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#505790 - 07/10/15 06:28 AM Today's Belize News: July 10, 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

Costa Maya Festival – a celebration of beauty and culture
Every year without fail, San Pedro Town welcomes hundreds of visitors to the island – many from our mainland – to the International Costa Maya Festival®! What started in 1992 as the Sea and Air Festival, the celebration has evolved into a musical and cultural festival that also brings a touch of beauty to the three-night extravaganza. This year’s event will take place from Thursday, August 6th to Sunday, August 9th. Local and international musicians, deejays, performers, artisans and even carnival fair-style rides fill the Sunset Boardwalk venue, where throngs of festival-goers enjoy different events each night. Organizers of the festival try and spread the entertainment to incorporate the entire family. Always held on the first weekend of August, Costa Maya® begins on a Thursday night. This is now officially kicked off with the selection of a Costa Maya beauty ambassador. Representatives from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama grace the stage in hopes of capturing the crown.

Memorial service held for Leovijildo ‘Leoli’ Varela
The Varela family commemorated the life of 80-year-old Leovijildo ‘Leoli’ Varela on Sunday, July 5th with a mass service and blessing. The well-known island resident was the owner and boat captain of Varela’s Cargo Service Limited. Varela was lost at sea on Thursday, June 25th in a tragic boat incident. Even though his body has not been recovered, family members came together at the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church at 10AM on Sunday to say their last goodbyes. Following the church service, Varela’s barge was blessed in a short ceremony. The Varela family would like to extend their sincerest appreciation to all those who have shown them support during this difficult time. Special thanks goes out all those who came out for the memorial service. May he rest in Peace.

Caribbean Villas Celebrates the 4th of July
The Caribbean Villas Beach Resort certainly brought the 4th of July celebration to San Pedro over the weekend! Saturday, July 4th, marked the 239th anniversary of the United States Independence from Great Britain. The management of Caribbean Villas saw it as an opportunity to celebrate with its American customers and start a tradition with its first ever 4th of July Beach Extravaganza. During the day, there were many activities lined up to entertain all the attendees. From raffles, trivia competitions, and fun games, both children and adults had a wonderful time. A DJ kept the ambiance well alive with a mix of great American beats from the 80’s to present time. On the beach, a huge grill was loaded with succulent American style hot dog sausages. While people were enjoying the music, and keeping the bartenders busy, preparations were being finalized for the night’s grand activities.

Belizeans win Gold at Central American Championships
The Belize delegation captured 11 medals at the 26th Central American Championships in Athletics held in Managua, Nicaragua from Friday, June 19th to Sunday, June 21st. Among those medals were three golds in the disciplines of Heptathlon, Triple Jump and Men’s 4x100m Relay. The competition is organized by the Central American Isthmus Athletic Confederation and sees the participation of athletes from Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua. 18 athletes, along with officials from the Belize Athletics Association (BAA) formed the Belize delegation. The games were held at the Estadio Olímpico del IND Managua. By the end of the tournament, Belize had claimed three gold medals, four silver medals and six bronze medals.

Maya Leaders Alliance seek international assistance in upholding Communal Land Rights
The Maya Leaders Alliance (MLA) has sought international assistance after 12 villagers of Santa Cruz were charged for the unlawful imprisonment of Rupert Myles. MLA claims that they were only attempting to protect the Uxbenka Maya Site where Myles was building his home and the Government of Belize (GOB) is not respecting the Maya’s rights. The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples has since urged GOB to respect the right of the Maya people and remove the charges against them. The incident started on Saturday, June 20th when Myles was unlawfully arrested by Santa Cruz villagers. After Myles reported the incident, police arrested and charged the villagers for the crime of “Unlawful Imprisonment”, “Common Assault” and “Aggravated Assault”. Prime Minister Dean Barrow even condemned the actions of the Santa Cruz villagers, stating that the treatment of Myles is “outrageous”.

Ambergris Today

Miss Mexico and Miss Guatemala for Costa Maya Pageant
Miss Mexico and Miss Guatemala have been the biggest contenders throughout the years at the Miss Costa Maya Pageant, with Mexico claiming the most wins, followed by Guatemala. This week the Costa Maya Festival introduces the delegates of these two countries. The only delegate left to be announced is of the host country Belize, which will be done shortly. This year the pageant is taking place on Thursday, August 6, 2015 as the Costa Maya Festival runs from August 6 – 8. All the contestants arrive on July 29 and will be hosted at Noche Sanpedrana social event at Ramon’s Village, before pageant night.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

San Pedro Sailing Club News
Forrest's Antigua journal. Yesterday, July 8, on the strength of two 5th place finishes, Kevin vaulted ahead 37 places to rank 73, after 6 races. Trent improved 2 places to 96. Jazmine moved up 5 spots to 136. Nashira slipped to 150, but the week is not over. Team racing today. In our first race, we face the strong home team, Antigua, and our 4 have never team-raced before. If we lose to them, we face another team that lost in the consolation series. If we lose to them, we are out. If not, we keep going. Whatever, our kids are excited, and they plan to have Fun.

The Inspiration Center of Belize
The Inspiration Center is a Non-Profit Organization located in the country of Belize. We are the leading comprehensive outpatient Center in the country that focuses entirely on the needs of children with disabilities. Our Vision is to be a leading resource center in the region providing sustainable high quality services to empower children with disabilities to participate in society. Our core values are Empowerment, Rights Based Services, Integrity, Passion, and Respect. We offer children with disabilities from ages birth to 16 years old primary medical care, Speech, Physical, and Hydro therapies, and Social Work services using a traditional Medical model at the Center. We also provide a Community-Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Program nationwide in which our Rehabilitation Field Officers visits children, and their families in their homes. Using local resources and networking they promote empowerment, advocacy, education and inclusion. The use of a dual model of care ensures that our families and children with disabilities receive comprehensive services to maximize their potential.

Belize participates in EXPO Milano 2015
Belize is participating in EXPO Milano 2015, under the theme of “Feeding the planet, Energy for life” as we can foresee Belize partnering with other stakeholders and becoming one of the leading “breadbaskets” in our region. Bordered by Mexico in the North, Guatemala in the West, and the Caribbean Sea in the East, Belize is the only country in Central America, with English as its official language, and whose British colonial history bridges its sister CARICOM countries to mainland Latin America. Belize has a hard-working, diverse, friendly, bi-lingual, and well-educated workforce that bolsters an economy, focused on growth. Being world renowned as a tourist destination, Belize brags for having the second largest barrier reef in the world and is reputable for its beautiful beaches and all year round tropical climate that has made us the country of choice amongst its growing number of returning tourist.

OFFICIAL BY ELECTIONS RESULTS (from Elections and Boundaries Department)

Benque Clean Up Campaign
We make an invitation to all members of the community to join the Clean-Up Campaign this Friday July 10, 2015 starting at 8:00 a.m. at the entrance of Benque Viejo! Project is being headed by Organization of American States (OAS) and the Matanza Project Committee working in conjunction with other organizations including: Benque Community Projects, Benque Cadets, CACHE Benque, Belize Training & Development Institute, Dys Belize, Benque Viejo Town Council, Opening Roads for Future Generations Organization. The 'Welcome to Benque Viejo' sign at the entrace will be repainted and a fundraising sale for the Matanza Project will take place.  If you would like to make any donation for snacks, refreshments or garbage bags, please contact us at: 604-4048  Let's keep Benque Clean! Come out and support this initiative!"

Another successful year for Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2015
Thanks to all who attended our festival and those who made it another successful year for Caye Caulker Lobster Fest 2015. I would like to extend a big thank you to Ms. Enelda Rosado, Mrs. Ellie Gomez our food vendors, the non profit organizations, the Djs, and our family who support us every year. Most importantly, thank you to my committee members: Chantel, Matt, Ilda, Nathan, Maynor, David, Guadz, Julian, Fatima, Kristel, Andrew, Seleny, Elizabeth, David and Kevin, our bar staff and helpers, who worked their butts off from beginning to end!! As a small committee, we try our best with hard work and dedication, to bring you a bigger and better festival every year. We are grateful for the continued support from our locals who help make our festival a successful one. Together we have made this event beneficial for all and we hope to continue working along with the community for the betterment of our Isla Cariñosa!

Vigil on Caye Caulker for Ms. Caroline
There will be a candle light vigil for our beloved friend Ms.Caroline this saturday at 7pm at her home behind of Mr.Juni's house for all those who are willing to accompany us in this time of greavement your all welcome!!!

Cindy Novelo in Concert
PRESENTING HER NEW CD RELEASE: ‘MEDITATION’. A CELEBRATION OF GRACE AND PEACE. HAUNTING… SOULFUL… MAGICAL… An award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Cindy Novelo’s music is a mesmerizing fusion of Americana, classical and world music – soulful sounds that rise from the hollows of Appalachia, Europe, India and beyond. Her new CD ‘Meditation’ – to be released August 15 – pushes the boundaries of her innovative and luscious sound, resulting in a deeply moving musical experience that invites you to fall into grace. Influenced by seventeen years of life overseas and a lifetime of spiritual seeking, it is Cindy’s deepest desire to help the world find healing through the unveiling of the heart and the letting go of the things that divide. Her music is rich with wide open landscapes, deep inner musings and full-on passion. “The human condition – bold and beautiful – is what speaks to us through her music.”

Mr. Frank Mena to be appointed as Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security
The newly elected Area Representative of the Dangriga Electoral Division, Mr. Frank Mena will be sworn in by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor-General of Belize, on Friday July 10th, 2015 at the Belize House in Belmopan City at 10:30 am. Mr. Mena will be appointed as the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security and will later take the official Oath of Office as a Member of the House of Representatives at its next sitting.

H.E. Alexis Rosado Presents Credentials to the President of the Republic of Costa Rica
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to announce that his Excellency Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, President of the Republic of Costa Rica, received H.E. Alexis Rosado in a solemn ceremony on Wednesday, 8th July 2015, on the occasion of the presentation of credentials accrediting Mr. Rosado as Belize's Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Costa Rica. Belize and Costa Rica have enjoyed relations of friendship and cooperation since Belize became an independent country. Both countries have a tradition of peace, democracy, and the respect for human rights and the rule of law. There are several agreements in the areas of trade and cooperation that we now must activate. Both countries are members of the Central American Integration Process (SICA) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) which allows us to engage in dialogue and functional cooperation with other sister countries in the region. Costa Rica and Belize have equally given priority to international concerns regarding climate change, deforestation and to the inadequacy of graduating middle income countries through standard international measurements.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, July 9, 2015: 59. FANTASY 5: 19 22 39 27 16 N

Seeking a new image and TV personality
If your passion is fashion, modeling and show host, ladies here is a great opportunity to be part of an event like no other! The Corozal Free Zone in collaboration with Turquesa Group Ltd. is looking for You! So contact us at 423-7346 or stop by our office Radio Turquesa Belize 91.5 FM located in the Corozal Free Zone for more information! You must be 18 or older to apply! Let's reactivate the Corozal Free Zone

OPTINAM 2015. Antigua. Team Racing
LOTS of photos!

Power interruption 7:00am to 1:00pm on Sunday, July 12: portion Benque Viejo Town
Including Church Hill, St. Joseph St, Baron Bliss St, Chapel Hill, Benque New Site and new Cemetery area; also Arenal, Succotz, Shawville, Clarissa Falls, Calla Creek and Corozalito. BEL to replace utility poles and equipment and remove hazardous vegetation along power distribution system in the area.

Cayo Summer Splash
The big Cayo Summer Splash is Sunday, July 12th, on the Macal River. They'll have a lot of fun, games, and food for everyone.

Channel 7

The Numbers Are In For Griga By-Election: UDP Won Big
As we told you last night in our very extended by-election newscast - the UDP's Frank Pawpa Mena is the new representative for Dangriga, Hope Creek And Sarawee. The final numbers shows that his victory was large and decisive. Of the 3704 persons who voted, Mena got 2164 votes or 58% of the total - while his opponent Anthony Sabal got 41%. That's a very sharp downturn for the PUP's political fortunes in this southern seat - seeing that just three years ago - their candidate Ivan Ramos for 54% of the vote. That's a very significant slippage for the opposition, but for the UDP, it's quite consistent with the support the party saw in March's municipal elections - where they got 60% of the vote. This time it's 58% and Mena now joins the House of Representatives as one of only 10 members who earned more than 58% of the vote in their constituencies.

Mena Going to 'Pan, But Staying Grounded in Griga
And as a reward for his strong showing, it was announced today that Mena will be made Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. He will be sworn in as a member of Cabinet by the Governor General tomorrow. And while he's going to Belmopan, last night in Dangriga at around 9:00 when the result was official, he said it's all about keeping close to his hometown:.. Hon. Frank "Pawpa" Mena, UDP Representative - Dangriga "Listen to me, I will give it my best shot. There are nothing that really frightened me in this world Jules because I come from humble beginning and I will give it my best shot, because my people believes in me and I have to deliver and if I can't really deliver to my people, I am willing to come to my people and have them understand that this is a fight I can't win and I will keep with my people to make them understand that we need to win this together." "You see too much things separate us in Dangriga and we have to have the conversation Jules and maybe, politically I am not saying the right things, but we have to have the conversation because at the end of the day it's about my people and I am not going anywhere from here. I will stay right here. It might be kind of rough, but at the end of the day it's about here."

Despite Loss, PUP Leader is Encouraged
And Standard Bearer Sabal seems to have a very bright future in the PUP - unlike the swiftly dismissed Richard Harrison, who was the last PUP candidate to lose a by-election. Not so for Sabal, he's a keeper, and today at a post mortem press briefing, PUP Party Leader Francis Fonseca said that it's a disappointment, but an encouraging one:.. Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "Obviously we are disappointed with the loss, because we believe Anthony Sabal is such a good candidate and we believe would have made an excellent representative for the people of Dangriga. There are many factors that contributed to the results that we saw in Dangriga yesterday and not the least of which were the fact that the United Democratic Party is in government. They were fairly well organized. Their machinery is well fueled by money. So, I think those are key factors. I think clearly it's a case in which our representative Hon. Ivan Ramos resigned from the National Assembly, someone who had run for the party, resigning from his seat as a member of the House of Representatives. I think that had an effect on some voters. As we were campaigning around Dangriga in particular, some voters felt that he had abandoned them. Sabal became our standard bearer there on May 13th and really only had a few weeks to campaign actively in the area. He is a well-known teacher, but politics is a different business."

Fonseca Has Tight Hold On Leadership
But politics is Francis Fonseca's career - has been from the late 90's. And now, he has the un-enviable distinction of being the only mass party leader to oversee three major elections losses in six months. That's two by-elections and a raft of municipal elections. So, is his leadership in trouble? Well, he told the press today: not at all:.. Jules Vasquez "Will you still be leader when the PUP faces the next general election? And that has a sub-question. Have you contemplating resigning? You lost 3 elections in 6 months under your leadership and second, might there be those in the party who wish to remove you as leader?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "I serve at the will of the members of People's United Party. But the short answer is yes, I will lead the party into the next general elections. I have as I've said earlier, received calls from just about everybody in the party - our standard bearers, leaders - some of them sent messages. But everybody expressed support. Everybody expressed the view that they were proud of the fighting spirit displayed by the party yesterday.

Is The Opposition To Blame For UDP's Electoral Successes?
And so, regardless of outcome, Fonseca gets to hang in there - but the outcome - as we said at the top is telling. It sees the PUP losing major ground in terms of popular support in that seat in just three years - at a time when the UDP, in its eighth year of a second term should be the one losing popularity. But it's the other way around - and Frank Mena has been vaulted into the House of Representatives with a large mandate - breaking the PUP's lock on the south. The bottom line is that the opposition now has one less seat in their House minority - and it's the second seat the party is losing since the start of the year. So, what's the problem? What's causing the popularity pendulum to swing in favour of the government - when it should be swinging against it? That's what we asked the opposition leader today:.. Jules Vasquez "What we are seeing is that Frank "Pawpa" Mena is almost at 60% in a division that never goes over 60%. You have never seen those numbers yourself. Even very popular representatives like Said Musa in the upper 50s. So, that puts Frank "Pawpa" Mena, like Omar Figueroa in a very exclusive club. Are you all properly assessing the totality of the significant lost..."

PUP Blame The Resigning of Ramos
And while the PUP is encouraged by their mobilization - as you heard, they blame the defeat partly on the sudden resignation of their former representative Ivan Ramos. But, should the party be blaming itself for pushing Ramos out? That's what we asked Fonseca today:.. Jules Vasquez "If you all lost voters due to haste, abrupt and disorderly departure. Isn't the blame for that upon your national executive or the leadership of the party?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "I think what I encountered on the ground was a sense of abandonment as I said that people felt that they had voted for a PUP representative. That representative mid-term walked away from his sworn duty and obligation to them. But, clearly the resignation of Ivan Ramos is something as a party we have to bear responsibility for."

Barrow's Teflon Administration?
And so who should the PUP blame for failing to gain ground since the municipal elections in March? After all, the months since that time have seen the release and ventilation of many issues that should have damaged the Barrow administration, and affected the electability fo their candidate. But there was hardly any slippage in Dangriga for the UDP between the municipal result and the by-election. We asked the opposition leader why the results are not tipping in his party's favour - even with all the flak that the Barrow administration is getting:.. Jules Vasquez "Since the municipals, when the UDP got 60% there in Dangriga, the government has been hit with these successive attacks. You can start with the Edmund Castro undoing - the ignominious retreat in the Supreme Court. You can point to the Council of Churches, you can point to the Melvin Hulse case, you can point to the ongoing Petrocaribe issue. Yet they lost not hardly a percentage point of support in Dangriga. Is this an indication either that: a) UDP is, despite all these attacks, overwhelming well-liked or is it b) that the PUP is irresistibly unappealing to the voter?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "Well I know which one you would choose. I think Jules, there is a lot of, if you like, corruption fatigue and a lot of scandal fatigue, if you like among our voters. You will hear that quite a bit. It's almost as if many of them have come to expect these things. I think that's a factor."

Changing Tack on Petrocaribe
And while the PUP is still waiting for a general election political tsunami, will it continue to hammer the Petrocaribe programme as their main political pitch? The results of the recent elections would suggest that the voters aren't buying the PUP pitch. So will the PUP change up? Fonseca said they might have to:.. Jules Vasquez "Is that something the party needs to rethink? Is it focusing too much of its energy on a program which appears may have popular support?" Hon. Francis Fonseca, Leader of The Opposition "I think that's a valid observation Jules. I think what we have to rethink and revisit is our message about the Petrocaribe program."

Shots Ring Out In Ghost Town
Just after 10 this morning police responded to a shooting incident at the corner of Sibun and Vernon Street. So far- over the past 2 weeks- violence in this neighborhood has claimed 3 lives. But this morning no one was hit in the spray of bullets. According to witnesses in the area, the gunman came from the direction of Lakeview Street and opened fire on construction workmen in the area - most of whom are from the neighborhood. This is indicative of the internal turmoil in the Ghost Town Gang. Police are seeking a well-known figure from the area for questioning.

Loathe Thy Neighbor?
Gay rights activist Caleb Orozco has made it well known that LGBT persons are harassed and verbally abused for their sexual orientation. And today, he took a man to the Magistrate's Court where he pressed a criminal complaint of using indecent words and throwing missiles. The man he accused, Emerson Picart, was found guilty. Orozco is Picart's neighbour, and he testified that in October last year, while he was in his yard Picart shouted words which were meant to insult his sexual orientation. Orozco said Picart then threw a bottle at him. In his defence, Picart denied that he committed the offences. He said that he had just come out of his house because he and his wife were having problems, and that's when Orozco made sexual advances at him. Despite the fact that the investigator made errors in following up on the report, Chief Magistrate Smith found Picart guilty of the offences, remarking that Orozco had given an account of the incident which is believable.

The Heated Atmosphere in Griga
Last night during our live coverage of the by-election in Dangriga, we told you about the confrontational mood that prevailed at polling stations throughout the day. But, due to time constraints, we weren't able to coherently show you the full-on action from the morning to the announcement of the results. So tonight we bring you a detailed account of the day from the first fight exploded to the final moment of truth. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Swarms of party supporters converged near the "Drums of Our Fathers" monument in Lakeland Dangriga. Standing in front of the tents and fluttering flags were the guards of the camp - carefully monitoring the opposing team. On the streets, pockets of supporters roved - greeting fellow campaigners and latching unto voters. Everyone seemed quite composed and calm - with opposing sides standing face to face.

Hon. Omar Almost Run Over
And one more accident which didn't get reported or make it into that story involved Cayo North Representative Omar Figueroa. We saw him limping slightly on Front Street yesterday - and found out that he was almost run over. Mayor of Dangriga Francis Humphreys witnessed the accident and was irate when we spoke to him yesterday afternoon:.. Francis Humphreys, Mayor - Dangriga "See that "No Entry" sign there. That was moved a side by a van for the PUPs. The van backed up right along Front Street here towards the north. Dr. Figueroa and his companion were walking on the right-hand side of the street. The vehicle backed into him and he was saved by his companion who pulled him out of the way." Hon. Omar Figueroa, UDP Rep - Cayo North "Well I didn't see it coming. I was walking down going towards my truck and the vehicle hit me from behind. I just heard Oscar say watch out and he pulled me out and I think that if he didn't pulled me out, the knock would have thrown me forward and it could have been a little bit worse. But I am okay."

Hard As It Is, PM Stands By Hon. Castro
When we caught up with the Prime Minister yesterday, we also asked him about his scandalized minister of state Edmund Castro. The PUP are having a field day with the fact that he had to withdraw his libel and defamation suit against whistleblower Alverine Burgess. The opposition has called for him to be removed from the cabinet because they say that has effectively admitted to wrongdoing. Yesterday the Prime Minister laughed at that assertion:.. Jules Vasquez "The Opposition is a release has called on you to take Minister Edmund Castro out of your cabinet as a minister of state or for him to resign immediately. They say that he has effectively admitted to corrupt acts when he withdrew his case in court." Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "Well that's a hell of a stretch. I don't accept that at all. He was the one who brought the suit for defamation. He obviously withdrew on the advice of attorney and you can make what you will of it. It was not exactly covered in glory, in terms of the withdrawal, but I don't know you could get to say that is an effective admission of corruption. I reject that out of hand."

PM Says Father Leslie Equivocated
Earlier, you saw how the Prime Minister didn't have anymore to say on the Edmond Castro matter - but he did have quite a bit to say about the Catholic Church's rejection of the Petrocaribe legislation. As we have reported, the church sent out an unusual press release this weekend saying that while Senator Father Noel Leslie had voted in favour of Petrocaribe - the Catholic Church didn't support it. That's a major diss for the Barrow government - but yesterday the Prime Minister said that's not at all how it went down when he met with the council of churches to go over the legislation:.. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister "At the meeting that I held with the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association. Pastor Longsworth was there for the Evangelicals, Bishop Phillip Wright, Rev. Papaloute, Bishop Glancy and Father Leslie for the Council of Churches. We went through the original Petrocaribe act and we went through the amendments which I had provided. Father Leslie volunteered without any prompting from any of the others - volunteered his satisfaction with the amendments. Made clear that he always supported the Petrocaribe program, but that he had had clearly his reservations about the original act. Said that with the amendments in his own mind, it had all been clarified and he would therefore be happy to vote for the amendments at the next session. I ask him "Father, do I have you leave to say this" and I think I might have told you about this on camera - "Do I have your leave to say this when I talk to the other social partners," because I knew that there was going to be certainly a meeting with the NTUCB and he said 'please, by all means do so, because I am satisfied and that's how I am going to vote.' I was therefore a little taken aback, not that he was reversing course, but that he should say that from the start, he was not personally in favor of the amendments, but had determined to vote yes only because that was the wish of the other church people that were there."

Yearwood Case Wraps
Last night, we told you about the lawsuit that the Yearwood family started months ago against the Police Department and the Government of Belize. They are seeking financial compensation for the death of Police Constable Dean Yearwood, who was shot and killed by a fellow police officer, Constable Glenwayne Grant. Despite the fact that neither the police, nor the DPP's Office have brought criminal charges against Grant, the Yearwood family wants the Supreme Court to examine the facts and determine if Grant was reckless or excessive in the use of lethal force when he fatally shot Dean Yearwood. That case finally began in the court room of Justice Sonya Young yesterday, and it continued today. The ballistics expert from the National Forensic Science Service took the stand and gave his report on his findings of the shooting. When he finished the case was completed, and outside, we spoke with the attorney for the Yearwood family. He summarized the evidence that the judge now has to rule on:?

The Cotton Tree Claim
The Cotton Tree Village Council finally got its day in court today after suing the government for allegedly violating the law when it didn't consult them when lands in their village were being shared up. Viewers may remember that early last year, the Government decided to set aside 240 lots to be shared up between eight UDP controlled Belize City constituencies. The village council members say that they weren't even consulted, or offered these lands, and they quickly filed suit against the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Lands Department. After months of case management, the Chief Justice was finally ready to allow both sides to present their cases, which was quite short. The witnesses from both sides were called, and when the case was completed, we spoke with the claimants about how it went: The Chief Justice will deliver his decision at a later date.

A Pugilist's Playground
The first ever boxing expo will be held this Saturday in Belize City. Boxers from across the country will be competing, while showcasing their mastery of the sweet science. We found out more about the idea behind it from the organizer: The Expo will take place on Saturday at the Wing Stop in Belize City. IT starts at 11:30am and tickets can be purchased at the gate.

Ambassador Alexis in Costa Rica
Belizean Ambassador Alexis Rosado was in Costa Rica yesterday where he was received by that country's president, Luis Guillermo. A ceremony was held in which Rosado presented his credentials to Guillermo as Belize's new Ambassador to the Republic of Costa Rica. During his visit, he paid a courtesy call on Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez Sanz, and he also made arrangements for the opening of a new Consulate of Belize In Costa Rica. Rosado is the Belizean Ambassador to Guatemala, and with this ceremony, he will now serve as the non-resident Ambassador to Costa Rica as Well.

Hon. Francis Got Out The Vote
As we've shown you, in a divisional by-election, the landscape is distorted because politicians from all over the country descend on a single area to get out the vote for their party. Yesterday in Dangriga, even the leader of the Opposition did his part:..

Come Back Blue Machine
And while Fonseca did his part yesterday - he told the media he is encouraged, despite the loss - and that's because the PUP showed real signs of life after being badly outmatched by the UDP in Cayo North. Now, those vital signs weren't nearly close enough to deliver a victory, but for Fonseca, to whom victory is always on a fast approaching horizon - it's indicative of a change in the air:… Tomorrow we'll have more from Fonseca's post election press conference when we ask him whether his national campaign manager Godfrey Smith's job is on the line.

Channel 5

‘Papa’ Mena Victorious at the Polls, P.U.P. Loses Dangriga Seat
The results of the Dangriga bye-elections were known early on Wednesday night. In fact by seven thirty it was clear that the U.D.P.’s Frank “Papa” Mena had established a commanding [...]

What’s the Prime Minister’s Thoughts on the P.U.P. Machinery?
One of the biggest stories on Election Day was the political muscle present from both parties – and indeed, it’s hard to remember the last time the P.U.P. put on [...]

‘Papa’ Mena to be Sworn in as Minister of State
While some may quibble over and analyze the numbers to suit their own specific agendas, a win is a win, even if only by one vote so six hundred and [...]

P.U.P. Campaign – Spirited and Unifying Despite Time Constraints
Despite a brief and spirited campaign, the People’s United Party has suffered yet another loss at the polls.  In the wake of a fourth consecutive defeat under the direction of [...]

Anthony Sabal Remains P.U.P. Dangriga Standard Bearer…
In his first crack at electoral politics, retired educator Anthony Sabal was squarely routed by his former student, Frank ‘Papa’ Mena, by a margin of fifty-nine to forty-one percent at [...]

…But Will Francis Fonseca Resign as Party Leader?
The People’s United Party, under the leadership of Francis Fonseca, is yet to win an election.  Having suffered defeat in the 2012 general elections, a singular trouncing in the January [...]

Surveillance Footage Shows Police Response After Kareem Clark Murder
At around one Monday morning, young media personality Kareem Clarke, twenty-seven, was brutally gunned down as he rode home on Vernon Street. He was shot five times – twice to [...]

Caleb Orozco’s Neighbor Found of Gay Bashing and Throwing Missiles
Caleb Orozco had his day in court against his neighbor. Thirty one year old Emmerson Picart, a clerk with the Ministry of National Security, was found guilty of throwing missiles [...]

PM Steadfast on Petrocaribe Funds, Elections Results are Proof
This is the third significant election victory for the United Democratic Party just this year – the Cayo North bye-election in January, followed by the municipals in March and now [...]

Belize Jaguars Leap Forward in FIFA World Cup Standings…
In the next few weeks Belize, FIFA will determine which country national team will play in round three of the World Cup qualifying games having badly beaten the Dominican Republic [...]

…But is the F.F.B. Financial Prepared for Related Expenses?
The Football Federation of Belize has since spent over four hundred thousand dollars on the last two qualifying rounds of the World Cup Games. But the upcoming match will need [...]

Smart Holds Annual Football Summer Camp
Move over, Deon McCaulay! There is a group of boys getting ready to take over that striker position with the Jaguars. Well, not just yet, but they are well on [...]


Papa Mena To Be Appointed Junior Minister In The Ministry Of National Security
A day after being elected as Area Representative for Dangriga a release from the Government states that Frank Mena will be appointed as Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. Mena will be sworn in by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor-General of Belize, on Friday July 10th, 2015 at the Belize House in Belmopan City. The release ends stating that Mena will be appointed as the Minister of State and will later take the official Oath of Office as a Member of the House of Representatives at its next sitting.

North Experiencing Egg Shortage And An Increase In Price
You may have noticed a shortage in eggs over the last 2 weeks at your local grocery store. And if you are lucky enough to find eggs, either the price is too high or you are only allowed to buy a certain amount. Presently, on average, eggs are being sold two for a dollar or 9 dollars for a tray. Belize has two main egg suppliers, Country Food and Caribbean Chicken. This afternoon we spoke via telephone with President of the Belize Poultry Association, Orlando Habet, who told us that he is not aware of any such shortage since he has been out of the country and returned today. Habet said however, shortages are usually caused because of the illegal flow of eggs from Belize over to Guatemala and Mexico where there is an egg crisis. Based on the information provided by both egg suppliers, an estimated 204,000 eggs are distributed to the entire country on weekly bases. It still does not compare to the Mexican demand where the country poultry industry states that Mexico consumes the most eggs in the world per capita. It is estimated that on average, Mexicans consume more than 430 eggs a year, while in Belize, Belizeans eat over 160 eggs per person per year.

NDACC Conducts National Secondary Drug Prevalence Survey
Last year, the National Drug Abuse Control Council Belize conducted a National Secondary School Drug Prevalence Survey. It focused on a population of 8,929 students from 30 selected Belizean secondary schools between the ages of 13 and 17 years. Many adults however, were skeptical about the results, since they portrayed excessive consumption of alcohol among the youths. Today, we spoke with Director of the National Drug Abuse Control Council Esner Vellos on the matter. “This national secondary survey is conducted every two years in all OAS members states and these are basically to look at the prevalence of drugs and where as a country and as a region we stand in the consumption of drugs among our young people, the survey was focused primarily on a population of approximately 8929 students from thirty Belizeans secondary schools between the ages of 13 and 17 years throughout the country of Belize.”

Alexis Rosado Accredited Belize's Ambassador To The Republic Of Costa Rica
Belize and Costa Rica have enjoyed relations of friendship and cooperation since Belize became an independent country. Both countries have a tradition of peace, democracy, and the respect for human rights and the rule of law. And in that vein, on Wednesday during a solemn ceremony, , President of the Republic of Costa Rica his Excellency Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera, received His Excellency Alexis Rosado on the occasion of the presentation of credentials accrediting Mr. Rosado as Belize's Ambassador Extraordinary to the Republic of Costa Rica. Both countries are members of the Central American Integration Process (SICA) and the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) which allows us to engage in dialogue and functional cooperation with other sister countries in the region. Costa Rica and Belize have equally given priority to international concerns regarding climate change, deforestation and to the inadequacy of graduating middle income countries through standard international measurements.

Team Jaguars Moves Up In FIFA's Ranking
Yesterday Belize’s very own Deon McCauley was featured on the FIFA web page and today there is more exciting news coming out from the world of football as the monthly release of the FIFA Coca Cola World Football Rankings is out. The news is that Belize is now ranked 118th of 209 nations, and 15th in CONCACAF, the best position ever, after two defeats upon Dominican Republic in World Cup qualifying last month. We now achieved the best move by ranks of 37 for this month. Belize however continues to trail in Central America, leading only Nicaragua in the standings. Belize’s next opponent will be learned in the preliminary draw for round three of CONCACAF qualifying on July 25 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The round two ten survivors along with Jamaica and Haiti will be separated into two pots according to this month’s rankings and paired off, with matches taking place from 31 August to 8 September.

#505791 - 07/10/15 06:29 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 10, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Parents Want Missing Daughter to Come Home
Tonight Maricela Galdamez and her common-law-husband Julian Alvarez have come to us for help looking for their seventeen year old missing daughter, Loani Janet Alvarez. Loani has been missing since June 25 and is a resident of 43b Marage Road, Ladyville Village, Belize District. She was last seen at home by her younger brother wearing a […]

Mena Gets Minister of State in Ministry of National Security
Last night as the Prime Minister exited the counting station at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall in Dangriga following the announcement of Mena’s victory in the bi-elections, he was asked by the media whether he will be bringing Mena into the fold of the Cabinet. Here is how the Prime Minister responded. DEAN BARROW “Absolutely; […]

Bi-Election Held in Dangriga – UDP Claims Victory
It was only one month ago on June 9, that the duly elected Area Representative for Dangriga, Ivan Ramos had submitted his resignation from the House of Representatives. Today, we can tell you that via the electoral process, Ramos has been replaced. With the three candidates, Anthony Sabal for the PUP; Frank Mena for the […]

Opposition Leader Disappointed but not Surprised at PM’s Response
In a press briefing today with PUP’s Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, we asked him what he had to say about Barrow’s remarks regarding the Castro situation. FRANCIS FONSECA “At least Mr. Barrow is being consistent. That is the same thing he said when people were calling for the resignation of Pablo Marin as the Minister […]

PM Says Castro Stays in Cabinet Despite Opposition’s Request
Last Friday, July 3, the Minister of State, Edmond Castro, dropped his lawsuit against Alvarine Burgess – a woman, who had made allegations against Castro and his involvement in a hustle of selling visas. As a result, Castro now has to pay thirty thousand dollars to Burgess, as ordered by the court. Since then the […]

Court News: Illegal Immigrants Imprisoned …. Duo Charged with Grievous Harm
Four Cubans, three men and one woman, were each fined one thousand dollars today by Magistrate Stephanie Gillett after they pled guilty to illegal entry. They were ordered to pay the fines forthwith. They were unable to pay so they were taken to prison to serve six months after which they will be expelled from […]

Emerson Picart Found Guilty of Harassing Gay Activist
Emerson Picart, a resident of Zericote Street in Belize City charged with using indecent words to gay rights activist, Caleb Orozco and throwing missiles at him, was found guilty of both charges today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. He was fined one hundred dollars for each offence; if he defaults on payment, he […]


Munchi and Gapi Square off at Dangriga By-Elections?
And while the main battle was between Sabal and Mena at the polls, in the Village of Hope Creek things started heating up around 11 am especially after an alleged scuffle between Ramon Cervantes Jr. and Hon. Gaspar Vega. The two men are enemies both politically and now in court. There are several v...

PM speaks on Castro’s case withdrawal
The Prime Minister spoke today on the issue of Edmund Castro’s withdrawal of the case against Alvarene Burgess. Castro was suing Burgess for defamation of character after she alleged that Castro was paid to facilitate visas for Asian nationals but just before the announcement of the verdict, Castro...

Dangriga by-election takes place today
Today was election day for the Dangriga Constituency as voters headed to the polls to choose their new area representative. This bi-election came about as a result of Ivan Ramos, PUP member of the House of Representatives, stepping down and resigning as Area representative. To replace Ramos, the Peo...

Belize sends delegation to Pan American Games
Toronto, Ontario, Canada will host the 17th Pan American Games from July 10 to July 26. The Pan American Games are the world’s third largest sporting competition after the Olympic and Commonwealth Games and are held every four years after the Commonwealths and before the Olympics. Belize’s delegatio...

Fire damages house on Kelly Street
There was tragedy averted this morning on Kelly Street in Belize City. A fire broke out at a residence in the middle of the morning and neighbours quickly acted to limit the damage. We spoke to a neighbour of the family whose house was attacked by fire. Neighbor of Fire Victim “I was coming ou...

Alvarine Burgess’ case file submissions in Castro defamation case
The case of Edmund Castro versus Alvarine Burgess for defamation of the Area Representative’s character was withdrawn last week . Burgess had alleged that Castro had facilitated hundreds of Visas for Asian nationals at a set price per visa. According to Castro’s attorney, the Honorable member of the...

Angel Tzec loses court case over land
The Supreme Court today issued a decision in the case of agronomist Angel Tzec, who says the Lands Department began to share out parcels of his 250-acre plot in the Cayo District in 2012, following the general elections that year, despite his holding a paid-up lease that he was scheduled to renew wi...

Strategy planned to address adolescents with HIV
This week there is a workshop on to discuss the epidemic of youth with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. While there has been a reduction of new cases countrywide so far this year, there are gaps to be addressed with regard to youths and particularly young men who have caught the deadly virus. We spo...

Police reorganize Eastern Division
On the heels of a triple murder weekend in Belize City, the Police Department announced an already planned reorganization of the entire Eastern Division which essentially is all of the Belize District. It involves a return to command for a former star of City policing that stepped aside to obtain a ...

Guatemalan man arrested for kept ammunition
On July 7 at 6:30p.m., while police were on mobile patrol near the Pueblo Nuevo Ferry Road they stopped and search 22-year-old Arnoldo Peck, a Guatemalan national of Bella Vista, Toledo District. On him, police found a box which contained nine 16 gauge cartridges inside a blue knapsack which he had ...

9 mm now in hands of criminal
A 9 mm pistol is now in the hands of criminals after it was stolen off a gulf cart in San Pedro. On the night of July 4, a 35-year-old man of San Mateo Area, San Pedro Town, parked his golf cart in front of the San Pedro Church on Barrier Reef Drive and walked a few feet away to talk to someone. He ...

Brothers charged for keeping bar open past closing hours
It may be bad news for those accustomed to carousing, but under the law, bars in Belize do have closing hours, usually midnight. However, two brothers from Ladyville, Belize District, 38 year old Jose and 34 year old Oscar Mejia, naturalized Belizeans originally from Honduras, are accused of keeping...

The Guardian

Papa Mena delivers Dangriga for UDP
Frank ‘Papa’ Mena is the new area representative for the Dangriga constituency after a by-election was held on Wednesday July 8. Mena secured 2,164 votes against his opponents Anthony Sabal, who received 1,526 and a third party candidate, Llewellyn Lucas who received a mere 14 votes. 31 ballots were rejected. The total number of registered voters in the constituency is 6,275 making the voter turnout 59.52%. It is a significant victory for Mena and so too for the United Democratic Party which has been pushing an agenda of development over the past couple of years. Following the resignation of Ivan Ramos from the National Assembly, this by-election was something like a referendum on the UDP’s Petro Caribe powered development agenda. The UDP’s promise to Dangriga, Sarawee and Hopecreek was more development for the constituency via the Petro Caribe program. Even before being elected, Mena had successfully lobbied Central Government for resources that are currently seeing major infrastructural development across the constituency. His ascension now to the National Assembly will now guarantee that even more will come to Dangriga.

Josephine Wins Rich Pot of $500,000
Dillon Jones is such a jokester and trickster that it is hard to take anything he says seriously. So what would you do if he called and said you have just won $500,000? This is the call that Banak Street resident Josephine Humes received after Thursday night’s, July 2, drawing of Mek Mi Rich. Humes has been purchasing Mek Mi Rich tickets since the game debuted nine months ago and has always been hopeful that one day she would win. “Whenever it come on, I would say that I wah get it. If noh the thousand, the five thousand. I can’t believe it is the five hundred thousand.” She tripled up for Thursday’s drawing by purchasing three quick picks. When Jones called to congratulate her she was asked to read out the numbers on her ticket. The first set of numbers she read did not match the winning numbers. However, the numbers from the second ticket: “30, 14, 28, 13 and 3” matched the winning numbers of the Mek Mi Rich $500,000 jackpot.

The irony of Pastor Scott Stirm
First gaining momentum on the bootstraps of the UNIBAM movement, Pastor Scott Stirm has once again become vocal concerning the LGBTQ+ community. Despite my doubts that anyone really cares what he has to say, he has been the go to for media outlets (assumably desperate for controversy on a slow news day) to interview in light of the coming Gay Pride celebration in Southern San Pedro. Pastor Stirm, will, if asked for his issue with, well, just about anything progressive happening in Belize, express something along the lines of “foreign powers, with money to throw around” attempting to “defile the morality of Belize,” a morality that he has been a large part of shaping. At the very least, you have to admire his consistency; this has been his go-to scapegoat for his bigotry since his first surge in popularity and relevance. What’s curious about this justification, however, is that Stirm himself is not Belizean. He is a missionary pastor from Texas with orthodox baptist leanings, railing against foreigners evangelizing their beliefs to the Belizean people. Stirm, just one, in a long line of black coated missionaries sent to spread the good word to the godless heathens near the equator cannot possibly, in his position, understand the undeniable irony of this. Neither, it would seem, can his followers who cheer on his condemnations of homosexuality and championship of “good old fashion Belizean values,” but the irony is there.

From street cop to attorney at law Chester Williams takes over Southside Belize City
“It's not a matter of whether or not it will happen - we will reduce crime on Southside Belize City."– Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, new Police Commander of Belize City Southside. Senior Superintendent Chester Williams is back in Southside Belize City and this time he is not acting as but he is the actual boss of police officers assigned to the area, over 300 of them. This is after a reconfiguration of the Belize Police Department’s Eastern Division in which the Division has now been divided further into three formations: Eastern Division South, Eastern Division North and Eastern Division Rural. Assistant Commisioner of Police, Desiree Phillips, is in charge of Eastern Division North which includes Northside Belize City. Sr. Superintendent Edward Broaster is responsible for Eastern Division Rural which includes Belize Rural Central and Belize Rural South. Williams is in charge of the largest formation in the country, Eastern Division South, which covers Southside Belize City.

The 13th installment of the Belize Archaeology & Anthropology Symposium held in Cayo
The Annual Belize Archaeology and Anthropology Symposium (BAAS), a signature event and in series for the 13th time, began on Tuesday of this week at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Given that there are intense intellectual activities over the four days, from June 30th to July 3rd, this year’s event is being jointly brought forward by the Institute of Archaeology(IA) and the Institute for Social and Cultural Research (ISCR). Special topics to be covered during this week include Settlement and Landscape Archaeology, Social Organization & Political Boundaries of the Ancient Maya as well as the Representation of Indigenous Peoples in Belize and the Region. Giving a presentation in the Bedran Hall on Wednesday evening was Lyra Spring and Juan Cho, who both described the potential of cacao for Belizean entrepreneurs. Juan Cho spoke about the fifth generation IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate operation, formally established in 1985 that is fulfilling the local and international demands for chocolate derived products such as confectionaries, soaps and lotions. According to Juan Cho some 1600 visitors came to his facility in 2014 and from that alone he was able to generate US$68, 000.00 While IXCACAO Maya Belizean Chocolate was producing products with stone tools a few years ago, they now have machinery to do the work.

HIV/AIDS Workshop
Often times, we tend to be ignorant toward some of the most widespread, evolving issues around us. HIV/AIDS has become something so discreet, yet significant in the country of Belize; simply because we lack the courage to face our very own demons. Today, HIV/AIDS is still an alarming issue in the country of Belize; affecting adults, youths, and young ones. Having a growing population, the Government of Belize has made youths its main focus, ensuring to pave a successful future for them. In an effort to target the issue of HIV/AIDS, the National AIDS Commission of Belize (NAC) is currently hosting a workshop focused mainly on creating a strong and effective strategy of response for youths being affected by HIV/AIDS. For the past two months, NAC has set out to assess the impacts of HIV/AIDS in the everyday environment of youths across the country of Belize, since in youths especially; the rates of infection are still high. In 2014, eighteen out of every one hundred new infections were affecting youths between the ages of fifteen and twenty four. Although there are many systems and services in tact to benefit youths, there is no national strategy for a response that brings all aspects of the situation together, nor is there a viable national decision made on how to respond to HIV/AIDS in youths. The lacking a response strategy for youths that are affected with this phenomenon can be very risky in the short term future of our country.

Mouth Could Cost Her $$$$
Attorney at Law/Media Personality, Audrey Matura-Shepherd, may have to pay a huge some of money for being unable to keep her mouth shut. After a long legal battle between the Government of Belize and the Belize Grassroots Youths Empowerment Association over the use of the buffer zone in Harmonyville, the two sides were finally about to reach a mutually acceptable settlement. However, one of the terms of this settlement is that the terms are not to be publicly discussed until the agreements are final. In simple terms, neither party is to reveal the terms of the settlement. This settlement was proposed on February 26, 2015, and on that very same day Matura-Shepherd gave an interview to Channel 5 and other media houses in which she completely ignored the gag order that was an essential part of the agreement.

Petrocaribe: Not the only source of development for Belize
The Government of Belize has dedicated itself to infrastructural, economical and social development, to provide a promising future for every Belizean. For a developing country, it is important to have a very stable government as the backbone for the country. Over the past year, development for the country was made possible not only by Petrocaribe funds, but also from the Overseas Investment Fund (OPIC) agency. Honorable Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke at a press conference on Sunday, July 5, 2015, to highlight some of the future developments in store for the country. Even before the Petrocaribe loan became a reality for Belize, funds from OPIC were already approved for further development in the southern areas of Belize. Essentially, the entire country of Belize is experiencing varying degrees of improvement; on balance, Petrocaribe is not the only source of development for Belize. Because of influence from the opposition, citizens tend to forget that the present Government of Belize has ensured development through other source of funding apart from the popular Petrocaribe fund. The complete reconstruction of the Hummingbird highway is being initiated with funds from the OPIC funds. More specifically, the OPIC funds were designed to rebuild those six single lane bridges in southern Belize, and make them more easily accessible by trucks and motor vehicles. From the very beginning of development in Belize, those bridges were constructed in order to effectively communicate with those southern parts of Belize that particularly relieves a large percentage of the agricultural industry, as well as regional trade between Belize and Central American countries. By reconstruction of the narrow bridges, transportation will flow more smoothly and securely, rather than waiting for a break to cross each consecutive bridge, which adds to the extensive time it takes to travel on the highway.

Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children of Belize, Leads a Delegation to Visit the Republic of China (Taiwan)
At the invitation of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the Special Envoy for Women and Children of Belize Mrs. Kim Simplis Barrow leads a delegation of four persons to visit Taiwan from July 5th to 10th 2015. Since Mrs. Barrow was appointed as the Special Envoy for Women and Children in 2009, she has made significant efforts in helping the handicapped children in Belize. Mrs. Barrow launched a campaign to establish the “Inspiration Center” in 2011, intending to provide a shelter for the handicapped children. Regardless of the challenge of her own health, Mrs. Barrow has been working tirelessly in raising fund for the Center. With the opening of the Belize Inspiration Center in September 2013, affordable medical service and assistance have thus been accessible to the disadvantaged children in Belize. Mrs. Barrow’s tireless devotion for many years finally bears fruits. To recognize her outstanding contribution over the years, Chou,Ta-Kuan Foundation, a prestigious NGO in Taiwan, will award her “Fervent Global Love of Lives” medal during her visit.

Youth Talks
The word ‘success’ is used in many contexts but has been overly used in the sense that those who want to achieve their goals are doing so as if they are in a competition. A competition where everyone wants to accomplish something so that they can show off to their friends and family; to show everyone that they are better than them and to impress them. But in my personal opinion, success is everything to me. You’d have to go through some sort of hardship or realization in order to understand the full meaning and potential of that word. How do we go a day in school and college without a thought of being “successful”. When asked “what do you want to do or be when you’re older”. Simple answer would be “to be successful” and why? “to make money” or “to live life to its full potential”. But success doesn’t only entail being paid the most or having the best position. If we are truly happy with our careers and where our lives are taking us that is true success. After all, success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

Young woman killed inside her apartment in PG
Juana Cardinez, a 29 year-old resident of Punta Gorda Town was found by police inside her apartment dead. It appears that she had been stabbed and her throat was cut, and whoever took her life, left her in the apartment for almost 48 hours. On Friday, July 2, after searching for her 2 days, police officers visited her apartment, located at the corner of King and Jose Maria Nunez Streets in PG. They report that a stench was coming from her room, and so, that made them suspicious. Inside they found her lying on the bedroom floor in a decomposing state. The officers observed what appears to be trauma to the head and neck area. A post mortem was conducted on the body in Belize City by Dr. Mario Estradabran who certified that cause of death as bleeding out due to the slashing of the common carotid artery in her neck. Right now, police are investigating, and they suspect that her killer may have been someone she knew. She was reported missing on Wednesday by her ex-common-law husband, Alberto Coleman.

Emmerson Cain killed and dumped into Haulover Creek
The body of Belize City resident Emmerson Cain, an elderly man, was found killed and dumped into the Haulover Creek behind Spoonaz Café. It appears that he was assaulted, thrown in the water, left for dead. Reports are that around 4 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, the 65 year-old was hanging out behind the Village Kitchen Restaurant on North Front Street. He was somehow assaulted by several persons, and it is believed that someone bashed him over the head with a rock, injuring him to the forehead and chin. He was then thrown into the nearby creek, and 2 hours later, his body was retrieved and taken to the Belize City morgue.

After 7 months on remand, woman is set free after accused of stabbing a man over a stolen bicycle!
Sandra Perez, 30 year old, has been on remand at the Belize Central prison since her arraignment in December 2014, after being unable to meet bail. Perez allegedly stabbed Kenrick Pennill, 48 year old, once to the abdomen while being in an altercation on Cemetery Road, Belize city. On December 29, 2014, Pennill reported to the police that Perez approached him, accusing him of stealing a bicycle. Upon denying the accusations, Pennill said that Perez pulled a knife and stabbed him in his abdomen. On Wednesday, July 08, 2015, Perez appeard unrepresented before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, to answer to two offenses of grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Meanwhile the police officers, who were initially connected with the case to bear testimony, were present in court, the victim, Pennill, could not be located to prove his charge against Perez.

Man sentenced to one year in prison for handling stolen goods
Harrison Gilbert Powell, a 47 year old resident of #3863 Central American Boulevard, Belize City, has been sentenced to one year imprisonment for handling stolen goods. Powell, who has been on remand since his arraignment on April 28, 2015, was initially accused of entering the home of Kayla Hamilton, located on Miller Street, Belize City, as a trespasser, and stole $1,165 total in household items. Powell appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, on Friday July 3, 2015, where he was reread his two offences and charges. Powell changed his plea to guilty of handling stolen goods, after he was found riding Hamilton’s stolen bicycle, with her belongings on the handle of the bike. Thereafter, Powell was slapped with a one year jail term for his two crimes of dishonesties including burglary and handling stolen goods. Since Powell pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, the court prosecutor, Inspector Egbert Castillo, withdrew the burglary charge against him.

Police in Benque Viejo del Carmen meet with the community
The Benque Viejo Police Formation held a very important meeting with members of the community at the Mount Carmel High School on Friday night of last week. In meeting with members of the public, Benque Police are seeking to create a team effort to combat crime. Master of Ceremonies for the meeting was Corporal Josua McKoy. The welcome address was given by Officer in Charge of the Benque Viejo Police Formation, Daniel Arzu; as well as his Deputy, Stanley Bowden. Daniel Arzu promised to improve services with positive changes, so that the community of Benque Viejo could regain the confidence and respect for a community based police force. Daniel Arzu also stated that he is committed for the community and police to work together.

Government gets BSI to extend sugarcane crop - Radicals have farmers holding over 330,000 tons of cane
There are many cane farmers who have not yet delivered a single piece of cane from their fields as the set date, July 7, for the close of the 2015 sugarcane crop season has come and gone. The numbers are showing that despite a decrease in sugarcane deliveries to the factory this year there will be a record set in production of sugar. Therefore, the long delay to the start of the crop has not hurt the Belize Sugar Industry Limited one bit. On the contrary, with so many farmers unable to put even a dent in their quotas, the delay could have serious consequences to small farmers. Fortunately, Hon. Gaspar Vega, Minister of Agriculture, has stepped one foot into the gates of the factory and urged them to keep accepting sugarcane for at least five more days. “There were several cane farmers who have not been able to deliver a single piece of sugarcane and that was a huge concern because I feel that everyone should be given the opportunity to deliver atleast a percentage of their quota,” says Vega. He then made several phone calls to the Directors of BSI and finally got them, over this past weekend, to agree to extend the crop for five days.

The Not So Invisible Hand
Last week after the Senate Meeting Sentator Shoman was a guest on the Vibes Radio Morning Show , where she made the pronouncement that the Roman Catholic Church would be releasing a statement shortly. Lisa sounded as if she knew exactly what would have been contained in that, at the time, yet to be released statement. She may not have said so directly but that is what any sensible person would conclude. The question many Belizeans are asking and certainly I am asking is how did she know what was contained in what was at that point a not yet RELEASED STATEMENT, is she Miss Cleo ? When it comes to the well received and appreciated infrastructure and social projects fuel by the PETROCARIBE FUNDS the Peoples United Party is PETROfied to the point where they know no bounds . It now seems that there may be forces within that party that may be using some sort of pressure to take PARTY POLITICS into Church affairs. Another possibility is that person or persons may be using their closeness with the Bishop to take advantage of him not being in good HEALTH. We hope NEITHER of the two situations is the case.

The Skepticis and Political Pundits were having a field day during the by-elections, second guessing as to why the voters were not turning out to the polls. At the close of the polls though they were proven wrong as usual. See the constituency of Dangrigra, Sarawee and Hope Creek had around the same voter turnout it had in 2012 when it was a double election. So the 60 % turnout for an election that would not change the balance of power was a good turnout. Lets look at the actual numbers in 2012. The total amount of voters were 5,904 of which 3,827 voted, a 64.84%. The PUP candidate Ivan Ramos got 2,036 (53.20% of the votes cast) UDP’s Arthur Roches 1,699 (44.40% of the votes cast). Therefore Ramos defeated incumbent Roches by 337 votes. Fast forward to the July 8th By-election, total amount of voters 6,275, with a turnout of 3,734 (59.50%) UDP Frank “Papa” Mena received 2,164 (57.95% of the votes cast ) to defeat the PUP’s Anthony Sabal who received 1,526 (40.86% of the votes cast) by a difference of 638 votes. What Mena did was to turn around a division in favor of the UDP by a TOTAL of 975 votes and even eclipsed the PUP’s total votes from 2012 by 128 votes. And those are the NUMBERS simple as 1 2 3 !

Young journalist killed in Belize City
Promising young Journalist, Kareem Clarke, known for his personality behind the pen at the Amandala Newspaper, was murdered near the Vernon Street Bridge at around 1 a.m. on Monday, July 6. The way he was executed would suggest that he was a notorious street figure, but those who know Clarke would assert that he was all about his family and his work as a reporter, a hardworking and dedicated member of the press. According to police investigation, the 27 year-old was riding his bike on Vernon Street, heading in the direction of the bridge. As soon as he was approaching, a gunman ambushed him and shot him 5 times: 2 in the head, 3 to the body. He fell to the ground, and he died on the spot. The police who were stationed about 3 blocks away on Vernon Street – near the entrance of the territory of the Ghost Town Crips gang – ran over to respond to the shooting. By then, the shooter had already fled, and when the police finally managed to transport Clarke to the KHMH, he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Two city men walk from double murder charges!
On Monday, July 6, 2015, twenty four year old Charles Young Jr. and 27 year old Derrick Kuylen appeared represented in court for the double murder charge of 17 year old Daniel Puerto and 34 year old Ian Martinez. Both men were killed during a shooting incident that occurred at the corner of Tribuce and Hibiscus Street, on the night of February 4, 2011. At around 5:30- 6:00 p.m. that evening, twin brothers Darnel and Daniel Puerto, along with Ian Martinez were getting ready to leave their homes, when a gold in color four door vehicle approached the area where the men were standing. Shortly thereafter Young and Kuylen reportedly exited the vehicle and opened fire in their direction, hitting the Puerto brothers and Ian Martinez. Both Daniel Puerto and Martinez died on the scene, while Darnel Puerto received a total of four gunshot wounds for which he was treated at the hospital.

Man remanded to prison for grievous harm upon his common law wife
Mark Anthony Lord Sr., 46 year old taxi driver, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison for grievous harm and damage to property. Lord Senior allegedly committed a serious act of domestic violence against his common-law wife, Diane Waight, as well as property damage to her cell phone, which was described as a black Samsung Galaxy S3. Lord appeared unrepresented before Magistrate, Hettie Mae Stewart on Monday July 6, where he was read one count of grievous harm and one count of damage to property. He pleaded not guilty to his charges and requested bail; prosecutor, Cpl .Kennard Clark objected to bail on the grounds that the offense carries a mandatory jail term of 7 years imprisonment upon conviction. He added that the court take into consideration the likelihood that, if Lord is granted bail, he will interfere with the victim since he shares a home with the victim, and that he will hinder the prosecution's case. He also asked the court to take into consideration the prevalence of the offence.

Two brothers are accused of keeping license premises open when required to be closed
Oscar Mejia, 34 year old bar owner, and Jose Mejia, 38 year old construction worker of Ladyville, were accused of having their nightclub located at #50 Weed Pecker Street, Ladyville Village, between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 2:45 a.m., which is against the regulations of a night club liquor license. On Wednesday, July 08, 2015, both Mejia brothers appeared unrepresented in court, before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, for a joint charge of a rare liquor license offense. While the Mejia brothers both pleaded guilty to the offense, the Magistrate objected to their plea, leaving the police officers to prove their case against them in trial.

Young man killed resisting gang recruitment
Lacroix Boulevard Resident David Steven Rivas believed that his enemies in the gang world in Belize City would have taken his life before he managed to reach his 22nd birthday. And his prediction turned true when an assailant gunned him down hours before he turned 22, and he passed away an hours after his birthday. It happened at around 9:50 p.m. on Friday, July 2, when Rivas was walking his girlfriend home on Roaches Street. He stopped to speak to a few friends who wanted to wish him a happy birthday. That’s when a gunman came up and blasted several shots at them. One of his friends, 16 year-old Shannalyn Augustine, was shot to the left side of her chest, and in the left side of her back. Rivas, however, received multiple gunshots to the left buttock, the left thigh, and the left calf. He also received an injury to the pelvis which was especially devastating, according to his family. Both shooting victims were rushed to the KHMH, but Rivas passed away because the bullet traveled from his pelvis area and damaged a major artery, which caused him to succumb while undergoing treatment at around 1:18 a.m. on Saturday.

Donicio Salazar acquitted after third murder trial
On Thursday July 2, 2015, thirty year old Donicio Salazar was tried for a third time for the murder of 22 year old Rodney Richard August, son of UDP Chairman, Alberto August, which occurred in June of 2004. At 12.00 noon, a jury of 6 men and 6 women, who had been hearing the evidence in his murder trial which began on June 22, 2015, stepped into the deliberating room to decide his fate. Young Rodney August reported to the police that he was hanging out at the river side in San Ignacio with his girlfriend, Janelle Longsworth, when a man by the name of Donicio Salazar aka “Life”, or “Vida” in Spanish, attacked him from behind at about 2:30-3:00 p.m., and chopped him several times to his back. The chop wounds resembled a “V”, that is believed to have been done for letter first letter of the accused nickname, “Vida”.

Man with blood stained clothing found near San Ignacio Town
A patch of blood stained grass in the Lynette Perdomo Area near the San Ignacio Community Hospital is now the only remains of tragedy that struck down a 58 year-old naturalized Belizean, Pedro Garcia on Wednesday of last week. It has been revealed that Pedro Garcia would daily take that route in a scarcely populated area where lots are normally being bought and sold quickly. At about 3:00 pm last Wednesday, San Ignacio Police received information that there was a lifeless body of a male person in an open lot between the Bishop Martin Primary School and the Hospital Compound. The body of the Hispanic male had multiple chop wounds to his head, back and both of his hands. Police did not discover any personal documents on the male person, but were able to retrieve a cellphone and so were able to contact the Guatemala Council, where they were then able to get help from a female in Arenal Village. It was with the help from the female in Arenal that police were able to confirm that the murder victim was Pedro Garcia.

Crooked Tree cashew vendor busted in possession of weed
Leonard Tillett, 41 year old cashew vendor and a father of 8 children from the Crooked Tree village, was busted in the city on Saturday, July 4, 2015; at about 2:36 p.m. Tillett was detained by WPC, #1824, D. Alarcon who was on patrol on Regent Street in Belize City. A search for illegal drugs and firearm was conducted on Tillett after Alarcon saw him acting nervous in the area. During her search, Alarcon found green leaf like substance, which was suspected to be cannabis, inside a bag Tillett carried on his shoulder. Tillett appeared unrepresented in court before Magistrate Hettie Mae Stewart, on Monday, July 6, 2015, to answer to a single charge of drug trafficking. He pleaded guilty to the charge, which the court accepted sparing him a huge fine of $10,000 and or 3 years imprisonment. Though not free from the charge, the Magistrate decided to fine him $3,000 which he must pay the court by September 30, 2015, or in default 2 years imprisonment.

Sports Reach Organisation working with National Junior Female Softball Team
The National Junior Female Softball Team that is currently in training for the XI Central American Junior Female Softball Championship scheduled for San Salvador, El Salvador, from 31 July -3 August, 2015, is currently benefiting from the visit of Sports Reach, a non-profit Sports Organisation out of Kentucky, USA. Sports Reach is headed by Robby Speer and is made up of Mike Pollock Assistant Coach at Campbellsville University; Allison Lawless, Assistant Coach at Campbellsville High School in Girls Fast Pitch and a graduate of Campbellsville University where she was an all conference pitcher; Kelly Robey, pitcher at Union University, All Conference and All Regional Pitcher at Union University; Madison Tennyson a sophomore shortstop from Union University; Emily Bennett, a freshman outfielder at Union University and Abbey Sheets, Freshman outfielder at Campbellsville University. The Sports Reach Team arrived in Belize on Saturday, 4 July, 2015 and is expected to leave the country on July 11, 2015.

C-Ray Cycling Club Summer Series continues
The C-Ray Cycling Summer series continued on Sunday 5th July at 1:00 pm on Princess Margaret Drive (in front of Marion Jones). This week saw the participation of 65 children who participated in 9 different categories. There are 3 more weekends of this year’s series remaining: 19th July, 9th August and 16th August. Below are the results: This Sunday, 12th July, the C-Ray Cycling Club and participants of the Youth Series will be supporting the King of the Hills Classic in San Ignacio, Cayo. The series continues Sunday 19th July same venue, same time.

Orchid Girls and Double Head Cabbage leads Belize Rural Softball Competition
The Belize Rural Female Softball Competition continued on Sunday 5th July, 2015, with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, UB Jaguars defeated Orchid Girls by the score of 16-9. The winning pitcher was Karlene Williams and the losing pitcher was Therese Baptist. In game two, Lord’s Bank Sunrise defeated Country Rose by the score of 21-5. The winning pitcher was Stacey Smith and the losing pitcher was Angie Tucker. In the third and final game of the day, Easy Does it defeated Willows Bank by the score of 30-2. The winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy and the losing pitcher was Steffie Pandy. The competition will continue this coming Sunday 12 July out in Rancho Dolores with three more games on the schedule. In the first game of the day at 11:00 am UB Jaguars will go up against Lord’s Bank Sunrise. In game two, Orchid Girls will see action against Easy Does It and in the final game of the day it will be the host team Country Rose against the Double Head Cabbage squad.

Belizean athletes to XVII Pan American Games in Toronto
Belize will have participation in the XVII Pan American Games scheduled for July 10-26, 2015, in Toronto, Canada. Belize first participated in the Pan American Games that were held in Panama City in 1976 and every other edition thereafter. Its biggest contingent to the Pan Am Games was in 1979 when Softball, Boxing, Cycling and Lawn Tennis were represented. The country has won two Bronze Medals in the Pan Am Games with both coming in female softball in 1979 and 1983 respectively. In the XVII Pan American Games, Belize will participate in Triathlon (Amid Figueroa) and Athletics (Kiana Martinez and Mark Anderson. The Chef-de-Mission to the games is Allan Sharp while Deon Sutherland is the delegate for Athletics.

Rebels United leads John Saldivar Softball Competition in Cayo District
The Cayo Softball Association 2015 Senior Female Competition that is being played under the sponsorship of the Hon. John Saldivar continued on Sunday 5 July at the Dembeigh Fuller Softball Stadium in Camalote Village with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Rebels United from Unitedville the current leader’s in this year’s competition blanked the favourite Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy by the score of 1-0. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Leandra Guy. In game two, Camalote Spokane won over the Belmopan Emeralds by the score of 9-7. The winning pitcher was Nadina Coye and the losing pitcher was Dana Mae King Sr.

Youths Hold Vigil for Victims of Violence
The last few weeks have been tough for Belize’s youth community. 15-year-old Tyrique Thompson and 16-year-old Ruben Leslie were gunned down within a few days of each other and just one block apart, Thompson on Lakeview Street and Leslie on Banak Street. Then early Monday, July 6, one of the youngest member of the press corp, 27-year-old Kareem Clarke, was executed in the same area, at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Street. None of these young men are known figures of the criminal underworld and many believe that they were all killed as messages between rival gangs that operate in the area. This has been tough for the community to swallow; especially, for other innocent youths whose sense of security has been threatened by the seemingly random set of shootings. In an effort to display a spirit of unity, the youth group called Guide Light Production held a candle light vigil at the Battlefield Park on Tuesday night, July 7.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Caleb Orozco attacker fined for insults and bottle throwing
Executive Director of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) Caleb Orozco was in court today, not for his major case against the Government in the Supreme Court, but in the Magistrate’s Court completing a trial over a complaint he made last year against Zericote Street resident and neighbour Emmerson Pickart. […]

Two charged for fight near school
Two men were charged for ganging up on another man last month and giving him a broken nose. 28 year old Darwin Howard and 19 year old Selwin McDonald are charged with grievous harm against Johan Polanco, who told police that the two attacked him on June 19 […]

Cuban men and woman jailed for illegal entry
A group of Cuban men and a woman began six-month sentences on a charge of illegal entry after not being able to pay the mandatory fine. 27 year old Glendis Candero; 28 year old Libon Rosales; 23 year old Ruben Palma and 33 year old Pedro Martinez were […]

Family of Dean Yearwood sues Government
The family of deceased Police Constable Dean Yearwood took the Government of Belize, the Belize Police Department, the Commissioner of Police and Officer GlenWayne Grant to court yesterday for what they claim to have been the unlawful and unnecessary death of their loved one in a shooting incident that dates […]

“Pawpa” joins Ministry of National Security
The victorious representative for Dangriga, Frank “Pawpa” Mena, will officially have the title “Honourable” affixed to his name when he takes the oath of office as a Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. Mena will be sworn in by Governor General Sir Colville Young in […]

PUP “highly encouraged” by Dangriga result
The People’s United Party called a press briefing at short notice this afternoon at Independence Hall to offer a post-mortem report on Wednesday’s by-elections in Dangriga. According to PUP Leader Francis Fonseca, the 637-vote defeat for candidate Anthony Sabal reflected the short period of campaigning and preparation for […]

Ambassador Alexis Rosado visits Costa Rica
Former CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alexis Rosado was last year appointed as Ambassador to Guatemala and resides there. He now adds another Central American country, Costa Rica, to his portfolio. Ambassador Rosado officially presented credentials to be accredited as Belizean ambassador, non-resident, to the Republic to its […]

The National Meteorological Service of Belize predicts more rain for the next couple days
Today’s weather outlook calls for relatively moist and unstable conditions to prevail as a tropical wave exits our area and another approaches. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies with a few showers and isolated thunderstorms mostly inland this afternoon. Some showers and a few thunderstorms will […]

Frank Mena to be appointed as Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security
The Government of Belize today issued a press release announcing that Frank Mena, the new area representative for the Dangriga Division will be appointed Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. According to the statement, Mena will be sworn in by His Excellency Sir Colville Young, Governor-General of […]

Belize reaches highest FIFA ranking ever
The monthly release of the FIFA Coca Cola World Football Rankings is out and there is excellent news for the Jaguars, the men’s national football team of Belize. Belize is now ranked 118th of 209 nations, and 15th in CONCACAF, the best position ever, after two defeats of the Dominican […]


Adventures by Land and Sea: Coral Gardens Caye Caulker day sail
One of the many great things about living on a tropical island is that you can be on an adventure within minutes. In this post, I decided to give you a taste of driving north on roads less traveled and a Coral gardens sail and snorkel where we ended up with a hitchhiking Cowboy on our way home. As for the story behind the first set of pictures, I asked to ask my friend Sperry and he was happy to to share his thoughts about our drive. Sperry is coming from the perspective of never having been too far from town center on any of his visits. I recently took an unusual a day trip up north of San Pedro with tacogirl. To my surprise she was more adventurous than I could have hoped for and what I thought would be a short trip just over the bridge to Palapa Bar for a cold one, turned into a trip that I will always remember. The sometimes harrowing road which she traversed so easily lead us to places that dreams are made of. The quietness the serenity and the breath taking beauty just left me in awe of my surroundings. There are no photos that could ever depict just how incredible this place was. I was pleasantly surprised that the further north we drove the more clearer the waters became. The colors from mid green to cyan to deep deep blue (completely indescribable ).

Some Changes Around Ambergris Caye, Belize – From A New Casino To A Truck Stop/Beer Garden
There have been a few changes going on around San Pedro Town – and yesterday, on a walk from home (about 1.5 miles south) to town, I took a few pictures. Here are some things that I saw. The old Belize Yacht Club, a resort/condo development on the island, that has been around for a while (15 years?) and seen many changes, is now split up into three different pieces. There is the main bit – “Isla Bonita Yacht Club” under good management and definitely on the rise. At the South end, there is the newest development Sands Villas – which too is under new ownership and management. BUT in that “center part” a casino is under construction AGAIN. In my 8 years on the island, we have seen this building become a casino, close after about a year…move to a slightly smaller building next door, and close after a year…

International Sourcesizz

Three Havens Where Residence is Easy
There are many countries around the world that offer you the right to residence without having to be physically there. The biggest benefit of having residence in another country is the ability to avail of offshore and financial protection strategies that would otherwise be unavailable to you as an America citizen. For example, international banks are more willing to accommodate non-resident U.S. citizens than those living in the United States. So if you’re a U.S. citizen with a legal residence in another country, investment restrictions imposed on U.S. residents by international banks (like opening an international bank or brokerage account) may not apply. Two of the most popular second residence options that don’t require actual physical presence are Panama and Belize. Another good choice is Uruguay.

Welcome to Belize!
Tropical rainforests, Mayan ruins and temples, stunning beaches, picturesque mountains and a rich history and culture. This is only the beginning of what you’ll experience in Belize. Located in Central America, Belize is approximately four hours from both New York City and Detroit, six hours from Seattle, five hours from Los Angeles, three hours from Dallas and two hours from Miami. Many people believe Belize to be an island, however it is a Central American country bordered by Mexico to the north, Guatemala to the south and west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. This mistaken impression is understandable though, given that one of the biggest draws to Belize is for its hundreds of “cayes” (islands, pronounced “keys”) dotted along a spectacular Barrier Reef, the second largest (behind Australia’s) in the world. Once here, you will find that and so much more, as Belize is home to some of the greatest historical, cultural and ecological diversity in the world.

UN Urges Belizean Government to Protect Rights of Indigenous People
The UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples urged the government of Belize to ensure respect for the rights of the country’s Mayan population. “I am concerned by the inaction of the government of Belize to assist Maya villagers to protect their property rights in the face of threats to those rights,” Victoria Tauli-Corpuz said in a statement. The special rapporteur’s call comes after the arrest of 12 Mayans charged with unlawful imprisonment for their actions to expel a non-Mayan individual from their village for allegedly building a house on ancient Maya ruins. “It appears as though the repeated requests to local police by Santa Cruz village leaders for assistance in removing the individual from the archaeological site within their village lands went ignored,” Tauli-Corpuz said.

10 Questions to Ask Before Deciding to Retire Abroad
The concept is intriguing: Move to another country and live for a fraction of what it costs in the U.S. For retirees, that's one surefire way to make a fixed income go further while living in an exciting new place. Many Americans are happily spending their retirement years in Mexico, France, Spain, Panama, Thailand, Costa Rica and other spots around the world, but packing up and moving your life from Port Charlotte, Florida, to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico, requires some planning. However, experts say, it's easier than ever to find information and start your new life abroad. "The Internet has changed everything," says Dan Prescher, a senior editor for International Living magazine, who has lived outside the U.S. with his wife, Suzan Haskins, for 14 years, most recently in Cotacachi, Educator. "With the Internet, you can explore … communities before you go. Research is a huge part of making this move."

Another look at Abraham Lincoln and the colonization of ex-slaves
Three historians wrote us to register concern about our recent fact-check of neo-Confederate websites that claimed that Abraham Lincoln made plans to send "all freed slaves" to Central America once the Civil War was over, and that only his assassination kept it from happening. We rated the claim False. Phillip W. Magness of George Mason University, Michael Douma of James Madison University and Sebastian Page of Oxford University told us they agreed that Lincoln did not pursue forcible deportation of ex-slaves to overseas colonies. But they argued that a new trend in Civil War research suggests that he continued to pursue colonization policies quietly, behind the scenes, after he issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, the date historians we contacted cited as the point of no return for colonization. "Far from turning away from the policy after Jan. 1, 1863, Lincoln actually shifted strategies away from the colonization arrangements with private contractors mentioned in his public appeals and toward a new approach of conducting colonization by way of a series of agreements with foreign governments that were willing to accept black colonists on a voluntary basis," Magness wrote to PolitiFact. These included an agreement to send up to 50,000 African-American recruits to British Honduras (now Belize), approved by the president in June 1863 and continuing until it faltered for political reasons at the end of the year, Magness said. He added that Lincoln's administration negotiated and signed a formal treaty in 1863 with the government of the Netherlands to permit the voluntary colonization of freed slaves in their Caribbean colony of Suriname, though in early 1864 political reasons again prevented its submission to the U.S. Senate for ratification.


  • Belize Casting:Drone, 2min.

  • Central America Trip - Mexico and Belize, 14min. Follow Maxwell Harrington, Jamie Scott and Daulton Boughton taking on Central America for 5 weeks, here is part one of the journey taking them through the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico into the British Carribean colony of Belize

  • Made in Belize, 4min.

  • Turning Point Mission Trip 2015, 4min.

  • Goldfish in Belize, 4min. Alex Tyler, owner of Goldfish Swim School in St. Charles, travels to Gales Point, Belize to teach swim lessons to villagers.

  • Howler Monkeys Belize, 1min.

  • Tropic Air The Official Airline of Belize, 1min.

  • Belize opens first child-friendly Family Court in Punta Gorda, 5min. On June 30th, the Supreme Court of Belize, with support from UNICEF, opened the first child-friendly Family Court in Punta Gorda.

  • Destination Truth - S05E02 ''Return to the Haunted Forest/Belize Goblin'', 43min. Josh's former cameraman, Evan, returns two years later to the woods where he believes he was assaulted by an angry, dark spirit.

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