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#510652 - 01/14/16 11:31 AM Today's Belize News: January 14, 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

Prime Minister Dean Barrow assumes 6-month Chairmanship of CARICOM
On Wednesday, January 6th, Prime Minister Dean Barrow was handed the reins of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) as he was appointed the acting Chairman for the next six months. Overseeing the transition of chairmanship was CARICOM’s Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, who was on an official visit to Belize as of Tuesday, January 5th for the occasion. Barrow took over the position from the Prime Minister of Barbados, Honorable Freundel Stuart, who was the former acting Chairman of CARICOM from July 1 to December 31, 2015.

Mayor and Minister’s Cup on a heated third round
The first match began on Friday, January 8th at 7PM sharp between Belize Pro Team and Ambergris Divers. The crowded was treated to a tight game, as the players of both teams showed their skills on the field. Belize Pro Divers were in for a win, but Ambergris Divers trumped that dream, walking away with the 5-3 victory. In the second game, Jokers F.C won the match by default against Catrachos who did not show up. As a result Catrachos are officially out of the tournament. On Saturday, San Pedro Junior College faced San Mateo in the first match of the day. The college team came in with a strong offence, quickly scoring against the San Mateo boys. But the San Mateo Team gave them a fight, and managed to secure a 2-1 win. This match was followed by Searious Warriors Team versus faced PSG. The Searious Warrios faced defeat in a 2-1 game final.

Bomb threat to Atlantic Bank declared a hoax
Police have indicated that the bomb threat may have just been a prank call, but that in those situations all measures need to be taken to ensure public safety and avoid disaster. Police are attempting to trace the phone number that made the call in order to apprehend the culprit. Authorities would like to inform the community that bomb threats are not matters to be taken lightly. If any person or establishment receives a bomb threat, they are to immediately contact the San Pedro Police Department at 206-2022. Furthermore, anyone caught making a bomb threat will face criminal prosecution.

Ambergris Today

Flashbacks - The Historical Landmark Roman Catholic Primary School
One of the landmarks of San Pedro is the Roman Catholic Elementary School. From the beach in front of Central Park to the temporary building of the Catholic Church to its present location, the primary school has always been the hub of activity for the children of San Pedro. In this laid-back flashback the children have the liberty of playing on the sandy street before marching into their classrooms. When the bell was rung, the children formed two lines on the street by the front steps. There was no fence to keep them locked in and for the same matter to keep them locked out. It was a picturesque corner of the village with the absence of vehicle, crazy cyclists, weird and treacherous individuals, as well as the absence of Sunbreeze Hotel, the San Pedro Public Library, BTB office, Wild Mangoes Restaurant and the Chocolate Boutique. WOW! This Flashback is a subtle reminder of village life, a quaint little village that offered the children the privilege and freedom of being children.

25 Years Ago - The Good Old Days...When Children Listened to Their Parents
Back in the GOOD OLD DAYS we came home from school and did our homework, no game playing. We took off our school clothes and did our homework. We did not go outside and pay in them. We did not sit down to listen to grownups talk. We left the room until the company had left. We ate what was cooked or got nothing. When we were told to do something we did so. We did not say that we would do it later. I am thankful for the GOOD OLD DAYS because it made me the person that I am. Homework had to be done as soon as we got home because we had to make the best of daylight. There was no 24-hour electricity so it was important to complete our homework by 6p.m. or before it got dark. Our homes were lit by kerosene lanterns or by candle light and of course that did not provide a good reading or studying environment. So what about games? What time did the children have to play and socialize? That happened after evening tea or supper as it is called today. We called it tea because tea was the traditional beverage. After tea we would go on the streets or beach and play games. No they were not computer games but rather physical games like tops, marbles, hide and seek, and a myriad of other fun games that included, thinking, strength or fitness and that included teams. Trust me, there was a lot of running, jumping, chasing, and celebrating of a sweet victory.

Belize Delegation Participates in Nigeria’s Calabar Carnival
A Belizean delegation which travelled to Nigeria to participate in the 2015 Calabar Carnival returned from the memorable event on January 1, 2016. The Calabar Carnival is one of Nigeria’s premier international cultural events, held annually in the municipality of Cross River State. The event is known as the "Africa's Biggest Street Party". The Belizean contingent arrived in the former capital city of Lagos, Nigeria on December 25th. This was the start of their wonderful experience as they witnessed and took part in one of the best organized and culturally-rich festivals. The Belize group included six members of the TITANS Carnival group, D.J. Richie Galvez and the Vice President of the University of Belize Student Government Melody Wagner.

A Giant Exists in the Maya Mountains of Belize
There is a giant that sleeps along the Maya Mountain chain of Belize, but you do not have to worry about it coming after you because it lays in eternal slumber. The Sleeping Giant of Belize is a landmark that can be spotted along the highways of the country, one that provides a great photo opportunity to highlight your adventures in the country. Once you get to around Mile 25 on the Western Highway, traveling west from Belize City to the Cayo District, there are pine trees, more pines, some small hills and then in the distance appears the Sleeping Giant that guards the foothills of Maya Mountains. It’s a limestone mountain that has taken the shape of a person lying down. You might have passed by it a dozen times without knowing it is there, but if you look closely you can easily distinguish a nose, chin, neck, stomach and even his feet. Your imagination takes charge of how you see the giant sleeping in the horizon, but its head is clear to spot. It is really cool!!

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Please support Samantha Nicole Dirk
A Belizean American, who wants to represent Belize in the Central American games and he Olympics in Brazil. She is currently applying for all documentation to apply.

Belize Prime Minister attends Inauguration of Guatemala's President Jimmy Morales
The Office of the Prime Minister informs the general public that Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow will depart the country today, Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 to attend the inauguration of the new President of Guatemala, Mr. Jimmy Morales. Morales, prior to being elected president, claimed Belize as a territory of Guatemala. Morales, a comedian by profession, infamously portrayed the racist character "blackface." The Prime Minister will be accompanied by his Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Audrey Wallace and by Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, H.E. Alexis Rosado.

Monthly Weather Summary, December 2015, National Meteorological Service of Belize
Climatology shows that the main features influencing weather across the country of Belize in December are cold fronts, upper level troughs and the development of moist northeasterly airflows in the area. There was no frontal passage in December of 2015. However, a couple fronts stalled over or just north of the country resulting in relatively moist conditions over the area. The upper levels were mostly dry during the month. On the first day of December a surface trough over the Gulf of Honduras supported a moist North to Northeasterly airflow over the country. This resulted in cloudy skies at times with a few showers and light rain across the country. The same feature continued on the 2nd but conditions were a bit drier that day with only isolated showers developing. On the 3rd the trough moved a little closer to the country and moisture increased once more. Skies were cloudy with a few showers and light rain mainly over the Sea and along the coast. Similar conditions continued the following day with a weak low developing along the surface trough. On the 5th, the National Hurricane Center analyzed a stationary front east of the country. However, all observations indicated that the front was further north over Yucatan and instead the feature analyzed as the front was actually the persistent surface trough. Showers increased that day and conditions were a bit moist until the 7th.

Splashers Paint Party at Crazy Canucks
Sorry for the late post! Helpful objects for this painting will be a ice tray & rag. Come join us to paint "Angel Fish" this Thursday at Crazy Canucks. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and maybe even a stencilled canvas if you need it (shhhh). $25u.s for first time artists and visitors. $20u.s for our members. Bring a Rag if you can help save paper.

CARICOM Accredits New Belizean Envoy as Ambassadors Meet
As the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors meets in Georgetown, Guyana, Wednesday to engage on the Community Reform Process, CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque accepted the Letters of Credence from H.E. Daniel Gutierrez, new Ambassador of Belize. In a short accreditation ceremony held in his office, Ambassador LaRocque told the newest member of the Committee that he will have the opportunity to help shape the future direction of the integration movement by advancing the implementation of decisions of Organs of the Community at the national level. He noted that during his recent engagement with the Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize and Chairman of the Caribbean Community for the next six months, it was evident that the Prime Minister was keen on making an even stronger link between national and regional agendas.

Power interruption 6:00am to 10:00am, Saturday, January 16: entire Corozal District
BEL to replace broken transmission pole, caused by traffic accident in Corozal District.

UNO Gas Station in Corozal announces our 24 hour service
Commencing this Friday January 15th. Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Monday UNO will be open to serve our customers 24 hours. Please take advantage and avoid the long and tedious lines.

Vivian's Grand Opening
Vivian's Cafe had their grand opening, and it was a packed house. The new Vivian's is majestic inside. They also got some great pictures of the event. "Vivian's Cafè had their grand opening yesterday, and it was a hit! They're going to need a bigger counter on weekends. There was face painting by the master face painter, Abi, and plenty of balloons and giveaways too. Great ice cream and nachos were enjoyed by all."

VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT: Technical Assistant Wildlife Conservation Society
WCS seeks a Technical Assistant to support the scientific and technical aspects of their Belize country program. The primary purpose of WCS in Belize is to develop and implement science-based conservation and management programs that will conserve Belize’s terrestrial and marine ecosystems in the long term. Summary of Position The Technical Assistant, who will be based in the WCS office in Belize City, will be directly supervised by the Marine Conservation Scientist , and other staff as may be assigned, and will provide support for the management of the science and education programs conducted, including at the Glover’s Reef Marine Research Station (GRRS).

MAKING WAVES
A weekly radio drama in Belize seems to be aiding conservation. Punta Fuego, which focuses on the story of a young fisherman, Richie, elevates the importance of ordinary Belizean fishers and of sustainable fishing practices. It's a unique approach to spreading an important wildlife message and it appears to be working. A survey of a handful of towns and villages showed that roughly 34% of the population had tuned in to season 1. And that those who listened were more likely to possess correct knowledge regarding Belize's fisheries regulations, to recognize the benefits of marine protected areas, and to share their knowledge with other fishers. It's no surprise then that the show, which is sponsored in part by WCS, will be back for season 2 starting in June.

Paradise Theater · San Pedro, Belize · Playing this weekend!!
The Last Witch Hunter, Black Mass, The Revenant, Goosebumps.
(Saturday night we have a Spanish comedian performing in Room 1 at 9pm Presented by Reef Radio. The tickets are only $25, the bar is stocked and it is sure to be a unique and exciting event! Movies will still be playing in screen 2 and in the big room at 7 before the comedy performance.

Channel 7

Supreme Court Says DOE Cut Corners For Norwegian
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye Cruise Port and Docking Facility, which is one of the country’s biggest cruise tourism projects is more than 70% complete. It will open for business later this year, but the Supreme Court has ruled that the Department of the Environment cut corners to fast track the project. That’s the decision that Justice Courtney Abel handed down today after months of extensive litigation brought to the court by the Belize Tourism Industry Association. The BTIA sued the Department of Environment, or (DOE), and the National Environmental Appraisal Committee, called (NEAC), accusing them of breaching the laws governing the Environmental Impact Assessment, known as an EIA. Now, for viewers not familiar with an EIA, it’s a study done by all private developers to prove that a development won’t irreparably harm the environment.

Freak Accident Leaves Man Trapped Behind Rolling Cement Truck
A freak accident in San Ignacio yesterday evening resulted in the death of a 25 year old Derl Anthony Barahona, a resident of Corozal. He was crushed between the back wheel of a rolling Cement Truck and a hill. Superintendent Andrew Ramirez described the tragic scene. "Police visited the Benque Veijo Road right here in San Ignacio where they observed a trailer truck with cement and also pinned to the fence was a male person who was later identified as Derl Anthony Barahona, he's a 25 year old Belizean of Corozal. The initial investigation reveals that David Dominguez the driver of the truck in the company of Christopher Usher and Mr. Barahona was coming down from South to North. Mr. Dominguez was the driver, Mr. Usher was the middle and Mr. Barahona was on the right passenger side, when appeared that the truck was experience some sort try of brake problem. As a result Mr. Dominguez had indicated Mr. Barahona to try jump out of the truck in order to place a rock on the truck. Immediately on doing so and Mr. Barahona jumping out of the truck it appears that the break completely gave way and the drive a right turn into the fence not noticing that Mr. Barahona was out of the vehicle at the right rear end of the vehicle and as a result Mr. Barahona body was pinned and it took several minutes over an hour to have him basically removed from that position. Obviously he died on impact in relation to that happening. "

PG Police Closing In On Killer
On Monday, we told you about 19 year-old Punta Gorda resident, Jarrel Pop, whose body was found at the bottom of a shallow well. As we told you, Pop’s body was found on Sunday morning in an advanced state of decomposition. An on site post mortem found that he had been chopped and stabbed to death. Well, since then, PG investigators have been closely following up on all leads, and between last night and this morning, their main suspect was caught in San Pedro Town. He’s in transit back to the Punta Gorda Police Station tonight, where he will be questioned.

Teenager For Shooting Pregnant Woman
A teenager has been charged for shooting a woman and her pregnant daughter on Dolphin Street. As you saw in last night’s news, Stephanie Smith and her pregnant daughter Shenelle Rolland were at home on Monday night when 2 men crept up from behind the house, and the other 2 came around the front, and one of the men opened fire hitting both Smith and Roland in their stomachs. Luckily for Rolland the bullet only grazed her belly and her unborn child is okay, but her mother wasn’t that lucky – the bullet was lodged inside her stomach and she was hospitalized. Police say they are working hard to find all the men involved. So far they have charged 18 year old Devon Lopez. Today officer commanding Eastern Division South, senior Superintendent Chester Williams told us this shooting is related to Cleon “Tush” Smith’s murder in Hattieville. "The shooting on Dolphin Street, that shooting we are investigating it and we have arrested on person, one Devon Lopez who is from the Ghost town, the Ellis Meighan faction. He has been charged with 2 counts of attempted murder amongst other varying degree of crime. From what our investigation was telling us that is a direct retaliation in respect to the shooting death of Tush in Hattieville. So we are looking at that angle and see if there are other persons involved. We know for a fact that there is another young man who is involved, we know who the person is but we were not able to get any witness to put him on the spot so as a right of that we are able to press charges against the other person."

Police Detain Two For Broad Daylight City Shooting
Last night we told you about the broad daylight attempted murder on Barrack Road. Well, tonight, police say they have two persons detained. They are 21 year old George McKenzie Jr of Pink’s Alley and 18 year old Dane Gillett of Arlington Drive. Police believe that just before 10:00 yesterday morning, Mckenzie chased 29 year old Leon Garcia into a car wash at the corner of Barrack road, followed him into a tool room, and fired a string of shots at him at close range. None of them found their target and the shooter fled in a waiting car. Police believe it is the product of an ongoing rivalry between Victoria Street and Pink’s Alley.

Atlantic Bank Still Corresponds
Last night in our report about troubles in the banking sector, we reported that Scotiabank was the only local bank still holding unto a correspondent banking relationship. Well that wasn’t accurate – and today Atlantic Bank sent out a release saying that they still have correspondent banking relationships with: the Bank of New York Mellon, Commerzbank and US Century Bank. A press release adds quote, “we continue to facilitate international making transactions, including wire transfers via our entire branch network” end quote. That network still does include a branch in the Corozal Free Zone. So, we stand corrected. Atlantic Bank says it meets local and international regulatory standards – as it has for the past 45 years. Yesterday the Prime Minister told the press that he is trying to get an urgent meeting with the State Department and the US Treasury because even the smaller banks that have been handling credit card settlements for other banks are threatening to discontinue that service by the middle of next month.

PM Goes To Guate To Greet Jimmy
The Prime Minister left today for Guatemala City for the inauguration of President Jimmy Morales. The Prime Minister may have decided to make his visit after Morales made a low key visit to Belize at the end of November. That’s where both leaders had a brief, cordial meeting, a far cry from the harsh words they had exchanged about the Belize Guatemala territorial dispute during their respective campaigns. In Guatemala, the Prime Minister will be accompanied by his CEO, Audrey Wallace and Belize’s Ambassador to Guatemala, Alexis Rosado. He returns on Sunday and Security Minister John Saldivar will act as Prime Minister until Friday, when he hands over to Deputy PM Gaspar Vega.

2016: The Year Of The Chopper
The BDF will take to the skies a whole lot in 2016 – and they will do so in their own choppers. That’s right, we said “choppers” – as in more than one. Today in a press briefing about the plans for the year ahead, Commander General David Jones said two military type helicopters will be coming in on Monday:… "Helicopter training will be a big thing for us this year because we expect to get in the other two UH-1H helicopters actually on Monday; coming Monday those two helicopters are expected to be in Belize. We will finalize between two contractors we are looking at now to decide which one of them will provide the helicopter training for our pilots. We already have the Bel, so this year 2016 we expect to have three helicopters up and running." Jones said having the helicopters will enable soldiers to deploy quickly in hard to reach places, mainly along the western border with Guatemala, which is the site of many incursions. Presently, when the BDF sights an incursion or a milpa clearing – it takes days after that to actually get there – but with an arsenal of choppers, that should change:..

The Change in Chiquibul
And while many of those flights will be into the Chiquibul, it’s not as many as before and that’s because a stronger BDF presence has cooled things down significantly in that large protected area:… Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "For the last 2 years the big area of concern we had was in the area of Rio Blanco where we had many encroachment, too much encroachments and we were able to arrest that situation not just by the increase of patrols but also with the assistance of our Guatemalan counter parts. Where people have now been persuaded to come across into Belize and do illegal activities. Our aim for 2016 is to arrest the situation even more along our border with our neighbouring countries, with Guatemala and Mexico. So air reconnaissance will increase. That also will be an increase in foot patrol and coverage of sum of the areas that we haven't been covering. So the other area of concern now is the area of Sebada which is inside the Chiquibul. This is the area we will be working with FCD to arrest that situation. There is an issue of the road being constructed to get the CP there because this is the most challenging area to reach, the area of Sebada. There is no road leading there, there is no helicopter site where we can just drop in get material there and construct. So we're looking at the feasibility of constructing a road to go to the area and have a conservation post placed there."

BDF & GAF Linked Up Over 200 Times In 2015
But the greater enforcement of borderline is also facilitated by something you might not expect: the cooperation of the Guatemalan Army. That’s right, they do joint border patrols along the western border with the BDF – and in 2015, they did over 200 of them. Jones says this has made a difference "A total of 210 linkup patrols occurred along our border so that is from the area of Aguas Turbias down to Cadenas. These are patrols that we did jointly with the Guatemalan armed forces. Of those 210 patrols, 9 of them that were unsuccessful depicted on the graph there. Out of all those 210 patrols only 9, so 201 times we met along the border from Aguas Turbias all the way down to Cadenas and that is something we hope to emulate later on also along the Sarstoon where we plan to have joint patrols with them."

BDF Plans A "Jungle Warfare School Of Excellence"
And while they cooperated with Guatemalan Armed Forces in 2015, in 2016, the BDF hopes to team up with armies from all over the world. That’s because they want to build a Jungle Warfare School Of Excellence. Now the BDF has been doing training since 1991, but this project aspires to be on an entirely different level:… Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "But we want to expand it at a larger level because for the most part it is only individual officers and soldiers from foreign armies to do training in Belize but some of the forces to include the US army, the German, the Dutch, Norwegians, when they come in they want to bring in at least at company strength; so in excess of 100 men, 200 men instead of just 5 or 6. It will be a larger footprint of people coming to use the training areas in Belize. So we want it to be a school of excellence that not just the European countries but also the members of the Caribbean come into Belize and do jungle training here in Belize." And apart form training, Central American, Caribbean and American armed forces want to team up to stop the flow of drugs through Belizean waters and territory – a trade which Jones says is huge:..

BDF's Broken Down Barracks
But if the BDF wants to host cooperating armed forces from all over the world, it will have to repair its physical infrastructure. The camps which the army inherited form the British more than two decades ago are falling apart – and Jones acknowledged that they need work: Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "The buildings that we have in the BDF that we have at Price Barracks and the other bases are very old and they require refurbishment. Some of them actually require demolition and reconstruction so that is expected to occur and from the Cabei fund, a part of the vehicles, monies is also being put aside to do construction and refurbishment of the buildings for our soldiers to live more adequately and comfortably. Field equipment and resources is also going to be ongoing and we expect that every soldier by the end of 2016 is going to be fully equipped, fully resourced to meet the national goals of our country. So when a soldier gets deployed they won't be in need or want of the kit or equipment because we're going to be reaching our goal this year that we have all the kit and equipment that we need for our soldiers to adequately do their patrols, do their operations comfortably."

BDF's Consejo Concern
And the BDF will also be setting up a new building in the north – this one much like the forward operating base which is being built on the Sarstoon. This one will be built on the Hondo, at Consejo which the General says has emerged as a major hotspot for drug trafficking:.. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "The area of Consejo is a big area of concern; these are strategic location that the BDF want to have post established for the BDF to operate from. The area of Consejo has been witnesses of many illegal drug activities happening between Mexico and Belize in the maritime area. This was observed by our customs counterpart. We had a plan to put a conservation post in 4 mile lagoon in the Corozal area but this area of Consejo is more strategic in that anything that comes in the maritime goes in between Belize and Mexico we will have eyes on it in that area and we will be able to arrest it." The BDF is in the final stages of negotiation with the US Army for fund to construct the base there.

Mucho Marijuana
And the BDF also team up with the Americans to destroy marijuana fields. For the past few years, they have been using American helicopters to be inserted in remote areas where illegal marijuana plantations are planted. They destroyed 151 thousand plants in 2015, comparable to 187 thousand plants in 2014. Along with the compressed marijuana which was confiscated, the street value is staggering:.. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "A total of 300 compressed marijuana was destroyed. So street value of what we destroyed in 2015 is in excess of 76 million Belize dollars’ worth of marijuana we destroyed in Belize. The Cayo district is the district that most of the marijuana was destroyed followed by the Toledo district."

Ambassador Danny: From Drilling Wells To Diplomacy
Daniel Guttierez, is well known to us in the media as the Marketing and Corporate Communications Manager for BNE. But tonight, he is making news tonight but he is wearing a different hat. Guiterez, was recently appointed the new Ambassador of Belize to the Caribbean Community. He recently presented his credentials to the CARICOM Secretary- General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque while the CARICOM Committee of Ambassadors met in Georgetown, Guyana. In a brief credentials ceremony the CARICOM Secretary General noted that Belize has been a very active participant in CARICOM, hosting two important arms of the community: the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, and the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism, both of which play leading roles in the sustainable development of the community. Guiterez in his address made a call to the other members of the community that 2016 must be a year of action.

Shirley Sings For Support
Shirley Bowen Ferguson has been singing and performing for years, but tonight, she risks losing that voice because of a cyst growing on the side of her neck. She is having a street concert this weekend where she hopes to sing for your support. Emanuel Pech visited Miss Shirley yesterday during one of her daily rehearsals. Shirley Bowen Ferguson is a well-known Belizean musician, writer and poet. She loves her garden which is what inspired her latest song “Don’t Bring Me Roses.” She has high hopes for this piece and others she has written. She hopes to record them in a few years and publish a book of poems. But a large cyst that has latched to the side of her throat threatens to rob her of these dreams. Shirley Bowen Ferguson - Sings for Support: "This thing I'm very concerned about it because as you can see it's going down in the neck and it's coming out the face and it's very large. It's a big lump here.”

Missing Man In Maskall
Police in Maskall are trying to find this man. He is 53 year old Lynford Ramirez, who hasn’t been seen since December 27th. That’s when he was seen at 5:00 in the morning. Police say they took 17 days to report it because the last time he went missing up turned up in Belize City a at a friend’s house a week later. But this time, he’s been missing going on three weeks, and anyone knowing his whereabouts is asked to call Corporal Usher at Maskall police. His number is 601-4483.

Southside Cops Investigating Tyrone's Complaint
Last night, Tyrone Gentle told us the GSU beat him badly in front of his kids – because he wouldn’t give them the PIN number to unlock his phone. He said the officers kicked him in the stomach and stood on his neck. Now, while it’s the GSU that did it, they did it on the Southside where Commander Chester Williams has spoken so many times about community policing with consent, not confrontation. Today Williams told us they are looking into both sides of this case. Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division Southside: "We do a lot of work with GSU, often times when we need assistance to go out and do operations to go after those elements who are perpetrating criminal acts, we normally call on GSU, SPU, my team and the canine unit to go after different factions across Southside Belize City. Again that is a part of our tough approach. The matter with Tyrone Gentle, yes he came to Racoon Street and made a complaint. The professional standard bureau has taken this complaint and the matter will be investigated."

Are GSU Rough Tactics Undermining Community Initiative?
So as you heard Southside police do work along with GSU on several operations and Gentle’s case was one of those where the GSU had to be brought in. Now, whenever we speak with Commanding Officer Chester Williams he always re-iterates the importance of community policing and outreach, building trust between residents and police – well, he says that’s just one part of it. Today Williams told us about the duality of his policing strategy and its effectiveness. Sr. Supt. Chester Williams - OC, Eastern Division Southside: "If you listen to the minister himself when he spoke at the award ceremony in Belmopan, he also said that what we are embarking on now is community policing. Yes we still need to have the big stick approach in the event that we have those who may wish not to do things the right way then we must that tough approach that we have to deal with them. Even as I embark on community policing, I still have my operation officers who are out there on a daily basis doing operational work, going after those who continue to perpetrate criminal acts and those who do not want to change their way of life. I believe in being reasonable and believe in giving a fair chance to people who want to change. But at the end of the day I will not allow myself to be ridden by anybody to think that, oh well Chester is soft now and I can do what I want because I can tell you, being soft is not in my nature. I try to change the method of policing that I do with a view to see how best we could work with people in giving them a fair opportunity but when they do not want that opportunity then we must take out the big stick. We cannot spare the rod and spoil the child."

The Constant Cops
So while Williams says he must use varied approaches in reducing crime, the one he will always uphold is that healthy community interaction. Today we caught up with Williams and his team on Mopan Street – they were conducting their 2nd meet and greet session for 2016. Williams told us this style of policing is all about consistency.

Cops Want More Than Just Meet and Greet
But it won’t just be the same meet and greet sessions every Wednesday. Williams also told us about other plans to enhance their community outreach program. Williams says someone has already expressed interest in helping the police transform the Jane Usher Basketball court for the kids in that area.

Primary Schoolers At Play
Today the National Primary School Basketball Tournament kicked off in Belize City and the Minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports was there to deliver a brief speech to the little athletes. We spoke to the Minister of State Hon. Elodio Aragon who told us about the importance of his presence at this short opening ceremony and about his efforts in finding the funds to enhance the sporting facilities in the country.

Can He Fix MCC Misadventure?
While on the topic of negligence in the area of sporting facilities we asked the Minister of State about an incident that occurred on the MCC grounds last week. At a high school game, a Wesley College Student was seriously injured when he fell in a ditch surrounding the field. It’s part of an effort to refurbish the field – an effort, which we are told has not left footballers too happy at all. Aragon told us he wasn’t aware of the ditch before last week but now that it has been brought to his attention he will work to try and remedy the situation. Hon. Elodio Aaragon - Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture: "I was out there on Monday at the MCC, I personally did a walk through with the CEO of the ministry of Youth Sports and Culture along with Mr. Allan Sharp, who is the chairman for the national sports council. We took a walk throughout there because I really wanted to get a first-hand view of what the situation was. And I will tell you this; I saw the ditches out there and my first question, how long have these ditches been there? So we are working on that and that is one of my first priority I need to do is to get that MCC grounds up and running for people to use and cover these ditches. We need to run the pipping I got to understand for the new lighting system that would have been placed there. We are working on that and I ask our young people who use the facility to just bare in mind this is not something that I just seen 6 months ago. It is something I've seen now and it's something we are going to make sure we fix the problem in terms of that."

Cops Get Gun And Ganja
Northside police got a major weed bust yesterday morning. They found a bucket stuffed with 13 plastic bags weighing 1.4 kilos, which is about three pounds. The bucket was in a abandoned structure on Handyside street in the Fort George area. And, southside police are reporting a gun seizure bust 6 days after it happened. At 8:40on January 7th., police on motorcycle patrol on Ordonez Street in the St Martin’s area, saw two men approaching. When they saw the cops, one of the men dressed in a white “hoodie” tossed an object in the nearby bushes and they both ran away. Police searched the area and found a 9 millimeter pistol and a magazine with 9 live rounds.

Beverage Giant Expands
Last night, we gave you a preview of the new 40 million dollar Bowen and Bowen Bottling Plant. The beverage company is hoping to grow the company’s product line in the future and Daniel Ortiz went back inside that new plant to find out how it will work. Here’s that story:

Serious Collision Near Santa Elena
There was an accident on the northern highway near the Santa Elena border late this evening. Details are sketchy but we know that no one was killed. There were however, serious injuries when an SUV crashed into a car between Belmont butane and the Slaughter House. The fire department had to remove one of the victims from the car – which is why it is completely opened up.

Channel 5

News Five Speaks to Guatemalan FM on Eve of Presidential Inauguration
In less than twenty-four hours, Jimmy Morales will assume office as the new president of Guatemala. It’s an important event for Belize because of that country’s unfounded territorial claim to [...]

B.T.I.A. Victorious vs. G.O.B. and Norwegian Cruise Lines
In June 2014, the first arguments in the Belize Tourism Industry Association versus the Government of Belize/Norwegian Cruise Lines were heard in the Supreme Court. It is a little over [...]

G.O.B. Must Pay Costs to B.T.I.A.
As Salas pointed out, the B.T.I.A. at no point sought to stop the project, which is nearing completion. But it is a significant slap-down of government by the Supreme Court, [...]

Police Charge Teenager for Shooting of Two Women
Was the near-fatal Monday night assault of a pregnant teen and her mother reprisal for a weekend murder in Hattieville?  According to police, the shooting of eighteen-year-old Shenell Rolland and [...]

No Arrests in Murder of ‘Tush’
While Belize City police believe that the shooting of a woman and her pregnant daughter on Dolphin Street are linked to the murder of Cleon “Tush” Smith, the Hattieville police [...]

George McKenzie Jr. Arrested for Shooting on Barrack Road
As we reported on Tuesday, twenty-nine-year-old Leon Garcia came under gunfire from a pair of men who ran up on him while he was conversing with a friend in front [...]

John Briceño Calls for a Clean Campaign
On the political front…The battle for leader of the People’s United Party continues to heat up, in a most unpleasant way. It’s gotten so bad in social media that at [...]

Briceño Says He and PM Are Friends Outside of Politics…So What?
We also took the opportunity to quiz Briceño about some of the challenges he will certainly be facing if he is indeed elected leader of the P.U.P. on January thirty-first. [...]

Former P.U.P. Campaign Manager Says He Isn’t Involved in Leadership Race
One man who is certainly no stranger to the P.U.P. or to contentious conventions is Godfrey Smith. The last time there was a convention in which Briceño and Fonseca faced [...]

B.D.F. Reports on Anti-Narcotics Campaign
As much as seventy-six million dollars worth of marijuana went up in smoke last year as a result of anti-drug operations conducted by the Belize Defense Force working along with [...]

Return of BATSUB Will Increase Revenue to the Country
With the return of the British Army Training Support Unit in Belize, BATSUB, having been announced in October of last year, it is expected that the annual influx of British [...]

Strategic Defence Review To Be Implemented
The formulation of a well-crafted plan of action to guide the Belize Defense Force into the near future has been a work in progress for Commander David Jones.  Since taking [...]

Daniel Gutierrez, Belize Ambassador to CARICOM
The government announced today the appointment of Daniel Gutierrez of Belize Natural Energy as Ambassador to CARICOM. Gutierrez presented his letter of credence to Secretary General Irwin LaRocque in Georgetown, [...]

Bowen Launches New Bottling Line
On Tuesday, industry giant Bowen and Bowen launched its brand new, state-of-the-art bottling line. That line, located at the company’s Ladyville plant in the Belize District, will significantly increase production [...]

Cane Farmer Lucilo Teck Seeks Assistance to Pay Legal Costs
On February twenty-third of 2015, Justice Shona Griffith, struck out a writ of mandamus brought to the courts by Attorney Audrey Matura-Shepherd on behalf of cane farmer Lucilo Teck and [...]

Police Continue Meet & Greet Initiative on North and South Sides
Since mid 2015, the Eastern Division of the Police Department has embarked on meet and greet initiative to bring the community closer to the police as a strategy to curb [...]


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#510653 - 01/14/16 11:31 AM Re: Today's Belize News: January 14, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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LOVE FM

BDF Explores ‘Military Tourism’ via Jungle Training
The Jungle Warfare Training that would have military men and women coming from various parts of the world has been talked about for some time now. It is an endeavour of Commander David Jones which will begin unfolding this year. Jones spoke on the countries that have been participating so far and what benefits can […]

Commander Highlights Milestones of the BDF for 2015
In 2015 millions of dollars’ worth of marijuana was destroyed through the efforts of the Belize Defense Force with the Cayo District seeing the highest rate of destruction followed by the Toledo District. This fact came out of this morning’s media brief led by the Commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones […]

Commander Jones Reports on Improved Nat’l Security
In December we brought you an interview with the Brigadier General of the Belize Defense Force speaking on the achievements of the local military in 2015 and how they plan to forge ahead in this New Year. Today, however, saw the official presentation of those achievements in the presence of the Minister for National Security, […]

All Eyes on the Grand Ol’ Party (PUP)
The leadership for the People’s United Party is the top story on the political scene in Belize as the main opposition party has seemingly been unable to gain enough momentum at the polls to form Government and has been experiencing some serious internal issues. It has been some time since we have been trying to […]

A KHMH Success Story: 24 Ounces at Birth to Healthy Toddler
Just over one year ago, Baby Dwayne Amari Mitchell was born weighing only twenty four ounces. Renee Trujillo takes a look at the progress of the baby’s health, care and challenges over the last year. RENEE TRUJILLO REPORTING “

PM Says Rice Issue is with Jack Charles and Not Guyana
Xtra House importer Jack Charles has up to the last week of this month to re-export the 75 tons of Guayanese Rice he brought into the country. If he does not do so by then, BAHA will act on the forfeiture order and possibly destroy the rice if it is not deemed healthy for consumption. […]

Devon Lopez Charged in Monday’s Double Shooting
Police have arrested and charged eighteen year old Devon Tariq Lopez of Lakeview Street in Belize City with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of dangerous harm, and two counts of use of deadly means of harm for the double shooting that occurred on Dolphin Street where a mother and daughter were shot. Senior […]

Belize Tourism Industry Association wins case against the Department of the Environment
Justice Courtenay Abel handed down his judgment in the matter of Belize Tourism Industry Association, BTIA, versus the Department of Environment, the National Environmental Appraisal Committee (NEAC), and the developers of Norwegian Cruise Line. Back in 2014, BTIA had filed a claim asking the court for judicial review as it held the view that NEAC […]

PC Humberto Ayala Dubbed Officer of the Month
Police Constable Humberto Ayala, Orderly of Court #2, attached to the Prosecution Branch has received the award for Police Officer of the Month. A small ceremony was held to congratulate P.C. Ayala on his good works. Present was Officer Commanding Eastern Division North, A.C.P Deziree Phillips and Western Union ZITRO who handed P.C. Ayala his […]

No Plans to Legalize the Ganja
We have told you of the over one hundred and fifty one thousand marijuana plants that were destroyed in 2015 by the Belize Defense Force. In a conference this morning the media asked Minister of National Security, John Saldivar about the cooperation and joint operations held with the United States considering that there are some […]

PlusTV

Mother and pregnant daughter shot in Belize City
The neighborhood of Dolphin and Gibnut Streets is about a block from the hot house that is the Banak Street area. And tonight, a prominent figure from that area is suspected to be involved in a late night gun attack on a family home on Dolphin Street, leaving a mother and her pregnant daughter grave...

Jack Charles to re-export Guyanese rice; will he try again?
The hearing at the Supreme Court scheduled for today in the matter of Jack Charles versus the Customs and Excise Department was called off, as we are told an agreement is in place to re-export the three containers of Guyanese rice that he attempted to import in December. Our understanding is that th...

Cabinet will not entertain exclusivity for Stake Bank Project
Today, 12th January, 2016, Cabinet shed some light on the much talked about Docking facility for the Cruise Ship Industry. Last week when the Media spoke with Michael Feinstein, the main financer for the Stake Bank Cruise Terminal project, had just met with Prime Minister Dean Barrow. He suggested t...

Police investigate vehicle theft in Belmopan
Last week, Melanie Coc, an employee of Puma Energy, Belize reported to Police that while driving on the Hummingbird Highway in the vicinity of Armenia Village, gunmen approached her and took away her brand new Isuzu D Max. Then Last Week thursday there was an attempted vehicle theft in Belmopan itse...

MOH says protocol followed at Palm Center over missing woman
The Ministry of Health has issued a report of their findings regarding the missing Palm center patient and the fact that the woman’s daughter was not informed that her mother was missing. Palm Center patient Mary Castillo went missing on October 2nd 2014 and as we reported, in August of last year,...

Heritage Bank gets ready to replace FCIB
First Caribbean International Bank is two weeks away from closing operations in Belize after several decades dating back to its days as Barclays Bank. The Bank sold its assets to Heritage Bank subject to approval by the Central Bank, which it received on December 21, 2015 and said at the time that t...

Maya Lands Right commission Appointed
The Attorney General and Minister for Legal Affairs, Honorable Vanessa Retreage, with responsibility for the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission, officially appointed the Members of the Commission on January 11, 2016. The Office of the Commission will be located at the Attorney General’s Ministry i...

The Belize Times

Kidnapped by drug lords?? – Luis Alcoser’s Kia Sportage found abandoned, bullet ridden; family fears the worst
The family of 31 year old Luis Alcoser fears the worst after their loved one suddenly went missing between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning January 6th, leaving behind startling evidence that his life is in peril. Alcoser’s vehicle, a black-in-colour with gold colour trim Kia Sportage with license plate CZL C-16979, was found parked on the road side near the junction of Caledonia Village, a few miles from Buena Vista Village on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The vehicle had gunshot damages to its front windshield and the driver’s side door. Alcoser’s driver’s license was inside the car, but there was no sign of the father of two children. Alcoser’s father, 52 year old Erminio Alcoser, who resides in Caledonia Village, was alerted about the discovery of the vehicle by a concerned neighbour who saw the bullet riddled vehicle parked on the road side early Wednesday morning.

Barrow the bearer of bad news – No more Petrocaribe money; GOB hikes fuel tax as world prices tumble
2016 will be a tougher, harder year for Belizeans: that was the gist of Prime Minister Dean Barrow’s New Year’s speech delivered on December 31st 2015. With droopy eyes, a beleaguered face and a croaky voice, PM Barrow played and looked the part well in his televised address as he informed the people of Belize not to expect the Government to do more in the new year. Things will get dread! Barrow said that his Government is extremely strapped for revenues and can no longer look to the Petrocaribe bubby for funds. The agreement with Venezuela is that when global oil prices fall, the windfall for borrowing countries is much less. Since 2012, the Government has been living off Petrocaribe loans for domestic spending. It has reportedly spent over $500 million, and all that money has run out. This spells serious trouble for the Barrow Administration as 2016 is a year its own spending will increase by the tens of millions to pay for debts and outstanding compensation for the takeover of Belize Telemedia Limited.

Canadian film producer murdered in Cayo
Canadian film producer Matthiew Klinck came to Belize with major plans. He foresaw a fledgling film industry and had taken on the giant task of helping to pioneering it. In 2012, he and a team of Belizeans completed the project “Curse of the Xtabai”, the first Belizean movie in full length Creole language. Two years later, Klinck and his crew were shooting “La Isla Bonita”, a 25-episodes Belizean soap opera based on San Pedro, Ambergris Caye. Klinck enjoyed working in Belize. He shared as much of his Belizean experience with friends and family abroad, posting comments and happy photos on his Facebook page. He had become fully immersed in the Belizean community. But over the weekend, Klinck’s plans and dreams for Belize were dashed as he was murdered at his home, located in Selena Village, on the fringes of the quiet Spanish Lookout Community. The 37 year old’s body was found outside his house, bleeding and motionless.

No punishment for John Saldivar supporter who fired weapon in public
Belize has become an animal farm under the Dean Barrow Administration. It is now a country where some are more equal than others. Some, with political connections, get real special treatment than those without. Point in case is a special supporter of National Security Minister John Saldivar who on the night of elections was caught on video shooting a gun into the air among a lively crowd. This occurred in front of senior Police officers and as expected they tried to do their job by detaining the man. But lo and behold, like the bossy Napoleon, John Saldivar the politician charged at the Police, grunting and ordering that they “back off”. All of this was recorded on video and played on various national television news channels. One would think that notwithstanding the political pressure, the Police would carry out their jobs and at least charge the individual for his reckless behaviour. Afraid of Minister Napoleon, the Police have cowered and allowed the individual to get away.

Think About It
Jamaica is getting a massive investment of U.S. $600 million dollars from China, who will be building a 4 lane 41-mile new road from the south to the north of the island. It is the biggest Chinese investment in the Caribbean, as an even bigger investment is about to commence. While visiting China, the Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson signed a U.S. 1.6 billion megga port investment in which two islands of Jamaica will be transformed into shipping hubs for the larger ships coming through the Panama Canal. It is sad to watch our sanitation workers as they carry away garbage or clean the drains. Whether they are employed by waste control or city council none of them are equipped with gloves, aprons or masks to protect their lungs from germs. They deserve better treatment. Belize Prison has no procedure to allow families’ conjugal visits. Conjugal is a quaint word. It relates to marriage. There is a next word-cohabit, it means living together as husband and wife. Persons sent to prison for long terms of imprisonment in Belize are not allowed to spend intimate moments with their partners. This is cruel and inhumane. A man and a woman are made by the almighty to procreate. Putting a human being in prison for several years is the punishment for whatever crime he has committed.

BELIZE IS BROKEN
The nation of Belize is broke and it is broken. This is the unfortunate state of affairs as we enter the news year of 2016. The brief period of wild, political spending by Government has come to a screeching halt. Money done and the country bruk. As the years go by and a brief history of the country is recounted, the period of 2008 to 2015 will stand out as an unheralded period in which public funds become the personal vehicle for the Prime Minister and his cowardly Cabinet. The period 2012 to 2015 will be highlighted for special mention. This was the period when millions of petro-dollars flowed into Belize from Venezuela. Like some weird obeah-man, the Prime Minister succeeded in squandering three hundred million dollars of Venezuela loan funds in order to realise his personal ambition to be a three time Prime Minister. In the process, he broke his back and behaved like a man possessed with demons. He broke the treasury, broke the country and blew away both the national budget of ONE BILLION DOLLARS and every last dollar of the three hundred million dollars loan from Petrocaribe.

Police United win 2015 PLB football champs
Police United FC won the 2015 Premier League of Belize football championship for the opening season by a 0-0 draw with the defending champs, Verdes FC in Game 2 of the finals at the FFB Stadium in Belmopan on Sunday, December 27. In Game 1, the Police had won 1-0 when Orlando “Leechy” Jimenez came off the bench to score in the 50th minute. Individual Awards Best Under-17 Player – Darien Myers (Police United) Best Goalie – Jamie Brooks (Police United) MVP playoffs – Trevor Lennan (Police United) Best Coach – Hilberto Muschamp (Police United)

Alicia Thompson wins KREM New Year’s Female Cycling Classic
Team Belize Bank Swoosh’s Alicia Thompson returned as champion of the 26th annual KREM New Year’s Female Cycling Classic, in a close sprint for finish line with Kaya Cattouse. Alicia also won another $1,050 as she won 11 of the 21 station prizes offered along the way. Other finishers 3rd Patricia Chavarria – Team C-Ray – 3:02:23 – $200 prize 4th Gabrielle Lovell – Team DigiCell – 3:10:23

Joel Borland wins 2016 KREM New Year’s Cycling Classic
Team DigiCell 4G dominated the 26th annual KREM New Year’s Elite Cycling Classic: 96 miles from the Corozal border along the Philip Goldson Highway to Belize City, winning the first 2 places, 1st Masters, with 4 riders in the top 13 Joel Borland won the Elite race, crossing the finish line in 3:53:42 to win the $2,500 prize. He also won over $4,000 as he took 21 of 30 station prizes along the way, sweeping the last 19 prizes from Maxboro to Belize City.

Energy Workers Union: DO NOT DESTROY FOOD!
As a stake holder, representative of many families, consumers of our Belizean Traditional staples, the BEWU finds it necessary to call on the Government of Belize not to proceed with the apparent decision to destroy the rice now under custody of B.A.H.A. which business man “Jack Charles” was trying to import into our country. We believe that no wise Government would destroy food which could be placed to a better use. We are also sure this would not sit well in the eyes of the International Community. However, we also believe that B.A.H.A. must ensure this rice is safe for consumption first, this should be easy for them since they are the authority in making a determination of whether food products being imported into our country are safe. Once this is done we recommend that instead of the rice being destroyed that it be distributed to organizations around the country which help feed the children, the elderly and poor.

Elderly man viciously attacked in home invasion
A city without pity! That’s the description the old capital is fast taking on with the many reports of senseless murders, robberies, sexual assaults, home invasions and other acts against the innocent and defenceless. Over the Christmas weekend, one of the most vulnerable members of our decaying society was ruthlessly attacked by three heartless burglars. 93 year old Patrick Grant has never felt so afraid and disappointed in his community, as he is today. Over the Christmas weekend, he was physically beaten by three men who entered his home to steal his belongings. Grant, who was at his residence on Fern Lane, said that because he is hearing impaired he didn’t hear the men come in. Once inside his home, however, the men pretended that they were sent by Grant’s daughter so that they can prepare him for a regular hospital appointment. Grant said he trusted the men as they walked him to his bed, but was struck with terror when he felt the hard blow on his face that followed.

COLA Comments On Imported Rice Fiasco
COLA respects the decision of the Supreme Court that Mr. Jack Charles went about things the wrong way in his effort to bring in imported rice from Guyana. However, that does not give the Customs Department the right to destroy Mr. Charles’ rice, not when there are many other uses for it. Mr. Charles should first of all be given an opportunity to re-export his rice at his own expense. Should he not comply, then COLA believes that the rice should be tested, and if it is found not to be contaminated, then it should not be destroyed, but instead distributed free of cost to school feeding programs, poor Belizeans and others who can best make use of it. However, we do not believe Mr. Charles should be compensated in this circumstance, as while his intentions were good, his methods were poor, and he should not receive different treatment from the average wrongdoer.

Shane Bennett on the run
Stann Creek Police Authorities have issued a bulletin, advising the public to be on the lookout for one 29-year-old Shane Bennett, Belizean of Independence Village, Stann Creek. Bennett allegedly escaped from the holding cell at the Intermediate Southern Formation Police Station sometime between 12:00 a.m. and 12:25 a.m. on January 6th 2016. Bennett was on remanded for the crime of Burglary, Theft and other crimes. The Police are alerting the public that the wanted man is armed and dangerous as he is known to carry firearms, and to be extremely careful if seen. The public is advised to contact the Police immediately if the whereabouts of Bennett is known.

Cycling Technology: Will Power
Despite the gallons of sweat and early morning dew, two years as a cyclist is relatively small in the sport. I am classified as an Elite rider but at 19 years old that rating is more about my age than it is about where I am in my experience and quality as a Belizean cyclist. This is the beginning and dawn of my cycling career. As a relative rookie to the sport and as a youth, I can say that my introduction into the sport has been by fire because when I began riding I only got the cover of being a Junior Rider for eight months. My development had to be quick and excuse free. I have learned a few things from my early morning rides. Those things I decided with some encouragement to share with Belize and hopefully some of my peers who are reading this article. My riding has made me realize that the sport is so much more than the expensive carbon fiber frames, the bragging, the sports accessories or the Cross Country success or failures. From what I gathered while putting in hours of hard training, a person gets nowhere without consistency, especially in cycling.

Jack Charles loses rice battle – Consumers should fear GOB’s misuse of cheap, imported Guyanese rice
The 75 tonnes of Guyanese rice imported by rich businessman Jitendra “Jack Charles” Chawla was done illegally, according to Belize’s Supreme Court. The Belize Customs officials attempt to confiscate the three containers of rice sitting at the Big Creek Port was blocked by a last minute move by Chawla to seek a temporary injunction from the Court. The controversial rice battle appears almost over, with Chawla on the losing end. He imported Guyanese rice without proper permission from the Belize Health and Agriculture Authority (BAHA) and attempted to impose it on the Belizean market, using the pretext that the rice would sell for a cheaper price.

Belize’s best bet to adapt to climate change: protecting our coast and reef
By Nadia Bood Reef Scientist, World Wildlife Fund, Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion After two weeks of hard negotiations, world leaders left Paris in December with a new climate agreement that they hope will set the base for a global transformation to a low carbon, clean energy future. The Paris Agreement makes it clear that, in order to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, we must limit warming of the world’s atmosphere to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and ideally to 1.5°C. Likewise, the Paris Agreement suggests that the world now sees adaptation – and, crucially, the funding for it in the shape of access to clean technology – as a key priority. Yet however much was achieved in the city of light, and how warmly it has been welcomed by the politicians who agreed to it, the reality is that the hard work is still to be done. Countries now need to implement their commitments.

Remember the Elderly and Homeless
Homeless and elderly persons represent two segments of our population that have been totally ignored by society. We can see many walking around aimlessly or sleeping on the sidewalks, and we also see the scorns and rejections from some members of our society. It is estimated that about 2,000 persons are homeless in Belize. That number is growing at a rapid pace and comprises the old as well as the young. Some 5,000 elderly persons are also living in vulnerable conditions in our country. Despite this, the concerns and needs of elderly and the homeless are being discounted in the local and national public discourse. We must remember that most homeless people, for one reason of the other, and in some cases due mainly to fault of their own, end up in their state. The factors could have been alcohol abuse, drug abuse, gambling addiction and lack of care from family. A majority of homeless persons, if they were ever employed, failed to obtain a fair and steady income as well. It is no doubt then, that they could have played a major role in our society and could have just as much potential as every other Belizean.

Petro Goma
So help me to understand something. In his New Year’s speech the PM said the landscape is going to change in 2016 because Petrocaribe is pretty much done and after the Petro-party, you see, we have to experience the real serious Petro-goma. In other words, tighten your belts because the ride is going to be rough. But things were rough last year, and the year before that, and the year before that. You mean it’s going to get rougher? The Petrocaribe initiative is a good thing. Countries that benefitted from comrade Hugo’s largesse were told to use to money to help the poor. Those countries provided long-term subsidies to farmers to ensure food security in the future. Some of them implemented sustainable and long-term poverty-alleviation programs. Some of them built factories and stimulated industries to create long-term employment for the masses. Some of them built schools in impoverished areas to educate their people. Some implemented agriculture-based school feeding programs. Some built hospitals and clinics to provide subsidized, quality care to the poor. In almost every instance, countries used Petrocaribe with vision, looking to the future with the goal of developing their people, reducing poverty and stimulating sustainable growth.

Book launch: “We are free”
The Image Factory Art Foundation, in collaboration with the Pen Cayetano Studio Gallery hosted the book launch of the second edition for the children’s book “We are free” written by Ibo and Ingrid Cayetano and designed by Mali Cayetano. Malí Cayetano, born in Dangriga, nurtured in the home of Pen Cayetano, Garifuna artist and musician, and Ingrid Cayetano from Germany, artist in her own right, was raised with the desire to promote and preserve the Garifuna culture.

2016 Taiwan scholarships start for application
The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is pleased to announce that 2016 TaiwanICDF Scholarship and Taiwan (MOFA) Scholarship start for application from now, and the application deadline will be until March 18, 2016 and March 31, 2016 respectively. In 2016, there will be 20 schools of 8 Bachelor, 21 Master and 2 PhD programs open for application of Taiwan ICDF Scholarship. Both scholarships are full scholarships and will provide a round trip economy class air tickets, housing, tuition fees, credit fees, insurance, textbook costs, and a monthly allowance which varies for different study programs. There have been hundreds of Belizean students from different schools and fields come to apply for both scholarships in the past years till now. This Embassy encourages all the outstanding young Belizean students come to apply for pursuing their study and fulfill their dreams in Taiwan.

BSI/ASR Crop Review – Week 4
– Sugar in cane stills remains low and Reducing Sugars and Dextran levels are still high which have increased molasses production and decreased sugar recovery leading to an unfavorable TC/TS ratio. It is important to assure that mature cane is delivered so as to prevent unnecessary sugar losses – Mud in cane continues to exceed the required limit of 4.5. Factory throughput was affected by poor weather conditions which resulted in increased mud levels and mud filters working at high speed. – To reduce mud avoid using push-pilers by piling cane to suit grab size and lifting cane bundles instead of pushing bundles before loading.

Mystery Surrounds Death of Belize City Man
Several questions have developed and a mystery has evolved regarding the circumstances that led to the death of a Belize City man at his residence on Neal Penn Road. The body was discovered sometime on Sunday, January 2, 2016. Mark Brooks is dead – that much we can confirm even though police have yet to issue an official report. According our information, he may have died on December 27th, 2015. It is unclear whether his demise resulted from suicide or if he was indeed murdered as is widely speculated. Brooks’ estranged girlfriend allegedly paid him a visit last week at his job and threatened his life reportedly saying that she would have her son kill him. The two have been in a volatile relationship for some time, sources say. Coworkers at Fort Point Security have corroborated the report that the girlfriend did pay him a visit at his job last week and that allegedly, a threat was made.

Thinking Out Loud
Where is Santa Barrow today? Guess he packed up his reindeer and headed north on a lifestyles of the rich and pampered moment. We haven’t heard much from him lately – well, not since his big bag of Petrocaribe goodies ran dry. Back then we were living in a good country…millions and millions and millions in the coffers. Remember that? Remember the Petrocaribe magic potion…? Need a church? Sure, abracadabra presto change – here it is. Need some campaign money? Got that right here in this magic hat! Need to win a couple by-elections? No problem! Just wave this Petrocaribe wand. Need to win a general election? Well, yeah, we can do that. Mek ah sih yu sing and dance now! How dih song goh? Yu see mih fridge? Da Petro gih mi. Yu sih mi color TV…da Petro gih mi…But now the money done done done! Weh song yu wah sing now. I really don’t know what is wrong with my people. We keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results. Every election we get the same old promises, the same handouts, the same packages of food and the same grinning politicians. And after the election we get the same thing – NADA. NOTHING!

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Belize City police find three pounds of weed
More than three pounds of weed was found45 when a search was conducted in an empty lot on Handyside street. The drugs were in a white bucket and amounted to a total weight of 1,490 grams […]

“Junie Balls” Jr. detained in connection with brazen Barrack road shooting
Two Belize City men have been detained by police and are pending investigations after a shooting incident at J/B Auto Wash on Barrack Road yesterday morning, when several shots were fired at an employee of the business. Police visited the auto wash and were […]

Lucilio Teck has 15 days to pay $30,000 court costs
Today Lucilio Teck was informed that he has 15 days, starting yesterday, to pay $30,000 court costs to attorney Rodwell Williams. The decision was handed down on December 18th 2015 but Teck says he does not have that kind of money. Teck told BMG […]

Construction Worker accused of bank account theft
21 year old Walter Garcia, a Construction Worker of the Ladyville area, is being accused of stealing $3,500 in cash from a woman’s Belize Bank account. Today he faces three criminal indictable offenses: forgery, claiming upon a forged document and uttering a false document. […]

Devon Lopez arraigned for Monday night shooting
19 year old Devon Tariq Lopez is accused of attempted murder, dangerous harm and use of deadly means of harm against 18 year old Shenell Rowland, expecting her first child in three months’ time, along with her mother, 41 year old Stephanie Smith, recovering […]

Four arrested for weed in Las Flores
While arriving at the residence of 24-year-old Edwin Antonio Ortega Santos in the Las Flores area of Belmopan City, to conduct a search for drugs, police saw three men of Hispanic descent jumping through a window in an attempt to escape. The men were […]

Police seek missing 13-year-old San Pedro girl
Nayeli Cifuentes, a 13-year-old resident of the DFC area in San Pedro Town, was reported missing by her older sister Nancy, who told police that on the night of January 9th, around 8:00 p.m., the teenager left home to buy at a nearby shop but never returned. Nancy said that efforts were made to find Cifuentes but all came up empty and she has turned to the police for assistance in locating her young sister. Last seen wearing a multi-color skirt with a black blouse, Cifuentes is short in height, slim built and has long, straight black hair. […]

Truck driver to be charged for death of passenger in bizarre accident
A truck driver of San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District has been served with a notice of intended prosecution after police investigations revealed that his negligence caused the death of a male passenger he had on board a blue Freight Liner truck […]

Blogs

Achieving Sustainable Community Change in Belize
A major issue of concern in sustainable community development (SCD) programs involves the fact that practitioners will not be working with the SCD target community forever – the project will end. And the community must rely upon whatever capacity it has developed for carrying on the activities and programs the community has committed to after the practitioner departs. The capacity the community must build upon, which the practitioner is central to the development of, relies both on the leadership skills that can be learned by the people in the community as well as the different collaborative partnerships that can be developed with others to add to the ability of community planning and action-taking skills that are built up within the community membership. There are seven essential ingredients that contribute to sustainable community change and will lead to the capacity a community needs to maintain its well-being into the future.

Polar Vortex Officially Over On Ambergris Caye, Belize
Picture this…you go out late at night to walk the dog. The winds are whistling from the north…sand swirling about you. You turn your collar up and hunker down…knowing this will be a very short walk for Elsie. The temperature has dropped to 72 degrees fahrenheit. An official cold front in San Pedro. Sunday night, the front blew in and by yesterday morning? The sun was already hot in the sky. Socks back in the drawer. Easy come…easy go. I took a walk to town yesterday to take some photos of the gorgeous HOT weather. The tide was low…the wind blowing from the west and the beach at Royal Palms looks perfect.

Classic Mexican Chile Recipe
Cut meat into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Brown in oil in Dutch oven or fry pan with a thick bottom over medium heat until the meat is dark brown. Transfer the meat to a separate bowl, to keep meat broth. In a frying pan add the onions and garlic. Brown over medium heat for 10 minutes heat until dark brown in color-intensive stirring. Then add tomato puree, broth and bring to a boil. Add meat and meat broth, bring to a boil again. Reduce heat; cover and simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add chili, jalapeno pepper, chile powder, oregano and 1 tbsp cumin. Simmer gently about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Rio Frio Cave in the Mountain Pine Ridge
Prepare yourself for a dramatic entrance as you follow stepping stones into the cave and get a first glimpse at the vast chamber that awaits. This uber-wide entrance is part of Rio Frio’s charm: it’s welcoming and so striking, you won’t be the first person to gasp at its grandeur. Spot 70-foot natural arches, colorful boulders and dramatic stalactites, some of which emulate primitive chandeliers suspended in time. As you explore this quarter-mile-long cave, you’ll spot a stream, pools and even cascading waters spilling from nooks and crannies. To reach the Rio Frio Caves, start in the Cayo District of western Belize; specifically Mountain Pine Ridge, where an evergreen forest also serves has home to the nation’s tallest waterfall. Take the Western Highway to Georgeville and follow signs to the cave—but if you visit during high season, just follow the crowd to this popular site! Take the Western Highway to the Georgeville turn off (mile 65) and continue five miles past the Douglas de Silva Forest Station. If you get lost, ask anyone you meet to point you in the direction of Augustine.

International Sourcesizz

Belize establishes commission to protect indigenous land rights
Belizean Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Vanessa Retreage has officially appointed members of the Toledo Maya Land Rights Commission to implement the Caribbean Court of Justice's consent order for protecting the land rights of indigenous peoples. Lisel Alamilla, Randall Sheppard and Noreen Fairweather were appointed to the commission, an Attorney General's Office representative told EFE via telephone on Wednesday. Alamilla will chair the commission, which will establish a structured framework to ensure collaborative consultation and participation of key stakeholders, mainly focusing on 23 villages in Toledo.

CARICOM’s best years lie ahead, says new Belize envoy
Newly accredited Belize Ambassador to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Daniel Gutierez, says the best years of the integration movement lie ahead for what he calls the “tremendous untapped potential” that lies within the region. Speaking at a ceremony to present his letters of credence to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters yesterday, Gutierez referenced his Prime Minister’s New Year address in which he heralded 2016 as a landmark year for the integration movement. Against that backdrop, he said: “I am not the first and will not be the last to speak of the untold wealth, underdeveloped talent and the unshakable hope that characterize the brotherhood of nations that call themselves CARICOM.” “But as leaders and servants we are obligated to diagnose, understand and engineer solutions that will guide our people to resilience in the troubling waters ahead. The skies ahead darken with climate change, economic uncertainty, a haunting gap in education and technology with our global competitors and any number of parallel global challenges. Undaunted we shall remain.” The envoy said this year had to be one of action.

The World's 12 Best Places To Live Or Retire In 2016
The secret to taking control of your retirement in 2016 and making this phase of life a grand adventure, even if your retirement nest egg is modest, is expanding your horizons. Take your retirement global and you can maximize your quality-of-life return for every dollar spent. Where should you go? Here are your 12 best options for where to retire overseas this New Year. 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. Everyone you meet speaks English (it's the country's official language), but this belies the stories of their origins. The 350,000 people populating Belize today are descendants of migrants from Britain, yes, but also, more so, the surrounding Central American countries. You've got Mexicans, Guatemalans, Hondurans and Nicaraguans mixed with current-day generations of the Maya who originally inhabited this land, the pirates who came later, the Mennonite farmers who began arriving on the scene in the 16th century, the British who ruled until 1981, and each other. Belize is a nation of independent thinkers and doers, a country where you make your own way and where, while you're doing it, no one, including the Belize government, is making any attempt to thwart your efforts. This is a poor country. The government doesn't have enough money to get up to any real trouble.

Norwegian’s Harvest Caye opening delayed
Norwegian Cruise Line has missed the mark with opening of its private island, located off the southern coast of Belize. The opening of the $100-million port — Harvest Caye — was supposed to be next month and has been pushed back to November. A Belize Tourism Board official was ahead of the game on this one, recently warning the port development was behind schedule. The first ship scheduled to arrive at Harvest Caye was the Tampa-based Norwegian Star. The ship’s itinerary will now substitute Belize City, as will all other Norwegian ships scheduled to visit Harvest Caye. In a statement from Norwegian, it appears the environment figured in the decision: “We are dedicated to delivering the highest quality amenities and services to our guests in one of the richest ecosystems in the region with a diversity of flora and fauna that is core to the Harvest Caye experience.”

How compliance regulations are hurting the Caribbean’s indigenous banks
IMAGINE THIS. You, a partner or family member is working overseas. You have been sending money home to support an aging relative or to make a regular payment on a mortgage. You go to the Caribbean money transfer business that you have always used, only to be told your money can no longer accepted because there is no intermediary bank in Europe or the US willing to work with it despite its absolute reliability and positive track record. Although oversimplified, this scenario is not impossible as changing international regulations and risk aversion are having the effect of disconnecting Caribbean financial institutions from the international correspondent banking services that are necessary for them to clear or transfer money. In the last year the issue has become a significant problem that potentially threatens to touch significant numbers in the Diaspora who send money home, or small businesses that need to make international payments. It is also a development that has much broader significance for many economies in the region, as Central Banks and Governments for reasons of macro-economic and social stability have come to rely on the a constant flow of remittances.

Videos

  • Panamericana - Backpacking Central America, 5min. Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Tulum, Caye Caulker, Belize City, Flores, Tikal, Antigua, Lake Atitlan, Copan, San Pedro Sula, La Ceiba, Utila, Tegucigalpa, Chinandega, Jiquilillo, León, San Juan del Sur, Monteverde, Jacó, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Bocas del Toro, Las Lajas, Panama City

  • Highlight Reel Belize 2015, 4.5min. Training of Facilitators, Youth for Road Safety

  • Belize 2015, EF Tour, Mrs. Ell's Travel Group, 19min.

  • Derisking Poses Huge Threat to Belize, Says PM, 1.5min.

  • Belize 2015, 5min. We went on a 10-day trip to Belize, leaving Boise on Thanksgiving morning! As usual, I wish we took more video. This is a compilation showing the highlights we were able to capture.

  • Chico Ramos - The Original Conch Soup, 7min.

  • The Garden Show with Belize Botanic Gardens, 23min. Episode 1 - The brief history of Belize Botanic Gardens and what it offers

  • BSI ASR CROP REVIEW 2016 WEEK 5, 3min.

  • Morning Matters with Indi, 58min.

  • Belize Missions Trip 2015 1080p, 3.5min. The Grove sent 37 members down to San Antonio, Belize to serve! Enjoy the pictures we have from our time down there!

  • Cacho Travel Orientation San Pedro Belize Express, 2min.

  • Howler Monkeys at Lamanai Ruins, Belize, Central America, 1.5min. We took an afternoon to explore while on a dental mission trip in Belize, Central America . We were rather surprised to hear the unfamiliar sounds of wild Howler Monkeys in the trees above us while we followed our tour guide! The don't have Howler Monkeys in East Berlin, PA! We thought we may have landed in Jurassic Park!

  • Belize Mission Trip, 10min. SIMS - Mission Trip Belize - Loma Linda University Students.

  • Traveling Misfits Introduce Belize 2015, 17min.

  • Belize Cave Tubing, 7min.

  • Scuba Diving - Caye Caulker, Belize - Dec 2015, 9min.

  • Belize Blue Hole Diving, 2min. Belize Caye Caulker Dive Sites: Blue Hole, Aquarium, and Halfmoon.

  • Belize Travel: Discover Belize, Maya Ruins, Top Scuba Spot, Tropical Rain Forests, Laid Back, 7min. Belize Travel: Discover tropical rain forests, exotic animals, Mayan ruins and some of the best snorkeling in the world in the world's 2nd largest reef.

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