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#503578 - 04/22/15 11:50 AM Today's Belize News: April 22, 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

Island benefits from successful Health Fair and Pap Smear Campaign
Over a hundred island residents came out on Saturday, April 18th to take part in the Washington University of Health and Science (WUHS) Health Fair and the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II Pap Smear Campaign. Residents took advantage of the several free services offered to promote good health in the community, such as pap smears, breast exams, blood sugar tests, blood pressure, nutrition consultations and HIV testing. Along with medical services, those in attendance also had the opportunity to receive valuable information from several community groups on the island. The San Pedro Red Cross, San Pedro Cancer Society and the National AIDS Commission had booths set up to provide information on healthy practices for a healthy life. According to fair organizer Diana Sanchez, who is a Peace Corps Volunteer stationed in San Pedro, the day proved to be a huge success, with residents appreciative of the free service. “We had a great turn out. Everyone that was present benefited from the service. We were so glad to see people checking up and taking the time to ensure that all is well with their health. The people seemed interested in the topics discussed by the various groups,” said Sanchez. Over 70 Pap smear tests and over 42 HIV tests were carried out on that day.

DOE takes steps at preparing the country for possible oil spills
While the Belizean coast is not dotted with oil rigs, there are still possibilities of an offshore oil spill. As such the Department of Environment (DOE) held a one day oil pollution, preparedness, response and cooperation sensitization workshop for Non- Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and the media corps. The workshop was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City on Wednesday, April 15th and saw the participation of more than 25 invited guests from across the country. DOE partnered with the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Environmental Programme- Regional Coordinating Unite for the Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP CAR/RCU) and the Regional Activity Centre/ Regional Pollution Emergency Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean (RAC-REM-REMPEITIC Caribe) to bring in three oil spill specialists to officiate the workshop. The issue of offshore drilling in Belizean waters has been at the fore-front of concern for environmentalists as well as citizens and tourism stakeholders. The main concern is that offshore exploration and drilling can lead to oil spills that can destroy our delicate marine ecosystem. While many are under the impression that Belize is not at risk of an oil spill, since there is no offshore oil exploration, specialists say that there is still a high threat for oil spills in Belize and it is best to be prepared.

Ambergris Today

Healthy Eating
Chef Jennie Staines of Elvi's Kitchen quizzes students of Isla Bonita Elementary School as they learn about healthy eating in their Health Science Class - Standard 5 & 6 students had a cook off.

Letters To The Editor: I Was Kicked Off My Volunteered Services by Minister of Culture Because of Politics
I am truly saddened that it has come to this and now I realize that politics plays a very dirty role on how things are ran (manipulated) in this island. I respond to a letter from the management of the San Pedro House of Culture, under the authority of Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation. The letter states that I have been relieved of my volunteer services as member of the committee of the San Pedro House of Culture in which I was just recently appointed. Clearly, the Minister’s decision is strictly political as he has made that clear to me in person. This saddens me because I only want to volunteer my services to better my community and make the islanders proud of having such a great facility that promotes our rich culture. At first I cried because of my rejection of these two politicians (Mito Paz and Manuel Heredia), but then I realized I was not serving them but my people of San Pedro. Today I smile with pride and joy because there are so many others who have invited me to share my passion of serving with them and for San Pedro. I have worked very well with Mito Paz in the past but cannot believe that he can’t stand on his own two feet and must take petty orders from his Almighty Boss Junior Heredia. And how disgusting it is that Mr. Heredia can only work with persons who are 100% Red. So if one has talents, good ideas and a passion to work for my people, he must be rejected? Now I realize he is no genuine leader for San Pedro but is there with his own special interests to win for himself and not for us the San Pedranos nor for anybody else.

Zsapphirrah Coleman is the New Miss Isla Bonita 2015
It was a fun-filled family event at the San Pedro Lions Club on Saturday, April 18, 2015, as Isla Bonita Elementary School held it Miss Isla Bonita Pageant fundraiser where they crowned their newest school queen representative. Zsapphira Coleman (sponsored by Coleman’s Barbershop) took first place in the popularity pageant that is organized every two years by the elementary school. The pageant included segments that displayed casual wear, costumes and evening wear and included dance presentations, song performances, a fashion show, raffles and presentations by the San Pedro Dance Academy. Outgoing Miss Isla Bonita Elementary 2013-2015, Jucely Badillo, was on hand to crown the new school queen and award the other contestants with the following awards:

Letters To The Editor - Town Council Called Out to be More Proactive on Island Cleanup
On the environmental side, research conducted over the last seven years has revealed evidence of continuous degradation of the marine environment. The garbage pollutes the air, water and land and subsequently harms human and marine life. This has placed our very livelihood at risk, jeopardizes the tourism and fishing industry and could ultimately result in the collapse of the island. With the garbage separation plant becoming operational and the rainy season only weeks away, the VIP calls on the newly elected council to proactively address this issue by implementing a plan to immediately remove all garbage that is currently dumped on lots and streets before the rains resume. Please do not attempt to cover it up with Sargasso, sand or All-In fill as this is not the solution and only compounds the problem. While the VIP team and volunteers have recently undertaken two garbage cleanup activities in the community, the massive accumulation in certain areas requires tractors and trucks to remove. We have also called on the Department of Environment for their assistance and technical expertise.

National Committee for Families & Children Speaks out Against Child Abuse
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.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Portfolio of information on British Honduras (1961)
issued by the Government Information Service. Belize City, British Honduras, 1961.

Letter from Charleston, S.C. – Colony of a colony | Henry S. Fraser
For those that like Caribbean history. A story by Sir Henry Fraser. Professor George Rogers, the distinguished historian of South Carolina, described South Carolina as the colony of a colony. And the mother colony was Barbados. This came about because of the phenomenal financial success of the early sugar industry in Barbados, leading to a rush of emigrants from Britain in the 1650s – people of all social classes, looking for opportunities. It was rather like the gold rush in the Wild West in the 19th century. And the man whose vision led to the settling of the Carolinas was Sir John Colleton. Sir John was a Royalist supporter of the embattled King Charles the First, who lost his head. Many Royalists fled to Barbados to avoid losing theirs, or, like Richard Ligon, to avoid debtors’ prison because of putting their money with their mouth in supporting the king. Colleton bought The Ridges, North of Speightstown, (subsequently known as Colleton) sight unseen, and later Colleton in St. John. His descendant, the late Alan Godsal was the brain behind the elegant Cobblers Cove Hotel in Speightstown. Sir John had four sons. This created a challenge for their useful occupation, and the overcrowding of the island with immigrants with no chance of acquiring land led him to propose the settling of the mainland, to be named Carolina after King Charles the Second, “and all that land as far as the Pacific”! After several explorations – one led by Captain Hilton and one by Sir John Yeamans, Charlestown was eventually settled in 1670 after a harrowing odyssey, with three ships, ship wrecks, changes in plans, settling at Charlestown Landaing, and finally relocation from the original Charlestown Landing to the present site of Charleston

Uniformed Cop rapes 14 year old
On 20.04.15 at 5:15p.m., a 14-year-old female of Corozal Town visited the Corozal Police Station in the company of her mother and reported that on 20.04.15 at approximately 1:00 p.m. while she was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira area of Corozal Town, she met a male person dressed in black clothing with police markings and riding on a red motorcycle also marked “Police.” She has known him for the past month. He offered to give her a ride home where she got on the back of the motorcycle and he drove off towards the Consejo Road and into an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will. A medical examination was conducted on the child that certified that she was carnally known and classified the injuries she received as “Wounding”. The policeman has been detained as investigation continues. The name of the cop has not been released by the police.

Jamaica Just Planted Its First Legal Marijuana Plant
Jamaica just planted its first-ever legal marijuana plant. The first legal cannabis plant in the country was planted on the grounds of the University of the West Indies Mona campus on Monday. The University has been accorded an order by the government to cultivate marijuana for medical research and to “set the pace for the development of a legal cannabis industry.” That follows the passage of the Dangerous Drugs (Amendment) Act 2015, which recently became effective and provides for the development of a medical marijuana industry in the country. A similar licence will also be granted to Jamaica’s University of Technology, according to a statement from the government. “I want to know when you start to do the experimentation, and what is found in the plant,” Science Minister Philip Paulwell told researchers. “We have to start this way, so that we can set the stage for full commercialization.”

Meet Belizean Leader Nicole Haylock
the Act. Deputy Coordinator at the National Security Council Secretariat in Belize, AND our next International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) participant through the Exchange Programs - U.S. Department of State. The IVLP is a very competitive and prestigious State Department exchange program that aims to increase mutual understanding through communication at personal and professional levels. The exchange program seeks candidates who are professionals, and have had little professional travel/contact with the U.S., and who are likely to have an impact upon returning to Belize. Ms. Haylock has been selected to participate in a three week exchange program titled U.S. Foreign Policy: The Decision Making Process. Participants in this project will examine the complex foreign policy making process in the United States as it affects a wide variety of global issues such as human rights, security policy, trade policy, global economic issues, environmental policy, human trafficking, and international crime and counterterrorism.

BBIA Book Week 2015
The Belize Book Industry Association is celebrating Book Week this Friday and Saturday at the Cayo Welcome Center.

Succotz Festival 2015
The Succotz Festival was this weekend, and D Russel Photography got some great shots of it.

Obituary of Peter Tonti
by Larry Waight. Nelson Mandela. George Cadle Price. Maya Angelou. Add the name Peter Tonti to those sorely missed by legions of people whose lives and futures were made better just because destiny brought him into their lives! Is this too grandiose a comparison to make when placing the name Peter Tonti into this star-studded company? Not if you know the extent to which the man impacted the nation of Belize for half a century—not if you’re aware of the fact that everything he touched during his life in Belize will continue to flourish because he had a hand in so many institutions, movements and changes that shaped the nation. Such is his legacy. Peter Tonti’s story doesn’t begin with fame, fortune and recognition. A powerful urge to make the world a better place in which to live drove the young man to public service: He joined the Peace Corps in the 1970s and by God’s good grace, he was assigned to work with people in the little-known nation of Belize. Simple actions, big changes and sincere devotion to those with whom he interacted during his tenure became so rooted in his consciousness, when time came to end his Peace Corps service, he found himself incapable of leaving. Belize had become his home. And so he stayed to work among the people and the society he had come to treasure.

Belize shrimp growers achieve ASC certification
The Belize Shrimp Grower's Association members have achieved certification against the global science-based ASC shrimp standard as responsible and well-managed farms. Alvin Henderson, a member of the Belize Shrimp Growers Association, describes Belize as a country of rich biodiversity with a stretch of mangrove belt along the coast that acts as a natural filtration system. “The journey towards ASC certification has helped to highlight areas of our operations where we can make meaningful change with minimal financial resources. Sometimes all that is really required is a change of perspective,” Henderson said. “We’re using less water on our farm through improving the way we manage water quality. And, by focusing on compliance, we uncovered that the water in the receiving body is of even better quality since our mangrove buffer acts as a biofilter.”

Maya Q’eqchi and Mopan of Southern Belize Win Major Land Rights Victory in the Caribbean High Court
The Caribbean Court of Justice, Belize’s highest appellant court, yesterday reaffirmed the unbroken chain of lower court affirmations that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied. The Court affirmed that these traditional land rights constitute property within the meaning of the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protect property free from discrimination. The judgement, which was rendered by agreement between the Maya representatives and the Government of ‪Belize‬, requires the government to demarcate and register ‪Maya‬ village lands, and protect them against incursions by outsiders. The Court accepts the government’s undertaking to adopt the necessary ‘legislative, administrative, and/or other measures’ to that end and, in the meantime, to abstain from and prevent acts that would adversely affect Maya land rights. The Court retains supervision and in twelve months the parties will report on implementation. “We have been dragged through the courts for over 30 years but today we are happy that the highest Court again stood with the my people to ensure that Belize gets on the right side of history,’ said Alfonso Cal the highest traditional leader for all the Maya villages.

Inauguration of the Orange Walk Central Park
This evening, the Government of Belize through its implementing arm, the Social Investment Fund (SIF), officially inaugurated the Orange Walk Central Park. Funds for the park were provided through the Belize Municipal Development Project (BMDP).

Inauguration of the San Narciso-San Victor Road
This morning our team travelled to San Narciso Village for the inauguration of the San Narciso-San Victor Road. The road is funded under the Accompanying Measures for Sugar (AMS) Road Rehabilitation Project 2010, a collaborative effort between the Government of Belize and the European Union to assist in poverty reduction and improving the standard of living for communities in northern Belize.

European Commission Ongoing Projects and Programmes in Belize

BOLEDO DRAWING for Tuesday, April 21, 2015: 86. FANTASY 5: 30 21 32 4 25 K

Corozal Crime Report
A Corozal Police is in custody pending an investigation of rape of a 14 year old minor. Corozal Police are investigating a serious accusation of rape against a fellow police officer. According to the Corozal Police a report was made at around 5:15 p.m. on Monday April 20th by a 14 year old female in the company of her mother. They both visited the Corozal Police station to report that earlier that day while she (the minor) was walking on Antonio Sosa Drive in the Altamira Area of Town, she was met by a male dressed in police uniform and driving a police issued motorbike. The officer, who she claims to know, offered to give her a ride home in which she accepted. The minor reported that whilst on the back of his motorcycle, the officer drove off towards the Consejo Road and into an area by the sea off Consejo Road where he had sexual intercourse with her against her will.

GALA MUSIC CONCERT COROZAL - QUAD MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA!!
Calling all Corozalenos, a special treat coming your way this weekend! Mark your calendars and bring out the entire family....come in your dancing shoes...cause this promises to be great!!! Put a pin on your calendar this weekend Folks!! GALA MUSIC CONCERT COROZAL - QUAD MUSIC EXTRAVAGANZA!! Featuring National Youth Orchestra of Belize along with Corozal Community College Marching Band, Harmony Music Group and Pandemonium Steel Band!!! Date: Saturday April 25th Place: Corozal Community College Auditorium Time: 6:30 P.m. Tickets: Students $5 and Adults $10 Bring out the entire family for this super music extravaganza!! See you there!!

USNS Comfort Visits Bullet Tree
The USNS Comfort visited Bullet Tree last week to hand out school supplies with the help of the San Ignacio Police department. Thanks to everyone that took their time to help. "On Wednesday San Ignacio Community Police officers along with personnel from the BDF,US Marines, US Army and US Navy gave out hygiene kits, book bags and school supplies to to the student of both primary schools in Bullet Tree Village."

BELIZE GRAPHIC DESIGN COMPANY, DEIDRA DEANDRA HAS SOME FUN CARDS YOUR MOM IS SURE TO LOVE!
Deidra Deandra has designed a variety of cards that are fully customizable. Change text, color and photo to suit your design taste. The cards are also available in different sizes. You can choose the Standard Size, the Fun Square Option or the Long Card Size which is sure to stand out. Deidra Deandra is based in Belmopan, Belize but offers shipping throughout the country. Order your cards by April 30, 2015 to get them in time for Mother’s Day. Belize Graphic Designer, Deidra Deandra says “I always like to create special gifts for my mom that only she will have, and this is a fun and affordable way to do so!”

Maya ancestral lands
I just heard from a reliable source the GOB have acknowledged that Maya do own the ancestral lands they occupy in Belize and has been the subject of the ongoing Maya land rights case. This is a big step forward for Maya who then have control of and be able to manage their lands and share in the natural resources with the nation that is contained there in through the Convention on Biological diversity. In the meanwhile Garifuna in Belize have made zero attempts to declare any kind of self determination whatsoever culturally nor legally and none whatsoever to control the lands recognized as their ancestral lands. By the way these lands include Dangriga, Barranco, PG, Hopkins, Seine Bight and one or two others. Why are we not doing so? Also the Maya land case in Belize is a world wide precedence of such significance that they are scheduled to have a conference at the United nations on April 29, 2015. Will Garifuna also take ownership and title to their ancestral lands? Or will we continue to sink lower and lower on the totem pole? It is our choice.

BELIZEAN BROADCASTING IN THE DIASPORA!
These incredible stories of the Belizean people's passion in sports, entertainment, music, culture, politics, and many other facets, has been globally broadcasted through this medium, Belizean Legends. The soul of Belizean folk has been widely documented here by yours truly, and has continued to become an international voice for Belizeans at home and abroad. Belizean Legends look forward in bringing more of these sounds, images, and literature of Belize and the Belizean people to the global community as a means of promoting and educating people about Belize worldwide. We here at Belizean Legends stand ready for what is to come. Persevere!

POST BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER STILL BURNING!
Make a wild guess. What year Belize National Cross Country could this have been, and who were the images of these Belizean cyclists?

POST BELIZE CROSS COUNTRY FEVER: PART 2
The race for time that changed Belize. Who would have known that a Belizean-American would have won the National Belize Cross Country in 2015. We look forward to feature, Belize National Cross Country champion Justin Williams soon on here on Belizean Legends. The race for the garland continues.

Channel 7

Police Constable Charged For Raping Young Girl
Tonight a police constable in Corozal has been charged for a heinous act: taking a 14 year old girl on his police motorbike and raping her. PC 1093 Cyril Casimiro attached to the Corozal branch will be arraigned tomorrow on charges of rape and wounding. Yesterday evening at 5:00, the girl and her mother went to the police station and told them that earlier that day, at around 1:00 in the afternoon, Casimiro was in what is known as the battle dress uniform - which is the black police outfit - when he stopped to offer her a ride home. He was on a police motorbike - and the child had known him for a month. With that she agreed but alleges that instead of taking her home, he headed towards the Consejo road where he raped her. He then took her home where the child told her mother - who went to the police. From there, the child was examined a doctor who confirmed that she had been raped and classified the injuries as "Wounding". The officer commanding Corozal said it is a compliant that was treated with utmost priority:

Father Drowns While Trying To Save Daughter
A father of 5 drowned this weekend in Gracie Rock trying to save his 19 year old stepdaughter. On Sunday, 27 year old Jamel Erin Canto went to swim in the Sibun River with his stepdaughter and stepson along with a large group of teenagers. After swimming for a while, Canto noticed that his stepdaughter was struggling in the water. He swam over to help her and she was pulled out by a friend but Canto didn't resurface. When they finally found his body, desperate but futile attempts were made to resuscitate him. We spoke with Canto's common law wife of 11 years today and she told us she found out about his death around 5, just minutes after it happened. Denise, common-law-wife of Jamel Erin Canto "On Sunday morning we got up and the day was hot, and he says that he is going to swim (he is not someone that usually goes swimming). So I told him that if he goes swimming, then what will happen to mama? He says that he will take mama. I ask him if he will take mama with him and he says no, because mama will throw me off from enjoying myself. I didn't have any argument with him, I just left him that day and he went and about 3-4, they call and told me that something happened to Jamel.

Police: Mike Estell Shot Wife Colleen Sharp Twice In the Head
Tonight, Ladyville police are getting ready to close their investigation into the case of the Mike Estell/Coleen Sharp murder suicide. A few new details are known tonight - first, that the 29 year old Sharp was apparently shot twice to the head, not once as had been earlier reported. She was shot to the nose and the forehead. Evidence collected at the scene suggests that after the 54 year old Estell shot her - he walked around the house for about 45 minutes - and then shot himself in the head. Both were killed with his licensed .380 pistol. The evidence at the scene also suggests that the couple had a violent fight before the murder/suicide. A clutch of her hair was found on the bathroom floor along with his chain. Police also found her shattered IPhone 6. Surveillance video indicates that they both got home in separate vehicles around 11:00. The fight that led to the murder suicide is believed to have happened some hours after that. They were both found in their underwear.

Another Wild City Shooting
The random city shootings continued in the city last night. Police have not released a report this time, but 7News has confirmed that two men were shot at the corner of Kraal Road and South Creek when an unknown man sprayed shots in the area. Two men Raymond Bowen and Channing Garoy received injuries which we are told are not life threatening.

Adding Up The Cost and Consequence of Avian Influenza
In January, we told you that BAHA and the Ministry of Agriculture detected avian influenza at 2 poultry farms in the Spanish Lookout Community. A few days later, the Ministry updated the public that about 12,000 birds tested positive. Well, tonight, we've confirmed that after 3 rounds of testing, the public health officials have discovered approximately 75,000 birds with the virus. 60,000 of that infected population has been destroyed to try to contain the virus which can spread from infected poultry to you if it is consumed. You don't have to be alarmed and stop buying poultry, however. The stocks on the shelves are safe for consumption. What is being affected is the next round of poultry stocks which would have hit the shelves in the next few months. But, the threat has been contained, for now, because BAHA and the Agricultural Ministry have stepped in to take action. And what does that mean exactly? Well, we went to Spanish Lookout today, and we got a chance to speak with several of the poultry farmers whose birds were infected with avian influenza.

Man Crashes Into House - Said He Was Driven By Love Spurned
On Sunday at around noon, a man drove his car into his neighbor's house. At the time, it seemed that he must have been drunk - but he told the court today that - instead - he was under the influence of a much stronger drug: jealousy! KHMH Clerk, Harvin Arriola told the court quite plainly that when he found out that his girlfriend was having an affair, it just sent his temperature up. Of course, there's no charge for "head-tek", so he was charged with four traffic offenses including, drove motor vehicle without a drivers license, drove unlicense motor vehicle, drove motor vehicle without due care and attention and drove motor vehicle not covered by third party risk insurance. There is a fifth charge pending for driving drunk, but first police are waiting on the result of a urine test to see what his alcohol level was. According to Arriola, he went to take a drink - his first in 8 years - and then that's when he exploded.

Fin. Sec. Says Treasury Thief Took Half A Mil In Months
Five-hundred and fifty-thousand dollars - that's how much was fleeced from the Treasury Department - and it all happened in a handful of transactions within just a few months. Today, the Financial Secretary, Joe Waight told the media that one person has been suspended:.. Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "Right now they are investigating. We have closed a loophole which we have put more reconciliation, more auditing and more oversight in that department. We have moved some officers offline so to speak but again I have to say they are innocent until proven guilty. I am not making a charge because we don't know really what the investigation is." Reporter "Is there a finite sum as to the amount that was embezzled?" Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "No, the figure so far is about $500,000, which is a lot of money." Reporter "And the time frame sir? When it started until when?"

Solving The Petrocaribe Problem
We caught up with Waight as he was coming out of KREM Television - after a rare talk show appearance. Waight is on a sort of media tour along with UDP Legal Advisor Michael Young trying to debunk public apprehension about the Petrocaribe Loans Bill. Critics say it violates the finance and audit act and gives the government powers to assume loans and spend without the approval of Parliament. And now Waight and Young are doing the morning shows to say that Petrocaribe is a very singular situation - and passing the bill for it does not undo the provisions of the Finance and Audit Act. Here's how they pitched it to the media after this morning's talk show appearance on the KREM W-U-B:.. Michael Young, S.C. - UDP Legal Advisor "There's no repeal of the finance and audit act. It is merely that this is a unique case and special legislation has been passed to deal with the unique case. " Joseph Waight, GOB's Financial Secretary "Under the finance and audit reform act, they specify the types of borrowing. From sources multilateral agencies, financial institutions and so but, it didn't conceive the Petrocaribe as such which is a credit facility, bilateral program. So essentially what this is doing is essentially allows for the borrowing from Petrocaribe."

Blue Bell's Total Recall Comes To Belize
A total recall of imported Blue Bell ice cream includes Belize. It started in March when we told you about 7 Blue Bell products that were recalled after 3 American consumers died. Well, the company is now recalling all its products including the ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet and other frozen treats. According to CNN, the products could be contaminated with Listeria - which is a deadly bacteria. So what does it mean locally? We spoke to the manager of Arctic Cold, who imports Blue Bell, and he told us that the health department will start taking all these products off BELIZEAN shelves tomorrow.

Mayans Claim Victory, Greg Ch'oc Questions It
The Maya Leaders Alliance today sent out a press release claiming victory in the Caribbean Court of Justice. A release says that the Court "yesterday reaffirmed that the Maya Indigenous People of southern Belize have rights to lands they have customarily used and occupied." It adds quote, "the judgement....requires the government to demarcate and register Maya village lands, and protect them against incursions (while) undertaking to adopt the necessary 'legislative, administrative, and/or other measures' to that end." In 12 months the parties will report on implementation. The release adds, that in the past the Government has vigorously contested the assertions of Maya Customary land rights. The release says that, quote, "government reversed this position and came to an agreement that was the basis of the Court's judgment by consent." They note that the Maya's claim for compensation for damages is the only matter outstanding.

Deon In Camp
YESTERDAY, star striker Deon McCaulay attended his first practice with the National Team. This is after he was brought home by fans and a generous patron last Friday. As we told you, the Football Federation of Belize welcomed McCauley back on the team, but did his football peers and the coaching staff do the same? Well, that's what we found out today, when we spoke with McCaulay and the Assistant Head Coach. Here's what they told us about the first 2 practices since his return: Charlie Slusher, Assistant Head Coach, National Team "We need to continue working on ball position. I think that was one of the positive things from the team that we maintain good ball position, we pass the ball a lot, and we got opportunities. Now what we have to do is also work and making use of the opportunities that we got during the past games. And so like I said were working basically on our strengths and weaknesses and we are making some necessary adjustments to the way we were playing. So that in the event that we are playing a tougher team, we will be able to survive and advance."

Caye Caulker Cop Caught On Camera
Last Friday we told you about a Caye Caulker police officer who was charged with extortion. Well, tonight more details are known. PC #621 Daniel Requena demanded that a Canadian woman give him $800 dollars to get off a marijuana charge. Requena took her to jail and told her that if she paid him $800 dollars Belize she could go free. She complied, went to the ATM and withdrew $600 and gave him another $200 she had on her. Requena also gave her back the weed. There was also security camera footage of Requena doing his alleged deed. Only $491 was recovered and he was charged with extortion and granted bail of $3,000.

Channel 5

$550,000 Siphoned Off from Treasury, Employee Placed on Administrative Leave
The embezzlement of over half-a-million dollars from the Treasury Department, an inside job that was unearthed a little over a week ago by officials within the Ministry of Finance, has [...]

Corozal Cop on Motorcycle Rapes Minor
A Corozal police man has been detained following allegations of a rape of a fourteen year old girl. On Monday evening, the minor and her mother visited the Corozal Police [...]

Post Mortem Results: Coleen Sharp was Shot Twice in Murder/Suicide
There are still more questions than answers about the murder-suicide that happened over the weekend. In our story on Monday night, we told you about the tragic incident which resulted [...]

Fin. Sec. Joe Waight on Petrocaribe Expenditure
The government is under sustained fire for backdating the Petrocaribe Law to encompass two years of government expenditure prior to its passage. Despite borrowing upwards of two hundred and fifty [...]

Petrocaribe Law Doesn’t Skirt Finance & Audit Reform Act
The Fin. Sec. and legal advisor, attorney Michael Young, have been making the media rounds trying to explain away the new law, which allows government to borrow and spend without [...]

Do You Think That There is a Deliberate Attempt to Divide the Unions?
And our question for tonight is: Do you think that there is a deliberate attempt to divide the unions? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 [...]

U.D.P. Legal Adviser Explains Petrocaribe Law
Since the beginning of the week, the United Democratic Party’s legal adviser, Senior Counsel Michael Young, has been accompanying Financial Secretary Joe Waight on a series of media rounds to [...]

Michael Young Says Accessing Petrocaribe Funds is Most Important
Despite the discussion and subsequent criticisms that have arisen out of the passage of the Petrocaribe Law, Young says the most important thing is to continue retrieving the funds.   [...]

Is Belize Being Affected by Derisking?
The process of ‘derisking’ is underway by international financial firms that are withdrawing from sectors within the Caribbean region and elsewhere that represent compliance risks.  It is a situation where [...]

Belize City Man Drowns While Saving His Stepdaughter
In Monday’s newscasts we told you about the death of three persons over the weekend—the murder-suicide of well known couple Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp in Ladyville and the execution [...]

K.H.M.H. Employee Slams Vehicle into Neighbor’s Fence, Charged for Traffic Offences
On Sunday afternoon, a K.H.M.H. clerk lost his mind when he discovered that his girlfriend was not being faithful to him. Thirty-three year old Harvin Arriolla is suspected of being [...]

Tanya Carter Wins Music Award in California
Belizean artist Tanya Carter is making her mark in the music industry. Over the weekend, she won the People’s Choice Award for Best Belizean Artist of the Year at the [...]

The Story of a Belizean-American Military Veteran Now Deportee
Many Belizeans have served and are serving in the U.S Military and like many other immigrants, have risked their lives to serve, but even after their service they are still [...]


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#503579 - 04/22/15 11:50 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 22, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

PlusTV

Vern Magdaleno shot dead in Belize City
Police in the Belize District had a particularly busy weekend, with a body count of three deaths, two homicide and one apparent suicide, and six persons injured, all by gunfireWe begin with the death of 35 year old Vern Magdaleno of Fabers Road Extension on Friday night, April 17. Around 8:14 p...

Murder-suicide of couple in Ladyville
The owner of a popular establishment in Ladyville, Belize District, and his common-law wife of 10 years are both dead tonight. But police believe that one of them may have pulled the trigger on the other and then killed themselves afterward.  54 year old Michael Estell, a Belizean-American busines...

Ex boyfriend chops woman and her male friend
And in more domestic abuse news; an ex boyfriend allegedly invaded a house and inflicted several chop wounds to his ex girlfriend and her male companion. The incident happened after 2 am on Saturday April 18 in Esperenza Village.  At 2:53a.m...

Multiple shootings leave six injured
In addition to the murder in Belize City and murder-suicide in Ladyville there were no less than four shooting incidents in Belize City in the span of 48 hours, leaving a total of six persons injured. Supt...

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...

CCJ’s First Session In Belize; Mayan Customary Land Rights
In 2013 the court of Appeal handed down a judgment on the case of the Maya Customary Land Rights to have the matter heard before the Caribbean Court of Justice, the highest court in the region. That was after a two year and a half delay on the matter...

Dwight Tillett wants to be UDP standard bearer for Belize Rural North
Dwight Tillett officially launched his campaign for standard bearer for Belize Rural North under the UDP banner. Tillett is hoping to beat out two time area representative Edmund Castro at a UDP convention to represent the party in the next general elections...

Deon McCauley Back in Training
Deon McCauley arrived at the FFB headquarters in Belmopan as early as 8 o clock this morning, ready to start his first week of training with the Belize Jaguars. Earlier this year, the 26 year old forward ran into some issues with the FFB executive...

Corozal man stabbed during domestic dispute
Yet another common law relationship has gone bad and is headed to the courts after violence has been reported. This time, the man was hospitalized for stab wounds...

Man caught with child pornography says he is Pastor; Evangelical Association says not so
News broke out on Friday that a Pastor in Orange Walk was being arrested for Child pornography...

No arrests and No recovery of monies stolen from Quality Poultry truck
Police have not made any arrests in connection with therobbery of the quality poultry truck. We told you the story on Friday as the incident happened just before our news time, but police have since released some more information...

Amandala

Tragic murder-suicide in Ladyville!
Pastor Gerard Lopez, 60, a self-styled “pastor” who was to have headed the prospective Trial Farm Roca Del Poder Evangelical Church, but who did not have a license to be a church pastor, was remanded today by the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court, to the Belize Central Prison until Monday, June 29, on charges of four counts of producing child pornography. Police say that on Friday, they went to the home of a mother and her two little girls, ages 3 years and 10 years old, in the Black Water area of Trial Farm, where they found the naked photos of the girls on the cell phone of the pastor, who was also at the house. Lopez was immediately arrested and taken to the Orange Walk Police Station, where he was charged.

Mark King goes after Cordel Hyde!
It caused a scene this morning when a group of police officers gathered on the basketball court that is located behind the Charles Bartlett Hyde building in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The officers, who included at least two top brass officials, were called out to mediate a situation involving three-time People’s United Party (PUP) Lake Independence area representative, Cordel Hyde, and several Lake Independence residents who wanted to ensure that a building that once served as the offices of the Lake-I Action Committee would not be torn down, allegedly by agents of the current area representative, Hon. Mark King. The said committee was formed years ago through the efforts of Hyde, the current PUP standard-bearer for Lake Independence, and his committee members who obtained the 50-by-70-foot property from the Government of Belize (GOB) on June 12, 2007.

Trial Farm pastor remanded for child pornography
Several friends stopped by the white 3-storey mansion on the Old Airport Road in Ladyville to visit their friends, the businessman Michael Estell, 54, and his common-law wife Coleen Michelle Sharp, 30, at various times yesterday, Sunday, but after getting no answer they simple drove away—concerned. The young woman who works in a bar named Mark’s Bar on the ground floor of the building called Coleen’s phone—no answer, and the concerns grew. And as the evening turned into night, the silence from Estell’s house prompted one of his workers to go to the police; family members had also called police. Accompanied by Ladyville police, the worker hammered at the burglar-barred door on the second floor until it eventually gave way, and they entered to find a tragic crime scene inside.

Catamaran captain executed in front of teen niece
A weekend of violence has claimed the life of one man, who was one of five persons who were shot in the city between Friday and Saturday nights. Vern Magdaleno, 35, was fatally shot in the head by an unknown gunman at about 8:30 Friday night while sitting in his car at the corner of Fabers Road and the Central American Boulevard, and he died almost immediately. Earlier that night, at about 7:30 p.m., Wendy Lambey, 50, and Aaron Munnings, 17, were both shot in Lambey’s house on Jane Usher Boulevard. Then at about 10:30 Saturday night, Levar Taylor, 35, and a female minor, 14, were shot while walking on Police Street. Taylor was shot in the shoulder and the girl was shot in the leg. They have both been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in a stable condition. The shootings began at about 7:30 Friday night in the southside of the city. Wendy Lambey was in her home with four of her grandchildren, ages 2 years to 6 years old.

Toledo Maya triumphant in historic CCJ hearing in Belize
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) has been able to broker a major settlement between the Government of Belize and the Maya of Toledo, southern Belize, in what leading Maya activist, Cristina Coc, said has been a 30-year struggle for them. “It’s been quite the struggle,” said Coc, spokesperson for the Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA), one of the parties to the CCJ appeal, adding, “…we’ve reached a certain point of maturity with our communities understanding that we will not tolerate any further violations.” Although the CCJ had set two days’ of hearing to be held in its historic first sitting in Belize—being held as the court enters its 10th year of operation and its 5th year as the final appellate court of Belize—the court has today remarkably been able to lead the parties into developing a consent order, which settles virtually all the points of contention between the parties. “It is a good step forward for the communities and the Government, as we attempt to implement this court order, because it is an order that has to be implemented…” said Antoinette Moore, SC, attorney for the Toledo Maya.

Gregory August, challenging life without parole sentence, gets CCJ hearing
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), this morning, gave its nod of approval to Gregory August, agreeing to hear his application as “a poor person,” to challenge his conviction for the 2009 murder of Alvin Alpheus Robinson, 73, for which August was sentenced to life behind bars. However, the CCJ will not begin its hearing until the Court of Appeal has had a chance to deliberate on a very critical dimension of the case – a claim advanced by August’s attorney, Eamon Courtenay, SC, asserting that the life sentence handed down to August back in 2012, which under Belize laws means that he cannot get parole, is unconstitutional. The Court of Appeal had ruled in February 2015 that it would uphold the conviction of the lower court. Courtenay takes over at the CCJ level from Anthony Sylvester, who represented August at the Court of Appeal, and Courtenay plans to argue at the CCJ that his client was wrongly convicted.

NEBL weekend of upsets and exciting All Star Night
With four weeks remaining in the National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) regular season, this weekend fans were treated to 2 huge upsets, while the third game also proved to be crucial. Fans are reminded that all games have a live webcast, where the play-by-play, along with box scores, are available for all games. Fans can follow every game live on the internet, as scores are in real time, at nebl.sportingpulse.net Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes stage huge upset against San Pedro Tiger Sharks On Friday night, San Pedro Tiger Sharks (6-3) traveled to Belize City to take on the Belize Yellow Pages Hurricanes (3-6), who were in need of a win to remain in the playoff hunt. At the end of the third, Belize Hurricanes had a one point lead, which they were able to protect, as they narrowly edged the defending champs, 83-81. The Hurricanes were led by Winston Pratt, who had 24 points with 4 rebounds and 6 assists; and Brian White had 19 pts and 7 rebs. Also in the win, Akeem Trapp tallied 17 pts, 5 rebs, 5 assists and 3 steals; while Earl Johnson sank 11 pts, and Ty Bradley finished the night with 8 pts and 7 rebs, and Leon Williams finished with 4 pts and 7 boards, 2 of those pts being for the game winner. In a losing effort, San Pedro Tiger Sharks was led by Darwin “Puppy” Leslie, who had the game high with 26 pts, along with 6 assists and 5 rebs; while Ashton Edwards tallied 18 pts with 4 boards, and Milton James finished with another double-double, as he scored 18 pts and ripped 15 rebs.

Lilly White Labor Day Football Bash at Third World Field
Sports/community activist/entrepreneur, Edward Charles Rubio a.k.a. Lilly White, is at it again. This time he said he is presenting a Labor Day Football Bash at Third World Field in Belize City. The games begin at 9:30 a.m. and go on “until,” and will feature Lilly White U-15 vs Third World U-15, followed by the seniors, Lilly White Blend vs Belize All Star. Lilly White’s flyer says, “… There will be lots of food, music and drinks. Please come out and support Lilly White. Don’t let Lilly White down. I’m trying to build football in Belize city hoods; so come out my people. Show some love. Remember, it is you, me and the neighborhoods to make the way for the kids of Belize.” And finally, “.. I am asking for a small donation or contribution to this event. Thanks for letting the youths of today know that they still have people who care and want them to learn love, respect and understanding for themselves and others.” Contact Lilly White at #84 Barrack Road, Belize City, cell# 667-9672.

Smart 13 & Under Football Tournament 2015 kicks off at Yabra Field
The 4th Annual Smart 13 & under Football Tournament kicked off on Saturday at the Yabra Field with 12 teams participating in Week 1 games of the single round-robin tournament. In the opening ceremonies, after welcoming the twelve teams assembled and in uniforms, Smart representative Anthony Mahler said they had already seen the need for another tournament to accommodate the missing players from last year who are now over 14 and can no longer play in the 13 & under tournament. We couldn’t agree more. He said they are working on finding sponsorship for a Smart 14 – 17 Tournament next. According to Mahler, the idea for the first Smart 13 & under resulted from discussions between himself and tournament coordinators Tyrone “T-Bone” Muschamp and Stanley “Jordan” Reneau, when they figured on what they could do “to make a difference in football.” With team sponsorship always a problem for youth coaches, registration in the Smart 13 & under is completely free, and uniforms are provided free of cost to all participating teams, as well as loaning a rotating stock of boots and shin guards to the players at every game. Mahler, who is the Director of Marketing for the FFB national team program, said he believed the Smart 13 & under is likely the best run tournament in the country, and it has now been sanctioned by the FFB.

Editorial: “Bring back Maccabee Version …”
This newspaper is very proud of the three young Belizeans who spearheaded a public relations and fund-raising initiative to bring Deon McCaulay home and get him into training camp for Belize’s World Cup qualifier in June. In fact, we’re more than very proud. We’re very, very proud. The problem is, this initiative does not solve the problem inside the administrative and coaching structure of Belize’s national football selection. Our three young Belizeans involved themselves in the aforementioned initiative because they believe, as do most Belizeans, that the Belize selection was not at its best against the Cayman Islands because our most successful striker in international games, Deon McCaulay, was not in Belize’s striker package against the Caymans. They say in big time sports that you fire coaches because you can’t fire a whole team of players. It is the management, hired by the owners, who assembles players and signs coaches to contracts. When the team does not perform up to expectations, coaches get fired by managements. It would be impossible to replace the whole team in mid-stream, so the coaches are the sacrifice.

From the Publisher
Cocaine is a processed product which is derived from the coca leaf. The indigenous peoples in the mountains of South American countries like Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and such, have been chewing the leaf of the coca plant for centuries. It helps them to fight hunger, cold, and exhaustion. In its processed form, cocaine is a white powder which is used for stamina and recreation purposes by those people all over the world who can afford it. Cocaine is expensive, and the most lucrative market for it is inside the cities of the largest economy in the world – the United States of America. When cocaine is further processed and becomes crack cocaine, it produces an electrifying high when smoked, and it becomes an absolute, dehumanizing addiction. But when powder cocaine is sniffed through the nostrils, it can be used for many years without major problems, the important thing being that you have to be able to afford it. On Wall Street, where fortunes are made and lost in a single day, and the executives often work 18-20 hour days, it is said that cocaine is practically indispensable. Cocaine enables you to work longer hours under stress. On the recreational side, cocaine is totally in demand at upscale American parties, because cocaine enables more extended, more satisfying sex encounters.

NTUCB joins Chamber in recording its rejection of PetroCaribe Loans Act
On Thursday, April 16, 2015, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) issued its first public statement denouncing the recently introduced PetroCaribe Loans Act, approved last month by a majority vote of Parliament. Two days after the Chamber’s statement, on April 18, 2015, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) also issued its first formal statement denouncing the act as a violation of both the Belize Constitution and the country’s Finance and Audit legislation. “The National Trade Union Congress of Belize wishes to state categorically that we contend that this new law flies in the face of ALL we stand for regarding the fiscal management of Belize’s resources. “The NTUCB is NOT against GOB’s right to make loans. However, this Congress contends that neither should any law passed to facilitate loans be in contravention of our Constitution and the Finance and Audit [Reform] Act (a legitimate offspring of the NTUCB) nor should the power of Parliament be used to confirm, validate and legitimize such violations!!!” the statement said.

Improper grave work causes stench from tomb
The family of Roy Flowers, who was buried in the Lords Ridge Cemetery on April 9, visited Amandala this afternoon to complain that the brick grave they paid for was improperly done and that the stench of their loved one had been emanating from the grave. When this reporter visited the cemetery to ascertain the accuracy of what the family was claiming, a group of cemetery workers was rude and hostile to us. “Don’t let him take your picture. We will run him out of here if he tek any picture,” one shouted to the worker who had come across to speak to the family. The worker, who was working on a new grave, came across, and in the presence of Flowers’ widow, his brother and his two teenage daughters began to explain that someone had stolen the wood that was used to brace the cement.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Benque Police Investigate Gun Shots in Xunantunich Maya Ruins Area
According to Officer in Command of the Benque Police Station, Daniel Arzu, BDF and Police were dispatched just now to the ancient Maya site of Xunantunich in San Jose Succotz, Cayo where reports of gunshots were heard. Law Enforcement Officers are in the scene right now; however no further gun […]

Partial settlement reached in Maya Land Rights Case
Ahead of Wednesday’s arguments in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) sitting in Belize, the Government of Belize appears to have conceded ownership of lands occupied by the 33 Maya villages in the Toledo District to their residents as communal property. Rulings in 2007 and 2010 by former […]

Matute and Conorquie families receive payments from Government
The families of Janae Matute, the Belmopan high schooler suffering from cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s miscalculation of her delivery date, and Daniel Conorquie, the special constable gunned down in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve last September, are receiving payments from the Government of Belize in relation to […]

Investigation of Treasury Department theft continues as officer is put on leave
Last week Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed that some $500,000 was taken from the Public Treasury at the Central Bank Building in Belize City. Officials in the Department are accused of deliberately diverting funds by substituting a false bank account number. Today Financial Secretary Joseph Waight offered an […]

UDP officials offer legal interpretation of Petrocaribe Loans Act
On Monday morning, legal advisor to the United Democratic Party (UDP) Senior Counsel Michael Young and Financial Secretary to the Government of Belize Joseph Waight appeared on LOVE FM’s morning show to present the Government’s take on the Petro Caribe Loans Act, 2015, passed to controversial circumstances last […]

Patchakan Villager celebrates 100 birthday
Today is a very special milestone in the life of one resident from the Corozal District. We are talking about Anselma Pott Yam who is celebrating her 100th birthday anniversary today. Born in 1915, Yam celebrated her momentous life achievement among her closest family and friends at her Patchakan Village […]

Man charged for break-in at ex’s home
24 year old Jhovan Mariano has been accused of burglary over a report of an incident at his former’s partner’s home in Ladyville. On April 18, according to Kimberly Kingston, Mariano’s ex-common-law wife, he went to her house, forced open the front door and barged in to attack […]

Hyde and King in Tug-of-war over land in Lake I
There has been much public discussion centered on the General Elections which many believe will be announced to happen late this year and currently, the tensions between the political parties are soaring to new heights. Yesterday, April 20th 2015, a showdown took place in the Lake Independence Area between PUP’s […]

Jamaica plants first legal marijuana plant
Taking a look at regional news, in Jamaica on Monday, the first-ever legal marijuana plant was planted on the grounds of the University of the West Indies Mona Campus. The UWI has been authorized by the Jamaican government to cultivate marijuana for medical research and to “set the pace for […]

Former PM Said Musa contemplates retirement
Reports are that after serving his country for more than four decades, the Right Honorable Said Musa is reportedly contemplating to throw in the towel. Credible sources are indicating that senior personalities are in discussions with 71 year old Said Musa to retire from electoral politics. According to Musa while […]

Uniformed Cop rapes 14 year old
Corozal police are investigating a serious allegation of rape against one of their own. According to the report made at 5:15pm on Monday, a 14 year old female in the company of her mother visited the station to report that earlier that day while she was walking on Antonio Sosa […]

Post Mortem confirm Murder-Suicide of Ladyville couple
A post mortem conducted yesterday evening on the bodies of Michael Estell and Colleen Sharp had confirmed that both died of traumatic shock due to gunshot wounds to the head. According to Forensic investigators, they believe that Estell was the one who shot Sharp – and then turned the gun […]

Blogs

Blackadore Caye, and an Un-Belize-Able Biological Process
Read our adventure on Blackadore Caye. Thank you Leo (totally on a first name basis after printing out a picture of Leonardo DiCaprio for the trip) for allowing us the opportunity. So I think by now everyone in the world, or at least Belize (okay surely at least on Ambergris Caye) has likely read about how wonderful Mr. Leonardo DiCaprio is going to save Blackadore Caye from almost certain extinction. How does an island go extinct? I have no idea... This lucky dude got to take a trip out to Blackadore with some friends this past week - an fairly exclusive deal since no one is really allowed on the island. Charlie and Said captained our vessel (the mighty Koda). Karen (check out her photography via her photography site or Facebook) got us on the island since she is the photographer with the power. Matt, Sara, Robyn, and I were lucky enough to come along for the ride. Perhaps next time I'll bring a real blogger along with me so you all can get a truly professional take on the island and not just hear random musings of an 'untalented hack that apparently breaks all the rules of blogging' and really just tends to anger a certain travel writer with every key stroke (by the way I've purchases those new whiz free Cheerios...but don't know where to deliver them?!). So be advised - what follows is largely un-proofed, un-researched, and completely unsupervised!

Shopping For Belize And Getting Sucked into The Etsy.com Vortex
Shopping and navigating Etsy.com can be a challenge for sure. There are so many talented people making gorgeous things. There is the thrill of the hunt…or just getting mired down in 16 trillion items and…giving up. I am headed to the states for a family visit in a few weeks and since I can order things…I thought I’d take a look. 5 hours later, I’ve found some pretty Belize (or Belize inspired) souvenirs and cute things that you can bring to Belize – along with your Kindle, your t-shirts, bathing suits and flip flops. I order nothing but here’s what I extracted from the estimated 29 million items on Etsy. I’m not generally a fan of the coin jewelry – but this is a very pretty bracelet that just happens to have Belize’s (and maybe the world’s) lightest coin dangling from it. The Belize 1 cent coin.

International Sourcesizz

Ex-ForceField Energy Chairman Faces Stock Scheme Charges
More allegations of financial fraud coming out of Belize. The former chairman of an LED lighting provider was charged by U.S. officials with scheming to boost the company’s share price in part by making secret payments to conspirators through a firm based in Belize. ForceField Energy Inc.’s Richard St-Julien, who stepped down from his position after his arrest Friday, was charged with securities fraud conspiracy by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, the government said Monday. Trading in the alternative-energy company’s stock was halted Monday morning after falling 22 percent at 10:21 a.m. The New York-based company told investors in a regulatory filing Monday that St-Julien, founder and majority shareholder, was arrested and had resigned as chairman. St-Julien is accused of scheming from August 2012 to this month to manipulate ForceField Energy’s stock price with help from stock promoters, broker dealers and a dermatologist in Boulder, Colorado, who bought shares on his behalf, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Brooklyn federal court. St-Julien paid individuals who made the trades using a Belize-based firm and bank account, according to the complaint.

TripAdvisor best islands for 2015: World's best island named in Travellers' Choice Awards
Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is the number-one island destination in the world, according to TripAdvisor's latest Travellers' Choice Awards. A former pirate haunt, Providenciales is a little east of Cuba, luring tourists with miles of coral reef close to the shore, renowned for world-class diving. The tiny uninhabited islands dotted off its coast are easily reached by boat, perfect for day trips. Wildlife lovers can keep an eye out for whales, as the island is close to a common migration route. Providenciales knocked last year's "fantasy getaway" winner, Ambergris Caye, off the top spot. This year, Ambergris Caye, which is similarly located in the Caribbean off the coast of Belize, failed to snare a spot in the top 10. At number two is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui. If you like outdoor activities with spectacular backdrops, this is your island. Postcard-perfect waterfalls tumble from steep, lush mountaintops into shimmering pools of water. Visitors can hike or bike its lava trails, or head to the beaches to surf, snorkel or windboard.

Valley grad delivers light to Belize
The very first bio-digester in Belize, a country of 341,000 on the eastern coast of Central America, is the brainchild of a Penn State student from Rush Township. Twenty-two-year-old student teacher Kate Bassett has been teaching pupils to create the bio-digester that will generate electricity for their school. She researched the country last spring, and has been working with 45 agricultural or vocational-technical students to create the bio-digester, which will use manure from 10 pigs and chickens at the school. There is an enclosed pit containing bacteria to digest the manure and break it down into basic elements. Methane will be released, collected and burned to create electricity for agricultural facilities at the school, Bassett said. “We are pretty much done,” she said of the unit that is 6 feet wide and 30 feet long.

Earth Day 2015: Find Out What Environmental Problems 20 Latin American Countries Face
Since the Industrial Revolution, human activity has destroyed the natural environment and is responsible for climate change. While not everyone blames mankind’s actions, a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded with 95 percent certainty that people are to blame for at least half the climate change in the last half-century. "Climate change is a present and growing threat to economic development, and the goals of reduction of extreme poverty and the promotion of shared prosperity," said Erick Fernandes, the adviser for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Latin American and Caribbean region for World Bank, to Latin Times. "Unless the world takes bold action now, a warming planet threatens to put prosperity out of reach of millions, roll back decades of development gains and making it impossible to end extreme poverty by 2030." In Latin America, global warming has already made its mark with corals being bleached by warm temperatures, glaciers melting, cities becoming vulnerable to rising sea levels, and more. And it’s not just global warming that is threatening nature in Latin America: other forms of destruction (e.g. logging in the Amazon) is proving to be detrimental to biodiversity. In fact, according to The World Bank, Latin America is responsible for a small portion of global carbon emissions -- 12.5 percent, to be exact--but the region is the most affected by the temperature spike.

How lowlands drought contributed to Mayan downfall
It must have been a time of great hardship and struggle for the ancient Maya civilization. The land was parched and dry as the devastating effects of climate change on brought a great drought. New research has shown that, despite attempts to adapt to the changes, Mayan culture finally collapsed between 800 and 950 A.D. The researchers found that markers of historic droughts in Central America match the patterns of disruption to Maya society during those centuries of hardship. But we now have a clear picture of how the Mayans fought a long hard battle to survive and ultimately failed. redOrbit has been finding out more from the study’s first author Peter Douglas, now at the California Institute of Technology. “The research makes clear that the ancient Maya were not passive victims of climate change. They adapted in response to drought, but it only worked up to a point,” said Peter. Mark Pagani, a Yale University professor of geology and geophysics was a co-author of the study. “Our work demonstrates that the southern Maya lowlands experienced a more severe drought compared to the north,” added Pagani, who is also the director of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. “The south was the center of the Maya population, and their capacity to adapt was limited,” Pagani explained. “The north was already accustomed to fairly dry conditions and did much better. There was actual expansion there after the collapse, but the southern cities never recovered.”

Videos

  • This Ray made my Belize trip..., 1.5min. I was on a lazy snorkel with a couple friends around the lagoon off Long Caye in Belize when magic happened. Rays have always been my favorite, but I was never interested in swimming in a controlled environment, where the water was chummed, trained, etc. I was just swimming along enjoying the scenery and here out of nowhere was my unicorn. :) We ended up spending about 10 minutes swimming together, I would stop or slow down and the ray would circle around and I'd swim above. I can NOT describe this experience and wish the footage was better but I just wanted to live the moment. You can't tell but he was huge and absolutely stunning.

  • Belize 2014r., 4min.

  • Belizean Sea Turtle!, 1.5min. Filmed April, 2015 off Turneffe Atoll, Belize.

  • La Voz Karaoke 2015 Week 4 (DISC 1), 96min.

  • La Voz Karaoke 2015 Week 4 (DISC 2), 42min.

  • Diver's Destination Belize 2015 Trip, 3min.

  • Reportage choc Cœur des Gangs Belize en Amérique centrale 2015 Entier, 47min.

  • Zip-lining at Bocawna Adventures, Hopkins Belize 2015, 6min. Friends from Jaguar beach resort, this is to get you to try again in a couple of weeks- please come back. Ive loaded one scene- without editing until I get the rest loaded and edited. This is of our walk to the first zip line

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