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#504903 - 06/05/15 11:53 AM Today's Belize News: June 5, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials


The San Pedro Sun

Aurora Garcia-Saqui: Maya Healer and Entrepreneur
We may move away, stay away, or run away, but our backgrounds remain with us no matter how far we are. This is the story of my aunt Aurora Garcia-Saqui, an entrepreneurial Yucatec Maya woman who married into a Mopan life, and has managed to artfully balance both cultures into one successful, happy life! Many years ago, five sisters lived in a small village called San Antonio in the Cayo District. Surrounded by mountains, forest and wildlife, but still remote from the bustle of the main town, the Garcia Sisters had discovered something unique and befitting their artistic nature: carving on slate. The soft black rock lent itself to sharp tools, allowing images to be carved into its surface, and soon, there were full images showing up in sharp relief, getting more and more intricate as the girls’ skill manifested. The stones’ edges remained rough, but their smooth façade shone after polishing. Aurora, second-born daughter, soon put her marketing and entrepreneurial skills to use. “We had no idea how much people would like our art. We went to the market in town on Saturdays and soon enough, people began buying,” said Aurora. The market she speaks of is considered one of the largest and busiest in Cayo, and sees hundreds of locals and travelers passing through making purchases. “I remember one day we were just about to get up; it was about five in the morning, and we could hear a vehicle pull up, beeping loudly.” It was a van full of tourists who wanted a piece of slate carving for themselves; word had spread. “We had no idea how ideally situated we were. Our little village is in the right spot for visitors to pass through on their way to the Mountain Pine Ridge, and Caracol…” Business began booming, and the Garcia Sisters became legendary within tiny Belize.

Verdes FC to represent Belize at CONCACAF Scotiabank Champions League
Belizean football team, Verdes FC will be representing the country at 2015/16 Scotiabank the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) Champions League (SCCL). Verdes FC is the national champion with the best aggregate record in the 2014–15 season. Their participation in the SCCL will allow them the privileged opportunity of attempting to qualify as the CONCACAF representative at the 2016 FIFA Club World Cup. The 24 participating teams were sorted into groups on Monday, June 1st during a ceremony at the New World Symphony Center in Miami, Florida, USA. Teams in each group will participate in a round-robin, home-and-away, four-game format. The first round of the tournament will take place between August and October of 2015, after which the eight first place teams will advance to the quarterfinals, scheduled for early 2016. Schedules for the first round of games will be announced in the coming months. Verdes FC is based in Benque Viejo del Carmen Town in the Cayo District. They captured the Premier League of Belize Championship in May 2015 after defeating the previous champions, Belmopan Bandits FC.

Queen Conch Season closes one month early
The Queen Conch (Strombus Gigas) fishing season has come to a close a month early. As of Monday, June 1st no one will be allowed to legally consume or be in the possession of conch meat until the season reopens in September 30, 2015. The early closure of the season is to safeguard the sustainability of the product as recommended by the Belize Fisheries Department under the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development. The closure of the season is in accordance with the Fisheries (Amendment) Regulations under Statutory Instrument number 54 of 2012 (Regulation 24.A). 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). Due to the early closure, a grace period of one month will being given to allow cooperatives to consume or dispose of all Queen Conch in their possession. Restaurants and individuals have a grace period of eight days. After the grace period, anyone found in possession will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Environmental partners band to fight illegal Wildlife Trade
The illegal trade of wildlife is a plague for the entire globe, driving several species of flora and fauna to extinction. The poaching of countless species has become a key concern for many governments, including that of Belize. In Belize alone, the killing and harvesting of certain species of trees and animals for the financial gain of a few is destroying our forest and marine ecosystems. From parrots, turtles, jaguars and even Rosewood, Belize faces serious illegal wildlife trade. As such, several partners in conservation hosted an illegal wildlife trade seminar on Monday, June 1st in Belize City. Part of the bi-national collaboration to eradicate wildlife trafficking in both Belize and Guatemala, the seminar discussed initiatives to counter this problem. Local environmentalists, nonprofit organizations, government officials and the media converged at the Coastal Zone a Management Authority and Institute Training Room for the seminar that started at 2PM.

Support Food Drive for a worthy cause
San Pedro Belize Red Cross (SPBRC) will be hosting a food drive on Saturday, June 6th in order to build stock for the San Pedro Food Bank. The drive is being held in collaboration of the 26-person vacation volunteer group from Toronto, Canada called “Sperro” and the San Pedro Food Bank. Both cash and food items will be collected. All proceeds will benefit the less fortunate residents of Ambergris Caye. The community’s support is much needed for this worthy cause. Volunteers will be outside of select stores and businesses to accept donations. “Next time you are hungry, think about how it would feel to live life being hungry much of the time. Join together and help us feed those who need it,” said SPBRC member Laurie Norton.

Ambergris Today

Local Mother-Daughter Team Participates in Bahia Fest Fashion Show
Two proud Sanpedranas got the oppotunity to model at an international fashion show at the Bahia Fest, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico in April. Bahia Fest is organized by Jorge Carillo and Rocio Santos - owners of Revista Mujer Total. Thirteen-year-old Gracie Brown, daughter of Barbara and Eduardo Brown, has been attending modeling school in the city of Chetumal where her agency gave her the oppotunity to participate in this year's Bahia Fest Fashion Show alongside her mother. The beauty duo, representing San Pedro, Belize, modeled gorgeous clothing from Mexican designers such as Enrique Polanco, Martin Lopez and Medran and Amaro.

Amazing Crash Survival as Pilot Safely Puts Plane in Caribbean Sea
Full details as to why the Tropic Air flight from Belize’s international airport to Honduras had to make an emergency aqua landing in the middle of Caribbean Sea are still unknown, but after the aircraft experienced engine failure, Pilot Denfield Borland was able to save the lives of his two passengers (and his) as he glided his aircraft into the coral-filled waters of Belize. After radioing in his situation, Borland was able to glide his aircraft for a few minutes and safely set down his aircraft in the blue waters between the Turneffe and Lighthouse Reef atolls. Tropic Air’s flight route from Belize to Roatan, Honduras is almost entirely over water; the flight takes you over a scenic view of Belize’s Great Barrier Reef. As luck would have it, the aircraft went down in an area where there is shallow water where there is a joint Belize Coast Guard and Park Rangers station from the Audubon Society. The crash site was about 14 miles east of the coast guard’s base at Calabash Caye and 4 ½ miles northwest of Half Moon Caye. The three men were rescued within 20 minutes of the incident; there were found on top of the aircraft that was still floating in the water, partially submerged.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Free wireless in Corozal Central Park
Free wireless internet access is now available in the Corozal Central Park and the rollout will continue across the country!

Western Ballz Host Tiger Sharks in Finals
The Western Ballaz are once again in the NEBL finals, as are the Tiger Sharks. This year, since the Ballaz have a better record, they host first, and the big game is tomorrow night at the SHC auditorium. Come out and support the best team in the league. Go Ballaz!

Here is the complete listing of activities forthe Belize INTL Jazz Festival

Theme for the national Celebrations
A BIG Thank you to everyone who submitted entries in this year's search for the theme for the national Celebrations this year. We are please to announce this year's winner....

Belize Economic Analysis - High Public Sector Wage Bill Will Temper Fiscal Consolidation - JULY 2015
BMI View: Weak oil revenues and elevated public spending will result in only modest fiscal consolidation in Belize in the coming quarters, despite rising non-oil government inflows. As a result, the country's debt dynamics will remain precarious, with a persistent risk that the sovereign could struggle to access capital markets or even face a credit event. Belize will slowly narrow its fiscal deficit in the coming years, after posting its largest shortfall in a decade in the first three quarters of Fiscal Year (FY) 2014/15. While a surge in tourist arrivals and stronger agricultural sector growth will bolster revenues, revenue growth will be tempered by declining oil prices. Coupled with a rising public sector wage bill, this underpins our forecast that the country will post a 3.3% of GDP shortfall in FY2015/16, after ending this fiscal year (which runs from April 2014 to March 2015) with a deficit of 4.2% of GDP. With the fiscal dynamics poised for slow improvement, and US monetary tightening likely to temper investor enthusiasm for Belize's debt, we expect refinancing the debt will become increasingly challenging in the coming quarters. Moreover, given the country's elevated debt burden, and low level of foreign reserves, we acknowledge the risk that any significant external shocks could precipitate a credit event.

Island Watercolor Group Art Show & Sale
June 7th, 5pm, San Pedro House of Culture

Satellite Clinics in Toledo Receive Solar Energy Capacity to Improve Health Service Delivery
The Santa Theresa and Pueblo Viejo Satellite Clinics in the Toledo District are now being provided with electricity through solar power energy systems. The system for the Pueblo Viejo Clinic was installed today, June 4, while the Santa Theresa Clinic system was completed on May 28, 2015. The clinics received Solar Photovoltaic Systems, a form of alternative energy supply, since both villages currently do not have electricity. Installation at each site included a two kilowatt solar array with aluminum mounting. The work was done by Southern Solar Solutions at a total cost of BZ$143,000. The systems will be able to provide lighting throughout the buildings and power for up to five desktop computers and two laptops, refrigerators for vaccine storage, medical equipment, and general appliances such as fans, lamps and microwaves. Funding for the purchase of the systems and installations was provided by the Japanese Social Development Fund Project (JSDF) through the World Bank.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, June 4, 2015: 97. FANTASY 5: 22 38 10 17 6 W

Sewanee University of the South Professor Jonathan Evans and students on Las Cuevas Road observing macaws in Chiquibul
We are grateful to all the Universities that visited us and stayed at Las Cuevas Research Station.

RIP Mayor Mario Narvaez
Mario Ignacio Narvaez, the former two term mayor of Corozal and the last mayor from the People’s United Party to serve in that district, passed away earlier today, June 2. Narvaez was mayor in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when he won two consecutive terms under a PUP slate. Mr. Narvaez was sick for a few years until his passing this afternoon.

Miss Lobster Fest 2015-2016
4 lovely ladies vying for Miss Lobster Fest 2015-2016. Dates June 26, 27 & 28, 2015

Channel 7

Coast Guard Personnel Honoured For Standing Up To Guat Jingoism
They stood up to the Guatemalan Navy on Sarstoon Island like true Coast Guardians; they didn't flinch, and they didn't run for cover - and today 10 Coast Guard officers were honoured for their courage. As has been widely reported, one week ago on Thursday, they had a face off with the Guatemalan Navy on Sarstoon Island. That's the southern edge of Belize's territory - but the Guatemalans told them to move. The Coast Guard held their ground - and nicely told the Guatemalans that the island is in Belize and they should move. This, even though the 10 Coast Guard officers were outnumbered - and the Guatemalans were making aggressive boating maneuvers from their naval base nearby. It was a super tense situation, but it was defused with firmness, clarity and uncommon aplomb by the Coast Guard personnel. Today, in recognition of their grace under pressure, those officers received high honors of a commendation from their Minister and Commandant today. The press was not invited but the Government Press Office was there:

Judicial and Legal Services Recommends Attorney Cardona's Suspension
He once wore a hardhat in the House of Representatives - but that won't save Marcel Cardona from the pounding his professional reputation will take after the Judicial and Legal Services Commission recommended that he be suspended for a year. The severe recommendation is based on a complaint from a Czechoslovakian woman, Hana Belickova who filed an affidavit in June of 2013 saying that Cardona took just under thirty two thousand dollars of her money - and claimed that he had to use twenty thousand to bribe authorities to release her son, Martin Muzikant. In April of 2013, Muzikant had been charged for unlawful possession of a passport and escaping from police - and pleaded guilty on April 23rd. Cardona told the family that there would be a fine of one thousand dollars, plus another five thousand for bail on the escape charge, plus legal fees. That's fine enough, but then he took it into another area when he put in writing these words: "Your son asked me to do whatever…to get him out of jail. I have contacted someone who is very close to the magistrate….the person told me he arranged everything in advance to get your son to get bail today…however it is costing about twenty thousand dollars….to get officials to agree to give him bail" end quote.

Did Magistrate Hurl Throw The Case Because of Personal Reasons?
And there is another scandal breaking in the judicial and legal circles, which involves a judge acting improperly and unethically. He's Magistrate Hurl Mervin Hamilton who sits as judge in the lower court in Corozal Town. We've since confirmed that he was found guilty of using his authority as Magistrate to favorably influence the outcome of a case, which had an obvious appearance of bias. A complaint emerged back in 2013 in which a female he was romantically involved with had a case in the Belize Family Court. This female was in a legal dispute with her husband over maintenance and the access to their child. Our information is that this affair was happening when the case went to court, and it found its way to Magistrate Hamilton's desk. We're told that he was asked by his peers to recuse himself on an appearance of bias, but he went forward anyway as the judge in the case. We're told that he decided favorably for the woman he was involved with, and when her husband found out, he complained formally against the Magistrate to the legal community. That's when the Chief Magistrate got involved, gathered all the necessary evidence and forwarded them to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission, which is chaired by Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin.

Woman Murdered In Front of Family By Pig Thieves In More Tomorrow
There was a murder on the outskirts of More Tomorrow Village, a quiet area off the Western Highway, just before the City of Belmopan. It happened this morning just after midnight when a farming family from Orange Walk was awoken to armed bandits trying to rob their new boss of his pigs. Our news team was in the area today, and Daniel Ortiz found out that a mother and wife was shot and killed in front of her children and husband inside her new home: Daniel Ortiz reporting This farm, with the house in the distance, is located at about 2 miles on the road to More Tomorrow Village in the Cayo District, just outside of Belmopan. This area looks peaceful, but at around 1:00 this morning, that house became the scene of a violent shooting which left one woman dead. She's 39 year-old Guatemalan Paula Garcia, who came to live here with her husband and children last week Saturday. 5 days later, her life was taken from her.

Tropic Air Plane Still In Sea
The Tropic Air Cessna 182 is still in the sea near Halfmoon Caye. The company and the Civil Aviation Department are making preparations to move it - but not timeline has been set. Once it is moved, Civil Aviation will go ahead with a preliminary report into the emergency landing. That preliminary report should finish sometime next week. The single engine Cessna 182 had two passengers and a pilot on board when it experienced engine failure on Tuesday at 4:17 pm. It was headed for Raotan and the pilot was able to steer the plane without any engine power to a shallow area in the sea where he landed safely in the water. No one was hurt, and a joint Coast Guard and Audubon team was able to rescue all three by a few minutes after five.

The Full Story Behind The Biggest Find Since The Jade Head
Archaeologists are still buzzing from the very major find that was made 11 days ago at Nim Li Punit in the Toelod District. As we told you last night archaeologists and researchers found 26 ceramic pots and about 8 pieces of jade at the Nim Li Punit Archaeological site about 25 miles away from Punta Gorda. These artifacts were found in tombs on the site. But there is one particular artifact that has stunned researchers and that's the jade pendant: it is described as the second largest carved piece of jade ever found in Belize and probably in the entire Maya World. Last night we showed you a very brief snippet of the story so tonight we bring you the full feature. We take you to Nim Li Punit where an ancient story is reveled for the first time. Anselmo Cholom has been a Site Ranger here at Nim Li Punit for about 2 years. He takes this stone pathway every day to inspect and maintain the grounds. It's a small site celebrated in history as the residence of a group of elite Maya families who first settled there between 100 - 250 AD. There are about 3 main plazas a Ball court used for the scared Maya Ball Game. And what is known as a Counsel House. But Anselmo isn't taking us on a private tour of the site.

Was Mayor "The Decider" On Petrocaribe Funds in Cari Shores?
On Sunday, Belize City mayor Darrell Bradley will be endorsed as the UDP candidate for Caribbean Shores. But, as the old saying goes, he didn't get there alone. Sure, he can thank his family and friends, but he also has to thank Petrocaribe. Like a few other select UDP Standard Bearers he's gotten access to funds for his divisional constituents through the Mother's day Cheer programs. Now when we say access, we don't mean he got any funds; he absolutely did not. But he did have a say in how those cheer funds were directed, to whom - he admitted as much today - which led to a whole big argument - it's fun, enjoy:.. Reporter "Sir did you personally asked for the Mother's Day cheer money?" Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor "No, you think that I go to the Ministry of Finance?" Jules Vasquez "It's done through Minister Martinez. That's what the Prime Minister said." Reporter "And that you received it." Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor "No. in relation to this. This is what I will say. Funds..." Reporter "That you received." Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor "Yes. In relation to saying that we have an input in that, people will have a certain argument, a significant argument because I have listen to a lot of it in terms of the bail and the legislation. Lots of things about Petrocaribe. A lot of it is political fluff. The ultimate beneficiary is residents in our community, that I have an input in relation to that. I don't think that there's a difficulty with that."

Mayor Bradley Dismisses Hon. Espat As "Political Fluff"
And while he doesn't agree with us - he also doesn't agree with PUP Deputy Leader Julius Espat. Espat told us on Monday that he doesn't feel the city has been accountable with the paving of streets - you'll here his criticism and the mayor's response:. Hon. Julius Espat "They say they are completing, they say 100 streets, but with the money and no accountability we could probably be paving 500 to 1000 streets. We need to know." Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor "Every single thing has been done in a way that accords with good administrative practice and that has been transparent, so that any kind of general suggestion with lack of accountability, no disrespect to him but I just put that as political fluff. Point to me in relation to one thing. Say that we don't have an audit. Say that we don't have this. Say that we don't have that. Say in relation to the tender. Just don't go out there because everybody likes to bash a politician."

For Bradley, Even PUDP Politics Is An Airy Affair
But forget all that high tech governance talk - Bradley has got an election to win! And that is won on the ground, right? "mano a mano," head to head, PUP versus UDP, in the world series of politics….right? WRONG! Bradley says even his political contests are airy affairs of governance and getting the work done - here's how he explained it:.. Bradley's endorsement convention is on Sunday at 4:00 pm at Lopez Mateos Park.

Beach Ball Over Belize?
This morning there was a major visual anomaly on Belize City's Coastline - it's a huge balloon hovering above the Marine Parade Roadway. We stopped by to see what it's about - and ended up going for a ride. Jules Vasquez reporting It looks like a giant beach ball hovering above the coastline of Belize City - but it's actually a massive helium balloon - the initiative of a new company on the Marine Parade called Belize Balloon Rides: Max Galas, Belize Balloon Rides "Behind you is this beautiful balloon in the sky is a helium tethered balloon. What it means? is it is a balloon very much like the balloon you get at the children's parties that are tied to the hand of a child and are just elevated because of the gas being lighter than air and its helium. Helium is a non-flammable gas that occurs naturally. So what we do is that we full up the balloon with helium with gives it a suitable amount of drag. It's able to pull up. Underneath it is a gondola. It has a basket that people can enter into the basket and in total silence with mechanized parts in the moving up process, the balloon slowly elevates itself. This is a very simple apparatus, which means that actually it's safe in its simplicity and balloons has been around for a very very long time. The helium that's in the balloon is not flammable. It's not a hot air balloon there's no flames pulling it up, there's nothing burning so it's a very very simple thing."

A Theme to Think About
The theme for this year's September celebrations has been selected: it is: "Belize Renewed, Confident, Competitive, and Committed." Inspector of Police Ricardo Chi is the one who came up with it. It will be the backdrop for all the activities during the month including the 217the Anniversary of the Battle of St. George's Caye and the 34th Anniversary of Belize's Independence. The National Celebrations Commission sent a release today stating that "The commission encourages and invites all Belizeans, individuals, organizations and school to incorporate the theme and its significance into their preparations for the National celebrations. There were 147 entries in total for this year.

Channel 5

Mother of 6 Murdered in More Tomorrow
There has not been a murder since the gruesome killings in Roaring Creek at the end of May. But in the early hours of this morning, a woman was killed [...]

Coast Guard Officers Honored for Standing Ground Against Guatemalan Navy
A special ceremony was held earlier today to honor ten brave officers of the Belize National Coast Guard who were involved in a standoff with the Guatemalan navy. That confrontation [...]

Minister of National Security Commends Bravery Displayed by Coast Guard Unit
Present for the occasion was Minister of National Security, John Saldivar, who commended the officers for their bravery in the face of adversity.   John Saldivar, Minister of National Security [...]

Magistrate Suspended from Bench in Corozal Court
There is no doubt a shortage of magistrates and just on the brink of that situation, a magistrate was suspended from duty for one month effective this past Tuesday. While [...]

Did Mayor Bradley Act Illegally by Using Petrocaribe Funds for Mother’s Day Cheer?
Transparency and accountability on how the Petrocaribe monies are spent have become the rallying cry in many sectors. Just recently, residents of the Caribbean Shores were among those who enjoyed [...]

Mayor Bradley Responds to P.U.P. Deputy Leader’s Comments on Transparency at City Hall
Another issue addressed by the Mayor had to do with claims that there is a lack of transparency and accountability at the City Council. Earlier this week,  Deputy Party Leader [...]

Archaeologists Unearth Tombs at Nim Li Punit
A major discovery has been made at the Mayan site of Nim Li Punit in Toledo where an archaeological dig is in progress.  Professor Geoffrey Braswell, an anthropologist with the [...]

…Ancient Pottery and Jade Ornament Discovered
Director of the Institute of Archaeology, Dr. John Morris, acknowledges the breakthrough as significant to the Maya civilization, particularly within the context of the story being told.  That account has [...]

Darrell Bradley’s Campaign Trail in Caribbean Shores
This coming Sunday, the United Democratic Party will be having a convention in Caribbean Shores where Belize City Mayor, Darrell Bradley will be officially endorsed as the standard bearer for [...]

Will Santi Support His Cause?
According to Bradley, several former and current Caribbean Shores soldiers and other officials from the U.D.P. hierarchy will be at the convention this weekend.  But is the mayor getting the [...]

Mayor Bradley on His Political Opponent in Caribbean Shores
As standard bearer for the U.D.P. in the upcoming general elections, Darrell Bradley will be facing the P.U.P.’s Kareem Musa. Both by profession, are attorneys, live rather successful lives, and [...]

Jack Warner Vows to Expose Sepp Blatter’s Involvement in FIFA Corruption
The controversial FIFA executive Jack Warner has made Interpol’s most wanted list after being named in an indictment, along with thirteen other senior officials from the international sports organization, a [...]

CARILED Introduces Ease of Business in Belize City
The Belize City Council today held a press conference at City Hall today to basically give a report card on where the country currently stands in respect of CARILED funded [...]

Breaking Down Barriers of Doing Business in Belize. Is it Cultural or Institutional?
Belize, according to a recent CDB survey, is nationally ranked at one hundred and nineteen when it comes to the ease of doing business. The barriers of doing business easily [...]

Healthy Living Visits a Karate Summer Camp
Within the next few weeks, students countrywide will be out for summer break. Of course, the children are looking forward to the break, the parents, though…not so much. If you’re [...]

CTV3

Marcel Cardona On The Hot Seat
And from a magistrate we go to an attorney who is also in the hot seat tonight. He is not other than the very vocal Marcel Cardona former U.D.P Area Representative for Orange Walk East. Cardona is being accused of using conduct unbecoming to his profession and a complaint has been filed against him to the Judicial and Legal Services Commission. The complaint was filed by one Hana Belickova from the Czech Republic. In the affidavit Belickova states that back in 2012 Cardona was defending one Martin Muzikant before the Corozal Magistrate Court in a criminal case for misdemeanor charges one escape from custody and two possession of passport not entitled to have. In a letter presented as evidence by Belickova it shows that Cardona emailed Belickova informing her that on Tuesday April 23rd 2012 they would be going to court to try to get her son Martin Muzikant out on bail. In the email Cardona states that he has contacted someone close to the magistrate in order to carry out her son’s instructions which at that time were to do anything to get him out of jail. In the email Cardona indicates that it will take $20,000 to get Muzikant out on bail. That’s bribery of the judiciary system.

More Witnesses Testify For Noh Mul Case
Day three of the Noh Mul case was heard at the Corozal Magistrates Court before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith today. But still there is no verdict. The process has been a long one as witnesses, most of them from the media take the stand one by one to be questioned by the prosecution and then cross examined by attorney for the defendants Bryan Neal. At the end of today’s hearing three witnesses had taken the stand and the case was adjourned for June 9th. Since the beginning of the case, the defendant’s Denny Grijalva and his wife, owners of Demar’s Stone Company Javier Nunez foreman of Demar’s Stone Company and excavator Operator Emir Cruz have been in court. They are yet to take stand.

People's Stadium In Dilapidated Conditions
And while we were covering the district final games at the People’s Stadium football field today, we could not help but notice the dilapidated state of the changing rooms. Upon further checks, the facility which was constructed by the Belize Natural Energy Trust several years ago, is not serving its purpose. The ceilings are falling apart, the facility is flooded, the stalls broken, and the stench of urine and feces were overwhelming. Our calls placed to find out more led us to Chairman of the National Sports Council in Orange Walk Town, Derick Gillett. Gillett told us that the facility was never handed over to the council by the Charitable Trust and since its construction, has been targeted over the years by vandals. And with public scrutiny mounting, Gillett says the council plans on renovating the entire area in the coming months. We’ll keep monitoring this story….

Corozal City Magistrate Suspended
Tonight, Magistrate Hurl Hamilton who sits as judge in the Corozal Magistrate’s Court is the center of public scrutiny as he was found guilty of using his influence to manipulate a family court case. From what we have been able to gather, a complaint which arose back in 2013 claims that a female Hamilton was having a romantic affair with had a case in the Belize Family Court. This female was in a legal dispute with her husband over maintenance and the access to their child. Our information is that Hamilton and the female were romantically involved during the time of the case, which landed on his desk. Best information reveals that he was asked by his peers to disqualify himself on an appearance of favouritism, but he went forward and listened to the case and gave a ruling.

Krismar Espinosa A Free Man
Today, at the Northern session of the Supreme Court, a jury of 12 found 26 year old Krismar Espinosa not guilty for murder but guilty of a lesser charge for manslaughter. Viewers may recall that in September of 2007, Espinosa was accused for the murder of 24 year old Rachel Cicely Chun. Chun’s badly decomposed body was removed from an unfinished concrete house on Santa Familia Street in Orange Walk Town. At the crime scene, a bloody cement block, which was believed to be the murder weapon, was also found. That same day, Krismar Espinosa, an Orange Walk resident, who was only seventeen years old at the time, was arrested since he was the last person Chun was seen with and due to the conversations he had following the murder. Espinosa was remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Sentencing was set for June 18th, 2015.


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LOVE FM

Coast Guard Officers Recognized for Bravery on Sarstoon Island
A group of Coast Guard officers were honored today for the part they played in an incident at Sarstoon Island last week. As we reported, a contingent of Belize Coast Guard personnel were on Sarstoon Island when they were approached by Guatemalan Naval Officers who ordered them to vacate the island. The officers stood their […]

Belize Coast Guard Expanding in Numbers and Structures
Yesterday we told you of the Belize Coast Guard and their initial assessments being conducted down at the Sarstoon Island to construct a Forward Operating Base. But that is not the only works being carried out under their umbrella as currently construction works have begun next door to the Belize Coast Guard headquarters on the […]

Enforcements of ICJ Rulings: How Is It Done?
Elrington was also asked to explain what enforcement strategies are in the place once a decision is handed down by the ICJ. WILFRED ELRINGTON “The International Court of Justice doesn’t have a police force that could lock you up. It’s always diplomatic pressure being brought so that if we get a clear ruling from the […]

Foreign Minister Speaks on What Belize Stands to Lose at the ICJ
The Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute has been at the forefront of several newscasts particularly even more so since the signing of the amendments to the Special Agreement between both countries on Monday, May 25, 2015. Today, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington was a guest on The Morning Show who discussed the matter at length. With […]

Caretaker’s Wife Killed by Alleged Swine Thieves
Belmopan Police are investigating an early morning murder in More Tomorrow Village. According to family members of the deceased, it was an apparent robbery that ended up in murder. Correspondent Fem Cruz has the story. FEM CRUZ “Belmopan CIB continues their investigation into a number of murders here in the Cayo South area; the latest […]

Espinosa Convicted of 2007 Manslaughter
25-year-old Krismar Espinosa was found guilty of manslaughter yesterday in the Supreme Court following an incident in 2007 that claimed the life of a young girl from Punta Gorda. On September 16, 2007, former Police officer, Julius Cantun led the investigation into the brutal murder of a young Rachel Cicelly Chun of a Punta Gorda […]

Thieves Target Grocery Store in Dangriga
Yesterday we reported that thieves targeted a primary school in Dangriga. Last night a business establishment was the target as we hear in this report from correspondent Harry Arzu. HARRY ARZU “Benguche Store located here in the Benguche area of Dangriga was robbed once again last night at about 7:45. Desmond Cansio, a Special Constable, […]

Civil Aviation Investigates Crash Landing of Tropic Air Plane
Yesterday evening just after four o’clock a Tropic Air pilot was forced to crash land the 4-passenger Cessna 182 plane he was flying to the Roatan Bay Islands in Honduras when he experienced an engine malfunction. Fortunately, neither of the two tourist passengers was injured and there was rapid response from the Belize Coast Guard. While our attempts at getting comment from the management of Tropic Air were futile, we did speak with the Vice Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Commander Elton Bennett. “At about 4:45pm we received information from Civil Aviation that a small Tropic Air aircraft went down between Turneffe and Lighthouse Reef atolls. Upon receiving the information we immediately deployed our rescue team from Calabash Caye Forward Operating Base which is just about 13 miles west of that location. We also deployed a search unit that was based out of Halfmoon Caye along with the park rangers from the Audubon Society. At exactly 5:05 – 12 minutes after receiving the information the search unit retrieved the three survivors from the plane which was still a float in the area and took them to safety at Halfmoon Caye. Later on that evening a coast guard vessel transported them back to the Turneffe islands. The casualty investigation will be done by civil aviation they have the authority to conduct aircraft accidents. I know that they have investigators on the scene now doing their investigation. At this time for us it’s just a rescue operation. All three passengers were in good order there were no medical issues to report.”

Government Moves to Install Operating Base at the Sarstoon
The incident between members of the Belize Coast Guard officers and Guatemalan Naval officers near the Sarstoon Island in southern Belize has been an issue of concern for many and while Belize’s Ministry of National Security has contacted their counterparts in Guatemala regarding the issue and are still awaiting a response, Love News spoke to Vice Commandant of the Belize Coast Guard, Commander Elton Bennett on what the Coast Guard officers were doing on the island. “As a part of the Coast Guard strategic development we saw the need to establish a forward operating base at the entrance to the Sarstoon; this would have been a joint operating base along with the Belize Defense Force and this is just on the territorial boundary between Belize and Guatemala. So the Coast Guard was tasked to conduct a reconnaissance in the area in order to site the most suitable location to erect the forward operating base and this was what the Coast Guard patrol was doing in this area. The Forward Operating Base will guarantee national presence twenty four hours in the entrance to the Sarstoon. This will be able to address cross border issues in terms of illegal fishing, contraband, illegal migration and also territorial stands on Belizean territory so it will a multi task forward operating base, an initiative of the Government of Belize to address those issues that are developing in the southern area of the Sarstoon.”

PlusTV

Deon McCauley’s Confident About Goals Vs. DR
If you are up to speed with the latest news concerning Belizean football you’d know that after a long embarrassing episode between star striker Deon McCauley and the FFB executives, the Belize’s top scorer finally returned to Belize on April and has since been training with the A team...

Jaguars vs DR: Belize’s Selection
It is that time of the year again, when the football hype starts picking up momentum as we near the second round of the 2018 Gold Cup Qualifiers which is to be played against the Dominican Republic in a two leg match...

Questions on Petro Caribe spending
PertoCaribe funds are set aside for infrastructure and the development of the country. Or is it? In recent news, scandalous media reports have been made that $20M has been used from the PetroCaribe fund to pay off salaries...

Investigation continues into plane crash
Tonight the investigation continues to try and determine just what caused a Tropic Air airplane to go down yesterday in the Caribbean sea near Halfmoon Caye. Investigators have narrowed it down to engine failure. Now according to John Greif, president of Tropic Air, and we quote, “Our airplanes get ...

Four shooting incidents reported in Belize District overnight
There were four shooting incidents in the Belize District between last night and this morning.  Two of those shootings occurred in Belize City while the other two were in Mahogany Heights and Ladyville. Thanksfully no one was killed but four persons were injured...

Magistrate under investigation for inappropriate behavior
For a while now, the Magistrate’s Court countrywide has been short of magistrate’s and several magistrates have had to commute on a daily basis to other parts of the country to lessen the load brought down on the already congested and backed up system...

Shadir Marin granted supreme court bail
Tonight, 25 year old Manager, Shadir Marin, who runs San Pedro Water Express is out on bail of $7,000 which was granted to him this afternoon by Supreme Court judge, Justice Troadio “John” Gonzalez in the Belize City Supreme Court...

Prison officer is charged with possession of controlled drugs
Today a prison officer was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court charged with the offense of possession of a control drugs, to wit, 31 grams...

Woman charged with jewelry theft
33 year old Margarita Pech has been convicted four times previously for crimes of dishonesty ranging from handling stolen goods to burglary and theft. Again, she faces another such charge, this time burglary...

No one charged for Gruesome Roaring Creek Murders
It’s been a couple weeks since the gruesome murders of Steven Hyde and Edilberto Madrid, and no one has been charged.  They were found mutilated and decapitated...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

The British Honduras Barrier Reef in the 1960s: A Memoir By Ray Auxillou
Back in the 1960´s , I was in the prime of my life, in my middle to the late 20´s. There was little or no information in the world, on the seas and fisheries of the Western Caribbean Sea. I published a few things and the next thing I knew I was getting letters from all kinds of international organizations from different countries. It seemed nothing was known then, of coral reefs, marine biology, or very little, for vast swaths of the tropical seas of the world, as far as marine biology went. With the assistance of AID, Agency for International Development, from the USA, the Ministry of Natural Resources in the UK, tropical research department, and the department in the USA called nowadays NOAA ( the Pascagoula, Mississippi base for their research ships, in a long period of a decade or more, by slow mail ( there was no internet back then ) I turned myself into a curious self educated marine biologist. The above agencies sent me all kinds of books and pamphlets on every subject under the sun, to do with the things I was researching. Eventually I published not only magazine articles, but also some mimeographed books, I made on the island of Caye Caulker. There was not much in the way of affordable, or modern printing equipment in the British Colony at that time. Caye Caulker was a barrier reef island, with 90 fishing families at that time. Today it is a thriving 3000 population, TOP WORLD CLASS tourist destination. British Honduras back then was often quoted as being one of the remote four corners of the world. Available only by aircraft for a few UK Colonial Department visitors.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

JSDF projects grants $6 million for malnutrition in children
The (JSDF), through the World Bank, addresses alleviating malnutrition in children ages five and under, improving basic structural upgrades to health posts, and strengthening health services through mobile clinics and community health workers. Since signing onto the JSDF Project in 2011, Belize has been benefiting from BZ$6 million in total […]

Bradley says he did not take Petrocaribe funds
At his press conference several weeks ago in discussing payments made for the Mother’s Day cheer program, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow confirmed that several non-representatives of the United Democratic Party (UDP) received funds totaling $50,000 for their programs. These include recently elected standard bearers […]

Jury of 12 finds Krismar Espinosa not guilty
Today, at the Orange Walk Supreme Court, a jury of 12 found 26 year old Krismar Espinosa not guilty for murder buy guilty of a lesser charge of Manslaughter. In September of 2007, Espinosa was accused for the murder of 24 year old Rachel Cicely Chun. Chun’s badly decomposed body was […]

Accused thief and burglar in court
45 year old Philip Neal of Periwinkle Street is accused four times over of theft and attempted burglary in separate incidents. Neal was charged for two counts of theft this morning in relation to thefts from Chinese businessman Yuan Sheng, who lost a sack of rice, a rice […]

Prison officer pleads guilty to possession of controlled drugs
Officer at the Kolbe Foundation Mario Sho was read charges of possession of a controlled substance on Wednesday and pleaded guilty before Magistrate Ladonna John despite claiming he was set up. The prison officer reported for work on Tuesday night and while being given a routine check fellow […]

Shadir Marin out on bail
Earlier this week 25 year old manager of San Pedro Express Water Taxi Shadir Marin was charged with aggravated assault via firearm of a disc jockey, Edison Usher. Usher had accused him of pulling out a firearm on him when he went to confront him for running over […]

Cayo Police investigates murder of female Guatemalan National
A 39 year old Guatemalan woman died of gunshot wounds in the Cayo District early this morning. According to the husband of Paula Garcia, he heard several gunshots around 1:00a.m this morning after which he saw that his wife had been injured. When Cayo police visited the Flower Farm area, […]

Belize gaining International attention for sustainable fishing practices
An article entitled: “How Belize is tipping the scales for sustainable fishing worldwide,” posted yesterday, June 3rd, 2015 by Amanda Leland on an American website, commends Belize for good fishing practices and setting a trend for other countries to follow. This article, on the “Environmental Defense Fund” website (www.edf.org), reads: […]

ICT Pulse’s 2015 update of internet speeds and pricing reveals relatively high prices in Belize
Since 2011, technicians at ICT Pulse have been tracking fixed internet broadband speeds and pricing across the Caribbean, updating findings and highlighting some of the changes that have occurred since their last assessment in 2014. Just as last year, 19 Caribbean countries, including Belize were a part of this year’s […]

Municipalities work on easing business stress
The Caribbean Local Economic Development Programme (CARILED) is working with the nine municipalities of Belize to promote ease of doing business. Belize is currently ranked 119th in the world for ease of doing business and the blame lies on cultural and institutional malaise which is slowly being lifted. […]

Jack Warner to reveal all despite fears – Is Bertie Chimilio and the FFB connected?
One of the latest scandals rising from amidst the FIFA corruption involves former Vice President and a bribe of U.S $10 million he allegedly received from South African Officials in exchange for the country being awarded the 2010 World Cup host. Warner who has been accused of racketeering, wire fraud, […]

Blogs

Why do you think this baby Yucatan parrot is smiling?
Robles is a Yucatan parrot or yellow-lored parrot (Amazona xantholora) , a critically endangered species that is native to the Yucatan and Belize. He’s a brave little bird that made a lot of friends and managed his first flight from northern Ambergris Caye to Belmopan. After his journey he rested comfortably in the capable hands of Belize Bird Rescue. After a long day like his, you would be smiling too. Robles started his life in a hollowed out dead coconut tree. His mother Polly and partner had been seen flying, squawking in the area of the tree for a few weeks prior to the nest being spotted on our a daily dog walk. She would usually hide inside the nest. The only time she would pop her head out was with loud sounds or by calling out her name, Polly.

Exactly what is a ‘lost’ day in Paradise?
Writing about a lost day in Paradise is kind of like writing about inefficiency in government. It is hard to make it sound new or interesting. Just the same, yesterday was sort of a lost day during which I traveled great distances and accomplished very little. I hitched a ride to San Pedro Town with Rose in her golf cart, on her way to her 10 a.m. Pilates class at Zen Belize. My plan was to catch the 11 a.m water taxi to Belize City. By any international standards I was way too early which means I had plenty of time for a banana-coconut colada smoothie and banana muffin with black coffee chaser at Latitudes Cafe. Actually, I take back what I said. I was productive.

A Fun Retirement in Belize’s Placencia Peninsula
When Steve, 58, and Kathy Wade, 61, from Myrtle Beach, first visited Belize’s Placencia peninsula almost 12 years ago they were smitten with the friendly locals, tropical vibe, unspoiled beaches, and blue Caribbean, so they decided to make the move. They made the right choice. Over the years, development and more tourists and expats have come to the area. And services have improved to keep pace. You can get high-speed internet everywhere. The road was completely paved four years ago and real estate has boomed with new developments being put in up and down the peninsula. Placencia is now firmly on the map for those seeking retirement in a place where the locals speak English, the weather is always warm, and wearing no shoes is no problem. “The only thing I miss from home is family and close friends, but we do stay in touch,” says Kathy.

Fall in Love: 6 Astonishing Photos of Belize Jungle Weddings!
These 7 astonishing photos will inspire you to book your wedding ceremony in the jungles of Belize. Imagine your wedding ceremony held amidst exotic flowers and flirty birdcalls in the tropical rainforest of Belize, or atop an ancient Mayan Ruin rising out of the plush jungles as you stand on limestone, treaded centuries ago by Mayan high priests and royalty. Or perhaps you prefer having huge, iridescent blue morpho butterflies released into nature as you exchange vows and savour that very special kiss.

Be Ye Famished, Buckos?
Dinner at the Chef’s Table. We had been hearing a lot of great things about the Chef’s Table at Pirate’s Treasure. It’s just north of town, not too far from us, our friend Maresha is the owner/chef and we like food. We are especially interested in trying new menu items that aren’t necessarily considered “typical fare”. Pirate’s Treasure serves the horribly intrusive, albeit beautiful, reef-dwelling lionfish. See? It’s so pretty. And DELICIOUS! Notably due to Maresha’s amazing “grub cookery”. She made us Lionfish jerky.

Just A Beautiful Summer Day on Ambergris Caye, Belize
A few days on the mainland, then two rainy gray day in San Pedro and then WOW! Yesterday was absolute Belize Caye perfection. I was up north and took a short walk around Rojo Beach Bar and their neighbor, Mata Chica Resort and here’s what I saw as the dark clouds moved out and the sea was left glowing neon blue. It is almost time for the hermit crab adults to emerge from the jungle and lay their eggs in the water. Last year it happened in this area around the beginning of July…

International Sourcesizz

The Garifuna People & St Vincent and the Grenadines
As descendants from Africans in mainland St. Vincent and the Grenadines, who intermarried with the Caribs and Arawaks, the Garifunas or Black Caribs, are part of the unique cultures and melting pot of ethnicities that have their roots in the Caribbean. According to Dr. Adrian Fraser "The story of the Garifuna people is a unique one that needs to be told, since among other things, it is pivotal to understanding their position in Central America and also the history of St. Vincent and the Grenadines; and indeed the rest of the Caribbean region in which St. Vincent was one of the last outposts of Carib resistance.”[1] June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month; therefore, I’d like to share a historical time line, which documents the efforts of the Garifuna People to reconnect with their Ancestral Homeland St. Vincent and the Grenadines, “Yurumein” to become the subjects of our own history.

The British United Kingdom Supports Project to eradicate Wildlife Trafficking in Belize and Guatemala
Ambassador Dickson launched a three year project aimed at eradicating cross-frontier wildlife trafficking in the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains eco-region of Belize and Guatemala through strengthened intelligence, law enforcement and prosecution, and improved awareness to deter trade in highly endangered parrots. The British Government is financing part of this project with £389,911 from 2015 to 2018 with funds from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). Other participants in the initiative include the US Department of Interior and the Governments of Belize and Guatemala. The implementer, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), will work with local civil society organizations to mobilize improved coordination between governments by supporting national, bilateral, and multilateral initiatives that protect emblematic species, conserve natural resources, and propel economic alternatives for rural communities on targeted wildlife trade routes.

Wild Fisheries: New Hope for the Blue Economy
What is the blue economy? Hundreds of people from around the world are gathered this week in Cascais, Portugal at The Economist’s World Ocean Summit 2015 to answer this question and discuss ways to catalyze growth in this important sector. Historically, capture fisheries have been the leading edge of the blue economy. Communities, businesses, and cultures have been built on fishing the abundant resources of the sea. Today fisheries contribute more than $270 billion to global GDP. But overfishing is pushing fish populations toward collapse and an emerging view is that fishing is an industry in rapid decline. If nothing is done, the doomsayers will be right: collapsing fisheries will compromise the livelihoods of some 38 million fishermen and women around the world and take away a key protein source for 3 billion people. Science and experience from around the world demonstrate that the oceans are resilient and can rebound when fishing is sustainable. Countries including Australia, Belize, Chile, Denmark, Namibia, Norway, and the United States are reversing overfishing, reviving coastal communities, and bringing the oceans back to life. For example, in Belize fishermen and government officials are taking sustainable fishing nationwide. Just last week the cabinet voted to adopt “managed access”, which grants small-scale fishermen secure rights to their local fish resources in exchange for adhering to science-based limits on catch and no-fishing areas. Early adopters of the approach in Belize are already seeing a dramatic decline in illegal fishing, rebounding fish populations, and more stable fishing businesses. This is a far cry from the norm when some fishermen reported sharp declines in spiny lobster catches from 200 to 20 per day. Struggling fishermen up and down the coast led the charge in calling on the government to spread the new approach in hopes of a better future.

Saving Jamaica's coral reefs
THE Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Centre for Marine Sciences (CMS) at the University of the West Indies will today, World Environment Day, launch a US$350,000-project aimed at restoring the island's coral reefs and ultimately providing applicable information and techniques to other countries in the region experiencing similar challenges. The 18-month endeavour, dubbed the Coral Reef Restoration Project, will see the CMS undertaking a series of research activities to, among other things, mitigate coral depletion, and identify and cultivate species that are resistant to the ravages of the impact of climate change. In addition to climate change stressors, the reefs are being depleted due to human-related factors such as population growth, over-fishing and pollution. "We had always assumed that the reefs would recover naturally," said Marcia Creary, principal project investigator. "However, this productive and diverse ecosystem which is the source of food, medicine and coastal protection, is in jeopardy. The alarm has been raised, coral reefs need our help and they need it now." Coral reefs, with their diverse range of marine plants and animals, are critical to much more than just the beautiful underwater vistas for which Jamaica and the wider Caribbean are famous. It is estimated that their depletion negatively impacts the productivity of fisheries, coastal protection, tourism and other related areas to a value of US$5 to US$11 billion per year.

American Airlines’ New Caribbean Flights
American Airlines has officially launched its latest Caribbean expansion. On Thursday, the carrier launched flights from Miami to its newest Caribbean destination, Barranquilla on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. One June 5, the carrier launches what will be four weekly flights between Miami and Martinique (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays). On Saturday, the carrier launches Saturday service between Dallas-Fort Worth and Grand Cayman, along with Saturday and Sunday flights between Los Angeles and Belize City. American’s regional expansion has ramped up as competitor JetBlue has significantly increased its reach in the wider Caribbean Basin.

Eating the Caribbean’s Rarest Lobster
In the days of my father as a fisherman, one in every one thousand lobsters caught was a slipper lobster. The meat is almost identical to that of the spiny lobster.
Sleeper lobster. It’s called that because it sleeps so far below the surface. Or so we thought. The waiter presented a lobster unlike any we had seen — a long, dark-brown, prehistoric-looking creature who dwelled 2,000 feet below the surface. After a little tableside research, it turned out it was called a slipper lobster, named not for its bedtime but for its shape — that of a long, flat slipper. Here at Le Pressoir, one of the best restaurants on Grand Case, one of the Caribbean’s great food streets, this was, too, a rarity. The Chef, Franck Mear, explained that this lobster came in about six times a year. It comes in without notice, served only by the luck of the waves.

Videos

  • Lberty Children's Home Belize, 2min.

  • HELLA Epic Honeymoon Part 1 of 3, 15min. Welcome to our EPIC honeymoon in Belize! After flying from Alaska, we took a helicopter from the airport straight to our villa at Ka'ana Resort in San Ignacio, Belize, Central America. The next day, we took a trip on horse back to Xunantunich, a Mayan ruin site just an hour outside of our resort. On our way back, we sat down and had a private picnic on the side of a beautiful river with all sorts of interesting snacks, beautiful iguanas and howler monkeys calling to each other from just across the way. So many more amazing things happened in these first days but there's only so much we can share in one vlog, so be sure to watch the next ones! There's a lot more fun to come! WHERE WE STAYED: Ka'ana Resort in San Ignacio, Belize

  • The Great Blue Hole Belize, 4min. Blue hole Highlights June 2015.

  • Belize Zipline, 6.5min.

  • Caye Caulker, 3min. This little Gem was a highlight of our whole trip. Belize baby.

  • Back to Belize 2015, 4.5min. My third trip in three years spending some time with the most beautiful and joyful kids of Belize :)

  • Belize Tube Caving, 7min.

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