediately responded. Upon arrival we confirmed that there was a body who we later identified as Juan Alberto Guerra Ramirez.

Was Clive's Demise BTB's Doing?
Last week, the scandal of Clive Myers, the Director of Marketing BTB was all the news. He resigned 2 days after being formally appointed, after credible allegations emerged illustrating that he allegedly faked his academic credentials. A still unknown whistle-blower collated and circulated documents which show that Myers does not have bachelor's and master's degrees, as he claims. Myers has not yet given any public explanation and neither has he come straight out to deny the allegations made against him. And while he has the right to say nothing, not so with the BTB - they're a public body - and are obliged to explain how they failed in their due diligence. This weekend, we got a chance to speak with Tracey Taegar-Panton, the CEO in the Ministry of Tourism, and a member of the Board of BTB, and we asked about it:

Grandfather Knocked Down
Instead of opening gifts and celebrating this Christmas, a family in Douglas village will instead be preparing for the burial of a loved one. At around 6:00 on Saturday evening, 62 year old Douglas resident Fermin Gonzalez, was riding to the nearby San Juan village in the Orange Walk District. That's when 18 year old Eleodoro Osorio who was heading in the same direction knocked him down. Osorio says the older man swerved into his path. Today, the family of the deceased told us that is very unlikely because Fermin Gonzalez had been riding the road for decades and was very familiar with it:.. Alma Pech, Niece of deceased "He use to travel this road in the morning, midday and in the night. This road, he knew like the palm of his hands. This is not the first, second or the third time. He travels this road very often thousands of time. It's something shocking. It's something that hurts a lot because we have lost not only a father, but an uncle and a friend.

Three Way Accident In Ladyville
Closer to Belize City, there was a traffic accident over the weekend. It happened on Sunday evening at around 6:20 -between miles 12 and 13 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The three way collision involved a small car, a pickup truck and a tracker. So far police are investigating - and they do believe the accident was caused by one driver who may have been intoxicated.

Medical Malpractice Victim Jane Still Not Paid
In April of this year, the biggest medical malpractice award in Belize's history was granted by the Caribbean Court of Justice to 13 year old Janae Matute and her mother Georgia Matute. The panel of judges found that 2.3 million dollars must be paid to Janae Matute, and a little over half a million dollars must be paid to her mother, Georgia. 13 year-old Janae, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy was born premature, and due to post-natal complications, she was left with the disorder, which makes her life a constant struggle. The doctor, RajiMeenvalli, who the family sued for malpractice in the Supreme Court, challenged it in the Court of Appeal - and when he failed there, took his case to the highest court in the land, the Caribbean Court of Justice. That was heard in February of this year, where he lost. The liable party in this case would be the government - because he worked as a government doctor at the Belmopan hospital. But, it's been 9 months since the decision was handed down by the CCJ but still Janae nor her mother has been compensated. 7news attended a press conference this morning.

Caught In the Act, Alleged Rapist Remanded
Police say that they caught 24 year-old Alexander Nunez in the act of raping a 43 year-old woman, and so, tonight, he's at the Belize Central Prison. The incident happened on last week Friday on Raccoon Street. Officers say that they were on mobile patrol when their attention was drawn to the sounds of a woman who appeared to be in distress. When they responded, they reportedly caught Nunez raping a woman. He was immediately arrested and later charged with rape. Nunez was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where no plea was taken from him. She upheld the bail objections from the police prosecutor on the strength of the grounds that the victim's life is at risk, and that police had a strong case against him. Nunez was remanded until January 27, 2015.

Bennett Back To Jail - This Time For Weed
27 year-old Roy Bennett, one of 4 persons who was charged with possession of less than 1 gram of marijuana, is spending the first night of a 9-month prison sentence. Police say that at around 9:30 a.m. yesterday, they went to a house at #6 Gill Street to conduct a search. Roy Bennett was present along with Alva Moody, Emory Felix, and Ryan Bennett when the officers found 0.9 grams of marijuana in one of the 4 rooms of the house. They were all charged with possession of a controlled drug, and they were arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today. Bennett accepted guilt for the drugs and begged for leniency. He asked to be sentenced to a fine, but the Senior Magistrate gave him the bad news that she could not do that. He has 5 previous convictions for drug related offences, and so he was sentenced to 9 months in jail.

Fire Guts Home, Landlord Points Fingers
Tonight a family is homeless and their landlord is pointing fingers -after his 3 bedroom concrete bungalow house was destroyed by fire. It happened on Saturday evening in the Michel Estate area on Heron Street. Carlos Diaz, who is the home owner received the call from his tenant at around 4 Saturday evening informing him that his house was on fire. And while that is bad enough news, Diaz believes that it was arson :... Carlos Diaz, Home Owner "I came here Sunday morning and this is what I met. Now, I look at what is here and I can only conclude that my house was deliberately set on fire. This is a case of arson and I can say that because all the windows are metal windows and all the windows are burnt out, but there is a plywood window that suffered no burns. There are lots of papers around the place, but the windows are burnt out. So I can only conclude that these things were deliberately set on fire as far as I am concern. But so far I haven't gone to the police because you cannot get to the police and make an accusation against somebody without the proper information and I don't want to end up myself being in problem or being sued for saying the wrong thing. I can say that I believe it was burnt down, but until the fire chief say this is arson, I can't say so."

Man Says He Was Beat Up For Being PUP
A man came to our studios tonight claiming that he was assaulted because of his political affiliation. 34 year old David Phillips told us that as he was walking home from PUP Standard Bearer Gilroy Usher's Christmas party yesterday after 5, he was attacked by 8 men on the boulevard in front of 88 store. He claims they beat him up and stole the case of lemonade he got from Usher's Christmas party along with $50 dollars. Phillips described this unfortunate encounter. David Phillips "They assault me and took away my lemonade and my money. They took my slippers also and they told that once I continue work they will deal with. About 8 of them jumped me. I don't know their names. They punch me, lash me with a bat in my ribs. They didn't have to do me that, just because of politics." Gilroy Usher, PUP Port Loyola - Standard Bearer "That very Christmas program, I called for an end to victimization in Port Loyola and I even held up a Bristol board marked victimization and burnt it there as an indication that the struggle begins to end victimization in Port Loyola."

New United Flight Blows In From Windy City
There are tens of thousands of Belizeans living in the US - and most of them are concentrated in three major population centers: New York on the East Coast, Chicago in the Midwest and Los Angeles on the West Coast. Well now all those Belizeans trying to escape the Windy City's wicked winters will have a direct flight, straight from O'hare to the PGIA. United Airlines opened the route officially this Saturday which is when the first passengers flying directly from Chicago to Belize landed at the airport, and 7News there. Daniel Ortiz has that story: Daniel Ortiz reporting United Airline Flight #1150 landed on Saturday, the first direct flight from Chicago to Belize, an opportunity in tourism for both the airline and Belize.

Can United & Southwest Co-exist in Houston?
But, while United Airlines is breaking ground, a competitor is muscling into one of their two major hubs - the city of Houston, Texas. As we told you Southwest Airlines, another major US air carrier, announced that it will begin non-stop service from Houston's Hobby airport to Belize starting October 2015. That's important because Southwest Airlines is a discount carrier, and industry observers say that it will drive down the prices of air fare. Here's what it means for United and its long established relationship with Houston:.. Indira Craig - Country Manager, United Airlines "I think just by virtue of hearing that there is another airline coming into your market and that's going to be cater to your demographic, I think initially it put some scare in people or to at least have it seem as if though it's going to be a bad thing. I think that for them, its stimulation of the market and so I dint necessarily see it as a bad thing. We have a 10% rate of overlapping.

Stats Say Inflation Stable
The Statistical Institute of Belize reports that in November there was a steep increase in imports - from $143.5 million to $183.3 million. That's a 27% increase compared to November 2013. What bumped up that import figure is the increase in purchase of motor vehicles. Exports reported a decline of 30% - from $45.5 million to $31.7 million for the month. Sale of Marine products such as shrimp and conch declined by $6 million, sale of orange concentrate suffered a major decrease of $3.7 million - from $5.7 million last November to $1.9 million this month. However, there is some hope in the sale of bananas and sugar - sale of these products rose by $1.1 million and .7 (point-7) million respectively. And while imports were up, inflation was stable. The consumer price index stood at 103.8 in November 2014, up only 0.2 percent from in the same month last year. Lower prices for Transport and food items were the main factors holding inflation down, offsetting increases in rent, insurance and medical services. The lower price of fuel drove airfares down by 17 percent compared to twelve months ago. Food prices were down by 1.2 percent on average.

Channel 5

Jermaine Padgett Shot and Killed in San Ignacio
There are two murders to report tonight, both of them in western Belize. The first happened, it is believed, sometime early Saturday morning, on the More Tomorrow road outside of [...]

Body of Guatemalan Laborer Discovered on More Tomorrow Road
The second murder was a particularly bloody one, as a Guatemalan labourer was stabbed to death on the remote More Tomorrow Road. It happened sometime in the early hours of [...]

B.S.I. Amends Purchasing Agreement, Sans Contentious Clause
On Friday, we reported that the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association had refused to endorse a purchasing agreement with Belize Sugar Industries Limited under the premise that B.S.I. had introduced [...]

When Will B.S.C.F.A. Sign Revised Agreement?
Now that the contentious item has been cleared from the contract Carballo says a response, as well as a signature from B.S.C.F.A. is imminent.  The next step, he says, would [...]

Too Early to Determine Effect of Delayed Sugar Crop
While B.S.I. remains optimistic that a response from B.S.C.F.A. is forthcoming, up to news time tonight the agreement had not been endorsed.  The effect of the delay of the sugar [...]

Fire Guts Ladyville Residence Leaving Family Homeless
A Ladyville family lost all their belongings and the place they called home to a fire on Saturday evening. While it was initially believed to be a case of arson, [...]

Weekend Accidents Claim One Life and Lands Several Others in Hospital
Separate road traffic accidents on the Phillip Goldson Highway have left one person dead and several others injured. A fatal accident on Saturday between Douglas and San Juan villages in [...]

The Saga of Clive Myers Continues, Tourism C.E.O. Breaks Silence
Did Clive Myers falsify his certifications? An investigation is currently ongoing at the Belize Tourism Board where for the past four years, Myers had been working –initially in the marketing [...]

Will B.T.B. Bring Charges of Forgery Against Myers for Faking Degrees?
But if in fact, Myers documents were falsified, would that warrant criminal charges against the former Acting Marketing Director?   Reporter “We understand that there were rumors circulating when Mister [...]

Tracy Taegar-Panton on the Effect of Cuba and U.S. Relations on Tourism
Last week we told you about the historic renewal of diplomatic affairs between the governments of Cuba and the United States. The news was followed by the announcement of the [...]

CCJ Upholds Judgment for Janae Matute, Government is Hard Pay
Fourteen-year-old Janae Matute was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, a lifelong condition that has been attributed to a medical error committed when Doctor Raju Meenavalli miscalculated her mother’s pregnancy.  [...]

Alexander Nunez Caught in the Act of Raping a Woman
A young man from Belize City is on remand at the Belize Central Prison tonight after he was charged with rape. Police say that on Friday, twenty-three year old construction [...]

Highlights in Sports with James Adderley
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The PLB playoffs was a bang this weekend as the 4 teams making the scene brought out even the [...]


Another Residence Burglarized In Corozal
Thieves in Corozal Town are on the prowl again as another residence was ransacked for its costly electronics. According to 24 year old Ruben Pasos, Belizean supervisor of Santa Maria street Halls layout area of Corozal Town, his house was burglarized on Friday night. Stolen from within was a black 32inch Sony TV value $1300bcy, (1) playstation3 game valuing $1200, (6) playstation3 CDs valuing $50bcy each, (1) wireless play station remote controller valuing $120bcy, (1) play station remote with wire valuing $100bcy (1) gold chain with cross medal valuing $1000bcy and about $50bcy in small change all totalling $4070bcy were missing. Police report that no forced entry was observed and their investigations continue.

Cane Farmers Receive Fair Trade Funds
In the last general meeting held with sugar cane farmers, the floor passed a motion to distribute 2.5 million Belize dollars evenly among farmers. From the onset, leaders expressed grave concern over the consequences of the motion but added that despite their best interests, the farmers’ collective voice must be adhered. Well, today farmers in at least tem branches received their cheques. Ezekiel Cansino- Chairman BSCFA, COM “Desde la semana pasada tenemos al Finance Committee que ha estado trabajando y hasta hoy ya habían diez branches que habían terminado sus cheques y ya estaban firmados y es lo que se está distribuyendo ahorita cada director respectivo branch y se los está entregando a su gente.” Again we asked Cansino about Fairtrade and its regulations and he said that the BSCFA attempted to get their input in the entire process.

Quick Stop Shares The Joy Of Giving
With Christmas just a few days away, Belizeans are out in full force doing their last minute preparations before Christmas Eve boosting up the sales at the different groceries stores, boutiques and even pawn shops. One such business is newcomer, Quick Stop Finance Center who gave back to the underprivileged kids in our community. This year, their Christmas initiative benefitted over fifty primary school students. Gloria Lambey is the Assistant Operations Manager at QuickStop and elaborated on the event. Gloria Lambey – Asst. Operations Manager “We are issuing some gift to needy children from two schools, we have St. Peters and Trial Farm school and we use this method because a lot of times when organizations just issue gifts a lot of times it is not catered to specifically the kids that are in need so we use the help of the Principals and teachers for them to select some of the needier kids from their schools.”

BSI Hopes For The Best But Prepares For The Worst
As we told you at the top of the newscast there is no telling when the 2014/2015 crop season will commence. BSCFA will meet tomorrow with its directors who will decide if the agreement will be signed or not. It all depends on how they interpret the revision of clause 2.3 made by BSI to the draft agreement. And with tensions rising and falling as the negotiations continue there is not telling what will come next. But this time all indications are that BSI will not be taken by surprise. On Friday they sent home their employees as a form of precaution as rumours were that a riot was to take place. Also, if you have been by the factory, you will notice that barriers have gone up and they were still in place today. According to Carballo it is a decision management took as a form of safety.

BSI Amends Draft Agreement, Will BSCFA Sign?
On Friday when we left you tensions were rising between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and the Belize Sugar Industries Limited. This is after BSI was accused of acting in bad faith and undermining the Sugar Cane Production Committee after they allegedly sought to introduce a new provision on the draft agreement sent to the association. The BSCFA claimed that the intention of BSI was to replace the SCPC whose role is to coordinate the cane harvest, delivery procedures and cane rejection procedures, with the Harvesting and Delivery Control Unit, something which they are not in agreement with and rejected the first instance it was proposed by BSI during the negotiations. Late Friday evening BSI’S Financial Director, Belizario Carballo Jr., refuted the allegation by stating that when it comes to the HDSU that proposal was removed from the draft agreement back in October 9th 2014 after it was presented and rejected by BSCFA.

Belizeans Living Abroad Bring Christmas To Needy Children From The North
Christmas is a time of giving, a time of exchanging gifts and spending time with family and friends. The special time of the year is celebrated in various ways but traditional with gifts, lots of food and in the company of loved ones. But not everyone has the privilege of celebrating Christmas in grand style and when it comes to gifts not every child will receive one. With that in mind a group of Belizeans living in the US that under the name of “United Belizeans of Northern Illinois”, have come together for the third consecutive year to share the joy of the season. This year the Corozal District was targeted.

Elderly Man Knocked Down, Family Demands Justice
A resident of Douglas Village succumbed to injuries sustained in a road traffic incident recorded over the weekend. On Saturday, December 14th, police were called to a traffic accident that occurred between Douglas Village and San Juan Village in the Orange Walk District. Upon arrival police saw the lifeless body of a Hispanic male person lying in the middle of the road apparently dead, with a large open wound at the back of his head. Approximately 50 feet from the body was a red ford ranger pickup truck with its number off and a grey male beach cruiser with both wheels broken off. After inspections were made, it was revealed that the vehicle had expired insurance and the driver’s license had expired in July of 2014. The driver was later identified as 18 year old Eleotoro Osorio, Belizean farmer of Douglas Village. Best information from the driver in the initial stages of the investigation reveals that driver of the pickup was driving his father’s pickup truck as he was hired by one Carlos Mendez to take him to the Orange Walk Hospital.

Mark Vega's Case Resumes At The Supreme Court
Today at the Northern session of the Supreme Court, the murder trial against Mark Vega continued. His trial has been on-going for the past two months and today the prosecution was still open, which means that more witnesses are testifying. Vega has attained the services of attorney Brian Neal. The sitting judge in this case is Justice Herbert Lord. Reliable sources to our newsroom revealed that the jury is pushing to come up with a verdict by the end of the year. For context, Vega is one of two accused of the murder of Mennonite Susanna Petkan and the attempted murder of husband Enrique Petkan in June of 2002. The case was adjourned and scheduled to continue with witness testimonies tomorrow.

BSI Lashes Out At NTUCB, GOB And Audrey Matura Sheppard
When word spread on Friday that BSI tried to slip a new provision in the draft agreement sent to BSCFA, which would see the replacement of the Sugar Cane Production Committee with the Harvesting Delivery and Control Unit, something which BSI has denied, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize came out lashing at BSI. In their release the NTUCB accused BSI of being oppressive and unfair. But that’s not all, the organization also called on all 18 Directors of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, to not sign any agreement with BSI. Instead they urge the BSCFA to keep the window of negotiation open. Basically go back to the negotiating table and start the 2014/2015 crop with interim agreement as a signed agreement at this time; will only close off all potentials for the farmers to keep what they had on the table. Today BSI responded to the NTUCB and they held back no punches as they called the organization irresponsible and unprofessional.

Well Known Orange Walk Businessman Robbed At Gunpoint
A well-known businessman was targeted by armed robbers on Friday night shortly after closing hours. According to authorities, 49 year old Raju Punjabi, businessman of Belize Corozal Road, reported that on the night of Friday December 19th, at 8:30, after closing his business place namely SP Warehouse situated on Progress Street, he went to drop off his worker in his Prado vehicle. On arrival in front of his worker’s house situated on Bishop Martin Street, he decided to walk his worker inside her house, where they spoke for about 20 minutes, leaving his vehicle parked on the said street side. At the point where he walked back to his vehicle and reaching two feet away from where it was parked, he saw two male persons who had on white mask covering their face, with long sleeve shirt and cap, came running up to him.


Murder in More Tomorrow Village
It’s the week before Christmas; a time of peace and love, but on this Monday there are several murders and shootings to report on. Two murders occurred in the Cayo District; the first in More Tomorrow Village just outside of Belmopan, and the other in San Ignacio. Belmopan police were called to the scene of the crime on the More Tomorrow Road, after a farmer heading to work on Saturday morning found a body in a drain at the side of the road.

Fatal Road Traffic Accident in Orange Walk
A traffic accident in the Orange Walk District has claimed the life of an elderly farmer of Douglas Village. The accident occurred on Saturday night, somewhere between Douglas Village and San Juan Village. Initial police investigations revealed that driver of a red ford ranger pickup, driven by 18-year-old Eleodoro Osorio, was en route to the Orange Walk Hospital, when he saw a Man riding a bicycle swerving on the middle of the road and in front of the pickup. As a result, the driver hit the man, who was later identified as 62-year-old Fermin Gonzalez.

St Matthew’s Villager shot in San Ignacio
There were more shootings over the weekend. On Sunday morning, San Ignacio Police received information of a person lying on the side of the street by the old hospital in San Ignacio. There they found 33-year-old Oscar Romero of St. Matthews Village Belmopan City, lying face up with what appeared to be a single gunshot to the right side of his chest and a cut wound behind his head. Oscar Romero was transported to the San Ignacio Hospital for treatment, and was later transported to the Western Regional Hospital for further treatment.

St. Matthew’s Villager shot in Belize City
There was a shooting in Belize City as well, also on Sunday. Shots were fired on Kraal Road, and another St. Matthew’s villager was shot. 39-year-old Dean Murillo, of St. Matthews Village, was shot to the lower back, the right arm and the left side. Initial police investigations revealed that about 4:39a.m., Dean Murillo was walking on Kraal Road heading towards Fabers Road, and upon reaching the junction of Kraal Road and Waight Street, a white SUV passed him. Shortly after that, two armed men approached him and fired several shots at him, causing his injury.

Patrick JonesPJ

Toys for Corozal children
The children of selected villages in the Corozal district are the recipients of Christmas toys, thanks to the efforts of a group of Belizeans living in the United States. The toys were distributed to excited children today in Libertad, Estrellita and San Narciso. The Christmas Toys distribution initiative […]

Rape, gang affiliation & drug possession charges in Magistrate’s Court
Police say they caught 24 year old Alexander Nunez, employee of Cisco Construction, red-handed forcing himself on a woman nearly twice his age on Racoon Street on Friday night. Today he was remanded into custody after arraignment before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, who upheld the prosecution’s objection to […]

BTB PR manager resigns as board investigates Clive Myers fiasco
The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) and Ministry of Tourism and Culture continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the sudden fall of Acting Director of Marketing Clive Myers. Myers abruptly resigned last week, only a few days after taking over the post from the Alyssa Carnegie. A package was […]

United Airlines opens direct service between Belize and Chicago
This time last year, Delta Airlines opened the first direct flight service between Los Angeles, California, the second largest U.S. city, and the Philip Goldson International Airport. This year it is Chicago’s turn. The Windy City, the third largest U.S. city, is home to a population of Belizeans […]

Trade unions support farmers not signing commercial agreement with BSI
The National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) has intervened in the dispute between Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI) and the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). The two sides were on the verge of signing a commercial agreement last week until the inclusion of a clause advocating […]

Malpractice award still outstanding by GOB
Eight months after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) ruled against Dr. Raju Meenavalli, finding him and the government of Belize for medical malpractice, the Government of Belize has so far refused to honor the award. Former government secretary Georgia Matute had sought legal recourse and the courts […]

Thirty one year old man murdered in San Ignacio town
Police in San Ignacio town are investigating the murder of 31 year old Jermaine Pagett. Pagett was shot and killed as he socialized at a house on 2nd. Street in San Ignacio town around 10 pm on Sunday. Police say that when the visited the scene of the murder last night, they found Pagett’s body with an apparent gunshot wound to the abdomen which exited the upper left side of his back. The official police report says that a group of men were socializing when one of them yelled “gunman” and they all dashed for cover as a gunshot rang out.

Young journalist wins film festival prize
Belize Media Group correspondent Juan Caal based in Punta Gorda town is all smiles today, and rightly so as he won first place prize in film festival sponsored by a not-for-profit organization called Project Accessible Hollywood. The winning video featured a 3-minute long testimonial of a woman who turned a tragic event in her life into a positive. The organization encourages amateur film makers to create short films, post them on the organization’s website and then they are judged by the general public.


International Flights Land at North Placencia International Airport. But Don’t Get too Excited Yet
Rumors abound when it comes to information about the private airport near Placencia, Belize – “North Placencia International Airport”. The large, very interested parties – developments like The Placencia or Canyon Acquisitions – suggest this airport will be up and running soon. And just this past week, there were some positive signs… I posted an “airline discussion” a few months ago – chatting with Anthony Hunt, Chairman of the Aviation Development Committee for the BTB and Director of Marketing at Tropic Air, about a few topics. From ticket prices to Cruise Ship tourism to the likelihood of Placencia International opening as a fully functional airport. It’s hard enough to make a profit…but if they are currently flying from Houston to Belize City. And 25 of the people are going to Placencia and 75 to Ambergris Caye (to simplify), why would they want to split it in two? Send up two flights at $35,000 an hour to lose money?

Belize Celebrates Another Maya Winter Solstice
It’s hard to believe that two years have already passed since the big 2012 Winter Solstice celebrations held at Chaa Creek and around the world. Remember? Due to some rather fast, loose and totally inaccurate readings of the Maya Long Count Calendar, the media was filled with dire predictions that the world would be coming to an end on December 21, 2012. There was even that infamous blockbuster film “2012”, that did much to further the frenzy and raise the fear level around the world. Chaa Creek, whose owners have sponsored legitimate Maya research for decades, posted articles throughout the year debunking the doomsday theories and marked the 2012 event with an impressive, booked-out celebration that introduced guests to the significance of the real Maya Winter Solstice observations and explained why that particular date was – and is – so important to the Maya.

10 Business Process Outsourcing Trends for 2015
We’ve taken a look into the future of BPO, and here are the top trends we see driving the industry in 2015. Read on, and check out our infographic below! Innovation becomes the status quo Buyers pushed for innovation from BPO providers for years, and now they are seeing it ingrained into the industry at last. A survey of 100 firms found that two-thirds have innovation incentives built into outsourcing arrangements, and nearly half meet regularly with providers to discuss innovation. Eighty percent said outsourcing partners “actively encourage innovation and ideas.”

Seven Birds That Can Light Up A Tree
There are over 500 species of birds found in Belize. Many come to visit us in the winter from the North and for a short while, make their home here. What this does is, it makes Belize a destination for bird watchers and on a steady pace is becoming a place where the novice birder and the hard core birder come to fill out their life lists. This my friends is serious stuff! The following is a short collection of birds that definitely can make a tree blaze with colour. Heads up, because you never know when you may see all 7 of these species in one cluster or maybe on the same tree! This beauty is found from the USA through South America. In Central America, it can be seen in El Salvador, Guatemala and certainly, Belize. They love humid forests, pine-oak woods, borders, gardens and orchards and when you start searching for them there, look toward the middle to upper branches of the trees.

NTUCB on BSI ASR BSCFA – Press Release
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.

International Sourcesizz

Belize and Guatemala sign landmark agreements
The chameleon adjusts his colours to opportunities ODECO-CABO goes into a conference and another organization comes out: Alliance of Afro-descendants, Garifuna-Creoles (AAGACRIC). It's incredible to see how Mr Celeo Alvarez Casildo is showing his despair at the approaching of funds for the Afro-descendant Decennial declared by the United Nations (UN), and I say this because in his statement on the results of his assembly ODECO-CABO makes no mention of CABO's resolutions from the meeting in La Ceiba from 4 to 6 December 2014 and this is because CABO and its members representatives had their General Assembly meeting in Triunfo De La Cruz, the 14th of December. Apparently, CABO had a quorum and have shown a total disregard to the manipulations which have been objects ODECO since its founding.

Belize and Guatemala sign landmark agreements
Thirteen bilateral agreements were signed on Wednesday between Belize and Guatemala, covering the protection of cultural goods, migratory issues, electric energy, student exchanges, protection of the environment, sustainable tourism, and processing of visas, among others. The signing of the agreements took place in the framework of the XLV Summit of the Central American Integration System (SICA) in Placencia, Belize. The secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, witnessed the signing, and highlighted afterwards that, “for the first time since independence, the governments of Belize and Guatemala have taken concrete steps to forge a common destiny filled with promise and hope in direct benefit of both countries.”

Coral Reefs Could Soon Fall Silent As Ocean Acidification Ravages Ecosystems
Doug E. Fresh may have some competition in the beatboxing arena from unlikely source. It’s not from some underground phenom but rather an underwater rising star, or well, fish. Take a listen to this beat laid down by a croaker fish off the coast of Indonesia. A rhythmic thumping provides the beat for an otherwise ambient ocean noise track. “This one has just stuck with me,” said Julius Piercy, a PhD candidate studying underwater acoustics at the University of Essex, who discovered this particular virtuoso. Piercy has been recording the sounds of fish and crustaceans at tropical coral reefs around the world. The thumps, whistles, grunts and snaps of those reef inhabitants are more than just fodder for multi-platinum recordings. They give Piercy and other marine scientists a snapshot of reef health and biodiversity that can be done at a fraction of the cost of traditional reef monitoring. Piercy’s recent research shows that the future ocean may be a lot quieter than our current if overfishing and ocean acidification continue to take a toll on the reefs that support the symphony of life. The research looked at, well listened to, a dozen tropical reefs across the Pacific and Indian Oceans with varying degrees of health. Healthier reefs were louder and sound propagated further from them into the open ocean.

International student feels a bit cheated this Christmas
Margarette Leandre was willing to put aside the bitter cold, the wet and even the bouts of sickness for the opportunity to brag about celebrating a white Christmas. The international student, who came from Belize, had never seen snow in person, let alone experienced all the emotions and feelings that go along with it. There is the obvious feel of cold and wet that leaves one shivering, but Leandre had also felt the joy of the flakes of ice crystals falling around her and accumulating at her feet. Born in Guana and raised in Jamaica, the daughter of Salvation Army leaders knew about the winters that awaited her in Corner Brook. Or did she? During her late-August plane ride to the western world, she said she was warned about the Newfoundland winters. She began to wonder what she had gotten herself into.

After protecting habitat for jaguars, expert believes the species can adapt and survive
Growing up in New York, Alan Rabinowitz spent hours gazing at the tigers, lions, jaguars and leopards at the Bronx Zoo. His father thought the visits would help his stuttering condition, with the Lion House a safe place to let him express himself to the animals that so entranced him. It did that, but the visits also led him to a lifelong passion for big cats. After earning a PhD in wildlife ecology, Rabinowitz has become one of the world’s experts on the animals. In the 1990s, he helped establish a jaguar preserve in Belize — the spotted cat lives in Central and South America — and today Rabinowitz, 60, is chief executive of Panthera, a nonprofit conservation group that he helped found. His book, “An Indomitable Beast: The Remarkable Journey of the Jaguar,” looks at the animal’s evolution and recent history, its cultural influence on the Aztec and Maya civilizations and the establishment of the Jaguar Corridor from Mexico to Argentina. The Post spoke with Rabinowitz recently. I gather you’re not opposed to hunting to fund conservation? Do I think there could be a place for sustainable hunting, and the benefits go back to conservation? Yes, I do. Tigers are on the edge. I spent 30 years trying to save tigers. If hunting can be done in a manner that doesn’t affect reproduction — you are not taking reproductive females, and you’re taking older animals — if there can be a valid means of showing that taking trophies in the hunt truly benefits the survival of the species or the ecosystem as a whole, then I could see my way to that. That’s the reality of the world.

Lord Ashcroft becomes independent opinion pollster
Lord Ashcroft, once notorious for his “non-dom” tax status, has become an independent opinion pollster in one of the most intriguing iden

Kendis Gibson Joining ABC News
I’m thrilled to announce that Kendis Gibson has joined ABC News as a correspondent. A talented journalist with wide-ranging experience, Kendis is a very welcome addition to our ABC News family. He comes to us from our powerhouse affiliate WJLA in Washington DC, where he was a weekend anchor and general assignment reporter. Since joining WJLA in 2011, he has covered some of the biggest stories to hit the nation’s capital, including anchoring hours of live coverage during Hurricane Sandy, the Capitol Hill police pursuit and shooting, and reporting on the Navy Yard massacre in 2013. Prior to joining WJLA, Kendis worked as a correspondent with CBS Newspath, where he covered the shooting spree in Tucson and many other major news events. He also worked as an anchor at KSWB in San Diego, and has hosted shows for HGTV and covered red carpet events across the world as an entertainment reporter and anchor with CNN. A native of Belize, where he grew up without a television, Kendis moved to the U.S. when he was 11-years-old. The youngest of seven boys, his family has also taught him a thing or two about how to work as a team.

The complete guide to flying with kids
Every traveling parent has been there: pacing the aisle of an airplane, grasping a wailing baby or wiggling toddler, trying to avoid the accusing glares of fellow passengers. In anticipation of this crisis point, some considerate parents give their seat neighbors gift cards or apologetic goody bags to buy some goodwill in advance. And with good reason—it’s no surprise that the “rear seat kicker” and the “inattentive parent” topped a recent survey identifying the most annoying types of passengers to be seated near. But does travel with small children have to be hellish nightmare every time? With the holidays—and high-volume family travel season—upon us, Quartz talked to some veteran parent travelers on their tips to ease the process. Before you go Book your travel with your cargo in mind. Try to pick flights that seem likely to work best with your kids’ schedules. Align shorter flights with nap time. Avoid red-eyes that are too short to allow for a full night’s sleep. And while it may be pricier (or on some routes, impossible), avoid layovers when direct routes are available.

#499276 - 12/23/14 04:25 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 23, 2014 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

More News: Scroll up from here

Interdisciplinary initiatives earn Regan Prize for Warden, Vanegas
Robert Warden, professor of architecture and fellow Regan Prize winner has assembled interdisciplinary teams of collaborators to document historic sites around the world, including Europe, Alcatraz Island and a Central American jungle. “His efforts enable undergraduate and graduate students to work alongside architects, archaeologists and museum conservators,” said Julie Rogers, senior lecturer of architecture and associate CHC director, in a Regan Prize nomination letter. Warden and students from various disciplines have also been part of a multiyear effort to create models of an ancient Maya site in Belize, where archaeologists have been conducting excavations since 1992.

Caribbean share of global tourism market declining -- Study
A study examining what is driving the tourism flows in the Caribbean has found that the region’s share of the global tourism market is declining. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Working Paper titled “Revisiting Tourism Flows to the Caribbean: What is Driving Arrivals,” finds that tourism arrivals and expenditure are sensitive to both price and income factors in source markets; price and income elasticities of tourism have declined since 2008 and that price elasticity is statistically insignificant for “high-end” destinations. In addition, the study prepared by Nicole Laframboise, Nkunde Mwase, Joonkyu Park, and Yingke Zhou, also found that the nominal cost of an average one week beach holiday in the Caribbean is higher than in other beach destinations around the world. “These results point to the need for structural reforms to raise product quality, cost reduction or containment in “low-end” destinations, including possibly via exchange rates, and an adjustment in aggregate consumption to adapt to the implications of a lower contribution to GDP (gross domestic product) from tourism,” the study indicated.

Worst 'coral bleaching' in nearly 20 years may be underway, scientists warn
In 1998, one of the most powerful El Niño events on record sent Pacific Ocean temperatures soaring to such heights that almost 20% of the world’s coral reefs experienced significant bleaching. Some of the reefs have never fully recovered from that episode. Now, more than 16 years later, global warming appears to be doing what it used to require a super El Niño to do — push ocean temperatures so high across the Pacific Ocean that it sets off a major coral bleaching event, scientists warned Monday. Coral reefs, vital marine ecosystems which are home to 25% of the world’s marine life and help provide food and livelihoods for millions of people, may be heading into one of the largest coral bleaching events on record, due to record warm ocean temperatures. This year is virtually guaranteed to set the record for the warmest year since instrumental records began in 1880, largely due to record high global ocean temperatures. Corals are invertebrates that often grow in colonies in symbiosis with algae, known as zooxanthellae, which live in their tissues. It is these algae that give the corals their vibrant colors, and healthy coral reef ecosystems in turn provide food and shelter for a plethora of marine species. When ocean temperatures get too warm for too long a period of time, corals will expel the algae — giving them a sudden eviction notice. Once they do this, the corals turn a ghostly white color, which is where the term “bleaching” comes from.


Thank you 2014, from Wildtracks, 1.5min. Another year has gone by, and once again we have been absolutely blown away by how much support everyone has shown. Thank you to everyone who helped make all of our goals, big and small, possible!

SCUBA Diving Belize - Dive 1, 53min. Crickozeen Cut - Turneffe Atoll - Belize.

SCUBA Diving Belize - Dive 2, 44min. Pine Ridge - Turneffe Atoll - Belize.

Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize - Part 1, 19min. Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipalities Launch Belize September 26, 2014.

Flavors of Belize: The Perfect Gift, 1min. The Flavors of Belize Cookbook makes for the perfect gift not only during this holiday season, but as a birthday gift, mother's day present, or a gift just because.

Vacation Video 2014, 16min. Assembled footage and photos from cruise vacation to Cozumel, Belize City, and Trujillo.

Bamboo Beach Resort - Copper Bank, Belize, Central America, 2min. Aerial video and some stills of the Bamboo Beach Resort in Copper Bank, Belize, Central America.

Belize 2014, 6min. Belize trip Nov 2014. San Ignacio, Hopkins, San Pedro Camera: GoPro 4 Silver Song: Blackmill - Journeys end.

Belize, 7min. Fishing with Ted in Belize.


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