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#506841 - 08/21/15 11:22 AM Today's Belize News: August 21, 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

San Pedro welcomes NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
American National Basketball Association (NBA) Hall of Famer and six time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Kareem Abdul- Jabbar is on Ambergris Caye. During a 20 year career with NBA franchise Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks Abdul-Jabbar set records and today remains the NBA’s all -time leading scorer with 38,387 points.

SPSC launches Special Needs Sail Training program
On Friday, August 14th, the San Pedro Sailing Club (SPSC) hosted the first ever Special Needs Sail Training Program session. With equipment being provided by the Belize Sailing Center, one island child living with a disability was trained in Optimist sailing techniques. The Special Needs Sail Training session was a collaborative effort between SPSC and Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish.

El Pescador donates to San Pedro Town Library
26 children’s books were donated to the San Pedro Town Library on Thursday, August 13th courtesy of El Pescador Resort. The donation was well received and with the new school year quickly approaching, children will now have more material to continue developing their reading skills at the library. Assistant Librarian, Brianne Leiva received the donation and encourages everyone to continue make good use of the library services. “We are happy to continue getting the support from everyone and of course the helpful donations that improve our services. The library offers a wide range of services such as access to internet, assistance in research for students, vast information of different topics, educational programs as well as an open space for meetings which can be arranged ahead of time,” said Leiva.

Ambergris Today

El Salvador Offers Specialty Scholarships to Belizean Doctors
Minister of Health Hon. Pablo Marin recently returned from an official visit to San Salvador, El Salvador on the invitation of the Minister of Health of El Salvador, Dr. Elvia Violeta Menjivar and her deputy, Dr. Julio Robles Ticas. The three-day visit from the 12th – 14th August allowed for further discussions to finalize a Memorandum of Understanding for mutual health benefits in human resource development and information sharing between both countries. While negotiations continue, the Government of El Salvador has offered to provide free services through the visit of a medical team at the end of this month and has also offered 21 scholarships in various medical specialty areas to Belizean doctors.

Channel 7

Prime Minister Meets With NTV; Common Cause Reached
Last night, you saw extensive coverage of the Prime Minister's Press Conference in which he discussed the issues and implications surrounding the activities of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. He praised the patriotism of the volunteers, and announced that a diplomatic protest has been made against the aggressive incursion of the Guatemalan Navy, but, after all that, he implored the volunteers not to make another trip to the Sarstoon River and Island. Part of the reason for that is the danger to civilians, but also because it strains the military relations between the Belize and Guatemalan armies. Brigadier General David Jones said it plainly: because of the actions of the territorial volunteers, the lives of his soldiers are being endangered. But, still, the Prime Minister today held a meeting with the leaders of the Northern Territorial Volunteers, which is a completely separate group from the Belize Territorial Volunteers - though they share similar ideas and goals.

GOB Will Try To Chart A Protocol For Sarstoon
While Sunday's trip has, from the perspective of the Government, done more harm than good, it did clarify what the Guatemalan position is on the Sarstoon River. What they believe is that the Sarstoon Island and the entire Sarstoon River belongs to them, and they consider that while Belize is part of their country, the Belizean territory starts north of the banks of the Sarstoon River. Right now, there is no protocol on how the militaries and civilian law enforcement agencies of both countries should engage each other while on the Sarstoon River. There is the well-established protocol of linkup patrols between both militaries at the Western Border. So, now that the lives of the soldiers who operate at Cadenas are being endangered, there is an urgent need of a protocol for the Sarstoon area. That is made even more urgent by the fact that, as you heard in our interview, the Northern Territorial Volunteers intend, at some point in the near future, to make another trip at Gracias A Dios, a border marker also accessible by only boat travel through the river. The Prime Minister and Government recognizes the need for the establishment of that protocol for Sarstoon, and he discussed what actions will be taken to address the issue:

Despite the Warnings, Wil Maheia Will Go Back To Sarstoon
And if you thought the warning about the dangers to civilians would have been heeded by the leaders of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, you thought wrong. This morning, while the Prime Minister was meeting with the Northern Territorial Volunteers, Wil Maheia, the founder of the Volunteer activist movement, and the leader of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, was part of a press conference held by the independent political party, Vision Inspired by the People. He declared on national television that not only will the Territorial Volunteers continue to visit the Sarstoon Area, they will try to patrol with the military. Here's how he described it: Wil Maheia - Founder/Leader, Belize Territorial Volunteers "As a member of the BTV, I want the Belizean public to know today, because it's not the first time that they have said to the Belizean public that the BDF makes weekly Tuesday patrols on the Sarstoon River. Well, take not BDF.

LICU Board Drops A Bomb; Half A Mill In Mismanagement And Loss
For months, the dispute between the La Inmaculada Credit Union and its former General Manager Yolanda Gomez has been simmering. That culminated at the end of July when Gomez was terminated - after 24 years at the Credit Union. Since then, members who support her have circulated a petition and enough of them signed it, to force a special general meeting on Saturday in Orange Walk. The petition has four points - and the last asks about the dismissal of Gomez - who, after two decades at the biggest credit union in the north - had become a quote beloved figure in the community - one who has popular support. Sensing perhaps that her supporters could be gaining momentum which would lead to further upheaval at Saturday's Annual General Meeting - the Board of Directors has done a most unusual thing. The President Ena Martinez recorded a 12 minute statement making some rather dramatic disclosures about the tenure of Yolanda Gomez. She says these are the findings of a special audit by Chartered Accountant Cedric Flowers and a review by the Central Bank:

Eastern Division South Tries To Reach Out To PIV
For weeks we've been reporting on the re-structuring of the biggest police formation in the country - that's the eastern division. Unless you've been under a rock somewhere you'll know that it's been split into three: Easter-South, Eastern North and Eastern Rural. The top brass says it's made for better policing - and the media can tell you it's made for a lot more news. We're not the kind to look gift horses in the mouth, but the new commanders have sure been busy with press appearances. Tonight we have three - one from each formation: south, north and rural. We start in the southside - where community policing is the operative terms. The commanders have been busy making visits in neighborhoods that have gang problems. The area called "back a complex" is one of those - where the PIV gang is dominant. Today we found the second in command for the Southside in the area of Lacroix Boulevard and he told us that making community interventions saves them from having to respond to crime:. Alden Dawson, OC - Police Precinct 2 "We intend to sustain this as long we need to and that will definitely continue." Jules Vasquez "Now these specific officers you have out here are they the community officers that ae tasked to work this area?"

Mayor's Political Opponent Claims Uneven Taxation In Caribbean Shores
On last week Wednesday, we told you about the forums held by the Belize City business community and Mayor Darrell Bradley's administration to discuss how to fix what is broken with tax regime of the city. As we told you, the Mayor's plan is at the initial stage to give all tax payers a 50% reduction in the short term. That's while the task force set up to deal with this issue can come up with solutions to overhaul the entire system. Well, PUP's Kareem Musa, the Opposition's standard bearer for Caribbean Shores, takes issues with the tax break. Musa claims to be representing the sentiments of tax payers in Caribbean Shores, and as viewers know very well, he's Bradley's political opponent in that constituency. He says that he's been going around to the voters in the area, and the urgent concerns of those who've spoken to him is that the tax system is uneven in the way it is assessed. And so, those residents and business owners from that area say that they are paying higher taxes than the other 9 constituencies in the city.

VIP...
At the top of the news, we told you about how the independent political party, Vision Inspired by the People, held a press conference to discuss their perspective of Sunday's trip to Sarstoon Island, and how the Government handled the situation. Not surprisingly, they condemn it, and they say that it is just another example of how the other Mass political party has mishandled the situation while in Government. Here's a few excerpts from their comments: Paco Smith - Member, VIP "I am a member of the BTV and I stood in solidarity with patriotic individuals like Wil Maheia and the brother form the diaspora Mr. Hubert Pipersburgh just to name a few. I feel compelled to stress this point, because a long with the aforesaid gentleman the VIP has been on the frontline with the BTV long before it became politically expedient, fashionable or even involved to accompany the BTV on its treks to the border areas." Wil Maheia - Leader, BTV/PNP "I was born and raise in the Toledo District and I have been going to Sarstoon River all my life and while growing up we work that river and there were several Belizean families living on the banks of the Sarstoon River. So, I don't know what has changed between then and now, but hearing the Commander making statements that it is almost impossible to build on the bank of the Sartsoon River tell me a lot the knowledge the commander have about the grounds in this country."

The Tribulations Of Joseph Nunez
Viewers may remember Joseph Nunez, he's the Belize City Council employee who made the news in June 2014 after he was arrested and charged by the police after he was caught with a weapon that he had no licensed for. His story was of high interest because critics of the oppressive gun law regime say that he ought not to have been charged and sent to jail because he was acting as a good samaritan. He said that he took away the gun from his friend who was a licensed holder because he was having marital problems and he had been drinking. Nunez says that he asked his friend to hand over the weapon for fear that he might use it on his wife. Unfortunately, he was stopped by police with the weapon on his way home, and that's when he was arrested and charged, no questions asked. Well he's been fighting his case, and on last week Friday, he told us how he managed to get himself acquitted of all charges a few weeks ago: Joseph Nunez - Former Prosecutor, Belize City Council "I was at my friend's house at 33rd Dougal Street socializing when I saw he and his wife got into an altercation, but prior to that, in the day he was at my house having some beers and he made mention that he and his wife were having some problems. So he ask me to accompany him to the house. Hence the reason I went over that side and while there, him and his wife got into an altercation. So I decided that just since I am your friend, hand over the firearm because I don't want you to use it on your wife."

Majestic Alley Gets Some Attention From City Cops
The clean-up efforts by the Eastern Police Department North continues in the city. Last week we told you about the cleanup campaign in the Pickstock area. Well today the police teamed up once again with CISCO and the Belize City council to tackle the Majestic Alley Community. The cleanup campaign started at 6 this morning.

Eastern Rural Cop Awarded For Bravery
This morning PC 225 Randy Lyons was awarded for bravery by the Eastern Police Division Rural. Lyons received a certificate and monetary award of five hundred dollars after saving the lives of the police youth cadet. The incident happened 2 weeks ago while on a trip in the Stann Creek district. The group of police cadets were attacked by killer bees. Some of the Police Cadets had to be taken to the Southern Regional hospital for medical treatment.

The Sarstoon; In A Time Of Calmer Waters And Moods
For the past 10 days, or so the Sarstoon Island has been dominating the headlines. And, it continued tonight. But, truth is this little scratch of territory has been making news from 2007. That's when we first visited - at the time the issue was also Guatemala - but it wasn't about the Navy more about the fishermen. But, what strikes us as we look at it now is how relaxed the river mouth was at that time - there was no confrontation, no ramming, just pretty much easy going. We were accompanying SATIIM and the then Minister of Fisheries Vildo Marin - and here's how our trip went:. Posted (January 19, 2007) This is called Sarstun Island - a small cluster of land at the middle of the mouth of the Sarstun River - and it's what fisheries personnel use to mark the boundary between Belize and Guatemala. 200 yards to the to the south, is Barra Sarstun a small Guatemalan fishing village. Made up mostly of thatch houses, it is where Guatemalan territory begins - and the village is most known for the small military base that the Guatemalan Armed Forces maintains there.

Channel 5

Northern Territorial Volunteers Meet with PM Barrow
This morning, three representatives from the Northern Territorial Volunteers met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his Belize City office. The NTV is a different entity from the Belize Territorial [...]

PM – Any Assertion of Sovereignty Should be Handled by B.D.F. and Diplomatic Corps
At a press conference on Wednesday, PM Barrow sent out an appeal that any assertion of sovereignty should be left to the military and to diplomats. B.D.F. Commander, Brigadier-General David [...]

Did B.T.V. Trek Change Status Quo of Military Encounters in Sarstoon?
Apart from accusing the BTV of endangering the lives of his soldiers, Brigadier General Jones goes further to blame them for the aggression of Guatemalan soldiers at the Sarstoon, claiming [...]

What’s Next for Territorial Volunteers?
So what’s next for the Northern Territorial Volunteers? Another expedition, of course! But it likely will not be back to the Sarstoon or to the Gracias a Dios border marker [...]

Prime Minister and B.D.F. Commander Sing From Different Hymn Books
The first release from the National Security Council, issued just before the expedition on Sunday, broke the news of “countless encounters” between the B.D.F. and Guatemalan military. The release speaks [...]

Wil Maheia Challenges B.D.F. to Build F.O.B. at Sarstoon
Brigadier General Jones has gone on record to say that the mutual relationship between the Guatemalan and Belizean armed forces is now vulnerable, thanks to the unsolicited trek to Sarstoon [...]

Failed Foreign Policies to Blame for B.T.V. Confrontation, Says V.I.P.
At a press conference held this morning, Vision Inspired by the People presented its position on what transpired in the Sarstoon over the weekend.  According to Paco Smith, the confrontation [...]

Is Fear of Dengue Reason Why B.D.F. is Reluctant to Build F.O.B. on Sarstoon Island?
So will the Coast Guard’s Forward Operating Base be constructed at the mouth of the Sarstoon? And if so…when? The F.O.B. has been on the drawing board for eight years [...]

Coast Guard Commander Explains Absence from B.T.V. Expedition
On Sunday, the Coast Guard made its presence felt in Barranco, as they checked to ensure the safety of passengers and vessels headed to the Sarstoon. But they couldn’t do [...]

Belize Unity Alliance Wants to Recruit You
The Belize Unity Alliance, an organization which aims to bring together and galvanize all third parties, is very much a part of the present geopolitical picture.  Led by former Placencia [...]

Driver in Fatal Road Traffic Accident Wanted by Ladyville Police
Last Friday, thirty-year-old Shane Goff and fifty-two-year-old Alden Locke were killed in a traffic accident that occurred around five-thirty between miles six and seven on the Philip Goldson Highway. The [...]

Police Officer Recognized for Rescuing Cadets from Killer Bees
Today, the Ladyville precinct of the Rural Eastern Division of the Police Department came alive as one of the officers attached to the formation was honored. Police Constable, two-two-five Randy [...]

Police and CitCo Clean Up Majestic Alley
Last week the Police, Belize City Council, and residents cleaned out the Pickstock Hutment known as the “The Jungle” and this week the Police Department is back at it again [...]

George Street Affiliate Arraigned for Attempted Murder
George Street associate, twenty-three-year-old Shane Harris Senior has been charged for the shooting of a seventeen-year-old on Sunday morning.  The minor was injured in a drive-by shooting at the corners [...]

Taxi Driver Michael Andrews Indicted on Rape Charge
A forty-five-year-old Belize City taxi man stands accused of raping a forty-one-year-old woman from the Belama area. Today, Michael Andrews Senior appeared unrepresented before Acting Chief Magistrate, Patricia Arana, where [...]

MusAid Hosts Music Workshop with National Youth Orchestra
MusAid is a non-profit organization that seeks to help musicians around the world is in Belize once again. Partnering with the National Youth Orchestra, MusAid, with the support of guest [...]

Healthy Living and Diarrhea Dos and Don’ts
It’s not one of the most comfortable issues to talk about but, as one of the most commonly reported illness; we figured there must be some information that you needed [...]

CTV3

PM Meets With Representatives of National Territorial Volunteers
Months after requesting an audience with the Prime Minister, today the Northern Territorial Volunteers were successful and met with the PM to discuss the groups concerns and objectives. President of the NTV, Giovanni De La Fuente spoke to the media after his briefing with the PM today in Belize City. De la Fuente says the PM has agreed and recognized that more education is needed about Belize’s border points. “Basically what occurred was that we came here and we met with the Prime Minister and we briefed him on the goals and objective of the NTV and as you well know the goals and objectives of the NTV briefly outlining it relates to educating the Belizean people about their border markers more specifically the Western Border marker between Guatemala and Belize so the Prime Minister has been enlightened and briefed about the goals and objectives of the NTV and we discussed the area of education and we both agreed that more needs to be done in the country of Belize to educate especially the primary schools...

BTV Leader Explains Incursions Are Happening Down South
And while the Prime Minister met with the leader of the Northern Territorial Volunteers, Giovanni De La Fuente, as was requested by the group some time ago, Belizeans and other representatives of the group and those of the Belize Territorial Volunteers were left wondering why the P.M did not meet with leader of BTV Wil Mejia. Was the Prime Minister looking to divide the volunteers? We spoke with Mejia today and he explained that the meeting with the PM was not related to the incursions down south. WIL MEHEIA – Leader, BTV: “No, no really I have no gripes I mean this is something that those guys send to the PM months ago and I believe as the PM used this as an opportunity to divide and conquer but I don’t think it will work in my opinion…” Maria Novelo – Reporter: “Have they told you what the outcome of that meeting is?” WIL MEHEIA – Leader, BTV: “Yes which basically hardly has anything to do with what we are doing so they focus more up north but the issue is happening down south and our issue is the incursion happening from Garbut Falls to the Sarstoon.”

PM Brushes Off Question Pertaining Minister Of foreign Affairs Actions
The statements made, in fact, the position taken by the Prime Minister in Wednesday’s press conference is notably different from that of the Foreign Minister who has been widely accused of being appeasing to the Guatemalans. When asked whether the Foreign Minister may be misrepresenting the Government’s position in the matter, the Prime Minister basically brushed the question off. Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “But you see sir, you based your question on a judgment you make on Mister Elrington’s utterances. I don’t know that I accept your judgment.” Reporter: “But it’s on the record sir…” Honorable Dean Barrow – Prime Minister of Belize: “But, but…I’m not saying I don’t, I’m not saying I do, but you surely will understand I can’t answer a question that’s premised on your judgment. All I can do sir, is to repeat that there are ministers, they are responsible for their portfolios, they make their statements in connection therewith. Ultimately, if I have to speak on any issue in any minister’s portfolio that becomes the authoritative line.”

First Hurricane Danny To Form In The Atlantic
Forecasters have their eyes on Hurricane Danny; the first storm of the Season to have developed into a full blown storm. According to the Hurricane Center in Washington, Danny has exploded to life overnight and is now a hurricane with sustained winds of 75 mph. Hurricane Danny’s forward speed is just 12 mph, meaning it is still about four days away from reaching the eastern Caribbean if it maintains this speed. The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center calls for Danny to maintain its hurricane strength through Sunday as it approaches the Lesser Antilles islands. The Hurricane Center suggests Danny will continue west toward the Caribbean over the weekend, reaching the Lesser Antilles on Monday and then weakening to a tropical storm. By Tuesday, Danny could be close to Puerto Rico, though there’s still a lot of uncertainty about whether Danny will be able to maintain any intensity through early next week. And given what we know now, it is still far too uncertain for anyone beyond the Leeward Islands to be on alert for Danny. The center stresses that the storm won’t reach the Leeward Islands for another four days, and a lot can change in the meantime. We’ll keep monitoring this storm and bring you updates.

LOVE FM

Prime Minister says no confusion on sovereignty of Sarstoon
On Wednesday Prime Minister Dean Barrow hosted a press conference to address the Sarstoon Island expedition which took place on Sunday. He said after revision of video footage and the report from the OAS, the Government is indeed sending a note of protest to Guatemala over the incident. While the protest note is reportedly on […]

Members of NTV meet with Prime Minister
Yesterday Prime Minister Dean Barrow said he would be meeting with Orlando de la Fuente of the Northern Territorial Volunteers. A meeting took place today but it was Orlando’s brothers, Giovanni and Phillip de la Fuente who met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow at his office on Coney Drive in Belize City. This meeting comes […]

BTV responds to BDF Commander
During the Prime Minister’s press conference yesterday, Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, expressed that due to the activities of the Belize Territorial Volunteers, his soldiers have begun having problems with Guatemalan Armed forces in that area. Leader of the BTV, Wil Maheia rebutted Jones’ assertions. He said Brigadier General Jones […]

More border expeditions planned
Like Wil Maheia, Giovanni de la Fuente will continue to lead expeditions to different border points. De la Fuente is more focused on educating people about the different border markers. Volunteers had travelled to the Gracias Adios border marking in March and had installed a plaque with the name “Belize” on it. However, days after, […]

LICU Board speaks of firing of General Manager
The controversy over the termination of Yolanda Gomez as the general Manager of the La Inmaculada Credit Union has taken another turn, as on Wednesday night, the Board of Directors issued a recorded statement. Before this, Gomez’s supporters have been asking for answers, something they said was not forthcoming from the Board of Directors. After […]

Former LICU Board President says more answers needed
And while members of La Inmaculada Credit Union wait for Saturday to get a detailed explanation about the special financial investigation currently underway at the institution, former Board of Directors President, Amory Jacobs has shared his opinion about the position taken by the current board. Jacobs has come down hard and critical about the statement […]

VIP stands firm on No to the ICJ
The Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, has been very vocal in regards to the Guatemala’s claim over Belize. Today the VIP called a press conference to reiterate their position on the matter and to demonstrate their support for the initiatives of the Belize Territorial Volunteers. Paco Smith – VIP ““The VIP calls on Belizeans […]

Man charged for attempted murder of minor
Twenty-three year old Shane Harris, an unemployed of a George Street address, who allegedly shot a 17-year-old minor, was charged with attempted murder when he appeared today before Acting Chief Magistrate Patricia Arana. Harris was also charged with grievous harm and use of deadly means of harm. Acting Chief Magistrate told him that she will […]

Taiwan donates to Belize’s celebrations
Taiwanese Ambassador Benjamin Ho today handed over a cheque of forty thousand dollars to the co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission, Diane Haylock. In presenting the cheque, Ambassador Ho reiterated the importance his Government places on culture promotion and exchange, and his appreciation for the rich cultural elements in the Calendar of Events in honour […]

Police Officer recognized for bravery
Today, PC 225, Randy Lyons, was recognized for his bravery. Two weeks ago, PC Lyons was out on a field trip down south with fellow police officers and police cadets. When they visited a cave, a swarm of killer bees attacked a group of cadets. PC Lyons’ quick thinking and response led him to save […]

Charges pending for fatal RTA
Last Friday we reported on a fatal traffic accident in which Alden Rudolph Locke and Shane Goff died. The accident happened between mile 6 and 7 of the Phillip Goldson Highway and it was reported that a white Mercedes Benz being driven at the time by twenty four year old Eaton Belisle, reportedly lost control […]

New film being shot in Toledo District
Paul Mahung reporting... “The movie production crew from California arrived earlier this week in Punta Gorda where filming of a movie entitled “Torch” began at different central locations in town. The director of the movie production is Christopher Coppola along with his son Bailey Coppola who as assistant director spoke of his love of Belize […]

Family gets new home
Today Love Foundation and its partners officially handed over a house to a single mother of three. Judy Turton reporting… “Two weeks ago we featured LIcia Diaz who had move into a new home. Diaz shared with us some of the challenges she faced, including abuse. Diaz’s new home was made possible through the efforts […]

Income generation project for prison inmates
When the public hears of the Kolbe Foundation, it is centered on work they do, that of managing the Belize Central Prison. Love News visited the prison where we got a closer look and some of what goes on behind the prison walls. Chief Executive Officer, Virgilo Murrillo told us about the efforts they have […]

PlusTV

Belize protests Guatemalan incursion at Sarstoon Island
Prime Minister Dean Barrow says that Guatemalan military boats intercepted Belizean Territorial Volunteers in Belizean Waters on Sunday. And the fact that armed forces of the Guatemalan navy entered Belizean waters in order to prevent unarmed Belizeans, members of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (...

How will military respond in wake of BTV incident?
There are many dimensions to the handling of the incident in the Sarstoon and one of them concerns military relations between Belize and Guatemala. Prime Minister Barrow told today’s gathering that one of the reasons why the BTV’s intervention was not needed is that the military, facing ...

P.M. defends Foreign Minister over media comment
Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilfred Elrington was silent for all of today’s Prime Ministerial Press Conference, and that is for a reason. The Minister, speaking in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s events to Amandala, insisted that formal confirmation from the OAS was needed and that t...

Verdes Held Its Ground
Belize’s Verdes FC played their debut match for the 2015 Scotia Bank Champions League at the FFB stadium last night after making its latest addition to the squad, bringing in three Brazilian players and star striker Deon McCauley. After an intense 95 minutes of game play, Verdes held their gro...

From Proud Rio Hondo to Old Sarstoon
Sunday, August 16th 2015 was a historic day in Belizean history, as over 120 Belizeans travelled to the Sarstoon Island to plant flags to show that the island is Belize’s and no Guatemalan claim can change that. The day started off by travelling to Punta Gorda to board Belizeans Vessels as they emb...

Hope for Life Completes One Year
Yesterday, August 18th marked the 1 year anniversary for the Hope For Life Pregnancy Center. The Hope For Life initiative started in August last year as the first pregnancy center in the Belmopan Area. One of the founding board members, Andrea Rodriguez, told us what has been accomplished in a year ...

Taxi driver charged with rape
Despite his protests, 45 year old taxi operator Michael Andrews of Kraal Road in Belize City has been accused of raping a 41 year old woman late last week. The complainant told police that on August 15 Andrews went to her residence in Belama Phase II and forced sexual intercourse with her. Andrews a...


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#506842 - 08/21/15 11:22 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 21, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The Guardian

PM Barrow Condemns Actions of Guatemalan
The Government of Belize sent “an extremely strong protest note” to the Government of Guatemala on Wednesday afternoon, August 19, for condemning the actions of its navy on the Belize side of the Sarstoon River on Sunday, August 16. Guatemalan naval boats intercepted five civilian vessels that were transporting Belizeans to the Sarstoon Island on a Sunday expedition. Based on accounts from the passengers on the boat, which included members of the group known as the Belize Territorial Volunteers and members of the media, the interception occurred “squarely in Belizean territory”. These testimonies were supported by the report of Magdalena Talamas, Chief of the O.A.S. Peace Fund, who observed the Belizean excursion. Talemas reports that the interception took place at “the mouth of the Sarstoon River”. Prime Minister Barrow said, “It is my belief that what the OAS describes as the mouth of the Sarstoon River, is clearly in Belizean waters, and that the Guatemalan Navy committed an incursion when they intercepted our boats at that spot.”

Francis Smith rips Francis Fonseca’s head off
It was an unusual occurrence on Sunday August 16 when Francis Smith defied his party leader, Francis Fonseca publicly. The defiance came after he along with 10 other dissenters to Fonseca's leadership had been publicly threatened by Fonseca that they had to attend a rally at Big Falls in the Toledo District or else face the consequences. Well Smith told him in no uncertain terms- go to hell- he not only boycotted the rally, but in a crude fashion called out Fonseca. On Sunday, while the rally was in full swing, he sat in his office in Belize City, called the media in and figuratively ripped Fonseca's head off. He went to great lengths to say that he could care less about any consequences that his absence from the rally would befall him. He even went further to call out Fonseca, again reiterating that there are at least 10 more like him who want Francis Fonseca removed as leader via an election.

Territorial Volunteers’ actions endangering BDF soldiers say
Prime Minister Dean Barrow held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the Sarstoon Island situation with the media. While Prime Minister Barrow gave the government’s position on the matter so too did the commander of the Belize Defence Force, General David Jones. In a plain spoken manner, Jones explained that what the territorial volunteers have been doing with visits to various locations on the border, and most recently the visit to the Sarstoon Island was not only ill advised but is putting in jeopardy decades of military practice which the BDF has been exercising. The BDF commander stated that as a result of the increased activity by civilians in the Sarstoon area the Guatemalan armed forces have changed the way they interact with the BDF as they go about doing their duties in the areas. He expressed concern that the Territorial Volunteers’ actions can change the military to military relationship between the two countries. Jones went further to state that the Guatemalan military boats now follow Belizean soldiers as they go to their posts in Cadenas, an action which was not done in the past. The entire involvement of civilians where military personnel should be the ones conducting their duties is actually endangering the BDF said Jones.

Doctor Smith Prescribes remedy to the PUP ailments
The Doctor on Sunday did a diagnosis on the patient named PEOPLE'S UNITED PARTY (PUP) Being an Orthopedic Specialist he ordered some X-Rays and an MRI for this patient, and as soon as those tests were completed the results revealed what we had all suspected since 2003 . The patient was suffering from a condition know as CORRUPTION SYMPLECTUS known locally as Rotten Bone Cancer. This is a condition where the rotten bone attacks the Pocket and causes holes to be made in the pocket causing the contents to fall out the pocket. There is only one treatment to stop this condition and that is bone transplant surgery and because this cancer has an opportunistic characteristic all those bones around the cancerous bones must also be removed. This cancer's survival is dependent on another condition known as NEPOTISM aka Family Connections /Oldguard Syndrome, so those too must also be removed. That is the only hope the patient has of returning to good health. The Prescription :- On Sunday Dr. Francis Smith, called the media to his office at Belize Medical Associates to explain that he didn't go to Punta Gorda because he has political work to do, rather than being in what he calls a show:...

BTL Welcomes 20 to Scholarship Family
Nineteen scholars from working class homes are getting ready to start their high school education with the assurance that financial limitations will not be an impediment to their education. Noelle Roberts, Luis Lara, Dalton Franklin Jr., Kayah Arnold, Kaylan Garbutt, Keisha Ferguson, Kristen LaCroix, Mikhael Smith, Sinead Ireland, Jenifer Guevara, Axel Ewan, Zeidy Ayuso, Brithney Longsworth, Antonie Sanchez, Glenford Pook, Jonathan Balan, Ashira Woods, William Locario and Luis Santos are recipients of the 2015 Belize Telemedia Limited Scholarship Awards. The scholarship recipients were hosted at a reception on Wednesday, August 19, at the Biltmore Plaza where BTL’s Chairman Nestor Vasquez congratulated the distinguished scholars. These individuals were selected from a pool of over 200 exceptional applicants. The BTL Scholarship Committee reviewed all applications and selected a group based on financial need, academic performance over the last three years of primary school and performance in the Primary School Examinations. Those candidates were called in for an interview with the committee during which they were asked questions that did not appear on the application form. Based on those interviews, the committee awarded scholarships to nineteen students.

A look at Belize’s public debt
I have heard several commentators make strong assertions about the state of the public finances and public debt, that have caused me to pause. Commentators have suggested, for example, that government is “borrowing at an unprecedented rate” or that the debt to GDP ratio has risen to “unprecedented levels”. These assertions tend to be made without providing the supporting evidence and, having been involved in finding solutions to the fiscal and debt crisis of the mid-2000’s, I know that these comments are not based on accurate information. A lot of information on the Belizean economy is available on the internet at the websites of the Central Bank of Belize, the Statistical Institute of Belize, the International Monetary Fund and other institutions and I encourage anyone interested in informed discussion, especially public commentators and opinion-makers, to peruse these data and to arm themselves with accurate information, so as not to inadvertently mislead the public.

Contract signed for more Belizean Cacao to be exported to Belgium
A contract was signed between the Toledo Cacao Growers Association and Dutch importer, Daarnhouwer, for an initial purchase of 14 metric tons of cacao beans in the next quarter. The contract was secured after a visit was made to Amsterdam in February by a team from Beltraide led by CEO Michael Sing. That was subsequently followed up by other meetings held in July to finalize the deal. With the signing of this first shipment there is the possibility that larger and more frequent purchases are made. Currently there are opportunities for the Toledo Cacao Growers Association to improve logistical distribution in Europe through contacts made by the Embassy in Amsterdam. There is also the possibility of accessing development funding for the industry in Brussels as well. These can include investment in the value chain of cacao supply. Accordin to Dylan Vernon, Ambassador of Belize to Belgium “there is significant interest in Europe in the high quality organic beans Belize produces and this deal is just a small first step.”

Sarstoon Island not suitable for forward operating base
General David Jones on Wednesday August 19 declared that based on studies of the Sarstoon Island, it is not suitable for the construction of a forward operating base as had been intended by the Coast Guard to do law enforcement in the area. Jones said that at this point there is no issue with constructing a forward operating base however there has been difficulty in trying to locate an appropriate site for the base's construction. He said that the terrain on the Sarstoon Island is swampy and "it is not practical to build a base there, even if it is strategic to build a base there to say the island is ours." He continued to say that the BDF has located two areas on the north side of the Sarstoon River that may be able to accommodate a building to house soldiers properly.

Nothing gained from Sarstoon trip
Just over 160 Belizeans went on a foolhardy trip to the Sarstoon Island, which is a relatively short distance from the mouth of the Sarstoon River. No one can dispute the collective sigh of relief that this was not a misadventure for those citizens; there was no injury, or loss of life. But, as was foretold, the Guatemalans did confront the persons who went on that expedition. It could have been a lot worse, but fortunately, the Government did its very best to ensure that while they did not have a military escort, diplomacy at its highest levels were employed to de-escalate the possibility of any kind of violent confrontation. Our correspondents who were on the ground observed the entire trip and can bear testimony that at Barranco Village, the Coast Guard and officers of the police department showed up to assist the expeditioners. They worked to ensure that everyone who was entering the boats, did so under conditions that would not put their lives at risk. The 5 boats were not overloaded when they left the Barranco Village Pier, and none of the participants had any weapons on them, so there could be no mistaking any act of aggression because arms were drawn.

Financial Institutions reach out to students in Belmopan
Three of Belize’s main and long-standing financial institutions registered their presence on Wednesday of this week at the University of Belize’s (UB) Central Campus in Belmopan to lobby students and offer them an array of financial services. This is to coincide with the two weeks of orientation, where some 1,500 promising and eager students are expected to visit the UB campus. Lecturer of the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences Audry Pascacio described to the Guardian that this is the first time that a Financial Lenders’ Fair is being held at UB and it is hoped that the event will be held at least yearly and at the beginning of every Semester. The event is being held to sensitize UB and Senior High School students to the funding that is now available for their higher education.

Taiwan’s culture of selflessness
Between July 20th to the 26th myself and 5 other journalists from St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent, Nauru, Kiribati, and Swaziland got the rare opportunity to visit Taiwan. It was an initiative through the Department of International Information Services in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan. This arm of government organizes various familiarization tours to Taiwan for the sole purpose of familiarizing members of media organizations to various aspects of Taiwan's culture. Manfred P.T. Peng the Director-General of the department says that on average there are two groups of journalists who visit Taiwan per month. For Belize it meant that myself along with a 6-member press group visited Taiwan. Having had some understanding of the grueling hours of flight time that it would take in order for me to reach, it was first a case of mental preparation. To simplify the travelling tale, let me just state that I left Belize on Saturday at 11:00am travelled to Houston for a 5 hours lay over and on to Los Angeles for another 5 hour lay over and then on to Taipei for a 14 and a half hour flight. I arrived at 6:00 on Monday morning (Taiwan is 14 hours ahead of Belize) so in reality I arrived at 4:00p.m. on Sunday evening Belize time. That's almost a day and a half of travel time! After shaking out the legs and preparing one's self for a different cultural experience- it was all good!

Convicted of drug trafficking
James Alvarez,61-year old labourer of #9 Eden Site area, Belize City was sentenced to three years in jail after being found guilty of drug trafficking in Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Ladonna John. Police acting on information executed a search warrant at the home of Alvarez where they found him in possession of a black plastic bag containing 124 grams of cannabis. The bag was lying on his lap and Alvarez who was surprised by the police’s sudden visit to his home got no opportunity to hide the weed. The bust occurred on Tuesday, August 18, 2015. In court Alvarez was read a single charge of possession of a controlled drug with intent to supply to another person or persons for the purpose of drug trafficking for which he wasted no time and pleaded guilty. Magistrate John asked him if he understood the charge and what he was pleading guilty to and Alvarez told her yes.

Taximan charged with rape
A Taxi man has been accused of raping a 41 year old woman he knows well and on Wednesday August 19 he was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court with the offense of rape. 45 year old Michael Louis Andrews Senior, appeared in court before acting Chief Magistrate, Patricia Arana unrepresented where he was read a single charge of rape. No plea taken and the court prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez had heavy objections to bail. His grounds for bail denial were that the charge of rape is very serious and has become a prevalent crime. He added that police strongly believe that if Andrews is granted bail at this time, he will try to interfere with the victim since he knows her very well.

Two sisters caught smuggling weed into prison ten days apart
Shelmadine Nicolia Garbutt, 33, is out on bail just like her younger sister, Anna Marie Garbutt, 28, for allegedly trying to smuggle weed into the Belize Central Prison when visiting inmate Patrick Jones. According to police reports, on Sunday, August 16, Garbutt went to visit Patrick Jones who was recently remanded for the robbery of First Caribbean Bank. When she entered the search area, prison officials did a routine check on her and found weed in her brassier. Garbutt was detained and police were called to the prison. She was later handed over to Hattieville Police who arrested and charged her with drug trafficking. The weed amounted to 3 grams, which is under the amount associated with trafficking, but because she was attempting to smuggle it into the prison the charge imposed is drug trafficking.

Michael Gladden accused of wounding but claims victim is a rapist
Michael Gladden, 30, is out on bail for a charge of wounding upon Shawn Palacio. Gladden was unrepresented when he appeared before Magistrate Ladonna John on Friday, August 14, to answer to a single charge of wounding. In court, Gladden wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. He had an explanation, however. According to Gladden, he caught Palacio trespassing on his premises. Gladden further claimed that Palacio attempted to rape his girlfriend. After hearing this explanation, Magistrate John rejected Gladden’s guilty plea and entered an equivocal plea of not guilty. She then offered him bail in the sum of $3,000 plus one surety of the same amount. Michael Gladden is due back in court on October 14, 2015.

Chelsea McKay charged for stabbing common-law-husband
Chelsea McKay, 21, is out on bail after she was charged for allegedly stabbing her common-law-husband, David Castillo. According to police, on Thursday, August 13, McKay and Castillo were engaged in a domestic dispute at their home located at #19 Faber’s Road, Belize City. The two got into an argument over their young child who allegedly broke a cellular phone. Mckay disciplined the child and when Castillo learnt of the manner in which she disciplined the child he slapped her. McKay then grabbed a knife and stabbed Castillo once in the shoulder. Mckay was arrested and charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm.

Santa Cruz FC and Barrio Boyz played to a draw
The Vega Cup Tournament continued on Sunday 16 August, 2015, with five games on the schedule out at the Trial Farm Football Field in Orange Walk North Constituency. In the first game played, Douglas FC blanked San Roman Jr. by the score of 3-0. The goals for Douglas were scored by Dario Torres in the 30th minute of play, Azain Cardenas in the 44th minute of play and Kevin Mendez in the 56th minute of play. In game two, T.F. Banditz white wash Jaguars United by the score of 1-0. The only goal of the game was scored by Tyron Baptist in the 29th minute of play. In the third game of the day, United Ballers shut-out San Pablo Chelsea by the score of 6-0. The goals for United Ballers were scored by Andrew Allen in the 22nd, 32nd, 57th and 85th minutes of play, Dedron Baptist in the 40th minute of play and Marlon Garcia in the 72nd minute of play.

Wagiya opens Premier League Opening Season on the right foot
The Premier League of Belize 2015-2016 Opening Season commenced on Saturday 15 August, 2015, with two games on the schedule. In the game played at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town, the defending national football champions of Belize Verdes F.C. and the visiting Placencia Assassins F.C. played to a 1-1 draw. The home team Verdes F.C. got on the scoreboard first when Yoras Silva scored the 1st goal of the game in the 31st minute of play to give his team a 1-0 lead. Verdes F.C. took that lead well into the second half of the game when the visiting Placencia Assassins F.C. was able to get onto the scoreboard when Kareem Haylock scored the equalising goal for his team in the 76th minute of play for the 1-1 draw.

Country Rose wins one in Rural Softball competition
The Belize Rural Softball Association 2015 Senior Female competition continued on Sunday 16 out in Willows Bank. In the first game of the day that was played, Easy Does It defeated UB Jaguars by the score of 14-11. The winning pitcher was Margaret Hendy and the losing pitcher was Amber Wade. In game two, Country Rose picked up its first win of the 2015 campaign when it upended the host village Willows Bank by the score of 12-8. The winning pitcher was Angie Tucker and the loss was charged to Shauna Avilez. And in the final game of the day, Lord’s Bank Sunrise defeated Double Head Cabbage by the score of 9-7. The winning pitcher was Sheraine Westby and the losing pitcher was Herlett Clarke.

Duncy Francis don’t know finance
On Tuesday night's news Francis Fonseca attempted to address the problem of Offshore Banks losing correspondent banking relationship. In typical fashion Francis tried to deliberately mislead the people or is genuinely 'duncy' with respect to international banking. Somebody needs to educate Francis on the fact that domestic banking which affects local business is separate and apart from Offshore Banking. The loss of intermediate banking relationship with offshore banks does not affect the relationship with domestic banks whose source of customer funds is earned from local business or legitimate trade in exports which represents clean money. Either Francis don't know or he is just plain liad and is trying to frighten the Belizean business sector.

Cayo Welcome Center now has free Wi Fi
Free Wi Fi was activated last week at the Cayo Welcome Center in San Ignacio Town. The free Wi Fi is in fulfillment of a promise that had been made by Belize’s Prime Minister the Hon. Dean Barrow. In his New Year’s address, Prime Minister Dean Barrow had said, “So if 2014 was a year of infrastructure, 2015 will be a year of technology.” A release from the Cayo Welcome Center states that the Management as well as the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council would like to say a special thank you to the Hon. Prime Minister, Dean Oliver Barrow, for his generous contribution to the people of Cayo by providing free Wi Fi to the Cayo Welcome Center. “This initiative by his responsible Government now gives our visiting Guests, another reason to visit the Welcome Center,” states the release. Residents who visit the Cayo Welcome Center and access WiFi on any mobile devise are first greeted with, “Welcome to GOB Wi Fi, Free Wi Fi powered by BTL’s High Speed internet.”

DEATH ANNOUCEMENT - Mr. Gian Chand Gandhi, S. C.
It is with deep regret that the Office of the Prime Minister announces the passing of Mr. Gian Chand Gandhi, Senior Counsel and Legal Counsel in the Ministry of Finance. Mr. Gandhi passed away in Belmopan City on Monday, 17th August, 2015 after a long illness. He was 82 years of age. Mr. Gandhi has had a long and distinguished career in the Service of the Government of Belize having served for over 37 years in various capacities such as Crown Counsel, Director of Public Prosecutions, Solicitor General, and most recently as Legal Counsel in the Ministry of Finance.

Pup Senator Lisa Shoman and the Sarstoon Island
A more appropriate title for this story would probably be: ‘Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel,’ however, those words are owned by Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) who has the reputation of being a very wise man. Recall the famous story about Jack and the bean stalk; we automatically empathize with the widow and her son Jack who had very difficult lives indeed. They were extremely poor, and the day came when they looked around and the only possession that they had, that was worth any money at all, was the old cow. There was great sadness in their hearts when they decided that the cow must be sold. Recall that the cow helped with the hard work around the farm and that it also provided a little milk. Understand the deep pain that they felt about having to sell the cow. It was their one option; they had nothing else of value in this world; so, Jack went to the market with the cow on a rope in tow behind him. He met a stranger who purchased the cow from him. Jack was happy for the sale because the family was desperate. To his surprise the stranger didn’t pay him in money but multi-colored beans! Poor Jack, he was disappointed.

Press release from the National Security Council on Territorial Volunteers Sarstoon Island expedition
The National Security Council of Belize, which was in teleconference session for the duration of the Territorial Volunteers Sarstoon Island expedition today, expresses its profound satisfaction that the expedition ended without major incident. The Council concluded its session after Admiral Borland of the Belize Coast Guard confirmed by early afternoon that all participants in the expedition had returned safely to their staging point at Barranco Village. The welfare of Belizean citizens, no matter what the circumstances, is always of paramount concern to the Council and the Government of Belize. Thus, nothing can take away from the Council’s pleasure that no misadventure overtook the hundred plus Belizean men, women and children that journeyed to the Sarstoon. Nevertheless, there is confirmation by the Organization of American States (OAS) that four of the Belizean boats that approached the Sarstoon island did so by transiting not just the north, but the south channel of the river.

Toledo forgotten by the PUP, transformed by the UDP
Toledo District like the rest of the country has entered the mainstream when it comes to development, thanks to real representation in the person of Peter Eden Martinez. Although Toledo has PUP representatives that vowed to serve the people there has been no involvement of the two “honourable” gentlemen in the development of their communities. This has not, however, stopped the Eden Martinez from stepping up to the plate and answer the call of duty. Despite his not being in government, Eden has tirelessly lobbied government for the allocation of funds to develop and enhance Toledo East’s infrastructure. Last year he requested and received funds for the improvement of the streets in Punta Gora and for the first time in its history Punta Gorda had cemented streets much to the delight of its residents. Eden did not stop there, appreciating that in order to have a good citizenry administrators need to invest in sports and sporting facilities he again engaged government earlier this year and brought forth his plight. He was immediately answered and money was made available for the rehabilitation of the Fred Westby Park, Union Football Field and the construction of a state of the art sporting complex which will replace the old derelict and now demolished sporting complex.

Belize’s Vector Control Program can succeed with public’s input
To address a wide range of vector borne deseases, Belize’s Vector Control Program can only achieve twenty percent of its effectiveness, and is highly dependent on the remaining eighty percent from the public’s input. That’s the conclusion of Health personnel from the Ministry of Health in a recent meeting with reporters in Belmopan. As a reminder, Belize’s reference laboratory, CARFA laboratories in Trinidad, has confirmed that the two samples taken from the Corozal District about two weeks ago are confirmed cases of Chickungunya, which is a disorder characterized by headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash. There were only two confirmed cases of Chickungunya reported earlier this year with eight positives for the virus in Belize last year.

Junior Volleyball Team at XI Central American Championship
The Belize Volleyball Association is participating in the XI Central American U-18 Female Championship that is currently taking place in San Jose, Costa Rica. The championship is being played from 16-22 August, 2015. On Tuesday 17 August, Team Belize defeated Panama quite handily by the score of 25-8, 25-14 and 25-10. In the team second game on Monday 16 August, it defeated Nicaragua in three straight sets by the score of 25-20, 25-21 and 25-17. On Sunday 15 August, in the first game of the championship, Team Belize felled to El Salvador in three sets by the score of 21-25, 13-25 and 16-25.

C-Ray Cycling Club Summer Camp concludes with races
The C-Ray Cycling Club camp concluded with the last of six races on Sunday 16th August at 2:00 pm on Princess Margaret Drive (in front of Marion Jones). Considering it was the last race for this summer, we had special invited guests to race with our junior guys; youths between the ages of 18-25 who are already at the elite age but not exactly at the elite level. We also had the return of last year’s series winner, Stephen Cabral Jr. Participants took part in 9 different categories and the results are below. Two trophies were given for the “Most Aggressive” rider of the race, one in Category B and one in Category A. This was judged by C-Ray Cycling Club’s owner, Ray Cattouse. The trophies went to Gian Lino and Kaydine Pinelo respectively.

Firms Basketball competition enters semi-final round
The Belize District Basketball Association Firms’ Competition Quarter-Final Round was played over the last weekend with four games. On Saturday 15 August, 2015, in the first game of the evening, Central Health eliminated Digicell by the score of 59-56. The top scorers for the Central Health Team were Neil Nicholson who scored 16 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals; Steven Wade with 11 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal and Tevin Vernon with 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. For the Digicell4G, the team was lead by Chaka X who scored 11 points and 2 rebounds and Lennox Cayetano who also scored 11 points, had 7 rebounds and 1 assist in a losing effort. In the second game of the evening, Central Bank eliminated Atlantic Bank by the score of 51-49. The top scorers for the Central Bank squad were Jacob Leslie with 14 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals; Mark Swift with 10 points and 4 rebounds and Clayton Ogaldez with 8 points, 4 rebounds and Benedict Terry who also scored 8 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and had 2 steals.

Brawl on Newtown Barracks claims a man’s life
Joel Bishop, 28, a Belize City man, was killed in a brawl on New Town Barracks. It appears that he was viciously beaten by a group of men, and then knocked down by one of the attackers who ran him over with a vehicle. Police responded to the report of the fight at around 3:10 a.m. on Saturday, August 15, near to the BTL Park area. Others, responded to the KHMH, and that’s where they found Bishop’s unconscious body on the ground with several injuries to the face and a fractured leg. Also in the near vicinity, they found 22 year-old Mark Benguche with a cut on his left cheek, 21 year-old Eugene Arana with 3 stab wounds to his right shoulder, and 28 year-old Austin Rowland with a cut wound to the left ear and forehead.

4 dead in 4 traffic mishaps over the past weekend
Between Friday, August 14, and Monday, August 17, there have been 4 accidents, which have caused 4 fatalities. The first accident happened on Friday at around 5:30 p.m. between miles 6 and 7 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. There the police found a white pickup truck with extensive damages. There was also a 4-Door Mercedes Benz car which had it’s front end completely smashed in. What police have found out is that the Mercedes, being driven by 24 year-old Eaton Belisle of Saint Paul’s Bank Village, was heading toward the direction of Ladyville. It was behind another vehicle which was trying to overtake in the line of traffic. That vehicle in front of him managed to get back in the right lane, but Belisle was not so fortunate.

One fatality near San Ignacio Town
An impact between two vehicles on Saturday night of this past weekend near the Rumors Club on the George Price Highway between San Ignacio Town and Benque Viejo del Carmen has resulted in a fatality. The chest of 68 year old Davis Turner was crushed as a result of the impact between his White Ford F150 and a Toyota Corolla Car, being driven at the time by 40 year old Carlos Chanek, from Benque Viejo Town. Carlos Chanek was being accompanied at the time in his car by 34 year-old Barry Gongora, 30 year-old Kevaun Gillett, 31 year-old Allan Gongora and 31 year-old Randy Andrews, all of whom sustained injuries.

Rockville resident charged for illegal shotgun
Daniel Vincent Meighan Jr., 32, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on two firearm related offenses. According to police reports, on Saturday, August 15, officers saw Meighan walking on the George Price Highway near Rockville Village dressed in a camouflage outfit. He was stopped by police and a search on him led to discovery of a 16 gauge Stevens brand shotgun along with four rounds of 16 gauge ammunition and four rounds of 20 gauge ammunition. Meighan was asked to produce a gun license and couldn’t. Therefore, police detained and charged him with keeping an unlicensed firearm and ammunition.

Convicted police thief out on bail
Dean Perez, a 28 year old Interdicted police officer #966, is out on bail after his attorney filed an appeal and was granted a stay of execution on his sentence. Perez was accused of commiting the crime of theft whilst being on duty in San Pedro in October 2014. PC Perez was sent to detain Jose Hernandez, a Salvadoran national who was wanted by police for child maintenance. At the time, he and another man entered Hernandez’s home claiming that they had a warrant for his arrest. While in the house, they allegedly stole a cell phone and $300 cash.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

LICU board reveals extent of accusations against ex-GM
Allegations of fraud and forgery among other financial woes haunt former General Manager of La Inmaculada Credit Union, Yolanda Gomez. A recent recorded statement from the president of LICU’S board of directors, Ena Martinez, indicates that the institution has estimated a loss of about half a million […]

VIP and BTV pressure Government over Forward Operating Base
The question of when and how Belize will build its Forward Operating Base in the South continues to bedevil the Government. As you heard Commander of the Belize Defense Force Brigadier General David Jones say during Wednesday’s press conference, there are logistical issues regarding the location of any […]

Belize Territorial Volunteers will return to borders, says Wil Maheia
Yesterday the Prime Minister told reporters he couldn’t stop them, but he would appeal to them not to return to Sarstoon Island. As can be expected, then, Belize Territorial Volunteers’ leader Wil Maheia, who also leads the People’s National Party (PNP), says the BTV and Northern Territorial Volunteers […]

VIP dismisses Government’s response to BTV incident
Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s protests and fire-breathing declarations of sovereignty have failed, at least initially, to impress the Vision Inspired by the People (VIP) and their partners the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV). Admittedly, it takes much to impress the alternative political movement where the Guatemala issue is concerned, […]

Hurricane Danny forms in Atlantic Caribbean
At 9:00am Hurricane Danny was centered near latitude 12.5 N and longitude 44.8 W or about 1090 miles east of the Windward Islands. Danny was moving West-Northwestward at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. Elsewhere in the North Atlantic, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical […]

Garifuna Collective lead Belize CARIFESTA contingent
Leaving Belize today for Haiti is a group of artists representing Belize in the 12th Caribbean Festival of the Arts, or CARIFESTA, scheduled from August 21-30. Group headliners are the world-reknowned Garifuna Collective, the first pick according to head of delegation Karen Vernon, due to their experience and […]

Public Service Union elects new president
A new leader has been elected to hold over the reins of the Public Service Union. Eldred Neal has replaced Marvin Blade and is now in the leadership role of the union. Neal told us that under his leadership the executive will continue to follow their 4 […]

Blogs

Orange Walk bound
I recently got an email for a great deal in Orange Walk at Lamanai Landings Hotel and Marina for their Fiesta Rama special. As I read about their offer it instantly made me want to go, unfortunately timing was off as I was going to be at the big Belize Tourism Board awards party. Being one who is always willing to give it a shot I decided to write the hotel and ask if they would be willing to extend the special to a different date and explained why. After all the worst they could do was say no, but I was hopeful especially since it is low season. Thankfully I got a yes and a nice surprise that the answer came from Blanca and Enrique who used to live here and are now living and working in Orange Walk. She said yes and that she look forward to collecting a San Pedro hug from me :)

1900 Miles Due North: Ambergris Caye, Belize to Beaver Island, Michigan
Someone said (and I wish it was me) – “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”. And while I don’t have a proper travel bucket list, I can tell you one thing – Beaver Island, Michigan was never on it. Never heard of the place. But here I am. Happily. In the way north of Lake Michigan. The largest island in the second largest Great Lake (by volume). And the island we are on…Beaver Island, happens to be pretty close to due north from Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Things to Do in San Pedro: Why It’s Worth Visiting | Do san pedro
There are so many things to do in San Pedro that would encourage anyone to visit this beautiful and exciting town. Know 20 activities in San Pedro that you should try. There’s a good reason why Madonna called this little island ‘La Isla Bonita.’ And it’s not just because of the blue skies and lush palms that are easy on the eyes, but the island will call you in a deeper way than anyo other. It’s just different, with lots of character in every direction. The longer you stay here, the more you feel like you’re connecting with the island. While on the island, you will discover what your life is really missing, which is the stress-free island life atmosphere. Here are more things to do in San Pedro, and why this little town is worth visiting.

Ambergris Caye's Festivals and Events
If you’re planning on traveling to Ambergris Caye, you probably aren’t specifically doing it for any of its festivals – but you’re totally missing out if you are not, because the island has a ton of fantastic events! Throughout the year, Ambergris Caye, or should I say the town of San Pedro throws more parties than anywhere in Belize. Visiting during festivals allows visitors to see the town at it’s merriest state and experience a little of the culture. And let’s say you’re only looking for a quiet time, retreating to the island’s Northern or Southern tip will allow anyone to stay away from all the fun.

7 BEST BELIZE FAMILY RESORTS
Belize is limited in sprawling beachfront properties with all-inclusive meals and drinks provided in rates. Instead, the island begs families to enjoy eco-tours and exploration in the jungle. The island’s resorts have created all-inclusive packages to entice families to their treetop cottages and jungle cabins, and many include meals and other activities. Here are our family- and editor-approved favorites.

Summer Mango Stone Fruit Smoothie
Combine all of the ingredients into the blender except for the ice and blend on high for 30 seconds until well combined. Add the ice cubes and blend on high for 10 to 20 seconds more, until chilled and crushed. Divide between two glasses and garnish with mint.

International Sourcesizz

Yippee Ki Yay in Cayo: House Hunters Off the Grid
Catherine and Cathy love owning and running their Miami restaurant. But dealing with crowded and hectic city life there became too much to bear. A vacation to Belize's Cayo District triggered thoughts of a new life, and they jumped at the chance to call the area home. Cathy yearns to get back in touch with nature far from civilization with a home that is self-sustainable. But in the remote areas of the Cayo, Internet connections become spotty and Catherine knows that in order to run their business remotely, they need a stable Internet connection, as House Hunters International gets Off the Grid in the Cayo District of Belize. FRIDAY Aug 21 1am | 12c. SEE FULL SCHEDULE

Are you concerned about Sargassum on Belize beaches?
Let us know. The Pan American Development Foundation has met with community leaders about ongoing efforts to support community volunteer groups in Dangriga. As we continue our needs assessment, we will be conducting focus groups or consultations in various neighborhoods in Dangriga to best identify strategies to address this problem. One idea is to support beach clean-up efforts through volunteers and then seeking people or companies interested in using Sargassum as an agricultural bi-product. Please share your comments and stay tuned for details about a focus group.

UNHCR hails Belize's accession to 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) welcomes Belize's landmark decision to join the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness, the second accession by a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member state and a strong example for the region. "UNHCR hopes to see the Americas as the first continent to end statelessness and Belize's accession is a step in the right direction," said Renata Dubini, Director of UNHCR's Americas Bureau. The Convention will enter into force for Belize on 12 November 2015. The 1961 Convention, which with Belize will have 64 states parties, provides concrete and detailed safeguards that states parties must implement through their nationality legislation to prevent and reduce statelessness. Jamaica became the first CARICOM state to accede to the 1961 Convention in 2013. Belize was already party to the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, along with four other Caribbean states and territories (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago).

Scientific Tourism Flourishes in Costa Rica and Belize
This summer, the first-ever study abroad opportunity for the University of North Georgia’s (UNG) biology department took students to tropical reefs teeming with vibrant sea life off the coast of Belize and highland forests in Costa Rica, where 100 percent humidity keeps the treetops shrouded in mist. In Belize, Dr. Nancy Dalman, head of the Department of Biology, and Jill Schulze, assistant dean of the College of Science & Mathematics, taught a course on tropical reef ecology in the waters of Calabash Caye, which contains an array of animals, including lionfish, the red-footed booby and various species of coral. During the course students had the opportunity to snorkel in the Meso-American Reef, the world’s second-largest barrier reef, and explore the Great Blue Hole, a sinkhole in the Lighthouse Reef that is more than 1,000 feet wide and 400 feet deep.

Three Middlesex Vo-Tech schools get top national ranking
Eleven students and two chaperones from The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison embraced a new culture, language and way of life during a two-week service learning trip to Guatemala and Belize in July. “These trips very much reflect our mission of global learning,” said Head of School Andrew Webster, who accompanied 16 students on the school’s first service learning trip to Peru in 2012. Wardlaw-Hartridge has worked in tandem with the World Leadership School on all of its service learning trips. Students on the trip to Guatemala and Belize ranged from rising freshmen to recently graduated seniors. Chaperones Tanda Tucker of Bernardsville and Ryan Oliveira of Middletown were impressed with the teamwork and maturity of the students.

Videos

  • Belize Tourism Board - "Western", 1min.

  • Belize Tourism Board - "Southeast Coast", 1min.

  • Belize Tourism Board - "North Islands", 1min.

  • Down in Belize by Poolsinger & Friends, 4min.

  • Belize 2015, 7min. Hefy humanitarian trip. Such an eye opening experience. I love you Belize!

  • Sun Creek Lodge, Toledo District, Belize, Central America, 4min. Nestled in a peaceful, jungle atmosphere, Sun Creek Lodge is a Naturalist’s dream. Close to Mayan ruins, river, and Caribbean coast, a person can find plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. The owners provide private, clean accommodations with a delicious breakfast along with helpful advice regarding the area. A blend of traditional and creative ways of natural living in the tropics combined with modern conveniences welcomes guests this “Naturalist’s Paradise.” Round, thatched cabanas are dotted throughout this “Garden of Eden,” far enough apart that there is privacy. The spacious cabanas, made of hardwood walls and traditional maya style-thatch, are elegantly furnished with hardwood furniture, lots of windows, complete with screens and curtains, and colorful linens.

  • Beauty of Belize, min. Finished filming several documentaries in the lovely county of Belize. Here are some of my aerial footage from my trip!

  • Best High School Basketball Player in Belize Akeem Watters, 1.5min.

  • Diving in Belize, 7min. Vintage video from Deep South Scuba's dive trip to Belize, aboard the Belize Aggressor III, November 2002.

  • Belize - August 2015, 7min. Plymouth Covenant Church Family Belize Team - August 2015.

  • Fishing: A Belizean Way of Life | WCS Belize Program, 30min. This 30–minute video documentary is about the sustainable fisheries initiatives underway in Belize that employ various management tools, such as rights-based or managed access and replenishment or no-take zones, and the reaction of fishers to these measures. New technologies to improve enforcement are also featured, such as the use of the SMART software and conservation drones.

  • Garifuna Music & Talk With DJ Labuga Presents Phyllis Cayetano, 137min.

  • Turneffe Flats, Belize 2015, 9.5min. Fishing in Belize

  • Top

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