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#513247 - 04/22/16 06:39 AM Today's Belize News: April 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

Guatemalan President increases military presence at border after minor is shot
Guatemalan military presence has heightened in the Sarstoon River and along the entire border with Belize as per President Jimmy Morales’ orders. The decision was taken after a shooting incident at the border left a Guatemalan minor dead, allegedly at the hands of the Belize Defence Force. According to an article published by Guatemala’s Prensa Libre on Thursday, April 21st, an altercation took place between 6PM and 7PM on Wednesday, April 20th, when members of the Belize Defence Force (BDF) attacked 48-year-old Carlos Alvarado along with his family while they were planting pumpkin seeds along the side of the border. In the armed attack, according to the article, Alvarado and his two children, 11 and 13 years old respectively were shot. He and his youngest son Carlos Alvarado managed to get away with minor wounds while his oldest son 13 year old Julio Alvarado was apparently shot dead on the spot and taken by the BDF soldiers. The family, originally from the community of San Jose Las Flores near Melchor de Mencos in Peten, have been admitted at a local hospital and treated for their injuries.

Oyinkro Akpobodor wins 2016 BBBFF Strongman contest
“The African”, Oyinkro “Power” Akpobodor of the Neal & Gordon’s Gym won the 2016 Belize Body Building & Body Fitness Federation’s (BBBFF) Strongman contest at the BTL Park in Belize City on Sunday, April 17. Akpobodor won the $1,000 first prize and $100 in prizes for winning two of the five events; lifting 545lbs in the dead lift and doing the tire flip in 1:01 minute. He was also second in bench-pressing 385lbs; lifting 405lbs from a squat and pulling a sports utility vehicle (SUV) 100 yards in 36 seconds. Defending two-time champ Victor “Brown Sugar” Valencia of the Body 2000 Gym won the $600 second prize and a $50 prize for winning the bench press at 405lbs. He pulled the SUV in 35 seconds, the third best time, and lifted 460lbs from a squat. He did the tire flip in 1:13.

8- Ball Pool tournament narrows as it nears semi-finals
The semi-finals for the pre-season 8-ball pool competition is right around the corner, and the games are getting tighter. Each match has brought intensity as the different teams battle each weekend to keep on top of the tournament. The games took place at Cholo’s bar this past weekend and after tallying the points, Team Amigos is in the lead with 103 points. The next set of games for this coming weekend will be at Average Joe’s Bar. For Friday and Saturday games start at 7PM, while Sunday games begin at 1PM. Tournament organizers invite everyone to come out and support the teams in their guest for glory. They also thank their sponsors for continuing to make this event possible:

Amandala’s headline sparks outrage
The headline “Girl, 13 said ‘YES’ to 4 men,” made the front page of Amandala’s Sunday edition of their newspaper on April 10th. Shortly after, The National Women’s Commission (NWC) and The National Committee for Family and Children (NCFC), issued press releases expressing outrage at the distasteful choice of wording. The article was written by former police officer and Amandala’s staff reporter, Albert Ciego. According to Anne-Marie Williams, the Executive Director of NWC, she believes that Ciego intentionally sensationalized the headline, and since he was formerly associated with the police, he should have been better acquainted with the laws of Belize. According to the Criminal Code of Belize, a child under the age of 16 years cannot give consent and consequently, she cannot say “yes” to the four men stated. As such, the article should have reflected that four men took advantage of the minor and had sexual intercourse against her will.

ACES hosts 2nd Annual Autism Awareness 5K
April is Autism awareness month, and Ambergris Caye Elementary School (ACES), along with over a hundred residents of La Isla Bonita, showed their support by participating in the 2nd Annual Autism Awareness 5k on Sunday, April 17th. The participants gathered at the Sandbar Beachfront Hostel and Restaurant and had the option to either run or walk the 5K. Participants headed north along the beachside by the Boca Del Rio Park, then turned on Laguna Drive Street, headed south to Pescador Drive, and then continued on Coconut Drive to Sands Villas. From there participants moved to the beach where they proceeded north to the starting point.

BTB reports another increase in Quarterly Tourist Arrivals
Over the decades Belize has seen a steady increase in tourism numbers. In a quarterly report issued by the Belize Tourism Board (BTB) on April 14th, it was noted that the number of overnight visitors to the country saw a significant increase during the January-March 2016 quarter. According to the BTB, the first three months of the year showed impressive numbers, particularly in January and February. An increase of 24% and 18.4% were respectively recorded over the same period last year. The month of March recorded the lowest activity, with an increase of only 10% over the same time last year. But despite the low record, March was historic in recording over 40,000 visitors. TripAdvisor recently named Ambergris Caye and San Ignacio Town in the Cayo District as top destinations, adding to Belize’s marketability.

Ambergris Today

Arcadia to Lend Helping Hand to Special Needs Community in Belize
After a fruitful initial visit to San Pedro, Belize Arcadia University plans to move forward with the global outreach initiative as they travel back to Belize in August, 2016 to begin educating the community in the areas of business, education, and healthcare. April is international Autism Awareness month and members of the Belize community planned events to help the special needs community like the “Light It Up Blue” campaign where local businesses unite by shining bright blue lights in honor of the individuals and families affected by autism. Also, on April 17th Sarah Freudenberg, Special Education Master’s Level Teacher, organized an “Autism Awareness Run,” a 5K marathon in order to raise awareness and funds for autism. The proceeds from the 5K will go to Autism Awareness and Education.

Spay-Ghetti and No Balls Dinner Benefit by Saga
We just had to attend last night's Saga Humane Society's benefit dinner after reading the name of the fundraiser. There is no better play of words - simply hilarious. But on a serious note, it was a successful benefit for Saga as the organization keeps on arduously working in raising money for its SNIP program in order to provide free spay and neuter services to the community. Their 'Spay-ghetti and No Balls Dinner" Benefit at Stella’s Smile was a great evening for a worthy cause.

Belizeans Say: Not Now Not Ever! To Offshore Oil Drilling
April 20, 2016, marked the six year anniversary of the worst environmental catastrophe in United States history, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon. When the rig exploded, it killed 11 people, injured 17 others and for the next 87 days, spewed almost 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The disaster wiped out wildlife and crippled thousands of businesses. The really scary part? The spill is still affecting tourism and fishing communities thousands of miles away from the accident site. And yes, the places impacted include Belize.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

CEO Caucus Challenge Cancer Ride
The CEO Caucus Challenge is next Saturday, May 7th. It starts at mile 25, and ends at the NATS. If you like to ride, and you want to help the cancer society, here's your chance.

Sperm Whale
Lucky to get a rare sighting of this large (30 - 35 ft) magnificent creature on route to Turneffe. He was nice enough to flip us his tail before descending into the depths.

AyinHa Adventures Hiring
AyinHa Adventures Job Openings for boat captains, tour guides, first mate, cooks, bartender, waitstaff, hospitality officers, receptionist, front desk, security officers, gardeners and janitor. For more information please contact us at info@ayinha.com

Looking for two female Latin music dancers
Especially salsa dancers between the ages of 20-30 yrs for April 29th from 7-10 pm. Location: Tipsy Tuna in Placencia Details: We are having a Cuban themed day and would like to provide our customers with dancers to do a dance show perhaps specializing in Cuban salsa. We will provide transport, meal, room plus pay. This may also be the beginning of something more permanent.

Reaction to Statement Issued by the Guatemalan President
The Office of the Prime Minister rejects the version of events in the statement by President Jimmy Morales made to the Guatemalan public on 21st April, 2016 regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. Belize has a long history and tradition as a peace loving country, respectful of international law, human rights, and with a strong democratic culture where the rule of law has always prevailed. The Government and people of Belize always abide by these strong and unshakeable traditions. Accordingly Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self defence. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort. But respect for life and rights must always include respect for the life and rights of Belizean law enforcement officials and security forces. In this case the BDF reports of the incident indicate that our patrol in Belizean national territory came under attack to which they responded in justifiable self-defence. It is to be pointed out that the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that our patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives.

Shooting Incident in the Chiquibul National Park
The Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident which occurred on Wednesday, 20th April, 2016 in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize. According to initial reports, Belizean security forces were on a patrol to investigate illegal clearings in the protected area. At about 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 20th April they detained without incident, 33-year-old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in our Chiquibul National Park. As darkness descended later in the day, at about 7:00 p.m. the patrol came under fire. The patrol returned fire in self-defence and decided to depart from the location which is approximately 580 meters east of the border. Prior to departure they conducted their standard clearance procedure and discovered the seemingly lifeless body of a minor.

The Heads of Agreement Heroin, Maria Socorro Bobadilla, became a symbol of resistance against the treacherous Heads of Agreement signed between Belize and Guatemalan in 1981 without the Belizean people consent, and the failure of the Belize government at that time to take the agreement to the people of Belize for referendum. We here at Belizean Legends celebrate her most courageous stand as a student at Belize Technical College along with her colleagues at the Belize Action Movement (BAM) against the Anglo Guatemalan crisis at that time. Your spirit live on Maria!

Belizean Legends recently spoke with Belizean folk artist, Brad Pattico by phone today who continues to spread Belizean music and culture in the New Orleans in the footsteps of Mr. Peters and Andy Palacio. The legendary Belizean folk artist who is the last remaining Creole folk music artist to come out of Belize, continue his crusade in the United States to bring Belizean Croele folk music to an growing generation of American folk music lovers, who continue to flocked to the U.S. folk music capitol of the world, New Orleans. We appreciate our brothers contribution here at Belizean Legends, and want to send a big shout out to Brads, "Keep the music playing!"

Josee Bermingham visits Belize Bird Rescue
Thank you to the wonderful Josee Bermingham of the renown Hagen Avicultural Research Institute. We had her visit BBR for two amazing weeks of training, advice, health-checks, rescues, releases and catching up with old friends, We packed so much into her trip this time, our heads are still spinning. This lady knows a LOT about parrots and a bunch of other things! Thank you for everything Josee: your time, your expertise and of course (yet again) the fabulous donations of Prime vitamins, Tropican food and equipment from Hagen Inc, A huge Thank You to the lovely Mark Hagen for making it all possible!

Paradise Theater playing this weekend:
This Weekend! Friday and Sunday only Sagebrush Church is having an event on Saturday night. The Witch, The Choice, Ride Along 2, Gte a Job.

Channel 7

Guatemalan Military Amasses at Belize's Southern Border
Tonight, Belizeans are tense because the Guatemalan Armed forces have mobilized towards the area of the Sarstoon. Prensa Libre reports that three thousand soldiers have been sent to the Sarstoon area, and the twitter page of the Guatemalan government has posted these pictures of troops and armaments - including tanks - on the move. This comes after the BDF killed a 13 year old Guatemalan boy in the Cebada area of the Chiquibl Forest last night. The BDF says the Guatemalan hostiles opened fire on them in the dark and they returned fire. We'll have that full account later on, but first to President Jimmy Morales. He recorded a strongly worded statement and put it up on his website this afternoon. It's some of the hardest language heard form a Guatemalan President in decades, and we will air the full three minutes of it, with English captions underneath:

Belize Says Soldiers Came Under Fire From Gaute's First
And to get an idea of how it has escalated so quickly, we have to go back to last night, in the Chiquibul Forest for the incident that triggered the Guatemalan military deployment. The Government of Belize has issued a statement saying that the shooting happened within Belize, in the Caracol Archaeological Reserve, in an area known as Cebada, close to the Western Border. The release says that the BDF were on patrol to investigate illegal clearings in the Chiquibul National Park. As viewers are aware, Caracol Makes up a part of the vast Chiquibul Forest. The release adds that the security forces personnel encountered 33 year-old Guatemalan Jose Maria Antonio Reyes conducting illegal activities in the Chiquibul. That was at around 5 p.m. yesterday, and he was detained without incident. About 2 hours later, the patrol came under fire at a location approximately 380 meters east of the Border, in Belizean Territory. The soldiers fired back in self-defense, and they made a decision to leave. They did not realize that someone had been fatally injured.

OAS Sec. Gen. Had No Report On Shooting
And the Belize delegation agrees as well - these incidents only aggravate and intensify the hostility between both countries. In fact, Belize's 11 point proposal was sent to defuse all that tension and to try to put an end to those Sarstoon showdown's. But as we told you, Guatemala rejected Belize's proposals and in turn, we rejected their counter proposals which stated that Belize must ask permission to access the Sarstoon River. Well, when we asked Secretary General Almagro about the breakdown in this approach- another fail in trying to reach a peaceful resolution - he told us that a press conference wasn't the place to discuss those issues and that the ongoing negotiations between countries should not be publicized. H.E. Luis Almagro, Secretary General - OAS: "It's not in our mandate to reveal points of the negotiation. The situation you are referring to is something that happens in the way of the negotiations of the two countries. In any case, I don't think we should have opinion related to negotiations that have not ended and that have not finished. So it's very clear that we should be confidential about that."

Prime Minister Says BDF Were Fired Upon, NGO Can Confirm
And, just in, there is a statement from the Office of the Prime Minister responding to that inflamatory statement made by President Jimmy Morales. It says, quote, "Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self defence." It adds, quote, "In this case the BDF reports of the incident indicate that our patrol in Belizean national territory came under attack to which they responded in justifiable self-defence. It is to be pointed out that the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that our patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives." The statement goes unto say, quote, "This latest shooting attack on Belizean officials is part of a continued pattern of aggression by Guatemalan civilians engaged in illegal activities on Belize's side of the Adjacency Zone. In this regard, the Office of the Prime Minister recollects the earlier attacks which resulted in the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Sgt. Richard Lambey."

Director Of Archaeology says Caracol Security An Issue
So, back to the Western Border where yesterday's shooting incident happened. The BDF soldiers may have to be deployed to the area of the Cebada and surrounding locations to try to contain any type of retaliation for the fatal shooting. For NICH that could mean that the soldiers stationed at the Valentin Conservation Post, which are stationed there to provide military Defence for the Caracol Archaeological Site, might be exposed in the short term. We caught up with the Director of Archaeology in Belize City this morning, and he shared his concerns with us following this incident: Dr. John Morris, Director of Archaeology: "Those kinds of things are a major concern to us. In fact, I'm beginning to have sleepless nights over these kinds of things because like Rafael Manzanero from FCD said 'it's a hot bed of activity out there for illegal activity' and our people are on the front line." Daniel Ortiz: "The suggestion is that the Valentin Patrol may have to move to that location to try to get it under control to ensure that there's no retaliation. Does that expose your people for the time being with the temporary period?" Dr. John Morris, Director of Archaeology: "Well, it certainly does, when you have these kinds of activities there's always the issue of retaliation.

UDP's Grijalva Will Have TO Pay For Noh Mul Destruction
On Monday, we told you how Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith found Denny Grijalva, his wife, Emelda, his foreman, Javier Nunez, and his company, De-Mars, guilty of the destruction of the Noh Mul Archaeological Site. It's an unthinkable act to destroy part an Ancient Mayan Temple. But, what is the sentence for such an egregious act? Daniel Ortiz was there for the Sentencing hearing, and here's his story: Daniel Ortiz reporting: UDP Politician Denny Grijalva; his wife, Emelda; and their employee, Javier Nunez entered the court to find out what penalties they would face after being convicted of destroying the Noh Mul Archaeological site. When he exited he court, Grijalva was all about the mea culpa when he exited court.

OAS Sec Gen Urges ICJ Solution
And back to Belize Guatemala relations….as you heard in the top segment, in response to the fatal shooting of 13 year old Julio Alvarado in the Cebada area of Chiquibul, the Guatemalan Armed Forces are right now assembling at the Sarstoon. It is an extremely alarming and disturbing reality right now for Belizeans who are all wondering what will happen next. Well, Secretary General Luis Almagro says all this can be avoided - all these confrontations and violence at the border can end - but that is if both countries agree to take the dispute to the ICJ. Here is how he put it today. H.E. Luis Almagro, Secretary General - OAS: "It is very necessary that the political state of Belize and also Guatemala, that the case should move ahead to the International Court of Justice as soon as possible. Because this will clear all these problems and will clear the way for solutions for this kind of issues that are happening these days." But, one thing that is somewhat stifling the referendum, is Belize's 60% threshold. Guatemala had suggested that Belize change it to 50% so as to make the process easier. We asked Almagro about how this affects the entire process and he told us it is up to Belize to decide on this threshold as soon as possible so as to move forward.

Emanuel Goes Into The Wilds Of Chiquibul
Tonight, our national consciousness is focused completely on the south of Belize where - for the first time in decades - the Guatemalans are amassing troops and arms at the border. The trigger for this rogue move by the Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales is an event that happened yesterday in the Chiquibul Forest. Our Emanuel Pech also happened to be in the 400 square mile Chiquibul yesterday - and while he wasn't near to where the fatal shooting happened, there's danger everywhere in that forest. And that's because of encroachment by Guatemalans. Yesterday the FCD took us to the furthest reaches of the Chiquibul reserve to document the level of illegal Guatemalan encroachment in the area. It was a painstaking 12 hour hike- 6 miles in and 6 miles out. Our team left Belize City at 3:00 am yesterday and did not return to Belize City until 2 am this morning. After enduring one of the most back breaking media tours of our news station's history, here's part one of the story they brought back. Emanuel Pech reports.

FCD Says Guatemalan Aggression Is a Constant
Now to bring matters into perspective we have to highlight the level of aggression than soldiers and rangers in the Chiquibul are subjected to. But even before this fatal shooting occurred, we began seeing an added level of hostility from the Guatemalan military at the Southern Border. So have all of these activities affected the dynamics of poacher and Park Ranger relations at the Chiquibul? FCD executive director Rafael Manzanero, says not necessarily. The level of and aggressiveness on the part of Guatemalan poachers have been consistently high in the area. Rafael Manzanero, Executive Director: "I think there has always been a high level of determination of the people of Guatemala. That is not really a level of surprise to us. We know that if they are left, they will come around this place. So there's always that determination. For us we have not really seen a spiral of those things certainly over the years we have seen that has always been there. I think the Prime Minister was correct to say quite some time ago, probably about a year and a half, about how 'facey' they were when the Valentin camp was being constructed. That's a demonstration that if left alone, they will try to own this kind of land and natural resources. We have to be able to be more abrupt, we have to be much bold to be able to demonstrate that that was what we can do and how to demonstrate that we can do it."

The Situation Tonight
And so, to encapsulate all that has happened with Belize Guatemala relations tonight. First: the BDF is believed to have shot and killed a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest yesterday night. They say it was dark and they came under fire. They returned fire, and found the minor's body later on. The Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales says a 13 year old was killed, and an 11 year old was injured, along with their 48-year-old father. In response, President Morales has deployed three thousand troops to the Sarstoon area, and recalled his Ambassador. Prime Minister of Belize, Dean Barrow is in New York to sign the Paris Agreement, but he issued a statement today saying, quote, "BDF reports of the incident indicate that our patrol in Belizean national territory came under attack to which they responded in justifiable self-defence. It is to be pointed out that the patrol included civilian personnel from the NGO group, FCD, and those personnel confirm the fact that our patrol simply responded after they were fired upon and were in fear for their lives." He adds, quote, "This latest shooting attack on Belizean officials is part of a continued pattern of aggression by Guatemalan civilians engaged in illegal activities on Belize's side of the Adjacency Zone. In this regard, the Office of the Prime Minister recollects the earlier attacks which resulted in the murder of Special Constable Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Sgt. Richard Lambey."

Channel 5

Guatemalan Minor Shot by B.D.F. in Chiquibul
Tonight, there is heightened tension on both Belizean and Guatemalan fronts following the death of a Guatemalan minor and a very strong and disturbing message to Belize from Guatemalan President [...]

Guatemalan President Releases Inflammatory Statement on Shooting
The release from the Government of Belize does not respond to the bold statement of Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales. News Five has been reliably informed that Prime Minister Dean Barrow [...]

O.A.S. Secretary-General Says Verification Exercise is Critical
As you heard just now, Belize has asked the O.A.S. for a verification exercise for Wednesday’s shooting near Cebada. This morning, just before he left the country, O.A.S. Secretary-General Luis [...]

Almagro Says O.A.S. Can’t Speak on Rejected Proposals
The Secretary General’s brief interview at the Phillip Goldson International Airport was essentially a continuation of an ad hoc question and answer session at the western border on Wednesday which [...]

P.U.P. Leader Says GAF Actions at Sarstoon Constitute an Act of Aggression
Before that shooting near Cebada, the biggest thing in the news would have been the actions by Guatemala on Wednesday, as the Ministry of National Security inaugurated its Forward Operating [...]

Ambassador Assad Shoman is Replaced by Senator Eamon Courtenay
And where the Opposition’s participation in the Belize/Guatemala talks is concerned, there is very significant news. Ambassador Assad Shoman is out, and Ambassador Eamon Courtenay is in. We could not [...]

P.U.P. Leader Meets with O.A.S. Secretary-General
This morning, Briceño also briefed News Five on the meeting with Secretary-General Almagro which included the participation of former P.U.P. Foreign Ministers Said Musa, Lisa Shoman, Godfrey Smith and Eamon [...]

PM Barrow Responds to Statement by Guatemalan President
As we reported earlier in the newscast, there is a build-up of Guatemalan troops on the Sarstoon and along the adjacency zone. It comes immediately after President Jimmy Morales issued [...]

Grijalva Sentenced for Destroying Noh Mul
Three years ago, Denny Grijalva, the U.D.P. Orange Walk standard bearer, his wife Emelda and their foreman, Javier Nunez were found to be excavating limestone from the Mayan site Noh [...]

Rupert Myles’ House Will Be Moved
There is another recent case involving the destruction of Mayan sites, but in the south.  Rupert Myles was detained in June of 2015, according to traditional Maya customs, for desecrating [...]

The Accused in Bou-Nehra Home Invasion Back in Court
As many as nineteen persons have been charged in connection with the home invasion of Lebanese Honorary Consul Sarkis Bou Nehra in early December 2015. In the robbery in Burrell [...]

B.D.F. Destroys Marijuana Plantations in the Chiquibul
The shooting of the Guatemalan minor occurred in the Chiquibul, in an area which is known for illegal marijuana plantations. Ironically, on Wednesday Brigadier-General David Jones spoke to us about [...]

General Jones Says Civilians in the Sarstoon Will Be Intercepted by GAF
We also spoke to the general about the new state of affairs in the Sarstoon following the rejection of the protocols by Guatemala. Jones clarified that any understanding of non-interception [...]

BTV Head Wil Maheia Not Satisfied With Enforcement of Laws at Sarstoon
Head of the Territorial Volunteers Wil Maheia attended the inauguration of the Forward Operating Base on Wednesday. He’s been a longtime advocate for a military presence in the Sarstoon, and [...]

O.A.S. Secretary-General Hopes for Positive Referendum Results in Belize
While the Belize/Guatemala dispute remains an ongoing geopolitical issue, the option of going to the International Court of Justice for resolution is one that is as openly supported as it [...]

Almagro Says O.A.S. Open to All Input
While Almagro has met with proponents of the ICJ alternative, is he open to hearing what COLA or BTV has to say?  In short, his answer is yes, but they [...]

Belizean Artists Depart for Jazz Festival
The New Orleans Jazz Festival, one of the most anticipated events in that genre, kicks off this weekend. Half a million persons are expected to visit the fest which runs [...]

Sixth Edition of UB’s Research Symposium Hosted in Belize City
The sixth edition of the University of Belize’s Research Symposium was held today at the Radisson in Belize City. UB promotes and facilitates research and disseminates its findings on a [...]

C-Ray Introduces Cycling in Secondary Schools
A hundred and three high school students are participating in a string of cycling activities organized by the C-Ray Cycling Club as a precursor to introducing the sport in secondary [...]

Healthy Living Looks at Zika and Microcephaly
While Ministry of Health officials await test results on suspected cases of Zika that have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency in Trinidad; the education and prevention strategies [...]


Guatemalan President Reacts On Fatal Shooting Of 13 Year Old Minor
Tonight the tension between Belize and Guatemala is on the rise as Guatemala is accusing Belizean authorities of fatally shooting a thirteen year old Guatemalan minor at the Adjacency Zone. Today at around 5:00 in the evening GOB issued a statement on the matter, we will have that for you in a few, but the first to comment on the incident was Guatemalan press, Prensa Libre, who stated that sometime between the hours of 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening BDF soldiers allegedly shot and killed a minor, and injured two others while they were planting pumpkin seeds near the adjacency zone. The report alleges that 48 year old Carlos Alvarado and his sons, 11 year old Carlos Alvarado and 13 year Julio Alvarado, were shot multiple times and that the BDF carried away the 13 year old boy who had received several gunshot wounds to the body. Reports coming from family members are that the minor allegedly died in a hospital in Belize while the others were taken to the Melchor de Mencos hospital for treatment.

Office Of The Prime Minister Response To President Morales' Statement
While GOB issued a release relating their version of what occurred at the Chiquibul, just before news time the Office of the Prime Minister sent out a release rejecting the version of events made by President Jimmy Morales during his statement issued today regarding the incident in Belize’s Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park. According to the release, Belizean Security Forces and law enforcement officials would never perpetrate an armed attack on civilians especially minors except in exercise of the right to self-defense. The Government of Belize reiterates that the mandate and authority given to Belize law enforcement and security agencies to enforce Belizean laws and protect Belize’s natural resources and territorial integrity is at all times implemented on the basis of recourse to the use of force only as a last and justified resort, says the release.

CJC Ends Drug Awareness Week
The high rate of drug abuse among college students worldwide including Belize can be attributed to a number of factors ranging from stress and most commonly peer pressure. Here in the north the Corozal Junior College (C.J.C) last week held a drug awareness week under the theme “Drugs are Bullies don’t let them destroy your school life.” The week started off with radio talk shows and banner competitions on drug related topics. The week, which concluded on Tuesday, also included testimonials of recovering alcoholics and drug users. According to president of CJC Student Government, John Marin Jr. and Dean of CJC Jose Mai, agree that everyone should be involved in motivating students not to use drugs and alcohol.

Will OAS Investigates Shooting At Chiquibul?
As mentioned, the Government of Belize has requested the support of the Organization of American States in conducting a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surrounding the shooting incident that claimed the life of 13 year old Julio Alvarado. Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro was asked during a press briefing, which we will tell you about in a few, to provide input on the shooting incident. Almagro expressed that while the OAS is deeply concerned about this incident, they cannot intervene on the issue until they are asked to do so by both countries.

GOB Says Belizean Authorities Acted In Self Defense
Now, while the Government of Guatemala is claiming that BDF soldiers surprised Alvarado and his sons and opened fire on them as they were planting pumpkin seeds between 6:00 and 7:00 yesterday evening, a release from the Government of Belize is relating a different story. GOB is saying that according to initial reports, yesterday Belizean security forces were on a patrol in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park in western Belize to investigate illegal clearings when at about 5:00 p.m. they detained without incident, 33 year old Guatemalan national Jose Maria Antonio Reyes, who was found conducting illegal activities in the Chiquibul National Park.

#513248 - 04/22/16 06:39 AM Re: Today's Belize News: April 22, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy


Unremitting Incursions Into Belize Lead to Death of Guatemalan Minor in the Chiquibul
A 13-year-old from Guatemala is dead after he was shot in the Cebada area in the Cayo District, reportedly by a soldier of the Belize Defense Force. Guatemalan authorities have said that the minor, who was along with his younger brother and his father were in the adjacency zone planting pumpkin seeds but the local […]

Guatemalan President Turns Heat Up a Notch in 5-Point Statement
With the killing of Julio Rene Alvarado yesterday in the Chiquibul National Reserve, the Guatemalan government has expressed outrage and as a result, the President, Jimmy Morales has issued a three and a half minute statement, not only expressing condolences to the family but also questioning the Belizean authorities as to what it is that […]

Ministry of Nat’l Security Not Ready to Comment on Chiquibul Shooting
As you have heard in President Jimmy Morales’ address, the first of the five points is the one calling for the shooter to be brought to justice. As has become the norm, the ministries of both Belize’s Foreign Affairs and National Security have been very tight lipped with the media when it comes to the […]

Foreign Affairs Release Says Nothing Much on Fatal Shooting in the Chiquibul
Outside of CEO Lovell’s response, there was a release issued just after five o’clock this evening from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In that six paragraph document there is nothing that tells of the circumstances leading to the shooting incident but rather the release focused more on Belize’s request to the Organization of American States […]

OAS Intervention Will Only Seek to Verify Location of the Shooting
So, the Belizean authorities have asked for the intervention of the Organization of American States in verifying the location of the shooting incident that occurred yesterday. Earlier this morning, just after ten o’clock, the media was able to meet with the Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro and that question of the OAS’ involvement […]

Fake Cops Nabbed in Conch Shell Bay
Two men were caught in the Conch Shell Bay area this morning with a thirty eight revolver, live rounds and donned in police uniforms. We are uncertain as to what triggered off the suspicion of the real police officers in the area patrolling but the men were detained and searched. Both, Dorian Blair of a […]

Office of PM Reacts to Morales’ Address
At the top of our news, we brought you the address by Guatemala’s President surrounding the fatal shooting of a minor yesterday, allegedly at the hands of a BDF soldier. Some minutes ago, Belize’s Office of the Prime Minister responded to Morales’ address via a press release, rejecting the statements made by the leader of […]

Guatemala Pulls Out All Stops in Internationalizing Recent Shooting
The message of President Jimmy Morales has been heard and seen by thousands and up to news time this evening his message had gotten over twelve hundred comments and almost five thousand reactions. In comparison to what Belize has done in publicizing and internationalizing the challenges being faced with the constant incursions by Guatemalans, the […]

BDF Commander Speaks of Guatemalan Incursions Into Belize
The incursions have been many and organizations like Friends for Conservation has been trying to emphasize the urgency in getting funds to patrol the area and for steps to be taken to have the Guatemalans cease and desist from raping our natural resources. It would be extreme to say that those calls by the FCD […]

OAS Sec Gen Supports Going to the ICJ
As we told you, Secretary General Almagro of the OAS met with the media this morning in the VIP Room at the Philip Goldson International Airport. The conference lasted for about seven minutes with the condition that he would only be taking three questions from the media. One of the topics addressed was the issue […]


Sarstoon Forward Operating Base officially Opens
The very controversial Forward Operating Base built on the Southern most part of the Belize Side of the Sarstoon River, was officially opened Wednesday April 20. Ground breaking for the base was in December of last year and some 4 months later, the base is now complete. The inauguration was done am...

Minister of National Security confirms Guatemala’s rejection of proposals
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has yet to comment on the news of Guatemala’s rejection of Belize’s proposal for a peace protocol in the Sarstoon. Today however, the Minister of National Security, Honorable John Saldivar confirmed the rejection and informed that the matter was discussed in Cabinet y...

Shane Bennett Arrested after Escaping from Police Station; Arrested for Murder
Escaped prisoner, 29 year old Shane Bennett, was recaptured Wednesday in Placencia. Bennett had escaped from the holding cell at the Independence police station some months ago and has been on the runever since. A joint task force of Special Branch, Crimes Investigations Branch and officers from th...

Mango shooting” is manslaughter, shooter to be tried
A businessman of the Ladyville area accused of fatally shooting and killing a 60 year old Senior citizen who picked some of his mangoes must stand trial at the Supreme Court this year for manslaughter. 48 year old Hilberto Perez was told this morning by Chief Magistrate, Anne Marie Smith that a prim...

Man charged for murder of Leon Gordon
Police have arrested and charged 20 year old Austin Gabourel of Calle Almendro, Caye Caulker, for the fatal stabbing of Leon Gordon over the weekend on La Isla Carinosa. On Sunday, April 17, 2016, at the Sip and Dip bar located on Avenida Hicaco police saw Gordon with stab wound to the abdomen. Th...

Belize Territorial Volunteer leader comments on FOB
The man who has been previously blamed for stirring up trouble with our Guatemalan neighbors, Wil Maheia, was exonerated of sorts at today’s event when the Minister of National Security, as you heard earlier in this newscast, thanked the BTV for their bravery and patriotism. Maheia was present at to...

MOU signing in Belmopan between City council and Belmopan businesses
Today April 20th, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Belmopan City Council and the newly formed BBA, Belmopan Business Association. Talks of forming an association for Belmoan businesses started almost a year ago and today, it came to fruition. Earlier today at the Bull Frog in Bel...

The Guardian

Teachers Union launches “Stand Up for Belize”
Hundreds of teachers from around Belize converged last Friday at the Mount Carmel High School in Benque Viejo del Carmen to launch “Stand Up for Belize.” At this Belize National Teachers’ Union sponsored event, two eminently qualified Belizeans on the Belize-Guatemala territorial issue, Dr. Assad Shoman and the Foreign Minister, the Honorable Wilfred Peter Erlington, were present to update teachers and expand their knowledge. Assad Shoman urged that we should have recognized borders with our neighbor Guatemala and to have information on the issues at hand. “We have to have the right information and analyze it correctly,” he said. “Teachers, good teachers, teachers don’t lie….They promote open minds. They invite students to challenge, to question, to think for themselves.”

200 Police officers promoted
More than 200 police officers from all over the country have been promoted for the financial year beginning April 1. 146 police constables have been elevated to corporals. 56 of them are from the Eastern Division, 31 are from the Cayo Formation, 11 from Orange Walk and Corozal and 7 are from Stann Creek and Toledo districts. 38 are being promoted from specialized areas; including Special Branch, Anti-Narcotics Unit, Professional Standards Branch, Gang Suppression Unit, Special Patrol Unit, Mobile Interdiction Team and the Joint Intelligence Coordinating Centre. 65 corporals are being elevated to the rank of sergeant. Eight of them are from the West, three from the South, six from the North and 19 from the Eastern Division. In addition to the specialized areas, there are also promotions being given to officers in the Tourism Patrol Unit, Prosecution Branch and the Financial Intelligence Unit. Other promotions are expected to be announced for higher ranks.

Donation to young couple by City Council and Hon. Patrick Faber
Belize City Councilors Hyacinth Latchman-Cuellar, Kevin Singh and Bernard Pitts Jr. on Wednesday afternoon made a donation as promised to young entrepreneurs Ishtar Williams and her husband Darrel Grant who have been providing healthy and affordable meals to children attending Queen Square Primary School. The couple was recently shut down from operating because of a neighbor who just felt that they should not be selling close to his home. Once the story aired on local television, the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councilors of the Belize City Council immediately communicated with each other about the situation and vowed to put their own personal finance to help the young couple.

Earthquake Johnny
There is an Earthquake occurring in the PUP, the likes of which has never been seen before . This one may yet go off the Richter Scale. The seismic rumblings are being felt all around the Country. Not being satisfied with forcing Cordel on the general membership of his party even though, at the convention in January of this year, the members had stated loud and clear that they don’t want Cordel in the leadership of their party. He also forced out Munchie Cervantes Jr., Anthony Sylvestre Jr.,Vaughan Gill and Myrtle Palacio, but he is not stopping there. It seems like all the old guards are falling like old buildings during this earthquake. We suspect that Johnny is doing it because, even though he has not said so publicly, it has widely been accepted that he blames the old guard for him stepping down as party leader in 2011, so it is natural that Briceño would seek to surround himself with only those loyal to him.

Appeal eminent in Noh Mul case
Denny Grijalva, his wife, Emelda Grijalva, and Javier Nunez, the project manager of the Grijalva family business, De-Mar’s Stone Company, have all been found guilty of the destruction and mauling of the Noh Mul Archaeological Monument. The court will decide on what penalties they must face for the guilty verdict, but the attorney for these defendants has told the media that they are inclined to appealing the decision of the court. Dr. Alan Moore, the Director of Archaeology, which falls under the National Institute of Culture and History (NICH), testified that on May 9, 2013, he was called by the Director of NICH. He was informed of the incident, and the next day, he visited the Noh Mul Site in San Pablo Village, Orange Walk. He saw fresh excavation happening on the side of the road. That was the location of Mound 65 and 66, and according to Dr. Moore, he looked around and saw a number of dump trucks, a low boy machine, and a yellow caterpillar excavator, bearing the name of Grijalva’s company, “De Mar’s”. He then reported the incident to the police, and took photographs of the damage to the site, and of the equipment. Those photographs were submitted as evidence in this trial.

Aggravated burglary in Camalote
There has been an aggravated burglary in Camalote, Cayo. Roaring Creek Police visited the residence of Gladwin Penner on April 12, 2016, who reported that there had been an aggravated burglary. The 33 year old Belizean Trucker Driver of Camalote Village was at his ranch on the Hummingbird Highway, when he received a call from his worker Ecma Salazar, a 34 year old Belizean maid of Camalote Village, who reported that she had been held up at gunpoint at his residence. Upon Gladwin Penner’s arrival in Camalote, he noticed that his black in color Ruger SR9 9MM pistol with serial number 330-86294 valued at $2,500.00 Belize currency was stolen from his drawer.

Was man killed in retaliation for Shiney’s killing?
Shortly after Gerald “Shiney” Tillett, the slain George Street Boss, passed away in Dangriga, there was a flare up of shooting incidents in Belize City. Those are believed to be retaliatory. Among those is the shooting of 22 year-old Kadeem Castillo, a Faber’s Road Resident, who was gunned down and killed in front of his home on Madam Liz Crescent. Castillo was socializing with a friend at around 12:10 a.m. on Sunday, April 17, when a grey car pulled up. 3 men jumped out and opened fire on the pair hitting Castillo twice in the head, and twice in the chest. The men then jumped back into the car and sped off making their escape.

A 53 year old accidentally shoots himself in Cayo
A man in Cayo accidentally shot himself and died as a result. Earl Tillett who shot himself in the face whilst on a farming trip passed away while receiving treatment at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital in Belize City. On 12thApril, 2016 about 9:45 am, information was received of a shooting incident involving Earl Tillet on a farm located off the Pine Ridge Road in Georgeville Village, in the Cayo District. A family friend, Aaron Vasquez, was able to view when Earl Tillett attempted to cross over a log that was blocking his path. Vasquez also saw when his friend was about to swing his machete, immediately after which he heard a loud bang. He then went to the area and saw Earl Tillett lying on top of his rifle and bleeding from the side of the neck. The 53 year old farmer of Georgeville, had received a gun-shot wound to the right side of the face. He was transported to the San Ignacio Town Hospital and later to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further treatment where he later died.

Stabbed to death in Caye Caulker while parting a fight
Austin Gabourel, 20, is on remand at the Belize Central Prison after he was arraigned on Wednesday, April 20, for the murder of Leon Gordon, 29. Gordon, a Caye Caulker Resident, was fatally stabbed during the weekend at the Sip & Dip Bar, which is located on the island’s beach side. The incident happened on Sunday night, April 17, at around 8 p.m., and Gordon’s family tell the press that he was acting as a peacekeeper. They say that Gordon saw the bar owner, Jeremy Rhaburn, and another man involved in a confrontation. They say that the quarrel ensued because the owner was attempting to kick that man out because he was behaving disorderly. Gordon got involved to stop the incident from escalating, and that’s when another man, believed to be a friend of the man confronting the owner, grabbed a piece of broken bottle and stabbed Gordon in the abdomen. Shortly after that, both men ran away, reportedly in the direction the Island’s iconic split.

Percival Pilgrim to stand trial for murder
One year after Edward “Ghost” Usher, 40, was killed, the man accused of firing the fatal bullets, Percival Pilgrim, was committed to stand trial at the Supreme Court for murder. A preliminary inquiry was conducted before Senior Magistrate Sharon Fraser in the case against Percival Pilgrim on Friday, April 15. The prosecutor, Inspector Hector Rodriguez, submitted 12 witness statements recorded by police. He also submitted eight pieces of documentary evidence; including, 36 sets of pictures taken at the scene and the morgue, a copy of Usher’ s death certificate and post mortem result, two chain of custody forms and a warrant for the arrest of Percival Pilgrim for murder.

Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition winding down
The 2015-2016 Belize City Primary Schools Softball competition is fast winding down at the Rogers Stadium in Belize City. On Tuesday 19th April, in the girls game played, Central Christian School defeated Wesley Upper School by the score of 10-3. The winning pitcher was Leoneli Sedacey and the losing pitcher was Tamia Young. In the boys’ game played, Wesley Upper School edged out Central Christian School by the score of 3-1. The winning pitcher was Luis Orozco and the losing pitcher was Malcolm Lopez. On Monday 18th April, in the only game played in the boys’ competition, Calvary Temple School won handily over Salvation Army School by the score of 13-6. The winning pitcher was Shamir Gutierrez and the losing pitcher was Terrence St. Clair.

Softball Federation calls junior female softballers to camp
In preparation for the XV Central American Junior Female Softball Championship that is scheduled for August 11-14, 2016, at Rogers Stadium in Belize City, the Belize Softball Federation is calling all junior female softballers, 19 years ( if will turn 20 years in September) and under, to its training camp on Saturday, 23rd April at Rogers Stadium commencing at 9:00 am. Junior softballers are asked to bring along an ID card, to verify date of birth, and their own softball glove.

Camalote United halt the Belmopan Bandits in the Raymond Garbutt Cayo Senior Female competition
The 2016 Raymond Garbutt Cayo Softball Association Senior Female competition continued on Sunday 17th April, with three games on the schedule. In the first game played, the Camalote United team won its second game in a row when it edged out the Belmopan Bandits by the score of 5-4. The winning pitcher was Keneshia Sutherland and the losing pitcher was Laniesha Jones. In the second game of the day, the defending champions, Roaring Creek Grace Kennedy defeated the Esperanza Wolverines by the score of 5-1. The winning pitcher was Leandra Guy and the losing pitcher was Shareenie Soberanis.

A house divided
It seems that each week brings deeper divide within the leadership of the People’s United Party. This past weekend we saw the installation of Gregorio Garcia’s daughter as chair of the PUP’s Northern caucus. This went against the recommendation of the Party Leaders who would have preferred Ramirez, since it is said that he made a deal with the latter for his support at their national convention. However, the OW delegates at the weekend meeting thought that Ramirez was too close to the Old Guard, which was unacceptable to them. Interestingly, the PUP is evenly split in Corozal and Orange Walk between loyalty to Hon. Briceño and the Old Guard. The deeper rift, however, came on Sunday when a PUP spokesman, Mr. B. Lindo, attacked Dr. Assad Shoman’s position on the Guatemalan issue. Lindo made a statement on Krem’s Sunday show morning that when Mr. Shoman speaks, he speaks for himself and not on behalf of the PUP. Again Mr. Lindo’s remarks came across as interesting, to say the least, since Dr. Shoman was directly appointed by the PUP Party Leader to represent the Opposition in talks with Guatemala. Mr. Lindo is also a member of the present PUP executive.

It is regrettable, that the Ministry of Sustainable Development needed the United Nations Experts to alert them of the existence of the SDGs. It is also regrettable that Belize does not know which of the SDGs are achievable and should be a priority. Minister Figuroea got it right in his speech. “As we develop … you don’t want to develop in a manner that you compromise your future. We have tourism, we depend on tourism, we depend on fisheries and agriculture, we want to make sure that these things are available for our country fifty plus years down the road.” All those mentioned dependencies, and may I add energy and health, depend on the availability of water.I CHALLENGE ANYONE TO PROVE OTHERWISE. For us in the water sector we knew a year ago, that SDG 6 is most important to Belize. As you can see in the article below that was first published in the Guardian on 22 April 2015. The issues yet remain and the achievement of the other 16 SDGs will be difficult, if not impossible, without the achievement of SDG 6.

National Elite Basketball League regular season concludes
While at the UB Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits defeated the two times defending champions the San Pedro Tiger Sharks by the score of 70-65 to claim the number two seed into the playoffs. The top scorers for the Belmopan Bandits were Jarrel Velasquez who scored 24 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals; Nick Brown who contributed 16 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists; Kurt Burgess with 9 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal. For the San Pedro Tiger Sharks, the top scorers were Caleb Sutton with 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. He was assisted by Tyrone Edwards with 14 points, 3 steals and 3 assists and Gene Myvett with 8 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. The playoffs will commence on Thursday 21st April, 2016, at 9:00 pm out at the UB Gymnasium in the City of Belmopan.

Placencia Assassins eliminate Police United from PLB playoffs
The Premier League of Belize Football Competition Closing Season will commence its Championship round on Saturday 23rd April, 2016, out at the Michael Ashcroft Stadium in Independence Village between the Placencia Assassins the giant slayer and the Belmopan Bandits. On Sunday 17th April at the MCC Grounds in the second and final game of the home and away series between the Belize Defence Force and the Belmopan Bandits, the game ended in a 1-1 draw. The Belmopan Bandits was the first that made it onto the scoreboard when Elroy Smith scored the 1st goal of the game via a penalty in the 45th minute of play to give his team a temporary 1-0 lead that he took in the break. It was not until well into the second half of the game that the Belize Defence Force made it onto the scoreboard when Leon Cadle scored the equalising goal for his team in the 78th minute of play for the 1-1 tie.

Teacher caught with bag of weed in her bra
Teacher Jacqueline Swasey, 43, of Mahogany Heights is in trouble with the law after she was busted with 6 grams of marijuana at the mile 31 checkpoint on the George Price Highway. According to police reports, Swasey was travelling in a blue car that was stopped at the checkpoint by WPC Kendra Robateau. The officer smelt the strong aroma of marijuana coming from inside the car and decided to conduct a search of the vehicle. As the officer was looking inside the vehicle, she saw Swasey fondling her left breast area. Robateau immediately informed Swasey that a search would be conducted on her. At this time, Swasey pushed the officer away and told her that she does not want to be touched. Robateau then took her flashlight and spotted it in the area where Swasey was touching. She saw a black plastic bag and attempted to take it away. However, Swasey grabbed her hand, kicked her in the stomach and tried to run away. Robateau had to get tough with Swasey. She grabbed her by the wrist and took her to the ground. The plastic bag was then confiscated and it contained 6 grams of marijuana.

Prosecution downgrades murder charge against Caye Caulker Cop
Relatives of the late Hilberto Sotz, 18, are upset with the Department of Public Prosecution for downgrading the charge against the men allegedly responsible for killing their loved one. Two police officers, Police Constable Hallet King, 32, and Detective Constable Leonard Nunez, 43, both residents of Caye Caulker were charged with murder after Sotz died in police custody on June 8, 2015. However, on Friday, April 15, 2016 the prosecution informed the court that there was not sufficient evidence to convict the men for murder since they would have to prove that they had intent to kill Sotz. With that, they withdrew the charge of murder and levied a charge of manslaughter against the accused. The men’s attorneys then applied for bail since the charge was a bailable offense. Bail was granted by Chief Magistrate Anne Marie Smith in the sum of $2,000 each plus one surety of the same amount. The men must report to the police station near their home every Friday until the case is disposed of.

Senior citizen charged for false report
A senior citizen was dragged to court in chains on Wednesday, April 20, for allegedly making a false report to police about being the victim of a robbery. Ramon Figueroa, 62, a salesman of Antelope Street, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza to answer to a charge of committing a mischievous act. He wasted no time and pleaded guilty to the offense. Due to his guilty plea and the fact that this was his first conviction for a crime of dishonesty, Magistrate Mendoza exercised leniency in a fine of $150. The size of the fine is related to the back story of the case. According to reports, Figueroa was holding $150 for a friend and he chose to go gambling with the money. Unfortunately, instead of dead raising he lost all of his friend’s money. This forced him to bake up a story and he decided to claim that someone robbed him. His friend believed the story was genuine and they went to report the matter.

Man facing pornography charges shot
Forty three year old British Belizean, David Taylor, had to be hospitalized at the KHMH after he was shot by assailants who went to his home on the Phillip Goldson Highway. Readers will remember that he made national headlines in December 2012 after being accused of pornographic exploitation of young boys in Placencia Village. His shooting happened on Saturday night, April 16, at around 8 p.m. at Taylor’s Biscayne home at just before mile 27 on Phillip Goldson Highway. He told police that he was home alone when a white SUV pulled into his driveway. He went outside to find out who it was, and that’s when the driver of the vehicle, a Hispanic man, jumped out. Shortly after, another dark complexioned man emerged from the nearby bushes. That man pulled out a gun and ordered Taylor to get on the ground. He told police that he refused to comply, and he ended up in a struggle with the gunman. The gun went off and Taylor was injured. He told police that he immediately ran into his house, locked the door, and called the police.

New Pre-Schools for Orange Walk and Corozal
The Government of Belize continues to break ground for new school buildings across the country and on Wednesday, April 20, it was time for the ground-breaking ceremonies for Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Pre-School in Corozal and the Carmelita Pre-School in Orange Walk. Funding for the construction of the two pre-schools is made available through grant-funds from the Caribbean Development Bank under the bank’s Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF 7) programme with counter-part funding by the Government of Belize. New school buildings means the pre-schoolers of Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. Pre-School and Carmelita Pre-School in the northern districts will have easier access to a better learning environment. The project also enables the schools to address the increasing demand of enrollment and alleviate over-crowding; thus, enabling the country’s future leaders to further boost their learning skills.

Work continues in the enhancement of San Ignacio Town with construction of new market
Work continued today at the San Ignacio Market in a land reclamation project to improve the surroundings for both residents and visitors. These works to create more space for market vendors is being done by employees from the San Ignacio and Santa Elena Town Council, which is to be completed in about two weeks time at a cost of some $30,000 to $40,000.00. Once completed, the retaining cement wall structures at the San Ignacio market will be a welcoming feature for residents moving from Santa Elena Town. Given that San Ignacio Town now faces an ongoing traffic crisis; more parking spaces have recently been created around the Macal River Park in San Ignacio.

Another Tapir killed on Belize’s highways
The tapir is vulnerable to vehicular collision because of its movement style and particularly because it prefers to move at night. According to the Belize Tapir Project, they have picked up the carcasses of 21 tapirs off the highways of Belize since 2008. Number 22 was picked up on Sunday, April 17, somewhere between miles 89 and 90 on the Phillip Goldson Highway. The animal died some hours before Sunday’s dawn. Celso Poot, Founder of the Tapir Project, was called to investigate the incident and move the carcass. By the time Poot and his colleague Jamal Andrewin were able to reach the scene, after a 150 mile journey, the tapir had already been moved from the road side. They did not give up on the search and eventually found the carcass off road. What they found was something even more disturbing than road kill. “Over the past eight years I have collected more than 22 tapir carcasses off our highways and this is the first time I encountered something like I did this evening. The Tapir was removed from the highway and all four legs were severed...cut off! Photos are too graphic to post!!!” said Celso Poot on the Tapir Project’s facebook page. “I am assuming someone severed the legs for the meat.”

Workshop for media to better report on HIV
On Saturday April 16, the Pan American Social Marketing Organization (PASMO) held a one day training workshop in Belize for journalists. Country Manager for PASMO in Belize, Susan Ruether said that the training was specifically geared in order to give journalists current information about the status of the HIV epidemic in Belize as well as to sensitize them on ways in which they can assist in reducing stigma and discrimination in key populations which are more directly affected by the epidemic. Also discussed were correct terminologies to use when writing articles and reporting about HIV as well as LGBT populations which are more affected by the epidemic. For example, it is no longer acceptable to write or say in media reports that a person is ‘dying of AIDS,’ the alternative now is ‘die of an opportunistic infection.’

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

John Briceño replaces Assad with Eamon on Belize/Guatemala team
PUP Leader John Briceño has replaced Ambassador Assad Shoman with Eamon Courtney as the party’s appointed representative in the Belize-Guatemala talks. Briceño made the announcement yesterday evening after a meeting with the O.A.S. Secretary-General Luis Almagro. It is believed that the sudden removal of Ambassador […]

Belize Rebukes Morales on video statement
Working with great speed, the office of the Prime Minister this evening issued its second statement, this time rebutting the video statement by President of Guatemala Jimmy Morales which we reported on earlier. After reiterating Belize’s history and tradition as a peace-loving country which […]

Ladyville handyman accused of inappropriate sexual behaviour with child
Tonight, a handyman of Ladyville is on remand at the Belize Central Prison, charged with one count of unlawfu sexual assault upon a minor who he is alleged to have touched inappropriately whilst on a family outing at the river. 35 year old Artimo Ogaldez […]

Seven years in prison for break-in sex assault
43 year old Lincoln Flowers of Belize City will spend the next seven years in prison after being caught fondling a woman as she lay in bed sleeping next to her common-law husband. Flowers was sentenced yesterday by Chief Magistrate Ann-Marie Smith on charges of burglary […]

Denny Grijalva makes public apology, fined maximum for Noh Mul destruction
As we reported earlier this week, Denny Grijalva has been found guilty of removing parts of an ancient monument and causing the destruction of an ancient monument. The monument in question is the Mayan site called Noh Mul. Back in 2013, it was discovered that contractor […]

OAS Secretary General speaks to press
The Secretary General of the Organization of American States, His Excellency Luis Almagro, held his last engagement in Belize with the press this morning at the Philip Goldson International Airport. He addressed a number of issues including the report that Belize Defence Force soldiers shot […]

Belize responds: Soldiers fired in self-defence in the dark; investigation to be conducted
In a late press release this evening, the Government reports that it has requested the support of the OAS in a verification exercise to ascertain the facts surroundingWednesday’s incident. It emphasized that it, quote, very much regrets any loss of life and will be conducting its […]

Guatemalan President steps up rhetoric against Belize
Guatemalan President Jimmy Moralez has issued a statement following reports of a Guatemalan minor being shot and killed by a BDF soldier. Moralez has declared that he intends to heighten and employ strict protection of Guatemala’s sovereignty in the Sarstoon area and along the Adjacency Zone […]

Police investigating reported impersonation in Belize City
Police are investigating a case of impersonation of law enforcement by two men, according to Police Department Press Officer Raphael Martinez. No further official details have been released at this time. However, we understand that the bust was made in the Conch Shell Bay area […]

BDF soldiers accused of attacking a Guatemalan family killing a minor
A Guatemalan in Belizean territory has reportedly been shot and killed by a BDF soldier. There has been no information forthcoming from Belizean authorities as yet but the Prensa Libre reported that a BDF soldier shot and killed a minor, and injured two others on Wednesday evening […]

NEBL playoffs set to start tonight
The National Elite Basketball League (NEBL) season is winding down with four teams left, headed to the playoffs: the Belmopan Bandits, San Pedro Tiger Sharks, Smart Belize Hurricanes and Dangriga Warriors. It all goes down tonight. In Belmopan, the Belmopan Bandits will face the Tiger Sharks and the Dangriga […]

National university hosts annual research conference
The University of Belize (UB) is hosting its annual research conference in Belize City this morning for students and faculty. Though nominally hosted by the faculty of Management and Social Sciences, the conference is this year dominated by topics related to education, part of […]

Arlie Petters appointed Trinity College Dean of Academic Affairs
Belizean mathematical physicist, Arlie Petters, has been appointed dean of academic affairs and associate vice provost for undergraduate education at the Trinity College in Connecticut, USA. His new post becomes effective July 1, and he will serve through June 2020. Petters holds Trinity College […]


All About DELICIOUS Belizean Food: My Take
I have lots of friends and readers ask me about Belizean food because well…as a global cuisine, it is not especially well known. Sure, a Garifuna restaurant (Garifuna Flava in Chicago) was once featured on (the OH so irritating) Guy Fieri’s “Dinners, Drive-In and Dives” and Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” did visit Belize looking for the…bizarre. But if you ask the average Joe outside of this country to describe Belizean cuisine, you are going to get a confused look. Because either Joe has no idea where Belize is (though that is changing quickly) or he just doesn’t know what we eat down here. So here is a my take on a Belize Food Primer. I will surely leave things out since Belize is REALLY a melting pot of cultures from the colonizing British to Garifuna, Mestizo, Chinese, Creole and more…and things vary a bit as you move through the country. A drive from north to south in Belize can be like visiting 3 or 8 different countries in a few hours – you’ll probably pass through at least Creole, Mayan, Mennonite and Central American populated villages.

Explore Caye Caulker, where the island’s motto is “Go-Slow”
Measuring just five miles north and south and less than a mile across, Caye Caulker is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belize. Less commercial and urbanized than its larger sister island of Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker offers a spectacular tropical island experience at very affordable prices. A few restaurants on the island provide fresh food and cocktails. Originally the destination of choice for artists, musicians and backpackers, today Caye Caulker still exudes a very funky, laid-back approach to life epitomized by its unofficial slogan of “Go Slow.” With just 30 small locally-owned hotels and inns, Caye Caulker exudes a very laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The beaches on the island are considered some of the most beautiful in the country and the Belize Barrier Reef, a popular spot for diving and snorkeling, is just a few miles away. Situated about 17 nautical miles northeast of Belize City, visitors to the island can either take a water taxi (taking about 45-50 minutes) or fly to the island’s airstrip (a 15-minute journey) via Belize’s two domestic air carriers: Maya Island Air and Tropic Air. Once on the island, transportation is restricted to bicycles and golf carts.

International Sourcesizz

Ataque de supuestos soldados beliceños causa un muerto
There was a shooting incident in the Chiquibul in the Cebada area on Wednesday. During the incident, one Guatemalan civilian was shot and killed by a BDF soldier. There has been no official word from the Ministry of National Security. We'll provide you more official information as they become available. The Guatemalan press report a different version of the incident. The link is linked to above.

Queen Elizabeth: A Look at 90 Years of Vast Wealth and Perks
It’s good to be in the Royal Family. April 21 is the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth — the actual birthday, although she gets an official birthday in June because, as a quirk of British history, monarchs since George II have chosen a second date in summer to publicly celebrate when the weather it nice. That is just one of the many perks of being Queen. There will be happy birthday wishes at a function at the Royal Mail postal system, and a 90-minute program of music, dance, and equestrian displays that run nightly from May 12 through 15. Ah, it’s good to be the queen. For Queen Elizabeth, the longest-ruling monarch of the U.K. — technically she’s the ruling monarch of 16 individual sovereign states in the Commonwealth of Nations, but who’s counting? — it has meant a life of pomp, circumstance, achievement, disappointment, and a good deal of financial comfort and security.

From Belize to Soap Lake -- a murder or a suicide?
Believing family and friends would never accept their romantic relationship, Tracy Nessl and Tim McNamara left Soap Lake in early 2013 and moved to Belize to begin a new life together. Tim McNamara leased out his Soap Lake farm and with a $240,000 insurance payout he received from a failed crop, then bought a new farm in Belize, where he and Tracy began building a bed and breakfast. And they got married. But their new life couldn't erase their past demons. Tim and his kids stopped communicating. Tracy's teenage daughter was ordered to stay away from her new husband. And as time went on the pair struggled financially. When their second Christmas in Belize arrived, Tim and Tracy were about to open their bed and breakfast venture when something happened that would destroy that dream forever. Tracy said she and Tim spent Christmas Day, which fell on a Thursday, working on the property because they were planning to apply for their board certification with the Belize tourism office on Monday. Tracy said she was doing dishes when the dogs started barking and Tim went out the back carrying the handgun he often used to chase away jaguars and mountain lions that would prey on their dogs and other animals.

Best of Belize: Jazz Fest’s international focus boasts vibrant traditions in music, food
Belize is famous for its rich biodiversity and alluring beaches, but the Central American country also is home to deeply rooted cultural groups with unique traditions and languages. The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival presented by Shell will showcase that music, art and cuisine at the Belize Pavilion throughout both weekends of the event. “We present the best of Belize at the festival,” said Valerie Guillet, the Cultural Exchange Pavilion coordinator. Musical performances will take place on the Belize Stage and nearby stages, including the one that is set up in Congo Square. Guillet describes the collection of music, which includes punta rock and paranda, as diverse and representative of the Garifuna, Maya, Mestizo and Creole traditions. “Belize is a small country with many cultural groups, and we try to represent as many as possible,” she said. The robust lineup showcases groove-inspiring acts from Sweet Pain, a punta rock band led by Chico Ramos and Supa G; the Garifuna Generation of New Orleans; Brad Pattico & The Talla Walla Creole Drummers; and 78-year-old Maya harp master, Florencio Mess, among other musicians.

Lacking participation, Caribbean could face loss of influence on New Urban Agenda
What does Grenada, a speck of an island that can be circumnavigated in a day, have in common with a continental-size country such as Brazil? It’s a head-scratching question for the Caribbean, which often finds itself an appendage to larger Latin America in international negotiations. That feeling was very much in evidence here this week during the Habitat III Regional Meeting for Latin America and the Caribbean. In theory, this was a chance for delegates, generally drawn from the ranks of ministries of housing and urban development, to share their national experience with neighbors from around the region ahead of the U. N. Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III). In practice, few Caribbean countries made it to Toluca in significant numbers. Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago were represented, some by just one or two technical staff or an NGO.

Guatemalan Marines and Military Engineers prepare to move materials to the Sarstoon Naval Station
The Twitter feed of the Guatemalan Ministry of Defense (@Ejercito_GT) has posted the following photos with captions that translate to 'Guatemalan Marines and Military Engineers prepare to move materials to the Sarstoon Naval Station' and 'Peten First Calvary regiment perform movement pursuant to order from the Senior (COMTE) of the army.'

Mensaje del presidente por ataque en la zona de adyacencia con Belice
Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales has released an announcement on the shooting of a Guatemalan national in the Chiquibul, which he describes as an 'attack in the adjacency zone.'

New Orleans Jazz Fest Spotlights Belize
Belize is the focus of this year's Cultural Exchange at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, which starts tomorrow. The Garifuna Collective, TR Shine, Sweet Pain with Chico Ramos and Supa G, and the Wageirale Drummers are some of the Belizean performers. Hope they have a great time sharing their wonderful music. "This year, festival goers will have the opportunity to hear music, see demonstrations and learn about the history and customs of the small Caribbean country of about 300,000, which includes people of Maya, Mestizo, Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Chinese, Lebanese, Mennonite and Caribbean descent. The country was under British rule until 1981. The national language is English."


  • Belize 2016, 6min. A 5-1/2 minute video showing some highlights from our February 2016 Belize trip.

  • Snorkeling Belize, 18min.

  • Impact of Climate and Land Use Change on Belize's Water Resources, 2.5min. Short video on the impact of climate and land use change on Belize's water resources. by the University of Belize Environmental Research Institute.

  • Placencia SeaWeed Project, 15min. Fishermen in Placencia are farming seaweed off the Belize Barrier reef in the caribbean sea.

  • Belize, 7min.

  • Bel Campo Belize, 3min.

  • Belize 2015, 13min. Here's some footage from our trip to Ambergris Caye Belize.

  • Overwater Latest in San Pedro, Belize, 3min. overwater cabanas with glass bottom suites and even an underwater master suite. truely sleeping with the fishes.

  • Will hoverboard Belize, 1min.

  • Sea Adventures in Belize 2016, 7min. Snuba

  • Belmopan, Belize April 2016, 5min. A drive around of Belompan from the Agricultural grounds to the government buildings.

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