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#505185 - 06/13/15 06:55 AM Today's Belize News: June 13, 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

SPRCS’s Betty Alpuche and Shanelly Gutierrez are San Pedro’s top PSE Scorers
The Primary School Examination (PSE) results are finally out, and students across the island showed excellent performance. Once again, San Pedro’s top scorers are from the San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School (SPRCS). Betty Alpuche and Shanelly Gutierrez both scored 91.3% in their examinations. In a close third was The Island Academy’s Luis Nuñez with 90.3%, while New Horizon Seventh Day Adventist Primary School’s Elias Zetina took the fourth highest score on the island with 88.3%. Gabriel Hope of Bernice Yorke Primary School, Belize City, is the top scorer in the country of Belize, with a score of 96.5% 386/400. On Wednesday, June 10th, The San Pedro Sun spoke with top island scorers Betty and Shanelly who were very proud of their accomplishments. “I studied really hard,” said Betty. “I am definitely happy with my results.” Shannelly shared similar sentiments. Top three PSE scorers for each school in San Pedro are as follows:

Project BA 1 participant’s complete training
On Friday, June 5th 34 single mothers graduated from the Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking seminar “Project BA 1” in San Pedro. The program was designated to assist the women in becoming more self confident, by empowering them with the necessary tools to help them gain personal development. The program also allowed the participants to receive a small grant in order for them to achieve their goals. The project started on May 18th and wrapped up on Friday with the presentation of certificates by Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Hosted by the Belize Training and Employment Center (BTEC), which is a unit under the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) in collaboration with the Women’s Department of Belize and the Central American Integration System (SICA), the seminar took place at the San Pedro Town Council Conference room. The targeted participants were victims of domestic violence, single mothers and persons vulnerable to human trafficking. The prime participants were single mothers who took on courses to learn life planning skills and their personal development. Another goal of the project is to eradicate or reduce violence against women.

Ely’s Pool Bar and Grill- Good Food and Good Times
Ely’s Pool Bar and Grill is located at Walden’s Apartments (formerly Belize Hutz) in the friendly San Pablo Community a couple miles south of town. With a pool and full bar, Ely’s is the perfect place for cooling down on a hot day. Enjoy a day filled with fun as you dip in the pool; then have a seat around the bar while you sip on your beverage of choice. Hungry? Well say no more, there’s a complete menu filled with yummy items to choose from! The owners and staff are extremely nice, the atmosphere is open, clean and family friendly, the food is mouth watering and the drinks are always cold. Next time your thinking of a local place to hang out- consider Ely’s!

Stylin’ at the 2015 SPHS Prom
The 2015 class of San Pedro High School (SPHS) held its annual Prom Night on Thursday, June 11th under the theme “Midnight Summer Dream” at Jaguar’s Temple Club. The highly anticipated show of glitz and glamour proved to be once again a spectacular occasion. As always a large crowd of spectators gathered around for a glimpse of the lovely couples.

Passenger details harrowing experience in Cessna 182: V3-HHT crash
On Tuesday, June 2nd a Tropic Air vessel (Cessna 182: V3-HHT) flying to Roatan, Honduras experienced engine malfunctions that resulted in its crash landing within the Lighthouse Reef Atoll. While none of those onboard were seriously injured in the accident, one of the passages has detailed his experience as quite harrowing. The initial reports stated that Belize Coast Guard (BCG) and Belize Audubon Society personnel rescued the pilot and two passengers at the crash site. But according to this passenger’s account it wasn’t so, as all three on board (including the pilot) had to swim miles in inclement weather conditions before being rescued.

San Pedro Police Department receives new vehicle fleet
A Toyota Tacoma pickup, a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), a Land Rover and two Carryalls were handed over to the San Pedro Police Department on Thursday, June 11th. The donation was made by the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and Area Representative and Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation and Culture Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., in an effort to alleviate the department’s lack of vehicles and helping the fight against crime in San Pedro. The short ceremony, which started after 10AM saw the presence of His Worship Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., and Officer Commanding Coastal Executive Unit Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott, among other invited guests.

Ambergris Today

Midsummer Night's Dream at Prom 2015
It was a Shakespeare inspired evening for San Pedro High School as the future graduates of the school celebrated prom in elegance. Jaguar’s Temple Nite Club was the venue for Prom 2015 and a section of Barrier Reef Drive was closed off to traffic for about two hours to allow the graduating class and their dates to walk down the red carpet and for the hundreds who gathered outside to admire and take pictures of their favorite couple. The titles of Prom King and Queen 2015 were awarded to Gabriel Nuñez Jr. and Magdaluz Guerrero.

San Pedro Police Department Fortified with Five Vehicles
Being that the San Pedro Police Department only had one working vehicle at one point, today it is proud to boast a new fleet of five additional vehicles that were donated to the department by the Government of Belize and private business sector of Ambergris Caye. The official handing over of the vehicles to the Department took place on Thursday, June 11, 2015. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Civil Aviation, Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr, was present for the ribbon cutting ceremony, along with San Pedro’s Mayor, His Worship Mayor Daniel Guerrero. Representatives from the San Pedro Town Council, Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Police Department and private sector partners were also present.

San Pedro AIDS Commission Completes School Fence Beautification Project
The fence lies facing an alleyway adjacent to the Sunbreeze Hotel. The passage is used by many who take a short cut between Barrier Reef Drive and access directly in front of the San Pedro Airstrip. The wall was covered with unsightly graffiti, and with extra money to use as part of their educational campaign, the San Pedro AIDS Commission decided to clean up the wall and brighten it with beautiful and positive messages for the community, in part to make awareness of the group’s endeavors of HIV/AIDS awareness. The Commission hired local artist Pablito Guerrero to paint these child-friendly HIV/AIDS awareness messages to strengthen their educational campaign in the community. The project was kicked off with funds that the Commission raised with their Carnaval Comparsas and it then received assistance from the San Pedro Lions Club and the San Pedro Cancer Society that donated the paint. Assistance was also rendered by ‘He Intends Victory’, The Chocolate Boutique and Laurie Norton (Taco Girl) to start the painting of the logos.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Rachel Heusner Art Exhibition
My Exhibition coming together come check it out Monday 15th at the Bliss Center for the performing Arts. 6 30pm the show runs to the 19 th June

Do you believe Doctor, Minister or Autopsy Report
Following the untimely death of 18 Year old Hilberto Sots, the people of Caye Caulker protested angrily on the night Sots died inside the police station. Two officers, Leonard Nunez and Hallet King have been charged with murdering the youth. Minister of National Security John Saldivar has expressed his condolences but controversy has arisen with the autopsy report. People are confused about what to believe while pundits are hoping that Dr. Fernando Cuellar won't be called to testify for the officers accused of committing murder. By trashing the terminology used in the report, the conclusions appear futile as well as an implicit insult to the author of the report. The following quoted extracts are from 7 and 5 News. John Saldivar, Minister of Police (Ch7) There must be something wrong happening out at Caye Caulker. This is something we cannot hide from. What took place in the murder of this young man is so heinous that we've got to stop and do a gut check as to what's happening out there. And as the minister of police I can assure the Belizean public that we will not cover up anything.

Today we open the pre-release cage doors to let this year's howler monkey troops go free
Today we open the pre-release cage doors to let this year's howler monkey troops go free. They have been down at Fireburn since Tuesday and are now settled in and feeding well...and becoming accustomed to the new sights, sounds and smell of the Fireburn forest. Meet the individuals being released this year - three troops (two pairs and one troop of four) - these photos are from the pre-release enclosures, where they have been practicing their climbing skills, learning how to keep together, how to find shelter...and loudly advertising their presence to the other troops! Wildtracks seems strangely quiet now that they have left on this final step into the wild... Thank you, Fanny, for this final pre-release set of photos!

Urge the Belize Government to Protect its Marine Parks from Oil and Gas Mining
Offshore drilling is being proposed in Belize's spectacular marine areas, according to a report in Mongabay.com. Belize's Great Blue Hole, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, would be included in areas opened to oil and gas drilling under a new proposal from the Belizean government. The government has proposed opening up most of the country's marine areas, including seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Belize currently has a voluntary moratorium on any such drilling. Conservation groups have strongly opposed the plan, which could grant petroleum concessions that overlap with the Belize Barrier Reef, the second largest reef in the world. The marine parks of Belize are too precious to be put at risk of an environmental disaster. Will you join me in urging the Belize government to protect its natural heritage from an environmental disaster and not allow mining in its marine parks? Please sign and share the petition.

How To Successful Run A Family Business
Today, business owners who keep it in the family and hire other relatives, were invited to attend a workshop organized by BELTRAIDE, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, and FINPYME. They were there to take discuss issues the secrets to success for the families, communications and conflict management, family governance, family meetings, councils, company constitution, ethics, and a host of other issues that business owners face on a daily business in this type of commercial module. We stopped by and spoke with the organizers and asked about the hypothetical about what to do when a family member in the company believes that he or she can be negligent or non-performing, and still be protected from termination simply because of relation to the bosses. Here’s what they told us:

Georgia College State University Kinesiology Workshop
The Georgia College State University came to Cayo, and did a Kinesiology Workshop at Sacred Heart College. They taught everything from CPR to bandaging to proper warm ups and cool down excercises. There was even a healthy lunch provided. Thanks, GCSU!

National team shirts
Get your National team shirts at FFB office belmopan and at Brodies northern highway. GO JAGUARS!!!!!!

Two Type III Ambulances were officially handed over the to the Western Regional Hospital and the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT)
The Type III Ambulances falls within the Road Accident Emergency Services Component to support the improvement of post-crash trauma care through the provision of two Type III ambulances, one of which will be assigned to BERT through a signed agreement between the MOH and BERT and the other to the Western Regional Hospital.

Training for trainers in Road Safety
Join us in congratulating the 16 young men and women who completed a two-week intensive training for trainers in Road Safety and are graduating today. These youths will now join and support a previously trained cohort of youth facilitators, and will reach over 2,000 young Belizeans on road safety issues. In addition, Junior Master Trainers were selected from the first pool of facilitators who will help to sustain the longevity of the programme and train more facilitators. The training was facilitated by Youth for Road Safety (YOURS) in partnership with the Government of Belize and the Caribbean Development Bank. As facilitator and director of YOURS, Floor Lieshout, reiterated, "Road safety is everbody's business!"

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, June 12, 2015: 44

Cornerstone Father's Day Fundraiser
The Cornerstone Foundation is having an early Father's Day fundraiser tonight at Club JJ's. The theme will be 80's.

Guatemalan Naval Vessel - grounding Glover’s Reef
On June 11, 2015, the Department on the Environment (DOE) received a report of a vessel grounding near Middle Caye on the Glover’s Reef Atoll. Upon receiving such report, the Department of the Environment (DOE) responded by dispatching personnel to the site along with members of the Fisheries Department, the Belize National Coast Guard and the Belize Port Authority in accordance with the National Standard Operating Procedure for Marine Casualties. The team has confirmed that a 65-foot Guatemalan Naval Vessel, bearing the marking GC-651 Tecum Uman and having a crew of eleven members, has been grounded on the crest of the Barrier Reef approximately 500 meters north of Middle Caye. Upon conducting a preliminary assessment of the incident, it has been learnt that the area where the naval vessel grounded comprises of “bare rocks” with minimal damage seen along the vessel’s path to the point of grounding and was limited to two coral species, namely Fire Coral and Elkhorn Coral. The design of the vessel, having jet propulsion and a flat bottom, has been attributed to the reason for minimal damage observed during the preliminary assessment.

Channel 7

Gunboat Diplomacy
Tonight, a 65 foot Guatemalan Navy Gun Ship named "Tecum Uman" remains on the reef in Belize's southern waters. Well, tonight, it's still there - despite multiple efforts to pull it off. Tonight - we'll tell you all about it and show you the efforts right up until this morning. But, we begin where the story started. On Wednesday night at around 11:00, two Guatemalan Naval ships - each carrying 12 personnel onboard - were heading to Isla Mujeres, Mexico from Puerto Barrios, Guatemala on a training mission. But on their way, one of the ships had engine and propulsion failure. According to the investigation so far, the failure was due to a leak in the steering hydraulics. One of vessels then crashed into the reef - a quarter mile from Middle Caye in Glovers Reef. Our news team was out on Middle Caye from yesterday, all through the night until this morning to monitor efforts at getting the ship removed - Courtney Weatherburne has an extensive report from the site.

Ralston's Killers Were Robbers
Dangriga Police have charged two men with murder for the death of 51 year-old Ralston Patnett, the retired fire chief who was shot to death and then burnt. Those men are 30 year-old Brandon Mason Kerr, a resident of mile 21 on the George Price Highway, and 32 year-old Lindberg Oxford, who lives on the Commerce Bight Road in Dangriga. Patnett had been looking after a house on the Commerce Bight Road which belong to his American friend, 68 year-old Edmond Domenic Couch. The place was burglarized, and 12 gauge single action shot gun was stolen. Patnett was shot and killed with that stolen weapon which they recovered in an abandoned lot in the Commerce Bight Road Area. The officers also found 34 live rounds of twelve-gauge cartridges with the gun.

PUP Still "Assessing" While Bye-election Date Drawing Nigh
On Tuesday the PUP voted to send a team to Dangriga to assess whether they would contest the bye-election in that southern constituency. But the July eighth election is just 25 days away - and still, the assessment hasn't been finalized. Yet, we are told that the assessment isn't just a stalling technique, those who are involved tell us it is serious and active - as meetings are being held right now, actually. But, no date has been set for this assessment to be concluded, and nomination day is on June 22 - which is just ten days away. If the PUP sits this one out - and no other independent challenger appears - only one person, the UDP's Frank Pawpa Mena would be nominated. In that case, no bye-election will be held - and the sole nominee would become the representative. If not altogether dark, that would surely be a weird day for democracy - but the brain trust and the bank of the PUP - holds the concerted opinion that contesting will cost them money they don't have - and will accomplish very little in shifting the balance of power one way or the other.

Jaguars Come Home
Tonight the Belize National Football Team is resting at a Belize City Hotel in preparation for Sunday's return match against the Dominican Republic. The FFB has put them up at a hotel to ensure that they remain together, focused and not distracted before the game. Rest is a big part of that equation right now because they've been up from 1:00 am this morning travelling back from Santo Domingo. Jules Vasquez was with the team and he has this report:... Jules Vasquez reporting It was sleepy eyes all around this morning - as the team had to leave for the Santo Domingo airport at 3:30 am - that's 1:30 Belize time - and that's after a world cup qualifier the day before. Ian Gaynair, Defender - Belize Jaguars "Tired, fatigue... you called it the "red eye." everybody eye must still be red. I haven't gotten any rest yet." Elroy Smith, Captain - Belize Jaguars "From 1am this morning. You won't feel it like right away, but tomorrow is when that will tell."

How Did Deon Do It?
So, Belize is in the driver's seat - and we would be in that position were it not for the consistent on field brilliance of Deon McCaulay. He scored two goals yesterday in Santo Domingo. The first goal in the 13th minute was an odd one; he shot a penalty kick, and the Dominican Goalkeeper blocked it - but the ball remained in play. No defender swooped into the box to help and McCauley had one of the easiest goals of his stellar career as a striker. He replayed it for us this morning at the Miami International airport:.. Deon McCauley, Scored 2 Goals "I was fortunate that the ball came back to me and I ended up putting the ball in the net, but sometimes things like these happen in the game. You just have to stay focused and execute once the ball comes back to you." Jules Vasquez "Are you surprised no one from the Dominican Republic responded after the goal keeper block the ball?" Deon McCauley, Scored 2 Goals "Well I was surprised, but I think that it happens so fast that nobody couldn't react and nobody knew what would have happened. They didn't even know if the keeper would have made a save. So I think that that's why nobody reacted in time."

Team Captain Questions Substitutions
And while it's easy to focus on the brilliance of those goals - the truth is that McCauley's "go-ahead" goal saved Belize from a game that was going quickly downhill because the field strategy had fallen apart. The Dominicans had equalized in the 71st minute, and the defence was lacking. Many observers feel that is because Harrison Cafu Roches was taken out of the game to start the second half - and the less physical, less experienced and less warmed up Jordy Polanco was placed in the midfield. Today team captain Elroy Smith was candid when he told us that the coaching staff has to do a better job with substitutes:.. Elroy Kuylen "Well the coaches, it's their responsibility to makes sure that kind of thing doesn't happens. They have to know what they are doing, how to do it and when to do it. With all respect to the coaches, the game was a tough game. So you have to think good about the changes you will make in a game like that. I think that first stage bothered us a little because the young boy wasn't fully warmed up. The man came up and did his thing but for the first 5 or 10 minutes he got in there, he wasn't fully warmed up and brought a big pressure on us."

Coach Says, Keep Eyes On Prize
And while we didn't have a chance to ask Assistant Coach Charlie Slusher about that specific issue, he did speak to us generally about sticking to the game plan and keeping the teams eyes set on the prize - which is the third round of world cup qualifying. Here's his message to them going into Sunday's game:.. Charlie Slusher - Assistant Coach - Jaguars "This is no time to rejoice. This is no time to celebrate. We have not achieved anything as yet. The same way we came here and won a game. The Dominican team can go in Belize and win also. So we are one foot in the third round, but we have to be concentrating. We have to work hard and be focused to get a victory in Belize. We cannot make this opportunity go down the drain for us." And to see if they do seize that opportunity - you can tune into Channel 7 on Sunday afternoon for liver coverage - or you can also go see the jaguars in person at the FFB Field in Belmopan.

The Indigenous Peoples Of Bze and Guat Meet
Last week Friday and Saturday, the Indigenous Mayan Leaders of Belize and Guatemala met in Poptun Peten. The purpose was to collaborate to decrease the number of cross border incursions and destruction of the natural resources in the Chiquibul-Maya Mountains. The idea is to unite efforts of the communities living along the Belize-Guatemala border to try to deal with the environmental, social and economic problems which causes destruction of forests on both sides. The representatives of the communities developed a draft declaration with requests and recommendations on how to achieve that goal. One important point of the discussion was that the governments must pay attention to the communities located near the border on both sides. This can help to reduce the number of incursions and prevent armed encounters between the illegals and the military who must protect the forests. This draft declaration is to contain suggestions and recommendations related to territory, natural resources, and ancestral knowledge. Once it is finalized, it will be presented to the governments of Belize and Guatemala.

Youth Cadets Graduate, Where's Mom and Dad
Yesterday, the National Youth Cadet Services Corp graduated its 16th intake of cadets, made up of young men between the ages of 13 to 17 years. These were youth who were troubled and at risk of getting involved with the street life. The organization, which falls under the Department of Youth Services, aims to teach these young men positive traits such as the rule of law, good work ethics, self-respect, discipline and a commitment of service to their community. Yesterday, we got a chance to meet those new cadets who have gone through 10 months of training. Minister of State with responsibility for Youth and Sports, Herman Longsworth was also present. He told the gathering that he was a bit disappointed to see that some parents of these reformed young men were missing for this occasion:

SMART Helps Feeding Program
For the past 15 years the Ebenezer Methodist Primary School has been running a feeding program for its needy students. That program grew out of the premise that hungry children are unable to learn. Recently, however, the managers of the program have had to go shopping around for donors to keep it properly financed. When they were recently approached for assistance, Speednet Communications made the decision to support the feeding program by donating $1,500 quarterly for the next year. That first cheque was handed over today, and 7News was there. We asked the coordinators how the money will be put to use: As noted in the interview, 75 children will benefit from the continuation of this program.

New Ambulances For Road Safety
Today the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT) and the Western Regional Hospital each got a brand new Ambulance from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. It's part of the Government's Road Safety Project that has been launched with financing from the Caribbean Development Bank. The authorities want to minimize the number of traffic accidents along the George Price Highway from Belize City to Belmopan, but they acknowledge that there is always the possibility that an accident can happen even under the safest conditions - which is where ambulances come in. So today, the Executive Director of BERT expressed gratitude for the donation:

Rolling It In Dangriga And Succotz
Earlier we told you about the PUP's ongoing assessment of the Dangriga seat and whether it will contest. And while the Opposition is hemming and hawing - the UDP government is rolling it into Dangriga. Contracts were signed today for road works in the southern town - CEO in the Ministry of Works Errol Gentle outlined it at a contract signing today:.. Errol Gentle, CEO - Ministry of Works "The first contract being rehabilitation of streets and construction of culverts in Dangriga and those contracts will be signed with DEC and Sons of Stann Creek and the contract price is $995,245.40. The second contract to be signed will be with BCG Construction Limited and we have Mister Salvador E. Habet and this contract is for the concreting of streets in the Succotz area."

Ciao D-R!
And as we close this Friday night - we say goodbye to the Dominican Republic - where Belize's Football Jaguars made their mark with an impressive two to one win. We leave you with that - have a good night and a great weekend - and join me back her on Monday.

Channel 5

Belize Jaguars Return Victorious from the Dominican Republic
Less than twenty-four hours after the Belize National Football Team won the away game of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier on Thursday, the athletes and coaching staff touched down [...]

Realistic Expectations: Will the Jaguars Prevail Again on Sunday?
But with a win in the Dominican Republic, are the Belize Jaguars ready to defend its turf and what are their predictions for the game?   Deon McCauley, Striker, Belize [...]

Guatemalan Coast Guard Vessel Remains Grounded Near Glovers Reef
Tonight, News Five can confirm that Guatemalan military vessel GC-651 is still high and dry, perched on the reef between Middle Caye and Long Caye in the Glover’s Reef system, [...]

What’s the Status of the Crooked Tree Causeway?
Just like clockwork, the rains came in June, and for residents of Crooked Tree that wasn’t good news. Their causeway was elevated just days before to deal with the inevitable [...]

Participants Graduate from Youth-led Road Safety Project
And in more news on road safety…today, sixteen young men and women graduated from the Youth for Road Safety (YOURS) Train the Trainers Programme at the George Price Center. YOURS [...]

Western Regional Hospital Finally Receives New Ambulance
The Ministry of Health has been plagued by ambulance complaints; hospitals either don’t have ambulances or the ones that they do have aren’t working properly. The list of reports about [...]

Devon Bailey, Justin Lemott and Jason Sanchez to Stand Trial in Supreme Court
A trio of Belize City men has been committed to stand trial for murder and attempted murder in the Supreme Court, following a preliminary inquiry earlier today.  The first to [...]

Belizean Poker Team Represents the Jewel at Las Vegas Poker Tournament
In 2011, Bob BouNahra made history being the first Belizean to make it to the Final table of the World Series of Poker also known as the November nine. BouNahra [...]

Belize Jaguars Need Your Financial Assistance for Round 3 of Football Competition
While all hopes are that the Belize national team will advance to the next round of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match, the reality is that the Football Federation [...]

Soca Madness Kicks Off at the ITVET…
Soca season is officially set to kick off this weekend with a massive lineup of Belizean and regional performing artists, including Patrice Roberts and Killa, taking the stage at the [...]

…Concert Proceeds to Aid Carnival Bands
According to show promoter Andazzi, the event also aims at assisting the local carnival bands with preparations for this year’s Carnival Road March.   Andazzi, Promoter, Flavaz Entertainment “Flavaz Entertainment [...]


Guatemalan Vessel Runs Aground Near Glovers Reef
This morning news spread like wild fire, a Guatemalan vessel ran aground near Glovers Reef. Comments on the social media grew by the minute and before midday authorities were in the area assessing the level of damages caused to Belize’s Barrier Reef. Reports are that around one thirty this morning the Guatemalan Naval vessel with markings GC 651 got stuck on the reef in the vicinity of Glovers Reef off Middle Caye. CEO of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell spoke with the media on the matter. “At about 1:30 this morning, the coastguard were informed that there was a vessel on our reef off Glovers Reef in the vicinity of Middle Caye. Immediately our coast guard officials sent out patrols into the area to confirm the reports of this grounded vessel which was confirmed that there is a vessel, a Guatemalan coast guard vessel with markings GC651 on that vessel. We also, when we went on the ground, observed that there was a second vessel that was in close proximity to where this vessel went aground and we were then concerned, we got in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who in turn got in touch with our Guatemalan counterparts and they informed us that the vessels were destined to go to La Isla Mujeres in Mexico. Our coast guard that were on the ground had an opportunity to speak to the crew of the Guatemalan coastguard vessel and they confirmed that yes they were heading to Mexico. They claim that they had lost steering and that they drifted onto the reef.”


McCauley Scores Goals For Belize in DR
The Jaguars are home but adamant on not losing focus on the upcoming game on Sunday, June 14. With Deon McCauley as part of the team that came home today and the player who scored both goals, we just had to ask McCauley how he feels considering that just a few weeks ago, sporting officials did not extend a helping hand to him to get back home after experiencing some hardships abroad. Here is how he responded. Just like McCauley who carries no negative feelings for the entire situation, Ian Gaynair says it is time to move past that.

Belize Jaguars Are Home
In March, Belize began its road to the 2018 World Cup in Moscow. The first hurdle was the Cayman Islands and although it was not an easy task, after the home and away series ended, the Jaguars prevailed. The team with a number of changes travelled to the Dominican Republic this week to take on the home team yesterday. At the end of regulation, Belize was once again victorious on two goals by Deon McCauley. The game ended in a two to one score. Today the team was back on home soil and they have little time to savour the victory as on Sunday afternoon they will try to seal their way to continue in the competition. Love News was at the Philip Goldson International Airport awaiting Belize’s football stars. We spoke to Ian Gaynair and Shane Moody to get their feel of yesterday’s game.

Guatemalan Vessel Still Lodged on Belize’s Reef
The Guatemalan Naval vessel remains lodged on Glover’s Reef last night with officials attempting to pull the boat out early this morning. Our news team, accompanied by members of the Belize Coast Guard journeyed to the site yesterday and last night they stayed on Middle Caye to keep watchful eyes on the vessel in which armed Guatemalan men were forced to stay as a consequence of what is being described as an accident. The vessel was on its way to La Isla Mujeres, Mexico, but due to mechanical problems it began drifting and subsequently crashed into the reef. Officials from the Department of Environment and the Belize Port Authority visited the site to conduct their investigations. Hipolito Novelo tagged along and reports from Glover’s Reef.


Government will pursue Guatemalan military over grounding
In just four months, the Guatemalan navy has entered illegally inside Belize’s sovereign waters , not once, but twice. Today they may have made a third incursion into Belize, this time causing possible damage to Belize’s precious barrier reef. The incident occurred about one o’clock this morning...

Tanks explode in Spanish Lookout Oil field
Two tanks exploded inside one of the Belize Natural Energy’s oil field in the San Marcus Area, Spanish lookout. The incident occurred around 3 p.m. earlier today and by four p.m...

Venezuelan training ship visits Belize on Petrocaribe anniversary
Ten years ago this month, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela leagued with its fellow Caribbean and Central American countries to advance social development through its bountiful petroleum resources under the Petrocaribe program...

Michael Feinstein Stake Bank case pushed back again
A conflict with other court cases kept litigants in the case of Michael Feinstein and the Attorney General and Fort Street Tourism Village from proceeding today in the Supreme Court of Justice Courtney Abel...

Belize Kids First celebrates anniversary
It was formed by concerned residents of Belize City five years ago and has helped numerous children attend school and parents navigate the ins and outs of parenting. Belize Kids First today celebrated its fifth anniversary. Founder and veteran teacher Annie Palacio spoke of the ethos of the program.

Belize Jaguars beat Dominican Republic!
We start tonight’s newscast with some good news.  Belize’s Jaguars won against the Dominican Republic’s football team two to one this afternoon. And the man of the hour is Deon McCauley...

Tourist robbed in Dangriga
An American tourist staying at a resort in Hopkins Village, Stann Creek District reported that on June 2 at about 11:00p.m...

Chinese business owner pulls gun and demands payment
A Chinese man has been detained following an incident of aggravated assault at his nightclub. 29-year-old Edward Bochub of Punta Gorda town, reported that on Wednesday June 10, he was socializing at a nightclub located at Front Street Punta Gorda town and at about 9:25 p.m. he decided to leave...

Found property
Police have recovered drugs and weapon that were labeled as found property. On June 11 at approximately 12:20 p.m...

Caye Caulker holds vigil for slain youth
It was raining last night in Caye Caulker, nevertheless, some 400 people took to the sandy streets of  the island in a peaceful march in solidarity with the family of the slain teenager Hilberto Sotz...

Minister Condemns His Officers
Late yesterday evening the Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar through the Government issued a press release where he expressed his condolences to the family of 18 year old Hilberto Sotz who died under the care of authorities of the law...

Registered voters for Dangriga By-election
As we told you on Monday, the date for the Dangriga by-election triggered by the resignation of PUP Area Representative Ivan Ramos, has been set. That date is Wednesday, 8th July.  Nominations for persons wishing to contest the election will be received on Monday, 22nd June, at the Dangriga Town Ha...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

U.S. Embassy Visa and Passport System Experiencing Technical Problems
The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with our overseas passport and visa systems. This issue is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working urgently to correct the problem and restore full operability. U.S. passport applications accepted overseas on or after May 26, 2015 are affected by this delay. If you applied for a U.S. passport overseas during this time frame and have travel plans within the next 10 business days, please consider requesting an emergency passport at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at which you originally applied. Information about how to apply for an emergency passport is available at the following: http://belize.usembassy.gov/passports.html. Applications for a U.S. visa made after June 8, 2015, are also affected by this delay. Nonimmigrant visa applicants in Belize who submitted their DS-160 online application on or after June 9, 2015, should reschedule their interview appointments for the next available appointment date on https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-BZ/niv. If you submitted your DS-160 on or after June 9, 2015, please do not come to the Embassy for your appointment without first rescheduling.

Full Basket Belize awards six scholarships to Ocean Academy students
The charity organization Full Basket Belize comprising of former or current Peace Corp volunteers has awarded six scholarships to students at local Caye Caulker high school Ocean Academy. Five are renewals and one is a new scholarship. Congratulations Annabella Requena, Lilly Alamina, Kimberly Sotz and Milvia Reyes! All four girls earned a renewal for the coming school year of their $1000bz scholarships from Full Basket Belize. The students had to maintain high grade point averages and demonstrate continued school and community involvement. Full Basket Belize is a volunteer-run organization founded by former Peace Corps Volunteers. They also fund raise for community projects across Belize. Mindy Rowlands, below in photo, awarded the girls their renewal awards.

Power Lines Are Being Installed On The North Side
In one of the most dramatic developments of the decade, we can report that power lines are currently being installed on the north side of Caye Caulker.

#505186 - 06/13/15 06:55 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 13, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


2 Caye Caulker cops charged with murder
A riot erupted on Caye Caulker on Monday night, June 8, when residents learned that a teenager had died hours after he was taken into custody. A crowd, estimated to consist of over 200 persons, descended on the police station and polyclinic where Hilberto Sotz, 18, was pronounced dead. Caye Caulker police had to call for reinforcements from Belize City, and the officers reportedly fired live rounds to disperse angry residents. The result of Sotz’s autopsy apparently indicated that he had been brutalized to the point where he died of his injuries. Late this afternoon, one of the court prosecutors at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court told a policeman who was about to close the main door on the Regent Street side of the court building, not to close the door because he was “expecting two prisoners” – who would turn out to be two police officers who have been accused of causing the death of Sotz. Just before 4:00 p.m., a heavily tinted unmarked police SUV pulled up at the Treasury Lane side of the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, and the two officers, PC Leonard Nunez, 43, and PC Hallet King, 32, who were handcuffed together, emerged.

Guat gunboat runs onto Glovers Reef
Just before midnight last night, Wednesday, the loud revving of a heavy engine overwhelmed the sound of the hard rains on Glovers Reef and shortly after the noise of the engine, a crashing sound alerted the park rangers and Fisheries Department staff who are stationed on the island that something had happened about 500 yards from where they are housed. Following the crashing sound, powerful spotlights came from the direction of the reef, where a Guatemalan Navy boat had become beached. Frantic calls were made from Glovers Reef to the Belize Coast Guard, as another Guatemalan gunboat was observed in the immediate vicinity. With the arrival of daylight, the large Guatemalan gunboat, with its heavy 105mm gun, could be seen parked on top of the reef. The news of the Guatemalan Navy boat crashing onto Glovers Reef began making the rounds early this morning on social media.

Hilbert “Ketchi” Sotz supporters rally against his murder
The atmosphere was charged with emotion on the island of Caye Caulker last night as at least 200 concerned citizens came out in spite of a drenching downpour to display their unwavering support for the family of Hilbert “Ketchi” Sotz, 18, who died while in police custody three days ago. In the wake of his death, a host of Caye Caulker residents who had gotten wind that his death was as a result of police brutality protested in anger, which led to a confrontation with police officers who were deployed to quell the situation later that evening. Yesterday, however, some of those same residents were joined by comrades from San Pedro, as well as a group of expatriates who all share the same aversion to the upsetting and successive incidents of blatant, excessive abuse of authority by cops on the island. The protesters decided to hold a peaceful candlelight vigil which, according to one of the organizers, Deon Green, is a means of healing the community after the loss of a promising young life due to a culture of police brutality across the country, which often goes unchecked.

“They beat him to death!”
An autopsy conducted on the body of Hilbert “Ketchi” Sotz, 18, a 2nd form student of Belmopan Baptist High School who died in the custody of Caye Caulker police on Monday of this week, determined that he did not die of natural causes, as police had originally indicated, but was instead beaten to death inside the police station on that island. The two officers who are believed to be responsible for his murder were remanded to prison yesterday, Wednesday, and three others who were present at the time of the incident have been placed on interdiction pending the outcome of the case for being “slovenly inactive” during the entire incident. Though swift and practically unprecedented, those actions are no compensation to either the Sotz family or to Sotz’s close friend, Manuel Guerra, who, we understand, watched helplessly as Sotz was allegedly beaten and tortured at the hands of two officers who were attached to the Caye Caulker Police Formation. Amandala visited “La Isla Carinosa” late yesterday evening and conducted an extensive interview with Guerra shortly after he was released from police lockdown, where he and the deceased were being held pending investigation into a burglary that recently took place on the island.

Court presses for hearing on cruise port head tax
Last month, we told you of Government’s plan to introduce new legislation in Parliament, to confirm and validate the US$7 cruise tourism head tax retrospectively, amid a challenge to the tax regime lodged in the Supreme Court by Michael Feinstein, whose US$100 million Stake Bank project is stalled due to an impasse with investors in the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV.) The planned port would provide a new offshore port for the cruise tourism sector at Stake Bank Island, a few miles from Belize City; however, the development would rival the existing port at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, which claims exclusivity under a contract with the Government of Belize, to which Feinstein was a party before he sold his interest in that investment to Royal Caribbean. Under the existing arrangement, Stake Bank would not be guaranteed a portion of the head tax. Although Feinstein has sued the Government over the allocation of the head tax to FSTV—from which the FSTV would have earned nearly US$4 million last year—FSTV has countersued for damages, because it claims that if the head tax were to be lost, it would mean a substantial loss of revenue, although its exclusive contract with the Government does not expire until 2028.

Dr. George Gough faces malpractice lawsuit
A number of Belizeans have suffered silently at the hands of doctors who perform surgery on them or prescribe medicines that have worsened their condition. Some have even lost their lives. Lawsuits for medical malpractice, however, are scarcely pursued by Belizeans in the courts. Nevertheless, one woman who had a laparoscopic surgery performed at Belize Medical Associates on December 18, 2009 and almost lost her life has decided to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who performed the surgery. Case management in claim #154 of 2013 filed by Alice Arana-Gillett against Dr. George Gough took place before Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel last Friday, and dates were agreed upon by her attorney and Dr. Gough’s attorney, for expert witnesses to testify in the case. The attorneys also agreed on dates for written submission and the court also accepted into evidence for the case, a number of witness statements.

Deon McCauley scores two goals in victory against DR
“Deon McCaulay scored two goals to help Belize win their away leg at theDominican Republic 2-1. McCaulay opened the scoring in the 13th minute and Belize held on until Geremy Lombardi equalised in the 71st. But McCaulay put home a rebound two minutes from time to give the visitors the victory.” “McCaulay broke the deadlock with two minutes remaining in Santo Domingo after Geremy Lombardi leveled proceedings in the 71st minute, cancelling out the former’s first-half opener.”

Rural North Football Tournament Finals begin
Following a two-week break in action, the Belize Rural North Football Tournament 2015 for the Edmond “Clear the Land” Castro Cup 2015 resumed this past Sunday, June 7, in Sandhill Village with game 1 of the U-16 two-game championship series, and the Senior knockout Finals in Group-A and Group-B. In game 1 of the U-16 championship Finals, Ladyville Rising Stars and Boom Junior Celtics played to a 1-1 draw. Denroy Baptist (29’ PK) put Ladyville in front from the penalty spot, but Gordon Richards, Jr. (68’) got the equalizer for Boom just 2 minutes from the end of regulation. In the Group-B Senior knockout Final which followed, Lake Rising Stars dropped Kephawn Pawn Shop, 2-1. Tevin Robinson’s (28’ PK) goal gave Lake the lead early. Clinton Gill (57’) equalized the ball game for Kephawn; but then Marshall Nunez, Jr.’s (65’) goal sealed the Lake’s seat in the championship series.

Western Eagles beat Excellence, 157 runs to 5 runs
The Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, continued over the weekend with some very interesting games. The first is the continuation of a game between Excellence of Double Head and Western Eagles of Rancho Dolores. In a previous article that I wrote, I mentioned that a team that has always been hard for the Eagles to beat is Excellence. This match started on March 14 in Double Head. Western Eagles batted first, and at the fall of the last wicket, scored 157 runs. After lunch break, Excellence took to bat. During the over, Eagles bowled a ball that was called “wide” by the umpire. The ball crossed the boundary line for 4 runs; because it was a “wide,” an extra run was awarded, making it 5 runs. Rain started then, and the game had to be postponed. Ever since then, for some reason or the other, this match could not continue. The most important reason is that the game was started playing on a mat. That mat became damaged beyond repair, according to information I received. Later on, only half of the mat could be found. The second half of the competition was started, and on May 9, Excellence went to Rancho and defeated Western Eagles. Still, the unfinished game was not played.

Editorial: The mighty and the fallen …
It is amazing how far the mighty People’s United Party (PUP) has fallen since 2003, which is the last time the party won any kind of election. Staring certain defeat in the face in next month’s by-election for the Dangriga seat vacated on Sunday, June 7, by the PUP’s Ivan Ramos, sections of the PUP leadership this week were actually talking about “boycotting” the Dangriga by-election, of not running a candidate against the ruling United Democratic Party”s (UDP) candidate – Frank “Pawpa” Mena. In the last days of his National Independence Party (NIP) in late 1971, the Hon. Philip Goldson always insisted that this was what political parties do: they contest elections. No matter what. In those last and desperate days of his NIP, Mr. Goldson chose to form an alliance with the fledgling UBAD Party to contest the December 1971 Belize City Council election. In a sense, this may be seen as a reckless move on Mr. Goldson’s part, but it shows you how far he was prepared to go just to show up at the “post,” which is how the starting line is referred to in horse racing circles. A major problem with the PUP has been that they don’t want to spend any money. There is a section of the electorate which believes that PUP leaders and their cronies got away with hundreds of millions of dollars between 1998 and 2008, so the way the PUP has been behaving, as if they are begging people to vote for them instead of investing in campaigning, is rubbing some voters the wrong way.

From the Publisher
It is clear that there was an organized attempt at the highest levels of the Government of Belize to downplay the incident at the Sarstoon River Island which took place between Thursday, May 28, and Friday morning, May 29, when armed elements of the Belize Coast Guard and armed elements of the Guatemalan navy confronted each other. At the time of an incident, exactly three months before this May 28/29 incident, when armed elements of the said Guatemalan Navy kidnapped 37 Belizeans who were under the banner of Belize’s Northern Territorial Volunteers (NTV) from the same location in the Sarstoon River mouth and forced them to go to the Guatemalan port of Livingston, the response of the various Cabinet Ministers of the ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) had been inappropriate. One high-ranking leader of the Belize Government actually referred to the NTV mission as “misguided patriotism.” In the House of Representatives, the Toledo East area representative of the Opposition People’s United Party (PUP), it should be noted, took a similar line, when he criticized the NTV and similar groupings for behavior which he said would provoke violence from “those people” (the Guatemalans).

He has acted like a child …
Dear Editor, All right thinking Belizeans were surely stunned to hear the words of Hon. Patrick Faber on Sunday, boasting how he used Petrocaribe money. It is difficult to find the right words to express any reaction to what was said or done. Was this how Hugo Chavez meant his generous loan to be used? He must be turning in his grave. He had hoped to provide the means whereby people in the Caribbean could begin to rise above the position they were left in by the slavemasters. Hugo Chavez was a great man who died far too soon and will be remembered for his dedication to improving the lot of the dispossessed. What has Patrick Faber done? He has shown that he is a true product of what those slave masters would have predicted, that given a little education and power, the natives would act like children because that is what they are. How CAN an Education Minister sink so low?

Justice Abel slams “culture” of court adjournments
Supreme Court Justice Courtney A. Abel of Guyana this morning slammed what he described as a “culture” of adjournments that leads to a backlog in the legal system, in the face of a persistent appeal by Government-affiliated attorneys to have a lawsuit put off until Parliament can pass retrospective legislation that would render the challenge to the cruise tourism head tax nugatory. The strategy was to have the case put off until Parliament sits on Friday, June 26 – but the judge, who reluctantly agreed to a one-week adjournment, adamantly insisted on having the matter heard before Parliament meets. “They will do what they have to do; I will do what I have to do,” Abel said. “This culture of adjournments in Belize has to stop…,” he commented. The judge noted that attorneys show great ingenuity in coming up with reasons for seeking court adjournments. However, he said, when this causes things to get backed-up, the very same attorneys turn around and complain about the backlog.

PUP breaks silence on Guat’s Sarstoon incursion
Twelve days after Guatemala’s naval patrol made an incursion into Belize, at Sarstoon Island, demanding that a detachment of the Belize Coast Guard vacate Belizean territory, the Opposition People’s United Party has broken its silence on the issue. In a strongly worded press release, the Opposition calls out Prime Minister Dean Barrow, head of the National Security Council, “to immediately explain to the Belizean people why he ordered the withdrawal of the Belize Coast Guard from Belizean territory in the face of such overt acts of aggression by Guatemala; immediately cause a temporary observation post to be established on the Sarstoon Island to be manned by both the Belize Coast Guard and the Belize Defence Force until such time that a permanent Forward Operating Base for the Belize Coast Guard can be established; and urgently make the necessary strategic investments in Belize’s national security apparatus to ensure the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Belize.”

Move afoot to create seamless business space in CARICOM
CARICOM is advancing plans to set up a regime by means of which a business registered in one member state could operate in another member state without having to undergo new registration procedures. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat says the plan aims “to create a seamless space within which companies can do business.” There is already a draft policy which outlines proposals for “the Single Jurisdiction for the Registration and Incorporation of Companies” in CARICOM. The document, developed by bkp Development Research and Consulting of Germany, under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF), addresses incorporation of companies, securities, bankruptcy and other law-related matters, says a press release issued this week by the CARICOM Secretariat. National consultations on the draft policy begin this Thursday, June 11, 2015, in the Eastern Caribbean nation of St. Lucia. Amandala tried to get information on exactly what the plan is for the Belize consultation, such as the date and venue for the event(s), but the officials within the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection who handle CSME matters for Belize do not yet have any details.

Carrel Moralez, 2nd top PSE performer, wants to be a scientist
In the mid-week edition of Amandala, we introduced to you Gabriel Hope of Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning, the top performer in this year’s Primary School Examination (PSE). Now, we present to you the aspiring scientist who attained the second highest score in this year’s PSE – Carrel Moralez, the 11-year-old student of San Narciso RC School who also got the best grade for his school and his district. Moralez, who lives in Santa Clara, Corozal, received 380 of a possible 400 points on the exam (or 95%). He scored 100% on the Science portion of the exam, while he scored 97 on Math, 94 on Social Studies and 89 on English. Moralez was ecstatic when he received his results on Tuesday morning. He told us that he was expecting to place among the top performers, because he had worked very hard. He told us that he reads a lot, and does a lot of extra work outside of school. San Narciso RC’s principal, Gregorio Moralez, is celebrating not just because one of his 50 students who sat the PSE got the second highest score, but also because Carrel happens to be his nephew.

Wesley faces challenge over new graduation requirements
Graduation day is the grand climax of the academic life of any student. Even as thousands of graduates will this year enjoy this major milestone, there will be those who just did not make the cut. A group of students from Wesley College are among those who didn’t—but their inability to graduate with their peers last night is being attributed to a sudden change in graduation requirements during the final few months of the academic year. That change is being challenged on behalf of one of those students by attorney Godwin Haylock, who penned a letter on May 21, 2015 to Wesley College chairman, Rev. Roosevelt Papouloute. In that letter, Haylock outlines the case of Dante Reneau, who was advised last month that he could not graduate because he did not meet the requirements. Parents were informed in a meeting this January that the GPA requirement had been changed from 1.0 (which represents a grade of 60% to 64%) to 2.0 (which represents a grade of 65% to 70%.) Prior correspondences detailing graduation requirements had indicated that the minimum GPA to graduate is 1.0.

Court presses for hearing on cruise port head tax
–Last month, we told you of Government’s plan to introduce new legislation in Parliament, to confirm and validate the US$7 cruise tourism head tax retrospectively, amid a challenge to the tax regime lodged in the Supreme Court by Michael Feinstein, whose US$100 million Stake Bank project is stalled due to an impasse with investors in the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV.) The planned port would provide a new offshore port for the cruise tourism sector at Stake Bank Island, a few miles from Belize City; however, the development would rival the existing port at the Fort Street Tourism Village in Belize City, which claims exclusivity under a contract with the Government of Belize, to which Feinstein was a party before he sold his interest in that investment to Royal Caribbean. Under the existing arrangement, Stake Bank would not be guaranteed a portion of the head tax.

The Reporter

A bright future for youth cadets
Twenty at risk youths graduated this week from the National Youth Cadet Service Corp training program. The gradates demonstrated their skills at their graduation ceremony held at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (ITVET) compound. The program, operated by the Ministry of […]

Government launches anti-child labour education campaign
The Government of Belize, in commemoration of World Day Against Child Labour, launched a public education campaign on Friday. The campaign, set to raise awareness about the different forms of child labour, was built around this year’s theme for this year’s commemoration, “Child Labour is […]

CitCo distributes land to employees
The Belize City Council, on Thursday afternoon, held ceremony at the Holy Redeemer Parish Hall, where 207 parcels of land were distributed to CitCo staff who have been employed with the Council for three years or more, to the delight of the employees. The […]

Bernice Yorke student tops PSE 2015
The results for the 2015 Primary School Examination (PSE) are in, and Gabriel Pope of the Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning is this year’s top performer. Pope scored 386 out of a possible 400 points, giving a grade of 96.5 percent. His grade put him […]

Upgrades for the George Price Highway
The George Price Highway is scheduled to get major upgrades between Belmopan and Santa Elena. In a joint release issued this week the Inter-American Development Bank and the European Union said that they approved some BZ $65 million in financing for the project, which will […]

Feinstein Stake Bank case delayed again!
It is what it is, declared a philosophical Michael Feinstein, developer of the Stake Bank cruise port facility off Belizes coast, after his court case against Fort Street Tourism Village and the Government of Belize was postponed again Thursday morning. Justice of the Supreme Court, […]

Cop shoots man with gun at Element night club.
Belize City police are currently conducting an internal investigation after an on-duty police officer, working as a security guard at the popular Element night-club on Newtown Barracks, shot a man, who reportedly tried to enter with a gun.. The man, identified as Kareen Betancourt, […]

Driver in Ladyville accident served with notice
The driver of a Chevy SUV involved in an accident near the Maskall junction which claimed the life of 57-year-old pastor Oscar Chacon, has been served with a notice of intended prosecution and may face several charges, including manslaughter by negligence. According to Police […]

GOB and UNICEF improve early childhood development
The Government of Belize, in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), is continuing its drive to develop early Childhood Development Services through sectoral integration. Denise Robeateau, UNICEF education officer in Belize, explained this week that the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and […]

Largest food drive in San Pedro history
The San Pedro Red Cross (SPRC) in collaboration with the San Pedro Food Bank, the Saga Humane Society and Sperro, a non-profit volunteer group, held a food drive on the island on Saturday with great success, saying it was the biggest drive they’ve organized. […]

Belize shrimp on international market
A United Kingdom-based seafood agent, Blue Earth Foods, has been awarded an exclusive contract to provide the UK’s largest chain of retailers, Sainsbury’s, with Belizean shrimp. Blue Earth, part of Thailand’s SeaFresh Industry which produces shrimp, has started providing Sainbury’s with shrimp from Belize […]

Police confiscate five guns over the weekend
In a number of separate raids and operations, Belize police seized and five guns, 40 rounds of ammunition and more than five pounds of marijuana. In the first incident on Saturday afternoon a businessman on Freetown Road reported that a man of dark complexion […]

Caribbean health officials talk health security
Health officials from across the Caribbean met in Trinidad and Tobago over the weekend where they discussed mechanisms to strengthen the region’s ability to respond to new and emerging threats following outbreaks of Chikingunya and Ebola several months ago. The Caribbean Public Health Agency […]

Fireman burned to death after taking a bullet to the head
Ralston Patnett, 51, a veteran fireman, met his death around midnight on Monday, by the very thing he spent his life fighting – fire. It was deliberately set, after someone shot him inside his car. The incident occurred in a remote area of Dangriga, […]

Fire Department gets new equipment
The Belize National Fire Service, on Tuesday, received over $80,000 worth of new equipment with the assistance of the Ministry of Labour to help the department improve its ability to contain and control fires around the country. According to Benisford Matura, Belize National Fire […]

‘Simon Bolivar’ docks to commemorate 10th PetroCaribe Anniversary
A Venezuelan naval training vessel and its crew anchored in Belizean waters on Thursday for an official ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the PetroCaribe initiative, introduced by the Boilvarian nation in 2005. The Governor General, Sir Colville Young, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar […]

Ivan Ramos resigns from the House!
Ivan Ramos, the People’s United Party’s (PUP) Dangriga area representative who stepped aside a month ago, accusing his party of essentially forcing him out for newcomer, Anthony Sabal, resigned on Monday as a member of the House of Representatives with immediate effect, without giving his […]

Former Immigration CEO created disharmony, says Minister Hulse
Minister of Immigration, Godwin Hulse told the Reporter on Wednesday, that former CEO, Candelaria Saldivar was removed to try and bring harmony to the department. “Many people found that her strengths were too stiff”, Hulse claimed in an interview, and “the Prime Minister and the Cabinet decided that we will […]

We have been greatly encouraged by the action of the General Legal Council in taking a more hands-on approach to the workings of the justice system in Belize. The justice system is only as good as the integrity of those officers who administer it, and sad to say, officer quality […]

Stranded Guatemalan gunboat raises alarm!
Anti-Guatemalan sentiment spawned after an incident in Sarstoon on May 28, 2015, likely contributed to serious public outrage and concern following the news that a Guatemalan gunboath had run aground on the reef just off Middle Caye in the Glover’s Reef system. What was a Guatemalan gunboat doing so far […]

Did youth die at hands of police? Caye Caulker residents claim murder and stage riot!
Police constables, Leonard Nuñez and Hallet King find themselves at the Hattieville Prison, after they were remanded until July 14th on a joint charge of murder for the death of Hilberto Sotz. The18-year-old student resident of Caye Caulker was in police custody at the time […]

Belize wins! McCaulay scores 2-1 against Dominican Republic
Belize’s most prolific international striker Deon McCaulay, added 2 goals to his personal tally as he led the Belize Jaguars to a 2-1 victory over the Dominican Republic. The game was the first in the series of World Cup 2018 qualifiers at the Felix […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Jaguars return home victorious
Belize’s national football team, the Jaguars, gave a commendable performance at the Estadio Olimpico Felix Sanchez in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, taking a 2-1 away win. On Sunday at the FFB Stadium they must ensure that Los Quisqueyanos do not overturn their one-goal lead. But before they got […]

Drug bust in Corozal Town
Reports coming out of Corozal Town are that police have made a drug bust. According to reports, Corozal police were conducting a routine checkpoint when they searched a pickup truck with Belize City license plate and found a container full of marijuana inside the vehicle. Information is still sketchy but […]

Police change command on Caye Caulker amidst arrests, interdictions
Commissioner of Police Allen Whylie has dispatched Inspector Dehanne Augustine to take command of the Caye Caulker police station in the wake of the death of 18 year old Hilberto Sotz earlier this week. Inspector Augustine has a background in community policing and came to public notice as […]

Two type III ambulances handed over to the Western Regional Hospital
The Western Regional Hospital now boasts two new, much needed Ambulances thanks to the Road Accident Emergency Services in the Ministry of health. Reports are the Two Type III Ambulances were officially handed over to the hospital and the Belize Emergency Response Team (BERT). The initiative is part of the […]

Unrest in Guyana over rice market and petrocaribe funds
The PetroCaribe Program allows participating countries to purchase oil from Venezuela on conditions of preferential payment. Some of the money is paid upfront while the rest over several years. Under a trade agreement with Venezuela, Guyana supplies rice to Venezuela and the proceeds go to the PetroCaribe fund which is […]

Traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway sends five to the NRH
A traffic mishap on the Philip Goldson highway sent five persons with varying injuries to the Northern Regional Hospital this afternoon. Authorities say the incident occurred between miles 46 and 47 in the outskirts of Carmelita village around 1:30pm. Reports are that six persons travelling north bound in a red […]

Belize Bank Ltd. donates $20,000. to the National Elite Basketball League
This past weekend, basketball fans gathered in Cayo to watch the first game of the championship finals played between San Pedro Tiger Sharks and Cayo Western Ballaz of the National Elite Basketball League. San Pedro Tiger Sharks stole the game against Cayo Western Ballaz. The second game was played in […]

Traffic accident leaves 2 persons injured
Reports reaching our newsroom are that 2 females were injured this afternoon in a traffic accident in northern Belize. According to reports, the victims have been transported to the Northern Regional Hospital. We will be updating this story as more information becomes available. Photo courtesy of CTV3 News.

Belize stop Dominican Republic in World Cup qualifying opener
Belize is in the driver’s seat heading into the second leg of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying tournament after defeating the Dominican Republic 2-1 at the Felix Sanchez Center in Santo Domingo. Star striker Deon McCauley proved to be worth the trouble to bring home to appear […]

Police charge two for murder of Ralston Patnett
Dangriga Police have charged 30-year-old Brandon Mason Kerr of mile 21, George Price Highway, and 32-year-old Lindberg Oxford Williams of Commerce Bight Road Dangriga were charged jointly with the murder retired fire chief 51 year old Ralston Wilburn Patnett of Dangriga. Patnett was reportedly shot with a 12-gauge […]

Venezuelan ambassador says they will not “supervise” Petrocaribe; program will keep going
The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is marking ten years of Petrocaribe partnership with Belize. During the ceremonies marking the arrival of the Venezuelan navy vessel ‘Simon Bolivar’, Ambassador of Venezuela to Belize H.E. Yoel Perez Marcano was asked for his views on the spending habits of the […]

Nightclub owner pulled gun for payment
Police are investigating an aggravated assault allegedly perpetrated by a nightclub owner in Punta Gorda Town against a customer who he alleged had not paid for his beer. Owner of Galaxy Nightclub, 36 year old Jin Zhou Wu is said to have pursued Hopeville area resident Edward Bochub […]

Toledo students improving on PSE, St. Peter Claver lead the way
Chief Education Officer for the Toledo District Education Center, Dr. Carmen Jane Lopez, cites an improvement in results for the 2015 Primary School Examination (PSE) over 2014. The preliminary results released on Monday show that about three quarters of the over 600 students from Toledo who sat the […]

Moist and unstable weather conditions to prevail today and over the weekend
The general forecast for today, Friday, June 12th is for relatively moist and unstable conditions. The 24 hour forecast is for similar conditions but with a few showers and thunderstorms over some coastal areas and certain parts inland of the country. The weather tonight is expected to be cloudy with […]

Guatemala’s naval vessel is still on our reef
The 65 foot Guatemalan navy vessel that ran aground on Belize’s reef on Wednesday night around 11:23pm is still stuck on the Belize reef. According to reports, the timeline for removing the vessel from the reef is uncertain, and the boat is being treated the same as any other civilian, […]


Alice Needs a Ride, Henry Needs a Home: Dog Walking at SAGA Humane Society
Yesterday I walked over to SAGA Humane Society to meet up with Alice aka Caia aka Coconut Gial. I had met her a few months ago, during The Great Sargassum Outbreak (Sarmaggedon 2015) on the beach. She wanted to play fetch the coconut with every single tourist that went by. For a dog with some years on her…and clearly MANY litters behind her…she had so much energy and spent half her day in the water. And heartbreaker Henry. He has been at Ft Dog since March 2014. He is calm and LOVING. He just wants to lean into your legs…or when you bring him to the beach, into your lap. I would take Henry in a heart beat. If my three cats wouldn’t murder me in my sleep.

April Dives Down with Chuck and Robbie’s
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to “swim with the fishes”? Not in the mobster sort of way – but in a scuba diving way? I’ve wondered about diving but am scared to DEATH of actually seeing what I’m swimming with sometimes. I’d like to just pretend that all sea life evacuates the water when I decide to swim. However, our friend April enjoys every second in the water and went out with Chuck and Robbie’s while she was here. Here is her account of scuba diving……….I will just live vicariously through her post and pictures. Did you know that the second largest barrier reef in the world, The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, is just minutes from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye? Well, it is and I had to check it out! Fortunately, I received a personal recommendation to Chuck and Robbie’s Dive Shop. So, without further ado I headed down to the dock to make a morning reservation.. I was up early and excited to experience this underwater masterpiece. I arrived shortly before 8 am on the dock to obtain my gear and meet up with the rest of the morning divers. I requested to dive Hol Chan. I thought this was a wise choice since I really wanted to see as much as possible. Where better to see great things than this protected area. So, with excitement and anticipation I took a seat awaiting my 9 am departure. As I looked around, I thought, “This dock is a busy place.”

“Mercy Mercy Me” in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize.
Last weekend seems like a blur to me. Probably because I spent a good deal of it in a blurry Belikin state! It all started Friday evening when I picked up Geordie (regular readers will ‘know’ Geordie from previous editions) and his colleague Chrissie who recently replaced our friend Dave as 2 IC for BATSUB, They caught the last Maya Island Air flight from the Municipal Airport and I collected them from the San Pedro airstrip and took them back to the two bedroom apartment we have on the ground floor of our house. They stowed their bags and then joined us upstairs and within minutes Chrissie and Rose were chatting away as if they’d been friends for years. We’ve always had great times when in the company of the BATSUB team but now Rose has someone of the same gender to chat with. In the evening we went out for a few beers (well maybe slightly more than a few) at Carlo & Ernie’s Runway Bar & Grill but were all up bright and early (early is a relative description in this case), had breakfast (bacon sandwiches if you must know) and then set off for a drive north to show Chrissie a little of the island.

More than one way to clean up in Belize
It was a clean sweep. From the Sir Barry Bowen Bridge to just short of the turnoff for the Palapa Bar, nearly 60 people picked the roadside clean of trash on Friday morning. The volunteers were split nearly evenly between a Houston mission group, Adventure Sports Ministry, and friends and neighbors from the neighborhood. The “locals” showed up ready to rumble with homemade spear sticks. Carmen Arenal from Coco Locos pulled up with a box of heavy duty trash bags and some spare rubber gloves. (Carmen also bought two cases of chilled water from Village Market to distribute as the day heated up.) Timing is everything and today happened to be the day that the town trash truck makes its foray to the north. As we were wrapping up the day, with mounds of trash bags at several spots along the road, the town workers rumbled by and picked it all up to take it to the landfill. I am in awe of the timing of all of this. The crew from Adventure Sports Ministry had been planning a roadside clean up for today all along. When we heard about it — my neighbors and I have been talking about doing this very thing — word swept from Facebook page to Facebook page.

Dangriga: Ivan Ramos resigns
Whenever Hon. Dean Oliver Barrow, the Prime Minister of Belize and the Leader of the ruling United Democratic Party decides to call for general elections, it will be the fifteenth in the modern post-World War Two of what we now know as the nation of Belize. On April 30th, 1954, 20 candidates, (9 Peoples United Party – General Workers Union; 9 National Party; and 2 Independents) contested for 9 seats in the first election under universal adult suffrage for the Legislative Assembly. The PUP-GWU won 8 seats and the election and their ascension ushered a new era of “home-rule” and the voters had given the first such elected “party in government” a mandate for self-government. The purpose of this hopefully brief introduction is to alert my readers that in covering the impending General Elections for my blog, I intend to keep history firmly in mind as I make my assumptions, presumptions, conjectures, assessments, predictions et cetera. The past is always prologue to the future.

Alan Arthurs after winning three consecutive terms as Dangriga area representative won the convention battle and lost the election war in 1974. The constituency’s Garifuna residents had closed ranks and I remember a lady I knew only as Ms. Castillo telling me, a third form student at the just opened Stann Creek Ecumenical High School, that Arthurs had not supported the workers in a recent strike against the Citrus Company of British Honduras. Simeon Joseph had emerged as one of their leaders. Most of the workers at the company in Pomona at that time were Garifuna. There was a schism between the town and the village, between the workers and the so-called Kriol and expatriates who managed the factory and Arthurs became identified with the latter, particularly by union firebrand Meshek Mawema who had led the strike. In about a year after the strike the company had started to replace its Garifuna field workers with non-union people brought in from Honduras and Guatemala, but all that is a story for another time.

The Backdoor Of Belize
Two years ago John Mcafee fled Belize rather than face questioning as “a person of interest” in the case of the shooting death of his neighbour in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. On May 29th he posted on his Facebook page that he had surreptitiously visited Belize earlier in the year and put up a collage of him crossing the Rio Hondo at Blue Creek as evidence. He wrote: “A few people have doubted my frequent visits to Belize over the past two years. Anyone who knows me, of course, knows full well that I come and go as I please. My usual place of entry is what I call “The Back Door Of Belize”. It is a tiny immigration station across the river from the Mexican village of Union. Union, by the way, has a population of 61 inhabirants. The village in the Blue Creek district of Belize, across the river, where the immigration station is located, has, as best I can ascertain, a population of 8. It is an ideal entry point for someone like myself, or indeed for anyone who can’t be bothered with the formalities associated with leaving one country and entering another. “At night everything is closed, even the boat ferries. The river at that point, however, is very shallow and one can wade across it in a matter of seconds. I have never done this at night since I have an irrational fear of crocodiles, and people disappear into their bellies with great regularity in this region. Call me a coward if you wish. Sticks and stones….as they say.

The day the music went live ….
34 years ago, on Tuesday, May 12th, 1981, Evan X Hyde told me that Bob Marley had died. He had died the day before. It was around 2 in the afternoon and I was standing near the light table busying myself with getting ready to layout the first pages of the weekend paper. I don’t know if he had seen me come to work because I was even more self-absorbed than usual. I had come to work that day with a fully-loaded .22 caliber revolver stuck in the back of my waistband. Back then I used to wear a tam, and I had stopped combing my hair. I was a week or so shy of my 20th birthday. I tried to not to react outwardly to the news. Me, and indeed it seemed most of my cohorts in the struggle, had been listening to a lot of Bob Marley lately. We had just started to discover his revolutionary message and it struck a chord with a riotous resonance in our youthful rebellious souls. We were at war with the government, our society, the established order. And we had a hero. Robert Nesta Marley had burst on our consciousness like an atomic bomb revealing life as we knew existed but also as how we knew instinctually it should exist. And then he died, but the music went live.

Belize’s pulsating drummer, vocalist and reggae star, Delly McGregor became the stylistic voice over the band Bamiki Bandula’s tracks from the early 1980’s in Belize to the 1990’s in the Los Angeles reggae scene. The Belizean born and bred artist has transcended himself within the Los Angeles music world, and has cut a name for himself on the city’s reggae scene. The memorable hit tune, My Love, that became a big hit for Bamiki Bandula in 1983, gave McGregor his connection with Belizean music lovers, and later made him a prominent reggae vocalist among southern California’s reggae lovers from the Golden Seals in Long Beach to the House of Blues in Hollywood, and later on to the beach cities in L.A.

The Belize Boledo Story, a saga for generations
The Belize “Boledo and Sunday Lottery” numbers game has been around longer than I have been on Planet Earth in this form and reportedly was started in Belize when Belizeans returning from working on the building of the Panama Canal (1904-1914) brought the game back with them. Lately I have started reporting on the going-ons in this institution which was privatized in 2009. I will have more on its history as I continue to report on the current state of play. It’s been a long time coming … I have heard anecdotal reports that the enduring popularity of Belize’s boledo has meant that it is not only played in nearby neighbouring countries like Livingston, Puerto Barrios, and Melchor de Mencos, Guatemala, Cuidad de Chetumal, Mexico, Roatan and Puerto Cortes, Honduras, but also in Jamaica and the diaspora communities of Los Angeles, Miami and Brooklyn, New York. Lord knows I have fulfilled a request or two from parts afar to buy a numba on someone’s behalf and in one memorable case long ago, they even won. Anyway “Brads” (Brads Gaming Company has the license to operate the game) “mussi mi tek wan lik” Monday night when “Ought Seven” popped up on the machines. I won’t go so far as to say they lost (paid out more than they took in) but it must have been one of the highest pay out for this year.

I want to write …
This picture was posted on facebook a few days ago by the photographer Noel Escalante and he wondered as to the fate of the young pilot who by all accounts took off into a clear near cloudless March sky and for all intents and purposes disappeared into the wild blue yonder. The story is a painful scar for Harold’s relatives and friends, particularly his mother, because it is a wound that the passage of time has not and may cannot heal – my deepest condolences go out to her. I wrote that article and indeed I wrote all of the articles, except for one, on that front page of AMANDALA as I used to do in those days as the editor of the newspaper. For me this is a photo of a headline that is a “lemma” in the collage of the articles I wrote for the newspaper. It remains fresh and sharp in my mind, my memory, my soul, my psyche. I knew Harold. I considered him a friend. I had seen him just before he disappeared and the group of friends who was gathered there with him had no clue whatsoever that we would never see him again alive or dead or in the flesh.

International Sourcesizz

Why Eco-Developers May Choose Belize Over Costa Rica
In the world of ecologically-conscious real estate development, Costa Rica has enjoyed favored status in the Americas for a few decades; however, the challenges of getting some of these projects started are prompting some eco-developers to look at friendlier jurisdictions such as Belize. As a real estate activity, eco-development is firmly established in Costa Rica, which means that the government has created a number of laws, rules and programs to control this business practice. It is easy to understand the government’s motivation in this regard; after all, the natural beauty of Costa Rica has become one of its greatest assets and drivers of gross domestic product. Nonetheless, some eco-developers see this deep involvement by the government as a bureaucratic and inflexible obstacle they must negotiate in order to carry out their projects. Unlike Costa Rica, the young Central American nation of Belize, which is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, does not challenge eco-developers with as many bureaucratic hazards, thereby allowing them to realize their projects with greater freedom. Let’s take a look at two examples:

Storms over Caribbean, Yucatan have low 5-day chance of forming tropical system
The National Hurricane Center is tracking a patch of disorganized showers and thunderstorms from the northwestern Caribbean Sea to Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, but gives it only a 10 percent chance of forming a tropical system over the next five days. The storms are associated with an upper-level trough of low pressure, said Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake and Senior Hurricane Specialist James Franklin in a 1 p.m. tropical weather outlook message. "This activity is expected to move northwestward into the southwestern Gulf of Mexico by late Sunday where development, if any, is unlikely due to strong upper-level winds," the message said.

Expect a rainy Saturday, cool Sunday
The Atlantic tropics are still pretty quiet. The National Hurricane Center is watching a tiny area of disturbed weather off the coast of Belize. The moisture is expected to push north across the Yucatan Peninsula, but it is unlikely we will see any tropical development. The Eastern Pacific is already on named storm number three Carlos. If you are planning a trip to Acapulco you may want to keep an eye out.

Oil Palm Causes “Environmental Disaster” in Guatemala, Group Says
A river in Guatemala has become the scene of an “environmental disaster” due to the runoff from oil palm plantations, the Latin American Network against Tree Monoculture, or Recoma, said Friday. The environmental damage was reported by local communities in May and gained public attention this week when thousands of dead fish appeared in the La Pasion River, located in Peten province, which borders Mexico and Belize. In a statement co-signed by 18 Latin American environmental groups, Recoma decried “the terrible ecological, social and environmental disaster affecting species and the ecosystem in the region, and also fishermen, villages and communities that use and benefit from the La Pasion River in Guatemala and Mexico.” Area residents say the Repsa oil palm company is responsible for polluting the river with chemical compounds. “Negative impacts of the oil palm agroindustry on ecosystems are numerous: the intensive use of toxic products dumped into water sources and the contamination caused by oxidation lagoons,” Recoma said.

Guyana’s PetroCaribe Fund almost bankrupt; no money to pay rice farmers
The PetroCaribe Fund that was set up as part of Guyana’s rice for oil arrangement with Venezuela is just about empty. And Minister of State in the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon says it means government will somehow have to find about US$15 million to pay rice farmers for the next shipment of rice to Venezuela. Harmon blamed the state of the fund on “the casual and, in some cases, very callous manner” in which the previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic administration dealt with the proceeds from the PetroCaribe arrangement. “The fund is almost bankrupt. There is nothing of it,” he told a post-Cabinet media briefing yesterday.


  • BELIZE SPEARFISHING, 3min. No views Buck visits an island off the coast of Belize for some spear fishing for Lion fish.

  • Belize Kids First celebrates anniversary, 3min.


  • TEENAGE PREGNANCY RATE IS HIGH IN BELIZE., 6min. Belize has a high rate of teenage pregnancies with the Cayo District showing the highest numbers in the country. This information comes from data gathered by the Go Belize Alumni Association, a nongovernmental organization focused on youth leadership in sexual and reproductive health in Belize. In an effort to curb the incidence of teenage pregnancies, GO Belize has embarked on a project called the GO Belize Advocacy Project, From Rights to Responsibility - Prevention through education. Through the initiative, the organization intends to implement comprehensive sexuality education in high schools in the Cayo district. The organization has launched its project with a four day training of trainers for the association’s alumni who will in turn implement the project on the ground. The training began yesterday in Orange Walk and focuses on advocacy and media.

  • Belize police CHANCY, 2.5min. A bunch of youths got together and did a song about police brutality in Belize and its pretty accurate. The message in this vid is powerful. Unu check it out.

  • Rappelling at Bocawina Park near Hopkins Belize, 3.5min. We travelled about 30 minutes from downtown Hopkins Belize to go zip lining at Mama Noots. At the midpoint we did a short Rappel off of one of the towers. This video captures the Rappel.

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