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#500721 - 02/05/15 05:00 AM Today's Belize News: February 5, 2015
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

SP Sun 2015 Valentine's Day Poetry Contest
Submit your poetry and win fabulous prizes!

The Electronic Music Scene has hit Belize
The weekend continued with the After Party at Tipsy Tuna Sports Bar on Saturday, January 31st with Memo Bacca from Nicaragua, Filipa Lazary of Spain, Ominous from Puerto Rico, Mar-C from Mexico and Luis Maier of Honduras entertaining the crowd. The festival closed on Sunday, February 1st with the Deep Chill Pool Party at the Belize Ocean Club with the musical stylings of Sisimito’s Sunday Session and Uwe K from Hopkins. This was definitely an event I would not soon forget! Throughout the weekend I made new friends, fell in love with new mixes and danced till my feet hurt. I might be biases with this statement, but electronic music is best and electronic music lovers are clearly some of the must friendly, accepting and fun people out there.

San Pedro Red Cross to host Blood Drive
The San Pedro Red Cross and Belize Blood Services will be holding a blood drive on Saturday, February 7th at Clinica Los Pinos from 9AM to 3PM. Healthy donors from the ages of 18-65 are invited to come out and support the cause. All blood collected is stored at the Belize City blood bank and is allocated for Ambergris Caye residents or tourists in need. Here are some helpful tips for those wanting to donate, remember RED: Rest- get a good night’s sleep the night before you donate, Eat a healthy meal before you donate (eating iron-rich foods helps strengthen iron levels for safe and successful blood donation) and Drink plenty of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic beverages (water is best, or fresh juice).

Brain training through an Art Program
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr. is working along with the San Pedro Town Council to provide an art program for the island’s children. Under the guidance of Mexican art professor Daniel Portillo, the program began on Monday, January 19th and is based on the studies of plastic arts. The goal of the program is to enrich the lives of youth across the island. The free workshop is being offered to children between the ages of 6 to 16 years at the San Pedro House of Culture. Classes are held daily from 4 to 6PM. On Fridays and Saturdays, a special class is offered for children living with disabilities. Through this class participants will learn the basic concepts of art including painting and molding, with the aim to build up a child’s concentration and focus.

Who dropped the ball in the burial of Silvia Benitez?
The council also addressed Ambassador Abella’s remark about the Mayor refusing to assist in the exhumation of Benitez. “For the record, there was never direct communication between the Ambassador and the Mayor. On January 29th, a secretary of the Honduran Embassy requested a meeting with the Mayor for 10AM on January 30th. Because the Mayor had other prior commitments of similar importance, he indicated that it would be difficult at that time. Having knowledge of her presence on the island, the Mayor suggested that they meet that very evening but that offer was turned down by Ambassador Abella. At that time, the Honduran Embassy had already secured all the necessary documents and approval from the relevant authorities for the exhumation process. It was through an unofficial government source, that the SPTC learned that the Honduran Embassy contracted the services of a medical doctor to oversee the exhumation process, along with other authorities. At no time, did the Honduran Embassy ever communicate verbally or in writing about their plans to exhume the body. Similarly, at no time did the Honduran Embassy request for our assistance in the exhumation process… it is very sad that the memory and the incident surrounding Benitez’s demise are being exploited by a few irresponsible and heartless political individuals. In so doing, they have cast blame on several entities including the SPTC, which clearly has no jurisdiction over these police and foreign affairs matters.” The SPTC ended it lengthy statement indicating that they are registering its protests to the Government of Honduras in regards to the misconstrued and offensive remarks made by Her Excellency Abella, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Belize.

Ambergris Today

Letters To The Editor: San Pedro High School Receives Sports Equipment Donation
Dear Mrs. Jean Marconett, San Pedro High School extends its heartfelt gratitude to you and friends for the assortment of sporting equipment and materials which you brought down during your visit at San Pedro High. Needless to say our sporting director, Mr. Paul Kelly and our coach Mr. Alex Noralez are very grateful and pleased that their practices will now be more efficient and fun. We thank you and pray for more philanthropists like you to visit our island and our school. Once again, on behalf of the young people of our Island town, we thank you most sincerely for your invaluable donation. God bless. Mr. Emil Vasquez. Principal San Pedro High School

New Laser Sailboat Fleet Arrives in San Pedro
With over 200,000 under sail, the Laser sailboat is the world’s most popular adult & youth racing class. Unlike the Optimist Fleet, the Laser is an Olympic class which opens up a sailing pathway for our aspiring youth. The International Laser Class Association (http://www.laserinternational.org/) recognizes 140 with Laser fleets. Belize's new fleet will make that 141. On Friday, January 30, 2015, The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC), in partnership with The Belize Sailing Center (www.belizesailingcenter.com), landed 10 factory-direct Lasers on the beach that the Club and the Center share in front of Caribbean Villas Hotel on Ambergris Caye.

Stranded Vessel Poses Threat to Reef off Caye Caulker
Oceana Belize Supports Calls From Caye Caulker Residents To Remove Stranded Vessel From Reef - Belize has the second largest Barrier Reef in the world, and may be one of the last countries in the world to have extensive areas of pristine reef. Oceana Belize is working to protect this vulnerable but economically important natural resource for the benefit and enjoyment of Belizeans and her future generations. However, such fragile ecosystems are constantly at risk of being damaged from both natural and man-made threats.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Ambergris Caye February Blood Drive
In an ongoing efort to build our blood supply for Ambergris Caye Residents and tourists, the San Pedro Red Cross has teamed up with Belize Blood services for our first quarterly Blood Drive of 2015. Saturday, February 7th at Clinica Los Pinos from 9:00am - 3:00pm. During the blood drive, Wendy Alter our youth committee leader will have 12 kids from our San Pedro Red Cross Youth group placed at strategic places around town and directing people to donate blood as well as taking donations. They will be at Island City, Carlos & Ernie's and Clock tower. Thanks for your continued support.

Screening for persons with ear, nose and throat problems
Feb 6 Northern regional Hospital will be screening for persons with ear, nose and throat problems and for persons needing plastic reconstructive surgeries. Please contact Lupe Ack at 661-6518 for more info. Surgeries will be from feb 7 to feb 10 at Northern Regional Hospital.

Fake white kidnapping van in Yucatan
It seems the mysterious white van has left Belize City's Queens Square and the northern districts. The kidnapping rumour , without a valid visa, crossed the Santa Elena border with Chetumal. On Thursday January 23rd, a rumor of a white van driving around Merida, kidnapping children was spread on social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp. Translation: “You will not read or hear this in the local media, because these news as many others are been hidden to avoid panic among the citizenship, but you need to be aware in order to protect innocent lives. Beware! A white van with several men, equipped with a refrigeration unit, without license plates, is driving around Merida and other municipalities. These guys belong to a dangerous gang of organ trafficking, seeking mainly young people and children walking around the streets to kidnap them.

Should Mendez say "I'm innocent"
Marco Tulio Mendez gave an exclusive interview following being read and receiving bail for six charges, 4 against one girl and 2 against another. At no point in the interview did he say "I'm innocent. I'm being framed." Or it's all a misunderstanding." He said he didn't want to address the charges. Specifically he said “Well, basically the charges were read to me and bail was offered. I can’t go into the details of the charges, due to the fact that the lawyers have advised me not to speak on them because it is before the courts of law.” Claiming innocence can't be used against him in a court of law. But he failed to make that one basic statement in his interview. He went on to thank his supporters. He did say something very telling. Mendez said "I have spoken to the Party Leader and I told him that basically I will be removing myself from all active political campaigning."

BOLEDO DRAWING for Wednesday, February 4, 2015: 81

Corozal Bay Sailing Club Feb 7-8 2015 INVITATIONAL REGATTA
It promises to be a fun and exciting weekend on the the Corozal Bay. Bring out the entire family and make it a fun weekend. See you out there!!!!!

Are you a Belizean Artist?
(do you work in paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs, prints, mixed media...just to name a few)? Then you might be eligible to win $40,000 if your work shows outstanding talent and further the understanding of the region! The inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Awards aims to recognize extraordinary artistic talent..for more information visit this link.

Belizean Kevin Morris became an underground Belizean designer in the Los Angeles in the 1980's who was designing for many top American celebrities like artist Stevie Nicks backup singers, and others in the music world. He crafted a style of using lace and sequnces, and cut out a line of costume style fashion mostly used by musical artists. His style influneced by the Minneopolis trend used by artists like Prince and Morris Day of the Funk band the Time became a popular look in he 1980's. The 1986 Fashion that placed Morris as the cutting edge designer in the Los Angeles Belizean Community stood out as one of the best that any Belizean had presented of its kind. The expose here reflects Morris's unique style in cloth, and one who pushed the envelope even in American style desining that would have fetched a hefty price in the fashion industry if it had developed into a brand. Belizean Legends celebrate the work of this Belizean designer in the diaspora. You had that touch Kevris!

The 1991 workshop that was organized by the Price administration through the efforts of ambassador Bert Tucker who was a United Nations Economic Consultant at that time, in conjunction with the Consortium for Belizean Development, has been the best effort made so far by Belizeans in the diaspora and its government at home to organize for Belize's development. Not only did it materialized from its planning stage but the government of the day kept its promises unlike the 2011 Homecoming Conference organized by the same ambassador Bert Tucker in conjunction with the Barrow administration, but which died in childbirth so to speak. Between 1991 and 2011, which is a twenty year span, there has been no meaningful progress to date since the Barrow administration resurrected the constitutional 'monkey wrench' called the 7th. Amendment that would have reinstate the constitutional right of Belizeans living abroad to vote in their country's elections, and participate meaningfully in its development. But unfortunately the motion was knocked down in the government's House of Representative with the help of a group of Tea Party Belizean political pundits who expressed passionate hostility towards their own people, the Diaspora Belizeans, who have been pushing from one administration to another for its establishment in Belizean law.

Channel 7

Hon. Briceno Criminally Charged For Running Over Vega's Driver's Foot
Yesterday Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez became the first sitting member of the House of Representatives to be charged for child molestation offences - specifically six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature against two girls who were 10 and under at the time. Well, today, his Orange Walk PUP counterpart John Briceno was also criminally charged – but his charges weren’t exactly history making. He got charged for a trio of traffic offences – but it’s not any old infraction: he’s accused of driving over the foot of the Deputy Prime Minister’s driver. That’s Chris Hendricks, Gaspar Vega’s driver. Hendricks says that Briceno ran over his foot on Thursday, January 22 in Trinidad Village, Orange Walk. Hendricks’ says he was standing near the gate of a school compound after an event when Briceno ran over his foot and then drove off.

Briceno Calls Out Police For Preferential Treatment
Briceno was charged with driving without due care and attention, failing to report an accident, and harm upon Christopher Hendricks. He was arraigned before Magistrate Merlene Moody where he pleaded not guilty. Because the charges are traffic offences, bail was not an issue, and Briceno was ordered by the Magistrate to return on April 13. During the interview, Briceno called out Orange Walk police for following up on this report made by Chris Hendricks, reminding them that in April of last year, a 14 year-old minor drove Hendrick’s Ford F-150 pick-up and knocked down the two year old toddler Rachel Chan. Briceno says that police should spend their time pressing that issue, instead of following up Hendrick’s report, which he asserts is totally false:

COLA Calls Out Hon. Marco Tulio
And while Briceno had plenty to say to the media today, his colleague Marco Tulio Mendez only appeared on Channel 5 for what had all appearances of a media manicure. Now, the advocacy group COLA has called on Marco Tulio Mendez to address the media generally. COLA issued a statement today saying, quote, “COLA views with concern the news of the arrest and arraignment of the Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez… It continues to say, “Assault on a child is especially loathsome…Medical practitioners …must be held to a greater standard.”

File Under: "Politicians Who Play Hard To Get"
And while Dr. Mendez is under pressure to speak up – here at 7news we like it just fine when politicians play hard to get – that’s what makes news, after all. But when Mendez joins the ranks of disgraced area representative Elvin Penner as a media dodger, it doesn’t quite put him in the best public light. Tonight we’ll compare the great escapes of Penner and Mendez:… Jules Vasquez Reporting…. When you’re a politician, there’s no graceful way to dodge the media – Elvin Penner learned that in March of last year. He appeared with political muscle to run interference for him, but still had to run the media gauntlet – which turned into the pushing and shoving which the press loves, but only makes politicians seem guilty in the public eye. That’s the route Marco Tulio Mendez took yesterday when he got his version of political muscle Sani Baeza to try and block us out – which on this day backfired and forced a hasty retreat.

Escapee Gets Shot + More Charges
25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, who escaped from Belize Central Prison on December 13, OF 2014 and who was recaptured about 7 weeks later, is back in Prison tonight. That’s after he was arraigned on the charge of escaping from lawful custody when he appeared today before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Willoughby pled not guilty to the charge his case was adjourned until April 20, but he was sent to jail to continue his prison sentence. Willoughby escaped by cutting a hole in the door of his cell. And then, last week, later Police found him in an abandoned house on Arlington Drive in Belize City. When they went to apprehend him, they claim he had an object in his hand that resembled a weapon and he resisted arrest. As a result, police shot Willoughby in the arm and leg. He was admitted to ward at KHMH and he was brought to court today after he was discharged from the hospital.

Belizean Passport for American Under Suspicion
The Immigration Department has flagged the passport of 64-year-old American Tony Alan Puglisi. That’s because there are questions about his place of birth. Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse told us that his Belizean passport says he was born in Italy, but the US Embassy has indicated that he was actually born in the state of Virginia. Hulse says because of this, the Department of Immigration has put out a notice at all its ports of entry that Puglisi is a person of interest wanted for further questioning about that discrepancy. He left the country on January 9th, 2015 after getting his new Belizean passport a week earlier. But, there’s a little more to the story. Turns out that Puglisi had a Belizean passport issued in 2005 - which, Hulse explains was under the old handwritten system – meaning it was not a machine-readable passport. He says because of this there is no record of it – yet nonetheless, Puglisi was given a new machine readable passport based on the strength of that 2005 document alone.

OW East: What Next?
In our last segment we showed you how Marco Tulio Mendez escaped the media at his arraignment yesterday, but for the PUP there’s no escaping the political consequences that are sure to ensue in the coming weeks or months. What will those consequences be? If any? We got a reaction from his fellow politician and close friend John Briceno. He was not prepared to make any in-depth statements, but he did address it when the question was asked: Hon. John Briceno - Orange Walk Central Area Representative "These in the courts and it's something the courts will have to deal with. But yes, I can tell you that Marco Tulio is my friend, he's my colleague. We need to think about the human element about this. We need to think that here is a family man, the entire Mendez family, that they are going through a trauma. It is a very difficult time for them and I think all of us, including you journalists should also be praying for them. Praying for Dr. Mendez, praying for the children and praying for the entire family. Hopefully some day soon that what ever troubles that they have, what ever hurts that they have that they can mend, that they can heal.”

Malik Back To Jail
Nineteen year old Malik Stuart, who was charged with firearm and ammunition offences and the charges were dismissed, has been rearrested and charged with the same offences. So tonight, he’s back in prison on remand. Stuart pled not guilty to the charges when he appeared yesterday before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stuart. Due to the nature of the offences, He was remanded into custody until April 2nd. Stuart was busted with the firearm on April 23, 2014. According to the allegation, police saw him handing a 9 millimeter pistol to 54 year old auto mechanic Edward Westby.

Grandmother Pleas For Missing 14 Year Old
Tonight we report on another missing teenage girl. 14 year old Crystal Faber left home yesterday evening and has since not returned. The first form student told her grandmother that she was going to the neighborhood internet café to do a homework assignment – and that was the last her family heard from her. Tonight they are asking the public’s assistance to help locate the teenager. Ann Bowen- Grandmother of Crystal Faber "I last saw Crystal 6 o'clock yesterday evening. She told me that she was going to do her homework at the internet on Antelope street, that was the last time I saw her." Monica Bodden "Since then, you haven't been able to reach her?" Ann Bowen "No ma'am, I haven't. This morning we went to look all around along with the officers and I haven't found her no where."

When Doing The Right Thing Pays Off
He was a high school dropout at the age of 15, immersed in the gang life. It is a downwards spiral we often hear young Belizean men falling into, and only a few manage to get out of it. 18 year old Justin Marin is one of them. He is the recipient for the “Do The Right Thing Award” for September 2014. It has been a challenging journey for Justin but he persevered and is now in 4th from at Excelsior High School. The principal of the school, Gayle Thompson discussed why Justin was chosen to represent the school in this program. PC Jose Vasquez - Community Policing Officer "Do the right thing programme will help you as motivating other students both in the near future. The police department now is working along with students trying to make a change in the environment and actually not for their communities but this will be country wide."

How To Be In The Film Festival
If you flip through the channels on your television, you’re sure to find a bewildering buffet of American produced movies, documentaries, and shows. But the Belize International Film Festival, is trying to bring Belizean films to the forefront. The 10th annual festival will take place in July and January marked the opening date for submissions. The organizer of the festival, Suzette Zayden says despite the financial constraints, this festival creates a platform for aspiring Belizean movie producers and directors to promote themselves.

Politicians Walk The Hundred Yard Line
If you know the rules of an election, then you’ll know about the hundred yard line. That’s the area closest to the polling station, which is supposed to be something like a safe area for voters – away from the signage and campaigning that smother the voter out on the street. But, in the recent bye-election in Cayo North when the UDP put on a full court press – the hundred yard area seems more like a suggestion than a rule. Will the same thing happen for the upcoming municipal elections? Yesterday the chief elections officer told the political parties and the media that it must be observed – but the political parties who complain about the infractions are the same ones who break the rules:… Josephine Tamai - Chief Elections Officer "What we find in past elections is that, for some reason, the political parties don't adhere to the 100 yards line when election day comes around. What I have asked them to do because the process can only be as good as they help us to make it be. We have to ensure that persons are not allowed within the 100 yards line, not allowed to campaign within that 100 yards line.

Channel 5

John Briceño Arraigned in Orange Walk on Traffic Offences
The former Deputy Prime Minister, who is also the former leader of the People’s United Party, is the second Opposition parliamentarian to be charged in the last twenty-four hours.  John [...]

Support for Marco Tulio Mendez Despite Legal Drama
The political, professional and familial demise of P.U.P. Orange Walk East area representative, Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez, continues to unravel.  On Tuesday, the pediatrician, who was elected in 2012, was [...]

Josue Carballo Replaces Doc Mendez in Orange Walk East
Josue Carballo may not be a household name outside of Orange Walk, after all the incumbent town councilor is still considered a newcomer to national politics.  But, he was recently [...]

…Outlines Strategy to Retain P.U.P. Stronghold
According to Carballo, the primary focus of his campaign is securing his reelection to the town hall. Once reelected on March fourth, his efforts will return to Orange Walk East [...]

Attorney Discusses Impact of Allegations on Mendez’s Professional Life
On Tuesday night, we shared with you an exclusive sit down with both Marco Tulio Mendez as well as with Andrew Bennett, attorney for Marco Tulio Mendez. Following Tuesday’s charge [...]

Former Anchor Security Employee Detained in Belmopan Murder
A former employee of Anchor Security tonight remains in custody pending investigation into the murder of sixty year old Feliciano Richard Noralez. Mister Mac, as he was affectionately known, was [...]

Friends of Belize Hosts Business Conference in the Jewel
Today, the organization known as Friends of Belize hosted a business luncheon under the auspices of the Belize Leadership Institute. That institute was formed to target leaders in the community [...]

U.S. Ambassador Speaks on Security of Tenure for Judges in Belize
In speaking on the rule of law, Ambassador Moreno also had reason to touch on the role of the judiciary. Currently judges in Belize are appointed by the Prime Minister, [...]

Is Marijuana Legalization a Good Thing?
The debate on the legalization of marijuana has been reborn in Belize, while in the U.S. several states, including Colorado, have already gone that route. Today we asked Moreno for [...]

7 Year Old Girl Allegedly Raped in Belmopan
Tonight, a disturbing report is coming out of the Belmopan area. In the police blotter today, it was reported that a seven-year-old minor accompanied by her mother visited the Belmopan [...]

World Cancer Day, Meet the Survivors
Around the globe activities were held today to bring attention to the issue of cancer. “Cancer Control-Not Beyond Us” is the theme that resonated throughout the activities that encourage its [...]

Toledo Man Charged for Public Drinking and Bribery
A resident of San Pedro Columbia, Toledo, is lucky to have escaped jail time for attempting to bribe a cop. Twenty-six year old Hilberto Kim was recently caught drinking in [...]

Emmanuel Willoughby Gets Additional Jail Time for Escape
After more than a week under police guard at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, tonight twenty-five year old Emmanuel Willoughby is back behind bars. Willoughby was serving a five-year jail [...]

ICA Calls for Entries for Belize International Film Fest
The dates are set for the 2015 Belize International Film Festival. The tenth edition of the popular festival will take place from July seventeenth through the nineteenth in Placencia. It [...]

Suzette Zayden on Training Up-and-coming Filmmakers
While the festival will be limited to three days, the film and media arts unit has been working around the clock with young film makers and animators as well as [...]

Elderly Man from Camalote Village & Gwen Liz Student are Missing
An elderly man has been reported missing in the Belmopan area. According to caretaker, forty-three year old Alexander Sheppard, on Monday afternoon he went to deliver lunch to eighty-three year [...]

#500722 - 02/05/15 05:00 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 5, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Charitable Root Foundation Recovers Big Screen
The inflatable projector that went missing during the wee hours of Sunday morning from the East Sports Centre after the 4th Annual Bob Marley Tribute event has been found. Today a good citizen visited our studios and handed over the object to our Video Editor Fernando Sanchez. Members of the organization have been given the good news and are expected to pick up the projector sometime soon. Viewers might recall that yesterday Omar Ayuso, member of the Charitable Roots Foundation, pleaded to the public for assistance in finding the costly object which if not found they would have had to pay.

BTIA Corozal Chapter To React Mayan Wedding
Students from Corozal Junior College are tonight preparing for the much anticipated and spectacular display of a Maya wedding at the Santa Rita Archaeological Park, now the official site for the Maya Wedding Garden. According to Sylvia Mai, Coordinator for BTIA Corozal Chapter, this will be the third year that the event is hosted at the Santa Rita Maya site. “Tomorrow we will have a presentation of the enactment of the Maya wedding the way it was historically done, we have done research and we are using the Professor of the folklore ballet in Mexico because they are the ones with the knowledge of what it was like in the 15th century and he is the one that has been teaching the dances at CCC Sixth form students that have been participating for the third time. This reenactment is based on the historical wedding of the Princess Axilha to Gonzalo Guerrero that took place at Santa Rita Reserve, it is documented and they had the first three Mestizo Children of Belize.”

World Cancer Day Observed In Belize City
Around the globe, today is observed as World Cancer Day. This year's theme is “Not beyond us”. Cancers are among the leading causes of death worldwide, with approximately 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. Yet thanks to breakthroughs in research and treatment, cancer survival rates have doubled in the last 40 years. In commemoration of today’s event, the Belize Cancer Society held a press conference in Belize City where the organizations President, Laura Longsworth, shared on the significance of this year’s theme. “Not beyond us is extreme significance because it means we have advanced scientifically and technologically and we know for sure what we need to do to reduce the incident of cancer and to make sure to detect cancer a little earlier and also to reduce the burden of cancer on people and country so that is really the crooks of it. The World Cancer Day is really to bring attention to the issue of cancer globally; countries like Belize the burden of cancer is heavy enough and it is expected to grow unless we reverse it so globally there is a movement to put systems and structures in place to ensure that by 2025 we start to see the results of the initiative that we put in place.”

First Crop Review For 2014/2015 Crop Season
After weeks of delay and high tensions the 2014/2015 crop season finally got underway on January 26th after the manufacturer BSI/ASR signed a seven year commercial agreement with three associations. That paved the way for the commencement of the much anticipated crop season which now under full swing. In sight of how important the Sugar Industry Is for the Northern part of the country tonight we bring back our weekly crop review every Wednesday during our newscast. February 1st 2015 marked the end of week 1 of the 2014/2015 sugar cane crop season. The report, provided by the Belize Sugar Industries Limited, shows that for week 1 which started on January 26th, the factory milled forty one thousand seven hundred and eighty four tons of cane. That is five thousand three hundred and eighty four tons less than what was produced last year when the factory milled forty seven thousand one hundred and sixty eight tons of cane during the first week of crop.

O/W East Is Ready Whenever Prime Minister Calls Election, Says Josue Carballo
Yesterday after Doctor Marco Tulio Mendez was arraigned on six charges of aggravated assault in relation to allegations of unfitting conduct against two minors, the Orange Walk East Area Representative was immediately removed as chairman of the P.U.P’s Northern Caucus. The announcement was made People’s United Party via press release which also stated that Mendez was suspended indefinitely from all other Party related duties, responsibilities, and activities. The release also highlighted the fact that Doctor Mendez has already stepped down from his position as the Standard Bearer for the Party in Orange Walk East and the Party has elected a new Standard Bearer in that Area in the person of Mr. Josue Carballo who has from the date of his election assumed full responsibility for the work of our Party in Orange Walk East.

PUPTown Council Will Be Put Back To Town Hall, Says O/W Central Area Rep.
With Municipal Elections right around the corner, today we asked Briceno if his case and that of Doctor Mendez could affect the chances of the Orange Walk P.U.P Seven Team being sent back to town hall. Seemingly unfazed for the entire interview, Briceno stated he is confident that the people will once again put their trust into the People’s United Party to represent them in the upcoming Municipal Elections. “I want to make it abundantly clear, absolutely clear that the people of Orange Walk Town they know me, the people of Orange walk town they know they have a great Mayor by Kevin Bernard and six excellent candidates that are vying to represent the people of Orange Walk Town and that irrespective of what the UDP tries to do it will not stop the people of Orange Walk Town to come out and vote for Kevin Bernard and the other six PUP candidates that is a given anybody that you ask they will tell you that the PUP s going to win in Orange Walk...”

O/W Area Representaive Charge With Traffic Offences
Following being criminally charged for 6 counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature yesterday, Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez’s fate now rests in the hands of the judicial system. He is scheduled to go back to court on the 13th of April and this morning the same date was given to another high ranking politician who appeared at the Orange Walk Magistrates Court to answer to traffic related charges. Incumbent Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno appeared in court to face charges on traffic offenses filed against him by Christopher Hendricks the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. As reported last night Hendricks is accusing Briceno of driving over his foot with his gold Prado. The incident is said to have occurred on January 22nd, as Briceno was driving out of the Belize High School of Agriculture compound after attending a function. This morning, a decent crowd of supporters gathered around the court to show support for Briceno. The media caught up with him as he exited the court where he told us that while evidently the move is an intimidation tactic by the Unite Democratic Party, he is unfazed and there is no truth to the trumped up charges against him.


Driver for Deputy PM Takes Former Opposition Leader to Court
Former leader of the People’s United Party and Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, John Briceno appeared in court today. Reporter Arturo Cantun was there and has the story. ARTURO CANTUN REPORTING “Yesterday Orange Walk East Area Representative Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez appeared before the magistrate court to be ready six charges for indecent assault on two minors. Less than 24 hours after, another PUP area representative was in court to respond for criminal charges as well. Orange Walk Central area rep. John Briceno was served a summons to appear before the court to answer to charges for allegedly running over the foot of Christopher Hendrix, the driver of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Briceno arrived a few minutes before the magistrate court was in to session accompanied by some relatives. Outside his supporters gathered in a crowd of approximately 50. Inside the court John Briceno was read one charge for driving without due care and attention. A few minutes before 10, Briceno along with his family exited the Magistrate Court and he told the media it’s all a political gimmick orchestrated by the United Democratic Party.”


Briceño taken to court for negligent harm
On Tuesday Marco Tulio Mendez, Area representative for Orange Walk East, appeared before Magistrate Moody, where he was formally charged for damning allegations including four counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature upon a minor and two counts of common assault upon another minor. Less than 24 hours since then, another PUP elected area representative was charged for a lesser offence. Last week Hon. Johnny Briceño, Area Representative for Orange Walk Central, was served with a notice of intended prosecution for negligent harm. The allegations are based on an incident that dates back to January 22, when the Area Representative was heading to an event to mark the opening of the Yo Creek and Trinidad Road. The story goes that on that date Johnny Briceño asked a group of men to make way for him to drive pass. Among the men was Christopher Hendricks, the driver of the Deputy Prime Minister Gapi Vega, who is claiming that Mr Briceño ran over his feet.

Waste Control truck injures family of three
A truck driver for Belize Waste Control may face charges over a traffic accident which occurred on Tuesday morning around 8:16 a.m. at the corner of Western Avenue and Mahogany Street in Belize City. 48 year old Orlando Pech was driving the garbage collection truck when he collided with a bicycle being ridden by Reyna Savala, who was accompanied by her three-year-old twin daughters Maria and Reyna. An eyewitness spoke to us off-camera about the aftermath of the incident.

Patrick JonesPJ

Watchman charged for boss’s bullet
The .22 caliber bullet he was charged for is not technically his property, but 51 year old Luis Rodriguez, a watchman at a farm at Mile 12, George Price Highway, Belize District, is in prison nonetheless. Rodriguez appeared on Tuesday before Magistrate Herbert Panton and attempted to plead guilty to […]

Handyman pleads guilty to theft with ATM card
32 year old Floyd McNab could not avoid jail time on 22 counts of theft related to use of an ATM card he said he happened to find on the street even though he plans to pay back what he used. The father of two employed by the […]

Jury acquits security guard of aggravated assault
37 year old Harvey Sambula was acquitted by a jury of aggravated assault with a firearm and common assault on Tuesday afternoon before Justice Adolph Lucas in the Supreme Court. After nearly three hours the jury voted seven to two to acquit Sambula of the first charge, and […]

Prison escapee formally charged
Police have brought charges against 25 year old Emmanuel Willoughby, accused of escape from lawful custody. As we have reported previously, Willoughby escaped from the Belize Central Prison at Hattieville last December and had been on the run until his capture on Lacroix Boulevard last week. He was […]

Teenager faces gun charges again
19 year old Malik Stuart pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of unlicensed firearm and ammunition for which he was re-arrested this week. The original charges were dismissed but police elected to bring them back. Stuart was seen by police on April 23, 2014 handing over a […]

Teenager dies in traffic accident in Spanish Lookout
A collision this afternoon between a truck and a motorcycle has claimed the life of one man in Spanish Lookout. The victim has been identified as 19 year old Joshua Garrido, a resident of Duck Run 2. The crash happened just after three o’clock this afternoon. Preliminary reports are that […]

Police look for man who assaulted minor in Belmopan
Belmopan police are investigating a report that a 7 year old girl was attacked, robbed and raped earlier this week. The incident, as reported by the child, happened after 6 o’clock on Monday night. The girl, accompanied by her mother, went to the Belmopan police station to report the crime. […]

Orange Walk central area representative appears in court
The Honorable the member for Orange Walk Central Mr. John Briceño was arraigned on a charge of negligent harm when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court this morning. The charge against the former Deputy Prime Minister stems from an incident on January 22, 2015 when it is alleged that he […]

Family of Camalote man seeks help in locating him
The family of Camalote village resident Cayetano Nah is asking for the public’s assistance in locating him. The 82 year old former taxi driver, also known as “Caye” has not been seen by his family since Monday. His family believes that he may be suffering from memory loss and is […]


What’s New In Placencia, Belize & Fantastic Meals at Maya Beach Bistro: Part Two
We first stopped in Singing Sands in Maya Beach. Not a new place but new to me! And beyond this sign is absolutely gorgeous. I had no idea. I SO need to visit the restaurant at night. With the trickling fountains, the lush jungle atmosphere and all the hanging lamps…I bet it is beautiful. Next stop Fusion Beach just outside Placencia Village proper. Here is what it looks like now. Open and seemingly doing quite well. It’s looking fantastic. And the Arts and Music Festival is coming up soon in Placencia. I went down last year for the event and to ALMOST see Chelsea Handler at the Tipsy Tuna! Super fun.

“It’s Over” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
It strikes me that for the last few editions I’ve been regaling (more like boring I suppose) you with tales of my medical woes. For someone who, I’m pleased to say, has enjoyed good health through a forty-five year working career – two weeks off in 1971 to have a twice broken nose straightened and one day off in 1997 for twenty-four hour flu that, try as I might, I just couldn’t beat to go to work- the last few weeks have felt alien to me. The latest malaise ‘hit’ me at the back end of last week when, and I haven’t a clue how, I managed to contract a cold. But this one was different. Way beyond that blocked up feeling. With this ‘baby’ I had pains in my middle back area, I was heavily congested and quite frankly I felt knackered.

Stewed Beef n Sweet Potatoes
Stewed beef and sweet potatoes are a healthy alternative for any eating plan. I added some red bell peppers and okra/okro.

CABO Executive Board Meets in Nicaragua
Central America is home to more than 3 million of African descent people. For 19 years the Central American Black Organization (CABO) has been the umbrella organization unifying Black people in the region. CABO’s first female president Honduran Mirtha Colon chaired two days of intense and creative dialogue and debate on January 23 and 24, as policies, activities, and budgets were formulated. President Colon also had the task of introducing CABO’s bylaws, rules and regulations to new members as they evaluated CABO’s progress report card. The communal participation of this board from 7 countries was realized with five women and eleven men. Some board members joined via group virtual video conference. This was the first time that this media medium was utilized in a CABO board meeting. The essence of this plenary session was the International Decade of African Descent.

Singer-songwriter Kelly McGuire celebrates his birthday, island-style
No sooner did Jerry Jeff Walker blow town than another popular salt-water singer strode in to take his place, Kelly McGuire. The pattern is similar. Texan McGuire will be showing up at venues around town to sing some of the popular stuff from his Belieze-inspired songbook, like “A Boat in Belize, ” “Daddys & Daughters,” “King of the Island,” “Blame It On Buffett,” and “Girls of the Island.” Wednesday afternoon was given over to celebrating McGuire’s birthday at the perfect haunt, The Palapa Bar. The place was packed and even the stilts were swaying to the music. He not only has a decent voice and some pretty nice Ambergris Caye-inspired songs, but Kelly McGuire also sincerely likes his fans. On a break, he walks through the bar calling some folks by name, shaking hands with everyone and just plain enjoying the pleasure of the company at hand.

International Sourcesizz

Life on a Pristine Beach in Ambergris Caye, Belize
Two years ago, Duane and Judy Allen moved full-time from Tampa, Florida, to Ambergris Caye, Belize. "I always wanted to live right on the beach, but not in a condo," says Duane. "I wanted a home, and space around me to roam. For years, I scoured Florida's coasts, looking for an affordable property. But everything was out of reach." As luck would have it, Judy's sister and her family had moved to Ambergris Caye before "Temptation Island" put it on the map... Judy notes, "We chose San Pedro because we had been visiting my sister and her husband since they moved to Belize about 23 years ago. We fell in love with the island through those many visits." Duane started checking out the island's beachfront property and found that it was still affordable. In 1999, the Allens snapped up a stunning beachfront lot south of town, in an undeveloped area. They weren't yet thinking about retirement. But since Judy's sister's family was already living on the island, the Allens moved up their schedule and built their house in 2004. Judy's sister and family live in the downstairs unit. The Allens live upstairs. At first they came for vacations, before finally retiring full-time.

Caldwell University Students Help Build Church in Belize
Students from Caldwell University participated in a service experience in Belize over their winter break where the group stayed in the port town of Punta Gorda and did their service work in Santa Cruz.. Participating studens included: Sean Puzzo, Jessica Marco, Crista Cattano, Kaitlin Rodio, Catherine Ringhoff, Debra Pellegrino, Virginia Johnson, Emma Clarke and alumnus Patrick Lehosky. Caldwell University Athletic Administrator and women’s lacrosse team coach Amy Rizzo, as well as Tim Kessler-Cleary and Meghan Moran of the student engagement office chaperoned the trip. The students spent nine days over the break rebuilding a church, replacing the disrepaired wall with new cinder blocks and making mortar basing from scratch with only limited tools. They also spent significant time with the natives of the village, talking and exchanging cultural ideas.

The announcement by the White House on January 29 that it would ask Congress for $1 billion for Central America in its FY2016 budget is welcome news for the region, and for the United States. The proposed request would triple the resources earmarked for Central America by the U.S. government in recent years, although the amount of money contemplated remains modest by comparison to the magnitude of problems that those countries face. The administration’s declaration on Central America, in combination with its restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba, creates the opportunity for the United States to forge a new relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean. With both initiatives, and the possibility of more surprises on Latin America policy yet to come, the upcoming Summit of the Americas in April in Panama City could be one of the most productive multilateral engagements the United States has had with the region in years.

The 8 Most Romantic Escapes for Valentine's Day in the World
alentine's Day is just around the corner, and here at Oyster we believe there's no better way to celebrate than with a romantic escape -- and we think your significant other would agree. Last week, we gave you the inside scoop on America's Best Hotels for Valentine's Day, but this week, we're expanding our horizons a bit (and maybe stretching our budgets just a tad). These eight hotels -- whether perched on the rocking outcroppings of the Italian coast or hidden away amidst the rice fields of northern Thailand -- are some of the most romantic in the world and are the perfect places for a romantic rendezvous... with a little international flair. Well-known throughout Belize, Turtle Inn is one of the country's top resorts. The Balinese-style hideaway is where celebrities, honeymooners, and families peacefully coexist thanks to the property's 25 secluded thatched-roof villas. Each private cottage features stunning decor and luxurious outdoor bathrooms. Here, you and your love can spend your days lounging in seaside hammocks in the shade of swaying palms, take a dip in the pool, relax at the spa, or even learn to scuba dive. As you soak up the sun, you might begin to notice the lack of technology around Turtle Inn -- there are no televisions, telephones, or air conditioners -- but that's the point. You come to Turtle Inn to unplug... Instagram will be waiting for you when you come home.

Fires in Central America May Fuel U.S. Tornadoes
We already know that deforestation is contributing to major environmental problems, ranging from soil erosion to climate change. But here’s another scary effect. Burning down forests in one place apparently can cause tornadoes thousands of miles away to be more dangerous. In the study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, University of Iowa researchers focused upon a weather catastrophe in the southeastern United States on April 27, 2011. That event, which cut a swath of carnage from Mississippi to Virginia, produced 122 tornadoes which resulted in 316 deaths, more 2,400 injuries and $4.2 billion in property damage. A NOAA report on the disaster called it one of the deadliest in the country, since systematic tornado record-keeping began in 1950. Co-lead authors Gregory Carmichael, an Iowa professor of chemical and biochemical engineering, and Pablo Saide, a postdoctoral fellow, say the event was caused mainly by regional conditions that were conducive to the forming of supercell thunderstorms and created the potential for tornado formation. But the tornadoes were intensified by smoke from fires set to clear land for farms in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize, which winds transported across the Gulf of Mexico. The smoke lowered the base of the clouds and increased wind shear, a change of wind speed or direction that is important to tornado development.

Faculty Forum: Rehabilitating a Belizian prison
For this month’s installment of the Faculty Forum lunchtime lecture series on Thursday, two faculty members from the Department of Sociology & Criminal Justice will share the results of an interesting project undertaken last year in Central America. Associate Professor Kevin Whiteacre and Assistant Professor Amanda Miller led students on a 2014 Spring Term trip to Belize, where murder and incarceration rates are among the highest in the world. They gathered oral histories from current and former staff and inmates at the Belize Central Prison, which saw a positive change in conditions and culture after the government turned over management to a nonprofit group founded by local Rotary Club members. The interviews explore the nation’s approach to violent crime and the prison staff’s attitudes toward inmates and rehabilitation.

The Human Cost of Sugar Harvesting
Sugarcane harvesters in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua, have a life expectancy of only 46 years, with many of them dying from chronic kidney disease. Experts think they may have figured out why the workers are being afflicted at such an alarming rate. But the plantation owners have their own ideas about the root cause. Regardless of who's right, the toll on the community has been grief and heartbreak for those suffering from the disease and for their families.


  • Stranded Vessel Poses Threat to Coral Reef off Caye Caulker, Belize, 1min. Oceana Belize Supports Calls From Caye Caulker Residents To Remove Stranded Vessel From Reef. The organization supports the recommendation that the vessel be removed as soon as possible to avoid any further degradation to the site. This assessment is independent from any other investigation being carried out by any other relevant government agencies.
  • Carnival Magic Cruise To Honduras, Belize, Cozumel 2015 - Day 7, 18min.
  • Christmas Eve in Belize, 6min.
  • Belize Scuba Dive 2010, 21min.
  • Belize Dec 2010 Kayak Fishing, 16min.
  • Belize Scuba Dec 2010 dive 1, 28min.
  • Belize Dec 2010 Snorkel 2, 11min.
  • Belize Dec 2010 snorkel 1, 30min.
  • Jalsa Salana Belize 2015 - Speech by Mayor Darrell Bradley, 5min. 1st Annual Jalsa Salana (Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Belize (2015) Speech by Mayor Darrell Bradley, Belize City
  • Jalsa Salana Belize 2015 - Guest Speakers, 9min. 1st Annual Jalsa Salana (Convention) of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Belize (2015) Presentations by guest speakers.
  • Flying from Kanantik Belize, 2min. Flying from Kanantik Belize to Belize City
  • Have a Taste of Belize in Elvi's Kitchen in San Pedro, 2min. Elvi's Kitchen perhaps the most famous restaurant on ambergris caye. Mrs. Elvia Staines, more populary known as Doña Elvia, is the proud owner of Elvi's Kitchen.

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