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#511879 - 02/24/16 11:59 AM Today's Belize News: February 24, 2016
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FOR TODAY'S BELIZE WEATHER, CLICK HERE

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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

Murder in San Pedro
San Pedro Police have confirmed the second murder of 2016. A male identified as Frank Edwards was killed during a shooting incident in the San Mateo Area on Tuesday, February 23rd shortly before 9PM. Police are currently in the process of inspecting the scene as their investigation continues. Anyone with information on the matter is asked to immediately contact the San Pedro Police Station at 206-2022.

The Unbelizeable MesoAmerican Reef
How is it that our tiny country of Belize is blessed with so many treasures? You may think we are exaggerating when we boast that we have it all, proudly claiming that not only do we have stunning Maya archaeological sites, glorious jungles, misty mountains, gorgeous flora and fauna and the friendliest people you’d ever want to meet, but we are also home to the second-to-none MesoAmerican Barrier Reef system! Well, that might be a tiny exaggeration…we are second-to-one, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, but hey, that’s in another hemisphere! If you are lucky enough to fly along the coast of Belize, either to Ambergris Caye or south all the way to Punta Gorda, you will follow the coral chain of the MesoAmerican Barrier Reef System. The system stretches an impressive 700 miles from the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, along Belize, Guatemala and down through the Honduran Bay Islands. However, Belize has the distinct honor of being home to 80% of this system, and along with three offshore atolls, several hundred cayes, mangrove forests, coastal lagoons and estuaries it is collectively termed the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System. In 1996 the Belize Barrier System was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, something we are very proud of, and there are now seven protected areas within the reef.

Ambergris Today

Belizeans Push for Ban on Gill Net Fishing After Large Shark Killing
Images of a large shark killing went viral on Belize’s social media scene all day yesterday, Monday, February 22, 2016. Mar Alliance, a non-government organization that monitors threatened marine wildlife, posted several disturbing images of a large kill of sharks in and near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye at Lighthouse Reef Atoll. The group’s cry for the protection of these endangered and critically important marine creatures did not fall of deaf years as the support from Belizeans was evident in all comments condemning the brutal act. “The Jewels of Belize's marine heritage and tourism have been hit hard by several unlicensed fishers using the unsustainable fishing gears nets and long lines,” stated a release by Mar Alliance. “These pictures represent a portion of a single day's fishing with nets and long lines and include at least 32 sharks representing 3 species including the endangered great hammerhead and pregnant Caribbean reef sharks (and sources counted at least 50 sharks landed in the short space of time they were at the sites). The sharks were landed at Sandbore Caye and Hat Caye at Lighthouse.”

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Tragedy to triumph
At 13 years old, while in Std 2, his mother committed suicide. That same year his father was sentenced to Hattieville jail for 19 years, and Rudy realized he was on his own. He moved to a farm on Guinnea Grass Road and lived in a room used for corn storage. He cooked his own breakfast and lunch on a fugon. To save on bus fare, he rode his bike from the farm on Guinnea Grass road to Orange Walk every day. No electricity, no running water, yet he stayed in school and graduated. I met Rudy through Jake Simon, a good friend and Peace Corp volunteer that worked in his village. Today I accompanied Rudy as guardian to receive a 6th form scholarship from Social Security Board. Rudy will study Agribusiness. Belize has fertile land he says, and he wants to produce, thereby reducing our dependency on imported agricultural products.

FREE spays and neuters this week at Saga Humane...
Please, for the sake of island health and unwanted puppies, spay and neuter your pets. It's FREE this week at Saga Humane Society! call 226-3266 for an appointment...

Paint Party Events
Come join us this Thursday to paint "Coconut Tree". A wonderful piece of paradise. The cost it $25 U.S. For new comers and $20 U.S. For members. See you there! February 25, 2016 2:00 PM

Seagulls feast
As ferries taking tourists back to their cruise ships churn up the water to expose food. It's a beautiful sight especially around sunset in the city.

Washington Travel and Adventure Show
Belize Tourism Board

Belize Screen on the Green - DANGRIGA
This Thursday, February 25, 2016 Dangriga will host the 2nd EVER Screen on the Green at the Slaughter House. Please join us at 7:00 pm for a screening of "Remember the Titans." The event is FREE and open to the public.

Continued shark fishing w nets and longlines at Lighthouse Reef
We apologize for bearing more bad news but shark fishing efforts continue and have apparently intensified at Lighthouse Reef. The previous post showed catches from one fishing day out of supposedly five days. If all fishing days equated the day for which we have a count of 50 sharks, then Lighthouse Reef Atoll lost ~250 sharks. In 5 days between 13-17 February. Yesterday and today the fishing continued and is expected to continue as this and the use of nets and longlines, even near reefs, is considered legal. Apparently not all fishers now need to have shark fishing licenses and many can work under one or two shark fishing licenses. This places into new perspective the 62 shark fishing licenses permitted by Fisheries for 2016 (Ramon Carcamo, Fisheries Officer, pers Comm). There is no indication that these fishers have CITES export permits from Fisheries for the regulated hammerhead products. And a CITES permit for these fished species cannot be given unless the Government can prove that the fishery is sustainable - and it's not. Moreover, Hammerheads are not supposed to be fished commercially per Belize's agreement with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). This is a commercial fishery. The fishers continue to use nets and longlines with strobes to improve night-time captures of Caribbean reef sharks, endangered Hammerheads, mako and more. They are even catching gravid LOBSTER out of season.

Sweet Cinnamon Churros with Dulce de Leche Dip
1) For churros, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper. Lightly sprinkle flat side of Large Grooved Cutting Board with flour. Unfold pastry onto cutting board; brush with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the butter using Chef's Silicone Basting Brush. Sprinkle 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the sprinkle over pastry; lightly press into pastry using Baker's Roller®. Place Cookie Sheet, parchment-side down, over pastry. Invert both Cookie Sheet and cutting board; remove cutting board. Brush pastry with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining sprinkle, lightly pressing into pastry.

Habaneros on Caye Caulker closed Wednesday & Thursday this week
Due to unforeseen circumstances Habaneros will be closed Wednesday and Thursday this week. We are doing a few renovations to the building and need a couple days to complete them. Sorry for any inconvenience but after 14 years the old girl (Habaneros Building) needs a little TLC. We will be back on Friday with smiling faces and Tommy and Valentino rocking Habs deck!!!

THE CLOSING COST OF "FRUTA BOMBA" PAPAYA INDUSTRY
The papaya industry had its origins with a project funded by the United States. With the assistance of USAID (United States Agency for International Development), a company called Belize Agribusiness Company (BABCO) was created in 1985. BABCO was successful agronomically, but it was not able to set up a lasting marketing chain. In 1990, a former employee of BABCO who persisted was able to successfully grow the fruits in San Andres in Corozal. Marketing trials were carried out with J. R. Brooks, a marketing company based in Florida. Fruta Bomba was thus established as a subsidiary of Brooks Tropicals in Belize. Brooks Tropicals produce papaya in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Since then, Belize became the second largest exporter of papaya to the USA and Canada, second only to Mexico, and ahead of Brazil. This is a leadership position in a rapidly growing segment of tropical fruits, in large-value markets with significant potential for long-term growth.

Corozal power interruption
Another Oooops moment from BEL! Power Interruptions from 7:00 a.m. to 7:15 a.m. & 4:45 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday February 27th and Sunday February 28th for the entire Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Belize Electricity Limited to facilitate line maintenance by "Comisión Federal De Electricidad (CFE).

Women's History Month
Our History is Our Strength. Join us in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to our community have proved invaluable to our society. Learning about women's tenacity, courage and creativity through the lens of photographer Karen Brodie.

Channel 7

Court: Mek Mi Rich Idea Was Stolen From Curtis Swasey
For an entire year now, 7News has been following the case of Corozal businessman Curtis Swasey. He's the private citizen who said that the owners of the Mek Mi Rich gameshow stole his idea and got rich at his expense, and with the help of BTL. Well, the Supreme Court has vindicated him, by finding that indeed, the Mek Mi Rich concept of lottery texting is…his. That's the decision that Justice Courtney Abel handed down today after reviewing all the evidence presented to him. Viewers will remember that the cornerstone of Swasey's case was that BTL breeched the confidentiality agreement they had signed. He reasoned that they gave away information on his idea for his game called Super Slam Sunday to the principals of Mek Mi Rich, Sunjay Hotchandani, and Andre Vega, the son of Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. Though there was no direct link - "no smoking gun" - to show that BTL gave away Swasey's information, he claimed in court there was enough circumstantial evidence to show the direct link between his game and Mek Mi Rich, and that BTL was the only link between the two. That meant that the judge had to draw the inference that only BTL could have given away his concept, and after weeks of deliberation, Justice Courtney Abel agreed with him.

Two Youths Went Swimming; Never Resurfaced; 1 Found Dead
Since last night, Coast Guard officers and residents of Orange Walk have been looking for the the bodies of 2 young men who went swimming in the New River. 21 year-old Carlos Reyes, of Trial Farm, and his friend, who has not been identified, went swimming yesterday in an area believed to be the territory of a crocodile. The young men jumped in, and a third young man was with them, but he noticed the crocodile and got out. He started looking around for his friends to tell them of the danger, but they never resurfaced. Some time this morning, after an intensive search, the authorities found Carlos Reyes' body. But after hours and hours of combing the river, they couldn't find the other young man. Our colleagues from CTV 3 News spoke with one area resident who tried to get them out of the water. Here's what she told them off camera:

American Woman With Reported Belizean Ties Gunned Down In California
Readers of the Amandala Newspaper may have picked up today's edition and noticed a headline that a woman from Inglewood California was killed in a police shooting this weekend. Well, we went looking, and we found this very controversial case of 31 year-old Kisha Michael, who was gunned down and killed. Here's the story on the latest from California's KTLA News 5's team on the ground: The Amandala Newspaper reports that she identifies herself as Belizean on her Google+ Social Profile.

Convicted Human Trafficker Fined & Not Confined
Sixty-four year old Estela Gonzalez, who was convicted of human trafficking on February 10, was spared a custodial sentence today by the trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas. Instead of being in jail tonight, she has been ordered to pay just over $73,000 in fines and damages. To break it down, Gonzalez was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and restitution amounting to $28,520 to the Department of Human Services. She was also ordered to pay $15,000 to the victim for her suffering at Temptation Bar and $588 for her loss of income. Justice Lucas stipulated that all monies must be paid forthwith and it is understood that the monies are being paid right now. If Gonzalez defaults on payment of the $30,000 she will serve 1 year and if she defaults on the other payments it will be distress. Before he decided on the sentence Justice Lucas said he considered an assessment of the impact on the victim and the testimonies of Dr. Fernando Cuellar and Dr. Javier Novelo who said that Gonzalez is suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and urinary tract infection.

Embattled FFB President Left For Switzerland
Right now, the football community continues to wait for FIFA and CONCACAF to return a written verdict on whether or not Ruperto Vicente, the President of the Football Federation of Belize, is suspended. As we told you, there's been a very private fight happening within the FFB's Executive Committee, who say that Vicente's leadership of local football has not been in the best interest of the sport. More significant than that harsh criticism is the open accusation that he's leadership direction is similar to his predecessor, Dr. Bertie Chimilio, who was voted out of office after battling scandals of his own of allegedly fixing the District Association Elections. The accusation is that since Vicente has been manipulating the District Association, he's been positioning his sympathizers to win at that level, so that he could ensure his re election goes off without a hitch. Vicente, in response to the pressure from his Executive, have responded that these members have not contributed to the development of football as they should have as elected members over the last 4 years. He has also countered with his own accusation that his executive members, Sergio Chuc, Cruz Gamez, and Marlon Kuylen, have been trying to drag his name in the mud so that they can make a play for the presidency, a post he hopes to be re-elected to in the next few weeks.

An Arrest For The Murder of American Belizean
Police in Toledo have arrested and charged one man of Cattle Landing Village for the murder of 69 year old American Naturalized Belizean Thomas Paul Rockowski. He is 48 year old Roy Jones. The incident occurred on Saturday last two weeks around 9:25 pm in Hopeville, Punta Gorda. Investigators said that Rockowski was at his home reading when 3 persons gained entry through the screen door and attacked him. Rockowski was stabbed about 4 times: twice to the neck and twice to the chest. Rockowski managed to phone the police, but by the time authorities got there, the persons had already fled the area. Rocowski died the following night while undergoing treatment at the KHMH. As a result of the investigation police detained three persons including 48 year old Roy Jones, a Belizean Vendor of Cattle Landing Village. AOn Friday Police arrested and charged Jones for the murder and released the other two. According to authorities, what caused the vicious slaying of Rockowski was a case of jealousy. Rockowski came to Belize in 1973 from Boston Massachusetts. While here he was never married and never had any kids.

Pregnant Mother Stole; Will Now Spend 7 Years In Jail
Margarita Pech, a pregnant mother to be, is spending the second night of a 7 year prison sentence behind bars after she pleaded guilty to burglarizing a home and then stealing from a doctor at the KHMH in two separate crimes. Her version as to why she committed the crime is that she was coerced into doing it by thugs who allegedly threaten her life and the life her unborn child. The incident happened on May 29 of last year at a house on Eyrie Street. The owner reported to police that someone went into the house and stole an assortment of jewelry, and a toy computer. Then, a doctor reported to police that someone stole his wallet and personal documents on the same day that Margarita Pech went to seek treatment. Police investigated both reports, and they found surveillance footage which captured Pech in the act of committing both crimes. They also managed to recover some of the stolen jewelry from the burglary from Pech herself. She was then charged burglary for that incident, and theft for the stolen wallet.

Belize Is Zika Free
There's good news for Belize tonight on the Zika front. That's after CARPHA confirmed that the final two samples sent to Trinidad for testing came back negative. So that means that all three samples sent from Belize for Zika have returned negative. And while it's a good break, that's not the end of it. The CEO in the Ministry of Health says they will maintain heightened surveillance and more samples will be sent as soon as other suspect cases appear.

A Tricky City Conman's Scheme In OW
Last night, we told you about how a pair of still unidentified conmen managed to get a licensed firearm away from an on-duty security guard by pretending to be cops. Well, Orange Walk police are reporting that they have caught an alleged conman who was scamming people out of their money in Sugar City. He's Belize City Resident Windell Neal, and right now, he's facing criminal charges for the quite tricky - but simple - ploy. An office administrator reported to police that on Sunday, January 17, she was at the People's Stadium when she received a text message from a cell phone number. The person identified herself as her boss, and asked him to pay for some sea food her boss had allegedly ordered. Believing that this person was indeed her boss, this employee texted the conman and told him to show up at the Stadium where she was. Shortly after that, a dark-skinned man showed up, and collected $330 from her, by pretending to be the man that her boss had supposedly sent to pick up the money. When she verified with her actual boss, she realized that the text message conman had deceived her. 3 days later, a cashier from an electronics store in Orange Walk reported to police that a dark skinned man showed up to the business and convinced her that her boss sent him to collect money for sea food that the employer allegedly bought. She paid him $300, and he promised to return with the sea food, but he never did. She realized later that she too had been deceived.

Boledo: The Superstition Of Number Predictions
Last night you saw the first part of our extended feature on Boledo - where Courtney Weatherburne got a look inside those number books kept by only the most studied practitioners of the Boledo science. When we left you last night, Boledo predictor Press Cadogan was about to explain the strange alchemy of superstition, numerology and dream reading that he all maps out on a blackboard to get his boledo predictions. Here's how he explained all the connections to Courtney:… And while she's had expert insights and the deepest inside information, since she started working on the boledo story two months ago Courtney has spent over 30 dollars on boledo - and she hasn't won yet!

Cayo Cops Got A Gun
San Ignacio police that they seized a gun on Sunday night, and it's now off the streets. At around 9:30 p.m., the San Ignacio Special Branch and the Quick Response Team acted on intelligence and searched an open lot on St. Lucia Street, Santa Elena, in area known as Hot Point. There they found this .38 Taurus brand special revolver, with a wooden pistol grip. The weapon contained 4 live rounds of .38 ammunition, and an expended shell. The weapon was being hidden between several pieces of old zinc roofing. No one was in the area, and so, it was deposited as found property.

MIT Caught Alleged Drug Traffickers On The Road
Two men were arrested and charged today for the offence of drug trafficking after they were busted by the MIT unit. According to reports yesterday around 10 pm the MIT unit was conducting vehicular checkpoint on the Boom junction on the Phillip Goldson Highway when they observed a black Mazda pickup approaching the checkpoint. Upon reaching 50 yards away from the checkpoint the driver was seen throwing a black plastic bag out of the vehicle. The vehicle then made a u turn and made his way back to the direction he came. As a result police set chase. The driver Kareem Flowers and the passenger Elwin Evans were detained and escorted to the area they had thrown the object. A quick search of the area led to the discovery of 7 parcels of transparent plastic wrap containing cannabis which weighed a total of 4261 grams. Both Kareem Flowers and Elwin Evans were arrested for the offence of drug trafficking.

Junior Buddy's 9th Birthday Party
The Belize Zoo is known for throwing the biggest birthday parties for their animal friends. Especially when it comes to their very celebrated Jaguar called Junior Buddy. He turned 9 today and as usually his birthday was celebrated with much fanfare. Emanuel Attended the birthday celebration of Junior Buddy and has the following report. Last year the Belize Zoo had some 68 thousand visitors- a difference of 3 thousand visitors. The Belize zoo notes that 48% of the visitors are from local Belizeans.

Fisheries Administrator Talks Shark Fishing
A post on social media depicting the slaughter of some 32 sharks, including the endangered hammerhead, and a couple of allegedly pregnant female Caribbean Reef Sharks, sparked much public outrage. The post was made by conservation group MAR Alliance who used the images as a platform to launch their petition against the use of gillnets and longlines and to pressure Government to support equitable and sustainable fishing methods. Today we spoke to the Government representative in the Fisheries Department Beverly Wade who expressed her disappoint at the way the matter was handled. She says the Government has recently launched a National Sharks Working Group in which the director of MAR Alliance is an active member of. So she argues that if there was a concern on the part of Mar Alliance they should have brought it up through this avenue instead o broadcasting it on social media. Beverly Wade, Fisheries Administrator: "In a recent correspondence to the department for the renewal of that organization annual research license, there is a line there telling is that in the 2 primary areas where there been conducting research and where shark fishing is being done that population seems stable. This is coming from people who are actually out there carrying out the research. So it's not that the shark fishing is functioning in a vacuum somewhere. There is no argument that there is a need for us to look at probably more regulations for our shark fishery, but regulations have to also be based on sound information. Because it's not putting in regulations or putting in regulations. It is a matter of putting in regulations to address whether there is conservation targets or whether there is sustainable targets at the end of the day. It depends on what is the recommendations coming out in terms of how you move forward with a resource like this."

FCD Discusses Milpa Clearings in Chiquibul
Two weeks ago, we told you about the report from the Friends For Conservation and Development, the co-managers of the Chiquibul National Park, that 17 new clearings were discovered in the forest reserves, most likely made by Guatemalan milpa farmers. As conservationists, the FCD is recommending immediate action to arrest this deforestation, and so, while he was available yesterday, we spoke with the Executive Director about it. Here's what he told us: Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD: "This is sort of a reconnaissance that we do every year and it is done normally prior to the dry weather because that is the current sort of activities that would tend to occur over the many years. So this year as part of that we did an overflight and this happened about two weeks ago. We manage to confirmed that there are some 17-18 new clearings that have already taken place. We don't really know the acreage right now, because that can only be done through a ground reconnaissance, but there are 17 of the new clearings that we can observed at this present time." Daniel Ortiz: "What does that mean for the FCD? How worrying is that for you all?" Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director - FCD: "It is worrying because we certainly understand that as the dry weather is setting in and particularly that this will be a long dry weather. Then we can anticipate that if we don't really halt it or if we don't really put the interventions then 17 can multiply really fast. It can be 3,4,5 times, so we certainly can understand that the peak of the season for clearing is basically now on and so we can lose the acreage that we have been noting over the years which has amounted to in average it becomes about 200 acres or 200 hectares, which basically means over 500 acres every year. That is one that is pretty much scary enough as we are losing this forest right along the western border."

Ya'axche Got Conservation Tips From High School Students
In an effort sensitize young kids about the importance of wildlife protection and forest conservation, Ya'axche hosted their first ever BioBlitz event at the Golden Stream Watershed Ecosystem, a preserve located on the southernmost part of the Country. The 15,000 acre preserve is owned and managed by the conservation trust and is home to about 17 identified major ecosystems. The preserve makes a home for several species of mammals and several hundreds of species of birds, but on Friday last week the preserve turned into an interactive educational center for several primary school students of Toledo who were hosted by the Ya'axche group as they learned valuable wildlife monitoring techniques. The Ya'axche Executive Director told us more about the event. Christina Garcia, Ya'axche Executive Director: "We hosted approximately 114 students from different buffering communities' schools mainly Indian Creek, Medina Bank, Golden Stream and Trio Village. The importance of the activity today was really good because we've shared some of the work that we've been doing here in the Maya golden landscape. Students had the opportunity to really learn from our rangers, learn from the staff in terms of the monitoring that occurs within the protected areas that we managed. We do believe that these students are going to share the information with the adults, with their parents in terms of what they learn here today."

Ombudsman Arzu Officially Sworn Back In
Viewers may remember that in the January 22 House Meeting, Ombudsman Lionel Arzu's reappointment was opposed by the PUP's side of the Floor on the premise that he had not served the public adequately in his first term. The Prime Minister disputed that assertion strongly, and cited accolades that Arzu had received both at home and abroad for his efforts as the Ombudsman. In that meeting, the House affirmed that he should be re-appointed. Well, the Government of Belize confirmed yesterday that Arzu was sworn into office by Governor General Sir Colville Young. He and his family were received by the Governor General, and he took the oath of office yesterday. He's now officially starting his second term Also sworn in for his third term in office as Contractor General was Godwin Arzu. His re-appointment was also approved in the January 22 House Meeting.

Benque Cops Charged Lewd Uncle
Yesterday we told you about the indecent assault of a female minor in Benque Viejo. She is 12 and was sexually assaulted at her house while everyone was away. Today police in Benque say that they have arrested and charged the uncle for offence of sexual assault. However we cannot reveal the man's name for the protection of the child. Yesterday the child along with her mother reported to Benque police that her uncle forcibly performed oral sex with her against her will while alone with her uncle and her 3 year old sister.

Channel 7 Receiving Training In Barbados
We regularly report on workshops and trainings for teachers, police officers nurses and pretty much everyone with a social responsibility. But we don't usually report on - much less participate in many media workshops. But tonight our Jules Vasquez and Courtney Weatherburne are in Barbados along with 5 other Belizean media workers right now for a seminar on media and the law. A number of important topics will be discussed including confidentiality of sources, defamation in the context of law and the role and responsibilities of journalists. Today our team spoke to one of the presenters, Andrew Smith - a lecturer at the University of Technology in Jamaica. Smith spoke to us about journalist's rights and responsibilities and safety on the job We also spoke with 2 participants who discussed the specific challenges they face as professionals in their country and how this workshop can address those.

Patron Acquitted Of Brawling Accusation With Restauranteur
It made our newscast in July of 2014 when Darwin Heredia, the manager of a resort in Caye Caulker, was accused by a waitress in a Restaurant that he assaulted her while he was in her workplace. Well, Heredia is free of that accusation tonight. The incident supposedly happened on July 10, 2014 at Chops Restaurant and Bar, located on Newtown Barracks. The complainant, Martha Lopez, told police at that time Heredia and his companion, Shannon Martinez attacked her, and that Martinez allegedly threw a chair at her. Heredia was additionally accused of brawling with the on-duty security guard who was injured while trying to get the situation under control. Well, the complainant, Martha Lopez showed up to Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer's court room and told the court that she wants no further court action. As a result, that charge against Heredia has been struck out of court.

Hattieville Police And Mahogany Heights Community
Viewers are very familiar with the fact that in the second half of 2015, Eastern Division Police started to roll out their community policing initiative. But, because the press is based mostly in Belize City, you don't see much of the community policing work that these officers do in other parts of the country. Well, this weekend, Hattieville Police were in Mahogany Heights trying to work with the at risk youth in that community, to show them that they don't have to be adversarial with officers of the law. Yesterday, the Commander of the Hattieville Police Station told us how it went:

ED North Awarded Their Hardworking Cops
And while Eastern Division Rural police were focusing on trying to show the youths of Mahogany Heights to make the right choices, the Cops from Eastern Division North were awarding their officers who's been doing just that. Often times, the bad decisions that police make are highlights, and so, the good work that majority of the police do, mostly goes unnoticed. Well, on Friday Night, the police held a Red and White Gala event to celebrate the unsung heroes within the department. Inspector Fitzroy Yearwood, the Public Relations Officer for Eastern Division North told us that the event was a success: The number of awardees are too numerous to list off, but we intend post all of them on our internet transcript, for public consumption.

Channel 5

BTL & Mek Mi Rich Lose Landmark Case
Telecommunications giant B.T.L. colluded with registered game show company Mek Mi Rich to steal entrepreneur Curtis Swasey’s concept and use it as their own. That’s the bombshell handed down by [...]

Curtis Swasey Only Awarded $25,000
So why did the Justice refer to the victory as Pyrrhic? Well…probably because even though Swasey won a total vindication on all his claims, he was only awarded twenty-five thousand [...]

Will Companies Get Backlash from Justice’s Decision
That’s the financial bottom line – not exactly a hard hit for B.T.L. or M.M.R. But what about the moral low ground where Justice Abel claims both B.T.L. and M.M.R. [...]

One Man Still Missing in New River
Two men plunged into the crocodile infested waters of New River, which runs through Orange Walk Town, on a whim on Monday evening. They would never surface again and this [...]

Do you believe the government is financially bankrupt?
And our question for tonight is: Do you believe the government is financially bankrupt? Yes or No? Send your comments and responses using your SMART phones to 8686 or post [...]

Brothel Madam Fined for Trafficking in Humans
On February tenth, sixty-four year old Estela Gonzalez of Temptation Bar, was convicted of Trafficking in Humans by a jury. The jury believed the sworn testimony of a fifteen year [...]

Belizean Woman Shot by Cops in Inglewood
A Belizean woman, identified as thirty one year old Kisha Michaels and a man were fatally shot early on Sunday morning in Inglewood, California. Michaels died instantly while the man [...]

Belize Game Fishing Association Speaks Out Against Shark Kill
Images of a recent shark kill near Lighthouse Reef have sparked public outrage about the continued use of gill nets.  While it is not believed that local fishermen are behind [...]

K9 Unit’s Basco Sniffs Out Weed from BDF Couple
This morning at the Belize City Magistrate’s Court, before Senior Magistrate, Sharon Fraser, a newlywed couple was read a single charge of possession of controlled drugs, being forty grams of cannabis [...]

Stiff Fines Imposed for Drug Trafficking
But another Belize City resident was imposed a stiffer fine of ten thousand dollars in the court room of Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith for drug trafficking. Ryan Cole was [...]

Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting his Niece is Charged
A twelve-year-old minor was sexually assaulted at her home in Benque Viejo del Carmen over the weekend. Her parents and other family members left her home with her three-year-old sister [...]

Is A City Council Employee on the Hot Seat for a Stolen Vehicle?
There is a report tonight that a stolen vehicle has been found in the possession of a local politician in Belmopan who is employed at the City Council through the [...]

Media Workshop on Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean gets underway in Barbados
This morning in Barbados, a two-day media law workshop got underway. The seminar brought together sixty-eight representatives of media houses and civil societies from thirteen countries across the region.  The [...]

Media Professionals Wants a Definition for Citizen Journalists
One emerging concern expressed by media professionals at today’s seminar was the need to examine and define the role of the citizen journalist who are persons, who report, analyze and [...]

Belizean Jaguar Treated to a Birthday Party
Nine years ago Junior Buddy was born at the Belize Zoo on the George Price Highway. Today, he celebrated another milestone in the company of school children from the area. [...]

Traditional Mayan Culture Kept Alive in the North
The ancient Maya culture thrived primarily in parts of Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.   Originally considered primitive, the Mayas are now known to have had knowledge of science, art, architecture, [...]

Chef Sean Kuylen cooks up his Version of Garifuna Cuisine
Tonight, we air the third segment of our original show, Great Belize Cooking, with Chef Sean Kuylen. In this episode Sean takes us south to Dangriga, one of his favourite [...]


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#511880 - 02/24/16 11:59 AM Re: Today's Belize News: February 24, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

CTV3

PUP Party Leader Speaks On Uniting His Camp
John Briceno, he was elected as the new leader of the People’s United Party on the 31st of January after a National Convention held in Belmopan. The Orange Walk Central Area Representative was elected under a platform of unity and hope. There is no doubt that as the new leader of the opposition Briceno has a huge task ahead of him. For one, he needs to lead the battle against a government which has not lost an election since 2008 and two…gain back the confidence of the Belizean people who practically lost all faith in the grand old party. In order for Briceno to carry out the second task, unity will play an integral role. Today as he appeared on the Despierta Belice morning show we asked him how united the party was 23 days into his leadership. Honorable John Briceno – Leader of the Opposition PUP" “All the meeting that I’ve had has been cordial, I have not met in person the Honorable Florencio Marin Jr. but we have spoken away keeping in touch, we were to go visit his constituency tomorrow but it has been determined that a Sunday is better for him because his constituency is spread out and he has a lot of people that works during the week so it going to be difficult to bring them from Sarteneja to wherever he want to hold his meeting but we have been talking that we are going to be working together...”

Corozaleno Starts Production Of New Habanero Pepper Sauce
Habanero peppers are among the hottest chili peppers in the world and despite the heat it brings to one’s taste buds it is a pepper that many crave in spicy recipes. Here in the North in the village of Paraiso Corozal, an entrepreneur is rising to the top with his habanero pepper sauce called Papanero Pickle Pepper Sauce. Sixty eight year old James Gegg, his wife and youngest son established the family business 11 months ago using two main ingredients, habanero peppers and Papaya fruit. James Gegg Producer Papanero pepper sauce: “I have been playing with this idea since per say five years ago and I’ve been experimenting and giving to my good friends and relatives to taste until they approve on the quality and the flavor and everything and this is where I came up with these and where everybody that has tried it are very happy with it and I am I business actually for eleven months now, my wife, my youngest son and myself, we are the producers, the manufacturers everything, I wish more people would support it because it is a national product and it is all natural, I don’t use any artificial, except I cook it at 200 degrees and that keeps it preserved in a sealed bottle for two years.”

LOVE FM

Search Efforts Continue for One Man in the New River
The body of 21 year old Carlos Reyes was retrieved from the New River in Orange Walk Town sometime around eleven o’clock this morning. Reyes and another friend had gone swimming yesterday evening but did not resurface. An intensive search was launched by the Orange Walk Police Department with the help of the Belize Coast […]

MEK MI RICH and BTL In ‘Shady’ Business
The legal war for the Mek Mi Rich game show concluded today inside the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice, Courtenay Abel. Last year Corozal businessman, Curtis Dale Swasey took Belize Telemedia Limited and Mek Mi Rich to court for stealing his game show idea. Swasey told the court that he had developed an idea of […]

Scammer Arraigned on Charge of Deception
Police have found that a teenager of a King’s Park address was the mastermind behind several cases of deception around the country. Some weeks ago we told you of several business persons complaining that two persons were going to their business claiming that their employer had an outstanding balance for shrimps they had been provided […]

John Briceno: We’re In For Hard Times in Belize
In recent months there has been a series of national economic issues coming at the forefront with no direct or definitive solutions at hand. There has been the issue of correspondent banking and the regional implications and there have been the issue of sustainability in several areas of agriculture as well as the fall in […]

PUP Welcomes Foreign Investments, Says PL Briceno
Making waves in the news for some days was the issue of a twelve million US dollar loan to Santander Sugar from the Social Security Board. The decision by the SSB to lend the money met opposition from several pockets of society. In the case of the People’s United Party, John Briceno says the concern […]

Vega Says Free Zone Woes are Due to Mexican Economy
In 1994 the Commercial Free Zone came about in the Corozal District with the intention of attracting foreign investments and providing various activities including manufacturing, processing, packaging, warehousing and distribution of goods and services. Twenty two years later, there has been a sharp decline in the business activities that once flooded the zone. It is a […]

FIFA and CONCACAF To End Stale Mate at the FFB
Ruperto Vicente remains the President of the Football Federation of Belize. Last week, his Senior Vice President, Sergio Chuc along with Executive Members Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez voted to have Vicente suspended from his post as President. They say he has been reckless in the day to day management of the FFB. They told […]

What was the $65K Used For, Mr Vicente?
Ruperto Vicente has also been accused of mishandling the funds of the Football Federation of Belize and handing out contracts to business persons without the input or authority of the three executives. A letter obtained by Love News shows that Vicente and FFB’s Secretary General, Michael Blease, approved the withdrawal of sixty five thousand dollars […]

FFB President Says Division Existed from the Onset
The election to elect a new President of FIFA takes place on February 26. FFB’s President, Ruperto Vicente is on his way to Switzerland accompanied by Executive Member Marlon Kuylen and Earl Trapp. It is expected that FIFA officials will determine whether or not the Executive of the FFB followed the proper procedures in suspending […]

Allegations of Interference in Upcoming FFB Elections
As we said, one of the key allegations that Sergio Chuc, Marlon Kuylen and Cruz Gamez are making against FFB president Ruperto Vicente and Secretary General, Michael Blease, is that they are interfering in the District Association elections. In Orange Walk, Ladrick “Madbull Sheppard complained last week that he has not been getting the information […]

PlusTV

Motorcycles fatally collide in Sandhill
A fatal collision between motorcycles took place on the Philip Goldson Highway on Saturday night. 27 year old Kareem Arnold of the Mitchell Estate section of Ladyville died in that accident, while 21-year-old Churchill Bernard, a mechanic of Fresh Pond, is in an induced coma at this time at the KHMH...

Police lay charges for fight in Mahogany Heights
Jerson Grinage, charged in the December 2015 aggravated burglary of the Burrell Boom home of Belize’s honorary consul to Lebanon, 77 year old Sarkis Abou Nehra, was involved in a scuffle on Saturday in Mahogany Heights with one Ervin Fitzgibbon and received stab wounds to the back of his head, foreh...

Food Vendor Charged with Murder of US National
A Belizean food vendor has been arrested and charged in connection to the murder of 69 year old Thomas Paul Rockowski. On the 19th of February, Dangriga Police formally arrested and charged 48 yar old Rye Jones of Cattle Landing for the murder of Thomas Paul Rockowski. Punta Gorda Police responded t...

Fake Police officers back at it again
Fake police officers held up two Security guards and took away a gun. 42-year-old Thelon Estherame of AAA Security reported that on the 20th of February, he was on duty at JL’s Quick Loan in Belize City along with his coworker, 31-year-old Hector Lauture, when they were approached by two male...

Armed robbery in Belize City
A business woman and her customer were held up in her store at gun point. 43-year-old Saida Ventura reported that at about 9:35 a.m. on Friday the 19th of February she was inside her business place – “Esmeralda’s Used Clothing” in Belize City attending to a male customer when a dark complexioned mal...

Armed robbery in Independence Village
Shop owners were held up and robbed by people in military camouflage jackets. On Saturday the 20th of February, 35-year-old Jose Angel Avendano, a Salvadoran Construction worker and owner of Kimberly’s shop in Independence Village, was with his wife inside their shop when they heard their dogs barki...

Minor Sexually assaulted in Benque
A 12-year-old female student of Benque was sexually assaulted by her uncle. On Saturday the 20th of February, the minor was at home watching television in the living room with her sisters, her father, and her uncle. After a while her sister went to the store and her father went out, leaving her, he...

Amandala

Inglewood, Calif. cops kill Belizean woman, 31
Kisha Michael, 31, who has identified herself on her Google+ profile as a “Belizean woman with 3 handsome boys,” was gunned down in a double shooting which happened in Inglewood, California on Sunday morning. Affiliates of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which has been leading a “Black lives matter” campaign, vowed at a news conference held at the site of the shooting today to monitor the investigation from beginning to end. An NAACP civil rights activist, Najee Ali, said that the question to be asked is not whether Michael had a gun or not, but whether she was a threat to the officers accused of killing her. Kisha’s identical twin sister, Trisha Michael, said at the NAACP news conference that Kisha never owned a gun and she believes that the cops are not telling them the whole story. “She is a good mother. She changed her life. She had some run-ins with the police, but that don’t have nothing to do with her being gunned down,” Trisha said. She said that her heart is broken, and after having cried her heart out, there are no more tears.

Mother, 35, gets 7 years for burglary and theft
A Belize City woman who is the mother of a one-month-old baby son and who has previous convictions for crimes of dishonesty was sentenced to 7 years in prison this morning when she appeared before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser and changed her “not guilty of burglary” plea to “guilty,” and also pleaded guilty to a recent theft charge. As Margarita Pech stood in front of Magistrate Fraser, she offered to show a picture of her son. “Before you left from here, I asked you where the cards [credit cards, social security card and other identification documents belonging to Dr. Martha Habet] are from out of the wallet,” Fraser said to the 35-year-old Pech. Pech replied, “Your honor, I plead guilty.” “Where are the cards?” Fraser asked again. “Your Honor, I disposed of them because I wanted to buy food for my baby,” Pech said in a low voice, as she fought to control herself from crying. “You are also charged with burglary and handling stolen goods,” Fraser told the accused woman. “Your Honor, me one never involved in that.”

Man, 27, to stand trial for sex with girl, 9
A 27-year-old man who allegedly had sexual intercourse with a 9-year-old girl will be tried in the Supreme Court when he is indicted on a charge of carnal knowledge. That is the result of a preliminary inquiry which concluded before Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith, who ruled today that Daniel Rios has a prima facie case to answer to in the April Session of the court. Rios, a resident of 276 Star Fish Crescent, Belama Phase 1, is accused of having sex with the child in April of 2015. The prosecution is basing its case against Rios on statements given by nine persons, including the child and her mother.

Two men missing after jumping into New River tonight
Two men are missing after reportedly jumping into the New River behind the La Immaculada School in Orange Walk Town at about 7:30 tonight. Amandala was told that the two men were relaxing on Riverside Street when they jumped in to the river to take a swim. They did not resurface, however. Police began an initial search, but the effort was in vain. Inspector Nicolas Polomo, Deputy Commander of Orange Walk Police, said that it is not known why the men jumped into the river to swim tonight, because the water is dark and muddy, and is infested with crocodiles. He said that police have alerted the Coast Guard and are awaiting the professional divers of the unit, so that the area can be searched tomorrow.

Beware! Counterfeit cops on the prowl
Beware! Robbers posing as police officers are on the prowl in the city. On Saturday another gun was stolen by counterfeit cops, bringing to three the number of guns stolen recently from unsuspecting security guards. Thelon Estherame, 32, a Haitian AAA security officer, reported to police that around 2:20 Saturday morning he was on duty at JL’s Quick Loan, located on Douglas Jones Street, along with his coworker, Hector Lauture, 31, another Haitian AAA Security Officer, when they were approached by men dressed as, police officers. One of the counterfeit cops pointed a firearm at them and the other asked if they had their firearms. The security guards told them that they did not have any guns, but the fake cops searched them anyhow and stole a company-issue Taurus .38 Special revolver with serial number VG25202 from Estherame. The two bandits then ran down Douglas Jones Street and escaped into the surrounding area.

Butchered sharks the result of gill net fishing
Bloody images of butchered sharks went viral on social media today amid a campaign launched to petition the Government of Belize to ban gill net fishing, and to furthermore put an end to shark fishing in Belizean waters. Shark fishing is legal in Belize, and there are fishers licensed to fish for commercial sale both in Belize and abroad, where, on the high end, the fins could fetch nearly US$500 a pound, much more than the meat does. The reports indicate that much of the shark produce may he headed for the Guatemala marketplace. This morning, MarAlliance, a San Pedro based conservation NGO, posted 17 graphic images on Facebook showing the butchering of sharks landed at Sandbore Caye and Hat Caye at Lighthouse Reef for commercial sale. The pictures show 1 of 5 boats said to have been engaged in shark fishing at Lighthouse Reef between from February 13-17, 2016. Captioned “Shameful shark kill – World Heritage Lighthouse Reef Atoll,” the post says that, “We have just been alerted by many people to a large kill of sharks in and near the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Blue Hole and Half Moon Caye at Lighthouse Reef Atoll…

Surprises in PLB Week 5
It was a weekend of surprises in the Premier League of Belize (PLB) 2015-2016 Closing Season Week 5. On Saturday night at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence, Placencia Assassins held the visiting Belmopan Bandits to a 0-0 draw. The Bandits, with Shane Orio in goal, was the favorite in this one, but Placencia is always tough to beat at home. The really big surprises came on Sunday. Yesterday, at the MCC Grounds in Belize City, visiting Police United got an early advantage, when outstanding BDF defender Orland Trapp was red carded at the 5th minute by referee Christopher Reid, after Trapp elbowed Police’s Guatemalan striker Elio Ramirez. A disappointed Trapp admitted his error, but explained after the game that he had retaliated due to Elio’s previous similar action against him. Police proceeded to take the 1-nil lead at the 35th minute when Devon Makin eluded two defenders in a dusty scramble in front of the southern goal after a pass from Ramirez and pushed it past Tevin Gamboa in goal for BDF.

Proto Foundation U-13 and U-15 Five-A-Side football
The Proto Foundation U-13 and U-15 Five-A-Side Football Tournament games continued at the Noel Ferguson Park near Cinderella Plaza over the past two weekends on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. February 12-13: On Friday night, February 12, U-13 action saw Kelly Street with a 2-0 win over Jungle, with Jallen and Aaron White netting a goal apiece. And in U-15, Maltus Bombers and Kenny’s FC drew, nil-nil. The planned official opening ceremonies for the tournament on Friday night were postponed. We met Proto Foundation President, Mark Usher, at the games on Saturday, and he confided that he was unexpectedly occupied at his job as an engineer in southern Belize. But the soft spoken Mark insisted that what was important to him was that the kids are playing, and the work of his Foundation, which also involves evening tutoring for members, is ongoing inside the Foundation building which borders the park bleachers. He showed us around the two adjacent class rooms, one for males and the other for females, each with its own bathroom.

NEBL reaches mid-way point of regular season
Ballaz beats Burgess’ Belmopan Bandits: Friday saw the return of Kurt “Chengo” Burgess to his old home town, San Ignacio, as Cayo Western Ballaz hosted Belmopan Bandits at the Sacred Heart College auditorium. Belmopan Bandits jumped out to an early 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, which they extended to 21 points in the second quarter, to take a 15 point lead into the locker room, 40-25. However, in the third quarter the home team made a huge run to cut that deficit to only 3 points, going into the fourth quarter. Cayo Western Ballaz’ defense and free-throw shooting sealed the 67-60 victory, in a huge game for both teams. Cayo Western Ballaz (3-3) was led by Elvis “Zui” Usher with 17 pts and 3 steals, complemented by his great defensive effort that sparked the comeback. James Milton finished with another double-double, tallying 16 pts and 10 rebs, while Brandon Flowers and Jamal Harris netted 11 and 9 pts, respectively. Belmopan Bandits’ (1-4) top scorer was Jarell Velasquez, who had the game high with 18 pts to go with 6 rebs and 5 assists. Nick Brown finished with 4 three-pointers to tally 12 pts, 4 rebs, 3 steals and 2 assists, while Kyle Pascascio finished with 10 pts and 5 rebs. Cayo Western Ballaz led in points off turnovers, 21-10, which was instrumental in their comeback, and they also dominated the paint, outscoring the Bandits, 38-18. All games can be followed live on our website 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.

Yabra Over-45 Five-A-Side Marathon on March 7
In our community awareness program, we are putting together an Over-45 Five-A-Side Football Marathon at the Yabra Green on Monday, March 7 (“9th of March” holiday). Interested teams, managers and players can contact Peel Off at cell number 607-3030. 1st prize is $300.00 + 1 case beer; 2nd prize is $200.00; 3rd prize, $100.00; and Most Goals, $20.00. Registration: – $40.00. The tournament is sponsored by Councillor Phillip Willoughby. Six (6) teams: 8 players per team; each team play 5 games; the team with the most points wins.

Farrakhan in 2016
Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Savior’s Day 2016 address to the Nation of Islam, the larger African American community, and indeed the international black world, was broadcast on KREM Television on Sunday afternoon, February 21, which just happened to be the 51st anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X in New York City in 1965. Because of the public rift between the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, the Messenger of the Nation of Islam, and Malcolm, which existed at the time, and the climate of violence surrounding that disagreement, the Nation of Islam was blamed for Malcolm’s murder. As the decades have gone by, however, and as the plots of J. Edgar Hoover’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Hoover’s special operations group, Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), have been exposed, with various documents having been declassified, a feeling has grown in the black community that there was federal involvement in Malcolm’s assassination.

From the Publisher
I’m writing the words below in the pre-dawn of Sunday, February 21, 2016. Today is the 51st. anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. Malcolm’s autobiography, which I read in the winter of 1967 while at Dartmouth College, essentially changed my life, in that Malcolm made me understand the neighborhood where I had grown up in Belize City around Bolton Bridge. When British Honduras became a self-governing colony in January of 1964, one of the most important aspects of that constitutional adjustment was that the United States of America at that point began to consider Belize eligible for American foreign aid. Because of Belize’s becoming self-governing, yours truly became the recipient of the American State Department scholarship, between late 1964 and early 1965, which saw me flying to Dartmouth in late August of 1965. On November 22, 1963, United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy had been assassinated by rifle fire in Dallas, Texas, whereupon his Vice-President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was sworn in as president. A few days after Kennedy’s assassination, Malcolm X, the highest profile Minister in the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam, told a group of American reporters that Kennedy’s assassination was a case of “chickens coming home to roost.”

Letter to the Editor: The Public Sector Workers’ Trust – a pie in the sky!
Editor, Please allow me to respond to letters published in your periodical of February 7 and 14, 2016 concerning the subject of the Public Sector Workers’ Trust. The trustees of this instrument seem to be hiding in plain view behind a Government circular from responding to very important questions posed by some foremost beneficiaries of the negotiations leading to the questionable basis of and the implementation of this Trust. Union management exists to carry out the wishes of union members, not of Government. What was management instructed to negotiate for? If something else was proposed and accepted then management’s duty is to revert and convert the fruit of such negotiation to the nearest equal to what they were instructed to negotiate for. Did union members in 1996-1998 instruct management to negotiate benefits for all civil servants in perpetuity, when the pressing financial needs of officers then serving were upon them? The idea of a trust was proposed in the year (1996) of that membership.

Drought and flood warnings issued for Caribbean
There is a sharp contrast between drought and flood conditions, but it appears that an extended drought across our region could create flood concerns once the rains return in full force. This week the Barbados-based Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology (CIMH) called on regional countries to brace themselves for floods, as the drought conditions which have affected the region since late 2014 are expected to subside by the start of this year’s hurricane season. Whereas many other countries in our region continue to grapple with drought conditions and water shortages, heavy rains during the latter part of 2015 have eased drought conditions in Belize. However, Belize may get hotter and drier weather in the coming months. The institute reports that Belize has a 60% chance that its maximum temperatures will be above normal and a 45% chance that it will get less rain than normal for the period February to March 2016. Generally speaking, the warmer and drier conditions experienced across the Caribbean have been attributed to El Nińo, the warming of the eastern equatorial Pacific which saw cyclone activity suppressed in the Caribbean basin and the Atlantic. However, as El Nińo wears off and the Pacific cools, the Caribbean could be impacted, possibly by higher than normal rainfall and stronger cyclones, CIMH relayed.

Bar discusses the Belize-Guatemala territorial differendum
On Friday, February 19, the Bar Association of Belize held their annual conference at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. Jacqueline Marshalleck, the President of the Bar Association, stated, “The purpose of the conference is to educate attorneys on the issue of the long-standing Belize-Guatemala territorial claim in order that attorneys can advocate and explain the subject.” Marshalleck said the Bar is a statutory body, under the Legal Profession Act, Chapter 320 of the Laws of Belize, and that apart from representing the interests of our members, it allows us to be an advocate for other issues. Marshalleck said, “For example, [we can step in] where a citizen is affected by police brutality, although, of course, there is a procedure to deal with that issue. However, if that process is broken or not moving the way it should, that would be where we would be able to provide some level of assistance.” Among the presenters, at the conference were attorneys Assad Shoman and Eamon Courtenay. Shoman told the media, “Belizeans need to wake up, since the Guatemala issue, which has been around for some time now, is getting worse.” Shoman said that for the last few years Guatemala has been dictating what Belize should or should not do, and therefore, Belize needs to take back the agenda.

Belizean rice must now be pre-packaged and labeled
The days of being able to buy a pound of retail rice or 5 pounds of retail rice are over. Last week the Belize Bureau of Standards (BBS) confiscated 27,571 pounds of rice, in marked 100-pound sacks, from the Belize City outlet of a rice producer in Shipyard, Orange Walk, on allegations that the enterprise was violating packaging and labeling laws introduced last year. Rodolfo Gutierrez, consumer protection liaison officer, told Amandala that rice must be prepackaged for retail sale and those packages are required to have both an expiration date and a manufacturing date. The new standards also require manufacturers to state the grade of the rice and the amount being packaged. There are also price restrictions based on the grade of the rice, since the Government controls the price of this basic staple. Gutierrez said that not only will the new requirements make life easier for consumers; it also makes enforcement easier. Gutierrez reiterated that the sale of loose rice is no longer allowed. The BBS recently found out that rice was being retailed at the market, and that is when it decided to go after the rice producer, who has promised to rectify the matter. Had he not done so, Gutierrez said, “…we would have disposed of it.” He said that they will, hereafter, remove any retail rice found on the market.

FFB President Ruperto Vicente says his life was threatened
Amidst the bad blood and power struggle within the executives of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), the life of its president, Ruperto Vicente, reportedly has been threatened. Vicente confirmed to Amandala today that the threats were made on his life via text messages. He said that one of the messages read, “I can easily kill you.” Vicente said that he will report the threats to police, who have told Amandala tonight that so far, no report has been made to them about the matter. Vicente, who apparently, had not considered reporting the threats to police initially, said that he has been advised to report the matter. He said that his executive wants to overthrow him, but he is taking his time to deal with them. On Thursday, a meeting was called by FFB executives at the FFB Headquarters in Belmopan, where the main agenda was to suspend the president.

George Domingo, PUP stalwart, dead at 46
George Domingo, the longtime driver of former People’s United Party (PUP) Minister and former Leader of the Opposition Hon. Francis Fonseca, died sometime around 1:00 this morning at the Buttonwood Bay Medical Center. Domingo died from heart-related complications, said Lovett Griffith, a close family friend. Domingo was hospitalized on January 27 with a heart condition just a few days before the PUP held its National Convention in Belmopan, on January 31. Griffith said Domingo was in the process of making a lifestyle change. “He was trying to be healthy, but before he could make a good hold of that, he had some complications and had a heart attack. And those were the causes of his death.” Griffith added, “I know, regrettable for him, he could not partake in that historic event. His passion was to drive, and be a part of all the solidarity, that the People’s United Party found itself rebuilding lately.”

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

15 year old girl missing
Belize City Police are asking for the public’s help to locate a missing 15-year-old high school student, Alexis Cardinez, who was last seen by her mother on Saturday, February 20. She was reported missing by her mother, 41-year-old Arlena Cardinez, who said she last saw […]

$80,000 vehicle destroyed by fire
A vehicle estimated at $80,000 was damaged by fire yesterday afternoon around 3:30 as its owner, 29-year-old Souad Assad Lindo was driving along the George Price Highway. Lindo, a Ladyville resident, said upon reaching mile 25 on the highway, she noticed smoke coming from the bonnet of […]

Curtis Swasey wins judgment against BTL and Mek Mi Rich
The man who says he invented a lottery texting program via short message service (SMS) that evolved into the television game show “Mek Mi Rich” is a little richer himself tonight. Belize Telemedia Limited and MMR Belize Limited, “Mek Mi Rich”’s producers were rapped in court by Supreme Court Justice Courtney […]

Estella Gonzalez avoids jail on human trafficking conviction
Sixty-four year old Estela Gonzalez, who was convicted of human trafficking on February 11, was spared a custodial sentence today by trial judge, Justice Adolph Lucas. Gonzalez was ordered to pay a fine of $30,000 and restitution amounting to $28,520 to the Department of Human […]

Search for missing men in New River suspended
The Belize Coast Guard has suspended operations for the recovery of a drowned man in the New River after divers began to feel exhausted. The Chief Operations Officer of the Coast Guard said he found it necessary to suspend at 3 this afternoon. Divers […]

Well-known patties vendor charged for Punta Gorda murder
In the wake of a grisly murder which took place in the Hopeville area of Punta Gorda (PG) Town on Saturday February 13, a local patties vendor, 48-year-old Roy Jones has been charged by police for the stabbing death of 69-year-old Thomas Paul Rockowski. […]

Teen charged for scams in two municipalities
Teenager Brian Neal faces multiple charges of obtaining property by deception in two separate cases in the North. Orange Walk police arrested the 19 year old for trying to scam another person in that municipality. But San Pedro Police say that Neal is also wanted for […]

Caye Caulker men missing
Two Caye Caulker residents have gone missing after leaving their home on Sunday evening to socialize at Sip N Dip Beach Bar, located on Avenida Hicaco and police’s efforts to locate them thus far, have been futile. 17-year-old Francisco Torres and Samir Perez left […]

Benque man charged for sexual assault
In reference to a report made on Sunday to Benque Viejo Police, 48-year-old Feliciano Merejildo Sutherland of Church Street in that municipality has been arrested and charged for the offence of “sexual assault”. © 2016, www.breakingbelizenews.com. This article is the copyrighted property of Belize […]

Police operations take gun and weed off the streets
Police operations in areas of Belize City, Orange Walk and Cayo yesterday, netted a total of three and a half pounds of weed, as well as a 16 gauge shotgun, which were all deposited as “found property”. In the old capital, its South Side […]

Minor stabbed multiple times in Dangriga
A male minor and his mother visited the Dangriga Police Station on Saturday evening to report that around 3:00 p.m. that same day, while he waited for a haircut with other male persons at his friend’s house, he was stabbed with a screw driver. […]

18-year-old detained for chopping incident
Yesterday evening around 5:25, Belmopan Police responded to reports of a chopping incident in Valley of Peace Village, Cayo District, where upon arrival, they saw 43-year-old Salvadoran National Raul Salazar, suffering from a large chop wound. Initial investigation revealed that the victim and a […]

FFB president defends administration ahead of crucial elections
President of the Football Federation of Belize (FFB), Ruperto Vicente, has said his administration succeeded in spite of dissension among its executive committee. And as he seeks a second term in office amid allegations of mismanagement by three powerful members of the committee, Vicente […]

One body retrieved from river; one still missing
At around 10:38 this morning, the lifeless body of 21-year-old Carlos Reyes was retrieved from the New River in Orange walk Town, by divers who were called in to comb the river bed for the missing men. Since reports were made to police last night that two men […]

Search continues for missing Orange Walk men
Family members and members of the Orange Walk Police formation are out in full gear in search for two men that jumped in the New River a little after 6 yesterday evening and never resurfaced. According to credible sources three men were socializing of […]

Blogs

Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge
Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge, an extreme endurance race that entails running, biking, canoeing, spelunking and certainly not limited to these, now joins Belize’s top races. It is now the longest race in Belize with over 300 miles spanning 4 days, a record previously held by Belikin La Ruta Maya at 180 miles in 4 days and followed by the Holy Saturday Cycling Classic at 130 miles in 1 day. This new adventure tests the human ability and pushes it to its very limits. It is unbelievable what the participants are put to do. This race is to be held every 2 years and covers an area of San Ignacio Town, Mopan River, Xunantunich, Macal River, El Pilar, rural farming areas, the Mountain Pine Ridge and the Chiquibul National Park. The Chiquibul National Park is a large broadleaf tropical forest covering an area of 423,000 acres and is home to some of Belize’s most beautiful wildlife like the Jaguar, Scarlet Macaw and large hard woods like the Mahogany and Cedars. They are all being affected by the treat of deforestation and poaching. Years of research by Friends of Conservation and Development (FCD) show that these animals are being smuggled into the neighboring country of Guatemala. Major areas of the forest is being destroyed for agricultural uses by those living within the adjacency zone of the Western Border. The losses of timber are in the millions and not the entire wood is being used, but simply that which can be carried on horse back. Small streams are even being redirected and dredged to allow for gold panning. The Maya sites in the area are also being looted for items that can be sold in the black market. Friends for Conservation and Development needed help to bring attention into the Chiquibul for awareness and to fund their projects, and one great way to do this is with tourism, as new areas will soon be accessible by the tour operators to take tourists. Another way is via the Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge.

International Sourcesizz

Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries
The worsening of tidal flooding in American coastal communities is largely a consequence of greenhouse gases from human activity, and the problem will grow far worse in coming decades, scientists reported Monday. Those emissions, primarily from the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the ocean to rise at the fastest rate since at least the founding of ancient Rome, the scientists said. They added that in the absence of human emissions, the ocean surface would be rising less rapidly and might even be falling. The increasingly routine tidal flooding is making life miserable in places like Miami Beach; Charleston, S.C.; and Norfolk, Va., even on sunny days. Though these types of floods often produce only a foot or two of standing saltwater, they are straining life in many towns by killing lawns and trees, blocking neighborhood streets and clogging storm drains, polluting supplies of freshwater and sometimes stranding entire island communities for hours by overtopping the roads that tie them to the mainland. Such events are just an early harbinger of the coming damage, the new research suggests. “I think we need a new way to think about most coastal flooding,” said Benjamin H. Strauss, the primary author of one of two related studies released on Monday. “It’s not the tide. It’s not the wind. It’s us. That’s true for most of the coastal floods we now experience.” In the second study, scientists reconstructed the level of the sea over time and confirmed that it is most likely rising faster than at any point in 28 centuries, with the rate of increase growing sharply over the past century — largely, they found, because of the warming that scientists have said is almost certainly caused by human emissions. They also confirmed previous forecasts that if emissions were to continue at a high rate over the next few decades, the ocean could rise as much as three or four feet by 2100.

Tracing Slaves to Their African Homelands
This is indeed inciting news. Historians like Nigel Bolland, Assad Shoman, and Aondofe Iyo have sought to demonstrate the diversity of African cultures in Belize and the fact that Mayas from Belize were taken to be enslaved in Cuba. DNA research promises new insights and supporting evidence....
From Caribbean sugar plantations to the South Atlantic island of St. Helena, researchers are unlocking the long-kept secrets of enslaved peoples. More than twelve million people crossed from Africa to the New World as slaves. Historians know a good deal about the African ports where they embarked, the slave ships that carried them across the ocean, and the destinations of these enslaved peoples. But they know surprisingly little about where in Africa these masses of people originally came from. Now, thanks to recent advances in genetic techniques, scientists are filling in this important gap in the tragic African diaspora. “This will change our understanding of population and migration histories,” says Hannes Schroeder, a biological anthropologist at the University of Copenhagen. “What was just potential is now being fulfilled.” One example comes from a 17th century cemetery on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of St. Martin. When archaeologists excavated the site in 2010, they noticed filed teeth in the skulls of two men and a woman. The three individuals were between 25 and 40 years old when they died in the late 1600s.

Videos

  • Another disorder linked to the Zika virus, 1min.

  • Meet the 2016 Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge Teams, 4min. Still going!

  • Vivek & Sonali Surprise Belize Engagement Film, 4.5min. Surprise engagement on the beaches of Victoria House Resort in Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Lion Fish Hunt in Belize at Turneffe Atoll, 5.5min. Our first kills and dinner.

  • Oceana outraged by recent shark kill in Belize, 2min. VP Janelle Chanona discusses the consequences of indiscriminate gill net fishing and implications for sustainable fishing.

  • Belize, 8min. Belize Snorkel trip

  • Eagle Ray Encounter - Belize, 1/2min. Ulrich encounters Spotted Eagle Rays on his first day SCUBA diving in Belize! Lighthouse Reef

  • Belize 2005, 10min.

  • Belize Veterinary Clinic, 8min. Members of the 719th Medical Detachment Veterinary Services, administer vaccinations to animals in Belize April 17-19, 2013. Veterinary professionals from the U.S. are providing free veterinary care to animals at multiple Veterinary Readiness Training Exercises throughout Belize as part of an exercise known as New Horizons. The VETRETES are designed to provide vaccinations to animals in several communities, while helping improve the skills of U.S. military service members.

  • Diving Belize!, 2.5min. Two dives off turneffe atoll three miles from the great blue hole

  • *Eating Gibnut in Belize, 1.5min. Trying the rodent gibnut, or paca, at a roadside stand in Belize.

  • Hopkins Mango Fest 2015 in Hopkins Village Belize, 3min.

  • Mike & Katy Belize Wedding Film, 3min. Destination wedding at El Secreto Resort, North Ambergris Caye, Belize.

  • Belize, 18min.

  • The Magic of Belize and Belize Yoga, 12min. Looking for a gorgeous place and an amazing adventure? Then come to Belize with Belize Yoga! Here's what the 2016 crew had to say!

  • Turneffe Flats Fly Fishing Lodge - Belize, 3.5min.

  • How to Apply for a U.S. Visa Online. It’s easier than ever!, 2.5min. Every year, millions of people are issued visas to travel to America, some for tourism, some to visit friends and family, some to study, some for medical treatment, some for business meetings and even some who just like to shop.

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