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#509964 - 12/16/15 05:33 AM Today's Belize News: December 16, 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

ABC Christmas Extravaganza brings joy and cheer to San Pedro
Island children were treated to a spectacular show on Saturday, December 12th with the annual ABC Preschool Christmas Extravaganza. The beloved children’s show brings much joy and laughter to the Angel Nuñez Auditorium, as all the favorite animated characters of 2015 take the stage to entertain those in attendance. Artists from Merida, Yucatan, Mexico took on the role of characters from Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club House, Frozen and even Cinderella to put on a truly spectacular show. With lots to eat and drinks on sale, both parents and children enjoyed a great family night out. Many of the children sang along to their favorite musical presentations. Some lucky children even got the opportunity to meet and get a hug or a picture taken with their favorite character.

Illegal Salvadoran immigrant charged for assaulting two women
An 18-year-old Salvadoran illegal immigrant has been arrested and charged for assaulting two women. The culprit is Fabio Hernandez Cuellar, who attacked a 70-year-old woman on Monday, November 16th and a 21-year-old woman on Thursday, December 10th, injuring both of them in attempts to rape them. Hernandez Cuellar was captured during the second attempt and after a positive identification from both victims, he was charged by San Pedro Police for Attempted Rape, Grievous Harm, Aggravated Assault and Wounding.

Ambergris Today

Winter in Belize - No Snow, No Problem!
Belize only has two seaons - The Rainy Season and the Dry Season. It's sunny and hot throughout most of the year, except for when the cold fronts start coming down from the northern hemispher. That's when it can get down to a BLISTERING 75°F! Yes! It is that cold, well for us Belizeans who are not used to the chilly climate and pull out our sweaters at the first sight that the thermometer drops below 80°F. We try to emulate winter with icicle lights decorating our front porches, frosting our windows, baking Christmas cookies and builing 'snowmen' out of sand on the beaches. But as you travel inland, Belizeans get more creative with the resources at hand. Case in point, if you are traveling to the countryside of the Cayo District, keep a eye out for this COOL Winter Art made out of hay. Running W Brand Meats gets creative and brings in the holiday sesaon with hay figures that are different every year. Take a memorable picture of your travels in Belize at The San Ignacio Resort Hotel's family ranch located by Mile 63 on the George Price Highway. We will never get snow in Belize, but

Dentist Shut Down in San Pedro Attempts to Clear His Name
American dentist John Hall who was accused of falsifying documents to obtain medical credentials to practice dentistry in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize at Oceanside Dental under the false name of Dr. Robert Bob Hall was arrested and charged by police with ‘making false representation’. On Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 54-year-old Hall was taken to the San Pedro Magistrate’s Court where he ordered to surrender all his travel documents, his medical credentials were revoked and was forbidden to practice dentistry in Belize. He was then offered and met bail of $7,000, having to return to and court on February 12, 2016. But what caught everybody’s attention and caused uproar in the community was Dr. Hall’s weird legal case in the U.S. back in 2004 where he pleaded guilty and was arrested for injecting his semen into several patients’ mouth in North Carolina.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Ladies Holiday Charity Lunch in San Pedro
Have you made your reservations yet? Deadline is tomorrow...support a worthy cause!!

Decrease in the Controlled Price for Grade C Rice
Government of Belize Press Office

Festival Del Peublo, San Lazaro
It was a pleasure and great honor to be part of this beautiful activity at San Lazaro Village. It takes passion, dedication and love to your culture and traditions to be able to do such initiative. We extend our gratitude to individuals and families like the Carrillos' to do this event where the traditions is transmitted orally to the community. It is the duty of the people of a community to take ownership of their culture so that it is preserved. Its continuity will only be possible with each and everyone present. Banquitas House of Culture will always assist along with our sister institutions so that the culture is not lost. Special thanks to Hugo Carrillo for a job well done. It felt like home and the love shared will forever be cherished.

Power interruption 8:00am to 1:00pm, Wednesday, December 23, Cayo District
Entire Succotz Village, Benque Viejo Town, including Western Border & Free Zone & Arenal Village. BEL to install structures in Succotz & Benque Viejo Free Zone & conduct line clearing in the area.

Power interruptions 6:00am to 6:20am & 5:40pm to 6:00pm, Sunday, December 20: entire Orange Walk & Corozal Districts
EL to conduct climbing inspections of transmission system in area.

The BHA, represented by Marketing Director, Tessie Tonaco, and several other Private sector partners, traveled to Chile last week December 8-11, 2015 to participate in the Chile -COPA Roadshow that was organized by our Tourism Partner, Tropic Air. With the introduction of the new twice weekly COPA airlines direct flight from Panama to Belize, this was an excellent marketing oportunity for our members and the Belize Tourism Industry. The BTB, in conjunction with the BHA and the private sector have been actively promoting Belize as a new destination to the South American market. Several Roadshows have been organized in the past years to include Brazil, Colombia and now Chile and also Participation in tradeshows in Argentina The Chilean Travel agents were enthusiastic about Belize as a new destination and with the addition of the uncomplicated and inexpensive flight connections, they feel confident about selling Belize. The BHA offered the agents the Spanish digital version of the 2016 Hotel Guide on our BHA flashdrives. The travel agents were pleasantly surprised and grateful to receive the entire listing of hotels, contacts and information about Belize, in Spanish, making it easier to promote our product to their clients. A list of the travel agent contacts will be made available on our website www.belizehotels.orgfor our BHA members to access with their login and password

Katrina Samuels Ancona Art Exhibition
The San Pedro House of Culture and Katrina Samuels Ancona invite you to join us for the opening of her Art Exhibition on Tuesday, December 22nd at 7:00 pm.

Trivia Night!
Come join the fun every Sunday and Wednesday! Test your knowledge of useless facts, have a laugh, and win money towards your bar bill! Always a great time - Fun, …Location : Barrier Reef Sports Bar & Grill Start Date: December 16, 2015 End Date: December 16, 2015 Time: 8:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Channel 7

The Rice Showdown Is Coming
Guyanese rice is arriving in Belize on Thursday - and it seems that has spurred the Government into action to fulfill a commitment it made over eight months ago. April first, that's when government promised a new controlled price for rice, and a new grading system for rice. It should have been ready by May, but it was just announced today - two days before importer Jack Charles lands three containers of Guyanese rice in Belize. Here's how the new price regime works. It establishes four grades for rice: Extra A Premium, "A", "B" and "C". Now, the one that most folks will end up buying is grade "C" - that's the only one that will have a controlled retail price of ninety cents per pound. That's the lowest grade of raise, with 30% broken grains - but right now it's what most people are paying a dollar and twenty cents for. That's the effect of price gouging by the retailers - and, you might be asking how will they prevent that from happening all over again. Well, that's where another aspect of the new rice regime comes in: all rice will have to be packaged and labeled with the retail price on it. And so while that is intended to ensure that the controlled price holds true for Grade C rice - there are also the other grades. From now on, those will have no controlled price. According to a press release from the bureau of standards that will be, quote, "determined by market forces." So, producers can sell those grades of rice at any price that the market will support and according to the Bureau of standards, this is so that, quote, "the producers can recover their investments in mandatory packaging and extra transportation costs."

Three Names In for PUP Leader
Today at 5:00 pm was the deadline for nominations to the PUP executive. After weeks of speculation over who would put their names in for leader - tonight we can confirm that there are three candidates: Cordel Hyde, Francis Fonseca and John Briceno. Briceno is nominated by the seven of the eight constituency chairmen in the northern caucus, Francis Fonseca by a combination of Western and Southern seats - and Cordel Hyde's camp was the only one to actually send us his letter of nomination and acceptance. He is nominated by the chairmen of the Lake I, Pickstock, Albert, Port Loyola and Cayo Central Committees - many of the same constituencies involved in the G-11 movement. Today at 5:15 PM when nominations were closed, Chairman of the PUP Henry Usher gave the media an overview:.. Henry Charles Usher, PUP Chairman "For the post of party leader, we received 3 nominations; the Hon. John Briceno, Hon. Cordel Hyde and Hon. Francis Fonseca. For the post deputy party leaders we received 6 nominations; Hon. Florencio Marin Jr., Hon. Jose Mai, Hon. Julius Espat, Hon. Mike Espat, Hon. Rodwell Ferguson and Hon. Kareem Musa. For the post of national communication director we've received 3 nominations; Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Anthony and Emilio Zabaneh. For the post of national campaign manager we received one nomination; Victor Espat. For the post of legal advisor we received one nomination Anthony Sylvestre Jr. For the post of treasurer we received one nomination Ramon Cervantez and for the post of chairman we received two nominations Henry Charles Usher and Hon. Oscar Requena. Those are the nominations that we've received and they've been accepted."

Man Charged For Northern Murder
Last night, we told you about 22 year-old Alberto Briceno, the young man from Paraiso Village in Corozal who was stabbed to death on Saturday Night. Well, the man who police believe was his assailant is 29 year-old Adan Meza, a resident of Corozal Town, and he's behind bars tonight. He was charged with one count of murder, reports to our newsroom are that he has since been arraigned and remanded. As we told you, the incident happened in front of a park which is across the street from Alberto Briceno's house. In last night's newscast, we showed you his aunt, who saw the incident unfold. She told us that he had gone out to a nearby shop, and while he was returning home, he met Adan Meza's younger brother, with whom he was friendly. According to his Aunt, he gave Meza's brother a friendly push, but he was reportedly under the influence and fell. That's when the accused, Adan Meza, reportedly ran up to Briceno and assaulted him. Adan Meza reportedly stabbed Briceno multiple times to the chest and abdomen, injuries which killed him last than an hour later.

Turkey Sticker and Size Shock
Aside from the black fruit cake and rumpopo, a good turkey dinner is of course the highlight of the Christmas celebrations, but, it seems like some people might not be getting any this year. That's because the only ones in stores right now are the Butterball turkeys which are too expensive and just too big for many consumers. We're talking all turkeys over 20 pounds, selling for between 150 and 180 dollars. It's a Christmas crisis if ever there was one, and one businesses are trying urgently to address. Today we spoke with the manager of Quality Poultry Products in Belize City and he explained why there is this shortage in smaller turkeys and when you all can expect to find them in stores. Albert Hoy, Manager - Quality Poultry "What happened is that we recently got in 4 container loads of turkeys. But the majority of the turkeys that came are large sized turkeys - Butterball Turkeys from the United States. The United States doesn't have very many small turkeys right now because they also had problems with Avian Flu. So they sent us just a few small turkeys which is finish. We got some today and everything got sold out. Now there is another ship that came in today that should bring a little bit turkeys of smaller sizes. However that container is going to Spanish Lookout first, then they will distribute it countrywide and I should have some small turkeys within the next day or two. What size I can't say because the container is on its way to Spanish Lookout right now."

Training in Marketable Skills
Today, the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC) graduated 27 persons who they've been training in waitressing and home health care. 14 of the graduates have are now skilled in customer service and satisfaction in waitressing, While the other 13 have been taught how to provide health care to elderly persons living at home or assisted living facilities. We stopped by to see the new service providers and discuss how they will be able to put these new skills to use in their jobs: Vanessa Johnston, Training Officer - BTEC "BTEC's mission is to provide demand industry based training. This time around we actually conducted two simultaneous trainings in very distinct areas; one of them was for our 5 star wait staff training and the other one was for the basics of home healthcare training. The wait staff training was a 3 week period, the home healthcare training was an intensive 6 weeks with an internship period and today we are proud to graduate 27 remarkable individuals. With all our trainings we have both soft skills aspects and technical skill aspects.

Belize and Chetumal: Sister Cities
Belizeans already spend millions of dollars in Chetumal every year, and now the city of Belize and the city of Chetumal have formed sister city relations. On Tuesday, Mayor Darrell Bradley travelled to Chetumal to sign a document with the mayor of that city, Eduardo Espinosa making it official. According to a release, the agreement establishes "a mechanism to strengthen ties between the two cities and programs of cultural, economic, tourist and academic exchange." They signed the document at the Fort of the Fishermen.

Taximan Murdered PG
In the south, Punta Gorda Police, are commencing their investigation in to the murder of 61 year-old Antonio Rodriguez, a well known taxi driver of Eldridge Village. We have confirmed that PG police found him this afternoon in his vehicle in a secluded area just outside of PG Town. He had suffered multiple stab wounds, and reports are that his licensed weapon was found in the vehicle beside him. It is believed that he may have been killed late last night or early this morning. We'll have more details for you on this homicide in tomorrow's newscast.

Making Appliances More Efficient
The Ministry of Energy and the Government of Belize are trying to make sure that you start to make efficient use of the electricity running through your homes and business. That means getting rid of old incandescent lights and appliances which use electricity inefficiently. But, a part of the problem is to make sure that appliance merchants move the stock of outdated equipment that currently have in their stores to make sure only energy efficient appliances are available to the consumer. So, how will this program roll out to make sure that energy efficiency is the highest priority in your homes and businesses? Well, the technocrats from the Ministry of Finance, Energy, Public Service and Public Utilities have been working with the Organization of American States, who have brought in international experts. Today, we stopped by to discuss this new energy efficient regime and how it will work: Carolina Pena, Manager - Sustainable Energy Capacity Initiative "We can to recognize the leadership that the ministry and the government are pursuing in order to have affordable and reliable energy. We are just making a contribution to that effort. But we recognize that there is a challenge also for the utility and the government to make it affordable.

Rice, How Do Consumers Feel?
We have been reporting extensively on the price of rice for the past few weeks. As we told you on Friday, the Guyanese rice shipment comes through the Big Creek Port on Thursday and it looks like there will be a showdown between the government and the Guyanese rice importer Jack Charles. That's because the government believes that this imported rice will deal a deathblow local price producers - while the importer says he's only bringing in 20% of the local consumption, and all it will mean is a much lower price for you. So how do consumers feel about it? We went to Brodie's and K-Park supermarket to find out. Fernando Galvez, Brodie's Customer "I been following it and coincidentally I came around here to see if I could see what's on the market. But I think they are bringing it from somewhere in Guyana." Courtney Weatherburne "Would you support the local or continue supporting the local rice producers or do you prefer the Guyanese rice? Bear in mind the Guyanese rice is cheaper would sell for about over 60 cents cheaper than the local rice. What do you think about that?" Fernando Galvez, Brodie's Customer "I will still continue supporting the Belizean market. I think that sometimes like this - last time they had a drought somewhere in the north which did affect us and economically it employs a lot of Belizeans. It might be kind of expensive yes, but I still don't know the Guyanese price. But definitely I wouldn't care of buying the Belizean product."

OW South Rep Stands Up For Blue Creek, Even If They Voted Red
But, one man who isn't moved by that in the least is Jose Mai. He is the area representative for Orange Walk South where many of the biggest rice farms and production operations are based. That's Blue Creek where he said even though the farmers of that area voted for the UDP he's standing with them against Guyanese rice: Hon. Jose Mai, Area Rep. - OW South "Every country has a right to protect its farmers. Some do it legally by putting in the trade agreements and the law that must be respected. Others do it technically. When there is not a problem legally. When we find out that we cannot fight it legally, there is what you call the technical aspect, the technical barriers to trade. In the House of Representatives, I have raised this. I raised it clearly at length and I explained to the national assembly the effects, the negative effects it would have on importing rice from Guyana. It will displace our producers, it will create mass unemployment, it will bring poverty, and it will just cause millions of dollars to be loss. I challenge the government of Belize to do everything in their capacity to stop the importation of Guyanese rice into this country. Although Blue Creek being the mass producer of rice voted for this government, my rights, my responsibility as their area representative is to defend them at all cost."

In Toledo Rice Was King
And while Blue Creek is now the epicenter of rice production - it wasn't always that way. Not very long ago - Belize's rice production was based in the Toledo District. But the Mennonites in the north surged ahead in production through the use of mechanized farming techniques. The Toledo farmers never had the capital to keep up with them - and depended on a government combine. Benancio Romero, who's been farming rice in Toledo for decades told PGTV that the demise of the combine also meant the end for Toledo rice:... Reporter "In the last few years, how many acres of rice did you grow, how many pounds of rice you harvest just you and your family?" Benancio Romero "For the past years I can't give us a sketch because my rice spoiled." Reporter "Why did your rice spoiled?" Benancio Romero "Because we don't have a combine to cut it." Reporter "Who did the combine belonged to?" Benancio Romero "Government - agriculture."

GSU, Granny Supporting Unit
When the GSU is on the news, it's usually bad news about some act of brutality. But tonight the story is about how they volunteered at HelpAge. It's definitely NOT something you hear about everyday BUT when we spoke to 2 officers today they told us it's just a part of giving back and connecting with the elderly. Bernard Adulphos, Chairperson - Board "The ladies and the supervisors have planned a 12 days activity and they ask me to be here with them and as a result it is important that we do this so that at least our seniors are not forgotten and at least show our public what other can do for them because it is important. Yes they are here but they are not forgotten. So we get them involved in this Christmas Cheer which is an important aspect of this activity for us. The churches are coming and we got some from Wesley coming here. We understand other members from the police section is coming here. An invitation was sent out to other uniform service, but we haven't got anything yet. Other people are coming in and will do something. I have a time when I am coming in to show Christmas movies. We have a steel band coming in here."

Channel 5

Fonseca, Briceño and Hyde Vie for Pup Leadership
The names are in and the battle for leader of the People’s United Party is officially on. Past P.U.P. leader John Briceño got in his nomination first, on Monday, along [...]

Convention Will Be held on January 31st
Two thousand seven hundred and ninety-three delegates will vote at the National convention – one for every twenty-five P.U.P. votes cast in the November fourth general election. As we told [...]

Rice War Imminent
For days, we have been reporting on the attempts by businessman Jack Charles of Xtra House and RC Imports to import rice from Guyana into the local market. The rice, [...]

Should Guyanese Rice Be Imported?
And tonight’s question is: Should the importation of rice from Guyana be allowed into the country? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post your [...]

PG Taxi-Man Stabbed to Death
Details are sketchy at this point, but News Five has been able to confirm that the body of a very well known P.G. resident was found in his vehicle on [...]

G.O.B. Announced Decrease in Price of Grade C Rice
While consumers and industry stakeholders anxiously await the outcome of an ongoing scenario involving the proposed importation of Guyanese rice, the Government of Belize earlier today announced a decrease in [...]

Rice Growers Say Decrease is the Result of discussions With G.O.B.
According to Stanley Rempel, C.E.O. of Circle R Products, the decrease in the cost of Grade C rice is the result of lengthy discussions with government on the issue.  Grade [...]

Rice Growers in Toledo Paid Substantially Less than Northern Producers
Coming out of the ongoing controversy is the fact that grain growers in the south are being paid considerably less per pound of rice than their colleagues in the Orange [...]

Bureau of Standards Investigates Complaints of Sugar Price Gouging
While there is controversy over rice, consumers are up in arms over the price of sugar, which is also locally produced. The Bureau of Standards has been hard at work [...]

Family Who Lost Everything in Fire Asks for Assistance
The Christmas holidays are upon us, but for the Sanchez family of Belize City, there is little to look forward to. Last Friday, their belongings were destroyed when a fire [...]

2 Men Charged For San Cas Heist
There were two arrests in the armed robbery of Santiago Castillo Limited which took place last Friday in Belmopan.  Twenty-one year Edvik Guerra of Santa Elena, Cayo, and twenty-three year [...]

Student Remanded for Alleged Sexual Abuse of Minor
Tonight, an ITVET student is on remand at the Belize Central Prison accused of sexual abuse of a fourteen year old girl.  He is twenty-year old Kristoff Myvett.  It is [...]

Cop Drops Charges After ATM Card Was Stolen
Two sisters who claim they found a cop’s ATM card on the street are home free from a charge of theft. Twenty-two year old Chelsea and twenty-one year old Monique [...]

Enjoying the Christmas Season at the Sister Cecilia Home
Mercy Care Centre, HelpAge Belize, Salvation Army, HOPE Toledo, Belize Red Cross Society are among several organizations that provide care for elderly persons in Belize. This morning in the City, [...]

BTEC Hosts Joint Certificate Ceremony
Twenty-seven persons have completed courses in home care giving and wait staff and are ready to enter the workforce. Their training was held at the ITVET and was organized by [...]


Three Candidates Vying For Post Of PUP Leadership
When the clock stroke 5:00pm today it marked the deadline for the submission of names for executive posts in the People’s United Party including the Leadership. Up to yesterday evening the only sure name in the race was that of John Briceno who was nominated by eight of the nine constituencies forming the Northern Caucus. Notably though was the fact that Florencio Marin Junior did not endorse Briceno. But we’ll get to that story later. What we want to tell you first is that on January 31st when the P.U.P holds its National convention, three persons will be contending the Leadership post. They are Orange Walk Central Area Representative and former Leader John Briceno, Lake I Area Representative Cordel Hyde and outgoing Leader of the Party Francis Fonseca. Hyde was nominated by the Chairmen of the Lake I, Pickstock, Port Loyola and Albert Committees and the Chairlady of the Cayo Central Committee. According to the Chairmen and chairlady, Hyde is eminently qualified for the position and possesses the right values and principles that will put the party back on a pathway of success.

A&R Store In Corozal Town Robbed At Gun Point
Corozal Police have one person in custody for the late evening robbery of A&R Store in Corozal Town.The robbery occurred yesterday between the hours of 6:00p.m and 6:30p.m when 2 men entered the establishment, one of them armed with a firearm, and held up the employees and customers. Victim A&R: “Yes, it was two of them, one had a mask and the other used a black sheet and had a shot gun and this happened between six to six thirty and came in and hold us, I was in my office balancing my cashier and when I came out we had some customers in the store and that is when the two persons came in with the shot gun, I was the one who called the police, the criminals send everybody upstairs and they hold my cashier at gun point and they asked for the keys to close the shutters and I only hand them the keys and after a while they said that the police is coming.”

Dr. Hall Pleaded Guilty To Seven Charges
He was accused in the United States for violating dentistry’s standard of care, engaging in immoral conduct and committing sexual assault and on July 1st, 2005, Dr. John Hall pleaded guilty to seven counts of injecting semen into his patients’ mouths and chose to serve time in jail, rather than to spend five years of intense probation. After living that ordeal, Dr. Hall had planned to open a clinic in San Pedro Ambergris Caye but was immediately shut down by the San Pedro Police Department after they received information about his past charges in the US. Other investigations revealed that Hall obtained a Social Security Card and a work permit under the name John Roberts Hall on the same date that his temporary registration to practice Advanced Medical Care was granted, under the name Robert Bob Hall. As a result, Hall was arrested and charged for making false representation and was offered bail under the condition that he hands over his travel documents.

COLCHA Closes 2015 With Abraxus Concert
The Corozal Organization Leading Culture Heritage and Arts, (COLCHA), is an organization that encompasses and promotes music, fashion, crafts, designs, artwork, film and video and the performing arts. But COLCHA is not only about promoting culture. The group also looks into different projects that can assist the community one of them being providing free medical assistance. As the year 2015 comes to a close so does the activities for the group and according to Chairman for COLCHA, David Akierman, the organization plans to close off 2015 with a bang by hosting a night filled with 80’s and 90’s music with Orange Walk’s very own, Abraxas.

Meza Charged For Murder Of Alberto Briceno
Twenty nine year old Adan Meza, a resident of Paraiso Village in Corozal, has been charged for the murder of 22 year old Alberto Briceno. Briceno was at a dance in the village of Paraiso on Saturday night when he wasallegedly stabbed by Meza several times after they became engaged in an altercation. Briceno died while receiving treatment at the Corozal Community Hospital. As for Meza’s brother, 20 year old Raul Meza, who it is alleged also attacked the victim, we understand he was released with no charges.


Destabilization of the Local Rice Industry?
Importer Jack Charles of Xtra House is determined to import Guyanese rice into the country to sell on the local market at a cheaper price. While a cheaper price is good news for consumers, the idea of having rice imported in the country and sold on the local market is terrifying for local producers. The […]

Retailers Hike Sugar Price Prematurely
It was agreed last month that the price of sugar in Belize would increase from fifty cents a pound to seventy five cents a pound. That increase is to take effect on January 1, 2016 but several stores have already hiked up their prices. That is illegal and the owners can be jailed, fined or […]

Regular Fuel Goes Up at the Pumps
There was a change at the gas pumps on Friday at midnight as regular fuel increased by seventeen cents per gallon countrywide. Premium fuel, however, remains at eight dollars and fifty eight cents with diesel staying at six dollars and forty one cents per gallon and kerosene at five dollars and thirty three cents.

Hyde, Briceno and Fonseca Want the PUP Leadership Seat
It is almost eight years ago when Said Musa stepped out of the spotlight as the leader for the People’s United Party, leaving the vacant post up for the taking. Subsequent to that, on March 30, 2008, the People’s United Party went to a national convention where Francis Fonseca and John Briceno went toe to […]

Government Vehicle Stolen from Capital City
Police in Belmopan are looking into three separate incidents of motor vehicle theft in that municipality. The first occurred between the hours of 7pm on Saturday, December 12 and 1:30pm on Sunday, December 13. Stolen was a red Meilun motorcycle valued at three thousand six hundred dollars. The motorcycle was parked on the veranda of […]

Corozal Police Makes Arrest in Briceno’s Murder
Corozal Police have charged one man for murder. He is twenty nine year old Adan Meza and he stands accused of killing twenty two year old Alberto Briceno on Saturday night in Paraiso Village. Meza is accused of stabbing Briceno six times while they were at the village’s park socializing. Initially, police had two men […]

Man on the Run Following Domestic Dispute
Belmopan police needs your help to capture Sherman Thomas who is also known as “Pest” or Pescado”. He is from Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District and is wanted for the crime of harm. He is accused of assaulting his former girl friend in a domestic dispute that occurred last month. Police say that since the […]

Trustees of Public Sector Workers Monies Taken to Court
Around the end of July last year, there was over five million dollars in the Public Sector Workers Trust account. That amount was the compensation amassed over a two year period due to frozen increments by Prime Minister Manuel Esquivel back in the nineties. Esquivel had given public officers some shares in Belize Telemedia Limited […]


Corozal man dies after being stabbed
On December 12, 22-year-old Alberto Briceño of Paraiso Village, Corozal District received stab wounds to his wrist, stomach, chest and back. That night, Briceño was socializing at the park in Paraiso Village when he reportedly got into a misunderstanding with two brothers. During that altercation, ...

Another Rape in San Pedro
A 34-year-old housewife of San Pedro Town visited the San Pedro Police Station on Saturday the 12th day of December, 2015 and reported that at around 9:00 a.m. on Friday December 11th, 2015 while seeking employment, she was taken on a red motorcycle by a Hispanic male person to a remote area where h...

Seven more in court for Abou-Nehra home invasion
Seven persons, among them two 15 year old girls, were charged with handling stolen goods for one flat screen television that was stolen during the burglary of the residence of Honorary Consul to Lebanon, Sarkis Abou Nehra, when they appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. The adults are 42 ...

Friends shot at in vehicle
A group of friends were shot at while sitting in their vehicle. On Friday the 11th of December around 5:10 p.m., 24 year old Kyle Chaplin and 2 of his friends from Belize City were sitting in a vehicle on Cran Street when a male person came out of a parked van and fired shots at them. When the shoo...

Belize City resident shot in his bed
A Belize City resident is listed in a critical condition after being shot at through his bedroom window. On Sunday the 13th of December, 47 year old David Lamb, a Belizean Fisherman was shot to his chest and arm. According to police, at about 3:45 a.m, Lamb was sleeping in his bedroom when shots wer...

Man shot in buttocks after altercation at bar
A Belize City man was shot in his buttocks after getting involved in an altercation at a bar. On Sunday, the 13th of December at 11:55 p.m., 25-year-old Brandon Allen of Cemetery Road, was socializing at Mike’s in Belize City when he got involved in an altercation with one “Jeffrey,̶...

Jack Charles challenges rice producers over prices
Despite official disapproval from the Government of Belize and rice producers in the North and South, importer Jitendra Chawla, better known as Jack Charles, will persist in obtaining Guyanese rice and importing it into Belize in time for Christmas. In a press release issued this morning, Charles pr...

#509965 - 12/16/15 05:33 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 16, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


BEL wants 11% increase in electricity rates in 2016
The Belize Electricity Limited (BEL) announced today that it has filed a request with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for an 11% increase in electricity rates, which the company said would reflect the actual cost of power from 2012-2016, the full tariff review period. Under the existing regime, the company can request rate adjustments during the course of the year as a part of regular tariff review proceedings, or at the end of the longer tariff period, based on the actual price paid for power. BEL contends that its submission is based on an underestimation of the cost of power (COP) impact of its gas turbine and an overestimation of the cost of power impact for the company’s purchase of power, primarily due to lower rates from Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE) in Mexico. BEL said that in order to recover those costs, it needs a rate increase of 11%, from 35 cents per kilowatt-hour to 38.85 cents per kilowatt-hour.

A sodomite in their midst!
Three mothers of three young boys of a village in the Stann Creek District are devastated after their sons were sexually assaulted by one of their own relatives, a 17-year-old young man. Two of the boys are 12, and the other is 11. The 17-year-old minor has since been arrested and charged with aggravated assault of an indecent nature and committing an unnatural act, and will be taken to the Family Court in Dangriga to be arraigned on the charges. The incidents allegedly occurred on November 11, November 13, and November 16, 2015. The three boys, accompanied by their mothers, told police that the trusted relative visited the separate homes of the young boys in the village, and took sexual advantage of them when they were left alone with him in the homes.

PUP “old guard” wants Francis Fonseca to remain as Leader
Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the deadline for the submission of applications for those Opposition People’s United Party members, supporters and parliamentarians who want to fill the various executive positions in the party, including that of party leader, at the upcoming PUP National Convention scheduled for 28 January, 2016. The surprise coming out of the PUP on Friday, December 11, however, is that former Party Leader Francis Fonseca reportedly has been asked by some parliamentarians to consider running for party leader in the convention. Two days after the PUP’s general election defeat, on November 6, Fonseca resigned as PUP leader, saying, “I am a very young man. I am still in my forties, but I think that I will have to find another way to contribute to the development of Belize. I will of course serve out my term working for the people of Freetown, but I do not intend to seek re-election.” A member of the PUP’s Order of Distinguished Service (ODS), Silky Stuart, told Amandala this evening that he does not see the logic of a Francis Fonseca run for party leader at this time.

Life imprisonment for the stabbing death of fellow villager
Jose Montes, 42, of Bladden, Stann Creek District, who was on trial at the Southern Session of the Supreme Court in Dangriga for the murder of Marlon Martinez, 21, of Bella Vista, was found guilty today of the crime and was handed down a sentence of life imprisonment by Justice Denis Hanomansingh. Martinez was stabbed to death in Bella Vista in July, 2013. Montes, was taken back to his cell at the Belize Central Prison to begin his life sentence. On July, 12, 2013, Amandala reported that Marlon Anthony Martinez, 21, of Bella Vista, was stabbed in his heart during an altercation at about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday, July, 7, 2013, while walking home after a party in Bella Vista.

Government will pass legislation to make stevedores an essential service provider
Last Monday, the stevedores employed by the Port of Belize Limited went on a three-day strike after they and their union, the Christian Workers Union (CWU), failed to reach an agreement with the Port on a retroactive retirement plan. Tonight, one week later, things have returned to normal at the Port, through which the bulk of goods that are imported into the country must pass. Arturo “Tux” Vasquez, the receiver and CEO of the Port of Belize Limited, told Amandala tonight that everything is back to normal at the port during this busy holiday season. Vasquez said that the next scheduled round of negotiations between the management of the Port and the CWU will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, at 1:30 p.m.

New Public Accounts Committee constituted
Official information received by the Amandala newspaper indicates that three new members have been named to the Public Accounts Committee, one of thirteen standing committees of the House of Representatives, while Opposition People’s United Party member for Cayo South, Hon. Julius Espat, has again been named as chairman. The PAC is the only House committee chaired by an Opposition member. Whereas Espat was named to serve as chairman during the previous term of office, he refused to preside over meetings held to review reports filed by the Auditor General which went back to the administration of his party, insisting that they should only be required to deal with current reports. Those meetings were held despite the absence of Opposition members, by Belmopan area representative Hon. John Saldivar, UDP member, who has again been named as a PAC member, along with Collet area representative Hon. Patrick Faber, also of the UDP.

2015 National Primary Schools Volleyball Champions
The National Primary Schools Volleyball Championship was held last Friday, December 4, at the Belize Elementary Gym and Star’s Volleyball Gym in Belize City; and both Stann Creek girls and boys teams emerged as national champions. There were six teams each participating in the male and female divisions, being the champion teams from the six districts. These were: MALES (M): Belize Elementary (Belize); Howard Smith Nazarene (Cayo); Louisiana Gov’t (Orange Walk); Mary Hill RC (Corozal); St. Matthews Anglican (Stann Creek); and San Vicente RC (Toledo). FEMALES (F): Belize Elementary (Belize); Our Lady of Guadalupe RC (Cayo); Chan Pine Ridge Gov’t (Orange Walk); Church of Christ Primary (Corozal); Holy Angels RC (Stann Creek); and Toledo Christian Academy (Toledo). In the first round, both the female and male teams were separated into groups of three, which then played a round robin, and the top two from each female group, and likewise the top two from each male group, went on to the knockout semifinals.

New Year’s Competition kicks off in P.G.
The Concerned Committee for Football kicked-off its seven-a-side New Year’s Competition on Sunday, December 13, with two exciting games. The six teams in the competition are Galaxy Boys, Jah Love, Jah Roots/Estrellas, Jah Youths, Southern Stars and Ray FC. In the first game, Southern Stars trampled over Galaxy Boys, 12 to nil. Anselmo Choc and Joaquin Ico scored 4 apiece, while Rustico Coc scored 3 and Ramon Coc scored1goal. In game two, Jah Roots/Estrellas and Jah Youths played to a 7 to 7 draw. Michael Ricketts scored 4 goals, while Matthew Ricketts, Darol Lambey and Ray “Chucuru” Arzu scored 1 goal apiece for Jah Youths. Zidane Hines, Aduan Usher and Tyrell Flores scored 2 goals apiece, while Percival Audinett scored1 goal for Jah Roots/Estrellas. Sheldon Lambey was ejected after getting a second caution. The third game will be a back match.

The U.S., Cuba, and the Caribbean
We can say this for Said Musa’s People’s United Party (PUP) administrations (1998-2008) in their early years, that there were attempts made to enlighten the Belizean people, most notably through the African and Indigenous history project, but also through initiatives at the University of Belize (UB) level. We can’t say the same thing for the Dean Barrow United Democratic Party (UDP) administrations since 2008. The University of Belize no longer does anything creative, has not done anything creative for years, when it comes to education and community participation. And at graduation time in the various secondary and tertiary institutions of learning, almost all the guest speakers are UDP political leaders and affiliates: the fare they offer is bland and self-congratulatory. Cutting edge issues are not addressed by Belize’s academics. With 5,000 Cubans stranded in Costa Rica, trying to reach the United States, and the matter becoming somewhat of a Central American humanitarian crisis (see Adele Ramos’ story on page 2 of last weekend’s issue of Amandala), Belize’s national university could have contributed substantially to educating the Belizean people about the background and nature of this matter.

From the Publisher
Several times in the recent past, con permiso, I have used this column to feature subject matter which I suspect many readers would ordinarily be tempted to skip. The fact that such matter is included in this column makes it more likely to be perused, I believe. Last week while leafing through old material, I found a copy of BELIZEAN STUDIES, Vol. 15, No. 3, of 1987. BELIZEAN STUDIES used to be published by St. John’s College. The editors were Lita Krohn and David Price (deceased), and the advisory board was comprised of Leo Bradley (deceased), Homero Escalante, Charles Gibson, Fr. Charles Hunter, S. J. (deceased), Fr. Lloyd Lopez (deceased), and Larry Vernon. One of the papers in that specific issue of BELIZEAN STUDIES was entitled “The Kekchi and the settlement of Toledo District.” It was written by Richard Wilk, who was described as “an anthropologist, presently an assistant professor at New Mexico State University.” I intend to reproduce Professor Wilk’s paper in three parts. I am hoping that the two parts which will follow this one in weekend issues of Amandala, will not have to be included in the columns scheduled for this weekend’s issue and next week’s Christmas issue. I am hoping to pique your interest enough for you to look forward to the next two parts. The subject is a very, very important one.

Guatemala’s and Belize’s Dispute
Dear Editor, I was intrigued by Adele Ramos’s “Belize and Guatemala Sign ICJ Protocol.” In the article, Ramos says that there is a possibility that the territorial dispute between the countries will be taken to the international Court of Justice, but I don’t think this will solve the problem. The article says that the ICJ will have full power over the final decision. Guatemala’s claim has violated the Treaty of 1859 between that country and Britain which set borders between Belize and Guatemala that the countries agreed on. This is Belize’s main argument against the claim but the opposing country has always found a way to justify the claim. Guatemala says that the treaty was signed when Belize was a colony of Britain so it does not count, and that the treaty was voided because there was never a highway built to connect the two countries. Guatemala also claims that Belize hinders its economy because it covers the coastline. It seems like the decades-old dispute won’t end until a decision is made in Guatemala’s favor.

Copa Airlines is the new game-changer for Belize, says Tourism Minister
Copa Airlines, flight 281, which originated from Panama City, touched down today for the first time in Belize, at the Philip Goldson International Airport. Copa Airlines is the national airline of Panama, and was founded in 1947. Online sources indicate that Copa Airlines is considered to be one of the most profitable airlines, with rapid growth throughout the Americas. At the inauguration ceremony which commenced at approximately 1:15 p.m., the Minister of Tourism and Aviation, Manuel Heredia, Jr; Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism; Jorge Espat, Managing Director of the Airport Concession Company; Ambassador of Panama, Marta Irene Boza; and Adolfo Sen, Director of Sales for Copa Airlines, invited guests and waiting passengers were on hand to welcome this new carrier. Hon. Heredia, in his address, said that this can “undoubtedly be a game changer for both parties.” Heredia continued by saying that for years their strongest market has been North America, but the government realized the need to diversify, with tourism being our number one industry.

BISL claims damages of US$45 mil—GOB says zilch!
In yet another multi-million-dollar litigation between the Barrow administration and the Ashcroft Alliance, the Government of Belize continues to be at loggerheads with Belize Investment Services Limited (BISL) over the Government’s 2013 decision to rescind its 20-year-old arrangement with the company, which had been handling the registration of international business corporations (IBCs) and merchant marine ships under Belize’s jurisdiction. The matter is expected to go to full hearing in the Supreme Court in early 2016. For its part, BISL is claiming that the Government should pay US$45 million in damages—the Government, on the other hand, says it owes BISL zilch! Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana is expecting to receive written submissions to be filed by this Friday, December 18, 2015, in preparation for the hearing. Last week, Arana received pretrial submissions from the parties and she heard from expert witnesses for both the claimant and the respondent, as attorneys for both sides argued over the validity of a contract dating back to the days of the Rt. Hon. George Price, now deceased.

Boy, 9, killed in traffic accident
Gerardo Lopez, 9, a student of Orange Walk Town, died after suffering head injuries when he was knocked down by a motorcycle while crossing the road at about noon Thursday. The boy was walking home for lunch with his mother at about 11:30 Thursday morning and was crossing the road to buy corn tortillas when he was knocked down and dragged by the motorcycle. Lopez was taken to the Northern Regional Hospital, where he was admitted in a stable condition; however, he died on Saturday morning due to the injuries. Assistant Superintendent Selwyn Tillett, Commander of Orange Walk police, reported that the boy was hit by a motorcycle driven by Sixto Martinez, a welder of Guinea Grass, and that Martinez took full responsibility for the accident.

San Pedro women’s attacker remanded to jail
A pervert who attacked and beat a senior citizen, 77, has been arrested and charged by the San Pedro police with two counts of aggravated assault of an indecent nature, wounding, and attempted rape, after he attacked and beat yet another woman and attempted to drag her into the bushes to rape her. He was remanded to the Belize Central Prison today, until February 15, 2016, when he is to be returned to court. He appeared before San Pedro Town Magistrate Sherigne Rodriguez. Police said that an identification parade was conducted and Pablo Hernandez, 18, was positively identified by the senior citizen and the other female victim. Police reported that Hernandez, a Salvadoran construction worker of San Pedro, at about 11:00 on the night of November 22, attacked a 77-year-old woman who was walking home alone in the Escalante area of San Pedro, dragging her into the bushes and beating her until she was unconscious, after which he stole her panties and escaped.

$1.15 down to $0.69 per pound for rice?
There is an ad on the radio announcing that very soon consumers will be able to get rice for 69 cents per pound. This is due to Jitendra Chawla, more popularly known as “Jack Charles,” a local merchant, importing rice from Guyana, and this has our local rice producers in a state of panic, fearing that they may be pushed out of the market. Jose Alpuche, Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, told Amandala this morning that Jack Charles has not been given a permit to import rice from Guyana, however. Also, it has been reported that Guyana is seeking markets for its rice due to the fact that the PetroCaribe Energy Cooperation Agreement between Guyana and Venezuela was squashed as a result of a territorial disagreement between the two countries. Stanley Rempel, a local rice producer, told Amandala that this is not about getting rice at a more affordable rate; instead, it is about “food security”. Rempel added that rice is already one of the cheapest commodities, since at “$1.15 per pound, it can feed 10 people.”

3 released on bail for Lebanese Consul’s home invasion
Three out of nine persons who were remanded to prison on Monday, December 7, for their alleged role in a vicious home invasion of Lebanese diplomat, Abou Nahra’s Burrell Boom home, were granted bail in the Supreme Court of Justice Herbert Lord this morning. This afternoon, three additional persons, charged in connection with the same incident, appeared in the Magistrate’s Court. Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser remanded two of them to prison, while the third, on the advice of his attorney, Dickie Bradley, will be arraigned on Monday, before the Chief Magistrate. Randolph Coleman, 23, a Coast Guard officer and resident of Police Street, was offered bail of $10,000 plus one surety. The conditions of Coleman’s bail is that he surrender all of his travel documents to the Supreme Court, prior to receiving his bail, and that he report to the Queen Street Police Station every Friday, beginning on December 18.

ASR/BSI increases the first payment to cane farmers
According to American Sugar Refinery/Belize Sugar Industries Limited (ASR/BSI), cane farmers will be receiving $1.32 increase on their first payment as a result of Government’s decision to increase the cost of white sugar by 25 cents, bringing the cost for 1 pound of sugar to 75 cents. ASR/BSI issued a press release which showed an increase in the first payment to cane farmers from $35.33 to $36.65 for the 2015/2016 sugar crop season. Now with the new price increase, things are certainly looking a little better for the cane farmers. Also, the ASR/BSI now has a new truck dumper, which will increase the efficiency of processing the cane, said Shawn Chavarria, ASR/BSI’s financial controller. Chavarria explained that, “The original truck dumper, which handles roughly 60% of the cane, which used the method of hooking trucks from the trailers using the cranes to unload, was quite inefficient and time consuming.” The new truck dumper will improve the turnaround time for cane trucks to be off-loaded, completing the process in approximately 1 minute, Chavarria said.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

People’s United Party names nominees for executive and leadership posts
Following the close of nominations this evening at 5 o’clock, party chairman Henry Charles Usher confirmed in a press briefing the names of the nominees for the leadership and executive posts in the party shortly thereafter. Former leaders John Briceno and Francis Fonseca (who […]

Jeffrey McDougal charged for shooting
Twenty-five year old Jeffrey McDougal, a labourer of 40 King Street who allegedly shot another man, was charged with dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm when he appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser. She explained to him that she will […]

Sisters freed of theft charge
22 year old Chelsea Martinez and 21 year old Monique Martinez, along with 29 year old Ervin Zelaya, had charges of theft against them dropped after the police officer whose ATM card was stolen decided to settle the matter out of court. The charges […]

20 year old is accused of having sex with 14 year old student
Kristoff Myvett, 20, son of a police officer and student of the ITVET, has been remanded to the Belize Central Prison on a charge of unlawful sexual intercourse. Myvett is alleged to have had, on September 28, 2015 whilst in Belize City, sexual intercourse […]

Arthur Cadle faces graver charges in traffic accident
Truck driver Arthur Cadle’s white International truck reportedly hit Norman Alexander Castillo as he was on the highway, having alighted from a bus, and a house was being moved when he was run over by the truck in a freak accident. Now the 59 […]

Fonseca, Hyde, Briceno nominated for PUP leader
Former leaders John Briceno and Francis Fonseca and representative Cordel Hyde are the three confirmed candidates for leader of the Peoples United Party after close of nominations today. Nominations were also taken for deputy leader, national communications manager among others. The national party council will […]

Smart gets ready for 4G
Today, December 15, was expected to be the start date for SMARTs 4G LTE internet service, which it has touted as revolutionizing Belize’s telecom industry. But it’s not quite ready yet. This evening Linette Canto, SMART’s marketing manager, told us via text message that […]

Popular taxi man found murdered in Punta Gorda
The body of a well-known taxi driver and Justice of the Peace from Eldridge Village, located a few miles outside of Punta Gorda (PG) town, was discovered lifeless inside his Isuzu Trooper in a secluded area called ‘360 Exile’ of that municipality earlier today. […]

Two arrested for $12,000 robbery
A 21-year-old Clerk of Santa Elena, Edvik Guerra and a 23-year-old carpenter of the same municipality, Leroy Myvette, were both charged in connection with an armed robbery which took place last week Friday as Lester Wagner, invoicing clerk for Santiago Castillo Limited, was counting […]

Government vehicle stolen from Magistrate Court compound
A government vehicle valued at $61,000 was stolen from the Magistrate Court’s compound in Belize City yesterday, between the hours of 9:20 and 11:50 a.m. Registrar for the Department of Co-operatives, 47-year-old Gareth Murillo, reported to police that a white D-Max four door pickup, was parked […]

House Committees named
Following its first business session of the new administration, the House of Representatives has distributed memberships of committees reviewing legislation. Tuesday’s issue of the Amandala reports that the Public Accounts Committee, which is the only House Committee chaired by a member of the Opposition, features […]

PUP D-Day for nominations
Today December 15th is the deadline for nominations for the post of People’s United Party leader. The nomination process is not elaborate, consisting only of a nomination letter forwarded to the Party Chairman, Henry Charles Usher, and the subsequent acceptance by the nominee. Yesterday, the […]

18-year-old arrested in Orange Walk hit and run
Orange Walk Police have made an arrest following investigations into a hit and run incident that happened on Monday, December 7th. 52-year-old Belito Moreno was riding his bicycle on the Belize-Corozal Road around 10:45 that morning when he was knocked down by someone on […]

Orange Walk group spreads Christmas
Three Christmases ago a group of friends and relatives in Orange Walk town made a pact. Instead of exchanging gifts for Christmas they all agreed to join the money and make good use of it to give back to the community. With that in mind […]


Why I LOVE December on Ambergris Caye, Belize
I am no Scrooge – I’m a pretty big fan of Christmas no matter where I am. I have now lived in Belize for over 8 years – and have spent each Christmas here on Ambergris Caye. I also spent the 33 previous Christmas seasons in the US…New Jersey to be exact. And while I do miss some things from the states, like iced cold egg nog that you can buy in the supermarket, the smell of a real Christmas tree and gaining 10 holiday pounds eating pigs-in-a-blanket and cookies, I love LOVE Christmas in Belize…and the whole month of December. And here are a few reasons why I do.

12 days of Christmas Red Cross Remix and an Xmas Miracle
As part of our Holiday fun, and preparations for the upcoming boat parade, the San Pedro Belize Red Cross decided to record a song. Well known photographer Karen Brodie jumped at the chance to be our jungle writer and she quickly came up with an excellent remix of the 12 days of Christmas. We immediately rounded up a few singers to help the cause and it turned out great. Since yesterday I started asking for a miracle in hopes that the universe would hear my pleas and send us lights we needed to do our our boat for the parade. At the same time I was crunching numbers and trying to make it work. At the rehearsal I mentioned to everyone to put their thinking caps on for our lighting dilemma and Brittney (always a star) said “I can help you there”. Within 24 hours she had arranged for Dustin Bowen to sponsor the Red Cross Christmas lights. Thank you both so much. Also thanks goes out to Travelers rum for sponsoring some Christmas cheer for our boat :)

Belize Guatemala Dispute Settlement Boundary Claim

Belize Guatemala Boundary Dispute II

International Sourcesizz

Professor’s NEA Award to Bring Women’s Group from Belize
The ancient Mayas’ rich ceramics tradition tells a unique story translated in the work of SUNY Cortland Art and Art History Professor Jeremiah Donovan. The proof can be found in the highly competitive National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funding that he recently was awarded. Donovan, who is widely recognized for his work with international cultures, will receive an “Art Works” award from the NEA worth $15,000 for a project showcasing the ceramic traditions of Belize — more specifically the contemporary pottery from the San Antonio Women’s Cooperative (SAWC), a small community of Maya descendants inspired by its cultural past. Some of the funding will pay for a group of women from San Antonio, a completely rural village centrally located on the western border of Belize, to visit SUNY Cortland and share their unique stories in October 2016. “This award deals with a multidimensional idea that received support from many different groups — not only the Art and Art History Department, but also the Research and Sponsored Programs Office,” said Donovan, who began taking students to Belize in 2013 after building a similarly successful program in China. “The NEA is the gold standard in the art field, so it’s special for SUNY Cortland to be recognized in this way.

Greg Norman’s firm hired to design new course in Belize
Greg Norman Golf Course Design has been hired to create a new 18-hole golf course in the Central American nation of Belize. The course will form part of a new luxury destination on Caye Chapel Island, which lies 18 kilometres from Belize City in the Caribbean. “Caye Chapel is an extraordinary destination and I am thrilled to be part of the resort’s long-term vision and development,” says Norman. “I take serious the sensitivity of designing a golf course and its effect on the eco-system. I will work in concert with the development team to create a course that is environmentally sound while providing a playable and memorable experience for all golfers.” The new course will form part of a new resort being developed by two prominent Mexican developers – Thor Urbana Capital and Inmobilia. The resort will also be home to a luxury hotel, a private landing strip, marina, and a commercial shopping centre.


  • Tarpon Cave Dive Site BELIZE Dec 8-Reef Sharks, 3min.

  • East Cut Dive Site BELIZE- Dec 8-Reef Sharks, Grouper, 3min.

  • Belize Day 2 & The Blue Hole with music, 5min.

  • Baptisms at Crique Troso Belize, 7.5min. Vision Ministries partnering with Crique Troso Baptist Church in Belize. Baptisms on November 2015.

  • Belize Snorkel Day with music, 2min.

  • The History of St. John's Cathedral, 3.5min. Step inside the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist - a building rich in 200 years of history and fellowship. Located in Belize City, Belize (Central America), the building is open to the public for worship and tours.

  • BTIA CONCERNED ABOUT TRENCHING TAKING PLACE ON THE SOUTHERN PART OF THE OF THE LAMANAI LAGOON, 8min. In the month of September during his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Dean Barrow announced that Government will be constructing a new road to Lamanai via Bermuda Landing in order to boost the tourism sector in the area. While this might have come as good news for many, for tour guides, tour operators and hotel and restaurant owners of the north, this came as bad news. The constructing to of the road automatically means that tourist will no longer need to travel all the way into Orange Walk to access Lamanai Ruin either by road or by boat. But that’s not all the bad news. Reports are that currently trenching is taking place on the southern part of the Lamanai Lagoon that will allow the passage of boats to take tours to Lamanai. And this is what has Belize Tourism Industry Association upset since they were not informed about the project.

  • 12 days of Christmas Red Cross Remix, 4min. As part of our Holiday fun, and preparations for the upcoming boat parade, the San Pedro Belize Red Cross decided to record a song. Well known photographer Karen Brodie jumped at the chance to be our jungle writer and she quickly came up with an excellent remix of the 12 days of Christmas. We immediately rounded up a few singers to help the cause and it turned out great.

  • Belize, 4min. Trip to Belize November 2015, locations visited include Caye Caulker, San Ignacio, Belize City, Hopkins, and Tikal(Guatemala)

  • Belize fine cut, 21min. UC Santa Barbara presents Preserving the Maya

  • Clear Water Belize, 3.5min.

  • MT, KT, ZK - Scuba Belize Thanksgiving 2015, 4.5min. Thanksgiving 2015 trip to Ambergris Caye, Belize. Scuba Diving Adventures with Michael, Kelsey, and Zivi. We dove with Eco-Divers (Day Dives) and Ambergris Divers (Night Dive). The dive sites are Esmerelda Canyons, High School, Tackle Box, and Hol Chan Cut.

  • Half Moon Caye Dive Site BELIZE Dec 9-Reef Sharks, 3min. Belize December 2015 Sundancer II/Aggressor IV Belize Reefs

  • Silver Cave and Long Caye Wall Dive Site BELIZE Dec 9-Sea Horse, Reef Sharks, Eagle Ray, 3min. Belize December 2015 Sundancer II/Aggressor IV Belize Reefs

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