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#506856 - 08/22/15 11:45 AM Today's Belize News: August 22, 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

Annual Kids 4 Clean Water Camp is on the go!
The fourth time the Annual Kids 4 Clean Water Camp is once again being held in the San Mateo from Monday, August 17th to the Friday, August 21st. The camp is been hosted by Belize Community Conservation (BBC) in partnership with Caribbean Student Environmental Alliance (SEA) and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN), with aims to teach children of San Mateo about environmental conservation and health issues. The week-long camp is led by founder of BCC Heather Zwicker along with the many volunteers that joined the camp this year. Devon Saldado, leader of the volunteer group from CYEN, stated that some of the activities involved getting the children familiar with the water around the area where they live. “We did water testing with the children in San Mateo and we found out that both the ground and lagoon water were contaminated as oppose to pipe water which was clean. Crucially, we do these tests and show the children and their parents informing them if the water they are consuming is clean. This way we touch in the public health aspect. One of the main things we look at is if there is proper sanitation in the area or not. So we need to look at all these factors in order to avoid any illnesses,” said Saldano.

Another successful Belize Fashion Week!
The Belize Fashion Industry was showcased in full force Thursday, August 13th to Sunday, August 16th at the 2015 Belize Fashion Week (BFW15). Gorgeous Belizean models displayed some of the top designs from both national and international designers during a weekend of color, style and creativity. Organized by Patricia Grief, Carlos Barrieñtos and Zuzana Mello and held in Belize City at the Ramanda Princess Hotel and Casino, BFW15 was truly a great success! But the most anticipated segment of BFW15 took place on Friday, August 14th and Saturday, August 15th with the runway shows. Featuring 12 designers, the show showcased everything from casual wear, swim wears, formal wear and even ball gowns. Each model strutted the runway with such fierceness flaunting each of the unique designs. Throughout the night, guest were entertained with live performances from Denise Castillo, Chales “Ninja” Nunez and DJ DzL.

San Pedro Lions Club 2015-2016 Board of Directors installed
On Saturday, August 15th, the San Pedro Lions Club held their annual Installation Ceremonies for the 2015-2016 Board of Directors. The vent took place at the Lions Den shortly after 8PM before Lions members and invited guest. Also taking part in the ceremony were the San Pedro Leo’s Club who also installed their new board. Led by Master of Ceremonies, Angel Nuñez, the ceremonies opened with the singing of the National Anthem followed by a short invocation by Lion Abel Guerrero. A moment of silence was then offered for the recently departed Lions members. Reigning San Pedro Lions Queen, Marisha Thomson then delivered a warm welcome address. She then handed over the podium to Lions Zone 59 Chairman Raul Castillo to make the official presentation of the new Board.

Ambergris Today

Bible Camp Sees Participation of 65 Island Youth Group
We are running on the last days of summer and island students are getting ready to head back to school. But summer vacations on the island were full of camps that allowed island participants to enjoy a variety of fun activities that included arts and craft, sports, water activities and educational activities that had them expanding their young minds. One of the last summer activities that was available on the island was that of a Vocation Bible School/Bible Camp “Champions for Christ” hosted by the San Pedro Roman Catholic Church for one week from August 17 to 21. Sixty five children participated in arts, music, faith sessions and game stations. The Bible Camp was conducted by volunteer local parishioners and the Sisters of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Power interruption 6:00am to 2:00pm, Sunday, August 23, Belize District
Crooked Tree, Sandhill, Gardenia, Biscayne, Santana, Saint Anne's, Corozalito and Maskall. BEL to conduct testing and replacement of equipment at Ladyville Switching Station.

SISE HoC Puppet Making Workshop
The SISE HoC had their Puppet Making Workshop. Wow! Those are some cool looking puppets. "San Ignacio House Of Culture hosted Mexican puppet masters/artist they volunteered there services to teach puppet making this week."

A quick update on Oliver
e surrendered yellowhead that had started stress-plucking following the death of his partner. He's in an outdoor enclosure with 7 other birds. No romance yet, but I think he's doing well!

H. E. Jorge Arreaza, Vice President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela today flew into Belize to meet with Prime Minister Barrow
This visit is part of President Maduro’s plan to have the Vice President and the Foreign Minister of Venezuela visit all CARICOM countries to speak on the issue of the territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana. Belize was country number thirteen on the circuit. The Vice President shared with Prime Minister Barrow Venezuela’s position on the territorial dispute with Guyana and reassured Barrow that Venezuela does not want a fight, and has long demonstrated their commitment to dialogue and peace. Specifically, they are asking the CARICOM countries to encourage Guyana to dialogue with them. Recently both the President of Guyana and the President of Venezuela met with the United Nations Secretary General separately on this issue and the Secretary General is trying to negotiate a meeting between the two presidents.

The Government of Belize and the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) signed, today, a Loan Agreement for the Belize Integral Security Program
The overall objective of the Belize Integral Security Program (BISP) is to contribute to improving the quality of life of Belizeans and to support regional efforts that seek to combat crime. The key goal of the BISP is to strengthen citizen security by providing support to those institutions directly engaged in maintaining national security. The BISP consists of a US$30 million (BZ$60 million) loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI). Funds will be used for the improvement of infrastructure and the provision of equipment for the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Belize Police Department (BPD), Belize Coast Guard (BCG) and the National Forensic Sciences Service (NFSS). Infrastructure works will include new construction as well as refurbishment and improvement of existing buildings. Surveillance and monitoring, mobilization, and specialized technical equipment will also be supplied to these institutions.

Sir Barry Bowen Bridge receives maintenance
It is going to need more then maintenance if they don't stop those full blown cement trucks & huge dump trucks loaded with sand & gravel pass over it. They will have to completely rebuild it as it is not designed for that heavy of a load factor. I live 2 blocks from bridge & hear those trucks honking at least 12 or 14 times per day.

International Magic Show
Intermagia's Magic Tour is coming to Cayo. They'll be at the Octavia Waight Center on October 5th and 6th. They'll also be visiting a couple of Cayo primary schools to wow the kids. Thanks, Rotary, for making this happen! "The Rotary Club of San Ignacio is sponsoring two nights of MAGIC for the Twin Towns. The magicians will also be visiting some schools in the area. More details to come."

Channel 7

Teenaged Boy Killed In Ruthless Hummingbird Home Invasion
Tonight we start the news with the stories of two teenaged males shot: one 15 year old murdered in Hummingbird Highway home invasion, and a 16 year old critical in Belize City after an accidental shooting. First to Dangriga where a 15 year old was killed when he happened upon a home invasion at his grandfather's house. It happened at mile 35 on the Hummingbird Highway near the gap - at Thomas Polanco's residence. Polanco is a bus operator, and police believe that one of his former employees set up the home invasion to rob him. Wearing masks, they stormed into the house this morning, tied up Polanco and his family members who were at home and helped themselves to three thousand dollars and his shotgun. Unaware of what was happening his teenaged grandson who was out in the field heard a commotion and ran up to the house. That is when one of the robbers fatally shot him with his grandfather's shotgun. Police believe the key suspect is a Honduran and that the trio of culprits have already taken to the bush. We'll keep following the story:..

Teenager Critical After Accidental City Shooting
And another teenager is fighting for his life after being shot in the city last night. 16 year-old Mark Phillips, a youth who was recently released from prison, is under police guard at the KHMH after one of his own crew shot him by accident with a .38 revolver. According to police, it happened when he and 2 other males, were lying in wait for a man in compound of the Queen Square Anglican Primary School. Police intelligence is that Phillips and another man were armed, and as soon as the would-be victim came close enough they ambushed him. But, when Phillips' friend made an attempt to shoot the young man, the gun jammed. That's when Phillips was critically injured.

Venezuelan VP Visits
There was no official notification sent to the press, and we're still waiting for confirmation from the government press office, but 7News has learned that the Vice President of Venezuela, JORGE ARREAZA visited Belize today for a meeting with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Arreaza flew in this afternoon and went directly to the Prime Minister's Coney Drive Office where they met for an hour. He left at about 5:00 - and headed north presumably for the airport. We don't know anything about the subject of the meeting or why it was sho hastily convened. As we said, the media was not invited. The Government Press office promised us an official press release, but, we're still waiting. Arreaza is married to Hugo Chavez's daughter who accompanied him. More on the visit in our next segment.

Bradley Snubbed Santi
The UDP convention for Caribbean Shores was in May - and the outgoing area representative, Santino Castillo is wrapping up his first and last term in office. He's transitioning back to private life, to his family business - and says he stands ready to support his successor Darrell Bradley, if called upon. But we get the distinct impression, he isn't being called upon - because Bradley seems that he doesn't put too much stock in Santino's remaining political capital. That was pretty much confirmed back in May when Castillo wasn't invited to Bradley's convention - or at least that's what we were told. At an event last night in san Pedro we got to ask him directly about it - after he spoke in general terms about supporting Mayor Bradley in general terms:... Santiago "Santino" Castillo, Jr, Santiago Castillo Ltd./Min. Of State "And i think that Darrell stands a very good chance in Caribbean Shores, and, ahm, if he needs my assistance on Election Day whenever that is called, I am her to assist Caribbean Shores." Jules Vasquez "Sir are you being excessive magnanimous. I didn't see you at his convention and I saw a lot of people there. A lot of news came out of that convention. And a lot of people were there saying bogs things, but I didn't see you there. Were you invited to attend the Bradley Endorsement Convention?"

Venezuelan VP Wants CARICOM Comfort For Guyana Dispute
As we told you earlier - the Vice President of Venezuela Jorge Arreaza visited Belize very briefly today for a meeting with the Prime Minster at his Belize City office. Well just a few minutes ago the Government Press office sent out the official release saying what the visit was about. He's here as part of a tour to lobby support from CARICOM Nations. That's because Venezuela and its neighbor Guyana have a territorial dispute; Guyana is a CARICOM Nation so the CARICOM bloc, Belize included have taken a position in support of Guyana. OF course, Venezuela is funneling PEtrocaribe fuel to almost all of the Caribbean too - so they can always get a seat at the table of any Head of State or Government in the region. Belize was the thirteenth stop on the 15 nation CARICOM circuit where, according to a government press release, quote, "The Vice President shared…Venezuela's position on the territorial dispute with Guyana and reassured Prime Minister Barrow that Venezuela does not want a fight….they are asking the CARICOM countries to encourage Guyana to dialogue with them." At his press conference earlier this week, The Prime Minister told the Press what Belize's position is:

Tourism Figures Improving For June and July
Recently, tourism figures have been very much in the news - and that's because for the first time in years, the numbers are going down ever so slightly. But, figures released today show that things started to pick up in June and July. After significant decline sin April and May, June showed a modest uptick of 1.6% and July was encouraging with 3.3% more arrivals. That puts the total figure for the year so far at less than a percentage point fewer arrivals than last year at this same time. That's about 1800 fewer visitors, and to explain it the BTB turns again to that tired line about Canadians not coming because their economy is in a slump and their dollars has devalued slightly. Problem with that argument is that it hasn't stopped those same Canadians form flocking in record numbers to Barbados which has the same currency peg as Belize. The only difference? Air Canada flies directly to that eastern Caribbean country.

Former LICU CEO Yolanda Gomez Says Board Attack Is Personal
The special general meeting of the LA Inmaculada Credit Union will be held tomorrow in Orange Walk Town, and it promises to be combative - because loyalties within the union membership is split over former General Manager Yolanda Gomez. She was at the Credit Union for 24 years before she was sacked at the end of July - and as you might expect as boss of the biggest credit union in the north for all those years - she has many allies. Those allies are the ones who circulated a petition forcing a special general meeting - and on Wednesday - the Board of Directors mad a most unusual pre-emptory maneuver. The president recorded a 12 minute televised statement in which she made eleven allegations against Gomez, accusing her of a conflict of interest, fraud, quote, "substantial cash shortage", forgery and, quote, "big financial losses of at least half a million Belize dollars!" Those are some severe allegations of wrongdoing, and iut drew out Gomez to appear on Orange Walk talk shows this morning. Here's what she said on Fiesta FM's "Despierta Belice":

Prestigious Christie's Comes to Belize For Luxury Real Estate Properties
In May, a Pablo Picasso painting called "The Women of Algiers" sold for a record 179.4 million dollars at a Christie's auction in New York. You're probably saying, so what does that have to with Belize, right? Well…not a whole lot, but it might - because the Christie's franchise is now in Belize, not to auction art, but to sell real estate - and the thinking is that those same folks who buy 200 million dollar artworks might also be interested in some prime beachfront properties. Christie's Real Estate International was launched last night in association with San Cas Realty - which is an offshoot of Santiago Castillo Limited. That's a new turn for the San Cas Group which made its fortune as a wholesaler and retailer. But now, luxury real estate? We travelled to San Pedro yesterday last night to rind out about one of the oldest companies in Belize diversifying its portfolio:.. Jules Vasquez reporting The Rain Terrace at the Grand Caribe was the venue for the launch of one of the most glamorous, upscale brands in the world - Christie's Real Estate the franchise for which has been acquired by Santiago Castillo Limited, one of the oldest merchant houses in Belize: Gil Castillo, President, San Cas Realty "Santiago Castillo Ltd. has been in the country of Belize as you know for 89 years and Christie's International has been around for 250 years. So we thought it was a good fit."

Santino Straddling Two Worlds?
And in that story you surely saw Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development Santino Castillo wearing his private hat as part of his family business. He's already said he won't run again as area representative - and we asked him if he's now straddling the public and private sectors:.. Jules Vasquez "Are you sort of stepping away from public life now and re-entering private life?" Hon. Santiago "Santino" Castillo, Jr., Advisor Santiago Castillo Ltd. "None at all. I have told the Prime Minister that I am here to serve him and his next UDP government in any capacity he sees fit. Jules, I am going to be 60 and I can still advise our companies in an advising capacity and I can still assist the company. I can still do the public life. I quite honestly enjoyed them both, so I plan to continue doing them both."

30M USD For Security Initiatives
Castillo was back to wearing his public hat again this morning when he accompanied the Prime Minister who signed a 30 million US dollar loan with Armando Blanco, the Legal Representative of CABEI, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration for Security initiatives. It's called the Belize Integral Security Program and the main idea is to strengthen citizen security by bolstering police, forensic service, coast guard and BDF infrastructure. Here's how the money will be spent: improvement and construction of 7 police stations/substations and 4 barracks for police; construction and improvement of 30 barracks and dormitories for the BDF; 1 laboratory and 1 forensic medical unit for the Forensic Service; and 1 multipurpose building to conduct training and serve as a warehouse for the maintenance of the Coast Guard patrol boats, and a 137 meter marina also for the Coast Guard.

CARSI Gives, COPS Create Crime Analysis Pattern Unit
And, while the entire National Security Ministry will get an upgrade, Eastern Division South has recently been given a 20 thousand dollar donation from the US Embassy in Belmopan. The money comes as from the US Embassy's Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI) fund, and according Senior Superintendent Chester Williams, it will fund the creation of the Crime Analysis Pattern Unit. This new unit will be tasked to provide intelligence to Eastern Division South, which will lead to more targeted police operations. Williams explained it to us this morning: Sr. Supt Chester Williams, OC - E.D. Southside "We are the recipient today of a very handsome donation from the United States Embassy, the CARSI program, where we are receiving equipment for our crime analysis room. Effective next week, we will have established a crime analysis pattern unit within eastern division south and we hope to extend the work that is being done in that office to eastern division north. We will be looking at intelligence lead policing. So while we continue to work with people who want to work with us, we will continue to give them that leverage to live a peaceful life and those who wish to continue live the criminal life, we will pursue them methodically through the intelligence process.

Did Y.E.S. Make At Risk Youths Say N-O?
Another initiative that the US Embassy's CARSI program has been funding for the last 3 years is the Youth Enhancement Services training program for about 500 at risk youths and 80 adults who are struggling parents. The US Embassy has donated $187,100 US to this program to help enhance the community policing that the police department does. With this money, the Youth Enhancement Services has focused on strengthening the family support system for at-risk youths, increasing their economic opportunities, and providing social alternatives to gang membership. So, this morning after 3 years, the Youth Enhancement Services held its graduation ceremony for those who've passed through. We talked with the director about how the program went:

Bail For Bank Robbers
On July 31st four bank robbers stormed into First Caribbean Bank and made off with over fifty thousand dollars. Police arrested and charged five persons, and tonight four of them are out on bail. Four who were charged with robbery and a fifth man who was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery along with them, were granted bail of $8,000 each today by Justice Antonette Moore. Of the 5, 4 of them have met bail. They are 33 year old Jermaine Belgrave, 22 year old Patrick Jones, 30 year old Jarett Crawford and 32 year old Erwin Castillo. Only 24 year old Emmerson Skyers has not met bail, because he owes a court fine of $205 dollars which has to be paid before he can get bail. The Crown objected to bail on the grounds that the offence has become prevalent and that there is the possibility that the offence will be repeated if they are granted bail. But after Justice Moore heard submissions from the accused men's attorneys, Leroy Banner and Bryan Neal, she offered them bail.

Abdul Jabaar Trying To Score a Property in Belize?
Kareem Abdul Jabaar is the all time leading scorer in the NBA - and now it looks like he's trying to scroe some property in Belize. Jabaar has been sighted in Belize since Wednesday - and we saw him in San Pedro this morning where the 7 foot two inch basketball great was definitely the tallest guy we've ever seen getting into a Cessna Caravan. Jabaar firmly declined an interview - but we do know that the 68 year old had a quadruple coronary bypass and had a battle with cancer in 2009. Reports say that he is looking for a vacation home in Belize which took him to san Pedro, and then reportedly, to Orange Walk this morning. Again, Jabaar would not comment on any of his plans when we spoke to him - and his publicist would only tell us that he will do press "next time."

Make Us Laugh!
Clowns and Puppets, that's what NICH's Institute of Creative Arts wants you to support tomorrow afternoon by coming out to participate in a show that they are putting on for the public. The performers are young people who have been training with Mexican Puppeteer Raquel Robles Pacheco, who has been visiting Belize since 2013. This year, she's been holding workshops for interested young persons in San Ignacio, Benque Viejo Del Carmen, and at the Samuel Haynes Institute in Belize City. After learning to create their own puppets, and training how to stage performances with them, ICA wants you to come out and see for yourself how talented these children are. The Youth Development Officer told why you'd enjoy it: The show takes place at 4 p.m. at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts in Belize City.

A Just Jungle
Last night, we showed you how Assistant Police Commissioner Dezerie Phillips and the officers of Eastern Division North were on a clean up campaign in the Majestic Alley area. Well, today, they went back to the Pickstock Hutment - better known as the "Pickstock Jungle" - continue what they started last week Thursday. We dropped by and found the officers engaging with this impoverished community and donating items to needy families so that they could prepare for when school opens. ACP Phillips told us more: One other person who we met in the "Jungle" is Roger Espejo, the UDP Standard Bearer for Fort George. He was busy preparing breakfast for a family who lives in one of the apartments. Breakfast for votes? We had to ask him if he was being genuine or simply profiling for the cameras:

Addy Castillo Says Chinese Dominating Import & Wholesale Business
Earlier in the newscast, you saw our interview with Addy Castillo, the matriarch of the Santiago Castillo business empire. It was a rare chance to talk with Mrs. Castillo who - as far as we know - has never given an interview. We used the opportunity to ask her about the present state of the business environment. Castillo took over the family business, after her husband Santiago Castillo died in 1983. She ran it up until the early two thousand's when she handed over day to day operations to her daughter Lorena, But, even at the age of 81, she still remains very involved at the board level and is still the boss of the family business. She told us that the commercial landscape is tougher than ever: Jules Vasquez Seeing so many things change in your sector of the business world over the years, would you say that the business environment is better, worse, easier, harder than it was say 30 years ago when you first took over?" Addy Castillo, Matriarch, Santiago Castillo Ltd. "Well Jules, we must accept that business has not been easy at all. There is much more competition in our business and I am sure you know that. The Chinese are taking over Belize when it comes to our type of business and to fight them it's not easy. But guess what, we are not going to throw the towel and we are fighting them and we are going to be very successful."

Channel 5

Teenager Shot and Killed During Home Invasion in Pomona
A teenager was shot and killed this morning on a farm in the Stann Creek District during a daring armed robbery.  The incident occurred sometime before eleven o’clock, when a [...]

George Street Affiliate Accidentally Shot by His Colleague
A sixteen-year-old Belize City youth is tonight fighting for his life at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital after he was shot to the abdomen on Thursday night. It occurred inside [...]

Did Police Go Too Far During Raid of Gungulung Residence?
Allegations of police brutality are nothing out of the ordinary and tonight, a Belize City resident is claiming that police went too far this morning when they conducted a search [...]

Tourism Arrivals Slightly Up in June and July
The numbers for tourist arrivals between January and July have been released and, according to the Belize Tourism Board, those figures are showing an improvement.  Overnight arrivals saw a one [...]

Santi’s Handing Over to Darrell Bradley in Cari Shores was Seamless
In April, Santiago ‘Santino’ Castillo stepped aside in Caribbean Shores to make way for current Belize City Mayor and aspiring Area Representative Darrell Bradley. That signalled the end of a [...]

SanCas Realty Unveiled in Belize
Christie’s is one of the world oldest and most prestigious art auction houses, but it is also a certified powerhouse in the real estate industry – high-end real estate. That’s [...]

FCIB Bank Robbers Out on Supreme Court Bail
The alleged robbers of the First Caribbean Bank heist were granted bail today when they appeared in the Supreme Court before Justice Antonette Moore.  All four men, Patrick Jones, Emmerson [...]

James Alvarez Convicted for Drug Trafficking
A Belize City man is spending his first night of what could possibly be six years behind bars on a conviction for drug trafficking. Sixty-one-year-old James Alvarez appeared unrepresented before [...]

Deputy ComPol Miguel Segura Sued by Family of Deceased Accident Victim
Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, who remains on interdiction, following a fatal road traffic accident on August sixteenth, 2014, is being sued by the family of Yolanda Valencia.  The [...]

Eastern Division Receives Donation of Surveillance Equipment
The Eastern Division of the Police Department is the recipient of some much needed donation of surveillance equipment and other items to assist with intelligence-led policing methods. The donation, valued [...]

MusAID Hosts Concert at the Bliss
As a culmination to a two-week workshop done through MusAid and The National Youth Orchestra, a huge concert will take place tonight at the Bliss at seven. It will feature [...]

Summer Fest 2015 Recap
Summer Fest 2015 was held today during the Open Your Eyes morning show.  The stage outside of our studio was abuzz with the sights and sounds of young Belizean talent.  [...]

PlusTV

Yolanda Gomez responds to allegations
Earlier in our newscast we reported the explosive statements made by Ena Martinez, the chairwoman of the board of directors of the La Inmaculada Credit Union and President of the Credit union, in a pre-recorded statement in which she made pointed allegations against terminated General Manager of t...

FFB still raising monies for WorldCup hopes
Belize is doing well in football so far. The Verdes club obtained a point while playing against a highly skilled Queretaro , and Belize’s national team is still in the WorldCup Race. Belize’s National team has been in since July and has been in camp ever since training for their upcoming...

Agriculture Ministry working action plan for drought
On Tuesday we reported on the abnormally low percentage of rainfall that is affecting the country. Since May, the forecast for drought condition for Belize, done by using Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), indicated that Belize was on a drought warning. Farmers and livestock producers in the No...

Danny is First Hurricane of 2015 Season
Hurricane Danny is the first hurricane for this 2015 season. It is a category one hurricane but Belize has no need to worry at this time. That’s because the system is still about four days away from reaching the eastern Caribbean if it maintains its speed of 12 MPH and then it is expected to weaken...

Driver of vehicle who killed two kids still missing
The driver of a vehicle who killed two children is still missing. On Monday, August 16th, PlusTv reported on a fatal accident on the Hummingbird Highway which claimed the life of two children and injured 9 people. The driver absconded from the crash and police were not able to locate him. While at t...

Taiwan donates to Belize’s September Celebrations
Taiwan has made a huge donation towards Belize’s September Celebrations. His Excellency Benjamin Ho, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to Belize handed over a cheque of $40,000.00 BZD to the Co-Chair of the National Celebrations Commission (NCC), Diane Haylock at the Bliss Centre for the...


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#506857 - 08/22/15 11:46 AM Re: Today's Belize News: August 22, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Amandala

He went to Sarstoon and came back a national hero
About 130 Belizeans who travelled to Sarstoon Island at around midday on Sunday saw the heroic actions of Orlando De La Fuente, leader of the Northern Territorial Volunteers, and they have hailed him as a national hero for standing firm and not backing down in the face of the aggressive and intimidating Guatemalan navy, whose soldiers ordered him to turn back and began blocking his boat, the lead vessel in the small flotilla whose mission was to visit Sarstoon Island, which is in Belizean territory, but is claimed by Guatemala. De La Fuente demonstrated that he is made of steel, and his persistence was rewarded when he managed to breach the blockade by the Guatemalan navy boats and led his fellow Belizeans, in three other boats, around Sarstoon Island in a show of patriotism, to demonstrate that the island is a part of Belize, despite what Guatemala says.

Useless OAS!
Shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Wil Maheia, the founder of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), expressed his frustration with the Organization of American States Observers (OAS), who were out on the Sarstoon River, where Guatemalan navy boats were behaving aggressively against the BTV, which had led a small flotilla of four boats in an expedition to Sarstoon Island, which is in Belizean territory. Speaking on KREM Radio, Maheia said, “We need to run the OAS out of Belize.” Maheia and Northern Territorial Volunteers leader, Orlando De La Fuente, and supporters who had undertaken the journey, were under constant threat from the Guatemalan navy, whose boats were deliberately bumping their boats, while the largest of the small flotilla was blocked by Guatemalan navy boats from going any further to circle Sarstoon Island, which was the goal of the expedition.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura sued
One year and four days ago, on August 16, 2014, there was a fatal traffic accident on the George Price Highway that claimed the life of Yolanda Consuelo Valencia, 55, at about 5:15 a.m. near Mile 71 on the George Price Highway, when a government-owned Nissan Pathfinder, driven at the time by Deputy Commissioner of Police Miguel Segura, slammed into a taxi in which Valencia was a passenger. Yolanda Valencia’s mother, Guadalupe Valencia, through her attorney, Kareem Musa, has filed a lawsuit at the Supreme Court seeking damages for negligence in the death of her daughter. DCP Miguel Segura is named as the 1st defendant. The claim, which is #412 of 2015, also names the Commissioner of Police as the 2nd defendant, the Minister of National Security as the 3rd defendant, and the Attorney General of Belize as the 4th defendant.

PM Barrow sends “extremely strong protest note” to Guatemala
More than 72 hours after Guatemalan navy boats made incursions into Belizean territorial waters in the Sarstoon River, where they accosted over 130 heroic Belizeans inA an expedition led by the Belize Territorial Vaolunteers (BTV) to Sarstoon Island, located at the southern tip of Belize, Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow called a press conference today, Wednesday, the same day government received a report from OAS “observers,” who had failed to mention the incursion, and who were also intercepted by the Guatemalan navy in Belize territorial waters. PM Barrow told the media that he had sent an “an extremely strong protest note” to the Guatemalan government about its navy’s incursion into Belizean waters and its interception of Belizean boats going to Sarstoon Island. “Any unwitting Belizean entry into Guatemala by unarmed, civilian boats is of a different order completely from the deliberate violation committed against us by a presumably well-armed Guatemalan Navy. An extremely strong protest note has therefore been prepared by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and was approved just now by NSC [National Security Council] for immediate dispatch to the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry with a copy to the OAS,” Barrow said.

Easy Does It takes the first in the finals
Thanks to our generous and kind sponsors, SMART and BELIKIN, under the auspices of the Belize National Cricket Association, the Harrison Parks Cricket Competition finals continued over the weekend at Lemonal. Easy Does It, the home team, versus Wicked 11 of Flowers Bank. It was an easy one for Easy Does It, as they defeated Wicked 11 with a score of 270 to 162. Aaron Muslar top scored for Easy Does It with 63, and Walter Flowers took 3 wickets for Wicked 11. Shelton Robinson top scored with 32 for Wicked 11, while Herbert Banner took 4 wickets for the Easy boys. Aaron Muslar, after top scoring for the home team, went to his home and changed his uniform and came back to the playing area to socialize and breathe in the glory of helping his team to win the game.

Verdes draws with Queretaro for first SCCL point
Goalkeeper Benito Moreira made six saves to help Verdes FC earn an historic point in a 0-0 draw against visiting Queretaro in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) on Tuesday at FFB Stadium. Queretaro (1W-1D-0L, 4 points) held a 12-5 shot advantage and remained atop the Group C table although it couldn’t find the target in the first-ever SCCL match held on Belize soil. The host had lost both of its previous games in the competition, falling twice to Cruz Azul by the same 6-0 score in 2008/09 preliminary-round play. Verdes (0W-1D-0L, 1 point) and Panama’s San Francisco (0W-0D-1L, 0 points) will meet on August 26 to complete the first half of the group schedule. Edgar Benitez missed an early opportunity to put the Mexican side ahead, sending his first-time shot off a cross just wide of the left post in the 16th minute. In the 32nd minute, Mario Osuna got into a good position on the edge of the penalty area, but fired his effort straight at Moreira.

Editorial: Belizean crossroads
At this Wednesday afternoon’s press conference hosted by the Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean O. Barrow, one of the aspects of the press conference which has remained with us afterwards was how much Brigadier-General David Jones, the commandant of the Belize Defence Force (BDF), was sounding like a politician. His line was, and he repeated it, that the initiatives of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV) to “show their patriotism” were endangering his BDF soldiers. At the head table on Wednesday, from left to right, sat Belize Coast Guard Admiral John Borland, Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington, Prime Minister Barrow, National Security Minister John Saldivar, and General Jones. Elrington and Saldivar never spoke. Shortly after the Prime Minister gave his extended opening statement and the questioning from the media began, the microphone was turned over to General Jones. Some BDF history is relevant here. When the BDF was formed in 1978, more than a decade after the Opposition National Independence Party (NIP) Leader, Hon. Philip Goldson, had issued a call for same in the National Assembly, the army was commanded by a British officer. In 1978, Belize was still a self-governing British colony. After independence in 1981, protocol demanded that command be turned over to a Belizean.

From the Publisher
I know I have fans out there who look forward to a column with every issue of our newspaper, but sometimes it’s very difficult to do this work. I don’t want to do a column just for doing a column’s sake, but most times I have to deal with the reality that this is how I feed myself and my family. This is my job. Here goes. This Tuesday evening, as I write, we Belizeans are an emotionally exhausted people. Sunday afternoon at the Sarstoon took a lot out of us. I know that is the main reason I have trouble cranking it up. I’m a tired senior Belizean. The ruling United Democratic Party (UDP) have taken a party line on this matter which does not allow for dissent within their ranks. Or, perhaps the party is so unified that there really isn’t any, dissent that is. I did hear the one Kenrick Ysaguirre on the UDP radio station this morning take issue with a National Security Council (NSC) release, based on information from Organization of American States’ (OAS) observers, which pointedly neglected to mention that Guatemala naval vessels and their armed personnel had clearly entered Belize’s territorial waters during last Sunday afternoon’s incidents.

Tell us the truth, PUP
Dear Editor, Kindly permit me space in your most read newspaper to direct the Belizean public to my critique of a statement made by the People’s United Party (PUP) and to inform Belizeans that going to the “International Court of Justice (ICJ) is a terrible mistake. I read with interest an article published in the Amandala of the 2nd August, 2015 with heading “No Ban On Military Bases.” I draw the attention of the Belizean public to the following which I quote from page fifty five (5): “The July 4th resolution of the PUP’s national executive says that, ‘we have as a party, always rejected in its totality, the unjust and unfounded claim of Guatemala to the land, maritime areas and insular waters of Belize.’” This article also states that the PUP is withdrawing its support of going to the ICJ. Even though I am a supporter of the Government and the UDP, I subscribe to the PUP position of not supporting us going to the ICJ. However, I draw to the PUP’s attention that it was under their administration with the help of the UDP and the “National Bi-Partisan Commission that drafted, explained and presented “The Maritime Areas Bill” to Parliament which became law as the “Maritime Areas Act” in 1991.

Back to School
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” In an effort to ensure that our children are well-prepared as they return to the classroom, this Wednesday, August 19, several organizations made donations to further the education and development of our children. Belize Telecommunications Ltd. (BTL) hosted its 24th annual high school scholarship award ceremony at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza Hotel, where it gave out 20 new scholarships to students. Nineteen were at the high school level and 1 was at the tertiary level. According to Lorena Martinez, BTL’s Public Relations Representative, BTL offers 75 scholarships each year; 20 recipients recently graduated, which made it possible to add 20 new recipients. These are full scholarships that cover tuition, books, fees, and tutoring lessons where needed.

“Just Us” making a difference in at-risk young people’s lives
Just Us Inc., in collaboration with the U.S. Department, has established Just Us Belize/American Belizean Technology and Education Center. This organization has been in Belize since January 2014. According to the director of the program, Gtoe S. Washington, Jr., “The program targets the at-risk youth population within Belize for the purpose of providing positive alternatives to gang, violent crime and drug trade.” The students first have to take job readiness training, which teaches them how to understand other people, how to deal with conflicts, and how to set goals. After taking that course, they can then enroll in one of the following courses: Graphic Design, Web Development, Programming, Basic Computer, Customer Service, Sales & Hospitality and Sewing. Washington went on to say that in the first year there were 109 graduates, and it is projected that 312 students will graduate by the end of the 2nd year, which ends on September 30, 2015.

Robbers, posing as cops, on the prowl
Three thieves pretending to be police officers went into the home of a couple on the Hattieville/Boom Road, in Hattieville, where they beat the wife and robbed the couple, getting away with about $600. Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster, Commanding Officer of Belize Rural Police, reported that at about 10:00 last night, three men dressed in camouflage went to the home of Irma Ortiz, 58, and Augustine Ramos, 62, and knocked on their door. Ramos opened their door because they saw that the men were wearing camouflage and thought that they were police officers. The three men then rushed into the house, held them up and stole about six hundred dollars. Ramos managed to escape the house and went to his neighbor and called police. The Rural Rapid Response Team arrived there and they were shown the direction in which the three robbers escaped. Police, along with some civilians and ex-BDF soldiers, chased the thieves, but to no avail – they had already escaped.

Traffic accident victim needs blood
Thirty-six-year-old Hilton Conorquie was the victim of a traffic accident at Mile 5 on the George Price Highway. His sister, Ingrid, said, “Conorquie had left work around 7 p.m. and is believed to have been knocked down about 8 p.m. He was left in an unconscious state. It was not until 2 a.m. that he was discovered by the police, who called for an ambulance that took him to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.” According to Ingrid, the injuries he sustained include a broken left arm (from the shoulder to the elbow), a broken left leg, a broken rib, and a cut on his right hand. Also, his right foot was displaced, and his back was injured.

The Reporter

Venezuelan Vice President visits Belize to discuss Venezuela/Guyana land conflict
Making a brief stop in Belize on Friday was Venezuelan Vice President, Jorge Arreaza. The purpose of his visit was to meet with Prime Minister Dean Barrow to discuss the territorial dispute between Belize and Guyana. It was the wish and plan of the late Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro to have the Vice President and the Foreign Minister of Venezuela to visit all CARICOM countries to discuss the issue.

Ahmadiyyah Muslims worldwide gather in London England for 49th annual conference
Between 30,000 and 40,000 members of the Ahmadiyyah Muslim community from over 200 countries across the world are attending their annual conference or ‘Jalsa Salana’ in London England, where their association is headquartered. The purpose of the three-day event is to reinforce the mission of […]

BTB releases latest tourism stats
After months of showing overnight tourist arrival decreases, the industry is finally beginning, according to the Belize Tourism board. The Belize Tourism Board released the latest tourism arrival statistics on Friday. The data underscored that tourist arrivals for January to July have begun to show […]

16 year-old boy shot in failed ambush attempt
A 16-year-old boy, who was reportedly part of an attempted ambush attack, is in a critical but stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after the attempt failed. According to police, at around 8:45 p.m. on Thursday, the 16-year old and two older […]

Guatemala’s Boldness Caused by GOB’s Weakness, Says PUP!
The People’s United Party has roundly criticized the Government of Belize in the wake of Sunday’s incident in the Sarstoon between Belize Territorial Volunteers and Guatemalan military. They say that the foreign policy of the government is feeble, which has allowed the Guatemalans to gain ground and put our territorial […]

GOB teams up with El Salvador for better health care
The governments of Belize and El Salvador have begun a working relationship aimed at benefitting the health care sectors of both countries. GOB announced this week that Minister of Health, Pablo Marin, Made a three-day trip to El Salvador at the invitation of Minister of […]

Fire guts pizza house in Hopkins
A business in Hopkins Village, was destroyed by fire on Saturday night, and fire officials are investigating whether or not its cause was the work of an arsonist. The business, Little Richard’s Pizzaria, located on the lower flat of the two storey uilding on […]

Ministry gives laptops to high schools
The Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports, through its collaboration with Price Waterhouse Coopers and Peaceworks International, donated 10 laptops to high schools this week, to aid their delivery of financial literacy and entrepreneurship materials in schools. The ministry handed over 2 Lenovo brand laptops […]

National Economy Threatened by Banking Crisis, PUP says
Is the economy of Belize under dire threat from recent, unprecedented events in the banking sector? People’s United Party Leader Francis Fonseca replied with an unequivocal YES at a press conference held at Independence Hall on Tuesday. “The crisis in the banking sector, the crisis in our banking system has […]

A Wave of Attacks
By Neri Briceno The media in any democracy is a part of, and is as important as any of the fundamental elements which constitute that democracy such as the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, the opposition and most importantly, the people themselves. Democracy does not operate within a vacuum and […]

Infant dies in traffic mishap
Ariani Rodriguez, an infant less than a year old, was killed in a traffic accident on Sunday evening when her vehicle careened off the Hummingbird Highway between miles 50 and 51, throwing her ont o the road. The baby was traveling with her parents […]

Police looking for missing 15-year-old girl active on social media
The Belize Police Department is seeking public assistance in t finding 15-year-old Nethania Acosta who was reported missing by her mother on Sunday. But Nathania has been active on the social media since the day she was last seen. According to police, Karen Acosta, […]

Was Brian Hyde seeking asylum in the US?
Reliable reports reaching The Reporter say that Brian Hyde, the 19 year-old Belizean from Belmopan, who was charged last week by Florida police with the murder of three members of his family, was seeking asylum in the US. Hyde fled Belize after being accused […]

Gian Gandhi passes away
Career public officer Gian Chand Ghandi, Senior Counsel, passed away at the age of 82 in Belmopan on Monday morning after battling with an unknown illness. At the time of his death Gandhi was Director General of the International Financial Services Commission (IFSC). He […]

2015: hottest year on record!
Temperatures for the first seven months of 2015 have shown that 2015 has been the hottest year on record, and the month just past, July, was the hottest one yet since 1891! Weather experts explain that El Niño is currently going through a strengthening […]

A focus on export can help Belize grow faster
As I have mentioned in previous Ripples, this writer supports the Inclusive Growth framework, of which growth is a pivotal cornerstone. But whether one adheres to the relatively young (and evolving) inclusive growth philosophies or to that of Pro-Poor growth, the common thread is that the country needs to grow. […]

Belize supports Guyana over Venezuela
The Government of Belize made its position clear on the matter involving Venezuela’s claim over a portion of Guyana’s maritime territory, declaring its whole-hearted and unwavering support for Guyana over Venezuela. Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the declaration of Belize’s foreign policy on the […]

Editorial
Because of the good offices of the Organization of American States, which was present as a silent observer, the visit of a group of more than a hundred and fifty Belizeans to Sarstoon Island last Sunday ended in the safe return of the protesters. The mission to visit Sarstoon Islands […]

Who trespassed? Guatemalan Navy Trespassed in Belize, Says PM
The Government of Belize has issued what it is calling “an extremely strong protest note” to the Government of Guatemala, following the attempted interception of Belizean vessels at the mouth of the Sarstoon River on Sunday. “It is my belief that what the O.A.S. calls the mouth of the Sarstoon […]

Sarstoon travellers rebutt PM’s statements on excursion
Several persons who travelled on the trip to the Sarstoon Island, hosted by the Belize Territorial Volunteers, held a press conference this week responding to statements made by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. Representatives from the BTV, the political third Party Vision Inspired by the People, […]

Verdes holds its own with 0-0 draw
The Gallos Blancos players’ long faces said it all as they left the locker room to board the bus for home. Ecstatic Verdes FC’ fans continued their celebration in the stands after the “Green Machine’s scoreless draw with the Gallos from the Mexican state of […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Police still clueless over Princess-MCC brawl
Saturday morning’s lawless all-out brawl along the Newtown Barracks between BTL Park and Princess Hotel and Casino and MCC Grounds left one man dead, four injured, and police with a major headache. According to ACP Dezerie Phillips, they still have yet to establish a motive, but they are […]

When mediation is not enough
The Police Department has been meeting with gang elements in Mayflower and Jane Usher Boulevard as well as PIV in Lake Independence and on the Northside as well. These efforts have so far mostly yielded positive results, with a reduction in the number of shootings and criminal complaints. […]

Police to unveil new Crime Analysis and Intelligence Unit
At the time of his rise to head one of the three sections of Eastern Division, the South Region, a month ago, Senior Superintendent of Police Chester Williams detailed his intention to make policing in Belize City more community and intelligence-led. With the support of his bosses in […]

BTB confirm rebound in overnight tourism
After a poor first quarter, overnight tourist arrivals show enough improvement to slow the reduction in figures to under one percent for the first seven months of 2015, according to the Belize Tourism Board. Meanwhile, cruise ship passenger arrivals have so far not made up the slack entirely, with a […]

Venezuela VP in Belize over territorial dispute with Guyana
It may not do much good, but the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela wants to tell its side of the territorial dispute between Venezuela and Guyana and is asking for its brothers in CARICOM to encourage Guyana to dialogue with them. Recently both the President of Guyana and the […]

UNHCR adds Belize to fight against statelessness
Statelessness, defined as having no nationality, affects 10 million people worldwide and a child is born without a state every 10 minutes. Being born without a nationality means that a person will be denied basic human rights such as the right to education and healthcare, so in an attempt to […]

Minor, 16, shot by accident in Belize City
There was a shooting incident in Belize City Thursday night, but the intended target was not harmed. In fact, it was one of the persons who lay in wait for him inside the compound of Queen Square Anglican Primary School who wound up hurt. Officer Commanding Eastern Division […]

Lifeless body of female discovered in San Ignacio Town
Reports coming out of San Ignacio Town is that the lifeless body of a female was discovered in her residence. According to Officer commanding the San Ignacio Police formation foul play is not suspected. He also added that no visible signs of injuries were seen on the body. This is […]

Gerald and Loida August on bail
Despite the objections of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), former corporal in the Belize Defence Force Gerald August and his wife Loida August are out on bail of $5,000 each after a hearing before Supreme Court Justice Antoinette Moore. In February of this year […]

Hurricane Danny continues toward Leeward Islands
As of 3:00 p.m. local time, the National Meteorological Service of Belize reports that Hurricane Danny was centered near 14.5 degrees North latitude, 49.1 degrees West longitude or about 860 miles east of the Leeward Islands. Danny was moving West North West at 10 miles per hour with maximum sustained […]

16 year old recovers from gun shot at the KHMH
A 16 year old is listed in a critical but stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital following a shooting incident a little before 9 pm on Thursday. Information released by Police is that around 8:49 pm, they responded to a shooting incident in the vicinity of Fairweather Street […]

$8000 motorcycle stolen in the Cayo District
Twenty two year old Oscar Ramos reported to San Ignacio Police that sometime between August 19th and August 20th, someone stole his red and white 2006 Honda Motorcycle 65 R, bearing license plate PG M-00013 valued $8,000.00. Ramos claims that he had his motorcycle parked in front of his house […]

Woman’s house burgled in Orange Walk
Orange Walk Police are investigating a burglary, in which items valued at close to 12 thousand Belize dollars were stolen. 41 year old Shirleen Coote reported to police that between August 14 and 15 someone burglarized her home. An assortment of electronics, perfumes and bathroom supplies were missing. After making an assessment […]

Caribbean Shores businesses “targeted” by Mayor?
Mayor of Belize City Darrell Bradley wants to reduce trade license fees by 50% for all businesses in Belize City as a part of a plan to overhaul the entire tax system and make doing business here better. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already called for a […]

Former General Manager of the LICU fires back and denies allegations of fraud
Following strong and damning allegations of Fraud by the Board of Directors at the LICU, former General Manager Yolanda Gomez has fired back. In her statement, Gomez quoted, “I have devoted most of my productive life to growing the credit union and ensuring that it becomes one […]

Warm and generally fair weather to prevail
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting partly sunny skies this morning with generally isolated showers and thunderstorms. Skies will be mostly sunny this afternoon with little to no rainfall. Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy with the chance of an isolated thunderstorm in the South. Winds will blow […]

Blogs

10 REASONS TO VISIT AMBERGRIS CAYE AT THANKSGIVING
How many reasons do you need to say thanks for the opportunity to jettison the work and the stress involved in hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at home in favor of celebrating in Ambergris Caye, Belize’s #1 destination? You might not need all 10 to justify your trip, but in case you feel conflicted about abandoning the shopping, preparation and clean-up associated with this time of year, it can’t hurt to have a few reasons in reserve just in case you start to waffle! 1. Snorkel on Thanksgiving Day. Send home photos to friends and relatives whose most exciting experience is likely to be watching that day’s football games. You can watch the games, too—after you return from snorkeling where an underworld paradise that defies description may rival the most exciting touchdown.

13 Things About Belize That Might Surprise You
Belize is the hidden jewel of the Caribbean. It is an independent country lying in the south-east corner of the Yucatan Peninsula, and has a population of just over 350,000. Its history is fascinating, its natural beauty is amazing and its lifestyle will make you want to stay forever. Belize has many secrets. These thirteen might surprise you:- 1. Its barrier reef is the second biggest reef in the world. The reef was created on limestone fault blocks, not extinct volcanoes, as many assume. Its drop-offs descend thousands of feet into the clear Caribbean water 2. It has a plethora of national parks ranging from the country’s highest point, a mountain known as Doyle’s Delight, to beautiful coastal atolls 3. Wildlife is abundant. There are 500 types of tropical bird, 5 species of wildcat, 56 + species of snakes, 145 species of mammals and 139 species of reptiles and amphibians.

International Sourcesizz

UNHCR welcomes Belize's support to global initiative to reduce statelessness
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has welcomed 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. "This decision, along with reactivating its Refugee Eligibility Committee earlier this year, are excellent signs that Belize is emerging as a regional champion on international protection," said Shelly Pitterman, Regional Representative of UNHCR.

Southern Partnership Station-Joint High Speed Vessel 2015 (SPS-JHSV 15) completes mission in Beliz
U.S. Navy Diver and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician training teams completed their second stop of the SPS-JHSV 15 mission Aug. 21 in Big Creek, Belize as part of the Adaptive Force Package (AFP) onboard USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1), operated by the Military Sealift Command. USNS Spearhead is deployed in support of SPS-JHSV 15, a U.S. Southern Command-sponsored deployment focusing on enhancing cooperative partnerships with regional maritime services and improving operational readiness for all participating services. In addition, SPS-JHSV 15 provides the opportunity for U.S and partner nation forces to operate in the multinational environment, refine coordination, improve interoperability and demonstrate flexibility. While ashore in Belize, Navy Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Company 3-1 from EODMU 3 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians from Platoon 642, EODMU6 provided training and conducted subject matter expert exchanges (SMEEs) with their counterparts to increase partner nation’s capabilities to counter illicit trafficking and deal with explosive ordnance disposal.

MERR board member shares oceanic awareness in Central America
The Marine Education, Research and Rehabilitation Institute, in cooperation with the San Pedro House of Culture in Belize, shared information on the importance of oceanic awareness to several groups of at-risk Belizean youths who spent one week in the remote setting of North Ambergris Caye. Camp Basil Jones invited 100 youth to spend one week on the coast, where they participated in snorkeling, arts and crafts, life skills, kayaking, yoga and several educational presentations by MERR, Oceana Belize, the Hol Chan Marine Reserve and the National Emergency Management Organization of Belize, among others. MERR board member Rob Rector visited the camp weekly to provide information on the importance of sea turtle nesting areas and the overall importance of protecting the ocean and its inhabitance. “My family and I were vacationing in San Pedro for the month, and after reading about the camp, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give back to the island that has provided so many memories for me and my family,” he said.

NASA building satellite mission to improve hurricane forecasting
Ten years after Hurricane Katrina formed in the Atlantic, construction of NASA’s next-generation hurricane-observing satellite mission now is underway in Texas. NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) mission, a constellation of eight microsatellites, will improve hurricane forecasting by making measurements of ocean surface winds in and near the eye wall of tropical cyclones, typhoons and hurricanes throughout their life cycle. CYGNSS will allow scientists to probe the inner core of hurricanes from space frequently for the first time, using both direct and reflected signals from existing GPS satellites to obtain estimates of surface wind speeds over the ocean. These measurements will advance forecasting methods by providing data that can lead to better predictions of hurricane tracks, intensities and storm surges. As the CYGNSS and GPS satellites circle Earth, their interaction will provide a new image of wind speeds over the entire tropics every few hours, whereas a single satellite supplies a new image every few days. The ability to better monitor and predict the rapid changes in hurricane intensity, such as those observed with Hurricane Katrina, is critical to hurricane forecasters and U.S. coastal communities.

Videos

  • Open Your Eyes SummerFest (August 21, 2015), 180min.

  • BELIZE south islands spring break 2015, 3min.

  • 2015.08.19 - Belize Manatees, 4min. Diving off Belize - Eshmel with the great free dive.

  • Belize caves waterfalls hike, 8min.

  • Belize Beach & Jungle Adventure, 28min.

  • Belize Fashion Week 2015, 7min. I had a great time being apart of Belize Fashion Week.These guys sure entertained me with their dance moves.

  • Our trip to Belize, April 2015, 32min. A video diary of our trip to San Ignacio and Placencia, Belize as well as a trip to Tikal, Guatamala. House in San Ignacio Hand crank ferry to Xunantunich at 5:50 Xunantunich at 9:00 Tikal, Guatamala at 14:40 Placencia at 20:35 Zipline at 22:50 Placencia at 29:30

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