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#510491 - 01/08/16 11:51 AM Today's Belize News: January 8, 2016
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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

Police Report
On Thursday, December 24th, 29-year-old Gerson Cordon visited the San Pedro Police station and reported that on Wednesday, December 23rd at about 10:30PM while he and his brothers-in-law, 32-year-old Jose Quiroz and a 17-year-old minor were all watching a comedy video at his home, they heard one single gunshot. The gunshot hit the lower part of his front window and upon hearing the sound, of his brothers-in-law saw two male persons of dark complexion on their bicycle staring at the house, one of them armed with what appeared to be a firearm and pointing it towards the house.
At about 5AM on Sunday, December 27th police received report of a fire in the Escalante Sub Division, San Pedro Town. Reports indicated that 34-year-old Ricardo Valladarez was woken up by the smell of smoke when he noticed that the inside of the house was on fire. The house is a plycem and wooden building measuring 24X26 feet with an attached garage and a store room at the back where three vehicles that he was repairing were parked.
On Monday, December 21st at about 10:05PM, based on information received, San Pedro Police personnel visited the San Pablo Area where they met one 42-year-old Neptali Acosta who indicated to them that a foul smell was coming from a wooden structure in the area. Upon making checks at the house, police noted that the front door was secured and locked from inside.
On Saturday, December 26th at 3:45PM, San Pedro Police received information of a motionless body lying on the side of the road six miles north of San Pedro Town. San Pedro Police personnel proceeded to the area and upon passing the Tres Cocos area about ¾ miles north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge, police met a red Polaris which was transporting a male person to the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II to receive medical attention.

Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup hold second round of games
The San Pedro Sports Council held the second round of games for the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup on Wednesday, December 23rd at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex. Island football fans enjoyed a fun night of football as the last two games of the year brought much enthusiasm. The tournament ended the year with two energetic matches between Jokers against San Mateo and Ambergris Divers against Catrachos. The first match started at 7PM and saw The Jokers facing San Mateo. The exciting match saw San Mateo team opening with a score. Jokers answered with a goal, determined to take the win away. But by the end of the second half, San Mateo had scored, taken the lead and ended beating Jokers with a clean score of 3-1. The sporting action will continue on Sunday beginning at 3PM, with Peace Makers taking on Veterans and Progresso Boys facing Sky Energy Team. All fans are encouraged to come out and support their favorite teams every weekend. For more information on the tournament, visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/The-San-Pedro-Sports-Council or contact Wilbert Magaña at the San Pedro Town Council during normal working hours.

STANN CREEK ESCAPE FOM LAWFUL CUSTODY
Please be on the lookout for one 29-year-old Shane Bennett, Belizean of Independence Village, Stann Creek who had escaped from the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 12:25 a.m. on 06.01.16. He was on remanded for the crime of Burglary, Theft and other crimes. If seen, kindly detain and informed the nearest police station. Also be informed that he should be considered armed and dangerous as he is known to carry firearms.

The San Pedro Sun announces new delivery day
After much deliberation and unofficial surveys, the management of The San Pedro Sun has decided that effective January 8, 2016, the popular weekly paper will be changing their delivery day from Thursdays to Fridays. Now in their 25th year of publication, The Sun has been coming out on Thursdays for as long as anyone can remember. “We have big plans for The Sun this new year, and the first one is to change our delivery day,” commented editor Tamara Sniffin. “All of the mainland papers come out on Fridays and we decided to maintain the continuity by delivering on that day as well.

Supreme Courts denies entrance of Guyanese Rice into Belizean Market
Since Thursday, December 17th, Jack Charles (Jitendra Chawla) has tried to clear the release of three containers of Guyanese rice from Big Creek Port. After not receiving the necessary permits from the Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA), Charles took the matter to court where his case was completely shut down. Charles wanted to import cheap Grade A (premium quality rice) rice to be sold in the Belizean Market in time for the holidays, but the Government of Belize is not allowing this as it may damage the existing rice industry. With the outcome at court, Charles has sustained significant losses in his business venture and still does not know what will happen to the rice which is still being stored at the port.

Bowen and Bowen experiencing product shortage
Over the Christmas holidays, residents observed long lines at the Bowen and Bowen distribution center in southern San Pedro Town. Businesses and residents alike were lined up to get their stock of Belikin beer. However, many residents were not happy, as the purchasing of Belikin beer was limited and strictly for businesses only. Residents are stating that this is a yearly occurrence, which Bowen and Bowen has yet to address. At the end of last month, many establishments complained about product shortages, poor service and lack of response from Belize’s Bowen and Bowen Limited. The complaints expressed by many customers range from the long waiting lines, to the lack of one or more products bottled by the company. In the few days after the holidays, there was also a shortage of Lighthouse Lager and regular Belikin beer on the island, and some businesses were forced to turn down patrons seeking the Belizean beverage.

Ambergris Today

Celebrity Spotting: Actors Go Lionfish Hunting in Belize Vacation
The New Year saw the visit of actors Charles Michael Davis and Travis Van Winkle who vacationed in Belize and also partook in a lionfish hunting expedition in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize. Davis, Van Winkle and a group of three friends arrived in Belize on December 26 and spent their first few days in the Cayo District enjoying jungle tours, cave and Maya archaeological site explorations. It was until December 30 that the group made it to Ambergris Caye with plans of ringing in the New Year on the island. They also went diving and enjoyed Snuba, amongst other activities arranged for them by Belize it Yourself concierge services. Travis Van Winkle is best known for his performances in movies such as Transformers, Friday the 13th, and Meet the Spartans and is currently involved in TNT’s drama series The Last Ship, whose third season will air in summer of 2016. Charles Michael Davis is an American actor and model. He’s best known for his role on The CW television drama, The Originals and has been featured in shows such as Battle Scars, Grey’s Anatomy, Switched at Birth and The Game.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Visit from Anteater!
We do get the loveliest and most unexpected visitors to our beachside location! Our dogs were not the most hospitable but I think we may have rescued it in time and driven it to caring hands of Ella Baron Ian Anderson's Caves Branch Jungle Lodge.

Great Belize Productions looking for Computer Graphics Technician
An employment opportunity exists at Great Belize Productions for a Computer Graphics Technician/Teleprompter operator. This is for a PART TIME position to work on Open Your Eyes (6:00 am - 8:30 am) and News 5 Live (5:00 pm - 7:45 pm) Interested applicants must be computer literate, Experience with Computer Graphics programs would be an asset. Please call 280-0014 for more information.

Hakim Bellamy Beyond Poetry
Hakim Bellamy, 2 time U.S. poetry slam champion, will be in Cayo next week. Not only will he be performing at the Soul Project and Wildfire, but he'll have a performance poetry workshop on the 16th. His 'Welcome to Cayo' party will be Monday at the Soul Project. "HEY FOLKS- PENCIL IN THESE DATES FOR ARTZ! NOTE TIME CHANGE FOR "SLAMJAM" EVENT. SEE YOU THERE...STAYED TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS"

Street Art Festival in Belize City Feb 27
Mark the date!

CARICOM Chairmanship handed over to Hon. Dean Barrow
Yesterday the CARICOM Chairmanship was officially handed over to Hon. Dean Barrow by CARICOM Secretary General H.E. Irwin LaRoque at the Prime Minister's Belize City office. Also present for the handing over were Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, CEO Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Glenda Itiaba from the Office of the Caricom Secretary General.

A reminder to all Liquor License holders!
Trade License holders that have not yet paid for trade license fees, please note that it is now past due and you are operating illegally. Please visit the Town Council's office to make payment at your earliest.

Music classes on Caye Caulker
A few spaces are still available. If you would like to sponsor a child kindly contact me at 605-5904 for more information.

Rageology
Rageology is Saturday at Thirsty Thursdays. They are having tons of specials. DJ Mesmerize will spin for his birthday.

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
Goosebumps, Irrational Man, The Danish Girl, Straight Outta Compton

Channel 7

CARICOM Sec Gen Says BAHA Playing It Close With Guyanese Rice
Tonight, the 75 tonnes of Guyanese Rice imported by businessman Jack Charles remains under a Supreme Court injunction. That's the only thing stopping the Customs Department from destroying the rice. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin will hear arguments next week Tuesday on whether or not the Order of Forfeiture was lawful or not. But in the meantime, this dispute has caught the attention of the Secretary General of CARICOM. He's Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and he was in Belize for the past 2 days to meet with the Prime Minister, other Government officials and the CARICOM representatives in Belize. That's because Belize's Prime Minister, Dean Barrow has taken over the Chairmanship of CARICOM, a position which he will hold for the next 6 months. So, while the Secretary General was in Belize on official CARICOM business, the Customs Department moved to get the order of forfeiture to destroy Charles's Guyanese Rice - which is imported under CARICOM Single Market and Economy provisions. That's why it has the shading of a CARICOM trade dispute, and Ambassador LaRocque took notice.

Foreign Minister's Flip-Flop on Rice
The CARICOM Secretary General's warning sounds very similar to what Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington said in the House of Representatives about 9 months ago. For context, we repeat his comments - which were made when Jack Charles first began agitating against the prices charged by the Local Producers. Here's what he had to say then: FILE: March 27, 2015, Hon. Wilfred Elrington: "Clearly that is a matter that the government has got to look into to ensure that in fact the people get the best deal. But I would also like to say at this point in time, that I find it incomprehensible that in fact the Guyanese are able to land rice here at 60 cents or 63 cents a pound in sacks and we cannot produce it for less than 80 cents. It's a Caricom sister nation. We are competing against that Caricom sister nation and certainly, it is the entitlement that the Belizean public to get the cheapest rice from Caricom.

Singing "A Different Sankey"
Well, since then, a lot has happened, and right now, his very government, represented by the Customs Department, is trying to destroy the same rice that he warned the country may not be able to reasonably stop from entering the Belizean Market. So, is he still reminding his peers in Cabinet of Belize's trade obligations to the Caribbean Community in the context of the Guyanese Rice issue? That's what we asked him today, and he this time around, he appeared to have walked back significantly from his strident position in March of last year. When he put the question to him directly, he carefully toed the line of the official position from the Government. Here's that back-and-forth: Hon. Wilfred Elrington: "Fortunately for me I was parted to discussion with cabinet on Tuesday in which we got details of the issue and it seems to me that what really transpired what that the importer proceeded to import the rice without getting the requisite permission from BAHA. That is like a person wanting to import guns into the country, but don't get a license from the commission of police to bring in the guns. That cannot be allowed, because it is not following the legal process."

Owner Of Bullet Riddled KIA, Alcoser Still Missing
31 year old Caledonia villager Luis Alcoser is still missing - and tonight all police are saying is that they believe he is still alive - but they can't tell us where he is, or who has him. As we showed you last night, Alcoser's bullet riddled Kia Sportage was found on the road to his village yesterday morning. There were no bloodstains inside the vehicle but there were at least 4 bullet holes in the vehicle. He has not communicated with his family, and today we learnt that they have moved out of their home in Caledonia village fearing for their own safety. The backdrop to all this is that four days ago, police made a bust of 183 pounds of marijuana in Orange Walk with a street value of more than a quarter million dollars.

Is Transnational Narcotics A Foreign Affairs Issue?
So, while police and the Alcoser family continue to look for the missing man, law enforcement are still trying to confirm where the 183 pounds of marijuana came from, and where it was headed. But, the working theory at this time is that it came from Mexico, and the "J" imprint is believed to be connected to one of the drug cartels in Mexico. And, most likely, it was destined for drug peddlers in Belize City, San Pedro and Placencia. And while it's a law enforcement problem, it's also engenders an aspect of international relations - since the cartels now appear to be a factor in Belize's domestic weed supply. We asked Foreign Minister Elrington, about his thoughts on the very real possibility that a new feature of the drug trade is developing. Here's what he had to say:

Alleged Pou Robber To Court
Last night, we showed you our interview with Maria Pou, one of the family owners of the very popular, Pou meat pie, who recounted that moment when she was robbed on New Road 2 days ago. Well, the man who police believed attacked her is 23 year-old Michael Arnold, and though he was fresh out of prison, he's back there tonight. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer where he was read charges of robbery and wounding. He pleaded not guilty, but he was denied bail and remanded to prison until March 9. As we reported, 56 year-old businesswoman Maria Pou had just received a cash payment of $500 from a tenant right near her home on New Road. She was heading back when someone held her from behind and grabbed her hand with the money in it. They struggled briefly, and the assailant threw her on the ground, to get the money away from her. She burst her head, and he left her there while he fled the scene.

Another Tourist Drowns While Snorkeling
Another cruise tourist has died while snorkeling. 67 year old American National Janice Mittelstadt died while snorkeling near Sargeant's Caye. She had arrived to Belize on the Princess Cruise Line and was on a tour with Hugh Parkey's Belize Dive Connection when the incident occurred. Tour guides report that she was snorkeling when she suddenly went underwater. Superintendent Gualberto Garcia, the Officer Commanding the Tourism Police Unit told us more. Supt. Gualberto Garcia, OC - Tourism Police "Basically what happen is that the Tourism Police officers were performing duty and at about 9:35 this morning, we received information of a body at the Radisson Pier. As a result of that police visited the scene and upon our arrival there, we discovered the body of a white female who was apparently dead." Emanuel Pech "What happened?" Supt. Gualberto Garcia, OC - Tourism Police "Based on that we had to conduct an investigation which is still ongoing. It is very young at this time. However what we can say at this moment is that this person is an American tourist. She has been identified as one Janice Mittelstadt. She is 67 years old. Her date of birth is the 14th March, 1948. She has an address in South Dakota in the United States of America. Indication is that she came on a cruise ship this morning - since we had 4 cruise ships. She was picked up there some time this morning and went on her tour.

Ministry Of Health Says Siera Didn't Follow Up
Health Officials say they did try to contact the family of missing Palm Center patient Mary Castillo. Castillo went missing on October 2nd 2014 and her daughter Siera Hodgson - who lives in the UK - had no idea. Hodgson found out a couple weeks ago on Boxing Day when she came to visit her mom. When she got to the center is when she learned her mom was missing and could be dead. Now the only possible link to her mother's whereabouts is the discovery of skeletal remains near the Palm Center. These remains were found in August of last year and Hodgson has given a DNA sample to verify. But what Hodgson can't understand is why the Palm Center didn't inform her of this situation. She told us no one from the center contacted her - not by phone, not by email, not by letter. Well the report from the Palm Center says that they had no telephone number for Siera but that they sent a Facebook message to both Siera and her adopted mother Shauna on October 6th and on October 22nd, 2015 and got no response. As we told you Siera said that they had her number and that she had spoken with her mother over the phone on several occasions. While Siera says she stayed in contact with her mother via phone and letter, the center says that wasn't the case.

CARICOM Boss's Business In Belize
At the top of the news, we showed you our interview with the CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque where he commented on the rice fight that importer Jack Charles is having with the Belizean Government. But, we caught him at the tail end of an official visit to Belize, where he was visiting the Prime Minister to discuss what his duties will be for the next 6 months as the Acting Chairman of CARICOM. This afternoon before he left, he discussed a bit of the activities that the regional organization will be conducting while PM Barrow is at the helm. Here's what he told us: H.E. Ambassador Irwin LaRocque - Secretary General, CARICOM "The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow is now the Chairman of CARICOM as of 1st January. And as is customary when a chair comes on board as soon as he get the position, I would come to brief the chairman and to begin planning as well or continue planning the hosting of the meeting of the heads of government which will take place here in Belize on the 16th and 17th February. The intersession meeting of heads of government will take place in Placencia and as chairman, the Prime Minister has a very critical role to play, not just in chairing the meeting, but being the head of the community over the next 6 months.

The Carrots Crisis
For the past 5 weeks we have been following the case of importer Jack Charles and his Guyanese Rice that customs now wants to destroy - basically so that they can protect local rice producers. Today we look at quite the opposite scenario. In the north Carrot producers are crying out because their carrots are being under-sold by carrots imported from Mexico. Now, there's no protection for them - and some 10 acres of carrots worth $20 thousand dollars is rotting in the field. Today the media was invited to a press brief on the farms of San Carlos in Orange Walk where farmer Max Hernandez explained our colleagues at CTV3 the plight of the San Carlos Carrot farmers. Here is what Hernandez told them. Max Hernandez, San Carlos Community "The problem here in San Carlos is that we started the cultivation of carrots some years ago and the problem now is that there is no market. We've given a report to the Ministry of Agriculture saying that we start the harvest on the 15th December each year. But this year since the start of the season, we haven't sold a thing. Now up to 70% of the crop has gone bad due to the fact that they are importing carrots and they are giving license to import carrots. This is affecting us."

Commish On Drug Totals
In last night's news, you heard a lot from Police Commissioner Allen Whylie who doesn't usually do interviews. But, he was discussing the crime statistics for the year 2015, and one element of the very extensive crime profile for the last 12 months was the narcotics seizures. Here are the numbers of marijuana and cocaine busts that the police made last year: Interestingly, the statistics show Police made three hundred fewer arrests for major crime in 2015 than they did in 2014. There were 12% fewer major crimes in 2015, but 45% fewer arrests.

GSU Got Gun, They Say It's For Meighan
The GSU picked up a gun today in gang turf. At about 4:30, the chrome 38 Colt revolver was found in a search of an abandoned empty lot on Banak Street. According to the GSU, quote, "The firearm is believed to be the property of members of the Banak Street Crips Gang headed by Ellis and Tyrone MEIGHAN." End quote. And also yesterday, the GSU found 12 ounces of weed in the turf of the George Street Gang. They searched an abandoned empty lot on West Canal where they found a black plastic bag with 349 grams of what is described as "Hydro Type Cannabis". The drugs were labeled as "Found Property" but the GSU says it is believed to be the property of members of the George Street Gang.

Police In South Seeking Shane
Police in Independence Village say that this man, Shane Bennett, has escaped. The 29 year old was in the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station when he slipped out. It happened sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 12:25 a.m. yesterday. Police say, quote, "If seen, kindly detain and inform the nearest police station." And then they add, quote, "he should be considered armed and dangerous as he is known to carry firearms." So we would ignore that first piece of advice on "detaining" him - and if you see him, just lock your door and call the police. He was on remand for Burglary, Theft and other crimes.

Rugged Phones For RED Cops
Before Christmas, Senior Superintendent Edward Broaster was the one giving gifts - you'll recall the commuters he gave one hundred dollars each. Well, today he was on the receiving end. The Princess Ramada Hotel today donated 10 rugged phones and 10 rugged phone tablets to the Eastern Rural Division. Superintendent Edward Broaster was on hand to receive the devices and said this will be useful for their ongoing technological campaign. The Executive Coordinator for the Princess Hotel and Casino spoke to us about the generous donation. Then devices donated today are valued at $13 thousand dollars.

Reading With the Cayetanos
Cultural icon Pen Cayetano is known for his music and paintings but he is not the only one in the family recognized in the art world. His wife Ingrid Cayetano and their daughter Mali Cayetano today launched 2 children's books at the Image Factory: the second edition of "We Are Free" And "Wanaragua" .The wife Ingrid wrote the book and Mali did the illustrations. Pen Cayetano was there of course to enliven the book launch. When we dropped by the Cayetano's told us these books are about accepting your identity. Courtney Weatherburne reporting Freedom: that's what the Cayetano family wants you to embrace. The freedom to be who you truly are without shame or fear. And that's the concept behind these children's books: "We Are Free" and "Wanaragua". They were both launched today at the Image Factory. These books tell the story of what it means to be a Garinagu, how vibrant and sacred the culture is, and how important it is to preserve it. Ingrid Cayetano, Writer "So the "We are free" is just telling you the origin of the Garifuna people. I am Germany, but my husband is the master Pen Cayetano from Dangriga, now the Garifuna icon and so on. So we grew up with this culture and even though we lived in Germany for 20 years we focused on Garifuna culture. So the first book "We are free" is telling you the journey from Africa coming to the Caribbean and later on to Belize. The second book "Wanaragua" explains itself. It's about the famous John Canoe dance the Garifuna people do around the Christmas time."

CARICOM On Sargassum Scourge
4 months ago, we told you about the sargassum phenomenon which was swamping beaches all over Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Belize wasn't spared, and though it affected the tourism industry, we weren't hit as hard as the other countries in the Caribbean. Well, CARICOM immediately activated to try to come up with a solution to the problem, and today, we asked the Executive Director of the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism about it. Here's what he told us about the possible fix to what as been described as an "sargassum seeweed invasion," by some Caribbean leaders: Milton Haughton, Exec. Dir., CRFM "The Sargassum situation is a challenge for all of us in the region. We first had a massive inundation of Sargassum seaweed in 2011. For 2012, 2013 we did not have much. 2014 we had a little more and last year it was a major problem throughout the Caribbean region, massive problem and based on the scientific information that we and our partners have been able to gather we know that the Sargassum is coming from, not the Sargasso Sea as was initially thought but an area in the Atlantic, just in the southern Atlantic. It seems clear that this is associated with climate change but also with other factors such as nutrient enrichment in the ocean and the elevated temperatures of these Sargassum seaweed they grow, they proliferate in that environment with a high level of nutrients and a higher level of nutrients and warmer waters.

Remembering BQ
10 days ago, we told you about the passing of Bernard Quentin Pitts Sr., the Belizean attorney who had a long and distinguished career as a private attorney and in Public life. Well, the Legal Fraternity in Belize held a memorial ceremony for him at the Supreme Court, and this morning we caught up with his long time law partner, Wilfred Elrington. He told us more about the ceremony: And that's all we have for you tonight. Thanks for watching, I'm Courtney Weatherburne

Channel 5

CARICOM Secretary General Weighs in on Rice War
The rice war between importer Jack Charles and various stakeholders, including producers in three Mennonite communities within the local industry, has been covered extensively since the issue resurfaced in early [...]

Can Belize’s Local Rice Industry Be Protected from Infiltration?
Among other issues pertaining to importation are specific conditions that safeguard markets within Lesser Developed Countries from being penetrated by goods being exported from More Developed Countries.  Such is the [...]

Rice War is not a Trade Dispute Says SecGen LaRocque
While a resolution in the Caribbean Court of Justice has not been determined, LaRocque says that the present issue is not a trade dispute.  Instead, it primarily revolves around the [...]

2 Men Detained in Murder of Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck
Police are remaining tight-lipped on the investigation into the shockingly brutal murder of Quebec native Matthiew Klinck. But reliable sources tell News Five that there has been a breakthrough in [...]

An Elderly Tourist Dies While Snorkeling off Sergeants Caye
What should have been a memorable holiday in the Jewel, ended tragically for a U.S. visitor, who arrived early this morning on the Princess Cruise Lines. Sixty-seven year old Janice [...]

Where is Luis Alcoser? Still no Clues in His Mysterious Disappearance
Tonight, the whereabouts of thirty-one year old Caledonia resident, Luis Alcoser remains a mystery and police are nowhere closer to cracking the case. Alcoser disappeared on Monday after he left [...]

PM Barrow Assumes Pro Tem Chairmanship of CARICOM
Prime Minister Dean Barrow, as of the first of January, assumed pro tem chairmanship of the Caribbean Community.  For the next six months he will preside over a series of [...]

Sargassum: A Regional Phenomenon Due to Climate Change
Still on issues impacting the CARICOM states…the explosion of Sargassum, otherwise known as gulfweed, across the Caribbean, is a phenomenon that is believed to be a direct result of climate [...]

Investigations Continue in Youth Hostel Tragedy
The special investigation into the fire which claimed the lives of three minors at the Princess Royal Youth Hostel commenced five weeks ago, on December first. To date, no information [...]

An Armed and Dangerous Prisoner Escapes from Lawful Custody
Police are asking the public to be on the lookout for an escaped prisoner. He is twenty-nine year old Shane Bennett, who is described as armed and dangerous and known [...]

Teetie Arrested for Jacking Pou Meat Pie Vendor
Late this evening, twenty-three year old street figure, Michael Arnold, aka “Teetie,” a Pickstock resident, was arraigned in the Belize City Magistrate’s Court before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser. He is [...]

Pen Cayetano and Family Launch a Pair of Garifuna Children’s Books
Pen Cayetano is an icon in the Garifuna community. Pen, the patriarch, is a prolific musician and artist.  His wife Ingrid and children have followed his footsteps in promoting and [...]

ComPol Whylie on Dangers of Drunk Driving
Over the past weeks, there have been multiple road traffic accidents where lives were lost, and alcohol was involved. Alcohol, unfortunately, is almost as much a staple of Belizean life [...]

Is There a Need for Stronger Legislation on Drunk Driving?
While there is certainly a need for more vigilance, cooperation and enforcement from Police and related traffic entities…is there a need for stronger legislation, or even new legislation? Here at [...]

Rural Eastern Division Police Receive Significant Equipment Donation
The Rural Eastern Division today received a very significant donation from the Princess Hotel and Casino. There are thirty-two communities in that zone, spread over many miles. It’s a challenge [...]

31 Taiwanese Scholarships Available for 2016
Tertiary level students interested in furthering their academic pursuits abroad are being encouraged to apply for a scholarship opportunity in Taiwan.  The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has [...]

Get Fit for 2016 with Healthy Living
Whether you believe in New Year resolutions or not; making a commitment – at anytime in the year – to get healthy is commendable. So if you’re interested in becoming [...]


Top
#510492 - 01/08/16 11:51 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 8, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

CTV3

Luis Angel Alcoser Still Missing, Family Unaware Of His Whereabouts
More than twelve hours have passed since the disappearance of 32 year old Caledonia resident, Luis Alcoser and still his family has received no word from him. Tonight, as uncertainty looms, both authorities and Alcoser’s family are being tight lipped about his disappearance. What we can tell you is that there are high speculations that his vanishing has to do with the nine parcels of compressed marijuana that Orange Walk Police confiscated over the weekend. The nine parcels of drugs, weighing 23 pounds each and valued at more than $300,000 all carried the marking J on them signalling a Mexican Cartel. Viewers might recall that yesterday Alcoser’s recently bought dark blue Kia Sportage was found just a couple of yards off the road leading into the Village of Caledonia in the Corozal District. It had four bullet holes, three on its windshield and one on the side of the driver’s door yet no blood was found inside.

Dean Barrow Officially Handed Over Presidency Of CARICOM
The Prime Minister of Belize, Hon. Dean Barrow, is now the new President of the Caribbean Community. He will assume this responsibility for a period of six months in an effort to strengthen the CARICOM and provide greater benefits for its people. Yesterday the official handing over ceremony of the Chairmanship took place and present at the service were Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Wilfred Elrington, H.E. Lawrence Sylvester, who is the CEO in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the office of the CARICOM, Secretary General, Glenda Itiaba. In his speech upon being named the new Chairman of CARICOM on January 1st P.M Barrow stated and we quote “The resolution is to continue to strengthen our integration movement to deliver ever-increasing benefits to the people of our community. We will continue our quest to improve our standard of living through providing a safe, viable and prosperous Caribbean Community, in doing so we will build on our successes and will be moving forward with a number of initiatives to achieve that aim”. End quote.

Football Players And Team Owners Calls For A New District Football Federation
The time to elect a new chairman for the Orange Walk Football Association is almost near; however, members of the congress of the OWFA are upset about the fact that they are being left in the dark, since they are alleging that nine of the teams that make up the congress are no longer eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. Last night a meeting was held at the Orange Walk Town Council office with members from the Football Federation of Belize in order to search for a solution in regards to this problem, as well as to incorporate all other football activities that occur in this region. Michael Blease – General Secretary, FFB: “My sole purpose of being here is to try to clarify and verify the reasons why the Chairman Mr. Avila has stated that the team missing it status cannot participate in any Association business. N: Our key interest is to bring football under one administration we are aware that a lot of football is being played; the Aragon cup, Vega Cup, Mundialito, a lot of organizers are here so football is being played but not under the Association but for us at the FFB that is not good for football, that is not developing football under the Association and so our key goal is to ensure that football is managed under the Association.”

Peace Work International And Gateway Technical College Continues Assisting Orange Walkenos
Peace Work International and Gateway Technical College have been carrying out works in various communities here in Orange Walk through out this week. One such activity was held today at the Orange Walk Town Hall where Information Technology students from Gateway Technical College held an IT clinic. The purpose of the clinic was to assist the residents of Orange Walk with diagnostics, repairs and education about problems with computers and other devices. One of the students from Gateway spoke to us about the clinic and how residents benefited from the activity today. Jonathan Wallner- IT student: “We are doing an IT clinic where we have local people from the community and bring their PC in and we try to fix them the best we can and doing virus scan and malware removal and so it can run faster. There have been a lot of viruses and just general mismanagement of the machines but the turnout has been very well.”

LOVE FM

CARICOM’s Sec Gen In Belize on Working Visit
On May 1, 1974 Belize became a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). CARICOM is an organization that seeks to integrate cooperation among its member countries in various sectors including but not limited to education, economics and trade, among others. With Belize’s Prime Minister, Dean Barrow recently taking over the Chair of the CARICOM Secretariat, […]

CARICOM Tackles Concerns Including De-Risking of Member States
Like every organization, there are concerns and challenges that will be experienced as the work progresses in meeting its objectives. The CARICOM organization is no different as they too have concerns ranging from the debt of its 15-member states to climate change, free trade and access to financing. Secretary General Irwin LaRocque spoke of those […]

SG LaRocque Says Debt Reports are Not an Accurate Reflection of Reality
Throughout the course of the year we would bring to you reports published by rating services and other financial institutions as they relate to our local economy, the country’s spending and deficits. In a discussion with the CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin LaRocque, he spoke of some reports made and how those are not necessarily a […]

Customs Controller Says Fate of Imported Rice Undecided
On Wednesday we told you of the injunction that the Chief Justice had granted to Jack Charles as it relates to the forfeit order that was given to the Customs Department by Senior Magistrate, Sharon Frazer. We spoke to two attorneys well versed on the issue, namely, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay, who represents the local […]

Teck and the 30K Dilemma
Veteran cane farmer of the north, Lucilo Teck, owes the court thirty thousand dollars. His debt stems from a case he brought before the courts against the Sugar Industry Control Board. This was during the standoff between the Belize Sugar Cane Farmers Association and Belize Sugar Industries Limited. His aim, along with Attorney Audrey Matura […]

Carrot Wastage Due to Surplus
Farmers from the Orange Walk District, mainly San Carlos Village are frustrated about not being able to sell their carrots. Their concern is about their produce going to waste, due to the increase of imported carrots. Chief Agricultural Officer Roberto Harrison says that the only reason for the importation of carrots was because there was […]

Investigation Launched Into American’s Death in Belize
Sixty seven year old Janice Mittlestadt died out at sea today. Police were called out to the Radisson Pier in Belize City and there they say Mittlestadt dead. Commander of the Tourism Police Unit, Superintendent Gualberto Garcia shared more details surrounding her death. GUALBERTO GARCIA “We had to conduct an investigation which is still ongoing. […]

Man and Minor Questioned for Klinck’s Death
Two persons have been detained for questions for the murder of 37-year-old Canadian Filmmaker Matthiew Klinck. The persons detained are a 27-year-old man and a 16-year-old male, both from Santa Elena Town, Cayo District. Lead investigating officer on the case, Inspector Reymundo Reyes, told Love News that they are preparing to record a statement from […]

University’s VP Gone After First Semester
Winston Bennett is no longer the Vice President of the University of Belize. On Tuesday the Office of Public Information sent out a notice from the office of the President via email to the UB community informing that quote, “Bennett no longer serves as Vice President of the University of Belize’, end of quote. In […]

Police Nabs Arnold for Robbing Pou
Twenty-three year old Michael Arnold, a laborer of Pickstock Street apartments who was recently released from prison, went back to jail today after he appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on charges of robbery and wounding. Arnold was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until March 9. His incarceration comes […]

The Guardian

Supreme Court says Jack Charles was wrong in importing rice: the rice fight continues
The 75 tonnes of Guyanese Rice that importer Jack Charles brought into Belize is at risk of being disposed of by the Customs Department. The only thing stopping this Government agency from doing that is an interim injunction which was granted by the Supreme Court to restrain them until further notice. After waiting for 2 weeks, since Christmas Eve, Charles and his attorneys were finally given their day in court before Justice Sonya Young. They were trying to convince her to grant them permission to bring a case for Judicial Review against the Customs Department, and the Belize Agricultural Health Authority (BAHA). They continued to assert that these government bodies overstepped their mandate given to them by the importation laws when they detained his cargo. He and his advisors say that he had a reasonable expectation to be given an importation permit to bring in the Guyanese rice for sale in the Belizean market, but BAHA and Customs did not take the options granted to them under the law to refuse him this permit.

Matura: from ambulance to hearst
Is Audrey now an undertaker or funeral director? According to News 5 the family of recently deceased Mrs. Pamela Cumberbatch, they are upset about attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd entering the late Miss Pam’s home along with another person they referred to as a stranger. According to them the attorney along with a stranger were there on the instruction of Miss Pam’s husband who is recovering from the very same traffic accident that claimed the life of Miss Pam. They say the attorney said she was there to get Miss Pam’s wedding dress for her to be buried in. For clarity we will quote direct from the News 5 story. “Pam’s Siblings Incensed that Attorney and Unknown Person Entered Their Sister’s Home Even in death, controversy seems to surround Pamela Bennett. Late this afternoon, police were summoned to the businesswoman’s residence where irate members of her family were gathered. Their bone of contention is that attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd, along with someone considered a stranger to Bennett’s siblings, had entered the house on Caesar Ridge Road and removed several articles.

Belize City Murders Down by 65 Percent in Second Half of 2015
Major crimes are down nationally by 11 percent, according to the Reported Crimes Comparative Statistics of the Belize Police Department. Major crimes are murders, rape, robbery, burglary, theft and carnal knowledge. In 2015 there were 2,216 major crimes, 278 less than the 2,494 such offenses reported in 2014. In 2014 there were 245 violent crimes committed against people. Those include 123 murders, 43 rape cases and 79 incidents of carnal knowledge. In 2015 there were 233 violent crimes against people reported. Those crimes were 119 murders, 40 cases of rape and 74 reports of carnal knowledge. There were 2,249 crimes committed to obtain property in 2014. These include 291 robberies, 835 burglaries and 1,123 reports of theft. There were only 1,983 crimes committed to obtain property in 2015. Those are 214 cases of robbery, 742 cases of burglary and 1,027 theft. Major crimes to obtain property decreased by 11.8 percent when comparing 2015 to 2014. Violent crimes against people only decreased by 4.8 percent in that same period. There were only four less murders in 2015 than in 2014. That is a decrease of 3.3 percent.

Cop accused of sexually assaulting 13-year-old girl
San Pedro police officer Kyle Hubert Serrano, 26, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was accused of engaging in sexual activities with a 13-year-old girl. The child reported that Serrano sucked her breast on November 27, 2015. She alleges that he sucked her breast again on November 30 and on December 3 he took his penis and rubbed it on her body. Serano was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual assault upon a minor under the age of 14.

BDF loses soldier in traffic fatality
The Belize Defence Force continues to mourn the loss of one of their own, Staff Sergeant Artemio Mendez, who died in a traffic accident on Wednesday, December 30, sometime after 8 p.m. It happened just outside of Orange Walk Town at around mile 42 on the Northern Highway. Sgt. Mendez was driving an unmarked BDF-owned Mahindra pickup truck, as they were heading from Orange Walk to the Price Barracks compound in Ladyville when they crashed head-on into an ADO-Bus. The bus, which was heading from Belize to Cancun Mexico, was carrying, about 34 tourists, which included Belizeans. It was being driven at the time by Mexican, Mathias Gaspar Marcus. Inside the BDF Mahindra Pickup with Staff Sgt. Mendez was his colleague, Lieutenant Argel Flores. The front portion of the pick-up was crushed after the accident. The impact did not cause anyone to be injured in the bus, but both BDF soldiers suffered head and body injuries.

Body found in Cayo
After spending 5 years in Belize making films, 37 year-old Canadian Matthiew Klinck was killed at his home on the outskirts of the Spanish Lookout Community in the Cayo District. Klinck was renting a house in Selena Village, a community which is a very short distance from Spanish Lookout. His residence is very remote, to get to the location, one has to pass through a gate area, which is secured by a caretaker who is on duty all the time. Klinck had moved there a few months ago. On Monday of this week at about 8:40 pm, information was received of a male person found at his residence in Selena Village, Spanish Lookout, apparently dead. As a result, San Ignacio Police visited the area where they observed the lifeless body of a male Caucasian man lying motionless and face up about 15 feet from the house dressed in a blue jeans pants and an off white T-Shirt. It was in its initial stage of decomposition and had what appeared to be multiple cut wounds among them was a cut wound to the left side of the neck.

Cayo man dies after being “clotheslined”
Belize’s health authorities have now discovered the cause of death of a resident from the Cayo District. A post mortem examination conducted just last week Wednesday at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital Morgue by Dr. Mario Estradabran now confirms that Eddie Alberto Sanchez died as a result of massive pulmonary edema, due to massive brain hemorrhage due to head injuries. Sometime around 5:00 pm on Saturday 19th December 2015, Eddy Alberto Sanchez, 29 year old of Buena Vista Village was involved in a Road Traffic Accident and was rushed to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. An investigation was carried out where it was learnt that Sanchez was riding his grey in color Meilun 125 Motorcycle, into the compound of Belize Concrete Ltd located at the outskirts of Spanish Lookout and off the Iguana Creek Road. Upon reaching the entrance of the said compound, he collided into a cable wire used as a barrier to the compound which was across the road. The Belizean carpenter sustained serious head and body injuries.

Drugs found in Roaring Creek
Security forces continue to find marijuana in Cayo. On Saturday of this past weekend, the Special Branch Tactical Response Squad (TRS) conducted anti-crime operations in Roaring Creek Village, Cayo District, where the residence of Andres Garbutt of Cooperation Avenue, Roaring Creek Village, was searched which led to the discovery of a black plastic bag containing a green leafy substance suspected to be cannabis. The substance was found under a cushion in the sofa. Present at the time of the search at the same address was 39 year old Andres Edward Garbutt Belizean Taxi Driver and 37 year old Janet Greta Cadle, a Belizean teacher. They were informed of the offence committed and escorted to the Belmopan police station along with the suspected drugs, which was weighed in their presence. Both Andres Garbutt and Janet Cadle were jointly charged for the offence of “Possession of a Controlled Drug” amounting to 34 grams.

Perry Gibson charged for death of young couple
Businessman and cycling enthusiast, Perry Gibson, 44, is out on bail after he was arrested and charged with two counts of manslaughter for running over and killing Adrian Wade, 22, and Lea Crawford, 27, on January 2 in Carmelita Village. On their way to a wedding reception, Wade and Crawford were double riding on the road side in Carmelita Village sometime around 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 2. At this same time, Perry Gibson was driving his 2013 Toyota 4 Runner towards Belize City. He lost control of the vehicle between miles 49 and 50 and veered unto the side of the road where the couple was riding. The SUV struck the couple at high speed causing them to fly off the bicycle up into the air. The momentum of the vehicle then caused it to drag the bicycle a couple hundred feet further. According to eyewitnesses, Gibson then attempted to drive off from the scene but his vehicle shut down a half mile later due to mechanical malfunction.

Charged for attempted rape of ex-girlfriend
Allen Martinez, 32, of #6 Swan Street, San Pedro Town is out on bail after he was arraigned for attempting to rape his ex-girlfriend. A 32-year-old woman visited police and reported that Martinez physically assaulted and attempted to rape her. She informed police that she knows her attacker well because he was her ex-boyfriend. Police acted upon the report and detained Martinez for attempted rape and wounding upon the complainant. Martinez was escorted to the Belize City Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, December 31, where he was read two indictable offenses of attempted rape and wounding.

Murder in the city…
Kieron Moss, a 21 year-old resident of Freedom Street, was killed a very short distance from his house on New Years Day. According to those who know him, Moss was a respectable young man who was doing all the right things to stay away from the street life. Yet, try as he might, he was gunned down by shooters who treated him like just another gang affiliated youth. According to Police it happened at around 5 a.m. on January 1, 2016. He was in the company of two girls, and they were walking on Levi Slusher Street, when 2 unknown assailants rode up on motorcycle. One of the men pulled out a weapon and fired several shots at Moss, targeting him directly. He was injured several times in the head and body, and he collapsed as soon as the bullets struck him. He was rushed to the KHMH, but he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Money lender Pamela Bennett dies in traffic accident
Well-known moneylender Pamela Bennett—Cumberbatch was killed along with an octogenarian during the New Years holiday weekend in a traffic accident on the Northern Highway. That double fatality happened as a second accident which happened on the very same day near the very same portion of the highway. This accident happened at around 9 a.m. on Sunday, January 3 between miles 5 and 6, around a curve. 80 year-old Alfredo Navarrete was driving in his Grey Dodge Caravan, and he was heading from his house in Burrell Boom Village to Belize City. His intention was to meet up with some relatives for the day. His family has told the press that he has a reputation being a very careful driver, who does not speed on the highway. They think that because the accident happened right after a curve, he most likely did not see the other vehicle coming. That other vehicle was a white Toyota Tundra Pick-up truck which was being driven at that time by Belize City resident, Calvin Cumberbatch. His wife, Pamela Bennett Cumberbatch, a well-known moneylender from Caesar Ridge Road, was in the passenger seat. They were on their way to Sandhill Village on business.

Mr. Program in jail for assaulting police
Gilbert Alamilla, 30, better known as “Mr. Program”, greeted the New Year in jail at the Belize Central Prison after he failed to pay a fine for assaulting a police officer. The local musician was convicted on November 10, 2015 for assaulting a police officer and using obscene words. He was convicted in absencia by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith after he failed to show up at his own trial and forfeited his rights to put up a defense. The Chief Magistrate fined Alamilla $810 and immediately issued a warrant for his arrest. Upon arrest, he was to pay the fine or serve five months imprisonment. Alamilla was arrested on Thursday, December 31. He could not make the $810 payment; therefore, he was sent to prison to begin serving five months imprisonment.

Bradley Roe busted with cocaine
River View Estate resident Bradley Roe, 25, of the wealthy Roe family is out on bail of $500 after police allegedly busted him with cocaine at the Princess Ramada Hotel and Casino on Sunday, January 3. Roe was released on police bail Sunday night and walked into the Belize City Magistrates Court with his attorney Leisja Barrow-Chung on Monday, January 4, to answer to a single charge of possession of a controlled drug, 0.02 grams of cocaine. He appeared before Magistrate Carlin Mason where he pleaded not guilty to the charge. There was no objection to bail by the prosecutor, Inspector Pablo Pinkney. Mason granted bail in the sum of $500 plus one surety of the same amount which he was able to meet immediately.

Joel Borland is the 2016 KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic Champ
The Cycling Federation of Belize held its 26th Annual KREM New Year’s Day Cycling Classic on Friday 1st January, 2016, in the Elite Open, Masters, Female, Junior and Youth categories. The Elite Open, Under 23 and Master riders commenced the 96 miles journey from the Belize –Mexico Border at 9:00 am and concluded in front of Santos Diaz on the Central American Boulevard in Belize City. In the Elite Open, U-23 and Masters categories some 58 riders started the course with 37 riders completing the event. At the end of the race, it was Joel Borland of Belmopan DigiCell 4G Elite Cycling Team that captured first place in a time of 3:53:42. Borland made his move for the coveted title at Sandhill and rode solo into the city for a comfortable win. Borland was followed by his team-mate Gregory Lovell who completed the event in a time of 3:54:28. The third rider to cross the finish line was Byron Pope of Benny’s Megabytes and he was followed by Justin Williams who is unattached and then by Johnny Joan Valencia a Mexican who rides for Boarder Town to round off the top five finishers in the event.

Nia Fairweather-Erwin and Marvin Hope capture Athletics Association 5K and 10K run
The Belize Athletics Association sponsored a 5K and 10 K runs on Friday 1st January, 2016. The Belize Athletics Association utilised the Central American Boulevard for the event. In the 5K run for female athletes between the ages of 15-19 years, Ashonti Carr captured 1st place in a time of 25:21:69. In the female Open event, 1st place went to Nia Fairweather-Erwin in a time of 30:15:41. The 2nd runner to cross the finish line was Teresita Grajalez in a time of 31:55:91 while third place went to Vernice Rodriguez in a time of 35:11:66. In the male Open category, 1st place went to Joseph Carr in a time of 21:02:69. Larry Erwin finished 2nd in a time of 23:30:63, 3rd place going to Andres Grajalez in a time of 26:49:26 while 4th place went to Ian Morrison in a time of 30:15:41.

Elite Basketball Competition to commence on 16 January, 2016
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) will commence its third, annual basketball competition on Saturday, January 16, 2016. The opening game will feature the newly added franchise the Independence Thunderbolt against the back-to-back defending champions, San Pedro Tiger Sharks out in San Pedro. The 2016 Season will see the participation of eight teams which includes the San Pedro Tiger sharks (the back-to-back champions), Belmopan Bandits, Cayo Western Ballaz, Independence Thunderbolt, Dangriga Warriors, Orange Walk Running Rebels, Belize Hurricanes and the Belize City No Limit Team.

Kraal Road FC top team in CYDP Quarter-final Round
The CYDP Peace Cup Tournament Regular Season came to an end on Saturday 2 January, 2016, with four games on the schedule at the MCC Grounds. In game one, West Lake and Lake I Rising Stars played to a 1-1 draw. The only goal of the game for West Lake FC was scored by Floyd Jones while Michael Hernandez scored for Lake I Rising Stars. In game two, Exodus United won over the New Revolution via the default route. In the third game of the day, King’s Park Strikers blasted Hattieville United by the score of 6-1. The goals for King’s Park Strikers were scored by Latrell Middleton (3), Shemar Thompson, Mark Chaneb and Tyrone Armstrong. Meanwhile, the only goal of the game for Hattieville United was scored by Clive Rogers.

Same Old, Same Old
Tuesday morning past a caller to Wave TV attempted to chastise the hosts during a period when the two gentlemen were discussing the PUP’s list of delegates for their upcoming national convention. The caller angrily demanded that Wave stay out of PUP business, and to stop “slander” the PUP leadership candidates. If the caller would take a quick peek around at most of the other media outlets, he would get even angrier, since several political pundits on those radio and television stations are too discussing the PUP’s unfolding, public drama leading up to January 31. So what is it about the politics of the PUP that seems to attract so much attention? One theory which older people like me hold is that for decades the PUP was the most powerful political Party in our country and it operated under a strict code of silence. All local news were carefully censored, and we only heard from Ministers during House meetings. This cabal type of Government gave the Ministers an aura of supremacy over the common man, and they were held in sort of reverence. To see them now as mere human beings with all their imperfections of arrogance, pride and greed makes for good entertainment.

Prime Minister's New Year Message
Sugar is not currently fetching the optimum returns in the European market that we would like. Nevertheless, the huge Santander investment in a factory and cane fields in the Cayo District has now come to fruition. Grinding operations are set to start by February. And the initial amount of 350 thousand tonnes of cane to be milled, should go up in year 2 to as much as 800 thousand tonnes. Apart from the foreign exchange earnings and permanent employment that the coming of sugar to the West brings, Santander is also negotiating a power purchase agreement with BEL to supply cheap co-generation energy to the local grid. Overall, then, and despite the volatility inherent in the commodities sector and the temporary hole left in banana production by the suspension of Meridian farms, our agriculture is again proving its resilience and viability. But it is in tourism that our prospects continue to shine brightest. In September, October and November of 2015, overnight arrivals exceeded the 2014 numbers for the same three months by 19.2%, 22.1% and 33% respectively. With the new Southwest and Copa airline services from the US and South America to Belize already launched; and with the scheduled commencement of direct flights from Canada in 2016, we expect to maintain and better the record breaking, year-over-year increases in stayover tourism.

A resounding approval to San Ignacio Police
With the increased security within the Twin Towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena, the authorities have signaled their approval for the extra efforts that have come from the San Ignacio Police Formation. In a recent letter sent to Superintendent Andrew Ramirez, Officer in Charge of the San Ignacio Police by Earl Trapp Jr., Mayor San Ignacio and Santa Elena, there is expression of delight. “It gives me great pleasure to extend my most sincere gratitude to your office and the San Ignacio Police Station for the level of service provided over the Christmas Holidays. I commend you for having teamed up with the officers of the Belize Defense Force and for taking the proactive approach in making our municipality safe throughout the Christmas weekend.”

Hope for Humility
In society, people often times engulf their lives in too much pride and self interest that people forget to act out of humility. Humility is the act of being modest, reverential, even politely submissive. It is the opposite of aggression, arrogance, pride, and vanity. Although it is the most vital trait to possess, humility is often overlooked in modern society. The general public is so used to being subject to the arrogant, authoritative, and selfish opinions of celebrities seen in the media that the idea of a “down-to-earth” person sounds almost refreshing. The same applies to everyday life when millions of people on social media websites post every good deed they have ever done online in order to provoke response from peers. Each of these truths reside on one common factor; the natural instinct of humans to desire praise and approval from others. Though some are reluctant to admit it, there is truly no denying that deep down, each person yearns to have his or her work noticed by someone else. This natural need is difficult to tame for many, considering the dissociation of many from flashy celebrities and the public annoyance with social media.

Let the horse trading begin
With the January 31st convention date in sight the greasing of palms, scratching, clawing and name calling are now on in earnest. The names of the delegates and the alternates (alternates are called if delegates don’t show up then and alternate votes in that slot) are in. Some camps are now afraid of what may happen to the list between now and convention date, they are afraid that it may be tampered with. So they want certified copies be made available to them, because they don’t trust the people in charge of the process. Some have suggested that the list be held in a safety deposit box and locked up in a bank vault. However there is even a controversy over the actual amount of delegates (voters) that should comprise the list. Some PUP deep throats we spoke to have told us the total amount of persons on the list should be around 2800 while others have said just above 2900. We don’t understand why the discrepancy, but it would not be a PUP operation if there were not a controversy.

Queen’s New Year’s honors
In a news release from Belize House in Belmopan, the Office of the Governor-General Announces that Her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to make the following appointments to THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER BRITISH EMPIRE on the occasion of NEW YEAR HONOURS 2016.

Year in Review 2015
2015 has been year jam packed with events that have shaped the country’s psyche, its understanding of itself, its appreciation of the journey we’ve travelled as a people, and history being made. It was a loaded election cycle with two bye-elections after PUP parliamentarians decided to leave the fold, a municipal election that served as a litmus test for the United Democratic Party administration of Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow, and a general election which saw more than 71,000 residents give their stamp of approval to Prime Minister Barrow’s policies of social development, infrastructural transformation, and ensuring equity, transparency, and democracy alive and well. It was also a year for citizens to get actively engaged in the charting of the course in which our nation will take going forward, expecting only the best from our leaders – and certainly from ourselves. The Guardian revisits some of the most important stories of 2015, an exciting election year, a year of the youth, and a year of citizen participation especially through social media.

Roaring Creek cleared of high bush
Crime infested areas in Roaring Creek Village have been cleared thanks to team effort. A parcel of land in Roaring Creek measuring 2 acres was cleared by inmates of Kolbe Foundation on Wednesday of last week. It was done after Officer Commanding of Belmopan police, Howell Gillett, became concerned that criminals were finding refuge in the high bush. Chief Executive Officer of Prison Virjilio Murillo made it possible for the inmates to work in Roaring Creek last week. His countryman, the Mayor of Belmopan, Khalid Belisle, provided both food and drinks for the inmates; even though that section of Belmopan is not within his jurisdiction as it relates to the City Council. Mayor Belisle nonetheless assisted, as much of the crime that affects Belmopan City has to do with activities in neighboring Roaring Creek. Inmates were able to clear much of the high bush and even killed a large snake from therein.

Words of Hope
Our world is teaming with refugees. Anyone who spends time watching the cable news networks is aware of the movement of many individuals from one country to another. We see migrations from Syria and Arab nations to Europe, Africa to Europe, and Central America to the United States. There are many opinions among U.S. Presidential candidates on how to deal with this crisis. Many people do not realize that Jesus was once a refugee. After the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem, he was visited by several learned astrologers from Persia. After this, Joseph was instructed by an angel to take Mary and the child Jesus from Bethlehem to Egypt, to escape from King Herod who sought to kill the child.

Amandala

What will it take?
The Belize City high school (CSSSA) football tournament kicked off this evening at the MCC Grounds, where, since the weekend of October 4, 2015, there has been a three-feet deep, and a foot and a half wide trench around the field, just about three to five feet from the sidelines. In a city where gang turf tension is a stark reality, the well fenced MCC remains the most secure venue for young men from all parts of the city to congregate for supervised sports competition. The Premier League of Belize team, Belize Defence Force FC decided to cancel its home games at the MCC after the trench was dug one Friday evening, so city fans got to see no more PLB games at the MCC since October of last year. But amateur football continues to be played at the MCC, with the Smart 13 & Under, CYDP Peace Cup, the BDFA Interim U-15, and now the high schools have started their CSSSA football tournament. There have been a few incidents where players have fallen into the trench; but, as far as reports received, there has not been any serious injury. Today, it might have been different. Less than a minute after kick-off this evening, with adrenalin high, two opposing players chased a ball toward the western sidelines, and after a hard tackle, one went crashing down into the trench. His lower body was out of sight inside the trench, while his upper left rib cage was jolted against the vertical earthen embankment. Visibly shaken and holding his side, the player, Wesley captain Deandre Pitter had to leave the game for a few minutes. Luckily, it appeared that no bones were broken, and he returned to the game nursing a bruised rib, and played the rest of the game.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize chairs CARICOM secretariat
Belize on January 1st took over the chairmanship of the CARICOM secretariat under Prime Minister Dean Barrow. CARICOM Secretary General Irwin Larocque is in Belize for the Intersessional Meeting of heads of Government to be held here on January 16 and 17. Secretary General […]

Cruise ship passenger dies while snorkeling of Sergeants Caye
The body of a Princess Cruise Line passenger, 67 year old Janice Mittelstadt, lies at the Morgue at the KHMH awaiting a post mortem examination following what police is initially calling a “snorkeling accident”. The South Dakota resident arrived in Belize sometime this morning aboard the Caribbean […]

Rural Police gets communication division
Red Ice, that’s the name that the Rural Eastern Division of the Belize Police Department is giving to its new communications network. That system is augmented by newly acquired communication equipment. A donation was made by the Princess Ramada Hotel this afternoon in Belize City. […]

Caye Caulker residents call for new police barracks
In Caye Caulker, yes, perhaps. But certainly not in the aging and dilapidated cluster of wooden buildings at the corner of Avenida Mangle or Back Street and Luciano Reyes Street which serves as home to the island’s police contingent and their families. Made almost […]

Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) weighs in on the rice issue
The originators of the rice dispute involving Jack Charles, Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), have weighed in on the most recent developments in the case. The organization says that it respects the decision of the Court on Charles, and says that the importer […]

Michael Arnold charged in Maria Pou robbery
Twenty-three year old Michael Arnold, a labourer of the Pickstock Apartments, appeared today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and was arraigned on charges of robbery and wounding. Arnold was denied bail and he was remanded into custody until March 9. On January 5, fifty-six year old […]

Luis Alcoser still missing
Thirty-two-year-old Luis Alcoser, who went missing before making it to his destination early Wednesday, is still missing and his disappearance remains a mystery. Alcoser’s blue KIA Sportage SUV, with license plates CZL-16979, was found about five to six feet off the road at the entrance […]

No one charged for 183 pounds of weed
Orange Walk Police have released the two men who were arrested following the discovery of a little over 183 pounds of weed. The discovery was made last Sunday by the Orange Walk Formation’s Quick Response Team on a feeder road off the Philip Goldson Highway between […]

Two to be charged for Canadian producer’s murder
By BMG Staff. Belize Media Group has received unconfirmed reports that charge sheets are being prepared for two men in-connection to the murder of Canadian film-maker Mathiew Klinck. This is a developing story and more details will be posted as they become available. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article […]

Belize Energy Workers Union calls on government not to destroy good rice
The Belize Energy Workers Union (BEWU) issued a press release yesterday afternoon stating its position and giving its opinions on the matter of Jack Charles’ imported Guyanese rice being considered for destruction after he lost his plea to the courts. In the release, BEWU […]

21 year old woman recovering from injuries sustained in traffic accident
Twenty-one-year-old Sheri Patt is at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after she was hit by a vehicle last night on the Philip Goldson Highway in the Corozal District. Police report that the incident occurred between miles 71 and 72 on the Philip Goldson […]

Stann Creek police seek public help in finding escaped prisoner
Stann Creek police are asking the general public to assist them with information as they search for 29-year-old Shane Bennett of Independence village who escaped from his holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station yesterday, sometime between 12 and 12:25 a.m. Bennett, […]

Blogs

Belize Whale Sharks 2016 Diving Adventure!
The annual Whale Shark migration is heading to the waters of Belize and you cannot miss the opportunity to swim with these gentle giants of the sea. Each year during the months of April, May, and June these docile behemoths visit the Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve to take advantage of the annual fish spawn, straining plankton and other nutrients through their massive four and a half foot mouths. While a true shark, unchanged for over 60 million years and still the world’s largest fish. The largest measured whale shark was 40 feet long and 5 feet wide, that’s bigger than a school bus! These creatures are known to swim right up to divers, but they are not aggressive only curious.

Househunters International makes stuff up? Shocked, shocked, shocked.
Well here’s a shocker: The popular HGTV program “Househunters International” makes stuff up. Whoa. Didn’t see that one coming . . . until about three years ago. No, it is true. You can read here about one couple who moved to Fiji and were living in their house for four months before the crew from “Househunters International” came along and said something like this: HGTV: “Let’s go out and pretend to look for a house to live in. You can look at three, including the one you are already in and argue about which one you want. It will be fun!” Couple: “Well . . . ” HGTV: “And we’ll pay you $1,500 to be on the show.” Couple: “OK!” Maybe you knew this already. Your first clue would be that every “Househunters International” show is almost exactly the same.

International Sourcesizz

Where to Retire Overseas in 2016
Moving overseas gives you an opportunity to reinvent your life in retirement. In many places you will also be able to significantly reduce your cost of living. Here are my picks for the world's top retirement havens in 2016. Cayo, Belize. Belize is one of the quirkiest countries in the world. Geographically, Belize is in Central America, yet its strongest ties are to the English-speaking Caribbean. Belize is Caribbean, Central American and, thanks to its history as a former colony, British. Belize City's roadways are built around a system of roundabouts, but shops alongside them sell rice, beans and tortillas still ground by hand. English is the country's official language. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are diverse and include the descendants of migrants from Britain, Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land. Belize is a sunny country that's easily accessible from the United States and the folks all speak English. It's also one of the easiest places in the world to establish foreign residency, as well as a banking and tax haven. You could live and run a business here tax-free.

As Climate Change Hits the Caribbean, Partners Collaborate To Boost Resilience and Rejuvenate Coasts
Even before Hurricane Joaquin’s catastrophic flooding of South Carolina in October, the storm had hit ten islands of The Bahamas with brute force. On Crooked Island, 85 percent of the homes were destroyed. Over 36 hours, the storm rested menacingly over the islands, closing airports as well as destroying communications and electrical infrastructure, according to the Ministry of Environment and Housing in Nassau. Currently in the design phase, the Caribbean Ocean and Aquaculture Sustainability Facility (COAST) proposes to promote the resilience of the small-scale fisheries sector in the Caribbean against increasing climate-change related disaster risk. The objective is to create a platform for innovative insurance financing that also incentivizes small-island governments to support coastal management and reef restoration for climate resilience among other activities.

Videos

  • BELIZE, 8min.

  • Dusk falls in San Pedro, 6min. Footage taken from DJI Phantom 3 Advanced as the sun goes down in San Pedro Town, Belize. The Phantom is launched and recovered at Ramon's Village Resort in San Pedro and it takes a swivelling aerial view of nearby San Pedro Town.

  • DIVING IN BELIZE-PART 2-NIGHT DIVING, 2min. Here are some of the cool underwater creatures that are seen while diving at night in Belize.

  • Arpana &Kim in Belize, 4min.

  • Belize River part 01, 10min.

  • Belize River part 02, 11min.

  • The Impact of Media | Kalilah Enriquez | TEDxBelmopan, 27min. In her talk, Belizean journalist, writer and poet, Kalilah Enriquez discusses her journey to journalism in both Belize and Jamaica to help us understand the impact of media, addressing the issue of news standards, and the idea of subjectivity versus objectivity in journalism.

  • Belize Honeymoon, 4min.

  • CARICOM Secretary General wraps up working visit to Belize, 11min.

  • Krista & Cody In Belize 2015, 15min.

  • Belize Farm, 4min.

  • Two Backpacks In Belize, 4.5min. Skulls in caves, jumping nude off of waterfalls and living out of a small backpack are a few things that create a brother's trip to Belize. A laughing monkey and treehouse production

  • Open Your Eyes: The folks from Belize Urban Gardens tell us about their project, 40min.

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