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#512579 - 03/23/16 06:27 AM Today's Belize News: March 23, 2016
Marty Offline

I will be unable to do the daily news tomorrow, Thursday morning March 24. I will return on Friday morning.


Click for our Daily Tropical Weather Report.

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

No liquor on Good Friday in San Pedro
Easter has arrived and with it comes a variety of activities. While many people see the occasion as an opportunity to take some days off, and go to the beach, others tend to celebrate the holiday’s religious history. For others, it is a time to party, and what better way than with alcohol? Well, there is some bad news for these folks, as this Good Friday will be another dry one, with no liquor available for the entire day. The San Pedro Police Department, along with The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and the San Pedro Liquor Licensing Board, will once again be enforcing the ‘dry’ Good Friday regulation. All License Holders with Beer, Malt, Convenience Store, Publican’s Special, and Publican’s General License must either conceal or completely remove all liquor products off their shelves during this day.

Caye Notes: Easter Monday Cycling Race
The San Pedro Cycling Association will be hosting a bicycle race on Monday, March 28th for persons of all ages. The Easter Monday Cycling Race will begin at 8AM from Village Supermarket, just north of Sir Barry Bowen Bridge. Prizes will be awarded to top finishers for the designated race categories. Interested persons are asked to contact Kent “Bob” Gabourel for registration details at 604-9013. All participants must have a bicycle of their own for the race.

Ambergris Today

Rapid Uncontrolled and Perhaps Unregulated Traffic Woes
Dear Editor, It is it with deep concern that we from the People’s United Party (Belize Rural South) write to our local news media with regards to the rapid, uncontrolled and perhaps unregulated traffic woes that are affecting our town in the most negative manner. For proof, this image that was taken this weekend in the Boca del Rio area that shows the importation of brand new golf carts presumably for rental. All this, at a time where traffic congestion is at an all time high, importations even higher, solutions and moratoriums at an all time low and the constant promise of less vehicle permits: a false reassurance to our community. On a weekly basis the issue of traffic has been a hot topic on the local media as well as public discussions among social gatherings, creating negative reviews from our visitors. Downtown traffic has reached to a point where there is no parking space and residents find themselves circling around several times looking for a place to park. To make matters worse, the Council’s only solution so far has been to grant even more permits for the importation of several large vehicles and many more permits for golf cart rentals.

25 Years Ago - The Good Old Days When One Police Officer was Enough
Everybody likes to talk about the good old days; and why not if the subject brings pleasant memories. Even young people just recently out of school like to talk about their great days in school. In the good old days children could not stay out late at night on the streets and that does not mean that there was a curfew. Also in the good old days of San Pedro, there was only one police officer in San Pedro and there was almost perfect law and order. What time do children stay out on the street in today's very permissive society? I don't know because I do not stay out at one or two in the morning, so you tell me. But in our good old days children were expected to be home by 7p.m. What you are about to read now will give you ample reasons to understand why this was so. First and foremost, if a child arrived home too late or after 7p.m., he was sure to receive a good lashing and this one was from dad with a leather belt or the hammock rope. Sometimes, or I may say many times, when a child got home late, the door would be locked and the parents threatened that he/she would have to sleep outside. This sent the child into tantrums, crying and begging for forgiveness. After a long time and the shedding of many pints of tears, dad would open the door and scolded like you had never heard him before.

Pic of the Week - What did I Get Myself Into?
"What did I get myself into?" says the Manatee as it sits at Central Park's playground allowing children to climb onto its back. "What did I get myself into?" says the little boys who got stuck atop the manatee sculpture at Central Park. It's just another beautiful day in San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, with children enjoying the new open space at Central Park.

San Pedro High Wins at Sagicor Visionary Challenge
Many times the news of student violence or student drinking spread like wildfire, but the accomplishments of teachers and students spread slowly or go unnoticed. This is exactly what a team of teachers and students at San Pedro High set out to change when they joined the Sagicor Challenge. The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge encourages secondary and high school students to develop effective, innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges facing them. Entries are first evaluated and judged at the national level in each of the Challenge Countries, with the winning school in each country moving on to the regional competition. Representatives of national school winners and their respective teachers will also participate in a 7-day, all-expenses STEM Ambassador Program to Florida. The Sagicor Visionaries Challenge is open to entries from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, St. Lucia, Tampa (Hillsborough County) and Trinidad & Tobago.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

World Water Day
World Water Day is celebrated every year on March 22nd. The United Nations theme this year is "Water and Jobs". On March 15th and 16th, an exhibition and Water and Jobs Summit was held in Belize City and Belmopan to commemorate the day. Here are a few photos from the opening of the event in Belize City.

Belize Protectors in Vegas
First place for the Belize Protectors in the mixed category and 6th place overall in their first Baker to Vegas race! Congratulations Brigadier General David Jones and team.

Emergency power Interruption 9:00am to 12:00 midday, Wednesday, March 23, entire Caye Caulker
BEL to connect new standby unit and replace recloser at Caye Caulker Substation.

Tapir caught in camera
To understand the dynamics of ecological processes in the Chiquibul forest Ms. Lauren Watine from the University of Florida has installed cameras this year once more.

Bird-a-thon Lodge Competition Team Results
With fierce competition between 60 team members and ten Lodges competing for the H. Lee Jones Cup this year made for an exciting 3rd Annual Bird-a-thon Lodge Competition. Three new lodges got in the action and added to the fun this year (duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge Resort, The Lodge at Chaa Creek and Casa Stevens Cabana Rental and Adventures). The competing lodges included: Black Rock Lodge, Bocawina Rainforest Resort and Adventures, Casa Stevens Cabana Rental and Adventures, The Lodge at Chaa Creek, duPlooy’s Jungle Lodge, Farm Inn, Hamanasi Ecoresort, Lamanai Outpost Lodge, Mountain Equestrian Trails, and Pook’s Hill Lodge. The goal of this event is to raise money for our research and conservation efforts, but a big objective is to get people outside looking at birds while having fun doing so with great people while raising awareness about bird conservation. We accomplished all this year with the participation and support of many great lodges that are conservation-minded and contribute to giving back to better our environment.

Kindly see below the updated schedule for upcoming Tour Guide courses for 2016

Alumni Meeting
The U.S. Embassy Belize Alumni Association invites all Exchange Program Alumni for an alumni planning meeting this Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 8;30 am. Please join us and learn about what the association has to offer and get involved! Please RSVP to BelizeAlumni@state.gov with your name, the exchange program you participated in and the year, and your contact information.

3rd Annual Disney Show on Caye Caulker

Paint Party Events
Come paint with us the beautiful "Rainbow Fish" Thursday at the crazy Canucks beach bar. :March 24, 2016, 2:00 PM

Ocean-themed mural on Caye Caulker
Wonderful new ocean-themed mural on Caye Caulker's Front Street, created by artists from Oceana and Ocean Academy senior students Lilly and Alessa.

Kent Bob Gabourel new Sports Coordinator
We would like to welcome Mr. Kent “Bob” Gabourel as the Town’s Sports Coordinator. Bob, as almost everyone knows him, is widely known for being a sports activist in our community; whether he’s organizing sports camps for the kids or planning tournaments, you are sure to find Bob occupied with some kind of sports planning. His experience in sports is definitely an asset to our community as Bob is very familiar with various sports; such as, swimming, football/soccer, softball, volley ball and many others. One of his greatest accomplishments was to participate in the 20th Commonwealth Games which took place in Glasgow, Scotland in July of 2014. Bob is also the proud winner of the Lion Man Triathlon, which takes place in Belize City, for three times in a row, from 2013-2015. Bob will be working closely with Councilor Hector “Tito” Alamilla who has Sports as part of his portfolio and Councilor Ruben Gonzalez who has Education as part of his portfolio. We are excited to have Bob as part of our team and are more than excited to see what Bob has in store for our community. Welcome to the San Pedro Town Council Bob!

Beltraide signs MOU with Atlantic Bank
On Wednesday March 16th the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE and Atlantic Bank Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding to partner in outreach initiatives where possible. This first of its kind partnership features the Government’s leading development agency and one of the country’s largest financial commercial banks agreeing to sensitize entrepreneurs and the business community on services and products aimed to improve their business enterprises. The agreement also seeks to promote global trade finance programs including pre-import and pre-export financing. Ms. Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager of Enterprise and Innovation Division, Beltraide signed on their behalf while Ms. Sandra Bedran signed on behalf of Atlantic Bank Ltd.

Italian Easter Bread
In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, warm (not hot) milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook. Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Don’t worry about how much flour it ends up being, just keep adding until the dough is not sticky anymore. Knead until smooth with either dough hook attachment or turn out on floured board and knead. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Palapa Bar hosting JAM Night
Palapa Bar is now hosting JAM Night EVERY Thursday from 7p-10. Dennisito sets the tone. Come join him and others on stage. Bring your own instruments, sing and dance. ALL are welcome!

Valdemar "Bambito" Alpuche Jr. passes away
The Corozal Daily extends its deepest condolences to the entire Longsworth and Alpuche families. May Valdemar "Bambito" Alpuche Jr. rest in peace and rise in glory.

Going to Mexico Travel Tips!

Power interruption 9:00am to 11:00am, Thurs, March 24, North San Pedro
Portion between Captain Morgan’s Retreat & Tranquillity Bay Resort. Two 15 min power interruptions: 9:00am to 9:15am & 10:45am to 11:00am will also affect portion from Boca Del Rio to Belizean Cove Estates. BEL to repair hotspots on power distribution system in area.

ALPHEUS WILLIAMS: Three times National Belize Holy Saturday Cross Country Cycling Race Champion!
"On the road, I have been impressed by two young riders---the unknown Alpheus Williams, and Sam Halliday, younger brother of The King." "Trained and coached by Buck Belisle, Alpheus Williams had won Cross Country three times." "Alpheus was one of the best thinkers ever among Belizean cyclists." Evan X Hyde (From his Book, Sports, Sin & Subversion). Which three years Alpheus Williams won the Belize Cross Country Race?

Easter Celebration!
Easter is a happy time and the Belize Tourism Board celebrated it in fun colorful ways with the cruise passengers at the Fort Street Tourism Village. Both adults and children were treated to Easter candies and chocolates.

Mano a Mano - Caribbean Kings & Super Furia in San Pedro
March 26

Channel 7

BDF General Sticks By Soldiers' Assessment of Sarstoon
Last week, a very telling BDF threat assessment report was leaked to the media and, by all indications, it shows a pattern on provocation in the Sarstoon by the Guatemalan military going back at least 10 years. The report concludes gravely that from the BDF's observation, the aggressive tactics of the Guatemalan armed seem designed to force a conflict. The Foreign Minister told us he hasn't read the report; the Prime Minister said he'd gotten a synopsis, and today we asked the BDF commander if he stands by the findings of this report. Here's what he said. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "It may be seen as a provocation, but it is as bad as what being portrayed in the media. There have been instances where I have mentioned there are conflicting orders. They believe that the entire river belongs to them and we believe that half the river belongs to us and it's just a matter of understanding and something that requires a political solution and then I don't believe there will be any conflict. I am confident that both militaries are working peacefully together. It is just an effort where our diplomats need to work out for things to work smooth. What was mentioned in the assessment was comments by one of our officers. That his comments and it should be treated as such. I am telling my view; we believe that it can work peacefully. There has been instances that can be interpreted as provocation. That's the way our soldiers view its and the officer was right in making that assumption and also making recommendations in there. But from my perspective and from the BDF perspective, we are fully aware and based on the fact that I've met the new general who is committed to ensure that there is peace and de-escalation on any tension in the area. I am sure we have smooth running of things going forward."

A Pattern Of Provocation or Business As Usual
And while the two sides are talking at the highest military level, at the diplomatic level - they're also talking, but almost in a different language, it seems. That's because the official Belize account of what happened on Saturday March 12th is completely different from the Guatemalan account. The Guatemalans completely rejected the Belize claim that they behaved aggressively towards the BDF. So how does the BDF commander see it. Did Guatemala provoke his soldiers? Here's how General Jones put it. Brig. Gen. David Jones - Commander, BDF: "Well I wouldn't view it as that sort of aggression. You can view it that way if you look at it that they came into our waters. But as I explained before, they believe they are in their waters and that's where the conflicting problem is. So without that diplomatic solution we will always view it as if though they are threatening to us. But they came over to speak to our guys, our guys weren't comfortable with it because they were in Belizean waters. So you can view it as a threat. But they weren't pointing weapons, they weren't being aggressive as such towards the troops and the situation was resolved amicably, without any incident."

Belizean Woman Held up at Knife Point in Chet
If you are planning to spend the Easter weekend shopping in Chetumal you might want to leave your expensive jewelry and other valuables either at home, or at your hotel. That is what one city woman advises Belizeans to do after she was held up this weekend in the Sam's Club parking lot. Therese Diego Blease left for Chetumal on Saturday to celebrate a friend's birthday. But her friend had an emergency and had to rush back to Belize City. Blease went along with her. They decided to go shopping at Sam's Club before traveling back and that is when Blease was held up at knife point. Here is her frightening story. Therese Diego Blease, Robbed at Sam's Club Chetumal: "We decided to go to Sam's just to do some shopping before coming back home. When we got to Sam's, my co-worker and I, it was only two of us in the vehicle, we walked in. from the onset of walking in, we sort of got a glimpse of the guy, but he was just standing there and he had like a motorcycle helmet, so it was a very big helmet over his head. I just glanced at him, she saw him as well. We went in, we did the shopping, and we came back out. When we came back out, we pushed the cart to the vehicle and we packed the truck. I had my back basically turned to him the whole time so he had the opportunity then, but I'm assuming because it was both of us he didn't want to take the chance. As soon as we finished packing, she told me to just take the cart back to the cart area which I did.

Budget Debate Starts Up With Fireworks
The Budget Debate is the highlite of the annual parliamentary calendar; it's the opportunity for all 31 representatives to speak about their constituencies, and explain how the new budget is serving, or failing them. Today, the Leader of the Opposition set the tone for the opposition response, with his traditional speech leading off the debate. Briceno called last year's budget incompetent, and said the Prime Minister's new budget, dubbed "Stability in a Time Of Change" is a model of instability: Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "Last year's budget was yet another exercise in incompetence. It was fairytale without a happy ending. That is proof enough that this is an irresponsible budget. Government overspent by more than 140 million dollars. In a 4 billion dollar economy, government spending seems out of control. Government is spending 25 cents out of every dollar in our economy. Well Mr. Speaker, the chickens have come home to roost and in 2016, as the soca song says "the party done." Just before the budget speech, the PM whop us with that fuel tax to the tune of 50 million dollars. The truth is that this 2016 budget is no celebration of stability. There is no boldness in this budget. The big picture here is that Belizeans will take a lick in 2016. You know how much of that 50 million dollars each of us will have to pay? Every Belizean man, woman and child will have to pay $143.00 more for government this year. This budget will not make us safer.

Vega & Barrow: "Walk On By"
And while speeches dominated the day, we did catch one interesting sight in the margins. Orange Walk North Representative Gaspar Vega did come to the meeting, but he slipped in a little late. The interesting thing is that when he did, he and the Prime Minister didn't even exchange a glance much less a word. The two are usually jovial so the body language seemed telling to us. What was also telling was that opposition leader John Briceno's 11 PUP Representatives did not give him one salvo of applause or - as is customary in parliament - table thumping - until the 47th minute of his speech! That's kind of (MAKE HAND GESTURE) for a leader of the opposition in his first formal response. And it did not escape the notice of John Saldivar:... Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "This is his second turn as Leader of the Opposition. Unfortunately he may have taken over under circumstances not too friendly, because it was very noticeable in his presentation the lack of applause from his colleagues on that side of the House." Day one of the budget debate finished after 6:00 this evening, and it continues tomorrow.

Punta Gorda Robbers Left Loot Behind
Punta Gorda police ended up in a shoot-out with armed robbers on Monday night after they foiled the robbery of a Chinese store. It happened around 9:00 when police received a 911 call of a robbery in progress, and they quickly responded to James Store, located on Maria Nunez Street, PG Town. There they found the store's security guard had been tied up. They went inside and found the 2 shop attendants also bound by the hands and feet. The shop's employees signaled to police that the thieves were still in the shop, and that's when the officers went to the back building. The encountered 2 men who immediately opened fire on them and fled on foot. The officers set chase, but the two gunmen escaped. When the officers returned and searched the area, they found a blue knapsack, apparently abandoned by the thieves who ran off and forgot the bag. When the officers searched it, they found the entire stolen loot from the store including just over 41 thousand dollars cash, an assortment of phone cards, electronics, and merchandise belonging to the store that the men were attempting to steal.

Man Swerves Off Cayo Road To His Death
A traffic accident on the George Price Highway has resulted in the death of Orlando Madrid, a 32 year old Belizean Driver of Cristo Rey Village. At around 1:00 on Monday morning, Madrid was driving alone westbound to Benque Viejo in a Ford Escort. But upon reaching an area in front of the Windy Hill Resort, he ran off the road and overturned. When police arrived at the accident scene, Madrid's body was found trapped inside the wreckage of the overturned vehicle. Madrid leaves behind a wife and a 5 year old son. At this time San Ignacio police are appealing to residents to exercise extreme caution when driving on the George Price Highway especially around curves.

Someone Threw Away My Baby's Body
Shamika Flowers will never get the closure of burying the remains of her unborn child because someone threw it away. As we reported, Flowers had a miscarriage on Friday and she told the attendants at the Northern Regional Hospital that she wanted the fetus so she could bury it. She even signed a form stating that she would get the remains. But there was some major breakdown in communication and someone threw away or probably burnt the remains. Today CEO in the Ministry of Health Dr. Ramon Figueroa told us that measures will be put in place so this never happens again. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO - Ministry of Health: "In terms of an actual medical care, I think everything was done as they were supposed to do, but I think it's after the collection of the fetus, the product, there seems to have been, I want to say maybe misunderstanding. We are still trying to find out where the process failed, but I know that there was a signed form by the parents saying that they wanted the product and somebody slipped along the line and did not pass that information on to people who regularly dispose of these and disposed of the product. If the family wants the product, then we are entitled, we should be responsible enough to provide that to the family.

No Confirmed ZIKA Cases In Belize
For the most part the global public health alarm over Zika has subsided. But, because it's all around us, Belize is one of those countries which remains on alert for any possible cases of Zika. Many Latin and Caribbean countries are still testing samples and monitoring cases - but so far Belize remains Zika free. Today Figueroa told us that they have sent 4 samples for testing and all have come back negative for Zika. Dr. Ramon Figueroa, CEO - Ministry of Health: "We're still negative. Yesterday we were discussing it with the director of health services and I was informed that we have sent out 4 samples and they have returned back negative. At this point in time, as far as I know, we don't have any case of interests, anything that seems to indicate any Zika, so hopefully we can continue along that light." Figueroa also told us that Dengue cases are also on the decline due to their clean up campaigns and of course because it hasn't been raining - meaning the mosquito breeding grounds have dried up.

Briceno Reinforces Bi-Partisan Guatemala Position
One of the most remarkable turnarounds since John Briceno took back control of the PUP is that his party has joined hands with the Government in taking a unified Guatemala position. Now, we don't know if Briceno has the wholehearted support of his entire executive on this - but today in the house he re-iterated the party hardline:... Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: "We will work with the government on finding a peaceful and lasting solution to Guatemala's unfounded claim to Belizean territory. Clear in the understanding that we will never surrender one square centimeter of what we know to be rightfully Belizean territory. Be it land, sea or river, we are going to protect every single square centimeter of our territory Mr. Speaker." Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security "I want to thank the leader of the opposition for the about face that he has made and notice I'm saying 'he', I am not saying 'his party'. I am thanking you sir, for the about face that you have made about the Guatemala issue. Thank you. But I don't know, I did not hear any applause from your colleagues when you said so. I have to wonder if that is the view of your party."

Belize Will Get Boat For Territorial Waters
And in other news of a territorial nature, the police minister today announced that the coast Guard is getting tow huge new vessels for policing Belize's territorial waters:... Hon. John Saldivar, Minister of National Security: "And we will acquire, Mr. Speaker, for the first time in the history of this country, two hundred foot patrol boat craft valued at over 10.2 million U.S dollars. This, Mr. Speaker, will allow our Coast Guard to properly police and manage even our economic zone which is over 200 miles out. In the BDF, over 2 million will be spent on training for our helicopter pilots, yes Mr. Speaker we now have 3 helicopters in the BDF."

Capital Cops Charged
Tonight, 3 Police Officers: Emericiano Alcoser, Edwin Marin, and Jose Uh, are facing disciplinary and criminal charges after 3 males, 2 of them minors, accused the cops of putting a beating on them for no apparent reason. 2 young men, one of them 15 years old, and the other 16, reported to police that on Monday, they were asleep inside the 16 year-old's grandmother's house on Uruguay Street, in Belmopan. They awoke to the sound of their room door being broken down. 2 men, one dressed in a black police outfit, and the other in a standard police uniform barged into the room. The 16 year-old says that he recognized officer dressed in the traditional uniform as one of his grandmother's neighbours. Both men immediately started to beat them, kicking and punching them all over their bodies. The officers threw them into the pan of a pickup truck, where another officer beat them while they were being escorted to the Belmopan Police Station.

Gusman And The Gun
19 year-old Joey Gusman, a construction worker of Sandhill, is at prison tonight after police say that he tried to throw away shotgun cartridges when he spotted them coming. According to Ladyville police, on Saturday, March 19, they were at the Dew Drop Estate in the village when their attention was drawn to Gusman. The cops say that they saw him throw away 3 objects in the bushes. Before he could leave, they detained him, and when they retrieved the items, they discovered that it was 3 shotgun cartridges. He was arrested and charged with keeping unlicensed ammunition. He was arraigned today before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, where he pleaded not guilty. Due to the nature of the offence, he was remanded into custody until May 3.

Loathe Thy Neighbor?
25 year-old Robert Wagner, an electrician of Neal Pen Road Extension in Belize City, is out on bail after police say that he admitted to breaking into his neighbour's house. According to police, Harold Grant, who's a resident on the same street, reported that between March 9 and March 16, someone broke into his house and stole just over 23 hundred dollars in personal items. Police investigated the report, and they detained Wagner, who - according to the cops - admitted during interrogation that he was the thief. He was arrested and charged with burglary, and when he was arraigned before Senior Magistrate Sharon Frazer, he pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was released on bail of $4,000, and he must return to court on May 24.

Boat Thieves Lurking In Caye Caulker
2 weeks ago, in the early hours of Tuesday, March 8, Caye Caulker resident Ernesto Marin realized that his 25 foot boat, named Kyli, had been stolen. He had a 60 horsepower Yamaha Enduro engine on it, and when he showed up at his usual docking area, neither the vessel nor the engine could be found. His family tells us that his boat is one of several that was stolen in the month of March. The fishermen and tour guides who use their boats for their livelihoods have to be vigilant around the clock to ensure that they aren't the next victim. Marin's family tells us that they suspect the thieves strip the stolen boats apart and sell off the engines. The Marin family is asking that if anyone suspects that a stolen engine is being offered to them, please pass the information unto the Police.

The Belizean delegation that left for the US last week to participate in the annual Baker to Vegas footrace is back in the country today. And guess what? They won! It was the first time ever in 32 years of hosting the 120 mile relay that Belize was invited to participate- but they did more than participate. Although there was resounding faith in the Belize team, certainly no one expected them to do so well. They clocked in at a time of 7 hours and 11 minutes, which won them first place in the mixed category. They also ranked them 6th over all- out of 269 teams. Today they arrived back in Belize City to much fanfare. A motorcade followed them through the streets of Belize City, rounded the corner of Albert and Regent Street and made it back to the Belize Protectors Headquarters in front of Home Protectors Insurance. There we met up with the entourage who was greeted and honored with the respect reserved soldiers returning home from war.

Storm Of Controversy Over Stirm's Statements
You might know Pastor Scott Stirm as one of the firebrand Christian evangelists who came out swinging against the LBGT Agenda, as well as the first draft of the National Gender Policy. He's also the Vice President of the National Evangelical Association of Belize. But, tonight, he's making the news as American Belizean missionary who made some controversial comments during a webcast earlier this month. He was speaking to a congregation in the US about his missionary work in Belize, and why he chose Belize. Here he is, during that anecdote, explaining how one of his high school friends refused to accept his drastic decision to move to Belize: So, that certainly has to be a joke, the part about overthrowing the Government. But, those who've seen the broadcast back home certainly aren't laughing about his comments on the Garifuna. He made some controversial remarks about the revered "Dugu" Ceremony:

Finnegan Looking For A Job
Right after the November 2015 general election there was a lot of talk about which politician will be retiring before the next big dance. Names we've heard include Anthony Boots Martinez, Said Musa, Michael Finnegan, Dean Barrow, and Francis Fonseca. Finnegan has been talking about it for years, in fact, his nephew Shyne Barrow even stepped up to take the seat. But, as the smart pundits always said, Finnegan isn't going anywhere. This was more or less confirmed when he spoke at Patrick Faber's endorsement yesterday and begged for a job. Hon. Michael Finnegan: "Like how I want 4 terms. I would be nice to serve in a cabinet of Patrick Faber. You hear how I am begging for a job right." Finnegan is a six term representative.

Programs Underway To Address MENTAL HEALTH Issues
In the past few months we've reported on as many as five cases of dangerous crimes involving mentally ill persons. It's a growing problem, but what is being done to address the pressing mental health issues in Belize? That is the question we ask any health professional we come in contact with and very disappointingly, their response is that they can only do so much with the little resources they have. Today Health Ministry CEO Ramon Figueroa outlined the various Mental Health plans and programs they are working on. "Mental health is one of the priority service programs that we have identified among the chronic noncom cable diseases, injuries, maternal and child health and mental health. Certainly it's a hidden problem because we've only seem the tip of the ice burg. If your start putting in the whole aspect of depression, the suicides that you have heard, all the drug addiction problems that you have, alcohol consumption, those are all part of the signs and symptoms of underlining mental illness or mental problems. The kind of interventions that we have, we have to start building the mental health or capacity to deliver a good mental health program. We're starting right now with partnership, discussions with the University of Belize to be able to train more of our nurses in psychiatric nurse practitioner that we have, to provide the kind of services that we need. So we're starting to build, we need to build the foundation, that's one aspect. Just recently we got, through the assistance of some partners in the UK, the mental health program is getting a van so that we can do more outreach programs. And right now we are also trying to invest some funds in the Palm Center, to improve the lighting. I went there the other day and I mean, frankly it hurts you to see that we have a facility like that, we need to enclose the place. In the past we've heard some stories about people who have been lost, but obviously if you go and visit the facility, you can understand why that happens."

Fatal Accident Down South
24 year old Virginio Sub, a resident of San Jose Village, Toledo, died early on Sunday morning as a result of injuries he received in a traffic accident on Saturday night. The crash happened near San Antonio WaterFalls on the Jalacte Road. Valentina Sho Emmanuel, a 39 year old resident of Belmopan, was driving her green ford escape in the direction of Punta Gorda Town, coming from Pueblo Viejo Village, when she collided with a man riding a motorcycle near the entrance of the San Antonio Village. No one was in the area when police responded to the scene. However they later met with the driver of the Ford Escape by the "Dump" junction. She told police that she left the scene after Virginio Sub was transported to the hospital and she did so with the sole intent of finding the nearest cell service and to call police. Virginio Sub was taken to the hospital in an unconscious state suffering from large cut wounds to the head, a broken right leg, and bruises on different parts of his body. He was pronounced dead at 12:55 am on Sunday. As for Valentina Sho Emmanuel, who was with her husband and two children at the time of the incident, she has been served with a notice of intended prosecution. Police investigations continue.

#512580 - 03/23/16 06:27 AM Re: Today's Belize News: March 23, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Channel 5

P.U.P. Leader Disappointed with Budget
On March eighth Prime Minister Dean Barrow presented the budget for the 2016/2017 fiscal year under the theme – Stability in the time of change. He claimed that it was [...]

Briceño says Belize is in Recession
Briceño claims that the U.D.P. has deliberately refused to admit that Belize is actually operating in a recession, and there is no sign of the best that was to come [...]

Unemployment Figures – Are They Up or Down?
The Leader of the Opposition, to bolster his argument of economic crisis, used the figures on employment between 2008 and today. Not surprisingly, Area Representative for Belmopan John Saldivar used [...]

Publics Officers and Teachers to Receive Third Pay Raise
Saldivar, who publicly announced today that he intends to contest for the vacant post of first deputy leader in the U.D.P., boasted that if Briceño’s statistics and assertions are valid, [...]

P.U.P. Prepared to Work with G.O.B. on Issues of National Concerns
But with all that said, Briceño ended his presentation to kick off the debate by extending the hand of cooperation, claiming that his party is prepared and able to assist [...]

John Saldivar Reveals Plans for National Security Ministry
In terms of the specifics as related to the Ministry of National Security, Belmopan Area Representative John Saldivar revealed that as it has every year, the budget for the departments [...]

Poverty Rate Almost 50%
Lake Independence Area Representative Cordel Hyde was the third to weigh in on the 2016/2017 budget. It is his first address in the House since elections of November, 2015. In [...]

Cordel says Underprivileged Won’t Benefit from Budget
Hyde claimed that for all the rhetoric surrounding its presentation, and for all the money this government says it has spent, that money hasn’t reached the people who need it [...]

Protocol to be Developed for Entry and Access to Sarstoon
In the absence of an adjacency zone at the southern border with Guatemala, a protocol on how to deal with civilians and military personnel traversing the area of the Sarstoon [...]

Is an Adjacency Zone needed in the South?
If you’ve wondered why there is no rise in hostility between Belize and Guatemala when illegal hunters are found inside Belizean territory it’s because the adjacency zone clearly demarcates the [...]

Leaked Threat Assessment in Sarstoon – B.D.F. General Sends Warning
The Belize Territorial Volunteers, led by activist Wil Maheia, has come under fire recently for its purported role in rousing hostilities in the south, between the B.D.F. and Guatemalan military.  [...]

Did Faber Get the Memo on the Wrong Budget?
Representative for Collet Patrick Faber spoke at length today, but interestingly the major portion of his presentation did not touch on the Budget for the fiscal year 2016/2017. He instead [...]

Faber’s Love Affair with the People of Collet
Faber didn’t comment on the obsession, but he did take time to revisit the now infamous Petrocaribe-funded pibil and barbecue fest in Corozal. The young Minister has taken flak for [...]

Musa Says Budget is Hangover from Bazaar Spending by G.O.B.
In his presentation, Musa took on the deficit in the 2015/2016 budget – a one hundred and eighty-two million dollar gap between revenue and actual expenditure. It’s an unprecedented deficit [...]

Minor Killed in Independence Over a Horse
Over the weekend, a street figure was killed in Ladyville. There was another murder, which occurred on Sunday in southern Belize for which an eighteen year old was arraigned today. [...]

Did Orange Walk Hospital Dispose of Fetus Without Mother’s Consent?
A young mother from the Belize District heard the most devastating news earlier this week. After suffering a miscarriage and preparing for the burial of her unborn child, she was [...]

Decision to be Handed Down in Orange Walk Murder Trial
A decision by Justice Herbert Lord is expected in mid-April following the submission of final arguments today in the trial of Osmar Sabido. The twenty-six year old Orange Walk resident [...]

Burglary in Punta Gorda
An elderly night watchman was bound at the wrists and ankles during and armed robbery in Punta Gorda Town which briefly netted a pair of thieves over thirty thousand dollars [...]

Team Belize Wins in Las Vegas Relay
A team from the three arms of the security forces returned to Belize today to a warm welcome. A motorcade through the streets of the Old Capital culminated on Coney [...]

Family of Accident Victim Speaks Out
Jason Robinson, a resident of Hattieville, will be laid to rest on Wednesday.  He perished at the start of the weekend after being ran over by a passenger bus.  On [...]

Police Department: Citizen Security and Safety for the Easter Holidays
Road traffic accidents along major thoroughfares are among the leading causes of death for Belizeans.  Since the beginning of the year, a number of incidents have been reported and despite [...]


Murder Trial Against Sabido Comes To An End Judge Reserves Verdict For April 18h
Today the case against Osmar Sabido came to a conclusion at the Orange Walk Supreme Court with the prosecution and the defense presenting closing arguments on the case. During yesterday’s court session the prosecution made a submission for the judge to allow the testimony of three witnesses that would verify that the statement made by the accused during his testimony on Tuesday of last week where he stated that that on the 28th of February 2011, he arrived home from work at around 6:00 in the evening and met Christie at home and she immediately started an argument with him, accusing him of being with another woman, as being a false statement. Today Judge Herbert Lord upheld the submission made by the prosecution and allowed the three witnesses to take the stand. The first to testify was Bertha Alonzo who stated that Christie was at her grandmother’s wake on market lane while she was conducting a rosary in her memory.

CEO Discusses Missing Fetus At NRH
In last night’s newscast we reported about twenty two year old Shameka Flowers of Crooked Tree Village who suffered from a miscarriage on Friday due to high blood pressure. Flowers was only five months pregnant and when she arrived at the Northern Regional Hospital, she had already lost her fetus. After the ordeal, Flowers decided to sign a document requesting that the fetus remain at the morgue of the NRH so as to give her the time to make preparations for burial. However, when Flowers returned to the hospital yesterday she was informed that the fetus had gone missing and now the mother is seeking legal advice. During an interview earlier today, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health, Ramon Figueroa, gave his input on the matter and blamed the entire ordeal on lack of communication.

Belizean Woman Robbed At Popular Shopping Center In Chetumal
In the month of December there were a number of reports about Belizeans that were victims of robbery at the shopping malls in Chetumal Quintana Roo, Mexico. The string of robberies included the cloning of credit cards in the different stores as well as the stealing of cash and personal belongings in the mall’s parking lot. As a result of the reports that were made to the consulate, the Honorary Consul of Belize in Chetumal, Jorge Valencia, issued an advisory for Belizeans to be cautious and alert when visiting Chetumal and ensured the public that they would do their best to find a solution to the problem. But while the cases of robbery may have seemed to vanish over the past months, tonight we can tell you that another Belizean by the name of Therese Blease from Belize City was robbed at Sam’s store over the weekend in Chetumal while in the company of one of her co-workers. During an interview with the media earlier today, Blease spoke about the events leading up to the ordeal.

Belizean Protectors Make Belize Proud
One Hundred and twenty miles of pavement, 20 stages, over 8,000 runners, hot days, cold nights, pride and honour…..that’s what the world’s most prestigious and unique law enforcement foot race held annually on the 19th – 20th March is all about. This unique law enforcement foot race held in the United States starting in Baker, California and ending in Las Vegas, Nevada, is a gruelling but rewarding and challenging event for enforcement officers from around the globe as they battle it out every spring for the chance of winning the coveted cup trophy. The Annual Challenge Cup/Baker to Vegas Relay course takes place through extreme temperatures as it is held across the desert, it begins 25 miles north of Baker on Highway 127 to Shoshone, California; then northeast on Highway 178, across the state line into Nevada on Highway 372 to Pahrump, Nevada; it proceeds then southeast on Highway 160 to the finish inside the Hilton Hotel Convention Room in Las Vegas. All participating teams were scheduled to run in eleven flights, depending upon their ability, with flights starting hourly from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Onion Producers Graduate From Farmers Field School Program
On April of last year the European Union funded a project known as Promoting Agro Business in Northern Belize. The project was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Ministry of Agriculture as a backup in case the price of sugar in preferential market saw a drop. The project saw the birth of the Value Chain Approach, geared towards the improvement of the production of onions, honey and sheep. In the area of onion production the project counted with a Farmer’s Field School where for 19 weeks onion producers learnt how to improve the production and productivity of onion in Northern Belize. On Thursday March 17th, 28 farmers were awarded for successfully completing the 19 weeks of class in a ceremony at Centro Escolar Mexico marking the end of the project but not the end of the working relationship between the famer, extension officers and F.A.O.

Belize Remains Free Of Zika
The spreading of the Zika virus in various parts of the world raised alarming concerns over the past months especially here in Belize due to the fact that the Aedes Aegyti mosquito that is responsible for the transmission of the virus can also be found here in the Caribbean. In Belize there were four suspected cases of the virus and today the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Health, Ramon Figueroa, made it clear that the country remains Zika free. This is partly due to the clean-up campaigns that are currently taking place country wide.


Opposition Leader Kicks Off Budget Debate 2016/2017
Day one of the 2016/2017 budget debate got underway this morning in Belmopan inside the House of Representatives. As is the tradition, the leader of the opposition kicked off the debate. Hipolito Novelo reports. HIPOLITO NOVELO REPORTING “Kicking off the debate was the Opposition Leader, John Briceno. He said, after consulting several groups such as […]

Health CEO Concedes to NRH Making Blunder in Discarding Fetus
Yesterday we shared the story of 22 year old Shameka Flowers, the mother who had a miscarriage at the Northern Regional Hospital last week Friday. She signed a paper in which it was understood that she would be back to claim the fetus with the plan to give it a proper burial in Crooked Tree […]

PG Police Recovers $41K Taken in Armed Robbery
Police have recovered over forty one thousand dollars and a quantity of items stolen during an armed robbery last night in Punta Gorda. Correspondent Paul Mahung has the details. PAUL MAHUNG “

World Water Day 2016: WATER AND JOBS
Today, Belize joined the rest of the world in celebrating world water day. Rudolph Williams Junior, the Director of Water and Waste Water Sector at the Public Utilities Commission shared with us the importance of the day. RUDOLPH WILLIAMS JR “World Water Day started off after the Rio Summit in Brazil in 1992 when the […]

Belize Protectors Takes 1st Place in B2V Race in the US
The Belize delegation that traveled to the US for the Relay competition in Las Vegas, Nevada returned home this morning with quite a welcoming from their supporters and colleagues. Renee Trujillo was at the Belize Protectors Headquarters in Belize City awaiting the arrival of the motorcade that brought in the participants.

Three Police Officers Under Investigation for Alleged Brutality
Yesterday we told you of two minors who alleged that they were beaten by police in Belmopan. The injuries to the sixteen year old have been classified as wounding. As for the fifteen year old, he received a fractured skull. Three police men have been under investigation and have been arrested for the allegations. Superintendent […]

Belize is ZIKA Free
Belize remains free of the ZIKA Virus. Of all the samples sent for testing, all of them have returned negative for the virus. CEO in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ramon Figueroa shared more good news. DR RAMON FIGUEROA “Yesterday we were discussing it with the director of health services and I was informed that […]

Opposition Leader Wants to See Budget Allocated for Mental Health and Maternal Care
In his budget speech, Leader of the Opposition, John Briceno pointed out that out of the one hundred and twenty six million dollars the government is proposing to spend in health; monies have not been allocated to specifically deal with addressing the mental health issue in Belize. Briceno also pointed out that no monies have […]

DAY 1 – 2016/2017 Budget Debate
Before going into his budget contribution, Opposition Leader John Briceno noted that during his meetings with the various public and private groups, the common concern and criticism brought forward is the way Area Representatives speak to each other. It was becoming a norm to hear the elected representatives be disrespectful to each other. Not much […]

CARICOM Expresses Solidarity with Belize on Territorial Dispute
In response to the incident on the Sarstoon on Saturday, March 12, between the Guatemalan Armed Forces and the Belize military, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has expressed solidarity and support for Belize. The statement from CARICOM reads, quote, “The Caribbean Community expresses its grave concern over the incident which took place at the Sarstoon River, […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

CEO in Health Ministry says “process failed” Shamika Flowers
CEO in the Ministry of Health, Ramon Figueroa says that the “process failed” Shamika Flowers at the Northern Regional Hospital. Figueroa says that while Flowers received proper medical care, her miscarried baby boy did not as there was a “misunderstanding” along the way in the […]

Murder case against Osmer Sabido finalizes
Final testimonies and closing arguments were presented today at the Orange Walk Supreme Court as the case against Osmer Sabido concluded. On Monday the prosecution led by Attorney Javier Chan and supported by Attorneys Shanidi Chell and Javier Burns had entered a submission to have […]

Scott Stirm defends statements to U.S. church congregation
An edited version of a video posted some eight months ago on the website xpmedia.com by the Shiloh Fellowship, led by evangelist Patricia King and featuring local pastor and vice-president of the National Evangelical Association of Belize (NEAB), Scott Stirm, speaking to a U.S. […]

“Pawty done!” PUP lash budget on first day of debate
Prime Minister Right Honorable Dean Barrow’s 9th Budget was severely criticized on the first day of a two-day debate. Barrow’s revenue and expenditures titled “Stability in a time of change” contemplates spending of 1.151 billion dollars. Opposition leader, Honorable John Briceño, responded by saying […]

Prison officer is latest to be jailed for weed smuggling
25 year old George Reyes, a prison officer who was busted yesterday when he tried to smuggle 47 grams of cannabis into prison by hiding it in his groin area, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking when he appeared today before Magistrate Deborah Rogers. Because it […]

BDF commander says he is working with Guatemalan counterpart to ease tensions in Sarstoon; warns media over leaked report
Today Commander of the Belize Defence Force (BDF), Brigadier General David Jones, issued a report on the ongoing efforts to ease tensions between his forces and those of Guatemala in the Sarstoon River. Speaking in Belize City, General Jones said he has established camaraderie with […]

Belize Protectors win relay in Las Vegas
Over the weekend, a group of Belizean law enforcement personnel dubbed the ‘Belize Protectors’, traveled to the United States and participated in a 120 mile long ‘Baker2Vegas’ relay race along with 260 other teams from that country. Having been invited to this annual event […]

Over $50k recovered from robbery scene in Punta Gorda
Just before closing time last night at around 8:45, James Store in Punta Gorda (PG) Town was robbed by three masked men armed with guns, who assaulted the store’s Chinese owners before exchanging gunfire with police officers and making their escape. According to information […]

World Water Day observed
Dating back to 1993, the United Nations designated March 22 as World Water Day and each year since then, a theme has been set for this important day, corresponding to a current or future water related challenge. This year’s theme is “Water and Jobs”, inspired […]


The cave beyond secret beach
Eventually Kendall mentioned it was time to stop being lazy and get to the real reason we came to the west side of the island – adventure. It is known that a network of underwater caves (cenotes) exists beneath Ambergris Caye and we were about to go in search of one. We piled back into the cart and drove the cart up a small sand dune through a short tropical corridor and parked at the next stretch of beach. I had only been this far on foot before and had never seen the cave so it was fun to take the cart and explore going further north in a different way. The secret underwater cave was easy to find marked with a big stick. Both Kendall and Mark decided to don masks and snorkel. As they explored the area, I opted to check out the cave from above and take pics. Had my underwater camera not just crapped out on me that second I would have done some underwater cave shots. Thankfully I had two cameras. Eventually, we ended up sitting and chatting around the cave. In the interest of safety and not pissing off a big barracuda Kendall had seen inside earlier, we decided to just watch the fish action from the edge. I managed to get a couple of cool fish pictures from above the water.

A Trip to Belize City and Our Last Cold Front?
Sunday evening the weather changed ABRUPTLY. The day was warm, still and humid and at about 8:30pm, an epic dust storm blew through town…winds up to 40mph whipping up everything. It seemed like rain was coming (and it did on the mainland) but we got nothing. Just an island full of vehicles that need a good power washing. The lights flickered and went out on some parts of the island and we woke up Monday morning to grey skies, a north wind and cooler temperature. I headed out on the 8:30am San Pedro Belize Express Water Taxi to meet friends for lunch in Belize City. Here’s what I saw – and despite the winds, the boat ride was quite easy. About an hour and 20 minutes from San Pedro to Belize City. I love this guy…he usually has good music playing from his speakers outside. But it was too early.

Hot Cross "Cheese" Buns
Good Friday is not the same without some Hot Cross Buns. I did a spin on our Belizean Hot Cross Buns and added cheese to them. I made them mini because everything in better when it's mini.

Seeking an Unspoiled Belize Paradise? Visit Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary
This world of wonder is composed of a huge tract of land that’s peppered with creeks, thickets, marshlands, lagoons and savannas amid a hardwood forest that provides unique habitats for wildlife living in this protected preserve. The variety of animals and birds hanging out in this forest is astonishing; you could even encounter the hemisphere’s largest flying birds: Other-worldly looking Jabiru Storks. Just about everything that crawls, prowls, slithers and roams in Belize is at home here, including black howler monkeys, turtles, iguanas, ducks, crocodiles and too many bird species to get an accurate count. How often are you given an opportunity to visit a 300-year-old, 16,400 acre wildlife sanctuary that, some experts believe, may have been the first European settlement to have been built in Belize around 1750? There’s a small Mayan excavation site in the southwest corner of the Western Lagoon, so if you’re interested in how archaeologists work, you might catch a glimpse of Chan Hiix as it’s being revealed. Birders are particularly impressed by so many avian species found in here, and anyone interested in botany will discover vegetation, plants and flowers not seen elsewhere in the region. If you’re driving on your own, take the Northern Highway from Belize City until you reach Mile 33, a dirt road leading to Crooked Tree. Alternately, the Orange Walk/Corozal bus will drop you two miles from your target destination and you can walk there. Alternately, book a tour from all points in Belize courtesy of your resort concierge and they will take care of all arrangements including transport and perhaps a picnic.

Belize Spring Break Guide – What to do and where to go!
Easter in Belize is packed full of things to do, today we bring you the 5 standout activities everyone must have in their itinerary this weekend! 1. Religious festivities in Benque Viejo Del Carmen:Every year for easter the residents of Benque become a buzz with the excitement of the church displays to come, avid church go-ers sign up to be script actors and extras to dress up as Jesus, his disciples, Mary and the various Roman characters. All over town, along the route of the “Stations of the cross” procession locals create elaborate, colored sawdust carpet art on the street with diverse symbolisms of the catholic faith. 2. Cross-country bicycle race: The Cross Country Cycling classic is an amateur cycling race held every year on Holy Saturday that spans from Belize City to the heart of San Ignacio town and back. The idea for the race was put forward by Monrad Metzgen (one of Belize’s national heroes) in 1928 after a trip to one of the northern villages on which he was struck by the amount of bicycles that the locals used to travel around. 3. Burrell Boom Horse race: As the Easter festivities wind down, Burrell Boom in the Belize district holds its annual day of races on Monday (the day Jesus resurrects) at the Castleton Race Track. It’s very popular event in which Belizean jockeys ride Belizean bred horses for cash prizes and spectators from all districts and even outside the country gather to socialize and enjoy delectable Belizean dishes including all manner of traditional preparations of rare game meats and even sea food. 4. Beach Parties on the islands (and Placencia): Easter weekend has sort of become a Belizean version of “Spring break”, filled with people enjoying the sun and the sea, dancing at large beach parties, and partying the night away in one of the many nightclubs, or bars. San Pedro has signature events like “Island Invasion” at the Fidos bar and Luna Loca is famed for its outrageous beach parties, and the Holiday Hotel is also the spot to be on Sunday with their large foam beach party usually headlined by an international DJ. 5. Restaurant Hop for local delights: There is a traditional belief in Belize that swimming on Good Friday will turn you into a mermaid, and that also on the day one should not travel, it is a day to stay home, be reverent, and eat, but not red meat, only fish. This means, of course, that there are stacks on stacks of cultural-religious food traditions that sprung out from peoples’ creativity sparked by religious “law” from the bible.

Now the Sarstoon has become Guatemala’s
by Thérèse Belisle Nweke … A Belizean in Nigeria on the Annexation of the Sarstoon. The subterfuge, excuses and unimpressive attempts to conceal the truth have ended. The Sarstoon is no longer Belize’s, but is now a part of the Republic of Guatemala. This, the redoubtable Wil Maheia recently proved when as head of the Belize Territorial Volunteers (BTV), he and 19 other Belizeans were arbitrarily prevented by armed Guatemalan military personnel from entering the Sarstoon river, on their way to the Gracias a Dios border marker. Guatemala’s uncompromising Foreign Minister, Carlos Raul Morales, justified the action by accusing the Belizeans of “entering Guatemalan water”. This recent February 27 action by Guatemala to exercise sovereignty over Belizean territory did not create any great furore among Belizeans at home, including the PUP Opposition, or those in the Diaspora. Diasporan Belizeans neither protested at nor picketed Guatemala’s UN Mission in New York, or spoke to correspondents of Al Jazeera, the BBC, Reuters, AP, AFP, even VOA, Press Trust of India, NAN, and CNN – which are among those media organisations with wide international coverage operating in the US. In a sense, I can understand why Belizeans at home did not take to the streets as would have been the case once upon a time. They are a generally decimated people; a former majority, now Diasporan, has become an impoverished minority at home. They are hungry, jobless, careless, unknowing and, therefore, indifferent – broken, used, abused and sold down The Belize or Old River by their black brothers, whose only mantra is: “It’s the money, Stupid”!

Top 5 Activities for the Easter Break in Belize
Are you searching for a great place to enjoy your Easter Vacation? Look no further than the beautiful country of Belize. There are a wide variety of intriguing and exciting activities occurring country-wide, making Belize an ideal destination to truly enjoy the break. Here’s our list of the “Top 5 Activities for the Easter Holidays in Belize”:

Pool Project - The End of Week One
The end of the first week of our project drew to a close with much forward progress. On Friday, the crew mixed a boatload of cement and poured the footer. All of the cement was vibrated to ensure it was even and there were no air gaps. On Saturday, block started to be put in place, on the footer, for the exterior walls. Each tier of block was cemented together and the corner blocks were filled with cement. While all that was going on, a couple of the guys started digging out what will eventually be the pool itself. I think it's important to point out that all of this manual labor is being done with the sun beating down on the guys and with 90-degree temperatures. We have never heard any of them grousing. Instead, to the muted strains of Spanish music, we hear some of the crew singing or whistling to the music and a fair amount of laughter.

What a Difference a Few Days Make
Boy, stuff has been happening around here during the last few days. First off, there has been a ton of digging done to create the trenches for the footers of the pool and pool house. By Wednesday, the dirt piles really grew. It's now at a point that getting to our forest of tomato plants is becoming a bit of a challenge. By late Wednesday, the crew finally hit the marl level. This is far more stable than the black dirt.

Band Fest in Belize – Unique Belizean Talent is what determines the best Marching Band!
Band Fest is a festive and exciting event that happens once a year just before the Easter Break in Belize. It involves the youths of the country showcasing their musical talents through a marching band, musical instruments and perfectly choreographed dance movements. The youths through organized groups compete for cash prizes, trophies, medals and of course, one full year of bragging rights as the best marching band and champion of the competition. Prior to the day of the main event all participating groups would spend countless hours recruiting members, procuring instruments, securing funds and training and practicing. The effort placed in this phase determines the rewards on the big day when the groups are required to compete via field performances in the presence of spectators and judges. The day starts with a road march, where marching bands parade through the streets of Belize and each one is judged based on how they perform during the march, coordination and musical presentation while supporters lined the sidewalk cheering them on. Once the road march concludes the field performance competition begins and the groups compete in four categories, two primary and two sub-completion, all judged by professional musicians. The primary category includes the drum core and marching band with wind instrument performances while, the sub completion-categories which are optional includes the drum line and best choreograph band.

International Sourcesizz

CARICOM backs Belize after confrontation with Guatemala military
A confrontation between military officers from Belize and Guatemala at the disputed Sarstoon River has triggered concern from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) which also called for Belize’s territorial rights to be respected. Tensions between the two countries are running high, following the March 12 incident involving the Belize Defence Force (BDF) and the Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) at the river on the southern Belize border. According to a Belize government statement, the GAF approached the Belize forces and “behaved in an extremely hostile and threatening manner, insisting that our troops should not be at the Sarstoon”. It said the Belize forces stood their ground and after some time the GAF withdrew. In the intervening period, the government said, the BDF Commander had spoken to an opposite member in Guatemala and Prime Minister Dean Barrow had sent a message to President Jimmy Morales. The Belize government sent a note of protest to Guatemala which has disputed Belmopan’s version of the incident.

CARICOM concerned about Belize-Guatemala incident
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has issued a Statement expressing concern over an incident between Belizean Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces, at the Sarstoon River, the Southern boundary of Belize with the Republic of Guatemala, on 12 March 2016. “Although the incident ended peacefully following contact at the highest level between military and political leaders on both sides, CARICOM notes with grave concern the tension caused as a result of the incident,” the CARICOM Statement said. PRESS STATEMENT ON INCIDENT BETWEEN BELIZE AND GUATEMALA AT SARSTOON: The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) expresses its grave concern over the incident which took place at the Sarstoon River, the southern boundary of Belize with the Republic of Guatemala, between Belizean Security Forces and Guatemalan Armed Forces (GAF) on 12 March 2016. The GAF entered Belizean internal waters and acted in an intimidating manner towards the Belizean forces at their Forward Operating Base on Belize’s mainland at the mouth of the Sarstoon River. The GAF claimed that the River belonged to them, although the mid-channel of the River was the settled and agreed border between the Republic of Guatemala and the United Kingdom long before Belize’s independence in 1981. Since Independence Belize has always continued to assert its sovereignty over the area. Although the incident ended peacefully following contact at the highest level between military and political leaders on both sides, CARICOM notes with grave concern the tension caused as a result of the incident.

10MW PV solar farm being developed in Belize
The development of the project is being overseen by Natcore Technology along with Catalyst565, and will start adding a solar presence to a country with huge renewable energy ambitions. With an already burgeoning renewable energy sector, Belize is setting a good example of how small economies can be powered using predominantly clean energy. Solar PV has almost no say in the country’s energy mix, which is dominated by hydro and biomass resources, so this project is an exciting development for PV in the region. Solar research company Natcore Technology is the chief consultant on the design and construction of the facility, and will work alongside energy development company, Catalyst565, to make the project become a reality. It will be constructed on a 90-acre stretch of land in the country’s southeastern town of Palcencia, and will have a capacity of 10MW. The project approached Natcore through the company’s Best of Breed program, which aims to offer technological advice and consultancy to upcoming solar projects. "We developed Best of Breed in response to requests from entities that wanted access to our advances in solar technology," said Chuck Provini, Natcore president and CEO.

The World's Largest Whale Sharks Are Disappearing
Scientists are spotting fewer of the biggest whale sharks in global oceans, but no one is sure why. You’d think finding something as big as a school bus would be a cinch. But large whale sharks—the biggest fish in the sea—seem to have vanished from the world’s oceans, scientists say. Until a decade ago, adult whale sharks measuring an awesome 43 to 49 feet (13 to 15 meters) plied warm waters from India to Belize. Today these biggest of the big are seen only in the eastern Pacific, a new study says. Animals elsewhere average a mere 23 feet (7 meters) and under, which are small fry too young to breed.

The BREDAA / SPEAR Los Angeles Belizean Diaspora Educational Forum in 1989 was an historic Belizean diaspora education forum that brought the legendary Belizean organization, the Society for the Promotion of Education & Research (SPEAR) to the Los Angeles Belizean Community in 1989 at the invitation of the legendary Belizean diaspora grassroots organization, the Belize Rural Economic Development of Agriculture through Alliance (BREDAA). SPEAR"s visit brought a great degree of Belizean popular education and consciousness to the Los Angeles Belizean Community where Belizeans as well as Caribbeans, Central Americans, Latin Americans, Africans, and Americans were educated about Belize's social, political, economic, and cultural foundations that have brought the country to independence since 1981. The forums included speaking engagements by Assad Shoman, Diane Halock and Wlifred 'Sedi' Elrignton at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), California State University Northridge (CALSTATE Northridge), the Latin American Pathfinder Socialist Forum, and to a large town meeting for Los Angeles based Belizeans in the Belizean Community at the Jesse Owens Park Auditorium in South Central Los Angeles. All the forums and town meetings were highly attended, and Belizean engagement in Belizean affairs at home were at an all time high, and historicaly attracted the largest attendance of Belizeans in the history of the Belizean diaspora in the United States, particularly in the state of California.


  • Sharked, 3min. Sharks- Caye Caulker Belize

  • Ambergris Caye, San Pedro, Belize 2016, 7.5min.

  • Owl in Belize city Central America, 1.5min. Releasing an owl from case.

  • Winners of 17th BEL Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic, 1.5min. Belize Electricity Limited thanks all participants and congratulates winners of the 17th BEL Junior Cross Country Cycling Classic held on Sunday, March 20 from San Jose Succotz to Belize City.

  • Hicatee Nesting Education through Storytelling, 1min. Two girls of St. Peter Claver Primary School in Belize present their storyboard focusing on the importance of protecting nesting sites of the endangered Hicatee turtle. Taught by Min Lee and Annalisa Seavey.

  • TIDE Hicatee Puppet Show, 9min. The Forest Home Methodist School of Belize presents the Hicatee Puppet Show as part of the marine ecosystem education and outreach efforts with our parter TIDE.

  • A Spring Break Abroad in Belize, 3min. This slideshow illustrates a week spent in Belize by a study abroad participant, Kayla M. Wilkins. The students enrolled in the class were given the opportunity to shoot footage of various tours in Belize to put together promotional items highlighting agritourism.

  • Belize Band Fest Melchor Ciencia y Tecnología by. Mr. Kevin Barillas, 13min. la Banda De Centro Educativo Ciencia y Tecnología, en su 2da presentación en Band Fest en la ciudad de Belize.

  • The Birds of Orange Walk, Belize, 3.5min. As recorded on the balcony of the Hotel de la Fuente overlooking the New River in Orange Walk, Belize, January 2016

  • The Birds of San Ignacio, Belize, 1min. As recorded up the hill from the town center at Home Hill Apartments near Cahal Pech (pictured), San Ignacio, Belize; January 2016.

  • Belize, la splendeur des Mayas Documentaire 2016, 45min.

  • Belize, Monday February 29, 2016, 13min. The dive of many sharks...

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