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#509870 - 12/12/15 05:35 AM Today's Belize News: December 12, 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

American Coast Guard gravely injured while vacationing on Ambergris Caye
A 26-year-old American Coast Guard was gravely injured while vacationing in Ambergris Caye. The victim of the incident was Jennifer Smith who was stabbed while walking the beach back to her hotel on Thursday, December 10th shortly before midnight. Since her the attack, Smith has been transported to the United States of America for further medical attention as her injures are considered life threatening. San Pedro Police have launched a full investigation and are seeking a Hispanic male in connection to the assault. On Friday, December 11th, Deputy Coastal Executive Officer, Assistant Superintendent Henry Jemmott indicated to The San Pedro Sun that the incident was a robbery assault. He further stated that upon hearing of the incident, police visited the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II where they found Smith suffering from two stab wounds; one to the back of the head and another to her back close to her spinal cord. After receiving immediate medical treatment, the victim was airlifted to Belize City for intense medical care at Belize Medical Partners Clinic. It was not until Friday after 2PM that Smith was responsive enough to give a detailed account of the attack to the police.

Woman injured in attempted rape
On Monday, November 30th at around 11PM, San Pedro Police visited the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II where they observed 35-year-old Abigail Lopez suffering from several cut wounds. When questioned by the police, Lopez reported that she had been attacked while sitting on a dock in the Boca del Rio Area. As a result, she sustained cut wounds to the right side of the face, neck and chest. Initial investigations revealed that while sitting on the dock earlier that night, Lopez was approached by a Hispanic male who came to sit beside her. The man proceeded to fondle her, requesting sexual intercourse. Lopez refused the advance, resulting in the man to allegedly become violent. According to Lopez he grabbed her by the hair, held her down and stabbed her with a pint bottle he had broken. The man then escaped the scene. After the attack, Lopez went to the Polyclinic to seek medical attention, where her injuries were classified as Grievous Harm. Since then police have detained 24-year-old William Javier Rivero from San Mateo Area pending charges for the incident.

Tourism Industry partners briefed on environmental issues
On Wednesday, December 2nd the San Pedro Tour Guide Association (SPTGA) hosted a general meeting for tourism industry partners. The meeting was held at the Lions Den at 7PM and was a collaborative effort with the many island environmental awareness stakeholders. The well attended meeting shed light on issues regarding to conservation of Ambergris Caye’s marine ecosystem. Opening the meeting and welcoming those in attendance was president of the SPTGA, Philip “Billy” Leslie. He spoke on the importance of the association and healthy tour guide practices in San Pedro. Leslie also served as moderator for the meeting addressing questions brought up by the attendees and offering further information on the topics discussed by the several presenters. Presenters at the meeting included Rachel Graham of MarAlliance, who shared results and updates on past and upcoming projects they have held throughout Belize and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. Also presenting from MarAlliance were Ivy Baremore who shared results and updates on the Deep Sea Fisheries Project, and Cecilia Guerrero who shared results from their Education and Outreach program and plans for 2016.

Copa Airline’s Inaugurates Flights to Belize
On Tuesday December 8th as announced earlier this year, Copa Airlines officially made their inaugural flight to Belize! Now that the Panamanian airline is officially operational in Belize, passengers will have direct flight access to 75 cities and 31 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Copa is offering two direct flights per week from Hub de las Americas (Panama City) to Belize! Just imagine the possibilities!

Foreva Fancy showcases season’s hottest trends at Christmas Fashion Show
On Saturday December 5th, Foreva Fancy Boutique held its annual Fall/Winter Fashion Show. The show was held at the Angel Nunez Auditorium and kicked off at 10PM. Held under the theme “Believe in the Magic of Christmas,” this year’s fashion show event benefitted the special needs youth of the island as proceeds went to San Pedro’s very own Camp Starfish Christmas present drive. Host and songstress Julianne Ferguson welcomed all present to the glamorous show that kicked off with a dance number by The San Pedro Dance group. The young dancers set the mood for the night with a choreographed dance to Justin Beiber’s hit single “Sorry.” Following the number was the first segment of the night which saw the beautiful models strutting in dazzling costumes and beautiful lingerie pieces. The bedazzled garments surely lit up the runway. This was followed by a song performance by host of the night Julianne, who captivated the crowd with her dynamic vocals.

Christmas 8-Ball Pool Tournament kicks off!
The Christmas 8-Ball Pool Tournament has started with the participation of eight teams. Organized by Macadonio Sanches, the tournament’s first games were played on Friday, December 4th. Competing for a grand cash prize of $1,000 are teams AJ’s Shootaz, Un-expected, Iguanas, Sand Bar Ballers, Top Shatta, AJ’s Youth, Under Ground and Maldonado’s. Currently team AJ’s Shootaz are in the lead with 24 points, but team Un-expected is right at their tail with 20 points. The next round of games are scheduled to take place from Friday, December 11th to Sunday, December 13th. The scheduled games are as follows: Friday December 11th at Cholo’s Sports Bar starting at 6PM – Top Shotta versus Un-expected, AJ’s youth versus Under Ground, Maldonado’s versus Iguanas and AJ’s Shootaz against Sand Bar Ballers. On Saturday December 12th, games are at AJ’s Bar and Grill starting at 6PM – Top Shotta versus Sand Bar Ballers, Un-expected versus Maldonado’s, Under Ground versus Iguanas, AJ’s Youths versus AJ’s Shoootaz. Then on Sunday December 13th, it’s Iguanas Bar at 1:30PM – Iguanas versus Un-expected, Under Ground versus AJ’s Shootaz, Sand Bar Ballers versus Maldonado’s, Top Shotta versus AJ’s Youth.

San Pedro Red Cross members receive awards during International Volunteer’s Day
International Volunteer’s Day was celebrated on Saturday, December 5th to honor persons who have taken the time to contribute to the development of the country throughout the year. The award ceremony for the Belize Red Cross was held at the Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina in Belize City. Members of the Belize Red Cross from across the country including those of the San Pedro Branch, were in attendance. In fact three members of the San Pedro Red Cross where among the awardees of the evening, receiving recognition for their performance within the community. The first island recipient to be awarded was Ashty Dennison, who received the Health Leadership Award. She was nominated by branch Chairman Eiden Salazar. “A massage therapist by trade, Ashty became very active as volunteer with Belize Red Cross – San Pedro Branch since she first attended a meeting in November 2014. She immediately became certified in First Aid/CPR. She attended the Volunteer Encounter in 2014 and Youth Camp in July 2015. Ashty successfully completed the First Aid/CPR Instructor’s training in May 2015 and has held several very well received trainings since then. On November 5, 2015 Ashty conducted training at Washington University Health and Science (WUHS) located in San Pedro. The President of the school was so impressed with her work that they have requested the Basic First Aid/CPR training be given at the beginning of every semester. Ashty impressed more than WUHS President, and earned of this year’s Health Leadership Award,” said branch media coordinator, Laurie Norton.

Ambergris Today

Holiday Season Cheer at Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES)
The student body held its annual Christmas Show last night with some great dance performances, songs and skits. Here are some highlights of the show.

Miss World Belize 2015 Appointed Image Ambassador
Miss World Belize Ltd. Chairman and National Director, Michael Arnold, would like to congratulate Miss Jasmin Jael Rhamdas, 19 years old of Belmopan City who was given a “letter of appointment” nominating her as an “Image Ambassador” by the Pingtan Comprehensive and Experimental Area Management Committee after all the credentials of Miss World’s 113 Contestants was reviewed. The ceremony was held in the presence of Miss World 2014, Rolene Strauss, invited guests and the news media. Miss Rhamdas was appointed on December 3rd to represent and promote Pingtan International Tourism Island which is a major tourist destination in the Fijian Province. This is a county comprised of 126 islands. Pingtan Island is promoted by Miss World Organization as, “a place of incredible beauty, a haven for photographers and Miss World Contestants visiting various nature sites including its pristine beaches!”

Exceptional Young Belizeans Receive Belize Youth Awards 2015
The Department of Youth Services held its 2015 Belize Youth Awards on Friday December 4, 2015 at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The event which marked the culmination of National Youth Week, celebrated under the theme “Youth, Let’s Make the Dream Work with Team Work”, is held annually to recognize and reward young people from all over Belize for their contribution to Belize’s development. The special guest speaker for the occasion was Mr. Mike Duggan, Executive Director of Domus Kids, a U.S. based NGO which provides a home and after-school programs for with at-risk boys. Mr. Duggan is also involved in the “No Youth Left Behind Initiative” which provides guidance and mentorship for young people. In addressing the awardees and guests at Friday’s event, Mr. Duggan said, “See young people as resources and not as recipients of services that you give. Actively get their input, have the trust and confidence in them that they know what they are talking about, that they know what they need, and they know what their communities need and they have the solutions.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Island Academy Christmas Pageant
Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 pm. The holiday season is upon us. "A Party in a Pear Tree", our pageant, should be a ton of fun along with delicious food, prepared by Celi's Deli in conjunction with Holiday Hotel. All dinner proceeds will be donated to assist an Island Academy Alumnus with medical bills. Tickets should be purchased in advance (before Wednesday noon) from your child's teacher and tell friends that tickets are available at the office from 8:30-12:00 with Chefy. An added attraction will be the children's artwork and calendars for purchase that evening as well. The 2016 calendar has self portraits of all of the current TIA students represented in at least one month of the year. Thanks to Pam and Tom Ostermann, my sister and brother in law, for putting the calendar together, sponsoring the printing and then bringing them all to Belize (150 of them). They will be selling them on the night of the pageant for $20. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do. Consider a calendar as a possibility for a gift to a relative also.

BEL apologizes to customers for an extended outage affecting portions of Belmopan and surrounding communities
From 5:30am to 2:00pm on Friday, December 11. BEL is conducting repairs and replacement of infrastructure and equipment on the transmission and distribution system.

Get Ready for Wings Store's Final Blowout Sale! December 19th-20th

Buyer Beware!
The new controlled price for plantation white sugar takes effect on January 1, 2016. Failure to comply can result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Please report unscrupulous grocers to the Belize Bureau of Standards.

Roots Reggae with Julian Melodyman Escobar
Saturday Night is Roots Reggae at the Sports Bar with Julian Melodyman Escobar from 6 - 9 pm! Come listen and dance to the beats of Roots reggae -- Belizan…Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill, Front StreetStart Date: December 12, 2015End Date: December 12, 2015Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Donalee Burns suffers fire
This morning at 4am, a University of Belize student (Belize City campus) and UB softball player, Donalee Burns lost her home and all her belongings in a fire. This includes clothing, furniture, and all appliances and items for her 13 year old daughter. Although her daughter is 13, she is bigger than the mom, wearing a size large women's. If you can help out in anyway, I am going to be collecting items at my office in Belize City and of course financial contributions will help her to relocate. She has only one semester left to finish UB. You can text me at 630-5571.

The Chiquibul Champion Award
This year three persons were awarded “The Chiquibul Champion Award” during FCD’s AGM. FCD congratulates the British High Commissioner Mr. Peter Hughes, Ambassador Stuart Leslie and Immigration Officer, Mr. Sheldon Hudson. We are extremely grateful for their unwavering support.

Channel 7

Call It A Comeback? Francis For Leader
Next week Tuesday, December 15th is the deadline for nominations for the new PUP Leader. But, the new leader may also be the old leader - and that's because the heads of 11 constituencies have come forward to say they don't want John Briceno or Cordel Hyde; they want Francis Fonseca back as leader of the PUP. Sure, he stepped down and all but walked away five weeks ago, but now some key power brokers in the PUP want him back. The group of constituencies who support a Fonseca comeback met today in Belmopan under the auspices of deputy leader Julius Espat - and we spoke to Espat via telephone shortly after. Here's how he explained what may seem to be a retrograde move:.. Jules Vasquez "There are those in the party who wish to preserve the status quo and stay the course with Mr. Francis Fonseca. Is this taking shape?" Hon. Julius Espat, Deputy Leader - PUP "I don't agree on conserving the status quo statement, but yes we believe that Francis Fonseca is the best person at this time to lead us forward."

Police Crack Mansion Heist Wide Open
Tonight, 3 more men have been criminally charged in connection with the armed home invasion and rape at Lebanese Diplomat Sarkis Abou Nahra's mansion, which happened last week Thursday. They are now in jail on remand, and 3 of the 9 accused who had been in jail since Monday, are out tonight on Supreme Court bail. We'll have all the details for you, but first, we start with the latest developments which have led to charges against 3 new suspects. Investigators from Eastern Division Rural have been on overdrive since last Friday, teaming up with the Gang Suppression Unit, the Mobile Interdiction Team, the Anti-Drug Unit, and the K9 Unit to conduct sustained raids. And it worked. Today, the Commander of the Eastern Division Rural updated the press on the success they've had with the recovery of stolen items: Sr. Supt. Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural "We executed searches on #88 Cemetery Road; we executed search warrants on the premises at #119 Police Street in Belize City; we also executed searches on #8272 Jones Street; we executed searches on #8089 Miller Street as well as #8279 Miller Street; we executed a search at the corner of Central American Boulevard and Jane Usher and we also executed search at #391 Mayflower Crescent Lake Garden area in the Ladyville area. As a result of those searches, we have charged Jerry Bulwer, 20 years old, for abetment to commit aggravated burglary. We also charged Mark Pitts, 18 years old, for handling stolen goods and we've also charge Paul Jex for handling stolen goods."

Rice Rivalry Heats Up
Tonight, there are three containers of Guyanese Rice waiting at the Santo Tomas port in Guatemala to be imported into Belize. It's coming before Christmas and importer Jack Charles says he will make sure it retails for 69 cents a pound - that's 50 cents less than the local rice currently sells for. But, some say that 69 cents rice may never even reach your corner store - because government won't allow it. The Belize Agro-productive sector is calling on the public and the government to reject the rice. In a release sent today, they ask, quote: "How many Belizean farms, farmers, farmhands, millers and distribution workers will join the unemployment line as another agricultural product, Belizean rice, is removed from the products we produce here in Belize?" They argue that there are 100 local rice farmers, and more than 2000 field workers, employees, and distributors, whereas Guyanese rice - they say - "will support ONE importer and a handful of distribution workers." They challenge importer Jack Charles to invest in the local rice industry and, quote "put hundreds of Belizeans to work, instead of just a few people to distribute his Guyanese rice." End quote. And while that's what they are saying publicly, privately we know the agro-productive sector is lobbying government very hard not to allow the rice into the country. One senior government official we spoke to told us that Charles has not applied for a BAHA Permit - and that could be a problem.

BEL Asks For 11% Increase in Electricity Rate
In May of this year, we told you about the then newly reduced average light rate of 35 cents per kilowatt hour. It was the lowest in decades - and we should have known it couldn't last too long. Well, it may be over soon, because BEL is asking for an increase. The company is asking for the average rate to be increased from 35 cents to 38 cents per kilowatt hour - an increase of 11%. BEL says that this is to cope with what it calls the "actual cost of power for the 2012 - 2016 Full Tariff Review Period." BEL says the cost of power had been underestimated due to lower rates from CFE in Mexico. The PUC has yet to respond and until it makes a formal decision, the average rate of 35 cents per kilowatt hour stands.

City Shooting Late In The Evening
There was a shooting just after 5:00 today in Belize City. It happened on Cran Street near Douglas Jones. An area resident told us that a man was walking past a white van that was parking. After walking past, he started firing at the van. The van sped off toward Mapp Street, with the shooter running behind. Six shots were heard but no one was hurt.

Pregnant Woman Raped In The South
There is a disturbing rape case to report on in the south. A woman in her sixth month of pregnancy was raped in Stann Creek yesterday afternoon at 3:00. The 19 year old was waiting at the bus stop at mile 6 when a black man with a grey shirt tied over his nose and mouth grabbed her, forced her into a nearby orchard, put a knife to her throat and raped her. Police have no suspects at this time but they are following leads.

City Fire Leaves Five Homeless
There was a fire at just after 4 o'clock this morning in the Kings Park area of Belize City. It completely destroyed a 2 storey building, and left 5 persons living at #6 Hopkins Street homeless. At this time, there is not much known about the fire, but we were provided with amateur footage of the blaze while it was in full swing. Today, the Station Manager at the National Fire Service told us that despite their rapid response, the house was beyond saving: Orin Smith, Station Manager - NFS: "On Friday 11th December, 2015 at 4:05am the National Fire Service received and have responded to call of a structural fire at #9 Hopkins Street Belize City. Upon arrival the upper flat of a 2 storey structure was seen engulfed in flames. Following a preliminary size-up, the National Fire Service made into operation extinguishing the fire. The fire was later brought under control and extinguished. As a result of the fire the two storey structure was destroyed. It is understood that the upper flat is occupied by 3 individuals of whom weren't home at the time of the fire. The owner of the structure is said to be residing in the USA."

Vacationing US Coast Guard Officer Stabbed
An off duty female US Coast Guard officer was stabbed on San Pedro last night. 25 year old Jennifer Smith was on vacation in Belize and spend her time on the island. Last night she was walking near Ramon's Village Resort when a Hispanic man approached her and asked for $20. When she refused the man stabbed her in the back of her neck. Smith was rushed to the KHMH where she got an MRI. She has been flown back to the US. Today, at another event we asked US Ambassador Carlos Moreno about what they are doing to assist Smith. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador "I just learnt about that this morning when you probably learnt about it. My understanding is that the off-duty tourist who is a female signed to the United States Coast Guard on vacation I presumed was stabbed sometime early this morning or last night in San Pedro. I just been aware of it. My consular section is attending to the matter as well as our MLO office to check on her condition."

US Ambassador Calls For Humanitarian Solution To Cuban Refugee Crisis
Where do we go? What do we do? These are the questions that the over 4,000 Cubans stuck at the Costa Rican border with Nicaragua are desperately seeking the answers to. As we told you, the President of Costa Rica has asked Belize to assist with these Cubans. His proposal was for the migrants to be flown to Belize then to Mexico. But the Government of Belize refused and proposed a vague "regional discussion to come up with a solution." Well, while the Government waits for that regional arrangement to take shape - the stateless Cubans are suffering. They want to go to the US which has a policy of welcoming Cubans. When we asked US Ambassador Carlos Moreno about this, some humanitarian effort must be made. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador "This is something initially really concerns the entire region and I'm hopeful, I would encourage a regional solution particularly of the involved countries. The United States is obviously concerned about more unauthorized migrants coming to the northern border of Mexico and coming into the United States. But I think that the nest approach right now is to look immediately at the situation on the Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border and also on the Panama/Costa Rican border and provide some kind of humanitarian assistance to those migrants. That may involve tightening the flow from Ecuador in cooperation with Cuba. But it something certainly that needs to be address."

Belize Not Benghazi, But Marines Here Just In Case
The Marines are one of the elite armed services in the US Military. We usually read about their stealth operations on international news and see them in documentaries and action movies. Well, in real life, about 7 of those US Marine Officers will now be living in Belmopan. Now they are not here to carry out any top-secret mission - they are here to provide more security to the US Embassy in Belmopan. But security is only one part of the package, today the Embassy held a short ceremony to commemorate the start of 2 major projects that the US Ambassador says will generate more jobs for residents in the area. "We are about to embarked on two large construction projects that will significantly alter the landscape that you currently see before you on our embassy grounds and they will significantly reduce our environmental impact. I also want to just mention the economic impact that these two construction projects will have on the local economy.

Did US Snub FOB?
As we told you yesterday, the Joint Forces Forward Operating Base will be built at the mouth of the Sarstoon. A number of high ranking officials, government ministers and representatives from friendly countries were there for the ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday. All except officials from the US - who were invited but didn't appear. Well we asked the US Ambassador about their absence today and he said the invitation came at a very short notice. Carlos Moreno, US Ambassador "I think Minister Saldivar would confirm this that the notice that we got was quite short and without any invitation from the Ministry of National Security as well as from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, this week with all the events happening before the holidays, its simply was impossible for us to attend that ceremony some 4 hours away. It was a bad day and the notice was very short." Guatemala was also invited but they were a no show.

Real Time Communication For Rural Police
At the top of the news, we told you how Eastern Division Rural police cracked the case of the home invasion and rape at the Abou-Nehra Estate just outside of Burrell Boom. That was owing to a relentless investigation, but also because of updated information relayed in real time back to the leaders of the operations. They were using what are known as whatsapp groups, a feature of the popular mobile app that allows chatting between up to 100 of persons at one time. Each of the field teams were updating their bosses on every single detail of their movements to allow for coordination and analysis of the operational variables. The bosses of Eastern Division Rural see its communication potential. So now, they now want to harness its usage and popularity allow the communities in their jurisdiction to have an open link with police. Senior Superintendent Broaster told us why residents should strongly consider utilizing it:

Price Gouging On Sugar
Price gouging on sugar - we kinda knew it had to happen - and it is, all over. As we told you last Friday, the controlled price of white sugar is going up from 50 to 75 cents per pound - but that's not until January first. But, try telling that to those stores where they've already jacked up the price, and you can see it there in black and white. That's why today Government sent out a release stressing, quote, "effective January 1, 2016, Plantation White Sugar will retail at a maximum price of 75 cents per pound countrywide." It adds, quote, "Failure to comply with the Supplies Control Price Regulations will result in imprisonment for a term not exceeding six (6) months, a fine of one thousand dollars ($1000.00), or to both such term of imprisonment and such fine." Of course, your average advantage - taking, price - gouging grocer knows that the Belize Bureau of Standards has zero enforcement and zero convictions, so most of them just persist in their illegality. Of course its up to you, the consumer to reject the illegal price of 75 cents per pound and calls the supplies control unit at 822-2665.

House For A Needy Family
2 months ago, we showed you 28 year-old Kayla Stevens, just one of the Belize City residents how was negatively affected by the freak thunderstorms which dumped torrential rains over Northern and Central Belize. The home of this single mother was already falling apart, but, it finally collapsed during the height of the rain, leaving her and her 3 daughters homeless. After we featured her story on the news, a group of good samaritans were touched by the difficulties she was facing and they banded together to build her a new house. Today we caught up with them to how this unexpected gift is coming along. Daniel Ortiz reports: Oasis Ministries, based in Unitedville, has built 91 other houses for poor Belizeans in need. They also run a program to keep marginalized children in school.

Two Guats The Hard Way In Chiquibul
Two more Guatemalans were caught in the Chiquibul - and these ones had a firearm. 25 year olds Ever Lopez Zuchitte, and Juan Antonio Cabrera Saldivar from San Jose Las Flores Peten were detained on Wednesday. Lopez Zuchitte was found with a black 9 millimeter with six live rounds. Both men were 250 meters inside the Chiquibul National Park but said they did not know they were in Belize since the line dividing the two countries is not visible. They apparently they rent the land to plant their crops. According to the Friends for Conservation and Development, persons from their village are known to plant corn and pumpkin inside the Chiquibul National Park. Some 33 families live in the village and they have no health services or electricity. Both were charged for "Illegal Entry", while Suchitte was additionally charged with "Kept Firearm without a Gun License and Kept Ammunition without a Gun License".

Police In Placencia
We're used to seeing the southside commander of Eastern Division talk about crime statistics, but what about the southern regional commander? Senior Superintendent Ralph Moody did just that in Placencia last night. He reported to Peninsula residents that there only two murders reported for 2015 on the peninsula. A total of 45 people attended and 30 police officers were present.

#509871 - 12/12/15 05:36 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 12, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

Francis Fonseca: Is He Back in the P.U.P.’s Leadership Race?
Last Friday in the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister bid farewell to Francis Fonseca as the Leader of the Opposition in the House. Well tonight, the outgoing P.U.P. Leader [...]

Female U.S. Coast Guard Brutally Attacked in San Pedro
A US Coast Guard Officer is reportedly in critical condition after she was stabbed three times on the beach in San Pedro. Twenty-six year old Jennifer Smith, reportedly on vacation [...]

Military Liaison Office of U.S. Embassy Investigates Stabbing Incident
The United States Embassy in Belize is reaching out to the injured naval officer.  While details of the near-fatal attack were sparse this morning, Ambassador Carlos Moreno told the media [...]

An Expecting Mother is Raped in Dangriga
Dangriga police, meanwhile, are reporting tonight a disturbing case of the alleged rape of a pregnant woman. The victim is a nineteen year old resident of Stann Creek District. She [...]

3 More Arrested and Charged in Burrell Boom Home Invasion Saga
There have been more arrests and charges laid in the high-profile and very brutal home invasion on December third in Burrell Boom. At around seven that night, eight men stormed [...]

Bail is Granted for 2 Women Connected to Home Invasion
Jeffery Buller was arraigned this afternoon for abetment to commit aggravated burglary and was denied bail. Mark Pitts and Paul Jex were arraigned for handling stolen good and both pleaded [...]

U.S. Ambassador Says Humanitarian Aid Necessary to Assist Cuban Migrants
The fate of approximately four thousand Cuban migrants marooned in Costa Rica continues to hang in the balance as countries along their intended route to the United States decide on [...]

What Involvement Did Uncle Sam Have in Capturing Fugitive Mexican Businessman?
David Nanes Schnitzer, the Houdini of international fugitives, remains at large since absconding from Belize after receiving bail on November twentieth.  But the story won’t go away and in fact [...]

Former U.S. Supreme Court Judge Would Have Done Things Differently in Nanes Case
Ambassador Moreno, who sat on the U.S. Supreme Court bench for almost a quarter century, acknowledges the personal interpretation of Justice Hanomansingh while presiding over the Nanes matter.  His disappointment [...]

3 Containers of Rice Awaiting Importation into Belize, Farmers Lash Out
At news time tonight, we can confirm that a total of three shipping containers en route to Belize from Guyana are presently in port at San Tomas, Guatemala.  The consignment [...]

B.E.L. Wants to Increase Electricity Rates
Five months after a rate decrease, it is likely that electricity rates will go up. The last decrease in July, afforded consumers a thirty-five cents cut per kilo watt hour. [...]

Normalcy is Finally Resumed at Port of Belize
The Pagola cargo ship from Jamaica has been offloaded and operations are back in full swing at the Port of Belize where days of industrial action taken by the stevedores [...]

Port C.E.O. Says Stevedores’ Pension Can’t be Retroactive
The point of contention that led to the strike by the stevedores was a pension plan. The stevedores want an increase to six percent retroactive to 2004. While the Port [...]

Stevedores Agree to Return to Work Amid Negotiations with Port Management
Now, there are three options that were being explored as solutions to the strike at the Port of Belize. The first option for cargo vessels to call to port at [...]

Why Was U.S. Ambassador Absent from F.O.B. Groundbreaking?
On Wednesday, ground was ceremoniously broken for the construction of a joint forward operating base near the mouth of the Sarstoon River.  Present for the brief formality were a number [...]

Multimillion Dollar Projects Launched at U.S. Embassy
But the ambassador was present for a groundbreaking ceremony to commence a pair of multimillion dollar projects on the U.S. Embassy compound held this morning in Belmopan.  Over the next [...]

Flood Victim Kayla Stevens Receives New Home from Good Samaritans
In October when Belize City was inundated by floodwaters impoverished zones in the south-side took the hardest hit. In some cases homes held together by little more than faith collapsed. [...]

Fire Destroys Kings Park Residence
Tonight, at least three persons are left homeless and three others are staying with relatives after the two storey house they were living in was gutted by flames. Just before [...]

Broaster in Witness Protection
Notorious street figure Tyrone Meighan was charged for rape in that home invasion, following an identification parade. That brings up an issue which has plagued the prosecution in serious crimes [...]

GST Department to Raffle 2016 Rav-4
On Tuesday, the General Sales Tax Department will be drawing the first of a series of winning tickets in a raffle. Shoppers will have the opportunity to win five thousand [...]

Christmas Tips from Ladyville Top Cop
The home invasion in Rural Belize has also brought into stark focus the reality of vulnerability in rural areas. Christmas is a time for celebration and giving, but it is [...]


PUP Party Leader: Francis Fonseca vs John Briceno
The silence in the People’s United Party has been broken today surrounding the upcoming leadership convention. When we last spoke to several PUP Parliamentarians, namely, Cordel Hyde and John Briceno, we were told that they were in discussions with their families and friends and that there was a strong possibility that they would be submitting […]

BEL Wants PUC to Approve Raise in Electricity
The Public Utilities Commission will be reviewing a request made yesterday by the Belize Electricity Limited as it surrounds the current rate for electricity. BEL is asking for an eleven percent increase on their rates which would take it from thirty five cents per kilowatt hour to just under thirty nine cents. According to BEL, […]

GOB Says NO to Imported Rice; COLA Says Why Not?
Citizen Organized for Liberty through Action, COLA, is known for advocating on several national issues and now COLA is taking up the rice issue in Belize. This comes after President of COLA, Geovanni Brackett saw a commercial advertising cheap rice that will be imported from Guyana by Xtra House. That shipment is scheduled to come […]

King’s Park Home Goes Up in Flames
There was a fire early this morning that destroyed a two storey house in Belize City. It happened at around four o’clock this morning on Hopkins Street. Operation Manager at the National Fire Service, Orin Smith, gave us the details. ORIN SMITH “On Friday, December 11, 2015 at 5am the National Fire Service received and […]

More Arrests in Honorary Consul’s Home Invasion
Three more persons have been arrested in connection with the aggravated burglary that occurred at the home of Honorary Consul General for Lebanon to Belize, 77-year-old, SarkisAbou- Nehra on Thursday December 3. It happened just outside of Burrell Boom Village on the Bermudian landing road. Ladyville Police launched an intensive investigation which led to the […]

American attached to US Coast Guard Assaulted on Ambergris Caye
An American national attached to the US Coast Guard was airlifted out of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye just after one o’clock this morning after she received stab wounds following an incident of attempted robbery. Reports are that 26-year-old, Jennifer Smith was walking towards her hotel along the beachside alone when she was approached by a […]

The Reporter

King’s Park fire guts two-story building; cause under investigation
A fire at around 4:00 a.m. Friday at #9 Hopkins Street, near its junction with Third Street, King’s Park area, gutted a two-story wooden and concrete house and has left a family homeless. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation, but fire officials […]

The Orange Walk Police Department fights drug prevalence
Orange Walk police this past Wednesday afternoon searched a lot and found a black plastic bag containing 74 grams of marijuana. In the last six months, Orange Walk police, through its Quick Response Team (QRT) and Special Branch (SP) Personnel have conducted searches at more […]

CARICOM negotiators await penultimate climate change draft agreement
CARICOM negotiators at the UN Climate Change conference (COP 21) are awaiting the penultimate draft of the Paris outcome agreement to assess the extent to which their key issues and concerns are represented. Conference organizers on Wednesday released a preliminary draft which formed the basis for all night deliberations. The […]

Ministry of Foreign Affairs warns against impersonation of Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrignton
  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) cautions the public that it has been brought to their attention that persons claiming to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred ‘Sedi’ Elrington or acting on his behalf, have been going around scamming several businesses, soliciting donations.  MOFA […]

Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund gives to charitable cause
Earlier this week, two non-profit, charitable institutions benefitted from donations from the Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund (KCMF). The Fund’s executive, who comprise members of the media industry, presented cheques on Tuesday to the St. Joseph Primary School Feeding Program and the Dara Feeding Program. In […]

Pregnant woman raped near bus stop
A 19 year-old woman, who is six months pregnant, was raped near a bus stop in the Stann Creek District on Thursday evening. The incident happened sometime after 3:00 p.m. while the young woman was at the bus stop at mile six, waiting for a […]

Brazen home invasion at diplomat’s residence! Nine persons charged.
Nine persons, including three women , who ironically are residents of Police Street, face a range of criminal charges for the home invasion of Sarkis Abou Nehra, Lebanon’s Honourary Consulate in Belize. The incident took place between last Thursday night and Friday morning, at […]

New sugar price – 75 cents per pound, effective New Year’s Day
The price of white sugar will increase from 50 cents to 75 cents on new Year’s Day. A Statutory Instrument has been signed, making the new price legal in Belize. The increase follows a cane farmers’ request and Government’s approval in lieu of reduced […]

The Military Response
I have always admired the state of Israel. And while I do not agree with all its policies and the way the state has handled a lot of situations internationally, one thing I can say is that you can always trust and count on the Israelis to do what is […]

A home for the holidays!
Two women of humble means, both employees of Cisco Construction, became first-time home owners on Wednesday, when they received the keys to their new homes in the Antelope Street Extension area of Belize City, just in time for the Christmas holidays. Prior to receiving […]

The inspirational story of Gerard Placide: from the streets to the stage
Trinidadian contemporary gospel artist, Gerard Placide, visited Belize to share his music and inspiring story of how his drive, talent and determination took him from homelessness to the White House, among other great achievements. Born in the area of San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, Placide […]

BPP signs symbolic Anti-Corruption Act in front of PM’s office
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP), on International Anti-Corruption Day December 9th, fulfilling a mandate of its campaign manifesto to sign the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), made a symbolic signing of the Act in front of the Prime Minister’s Coney Drive office. The event […]

Some US$27 million in loans tabled at House Meeting
The Government of Belize, at the last session of the House of Representatives, motioned for the approval of two loans totalling US $27 million for development projects all over the country. The first was for a project in collaboration with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting […]

WWF praises Belize’s decision to ban offshore oil exploration
The World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), this week commended Belize on its decision to ban offshore oil exploration, which it believes is an important step in the right direction to protecting the reef and aquatic environment. The WWF called for a complete ban on offshore oil […]

Nanes motion rejected in first official Senate session
There were several significant issues on the Senate table Wednesday, the first substantive sitting of that body post-election. The Revenue Appropriation Bill, seeking approval for the spending of $44.7M from October to December 2015, was the source of contentious and passionate debate, and so was a motion brought by Opposition […]

Nanes motion rejected in first official Senate session
There were several significant issues on the Senate table Wednesday, the first substantive sitting of that body post-election. The Revenue Appropriation Bill, seeking approval for the spending of $44.7M from October to December 2015, was the source of contentious and passionate debate, and so was a motion brought by Opposition […]

Dentist convicted of injecting semen into patients’ mouths. Belize Medical Council gave him a license to practice!
American dentist John Roberts Hall was arrested on Monday in San Pedro as he was about to open the Oceanside Dental Clinic, a new player in an industry called dental tourism. On Tuesday he was charged with false representation and on Wednesday he was formally arraigned in the San Pedro […]

Miss World Belize honored as Image Ambassador
Miss World Belize, Jasmin Rhamdas, who has been in Sanya, China for more than a month representing the country received an honorary recognition as the Image Ambassador for the island of Pingtan in the Fijian Province this week. Pingtan Island is promoted by the Miss […]

This is riduculous! A few hundred stevedores of the Christian Workers Union who control the waterfront, have gone on an unannounced, unofficial strike which has caused two ships with Christmas and other freight for Belize to be diverted. We need a court order to send these men back to work, […]

No interference – Guats say Diplomatic note says leave fishermen alone!
The Government of Guatemala, this week, sent a diplomatic note to the Government of Belize, which among other things, stated that they expect Guatemalan fishermen found inside Belizean waters illegally to be left alone. At the ground-breaking ceremony for the Coast Guard forward Operating Base […]

GOB breaks ground on Sarstoon Base
A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of a forward operating base was held on Wednesday morning at the northern channel on the mainland along the mouth of the Sarstoon River. Three government ministers namely, National Security Minister, John Saldivar; Education Minister, Patrick Faber; and Minister of State responsible for […]

Stevedores’ strike shatters businesses
The stevedores working at the Port of Belize Limited, frustrated with negotiations, staged a strike this week, which cost Belize’s economy millions of dollars in terms of business sales and tax-generated revenue losses. The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) reported that because ships […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Electricity going up?
Earlier this year the mean electricity rate for Belize was at its lowest point in recent memory at just 35 cents per kilowatt-hour. But rates could be on their way back up if Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) is successful with a submission to the Public […]

Belize International Services Limited demand compensation for takeover of Government registries
Arguments concluded late Thursday in the Supreme Court between the Government of Belize and Belize International Services Limited (BISL), the parent company of the International Business Companies and Merchant Marine Registries. Following the Government’s takeover of the organizations in June of 2013, it has […]

More arrests for Abou-Nehra invasion
Police have announced more arrests for the home invasion in Burrell Boom, which involved Belize’s honorary consul to Lebanon, 77 year old Sarkis Abou Nehra. 20 year old Jeffrey Buller, 18 year old Malik Pitts and 20 year old Paul Jex Jr. appeared today before […]

Francis for PUP leader again?
Reliable information reaching BMG’s newsroom is indicating that Hon. Francis Fonseca will contest the PUP convention for party leadership. A source told BMG that there are at least 11 PUP standard bearers that are encouraging Fonseca to contest the convention and that Fonseca is […]

Rice farmers concerned over Guyanese rice soon to be on Belizean shelves
The Belize Agro-Productive Sector Group (BASG), a private business whose main goal is to facilitate the development of the sugar, citrus, banana, shrimp agro-productive sectors, issued a statement Friday afternoon expressing grave concern over Guyanese rice soon expected to be retailed in Belizean grocery stores for less […]

Four arrested in Valley of Peace for 58 grams of weed
A special regional operation conducted in Valley of Peace Village yesterday morning, resulted in the arrests and charging of 23-year-old Victor Garcia, 22-year-old Steven Garcia, 19-year-old James Garcia and a 15-year-old minor for “Possession of Controlled Drugs”. Around 7:30 a.m., police visited and searched […]

Reported accident near mile 33 on George Price Highway
Information reaching our newsroom is of a traffic accident on the George Price Highway between miles 33 and 34. This is a developing story and more will be posted shortly as the details emerge.

Pregnant 19-year-old viciously raped
Reports of a disturbing incident were made to Dangriga Police yesterday, involving a woman who is currently six months pregnant and was raped by a masked man while she waited for a bus. The 19-year-old female told police that she was at the mile […]

Cayo police find 77 grams in Valley of Peace
Acting on information received, Cayo police conducted a search in some bushes by the road side in Valley of Peace Village, yesterday morning around 8:30. The search resulted in the discovery of a plastic bag containing 77 grams of cannabis which was deposited as […]

Roaring Creek couple arrested for weed
43-year-old Ronald Gill and 25-year-old Maria Tush, both of Roaring Creek Village in the Cayo District, were arrested and charged for the offenses of “Drug Trafficking” and “Possession of Controlled Drugs” after a search at a residence they occupied, resulted in the discovery of […]

Friends for Conservation and Development found Guatemalans illegally entering Belize
A joint patrol between members of the Belize Police Department and Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) conducted on Wednesday, resulted in another discovery of Guatemalan Nationals who had entered the country illegally. Around 1:22 p.m., while on foot patrol in the Sapote 2 […]

Belize City police find weed on North Front Street
Yesterday afternoon around 1:51, Belize City Police conducted a search on North Front Street, where in an empty lot, they made the discovery of a black plastic bag containing 523 grams of cannabis. The find was taken to the police station and deposited as […]

Belize’s rampant corruption is eating away at the very fabric of democracy
On December 9th, 2015 the world recognized the 12th Annual Anti-Corruption Day. The 2015 joint international campaign focused on how corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to human rights violations, distorts markets, erodes quality of life and allows organized crime, terrorism and […]

Belizean to be honored at Queen’s Young Leaders Awards
27-year-old Deidra Smith is the only Belizean among 59 other persons who have been selected from across the Commonwealth to receive Queen Elizabeth’s prestigious ‘Young Leaders Award’ in London next year. This year’s awards catered for persons between the ages of 18-29 who have been […]


Belize Recipe – Black Fruit Cake
With only thirteen days away from Christmas we are pretty sure that most Belizean kitchens have already started preparing and baking black fruit cake, which is the season’s tradition here in the jewel. So, our Foodie Friday segment brings you the famous black fruit cake recipe which is a must have during Christmas time in all Belize homes. But first a little history: This tradition which spreads throughout the Caribbean dates back to the middle of the 17th century when English settlers brought over a tradition of the ‘English pudding.’ Over time that was radically modified by African slaves and their descendants who evolved it into a rich rum cake, a potent mix of finely ground raisins, cherries and nuts which were soaked for months in over proof rum.

They were Ironically Whimsical, kissed by elegance and clearly inspired
BAHIA fest recently took place at Caribbean Villas Hotel. This chic evening fashion show was organized by Magazine Mujer Total Chetumal; with assistance from Zuzana Marosova and Barbara Brown. Original designs were showcased by Mexico Designers: Maria Del Pilar Lopez, Guillermo Perez Alayon and Martin Lopez. Part of the proceeds from the event went to benefit Ambergris Caye Camp Starfish who also provided entertainment and help on raffles. Sponsors for the event were many: San Pedro Town Council, Minister Manuel Heredia, Tropic Air, Ocean Ferry, Caribbean Villas, Blue Tang Inn, Sandy Point Resorts, Melt Cafe, Boaz , Island Adventure, Polos, The Candle Garden, Barrier Reef, Spindrift Hotel, VIP Transfers, Reef Management, Coconut Cafe and Mmm Taste This. The show was broken down into 3 segments where each designer’s collection was featured by Mexican and Belizean models.

Mexican Baked Boneless Beef Short Ribs
Preheat the oven to 300F with a rack in the middle. Season the short ribs all over with 1 Tbl Fajita seasoning, then arrange in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish (it will be a tight squeeze). Combine the enchilada sauce, remaining fajita seasoning, lime juice, cayenne and 1/2 cup of the cilantro in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the short ribs. Using tongs, flip the ribs over and spoon another 1/3 of the sauce over top. Reserve the remaining sauce to spoon over the cooked ribs. Pour the green chilis over top of the ribs dispersing evenly. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 2-1/2 hours. Remove the foil and, if the cooking liquid is covering the meat, use a large spoon or ladle to remove some of the liquid so that the tops are exposed. (Note: the meat will look unappetizing at this stage; don't worry, it will look much better once it's done!)


  • A few scenes from the trip to Belize 2015, 4min.

  • Belize Beaches: Caribbean’s best kept secrets, 4min. Belize is a not-so-well kept Caribbean secret perfect for those that want a serious, private beach vacation. Here are ten beaches that fit the bill.

  • The Guadalupana, 2min.

  • Introduction to "The Birds of Belize" DVD - Version 11 - 315 Species, 2min.

  • Cristina Coc and the Maya Leaders Alliance win the prestigious Equator Prize, 16min.

  • Belize 2014, 4min.

  • Galen University Students Discuss Belize Politics, 50min. Students from Galen University discuss their opinions on Belize Politics and the involvement of the youth.

  • Boat trip to Belize, 2.5min.

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