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#501940 - 03/07/15 07:02 AM Today's Belize News: March 7, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5 and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

The newly elected San Pedro Town Council members have been officially sworn in
The short ceremony took place at the SPTC conference room.

The 2015 Ruta Maya River Challenge has begun!
The 18th edition of the annual Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge kicked off at 7AM on Friday March 6th from the foot of the Hawksworth Bridge on the Macal River in the twin Towns of Santa Elena/Cayo. The four-day challenge will see 57 teams of three paddlers each make their way to Belize City along the Belize River. The teams will make three stops over the next four days before making their way to the finish line on March 9th. Day one of La Ruta Maya River Challenge ended shortly after midday at Banana Bank. The first team to cross the line was NICH followed split seconds behind by BTL . Team Oceana was over eight minutes behind in third place.

Blue Water Grill continues to donate to our island community
Blue Water Grill never ceases to impress with their generosity towards the San Pedro Community. In February, they announced a monthly donation program to raise money for the different charities across the island. Every month, they will raise money for a different cause, via patrons’ donations at the beachside restaurant. At the end of the month, Blue Water Grill gives 100% of the money donated to a new charitable effort. In addition, they match up to the first $2,000 donated. For the month of February 2015, the San Pedro Cancer Society was the recipient of Blue Water Grill’s first donation. Customers donated $392 which was matched 100%, so a check of $784 was handed over to San Pedro Cancer Society members, Lucy Muñoz and Pamela Zetina. The San Pedro Cancer Society is extremely grateful for the donation and extend big thanks to all those who donated.

Belize Territorial Volunteers detained by Guatemalan Authorities
Controversy arose on Saturday, February 28th when news broke of 37 Belizeans who were apprehended by Guatemalan Authorities. According to reports, the delegation of Belize Territorial Volunteers traveled from Punta Gorda Town to the boundary marker at Gracia A Dios to place a flag and plaque. They were intercepted by Guatemalan authorities on their return, at around 3PM on the Sarstoon River. The group, which consisted of 36 Orange Walk Town residents and one resident from Corozal Town, was detained and held in Livingston, Guatemala until arrangements were made for their release. Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of National Security, George Lovell indicated that the Government of Belize took swift actions to ensure the safe release of the delegation. Arrangements for the delegation’s release was carried out through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Organization of American States (OAS).

San Pedro Tiger Sharks trump the Toledo Diplomats
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks continue to make waves in the league. On Saturday February 28th, the islanders travelled to southern Belize where they ensured that the home team, the Toledo Diplomats, remained at the bottom of the standings. The Tiger Sharks overcame a first half deficit with a massive wave of baskets to solidly beat the home team in a score of 78 to 60. The game took place at the Julian Cho High School in Toledo. In the first quarter of the match, the Diplomats had a one point lead over the Tiger Sharks with a 17 – 16 score. Going into halftime, the home team kept nursing a narrow lead of 33 to 31 over the visitors. A re-energized Tiger Sharks came out with their jaws ready to clamp down on the Diplomats, and at the end of the third quarter, the tide had changed; the Tiger Sharks were ahead by six points. When the final whistle blew, the game ended at 60 to 78, an 18 point lead in favor of the Tiger Sharks.

The Green Iguana is a cool reptile!
First, some background on iguanas: Even though it goes through various color changes during its life, it is technically known as the Green Iguana, with the rather unimaginative scientific name of Iguana iguana. The name iguana itself is said to come from the native Caribbean Taino language, iwana. Here in Belize things are a bit more creative, with Bamboo Chicken, Guana and Garobo for the bigger, more mature males, who take on an orange hue and can grow up to five or six feet from nose to tail tip. Sunlight is essential to these cold-blooded critters, who are always in search of a sunny tree branch. They barely move until warmed up to about 75°F or more. Once energized, they begin hunting, establishing and maintaining territory and, when the time is right, mating. If you happen to see males bobbing their heads up and down vigorously and pushing their dewlaps (a fold of skin under the chin) out, you know there’s some aggression going on, usually between two males, with the resident alpha defending his territory. If this display isn’t enough, it can escalate into a full-scale brawl, which can result in serious injury or even death to one of the combatants. But usually, the Iguana is a pretty mellow creature, peacefully living on an abundant supply of leaves, fruits, berries, and flowers.

Jaime Manzano shot during home invasion
On Wednesday, March 4th, San Pedro Police responded to reports of a shooting incident in the San Pablo Area. Initial investigation revealed that 31-year-old Jaime Manzano was shot three times during what seems to be a robbery attempt. According to official police reports, Manzano along with his wife arrived at their home at around 6:50PM. Upon entering their home, they were confronted by a male person who was seen coming from the inside of their bedroom. Manzano tried to discharge his licensed firearm, but the culprit fired several shots in their direction, injuring Manzano in his right leg and both hands. The male individual then ran through the front door of the house and escaped in the nearby bushes.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High School "Robotics In Action" Science Fair
Every year our students are being prepared for their annual Science Fair. This event gives them an opportunity to display their creativity and innovation. This year the Science Fair was held on March 6, 2015, under the R. Angel Nuñez Auditorium. Students competed for first, second and third place for the Senior and Junior category under the theme: Robotics In Action, Making Life Easy. Prizes were given for the best banner and best project. Robotics is at an inflection point – a bend in the curve where many technologies that used to be found only in science fiction are becoming everyday reality. The 5 areas in Robotics, which are already here, that I believe will have a major economic impact and help to transform society over the next decade or so are: 1. Drones 2. Medical Procedures, Operations and Health 3. Prosthetics and Exoskeletons 4. Artificial Assistants 5. Driverless Cars

Tribute to Jeffery Eiley - Gone Too Soon
The sea is heaven on earth; beautiful, blue and calm The sounds of the angels` trumpet reminds me of the sounds of the roaring waves The fishes, the turtles and the dolphins I can still see from above The Reef is my white picket fence and the Sea is my playground The sea is heaven on earth; beautiful, blue, and calm When the angels flap their wings I can feel the manta rays dancing around me While the sea horses, the octopus and the manatees shyly watch from afar Sea shells I love but I left them home for you Listen to their echo for it is my whispers saying I love you Keep them close to your hearts for there is where I dwell The Sea is heaven on earth; beautiful, blue and calm I am in heaven, I am alive!

Belize Special Envoy Salutes Women Running for Office in Municipal Elections 2015
The Special Envoy for Women and Children, Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, salutes all women who participated in the Municipal Elections held on March 4th, 2015 for their courage and willingness to put their names on the ballots and to offer themselves to serve the people of our country. Mrs. Simplis-Barrow extends heartfelt congratulations to all 19 women who were successful in the Elections. Congratulations, especially to Ms. Fern Gutierrez (pictured in headline) who now becomes the only female mayor in the country and Punta Gorda Town’s first female mayor. It is inspiring to see that more women are stepping up to the challenge to change the dynamics of Belizean governance; an area where women continue to be under-represented. In the 2012 Municipal Elections there were 35 female candidates; 11 of whom were successful in their municipalities. This year saw a marked increased with 46 female candidates contesting the municipal elections and 19 taking office.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Barefoot Skinny's Birthday Bash
Club JJ's was hoping last night with some excellent music. That was the most people that had been up there since Rumba Room. The music was everything from blues to rock and roll, and they had a guest harmonica player that really belted out some wicked blues. Happy birthday, Barefoot Skinny. In related news JJ's has live music most days of the week, and the best hot wings in town.

La Ruta Maya 2015 Start
The 2015 La Ruta Maya kicked off this morning. More pictures here. Video here. They had a fun Cultural Night at the CWC last night.

Television Cooperative program to create a documentary for Belizeans interested in studying in the U.S
The TV crew from Love FM are headed to the U.S. on an exciting endeavor!! They will be participting in a Television Cooperative program to create a documentary for Belizeans interested in studying in the U.S.! Love FM has been selected to participate in a TV CO-OP program focused on education in the U.S. This is the first time any media outlet has been selected to participate in a TV CO-OP program. While in the U.S. Love FM’s film crew will produce a series of reportages and interviews about how to prepare to study in the U.S. well before the application process, the many different types of U.S. colleges and universities, how the application process works, financing options as an international student, and insight into what life is like for the typical student studying in the U.S. This series will also be broadcast over local radio and on Love FM’s website. The United States, Belize, and the other countries in South and Central America and the Caribbean are all part of President Obama’s “100,000 Strong in the Americas” initiative, designed to increase the number of educational exchanges between the United States and the Americas and the Caribbean.

Kite Flying Safety Tips from BEL

A recent study led by Dr Rebecca Foster, Director of the Belize Jaguar Program for Panthera, made a first attempt at assessing the national harvest rates of game species in Belize, by people and by predators, to investigate whether the combined off-take is sustainable. The study found that six popular game species (paca, armadillo, collared peccary, white-lipped peccary, white-tailed deer and red brocket deer) together make up 7% of the animal-protein meals eaten by the Belizean population. The research team estimated that c. 4,000 tonnes of these wild mammals by are hunted every year in Belize jointly by humans and jaguars, with the majority (3,000 tonnes) hunted by people.

Food Safety Policy and Plan Consultancy
Undertake a situational analysis of the current policy environment on food safety in the Caribbean Develop a Food Safety Policy template for use in the Eastern Caribbean Countries that clearly describes the application along the whole food chain (sea or farm to table). Use of WHO, FAO and INFOSAN documents is encouraged (FAO/WHO guide for developing and improving national food recall systems, FAO/WHO guidance to governments on the application of HACCP in small and/or less-developed food businesses, Application of risk analysis to food standards issues, Assuring food safety and quality, Data reporting for hazards occurring in food (HOF), etc). Develop a Food Safety Emergency Response Plan template for use in the Eastern Caribbean Countries, following the FAO/WHO framework for developing national food safety emergency response plans (2010) as well as other pertinent FAO, INFOSAN and WHO documents (Food Safety Guidance in Emergency Situations, Food Safety in Natural Disasters, etc)

Baron Bliss Sun & Fun Day, March 8th on Ambergris Caye
Come out for a day filled with fun!

Fully account of Municipal Election results on ArcGIS System by Adele Ramos Amandala Press
Explore in-depth election results with our latest software, made with ArcGIS Online. Click images for full story. Clip bubbles for info. on each municipality.

Belize Raptor Center Visits Cayo
The Belize Raptor Center visited the Valley of Peace and QSI schools for Children's Month to educate them about Belize's raptors. Thanks, BRC! "We spent the day with three great organizations; Belize Bird Rescue, The Forest Department and The Peregrine Fund doing educational outreach at The Valley of Peace school. What an amazing turn out it was!"

Channel 7

Why Did “Stitch” Bite Fernando?
Last night, we told you about Fernando Quichan, the 6 year old boy who was attacked by a German Shepherd in Orange Walk. He was playing in the yard when the dog got loose and mauled him - leaving large wounds on his face and on his head. Today, we went to visit Fernando and his mother at the Northern Regional Hospital where he is slowly recuperating. Now, most of the cases involving dog bites and attacks are fueled by provocation but the mother is baffled by this incident because the boy and the dog were inseparable. Here is the story of man's best friend turned into a boy's worst enemy. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Stitch may seem like a playful dog, eagerly jumping for his owner. But yesterday morning he wasn't this playful or calm. 6 year old Fernando Cuichan has been hospitalized after stitch attacked him. Fernando's tiny crocs slippers fell off as he tried to run away from stitch. Only to be caught. Now, trickles of blood stain the front steps and pathway.

PUP’s Lost Ground In Epic Fashion
Last night we gave you the broad outline of the results for the 2015 town board election - it was basically 62 to 5 in favour of the UDP - with the ruling party in full control of eight of nine municipalities across the country. It's a major letdown for the PUP which had hoped to gain ground in this election, but instead lost two of the three towns it did control before Wednesday's election. But tonight the enormity of the defeat is just coming into full focus now that the Elections and Boundaries Department has released the official figures. It shows the UDP not only winning but making major gains in every single town and city. That figure was highest in Belmopan where the UDP gained sixteen percentage points compared to the 2012 election. The UDP mayoral candidate, Khalid Belisle won by almost 1,500 votes, besting his opponent at a rate of almost two to one. In 2012, the UDP council was split and garnered only 42% of the vote - this time it's 59% in the capital city. And in a three party race, the PUP got only 28% of the total vote.

Cayo Man’s Killing In City Could Be Passion Crime
Since last week Wednesday, there has been a spike violent crimes in which 5 men were gunned down and killed and 2 more were hospitalized with serious injuries. All 7 are believed to be victims of gang violence. Well tonight we report on murder number 6 in the city, and although the deceased was not killed in a street slaying, his end was very violent. Late yesterday afternoon, police found the lifeless body of 49 year-old Oscar Amilcar Grijalva, a Cayo resident, inside his hotel room on Albert Street. His killer stabbed him several times to the chest and arms, and then cut his throat. ?Police believe it may be a woman who did it It's a very violent murder, and today, Eastern Division briefed the press about what information they have so far: Supt. Hilberto Romero, O.C., CIB, Eastern Division "On Thursday 5th March at around 3:50pm, police responded to a report at guesthouse situated at #3 Albert Street, Belize City, where upon arrival, they check inside one of the rooms, where they found the lifeless body of one Oscar Grijalva, 49 years old, Belizean caretaker of Ontario Village, Cayo District. He was found with multiple stab wounds to the chest and to the throat and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigations is being conducted at this time and we have one person we are seeking at this time for this murder."

A Killing In Camalote
5 and a half hours later after Grijalva was found murdered, another Cayo man was killed by a shotgun blast. 30 year-old Elroy Ramirez, a resident of Young Bank Road in Camalote Village, was standing beside a pickup truck in the Another World area of Roaring Creek Village last night at around 8:35 p.m. That's when a dark complexioned man ambushed him and opened fire. The pellets struck him in the body, and when Ramirez went down, the gunman ran off. Ramirez was rushed to the Western Regional Hospital for treatment, but unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries a little over 2 hours later. The family declined an interview.

Police Piecing Together Gonguez Murder/Jervis Shooting
Belize City police are still investigating the deadly gunplay on Mayflower Street which happened on Wednesday when the city was caught up in count for Belize City Municipal Elections. As we reported, police responded to a shooting incident at around 9:30 at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Street. There, they saw 32 year-old Jervis Valencio also known as "Jervis Valencia" fleeing the area, and when police ordered him to stop, he allegedly pointed a black pistol at them. The officers fired several shots at him, hitting him in the chest and neck. He was rushed to the KHMH for medical treatment, where he remains under police guard. When police went deeper into the area, they saw 36 year-old Moses Gonguez lying on the ground dead at #13 Mayflower Street.

PUC’s Picks The Energy Future
What's the energy future of Belize? Will it be hydro, solar, wind power or co generation? For months, BEL has been working on the report coming out of their request for power. Many proposals were submitted - but only the best made it to the second phase, which is evaluation and selection. These proposals were rigorously analyzed and selected to enter into negotiations with BEL. Which ones made the cut? That was announced today at a two hour press conference hosted by the PUC in Belize City. Chairman John Avery gave the big decision at the one hour mark:.. John Avery - Chairman PUC "We are recommending that BEL go to negotiations with respect to 4 bidders, with respect to 5 projects for the firm capacity requirements and with one bidder for the intermittent capacity. Again, the intermittent, the bidder selected is BAPCOL (Blair Atoll Power Company Limited) and the for the firm capacity, its GSR, SREL, with respect to Challilo 2 and upper Swasey, Santender (SS Energy) with respect to their co-generation project and BAPCOl with respect to their existing generator."

BSI Plants Ideas For Future Crops
And one sugar mill that's already doing co-generation is BSI. We haven't heard about them in a while - and that's because the mill is humming along and sugar is being delivered. But, while sugar is being milled in the factor, a Strategic Development Plan is also being developed in the board room. That will be the product of a consultation between all sectors, but the management of ASR/BSI wanted to push things along with the launch of what is known as a white paper, an outline of police developments which would go into that strategic plan. Today in Orange Walk, Mac Mclachlan told the media what some of the challenges are:.. Mac McLachlan, ASR's Vice President of International Relations "One of the main reasons for having this strategic develop plan is to sequence the activity that needs to take place, but in a nutshell, this means improving the productivity of the sugarcane area in Belize.

OAS Challenges Wil Maheia Release
On Tuesday's newscast, we told you about the press release from the Government of Belize after the Northern Territorial Volunteers were taken into custody on the Sarstoon River and escorted to Livingston, Guatemala. The Government relayed the report from the representatives of the Organization of American States that the Belize Territorial Volunteers violated the border and made an incursion when they planted palms in Guatemalan territory. Well, the territorial volunteers categorically rejected that report. And now the OAS has weighed in. The release says, quote, "The Organization of American States (OAS) strongly rejects the recent statements made by...the Belize Territorial Volunteers regarding the impartiality of the OAS...through its Office in the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone.

Ambassador Nestor Mendez, “Movin’ On Up?”
And in other OAS news, we told you last year how senior Belizean diplomat Nestor Mendez is offering himself, with the blessing of the Belizean Government for the post of Assistant Secretary General of the Organization of American States. Well, on Wednesday, the ceremony to note his candidacy was held on Wednesday in a special meeting which was held in Washington DC. The OAS Permanent Council officially received him at that ceremony in which he got an opportunity to address the council as to why he should be elected. Here's an excerpt of his speech to the gathering: Nestor Mendez "We need to focus on what we agree on and united us, instead of what does not unite us. Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you convinced that here in this room today, we really have everything that we need to transform our organization and to convert it into the OAS that we need. The OAS that we want and that our people deserves."

Cordel: King And I
One of the very few bright spots for the PUP in the municipal election was in Lake Indpednce which is one of the few areas where a PUP municipal slate beat the UDP’s. It’s a surprise but not an upset, since it marks the return to electoral politics for the PUP’s three time representative in that area Cordel Hyde. But when the morning started you would not have guessed that the PUP would win out in the lake – and that;s because the UDP came out rolling like thunder. We spoke to Area Representative Mark King early on election day:…

Rt. Hon Musa & Hon. Finnegan, Ready For The Road, But Not Ready To Retire
And another interesting contrast of perspectives on election day came from veteran representatives Said Musa and Michael Finnegan. Musa has been in the House of Representatives since 1979, losing twice – and Finnegan has been there since 1993. But they’re both getting up there in years, and on election day we asked if they plan to retire: one said he can’t wait while the other said, he’ll wait just a little longer:…

Bradley Says Council Pickup Totalled
And in one more election day and night interview, we finally got a chance to speak with Re-elected mayor Darrell Bradley about the 2013 Hilux Pick-up assigned to the office of Mayor, which was reportedly totaled by Councillor Alifa Elrington Hyde The information which reached us on Monday that City Councilor Alifa Elrington-Hyde was driving that Hilux when she got into an accident and significantly damaged it. Since then, no one has seen the vehicle, and so, we contacted the mayor for comment on Tuesday on the reports of the accident. He didn't respond, and so on Election night, the first time, we'd gotten an opportunity to interview him. We asked about that vehicle. Here's how he responded:

Channel 5

Did Female Escort Butcher Oscar Grijalva Inside Hotel Bathroom?
Two men were murdered in a span of seven hours on Thursday. In the city, an Ontario resident was found dead in the bathroom of a small guesthouse. He is [...]

Camalote Resident Shot and Killed in Roaring Creek
The other homicide was in Roaring Creek in the west. Around eight-thirty on Thursday night, a man from the Young Bank Road in Camalote was shot and killed while he [...]

5 Year Old Viciously Attacked by German Shepherd in Orange Walk
But a five year old boy has survived a vicious attack by a German shepherd. Fernando Quixchan is recovering at the Northern Regional Hospital after he was bitten by the [...]

18th Annual La Ruta Maya Challenge Kicks Off in San Ignacio
The annual Belikin La Ruta Maya River Challenge kicked off this morning at seven a.m. on the banks of the Macal River in Cayo. When the bugle was sounded, fifty-seven [...]

Canoe Racer Averts Near-Drowning in the Belize River
While safety remains a paramount feature of the annual canoe race, this morning veteran paddler Armin Lopez averted tragedy in the waters of the Belize River when he dove to [...]

Shawn Vargas Fined $10,000 for Weed Tree
A cannabis tree cost a man ten thousand dollars. Thirty-four year old Shawn Vargas was found with a single weed tree growing on his verandah and he was charged with [...]

Phony Certificates for Sale on Belize Buy and Sell
Months ago, a B.T.B. employee was discovered to have presented fake university records to qualify for a promotion at the B.T.B.  When it came to light, he resigned and that [...]

Elections and Boundaries Releases Official Results for Municipal Elections
The Elections and Boundaries Commission has finally posted the results of Wednesday’s municipal elections. The official tally of certain candidates appearing on their website is, however, different from those officially [...]

How Did Candidates Fair Off at the Polls?
Tonight we look at the margins of victory in Wednesday’s municipal elections and we can say that the results show that the U.D.P. has gained significant ground with historic margins [...]

ASR Outlines Strategic Development Plan for Sugar Industry
In January cane-farmers, represented by three separate associations and B.S.I. signed onto a seven year cane purchase agreement. A critical component of the success of that agreement will be a [...]

ASR to Invest One Million Dollars to Improve Capacity of Tower Hill Plant
According to the ASR reps, since October of 2012 they have been trying to understand the issues and challenges particular to Belize, and have been meeting with all stakeholders to [...]

B.S.I. Receiving Sugar Cane Deliveries from Separate Entities
For the first time in history, B.S.I. has been receiving cane from three separate entities, which made for some logistics chaos at the start of crop. That all seems to [...]

PUC Shortlists Companies to Provide Alternative Energy to National Grid
In October 2013, the Public Utilities Commission requested proposals for electricity generation in order to secure additional energy generation and supply capacity to meet all reasonable demands in Belize for [...]

John Avery Explains PUC’s Recommendations
Avery would proceed to explain the methodology used in formulating the PUC’s recommendations.   John Avery, Chairman, Public Utilities Commission “Now, the way we need to look at these things [...]

Belize Catholic Science Fair, Meet the Young Scientists
Over at the Saint Catherine’s Academy in Belize City, budding scientists nervously awaited a panel of judges who would determine the most innovative science project. Defending champions from Bishop Martin’s [...]

U.D.P. Sweeps 2015 Municipal Elections: Darrell Bradley Re-elected to City Hall
The People’s United Party suffered a most humiliating defeat in Wednesday’s municipal elections with the United Democratic Party capturing all municipalities, except the Orange Walk Town Council. Support for the [...]

Orange Walk Mayor Only P.U.P. Mayor in Belize
The only bright spot for the P.U.P. was in Orange Walk Town where Kevin Bernard has been returned as Mayor for another three years. This Saturday, a victory rally is [...]

Kevin Bernard Maintains P.U.P. Stronghold in Sugar City
Orange Walk Mayoral candidate Kevin Bernard has earned the singular distinction of being the only P.U.P. Mayor in the country. He won by only a narrow margin, but along with [...]

Francis Fonseca Reflects on Devastating Loss At the Polls
As we said, it’s a terrible loss for the People’s United Party which lost every single municipality but one…and even there the grand ole party barely held on. In the [...]

P.U.P. Admits Lack of Campaign Finance Hurt Its Chances in Municipals
Fonseca says that the Party will now be calling in councillor candidates and Standard Bearers in the municipalities to carry out an analysis of the devastating loss with a view [...]

Dangriga Goes Red!
The People’s United Party, previous to Wednesday, controlled the two town councils in the south: Punta Gorda and Dangriga. While early in the night, the U.D.P. claimed victory in Punta [...]

John Saldivar and Khalid Belisle Deliver Belmopan
In the nation’s capital where the elections were fought hard for months leading into Wednesday, the U.D.P. won by an impressive margin. Newcomer, Khalid Belisle and his team would dominate [...]

Corozal Returns Hilberto Campos to Town Hall
Official information was hard to come by as counting took place in the northernmost district. Still yet as tallying progressed, the incumbent U.D.P. slate maintained a steady but widening lead [...]

Jervis Valencia Goes On Deadly Rampage in Ghost Town
While residents across the Old Capital were absorbed in the counting of ballots on Wednesday night, gunfire erupted near the corners of Mayflower and Vernon streets where a group of [...]

Murder on La Isla Bonita
But on the eve of the elections, one man was killed in San Pedro. Around eight-thirty on Tuesday night, San Pedro police responded to a shooting incident that left thirty-eight [...]


Shooting in Roaring Creek; Man Succumbs to Injuries
Police in Belmopan are investigating a murder in Roaring Creek Village. We hear more in this report from correspondent Angelica Cruz.

Start of The Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge
The first leg of the Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge ended earlier today. Arturo Cantun reports. NICH competed the first leg in a time of four hours fifty eight minutes and sixteen seconds, BTL Cobb’s Arm crossed the line four seconds later and OCB Wavemakers was third with a time of five hours and thirteen seconds. (VO) During the race this morning a spectator got too close to the river bank and fell in however quick response by one of the team members prevented what could have been a tragedy.

Fisherman Charged For Possession of Undersized Conch
Twenty-five year old Peter Garcia, a fisherman of Caledonia, was fined a total of two thousand five hundred and forty five dollars yesterday by Magistrate Herbert Panton after he plead guilty to possession of 102 undersized conchs. Garcia was given until May 29 to pay. If he defaults on payment he will serve six months. Garcia was busted with the conchs on February 11 when fisheries officer Hector Cunningham went to Northern fishermen Co-operative and inspected his catch. After he pled guilty Garcia said the conch had shrunken in size and as a result had lost weight because he had them for 10 days. Magistrate Panton fined him five hundred dollars plus five dollars court cost for the offence and told him that because it was his first offence he will be required to pay twenty dollars per conch. Magistrate Panton also told him that if he is convicted of another offence of possession of undersized conch his boat and fishing equipment will be confiscated to the Government of Belize

Investigators Puzzle From Early Morning Road Traffic Accident
A road traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway has Police investigators puzzled as to who were involved. According to Belize City Police, they visited mile three on the Philip Goldson Highway near the Benny’s Apartments where they saw a burnt car on the left hand side of the road and another car badly damaged on the right hand-side. Investigators told Love News that the car on the left appeared to have been engulfed with flames when its passenger or passengers exited the car. They believe that the other car was heading towards Belize City when the collision occurred. Police told us that the other car was speeding and the driver probably did not see the burnt car parked on the road which led to the collision. The other car flipped a few yards a head of the burnt car. Investigators told Love News that so far they have no leads on who was involved in the early morning road traffic accident.

BWU And BSI Experiencing a Rocky Relationship?
The Belize Workers’ Union, BWU and Belize Sugar Industries Limited, BSI, are experiencing a rocky relationship at the moment. That is because a collective bargaining agreement has yet to be signed. The last was signed in 2011 and that expired in 2014. Both parties cannot agree on a crucial point. The union wants to have the Labor Commissioner, Ivan Williams, be a witness to the signing of the agreement but BSI has taken the opposite stand point. A letter sent from the Chief Financial Officer for BSI, Belizario Carballo to the BWU says that there is no legal requirement for Williams to be present during the signing of the agreement. Having the labour commissioner act as a witness has become a tradition that dates back to 1976 so when the Union’s Executive learned that BSI is against that action, they suspected something devious. Vice President of the ASR Group, Celestino Ruiz, refused to comment much on the matter.

BSI Contributes to Strategic Development Plan
Belize Sugar Industries Limited, BSI, is contributing to the Strategic Development Plan process with a strategy paper entitled “Transforming Sugar Production in Belize into a modern, sustainable, green model, contributing to jobs, growth and Energy security”. The paper was presented today to the Sugar Industry Control Board, representatives from the different sugar producing associations and other relevant stakeholders. According Mac McLachlan, the Vice President of International Relations for the ASR Group, the strategy paper considers a range of inter-related challenges and potential solutions to overcome them.

OAS Release Addresses Impartiality Statements by Belize Territorial Volunteers
The Organization of American States, OAS, issued a press statement in which it reaffirms impartiality in the Belize-Guatemala Territorial Dispute. The OAS goes further to say that it strongly rejects the recent statements made by the Belize Territorial Volunteers regarding the impartiality of the OAS with respect to the work it advances within the context of the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute, through its Office in the Belize-Guatemala Adjacency Zone. The OAS points out that on March first of last year the Government of Belize and the Government of Guatemala requested that a verification be done in the area of Santa Cruz/Jalacte. The OAS ascertained that indeed some of the coconut trees planted by members of the BTV were inside Guatemalan territory as mentioned in a release by the Government of Belize on Monday.


UDP’s major win in Municipal Elections
Elections were held countrywide on Thursday in all nine municipalities, and the United Democratic Party won full slates in almost all the municipalities by huge margins. In Belize City, incumbent Mayor Darrell Bradley returns to his post after beating Yolanda Shackron by almost double the votes. In Belmopan, 5 persons vied for the seat of mayor making it the municipality with the largest number of mayoral candidates. After the polls closed at 6:00 pm, a total of 5,713 persons had cast their vote, 63% percent of the total number of eligible voters in Belmopan. The counting was a long process especially since reports indicated that the ballots had many split votes. At around 3:00 am this morning, the counting finished and the Returning Officer Benedict Palacio gave the final unofficial result of the ballots which showed a land slide victory for Khalid Belisle and the UDP slate. In Dangriga Francis Humphries took the win for the UDP with a total of 1,741 votes, a difference of about 500 votes.

PUP concedes defeat
On Thursday afternoon, the People’s United Party conceded defeat in the municipal elections at a press conference. On the heels of the loss of the Cayo North seat there is open speculation about the future of the People’s United Party and the leadership of Francis Fonseca, who has led the party to successive defeats at national and local level since being named leader in 2011. On Thursday, Mr Fonseca, flanked by senior party officials, reiterated that he has the full support of his party to continue as leader. . Francis Fonseca – Leader of the Peoples’ United Party “In the wake of any election defeat, and certainly this was a very decisive defeat, a very decisive victory for the People’s United Party with potentially two years to come before a general election, I think everybody has to take a look at themselves and it starts with the leader. The leader has to look in the mirror. The leader has to self-examine. So I think it’s an absolutely legitimate question, but I have given no thought to resignation, and I will tell you why. Because from as early as this morning, late last night into early morning, I started getting calls from standard bearers, representatives from across the country. I think of the thirty-one representatives, I was trying to tally it in my head just before I came in, about twenty-four of them have called me since last night into this morning, to all express their confidence in me, their trust in me.

Belizean Fishermen are farming seaweed
Placencia fishermen have been harvesting seaweed for a number of years due to its many diverse forms of use including for medicinal purposes, cosmetics, and food. But due to the unsustainable way in which it was being harvested from the waters of Palencia, it was not very marketable, that is, until a small group of locals began to sustainably farm the seaweed. In 2011, through a small grant from COMPACT (Community Management of Protected Areas Conservation Programme), the Placencia Producers Cooperative Society Ltd. took fishermen and farmers under its wings to embark on a pilot seaweed farming project. As part of the project, these sea farmers teach other locals the art of seaweed farming, not only to teach another trade but because the practice helps to promote a healthy ecosystem. The project has had so much recognition that Leol Godfrey, a.k.a “Japs,” the one who started it all, has been invited to Providencia, Columbia, along with his assistant fisherman to teach Columbian fishermen the trade of seaweed farming.

Police kill gunman accused of Mayflower murder
On election night around 9:30 p.m. there was a murder in Belize City. But police were quick to respond and in fact caught up with the culprit in the immediate area – and shot him dead. 32 year old Jervis Valencio is believed to be the man who moments earlier shot at a group of men and women socializing in a yard on Mayflower Street off Vernon Street, killing 36 year old Moses Gonguez of Sibun Street, and wounding 23 year old Triston Gordon of Casuarina Street. According to police, Jervis Valencio then ran off and upon reaching at the corner with Mayflower and Vernon Streets, he was ordered to stop by police, who had already taken up positions to block any escape route. However, Valencio turned towards the direction of the police and pointed a black pistol in their direction. Police responded by firing several shots at Jervis Valencio causing injuries to the neck and upper part of his chest.

Shooting reported in same vicinity hours later
On Thursday morning there was a shooting incident just down the street at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Streets, in which no one was injured. Superintendent Hilberto Romero tells us more. . Hilberto Romero – O.C. CIB Eastern Division “We do not know if it is related, but a couple of shots were fired. The Police responded and no one was shot.”

Police make arrests in recent cases
Earlier we reported the arrest of Ian Adolphus’ alleged killer, 18 year old Akeem Trapp, for murder. However, police have also made arrests in two other recent open cases. We hear again from Superintendent of Police Hilberto Romero. “ For the murder of Michael Welch, one Tarique Gillett has been charged for that murder. And Deshawn Gough has also been charged for the shooting incident of the female that was shot in the San Pedrito area of San Pedro, on the eleventh of February 2015.” Michael Welch and Kingsley Morrison were hanging out on Sunday night, March 1, when they were attacked. On February 11, 38 year old Maria Escalante and her 13 year old daughter Meredith were closing the door to their apartment in the San Pedrito area, of San Pedro Town on Ambergris Caye, when shots were fired and Meredith was hit in the chest.

#501941 - 03/07/15 07:03 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 7, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Storeowner executed in San Pedrito
Pablo Barbosa, 35, of San Pedrito, San Pedro, a businessman and a storeowner, died after a gunman entered his store and shot him four times in his head and chest. A customer, Humberto “Betito” Alcoser, who was in the store buying, was also shot by the gunman in the neck, then the gunman escaped out of the store, without stealing anything. Police said that they were on patrol in San Pedrito about 8:00 Tuesday night when they got a call that there was a shooting in a different area, and they left San Pedrito to investigate the report. Shortly after they left the area, however, about six gunshots exploded, sending the residents of the area running for cover. Police went back to San Pedrito and went to Barbosa’s Store, where they found the storeowner dead and a customer injured. Alcoser was rushed to the San Pedro Polyclinic, and there, Barbosa was declared dead on arrival.

UDP fiesta!
The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) has won its fourth consecutive bombshell victory in the nationwide municipal vote held yesterday, March 4, 2015, capturing 62 of 67 available seats with the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) retaining 5 out of the 7 seats it had previously held in Orange Walk Town. Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca said at a press conference today that it was “a very decisive defeat” for the People’s United Party and “a very decisive victory” for the UDP. As the results were announced last night, the winners led motorcades through their municipalities. At the UDP headquarters in Belize City, the mood was celebratory as party members and supporters amassed – some of them with flags in hand – to savor the victory at the polls in Belize City and the rest of Belize, with the exception of Orange Walk, where the Opposition People’s United Party, led in that zone by former party leader Johnny Briceño, fought hard to hold its ground.

“Ghost Town” gang war leaves 3 shot – 1 dead, 1 critical
An internal gang-related conflict that spiraled out of control last night has resulted in the death of a Sibun Street resident who was sprayed with bullets by a former friend who is now in a critical condition after being shot by police moments later. Police reported that they shot Jervis Diamond Valencia, 32, of #5 Mayflower Street, at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets at about 9:30 p.m. on March 4, 2015. He was hit in the chest and neck. Upon making a further check at #13 Mayflower Street, investigators discovered the motionless body of Moses Ervin Gonguez, 36, of #7 Sibun Street, lying on the ground with several gunshot wounds to the head and body. According to police, Gonguez was socializing with four friends at the said address at about 9:15 p.m. yesterday, Wednesday, when Valencia entered the yard with a handgun and fired a barrage of shots into the crowd.

Punta Gorda has first female mayor – Fern Gutierrez
The voting process got off to a slow but peaceful start at St. Peter Claver R.C. School and Punta Gorda Methodist School at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 4, and by the time the polls closed at 6:00 p.m. 2,242 voters, 62% of those registered in that municipality had participated in the poll, returning Fern Gutierrez, who served as councilor from 2012 to 2015, as the only elected candidate for the United Democratic Party (UDP), and also installing her as the town’s new mayor – the first woman to hold that post in the municipality. Gutierrez will be joined by a full slate of UDP councilors – returning that municipality, which had been held by the UDP for two consecutive terms (2006-2009 and 2009-2012), to the ruling party. Voters told us that in Punta Gorda (Peini), voting is usually slow in the morning, but the pace picks up after midday.

PM announces crime intervention measures for San Pedro
San Pedro, and particularly the San Pedrito area, has seen a rise in violent crimes – underscored last week by the senseless murder of Charlie Daniel Espat, 2, the toddler who was killed by gunmen who sprayed his family home early last Tuesday morning while he slept with his parents. Of the 9 municipalities which went to the polls on Wednesday, Belize City and San Pedro have become the two most violent, and we asked Prime Minister Dean Barrow to address the worsening state of affairs, marked by a spate of weekend killings and an outburst of violent shootings at those centers on election day. Barrow, who is also the head of Belize’s National Security Council, said that the crime situation in Belize City, where a shootout on election evening has left one man dead and another critically wounded, has been “a longstanding, ongoing problem,” and while there are “ebbs and flows,” he said, every time there is a flare up, the government takes measures to address the situation, and things subside, but there is a flare up again.

Hilberto trounces “Dido” in battle for Corozal Town Council
The official numbers are still being tabulated presently, but at this point, it is evident that the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) town council slate, led by incumbent mayoral candidate, Hilberto Campos, has clearly defeated opponents from the People’s United Party (PUP) for the fourth consecutive term. The final official count for Corozal Town includes 19,594 total votes for the UDP; 17,404 total votes in favor of the PUP; 39 rejected votes, and 9 spoilt ballots. Before the counting started, however, Corozal Town was abuzz with activity today as teams of campaigners for the two major political parties constantly ferried and coaxed both traditional and prospective constituents from all corners of the locality in hopes of securing victory in what had turned out to be a hotly contested race for command of the Corozal Town Hall for the next three years. In the last two elections (2009 and 2012), the UDP won by 1,251 and 1,215 votes respectively and in both instances, Campos won in his bid for the mayor’s seat, albeit along with two completely different town council slates.

Embattled PUP hang on to Orange Walk Town Council
Mounting anxiety that had built up for almost 10 hours after the commencement of vote counting and reconciliation within the walls of the La Immaculada RC Primary School in Orange Walk Town was finally cleared away at approximately 3:55 a.m. today when it was announced that incumbent People’s United Party (PUP) mayor, Kevin Bernard, and four of his councilor candidates, managed to secure a much needed municipal victory for their party. With a total of 63 ballot boxes – most of which contained split votes – Orange Walk was the last of all municipalities to be tallied, and at the culmination of counting, went on record as the sole triumph for the seemingly beleaguered Opposition PUP, which has now been defeated in the last four municipal elections (2006, 2009, 2012, and 2015). Outside the counting station, the throngs of UDP supporters who had stood around to listen to the final results, had mostly dissipated in the face of persistent reports that they had fallen behind during the counting process, but a crowd of about 100 enthusiastic PUP loyalists – invigorated by the welcoming news – held their ground, continuously waving their blue-and-white flags and reciting party slogans.

Junior tennis on the rise
Twenty junior tennis players from Green and Orange categories played a doubles tournament on Saturday, February 28, sponsored by the Belize Tennis Association (BTA), which is greatly focused on developing youth tennis. Both categories played round-robin style to increase playing time. In the Orange category, Marco Shi and Alex Musa became champions by defeating Marianna Diaz and Daniel Musa, 15-11, in the finals. In the Green category, Samron Pott and Gavyn Riveroll took 1st place by closing out Jonathan Smith and Stefan Sosa, 4-0. It is rewarding to the BTA and parents to see the improvement of the children each time they take to the courts for competition. Thanks to the coaches and parents for their support.

Andy Dominguez to miss 2015 Pan Am Games?
Not much activity has been taking place in boxing on the local scene. Boxing cards are few and far between. Like football players in training, what boxers in training want are bouts, events where they can test themselves and be motivated to develop their skill. There have been some technical arguments going back and forth regarding the functionality or effectiveness of the present Belize Boxing Federation and its president Moses Sulph, a well known community spokesman and activist, who is also a former president of COLA. In Belize we have a saying, “Pick sense from nonsense.” Whatever the arguments, whatever the technicalities involved, one thing is incontestable – the brightest boxing prospect in Belize right now is 18-year-old Andy Dominguez, who happens to be trained by Cayo Lions Den manager Frank Martinez.

SMART Bi-Annual Junior Ranking Tournament concludes
The Belize Table Tennis Association’s (BTTA) 2015 1st Bi-Annual Junior Ranking Tournament kicked off on Saturday, February 28, at the BES Auditorium with junior players in three categories competing for this year’s titles. Some 120 junior players participated in this year’s event. Categories were: 12Under, 15Under, and 18Under. Competition format was a Round Robin Classification followed by Double Elimination FINAL Round. In the 12Under Category, 14 groups started, with winners of each group advancing to the Double Elimination Finals. The results were as follows: 12Under Category: 1st – Taye Parkinson; 2nd – Terry Su; 3rd – Jared Mena; 4th – Jayden Sutherland.

Editorial: The UDP roll
The fact that the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) added two Town Councils (Dangriga and Punta Gorda) to their March 2012 total of six (the UDP now control eight of the nation’s nine municipal bodies) in Wednesday’s national municipal elections, means that Prime Minister Dean Oliver Barrow will be tempted to call early general elections in quest of an unprecedented third term, unprecedented, that is, in Belize’s post-independence era. (The UDP do not have to call general elections until March of 2017.) The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), when they present themselves in the House of Representatives for the budget debate in mid-March, will likely continue their call for early general elections. If that call sounded a bit hollow following the PUP’s resounding defeat in the January 5 Cayo North bye-election, it will sound more so after their March 4 backsliding. The PUP are now effectively down to 12 seats in the House, from their high of 14 following the March 2012 generals. Their Joseph Mahmoud’s Cayo North seat is now held by the UDP’s Dr. Amin Figueroa, and we do not expect the PUP’s Orange Walk East area representative, the embattled and indicted Dr. Marco Tulio Mendez, to show up in the House until he absolutely must in order to avoid his seat being declared vacant. Remember, he has been seen on national television running away from the Belizean media.

Benefits in the U.S. military
Dear Editor: No immigrant has ever left his homeland without a valid reason. Every time an immigrant leaves his country of birth it is because he is seeking a better quality of life for his family and himself. In response to your Editorial of 20-February-2015, I would like to say that yes, since the Vietnam War, the U.S. has eliminated the draft and reorganized its military to be a more professional and capable organization. The U.S. military claims “there’s a big difference between what we have now and anything we’ve had before.” But there have always been opportunities within the U.S. military “for poor Belizean immigrants.” Immigrants who could not find employment at home. As far back as WWII (1939 -1945), Belizeans with and without the draft were able to enlist in and benefit from their military service. I personally know of several families whose grandfathers, fathers and other members of their families who enlisted during WWII, the Korean War (1950-1953) and the Vietnam War (1955-1975). And while these men or their families may not have known the issues behind the wars they were fighting in, what they did know was how their enlistment could benefit their families and themselves.

First lobster found in lionfish stomach at Bacalar Chico
A lobster has been found in the stomach of a lionfish by Blue Ventures scientists in Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. The 170 mm juvenile slipper lobster was found in the stomach of a 31-cm lionfish during its dissection. The lionfish was culled on the December 14, 2014 on a forereef site of the reserve. This is the first recorded evidence of lionfish consuming lobster in Belize. Native to the waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, lionfish were first recorded in the Atlantic in the 1980s, have since expanded their range across the Caribbean, and have been recorded as far south as Brazil. The Belize Barrier Reef System forms the core of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System and lionfish are now found across the entire region. This visually stunning creature hides its voracious appetite for local unsuspecting fish and invertebrates behind its handsome facade, consuming almost anything that crosses its path.

Dominica ceremony Friday marks accession to the CCJ
Dominica will join Belize and two other Caribbean countries: Guyana and Barbados, in making the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) its final appellate court. The CCJ announced today that the ceremony to mark the accession of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the appellate jurisdiction of the CCJ will take place this Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Dominica State House Conference Centre in Roseau, starting at 10:00 a.m. CCJ president, Rt. Hon. Sir Dennis Byron, and the judges of the CCJ will attend. Dominica President Charles A. Savarin and Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit will also attend the historic ceremony.

Ernesto Vasquez, 19, remanded for the murder of Herbert Bodden, 29
A teenager who has been in police custody since Thursday following the senseless murder of car cutter Herbert “Herby” Bodden, 29, of Tubruce Street, was brought to the Magistrate’s Court this afternoon to be arraigned on a charge of murder. Ernesto Viron Vasquez, 19, a student and resident of 1386 Antelope Street Extension, did not have to enter a plea when he appeared before Magistrate Herbert Panton, because police charged him with murder, an indictable offense that will be tried in the Supreme Court. On Thursday, February 26, around 1:30 p.m., Bodden was in Kevin’s Vehicle Scrap Yard, on Cedar Street, when a man known only as “Alex” was sitting on a car.

Man pleads guilty to drug trafficking; sentenced to 3 years and $10,000 fine
A Belize City man, who did not know the penalty for drug trafficking, found out the hard way, after he pleaded guilty to the offense when he was arraigned in the Magistrate’s Court of Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer this morning. After Frazer read the charge of possession of 484 grams with intent to supply to another for the purpose of drug trafficking to him and asked him what was his plea, John Peters, 20, a resident of 63 Central American Boulevard, replied, “Guilty.” Frazer asked him if he knew what he was pleading guilty to. Peters replied, “No, ma’am, but dem ketch me with it.” Frazer proceeded to read the police facts of the charge. On Sunday, March 1, 2015, police were on mobile patrol when their attention was drawn to a man who was riding a red beach cruiser bicycle on the footpath of Crawford Street, in the Jane Usher Boulevard area.

House meeting confirmed to introduce 2015 budget
A communiqué issued by the National Assembly this week confirms that the House of Representatives will meet next Friday, March 13, 2015. Amandala has confirmed from Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow that the meeting has been called to introduce the 2015 national budget. Barrow told us that Cabinet won’t get to approve the budget until next Tuesday, and then the Ministry of Finance would have to do some quick adjustments, if necessary. Barrow said that the “bright spot” in the budget will be the inclusion of a second salary adjustment for teachers and public officers, following the first adjustment that was awarded last year, 2014. He recalled that the Government had promised teachers and public officers that as long as Government’s revenue increases, the teachers and public officers will get half.

Bradley tops polls, almost doubles Schakron
Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley was returned to office today, having garnered a higher percentage of the mayoral vote than he did when he was first elected to serve as the City’s mayor back in 2012. This time, he received 11,833 votes – 63% of the mayoral votes, up from the 56% portion he received three years ago. Bradley ran unsuccessfully back in 2003, when the slate of the Opposition People’s United Party led by David Fonseca, was returned to City Hall. Although he was the second most popular UDP candidate in that election, Bradley did not join the UDP slates of 2006 and 2009. It was not until 2012 that he offered himself for municipal office again, setting for himself a track record that saw him emerge victorious at the end of Wednesday’s poll. Speaking with Amandala today, Bradley said, “We are very pleased with the outcome and very grateful to voters for their continued confidence.” He expressed his thanks not only to his party colleagues who helped him to garner the win, but also to the staff of the Elections and Boundaries Department and to the public officers assigned to work on election day, for conducting professional elections.

In Belmopan race, UDP demolish opponents
Belmopan Comprehensive High School was the staging ground for the red and the blue machines as the two main parties, the incumbent United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), labored to get voters out in the steaming heat. Out of the eight municipalities electing new three-year term town councils, Belmopan had the most mayoral aspirants, with five persons nominated to fill the “Garden City” mayor’s seat. During the counting, as the word began to trickle out that the UDP was leading, the triumphant sounds of the party’s supporters reverberated in front of the counting station, as the vigil continued into early Thursday morning. Then, it was finally announced that the UDP’s Khalid Belisle and his team of six councilors had triumphed in Belmopan. A total of 5,716 electors, which represented 63% of the total registered voters in Belmopan, had gone to the poll to elect the new UDP town council.

UDP takes back the South!
The UDP candidate for the mayoral race in Dangriga, Francis Humphreys, a teacher, historian and educator, is now the new mayor of the “Culture Capital” of the Jewel after besting his past student and opponent, Greg Ovado, who was contesting the race for the PUP. In the midst of a huge, celebrating crowd, Humphreys was declared the new mayor of Dangriga at about 2:00 this morning at the BTL Princess Royal Park in Dangriga. The announcement came at the conclusion of the counting of the votes that were cast in the Municipal Election 2015 in Dangriga for the selection of a new mayor and a slate of councilors to administrate the town for the next 3 years. After he was declared mayor, Humphreys made a victory speech to the huge, hyped-up crowd on the steps of the Town Hall. In his speech, the new mayor said that he and the people will work to transform Dangriga and to make it the true Culture Capital of Belize. He said he will also work for a higher standard of living for the people, and added that he and his team will work to bring to fruition what they indicated they would do in their manifesto.

The UDP’s municipal western sweep
In the western twin towns of San Ignacio/Santa Elena, the parade of the United Democratic Party’s (UDP) red T-shirts and the Opposition People’s United Party’s (PUP) blue T-shirts was on constant display in the streets and at the polling areas where residents went to cast ballots in Wednesday’s municipal election. In the far-flung western town of Benque Viejo Del Carmen, it was the same scene, with the political machinery of the two major parties in full gear. On the Bullet Tree Road leading out of San Ignacio towards Benque Viejo, the constant flow of vehicles decorated in the party colors of the UDP and PUP tell the story of the intense competition between the red and the blue for the prize of victory at the polls. In Polling Area #73, the PUP mayoral candidate Ramon “Munchie” Quiroz was on a roll, greeting voters as they entered and left the polling area. Quiroz, however, was keeping watch on a house in front of the polling area where UDP operatives were allegedly paying voters.

The Reporter

Ontario caretaker stabbed to death in Belize City
Crime investigators are looking for a female suspect in connection with the stabbing murder of Oscar Amilcar Grijalva, 49, a caretaker of Ontario Village, Cayo. Police discovered Grijalva’s body on Thursday in the bathroom of the guest house he had booked three hours earlier. He […]

Dominican Republic closes five consulate offices in Haiti
The Dominican Republic says it is closing, temporarily, five of its consulates in Haiti due to security concerns in the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country. A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Miguel Medina, said the government believes that “aggression” against the consulates puts staff at risk. He said […]

Caye Caulker family enraged at cop who shot their dog
The Enriquez fam ily of Bahia Puesto del Sol Street in Caye Caulker are demanding that the policeman who shot their six month-old German Shepherd puppy in the wee hours of Monday morning re-imburse them for their medically-related expenses. They are also demanding that the Police Department remove the policeman […]

Cane cutter killed in San Victor
Corozal police are relying on the residents of San Victor Village in Corozal to help them solve the murder of Sergio Martinez, a cane cutter from the Mexican State of Quintana Roo. His body was discovered on Sunday afternoon, March 1. The police report […]

Man brutally beaten for defending daughter
A man who tried to defend his daughter from a group of men who were making catcalls at her was brutally beaten over the weekend on Southern Foreshore. The man remains hospitalized. Oscar Williams, 42, was walking with his 13-year-old daughter along Southern Foreshore […]

Belize-based real estate agency wins international awards
A Belize based real estate agency, Coldwell Banker Southern Belize Realty, has been given two awards by the international real estate community. Southern Belize Realty won the award for Best Real Estate Agency in Belize and also the highly coveted Best Real Estate Agency […]

Belize gets US $13 million loan from Kuwait for Hummingbird Highway
The Government of Belize signed an agreement last Tuesday in Belmopan for a US $13.6 million loan to assist the financing of the rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway, through the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (FAED). Prime Minister Dean Barrow and Ghanem Sulaiman […]

Sugar cane crop progressing sweetly
With just over a month since the start of the 2015 sugarcane crop, the Belize Sugar Industries has milled more than 30,000 tons of sugar, says factory manager, John Gillett. Gillett told The Reporter this week that as of March 5, the factory had milled […]

Lower exports help deepen trade deficit
Belize started off the year 2015 continuing the trend of exporting less and importing more, according to the most recent data released from the Statistical Institute of Belize. SIB’s External Trade Bulletin for the month of January, which contains complete data, shows that exports were […]

Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee’s full recommendations
The Decriminalization of Marijuana Committee (DOMC) released its first report containing eleven recommendations, including the decriminalization of up to 10 grams of marijuana. The recommendations are based on two years of data-gathering. DOMC made its recommendations after consultations with both proponents and opponents of […]

San Pedro shooting spree leaves one dead, two injured
Three separate shooting incidents in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye this week have left one man dead and two others wounded as police try to contain the level of violence on the island. According to Superintendent of Police, Luis Castellanos, the officer commanding San Pedro, […]

Captain of BTV expedition disputes Guatemalans’ version of events
Guillermo Avila, the captain of the Belize Territorial Volunteers’ (BTV) expedition, which was delayed by Guatemalan authorities over the weekend, has disputed the Guatemalans’ claims, is seeking legal advice, and is asking the Government of Belize to step in and defend his position. According […]

Gunplay claims life of Japhet Martinez
Sunday night’s peace was broken by a shooting in the Lake Independence area which claimed the life of Japhet Martinez, 27. Martinez reportedly left his girlfriend’s house on a bicycle to go to his mother’s house and stopped at a nearby store at the intersection […]

Shooting leaves one man dead and another injured
A shooting at the corner of Mayflower and Vernon Streets on Wednesday, March 4th ended in death for one man and injury for another. When the police arrived at the scene they discovered Triston Gordon, 23, suffering from gunshot wounds and Moses Gonguez dead in […]

PM Barrow says general elections will not be this year
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has said that he will not call general elections in 2015, despite the fact that his party is riding a historic political wave and enjoying almost shut-out victories after Wednesday’s town and City Council elections. Barrow told reporters following his party’s […]

PUP leader says elections were decisive defeat but he will not resign!
The People’s United Party, fresh off Wednesday’s clobbering defeat at the municipal polls, will spend time to self examine to determine how and why it lost so overwhelmingly. PUP Leader, Francis Fonseca, told reporters on Wednesday that despite his party’s major loss of 62 to […]

“The world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it will never forget what they did here!” These resounding words of Abraham Lincoln in his Gettesberg Address pretty much sums up the dilema of the People’s United Party and its leader Mr. Francis Fonseca. It’s not […]

UDP Triumphs!
The 2015 municipal elections are now a part of history, as are the numbers that they generated on Wednesday. The United Democratic Party won all the seats in every city and town, with the exception of Orange Walk, where the PUP got five of the […]

Patrick JonesPJ

P.U.C. recommends 6 energy projects for B.E.L. negotiation
Today the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, released its final evaluation report for the 2013 request for proposals for energy generation exercise. From a field of more than 20 bidders in the areas of both firm and intermittent capacity a total of 11 projects advanced to the final stage where they were subjected to theoretical analysis of how they would fit into the Belizean electrical grid. Of these proposals two were withdrawn leaving a proposed solar generation project by Blair Atoll Power Company Limited the sole bidder in the area of intermittent capacity. Its proposal was subsequently approved along with a separate proposal for the installation of a third generator at its Placencia plant to provide around the clock capacity for BEL.

Cayo man found murdered in Belize City guest house
A man from Ontario village, Cayo was found dead inside the bathroom of a guest house in Belize City on Thursday afternoon. Police say the body of 49 year old Oscar Amilcar Grijalva was found with multiple stab wounds to the chest, a cut wound to his throat and stab wounds to both arms. Initial police investigations indicate that Grijalva arrived at the guest house on Albert Street around 11:30 yesterday morning in the company of a woman. Police say that around 2:30 yesterday afternoon, the woman left the room and shortly after, the cleaner found Grijalva’s body in the bathroom.

Camalote man murdered in Roaring Creek
Police in Belmopan are investigating the overnight murder of a man from Camalote village. Thirty year old Elroy Ramirez was shot around 8:35 pm last night as he stood inside of a yard in the Another World area of Roaring Creek. Police say that as Ramirez stood beside a pickup truck in the yard, a man of dark complexion approached and fired a single shot, injuring him.

Special Envoy congratulates women candidates
Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis Barrow has commended all the women who took part in the 2015 Municipal Elections. In a statement issued on Thursday, Kim Simplis Barrow hailed the women “for their courage and willingness to put their names on the ballots and to offer themselves to serve the people of our country.” The short statement congratulated the 19 women who were elected and particularly cited the first woman to serve as Mayor of Punta Gorda, Gern Gutierrez. “It is inspiring to see that more women are stepping up to the challenge to change the dynamics of Belizean governance; an area where women continue to be underrepresented,” says Mrs. Barrow.


Things that Made Me Happy To Live in Belize This Week
Start each day with a grateful heart “they” say. And while 10 years ago, I would have scoffed at an “Oprah-ism” like that…today I totally buy into it. Focus on the good stuff in your life and it does change your outlook. It’s why I tell anyone who will listen that they should start a blog…it helps you do just that. I’ve probably just lost about a third of my readship (or made a few of you gag on your breakfast with my “attitude of gratitude”)…but it’s maybe THE best part of living in Belize. Waking up to warmth and sunshine, commuting to work on a boat… …stopping for a drink on the walk home… …all of that makes it very easy to focus on the positive and be grateful. So here are some of the things that made me grateful this week. Just some, mind you.

A trip to the Carnivore store aka Ambergris Sausage Factory
Back in 2014 it was announced to the island and the internet that the popular Sausage Factory In San Pablo was no longer. It was a sad time for both locals and tourists who have come to love their quality meats. While the original sausage factory is no longer, a new and different version has opened up. It is now in a new and smaller location just over a mile south of town under the name Ambergris Sausage factory. It’s located on the side street across from Banyan Bay and Grand Colony area on the road that leads to Ambergris Lake Villas, beside Los Caminantes and McKoy’s Pharmacy. You will find excellent cuts of meat & homemade sausages at a good price. Ambergris Caye Sausage Factory offers the largest selection of fresh and frozen smoked meats and sausage on the island. They also sell a limited amount of cheese too which you can buy sliced or in chunk form.

This Place Should NOT Be Kept a "Secret"! »
While on a short break from the day, we stopped for a cocktail at Wayo’s Beachside Bar. Ruby was working and Wayo was shuffling around behind the scenes. A delivery guy showed up on a bike and handed over a big bag full of food to Ruby and when we asked her where it was from, she said that they all ordered lunch from My Secret Deli. Huh?! Where is this place and why have I never heard of it? Apparently, it really is a secret! Not really. Ruby gave us directions to it’s location – about a block and a half from our house – so we headed over to check it out. Because we had already eaten lunch, we just stopped in to take a peek at the menu or grab a paper one to bring back to the house. We were greeted by Oscar, the owner, and asked if he had a menu we could have and he handed us a fully laminated one and told us to take it home. We told him we would bring it back but he insisted we keep it and proceeded to staple the phone number to it for our convenience. So nice!! Here is Oscar.

International Sourcesizz

Gay Rights Advocate Case To Go Before CCJ This Month
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is to travel to Jamaica on March 17 and 18 to hear the application filed by human rights and gay rights advocate, Maurice Tomlinson, against the Governments of Trinidad and Tobago and Belize. The hearing is to be heard via video link at the Supreme Court in downtown Kingston. Tomlinson, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Imran Ali, is contending that the immigration laws of both countries violate his right to freedom of movement and his right not to be discriminated against on the basis of his nationality. The attorney is arguing that homosexuals, under the immigration laws of Trinidad and Belize, are listed among undesirable persons who are prohibited from entering both countries.

Watch Orderly Hermit Crabs Line Up Biggest To Smallest, Swap Shells In 'Conga Line
Even hermit crabs, it turns out, aren't safe from a housing crisis. In the above clip from the BBC show, "Life Story," several hermit crabs on a small Caribbean island off the coast of Belize are shown in their quest for suitable shelter, which involves lining up according to size and swapping shells in an orderly fashion. Hermit crabs rely on shells (and flotsam, in some cases) to protect their soft abdomens from predators and the elements. They are always on the lookout for shells that might better suit their size and situation since, as the video states, "To be left without a shell is a death sentence." Amazingly, the crabs have developed this very cooperative, if self-serving, way of swapping shells -- a sociological behavior scientists call a "vacancy chain." Mark Laidre, then a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, published a 2012 study that found that hermit crabs congregate around a smaller hermit crab, form a "conga line" smallest to largest, and then take turns moving into a larger shell.

Orvis announces recipients of 2015 customer matching grants to protect nature
The Orvis Company, Inc of Manchester, VT has announced the four recipients of its annual Customer Matching Grant program. Targeted to raise $360,000 or more, these grants are the cornerstone of Orvis' annual commitment of 5 percent of its pre-tax profits to protecting nature. In total, Orvis will raise and contribute more than $1 million to conservation initiatives in 2015. Orvis has awarded cash grants — to match its customers' contributions up to equal amounts — to the following organizations: Rare (link is external) , for its Fish Forever partnership in Belize, empowering local communities to sustainably manage their fisheries, thereby increasing food security, conserving important marine habitats and species, safeguarding local jobs and creating coastal climate resilience. The New York Times called the Rare method, "one of the most critical, and underappreciated, social technologies to protect ecosystems and biodiversity". The $30,000 grant from Orvis will match customer contributions for a goal of $60,000. "Really, conservation is how you work with people. We know how tough it is to change a single perspective. But imagine changing an entire country. That is Rare." - Pablo Granados, Rare Marine Program Director, Latin America


  • Belize City Municipal Election Recap, 10min. U.D.P. Sweeps 2015 Municipal Elections: Darrell Bradley Re-Elected to City Hall

  • Belize - flying over the blue hole, 2min.

  • Crystal Cave Tubing Belize, 4min. Exploring and tubing in a cave in Belize.

  • Belize 2015, 4min. Some extra video clips from the 3 Fathoms dive trip to Belize in February 2015 that didn't make it into the DVD production and were swept up from the cutting room floor.

  • Exploring Beautiful Belize Islands: Ambergris Caye & Caye Caulker, 13min. My journey from Ambergris Caye, Belize to the nearby island of Caye Caulker.

  • Belizean Fishermen are farming seaweed, 3min. Placencia fishermen have been harvesting seaweed for a number of years due to its many diverse forms of use including for medicinal purposes, cosmetics, and food.

  • Dolphins off the Belize barrier reef - Hatchet Caye Private Island Resort!, 1/2min. Belize Barrier Reef and the Caribbean Sea - You never know what wonders you will come across - like this friendly pod of Dolphins frolicking in front of our boat!

  • Belize Cave Tubing, 6.5min. Cave tubing on Royal Caribbean shore excursion in Belize. Crystal Cave Lagoon.

  • Blue Ventures Bird & Manatee Conservation, 12min. Blue Ventures Bird & Manatee Conservation Blue Ventures Bird & Manatee Conservation Blue Ventures are an award winning marine conservation organisation running expeditions in Belize and Madagascar


  • Scuba Cruise 2015, 7min. 42 divers and their spouses and/or children, ranging in experience levels from open water all the way to instructor, converged upon Houston Texas, to board the Emerald Princess. Their goal and/or objective was to sail for 7 days, while stopping in Cozumel, Mexico, Roatan, Honduras and Belize City, Belize, to dive each port. Obviously they were successful in said venture and had an unforgettable time in the process. My job was to film and take photos of this journey, of epic proportions. I was honored to meet such amazing people, then have the pleasure of filming their experiences. Watching 2 of them get engaged in Cozumel, in Palancar Gardens is something I shall not forget. Congratulations to the newly engaged and to all of the divers for completing their goals. I can't wait for the next one and who knows where that will be. I look forward to see all of them very soon!

  • Xunantunich Ruins in Belize, 2min. For our second expedition we stopped in Belize and took a two hour bus ride to explore the Xunantunich Ruins.

  • Snorkeling in San Pedro, Belize, 3min. Mickey and I tempted fate against the Caribbean sun. Despite loading up with sun screen every 40 minutes, and wearing long sleeves, we still got badly sunburnt. But it was worth it. Four sites: Conch Cemetery, Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, and the Coral Gardens. But my camera died half way through the day.

  • Cliff Jumping at Big Rock Falls near San Ignacio, Belize, 1min. Danny and I traveled to Belize and went cliff jumping at Big Rock Falls. This is him jumping from the 5 ft jump and then scaling a cliff to jump from from 20 ft. jump.

  • Belize Student Travel with Island Expeditions, 14min. Leading the Way in Belize, Since 1987, Island Expeditions offers educational student trips to Belize. Lead by the best guides to some of the most remote locations in the country, Island Expeditions can design the best trip for you and your school.

  • Motorbiking in San Ignacio Belize., 4min. While on the honeymoon we rented a couple small 150cc motorbikes and explored the country. This is just after leaving the bike shop and returning to the hotel to pick up more cash.

  • Exploring Blue Hole at 45 m/147 ft deep (Belize), 140min. Exploring Blue Hole at 45 m/147 ft deep (Belize) NO TE OLVIDES DE COMPARTIR EL VÍDEO CON TUS AMIGOS Y DARLE A ▷LIKE◁ SI TE HA GUSTADO. Ayudaría muchísimo al canal y no cuesta nada hacerlo en realid. Gran asombro ha suscitado en los descubridores de un gran hueco en el fondo del mar. NO TE OLVIDES DE COMPARTIR EL VÍDEO CON TUS AMIGOS Y DARLE A ▷LIKE◁ SI T. Un Blue Hole es una galería submarina cuyo techo se ha fracturado formando una cueva vertical con forma circular en medio del mar. En Belize se encuentra u. El Dean´s Blue Hole (en inglés) es el agujero azul más profundo del mundo con unos 663 pies, y se encuentra en la bahía oeste de Clarence Town, en Long Islan.

  • Belize - Little Octopus, Including, Weird Spider And Little Crab, 2min. Before I ended this video... We let go the squid and the fish quickly ate him! It was heartbreaking!! That's why we found that squid in that conch shell, it hides him from predators!

  • Cuba to Belize, 5min. A short video of my travels in Central America for a month following a month in North America.

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