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#509988 - 12/17/15 05:39 AM Today's Belize News: December 17, 2015
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

Last night's TV news on Channel 7, Channel 5, LOVETV, PGTV, West Vision (Cayo) and CTV 3. Also with the most recent Open Your Eyes, Rise and Shine Morning Show, and the Dickie Bradley Specials

The San Pedro Sun

Who will be the next PUP Party Leader?
Three members of the People’s United Party (PUP) have been nominated to contest the position of party leader in the upcoming convention on January 31, 2016. Nominations ended at 5PM on Tuesday, December 15th, with Honorable Cordel Hyde and former party leaders Honorable John Briceño and Honorable Francis Fonseca officially up for contention. But party supporters will not only select their next leader at the 2016 convention, as nominations were also held for the position of deputy party leader, national communication manager, national campaign manager, legal advisor, treasurer and chairman of the PUP. The shocker at nomination came with the announcement of Fonseca running for party leader after recently announcing his resignation after the November 2015 General Elections. Fonseca has indicated his actions are attributed by request from party members and an overwhelming encouragement from supporters who wish him to continue as party leader.

Keeping Belize Wild
Belize is a melting pot of magnificent and unique creatures. From the graceful swimming manatees, to the beautiful aeronautical macaws to the majestic and powerful jaguar, Belize is home to some of the world’s most prized wildlife. Yet, the rarity and beauty of Belize’s animals can cause us to forget our manners, disrespecting the animals and their environment…and sometimes the livelihoods of the local community. How so you may ask??? Well, here is a little story for example… You are on vacation and absolutely excited to see some real wildlife! You ask people where you can see some animals, and some locals point you into the direction of a place where you can see various bird species and crocodiles. You are totally thrilled to see crocodiles; and you know from TV they love chicken! You and your family head to the spot. You see Warning Signs and Private Property signs, but figure it has to be ok to go on the property since this is a known spot for birds and crocodiles. As you head to the waters edge, the crocodiles seem curious. You are excited to get close and personal with these apex predators, and the crocs are getting closer, and closer, and THEN…

Top Shatta takes the lead of the Christmas 8-ball Pool Tournament
The first ever Christmas 8-ball Pool tournament has brought much sporting fun to the island. With the second round of games over, only one more round is left in the tournament with the championship match being set for Sunday, December 20th. The eight registered teams are giving it their all in every single match in hopes of winning the grand cash prize of $1,000. Currently in the lead is team Top Shatta with 48 points, but anything can happen during this coming weekend’s games. After the last round of matches on Sunday, December 13th, team Top Shatta took the lead from last week’s leaders AJ’s Shootaz. Still in second place is team Un-expected with 41 points with AJ’s Shootaz close behind with only one point less. AJ’s Youths follows in fourth place with 38 points, Sand Bar Ballers are in fifth place with 36 points, Iguanas in sixth place with 26 points, Under Ground in seventh place with 24 point while Maldonado’s is in eight place with one point.

Islanders enjoy the festive Love FM Christmas Parade
Love FM hosted their fifth annual Christmas Parade in San Pedro on Saturday, December 12th. The festive parade brings color, music and much Christmas cheer to the main streets of the island with brightly lit floats and participants in themed costumes. This year’s parade was a spectacular show of creativity with elaborate floats from the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), Love FM, Top Notch, Isla Bonita Elementary School, Belize National Library Service and Information System, the Garifuna Council San Pedro Branch, Wings and the San Pedro Lions Club. The parade started shortly after 7PM from the Boca del Rio Park. Residents and island visitors flocked to the streets along the parade route to get a prime viewing spot. The sounds of Christmas carols announced the parade was near. Leading this year’s parade was the San Pedro Town Mayor, Councilors and staff who were happily handing out sweet treats to all the children. Miss San Pedro Iris Salguero then followed on a decked out Christmas sleigh float. Also in the parade was Area Representative Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr.

Island tour guides participate in Manatee Conservation Workshop
The importance of protecting the endangered Antillean manatee cannot be stressed enough by Belize’s environmentalists, and as such, a workshop on their conservation was held in San Pedro on Thursday, December 10th for tour guides and boat captains. Representatives from the many tour companies in San Pedro gathered at the Lion’s Den at 1PM to participate in the event which provided valuable information for tourism industry partners on manatees. The workshop was a collaborative effort of the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Sea to Shore Alliance (C2S), Belize Forest Department, Belize Port Authority and Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary. Opening the workshop was Maria Vega of Swallow Caye Wildlife Sanctuary, who welcomed everyone to the event, and explained what would be covered during the workshop. The first presentation was given by Jamal Galves of C2S. Galves, a self-made manatee expert who has dedicated much of his life towards the protection of these animals, spoke on the basic details of these gentle giants, including their habitats, importance to society, population dynamics, reproduction, eating habits, as well as the threats they face in Belize.

Big renovations to come to the Air Traffic Control Sector in 2016
The New Year will see some major improvements to Belize’s Air Traffic Control Sector with the signing of a $9 million renovation project contract. The project is scheduled to commence in early 2016, and will see the upgrade of air traffic controls, radar systems and meteorological devices. This much needed upgrade comes after a long petition from Air Traffic Control workers and the Public Service Union who claimed the facilities at The Philip Goldson International Airport are not up to par with today’s demanding aviation industry. The project contract was signed on Wednesday, December 2nd as part International Civil Aviation Day and is expected to take up to 18 months to complete. Indra Systems will be providing all the equipment necessary for the renovation will CONCESNA and the Ministry of Civil Aviation will be jointly overseeing the that the project is completed in a satisfactory manner. Heredia remarked on the great benefits the upgrade will bring for Belize’s Aviation Industry and even the Tourism Industry. “This is a very important milestone for civil aviation in Belize; the si

Ambergris Today

Black Team Belize Sweeps Regional WOD Competition in Mexico
Ricky Luna, Rene Reyes, Liliana Nunez and Lucian Pollard Black Team Belize place first place at intermediate level. After a two-day competition that saw Belize’s Black Team competing against 26 other intermediate teams in the WOD Challenge Merida 2015, Mexico, and surpassing rigorous exercise challenges, Belize claimed the top spot on the podium. Coaches Liliana Nunez and Rene Reyes of Crossfit San Pedro teamed up with Coaches Lucien Pollard and Ricky Luna of WOD Zone to represent Belize in a team competition that took place in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. The Belize Black Team was the only non-Mexican team in the competition as they faced teams from Crossfit boxes from all over Mexico including Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Merida, Campeche, among others. The first day of competition had the team battling in three heat events taking place indoors at the Universidad Model. The next day competition moved to the beaches of Progresso, where things got more challenging, but fun, according to Coach Liliana Nunez. “We definitely made a good team,” commented Liliana Nunez of Crossfit San Pedro. “No misunderstanding, no stress, no confusion, no fight; we worked so good together it was smooth, that was the best part of it. And everyone did there part and work hard for that first place.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Hon. Gaspar Vega meets with Alexandra Costeau
Hon. Gaspar Vega, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment & Sustainable Development met with Alexandra Costeau, National Geographic filmmaker, ocean explorer, Oceana Senior Advisor and granddaughter of the legendary Jacques Costeau. Jacques Costeau explored Belize's marine environment in the 1970's, becoming the first person to document and reveal the mysteries of our Great Blue Hole. Her week-long trip included a visit with the Deputy Prime Minister to discuss sustainability in management and greater protection for Belize's marine resources. Costeau said of Belize, “My husband and I fell in love in Belize and with Belize. This is where he and I took our first trip together. This is also where I taught him how to dive. Later, our daughter touched the ocean for the first time in Belize. Now, we’re looking forward to bringing our newborn son to Belize. Belize is one of those places that just feels so much like home to me.”

Fifth Road (Phillip Goldson Highway Upgrading) Project – Section A – Airport Road Junction to Haulover Bridge
The Government of Belize secured Loan from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the Fifth Road (Phillip S.W. Goldson Highway Upgrading) Project. This project, located in Belize City and Ladyville is divided into several components, two of which directly address road infrastructure: Section A (Airport Road Junction to Haulover Bridge) and Section B (Haulover Bridge to Buttonwood Bay Boulevard Roundabout). Section A of this project involves the upgrading of Phillip Goldson Highway from its intersection with the Airport Road to the northern approach of the Haulover Bridge. Included in the scope of works is the construction of retaining walls in areas where there is the threat of erosion on the road foundation, the installation of erosion protection baskets and rock rip-rap, widening of the road cross section to include paved road shoulders, pavement restoration and re-surfacing. The project also includes installation of road lighting and safety features, such as signs, reflectors, road marking and improved visibility through the clearing of the road reserve.

The passing of Ms. Balbina Sanchez
Mayor Daniel Guerrero, the San Pedro Town Council and Staff would like to extend its deepest condolences to the Sanchez family & friends on the passing of Ms. Balbina Sanchez. Ms. Balbina lost her battle to cancer, but she sure gave it a good fight. May her soul rest in peace.

Inauguration of the Sarteneja Community Library
The official inauguration of the Sarteneja Community Library was made by Minister Hon. Patrick Faber. The building, housing the new library, was converted from and old water reservoir to a beautiful library. Special salutation and thanks to Ms. Julia Kern, friend of the Sarteneja community for her contribution and everyone that made this library possible.

Belize Tourism Pioneer Mick Fleming Honoured by BTIA
Congratulations are in order for Chaa Creek's Mick Fleming. The award was 'to honor outstanding members, pioneers and sponsors who were actively involved in the growth and development of the BTIA and the tourism industry of Belize.' That about nails it. "Belizean eco-resort The Lodge at Chaa Creek reports that it is ending the year on a high note after co-owner Mick Fleming was honoured with a special award as part of the Belize Tourism Industry Association’s (BTIA) December 2015 annual general meeting and 30th anniversary celebration."

The U.S. Embassy is selling a satellite dish!
No minimum bid!

FREE Christmas Camp for kids in San Pedro!
The San Pedro House of Culture in collaboration with Projects Abroad invite all kids to a FREE Christmas Camp on December 28th to 30th from 9 am to 12 noon. If your child in interested in attending the Christmas Camp, please contact the House of Culture at 226-5100 or Kaitlin McWhorter at 607-1765.

Leap Year-Leap Forward Meet & Greet
Get acquainted and learn about the progress being made with creative agriculture, vocations, skills, co-operative, and more. Monday, February 29, 2016at 1 PM - 4 PM, #12 Hunters Lane, Belize City, Belize. Created for The Humaniterrium Project Friends

Power interruptions 8:00am to 8:30am & 12:30pm to 1:00pm, Thursday, December 17, Placencia Peninsula
Portion between Surfside Dev & Plantation including Coco Plum Dev, Maya Beach, Poinciana Dr, Coconut Walk Rd, Forest Lagoon Estate & Maya Lagoon area. BEL to conduct upgrade works in the area.

Allegro Choir Christmas Sing-along Concert
The Allegro School of Music had a great Christmas Sing-along Concert. Merry Christmas! "Allegro Music School was so very proud to present the Allegro Choir for our first ever public performance last night in Belmopan! We had an audience full with friends, family, and music lovers. The audience did pretty well joining in with the sing-along songs although we’ll get them going more next year! Our choir songs sounded great - and we will get better and better each performance."

Groundbreaking ceremony for the new U.S. Marine Security Guard Residence
Last Friday, Ambassador Moreno assisted in taking the first step to getting the Embassy ready for the addition of U.S. Marine Security Guards at a groundbreaking ceremony for the new U.S. Marine Security Guard Residence on the U.S. Embassy compound. Construction for the new building started in November 2015 and is expected to be completed in June 2017

San Pedro Dance Academy Annual Christmas show
Sunday December 20th @ 7pm

Paradise Theater playing this weekend
The Visit, The Ghost Dimension, The Walk, Pan

Channel 7

Will GOB Block Guyanese Rice?
Tomorrow morning all eyes turn to the Port in Big Creek where a shipment of three containers, containing 75 tonnes of Premium Rice from Guyana is expected to arrive. It’s the property of merchant Jack Charles who is determined to get the rice to market so he can offer consumers “Grade A” rice at 69 cents a pound, while the government-controlled price for “Grade C” is 90 cents per pound. So will the government allow him to introduce the imported rice to the market? Today, speaking to us from El Salvador, the CEO in the Ministry of Agriculture said Charles hasn’t applied for the necessary BAHA Permit: Jules Vasquez "Rice is scheduled to arrive at Big Creek port from Santo Thomas tomorrow. What is the plan for the government of Belize; will the rice be allowed into the country?" Jose Alpuche - CEO, Ministry of Agriculture "Prior to importation of plant and animal material, importation permit should be requested from BAHA. The last time I checked, no permit request had been made to BAHA, this is yesterday. If the rice lands, BAHA has laws by which that guides them and they will apply the law." Jules Vasquez "Okay, now all this is heading for a sort of showdown. We know Mr. Charles has been advertising that the rice will be 21 cents cheaper than the new control price and certain charitable organisations will get it for even less than that. Explain to me, is this adding pressure unto the Ministry of Agriculture?"

Cabbie Killed In The South
Last night, we told you about the murder of 64 year-old Antonio Rodriguez, better known as “Sapote”. The well-known taxi man from Eldridgeville, Toledo was found murdered in a remote location just outside of Punta Gorda town. He is known as a hard worker, but sometime on Tuesday before midday, a customer, someone he most likely knew, lured him to that location and stabbed him multiple times while he was driving the taxi. He had his licensed handgun beside him, but investigators believe that because the attacker surprised him from behind in the backseat, he did not have any opportunity to draw it. So, why would anyone want to kill the older man? That’s what our news team went to PG to find out today. Daniel Ortiz reports: Just after midday yesterday, taxi driver Antonio “Sapote” Rodriguez, was found here on this feeder road just outside of Punta Gorda Town. He had been stabbed multiple times and left for dead, an uncharacteristic and violent end for this productive community member. One of his fellow taxi drivers, the last person to speak with Rodriguez while he was alive, recounted their conversation before he left on a taxi run.

Charges Reduced For Santa Cruz 13; Is GOB Case Crumbling
6 months ago, on June 24, it made headline news when Cristina Coc, and 12 villagers of Santa Cruz, collectively known as the Santa Cruz 13, were arrested and charged for unlawful imprisonment. That’s after they handcuffed and tried to kick Creole Belizean Rupert Myles out of the village. He reported them to police, and investigators took swift action against the Santa Cruz 13, marching them before the Punta Gorda Magistrates Court. Well today, after a flurry of adjournments, the 13 Mayan defendants reported to court only to find out that the prosecution withdrew the charge of unlawful imprisonment. It’s an important vindication for the Maya who maintained that they did not break any law when they detained Myles for allegedly damaging their Uxbenka Mayan monument. We had publicly speculated that the criminal case was losing strength, and today’s outcome is being interpreted by the defendants as a step toward complete vindication. Cristina Coc, one of the accused, told us how the Santa Cruz 13 is preparing to beat the prosecution at the next adjournment:

Former Cop, Now Parolee Sent Back To Jail
30 year old Ronald Sutherland is a former police officer who was sent to jail for beating up his girlfriend. He was released on parole but is back in jail tonight, accused this time of smuggling weed. Surveillance by Special Branch led to a search of his home yesterday at 5 Adam’s Lane which turned up four ounces of marijuana. Sutherland told the court that his brother left behind a bag and he didn’t know what was in it. Still, Sutherland took took a guilty plea for drug trafficking and begged the court for leniency. But, he is a parolee, so, after considering the fact that Sutherland will no doubt be taken back before a parole board for violating the conditions of his parole, Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser did not accept the guilty plea and instead denied him bail.

Will Sugar Sellers Pay For Premature Price Hike?
Last week Friday, we showed you proof that although the increase in price of sugar takes effect on New Year’s Day, grocers are already trying to gouge the consumer by hiking up the price prematurely. That’s illegal, and punishable by a fine of $1,000 or an imprisonment of up to 6 months, or both, but even though there is stiff penalties for this crime, retailers are still taking the risk. That’s because they know that the Bureau of Standards, which is responsible for consumer protection, is infamously lacking in enforcement capabilities. Yesterday we caught up with the Director of the Bureau, and we asked him about what his department is doing to dissuade those crooked retailers from breaking the law and chancing you the customer. Here’s how that conversation went: "Last 2 weeks we have been conducting inspections across the country, mainly Belize City; not across the country because soon we will have to cover certain areas but the areas we have touches so far is Belize City, San Ignacio and Belmopan. We have inspected roughly about 35 stores across these municipalities and what we have been trying to do is ensure 1.) The supply is there for sugar..."

BDF Goes Old School With New Land Rovers
Today the Belize Defence Force received two new 2013 Land Rovers. Both vehicles will be used primarily for patrols near the Caracol Archaeological site and in the Chiquibul. Now, normally the police receive Great Wall Wingles, while the BDF get Mahindra’s, but Brigadier General David Jones told us those Asian-made pickups simply won’t do in the remote reaches Belize’s dense forest terrain. "These two Land Rovers cost about little over 55 thousand dollars, Belize dollars. They are going to be used in the Caracol Area where tourist will be escorted from Camp De Silva to the Caracol ruins. So the troops that will be escorting the tourists will be using one of these Land Rovers. One of them will always be on stand-by in case one goes down; we'll have the other one to use. Actually both of them use for that actual patrol in the Chiquibul Area."

Remember Danny, Keep Caracol Safe
Now, as you heard, these Land Rovers will be used to transport tourists to the Caracol Archaeological site and also for patrols in that area – this will add to the already heightened safety and security measures that were implemented following the murder of Danny Conorquie in September of 2014. He was shot and killed while on duty. Today General Jones told us that increased security presence at Caracol has dramatically reduced illegal incursions. "Well the main buffer to Caracol was the area of Velanetin, where we had concern with incursions from our neighbouring countries coming over. We have seen a significant drop but there are still a few incursions, mainly for agrarian reasons. We have people coming over doing planting, lumber has reduced dramatically, we haven't been having cases of illegal lumber being cut as we did in the past because we had that conversation post there. So the soldiers that are working diligently there, things have reduced there but the patrols continue. It's even more effective now because we have the CP that was constructed there and we also have the base of Caracol where we have soldiers stationed there now as well. So we have increased level of security to the effect that we don't expect to see any incidents in regards to what occurred with Danny Conorquie occurred there."

BDF Ready To Start Work At Forward Operating Base
On the topic of increased security – the Joint Forward Operating Base will provide just that at the mouth of the Sarstoon River. As we told you, there was a ground breaking ceremony a week ago and construction is expected to begin as early as next week. While it’s a historic event for Belize, what are the Guatemalans saying about it and will there be any contention between Belize’s military forces and theirs? Today General Jones told us there shouldn't be any issues because both countries will work together to maintain peace and order at the Sarstoon. "We intend for construction to start as soon as possible. We've identified a contractor. It hasn't been finalized yet who is going to do the construction that will be finally decided by the government. But we expect construction to start very soon, probably by next week if possible. When start, it should be within 3 months, so probably by the end of February, we should have that base maned. The base is for the Belize Defence Force and we will also invite the coast guard to jointly work there with us but it's a BDF initiative and we intend to do our patrolling in that area; hopefully working jointly with the Guatemalan base which is just on the other side of the river. That protocol needs to be established and agreed upon by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs and by Ministry of National Security. So we're hoping that dialogue could start so that we could have a similar protocol we have with the Western Border, to have a similar protocol with the Sarstoon river, jointly with the Guatemalan armed forces."

An Absence Doesn't Mean an Absence Of Interest
So now if there is no animosity between Belizean and Guatemalan soldiers then why wasn't there any Guatemalan official at the ground breaking ceremony last week Wednesday? Is this a sign that they aren't on the same page as it relates to this base? General Jones told us that although they weren't present for the ceremony, they expressed their willingness to cooperate and work together to safeguard the river. "No, I don't see it as a protest and even though and even though the ground breaking was there, I did go over to the median line between Belize and Guatemala on that same day and the Colonial that was there, who is in charge of the marines there is one of the same officers that I have met before in previous discussions in regards to a protocol in the Sarstoon. We met at the middle of the river and we exchange pleasantries and we expressed, that yes it's the ground breaking today and we intend to start working together with them."

General Jones And President Jimmy
So while both countries seem to have a cordial relationship right now– that could change under the new leadership of President Elect Jimmy Moralez. As was widely reported Jimmy Moralez made some provocative remarks during his campaign about his plans regarding the Belize – Guatemala territorial dispute. His tone has changed since taking office, but is Belize prepared for any shift in relations under Moralez? That’s what we asked General Jones today. "I don't except any changes to occur with our military counterparts. We've had a long standing relationship with our military counterparts but political directives can change; if politicians decide otherwise then the military will have to follow because the military work under the directives of their politicians. But the long standing relationship that we've had with the Guatemalan armed forces, I don't expect things to change. If it is going to change, we're going to discuss what the best way is forward for both forces to work together because we're both professionals and we only execute our political directives but we try to work together in a professional manner."

FCD: Your Dollars Helped The Chiquibul
And a big part of Belize – Guatemala relations is the Chiqubul forest. There are dozens of small and impoverished Guatemalan communities in the south-eastern Peten which are pushing up against the verdant and resource – rich Chiquibul. The job of keeping them out falls principally to the co-manager of the Chiquibul National Park – which is the Friends For Conservation and Development. They work with the BDF and Police to preserve the reserve – and this year with the help of government and the public, they’ve had measurable success. They reported this to the press in a press conference held in Belize City at the marine parade law chambers… Raphael Manzanero - Executive Director, FCD "Whenever we talk about not losing a single blade of grass or not losing a single inch of land; in Chiquibl we see this thing on a daily basis and we really believe about maintaining our territory with all the inches of land then it basically means we do need a presence out there." And in 2015, they got a big boost with public financing for additional park rangers – it made a difference: Derrick Chan - Manager, Chiquibul National Park "So prior to the telethon so we had only 7 rangers. We have hired now 18 rangers since the year started of 2015."

One Heck Of A Highway!
The northern highway between the Haulover Bridge and the airport junction is one of the most trafficked and most dangerous stretches of road in Belize. And now, it’s going to get a 13.6 million dollar upgrade. The contract was signed today between Cisco Construction and the Ministry of Works in Belmopan. First, the road will be widened to include paved shoulders. The pavement will also be restored and re-surfaced, and retaining walls will be constructed in areas where the Belize river threatens to erode the highway. Road lighting, signs, and reflectors, will also be installed. The project will be supervised by an international consultant, IMC Worldwide of the United Kingdom. Work should begin immediately on this, the first phase of a two phase project. At the signing today in Belmopan, Works Minister Rene Montero said that it will provide road safety and create jobs: The second phase will be from Buttonwood Bay to the Haulover bridge.

Just A Snack For Soldiers
Today over 500 BDF soldiers took a break from their duties and enjoyed their Christmas luncheon at the Price Barracks in Ladyville. It’s an annual luncheon where these soldiers get to unwind, spent time with family and interact with their colleagues in a calm and relaxed environment. General Jones told us what the luncheon means for these soldiers. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF "The Christmas luncheon is a once a year event. It is an event we use to say thank you to our soldiers who have been serving the BDF for their career here. And we do that by having the senior officers, which ever minister of CEO turns up to serve the troops their lunch during this time. We serve their food, we serve their drinks and we say a big thank you to them for the hard efforts, the sacrifices they have been providing for the country; putting their lives on the line, maintaining the territorial integrity and patrolling along the borders 24 hours a day. So we take this opportunity once a year to say thank you to our soldiers and we personally as officers and leaders, we serve them their meal for that day, which is today."

Woodrow West Takes Winning Ways To Progreso, Honduras
Woodrow West is one of the best known athletes in Belize, and now he’s making a name for himself in Honduras where he’s taken his winning ways to the Progreso team in Honduras. That’s a top team playing in the top league of Honduras, and now they are only one game from the very top as they prepare to play the final game on their home field this weekend. Today, our football expert Freddy Cantialiano spoke to Woodrow West in Honduras where he’s preparing for the game:.. West says his father and his uncle as well as a few friends will travel to Honduras for the game on Saturday. His team was recently shaken up by the murder of one of its players, Jaun Delgado. It’s the kind of crime too common in Honduras which ahs the highest murder rate in the world. West spoke about how he stays safe:

Shooter Charged
25 year-old Jeffrey McDougal, a labourer of 40 King Street, is spending the second night on remand after he was taken to court for shooting another Belize City resident. The victim, Brandon Allen, reported to police that on Sunday December 13, he was walking on East Canal Street. When he reached the Water Lane Junction, someone fired a barrage of shots at him, injuring him in the buttocks. Police arrested and charged McDougal with the offences of attempted murder, dangerous harm, and use of deadly means of harm. He was remanded into custody until February 15, 2016.

Charged For Norman's Manslaughter
On Monday, we told you about how Norman Castillo died as a result of that crazy accident on the Western Highway Last month. That’s the one where the truck tried to squeeze past a Mennonite trailer carrying a house, but it ended up hitting the bus, loaded with passengers, which had pulled over to allow the trailer to pass. Well, 59 year-old Arthur Cadle, the driver of the truck, who was criminally charged for that accident, was taken back to court and his charge was upgraded to manslaughter by negligence. He was arraigned before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza, and he was offered bail of $5,000. He must return to court on February 12, 2016.

#509989 - 12/17/15 05:39 AM Re: Today's Belize News: December 17, 2015 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

Why Are Toledo Rice Farmers Paid Less Than Northern Rice Producers?
The proposed importation of rice from a CARICOM country by businessman Jack Charles of Xtra House remains unresolved tonight, even though a shipment of prepackaged Guyanese rice to be retailed [...]

Chamber of Commerce Weighs In on Rice Issue
With less than twenty-four hours before the shipment of rice arrives, the showdown between producers and importer is heating up. Earlier today, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued [...]

What Are Belizean Consumers Saying About Rice?
On Tuesday, we asked our online viewers whether they would support or not the importation of Guyanese rice into Belize? With a shipment of rice nearing Belize, today, we took [...]

No Small Turkeys Available in Belize
If you were thinking of getting a small turkey this Christmas, you may want to try a chicken instead. That’s because currently there are none to be had in the [...]

Revisiting the Chiquibul 2 Years after Launch of Awareness Campaign
What is the state of Belize’s largest national park two years after launching an active campaign to raise awareness on the value of the Chiquibul?  Today was report card day [...]

Punta Gorda Police Investigate Murder of Taxi-man
Punta Gorda Police are trying to determine who may have lured a taxi-man to his death on a remote feeder road on the outskirts of that community. A we reported [...]

Ex-Police Officer Remanded for Weed
An ex-police officer, who was out on parole, is back behind bars tonight. Ronald Ragan Sutherland was convicted of wounding his ex-girlfriend back in 2014 and sentenced to two years, [...]

Belize City Resident Charged for Handling Stolen Goods
But John Burke, a Belize City resident, will not be spending Christmas behind bars. He was accused of burglary and handling stolen goods after the home of a Belizean/American couple [...]

Belize City Man Remanded For Shooting
Tonight, twenty-eight-year-old Jeffery McDougal is behind bars after being accused of a shooting incident which occurred on Sunday, December thirteenth, 2015 in which Brandon Allen was shot and injured in [...]

Police Officers Adopt an Elderly Woman in Community Rehabilitation Initiative
This afternoon, ninety-three year old Wilmenia Santos, a resident of number thirty Caesar Ridge Road since Independence, was given an early and very meaningful Christmas gift from the Community Policing [...]

Mayors from Belize City and Chetumal Sign Sister City Agreement
Belizeans in the thousands flock across the northern border to shop, but trade is about to go up even higher. On Tuesday, the mayors from Belize City and the City [...]

Belize City Looks to Tap Into Tourism Potential from Chetumal
With established relations between the municipalities of Belize City, San Pedro and Chetumal, Bradley says that the idea is for Belize to tap into the tourist population across the northern [...]

Contract Signed for Phase I of Phillip Goldson Highway Rehabilitation
If you’ve driven on the Phillip Goldson Highway anytime in the last couple months you’ve probably complained bitterly about the condition of the road. The section from the Boom junction [...]

Bangladeshi Nationals in Belize Commemorate Victory Day
A flag raising ceremony was held today at the Battlefield Park in Belize City. At seven o’clock this morning, Bangladesh nationals living in Belize hoisted their country’s flag in commemoration [...]

Belize City Council Acknowledges Contributions of Bangladeshi Community
While the Bangladeshi community is small in Belize, they contribute significantly to the commercial private sector of downtown Belize City. They’ve been working closing with the City Council of Belize [...]


Belize Chamber Of Commerce Weighs On Importation Of Rice Issue
As the problem persists today the Belize Chamber of Commerce weighed in on the issue. In a release issued today the chamber notes the current impasse between the Government of Belize and a local importer regarding the importation of rice from Guyana. At the same time the chamber advises the public that all importation into Belize is guided by rules and regulations specific to the goods or commodities being imported. In the case of the rice scheduled to arrive in Belize, says the chamber consideration must be given to whether it is of the required standard and quality to meet or exceed that which is available locally, and what effect, if any, the importation will have on local producers and the rice industry in Belize. This should have been done prior to importation.

Elroy Bastarachea, Still Not A Free Man
Elroy Bastarachea, a resident of Patchakan Village, Corozal, has been in the spotlight of the media not because of his outstanding performance, but because of how he scammed many persons posing as a lands official; and collected monies with the promise that he could get their land titles. One of those persons that was targeted by Batarchea was Grisel Botes, cosmetologist of Libertad Village, Corozal District. Between the months of April and June, 2014, Botes gave Bastrachea $23,875.00 in exchange for pieces of lands on San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Belize District and in the Cayo District. She never received the documents for those parcels and reported the matter to police. Today that case ended in court with Bastarachea being found not guilty of the 13 charges of obtaining property by deception.

Baby Nina To Spend Christmas With Her Mother Says MOHD
It looks like baby Nina will get to spend Christmas with her mother and the rest of her family, or at least that is what most Belizeans are tonight hoping for. This is after a post on the Social Media indicated that the family court in Belize decided to expedite the case of baby Nina and it will be heard in court tomorrow December 17th, 2015. Some weeks ago we told you about baby Nina who was removed from the custody of her mother by the Department of Human Services acting on a request from the Guatemalan central authority. The claim is that Analiz Gutierrez, the child’s mother, and the child’s father, a Guatemalan were before a court in that country to determine custody when Gutierrez improperly removed her daughter from the country.

GOB Decreases The Cost Of Grade C Rice Locally Produced
And amidst the battle in the rice industry the Bureau of Standards issued a press release informing the general public that the government has decided on a decrease in the cost of ‘Grade C’ rice. This grade is generally known as ‘loose’ rice which is seventy percent whole and thirty percent broken and is established at a maximum wholesale and retail price of eighty cents and ninety cents per pound countrywide. The adjustment to the new controlled price comes into effect on December 23rd, 2015 to allow the industry to ensure that packaged rice is in full compliance at the factory level.


Shipment of Guyanese Rice Due In-Country
Jack Charles’ first shipment of Guyanese rice is on its way to Belize and is expected to arrive at the Big Creek Port tomorrow morning. We are told that several small rice farmers are planning to prohibit, at all cost, the rice from being off loaded from the container. However, the Belize Chamber of Commerce […]

Another Victory for BWS Former Employees
Last month Justice Michelle Arana handed down a ruling in favor of six former employees of Belize Water Services. Those employees were terminated more than two years ago and they claimed that they were wrongfully fired. So they hired attorneys and took the matter to court. Justice Arana ruled that they were indeed wrongfully terminated […]

Cab Driver Killed in Southern Belize
A murder was reported yesterday in the Toledo District. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the story. PAUL MAHUNG “

Relations with Guatemalan Military Expected to Go Unchanged under Jimmy Morales
President-Elect for Guatemala, Jimmy Morales is expected to be officially sworn in come January 2016. During Morales’ campaign prior to the election in Guatemala, he was harshly criticized and shunned by Belizeans for his campaign on acquiring the portion of Belize that his predecessors have claimed is for Guatemala. Prime Minister Dean Barrow was not […]

BDF Commander Speaks on Guatemalan’s Absence at Ground Breaking
Just last week ground was broken for the Forward Operating Base on the Sarstoon in southern Belize. It is a project that is fully supported by Belizeans and one that many say took too long to happen. With ground broken on Wednesday, December 9, Brigadier General of the Belize Defense Force, David Jones, spoke of […]

Caracol, Fewer Incursions … Better Security
September 2014 saw the slaying of Special Constable, Danny Conorquie in the Caracol area, Cayo District, whilst he was on patrol duty. The incident brought on outrage by the public and Belizeans, in general as it is believed that the murder was committed by a Guatemalan who was trespassing on Belizean territory. Subsequent to the […]

Past and Current CEO Speak on Price of Rice
Yesterday, Sergio Garcia, the personal advisor for Jack Charles, the importer who has caused a major controversy in the rice industry, spoke to Love News and explained why Charles is importing Guyanese rice in the country. Garcia explained that Charles only wants to import twenty percent of Guyanese rice and sell it at a cheaper […]

Land Rovers for the Chiquibul
Just before an official ceremony held for the Belize Defense Force’s annual Christmas luncheon this morning at Price Barracks in Ladyville Village, Belize District, there was the official handing over of two Land Rover vehicles bought by the Government of Belize for the BDF. It was a brief ceremony where BDF Commander, David Jones accepted […]


PUP announce nominations for leadership and executive
Nominations for leader of the People’s United Party and other executive posts were closed this evening at 5:00, and shortly thereafter party chairman Henry Charles Usher confirmed in a press briefing the names of the nominees. Here are those names as read out by Usher. Henry Charles, Chairma...

Meet Benancio Romero, he is a Rice farmer from the Toledo district who has been planting rice for the past 44 years. he has worked with the government in the industry from the age of 22 and he says that rice farming in the Toledo district is almost becoming a lost art form; they have the land and ar...

30 businesses targeted for gouging sugar prices
The Belize Bureau of Standards has been inspecting business establishments countrywide after receiving official complaints of price gouging for sugar. You will recall that on December 4th, the Government announced that the price of plantation white sugar would go up by 25 cents to 75 cents only unti...

And while the Bureau of Standards has been desperately trying to keep the retail price of sugar at the control price of 50 cents per pound until 1st January when the price is to jump by 50% to 75 cents per pound, the bureau has also been observing the controversy in the rice industry. The controvers...

Belmopan police investigate thefts of vehicles
Belmopan police are investigating several thefts of motor vehicles. Carlton Petillo, a 36 year old Belizean Welder of Santander, reported that on Monday 14th December about 8:30 a.m., he parked his brand new motorcycle at a friend’s house in the Picinni Area with the key in the ignition and w...

Benque resident charged with drug trafficking (3lbs)
A resident of Benque Viejo was arrested and charged for Drug Trafficking. On Monday the 14th of December, The Special Patrol Unit was conducting foot patrols along the banks of the Mopan River in Arenal Village when their attention was drawn to two male persons coming from the village. When they tri...

20 year old is accused of having sex with 14 year old student!
Tonight an ITVET student is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after being accused of having sex with a 14 year old girl. 20 year old Kristoff Myvett, son of a police officer, is alleged to have had, on September 28, 2015 whilst in Belize City, sexual intercourse with a female child above the ag...

Caye Caulker Chronicles

Autumn Finally Arrives In Winter
Another week has passed and the Caye has an air of calm about it yet still harbours the feeling of “It’s gonna hit the fan at any moment.” It’s high season, 9 days before Christmas and yet the island still has a stillness to it that is unprecedented for this time of year. Walking down the streets I’m starting to see the old faces arriving on an almost daily basis. Jill and Dennis Mitchell arrived back a couple of days ago and I’m pretty sure Dennis will be joining the resident band in the Sports Bar for the Friday Jam this week, alongside recent returnees, Gary and Lou Bob. I know that’s gonna be a packed house. Then yesterday, the lovely Autumn returned home to Caye Caulker. I can’t believe it’s been a year since she was last here and she can’t believe it either. Autumn finally arrives in winter. It is a fleeting visit but a small stepping stone towards an extended stay. Yesterday Kim Banks, Chris, Charlene, Michele, Sandra, Rik, Jules and Don ventured out on the 1st Annual Christmas Stroll around the island at night to see all the festive lights and decorations that were adorning numerous properties on the island. I’m pretty sure they took in a bar or two on the walk and the lights started to blur by the end of it, but it does seem like a great idea and genuinely think that what they have started should be continued every year. I for one am sorry I missed it but there is always next year. They all look like they had a great time and I’m sure they laughed all evening.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

One arrested for Caye Caulker brawl
35-year-old David Pollard of Caye Caulker Village was arrested and charged yesterday for the crimes of “Attempted Murder”, “Grievous Harm” and “Use of Deadly Means of Harm”, in connection to a Sunday evening stabbing incident which left 27-year-old Eldon Evans in the Karl Heusner […]

Eastern Division North honors officers of the month
At the Belize Eastern Police Division North Side’s officer of the month ceremony yesterday morning, Joan Grinnage of the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) and Constable Ignacio Aguilar of the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) were honored for their performance, hard work, professionalism, commitment and dedication […]

Tour guide chopped to the head for not lending money
A Tour Guide operating on Goff’s Caye, 52-year-old Glenford Gill, reported to police yesterday evening that around 4:00 p.m., after some tourists had left the Caye, a man he knows only as Henry approached him and demanded money. Gill stated that after he refused […]

San Pedro resident arrested for 208 grams of weed
37-year-old Deon Faber of Boca Del Rio in San Pedro, was arrested and charged for the offense of “Drug Trafficking” yesterday after police conducted a search at his Laguna Drive residence and found cannabis. Around 11:30 a.m. officers searched Faber’s home and found several […]

Coast Guards recover over 24 pounds of weed floating at sea
A Senior Chief of the Belize Coast Guard visited San Pedro’s Police Station yesterday around 3:00 p.m. and handed over a sack containing 12 kilograms or just over 24 pounds of cannabis which he found while on maritime patrol. The Coast Guard officer told […]

Murder of popular Punta Gorda taxi man not yielding many clues
The body of 64-year-old taxi driver, Antonio Mendia Rodriguez, was pronounced dead at the Punta Gorda (PG) Hospital at exactly 2:15 p.m. yesterday after it was found with multiple stab wounds in the Joe Taylor Creek area, also called 360 exile, earlier in the […]

Government of Belize signs contract to upgrade highway
A release from the Government Press Office issued earlier today, stated that the Ministry of Works and the Barrow administration signed a contract with CISCO Construction this morning, in the amount of $13,620,965.60, for the Fifth Road Project which will be the upgrading of […]

Arenal man busted for over three pounds of weed
While on foot patrol Monday evening around 6:15 on the banks of the Mopan River in Arenal Village, a Special Patrol Unit noticed two suspicious men walking and shined flashlights in their direction, informing them that they were police officers. Upon hearing that, one […]

Tropic Air congratulated for prestigious honor
A press release issued by the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation yesterday, served to congratulate the Tropic Air team for receiving the coveted International Airport Transport Association’s (IATA) Standard Safety Assessment Certificate at the Latin America and Caribbean Air Transport Association Annual General […]


10 Holiday Gift Ideas for the Savvy Traveler
We asked some of our guests, who are frequent travelers, what would make ideal holiday gifts — or what would make their travels smoother and enjoyable. Here is the list that we compiled from their recommendations. Now getting a gift for that special traveler in your life will be much easier!

Tony Rath’s ‘Images of Belize’; a breath-taking view of Belizean culture
Images of Belize, the latest effort from acclaimed nature photographer Tony Rath is nothing short of stunning. The book, published by Cubola Productions, was released on December 1st and offers a look at Belize from a distinctly unique perspective, bringing all the country’s wonderfully colorful aspects to life. This exquisite gift-book of 100 images exhibits masterful portraits of mountains, forests, rivers, sea, islands, wildlife, marine life, people and cultures, opening a window into the diversity that is Belize. Each image is a stunning revelation of photographic artistry and a visual journey that unveils the special relationship between people and their environment. It is the perfect keepsake for Belizeans, visitors, and nature lovers everywhere. The book is a combination of informational text about the scenes being displayed and immensely vivid images that put the viewer in a first-person vantage point.

Fitting Within the Capacity of One Planet
Sustainable development, as that term is commonly used and understood, means making continued economic and social development more resource efficient and less detrimental to the environment. But making development more sustainable, while highly desirable, is not the same thing as actually achieving sustainability. As we plan and carry out human development programs we must ensure that our aggregated demands upon the planet’s resources do not exceed the Earth’s capacity to supply them. The first step in achieving true sustainability is recognition of the total scale of human activity. The Global Footprint Network estimates that we are already using 150 percent of the Earth’s capacity to regenerate resources, and that does not take into account non-renewable resources, such as fossil fuels. By that measure, we are already operating unsustainably. The next step in achieving true sustainability is acknowledging the interconnectedness of all the various subsets of sustainability. Climate change, energy, food, water, population, and the environment are all inter-related, and efforts to address one challenge often exacerbate other global challenges. We cannot solve problems in isolation. We must be mindful of the inevitable trade-offs.

International Sourcesizz

Saraba, L.A.’s First Garifuna Food Truck, Rolls Out a Rare Cuisine
Winston Brandon Miranda is serving up Caribbean-influenced dishes that this city hasn’t seen in a long time. Saraba—which means "wake up" in the Arawakan based Garifuna language— offers traditional Belizean dishes as well as uniquely Garifuna items like hudutu. The owner, Winston Brandon Miranda, the son of a Honduran and Belizean Garifuna parents, will be ready to hit the Hollywood club scene after the new year; until then, he's catering events. On Sunday night I caught him at the Savoy Entertainment Center in Inglewood for a weekly Belizean club night complete with Belizean hip-hop, Cîroc bottle service delivered by hostesses holding up sparklers, and Belizean comfort food. Rice and beans cooked in coconut milk with a side of potato salad is the national dish of Belize, which is finished off with stew chicken or fish with plenty of sauce to wet down and season the starches. Winston also unwrapped Belizean-style jerk chicken and oxtails braised in a wine and Worcestershire sauce from foil packets, mixing smells of Caribbean spice with reggaeton beats to summon hungry club goers. The menu isn't set yet but Winston will be serving various Garifuna dishes, Belizean kriol classics, and Mayan snacks like panades (paprika seasoned tortillas filled with tuna), garnaches (bean and cheese tostadas) and salbutes (shredded chicken on a fried tortilla). I waited for over an hour, until after midnight for Winston to set up, because after four years of patient regret, I can finally announce that L.A. has Garifuna cuisine.

Mexico: Sharp increase seen in butterfly numbers
Monarch butterflies have arrived in the Michoacán and Estado de México sanctuaries by the millions, numbers that far exceed those recorded in 2014-2015, according to estimates by federal authorities and universities. Monarch butterflies have arrived in the Michoacán and Estado de México sanctuaries by the millions, numbers that far exceed those recorded in 2014-2015, according to estimates by federal authorities and universities. With the monarchs come the tourists, an important source of income for residents of El Rosario. So far this season, which runs from November through March, they’ve recorded 12,000, according to ejido commissioner Homero Gómez González, who anticipates 115,000 in total, a record.

Belize Bans Offshore Seismic, Sends Message to the U.S. Atlantic
Earlier this month Belize declared an official ban on oil exploration and drilling in areas along the Belize Barrier Reef System and in seven World Heritage Sites. Hooray! If you do a google search for 25 things you don't know about Belize, like I did, you'll learn that the country's national motto is "Under the shade we flourish." The saying is a shortened version of "Under the shade of the mahogany tree we flourish," and it dates back to when the mahogany trade was the backbone of the country's economy. You'll also learn that tourism is Belize's primary source of revenue, and that according to Belize mythology a small dwarf with no thumbs named Tata Duende lives in the rainforest and challenges those who try to harm wildlife.

Belize Electricity Limited – SWOT Analysis, 2015 Update
The report contains a detailed description of the power generation company’s business operations, history, corporate strategy, and business structure. This report contains a detailed SWOT analysis, information on key employees (executives), and major products and services.


  • Morning Matters in Placencia, 63min.

  • Scuba diving Caye Caulker, Belize, 4min.

  • Sandy Slope Dive Site BELIZE, 6min. Belize December 2015 Sundancer II/Aggressor IV Belize Reefs

  • Morning Matters of the Day Fishing in San Pedro, 58min. Shot on location in the Caribbean sea with Rob, David and Alley

  • Scuba Diving in Belize, Dec. 2015, 1.5min.

  • Megan Under Sea, 6min.

  • Mary with Sharks Belize, 1min. Off Ambergris Belize 2014.

  • Belize Audobon Society, 3min.

  • Diving Ambergris Caye in Belize 2015, 8.5min. Highlights from 7 dives and a little snorkeling off of San Pedro, Belize

  • Old Belize 2015, 6.5min.

  • Diving Belize, 16min. 11/23/2015 - 11/27/2015 - Diving the Belize Barrier Reefs. Rebecca earns her PADI certification. Splash.

  • Inner tubes on the river in Belize, 15min.

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