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#500258 - 01/23/15 05:08 AM Today's Belize News: January 23, 2015
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The San Pedro Sun

The Phoenix rocks!!
Thanks to the fabulous reviews (based on the fabulous service and awesome amenities & location of course) Trip Advisor named The Phoenix the #2 Luxury Hotel in the world, #11 Best Small Hotel, and #23 Best Service!! Congratulations you guys! We happen to know, thanks to our own dream experience, that the resort and its staff is simply fabulous!

Caribbean Villas robbed of over $5,000 on Payday
The owner of the hotel has indicated that the same individual had visited the office earlier in the morning inquiring about job opportunities. This leads police to believe that the robbery may have been an inside job, as the robbery coincided with the resort’s payroll day. Police investigations are continuing. Confirmation has been made that at no time were the resort’s guests safety compromised, and no one but the office employees were aware of what had transpired.

Streets get much needed repairs
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) have commenced working on rehabilitating the streets in the Airstrip, Eliot Subdivision and San Pedrito Area. On Monday, January 19th truckloads of hard core material were laid and pressed, improving the conditions of the highly trafficked streets. Residents in the area had been complaining about the street conditions for quite some time, as the rains in the past few months had eroded the streets causing flooding and large pot holes. According to Councilor Kenrick Brackett, 200 loads of hard core were used to fix the streets in the areas, as well as to patch-up large pot holes in the other low lying areas. “We thank all the residents for their patience. We understand their frustration on the street conditions, especially with all the rain that we have been having in the past months. We are working hard to get the street in a better conditions for all the residents that need to commute daily. The repairs will alleviate many problems for drivers of the area and even school children that use those streets,” said Brackett.

Sugar Cane Season set to start after long standoff between cañeros and BSI/ASR
The 2015 Sugar Cane Season is finally set to start after the two parties in the industry – the cañeros and Belize Sugar Industry/American Sugar Refinery BSI/ASR) signed on to a commercial agreement which now gives the green light to declare the crop open. This brings to end two months of standoff and uncertainty in the sugar industry. It was the longest delay in the sugar industry and one that has caused the splintering of the over 55-year-old organization, Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). Before the signing of the agreement, over 2000 cane farmers broke away from the BSCFA to form two new associations; the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the Progressive Cane Farmers Association. The two newly formed associations went ahead to sign a seven-year agreement with BSI/ASR for the delivery of sugarcane, leaving behind the BSCFA and it remaining 3000 plus members. Without the BSCFA onboard, the crop was uncertain. A breakthrough came when, in an emergency meeting of the BSCFA on Sunday January 18th, the assembly of the general membership moved that the organization sign on to the agreement- even though the cane farmers were not happy. By Monday, January 19th, BSCFA and BSI/ASR met to sign the agreement in Orange Walk Town. The signing of the agreement was necessary for the milling company, who needed assurance from the various associations for the delivery of at least 1.1 million tons of sugarcane.

The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage rejects the recent draft of the Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines
The Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage rejects the draft Petroleum Exploration and Exploration Guidelines recently circulated by the Government of Belize. In 2012, the Belize Coalition to Save our Natural Heritage commissioned an analysis of Government’s Draft Petroleum Exploration Zonation Framework and presented key findings to the Minister of Energy and technical team and the Minister of Fisheries, Forestry and Sustainable Development and technical team. Key issues amongst the findings were: • No buffers/buffer zones in the offshore between critical ecosystems including the reef, spawning aggregation sites and the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve, World Heritage Site and oil activities. Buffers account for potential travel of oil spills and impacts to critical ecosystems and designated special areas. Existing studies on buffer zones in the marine environment recommend 120 – 250 miles between critical ecosystems and oil activities. However, the Coalition recommended a buffer of 31 miles between critical ecosystems and oil activities as the application of a 31 mile buffer to key critical ecosystems and designated special areas resulted in the entire offshore being off-limits to oil exploration.

Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities Clarifies Press Release on Petroleum Exploration Zones and Guidelines
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) notes with regret a recent press release by Oceana criticizing the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines prepared by the Geology and Petroleum Department. Oceana incorrectly asserted that the zonation plan and framework were shared with the NGO community on January 19th, 2015, when in fact this was the Ministry’s second attempt to solicit feedback from the NGO community on the revised zonation plan and exploration guidelines. In September 2014, the Geology and Petroleum Department (GPD) shared the zonation plan and framework with 13 stakeholder groups, inclusive of Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, APAMO and other public and private sector entities. Subsequently, the GPD received feedback only from APAMO, the CZMAI, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and one petroleum company.

SPBA awards Christine Syme for her continued support
Christine Syme was the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation from the San Pedro Business Association (SPBA) for always assisting in their activities. Syme was presented with the award on Tuesday, January 20th by SPBA Vice-president Amanda Syme and SPBA Secretary Coqui Alamilla. “SPBA has been involved in many issues that are integral to developing our island, from spearheading the cobble stone/paved road projects to supporting the San Pedro Polyclinic and the Police and Coast Guard Barracks. The SPBA also organizes two annual events which have become San Pedro Town traditions – namely the San Pedro Lobster Festival and The Holiday Lighted Boat parade. In 2014 the association was shorthanded and turned to Christine Syme for support and assistance. She was willing and able to provide many hours of her time, ensuring that both events were organized and executed perfectly. In recognition of this young lady’s vital role within the SPBA’s team the executives have presented Christine Syme with a certificate of appreciation. The youth of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. Congratulations on your achievements Christine, we are all proud of you,” stated the SPBA.

Prominent island individuals form the People’s Coalition for San Pedro
The presidents from the various Neighborhood Watch committees, along with members of the San Pedro Police Department, San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), San Pedro media houses and other concerned citizens have formed the People’s Coalition of San Pedro, with the goal of addressing and finding solutions for issues plaguing the island. On Wednesday, January 14th, a meeting was held to discuss pressing issues that are going unsolved on the island including crime, youth issues, the need for a boat manifest, Crime Stoppers and improving public relations skills for police officers. The meeting was officiated by Steve Spiro and saw the attendance of Deputy Mayor Gabriel “Gaby” Nuñez, Councilor Gualberto “Wally” Nuñez, Deputy in Charge of Police Inspector Henry Jemmott, Officer in Charge of Police Superintendent Luis Castellanos, Janine Lopez, Josie Nuñez, Brian Cook, Janelle Cowo, Dorian Nuñez and Erik Lausen.

Ambergris Today

Oceana Belize Calls Petroleum Dept. Proposed Policy on Offshore Drilling Weak on Data
Oceana Belize calls on the Government of Belize to create policies which protect Belizean livelihoods - In response to a document circulated to the NGO community on Monday, January 19, 2015, as the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines, Oceana Belize maintains that before any steps are taken to allow offshore exploration, the Government of Belize must ensure that tourism and fishing related jobs are protected; that an effective emergency response capacity is in place; that special places are safe from hazards and that it has provided a full, fair and public accounting, including the inherent risks involved with the oil industry, to the Belizean people.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Bowen & Bowen Ltd.
Career Opportunity -Looking for smart, creative people who want to make a difference.

Mo' Mojo arrives in Belize TODAY!
Are you going to the concert? Need a ticket? All concerts are free and open to the public, but you need a ticket to get a seat and they will be distributed on a first come first serve basis. The U.S. Embassy still has 50 tickets for San Pedro this Saturday, January 24th, 50 tickets for the Corozal concert Monday, January 26th, and 42 tickets for the San Igncacio concert on Wednesday, January 28th. All concerts start at 7:00 PM and representative will be avilable at the entrace starting at 5:30 PM to distribute the Embassy's extra tickets.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine helping at the zoo
Our colleagues and friends from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine applied their professional magic during a week of vet examinations at The Belize Zoo recently. Vet students gained a great deal of knowledge, as they accompanied our animal management staff. What was on the examination agenda? All of the monkeys were TB tested. Yes, both howler and spider monkeys can carry TB. And yes, they can pass on to the human species…Yet ANOTHER good reason not to have a monkey as a pet! The jaguars at the zoo received very special attention. Black jaguar “Lucky Boy” badly needed a tooth extraction; part of the aftermath of his terrible ordeal in 2012. Lucky Boy came out of surgery like a shining star. Newly-rescued jaguar, “Mistletoe” also received first class care. It was determined that lovely “Mistletoe”,who was nearly shot by the people who trapped her, also suffers from a tooth problem. Good news for this pretty big cat, tooth problem addressed! And today, “Mistletoe” is a happier jaguar, thanks to the quality care received.

Corozal: The pump prices of Premium gasoline today are:

BEL Honors 225 Golden Citizens with Electricity Bill Pay Awards
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) held a ceremony this morning at its Corporate Headquarters for its Golden Citizens. As a part of BEL’s Electricity Bill Pay Awards Program, BEL will pay the monthly electricity bill for an entire year for 225 senior citizens. Some of the senior citizens received their award during this morning’s ceremony, and the remaining awardees will be visited and presented with certificates at their homes over the next few days. Awardees were selected based on the following criteria: Must be 65 years of age or older and registered as a Golden Citizen with BEL. Must hold only one active account with BEL which is billed under the Social Rate Category. Consuming less than 60kWh monthly, at their place of residence.

Channel 7

Starting "La Zafra"
The sugar cane harvest season, known in the north as "La Zafra" will start on Monday January 26th at 10:00 am. That date was agreed to today at a meeting of the Sugar Industry Control Board, known as the SICB in Orange Walk Town. The meeting of stakeholders is the one usually held before the start of any season. But today it was a very full room because there were two new associations at the table to represent the farmers groups that emerged after the splintering of the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association. They are the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association. The association representatives along with BSI and government, filled the room at the SICB office in Orange Walk Town while the government appointed Chairman Gabriel Martinez sat at the head of the table with the Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega, and Junior Minister Hugo Pott.

Big Bang By Bus On Boom Road
There was a road traffic accident on the Burrel Boom Road about 100 yards from the Belize Central Prison this morning. Fortunately, it was not fatal but it could have been serious because it involved a Ready-Call bus carrying 51 employees, which slammed into a dump truck. Courtney Weatherburne was on the scene. Courtney Weatherburne reporting These black trails of tire marks on the Hattieville road leads you to this morning's road traffic accident. A few minutes after 9, this ready call bus crashed into the rear of this dump-truck, both vehicles ended up splayed across the highway. But the vehicles were not the only things on opposite sides - both drivers had different accounts of the accident as well.

Police On Daly's Death
Last night, we told you how police retrieved the body of 24 year-old Roaring Creek Resident Emerson Daly after he went missing on Sunday night. The well-known handy-man, who is also a talented event planner, was most likely killed elsewhere and then dumped into the river. The officer commanding Belmopan police, Superintendent Howell Gillett discussed the case today: Supt. Howell Gillett - OC, Belmopan Police "The postmortem is saying that he does from an injury to the face, likely from a gunshot wound. More likely a shotgun. We are investigating. We have a few persons in our custody. We continue to investigate, we haven't gotten any concrete motive. I'd like to share if I had with the public, but thus far, we don't have any concrete motive. As we speak, our investigators are out following a few leads. Later on this week we will have some new developments to report to the public and to the media."

Jury Deliberates Into Night
Right now, a jury of 9 women and 3 men are deliberating the fates of accused murderers Cordel Flores and Warren Lewis, who police believed tortured and then killed Alberto Braddick Allen in August 18, 2009. Viewers may remember that it was as very gruesome killing where Allen was taken to a feeder road off mile 4 on the Western Highway. There, his killers then forced him to lay on his stomach, and he was shot in the back. His throat was also slashed, and a piece of stick was then rammed down his throat. 25 year-old Cordel Flores 23 year-old Warren Lewis were charged for the murder, and they have been on trial before Justice Troadio John Gonzalez for the past month and a half. Crown Counsel Sheneiza Smith is THE prosecutor; Lewis is being represented by attorney Oscar Selgado, while Flores is being represented by attorney Alifa Elrington-Hyde.

Port of Belize Concerned About Stevedores Starting Over
Last night, CWU President Audrey Matura-Shepherd addressed the media on the state of her union, the Christian Workers. And the most visible workers group in that union is the Stevedores who have been in a protracted negotiation with the Port of Belize Limited for a new collective bargaining agreement. But the Union threw a curveball at the Port last night when they announced that they had been misled in their years of negotiation under former president Antonio Gonzalez. And because of that the stevedores say they are going back to the start with a completely new proposed collective bargaining agreement. Today we asked the CEO of the Port of Belize how he feels about it. He says it's the first he has heard from the union in 11 months!

Port Of Belize, It's For Sale
And while the stevedores reload their strategy, the Port of Belize is for sale. You probably remember that 3 years ago in January of 2012, the Ashcroft Alliance declared that the port was in receivership - and took it over. Now, three years later, CEO Tux Vasquez is still the receiver - and he says his job is to improve the asset so that it can be sold. Today he discussed with us the investments that have been made and what happens next:... Arturo "Tux" Vasquez, CEO - Port of Belize Limited "We have invested to date about six and a half to seven million dollars and it has been mainly in heavy equipment, infrastructure, in staffing, but the majority has gone in heavy equipment. Port operations are measured by the amount of containers we moved per hour and without proper equipment, you could be very well down to 7-9-10 containers per hour. We have brought that up to 17 containers per hour, sometimes a bit more, but those are averages that are acceptable in moving containers."

Drainage Project Will Force Road Closures
Today the Ministry of Works saying that Newtown Barracks - the streets that leads to the Princess Ramada by the Mexican Institute would be closed for four weeks. It's part of the Ministry of Works Flood Mitigation project, where the Douglas Jones Canal will be extending from Freetown Road, unto Newton Barracks and into the sea. But it turns out, that closing that street off four four weeks would cause chaos with the cruise season. Today we found out about their revised plans:..

Methodist Church Meets in Belize
Members from the Methodist Church both locally and international spent their second day today participating in the 154 Annual District Conference of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas. Its formal gathering of all the religious leaders within the church to report on the year's activities, highlighting the successes made in the different communities. It's also an opportunity to plan how the Methodist Church will take on different issues affecting the public they serve. This year's conference is being held at the Ebenezer Methodist Church in Belize City, and 7News stopped by to speak with the participants. The President of the Methodist Church in Belize told us that while they are pleased with the work being in the areas of education and growing the membership, there is a lot more that the church wants to do:

A Road To Lazaro
Orange Walk residents travelling Between the San Lazaro and August Pine Ridge will have a smoother drive because 10.5 kilometres of the road has been fixed. It was officially opened with a ceremony led by the EU Delegation to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei, and officials from the Ministry of Works. The rehabilitation of this stretch of road was financed by the European Union and the Government of Belize, through funds from the EU's Accompanying Measures for Sugar Program, which is being undertaken in 4 phases. The total cost for the repairs to the road is 4.4 million dollars.

Belize Is For The Birds
Black Vultures, Laughing Gulls, White colored seedeaters and the list goes on. These are some of the species of birds that are spotted during the Belize Audubon Society's Annual Christmas Bird Count. Every year a team is sent to several sites around the country to count and document the different species of birds. It may seem time consuming given that during this exercise the team spends 12 hours counting birds for 3 days. But according to Publicity Coordinator Dirk Francisco, it is pretty easy and you do not need to be a professional bird watcher to participate.

BEL Will Pay Senior Citizens' Light Bills
For the next 12 months, starting with the end of January, BEL will pay the light bills of 225 elderly citizens countrywide. It's one of their social programs for customers in the Golden Citizens category. Who qualified for this program? Well, all winners had to be 65 years or older; holding an active account with the company; in the social rate category; consuming 60 Kilowatts per month. Most importantly, they needed to have registered with the company using their Golden Citizens Social Security Card. Today, 7News got an opportunity to meet 20 of the winners. Here's what the company's customer care Manager told the gathering while they were receiving their awards:

Ras Indio's Magnum Opus
Ras Indio, he's one of the most prolific Belizean reggae artists who's performed at major shows around the world, but he's always keeping an eye on home base, and trying remain relevant in his own country. And so, now, for his fans, he's produced a DVD with all his music videos, along with never before seen footage and unreleased tracks which Indio recorded. He told us today why you should buy the DVD which he calls Visions of Life. The DVD costs $20, and it can be purchased at local music stores around the country. Additionally, it can be purchased online and link to that e-store will be posted on our internet transcript.

Last night we told you about the Government release in response to OCEANA's criticisms about the Draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines. The Ministry's release says quote "OCEANA incorrectly asserted that the Zonation plan and Framework were shared with the NGO community on January 19th, 2015, when in fact this was the Ministry's second attempt to solicit feedback..." END QUOTE. Well, OCEANA says that they did not receive the draft at the first attempt in September 2014 as the Ministry's release says they had. Vice President, Janelle Channona told us today that if OCEANA was in fact contacted or sent the draft in September 2014, they would have definitely responded. She also adds that none of the NGO's recommendations were reflected in the draft.

Where Tourism And Agriculture Intersect
Tourism and agriculture are leading foreign exchange earners in Belize. But where do these two very different sectors meet? According to the OAS, they don't! And that's why today the OAS along with the Inter-American Institute of American States and the Ministry of Natural Resources organized a consultation session at the Biltmore. The discussion was centered on a strategy to advance Belizean products and services through the tourism industry while involving more women and youth in that process. The Ambassador of the OAS, Starret Green further discussed the objectives of today's consultation. Starret Green, Ambassador - OAS "One of the issues that we are trying to understand better is what works and what doesn't work in linking the markets. We know we have a huge tourism industry.

US Fugitive
A wanted American pedophile was picked up in Hopkins by Belize police earlier this week. 54 year old Robert Andrew Ragin, is wanted by U.S. authorities to answer charges on twelve counts on promoting sexual performance by a child. While Ragin was living in Florida, he was found with pornographic videos of minors, and before he could have been arrested, he fled the country to Belize. He will be handed over to the US authorities tomorrow.

Channel 5

Crop Start Date Announced
The 2015 sugar cane crop season will get underway on Monday, January twenty-sixth at ten in the morning. The pronouncement came this afternoon after a lengthy session between all stakeholders [...]

P.U.P. Leader Responds to Barnett Endorsement
On Wednesday, the U.D.P., all hyped up and bursting with enthusiasm, announced the entry of Doctor Carla Barnett into electoral politics. Barnett is no stranger to the public service, and [...]

Fonseca Speaks on Barnett’s Resignation
The U.D.P. has placed great emphasis on Barnett’s integrity in public life, and Prime Minister Barrow has stated publicly that it is perhaps her strongest point. The Prime Minister is [...]

…Says Barrow Will Be Next Opposition Leader
The Prime Minister has jubilantly placed Barnett against Fonseca in a political battle for Freetown, and only time will tell how that plays out. But in the meantime, Barrow is [...]

2 Persons Questioned for Roaring Creek Murder
  Tonight, two persons are being questioned about the murder of twenty-four year old Roaring Creek entrepreneur, Emerson Daly Junior.  While Police are not saying if the men in custody [...]

Ready Call Bus and Truck Collide By Boom Junction
There was a collision this morning between a Ready Call bus transporting fifty-one employees and a dump truck. It happened on the Boom-Hattieville Road when the loaded bus crashed into [...]

P.U.P. Ready for Municipal Elections?
Earlier we showed you P.U.P. Leader Francis Fonseca’s response to the announcement of his opponent in Freetown. He wasn’t too impressed or concerned. Fonseca has other things on his mind [...]

Fonseca Says Belize City Challenging
So what’s the prediction for Belize City? It’s considered a U.D.P. stronghold with the U.D.P. holding on to eight of ten seats. Fonseca acknowledges that it will be a real [...]

Jury Deliberates in Murder Trial
  The trial of Warren Lewis of Lord’s Bank, Ladyville and Cordel Flores of Belize City, who are jointly charged for the August 2009 murder of Albert Allen was summed [...]

Accused Robber Walks Free
In May 2014, a Bowen and Bowen employee was robbed of one thousand five hundred dollars. Today, he requested no further court action against the man he had positively identify [...]

U.D.P. Chairman Caught in Domestic Altercation
  News Five has confirmed that this morning, Chairman of the U.D.P. Alberto August was involved in a broad daylight domestic altercation in Santa Elena. We were told officially that [...]

P.U.P. Says NO to Offshore Drilling
There is increased environmental chatter recently after the Geology and Petroleum Department released its draft petroleum exploration policy. According to the wording on that draft, every part of the Belizean [...]

Audubon and OCEANA on Petroleum Zoning
Earlier this week, we told you about OCEANA’s feedback on the Department of Geology’s Zoning Draft Policy. OCEANA said they were not meaningfully engaged, having only received the draft on [...]

B.E.L.’s Golden Citizen Program in Full Effect
B.E.L.’s Golden Citizens Electricity Bill Pay Award is growing by leaps and bounds. The initiative started with fifty persons two years ago. Today another group of senior citizens will not [...]

$140,000 Up in Smoke in San Pedro
An early morning fire has destroyed a building and equipment valued over one hundred and forty thousand dollars belonging to Grand Colony Resort in San Pedro Town. After two on [...]

One Man Detained for San Pedro Robbery
Another San Pedro hotel took a hit on Wednesday, this time by robbers. According to police, a receptionist of Caribbean Villas reported that around four-thirty on Wednesday, he and two [...]

Stakeholders Focus on Agribusiness Development
Linking Farmers to Tourism…the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, better known as IICA, is getting more involved in the development of the agro-productive sector in Belize. Today, at the [...]

IICA and O.A.S. Partner in Agribusiness
  Partnering with IICA are the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and the Organization of American States. Ambassador Starret Green says that while the linkages have already been established [...]

Healthy Living Looks at a New Secret to Perfect Skin
If you follow health or beauty trends, you should have definitely noticed a growing movement that champions common everyday foods as the new secret to better looking skin. To clarify [...]


Thousnds Of Dollars Worth Of Items Goes In Flames In San Pedro
Police in San Pedro Town are preparing to charge a male person in connection to an armed robbery reported. According to the receptionist at Caribbean Villas located on Seagrape Drive, he reported that at about 4:30 p.m. on yesterday’s date, while at his workplace, in the company of his two co-workers, a male person of dark complexion with a rag over his face, entered the establishment armed with a black handgun and pointed it at his head and demanded money. Fearing for his life and in compliance, he took a small cash pan containing petty cash amounting to $785.00, several envelopes containing employees pay amounting to $4000.00 along with his black Apple I-phone 4S, valued at $ 700.00 and a white Apple I-phone 4S cell phone valued at $800.00. The male person then exited the office running to the direction of Seagrape Drive and made good his escape. Police have since detained 26-year-old Agar Miguel Chunchon and have recovered some items as investigations continue.

Dollars Worth Of Items Goes In Flames In San Pedro
Owners of the Grand Colony Resort located on Sea Grape Drive are reeling in from a loss of over one hundred and forty thousand dollars caused by a fire. According to the report, in the wee hours of yesterday’s date, San Pedro Police responded to a 911 call a Carpenter’s workshop burning at the Resort where they saw a green zinc and wooden structure with cement flooring, measuring approximately 30’ x 50’ on fire. Fire Department personnel arrived on the scene at 2:30 a.m. and the scene was declared safe at 5:05 a.m. Preliminary information reveals that upon making routine checks, the security guard noticed smoke coming from inside the building. He then opened the door but the fire inside was already out of control so he immediately alerted the police. The building was completely gutted by flames and all its contents destroyed. According to the general manager, the structure is valued at $75,000.00 and its contents which included various heavy machinery and equipment are valued at $65,100.00 for a grand total of $140,100.00. The building nor its contents were insured and the cause of fire is still uncertain.

When will The Rehabilitation Of San Estevan/Progresso Road Commence?
In 2014, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, in one of his press conferences, said that the rehabilitation of the San Estevan/Progresso Road would see completion by the middle of 2015. So far, no significant work has been seen along the road. It appears that there is still some issues in getting the work started but CEO in the Ministry of Works, Errol Gentle says that communities along the road should see some relief this year. “At a snail’s pace certainly not at my liking at all, it is certainly not advancing as the government would like to and I am certain as the road users here in Orange Walk would like from the inception we had certain problems that we tried to rectified and we are working with the contractor, at this moment we are discussing the way forward but what I can assure you and you can take my word for it I haven’t lied to you before that road will be completed because I can’t give you a when but it will be complete and you will works started that road in fact the last meeting we had with the contractor he assured that he had to gone out there and he had to do some grading again to improve the riding quality of the road but it is in the best interest of the government of Belize, the ministry of works want that work to be completed, the EU is also adamant that will see some progress so you will see progress very shortly and that road will be moved on unfortunately yes we are behind schedule but it will not be abandoned the road will be completed.”

Corozal Police Conducts Service Day Training
As is customary, simulation exercises and training is needed to keep our law enforcers ready for any scenario. And since mind and physical health are needed for the job, once a month officers from across formations throughout Belize engage in intense training. Over 35 police officers from the Corozal formation today gathered at the Ricalde Stadium for an afternoon tune up, well at least that is how Superintendent Andrew Ramirez refers to it. “What happen at a national level, we on Thursdays it is referred as in service days we either lecture our guys in relation to court process, statement taken, and customer care and in today’s session it is what we referred to public order training, it has nothing to be in any panic mode in relation to the cane issue or the election this is a normal measures standard directive, on Thursday is what is referred to in service days and Tuesdays is physical training, what we have here today is basically we have the Deputy Mr. Serrano giving these guys a tune up because as I mention thee training is done at least once a month.”

Corozal Police Investigate Possible Case Of Pedophilia
While authorities in Dangriga are waiting for confirmation to extradite Reagan, officers in Corozal are dealing with a similar case only that this time the individual is not wanted by the US but remains on the loose and according police, he is being sought. The latest incident is said to have occurred in the area of San Andres in the Corozal District and authorities are not taking the complaint lightly. Supt. Andrew Ramirez – Corozal OC “I got a very disturbing information a few hours ago in relation to a white SUV with a tire to the back and apparently the driver is of white Caucasian with American accent, sometime last night between 7 and 8 pm I think it is on the San Andres road, the driver of that vehicle apparently pushed out his hand and shaking up his hand with some monies to a 7 year old female child, obviously the intent to my opinion would be to entice that young lady inside that vehicle, I am asking the resident of Corozal if they have information of that specific type of vehicle; white SUV, with a wheel at the back, white Caucasian, has bumps on his face and more speaks American type accent, if they have any information of that vehicle or that description of that male person to please give us a call.”

Road Improvement Paves Way To More Benefits
At the top of the newscast we told you about today’s inauguration of the San Lazaro to August Pine Ridge Road. The inaugural ceremony saw the participation of several high ranking officials including members of the People’s United Party, Orange Walk Central Area Representative Honorable John Briceno and Orange Walk South Area Representative Honorable Jose Abelardo Mai who told us that the road improvement is of great benefit to the communities in his constituency. Abelardo Mai – Area Representative, O/W South “It’s a formidable undertaking I have to say, have to admit that this is a most needed highway, it runs through the heart of Orange Walk South which is y constituency and it is the life blood, I think it is the main artery in which food leaves Orange Walk South and spread out throughout the country, as you now Orange Walk South is the part of the bread basket of the country, the largest amount of rice is produced, grains in general and of course our valuable sugar cane so this highway is the main artery that then leads to distribute food throughout the country so it is formidable undertaking, it is very important to note too that the highway of this magnitude of this caliber will lead significantly to the reduction in the cost of producing sugar cane as you know transportation is the major cost then we reduce the cost of wear and tear, we reduce the cost of fuel and we reduce the repairs and maintenance of our transportation so it is a formidable undertaking and I think we are happy for having it I must say that.”

Government Dissatisfied With Work On Philip Goldson Highway
While Government officials are satisfied with the work done on the Feeder Roads Rehabilitation Project in Southern Orange Walk, the same cannot be said for the work being carried on the Phillip Goldson Highway that passes through Orange Walk Town. Motorists may have noticed several points along the recently paved mile of the highway have begun to break or sink in, this, only months after its completion. Today, while at the inaugural ceremony of the road in Southern Orange Walk, we spoke with CEO in the Ministry of Works Errol Gentle who said that they are aware of the situation. The CEO adds that they have sent technical officers to conduct a detailed physical inspection of the road, including the section of the San Antonio Road that has been hot mixed under the same contractor, Emer Hernandez.

High Rate Of Children Infected With Stomach flu
Every parent dreads hearing the three words, "My tummy hurts." Immediately, you start imagining the worst-case scenario: Your child is totally wiped out for days with nonstop vomiting and diarrhea; your home becomes a breeding ground for germs; and this virus spreads like wildfire through your entire family. Unfortunately, this is a reality and lately a lot of children have been affected with what doctors are calling gastroenteritis or commonly known as stomach flu. In stomach-virus season, entire classrooms and childcare centers can be taken by storm. And so, in an effort to help protect your family, here is what you need to know about the stomach flu. Doctor Damaris Cruz, stationed at the Presbyterian Medical Clinic in the village of Patachakan explains. Damaris Cruz – Doctor “The symptoms of this virus usually vary from mild to very intense they can be, patient start with nausea and or vomiting both or either just one of them, sometimes they can have abdominal pain, sometimes they have diarrhea, some patient might even have mild headaches or low grade fevers.”

Wanted US Fugitive Captured In Dangriga
Fifty four year old US National Robert Andrew Reagan is currently in police custody in Dangriga after a warrant for his arrest was issued by law enforcement agents from the State of Florida. Reagan was detained in Dangriga on Friday January 16th. Reagan is wanted in the US for 12 counts of promoting sexual performance by a child minor. Reports are that Reagan, who has been living in Hopkins Village in the Stann Creek District for 6 months, was found with pornography videos of minors and before he could have been arrested, he fled the US.

Sugar Impasse Is Over Crop Set To Commence January 26th
Tonight, sugar industry stakeholders are breathing a sigh of relief as the date for the much anticipated start of the 2014/2015 cane crop has been announced. All stakeholders including the three associations (BSCFA, the Corozal Sugar Cane Producers Association and the Progressive Sugar Cane Producers Association), along with Minister of Agriculture Honourable Gaspar Vega, representatives of the Sugar Industry Control Board and members of BSI/ASR, met around the discussion table this afternoon to collectively agree on date for the start of crop. After hours of deliberations, Chairperson of the SICB, Gabriel Martinez, told the congregate that a statement of commitment was signed by all parties involved, signalling the much anticipated commencement of the sugar crop. Gabriel Martinez – Chairperson, Sugar Industry Control Board “As newly constituted by the recent sugar cane act and the parties present here namely the three Associations along with BSI/ASR and our Deputy Prime Minister have agreed that the start of the 2015 sugar cane crop should be on Monday January 26th at 10am. The SCPC wants to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone who has work tirelessly to come to this moment here and we are so happy to be able to pronounce this date as agreed by the stakeholders we wish all the caneros a productive and a blessed sugar crop 2015.”

#500259 - 01/23/15 05:08 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 23, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Repairs of Sugar Roads to Commence
And with the date set for the start of the crop season, works will commence shortly on a number of sugar roads. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture Gaspar Vega told Love News, the assessment is underway. “As of Tuesday both engineer Bradley and engineer Calles came down to the north to start the assessment on the different sugar roads of course the most needy ones and we are going to be investing $1 million dollars in the Orange Walk district and $1 million dollars in the Corozal district but before the actual work starts getting done, they have to asses it because of course we have to ensure we get value for money. So that is what the engineer Bradley was here on Tuesday and I know that they continued yesterday and I know by today or tomorrow the work should have started and we are going to ensure that we get as many contractors as possible so that the work can be done as quick as it could ever have been done. The roads are not as bad as last year and we are investing the same amount of money so I do believe there are plenty roads that can be used as we speak without any work getting done on them.”

Suspected Fugitive Involved in San Ignacio Robbery?
Police are looking for an escaped prisoner after it is believed he robbed a store in San Ignacio. Correspondent Elaine Berry has the story. “This morning at about 8 AM a Chinese grocery store located on Bella Vista Street here in San Ignacio was robbed by a single gun man. The person is believed to be Emanuel Willoughby also known as Mangar who escaped from the KOLBE foundation since December 2014. Police responded immediately and sighted him running. He managed to escape in the bushes in an open lot in the outskirts of town. Police are presently searching the area. The police are advising the public to be cautious and call the police hotline at 9-1-1 or 804-2022 as it is believed that he is in the Santiago Juan and Bishop Martin area. He is considered armed and dangerous.”

BEL Awards Twenty Senior Citizens
The Belize Electricity Limited, through the collaborative efforts of B.E.L Customer Care Department and Social Care Community, awarded twenty senior citizens a year of free electricity. The Program, The Golden Citizens, Commenced at the BEL Corporate Headquarters, two and a half miles Philip Goldson Highway, Manager of Customer Care, Celina Gill, addressed the media and spoke of the program. CELINA GILL “This is the third consecutive year in which BEL is paying Golden Citizen’s Electricity Bills for one year. As part of one of several initiatives through which the company fulfills its mission to provide reliable electricity at the lowest sustainable cost, stimulate national development and improve the quality of life in Belize. Inspired by the sincere drive of one of our employees to reach out and make a difference in the life of a senior citizen the company adapted the program and made it official in 2012.

PUP Says “NO!” To Offshore Drilling
Earlier in the week we began reporting on the 32-page draft document on the Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines. After learning and reading the draft document, OCEANA’s Vice President, Janelle Chanona, expressed discontent and concern over the content of the document. Chanona further expressed disapprovals of any type of offshore drilling. However, yesterday the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology and Public Utilities, Dr. Colin Young, told Love News that paper was sent to all environmental groups and agencies in order to received feedback. Today, PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, told the media that his party is dead set against offshore drilling.

Details of San Pedro Murder Still Unraveling
Twenty-two-year-old Silva Benitez was found murdered on Ambergris Caye, three miles north of San Pedro Town. She was found partially nude, face down in small pond of mud off the Grand Belizean Estate Road. Benitez had been reported missing and friends and family had feared the worst. Her body was discovered on Saturday morning by two passersby. Police say that Benitez had bruises to the face, neck and back. A post mortem examination was conducted where it was found that the body had multiple blunt force injuries to the right side of face, to the neck and back and restraining type injuries to the shoulders and inner thigh. Up to news time, no one has been arrested for her murder. At the time the exact cause of them was not established. Today Deputy Coastal Officer, Inspector Henry Jemmott, told Love News that police believed that Benitez was strangled.

Man Detained For San Pedro Robbery
Caribbean Villas Resort, Sea Grape Drive in San Pedro Town, was robbed at gun point. It happened yesterday evening when a man barged into the receptionist’s office, took out a .38 revolver and demanded the monies. A total of four thousand seven hundred and eighty five dollars and two iPhones were handed over to the robber. Quick police response led to the detention of one man. However, Deputy Coastal Officer, Inspector Henry Jemmott, told Love News that they believe that the man who they have detained may have been working with someone from the inside.

General Elections; Will Francis Become PM?
On Monday the House of Representatives met to introduce a bill to amend the Sugar Act but aside of the usual technical business, there was also the usual back and forth among the political opponents. Well on Monday, Prime Minister Dean Barrow made several remarks alluding that the current leader of the People’s United Party, Francis Fonseca will not be leader anymore after the March Municipal Elections. Fonseca did not responds to Barrow’s statements that day so he was asked about it today…. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, FRANCIS FONSECA “The only change of leader in the opposition will come when the general elections are called and he, Mr. Barrow, if he remains the leader of the UDP, he will then be the leader of the opposition. That is the only time the leader of the opposition will change so let him call the general elections and yes, we will have a new leader of the opposition; him or maybe it will be Gappy Vega who knows. That is the only time we will have a change in the leader of the opposition in this country.”

Four Injured in Morning RTA
A traffic incident on the Boom Road, just a few miles from its junction with Hattieville Village, Belize District, has left four persons recovering from minor injuries and over four dozen residents shaken from the collision. The incident occurred between nine and ten o’clock this morning between a bus filled with employees of the Ready Call Centre and a dump truck. Love News was on the scene and spoke to both drivers who came out the incident unscathed. Claudio Moreira was the driver of the bus, which was transporting the over fifty one employees to the work sight. CLAUDIO MOREIRA “Well when we were coming on the Boom highway a dump truck was in front of me and to avoid an accident he swerved right into my right of way and as I said to avoid the accident I tried my best to avoid the accident. I hit him on the tail of the dump truck and that was the best I could do to avoid people getting hurt on the bus. As a matter of face we have two people that got hurt but just minor injuries for a pregnant girl and a young boy, they are not really critical.”

Francis Rebuts to Barnett as a Sacrificial Lamb
Yesterday the United Democratic Party revealed that Dr. Carla Barnett has decided to contest the next general election. She is hoping to be the next Area representative for the Freetown Division. The present area representative for that division is the leader of the Opposition Francis Fonseca. While, Barnett has not been officially endorsed as the Standard Bearer for that division, Fonseca did respond to the possibility that Barnet, who he referred to as a sacrificial lamb, may be his political opponent. LEADER OF OPPOSITION, FRANCIS FONSECA “You know the problem for Dr.Barnett is that the people of Freetown want absolutely nothing to do with the UDP, the great majority of the people in Freetown, want nothing to do with Mr. Barrow.


BEL Honors 225 Golden Citizens with Electricity Bill Pay Awards
Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) held a ceremony on Thursday morning at its Corporate Headquarters for its Golden Citizens. As a part of BEL’s Electricity Bill Pay Awards Program, BEL will pay the monthly electricity bill for an entire year for 225 senior citizens. Some of the senior citizens received their award during Thursday morning’s ceremony, and the remaining awardees will be visited and presented with certificates at their homes over the next few days.

San Lazaro to August Pine Ridge road officially opened
10.5 kilometres of rehabilitated roadway, between San Lazaro and August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk, was officially opened on Thursday by Head of the EU Delegation to Belize, Ambassador Paola Amadei and officials of the Ministry of Works. The rehabilitation was financed by the European Union and the Government of Belize through funds from the EU’s vlcsnap-2015-01-23-06h14m47s90Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Programme and is being undertaken in four phases. The Rural Road Rehabilitation Project programme which began in 2008 and will end in 2016, supports the upgrade of 29 key roads in the sugar areas at a cost of over € 42.7 million (BZD 106.7million). The San Lazaro to August Pine Ridge was completed under phase three of the programme at a cost of BZ$4.4 million.

Duo await verdict in murder retrial
At news time a jury of 9 women and 3 men were deliberating the guilt or innocence of 26 year old Cordel Flores and 23 year old Warren Lewis, who are charged with the murder of Alberto Allen. The case is being tried before Justice Troadio Gonzalez in the Supreme Court. During the first trial in March of 2013 a juror made comments in the presence of a police officer in favour of the accused, which the prosecution said showed evidence of prejudgment and bias, which would deny the men a fair trial. A mistrial was declared and a trial before a new jury ordered. On August 18, 2009, Flores and Lewis are accused of driving Allen in Lewis’s car to a feeder road off Mile 4 on the George Price Highway, then shooting him in the back after exiting the vehicle. Alberto Allen was also slashed in the throat and had a piece of stick pushed down his throat, as well as head injuries caused by a blunt instrument.

Caribbean Villas robbed of payroll
The receptionist for Caribbean Villas located on Seagrape Drive, San Pedro Town, reported that at about 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday January 21st, while at his workplace sitting in the company of his two co-workers, a man of dark with his face covered with a rag, entered the establishment armed with a black handgun. The armed man pointed the weapon at the receptionist’s head and demanded money. He then took a small cash pan containing petty cash amounting to $785.00, several envelopes containing employees pay amounting to $4000.00 along a $ 700.00 cell phone and an $800.00 cell phone. The man escaped.

Fire at Grand Colony Resort in San Pedro
There was a fire in San Pedro early Wednesday morning. A Carpenter’s workshop went up in a blaze at the Grand Colony Resort located on Sea Grape Drive, San Pedro Town. The structure, a wooden building, approximately 30’ x 50’, was on fire sometime after 2 o’clock that morning. The security guard for Grand Colony reported that while conducting routine patrols on the compound, he noticed smoke coming from inside the building. He then opened the door but the fire inside was already out of control so he immediately alerted the police. The building was completely gutted by flames and all its contents destroyed.

Ready Call Bus with employees slams into tail of a dump truck
There was an accident on Thursday morning on the Boom Hattieville Road, involving a Ready Call Bus and a dump truck. The Ready Call bus was transporting over 50 workers to its facility in Boom, when a truck turned right into a feeder road. The Ready Call bus slammed into the tail of the truck and smashed a portion of the front of the bus. Reports are that four Ready Call Employees were injured the accident which happened near the Belize Central Prison. None of the injuries were life threatening.

NTUCB VP says union battling its own internal corruption and leadership issues
At Monday’s cane farmer’s protest in front of the National Assembly, a few representatives of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize joined the group to lend their support to the farmers. We asked why the NTUCB president Dylan Reneau was not there, and according to the Second Vice-President...

UDP aspirant confident in Orange Walk East victory
On Tuesday we reported on the results of the PUP convention in Orange Walk East, which selected incumbent town councilor Josue Carballo by 14 votes over former area representative Dave Burgos. Just 150 less voters came out for the PUP event than the number who came out to elect Elodio Aragon Jr...

CWU executive report on successful first year
The Christian Worker’s Union (CWU) elected a new executive in December of 2013, after months of turmoil surrounding the presidency of Antonio Gonzalez, who stood down after members accused him of poor performance on the job. A little over a year later, a union in ruins and on the outs with its paren...

Put Away; New release by Mervin Budram
The issue of crime has ravished Belize over the past few years. Unfortunately, though the major crimes seem to be concentrated mostly in one area of the nation, it has caused Belize to be listed as the 3rd most murderous nation. “Put Away” is a new musical release by well known Belizean musician Mer...

Former Youth Ambassador pleads guilty to forgery charges
25 year old Kenroy Young will learn next Monday, January 26, what is his sentence to five admitted counts of uttering a forged document. Mr Young entered the plea On Wednesday before Justice Adolph Lucas, in the Supreme Court. Kenroy Young, formerly an employee of Youth for the Future and United Na...

Traffic Accident in Belmopan on Hummingbird Highway
There was a traffic accident at around 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon on the Humming bird Highway in Belmopan,  involving a white Forerunner and a grey Tracker. According to reports, Derek Gordon, the driver of the white Forerunner, was coming from Placencia, travelling in a northerly direction...

Sugar Industry Amendment Bill is now law
The Sugar Industry (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on Monday and by the Senate on Tuesday, has been assented to by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. The Act was published in the Gazette on Wednesday, 21st January 2015, but is retroactive from the 14th of January, 2015. According to a press release from the Government Press Office, this Act is to secure to all cane farmers the freedom of association guaranteed by the Belize Constitution. It will no longer be compulsory for a cane farmer to belong to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association or any other association. The Act also provides that there may exist more than one association of cane farmers, and the Sugar Industry Control Board shall have the power to register all associations.

Dr. Carla Barnett announces candidacy for Freetown Division
Former Chief Executive Officer and Financial Secretary in the Government of Belize and former Vice-President at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Dr. Carla Barnett, is entering politics. On Wednesday she announced her candidacy in the Freetown Division, which is currently held by Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition and of the People’s United Party (PUP) Francis Fonseca, and was last in the hands of the United Democratic Party (UDP) in 1992, when Derek Aikman was forced to resign due to bankruptcy. But how do you beat a three-term sitting area representative, who is also Leader of the Opposition, with precious little political experience of any kind? Dr. Barnett told reporters she believes she has the key.

The Guardian

Case cannot proceed against former teacher
In late 2009, then E. P. Yorke Teacher, Cordel Gonzalez, was charged with two counts of carnal knowledge of a female child, then 14. He ended up losing his position with the institution after a video tape with him having sex with the minor student surfaced and investigations led to him being charged. On Tuesday January 20, Gonzalez, saw two counts of carnal knowledge end in up in a nolle prosequi, the first such case to be entered by the DPP’s officer for 2015. On Tuesday, before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court, Gonzalez case ended in nolle prosequi and he was set free. The reason for today’s nolle prosequi is becuase the victim, then 14, now 19 has been living abroad and has difficulties travelling back to Belize.

Football Federation of Belize hosting FIFA RAP 2015
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) informs the general public that FIFA RAP (Referee Assistance Program) 2015 will begin on Tuesday 20 January, 2015 with an open ceremony starting at 9:00am at the FFB Training Facility. Participating in the seminar are twenty-two (22) referees, which includes one (1) female referee, six (6) referee assessors and two (2) referee instructors and one (1) physical trainer from across the country. On Wednesday 21 January, 2015 at the Marion Jones Sports Complex the Physical test will be conducted starting at 5:00am.

Respect the Association but Love the Farmers - Freedom for All Caneros
“It was the expressed interest of a substantial number of cane farmers to have the freedom to associate with the association of their choice where they will be able to openly and freely voice their opinions as is their constitutional Right.” – Hon. Hugo Patt, Minister of State in the ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture and former Chairman of the Sugar Industry Control Board. The Government of Belize passed an amendment to the Sugar Industry Control Act on Monday, January 19, in order to properly align the law with the Constitution of Belize as ordered in 2010 by Justice Oswell Legall of the Supreme Court of Belize. Efrain Zetina and Wilfredo Magana championed the cause of hundreds in 2007 when they went to the Supreme Court of Belize to challenge the clause of the Sugar Industry Act which makes it mandatory for a canefarmer to belong and pay fees to the Belize Sugarcane Farmers Association in order to sell their crop to the factory.

Megalomaniacs Dance While Cane Farmers Lose Millions
The confederacy of anti-Barrow crusaders could not muster a crowd for Audrey Matura Shepherd’s protest on Monday, January 19. Representatives from the loudest rat-pack reached out to supporters of their organizations for a protest against the Government of Belize at the National Assembly on Monday. The organizations that participated in the protest were the Christian Workers Union (CWU), the Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA), Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), the Commoners Association, Soloist Ya-Ya Marin-Coleman, National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), the Rod of Correction (ROC), Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) and the Peoples United Party (PUP).

IICA, OAS and MNRA host consultative workshop linking farmers to tourism
The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) in collaboration with the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture (MNRA) steadfast in its continued commitment to the development of the agro-productive sector in Belize will host a discussion forum with stakeholders and private sector partners with a focus on women and youth at 9:00 a.m. on January 22, 2015 at the Best Western Biltmore Hotel, Belize City. At the forum, both stakeholders and beneficiaries will discuss the critical importance of “value added products” in relation to the development of the sector and in this regard how the sector can effectively target the local and tourism markets and potentially even the international markets in Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean.

Sugar Crop set to start
As soon as the Governor General signs the Amendment to the Sugar Industry Act, the crop will start and include all cane farmers, much to the relief of the cane farmers, civil society, and the Government. The stand off finally ended on Monday, January 19, when the factory owners, the Belize Sugar Industries Limited (BSI), with their majority shareholder, American Sugar Refinery (ASR), signed with the biggest association, the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association (BSCFA). This was a huge step forward because, as readers may recall, radicals from the BSCFA worked very hard to prevent the compromise deal being signed between these two entities. There is nothing wrong with taking strong positions on behalf of those you represent, but cane farmers Lucilo Teck, Alfredo Ortega, Javier Keme, and others poorly advised their fellow cane farming brethren to soundly reject the deal that they had accepted a few weeks before. Of course, the brilliant attorney, Audrey Matura, who wears hats of unionist and firebrand agitator, had a lot to do with the misguided steps taken which drove the wedge further between the cane farming community and the millers.

Tough Week for the PUP Party Leader - Chronicle of a Death Foretold
It has been a rough week for the leader of the People’s United Party. Sunday, January 18, to Wednesday, January 21, were the worst four days of his political career. The nightmare for the lame duck leader started in Orange Walk on Sunday, January 18, when his porty held a convention for the Orange Walk East Constituency. Fonseca and his loyalists were backing David Burgos, East Area Representative from 1998 to 2008. Burgos is an agent of Fonseca’s beloved “Old Guard” PUP. However, the Old Guard is the most stained, reviled and condemned group of politicians of the country. Burgos was challenged by Johnny Bricenos’ candidate, Josue Carballo, who is relatively unknown in the North. The porty leader sent out his soldiers and flexed the maximum muscle of the Secretariat in an effort to secure victory for the former two term Area Representative. Unfortunately for the Old Guard, when the ballots were counted the new comer was ahead on the score card. That forced the porty officials to recheck and scrutinize every ballot but Bricenos’ camp stood vigilant to ensure that no ballot found its way down the Chairman or Secretary General’s throat. In the end, the porty had no choice but to announce that the novice had defeated their veteran in the convention – Johnny Briceno victorious over Francis Fonseca and his Secretariat.

We need the East to Win
The convention to elect a PUP standard bearer for the East Constituency was held on Sunday, January 18 at the Louisiana Government School here in OW. This was declared necessary so as to select a replacement for the present PUP representative, Hon. Mendez, who has announced that he will not seek re-election in the next General Elections. Many have opined that Mendez should simply resign and get it over with, but that is a topic for another day. However, the situation for the PUP in this division draws parallel with the recent past, when, prior to the 2008 General Elections, Dave Burgos announced that he would not seek re-election in the East. Señor Cardona went on to win that division for the UDP, an episode, I must say, which ended up in complete disaster; with Cardona serving as a UDP for half his term and as Opposition for the other half.

Two poultry farms in Spanish Lookout placed under quarantine
Two poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout area have been placed under precautionary quarantine by the Belize Agriculture Health Authority BAHA, following the confirmation of the presence of the Avian Influenza. The detection was first made on December 30th 2014, followed by other tests on January 8th and 12th, which have all resulted positive for the Avian Influenza A Virus. Additional samples were taken from one of the farms on Wednesday of last week and sent to a reference laboratory in the United States, and by the time confirmation came in at 5:00 pm from a Belizean laboratory technician this past Friday, BAHA had gone into full gear to prevent an additional spread of the virus. Dr. Miguel Depaz, Chief Veterinarian Officer and Director of the Animal Health Department under BAHA, immediately called the local command level within the Belize Poultry Association and poultry farmers in Spanish Lookout this past Friday, where a meeting was held and instructions went out for the affected farms to be isolated. With that order for a heightened bio-security in place, no birds or poultry products can leave those two specific farms. A tape has been placed around those two farms to notify others that they are under quarantine. Specific vehicles have been identified at BAHA that can now go into those farms, where the professionals use protective gear and carry with them disinfectants to prevent further viral contamination.

Community Groups in Cayo voice their concerns to Liquor Licensing Board
Some three community based security groups, in an unprecedented show of force, voiced their concerns on Tuesday of this week at the Center for Employment Training in San Ignacio, during a second day of a review and approval of liquor licenses by the Cayo Liquor Licensing Board. The groups are incensed that bars are opening into the late night hours with loud music and are violating the laws that require them to have sound proofing. Police Special Constable Dr. Gregory Strophshire was first to speak on Tuesday. He reported that when he goes on patrols on Friday and Saturday nights, he is seeing too much public drinking, with the source of the liquor coming from “package stores.” Eduardo ‘Dito’ Juan, Chairman of the People’s Coalition of Cayo PCC was the second to speak, where he expressed, among other concerns, that no license should be given for a bar to operate at the Cayo Welcome Center, which is an area where families gather. His statements were followed by Bart Mickler, who was deputizing for Ernie Braun from the Cayo Neighborhood Watch Association CNWA. Bart Mickler said that bars cannot be a nuisance to the community and they must be sound proofed. Community member Landy Espat also voiced his concerns that there were some churches with loud music going beyond 2:00 am and causing a disturbance to the neighborhoods.

C - Ray Cycling Club warm up series continue this Saturday
The C-Ray Cycling Club Warm up series leading up to the Annual Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Classic continued on Saturday 17 January, 2015. The warm up races commenced on Saturday 10 January and will conclude on Saturday 28 March, 2015. The race is open to all cyclists of the Junior, Female, Weekend Warriors and Elite categories. The winners of the 2nd race are as follows in the various categories: In the Junior category, 1st place went to Darien Anderson, 2nd place went to Yan Cattouse and 3rd place went to Michael Grajalez.

Accused of sexual assault of a 13 year old girl
On Friday January 16, a security guard of 18 Douglas Jones Street was before the court to answer to a charge of sexual assault of a 13 year old girl. Allegations are that 55 year old Adrian Cruz, on January 13, inappropriately touched a 13 year old girl on her vagina. Cruz appeared before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart where he was read a single charge of sexual assault upon a minor. In court, Cruz who was unrepresented, pleaded not guilty to the charge but the court prosecutor, Inspector Pablo Pikney objected to bail being granted to him on the grounds of the serious nature of the offense which is on the rise against minors. He added that the court or police are not certain of Cruz's immigration status since he is not a Belizean and that he is a flight risk and may flee the country and not appear at his court adjournments.

Freed after being remanded for pulling gun
A San Pedro man was freed on Thursday January 15 after spending 6 nights behind bars at the Belize Central Prison. Obed Figueroa was accused of assaulting Christian Cadieux with a deadly instrument, a black 9 mm Beretta brand pistol with serial number PX149223. The alleged incident occurred in San Pedro on Thursday, January 8, 2015 in which Figueroa, who is a Security Guard on the island, allegedly pulled a 9 mm and assaulted Cadieux.

Charged for possession of firearm
On Monday January 19, two young Belize City men were remanded to the Belize Central Prison after they were busted with what police say are components of a firearm - a shot gun. 21-year-old Akeem Requena, along with 19 year old student, David Mas, were charged for keeping a firearm withou a license. They appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where they pleaded not guilty to the offence. They were then remanded to the Belize Central Prison.

Roaring Creek resident shot in the face
Roaring Creek Resident, Emerson Daly Jr., the well-known handy man and event planner from Roaring Creek Village in Cayo, was found in the river in his home village early on Wednesday, January 21. The 24 year-old went missing 3 days before, and an on-site post mortem has found that he was fatally shot in the face. The investigators believe that his killer or killers then dumped his body into the river. He was last seen by his family on Sunday, January 18, at around 8 p.m. That’s when he left the house to head to an unknown location on his uncle’s blue Nissan Pathfinder, a vehicle which he borrowed. When he didn’t come home the next day, his family and friends started getting worried, and that caused them to start checking around to see if anyone had seen him.

Johnny’s Candidate vs Francis’ Candidate
It was outright war in the PUP Orange Walk East political camps as Johnny Briceno’s pick to be the PUP Standard Bearer in that constituency, Josue Carballo, went up against Dave Burgos who was Francis Fonseca’s pick for the division. In the end it was Carballo who emerged victorious by a narrow margin, but as Johnny’s wife expressed on Facebook, a W is a W. And indeed it was a W for Carballo and more so for Briceno who is now solidifying himself to reclaim the position as party leader of the PUP. In this contest he gave it his all, and when we say he gave it his all we mean so. The Facebook social media erupted into back and forth quarrels as the game of one-up-manship was in full swing. At the height of the election the contenders had become very freehanded with the dishing out of money. One Facebook post notes that “Dave Burgos d back!! We de ahead, dem fifty dollar handouts no weh help Josua.” Well if we were to hazard a guess, those $50 dollars actually did help after all he came on top.

The Methodist Church converges in Belize City for 154th District Conference
The Belize/Honduras District of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas (MCCA) is currently meeting at Ebenezer Church in the Ebenezer Circuit for the 154th District Conference under the theme “Claiming Each Generation for Jesus.” The District Conference commenced on Monday 19 January with the Ministerial Session at the District Office and continued with the same on Tuesday 20 January. The Representative Session, which includes the Ministerial staff of the District and the lay representatives from the Circuits and Congregations’ of the Methodist Church in the District Conference commenced on Wednesday 21 January and is scheduled to conclude on Friday 23 January, is currently in session at Ebenezer Church. The Representative Session will appoint the officers of the District Conference. It also appoints the ministerial and lay representatives to the Connexional Conference and it will also stations the ministers and probationers on behalf of the Connexional Conference in the District as best serves the mission of the Church.

Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities Clarifies Press Release on Petroleum Exploration Zones and Guidelines
The Ministry of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities (MESTPU) notes with regret a recent press release by Oceana criticizing the draft Petroleum Exploration Zones and Exploration Guidelines prepared by the Geology and Petroleum Department. Oceana incorrectly asserted that the zonation plan and framework were shared with the NGO community on January 19th, 2015, when in fact this was the Ministry’s second attempt to solicit feedback from the NGO community on the revised zonation plan and exploration guidelines. In September 2014, the Geology and Petroleum Department (GPD) shared the zonation plan and framework with 13 stakeholder groups, inclusive of Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, APAMO and other public and private sector entities. Subsequently, the GPD received feedback only from APAMO, the CZMAI, the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage and one petroleum company.

Sugar Industry (amendment) bill signed by the Governor General
The Sugar Industry (Amendment) Bill which was passed by the House of Representatives on the 19th January 2015 and by the Senate on the 20th January, 2015, has been assented to by the Governor General, Sir Colville Young. The Act was published in the Gazette today, 21st January 2015, and copies are available at Print Belize, Belmopan. The main object of this Act is to secure to all cane farmers the freedom of association guaranteed by the Belize Constitution. It will no longer be compulsory for a cane farmer to belong to the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association or any other association. The membership of an association shall be entirely voluntary. The Act also provides that there may exist more than one association of cane farmers and the Sugar Industry Control Board shall have the power to register all associations. After registration by the Board, an association shall automatically become a legal entity and may hold property, open bank accounts in its own name, and do all other things which a corporate body may do.

BDF volunteer stabbed to death after fight
Police have 3 men detained who they believe had some involvement in the stabbing murder of Denver Villafranco, a BDF Volunteer with a stellar record. Brothers, Orlando, 38, and 41-year-old Phil Tyrone Staine, appeared in magistrate’s court on Tuesday January 20 where they were arraigned for the weekend murder of Denver Villafranco. CIB personnel escorted the two of the brothers, where they were read a single charge of murder for the Saturday, January 17, 2015 murder of BDF volunteer Soldier, Denver Villafranco.

Single mother murdered in San Pedro
The decomposing body of a woman was discovered on Ambergris Caye on Saturday, January 17, at around 3:30 p.m. She has since been identified as 22 year-old Honduran, Silvia Carmen Benitez, and due to certain observations, San Pedro Police officers made, they believe that she may have been raped, murdered and then dumped at that location. Benitez was last seen alive on Monday, January 12, by a group of persons who described that she appeared to be heavily intoxicated. When she wasn’t heard from the following day, her family and friends became concerned, and that’s when they started checking around for her. She was officially reported missing on Friday, January 15, and that’s when police started taking an active interest in trying to locate her.

Mark Vega acquitted of sensational 2002 murder of Mennonite couple
On Friday past, the murder trial of a well known figure, Mark Vega ended in an acquittal when a jury of 12 persons found the 31-year-old not guilty of the June 13, 2002 robbery that turned into murder of a Mennonitte family in Trinidad village in the Orange Walk district. At that time Susan and Enrique Pethkau were flagged down by three men and robbed at gunpoint. Both were shot and left to die, only Susan succumbed to her injuries. On Friday, a jury of 12, went into the deliberating room at 3.45 p.m., and within 5 hours, at 8.45 p.m., arrived at a not guilty verdict, setting Vega free of the murder. On Monday January 19, Vega’s attorney, Bryan Neal told us that the prosecution’s only witness, who was the deceased’s husband who is now also dead and was unable to make it to the trial to testify. While the DPP’s prosecution did get his statement admitted into evidence for the jurors to consider, at the end of the 5 hours deliberation, they were unsure of Vega’s guilt and ended up acquitting him. The jurors were privileged to an identification parade statement that Pethkau had participated in where he positively identified Vega as one of the three men who robbed them leading to the murder of his wife. That too, it appears, did not budge the jurors and he is now free of murder.

Belmopan Bandits 3 peat National Football Champions
The Premier League of Belize 2014 Opening Season Tournament came to an end on Saturday 17 January, 2015, at the Isidoro Beaton Stadium in Belmopan. The championship series was played between the number one seed into the playoffs, which included the championship series, the Police United and the defending champions the Belmopan Bandits. The outcome of the championship was determined in the first half of the game when the budding champions, the Belmopan Bandits, were the first to get onto the scoreboard when Woodrow West scored the 1st goal in the 23rd minute of play via a penalty kick for a 1-0 lead.

Belize Athletics Association to hold National Track and Field Championship
The Belize Athletics Association invites all athletes and track enthusiasts once again to be a part of a National Track and Field Championship event. The event had to be postponed and is now set to be hosted at the Marion Jones Sports Complex on the 24 and 25 January, 2015. All athletes 16 years and older can participate in the events. Registration forms can be obtained from and returned to the BAA via email ( belizeathleticsassociation@gmail.com) or from our Facebook page (Belize Athletics Association). Registration forms can also be obtained from and returned to the National Sports Council’s offices throughout the country.

Belize Elementary girls and St. John Vianney boys are Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Champions
The Belize City Primary Schools Basketball Competition came to an end on Wednesday 21 January, 2015, with the championship game in both the girls’ and boys’ competition. In the girls’ championship game, Belize Elementary School defeated Holy Redeemer School by the score of 6-2. The top scorer for Belize Elementary School was Allyana Musa with 4 points and the top scorer for Holy Redeemer School was Aaliyah Tillett with 2 points. In the boys’ championship game, St. John Vianney defeated St. Ignatius School by the score of 30-22. The top scorer for St. John Vianney was T-Dee Cattouse with 9 points, while the top scorers for St. Ignatius School were Tariq Pascascio and Delrick Sankey with 8 points each.

Patrick JonesPJ

BEL assists senior citizens with light bill
The Belize Electricity Limited is exercising its corporate citizenship by extending a helping hand to some senior citizens. As part of the state owned utility’s Electricity Bill Pay Awards Program, BEL will pay the monthly electricity bill for an entire year for 225 senior citizens. A short ceremony was held […]

Jury deliberates in murder trial
A jury of 9 women and 3 men was deliberating the guilt or innocence of 26 year old Cordel Flores and 23 year old Warren Lewis late this evening. Flores and Lewis are charged with the murder of Alberto Allen. The case is being tried before Justice Troadio Gonzalez […]

Police question two men as part of murder investigation
The investigation into the murder of Roaring Creek businessman, twenty four year old Emerson Daly continues by Belmopan police. Daly’s decomposed body was retrieved from the Belize River on Wednesday and initially police had said the body had what appeared to be stab wounds. Today, however, the police press office […]

Bus and truck collide in Hattieville
There was a road traffic accident early this morning on the Boom/Hattieville road. It involved a truck and a bus carrying workers for Ready Call. It happened around nine o’clock this morning a short distance from the Belize Central Prison. Reports are that the bus crashed into the rear of […]

Delayed sugar crop to start on Monday, January 26
After weeks of back and forth, Monday, January 26 has been named as the date for the start of the 2015 sugar crop. This morning the Sugar Industry Control Board, met with the leaders of the three associations that now legally able to deliver cane to the BSI/ASR factory […]

Armed robbery in San Ignacio; police hunt suspect
There was an armed robbery this morning in San Ignacio town. According to reports, the incident happened around eight o’clock this morning when a lone gunman targeted a business establishment on Buena Vista Street. According to reports, the proprietor of New Yang Store, had just opened for business this morning […]

Sports Council says no alternate plans for Norman Broaster Stadium
For some time now rumours have been circling about what some people thought were plans to turn the historic Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town into a car park. Well, those rumours were put to rest today when the National Sports Council, sent out a short press release announcing […]


24 Hours at Belize’s Famed Ramon’s Village Resort: It Takes…Well…A Village
I moved to San Pedro, Belize about 8 years ago and have always lived south of town. So if you do the math (actually…let me do it for you), I have walked by Ramon’s Village Resort a minimum of 10 times a week, for 8 years. A MINIMUM of about 4000 times. Along this beach. That’s the thing about Ramon’s – it is a FULL service resort. The staff of 76 (SEVENTY SIX!) is ready to greet you at every turn. When I woke up to see the sunrise, two guys were already raking the beach. They keep this stretch of beach immaculate.

International Sourcesizz

Sea cucumbers saving lives
Dr Alasdair Harris is a 35-year-old marine ecologist who is changing the way people think about conservation. In November 2013 he went to Washington, DC, to give a presentation at a World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) conference on ‘the power of communities to protect the planet’. ‘I’ve been told that I’ve been billed as an iconoclast,’ he began, before going on to question one of the cornerstones of marine conservation: marine protected areas (MPAs). There are more than 6,500 MPAs – in most cases controlled by national governments – covering nearly three per cent of the world’s oceans. And numbers are increasing rapidly. Dr Harris showed a slide of a marine reserve in Tanzania. ‘An MPA,’ he said, ‘but really, it’s just a paper park. A park in name only. Overfishing is rife. Dynamite fishing is widespread. Sadly, lamentably, this is not an isolated incident.’ Then he called up a graphic from a recent study of marine conservation successes in the western Indian Ocean. It highlighted just one example of an effective MPA. ‘Why,’ he asked, looking at the audience of conservationists, ‘do we so rarely get it right?’

Bain Wanted To Resign, Says UWI Vice-Chancellor
The claim that Professor Brendan Bain has not been paid by the University of West Indies, Mona (UWI), for the period October 2014 to January 2015 has been denied by Archibald Campbell, bursar of UWI. He was responding to questions by Professor Bain's lawyer Georgia Gibson Henlin. The bursar said that the professor had received an overpayment and that was the reason he was not paid for the period. He said he sent a letter to Professor Bain about the overpayment and also spoke to him personally about it.

Bain says UWI owes him, bursar says he was overpaid
Professor Brendan Bain is contending that the University of the West Indies (UWI) owes him moneys from salary as director of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Network (CHART) programme. This came out during cross-examination of UWI bursar Archibald Campbell on Thursday. Bain, through his lawyer Georgia Gibson-Henlin, is claiming that the university owes him for the period October 2014 to January 14, 2015. However, Campbell said that the UWI actually overpaid Bain. A new defence witness is to take the stand when the matter continues in the Supreme Court tomorrow.

International security leaders resume dialogue on Caribbean counterdrug efforts
Strengthening capabilities, interoperability and information sharing to effectively counter transnational organized crime in the Caribbean was the focus again for military and civilian leaders from 21 nations who met in Nassau Jan. 21-22 to discuss the threat and ways to effectively reduce its presence and impact. This was the fifth consecutive year the topic is the central theme of the Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC), underscoring the importance of the issue for regional leaders and their commitment to addressing it by working together. CANSEC XIII, co-hosted this year for the second time by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) and U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), included more than 90 participants representing defense, law enforcement, government and international organizations from the Caribbean, North America, South America, Central America and Europe.

The Golden Age of Black Ops: Special Ops Missions Already in 105 Countries in 2015
In March, members of Marine Special Operations Command and Naval Special Warfare Unit 1 took part in maneuvers aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Cowpens as part of Multi-Sail 2014, an annual exercise designed to support “security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.” That same month, elite soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines took part in a training exercise code-named Fused Response with members of the Belizean military. “Exercises like this build rapport and bonds between U.S. forces and Belize,” said Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Heber Toro of Special Operations Command South afterward.

The Home Flat
The sun begins to shine through the two foot gap I’ve left in our cabana’s curtains somewhere around 6 am. For the first time in months, sleeping in is an option. At least an option. Breakfast is at 7:00 and our guide, Daniel, will be ready by 7:30, but he’s gone out of his way to let us know he’s moving on our schedule -- and so the opportunity to catch another hour or two of rest before hitting the flats is there, even if it’s one we’re decidedly unlikely to seize. But the Turneffe Atoll’s bonefish have other ideas. Still flat on my back, I squint towards the increasingly confident flood of sunlight, trying to catch a glimpse of the palm trees outside in an effort to determine whether last night’s stiff wind has subsided. Light gleams sharply off the water that slaps against the seawall not more than 40 feet from the cabana’s porch, forcing my still bleary eyes to recoil.


10 Most Beautiful Islands In Belize, 3.5min.
Ambergris Caye, Belize, 14min. some great diving sequences....
Air Belize Skydiving, 1min.
Rainforest Birds and Bird Songs in Belize Jan 1, 23min.
Guatemala - Belize Sept 2014 - 2, 6min.
Relaxing on Rendezvous Caye in Belize, 1min.
Human Impacts on Bottlenose Dolphins in Belize, 1.5min.
UB ISL Trip to Belize 2015 - Group 4, 15min. During this 2015 winter session twelve students, nine from University at Buffalo and three from Pace University, went on a service-learning trip to the country of Belize. The trip lasted from January 10th until January 18th. The program was constructed under the collaboration of UB Study Abroad, UB School of Nursing and International Service Learning (ISL). The students were lead by a UB professor and three representatives from ISL. The purpose of their trip was to contribute to global healthcare efforts in Belize.
Dobes Family Vacation Belize 1986, 80min. This is our family vacation to Belize in 1986. This is the first of our old movies I am uploading to the internet for posterity. It includes Chaa Creek, Xunantunich, and Ambergris Cay.
Scuba Diving in Belize & Youngblood's wedding in Mexico, 6min. A bunch of great people gathered in Playa del Carmen for Chase & Jolene's Wedding and then traveled to San Pedro & Caye Caulker, Belize to Scuba Dive. Filmed with Gopro4 and my iphone for the Chicken Drop in belize.
Pros of Living In Placencia Belize, 2.5min. Here's a video on the positive things about living here in Belize. I'll be talking about people laughing at you in the street, and vicious geckos! Just kidding.


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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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