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#502365 - 03/18/15 07:02 AM Today's Belize News: March 18, 2015
Marty Offline


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The San Pedro Sun

The artful eats of Caribbean Colors Art Cafe
Caye Caulker has so much to offer, including delicious eats! I got to enjoy Caribbean Colors Art Café’s bounty on my last visit, and let me tell you, it was so good! The Art Gallery/ Café certainly takes the phrase ‘food is art’ to heart – much as artists devotes time and patience to perfecting their craft, so do Lee and her sous chefs in their cozy island kitchen. Located in the heart of the island, and decorated with colorful pieces by owner Lee Vanderwalker herself, Caribbean Colors specialize in fresh and natural cuisine. Even so, with all the great eats I had, I’m already looking forward to my next trip to Caye Caulker. I have got to try some of the other dishes on the menu- maybe the spicy shrimp salad?! If you want to give Caribbean Colors Art Café a try, they are located on Avenida Hicaco, and are open from Monday to Sunday from 6:30AM to 8PM. They are closed on Thursday, when the fabulous geniuses ‘cook up’ more treats ideas to tempt our taste buds!

Minister Heredia and Mayor Guerrero receive death threats
At the Swearing in Ceremony of the recently elected town council members on Monday March 16th, the Minister made reference to the safety of the Mayor and himself and indicated that they will not give in to any threats made against them. “We are making sure that our community can be safe and our community can sleep well, because we deserve it. It doesn’t matter how many threats I or the Mayor will get, we will continue to work for you all. If we have to die for you all, we will do so,” stated Heredia in his remarks. Since Thursday March 12th, a fully armed team of police officers and at various intervals, members of the Belize Defense Force, have been seen escorting Minister Heredia around town. That immediately called the attention of the local residents since the veteran politician is known to move around town freely and unescorted throughout his political career. A visible presence of law enforcement officers have also been seen at functions attended by Mayor Guerrero.

SPHS and SPACE host 2015 Business Fair
On Saturday, March 14th, San Pedro High School (SPHS) and San Pedro Adult Continuing Education (SPACE) held a joint Business Fair at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium. The annual fair showcases students’ entrepreneurial skills learned throughout the year. The junior and senior students of each institution were tasked to develop a business venture that can be profitable in San Pedro. The students developed innovative products and services that are not commonly seen in San Pedro, and, and elaborate booths were set up to promote the product/ service offered. In order to prove the business’ profitability in the economy, each group developed a profit/ loss analysis. The students also had to identify a location for the business, means of securing capital, marketing strategies and prepare a business plan. The students definitely let their creativity flow in their projects which were all very unique.

Ambergris Today

Pic of the Week- Hermit Crab Parties in a Bottle of Belikin
Well we would not necessarily call it partying, because we see here that this hermit crab decided to make this broken bottle of Belikin Beer its home. As humans invade the natural habitats of these and many wild creatures, they tend to ‘adapt’ to their new environment. It’s just very funny how this hermit crap feels right at home in this ingenious ‘shell’. - Photo taken by Ivan Guemez at Rojo Beach Bar

San Pedro Town Council Announces Councilor Portfolios
In a short ceremony to officially swear in the new members of the San Pedro Town Council, the announcement was made of the different portfolios each of the councilors, deputy mayor and mayor would carry and be responsible off. The swearing-in ceremony took place at Central Park on Monday, March 16, 2015, where each councilor reiterated their dedication to the town of San Pedro and promised to work hard in the betterment for life on La Isla Bonita. Below are the portfolios of each member of the San Pedro Town Council:

Oceana Confirms Deep Water Submersible Damaged Reef off Ambergris Caye
Based on requests from residents of Ambergris Caye and the media for more information about the grounding of a deep water submersible on the Belize Barrier Reef, on Friday, March 13th 2015, Oceana Belize and personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve conducted a site assessment of the incident.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

nadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) is currently implementing a project in the Caribbean called Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project. Funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) and CHF, the aim is to increase the value of Caribbean fresh produce accessing high-value markets (HVM) in the Caribbean and internationally by CAD100 million 6 over six years. CHF is requesting proposals from consultants to undertake four market studies: Barbados; OECS; Suriname; and Belize. The methodology for each study is similar, in order for PROPEL to analyze information across all studies. Individual Terms of Reference (ToR) for each have been prepared and are posted on the CHF website. DEADLINE: MARCH 22, 2015

Belize Special Olympics Athletes to Participate in the Special Olympics World Games 2015 in Los Angeles
Members of the Belize Special Olympics team will be travelling from Belize to participate in the Special Olympics Games of 2015 to be held in Los Angeles from July 25 – August 2, 2015. The four (4) Belizean athletes who will be participating in the sport of Bocce are, Jasmine Flores, Anna Emmanuel, Jayna Locke and Llda Romero. Heading up the delegation is Elodia Bautista along with Assistant Head of Delegation, Dr. Nelson Marin and Head Coach Kady Kerr.

"The Golden Age" photographic exhibition
In celebration of Women's month, the San Pedro House of Culture invites you to join us on March 26th for the opening of "The Golden Age" photographic exhibition as we honour the senior citizens of San Pedro. Highlighting the work of Photographer Karen Brodie.

ABC Pre School Easter Show
ABC Pre School Presents Easter Presentation Show! Fun for the entire family.

Home Grown Fiery Sensation
Caribbean islands are known for having a harmless but heated rivalry over the production of hot sauce. The diverse condiment, often called pepper sauce, can range from a chutney-like mash to a smooth, liquid fire, depending on each island’s tastes and traditions. In Belize, Marie Sharp is synonymous with the fiery sauce, and with over 30 years in business, she is considered a homegrown sensation. Before starting her company, Marie worked as an executive within the financial sector. In her spare time, she grew and sold peppers from her farm to a local distributor. However, what started as a hobby, quickly blossomed into something more.

Women in Art Exhibition
This is a wonderful exhibition at Bliss. These amazing art works are done by women. Do not miss it ~~

Maya Day 2015
The Spectacular Deer Dance, San Jose Nuevo Palmar and Yo Creek Dance Group Banquitas House of Culture (NICH), The Chitik Tzul Ta'q'a'a Dance Group, Maya Competitions and Most of all " Special Recognition to the only Living Music King Mr. Florencio Mes and his Harp." See you there.

Cindey Rivero wins award in accordance with International Women's Month!
The Orange Walk East Upliftment Committee would like to recognize Ms. Cindey Rivero. She holds an associate’s Degree in Biology and Environmental Science from Muffles Junior College. Cindey’s academic life prepared her to face the challenges of the world around her. Her first formal job was as Assistant Coordinator at Banquitas House of Culture (NICH). A very intuitive yet clear-minded young lady Cindey’s winning charm and genuine smile reflects her open heart and engaging personality. She exudes undoubted honesty, integrity, confidentiality and good work ethics, promoting respect for race and diversity not only in her capacity at the House of Culture but everywhere she goes. Her very cheerful demeanor attracts positive results and everyone around her agrees. Just ask them.

Laboratory raising of at risk macaw chicks
FCD’s research team undertaking training on laboratory raising of at risk macaw chicks. Thanks to the Forest Department support, and with training from the Belize Wildlife and Referral Clinic we are prepared for this new venture, pending funding.

Channel 7

Raul Magana Jr Charged For Causing Traffic Fatality of Wife & Child
On April 28, 2014 - Raul Magana Jr was behind the wheel when the Toyota Prado he was driving ran off the Phillip Goldson Highway at mile 27 and flipped. The accident killed both passengers who were his infant son and his wife. And while living with the grief of that loss might seem to be punishment enough - today Magana got more heaped upon him when he was charged with 2 counts of manslaughter by negligence, 1 for the death of his wife, 28 year-old Lissa Li, and the other for the death of his 3 year-old son, Raul Lee Magana. He was also charged with 2 counts of causing death by careless conduct, and he was arraigned on all 4 of these charges in the Magistrate's Court. He was pleaded not guilty, and was granted bail of $1,500, which he was able to meet. He and his attorney spoke with reporters outside of court about the decision by police to charge him at this time: Bryan Neal - Attorney for Raul Magana Jr. "This morning Raul Magana was charged with the death of his wife and his son, which occurred on April 28, 2014 almost a year after the incident. I don't know what lead the police so much time to bring these charges now, but it seems that in this country now, we are losing way, we are losing our heart and our soul. If the father of the victims of this accident is now face in the criminal courts and face prison time - It's a very sad day in Belize."

Child Critical After Airport Junction Knock Down
Many times on this newscast, we've reported on the very dangerous intersection at the airport junction. It's at mile eight on the Phillip Goldson Highway and it's been the site of countless accidents. This morning at 8:20 am - a small boy was the latest victim. 11 year old Stella Maris Student Austin Olivera - is in the KHMH in a critical condition tonight after he was knocked down while trying to catch a bus. Courtney Weatherburne was on the scene shortly after the accident:.. Courtney Weatherburne reporting It's another chaotic morning at the heavily trafficked airport junction in Ladyville. Vehicles speeding by and darting in and out from different directions. That hustle may have led to this morning's accident where 11 year old Austin was run over by a van at this junction.

More Pain For PUP: Harrison Puts On A Hurting
Richard Harrison - just 75 days ago he was a national candidate for the PUP, the subjects of ads on this newscast, and glowing endorsements from his party leader Francis Fonseca. But in quick time after his historic defeat he has faded into obscurity; Harrison disappeared from public view before the votes were finished counting in the Cayo North bye-election. But he has re-appeared quite suddenly with a searing political commentary called "A Post Election View From Under The Bus." It appeared last night on the Breaking Belize News website out of Cayo. Harrison starts by saying that the party leadership, quote "threw him under the bus" when it endorsed his replacement Michel Chebat without his knowledge. Harrison takes this as an affront after all he gave in the failed bye-election effort and he concludes, angrily, quote: "This is the kind of rogue dictatorship that a party which voluntarily suspends its own constitution will provide for...taking away the right of its supporters... to democratically choose their representatives in free, open and fair intra-party conventions."

Getting the Climate Change Message Out To The Community
For the past few years, climate change has become a hot-button subject at both the policy and people level. It's a very serious issue, especially for any investment in infrastructure, because the effects of climate change can, for example, cause a newly upgraded street or highway to break up or become inundated, forcing early obsolescence. But, is it being taken seriously at the community level? That's exactly the target audience that the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development are hoping to reach with their latest project. It's called the Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project or MCCAP for short, and it has a budget of US 5.53 million dollars, which is an approved grant by the World Bank. The project seeks to strengthen the Belize Barrier Reef System's resilience to climate change by targeting conservation efforts at the Corozal Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, The Turneffe Marine Reserve, and Southwater Caye Marine Reserve. Of course, there are communities, such as Corozal Town in the north and Placencia Village in the south, that live near these reserves, and a major part of the program is to engage and educate persons like the fishermen who operate near these protected areas, and to reduce their dependence on that type of livelihood.

What's Next For The Termaji?
The MCCAP project should have measurable effects on the barrier reef in the next 3 years, but what about right now? What's happening with that 40-foot French sailboat, "Termaji" stuck on the reef in front of Caye Caulker? Well, it's been there from since December 30, and it still has not been moved. It is believed that the French National who owned the boat has already left the country, but the damage caused to the reef cannot be assessed, and the natural rehabilitation cannot begin. It's now over 2 months that the vessel has been there, and when we asked about it today, Ministry CEO Adele Catzim-Sanchez told us it will be on the reef at least a while longer. Here's how she explained why:

GOB Will Have To Move Submersible Stuck On Reef
There's that vessel grounding that the Ministry has to deal with, but what about the submersible which was found grounded on the reef 6 miles north of San Pedro? It was found last week, and OCEANA Belize has done an investigation which reveals that the vessel is a Quantum-9, deep-water submersible, believed to have been contracted to an oil company which does research and exploration for gas and oil companies. It was reported "lost" in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014, but it has found it's way on the Belizean Barrier Reef, and the conservationists say that it must be removed as soon as possible. We asked CEO Adele Catzim-Sanchez about it today, and she told us that Ministry officials have already been approved to take emergency actions:

Ambassador Mendez Goes For OAS Asst. SG Tomorrow
Belize's Permanent Representative to the OAS - Ambassador Nestor Mendez is tonight preparing for one of the biggest days of his life as a career diplomat: he's seeking to become the OAS Assistant Secretary General in elections which will be held tomorrow. It is one of only two elected posts inside the OAS - and he is the first Belizean seeking such high office. He is going up against his Guyanaese counterpart, Bayney Karran, Tonight, we spoke via telephone with Mendez from Washington where he told us he is optimistic about the support he has been promised by different member states but that there are no sure things, and it won't be over until the last vote is counted. The election for Assistant Secretary General takes place at 2:00 tomorrow afternoon and it will be streamed live on the OAS website. We'll have the result in tomorrow's newscast.

How To Export To The US - It's Not Easy
There are many opportunities for small businesses in Belize to sell their products in the US - but only a few of those opportunities are epxloited. Today Beltraide held a "How to Export to the US" workshop at the Radisson to educate entrepreneurs on the trade regulations and requirements to get into the US market. It is not an easy task though, according to Trade Counselor Bernard Geenen, you need to meet the right investors and producers and you need to be willing to invest a lot of cash. Geenen explains why exporting to the US is not for everyone. Bernard Geenen, Trade Counselor, Embassy of Belgium "We've invited small and medium sized companies, of course the big ones don't need us. What we try to brush is a large portrait of the US market; what it takes to enter the market, to try to penetrate it in an efficient way, not waste any time or money and at the end of the day, hopefully the companies will be able to evaluate and ready for the US market or the US market is for me or not, based on the information we are giving.

32 Year Old Security Guard Died On Duty
Early this morning at the Ready Call compound - a security guard dropped dead. Evan Emrick Nolberto wa sonly 32 years old - and so there was some question as to whether foul play was involved. Polcie told us what they found and why they don't think it's foul play:.. Insp. Frederick Gordon - Rural Executive Officer "This morning sometime about 5:40am, Ladyville police received information that a security guard was seen motionless inside the Ready Call compound by the Boom junction, whereby the police responded to the area, where we saw the body of a male security, later on identified to be one Evan Nolberto. He was seen motionless. His body was removed and transported to the Karl Heusner, where we await a post-mortem. Police do not suspect foul play at this time."

Ladyville Shooters Charged
Last night, we told you about the men who were charged for the shooting of 29 year-old Ladyville resident Kenroy Arnold. Well tonight, 30 year-old Alrick Smith, seen here on the left, and 29 year-old Ronald Michael, the man on the right, are at the Belize Central Prison after being taken to court today. They were both arraigned today before Magistrate Herbert Panton, where Michael was read charges of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. Both men were read the charge of conspiracy to commit murder, and due to the nature of the offences, they couldn't be granted bail. They were remanded into custody until April 28.

Fantasy Five By Quick Pick
As we told you on Friday, someone won the over $200,000 prize from Fantasy 5. Well, today winner Nohemy Villafuerte went to claim her prize. Nohemy is originally from Honduras and has lived in Belize for about 19 years. The Coney Drive resident told us today that she was going to buy her usual numbers at the Moon Grocery Store on Coney drive but got discouraged because of the long line, so she settled for a quick pick ticket. And that turned out to be the lucky one! Nohemy told us today what she plans on doing with the money. Nohemy VillaFuerte (translated) "And the plan is well to get out of our debt and buy our house, God willing …and save and fix up my mother's house. After we pay off our debt and buy our house we will save the rest and continue with the lifestyle we always had."

Former KKK Wizard To San Pedro Resort Owner Says He's Still Segregationist
Over a year ago, in January of 2014, we told you about Bill Wilkinson, the American resort owner on San Pedro who was a former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. Wilkinson headed the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan from 1975 to 1983 and is the owner of the Seven Seas Resort on San Pedro. When we found out who he was we called him at his resort and he said all that KKK stuff was, quote, a "bunch of baloney." But that's not what he told a British newspaper who came to Belize prying into his past. The Daily Mail Online got Wilkinson to break his 30-year silence - and he gave them a revealing interview in which he said he is still a segregationist: He is quoted as telling the newspaper, quote, "'I don't hate blacks...Ain't that something?'" He added that, quote, 'I have not changed. I wouldn't let one marry my children or my grandchildren.'

Not Just Crafts, But Culture For Cruise Visitors
As tourists exit the terminal gates at the tourist village, they are bombarded by vendors trying to sell them handicrafts or get them to sit down for a braid. Now, tourists will have "something else" to look forward to when they arrive in Belize and that's the Cohune Walk Festival at the Memorial Park. It has been in its pilot stage for about 2 weeks but it is just the first phase of a festival tourism project. When we passed by today, the music was booming and the dancers were jamming to the beat but there were no tourists around. Organizer of the festival James Sanker told us they will start pouring in when it's officially launched. James Sanker, Manager, Belize Music Agency "It's a cohune walk festival. It's a festival geared towards the cruise tourism market. It's part of a festival tourism project and the project is starting with this particular festival and this festival will happen every day when the cruise ships comes. It will give everybody that comes to our shores a snapshot of our culture, our varied cultures that we have, so there are dances and performances from all our cultures. For a long time our culture wasn't being displayed as part of our cultural mix and so Belize Music Agency, MIAB and some of the other music organizations, said this is the time that we should embrace the whole tourism structure and start to infuse our culture and our music and our arts and crafts into the tourism."

Councilor Dean Does Deputy Mayor
He won a fourth term in City Hall - and Belize City Councilor Dean Samuels has been rewarded for his seniority by being elected Deputy Mayor from amongst his councilor colleagues. He last served as Deputy Mayor previously under former Mayor Zenaida Moya. We are told that there was no jostling for the post and he had unanimous support. That's likely because the ambitious councilors who would replace Darrell Bradley when he may leave city hall to seek higher office are waiting at least a year before they position themselves in the number two spot.

The St. Patrick stride On Albert Street
When many of you think about St. Patrick the first thing that comes to mind is a leprechaun - the short guy dressed in green. That's certainly what some Belizeans were calling Canadian Kevin Lucitt when he walked down Albert Street in his green suit today. Although he doesn't quite fit that description - he told us why he is dressed in all green today and what it means for his heritage. Kevin was here for a 1 day trip and left on the cruise ship back to Canada.

Channel 5

11 year old Stella Maris Student Knocked Down In Ladyville, Remains Comatose at K.H.M.H.
A young boy lies in critical condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital tonight. The eleven year old student of the Stella Maris School was hit by a vehicle this [...]

Killer Bees Swarm Cotton Tree, Dogs Stung to Death
And on the George Price Highway, residents of the quiet community of Cotton Tree just outside of Belmopan were panicked by a swarm of bees which quickly killed several dogs [...]

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of BISL, Legal Challenge Set for July
Two decisions were recently delivered by the Supreme Court. In the first case, the Supreme Court once again ruled in favor of Belize International Services Limited which was appropriated by [...]

Belize Bank Victorious in Court Against G.O.B.
In another matter recently before the Supreme Court, Justice Courtney Abel also ruled in favor of the Belize Bank.  He struck out a section of the Income Tax and Business [...]

Do you think the government will call early elections?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think the government will call early elections? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your vote [...]

Raul Magana Jr. Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Wife and Child
Thirty year old businessman, Raul Magana Junior on April twentieth, 2014, allegedly experienced a tire blow out that caused his vehicle to overturn on the Phillip Goldson Highway between Miles [...]

Acting Immigration Director Maria Marin Testifies in Tomlinson’s CCJ Case
Gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson, who is challenging the existing immigration laws of Belize and Trinidad & Tobago, was back before the Caribbean Court of Justice today.  Tomlinson is suing [...]

Nestor Mendez Bids for Post of O.A.S. Deputy Secretary General
This Wednesday, at the Organization of American States in Washington, Ambassador Nestor Mendez will be vying for election to the position of Deputy Secretary General of the O.A.S.  Guyana is [...]

Judiciary to Receive Small Slice of 2015 Budget
In two weeks the Opposition will go to the House to debate the Prime Minister’s budget for 2015-2016. It’s a complex document, at least to the layman, but it’s important [...]

Is Unprecedented Spending on Short-term Jobs a Good Thing?
Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a closer look at the budget, but one area demands immediate attention. It’s difficult to ignore the scope of the infrastructure works [...]

Former Cayo North Standard Bearer Airs Out P.U.P.
The People’s United Party National Executive has been convened to independence hall this Wednesday, a week after it last met. All day today, there have purportedly been reports that the [...]

Fisheries C.E.O. on Vessel Grounding on Reef
A French captain back on December thirty-first, 2014 crashed his thirty-five-foot steel hull vessel into the reef near some coral rubble when he missed the channel near Caye Caulker. Since [...]

Will Charges Be Brought Against Boat Captain Whose Vessel Ran Aground on Reef?
As to the French national who captained the vessel, he has not been seen or heard from since. So will there be any charges laid against him for the damage [...]

D.O.E. to Investigate Grounded Submersible
It’s been almost a week since a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) reported “lost” in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014. The submersible was found last Wednesday in the waters [...]

Marine Conservation and Climate Change Adaptation Project Launched in Belize
A community-based project that looks at the impact of climate change on the ecosystem from a development standpoint was launched today by the Fisheries Department. The marine Conservation and Climate [...]

YWCA Celebrates 59 Years in Belize
The YWCA is celebrating a milestone in Belize- its fifty-ninth anniversary. Fulfilling a threefold mission since it started, the Belize Chapter of the Y offers instructional and training programmes that [...]

Vehicle Vendors Up In Arms in Sugar City
Vehicle vendors in Orange Walk are up in arms after the Orange Walk Town Council moved forcefully to remove them from where they are parked near the Central Park. It’s [...]

Cancer Society Receives Grant Funding from Abroad
The Belize Cancer Society is the recipient of a nine thousand five hundred U.S. dollar grant that was awarded by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition with funding from the American Cancer [...]


Suppliers Of Maya Cement Hold Protest At The Northern Border
This morning at the Belizean side of the border, about 20 distributers and truck drivers of Maya Cement to Belize from Chetumal halted operations and demanded to speak with their Mexican employer. Their gripe? From what we have been able to gather from one of the persons directly affected, they have been buying Maya Cement from their Mexican Counterparts to sell in Belize but a sharp increase in price and method of loading implemented recently have caused a major decrease in profits. Some of the drivers and suppliers we spoke to stated that they are hardly making their ends meet, and for such reason they have written electronically to the Mexican agency to come up with a compromise. We spoke via telephone to a businessman who requested his identity withheld.

Police Indicates No Foul Play On Trapps Death
Tonight Corozal Police has determined that 79 year old Belizean unemployed of Libertad Village Corozal District, George Trapp, died as a result of Massive Cardio Pulmonary Thrombosis due to Chronic Fibrosis obstructive lung disease. While many speculated that Trapp was murdered from yesterday Corozal Police indicated that no foul play was suspected and that suspicion was made concrete by an autopsy performed yesterday on Trapp’s body. Trapp’s body was discovered on Saturday afternoon about 50 feet behind his house beside some bushes.

Fish Kill In Orange Walk
Fish begin to float on the New River. This phenomenon has been happening for years and there have been assumption that the cause may be as a result of some sort of chemical deposited into the river by a company along the river bank. It happens usually in and around the Easter season and people report seeing dead fish floating in the river and being washed to the river bank. Today, we got a call from San Estevan Village where we were told fishes are dying. We visited the area but by the time we got there, there was not much to see. Still, upon closer inspection and after we visited at least three different areas along the river that have been cleared, we came across at least ten fishes, big and small washed up to the river bank. It is a worrisome situation. One, despite the yearly occurrence, the cause has not been ascertained and two, persons living in communities along the river bank pick the fishes for their consumption, oblivious to the health dangers that may come with it.

Family Experiences Dispute Over Land Grab
A couple in San Jose Village are in the middle of a land dispute and they claim that politics is at the center of their plight. Sebastaiana Escalante visited out studio today to file a complaint in which she says that the land on which she and her husband Carmelo Escalante have lived on for over 20 years is being taken away by other family members. The couple has decided to fight their rights to the land and have taken necessary procedures to contest the rights to the property. However, Escalante claims that the family has been at the losing end thanks to politics. She first explained how they acquired the land. “Hace 21 ano nos casamos yo y Carmelo y no teníamos casa donde vivir, yo quedaba en una casa de un tio, entonces cuando dio un tiempo mi suegro nos fue a buscar a San Pablo diciéndonos que él quiere que compremos una casa que está a lado de su casa de él, entonces mi esposo le dijo que no tenemos dinero, entonces el mismo se ofreció a llevarnos a Belize Bank a prestar para comprar la casa que es de si hermano Graciano Escalante...

#502366 - 03/18/15 07:02 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 18, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


Bradley Addresses Manifesto for 2015-2018 and Speaks on Previous Term in Office
As we mentioned earlier, Mayor Darrell Bradley has begun his second consecutive term in office at City Hall. His first and recent term saw an abundance of infrastructural works being done across the city. Today we asked Bradley if he had managed to live up to the commitments in the last manifesto and what his priorities for this new term will be. “Well the manifesto for the last cycle, this would have been from 2012 to 2015 focused a lot on the interest of infrastructure and governance. Those are two of the key areas where there is a lot of specific tangible deliverable that are mentioned in the manifesto and many of those things were accomplished. I would say that we’ve accomplished about ninety percent of what’s contained in that manifesto. The manifesto in terms of areas of the major areas that they talked about are things that we have kept true to. We talk a lot also about e-governance, we did the driver’s license online. We’re going to launch very shortly in the next couple of weeks that you can pay property taxes online, that will be a huge benefit for people who live abroad so that you don’t have to send your money to Belize or you don’t have to come in to Belize to make any kinds of payments so that we’re doing a lot more things with e-governance.”

From Deplorable to Comfortable; Elderly Women Receives Assistance
Last week we brought to you the story of a 69-year-old woman, Doris Lynch Flowers and the deplorable conditions she was living under on Victoria Street in Belize City. Immediate assistance was rendered to her after we spoke with UDP’s Standard Bearer for the Fort George Division, Roger Espejo and today, we went to see what progress had been made. According to Miss Doris, she is relieved and happy with the assistance given. “It is okay, it is alright the apartment is a bit small but it holds my things but I am glad that the big rain that came other day didn’t meet me in my old house or else I would have been washed away but this one I didn’t get wet in here. It doesn’t have a lot of things in there but I didn’t get wet here. My family sent money for me, a little bit and that worked. When I don’t have any usually my friends support me. I am just 69 I don’t think I belong in Help Age all those old ladies will get me crazy if I go there.” According to Espejo this plan is a six-month plan and during that time a more long term arrangement will be made.

MCCAP Project Implemented in Three Target Areas
The Belize Marine Conservation and Climate Adaptation Project was launched today at the best Western Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. The grant was issued to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the World Bank and it is valued at five point five three millions US dollars. The project will be focused on the Belize Barrier Reef System and will be implemented in three target area. Love News was at the launched and we spoke to the CEO in the Ministry, Adele Catzim-Sanchez and the Project Coordinator, Sandra Grant. “What we are trying to do is trying to ensure that our marine protected areas are sustainable so we will put a lot of effort into strengthening our marine protected areas and also to encourage alternative livelihoods and to financially support these livelihoods initially and hope that they will be sustainable over time. We are going to look at the marine protected areas but at the same time we are going to start the livelihood activities because sometimes if you don’t show people the alternatives they will not buy into what you are trying to do. So although it is three different components it is going to be done all together simultaneously. We are going to be focusing on three major protected areas, three sites, the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, the Turneffe Atoll Marine reserve and the Corozal Bay Wildlife sanctuary so we will only focus on three because we still have a lot more marine protected areas a lot of areas in the south with TIDE but we are going to focus on the Northern and Central.”

Mother Seeks Assistance to Receive Justice For Her Son
Yesterday, you heard the Officer Commanding Ladyville Police, Inspector Fredrick Gordon; speak of 18 year old Otto Palma. Palma is the young man who was found hanging inside a cell at the Ladyville Police Station. Palma’s mother, Lorna Bardalez, believes that police officers killed her son and after hearing the comments made by Gordon in last night’s newscast, his thoughts are still the same. Bardalez showed us a picture of her dead son in which it appears that he was hit to the mouth. She is calling for a proper and intensive investigation on the matter. “Well when my son went in the Wednesday he didn’t have any marks on his lip, no kind of mark. I explained that to Mr. Grinage this afternoon and he said that it could be from where he bit down and his teeth busted his lip from where he was hanging himself, that is what they are saying. He is still saying that no one beat him in the cell and on my behalf I am saying that they did beat him. He told me that if I am not satisfied when he is finished talking to me that I can go to the ombudsman. I am trying to gather the funds to get a lawyer and I need $1500 to re-open my sons case. They are saying that this case is continuing by their investigations because if the case is being investigated how haven’t they come to tell me anything. I am the one who has to go to them to find out about my son when my son died in their hands.”

PUP Arrange Special Meeting to Revisit Their Resolution
The People’s United Party, Belize’s main opposition took a beating at the municipal polls about two weeks ago. That loss came on the heels of losing the Cayo North seat in the House of Representatives following the resignation of the former Area Representative, Joseph Mahmud which in-turn led to a bi-election in early January. In an interview conducted with the Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, just after the bi-election, he made a confident statement saying that due to the lack in funds and the short time given to campaign in the Cayo North division but that they would come hard with sufficient funding for the municipal elections and that they would gain some seats around the country. Well …. The elections came and went and that victory never happened. As a matter of fact, of the sixty seven seats they were vying for, they only gained six.

Mayor Bradley Addresses Belize City Council Financial Status
While the idea of revenues coming in from a toll booth is one that is currently being explored, Love News spoke to Mayor Bradley on the current financial status of the Belize City Council as he begins his new term. According to Bradley, the municipal bond that was floated was paid last December and there are currently investors who are willing to re-invest in order to continue the works of the City Council. “The municipal bond was structured in the way it was structured in tranches so we had a two year tranche, a five year tranche and a ten year tranche and its going to be paid back at those cycles; two years, five years, ten years. The two year tranche expired on the 24 of December last year so we’ve already paid back that first tranche of the municipal bond. WE only have the five years and ten years to be paid back. Every single two years you can roll it over. We haven’t rolled over the first money that we paid off, we’ve had interests in rolling it over. We have institutional investors who are still calling us to ask, they want to buy more bonds because it is a good investment and we paid it back so that if you were able to do that and we have been able to do the sinking fund to meet their repayment capabilities so that the sinking fund has a surplus.

Bradley Speaks on Ways to Generate Revenue and Eliminate Property Tax
In the last term under the stewardship of Mayor Darrell Bradley, there was an increase in the collection of property taxes and trade licenses after the Belize City Council put into place, a system that restricts those in arrears from accessing any services from the council, including driver’s licenses, vehicle licenses, among others. It was a system that brought on complaints and inconveniences from various corners but one that turned out beneficial for the council and its revenue stream. As Mayor Darrell Bradley begins his second consecutive term in office, he told Love News that he is toying with the idea of setting up a toll booth at the entrance of Belize City that may just lead to the elimination of property taxes as it would generate substantial revenue for the old capital. “One of the things that we’ve put out there by way of revenue generation is the toll of the Northern Highway. We did a study and in twenty five years that toll will make ninety five million dollars. If we do that toll we can cancel property taxes and we can fund trade license because that toll will fund the city. The toll is so much in terms of revenue generation so that where you see municipalities going in the future is that they are going towards user fees. You’re trying to go less emphasis on property taxes, trade license and if you use a service, if you drive on the road then you pay the fee, if you use parking then you pay the fee so that tends to be more equitable, that tends to be more of a predictable source of revenue because we know that the amount of vehicles.

Minor Involve in Ladyville Road Accident
An 11-year-old student, Austin Olivia, of the Stella Maris Primary School in Belize City was knocked down just after eight o’clock this morning. The incident occurred in Ladyville Village at the junction of the Philip Goldson International Airport, just across from the Skyy City Supermarket on the Philip Goldson Highway. Love News spoke to two eyewitnesses, who says that the child seemed seriously injured. DEBORAH GRINAGE “When I was at the bus stop I heard another little boy from Stella Maris asking about the boy so by the time I got here I saw the little boy coming so I was watching him until he started crossing the street. When he started crossing the street I took my eyes of him because I was doing something then I heard the bang. When I turned around I saw the little boy land there and then the vehicle ran over him and the little boy rolled on the side of the road then the man stopped there and he came out and some people from over there started shouting not to touch him, so I just stood here and I watched the little boy and them some guys from the cable place took him and put him in a pickup truck and took him to BATSUB.”


Dangriga and PG voters “win” in 2015-2016 budget
Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow presented his 8th budget to Parliament a little after 11:00 this morning in a budget presentation that was intentionally the shortest of his administration, delegating much of the economic data and information to annexes presented with the published version of his budget speech. In a proposal that called for no new taxes, Barrow connected the national budget proposal with his administration’s “transformation” agenda – a central theme upon which his party, the ruling United Democratic Party, campaigned in the run-up to the municipal elections held 9 days ago. At the conclusion of last week’s municipal election vote, the UDP had garnered 62 of 67 seats nationally, leaving the PUP with only 5 in Orange Walk Town. “That victory, in turn, represents a massive reaffirmation of confidence in the programs, policies and economic and political stewardship of this administration. In that context, it is a joy to bring to the House and the nation a 2015/2016 budget that will ultimately be the implementation vehicle for those now imperishably popular national watchwords: the transformation continues!” Barrow said.

“Paddlers with a Purpose” donates $10,000 to Dara’s Feeding Program
Funds which were solicited through the efforts of a trio of philanthropic high-school students who took part in the 2015 Belikin La Ruta Maya Belize River Challenge were today donated to a well-known feeding program that benefits over 40 underprivileged primary school students in Belize City. Despite a lack of experience and limited preparation, the team of ambitious amateur paddlers daringly set out to compete in the grueling 175-mile yearly race, which started on the banks of the Macal River in San Ignacio Town, Cayo, last Friday, March 6, and ended at the Belcan Bridge in Belize City on March 9. While most teams entered the popular 4-day canoe race to battle for the prizes and bragging rights, the mission of the “Paddlers with a Purpose” – as they were dubbed – was to garner much-needed financial assistance to aid Joel “Dara” Robinson in his battle against the starvation that is pervasive amongst schoolchildren in his community.

Fonseca dares Barrow to “put up or shut up”
The main business item on the agenda for today’s House meeting was the presentation of the proposed national budget for the fiscal year 2015 to 2016, but before that budget presentation got underway, Prime Minister and leader of the ruling United Democratic Party, Dean Barrow, called on Opposition Leader Francis Fonseca to address “immediately, fully and publicly, the comprehensive wholesale indictment of the [People’s United Party – PUP] by its immediate past leader,” Orange Walk Central area representative Johnny Briceño, who spoke of members of the former PUP administration “stealing” tens of millions of dollars from Belizeans during their tenure in office, which ended in 2008. Fonseca and then Prime Minister during that tenure, Said Musa, told the media Friday that Barrow was trying to divert attention from the corruption which they allege is rampant in his own administration by rehashing allegations that have been around for as many as 10 years. “I say to the Prime Minister: he has been the Prime Minister of Belize for almost 8 years; he is completing, I believe, 7 years. If there is any evidence of corruption, bring it to the Belizean people or shut your mouth. That is my response to him,” Fonseca told the press.

Straight from KHMH to Kolbe!
On Wednesday night, March 4, Jervis Valencia Diamond, 32, was admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a critical condition and placed on a life support ventilator after being shot by police after he allegedly shot two men in a yard on Mayflower Street, one fatally. Today, however, Diamond, still in obvious need of medical attention, was reportedly released from the hospital. He had been under police guard in the hospital, and he was immediately brought to court to be charged after he was released. Diamond, who is more popularly known as Jervis Valencia, was in obvious pain and could barely move without assistance as he slowly made his way into the courtroom of the Chief Magistrate, at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, where he was arraigned for murder and other indictable offences.

CCJ commences hearing LGBT challenge to Belize and Trinidad
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has set aside the next two days, Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18, to hear the case of LGBT activist Maurice Tomlinson against the states of Belize and Trinidad, in a challenge to the immigration laws of both countries, which Tomlinson claims violate his right to hassle-free movement across CARICOM, under the Revised Treaty of Chaguaramas (RTC), which establishes the CARICOM Single Market and Economy. The CCJ says that it will hear submissions in the matters of JAOJ2013/001 Maurice Tomlinson v Belize and JAOJ2013/002 Maurice Tomlinson v Trinidad and Tobago, which had been consolidated into one by a CCJ order dating back to 2013.

GOB seeks Parliamentary approval for BZ$145 mil in financing
In his 2015 budget speech, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow announced new infrastructure projects that are to be started in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, including the rehabilitation of the Hummingbird Highway, the George Price Highway (from Belmopan to Benque Viejo Town), and the Philip Goldson Highway, from Belize City to Sandhill—projects which he said would be donor-financed by means of either grants or concessional loan terms. On the same occasion, Barrow presented a loan motion for one of those projects, which he said would be partially financed by Kuwait. He noted that the entire cost of the project to rehabilitate the Hummingbird Highway is BZ$75.1 mil, and the loan motion presented today sought Parliament’s approval to borrow 4 million Kuwait dinars, roughly US$13.5 million, from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development for financing of this project. He said that this would finance 40% of civil works and 100% of the technical assistance required. Another US$12 million will come from an OFID (OPEC Fund for International Development] loan to the Government of Belize to cover a further 32% of the total project costs, and the Government will cover the remaining cost of the project costs through counterpart resources.

American Guy East of Santino’s wins 2015 SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic
The 34th running of the Annual SMART Belmopan Cycling Classic ended yesterday, like last year, with a foreign rider taking top honors. Last year it was 20 year old Mexican Ignacio Bravo riding for the Benny’s Megabytes team; this year, the Santino’s Ride for Victory team returned to top level competition, and their foreign rider, American Guy East had too much going for his Belizean competitors in the last few miles of the race, as he broke away from a lead bunch of 7 riders, and rode in alone, followed a few seconds later in second place by 2012 Cross Country champion Geovanni Choto, now riding for the C-Ray Road Addikzx team. His teammate Brandon Cattouse was third. Fourth was Marlon Castillo of Santino’s Ride for Victory, and fifth was Jose Robles of Western Spirit.

Team acquisitions in NEBL before All Star Break
In its second annual season, yesterday at a manager’s meeting, the NEBL instituted a change in its by-laws for in-season player acquisitions. Teams are allowed to add two new players to their rosters and the dates for such transactions are from March 16 – March 31. With the addition of this clause, teams will now be afforded the opportunity to add the missing pieces to their team roster, as they make a final push for playoff contention. It was decided that all Friday and Saturday night games will start at 9:00 p.m. Fans are reminded that all games have a live web cast, where the play-by-play, along with box scores, are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, as scores are in real time. The games can be accessed from our website at nebl.sportingpulse.net San Pedro Tiger Sharks vs Belize City No Limit remains undecided. Belmopan Red Taigaz extends winning streak to five games. Cayo Western Ballaz continued in their winning ways in Sugar City. Dangriga Warriors bounced back with a win against Toledo Diplomats.

People or money: money or people?
The massive discomfiture of the Opposition PUP’s Orange Walk Central area representative, Hon. Johnny Briceño, continued and increased in the House of Representatives meeting on Friday afternoon when the PUP’s Fort George area representative and former Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Said Musa, spoke critically of him on the adjournment after UDP Prime Minister had read his 2015/2016 budget speech. In an interview with Channel 5 following that House meeting, Briceño appeared to be encouraging the idea of a PUP national convention. He claimed that the PUP had not held a national convention since 2010, a convention in Dangriga at which Mr. Briceño was unanimously endorsed as PUP Leader, a position to which he had been elected in March of 2008. As the PUP’s most powerful politician in the Orange Walk District, Mr. Briceño can rightfully claim credit for the fact that the party managed to retain control of the Orange Walk Town Council, the PUP’s only victory in the March 4 national municipal elections wherein the ruling UDP had won eight of the nine municipalities.

From the Publisher
In the beginning of the People’s United Party (PUP) in 1950, built as it was on the foundation of the General Workers Union (GWU), a lot of the difference between PUP supporters and anti-PUP Belizeans in the then capital city of Belize, manifestly involved class. All waterfront workers and bicycle cart men, for instance, were PUP, while almost all the public officers (who were called “civil servants” in those days) opposed the PUP, first through the National Party (NP) and then through the National Independence Party (NIP). Early on, the PUP was centered in Belize City, but after Hon. George Price became the Leader of the party in 1956, he did a lot of traveling to the District towns and villages. He, in effect, enfranchised rural Belizeans politically; he personally involved them in the business of building the new nation of Belize. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the physicists say, and Mr. Price’s revolutionary politics was branded “Latinization” by his opponents. It cost him some support in Belize City. There was a Belize City Council election in 1958 where the PUP barely won, with five seats out of the nine, if I remember correctly.

Divining the Lord
The breakfast meeting in February at the Radisson between Lord Ashcroft and Audrey Matura-Shepherd has been the subject of much speculation. The photo of the couple taken by Kim Simplis-Barrow, the wife of the Prime Minister who just happened to be present at the same time, went viral immediately and added to the interest. What on earth could these two high profile individuals have been discussing? Audrey Matura-Shepherd subsequently explained in Amandala why she had accepted the invitation (sent via Amalia Mai, the CEO of Channel 5 whose proprietor is Michael Ashcroft). Her article outlined the questions to which she wanted answers and to what extent she was satisfied with what she heard. However, she did not explain what Ashcroft hoped to get out of the meeting. It has now become much clearer what Ashcroft’s interest might have been. In a subsequent interview with Marleni Cuellar at Channel 5, he spoke about the British political system and noted the rise of third parties. He considers this a positive development provided that the third party has a strong individual at the helm capable of exercising national leadership.

Ambassador Mendez up for election for high-level OAS post Wednesday
Elections will be held this Wednesday at the headquarters of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, DC, to find replacements for the outgoing Secretary General and Assistant Secretary General of the hemispheric organization. Belize’s Ambassador to the US, Permanent Representative to the OAS and High Commissioner for Belize in Canada, H.E. Nestor Mendez, and Permanent Representative of Guyana, Bayney Karran, are competing for the job. Meanwhile, Luis Almagro, Minister of Foreign Relations of Uruguay, is seeking the post of Secretary-General. The Guatemalan candidate who would have challenged Almagro, Eduardo Stein Barillas, the former vice president of that country, has withdrawn his name due to health reasons. Under OAS rules, new applicants have up to the day of the election to submit their names for consideration.

Belize assumes 5th governorship of Rotary in July
On July 1, 2015, Rene Villanueva, Sr., 64, becomes the 5th Belizean to hold the governorship of the Rotary Club for District 4250 constituted by Belize, Honduras and Guatemala. At the end of February, Villanueva, a veteran broadcaster in Belize and proprietor of Love FM, was installed as governor-elect at a three-day convention held in Guatemala City, which he attended with a sizeable Belize delegation. Villanueva is to succeed current district president, Jose Mauricio Rodriguez Weaver of Guatemala, for a one-year term. “As Rotarians we want better villages, better countries and a better world. We give [of] ourselves, our time, our resources and yes, we give even our lives towards making this world a better place than we found it. We do it through the greatest humanitarian organisation in the world – Rotary. But we must do it together because in unity there is strength. In my mind, the secret to taking our great [district] 4250 to indeed a higher level lies in all of us in Honduras, Belize, and Guatemala. Working together, learning of each other, appreciating each other, loving each other,” Villanueva said in his acceptance speech.

Court of Appeal denies Lloyd Elijio’s appeal; sentence and conviction affirmed
A panel of three Court of Appeal justices denied the appeal of Lloyd Elijio, 23, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence following his October 28, 2014 conviction for attempted murder. The court affirmed his conviction and sentence on Tuesday when he appeared unrepresented before Appeal justices Minet Hafiz-Betram, Christopher Blackman and president of the court, Hon. Justice Manuel Sosa. Elijio told the court that someone at the prison had assisted him in preparing the grounds for his appeal. Elijio based his first ground of appeal on the question of identity. He contended that the virtual complainant, Mark Lord, had identified him as Lawrence Elijio, but his real name is Lloyd Elijio. Lord had also identified him in court as Lawrence Elijio. Elijio’s second ground of appeal was that no identification parade was held.

Patrick JonesPJ

Domestic dispute results in alleged stabbing
A woman who allegedly started a fight with her former partner late on Monday evening is accused of grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm after she allegedly stabbed him with a knife. 20 year old Shanice Waller, a mother of two, pleaded not guilty to the charges before Magistrate Dale Cayetano and met bail of $3,000. According to 22 year old Luis Kerr, who was previously in a relationship with Waller, she went to his residence while he was there with another woman. Kerr he said he tried to deny her entry to his house and being unsuccessful, grabbed her around the neck to try to restrain her.

Two men charged for attempted murder
Police have laid attempted murder charges against 23 year old Ronald Michael. Michael is also charged along with 30 year old Alrick Smith for conspiracy to commit murder for allegedly attempting to kill 29 year old Kenroy Arnold in a shooting incident on the night of March 12 in Ladyville village. Arnold was said to be socializing with friends when a vehicle pulled up with two men inside, one of whom exited the vehicle and opened fire on him. He was shot to the back and right hand and was treated. Family members say he was not the intended target of the shooters.

Toledo man to be retried for carnal knowledge
The Court of Appeal on Monday afternoon allowed the appeal of Saturino Pop from Toledo District, who was convicted of three counts of carnal knowledge and is serving a 12-year concurrent sentence. Pop will be retried in the Supreme Court after the judges found that he was not afforded a fair trial and that the trial judge failed to assist him in his defense as he did not have legal representation at trial. Pop is now being represented by Oscar Selgado while Crown Counsel Linsbert Willis appeared for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.


Live In Caribbean Belize For $60 A Day Or Less
Lots of expats are already living their dream Caribbean lifestyle… Taking leisurely walks along the coast, cooled by the enticing Caribbean breeze…swimming and snorkeling in the living aquarium of the Caribbean Sea…feasting on fresh fruits, seafood and lobster…indulging in afternoon catnaps in a comfy hammock…meeting friends for a fresh catch lunch at a seaside café… Here’s the good news—this idyllic Caribbean lifestyle is still possible for those with a decent Social Security income—if they know where to settle, and how to cut corners… Financially savvy expats are enjoying this enviable lifestyle on $60 a day, or less. Many expats choose to spend more…but plenty get by on less. It’s a matter of making lifestyle choices that fit within your individual budget. Belize has garnered significant tourism attention during the last few years, especially for the highly popular cayes. It is, of course, more costly to live in the most desirable regions frequented by tourists—the cayes and the Placencia Peninsula. (The cost of living on the Placencia Peninsula is now comparable to the cost of living on Ambergris Caye.) And yet there are expats who insist they have been living a comfortable, quality lifestyle in these popular regions, but on an affordable budget…

Halls Cough Drops: Candy or Medicine in Belize?
Just the other day, I was buying cough drops for a friend with a…get this…a COUGH! Imagine that? In the US, Halls are usually displayed front and center at drug stores during the winter months when everyone is getting sick. And then during the rest of the year? They are hidden back by the pharmacy…unneeded…unwanted. Not in Belize. At only $1bzd a pack, they are often displayed with the candy as opposed to medicines and in a HUGE range of flavors. As well as some of the craziest. At least in my book… Chela y Limon. Beer and Lime. COUGH DROPS! And multi-colors…like they are M&Ms…or Skittles…or…candy? IMG_1906 Halls are always front and center at local markets…and not just during cold season. All the time. They are sold by the street vendors who display colorful, vast quantities of sugar to kids outside the primary schools during breaks. Which one of these things doesn’t belong??

A Happy Belizean St Patrick’s Day from Chaa Creek!
Are your Irish eyes smiling? They’re positively giggling in Belize as the country joins in the annual St Patrick day celebrations Maybe Belize and St Patrick don’t naturally go together in most people’s minds, but those lucky enough to visit or live in this very green little country know better. Just like most places on earth during March 17, a fair portion of the population attach a bit of green to their attire, assert a certain Irish-ness, and maybe even indulge in lifting a glass (or two, or three…) to that venerable saint. It only makes sense… after the Maya, the next significant numbers of people to settle in Belize were the famous Baymen, a hardy group of mostly Anglo-Celtic descent who were attracted by the nascent timber industry and, like so many people since, liked what they saw and stayed, many mixing with African slaves to form the vibrant Creole population of Belize.

How to make the best of your time on Caye Caulker, Belize
All in all Belize is not the easiest country to travel through as a backpacker. There is no such thing as a backpacking trail. Accommodations are really expensive in comparison with its neighbouring countries. And busses are not very comfortable. But there is one place which is different. The atmosphere is chilled out. There are no concreted streets. Vehicles are mostly limited to bikes and golf carts. People are super friendly. The sea is in front of your accommodation. And it absolutely expresses some hippie feeling. I’m talking about the island Caye Caulker. Caye Caulker is situated very close to the Mexican border. You can either take a ferry from Belize City or Chetumal (Mexico). From Mexico, the ferry firstly heads to Caye Ambergris, the neighbouring island of Caye Caulker. There you have to get through migration and pay a small fee (have some USD or BZD handy) to get into the country. You change boats and then directly head to Caye Caulker. The first journey takes about 1.5 hours and the second one 30 minutes. But migration can take the same amount of time as well.

How does a beach vacation in Belize compare to one in Mexico?
It is overwhelming to pick a vacation spot if you like the beach...if you are staying in the Western Hemisphere, there are the southern US states, all over the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America to pick from. Most people get a week off so flying distance is an issue. Once you narrow it down to say 5 hours or less to get there, there are still a mountain of choices. For those who have it narrowed down to Mexico or Belize, on the Caribbean side (note: the Caribbean islands are all awesome. Let's say you decided you wanted to do a place that was not an island, but on the mainland---why the mainland? Authentic character, easier/cheaper to get to, and the places in this blog are awesome!). Three great places to choose from are Playa del Carmen and Tulum in Mexico, and Placencia, Belize. See my post HERE for a comparison between Placencia and Ambergris Caye, Belize, and Roatan, Honduras (the latter two being islands).

International Sourcesizz

Notorious KKK Grand Wizard And Patriarch of Racial Segregation Bill Wilkinson Resurfaces After 30 Years
The KKK Grand Wizard, Bill Wilkinson, who disappeared without trace in 1984 from the U.S., has resurfaced in San Pedro, Belize after 30 years. The notorious Grand Wizard of Ku Klax Klan, an organization with hardcore white supremacy beliefs and racial segregation, said he still believes in racial segregation but he is not a racist. In a surprising twist of the tale, the hardcore leader is found to have a posh hotel resort in a location that is full of people he once wanted to segregate. The notorious leader denied the claims that he had turned to an FBI snitch. "I spoke with the FBI yes, but I wasn't an informant," Wilkinson said. Speaking from the luxurious hotel resort he owns and telling his views to Daily Mail Online, Wilkinson said, "Don't call me racist, I don't hate blacks." Meanwhile, contrary to popular belief, Wilkinson mentioned that he had not "changed" since his "hardcore" KKK days. He said he still believes in racial segregation. "I'm just a Bible-crashing segregationist. I still believe in segregation, that's how it should be," Wilkinson said. The 72-year-old was the Imperial Wizard of the Invisible Empire of the Knights of the KKK from 1975 to 1984. The organization believed in white supremacy and was involved in several hate crimes, including the murder of Viola Liuzzio in 1965, who they said was "promoting racial mixing".

Denham Springs man who led violent Ku Klux Klan group before resigning, vanishing in 1984 resurfaces as owner of luxury resort in Belize
A former Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard from Denham Springs, who led the white supremacy group from 1975 to 1984 before suddenly resigning and seemingly vanishing, has surfaced at a luxury resort he owns on a paradise island in Belize with a tiny white minority population, according to the Daily Mail, a British national daily newspaper. Bill Wilkinson, 72, had established a breakaway group of David Duke’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to rival the original, and grew a reputation with the FBI as the most ‘violent’ and ‘dangerous’ KKK movement. He was highly visible in Baton Rouge and maintained the group’s headquarters in Bogalusa.

St. John’s School class raises funds to build home in Belize
St. John’s Knights of Columbus Grand Knight Craig Judd presents a donation of $250 to the eighth-grade class at St. John’s School to help the class meet its fundraising goal of $5,200 to fund the construction of a home in Belize. The home is for a low-income family and the house, while small, will have all the basic necessities. This is the same class that raised $10,000 and donated it to Mother Teresa’s charity to feed the hungry in India last year.

Historic case challenges anti-gay laws in Belize and Trinidad & Tabago
Prominent gay-rights activist Maurice Tomlinson is in court on Tuesday and Wednesday, challenging anti-gay laws that prevent LGBT people and other "undesirable people" from entering the countries of Belize and Trinidad & Tabago. Tomlinson, who lives in Toronto, Canada, is from Jamaica. His homeland is considered one of the most homophobic places on Earth, and recently reports surfaced that a gay man was stoned to death there. Belize is a small nation in Central America south of Mexico and east of Guatemala, while Trinidad & Tobago is an island nation off the coast of Venezuela. Both countries have the Caribbean Sea in common along with a Colonial history of anti-gay laws. In 2003, Belize criminalized homosexuality with up to 10 years in prison upon conviction.

Caribbean Community Climate-Smarting Fisheries, But Slowly
Caribbean nations have begun work on a plan to ‘climate smart’ the region’s fisheries as part of overall efforts to secure food supplies. The concept is in keeping with plans by the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) to improve the “integration of agriculture and climate readiness” as the region prepares to deal with the impacts of climate change and the increasing demand for food. Olu Ajayi, CTA’s senior programme coordinator, told IPS in an email that climate-smarting the region’s aquatic resources will “enable the sector to continue to contribute to sustainable development, while reducing the vulnerability associated with the negative impacts of climate change”. “Climate-smart fisheries require improving efficiency in the use of natural resources to produce fish, maintaining the resilience of aquatic systems and the communities that rely on them,” he noted.

‘No restrictions on Caricom gays’
DESPITE there being legislation in place under local immigration laws to prevent members of the gay community from entering Trinidad and Tobago, acting Chief Immigration Officer Gerry Downes yesterday said there is policy in place to allow those individuals who are members of Caricom nations free movement in and out of this country. There are no restrictions on those individuals simply because of their sexual orientation, but restrictions are placed on people who are not members of Caricom states and are seeking to enter Trinidad and Tobago, he said. Downes made the statement yesterday while testifying during a hearing at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in Port of Spain, in which Jamaican gay rights activist Maurice Tomlinson is challenging local immigration laws, which he contends are homophobic and inconsistent with Caricom policy on free movement between citizens of member states.

Which stars own these stunning hotels around the world?
Celebrities are dabbling in the hospitality business, and some of them own some pretty impressive hotels. If the rumours are true, then Reese Witherspoon is planning to add the title of hotelier into her resume. The Oscar-nominated actress would be joining a long list of celebrities who already own boutique hotels around the world. Take a look at the stunning hotels below and see if you can tell which celebrity owns it.

Driving Change in Aquaculture Discussed at Seafood Expo North America
The Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) brought together a distinguished panel for this year’s Seafood Expo North America to join in the discussion on what drives environmental and social responsibility in aquaculture. On the second day of the show the ASC session was opened by CEO Chris Ninnes who demonstrated some of the big commitments made to the programme, bringing the session to life with a preview of a new ASC film showing how 30 farms in the State of Rio de Janeiro are dedicated to gaining ASC certification in readiness to supply the Rio 2016 Olympics. “It’s these types of commitments that have the power to really drive improvements in aquaculture,” Mr Ninnes explained, referring to pledges from the Global Salmon Initiative and the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.


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