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#505957 - 07/18/15 11:29 AM Today's Belize News: July 18, 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

The Talented “Philly-zean” Lara Goldman
If I had two words to describe Lara Goldman they would be “creative genius!” Lara, the owner of 12 Belize and mastermind behind Romantic Travel Belize has really become quite the go-to-gal for those wanting a bit of something …well, Belizean! Lara, originally from Philadelphia, USA, has lived in Belize for over nine years. Her east coast attitude, with blends of our Belizean hospitality has resulted in services that aim to offer travellers and Belizeans alike, the best of what’s in our own backyard. Romantic Travel Belize is a Destination wedding company, specializing in everything from proposals to the moment you say “I do.” And honeymoons…how could we forget honeymoons? Yup she does that too! The thing is there are those who dream of nothing more than making that special moment happen in Belize, and for them, there is Lara! She is certainly capable bringing your vision to life, and has done so for so many. Whether it’s a beach wedding, a sandbar proposal, a Maya Ruin engagement or maybe a wedding shoot by the falls, it can be done!

San Pedro athletes take top spots in CrossFit Chetumal Summer Challenge
Josh Daniel Nuñez and Luisana Guerrero of CrossFit San Pedro have brought back major bragging rights after their excellent display of athleticism in Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico. A contingent of 10 athletes, accompanied by family and supporters, took part in the Summer Challenge hosted by CrossFit Chetumal. In total, eight boxes (gyms) participated in the invitation-only Summer Challenge, bringing athleticism and sportsmanship together under one roof. The two-day challenge tested the 48 of participating athletes to their limits, challenging their mindset and bodies. Participants hailed from Box Work, Box World, Garage CrossFit, Unity Fitness CrossFit, CrossFit Revolver, Ludos CrossFit, CrossFit Chetumal and CrossFit San Pedro. In the end, however, there can only be one at the top of the podium, and for San Pedro CrossFit’s Josh Daniel Nuñez, not even limited practice held him back, as he took first place out of 22 male athletes in the intermediate division. “It was a crazy good weekend…competing with some extraordinary CrossFitters, but thanks to the help of my friends, my coaches and my CrossFit family – hearing their voices cheer me on, pushed my body to a whole new limit,” said an emotional and grateful Josh. “Now that I’ve experienced and won my first challenge, I think I’m going to push myself to higher limits with my CrossFit family and see what else the lifestyle has in store for me.”

Saga Pasta Spectacular cook off
After the great eating, and between live music and raffle prizes, votes were cast for the best dish of the evening. The third place went to Krista of Crazy Canuck’s, while Jen Wochner took second place. The grand first place prize went to Dawn Locascio for her delicious and irresistible Kugel! Saga would like to thank everyone that came out and supported the cook-off. Special thanks go to Brent Butcher for serenading the event, Crazy Canucks for hosting, Black Orchid, Belizean Breezes Soap Co. Sandbar, and Rays Big Dog.

Hol Chan Marine Reserve identifies possible Illegal conch harvesting
The Conch Season for 2015 officially closed on June 1, 2015, and this clearly means that no one is allowed to legally consume or be in possession of Queen Conch products until the season reopens on September 30, 2015. A little over a week ago, while personnel from the Hol Chan Marine Reserve were conducting a search for turtle nests in Northern Ambergris Caye, the team made a disappointing discovery. They found signs of what appears to be illegal conch consumption along the beach areas in North Ambergris Caye. The illegal sightings were spotted at Robles Beach, one of the most isolated areas in Northern Ambergris Caye. The area is especially active on weekends with people engaging in recreational activities. According to Hol Chan’s Marine Biologist Kirah Castillo, they are not sure who the culprits might be, although they have their suspicions. “We found signs which tell us that people are extracting illegal products while they are using the beach. There were traces of conch, and the season has already closed. We don’t know who is doing it, but more than likely its locals, but still we cannot say who is involved,” said Castillo. She also emphasized that this activity is one of the biggest concerns at Robles Beach, a prime turtle spot.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro CrossFit Celebrates Victory in Chetumal Summer Challenge
Two San Pedro CrossFit athletes excelled this past weekend in Chetumal, Mexico as they stepped up to the podium after two days of tough competition to celebrate their victory over athlete from around the region who competed in Chetumal CrossFit’s Summer Challenge 2015. Celebrating one year under the CrossFit San Pedro Box, Josh Nuñez took first place in the intermediate males division, while Luisana Guerrero took second place in the female division. Both athletes competed against eight different top level CrossFit boxes from around the area and were cheered along with a San Pedro entourage of coaches, family, friends and nine other San Pedro CrossFit members who also joined the competition. “As owner of CrossFit San Pedro, and a box that has only one year doing CrossFit… to go and compete with eight different top level CrossFit boxes and come out with 1st place on male division and 2 place on female division, all I can say is that am damm proud of what we have accomplished,” commented Freddie Gonzalez of CrossFit San Pedro. “I want to thank all who competed this past weekend; you guys killed it and gave your all! To my coaches Rene, Liliana and Horacio, you guys have designed ways for winning. For being a young box and making winners, I thank and salute you; for that I love you guys.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

That is Belize's Five-Star Private Island Resort Cayo Espanto Island Resort
on the Spring/Summer 2015 cover of Private Islands magazine.

Free 2 Be Party with DJ GrACiErOcK
Sharing his LOVE for EDM, Droppin' Phat beat's, from Deep Funky Tech-House, Ghettofunk, Dubstep,Breaks and Mash-up's. Contests- Limbo, Musical Chairs, The Big Suck-Off, MegaJenga and more (with PRIZES) Free Shots all night just for walking in the door...Belikin Bucket Specials. Saturday at 7:00pm - 12:00am Jul 18 at 7:00pm to Jul 19 at 12:00am. Luna Loca on the beach, San Pedro, Belize

Emergency power interruption 11:50am to 1:00pm, Friday, July 17, San Pedro
North San Pedro from Boca Del Rio to Perla del Caribe Resort. BEL to replace burnt high voltage connector in the area.

Accident
Police Officer Carlos Orio and Buena Vista Village Chairman Eddie De Larosa were in a vehicle which collided into a lamppost in Spanish Lookout on Thursday night after 9. The village chairman is in a critical condition while Orio passed away. Superintendent Vidal of Special Branch is quoted to say "Carlos Orio was an outstanding officer and an asset to Special Branch and to the Department as a whole. At our end of the year assessment for 2014 we unanimously agreed to award him for his dedication and efficiency in the performance of his functions. He was so awarded in December. In addition he was recommended by me for promotion to the rank of corporal. Quite apart from his admirable work ethic, he was a remarkable person. He was humble and friendly, always willing to assist and generous with his time almost to a fault. We are trying to come to terms with this tremendous loss and we share the grief of his wife and beautiful children, to whom he was so dedicated and who he has left behind. The death of Carlos is our collective loss. I speak both as his administrative superior and as his friend. I had known him since August, 2006 when he joined Special Branch and over the years we became more than colleagues. I considered him to be my personal friend."

BOLEDO DRAWING for Friday, July 17, 2015: 86. PICK 3: 0 5 4

Channel 7

KHMH Implements Go-Slow, Outpatient Services and Elective Surgeries Cancelled
Today, services at the country's national referral hospital - the KHMH - were cut back -after workers launched a kind of go-slow because government has not agreed to give them a 6% raise. As we've been reporting, the KHMH's 579 staffers are not considered public officers - so they did not qualify for the raises of pay given to public officers for the last two years. The Chairman of the KHMH Board of Governors made a special appeal to Cabinet on Tuesday - but the answer came back that the workers would have to form a bargaining unit - a union, just like the Teachers or Public Service Union. That may be the legitimate process, but these workers feel they are long overdue, and the union requirement is just one more brush off. So, last night they announced that effective today all Outpatient Elective Services and Surgeries referred to the KHMHA would be cancelled. So what happened this morning? Emergency care was un-interrupted, the day to day running of the wards continued without any glitches, clerk windows were open, but the clinics were closed, and no elective surgeries were performed, only urgent and emergency cases. That's an administrative emergency for the Ministry of Health and today we asked the CEO what's happening, and how long it will last:..

Cop Loses Life In Fatal Accident
A police detective constable died last night in a terrible accident on the Spanish Lookout Road. It happened about three-quarter miles east of the Iguana Creek Bridge, close to Coop sheet Metal. Last night at around 8:00 pm, 33 year old Carlos Orio was driving a Toyota Yaris in heavy rain when he lost control, careened off the road and slammed into a lamp-post. His passenger Eddie De La Rosa told us from his hospital bed that he was knocked unconscious, and regained consciousness only after the top of the lamp-post snapped and fell unto the car. He says that he woke up to see Orio who is his brother in law take his last breaths and expire in the car seat. Orio was on the driver's side, which took most of the impact. De La Rosa says that incredibly as they sat injured and trapped in the car, passers-by stopped to try and steal what they could including his cell phone. He says Detective Orio - though gravely injured - was concerned about them stealing his service weapon, which got jammed in the interior of the crushed car. Orio died shortly after, while De La Rosa has fractured ribs and a broken hand. Orio was a special branch officer and had been in the department for 12 years.

Did DOE Fast-Track Harvest Caye Against Public Interest?
The lawsuit filed by the Belize Tourism Industry Association to battle Norwegian Cruise Line's Harvest Caye Cruise port project in the South was argued to completion today. And tonight, it is in the hands of Justice Courtney Abel to decide if the challenge is legitimate or frivolous. He has to determine whether or not the Department of Environment and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC) acted properly when it approved the project, despite the challenges from the private tourism partners. But, as we told you 3 weeks ago, NCL's attorney, Eamon Courtenay tried to get it thrown out of court on the basis that the BTIA wasn't actually making serious steps to advance their case. He was basically saying that the organization's principals were, in effect, wasting the court's time, because the immediate past president, Herbert Haylock, was unavailable to testify for BTIA. Justice Courtney Abel decided to allow the association to proceed, and today, their attorney, Godfrey Smith, was allowed to make his case. Norwegian's President of Destinations and Strategic Development, Collin Murphy, was called to the stand as the last witness in the case, and Smith grilled him about the process that the company went through to get its environmental impact assessment approved.

PUP Wants Eamon as NCM; He Says DOA!
All week we've been reporting on Godfrey Smith being given his walking papers as the PUP's National Campaign Manager. His departure has created some volatility within the PUP where he was an important ally to the leader, Francis Fonseca, and now, he's gone. And he left without any natural replacement. So, who will take his job? IT'S an important post because the National Campaign Manager is the one who drums up funds for the party - something that's been sorely lacking in the PUP. And it's not a job for political amateurs because the party's chief fundraiser has to go knocking on many doors, including Michael Ashcroft's. So 7News has learned that Francis Fonseca's old guard allies have sprung to his aid. We have been reliably informed that senior figures in the old guard have reached out to Attorney Eamon Courtenay to take up Smith's post. Now Courtenay had that job before is and surely has the necessary prestige and connections, but, guess what(?) he's not interested, not at all. When we heard the rumors we asked Courtenay who told us via text message, quote: "That idea will never fly. It is D-O-A." End quote. That means "dead on arrival" - an indication of what we are told are Courtenay's fundamental differences with Party Leader Francis Fonseca and the Old Guard actors who are reaching out on his behalf. This quite dramatic backdrop creates an interesting ferment for next week Tuesday's meeting of the party's elected representatives and standard bearers.

Smith Mum On NCM Departure
So, while that's the position of the man who won't replace Smith, what about Smith himself? We finally got an opportunity to talk to him today after 4 days of banter about his sudden resignation. We asked him if he would discuss his departure with us, but he made it clear, he wasn't interested in commenting: Daniel Ortiz "We are hoping you will entertain us on your reasons for stepping down as campaign manager for PUP. Are you willing to talk to us?" Godfrey Smith "I had already made a statement to you all that it was by mutual agreement between the party leader and myself. Stemming out of conversations we had, I am not prepared to nor will I comment further on that state of affairs." Daniel Ortiz "It seems a bit abrupt and persons want to understand why you made such a decision?" Godfrey Smith "I repeat, I will not comment further than to say it was reached by mutual agreement and ask you to respect that."

Kadeem Gets Free Based On Statement Inadmissible
19 year-old Kadeem Anderson, a teenager who has been on remand for 3 years for the murder of 25 year-old Leo Palacio Jr., is a free man tonight after he was convicted in a trial without jury before Justice Adolph Lucas. Despite the very best efforts of the DPP's Office, this is the second case in two days that they've lost in the very same way. The court heard evidence that on May 10, 2012, Palacio was shot in chest while he was standing at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Pelican Street. Well-known elite cyclist Byron Pope, and Dennis Talbert were with him at the time of the shooting, and both men were injured as well. Pope was only grazed by a bullet, but Talbert was injured in his left arm and right thigh. Palacio Jr., was the only one who died from his injuries. Crown Counsel Shanice Lovell, who was prosecuting this case, had difficulty proving her case when she called Talbert as the main witness to testify against Anderson. He took the witness stand and said under oath that he could not recognize the shooter. That was directly contrary to what he told police in a written statement, when he identified Anderson - who was only 16 at the time - as the gunman who pulled the trigger on them. Talbert had to be treated as a hostile witness, but he refused to acknowledge that he gave the police that written statement that the prosecutor was relying on.

Social Security Cares For Cancer Victims
The Belize Cancer Treatment Center in Dangriga is doing serious work for hundreds of Belizeans in managing their cancer care. But, when cancer patients need radiation they still have to go abroad - to Guatemala or Mexico for treatment. Many can't afford it - and that's where things fall apart. And that's where the Social Security Board stepped in today, with a generous donation of three hundred and seventy thousand dollars. We found out how it will be used for children and women with cancer: Dr. Ellsworth Grant - Belize Cancer Center "It's a great honor to be here today on this most historic day and I don't think this moment should really be lost on anyone. I thank the Social Security Board for this - a moment which really allow us to provide a more structured programs to children. I hope that this moment will allow parents with a child who is who newly diagnosed with a cancer to not really have to stress over the portion of where the child will actually go to obtain care or how it will all be financed. I'm hoping we will have a program in place that provides one shop stop. One stop shopping for these parents." Dr. Cecilio Eck "We've seen multiple interviews with parents going to Channel 7 and Channel 5 begging for an interview. asking BNE asking Friends of Pediatrics, the Cancer Center, Ministry of Health, Social Security Board to help put care for their kids and if you work in the trenches it's even more devastating to sit in front of a mom and trying to find out when is their next chemo and they don't have the funds to get to the Center to get it done. So, this is a really awesome day."

Belize And Guat - Common Ground In Trade?
Last night, we told you how the Guatemalan Government doesn't want Belize to build a Forward Operating Base at Sarstoon Island, the Southernmost point in the country. While that is certain to cause some friction between both sides on the border, trade relations may be moving forward. Today officials from the Ministry of Trade, the Ministry of Agriculture, BAHA, and the Customs Department met with the private sector to discuss the Partial Scope Trade Agreement between Belize and Guatemala. The government's trade technocrats wanted to find out what sort of goods those business men from Belize City would like to make available for commercial trading in Guatemala, and what would be the challenges everyone would need to overcome to make it happen. 7News stopped by and spoke with the facilitators: Dr. Leroy Almendarez - Director, Foreign Trade "The primary focus of the consultation, let me just give some feedback. In 2010, the Partial Scope Agreement between Belize and Guatemala came into effect. And so as we approach the 5 year anniversary and one of the clauses within the agreement states that the scope of the agreement can be expanded.

Nestor Mendez Moves Up
Orange Walk's very own Nestor Mendez has taken up his office as the new Assistant Secretary General of the OAS. That is one of only two elected posts in the hemispheric Organization - and it is among the most senior international posts ever held by a Belizean. Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington went to Washington to witness Mendez's installation. He will serve for the 2015-2020 period and leaves the post of Ambassador of Belize to the OAS which he held since June 2008. In his speech today - which he delivered in Spanish and English, Mendez committed to transparency, equity and unambiguous policies. Retired Bank Manager Pat Andrews replaces him as Ambassador.

T and T Orchestra Visits
The Trinidad and Tobago Philharmonic Youth Orchestra arrived in Belize yesterday for a colossal music experiment: the 50 member T and T Orchestra is teaming up with the National Youth Orchestra of Belize for an event called the "Night of Musical Excellence." The T and T group has over 50 players all on its own, and there could be as many as 90 musicians on stage at the height of the event. It's so big that the stage had to be extended to accommodate all the players and their instruments. We visited during rehearsals today:.. The concerts will take place at the Bliss Center on Saturday and Sunday and there will be different set lists on both nights. The event is organized by the Belize Bank in coordination with NICH.

Channel 5

K.H.M.H. Go-Slow In Effect Indefinitely, Hospital Staff Demands Wage Increase
Services at the national referral hospital were significantly reduced today, and will continue so for an indefinite period, affecting patients from the districts who require medical attention at the Karl [...]

Ministry of Health C.E.O. Says Industrial Action Precedes Negotiation with Government
Coming out of Thursday’s meeting, the staff of the KHMH is organizing a workers’ union and plans to negotiate on behalf of employees with the Board of Governors and government.  [...]

Police Officer Perishes in Road Traffic Accident in Cayo District
An accident in Spanish Lookout claimed the life of a detective attached to the Special Branch in Belmopan. San Ignacio police were called out to the Spanish Lookout Road sometime [...]

Former P.U.P. National Campaign Manager Breaks Silence on Abrupt Resignation
In news of a political nature, on Tuesday, Attorney Godfrey Smith abruptly departed his post as National Campaign Manager in the wake of a third consecutive election loss by the [...]

Sedi Elrington on Recent Detention of Belizeans in Guatemala
Five Belizeans were detained in Guatemala in mid-June and reportedly experienced a horrible ordeal at the hands of the Guatemalans military.  The group was hanging out at a restaurant in [...]

Former Benque Mayor Arrested in Melchor Holds Guatemalan Nationality
There is another recent arrest by Guatemalan authorities. On July eleventh, 2015, Benque Viejo businessman and former Mayor, Edgar Contreras was arrested in Guatemala for having a gun not registered [...]

Arguments in B.T.I.A./NCL Suit Concludes in Supreme Court
The case against Harvest Caye, a tourism development project created by Norwegian Cruise Lines, concluded in the courtroom of Justice Courtney Abel today with closing arguments. The Belize Tourism Industry [...]

The Fate of Harvest Caye Development to be Decide on Later Date
On the other side of that argument is Senior Counsel Godfrey Smith.  He is representing the Belize Tourism Industry Association, arguing that indeed the developers of Harvest Caye proceeded with [...]

Teenager Acquitted of 2012 Murder of Leopold Palacio
A teenager walked free from a murder charge today after Judge Adolph Lucas upheld a no case submission. Kadeem Anderson is now nineteen, but he was seventeen years old when [...]

Attorney General Discusses Justice System
It is known that there is a backlog of cases and decisions yet to be dealt with at the Supreme and Magistrate Courts level. According to the Foreign Minister Sedi [...]

Will Early General Elections Be Called? Ask U.D.P. Ground Commander, Boots Martinez
There is speculation that given the state of affairs within the Opposition party, Prime Minister Dean Barrow will again call general elections before the current term expires to secure an [...]

Boots Is Ready to Face Any P.U.P. Candidate in Port Loyola
An audit done by the People’s United Party after a resounding defeat in the municipal elections called for changes to revitalize the grand old party. One affected area representative was [...]

Ambassador Nestor Mendez Sworn-in as O.A.S. Assistant Secretary General
Former Permanent Representative of Belize to the Organization of American States, Nestor Mendez is spending his first day as the new Assistant Secretary General of the O.A.S.  The ambassador will [...]

WINBelize Takes Proactive Approach in Fight Against Gender-based Violence
The recent murders of two women, Juana Cardinez and Keisha Buller, that allegedly took place at the hands of their domestic partners, has prompted a reaction from the Women’s Issues [...]

Ministry of Foreign Trade Discusses Partial Scope Agreement with Private Sector
The Ministry of Foreign Trade and its partners held a seminar to discuss the Partial Scope Agreement (P.S.A.) with private sector partners. It’s an agreement signed a few years ago [...]

S.S.B. Provides Big Bucks to Aid Children with Cancer
Today, the Social Security Board made a generous donation to the Belize Cancer Society. A handsome cheque of three hundred and seventy thousand dollars was handed over to the organization [...]


Top
#505958 - 07/18/15 11:29 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 18, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

Whose Sarstoon? Whose Belize?
The Guatemalan government, through a diplomatic note, has informed the Belize government that it objects to the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) on Sarstoon Island, which lies at the mouth of the Sarstoon River, in Belizean territory, deemed necessary by Belize law enforcement authorities to curb not just illegal fishing in the area, but also illegal logging by Guatemalans who encroach on Belize’s mainland to extract timber, such as the prized rosewood. Sarstoon Island is not in the Adjacency Zone, which is an area spanning 1 kilometer on either side of the western border between Belize and Guatemala, administered by the Organization of American States (OAS), which acts as a broker between the two countries in respect of a territorial claim by Guatemala against Belize, which Belize insists is unfounded. The Belize government had informed the Guatemalan government of its intention to construct a temporary FOB, but the Guatemalan government has reportedly said that Belize should not construct the FOB until the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has adjudicated its claim against Belize. In late May, the Belize Coast Guard was deployed on a reconnaissance mission in preparation for the construction of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) on Sarstoon Island, but the mission was aborted and the Coast Guard was ordered to withdraw from the island before completing its mission.

Is “El Chapo” hiding in Belize?
Billionaire drug kingpin, Joaquin Loera Guzman, 58, nicknamed “El Chapo” (Spanish for “Shorty”), the high-profile man said to be the head of the Sinaloa cartel of Mexico, has been put on the wanted list of the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Interpol, which today issued a “red notice” for his detention, five days after Guzman, believed to have been aided by top prison officials, escaped from maximum security at Altiplano Prison in Almoloya de Juarez in Mexico, even while under 24-hour surveillance and wearing a monitoring bracelet. According to the US Department of Justice, an Interpol red notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today. Mexican authorities have now put out a reward of 60 million pesos or US$3.8 million for information leading to the recapture of El Chapo, who also goes by the names “Chapo Guzman” or “El Rapadito.” However, the US State Department has issued an award of US$5 million. (See here) While reports coming out of Mexico earlier this week claimed that both US and Mexican authorities believed that Guzman, who is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall with a weight of 165 pounds, had headed to Belize, more than 700 miles southeast of where he escaped via a mile-long underground tunnel, National Security officials here in Belize say that foreign officials from those countries have not made any such claim to them.

Chief Magistrate throws out case due to police brutality
Sherwin Baezar, a resident of the Mile 8 community on the George Price Highway, will never forget the date, October 24, 2014, when he allegedly committed a minor bicycle offence, but was so severely beaten by police that they had to keep him in custody for three days until his bruised and swollen face appeared presentable enough for him to be taken to court to be arraigned on a string of trumped-up charges. Today, Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith dismissed charges of assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, insulting words to a police officer and riding a bicycle contrary to the flow of traffic which had been brought against the 29-year-old Baezar. In handing down her decision, the Chief Magistrate noted that the charges against Baezar stemmed from “a blatant case of police brutality” at the hands of three policemen and their superior officer, a sergeant attached to Police Precinct 1 on Euphrates Avenue. Smith said in open court, “This is one of the most blatant cases of police brutality that I have ever come across. It is the worst case of police coming to court to lie.”

KHMH employees demand salary increase
After 7:00 tonight, our newspaper received a press release and short notice warning that effective tomorrow, Friday, July 17, the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) will cancel all outpatient elective services and surgeries referred to the hospital, and only referral services and specialties that are not available at the district hospitals will be accepted—a protest by workers to solidify their demand for a cumulative 14% salary adjustment. Amandala was unable to reach Dr. Peter Allen, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Health, on the announcement—triggered by the discontent felt by KHMH staff over a decision by Central Government, two years in a row, to reject their demand for a salary increase comparable to that which has been granted to teachers and public officers, represented under the umbrella of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize, who have been granted a 6% increase in 2014 and 8% in 2015. The KHMH is a statutory body, and Central Government had taken the position that no employees of any statutory body would receive the automatic salary increase approved for teachers and public officers. Dr. Adrian Coye, KHMH CEO, was briefly available to us via phone tonight, although he was terse in his response, informing us that he wanted to get to bed.

Devon Sankey, 22, walks from murder charge
Another accused murderer walked down the steps of the Supreme Court this afternoon, the second man to do so this week, in a trial by judge without jury. The trial of Devon Sankey, 22, who was indicted for the April 8, 2010 shooting death of Renan Reneau, came to an abrupt end when Sankey’s attorney, Oscar Selgado, made a no-case-to- answer submission that Justice Gonzalez upheld. The Crown’s case ran into difficulties early in the trial, which began on Monday, July 13, because the key prosecution witness, while admitting visiting the police station, denied making the statement that police attributed to her. Counsel Kileru Awich, who led the prosecution’s evidence, managed to call four witnesses to the stand to testify before his main witness, Arilee Summerville, the girlfriend of the murdered man, Renan Reneau, took the witness stand and had to be declared a hostile witness. Reneau had been shot four times in the upper body. The shooting occurred in front of his girlfriend’s home, located at 3166 Kut Avenue.

15 inmates escape death row – 9 freed from prison
It’s been a full 30 years since the state of Belize executed anyone for murder, and this week, the last man on death row, Glenford Baptist, 44, had that sentence overturned by the Supreme Court, which will either grant him life in prison or a definitive sentence. Baptist was convicted in November 2001 along with Gilroy Wade and Oscar Catzim Mendez of the murder of Ozrin White. In 2006, the Privy Council commuted Wade’s sentence to life, but Wade, whose life had been threatened, was murdered inside prison the following year. Mendez’s conviction was quashed. Central Prison CEO, Virgilio Murillo, told Amandala that the last time there was no one on death row at the prison was back in 2000. Murillo told us that he has been reviewing the prison records and found that there are several inmates who were on death row who have either had their sentences commuted to life in prison or who have been given definitive sentences and have since been re-released into society.

Brown Bombers complete dream season with Smart 13 & Under Championship
It must be a first in Belize football competition history, although it wasn’t “association football,” there being no active Belize District Football Association, but the Brown Bombers maintained their unblemished record with no goals allowed for the entire regular season and playoffs, as they clinched the Smart 13 & Under Football Championship 2015 yesterday at the MCC Grounds with a 2-nil victory over a gallant Young Warriors team, who were first time participants in the tournament. There were 12 teams in this, the fourth edition of the Smart 13 & Under, and the top four teams in the single round-robin regular season entered the knockout semifinals last Saturday, July 4, with the 3rd place game and the championship finals being played on Sunday, July 12. In regular season, the games were 20-20 (20 minute halves); but in the playoffs, the time was increased to 25-25, with 5 minutes intermission. The afternoon began with the third place game between Ladyville Jaguars and Collet Strikers, and it was an exciting one indeed. Talented Jaguars striker D’Jon Canelo gave his team the 1-nil lead mid-way through the second half; but it wasn’t enough. Five minutes later, a penalty was awarded to Collet, and Shemar Gillett converted to tie things up at 1-1. But in the second half of overtime, the heavily marked Canelo again came up with a brilliant goal, shaking off two defenders on the left wing, and utterly destabilizing the oncoming goalkeeper, before calmly driving home what proved the game winner, 2-1, for the Jaguars.

SSBA Basketball Tournament in Cayo
The San Ignacio & Santa Elena Basketball Association (SSBA) will be hosting its annual basketball tournament, starting on Friday, August 21. The tournament will be held at Falcon Field in San Ignacio Town. The five categories are: Under 23, Under 19, Seniors, Over 35 and Females. Interested persons can contact Elvis “Tigre” Usher at 605-3390 to register a team, or you can send us a message on Facebook, on our San Ignacio and Santa Elena Basketball Association page, or send an e-mail to ssbabasketball@gmail.com. Registration fee for the Senior, Females and Over-35 teams is $300.00; and registration for the Under 23 and U19 teams is $200.00. Senior teams are allowed to have 3 players who participated in the last two NEBL seasons. All other divisions are only allowed 2 players who participated in the last two NEBL seasons. A player can only play in one division.

Western Eagles captain passed the torch to Sunrise captain
Thanks to the kind and generous sponsorship of Belikin and Smart, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition 2015 continued over the weekend. Two very exciting games were played. Sunrise and Western Eagles convened on the grounds at Bermudian Landing to battle for advancement to the semifinals. These two teams were tied at one game apiece. Both were in high gear and both had a game plan. Sunrise won the toss and took to bat first. At the onset, things weren’t going well for Sunrise, as wickets started falling in this order: 1 for 0 runs; 2 for 1; 3 for 14; 4 for 14; 5 for 60; 6 for 60; 7 for 73; 8 for 74; 9 for 74; 10 and last batsman for 133. These last two batsmen, captain Garret Joseph and Gilbert Seguro pushed the score from 74 to 133. I still cannot figure out how the bowlers could not have taken out these two men before they had scored so much. Then again, I must say that Sunrise’ strategy worked. In that inning, Garret Joseph and Michael Sobers scored 31 and 28, respectively for Sunrise. Conway Young took 3 wickets for Eagles. During the short lunch break, I could hear the Eagles boys saying, “We have it covered.” Well, it looked that way when they went to bat. Wickets started falling in this order: 1 for 12 runs; 2 for 16; 3 for 53; 4 for 54; 5 for 79; 6 for 87; 7 for 92; 8 for 110; 9 for 116; and 10 for 116. That’s a heart breaking loss. Both teams fought hard, but Sunrise had the better game plan, me seh. In that inning, Conway Young and Dirk Sutherland scored 40 and 17, respectively; while Zaggi took 3 wickets for Sunrise.

Boxing Expo at Wing Stop a success
Promoter Clinton Tucker, manager of Lions Den Gym Belize City, told our sports desk today that over a hundred boxing fans turned out to witness a first of its kind, Boxing Expo at Wing Stop on the Philip Goldson (Northern) Highway, which got under way at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 11, and entertained fans until around 5:00 p.m. “We apologize for the delay in getting started,” said Tucker, “due to some difficulties in setting up the ring.” The event was scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. “But we consider it a success, because it is not about making money right now, but just keeping the boxers busy and showcasing regular boxing events for the fans. It’s about development right now.” Participating gyms were Lions Den Cayo; Elite Boxing Gym from Burrell Boom; Hardwood Boxing Gym from Punta Gorda; and Lions Den Belize, Leopold Smart Gym and Prevail Gym from Belize City.

The Centenary spell
Perhaps the first time the Rt. Hon. George C. Price realized the limits of his power on Belize’s domestic political landscape was when he tried to break the “Centenary spell” in the late 1950s. On coming to leadership power in the nationalist People’s United Party (PUP) in 1956, Mr. Price was sent home from London “in disgrace” by the British in 1957. Then in 1958, the British arrested Mr. Price and tried him for sedition in the Supreme Court of British Honduras. On both occasions, the anti-colonial masses of the Belizean people rallied to Mr. Price’s support, and both times he came out smelling like roses politically. The British, we submit, began to cast their Centenary spell on the Belizean masses in 1898 with their Battle of St. George’s Caye celebrations. Everybody knows the British were notorious tightwads. Just check out the narrow streets and confining bridges they built here. In the line of “bread and circuses,” the only thing they ever spent money on in British Honduras was their Centenary celebrations. The program leading up to and including the Tenth of September was financed by Government House. The British orchestrated Centenary so that a black Belizean, Simon Lamb, received the credit for organizing the first celebrations in honor of the 1798 Battle of St. George’s Caye one hundred years later (thus “Centenary”) in 1898. But Simon Lamb was an employee of the Belize Estate Company (BEC), which absolutely dominated the economy and politics of British Honduras in 1898. If it was not his bosses who gave Mr. Lamb the Centenary idea, then they certainly did not oppose the concept. Such celebration organizing costs money. It is doubtful that Mr. Lamb himself was in a position to foot the Centenary bill. We’re just saying.

From the Publisher
I couldn’t believe it is four years now since our beloved Brother Nick (Wilfred Nicholas, Sr.) has passed. I remember he was buried from the Mormon Church on Cemetery Road, where I gave the eulogy, and was very proud to do so. Through all the years in the Seventies when I was isolated and exiled in my own hometown, this was a man who was always there for me, and gave me strength when I was weak, and courage when I was fearful. I believe Brother Nick and Dr. Leroy Taegar died within months of each other. I have on many occasions in my writings mentioned how much knowledge and wisdom Leroy gave to me and to our UBAD Educational Foundation (UEF) people over the course of three decades or so. Leroy had studied at universities in Milwaukee, Chicago, Kingston, and Port-of-Spain for 12 to 14 years, and was academically brilliant. Brother Nick definitely did not go to high school: I am not sure he even finished primary school. Over the years between 1996, when UEF was founded, and the deaths of Leroy and Brother Nick in 2011, there were many occasions when they clashed in UEF conversations. The principal reason for the clashes was the fact that Brother Nick had become a devout Mormon some time after the dissolution of UBAD in 1974, and Leroy basically did not subscribe to denominational religion. He was especially skeptical of the Mormons, because he believed that their agenda in Belize had to do with The Jewel’s oil wealth, besides the fact that the Mormons had a white supremacist past. But his religion gave Brother Nick a source of personal strength. He faced death with a peace that was inspiring. I remember one day in his home he said to me in his unpretentious way, “I ready fu travel, yu know.” He meant that he was prepared to die.

Murder convict mounts constitutional challenge to life in prison sentence
A man who has been convicted of murder and who was sentenced to the mandatory life in prison minimum sentence, under the prevailing regime of the law, has become the first convict to challenge the constitutionality of his life in prison without the possibility of parole sentence. If Gregory August’s appeal against his life sentence succeeds, this would set a precedent on the sentencing of persons convicted of murder in Belize and elsewhere in the Commonwealth jurisdiction. Following written submissions, oral arguments were made today in appeal #22 of 2012, Gregory August v the Queen in the Court of Appeal. The court will issue its ruling at a future date, its President, Hon. Justice Manuel Sosa, told the parties late this evening when the hearing concluded. Director of Public Prosecution Cheryl-Lynn Vidal argued the Crown’s case. She was assisted by Crown Counsels Shanice Lovell and Portia Staine, while Eamon Courtenay, S.C. argued the case of August, the applicant. Courtenay was assisted by attorney Illana Swift. In November 2012, a jury in the Supreme Court of Justice Adolph Lucas convicted Gregory August of the May 2009 murder of Alvin Robinson.

GOB recognized Maya “exclusive right” to control who lives in villages: Maya attorney
The controversy over the ejection of Rupert Myles from Santa Cruz, a Maya village in Toledo, has been put before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) in a claim filed by Maya leaders on July 3, 2015. Attorney for the Maya, Monica Coc Magnusson, said that the claim not only addresses the Rupert Myles/Santa Cruz matter, but also allegations that the Government of Belize has failed to provide protection in other communities as well, including Golden Stream and San Isidro with respect to leasing and logging. Government attorney Denys Barrow had issued a statement of commitment dated April 20, 2015, and Magnusson said that under paragraph 3 of that statement, the Government said that it “recognizes the exclusive right of each village, subject to law, to control who may take up residence within the villages’ lands.” Magnusson added that, “They put this in writing and now it seems that their position is different. Hence, the need for clarity…” However, Barrow has previously told us that the Maya “…need to understand that the national laws of Belize apply to them as much as anybody else,” noting that it is a question of how Maya rights and interests are reconciled with the national interest.

Stakeholders chime in on new protected areas legislation
The National Parks Systems Act, in place since Independence more than three decades ago, will be repealed and replaced with a new National Protected Areas Systems law, which was introduced in Parliament last month. On Monday, July 13, the Natural Resources and Environment Committee, headed by Attorney General Wilfred Elrington, met at the National Assembly in Belmopan to receive input from stakeholders on the proposed legislation, as well as proposed amendments to the Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT) Act. The Committee plans to meet again next Thursday, July 23, to hear representations from APAMO – the Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, a coalition of 14 protected areas management organizations which co-manage 18 terrestrial protected areas and 9 marine protected areas. Jose Perez, APAMO’s executive director, told Amandala that they are very grateful that the Committee has agreed to schedule a second committee meeting to hear their concerns on the legislation, because there are inconsistencies which need to be ironed out.

Monitoring Moochula, endangered Hawksbill Sea Turtle, and other nesting turtles at Manatee Bar
Manatee Bar beach in Gales Point Mantee, Belize District—a culturally vibrant, grassroots Kriol community of drum makers, fishers and farmers—is said to have the highest frequency and concentration of the endangered species, the Hawksbill Sea Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) nesting in the Caribbean, according to Hawksbill Hope, a nonprofit organization founded in 2009 by Dr. Todd Rimkus, a professor at Marymount University. It is connected with the Biology program at Marymount University in Virginia, USA. The Hawksbill Sea Turtle, which can grow as long as 3 feet and up to 150 pounds, enjoys the highest protective status under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), an international, inter-governmental agreement which regulates international trade of wildlife, flora and fauna to ensure their survival. This turtle is listed under Appendix I, along with other species threatened with extinction, and trade is only permitted in exceptional circumstances, such as scientific research. Hawksbill Hope is conducting its 4th year of turtle tagging in Belize, in order to track the movements of turtles which appear in the Gales Point area, but which may migrate during their lifetime to places like neighboring Honduras. The organization says that the initiative came after several summer study-abroad trips between 2007 and 2009 to the Gales Point Wildlife Sanctuary in Belize, Central America.

PUP National Campaign Manager steps down
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) has been staggering from defeat to defeat at the polls, and last Wednesday, the PUP lost the bi-election in Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek, which was triggered by the resignation of PUP parliamentarian Ivan Ramos, and today the party’s national campaign manager, Godfrey Smith, resigned from his post. Smith has been the PUP’s national campaign manager since April 2014, when party leader Hon. Francis Fonseca brought him into the PUP executive. Even with Smith, a high-profile attorney with purported connections to Lord Michael Ashcroft, at the helm of the PUP’s campaign machinery, the party had failed to secure a victory at the polls in three consecutive elections. In the March municipal elections, the PUP not only suffered a crushing defeat, but the party also lost ground in the south — where there had been PUP mayors in Dangriga and Punta Gorda, as well as several PUP town councilors, whom the voters chose to replace with UDP representatives. On the heels of the PUP’s municipal elections defeat came a major public relations debacle when the party removed Ivan Ramos as its standard bearer for Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek.

The Reporter

Nestor Mendez takes on new role of new OAS assistant SecGen
Former Belizean ambassador to the United States (US) and Organization of American States (OAS) permanent resident Nestor Mendez took on his new role as that body’s new Assistant Secretary General on Friday morning in Washington DC. The ceremony was held at OAS Hall of […]

Weekend fire leaves family of 12 homeless
A weekend fire in the early hours of Saturday in Biscayne Village engulfed and completely destroyed a two-story wooden structure and left a family of 12, most of whom are children, homeless. According to home-owner Emmerson Michael, he and his family were asleep in […]

Suspect in Clarke’s murder remanded on illegal gun possession charge
The 16 year-old prime suspect in the murder of Kremandala journalist, Kareem Clarke, 27, is remanded to the Hattieville Prison, but on a gun-related offense, not omurder. Officer Commanding the Crimes Investigations Branch (CIB) Superintendent Hilberto Romero, told The Reporter that the boy, who is […]

Police shoot and kill gun-toting man in Hope Creek
A regular night out at a village cool spot ended in death on Saturday night for one of the patrons, who was drinking and ended up pointing his gun at customers, police say. This is what the police reported, but witnesses say Leopold Myvette, 28, did […]

Belize has 5th highest gas prices in Caribbean
Belize made the list of the top five Caribbean countries where gas is most expensive, ranking at fifth place among 15 countries on that list, compiled with data from the Caribbean Statistics and Data Services institute. According to the report, Belize has one of […]

Caught snooping in bedroom affairs, stabbed to chest
One of two youths who were caught snooping around on a man and his girlfriend inside their bedroom in Dangriga, ended up being stabbed in the chest –  a wound that punctured one of his lungs. At around 4:45 last Sunday evening, a 16 year-old boy […]

BTL restores 4G network after weekend overload
Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) has restored its 4G network after it experienced technical issues on Sunday, preventing thousands of Digicell 4G users from using its mobile internet services for most of the day. BTL’s Public Relations Officer Lorena Martinez, told The Reporter that on […]

Money laundering plot leads to three arrests
Three American citizens have been arrested in New York City, following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which uncovered plans to launder large sums of money in Belize and Panama. Kenneth Landgaard, James Shipman and Michael Dodd were arrested last Wednesday […]

Another youth, Anthony Smith, dies by gun violence
Teenager Anthony Smith, 18, became Belize’s latest victim of death by bloodshed, when he was gunned down at close range just after 8:30 last Friday night on Central American Boulevard. According to Officer Commanding the Crimes Investigations Branch (CIB) Superintendent Hilberto Romero, Smith was […]

Productivity Matters & Technology Matters Part III: Quality of the Labor Force
Our last discussion took us relatively close to the austerity-versus-stimulus debate, as we looked at the marginal impact that debt could have on the level of a country’s productivity—which is measured as Total Factor Productivity (TFP) and is a significant contributor to growth throughout the Caribbean region. More specifically, we […]

New report says Belize already in debt crisis
Belize is one of several countries facing a significant external debt crisis, says a new report by Jubilee Debt Campaign, a United Kingdom-based debt-relief lobby group. According to Jubilee, countries are defined as being at high risk of a government debt crisis, if they […]

VIP weighs in on international financial warnings
The political third party, Vision Inspired by the People, this week, joined the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry in saying that the Government of Belize needs to take warnings from international financial institutions seriously. VIP President, Hubert Enriquez, said on Tuesday, that given government’s […]

KHMH chapel in the works but one’s already there
In recent months the talk about constructing an ecumenical chapel at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) has increased and come into the national spotlight. A little known fact, however, is that the country’s national hospital already has a chapel that ministers to patients. […]

El Chapo’s escape puts Belize and other governments on high alert
Reports that Sinaloa Cartel boss, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, may be headed to Belize or neighboring countries since his escape from maximum security prison in Mexico have caused the governments of Belize, the United States and others in the region to be on high […]

Stop looking like me!
A woman who assaulted her look-alike with pepper spray was found guilty of harm on Tuesday and remanded to the Belize Central Prison for two nights, to reflect upon her actions. At her sentencing on Thursday afternoon, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser asked convicted prisoner, Patrice Ramsey if she learned any […]

Editorial
A picture is worth a thousand words, and it was the picture of a Garifuna man, 34 -year-old Rupert Myles, shown handcuffed, tied with a rope and led around like a mule in the Mayan Village of Santa Cruz that infuriated so many Belizeans. . The days of slavery ended […]

Base will be built says Lovell
The Government of Belize (GOB) will establish a forward operating base on the Sarstoon River, despite Guatemala’s concerns, declared George Lovell, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, this week. Lovell, speaking on Guatemala’s objections to a base in the area, explained that […]

Hilux rams into back of horse and buggy Mennonite father dies; mom and children injured
A Mennonite family travelling on the Philip Goldson Highway about a quarter mile away from August Pine Ridge in Orange Walk Tuesday night suffered a terrible road traffic accident that claimed the life of a husband and father of Shipyard, and left his wife and […]

Man on death row escapes hangman’s noose
Glenford Baptist, 44, who was sentenced to be hung by the neck until dead, for murder in 2001 became the last man to leave Belize’s death row, as the Supreme Court quashed his sentence on Monday. Baptist, who had been incarcerated awaiting execution for […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Two vehicles stolen at Benque Fiesta
Two cars were stolen that were parked in front of the Cancha Marshalek in Benque Viejo Town a short while ago. Our reporter on the scene, Ms. Flora Pereira says that the two vehicles stolen were a red Toyota Pickup Truck and a four door car but due to stealthy […]

Election date – Government model
By Delroy Cuthkelvin. This guessing game about when the next General Elections will or will not be called is absolutely ridiculous. It’s not good for Democracy, nor is it good for Development, as there is invariably a degree of inertia and paralysis that accompanies the suspense surrounding an impending General Election. We […]

Watchman found dead at BAL Shrimp Farm
A 27 year old watchman from George Town Village was found dead yesterday, July 16th, at the Belize Aquaculture Limited Shrimp Farm, where he worked. Delwin Garcia’s body was discovered by the farm’s supervisor shortly after 9:00 p.m last night, in a drain after 8 feet of water had ran […]

Business woman loses thousands in Placencia Burglary
Police in Placencia are investigating a burglary in that municipality in which items valued at more than $20,000 were stolen. A 35 year old businesswoman of Placencia, Danilee Howard, told police that the upstairs part of her Main Street home was broken into, sometime between July 9th, and […]

UDP: Leader of Opposition in trouble
A confident Anthony “Boots” Martinez believes Leader of the Opposition and Freetown area representative Francis Fonseca can and will be beaten in the upcoming general election. Fonseca has not won an election as PUP leader and retained his seat by 150 votes in the last election. Martinez believes Fonseca will […]

Customs officer Keisha Buller laid to rest
Coworkers of the late Keisha Buller honored her life and memory at funeral services held in her native Belize City on Thursday. Buller, 23, was stabbed as many as 54 times during an argument with common law husband Ervin Wade at their home on George Street in Benque Viejo del […]

Foreign Minister: “no hurry” on reef damage compensation
Belize has sent its bill for damage caused to the Barrier Reef by a Guatemalan military vessel which ran aground near Glovers Reef Atoll last month. The gunboat caused $46, 000 of estimated damage after drifting into Belizean waters on its way to Mexico. Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington […]

Blogs

A Gorgeous Week In San Pedro, Belize And The Week Ahead – Back to the Jungle
It’s been sun sun and more sun this week…with the wind increasing quite a bit as it progresses. My Tuesday trip to the Blue Hole and Lighthouse Reef was somehow perfectly timed for relatively calm seas and…just general gorgeousness. I’m already plotting a way to get back to Half Moon Caye for a night or two of camping. I walked down the alley passing one of the cutest spots in San Pedro, the Conch Shell Inn. Definitely wins an award for cutest wall… I went to buy my ticket at the Coastal Express water Taxi to head just a mile and a bit up to Grand Caribe Resort. And now prep for the week ahead. I am heading to Chaa Creek next week – not for their amazing facilities and lodge but for Eco-summer camp! I will spend a day or two in San Ignacio – the largest town in the Western Cayo district and then… …head into the Chiquibul with the Scarlet Six BioMonitoring Team to help (that’s my word, not theirs) with the many month project of protecting scarlet macaw babies from poachers. If you love belize, you must read the book “The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw”…

Maya Concepts Part 1
Since the ancient Maya were the only fully literate civilisation of mesoamerica, it is important that we offer some information on some of the concepts they develop. The following writing will include concepts such as: creation, cosmos (world view), and Religion Lets take a concise look at these concepts. An artist rendition of a scene in the Popol Vuh. Credit: chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.com Creation The Maya conceived time as cyclical (Life/Universe) The Maya tried so hard to syncretize their needs and that of their environment They Maya believe that we have now entered the 5th creation of the universe They believed that man was created 3 times – 1st of clay, 2nd from wood, and 3rd of corn The Popolvuh was a pre classic time system which was written by the Quiche Maya – it was their book of counsel There were two Hero Twins, one Ixbalanque and the other Hunahpu; Hunahpu was often linked to the corn god The last creation was on December 21st, 2012; before that the last creation was in 3114BC. The Maya believed in a system called the sacred round. This round is every 52 years, when a date on their Tzolkin (sacred calendar) calendar meets the same date on the Haab (solar calendar) calendar again.

Belize It Or Not: Kickin’ It at Ka’ana Resort
Belize and the beach. They just go together, like bees and honey, like cheese and wine, like me and Diet Coke. And then there’s Ka’ana Resort. Ka’ana Resort is located outside San Igancio, a two hour drive from the closest coast — about as far as you can be from the ocean in Belize without backing into Guatemala. If travelers are going to include a jungle stop in their Belize itinerary, it’s most likely to be right in this region. The Cayo District packs an impressive punch of Mayan ruins, winding cave systems, lush jungle, and lodging at all budget levels. Our first family trip to Belize twelve years ago also included a stay in San Ignacio; my first introduction to a tropical rainforest. I had very special memories of this place, and I was thrilled to return to the spot where my obsession with all things lush and lowland began. San Ignacio was our second stop in Belize, after Hopkins. Our two home bases had distinctly different feels. Where Hopkins Bay Resort had been approachable and charming, Ka’ana Resort was chic and sophisticated. While we saw families at both properties, Ka’ana definitely had a more grown-up vibe. It’s a resort that would leave any designer swooning! We all agreed we were glad we’d gone to the beach first — Ka’ana would have been an impossible act to follow.

Belizean Style Stuffing
Ingredients 2-3 lbs ground bread ¾-1 tsp salt ½ tsp black pepper 1 stick melted margarine 1-2 tsp thyme (dried) 2-3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 2 stalks celery (chopped finely) 1 medium onion (chopped finely) ½ sweet pepper (chopped finely) Directions Add all seasoning to bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Add margarine and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on top of stove low heat. (optional) Or ADD TO TURKEY OR CHICKEN BEFORE BAKING

What's happening this week in Placencia, Belize!!
Lots going on this week!!! Live music Fri. July 17 @ Tranquillo with Los Estebanes.SHUTTLE TIMES FOR BELIZE FILM FESTIVAL BETWEEN PLACENCIA AND BELIZE OCEAN CLUB! Pick up point Scotia Bank! Un Wine'd is featuring a "Specialty Drink" & Appetizer today & tomorrow. "Very Superstitious" is a refreshing drink made with Arbor Mist Blackberry Merlot, Mango & Pineapple Nectar for $8.00/glass. Enjoy a platter of locally made hummus served with Ritz Chips for a special price of $5.00. You may also chose from the regular wine/beer & appetizer menu. Open 2 to 6 pm Thurs & Fri.

International Sourcesizz

IMF completes mission to Belize
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe visited Belize during July 6-17 to hold discussions in the context of the country’s 2015 Article IV Consultation. At the conclusion of the visit, Bouhga-Hagbe issued the following statement: “Growth accelerated to 3.6 percent in 2014 from 1.5 percent in 2013 on the back of a rebound in agriculture, and strong performances in tourism, electricity, construction and services. The fall in international oil and food prices has pushed down headline inflation to -0.2 (y/y) percent as of December 2014. Despite strong tourism receipts, falling exports, particularly of crude petroleum, and relatively strong imports widened the external current account deficit to 7.6 percent of GDP in 2014, up from 4.4 percent of GDP in 2013. “Nevertheless, PetroCaribe and other official disbursements continued to finance the current account deficit and help build international reserves (equivalent to 5 months of imports at end-December 2014). The fiscal primary deficit increased to 1.5 percent of GDP in FY2014/15 (April–March), up from a deficit of 0.2 percent of GDP in FY2013/14. Although revenue collection remained in line with budget targets, spending continued to grow well above budget targets, driven by Petrocaribe-financed spending. “Private credit growth reached 4.7 percent in 2014, supported by strong real estate credit and loans to the sugar sector. The banking system continued to strengthen. The impact of the loss of correspondent banking relations by some banks has been limited so far.

Where to see whale sharks around the world
The world's largest fish can be seen in all of the world's oceans - apart from the Mediterranean - at the right times of year. The world’s biggest fish is a global phenomenon, dispersed throughout all tropical and warm temperate seas except the Mediterranean (see map below) but with the largest aggregations in seven key areas. In these it is usually possible to snorkel with these gentle giants, and often to dive with them. Up to 1,000 congregate seasonally off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico – but as with other large groups, 70 per cent of them are male. Where do the females go? For years this remained a mystery, but satellite tracking suggests they migrate vast distances to mid-ocean sea mounts and remote islands where they give birth. One pregnant female, Rio Lady, is known to have set off from Brazil to Africa on a 4,800-mile trip. The best time for encounters off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, is June to September, at Isla Holbox, Quintana Roo and Isla Mujeres. Off Belize, the spawning of red snapper from April to June attracts whale sharks hungry for their roe, notably to Gladden Spit, a protected area of the Belize Barrier Reef.

HMS Severn returns to Portsmouth
Royal Navy patrol vessel HMS Severn received a warm welcome home from friends and family today following a successful eight-month deployment across the Caribbean where she provided security and reassurance to the British Overseas Territories and dependencies. The crew were happy to be home having travelled over 30,000 miles whilst away. They visited 29 ports, strengthening bonds across 20 different countries and islands where they were on standby to assist in the event of a natural disaster. The ship visited all of the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean — Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, Anguilla and Grand Cayman. During these visits the 48 ship’s company carried out training with local maritime fisheries enforcement agencies, worked with the Red Cross, and got involved with the local community. The ship’s doctor and medical team offered medical training and the crew painted children’s homes, took part in sporting competitions, and disaster relief exercises.

Pelagic Sargasssum Fact Sheet
Want to learn more about the Sargassum drifting to our shores? Follow the link...

Videos

  • San Pedro, Belize July 2015, 5min. A trip to San Pedro Belize July, 2015.

  • Study MBBS in Belize | Central American Health University | Career Point | V6 News, 25min. Career point is special program by V6 News, exclusive for the students, where they can take right decisions to make their career bright.

  • Belize Camping Experience at Fountain of Life, 9min. A group of youth came to share their experience at BCE this summer. They impacted many for Christ with songs, skits, cookies, and games. SHOW MORE

  • Snorkeling/ Freediving San Pedro, Belize June 2015 Manatees!!, 9.5min. San Pedro was amazing. This was one of the best water experiences of my life! Manatees, turtles, nurse sharks, schooled fish, rays, conch, we saw a little bit of everything on this one day outing with Caribbean Adventures on their sailboat snorkel tour.

  • Unbelievable dive with the Dolphins in Belize, 3.5min. We had these dolphins with us for about 20 minutes up at the surface following us below. As we came up to the surface they stayed in the area. As we the others were getting on the boat one of the dolphins came over to me almost coaxing me to follow...As you can see i turn back towards the boat to decide to folow the group onto tbe boat or follow my new friend, so i did. As I followed All the others then came over to me. I started to do barrel rolls playing with them they came right up up to me even letting me touch them. AND kept surrounding me. The dive masters who have dived here all their lives have never seen anything like them ineracting with me. In fact they said this is a once in a life time chance and for those who dive know that to be true. I feel blessed to have had this opportunity

  • BELIZE JUNE 2015 7, 16min.

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