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#513282 - 04/23/16 12:18 PM Today's Belize News: April 23, 2016
Marty Offline


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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

New Mayan herbal medicine book launched
The Maya of Belize had many herbal remedies for just about any ailment know to man, a wealth of traditional healing knowledge preserved by Don Elijio Panti, which his grand niece Aurora Garcia Saqui has now recorded and preserved for future generations, in her new book, “Ix Hmen U Tzaco Ah Maya”. Judy Lumb and Dorothy Beveridge of the publishing house “Producciones de la Hamaca”, helped Garcia-Saqui edit her new work, and introduced Aurora at the launch of her new book at the Image Factory in Belize City on Tuesday morning, April 12. Aurora’s husband and collaborator in her work, Ernesto Saqui was also present at the launch to lead the audience in prayer; while their children Regina and Emanuel sang the national anthem.

Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
The Government of Belize informs the general public that Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow convened a special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) this afternoon in Belize City to address the issues surrounding the incident that claimed the life of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest in Belize’s territory. The Prime Minister joined the meeting via telephone from New York City, where he is attending the signature ceremony for the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Prime Minister briefed the NSC on the meeting he had with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in the margins of the meeting at the United Nations Headquarters during the Paris Agreement signing. The Prime Minister confirmed to President Morales that an impartial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the incident had begun and is led by the Organization of American States (OAS). Prime Minister Barrow recommended to President Morales that assistance be sought from the Government of the United States to deploy a criminal/forensic expert to provide the necessary technical expertise to the OAS verification exercise. He reiterated Belize’s position that the Belize security forces patrol was fired upon and only responded in self-defence.

Minister of National Security Concludes Meeting with Senior Command of Security Forces
With the conclusion of the meeting this morning between Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar and the senior command of our security forces, all security forces have been placed on high alert and a short term strategy has been devised to deal with further possible incidents along the border areas and in the Sarstoon. A meeting of the National Security Council is to be held later this afternoon and the Council will be briefed on our military readiness. The Ministry of National Security assures the public that the security forces of Belize will take any and all actions appropriate to preserve our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Minor Charged for the murder of Journalist Kareem Clarke
On Monday, July 6, 2015, Amandala journalist, Kareem Jabbor Clarke fell victim to gun violence. He was riding his bicycle around the bridge near Lakeview Street on Vernon Street in Belize City when he was gunned down. Clarke, 27, suffered five gunshot wounds on the left side of the forehead, back of the head, abdomen, right upper back and middle of the back. On September 9, 2015, police brought a 17-year old minor into custody in connection with Clarke’s murder. The minor was arraigned on murder charges, and on Tuesday, April 12th he was committed to stand trial at The Supreme Court of Belize. The initial inquiry was held at the Family Court in Belize City, and as a result, the minor was officially charged for Clarke’s murder.

Dental Volunteers give back to San Pedro
On April 16th, Dr. Pierre Boumerhi and a team of dental volunteers from Pennsylvania, USA arrived at La Isla Bonita on a quest to provide a week of dental services at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II from Monday, April 18th to Friday, April 22nd. The dental group and volunteers dedicated a full week starting from 8AM to 11:45AM and 1 to 5 PM; providing the community of San Pedro with dental services such as cleaning, cavity fillings, fluoride applications and tooth extractions. Not only were their services open to all ages, but free of charge. They also donated useful supplies to the polyclinic’s dental room. Dr. Boumerhi studied at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Dental Medicine, and along with the support of his wife, Holly Boumerhi, they decided to become active in helping those who can’t afford dental work. “Years ago, I help set up a clinic in Jamaica, but my kids were younger and I never had the opportunity to practice and help out. Since my kids are now older, I have more free time to give back to the community and volunteer,” said Pierre.

San Pedro Town prepping to combat Zika
Currently, San Pedro is actively producing a municipal action engagement preparedness and response plan to combat Zika and promote vector control interventions that prevents the spread of the virus. The dynamics of Zika is rapidly changing, and so far, San Pedro is the only municipality in Belize to instill a plan as it relates, not only regarding Zika, but all vector borne diseases. As the plan for San Pedro is broken down into four areas: the actual drafting of the plan, the educational component, eradicating mosquitoes, and preparing for confirmed cases, the SPTC is looking to target the student population by having educational campaigns and several activities. “We will use children to voice child friendly ads as it relates to mosquito-borne diseases and children are San Pedro’s largest group that could help successfully promote awareness about preventative methods,” said Aldana. In the coming weeks, the SPTC will be proactive in educating children by visiting schools and lecturing inside classrooms. The SPTC will be sharing flyers that include information relating to mosquito borne diseases, distributing educational kits, and a poster competition is being arranged.

Matachica donates vehicle to Police Department
Matachica Resort and Spa is no stranger to giving back to La Isla Bonita. In the past, Matachica has embarked in projects to help various organizations. The San Pedro Police Department (SPPD) has benefitted from the resort’s generosity, having received help in both housing and transportation. On Friday, April 15th, Gricel Graniel, Executive Director of Matachica, Daniel Lighter, Owner, and Mayor Daniel Guerrero, handed over a 2003 Saturn VUE SUV to the Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB). Receiving the donation was Office in Charge the Coastal Executive Unit, Sandra Bowden and Deputy Officer in Charge of the Coastal Executive Unit, Henry Jemmott. “We had already donated vehicles to the police, but one of them had a mechanical error. Instead of fixing the vehicle, we decided to donate another vehicle to the CIB Unit of the SPPD because they really needed a replacement,” said Graniel.

San Mateo residents to benefit from CDB grant
Residents of San Mateo, Ambergris Caye are rejoicing at the news that a grant has been allocated by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to alleviate some of the structural problems in their subdivision. Representatives of the CDB, Belize Water Services (BWS), and The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) held a series of consultations at the Holy Cross Anglican School (HCAS) in an effort to better understand the issues affecting San Mateo. The first consultation took place on Tuesday, April 12th, where one of the topics discussed was the proper installation of a sewer system. The consultation provided first- hand insight into the living conditions residents face every day in San Mateo. CDB Consultant Dr. Roy Young acknowledged that knowing the vulnerabilities when it comes to their surroundings will further assist them in improving the quality of life for the residents in that area of the island.

Ambergris Today

Belize/Guatemala Tension Peaks with Shooting of Guatemalan Minor
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, April 20, 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, April 20, 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-defense 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.

Misc Belizean Sourcesmzz

Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar in session at Price Barrack
Minister of National Security Hon. John Saldivar is in session this morning at Price Barracks, Ladyville with Commander of the Belize Defence Force Brigadier General David Jones; Rear Admiral John Borland, Commander of the National Coast Guard; Acting Commissioner of Police Russel Blackett; and CEO Colonel (Ret’d) George Lovell of the Ministry of National Security. This strategic military planning session is in advance of and in preparation for the meeting of the National Security Council to be held later today to determine our further course of action in light of the developing situation on our borders.

From the Yellow-headed parrot monitoring crew
Charles Britt, Roni Martinez, Isael Mai, and others (posted on FB today): "Past evidence of nest poaching is obvious as this female Yellow-headed Parrot sites at the entrance of a nest cavity. The machete chop marks remain from a previous year when a poacher opened up a hole to access the chicks." To Alejandro Horcasitas, Ilana Lapid, Daniel Velazquez Artist, Alex Alonso, your films are going to help tell this story. Thank you Carol Farneti Foster for advising/consulting on these - you're invaluable!

Belize Alumni Association Board Elections
Belize Alumni Association is holding its annual board elections on Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at the U.S. Embassy Belmopan. If you participated in a U.S. Embassy Exchange program please join us in electing your board members! Or run for a position!!! PLEASE NOTE YOU MUST BE AN ALUMNI TO PARTICIPATE!!!! Please note the U.S. Embassy will verify your status as an alumni when you RSVP. List of Belize Alumni Association Board Positions and Duties: Each member is elected to a one year terms. Elections will be held April every year to coincide with the first election.

Seine Bight Rising
Imagine a beachside village of dynamic artists and entrepreneurs; this is Seine Bight. Yet, no tourism touches this town due to appearance. Help us paint the homes in bright colors to share Seine Bight with the world!

Ocean Academy and the High School Innovation Challenge
Ocean Academy's Buddy Magana (alumni 2015) and Principal Heidi Curry joined the Ministry of Education to speak on national TV about the High School Innovation Challenge (interview starts at 1:29 at https://vimeo.com/162693845). Our school team won last year with their mobile app "Hire Belize" to address high youth unemployment. Ashtasia and Adaly, members of last year's winning team, are again competing with a new student team in this year's challenge themed Innovation in Education. Before the Ocean Academy interview is an interesting interview about Robotics at Belize High School, which is a topic our students also find very interesting.

Farmers Market at The Truck Stop
Our first monthly Farmers Market is this Saturday from 11am-2pm, and we have some GREAT vendors. With Debbie Piratehearts, Ian Anderson, Harriette Fisher, Home Baked Bread - and more, The Farm House Deli, Belize Chocolate, Ricky's Spice Shack - Belize and Ambergreens Ltd. Organic Aquaponics Greenhouse.

Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
While at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, Prime Minister Barrow met with the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations and apprised the United Nations of what has transpired and the increase tension between both countries, and requested the UN's good offices to urge both sides to respect the Confidence Building Measures. He also met and briefed the CARICOM Secretary General and the Prime Minister of Barbados. Prime Minister Barrow also spoke to the OAS Secretary General via telephone and updated him on the situation surrounding this issue. The Belize security forces assured the NSC that they are on a heightened state of alert and will remain vigilant. The lines of communication remain open between the Belize Defence Force and the Guatemalan Armed Forces and our international partners and allies remain fully briefed on this situation. Prime Minister Barrow gave an audio statement which has been circulated to the media and he will address the nation at a press conference on Monday after he returns to the country.

Global Big Day - May 14th, 2016
What is a Big Day? Big Days have become a tradition among birders. You form a team, start counting birds from midnight and end midnight, a full 24 hours of crazy fun birding. Ideally you want to cover a not-too-large area but with as many different habitats as possible, in order to get the most diverse set of birds. A Global Big Day is precisely that... ALL over the world! But, what exactly is eBird? Every single professional birder uses this to keep track of his/her own sightings but more than that, eBird maximizes the efficiency of that effort and uses your data for a bigger conservation purpose. eBird is a real-time, online checklist program, which has revolutionized the way that the birding community reports and accesses information about birds. Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, eBird provides rich data sources for basic information on bird abundance and distribution at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. eBird’s goal is to maximize the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of bird observations made each year by recreational and professional bird watchers. It is amassing one of the largest and fastest growing biodiversity data resources in existence. For example, in May 2015, participants reported more than 9.5 million bird observations across the world!

Channel 7

PM Barrow Meets President Morales In NY: Pledges to "De-Escalate"
Tonight, Belizeans can breathe just a little easier - because the news at this hour is that Prime Minister Dean Barrow met with his Guatemalan counterpart Jimmy Morales in New York - and Morales agreed to de-escalate. It happened in the margins of the signing of the UN Climate Change Agreement - which both leaders are attending at the United Nations. Via telephone, the Prime Minister sent a synopsis of the meeting to Belizean media houses. Here's how he explained their meeting. "I have today met with President Morales in the marching of the UN Climate Change signing ceremony. I have indicated to President Morales that the position taken by him and his government cannot conduce to peace and that there is an immediate need to de-escalate tensions. We agreed that all measures will be taken to achieve end. We agreed that while we are awaiting the results of the inquiry, contact/dialogue must be maintained to ensure that there are no breaches of the peace that exists between Belize and Guatemala."

The View Across The Sarstoon Clear
According to the Guatemalan Government's twitter feed, most of those troops will be deployed to the Sarstoon area, which the Guatemalan's seem to want to annex - even though half the river is theirs, and half is for Belize. Now that river is right at the edge of the Toledo District, so today we flew down to Punta Gorda to see if they had started any amassing of troops or arms on their side of the river. Daniel Ortiz reports:... Shortly after arriving in PG, the Belize City based media houses quickly boarded the boat arranged by Border Activist Wil Maheia. The intention was to go the Sarstoon Border, since hearing the bold public statements from Guatemalan President, Jimmy Morales to increase military presence at the Borders.

Guate-Fear In Belize's Southern-most Town
And so we've already show you what it's like on the banks of the Sarstoon River where Guatemalan troops are not visible in any significant numbers. But how do the folks in Punta Gorda feel? Here's what they told us about the possibility of hostile troops very near to them, which could escalate if just one soldier has an itchy trigger finger: Later on, you'll hear public opinion from the streets Belize City.

PUP Says Pres Morales' Motives Transparent
At the top of the news you heard about the Prime Minister's meeting with the Guatemalan President who has agreed to de-escalate. Time will tell what that means on the ground, but in some sense, the damage is already done. Observers say President Jimmy Morales has already shown his hand as a reactionary. One who completed his one hundredth day in the Presidency today and is not getting rave reviews in his home country. In fact, a huge protest was held today in Guatemala City by tens of thousands of indigenous people. So he could be using the old Belizean threat as a distraction. And the PUP didn't mince words in accusing him of that today. The PUP held an emergency executive meeting today - and when it was done the new representative in the Belize Guatemala negotiations Eamon Courtenay addressed the media. Eamon Courtenay, PUP Rep., BZ, Guatemala Relations: "The People's United Party condemns in the strongest possible terms, the aggression by Guatemala by amassing troops at the border. We also condemn and reject its assertion of sovereignty over the Sarstoon. "

Opposition Finds OAS Language Curious
But while the Prime Minister's statement served to somewhat take the edge off a very tense period in Belize's history, the OAS may have taken things in the other direction. The Organization issued a statement today that angered many Belizeans. It notes the central event, which is the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor. The statement says, quote, the "OAS...repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol...During the incident on April 20, in addition to the death of the minor, his father and brother were wounded by gunfire. The OAS expresses its most sincere condolences to the family. It adds, quote, "This incident reinforces the need to observe the confidence building measures in place, in order to prevent future confrontations or situations that could put at risk the peace and stability in the Adjacency Zone, as well as in the area of the Sarstoon River."

PUP Still Considering A Revised Position ON ICJ
And finally from the opposition, the party has yet to reach a final, revised position on the ICJ. Today, Senator Courtney explained the concern:.. Eamon Courtenay, PUP Rep., BZ, Guatemala Relations: "This type of behavior by Guatemala does nothing to give the Belizean people any confidence that that is a realistic approach. This could be very counterproductive is people want this matter to be resolved at the ICJ, but the party has the matter under review. I can tell you that the debate within the party is robust, the debate is not one side at all. I can't tell you what the outcome is going to be, but what I can tell you is this, the fundamental concern of the People's United Party is what is happening on the ground day in day out, what is happening in the Sarstoon day in day out. I think it is, and I speak for myself, romantic to talk about going to the ICJ when Guatemala tells me I can't go down to Sarstoon. I think it is divorced from reality to talk about going into the ICJ and asking the Belizean people to vote yes in a referendum where we have the Guatemalans invading the Chiquibul. These things are connected and if Guatemala is not behaving today like a responsible member of the world community of nations, then we don't go to court with them."

City Is Militant Against Guatemala
So the last we heard officially from the Guatemalan President, he had given his army directions to amass at the Belize border. And the Guatemalan Government's twitter page has been regularly posting pictures of the armed forces on the move, saying they are, quote, "going to protect the sovereignty and protect the population" in the adjacency zone. In line with that the Guatemalans sent out a lengthy press release this morning disputing what the Belize government put out yesterday. The release refers to the murder of Danny Conorquie and the shooting of Staff Sargent Lambey. It says, quote, "The Government of Belize insinuates in their press release that there have been Guatemalans who killed a member of the Belizean Police Force and who shot at a member of the BDF. If the Government of Belize has proof of that, they should present it and not limit themselves to accusation without proof."

National Security Council Meets
And while Belize City citizens are ready to go to war to protect their home, they might be consoled to know that the National Security Council has also taken a hardline. Security Minister John Saldivar met this morning with the senior command of the security forces. A press release says that quote, "all security forces have been placed on high alert and a short term strategy has been devised to deal with further possible incidents along the border areas and in the Sarstoon." To follow up on that, a meeting of the National Security Council was held this afternoon at the Prime Minister's office - and it was chaired by Acting Prime Minister Gaspar Vega. It finished at a few minutes to six, and he briefed the media on the most important decisions taken today:..

Into The Chiquibul Tangle
And so while all this happens in the foreground, in the background lies that vast expanse of green - 414 resource rich square miles, which are being daily plundered by Guatemalan campesinos for land, and by bandits for logwood, Xate, Gold and wild game as well as endangered species. By sheer coincidence, our news team of Emanuel Pech and Angel Noble were on a 12 mile hike in the Chiquibul on the same day the shooting happened - and, in fact, if they didn't have to pull out by nightfall, they might have been near to where it happened. Yesterday we showed you the first part of that report came upon the first illegal clearings for milpa farming. Tonight, we have part two of that report as our team treads deeper into the Chiquibul, in the middle of a hot zone for illegal encroachment. Here is that report.

Small Girl Drowns
A little girl, who suffers from epilepsy, drowned in the village of Biscayne yesterday. According to police, on April 21st sometime around 3:45 in the evening 8 year old Kimera Dominguez, a student of 24 miles Philip Goldson Highway, was at home when she ran outside to meet her cousins who were coming off the school bus. However to go from her house to the road side, she had to cross a man-made pond. Authorities believed that as she was making her way across this pond she fell inside. She couldn't swim, and as resulted drowned. Her cousin pulled her out and tried to administer CPR, but in vain. She died before authorities could reach.

Que Viva Vendors
And in news that is completely unrelated to the Guatemalan situation, on Wednesday, the Belize City Council gave a couple of South Side Food Vendors a tent. If you can recall, last week, Darrel Grant and his wife Ishtar Williams, a young couple from West Collet Canal, were victimized by some Tourism police officers who forced them to take down their shed. This was done with no authority from the police department nor from the Belize City Council. It became a problem when a neighbor, who is also a special constable complained that they were conducting their business too close to his property. So he seems to have taken it upon himself to order them to take it down. But that's where he stepped out of line. The City Council made their own investigation into the matter and found out that even the community praised them for their positive impact on the children in the area. So after some discussions, on Wednesday they delivered the promised tent.

Belize Breathes (A Little) Easier
So, to recap where we are tonight - no amassment of troops or arms were seen on the Guatemalan side of the Chiquibul today. But the Guatemalan government continues to post pictures on its twitter feed, like these which show the military attending the funeral for 13 year old Julio Alvarado - who was fatally shot by the BDF. They also continue to post pictures of their military mobilizing to the adjacency zone. And there are also photos of his injured father recovering in the hospital. The BDF says they came under fire from the Guatemalans on Wednesday night 380 meters inside Belize, and were forced to return fire in the dark. The child's body was not found until they were clearing out the area.

Channel 5

Prime Minister Barrow Addresses Heightened Border Tension
There is an escalating crisis between Belize and Guatemala that is reaching tipping point. In recent days, Guatemala has adopted an aggressive stand against Belize especially in the Sarstoon where [...]

PM Barrow Reminds Guatemalan President about the Murder of Danny Conorquie
Guatemala earlier today issued a statement saying that ten Guatemalan civilians had been killed by Belizean troops. But there is also the murder of Danny Connorquie and the shooting of [...]

P.M. Meets with Senior UN and O.A.S. Officials in the United States
As tensions continue to mount, the Prime Minister is meeting with high level officials from the United Nations, the O.A.S. and the international community. Here on the ground, the government [...]

National Security Council Convenes Urgent Meeting in Belize City
Here in Belize City, the National Security Council met this afternoon at the Office of the Prime Minister in Belize City, following a meeting this morning between Minister of National [...]

Opposition Leader Addresses Nation as Guatemala Increases Aggression
As the government of Guatemala becomes more aggressive, The People’s United Party has been swift in issuing a statement following an emergency executive meeting at Independence Hall.  P.U.P. Leader John [...]

Is Guatemala Attempting to Annex the Sarstoon?
As we said, the People’s United Party held an emergency meeting this morning in light of the amassing of troops in the Sarstoon as well as at the Adjacency Zone. [...]

Senator Eamon Courtenay Weighs in on Belize/Guatemala Hostility
Senator Courtenay explains that once Guatemala moves its troops to exercise their so called sovereignty, it is a clear case of annexation which if left undone, becomes a permanent situation. [...]

True Story of Guatemalan Aggression must be Internationalized
Courtenay goes on to say that the internationalization of the Belize/Guatemala crisis, in light of the shooting death of a minor in the Chiquibul, is being used by Guatemalan army [...]

O.A.S. Issues Statement Repudiating Death of Guatemalan Minor in Chiquibul
Secretary General of the O.A.S., Luis Almagro, was sitting comfortably witnessing a Culture for Peace Program at the Adjacency Zone on Wednesday removed from what was happening at the Sarstoon [...]

O.A.S. is Aware of Guatemalan’s Pillaging Belize’s Natural Resources
Senator Eamon Courtenay, this morning expressed dismay at the O.A.S. pointing out that the organization is well aware of the plunder of Belize’s resources in the Chiquibul by Guatemalan nationals. [...]

Military Occupation of Sarstoon; Is it Really Happening?
Since we visited the Sarstoon on Wednesday for the inauguration of the joint operations Forward Operating Base a lot has happened. A Guatemalan minor was shot and killed in the [...]

Western Border Open but Business Slows Down Considerably
Aside from the Sarstoon, we headed to Benque which is the western town on the border with Guatemala. We witnessed Guatemalan children crossing the border to attend school in Belize. [...]

U.S. State Department Issues Release on Chiquibul Shooting
Apart from the O.A.S. and Mexico issuing statements on the latest developments between Belize and Guatemala, the U.S. State Department made a brief comment on the escalated tension.  The press [...]

What is Mexico’s Interest in Belize and Guatemala Keeping the Peace?
The government of Mexico has also issued a statement. Our neighbor to the north reiterates its support for the efforts of both countries to advance the solution to the dispute [...]

Courtenay and Elrington Set Aside Differences in the Interest of Belize
The P.U.P. leader told News Five on Thursday that Senator Eamon Courtenay continues as his chief representative on the advisory group to the Belize/Guatemala issue. Former Minister Assad Shoman has [...]

Wil Maheia Lashes out at O.A.S.
The Organization of American States has issued a release on the fatal shooting of Guatemalan minor Julio Rene Alvarado, in the Chiquibul on Wednesday. The release states that,  “the O.A.S. [...]

Will BTV Proceed with Planned Trip to Sarstoon?
The Belize Territorial Volunteers will be heading to Sarstoon on Saturday, April thirtieth. Or will they? Maheia has been accused of provoking the Guatemalans, so he is certainly on the [...]

CTV3

Two Orange Walkenos Sentenced For Robbery
Two Orange Walk men were today sentenced to serve two years imprisonment after they were found guilty of the charge of robbery. The two individuals, namely Gustavo Hernandez and Christian Sutherland were arrested and charged back in May 11, 2015 for the broad daylight armed robbery at Luda’s Fast Food at the corner of Guadalupe Street and the Belize Corozal Road in Orange Walk Town. At the time of the incident 41 year old Chinese businesswoman Ling Yu Huang reported to police that sometime around 2:45p.m on that day, while at her business place attending to a customer, two male persons with their faces covered and wearing camouflage hats entered the establishment and robbed them at gunpoint.

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.

General Jones Dissapointed About Guatemala Rejection Towards Proposals
As for Guatemala’s presence inside Belize’s territorial waters during the inauguration of the forward operating base, Commandant of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones, described it as alertness on their behalf: Brigadier General David Jones – Belize Defense Force Commandant: “Well, it shows that they are on alert and they are going to continuously be alert and apart from the BDF and the Coast Guard our civilian forces also has to be aware that the Guatemalans are alert, this is an international border it shared between us and them so they are rightfully concern if any one comes in to the river that they may be going in to Guatemalan waters so I am not surprised that they are here I expected them here because that is what they should if there some activity occurring in their side and we would see a lot of vessels coming in to the river we equally be alert as well too to take a look and to be concern on what is happening in the river.”

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.


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#513283 - 04/23/16 12:18 PM Re: Today's Belize News: April 23, 2016 [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

LOVE FM

Prime Minister Meets with Guatemalan President over Risen Tensions
Prime Minister Dean Barrow has issued a recorded statement via telephone as he is still in the US where he attended the signing of the Paris Agreement. According to Prime Minister Barrow, he has had a meetng with President Jimmy Morales at the UN in New York. Prime Minister Barrow says that he […]

Deputy Prime Minister Speaks on Meeting of Nat’l Security Council
While Prime Minsiter Barrow is away, the National Security Minister, John Saldivar headed a meeting with senior officials this morning at the BDF Price Barracks. Those in attendance included the Rear Admiral of the Belize Coast Guard, Commander John Borland; BDF Commander, Brigadier General David Jones and Deputy Comissioner of Police, Russell Blackett That meeting […]

Situation at Western Border Sensationalized on Social Media
The social media timelines and pages were filled with sentiments and reactions to the current relations between Belize and Guatemala. While some were merely expressing their concerns or opinions on the issue, there were some who were sensationalizing the issue and making reports of the western border being closed and high tensions in the area. […]

Guatemalans Block Entry Into the Sarstoon
Meanwhile on the southern part of the country, Wil Maheia told Love News that the mouth of the Sarstoon River was blocked by the Guatemalan military and thus Belizean vessels had no access to the area although the Guatemalan civilians were allowed to continue fishing in Belize’s waters.

Opposition Leader Issues Statement Following Emergency Meeting of His Executive
As the National Security Minister was in session with senior law enforcements, the Opposition Leader was in an emergency session with the PUP’s National Executive. That meeting began just before midday at Independence Hall and upon completion, the Leader of the Opposition issued a statement.

OAS To Intervene and Investigate Recent Shooting of Minor
Yesterday we told of the briefing with the OAS Secretary General, Luis Almagro and his comments that both Belize and Guatemala would have to make an official request for them to intervene and carry out an investigation into the recent killing of a Guatemalan minor in the Cayo District. A release posted on the OAS […]

PUP Area Reps Weigh In on Heightened Tensions with Guatemala
The National Executive of the People’s United Party is meeting in what has been dubbed an emergency meeting to discuss the current situation surrounding the tensions with Guatemala. Several members of the Executive including Francis Fonseca, Anthony Mahler, Kareem Musa, Eamon Courtenay and a few others showed up at the blue and white headquarters for […]

Is President Morales Using Belize to Overshadow His Country’s Economic Woes ?
While President Jimmy Morales is putting forth a strong stance on the border dispute and making announcements on the increase of naval officers at the Sarstoon and the western border, there are persons from Guatemala who are saying that this is a political ploy by Morales to distract the citizens from crucial issues affecting the […]

US State Department Encourages Cooperation with OAS Office
As the situation escalates between Belize and Guatemala, various agencies are sending out their statements and sentiments on the issue. Earlier today, the Assistant Secretary and Department Spokesperson for the Bureau of Public Affairs for the US State Department, John Kirby, issued a statement, saying, quote, “We are deeply concerned by reports today that a […]

Mexican Embassy Weighs in on Belize Guatemala Issue
Meanwhile coming out of the Mexican Embassy was a release expressing hope that an end to the dispute would be reached. Mexico’s Ambassador to Belize Carlos Quesnell wrote on his Facebook page, quote, “The Government of Mexico, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regrets the events which occurred on April 20 at the Adjacency Zone […]

PlusTV

Guatemalan Poacher killed by BDF in the Chiquibul reserve
To say that tensions are high between Guatemala and Belize would be an understatement at this time and with every new encounter between the two countries’ militaries and civilians, that tension increases; and there has been another incident. A Guatemalan, in Belizean territory illegally, was shot an...

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 shooting of the Guatemalan minor by Belize Defence Forc...

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 Denny Grijalva’s company, De...

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 with intent to rape and one c...

Gun found buried in yard
Police Officers from Intermediate Southern Formation comprising of OC ISF, Special Branch Officer and CIB personnel 0n Thursday 21st April , visited a lot at the entrance of Placencia Village, Stann Creek District where a search was carried out . There, authorities found a black plastic bag buried a...

Taiwanese helicopters assembled
At Wednesday’s opening of the Forward Operating Base in the Sarstoon area, the commander of the Belize Defense Force, Brigadier General David Jones confirmed that the recently acquired Taiwanese helicopters for the force have been assembled. In one year’s time, when training for the pilots is compl...

UB expands research conference
The University of Belize (UB) hosted its annual research conference in Belize City this morning for students and faculty. It is part of the University’s mandate to be the leading research institution in Belize. Though the conference has always been hosted by the Faculty of Management and Social Scie...

The Reporter

Barrow, Morales agree to take measures to de-escalate tensions at borders
The leaders of Belize and Guatemala have agreed to take all measures necessary to de-escalate tensions at our border areas. A press release from the Government’s Press Office late this evening states that Prime Minister Dean Barrow made the announcement during a special meeting of […]

YWP to hold second annual diabetes run
Youth For World Peace (YWP) Wellness Ambassadors, a community organization in western Belize is holding its second annual run for diabetes awareness. YWP set the date for May 22, where participants will run 23 miles, beginning at the Belmopan market square and ending at Palacio’s […]

IDB making more financing available for climate change projects
The Inter-American Development Bank has agreed to increase the amount of financing available for countries to conduct climate change related projects. The IDB agreed this week to raise the amount of financing available by 30 percent over the next four years. The IDB estimates that the climate […]

Government loses big in litigation with Unicorn
In two separate judgments in 2016 by two separate Justices of the Supreme Court, the actions of the government have been deemed unconstitutional and unlawful. In the first such ruling in January, 2016, Justice Courtney Abel ordered government to pay Titan International Securities US $4.5 million, and last Friday, Justice […]

Fundraiser to help 12-year-old with leukemia
The family of 12-year-old Cleyon Marage is holding a fundraiser this weekend to pay for medical treatment for the boy who has been battling leukemia for two years. While Marage is currently receiving treatment in Merida, his family is busy organizing the fundraiser to be […]

Belize to observe Vaccination Week in the Americas
Belize is joining other countries in the region this week in celebrating Vaccination Week in the Americas, and World Vaccination Week. The events focus on promoting the benefits of vaccination through education, and the week is being observed under the theme: “Closing the Immunization Gap […]

GOB building new schools in the north
The Government of Belize this week broke ground on two new school projects in the northern districts. GOB held ground-breaking ceremonies for the Our Lady of Guadalupe R.C. pre-school, in Corozal, and Carmelita pre-school in Orange Walk on Wednesday, giving greater access to education for […]

Belize to ratify Paris Agreement
Prime Minister Dean Barrow left the country this week to sign and ratify the international climate change treaty known as the Paris Agreement at the United Nations’ headquarters in New York. Climate change experts have said that while countries such as Belize contribute less than […]

Chamber of Commerce holds first Belizean Roots Expo
The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), in an effort to promote Belizean products, held it’s first ever Belizean Roots Expo. The expo, held at AyinHa Adventures Castleton Entertainment Park on Saturday April 16, was organized in an effort to highlight and showcase products specifically from […]

Belize slips in Free Press ranking
Belize has slipped six places from last year on the 2016 World Press Freedom Index, ranking 36 on this year’s index prepared by Reporters Without Borders. Despite slipping on the index, Belize still ranks high at 36 out of 180 countries included in the index, […]

Escapee Shane Bennet recaptured in Placencia
Shane Bennet, a murder suspect who had escaped from police custody in January, was recaptured in Placencia this week through efforts of a joint police operation. Officers from the Special Branch, Crimes Investigation Branch (CIB) and the Placencia police sub-formation found Bennet hiding at a […]

Three Guatemalans looking for gold caught with weed
Three Guatemalans looking for gold in Belize were arrested on drug charges in the southern portion of the Chiquibul Forest Reserve late last week. The Friends for Conservation and Development (FCD) reported that the men were found in jungle camps near the Ceibo Chico creek, […]

Fatally stabbed In Caye Caulker
A man identified as Leon Gordon was fatally stabbed w at the Mara’s Sip and Dip bar in Caye Caulker last Suday. Caye Caulker police responded to reports of a fight at the Sip on Avenida Hicaco around 8:15 Sunday night. There, Sharlene Young reported […]

A permanent military base now present at the Sarstoon
The Ministry of National Security has established a joint operation Forward Operating Base on the Belizean mainland at the mouth of the Sarstoon, directly opposite Guatemala’s base in that area. The building was officially inaugurated and declared operational on Wednesday by a mixed gathering of security personnel from the various […]

Impersonators caught in the act
An early morning police patrol in the Conch Shell Bay area of Belize City on Thursday resulted in the arrest of two persons, including a Belize Defense Force (BDF) volunteer soldier, posing as legitimate, armed policemen. Tyronne Smith and Dorian Blair, both 21, face charges […]

Editorial
The shooting of a thirteen year old boy by BDF Forces in the Cebada area of the Chiquibul National Park on the Belize side of the border has inflamed the people of Guatemala, and on Thursday, April 21 President Jimmy Morales put the Guatemalan forces in the area of the […]

Tensions high as Guatemalan boy is shot by BDF
Tensions are at an all time high following the fatal shooting of a Guatemalan minor by the Belize Defense Force (BDF) Wednesday evening. The death of Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, 13; and the alleged wounding of his brother Carlos Alberto Alvarado, 11; and father Carlos Alfredo Ramirez, 48, have spurred […]

Guatemala rejects Belize Proposals – Sarstoon in Limbo
On April 8, 2016, there was a meeting at OAS headquarters in the Adjacency Zone, as Belize presented eleven proposals providing a framework for engagement between the countries on the increasingly volatile Sarstoon area. There were plenty of warm hugs and smiles, back-patting, sincere eye contact and hand shakes. A […]

Noh Mul cost Grijalva $6,000
The Belize City Magistrate’s Court ordered Denny Grijalva, and those charged with him for the destruction of the Noh Mul archeological site, to pay the maximum fine under the law: $6,000. On Thursday Chief Magistrate Ann Marie Smith ordered Grijalva, his wife, and his foreman at De Mar’s Stone Company, […]

Regional prostitution laws challenged but sex work already legal in Belize
A York University Professor is calling on Caribbean Community members to decriminalize prostitution, but her appeal would have little effect in Belize since prostitution is already legal. The appeal to revisit prostitution laws sparked a complex, multi¬sectoral discussion, and The Reporter spoke with representatives from […]

Breaking Belize NewsPJ

Prime Minister Barrow Convenes National Security Council Meeting
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow this evening convened a special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) in Belize City to address the issues surrounding the incident that claimed the life of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest in Belize’s territory. The […]

OAS asks Belize and Guatemala to avoid escalation of tensions
A press release issued by the OAS General Secretariat this afternoon, states that it will investigate the shooting incident that has sparked tension between Guatemala and Belize. The release asks both countries to avoid an escalation of tensions and to renew efforts to establish […]

Eight year old drowns in man-made pond
Ladyville police are currently investigating a drowning of an 8-year-old in Biscayne village, Belize District. According to a police report, a little before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday April 21st, officers visited the residence of 55 year old Jennifer Moguel between miles 24 ¼ on […]

Fake police busted in Belize City
A pair of police impersonators were arrested and charged yesterday morning when a real police mobile patrol noticed them acting suspiciously on Ebony Street in Belize City. Just before 6:00 a.m., the men, identified to be 21-year-old Tyron Smith and 21-year-old Dorian Blair, were […]

Mexico speaks on Belize Guatemala tensions
Mexico has issued a release on the April 20th shooting along the Belize Guatemala adjacency zone saying that it laments the incident and trusts that the Organization of American States will conduct a full investigation into the matter to determine who is responsible. The Mexican […]

Guatemalan Government challenges GOB in press release
A press release issued from Guatemala and directed to the Government of Belize earlier today, refutes our country’s version of events given about the shooting death of Guatemalan minor Julio Alvarado. He was allegedly shot by a Belize Defense Force (BDF) soldier in the […]

Keep calm; the western border in Belize is open
Breaking Belize News has investigated reports of threats made to burn Government buildings at the Western Border and that the border is closed. Neither is true. Our information from sources who have visited the border is that traffic into and out of Guatemala is free-flowing […]

Fair and warm weather prevails
The National Meteorological Service of Belize is predicting sunny skies today and partly cloudy skies tonight with little or no rainfall expected. Winds will be blowing to the East from 5-15 knots and the sea state will be choppy. High temperatures today are expected […]

Blogs

San Pedro, Belize 2016 Tattoo Exposition: If You Haven’t Heard? Tattoos are HUGE
Tattoos, if you haven’t realized, are hot. According to this 2014 survey, 56% of NBA players have tattoos…and surveys seem to estimate 20-25% of Americans sport some ink. It seems to be a trademark for 20 and 30 somethings. And I’d guess that more than 25% of the millenials in San Pedro have a tattoo or 10. So it makes sense that the 2016 EXPO, this year announced bigger and better, comes to San Pedro. It is scheduled for the last weekend of May – May 28th and 29th – and will feature artists from around the world. So…keep if you are a tattoo aficionado, thinking of one for the first time or just like to gawk, this event should be super fun. I’ll definitely see you there.

Florida Investigator to Caribbean Restaurateur
Before moving to Belize, 66-year-old Steve Gustat, from Tampa, Florida, hadn’t even considered opening a restaurant. “I had no experience in the restaurant business,” he says of his decision to open the Blue Iguana, the popular restaurant he now operates with his Belizean partner, Shantel, in Corozal, in northern Belize near the Mexican border. “But that has not been a problem. Business principles are the same in any business.”

Random scenes from 5 days in San Pedro
I was fortunate that the universe sent my friend Jack over with a golf cart and that he was in a chill mood so was willing to wait for me to finish my work and pack a picnic while my editor Shirlee fixed any bits that came from my dyslexic ADD brain so I could go live. We set off for gas and headed north so he could see the cave and we would have a nice place to picnic. This time around in addition to still pictures I have some great 360 degree video footage for you of the landscape beyond Secret beach. I also shot some video driving out and Grand Belizean Estates area. At the end of that one Jack slowed the cart down to give the ladies a treat.

International Sourcesizz

Belize says Guatemala “amassing” troops in border areas
The tiny Central American country of Belize has accused larger neighbor Guatemala of “amassing” troops along the two countries’ border following the death of a 13-year-old boy in a shooting incident apparently involving Belizean soldiers. It’s a new flashpoint in a long territorial dispute between the two countries. Guatemala claims parts of territory governed by Belize as its own. Guatemala says teenager Julio Rene Alvarado Ruano, his father and his 11-year-old brother were attacked Wednesday as they planted crops in the border community of San Jose Las Flores near Melchor de Mencos, which is on the border between the department of Peten and Belize. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales called it a “cowardly and excessive attack” that merits the “total condemnation of the Guatemalan state.” He said he had summoned his ambassador to Belize for consultations and urged Belize to investigate and bring those responsible to justice.

Statement released today by the OAS general Secretariat
In a statement released today, the OAS general Secretariat says it "repudiates the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urges both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the adjacency zone between the two countries." The statement goes on to say that the OAS has agreed to investigate the death and make its final reports available to foreign ministries of both countries. The secretariat also took the opportunity to repeat its recommendations that both countries "carry out the procedures provided for in their respective internal systems as soon as possible, to hold referenda on the decision to submit the territorial controversy to the International Court of Justice", stating that this is the only viable way of resolving the dispute permanently.

MEXICO AMBASSADOR ON THE INCIDENT AT THE ADJACENCY ZONE BETWEEN GUATEMALA AND BELIZE (NON OFFICIAL ENGLISH TRANSLATION)
"The Government of Mexico, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regrets the events which occurred on April 20 at the Adjacency Zone between Guatemala and Belize in which a minor lost his life and other persons were injured. Likewise it extends its condolences to the relatives of the victims. Mexico is confident that with the support of the Office of the OAS at the Adjacency Zone an extensive investigation will be launched with regard to the events in order to determine responsibilities. The Government of Mexico reiterates its support to the ongoing efforts that Guatemala and Belize carry out to finding a solution to the present dispute as well as its support to the initiatives implemented within the framework of the OAS that encourage confidence building measures between the parties and avoid incidents and tensions that could affect the peaceful process in finding a resolution to the dispute".

The 'Midnight Terror Cave' of Belize was a child sacrifice site, experts report
Back in 2006, a local farmer working in the Cayo District of west Belize made one of the most grisly archaeological discoveries of the last decade. Tipped off by the screams of a looter who fell 18 metres (60 feet) to the floor of a pitch-black cave, the farmer discovered human bones and teeth by the thousands, some so smashed up, it’s impossible to count how many bodies they once belonged to. Welcome to the Midnight Terror Cave, where archaeologists suspect countless children were sacrificed to Chaak - the rain god of the ancient Maya civilisation. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in Atlanta last week, bioarchaeologist Michael Prout from California State University discussed the results of a recent analysis of the 9,566 bones, teeth, and bone fragments found scattered on the floor of the cave, confirming that they belonged to individuals no older than 14 years.

4-H around the world: Michigan-Belize connection
Belize is well known for its Mayan temples and cave tubing, but did you know they also have a National 4-H Youth Development Center? It was revived in 1967 by Hon. David L. McKoy, Minister of Social Services, with technical assistance from Michigan 4-H Youth Development. According to Central Intelligence Agency, Belize wasn’t even an independent country in 1967, they were still having territorial disputes with the UK and Guatemala until their independence in 1981. Guatemala still refused to recognize the new nation until 1992. So imagine a country in turmoil trying to become independent, establishing a 4-H Youth Development Center empowering youth to “Learn to Earn and Save.” A country where the people may be hungry but still wear a smile; a country that counts on tourism for economic stability; a country in the Caribbean where its official language is English; and a country with heavy foreign debt burden, high unemployment, highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates, high crime and drug trade. The youth in Belize need adults who see the value in 4-H Youth Development, International Exchange opportunities and continue receiving support from Michigan 4-H Youth Development.

CDC issues zika virus travel advisory for Belize
On Monday, the US Centers for Disease control and Prevention (CDC) issued a zika virus travel notice for Belize. CDC has issued a number of previous travel notices (level 2, “practice enhanced precautions”) for people traveling to destinations with zika. Travelers to areas with cases of zika virus infection are at risk of being infected with the zika virus. Mosquitoes that spread zika are aggressive daytime biters. They also bite at night. There is no vaccine or medicine for zika virus. The best way to avoid zika virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites. Some travelers to areas with zika will become infected while traveling but will not become sick until they return home and they might not have any symptoms. To help stop the spread of zika, travelers should use insect repellent for three weeks after travel to prevent mosquito bites.

Meet Cleo, an iguana from Central America
During my time in the Central American nation of Belize, we referred to iguanas as “bamboo chicken.” And I had, on one occasion, the opportunity to dine on this colorful lizard’s meat. Grilled on an open flame and flavored with a considerable amount of lime juice, allspice, and cayenne pepper, it pretty much tasted like chicken, especially after enjoying a couple of rum and cokes! “I can never eat animals I’ve raised,” said Charlie Sammut, director of the Monterey Zoo. “I know what they smell like from having them around me and I can taste that in the rattlesnake or alligator meat I’ve tried.” Angie Krall held Cleo tightly as the full-size iguana displayed its attractive chartreuse color and textured skin. “I don’t recommend iguanas as pets,” Sammut said. “And yet, they are sold in pet stores left and right. First of all, I call them “throwaway pets.” If you get them as babies, your chances of keeping them healthy and alive are slim. The heat source they need, the humidity they need, are just not easy to provide. If you do well, and grow them into a big iguana, you have an animal running around the house that is very dangerous. I’ve met dogs with eyes missing because of the tail of an iguana.”

CARIFORUM fisheries and SPS professionals participate in unique, interactive training opportunity in Iceland
Eighteen professionals who have been working in Fisheries Management, Animal Health and Food Safety from across the CARIFORUM region, are currently overseas receiving specialized training in food safety and animal and plant health. The trainees are attending the Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) Management Course, slated for 17-30 April 2016 in Reykjavik, Iceland, under the United Nations University - Fisheries Training Programme (UNU-FTP). The two-week course, developed by the UNU-FTP in partnership with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), is exposing the selected trainees to the full range of issues faced in fisheries value chain management, with special focus on the best SPS standards and the institutional arrangements required for the optimized performance of the fishing industry.

OAS condemns shooting death of Guatemalan minor in Belize adjacency zone
The OAS General Secretariat has condemned the death of a Guatemalan minor at the hands of a Belizean patrol, and urged both sides to redouble efforts to establish a lasting peace in the adjacency zone between the two countries. The OAS Office in the Adjacency Zone of Belize and Guatemala will investigate the incident at the request of both governments. Once the investigation is concluded the report with its results will be delivered to both foreign ministries for the appropriate actions. During the incident on Wednesday, in addition to the death of the minor, his father and brother were wounded by gunfire. The OAS called on the governments of Belize and Guatemala to avoid an escalation of tensions, and to renew their efforts to establish a lasting peace.

Guatemalan Military's twitter feed
The latest photos from the Guatemalan Military's twitter feed concerning the current tensions between Belize and Guatemala show the Guatemalan Minister of National Defense visiting the grieving family of Julio Alvarado.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE STATEMENT BY JOHN KIRBY, SPOKESPERSON: Guatemala-Belize: Shootings in Disputed Area
We are deeply concerned by reports today that a child was killed and two family members injured in the disputed area between Guatemala and Belize known as the Adjacency Zone. We express our deepest condolences to the family. We urge calm and restraint by both sides, and we call for a full investigation of the facts surrounding this tragedy. Finally, we encourage both countries to cooperate fully with the OAS Adjacency Zone Office and to continue engaging in the confidence building measures agreed upon in 2005. We reiterate our support for both countries to continue efforts to hold referenda on referring the territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice.

Videos

  • Belize a signatory to the Paris Agreement, 1min. This morning at the United Nations Headquarters, Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow officially made Belize a signatory to the Paris Agreement. In December, 2015, 195 countries came together and adopted a new international agreement to address climate change; named the “Paris Agreement.” This Agreement is seen as historic in the fight against climate change as it sets the basis for common action against climate change, by countries all over the world. It also marked a breakthrough in global cooperation to address climate change.

  • Aguacate Lagoon in Spanish Lookout Belize - Phantom 3 Footage, 2min. Richard flew explored Aguacate Lagoon in Spanish Lookout with his Phantom 3 drone. The lake is named after its Avocado shape.

  • Belize | Travel Diary, 3min. My friend celebrated her Bday in Belize. So I traveled with her. Come along.

  • Driving from Secret Beach, 1min. Part of the drive from Secret Beach back to San Pedro Town. THe girls will be glad my friend Jack did a slow drive by at the end of the video ;)

  • Secret Beach Landscape, 2min. A short visual of what the different landscape looks like around secret beach and just north of it.

  • Pirate Girl Brownies at The Truck Stop Inaugural Farmers Market, 1min.

  • San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Belize, 4min.

  • Our Snapchat Story: Belize, 11min. Our story of our trip to Belize through the eyes of Snapchat

  • Belize // In 15 Days, 5min. My friends and I traveled Belize in 15 days. This film is the story of our incredible trip! Enjoy! Shot on the GoPro Hero 3+

  • Conservation trip to Belize - 2015, 5min. Exploring, diving and volunteering for a conservation expedition. I spent 6 weeks in Belize last year on a conservation expedition where I learnt to dive (getting both my open water and advanced open water PADI), ID Caribbean fish and conduct marine surveys. As well as learning how to sit back and do nothing - an important skill with the plethora of distractions nowadays.

  • GUILE BRANCO'S BELIZE ARCHEOLOGY ADVENTURE PART ONE, 4min. This video follows Guile Branco as he visits the ruins of XUNANTUNICH in BELIZE - dating back to 850 AD.

  • Belize 2016, 3min. San Ignacio, Tobacco Caye, Ambergris Caye & Belize City.

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