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#506083 - 07/24/15 05:10 AM Today's Belize News: July 24, 2015
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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3
Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Lion’s dignitary Joseph Preston visits San Pedro
The San Pedro Lions Club had the distinction of hosting Lions Intermediate Past International Vice President Joseph Preston along with his wife Joni Preston on Monday, July 20th on a one day visit to the island. The purpose of his visit was to see the projects that the San Pedro Lions are involved in, such as the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI) clinics. Upon arrival, a contingent of Lions greeted Vice President Preston at the San Pedro Tropic Air terminal. A lunch reception was then held at the Lions Den where the Vice President had the opportunity to mingle with the local Lions and invited guests. After protocol was established, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif gave his remarks highlighting what the Lions Club has done for the community. He pointed out the progress at the BCVI and the Club’s constant rhythm of service to the community. “I actually met a young kid that loves to play football, but he always had issues playing due to his poor sight. This child was then introduced to the eye clinic program the Lions Club has in San Pedro and now he is one of the best players the island has, thanks to the assistance of the San Pedro Lions Club,” said Greif. He stated that the first line of response to any disaster, either large or small, nationally or internationally, has always been spearheaded by the Lions Club. “I can recall that the largest humanitarian aid from Belize for the flood victims of Tabasco and Chiapas in Mexico was headed by the San Pedro Lions Club. Also, the Haiti relief efforts and help for the 2004 Tsunami victims in Thailand was initiated in Belize by the work of this local Club,” stated Greif. According to Greif, these accomplishments strengthen everyone as club, as a community and as Belizeans. He encourages all local clubs throughout the country to follow the example of San Pedro Lions Club.

10th Belize International Film Festival: La Isla Bonita Telenovela wins Best TV Dramatic Series
The 10th Belize International Film Festival opened on Friday, July 17th and the red carpet was rolled out at Placencia’s Belize Ocean Club. The long awaited festival saw hundreds travel from across Belize and even abroad to attend the main event and enjoy the showcased movies, shorts, documentaries and music videos. The film festival concluded on Sunday, July 19th with the second annual Award Banquet, where the winners of the top films were announced. Taking the top prize in the Best TV Dramatic Series was La Isla Bonita Telenovela, written by The San Pedro Sun’s Dion Vanzen and starring many of our very own islanders! The Opening Gala was a show of glitz and glamour as everyone made their way to The Shore House at Belize Ocean Club in their finery. The nights events included a cocktail party with an opening performance by Jack Star (Jackie Castillo) followed by the screening of episode one of La Isla Bonita Telenovela. After the screening, organizers welcomed those in attendance before the next film, Half of a Yellow Sun, was screened. Also performing at the opening gala was Verge of Umbra, Jenko, Nello Player and Belize’s Calypso King, Lord Rhaburn. At the end of the night, the official after party with Linda Blease had all in attendance dancing till the wee hours of the morning.

Guatemala opposes construction of Coast Guard Forward Operation Base in Belizean territory
Amidst the impending referendum to determine whether the Belize- Guatemala territorial dispute should be settled once and for all by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), turmoil between both nations continues to grow. With several recent issues, including the grounding of a Guatemalan vessel and an altercation between Guatemala’s Navy and Belize Coast Guard (BCG) personnel, both in Belizean waters, Guatemala continues to assert its claim over Belize and threaten the sovereignty of the nation. The most recent issue involves the construction of the BCG’s Forward Operating Base (FOB) on Sarstoon Island which the Guatemalan Government is now opposing. According to reports, the Guatemalan Government does not want the base to be constructed until the territorial dispute is settled. The construction of the FOB in Sartstoon Island had already been delayed for several years, but the Government of Belize (GOB) had taken steps to start the project this year in order to maintain territorial integrity and security in an area so close to Guatemala. But, Guatemalans do not want this to happen and as such have made several attempts to assert their claim in the area. These attempts include the incident of Thursday, May 28th when Guatemala officials demanded BCG to move from an area they were working on in the Sarstoon Area.

Wayo’s Beach Bar hosts Food Frenzy Monday Madness
On Monday, July 20th, the San Pedro Food Bank (SPFB) and Saga Humane Society joined together for a food drive hosted at Wayo’s Beach Bar. Titled “Food Frenzy Monday Madness”, the aim of the event was to raise funds for both charitable organizations. The fun event included SPFB raffle prizes and silent auctions, as well as great drink specials and much socializing. The turn out was great, and both Saga and the SPFB raised $575 cash, along with a good amount of food for needy families and Saga’s four legged friends. The highlight of the event was the silent auction, which had five entries. Anyone interested was open to bid by just writing inside a folder the amount they wish to bid with. Items up for bid included: “Date night in town” which comprised of a sunset cruise for 2 and $50 gift certificate to Caliente Restaurant, “Explore across the bridge” item which included a $50 certificate from Palapa Bar and Marbucks, plus 24- hour scooter rental from DC Island, “Weekend getaway” including 2 nights stay at AquaVista Beachfront Suites, a $50 gift certificate from Wayo’s and breakfast for 2 at Drita’s Delights, “Date day” comprising of snorkeling trip to Hol Chan for 2 and breakfast or lunch at Island Buzz, and the “Girl’s day” which brought a gift certificate for $55 from Lilikoi, two Belizean Melody paint sessions and a Wild Mango’s gift certificate for $200. The minimum bid for any of the auction items was $10.

Ambergris Today

La Isla Bonita Telenovela Winner At Belize Film Festival
San Pedro, Ambergris Caye residents were excited and proud when they heard of the announcement that La Isla Bonita Telenovela has won Best TV Dramatic Series over the weekend at the 10th Annual Belize International Film Festival that was held in Placencia at the Belize Ocean Club. With all the hard work put on by everybody to bring together one immensely entertaining and professional production, it was great to hear that La Isla Bonita Telenovela was honored at this year’s film festival. With a full cast of local actors, the telenovela was a huge success in San Pedro ‘La Isla Bonita’ during production and post launch of the first episode. Rumors are that production of the telenovela might be picked up, with more film production in the near future; Ambergris Today will keep everybody posted on further developments. Congratulations to Make Belize Films, Mattheiw Klinck and the entire production and staff of La Isla Bonita Telenovela.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Reading is FUN!!!
We're a few days away from our summer reading camp! Children ages 6-8 are welcomed 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. next week Monday to Friday! Don't forget to come sign up!

Belize Audubon Society partners with BELTRAIDE to improve community development.
BELTRAIDE through the Small Business Development Center (SBDCBelize), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Belize Audubon Society (BAS) at the Belize Training and Employment Center conference room, solidifying a partnership to assist business located in buffer communities around the protected areas. The Belize Audubon Society (BAS) is a non-governmental conservation organization working for over 45 years in Belize, focusing on protected areas management, environmental education, advocacy, biodiversity research and monitoring, and community development. Through the community development and outreach program, communities are engaged in sustainable development initiatives to improve their livelihoods and support conservation. For over 20 years, BAS along with various funders and partners have assisted in building resilient communities through skills training and capacity building in agro-processing, craft making, sustainable fishing, small business development and eco-tourism.

Belize Archives and Records Services
Belize Archives and Records Services takes this opportunity to inform its patrons that the department will be closed on Friday, July 31st and Monday, August 3rd, 2015. This is due to the construction of a second floor and the renovation of the first floor of the building. The demolition of walls and ceilings will produce loud noise and hazardous debris. Given its commitment to continually provide service to the public, the Research Room will be temporarily relocated at the rear of the building as of Tuesday, August 4th until September 30th, 2015. Kindly note that services and access will be limited during this period. We regret any inconvenience caused.

BOLEDO DRAWING for Thursday, July 23, 2015: 19. FANTASY 5: 30 33 35 22 19 K

Third round draw is right around the corner! Go Jaguars!

Corozal District in the Village of Xaibe dancing a traditional Yucatec Maya dance.
Thanks to the Tzul Family for the photo.

Thanks to Silas Hobi
Saying a sad farewell to Silas Hobi, and a huge thank you for volunteering with us over the past six months on the reforestation program at Freshwater creek. You have done a very impressive job on assisting our rangers with creating inventories, and doing data collections on the flora and fauna of Freshwater Creek.

July 12th – July 18th, 2015 Belize Fishing Report
Some great fishing this week with a real international crowd from the US, Canada, Italy, Germany. Weather was pretty good and the fishing was great.

Ecology Project International in the Chiquibul
Ecology Project International undertook their first terrestrial ecology course in the Chiquibul Forest. Students were drawn from Ocean Academy in Caye Caulker and E.P Yorke High School. Hope this will encourage others Belizean students to visit this majestic forest. Thanks Jeremy. Thanks students. Contact us at fcd.lcrs@gmail.com for any bookings.

Channel 7

OW Political Opponents Square Off In Court
In November of last year, the Cervantes family released that infamous phone call on national radio - the one accusing the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega of masterminding the murder of their patriarch, Ramon Cervantez Sr. Deputy Vega has vehemently denied the allegation - and today he took Ramon Jr - who is also his political opponent - to the Supreme Court to sue him for slander. Vega is also suing the the Briceno family's radio station, Fiesta FM, for libel - since they allegedly broadcasted the live press conference where the allegations were made. The full hearing began today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Vega's attorney, Rodwell Williams opened up by reminding the court that Vega is the holder of high public office as the Deputy Prime Minister, and he is currently the acting Prime Minister. Williams outlined in his submissions to the court that on in November of 2014, at Mameyal Farm in the Orange Walk District, the Cervantes family released a voice recording of a conversation where a man claiming to be Manuel Castillo, the wanted fugitive in the murder of Ramon Cervantes Sr, alleged that Vega orchestrated Ramon Sr's death. He said the recording makes the allegation that this was a political assassination and that Ramon Sr. was erroneously killed because the attackers were trying to target Ramon Monchie Cervantes. Finally in his submissions, Williams told the court that the recording makes the accusation that the Deputy Prime Minister is a corrupt person, corrupting the police, and that he is a criminal who is engaged in criminal activities.

BEL and Energy Workers Meet With Labour Minister
Today - for the first time since this week started - the Belize Energy Workers did not picket in front of the Company's corporate headquarters. That's because they were headed to Belmopan to meet with the Minister of Labour Godwin Hulse. Hulse has stepped in on behalf of the Labour Department - not as an official mediator but as a go between with executive power working for a tidy and swift compromise. He met with both sides in Belmopan: management represented by senior executive Sean Fuller in the morning; and the union represented by Marvin Mora in the afternoon. He finished with the unions close to five pm - after a two and a half hour session. Hulse was encouraged and confident a compromise can be reached. He spoke to us via telephone:.. Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour "To bring those issues together, so that we can have an amicable conclusion and wind in a satisfactory agreement to both parties." Jules Vasquez "Okay, now is there a timeframe for this ministerial intervention?" Hon. Godwin Hulse, Minister of Labour "Yes there is. I have promise the unions that we will get to them by Tuesday. Between now and that time, Tuesday next week, we will be in touch with the management side to discuss the union's position and then we see where it goes from there. But we hope to expedite this process so that this can be resolve in the shortest possible time."

Contraband Bust In San Victor, OW
A Team of Customs personnel, police officers from the Special Patrol Unit, and members of Belize Defense Force, made 2 major contraband busts today at the Belize Mexico Border in the Orange Walk District. It is believed that the illegal items originated from shops and stores in the Mexican community of San Francisco Botes, which is right across the Rio Hondo River. Acting on information received the law enforcement team visited a an abandoned house in San Victor Village where they discovered about 35 cases of beer, 35 cases of soft drinks, several sacks of assorted vegetables, about 300 sheets of zinc roofing among other items. No one was in the area and so the contraband goods were unloaded and then sent to be destroyed. Right as the team was transporting the goods, the received intelligence of another contraband operation being carried out. They then set out and intercepted a boat on the river, which smugglers were trying to transport a large cargo of cabbage. The contrabandists escaped, but the vegetables were confiscated.

Seismic Shakeup In Caribbean, But No Tsunami
There have been a series of tremors and an overall increase in seismic activities in the Caribbean this month. Since July 11th over 200 small earthquakes of varying magnitudes have been recorded in the region and as a result of this the second highest warning level has been raised on the undersea Kick 'em Jenny volcano located 5 miles north of Grenada. According to another news site the "Antillean Media Group" high alerts have also raised for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Now the major concern or scare right now is that if the Kick ' em Jenny erupts it could cause a tsunami. But according to researchers that possibility is very low at this stage. We repeat, "very low." Now, how does Belize fit into this picture? Well according to NEMO, the threat to Belize is low, however there are reports a magnitude 4.9 earthquake that hit east of Great Swan Island, Honduras but it's far off the coast about 301 miles away from Belize. It does not present a major concern right now but NEMO will continue to monitor the seismic activities - and so will we.

Cop Convicted and Jailed For Theft
29 Year-old Police Constable Dean Perez is in jail tonight after he was convicted of stealing a man's phone and cash. It happened around 5:00 a.m. on October 5, 2014 in San Pedro. The complainant, Jose Hernandez, who goes by 2 other names, testified that he was at his apartment when he was awakened by a knock on his door. He said that Perez informed him that he was there to serve a commitment warrant from the court because Hernandez owed arrears for maintenance. Hernandez said that when he opened the door a police officer in uniform entered and went into his bedroom and took his white cellular phone from off a table in his bedroom. The officer then grabbed an identification folder from his common-law wife, Esmeralda Pat, which contained $600 dollars. Both prosecution witnesses say that after Perez stole from them, he then escorted Hernandez to a police mobile, and took him to the station. In his defence, Perez took the witness stand and denied that he committed the offence. He said that he was falsely accused as part of an attempt by a higher ranking officer to punish him in a personal vendetta.

Strong Words Flying Around In PUP
What's going to happen next in the PUP? Well there certainly is widespread discontent with the party and that became obvious from an internal email that came across our newsdesk this morning. It is from Jose Pepe Garcia, the Husband of PUP Deputy Leader Dolores Balderamos Garcia. He gripes very openly about a quote "awful letter" written by a standard bearer. He laments that the party is, quote, "shooting ourselves from within." But Garcia boldly calls for a purge. He says, quote, "The PUP tree is shaky, maybe that's why the hierarchy do not want to shake the tree anymore, but I say we must shake until all the rotten apples fall off the PUP tree. Only then we shall probably stop being in opposition and regain our dignity.." And while Garcia is calling for the rotten apples to be gone, Deputy Leader Julius Espat in a fecebook post today said, quote, "the PUP is poised to form Government with Francis Fonseca as our next Prime Minister." That is a familiar chorus, but certainly not one that everyone in the PUP is singing right about now. And for those who doubt, Espat lays out 5 options for those who oppose what he calls reality. He says they are either: 1. Hard core UDP supporters 2. Agents within the PUP who are financed by the UDP 3. So called leaders who put their self interest above the people they represent 4.Paid political activists in general that oppose any and everything. 5. Those who cannot deal with or refuse to accept Rule of Law, accountability, transparency and Good Governance.

Regional Methodist Women Meet In Belize
Over 350 Methodist women from 20 Caribbean countries traveled to Belize to hold their 6th Quinquennial Assembly under the theme "Bembelela " which means Christ is Our Hope. A service was held in the Kings Room at the Princess Hotel this morning to open this conference. Now while a major part of this assembly is for the women to congregate and worship, there is deeper significance to this meeting. We spoke to the coordinators today and they told us why it is important to fuse prayer into discussions about social issues. Jennifer Smith, Secretary of the Belize Honduras, MCCA "What happens when we meet in these assemblies, we set our policies, we have our election of new officers because we elect officers every five years, and we have an inauguration where we make sure that these officers, having been inaugurated are ready for work for the other five years." Courtney Weatherburne "Based on the release, it also said that you guys will be discussing key issues as well, affecting the Caribbean countries." Jennifer Smith, Secretary of the Belize Honduras, MCCA "Yes, that is always a big part of the assembly and we try to choose topics that affect the entire Caribbean. For example, one of the topics we have is how our young men, if you've noticed we haven't said young black men, we are saying young men because I think that all our young men, and we want to make sure we say men even though it's a women's organization, are being affected by violence and all the things that are happening to them. So that is one of our issues.

Flavors At Five
Flavors of Belize - in five years since it was first published this book and magazine has become the flagship of culinary culture in Belize. The publication celebrates restaurants and Belziean Cooking, from Rice and Beans to Hudut. Today the publishers celebrated their five year anniversary - noting that a lot has changed in the way food is presented in the tourism industry:.. Jules Vasquez reporting Flavors of Belize 5th edition celebrates the rise of culinary culture in Belize, Emaun Hyde, Managing Director "A polished product that speaks to the totality of the Belizean experience, and project an emerging aesthetic that places the culturally rich in a fitting context." Karen Bevans, BTB Director "We cannot emphasize enough the fact that culinary tourism tells so much about a destination's history, people and culture." And that shift towards fetish eyes food photography is big change from five years ago.

Youth Entrepreneurs Try A Thing
In February of this year, we told you about the youth apprenticeship's entrepreneurship program that gave 16 youths a chance create a business of their own. Well, how have they been doing so far? Well a follow up mentorship meeting was held today at the Biltmore to get feedback from them. When we spoke to some of them today, they told us just how good it has been for them and how much this program has changed their life. UnaMay Gordon, Founder, Institute for sustainable livelihood, leadership and Exchange "When we launched the program in February for looking really at just getting them to be engaged in employment, find or create employment for themselves. And we provided them with the support of Australian aid, Beltraide, Westrac which is a private sector company here, and Habet and Habet. Up to the level of tools for them to start. This session, which is the second session we are having since February, is a mentorship session where we are bringing those aspiring entrepreneurs with established entrepreneurs, which are clients of Beltraide for some cross fertilization.

Hon. Elrington, The Gathering Storm
Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington has emerged as one of the most polarizing figures in the national discourse. Whether for his infamous statement about the artificial border or for his recent remarks about automatically going to the ICJ. That latest soundbyte has raised a storm of criticism from activist groups. COLA sent out a release this morning asking of the ICJ, quote, "Has a decision been taken without the knowledge and express will of the Belizean people? Are we going to the ICJ whether we want to or not? COLA insists that the Minister explain very clearly whether this decision has been taken to go to the ICJ without Belizeans' knowledge" end quote. As regards the forward operating base for the Coast Guard on Carstoon Islands, COLA says, quote "His statements have indicated that Belize is unable, unwilling, and incapable to occupy what is ours by default asserting the views of the Guatemalans. If we can't occupy what we own how can we then defend it in court?" Similarly, Wil Maheia's PNP sent out a statement yesterday calling on the Prime Minister to immediately dismiss Elrington from his post as Minister of Foreign Affairs. The statement adds, quote, "Mr Elrington's record as a defender of Belizean territorial rights and the security and freedom of Belizean citizens is abysmal. The people have no confidence that Mr. Elrington is now, if he ever was, capable of representing his country in this important post." End quote.

Dara The Doer Of Good Deeds
Grassroots Philanthropist Joel Dara Robinson is holding his 4th annual Ride for Hunger. As viewers may know, it is an initiative to raise money for his feeding program, in which participants sign up and pay a small fee which goes toward a fund to buy food items for needy school children. This year, however, it is bittersweet for Dara, because slain Amandala Journalist Kareem Clarke will not be there to help promote it or participate in it. He told us today that he has put together some memorabilia in Clarke's honor, which will be a prominent feature of this year's ride. He explained it to us this afternoon: Joel Dara Robinson - Philanthropist "I didn't know how and what to do to feel the spirit of Kareem on the ride. I got a vision of the bicycle and went to ask his mom if I could have use his bicycle to ride it. The plan was to ride it but the feeling I got from her house to ride this bicycle wasn't a nice feeling. So I said I had to come up with another idea, I decorated the bicycle and put a picture of Kareem on it. This bicycle is going on the trailer with the music and trucks, this will be right ahead of the ride as my tribute and respect to Kareem. Because you guys in the media, I know you feel it and there's something special about him because its the country that feels for his death. And if we don't continue to touch on his story and bring it up, just like the others, nothing will come out of it and another life will go like that."

Stamp Keeps Community Kids Active
Keeping youths off the street and safe should be a main concern for any community. That is according to Timmy Stamp, a resident of the George Street neighborhood. Living on the Southside of the city in an area surrounded by rival gangs - Stamp sees it as a need to educate the upcoming generation. He has been doing that for the past 8 years with his afterschool program - where he pays trained teachers a stipend to tutor over a hundred students from three different neighborhoods. It is a costly program that is almost impossible to maintain for this hardworking shopkeeper, but he is determined to make a change in his community. Stamp, who is a primary school dropout himself, was once caught up in the gang world and now hopes he can give children in these crime ridden communities a chance to make a change. We caught with him today at his summer program. If you would like to assist Timmy Stamp's afterschool program, you can find him in his store on Dean Street - exactly between Plues and George Streets.

The I am Belize Profile took few weeks off, but it is back in the news tonight. Tonight's profile features Shemar Rowland, a first form student of Anglican Cathedral College. He lost his mother at the age of 3, and he has had to battle obstacles in trying to avoid becoming another statistic among the vulnerable at risk youths. He tells the profile how overcame the loss and how he's worked hard to become one of the top performing scholars in his class:

Channel 5

Gapi and Monchi Back In Court Over Libel Claim
The Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega took the stand in court today. A substantive libel case is being brought against two parties by Vega before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Vega [...]

Attorney Said Musa Says Gapi’s Credibility and Reputation Are Damaged
Vega will return to court for the final day of the trial at ten in the morning, when witnesses on his behalf and on the behalf of the first and [...]

BEWU Cautiously Optimistic After Meeting with Labor Minister
The Belize Energy Workers Union remains gingerly upbeat tonight following a meeting with Labor Minister, Godwin Hulse, in an effort to break the deadlock in negotiations with the principals of [...]

All Demonstrations Are On Hold Pending Outcome of Dialogue
Following today’s meeting with Minister Hulse, another sit down has been scheduled with the management of the company before a decision can be met.  When asked if the intercession of [...]

COLA Sets Sedi Elrington in Its Crosshairs Once Again
Firebrand activist Geovanni Brackett, President of Citizens Organized for Liberty Through Action, COLA, is taking aim once again at Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, this time for comments made about [...]

Giovanni Brackett Says, “Why Go to O.A.S. for Permission to Build F.O.B.?”
COLA’s position on the issue of the construction of an F.O.B. in the Sarstoon echoes that of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize and Vision Inspired by the People.  [...]

COLA Joins PNP Chorus, “Sedi Must Go”
On the heels of a call from the People’s National Party for Elrington’s immediate resignation as Minister of Foreign Affairs, COLA is following suit, demanding that he vacates the post [...]

Cop Arrested and Charged for Theft
Police Constable Dean Perez Junior was found guilty of theft and is on remand at the Belize Central Prison until next week Monday when the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith [...]

Stepfather Accused of Raping 17-year-old Daughter
Months after she was allegedly raped, a seventeen year old girl has made a report to the police. The teenager from Belize City claims that her stepfather raped her last [...]

Thirteen-Year-Old Minor Missing in Belize City
Also in Belize City, there is a report of a missing thirteen year old girl. The minor, Jacqueline Carmen Calderon, a student who resides in the Southern Foreshore area of [...]

What Do Benquenos Know About the O.A.S. and the Adjacency Zone?
This coming Tuesday, a special forum will be held at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts by the Office of the Organization of American States and the Foreign Ministry. [...]

Ride For Hunger Remembers Kareem Clarke
In the early hours of July sixth, journalist Kareem Clarke was gunned down as he rode his bike down Vernon Street. To date, his tragic murder remains unsolved, just one [...]

McNab Publishing Launches Third Edition Flavors of Belize
The Fifth Anniversary Edition of Flavors of Belize was launched today at the Biltmore. The publication which celebrates local cuisine boasts colourful pages of local recipes and restaurants, as well [...]

Building Entrepreneurship through Mentorship
The Institute of Sustainable Livelihood Leadership and Exchange has sixteen at risk youth, twelve from Belize City and four from Cayo, enrolled in a program that seeks to equip them [...]

Sedi on Marcel Cardona
Over a month ago attorney Marcel Cardona was taken before the General Legal Council to answer to an allegation that he had overcharged a client for services – and even [...]

Healthy Living Looks at Speech Therapy
In this segment of Healthy Living we discuss speech therapy. In Belize, the Inspiration Center offers these services to children with speech impediments to help them overcome the frustration of [...]

#506084 - 07/24/15 05:10 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 24, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Case Against Ramon Cervantes by DPM Underway
Today, Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega and Ramon Cervantes Jr., the man who will contest Vega in Orange Walk North, were in court for day one of their trial before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. Viewers may recall that the DPM is suing Cervantes for slander, for causing the broadcast of a tape recording of a suspect in the murder of Ramon Cervantes Senior, whose body was found buried on a farm off the Honey Camp Road. Both sides were flanked by their supporters and respective attorneys. The claimant seeks to prove that the allegations were baseless and sought to malign his reputation for political reasons. Cervantes’ defence is to deny that he caused the recording to be published. He denied that the words or meaning alleged were defamatory. Presenting the opening remarks was Vega’s attorney, Rodwell Williams, who told the court why the two defendants should be hit with fines of damages to be paid to Vega. We say the two defendants because Vega is also suing Fiesta F.M radio station which is owned by Jaime and John Briceno. Vega claims that the station carried the broadcast of the telephone conversation which maliciously defamed him. Fiesta FM in defence of this claim for libel, denies that they carried the recording over the airwaves due to technical difficulties.

Orange Walk Very Own Wins Grace Kennedy Competition
Yesterday we told you about how Badhra Coleman was selected as the winner in Grace Kennedy’s Cancer Caregiver Competition. Coleman, who has been the leader and spokesperson of the Orange Walk Cancer Group, has been providing vital selfless assistance to cancer patients and cancer survivors through the group’s efforts. And today, we had the opportunity to speak with Coleman to find out her reaction after hearing the news of her latest achievement…. “I was very honoured but it was a nomination thing and the people that believe in the work that we do and that I do they nominated me at the beginning and then it was by votes and so I had to wait until they called me and said that I was the winner.”

Corozal House Of Culture Engages In Charcoal Painting
The Corozal House of Culture has embarked on its 6 weeks Summer Art Wave Program. Today we visited the house of culture and caught up with participants as they finished off their daily charcoal drawings. And since they were shy to go on camera, coordinator at the Corozal House of Culture, Deborah Wilks spoke to us about the work they were carrying out. “This week we are actually midway through our summer art way program with the charcoal drawing and so what is happening this week is charcoal drawing and we have participants, mostly youths taking this program Monday through Friday this week and it is a basically we have an instructor, Mr. Benjamin Cal who is very well verse in charcoal and he is instilling his knowledge on to the students guiding them through these techniques using charcoal and charcoal to me is a very powerful medium, you don’t get lost in colors , is very much in your face and the students are excelling and turning beautiful pieces of art.”

Sarstoon Island Issue Will Be Brought Up In The Next OAS Meeting Says Minister Of Foreign Affairs
Following GOB’s indication for plans to construct a forward operating base in the vicinity of the Sarstoon Island, the Guatemalan government has responded with much objection pointing to the agreement of May 28-29, stating that nothing should be done in the area until the territorial dispute has been settled by the International Court of Justice. Viewers may recall the 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. Today, the area continues to be a source of controversy. And while the construction of the base is currently on hold, Foreign Affairs Minister, Wilfred Elrington told News5 last night that he has “informally” brought the topic up to the Guatemalan officials in casual conversations in the past. Elrington is quoted to saying that he will bring the matter up next week in an OAS symposium that is scheduled in Guatemala.

Consejo Villager Believes Crocodile Is Killing His Sheep
Yesterday just before midday a resident of the Consejo community in Corozal lost her sheep. The villagers found it strange and began searching for the lost animal. But what they found frightened them. Near the seas edge they came across the carcass of a sheep. Based on what they found, villagers told us today they believe there is crocodile in the area. Sandra Arana resident Consejo village. “Unos carneros vienen acá agarrar el aire fresco y vienen a beber agua cada día y ayer desapareció uno de todo la manada que había y el dueño se dio cuenta que ya no había uno que hace falta y el empezó a buscarlo y no lo buscaba y un niño como a las tres y media andaba por acá y lo busco pero el carnero ya estaba comido la mitad de su pierna y su cabeza tenía unas mordidas como de cocodrilo. Del otro lado de Maya Sea Side ya vieron uno de ese lado. Mucha gente viene a nadar por aquí, gente de Corozal hacen sus picnic entre ellos y le quiere avisos a la gente que no manden a los niños solos a bañar que tengan precaución y no los manden solos.”

COLA Demands Answers From Minister Of Foreign Affairs
And from all indications Elrington will continue taking heat. Today COLA fired off a press release in which they express strong concern for the comments made by Elrington concerning the ‘stop order’ issued by Guatemala to prevent the construction of a forward operating base on the Sarstoon Island. Similar to the NTUCB, Cola is dissatisfied with the recent response given by Elrighton on the forward operating base issue and the ICJ. In the release COLA questions if a decision has been taken without the knowledge and express will of the Belizean people? And if Belizeans are going to the ICJ whether they want to or not?


15-Year-Old Pregnant for Boyfriend; Case Forwarded to DPP
On Tuesday, a 15 year old girl told police that she is three months pregnant for her boyfriend; as a result police have launched an investigation on the matter. SELVYN TILLETT “A Belizean female of 15 years visited the Orange Walk police station with a social worker and her father and reported that she is […]

13-Year-Old Girl Reports Man Who Attempted to Rape Her
A 13 year old female from the community of Shipyard in the Orange Walk district claims that a man from the same village attempted to rape her last Tuesday. Officer Commanding of Orange Walk Police, ASP Selvyn Tillett explains. SELVYN TILLETT “A 13 year old female from Shipyard, Orange Walk District in the presence of […]

Local Government Commits to Settling Water Board Issue in Maya Centre
The issues of the Maya Centre Water Board, its chairmanship and the allegations of mismanagement of funds had gotten the attention of the Ministry of Local Government and with that came several meetings involving the Minister of Local Government, Godwin Hulse. One of the meetings was held as recent as yesterday. We spoke to Hulse […]

Labor Minister Meets with BEL and Union over Failure in Negotiations
Wednesday marked the end of a 3-day protest that some employees of the Belize Electricity Limited had staged after negotiations failed between employees and management. Yesterday Labor Minister, Godwin Hulse reached out to both parties to settle the differences and mediate, meetings were held with both BEL’s management and the union workers. GODWIN HULSE “First […]

BELTRAIDE and Audubon Society Enters into MOU
BELTRAIDE through its Small Business Development Center today signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Belize Audubon Society. The MOU is to form a partnership to assist businesses located in the buffer communities around protected areas. Communities will be engaged in sustainable development initiatives to improve their livelihood and support conservation. The partnership will allow […]

Teenager Reported Missing in Belize City
The family of 15-year-old Jacquelin Carmen Calderon of Foreshore Area in Belize City is worried after the teenager has not been seen for the last two days. According to a family member, Jacquelin left home about five thirty Tuesday evening to purchase phone credits. Since then the family has not heard from her. They say […]

Cop Found Guilty of Stealing Cell Phone and Cash
Twenty-nine year old, Dean Perez, a police constable charged with the theft of a cellular phone and six hundred dollars cash was found guilty of the charge today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith. Perez was remanded into custody until Monday, July 27 for sentencing. The incident occurred around 5 a.m. on October 5, […]


BAHA launches new lab in Central Farm
BAHA held the inauguration ceremony for the launching of their new polymerase chain reaction lab today in Central Farm. We spoke to CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture, Jose Alpuche who informed us on the benefits of this lab and the importance of it to the agriculture industry. Jose Alpuche, CEO in ...

VIP discusses political strategy ahead of elections
The two major political parties have by and large selected their 31 candidates for the upcoming general elections. There is also a proliferation of third parties or “alternative political movements” such as Vision Inspired by the People (VIP). Party chairman Hubert Enriquez today called ...

PUP holds National Executive Meeting
Yesterday, the PUP held a National Executive and Standard Bearer’s meeting in which they discussed plans for the upcoming General Elections. It was their first official meeting since the Dangriga bi-election in which they suffered yet another defeat. PUP leader, Hon. Francis Fonseca told th...

VIP demands building of Sarstoon forward operating base
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has seemed to suggest that Belize is going to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to settle the unfounded Guatemalan claim to our territory whether we like it or not. But no referendum on the issue has been held by either country. This has not stopp...

Will PUP host National Convention?
The People’s United party has also received some heat from party supporters who accuse the leader of a form of dictatorship since the last convention they had was in early January to elect their Orange Walk East Standard Bearer. As for a National convention, the PUP has not had one of those s...

New OC, New Generator, a New Start at San Ignacio Police Station
The San Ignacio Police Station is getting a fresh new start, with a newly donated generator and a new Commanding officer in the face of Superintendent Ramirez. At a handing over ceremony on Monday July 20th the newly instated Commanding Officer, on his first day in office, received, on behalf of th...

Belizean workers suffering abuse at the hands of Foreign Diplomats?
For years, complaints from employees working at the British High Commission have been made regarding alleged abusive treatment since the recent British High commissioner arrived in 2013. A number of employees, about 10 of them, have since tendered their resignation, citing verbal abuse and overall...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police sergeant passes after diabetes battle
Sergeant of Police Concepcion Cal, 47, originally from San Antonio, Toledo District and assigned to Punta Gorda Police Station, passed unexpectedly on July 18 from twin complications of diabetes and high blood pressure. This morning at ten following services at San Luis Rey Church in his home village […]

BELTRAIDE, Audubon to assist community businesses near protected areas
A partnership between the Small Business Development Center, an arm of BELTRAIDE, and the Belize Audubon Society is expected to assist businesses located in buffer communities around protected areas. Audubon has a community development and outreach program, in which communities are engaged in sustainable development initiatives to improve their livelihoods and […]

Policeman convicted for theft
Police officer Dean Perez will be sentenced on Monday by Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith after being found guilty of a charge of theft following trial. On October 5, 2014 at San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Perez, 29, was accused of entering the home of Jose Hernandez and […]

Man charged in Orange Walk for attempting to rape minor
Police in Orange Walk Town have charged one man for attempting to rape a minor. According to reports, on Tuesday around 9am, a 13 year old Belizean Mennonite in the presence of her father visited the police station where she reported that on Sunday at 8am, she went to her […]

Police find marijuana and ammunition in an empty lot in Orange Walk
Orange Walk Police conducted a search on an empty lot on Ketz Lagoon Street in Trial Farm where they discovered 20.1lbs of cannabis. Also found in the property were a large amount of ammunition: 40 live rounds of .39, and 50 live rounds of .5 ammunition. We will post more […]

Minister Hulse puts offer on table for Belize Energy Workers Union ( BEWU)
Members of the Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) have been protesting since Monday, due to dissatisfaction with their salaries, and yesterday, July 22nd, just before they took to the streets again, the Union’s President, Marvin Mora, was contacted by Minister of Labor, Godwin Hulse, who put an offer on the […]

Police are yet to identify badly burnt body
Today, police are no closer in positively identifying the badly burnt body of a male person found near Bermudian Landing on Saturday. Officials say they are waiting on the postmortem results which could reveal if the body is that of a person and resident of Ladyville who was reported missing […]

13 year old teen missing in Belize City
A 13 year old teenager by the name of Jacqueline Carmen Calderon is missing in Belize City. Calderon is from Southern Foreshore, Belize City, and on Tuesday, July 21st, 2015, her cousin Denilson Alexander Bolanos reported to police that she was missing. Bolanos told police that Jacqueline left her home […]

Libel case between Gaspar Vega and Ramon Cervantes Jr. begins
Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega opened his lawsuit for slander against political opponent Ramon Cervantes, Jr. in the Supreme Court today before Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. The Orange Walk North area representative and Minister of Natural Resources and agriculture charges that the broadcast of a purported conversation between […]

Stepfather rapes his 17 year old daughter
Belize City police are currently looking for the stepfather of a 17 year old female minor who reported to police that her stepdad raped her while her mother was at church. The minor, along with her mother, told police that the incident occurred on November 9th, 2014, when around 7:00 […]


San Pedro to San Ignacio, Belize: Some Changes and GREAT Eats, Mr Greedy’s, Guava Limb Cafe & The Ice Cream Shoppe
Belize is a small country…and a trip across it by plane can be done in less than an hour. But I’m on a budget and so the trip from San Pedro, Ambergris Caye to San Ignacio, Cayo was done the slow budget way. One that I always enjoy. 90 miles as the crow flies. Or 90 miles as Tropic Air flies. They have a direct flight from San Pedro to San Ignacio. But my first step was the water taxi from San Pedro to Belize City – with a stop in Caye Caulker for people to board and unload. 7:30am departure and we arrived at 9am. I was ensconced in the water taxi seat that I call “the second floor throne”. My favorite seat that is back to back with the captain and look out over the water.

Food Frenzy and Fire in San Pablo area
I just love to see how great relationships are developing among the island charities and also volunteer vacationers and med students. I saw some of the Washington University boys on one of Shirlee’s pics, they are always ready and willing to help. Wayo’s Beernet was the setting for the latest food & fundraiser for the 2 legged and the 4 legged. I was not able to make it but Shirlee offered to take some pictures and write a short blurb for you. I also got a few pics and a short quote from Saga about the event. The other night after dropping Jack at home and heading to drop Dick at his, we smelled smoke in the area of the small white Church. We pulled down the side street, and when we rounded the corner we saw a bunch of people with shovels trying to put out a bunch of small fires along the property line of a vacant lot. At first we wondered if it was a controlled burn, but after asking, found out it wasn’t and immediately offered them a hand.

2015 Belize Eco Kids Camp Day 2: Maya Culture & History
A late start to the morning muster forced the counselors to enforce the exercise law for tardiness on the campers! In their team lines, the kids performed a set of jumping jacks and sit-ups, which got them especially hungry for breakfast! After they sang their morning songs, which were quite louder this day than the past, they sat down for Ham, Beans, Cheese, and Johnnycakes. For arts and crafts time today, the campers focused on the definition of the three R’s of conservation: reduce, reuse, and recycle. With used bed cloth and recycled plastic bottles, they learned that they were reducing the number of bottle huggers and bags that people buy, as they made their own packs to carry water bottles and other small trinkets they may want! More importantly though, they had fun designing their own articles of fashion with their team mates and counselors.

Multiple Collapses In Mesoamerica
Professor Mark Van Stone, believes that the Creation-Destruction Myth Cycle peculiar to Mesoamerica reflects its history. he thinks that Great Civilisations were utterly destroyed, then rebuilt better than before, but again spiralling down to destruction. To Dr. Van Stone, this became the Cycle of the Suns; a kind of ontogeny recapitulating phylogeny. Dr. Van Stone believes that the destruction of civilisations in Mesoamerica were largely self-inflicted. Cultures worldwide suffer rise and fall. But those in Mesoamerica apparently lived in a more fragile environment; when they fell, they fell hard suggests Dr. Van Stone. He continues by suggesting that, “unlike Rome, Baghdad and other Old World Cities who rebuilt after a collapse, most of the great Mesoamerican capitals were completely abandoned after their respective falls. Middle America swarms with lost cities.

8 Interesting Facts About Ambergris Caye and Belize
During the past couple of months, I seem to have acquired a new trend on my travels. I go to a new country that I’ve seen pretty photos of and have head good things about, but don’t actually know much about. I go there without expectations, and because I’ve only done so little research, I just open myself up to whatever happens along the way. And, so far, I’ve found this to be a great approach to traveling. I recently approached a trip to Belize this way. I’ve head rave reviews of this country, but I didn’t really know much about this Central American nation at all. As it turns out, despite its size, Belize is very interesting. Below are 8 interesting facts about ambergris caye that I’ve learned about this country.ambergris caye history

Sorrel Drink
Ingredients 3 cups dried sorrel 1 4-inch cinnamon stick 10 whole cloves ¼ tsp. crushed allspice 2 3-inch pieces peeled fresh ginger Simple Syrup 1 cup sugar 1 cup water METHOD 1. To make Sorrel Drink: Bring all ingredients and 4 cups water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes. Cool, strain, and chill. 2. To make Simple Syrup: Bring sugar and water to a boil in small saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar, and simmer 1 minute. Cool 3. Pour Sorrel Drink over ice. Serve with pitcher of Simple Syrup for guests to sweeten drinks to taste.

International Sourcesizz

Project Belize is rich training ground for East Texas nursing students
Fall classes at Panola College are another month away, but Chandler Brooks, 22, of Carthage, Texas, is eager to get back into the classroom to finish up her final year of nursing school. Earlier this summer, she spent a week in the remote villages of Belize delivering basic medical care through the Nacogdoches-based Project Belize. Her group saw almost 1,000 patients. “Getting to see all the kids, I feel a lot more comfortable with my pediatric patients that I’ll see in this semester and forever in my career. I feel so much more confident in the cultures, medically, and getting to see firsthand how it really works in a facility like that,” Brooks said, who learned about Project Belize before entering nursing school. The medical team bathes in a river using biodegradable soap, sleeps in bunks sheltered by mosquito nets, and hikes two to four hours a day to get to villages far off the grid. Brooks doesn’t mince words. “Sweating with our packs, muddy, mosquitoes, trees with spines -- it was just crazy to get there. You finally get there and meet these people and you come to this paradise of a village of grass huts with dirt bottoms and these amazing kids,” Brooks said.

Expert's New Best Places To Retire Abroad List Has Surprising Winners And Omission
3. Cayo, Belize Peddicord’s team calls this Central American community (also a newcomer) a “leave-the-world-behind, embrace-the-simple-life, off-grid” outdoorsman’s paradise with a sizable expat community. Belize tied with Malaysia and Panama for a top A+ score for its taxes. But no place is perfect; Cayo’s described as “a culture vulture’s inferno” and is hot and humid year-round.

Building geographical indications for Caribbean origin-linked products
The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) opened the two-day sub-regional workshop on branding and the use of geographical indications in the development of management strategies for origin-linked products in Kingston, Jamaica, on July 21. With the aim of building the capacity of CARIFORUM producers to identify and develop geographical indications and origin linked products, it is hoped that attending businesses will prosper and enhance their competitiveness in the international arena, and as a result build economic growth and sustainability of the Caribbean region. Anthony Hylton, minister of industry, investment and commerce for Jamaica, highlighted in his address to the participants that “Within the Caribbean exist numerous opportunities for GI protection including black pineapple from Antigua, cascarilla from the Bahamas, cahune oil from Belize, nutmeg from Grenada and sarsaparilla from St Kitts just to name a few. Geographical Indications offer us the opportunity to protect these brands and our consumers, even as we continue to guarantee quality and provenance.”

Leonardo DiCaprio raises $40 million at star-studded charity gala
“Tonight’s event is about supporting LDFs efforts to protect key species like the tiger, rhino, shark, and mountain gorilla by working with governments to conserve the jungles, coral reefs and forests they call home”. Items up for auction reportedly included art and luxury items as well as a one-on-one match with tennis star Roger Federer, a seat in David Beckham’s private box at Wembley Stadium, and even a stay at DiCaprio’s private island in Belize. Last year, a walk-on role in one of DiCaprio’s upcoming films sold twice for $2.4 million, while Bono’s personal guitar went for $1 million, following the singer’s live performance at the event. “Focusing on protecting these critically endangered iconic species is nearly like setting up a worldwide network of Noah’s arks”, DiCaprio said.


  • Benque Fiesta Video, 4.5min. The Benque Fiesta has come and gone once again, but this time the 501 Boyz captured all the fun and festivities. You might get hungry watching this great video. "Benque Fiesta highlights..."

  • Sister Carlette thanks Conway Heaton for assistance at Belize ministry, 1min. Sister Carlette Gentle is in ministry in Belize City to help seniors with their daily lives. Transportation is the biggest obstacle. That is about to change thanks to the overwhelming financial support shown by donors. With a new van, Sister Carlette will now be able to transport more persons to support group meetings, and arrange for regular trips to the grocery or medical appointments. Sister Carlette stopped by Conway Heaton in Bardstown, Kentucky, where the van has been ordered to thank Dick Heaton for his assistance to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth in ordering the van and having it shipped to Belize.

  • Our Belize Adventures, 15min.

  • Spring Break 2015: San Pedro, Belize, 6min. Location: San Pedro, Belize

  • Zip lining through Bocawina National Park, Belize (1 of 4), 12min. The second longest zip line network in Belize runs through the Bocawina National Park in the Stann Creek District. There are eight exciting rides through the jungle. The longest zip is 1/2 mile; on which you can reach speeds of up to 40 mph. Cory Likens took these videos in July 2015 as he zipped through the entire network using a GoPro helmet cam.

  • Belize Trip 2014, 6min. My first out of country vacation and flight, all thanks to my Sister and Brother in law.

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