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#505923 - 07/17/15 11:57 AM Today's Belize News: July 17, 2015
Marty Offline


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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

Those glorious views while flying ‘South’!
Flying, especially if you’re perched in the co-pilot’s seat, affords you some seriously breathtaking views. I’m lucky to have flown our skies many times, and know that the scenes from up high can render one speechless. We’ve seen the multitude of colors of the Caribbean Sea when flying over the water to the cayes, noting the various little off-cayes dotting the water here and there (some with names like “Cockroach”, “Bread & Butter”, “Mosquito” and “Man O War”…). If you’re lucky, you may even see a manatee, ray or dolphins frolicking in the clear blue. I’m a mountain girl (from the Cayo District) so the sight of greens in every shade, rings of mountains and trees in bloom, the occasional puff of cloud…oh yes, please gimme that!

Jaguars continue to grow in the Football Scene
The Belize National Football Selection continues to improve their skills and are even escalating in the ranks of Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Ranking. The Jaguars’ performance in the past two matches of the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 Qualifiers has elevated the team’s world ranking to 118th place. This leap of 37 places has made history, as the highest ranking ever for Belize, who were previously 141st back in 2011. Belize has also risen in the ranks of Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) and is now in the 15th spot. This monumental achievement has only inspired the Football Federation of Belize (FFB) to continue improving the selection. “This is tremendous news for Belize, we are very proud of the leap in rankings. The players have worked so hard to get where we are. The administration has made a lot of sacrifices and it has now paid off. It is such good news for us. This is a great part of the history that is unfolding in Belize,” said FFB Secretary General, Michael Blease.

Corry McDermott donates to the San Pedro Sailing Club
The San Pedro Sailing Club (SPR) is the proud recipient of a 14-feet sailing dinghy courtesy of Corry McDermott. The donation was made on Friday, July 10th at the SPR base located at Caribbean Villas Resort. Apart from the donation of the vessel, McDermott also donated $3,000 to assist with the maintenance of the fleet. On hand to accept the donation was SPR secretary Amanda Syme. The sailing dinghy differs for the other optimist vessels in SPR’s fleet, as it is much larger, and ideal for training beginner sailors. “We couldn’t be happier about this donation. It is a great asset to our fleet and will benefit our sailors greatly. The boat is ideal for an instructor to ride along with two or three youth sailors and perfect for two-man sailing teams to enjoy recreational or race sailing. In addition, the cash donation will assist with maintenance of the fleet of 12 optimist dinghies and the new dinghy,” said Syme.

Glenford Baptist removed from death row
The last prisoner to be on death row in Belize was removed from the list on Monday, July 13th. 44-year-old Glenford Baptist has been at the Belize Central Prison for the past 14 years on murder charges. He and two others, Gilroy Wade and Oscar Mendez, had been sentenced to death 10 years ago by Supreme Court Justice Wilfred Elrington after being found guilty of the murder of Azrin White in 2000. Mendez was the first to have his sentence revoked after appealing. Both he and Wade have died since the incident, and only Baptist remained imprisoned for the crime. After Baptist’s initial sentence of death by hanging, his attorney, Priscilla Banner of Courtenay, Coye and Company LLC filed an appeal stating that the form of death is inhumane. “Essentially what happened is that the matter came up for hearing before the Honorable Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin and the Government of Belize. They conceded to the point that there was in fact a breach of Baptist’s constitutional rights insofar as Section 7 in concerned, and basically conceded that the sentence should be quashed.

Ambergris Today

Ignoring Youth Development, Paying A Heavy Price
The media houses in Belize City are reporting that 2015 is already one of the most murderous year, including the fact that the country has been named the fourth most dangerous country in the world by the accounts of one particular poll. News 5 of Belize City reported that from their statistics, the country has seen a total of 74 murders since the start of the year with April and May having the highest numbers with 19 and 16 homicides, respectively. There were only five murders in January and eight in June. More alarming is the age of the victims that has dropped significantly and more youths are being involved in crime. The youngest victim was 22-year-old Charlie Espat from San Pedro. With high concerns over the alarming statistics, the Belize Younth Movement (BYM) called on government to commit to work with youths and improvement of its Youth Policy. The organization took out the following press release this week:

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

BELIZE FISHING REPORT: Weeks of July 6th – July 12th, 2015
Although it was windy it was very productive with lots of tarpon hooked but just a few landed. Permit continued to be the surprise of the year with exceptional results

Municipal airport update
The new taxiway is complete at the Municipal Airport. The new runway is furiously being worked on today.

Belizean Traveller campaign
As part of our #BelizeanTraveller campaign, the BTB is working with local stakeholders to provide Belizean rates for locals. Check out our first promo code ad labelled by region. Don't forget to use the promo code: BZTraveller!

The importance of legal advice for timeshare rights
n the recent case of Lincoln Cane Ventures LLC v British Caribbean Bank International Limited, the Supreme Court highlighted the need to comply strictly with essential legal requirements when investing in property abroad. It found that more than 160 US citizens who had purchased timeshare interests in a residential resort pursuant to membership agreements could not exercise their purported rights in priority of a bank's mortgage interest on the property. This was because they had not registered their timeshares or paid the required stamp duty on their membership agreements. Facts Tourism is a significant industry and driver of the Belizean economy. Belize possesses many features which make the country an ideal place for vacation or retirement. As a result, people frequently invest in Belizean timeshares and condominiums. Ambergris Caye, an island located off the coast of Belize, houses the residential resort of Sueño Del Mar Limited. The US citizens entered into membership agreements with Sueño Del Mar Limited for the purchase of timeshare interests. However, Sueño Del Mar Limited and the purchasers agreed that they would not register the membership agreements or pay stamp duty in an attempt to minimise costs. A separate company, Sueño Del Mar Holdings LLC, obtained loans totalling US$4 million, which were secured by various mortgages from British Caribbean Bank International Limited, for which Sueño Del Mar Limited stood as guarantor. The bank was unaware of Sueño Del Mar Limited's arrangements with the claimants.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, July 16, 2015: 76. FANTASY 5: 15 26 14 39 37 V

Channel 7

Will Belize Put Coast Guard Base On Pause Because of Guatemalan Objection?
2 months ago, a Coast Guard patrol had a pair of tense encounters with the Guatemalan Navy on Sarstoon Island, which is Belize's Southern-most territorial point. The Coast Guard team was there on a reconnaissance mission to determine if the island was suitable for a forward operating base. The Guatemalan Navy personnel tried to get the Coast Guard to leave, but, they stood their ground, certain that they were in Belizean territory. Belizean officials are only now revealing that after that confrontation was discussed at the diplomatic levels, Guatemala made it clear that they are resisting the construction of the Coast Guard's Forward Operating Base at Sarstoon Island. Now, this plan for this base has been delayed for years, and it is something that the Government identified as important to maintain Belize's territorial integrity and security. The Coast Guard expressed its eagerness to start its construction a few months ago, but then, the Guatemalans made it an issue. They have reportedly requested that Belize refrain from moving forward with building this base until the territorial claim is dealt with at the International Court of Justice.

"Boots" Will Not Bow To Guatemala's Demands
But senior minister Anthony Boots Martinez is a lot less circumspect than the Foreign Minister. He told the media today that he could never agree to any neighbor or foreign court being able to dissuade a government from acting in its sovereign right:.. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, UDP Minister of Government "But I don't know about any such information that could deter a forward operation base that should be built in our territory. For any country or any government to say cease and desist to building something in your country. Haven't heard about it, but I am certain that that is nothing in my view that I will ever agree on as a Belizean and as a minister of government." But, the fact is that while the deepest channel south of the Sarstoon Island is recognized by the government of Belize to be this country's the southern boundary - the Guatemalans do not concede that. Here's what the Ambassador told us one month ago:.. Jules Vasquez "Is it an objective fact or do you accept the fact that we believe to be a fact that Sarstoon Island represents the inclusive territory of Belize and that the border marker or the borderline is at the deepest channel in the Sarstoon River south of the Sarstoon Island. Is that something that you all accept?"

Delicate Gunboat Diplomacy
The other very recent territorial issue between Belize and Guatemala is the 65 foot Guatemalan Navy Gunboat, which ran aground on the Glovers Reef Atoll last month. The vessel was removed, and the assessment for damages to the reef has already been handed over to the Guatemalans. There has been no response yet, and today Foreign Minister Elrington told us that he is not concerned about the delay, which he believes is normal: Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs "These matters take time. So, we are expecting that they will answer in due course. But that is not unusual. You send these communications and you wait until you get a response to them." The multi-Government Agency investigating team has assessed the damages at a $46,000 dollars.

Shallow Grave For Salvadorian Farmer
A murder victim was found buried in a shallow grave just outside Belmopan. Yesterday morning at around 5:00 police found the body of 61 year old Salvadoran Farmer Osmar Ramos buried. It was found 5 miles off the main road of Spring Field Community in the Paraiso Area. Police say the body was buried there for about a month. An onsite autopsy was done and it showed that Ramos was chopped to the neck, back of the head, shoulder and chin. We spoke via telephone to Belmopan Deputy Commander Inspector Stephanie Grinage and she updated us on what they know so far. Insp. Stephanie Grinage, Deputy Commander - Belmopan Police "On the 15th July, acting on intelligence received, 3 specialize unit and the Belmopan Police visited an area situated 5 miles off the Hummingbird Highway and south of Springfield Village, Cayo District. Police discovered a shallow grave with the decomposed body of one, Mr. Osmar Ramos of Paraiso area. That's an area in the Springfield Village also. Investigations revealed that Ramos was killed sometime in the month of June." Courtney Weatherburne "When I was speaking with Superintendent Gillett, he was telling us that he has been missing for over a month, but no missing person's report was filed."

Keisha Buller Got Stabbed 54 Times
Today in Belize City - funeral services were held for Keisha Buller - the Customs and Excise officer Clerk Three who was killed in Benque Viejo last week Friday. Buller had been with customs since 2009 and her funeral procession was led by Customs officers who escorted the elevated hearse as it went against the flow of traffic on Albert Street. She was killed - as it turned out - on the very last day of her posting in Benque Viejo. She went to Benque in October of 2013 and would have returned to her home of Belize City on August third. That transfer was preceded by leave which started on July 11th - she was murdered on August 10th. And murdered very brutally - stabbed a shocking 54 times - in front of her 4 year old son and mother. Her common law husband Ervin Wade has been charged for the murder and is in prison on remand.

Hondurans Caught Illegally Fishing At Glover's
Belizean law enforcement officers caught two Hondurans Illegally fishing in the Glovers Reef atoll on Tuesday. So, tonight, they are spending their first night of a 6 month sentence after appearing in Magistrate's Court today. The officers who police the Atoll caught them after they began conducting nocturnal patrols. They found evidence that fishing was being conducted in the area, and since they didn't encounter anyone during the day, they figured someone was fishing after daylight hours. This evening, the Fisheries Department's Conservation Compliance Unit's Supervisor explained more about the patrol which caught the men: Hampton Gamboa, Supervisor - Fisheries Department "The operation took place on the 14th July, which was on Tuesday in the night at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve out at the atoll. It was a night operation. Officers from the marine reserve was on routine patrols and they came across this Honduran vessel which had two occupants in it, who were engaging in commercial fishing."

BOOST Program Gets Great Funding From OAS
The Boost programme - it provides financial support to thousands of needy and indigent families across central and southern Belize. And more than that, the programme has become a model across the region for making conditional cash transfers without creating a welfare underclass. IT has been recognized by the World Bank and today the OAS contributed 130 thousand dollars to support implementation of an extension to the programs: what's called wraparound services to 400 of the most needy households. CEO Judith Alpuche explained at a press conference at the OAS Belize City Office today:... Judith Alpuche, CEO - Ministry of Human Development "When we talk about social workers wrap-around services, it's really looking holistically at what that family needs and working with that family in a holistic way instead of just patch-patch if you will. So we will be doing a pilot that targets 400 BOOST household and we are looking specifically at those households that are below the indigent line - the poorest of the poor. To see how is it that we can, as the name suggests, literally wrap services around these families - to help them to move up to the next level."

UDP Wants Hon. Fonseca To Hang Around
And while we had minister Martinez, we asked him to comment on the current state of affairs within the PUP - where party leader Francis Fonseca asked National Campaign Manager Godfrey Smith to step down. No replacement has been named - but the party will meet next week to discuss the way forward. And while the general feeling within the PUP is the Leader Francis Fonseca lost a key ally in Smith, Minister Martinez says he hopes Fonseca isn't going anywhere soon:.. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, UDP Minister of Government "I felt that, unlike the party leader, he was man enough to know that he was campaign manager over the last year and change and lost every single election and so I think it's time for, man, with good grace to step off. I thought that the first thing for, in my view that would have happen was Francis Fonseca was to take a back. I mean when you look in terms of everything and I hope that he stays. It's only better for the United Democratic Party. I hope that he stays."

UDP Says Fonseca In Trouble In Freetown
And while he wants Fonseca to stay in the leader's seat, for the UDP, they also want Fonseca to stay put in Freetown. Fonseca won that seat by 150 votes in the 2012 general election. And while the leader of the opposition always has a special reserve of support because he is the man who could be king, Martinez says that the UDP feels he is politically vulnerable:.. Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, UDP Minister of Government "I have no doubt in my mind, based on previous election results, that the Leader of the Opposition is vulnerable and the Leader of the Opposition 90% to me, stand a chance of losing this election. So, I think that is a seat that we feel confident that we will be able to muster and so that in itself with the political pressure Ms. Barnett is applying on the party leader, gives him not enough time to even concentrate on a party of which he is the leader and I don't that he can be afforded the opportunity to travel here and there and everywhere."

Okeke Calls Out Fonseca
Political commentator Steven Okeke feels the same way. He says that in his opinion, Fonseca is in trouble:.. Steven Okeke - Political Commentator "A hundred and plus votes in the last elections with a person who Belizeans had some prejudice against, because he is a Chinese Belizean. In the face of a formidable position, he stands even a lesser chance." Jules Vasquez "Do you think Francis Fonseca is in trouble in Freetown?" Steven Okeke - Political Commentator "He is tremendous trouble." We should note that Francis Fonseca has never lost an election, and is a three term representative.

When Will Election Be Called?
But don't tell that to the UDP - right now - after a half year of record victories, they feel like world beaters. And so when will they call the general election? It's not due for another 20 months or so, but everyone knows it will be called before that. So, in view of the recent victory in Dangriga - when is that magic date? That's what we asked Minister Martinez today:.. Jules Vasquez "Has the UDP made a decision on when they will have a general election?" Hon. Anthony "Boots" Martinez, UDP Minister of Government "No, not yet. We haven't made none, but in my personal view I think that is sooner rather than later. But the UDP hadn't made none." Seasoned political observers suggest that the earliest the election could be called is the end of this year, while others put it at March of 2016 as the latest. We'll have to wait and see.

Pepper Spray Remand
Pepper spray is typically used as a defensive weapon by women to ward off attackers. Tonight, however, 26 year-old Patrice Ramsey is at the Belize Central Prison after she pepper sprayed another woman - simply because the victim looked like her. The victim, Nikita Usher, testified that she was at the BTL Park last Sunday, when Ramsey approached her, upset because her friends said she looked like Usher. Usher testified that Ramsey insulted her, and told her that she wouldn't tolerate it. That's when Ramsey sprayed her in her face, eyes and all over. Usher said she was unable to see and her skin burned her for a week. The doctor who examined her classified her injury as harm. In her testimony, Ramsey denied that she committed the offence. She was found guilty by Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, and she was brought to court today for sentencing. But when she appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser, she showed no remorse so the Magistrate further remanded her to jail. Ramsey was in tears as she was escorted back to the cell block to be taken to prison to spend 4 days. Her next court appearance is Tuesday, July 21.

KHMH Staff Demands Raise, Cancels Clinics
Cancelled! That's what happened to all Outpatient Elective Services and Surgeries scheduled at the KHMH from tomorrow going forward. That's the word coming from angry hospital staff tonight after they were told they would not get the raise that they are asking government for. As we told you on Tuesday, 600 KHMH workers are asking government to give them a raise of pay - just like they did to public officers and teachers. The hospital staffers work for the KHMH Authority which is a statutory board - so they are not public officers and don't qualify for the raise of pay that teachers and public officers got. On Tuesday, representatives of the Board of Governors and senior hospital management went to Cabinet to ask for the increase. But the answer has come back - and it's not positive. It seems government says that, at best, the hospital staff has to form a union, just like the teachers and public officers did and negotiate from the position.

Bullying At British High? So Say Resigned Staffers
A number of employees have resigned from the British High Commission in the last few months due to what they say is utter ill treatment at the workplace. The former employees sent us a letter describing the cruelty and emotional abuse they endured working for British High Commissioner Peter Hughes. The letter states, quote, "Between the last quarter of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 the staff have endured discrimination, harassment, bullying, verbal and emotional abuse…by the head of the mission". We spoke to 4 of the employees today and one of them told us the commissioner would shout at them and demean them at the workplace. According to the employees, 6 have resigned in the past year since Hughes' arrival and 4 more resigned in the last 2 months. One of the employees we spoke with was working at the British High for 24 years and told us that he has never had any issues with previous high commissioners and simply could not endure the hostility at the workplace, He resigned last year June. He was the first to resign and then the others followed. They say others are in the process of resigning.

Fantasy Five Winner Comes Forward
Last night we told you how someone had drawn the winning Fantasy 5 ticket for the biggest jackpot in Belize's history, 612 thousand dollars. That person didn't want to publicly accept her cheques, because she was camera shy. Well, The Caribbean Gaming Company's representatives convinced the winner to come forward, and they introduced her to us this evening. She's Roselia Vallecillo (vaye-ciyo), a resident of Placencia, and she told us that the winnings will help her to put her family under their own roof: She also told us that the money will also pay for her children's education. Mek Mi Rich gave away the biggest jackpot - which is now the second biggest - of a half-million dollars, just last week Tuesday.

Vocals With Vision
Ghetto Life: That's the name of a new CD from a vocal collective called All God's Son's. Their lead song is called "Mama says" - and it highlightes the increase in crime and violence among youth in the city. Well, you can expect that message and more in Ghetto Life. The group came to our studios today and told us how they want to use music to help kids stay away from violence: You can find the CD in music stores in Belize City. The group has been together for 7 years.

Indian Man In Orange Walk Wasn't Killed
35 year old Orange Walk Resident Vicky Gyanchandani died of a heart attack, he wasn't killed. That's the finding of a post mortem examination conducted by Dr. Mario Estradabran. He found that Gyanchandani died of a heart attack due to a cardio pulmonary embolism.

Channel 5

Foreign Minister Sedi Weighs-In on Guatemala’s Protest
On Wednesday night, News Five was the first to report on a formal protest issued by Guatemala in relation to the planned construction of a Forward Operating Base at the [...]

Sedi Reiterates and Affirms His Position on The ICJ
Just before leaving for Washington and Mexico today, Elrington told News Five that Guatemala’s position on the Forward Operating Base was conveyed in a very civilized manner, through a diplomatic [...]

Are Belizeans Responsible For Incidents Involving Guatemalans?
There have been two notable incidents in very recent months – first the capture of thirty-seven Belizeans in Belizean territorial waters by Guatemalan military, and then the altercation between Guatemalan [...]

So What’s The Status Of The FOB?
So the fate of the Forward Operating Base now lies in the hands of the O.A.S., and the territorial integrity of Belize will lie in the hands of the ICJ, [...]

Sedi on Guatemalan Gunboat Update
In June, a Guatemalan gunboat GC-651, the Tecum Uman, crashed into the reef near Middle and Long Cays, causing damage estimated at around forty-eight thousand dollars. With all dispatch, the [...]

Murder: Body Found In Shallow Grave in the Springfield Area
Turning to crime; the discovery of a badly decomposed body on Wednesday morning in a shallow grave several miles outside the Mennonite community of Springfield, has resulted in the detention [...]

Undocumented Cubans Arrested
A constant trickle of illegal Cuban immigrants into Belize, presumably with aid from a local human trafficking ring, has resulted in yet another bust in the Cayo District, this time [...]

K.H.M.H. Personnel on Go-Slow
Employees of K.H.M.H. are staging a go-slow on Friday and will not be accepting any referrals to the hospital in protest of being excluded from a recent salary adjustment for [...]

Belize City Man Acquitted Of 2010 Murder
Twenty-two year old Devon Sankey walked free on Wednesday for the murder of Renan Reneau which happened back in April 2010. A no case submission was put forth to the [...]

A Disturbing Report in the South
There is a most disturbing report from Punta Gorda where a thirteen year old girl has been impregnated by her stepfather. Earlier this week, police and social workers went to the [...]

Boots Says Guatemala Cannot Stop FOB!
Earlier in the newscast, we told you that Guatemala is objecting to the proposed construction of a forward operating base. This morning, we also had the take of the Port [...]

Sedi Says P.U.P.s Are Not Strategic
The People’s United Party has reached the point where politically connected and politically disconnected pundits have started offering advice. Advice of that sort can generally be disregarded, but today U.D.P. [...]

U.D.P. Boots Martinez Has Words of Wisdom for the P.U.P. Leader
Anthony “Boots” Martinez is also offering his two cents on the Opposition party narrowing it on the leadership. Boots, who doesn’t live in Port Loyola, but Freetown, says he believes [...]

Boots Says Godfrey Smith Did the Right Thing to Resign
Earlier this week, the P.U.P. confirmed that after reaching a mutual understanding, the party’s national campaign manager, Godfrey Smith, who took over the post in early 2014, was stepping down. [...]

Sedi on Nestor Mendez: “He Elevates Our Profile…”
In an extended interview with Minister Elrington, we also inquired about the installation of Nestor Mendez as Assistant Secretary General of the O.A.S.  It’s an auspicious occasion since for the [...]

O.A.S. Helps G.O.B. to Reach Marginalized Families
The Government of Belize and the Organization of American States today signed a cooperation agreement for an initiative targeting marginalized families. The three-year project, valued at two hundred and sixty [...]

BOOST Program to Evolve to Better Serve Those in Need
According to C.E.O. Alpuche, the ministry is working with the O.A.S. and the United Nations to ensure that the BOOST program evolves. Alpuche says the pilot project goes beyond cash [...]

Katie Usher Remembers Kareem Clarke Through Art
Two nights ago, we showed you artist’s Katie Usher’s creative approach to highlight how many lives have been taken as a result of the spiking crime. From her records, almost [...]

Lab 2 Features Briheda Haylock
Also as a part of Katie Usher’s Lab-Two installation going on at the Image Factory, several creative minds from across the country have started putting on exhibitions and artistic shows [...]

Healthy Living Does Yoga!
Over the past few years since they opened their doors, we’ve visited the Om Shanti Center for Yoga and Healing arts to share with you the latest addition to its [...]

CTV3

Phillip Goldson Highway Records Another Traffic Accident
The traffic flow near the roundabout by Bowen and Bowen at mile 52 was disrupted this afternoon at around 1:00 due to a traffic accident. When authorities arrived on the scene, they observed a red Ford pickup truck on the right side of the road and a Tucson Sport SUV on the extreme right of the road with extensive damages. Reports suggest that the driver of the SUV stopped abruptly to turn into Caribbean Tires Depot on the left of the Highway. According to Dave Burgos, driver of the red pickup truck he could not avoid the collision since another vehicle was coming in the opposite direction. DAVE BURGOS – Driver “Freak accident here, we had these folks here from San Salvador seems they wanted to go in to Caribbean Tires so they stopped and eventually after the accident what they were saying is that they wanted to go Caribbean Tires but I want you to really look at the tire marks because the contention here with the police officer is that I am asking them one question am I on the road or am I off the road because the accident happened on the road as you can see it on the tire marks and that is why I took some photos and I am I disagreement in signing the measurements that they have and I told them that no we go to court with it because it certainly it did not happen with the measurements that they are giving.

El Chapo Guzman Escapes, Belize Beef's Up Security At Its Borders
The escape of drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman continues to dominate the news worldwide, including here in Belize since his elaborate escape on Saturday July 12th from the Almoloya prison located 50 miles outside of Mexico City. This actually is the second time that the leader of the Sinaloa Cartel escapes from a Mexican Prison thus putting in question Mexico’s security system. In efforts of recapturing Guzman, Mexican authorities have distributed 100,000 photos of Guzman and have 10,000 agents on high-alert and have also communicated with authorities from across the globe including Belize. Why Belize you may ask? Well because reports are that he could seek refuge with his allege allies who live in Belize. In fact some newspapers from the state of Quintana Roo Mexico are actually reporting that Guzman is already here in Belize. Yesterday though, CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell put those allegations to rest as he spoke to news five about the escape of Chapo Guzman.

Rise Up Belize Conducts Academic Summer Program
While a majority of primary school students are out enjoying their summer vacation, several kids from Orange Walk Town are already occupying their time preparing for the new school year. Since its introduction to Belize twelve years ago, Rise Up Belize has become a hallmark for many Belizean kids during their summer breaks. The group is known for providing quality education programs that are interactive and exciting for the children and this year, it is no exception. This summer, Rise Up Belize has partnered with the La Inmaculada RC School, Father Oliver Smalls, Local Manager of the School and Joey Garcia, Director of Rise Up Belize told us more about the program… “I am happy that Rise Up Belize is here with us this week to help our children not only in the academics but also in the spiritual realm also and I think that the parents have expressed wonderful feelings about their children progress and learning and I am so happy that they young ladies are volunteering their time to come to learn with us and to also share their gifted talents with us also.”

Guatemala Tells Belize Not To Build FOB
The territorial, aerial and maritime dispute between Belize and Guatemala has given rise, in the recent past, to serious incidents between the military forces of the two countries. The most recent was the May 28th confrontation between the Guatemalan Military and the Belize Coast Guard in the Sarstoon Island. When it comes to island in the Sarstoon River, a part of it is on the north side of the midline and therefore it’s in Belizean territory and another part of it is in Guatemalan territory, on the south side. Investigations have determined that Belize’s Coast Guard was on Belizean waters preparing for a forward operating base that is intended to be constructed there. In a show of courtesy and in order to preserve the diplomatic process, the Guatemalans were informed of Belize’s intention to build the FOB. But their response was not one expected by the Ministry of National Security.

PlusTV

Belmopan man shot dead at warehouse
Police are investigating the strange circumstances surrounding the death of 39 year old Louis Leslie of Belmopan, who met his death at the hands of a security guard at the Gonzalo Quinto and Sons compound in Belize City on Tuesday night. Authorities say Leslie went to the property at Mile 1 1/2 on t...

Mennonite Dies in Fatal RTA
There was a fatal road traffic accident last night around 8:50 pm that claimed the life of 39 year old Mennonite Johan Knelsen of camp 13, Shipyard Village, Orange Walk. According to reports, 39 year old Knelsen was travelling in his horse and cart buggy, along with his wife and two kids, heading in...

Accused Kareem Clarke killer charged for firearm
The accused teenage killer of journalist Kareem Clarke is in prison tonight, but he has not been charged for his murder. Instead the youth was charged for a firearm police found in his possession when they picked him up. Police, according to Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, continue to gather the evidence...

Gregory August fights mandatory life sentence
Back in April the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) agreed to grant convicted murderer Gregory August special leave to appeal his conviction subject to the Court of Appeal hearing and reasoning on two matters raised before them for the first time. One is the matter of trial judge Adolph Lucas not dir...

Mike Menjivar sues GOB over GSU Raid
In May 2011, the businessman Miguel Menjivar and his family went through a terrifying episode when the GSU raided his home during a predawn operation where over a hundred shots were fired. Menjivar, Belmopan business owner of the popular La Cabana restaurant and bar, was taken to court to answer to...

Man charged for stabbing minor
A man has been charged for stabbing a minor . On July 12th, a 17 year old male of 1st New Site Area, Dangriga visited the Dangriga Police Station and reported that at around 4:40 PM he was socializing with friends on Ramos Road when they had a misunderstanding with another male person who stabbed hi...

Devon Sankey beats murder charge
22 year old Devon Sankey was today acquitted of murder by Justice Troadio Gonzalez, sitting alone without a jury. He was accused of the murder of 25 year old Renan Reneau on April 8, 2010. Six witnesses had testified for the prosecution but it all fell apart when main witness and Reneau’s girl...


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#505924 - 07/17/15 11:58 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 17, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

PUP crumbles - Godfrey Smith resigns as National Campaign Manager
The PUP announced on Tuesday July 14 that their National Campaign Manager, Godfrey Smith resigned from the position effective immediately. Because of the prominent role that Smith had taken on in the past few months, many had speculated that he would have eventually been the one to take up the leadership of the party. But like his party leader, poor decisions are all he was able to give the PUP. In fact he was the chief architect for Ivan Ramos to have resigned from the National Assembly. He was the one who point blank told Ramos that he was not a viable candidate for the PUP for the next general elections and as such, even if he intended to run again, he would not receive any financial support from Smith, who was to have been the one who controlled the PUP’s purse strings. Three consecutive electoral defeats for the People’s United Party in less than six months and their solution is to have Godfrey Smith resign as the national campaign manager of their party. That is definitely no solution to an ailing PUP and a dense leadership that simply does not get the sense that the people do not want them in any ways of form.

Belmopan resident is holding a half million dollar Fantasy Five ticket
Some lucky Belizean is holding a 612 thousand-dollar ticket and they are yet to claim it after the numbers: 13, 16, 24, 26, and 34 played on Tuesday night’s Fantasy Five draw. The representatives of the company know that the winner is from Belmopan, but that person doesn’t want to collect. According to Karil Wallace, Fantasy 5’s Public Relations Officer, the winner has already contacted them to indicate that he or she won. This winner reportedly wants to convince the company to allow them to collect the winnings without having to be featured on national television. The company is trying to convince them to feature the collection of the winnings on news, and that person has quite the incentive to agree. That’s because after the Government’s taxes are deducted from it, the winner gets to take home $520,000.

Belize’s FIFA ranking at its Best ever
As of July 9, Belize’s World Cup ranking stands at 118 out of the countries that participate in FIFA sanctioned football. The upward ranking is as a result of Belize’s performance in the last four qualifier matches two against Grand Cayman and two against the Dominican Republic. After these matches Belize moved from the 157th position. The 118th rank is the best position Belize has ever held in FIFA; the worst being in 2007 when Belize held the 201st position. According to FIFA Belize is the best mover in the world cup ranking having jumped from 157 to 118. The team now awaits the selection of the third country team which it will play against. This decision will be made by a draw and the announcement will be made on July 25 in Moscow.

Papa Mena arrives in style and sworn in as newest member of the National Assembly
Newly elected Area Representative for Dangriga, Hope Creek and Sarawee, Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena, was escorted to Belmopan City on Friday, July 10, by a party of supporters to be sworn in as the Minister of State in the Ministry of National Security. | A ceremony was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Belize House where Governor General Sir Colville Young was to administer the oath of office. By 10 a.m. the drums of Mena’s forefathers could be heard clearly from Market Square. Mena and his family led a procession along the pedestrian path of Belmopan Central enroute to the Belize House. There he recited the oath of office which starts with a specific commitment: “I Frank Mena do swear that I will bear true faith and allegiance to Belize…" After taking the oath, Mena walked out to be embraced by a proud crowd. A son of “backatown” was now a Minister of the country. The drums started speaking once again. This time Mena, his family, friends and supporters joined in with a traditional recital. Shortly after paying homage to where he has come from, Mena started to dance in celebration of where he has arrived. His supporters joined in – it was clear that this dance was a special one. It was a dance of relief – their little brother is now sitting at the table. They can’t help but look forward. Finally, Dangriga will get its fair share. Dangriga will be transformed. “Fuh we peepil will eet breda!”

AHA! NTUCB president admits to no consultation with union members on Petro Caribe Bill
On Wednesday morning during an appearance on KREM’s WUB morning show the NTUCB President Mora was forced to admit after being probed by Nuri Muhammad that the union executive had not consulted its members as regards to the their Senatorial vote on the Petro Caribe bill. Is that not what the government has been saying for almost a year now? Was that not the reason why the union’s Senator got in trouble with certain members in the NTUCB Executive? Did they not accuse him of not voting the way the unions would have wanted him to vote? Like the Church and the Business sector Senators , the Union Senator represents a specific group of people . In effect all 3 Senators hold PROXIES for and behalf of the members of their various organizations. The vote of these Senators are not their own vote nor is it a vote for the EXECUTIVES of their organizations neither is it for just a few of the general membership of their organizations. The NTUCB should have consulted it’s general membership through it’s various unions and their branches and then instruct their Senator based on the sentiments of the MAJORITY of it’s membership. In a democratic organization it is majority rule.

12 more scholarships from Belize Bank
Another twelve ambitious young Belizeans have the opportunity to further their education as beneficiaries of Belize Bank scholarships. The financial institution started the scholarship program in 2012 and now supports 55 students studying at secondary and tertiary level institutions countrywide. The newest members of the Belize Bank family were welcomed by Lyndon Guiseppi, Executive Chairman, at a brief ceremony on Tuesday, July 14. Under Guiseppi’s leadership, the country’s longest serving bank has made strides in its community outreach programs. The bank has received more recognition for its contribution to sports but according to Guiseppi it is the scholarship program that they are most proud of. “As a contributor to and an active participant in Belize’s economy, Belize Bank shares the vision of the Ministry of Education to build the talent pool as a means of furthering the national development of this country. We are hopeful that our investment in the scholarship programme will be a key component in this initiative,” said Guiseppi at the scholarship ceremony.

Close of the Sugar Cane Season
The gates at the Belize Sugar Industries remained open past 6:00 pm on Sunday in order to accommodate all last minute deliveries which numbered about 25-30 trucks loaded with sugar cane and which represented the cane farmers’ last opportunity to deliver their cane to the ASR/BSI Tower Hill Factory. With the final delivery of these truckloads of sugar cane, the “Zafra” will have finished 5 days later than originally planned for but purposefully done so in order to facilitate the delivery of cane from those small farmers who had not managed to deliver their full tonnage. However, the overriding good news for the industry was that all stakeholders had managed to achieve a bumper year not only in the amount of cane delivered but a record in terms of sugar produced this year. Last week, when the extension of 5 extra days was announced by the Deputy Prime Minister Hon. Gaspar Vega, an initiative that he pursued as Minister of Agriculture, the numbers were showing that 1.134 Million tons of cane had been ground and that with the extension, a total of 1.175 Million tons of cane will have been ground by the time the factory closes. Although we will have to wait for a final disclosure from the Factory as to the actual numbers, indications are that that figure will be reached and perhaps even surpassed bringing the total very close to last year’s total of 1.2 Million tons of cane ground. Further to that good news, the total tonnage of sugar produced is expected to be at least 17.5 percent above last year’s 120,000 tons, with an anticipated 141,000 tons of sugar produced this year.

Enhancements continue in the Cayo Central Division
Numerous enhancements continue to be made within the Cayo Central Division, the working ground of the Hon. Rene Montero; with more projects to be initiated in the near future. As had been promised, Perez Street in Santa Elena Town has recently been double chip sealed and its second portion has been fully cemented. This has occurred even as a contract has been signed for the paving of Salazar Street in Santa Elena and work on this street will commence shortly. Phase one road works will involve the upgrading of the highway between Lin’s Superstore and China Town Supermarket in Santa Elena Town, which will come complete with sidewalks and drains and a median line and will cost 1.2 million dollars. This section of Santa Elena has seen a rapid growth with the levels of economic activity as citizens come from all over Belize to shop at the spacious stores. Adequate lighting will also be placed in that section of the highway between Lin’s and China Town “…to match those on the new Loma Luz Boulevard” states a Facebook post from Cayo Central. Phase two will entail other improvements between the junction of Salazar Street to the Hawkesworth Bridge “…with lights alternating on both sides along with side walks and proper drainage,” says the Hon. Rene Montero, during a Summer Splash at the Macal River on Sunday.

Police department recognizes students who overcame adversity
The Belize Police Department held its 10th annual Do the Right Thing Awards ceremony at the Old Belize Restaurant on Tuesday, July 14, and the top two most outstanding individuals were young women who defied the odds in pursuit of quality education. 24-year-old Joycelin Chiquillo and 26-year-old Melissa Harris are both mothers of two children each who courageously returned to school and graduated from Eden Seventh Day Adventist High School this year. The Belize Police Department, Restore Belize, their school counselors and others recognize the courage it took for these women to return to school; therefore, they were given a hand up for doing the right thing. Joycelin Chiquillo had a difficult childhood. “When I was a kid I was abused sexually, verbally and physically,” she says. Chiquillo got pregnant shortly after completing her first year of high school. This forced her to drop out of school and take care of her child. Later she had a second child and became a full time mom. With no support from the children’s father, she had to find work when she could to provide for them. This desire to provide a better quality of life for her children is what motivated Chiquillo to return to school.

Retribution
Older folks always sound the warning that retribution takes 7 years before it takes effect. When we see what is happening to the People’s United Party that pronouncement has never seemed to be more factual than at present for the PUP. If my math is right and I don’t need to ask Jules, it’s been just over 7 years ago since the United Democratic Party were swept into office in February 2008 on the heels of a PUP defeat , who were beaten at the polls like an out of tune bass drum. It was just almost at the 7 year mark that everything started to go even further downhill for the PUP. On November 18th the Leader of the PUP was joined in a chorus by his Choir of PUP Area Representatives singing their much used refrain “ CALL ELECTIONS NOW” ! They did so at that time in the face of a very popular government that was buttressed by a throng of 10,000 Belizeans who had assembled on Independence Hill to say to the United Democratic Party ,that they were PLEASED with the United Democratic Party’s performance as the government of Belize and did not want to see the PUP back at the seat of government anytime soon. Much like the book of Exodus in the bible, Pharaoh named his own plague, so was it said to the PUP by our Prime Minster. The words had not long left the mouth of the PUP party leader when one of his own, Mahmoud resigned and forced a by-election in Cayo North. Caught with his pants down he was forced to settle for a failed Businessman turned politician since his choice for the seat turned him down saying he was no sheep to be led to the slaughter; the man who he was to go up against was a man who traps and captures Jaguars without fear. What happened to that failed Businessman was a beat down of epic proportions, where like BTL giving to its costumers the voters treated him to a triple-up. That is to say he lost by three to one.

$125,000 to Jaguars and “More is on its way”
The Guardian reported on June 18 that the Government of Belize was planning to make another donation to the Belize Football Jaguars to assist in preparations for the third round of World Cup Qualifiers. That donation has come in the form of a $125,000 grant courtesy of the Petro-Caribe funds. Joseph Waight, Belize’s Financial Secretary, handed over the cheque to Michael Blease, Secretary General of the Football Federation of Belize, on Monday, July 13. “It’s a grant to the FFB,” said Waight, “I was told to keep them in training. It costs, for housing and stipends, as much as $10,000 per week.” Though the Jaguars are not scheduled to play until the first week of September, the Federation continues to spend thousands of dollars in preparation for the games. It is the cost of competing at the level Belizeans have fallen in love with. “We have spent over four hundred thousand for the first two rounds and we know it is a lot of expense practicing, stipend for the players, feeding the players,” said Blease. “The projected budget is $300,000, at least, for this third round.”

Last person on death row is off that sentence
The last person on death row in Belize, Glenford Baptist, was charged and convicted for the murder of Osrin White that occurred on July 24, 2000. Oscar Mendez and Gilbert Wade were also charged and sentenced to hanging in November of 2001, by Justice Wilfred Elrington. In June 2002 however, the court of appeal quashed Mendez’s conviction because of faulty eyewitness identification. Mendez has since died on November 2, 2007, meanwhile, Wade was killed whilst recreating at the Belize Central Prison, leaving only Baptist in prison. Back on July 24, 2000, Baptist, Mendez and Wade went to the yard of Juanita Hinds, the girlfriend of White, on Iguana street extension, asking for Eyean Reid. When Reid saw the men through a hole on a zinc fence from ten yards away, he retreated behind the house inside the yard.

Apprenticeship member accused of robbery
Allan Phillips, who is a member of the Apprenticeship Program, was scheduled to graduate next week Wednesday, July 22, at ceremony that will take place at the Princess Hotel; however, he may not be able to participate in a ceremony because he has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of robbery, harm and aggravated assault with a firearm. Allegations are that on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Phillips robbed Fokrul Alam, who is the owner of Take and Pay Grocery store, at gun point, taking $400 in cash. Phillips was also accused of aggravated assault with a fire arm upon Lincoln Roy Glen, who was also at the store. | On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Phillips appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, to hear his charges. Phillips pleaded not guilty to all charges; however, due to the nature of the offense, Phillips was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 13, 2015. The Chief Magistrate has also ordered that Phillips is to be provided with disclosure in the matter by September 13, 2015.

Is Michel Chebat trying to transfer his vote?
QUESTION TO CANDIDATE: Can the PUP candidate for the Cayo North Constituency, Michel Chebat, say if he has or has not applied to the Cayo North registering officer to transfer his vote from Fort George in Belize City to Cayo North giving his address as #5 Benque Viejo Road, San Ignacio being the residence of Carlos “Mosquito” Habet? Was Habet’s residence selected given maybe that he could not use his “elderly” parents address as that would put him in Cayo Northeast? Given that they are registered in Cayo Northeast not even his parents will vote for him or is he planning to also move them to Mosquito’s house? It is said that a dishonest candidate makes a dishonest Area Representative. While his bosses have baggages galore at the very least they do not pull off this blatant dishonest stunt.

Chester Williams Brokers Ghost Town Truce
The zone from Vernon Street’s intersection with Sarstoon Street to its intersection with Mayflower Street has been the most dangerous in the country and perhaps the region (crimes per capita) over the last three months. The police officer in charge of developing an effective startegy for this area (and the entire Southside of Belize City for that matter) is Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, Commander of Eastern Division South. He says, “We all know that the situation [in the area] is the result of an internal issue between one gang: the Ghost Town gang.” Williams believes that increasing police presence in the area will not solve the issue. He has drafted a multifaceted plan and it starts with mediation. On Friday, July 10, Williams organized a mediation session with rivals from the Ghost Town Gang. Various shot callers and their associates were brought in along with parents and other relatives to have an open discussion. Williams allowed the relatives to speak first. They spoke about how difficult it has been to live in a community torn apart. Young men who were recently best friends are now hunting each other like animals. It has been especially hard on the parents who feel it when victims from either side are killed. They were all one clique until recently and would hang out together at each others’ yards – becoming like sons to their friend’s parents. Now these sons dodge each other in the dark of night and open fire at the mere glimpse of the enemy. The feud has placed the community in bondage. People are afraid to go to shop and walk the street. There is no peace of mind because one does not know who can be trusted. It was a quite emotional session as relatives plea for them to stop the war.

Da fool di Talk... but dah no fool di listen
On July 8 The People’s United Party took a trouncing in Dangriga as the UDP’s Frank “Papa” Mena crushed the PUP’s Anthony Sabal at the polls in that constituency’s bye-election. The Bye-election was triggered by the resignation of the then Area Representative, PUP’s Ivan Ramos who bested the UDP’s Arthur Roaches in the General Elections of 2012. Since then the PUP has been going through a metamorphosis of sorts and invariably it has been for the worst. After a terrible loss in the Cayo North Bye-election and an even worse one in the Municipal Elections, the PUP leadership fowled up the Dangriga seat to force yet another election. It is reported by party insiders that the PUP’s campaign manager and purse holder Godfrey Smith summoned the duly elected representative and gave him the unsavory news that he will not be the PUP’s choice to represent them in the upcoming General Elections. He was ordered to stand down and was told in no uncertain terms that he will not have the support of the PUP financially or otherwise. Having heard from the almighty Godfrey Smith, Ivan Ramos tucked his tail between his legs and sauntered on to Belmopan and requested the Petro Caribe Funds made available to all constituencies for the Mother’s Day Cheer. He then held that event in Dangriga where he delivered the news that he was resigning from parliament thereby triggering the Bye-election. Boom there it was, a stunning wakeup call for the PUP and especially to the leadership including Francis Fonseca and Godfrey Smith.

Lake I Summer Camp closes with a bang
After two weeks of football and basketball activities the first ever Lake Independence 'Life skills and Summer Camp' sponsored by Hon Mark King concluded on Wednesday July 15. A total of four teams participated in basketball and football for two weeks. During two weeks from July 1 to the 15 over a hundred young children participated in the all day summer camp and on Wednesday Hon. Mark King handed over trophies and gifts to the participants. In Basketball team Complex Unruly Ballers was awarded first place. Second place went to Lake Warriors and Third place was garnered by Police Street. The MVP in basketball was Diandre Arana. In football 1st place was taken by Brown Bombers after defeating team Survivor with a score of 3 to 2. Second place finisher in football was Survivors FC and third place went to Complex United. Individual awards went to Best goal keeper: Dylan Belisle; Best Defence: Denmark Gill; Best Midfield: Shemar Thompson;

Board Members to the Octavia Waight Center in San Ignacio Town Re-elected
Several Board members from the Octavia Waight Center, which is located in San Ignacio Town, were re-elected on Saturday of this past weekend. Taking the task as Chairperson is Claudette Hulse; Vice Chair, Mirna Martinez; Secretary, Clemente Cruz and Treasurer Bernadette Fernandez. While Claudette Hulse has served as Chairperson for two consecutive years, she has been serving at the Octavia Waight Center for the past 20 years. Present for the elections over the weekend was registration officer Ivorie Bulwer, who is also the Director of Help Age Belize. Ivorie Bulwer gave an opportunity for each of the re-elected Board members to speak, and in so doing illuminated the inner workings at the Octavia Waight Center. “It is a challenge taking it on, but I am willing to work with the Board and continue moving forward with the Octavia Waight Center,” said Claudette Hulse. Meanwhile; Deputy Mayor Bernadette Fernandez, who holds the portfolio for the aged at the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, also accepted nomination to serve once more.

Last person on death row is off that sentence
The last person on death row in Belize, Glenford Baptist, was charged and convicted for the murder of Osrin White that occurred on July 24, 2000. Oscar Mendez and Gilbert Wade were also charged and sentenced to hanging in November of 2001, by Justice Wilfred Elrington. In June 2002 however, the court of appeal quashed Mendez’s conviction because of faulty eyewitness identification. Mendez has since died on November 2, 2007, meanwhile, Wade was killed whilst recreating at the Belize Central Prison, leaving only Baptist in prison. Back on July 24, 2000, Baptist, Mendez and Wade went to the yard of Juanita Hinds, the girlfriend of White, on Iguana street extension, asking for Eyean Reid. When Reid saw the men through a hole on a zinc fence from ten yards away, he retreated behind the house inside the yard. Reid overheard the men asked for him. Sharon Nicholas, one of the main witnesses in the trial and close friend, had told the men that Reid was not there, so they said “di good wahn soffa fu di bad”. When the men turned to question White, he simply told them that he was not into this. A voice recognized as Wade said “give mi d thing”, and White was shot. After the men had departed, Reid went to the front of the house where he saw White laying on the drain, dead.

Apprenticeship member accused of robbery
Allan Phillips, who is a member of the Apprenticeship Program, was scheduled to graduate next week Wednesday, July 22, at ceremony that will take place at the Princess Hotel; however, he may not be able to participate in a ceremony because he has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on charges of robbery, harm and aggravated assault with a firearm. Allegations are that on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, Phillips robbed Fokrul Alam, who is the owner of Take and Pay Grocery store, at gun point, taking $400 in cash. Phillips was also accused of aggravated assault with a fire arm upon Lincoln Roy Glen, who was also at the store. | On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, Phillips appeared unrepresented before Chief Magistrate, Ann Marie Smith, to hear his charges. Phillips pleaded not guilty to all charges; however, due to the nature of the offense, Phillips was denied bail and remanded to the Belize Central Prison until October 13, 2015. The Chief Magistrate has also ordered that Phillips is to be provided with disclosure in the matter by September 13, 2015.

Another teenager shot and killed, hanging out with the wrong company
Belize City teenager, Anthony Ashton Smith, was gunned down and murdered on Friday night, July 10, 2015, at a location in the Port Loyola area where police officers were stationed, only a stone’s throw away. Smith lived with his family on Sun Rise Avenue, in the Coral Grove area, which is on the other side of the City. It is not known exactly what he was doing on that side of town, but at around 8:50 p.m that night he was riding his bike on the Central American Boulevard. He had just passed by the Freedom Street intersection when a gunman waylaid him and fired shots from an open lot across the street. Smith was struck several times in the body and the head, and as soon as he went down, police officers started firing back at the gunman. They were just a few yards down the street at a bus stop on the corner from Central American and Jane Usher Boulevards, and as soon as they heard the gunshots, they sprang into action to try to catch the shooter.

Gregory August appeals his conviction and sentence to life imprisonment
Gregory August, 27 year old was accused of murdering an elderly citizen, Alvin Robinson. Allegations are that Robinson was found with a total of nine stab wounds that later led to his death. The incident occurred on May 23, 2009 inside the home of Robinson, located at mile 8 ½ on the Phillip Goldson Highway. August was convicted by the Supreme Court on November 28, 2013, where he was sentenced to life imprisonment. On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, August was represented by attorney Eamon Courtney, before Judge Adolph Lucas to appeal his conviction and sentence. August maintains his innocence, and has claimed that he was wrongfully accused of Robinson’s murder. Courtney submitted two points on behalf of August, saying that he was entitled to a good character direction.

Sexual discrimination case against gay activist Caleb Orosco ends in conviction
Caleb Orosco, 41 year old Gay Rights Activist, was before the court as the victim of a sexual discrimination incident that occurred on August 5, 2015. One of his neighbors, identified as 31 year old Emmerson Picart, a Junior Accounts Officer/Second Class Clerk with the Ministry of National Security was accused of throwing missiles at Orosco and using indecent words upon him. The testimony that Orosco gave was that on August 5, 2014, whilst at his home on Zericote Street, Picart threw pint bottles at him and assaulted him verbally. Orosco said that he immediately called 911, but when he got no answer, he called for his sister to help him. It was not until August 24, 2014 that he was taken seriously and PC Sergio Pott investigated the matter. Subsequently, Picart was charged with the two offences in September of that year. On Thursday, July 9, 2015, Picart appeared unrepresented in court before Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith, to answer to two non custodial sentences. Though Picart tried to support his non guilty plea, he was found guilty by the Chief Magistrate when his story didn’t add up. He was slapped with a fine of $100 each for the two offences in default two months imprisonment. Picart then had to apologize in open court to Orosco.

4 Cubans, caught living in Belize illegally
Four Cubans, a female waitress, along with 3 males, a Carpenter, an Astronomer and a Painter, were caught living in Belize illegally on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, After they were found travelling onboard a Shaw’s bus coming into the city. Allegations are that on Wednesday, they entered Belize through the banks of the Mopan River. It is believed that they were using Belize as a port of entry and route to the United States. On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the group of four appeared unrepresented in court before Magistrate, Stephanie Gillett, to answer to a single charge of illegal entry. They all wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the immigration offense. The group of four was all imposed non custodial sentences where they were fined $1,000 each plus a $5.00 cost of court. The fines were ordered to be paid immediately in default 6 months in prison. The first to be read the charge was 27 year old Waitress, Glendis Barrentos Cardero, followed by her three country brothers, 28 year old carpenter, Libon Castro Rosales, 23 year old Astronomer, Rueben Hernandez Palma and 33 year old painter, Pedro Valerino Martinez, all of Havana Cuba. Neither of them was able to pay their fines. Magistrate Gillett granted a removal order for them to be expelled from the country after they have served a 6 months jail time at the Belize Central Prison.

Derrick Engleton and a minor walk from charge of use of deadly means of harm
Twenty four year old Belize City resident, Egbert Jones, who was also once a car washer along with his twin brother at the parking lot located behind the Magistrate’s Court, had a second near death experience back on December 29, 2014. Prior to this incident, he was crushed by a wall while tearing it down at the old Civic Center. He was left hospitalized, fighting for his life, and remains with only scars to remind him of his tragedy. Jones reported to the police that while standing on Lovely lane with its intersection of Pickstock Street he was approached by two men that he identified as 28 year old Derrick Engleton and a 17 year old minor. According to Jones, the two men were armed with a single firearm. The minor took the first shot at Jones, but the gun snapped and failed to fire, Jones took off running, and so did his attackers. Engleton then took the gun to fire a second shot, but the gun snapped yet again.

Dangriga fisherman charged with wounding over Fonto leaf
Samuel Frances Juarez, 38 year old Fisherman of Dangriga, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on a charge of wounding after allegations made against him by 32 year old Biscayne resident, Rudy Alexander Faber. According to Faber, at about 4:48 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2015, whilst he was asleep, he was awoken by a loud flute and recognized that Juarez, whom he has known for two years, was the one blowing it. Juarez allegedly asked him for a piece of fonto to smoke marijuana, where he willingly gave it to Juarez. Thereafter, Juarez hit him with a stick on his head and across the back, for no apparent reason. When Faber was defending himself, Juarez pushed him onto the highway, near Biscayne Village, causing him to fall and have a vehicle run over his big toe. In court, Juarez appeared unrepresented before the Magistrate, where he pleaded not guilty to the charge of wounding. He was offered bail in the sum of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount, but he was unable to meet bail and remained in police custody until he can do so.

GSU take 5 guns off the streets in 6 days
Over a 6-day period, the Gang Suppression Unit has managed to take an assortment of firearms off the street, and the unit’s vigilance has led to the seizure a large quantity of drugs. Of the significant weapons find, shortly after the street-style slaying of Anthony Smith (see story on page...), the GSU was one of the units which responded on Friday, July 10. They did a sweep of the area and found a black colored Glock 9mm pistol, which had its serial number filed off. Inside the weapon’s chamber was 1 live round, and the magazine also contained 1 live round. The gunman who had used this weapon escaped, and so it was deposited as found property. Though the investigators believe that this was the murder weapon, it was sent for ballistics testing. About an hour and a half later, the officers in Belize City had to respond to another shooting, which happened on Vernon Street. At around 10:30 p.m. that same night, 21 year-old Glenn Murrillo was standing in front of a Chinese shop when he was shot in the upper right arm.

Acquitted of attempted murder
Back in October of 2011, 30 year old Keith Cleland, a resident of #1134 Apple Star Street, Coral Groove area, Belize City reported to the police that he was shot twice in both hands by a lone gunman he recognized as Ernest Thurton Junior. On October 5, 2011, while waiting to catch a bus at the corner of North Front Street and Douglas Jones Street, Cleland told police he was standing near the bridge located next to the drug store conversing with another male, also waiting to catch a bus. According to Cleland, he saw a male of dark complexion, coming from the direction of Douglas Jones and Victoria Street, riding on a bike, when he heard the male yell out to the guy standing next to him, saying “Buoy move”. Thereafter, he saw Thurton lift up his shirt and pull out a handgun, firing a shot in his direction. Cleland took off running towards Douglas Jones Street, as he heard four more shots rang out. When he arrived at the corner of Freetown Road and Douglas Jones Street, he saw that he was bleeding from his two hands, and that’s when a man in a vehicle parked by the traffic lights assisted him and rushed him to the KHMH for treatment.

Police in Hope Creek shoot and kill Leopold Myvette
Dangriga Police say they shot and killed Hope Creek Village Resident Leopold Myvette in self defense. The deceased’s family is furious, and they say that the officers did not have to kill him to subdue him. The official police version is that on Saturday, at around 8:45 p.m., they responded to a report of a disturbance in front of Fuentes Bar. When they arrived, they found 28 year-old Leopold Myvette socializing with a group of men under a tree, right across the street. The officers reported to their bosses that the men started to walk away, but they quickly informed the men that they were going to be searched. They say that it was at that moment that Myvette turned away, pulled out what they believed was a black firearm, turned around and pointed it at them.

Three way lead in Belize District Firms Basketball Competition
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms Competition continued on Saturday 11 July, 2015, at Bird’s Isle with three games on the schedule. In the first game on the schedule, BWS Pressure defeated Ready Call by the score of 76-55. The top scorers for BWS Pressure were Luis Barcelona with 18 points, 11 rebounds, 1 assist and 2 steals, Jamir Enriquez with 17 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 steal and Ashley Hemsley with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals. For the Ready Call squad, the top scorers were Rahiem Franklin with 21 points and 4 rebounds and Septiums Ritchie with 8 points and 4 rebounds. In the second game of the evening, Bulldogs defeated the Digicell 4G squad by the score of 66-61. The top scorers for the Bulldogs were Rupert Brown with 19 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals; Roscoe Rhys with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist and Marcel Orosco with 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals.

Belize Basketball Federation holding open tryouts for U-14 male
The Belize Basketball Federation (BBF) will be fielding a male under 14 National Team to participate in FIBA’S COCABA Tournament. The tournament will be held in Merida, Mexico, from August 12-16, 2015. The Belize Basketball Federation is calling upon all interested male basketball players, from around the country, to attend two weeks of open practice, as a means of being selected to the National Team. Players must be born in 2001 or after to be eligible for this tournament and all players must have a valid passport that has a life value of more than six months on its expiration from the tournament. All players who attend these tryout sessions are required to bring their passport or Social Security Card, so that the coaches can verify ages.

Joel Borland is the Belikin King of the Hills champion
The Cycling Federation of Belize in collaboration with Belikin Beer held the King of the Hills Cycling event on Sunday 12 July, 2015. The event started at the San Ignacio Welcome Centre and in the case of the Elite category, the riders had to do 15 laps. At the end of the Elite category, first place went to Joel Borland of Digicell 4 G Cycling Team. The second rider to cross the finish line was Joslyn Chavarria also of Digicell 4G, while the third rider to cross the finish line was Ron Vasquez of Western Spirits. The fourth rider to cross the finish line was Giovanni Choto of C-Ray Cycling and he was followed by Jegmar Guerra. In the Masters’ Category, first place went to Liam Stewart and he was followed by Henry Moriera with third place going to Kerry Gladden. In the female category, first place went to Alicia Thompson of Belize Bank Swoosh, second place went to Shalini Zabaneh of Team Sagitun, with third place going to Kaya Cattouse of C-Ray.

Three way tie in Belize Rural Softball Competition
The Belize Rural Softball Association 2015 season continued on Sunday 12 July out in Ranch Dolores with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, UB Jaguars blasted Lord’s Bank Sunrise by the score of 17-9. The winning pitcher was Karlene Williams and the losing pitcher was Sherian Wesby. In game two, Easy Does It won handily over Burrell Boom’s Orchid Girls by the score of 13-6. The winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy and the losing pitcher was Rebecca Nicholson. And in the final game of the day, Double Head Cabbage ran all over the host team Country Rose by the score of 25-2. The winning pitcher was Herlet Clarke and the losing pitcher was Angie Tucker. The competition will continue on Sunday 19 July at 11:00 am in Lord’s Bank Village with three more games on the schedule.

Rebels United maintains lead in John Saldivar Softball Competition
The Cayo Softball Association John Saldivar Senior Female Competition continued on Sunday 12 July at the Dembeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy won handily over Camalote Spokane by the score of 6-1. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Rose Rowland. In game two, Esperanza Wolverines defeated the Belmopan Emeralds by the score of 13-6. The winning pitcher was Rose Vernon and the losing pitcher was Guadalupe Chicas. And in the final game of the day, the league’s leading Rebels United of Unitedville defeated the Camalote Spokane by the score of 13-2. The winning pitcher was Francine Salazar and the losing pitcher was Nadina Coye. The competition awill continue this coming Sunday 19 July, 2015, at the Dembeigh Fuller Stadium in Camalote Village.

Security Guard charged with burglary
Glenroy Reynolds, 34 year old resident of Ladyville and a security guard of the Traffic Department located on Youth for the Future drive, allegedly burglarized the traffic department and stole a total of 20 decal license stickers on April 4, 2015. Reports are that when the surveillance camera of the department was viewed, Reynolds was seen covering the camera with a piece of cloth, and that’s when an investigation for burglary was undertaken. When Reynolds was confronted, he handed in 6 stickers, valuing $325.00, from a total of $4,225.00, missing property of the Belize City Council. On Monday, July 13, 2015 Reynolds appeared unrepresented at the Magistrate’s court to answer to a single charge of burglary and handling stolen goods. Reynolds pleaded not guilty to the charge and bail was considered; however, police court prosecutor, Cpl. Noel Muschamp, objected and bail was denied.

Another man walks free from murder in a trial by judge without jury
Devon Sankey, 22 year old but 17 at the time, allegedly shot Renan Reneau as many as four times to his upper body back in 2010. Reneau was at his girlfriend’s home, located at #3166 Kut Avenue, when he met his untimely death. According to his girlfriend, Arilee Sommerville, Reneau, her sister and Sankey got into an argument the day prior to the killing of Reneau; however, not giving the details of what had caused the argument. According to a statement gathered by Cpl. #155 Arcadio Chun, during the questioning of Sommerville at her house, she identified the shooter as Sankey, since she saw him riding off on a bicycle from in front of her house the same night after the shooting occurred. On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, Sankey appeared represented by his attorney, Oscar Selgado, before Judge Troadio “John” Gonzalez, where a no case submission was put forward. This after the crown’s main witness, Sommerville, who was treated as a hostile witness, made it clear to the court and the prosecutor, Kileru Awich, that she wanted no further action with the case.

Jaimie Smith walks from double murder
Jaime Smith, a 27 year old construction worker and resident of #10 Racoon Street, Belize City, was accused of a double murder incident that took the life of Eric Arana and Dwayne Tillett. The incident occurred on Antelope Street Extension around 7 p.m. on May 20, 2011. Khiry Haulze and Joanne Gillett were the main witnesses that were hanging out with Smith and Arana when the incident happened. Haulze reported to the police that the three of them were sitting on an old cream colored vehicle that was parked outside a yard. According to Haulze, a man with dreadlocks, whom he identified as Jaimie Smith, was riding a bicycle when he opened fire in their direction from about 30 feet away; hitting all four victims. He immediately ran into the yard and took shelter. Arana died on the scene, while Tillett was taken to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries. Forensic doctor, Mario Estradaban, testified that both men died from Exsanguination. He found a 9 mm slug on the left side of the posterior line of Tillett’s body as well as injuries to his lungs and kidney, while 12 gunshot wounds were found on Arana’s body. He concluded that they both suffered from internal and external bleeding as a consequence of multiple gunshot injuries.

Customs officer stabbed to death in Benque
Ervin Wade appeared in the San Ignacio Magistrate Court before Magistrate Stephanie Gillett on Monday of this week, where he was read a charge for murder. He is to make his next court appearance on September 17, 2014, but for the meantime he will be remanded to the Belize Central Prison. Meanwhile; a postmortem which has been conducted to Keisha Buller confirmed that she died as a result of exsanguination due to internal and external bleeding. The charge of murder against Wade stems after twenty-five year old Customs Officer Keisha Buller was stabbed to death on Friday evening of last week in Western Belize. Keisha Buller was stabbed repeatedly in her neck and body by her common-law husband Ervin Wade during one of his jealous rages at her rented home at number 45 George Street in Benque Viejo del Carmen. Buller was reportedly trying to get out of the house, when she was stabbed and as she tried to escape she collapsed. Neighbors would hear her desperate screams from about 1:30 pm. on Friday. Police found Keisha Buller in a pool of blood, after which she was transported to the San Ignacio Community Hospital where she died while undergoing treatment.

Government of Belize Summer of Sports Camps taking place across the country
The Government of Belize Summer of Sports Camps which is funded by the Petrocaribe Funds is currently taking place across the country. The National Sports Council received 167 application forms from across the country and at the end of the exercise the sub-committee that was responsible for vetting and approving those forms which met the basic criteria approved 97 applications for grants. Some camps are scheduled to commence next week with the final three camps including the only Athletics camp at Corozal Community College to commence the first week of August.

The Reporter

To be or not to be
Contributed by: Lisa Shoman In early 2013, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) launched a new advertising campaign for Belize. Research conducted by the BTB showed that Belize needed to “re-brand” after 26 years of being Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret” and ‘Discover How to Be” was launched as Belize’s new campaign, with gorgeous ads and posters, urging visitors to “BE still”, “BE inspired” “BE native” “BE uncharted” and “BE unleashed”. The idea was that in Belize, the visitor was free to BE. But is that really true? The recent news that a private sector entity in Belize, Caribbean Villas Resorts, is advertising that it is holding an LGBT “pride event” in Belize which is billed as “ Temptation Island Pride Week” raises important issues about the Laws of Belize, visitors to Belize and the tourism industry and the freedom of the visitor “to BE”. It is clear that Belize’s laws as they currently stand, do have a real impact, not only in respect of the entry of visitors in Belize, but also because of the criminal sanctions to which visitors to Belize may unwittingly be exposed while staying in our country. The BTB and the alphabet soup of stakeholders of the Belize tourism industry such as the BHA, BTIA, BTGA, BNTOA and all tourism industry stakeholders who are not members of any association, have a duty of care, (which they fulfill to some degree) in ensuring that visitors to Belize are informed that our national law has serious criminal penalties for drug/ firearm possession and for sexual assault against minors and children in Belize.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police officer dies in fatal traffic accident in Spanish Lookout
The fatal traffic accident that happened last night in Spanish Lookout has claimed the life of a police officer and has critically injured the Village Chairman of Buena Vista. According to reports, both the police officer and the Village Chairman were traveling in the same vehicle when they […]

Fatal Traffic Accident in Spanish Lookout
Belize Media Group has been informed about a fatal traffic accident that occurred in Spanish Lookout tonight. According to reports, the traffic accident involves the Chairman of Buena Vista Village who is injured and is in a critical condition, and a policeman who has succumbed to his injuries. This is […]

It’s craboo season in Belize!
As a child I looked forward to this time of the year – “summer vacation” – especially on rainy mornings to run outside and pick up the fresh craboo from under the craboo tree. The excitement increased when there were different types to pick up including the big […]

Teen stepdaughter left pregnant
A Punta Gorda man has been detained by authorities after his 13 year old Guatemalan stepdaughter reported to police that she was raped by her stepfather and is almost 24 weeks pregnant. Police and social workers on the morning of Tuesday, July 14, visited the minor’s home, where they […]

Fatal road traffic accident in South
The body of a 60 year old Santa Cruz Village resident is today awaiting a post mortem at the Southern Regional Hospital, after a motorcycle accident yesterday evening, July 15, caused injuries to which he later succumbed. Honduran National, Cornelio Miranda, was reportedly riding his red and black motorcycle in […]

Governor General attends COBEC summer conference
Belize’s Governor General Sir Colville Young is visiting Wilmington, North Carolina, U.S.A., for the annual summer conference of the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC), being hosted by the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNC-W). COBEC works towards higher education in Belize and also provides opportunities for students to study, research […]

Police confirm changes to Eastern Division
The largest police division in Belize is no more – at least not in its current alignment. Eastern Police Division has been divided into three subdivisions: Eastern Police Division North (ED North), Eastern Police Division South (ED South) and Eastern Police Division Rural (ED Rural). Eastern Police Division […]

Pepper spray attacker guilty of harm
26 year old hair braider Patrice Ramsey of Price Alley is accused of pepper spraying another woman whom some friends suggested resembled her. She appeared in court before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer today for sentencing after being found guilty of harm on Tuesday but the magistrate was not […]

Police detain three in senior citizen’s murder
Suspecting the death of 61 year old Osmar Ramos to be murder, police have detained three men for questioning. Ramos, a Salvadoran naturalized Belizean farmer of Paraiso Area, was observed to have been chopped multiple times to the neck, back of the head, shoulder and chin. Belmopan police say the […]

Corozal police destroy marijuana plants
Corozal police on an anti-drug mission have found and destroyed a marijuana plantation. On Tuesday, July 14, police visited Paraiso, Corozal District, and discovered the plantation containing an estimated 3,000 small plants. The plants were uprooted and burnt by police but as there was no one in the area no […]

Annual summer financial literacy camp
The love of money is the root of all evil, according to the Bible, but it can also be a source of good. To control and channel our youngest population’s attitudes toward money, the Ministry of Education and international firms PWC and Peace-works are hosting a series of camps on […]

Guatemala trying to stop construction of forward operating base at Sarstoon Island
Guatemalan authorities remain peeved after their encounter with Belizean Coast Guard personnel in the vicinity of Sarstoon Island, where the Belizeans had gone to scout the location for the construction of a forward operating base to help with Belize’s law and order. National Security CEO George Lovell told Channel 5 […]

Belize authorities to help Mexico get “Shorty” Guzman
CEO in the Ministry of National Security George Lovell told Channel 5 News last night that there is presently no indication that escaped Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, also known as “Shorty,” is in Belize. However, reports suggest that he was smuggled here and is in hiding with […]

Gregory August fights mandatory life sentence
Back in April the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) agreed to grant convicted murderer Gregory August special leave to appeal his conviction subject to the Court of Appeal hearing and reasoning on two matters raised before them for the first time. One is the matter of trial judge Adolph Lucas […]

Accused Kareem Clarke killer charged for firearm
The alleged accused teenage killer of journalist Kareem Clarke is in prison, but he has not been charged for his murder. Instead the youth was charged for a firearm police found in his possession when they picked him up. Police, according to Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, continue to gather the […]

Devon Sankey beats murder charge
22 year old Devon Sankey was acquitted of murder on Wednesday by Justice Troadio Gonzalez, sitting alone without a jury. He was accused of the murder of 25 year old Renan Reneau on April 8, 2010. Six witnesses had testified for the prosecution but it all fell apart when main […]

Blogs

A Concise History Of Mesoamerica And The Ancient Maya Part 5
What is most incredible about the ancient Maya is the fact that they did not evolve in isolation as a civilisation. There were other cultures next to them and around them. None developed such high civilisation as the Maya. This certainly was an incredible accomplishment. There are 2 interesting ideas that we do not agree with in as far as what points to why the Maya developed such high culture. The first is the Hyper Diffusionist Theory. This theory suggests that an external culture came into America and help develop the Maya, such as the Phoenicians and/or the Egyptians. The second is Local Diffusion. This suggests that there was a mother culture in America (Cultura Madre), such as the Olmec, Zapotec or Teotihuacan cultures, from which the ancient Maya developed.

Corn Bread
Ingredients 1 cup flour 1 cup cornmeal 1/4 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt 2 eggs, beaten Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 inch baking pan. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, soda and salt. Stir in yogurt and eggs. Do not over mix, stir only until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until center of the bread springs back when gently pressed.

Caracol Altar 26 revisited
As promised this is for tour guides or anyone that would like to know a little more details about alter 26 feel free to download and share the info. this was published by Mexicon

International Sourcesizz

‘You Betta Belize It!’
It’s cute, catchy and you’ll see it everywhere you look in Belize: “You Betta Belize It!” In part one of this travel series, we had just arrived at our first destination on this sojourn, the beautiful village of Placencia, located along an 18-mile stretch of the Placencia Peninsula (population 3,458) and encompassing four small villages—Riversdale, Maya Beach, Seine Bight and Placencia, which is home to about half of the denizens here. Despite its size, there is a great expanse in the topography here, from approximately three feet above sea level to over 3,600 feet a short drive away in the Maya Mountain range. From here you can embark upon numerous short excursions, such as deep sea fishing, whale shark diving (four times a year during full moon), caving, sailing, scuba diving, visiting to the Mayan ruins, going on a Monkey River howler tour or trying an extensive jungle hike through a jaguar preserve, just to name a few.

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.

Real Estate Advice: 5 of the Best Places to Retire In the World
Are you looking to retire soon? International Living (IL), a magazine and website devoted to expat living and retirement overseas knows where your retirement money could stretch a little further and at the same time allow you to savor a happy and comfy way of living. Here's the list of the top overseas places for retirement as reported by About Home (listed in alphabetical order): Belize: It may not have a cheap cost of living compared to other places in the Caribbean, but Belize still proves to be one of the best places to retire in the world. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and a small-town living vibe with the perfect climate year round. Just south of Mexico, Belize also has a secure banking system that favors foreign investors. Retirees can also enjoy tax-free income for money they earn outside the country. If you still aren't convinced, retirees can actually import goods without fee or penalty through their Qualified Retired Person (QRP) program, a program especially set-up for retirees' interests.


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#505925 - 07/17/15 11:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 17, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

First regular Houston-Cuba flight begins next month
A weekly flight between Houston and Cuba will begin next month, marking the first regular flight from the Bayou City to the once-forbidden Caribbean island. Miami-based HavanaAir Charters announced it will begin a service each Wednesday from Bush Intercontinental Airport to Havana. The charter company will fly with its partner Eastern Air Lines on a Boeing 737-800 starting in August. Executives for HavanaAir and Eastern Air said in a statement that Houston will be a gateway to Cuba for the western U.S. The news follows the Obama administration's announcement late last year that it would ease restrictions against Cuba, which has been under a U.S. embargo for a half a century. The new rules clear the way for more travel and business connections to Cuba. American citizens can bring home Cuban cigars, use credit cards in the country and invest in small businesses, among other changes. While general tourism is still not allowed, U.S. travelers allowed to visit Cuba no longer need to apply for special licenses. Under existing rules, Americans were allowed to travel to Cuba for family visits, government business, journalism, research or religious activity. With the changes, the number of visitors to Cuba is expected to jump, particularly in Houston, a key gateway to Latin America.

Want to Improve Your Quality of Life? Move to Central America
A sizeable number of U.S. citizens have moved to Central America. Estimates from the United Nations Population Division in mid-2013 showed 13,000 Americans living in Costa Rica, 12,000 in Panama, 4,000 in Nicaragua and 3,000 in Belize. Why would someone pull up stakes to live in a foreign country with perhaps a different language and culture (English is the official language of Belize)? A recently published study, "Expats: Expectations & Reality," by Best Places In The World to Retire, provides some answers. It summarizes the responses of 389 expatriates living in Central America, the vast majority of whom live in Panama, Belize and Nicaragua. The survey was hosted on SurveyGizmo and was conducted between April 17 and April 27. Among respondents, 73.5% said their home country was the U.S., while 12.9% came from Canada, 4.6% from the U.K., 3.9% from elsewhere in Europe and the remainder from other countries.

Classic ancient Maya “collapse” not caused by overpopulation and deforestation, say researchers
For years, archaeologist Anabel Ford has been arguing the case that the ancient Maya knew well how to manage their tropical forest environment to their advantage, eventually sustaining large populations even beyond the time when many archaeologists suggest the Maya declined and abandoned their iconic Classic period pyramidal and temple constructions and monumental inscriptions during the 8th and 9th centuries CE. She challenges the popular theories long held by many scholars that the Maya declined because of overpopulation and deforestation from increased agricultural production, perhaps aggravated by draught and climate change. “In the past there was no extensive deforestation,” states Ford.* At the base of her reasoning stands years of research related to the ancient practice of the Maya in cultivating ‘forest gardens’, a method of sustainable agroforestry that employs an agricultural methodology called the Milpa Cycle—the creation of a polycultivated, tree-dominated, biodiverse landscape by dispersed smallholder farmers, employing natural cycles and maximizing the utility of the native flora and fauna.

Avalon Partners Announces Potential Funding Partner for Bolton Bank
Avalon Partners, Ltd. announces a potential US funding partner for buyers interested in the purchase and development of Bolton Bank located in Belize. “We are pleased to be able to introduce serious, qualified buyers to a US funder experienced in the Caribbean with several known projects under their belt. This company will consider funding purchase and/or build-out costs for a qualified developer,” stated Grace Lappin, Avalon’s Managing Partner. “We believe this incentive will increase the already high interest shown Bolton Bank as well as offer additional development security for interested parties.” Avalon Partners, in cooperation with Premiere Estates Auction Company, has organized the sale of Bolton Bank on August 4. This event is especially important because it offers commercial buyers and investors an unprecedented opportunity to purchase a prime luxury development site at auction. Bolton Bank, Belize, a 4,000+ acre river and sea-front parcel within a few miles of Belize’s only international airport and the cruise port, has the potential to be a game-changer for the country’s major city providing an opportunity to create an eco-hotel resort complex complete with state of the art conference center, commercial and retail spaces, residential community, as well as world class golf and casino.

Videos

  • Chiquibul Ecology Trip, 1.5min. Caye Caulker high schoolers being interviewed on Channel 7

  • Juliana Dives Belize, 1.5min.

  • Belize Dive at Blue Hole, 5min. We stayed at Ramon's Village Resort on Amergris Caye in Belize. The Blue Hole trip is an all day affair (2.5 hrs roughly each way by boat) that starts with a quick 20 minute (or so) dive at the Blue hole to a scheduled max of 130 feet. This is followed by two other dives on the atoll. While the Blue Hole is interesting for the stalactites and the deep depth, the following two dives are very enjoyable for color, sponges, and fish. They will be covered in a separate video.

  • Belize by Adam Trzeci, 6.5min.

  • Belize 2K15, 4min.

  • Agitation to Relaxation, 2015, 3min. This video is about Belize 2015

  • Aerial Views of the Belize Jungle, 1min. Filming with an aerial drone means getting angles that will sure to impress your viewers. Here are a few shots from my recent trip to Belize.

  • Cave Tubing in Belize, 14min. Prince Cruise shore excursion, riding intertubes through a cave. Wonderful and excitiing trip. Outstanding Cave Tubers "Butt-Up" was the company. More fun, more excitment. Great video shots of the jungle and the cave.

  • Ziplining in Belize, 3min. My wife and I on our Honeymoon in Belize and we got to go ziplining at Zipliners of the Howling Hills. I know the perspective isn't great, but I hope you enjoy anyways.

  • Belize Movie, 4min. Michael and Lauren trip to Belize.

  • Belize - By Brian Jeffrey Live 5-9-15, 5min.

  • Hungry Iguanas on Hamaruba, Caye Caulker Belize, 3min. Hungry iguanas come in for their afternoon snack at Hamaruba in Caye Caulker.

  • LINDA LEWIS SERENADES BELIZE'S SOFTBALL HALL OF FAME, 41min. The iconic Belizean softball player and pitcher of the 1970's Belizean softball Hall of Fame, Linda Lewis, comes to Belizean Legends after a long overdue but worth the while wait. Her outspoken and passionate spirit of an athlete with a long line of accolades that speaks for itself, is serenaded on this exclusive feature. After almost 30 years away from Belize, the 1974 softball Gold Medalist reflects on the moment of victory when Belizean women won the first gold medal for Belize in sports. The period of triumph has become a nationalistic symbol for Belizeans at home and abroad, and is the most celebrated and told story of the greatness of the Belizean people. Lewis's in-depth analysis of Belizean women in sports is compelling. It tells of how a high degree of discipline and hard work exemplified by a cadre of Belizean women of the 1960's and 70's appears to be almost dissipating in today's Belizean generation but with a glimpse of hope. Most of all, her incredible story reveals that softball for those Belizean women of her time was responsible for a tremendous degree of success that had built productive careers and professionalism.

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