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#500455 - 01/29/15 10:58 AM Today's Belize News: January 29, 2015
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

Meet your San Pedro Town Councilor Candidates – Part II
With the municipal elections right around the corner, The San Pedro Sun would like to take the opportunity to present the Councilor Candidates to the San Pedro Town public. As such, five questions have been issued to all candidates in an effort to learn more about them. In this issue, we feature responses from candidates from The People’s United Party (PUP) and candidates from The United Democratic Party (UDP).

Heartaches of Renewing Our Belizean Passports
After not getting any attention from the gentleman, I then decided to pen a complaint to your office about our situation, we were then contacted by The Chief Executive Officer out of the Ministry of foreign Affairs, Ms. Alexis Rosado, by then, the folks at the permanent mission here in New York, were pointing the finger at the people at the Department of Immigration in Belmopan, while the folks in Belmopan were pointing their finger at the folks in New York. No one wanted to handle the hot potato or take responsibility. Now, lets fast forward to September 8th, 2014, on that date last year, myself and my wife went to the permanent mission to Belize here in New York (reluctantly), to renew our passports again. Only this time we had to pay $110.00 American dollars (each) for our passports, again, we were told that we would have to wait 6-8 weeks to receive our passports, today’s date is January 21st, 2015, five months after applying and my wife is still waiting for her passport, even after she has already met all the requirements and paid all the monies attached to getting her passport, her passport is still MIA. Even after we paid a $110.00 American dollars (each), to the treasury of Belize, when converted to Belizean currency, we have paid $440.00 to the treasury of Belize, for what?

BAHA monitors Avian Influenza Cases
On Wednesday, January 14th, the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) identified a possible outbreak of Avian Influenza Type A (Influenza type A viruses can infect people, birds, pigs, horses, dogs, marine mammals, and other animals) in two poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Area. The infected poultry were part of the broiler breeder section of the farm and were immediately contained. Samples were sent to a reference laboratory in the United Stated of America for confirmation and subtyping, and determined that samples are not harmful to humans. According to Miguel De Paz, Chief Veterinary Officer and Director of Animal Health Department at BAHA, the infected poultry was identified due to active surveillance. “There were almost no symptoms being shown. We detected the presence of the influenza due to random samplings that we carry out as part of our active surveillance efforts. We constantly are monitoring and testing food products across the country to ensure that the quality is up to par. That is how BAHA was alerted about the Avian Influenza in these farms,” said De Paz. He stated that while BAHA identified the presence of the virus, the subtype could not have been determined without further testing abroad. “There are 144 subtypes of Avian Influenza and out of that, only 18 are harmful. So while we detected the presence of the virus, we could not determine if it was harmful to public consumption. Once the samples were tested in the USA, we were informed that it was a subtype that was not harmful, and that the poultry merely had the flu,” said De Paz.

Mo’ Mojo brings Zydeco music to San Pedro
San Pedro was treated to the hard driving, high energy Zydeco based “Party-Gras” tunes of Mo’ Mojo on Saturday, January 24th. Held at the Honorable Louis Sylvestre Sporting Arena, the concert was part of the American Music Abroad program led by the United States of America Embassy. San Pedro was the first stop for the band’s Belizean tour, followed by Corozal Town and San Ignacio Town. Mo’ Mojo band is comprised of five members: Jen Maurer – accordion/vox, Leigh Ann Wise – percussion/trumpet/vox, Anthony Papaleo – fiddle/guitar, Darren Thompson – bass and Will Douglas – drums. Their music is a fusion of Zydeco (a kind of dance music originally from southern Louisiana, typically featuring accordion and guitar) and Cajun (an emblematic music of Louisiana, rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada) with reggae, rock & roll, funk, R&B, African, and Latin elements. The songs are sung in either English or French and portray the rich culture of the southern states of the USA. At the concert, the crowd enjoyed rich tunes from Mo’ Mojo, and some even got up and danced along with the band. Concert goers also enjoyed music from one of the island’s favorite band, Rompe Raja, as they opened the event.

Isla Bonita Elementary students host Open House
Isla Bonita Elementary School’s upper division students displayed their knowledge on social issues in an Open House held on Friday, January 23rd. The students prepared informational booths on the Rights of a Child, Child Abuse, Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) and HIV/AIDS. Several community members and students from the other island primary schools attended the Open House where they received valuable information on the issues that are rising in San Pedro. The Open House started shortly after 1PM, and well-prepared students presented on their topics with the aid of pamphlets, pictures, and examples. Each booth also created a game relating to the topic and prizes were given to the winners of the games.

Ambergris Today

Join the “Say No to Offshore Oil” in Belize Selfie Initiative
We all know how to take a selfie, right? Well if you don’t know how to, ask a friend to help you learn, because there is no better time to learn than right now. Why? Because a joint campaign by Belize’s Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO), Oceana Belize and other stakeholders is asking Belizeans to participate in a “Say No to Offshore Oil” selfie initiative. Belizeans are being asked to take a selfie that conveys shock, anger, etc. that Government still has not said no to offshore oil exploration/drilling. If you are on Facebook and/or Instagram, please like and/or follow and invite others to like and/or follow.

Belize Shines in TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travelers’ Choice Awards
TripAdvisor just released its 2015 Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards for the new year and Belize is up there once again with the best in the world. Travelers from around the globe have spoken and it’s great to see that Belize is trending amongst the best in the industry. * San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, remains strong on the list of the Top 10 Hotels in Belize with Victoria House topping the list and the #1 Island in the World holding strong to seven spots on the list. * Five Belize hotels were listed amongst the 25 Top Hotels in Central America (four of which were from Ambergris Caye.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Say No to Offshore Oil Selfie support: ACCSD
As part of a joint campaign between Coalition, APAMO, Oceana and other stakeholders, ACCSD supporters are being asked to participate in a “Say No to offshore Oil” selfie initiative. The selfie should convey shock, anger, etc. that Government still has not said no to offshore oil. Please see below: If you are on Facebook and/or Instagram, please like and/or follow, and invite others to like and/or follow. On Instagram, you can find us under SAYNOTOOFFSHOREOILINBELIZE On Facebook, our page is "Say NO to Offshore Oil in Belize." Feel free to post any pictures, commentary, etc. that you would like to share.

Mo' Mojo in San Ignacio
Yesterday Mo' Mojo had a jam session with the World Culture Band and other local artists at JJ's Restaurant and Bar in San Ignacio. Tonight the group will perform their FINAL concert in Belize at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio! Don't miss out! The concert starts at 7:00 pm and is FREE! Check out footage from the jam session.

Street Art Festival: Sidewalk Chalk Competition
Feb 18th 2-10PM Albert Street

Reducing Illegal Trafficking of Timber In the Chiquibul Forest
Launching event (27th of January, 2015) of the EU FAO FLEGT funded project titled “Reducing Illegal Trafficking of Timber In the Chiquibul Forest through a Consolidated Bi-National Effort.” 31 persons attended including partnering organizations of Guatemala , namely Asociacion Balam and the National Council on Protected Areas.

A Tribute To Belizean Artists
San Pedro don't miss this grand event this Saturday January 31st at the Paradise Theater. Get your tickets at the Reef Radio Office on Pescador Drive. Come and enjoy this once in a lifetime event featuring great talents like: Ernestine Carballo, David and Oscar Aguilar, Ismael "El Buki" Chacon, San Pedro's very own Natalie Arceo, and Ralfy el Phantom. SEE YOU THERE!!

Channel 7

PUP Stands By Hon. Marco - For Now At Least
PUP Orange Walk East Standard Bearer Marco Tulio Mendez was the main subject of discussion today at an emergency meeting of the party’s parliamentarians, executive members and standard bearers. It took place at party headquarters starting at 2:00 pm, where we saw all the party officials streaming in – all except Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez – who has shunned public appearances since child molestation allegations emerged against him. The meeting lasted about two and a half hours, after which party leader Francis Fonseca laid out the party’s position on the troubling case of Dr. Mendez:… "Obviously we are dealing with allegations. So far nothing formal has come to the party's attention or to my attention. So we’re dealing with rumours and allegations that have been made against honourable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez. Based on the nature of these allegations, we have heard and received them.

A Soldier, A Suspect, Now A Prisoner
Tonight, 39 year-old Eber Navarette, a Belize Defence Force Sargeant attached to the Price Barracks Compound in Ladyville, is at prison after being busted with an unlicensed firearm in Cayo yesterday evening. But it may be more than just an isolated arrest – credible reports tell us that Sargeant Navarette was being trialed by police – because he is a person of interest in the recent burglary of the “Echelon 7” munitions stockpile in Lord’s Bank. Police trailed Navarette into a taxi where they had information that he might be in possession of unlicensed weapon. Navarette got out of the vehicle at the corner of Awe and Carmelita Streets – where police pulled up to search him. Police say that the soldier ran away, and they set chase. While he was fleeing, one of the officers say they saw him remove a black object from his pants which resembled a handgun. When police finally caught him, they conducted the search.

Cop Caught For Cocaine
And there is another lawman in the news, this one for drug trafficking. Police made a major drug bust on the Hummingbird highway yesterday evening. According to reports, at about 3:30 yesterday evening police officers stopped a taxi between mile 17 and 18 on the Hummingbird Highway. When officers searched the vehicle, they found two parcels of cocaine amounting to 2.8 kilos, or about six pounds. All 4 men :37 year old police Corporal Martin Mas of Belmopan, 27 year old Pedro Sho of Corozal, 41 year old Tom Martinez of Bullet Tree and 38 year old taxi driver of Belmopan Bernard Che - were all charged for drug trafficking and remanded to the Belize central prison.

Supal Boss "Soup" Shot (Again)
36 year Jason “Soup” Williams, the reputed gang boss of Supal Street was shot last night in Belize City, and tonight, Police are on high alert for possible retaliation. It happened on Fairweather Street, not far from his home at around 9:00 pm. There have been numerous attempts made on Williams’ life in the past, but once again, he escaped suffering only minor injuries to the right leg and right hand. The officer commanding the Criminal Investigations Branch in Belize City, briefed the media this afternoon to provide what information they have at this time. Here’s what he told us: Supt. Hilberto Romero - OC, CIB Belize City "Tuesday 27th of January around 9:15 PM, police responded to a report of a shooting incident on Fairweather street. They then visited the KHMH where they say Jason Williams, 36 years, with a gunshot wound to the leg and a gunshot wound to the arm. He was admitted to the KHMH in a stable condition. The information was that he was sitting down at an area on Fairweather street across the bridge, when a male person approached and fired several shots at his direction causing the injuries to him."

Police Caught And Shot Escapee Willoughby
After almost 7 weeks on the run, terrorizing residents in the Cayo District, 25 year-old Emmanuel Willoughby, the prison inmate who escaped on December 13 is at under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital tonight. That’s after police shot him in the right arm and leg when they detained him last night, just after 7:30 on Arlington Drive. It was the end result of a heated pursuit through an urban swamp. Today, police briefed the media saying that he resisted arrest and he held an object in his hand, which resembled a weapon: Supt. Hilberto Romero - OC, CIB Belize City "Emmanuel Willoghby, who escaped from the Kolbe foundation. Police launched an investigation in the Arlington drive area, where we was found as a result he was apprehended and we shot to the leg and to the arm."

Matura Detained As a Consequence of Willoughby
According to residents of Arlington Drive – they first saw 25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby on Monday evening when he was dropped off in the area by a taxi cab. Willoughby allegedly told 3 men who were standing on the street that he had just robbed a grocery store in Cayo and had hijacked the taxi cab to bring him to Belize City. Less than 5 minutes after police spotted Willoughby in the area and chased him. The escapee managed to jump a fence and fled the vicinity. Police then continued to search the men in the area and found a cell phone which they believed belonged to the owner of the grocer store in Cayo. The phone was found on 30 year old Delroy Matura – and he was taken to San Ignacio Magistrate Court where he was charged with handling stolen goods. But according to Matura’s family, Willoughby had dropped the phone while attempting to run from police and had no connections with Delroy Matura who had only picked up the phone.

Police Puzzled Over Pitts Party Shooting
Tonight, 27 year-old Eugene Pitts, the UB student who was shot while he was at a party during the weekend, remains in the intensive care unit at the KHMH. He’s recovering from injuries he received from the shotgun pellets just before midnight on Saturday. He’s told police that he doesn’t know who shot him, neither do any of the partygoers who were at the house in Hattieville. Today, police told us that because no one saw the gunman, they have very little to go on by way of investigation: Pitts suffered the rupture of multiple internal organs due to the pellets in his midsection.

Spreading The Message Of Islam in Belize
The “Islamic State” or “ISIS” – we’ve all heard of it on international news - but the reality of it remains remote in Belize. While these issues do not directly affect Belize, for some, it does affect their perception of Muslims. And representatives of the AH-MADI-YYA Muslim community are here to change that. They held a media briefing today at the Radisson to bring what they say is the true and untainted face of Islam to light. Senior Vice President of the Muslim Community in Canada says this convention – which is the first of its kind in Belize – is only the beginning of a spiritual revolution. Mubarak Nazir - Senior Vice President, Muslim Community in Canada "we're trying to speak to the people here in Belize, it's a beautiful country. We're going to offer prayers for the development of this country, we want all religions to come together because we believe the source of all religions is from god. So we want to get together and speak about how to achieve peace of mind, how to become productive members of this country. How to become more law abiding, how to become good husbands, how to become good wife, good students.

Pineda For Indecent Assault
18 year-old Eric Pineda is tonight facing an indecent assault charge after being accused of taking a 13 year-old girl on a date and then touching her inappropriately. The incident is alleged to have happened on November 1, 2014 when Pineda is accused of taking the minor to an ice cream parlor. The girl says that while they were sitting down on opposite chairs, Pineda fondled her leg. She says that it made her very uncomfortable. The girl didn’t mention anything to her family, and it was not until her mother came across text messages and a conversation on her Facebook messenger that she found out that Pineda was trying to seduce her daughter – going so far as to arrange a date to meet up at a San Ignacio hotel.

Min. Grant Went To Washington For VP Biden Message on Energy Independence
World oil prices continue to fall and it’s putting a hurting on Venezuela which depends on oil for 95% of its foreign exchange earnings. And while that specter of social unrest threatens that country, the US Government is seizing upon the opportunity to regain some imperial footing in its own back yard. On Monday in Washington, Vice President Joe Biden invited Caribbean leaders to talk about energy security. The US wants the region to move away from Petrocaribe, decrease its reliance on oil and focus on alternative energy sources such as solar. According to US News reports, Biden offered US assistance – with strings attached. He said, quote, “First and foremost, you have to deal with corruption…You need to be choosing projects because they are the most competitive, not for other reasons…we’re not going to waste money. We’re going to insist on considerably more transparency…” And referring obliquely to Petrocaribe, he added, quote, “We’re not here to replace one flawed financing scheme with another.”

Human Rights For LBGT
Human rights – that’s what the LBGT community says they are deprived of by a homophobic society. And rights inclusion was the subject of a conference today at the Radisson. The discussion centered on the barriers to all hum rights that the LGBT community faces. But, Executive Director of UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco told us that this human rights discussion should not be confined to the LGBT community but extended to the broader society. "For us this conference speaks to the principle of inclusion and a recognition that rights are indivisible and that rights are universal in how you recognise and approach them. Fundamentally what we're looking her is not a confrontation but an engagement process of bringing various sectors together to recognise that we all have individual and collective responsibilities to respond to the challenges of upholding rights enforcements and protection issues.

Caleb On Constitutional Case
And the case that sparked the controversy surrounding the discussion on LGBT rights in 2013 is the case that Orozco brought against the government of Belize challenging section 53 of the criminal code. This code states that “every person who has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any person or animal shall be liable to imprisonment for ten years.” According to Orozco this section violates his right to privacy, dignity and equality as a gay man. We asked Caleb to update us on this case today. "I'm beginning to feel after 17 months of being the claimant in this case that justice has been delayed and for me that's important because; Here I am, bringing a case to the court and for whatever reason, via administration, shortage or personnel, I haven't gotten a decision in 17 months. More precisely, the delay doesn't being any conclusion or closure to the discussion nor does it bring any relief to the quality of life that I must lead.

Who Wants To Study In Taiwan
The 2015 Taiwanese scholarship application period is open. A briefing was held this morning at the Chateau Caribbean Hotel to provide information about the application process and the programs that are available. At today’s briefing, the room was packed with eager and excited applicants and according to the Interim President of the Belize- Taiwan alumni society, they have every reason to be - given that this scholarship provides recipients with the opportunity to advance socially and academically. Those who do get accepted should be contacted in August. Only about 26 applicants can be accepted.

CSME - Making Job Opportunities Real In The Caribbean
The CARICOM Single Market and Economy – Belize is a part of it – but where is it really, or what is it, you might ask. Indeed, other than that logo on our passport, the CSME seems to float in the geopolitical ether. But, a team from CARICOM is hoping to bring it right to your front door. They’re here to talk to trade officials about the enhancement of CSME operations – specifically a document called a skilled national certificate. That’s the document which enables you to work anywhere in CARICOM without a work permit – just like a regular citizen. Now, as part of a CARICOM competitiveness project that document will be available online and processed through a free movement desk in Belmopan. Now, if your experience tells you that the only thing that moves freely across desks in the government bureaucracy – are things that move under the table – well, you’re wrong: in this new electronic era, skilled national certificates will move faster than a citizen Kim application with a Penner stamp. Here’s how the expert explained it at yesterday’s session at the Black Orchid Resort:….

He Says He Stabbed Ellis
34 year-old Nathaniel Thomas Jr. will spend 4 years in jail after pleading guilty to dangerous harm. He was accused of stabbing Ellis Ortiz. It happened at around 7:30 p.m. on January 22, 2012, when – in a dispute over a female - Thomas stabbed Ortiz in the left side of his abdomen. Ortiz said that Thomas continued to attack him, and he had to defend himself. Thomas stabbed him 5 more times, and the fight didn’t stop until after a bystander intervened and wrenched the knife away from Thomas. Ortiz was rushed to the hospital, where the doctors saved him.

KHMH On Maternal Mishaps
Two weeks ago we told you about the case of 18 year old Lucia Martinez - the first time mother who suffered a terrible infection after medial staff allegedly left a swab in her during post delivery clean up’s. Since then, she and her husband have retained an attorney who they took to a meeting with the CEO of the KHMH, Dr. Adrian Coye. He told us he cannot discuss details but that the meeting did somewhat clear the air:… On another case of post delivery mishaps, 25 year old Norma Noemi Marroquin delivered a child at the private Spanish Lookout Clinic on January fifth, 2015. But, within a week, she came down with a severe and painful infection. That’s when she ended up at the KHMH where she had emergency surgery on the thirteenth of January and died 3 days later. Doctors told her husband that her ovary had burst inside her as a result of an infection caused by the child’s placenta being left inside her. It is a case of maternal mortality that has left a newborn without a mother, and the private and public healthcare system with a black eye. Yesterday we asked CEO Peter Allen if anything could have been done to save her:….

Belize Realizing MDG's
But the truth is the KHMH sees about 1600 to 1800 deliveries annually and the vast majority go without incident. That’s the kind of positive statistic that the ministry is focusing on as it closes in on the Millennium Development Goals:.. 2015 is the year of assessment for millennium development goals.

Fill It Up, King-Man!
For years, a number of residents in low lying Lake Independence, especially in the Gungulung area, have been plagued by swamps and floods which inundate their yards, forcing them to trudge through unsanitary conditions to get to and from their houses. That area, like other Southside constituencies such as Port Loyola, Pickstock and Collet, was developed in haphazard fashion andlots ar ento unformly filled. And so, just in time for city council elections, government has chartered a landfill program to assist those needy residents. It is financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development, and Mark King, the Minister of State within Martinez’s ministry, made sure that his constituents had a head start today.

King Takes On All Comers
King also had some boasting to do about the upcoming city council election. That’s because Yolanda Schakron – who would have been his opponent in the 2012 general elections is now running for PUP Mayor. That has King pumped up and beating his chest. Today we asked him about his immediate opponent:… Reporter "The city council elections will becoming up. This may be your first test to see your muscle versus against Cordel Hyde are you intimidated?" Hon. Mark King - Minister of State, Ministry of Human Development "Well, absolutely not. First of all, there is no Cordel Hyde in this constituency, he's gone, his time is up and he's no longer returning. My driver is going to a city councillor and win right here and I organised for that and at the end of the day, I have guaranteed Shackron that I will be the cause of her losing the municipal election because I will bring out the most votes from Lake I.”

Could PUP End Up Like Penner?
And keeping it on politics, at the top of the newscast we told you how the PUP would be standing by its Orange walk East Representative Marco Tulio Mendez – at least for the time being. If Mendez is criminally charged, then that could change. But, there is some tactical value in the PUP closing ranks and taking a conservative position at this time – and that’s because the prospect of a bye-election is a costly and complicated one. But then that wouldn;t make them much better We asked the party leader about the moral hazard of ending up in a bad situation:.. Jules Vasquez "Might it not evolve into a situation where the party may at some point have to distance itself for what ever reason, but Mr. Mendez has indicated he will fight and defend his reputation. So could there be the evolution of a situation similar to what has happened to Elvin Penner, where he refused to go any where and just sits at the end of the back bench and reserves the seat for the UDP; Which is very important and also strategically for the PUP reserving a seat and not going to a bi-election is some how strategically important."

Will Audrey Run?
Recently, Audrey Matura-Shepherd seems to be on the frontline of every conflict – but will she try and parlay this high visibility, into a political career? Yesterday our colleague from the Guardian Newspaper asked her if she has political aspirations. Here’s her barbed response: We asked Audrey Wallace, CEO in the Prime Minister’s Office, about Matura-Shepherd’s claim that Wallace approached her on behalf of the Prime Minister to become a member of the United Democratic Party. She told us categorically that she has done no such thing, and to her knowledge, Matura-Shepherd is already partial toward the UDP… But as you heard, Matura-Shepherd claims that she is being treated as a follower of the Opposition, PUP – and that was certainly cemented last week with this front page appearance.

They Are The Champions
On Monday, we showed you our story with the 2014 Nationals for the Belize Amateur Athletics Association, the first 1 in 5 years. Well, we have been provided with the results of the 2 day competition – and here are some of them. In the 100-metre race, Tricia Flores placed first. For the males, the Mark Anderson was the top sprinter. In the 200 metres, Shanicka Augustine was first place for females while For the males, Linford Avila won. In the 400 metre race, there was only 1 female who competed, and she was Ashtomie Carr. For the males, Mark Anderson placed first. In the 800, only 2 females ran the race, and between them, Ashtomie Carr was faster than Delmi Hernandez. For the males, Erson Moreira placed first, beating Alexander Alvarado. In the 5K marathon, no females competed, but for the males, Giovanni Baizar ran faster than his only competitor, Alexander Alvarado.

New Ring Road
Today, the Ministry of Works signed 2 important construction contracts to repair the ring road in Belmopan City under the Road Safety Project. Errol Gentle, the CEO in the Ministry of Works and Transport, said at the ceremony this afternoon that all the government and private sector partners must work together to ensure that this project serves Belmopan to it’s full intended effect:

Channel 5

P.U.P. Executive Meets on Mendez Allegations
This afternoon, the National Executive of the People’s United Party met to discuss the unpleasant and very serious allegations being made against Orange Walk East Area Representative Dr. Marco Tulio [...]

Fonseca Says Only Allegations…No Evidence
Fonseca said he would not go so far as to say what exactly the party will do in the event that criminal charges are brought against Doctor Mendez. He stated [...]

Escaped Prisoner Shot by Police
Dangerous prisoner turn escapee Emmanuel Willoughby is a fugitive no longer. He is currently under Police guard at the K.H.M.H. after he was shot twice during his apprehension by Police [...]

Emmanuel Willoughby Was On Crime Rampage in Cayo
So why did Emmanuel Willoughby leave Cayo and come to Belize City? It could be because Cayo Police had launched an intensive manhunt for him. Today, News Five spoke to [...]

Jason “Soup” Williams Shot Again
One hour and a half after the shooting of Willoughby, shots rang out once again…this time on Fairweather Street on South Side Belize City. Just after nine p.m., an attempt [...]

Kidnapping Attempts Cause Panic in OW
There is growing concern tonight over the safety of primary school students. In the past few days, there have been reports of alleged attempts at kidnapping in Belmopan and Corozal. [...]

Corozal Police Seek Suspected Child Predator
In a separate incident in the north, which may have some bearing to the incident in Orange Walk, Corozal police are looking for a man who tried to lure a [...]

B.D.F. Soldier Busted with Unlicensed Weapon
A B.D.F. soldier is in remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was busted with an illegal weapon and ammunition. Eber Navarette was under surveillance in Benque, and when [...]

SIB Releases 2014 Stats
The Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) today released the 2014 External Trade and Consumer Price Index stats which show that imports went up while exports went down. At December of [...]

Dennis Gabourel Guilty of Grievous Harm, Not Rape
Just before noon today, a jury of two women and seven men stepped into the deliberating room to decide the fate of businessman, Dennis Gabourel who back in September 2003, [...]

Belize City Man Pleads Guilty to Dangerous Harm
The trial of Nathanial Thomas Junior, who was accused of stabbing the boyfriend of his ex girlfriend, concluded today. Neighbors had to intervene to stop the domestic dispute and Thomas [...]

Dangriga Police Make Cocaine Bust
The following did not appear on the police report, but on Tuesday, January twenty-second, Police visited an area between miles seventeen and eighteen on the Humming Bird where they intercepted [...]

Medical Waste Discarded in Ladyville has Residents Outraged
Which of Belize City’s medical facilities dumped hazardous medical waste on a heavily trafficked road in Ladyville? At this point nobody knows. All that is certain is that on Tuesday [...]

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied says Caleb Orozco
In Jamaica, a trial is taking place in which former Professor Brendan Bain is challenging the University of the West Indies for wrongful dismissal. Bain was terminated after he gave [...]

Rights Inclusion Conference Hosted in Belize
A Rights Inclusion Conference was held today at the Radisson Fort George in Belize City. The event which is a collaborative effort between the Women’s Issues Network, better known as [...]

Conference Seeks to Advance Rights Among Marginalized Groups
The conference saw the participation of representatives from various sectors—including social, environment and health—and is part of a larger public education strategy to get citizens to think about the issues [...]

Over 100 Students aspiring for Taiwanese Scholarships
Since the inception of the Taiwanese scholarship program over two hundred and sixty Belizeans have successfully acquired graduate and post graduate degrees from Taiwanese institutions and over a hundred and [...]


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#500456 - 01/29/15 10:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 29, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

Students Ready For BJAT Test, Says MOE Manager
Fifteen primary school students are today preparing for tomorrow’s Pilot BJAT which stands for the Belize Junior Achievement Test. The BJAT is an examination intended and designed to test the knowledge of students from standard three or fifth grade. Jahmor Lopez is the district education Manager for Corozal Town. “The whole idea behind the piloting is to test the reliability of the items that have been presented and to determine how suitable those items are and so when the final product and package is put up together and administered country wide, the exam unit is confident that what is presented are items that can be done by those students at that level and that they are in alignment with the curriculum that have been covered and so the schools that have been selected for the piloting, the schools are been selected by the exams unit.”

MOE Expresses Concern About Children's Safety
And while the school’s administration is putting in measures to avoid any future misfortunes, the Ministry of Education is also involved and concerned over the safety issues of the children. Today, we spoke with District Education Manager for Orange Walk, Carla Alvarez to weigh in on the situation. “Yes we are concern as I know that most parents are and I think that we need to be more vigilant at all times I would say but I see that the parents, because I visited the school where the incident allegedly happened and I spoke to the Principal and certain measures are put in place by the school but also we want to ask the authorities, the police to be a little bit more vigilant especially around schools and especially around break time and lunch time because when it is extremely business and we tend to think that nothing can happen...”

Traffic Measures Taken By OWTC For Safety Of Our Citizens
Following a traffic hiccup that involved an infant two student from the Presbyterian primary School yesterday, these traffic bumps were put in place to avoid any future accidents caused by speeding. And while we could not verify who the Speed Bump implementer is, we are thankful to report that the gesture is one that was truly needed for the safety of the students in this highly trafficked area.

Venezuela Embassador Speaks On Petro Caribe Program
Belize signed on to the Petrocaribe oil alliance with Venezuela in 2005 and since then government has received millions of dollars under the agreement, money that is expected to be invested in social projects geared at poverty alleviation and improved infrastructure to improve the standard of living for communities in the countries that have signed with Venezuela. Towards the end of 2014, it was reported that falling oil prices would force Venezuela to sell the Petrocaribe debts, in other words, securitize these debts. What this meant then is that the program would close and Belize would therefore cease to benefit from the program. In an interview with His Excellency Yoel del Valle Perez Marcano, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to Belize said the program will not cease.

How Will The Harvest And Delivery For Sugarcane Will Work For 2014/2015 Crop?
The sugar crop is underway and deliveries continue to flow into the factory despite a mechanical failure experience on Monday. Operations should return to normalcy tomorrow. This year, for the first time in the history of the industry, the harvesting and delivery schedules are different as there are two new associations. Add to that, the crop started late and this leads to additional changes in the operations as it concerns deliveries. We understand that the Sugar Cane Production Committee has proposed that cane farmers deliver eighty percent of their cane in an effort to allow each farmer an opportunity to make deliveries to the factory. Chair of the Committee of Management at the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association, Ezequiel Cansino explains.

LOVE FM

Statistical Institute of Belize Releases Its Latest Figures
In December 2014, Belize imports were valued at one hundred and eighty four point two million dollars-an increase of $25.3 million when compared to December 2013. That’s according to the Statistical Institute of Belize and its latest figures. According to the SIB, merchandise imports for the entire year 2014, totaled just over $2 billion, an increase of 7.8 percent or $145.7 million over last year’s total. The United States continues to be Belize’s largest source of imported goods. As for domestic imports, the total figure for 2014 totaled $28.6 million- a $2 million decreased from last year. Of Belize’s five major exports, Marine products endured the sharpest decline of $5.2 million, with over $4 million of this being the result of a decrease in exports of farm shrimp. Belize’s total exported goods for the year in 2014 amounted to $602.9 million, down $57.2 million from last year.

UNIBAM Addresses Human Rights Issues
The United Belize Advocacy Movement, UNIBAM, is hosting a one day conference today in Belize City. The advocacy group is discussing human rights issues with special emphasis on lesbian gay bisexual and transgender issues. Head of UNIBAM, Caleb Orozco spoke to Love News. CALEB OROZCO “Who wants their entire life to be on hold for seventeen months to have the burden of responsibility of dealing with their own personal security, who wants to feel like although the institution recognizes my fundamental rights to freedom as a citizen of this country that there is a delay and as one minister said, in a particular session, justice delayed is justice denied. And so in this we have an injustice here is that I am primarily charged with holding up my human dignity while I wait. I think that it’s time that we consider that the principle of justice delayed; justice denied has some concrete consequence for a person like me.”

Lake I Area Representative Assists Residents
Residents in the Lake independence area have complained about the condition of their streets and property following any prolonged rainfall. In an effort to assist residents, today area representative Mark King launched the landfill program. MARK KING “Today we are launching the landfill program in Lake I. As you know this year we had a lot of rains and we also have a lot of flooding in these south side areas and so really and truly this as a project that is sponsored by OPEC it is ran by the senior minister in Human Development Minister Martinez and it includes Lake I, Collet, Port Loyola and Pickstock however I got off to an early start because you know I always push harder I got my contractor to give me an early start before finances is valuable for the project.

RTA Victim Succumbs to Injuries
A man who was the victim of a road traffic accident has succumbed to his injuries. As we reported earlier this week, 22-year-old Sebastian Makin of a Punta Gorda address was riding a bicycle on the George Price Highway on Sunday night when he was hit by a Ford Explorer driven by Alfred Mahler. Makin received an open wound to the back of the head. He was transported in an unconscious state to the Western Regional Hospital and then transferred to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Makin died on Monday. Today the driver of the vehicle Alfred Mahler appeared in Belmopan Magistrate’s Court where he was charged with causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention.

Police and K9 Unit; Discovery of Marijuana in Two Vicinities
This morning, officers from Precinct 1 and the K9 unit in Belize City, conducted a joint anti-drug/firearm operation within the area. During the operation searches were conducted at an open lot on Magazine Road and in an open lot on Conch Shell Bay. There police discovered a total of 643 grams of marijuana. As consequence of the finding, the drugs were deposit and label as “Found Property”.

Shooting on Supaul Street; Will There Be Retaliation?
Someone tried to kill Supal Street Gang Boss, Jason “Soup” Williams last night. The 36 year old notorious Gang figure was shot to the right leg and arm as his shooter approached him on Fairweather Street. It happened at around 9pm. Police believed that the shooter ran in the direction of Dolphin Street and escaped into the night. Officer in charge of the Criminal Investigation Branch Investigation Branch for the Eastern Division, Superintendent Hilberto Romero says that the police department is putting measures in place for a possible retaliation. SUPERINTENDENT HILBERTO ROMERO “The information is that he was sitting down at an area on Fair-weather Street across the bridge when a male person approached and fired a shot in his direction causing the injuries to him.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Sir, did the victim give police any information on the identity of the shooter?” SUPERINTENDENT HILBERTO ROMERO “Well he is admitted and our officers are recording statements and there is one person in custody and at the end of the investigation we will determine if anyone can be charged.”

Escape Prisoner Captured; Apprehended By Police With Injuries
On December 13, 26 year old Emmanuel Willoughby managed to escape from the Belize Central Prison. After more than a month on the loose, tonight we report that Willoughby has been captured and is under heavy police guard at the Karl Huesner Memorial Hospital. Willoughby was serving a five- year sentence for Possession of Unlicensed Firearm and his release date was scheduled for December 11, 2017. Police believed that as he escaped from prison he made his way to the Cayo District where he has family in Georgeville. Reportedly, Cayo police were closing in on him and last night, he decided to make his way to Belize City. Superintendent Hilberto Romero told us that an officer shot Willoughby because he refused to surrender. SUPERINTEDENT HILBERTO ROMERO “Police again launched an operation in the Arlington Drive area where he was found. As a result he was apprehended and he was shot to the leg and to the arm.” HIPOLITO NOVELO “Sir, there’s a report that he committed a crime in Cayo. Do you all know of that?”

PlusTV

BDF soldier arrested for unlicensed gun and ammo
In the Western District of Cayo, another member of the defense authority got in trouble with the law, when he was unable to produce a gun license. Authorities say that on Tuesday January 27th., Sergeant Eber Navarette attached to the Belize Defence Force was arrested and charged for the possession of a German brand handgun and ammunition without a valid license. Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Station Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson gave us more details. Sometime [around] 5:30 pm yesterday, 27 January, San Ignacio Police intercepted Sergeant Navarette who was in San Ignacio Town. He was intercepted by San Ignacio Police. Their interception led to the discovery of a German brand pistol and two live rounds.

Belmopan Corporal busted with Cocaine
A Belmopan Corporal was busted with 2 kilos of cocaine on Tuesday, January 22. Following a tip, officers visited an area between miles 17 and 18 on the Hummingbird Highway, where they intercepted a Green four door Toyota Corolla taxi . The four male occupants were searched, however nothing incriminating was found on them. A search of the car, however, resulted in the discovery of two parcels under the driver’s seat and the front passenger’s seat. The packages were opened in their presence and contained what appeared to be Cocaine. The four men were cautioned and escorted to the Dangriga Police Station along with the Car and the suspected cocaine weighing 2, 800 grams.

Police updates on Hattieville shooting and ammunition theft
Police are investigating the Sunday night shooting in Hattieville, that left 27 year old Eugene Pitts injured by a gunshot wound to the lower back. They are no closer, however, to finding a culprit as explained by Superintendent Hilberto Romero. “The Investigation has been conducted. Several statements have been recorded, but at this time we cannot identify who the shooter is, and the investigation continues for that. We have nobody in custody for that shooting. The victim is still in a critical condition. There were other persons in the area when the shooting occurred, but again we cannot establish the identity of the shooter at this time.”

Alleged Gang leader Jason “Soup” Williams shot on Tuesday night
Police have two shooting incidents Tuesday night to investigate, neither of which resulted in fatalities. One of those incidents took place around 9:00 p.m. Tuesday night, and involved 36 year old Jason “Soup” Williams, a carpenter resident on Supal Street, Belize City. and alleged to lead the local gang in the area. He was in the area of Fairweather Street up from his residence when trouble struck. Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) for Eastern Division Police, Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero, details what happened next and what police know so far.

Police shoot and capture escapee Emmanuel Willoughby
Six weeks after he escaped from the Belize Central Prison, Belize City Police finally caught up with the country’s most wanted man, 25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby. They had to use firearms and force to do it, however, as police say they found him in the area of Arlington Drive, Belize City, while on operations. But Willoughby would not go quietly and willingly when ordered to surrender. Superintendent Hilberto Romero, Officer Commanding Criminal Investigation Branch in Belize City, details what took place thereafter. Superintendant Hilberto Romero – Officer in Charge of Criminal Investigation Branch for Eastern Division Police “The other shooting involved Emmanuel Willoghby, who escaped from the Kolbe Foundation. Police launched an operation in the Arlington Drive area, where we was found. As a result he was apprehended, and he was shot to the leg and to the arm.”

CWU attacks Social Security for disingenuity over workers’ pay
Payday for workers of the Social Security Board (SSB) is this coming Friday, January 30, but by the standards of the institution that is four days late. Only a handful of the 300 employees have been paid – those attached to CIBC First Caribbean Bank. The issue is the SSB’s plan to implement a trans...

CWU president addresses internal issues
President of the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU), Audrey Matura-Shepherd, is juggling many issues as the large-sprawling union continues to find its way back from the low points of the presidency of Antonio Gonzalez. There are threats of an audit of union accounts which we will tell you about shortly...

Alleged murderer of Panamanian diplomat returns to court
The case of 18 year old Wilser Echeverria, accused murderer of Panamanian Diplomat Jose Rodrigo De La Rosa Standford, continued on Tuesday. On November 26th Wilser Echeverria, a resident of Salvapan Area, Belmopan, was charged for theft of a motor vehicle assigned to Panamanian Diplomat Jose De La R...

Missing girl found safe
On Monday, we reported on the missing persons report on 15 year old Anna Villanueva, a resident of Corozal Town. Anna was reported missing by her mother when she received a text saying “, “Help, I’m in trouble”. For three days the mother tried to reach her daughter on the phone after that me...

15 year old pregnant; 21 year old boyfriend arrested
A 15-year-old of San Pedrito Area, San Pedro Town, visited the San Pedro Police Station in the company of her mother, and reported that on December 24, 2014, at around 11:30 p.m...

Former Youth Ambassador gets more jail time for forgery
In the court of Justice Adolph Lucas, 25 year old Kenroy Young pleaded guilty last week to five counts of uttering on a false document in respect of cheques he cashed in Belize City and Belmopan in 2011. Those were cheques that he took illegally from Regent Insurance Company. On Tuesday, he was sent...

Man stabbed in San Pedro
Three men say they were attacked on Monday afternoon in San Pedro, on the island of Ambergris Caye. According to police reports, 22-year-old Edvin Lopez of D.F.C Area, San Pedro Town , along with Daniel Tzib and another friend known only as “Oscar”, were travelling  on a golf cart in the D.F...

PUP Leader addresses candidacy of Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez
In November, Orange Walk East area representative for the People’s United Party (PUP), Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, indicated that he would not run for a second term due to health reasons...

Hepatitis A outbreak in Buena Vista, Cayo
Ministry of Healthy officials have confirmed a number of cases of Hepatitis A in Buena Vista Cayo District, enough, authorities say, to call it a Hepatitis A outbreak. So what is Hepatitis A? Hepatitis A is a viral liver disease that can cause mild to severe illness, however unlike its cousins, Hepa...

Positive test result for Avian Influenza H5N2 in at least one chicken farm
On the 15th January  BAHA informed the general public of having detected Avian Influenza type A in two poultry farms in Spanish Lookout, Cayo District.   It was detected as a result of routine testing under the Belize Poultry Improvement Plan. Samples tested by an International reference Laborato...

Upgrades for Corozal Market and Sports Complex
The Contract for the upgrading and rehabilitation of the Corozal Town Market and Sports Complex facilities is valued at $721,789.40 and was signed On Monday in Belmopan. The contract for the two facilities was signed by Mr. Liborio Vega of LV and SONS Construction, and Mr. William Lamb Jr...

San Ignacio Primary School parents want principal removed
There are reports of growing contention in the Arms of Love Primary School in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio. On Friday January 23rd Parents gathered at the school compound holding placards advocating for the immediate removal of the principal. In 2012 the parents filed a complaint to the Ministry of Education, who in turn got in contact with the management of the school, and advised them on a way forward. Two and a half years later and the parents say nothing has been done. Inga Guy, President of the Parent Teacher’s Association, spoke to Plus News. “For the past two and a half years we have endured many injustices under the hand of our Principal. After those two and a half years, the parents, we are tired. Management has not done anything to help us. They’ve covered their ears and [are] blind to our complaints. We want a change for our children and the teachers, because they are the ones who are victimized.”

Patrick JonesPJ

Landfill program to benefit Southside residents
The Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation headed by Minister Anthony Martinez is spearheading a project on Southside Belize City to provide landfill to residents of the Port Loyola, Lake Independence, Collet and Pickstock divisions to alleviate conditions of low-lying yards inundated by rains. This morning the Minister of State in the Ministry and Lake Independence area representative Mark King kicked off his leg of the project a few days ahead of schedule. King expects that for the next three months in his division close to 2,000 loads of landfill will be distributed to fulfill the many requests made by constituents.

PUP National Executive updates on Marco Tulio Mendez allegations
Late this evening a meeting of the National Executive of the People’s United Party (PUP) concluded and leader Francis Fonseca addressed the press downstairs of Independence Hall. One of the topics on the agenda were the swirling allegations of impropriety against Orange Walk East area representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, which have reportedly now expanded to include reported criminal reports of indecent sexual assault on minors. Police have made no formal statements and the matter is “evolving and fluid” in the words of Fonseca, who reiterated that so far nothing formal has come to his attention personally or that of the party and they treat what has been said as rumours and speculation, but very serious nonetheless.

Rights inclusion conference underway in Belize City
WIN-Belize in conjunction with UNIBAM is hosting a rights inclusion conference at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. The purpose of the conference according Caleb Orozco is to follow up on legislation and policies that protect the rights of citizens of the LGBT community and other vulnerable populations including those living with HIV and AIDS. We followed up with Orozco on the lengthy delay of the decision Supreme Court on his lawsuit related to Section 53 of the Criminal Code which was heard in May, 2013 but for which a judgment has yet to be delivered 17 months later.

Muslim convention set for this weekend in Belize City
Ahmadiyyah Muslim community in Belize is hosting the first ever convention of members of the community in Belize on Saturday at the ITVETT compound on Freetown Road. It boats of having the fastest growing membership among the 73 sects of Islam which it attributes to its modern approach and emphasis on promoting and proselytizing a pure and pristine form of the religion started by the Prophet Mohammed. At a briefing with the press this morning, visiting leaders said that they distance themselves and condemn the actions of more traditionalist Muslims in the Middle East which have resorted to violent tactics in order to preach the religion.

Blogs

Jerry Jeff Walker, Music Legend, Fills Ambergris Caye Belize With His Loyal Fans
Let me get to his concert, last night, in Belize. Where he had about 300 fans dancing and laughing and drinking and having a grand old Texas time. The “Camp” isn’t just a Sunday event with Jerry Jeff and then two concerts during the week…it is a series of picking parties around town. Businesses around San Pedro LOVE Jerry Jeff’s buckeroos. Everyone was in a brilliant mood…happy, drinking Belikins and more… Later in the evening, musician Christine Albert joined the crew. She is a musician and also happens to be the Recording Academy Chair for the Grammy Awards.

The Bountiful Beauty of Belizean Birds
Along with stunning scenery and a wealth of Maya temples and archaeological sites, Belize is also known for an amazing diversity and number of birds. From flocks of migrants attracted to the veritable supermarket of insects and plants found in the country’s pristine rainforests, to the many multihued residents such as parrots, scarlet macaws, falcons and other tropical forest dwellers, little Belize always has a backdrop of delightful birdsong to accompany any activity. But just how many birds do call Belize home? Each year the Belize Audubon Society conducts the Annual Christmas Bird Count to get a rough idea of the local population and visitors.

Where water meets your soul, Belize!
Suddenly you realise you are in a new country. You aren’t here for work. You don’t have to listen to trains and sirenes and garbage trucks. Suddenly you are aware of your body and the fatigue that your ankles and your heels have managed for so long on your grind. You came here to unwind. You are truly very tired – in every way – emotionally, mentally, physically and even spiritually. A perfect moment occurred somewhere in your kitchen back home; somewhere on your commute back home from work; somewhere in the middle of a day that was filled with computers and every possible electronic device on the planet. That perfect moment included two decisions that we are absolutely thankful you took the time to organise and decide. First, that you needed a vacation and, second, that you decided that “its time to come to Belize”! There are a multitude of things to do here. Nine can take you on tours everywhere. From Ancient Maya Cities to Caves, to Mountains to do some hiking – everywhere, even to Guatemala!

Four Top Retirement Havens Where it’s Easy to Integrate
“When looking at great retirement destinations overseas, low costs and affordable real estate may be well and good, but you need to feel at home,” says InternationalLiving.com editor Steenie Harvey. “How easy is it for expats to integrate into each country? Do the locals speak good English or do you need to speak the local language? Are the locals welcoming and friendly toward expats, and is there an existing expat community with lots of groups and clubs to join?” InternationalLiving.com’s just-released annual Global Retirement Index ranks and rates the best retirement havens in the world today in eight categories and Ireland, New Zealand, Malta and Belize each receive a perfect score of 100 in the Index’s “Fitting in” category.

Diving the Long Caye Aquarium never disappoints
There is a dive site often overshadowed by the Great Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye, but it is seldom lacking in beauty or adventure. The Long Caye Aquarium is sometimes lost in all the hype that surrounds the Blue Hole, but I’ve been on many excursions where it was the highlight of the trip, the last stop, that has occasionally picked up the slack when the previous two were disappointing. An excursion to the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, aka the Blue Hole trip, almost always includes a final stop at the Aquarium. Though you probably won’t see as many big marine life as seen at Half Moon Caye, what makes this dive site live up to its reputation is that it’s often teeming with schools of bermuda chubs, sergeant majors, creole wrasse, and the occasional trumpet fish. On a good day, from the moment you jump into the water, you’re surrounded by a swarm of yellow and black stripes, with blurs of blue and green darting around and popping out of coral crevices.

Belizean Plantain Chips
Green Plantain are the best for making chips. By using a plantain slicer you can make the slices very thin and that makes for a crispy chip. Just add salt and serve.

ATTENTION PARENTS: YOUR EMOTIONS ARE CONTAGIOUS
To stay healthy, people will do everything short of quarantining themselves to avoid getting coughed on, sneezed on, or breathed on by the sickly. As a parent, you’re probably well aware of how quickly contagious diseases like the flu can travel through a family—nay, a neighborhood. Teachers notice the same thing when they see student after student calling in sick until the class is but a mere figment of the imagination. Research has also shown that in the workplace, one negative employee can spoil the bunch. A negative outlook on anything, whether it’s the administration, a client, or a department, can affect the morale of everyone around. So what does this have to do with families? Believe it or not, the same research that shows how a negative attitude can “catch on” in families just as easily as it does in the office.

A visual tour of Placencia Village on a beautiful, perfect Tuesday morning!
In chronological order, starting North of the village at Caribbean Beach Cabanas, and ending at Above Ground Coffee House (yum!). Especially good if you are stuck in a blizzard today. The shore in front of Caribbean Beach Cabanas.....wow. Heading towards the village, South, from Caribbean Beach Cabanas...

International Sourcesizz

Texas Bob Marley Day of Action on Social Justice Forum
In February 2014, members of Houston's growing Caribbean-American and Immigrant community in the state of Texas, petitioned their elected leaders to proclaim February 6 as Bob Marley Day in Texas in honor of the legendary musical icon's birthday. A forum in partnership with one of the city's and state's leading community advocacy organization on social justice, immigration reform, voter education and income inequality, Mi Familia Vota, is a leader in advocating for these causes.

Share a passion for diving? Head to Belize Coral Reef or the Mafia Island
Belize is situated on the Caribbean mainland coast of Central America and lives up to its reputation as one of the region's best diving destinations. Some diving enthusiasts come here and choose to stay in a resort while others experience more of the destination by liveaboard safari, either way you choose to spend a Belizian holiday, there's a wealth of underwater riches in this Caribbean paradise. Good news is that the warm, clear water at the dive sites imply ideal conditions for exploring the underwater realm. DIVING SEASON: You don't need to wait for the right season, in Belize, every month is usually suitable for diving. February and March represent the driest months. March to June experiences occasional rainfall and August to October is considered the wet season, represents the more likely period for hurricanes (if you are beginner, then avoid the wet spell). Visibility remains constant year-round, away from the mainland shore.

MOOCs and Meetups Together Make for Better Learning
Local meetups organized by Arjan and other partners around the world had a significant impact on the learning experience of Beyond Silicon Valley MOOC students in these communities. These grass-roots gatherings gave students the same opportunity to learn from one another as in a traditional classroom, as Jeff Wofford, the Facility Manager at the United States Embassy in Belmopan, Belize who facilitated MOOC-inspired meetups in Belize, experienced. "Students here gained a lot of insight by taking the time to sit and discuss the lessons in person," Wofford noted. "We had a nice cross-section of attendees, from University of Belize students to Belizeans who had owned and operated businesses for decades. In several instances, a comment made by one of the students lead to one of those great 'a-ha!' moments with another student, and the exchanges went both ways."

Court: Bain Decision Won't Be Delayed
The Full Court has promised to hand down its decision without undue delay in the suit brought by Professor Brendan Bain, who is seeking more than $40 million in damages for defamation, arising from the termination of his two-year contract in May last year by the University of the West Indies, Mona. Bain is suing for breach of contract, breach of constitutional rights and defamation. In addition to the defamation award, he is seeking nine months' salary for breach of contract, which he said was the time when the contract would end. He said he earned US$12,380 per month. He is also asking the court to award him US$37,000 for the three months' notice of the termination of his contract. He said the university had only given him three weeks notice instead of the three months notice stipulated in the contract.

Dominica to become fourth full member of CCJ
Dominica will be the fourth Caribbean Community country to become a full member of the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) early next month, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit has announced. Dominica will join Barbados, Guyana and Belize in being members of both the Original and Appellate Jurisdictions of the CCJ that was established in 2001 to replace the London-based Privy Council as the region's final court. The CCJ also acts as an international tribunal interpreting the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas that governs the 15-member regional integration movement.

Videos

  • Drone video: Maya Ruins in Belize, 4.5min. Altun Ha
  • "Sailing in Belize" - Part I and "The Search for Captain John's Dignity" - Part II, 73min.
  • Quintana vs Belize Copa Yucatán, 7min.
  • Quintana vs Belize 2 Copa Yucatán 2015, 13min.
  • Jerry Jeff Walker Camp Belize at Fido's Bar January 2015, 1/2min.
  • Snorkeling Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley San Pedro Belize, 4min. Snorkeling at Hol Chan and Shark Ray Alley off of Ambergris Caye on the way to Caye Caulker
  • Belizean Cove Estates, San Pedro, Belize, 4min.
  • NORWEGIAN PEARL CRUISE - BELIZE CITY, BELIZE - WESTERN CARIBBEAN, 13min. Belize City is the largest city in the Central American country of Belize and was once the capital of the former British Honduras.
  • Live Music at Club JJ's (San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize), 1.5min. Live music featuring members of "Mo' Mojo" from the USA and "In Bloom" from San Ignacio at Club JJ's in San Ignacio, Cayo, Belize located across from Victor Galvez Stadium and beside Cayo Twist.
  • BELIZE Go Pro Movie, 7.5min. Movie of our trip to Belize and Guatemala via Texas.
  • Carnival Magic Cruise To Honduras, Belize, Cozumel 2015 - Day 3, 24min.
  • Belize Moto Adventures - Hopkins / Coastal Road, 8min. Moto trip down the Coastal Road and the Southern Highway to reach Hopkins for lunch.
  • Belize 2014 Sharptown, 6.5min.

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