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#511740 - 02/19/16 11:55 AM Today's Belize News: February 19, 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

Two more wins for the San Pedro Tiger Sharks
After an unprecedented home loss in last week’s game, the San Pedro Tiger Sharks basketball team has come back strong, winning two games during the fifth week of the 2016 National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) Season. Four games were played this past weekend, with the Tiger Sharks playing two matches. Both of the Tiger Sharks games were away matches, but that did not affect their stride, as they managed to win both decisively. With these two new wins, the Tiger Sharks are in the second position of the tournament with four wins and only one loss. Upcoming games will see the Belmopan Bandits facing off the Cayo Western Ballaz at Sacred Heart College Auditorium and the Orange Walk Running Rebels taking on the Smart Belize Hurricanes at Bird’s Isle Basketball Court on Friday, February 19th, both games starting at 9PM. On Saturday, February 20th at 8PM, the Dangriga Warriors will take on the Independence Thunderbolts at the Independence High School Auditorium, while the Orange Walk Running Rebels will take on the Belmopan Bandits at the UB Gymnasium. The final game of the weekend will see the Belize City No Limit facing the San Pedro Tiger Sharks at the Angel Nuñez Auditorium at 9PM. Everyone is invited to come out and support their home team. All games can be followed live at nebl.sportingpulse.net, with real time box scores while the game is being played. The website also has all game scores, box scores, players and teams’ statistics, along with standings for the season.

Belize Hosts CARICOM Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government
From Tuesday, February 16th to Wednesday, February 17th, Belize hosted the 27th annual Intersessional Meeting of Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads. The event saw the participation of representatives from all 15 member states, with the Prime Minister of Belize, Honorable Dean Barrow heading the meeting as the acting Chairman of CARICOM. The two-day meeting aimed at discussing issues within the region and developing possible solutions, was held at the Placencia Peninsula in the Stann Creek District. Among key issues discussed were regional health, security and economic threats. Opening the forum on Tuesday was Barrow, who delivered the official welcoming remarks, setting the tone for the meeting. “There has been a failure of the world economy to recover properly from the shock of the financial crisis that began in the last part of the first decade of this new century. That failure, for the majority of us in CARICOM, has meant slow growth, increasing difficulties with our public finances, and tremendous strains on our capacity to satisfy the life-improvement aspirations of our people. And it is worth noting that even in the few countries that have shown substantial enough expansion, much of the net effect has been depreciated by population increases. On the bright side, though, there appears to be what we hope will be a sustained resurgence in our region’s all-important tourism industry. This would be a welcome offset to the continued volatility in our commodities sector,” said Barrow.

Career Week ends in a show of inspiration and creativity
Career Week 2016 at San Pedro High School (SPHS) ended on Friday, February 12th with all students partaking in a class room decorating contest and special assembly. The week commenced on Monday, February 8th, and offered the unique opportunity for students to be sensitized to the variety of occupational opportunities on the island. Organized by SPHS Counselor, Alexis Guerrero, the Friday closing of the event allowed students to demonstrate creativity and interest in a career of choice. Following Guerrero’s address, Pastor Clive Welsh introduced the guest speaker for the event. An actor, writer and producer from Los Angeles, California USA, Eddie Kaulukukui shared a few personal experiences on how to achieve success in one’s career, even after facing many obstacles. “You need to have your mind set to what you want to achieve and aim for it no matter what distractions or obstacles come your way. To achieve one’s dream, one must believe in them. And most importantly we need to trust God for he knows what he has intended for us,” said Kaulukukui. He was awarded a certificate of appreciation for taking the time to address the students of SHPS.

BTB spearheads Beach Reclamation in Caye Caulker
A total of 1,883 linear feet of the beach has been reclaimed in Caye Caulker though the “Action Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development of Caye Caulker”. A collaborative effort between the Belize Tourism Board (BTB), Caye Caulker Village Council (CCVC) and tourism stakeholder, the project saw approximately 22,000 cubic yard of material being pumped in the beach area between Sobre las Olas Restaurant to Len’s Guest House. The beach reclamation was funded under the National Sustainable Tourism Master Plan (NSTMP) of 2010 and begun in late 2015.

Plus TV’s broadcasting license to be renewed
After unexpected hurdles, Plus TV’s On Air license for 2016 will be renewed. The Belmopan media house faced issues when they tried to renew their license with the Belize Broadcasting Authority (BBA), who initially claiming that they had applied for the wrong broadcasting permit. In a letter addressed to Plus TV’s Director Louis Wade Jr, dated February 4th, the BBA returned their license payment and stated that the station was not broadcasting on its open air channel, thus, the license would not be renewed. Plus TV immediately responded by clarifying that they had provided open air service to residents in the Belmopan area since 2011 on the local channel 21.

Bob Marley honored in San Pedro
Irie Belize Promotions held their seventh annual Tribute to Bob Marley Concert on Saturday, February 13th and Sunday, February 14th at the Central Park. Held in honor of reggae icon Bob Marley’s 71st birthday, the concert was spearheaded by Marlon Usher, Errol Gibson and the San Pedro House of Culture. The event featured live music and entertainment, paintings, carvings and lots to eat and drink. Tribute to Bob Marley Web-1Throughout the day, residents and visitors were treated to a display of reggae inspired arts and craft set out at Central Park from 10AM. Performances started later in the night, featuring local artists such as Ras Geovanni, Ras Franz Vernon, Melody Man, Thunderbolt, Leo Marley and Sons, Selah Cofu Barrack, Balackheno, Special C, Faaya Links, Bobo, Melanin, Ras Indio, Queen Elizabeth Sulph and Jackie Castillo. In addition all reggae conscious singers and instrument players were welcome to participate in the concert.

Ambergris Today

We Dearly Love San Pedro, But…Traffic, Large Developments
Dear San Pedro Town Council: We dearly love your beautiful & welcoming Isla Bonita; so much that we have chosen it as our 2nd home. It is increasingly dismaying to see more vehicles & more large developments of 3 stories or even higher. The golf carts, sand streets & no-taller-than-the-palm trees buildings made San Pedro so unique & charming. It seems, along with this development, you have an increase of crime. We've met several of the policemen. They are intelligent & have the right attitude about preventing & punishing crime. We certainly hope you can get this under control. We have always felt safe on Ambergris & would love it to stay that way.

Boat Ride Blues No More In Belize
Hubert Cacho is the star of the San Pedro Belize Express experience. He definitely puts a little spunk into your boat ride and sends you on your way with a smile and sometimes even a giggle. Way to keep the positive vibes traveling Cacho! You are the kind of People On Our Map that makes Belize so inviting.

Stores Punished for Illegal Price Increase of Local Sugar and Rice
The Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) in the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Trade, Investment and Commerce hereby informs the general public that with the recent price changes in both white sugar and Grade “C” rice effected on December 2015, it has beefed up its market surveillance activities for Controlled Price Goods throughout the entire country. The BBS, responsible of enforcing the Supplies Control Regulations in Belize, is increasing surveillance to assure that products on the store shelves are available and priced properly to ensure that consumers are not unfairly treated by suppliers and distributers (especially during the transition period of price change for sugar and rice).

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

What things do people from Belize miss most when they go abroad?
Wendy Auxillou, Born in Belize, lived in 5 countries, came back home to Belize. I was born and raised on a tiny island in Belize called Caye Caulker. We live near the sea, which is turquoise and breathtaking all year round. The longest living reef in the Western Hemisphere runs just a mile offshore. The scenery is breathtaking all day, every day. For fun, we take a boat or kayak and head to the reef to swim with sharks... (Photographer unknown)

BELIZE BANKING DE-RISKING CRISIS
If Belize had: - Signed onto UNCAC - Participated with Transparency International - Had a functional Public Accounts Committee - Had a functional Integrity Commission. We would actually have sent a signal to the international community that we are serious about corruption, which exposes us to money laundering and possible funding of terrorism through our banking system, and may not have been in this quagmire called bank de-risking. Over the weekend Belize hosted the day and a half long Intersessional Meeting of CARICOM Regional Heads of Government. Our Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow, who is also the Chairs the CARICOM, made no mention of these initiatives as contributing factors in helping us, Belize, deal with the banking de-risking crisis we are facing.

LXI Ordinary Technical Committee Meeting of CIRSA
An opening ceremony was held at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza at 4:00 pm inaugurating the LXI Ordinary Technical Committee Meeting of CIRSA. Participating were delegates from 9 OIRSA’s member countries, comprising of Technical Directors in the areas of Animal and Plant Health, Quarantine, Food Safety and Risk Analysis. Also present were members of the Diplomatic Corporation; Representatives of Caribbean Agriculture Research & Development Institute (CARDI), Belize Fisheries Department and the Belize Poultry Association (BPA)s. The Technical Meeting will take place from the 17-19 of February 2016 where matters of utmost importance regarding Agricultural Health progress of OIRSA’s member countries will be discussed, as well as regional projects that have been implemented along with its results that are impacting the livelihoods of many farmers of the region.

Social Security Cayo Debates
Congratulations to John Paul II JC and Galen University for winning at the Social Security Board's 2016 debate yesterday, which were held at the SHC auditorium. Strong showings from all sides, and JP2 defeated UB while Galen won over SHJC. Best of luck at the nationals! JP2JC pictures. Galen pictures.

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge 2016
Watch the start of Adventure Challenge 2016 this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. from Cahal Pech!!!

Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University enjoyed a visit this morning to the Xunantunich Archeological Site in Belize!
Next stop - Belmopan for a few workshops with local choir groups!

2016 Youth Ambassadors
On Tuesday Ambassador Moreno hosted the 2016 Youth Ambassadors to lunch at his residence to congratulate them on their selection and exceptional display of leadership skills. The Youth Ambassadors will travel to the U.S. on a three week exchange program facilitated by Georgetown University in Washington DC. They will also travel to Alabama and Idaho as part of the exchange.

USA Consular Tip: People often ask what documents they need to bring to a visa interview.
The answer is: usually none. We generally don’t rely on documents in visa interviews. If we have a question that requires documentation, we will give you a chance to provide it. Some notable exceptions to this rule are visas that have required documents, like student visas, and petition-based visas for working in the United States.

Possession case in Toledo
Earlier today at the Julian cho Technical high school in Toledo a group of 6 girls were playing some kind of game and became possessed by demons. Teachers and students of the high school had to hold d girls down as they became possessed. One girl had to be rushed to the hospital. We have learnt that these girls have been behaving strangely in classes for couple days now but parents were never informed. Let's get the word out and share. Somebody out there might know what started it and can help them.

AMBERGRIS STADIUM: UPDATE FEB. 2016
On Wednesday, February 17, 2016, Hon. Elodio Aragon Jr., Minister of Culture, Youth & Sports, made a visit to San Pedro Town as part of his official tour. His tour included a visit to the construction site of the Ambergris Stadium in the San Pablo area, where he met with Mayor Daniel Guerrero, Deputy Mayor Gary Greif, Councilor Hector Alamilla and Councilor Gabriel Nuñez. Also present at the site was the general manager of BIL, Ms. Christy Mastry and Mr. Augusto Blanco from AM Construction who presented an overview of the ongoing project. Currently, the site has been completely cleared and bathroom facilities have been built. Land fill is being delivered and will be spread and compacted. The bleachers are also going up and is expected to accomodate approx. 800 people.

St. Francis Xavier Primary School Valentines Fair
Saturday, 27th February 2016 Commencing at 3:00 p.m. Come one and all to support a worthy cause as proceeds go towards tiling classroom floors and repairing walls and fence. See you there!

TANYA CARTER performance
TANYA CARTER performance exclusively at Charisma Night Club, Princess Hotel and Casino, Corozal Free Zone on February 27th, 2016. Feel the music. Cover charge $15.00.

Cayo Youth Rally
The Department of Youth Services is having a rally and parade tomorrow in Belmopan, starting at 8:30am. It'll be at Mae Gordon Park. In related news, there are quite a few promising candidates for the Cayo District Youth Council, and they'll be there tomorrow.

Valentine Classic 2016
The Valentine's Day Cycling Classic was this weekend. Congratulations to all the winners! The list is here. "2016 Digicell Valentine Tour - Road Race By Cycling Federation of Belize"

Paradise Theater: Playing this weekend
We are playing the same movies we had last weekend on this Friday for only $4 .. There will be no movies on Saturday or Sunday ... Saturday and Sunday will be reserved for the live Tango performance at 8pm on both nights .. Movies will resume as per normal next weekend .. Come out and enjoy this rare and exciting event !!

Channel 7

Football Fight!: FFB Pres Ruperto Suspended By Exec. Cmte
Ruperto Vicente was elected President of the FFB in March of 2012, and tonight, almost exactly 4 years later, he is on the verge of being kicked out. A meeting is underway at this hour where Vicente's executive committee has reportedly passed a no confidence vote against him. Now, the meeting was called for by Vice President Sergio Chuc, against Vicente's wishes, and he and the General Secretary Michael Blease reportedly did try to stop it. And the reason they wanted to block it is because Chuc called to meeting for the stated reason, quote "to suspend (Vicente) as member and president of FFB." Chuc had the support of the majority of the executive committee which is three members. Chuc's letter to Vicente says the suspension is, quote, "due to your ongoing documented history of engaging in and/or permitting improper activities in violation of FFB Statutes 2011." Now, the other reason for the meeting is what a majority of the executive believes is the, quote "improper manner in which District Association elections have been conducted in violation of numerous rules that govern the FFB and the FIFA Code of Ethics."

Fruta Bomba Starts Sending Workers Home En Masse
Last week the papaya export company Fruta Bomba announced that it would be closing down its Belize operation in San Joaquin village - and laying off 251 employees. The company gave a six month time frame for its wind-up, but reports from the north are that the mass layoffs have started today, and will continue tomorrow. Those reports say that as much as 80% of the staff could be laid off by next week. The company will then reportedly keep a skeleton staff as it winds up operations. It's a massive blow for the north in terms of employment, but Fruta Bomba sent out a press release last week saying that it had no choice because it was consistently losing money in Belize - despite making new investments in its operation. It attributed the downturn to Hurricane Dean way back in 2007. But we also know that the company had had problems with the Department of the Environment and with local farmers and a bee keeping co-op which claimed that pesticides had destroyed their bee populations.

DJ Bush Accused Of Brutal Assault
You probably know his voice on the radio, but 37 year-old James Bush, who is known to More FM listeners as "DJ Bush" is making the TV evening news tonight. That's after a man who reportedly used to be his friend, accused Bush of putting a viscous beatdown on him. The complainant is Marlon Chavez, who told police that he, Bush and others were socializing at a wake. They had a disagreement, and according to Chavez, Bush, who was reportedly under the influence, assaulted him. Chavez told police that Bush punched him several times in the face, and when the fight was finally stopped, Chavez was in a bloody mess. He's been hospitalized for the past 2 weeks with 8 fractures to his facial bones, and 4 of his teeth knocked out during the face. To recover from these injuries, Chavez will need facial reconstructive surgery, which includes 16 pins, four plates and 4 pieces of steel. He's being treated by the doctors at the KHMH, and is reportedly unable to make any discernible facial gestures such as smiling or laughing, and he can barely speak. Actions such as coughing or sneezing causes Chavez intense pain, and it often causes him to cough up blood.

Former Cop Turned Politician Implicated In Contraband Bust
Paul Wade is a former Assistant Commissioner of Police, who retired and went into politics, where he emerged as the constituency chairman for the PUP in Belmopan. But we don't know if it's his police or political connections that allowed him to get off easy yesterday afternoon in the Corozal District. 7News has confirmed reports that Wade was in a group intercepted by customs in Estero, which is a contraband hotspot on the Belize side of the Rio Hondo in the Corozal district. Smugglers had brought over 41 cases of Mexican tiles across the Rio Hondo. Wade went and pleaded his case to customs, which agreed to only charge him a few hundred dollars duty on the items. Usually, contraband goods would be confiscated, and the owner charged three times the value. But, Wade today told us that the contraband was not for him, it was simply for someone close to him and he only went to assist. He says quote, "it had nothing to do with me." Customs sources tell us that a Toyota Tacoma pickup was there and that he made a personal appeal for leniency.

BIRTH REGISTRATION: SECURING YOUR CHILDS FUTURE
When a baby is born the first thing a mother wants to do is make sure her child is clothed and fed, then the bonding begins. But parents may also want to consider registering their child immediately after birth. It might not seem like a pressing issue at that moment but it can have a significant impact on the child's future. Today a meeting was held at the Biltmore to emphasize the importance of birth registration and to evaluate the registration system in Belize. The Registrar General at the Registry Department Velda Flowers told us about the situation when it comes to how many people are actually registered in Belize. Velda Flowers, Registrar General - Registry Department: "This morning what is happening is the launching of this bottleneck analysis that was conducted by Miss Patricia Holness, a consultant from Jamaica. This effort came about as a result of the partnership we have with UNICEF and OAS in order to try and ascertain and address the issue of the 6% non-registration of persons born in Belize. Currently Belize has about 94-95% of all persons born in Belize registered and this effort was put in place to try and close that gap - that 6% gap that currently exist." Patricia Holness, Consultant: "It is very important that birth registration be taken seriously in any country and a mother as you just said, bonds with her child. But then that child has to be a citizen. That child has to live in the country and reap the rewards of being a citizen. So the government of that country needs to know that this is a citizen for whom I must care and also to ensure that all that goes with citizenship will go to that child."

CARICOM Summit: They Really Did Work
Since Monday, we've been providing you with extensive coverage of CARICOM Heads of Government meeting, which was held on the Placencia Peninsula. Prime Minister Dean Barrow Chaired this meeting, and right now, if they've not left as yet, his fellow Prime Ministers are making plans to leave Belize and return home. But, that's after a whirlwind of activity in this 27 Inter-Sessional Meeting, and Daniel Ortiz takes a look back from the time they landed until yesterday, to when the very busy meeting ended: These 15 Government Leaders, each a head of a CARICOM Government, took time out of their schedules to meet in Belize with their peers to discuss the collective interests of the Caribbean. From the moment they arrived at the Peninsula, they were strictly all about business, as if braced for an impending crisis. Prime Minister Dean Barrow - Interim Chair, CARICOM: "I may be forgiven for thinking, and hope to make clear, that our issues and challenges are particularly pronounced at this time."

Tourism Vender Vents On Village
A few weeks ago, local tour guides were complaining about the new regulations being implemented at the Caves Branch Reserve. The complaint was that the more stringent regulations and uneven enforcement were putting them at a disadvantage against their main competition: the big foreign owned tourism investors. Today our cameras were called out to the Fort Street Tourism Village where the complaints continue. One of the souvenir vendors we spoke to claims that he has been harassed by authorities all week. He said he has been operating as a souvenir vendor for the past ten years. He approaches tourists at the entrance with his handcrafted souvenir holder and convinces them to purchase his products. That is how he makes his living. But now authorities are not allowing him to operate on the streets which is where all the business is. He refused to speak to us on camera fearing victimization. Emanuel Pech: "What are they telling you? Why can't you go out there and interact with the tourists to sell your product?" Voice of: Tourism Vendor, Cruise Terminal 1: "Basically what they are saying is like the tourists has been getting hackle from everyone, not only from me as a vendor. They are talking about everyone. As you notice all these people that are standing in front of the gate - the people from the ships, they are complaining. This is not something personal. This is something across the board. So why only I am affected by this?"

Drainage: What About The Southside?
For the past two nights, we've been looking at the 21 million dollar municipal drainage project. It''s focused only on the northside - mostly on the areas of Belama Phases 3 and 4 which grew out of swamp and suffered for years with very serious flooding that just wouldn't run off. Tonight we look at the broader flooding picture:.. Jules Vasquez reporting: The genesis of the municipal drainage project was in 2008 - when any extreme weather event would produce major flooding in the new phase of Belama: Phillip Willoughby, City Councilor: "If you would recall at the time fresh into City Council, it was the year 2008 and I stand corrected. The Dean Barrow administration just recently elected to office had to deal with this first flooding event." Fast forward to 2015, and nearly 22 million dollars has been spent on drainage - much of it in Belama. But already, garbage is clogging this freshly cleaned canal.

Laid Off Workers Bombed By Bomba
As we told you at the top of the newscast, the Fruta Bomba mass layoffs began today in the Corozal District - and reports suggest that as much as 80% of the 251 staffers could be laid off by next week. From a distance, it's very unfortunate, but, up close, it's just plain devastating. Here's what some of the former employees had to say in Spanish today as they got their last pay checks:... Employee: "It's very little, it is just exact to pay what we owe. The one without debt is good, but the one that is in debt, he's the one that is suffering. That's how it's going to stay - I can't do anything." Reporter: "Where do you plan to work now?" Employee: "Well I don't know, find another company, where ever there is job. If one day there is work here again in the north. If not well everything is lost."

MAKING LIFE MORE MEANINGFUL FOR THE ELDERLY
Better care for the elderly: that was the focus of the meeting held at the Inspiration Center today. HelpAge invited their members from all branches across the country to evaluate the services they are providing and to find ways to enhance service to older persons. The council of Aging also plays an important role in this initiative and the Executive Director Ixchel Poot further explained the specific topics of concern. Ixchel Poot, Exec. Dir - Council of Aging: "Today HelpAge is having its launch of its two day workshop for its board members. It's a key event for them because HelpAge is the largest network we have in the country that serves older persons. What they've done, they've taken the initiative and brought together all the leaders from their branches and they are providing them with tools to better execute the work that each of the branches are doing." Courtney Weatherburne: "What are some of the specific areas or elements that you all are focusing on today?" Ixchel Poot, Exec. Dir - Council of Aging: "Some of the specific areas we are looking at today, we've talk about normal aging, we are looking at how to collaborate and how to get all the organizations together working as one and moving forward in one voice..."

THE ROLE OF PUBLIC HEALTH CARE IN SAVING THE ELDERLY
Now that is what is being done at the institutional level- but what about the role of the wider community, and that vaunted social safety net? According to Chairperson of Sister Cecilia Home Bernard Adolphus, the health care providers aren't doing their part in caring and treating the elderly. Adolphus recounts what happened to one of their members at a hospital. Bernard Adolphus, Chairperson, Sister Cecilia Home: "One of my biggest observation that I have seen recently, one of our elders had a fall. And this is very disturbing to me. Our doctor and I am hoping that the medical authorities are listening to what I am saying - our doctor send her to the hospital. This lady is about close to 80-85 years old in a home and after a considerably long period she was later attended to. She had fallen on her hand. When the supervisor check with them and tell them what was happening, she was told it's not an emergency case. Only to find out later that the lady hands were broken. To me it's embarrassing. To me it smells negative on our system - that's me. I can go on, but I don't want to say what I shouldn't because I am mad. But the way in the manner in which this elder person was dealt with, because it could have been me, it could been my mother (my mother is dead), it could have been somebody I know. Our authorities, it's a pity some of them were not in this session to learn the proper way in which they should look and care for our older persons. We keep forgetting that."

A Book For Griga Dang
A book compiling the historical land marks of Dangriga Town was launched on Monday under the auspices of the Institute of Social and Cultural Research - which is a part of NICH. The book is co-authored by the Dangriga Mayor, former History Teacher Francis Humphreys along with educator Ifasina Efunyemi. The ISCR has overseen the launch of three books so far: A Walk Through Old Belize, A walk Through Cayo and Santa Elena, and now a Walk Through Dangriga. The institute says that they are currently working on three other releases for Benque Viejo, Punta Gorda, and Orange Walk.

Costly Conch
A food vendor has to pay a dear price for undersized conch. Forty-four year old Sylvia Veliz, a naturalized Belizean who is a food vendor of Mahogany Street, was fined $ 2,600 today by Magistrate Deborah Rogers after she pled guilty to possession of 105 undersized conch. She was fined $500 dollar and then $20 dollars for each conch. Yesterday an officer from the Fisheries Department went to her house and discovered the conch in her freezer.

Cayo Cops Catch Weed
An Anti-Drug operation conducted yesterday morning in Benque Viejo led to the discovery of a little under 2 kilos of marijuana and the arrest of 5 persons. The operation was no minor matter. It included the Benque Viejo Quick Response team, the Benque Viejo Special Branch Unit, along with the San Ignacio Quick Response Team, along with the k-9 unit. At around 5 a.m., the raiding team went to the home of 41 year-old Fredrick Avila, which is at the corner of Church and Victoria Streets in Benque Viejo Town. He was at home along with his common-law wife, 34 year-old Synthia Naj, and a search led police to find 16 balls of foil paper which contained small amounts of weed. Further checks behind his yard, led to the discovery of more marijuana, to a total of 1.01 kilograms, more than two pounds.

GSU Got Gun
In Belize City, the Gang Suppression Unit arrested charged four persons earlier this week for kept firearm and ammunition without a gun license. They are 29 year old Anthon Robinson, 29 year old Deshane Mena, 38 year old Richard Flores and 21 year old Leith Bermudez. On Monday at 8:25 pm, GSU searched a gold Toyota Camry driven by Anthony Robinson at the corner of Flamboyant and Mahogany Streets. They found a loaded .38 revolver underneath the front passenger seat. As a result all four men were arrested and charged for kept unlicensed firearm and ammunition. The GSU says that all four are known to be members of the PIV Gang. Also the GSU came up on a small stash of cocaine. They found 12.9 grammes of crack on Saturday the 13th on Tigris Street in an abandoned building. The GSU says the drugs belong to a known peddler of the George Street Gang.

Channel 5

Are B.T.L. Employees Dissatisfied with Executive Chairman Anwar Barrow?
There is trouble brewing at the government owned Belize Telemedia Limited.  This afternoon during their lunch break, dozens of staffers, members of the Belize Communication Workers Union, assembled outside of [...]

CARICOM Development Fund: What Does It Means for Belize?
The Twenty-Seventh Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of CARICOM concluded in Placencia on Wednesday.  Much of the discussions during the three-day event centered around major regional [...]

CDF’s Rodinald Soomer on Working Visit to Belize
According to the economist, CDF’s directives come from sessions such as those recently held in Belize where keen attention is paid to the needs of lesser developed countries.   Isani [...]

Still No Arrest in Murder of Waitress in San Pedro
Police continue to search for a person of interest in the murder of Honduran national Johana Samantha Mendez Barrios. The waitress of Compadres Bar in San Pedro was cut to [...]

The Birth Registration Conundrum Explained
An independent study shows that about six percent of newborns are not formally registered and that presents difficulties for the individuals later on in life, especially in accessing health care [...]

Improvements in Efficiency at the Vital Statistics Unit
If you’ve visited the Vital Statistics Unit recently to request a birth certificate, a marriage license or even a death certificate then you would be quite familiar with the apparent [...]

Fruta Bomba Layoffs Continue As Factory Winds Up Papaya Operation
As we reported last week, Fruta Bomba Limited and Belize Food Packers are packing up and leaving Belize for other destinations. The exporters of Caribbean red papaya say labour costs [...]

F.F.B. President Facing a Coup D’etat
Earlier we told you about the rumblings at B.T.L., but that is not the only place where there is discontent. At news time, we are told that the executive of [...]

30 Storeowners Caught Gouging Prices of Rice and Flour
Recent adjustments to the price per pound of Grade C rice and white sugar have prompted the Belize Bureau of Standards to strengthen market surveillance activities for Controlled Price Goods.  [...]

Will Elderly Honduran Woman Serve Time for Human Trafficking?
A mitigation plea was heard today for a sixty-four year old Honduran grandmother living in Belize for over twenty years.  On February tenth, 2016, the grandmother was found guilty of human [...]

Fight Among Friends Ends in Arraignment of DJ Busch
The popular disc jockey, Disc Jockey James Busch of More FM, is in trouble with the law tonight.  After two weeks of hospitalization, thirty-four year old Marlon Geovanni Chavez has [...]

A Workshop on How to Help Seenagers Live Longer
Women are living longer than men in Belize and life expectancy stands at seventy-five years. But elderly persons continue to be vulnerable. In fact, as it relates to pension, as [...]

Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua & Barbuda on De-risking
We have been reporting extensively on the loss of correspondent banks which was top on the agenda of the Twenty-Seventh Intersessional Meeting which concluded in Placencia on Wednesday. The ‘de-risking’ [...]

Strategies Outlined to Address Issue of Correspondent Banking
PM Gaston Browne’s mission is to knock at all doors including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the United States Congress. At the CARICOM inter-sessional, the Heads of government [...]

A Popular Light Technician Needs Your Help to Fight Rare Brain Disease
Thirty-nine-year-old Dorian August; he’s the light technician at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts and has been working with the Institute for the past twenty-two years. But tonight, he [...]

Dorian August to Undergo Surgery in Merida
August needs urgent surgery which he plans to undergo in Merida. A first round of tests will be carried out next week and he is asking for your assistance.   [...]

Orange Walk Resident Wins GST Monthly Raffle
A third winner was chosen this past Monday for the General Sales Tax Raffle. The raffle started last year with its first drawing on December fifteenth; there was another on [...]

Healthy Living Has Update on Zika in Caribbean
As of February of 2016, twenty-two countries in the Americas, including eleven which are Caribbean countries and four which are CARICOM members have confirmed cases of Zika. Barbados, Guyana, Haiti [...]


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#511741 - 02/19/16 11:56 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 19, 2016 [Re: Marty]
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More employees Laid Off From Fruta Bomba
The announcement made last week that Belize’s biggest papaya producer will be closing down in 6 months came as a shock to the residents of the north but most affected by the closing of Fruta Bomba and the Fruit Packers were the over 200 employees that will be left jobless.But even though the company will stop production until August of this year workers are already being sent home as operations slowly comes to a stop. Today workers from the Research Harvesters and office staff were informed that they no longer had a job with the company and while they were not surprised what took them aback is the amount in gratuity pay they received as more was expected. Workers: “Diez y siete años voy a cumplir el otro mes, y solo me dieron un poquito de dinero.” Reporter: “Has investigado en el departamento de labor si eso es lo que debe de cumplir tu estancia aquí en la compañía?” Workers: “No, no sé si ya lo chequearon, tengo cuatro hijos; tres van en la escuela y uno salió del colegio.”

Trouble Brewing In Football Federation
The Orange Walk Football Association will be carrying out their district elections on March 13th in order to elect a new chairman along with a new slate to take over the responsibility of organizing football activities throughout the town. However, there seems to be trouble brewing, as the list of all official delegates have not yet been issued to the members of the various slates wanting to run for the election. Ladrick Sheppard: “We don’t know who are the delegates that are supposed to be elected or who supposed to elect us at this moment, that supposed to be handed in quite a while now and we haven’t gotten that and that is the reason why are confused because we don’t know who to talk so we can get elected, I have a slate and in my slate I am running for Chairman, Fernando Sanchez for Vice-Chairman, Ben Ramos as one of the members, Fabro Carballo as a member and Alex Palacio and I know that there are ten teams that were elected out of the congress that are supposed to be the delegates, at this moment this is all what I know off, Carmelita, Crystal, Yo Creek and San Estevan which are the original congress, then Mr. Avila who is the Chairman added six more teams which are Progresso FC, also he added San Lazaro Revolution FC, White Eagle FC, San Lazaro Young Stars FC and San Estevan Young Stars FC but I don’t know who is the legal Rep. that are supposed to vote us in because for us to enter the election these people have to go to Mr. Avila and receive the nomination form then elect us and that is the reason why we are still lost.”

CARICOM Countries Implement Plan To Fight Zika Virus
The Zika virus which is a mosquito borne virus has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization because of its association with microcephaly which is when babies are born with abnormally small heads. Currently there are a total of five CARICOM member states that have been affected by the virus and although Belize has not had any confirmed cases, Prime Minister Dean Barrow along with other CARICOM heads of government took up a significant portion of the 27th inter-sessional meeting held in Placencia to address the issue. Chairman of CARICOM, Hon. Dean Barrow, announced a series of actions that CARICOM Member States will take to confront the Zika virus that is currently affecting the Region.

CARICOM Countries Discuss Security Issues
Along with the Correspondent Banking issue and the Zika virus that is currently affecting our region, the CARICOM heads of government also took the time to discuss other important matters like Security in our region and the Paris agreement on Climate Change and their plan of action to address these issues in a regional approach. Hon. Dean Barrow- Chairman CARICOM: "On security, we had discussions on the issue of climate security and agree to increase our cooperation and collaboration in this area. Just earlier today Prime Minister Rowley who has lead responsibility for security in our quasi cabinet was the first to sign a protocol amending our treaty; the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas to formally establish the Council of National Security and Law Enforcement as an organ of the community impacts is also now established as an institution of the community and the Sec Gen can explain to you the distinction between those two organism as it were.”

Chinese Community Celebrates Year Of The Monkey
Earlier this morning the Orange Walk Chinese Association organized a parade where majority of the Chinese stores were visited by members of the association in order to perform a traditional dance involving a dragon which is believed to bring prosperity to the establishments. While the president of the Chinese Association, Tony Lee, explained to us the significance of the dance, he also stated that as they celebrate this New Year, it is represented by a monkey which they believe is essential for child birth and knowledge. Tony Lee – President, Orange Walk Chinese Association: “It’s a very cultural thing, the lettuce represents a lot of food and why we spread it on the ground I because we want a lot of food to be nourished this year and the following coming year too. The monkey is a year where we really have prosperity but overall the main year of the monkey is for newlyweds and boyfriend and girlfriend who plan to have children and more children and the monkey represent cleverness and so every kid for this we all want them to be very smart and clever.”

Sheep Farmers Take First Step To Form Cooperative
Over the past months the Food and Drug organization along with the European Union have been delivering significant assistance to farmers of northern Belize, in view of the country’s commitment to achieving food security and rural development. These organizations are responsible for the Launching of the Value Chain approach in midst October last year, whereby all producers, input suppliers, processors and consumers are involved from producing, selling and eating, in layman terms “from the farm to the fork”. The Value Chain approach looks carefully at everyone involved in order to pinpoint challenges that can lead to reduction of efficiency or profits in the areas of Onion, Honey and Sheep production. Earlier this month onion farmers from Corozal met with farmers from San Carlos and yesterday the first meeting among 19 sheep farmers took place at the agriculture department in Corozal.

LOVE FM

CARICOM 27th heads of Government meeting comes to an end
The 27th Intercessional Meetings for the Caribbean Community concluded on Wednesday in Placencia with a plan of action drafted on several issues, the main topic was correspondent banking. In the closing press conference, Prime Minister Dean Barrow spoke on what was decided. On correspondent banking we agreed to the appointment of a high level advocacy […]

CARICOM heads of government meeting comes to an end
The health issue surrounding the ZIKA virus was one of the key issues tabled at this CARICOM plenary meetings and Caucus. Prime Minister Dean Barrow told the media today that an action plan has been endorsed by the member states that include the continuation of public education with a focus on all areas. Prime Minister […]

Ambassador Irwin LaRocque reappointed as CARICOM Secretary General
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque is serving as the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community since 2001 with his term coming to an end in August 2016. According to Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is currently the Chair for CARICOM, the next meeting for CARICOM would be in July and thus the issue of the Secretary General’s […]

Border disputes discussed at CARICOM meeting
The issue of national security in Belize has come at the forefront of several of our newscasts as it relates to the role of the country’s security forces and the incursions done by the Guatemalans. The Belize/Guatemala issue came up during the CARICOM meetings conducted over the last two days under the area of border […]

Maya leaders express concern as case against Santa Cruz villagers adjourned yet again
Paul Mahung reporting… “The announcement of the adjournment to those in court was made by Toledo District Magistrate Emerson Banner. Following the announcement as the Santa Cruz 13 and their team of attorneys exited the magistrate court, Love News caught up with spokesperson of the Maya Leaders Alliance Pablo Mis. Pablo Mis – Spokesperson Maya […]

Belize City Mayor says needed works at Cinderella Plaza not the Council’s responsibility
Last night we shared with you the state of Cinderella Plaza in Belize City. It is a highly trafficked route and for drivers it is unbearable. The plaza was dug up as part of the Flood Mitigation Infrastructure Project and yesterday officials told us that it is now the responsibility of the City Council to […]

Belize City Mayor speaks on case brought against Belize Recycling Company
Belize Waste Control’s court case against the Belize City Council and Belize Recycling Company was to continue in court last week but the matter was adjourned. The case was filed last year and the matter has yet to be heard before a justice of the Supreme Court. Today Mayor Darrell Bradley told Love News that […]

Mayor Bradley says works to continue on East and West Canal
And if you think Cinderella Plaza is in a terrible condition, you should take a drive on East and West Canal in Belize City. It is also a heavy trafficked area that residents desperately want to see upgraded. Mayor Darrell Bradley says he is working on it. Mayor Darrell Bradley “Streets are expensive so you […]

Ministry of Health continues Zika virus awareness campaign
Belize remains free of the Zika Virus. Out of the three cases that Belize has sent for testing, one has been returned and the results show that it is negative for the virus. That case was from the Belize District and now health officials are still waiting on the results for the other two which […]

City Council holds public meeting downtown Belize City
The Belize City Council held a public meeting last night at Battle Field Park where residents in the area had an opportunity to voice their concerns. About thirty five residents attended and Mayor Darrell Bradley told us what was discussed. Mayor Darrell Bradley “I raised issues in my presentation about Zika and what the community […]

Trial of BDF officer charged with rape comes to an abrupt end
The trial of 25 year old BDF second Lieutenant Rashesi Elijio, charged with rape of a female BDF second Lieutenant, was aborted today by the trial judge, Justice John Gonzalez when he was informed by the fore lady of the jury that one of the jurors had already made up his mind that Elijio was […]

PlusTV

Health Ministry publicizes Zika sensitization plan to Belize City Council
Today the Ministry of Health’s Central Health Region hosted a sensitization meeting for staff members of the Belize City Council at City Hall on North Front Street. It is part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the Zika virus and its potential threat to Belize, despite not having any cas...

Anti drug operation success
Five people were arrested as a result of an Anti drug operation headed by the Benque Viejo Quick Response team. On Wednesday the 17th of February, the Benque Viejo Quick Response Team along with the Benque Viejo Special Branch Unit personnel lead an Anti-Drug operation in the Town of Benque Viejo w...

BDF soldier’s trial for rape halted
Lieutenant of the Belize Defence Force, Ruhesi Elijio, began trial in the Supreme Court this week, but today it was halted by Justice Troadio Gonzalez after some disturbing news came to light. Elijio is charged with the rape of a female colleague in the Force on the Price Barracks compound almost 5 ...

Carjacker found guilty by court
Philip Bowen, a clothes vendor, was found guilty of robbery and aggravated assault by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith and is serving a 7-year prison sentence. He jacked a taximan at gun point of his vehicle, forcing the operator to jump out of it to save his life. He then went on a joy ride until ...

CARICOM decides on way forward to tackle derisking
The twenty-Seventh Inter-sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government closed off today after two and a half days Placencia. . As has been reported, one of the major issues of discussion at this year’s conference was that of de-risking by US Banks; an issue affecting the wider Caribbea...

Hearing from children about their municipalities
The Child Friendly Municipal Development plan is aimed at making towns and cities more child friendly. Presently, various municipalities are conducting meeting sessions with advisory boards made up of young people to get their feedback and views on their municipalities. On Tuesday February 16, f...

Police and Security firms strategize
There was a meeting between police officers and heads of the different security firms in Belmopan this evening at the Belmopan police station. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the various ways the different firms can work together along with police to improve security. Superintendent Howell...

School and Sport Council receive donations
There were some donations made in Cayo on Tuesday. The first one was a donation by Minister Orlando Habet to the St. Francis Xavier school in Esperanza Village. The Minister donated some crystal water bottles along with dispensers to the school. The principal says that the Minster also says he wil...

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Court delays sentencing of woman convicted of Human Trafficking
Sentencing for 64 year old naturalized Belizean Estela Gonzalez, found guilty last week of human trafficking has been delayed until Tuesday, February 23. Today the court heard a plea for mitigation from Gonzalez who said that she was sorry for what she did but she did […]

Belize Rural North villages get road upgrade
Edmond Castro, the area representative for Belize Rural North and Minister of National Emergency Management, with funds secured from the Government of Belize, is currently undertaking a project to mitigate flooding in the Maskall-Bomba area, which is expected to be completed by next the […]

DJ Busch charged with friends beating
Thirty-seven year old James Busch, aka “DJ Bush”, who allegedly administered a severe beating to Marlon Chavez, was charged with dangerous harm when he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Bush was released on a bail of $6,000 and his case was adjourned until April 22. […]

Punta Gorda Police meet and greet
Punta Gorda police are the latest to implement the community-inclusive “Meet and Greet” initiative as a means of bringing the police and the public together. Today, officers in town were seen in pairs, introducing themselves and making conversation in an attempt to familiarize the public […]

US high-school student to raise funds for FCD
A 17-year-old high school student from Pennsylvania, USA is organizing a fundraising marathon in her hometown of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to raise funds for the Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD). FCD is a non profit, non-governmental organization based in the Cayo District with an […]

Regional Agricultural meeting being held at Biltmore Plaza
On Tuesday afternoon at the Best Western Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, an inauguration was held for the LXI Ordinary Technical Committee Meeting of CIRSA, which began yesterday and will conclude tomorrow. Delegates from nine of OIRSA’s member countries, representatives of the Diplomatic Corporation, […]

Analyst presents findings on bottlenecks in birth registration
Imagine being born without an identity. Can you live without the modern conveniences of school, immunization, or even family? You’re not really you, because there is no you. After the miracle of birth, a mother’s first task following breastfeeding and presenting her new child to […]

Blogs

Fried Honey Bananas
Lightly drizzle oil in a skillet over medium heat. Arrange banana slices in pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Meanwhile, whisk together honey and 1 tablespoon of water. Remove pan from heat and pour honey mixture over banana. Allow to cool and sprinkle with cinnamon.

This is Belize: A murder in Paradise
The rape and murder on January 14 of Chicago online news producer Anne Swaney, 39, in western Belize, close to the Guatemala border, has triggered a huge wave of concern, outrage and interest around the world, as well as here in Belize. Swaney worked for ABC7 in Chicago and was a talented young woman with a most-promising life and career ahead of her. She was vacationing at Nabitunich Resort, an eco-resort just outside of Benque Viejo Town. The resort is not far from the very porous Guatemala border, on the Mopan River. Police know she had some sort of friendship with a staff member at the resort, formed during a previous visit. They have questioned the employee who last saw her alive. They know she gave up a spot on a trail ride because of a shortage of horses and instead walked down to a dock to practice yoga.

Belize is safe for travel; no cases of Zika yet
The spread of the Zika virus in the Americas, including countries in the Caribbean, and the possible link to birth defects such as microcephaly (babies with small heads) have left many people – especially pregnant women – wondering whether they should cancel their holidays to the region. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and individual countries have advised their pregnant citizens not to travel, and some airlines and cruise lines are offering refunds and/free penalty-free changes. But the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) say there is no reason to panic or to put travel plans on hold. There have been no confirmed cases of Zika in Belize, despite reported cases in surrounding Central American and Caribbean territories. As concerns grow among tourists, travel advisories have been issued about visiting a number of destinations but Belize is not included in the list of affected countries.

Living In Stress-Free Belize On 66% Less Than In The U.S.
If you drop by Dan and Mary Elizabeth Crofts home in Corozal, Belize, you might find Dan indulging in one of his favorite new pastimes…feeding the local iguanas. Mary Elizabeth explains, “We have a family of three that we have named: Greta, Gary, and their son, Genghis. They love bananas and we have a video of Dan feeding them.” And Mary Elizabeth would likely be whipping up a delicious baked treat. “I often make goodies for the workers doing projects at our house. This makes me very popular during their break time.” Since retiring to Consejo Shores in the Corozal District, the Crofts have embraced a laidback lifestyle, surrounded by nature, and devoid of stress. It’s a far cry from the lives they led in Pennsylvania, where Dan taught school for 38 years, and Mary Elizabeth spent her career in banking. The Crofts readily admit that each day they count their blessings. “We love getting up and having breakfast in our sunroom, looking at the beautiful nature surrounding us…especially the birds and flowers. The sunrises are awesome and the beautiful starry nights amazing. And we love that there’s no snow in Belize…and no more sidewalks to shovel.”

Pineapple Carpaccio
1. Nothing is more simple. Just cut the pineapple into thin slices and spread them on a large platter. 2. For flavored sugar, mix together sugar, the zest of one lime, 2 sprigs of mint leaves and 2 sprigs of basil. Sprinkle flavored sugar on the pineapple, cover with film and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 3. The final touch: Just before serving, spread a dash of an excellent olive oil. You can choose mint-flavored olive oil for example, but there are plenty of other choices, too!

Mango Carpaccio with Ice Cream
1. Peel the mangoes. 2. Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, slices the “cheeks” of the mango very thinly 3. Arrange the mango slices on a plate 4. Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the center — you can also use a fruit sorbet. 5. Garnish with fresh mint leaves. Add some cherries for color.

International Sourcesizz

Venezuela raises petrol price for first time in 20 years
Venezuela is raising petrol prices for the first time in 20 years, although the president claims it will still be the cheapest in the world. President Nicolas Maduro said pump prices of premium fuel would rise from the equivalent of $0.01 a litre to about $0.60 (£0.40). The cost of lower grade petrol would rise to about $0.10 a litre. He unveiled a series measures to help ease Venezuela's economic crisis, including devaluing the currency. The rise in the heavily-subsidised fuel price will save $800m a year. "Venezuela has the cheapest gasoline in the world," Mr Maduro said in a televised address. "The cost is almost nothing." However, other countries, including Saudi Arabia also have extremely cheap, subsidised petrol prices. He said the price rise was "a necessary measure, a necessary action to balance things, I take responsibility for it."

President Barack Obama to make historic Cuba visit in March
US President Barack Obama has confirmed he will visit Cuba in March as part of a broader trip to Latin America. He will be only the second sitting US president in history to travel to the island's capital of Havana. US Republicans have criticised the visit, saying it should not take place while the Castro family is in power. Washington and Havana restored diplomatic ties last July and the US relaxed travel and trade restrictions after a 54-year freeze. The US president confirmed his Cuba trip in a post on Twitter, saying: "Next month, I'll travel to Cuba to advance our progress and efforts that can improve the lives of the Cuban people."

Chinese New Year in Belize
2016 is the year of the monkey: the year of the fire monkey to be exact. Fire monkeys are ambitious, adventurous, but irritable. I love monkeys but I am not looking forward to a year of ambitious, irritable people. I’ve had enough of that already with the political candidates and it’s only February. Living on Cape Cod I never thought much about Chinese New Year or it’s celebrations. It wasn’t until my trips to Belize that I experienced it first hand. Chinese New Year is a big holiday in Belize. Belize surprisingly has a lot of Chinese in their small population. It is a place where persecuted persons of all origins have landed and settled down. There is also a significant Amish population. Every group has their own specialty. The Amish farm and grow vegetables. They are the primary providers of fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy. The Chinese very often are shopkeepers. In the Northern section of Belize all the grocery markets are owned by the Chinese. There of course are Chinese restaurants. On our first visit, the Chinese New Year was fast approaching so we decided to try out a “Belizean “ Chinese restaurant.

Greetings from Belize!
On Monday, Gayla and I flew from Phoenix to Belize, via Houston. This is my first time visiting Belize, and in many respects it reminds me a lot of Brazil. For years we have been providing free guided bird walks each week at both our Prescott and our Sedona stores. This trip, however, is the first Jay's Bird Barn birding field trip to an international destination. We flew in a day before the group was to meet up, which provided me with the opportunity to go birding on my own, both Monday evening and Tuesday morning. The birding has been fantastic! It is hard to describe the joy I feel as I spend time in nature, observing new birds. The birds that thrill me the most are the birds that I am seeing in the wild for the first time in my life. It is one thing to see pictures of birds in a bird book. It is quite a different thing to see them in the wild. I have taken this Belize trip seriously. I have spent the last two months studying and memorizing all of the birds that are in The Birds of Belize book, which has over 570 birds! I have been pouring over the color plates in the bird book, repeating over and over again the names of the birds. I wanted to firmly plant in my mind each species name and its key identifying features. My preparation has really paid off. It is one thing to bird with a guide when you are in a place you have never been before. However, when you are alone, if you don't know your birds, it can be really challenging to identify each species you see. I felt that the time I spent birding by myself was super productive. I really knew the names of each of the species I saw, and was able to identify them without the aid of a guide.

Belize Shrimp Growers’ Conquer Premium Markets UK
A strong will to increase its export market base and achieve the coveted international Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification led to the formation of the Belize Shrimp cluster and it is now reaping the benefits of accomplishing both goals. Challenged by an unforeseen viral disease which severely impacted the Belize shrimp industry, the cluster still managed to successfully supply UK based multinational retailer Marks and Spencer as well as the second largest supermarket chain in the UK, Sainbury’s, with 1.1 million pounds of shrimp in 2015. Under the Sainsbury agreement, the shrimp is repackaged under its premium brand and sold exclusively by the chain as it has agreed not to source shrimp from any other supplier under its brand. This has resulted in a higher than projected price premium for exports to these markets. As a direct result of Compete Caribbean’s intervention, Belize Aquaculture Ltd. – the lead firm responsible for the UK arrangements – was able to guarantee quality, consistency and volume by engaging in purchase agreements for the type and quality of shrimp needed from the other ASC certified farms in the cluster. As a result, even the smallest firms in the cluster plug directly into the export value chain for Belize shrimp.

World Bank: Zika will cost Latin America $3.5 billion in 2016
Economic losses associated with the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreading across Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to total roughly $3.5 billion this year, according to initial estimates from the World Bank released Thursday. The organization announced it would provide $150 million to support vector surveillance and control, and identification of vulnerable populations — especially pregnant women and women of reproductive age. It also said it would use the money to promote access to family planning, and to provide prenatal care for Zika-infected pregnant women and postnatal care for babies in the event of neurological complications. Some health experts suspect a strong link between Zika and an apparent surge of babies born in Brazil with microcephaly, a condition marked by an undersized head and brain damage. The World Bank said Zika-related losses would likely be “modest” but could hit tourism-dependent countries in the region hard. Foregone income in such countries, including Belize, Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas, could range from 0.8 percent to 1.6 percent of their GDP, the World Bank said.

Crocodiles Suffocated On Way To Wildlife Facility In Mexico
More than 120 crocodiles belonging to wildlife company Cocodrilos Exoticos were found dead after crushing and suffocating one another during the company's 1,580 mile-long trip across Mexico. Cocodrilos Exoticos, a crocodile farm and conservation facility based in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo, could face a fine of up to $193,000 for failing to provide "dignified treatment" for the animals under wildlife protection laws, authorities said. Morelet's crocodiles (Crocodylus moreletiiare) are native to the eastern coastal plain of Mexico, across most of the Yucatan peninsula, and throughout Belize and northern Guatemala. They live primarily in freshwater areas such as swamps and marshes. Characterized by a broad snout and dark grayish-brow color, they are relatively small compared to other species. Full grown, they can reach 9.8 feet long. The 124 reptiles were among 350 of this type of crocodile from another farm, Cocodrilos Mexicanos, located in the northwestern Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. They were en route to their new home at the "Cocodrilia" wildlife conservation facility in the Caribbean coast town of Chetumal, which is owned and operated by Cocodrilos Exóticos.

Videos

  • Press Conference held on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at the 27th Inter-Sessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), 33min. With CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow and CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque. ‪

  • Body And Soul - Common Health Problems in Belize, 3min. This video is about Body and Soul Medical Mission in Belize and the health problems that they commonly treat.

  • Guatemala - Belize, 5.5min.

  • Hamanasi Hopkins Belize Half Moon Caye Wall 2 Feb 2016, 84 foot max depth, 36 min, 34min. Half Moon Caye Wall off Lighthouse Reef and Half Moon Caye Belize 2 Feb 2016. Hopkins Divers from Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort took us out

  • THE Legend Garifuna, 3min. Trip down memory lane, Vintage, but still breathtaking to watch. I miss him. He was one of us for a while.

  • Belize Snorkeling, 3min.

  • Belize in 10 days, 2min. A lot can happen in a 2 week adventure traveling around Belize. Some of which I can highly recomend like an ATV execution through the jungle with Chaa Creek Resort or an adventure snorkeling on Caye Caulker. What a great time exploring the outdoors of this great nation and being immersed in the rich, diverse culture.

  • BELIZE-2016-RamPsalm, 7min. 11 days in Belize, playing ,praying and ministering to the people of Belize

  • Diving Caye Caulker Belize, 8min. Diving with the lads in Caye Caulker, Belize. No Blue Hole dive due to weather but still pretty sweet.

  • Belize Audubon Society Bird Guide Training, 10min.

  • Belize Hurricanes-Run this Town, 4.5min.

  • NEC takes Belize 2016, 18min. Study abroad trip my senior year.

  • Flight from Belize City to San Pedro, 5min.

  • Our Romantic Engagement- High temple, Lamanai, Belize....#Coldplay, 2.5min. The Moment I asked my wife to be mine...

  • Belize Barrier Reef Snorkeling 2016, 2min. Snorkeling in Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley in the Belize Barrier Reef. Swam with Sea Turtles, Nurse Sharks, Sting Rays and every color fish imaginable.

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