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#512552 - 03/22/16 05:32 AM Today's Belize News: March 22, 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

Easter is a party on La Isla Bonita
If there was ever an equation for Easter break it would be S+S+S+P=FUN! And clearly partying is my go to activity for this long awaited four-day holiday. From beach festivities to hitting the club after hours, Easter is a time to let loose and party like a rock star! Saturday means time to hit the beach. Beach parties across the island beckons the young at heart ready to have a great time. Caprice Bar and Grill has once again partnered up with Carib Beer to bring you EASTERFEST 2016. This year’s party promises to be bigger and better, featuring three international and local deejays including DeeJay Capone and DJ Karlo. The party goes on from midday to midnight. Close off your Saturday at Fido’s Courtyard with Island Invasion’s Easter Madness Volume 6. Island Invasion is one of the most anticipated parties and this year’s instalment will be epic. Dance the night away under the largest palapa in San Pedro to the tunes of DJ Biggz, Evolution Sounds, Dj Jago, Dj Odessey, Fyah Statah and Lady X.

SPHS Boys Softball Team: 2016 NSSSA Champions!
Ambergris Caye is in a celebratory mood once again, thanks to its San Pedro High School (SPHS) male softball team. The SPHS boys traveled to the Capital City of Belmopan this past weekend, where they competed in the National Secondary School Sports Association’s (NSSSA) softball nationals. Needless to say, the SPHS boys claimed a blowout victory, becoming the 2016 NSSSA Champions in a competition that saw the results of a committed and dedicated team. Following the end of the competition, each team was then presented with their trophies, while the respective members of each team were also awarded. The MVP prize in the female category went to Camry Linarez from Independence High School , while in the male category it went to San Pedro High School’s Shemar Broaster, who was also third baseman. Additionally, the winning pitcher of the tournament was another vibrant member of the SPHS team; with a total of 13 strike outs, Lester Gamez was awarded the title of best pitcher of the competition. The team members are: Lester Gamez, Nahor Howe, Leonard Lopez, Christian Orellana, Shemar Broaster, Angel Navidad, Mauricio Pleitez, Wilmer Arias, Faustino Campos, Jafeth Castillo, Rodel Mendez, Luis Valdez, Jimmy Zometa and Mario Rodriguez.

The 2016 Mesoamerican Eco-Audit launched
The Belize Barrier Reef is the largest in the Western Hemisphere and second only to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. However, the health of the 180- mile long reef structure that runs parallel to the coast of Belize has been declining year after year. Even though different environmental agencies in Belize work hard for the preservation of this World Heritage Site, its condition continues to deteriorate annually. According to Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, an eco-audit is on-going to determine how far Belize is in respect to a number of reef management measures. The launching of the audit took place on Thursday, March 10th at the Radisson Fort George Hotel in Belize City. At the end of the audit, a report will be issued in which an update will be provided regarding the condition of the entire Mesoamerican Reef, of which 80% lies within Belize. In the 2015 Mesoamerican Eco-Audit report, Belize was given a red card, as the state of its reef was declared very poor. However, the Reef Health Index dubbed the reef as fair. At the start of the audit for 2016, environmentalists have stated that Belize is ahead in the management of the ecosystem and marine protection. This gives an optimistic expectation that the results of the audit this year might be very positive.

Angelina Worthington is Miss ACES 2016-17
On Friday, March 11th, six contestants from Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES) competed in the “Ms. ACES” pageant. The function was held at the ACES school compound, and was organized by Principal Amanda Burgos. The pageant contestants proudly represented the six districts of Belize. Last year’s “Ms. ACES 2015-2016” was Amber Rivero, and she ran again as Miss Corozal. However, there is a new Miss ACES for 2016-17, and she is Angelina Worthington, Miss Cayo. This pageant focused on talent, poise, public speaking and stage presence. Angelina won a lavish amount of titles, including Ms. Popularity, which is based on fundraising for the school via monetary votes from the community. She also won Ms. Public Choice, a title carried through audience votes, and she also took the title of Ms. Photogenic. The first runner up was Yari Flores “Ms. Toledo”. Naggiin Valladarez, “Ms. Orange Walk”, took the title of Ms. Congeniality, Jasmin Sanchez represented Stann Creek, while Yaire Castaneda represented the Belize District.

2015 shows increase of 34 turtle nests on Ambergris Caye
Forman indicated that during the course of 2015, a total of 111 turtle nests were recorded. This is an increase of 34 nests when compared to 2014. The different areas of Ambergris Caye where the nests were located are in the northern part of the island. Robles Point was the area with the most nests, with total of 63 nests found at this location. 25 nests were found in Rocky Point, and 11 nests in the Basil Jones area. The last spot where 12 nests were located was Punta Azul. Additionally, another major increase was the amount of eggs found compared to the past nesting season. The 111 clutches yielded a total of 10,767 eggs showing an increase of over 2,000 eggs, compared to the statistics of 2014. The report further details the hatch rate at 47.5%, and that 40% of the total eggs made it out of the nests successfully. These figures are higher than the last season, and due to the increase in the number of eggs for this nesting season, these percentages are considered a great success. “We hope that this trend does not change and if it does, let it be for the better. We will continue our conservation campaigns so that the numbers of the nests keep getting higher,” stated Forman.

Is traffic driving away tourists?
The natural beauty of Belize attracts thousands of tourists to Ambergris Caye annually. Their experiences led to choosing Ambergris Caye as a top vacation destination. For San Pedro, tourism is the largest, fastest growing industry, and contributes significantly to Belize’s economy. In 2013 and 2014, Ambergris Caye was consecutively selected as the number one island destination by TripAdvisor. However, in 2015, ratings dropped drastically, leading many to believe that the complaints about traffic and an increase in local crime has led to the island’s drop from the celebrated list. Over the past several months, The San Pedro Sun has accumulated numerous ‘letters to the editor’ regarding the traffic situation on the island. With so many unsatisfied tourists expressing their feelings and concerns, the tourism industry in San Pedro might be at risk if improvements are not made. Many of the letters reflect the same issue: visitors spend a lot of money to travel to Ambergris Caye, but their experience has been dampened by many factors, including terrible traffic conditions. The San Pedro Sun met with San Pedro Town Council Mayor Daniel Guerrero to address these concerns, and hear the status of town council’s plans to improve the situation. “We are very concerned when it comes to tourism,” said Guerrero. “Tourism is truly our bread and butter. It is increasing, but as it increases, the complaints increase. The more people, the more complaints. It is a living process. We just have to polish here and there until we finally get it fine-tuned,” he said.

Los Catrachos FC leading Five-a-side Football Tournament
The San Pedro High School (SPHS) and Island Citizen Sporting Club (ICSP) Five-a-side Football Tournament is now in its 11th round of games. And while all teams remain competitive, one has remained on top of the leader board from the start of the competition. Currently Los Catrachos FC are leading the tournament will 27 points, only having lost one out of their 10 matches. But they can’t be too comfortable, as other top teams like United FC (26 points), Scorpions FC (24 points), Pro Drivers FC (22 points), We Them Boys (21 points) and Island Pure FC (20 points), still have time to take the lead and claim the second championship of the Five-a-side Football Tournament. The next couple of weeks will be interesting as the tournament starts heading into the final games.

Letter to the Editor: Disappointed with the island’s appeal for tourism
We are working for one of the larger travel agency in the US and were visiting to promote one of the island’s resorts. In general we were disappointed from the island’s appeal for tourism. Therefore we were asked to express our expertise. It is unpleasent to see that the good reputation of La Isla Bonita must have long passed. To point out: high traffic density and congestions, parking problems, tourist safety especially in town, unusual high commercial truck traffic, pollution, visual ugliness from junk, signage and even with some structures on your island as well as high boat traffic close to swimming areas . . .many things we did noticed on your island were rather disappointing. Visually and by vibe, San Pedro and surroundings transmitted more of a “Little Tijuana” feeling than of attractive vacation town with charm or a desirable tourist destination.

Letter to the Editor: Sunshine Scholarship Foundation says thanks
The Sunshine Scholarship Foundation wishes to acknowledge and thank the following businesses on our successful fund raiser on March 5th: Dominique from Top Notch and Love Belize, Mathy from Divas and Dudes, Horacio “Chito” from Island Gear, Molli Kultra for her swim wear line (available at Island Gear). A special thanks to Jan Brown for her expertise as an auctioneer and for volunteering her time as well as all the volunteers who participated. Kudos to the staff and management at Corona Del Mar who helped make our event possible and enjoyable. Also Karen Brodie for her photographs and Tamara from The San Pedro Sun. We thank our sponsors who were generous and supportive:

Wolfe’s Woofer: Hot Date
“Jan, please stay with me after the group leaves. I want to talk to you about something.” “I certainly will, Margaret.” The two little old ladies at the table next to mine were with a vacation group of elderly people eating breakfast on the deck at Fido’s Courtyard. At least, I thought they were elderly until I noticed most of them were about my age. “All right, Margaret,” Millie’s friend said, after a while. “They’re mostly gone. What’s going on?” Millie said, “I want to talk to you about our group leader from the retirement village. He asked me out to dinner and I know you had a date with him last month.”

Police Report
Found Property: On Saturday, March 12th at about 8AM, acting on information received, the San Pedro Police visited a beach front area of San Pedro Town where they retrieved a black garbage bag, which, when opened, contained four compressed parcels of a green leafy substance suspected to be Cannabis, amounting to a total of 74.85lbs.
Drug trafficking: On Tuesday, March 15th at 11:10PM, while San Pedro Police was on mobile patrol on Laguna Drive, San Pedro Town, they stopped and searched a 17-year- old male minor. Inside a black and grey, with red stripe school bag, which was being carried by the minor, police found a transparent plastic bag containing a green leafy vegetable substance suspected to be Cannabis.

Ambergris Today

San Pedro High Celebrates National Softball Victory
In game one SPHS trounced Gwen Lizzaraga High School of Belize City 12 to 2 runs led by the pitching of Christian Orellana. The final match for the championship was against Independence High School of the South. At the third inning our heroes had them sweating cold with a score of 5 runs to nil. But our boys had no mercy as they fought vigorously and bravely to the end only to be crowned National Champions 2016 with a final score of 5-1. According to Coach Marion, other stars who shone were Home Run King third baseman Shemar Broaster who drilled a homerun over the centerfield fence. The victory was a complete team effort from all the young men on the Roster namely: Christian Orellana, Leonard Lopez, Nahor Howe, Angel Navidad, Jimmy Zometa, Mauricio Pleitez, Wilmer Arias, Faustino Campos, Mario Rodriguez, Jafeth Castillo, Rodell Mendez and Luis Valdez

Ambergris Caye Joins in Earth Hour 2016 Observance
On Saturday March 17, 2016, Oceana Belize, NICH (San Pedro House of Culture) and Ministry of Youth Services collaborated in conducting a candle light vigil/ parade through the streets of San Pedro in observance of Earth Hour. The parade lead participants from Central Park to the San Pedro House of Culture where a campfire awaited everybody to start roasting marshmallows. Snacks and refreshments were served while the San Pedro Dance Academy and Garifuna Black&White Charikanari Dancers entertained the gathering. As a tribute to Mother Earth, special lanterns were released into the night’s sky.

San Pedro Joins Efforts in Making Island Child Friendly
A ceremony in recognition of accomplishment and commitment towards achieving a ‘Sustainable Child Friendly Municipality’ was held on Friday, March 18, 2016, at Central Park. San Pedro Town was being recognized as one of the nine municipalities in Belize that signed an agreement in 2014 to make their communities better, safer and more productive for children. On March 15, Belize’s Ministry of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development, UNDP, and UNICEF started a nation-wide tour to acknowledge the country’s municipalities that have committed and made progress in the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Initiative.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

A ceremony in recognition of accomplishment and commitment towards achieving a ‘Sustainable Child Friendly Municipality’ was held on Friday, March 18, 2016, at Central Park. San Pedro Town was being recognized as one of the nine municipalities in Belize that signed an agreement in 2014 to make their communities better, safer and more productive for children. On March 15, Belize’s Ministry of Labor, Local Government and Rural Development, UNDP, and UNICEF started a nation-wide tour to acknowledge the country’s municipalities that have committed and made progress in the Sustainable and Child Friendly Municipality Initiative. By working with the initiative, San Pedro and the other municipal authorities developed a Sustainable and Child Friendly strategy in their planning, budgeting and management.

Thunderbolt Water Taxi announces that there will be no runs on Good Friday March 25th
Our regular schedule remains the same

Baffu Vol 8
The 8th Issue of BAFFUY Magazine is out! Contents: 1. Francis Ruiz 2. Carlos Quiroz 3. Felene Cayetano 4. Marvin Vernon 5. Adriana Smith 6. Carolina Maite Dominguez 7. Rasheed Palacio 8. Rudy Thompson 9. Gerardo Polanco 10. Katie Usher 11. Maja Skenderovic 12. Chante Pascascio 13. Kesha Peyrefitte 14. Yasser Musa 15. Sean Gibson 16. Mercy Sabal 17. Alfonso Galvez 18. Paul Stevenson 19. Briheda Haylock 20. Tony Rath 21. Keyren X 22. Michael Gordon 23. Cricel Castillo 24. Kevin Baizar 25. Yassine Boutouil 26. Abdulmajeed K Nunez 27. Ansel Diego 28. Evan V. Evans 29. Marlene Sulker 30. Sean Taegar 31. Alex Ellis 32. Nia Alulaij 33. Ellen Joseph 34. Patrick Peyrefitte 35. Avery 36. Kyo D’Assassin 37. Ansel Diego 38. Gerzon 39. Margaret Reynolds 40. Janai Garnett 41. Cindy Burgos 42. Jemuel E. Robateau 43. Keisha Diane Rodriguez

Liquor Sales on Good Friday & Town Council Easter Hours
The San Pedro Town Council and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board hereby informs the general public and all Liquor License Holders the following regulations regarding the sale of liquor on Good Friday (March 25, 2016). • All License Holders with Beer, Malt, Convenience Store, Publican’s Special, Publican’s General License must either conceal or completely remove all liquor products off the shelves. • Restaurants could sell aloholic beverages to customers on Good Friday (March 25, 2016) after 7:00 p.m. • Night Club License Holders must close on Holy Thursday at midnight and may re-open on Saturday, March 26, at 12:15 a.m. • Hotel License Holders can sell alcoholic beverages to bona fide guests only.

World Tuberculosis Day
World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is observed every year on March 24th as a means of creating public awareness about TB. This year’s theme is “Unite to end TB”. TB remains a public health concern and is still responsible for 1.5 million global deaths every year. Tuberculosis is a curable and preventable disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (which generally affects the lungs). When people with lung TB cough, sneeze or spit, they propel the TB germs into the air. TB is transmitted from the infected person to another weak person through the droplets formed in the throat or lungs. In 2014, 9.6 million people fell ill with TB and 1.5 million died from the disease. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, and it is among the top five causes of death among women aged 15 to 44.

Capacity-building for strategic planning and management of natural resources in Belize
The Belize Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Environment and Sustainable Development hosted a 1 day workshop earlier in March, 2016, at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel under a project entitled "Capacity-building for the strategic planning and management of natural resources in Belize”. This project is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, with funding from the Global Environment Facility, and aims to facilitate sustainable development as we seek to manage and adapt to the effects of climate change. The concept of a low carbon development strategy came up at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun in 2010 where developing countries such as Belize were encouraged to pursue development with minimal outputs of greenhouse gas emissions and at the same time prepare for its impacts.

Today we celebrate our forest, here in Belize
Forest provides to us more than tangible benefits. Ya'axche is protecting the integrity of over 435,000-acres of forest within the Maya Golden Landscape. Below are 12 Things a Standing Forest provides to us: 1. Access to natural resources 2. Game population replenishment 3. Flagship species for tourism 4. Natural pollinators of crops 5. Natural pest control 6. Soil stabilisation on the river edge 7. Clean water availability 8. Reducing flood risk 9. Soil doesn’t dry out as fast 10. Carbon storage 11. Provision of oxygen 12. Local rainfall generation

The incredible 1990 Belize Cross Country Champion, Charlie Lewis, in the center flanked by Ronald 'Jack Sutherland' to the left and who also got the second place, and Barrington 'Bomber' Young to the right who came in third. What a race that was for the Belize Cross Country history books.

Belize 2016 Big Day 1.0
The mission was to break any and all previous Big Day records for Belize. In 2014, along with my friends Michael O'Brien and Louise Zemaitis we set the record of 225 species with little planning. I mean, 225 species of birds within Belize in less than 24 hours is pretty good, but we knew we could do better... Yesterday we broke it and set a new bar with 260 species within 24 hours. Exhausting, exhilarating, epic... tired, but lets do it again. At the end of April is Big Day 2.0 in southern Belize. Get ready...

Channel 7

“Fat Cat” Hunted Down And Killed
Rene Chavarria Jr - or Fat Cat as he was known - was a man well known to police - and he had also gained notoriety in his Ladyville community. The 25 year old was fatally shot on Friday night as he was going to his home in the La Milpa Area of Ladyville. His younger brother Jaime was killed on March, 31, 2015, and on Friday night, Rene was hunted down and killed. 7News was on the scene and we got more from police today: On Friday night at around 9:00, the lifeless body of 26 year old Rene Chavarria Jr., known as fat cat, lay inside these bushes after he was shot by two assailing gunmen. Police say Chavarria was riding his bicycle on Marage Road heading home, when two gunmen opened fire from behind. The spray of bullets hit a 13 year old minor in the leg as he was standing outside his yard. At the same time Chavarria made a desperate sprint towards the Caribbean Shrimp farms. He jumped across the drain, trying to escape his attackers. But before he could make it very far, he was shot three times: to the back of his head, to the upper right shoulder and to the middle of his back.

Bus Crushes Cyclist
A cyclist was knocked down and killed on the Western Highway. It happened on Friday night around 7:45, when 33 year old Hattieville resident Jason Robinson was heading to Belize City on his bicycle. But as he was approaching miles 16, a Shaw's Bus heading to the city as well, ran him over -hos body was mangled and his bicycle was crushed beneath the bus's front bumper. Today we spoke with an eyewitness who was a couple cars back when the accident occurred. The police also gave us more details on the incident. Norman Augustus, Eyewitness: "I was in Pearl bus. I was like say like 4 vehicle behind the incident and all I know that there is a full stop and police came suddenly quickly and let us know that we cannot pass this way. So we waited like an hour and a half to two hours and then they took us around the old street behind the church and meanwhile this is happening, I saw a couple of gentlemen, Mr. Craig and Mr. Bush actually crying out saying that the bus ran over Mr. Robinson. Now, I was stunned."

Man Drowns In Front Of Daughter In Corozal
There was a drowning in Corozal yesterday afternoon. Reports are that around 3:00, 39 year old Customs Officer Valdemar Alpuche Jr. was Jet Skiing with his daughter and some friends in the South End Area. That's when a strong wave overturned the jet ski - hurling Alpuche and his daughter into the water. While his daughter, who is a minor stayed afloat with her life vest, Alpuche did not resurface. A friend, Lewelyn Kelly jumped in to try and save Alpuche but he couldn't - Kelly almost drowned trying to save him. Alpuche's body was found about an hour after the incident. Our colleagues at CTV-3 tried to speak with the family but they declined comment.

Fatal Stabbing in LADYVILLE: Still A Mystery
Did Oscar Gomez kill himself? That is what police are still investigating and today they told us they are not ruling anything out in this case. As we told you on Thursday 41 year old Oscar Gomez went to visit his friend in Lords Bank LADYVILLE. They hung out as usual but later on in the day, Gomez began to act very strange. And then, without any warning, Gomez allegedly grabbed a knife and stabbed himself in the throat. Police gave us an update on this bizarre case. ACP Edward Broaster - OC, Eastern Division Rural: "As it pertains to the stabbing death of Mr. Gomez, we are still doing some investigation. As a matter of fact we are awaiting the post mortem. We did a mock scene where we had the witness reenact to us what actually transpired and we are still leaving it open due to the wounds that Mr. Gomez received. We want to satisfy ourselves what is being told to us is actually what occurred. Hence the reason why we are continuing to do more investigation."

Grieving Mother Says She Wants Her Baby's Body Back
Tonight a young mother is left heartbroken after she couldn't bury the remains of her unborn child. And that's because she claims that the Northern Regional Hospital misplaced her baby's remains. Shamika Flowers was about 5 months pregnant when she had a miscarriage on Friday. It was a devastating blow for her after she had been trying for so long to have her first child. But her world came crumbling down when she went to the Orange Walk morgue to get her baby's remains - they told her they couldn't find it. Flowers told our colleagues at CTV 3 more about her disheartening situation. Shamika Flowers: "Friday I had the miscarriage and they made me sign the paper saying that the baby is at the morgue. When I went this morning to go get my baby, there was no baby there. I don't know what to do because, I want my baby in his box - to put him at rest. Now I don't have my baby, what am I going to do with this box? Everyone is already home at my village in Crooked Tree waiting for me to bring the baby to bury him. They already made the tomb. This isn't right."

UDP Go To Griga To Regroup
Yesterday, the UDP held its national convention in Dangriga Town. Unlike the recent one for the PUP, this was no big deal really, since there was no challenge for any of the four executive posts and they were all endorsed. But, the sudden resignation of Deputy Party Leader Gaspar Vega - did make it interesting - since Vega was absent and his post vacant, creating a kind of inner drama for the party beneath its calm exterior. Daniel Ortiz went south to drill down for drama. Here's his story: Daniel Ortiz reporting The grounds of Stann Creek Ecumenical College was overflowing with red shirts from supporters all across the country. Though it was mostly housekeeping, the ruling party made no apologies and enjoyed the comfort of its faithful gathered in masse. Hon. Frank Papa Mena & Mayor Francis Humphreys: "Welcome the UDP way, all the way, the only way." Mayor Francis Humphreys: "Let us hear you, UDP." For this party convention to validate the endorsements, two-thirds of the delegates on the list needed to have shown up. They had no problem making quorum because the official count was that 97% of Party's delegates were present.

PM Says: Ask Vega
And as you in that story, Gaspar Vega was nowhere to be seen at the convention. According to incumbent Party Chairman Alberto August, there were representatives from his constituency of Orange Walk North. Yesterday, Prime Minister Barrow was willing to take questions on the hot button subject, and he told us that we'd have to ask Vega why he stepped down: Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow - Leader, UDP: "In terms of my personal conversation with him, he repeated what's in the letter that he really has grown tired and he does not want to contest the next general elections and in that context he doesn't want to continue as first deputy. Because had he been endorsed today, that would have been for 4 years because as you see, we have changed the constitution. So there will not be another convention until just under 4 years' time and that's to accommodate the fact that I am going at that junction. There clearly is, apart from what he had said, factors that I am sure influenced his decision, but as to what exactly those are, I am sure when the media gets a chance to talk to him he might wish to in fact expound on those. He has been with me as the number 2 from the time of the general elections in 2008. He has been a colleague and he has been a friend, so his departure now does leave me experiencing a personal sense of loss. I salute him..."

Patrick And John Make Their Case
So, as we've told you, both John Saldivar and Patrick Faber want to become the new 1st Deputy Party Leader. They both launched their campaigns today, and yesterday, we got a chance hear both make their political pitch: Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "I believe that my biggest strength has to be my performance as area representative for Belmopan and what I've been able to deliver for my people in my constituency - something I would want to see happen in other constituencies and I am sure that as deputy leader I would be able to influence that process. Other than that, I believe I've done an okay job as Minister of National Security and with my colleagues we get along well and I expect that they are going to give me that nod." Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: "My record of working in this party and building relationships and taking care of the people in this party is great and that is the primary foundation upon which I will lead my campaign. But as all know, it will also signal once you become the deputy leader, that you are also the deputy prime minister. And assisting the Prime Minister in the work of the government is also very key and so my work, again, will speak for itself and that is the basis upon which I will bank. The work of the Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports, Culture is very important work. I believe that I've delivered well on these fronts and so I am asking people for a support for something much larger."

PM On GAF’s History Of Provocation
All of last week, the headlines were dominated by the news that the Guatemalan Armed Forces had confronted the BDF at the Sarstoon Forward Operating Base on Saturday, March 12. As we showed you, however, the BDF have cataloged 10 years of hostile and aggressive engagements from the Guatemalan Military in the Sarstoon River. It's all contained in their Threat Assessment Report, which you heard Foreign Minister Wilfred Elrington say last week that he hasn't seen. He's a member of the National Security Council, and so is Prime Minister Barrow, who is the Chairman. So yesterday, we asked him if he's read that report. He says that he hasn't either, but does know the contents in a general sense. So, we asked him about that worrying assessment from the BDF that the other country's military has tried to goad them into an armed conflict. Here's what he told us: Daniel Ortiz: "The BDF are calculating based on sober observations of 10 years of interactions, some 10 incidents thereabout. Their suggestion is that the military tactic seem to be provocative with the intent to lure Belizean forces into an armed conflict." Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow, Prime Minister: "I'm sure that the BDF has been nothing but professional. and while I haven't read that report, the verbal reports that I have gotten from time to time about little incidents all suggest to me that the Guatemalans while acting in an undesirable manner, might not have has as their objective provoking a shooting war. Now the description that I first received of the Saturday incident worried me because that appeared to have taken things up a notch or two."

PM: ICJ the Only Way
The Prime Minister told us that once again, incidents like these underscore that a peaceful resolution needs to happen sometime soon. We told you how the International Group of Friends are getting impatient with the referendum delays. Prime Minister Barrow said that this is yet another reason that the citizens need to consider it closely: "In our view, in the official view of the government, that really is the only way to solve this issue once and for all, but it does take two to tango and we have not yet gone to a referendum because the Guatemalans seem to be having great difficulty in terms of their own internal politics. In setting the stage for them to go to referendum. The key is to try to come up with a way forward with respect to the Sarstoon. That's priority 1, that's job 1. In the larger context, we in Belize continue to be interested in going to referendum as soon as is practicable. But I repeat, I don't see us going without the Guatemalans also being prepared to go. There has been provision now for us to go separately. Speaking for myself, I don't see Belize going until Guatemala has gone. It's either going together or they need to go first."

OW Protestors Want Justice For Christie
Today, residents of Orange Walk Town went in front of the Court House to demonstrate their outrage over the Christie Carrasco case. As we've been reporting, accused murderer, Osmar Sabido is on trial right now for the stabbing death of his common-law wife, Christie Carrasco, who was killed in February of 2011. The prosecution has called witnesses to testify against Sabido, and in response, he's claimed self-defense. He claims that he didn't kill Carrasco, and that she attacked him with a knife and fatally injured herself while trying to hurt him. Some in the community say that this is an outrageous claim, and so when he was marched into court today, they stood on the street with picket signs. Our colleagues from CTV 3 News were at the courthouse, and they spoke with a few of the protesters:

Car Run Off Road And Explodes
A vehicle burst into flames last night after it overturned on the Philip Goldson Highway. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured. By the time the vehicle caught fire, the driver had managed to jump out. So how did it happen? Well according to a statement recorded by police, someone - although they couldn't say who - rear ended the vehicle causing it to fishtail and flip several times. Assistant Commissioner of Police Edward Broaster told us more. Police continue investigations.

Faber And Friends Launch Candidacy For Deputy
So far on the news tonight you've heard a lot from the UDP - it was their national convention yesterday, after all. It's also a busy time for the party as Patrick Faber and John Saldivar vie for the post of first Deputy. Saldivar launched his candidacy today with an advertisement you may have seen in our last ad break - and Faber did his launch at UDP headquarters with a press conference. Faber designed the event to show the ranks and depth of his support within the party. Jules Vasquez was there:.. The special convention to elect a first deputy leader will be held in May or June. The Prime Minister has confirmed that whoever gets the party post, will also get the same promotion in Cabinet.

A Finney Farewell For Vega
And after Gaspar Vega, it's clear the UDP is eager to move on. That's not to say the Deputy Party Leader and Orange Walk North won't be missed - but, as Party Whip Michael Finnegan made clear today, the Party will move on, so..."ta-ta":...: Hon. Michael Finnegan: "It's an unfortunate situation, but it is not something that will bring the United Democratic Party to a halt and the party will not die because of that. I can trace history for you. I think I've made mention this to another television station while I was in Dangriga yesterday; Hubert Elringhton, Derick Akeman, Paul Rodriguez, Keneth Tillet, Lionel Tillet, Dr. Aranda, they have all left the United Democratic Party. And so many years later, the United Democratic Party is a 3 time government. People will come and people will go, and if you are in the UDP and you want to go, I don't want to see you go, but if you want to go then go and go in peace. Nobody will miss you." Jules Vasquez: "So you don't shed tears for the departure of Gaspar Vega?" Hon. Michael Finnegan: "I like Gaspar Vega as a human being, and as a person in the United Democratic Party, and I have the greatest of respect for him. But politics is a big man game, you don't baby people in politics, and if Mr. Vega wants to depart, it is an unfortunate situation. But if he wants to depart, so what? We wish him all the best."

Finnegan Says Goldson Warned About Guatemalan Bullying
Apart from providing some sly commentary on his colleague Gaspar Vega, Finnegan also gave us a little history lesson. Discussing the present difficulties with Guatemala, he said that in 1980 on the cusp of Independence, National Hero Phillip Goldson warned about this very type of Guatemalan bullying:...

Marcus Caught Hot After Robbing Chicken Joint
21 year-old Marcus Garcia, a stevedore of Ebony Street, is at prison tonight after he was taken to the Magistrate's court for a robbery in progress. On last week Thursday, somebody robbed the Pollo Express, a Mexican Fast Food Chain, which opened for business on Central American Boulevard just this year. The employee, a 16 year-old boy, told police that a gunman entered, and the man demanded money at gunpoint,. Fearing for his life, he handed over $800 cash. Police were responding to that crime in progress, and they say they spotted Garcia on the corner of Vernon and Mayflower Streets. He matched the description of the robber from Pollo Express, and so they detained him. When they searched Garcia, they found a rusty magazine which contained 4 live arounds of .25 ammunition. Police arrested him, and after investigating the robbery report, they charged Garcia with the offences of robbery, and keeping unlicensed ammunition.

#512553 - 03/22/16 05:32 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 22, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

U.D.P. Holds Biennial Convention – Gapi is a No-Show!
The United Democratic Party held its National Convention in Dangriga over the weekend. The biennial event should have been held in 2015, but that turned out to be a banner [...]

How Will Vega’s Departure Affect the U.D.P.?
There’s no doubt that Vega’s departure from the political scene will have a significant effect on the U.D.P.  Vega has generally held the fort in the north – pumping resources [...]

Patrick Faber Launches Candidacy for First Deputy Leader
There are two contenders to the slot of first deputy leader of the U.D.P.: Ministers John Saldivar and Patrick Faber. Within twenty-four hours of the national convention in Dangriga, Faber [...]

Customs Officer Drowns in Corozal Bay
A thirty-nine-year old custom officer well-known in Corozal Town tragically lost his life on Sunday afternoon. Valdemar Alpuche Junior and his two daughters were trying out a brand new jet [...]

Gang Figure “Fat Cat” Slain in Ladyville
In the Belize District, there was a violent end to the life of twenty-five-year-old Rene Chavarria, who was shot and killed in Ladyville on Friday night.  Chavarria was riding a [...]

RED Police Continue to Investigate Alleged Suicide Stabbing
A locus retracing the sequence of events resulting in the stabbing death of Salvadoran national Oscar Gomez has been completed.  Despite making progress in the ongoing investigation, Ladyville police are [...]

Cyclist Dies after Being Hit by Bus on the George Price Highway
There was other loss of lives, but on the highways. A cyclist perished at the start of the weekend after being hit by a passenger bus while traveling along the [...]

Toledo Resident Knocked Down and Killed in San Antonio
On Saturday night, there was another fatal road traffic accident, this one on the Jalacte Road near the San Antonio waterfalls. At around ten-fifty that night Police were called to [...]

Vehicle Bursts into Flames After Collision on Sunday
A motorist is tonight lucky to be alive, following a near fatal road traffic accident along the Phillip Goldson Highway on Sunday morning.  The white Chevy Tahoe, driven at the [...]

Faber Says He Has Staying Power to Guarantee Leadership
The Patrick Faber campaign was launched this afternoon amid much fanfare within the United Democratic Party.  While a date for the convention is yet to be determined, it is expected [...]

Faber Asked if Past “Indiscretions” Will Come Back to Haunt Him
But what about his temper?  Faber is known for his sporadic outbursts, a trait that has rubbed quite a few people the wrong way.  According to the leadership candidate, it’s [...]

U.D.P. Whip Says Belize Should Have Gotten a Defense Guarantee from Britain
Barring an official protocol governing the rules of engagement at the southern-most border of Belize, the Sarstoon, there seems little clarity on the situation there. Things came to a head [...]

Minister of Tourist Says Stats Up Despite Crime
At least in the first quarter of 2016, violent crime has been on the rise, in record-setting numbers. Murders in particular have been spread out across the country, including in [...]

Final Submissions in Sabido Murder Trial Delivered – Judgment Reserved
Closing arguments from the prosecution and the defense commenced today in the murder trial of Osmar Sabido, who is accused of taking the life of his common-law-wife Christie Carrasco. A [...]

No Case File – Accused Murderer Ronalph Ramsey Walks
At the opening session of the Supreme Court this year, Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin set ground rules in respect of the time frame for an accused person to be provided [...]

Football and Basketball Stats in Sports
Good evening, I’m James Adderley and this is Sports Monday.   The playoff picture inside the PLB closing season is taking shape but there are some crucial back matches remaining [...]


The Belize Protectors Takes First Place in B2V Race in Vegas
Last week we met up with the law enforcement members who make up the Belize Protectors Team and they were getting on a bus to Cancun after which they would be heading to Las Vegas to compete in the B2V Race. Tonight, we can tell you that the Belize Protectors Team placed first in the […]

‘Fat Cat’ Chavarria Killed in Rural Belize
A murder was reported in Ladyville on Friday night. The victim was well known to Police. Reporter Judy Turton has the story.

Minor Murdered in Independence
16-year-old David Chinchilla Junior of Independence Village was fatally stabbed last night. Correspondent Harry Arzu reports. HARRY ARZU “A fatal stabbing incident that occurred in Independence Village last night has claimed the life of a minor. Independence police say that sometime around 8:15 last night they visited the polyclinic in the area and observed the […]

Gomez’ Death Still Under Investigation
Last week we reported on the death of Salvadoran national Oscar Gomez. He had been stabbed to death. The witness that was in the room at the time of the incident told police that Gomez took his own life. Police has not yet ruled out murder. They are looking at the case very closely. Assistant […]

Hospital Disposes of Fetus; Mother Wants Proper Burial
Twenty two year old Shameka Flowers is accusing workers at the Northern Regional Hospital of gross negligence. She says that they threw away her dead baby. Flowers told Love News that she had a miscarriage on Friday but when she went this morning to get the body of her 19 week old fetus, she was […]

Guatemala Needs to Go To Referendum First, Says PM
With the recent increased tensions with Guatemala military, an even greater urgency has been expressed by members of the public and other sections of the country in bringing a resolution to the matter. The one option that the Government has supported is through the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Yesterday in Dangriga, we asked Prime […]

UDP Holds National Convention in Dangriga
On Sunday, the UDP held its national convention at the Stann Creek Ecumenical High School auditorium where four of five leaders were endorsed and two amendments were made to the party’s constitution. The event began just after ten o’clock when the Party Leader, Dean Barrow arrived. We spoke with the Party Chairman, Alberto August on […]

Vega – A No-Show at UDP Convention
Notably missing from yesterday’s convention in Dangriga was the Deputy Prime Minister Gaspar Vega who also serves as the Area Representative for Orange Walk North. We asked UDP’s Chairman, Alberto August if Vega’s absence was with an explanation and we also took that opportunity to ask August to weigh in on Vega’s resignation. ALBERTO AUGUST […]

Community Pleads for Justice for Christie Carrasco
The trial without a jury against Osmar Sabido, the man accused of stabbing Christie Carrasco to death five years ago, continued today in the Northern Session of the Supreme Court. After being on remand since 2011 the trial began last week and it was expected to end this afternoon but the matter was adjourned until […]

Bandfest 2016 – Another Success
The 2016 Belize Band Fest was held on Saturday. Hundreds of spectators made their way into the Marion Jones Stadium to watch the competition. Judy Turton looks back on what transpired.

Consultations Come After Announcement of Curfew
Following our meeting with Mayor Bradley, we met up with ACP Chester Williams and in that encounter he laid out the idea and details on the initiative of detaining minors found on the streets unsupervised. Williams says it is not a curfew. To further elaborate on this idea, Williams says that it is not […]

Mayor Not Embracing of the Curfew Notion
While the Belize Police Department is implementing measures in keeping the city crime-free and Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chester Williams is holding parents accountable for their children’s whereabouts at night, the Mayor of Belize City, Darrell Bradley is not so embracing of the curfew approach. Mayor Bradley says the entire idea is extreme.

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Robbery attempt foiles
A short while ago on Jose Maria Nunez Street in Punta Gorda Town, a robbery attempt was foiled by police officers who responded to the scene quickly and fired several shots at the fleeing culprits. According to information received from eye witnesses, officers were able […]

NRH accused of losing miscarried baby
A woman from Crooked Tree is claiming that the Northern Regional Hospital (NRH) lost her baby after she miscarried last Friday. The woman, 22-year-old Shamika Flowers, spoke to the press and said that she arrived at the NRH last Friday seeking medical attention as she […]

Protest outside Sabido murder case
The case against Osmer Sabido, accused of killing Christie Carrasco on February 28th, 2011, continued today at the Orange Walk Supreme Court where final submissions were made. The prosecution made a submission to bring three more witnesses to the stand. The court was adjourned to […]

World Tuberculosis Day to be observed on Thursday
A government press release issued earlier today serves to announce that World Tuberculosis (TB) Day is to be observed on March 24th as it is annually, to create public awareness about the illness which is responsible for 1.5 million global deaths each year. Under this year’s theme, […]

SSSSA National Softball champs
The Southern Secondary School Sports Association (SSSSA) held its nationals competition over the weekend in Belmopan City. Competitors came from North, Central, Western and Southern zones. For the boy’s category, the Northern zone’s San Pedro High School took the championship. Lester Gamez, the team’s pitcher […]

Belize 52nd happiest country in the world
Belize has been ranked 52 of 157 countries on the World Happiness Report 2016, which was released over the weekend in Rome to commemorate UN World Happiness Day, March 20th. The study was done by leading experts across fields including economics, psychology, survey analysis, national […]

Body recovered from Corozal Bay and identified
Corozal Police and a search party recovered the body of Valdemar Alpuche Jr., a Customs Officer, from the sea about an hour after he went under water on Sunday. According to witnesses, around three the afternoon Apluche was on a jet ski with his daughter, a […]

Patrick Faber wants to be first deputy leader of the United Democratic Party
This afternoon the Honorable Patrick Faber launched his candidacy for First Deputy Party Leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) at party headquarters in Belize City. Faber, who also turns 38 years old today, has been a member of the National Assembly since 2003 […]

Sports action results
In National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) sports action over the weekend, the Cayo Western Ballaz took a loss in Belize City against the No Limits 61-85. In Orange Walk at the Multi-Purpose Complex Belmopan Bandits won against the Running Rebels 98-67. Down South in Dangriga, […]

Orange Walk Football Federation holds election
The Orange Walk Football Federation has a new membership following elections on Sunday. The election for the Chairmanship of the federation went for two rounds of votes. By the end of the second, Ladrick Sheppard Jr. was elected as the new Chairman, beating Carlos Umania. The […]

Trade mission from Florida visits Belize
A team of business persons from a number of companies in the United States arrived in Belize, Thursday, March 17 for a trade and investment meeting which opened last Friday, at the Placencia Hotel & Resort. The 15-member trade and investment mission is here to […]

CARICOM backs Belize
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has publicly declared its support for Belize’s territorial sovereignty following the most recent confrontation between the Belize Defense Force (BDF) and the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) at the forward operating base under construction in the Sarstoon River. CARICOM said yesterday that although the […]

Cold front causes cloudy and windy conditions
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting variably cloudy, windy and cool weather with a few showers or periods of light rain, mostly over southern and some coastal areas. Winds will be blowing from the North-Northwest at 15-25 knots with occasional higher gusts […]

UDP holds convention in Griga
Under the theme “One Team, One Dream: United we work, United we win,” the United Democratic Party (UDP) travelled to Dangriga on Sunday for its National Convention. Prime Minister Dean Barrow and his entire leadership executive minus Deputy Prime Minister, Gaspar Vega were endorsed. Those persons […]


Lobster Bisque Soup/Good Friday 2016
LENT RECIPE: Simple Lobster Bisque. This recipe is simple, but savory and delicious.

International Sourcesizz

Caribbean Export OUTLOOK 2016 (English)

St. Charles Family Profiled on HGTV's "Caribbean Life"
A St. Charles family got its 30 minutes of fame Sunday night on the HGTV show "Caribbean Life. The show gives people from across the nation the opportunity to be filmed while searching for their dream beach home. "I really like the Casa Cay view. It has my own apartment in it." The Doty family watched their story for the first time Sunday Night with a group of friends and family. There was plenty of laughing going on... while the Doty family searched through 3 different locations for their perfect home. But this experience almost didn't happen. "HGTV had a couple that had backed out and on a Friday before Labor Day we got an email asking if we wanted to participate," explains Norm Doty. Though the Doty family bought their dream home in Belize, they won't officially move until their youngest daughter graduates from high school.

It Seems Fortis Inc Will Go Up. Have Another Big Increase
The stock of Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) is a huge mover today! The stock increased 2.05% or $0.8 on March 21, hitting $39.81. About 815,703 shares traded hands. Fortis Inc (TSE:FTS) has risen 2.17% since August 13, 2015 and is uptrending. It has outperformed by 3.80% the S&P500. The move comes after 8 months positive chart setup for the $11.10B company. It was reported on Mar, 21 by Barchart.com. We have $48.57 PT which if reached, will make TSE:FTS worth $2.44B more. Out of 7 analysts covering Fortis Incorporated (TSE:FTS), 0 rate it “Buy”, 0 “Sell”, while 0 “Hold”. This means NaN are positive. $38.42 is the highest target while $32.27 is the lowest. The $35.02 average target is 13.39% above today’s ($39.81) stock price. Fortis Incorporated was the topic in 13 analyst reports since August 4, 2015 according to StockzIntelligence Inc. Fortis Inc. is a Canada-based electric and gas utility company. The company has a market cap of $11.10 billion. The Firm serves more than three million clients across Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. It has 15.56 P/E ratio. Fortis owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets in Canada, Belize and Upstate New York.


  • Awesome shark feeding near the Anchorage on Caye Caulker. (Please do not try to kill the shark, peeps!), 1.5min.

  • It's always this cheerful and alive in Belize. Children celebrating as San Pedro Town, 1min. It's always this cheerful and alive in Belize. Children celebrating as San Pedro Town Council works on making municipality child friendly.

  • Belize Shark Attack 2016, 1.5min. Shark attacks a spotted Ray off the docks of Caye Caulker, BZ on March 20, 2016! Hubby happened to be getting pics of rays!

  • Belize 2016 Cave's Branch Lodge & Indigo Villas, 9min. Return trip to Belize. Stayed at Cave's Branch Lodge on the mainland then Indigo Villas on Ambergris Caye. Fished with Eric Henkis of Uprising tours.

  • 3rd Annual Belize Bike Rally, 3.5min. Bikers from the region ‪Meet In The Middle‬ to celebrate one common passion - to ride in Belize. "Like" iTravel Belize Facebook Page to keep updated as more posts and pictures to come of the 3rd Annual Belize Bike Rally.

  • Parade!!! Celebration!!!, min. San Pedro High School celebrates national victory of male softball team. Congratulations!!!

  • C.c.c Marching band 2016 Belize Band fest practice, 2min.

  • Belize snorkling spring break 2016, 2min.

  • Belize Cocoa From Bean To Bar, 3min.

  • Impacts of Climate and Land Use Change on Belize's Water Resources, 12min. University of Belize Environmental Research Institute

  • Snook Caught by Jon B, 1min.

  • Belize Diving 2016, 5min. Diving in San Pedro Belize 2016.

  • Big blue hole belize may 2015, 9.5min.

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