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#506277 - 07/30/15 11:11 AM Today's Belize News: July 30, 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

John’s Escape Bar and Grill a secluded paradise for GREAT food and drinks
Looking to head off the grid and explore a bit more of what Ambergris Caye has to offer? How about 4.5 miles north to be exact? We’re talking John’s Escape Bar and Grill which provides the right level of relaxation you need, with an excellent touch of customer service and amazing food. A short boat ride on the Coastal Express will get you there within minutes. Or you could be adventurous like we were, and load up some great people on a golf cart and take the scenic route. Even with many pit stops we were on location within a half hour, eager to see what we had escaped to! Owner Brian made us feel at home instantly, and in no time, we were ordering a few menu items: Chicken Nachos, Shrimp Tacos, Pineapple Burger, Mayan Fish and of course Wings. While the food was prepped, Brian got the ball rolling with their signature shot, the Belikini.

Seven out of the eight contestants for the Reina de La Costa Maya® Pageant have arrived in San Pedro
First to arrive was Miss Mexico Samantha Gutíerrez Gónzalez-Rubio accompanied by Riena de La Costa Maya 2014/2015 Elisa Espinoza Gómez. Shortly after Miss Costa Rica Carolin On Porras, Miss El Salvador Genesis Margarita Fuentes Bolaños, Miss Honduras Gabriela Vanessa Salazar Valle, Miss Nicaragua Yuliset Laguna, Miss Panama Maria Saavendra and Miss Guatemala Lisa Hayet Francis touched down on La Isla Bonita. The beauties enjoyed their flight over the Caribbean Sea on Maya Island Air, the official airline of The International Costa Maya Festival®.

Belize and Guatemala talk peace at joint press conference, COLA protests
Ministers of Foreign Affairs from both Belize and Guatemala, along with a representative from the Organization of American States (OAS) held a press conference on Monday, July 27th at the VIP Room of the Radisson Fort George Hotel. The conference served as a forum to provide updated information on the status of the territorial dispute and to clarify recent altercations between Belize and Guatemala. Leading the conference was Belize Minister of Foreign Affairs Honorable Wilfred Elrington, Guatemalan Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Raul Moralez and Chief of OAS Peace Fund Magdalena Talamás, who served as the mediator. First to speak was Elrington who elaborated on the evolution of the Guatemalan claim over Belizean territory. He also spoke on the relationship between both countries. “The relationship at every level has been very good, cordial, peaceful and very calculated. When we have difficult moments we call each other at the Foreign Ministry level, at the Prime Ministerial/Presidential level and at the technical level to work out the issue. Belize’s military works side by side with the Guatemalan military…Belize Police work with the Guatemalan Police…so we have a harmonious relationship that really is the envy of the world,” said Elrington.

The lovely Miss Mexico Samantha Gutíerrez Gónzalez-Rubio has arrived to La Isla Bonita!
Today will see all the delegates arriving in preparation for Reina de La Costa Maya® Pageant, which opens The International Costa Maya Festival® on Thursday, August 6th. Samantha was accompanied by none other than Riena de La Costa Maya 2014/2015 Elisa Espinoza Gómez.

Flavors of Belize launches 5th anniversary edition
The fifth issue of the much-celebrated Flavors of Belize magazine was launched on Thursday, July 23rd in Belize City. Media, stakeholders, friends and family were all invited to the Rainforest Room at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza to witness the grand unveiling of the newest edition of the magazine. Leading the ceremonies was Clive Myers, who welcomed the attendees to the highly anticipated unveiling. Singing the national anthem was Jackie Castillo, accompanied by Garifuna drumming. Emaun Hyde, Managing Editor of McNab publishing Ltd, gave the opening remarks. Hyde spoke of the growth in the culinary industry of Belize, highlighting the energy and creativity of Belize’s chefs with each passing year.

Belize to face Canada in third round of World Cup Qualifiers
Now in the third round of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ), the Belize National Football Selection will be taking on the National Football Selection of Canada. The preliminary draw for the next round of games leading up to World Cup Russia 2018 was held on Saturday, July 23rd at the Konstantin Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. After eliminating both Cayman Islands and the Dominican Republic in order to continue their WCQ journey, the Jaguars have been hard at work training and honing their skills. The draw was overseen by FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke and decided the third round pairings as well as the fourth round groups. The 12 advancing teams of the second round of competition were divided into two pots according to their FIFA ranking as of July 2015 and paired against each other. The WCQ third round will see matchups between Curacao versus El Salvador, Grenada versus Haiti, St. Vincent and the Grenadines versus Aruba, Jamaica versus Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda versus Guatemala, and Belize versus Canada. Only the winners of each of the six pairings will advance to the fourth round. Matches will take place between August 31 and September 8.

Ambergris Today

Sunset Cruise with the Costa Maya Delegates on the YOL

Flashbacks: San Pedro Holiday Hotel’s 25ft Anniversary
This month Hotel, the pioneer hotel in tourism in San Pedro celebrated its Golden Anniversary. Fifty years ago this wonderful person, this amazing San Pedrana, passionate woman, and awesome entrepreneur, Celi Nuñez McCorkle, opened up the doors for the commencement of tourism in San Pedro and Belize. The seeds she sowed are still reaping benefits in the millions for thousands of people in this community. Talk about a prominent and iconic personality- it’s Celi McCorkle. This week in Facebook, Celi’s daughter, Lisa McCorkle posted memoirs of the 25th Anniversary of Holiday Hotel when it was celebrated in grand style. Here are those memoirs and comments of many who lived the experience and a historic photo of Celi, the tourism pioneer, and George Price, the Father of the Belizean nation. Enjoy and make it a keepsake.

Overview Of Historic San Pedro Village in 1950’s
This aerial shot of the village of San Pedro came about one hundred years after the Mestizo Indians first settled in village in 1948. This is about 1955 when the village men were doing subsistence fishing and before the founding of the fishing cooperative. My comments will take you through some of the main houses and names of the village at the time. House No. 1 This was the vacation property of Lucilo Ayuso, a businessman from Belize City, His son, Libby Ayuso, was a well known oculist/optician and friends with all of San Pedro. A well kept house and a large yard and pretty fence tells us that this was a well off family. This house was the only one that remained standing on the beach with Hurricane Hattie in 1961. After the hurricane of 1961, The Ayuso’s purchased the lot behind them and became owners of the entire little block. Today that entire property is the site of Spindrift Building. Notice the pile of coconuts in No. 1 b. This tells us that Mr. Adolfo Ayuso, who used to own that property, was a coconut farmer.

Belize to Boost Preparedness for Ebola with Support from Taiwan
The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) donated Clinical Care Kits for the care of patients with Ebola Virus Disease to Belize’s Ministry of Health with cooperation from Taiwan. This is part of a larger regional effort prepare for and control a potential outbreak of Ebola. The project is a direct response to a request from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other world leaders for increased international cooperation to better address the potential threat posed by Ebola worldwide and in the Americas. With support from Taiwan, PADF is delivering Clinical Care Kits to Belize and other countries in the region. In the event of an Ebola outbreak, the equipment can be quickly deployed to hospitals and other care facilities to protect medical personnel as they treat patients.

Copa Airlines to Connect Belize with Panama, Flights Start December
Today, a press conference was held at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel, announcing airline services to Belize via Copa Airlines. Starting December 8th, 2015 Copa airlines will be offering 2 weekly flights to Belize City from Hub de la Americas Panama City, Panama. With this new addition, Copa Airlines will now expand its route to 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central, South and the Caribbean with Belize being the 7th in Central America. With the addition of Belize, they are now covering all of Central America, strengthening their regional leadership. “For Copa Airlines it is with much joy that we announce this new destination with which we consolidate our leadership in the region, strengthen our existing routes while at the same time allowing us to offer better connectivity and world class service to all of Central America, from Hub de las Americas, in Panama. The connectivity will open enormous opportunities for tourism and commercial development for this interesting Caribbean country, as well as allowing for tourist from the same region to have the opportunity to enjoy all the tourism and commercial strengths Belize has to offer”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

REQUEST FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST CONSULTING SERVICES: PROJECT MANAGER Institution: Inter-American Development Bank
Abstract: The CNTMP seeks to promote a Belizean transport sector that contributes to sustainable economic and social development. Developed in close coordination with the relevant public authorities the plan will aim to: (i) promote economic growth, particularly in its headline sectors of agriculture and tourism, by reducing costs to market for the private sector, thus facilitating domestic and international trade; (ii) improve public mobility and access to markets, employment and social, health and leisure facilities; (iii) contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation; and (iv) ensure the financial, environmental and institutional sustainability of transport services.

Miss Costa Maya 2014 and Miss Mexico are headed to Ramon's Village
the Official Hotel and a Grand Sponsor of Costa Maya 2015. The rest of the delegates will be arriving shortly

SELL-A-TON AT LIONS DEN SATURDAY
Aug 1st, 8am-1pm Clothing * Tools * Cell phones * Baked Goods * Books * Household items! SELLERS: $25 for two (2) tables Sell whatever you want! FUND RAISE for your school, medical needs or personal. BUYERS… You never know what you’ll find!!!! CONTACT: Jan Brown, 662-2725 “San Pedro Lions Club – We Serve”

Brainstorm for Freedom - August 1
We planning to start up a reading group or think tank. We having a brainstorm session on Saturday 1 August, 10 am in San Ignacio. Tentative venue is at the downtown library, near the Hawkesworth Bridge. It's emancipation day, so we can make it our tribute to freedom. We can become an active group to promote critical thinking, organize seminars/lectures, debates, publish online articles, increase youth democratic participation... Who can make it? Saturdayat 10:00am - 1:00pm. San Ignacio, Belize

Poets Corner: Screams!
By Abdulmajeed K Nunez. All the world’s problems Can be attributed to men They come from one source The fatherless curse 89% of fatherless children End up pregnant, on gun charges or in the system Most times in Belize men are perpetrators of this mayhem Domestic violence, socially deviant, some become gangster and thugs When all they really wanted was for their father to give them a hug These men grow up with hate Socially maladaptive and inadequate Unable to think and unable to communicate Men the world over are in a hellish state

Costa Maya Delegates 2015

DFC Smarter Banking Forum
The Development Finance Corporation held a seminar to show the advantages of using them for educational and business loans. Lots of great information was shared to the group of local business owners...and future business owners. Pictures on G+.

SSBA Basketball Tournament
The San Ignacio and Santa Elena Basketball Association is having a basketball tournament starting on August 21st. If you're interested in registering a team, contact Elvis Usher by August 12th. Games will be held at Falcon Field on Friday and Saturday nights.

Channel 7

PUP Preserves Status Quo: Fonseca Puts Down Rebellion
Since last week, we’ve been reporting on the PUP’s Rebel 12 – a dozen standard bearers who are unhappy with the state of affair sin the opposition and are calling for a national convention. They put that in a letter to the party chairman on Monday – and, today, Party Leader Francis Fonseca called for a meeting to deal with their demands. But, the 12 were outnumbered by the 19 standard bearers still in the Fonseca Camp, so rather than be drummed down by a super majority of status quo supporters, they boycotted today’s meeting. Well, 10 of them did; two attended, namely Dr. Francis Smith and Major Lloyd Jones. More about that later, but first to the business of today’s three hour meeting at PUP Party Headquarters. When it was done at 5:00 pm, a very relaxed looking leader Francis Fonseca – flanked up by 20 standard bearers said he called the meeting to deal with the issues raised by the dissenting dozen – but they didn’t appear to argue their points:… Hon. Francis Fonseca - PUP Party Leader "We immediately convened a meeting today of the national executive and standard bearers in order to fully and properly discuss and address the issues raised therein. All standard bearers and executive members were invited to this meeting and in my view there was a particular and special obligation and duty attached to those who had signed the letter, to be present and to be fully and robustly participating in the discussion and decision making. The absence of any of the signatories to this letter without a legitimately documented excuse will only further erode confidence in their good faith intentions in respect to the important issues raised in their letter."

PUP's Pilloried in Postings On Facebook
Indeed the majority does rule, but the PUP will still have to deal with in the rebel 12 – or maybe that should be 10. Among them are two men who have never lost an election – they are John Briceno and Cordel Hyde. And with the national tour going north and coming to Belize city after Cayo – it would be embarrassing if those regional powerhouses also boycotted those events. And surely, the Briceno camp is not happy. We could see that from a facebook post put up this morning by Orange Walk PUP Mayor and die-hard Bricenista Kevin Bernard. Sort of apologizing in advance for the boycott of today’s meeting, he urged the 12 standard bearers to stay away and then asks, quote, “How can we credibly tell them (our supporters) we will lead them to Belmopan if we can’t prove we are a viable party in any single election? The record will show we have not won any national elections since 2003.” He asks, quote, “what gives us the best chance to win the next general elections? That is what we should be concerned about, not about preserving the leader at any cost. Are we satisfied that what we are presenting gives us the best shot at winning? The last three elections scream hell no!” Unquote. He calls for a national convention where the leader would be put up to challenge, and laments, “It’s been almost 5 years since we’ve last had one, and yet some will say now is not the time. My question is, if not now, then when? After Barrow calls the next elections? After we’ve lost the general elections? Are you crazy???” END QUOTE.

Another Woman Killed, Her Husband on The Run
Another woman has been killed – most likely as a result of domestic violence. Tonight, Belize City police are looking for her ex common-law husband. 21 year-old Salvadoran Merlin Elizabeth Herrera Mejia, was found in her apartment on Morning Glory Street this morning, with her throat slashed. Police were called in early this morning, and we found out why they suspect that it is yet another domestic dispute turned homicide. Daniel Ortiz reports: When we arrived, the Eastern End of Morning Glory Street was already cordoned off by police and scenes of crime personnel. Inside the cement house, seen here at the left of your screen, the body of 21 year-old Salvadoran Merlin Elizabeth Herrera Mejia lay in a pool of her own blood in one of the rooms. Her throat had been slashed. Inspector Alejandro Cowo - OC, CIB Precinct 1 & 2 "At 6:50 a.m. acting upon information received, police visited number 4533, it's a cement structure building. Police went inside of a room where they saw the lifeless body of a female descent person. She was identified as Merlin Elizabeth Herrera Mejia, 21 year old Salvadoran national, cleaner of that same address. Police observed two large cut wounds to the neck and one behind the left ear."

Bucknor Jailed For Child Molestation
He’s been fighting a child molestation charge for 2 years, and tonight, 52 year-old Belize city resident Charles Bucknor is spending the first night of a 3 year sentence after he was convicted before the Chief Magistrate today. The minor, who was only 12 at the time of the incident, testified in a trial that IN July, 2013, her grand aunt hired Buckner to repair the ceiling in the bathroom, and that’s where he began eyeing her. She was watching television on her grand aunt’s bed, when Bucknor sexually assaulted her, and then threatened that if she said anything he will deal with her. As soon as she could escape, she called and reported the incident to her mother. They arrested Bucknor and charged him with burglary and aggravated assault of an indecent nature. That burglary offense was later dismissed due to lack of evidence, and he denied the sexual assault charge in the late stage of his trial. When it concluded today, however, the Chief Magistrate Smith told him that she didn’t believe his defense. She found him guilty and sentenced him to 3 years in prison.

Weed On His Way To Court Earns Man A Year In Jail
22 year-old Kevin Bodden is already an inmate at the Belize Central Prison. But today persons tried to smuggle weed to him when he appeared at the Magistrate’s Court for an adjournment hearing. So tonight, he’s behind bars with the bad news that he will serve one more year because of that failed attempt. That drug supplier shoved it in Bodden’s hand, and the officers who were escorting him, did not see who did it, since normally, the court area is usually crowded. A vigilant officer saw when he made a suspicious move to shove his hand into his pocket. The officer immediately approached him, and retrieve the 40 grams - or 1.4 ounces of marijuana from that pocket. He was immediately charged with possession of a controlled drug, and when he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded guilty to the offense. She sentenced him to 1 year imprisonment, which is to run consecutively to the 3 years he’s already spending for a conviction of grievous harm. That means he will spend a total of 4 years in jail.

GOB Rejects US Conclusions About Human Trafficking
Last night we told you about Belize’s dismal performance on the US Trafficking in Persons Report. The Americans say that Belize has made no progress in preventing human trafficking cases, prosecuting trafficking offenders and protecting victims. As a result of this evaluation, Belize is now listed as a Tier 3 country – which is the lowest rank. Well according to the CEO of the Human Development sector, Judith Alpuche – this is an utterly unfair assessment of Belize’s efforts. In an extensive interview today, Alpuche told us that the US is only reflecting Belize’s low conviction rate among other shortfalls rather than highlighting the existing programs and services implemented to deal with this issue. Now she admits that Belize is not as advanced in the availability of services and facilities for victims compared to other countries but she also firmly states that Belize IS working towards curbing human trafficking. Judith Alpuche - CEO, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation "What we have found and this year is no different is that what they focus on is convictions. It's abundantly clear in their report and we did not get a conviction and so I think it's not surprising to us. What is disappointing however is that there seems to be a narrative constructed to support this idea of you did not do anything. And I don't know if that is because in the past we have pointed out to say, well how can you downgrade us for this one area when you point out that we have done well in other areas. So the narrative is a bit different."

COPA Is Coming, Means Much For Regional Tourism
A new direct flight that will expand Belize’ tourism channel to South and Central America was launched today. A ceremony was held at the Biltmore Hotel to mark what the Tourism sector is calling a historic occasion. The Belize Tourism Board along with its partners has been working for about 3 years to establish this connection with Copa Airlines and it was finally realized today. We spoke to the Director of Tourism, Karen Bevans and she told us how significant this flight from Belize City to Panama is to the tourism industry. Elisa Brenes - Regional Manager, International Sales Copa Airlines "Today we are announcing, with a lot of joy that after December the 8th, we will be flying twice a week to Belize from our Hub de Americas in Panama." Hon. Manuel Heredia Jr. - Minister of Tourism and Culture "We have enjoyed a sustained 8.7% annual increase in the overnight sector. That translates into more than double the projected growth rate expected and more than double the average growth rate of tourism in our region. It is without a doubt that here lays place one of the signal largest contributing factors to the increase of tourism overnight arrivals."

Man Charged For Double Chopping
A man has been charged for a double chopping in Belmopan. 20 year old John Briceno was charged last night with grievous harm and aggravated assault. As we reported 2 men were chopped in Salvapan around 1:00 Monday morning. 24-year-old Jorge Guevara and 25-year-old Clifford Alexander Alvarado were walking on the Road in front of the San Martin Primary School when 5 men attacked them with machetes. Guevara had been chopped to his head, back and face, while Alvarado's wounds were to his left hand, shoulder and left arm. Police believe that drinking may have fueled the incident. Police are still looking for the other 4 men involved.

The Police And Community Trying Truce
Communities rely on the police to protect and serve and the police, in turn, rely on community support and cooperation. But the relationship is not always harmonious. That’s about to change according to Senior Superintendent Chester Williams. This afternoon Williams and two groups of police officers including senior officers took part in a meet and greet on Caesar Ridge Road and Gill Street. He told the media it is in an effort to mitigate the violence and crime in these areas as well as to build trust between the community and the police. Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division South "As you recall when I took over as the officer commanding eastern division south, one of the message I said was that - the police will be doing more out reach to the community. This is part of our community orienting policing. Where we will go out, meet the public, greet the public, talk to them, see what their concerns are. Take advice from them. If there is anything they believe the police can do better. To police the area, we want those tips from them and when we're through, what ever information we have obtained from these people, we will go through them and we will see what we can get from it to make our policing effort better. We want to be able to give the community the level of policing that they deserve, so that's the main mission here."

La Inmaculada Lambastes Signature Gatherers
On Friday we told you about a signature drive by disgruntled members of the La Inmaculada Credit Union. They are trying to gather a thousand signatures for a petition to force their credit union to hold an annual general meeting and declare a dividend. Well, the management of the Credit Union put out a statement today stressing to its members that it does not endorse the signature drive. The statement says, quote, “Some of our members have indicated that they were deliberately misled through inaccurate information and that their signatures were obtained under deceit.” And even for those who signed, the Credit Union says, quote, “any and all signatures will need to be verified as is required by due process.” The statement says that the Annual General Meeting will be held as soon as an investigative process is finalized, at which time, quote, “your rightfully due dividends will be recommended for approval.” It adds, quote, “Many are being wrongly informed that their dividends are being purposely withheld and will not been given and both allegations are totally false.”

Belize City Mayor Does His Part For Confidence Building
Since Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been on a public education campaign, collaborating with representatives of the OAS, and senior Guatemalan officials. It’s a kind of public confidence building, in an atmosphere rife with misgivings. But, at the official level, they continue to cultivate good relations, and in that spirit, Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley today hosted a breakfast for the Mayor of Melchor De Menchos, as well as children living in the western border towns in both countries. 7News stopped by and spoke with the Mayor about this event’s important in the larger discussion of Belize/Guatemala diplomacy: Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City "We're working in partnership with the Organisation of American States and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we're of course supporting the discussion in relation to the activities that are going on in Belize over the last 3 days to promote awareness in relation to the Belize-Guatemalan issue. And what this is, is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked us to host a breakfast with young people from Melchor de Mencos, including the mayor of Melchor de Mencos who's in attendance at this programme this morning. And also young people from Benque Viejo Del Carmen. So what we're doing is promoting sort of engagement, especially with our youth who can kind of engage with one another in fellowship, in the spirit of friendship and cooperation. To really kind of highlight the fact that in order for peace to come, we need to have understanding and we need to have a coming together - so it's really like an honour to support the initiatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in hosting this breakfast this morning and I think it's a wonderful actively."

OAS Holds Bze-Guat Forum
Last night at the Bliss Centre for the Performing Arts, the OAS held a public forum where they outlined the state of the unfounded Guatemalan claim and the repeated attempts at resolving it through negotiation. That information session was broadcast on national television, and right here on Channel 7, but in case you missed it, we pulled a few excerpts to share with you. Here’s the Chief of the OAS Peace Fund explaining why we must go to a referendum to decide whether or not to take the territorial claim to the International Court of Justice: The Foreign Ministers of both countries were also guest speakers at last night’s session, and they took the opportunity to reiterate that friendly relations continue. Elrington also talked about why he has changed from rioting against Guatemala that he did when he was a young man, to the present day conviction that going to the ICJ is the best option Belize has to resolve the territorial claim:

Is The Mayor Coasting?
When it comes to expansionary public works in Belize City, no Mayor in memory comes anywhere close to Darrell Bradley. After his first 3-year term in elected office, his legacy is currently the 142 streets that his administration has cemented, along with renovation of the Battlefield, Memorial and BTL Parks that were done in collaboration with other Government agencies. But, 4 months into his second term, things have seriously slowed down. So, with the speculations that the General Elections are sooner rather than later, we wonder if he’s just coasting - until he runs for Area Rep. of Caribbean Shores. We asked him about that today: So, since there have been projects that the Mayor isn’t alerting the residents to, we asked him to discuss a few of them with us today, and here’s what he had to say:

Inflation Went Down Due To Fuel
The Statistic Institute of Belize has released its latest figures for June 2015, and the assessment is that on average, the cost of goods and services are 0.8 percent lower this year than at the same time last year. The all items Consumer Price Index was at 102.8, down from 103.6 in the same month last year, which indicates a inflation rate of NEGATIVE 0.9 percent. The main contributor to this overall change is the falling fuel prices worldwide. In Belize, the prices of premium and regular gas was about 18 percent lower this year, and diesel went down the lowest by 25% in one year. That fall in fuel prices has a somewhat direct correlation to international airfares, and SIB reports that the cost of those went down by almost 25 percent when compared to June of last year. Food prices are marginally down by 0.1 percent, and the most significant drop recorded was the prices of red kidney beans. Those declined by more than one third when compared to a year ago. But, the drastic decrease in Beans is offset on the CPI measurement by the increase prices in both pork and beef products.

Youth Dancers Donate To Dara
This afternoon a group of children from the Indian Community stopped by the home of Dara Robinson to pay him a special visit. They didn’t come empty handed – instead they brought along a cheque of three hundred dollars to donate to Robinson’s feeding program. The money was well earned by the group of youngsters who were rewarded this morning after performing at the brunch organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Belize City Council. 7news was there for the handing over. If you would like to make any donations towards Robinson’s feeding program, he can be contacted at telephone number 623-3662.

Channel 5

Domestic Violence Claims Another Life
The details of the latest murder in Belize City are all-too-familiar and tragic. The life of a young woman, a mother of a four year old son, was taken in [...]

P.U.P. National Executive Meets – 10 Missing
The People’s United Party today held a National Executive meeting this afternoon to deal with a revolt in the ranks. Twelve standard bearers including John Briceño, Dan Silva and Cordel [...]

No Sanctions for Absent Standard Bearers
The P.U.P.’s National Executive numbers forty-eight, which includes thirty-one standard bearers. Thirty-four were present today which represents a comfortable majority and gives the party some breathing room. And that breathing [...]

Fonseca’s Leadership is Unchallenged
The letter signed by twelve standard-bearers focused prominence on a call for a national convention. While it wasn’t exactly spelled out in so many words, the explicit message being sent [...]

Patrick Faber Says Fonseca is a Dictator
While the P.U.P. breathes a sigh of relief at a clear majority of the National Executive behind Fonseca, the U.D.P. continues to prepare for general elections which many speculate will [...]

Tells P.U.P. to Get Ready for General Elections
You may have heard Minister Faber say that a U.D.P. National Convention is overdue, but they have agreed to wait until after the general elections. That’s another reliable indicator that [...]

Morales Says the Claim Must be Resolved
Since the beginning the week, the Organization of American States along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organized a number of activities to draw attention to work of the [...]

Are Belize’s Borders Demarcated?
But Guatemala is claiming fifty percent of the country, and border incidents such as the one involving the Forward Operating Base in the Sarstoon often inflame emotions on this side. [...]

Protesters Demonstrate Outside Peace Forum
The comments made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs inside the Bliss prompted a protest outside. The forum, which aimed to promote peace, did not end quite peacefully for a [...]

COPA Airlines Comes to Belize
Panama’s flagship carrier, Compania Panamena de Aviacion, simply known as Copa Airlines, announced earlier today that as of December eight it will be offering two weekly flights to Belize City.  [...]

New Flight Will Ease Access to the Americas
The flight from Belize to Panama is designed to provide connectivity to principal cities in Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Chile and a list of others.  According to Minister of Tourism [...]

3 Years for Sexually Assaulting Minor
A Vernon Street man who was accused of performing oral sex on a thirteen year old primary school girl was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment which is the [...]

Faber Wants to Be PM Someday
Earlier U.D.P. Collet Area Representative Patrick Faber spoke on the P.U.P., and on the prospect of coming elections, but he also took the time to speak about his own aspirations. [...]

UB Staffers Request Salary Adjustment
And from politics to Faber’s official position as Minister of Education. News Five has confirmed that following on the heels of a protest by K.H.M.H. employees just over a week [...]

Minister of Educations Speaks on New UB Insurance Plan
There’s another brewing story coming out of the University of Belize, where we understand students have been informed that they must now obtain mandatory insurance. If they don’t apply and [...]

Faber Takes on Deacon Cal
The Ministry of Education continues to be embroiled in a testy relationship with Deacon Cal Cathers, who owns the BRC publishing and printing company. BRC provides some textbooks to the [...]

Ariel Rosado Hosts Scholarship Award Ceremony
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Education Foundation held its fourth annual scholarship award ceremony at the Lion’s Den in Belize City.  Proudly, it announced that the number of scholarships granted to [...]


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#506278 - 07/30/15 11:11 AM Re: Today's Belize News: July 30, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

CTV3

DOE Access development In Consejo Area
Today as our reporter stationed in Corozal travelled along the Consejo Road he took notice of an ongoing development in the area. Most noticeable was the fact that a huge area had been bulldozed for subdivision of land and that almost every single tree on the property was cleared. Immediately we set to find out if the Department of Environment was aware of such an activity as they are the entity responsible for the issuing of permits known as environmental clearance. Viewers might recall that on the 27th of July the Department of the Environment issued a release in which it stated that Environmental Clearance is required by law, under the Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations and it would only be granted through a letter issued by the DOE. The release also stated that such clearance can only be obtained from the DOE based on an environmental screening process. This process is important for developments in Belize to operate under as it will offer the best environmental safety standards and will minimize potential negative impacts to human health and the environment.

External Figures Shows An Increase In Importation
And while the figures of cost of living reveal a small decline from last year, the external trade bulletin reveals that during the month of June 2015, Belize imported goods valued at $189.2 million which is equivalent to 20.1 percent or 31.7 million increase from last year June. The bulletin also revealed that ‘Machinery and Transport Equipment’ had the largest increase of almost $16 million, from $31 million to $47 million, due to purchases of sailboats and airplanes during the month. ‘Manufactured Goods’ grew by more than $6 million, to almost $24 million, the result of growth in the imports of various construction supplies. Additionally, a spike in wheat seed purchases led to a $5 million increase in imports of ‘Food and Live Animals’. In contrast, ‘Mineral Fuels and Lubricants’ fell from $17 million to $14 million, owing both to a decrease in the quantity of fuel imported as well as to lower fuel prices on the world market, compared to last June. Goods destined for the Commercial Free Zone grew by almost $4 million, as importation of cigarettes and clothing continued their upward trend.

San Andres Resident Lodges Complain Against Corozal Police
Last night we told about the two reports of alleged police brutality lodged against the Orange Walk Police Department. Tonight there is another complaint but this time being made against the Corozal Police Formation. According to Fernando Barrios, a resident of San Andres Village, Corozal, on Sunday 26th July while celebrating his father’s birthday a misunderstanding ensued between his family and another member of the community, however, upon the arrival of police, he was the one detained. “Teníamos una fiesta mi papa cumplo 74 años cuando de un de repente se armó un desastre que la vecina que tiene una tienda de frente de nuestra casa con otros hombres de San Andrés mismo cruzaron el camino hasta donde estábamos nosotros y empezó una peleadera y luego se calmó la peleadera pero no se quien llamo la policía y ellos llegaron a buscarme a mí en especial.”

Group Of Member Owners Write To LICU Board Of Directors
With one thousand plus signatures in hand a group of members/owners of La Inmaculada Credit Union sent a letter to the Board of Directors of the institution today. The letter is directed to the chairlady of the Board of Directors Ena Martinez. In it the members/owners are requesting that the Annual General Meeting, which is way over due, to be held on August 15th as per article nine of the credit union by-laws. The letter further states that during the meeting the members/owners are asking for the following pointers to be discussed. One: Delay in 2015 annual general meeting, 2: Report of Audit, 3: Dividends due and four: Termination of Mrs. Yolanda Gomez. Attached to the letter are the more than 1,000 signatures of member/owners gathered by the group. The letter along with the signatures were also sent to Glenford Ysaguirre the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize.

COPA Airlines Offering Two Weekly Flights From Panama City To Belize City
This morning at a press conference in Belize City, an introduction to present Belize’s newest airline carrier was made among officials in Civil Aviation and officials from the Copa Airlines. Starting December 8th, 2015 Copa airlines will be offering 2 weekly flights to Belize City from Hub de la Americas Panama City, Panama. With this new addition, Copa Airlines will now expand its route to 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central, South and the Caribbean with Belize being the 7th in Central America. With the addition of Belize, they are now covering all of Central America, strengthening their regional leadership. A release from the Airline reveals that all flights are local time and the flight time is approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. Officials say the flight from Belize to Panama was programmed to provide convenient connection to Sao Paulo, Brazil; San Jose, Costa Rica; Bogota, Cartagena and Medellin in Colombia; Santiago de Chile, Chile; Quito and Guayaquil in Ecuador; Managua, Nicaragua; Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago; Havana, Cuba; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Lima, Peru.

SIB Releases Consumer Price Index figures
The June figures in respect to the cost of living were released by the Statistical Institute of Belize today and according to the release falling fuel prices and lowered international airfare contributed to a negative 0.8percent in consumer prices as compared to last year’s statistics. The All-Items Consumer Price Index stood at 102.8, down from 103.6 in the same month last year. For the first six months of this year, an inflation rate of negative 0.9 percent was recorded. According to the report, the prices per gallon of all three types of fuel fell considerably in comparison to June 2014. Prices of premium and regular gasoline were both down by about 18 percent, while diesel recorded the most marked decline amongst them, falling by about 25 percent. Similarly, international airfares were down by almost 25 percent compared to June of last year. On average, food prices declined marginally by 0.1 percent when compared to last year June statistics.

C-NET Belize Advocates For People Living With HIV Aids
C-NET Belize, is the Collaborative Network of Persons Living with HIV in Belize, their mission is to improve the quality of life of all persons living with HIV in Belize by promoting positive health, dignity, prevention, Human Rights, effective legislation, monitoring universal access and advocating for the greater and more meaningful involvement of persons with HIV in decision making processes through the establishment of a self sustained and empowerment network of persons with HIV in Belize. The group works hand in hand with REDCA, the Central American Network of Persons Living with HIV. Director of C-NET Belize, Erika Castellanos spoke to us more in detail about the purpose of C-NET.

C-NET Belize Fights Against Stigma And Discrimination
There is no doubt that the fear surrounding the emerging HIV epidemic in the 1980s persists today. It is known as stigma and discrimination. In the 1980’s, very little was known about how HIV was transmitted, which made people scared of those infected due to fear of contagion. To date while time has evolved and there is much more information available about the disease one thing that has not changed is the stigma and discrimination that people suffering with HIV face. And that is where CNET Belize comes in. According to Erika Castellanos, Director of CNET Belize, despite the difficulty in telling a person what to do when it comes to stigma and discrimination, CNET does its best to educate the general public so as to minimize the problem.

Orange Walkena Complains Against Police Brutality
Complaints of the excessive use of force by officers of the Orange Walk Police Department are regularly aired in our newscasts. Tonight, there are two allegations to add to the growing list. In the first instance, Samantha Carlos told us that over the weekend her encounter with the police was not a friendly one as the officers were too aggressive. Carlos alleges that while she and some family members were in the process of getting their vehicle towed from Corozal to Orange Walk, they experienced a small hiccup with the tow chain bursting and one of the occupants getting hurt. With the assistance of villagers from San Jose the chain was reattached, and the journey to Orange Walk resumed. That is when the situation got out of control, says Carlos. “We were coming from Corozal and we have had an engine failure and a kind Samaritan offered assistance and we were being towed and at the bump the rope burst and it gave the pick up a sudden jerk and my little brother who was sitting down had a little accident and we got out to try to assist him as best as we can and I wasn’t driving any vehicle upon inspecting the injures I realize that he needed to seek medical attention at the hospital so insisted that we drive to the hospital...

Belize Not Doing Enough When It Comes To Human Trafficking
Yesterday we told you about Belize being among several countries which were downgraded to Tier 3 in status for not doing much to combat the global endemic of Trafficking in persons. And in a more in-depth look at the situation, the UN Special report reveals that Belizean women and girls were subjected to sex trafficking by family members, but the government has not arrested family members engaged in this form of trafficking. Child sex tourism, involving primarily U. S. citizens, is an emerging trend, concentrated in areas where tourism is important to the local economy. Sex trafficking and forced labor of Belizean and foreign women, girls, and LGBT persons, primarily from Central America, occurs in bars, nightclubs, brothels, and domestic service. Some recommendations made in the report as a country is to proactively implement the anti-trafficking law by vigorously investigating and prosecuting suspected traffickers; publicly acknowledge and condemn instances of official complicity and take steps to hold officials complicit in trafficking accountable.

LOVE FM

3 Years in Jail for Sexually Assaulting Minor
Charles Buckner, charged with sexual assault on a female minor, was sentenced to three years today by the Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith after he was found guilty of the charge. The incident occurred around 11:55 a.m. on July 16, 2013. The minor, who was 12 years old at the time, testified that she was […]

Social Media, Micah and Yasmin
While those in the upper echelons of the People’s United Party are having their own internal woes and battles, there seems to be one fight between two junior party members that is making its own waves on the social media. Micah Gooding is no stranger to the news as he had emerged as a dynamic […]

Fonseca Says the G-10’s Absence Further Erodes Confidence
The ten standard bearers made moves that can be described as audacious in the political arena. Daring enough that with Fonseca once again cementing his post as party leader may just lead to a mere tolerance of the G-10 and nothing more. While Fonseca’s statement to the media did not show any hard feelings, he […]

Did the Doctor and the Major Leave G-10 Out in the Cold?
As you heard earlier there were a dozen men who made up the initial group that broke away just last week ….. but today, there are only ten as two of the men who signed the letter of demands, namely, Francis Smith and Major Lloyd Jones seem to have had a change of heart and […]

Where Was The G-10 at Today’s PUP Meeting?
With the resolution passed that Francis Fonseca will not be challenged in the upcoming National Convention for the PUP, it is interesting to see how things will unfold in the coming days with the G-10 who had dared to pose demands on the party. And while that is left to be seen, we focus on […]

PUP Passes Resolution For Fonseca Not To Be Challenged in Upcoming National Convention
And Fonseca did make a statement where he announced with absolutely no reservation that he will be remaining in the seat of the PUP’s Party Leader, a position he has held since the last party convention in 2011. According to Fonseca, the meeting had quorum and with that it was decided that he remains at […]

PUP Meets Again; Ten Standard Bearers A No-Show
Of the forty odd members that make up the National Executive of the People’s united Party there were ten persons notably absent from the Independence Hall in Belize City this afternoon where the blue and white party held a joint National Executive and Standard Bearers meeting. Just last week a letter was sent to the […]

Women’s Commission Condemns Recent Violent Incidents Against Women
The National Women’s Commission issued a release today condemning the recent spate in gender based violence. The release says quote, “The National Women’s Commission (NWC) strongly condemns a vicious series of gender-based violence incidents that have occurred in Belize over the last month, the latest being the vicious slaying this morning of 21- Merlin Elizabeth […]

Young Mother Found Murdered in Her Room
A 21-year-old woman was killed in Belize City this morning. The body of Merlin Elizabeth Herrera Mejia was found in a room at a residence on Morning Glory Street. Inspector Alejandro Cowo, Crimes Investigation Branch told us more. ALEJANDRO COWO “On today’s date at 6:50am acting upon information received, Police visited 4333 it is a […]

PlusTV

More charges levied against Mayans over Myles detention
Last month, charges were laid against villagers of Santa Cruz for unlawful imprisonment of Rupert Myles, who was found squatting on Mayan Communal land and accused of destroying a Sacred Mayan mound at Uxbenca. Today, additional charges were levied against some of the thirteen villagers who detained...

PUP leader addresses signed petition he received
The People’s United Party has been in the news almost every night last week over reports of disunity within the party allegedly evidenced by boycotts of meetings and the organization of secret meetings minus PUP executives. Yesterday, we reported on the petition that was submitted to the Party Leade...

Lawyers not ready for Petrocaribe case
Today was the date set for the trial of the lawsuit filed by member of the House of Representatives for Cayo South, Honorable Julius Espat against Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Development Honorable Dean Barrow. Over vociferous objections, the Prime Minister has pushed through ...

Young Innovators Program introduces “credit-card” computer to schools
The Raspberry Pi is a relatively inexpensive basic computer invented several years ago by persons interested in reviving creativity in the field of computer science. It is now being introduced to Belize as the centerpiece of the second year of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC)’s Young Inno...

Summer School Programme closes in the Twin Towns
A number of children have successfully completed a summer course held for primary school students of the twin towns and received a certificate of completion this week. It is an annual Summer school programme spearheaded by Peter Lacey. He told us more about the programme. Peter Lacey – Summer...

Belize receives low score for combating human trafficking
Belize did not do well in the latest Trafficking in Persons report 2015, also known as TIP report published by the US state Department. In the TIP Report, the Department of State places each country onto one of three tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the “...

13 year old girl found, parent annoyed with cops
Since last week Tuesday, 13 year old Jacqueline Carmen Calderon was missing after she was sent to a restaurant on Albert Street, Belize City, to purchase phone credits. She did not return home and her family has been worried for almost an entire week. Thankfully, Jacklyn has since been found and wh...

Accident on Highway involves butane truck
There was a minor accident on the George Price Highway this morning, but it could have been major as it involved a butane truck. The image was captured by one of our viewers as the butane truck was spraying butane in the air after the accident. Fire service was on the scene and had to use foam to e...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize joins regional organization of municipal bodies
Last week there was a gathering of leaders of municipal bodies in Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. It took place in San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye and Belize City Mayor Darrell Bradley, who heads the Belize Mayors Association, says the meeting was to finalize […]

City Mayor denies neglecting duties
Belize City’s chief executive Darrell Bradley has been out of the news for a while but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been busy. Today he gave us an update on what has been happening around the City in the last few months. The Council continues to build streets […]

Ariel Rosado Foundation hands out 33 scholarships
The Ariel Rosado Memorial Foundation has grown from strength to strength since its formation following the death of its namesake, a cyclist and promising attorney-at-law, in 2011. It has doubled the number of scholarships it is giving out at all levels of the education system and is on […]

PUP leadership makes concessions to Group of 12
Twenty-one of 31 standard bearers of the People’s United Party (PUP) were present at today’s pivotal meeting of the National Executive and party standard bearers at Independence Hall in Belize City. Earlier this week, 12 standard bearers from across the country wrote PUP leader Francis Fonseca and Chairman […]

June economic statistics released
Average prices continue to fall according to the Statistical Institute of Belize (SIB) which reported today that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June of 2015 declined by 0.8%. The Institute says the biggest influence was fuel prices which are much lower this year than last. The half-year […]

Convicted molester given three years
Charles Bucknor will serve three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 12 year old girl in July of 2013. He was found guilty by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith who disbelieved his claims of innocence. Bucknor had been hired by the victim’s grand aunt to repair the ceiling […]

Inmate will serve more time for drugs
The woes of prison inmate 22 year old Kevin Bodden, already serving a three-year prison term for a conviction for grievous harm, increased when he learned he would get an additional year for possession of a controlled drug. Bodden was promptly arrested, charged and pleaded guilty to the […]

BELIZE ~ A POST-ELECTION VIEW FROM UNDER THE BUS, PART II
Today there are change-seeking rumblings inside a troubled People’s United Party. A small core around the leader wants the party as their own…to the exclusion of many who have sacrificed much and given long years of service to the party. Anyone who so much as question the party […]

Rain break interrupts fair weather pattern
Generally fair weather continues to prevail over the country and only a slight increase in moisture will occur tonight. The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting mostly sunny skies with a few cloudy spells, isolated showers or thunderstorms today. Tonight, skies will be cloudy with showers and thunderstorms increasing […]

Children’s breakfast promotes peace between Belize and Guatemala
The Belize City Council, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Organization of American States (OAS) today hosted children from Belize and Guatemala at the BTL Park in Belize City at a breakfast intended to celebrate the youngest citizens of both countries and promote peace and harmony. In welcoming the […]

Police seek common-law husband in domestic dispute turned apparent murder
Eastern Division (South) police are seeking Honduran Ulises Mayorga to assist them in the investigation into the killing of 21 year old Merlin Elizabeth Herrera Mejia, his former common-law wife. Mejia’s body was discovered this morning around 6:50 at her Morning Glory Street residence with cut wounds to the neck […]

San Pedro Police find Marijuana in Water Taxi
San Pedro Police has labelled more than 400 grams of Cannabis as “Found Property” after an afternoon discovery was made in a water Taxi on Monday, July 27th. Police reports are that around 12:30 p.m on the mentioned date, a green package was found in the cargo area of the […]

Mayor of Orange Walk weighs in on present PUP crisis
As the Mayor of Orange Walk Town, and the only elected PUP Mayor nationwide, I feel I have to weigh in on the present crisis inside our party. If we are to judge from our leader’s comments on Plus TV yesterday, he has opted for strident militancy […]

Murder in Belize City
There has been a murder reported on Morning Glory Street behind the headquarters of Belize Water Services Limited, around 8:00 a.m today. A young woman was found with her throat reportedly slit. More details will be posted as they become available.

“Patriotic Belizeans” ruining peace process?
Minister for Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington has suggested that the actions of some Belizeans are responsible for the main issues Belize has with Guatemala. Appearing with opposite number Carlos Raul Morales on Channel 5’s Open Your Eyes on Tuesday, he stated that there is now no threat to Belize by […]

Human trafficking report overvalues convictions: BATC chair
Chair of the Belize Anti-Trafficking Committee (BATC) and CEO in the Ministry of Human Development Judith Alpuche has hit back at a report released this week by the U.S. State Department which downgraded Belize to Tier 3, which threatens country funding. Alpuche told News 5 that the report does not […]

PUP showdown or boycott: Fonseca vs. G-12
Today, the People’s United Party (PUP) will try again to have a full meeting of the National Executive and party standard bearers at Independence Hall in Belize City. In the wake of public revelations where twelve standard bearers raised concerns about the party’s direction, called for an immediate National Convention; […]

Blogs

Buying a bike in Belize
While bikes are used for transportation worldwide, there are some countries where bikes are a “way of life.” Belize is one of those places and you will see the most interesting uses for bikes. Parents balancing one or more children, a child in a bike basket, or holding a baby and one handedly navigating the cobblestone or potholed dirt roads. Then there is the guy who is able to use his bike as a cargo vehicle and carry all kinds of crazy things like two heavy 5 gallon water jugs, full cases of beer on his handlebars or a weed-wacker and a propane tank. All this takes place on our narrow and often busy busy roads and makes for very interesting people watching when you are out and about. If you have lived here for any amount of time or been a repeat vacationer, you know that Belize shopping can be a total crap shoot to say the least. You never know if you will find what you want and if you do at what price. I briefly considered the mainland but that thought did not last long. I knew what I wanted and I knew the one store in San Pedro that I’d possibly find it again was Harmouche Hardware, and this time I was hoping for candy apple red. Being realistic, I decided unless my color choice was god awful, I was not going to wait to have one sent in if there were none in stock. Handle bars were the real deal breaker for me. I like the high ones that help you sit upright easier while riding. Thankfully they had the right ones and I ended up with a navy bike for my choice. The other bike my size was a boys bike and a flatter red. Cost of my new bike was $295 BZD and basket $40 for a total of $335 BZD. A great price and little to no increase since my past purchase.

Chicken and cashews
Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce, sherry, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, and chicken in a large bowl; toss well to coat. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons cornstarch, broth, oyster sauce, and honey in a small bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from pan. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add onion, celery, and bell pepper to pan; sauté 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Return chicken mixture to pan; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth mixture. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with green onions and cashews.

International Sourcesizz

Copa Launching Flights to Belize
Starting this December, Copa Airlines will be offering its first-ever service to Belize. The Panama-based carrier will be operating two weekly direct flights between Panama City and Belize City. With this addition, Copa Airlines is now covering all of Central America, and has reached 71 total cities and 31 countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean. “The connectivity will open enormous opportunities for tourism and commercial development for this interesting Caribbean country, as well as allowing for tourist from the same region to have the opportunity to enjoy all the tourism and commercial strengths Belize has to offer,” said Pedro Heilbron, CEO of Copa Airlines.

Hands-on learning in Belize
While most high school students spend their summers by the pool and at the mall with friends, 29 teenagers from Davidson Day School just returned home from Belize as part of one of the only research projects in the world of its kind. Mat Saunders, archeologist and teacher at Davidson Day, created this research program in 2006 when he was teaching at a public school in Florida. Since then, he has been taking high school students to western Belize to study archeology and discover treasures. This summer’s excavations yielded obsidian blades and decorations, ceramic incense burners used for sacred rituals, a cache of ritually terminated ceramic pieces and utilitarian food preparation tools. This was the 10th year that high school students have worked at the ancient Maya site of Cahal Pech. The students, who must be rising 10-12-graders, start the application process in September. After filling out an application, the students get letters of recommendation from their teachers. Based on the applications and recommendation letters, students are then chosen for the research project over the summer with Saunders.

Fishing: Pearland’s O’Day wins tourney in Belize
Connie O’Day of Pearland won the inaugural competition of the The International Women’s Fishing Association’s Bonefish Tournament in Ambergris Cay, Belize. O’Day totaled 5,400 points as the long-time IWFA member earned her first ever IWFA tournament win. Not too far behind in points was Pam Marmin with 5,000 points, finishing ahead of two other anglers who also had the same point totals. They were Denise Freihofer, Stuart, FL and Susan McCarthy, Palm Beach, FL. Fourteen anglers from around the country convened to fish for the elusive grey ghost of the flats, the coveted bonefish. Amidst a tropical paradise, the ladies gathered before the tournament to shop, fish for other species not targeted during the tournament, and some brave girls even went swimming with sharks and stingrays.

Drug traffickers wiping out the jaguar in Central America
The jaguar roams jungles and riverbanks from the Amazon to Mexico, and even into the southwestern United States. It’s a powerful and cunning hunter, and a single cat’s territory can stretch hundreds of miles. The Aztecs called their most fearsome warriors “ocelotl” — jaguar soldiers. But now the jaguar is being defeated by a ruthless, modern-day warrior of a different sort: Powerful drug cartels are carving up its Central American natural habitat. In some areas, particularly in Honduras and Guatemala, the big cats are at risk of disappearing entirely. “Drug dealing in Honduras is definitely affecting jaguar conservation,” said Jorge Guardia, a conservationist with a major international environmental NGO in Honduras (his name has been changed and his employer’s identity concealed for fears of attacks by narco-traffickers). “Habitat destruction is the No. 1 threat, and money from drugs is fueling illegal activities in protected areas — mainly cattle ranching.” Honduras and Guatemala are at the epicenter of the global drug trade. They’ve also experienced some of the most extreme habitat loss in Latin America. In Honduras, the jaguar population is estimated at two per 39 square miles of habitat. By comparison, in neighboring Belize the population stands at 11 per 39 square miles.

Videos

  • Beth Azore at the Chaya Garden Ashram Belize Yoga Hot Spot, 22min. Our friend Beth describes the transformation that occurred for her during her yoga practice at Chaya Garden Ashram in Belize.

  • Belize Luck Summer tv ad, 1min. Belize Luck Summer Super Promotions

  • Isola Mohoki (Belize), 10min.

  • Bruk Down Party Belize by Anthony Brown - A Man of Yawyah, 15min.

  • UNTOLD STORIES (SHOW 1), 22min. from PGTV News Network

  • Belize Technology Report (episode 1), 50min. As seen on the "Greatest Places on Earth" TV series. Produced by Steve ODell. Technical direction by Cadet Henderson.

  • Belize Zoo in Central America, 5.5min.

  • Placencia scuba diving, Belize underwater, 7min.

  • Placencia, Belize, 12min.

  • Xunantunich Mayan Ruin Site in Belize, Central America, 8min.

  • A run through Placencia, Belize, 3min.

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