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#505377 - 06/20/15 06:51 AM Today's Belize News: June 20, 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

Catching up with the Lobster Crawl at Di’Vu
For the entire week the lobster crawl has been making its highly anticipated stops at some of our favorite restaurants around town including Pineapple’s, Crazy Canuks, El Divino, Pedro’s Pizza, and Amber Beach Bar to name a few. Today we got a chance to catch up on all the lobster yumminess at Di’Vu located on Wet Willy’s Dock. Be sure to crawl on over to Pirates Treasure tonight to get those passports stamped and remember to join in on all of the action tomorrow June 20th at the Central Park BLOCK PARTY! Trust us you don’t want to miss out o!

Baydr Sajia and Ronnie Sosa represent Belize at XV Central American Beach Volleyball Championship
Two island residents represented Belize in the XV Central American Beach Volleyball Championship held from Friday, June 12th to Sunday, June 14th in Puerto Cortez, Honduras. 31-year-old Baydr Sajia from San Pedro Town and 30-year-old Ronnie Sosa from Caye Caulker Village are long time beach volleyball players, and even though they did not win the championship, they certainly made Belize proud. The tournament featured 11 female teams and 12 male teams from participating countries Costa Rica (CR), Guatemala (GUA), El Salvador (ESA), Honduras (HON), Nicaragua (NIC), Belize (BIZ), and Panama (PAN). Participating women’s team included: CRC 1 Karen Cope/Natalia Alfaro, CRC 2 Eugenia Ramírez/Yuliana González, GUA 1 María José Orellana/María André Orellana, GUA 2 Blanca Recinos/Ada Patricia Villalobos, ESA 1 Ivonne Soler de Tobar/Laura Molina, ESA 2Kathya Vásquez/María Fernanda Vargas, HON 1 Gina Flores/Martha Euceda, HON 2 Christianne Etches/Jarisa Hynds, NCA 1 Elia Machado/Lolette Rodríguez, NCA 2 Swan Mendoza/Claudia Machado, and PAN Kihary Nicoll Pérez/Hashkyn Cuero. Male teams included: BIZ Baydr Sajia/ Ronnie Sosa, CRC 1 Diego Alpízar/Julio Alvarez, CRC 2 Bryan Monje/Richard Smith, GUA 1 Julio Recinos/Luis García, GUA 2 Andy Leonardo/Erick Garrido, ESA 1 Carlos Escobar/David Vargas, ESA 2 Franklin Flores/Armando Guatemala, HON 1 Mercuri Miller/Wilfredo Vega, HON 2 Luis Baide/Manuel Serrano, NCA 1Rubén Mora/Dany Alvarado, NCA 2 Gerald Umaña/Gerson Contreras), and PAN Carlos Enrique Sanjur/Jasón Omar Quintero. The tournament was divided into six group, with Sajia and Sosa playing in Group D against HON 1 and PAN male teams.

USAV Brandy Military Station conducting Land Operations in Belize
USAV Brandy Military Station was spotted off the coast of San Pedro on Tuesday, June 16th. The 53/10 meter special operation vessel entered Belizean waters on Saturday, June 13th (according to Port of Belize logs) on a special training mission. The USAV Brandy is part of the Exercise Tradewinds, a United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) sponsored training exercise held annually in the Caribbean. The vessel was seen at around 3:30PM attempting to pass the ‘Entrada San Pedro’ cut. Exercise Tradewinds has two phases, Maritime and Land Operations. On board the vessel is a team of four officers and 36 other ranks from the Coast Guard, and three other ranks as supporting staff. The Maritime Phase took place in St. Kitts and Nevis from Saturday, May 30th to Thursday, June 9th. The Land Operations Phase are being held in Belize from Sunday, June 14th to Wednesday, June 24th. The aim of Exercise Tradewinds is to help Caribbean nations to be better able to counter land and maritime security threats such as human smuggling, and trafficking of illegal weapons and ammunition.

Work continues on North Ambergris Caye Road
Work on the second phase of the North Ambergris Caye road commenced about a month ago and it is to comprise of four miles of cemented road. The project was expected to last three months, depending on the weather. In the first weeks, the road has been widened, extended, filled with layers of hardcore material and compacted. The work is being done by Romel Burgess Construction and aims at improving the tourism fabric on the island. This second phase comes with an estimated cost of $4 million and is being financed by the Government of Belize (GOB) in coordination with the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC). According to Deputy Mayor, Gary Greif, the project will not just boost tourism but also add more traffic on the north part of the island, benefiting the north business community on a whole. “The first direct benefit of this infrastructure development will be for the golf cart rentals and the people that sell fuel. As the road becomes more accessible, more people will drive up north, thus increasing the consumption of fuel.” He also touched on the impact it will have on tourism. “It will also definitely boost the economy of the island as there will be better accessibility to the northern hotels. Visitors and residents alike will see the benefits. If a guest wants to come to downtown San Pedro they will not have to worry about a bumpy ride to town because the road will be in excellent condition. In turn, town businesses get a boost as well,” said Greif. Even though the project is slated for just seven miles, the Central Government has plans to extend the pavement up to Basil Jones area where lots have been subdivided and given to residents of San Pedro.

Empowering Women through new markets for Invasive Lionfish Jewelry
Blue Ventures, a Sarteneja based organization, focusing on lionfish jewelry, held a presentation in San Pedro on Tuesday, June 9th at the Hol Chan Marine Reserve office. The presentation was aimed at introducing the skill to six island women. Disadvantaged women from fishing families were shown how to make lionfish jewelry that can be sold to tourists and earn an extra income. The event is centered with the purpose of providing a means of economic empowerment for these women and their families. It is expected that 10 women from across the country will be selected following the community presentation from at least four coastal communities across Belize to participate in a 3-day training to be held in August in Belmopan City. According to Country Coordinator, Jennifer Chapman, at each presentation there is an application form which every participant needs to fill out in order to participate in the workshop. “The 3-day workshop taking place in August is being facilitated and organized by Blue Ventures with the assistance of two Belizean lionfish jewelers as trainers. It will be done in Belmopan the center of the country and therefore more accessible for women from the country side to attend,” said Chapman via a phone interview. “The objective of the workshop will be to train participants in three main areas: safe handling of lionfish and preparation of materials, construction and design of jewelry and lessons of business development as well.”

Ambergris Today

Graduation Season is here!!!
Celebrating this week is the senior class of Isla Bonita Elementary School. Continuing in the island tradition of Uniform Signing started by San Pedro High School, the students graduating this Saturday had fun writing messages on each other's uniforms. Congratulations to all the Graduates.

Celebrity Spotting – Chef Christy Bono Vacations in San Pedro
Famous Southern California chef and restaurant owner Christy Bono on vacation in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, comments on the great hospitality of islanders and the good food of Belize. Chisty is the daughter of the late singer Sonny Bono (Sonny & Cher: "I Got You Babe") who later turned politician, first as the mayor of Palm Springs and then as a U.S. congressman. She is also the stepdaughter of award winning singer Cher and the sister of Chasity Bono. Christy (55) got famous on her own merits as an accomplished chef, having owned and run several upscale restaurants in Los Angeles and Long Beach over a span of 25 years. She got the passion for cooking from her late father Sonny Bono, who had owned a restaurant in West Hollywood, CA.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Solidifying the Caribbean as a Serious Trade Contender
The Caribbean put up an emphatic presentation at the EU-CELAC Summit 2015 in Brussels last week where over 500 delegates from Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean convened under the theme “Promoting inclusive and sustainable growth by enhancing the role of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises”. The event hosted by the European Commission, was attended by a delegation from the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), the only regional trade, export development and investment promotions Agency of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group and who’s presence ensured the visibility of the comparatively small region against the vast populous countries of Latin America with the attending audience.

The Retiree Program That Can Save You Thousands
Since they often head back to Canada to visit grandchildren, the couple decided that the country’s retiree program, the Qualified Retired Persons program, gave them the most flexibility and saved them money. The program, run by the Belizean Tourism Board, is easy to qualify for. Aside from submitting paperwork like birth certificates, marriage license, and a clean criminal record, the most important requirements are that you be 45 or older and have an income of at least $2,000 per month from a pension, Social Security, or some other stable source that is deposited in a bank in Belize. The Belizean Tourism Board has also been known to accept applications from those who deposit $24,000 from a savings account into a Belizean bank annually or who have a monthly income of $2,000 or more from retirement investment accounts. Paul and Gail had some expensive must-haves they wanted to bring with them to Belize, and the program helped with that. You can bring in a container of household goods, a car (less than three years old), a light aircraft, or a boat tax-free.

Mrs. Elda Lara Hancock passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Lara/Hancock family on the passing of Mrs. Elda Lara Hancock. May her soul rest in peace.

Colorado State University's Conservation Leadership Program
The students of Colorado State University's Conservation Leadership Program recently visited us in Sarteneja to learn about our Lionfish Project. After hearing about our upcoming lionfish jewellery workshop, for which we have funding to support 10 participants, and hearing the stories of some of the applicants, these incredible students felt compelled to launch a campaign so that we can say YES to more women, increasing impact and spreading the benefit further. Belize is 25/26 in the 2014 Gender Gap Report for the LAC region. This workshop helps women gain economic independence and addresses the lionfish invasion head on. It costs just USD 500 per participant - please donate to this worthy cause! Thank you CSU-CLP students!

Peccary sightings
Courtesy Shipstern Conservation and Management Area! It’s not often that we have the opportunity to feature a wildlife encounter in the field. The chances of capturing those images are extremely slim but every now and again we get lucky. Last week, our Rangers ran into a drove of about 75 white-lipped peccaries and one of our Rangers was able to get out his camera just in time to catch this image. White-lipped peccaries are very special specie as they are a critical key indicator species. A presence of these is usually indicative of a reasonably healthy ecosystem.

The Fact Corner. Courtesy: Belize Sugar Industries!
Take a look at our new "Fact Corner" where we will be sharing and highlighting facts about the Belize Sugar Industries.The purpose of this segment is to inform and educate our Belizean & international audience with factual and reliable information!

Reminder - ART IN THE PARK - today Saturday June 20th!

June 7th – June 13th, 2015 Report
Another great Orvis group trip led by Joe from Orvis Travel with everyone getting some good fishing time in despite some windy and overcast conditions. Tarpon fishing was pretty darn good for those who didn’t mind doing some blind casting.

Mr. Romilio "Pelon" Interiano passes away
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Interiano family on the passing of Mr. Romilio "Pelon" Interiano. May his soul rest in peace. Mr. Interiano was diagnosed with a brain tumor and passed away in Orange Walk.

New business on Caye Caulker
New business on d island...Stressless Tours! Owners are Keith Nichlas Anderson and Joanna Penelope and it's located on Calle Al Sol, Caye Caulker. Best wishes for them both!!

Channel 7

San Pedro Resort Owner Courts Gay Tourists
San Pedro town has long been known for its thriving gay community – but one resort owner is taking it to another level completely: he’s courting the gay tourist market – with an event called the Biggest LGBT Pride Event in Belize’s History. It’s a week long event planned for September at the Caribbean Villas Hotel and gay guests will be regaled with, quote, “Drag shows, Toga Parties, Leather & Lace Parties, Reg-gay Nights, a Masquerade Ball, a Runway Model Show and more... !!” Now, the resort owner says he’s just trying to tap into an available and lucrative tourist market – but he’s also toeing the fault line for one of Belize’s biggest cultural wars. Today Caleb Orozco told us, bring it on:.. Caleb Orosco - Executive Director, UNIBAM "I was as surprised as you to have received the Facebook release from our people in the community and for us we applaud any private sector event that promotes a climate of inclusion."

Police Catch Castro - Girlfriend Says He Made Her Swallow a Bullett!
Tonight a Dangriga woman has a bullet lodged in her, but not from a shooter – she was made to swallow it by an abusive boyfriend! That boyfriend was caught in Dangriga today –and he is Kenworth Castro – the nephew of Minister of State Edmond Castro. Earlier this week police responded to a complaint in Maskall Village – where Castro had tied her up and stuffed an undershirt in her mouth as a gag. She was holding unto her infant child – but he took the child out of her hand – and put the baby to sleep. He then texted his cousin to bring a gun for him and took out three bullets – one of which he forced into her mouth. He told her to give him back the bullet – but fearing for her life, she did not. That’s when he tried to forced it out of her mouth, and during that process, she swallowed it – the X-Ray shows that it is still lodged there days later. She went to hide out in Dangriga – and today, after being wanted for two days – police picked up Castro in that southern town – where he was still pursuing her at her family home. He will be brought back to the Belize District for charges

The Battle For Channel 5 Going to The CCJ
The battle over ownership and control of the Channel 5 TV Station is going to Caribbean Court of Justice. That’s what the attorney for the current government controlled BTL asked the Court of Appeal today to allow. Last year in November, attorneys for the Aschroft Alliance and BTL went before the judges of the Court of Appeal. BTL attorney Michael Young argued before the court that the action by the former directors of the company – before it was nationalised – did the telecommunications company a serious financial injury when they divested Channel 5 as an asset and spun its ownership into a completely separate entity. He submitted that 10 million dollars of revenues from BTL was lost when both companies were separated, and that those former directors ought to be personally liable for that money. The Supreme Court agreed with him, but at the Court of Appeal, the panel accepted the arguments of Eamon Courtenay, the attorney for the former Directors. His position was that they were protected from any such liability by an indemnity. The Court of Appeal Agreed with them, but the current Management of BTL is refusing to accept that as a final decision. Michael Young made an application today to the Court of Appeal to be granted leave to appeal to the Caribbean Court of Justice. Outside of court, we asked him why:

Cardona Says "No Suspension"; He's Still A Practicing Attorney
Attorney Marcel Cardona says the news of his professional demise has been greatly exaggerated. Two weeks ago, this media house and others reported that the General Legal Council had decided to suspend Cardona for a year based on a complaint of professional misconduct. This complaint was lodged in June of 2013 and it alleged that he had defrauded a foreign client, and also allegedly confessed in an email to bribing a court officer for the release of an accused person. In interviews on June 5th, Cardona confirmed that he too had heard the reports, but he maintained his innocence and blamelessness. Well, today, through his attorney at the Marine Parade Law Chambers, he issued a statement saying, quote, “no decision has been made by the General Legal Council to suspend Mr. Cardona from the practice of law.”

The Fascinating Taxonomy Of Belize's Favourite And Most Fetishized Fruit
At this time of the year - after the first rains – it’s a mango lovers’ feast, a veritable festival of flavours. But, in Belize, a mango is more than just a fruit – it’s like what snowflakes are to Eskimos: they have a thousand words for snow – and, if that’s true, Belizeans must have a thousand names for different kinds of mangos! Of course, there are the well-known staples: Number 11, Slippers, and the ever popular Black Mangoes. But did you know about the obscure Tommy Hawkey, the buff Big Ben, the exotic Cambodiamas, cousins Sandy Shaw and Tanga Shaw, or the rare Gold mango? Well, I didn’t – and today I went to the market for an education in the fascinating taxonomy of Belize’s favourite and most fetishised fruit:… Courtney Weatherburne Reporting.... With the mango season in full swing, walking through the market is like going through a garden of a thousand lights, each mango with it's own look and flavour. For the uninitiated, these are just mangoes but for the connoisseur of this succulent fruit, each mango has a story of its own.

PUC Objects To PUC Fees
Earlier in the newscast, we told you about BTL’s legal fight over who owns Channel 5. Well, there was another case from the Court which involves the other telecoms company, Speednet, better known as “Smart”. In 2011, Speednet sued the Public Utilities Commission claiming that the utilities regulator was overcharging them for licensing of 238 channels used to conduct their business such as phone calls, text messaging and data. How much was Smart accusing the PUC of overcharging them? Almost 800,000 dollars, so the company asked the Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the PUC made errors in doing so, and the case was decided by Justice Legall. He dismissed the case, and so, they took it to the Court of Appeal for a second opinion, which was handed down today. The attorney for PUC told us outside of court that they were somewhat more successful this time around: Fred Lumor, SC – Attorney for PUC "It's an appeal against the judgement of justice Legall which was lodged by speednet communications. The PUC had assess certain charges in the schedule to the telecommunications act for speednet to be paid. Speednet contention is that the fees are too large, onerous and too expensive and it was due to misinterpretation of the schedule of fees by PUC. So they asked the court to clarify the meaning of the schedule. The court rejected the appeal but partly accepted the argument of speednet. So the appeal was allowed to certain extent meaning that the fees are not to be paid in advance but should be paid in arrears since speednet has paid PUC the fees in advance. The court ordered that PUC should pay interest on over 700,000 dollars to each speednet paid to PUC as fees in advance - meaning that PUC would have to make payments of 6% interest on that money back to speednet. However, since speednet is to pay fees to PUC, they can set it off against future payments. So in a nutshell that was the decision this morning."

Tzul Chanced By Chan Pine Ridge Cops
Late this evening, Orange Walk resident, Damian Tzul came all the way from his village of Chan Pine Ridge to complain about what he describes as brutality from Orange Walk Police. Tzul, who says that he is an activist in his community, and a former police officer with 12 years of service, says that one his former colleagues in the uniform treated him roughly last night. He says that they came to arrest him on a commitment warrant for a fee he owed the court for several years now: Here’s how he described it: Tzul says that he has gone to complain to police internal affairs, and he’s also made a criminal complaint about the officer. He asserts that he is not anti-police, and that he suspects he was brutalised by an officer who was under the influence of alcohol while on duty.

Mental Health Matters For The Ageing
When most of us think about getting old – the main thing we focus on is the physical deterioration. But, the mental part of ageing is just as, or even more important. Things like grief, dementia and depression are very real issues that make coping and caring for the ageing a challenge. That’s why the ministry of health today held a mental health and ageing workshop for health professionals and caregivers. I found out more from the Nursing Administrator, in the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Program, Eleanor Bennett:.. Eleanor Bennett - Nursing Administrator, in the Ministry of Health’s Mental Health Program "Today we have a workshop, we call it mental health and ageing and it's sponsored by the mental heath unit. The workshop - the main focus is to make sure the mental health staff in particular, is updated with their most recent knowledge as it relates to mental health care. We have a facilitator from New York, the Mount Sinai school of medicine - her name is Dr. Aloese and she comes from the department of psychiatry and neurology. And she spent a lot of her time doing cognitive research, research on the brain functions. She's focusing on disorders of the elderly which include dementia, the most common one is alzheimer. She will talk about mood disorders, anxiety disorders and talk about problems of the elderly such as grief and isolation."

Talking Tradewinds
Tradewinds is an annual Caribbean-based military exercise organised by the U.S. Southern Command to strengthening partnerships- principally in the area of drug trafficking, but also in disaster response. For the month of June, the U.S. Coast Guard is linking up with partners from 18 other nations, along with crews from the U.S Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and National Guard, to train in damage control operations, non-compliant vessel operations and other maritime activities. Phase one of the exercise started in St KItts and Nevis and now the crew is in Belize. Today 7news travelled to the island town of San Pedro to get a firsthand view of an operation Tradewind Dive exercise. Monica Bodden Reporting... Phase two of the Tradewinds exercise focuses on increasing national tactics and procedures for tracking, intercepting, and boarding suspect vessels. The 16 member dive training team provides the Belize Coast Guard and Mexican Navy training in the areas of group diving tactics. During this week the teams conducted hull search, bottom search and recovery- while practicing evidence site contamination prevention techniques.

BTL Says "Buh-Bye" To Gmail
“BTL.NET” – it’s been around since the mid 90’s and is probably the oldest email domain in Belize. Even in the age of gmail, yahoo and other web based mail solutions, “btl.net” still has thousands of users, in fact – right here at Channel 7 – our main business mail is still tvseven@btl.net. But this weekend, btl.net users will have to change up their configuration – that’s because for the second time in 5 years, BTL is migrating the service to another server. Google has decided to terminate the service called gmail.bet.net, and so BTL has formed a new partnership with the email hosting and server hosting company, Rackspace, which is based in the US. This evening, BTL’s IT engineering Manager explained to us what it means for those who still use a “btl.net” address:

The Tenth Film Festival
NICH and the Film Commission are preparing for the 10th annual Belize International Film Festival - which will be start one month from today. 115 films – a number of them Belizean made – were submitted this time around, and so, the judges have been hard at work to narrow that number down to the entries of the best quality. With that, the festival was officially launched today, and we spoke with the Director. Here’s what she told us: The Film Festival takes place on July 17-19th in Placencia at the Belize Ocean Club.

Channel 5

B.E.L.’s Earnings Doubled in 2014
The Belize Electricity Limited held its annual general meeting on Thursday night. Two major announcements were made at the closed-door meeting of the government-controlled utility company held at the Radisson. [...]

Court of Appeal Dismisses Speednet Claim
The two telephone companies were before the Court of Appeal which today concluded its second session for this year. First we go to the case of SpeedNet Communications Limited, the [...]

Court Upholds PUC Fees Per Channel
Attorney Lumor says the Court of Appeal helped to settle a major issue discussed in the court below – the exact meaning of the word “channel” as used in the [...]

Telemedia to Argue Divestment Case at the CCJ
The other case had to do with Belize Telemedia Limited and it involved a process which was more of a formality than anything else.  Today, the Court of Appeal granted [...]

Trade Winds 2015 – Diving the Caribbean Sea
Phase Two of the annual Trade Winds exercise is underway in Belize, as officers with various armed forces from across the region are taking part in a series of drills [...]

B.T.I.A. Pres. Says Consultation on Protected Areas Bills was Selective
Today, N.G.O.s continue to express serious concerns with two pieces of legislation allegedly tabled before Cabinet. This first is the brand new National Protected Areas System Bill and the second [...]

Says Amendments Would Negatively Impact PACT’s Function
Another concern with the N-PAS Bill is that it would establish a National Protected Areas Council, but only in an advisory capacity and not an administrative capacity as sought by [...]

Amendments Would Put PACT Board Under G.O.B. Control
And then there is a concern with the composition of the PACT Board of Directors, which would change significantly with the amendments which have been proposed.   Via Phone: Osmany [...]

Immigration Reality Costs Owner of Dream-Like Bar
At the top of the newscast you heard the Court of Appeal decisions. But the Magistrate Court was also busy with immigration matters. On Thursday, the Immigration Department was on [...]

American Writer Overstays Welcome in Belize
An American writer who came to Belize legally in December 2013 on a one month permit has been detained for over staying his welcome. Allan David Head was in court [...]

Toledo Woman Faces Loss of 45 Acres of Family Land
A woman from San Pedro, Columbia in Toledo has just found out that forty-five acres of land which has been in her family since 1952 has been sold out from [...]

Marcel Cardona’s Attorney Says his Client Not Sanctioned by the GLC
Attorney Godfrey Smith on behalf of another attorney, Marcel Cardona, has today issued statement on Cardona’s behalf. It is in respect of a recent media report that the General Legal [...]

Mental Health Stakeholders Participate in Workshop
More and more persons in the Jewel are living with mental health conditions, particularly in the elderly population. Today, a mental health and ageing workshop was held at the Belize [...]

Specialized Care for Elderly Persons is a Focus
Another setback says Nurse Eleanor Bennett is that Belize does not have the trained persons in geriatric psychology and health care that should be provided to those elderly persons that [...]

Placencia to Host 10th Annual Belize International Film Festival
The tenth annual Belize International Film Festival is set to open with a bang in the next few weeks at the Ocean Club in Placencia. The festival is competitive and [...]

Film Director Discusses Award Categories
The categories for which trophies will be awarded are for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Short Film and Best Short Documentary and Best Animation. A new category introduced [...]

Carnival Season Kicks Off This Weekend
Carnival Season is almost here and the Belize Carnival Association is inviting you to their launch this weekend. Mas Bands, entertainers and fans will kick off the season that organizers [...]


Speednet and Court of Appeal Find Middle Ground in Court of Appeals
Another decision that the Court of Appeal handed down today has to do with Speednet Communications Limited, the parent company of Smart. For background, in 2011, Speednet filed a lawsuit against the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, as it relates to fees that it had been required to pay for its telephone service. The PUC had […]

BTL Will Go to the CCJ After Appeals Court Ruled Against Them
Earlier this year, the former Directors of Belize Telemedia Limited, BTL, won a judgment that declared them free of responsibility for financing Great Belize Productions to the tune of ten million dollars and divesting it from BTL in 2009 when the Government of Belize was making moves to nationalize the company. BTL sued and won […]

Caleb Urges Tourism Agencies to Make Clear Their Position on LGBT Tourists in Belize
While Stirm is against gay rights and against the planned Gay Pride Event, Activist Caleb Orozco, who is a homosexual, himself, is all for it. He says it is about time that an event of this magnitude be held in Belize. CALEB OROZCO “For my good friend Pastor Stirm, I welcome his commitment to his […]

Pastor Stirm Says Churches Will Unite In Prayer Against Gay Pride Event
The owner of Caribbean Resort Villas in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, has chosen to market a tourism package to the international community. That package is being described as the largest and most extravagant lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender event to be held in Belize. The private event is being called Temptation Island Pride Week and […]

European Union Says Belize Is Not Cracking Down on Tax Avoidance
Belize is one of the Caribbean countries blacklisted as one of the world’s 30 worst offending tax havens by the European Commission. Each of the countries on the list had been suggested by at least ten European Union member states as problematic by not doing enough to crack down on tax avoidance. The other Caribbean […]

Tradewinds 2015 – Phase II Underway in Belize
Tradewinds 2015 is currently underway in Belize. The exercise is centred in the Caribbean and entails exercises and training sessions that aim to improve the military’s response to natural disasters, land and maritime threats as well as illicit trafficking. Led by the United States military, Tradewinds 2015 is currently in its second phase. As part […]

Police Seeks Castro for Wounding and Aggravated Assault
A 19-year-old woman was reportedly traumatized about a week ago when the young man she was in a relationship with assaulted her subsequently leading to her swallowing a bullet. Reports reaching Love News are that the one year relationship had gotten hostile and violent leading to the boyfriend, Kenworth Castro now being wanted by the […]

Cardona Still Practicing Law
Two weeks ago we had reported to you that following a meeting of the General Legal Counsel, it was recommended that Attorney Marcel Cardona be suspended from practicing law in Belize following a complaint by one of his former clients. Today, however, a notice was sent out from the law firm, Marine Parade Chambers, clarifying […]


West Will Play with Honduras
It’s official! Woodrow West has signed a contract with the Honduran Football Club El Progreso and his heading to Honduras next week to begin training in time for the Liga Nacional De Honduras...

Michael Feinstein challenges Stake Bank takeover
Provisions in the amended contract of operation of Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV) between its owners and the Government of Belize and the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) had the effect of ensuring a continued source of revenue and satellite development through the Stake Bank project being developed b...

Allegations of fixed football match
Three football players in Belize are being investigated by CONCACAF and UNCAF for alleged match fixing. The allegations came after a match between BDF and Verdes in April 29th earlier this year, in which Verdes beat BDF six to nothing...

BTIA claims progress at general meeting
Six months ago the Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) elected a new executive tasked with turning the organization around after some floundering in recent years...

FFB begging for money for National Team
The Football Federation of Belize, FFB, is turning to the public and Government for assistance going in to the third round of the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers. After spending close to $500 thousand dollars solely from FFB accounts, according to Ruperto Vicente, the federation is pretty much broke....

Refurbished courts and free WIFI
Sports enthusiasts, especially for basketball and volleyball, have already been enjoying the refurbished Basketball courts around Belmopan. Yesterday, Wednesday June 17, saw the inauguration of the refurbishment basketball court at the Mauvelene Gordon Park, the third recently inaugurated...

Maurice Felix charges upgraded to murder
Reports are that wanted accused for attempted murder 30 year old Maurice Felix turned himself in to police today...

Belize Infrastructure Limited Office burglarized
The office of Belize Infrastructure Limited in Belmopan was burglarized. Sometime between June 16 and June 17, someone broke into the building at # 1664 Market Square Area, Belmopan City...

#505378 - 06/20/15 06:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: June 20, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Maurice Felix’s attempted murder charge upgraded to murder
Police Press Officer Raphael Martinez confirmed to Amandala this afternoon that Maurice Felix, 30, who was wanted by police, but who was able to elude arrest and went under the radar for more than a week, turned himself in around 5:00 o’clock this morning. Felix was remanded to prison on charges of attempted murder, use of deadly means of harm and dangerous harm. He was granted Supreme Court bail on Friday, June 5, but on that same day, Mark Gentle (Vernon), the person whom Felix is accused of shooting, succumbed to his gunshot injuries while undergoing treatment at Belize Medical Associates, where he was transferred from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) Intensive Care Unit. Felix was escorted to the Magistrate’s Court this morning by CIB officers, who handed him over to court police. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser arraigned him on the upgraded charge of murder for “intentionally and unlawfully causing the death of Mark Gentle (Vernon) on June 5.”

Teachers and public officers to receive 8% salary adjustment
The paychecks of teachers and public officers will be substantially larger next month, when Government will pay what’s due to them to satisfy an 8% salary adjustment being implemented this year, amounting to an additional $38 million in salary payments. Usually, the budget figures are not finalized until months after the fiscal year closes on March 31, and the Government announced today, via the Ministry of Finance, that teachers and public officers will be receiving their salary adjustment in the coming weeks. Marvin Blades, president of the Public Service Union (PSU), who has also been representing the unions in the salary negotiations with Government, told Amandala today that the salary adjustment to cover the months of April, May and June would be included in July payments to open vote workers as well as established public officers, pensioners, teachers and all who work for the government. Others who receive increments based on merit will get an additional 2.25% salary increase, Blades said.

BEL announces record $36.2 mil in profits
On the occasion of its annual general meeting being held tonight at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City, the Belize Electricity Limited (BEL), a government-owned utility company, announced that it had earned a $36.2 million profit in 2014, breaking the company’s record of $29.86 million announced for 2007, when the company was controlled by Fortis Inc. of Canada. BEL was initially privatized back in 1999, when the Government of Belize invited Fortis Inc. to invest and the company accepted a minority stake in BEL. The company’s profits in 2000 were reported at $10 million, and the company had consistently been growing its profits until it peaked in 2007, a year after Fortis acquired majority stake. However, the company recorded a loss of $10.8 million for 2008 but rebounded in 2009. Since then, profits had been on the decline, with the situation worsening in 2012, when BEL reported an excruciating loss of $16 million.

3 months for attempted murder!
The decision of Supreme Court Justice Dennis Hanomansingh not to impose a prison sentence on Wilbert Cuellar, who was convicted on December 12, 2011, along with Darwin Diaz, for the attempted murder of Josue Chay, triggered an appeal from Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl-Lynn Vidal. Justice Hanomansingh had expressed dissatisfaction with the jury’s verdict and decided to use his “inherent jurisdiction” to not send Cuellar to prison on December 19, 2011, the day the court had set for sentencing the two convicted men. Diaz, however, was not so fortunate. Hanomansingh sentenced him to serve 12 years in prison. DPP Vidal’s challenge to Justice Hanomansingh’s decision to not impose a prison sentence on Cuellar was heard in March 2014, and the Court of Appeal had ordered Hanomansingh to impose an appropriate sentence on Cuellar.

Husband flogged her with a machete then set her on fire, says woman
Maria Pech, 36, a housewife of Santa Clara, Corozal District, is lucky to be alive after her husband, Joel Alfredo Pech, 33, allegedly lashed her with a machete on her leg and body, and later set her afire. Pech told police that when she went back to the house after escaping from him, her husband doused her with kerosene and tried to set her on fire. She managed to put out the flames, but suffered burns to her arms. Neighbors called police and Pech’s husband was found in the village and arrested. The incident occurred at about 7:30 Monday evening at the couple’s home in Santa Clara.

Unions canvass members as GOB prepares to table PetroCaribe amendments
Amendments to the controversial PetroCaribe Loans Act are due to be tabled in Parliament next Friday, June 26, and constituent unions of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) have been asked to canvass the views of their membership on the proposed amendments before the executive of the Congress meets this Saturday, June 20, 2015. NTUCB president Marvin Mora told Amandala today that his union, the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU), has already begun to disseminate information to members and they will be canvassing the views of their general membership on the proposed amendments. On May 27, 2015, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow met with NTUCB officials to discuss their concerns about the PetroCaribe Loans Act, as well as his proposals to amend the law at the upcoming House meeting.

McCaulay, West to Honduras?
Senior Football Federation of Belize (FFB) executive member, Marlon Kuylen, as well as Woodrow West, the well-known goalkeeper for the Belize national team, confirmed to local media today that both West and his Belize Jaguars teammate, star striker Deon McCaulay, are being courted by a professional club from Honduras. Media reports from that country suggest that officials from a team known as El Honduras Progreso, which partakes in the Liga Nacional de Honduras, were en route to Belize today to formally make contract offers to the two players. West told us today that he was initially contacted by a representative of the team two weeks ago, and that currently, no deal has been struck as yet with the agents who have come to negotiate with them; but if the conditions are favorable, he might end up playing with the team for its upcoming season which starts on June 29 in Honduras.

National Primary Schools Football Champions 2015
On Wednesday, June 17, the Primary School Football Nationals for females and males were held in Belize City. The female games were played at the MCC Grounds, while the male games were played at the Youth Hostel Field. Six male teams and six female teams participated, one male team and one female team representing each district as follows: Stann Creek – Independence Primary females and males. Cayo – Immaculate Concepcion RC females and Mount Carmel males. Belize – Belize Elementary females and San Pedro RC males. Orange Walk – Carmelita Gov’t females and La Immaculada RC males.

The best of the best playing
Playoff matches in the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, kicked off over the weekend. There were two games scheduled to be played. At Lords Bank, Western Eagles vs Sunrise was postponed due to inclement weather. At Crooked Tree, Police traveled there to play the home team, Brilliant. Brilliant took to bat first, and at the fall of the last wicket, scored 100 runs. Arturo Wade scored 27 runs for the home team, while Walton “Baby Hulk” Banner and Baronlee Clare took 4 and 3 wickets, respectively. Police went to bat, and at the fall of 2 wickets, scored 26 runs. Rain then started, and the game had to be stopped and postponed. This game will continue on Sunday, June 21, in Crooked Tree. The games scheduled for this Saturday are: Brilliant goes to Belmopan against Police in game two. Sunrise goes to Rancho Dolores to play Western Eagles. If weather permits, these are games for fans to come out and watch.

Editorial:Welcome to the party: 2003 and 2015
Belize’s democracy is not in a good place today. Belize’s democracy is becoming skewed because of the Petrocaribe moneys. In 2003, Belize’s democracy had entered a bad place, because loans from various regional and international banking institutions had made the democracy one-sided: the ruling People’s United Party (PUP) had bought out everyone in sight. “Welcome to the party” was the mantra that was blowing like a storm. The same thing is happening today, in 2015, only that it is now the United Democracy Party (UDP) who are the incumbents and have unlimited money to spend. The difference between winning and losing in Belize’s electoral politics is so huge that many individuals are afraid of participating as candidates. The amount of personal abuse one suffers after being part of a losing election is crushing. Belize is a small place; the abuse is, to repeat, personal. The abusers in the streets are relentless, because they are encouraged by the politicians who have been victorious and gained access to public funds and the apparatus of state power. Losing an election can become a traumatic experience at the personal level.

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).

Major Lloyd Jones writes on Belize, Guyana and Petrocaribe
Dear Editor, Petrocaribe was born in June 2005 when 14 Caribbean nations signed on to the Energy Cooperation Agreement during the First Energy Meeting of Heads of State / Governments of the Caribbean on Petrocaribe. Since then its membership has expanded to 18, and today all but three members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are members of Petrocaribe. Belizeans have become familiar with Petrocaribe as a consequence of the Barrow administration’s insidious embrace and carefree spending of the Petrocaribe loan funds — and because of the single greatest post-independence challenge to our democracy: the Petrocaribe Loans Act of 2015. Petrocaribe, an initiative of the late President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, was designed, amongst other things, to counter American hegemony in the region. Comandante Chavez, a man with regional leadership aspirations, understood quite clearly the kind of political leadership that exists throughout the Caribbean. He understood that because of the failure of the said political leadership and their harmful developmental practices, he could buy influence within the Anglophone Caribbean. Enter Petrocaribe!

Message to the youth – begin reading good books!
Dear Editor, I wish to state my opinion on the educational system of Belize with regard to a recent letter posted in your newspapaer. The author, Alberto Vellos, spoke of the youth being lied to and he exhorted them to rise up. The young rising up sounds good, but I wonder how can we show we are not willing to have politicians and other unscrupulous persons step on our dignity? Many youth experience the harsh reality of doors closing in front of their faces and no one does anything. As Alberto pointed out, no one can do anything unless the youth themselves start out by taking action. It is at this juncture, that I want to point out that one factor contributing to the passivity of the youth is the failure of the educational system to shape the character of young people. When I finished high school in Benque Viejo in 2012, I had no idea how to start a discussion in class. I entered John Paul II Junior College, the new junior college at Benque Viejo, and I was disappointed to come to know through my personal experience, the ways in which the educational system is failing. I was able to notice this failure because the education offered at John Paul II Junior College is based on liberal arts and when one studies the liberal arts, one learns how to think critically.

Mexican tourism and commercial companies reach out
The Mexican Institute in Belize City was buzzing with activity this morning as a host of Mexican tourism and commercial companies participated in a tourism and commercial mission which was organized by the Embassy of Mexico to Belize and the Chetumal Chamber of Commerce, Services and Tourism (CANACO Chetumal). The objective of the event was to promote products and services that Southern Quintana Roo has to offer, as well as to promote regional integration between Belizean and Mexican companies. Amandala stopped by the event and spoke to Javier Aguilar, who is the Head of Economic and Tourism Affairs at the Mexican Embassy in Belize, and he elaborated on the purpose of the initiative. He said, “Today we’re having a tourism and commercial mission where companies come in from Chetumal, Bacalar and Mahahual. Most of these companies work in the tourism sector and the purpose of the mission is so that companies from southern Quintana Roo can come and offer their wide array of products and services to the Belizean public, and also that tour operators and entrepreneurs from Belize link with their Mexican counterparts from that area to share ideas and find ways to increase interaction and business opportunities between companies, but particularly in this region.”

Broadcasting and cycling’s Gerald Garbutt, 69, dies
Gerald Garbutt, 69, who worked at Radio Belize as a technician when it was the only radio station in the country as well as an arm of the government, and who was station manager for a fledgling KREM Radio in the early ‘90s, as well as a sports aficionado and president of the Belize Cycling Association, died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) last night, Tuesday, from heart-related complications. Garbutt had been ailing for several years and reportedly suffered a stroke at his Racecourse Street home, where he resided with his wife, who rushed him to the KHMH. After the government dismantled its radio broadcast monopoly and KREM Radio became the first private radio station in 1989, Garbutt worked as manager of the station up to the early 1990s. In the complex world of radio broadcasting, Garbutt had the talent for getting the show on the road on time with his attention to details and his no-nonsense approach to his job. In an interview with LOVE FM, Glenn Tillett, who knew him well, described Garbutt as “a technician extraordinaire, and a pioneer when it comes to outside broadcasting.”

BTIA launches 30th anniversary celebration
The Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is launching its 30th anniversary celebration at the Ramada Belize City Princess Hotel in Belize City on the occasion of its 2015 bi-annual general meeting. During the morning session, BTIA officials presented the organization’s achievements and future plans. Thursday afternoon was set aside for a presentation on “The Core Importance of Customer Service from Upper Management to Front Line Staff,” by Javier Gutierrez, and the evening closes off with a cocktail to mark the official launch of BTIA’s 30th anniversary celebration. This morning, Osmany Salas provided an overview of the organization’s accomplishments since its AGM of December 2014, when he was elected to serve as the new president of BTIA. Reporting on the 10 target areas outlined for action, Salas announced that the BTIA had recruited John Burgos to fill the vacant post of executive director.

Justice Abel hears challenge to cruise tourism head tax
Supreme Court Justice Courtney Abel today began to hear the legal challenge which was filed by businessman Michael Feinstein against the Government of Belize, and which opposes the manner in which the US$7 head tax is collected by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) from cruise passengers and distributed mostly to the private owners of the Fort Street Tourism Village (FSTV), which collects more than half the pie. While the court has yet to hear counsel for the FSTV, it did hear arguments today from attorneys for Feinstein and the Government of Belize. Speaking with the press this evening, Feinstein explained that the central claim he is making is that it is illegal for the government to collect and distribute the head tax in the manner that it has been doing. Feinstein is one of the original investors of the FSTV, but he later sold out to Royal Caribbean – which also wants to buy out Feinstein’s new project.

Unions canvass members as GOB prepares to table PetroCaribe amendments
Amendments to the controversial PetroCaribe Loans Act are due to be tabled in Parliament next Friday, June 26, and constituent unions of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) have been asked to canvass the views of their membership on the proposed amendments before the executive of the Congress meets this Saturday, June 20, 2015. NTUCB president Marvin Mora told Amandala today that his union, the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU), has already begun to disseminate information to members and they will be canvassing the views of their general membership on the proposed amendments. On May 27, 2015, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow met with NTUCB officials to discuss their concerns about the PetroCaribe Loans Act, as well as his proposals to amend the law at the upcoming House meeting. Two weeks earlier, Barrow had announced that the new PetroCaribe bill would be amended by repealing subsection 2 of section 3, to include a clause specifying that, “…the money borrowed from APBEL shall be kept in a fund at the Central Bank of Belize, which fund shall form part of the Consolidated Revenue Fund of Belize…”

The Reporter

Caregivers learn about mental health and aging
The Mental Health Association focused on Friday on a real part of the human life as it relates to mental health – old age. The association enrolled its caregivers in a workshop to discuss different realities of mental health that affect mainly the elderly, and […]

Man who tried to burn wife alive denied bail
A man who tried to set his wife on fire was remanded this week to the Hattieville Prison on charges of attempted murder, harm and aggravated assault. Joel Pech, 34, who police say threw kerosene on his wife, Maria Pech, 36, and tried to light […]

Independence Primary boys win national football championships
The boys of Independence Primary School won the National Primary Schools Football Tournament, organized by the National Sports Council at the Raccoon Street field in Belize City on Wednesday, June 17. The Independence boys won the championship final 3-2 over the Cayo District champions, […]

Minister Saldivar’s driver charged for hit and run in government vehicle
Minister of National Security John Saldivar’s driver, Orlando Castillo was arrested and charged with multiple counts of traffic offences related to causing the death of a villager in Camalote on Saturday night, while driving a government vehicle. According to Superintendent Howell Gillett, Officer Commanding […]

“Tommy Goff” kills boy days before his 12 birthday
Elias Jucub would have celebrated his 12th birthday this Friday, but instead, he was laid to rest this week after a Fer de lance (locally called Tommy Goff), one of the deadliest snakes in Belize, bit him in his native San Miguel Village on […]

Belize gets Taiwanese grant for coastal community project
Belize is receiving a grant from the Taiwanese government to fund a Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) climate change adaptation program. The program is designed to help prepare and protect communities in southern Belize from extreme weather and the effects of climate change. With […]

“Wally” Williams’ murder believed to be gang-related
Allison Oswald “Wally” Williams, 28, a contractor with Cisco Construction, had just left his house at 3832 Rivero Street Extension on Friday night to visit a lady friend on Partridge Street Extension, when his killer snuck up on him and shot him in what […]

Belize borrows $65 million for highway project
The Government of Belize, through approved financing from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the European Union (EU), has borrowed $65 million for a project to upgrade a section of the George Price Highway from Belmopan to Santa Elena. The IDB is providing financing […]

US suspends visas and passports due to glitch
The United States (US) State Department has said it has had to suspend the issuing of visas and passports at overseas diplomatic missions, due to a glitch in its Consular Consolidated Database, (CCD). These services will remain suspended indefinitely, it said. “We do not […]

Two charged, remanded for ex-fireman’s murder
Two men, Brandon Kerr, 30, and Lindberg Williams, 32, are remanded to jail on a joint charge of murder for the shooting and mutilation by burning of former Dangriga Fire Chief, Ralston Patnett, 51, on the Commerce Bight Road in Dangriga.  Kerr, who lives […]

BELTRAIDE helping SME’s tap into Central American market
The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Regional Center for the Promotion of Micro and Small Business (CENPROMYPE) held a workshop on Tuesday with stakeholders in Belize to discuss improving economic opportunities with the rest of Central America. Fernando Ocampo, consultant […]

Guatemalan Gunboat Tecum Uman has “sovereign immunity,” spokesman says
The Guatemalan military vessel, GC-651, which ran aground between Middle Caye and Long Caye in the Glover’s Reef System, has returned to Puerto Barrios, Guatemala. At around 11:30 am on Saturday, the 65-foot Cutlass gunboat, which had been firmly stuck on the crest of the reef, was pulled off by […]

Caribbean, EU more than doubles funding for the Caribbean
The European Union (EU) has more than doubled the amount of regional funding for the Caribbean. EU High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, signed a new regional funding program, valued at €346 million (US $396.1 million). The new program increased the available amount from […]

Greater opportunities for Belizeans through CAPS
Belizeans now have greater access to employment opportunities throughout the Caribbean, through a new system, developed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). The CARICOM Single Market Economy Application Processing System (CAPS), allows Belizeans, and members of all CARICOM member states, to upload their qualifications and contact […]

Belizeans claim they were terrorized by Guatemalan military
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reportedly fired off a request for a verification exercise to the Organization of American States, following alarming allegations of abuse made by five Belizeans detained last weekend. Michel Romero, Ray Martinez, Ashton McKenzie, Rafael Cus and Rutilio Cal claim they were detained by Guatemalan […]

Kriols need to embrace their culture, says Belize Kriol Council
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines culture as the beliefs, customs, arts, behaviors etc., of a particular society, group, place or time. The National Kriol Council, this week, called on Belize’s Kriol population to learn about and appreciate the contributions of the Kriol as a people […]

Having a referendum in Belize and a referendum in Guatemala on the same day, to decide on whether to submit the Belize-Guatemala claim to the International Court of Justice, provides a clear way forward for solving this knotty century-old dispute. Guatemala has indicated that she wants to combine her referendum […]

San Pedro resort offers LGBT bash! But anti-gay activists protest!
Caribbean Villas Resort in San Pedro is offering a tourist package marketed internationally, which it has described as the biggest Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Trans-gender (LGBT) pride event in Belize’s history. The seven-day, seven-night “Temptation Island Pride Week” isn’t scheduled to be held at […]

CONCACAF investigates game rigging
For the first time in the history of football in Belize, three players have been accused of taking bribes to affect the outcome of a game, known The game in question is one which was played on April 29, 2015, between the BDF Football Club and Verdes. BDF lost the […]

Public officers get salary increase
The government announced on Tuesday that public officers and teachers will receive an eight percent salary increase, totalling some $38 million. The increase is part of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, signed by the Government of Belize and the Public Service Union (PSU), the Belize […]

NTUCB President speaks on union’s meeting with PM
National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) President, Marvin Mora, said after his meeting with the Prime Minister that he was surprised to learn that the government isn’t thinking about repaying the Petro Caribe loan and has not formulated any plan to do so. […]

The Belize Times

Barrow Too Soft On Guatemala! – GOB has allowed Guatemala to violate Belize’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has chastised the Dean Barrow Government’s handling of Guatemala’s outright acts of aggression and antagonism. The recent brazen acts by our hostile neighbors in the west include the inhumane treatment of five Belizeans that include a UDP politician detained in Guatemala, the clandestine intrusion of two Guatemalan gun boats which crashed on our reef last week, the military invasion of Sarstoon Island in Southern Belize two weeks ago, the kidnapping of patriotic Belizeans who were observing Belize’s territorial sovereignty at the Gracias a Dios border marker in February, and the illegal incursion of armed Guatemalans who shot and killed Special Constable Danny Conorquie deep into Belize’s territory at the Caracol Mayan site in September last year. It appears that with each act, the level of faceyness and disrespect increases – and almost in chorus the defense of Belize’s sovereignty by the Foreign Minister Sedi Elrington and Prime Minister Dean Barrow weakens!!

They defend Faber’s Petrocaribe/Tacos Fest
“…my friends we were able in the Collet constituency to roll twenty-two loaded buses to Corozal Town today and we had a wonderful family day courtesy of Petrocaribe and our Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow. We danced to Jorge Ernesto Babb and the Caribbean roots band. We bathe up inna di sea…you know the beautiful Corozal Bay sea weh look turquoise and milky and beautiful…we eat tacos and we eat pibil and we eat BBQ…we had a feast,” Patrick speaking at Darrel Bradley’s Convention, Sunday, June 7, 2015. The above statement by Patrick Faber has drawn the ire of the Belizean public, as it reveals how the UDP is mismanaging Petrocaribe loan monies for wasteful political gimmicks. While organisations such as the Chamber of Commerce have condemned the misuse, UDP officials have found it strangely and brazenly appropriate to speak in its favor. Financial Secretary Joseph Waight had no problem with Faber’s use of borrowed Petrocaribe money to buy tacos and drinks for UDP supporters. He told PLUS TV News that people will simply always have an opinion.

Moody’s warns about “Unsustainable Public Debt”
A June report issued by Moody’s Investors Service has warned investors that Belize could be staring at looming “unsustainable public debt” and possibly even the need for another debt restructuring in 2018. Moody’s forecast of Belize’s economy is that it will continue along its’ current state as the “economic fundamentals, including its economic strength, have not materially changed”, which means things will continue dull and dead for a majority of Belizeans. There will be no new ideas or major investment spending in any new industry by the Government, and their dependency on “tourism” and some expected recovery in agricultural sector. GOB’s dependency on oil has been hampered by decreasing oil exports. Moody’s also warned that the country could face unsustainable debt in the coming years for a number of converging reasons: the still outstanding BTL and BEL compensation liabilities, increased amortization payments to bondholders and the increased political pork and barrel spending by the Barrow administration as the general elections nears.

80 yr. old seriously injured after falling into drain access – CitCo denies assistance, says “No Money Noh deh”
80 year old Jose Hernandez says he is lucky to have survived a brutal accident he suffered last week Thursday, June 11th 2015. Hernandez broke his left elbow bone, and bruised and scraped his chest, leg and back when he fell into a drain access which had apparently been covered with an old piece of board. Hernandez was riding his bicycle along the Philip Goldson Highway (Northern Highway), just after the Pallotti bus stop, when he rode over the drain access thinking it was safe. Instead, the wood cover crumbled and he went almost face first on the concrete sidewalk. Two good Samaritans in the area helped him up, and he thought he was ok, until he felt a piercing pain on his left hand. He had to be rushed to the hospital.

Think About It
The majority of Belizeans have lost confidence in the government as it relates to the handling of any issue with Guatemala. We have never seen a government look so unsure and insecure in relation to simply standing up for the right of our people, our sovereignty, and territorial integrity. It is unheard of. A large part of the problem is the lack of information to Belizeans. It is becoming apparent that government is also lying and covering up facts rather than being straightforward. The loss of sovereignty over Sarstoon Island takes the cake. We cannot help but feel deeply disappointed with the government. The buck stops at the Prime Minister, and his deafening silence on the Sarstoon speaks volumes.

The ICJ – An Unnecessary Test
The chronic and antagonistic predicament that is the Guatemalan claim has once again reared its ugly head and assumes prominence in our existence. This sleeping dog has been awakened and now, as it has so often before, is growling and threatens to disrupt our “tranquil haven of democracy”. Belize has self-governed since 1964 and has been independent since 1981, but despite this, through it all, we have been taunted and haunted by a persistent belligerence from our neighbors to the west. There have been numerous incursions, violations of treaties, assaults on our security forces and even threats of invasion. The situation as it stands is that we are now being steered toward a hearing in court where the International Court of Justice (ICJ) will be given the authority to redefine our borders which are already, solidly demarcated. There are those who are trying to convince us that we face no risk of losing any ground but skepticism is running high. I grew up in a Belize where the threat of an invasion from Guatemala was never far from daily conversations. Whenever a plane flew too low overhead or if the British made any sudden troop movement, the town became abuzz with rumors. Tensions would climb and the entire country would go on alert and succumb to a state of nervousness. I distinctly recall once when almost half of Benque Viejo evacuated and frantically fled to the northernmost tip of Corozal; I believe that some might still be living there. Belizeans lived in perpetual fear of these barbarians at our gate and the words “Guatemala dih come” was enough to detract from any other issue and send the bravest among us scurrying for cover. In retrospect, it was damaging to our self esteem but such was the order of the day.

Earlier this year the government of Belize instructed their highly paid attorney to “withdraw” the appeal against the Mayan Leaders Alliance (MLA) in the case where they (Mayan Leader Alliance) had won a Supreme Court decision and was awarded Customary Communal Land Rights for the lands (18 communities) they occupy in the southern part of Belize. The UDP Government of Belize told the Court that they are withdrawing their appeal because they recognized the Mayans are “squatters” and they have been squatting for over thirty (30) plus years therefore under the Laws of Belize they have earned the rights to the lands by occupation due to their initial squatting. All Belizeans know that squatting is illegal in Belize, so in essence the UDP government has classified the Mayan in Southern Belize as criminals, and then allow them to maintain possession of the lands. Of course many will argue that if the UDP government had proceeded with the appeal they would have lost. So by giving a temporary pass to the Mayan people the UDP government saved face and appeared as though they did something good. But let us look at what all the UDP Government did leading up to their conceding. In the Courts they initially challenged the Mayan Leaders Alliance’s claim vehemently and the UDP in nepotistic style brought in Lois Young Barrow and Denys Barrow (Prime Minister’s ex-wife and brother) as private attorneys to defend the case even though the Solicitor General office is staffed by over 20 plus attorneys and legal minds, who are paid with tax dollars to represent the Government. The UDP government lost the case both at the Supreme Court and Appeals Court level and were on their way to the Caribbean Court of Justice when the UDP government changed their tune and dropped the appeal.

Lady Jaguars & Jaguars are volleyball champs
The Lady Jaguars swept the Moen Stars in the finals last Thursday and Saturday to win the 2015 Belize District Volleyball Association’s women’s championship. In Game 2 on Saturday night, the Moen Stars pulled out stops in a vain attempt to take the series to a Game 3. The Stars won the 1st set: 25-21 and tied the game 2-2 by winning the 4th set: 25-17. The Lady Jaguars won the 2nd and 3rd sets: 25-21 and 25-23. The extra 5th set went 15-11 in favour of the Jaguars. On Thursday night, the Lady Jaguars had won the 2nd, 3rd and 4th sets: 25-15, 25-21 and 25-22; as Zaire Garbutt, Shantell Arnold, Tichelle Solis, Maurissa Williams and Kay-de Vaughn scored points at the net on plays set by Tanesha Encalada and libero Tisha Solis after Moen Stars had won the 1st set: 25-18; as Sherika Burton, Kelsey Balderamos, Nelisa Ramirez, Jahshema Saunders and Kevanna Sebastian hammered kills on balls set by Krystal Bevans.

BES girls & San Pedro RC boys advance to football champs
The Belize Elementary School girls and the San Pedro RC School boys will represent the Belize District at the National Primary School Football Championships at the MCC on Wednesday, June 17 after winning the Belize district primary schools football championships held last Tuesday, June 9. In the girls’ final, the BES girls won 2-1 over San Pedro RC girls in penalty kicks, in which BES’ Alyanna Musa and Riana Chebat scored, while only Erica Pop scored for Isla Bonita. In the boys’ finals, the San Pedro RC boys won 2-1 over Hattieville Government 2-1; with goals scored by Dixon Paguada equalizing 1-1 after Enoch Rhaburn had scored for Hattieville, and Wilson Cruz scored the 2nd winning goal.

Belize defeats Dominican Republic 3-0
Belize football fans across the country celebrated the Belize Jaguars’ historic 3-0 win over the Dominican Republic at the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) Stadium in Belmopan on Sunday, June 14; which qualified the Jaguars for the first time ever to the 3rd elimination round for the 2018 World Cup Russia. The Belize Jaguars now advance to challenge one of the other 12 winners in a home and away series; their opponents could be Jamaica, Haiti, Antigua, Barbados, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Grenada, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Canada, Curacao or Guatemala. The Jaguars won’t know their opponent until FIFA holds a draw in St. Petersburg on July 25; that draw will also determine the format of the 4th round in which the 6 winners of the 3rd round will meet the top 6 in CONCACAF: Costa Rica, Mexico, the United States, Honduras, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago. Harrison “Kafu” Roches set the tone of Sunday’s game when he headed in the 1st goal in the 17th minute; and Elroy “Bib” Kuylen connected to a cross from Danny Jimenez with a left foot shot in the 37th minute that rocketed into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead at the half.

GOB’s Illegal Borrowing & Spending
On April 7, 2015, Ministry of Finance officials discovered that approximately $500,000 had gone missing from the Treasury Department in Belize City. The announcement was made on Thursday, April 16, by no less than the Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, who was briefed earlier that week on the case of the missing monies by Financial Secretary Joseph Waight. On April 24th 2015, the police escorted Treasury Department second class clerk David Enriquez, 28, to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court to be arraigned on charges in connection with the missing money from the Government Treasury. He was charged with 3 counts of theft of “unlawfully diverting funds”. Since 2012, Prime Minister Barrow and his Ministers have (as per the Finance and Reform (Audit) Act) unlawfully borrowed over $260 million and spent over $76 million in loan monies. They haven’t faced any penalties. Instead, they get to write a law that says their crime is no longer a crime.

Woman in the House – SERIOUS BUSINESS
There is kriol saying: “God noh like ugly.” When I heard the news that a Guatemalan Navy gunboat had run aground at Glover’s Reef, one of Belize’s three atolls, I definitely did not feel any sympathy for Guatemala or for those naval officers who were aboard the vessel when it came to a crashing halt and sat atop our reef. My feeling is that most Belizeans would agree that we can have very little sympathy for the Guatemalan Navy – not after their terrible aggression and hostility towards our Belizean sisters and brothers of the last few months. In 1798 our Reef played an important role in our history. In 2015 our Reef is a deterrent to invaders or unfriendly forces of many kinds. Earlier this year members of our Territorial Volunteers, as they call themselves, were kidnapped and forced to go to Livingston, Guatemala due to the most unfriendly, illegal, and uncalled-for belligerence of the Guatemalan Navy in our Southern waters. Similarly the most recent incident of Guatemalan sabre-rattling and blatant aggression towards the Belizean Coast Guard has left Belizeans hurt and angry. After all, at all times during the reported stand-off between members of our Coast Guard and the Guatemalan Navy our officers were on Belizean soil and in Belizean territorial waters. Incredibly, it is reported that the Prime Minister ordered our Coast Guard officers to retreat and leave the Sarstoon Island. They had very bravely stood their ground, as they knew exactly where they were, and they knew precisely our land and maritime boundaries.

Anthony Sabal: A Man on a Mission
Anthony Sabal, the new PUP standard bearer for Dangriga, Hope Creek and Sarawee continued his ground campaign to fight against a vindictive and oppressive UDP government for the upcoming bi-election. In the early afternoon he met with Party Leader Francis Fonseca and the other members of the Southern Caucus team Hon. Mike Espat, Hon Rodwell Ferguson and Hon. Oscar Requena. Today Sabal did some house to house in Sarawee. He also met with some key campaigners in Hope Creek in preparation for a community meeting. In Dangriga he gave some media interviews outside the Party Hall before returning to the streets to campaign. Anthony Sabal is a community minded man on a mission bringing dignity and integrity to the voters of this southern division. His message is clear. The country is in deep trouble with rampant corruption, high cost of living, and painful joblessness. He tells all the residents he meets not to be fooled by Barrow and the UDP who has neglected Dangriga for eight years.

Corozal man accused of attempting to set wife on fire
Corozal Police have arrested and criminally charged 34 year old Joel Pech, a resident of Santa Clara Village, after his wife reported that he tried to set her on fire. The wife, 36 year old Maria Pech, told the Police that while she was at home, in her back yard, her husband arrived home and assaulted her with a machete. She reported that he dragged her by her hair and locked her inside the kitchen where he allegedly threw kerosene on her and tried to set her on fire. She told the Police that she managed to wash off some of the kerosene and escape her husband’s abuse. The husband was detained by the Police following the report, and later charged for attempted murder.

PUP Expresses Grave Concern To Grounding Of Guatemalan Naval Vessel At Glovers Reef
The People’s United Party hereby expresses grave concern in relation to the grounding of a Guatemalan naval vessel at Glovers Reef. The position of that grounding, near Middle Caye, Glovers Reef is 30 nautical miles due ESE of Dangriga and about 57 nautical miles SE of Belize City. This raises the question about how it is that a Guatemalan naval vessel could enter and traverse Belize’s territorial waters unannounced and undetected by Belize’s national security apparatus. Equally troubling to the People’s United Party is the description of events as advanced by the CEO in the Ministry of National Security. The Ministry of National Security has informed the nation that the Guatemalan naval vessel was travelling to La Isla Mujeres, Mexico, when it encountered mechanical difficulties and consequently went aground. The Ministry of National Security’s description of events has done nothing to allay the fears of Belizeans that the Guatemalan naval vessel unlawfully entered our territorial waters prior to the mechanical failure occurring.

Belize Credit Union League convenes 59th Annual General Meeting
The Belize Credit Union League held its 59th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 13 June 2015 at the Black Orchid Resort in Burrel Boom with over 80 delegates representing affiliated credit unions, and special invited guests. Credit unions in attendance were Holy Redeemer, St. Francis Xavier, St. John’s, Blue Creek, Toledo Teachers’, Saint Martin’s, Civil Service, and La Inmaculada Credit Unions. The League is the apex organization of most credit unions in Belize, and was established on 15 June 1956. In his address, President of the League, Mr. Clement Usher said of the Belize Movement: “We must unite as one credit union movement and speak with one voice…..It has been far too long since we have spoken with one voice!” This was in reference to how credit unions in Belize should deal with challenges, which are already being faced by credit unions in the region. He congratulated credit unions for another year of success, as most reported increases in membership, loans, savings, assets, and reserves. Dividends on members’ shares and savings ranged from 2% to 8% while interest rebate ranged from 5% to 20%.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

NTUCB: GOB “unconcerned” about Petrocaribe repayment, investment
According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, the Government of Belize “isn’t worrying about how the Petrocaribe loan will be repaid.” This is what he told members of the executive of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) in a recent meeting, according to its president Marvin Mora, who spoke […]

Butane prices cut by $3
Belizeans have so far enjoyed a reduction of more than a third in prices of liquid petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as butane, since September of 2014 due to falling world oil prices. On Thursday the Supplies Control Unit in the Ministry of Trade issued notice that effective immediately there […]

World Bank supports Belmopan City Council
Officials from the World Bank and Social Investment Fund met with some Councilors, Managers and the Acting Mayor Jacklyn Burns this week at the Belmopan City Council. The purpose of the meeting was to evaluate infrastructural works that have been completed within the municipality and works that are to be […]

Trio charged for Drug Trafficking in Corozal
A search done by Corozal police’s Quick Response Team at around 7:00 this morning, led to the finding of 68 grams of Cannabis at the residence of Angelita Logan. Reports are that the drugs were in a transparent bag on the bowl of the sewerage when police searched the #14 […]

BEL hosts AGM
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) yesterday at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City to report to shareholders about the company’s achievements and dividend payments for the year 2014. The biggest revelation to shareholders was net earnings of $36.2 million, resulting in $0.15 […]

Severe Flooding in Toledo Villages
Belize Media Group has received confirmation from NEMO Toledo Branch, that severe flooding is affecting several villages in southern Belize. Kenton Parham, Head of NEMO Toledo told us that the rural Toledo Villages of Santa Elena, Corazon, Blue Creek, Mafredi and San Jose have all made reports of flooding. In […]

Marijuana Bust at Mile 31
Belize is not part of the ‘Legalize it!’ forum for marijuana consumption in the Caribbean, and therefore four persons accosted by the police on Thursday afternoon are facing charges of drug trafficking after being caught with 67 kilograms of marijuana. Thirty-year old Calvin Augustus Lauriano, along with three companions, was […]

Belize Black-Listed by the European Union as a Tax Haven
From the sale of Blackadore Caye to actor, Leonardo Di Caprio, to Former’s top ten places to visit in 2015, Belize has certainly received its fair share of positive international publicity. Today, however, our nation has been placed in the spotlight by the European Union, who has listed Belize among […]


My Week on Ambergris Caye, Belize – Izzy’s Shakes, A New Wine Bar and a Bit More
And the San Pedro Lobster Festival sign going up by Izzy’s Smoothies – this is the north most corner of Middle Street. Where I stopped later in the week for a delicious green juice…kale, ginger, pineapple, kiwi and about 5 other things. Izzy’s even got PEACHES! While waiting for my blend, I met a couple building a home and a business up north…just north of Palapa Bar on the road. A wine bar and event space called Stella’s Smile. Driving by you can see the large palapa going up…

Belize Photography Safari Tour 2015
Top up your travellers memory bank with awe-inspiring memoirs by capturing professionally produced images on a photography-themed adventure vacation led by an internationally acclaimed London based photographer, James Miller. Belize is truly a landscape, wildlife, and portrait photographer’s paradise, and for good reason. With a myriad of exceptional tropical ecospheres that are only matched by the uniquely diverse cultures that habitat them in this tiny new British colonial nation, you may find your biggest problem is where to point your camera. Opportunities for photography abound and there’s no better reason to hone your skills than with a professional photographer who will offer instruction in everything from camera settings to composition and will also lead special photo excursions to open your vision and expand your skills.

A stretch of Ambergris shore is no longer a sore sight for our eyes
Still basking in the glow of a huge effort to clear the roadside of trash just north of the Sir Barry Bridge, only one week later the neighborhood tackled an especially unsightly spot. About 20 neighbors met at Coco Loco’s Beach Bar Friday afternoon and, armed with bags and gloves, marched north on the trash. Their objective was the area near the barge landing. Once a deep water pool, separated from the sea only by a rock wall, the area has filled in with putrid sargassum and plastic. Compounding the sea-borne trash, cyclists and walkers frequently tend to dump their drink bottles and snack bags along the trail that runs through the field. In a little over an hour’s time, the crew made huge inroads into the trash, accumulating an impressive pile of stuffed garbage bags.

International Sourcesizz

Into the light: how lidar is replacing radar as the archaeologist’s map tool of choice
A technology using rapid pulses of light is helping archaeologists to chart ancient settlements hidden beneath dense forest canopies. Colorado State University archaeologist Chris Fisher found out about lidar in 2009. He was surveying the ruins of Angamuco in west-central Mexico the traditional way, with a line of grad students and assistants walking carefully while looking at the ground for bits of ceramics, the remains of an old foundation or even a tomb. He had expected to find a settlement, but instead he happened upon a major city of the Purepecha empire, rivals of the Aztecs in the centuries immediately preceding the Spanish conquest of Mexico in 1519. The site covered 13 sq km; traditional surveying would have taken years, so he turned to a technology that uses pulses of light to penetrate the forest and ground cover to reveal what lay beneath. “In two seasons we had surveyed only two square kilometres,” Fisher said. But with this new technology – lidar – “we mapped the entire city in 45 minutes.” Using hardware based on the ground or on an aeroplane, Lidar can produce images in three dimensions. In the future, drones will probably do most of the surveys. Besides Mexico, lidar has been used to penetrate forest canopy in many countries – among them Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Cambodia – where the vegetation had been too dense or too troublesome to allow for traditional methods.

4th Civil Affairs Group Conducts Site Survey
Marines with 4th Civil Affairs Group, Force Headquarters Group, Marine Forces Reserve, conducted a site survey of the Belizean History Museum June 17, during exercise Tradewinds 2015. The purpose of the survey was to familiarize the CAG Marines with Belizean culture and history, so they could better understand how to interact with their partner nation populace. Though they may be requested to assist the local populace in a time of evacuation to protect items of cultural significance, this is not their main mission. “Civil affairs are forces that are specially trained to look at a problem from the perspective of the civilian populace,” said Maj. Jason Wetherington, a team leader with 4th CAG, FHG, MARFORRES. “Civil affairs trained Marines are the advisors to a commander on how their operation may affect the civilian populace. We are the only ones in the military that are specifically trained to focus on the civilian populace.”

Caribbean Share of Global Trade Has Declined According to New World Bank Report
Caribbean share of global trade has declined from three per cent in the 1970’s to a quarter per cent in 2012, according to a new World Bank report. But the report also notes that the rapidly changing environment for Caribbean exports presents both new opportunities and challenges for economies highly dependent on external markets. The report, ‘Trade matters: New opportunities for the Caribbean’, notes that while trade plays an important role in job creation, exporting also makes employment more vulnerable to external shocks. “Entrepreneurs are already seeing improvements in the business climate. Continued efforts to improve trade facilitation and step up investments in research and innovation, as well as quality education, will help improve skills and generate well-paid jobs in the Caribbean,” said Jorge Familiar, World Bank vice-president for Latin America and the Caribbean. The report also indicates that the region’s trade performance is limited by lack of diversity and limited innovation. The number of patent applications in the Caribbean has been lower than in other regions of the world.


  • Belizean Island Adventure!, 3min. Have you ever heard of Belize? Join me while I do a bunch of stuff during my vacation there! Julian Rivero was in the blue shirt doing most of the flips check out his channel for more.

  • Cayo Espanto Belize 3 days in 3 minutes, 3min. Miscellaneous clips that didn't make it to my helicopter, sea trek, snuba, or snorkel videos. We loved Villa Solana at Espanto!

  • First Belize Video, 6min.

  • Crank barge, Belize, 2min.

  • TALK AH DI TOWN (CERRO TRUSTEE), 15min. from PGTV News Network

  • EXCLUSIVE INT. WITH ASHTON from PGTV News Network, 25min.

  • Alice Diving in Belize, 4min. My brother-in-law shot this video of my mom in 1080p on a GoPro HERO4 Black.

  • keel billed toucan belize, 1.5min.

  • Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, Belize, 1min. Different butterfly species at the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch in the Mountain Pine Ridge area of Belize. Most interesting are the pictures of butterflies mating.

  • Scuba Diving in Belize 2015, 6min. Diving with sharks, turtles and more in San Pedro, Lighthouse Reef and Placencia. Special thanks to Belize Pro Dive in San Pedro.

  • BUILD FOR BELIZE 2015 "THE IMPACT", 2min. 25 SPERRO volunteers built more than a house in 5 days. A family was re-built, a community was strengthened, and relationships were constructed. This is the impact of their dedication.


  • jaguar in belize, 2min.

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