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#503452 - 04/18/15 11:38 AM Today's Belize News: April 18, 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

Cayo Western Ballaz fall to the Tiger Sharks in overtime
The once undefeated Cayo Western Ballaz were handed their first loss in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) by the defending champs, San Pedro Tiger Sharks. The highly anticipated match took center stage on Saturday April 11th at the San Pedro High School Auditorium in San Pedro Town. After forcing overtime, the home team was able to secure a 79 to 75 slim victory. The Tiger Sharks took an early lead in the first quarter, jump-starting an attack against the Western Ballaz. That show of power on home turf saw the Tiger Sharks going into the second quarter with a four point lead. But the folks from the west are no easy contenders and they slowly began closing in. When the clock stopped for the half time, Cayo Western Ballaz had turned over the scoreboard with a 33-to-31 point lead. The battle for supremacy and respect dragged on into the second half of the game as Cayo Western Ballaz ballooned their lead by ten points at the end of the third quarter. Before a full house, Tiger Sharks had no intention of being rolled over by the Ballaz, and the good tactics of home Coach Rico Black played a vital role in to the last quarter as the home team clipped the Ballaz’s wings and closed in on them. At the end of the long buzzer, the Western Ballaz and San Pedro Tiger Sharks were at 68 points apiece, thus forcing overtime.

USNS Comfort offers its services to the Belizean Community
The US Naval Hospital Ship, the USNS Comfort, is in Belize for nine days providing medical, dental, and veterinary care among several other services. The ship docked nine miles off the coast of Belize on Thursday, April 9th, and has since been working in partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Belize Defense Force, and the Belize Coast Guard to train personnel in conducting civil-military operations, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, while providing medical assistance and even engineering support to the local population. The visit to Belize is part of USNS Comfort’s spring tour, Continuing Promise Mission 2015, to provide services to ports across the Caribbean, Central and South America. In order to carry out the activities, USNS Comfort personnel set up an outpatient medical station in Hattieville Government School and Independence High School. Residents could visit either location for one free medical or dental service each day. “The crew and staff of the USNS Comfort will work with their Belizean counterparts on a range of issues including health and transport responders. NGO’s like the Latter Day Saints, charities and the message program have donated three hundred and twenty nine pallets of medical and humanitarian supplies and over a million dollars’ worth of services to help the citizens of Belize. We look forward to the positive impact at the Ladyville Health Center, Independence Polyclinic and Bella Vista Health Center. We are also excited for our planned environmental and veterinary exchanges at Belize Agriculture and Health Authority (BAHA) and the Belize Zoo, just to name a few of the activities that we are doing over the course of the next two weeks,” said Lieutenant General Kenneth Tovo, US Army Deputy Commander at the US Southern Command.

Di V’u: Excellent Food and beautiful views
Located on one of the most desirable spots on the water, surrounded by clear blue sea as far as the eye can see, Di V’u is a treat. Owner Amanda let us know we were in for quite a treat: we’d be tasting a sample of their menu from breakfast through dinner, AND dessert. Yes, there would be cocktails too…after the lunch course… ;) But first, we dig into breakfast with their glorious Coconut French Toast. Following that yummy introduction to Di V’u’s kitchen was a couple of appetizers: pan-fried butterfly shrimp and jalapeño poppers. Crispy fried shrimp were paired with a sweet creamy piña colada sauce, while the the jalapeño poppers, stuffed with a cream cheese and chicken filling, were paired with a tangy mango sauce to mellow the spicy kick of the pepper. Both were tasty, but the poppers’ spice revved it up to my list of favorites. My dining companions seemed to enjoy both appetizers equally, and their appetite for more Di V’u items was teased properly!

Kent Gabourel places second in Weekend Warriors Cross Country
San Pedro’s very own Kent “Bob” Gabourel captured second place in the fifth annual Weekend Warriors Cross Country Cycle Classic. The event, which took place on Saturday April 11th, saw 35 riders participate in the 68-mile race from Santa Elena Cayo to Belize in the A Class Category. Gabourel finished mere seconds behind Robert Mariano in a sprint to the finish line. At Garbutt’s Gas Station in Roaring Creek Kent “Bob” Gabourel stepped up into the front fold and picked up his first station prize. By the time the race got to mile 21 at Gracie Rock Village, it was Robert Mariano and Kent Gabourel in total command of the lead. The duo would ride neck-and-neck up to a few hundred meters from the finish line at Cisco Construction at 3½ miles outside Belize City. A sprint by the duo to the finish line saw Robert Mariano of Digicell 4G taking the A Class title in a clock time of three hours and 33 minutes. Just seconds behind was Kent Gabourel of Benny’s who finished in second place. BelCal’s Calman Williams, father of the Holy Saturday Cross Country Champion Justin Williams, finished in third place. Warren Coye of Santino’s captured fourth while Douglas Lamb of Digicell rounded up the top five.

Long-time island ex-pat claims police victimization
A 66-year-old American national living in Belize for the past 30 years is claiming that the San Pedro Police victimized her by detaining her for no apparent reason. Resident of northern Ambergris Caye, Linda Carter stated that on Tuesday, April 7th, she was detained at the police station for over six hours and was treated unjustly by Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott. Carter says that the treatment she received was demeaning and even caused her health complications. OC Jemmott stated that Carter was detained for insulting a police officer, an act that is considered an offence under the Laws of Belize. In the Police Act Chapter 138 Section 38 (1) “Any person who- (a) assaults, resists or obstructs; or (b) uses any abusive or insulting language to; or (c) aids or incites any person to assault, resist or obstruct, any member of the Department or a special constable appointed under section 36 in the execution of his duty or any person acting in aid of any such member of the Department, shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twelve months, or in the discretion of the magistrate he may be committed for trial to the Supreme Court.” These are the grounds on which Carter’s detention was justified.

Ambergris Today

St. Francis Xavier Credit Union Holds Successful Quiz Contest
Saint Francis Xavier Credit Union held its very successful and enjoyable credit union quiz contest on Thursday, April 16, 2015. Of all the elementary schools in San Pedro, three schools responded to the challenge and fielded representation. Ninel Pacheco represented San Pedro R. C. School and Caroline Sersland was the voice for Isla Bonita Elenentary while Chelsey Valdez and Karina Moreya were the pride of New Horizon Academy Adventist School. San Pedro Branch Manager, Lina Martinez gave the official welcome and emcee Angel introduced the judges who were Froyland Gilharry, Assistant Dean of San Pedro Jr. College; Jorge Aldana reporter of San Pedro Sun; and Lisa Coleman, Compliance Officer of the Belize Credit Union League.

Belize Telemedia Teams with Global Directories for New Telephone Directory
This past week, Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) unveiled their 2015 installment of the annual telephone directory for Belize. The front cover of this year’s directory features an image of the Big Drop Falls in Southern Belize, taken by Belizean photographer, Tony Wrath. Senior brand and events representative of BTL Ellen Borland indicated that this is the first year that the company directory was outsourced to international firm Global Directories, a well-established international directory within the Caribbean, and that they are very pleased with the results. She added that the company prints about 50,000 large and 10,000 mini copies of the directory every year but that print was significantly higher this year.

The Spring/Summer 2015 issue of The TOLEDO HOWLER is online HERE

In this issue we conclude the reminiscences of Don Owen-Lewis who first arrived in Toledo from England in 1953; learn about the health and healing properties of ginger in Arzu Mountain Spirits regular column and introduce the new zipline canopy course at Blue Creek... and lots more. The Chocolate Festival of Belize will be taking place for the ninth year on the weekend of May 22-24th and we hope that many of you will be able to come down and join us for this celebration of cacao. Contact our BTIA accommodation members to make your room reservations or Stephanie in the BTIA office on Front Street in Punta Gorda (details inside The Howler). We hope you enjoy reading and look forward to seeing you down here.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Bookkeeping Workshop
Bookkeeping is the heart of any business. Without it, we cannot hope to keep track of the most important part of any business; money. Gain excellent skills in using various accounting procedures and maintain your books efficiently and effectively for the success of your business. On completion of this course, you will have a sound knowledge about the basic steps and techniques used in bookkeeping, including Identify the differences between commercial environment. PRICE: $15.00 ***Snacks and refreshments will be provided*** Presented by: Mr Roberto Kuylen, Business Adviser, SBDCBelize Workshop Date: April 23rd, 2015 Time: 9am to 12pm WORKSHOP LOCATION: BTEC Building, ITVet compound, Freetown Road Tel: 223-3195

Monkey River, Belize
Have you visited Monkey River Bay in southern Belize? Another great area in our beautiful Caribbean Paradise. Once a thriving town, today this coastal community is a quiet village. Severe erosion has ravaged large chunks of the shoreline. But Monkey River is slowly reviving itself as a tourist destination. Fishing has always been a mainstay for residents; this was one of the first communities to form a fisherman's cooperative. These are the people and places that would be among the most affected by offshore oil.

Playwriting Workshop at Benque HoC
It's been a month full of artistry. Riti Sachdeva from OmniRootZ hosted a playwriting workshop at the Benque House of Culture. Thanks, Riti! "Imagine this...Yesterday we were amazed by her mythopolitical approach where global issues are told through mythological lenses. Heartful thanks to OmniRootZ Theatre Produkshunz for their support and many thanks to each participant. Images courtesy to Ms Cindy Castellanos."

SUCCESS!!! USNS Comfort
As the USNS Comfort visit to Belize comes to an end more than 4,748 patients have been seen and over 66 surgeries were conducted on board the ship at NO COST to the patients. Let's wish them a hearty farewell as they depart Belize and move on to their next location to help more people.

Continuing Promise clinic in Hattieville postponed
PLEASE NOTE - Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Continuing Promise clinic at the Hattievile government school will not be open on Saturday, 18 April as previously planned. The USNS Comfort medical professionals regret any inconvenience that this unplanned circumstance may cause.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, April 17, 2015: 08

Students of Sewanee University donate to FCD
Students of Sewanee: The University of the South, Tennessee present the cheque of US$1,545.00 to FCD via skype. Funds will be used for ranger mobilization across the Chiquibul Forest. FCD is grateful to Dr. Jonathan Evans and the students who made this fundraising event possible. Big thanks to all those who donated!!!

WCS 2015 in-water turtle surveys wrap-up at Glover's Reef Atoll
On the last day of surveys the team works up a Green turtle captured in spectacular fashion by Jorge and Ashbert. Check the Glover's Reef Reserach Station Facebook page for the full video soon. Thanks again to all who participated from across Belize's marine reserve network.

Channel 7

Striker Deon McCauley Is Home
On Wednesday night's news, we told you about the fundraising effort organized by a grassroots group of football fans. The group calls itself the Association of Belizeans Concerned with Getting Deon Home. They wanted to show maximum support for the prolific striker, Deon McCauley by raising $5,000 in donations to cover his travel expense, and a weekly stipend to pay him for the next 10 weeks while he trains with the National Team for FIFA World Cup qualifying match against the Dominican Republic. The "ABC Deon," as the group became known, took action in the wake of the public outrage which resulted when President Ruperto Vicente announced that, due to FFB rules, they couldn't pay for McCaulay's return. The group gave itself a two-day deadline, asserting that it could get McCauley home from the US by today. Well, they delivered, and at around 1 p.m. this afternoon, Deon McCauley arrived from Atlanta via Miami. 7News was there at the airport to greet him, and he had only gratitude for the general public who gave generously to the dollar drive. Here's what he told us:

FFB Embraces Deon Rejects Bad Rap
The Football Federation of Belize, and its president, Ruperto Vicente, were the target of harsh criticism all this week. That's because they said they couldn't buy a plane ticket to get him home for the national team camp. But, now Deon is back in Belize and so what does the President of the FFB think? Well, he was at the airport to greet the striker - and told us the anger directed at the FFB was misplaced:... Ruperto Vicente, President - FFB "It is a good thing and I have to embrace it as well. It shows that the people wants to participate in the process and they also want to participate in what is now our football. It shows a level of patriotism. It shows a level of commitment to the country. I have to embrace that, but at the same time, we must also understand that they are rules in place. Because we are changing things at the football federation. Nobody comes to the federation or to the national team automatically. Every time we called the national team, even if you have been on the national team for 15-20 years, you have to come back and prove yourself. That is the criteria that has been in place and we are enforcing that kind of criteria. So, for the Belizeans coming to support Deon coming home - to prove himself and try out for the national team - is a welcome gesture. I will not fight against that. It is Belizean and our national team is Belizean team. I am here as the custodian, as the person who sets the standard for our football federation and we the standard for our national team. As I said before, it is no longer business as usual. Our national team has to fit into that kind of program and that is the reason we have this. It is good for football."

Cayo Coast Guard Killers Charged
Three persons have been charged for the murder of 23 year old Aurelio Montero Jr. He is the Coast Guard officer who was found unconscious with a head injury in downtown San Ignacio early on Holy Saturday morning. Montero never regained consciousness and passed away shortly after he was found. Well, Cayo police have now charged three males, including a 17 year old minor for his murder. Apparently, Montero Jr was sleeping on the ground near the Welcome center after midnight on Good Friday. He was likely inebriated - and the three decided to rob and beat him up. They dragged him behind a building and did just that- taking his wallt with his ID and his footwear. Montero who remained unconscious put up no resistance and they are believed to have inflicted the injuries that led to his death. Police have gotten confession statements from three men: 20 year old Windel Obando, 23 year old Saul Ortiz and a 17 year old - all of the Kontiki area in San Ignacio. They have all been charged for murder.

BEL's Big Blackout
Residents of the Belize City northside neighborhoods of Coral Grove, Buttonwood Bay, Belama Phase I and the portion of Belama Phase II between Chetumal Street and Gwen Lizarraga Street had better prepare for a warm Sunday! And on the southside, Nargusta street, St Jude Street, Mopan Street, Hondo Street and a portion of Mahogany street between Mopan And Sitee Streets should do the same. That's because BEL has announced an eleven-hour outage! - that's right half a day of blackout, from five in the morning to four in the evening. This is to replace lamp posts carrying high voltage lines and tension high voltage lines But, even if you live in other areas of the city, you're still going to fell some inconvenience, because there will also be two half hour long city wide outages from 5:00am to 5:30am and 3:30pm to 4:00pm to commission recently constructed Banak and Palotti Substations.

Leased Land For Evicted Squatters
Tonight it seems that the eviction dispute in the Gungulung area of Lake Independence has been settled without a great deal of fuss. Area Representative Mark King told us that he today handed over 12 land leases in Cotton Tree as promised to the dozen squatters being evicted from the 6 acres of private land along the river. The landowner also gave them a grant of one thousand dollars to cover relocation costs. And while this story had a reasonably happy ending, there are scores of squatters in that same area. King says he will deal with them starting Monday through the Land Amnesty programme. Of course it's a losing proposition, because demand always exceeds supply, but King says he remains confident.

Corrupt Cop Caught By Canuck
A Caye Caulker Cop was charged for extortion after he shook down a Canadian woman visiting Belize. It happened on Tuesday night at 11:00 on Crocodile Street. Police Constable #621 Daniel Requena caught her with a small amount of marijuana clenched in her hand. He told her she would go to jail unless she paid him eight hundred dollars. She reported the case to his superiors and they arrested and charged him for extortion. He was arraigned and granted bail of $3,000 and one surety.

Polling Sexual Perceptions
About 16 months ago, The United Nation Population Fund - or UNFPA - released a report which showed a high number of teenage pregnancies in Belize. At that time, Dr. Peter Allen, the CEO in the Ministry of Health made the dramatic declaration, "Our Children are having sex. Our Children are having children." That was a very critical look at a topic which appears to still be taboo within the Belizean society. Well, another survey, this one done by UNAIDS, looked at the society's attitude toward getting tested for HIV, age appropriate sex and sexuality education, adolescent access to condoms and contraceptives, child physical and sexual abuse, the protection of people living with HIV from discrimination, and the attitudes toward homosexuality. In other words, this survey asked random respondents from all over the country about sexual behavior and the attitude toward sex-related issues. About 773 persons, ages 18 to 64, were quizzed in November 2013, and UNAIDS released the findings to the public today. The Regional Director for UNAIDS Caribbean told us what they found out: Ernest Massiah, Regional Director, UNAIDS Caribbean "The first bit is a poll that was on as a nationally representative poll of 773 Belizeans; men and women across the country. And we are asking them questions about their attitudes to sexual and reproductive health, sex education in schools, testing for HIV, domestic violence and child abuse. and what we found is, and I think is really interesting, we found that Belizeans are perhaps more accepting of sexual diversity than perhaps one gets when one looks in some of the stuff in the newspapers.

The case For And Against Senator Ray
Since April second, the dispute in the National Trade Union Congress of Belize has been playing out on the public stage. It's all because Labour Senator Ray Davis abstained in the vote on the Petrocaribe Loan Motion on March 30th. The Trade Union Congress opposes the bill - and wanted him to vote against it. But they never told him that - and the dispute over whether he should have known better continues. If you ask Trade Union Second Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd, it's a black and white issue - but Jules Vasquez found many shades of grey in the documents he's seen:.. Audrey Matura-Shepherd, 2nd Vice President - NTUCB "I had objected before, on how he voted on the cane issue and how he voted before on the Petrocaribe money." Jules Vasquez reporting Indeed she had - in this November 2014 letter Matura asked how it is that Senator Davis voted yes on the first Petrocaribe loan motion. She said, quote, "in a matter of such great importance we the members of the Trade Union Congress should have a say. So can I please be enlightened as to who come it is that our Senator voted yes and who gave that mandate?"

Auditor General's Report Review
The Auditor General's most recent report on the Government's finances has been released to the public. You'll be able to find it on 7Newsbelize.com tonight - and Jules Vasquez looked inside today for a few juicy buts. Jules Vasquez reporting The auditor general's report for the fiscal year 2011 - 2012. It is almost 300 pages long - but does not provide any screaming headlines. For the second year in a row, the auditor general laments the absence of a functioning Public Accounts Committee. Just like last year, she found bank accounts un-reconciled. - 23 of them in this case. And that's why she gave an adverse opinion - whereas in the previous year she simply with-held her opinion. The police reward fund is one reconciled account where regulations were ignored, saying that withdrawals should not exceed four thousand dollars annually - but in this case - one withdrawal for 53 thousand dollars was made in one day without the Minister's approval. The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said it is the fault of the public service:

SJC: Taking The Mystery Out of History
"A people without the knowledge of their past, history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots." That's the well-known black consciousness mantra of Marcus Garvey and they were brought into harness and currency today at the St. Johns' College 4th annual Reading Fair. The event featured the usual educational and historical displays and activities, but there were also several displays that challenged the conventional approach to learning history and connecting to the past. I found out more when I visited: Other activities held at the fair include a Spanish Spelling Bee that was held in the Art Center, a Poetry Slam section and there was also several Ancient Maya Exhibits.

Cops Care, Really
Today, the Central Christian Primary School got a donation of a printer from Police Precinct 3. It's a good turn after the school participated in the Eastern Division's BLACK March 3 weeks ago. The the printer was handed over today and 7News was there. We spoke with the Commanding Officer about the token of appreciation: Central Christian School is also one of the education centers which benefit from the police's program called the Gang Resistance Education and Training, or GREAT. One of the coordinators organized an event for students who recently passed through the training. They were to show appreciation for their school, and we saw the children in action. Here's what the police coordinator had to say about it: Belize Yellow Pages collaborated with the Police for this effort.

The First Belize Jazz Fest
2 days ago, we showed you how musicians and the government agencies responsible for culture and creative arts were holding workshops to improve the business aspects of the local music industry. Well, that's not the only new initiative that NICH and the Institute of Creative Arts is spearheading to provide local musicians with greater opportunities to showcase their talents. The first ever Belize International Jazz Festival is being planned for the this summer starting on June 5 and ending on June 14. It will feature a group of influential international artists as well as local bands who have been well established and who have generated a following. This morning, ICA officially introduced the Jazz Festival to the public, and 7News was there. Here's what the organizers and the participating musicians had to say about it: Apart from the 10 performances, there will be music workshops offered to the musicians to help them develop their musical talents in whatever instrument they specialize in. The festival will be spread all across the country starting from Belize City, then to Belmopan, to Cayo and then to San Pedro.

Take A Walk In OW Park
Orange Walk Central Park - if you haven't been there recently, you should take a stop in. It's been transformed from a shabby old space to a thoroughly modern park with all the amenities - even wi-fi. It's been opened for some months now - but the World Bank made it official earlier this week. And politicians from both sides tried to claim ownership for the spending space:… Depending on who's in power in the town board - the park is known either as Queen Elizabeth Park - which is the UDP name, or the Central Park which is the PUP name.

Field Of Dreams Achievable
Belize's sports facilities - often have to double as concert venues - and when they do - a football pitch or a wooden basketball court can take a pounding. In fact, many say that a Beenie Man concert in the rain profoundly damaged the MCC pitch. Well, a Trinidadian civil engineer says he can prevent that form happening again. He's offering a product called the I- Trac Matting system and a soil stabilization formula. With these, Christopher Berkeley says you can party all night long on any football field and not worry about how it will look the morning after. He told me more:... Berkeley was busy this week pitching his product to other stakeholders.

Channel 5

Deon McCauley Returns Home to the Jaguars
Belize’s star striker Deon McCauley is back in the Jewel.  As we reported on Thursday, a petition to return McCauley, in time for the Jaguars to prepare for the second [...]

F.F.B. President Says Striker Begins Training on Monday
Now that McCauley is back in the country, F.F.B. President, Ruperto Vicente, says that the ball is in his court and he must now show and prove in the days [...]

Has Beleaguered F.F.B. Executive Rawell Pelayo Tendered His Resignation?
Following a congress of the Football Federation of Belize last Saturday, President Ruperto Vicente informed the media that embattled second vice president Rawell Pelayo was expected to tender his resignation [...]

McCauley Looks Forward to Joining Other International Teams
In February 2014, Deon McCauley inked a one-year contract with the Atlanta Silverbacks to play in the North American Professional League.  During that time he has had to undergo surgery [...]

PM Barrow Expresses Concern on U.S. and European Banking Relations
It hasn’t happened just yet, but the Caribbean and Central American regions are keenly aware that there is some intention by large European and US banks to end relations with [...]

Belt-tightening at B.T.B., PM Says Situation Under Control
The Belize Tourism Board is in a financial crunch and has been for some time. The company which is responsible for marketing Belize, we are told, has had to impose [...]

Pioneer in Local Tourism Industry, Peter Tonti, Passes Away
The tourism industry has lost one of its pioneers. Peter Tonti, the C.E.O. of Cahal Pech Village Resort passed away on Thursday.  Tonti has been visiting Belize since the nineteen [...]

Lorenzo Smith Jr. Arraigned for 2009 Murder of Cellmate
An inmate of the Belize Central Prison serving ten years for arson got some more bad news earlier today. Following a preliminary inquiry this morning, Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith [...]

‘Dalla’ Van Driver Charged for Unlawful Sexual Intercourse
A Belize City mechanic is spending his first night behind bars on remand after he was charged for unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor today. Twenty-nine-year-old Francis Avilez, a full-time [...]

And the Survey Says… Homophobia is Down in Belize
What’s the sentiment of Belizeans on LGBT persons? A poll that was done about a year and a half ago shows that people are generally more accepting and that Belize [...]

Musicians, Artists and Engineers Register for 2015 Belize International Jazz Festival
The National Institute of Culture and History is adding yet another event to its yearly calendar…the Belize International Jazz Festival.  Over one hundred and sixty local and international artists and [...]

10 Days of Jazz Fusion Begins on June 5th
The event will feature ten days of jazz fusion and will see the collaboration of local culture makers, business enterprises and globally renowned artists to promote the cultural and social [...]

What Will This Year’s Calendar of Events Include?
But aside from the long list of festivals that will be held over the course of the year, the events within the September Celebrations Calendar will see thousands of Belizeans [...]

September Celebration Theme Competition Kicks Off
And if you’d like to win a thousand dollars, you can also participate in the 2015 “September Celebrations Theme Competition.” All Belizeans, living at home and abroad, are invited to [...]

Taprick and Concego Launch New Punta Albums
Concego and Taprick the Sheriff…they’re well established names on the musical scene and only getting bigger and better. Today, they were guests on our morning show since both are launching [...]

PlusTV

Santino Castillo hands over to Darrell Bradley in Caribbean Shores
The United Democratic Party (UDP) has made much recent use of the press to announce major party news such as the candidacies of Tracey Taegar-Panton and Dr. Carla Barnett in the Albert and Freetown divisions in the next general election...

Northern Two Cayes mortgage holder clarifies legal status of Puerto Azul project
John Mills, holder of the mortgage on Northern Two Cayes in the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, today stepped forward to address concerns having to do with the legal status of the ownership of Northern Two Cayes, which is currently held by Northern Two Cayes Company Ltd...

3 Charged for Montero’s Murder
On April 4th, Holy Saturday, 23 year old Aurelio Montero Jr., a member of the Belize Coast Gaurd, was discovered unconscious at the San Ignacio Welcome Center. He had been beaten to a pulp and left their to bleed. Five days later Aurelio passed away as a result of injuries to the head...

Half a million looted from Treasury?
Tonight the Government of Belize faces some financial worries, as police are investigating a reported theft from the Treasury. Certainly more than $350,000 and reports say as much as half a million, up to reportedly a million dollars was taken in several installments...

BTB to scrap increments?
The Belize Tourism Board is reported to be facing a cash crunch that has led to an unpopular plan to end increments for workers, replacing them with 5% end-of-year bonuses...

Government negotiating possible solution for Stake Bank dispute
Fort Street Tourism Village and the Feinstein Group have gone to court over the agreements signed in the early 2000′s for the then-Belize Tourism Village that gave it exclusive rights to dock cruise ship passengers...

Audrey Matura-Shepherd lays into Ray Davis on Senate vote
2nd Vice President of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) Audrey Matura-Shepherd last week went on record to call for the removal of Senator Ray Davis as representative of the trade unions in the upper legislature, following his vote of abstention on the Petrocaribe Loan Act of 2015...

P.M. and Former PSU President defend Ray Davis
Today Prime Minister Dean Barrow was called on to defend a childhood schoolmate and said that that relationship did not preclude Senator Ray Davis from being his own man. More importantly, he says, it did not influence that crucial vote that has set the President of the CWU against him...

PM Barrow clarifies banking remarks
At the preliminary meeting before the 7th Summit of the Americas convened last week in Panama,  Prime Minister of Belize Dean Barrow told his counterparts that under pressure from internal regulators, major banks in the United States are “de-risking” in response to strict anti-money laundering regul...

The Thousand Dollar Tour Scam
A man posing as the manager of a tour guide firm made off with over $1 thousand US dollars after he reportedly tricked an American woman into depositing money in an account in exchange for his services...

Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry says No to Petro Caribe
Today the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry placed on the record its endorsement of the Business Senator’s vote against the controversial Petro Caribe loan bill 2015...


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#503453 - 04/18/15 11:38 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 18, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Kendale Green, 22, on trial for murder of Nigerian taxi driver
In January 2011, police arrested and charged a 17-year-old minor and two adults for the December 26, 2010 murder of Nigerian taxi driver Francis Chukwu, 37, who was found slumped behind the wheel of his taxi, shot in his head while driving on Pitter Street. The two adults, Egbert Daly, 19, and Jermaine Zuniga, 31, were released from the murder charge when the Director of Public Prosecution, in November 2011, instructed that the charge be withdrawn from against them due to a lack of evidence. The case against the remaining accused, Kendale Green, who is now 22, was committed to the Supreme Court, and this Monday, April 13, Green’s murder trial began in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas, who is hearing the case without a jury.

$500,000 stolen from Treasury!
Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed to the local media today that as much as $500,000 has been siphoned from the Government’s Treasury Department in Belize City. The alarming incident came to light earlier this week, and this past Tuesday, April 14, the Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight, alerted PM Barrow about the findings. Barrow told us that while he cannot confirm the exact amount since the matter is still being investigated, he was informed that it could be “as high as half a million dollars.” Reliable sources have indicated that between $500,000 and $700,000 was embezzled over an unspecified amount of time, and Barrow noted that while the pilfering may have been happening for some time, authorities did not find out about it until recently, which is why no sort of public disclosure was previously made.

“Santi” surrenders Caribbean Shores!
The much-anticipated political face-off between Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley and Caribbean Shores area representative, Hon. Santiago “Santino” Castillo, Jr., will never see the light of day, since Castillo announced today that he has made a decision to withdraw from the race. During a press conference which took place at the United Democratic Party (UDP)’s headquarters this morning, Castillo declared that after lengthy consideration, he withdrew his bid for a second term primarily to avoid disunity within the party as it prepares for the general elections. Prime Minister and UDP party leader, Hon. Dean Barrow, told the gathering that he is pleased at Castillo’s resolution to simply hand over the reins without a fight.

Wife, using cellphone, records cops beating her husband
After allegedly beating a man with his club in the process of arresting him, Special Constable Edward Swift, of the Orange Walk police, was arrested and charged with wounding and use of excessive force by police on Tuesday. Swift was taken to the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he was arraigned on the charge. He pleaded not guilty and was offered bail of $1,000, which he met, and was ordered to return to court on June 20. The victim’s ordeal was captured on his wife’s cellphone – apparently, the officers were so focused on manhandling the victim that they did not notice her recording their actions. Police said that SC Swift and another policeman went to the home of Orange Walk Town resident, Andres Rodriguez, 28, and that Swift beat him up, handcuffed him and dragged him out of his house. They then took him to the police station.

Chamber denounces PetroCaribe Loans Act
After deliberations held at a summit this weekend, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued a strong statement this evening, expressing its resounding disapproval of recently introduced legislation which permits the Government of Belize to continue borrowing tens of millions of dollars at a time from Venezuela under the PetroCaribe accord without first getting the approval of Parliament, but furthermore permitting the Government to freely spend those funds outside the limitations of existing financial legislation. Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, president of the BCCI, told Amandala that he has never seen anything like this law, which would essentially permit the Government to borrow when it wants, how much it wants and also to spend it at will. This is “scary legislation writing,” and it sets a dangerous precedent, Vasquez told us. In its statement today, the BCCI said that, “After careful review and research of the Alba Petro Caribe Bill passed in the House of Representatives on March 27th 2015, the Chamber believes that this bill undermines the spirit and intent of the revised Finance and Audit Act of 2005.”

The inevitable oil spill: Belize must get ready!
Next Monday, April 20, will mark 5 years since the Deepwater Horizon disaster—described as the biggest maritime oil spill in history, which pumped 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico over a span of three months, and University of Florida researchers say that affected communities are still being plagued by its impacts. Since that catastrophe, Belizeans have become very aware of the potential devastation that oil spills can cause, and even more so of the reality that Belize is nowhere near prepared to effectively implement a quick response to a large-scale spill. This has heightened calls from the environmental community for a ban against offshore drilling. The reality is, though, that with about a million barrels of petroleum products being shipped into Belize each year and hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude being exported from our southern shores on an annual basis, the risk of an oil spill that could devastate Belize’s coast already exists. According to Commander Paul Lattanzi of the US Coast Guard, who is also assigned as a consultant to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), a spill is admittedly inevitable.

Mike’s 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan – the Big Dance is here!!!
The semifinals got off to a late start on Sunday, April 12, as a number of us were harassed, roughed-up, and humiliated by the GSU on our way to the game. Yes, big guns being pointed at us unnecessarily, with no explanation accepted or given. This experience makes us question the thinking abilities of some of these officers, and understand why at times people complain about police. It was after they identified someone on a motorcycle and they set chase, we were freed to go. It was scary that there wasn’t a check point, but big guns pointed at us to “pull over” in unmarked vehicles. The four teams of the ten that racked ‘em up on the pool table in the semifinals of Mike’s 8-Ball Tournament in Belmopan were: Pelayo’s Electricals (seeded #1), Elements (seeded #2), BRC Shooters (seeded #3), and Las Flores (seeded #4). Here’s how it ended in a best-of-two overall matches with 3 players vs 3 players.

Cricket Corner – Zone One took care of Zone Two
It was a pleasant day on Saturday, April 11, in Rancho Dolores. The All Star game was played in a T/20 format. Zone One took to bat first, and in 20 overs the team scored 102 runs. After a lunch break, Zone Two took to bat, and in 16 overs all were out for 66 runs. On Sunday in St. Paul’s, the Under 15 started. At the closing of the first day, three teams are scheduled to continue this Sunday in Double Head. The three teams are Double Head, Rancho Dolores and St. Paul’s, who have each won one game and lost one. All are invited to come out and watch the finishing. The regular season in the second half continues this weekend with the following scheduled games: ZONE ONE – Western Eagles vs Excelsior at St. Paul’s; Police takes on Easy Does It at Lemonal; and Excellence goes to Sandhill against Bright Star; and in ZONE TWO – Brilliant goes against Suga Boys in Carmelita; Brave Union battles Wicked11 at Flowers Bank; Isabella Uprising travels to Landing to face Berlan; and Cahsu Medicos meets Sunrise in Lords Bank.

U-12, U-13 and Female Football in O.W.
Youth football games were played at the Barracks on Saturday, April 11, for both U12 and U13 players. In U-12 action, Black Water dropped Sandhill, 1-0, on an auto goal; and Young School and Juventus played to a 0-0 draw. In U-13, San Estevan and Orange Walk Central Stars ended in a 1-1 stalemate. Alexis Chan scored for San Estevan, while Jaheem Augustine scored for O.W. Central Stars. Elite Promos dropped Trial Farm Survivors, 3-1, with goals from Phillip Rhaburn, Johan Bull and Jordi Espejo. Trial Farm’s goal was by Franklin Perez. And Belize won, 1-0, over Trial Farm Black Water, the goal coming from Elvis Cabral. On Sunday, April 12, there were 3 female games at the Barracks. Yo Creek Gladiators clipped Guinea Grass, 1-0; Carmelita Young Stars also dropped Chan Pine Ridge, 1-0; and Caribbean Rum Road Runners drew, 0-0, with Carmelita Spanish Town.

Editorial: Belizean politics
Over the last few years this newspaper has referred to the similarities between Belize’s two major political parties – the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) and the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP). We mean no disrespect to these two institutions, because they are indigenous, authentic, national, and critical to Belize’s consciousness of itself as a nation-state. The only other institutions in Belize which are national in scope are the churches, and the schools which they own and administrate. But, the churches are not indigenous or authentic to Belize: they are run from foreign headquarters. The churches are imported from outside of Belize. The UDP and the PUP were created and organized in the territory of Belize, by Belizeans. Last year this newspaper made it clear to the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) of Belmopan and the People’s National Party (PNP) of Toledo that we did not consider them to be viable political institutions because they were not national in scope. For whatever reason(s), these two parties have been unable to make common cause with each other.

From the Publisher
I met the man called Eddie Edmondson at the old Belize International Airport in the spring of 1985. That’s when the newly elected United Democratic Party (UDP) government arranged with the ownership/management of the Chicago Cubs to take leftfielder Gary Matthews out of spring training and fly him to Belize. The country of Belize had gone crazy over the Chicago Cubs because, in those first couple years of pirate and cable television in Belize, the Chicago-based WGN television superstation was the signal we could receive most clearly, and WGN broadcast all Cub games. The Cub announcer, the colorful Harry Carey, was pretty exciting. By the seventh inning “stretch,” he was usually “wet,” or seemed to be. Listening to the Belize City ladies talk back then, I think the sex symbol for most of them was the Cub first baseman, Leon “The Bull” Durham, who was a well-built brother with “geri-curls.”

Trying to ignore voices of the people
Dear Editor, The Department of Environment scheduled an “Oil Pollution, Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Sensitization Workshop” for Wednesday, April 15. They claim the workshop’s objective “is to sensitize NGOs and the Media on oil pollution, oil spill preparedness, response and cooperation”. They plan this to be part of an “on-going revision and updating of the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan presently being conducted by the DOE.” The Belize Institute of Environmental Law & Policy (BELPO) has had an ongoing interest and involvement in the area of oil exploration/exploitation in Belize for many years. We started holding workshops on the Petroleum Act in 2003. Godsman Ellis was President of BELPO at the time. We invited the Department of Environment to that 2003 workshop and others that we held, as well as inviting the Geology and Petroleum Department.

CCJ celebrates 10 years; 5 as final appeals court for Belize
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) is this week celebrating its first decade of existence as the regional court for the Caribbean and also its fifth year as the final appellate court for Belize. Sir Dennis Byron, CCJ president, who is due to be in Belize next week for a historic sitting of the court here, has expressed the hope that all member states of CARICOM will give the CCJ a 10th anniversary gift of “full accession” to the Court. Currently, only three countries apart from Belize have signed on to the appellate jurisdiction of the court. That’s less than a third of the CARICOM states, which number 15. A CCJ statement issued on the occasion of the court’s 10th anniversary quoted Justice Byron, highlighting the words of Trinidad and Tobago calypsonian, Singing Sandra, in her 2005 composition: “to foreign masters you bow, look how them judges in London, making final decisions for we. To their judgment we must keep bowing, most insulting indeed, why to their council we must be privy.”

John Mills says Puerto Azul’s 8-star vision for Lighthouse Reef not sustainable
US national, John Mills—the mortgage holder for the island property on which the proposed multi-million-dollar Puerto Azul project, promoted as the world’s first eight-star resort, is to be built—has joined leading voices in the environmental community to say, on the record, that the original design of the project just will not work, because it won’t be either environmentally or economically sustainable. Mills pointed, for example, to the proposal to set up a golf course on Lighthouse Reef, located over 40 miles from Belize City – a concept which he says is totally incompatible with the atoll’s status as a World Heritage Site, because of the chemical treatments that would be required to maintain it. This is nowhere near as controversial as the proposed airport on the reef, a proposal strongly opposed by Belize’s environmental community. The latest online promotion of Puerto Azul, a proposed 960-acre development, through its wording and tone suggests that the resort will be operational within the coming months and inaugurated by year-end, featuring suites with underwater bedrooms, for example, which the company claims are already being offered on a time-share basis to as many as 300 clients.

US Capital abandons US$22 mil well in Sarstoon Temash
For about a year, US Capital Energy has been exploring for crude oil in the Sarstoon Temash National Park in Toledo, southern Belize, but today the company will be sending back the coiled tubing equipment it had imported from the US some weeks ago to do further probing at its first well site inside the national park. US Capital Energy’s country representative, Alistair King, told Amandala that the decision to abandon the well was made because high levels of hydrogen sulfide were being encountered. Breathing very high concentrations of the gas, which has a pungent rotten-egg smell, can lead to death, but in smaller concentrations, it could lead to varying health effects, which include loss of smell, conjunctivitis and lung disease. According to King, while drilling the well, the company saw positive signs that oil is there, and they also encountered methane and butane. He told us, though, that despite these encouraging signs, the discovery of high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide forced them to plug and abandon the well – a procedure which he said has been approved by the Government.

Murder trial aborted – new jury to be empanelled
An accused murderer who has been waiting for his day in court for almost five years, learned this morning that he will have to wait a bit longer after the trial judge, Supreme Court Justice John “Troadio” Gonzalez, aborted the trial, which had just began yesterday, Monday, and sent the jury home. Raymond Myers, 30, who has been accused of the May 2010 murder of Francis Figueroa, 27, was sent back to prison to await a new trial date after one of the jurors informed the court that he is a Jehovah’s Witness, and as such, is unable to sit in judgment over someone. Justice Gonzalez questioned the juror, asking him why he had not said something before. The juror replied that he did not quite understand his role as a juror, and it occurred to him that he would have to pass judgment on the accused man.

Keyren Tzib, charged with attempted murder, gets bail
Keyren Tzib, a female who holds the rank of seaman in the Belize Coast Guard, was able to smile with family members and a high school friend who was present this afternoon after Supreme Court Justice Herbert Lord announced, “everything I asked for has been given and bail will be granted.” Tzib has been at the Belize Central Prison for the past eight days, since she was arraigned on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm against petty officer Kurt Hyde, who she allegedly shot onboard a Coast Guard boat that was returning to its Belize City base, after a multi-agency operation around San Pedro, on Easter Monday. Under an amendment to the Crime Control and Criminal Justice Act, any person who can prove to the court that he or she is of good character with no criminal record, can apply for an expedited bail at the Supreme Court. Prior to the amendment, bail applicants had to wait 10 working days before approaching the court for bail.

The Reporter

Competitors in internet industry sign agreement to benefit customers
This week, a historic cooperation was formed between the internet service providers (ISP) in Belize to collectively establish the country’s first internet exchange point. Nine ISPs, all competitors, gathered for the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the University of Belize’s West Landivar […]

Four persons shot!
The Reporter has learned of two shootings around 7 p.m. on Friday night in Belize City that has left four persons with injuries. The incidents occurred on Banak Street and Jane Usher Boulevard. We were made to understand that three of the victims have been […]

Police follow leads in murder of Edward Usher
Police and residents of the Mayflower Street area have said that the motive for Saturday morning’s murder of Edward “Ghost” Usher, 40, inside a yard at #5 Mayflower Street in Belize City, was a long-standing conflict between Usher and other men from the same area […]

Special constable charged for beating man! Police corporal disciplined for not stopping the assault
Edward Swift, 38, a special constable assigned to the Orange Walk Police Station, is out on bail of $1,000 on a criminal charge of wounding, after he was videotaped vigorously beating a man for several minutes on Sunday night. The incident happened at the […]

Dash for Freedom…Prisoner Torres jumps from moving pick-up
Angel Torres, 37, remains at large after he jumped out of a moving police transport while being taken to the Hattieville Prison last Thursday. Torres is facing a charge of aggravated assault and was in the process of being remanded when he fled. Torres […]

Cuba back in grace! Removed from list of state-sponsored terrorism
Washington (CNN) President Barack Obama recommended Tuesday that Cuba be removed from the U.S. government’s list of state sponsors of terrorism. Obam’s deci-sion, long sought by the Cuban government, is expected to expedite plans to re-establish embassies in Washington and Havana. In a brief message to notify Congress of his […]

Long gone FFB exec. Rawell Pelayo expected to bow out gracefully
Following a three hour 8th Regular Congress of the Football Federation of Belize on Saturday, it was revealed that long MIA Senior Vice-President Rawell Pelayo would not be expelled from the federation, but would be allowed to tender his resignation and make a graceful exit. The decision was announced by […]

Squatters given extension to relocate
A group of 12 families in the Gungulung area of Lake Independence who have been squatting on private land near the Chetumal Street bridge, and were threatened with court action if they did not move by the end of this week, have been given […]

Belize and Caribbean address financial conserns at Summit of Americas
Belize along with other Caribbean nations raised concerns about restrictive US policies toward the Caribbean banking sector at the Summit of the Americas and was given assurance by US President Barack Obama that there would be a complete review of their policy. According to […]

Hit and run – man hits pedestrian and literally runs from scene!  
John Baptist, 41, handed himself in to Punta Gorda police on Monday after confessing to knocking down a man and fleeing the scene, leaving behind the victim, Jose Morales, 56, a Guatemalan of Big Falls Village, Toledo, and his vehicle at the scene of […]

Maxboro Mechanic Murdered at Home
Police are seeking several suspects after the decomposing body of Leon Leslie Sr., 31, was discovered in his Maxboro home on Monday, with his throat slit. Leslie was found in the sofa of his living room around 4:40 p.m. His throat had been cut and he had been stabbed multiple […]

Nestor Mendez on new role at OAS
The Organization of the American States’ (OAS) Assistant Secretary General-elect, Nestor Mendez, in fielding questions from the media, reiterated that he hopes to continue to build on the work the organization has previously done in relation to the Belize-Guatemala dispute. Mendez said the OAS […]

Reparations leaders agree to consolidate efforts
Reparations committee leaders from the Caribbean Community, and the United States, have agreed to consolidate their efforts in seeking reparations from former slave-trading and slave-owning nations. The agreement came at the end of a three-day conference which ended in New York on Sunday, by the […]

Puerto Azul owner sets record straight
A debt-holder with intimate knowledge of the ownership status of Northern Two Cayes on the Lighthouse Reef Atoll, the location for the proposed Puerto Azul project, made it clear at a press conference on Thursday that the investors have not yet purchased the property […]

Editorial
The Problem of Guatemalan intruders taking over land in the Chiquibul Forest is but the beginning of a land struggle between landless peasants from Guatemala and the people of Belize. Already the Guatemalans have trespassed along the border, clearing the forest and creating private farms for themselves. If they can […]

Half a million embezzled from Treasury
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, on Thursday, confirmed reports that government had discovered approximately half a million dollars has been embezzled from the Treasury Department. According to Barrow, he first received the report from Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight on Tuesday. He said the embezzling of […]

Fraud and forgery revealed by audit of GOB finances
The Auditor General’s latest report for the fiscal period 2011-2012 has raised concerns over issues that continue to be a problem in the government’s management of public finances, including suspected instances of fraud and inadequate records management. According to the report, other issues that […]

Santi steps down to make way for Bradley
Caribbean Shores Area Representative, Santiago “Santino” Castillo announced on Thursday that he will step down and allow Mayor Darrell Bradley to be endorsed as the official candidate for the United Democratic Party (UDP) in Caribbean Shores. Castillo said he had long, hard nights thinking […]

Patrick JonesPJ

Pastor charged with 4 counts of child pornography offenses
At about ten this morning, Community Policing and Truancy Officers from the Orange Walk Police formation conducted a special investigation and search at the house of a Honduran National in the Black Water Area of Town. According to authorities, they received reports from an official at the Trial Farm Government […]

Toledo Institute for Development and Environment hosts GIS Seminar.
Today, the Toledo Institute for Development and Environment (TIDE) hosted an Informal Seminar about the role of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). The seminar was conducted by Peter O’Connor who is an intern from Ireland and has been working with TIDE for the past 5 months. His role is to update […]

Shooting in Belize City
Belize Media Group has been informed about two shooting incidents in the old capital in the area of Faber roads and Jane Usher. There are reports of fatalities but we are unable to officially confirm how many. Unconfirmed reports are indicating that at least 2 […]

Deon McCauley returns home, makes up with FFB
He’s back! National Football Team forward Deon McCauley touched down at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) this afternoon on a Delta Airlines flight from Atlanta, Georgia, ending several weeks of back and forth over whether he would be here for the start of training camp ahead of […]

UNAIDS surveys: Belizeans more accepting of LGBT; want more sex education in schools
Two years ago the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) sponsored two surveys: one, regarding attitudes and perceptions toward social and health issues in the Caribbean region; the other, concerning the response to health issues among men who have sex with men (MSM), or homosexuals. Taken together, […]

Students of Trial Farm Gov’t help to paint Hand Washing Mural
In February of this year, it was announced that the Trial Farm Government School had won second place in the Belize Red Cross Poster and Slogan Competition on proper hand washing techniques. Today, members from Red Cross, volunteer Artist Terryl “man at work” Godoy and artistically inclined students showcased their […]

PM promises to keep trying with audit requirements
Auditor General Dorothy Bradley has fingered the Government of Belize for being unable to reconcile 22 accounts as part of its annual audit exercise which resulted in an adverse review charging that it is not a true picture of Government finances as well as contracts being drawn up after work […]

Jaguar’s Striker is back in the Jewel
At 12:53 this afternoon, a Delta Airline touched ground in Belizean soil at the Philip Goldson International Airport with Belize’s striker; Deon McCaulay. For context, on Monday the Football Federation of Belize announced that if McCaulay wanted to play for the National team he would then need to find his […]

Half a million looted from Treasury?
The Government of Belize faces some financial worries, as police are investigating a reported theft from the Treasury. Certainly more than $350,000 and reports say as much as half a million, up to reportedly a million dollars was taken in several installments. But how was it done? Prime Minister and […]

Belmopan Area Students Showcase Talents
The Belmopan Area Expressive Arts began on Wednesday April 15th with students in cluster 3 doing their thing with pride and energy at the Belize Christian Academy grounds. The students recited poems, sang, danced, and played musical instruments as they entertained their parents, teachers, community members, adjudicators and Education Personnel. The students received either a gold, silver or bronze certificate depending on the level of their presentation.

Blogs

Same…Same…Same…The Perfect Weather Continues in Belize
Dear diary, It’s been sunny, warm and breezy for about 2 weeks now. With hardly a dark cloud floating by. I fear I might get a sunburn if I am not careful… The perfect weather on Ambergris Caye continues. Yesterday I took a walk…and hitchhike or 3…from Royal Palms Condos (where I live) about 2 miles south to Grand Caribe Resort about 1.5 miles north. 2 hours later I was back at home, a bit dusty, with some aching feet (Old Navy $2 flip flops aren’t the ideal walking shoe?!?!?) and these pictures.

Farewell Peter Tonti
It is with great sadness that the management and staff of Chaa Creek farewell a former long-time visionary of the Chaa Creek Team. Peter Tonti, who was with Chaa Creek for fifteen years, most recently as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, passed away on April 15th, 2015, leaving a huge void in the entire Belizean tourism industry, where he carved out a legacy as one of the industry’s pioneers and contributors to its early success. Arriving in Belize as a Peace Corps volunteer in the 1970s, Mr Tonti fell in love with the country and people and, when his tour was finished, decided to stay on. It was a time of dramatic change in Belize as the little country evolved from a colonial backwater to become one of the region’s most vibrant sovereign democracies.

Treasure hunting in Belize and a trip to the office
If you live here or plan to move here then consider this: Unless you leave often or have a herd of mules coming in, you will need to buy clothing at some point. While we do have a few new clothing stores in San Pedro, I know several people who will agree that the second hand shops win hands down for name brand choices. You do however, have to be in the mood for a treasure hunting adventure when shopping. :) I used to yard sale and “seconds” shop with my dad as a kid so I grew up with an eye for finding quality gently used things at remarkable prices. I was introduced to the art of the used clothing industry on a deeper level several years back when I lived in downtown Toronto. My old neighborhood has a great vintage clothing district and since I was friends with a few shop owners I even got to visit the factory or “Pick” as they called it. Believe it or not there is an art to finding the right stuff, beyond just knowing quality brands. When looking at jeans it was scanning for Levis with a big “E” that would be similar to hitting triple cherries on the slots. At the time (15 years back) they could net as high as $500 and were a real treasure to find. The pieces in those shops had all been handpicked and often there was a reflection of the owner in the store. At my friend Darcy’s shop it was plaid shirts and Carhart coats. The boys I hung out with at the time had great collections of both. Mine was vintage dresses and aprons – Lucille Ball style.

International Sourcesizz

The Disturbing Truth Behind Your Swim With The Dolphins
Throngs of Americans are heading south to the Caribbean right now, for the balmy sunshine, intoxicating evening breeze, turquoise waters … and the opportunity to swim with dolphins. But despite their popularity, swim-with-the-dolphin programs have a dark underbelly, and those on the inside are starting to speak out against them. Swim-with-the-dolphin (SWTD) programs can be found all over the world, but they've become exceptionally popular in the Caribbean in the past decade or so. A former dolphin trainer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Dodo that these programs are inherently problematic — and cetaceans simply do not belong in captivity. "Dolphins are beautiful and amazing creatures in their natural habitat," says the former trainer, who requested anonymity because he still works in the Caribbean hotel industry. "But stick them in a cage, and you watch them change."

Videos

  • Cruise 2015, 4min. Spring Break/Senior Trip/Birthday Trip all wrapped up in one! We were on a 7-Night Norwegian Sun Western Caribean Cruise out of Tampa! We stopped at Roatan, Belize, Costa Maya, and Cozumel.

  • Belize Rain Forest, 3min. Honey Camp Lagoon Ranch.

  • Honey Camp Ranch - Orange Walk area of Belize, 2min. Honey Camp Ranch and the ancient Mayan lake viewed from a quadcopter. Morning was the best time when the winds were calm.

  • Belize 2015 2 SD 480p, 8min.

  • Adventures in Belize Part 2, 21min. Самое лучшее о путешествиях и развлечениях! Подписывайтесь на наш канал!

  • Belize 2015, 4min. Chris and I visited Belize in April 2015 and stayed at a villa on Ambergris Caye called 18 Degrees North. We visited Lamanai; snorkeled at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Shark Ray Alley, and Mexico Rocks; and we did a dive at Tuffy Canyons with Scuba School Belize. The footage in this video was mostly shot with a GoPro Hero 4 and a Canon PowerShot D30.

  • Belize Audubon Society: Preserving Belize's Natural Resources, 5min. The Belize Audubon Society is a unique group working to protect the area's natural environment. Since its formation in 1969, the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) has been Belize's foremost environmental organization protecting Belize's precious natural resources while educating the public about their value and sustainable use. BAS has grown from an all-volunteer organization with 55 charter members to a Society of over 1,400 members and a staff of more than 40 dedicated professionals. Watch to discover how BAS is using education to ensure that future generations understand the value of the environment and learn the importance of conservation efforts.

  • Belize Sharks and Dolphins 2015, 2min. Scuba Diving near Caye Caulker.

  • Belize Sharks and Dolphins 2015, 1min. Many Cultures uniting to build a nation as one people

  • Les Bicyclettes De Belize, 3min. Grabbing breakfast @ 7 am on a Friday through the streets of San Pedro, Belize.

  • That time I got stuck on a zip line in Belize and didn't want to let go #DiscoverUnfiltere, 1min.

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