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#500817 - 02/07/15 04:54 AM Today's Belize News: February 7, 2015
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The San Pedro Sun

Watch for Cholo’s Barbies at Carnaval!
Nestor Rivero and David Aguilar are the unofficial songwriters, and we’ve heard from reliable sources that the drunker the gathering, the funnier the lyrics become. And of course, the themes usually revolve around social issues – especially poking fun at those in charge. This year, we have Municipal Elections coming up, so we’re thinking there will be some interesting themes to say the least! The next time you see these finely dressed gents out in their revelry, keep in mind that they have ensured that tradition holds true. Watch the youngsters growing up – they’ll soon graduate from their school comparsas and take that next step to Barbie-dom! Catch the festivities this month through the downtown (middle & front) streets of San Pedro Town from Sunday, February 15th to Tuesday February 17th.

“Say NO to Offshore Oil in Belize” Selfie Challenges GOB
The “Say NO to Offshore Oil in Belize” selfie challenge has received great response in the past month with close to a thousand supporters posting “selfie” photos as a statement against oil exploration. The campaign was launched through a collaboration between Belize’s Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage, Association of Protected Areas Management Organization (APAMO), Oceana in Belize and other environmental stakeholders to urge the Government of Belize (GOB) to close any, and all considerations of offshore oil exploration.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve employees involved in serious misconduct
In the past month, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve has been the face of several controversies involving misconduct by employees. The two main scandals involve the crash of one of the vehicles attached to the organization, and the charges laid on its accountant for drug trafficking in one of the biggest heroin busts in Belize’s recent history. While measures are being taken to address and penalize those responsible for these incidents, some believe that the management of Hol Chan Marine Reserve is too lenient with employees and that is resulting in issues for the organization. According to a Board member of Hol Chan, who wishes to remain anonymous, the management is not properly disciplining employees for faults committed. The board member told The San Pedro Sun, that the vehicle was damaged during the Christmas Holiday and was being driven by a Hol Chan employee who was highly intoxicated. Yet, there was no repercussions for said employee, and it had also been confirmed that Hol Chan is paying for all repairs of the vehicle.

Closure of the lobster fishing season
The Fisheries Department also reminds fishers that lobster traps should be removed from the fishing grounds during the closed fishing season. During the month of March 2015, Fisheries Officials will be visiting fishing camps and coastal fishing communities to take stock of lobster traps owned by individual fishers in order to facilitate the registration of such lobster traps. The Fisheries Department will be actively enforcing the removal of traps from the waters during this period.

Clarification statement from SPTC on accusations made by the Ambassador of Honduras
It has come to the attention of the San Pedro Town Council that allegations were made against the council, the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Mr. Daniel Guerrero, the Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture, Hon Manuel Heredia Jr. and other authorities on Ambergris Caye. These allegations are related to the death and the immediate burial of Honduran national Silvia Benitez earlier in January. The misinformation was stated first at a forum held on January 29th, 2015 at the Lion’s Den and then on The Reef Radio Morning Show by Her Excellency Sandra Rosalez Abella, Ambassador of the Republic of Honduras. On both occasions, Ambassador Abella was flanked by the People’s United Party Mayoral Candidate Giovanni Solorzano and other key members of the PUP.

PUP’s Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez faces criminal charges
The People’s United Party (PUP) elected Standard Bearer for Orange Walk East Honorable Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez has been formally arrested and charged for six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature. After a week of breaking news about accusations made against the embattled politician, he visited the Orange Walk Town Police Station on Tuesday February 3rd flanked by family members and his attorneys. Mendez’ charges are based on accusations made by two female minors dating as far back as 2005.

Ambergris Today

Ministry of Agriculture Issues Food Safety Alert on Tainted Irish Potatoes
The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture inform the public that they have received confirmed reports of tainted Irish Potatoes being sold in San Ignacio. Investigations revealed that the potatoes are dyed a pink/fuchsia color and are circulating on the market. Confiscation of this product has commenced and the public is advised not to purchase or consume these tainted potatoes.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Dyed Potatoes not a Mystery
One resort owner complained of sick guests that consumed tainted potatoes that were dyed red if not pink. The complaints and photos on this page showed that those potatoes were not only prevalent in Cayo but also the Belize District and even in Placencia and San Pedro. 15,000 pounds of potatoes that were allegedly brought in by contrabandistas. But the swiftness of the mass distribution across the country is evidence in itself that a few independent people could not have done it. As the first small batch of potatoes got people sick other small importers roof wouldn't have found any market for the potatoes. But the testimony of many people on this page that all bought these potatoes in such a short span of each other is evidence that a formal, legal and well trusted and established distribution chain was used.

Celebrating Bob Marley at the San Pedro House of Culture
Rastafari Vision & Culture Exhibit. Come check it out. Some of our local rastafarian lions came out to check out the exhibit. Stop by the House of Culture today or tomorrow to check it out. It ends Saturday, February 7th. It's great to have a House of Culture in San Pedro. Love the work the team is doing on this.

Sweet Pain Band in concert Feb 16 & 17 in San Pedro
This will be lots of fun! You definitely won't want to miss out!

Win a Free Trip to Belize on Tinder Before Valentine's Day!
In perhaps one of the most 2015 moves of 2015, the entire country of Belize is on Tinder — and it’s swiping right. Seriously. The Belize Tourism Board announced this week that it was giving away free trips to three single (and lucky!) people on the popular dating app. Each trip includes a five-night stay for two, including flights, hotels, and meals. And get this: To be considered for this absurd and amazing deal, all people have to do is ooze a Belize vibe: “Belize is swiping right based on how well the people’s personalities align with the country,” according to the press release. That is all. So, how exactly do you ooze a Belize vibe, aka qualify for the best free offer of all time? The country, which lists its age as 33 on Tinder, is swiping through loads of users in search of four qualities: people who like to travel, people who like good food, people who look like they have a fun sense of humor, and people who like adventure. Not surprisingly, Belize itself exudes all four of those characteristics, as it reveals in its profile: “Some days I just like to chill on the beach, and when I’m feeling more spontaneous, I do exciting stuff like cave tubing and scuba diving. I’m also into animals, cooking, and dancing. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking about spending this Valentine’s Day by the ocean. Swipe right if you’re friendly and adventurous … or like to travel.”

Channel 7

Vendors Say Pink Potatoes Not That Bad
Last night the news about the puzzling, possibly poisonous pink potatoes was plastered all over the media. It created quite a public scare, and possibly a justified one. The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) called them tainted and confirmed that they had been dyed a pink/fuchsia colour - fit to be confiscated, and not for purchase or consumption. OK, then, that made it very clear: not fit for consumption. But, when we visited the city's biggest market today - we found that vendors weren't so sure about the pink potato's unfitness. They told me the colour won't kill you:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting This morning at the Michael Finnegan Market we found one of those rosy pink potatoes that are said to be unsafe for consumption. Reports are that they were smuggled in from Mexico and dyed to pass off as the locally produced Irish potatoes. But today, some of the market vendors dispelled that notion. They told us that nothing is wrong with these potatoes.

Dangriga's Most Wanted Now Remanded
He was Dangriga's most wanted, sought after for a lawless spree in that southern town, but tonight Shane Bennett is remanded to prison, after he turned himself into Independence police on Wednesday. Police formally arrested and charged 28 year old Bennett for the crime of Robbery, two counts of Abduction, two counts of Aggravated Assault and Rape. He was arraigned today, remanded and could face further charges. Police also found the firearm that they believe he used to shoot at police, who pursued him and an accomplice after they had pulled off a robbery, rape and car jacking.

DOE Says Reef Wracked Sailboat To Be Moved As Soon As Weather Permits
The 40 foot French sailboat known as the "Termaji," has been stuck on the reef in front of Caye Caulker since December 30th. And tonight, it's still there. The Department of the Environment says that it's tried to remove the vessel from its grounded position, but because of bad weather, the team had to postpone the removal of the vessel for safety reasons more than once. Salvage operations started on 15th January but according to a release issued today, quote, "several uncontrollable setbacks have …delayed the removal of the vessel from the reef." Unquote. But it has been shifted 15- 20ft from its original position into deeper water, where, quote, "it has been secured to ensure as minimal damage as possible to coral colonies nearby." Unquote.

Rural Cops Catch Gun - But Police Brass Says "No Charge"
Yesterday Belize Rural police borrowed a boat to go downriver and check up on a marijuana plantation. At around noon, they went all the way up to Muscle Creek between Grace Bank, Burrell Boom and Flowers Bank Villages which led to the discovery of a camp. They didn't find any plantation, but they did see 33-year-old Evan Lincoln Moody from Ladyville Village. He was sleeping on a foam, and beneath it, police found 1 black .22 bolt action rifle, with (15) live rounds, and 1 black 16 gauge shotgun, with 7 cartridges. He also had a black plastic bag with 16.2grams of cannabis and another 64.7grams of cannabis seeds. The police press office sent out the report today under the heading, "unlicensed firearm and ammunition." And so while the expectation was that he would be charged for those offences - it seems someone higher up intervened - and Moody was only charged for the marijuana. This is in spite of the fact that the charges had already been written up for the firearms. Turns out that the firearms are licensed but not to him - and he was unable to produce a license. We've also learned that his uncle reported one of the guns, the .22 missing some time ago. And so, even with these dubious circumstances, and still no license produced, no charge was brought for the weapons.

Men Accused of Shooting At Coast Guard Walk Free
Last year, it made major news when 3 fishermen were arrested and charged for allegedly shooting at the Coast Guard who were responding to a robbery of a vessel in open waters. Well, those men, Leonel Emmanuel Sedacy, Giovanni Murrillo, and Everal Teck Junior, are all free after they stood trial in the Magistrate's Court and were acquitted. The allegation was that on April 10, 2014, Coast Guard received a report of a robbery in progress south east of Middle Long Caye. A team of Coast Guard officers responded, and according to them, a Skiff was seen trying to speed away. The officers allegedly pursued it for 2 hours, and when they tried to approach, 4 shots were fired on them. They returned fire, and eventually managed to intercept the vessel, which resulted in the detention of all 3 accused men. They were subsequently charged with 4 counts of aggravated assault for allegedly shooting at the 4 officers who pursued them.

Harley Heaven in Belize!
Harley Davidson is one of the most well-known global brands - synonymous with muscle bikes and the American open road. And while it started out as a North American phenomenon, Harley fever has also caught on here in Belize and throughout Latin America where bike rally's happen throughout the year. And February fifth - seventh is the Belize Black Pearl's time to shine. This year's rally is called "Meet in The Middle", and I was there when the Harley's started rolling in:.. Courtney Weatherburne "These men and women are no regular motorists, they are members of established biking clubs and over 400 riders travel about 10 days from Canada and all over Central America to be here for the bike rally and why do they do that? Well, it's all about the thrill of the wide open road." Courtney Weatherburne reporting The freedom and spontaneity of traveling on that wide open road may seem tempting but it comes along with a very hefty price.

GSU Gets Gun, Weed
The GSU picked up a gun last night in Belize City. IT was found inside a garbage bin in an open lot at the corner of Oleander and Evergreen Streets in the Saint Martin's Area in Belize City. The.22 revolver was found along with 12 ounces of Hydro grade cannabis and 6 grams of Crack Cocaine. The GSU says the firearm along with the drugs is believed to be for members of the Peace In the Village, or PIV gang who, quote, "control the sale of narcotics in 90 % of the Saint Martin the Porres Area." Unquote. And on Wednesday the GSU found 14 ounces of weed in the Jane Usher Area. It was found in an empty lot on Curl Thompson Street, behind, what the GSU says, is the residence of a well-known gang member of the Jane Usher gang. The weed was found in a yellow Olmeca container.

Weed Is Scarce
And Belize City's precinct 1 Police have also been making weed busts. Between 28th January, to 6th February, they found 3.1 kilos, almost 7 pounds of Marijuana. With all the weed crackdowns, some neighborhoods in the city are reporting that weed is scarce.

Another Accident At Airport Junction
Earlier this week, we showed you an accident at the very dangerous and fast moving airport junction. Well, there was another one last night, except it involved a motorbike and a dog. Reports say Nigel Freeman was driving towards the city when one of the dogs from the Sky city Supermarket rant out into the road and caused Freeman to fly off his Meilun motorbike. He lay n the ground for 50 minutes until an ambulance came.

BT Gets Free
29 year-old Brandon Tillett, better known as "BT" is a reputed George Street affiliate often targeted by police. But tonight, he's free of charges brought against him by an officer of the Gang Suppression Unit. Tillett was at a friend's house when he says the GSU handcuffed him and brutalized him for no reason. PC Abner Itza had a different recollection, and he says that Tillett head-butted him on the nose and caused it to bleed. Tillett was charged with wounding resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. Itza and another officer testified in a trial against Tillett before Magistrate Cayetano, who did not believe their version of events. He then acquitted Tillett of all 3 charges.

Hell Week For The Seals
One year and six months ago, on August 2, 2013, we first showed you the group of men who would become the Belize Coast Guard Seals, an elite paramilitary unit with training and discipline to measure up against the US Navy Seals. That was the first time we'd seen how the training looked up close. That 8 man team made it through the toughest part of the training, 5 weeks of physical and mental torture, which culminated at week 5 which the Coast Guard High Command calls "Hell Week". Of the next group of officers who signed up to try out the SEAL training, only 2 made it through, but the Commandant wants 48 SEAL officers. So, a third group of men took on the challenge to see if they have what it takes to be SEALS, and today, we got the see the 4 who have been able to withstand the hardship. They are the third group of Coast Guard officers to make it this far, and our news team got to meet them. Daniel Ortiz reports:

New Building For Coast Guard
Right now, the Coast Guard Headquarters is getting a 4 million dollar upgrade to ensure that as the numbers of its ranks continue to expand, those new officers can be accommodated. The Commandant told us that the funding is being provided by the US Government, and when it is completed, it will be able to house 100 new officers who should pass out by the end of the year: Admiral John Borland - Commandant, Belize Coast Guard "It's all a part of the Coast Guard strategic development plan. What you see in the perimeter fence back there isn't the entire Coast Guard property. It extends to additional 2 acres almost to where we are standing right now. We are building a facility there that is going to be a multi-purpose facility that is going to house on the deck - it's going to be a maintenance facility/workshop with all the amenities that requires for boat and vehicle maintenance. The upper deck is going to be office spaces/accommodations/stores/lecture rooms/classrooms and medic center. So, much needed space. As it is right now, I am only able to house a very small percentage of my forces and the Coast Guard is rapidly expanding.

A Special Band For Special Olympics
Global Ambassador for Special Olympics - Kim Simplis Barrow is partnering with Special Olympics Belize and the Garifuna Collective to host a fundraising concert tomorrow at the BTL Park. The concert is called The Garifuna Collective Sundown Musical Concert and the Proceeds from the event will be used to cover expenses for a local girl's Bocce team to participate in the 2015 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Los Angeles. Today two members of the Garifuna Collective stopped by 7news to tell us more. This alcohol free, family affair will run from 10:00am to 5:00 pm at the BTL Park and it will also feature: Melonie Gillett, Nello Player, Jackie Castillo and the World Culture Band.

The Best Junior Ballers
Today at the Birds Isle and at the YWCA, the National Sports Council hosted the 2015 National Championships for basketball at the primary school level. It's the opportunity that all the teams from the different districts have been battling for weeks to get a chance to participate in. Each district is represented by a male and a female team chosen from the winners rural and District tournaments. Here's what the National Sports Coordinator for the National Sports Council told us about it's importance as an annual event:

Channel 5

DFC Seeks Tony Novelo’s Imprisonment for Unpaid Debt
The Novelo family has been a political pincushion for more than a decade, and the saga continues. Today, attorneys for the Development Finance Corporation are set to jail Antonio Novelo [...]

Novelo’s Multimillion Dollar Arrear Unpaid Since February 2014
Today’s intent to apply for a committal became necessary when Antonio Novelo was also unable to pay the fifteen hundred dollars a month ordered in 2013.   Nazira Miles, Attorney [...]

Cayo North Standard Bearer Michel Chebat Reflects on Recent Bye-election
Last week, attorney Michel Chebat was endorsed as the P.U.P.’s Standard Bearer in Cayo North. He replaces Richard Harrison, selected in December 2014 to contest the by-election in that constituency. [...]

Chebat on the Campaign Trail in Cayo
Today, we spoke to Chebat as he prepared to head into the division to campaign. To the casual observer that might seem a little premature, since general elections are likely [...]

Was Chebat’s Endorsement an Issue for PUP Western Caucus?
As we told you, Chebat was endorsed last week amid some contention from the executive of the People’s United Party. There are senior politicians who don’t believe a truly democratic [...]

On the Campaign Trail in Corozal Town
The date for the municipal election is set for March fourth and mayoral candidates on both sides of the political divide, as well as independent hopefuls are out on the [...]

Man Crushed to Death By Steel Plates in Spanish Lookout
An Orange Walk man was crushed to death following an accident in Spanish Lookout. Ramon Ku was working at a steel company when he accidentally fell over and metal panels [...]

GSU’s Drugs and Firearm Seizures in Belize City
The Gang Suppression Unit has been on various operations in the city over the past three days. The unit is reporting the seizure of a substantive amount of cannabis and [...]

Fake Belizean Red Potatoes Originated in Mexico
An investigation by the Ministry of Agriculture and BAHA into the discovery of tainted Irish potatoes on the local market has confirmed that the contaminated produce, currently being passed off [...]

Sea Pirates Walk, Case Against Them Falls Apart in Court
Three alleged sea pirates, Leonel Sedacy, Giovanni Murillo and Everal Teck Junior, accused of shooting at coast guard personnel were freed today when they appeared in the Magistrate Court. When [...]

Brandon Tillett Acquitted of Assaulting Police Officer
Popular George Street associate, twenty-nine-year-old Brandon ‘BET’ Tillett was freed of wounding, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.  Back in August 2014, Tillett was accused of wounding Police Officer [...]

Traditional Maya Wedding at Santa Rita
On Thursday night in Corozal, the Santa Rita Maya Monument came to life as residents gathered to witness a traditional Maya wedding. Archaeologists believe that Santa Rita is the ancient [...]

National Basketball Competition, Who Won the Titles?
Twelve primary schools met today to face off in the national basketball competition. Following a series of games through-out the day, Orange Walk’s Louisiana Government School and Mount Carmel Primary [...]

Big Bikes in Town for the Weekend
Bikers from across the Americas, from as far north as Canada, the United States and Mexico, as well as their brethrens in Guatemala, Honduras and Panama, along with a few [...]

Special Olympics and Garifuna Collective Meets at B.T.L. Park
Supporters of Special Olympics and fans of the Garifuna Collective are up for a treat this weekend as the internationally acclaimed band will be performing along with a host of [...]


Freak Accident in Spanish Lookout Kills Orange Walk Resident
“San Ignacio Police visited a company named Midwest Steel in the Spanish Lookout area this morning at about 9:45am and upon their arrival they saw what appeared to be the lifeless body of a male person lying face up in the company’s compound. Police investigation revealed that the male person was 38-year-old, Roman Cu of an August Pine Ridge address in Orange Walk. The victim went along with some other workers from Shipyard to do some work at Midwest Steel. Cu was on a forklift with another male person who was removing some metal sheets when some of the sheets started to shift off the forklift. Cu was assisting in the guidance of the steel when he fell off the forklift and landed on top of a trailer. The metal sheet then fell from off the forklift and landed on top of Cu. He was then transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. The driver of the forklift at the time of the incident was 64 year old Henry Reimer, co-owner of Midwest Steel Company. Police continue their investigation into this latest incident.”

GSU Confiscates Firearm and Marijuana
The Gang Suppression Unit was out on the streets again conducting searches and seizing drugs and firearms. Last night they were in the area of Oleander and Evergreen Streets where they searched an open lot and came up with a black plastic bag hidden in a garbage bin that contained a Taurus .22 revolver. Also in the bag was hydro cannabis amounting to three hundred and forty four grams as well as a transparent bag bearing six grams of crack cocaine. The firearm and the drugs were labelled as found property but since no one was in the area, no arrests were made. Reports are that the items more than likely, belongs to the members of the PIV Gang, who GSU says, controls the sale of narcotics in ninety percent of the Saint Martin’s de Porres area.


Tracking Mexican Irish red potatoes in Belize City
A food safety alert by the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA), issued late Thursday evening, has put Belizeans in a state of concern over a highly consumed product, the Irish potato. Specifically, there were concerns raised by Cayo tourism lodge owner Bart Mickler, that a quantity of Mexican-originated Irish potatoes were tainted with dye from an unknown source, turning them a pink or fuchsia color, causing sickness in guests staying in the area. BAHA says it has begun confiscating these potatoes countrywide, but on a visit to the central market on West Collet Canal in Belize City Friday morning, the media uncovered firsthand evidence that the tainted potatoes are still in supply among certain vendors, sitting alongside the regularly sold potatoes, and have yet to be confiscated by BAHA. At the wholesale section of the market near Cemetery Road, we spoke to a vendor who asked to be completely anonymous and off-camera. She described to us how BAHA inspectors visited the site on Thursday, but apparently did not look around thoroughly for evidence of the tainted potatoes. The tainted potatoes sell along with the local brown and rouge varieties for $95 per sack wholesale, $1.25 per pound retail. The vendor told us how they were supplied with the product.

Ya’axché Conservation Trust office burglarized; lost over $9,000
Over nine thousand dollars worth of items were stolen from the Ya’axché Conservation Trust in the Toledo distirct. 33-year-old Seleem Chan of Ya’axché Conservation Trust reported that between 3:00 p.m. on January 31 and 6:00 a.m. on February 2, the Ya’axché Conservation Trust office located on Vernon Street, Punta Gorda Town, was broken into. The thieves made off with cash and assorted electronic items, all to a total value of $9,286.92. Police investigations continue.

Man killed by falling metal sheets
38 year old Roman Cu, a Belizean laborer of August Pine Ridge Village, Orange Walk, lost his life on Friday morning, when he fell from a fork lift that was carrying some large metal steals. The incident occurred at Midwest Steal Company in the Spanish Lookout area, sometime before 10 am Friday morning. Reports are that a man on a forklift was loading metal sheets onto a trailer attached to a pickup truck. During this process , Roman Cu was reportedly standing on top of the metal sheets that were being carried by the forklift. Something went wrong during the process, and the metal sheets reportedly fell from the forklift and landed on top of Mr Cu. Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police Station Superintendant Dinsdale Thompson, told us more.

Methodist High School Inaugurates 2nd Form Classrooms
In August of 2013, the Belmopan Methodist High School, located at Price Center Road, Belmopan, had its first intake of first form students while the school went under construction. The plan was to expand the school so that each year they have room to accommodate a new class level until they have room for first, second, third, and fourth form classrooms. On Wednesday the school officially inaugurated its second form building. Sister Elley Fisk – United Methodist Church, Kentucky Conference: “We were sitting right over there, where the Principal’s office is, and there was a tent like this and balloons and lots of people, but no students. There was a stick in the ground, and I talk about this story all the time, and I know that I have shared this with you. That stick in the ground -we broke ground that day. Reverend Papouloute and Reverend Goff were here with me. It was a joy that day, knowing that God was going to do an awesome work.

Mexican contraband potatoes dyed red
Red potatoes are a delicacy, and though not frequently used in mashed potatoes as some other varieties are, these potatoes are popular as a boiled, seasoned potato and are used in many types of potato salad. On Thursday however, one lodge owner, Bart Mickler of Maya Mountain Lodge, Cayo District, wrote to the Belize Agriculture and Health Authority, BAHA, alleging that he recently bought a fresh supply of red potatoes being sold at the market in Cayo, only to find out that they are white Mexican Contraband potatoes dyed red. As a result, guests from other lodges who had also bought this same potato are reportedly getting sick. The letter, which is addressed to the Agriculture Coordinator for the Cayo District, says that, “On Tuesday we purchased what we understood was the new crop of Belizean red potatoes for use at our tourism lodge. When we reached the lodge and they were inspected more carefully we discovered that they were Mexican contraband white potatoes which had been dyed red with an unknown dye. Further dialog with other lodges revealed sick guests with these tainted Mexican potatoes as the suspected cause.”

Former owners of BTL, BEL demand utilities back
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) asked the parties in the voluminous case of the acquisitions of Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) and Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) to submit on January 23 their suggestions for how the court addresses the issue of awards in its forthcoming judgment in the case, which was heard last December at its seat in Trinidad and Tobago. The stakes are high and on Thursday Senior Counsel Denys Barrow addressed the reason the court called this additional session in the case. Denys Barrow – Attorney “What took place there was the Court wanted to have full submissions from all sides, all parties, as to what remedies they should give in the event they rule one way or the other. So if Government wins, then there would be almost automatically the obligation to pay compensation. So if the Court rules that there was a valid and lawful compulsory acquisition, then the process is straightforward. You pay compensation for what you have acquired. It’s the same as in relation to land, etcetera, similarly in relation to shares or other properties.

#500818 - 02/07/15 04:54 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 7, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Galento X Neal, a founding member and officer of UBAD, dies at 76
Kremandala mourns the passing of our stalwart brother and soldier of the UBAD revolution, Galento X Neal, who passed away yesterday, Wednesday, while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Galento, as he was known to the many people whose lives he touched with his kindness and humility, died from a heart condition, one of his sons, Ras Buck, told Amandala this evening. In 1969, Galento Neal collaborated with Evan X Hyde, Ismael Omar Shabazz, Lionel Clark, Charles X Egan, aka Ibrahim Abdullah, and others to form Belize’s first and only black power organization, UBAD (United Black Association for Development.)

Suspected child abductors were in Merida?
Just one week ago, at the end of last month, there was quite a scare in multiple localities when rumors surfaced that the occupant of a mysterious white vehicle had been attempting to lure and kidnap schoolchildren in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts, as well as at Queen’s Square Anglican Primary School in Belize City. Information gathered by Amandala over the past few days suggests that shortly before the horrific reports had apprehensive Belizeans in fear, the rumor had similarly gripped residents of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico, just days before. According to The Yucatan Times newspaper, on January 23, rumors began spreading on various social networks about a white van which was driving around Merida attempting to kidnap young children.

Security guard hacked to death
A security guard who was on duty at the office of the company for which he worked, Anchor Security Company, on Entrepreneur Road in Belmopan, was hacked to death sometime between 2:30 and 4:00 yesterday morning. Feliciano Noralez, 60, of #9 Xunantunich Street, Belmopan, was found dead on the floor of the company’s office at about 4:00 yesterday morning by a fellow worker of his. He was lying in pools of blood, and there were chop wounds in his head and face, as well as multiple chop injuries to his upper body. It has been reported that his right hand had also been severed. He was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Alert issued for fake “red potatoes,” blamed for illnesses in Cayo
Belize health authorities have issued an urgent alert, warning consumers not to buy or eat tainted Irish potatoes which have been dyed fuchsia so that sellers can pass them off as red potatoes. Bart Mickler, owner of Maya Mountain Lodge in San Ignacio, said that he had bought the potatoes for his business, but later discovered that the “red potatoes” he had bought were fake and had been dyed. “On Tuesday, we purchased what we understood was the new crop of Belizean red potatoes for use at our tourism lodge. When we reached the lodge and they were inspected more carefully, we discovered that they were Mexican contraband white potatoes which had been dyed red with an unknown dye.

Candidates to be nominated for municipal elections next Wednesday
The Elections and Boundaries Department and public officers selected to operate the polling stations on election day are gearing up for the 2015 municipal elections, while political hopefuls get warmed up for the first round of excitement – nomination day, slated for next Wednesday, February 11, 2015. The two dominant parties – the ruling United Democratic Party and the Opposition People’s United Party – intend to field full slates for all 9 municipalities. In Belize City, both sides will nominate a mayoral candidate with a slate of 10 councilors. In the other municipalities, the district towns and the City of Belmopan, a mayoral candidate and a slate of 6 councilors will be elected. There are a total of 67 available seats. In the last municipal elections held in 2012, the UDP won 44 seats, while the PUP won 23 seats. The PUP had won only three Orange Walk seats in the prior municipal elections held in 2009.

PUP’s Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez charged
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) Orange Walk East area representative, the Hon. Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, became part of an unprecedented moment in the parliamentary history of Belize when he became the first sitting area representative to be formally charged with sex-related offences. Following weeks of rumor and speculation surrounding what was going to happen to Dr. Mendez, who had announced late last year that he would not be seeking re-election as the PUP standard bearer tasked with winning the House of Representatives seat he currently holds, Orange Walk police charged him with six counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature.

BAA 2015 National Track & Field Championship winners
As opposed to days long past, when a track and field meet garnered a huge attendance of fans at the MCC Grounds, where the annual Nationals were held during the month of September, the Belize Athletic Association‘s (BAA) 2015 National Track & Field Championships took place with little fanfare a couple weekends ago on January 24-25 at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, where the main gate facing the Princess Margaret Drive remained locked and barred to the public. Interested fans and athletes who attended the event had to access the stadium through the side entrance adjacent to the fence facing the SJC compound. It is a beautiful all-weather running track (see picture above) at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex, but fan attendance was still low. Below are the top finishers in the various events, female “(F) and male (M), according to the BAA release.

Athletics past and present – Louis Haulze
Greetings to one and all! Welcome to another in our series, “Athletics past and present.” To those who do not know, this article had its genesis back in 2010-2011. The primary focus of the articles was to educate and honor those outstanding runners (athletes) from the past straight to the present. This week’s article is about a man that needs no introduction to anyone – Mr. Louis “Runner” Haulze. This 48 year old employee of Belize City Council has a long and outstanding career in long distance running, and at his age (he will be 49 in April) does not seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Mr. Haulze told me that his running had its birth at age 13 in primary school, St. Joseph Primary, to be exact, in a competition called Olympic Day Run, featuring all primary schools at the time. Mr. Sosa, who was the coach at the time, encouraged him to compete, so he did. Although he had never run in a race before, he decided to run, and it was during the 1500m race he ran that he fell in love with running. He said he felt free, and relief, and had a great feeling, because at the time he was not doing well in school, so this was something he found natural, and he was good at.

CSSSA football update; games return to MCC
The Central Secondary Schools Sports Association (CSSSA) held the first series of games in its 2015 CSSSA high school football competition at the Ladyville football field, but CSSSA president Deon Sutherland announced today that the coming weekend games will be played at the MCC Grounds, which was opened for the PLB football game on Sunday, February 1, after being closed for renovation since June 2, 2014. The high school football tournament got under way with 2 male games played at the Ladyville football field on Saturday, January 24, when SJC bombed Sadie Vernon Tech, 6-0; and Gwen Lizarraga High drilled Belize High School by the same margin, 6-0.

“Building a Future for Our Youth”
The BelCare Football Youth Academy (BelCare) announced today the launch of its Grassroots Football program for children that will occur in San Ignacio, Cayo on February 21 at 1:00 p.m. at Broaster Stadium, Savanah Area with Adventures Football Club, and in Dangriga, Stann Creek on February 22nd at 1:00 p.m. at Carl Ramos Stadium with Umadagu Football Club. BelCare Football Youth Academy (BelCare) is a non-profit/social enterprise organization that uses the power of football to educate, inspire and empower young people to lead meaningful lives. We work with local football clubs in order to introduce and organize the Grassroots Program (all football that is non-professional and non-elite is defined as Grassroots). The ultimate goal of the Grassroots Program is to use football to bring communities together and give less fortunate children a sense of purpose and pride. BelCare mobilizes the most vulnerable population of youth, ages 6-19, to grow through football, by fostering team and individual development, sportsmanship, fair play and work to inspire the next generation of young Belizeans to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

Galento X Neal, R. I. P.
It is not surprising that the rest of the Belizean media have paid no attention to the passing on Wednesday morning of Galento X Neal, a founding officer of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) in February of 1969 who later served as vice-president and briefly as president of the organization. UBAD, a cultural organization which became a political party in August of 1970 and was dissolved in November of 1974, is an organization which is ignored by Belize’s historians, academics, and students. The politicians of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) do not wish to talk about UBAD, and Belize’s educational system is Christian-dominated. UBAD had significant Muslim influence. Over the last four-plus decades, Belize’s mainstream politicians have sometimes accused this newspaper of talking too much about UBAD. If we at this newspaper did not talk about UBAD, it would be as if UBAD had not existed. It is not possible to understand the civil war level of violence which has been taking place on Belize City’s Southside for the last quarter century without some understanding of why UBAD was founded and why UBAD achieved the high levels of popularity which it did between 1969 and 1972. In addition, it is because of UBAD that this newspaper was established and survived its early years.

Selma, the movie – “white” washing history
Dear Editor, I became a civil rights activist in the 1960s because I saw the injustice of racism and oppression and believed (and still do) that I could not sit around waiting for someone else to do something. I joined demonstrations, sit-ins and picket lines, was arrested over 40 times and beaten up a number of times. In 1964, I joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and went to Mississippi. I was part of the nationwide protests in support of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. That is why I was so offended when I saw an interview with the director of the movie “Selma” along with film clips. It bends the truth about the events and people that fought for justice and equality in the face of a police state. The film diminishes or erases the role people like James Forman and Malcolm X played. Because they can’t erase Martin Luther King, Jr., they create a “white” washed image so we will never relate to him as a man who came to see the struggle against oppression as an international struggle.

The story of Caye Caulker’s Tarpon View Reserve
It is a site that may be unfamiliar to many locals, but the Tarpon View Reserve in Caye Caulker has certainly been growing in popularity over the years as more and more tourists flock to the area to marvel at the breathtaking view of dozens of live, full grown tarpons in their natural habitat. What makes the location even more attractive is that the friendly shoals of fishes are known to put off an amazing show whenever visitors feed them, by lunging out of the water in dolphin-like fashion. The area was discovered by the family of tour guide and boat captain, Israel “Captain Ish” Badillo, who told us that years ago, when his relatives decided to investigate the origin of the large amounts of huge tarpons which frequented the mangrove area in the sea behind their yard, they discovered what turned out to be one of the biggest emerging tourist attractions in Caye Caulker.

Belize court to benefit from CCJ-led pilot project
At the opening of the Supreme Court in January 2015, members of both the bench and the bar decried the troubling backlog in both civil and criminal cases, which has meant that perhaps hundreds of cases continue to go unresolved due to the inability of the courts to address them in a timelier manner. Attorney General Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington said that the Government of Belize stands ready to provide whatever funds are necessary to pay public-spirited senior counsels who are prepared to temporarily join efforts to dispose of the backlog of cases. Belize is not the only country grappling with a backlog of cases. However, the problem is recognized as one worthy of imminent attention under a project being implemented by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). The project, dubbed the Judicial Reform and Institutional Strengthening (JURIST) Project, is being piloted in our sister Caribbean country of Grenada this week, where Grenada is to commence its work to clear 200 backlog cases which have been identified for completion.

Belize moves to review EU-banned pesticides which harm bees
Miriam Serrut, Registrar of Pesticides at the Pesticide Control Board, informed Amandala today that in a meeting with colleagues of the Department of the Environment, they had agreed to prioritize a review of the neonicotinide class of insecticides, which some scientists say have caused adverse effects on bee colonies, with a view to looking at what mitigation measures may be needed to combat any adverse effects that may have resulted. Serrut confirmed, after we named some examples cited in the international press – thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid, said by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to pose an unacceptable risk to bees – that some of these pesticides are still registered for use in Belize.

Collision with 10-wheeler kills motorcyclist
A collision involving a motorcycle and a 10-wheeler trailer truck that occurred near Spanish Lookout, Cayo District, sometime before 4:00 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, has resulted in the death of a villager from that area. According to police, a white Ford 8000 10-wheeler trailer truck that was carrying animal feed from Spanish Lookout was traveling on Route 40 in the Spanish Lookout area when, upon reaching the top of a hill, it collided with a black 125 cc Meilun motorcycle which was being driven by Josue Gilberto Garrido, 19, a laborer of Duck Run II Village, Cayo District. Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police, Superintendent Dinsdale Thompson, told Amandala today that their preliminary investigations have revealed that the truck – which was being driven by Vladimir Cano – and the motorcycle were going in opposite directions when the incident happened.

“Sicko” rapes 7-year-old girl
Belmopan police are conducting an intense investigation to capture a pedophile who grabbed a little girl, 7, who was walking to a store, took her into some bushes and raped her, after robbing her of $5. The child was taken to the Belmopan Hospital, where doctors had to perform surgery to repair the damage done to her sex organs. The incident occurred in the Salvapan area of Belmopan, at about 6:00 Monday evening. At press time tonight, however, the rapist has not been apprehended.

From the Publisher
When this newspaper became the leading newspaper in Belize in 1981, against many odds, my personal power at #3304 Partridge Street was unchallenged. There was no radio station, no television station, no library on Partridge. All my children were in school. Today, my children run things back here. All my children went to religious schools, mostly Roman Catholic, but also Anglican, Methodist, and some Grace Primary. That is with the exception of some four years Mose spent finishing high school and doing Sixth Form at Belize Technical College. I did not try to steer any of my children into my personal perspectives and philosophies, the reason being that I did not want any of them to experience the punishments in adult life which I did. There were years in the 1970s when Belize battered and humiliated me.

2 charged for Sonia Maribel Abac’s murder
Murder charges have finally been brought against two men who reportedly led authorities to a well off the Honey Camp Road on the outskirts of Orange Walk Town, where the decomposing, mutilated body of Sonia Maribel Abac, 46, a masseuse from Orange Walk Town, was found in mid-July 2014. The two alleged murderers – Guatemalan national Noe Daniel Avila, 22, and Angel Antonio Cardenas, 19, of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk – were brought from the Belize Central Prison, where they are currently remanded for another high-profile murder and marched into the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today to be arraigned for Abac’s brutal death. No plea was taken after the duo, were read their charges and the case has been adjourned until March 31, 2015. Abac was reported missing on April 23, 2014, and reliable sources had indicated at the time that the masseuse was last seen at the home of Manuel “El Pelon” Castillo, 37.

The Reporter

Cinderella Plaza site for massive dredging
Dredging works started this week in the Cinderella Plaza area of Belize City as part of the Ministry of Works’ Flood Mitigation Project. The project, which is worth $21.5 million, will facilitate extension of an underground canal in the Cinderella Plaza and Baymen Avenue Area. According to Elias Garcia, foreman of the work crew, the dredging began on February 4th and it will take up to February 13 to finish the section at the plaza. Under the project, the existing canal which runs under Douglas Jones Street wiil be extended through the Cinderella Plaza into Baymen Avenue and down Calle al Mar out to the sea. This would ensure that streets in the vicinity most affected by flooding are able to avoid severe flooding.

ICT will move CARICOM forward says Secretary General
Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General, Irwin Laroche, emphasized this week that the usage of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) will play a critical role in developing the region. Laroche, speaking at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU)25th anniversary ICT week in Port of Spain, Trinidad, indicated that he looked forward to the development of the roadmap for the Single ICT Space. He added that this space will also be an integral part of achieving the CARICOM strategic Plan 2015-2019. “Working together with member states and partner institutions, there is an opportunity to make a difference and substantially improve the lives of the people of the Community,” he stated. CARICOM, as a region, has been focusing on ICT development since 2004, when leaders committed to an aggressive and focused strategy to accelerate the adoption of information and communication technologies for development at the end of the Third Meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ministers responsible for Information and Communication Technology.

Venezuela Maduro: State seizes supermarket chain
Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro, has ordered the takeover of a private supermarket chain by the state food agency. Speaking on television, he accused Dia a Dia of hoarding food during huge shortages in the country. This week, soldiers and government workers were sent to branches of a large supermarket and pharmacy chain to supervise sales. Venezuela has been in economic crisis after the drop in oil prices. Analysts say currency controls that restrict the availability of dollars for imports has played a key role in creating the scarcity of many items. Directors and executives from both Dia a Dia and pharmacy chain Farmatodo were arrested on charges of destabilising the economy.

Japanese government sponsors new classrooms for Carmelita School
The Japanese government signed a grant for US $103,086 to assist the Carmelita government school in Orange Walk in constructing several new classrooms and bathroom facilities to assist with the overcrowding at the school. Japanese Consular, Hiromoto Omaya said the assistance would help to […]

Mayor says BML trasition smooth so far
Mayor Darrell Bradley said that the transition of almost 150 Belize Maintenance Limited (BML) workers over to the City Council (CitCo) has been going very well one month into it and the Council has even started providing new services to the city. Bradley indicated […]

Japan will help Belize to become a cotton producer
The Government of Japan this week signed a grant agreement for US $102,029 ($204,000 Bze. for a Japanese owned company in Belize to grow and export high quality sea island cotton. Japan’s Consular Representative in Belize, Hiromoto Omay said that the grant would be […]

CISCO Construction lands $4.8 M contract to clean up 3 southside canal neighbourhoods
The Prisoner Creek, Lakeview and Trenchtown Canals, blocked by many years of random dumping of refuse, are three of the more unsightly south side waterways that will, in the coming months, receive the attention they need. On Monday of this week, the Government of […]

Murder rate expected to dip sharply, GSU Chief Mark Flowers predicts
The countrywide murder rate for 2015 will be lower than it was in 2013, when the tally for the first time in almost a decade reached 99, Sergeant Mark Flowers, Chief of the Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) predicted this week. Flowers, in an exclusive […]

A dozen or more BDF officers will be disciplined for breach of security! Commandant orders Court of Inquiry
The Ministry of National Security has been re-assessing its security features at the Belize Defense Force Headquarters at Price Barracks after a security breach caused thousands of rounds of ammunition to be stolen from the base. More than a dozen officers have been cited for […]

Doctor being held for child molestation
Highly regarded physician and Dad, the Hon. Marco Tulio Mendez, has been arrested and charged on six counts of sexually molesting his two adopted daughters. At 1:00 o’clock on Tuesday afternoon this week PUP parliamentarian and paediatrician Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court in Orange Walk […]

Court orders Senior Counsel to pay $230,000 from real estate sale
Supreme Court Justice, Courtney Abel has ordered a senior attorney, Ernest Staine, to pay the sum of $230,000, the pro-ceeds from a land sale transaction. The money is to be paid to Rita McField, the owner of a property at No. 12 B Douglas […]

It was reported this week that about a dozen BDF soldiers and officers will receive reprimands for their actions or lack of action in the disappearance of some 2,000 rounds of ammunition stolen from the BDF Camp at Price Barracks. By now there is no doubt that the robbery was […]

GOB wins round one!
The Ashcroft Group of Companies has lost its bid for enforcement of a multi-million dollar award in the Supreme Court. Today Justice Shona Griffith delivered her judgment, stating that after consideration of arguments, the Court had determined that it could not order the enforcement of the award, in the region […]

Belize considers fuel options Is natural gas something we can work with?
Belize has begun to consider her options for petroleum and energy security outside of Petro Caribe, following last week’s first ever Caribbean Energy Security Summit in Washington DC. Energy Minister, Joy Grant made this surprising comment this week after she returned home from the […]

Cop wounds wife with knife!
Special Constable, Juan Moralez appeared in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Monday, February 2, charged with wounding his wife, Betzabe Moralez. The incident is said to have occurred on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at their home in the Belama area of Belize City. […]

Dead fishes raise alarm in Placencia
Officers from the Department of the Environment suspect that effluent waste runoffs, likely some type of pesticide, were the cause of dead fishes floating in the Placencia Lagoon earlier this week. Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Fisheries, Adele Catzim, confirmed with The Reporter Thursday night that the Department […]

Irish Potatoes dyed to look like Rouge Potatoes BAHA warns consumers
Residents in western Belize have beenwarned that there are potatoes for sale which are unsafe for public consumption. The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued an advisory on Thursday explaining that the tainted potatoes discovered in San […]

The Belize Times

Patrick JonesPJ

Shoplifter caught on camera in Cayo
There is a shoplifter on the loose in the San Ignacio/Santa Elena area. We have obtained surveillance footage and pictures of the shoplifter, a woman, in action at the China Town Store in Santa Elena town on Friday of last week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRVCjBDboow The surveillance camera clearly caught the woman taking […]

Former murder accused get increased payment from Appeal Court
The late Charles Woodye, 24; Micah Thompson, 34; and the late Shelton “Pinky” Tillett, 30, all alleged associates of the George Street Gang, on Thursday won increased damages in the Court of Appeal for eleven months of false imprisonment on a murder charge after the appeal of the […]

Beltraide Graduates 34 Trainees from the Belmopan Area
Thirty four proud and energetic young leaders received their job readiness certificates today at the George Price Center in Belmopan after completing three weeks of training in soft and technical skills. This initiative was coordinated by Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC), which is a unit of […]

Belize City Market vendors still stock tainted Irish potatoes
An investigation by Belize Media Group has uncovered evidence of tainted Mexican origin Irish potatoes in stock at several stalls in the Michael Finnegan Market in Belize City and the nearby wholesale market on Cemetery Road. According to a vendor we spoke to on condition of anonymity, the […]

5 Stunning Getaways for the Ultimate Valentine’s Day Vacation
Are you looking for a romantic get-away for you and your sweetheart? Are you trying to plan the perfect mini-vacation? Whether you’re looking to impress your sweetheart or just want to spend some “alone time” – Come to Belize!

Man crushed by steel bar in Spanish Lookout
Reports are that a man was killed this morning in Spanish Lookout when a steel bar fell on him. Police are heading to the scene now


Caye Caulker Weekends Kardashian Style!
Caye Caulker is so silent…so still, you can smell my Paco Rabanne cologne all the way to the split. Tejejejejeje. But first things first. I am the realest in my Iggy Azalea head. LMAO. The first thing you need to do is visit Lee Vanderwalker at Caribbean Colors Art Caye Caulker for a fine double espresso shot to wake me up. The store has some cool islandy art work with awesome cookies too. Time to stroll the lazy white sandy beaches as there is a lot of fun waiting ahead. FINFUN that is! Bumped into the Humane Society and no, I cannot get another dog – Viv and Jeff would kill me. (There are already 8 up at Rojo.) I mean, if I do the cute face, I can get away with everything. Hmmmm….it could work but next time. But if you are here make a stop drop them a dollar it won’t hurt your wallet, BE HUMANE!!

International Sourcesizz

Top Shrewsbury author Pauline lived life to the full
The family of Pauline Fisk have paid tribute to a woman who was hugely talented in her work and fiercely proud of her Shropshire roots. Mrs Fisk, 66, of Shrewsbury and formerly Worthen, wrote 11 novels and won the Smarties Grand Prix award in 1990 for her bestselling children’s novel Midnight Blue. A tribute from Mrs Fisk’s family said : “Her generosity with her time, skills and experience was reflected in her work visiting schools and helping children to have the courage to develop and fulfil their potential. Trekking in the far-flung corners of the Chicquibul Forest in Belize, Mrs Fisk, then aged 60, repeatedly surprised all with her enthusiasm, stamina and determination. Her Belizean experience had a profound effect and she formed a lasting relationship with the country, championing the cause of rainforest conservation in Belize on returning to the UK. News of her efforts and her book even reached the Belizean High Commission and she was thrilled to find herself discussing the potential for her book’s role in the English curriculum for schools in Belize, attending a formal dinner with the country’s president.

U.S. Marines Prepare for Central American Emergencies
While most of the Pentagon’s attention remains focused on the Middle East, the U.S. Marine Corps is expanding its presence in Central America. A new task force will soon be ready to help out American allies during disasters and other crises. By the end of 2015, some 200 Marines will spread across the region. While the final structure is still being worked out, the force will include a number of aircraft—likely a combination of helicopters, MV-22 Osprey tiltrotors and KC-130 Hercules tankers. Since 1990, the Pentagon has provided aid to countries in Central and South America after hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. “The United States has often taken the lead in responding to natural disasters in the region,” says a Congressional Research Service report on Latin America and the Caribbean released in January.

7 battlefields: The fight for LGBTI rights in the Caribbean
A recap of recent gains, losses and ongoing battles over LGBTI rights in seven Caribbean nations (Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad, Belize, Barbados, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands), with help from coverage in the Caribbean IRN Blog of the International Resource Network: U.N. action: During Guyana’s recent Universal Periodic Review before the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, several nations urged Guyana to repeal its law against male-male intimacy. Foreign Affairs Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett noted that such recommendations have been turned over to a Parliamentary Special Committee (PSSC). However, that committee is no longer active.

Garifuna jazz goes to Trinity College
“This is our launching of Black History Month,” said Dr. Dario Euraque, Trinity College history professor. “And, we’re giving it a more international focus.” Dr. Euraque has written extensively on Garifuna social and political history and how they have resisted racism and exclusion by the majority populations in Honduras, Belize, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Euraque and music professor Eric Galm invited New York-based Afri Garifuna Jazz Ensemble to their Connecticut campus to perform and present, last weekend. Both professors chair their departments and recognize the connection of music to history and culture. “We’re expanding what is Black History; it’s not just African-American history,” explains Euraque.


  • Perros Callejeros in Belize, 1min. Perros Callejeros arriving for the Rally to be held in Belize City
  • Not just a fishing trip, an Expedition, 3min. In August of 2015, El Pescador Lodge will play host to the Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition led by Chicago fisherman, Adam Marton and famed angler, the man who wrote the book on fly fishing for tarpon, Andy Mill. For more information; adam@fieldworkersclub.com Year 3 of a multi-year effort between anglers and scientists from the University of Miami. The Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition includes world class fishing, advancing science and an opportunity to learn how to become an expert from the man who wrote the book on tarpon fishing. The 2015 Belize Tarpon Tagging Expedition will take place August 15-22, 2015 at El Pescador Lodge and Villas. There will be 6 guided fishing days and daily tarpon fishing workshops. Participants should expect to come home from this expedition with the knowledge they were part of a team doing everything it can to advance tarpon research in Belize. Plan on learning about tarpon and tarpon fishing from the finest and most passionate tarpon anglers in the world. We can’t wait to share what we know and look forward to enhancing your tarpon fishing for the rest of your life. We have the science, now we need more anglers.
  • Tony Williamson playing "Mountain Girl" on Caye Caulker, Belize., 2min. Tony brings a whole new type of music to some reggae fans on Caye Caulker, Belize. Tony is playing Yoichi Ueda's "Silent Mandolin" - great tone, even without an amplifier!
  • Belize Bean Harvest., 1min. Belize Bean Harvesting, Little Belize.

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