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#504294 - 05/16/15 11:49 AM Today's Belize News: May 16, 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

Marbucks: Wine and social Thursdays in Tres Cocos!
Marbucks is certainly more than just coffee, although that is super delicious too! Located in Tres Cocos at Daydreamin’ Bed and Breakfast, this special little coffee nook offers more than the standard morning treats. Wines and cocktails are also served beyond breakfast, and for a special treat, Thursday is afternoon wine fun! From 3PM – 5PM every Thursday, gracious hostesses Mar and Rachel welcome friends and neighbors in the area to enjoy a glass of wine or two (or three or four) with complimentary nibbles from the kitchen. It’s a fun, relaxed afternoon and a great way to meet new friends.

Letter to the Editor: Emeliano Rivero addresses the community
Letters-to-the-EditorDear San Pedro Sun, Please allow me a space in your invaluable news source to give my opinion and hopefully others may have the same thoughts and proceed to have a positive thought towards the benefit of our “paradise island”, a title we are rapidly losing. I go online daily, hourly, and all I read is negativity on social media, news sources and message boards. Our beautiful island and people keeps getting bombarded with negativity. Citizens bombarding hate against each other in our small community without remorse, with the gut to walk past each other with hate and no shame of it. Thing is, these parties do not have an idea of who is affected. They simply might not care or are oblivious to reality. A sad reality the community is going through. Many that are affected by crime in this community, in my opinion, are the better citizens. The citizens who do for the community. Citizens who care, some who have fought for education, health, safety, food and fundraising events for whoever needs it. Some of you who are reading this have benefited from these Good Samaritan’s deeds. Good Samaritans who have lost a loved one through selfishness of others.

Notices from The San Pedro Town Council
The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) hereby notifies the general public that in accordance with the Town Council’s (Control of Refuse) Bylaws No. 13 of 2005 section 3 – “The occupier of any premises within the limits of any town shall provide on the premises a suitable receptacle with a secured cover for the contamination of garbage.” Moreover, section 10 (e) – “A person within the limits of any town who exposes, on any sidewalk, street, or any place where the content may be scattered onto a public place, a receptacle containing garbage not sufficiently protected so as to effectively prevent content of the receptacle from being exposed or scattered commits a littering offence,” therefore; section 11(1) “Any person who commits an offence may be issued a violation ticket with a fine of $500.00.”
The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Transport Department (SPTD) hereby informs the general public that the SPTD will be conducting the removal of TINTED VEHICLE WINDOWS on May 26, 2015 at the Louis Cuz Sylvestre Sports Complex (formerly known as Saca Chispas/Old Football Field) throughout the day, this is in accordance with Section 5 Subsection (2) of the Motor Vehicle and Road Traffic (Tinted Windows) Regulations 2011.

Despite vandalism, San Pedro AIDS Commission to continue beautification efforts
A recently launched beautification project by the San Pedro AIDS Commission (SPAC) has suffered a minor setback due to vandalism. The SPAC embarked on a project to cover the graffiti covered fence/wall on the south side of the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRC). The area is a heavily trafficked alley connecting Coconut Drive and Barrier Reef Drive. The project was meant to give the wall a “new look”, with positive messages painted on it, but days after the project started unknown criminals decided to take it upon themselves to vandalize the newly painted walls with rude/vulgar messages. According to President of the AIDS Commission, Felix Ayuso, a bit of vandalism will not slow down the project as they intend to change the image of the alley. “SPAC began the beautification project by covering the horrible graffiti on the south side of the SPRC fence on the alley going to the beach by Tropic Air. This area is trafficked a lot by tourists, locals and children, and the wall has become a horrible eyesore. This is a big area that needs a “new look”. The project is costly but we felt it needed to be done. After we did the first phase of the project, it was vandalized. Even though the vandalism is going to result in the project costing more than initially anticipated, we do intend to complete the project,” said Ayuso.

Luis Campos claims police brutality while in custody for Murder investigations
23-year-old Luis Campos, who was recently charged for murder and conspiracy to commit murder, is claiming police brutality while in custody during the investigation that led to the charges. Campos, 19-year-old Mark Arzu and 18-year-old Santos Garcia were charged jointly in the murder of 42-year-old Jose Rigoberto Beltran who was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head on Tuesday, April 28th. After being remanded to the Belize Central Prison to await the first hearing, Campos’ attorney made the scandalous declaration that his client had allegedly been physically abused by police. In an interview in Belize City, attorney-at-law Oscar Selgado stated that police used excessive force on his client and as such, his testimony should not stand in court. Campos is claiming that Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, currently stationed in San Pedro Town, was the one who arranged the beating. “On Wednesday, April 29th at around 2PM I was called out to San Pedro by my clients, the Campos family. The reason for that is because Luis Campos was detained by police following a murder investigation. My client was a person of interest by the police. Broaster himself entered into the Campos’ residence at the San Juan area, the home of Moses Campos Sr. and demanded that my client be handed over to the police.

Belize Barrier Reef health: Poor – says Healthy Reefs Initiative
The state of Belize’s Barrier Reef is “Poor”; according to the annual Reef Health Index presented by Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI) at the Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel on Tuesday, May 12. The Reef Health Index for the entire Meso-American Reef, from Mexico, Belize, through Guatemalan and Honduran waters, is “Fair”. Roberto Pott of the Healthy Reefs Initiative delivered the good news that at least nothing has declined in health from last year; and in some marine protected areas, such as Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Laughing Bird Caye National Park off of Placencia, the scores were good for the populations of both herbivorous fish and commercial species. The Northern Barrier Reef also scored “Good” for its population of commercial species, such as large grouper. Healthy Reefs Initiative has been publishing its annual Report Card on the health of the reef for the past 10 years, measuring four parameters: coral cover, the percentage of areas covered by fleshy macro-algae, the population of herbivorous fish – like parrotfish and surgeonfish, and the population of commercial species – snapper and grouper.

Ambergris Today

Jimmy Buffet's Falcon 900 does fly-by above Ambergris Caye
Sanpedrano pilot Gerald Leslie was flying Jimmy Buffet's aircraft back to Florida from Panama last week Thursday and decided to fly over Ambergris Caye when they could obtain permission to land in San Pedro. Gerald wanted to make a quick visit to his home and wish his mother Martita Leslie a 'Happy Mother's Day'. He was only allowed to perform a fly-by and send his wishes to his mom from above. Gerald sends greetings to everybody on the island and tells us that Mr. buffett is planning to visit the island soon!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Closure of the Conch Fishing Season
In accordance with the Fisheries(Amendment) Regulations under Statutory Instrument number 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24.A), the Fisheries Administrator hereby informs fishermen and the general public that the Conch Fishing Season will officially be declared closed from June 1st, 2015 to September 30th, 2015. The public is reminded that no person or establishment shall have in possession any conch during the closed season in accordance with Regulation 6 of Principal Regulations (Chapter 210’s of the Laws of Belize – Revised Edition 2000-2003). The Department hereby makes a special appeal to fishers and the public, to uphold the Fisheries Regulations in regards to conch and other marine products, and urges all responsible citizens to call the Department at 224-4552 / 203-2623 to report any infractions. The Department can also be reached by e-mail at fisheries_department@fisheries.gov.bz. The public is assured that all information communicated to the Fisheries Department will be treated with the strictest of confidence! For any further information, kindly contact the Fisheries Department at 224- 4552 or 223-2187.

Major crime statistics January 1 - May 1 2015
Police department releases major crime statistics for January to April 2015. The good news is that there were less reports of Burglary, Robbery, Theft & Carnal Knowledge but in the first quarter of 2015, there are the highest numbers of Murders & Rapes since 2012.

Belize National Song Competition
It's time! Calling all artists! Register to win!

Altun Ha Visitor's Center
The Making Tourism Benefit Communities Adjacent to Archaeological Sites Project (MTBCAAS) came to fruition yesterday at the archaeological site of Altun Ha, with the opening of new restroom facilities but most importantly a new visitor center to enhance the visitor's experience.

Position open, General Manager San Pedro Water Plant
VACANCY: Apply Now!

MarAlliance joins hands with Oceana
and other organizations and individuals against offshore drilling in Belize. Don't forget to join the nationwide movement of "Hands across the Sand" scheduled tomorrow at noon at designated locations around the country!

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, May 15, 2015: 45

Contract hit on Benque Freezone Chairman misses and injures Guatemalan
Sources say there is a contract to assassinate the CEO of the Benque Free Zone and also that of a highly connected Belizean who has been connected to passports and contraband. Guatemalan National, Henrri Quiroa was a passenger sitting on the front passenger seat travelling in a white ford escape on the George Price Highway towards the Belize Western Border. The vehicle was driven by Alfred Sattler, the CEO of the Benque Viejo Freezone. When arriving about 1/4 miles before the Belize Western Border between miles 75 and 76 and in an area known as Pugas Gate, Satler when suddenly heard a single gunshot which caught Quiroa in the neck.

Dr. Lisa Lucero passes away
The Institute of Archaeology would like to express our sympathies and condolences to Dr. Lisa Lucero on the passing away of her father. Dr. Lucero is a long time friend and colleague of the Institute and of Belizean archaeology. Our thoughts and prayers are with her during this time.

Channel 7

Case For Castro Worsens On Day Two
Yesterday, we told you about Area Representative Edmond Castro's very difficult day on the witness stand for his lawsuit against Channel 5 and Alvarine Burgess. Under cross examination by attorney Godfrey Smith, he admitted yesterday, that in hindsight, he risked his reputation by signing recommendation letters for Asian Nationals who were applying for Belizean visas. He said he did it to help Alvarine Burgess. Well, today, Burgess took the stand and asserted that he didn't act out of compassion, she said he did it for the money. She says that he knowingly took a bribe of $2,000 for each visa applicant that she was asking him to recommend to the Immigration Department. Burgess took the stand for most of today's session where Castro's attorney, Rodwell Williams vigorously questioned her about different aspects of her story in which she accuses the minister of state of participating in an immigration hustle. Even through his suggestions that she was lying and that her story was false, Burgess stuck steadfastly to her story that Castro took money to recommend Asians for visas. Castro, of course, completely rejects her allegation that he ever took money for the recommendation letters. He also claims that he only recommended persons on her behalf on only 2 occasions, and he claims that in his meetings with Burgess, his driver, Norman Middleton, and his friend, Vernon Cuthkelvin, were both present.

Watchman 68 Year Old Sylvin Killed At Cemento Maya
68 year old watchman Sylvin "Cruz" Encalda was found dead this morning at his watchman's post in Ladyville. He had been working at the Cemento Maya compound for almost 20 years - and reported to work as usual at 6:00 pm yesterday evening. But, at 6:15 am - he was found dead - on the ground of the watchman's hut with a string around his neck. It was made to look like a suicide, but this morning his daughter told us that couldn't be - she asked to appear off camera:.. Reporter "When was the last time you saw your dad?" Voice of: Daughter of Deceased "I saw him around 4:30 - 5:00." Reporter "You're basically saying that that's not something that he would do."

Man On Trial For Causing Death By Grenade
You may vaguely remember the era of urban terror between 2008 and 2009 when gangs started using grades to attack each other. Well tonight, a jury of 12 is deliberating the fate of 31 year-old Belize City resident Lusby Martinez, who was charged for the grenade attack which killed 14 year-old Rudolph Flowers. The incident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on December 28, 2009 at the corner of Kraal Road and Haynes Street. Flowers was standing at the corner when a grenade was thrown and it exploded, sending shrapnel into Flower's heart, eventually killing him. The prosecution called 18 witnesses but relied mainly on 3 statements given by Peter Myvett, a witness who was shot and killed on February 17, 2010. Myvett, who was detained by police in their investigation of the murder of Flowers, said in the statement that one Simon or Simeon or Sigmund, was riding a bicycle behind him when he heard an explosion. He identified Martinez in an identification parade as the person who was riding behind him. Myvett's statements were admitted as evidence when Justice Lucas ruled it admissible, after a trial within this trial.

Musician "Nuru" Accused of Sex With Minor
Dayaan "Nuru" Ellis is a well known Garifuna performer, who sings both Paranda and Punta music. But tonight he stands accused of a very serious crime. One week ago, a father took his 14 year old daughter to Dangriga police to report that in October of 2014, Ellis had sex with her at her home. A medical examination confirmed that the child had been carnally known. Ellis had been wanted since the report was made but handed himself into Dangriga police this morning. He has been charged with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse. The child is a high school student.

Sugar Quotas Being Cut Back For Some
Though it seems like it just started the others day, the sugar harvest, or "la zafra" is coming to an end soon - within 7 or 8 weeks - that is if the heavy rains are late. And with just that small window of opportunity - the Sugar Cane Production Committee met on Wedensday and decided to re-apportion and cut back quotas. This is based on a field study conducted by SIRDI which lowered the estimate for cane in the fields from 1.45 tonnes to 1.27 tonnes. From there, they adjusted the allocations - or the daily quota - given to each branch - and this goes into effect on Monday. BSI - which has a seat on the SCPC - supports the decision - and financial controller Belizario Carballo told CTV-3 that it is a rational and required re-ordering of the allocations:.. Belizario Carballo "It also indicated where the cane is. So, it didn't just come up with a total figure. It also gave an indication by area of where the cane is and on the bases of that information it recommended to the Sugar Cane Production Company what adjustments would be necessary to the production estimate. So, it's not really a reduction as its being highlighted. It's really an adjustment to reflect where the cane is and the whole idea is to give farmers who have cane a proportionate opportunity to deliver that cane. All these actions are linked to ensure that those who have cane are given the production estimate otherwise what will happen is what happen last end of crop that you have groups that have production estimate remaining don't have cane and they start bringing in young cane or what you call immature cane."

Major Crime in January to April Trending Down, Murders Up
Today, police released crime statistics showing the three year trend in major crimes from 2012 to 2015. While many average citizens would say they feel less safe with every passing year - the statistics show that since 2012, major crime, meaning murder, rape, robbery, burglary, theft and carnal knowledge has been trending down. But murder is now trending down. Comparative statistics between January and April for the past three years show that the murder total of 46 at the end of this year April is the highest in three years. Rape is also up. But robberies are down sharply from the high water mark in 2012. Burglaries are also consistently trending down, and so is theft. All the figures are for January to April, exclusively.

PM Says No To Renewing Offshore Oil Concessions
Tomorrow, OCEANA Belize will stage an event called hands across the sand where those opposed to offshore drilling will line up in front of the Sandlighters Promenade and hold hands in solidarity. OCEANA says the effort has renewed vigor after a US News outlet, YAHOO News ran a story earlier this week talking about oil reserves in Belize's marine areas. But the Prime Minister told the media yesterday that all offshore concessions have expired and none will be renewed, at least not right now:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "All I can tell you is the official position of the government. There is a moratorium on offshore exploration. In fact, I've been talking to OCEANA, I've met with Ms Chanona. She's actually going to propose some language that could find its way into some sort of a formal document and I am perfectly happy to take that to cabinet. What I will not do, is to say that there is a proscription that forever there can and will be no offshore exploration. But I am prepared to, as I said, put in writing that there is a moratorium and that moratorium will only be lifted if conditions are right." Reporter "You did promise to a referendum, have you, on relating on offshore whether or not we should proceed offshore, you did say that yes sir."

PM Says PUP Won't Have Luck on 13th Senator Suit
And "no more" is also what he had to say about Senators. As we showed you last week, the leader of the opposition is taking the prime minister to court. He's asking the Supreme Court to compel the PM to enact the legislation, which has already been passed for the 13th Senator. But, speaking with the press yesterday the Prime Minister said that was already tried before at the Supreme Court, and failed:... Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "There was a previous case, this is a rethread, and this is going over all ground and..." Jules Vasquez "But that case was for legitimate expectations." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "No, that wasn't for legitimate expectation at all. It was asking for the same sort of relief. The judge said if one of the grounds was legitimate expectation that could work. The judge said a number of things including, as I understand it, that it is not really the business of the court to say to the minister 'you must bring the law into force by a certain time'. The court admittedly can make a declaration if a court thinks that the minister is playing the fool. But as I understand, the court will not make any kind of enforcement order. So I believe that the application for an injunction is misconceiving."

PM Appeals To Teachers Union
And appeal is just what the Prime Minister did to the Belize National teachers Union. That union lashed out against the PM last week for suggesting that they were complicit in whatever Petrocaribe violations there may have been because the Unions have participated in petro-programmes. And the PM said, they also got their raise, not from - but as a result of Petrocaribe money in the budget - which fred up recurrent funds for salary increases. The teachers union president bristled at the suggestion, but yesterday, the PM said he meant no harm:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "I will also say that they benefit indirectly and this seems to have caused some sort of a stir, some sort of a coffle. because our agreement with them, that they will get 50 per cent of any increase in recurring revenue from one year to the next, is made possible because we have Petro Caribe to fill the whole in terms of government spending that is caused by that agreement. In that context I am not saying that Petro Caribe pays their increases, but it gave us the space to allow us to come to that agreement with them."

Father Pleads For Daughter's Return Home
Tonight a 16 year old girl is missing and her family is concerned about her whereabouts. Keisha Flores- a first form student- was last seen by family member's yesterday- but when she didn't return home they became concerned. Her father stopped by our studios this afternoon - to ask for the public's assistance in locating his daughter. Father of Missing Girl "They were on a road trip and I got a call around 12:50 stating that my daughter hasn't returned home since yesterday. Immediately I called the police station whereby I spoke to an officer and they said to just provide a picture of her so that they can follow up on the investigation. But I don't know much, I tried to ask her mother who is a close friend of hers? Who did they last see her with? Who did she leave the house with? However no one knew who she had left with. I said to myself she's a minor and this is the first time. Her mother is working, I don't blame the grandparents much but I think that someone should look out for these kids. I think it's the careless former primary school teacher from where she went to school. They told me they stopped the school warden from taking her about. When I talked to her grandfather, he told me is that she would usually say she's with the school warden. So my next step is to go to the school warden's home and try to see her."

Police Brutality - The Broader Picture
Police brutality - we know, you have heard it so often on the news, but if you don't live in it, you can't imagine how much it really happens. In fact, right in the middle of this newscast, we had people coming to our studios to tell us that police were beating up a kid a few blocks away on Plus street - and an hour ago - it was in the conch shell bay area, and half hour ago, in the Taylor's Alley area. That's how many complaints we get regularly where people seek the media to protect them form police abuses. And a group of young women Monica Bodden spoke to yesterday say they wish the media was there when police took them into a van to search them. Monica looked at their complaint in the wider context of a southside community, pockets of which are under constant pressure from police.

Some Squatters Houses Coming Down
For the past few weeks we have been reporting on the story of the squatters in Lake Independence who are complaining about being evicted from the place they have called home for years. But there are many other land issues on private property in the Gungulung area. Today we received a call from a resident there who says that around 1:30 this morning a group of men - she says it was the police - came to her house and started to demolish cut it down. In fact they told us that 3 houses in the private area were being broken down. The owner of the house told us that King assured them that they could stay there and that they were safe because they were on private property - that was not the case and now those families have to move out of the area. We are told this is an area on private property and eviction notices were issued. We'll keep following the story.

GG Concludes Five Day Trip To Taiwan
Governor General, Sir Colville Young and the Minister of Energy, Science & Technology and Public Utilities, Joy grant have concluded a 5 day visit to Taiwan. The GG was accompanied by President of UB Alan Slusher and they visited with President Ma Ying- jeou, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, David Lin. The Governor General also launched the Chinese Edition of his book, "Pataki Full: Seven Belizean Short Stories". For her part, Minister Grant and her CEO Dr. Colin Young also met with the President and also with the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Jyuo-min Shyu. Minister Grant signed a Joint Statement between her ministry and the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs to encourage and promote the use of renewable energy in Belize through a solar street lighting pilot project.

Ras Indio Can't Trust It
"Can't Trust It" - that's the name of the new Ras Indio single and video that was released today. He told me this one is not a universal message; it's personal: The new video is on his facebook page in its entirely and it will be included on an album coming out at the end of this year.

Channel 5

Whistleblower Alvarene Burgess Takes Stand Against Clear the Land Castro
Today Minister Edmond Castro, who had occupied the hot-seat in Court all of Thursday smiled when whistle-blower Alvarene Burgess took the witness stand at ten to be cross-examined by attorney [...]

Attorney Rodwell Williams Says Whistleblowers’ Story is Inconsistent
Today other witnesses included Edmond Castro’s driver Norman Middleton, Burgess’ husband Curt Burgess and CEO of Great Belize Productions Amalia Mai. Just as the defence hinged on the testimony of [...]

Did Alvarene Burgess Expose Herself to Prosecution by Admitting to Bribing Minister?
At one point late in the cross-examination, Williams went on a new path. Since Burgess maintained that she paid Minister Castro for visa recommendations, Williams insinuated repeatedly that by coming [...]

Vernon Cutkelvin Won’t Testify In Castro Case
One man whose name was mentioned repeatedly today is Vernon Cutkelvin. According to testimony from the stand, he is a friend and advisor of Minister Edmond Castro and was allegedly [...]

Opposition Representative Will Be Absent from Witnessing Special Agreement Amendment
A delegation led by Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington leaves for Guatemala City next weekend where they will witness the signing of the revised Special Agreement on May twenty-fifth.  The amended [...]

Foreign Minister Explains Press Release Blunder
The Prime Minister said on Thursday that he had instructed the Minister to issue a release and that the Foreign Minister may have preempted an official release by government on [...]

Elderly Watchman Murdered in Ladyville
The murder stats went up by one today. Sixty-eight year old Selvyn Encalada, a resident of Perez Road, Ladyville, was found dead this morning inside a compound where he worked [...]

Crime Stats Indicate that Murders Are Up in 2015
On May thirteenth Minister of National Security John Saldivar criticized the media for sensationalizing murders in the country. He seemed to feel that instead we should be heaping praises on [...]

Is There a Hit on CEO of Benque Free Zone?
Was an attempt made on the life of Alfred Sattler, C.E.O. at the Benque Free Zone? On Thursday morning around eight thirty, Sattler was driving his personal vehicle heading to [...]

Paranda Musician ‘Nuru’ Ellis Charged with Carnal Knowledge
A father accompanied by his fourteen year old daughter and a social worker reported that on October twenty-eight, 2014 around one-thirty PM and on May third, 2015 while at her [...]

Case Against Accused Grenade Murderer Wraps Up in Supreme Court
Judge Adolph Lucas summed up today the case of accused, Lusby Martinez who is on trial for the December twenty-eighth, 2009 grenade murder of Rudolph Flowers following a grenade attack [...]

Ex-cop and Girlfriend Charged with Drug Trafficking
An ex-police officer and his girlfriend were dragged to court today to answer to a single charge of drug trafficking after the GSU conducted a search at their home. In [...]

How Pat Andrews Was Selected as Next Ambassador to OAS
Career banker Patrick Andrews has been designated to succeed Ambassador Nestor Mendez as Belize’s top diplomat to the State Department and to the O.A.S. in Washington.  While his appointment is [...]

PM Says Teachers and Public Servants Are Indeed Benefiting from Petrocaribe
BNTU President Luke Palacio, in an interview with the media last week, said the prime minister attempted to mislead the nation when he stated that teachers and public servants were [...]

Nurses Host Annual Conference
Nurses from across the country gathered in the city for the culmination of Nurses Week at their annual nurses’ conference. While the health system is one that is often under [...]

Yoga Seminar Kicks Off in Belize City
A first of its kind yoga workshop will be held this coming weekend in Belize City at the Om Shanti Center for Yoga and Healing Arts on Princess Margaret Drive [...]

LOVE FM

PM Supports Castro and Comments on PUP’s Internal Politics
Earlier in the week, the People’s United Party announced that its Dangriga’s Area Representative and Standard Bearer, Ivan Ramos, will not contest the next general elections. This shift is the latest move we have seen the PUP do in order to get ready for the general elections which the Prime Minister says will be later rather than sooner. On the other side, the United Democratic Party has most of its candidates in line with only the Orange Walk South and Belize Rural North areas left. Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media that they are pretty much ready for the general elections and he also shared his thoughts on the internal politics of the opposition. “Perhaps for fear of having any further efforts at changes turn out to be as shambolic as their last effort was. I couldn’t get the full sense of it because naturally, I had to be satisfied with the electronic version of the news …. But what a shambles; I am sure people would have noted the comparison between our very orderly transitions with everybody singing the same song-key. And when they looked at what happened there, talk about …

Murder of Security Guard Staged As Suicide
A family in Ladyville Village, Belize District is trying to come to terms with the unexpected news of the death of their father, Sylvin Thomas Encalada Senior, also known as Mr Cruz. The watchman at the Maya Cement Warehouse in Ladyville went on duty at six o’clock yesterday evening, as he has been doing for the last eighteen years. It is an interesting case as Love News understands that the man was found on the floor of the security booth with a rope around his neck indicating that perhaps he took his own life. We spoke with his daughter, Amalia Encalada who told us that her father was not suicidal. AMALIA ENCALADA “I got the news this morning at about 6:15; they told me that they found my dad dead at work.” RENEE TRUJILLO “When was the last time you saw your dad?” AMALIA ENCALADA “Yesterday at about 4:30pm … My dad would never do anything like that, he could go through hell and river bottom and that is the way he was. For him to hang himself – he had my kids to live for and his grandchildren. He would have never left us behind so he could never commit suicide.

Jury Deliberates on 2009 Murder
A jury of 10 women and 2 men is deliberating today in the court of Justice Adolph Lucas to see if it can reach a verdict for Lusby Martinez, charged with the murder of Rudolph Flowers, a 14 year old who was killed by 2 grenade fragments that penetrated his heart. The incident occurred shortly after 7pm on December 28, 2009 at the corner of Kraal Road and Haynes Street in Belize City. Flowers was standing at the corner when a grenade was thrown and subsequently exploded. The prosecution called 18 witnesses but it is relying mainly on 3 statements given by Peter Myvett, a witness who was shot and killed on February 17, 2010. Myvett, who was detained by police in their investigation of the murder of Flowers, said in the statement that one Simon or Simeon or Sigmund, was riding a bicycle behind him when he heard an explosion. He identified Martinez in an identification parade as the person who was riding behind him. Myvett’s statements were admitted as evidence after a voire dire was held to determine their admissibility. Martinez gave a statement from the dock in which he said that he was at home at the time of the incident and he was not feeling well because he had diarrhea. Martinez is represented by attorney Simeon Sampson while the Crown is represented by Crown counsels Shanice Lovell and Portia Staine.

Man Gets Charged for Having Sex With Minor
Last Friday a man took his fourteen year old daughter into the Dangriga Police Station along with a social worker to file a report against a man who reportedly had sexual intercourse with the minor. According to the reports, the incident occurred twice; the first time on October 28, 2014 at around one thirty in the afternoon and on May 3, 2015 at the home of the minor. A medical examination was conducted on the child which certified that she was indeed carnally known. As a result, police have arrested and charged 39-year-old, Dayaan Kent Ellis also known as Nuru of Ghans Avenue in Dangriga Town. He has been charged with two counts of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Governor General Ends Visit in Taiwan
Last week we told you of the Governor General’s visit to Taiwan and the event slated where he would launch a short story collection in the Mandarin language. That launch did occur and was received with open arms by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan, David Lin, who said that the event is one that underscores the strength of ties between the Republic of China and Belize. He added that he was deeply impressed by the stories since his initial read in Belize last year during his visit here. The Foreign Minister went on to say that he is pleased that Belize’s Governor General, Sir Colville Young had permitted him to have the book translated and published in Taiwan. Lin made the remarks during a special ceremony at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei City. During his five day visit the Governor General also made a book donation to the Ji-Mei Elementary School. His Excellency departed for Belize today.

LOVE TV

Pm speak’s on FFCA
At the beginning of the week Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country enroute to Miami to hold discussions with cruise lines executives over the Stake Bank Cruise Ship port issue. He returned today and while he would not share what was specifically discused before having a talk with Mike Feinstein, Prime Minister Barrow, told ...

Sugar Cane Production call’s meeting
Proposed changes in sugar cane quotas for the three existing cane farmers associations and BSI has upset a number of cane producers. In a meeting held yesterday by the Sugar Cane Production Committee, a proposal was tabled for sugar quota deliveries to the factory to be altered as a result of a recent sugarcane survey ...

Lake Independence Residents speakout
In less than an hour the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow is expected to return to Belize following a business trip … and while there are several matters currently on his plate to address, some residents of the Lake Independence area are appealing that he adds their land situation to his list. For some time now, ...

PM respond to the leader of the Oppsition
Earlier this week, Leader of the Opposition, Francis Fonseca, told Love News that he had been notified that the Government of Belize would be signing an agreement with the Guatemalan Government to amend the Special Agreement which both countries signed back in 2008. The amendment was the idea of the Guatemala Government asking Belize to ...

PM Speaks on PetroCaribe Funds
“Petro Caribe Roll it”- that’s the new catch phrase that this United Democratic Government has been singing ever since the bill went through all its stages in the House of Representatives. The Alba Petro Caribe Act has received criticism from the unions and from the opposition, People’s United Party. So much so that in order ...


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#504295 - 05/16/15 11:49 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 16, 2015 [Re: Marty]
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PlusTV

Prime Minister continues meetings on cruise port
Prime Minister Dean Barrow is back from Miami, Florida, where he held meetings with representatives of Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, a partner in the Fort Street Tourism Village...

Three Arrested, Charged and Bailed for Drugs in Belmopan
Plus News received information that shots were fired in Belmopan sometime around 8:30 this morning near the Police Housing Area...

Minister of State testifies in defamation case
This morning Minister of State and area representative for Belize Rural North Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro appeared in the Supreme Court as the claimant in a case of defamation against constituent and former friend Alvarene Burgess and Great Belize Television (Channel 5) The two-term area represe...

Fourth person faces “Mr Rigo” murder charges
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye resident Alfredo Trapp today became the fourth person to be charged with the murder of 42 year old taxi operator Jose Beltran, also known as Mr. Rigo, on April 28, 2015...

COLA condemns Foreign Minister acquiescing to separate referendum
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has come under fire for advocating a cautious approach to resolving the unfounded claim on Belize by Guatemala...

Pete Matthews beats burglary charge
28 year old George “Pete” Matthews, Jr., son of the famous bandleader, was acquitted of a charge of aggravated burglary by Chief Magisttrate Ann-Marie Smith. However, he will serve six months in prison for using threatening words and pay a fine of $200 for trespassing...

Chunox fishermen charged for undersized conch
Four fishermen who are related and are from Chunox, were fined a total of almost $20,000 when they appeared today before Magistrate La Donna John and pled guilty to possession of undersized conch. They are 53 year old Leandro Rangel,39 year old Isidro Pott, 38 year old Jaime Rangel and 39 year...

Amandala

PUP ditches Dangriga area rep
After its devastating defeat in the March 2015 Municipal Elections, the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), in conducting its own post-mortem, announced that it would engage in a serious process of self-examination and introspection that would enable it to win the next general elections. This morning, the PUP’s national campaign manager, Godfrey Smith, reiterated that position when he told the media, “And so this morning’s press presentation is a result of that ongoing process that the PUP is engaged in of self-examination and getting itself in the fittest possible fighting form for the general elections.” The main news coming out of the press briefing was that the PUP has decided to replace its freshman parliamentarian Hon. Ivan Ramos, current area representative of Dangriga, as its standard bearer. Party Leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca made the announcement that Anthony Sabal, a retired career educator, will replace Ramos as the PUP’s Dangriga standard bearer.

Did GSU plant bullets on Conch Shell Bay resident?
Relatives of Jason Orozco, 35, a fisherman from the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City, who was detained for possession of illegal ammunition by Gang Suppression Unit (GSU) officers during a raid at the Vernon Street Fish Market this morning, were still very much incensed when we visited the area this afternoon. Orozco was reportedly arrested and carted off to the Queen Street Police Station for two bullets which his family claimed were planted in the area by the officers who, they allege, have been targeting the father of 6 for some time now. His sister, Danika Young, told us what happened when the GSU descended on the area shortly after 7:00 a.m. today. She said, “My brother came about after 7:00 and played a little dominoes because he was waiting on the boat come in to buy fish that we usually sell. Now GSU pull up and they give him the first search and after he got searched the first time, he continue play dominoes, then a next one [of the officers] came back again and asked him, ‘they done searched you?’ So he said, ‘yes.’ Then after that, the next police told him, ‘come make we search you again’ and they searched him again.”

Hon. Castro on “hot seat” in court!
Belize Rural North area representative and Minister of State Hon. Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro took the witness stand in the Supreme Court of Justice Courtenay Abel today, as the defamation claim he filed against Alvarine Burgess, an immigration agent and the so-called “whistle blower” who is named as the first defendant, and Great Belize Production (Channel 5 News), the second defendant, which aired Burgess’ allegations against him, came to trial. In October and November, 2013, when the Elvin Penner passport scandal was making national news, Burgess took to the airwaves of Channel 5, and in two separate interviews, alleged that she paid Castro thousands of dollars to secure his recommendation for visas to Asians who wanted to visit Belize. After Channel 5 aired Burgess’ version of the Castro visa recommendation story, Castro demanded an apology and retraction. Burgess and Channel 5, however, ignored his demand. Castro decided to file the defamation lawsuit, claiming that he suffered damage to his reputation.

Hon. King has been “lying to us, betraying us, fooling us!”
The ongoing infrastructural development that has been occurring on the fringes of the Lake Independence area known as “Gungulung” near Holy Emmanuel Street Extension has led to the displacement of multiple families of squatters who had been residing on lands which turned out to be owned either privately or by the state. We were told that about 60 families have either already been, or stand to be, affected, and while 11 of those families were relocated a month ago by Lake Independence area representative, Hon. Mark King, there are several others who live under the threat of being displaced from the homes that they built from scratch. One of those squatters went to the media on Tuesday to complain that based on their research at the Lands Department, King has allegedly recommended land leases for his employees and close friends for the same parcels that have been partially developed by the squatters. According to Bernarda Riviera, King has not given any recommendations for land in the area based on the premise that an authenticated survey of the said lands has not yet been completed.

Political conflict over amendment to ICJ agreement
In the edition of the Amandala newspaper which hit the streets on Tuesday morning, we reported to you that Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington, had informed us, in an interview on Friday, May 8, that he would be travelling to Guatemala in a few weeks to sign an amendment to the 2008 special agreement, allowing Guatemala to proceed before Belize with holding its referendum this November on whether the territorial differendum with Belize should be adjudicated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Elrington told us last Friday that Belize has no problem agreeing to the amendment to the compromis, and he added that the Barrow administration has no intention of holding an ICJ referendum in Belize before the next general elections. The Foreign Minister told us that he was informing our newspaper of the intended signing in Guatemala “in the interest of full disclosure,” since we also asked him to update us on the process, under the auspices of the Organization of American States (OAS), which saw both parties commit in January 2014 to a new road map to the ICJ.

Guats did attempt to search Belize Ambassador’s residence
The Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed via a written statement today that Guatemalan law enforcement officials had last week attempted to search the diplomatic premises used by Belize’s resident Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado, on suspicion that the property may have been linked to ex-vice president of Guatemala, Roxana Baldetti, who recently resigned amid corruption allegations. However, the Ministry clarifies that while law enforcement officials in Guatemala did attempt to search Ambassador Rosado’s residence, the search was never an operation of Guatemala’s Executive branch of government. “Concern was raised by the Ambassador with authorities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala, who regretted this development. They explained that the Prosecutor’s Office is an entity independent of the Executive, but undertook to take the necessary actions to prevent its reoccurrence given its status as diplomatic premises,” the statement from the Belize Ministry of Foreign Affairs went on to say.

Cricket Corner: “Not this time, boys”
The Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued with a few games played over the weekend. There were two of them that were very interesting. On Saturday, Western Eagles, who had lost only one game, paid a visit to Belmopan to meet Police, who had lost two – one to Easy Does It and one to Western Eagles. Eagles and Police were in full force against each other. The Eagles took to bat first, and throughout the inning they showed very good skills. It seemed that a big score would have been put on the board, but Police captain Howell Gillett said, “Enough of this!” He called a small looking Indian guy and gave him the ball. After taking a good look at him, I realized that he had taken the most wickets in previous games against other teams. His name is Amnol Kanaujia. With his slow spin bowling, he slowed down the batsmen and the runs. Soon, the Eagles were out for 175 runs. A score like such would let an opposing team be not too comfortable. In that inning, Conway Young top scored with 45 runs for the Eagles. Kanaujia took 3 wkts for Police.

Dangriga sports stats
Boys & Girls U-13 football: The Dangriga Boys & Girls U-13 semifinals were played on Sunday at the Ecumenical football field. In game 1, Umadagu won over Wagierale, 2-nil, with a goal apiece from Demeal Flores and Dashawn Sutherland. Game 2 saw Wagiya defeating Pomona, 1-nil, on a goal by Senea Apolonio. The big Finals is set for this Sunday at Ecumenical football field. The first game will be the 3rd place game at 2:00 p.m. – Wagierale vs Pomona, followed by the big championship match-up – Umadagu vs Wagiya. All U-13 teams who took part in this tournament are invited to witness the fig Finals. Trophies and awards will be distributed by the sponsors, Dangriga Cancer Centre, after the final game this Sunday.

Third World teams champions of Wayne “Hogman” Olivera Day
Young and old gathered around the Third World football field, next to St. Martin’s on Vernon Street yesterday, to participate in a Mother’s Day celebration of football that was also dedicated to honor and assist one of Belize’s great footballers of the past, Wayne “Hogman” Olivera, who was on hand to distribute trophies and awards to the winners of the day’s events. On the initiative of neighborhood activist Anthony “Mango” White, Wayne “Hogman” Olivera Day was originally scheduled for May 1, but had to be postponed due to bad weather; and they decided to join it to the Mother’s Day celebration yesterday. While the atmosphere was one of “peace and love” and sporting excitement among the youths and veterans waiting their turn to play, regrets, were in order for those youths older than 13 years – the one day tournament could not cater for the U-15 and U-17 players, who could only look on with longing eyes.

In light of drug conviction, FFB Vice-President, Rawell Pelayo, resigns
The Football Federation of Belize (FFB), today sent out a short press release to note that its former senior vice president, Rawell Pelayo, has tendered his resignation from that post. Without going into details regarding the circumstances surrounding his departure, the federation mentioned that Pelayo resigned last Saturday, May 8, after being offered the opportunity to “devote time to his family” and “submit his resignation at his own free will.” Pelayo – who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit narcotics trafficking in a New York courtroom on June 30, 2014 – was deported to Belize a month ago, on April 7, after spending 21 months behind bars. The conviction, which is in contravention of FFB statutes, disqualified the well-known Orange walk resident and FFB Executive member from the organization, which had been considering his expulsion, but later decided to allow him a more orderly exit via resignation.

The oil or the water …
Some news broke this week on Oilprice.com in a story by one Dave Forest, dated May 12, 2015 and headlined THIS TINY COUNTRY COULD HAVE HUGE OIL AND GAS POTENTIAL. In 2015, few Belizeans were surprised to learn that Dave Forest was talking about Belize. Neither were Belizeans surprised, but many of us were disappointed, to read that the Government of Belize was giving encouragement to companies in the energy and petroleum business to believe that offshore drilling would be allowed soon in Belize. Back in 1971 when the publisher of this newspaper was president of the United Black Association for Development (UBAD) and writing his North Amerikkkan Blues, only the political and business elite in Belize knew of the vast “oil and gas potential” of Belize. The masses of the Belizean people were in the dark. They had been deliberately kept there. Belize’s oil and gas potential explained a lot of things. It explained why Belizeans had been allowed to migrate to the United States after Hurricane Hattie in October of 1961; it explained the radical 1964 change in Belize’s traditional summer holiday season; it explained Bethuel Webster’s Seventeen Proposals of 1968; and finally, it explained why Philip Goldson had to be removed as Leader of the Opposition, a process first begun in 1969. We’re just saying.

From the Publisher
The colonial law, as enforced in British Honduras during my childhood and youth, did not glorify private property amongst us natives. What I mean is, it was the understanding of us natives that one had to be careful in the use of force to protect one’s property. At the same time, those of us who were students knew that in London in Dickens’ England there had been cases where children had been hanged for petty theft. One had to wonder, therefore, if the law in the “motherland” was enforced differently from the law in the colony, or if it was different when native stole from master as opposed to when native stole from native. The concept of private property is the very foundation of the philosophy of capitalism which dominates so-called Western democracies. From my readings in British history, I can remember that there was this distinct period when common lands began to be privatized. Usually, this meant that the king or one of his so-called nobles grabbed land which had been public property for himself. This was a time of what is referred to as “feudalism.” The coming of private land and private property signaled the beginning of capitalism.

Letter to the Editor: Excessive alcohol consumption
Dear Sir, I would implore GOB, to take a close look at security at our northern border. We are not expecting an invasion from Mexico, what we have is an exorbitant amount of people consuming excessive alcohol, be it on the Mexican side or at the Free Zone. Once these persons or group of persons are under the spirits, they become upstart and aggressive. Many times we have seen the customs officers having problems with these intoxicated people, that they have to resort to physical confrontation. It has just been lucky that there have not been major incidences because the security is lax. On Sunday, there was a confrontation between two groups, a group of super intoxicated guys and a group of sober family guys who got attacked just as they passed through immigration and entered the Belize compound. The family females were very nervous, and the kids were crying.

Jamaica may be the 5th Caribbean country to replace Privy Council with CCJ
In March, Dominica became the fourth country in the Caribbean and the first among members of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States to ascribe to the appellate jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice, and it appears that Jamaica is poised to become the 5th nation in our region to join by dispensing of the UK-based Privy Council and replacing it with the indigenous court. In a statement released today, CCJ president, Sir Dennis Byron commented: “The CCJ continues to follow very closely these developments in Jamaica with the highest respect and regard for the local constitutional processes. We look forward with great anticipation to a positive outcome that will ultimately afford Jamaican citizens with greater access to the Caribbean’s Court.” “This development comes on the heels of the Court’s 10th anniversary celebrations on April 16th, 2015 and just two months after the Commonwealth of Dominica formally celebrated its accession to the Court’s Appellate Jurisdiction. Barbados, Guyana and Belize also enjoy full access to the Court’s judicial services,” the CCJ said.

Belize modernizing its GIS network
There is a multi-billion-dollar industry built around developments in technology for geographic information systems (GIS), which are used to create “spatial data pictures” in the forms of maps, charts, globes, etc. It is a visual way of showing information which reveals patterns and trends, and over the years, the technology has been catching on among Belizeans in both the private and public sector here. GIS is used to map forest fires, and it is used to tell utility companies where they need to dispatch workers to fix on-the-ground problems. At Amandala, we have used GIS to show you where the concentration of homicides has been occurring. Scores of active GIS users convened today for a two-day conference on GIS. Dubbed the 5th Annual Belize Esri User Conference, the meeting provides a chance for GIS users to hear from practitioners at home and abroad on how GIS can work better for them, and the meeting also provides an opportunity for users to become more GIS-savvy.

Millions spent on Belize-Guat process, but will dispute ever be resolved?
As we reported in the mid-week edition of the Amandala newspaper, Belize and Guatemala are preparing to sign off in a few weeks on an amendment of the 2008 special agreement for the adjudication of the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). That signing will allow the Guatemalans to proceed with the ICJ referendum in November, when that country expects a second round of polling to elect a new president, but Belize Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred “Sedi” Elrington has indicated to us that Belize is not ready to go to the polls in November – and it won’t likely be ready before our general elections are held. When will Belizeans vote? “The time is much too short. We are dealing with domestic issues; we don’t want to get it confused with the Guatemalan issue. When we finish the national elections that will be out of our head and out of our hair, then we can move forward with our [ICJ] election,” said Minister Elrington, speaking with Amandala on Friday, May 8. We took that to mean that Belize will proceed with its general elections before the scheduled date in 2017, because a roadmap which Belize and Guatemala signed at the Organization of American States in January 2014 had signaled that the referenda would culminate the 12-month program of activities sometime in 2015.

Analyzing 60 years of Belize hurricane history
Weather forecaster Frank Tench today presented nearly 60 years of historical data on cyclone activity in Belize, revealing all the tropical storms, hurricanes and intense hurricanes which have crossed the country since 1954. There have been a total of 29 such cyclones, 12 of which were tropical storms and 12 of which were hurricanes, apart from 5 of the hurricanes which were intense hurricanes, categories 3 and higher. Tench’s presentation—which was made this afternoon at the 5th Annual Belize Esri User Conference held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City—looked at how the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle in the Pacific – which fluctuates between a warm phase (El Niño – Spanish for ‘the boy’), a neutral phase, and a cool phase (La Niña – Spanish for ‘the girl’) – correlates the frequency of storms which have impacted Belize. He showed that most of those storms have occurred during the neutral phase, and the fewest have occurred during the El Niño phase.

Almost 70% of reef in poor to critical condition
Today was reef report card day for Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, and according to Roberto Pott, Belize Coordinator of Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, who unveiled Belize’s score at a press conference held at the Biltmore Plaza Hotel in Belize City this morning, while the health of Belize’s reef has been improving since 2006, it is still categorized as “poor,” primarily because of morass growth in some areas and because the biomass of commercial fish species, such as groupers, has not yet recovered from heavy fishing. For the other two indicators used to assess reef health, coral cover and herbivorous fish, Belize received a “fair” rating. Together, the 4 neighboring countries listed above, whose reef system make up what is referred to as the Mesoamerican Reef System, received a reef health index (RHI) score of 2.8 of a possible 5, but Belize’s RHI score was lower, at 2.5. The data indicate that almost 70% of Belize’s reef is in poor to critical condition, while the other 30% or so is in fair to good condition.

The Reporter

Crime stats suggest crime is on a decline
A police report of crime statistics through the first third of 2015 suggests that over this time span for the last twelve years, major incidents of crime, for the most part, has been trending down. According to the statistics, the total number of major […]

ATIPS awards logo competition winner
The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Council (ATIPS) held an award ceremony on Friday at the George Price Center in Belmopan to award the winners of the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Logo Compeition” launched late last year. According to Michelle Segura, ATIPS Focal Point, the winning spot […]

Rawell Pelayo resigns from FFB
Rawell Pelayo, the disgraced Second Vice President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), who was deported from the US after having served time for admitting to orchestrate a drug transaction on American soil, resignation last Friday after he was given two deadlines to do […]

Double murder in Cayo District!
The Weekend Reporter Online has received credible information of a double murder in the Cayo District a few minutes before 7 p.m. on Friday. The incident occurred in Teakettle Village. We will have more details online as they become available.

Outstanding teachers recognized
Teachers who have distinguished themselves from among their peers, were honored by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports this week. During a ceremony held at the Bliss Center for Performing Arts on Thursday, teachers at varying levels were given awards, certificates, and even honored […]

Burglar meets death while trying to elude police
Zach August, 32, a convicted burglar met his death in the wee hours of Sunday morning minutes after he tried to break into La Inmaculada Credit Union in Belmopan. The burglary attempt occured at around 2 a.m. and someone who saw the crime in […]

Elderly man stealing mangoes, shot dead with pellet gun
Relatives of Daniel Trapp, 60, have called on the police to treat his shooting as a murder because they feel that the man who shot him used excessive force. The shooter used a pellet rifle on Trapp around 9. on Saturday morning just off […]

Daily cola raises cancer risk due to caramel coloring
The chemical process during the manufacture of the caramel coloring used in soft drinks such as colas produces a carcinogen that could be raising the risk of cancerabove the accepted threshold. That threshold is one extra case in every 100,000 people consuming the drinks, a new cancer study suggests.. The […]

Gungulung squatters set to take on Mark King!
“They wah have to kill me fu tek me out; bruk down my house with me een deh,” one determined single mother resident of the swampland vowed. The parcel of land and swamp just off the road to the Chetumal Street Bridge is called Gungulung. All of the families have […]

First Atlantic storm crashes off the US coast! Belize on alert
An unusual Tropical Storm Ana made landfall between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina just after daybreak on Sunday. The US National Hurricane Centre downgraded Ana to a tropical depression that same afternoon. Ana is the second earliest landfalli tropical […]

BEL accepts rate cut but 2016 may be a different story
Belize Electricity Limited has accepted a proposal from the Public Utilities Commission to cut electricity rates by 15 percent, but the company says it will seek a rate increase for the next full tariff review period (FTRP). BEL had originally suggested a 10 percent […]

Money to DFC for the private sector!
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) this week gave funds to the Development Finance Corporation to launch a new development project, which will benefit hundreds of Belizeans. DFC received a loan amounting to US $10.5 million and a grant of US $860,000 to be used for […]

PUP vs UDP on Belize/Guatemala referendum
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington is scheduled to travel to Guatemala this month to sign an amendment to the Compromis that Belize and Guatemala signed in 2008. This agreement stipulates that that two countries will hold referendums simultaneously on whether citizens want to take the […]

PM flies to Miami for more Stake Bank talks
Prime Minister Dean Barrow flew to Miami, Florida on Monday for a secound round of discussions regarding the proposed cruise docking port at Stake Bank. During his visit, Barrow met with executives from Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, co-owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village […]

Teenager shot dead while planning party
Kijel Young, 19, a resident of Partridge Street Extension and a graduate of Gwen Lizarraga High School, was shot dead as he sat on a chair shortly after 9. Saturday night in a yard at #45 Vernon Street. Young wasrolling a stick of weed […]

Health Department investigating case of contaminated bottled water
The Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health is investigating a case of contaminated bottled water, supplied to San Pedro by Bowen and Bowen Company limited. Health inspector for San Pedro, Lisa Tillett, confirmed this week that the department was in possession of two […]

MFA says Guatemalans did not search embassy residence
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is scurrying to deny reports that the residence of Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado, was searched by Guatemalan authorities late last week. According to a press release issued on Thursday, “while it is correct that certain sections of Guatemala’s law enforcement made the […]

Editorial
It is a rare event when our Financial Secretary, unobtrusive Joseph Waight, chooses to make a public statement. This week he broke with tradition and cautioned that Belize has to begin to make plans for how she is going to meet higher Superbond interest payments, when these become due four […]

Auditor General will audit Petro Caribe finances Other major audits in the pipeline include Treasury and Immigration
The Auditor General Dorothy Bradley, in an exclusive interview with The Reporter this week, revealed that apart from her office now being involved with the Treasury Department investigation, she intends to audit PetroCaribe spending after she concludes outstanding reports including the Immigration Audit. Treasury […]

Fishermen caught with undersized conch – fined $19, 620
Four members of the Rangel family – fishermen living in Chunox, Corozal were arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for separate fisheries offenses, involving the possession of undersized conch. At the end of their arraignment, the family – consisting of three […]

PM announces amendments to PetroCaribe Loan Act
Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced on Thursday that he has had several amendments to the controversial PetroCaribe Loan Act 2015, drafted after considering the criticisms of those with legitimate concerns about the Act, and will take them to the House of Representatives in June. […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Alvarene Burgess defends comments in Edmond Castro defamation suit
Housewife of the Belize River Valley Alvarene Burgess, has been at the center of a political maelstrom concerning her allegation that she gave of her area representative and long-time friend, Hon. Edmond Castro, several thousand dollars to obtain his recommendation for Asian nationals to visit Belize on visas, […]

Accused grenade thrower to learn his fate
At news time a jury of ten women and two men has the case of Lusby Martinez, charged with the murder of 14 year old Rudolph Flowers on December 28, 2009 around 7:00 p.m. when a grenade was thrown at the corner of Kraal Road and Haynes Street […]

Why Your BTL Data Usage is Gone in a Da
By Charles Leslie Jr. Since the introduction of 4G I have chosen to remain with the GPRS system, for I wanted Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) to work out its bugs before I switched over. GPRS is slower than 4G however you do not have a limit on the amount of data you use per month, […]

Regional Internet Providers to meet and discuss better services in Barbados
A gathering to be held on May 27th and 28th in Barbados will bring together all the top internet providers in the region in an effort to improve services being provided. This meeting is being organized by the Caribbean Network Operators Group (CaribNOG), in collaboration with other internet agencies across the […]

Southwest Flights to Belize on Sale
The CEO of Southwest Airlines, Garry Kelly in a press conference on Wednesday, announced that the Airline will now offer non-stop flights to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Liberia, Costa Rica and Belize. These new flights into the country will definitely mean more tourists, which in turn will result in a healthier Belizean economy. Ticket […]

Ambassador Nestor Mendez leaves for Washington in July
In a press briefing with the Prime Minister Dean Barrow yesterday in Belize City, several national issues were brought up among a pool of journalists and media stations. One of the topics was on the appointment of Nestor Mendez as Deputy Secretary to the Organization of the American States (OAS). Mendez […]

Belize weather: Sunny and 87 degrees Fahrenheit with isolated showers
The general situation is for sunny weather with cloudy spells today and partly cloudy tonight. Showers will be isolated and winds will blow to the East at 10 to 20 knots. The sea state will be moderate and high temperatures today are expected around 87 degrees Fahrenheit along the coast; […]

Minister of State testifies in defamation case
The case of Minister of State and area representative for Belize Rural North Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro as the claimant in a case of defamation concludes tomorrow, Friday, following all-day testimony today by the two term area representative. He accuses constituent and former friend Alvarene Burgess and Great Belize […]

Chunox fishermen charged for undersized conch
Four fishermen who are related and are from Chunox, were fined a total of almost $20,000 when they appeared today before Magistrate La Donna John and pled guilty to possession of undersized conch. They are 53 year old Leandro Rangel, 39 year old Isidro Pott, 38 year old […]

COLA condemns Foreign Minister acquiescing to change to special agreement; PM responds
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has consistently advocating a cautious approach to resolving the unfounded claim on Belize by Guatemala. And his announcement this week that he plans to travel to Guatemala City in a few weeks to sign an amendment to the compromis or Special Agreement to […]

Blogs

Where to find cheap flights to Belize, deals scored and new rider fee
Sue’s recommendation for checking flights is Google Flights. Google offers users flight search tools that makes it easy to quickly find the best flight. If you are lucky, Google Flights can be a great way to find the cheapest tickets that are not easily discoverable on other sites. Note: Google does not allow you to actually book a flight, but instead shows a list of options and gives you a link and then links corresponding booking sites. For the next one, if your travel dates are flexible, your chances of scoring the lowest price goes up. Matrix Airfare Search has a calendar option that allows you to explore date ranges by month for lowest fares instead of having to pick specific dates. Their mobile version is called On The Fly downloadable at Google play store. As you know, I make fairly frequent trips to Belize with my family. The most aggravating part of planning our several trips per year is trying not to pay too much to the airlines. No other industry on the face of the earth uses a pricing model like the US airlines. Seeming random, massive shifts in pricing levels appear to serve no other purpose than to mess with their customers’ perception of what the pricing should be. What other purpose could a “sale” that drops the price for a few random hours serve? Imagine if cars were sold that way.

How To Find Genuine Ecotourist Destinations?
More and more of us are rightly concerned about our planet’s environment, yet we still seek unique travel experiences, and why not? As a result, ecotourism has developed into the travel industry’s fastest growing sector! “Difficult roads often lead towards beautiful destinations” – anonymous Now, an ecotourist destination often includes an on-site resort or hotel, with the largely unspoiled, well-preserved or cultivated surroundings of a native ecosystem. Such destinations even educate their visitors about the local environment, and aim to reduce their impact on the flora and fauna by inviting only small groups of tourists. Above all, ecotourist sites as a rule are protected by the law of the land.

International Sourcesizz

MOFA lauds book by Belize governor general
Governor General, Sir Colville Young, launches Mandarin edition of his book of short stories "‘Pataki Full" in Taiwan. The Taiwan launch of a short story collection in Mandarin by Belize Governor General Colville Young underscores the strength of ties between the ROC and the Central American nation, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lin May 14. “‘Pataki Full: Seven Belizean Short Stories’ draws upon the folklore and the down-home wisdom of Belize,” Lin said. “I was deeply impressed by the stories when first reading them during an official trip to the diplomatic ally last year.” Lin made the remarks during a special ceremony at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei City. According to the minister, he is grateful for the governor general's permission to translate the book and publish in Taiwan. “By sharing his culture with local readers, Young has further consolidated the foundation for everlasting friendship and prosperity between the two sides,” he said.

High Court Orders Belize to Recognize and Protect Maya Traditional Property and Rights
On April 19th the Caribbean Court of Justice announced its judgment affirming the 2013 holding of the Court of Appeal of Belize that the Maya indigenous people of southern Belize have rights to the lands they customarily have used and occupied for many generations. In the judgment, the court affirmed that these traditional land rights, belonging to 38 Maya villages in Belize’s Toledo District, constitute property as defined in the provisions of the Belize Constitution that generally protects property free from discrimination. The court's judgment, which was entered by consent of Maya parties in the case and the Government of Belize, will require the government to demarcate and officially register Maya communal lands, and protect them against incursions by outsiders. The Court accepted the government’s undertaking to adopt the necessary “legislative, administrative and/or other measures” to that end and, in the meantime, to refrain from and prevent acts that would adversely affect Maya land rights. The Court also ordered that, in 12 months, both the Maya communities and the Government present a report about implementation of the judgment.

Southwest reveals prices of international flights from Houston
Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has revealed the prices for its new international flights out of Houston. Effective Oct. 15, Dallas-based Southwest will be offering flights to Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos, Mexico, for $149, flights from Mexico City for $99, flights from Belize City, Belize, for $127 and flights from San Jose, Costa Rica, for $174. Effective Nov. 1, the airline will offer flights to Liberia, Costa Rica, for $174 and flights to Montego Bay, Jamaica, for $199. All new international pricing announced so far have been for one-way economy tickets. The price announcements come on the heels of Southwest announcing the addition of Liberia and Montego Bay routes out of its new international terminal under construction at Houston's William P. Hobby Airport.

Tulum Quintana Roo, New Yorker’s Haven
Tulum is the last stop in the tourism-friendly region of Mexico known as the Riviera Maya, a stretch of coast that includes beaches, jungles, and Mayan ruins. Driving south along the coast from Cancún, it’s as far as you can go before hitting the Sian Ka’an biosphere, a nature preserve the size of Rhode Island. Tulum is, then, as far from Cancún as you can be while still being in spitting distance on Cancún — the ultimate spot for those seeking an easy, cost-effective trip to Mexico but would rather die than be seen at Señor Frogs. And just as sororities seem to uproot and wholly relocate themselves, every spring, to Cancún, all of Williamsburg seems to have transported itself to Tulum this year. If Williamsburg is the frat house of trend-whore Brooklyn, then Tulum is our Cancún. In recent decades, Tulum and Williamsburg have been developing in parallel at comparable paces. The Bloomberg-era rezoning initiatives that laid the groundwork for Williamsburg’s shift from warehouses to luxury condos coincided with the infrastructure improvements that went hand in hand with the Yucatán’s tourism boom. While New York was renovating the L train, the narrow road from Cancún to Tulum turned into a four-lane highway with overpasses.

Videos

  • Crude awakening: One tribe's struggle with North Dakota's oil boom, 5min. Watch it! This US Native American's tribes' problems with drilling oil might mirror ours. This segment only brings to mind how poorly GOB is able to monitor our oceans, protect the Chiquibul, etc etc. Vote of no confidence in their ability to monitor drilling, whether offshore or in protected areas.

  • Hopkins Belize Fly Fishing Near Blue Grounds Jack Hookup, 1.25min. Southern Belize Is Becoming More Popular For Salt Water Fly Fishing For Permit, Tarpon, Bones & Jacks. This Jack Was Caught When The Deckhand Was Trolling a School Of Jack Chased And Guide Jack Trout Casted His Fly Into The Group Of Fish And The Fight Was On!

  • Yoga Seminar Kicks Off In Belize City, 3min.

  • Placencia, Belize 2015, 8min. A photo slideshow of Placencia Village , Belize, Central America.

  • Top
    #504297 - 05/16/15 11:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: May 16, 2015 [Re: Marty]
    Katie Valk Offline
    Change the headline. Lisa did not pass. Her father did.

    Dr. Lisa Lucero passes away
    The Institute of Archaeology would like to express our sympathies and condolences to Dr. Lisa Lucero on the passing away of her father. Dr. Lucero is a long time friend and colleague of the Institute and of Belizean archaeology. Our thoughts and prayers are with her during this time.
    _________________________
    Belize based travel specialist
    www.belize-trips.com
    info@belize-trips.com

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