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#503533 - 04/21/15 11:56 AM Today's Belize News: April 21, 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

Abuse of any kind against Children is not permitted!
Belize became the fifth country to ratify the UN convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This CRC document has since become the most widely ratified convention and human rights instrument in the world. It is testament to our country’s recognition of the importance of caring for our children and nurturing them to be responsible and productive citizens. A commitment that obligated our Government to enact laws and policies that creates the enabling environment for children to flourish and reach their full potential. One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the CRC states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. Keeping this in mind, the recent death of 11-month-old baby Mia is both startling and heartbreaking. According to the media, “Mia Eusebia Lopez died from severe cerebral edema resulting from multiple skull fractures, due to blunt force trauma to the head.” NCFC views these findings troubling and is deeply concerned about the welfare of the other two children in that household; especially since parents are the first line of defense; they are to ensure the safety and protection of their children as well as provide a safe dwelling place. Therefore, NCFC calls on all relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident and asks that the fullest extent of the law be applied in the case of a guilty verdict.

At what point do Police take over?
There have been several incidents reported to the San Pedro Police by third-party witnesses of civilians being victimized, especially in cases involving domestic violence and sexual abuse, but the victim refuses to press charges on their assailant. Persons who commit these crimes are never brought to justice, even though many are aware of the incident and believe police should have intervened with or without the consent of the victim. Under the Laws of Belize, police can charge any person for committing a crime, whether the defendant requests court action or not, once the act committed is indictable under the Criminal Code of Belize and there is sufficient evidence to warrant an arrest. Jemmott also indicated that these circumstances are also common in sexual abuse and social issues. People believe that is best not to report incidents to police to avoid discrimination and repercussions from the accused. “Cases involving sexual abuse are very sensitive issues. Sometimes the victims do not report the crime because they are afraid or are just embarrassed of stating what has happened to them. In cases like this, we do our best to ensure that the victim is protected. What we are trying to make the community understand is that if abusers are not reported, then they are walking free with the liberty to commit the crime again. It is best to report these incidents the first time it happens to avoid it happening ever again,” said Jemmott.

Ambergris Today

Reef Week in Ambergris Caye (May)
Reef Week serves as a part of the environmental education program where the primary objective is to have students learn about our coastal and marine resources in a fun and rewarding manner. The Hol Chan Marine Reserve Office has hosted Reef Week since 2005 with the help of the business community and other non-profit organizations. Activities in the past have included Beach Clean Ups, Lion Fish round up/Cook Off, Educational Tours, Trivia Competitions, Skit competitions and Movie nights. Below is the schedule of events for Reef Week 2015 which includes an Amateur Lionfish culling competition is open to anyone just sign up @ the Hol Chan office. Reef Week runs from May 11th to 17th, 2015 on Ambergris Caye. For further information contact us via Facebook page or 226-2247.

Pic of the Week - Lazy Slow Island Days Call for Sietas
When slow season kicks in and you find yourself with a little more time on your hands scheduling an afternoon siesta is not a bad thing. It’s not hard to with a magnificent view like this entrepreneur has at Central Park in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. We caught him taking a nap while his sales of inflatable water toys got a bit slow one afternoon. We guess you can take the time to ponder on other things to keep busy and make more money; right?

Belize Tourism Pioneer Mr. Peter Tonti Passes
The Belize Tourism Board joins the Tourism family in mourning the loss of one of its very own tourism pioneers, Mr. Peter Tonti, which happened on April 16th, 2015. Mr. Tonti has been in Belize since the late part of the 1970's when he arrived as a volunteer for the Peace Corps. He served Belize significantly during his time after the Peace Corps Tour. He remained in Belize working with the Reconstruction and Development Corporation, which aided in the construction and administration of Belmopan in the early phases. He later made his first investment in the tourism sector by joining the Belmopan Convention Hotel in the 1980's.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Keep Cruise Tourism Away from Placencia, Belize!
NCL’s Malacate Marina was also captured in the new aerial image taken for Google Earth. The nursery is shown on the R side … the black squares are black netting, where over a 1000 smaller potted plants are kept. The area between the nursery and lagoon is a huge parking lot (for tour busses and other NCL vehicles).

Poets Corner: Socialist Breeze
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. Out of the ashes of failed free market reform Socialism in Latin America was born The 80s and 90s saw the Washington Census Attempts at forcing us to join the globalized and privatized economic circus Failed stabs at amplifying Latin America democracy In association with US hegemony These disastrous cracks at alteration forced Latin American countries Towards other dreams of bring about a much needed end to poverty That has existed since the colonial epoch It’s at the core of these countries efforts to end dearth There is a socialist consciousness hitting Belize It comes from the south with a sweet breeze This noh weh blow over cause its contagious like a disease The people in the region tired a feeling the squeeze Our PM blames the superpower for crisis

ATTENTION U.S. CITIZENS LIVING IN SAN PEDRO and SURROUNDS
The Embassy of the United States of America in Belize invites you to a U.S. citizen town hall meeting in San Pedro Town. Date: Monday April 20, 2015 Place: Blue Water Grill (SunBreeze Hotel) San Pedro Town Belize Time: 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Embassy staff that provides assistance to U.S citizens in Belize will discuss public services the U.S. Embassy offers, hurricane preparedness, and answer your general questions on our services.

Red Bank village meeting
The villagers are about to lynch the village council for not fully informing them of their plans with Tom Wilson. He mentioned ATV tour and River Tubing. He had to get a permit to operate from some government office or entity, upon applying he has to say exactly where he will be operating, so people did know, this is the only place in Belize we can get to see the Scarlet Macaws and yet they allow this to happen, I am not against development, but we need to be conscious on where and why. I know Red Bank and have very good friends there and am sure they would have never allowed something like this to happen in a forest reserve.

USNS Comfort visit
"Unity is strength... when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." -Mattie Stepanek During the recent USNS Comfort visit, they not only provided medical services to Belizeans but they also provided other community services too! While they were in Belize the USNS Comfort crew and the BDF worked hard at the Seventh Day Adventist Primary School to construct a perimeter fence around the school and repaired the fence of the church. They also donated a new stove and refrigerator for the school to continue to provide food to the homeless and to the children. So next time you are travelling keep an eye out for the great work that they have done!

BOLEDO DRAWING for Monday, April 20, 2015: 07

Clean up campaigns of the Mopan River
For many years FCD has developed the practice of conducting clean up campaigns of the Mopan River. This weekend the FCD Environmental Youth Group (FCDEYG) was honoured to have the participation of the US Ambassador join in the clean-up campaign held in Succotz. Other volunteers came from Rotaract, UB Environmental Club, Cadets, ORFG, Caracol YCD, Benque HOC

Channel 7

Well Known Couple Found Slain in House, Murder-Suicide
Mike Estell and Colleen Sharp - they were a well-known couple in Ladyville, affluent, very social and committed parents to their 10 year old child. But last night they were carried out of their homes dead - both of them shot to the head in what looks like a domestic dispute turned murder, turned suicide. For the wider Ladyville community, it is an un-imaginable turn of events: how could this high - class couple end up dead in their home? Well it turns out that it was a murder suicide: police believe Mike Estell shot Coleen Sharp in a rage and then killed himself. 7News was on the scene last night: Jules Vasquez reporting At 8:15 on Sunday night - friends and family of Mike Estell and Colleen Sharp broke down the door of his house on the old Airport Road next to the Belikin Factory. Inside they found 54 year old Mike Estell and his common law wife, 30 year old Coleen Sharp both dead in the bathroom on the second floor - which is here - he was face down, she was on her back with a gun lying between them. They had both been shot to the head:

Man Murdered In Front Of Fried Chicken Shack
And while those two deaths will be filed under crimes of passion - senseless shootings dominated the weekend in Belize City. There were 3 shootings on Friday night which left 4 persons injured, and of the four, 35 year-old Vern Magdaleno was the only victim who was fatally injured. It happened on the corner of Faber's Road and Central American Boulevard, where Magdaleno went to buy fried chicken. That's when the gunman shot him execution style while he was sitting in the vehicle. Daniel Ortiz has been following that story, and here's his report: Daniel Ortiz reporting Just after 8 o'clock on Friday night, 35 year-old Vern Magdaleno, aka "Bird", lay slumped in the middle of the front seats of his Mazda car. He had been shot in the left side of the head by a gunman at close range. His family and friends could only observe the scene, which often became too overwhelming, their tears of grief freely flowing on the crowded Central American Boulevard.

Shooter Barges Into Home, Releases Barrage Of Gunfire
That murder on Friday night came after a trio of shootings which all happened around between 7:00 and 7:30. The most dangerous one occurred on Curl Thompson Boulevard when 49 year old Wendy Lambey was watching television with her family when a gunman stormed in and started to fire wildly - as many as 10 shots. Lambey was shot 6 times her in the legs. Her son's friend who was there at the time - 17 year old Aaron Munnings - was also shot in the jaw and hand - but survived. We spoke to Lambey's son who witnessed everything as well as Wendy herself after she was released from the hospital this evening. She told us that those shots were not meant for her but for her son's friend Aaron. Voice of Son of Victim "Basically it happened around 7 o' clock on a Friday night when everyone was watching TV. I, my little brother and a friend of mine were outside socializing. I came inside and walked up and down but they were still socializing outside. So I was coming out of the kitchen and I saw my younger brother run into the room.

Spree Of City Shootings
But, before that shooting at around 7:00, there was another, this one on Banak Street. 18 year old Nissane Usher was standing on Magazine road along with 2 friends when someone fired several shots at them, hitting him in the left thigh. Police are still looking into the matter. While on Saturday night a man and a 14 year old girl were shot. 34 year old Levar Taylor and 14 year old Tara Centino, both of Police Street were shot at by two men on a motorcycle around 10:15. Taylor was shot to his left shoulder and Centino was shot to her leg. Both were admitted to the KHMH in a stable condition. And yesterday there was another shooting incident around 5:41 in the morning on Cemetery Road. 41-year-old Kent Cole was shot by someone who rode by in a green Mazda S.U.V, wounding him in the right upper arm. Police are looking into the incident.

Will Rt. Hon. Said Step Down
He's had a long, accomplished, and, sometimes-controversial career in politics - and 7News has learned from credible sources that senior personalities are in discussions with 71 year old Said Musa to retire from electoral politics. Today Musa told us that it is something that has been discussed, but, added, quote, "I have not made up my mind." He added that he has quote, "not addressed my mind to it as urgently as perhaps others have." We asked him if such a move might be imminent...his response, "I would say it is not." But, clearly it is a very live issue and we know that there is a move at very senior levels of the party to prevail on Musa to step aside because, reputationally, he is considered a liability to the party. And the urgency Mr. Musa alluded to may indeed be present in the minds of some in the PUP who sense that general elections will be sooner rather than later. But, best sources say, talks are still in progress - and some of this - we are told - could be stuck on who would replace him in Fort George, which is considered one of the safest PUP seats in the country. Musa's first winning general election was in 1979 - and he has served 7 terms in the House of Representatives - wining the last 6 times in succession.

Dylan Reneau Tells Audrey To Simmer Down
All of last week, we covered the dispute over Labour Senator Ray Davis. Trade Union congress Vice President Audrey Matura Shepherd said he must resign or be removed because he abstained on the Petrocaribe vote - but his supporters say he never got a directive from the union on how to vote, so he had no choice but to abstain. Former NTUCB President Dylan Reneau elaborated on this at great length in a lengthy email sent last Friday - in which he also took time to lecture Matura-Shepherd for her public criticisms of Senator Davis. 7News has obtained a copy of the three thousand word email - complete with nine attachments - which is addressed to Matura-Shepherd. He says the letter is triggered by her public attack on the integrity of a trade union stalwart. Right off the top, he warns, quote, "I believe you are out of line calling for Senator Davis to resign or for NTUCB to remove him." 7News has obtained a copy of the three thousand word email - complete with nine attachments - which is addressed to Matura-Shepherd. He says the letter is triggered by her public attack on the integrity of a trade union stalwart. Right off the top, he warns, quote, "I believe you are out of line calling for Senator Davis to resign or for NTUCB to remove him."

CCJ's First Session In Belize
The Judges of the Caribbean Court of Justice, the Belize's highest court of appeal, are in Belize for their first ever sitting in this country. They arrived on Saturday, and they will be hearing cases until Thursday. One of the cases they hope to deal with in person is the Maya Communal Land Rights Case. As we've reported, former Chief Justice Abdulai Conteh ruled in 2007 and 2010 that the Mayans in 33 villages of Southern Belize have customary land rights over their ancestral lands. That's pretty much the same thing that the Court of Appeal affirmed in July of 2013, but they did not grant the relief that the Mayans were asking for. The Court ruled that the Government did not have to protect those rights by legislating their ownership with the Lands Department. So, both sides decided to appeal since the Appeal Court's decision was not fully in either party's favor. That brings us to this week where the Court of Appeal has set aside 2 full days to hear what they expected to be a rigorous and intensive appeal. That's until this morning's case management conference, which was held in closed doors. That's when the Government attorneys Denys and Naima Barrow indicated to the court that they would settle most of the point in dispute with the Mayan litigants. We waited outside of court for an opportunity to speak with both sides about this unexpected settlement, and here's what they told us:

CCJ Hears First Criminal Appeal From Belize
The Caribbean Court of Justice will hear its first-ever criminal appeal from Belize. In January, Eamon Courtenay, the former President of the Bar Association explained to the media that the reason no criminal appeals have made it to the CCJ is because the convicted appellants cannot afford it. And now Courtenay is representing the first man to take his appeal to that court. That applicant is convicted murderer Gregory August who recently appealed to the Court of Appeal, but failed to convince the judges that his appeal should be allowed. The CCJ judges held a special sitting this morning to hear his application for leave to appeal and be heard as a poor person. The CCJ panel looked favorably on his application, and granted him permission to appeal his case at a later date before him. They have decided, however, that he must go back to the Court of Appeal to argue new grounds that his attorney is bringing on his behalf. We spoke with his attorney outside of court about the favorable outcome, and the implications of those new grounds. Here's how he explained it:

Pedophile Pastor
A pastor of Boca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm, Orange Walk has been arrested and charged with child pornography. The 60 year old pastor Edgar Gerardo Lopez took nude pictures of two girls, ages 3 and 10 standing along with their mother. Apparently, the mother was having relations with him and took her daughters to meet him. That is when the pastor took the naked pictures of the girls. Lopez was charged with 4 counts of producing child pornography, 2 counts for the 3 year old minor and two counts for the ten year old. Police say the mother might also be charged. He was remanded to prison and will re-appear in court on June 29th. A medical examination established that none of the children had been molested.

Lake I Showdown Between Cordel and King
A mini political showdown played out in Lake Independence today. IT happened in the community space behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building. That's where a dispute about land ownership played out between competing political interests: PUP Sheriff Cordel Hyde and his UDP counterpart Mark King. The issue is a piece of land, block 45 of parcel 61. Hyde says he secured it for the PUP Lake Independence Action Committee in 2007, while King has title for the very same piece of land in the name of the GOB for UDP Lake Independence Committee. Two titles for the same piece of land - sounds shady, right? Well, Cordel Hyde says he got title first, he just can't find it. We visited the area today and found his camp holding their ground:.. Cordel Hyde, PUP Standard Bearer - Lake I "We got word late last night that the area representative for Lake Independence was going to bring his people out here to break down this building. This building is owned by the Lake Independence Action Committee. They bought from the government in 2007 for $20,000. They sold a lot of barbeque and a lot of turkey dinner to pay for that. Late 2011 it was burnt down - 5 months before the elections. But you can't just go on someone's private property and invade their space and break down their building without at least having a discussion and saying what it is, is your intention. Even if you are the big bad government."

What About Squat
And while Kings says he is not in war mode on this one - Hyde took him to task for how he handles the eviction of 12 squatters last week. As we've reported, they were squatting on six acres of private land in the Gungulung area. The private landowner was about to evict them - and King intervened to give them leases for land in Cotton Tree. Hyde says he could have done better:

Man Fights With Wife, Stabs Himself
A man stabbed himself in a fight with his common law wife in Corozal. Yesterday, 38 year old Yeni Gomez along with her common law husband 23 year old Leandro Botes were socializing with family at their home when a misunderstanding erupted. Apparently, Botes broke a rum bottle and attempted to stab his common law wife Gomez but in the struggle he ended up stabbing himself in the left shoulder. He was taken to the KHMH in a critical condition. As for Gomez, she complained of pain to her right hand. Her face was also swollen.

City Survives Mega Blackout
Yesterday, residents in some areas of Belize City had an 11 hour mega-blackout! With the April heat coming on, it was surely an unwelcome Sunday sweat session, but BEL says it was important to improve the mechanism for emergency backup power. The main purpose of the blackout was to decentralize power from the Magazine Road plant during times of emergency. 2 newly built substations, one at the corner of Partridge and Banak Streets, and the other on the Phillip Goldson Highway, called the "Pallotti Substation", will take over in the event that there is power failure to the Magazine Facility. BEL's electricity grid will be able to re-route power to these new facilities and provide electricity for the City while Magazine substation is down. Engineers also re-positioned major transmission lines.

Mahogany Trees For Free
The Audubon Society has been giving away free Mahogany trees since Wednesday. The Society organizes this initiative every year for Earth Day and publicity coordinator Dirk Francisco says people have been coming in to get their trees. We spoke with Francisco along with a mahogany tree enthusiast and they told us that this initiative promotes both the beauty of the Mahogany tree along with its cultural and environmental significance. The Society had 200 trees to give away and now only has 75 left. So if you're interested, you can stop by the Belize Audubon Society and get your tree. Apart of this year's Earth Day celebration, the Audubon Society along with the Mayor of Belmopan will plant a Mahogany Tree at Guanacaste Park on Wednesday - when Earth Day is officially commemorated.

Deon Is In Camp
On Friday's newscast, we showed you how Belize's premier striker, Deon McCaulay, arrived in Belize after a group of fans organized a grassroots effort to pay for his transportation and stipend while he trains for the next 10 weeks. We'll, we've confirmed that McCaulay reported to his first practice today at the FFB Headquarters with the other National Team Members. The FFB also released a statement saying quote, "The Football Federation of Belize and The Belize National Team Committee take this opportunity to welcome home Deon McCaulay. Deon has accepted the terms of the FFB/National Team Committee and has agree to join the Team for workout, commencing Monday, 20th April, 2015. The terms and conditions as it relates to Stipend and traveling per diem are inline with the usual FFB policies and applies to all National Team Players." End Quote.

Dwight's Declaration
In the past few weeks we've shown you how two UDP Representatives have stepped aside to make way for new challengers to replace them. No one will say this, but the real reason they did that is because they were considered beatable, and the UDP hoped to replace them with better candidates who have a better chance at winning. Only time will tell if the ruling party made the right moves with Tracy Taegar and Darrell Bradley - but they have no moves to make in Belize Rural north. That's where Edmond Castro will be challenged by Dwight Tillett. Castro is considered to have a lock on the division so we asked Tillett today why he wants to challenge him:.. Dwight Tillet "I've been working in this division since 2003 for the current area representative. I worked as his campaign manager for the first 4 years leading up to the '08 election and I've also worked for him in 2012. He's a total disappointment to me and to many of us who were in his committee and it is these people that have urged me to come out. And I'm glad they have done that because we can't stay on the side-lines and keep on complaining about bad government. All the people who have all these bright ideas on talk shows, they should get out there and start to do something you know. That's the way were going to change our country and make it a better place. I expect to win, there is no doubt in my mind that the momentum we have - I have been at this since July 2013. I left my government job to be out there doing what I'm doing now. The people are ready for change and unless a miracle happens, I will not win but all indications are that we have this in the bag."

Channel 5

Well-known Couple Found Dead Inside Ladyville Home, Murder/Suicide Suspected
A well-known Ladyville couple was found dead inside their house in Ladyville, Belize District. When family members were unable to get in contact with them on Sunday, police were called. [...]

Tour Guide “Bird” Magdaleno Executed By Lone Gunman Inside His Vehicle
The spate of violence over the weekend extended to the City where six persons were injured and one man was killed. The gun violence started as early as seven-thirty on [...]

CCJ Sessions Commence in Belize, Gregory August Applies for Special Leave
The Caribbean Court of Justice this morning commenced hearings for the first time in Belize, since its establishment in 2001. There are currently three other members, Barbados, Guyana and Dominica, [...]

Attorney Eamon Courtenay Says Life Imprisonment Without Parole is Unconstitutional
The basis for the legal challenge, according to Courtenay, is the constitutionality of the court’s decision to incarcerate August for the remainder of his life.  Equally, the case against August [...]

Cordel Hyde Saves Decrepit Lake-I Building from Demolition
Just before ten this morning, political friction erupted in the Lake Independence area and police were called in to avert any violence.  Residents and P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Cordel Hyde gathered [...]

Orange Walk Pastor Arraigned for Child Pornography
An Orange Walk pastor has been arrested and charged on multiple counts of child pornography of two minors. Honduran national Gerardo Lopez of the Evangelical Church in Trial Farm was [...]

Brazen Shooting on Curl Thompson Street Leaves Two Persons Injured
As we reported earlier, there were six persons injured in three other shootings in the Old Capital, but are not linked. Prior to the murder of Vern Magdaleno at the [...]

Weekend Shooting Leaves Nissane Usher Injured
Within minutes of the shooting on Curl Thompson Street and even as the scene was being processed, another team of officers responded to a shooting; this time at the corner [...]

14 year old Girl Shot While Gunmen Pursue Target on Police Street
By Saturday, night, two other persons including a fourteen year old girl would be shot and taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. Just after ten p.m., two gunmen approached [...]

Domestic Dispute in Corozal – Husband Stabbed and Wife Badly Beaten
And up north, a couple in Corozal Town remains hospitalized tonight, following a domestic altercation on Sunday.  Twenty-three-year-old Leandro Botes, a resident of Altamira, was stabbed in the left shoulder [...]

Is N.T.U.C.B. a House Divided?
The controversial Petrocaribe Bill has since been enacted and despite the N.T.U.C.B.’s seemingly lethargic response in criticizing that piece of legislation, a release by the umbrella organization was issued over [...]

Swedish Student Busted with Drug Paraphernalia in Caye Caulker
A Sweden student was before the court today after he was busted on Caye Caulker in possession of a pipe used for smoking drugs and one point three grams of [...]

Home Invasion in Esperanza, Ex-Common Law Hacks Woman and Man With Machete
We have reported on the violence in the Belize District and up north in Corozal. In the west, a domestic dispute landed a woman in the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital [...]

Businessman Shalman Rahid Robbed in Santa Elena Town
A businessman was also robbed on Saturday night in Santa Elena Town. Robbers netted over two thousand dollars in cash and valuables. San Ignacio Police say they are investigating this [...]

Semi Pro Basketball at its Best in Sports Monday
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   As the PLB Closing Season continues to roll, we caught up with yesterday’s showdown in what could be a [...]


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#503534 - 04/21/15 11:56 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 21, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

Two Corozal Residents Charged For Drug Trafficking
A vehicle search in the Village of Progresso yielded successful for authorities from the Corozal District. On Saturday April 18th 2015 at about 5:30am, the Belize Special Assignment Group (B.S.A.G) personnel conducted a search at the premises of 38 year old Nestor Urbina Heredia, Belizean watchman. At the time of the search Heredia was accompanied by 19 year old Raul Pech, labourer and resident of Progresso Village. Searches conducted inside the glove compartment of a green Ford Explorer 4 door SUV resulted in the discovery of green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be cannabis. The suspected drug was wrapped in white paper inside a transparent plastic bag. The finding was shown to both persons who were informed of the offence committed cautioned and placed under arrest. Both men were escorted along with the findings to the Corozal Police Station. At the station the suspected cannabis was weighed in presence of both accused and amounted to 148.7 grams. Both persons were arrested and charged for drug trafficking.

Another House Burnt Down In August Pine Ridge Village
Over the weekend, a fire was recorded in the Village of August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk where the blaze consumed one structure and left its owner displaced. According to the report which was made at 11:00pm on Saturday, when police got to the scene it was little too late. Deputy Commander, Inspector Selvin Tillett told us more. “Upon their arrival police saw a 25 by 18 foot cement top building that had been burnt to the ground and the house belong to one Sepriano Estrada 67 year old Belizean labourer of said village August Pine Ridge and his household articles were all destroyed and police conducted an investigation and so far four person from the said village of August pine Ridge were being detained pending investigations.” The total value of the structure and its contents was estimated at $8,000 dollars.

NCFC Issues Release Condemning The Abuse Of Any Kind Against Children
At the top of the newscast we told you about the pastor from the Roca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm who has been charged for Child Pornography and at the heels of that charge, today the National Committee for Families and Children issued a release which out rightly condemned the abuse of any kind against children. The statement says and we quote, “One of the obligations to our children is to protect them from all forms of exploitation, abuse and neglect. Article 19 of the Rights of a Child states that, “Children should be protected from being hurt and mistreated in body or mind”. The release continued stating that “Too often in the past, criminal acts against children have gone unpunished. However, perpetrators should bear in mind that whenever children are abused or seriously harmed, there will be severe penal repercussions. A zero tolerance approach against child abuse of any kind must be the stance throughout the length and breadth of Belize”, end quote. The release ended that we all have a part to pay in providing a safe and healthy environment to our future leaders and to commit to creating spaces where children can know they are nurtured and protected. It’s our collective responsibility to make Belize worthy of its children.” End quote.

NTUCB Yet To Take A Stand On PETRO CARIBE Law
There has been much debate on the new Petrocaribe law which allows government to borrow and spend without seeking prior approval from the House of Representatives. Today, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize declared that in the hands of the NTUCB, the dissection and unfolding of Petro Caribe Law is only just beginning. In a release issued today, the NTUCB states that, “this new law flies in the face of ALL we stand for regarding the fiscal management of Belize’s resources”. The NTUCB release continues saying that no law passed to facilitate loans should be in contravention of the Constitution and the Finance and Audit Act, nor should the Power of Parliament be used to confirm, validate and legitimize such violations. It goes on to state that the new law circumvents accountability and transparency – a tenet of NTUCB, reference good governance. With that said, the NTUCB states that it will quote, “continue to work its machinery; void of the pressure elements within the media keep mounting, to get the Congress to lose focus on what the real issue is which to find out if the Petro Caribe Law is good for Belize?

Pastor Charged For Child Pornography Is A False Prophet
On Friday we broke the story of an alleged pastor criminally charged for Child Pornography offenses of two female minors. When we left you, 60 year old Gerardo Lopez, a construction worker and self-proclaimed Pastor was slapped with four counts of Child Pornography; two counts on the 3 year old and two counts for the ten year old student. And while police continue to investigate and the matter taken up with the Department of Human Development, today Lopez was formally arraigned in court. Reporter Maria Novelo has that story. Maria Novelo – Reporting 60 year old Edgar Gerardo Lopez will be spending day one of his prison sentence tonight after being formally arraigned on child pornography offenses and denied bail. The charge stems from nude photographs found in his personal cellular phone of two minors, ages 3 and ten of Trial Farm Village in Orange Walk. When authorities questioned him about the pictures, Lopez, who proclaimed to be a pastor for the Roca de Poder Evangelical Church in Trial Farm, confessed that he took the photographs from the Mother and her two minor daughters. Today, our investigations led us to Oscar Barrera, president of the Pastor’s Association of Orange Walk. Barrera says that while the incident has tainted the image of the Evangelical Ministry, the self-proclaimed pastor is a false prophet.

Couples Fight Leads To One Person Injured
An alleged abusive relationship in Corozal Town has left one resident recuperating from stab wounds at the Corozal Community Hospital. On Sunday around 9:00pm Corozal Police visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 23 year old Leandro Botes, Belizean laborer of Altamira Area, Corozal Town, being treated for a stab wound to the lower left shoulder and bleeding profusely. Fifteen minutes later, 38 year old Yeni Gomez, Botes’ common-law-wife, arrived at the Corozal Police Station drenched in blood and smelling of alcohol. In her report, Gomez stated that earlier that day, she and her common law husband along with their family and friends were socializing at the couple’s house drinking a few alcoholic beverages, when she and Botes ended in their private room and a misunderstanding erupted between both.

PlusTV

BAHA investigates cause of shrimp die off in the south
An unconfirmed disease has caused the dying out of shrimps in at least one shrimp farm pond in the South.  When we broke the story on Wednesday, BAHA officials were already on the ground quarantining the pond of the first farm affected to ensure that the unnamed disease does not spread...

Thousands of chickens slaughtered in the West
And while shrimps are dying in the South, chickens are being slaughtered in the West...

says Belize is one of most accepting countries of homosexuality
Is the stage being set to push through the decriminalization of sodomy in Belize?According to UNAIDS sponsored surveys; Belize may very well be ready for the move...

Deon McCauley returns home, makes up with FFB
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 the second round ...

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...

BAY hosts job placement sessions for youths
As a part of the 2 year program to promote job creation and entrepreneurship, sponsored by the Belmopan City Council and through a grant from the US Embassy, the Belmopan Active Youths will travel to the Jaguar Creek resort with 40 youths for two days to participate in activities geared towards equi...

Quality Poultry truck robbed and stolen
A Quality Poultry vehicle with over $8000 in cash was stolen just before news time in Salvapan, Belmopan. The Quality Poultry truck men were stocking Mary’s Store in Salvapan when two men jumped in the truck and sped off...

Third person charged in Coast Guard’s murder
San Ignacio police have made a third arrest in the murder of Coast Guard Aurelio Montero who was found badly beaten at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio two weeks ago. The seaman eventually died from his injuries...

Marco Tulio charges to be upgraded
PUP Orange Walk East Area Representative Marco Tulio Mendez will face more serious charges of child molestation. Back in February of this year, the member of the House of Representatives was arraigned on six countsof aggravated assault; four for one minor and two for the other minor...

Woman awakened by intruders and robbed
A store owner in PG was robbed at knife point. 31-year-old Li Zhen Wu, a Belizean businesswoman  and owner of New Choice Store reported that about 3:00 a.m. on Thursday April 16, she was awaken by two male persons of dark complexion who entered her room and placed a knife to her neck...

MoneyGram in PG robbed
There was another robbery in Punta Gorda on Thursday April 16. A 17-year-old manager of Money Gram reported that on at around 5:10 p.m...

Charges against alleged Succotz rioters dismissed
Alleged Succotz rioters have been freed of charges. The charges against the 14 persons residents of San Jose Succotz village who were dismissed in the Magistrate’s Court on April 16...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Women charged over fight
Two Belize City women are convicted of disorderly conduct and committing a mischievous act after being found fighting each other on the street and then attempting to cover it up. 25 year old Christie Pope and 24 year old Guatemalan national Gracie Ba were apparently fighting each other […]

New Zealand visitor fined for cannabis
A visitor to Belize from the Asian Pacific nation of New Zealand is out $150 after pleading guilty to possession of cannabis and a wooden pipe used for smoking the drug. 19 year old Hamish Miller Rees Malens, a student, was caught on April 17 in Caye Caulker. […]

BEL employee charged for stolen Dutch cheese
This weekend an employee of the state-run electricity company was caught apparently taking 2 balls of Dutch cheese from a store on Sixth Street in Belize City. 38 year old Eron Logan of Tibruce Street pleaded not guilty to a count of theft before Magistrate Aretha Ford. Logan […]

Fisherman charged again for undersized conch
Fisherman from Sarteneja in the Corozal District 48 year old Sansermo Torres has run afoul again of the law on possession of undersized conch, and it will cost him. He will find out how much when he is sentenced on Friday, April 24, before Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith. […]

CCJ grants leave to appeal to convicted murderer
The seven-member panel of justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) arrived at the No. 1 Supreme Court in Belize City this morning for a historic first itinerant session in Belize. The CCJ is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its founding as final court of appeal for […]

It’s official! Deon McCaulay joins the National Team
Belize’s most recognized and loved footballer, Deon McCaulay, was brought back into the country last week by a group of committed fans who joined hands to pay for his flight and give him a stipend while in Belize. The star striker was playing for the Atlanta Silverbacks in the United […]

Pastor sentenced to prison in child porn case
Proclaimed Pastor Edgar Gerardo Lopez, has been remanded to prison for the crime of child pornography. 60 years old Lopez, a resident of Black-water Creek in Trial Farm village in Orange Walk will spend his first night at Central Prison after appearing this morning, in court to be formally arraigned […]

Romeo and Juliet-style tragedy leaves woman and man dead
Police in Ladyville are trying to puzzle up the pieces to a murder and suicide case that happened around 8:35pm on Sunday night. Police visited the residence of Michael Estell on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville in the District of Belize, and upon entering the premises; they observed 30 […]

Bloody weekend in the City
Several shootings recorded over the weekend leaves person dead and about half a dozen recuperating from gun shoot wounds at the KHMH. On Friday night around 8:14 pm, Belize City police were called to the corner of Fabers Road and Central American Boulevard, where they saw the lifeless body of 35 […]

Lover’s quarrels lands one at the KHMH
Authorities in Corozal are investigating a lover’s quarrel that landed one of them at the KHMH for treatment. According to the officials, around 9pm on Sunday, they visited the Corozal Community Hospital where they saw 23 year old Leonardo Botes from Altamira Village bleeding profusely. Shortly after the police visited […]

CCJ begins historic first Belize session
This morning the seven justices of the Caribbean Court of Justice arrived for a historic first session in Belize on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of its founding. The Court’s first case is a criminal appeal in which convicted murderer Gregory August is seeking leave to appeal his case […]

A newly formed group in Punta Gorda is making strides in that community
The St. Vincent Block, also known as “Cerro”, is a small Garifuna community just outside of Punta Gorda Town that spans over 900 acres of land. Although Cerro is a peaceful, culturally enriched and rapidly growing community, it has been faced with many problems since its start. Some major problems […]

Man Drowns in Gracie Rock
Belize Media Group has received reports about a man drowning in Gracie Rock. According to reports, around 4:30pm on Sunday, Jamel Canto jumped in the river to save another person who was drowning – but that was when he was tragically swept in the deep waters of the river and […]

Blogs

More And More People Are Coming to Enjoy the West Side of Ambergris Caye…And For GOOD Reason
For many years, the west side of Ambergris Caye was only accessible by boat. Mostly known for the small but very exclusive resort Cayo Espanto (opened in 1998) and for fly fishing, few people went over just for the scattering of beaches and the crystal clear waters. The first time that I got a good view of the untouched coast and the many tiny cayes was on a trip to Bacalar Chico Marine Reserve. It’s a pretty special tour (here is one I took more recently: A Mayan Site, One Million Birds and Dolphins…) that takes you almost all the way around the island. Through the tiny cut at the north side that separates Ambergris Caye, Belize from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. But now? The west side is blowing up! And with Leonardo DiCaprio developing Blackadore Caye? Oh my…it’s going to be crazy. Yesterday on a SERIOUSLY blustery day on the reef side of the island, the water was much calmer on the leeward side. I took a boat ride up to Grand Belize Estates and beyond and…WAS NOT THE ONLY ONE THERE.

Florida or Belize?  That is the Question.
Prior to making our final decision to move to San Pedro, we had just recently sold everything in Minnesota and set up residency in Florida. We own a home there and would spend winters there instead of the Midwestern Frozen Tundra. Due to the amount of flight miles accumulated going back and forth annually, the airline rewards us with what they refer to as “A Companion Ticket”. We had decided that this year it shall be assigned to J.P. Newman so she could leave the comforts of her icebox in Grand Rapids, Minnesota and relax with us in the Florida sunshine. After pulling the trigger on relocating to San Pedro, a phone call to our lucky companion ticket holder was in order. “So, we decided to move to Belize. Instead of coming to Florida in April, would you like to come visit us there?” She hung up the phone and started packing – immediately. Two cancelled flights out of Duluth later and barely functioning on 3 hours of sleep, our field correspondent arrived on La Isla Bonita. Pool Time and Hot Dogs “First things first! I need some sun! I want my freckles to breed!” – this was J.P.’s early morning proclamation. Time to get our girl to a pool and/or beach for some island time sunshine! Of course, the first place we decided to take her was to Caribbean Villas Resort. There’s always some room at one of the two freshwater pools on site, comfortable loungers by the beach and great food on the menu for breakfast or lunch. The view is nothing to sneeze at, either.


Many people live their lives without leaving a mark on society. This isn’t the case for Peter Tonti. Originally from the U.S., after completing a Peace Corps volunteer session in Belize in the 1970s, he decided to permanently live there. He set up shop in the tourism industry and helped pioneer a young industry that was in need of much guidance. I officially met Peter when I started working at The Lodge at Chaa Creek; however, I was acquainted with him before that. I’m from San Ignacio and that’s where the Chaa Creek offices are. He was known as the guy who walked all over town. That’s strange in Belize because anyone who can afford a car, owns a car – public transit sucks and it is also considered a status symbol. A car means your standard of living is good. At the office Peter commanded respect, and after work he was super casual and loads of fun to party with. I remember when I just started working with him and I would tell myself I couldn’t wait for us to be cool enough to hang out. His best friend was Mike Green, a guy who also worked at the lodge as the conservation manager, and on Fridays you’d see Mike Green come by the office at the end of the day to pick him up for some TGIF fun. Grrr, I wish I was invited I would tell myself. Haha. There are many things that I learned from Peter but there are two things that I am most grateful for.

International Sourcesizz

Natural plaster advocates want to reduce cement in construction
Rottler is one of the directors of Tierra y Cal, a nonprofit based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, that uses compressed earth blocks for building, "green" kilns for firing bricks and clay-based plasters and paints to cover walls. Besides working with local builders and the Guanajuato state government to cut air pollution from kilns, Tierra y Cal also hosts workshops teaching its methods to groups such as Engineers Without Borders. One primary goal is to reduce the amount of cement used in construction. Cement has obvious benefits and belongs in the building process, says Rottler, but it is increasingly relied on unnecessarily, dramatically raising the carbon footprint of construction. "There's cement in everything now — floors, foundations, walls, plaster, roofs," he says. "We're trying to build with materials we have locally." In central Mexico the local recipe for a natural plaster is simple: clay, lime, borax and a slurry of cut-up nopal cactus paddles. The lime acts as a stabilizer that makes the clay resistant to moisture, the borax retards molds and the cactus works as a binder, a natural latex.

US fraud reveals Chavez-connected Caribbean money trail
The collapse in early 2011 of what prosecutors described as Connecticut’s largest ever Ponzi scheme and subsequent criminal and civil court proceedings have revealed a money trail of ill-gotten gains stretching from one end of the Caribbean to the other, some of which benefited individuals connected to high ranking members of the government of former Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez. Venezuelan financier, Francisco Illarramendi, 45, was sentenced in January of this year to 13 years in prison for running what US federal prosecutors in Connecticut called a Ponzi scheme that resulted in $382.2 million of losses to investors, including Venezuela's state-owned oil company.

And the world's top island for vacationers is ...
(CNN)Island-hoppers take note: Providenciales in the Turks and Caicos is TripAdvisor's latest pick for the world's top island. Providenciales climbed a rung from last year's No. 2 ranking among the travel review site's Travelers' Choice award winners to bump Ambergris Caye out of the top spot. It was quite a tumble for the Belize island. Ambergris Caye held the top ranking on the TripAdvisor global islands list for two years in a row before dropping out of the top 10 completely this year. Why the disappearance? "It's hard to say, as winners change from year to year based on feedback from travelers," said TripAdvisor spokeswoman Julie Cassetina. "Similar to last year and 2013, winning islands were determined using an algorithm that looked at the quality and quantity of traveler reviews and opinions for hotels, attractions and restaurants on each island gathered during a 12-month period."

Caribbean Court of Justice begins first itinerant session in Belize
The Caribbean Court of Justice, or CCJ, on Monday began itinerant sessions in Belize for the first time to ensure that it was "accessible to the people of the Caribbean Community, which it serves." Sessions will be held until Thursday in Courtroom 1, Supreme Court of Belize, the CCJ said in a statement. The CCJ will hear appellate jurisdiction cases from Guyana and Belize, including the case of The Maya Leaders Alliance et al. v. the Attorney General of Belize. The Trinidad-based court held sessions in Barbados in April 2012; Jamaica and Barbados in March 2013; and Guyana in February 2014. Twelve of the 15 Caribbean Community members are signatories of the CCJ: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago. EFE

Two dentists in a rain forest: Slidell Town Talk
When I sat down with two prominent Slidell dental professionals, the first thought that came to mind was that they looked like a couple of young guys excited to talk about a recent camping trip, and couldn't wait to go again. The guys I'm talking about, although young in spirit if not in actual years, are Joseph Lindsay and Michael Guevara, the two friends for which the Dos Amigos Dental Medical Missions is named. The group has a 26-year history of offering dental and medical care to villagers in the Toledo District of Belize, most of whom have little to no access to health care services we in this country take for granted. Lindsay started the group after attending the slide show presentation at his church by a missionary couple stationed in Belize. By the end of the evening, he was making plans. "I turned to my wife Sandy and said, 'we're going.' We went home," explained Lindsay, "and she told our daughter Abby, 'guess what your silly Dad wants to do?'" That was 1988. Months later, the three family members and a few additional brave souls were standing on a concrete slab with a thatched roof overhead, providing dental care to people sorely in need of even the simplest procedures.

The best islands in the world, as voted for by TripAdvisor users
If you’re planning a summer holiday, preparing a gap year itinerary, or maybe even deliberating over where to go on your honeymoon, you may want to take a look at TripAdvisor's latest "best of" list before making your final decision. The travel review website has rounded up the world's best islands, as voted for by its island-hopping users. Topping the list this year is Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, which is ringed by some of the world’s prettiest beaches. The island came second in last year's awards, pipped to the post by Ambergris Caye in Belize, which didn’t made the cut this year. Tropical seems to be a recurring theme, with only two European destinations making the top 10.

What Traveling for a Living Taught Me About Life
Without exception, the best lessons I have ever learned in life have come from traveling the world. My partner, Alesha Bradford, and I have been backpacking around the globe for nearly seven years, exploring new destinations, discovering fascinating cultures, and meeting interesting people. Every day that I spend on the road teaches me more about who I am. I look back at where Alesha and I came from and how we’ve changed since those early years of travel, and it’s easy to see and appreciate how travel has turned us into the people we are today. It can be a little be daunting to trust a stranger. After all, we are brought up in the Western world to fear them. But just like you and your friends, most people are inherently good. Strangers in Dangriga, Belize, took us in, fed us, and gave us shelter for no other reason than that they wanted us to have a good time in their country. A man in Myanmar closed his shop for 30 minutes so he could walk us to a monastery to make sure we didn’t get lost. When you travel, you find out that these kinds of people aren’t the minority: The world is full of good, honest, and kind people.

Marine Expedition to Investigate Plight of Manatees, Dolphins in Cuba
This has been a record year for counting the number of manatees in Florida, but what about our island neighbor to the south? Columbus first mentioned the waters off Cuba swimming with manatees, but since then they've been hunted for food. No one really knows how many live there. A marine conservation expedition beginning Tuesday aims to shine some light on their plight - as well as that of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. It's being held by Sea to Shore Alliance, a small nonprofit group formed about six years ago in Sarasota. WUSF's Steve Newborn talks with it's executive director, Dr. James "Buddy" Powell, who says it's a first-of-its-kind trip to Cuba. Powell says he came up with the first concrete proof that manatees traverse the Straits of Florida and winter in Cuba. He's also documented manatees swimming across the Carribbean, off the nation of Belize.

Prohíben captura de caracol rosado hasta el 2017 en Q. Roo
La veda que entra en vigor hoy, prevé el aprovechamiento sustentable del molusco. La veda de caracol rosado y blanco para Quintana Roo entró en vigencia el día de hoy, y hasta el 28 de febrero de 2017 queda estrictamente prohibida la captura de este molusco. A partir de 2018 y años sucesivos, la veda se establecerá en dos periodos, durante todo el mes de febrero y del 1 de mayo al 30 de noviembre de cada año. Autoridades federales publicaron el día de ayer (viernes) el documento que establece las medidas de protección a la especie y la restricción en su aprovechamiento o consumo. También te puede interesar: Sentencian a pescador que sustrajo seis kilos de caracol César Armando Rosales Cancino, delegado de la Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación (Sagarpa), refirió que en dicho acuerdo se fija veda temporal para el caracol rosado o blanco (Strombus gigas) en el banco Chinchorro, Quintana Roo, y en la zona desde Punta Herrero, al norte de Mahahual, hasta Bacalar Chico (también conocido como Canal de Zaragoza) en los límites con Belice.

Videos

  • Week 2 of camp is on in full force.., 1/2min. Belize National Football Team getting ready for their second Wold Cup Qualifier against Dominican Republic in June.

  • Best of 2014 wildlife patients at Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic, 9min. The Belize Wildlife Referral Clinic released a great video that covers a lot of what they did last year. Spoiler: they did a lot. Great video. Thanks, BWRC!

  • Belize update #2, 1.5min. Fireflies in the hills......on the road again!

  • Easter 2015 @ Barefoot Beach Bar Placencia Belize, 2min. Dj Richie, Dj Dalla, Dj Jago, Remix Berto, Dj Boneyfide, Linda Blease.....Beach Shellas.

  • Taste Of The Islands - Ambergris Caye, Belize! (2.17.15), 8.5min. Scenic flight & island life! :)

  • Belize Barrier Reef Wall Dive, 4min. SCUBA diving at the Belize Barrier Reef. This was a two tank, two location dive.

  • Goldfish Swim School, St. Charles Mission Trip: Gales Point, Belize, 4min. Owner, Alex Tyler, Travels to Belize to teach underprivileged kids how to swim.

  • catamaran belize, 2min.

  • Cruise to Cozumel, Honduras and Belize with GoPro, 6min. Zip lining,Tubing, Dock diving, Horse back riding, Marriage proposal caught on my GoPro.

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