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#511392 - 02/05/16 05:46 AM Today's Belize News: February 5, 2016
Marty Offline


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Specials and Events

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

The San Pedro Sun

BTB hosts Belize media partners to casual mixer
On Saturday, January 30th, the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) held a Media Mixer to share the industry’s 2015 accomplishments and insights with Belize’s media partners. From noon to 4PM, members of the media and BTB gathered at the conference room at Hour Bar in Belize City in an effort to strengthen their relationship leading into 2016. The casual event was officiated by BTB Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Noriko Gamero. Both Director of Marketing and Industry Relations, Karen Pike and Director of BTB, Karen Bevans addressed those in attendance. BTB took time to share accomplishments in the tourism industry made in 2015 as well as plans for improving tourism in 2016. The event also saw an interactive discussion between the media and BTB Directors as well as several giveaways. Media houses represented at the mixer included: The San Pedro Sun, My Beautiful Belize, Ambergris Today, Channel 7 News, The Reporter, Amandala Press and Love FM.

IDB issues grant to improve Regional tourism health in the Caribbean
Belize is among six Caribbean countries that will benefit from an $800,000US Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) grant aimed at the development and implementation of a Regional tourism health information, monitoring and response system. The grant was signed on Wednesday, January 27th at a ceremony in Trinidad and Tobago and will benefit the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The grant is being issued following the recent pandemics these tourism dependent countries have experienced, and is expected to build safety and environmental standards within the tourism industry of each respective country. The countries benefiting from the grant have in one way of the other, been affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), H1N1 flu virus (swine flu), Chikungunya and, now, Zika virus. This has led to the urgent need of a monitoring and response system, as these are travel related illnesses which need to be addressed in order to support the tourism sector. It is IDB’s goal that with this grant, the countries adopt comprehensive and effective health and environmental sanitation practices.

Improving literacy at Holy Cross Anglican School
Even though English is the official language of Belize, many still struggle in the pronunciation of the language. Children with Spanish speaking parents commonly face the most literacy issues while in school. For the past week, Monday, January 25th to Friday, January 29th, an American retired teacher has been providing reading lessons to challenged Holy Cross Anglican Primary School students. Julie Bigaouette has been providing this invaluable service to island children for the past three years, teaching them the proper pronunciation of words and improving their reading skills. Bigaouette encourages all teachers to try to identify what the needs of their students, as this makes it easier to find approaches to assist them. “Even some of the students in the upper standards are still reading at a primary level and that can be very discouraging. By the time they are finishing school, they recognize that they are not able to read most of what is given to them and this diminishes their self-esteem. We as teachers need to help reaffirm all children of their potential and validate what they do well. We need to make each child know they are valuable in a class, as well as teach other children to be kind and considerate of one another,” said Bigaouette.

Ambergris Caye basketball teams top Belize Rural Basketball Eliminations
On Thursday, January 28th, the National Sports Council hosted the Belize Rural Basketball elimination tournament for Zone 5, which includes Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye. A series of amazing games for both male and female teams took place at the San Pedro Roman Catholic School (SPRCS) compound where four primary schools competed for the coveted title to represent the zone at the district finals next month. The different schools participating in the tournament were SPRCS, Isla Bonita Primary School, Caye Caulker Roman Catholic, and Holy Cross Primary School. The last match of the tournament in the male division saw SPRCS boys dominating the Caye Caulker boys with a final score of 38-13. With these results, Ambergris Caye will be proudly represented at the district finals by Holy Cross Primary School female team and the SPRCS male team. In the female division, Holy Cross and SPRCS were the only female teams and they played two games. Holy Cross defeated the SPRCS girls in both matches, ending the first 8-3 and the second 3-2. Holy Cross girls will be heading to the district finals.

Week 5 of Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup
The last games for the Mayor’s and Minister’s Cup for the month of January brought much entertainment to the football fanatics who once again came out to support their favorite teams. Games for this coming weekend have been postponed until the following weekend starting Friday, February 12th, 7PM sharp at the Honorable Louis Sylvester Sporting Complex.

US Currency Control green lights Belize banks
Belizean banks are completely compliant with United States’ federal banking regulations to prevent money-laundering and any illicit movement of funds which may be used to finance terrorism; U.S. authorities at the Office of the Controller of Currency (OCC) Thomas Curry and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) assured Prime Minister Hon. Dean Barrow during his visit to Washington D.C. last Monday to Saturday, January 25-30. This was important good news for foreign investors in Belize seeking to repatriate profits to U.S. banks. Prime Minister Barrow’s mission was to resolve the difficulties banks in Belize were having in maintaining correspondent banking relationships with U.S. banks to handle U.S. currency transactions. His delegation included Central Bank Governor Glenford Ysaguirre, Financial Secretary Joseph Waight and Ambassador Mark Espat, who was part of the negotiating team who worked out a solution to the Super-bond payments.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Discrepancy between male and female bicycle riders
Last week Kaya C. Cattouse made these comments on her personal fb page: she then received the letter below!! We are living in a country where we are discouraged to speak up!! 1. Digicell Valentine Tour. Sounds nice chu? The tours are coming back to our cycling calendar. Way to go CFB! Way to go Digicell! Or at least that's what I would say if I were a MALE ELITE cyclist. Female and Junior category aren't "tour worthy"...we have to be satisfied with a one day race. I'm starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating agaisnt riders based on thier age and gender.

Department of Youth Services, Job Preparedness Training
The Department of Youth Service’s (DYS) Youth Enterprise/Job Creation Unit is presently conducting a Job Preparedness Training for twenty five youth between the ages of 17 – 29 years. The main objective of the training is to empower these young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to become marketable to join the work force. A total number of ten (10) sessions are being conducted. The various topics include: Skills Identification, Work Ethics, Conflict Resolution Management in the Workplace, Resume Writing, Interviewing Skills, Mock Interviews and how to work along with HIV infected persons in the workplace. The other component of the training is to continue mentoring these young people and procure placements for them or assist them in returning to school where necessary, or engage them into other skill trainings such as those offered at ITVET.

Western Ballaz Host No Limit
The Ballaz are playing back to back Thursday night, travelling to Dangriga on Friday, and then hosting the No Limit on Saturday. Saturday is Fan Appreciation night too. Go Ballaz! "FAN APPRECIATION NIGHT - THIS SATURDAY - Lowered entrance prices - Kids enter free - Adma's Photography taking pictures of fans with players - Free beer with parking ticket - 3 BEERS for $10 - $2 horns - 25 FREE horns Bring out the entire family to SHC's Auditorium this Saturday as we show our appreciation to all our fans for your continued support."

Carnaval: A Pre-lenten Festivity in Northern Belize
Volume 2 of the Belize Cultural Celebrations Series set to be released soon.

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016
The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge (MMAC ) has taken on a life of its own. What started as a typical adventure race production has developed into a testament of one of the last truly unspoiled corners of the world. On our first trip to Belize in Februa The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge will be held on February 14th of 2013. Please check out the website to learn more about registration.

Paradise Theater this weekend!
Superbowl this Sunday on the big screen free entry... Spotlight, Steve Jobs, Aladdin, Our Brand is Crisis.

San Pedro “Light the Night” Cancer Awareness Walk
The San Pedro Cancer Society held its annual “Light the Night” Cancer Awareness Walk tonight in commemoration of World Cancer Awareness Day.

St. Herman's Blue Hole Park Upgrades
On January 14, 2016, PACT visited St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park to look at the completed activities under our medium grant project entitled “Enhancing St Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) through new infrastructure, mapping and management plan”. The main purpose of this project was to upgrade and install much needed infrastructure for the protected area with the aim to improve visitor experience. Additionally, a Management Plan for St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park (SHBHNP) was developed to guide the conservation priorities of the protected area. Demarcation and mapping of the Park was also carried out through this project.

(A Belizean Legends musical expose for Black History Month) I had told myself many years ago growing up in Belize that since I was so powerfully influenced by the musical genius of the awesome African-American musician, producer, and artist, Maurice White, that music would not be the same when he stopped making and producing them. And it was truly so since Maurice had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and disappeared from the music industry since the late 1980's. Here was someone that I didn't even personally know but who changed my life and outlook about music and even more than that. When the American band Earth, Wind & Fire came on the scene in the early 1970's my first hearing them in Belize was through an A-Track that my brother Nelson Morris had brought back to Belize from Chicago, 10 years after his migration from Belize in 1961, the year I was born. I didn't know my brother, being born the same year he left, just as how I didn't know anything about the United States of America and its talented black population that has given it its musical art forms of Gospel, Jazz, and Rhythm and Blues. So when Nelson came home with all that music from the shores of the U.S. it was like an introduction for me to the senior member of my parents household as well as an introduction to the sound of Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire through an incredible six track collection of some of the most touching music I had ever heard at 12-years old called Head To The Sky.

MIT's Underwater Conservation Photography Class
Faculty, WCS staff and support staff from the US and Belize at Middle Caye last week.

Consular Tip: Your child might not need a visa interview
Children who are 13 years old or younger might not need an interview if they • Were born in Belize and hold a Belizean passport • Have parents/legal guardians who both hold Belizean Passports, and • Have at least one parent/legal guardian who holds a valid visa or is renewing his/her visa at the same time as the child

Channel 7

Rice War 2?
BAHA used the long arm of the law to slap down importer Jack Charles the first time around - but information to 7News is that another rice war could be on the horizon - and this one could come right down to that plate of rice and beans you had for lunch today. A senior official in the Ministry of Agriculture has told 7News that government's lawyers are dealing with a complaint brought by Jack Charles. But it's not about importing Guyanese rice; this time, it's about the quality of Belizean rice - the same one we all eat everyday. Our information says that Charles has found that local rice could be contaminated with harmful fungi - and that is the basis of this new complaint. The Director of BAHA would not return our calls our texts asking for a comment. Apparently, Charles is getting back at government, after they banned his Guyanese rice alleging that it was of inferior quality or that it did not meet health and safety standards. We called Charles today and he only told us to look out for some major developments on Monday of next week.

When Will Bert Vasquez Have His Day In Court?
The name, Bert Vasquez, has gone mostly unreported for the past 3 years, but back in June and July 2012, he made national headlines after he was arrested and charged for the murder of 13 year-old Jasmine Lowe. It culminated in hundreds of residents of the twin towns of San Ignacio and Santa Elena camping out in front of the Police Station to him being detained, charged and criminally arraigned. Well, since then, he's been on remand waiting for his day in court, but apart from that murder charge, he's facing 2 other cases where he's been accused of sexual offences. He went to court today for an adjournment before the Supreme Court, where it was to be decided when exactly he'll stand trial for the first of the 2 sex crimes accusations. He has a new attorney, Oscar Selgado, who is taking over from Simeon Sampson, and this morning before that Supreme Court hearing, he granted the press an interview. He updated on his client's criminal trials:

Two Men Shot, Not Fatally
There was a shooting last night in Belize City's Lake Independence area. It left 2 Belize City men, 26 year-old's Benua Andrews and Tyron Myers, hospitalized at the KHMH. At around 7:12 p.m., police showed up at the hospital and found Andrews, who been shot in the chest, and Myers, who was suffering from gunshots to the left knee, right thigh, and left elbow. Today, Precinct 2 Police briefed the media about the information they have at this time on the shooting: Sgt. Roberto Novelo, NCO - CIB Precinct 2: "Wednesday 3rd day of 2016 around 7:12pm, police visited the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they saw Benua Andrews, 26 year of age of Belize City suffering from an apparent gunshot to the left and right side of the chest. Also seen was 26 years old Tyron Myers, he was suffering from apparat gunshot to the left elbow and left knee and right thigh. Initial investigations revealed that both were standing at the corner of Jasmine and Marigold Lane when a male person approach them and fired several shots towards their direction causing the initial injuries. Subsequently they were transported to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital where they are in a stable condition. We are presently continuing the investigation and we are following certain leads. We have one person detained at this time who we believe can assist us in the investigation."

Northside Cops Find High Powered Weapons in Gang Turf, Hold Out For Arrest
Belize City northside police found two high-powered firearms - but tonight they say they aren't releasing pictures until they make an arrest. The 40 and 45 caliber weapons were found in this apartment building on Handyside Street sometime this morning. Those are prohibited firearms, but police aren't declaring them as found property right now because they are first trying to lift some fingerprints off them. That's because intelligence says the guns are linked to the nearby Majestic Alley gang. The guns were found concealed in a stairwell, which is used by many people in the apartment building.

A Tec-9 In A Tiny Village
Orange Walk Police also made a gun seizure today. They received accurate intelligence, and at around 1:30 this afternoon, they went to an area in San Pablo Village in the Orange Walk District. They canvassed the location and found a black plastic bag under a rotten log. When they opened it, they found this black 9mm Tec-9 semi-automatic pistol. Since they couldn't tie it to anyone, it was deposited as found property.

From Melchor Jail To Freedom For Kayla
Since Monday, we've been telling you about the plight of 25 year-old Belizean Kayla Sanchez who was arrested in Melchor, Guatemala. Well, due to the successful intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she has been released without any conviction, and after the transfer documents are complete, she'll be allowed to come home. As we told you, she was detained this weekend in Melchor for the theft of a cellular phone. She was then arrested and charged with aggravated robbery due to a report that she was found with a knife. Because of that knife, which is taken as a sign of aggression, she got into more serious trouble, and she was risking 6 months of jail time if she was convicted. After spending 3 nights inn Guatemalan state prison at San Benito, Peten, she was taken before the Chief Magistrate who has jurisdiction for the Department of Peten. By that time, Foreign Affairs Diplomat Said Guerra had been on the ground personally interceding on her behalf. She had a difficulty with the language barrier, and he took over as advisor and translator. Before today's hearing, he met with the Guatemalan Chief Magistrate and successfully convinced him that Kayla was not violent or aggressive, and so the nature of the crime should be downgraded. That argument was successful especially due to a confusion in the wording of the police report related to the topic of the knife she was allegedly caught with.

Kaya Speaks Up For Lady Cyclists
Kaya Cattouse is a well-known elite Belizean cyclist. But, tonight, she's up in arms with the Cycling Federation of Belize. That's because she is alleging sexual discrimination on the part of the federation and one of its biggest sponsors - BTL. It all started with a stinging post on Facebook regarding the upcoming Digicell Valentine Tour. Kaya posted, and we quote, "The tours are coming back to our cycling calendar. Way to go CFB! Way to go Digicell! Or at least that's what I would say if I were a MALE ELITE cyclist. Female and Junior category aren't "tour worthy"….I'm starting to wonder now if DIGICELL is partnering with the federation and discriminating against riders based on their age and gender." End quote. Kaya continued with her angry tirade by threatening to convince her fellow riders to switch to SMART.

Frank Vasquez Verdict Pending
A judge will decide whether Byron James killed Frank Vasquez. James is accused of killing Frank Vasquez in May of 2012. Vasquez was shot multiples times to the head, shoulder, back and mid-section. His sister testified saying that she saw James riding away after her brother was shot. But James's attorney, Oscar Selgado submitted that she saw James from a distance and added that there was no identification parade conducted by the police. The trial concluded yesterday and the prosecutor is Kileru Awich. Justice Troadio Gonzalez has reserved his ruling for next week at a date to be announced. James remains on remand at the Belize Central Prison.

Trio Villagers In Land Stress
Right now, a large number of Villagers from Trio in the Toledo District are in distress. They risk losing their homes and their farms because the current owner of the land they've been squatting on has showed up demanding that they move or pay for it. We understand that it is large tracts of farm land, which used to belong to the Thurton Estate, but has been acquired by a Chinese businessman. The villagers have been staying there for over 20 years - some of them claim that they've been there for 25 to 30 years. They've cultivated the land and built their homes on it. These same residents say that successive Governments have promised to regularize the situation on by acquiring they land on which they are squatting, and giving them access to titles for it. But, that never came, and the Chinese businessman has now showed up, and we're told he's telling them that they either need to pay him 20 thousand dollars in compensation, or else, they have to move.

Baby Drowned In Bathtub
A one-year-old infant drowned when she fell into a bathtub that was filled with water. The incident occurred at a home at Camp 51 in the village of Indian Creek Orange Walk. Reports are that around 10:15 yesterday morning the child wandered inside the laundry room where a large bathtub was located. She fell inside and drowned. Her older brother would later find her dead inside the bathtub. Orange Walk Police say they are not suspecting any foul play and are categorizing it as an unfortunate accident.

BTL Working Through Its Difficulties
Just a couple weeks after BTL slashed its calling rates, hitting an all-time low of 47 cents…bam! There entire short code system went down. That meant thousands of customers were unable access simple services like checking their credit balance, buying bundles, and other essential services that sustain the mobile experience. Today there system is back online, or at least partially. Today we spoke with Gale Malic, the Senior Public Relations Representative at BTL, who gave us an update on the status of their short code system. Gale Malic-Ozeata, Senior Public Relations Representative - BTL: "Our shorts codes are back up as of Monday afternoon. We notified our customers via social media pages, we sent them a text blast. We also did call in to the radio shows to let them know that most of short codes are working. The ones that they use the most, which are the 135, the *22 and *20 to check your credit and add credit. Our *100 for the 100 ways promotion; the *767 to buy and check text bundles and also the *932 to but the 2G plan. The *638 to buy the night shift plan too. So all those are working. So what were able to do in a span of one week, we were able to restore on the servers that went down that supports these short codes. We have a second server currently down which we are working on to restore and we hope to have that restored by the end of next week."

Belize Survivors Playing a Part In Global Cancer Awareness
World Cancer Day is being observed today and the focus is on awareness and prevention. Belize is playing its part in the global coverage by being featured in a video produced by the World Health Organization. IT features stories from Jamaica, the Philippines, Uganda and Belize - and here is an excerpt: You can see the entire video later tonight on Channel 7.

Higher Standards For The Lower Court
In this year's Ceremonial Opening of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin told the nation that the Magistracy Department would have a complete overhaul with the roll out of a new Criminal Procedure Rules. It's a document in the making for a number of months, and we've been informed that it has since been rolled out since the second half of January 2016. It's an extensive document which will bring sweeping changes to the way the court handles criminal cases, and if it is followed strictly, there will be a marked difference in the resolution of criminal trials in the lower courts. It introduces the electronic recording of trials for transcript and transparency, and for the filing of documents from attorneys electronically. It considerably shortens the number of adjournments that a case can have, which is usually misused either by the police or the defense attorneys, and causes cases to drag on for years.

Mersey Coming To Belize
A British navy ship will visit Belize from February 6th to 9th. The HMS Mersey is on Atlantic Patrol and crew will conduct joint training with the Belize Coast Guard and BDF in boarding operations and gunnery drills. The ship will also host a crisis planning exercise with the BDF, Coast Guard and Belize Red Cross. The Commanding Officer is quoted as saying that his sailors will also, quote, "enjoy some rest and relaxation on Belize's beautiful beaches." The Mersy is also taking part in the operation Trade Winds 2016 in June and will conduct counter-narcotics patrols with the US Coast Guard.

Collision in Cane Country
A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway just before news time tonight left one man injured. The incident occurred near the notoriously dangerous Mameyal Curve and it involved a motorcycle and a white Toyota Four Runner. We understand that the driver of the motorcycle was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from multiple injuries. Unconfirmed reports are that the Four Runner was travelling towards Corozal Town when the driver of the motorcycle, who was traveling in the opposite direction, collided into him.

Channel 5

2 Men Shot in Southside Belize City
Two men were shot  on Wednesday night in south side Belize City just before seven o’clock, shattering a period of relative quiet on the streets since the beginning of the [...]

OW Police Recover Tec-9 Submachine Gun
Orange Walk was once known as Rambo Town, back in the days when drugs and violence had overtaken that northern community. It has not quite reached that point yet, but [...]

Mysterious Deaths at the K.H.M.H. Linked to Influenza Virus?
Six persons died at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital between October 2015 and January 2016 due to unknown illnesses. The hospital, however, believes the deaths may be related to the [...]

Vega Vs Cervantes Adjourned Again
Gaspar Vega versus Ramon Cervantes Junior and Fiesta FM – the anxiously awaited decision in that sensational libel and slander suit was to be handed down today by Chief Justice [...]

Baby Brenae Remains Critical at the K.H.M.H.
Three year old Brenae Timmons remains in an induced coma at the K.H.M.H. The child was badly injured last Friday when a heavy metal gate fell on her near the [...]

CFB Threatens to Suspend Kaya Cattouse
Well known cyclist and sports enthusiast Kaya Cattouse has been threatened by Cycling Federation of Belize President Dion Leslie. In a letter sent to Cattouse Tuesday, Leslie accuses her of [...]

Statistics on Cancer in Belize
On this World Cancer Day, the news is not good. The Belize Cancer Society says the number of deaths due to cancer is staggering and it doesn’t include deaths by [...]

Bert Vasquez Awaits Hearing for Sexual Offences
Accused murderer and sexual predator Bert Vasquez was in Court today. Vasquez was accused of the murder of young Jasmine Lowe in 2012, but he is also accused of sexually [...]

Attorney Oscar Selgado Says Vasquez Will Walk on Murder Charge
While Vasquez is accused of violent and heinous sexual offences, by far the more serious charge is for the murder of Jasmine Lowe. Lowe’s decomposed body was discovered days after [...]

Byron James Awaits Decision in Murder Trial
Earlier this week, Daniel Anderson was acquitted of the murder of Joyce Mitchell in a trial by judge without jury. Today, a second murder trial by judge alone concluded before [...]

20 Years of Challenges and Achievements at the K.H.M.H.
The Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital is turning twenty-one and in these two decades it has been in the spotlight for its own share of ups and downs. The hierarchy of [...]

K.H.M.H. Explains Mass Casualty Experience for Accidents
Hattieville resident Egbert Ferguson lost his life while undergoing surgery on Tuesday morning at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The forty-seven year old had been transported to the hospital following [...]

Doctor Recovering From Brutal Attack During Home Invasion
In late January, thirty-seven year old Ian Blair was stabbed to death while he visited Nicaraguan Doctor Marcos Rugama at his home on Simon Lamb Street, Belize City. Three thieves [...]

Mahogany Heights Residents Collaborating With Police for Change
Today, officers from the Rural Eastern Division were in the community of Mahogany Heights, located in La Democracia. They were joined by members of the Community Oriented Policing Program because [...]

Residents Need Electricity at the Education Center
The residents of Mahogany Heights are also looking for a Good Samaritan to assist in the community. It’s not asking for much…just electricity in a small building. It’s actually the [...]

Indian Creek Toddler Drowns in Tub
On Wednesday there was a tragic incident in the community of Indian Creek in the Orange Walk District. A toddler left inside a home apparently toppled into a bowl of [...]

Healthy Living: Integrative Breathwork, a Meditation Exercise
Meditation exercises are becoming more and more mainstream. The popularity of the practice has been reinforced by scientific evidence proving its various benefits and personal testimonials of high profile athletes, [...]


Motorcycle Collides Into 4Runner, One Person Injured
A traffic accident on the Philip Goldson Highway just before news time tonight left one man injured. The incident occurred near the Mameyal Curve and it involved a motorcycle and a white Toyota Four Runner. We understand that the driver of the motorcycle was transported to the Northern Regional Hospital suffering from several injuries. Unconfirmed reports are that the driver of the white Four Runner was travelling towards Corozal Town when the driver of the motorcycle, who was traveling in the opposite direction, collided into him.

Case Of One Year Old Baby Drowned In Bathtub Remains Open
Yesterday we told you about the tragic death of a one year old baby girl who drowned in her family home in the Community of Indian Creek, in the Orange Walk District. As mentioned before 1 year old Adanetta Blatz was left to play inside her yard yesterday sometime around 10:15 when she allegedly wondered into the laundry room located inside the family home where a bathtub filled with water was found. The baby apparently fell into the tub and could not get out and subsequently drowned, her motionless body was later found by her 16 year old brother who tried to resuscitate her to no avail. Yesterday we reported that police did not suspect any foul play and are categorizing the tragic death as an accident. Today when we spoke to Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Selvin Tillett, he told us that the case remains open and under investigation.

High Caliber Weapon Found In San Pablo Village
Today at around 1:30 pm the Orange Walk police formation visited the outskirt of San Pablo Village where upon searching an empty lot they seized a black 9mm Luger Model Teck-9 that contained a magazine with nine 9mm Luger Brand live rounds. Today Officer Commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation, Selvin Tillett, told us more about the operation. Selvin Tillett- Officer commanding the Orange Walk Police Formation: “The Orange Walk Police visited the outskirts of San Pablo village in the Orange Walk district and search an empty lot where police found a black plastic bag under a rotten log and when police opened the black bag they noticed a black 9mm rugger model, tech 9 serial number unknown containing a magazine with nine live millimeter live rounds, no one was found in the area so the fire arm was labeled as found property.”

Cased Against Larios Postponed
Weeks ago we reported on the tragic traffic accident that claimed the life of one year old Genesis Teresa Medina from the Village of San Estevan in Orange Walk. 28 year old Eliseo Israel Larios, the man who was behind the steering wheel of the vehicle that knocked down baby Genesis was scheduled to return to court today after he was given bail in the sum of $5,000 at his last court case in December of last year. Larios is being charged with manslaughter by negligence, driving a vehicle with an alcohol concentration above prescribed limit, failure to report an accident, failure to stop and render aid, causing death by careless conduct and driving without due care and attention. The case against Larios was today adjourned until March 21st 2016.

Medical Mission Offers Free Services To Nortenos
Medical services in Belize tend to be very costly and half the time low income families can’t even afford to receive medical treatment at private clinics much less pay for a surgery. Luckily from time to time Belizeans benefit from free medical services offered by medical missions who come from abroad. In the line-up is the New Horizon Medical Mission who arrived in Belize last week and since then the first team has been offering free surgeries at the Corozal Community Hospital. According to leader of the group, Pastor John Kirby, so far surgery has been performed on 300 persons.Leader Pastor John Kirby: “The outcome was really great, there were lots and lots of patients coming, we saw over a hundred and twenty patients that were considered for surgery out of the Corozal hospital and we also saw a hundred and seventy patients in the Orange Walk Hospital, they heard the news that we were doing surgeries, from those three hundred people that we saw we were going to do at least seven different surgeries and they will be from everything from people who have issues from their hands not moving right, doing repetitive motions to trigger fingers to scar revisions and we also going to be doing like major neck masses that were taking off in surgery and so doing a lot of things for people not to get so sick repetitively and be healed up.”

Juan Carnaval Tradition Kept Alive In Corozal Town
Carnival is a Christian festive season that occurs before the Christian season of Lent. The main events typically occur during February or early March and it involves a public celebration and/or parade combining some elements of a circus, masks and public street party. Pope Gregory the Great decided that fasting would start on Ash Wednesday. The whole Carnaval event was set before the fasting, to set a clear division between the pagan and the Christian custom. It was also the custom during Carnaval that the ruling class would be mocked using masks and disguises. In the Christian tradition the fasting is to commemorate the 40 days that Jesus fasted in the desert according to the New Testament and also to reflect on Christian values. Carnival was in its full glory in Europe by the fourteenth century. It lasted up to the sixteenth century, and then it made its way to Belize. In Corozal part of the Carnival Culture still remains but according Coordinator for the Corozal House of Culture, Deborah Wilkes, the tradition is slowly dying along with its main character, Juan Carnival. In order to keep the tradition alive the House of Culture is planning an event for the 6th of February.

Baby Girl Drowns In Bathtub
Tonight the family of a 1 year old baby girl is mourning her death after she drowned in a bathtub inside the family home in the village of Indian Creek, in the Orange Walk District. Reports are that around 10:15 this morning the 1 year and 2 months old baby girl was left to play in her yard located in Camp 51 of Indian Creek. But all indications are that the toddler wondered inside the family laundry room, where a large bathtub filled with water was located. Apparently the child fell into the tub and could not get out and subsequently drowned. According to Orange Walk Police, the motionless body of the baby was discovered by her brother and police do not suspect any foul play and are categorizing the tragic death as an accident.

#511393 - 02/05/16 05:46 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 5, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline


SSB Approves 12Million Dollar Loan to Santander
The company, Santander formerly known as Green Tropics may be benefitting from a twelve million dollar loan from the Social Security Board for further development of the mill located on the George Price Highway in the Cayo District. The loan was approved last week and is in the publication stage where members of the general […]

Shooting in Lake-I; Duo Hospitalized
Last night two men standing at the corner of Marigold Lane and Jasmine Street were shot. Two twenty six year old males have been admitted to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital and are reportedly in stable conditions. Sergeant Hilberto Novelo gave the details on the shooting. HILBERTO NOVELO “Police visited the KHMH where they saw […]

Attorney Positive on Bert Vasquez’ Trial
Accused murderer Bert Vasquez was back in court today. Vasquez is facing three charges including the murder of 13 year old Jasmine Lowe which occurred back in June of 2012. Vasquez is also facing two other charges related to sexual offences. One of those charges is being dealt with by Justice Adolph Lucas. A trial […]

Toddler Drowns at Home
A one year old baby drowned in Indian Creek Village in the Orange Walk District. According to reports, the toddler died yesterday after was left alone to play. Police arrived on the scene and found the lifeless body of the little girl. Love News spoke with Officer in Charge of Orange Walk Police, Assistant Superintendent […]

Military Sub-Machine Gun found in Northern Belize
Orange Walk Police discovered a firearm yesterday. However, the firearm that was found is not the normal type of gun the department is accustomed to finding. Police found a TEC 9 semi-automatic fire arm which is a smaller version of a military submachine gun. Inspector Nicholas Palomo, Deputy Officer in Command at Orange Walk spoke […]

Fuel Prices Adjust
The cost of fuel decreased earlier in the week. Regular fuel decreased by forty cents and is now seven dollars and sixty eight cents per gallon. Diesel decreased by forty three cents and now sells for six dollars and twenty seven cents. Premium gasoline saw no change.

World Oil Prices and Pump Prices in Belize
Fuel prices at the pumps have gone down recently in Belize and continue to drop worldwide per barrel. While it is good news for drivers and vehicle owners, it does decrease the available monies from the PetroCaribe program as explained by Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. JOSEPH WAIGHT “The price of oil has fallen dramatically. Consequently […]

Fin Sec Speaks on the Country’s Debt
Since the PetroCaribe came into being under the Barrow administration, many figures have been thrown out regarding the country’s overall debt and additional debts with PetroCaribe. Earlier this week, the Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight told the media just what our debts look like. JOSEPH WAIGHT “The super-bond is half our payment. It’s half our debt […]

BEL’s Arbitration Settled; BTL’s Pending
Following the nationalization of the electric and telephone companies in Belize, the Government of Belize have since concluded the arbitration settlement for the Belize Electricity Limited while the arbitration settlement for the Belize Telemedia Limited remains outstanding, as explained by Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight. JOSEPH WAIGHT “BEL has been settled. There was a settlement agreement, […]

Belize Celebrates World Cancer Day 2016
Today is being observed as World Cancer day. The Belize Cancer Society was formed in 1996 which makes it twenty years in existence. The Cancer Society utilizes this day to launch their yearly activities as well as to bring awareness of the disease to society. Love news spoke to Laura Longsworth President of Belize Cancer […]

The Guardian

Zika Virus now a major concern in Belize
Belize’s Ministry of Health and others are ratcheting up their activities in preparation for the Zika Virus now raging in the Americas. A committee composed of the Epidemiology Unit, the Central Medical Laboratory, the Maternal and Child Care Unit and the critically important Public Health and Vector Control Departments met on Tuesday morning of this week at the Ministry of Health in Belmopan to look at preliminary measures on vector and clinical surveillance, as the Zika Virus, a member of the flavivirus family, wreaks havoc outside of Belize’s borders. The Zika Virus is spread by the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which also spreads dengue and chikingunya. As the mode of spread, the female mosquito drinks the blood of an infected person; they can then infect subsequent people they bite. The virus was first found in a monkey in the Zika forest near Lake Victoria, Uganda, in 1947, and has historically occurred in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Island. Only until last year has the Zika Virus come under new scrutiny and investigation by virologists and other scientists across the globe.

Big fight for leader of the Opposition in National Assembly
The People's United Party went through the process of electing a New (old) leader on Sunday January 31. For the PUP they billed it as a process of reformation and change of guard but the reality is that nothing has really changed in the PUP. All those who contested the election, bar none, are actually carry overs from the 1998-2008 era (the worst era in Belize's history.) Going into the convention, Francis Fonseca, the former leader of the PUP was very clear and was always vocal about the fact that he controlled a majority of the PUP representatives in the house. After the convention, even though he was resoundingly defeated, he still has that bragging right. In fact, the PUP parliamentarians continue to support Fonseca as their leader which has now sent the PUP into a talespin. That was evident immediately after the convention when Channel 7's Jules Vasquez, point blankly asked Requena, the Toledo West Area Representative if he would support Briceno and he was non committal in his answer. It would have been expected that his answer should have been an outright yes, but in the PUP, while there is a leader, the Cappo's do not necessarily have to follow or even respect him.

Correspondent Banking problem being fixed
Financial imperialism is when large developed countries dominate developing (weaker) countries by pushing international policies or issuing private directives that steer the flow of international trade/wealth in their favour. This has been done in the past by implementing trade embargos or restrictions, currency control and uneven trade policies. Many learned people in the Caribbean region believe that the United States’ strict regulations in the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) campaign is simply another method used by the super power to exercise economic sovereignty over the West. Belize has set up a plan to prevent economic Armageddon in the wake of Bank of America’s termination of correspondent banking relationship with Belize Bank and other similar developments in the sector. Prime Minister Dean Barrow; Financial Secretary, Joseph Waight; Governor of the Central Bank, Glen Yssaguirre; and Economic Ambassador, Mark Espat; were joined in the United States by Belize’s Ambassador Pat Andrews on a mission to hold meetings with several financial regulatory agencies from January 25 to January 29. The goals of the mission were simple: one, to get a clear understanding of the federal government’s position on the large banks’ termination of relationships with Belizean banks, and two, to get an understanding of how the federal government’s regulations have influenced the decisions of those large banks.

Born to Loose!
Many years ago before the deep water port was built in Port Loyola, imported goods were brought onshore by barges, those goods were then landed and stored at the customs warehouses known as Queen’s Bonded Warehouse, at the same location where the Tourist Village is now located. After those goods were cleared they made their way to their owners, mostly stores and shops. The goods were mostly transported by either mule and cart, a few Bedford or Austin trucks or bicycle-carts. The bicycle-carts were used for hauling the smaller goods and also to transport household goods to homes around what was known as Belize Town at the time. Most of those transports had names, usually the names were catchy and either related to a product, the name or nickname of a person or some part of our rich and colorful culture. There was this one popular bicycle-cart named BORN TO LOOSE. It must have been named so after a very popular song at the time, that was recorded by Ray Charles. The actual name of the song was “Born to lose”. Like with many other things the word LOSE was changed to LOOSE to get a completely different meaning. The gentleman that owned the bicycle-cart was no looser or loser though, quite the opposite he earned good money by the standards back then.

Belize participates in International Youth Forum
Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr. and CARICOM Youth Ambassador Eric Sanchez participated in this year’s International Youth Forum on Sustainable Development on February 1st and 2nd, 2016. This Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Youth Forum was held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York under the auspices of the ECOSOC President His Excellency Mr. Oh Joon. The theme of the forum was “Implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Moving from Commitments to Results”. H.E. Joon listed unemployment, poverty, climate change, and inequality as issues needing to be addressed through a cross-cutting and interconnected approach. In plenary sessions, Minister Aragon stated that Belize is finalizing its National Growth and Sustainable Development Strategy (GSDS) which mainstreams the United Nations Post-2015 Sustainable Development Framework. The GSDS identifies clear policy aims together with subsidiary goals and targets to achieve a national vision comprising of a strong economy featuring optimal national income and robust growth, a resilient society, healthy environment, citizen security and good governance.

Belizean arrested in Melchor
Kayla Sanchez, a 25 year-old Belizean, remains detained in Peten, Guatemala, and she is awaiting a criminal hearing before a judge from that country. She’s being accused of going into Melchor De Menchos, Guatemala and stealing a cellular phone. Information to the press is that she went over to that town between Saturday, January 30, and Sunday, January 31. While she was there, she was reportedly cornered by a group of Guatemalan residents of the town in the Central Park area. They say that she stole a cellular phone, and was trying to pry it open with a knife. Fortunately, Guatemalan Police officers observed a commotion in the park, and intervened before their attempt at citizen’s arrest turned into a mob which tried to hurt her.

Multiple separate accidents on Belizean roadways, one man dies
Egbert Ferguson, a 47 year-old resident of Hattieville Village, has died as a result of injuries he suffered in a traffic accident he was involved in between miles 17 and 18 on the George Price Highway. It happened on Monday, February 1, sometime after 3 p.m. Ferguson was driving a grey 2-door Ford F-150 pick with extended cab. He was traveling with 44-year-old Daisy Olivera of Belize City and two minors as his passengers. They were heading from the direction of Belmopan to Hattieville, and for some still unknown reason, they crashed head on into a grey Toyota Hiace Van. The van belongs to the company, Cavetubing.Bz, and the tour guide, Rogelio Reyes, was driving 6 French Tourist for a visit to the Lamanai Maya Site. All 11 persons suffered varying degrees of injuries, but Ferguson was the most seriously injured. He passed away at around 4 a.m. on the next day, Tuesday. He leaves behind 19 children for which he was the main provider. He made a living selling juice and fudge in Belmopan.

Daniel Anderson acquitted of murder
The trial against Daniel Anderson, 32, for the murder of 19-year-old Joyce Mitchell, who was shot to death on the evening of Thursday, June 17, 2011, came to an end on Thursday, January 28, 2016. He was facing a trial without jury and his fate was decided by Justice Adolph Lucas on Tuesday, February 2. Justice Lucas ruled that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof to convict Anderson of murder because of numerous discrepancies in witness statements and testimonies. According to word on the streets, the intended target of the execution on the night in question was Mitchell’s brother but she was sitting on the trunk of a car in front of their home when the gunman unleashed a spray of bullets in that direction. Police investigation led to the arrest of Anderson who was positively identified by Mitchell’s relatives.

Rupert Avila Admits to Stealing over $11,000
IT Technician, Rupert Avila, 34, is lucky to be free from prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing over $11,000 from Belize City businessman Ricardo Gongora. Allegations are that on Saturday, January 30, he stole 21- one hundred dollar notes and 185 fifty dollar notes from a gas station on the Phillip Goldson Highway owned by Ricardo Gongora. According to Avila, he got a job at Gongora’s business place and while executing that job he needed to clean up the network cable so he took out some garbage to throw into the dumpster. When he emptied out the bin he noticed that there was money inside. Avila said he was frightened when he saw the money in the garbage so he placed it inside a vehicle he had access to at the time. He didn’t get a chance to tell his supervisor about the money because shortly after he found it the police came to the compound and found him in possession of the cash inside the vehicle.

Salvadoran caught living in Belize illegally
Salvadoran national Blas Antonio Contreras Andrade, 41, is spending time at the Belize Central Prison after he pleaded guilty to living in Belize illegally and was unable to pay a thousand dollar fine. Andrade was busted by a team of Immigration Officers on Monday, February 1, and asked to produce identification and immigration documents to explain his status in Belize. Andrade could not do so and as a result the officers escorted him to their office in Belize City where he was charged with the offense of failure to produce a visitor’s permit.

Isidoro Beaton Field already getting “Wows”
The Isidro Beaton Football Stadium is more than seventy percent complete and its beauty can no longer be concealed behind curtains of construction activity. The stadium is being renovated to world class standards at an initial estimated cost of $3.5 million. However the scope of works has been expanded and the massive beauty that will be the pride of Belmopan may actually end up being the pride of the entire country. “I have never seen such a green field,” said one commenter who saw images from the Hon. John Saldivar’s Facebook page. The structure will include home and guest locker rooms, V.I.P. and press boxes as well as concession area. |

Department of Youth Services, job preparedness training
The Department of Youth Service’s Youth Enterprise/Job Creation Unit is presently conducting a Job Preparedness Training for twenty five youth between the ages of 17 – 29 years. The main objective of the training is to empower these young people with the necessary skills and knowledge to become marketable to join the work force. A total number of ten (10) sessions are being conducted. The various topics include: Skills Identification, Work ethics, Conflict Resolution Management in the workplace, how to work along with HIV infected persons in the workplace, Resume writing, Interviewing skills and Mock Interviews. The other component of the training is to continue mentoring these young people and procure placements for them or assist them in returning to school where necessary or engage them into other skill trainings such as those offered at ITVET.

Next to last
At 10:15pm on Sunday night John Briceño was officially declared as the new Leader of the People’s United Party. Joining him in the victory was the returning Chairman Henry Charles Usher, new Deputy Leader for the South Rodwell Ferguson, new Deputy Leader for the North Jose Abelardo Mai and new Communications Director Anthony Mahler. The elections results were not really close as indicated by the numbers. There are some very revealing things that are glaring about the results though. The major one being that Francis who lost in a three way race for leader lost by 208 votes. The 208 is 5 votes less than the 213 delegates who did not vote. So the question is had they voted would Francis have won? Let’s take a closer look at the actual numbers to see how the various candidates did. There were 2971 eligible delegates of which 2758 voted. There were 213 delegates who did not vote. Below is the way the numbers played out.

Hon. Frank “Papa” Mena visits PG public officers
Quite often constituents as well as public officers, complain of being ignored or taken for granted after elections. In some cases that turns out to be true for the most part, but this UDP government is working diligently in demystifying that misguided conclusion. It is the rant of everyday Belizeans about public officers not being in the “real world.” However, the question that begs to be answered is, would we survive in the “real world” without the assistance of these same public officers? The public in general, every so often looks down upon these courageous people and believe they are omnipotent. It is mythological to believe that at the snap of a finger public officers could change the world. The very next time you want a passport, birth certificate, land title and all the other things that Public Officers provide, think about the daily pressures they endure.

Multi-Institutional park ranger training ends
From the 26th of January to 1st of February, a Park Ranger Tactical Rescue Medic Training was conducted at Tapir Camp, Chiquibul National Park for Park Rangers. Since the increase of park rangers in the Chiquibul, and understanding the environmental challenges faced, FCD has taken a proactive move to sharpen the skills of park rangers. Unlike the first year training program, this time FCD was pleased to have four Forest Officers of the Belize Forest Department and two park rangers from the Institute of Archaeology participate on the one week training. The course consisted of rescue and first aid, navigation, use of firearms and patrol skills. Special guests including Ambassador Stuart Leslie from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Dr. Candy Gonzales from the Belize Environmental Law and Policy also imparted presentations on the Confidence Building Measures and National Protected Areas Systems Act.

New Water System for Santa Anna, Toledo
Over 500 residents in the Southern rural community of Santa Anna, Toledo now have easy access to quality potable water. This means 91 households, schools, churches and the village health post will now enjoy the continuous supply of quality potable water to meet their daily needs such as drinking, washing, bathing and cooking thanks to the Government of Belize who financed the expansion and upgrade of the water project at a cost of $565,686.16 through a loan from the Caribbean Development Bank.

SICA member states meet to address emergency health issues associated with the Spread of Zika Virus
On Tuesday, February 2, 2016, officials from the Ministries of Health and Foreign Affairs of Belize participated in a regional videoconference organized by the Government of Honduras, current Presidency Pro-Tempore of the Central American Integration System (SICA), to discuss the regional health implications from the Zika virus. The objective of the meeting was to coordinate regional positions and actions to ameliorate the number of infections and agree on a sustained action plan to work towards the eradication of the Zika Virus. The Pan-American Health Organization has committed to providing all its resources to assist the region in its response to eradicate the Zika Virus and its possible correlation to microcephaly that has been affecting newborn babies of mothers infected with the virus. Research is also being conducted to ascertain a possible link to the Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

President Ma Ying-jeou’s trip to Taiping Island
With regard to President Ma Ying-jeou’s trip to Taiping Island Jan. 28 to inspect the island and celebrate the Lunar New Year with personnel stationed there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs states the following: (1) Whether from the perspective of history, geography, or international law, the Nansha (Spratly) Islands, Shisha (Paracel) Islands, Chungsha (Macclesfield Bank) Islands, and Tungsha (Pratas) Islands, as well as their surrounding waters, are an inherent part of ROC territory and waters, and the ROC enjoys all rights over these islands and their surrounding waters in accordance with international law. This is indisputable.

Time running out on tail dragging teachers
The Ministry of Education on Wednesday, February 3, proved once again that teachers are the only stakeholders in the education sector who will always get a pass for late or incomplete assignments. Teachers have been urged by the Government of Belize to secure their qualifications for Teacher’s Licenses since the Education Act was passed in 2000. More than 15 years later, hundreds of teachers in our classrooms are still not qualified to teach. This cannot be allowed to continue, says the Ministry of Education. As part of its plan to improve quality and relevance under the Education Sector Reform Strategy, the Ministry of Education has set a goal to have one hundred percent trained teachers in the classrooms across Belize. The Ministry of Education made its intentions clear from the inauguration of this Administration when it lifted the ban on paid study leave. The ministry reinforced its position with the passage of an amendment to the Education Act in 2010 and informed all stakeholders of its intention to enforce requirements for teacher training and licenses for individuals in the classroom. For teachers who did not have qualifications for a license, a five year provisional license was issued on June 30 2011 for them to remain in the classroom. During this five years they were expected to further their education and take lessons in pedagogy in order to meet qualifications for a license.

Kareem Smith shot and charged with firearm assault
Kareem Smith, 27, also known as Flash, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was charged with aggravated assault with a firearm upon Corey Sebastian. Smith, a resident of Holy Emmanuel Street and brother of notorious Brandon “Battery” Smith, was released from the Karl Heusner Memorial and escorted to the Belize City Magistrates Court on Friday, January 29. He had to be treated by doctors at the Hospital after he was shot in what police believe was a failed execution attempt. The shooting happened on Sunday, January 24, at around 12:15 p.m. at a house, which is located at the corner of Pitts Alley and Castle Street. The man who shot him, whose name has not been released to the media, told police that he was socializing at the house at the time when he saw one of his friends running in. This man told police that his friend, who is over at this house regularly, was being chased by Smith, who he says was armed with a gun.

Three from Abou Nehra’s robbery now charged for murder
Brandon Baptist, 30, John Grinage, 27, and Sheldon Grinage, 25, are back behind bars after they appeared in the Belize City Magistrates Court on Monday, February 1, to face a murder charge. The three men were just released on bail about a month ago after they were charged with aggravated burglary for the home invasion of Lebanese Consul, Sarkis Abou Nehra, in December. Now, they are being accused of killing 32-year-old George Town Village resident, Mariano Castillo. Mariano Castillo was stabbed whilst socializing with friends and relatives just after midnight on Saturday, January 30. According to police, Castillo was walking on Mahogany Street Extension with his common-law-wife and two other persons at aproximately 12:35 a.m. when he was allegedly approached by John Grinage, Sheldon Grinage and Brandon Baptist of Police Street.

Woman charged with theft of borrowed bicycle
A crippled woman was dragged before the court on Thursday, January 28, after a man claimed she stole his bicycle. Kimberly Anne Lauriano, 29, pleaded guilty to one count of theft when she appeared before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. She told the court that she borrowed the bicycle and the owner, John Morgan, later accused her of theft when the bike was stolen from her at Friendship Restaurant. Lauriano was arrested and charged with one count of theft. She was held overnight in lock down at the Belize Central Prison and appeared unrepresented in court. She wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the charge with an explanation. Lauriano said that on Tuesday, January 26, she borrowed the bike to go buy at Friendship restaurant because she cannot walk. She told the court that she locked the bike by its wheel but it was not there when she came out of the restaurant.

The Brawling Continues
Let’s face it: many of us made a huge mistake in foretelling that Hon. Francis Fonseca would emerge victorious as PUP Party Leader last Sunday 31 January at their convention in Belmopan. In our defense, however, we have to state that all indicators pointed in this direction, i.e. the open support pledged by several PUP standard bearers and the fact that Hon. Hyde would have diluted the votes that may have otherwise gone to Hon. Briceño. Imagine the size of the spread if Hyde had stepped down! Then again, from now on its best I leave all predictions to the better informed, especially as it concerns the People’s United Party. Really and truly, then, congratulations are in order to the new PUP Party Leader; he did what most thought was not possible, and with his full slate to boot. What now seems impossible is the cry for unity in the PUP, no matter how much lip service they give the word. But before I go there, let me share what some UDP supporters are commenting: they would have preferred Fonseca at the helm of the PUP since this would have given the UDP an extra edge in the next Generals.

Dangriga Warriors squeak pass the Belmopan Bandits
The National Elite Basketball League competition continued on Saturday 30 January, 2016, with two more games on the schedule. At the UB Gymnasium in Belmopan, the visiting Dangriga Warriors squeak passed the host team the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 68-63 in winning its first game of the 2016 campaign. The top scorers for the Dangriga Warriors were Edgar Mitchell with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal; James Ewing with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and a steal and Macario Augustine with 11 points, 17 rebounds and an assist. Meanwhile, the top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Kick Brown with 20 points, 5 rebounds and a steal; Kyle Pascascio with 12 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist and 1 steal and Geovanie Lennan with 11 points and 9 rebounds. The competition will continue this coming weekend with 5 games on the schedule.

Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour
The Cycling Federation of Belize in partnership with Digicell will be sponsoring the Annual Digicell Valentine’s Cycling Tour which will commence on Thursday 11th February to Sunday 14th February, 2016, for Elite, U-23 and Masters. Meanwhile, the female and Jr. /Youth riders will compete only in the Valentine’s Road Race Classic that will be held on Sunday 14th February. The Valentine’s Cycling Tour will commence on Thursday 11th February with stage 1, which is a 40 miles Road Race that will commence at 6:00 am from Leslie’s Imports to Mile 21 and then back to Leslie’s Imports.

St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College top seeds into the high school football playoffs
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition entered its playoffs round with two games on Monday 1 February, 2016, featuring St. Catherine Academy the top seed into the female playoffs and Wesley College the top seed into the male playoffs. In the female playoffs game one, St. Catherine Academy (1) defeated Wesley College (4) by the score of 3-0. The goals for St. Catherine Academy were scored by Kelsie Moss, Warani Gillett and Renisha Martinez. In the male competition playoffs game one, Wesley College (1) defeated Ladyville Technical High School (4) by the score of 2-1. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Nathan Oliva and Kermit Sutherland. For Ladyville Technical, the goal was scored by Kenroy Allen.

Central Region high schools softball competition opens
The Central Region Secondary Schools Softball Competition opened on Monday 1 February, 2016, with 7 schools participating in the female competition and with 6 schools in the male competition. The schools that are participating in the female competition are Anglican Cathedral College, Edward P. Yorke High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Maud Williams High School, Ladyville Technical High School, St. Catherine Academy and Wesley College. Meanwhile, the schools in the male competition are Edward P. Yorke High School, Gwen Lizarraga High School, Maud Williams High School, St. John’s College, Sadie Vernon Technical and Wesley College. In the female game played on Monday 1 February, St. Catherine Academy defeated Anglican Cathedral College by the score of 15-7. The winning pitcher was Kendrce Armstrong and the losing pitcher was Lynece Seguro.

Belizeans to perform at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival
The Ambassador of Music, Jamal ‘Shyne’ Barrow is pleased to announce that several Belizean artists will be performing at this year’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage festival. The Garifuna Collective, Wageirale Drummers, Bredda David & Tribal Vibes, Sweet Pain with Chico Ramos and Supa G, Talla Walla vibrations and TR Shine will be showcased inside the Belize Pavilion and on two Festival stages outside the Pavilion. The 2016 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival will celebrate 46 years of musical and cultural history at this year’s star-studded New Orleans event of the year.

WORDS OF LIFE with Barry Fraser
One concern of our Government is the alleviation of poverty. It is a continuing challenge. Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want.” (Mark 14:7) We all know people who are less well off than us, and it’s our duty to help them when we can. If we can’t help them materially, we can encourage them, and pray for them. In the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 5, verse 3, Jesus promised, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” To be “poor in spirit” is to be empty in the depths of our being. We feel helpless and discouraged because of our situations. It is at times like this when we need God the most! We can either feel separated from God, or we can choose to grow closer to him through prayer.

Community worker from Benque Viejo Del Carmen gets prosthetic leg
A highly gifted resident from Benque Viejo del Carmen, Ricky Cunil, recently received a prosthetic leg to aid him in his involvement in many community related projects. His assistance came via a US based organization, Hope International with special coordination from Manuela Lue of Energy for Life Program and Milagro Garel of the World Pediatric Project. Ricky Cunil wishes to thank the individual efforts that have assisted him with fund raising events such as Gilberto Guerra, from Piccadilly Charity in order to give Project Hope a donation for them to help someone else. He also wants to thank the Community Policing Unit of San Ignacio, which provided transportation to Belize City for the follow up visit in January.

Football Champion of Champions crowned in Orange Walk
The Champion of Champions football competition organized and hosted by Honorable Elodio Aragon Jr., Area representative for Orange Walk East and Minister with responsibility for sports came to an end on Sunday January 31. The Champion of Champions is played among the winners of the three different Cup tournaments organized by the UDP Representatives in the following divisions: Orange Walk East which is the Aragon’s Christmas Cup; North which is the Vega’s Cup and South which is the Lupe Magana’s Cup. This game was played in the beautifully reconstructed Louisiana Field in the Orange Walk East Division. The competition is hard fought and attended by lots of fans from both Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Since its revival in late 2012 football has been growing by leaps and bounds in Orange Walk and certainly rebounding to its glory days when football matches were attended by hundreds of fans. There is no doubt that under this government and under Hon. Aragon as the Minister responsible for sports we will see the resurgence of football as one of Belize’s top sports.

High schools’ football regular competition ends
The Central Region Secondary Schools Football Competition regular season end on Saturday 30 January, 2016, with two games on the schedule. On Saturday 30 January, in the first of two games played, Wesley College defeated Ladyville Technical High School by the score of 5-0. The goals for Wesley College were scored by Kenyon Lewis (2), Shamar Thompson and Janel Babb with a goal each, while an auto goal by Alfredo Franco of Ladyville Technical gave them the 5-0 victory. In the final game of the regular competition, St. John’s College and Anglican Cathedral College played to a 0-0 draw. On Friday 29 January in the only game played in the male competition, Ladyville Technical High School defeated Belize High School by the score of 9-0. The goals for Ladyville Technical High were scored by Deidron Baptist (3), David Solorano (2), Elan White, Lashon Wade, Kenroy Allen and Eric Gomez.

Police United wins on Saturday
The Premier League of Belize Closing Season Tournament for 2016 continued on Saturday 30 January out at the Norman Broaster Stadium in San Ignacio Town between the defending national football champions of Belize the Police United and Wagiya FC. The visiting Wagiya FC took an early lead in the game when Jacinto Bermudez scored the 1st goal of the game in the 7th minute of play to give his team a temporary lead. The lead was short lived for Wagiya FC as the Police United was able to penetrate the defence which allowed Darren Myers to score the Police United 1st goal of the game in the 12th minute of play to tie the score at 1-1. The competition will continue this coming Thursday 4 February, with 2 games on the schedule.

More charges for Bradley Paumen, the net cast wider as more are charged
American Tour operator Bradley Paumen was released on bail for a second time after spending 6 days in prison. He and 3 others: mechanic, Lisburn Anderson; Belmopan businessman, Jahan Abadi, and Korean American Hyang Choing Park have been charged by Belmopan police with the offences of the perversion of justice, and conspiracy to pervert justice. All 4 are accused of trying to plant a .22 rifle and 150 live rounds of ammunition in Michael Modiri’s vehicle in April 2015. Hyang Choing Park, is former common-law wife of Michael Modiri, and police are accusing her of being involved in the plot to set up her ex. Park was charged for hiring policeman Solomon Mas, to act as her hitman. Abadi is accused of facilitating a key to get into Modiri’s vehicle so that the weapon and ammunition could be planted.

Car washer gets 7 years for burglary
Car washer and handyman of the Amara Avenue area, Richard Anthony Escalera, 32, was caught breaking into Lion’s King Night Club on its surveillance camera and as a result a quick trial resulted in him being sentenced to seven years imprisonment for burglary. Escalera appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Tuesday, February 2, and pleaded guilty to a single charge of burglary after he was presented with a strong case against him. In a report to police, Nilda Floriselda Velasquez said that between the hours of 3:35 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, January 31, her business place, Lion King’s Night Club, was broken into and a number of items were stolen. Police investigation into the matter led to Escalera who was seen on surveillance camera footage. Escalera entered the business place and stole $120 worth of cigarettes, one black smart cellphone valued at $200 and a litre of Absolute vodka valued at $90, all to a total of $410.

Julian Cowling accused of burglarizing E. P. Yorke High
Julian Edward Cowling, 26, is out on bail after he was charged for the burglary of Edward P. Yorke High School. Magistrate Deborah Rogers released the resident of Sunray Avenue on a bail of $1,000 plus one surety of the same amount after he pleaded not guilty to one count of burglary. Cowling was arraigned on Thursday, January 28, on two criminal charges: burglary and handling stolen goods. Allegations being made against him is that on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, he broke into the Edward P. Yorke High School’s Cafeteria and stole a case of chocolate, a pack of chips, assorted soft drinks, snacks, water, exercise books, a geometry set, construction supplies, assorted juices and prepared meals. In all, he allegedly made off with $957 worth of goods. Police say that Cowling took them to his home and handed over various items reported stolen from the burglary with a total value of $304.55.

Get home how you can!
Around 5:30 pm on Sunday when the buzz around the Belmopan Comprehensive School ground started to sound like Francis was about to go down in defeat at the hands of Johnny and some may say at the hands of Johnny/Cordel, (we think those persons may be right on target too , because he took the votes that Francis would have got from those persons who would have chosen Francis over Johnny had it been a 2 man race); the buses started to roll out. Many of the delegates and other people who had been bused to Belmopan to support Team Francis were left stranded in Belmopan. Apparently their sin was that they had pulled a switch on Francis and his slate by changing uniforms. Some literally changed uniforms. The recruiting took place in plain view for all to see. Some people collected from both sides and if one notices we don’t say three sides because more and more we are convinced that there were TWO sides but 3 candidates. We have spoken to several people who told us that they were left in Belmopan and had to hitch rides with friendly forces. Two Belize City young men in particular that we spoke to said they rode an Orange Walk bus to the Boom cut-off, where they were picked up by a UDP friend whom they had called just after leaving Belmopan with the promise that they would pay for gas if he would pick them up.

Broad daylight double murder in Orange Walk town
Two families living on Gristock Street in Orange Walk Town are trying to recover from the tragic loss of their loved ones. two teenaged boys, 19 year-old Erlindo Matura and 17 year-old Rene Acevedo both juniors - were gunned down and slain in a street-style, brazen broad-daylight murder. It happened at around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, February 1. Both young men were in the company of another young man, and they were walking on the street. They were reportedly heading to a friend’s house to pick up movies to watch on DVD. That’s when an assailant, who may be acquainted with the boys, pretended to get information from them. He reportedly rode up to the 3 and asked them where he could buy marijuana. The victims reportedly responded to his question, and that’s when the young man went a short distance away. As soon as all 3 were had dismissed him as non-threatening, he pulled out a weapon and started firing hitting Erlindo Matura first. He shot Matura in the face, back and chest, while the other young men tried to flee.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Two games played in Premier Football League
Two games were played tonight as the Premier Football League of Belize continued its schedule with Verdes FC taking on the BDF team in Cayo’s Norman Broaster Stadium and down South, Wagiya took a 3-0 beating. In the first game, Verdes defeated the BDF […]

Fired air traffic controllers “would have compromised safety”
This week we learned of a situation at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA), where four air traffic controllers were recently terminated, for an unusual reason. Our understanding is that the four failed their appraisal test, which if they had passed would have led […]

Financial Intelligence Unit says it has learned lessons from Titan but it will still appeal
The offices of Titan International Securities at the Matalon Building on Coney Drive were raided in September 2014 and its principals, Rohn Knowles and Kelvin Leach, arrested as part of a U.S. probe into securities fraud to the tune of billions of dollars. While […]

Redone Belize City Airstrip will feel like Airport
The Belize City Municipal Airstrip has long acted as “little brother” to the Philip Goldson International Airport in Ladyville, serving as a key transport hub for tourists and Belizeans flying into and out of the Old Capital to other destinations. The Government broke ground […]

Round two of consultations planned for Blackadore Caye
American actor Leonardo DiCaprio is leading a plan to turn his privately-owned island, Blackadore Caye, into an eco-friendly luxury resort. DiCaprio’s plans call for a restorative island resort – increasing the biological health of the species on the island and in the waters surrounding it. […]

Is Norwegian Cruise Line exclusivity right and proper?
The Belize Island Holdings Facility Development Act was passed through both houses of the National Assembly several days ago. Among its more controversial provisions is the granting of a 25-year exclusive contract to Norwegian Cruise Line, parent of Belize Island Holdings, for the operation of […]

Bert Vasquez returns to court
Belize City resident Bert Vasquez has been accused of multiple crimes, including alleged child molestation in Cayo, multiple alleged abductions in the Belize District, and most sensationally, the murder of 13-year-old Jasmine Lowe back in June of 2012. The school girl had gone missing in her uniform […]

Two shot in Lake I
A pair of Belize City men are in the hospital recovering from injuries sustained when a gunman opened fire on them last night in the Lake Independence area of Belize City. The shooting occurred sometime before 7 pm when a lone gunman opened fire on a […]

Deportee from LA fined after failing to report to GSU
Persons accused of criminal charges out on bail and deportees from outside Belize, especially the United States, share one thing in common: they must report to local authorities on a regular basis. A recent deportee from Los Angeles, California, who is gainfully employed and turning his […]

Byron James tried for murder of Frank Vasquez
Byron James was tried this week for the murder of Frank Vasquez which occurred at around 10:30 p.m., on May 9, 2012 on Neal’s Pen Road, Belize City. The trial was held without jury before Supreme Court Judge, Troadio “John” Gonzalez. The deceased was shot multiple times […]

Belize Progressive Party calls on government to save the economy
The Belize Progressive Party (BPP) has called on the government to implement certain strategies to improve the economy by cutting public sector spending while taking some of the pressure off tax payers. According to the BPP, “the rich cannot get richer at the expense and […]

Reported accident in Orange Walk
Breaking reports reaching our newsroom suggest that shortly before 1:00 this afternoon, a student was knocked down by a Belize Telemedia Limited owned truck. Details of the incident are still limited but our reporters are on the scene and more information will be published […]

Belize City police find gun and ammo
After being called to an area near the Euphrates Avenue Basketball Court last night around 8:00, police saw a motorcycle on the ground with a gun magazine beside it and learned that a male person was seen running form the area with a firearm. […]

Two shot on Jasmine Street, none dead
Two 26-year-old Belize City men are listed in stable condition at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) after a shooting incident last night around 6:48, left them both with multiple gunshot wounds. Police responded to the KHMH shortly after 7:00, where they saw Benua […]

Gradual increase in moisture today
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting cloudy skies at times with a few showers mainly along the coast this morning, then over most areas this afternoon. Winds will be blowing from the East-Northeast at 5-15 knots and the sea state will be […]


Easter Winds Come Early Washing Over Seawalls & Bringing Back The Sargasso
Here’s my run down: Drier/sunnier/cooler season –> humidity picks up and Easter winds –> HOT HUMID SUMMER (rain at night for the most part) –> HOT HUMID FALL (rain more likely) –> Repeat. In just two days, the island went from sunny and calm to sunny still…but the winds! Gusts up to 25 mphs throughout the day combined with high tides really brought the water and the sea grass in. Sailing appeared great. Zipping right along. And down on the easement just south of me, the sargasso had all washed right back in… This morning, the winds have died significantly and Windfinder is predicting a “cold front” this weekend….with some rain, winds from the north and dipping temperatures.

International Sourcesizz

The Atlantic Ocean Is Acidifying at a Rapid Rate
Over the past 10 years, the Atlantic Ocean has soaked up 50 percent more carbon dioxide than it did the decade before, measurably speeding up the acidification of the ocean, according to a new study. The paper published Saturday in the journal Global Biogeochemical Cycles, “shows the large impact all of us are having on the environment,” Ryan Woosley, of the University of Miami, said in a statement. “Our use of fossil fuels isn’t only causing the climate to change, but also affects the oceans by decreasing the pH.” Burning oil, coal, and natural gas for energy and destruction of forests are the leading causes of the carbon dioxide emissions driving climate change. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen from 355 parts per million in 1989 to just over 400 ppm in 2015. Decreasing pH in seawater can harm the ability of shelled organisms, from microscopic coccolithophores to the oysters and clams that show up on our dinner plates, to build and maintain their bony exteriors. Researchers reported last year that acidification is also threatening to wipe out large populations of phytoplankton, tiny ocean plants that are at the base of food webs that support fish, dolphins, whales, and other marine life.

Paint Party Events. Paint N Splash
Reef Series week 4. Join us this week to paint a beautiful underwater scene. Everything you need is provided step by step direction, paint, brushes, smocks, canvas and a pre sketched canvas for those who want one. Price is $25u.s per person. Discount applies to our Members. February 4, 2016, 2:00 PM


  • An Agritourism Trip to Belize, 7min. The artfully sustainable Spanish Creek Rainforest Reserve cultivates noninvasive bamboo, and sources rainwater and food from its 2,000 acres to create a true haven in the rainforest. Tucked between a second-growth rainforest and a wildlife sanctuary in Belize lies the haven of Spanish Creek. Here, Mark Ellenby and Sol Tucker have created a 2,000-acre reserve—including a solar-powered farm cultivating one of the largest growths of noninvasive bamboo in all of Central America. Ellenby shares with GLP Films how he and his team practice pesticide- and herbicide-free farming to create a finca that is completely self-sustainable. Water comes from the rain and food is grown on the land, including the fruitful orchards of avocado, banana, plantain, passion fruit, and mango trees. Travelers, volunteers, and villagers from Rancho Dolores are encouraged to stop by the Spanish Creek Rainforest Reserve and learn about the property’s pioneering agroforestry, agritourism, and conservation efforts. Of course, there’s always time for leisure: guides offer crocodile safaris, trail walks, canoeing, horseback riding, or simply relaxing beneath one of the bamboo palapas. “We always have this belief,” said local Belizean and tour guide Raymond Reneau, “the forest is not ours: it’s for our children.”

  • Snorkeling in Belize, 2min.

  • Under the sea in Belize, Caye Caulker, 1.5min.

  • Wildtracks End Of The Year 2015, 3.5min. Wildtracks has put together a video highlighting all the wonderful accomplishments they've had over 2015. Worth a watch. 4 troops were successfully released this year Thanks, Wildtracks! "Wildtracks is reviewing the 2015 year - and is sharing the year's stories. Thank you to all Wildtracks supporters, whether volunteering their time or contributing funds to ensure that these endangered species can return to the wild. We couldn't achieve theses successes without you!"

  • Belize, 18min.

  • Sanctuary Belize, 3min.

  • Belize Technology Report epi 2, 60min. As seen on the "Greatest Places on Earth" TV series. Produced by Steve ODell. Technical direction by Cadet Henderson. Special thanks to the Belize Film Commission.

  • T Rex in Belize 2016, 5min.

  • Slickrock Belize, 3min.

  • Snorkeling dans la région de Caye Caulker, au Belize (8 mai 2015), 1.5min. Une vidéo de ma journée de snorkeling dans la région de Caye Caulker, au Belize, le 8 mai 2015.

  • Bike Ride in Rain Forest of Belize, 5min. Bicycle ride stop at the big Mahogany tree with the tour guide explanation.

  • San Pedro Belize rough landingto flight, 1min.

  • Chicken Sh*t Bingo aka Chicken Drop - San Pedro, Belize, 1min. When I heard this was going down tonight I had to attend! There are multiple rounds and strict rules but the gist of the game is hold a chicken, move it around in big circles, move it up and down, "fluff" or blow gently on their tuckas and then set them down on the game board and hope the chicken poops on your number (or like this chicken did and go across two numbers at once 9 & 100) the lucky winner(s) has to take tissue and wipe off their number and take it to the bar to claim their winnings! People chant, scare, call and feed the chicken to entice them closer to their number. First for everything and I even saw a big chicken take down a huge cockroach!

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